Monthly Archives: August 2007

My First week of school

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     (Adam is writing the blog for this week).    

     Megan had a great week, as usual.  She is quite the walker now, and even tries to run (especially when daddy chases her).  She sure has a fun personality.  She loves to do funny things to earn laughs from us.  From standing on one foot to standing on her head; she loves to amuse us.  She also loves to walk around the house kicking her rubber ball while saying “kick!”.  She loves to be outside and ventures out to our balcony, often.     

     It has been a almost a month now since the night we bit the bullet and had Megan cry herself to sleep.  I can’t believe what a difference it has made.  It still feels strange to tuck her in at 7:30pm and not hear her again until 7:30am.  She also loves to sleep with her appendages sticking out of the crib.  We always have to put her legs back in.

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      This was my first week of school.  I spent a lot of time trying to fix my schedule, learn what I needed to do for classes, and figure out where I can use computers to check my email.    

     Iowa State University is quite different from BYU.  ISU is celebrating its 150 anniversary this year, so some of the buildings are quite old.  The physics building looks like everything is from before the ’50s.  A couple of things are newer, but the building itself is really old.    

     I like being a grad student because I automatically have made lots of friends with the other grad students.  Most of them are so nice.  The faculty and staff are very nice and helpful as well.  A lot of the students are fascinated by the fact that I went to BYU, am LDS, married, and have a 14 month-old.  I sure get a lot of questions.  Every time I meet with someone new, they already know all those things about me, because they apparently talk about it when I am not at the bar with them after school.  I am not very used to being invited to coffee houses and bars.       

     I have two classes that will be very difficult, one that will be pretty time consuming, and three that are required presentation classes where you listen to people talk about their research.  I also teach 4 classes.  Two are astronomy lab classes, where they observe things in the sky or run some simulations on computers.  The other are solar system classes which I teach recitation sections for in the planetarium.  I am looking forward to teaching these.    

       Elizabeth and I are sure missing each other while I am at school.  I don’t have to leave until later in the morning most days, so I am available to help with Megan in the mornings (although sometimes I still sleep in while Elizabeth gets up with her!)  Our ward is having a summer reading program with a point system depending on how many pages of books you read during the summer. The high readers get treats and awards, and Elizabeth initially thought about joining, but she decided she didn’t want to destroy everyone, especially since there were kids competing, too.  She has read about 4,000 pages this summer.  Right now she is finishing up the 4th Harry Potter book, and next she is planning on reading New Moon by Stephanie Meyers.  She loves to read.  She is also spending a lot of time working on Megan’s scrapbook.  It is looking really good.            

     Well, that’s about it from here.  We didn’t take too many pictures this week, but we put a few on picasa anyway.   

If you’re exhausted and you know it clap your hands…

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     We had a jam packed week!  Megan and I are going to spend this week recuperating, but poor Adam started school today.  His class schedule is nice: 1pm-4pm including the classes he teaches, and then 2 nights a week he has to teach a night class.  He set out today a little early to get some little things taken care of, but I am looking forward to having him home in the mornings.  Megan told me she feels the same way.  She cried today when daddy left.  We have sure been spoiled to have him around so much this summer.     
     This week we took Megan to a wading pool at one of the large parks.  She absolutely loved it.  She had so much fun playing with the other children and splashing around in the water.  I would like to take her more, but I think I will wait until she is a more stable walker because the ground was just too rough for her to crawl on when she fell.       
     On Wednesday we went to the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines.  Megan loved the animals, and Adam and I enjoyed experiencing some more Iowa culture.  It is so different from what we are used to in both Las Vegas and Provo.  I don’t think we will ever become attached to the agriculture lifestyle, but we do appreciate it.    
     On Thursday we headed out for Arkansas.  The traveling seemed to go by pretty fast and we arrived after just over 6 hours.   We were glad we got there a little earlier than we planned because we had some time to hangout with Matt, Mary, Carrie, and Jake.  Megan decided she didn’t want to go to bed in a strange place so she stayed up until about 3am.  We didn’t mind being exhausted the next day though because we had so much fun being with the family.  After breakfast we headed to “Fun City” which was a pizza place/play zone for the children.  Jake and I had fun crawling through the hot tunnels with Allison and Michelle while Adam took charge of Megan- who wanted to experience a little of everything.  That afternoon we took the girls swimming.  Michelle and Allison are experienced water babies, and Megan loves the pool more and more each time we go.   That night after the girls were all in bed, we had a really sweet talk with Carrie about Todd.  Todd and Carrie were planning on getting married later in the year, but Todd was murdered the last day in June.  Todd was supposed to be there this weekend – and it was really nice to hear more about him.  We all stayed up and played games afterward until the arrival of Mary’s mom and dad.  It was really nice to meet them.   
      Saturday was Allison and Michelle’s birthday.  The activities included: a wagon ride, finger-painting, water games outside and of course: two delicious cakes.  The day was so fun filled and VERY exhausting.  Allison and Michelle got to skip their naps on their special day – and little Allison fell asleep while eating dinner!  I think they had a wonderful day.     
      Sunday was blessing day for baby Isabelle Ruth.  We all took pictures in the morning and church was at 2:00pm.  Isabelle was given a beautiful blessing by her father.  After the sacrament, Adam and I snuck out to get headed home.  As we were pulling away from the chapel, Adam said: “I’m sure going to miss them”.  We had such a good weekend.    
       Of course the weekend was filled with yummy food and desserts.  Each meal was superb – we are not looking forward to returning to our boring repertoire!  I am sure that I am forgetting many of the activities, so I may add in a thing or two as I remember. I think Aunt Carrie wins the favorite relative award for the weekend – Allison and Michelle absolutely adore her – and she spoiled Megan with her favorite thing: bubbles!  Megan already misses her Grandparents, her aunts and uncles, and her cousins…but mostly, I think she misses Allison and Michelle’s pretend food!

Too tired to write.

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Okay, so Adam and I are utterly exhausted from our wonderful trip to Arkansas, so I will write our weekly blog tomorrow.  We had a very good week – topped off with some much needed time with family.  I have already posted some pictures from the trip on picasa, I have MANY more – the ones posted are just some of my favorites.  Check in tomorrow for a detailed weekly update – I know it will be hard to wait – but try to contain yourselves!

Gear up for a long blog…

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     Watching Megan learn to walk reminds me of when I was learning to snowboard.  When she first stands up, she is really wobbly, but she can get going.  Sometimes she can REALLY get going, and then she crashes.  Then there are times when she tries to stand and just keeps falling down time after time because of the effort it takes to get up.  She keeps trying, however, because of how much fun it is when she’s really cruising.  Sometimes she cheats and walks on all fours, and sometimes she just gives up and crawls.  One day she’ll get the hang of it and she’ll just take off running.  She is so determined to walk.  She looks like a little midget walking around though – it’s pretty much the cutest thing ever.       

     We have finally overcome one of the biggest challenges we have faced thus far as parents: getting Megan to fall asleep on her own, and getting her to stay asleep.  We pretty much had given up on letting her cry to sleep – we are very aware that you have to be consistent, but we always ended up going in and getting her when she cried.  We knew that since we gave in even once, she would know that we would come and get her when she cried.  Well, last Saturday she decided that she didn’t want to take a nap.  It didn’t matter how much I rocked her, I couldn’t get her to sleep.  I was pretty exhausted myself and felt as though I was at wits end.  Adam and I decided that night we would start fresh and teach her that no matter what: she needed to go to sleep – alone.  I planned out a regimented nighttime routine, printed it out, and taped it to her playroom door.  We already had a routine, but it was pretty lax.  We followed the new routine to the letter and laid her down with a kiss at 7:02pm.  Sure enough, she started to cry.  We went into our room, said a “help us” prayer, and all of a sudden – she was silent.  At 7:09pm I peaked in to find her totally out.  We didn’t expect it to be that easy and we geared ourselves up for a long night of nighttime waking accompanied by plenty of crying.         

     Sure enough, at 3:50am we heard her start to whimper.  The whimper quickly turned into a cry.  We both shed a few tears of our own as we laid there in bed, waiting it out.  After 10 minutes, Adam went to her.  He told her that he loved her, and that she needed to go to sleep and left the room.  After an hour of crying (as well as Adam going in at 10, then 15, then 20 minutes), she finally went to sleep.            

      Since then…she has gone to bed every night on her own, with little more than 5 minutes of crying.  She has only awakened twice the whole week – and has put herself back to sleep – no problem.  Her nighttime routine is working BEAUTIFULLY; she goes to bed around 7:30 every night and gets up at 8:00am.  Before this wonderful change, she was going to bed around 11:00pm – after I rocked her at least 30 minutes – and getting up a little before 8:00am.  She was also waking up about 3 times a night, and up until she was 13 months, I would nurse her back to sleep.  When it came time to wean her, it was soooooo hard to get her back to sleep.  This new sleeping arrangement is a huge BLESSING!  We were both surprised at how incredibly EASY it ended up.  However, I still am a big fan of co-sleeping, and I don’t regret doing that for a minute.  It was just time for a change.     

     We had an absolutely wonderful week!  Adam is done with Target!  I am so excited.  Graveyard shifts are incredibly hard; kudos to all who have endured them.  This next week Adam jumps into school stuff, although school doesn’t officially start until the 20th.  He has an assistantship, which means they pay him to be a student and he works as a teaching assistant for Undergrads.  He is actually pretty excited to be starting school again.  He loves Astrophysics and has missed learning new things.      

     I am officially addicted to XBOX thanks to Adam.  I am also re-reading the Harry Potter series, and I am on year 4.  I have read the books many times, but I am now looking forward to reading the complete set consecutively.  Adam and I also got our Iowa driver’s licenses this week.  It’s been over two years, but my old license still had my maiden name.  I guess I’m officially a Johanson now as well as an Iowan.       

      Yesterday we went to the Republican Straw Poll in Ames and hung out with Mitt Romney again.  It was a circus like atmosphere with free food and fun.  It was also a good experience for us to get to know more about the candidates so we can be better informed when deciding who we will vote for when presidential elections come around.  We found out this morning that Mitt Romney won the poll, which only shows what might happen when the real time to vote comes around.  It was a good experience for us also; as we are becoming more political.        

      New things Megan is doing:

  • She added a few new words to her list this week including: “up”, “apple”, and my least favorite – “no”.       
  • She dances when we play music.  She will bend her knees up and down.  It is so cute.  We are going to try and catch it on video.
  • She has officially choosen walking as her means of getting around.

Well, I guess that’s all folks.  As always, we have posted pictures from this week on our web album. Check in next week for details from our long awaited trip to Arkansas!  I hope you enjoyed this super long blog!!

Heartbreak at the Library

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      This was Adam’s last week of tutoring.  Now he can sleep to his heart’s content in the mornings.  He only has one more week at Target, too.  Then it’s back to school stuff, which we both look forward to with mixed feelings.  Adam is apprehensive, and I’m not ready to give up the pure enjoyment of having him home as much.  I’ll get used to it again though.           

     My piano skills have improved immensely.  I am a lot more confident now and I can play about 40% more hymns than I could 3 weeks ago.            

      Monday we found out the people below us were moving out.  So far no one has moved in yet.  I am taking advantage of this by walking around loudly and letting Megan bang things on the floor.      

        Wednesday Megan and I went to a thrift store and we found an “Interstellar Buzz Lightyear” in perfect condition.  Megan loved it, so we just had to buy it.  I looked it up online and it is a “Disney Store Exclusive” retailing for 50 dollars.  I got it for 1.99.  Megan LOVES it.  I love thrift store finds.              

     Thursday was my birthday.  I already posted about that.   Megan also needed a band aid for the first time.  Somehow she managed to slice her finger in the shower.  I have no idea how she did it.  I think it might have happened on the shower door tracks.            

     Friday evening we wanted to take Megan to the library since she hadn’t been on Monday.  She got so excited when we pulled out her library bag and she even helped put her shoes on. We arrived at the library at 6pm and stuck a few coins in the parking meter.  We each held one of Megan’s hands as we all walked across the street to the library.  We walked up to the door and pulled the handle – locked.  We were surprised to see that the library closed at 5pm on Friday nights; it closes as 9pm all other weeknights.  We turned to leave and Megan got very upset.  It broke our little hearts as we dragged her away.  To compensate, we took her to a nearby park.  That seemed to distract her.              

     So Saturday morning rolls around and we decided to try the library again.  We figured we would get there around 10am.  Again we fed our money to the meter and walked to the doors.  Imagine our surprise when we read that the library didn’t open until 11am.  Apparently, the library has limited hours in the summer.  One might think that the library would have extended hours in the summer, but no.  Once again we had to drag away a disappointed Megan.  We decided to get some breakfast at McDonalds (Megan loved the Yogurt Parfait) and then we headed back.  Megan was soooooo excited when the library doors actually opened.  

           At the library, Megan was called a “he” for the first time.  She was wearing blue shorts with pink stripes and white and pink shoes, but I guess the blue was enough to make the person think she was a boy.  HOWEVER, the woman who called her a “he” is in our ward and actually sat next to me and Megan in Relief Society a week ago AND gave Megan some toys to play with.  I’ll have to remember that even people who know that Megan is a girl might call her a “he” if she wears blue shorts.        

     What Megan is up to, in summary:

     ·         She says about 20 words including: mama, daddy, bath, blanket, all done, bye, water, etc.

     ·         She still does the signs for a few words including: milk, ball, and bath, and she knows many of her body parts.

     ·         She points to other things that she can’t say or sign, but she knows what they are.

     ·         She is walking A LOT and she can get into a standing position on her own.  She still falls down (mostly on purpose) and crawls. 

      ·   She still weighs exactly 16 pounds, and she has 3.5 teeth.  

      ·   She has made HUGE progress in going to sleep on her own as well as sleeping through the night and she is definitely weaned.            

     I don’t foresee anything super exciting coming up this week, but I am sure we’ll have plenty to report on next Sunday.  We continue to count down the days until our Arkansas trip – we look forward to spending some much needed time with family.  

Happy Birthday To Me!

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     So I know it’s not Sunday, but if I wait until then the post will be way too long.  Today is my birthday, and it was an excellent day.  My last two birthdays weren’t too great in the birthday book, but today was wonderful.  On my 22nd birthday, I was sicker than I have ever been in my whole life, and on my 23rd we went to a fancy smancy restaurant in Las Vegas only to wait outside in the heat for an hour (Megan was barely a month old) and then we had terrible service.  My family is always good to me on my birthdays though and Adam always makes me feel sooooo special.

          I didn’t really expect it to feel like a special day today because Adam had a rough work schedule last night AND this morning, but I woke up to a vase full of flowers, and Adam got up early and let me open my presents (he said I was acting like a child at Christmas).  Also, he got us movie passes to go see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.  I have been wanting to see it soooo badly – we have just been putting it off because of Adam’s crazy schedule and because we didn’t really know what to do with Megan.  Adam had to work, so we went when he got home around 1:00.   We took Megan with us and she fell asleep during the previews and woke up after about 2 hours.  There was only one other person in the theater and Megan was excellent for the last bit (we actually brought our portable DVD player and she watched a Little Einstein DVD while sitting on my lap!  Talk about spoiled!!!)  Adam and I loved the movie.  I got teary eyed on more than one occasion.  What can I say?  I love Harry Potter!       

     After the movie we had lunch at Subway and then Adam slept for a few hours while Megan and I made birthday cake and made a royal mess of the house.  When Adam woke up we had cake and ice cream and I even let Megan have some cake (a shocker, I know).  She had one small bite and threw the rest on the floor!  Sadly, Adam had to go to work after the cake.   He promises to treat me like it’s my birthday again tomorrow to make up for the time he had to sleep/work, so I look forward to that! 

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Megan and I all ready to go see Harry Potter.

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My special birthday cake.

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Megan trying some cake.  She had one bite and threw it on the floor.  She also had spaghetti for dinner – thus the orange stained high chair.

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Flowers from Adam.