Monday, July 26, 2010

A Blog (uuuUUh blah!)

Bridgette is trying lots of new words, though most of them still come out fairly garbled.

(She has a great deal of difficulty pronouncing consonants, particularly words that require her to place any part of her tongue to the roof of her mouth -- like most of the words in this sentence. Try it slowly. You'll see.)

To make up for her lack of consonants, Bridgette likes to shout out her vowels with verve. It's noisy, but we're simply excited she's making more of an effort to speak!

I am amused that she now prefixes most of her words by the sound "uh" -- as in "a mint." Only the "a" is both elongated and enunciated, "uuuuuUUUh mihh!"

At some point, I'm sure she'll realize that "a," "an," and "the" are helpful articles and not part of the word itself.

In the meantime, we have conversations like this:

"Bridgette, would you like a chicken nugget?"

"uuuUUh nUhhieeeeee!" (That's my favorite - "Nuggie" - cute!)

"Bridgette, look! There's Ming-Ming!"

"uuuUUh Meeeh-Meeeh!"

"Bridgette, here comes Daddy!"

"uuuUUh DAHEEE!"

Unlike Daddy, I am not honored with a prefix, but Bridgette still calls me "Mamo," and that's pretty darn adorable.

I'm equally amused that she's starting to make up her own sign language too. This isn't surprising because she understands virtually EVERYTHING we say to her. With good comprehension, it must be frustrating for her not to be able to communicate with her tongue.

We should probably get back to teaching her actual ASL, as it seems easier for her to use her fingers than to speak with her mouth. Just today she told me she needed to wash her hands by holding them up and sort of wringing them in front of her face. It took me a moment to understand, but it was really very proactive of her.

And now, here are some of my favorite photos from this week:

Airplane (uuuUUh Air!)

Yo, what you lookin' at, fool!?

Tricked you! I'm just a little kid!

Aaaaand, I'm a thief. An irresistible, cheeky thief.

"Cheeeeeeese!" And Cheerios.

And the last three are plain and simply her.
In a tree.

In a dress.

Considering an internship as a smelter.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Magical Moments - First Steps!

We've had a very good week. We've seen Bridgette eating and drinking more than ever before in her life. She also has 4-5 super wet diapers a day, another wonderful and unexpected new first for us.

Bridgette's been progressing quickly this week too. She's pulling to stand quite easily, she's been willing to hold on with just one hand as she cruises or takes our fingers, she's climbing more, and she's improving on stairs.

Then today, I was lucky enough to witness her first steps! The first two successes were not caught on film, but fortunately I had just emptied the flash drive and charged the battery last night, so our camera was only one room away and ready to go!

The video shows her with Betsy, her physical therapist.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Just for Giggles

"When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies."

— J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Perhaps Our Best Video -- L.O.L.

Two posts ago (birthday party), I mentioned that when I downloaded our recent pictures and video, I was surprised they were all blurry. Our camera lens had a big finger print on it.

Well, as fate would have it, we have documentation that pretty much lands our little girl in the hot seat. It would seem she turned the camera on, started it recording, stopped it recording, turned the camera off, and put it back into my purse ... all without us knowing.

Until tonight.


First, we have the best one-finger assisted-walking ever.

Followed by the most surprising solo standing ever.

Followed by a second solo stand, almost as surprising as the first.

Followed by a prime example of why you should always wash your dishes when you bring them home from the store for the first time.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

2nd Birthday Swim-Party

Despite the proximity to water, Bridgette's birthday party theme was butterflies not fish. The theme came from some some butterfly invitations she picked out all by herself.

(Thank goodness. She almost picked the "crazy monkey" invitations.)

Please don't make fun of my cake. My not-at-all-domestic self is sensitive to cake-mocking.

The carrot cake, chocolate cupcakes, and cream cheese frosting were all completely dairy free. Not that it mattered. Bridgette still got sick. I think it was all the sugar.

Bridgette started out the party crying -- cuz it was her party and she wanted to. And also she was highly overwhelmed.

But she perked up when she blew out the candles with a little help from daddy.

Her fan-group watched her eat. Sometimes they sampled her piece of cake too.

Fingers in frosting. More frosting please...

Mmm. . .

Yeah, she'd have eaten with a fork earlier if we'd remembered to give her one.

Another change of lyrics: It's my party, and I'll spit on you and laugh if I want to. Spit if I want to. Laugh if I want to. You would laugh too, if I spit on you. Wouldn't you?

Here is Bridgette's second-newest cousin, Sienna.

And this is Bridgette giggling maniacally while her butterfly pinata gets the stuffing beat out of it.

On to . . . the POOL!

Bri loves to swim, but it always takes her a few minutes to warm up to the idea. Thanks to Karla for taking most of these shots. Unfortunately, my camera had a big finger print on the lens, so many of the photos are blurry. (For explanation, see a future post coming soon to a Hoose-Johnson blog near you.)

Group shot!

Sadly, this isn't everyone. It was too crazy a day to capture everybody. 14 party-attending souls were missing from this photo.

Aunt Kelly & her son Matthew

Uncle Jacob & his daughters Sammie & Lili

Cousins Grace & Tyler

Uncle Paul & Aunt Brenda -- Looking Super Cute

Cousin Ellie (EYEEEE!)

Cousin Sienna's First Time Swimming -- Aunt Heidi & Uncle Jeremy

Cousin Tyler, Bridgette, and "Mamo"

It was a great party!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bridgette Is 2 Years Old Today!!!

About Bridgette --
  • Her favorite TV show is "WonderPets"
  • She has a team of 4 specialty doctors, 4 therapists, 2 case workers, 2 parents, and 1 home health care nurse
  • Her favorite stuffed animal is a yellow Lorax
  • She loves fresh peas, warm raspberries, canned green beans, and dairy (cheese, ice-cream, yogurt)
  • She can't have dairy (cheese, ice-cream, yogurt)
  • Pickles make her vomit, literally
  • Currently, her favorite words are juice (Pedialyte), air (airplane), mo (moon) and mice (mess)
  • She is on 2 medications perpetually, 4 commonly
  • She enjoys swimming but doesn't like to bathe
  • She loves to cover herself in dirt and sand
  • She doesn't walk yet, but one day she'll be a track star
  • She knows almost all her body parts
  • She LOVES other children
  • She's learning to tolerate adults
  • She likes nature in general and animals in particular
  • She gives our dogs kisses
  • They kiss her back
  • Bubbles are her friends, and she now says, "Pop!"
  • This will be her first birthday without a major surgery -- hallelujah!
  • She hasn't had a hospital visit since the end of March
  • She likes to go to bed with a book in hand
  • She's about even on tantrums versus giggles
  • She still won't let me brush her hair
  • Her newest talent is personal diaper removal
  • Bridgette is adorable, and we love her so, so much
  • We are incredibly grateful to have her in our lives

Leave her a birthday comment! Share a memory or message, and she can read it when she's older.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Shall I Be Sorry in Advance?

Or will you be sorry in retrospect?

Possibly neither, but this is pretty long. Consider yourself warned.

That's because the 4th of July is AWESOME. It's my favorite holiday (that and Thanksgiving), and after seeing all the stuff below, you'll understand why.

Not only do I love a weekend of fun family-togetherness, but I also like the focus on what I consider to be the best moments of U.S. history: service, heroes, sound values, self-improvement.

I'm not super "patriotic" in the typical sense, seeing as I believe we're all on this planet together and I think over-the-top nationalism can hurt the overall survival of humanity. But I like this country. I've been to a whole bunch of countries on four different continents, and while I'm sure I'd be happy living in many of them, I'm pleased as punch to be living in this one. It's been a good home.

We started the weekend by accidently attending the Freedom Festival carnival festivities.

Having neglected to arrange a babysitter for a Friday night date, we took babs and headed to a restaurant we thought she'd like down in Provo. Right on Center Street. And what did we find? The restaurant was out of business and the street was closed off to make way for vendors.


Ah, well. We made the best of it.

So, I thought we were both cheesing it for the camera. Ends up I was, anyway.

Once again, Bridgette would like to show you her mints.

On Saturday, we attended Paul & Brenda's annual Independence Day party. This party always includes yummy food, water games, a water fight, board games, video games, toys, ping-pong, lots of people, and plenty of fun.

Jeff and I participated in the water balloon toss and won! They even handed us a marvelous blue ribbon to save forever and ever and ever and ever. Actually, our best toss was pretty darn good. You can see Jeff way in the back, and I'm out of the picture on the other side. That was the last throw/catch we made of the day.

Can you ever get enough of this darling little girl? If the answer is no, don't tell me. Or at least, feel free to stop reading my blog.

Bridgette was the youngest attendee this year, and Aunt Brenda was sweet to buy a baby pool just her size.

She wasn't kidding. It was just Bridgette's size.

The next two photos were taken by Aunt Brenda. We like them.

Saturday night, I went with Aunt Karla and Cousin Grace to the Stadium of Fire, hosted this year by Lou Diamond Phillips. He was great.

The Stadium of Fire Dancers

After the dancers made a human flag of spangled shorts and bouncy balls and before the colors were posted and the pledge recited, each unit of the armed forces marched in to their respective songs while the veterans in the audience stood to be recognized. I always like that part.

Carrie Underwood sang the Star Spangled Banner. As soon as she ended, they shot off a couple of fireworks right as four F-16s out of Hill Air Force Base did a flyover. I'm always amazed by the impeccable timing of this show. That's a lot to coordinate within a few seconds.

I've never understood. Why in the world would they choose to call it "Stadium of Fire."

So each year they also do something patriotically cool. Like one year they received special dispensation to induct 25 immigrants as U.S. Citizens on the stadium stage. Another year, they were honoring a family whose son was serving in Iraq and in the middle of the presentation, he came walking up the field. They had no idea he was home. Last year, they retired the huge field-sized flag they've used for years and years.

This year, in honor of the Boy Scouts of America's centennial celebration, they did the biggest Eagle Scout Court of Honor in history. First they created the traditional Eagle's Nest, and thousands of people in the audience stood up, then 260 Eagle Scouts were awarded on stage.

This man, Woody Woodward, opened the ceremony. He is the oldest living Eagle Scout in the U.S. at present -- 98 years old. He was a little flustered, but he pulled it off. Dare I say it? He was adorable.

Sitting in the east benches, we were lucky witnesses to one amazing sunset.

Carrie Underwood. Umm... big fan. She was FANTASTIC. A true talent and a stellar performer, she brought a lot of emotion to a few of her best songs. Great, great concert.

A candid moment with Aunt Karla and her daughter Grace.

After the fireworks finale #1, the dancers created this map of the United States on the field while we watched a movie, narrated by Lou Diamond Phillips, about all the service U.S. citizens have rendered to the world over the last 200 years during world wars, the cold war, natural disasters, etc. I liked the emphasis.

And then we were rewarded with fireworks show #2 and the real finale. (Please see the post previous to this one for a bunch of my favorite fireworks shots.)

While I was gone, Jeff and Bridgette hung out with our neighbors and watched the local city fireworks. Jeff said they weren't great this year, but Bridgette enjoyed them all the same. She especially enjoyed playing though. Our neighbors are her best friends.

Sunday night (the 4th of July) we ate a big family dinner with Jeff's parents and all his brothers and sisters and most of their kids. It was nice. We came home to this site off of our deck.

We tried to watch a few fireworks, but they were mostly blocked by the trees. Oh, an aside, Bridgette stayed for all two hours of nursery at church (it's only the second time we've taken her and the first time she's stayed), and when I came in to get her at the end of church, she pointed at me and said, "Nooooooo!!!" She wanted to stay and play with the bubbles.

Monday we hung out with both sets of neighbors and did fireworks on our driveways. I made a cobbler with fresh cherries from the tree in our backyard.

You might notice Bridgette is not in this photo. She was terrified by the loud noises. TRULY terrified. With all she's been through, I'm not sure I've ever heard her cry like that before. So she stayed inside with our neighbors on one side (thank you SO much) while we got out and participated with our neighbors on the other side.

This seems about right. What a weekend.