Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tyler Update

Well, the first year is almost over. Tyler will be turning 1 next week. I can't believe it! Time goes by so quickly! It's so fun to see how much Ty has progressed just in the last month or so. He shows that he understands what we're saying a lot more now. Like, we'll be playing on the floor in the kitchen and I'll say "the ball is under the couch. Go get it." And he'll crawl over to the couch and look under it. It's so cool! Although, when we tell him NOT to do things he completely ignores us! Go figure.

Since Ry and I both speak Spanish we have really wanted to teach Tyler, but it's been kind of hard just because we don't think about it when we're all at home. Well, for the last month I have tried to designate meal times as Spanish-speaking time during the day. It's incredible because there are already certain words that Ty understands. When I say "Quieres mas?" (do you want more?) he gets really excited and opens his mouth. Unless he's not hungry anymore and then he whines when I say it. He knows what "pan," "agua" and "queso" are (bread, water and cheese). If I have all three on his tray I would say, "Quieres mas pan?" and he'll grab more bread. Or "quieres mas queso?" and he'll grab the cheese. I'm really excited about it!

The other thing that we discovered this week is that he can already identify colors. We have this wonderful set of 100 plastic cookie cutters that Ty loves to play with. They are all different colors depending on what shapes they are. For example, the blue ones are Fourth of July, the green ones are Christmas, the orange ones are Halloween, etc. Well, for the past few months I've worked with Ty a couple of days a week with the cookie cutters. I'll put the different colors in piles and then say the names of each color and then I'll find other toys that are different colors and put them in the piles they belong in. Then I'll pick up a cookie cutter and the other item that is the same color and say the color. Anyway, it's funny because when we do that it seems like he pays pretty close attention, but I thought that it was probably definitely too early for him to really understand. A couple days ago we were playing with a green and a yellow ball. I held them both up and told Ty to take the yellow one. He looked at both, then zeroed in on the yellow one and took it. I thought it was probably just a coincidence so I switched hands and asked for the yellow one again. Again, he took the yellow one. Then I switched hands and asked for the green one. He took the green one. Then we added a third ball, an orange one. I asked him to take the orange one. He picked it out! I was totally amazed! The next day Ryan had the orange, yellow, and RED balls. He asked Tyler to go get the red one. Ty went after the red one. It was so exciting just because it made me realize that nothing you teach your kids, no matter how much you think they may not be listening or understanding, is in vain.

Another thing that I have been reminded this week is NOT to criticize or judge other people about ANYTHING! There is a certain phenomenon that takes place in my life. Anything I criticize or make fun of other people for ends up happening to me. Almost without fail!! I started to really notice it on my mission, and then when I thought back to my life in high school I realized that it's been happening for a while! Even little things like playfully making fun of someone else whose umbrella has broken in the middle of a huge rainstorm. Yes...mine then broke. Or laughing at my companion who fell on her face (and was also laughing, by the way!). I fell on my face shortly thereafter. To more serious things like criticizing (not publicly, but more to myself or to my companion) a Relief Society president in a small branch (HELLO! Seriously?!). And other big things like the way I used to criticize people who married people they had met on their missions. Oh this was a big one! I had no mercy for people who did this. I was certain that in order for something like that to happen, something inappropriate HAD to have happened. Those of you who know me know that I was SERIOUSLY humbled on that issue as well. It hurt to have people criticizing ME. Just so we're clear, I am SOO happy to have married Ryan! ZERO feelings of regret. I think this was another one of those things that happened to teach me a lesson.

Well, here's the next lesson. I have a confession. Up until this last week I have been critical of people who take their kids out of church meetings and stay out in the hall with them. Now don't misunderstand. I KNOW that it is necessary to take a crying child out in the hall so they don't disturb the meeting. I've had to do that on many occasions. But after Ty has calmed down I have never had a problem taking him right back into the meeting. I think that while that was working for us I wondered why others didn't do that as well. I felt (notice the past tense here) that they were teaching their kids that it's ok to just be out in the hall during church if they let them stay out there, even after calming down. Soooo....then this last weekend we had stake conference. Ryan didn't get to sit with us (as usual) because he had to translate. I had the necessary arsenal of baby items that I thought would keep him occupied: cheerios, books, toys, a bottle, etc. We lasted about half an hour before he pulled a fit and I had to take him out. He calmed down a little and when I tried to take him back in he cried again. So I took him in the hall and he STILL wasn't ok. I finally had to take him into the Relief Society room and just let him run around (where he promptly sat in the corner and pooped, meaning we sat in a horribly stinky room for the remaining hour or so because, yes despite all the other wonderful things I had packed, I hadn't packed a diaper!).

Since blessed stake conference is TWO days and not just one, there was a repeat the following morning, only this time in the big high school auditorium. I sat on the edge of the second row from the back, again minus Ryan, this time bringing MORE things that I thought might keep Ty occupied, e.g. teddy bear cookies, juice, and old cell phones for him to play with. We didn't even make it through ten minutes before I had to go stand with him in the back. After a few minutes I sat back down with him and attempted to make his bottle. While he's squirming and kicking in my lap I'm trying to pour water from a water bottle into his bottle, when my phone (which I obviously forgot to silence) starts ringing! I miraculously freed one hand and was able to find it and turn it off. When that was done I couldn't find the bottle lid and searched frantically for it as people around me are, I'm sure, looking on in sympathy (or maybe DISDAIN!). I finally find it, finish making the bottle (which is normally pre-made but that morning I didn't have time to make before-hand, ironically) and give it to Tyler, finally settling in to listen to the speaker. But Ty decideds after two minutes that he doesn't want it and chucks it onto the floor where it nearly rolls into the next row! Whoever designed sloping floors, by the way, was NOT thinking of mothers with children. I save it and give it back to him, he tries to throw it again and this goes on until he finishes most of the bottle. Then he screams and wants to get down. So I stand him on the floor and he promptly slides down (cause these wonderful sloping floors are also SLICK!)and HE himself almost rolls into the next row down. After which he screams and we have to leave again. Ryan saved me. He took Ty and stood up with him in the back and I got to listen to a couple talks that someone else was translating. After those couple, Ryan left Tyler with me again, and he proceeded to throw another fit. After that, I gave up. I took him in the foyer and let him crawl around.

Moral of the story: I am not, nor will I ever be a perfect mother. AND I have no place to criticize others for ANY reason. I've been almost AFRAID to for the last couple years because it ALWAYS comes back to me. You never know why other people do the things they do. Just be nice or you might learn EXACTLY what they're going through! As Mr. Monk would say "It's a blessing and a curse!" :)

P.S. The book is going well! It'll definitely be done on time! Thanks so much for all of the encouragement. It's exactly what I needed!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Year in Review

Yes, it's been a little bit of a busy year for the Jensens, you know, since we're famous and all...

Tyler's face was drawn by a chalk artist on the pavement at some mall:

Victoria Beckham was there and saw it, and now she wants to adopt him.

Ryan helped better conditions at a factory (shown in the background) and so they put a big poster of him on the gate and he has since been worshiped daily by female factory workers.

And I was featured on the cover of Vogue magazine for "best eyebrows of the year." Apparently they just LOVED the "all natural, unrefined" look.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Passport to CUTENESS!!

We'll be going to Mexico for Christmas this year and I nearly forgot that now even babies have to have passports to go there. So I decided that to save a couple dollars I would take the passport photo myself. This is the first one I took. I love it! "Please nice Mr. Customs man. Please let me back into the country!"

Then I put a different shirt on him and sang Five Little Monkeys and this is what we got:

I think we're in business!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Fall, Schmall!

Fall started only a few weeks ago. It ended 30 minutes ago.
Tyler and I woke up this morning to cloudy skies and cold, cold temperatures. Sitting on the couch under a warm fleece blanket, we watched the snow start to accumulate on Deer Valley's soon-to-be-bustling ski hills. The clouds thickened on the mountains, and we knew it would only be a matter of minutes before we saw our first flakes. Sure enough, Mother Nature waited for Megs to wake up and throw a tantrum before letting the white stuff fall. Tyler wasn't sure about all the commotion, but I swooped him up and headed for the porch. Hello, winter! Welcome back.
Last night Park City rolled out the red carpet for winter with the premier screening of Matchstick Productions' latest movie, "Claim." The three of us were able to go to the movie with Nicki and her friend Marie at the standing-room-only Jim Santy Auditorium. (As a side note, I met Jim Santy at the Park City High School football game Thursday. He's a very nice man and has done a lot for this community.)
The movie was awesome. Nothing gets you ready for winter like watching guys ski down places both local and distant. Watching someone ski down the Matterhorn is pretty incredible. Most of my ski runs make me feel like I'm skiing down something that treacherous, but green hills shouldn't probably feel that way! I was disappointed that the skiers didn't show up for it as they usually do. Skiers give snowboarders a bad rap, but at least Shaun White shows up for his premiers.
Heli-ski pioneer Dean Cummings was there to sign posters and talk with people about his experiences. While I was out in the hall with Ty during part of the movie, Dean was talking with three little boys about the kind of skiing they liked to do. They couldn't have been six or seven, but they were razzing each other about who was better and who could really ski where on the mountain. Dean seemed to get a good kick out of it all. He signed posters for them and told them to keep skiing. I interviewed Dean a couple of years ago, and I can attest that he is one of the nicest guys you'll find in the powder world. He's also a big advocate for snow education to help people avoid getting hurt on the hills. Nice job, Dean. Thanks for coming last night.
I didn't get to stay for the whole movie since Ty was ready for bed by the time it started. I was glad he got to see part of it, though. I don't want him to miss out on the fun that can be had out on the Greatest Snow on Earth. Tyler never batted an eye as we went from the car to his crib. He was out. After I laid him down, he pulled the covers up over his head and giggled. I checked to see if he had woken up, but he hadn't. He giggled again, and I could only hope that he was dreaming of his future powder days.
Looking out the back window, now, the ground is completely covered in snow with more still coming down. The resorts won't open for another six weeks, but I'm already itching to strap on the boots. Mother Nature, I don't do these 'tweener seasons. If you're going to give us snow, let's get it on. Cold is only OK if there's snow coming with it. That's my plea on behalf of the powder snobs everywhere. Let it snow.
Tyler agrees.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

My Newest Adventure

That last post was cut short because I got cold feet. You know when there's something new going on in your life that if you tell people they'll ask you about all the time? For example, if you've interviewed for a job and then told your family about it, they ask you about it every time they see you, and then if you don't get it, you feel a little dumb every time someone asks about it? Well, that's exactly what I need to look forward to right now so that I'll get my butt in gear.

Let me explain. Back in June I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do. Not like, "Oh let's see...what should I do today? Clean the house? Go on a walk?..." No. I have felt like I should be staying home with Tyler right now. That I shouldn't go back to work full time. So I had been trying to figure out what I should DO with myself that could be fulfilling for me but at the same time work with being a stay-at-home mom. After writing my Jane Austen post here on my blog I realized that I love writing. I enjoy it a lot. So I started thinking about writing magazine articles. Magazines have space to fill EVERY month and they are constantly looking for content. So I read up on how feasible that would be for me and thought "ok, why not?" So I started making lists of things I could write about, but I didn't get that...feeling. You know that feeling you get when you know you're on to something and you get excited. It just wasn't there. Well, in July I stumbled across the Random House website and found that they have a contest every year for new Young Adult novels. And that's when I felt that "something." I realized that I want to write a book.

So I got started that week, even though six months to write a book is so little time! I FLEW on my first six chapters because I already had an idea for a story and how to set it up and so I did. I thought "Wow, this is actually working!" I gave the first five to my mom to read to see what she thought and she loved them and was antsy to know what was going to happen and how the story was going to unfold. I was ON MY WAY!!

Well...then I got stuck. I keep having these feelings like "Why would I even TRY to write a book? No one's going to want to read it." You know, negative feelings. But I know what I want. I want to enter this contest. It doesn't matter if I win or not. The important thing is that I will have done something that I WANTED to do, and I know THAT will give me the guts I need to KEEP trying.

SO, the point is, I need to know that people are going to ask me about it. I need to know that people know and will ask if I entered, and that I will feel SO disappointed in myself if I have to say no. There is no good reason why I shouldn't do this. I'm not working. I have the time, I have the ideas in my head. All I have to do is write them down. I've told a few people about it, but not many because I didn't WANT to be asked about it. But now I need to know that people (including ME) expect that I'm going to do this. I've wasted so much time. The deadline is December 31. I have less than three months and I only have 13 chapters done. And they will ALL need some revision when I do finally finish them (not editing, because obviously they have editors that I'm sure will pick it to pieces in the event I do win...but changes I need to make before submitting it will be MANY), so I HAVE to get going.

I wrote two chapters this week that I'm very happy with, but if I keep going at the pace I'm going, I'm not going to make it. So there it is. Now everyone knows and I'm going to get it done and in the mail by December 31. No excuses!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sparks Flying

Today a friend who moved to "the midwest" called while I was in the middle of reading a stupid Nicholas Sparks book. I hate his books. For some reason I can't put them down, even though they're mostly predictable. Honestly, I KNOW what's going to happen... guy meets girl, it's an unlikely match, they "hook up," then something antagonistic happens and there's a period of time when they're not talking. Then it gets resolved and they live happily ever after. Ok...couple of exceptions: The Notebook (hmm...nope I think this one has it too), Message in a Bottle (SLIGHT changes in plot line), A Walk to Remember (ok no...I lied. They all have the same plot line, just different stories and outcomes). It seems like all the others follow the same theme. ANYWAY, Midwest friend Staci puts me on hold. Now, normally I hang up after like 2 minutes of being on hold and let the person call me back. But, since I was lying down reading and could rest the phone on my shoulder with it still up to my ear, I left it there and continued reading. It must have been like a whole ten minutes later that she clicked back over. I had completely forgotten about our conversation and the fact that I had been on hold because I was so agitated over this particular guy and girl who were, of course, in love, but one of them has a secret and, OH MY GOSH is he ever going to tell her? AHHH! And THERE goes my WHOLE day!

Staci, on the other hand, has been reading things like Dracula. Dracula! The thought never even crossed my mind. I would have no idea what to even expect from that book. A vampire bites people. Ok...what else? I have no idea! How wonderful! I think that's what will be next on the list. Hopefully it's not about a vampire who writes letters and puts them in bottles and throws them in the ocean ...or a vampire who meets a girl who has just moved to town and has a boyfriend...or a vampire who vows to never love again. Ok, NO MORE Nicholas Sparks for at least a year!

P.S. Current recommendation: The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt. Non Fiction about people, places and events in Venice. Really interesting and made me want to visit there to see the things he talked about and meet the people whose stories' he told!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

"Slow down everyone you're moving too fast"

As my close personal friend Jack Johnson likes to sing...

While I was in Brazil I became aware of a very ingenious and quite valuable implementation. Traffic cameras that take pictures of people that are speeding. A few weeks later these people then receive speeding tickets in the mail! I LOVE it! Although it's extremely inconvenient for people who are trying to get somewhere quickly, or people who simply don't realize they're going so fast, I think it's definitely something that Utah should invest in. In my opinion, it is the ONLY way blessed "Utah drivers" are ever going to slow down.

When we were in Oregon last year (where I believe these cameras are used as well. Correct me if I'm wrong) I was pleasantly surprised to find that people there ACTUALLY GO THE SPEED LIMIT! Imagine that. We were going five over (as I have become used to doing here just so that I don't get plowed over, flipped off, or honked at) and we were passing EVERYONE! We could actually go the speed limit without fearing a burst of rage from a fellow driver needing to get to their final destination a whole five minutes faster. We could actually casually coast to an eventual stop at a red light without someone angrily zooming past us only to stop two seconds earlier than us at the SAME red light!

Come on people. Slow down, have some respect for others on the road, and FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY (yes, this is my favorite phrase this month), stop texting while driving! Haven't enough people died as a result of speeding and distracted driving? STOP IT! And STOP riding my bumper even when I'm in the "slow" lane going five over! Because let me tell you what, that only makes me go slower to TICK you off!

P.S. OK, OK! Jack Johnson is NOT my close personal friend. I admit it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tough Guy

Ok, moving along past political issues...

This morning when I woke up to Tyler climbing on me, I opened my eyes and saw him dressed in something that he has not worn for quite a long time. This is what he used to look like in it. He is almost two months old in this picture.

This is what it looks like on him now at 11 months

I am not quite sure why Ryan chose this particular number today, but I think Tyler may have been feeling a tad bit insecure about having all of his business hanging out. He would not smile for me. Every time I would say Cheese he would make this hilarious I am a tough guy face.

All he has left to do is flash a WEST SIDE with his hand and that would complete the look.

Ok, this one totally looks like he is calling someone on. Has my baby been watching WWE Raw

Here he is trying to pull the gate off the stairs to throw into the ring and hit someone over the head with.

Or maybe Ty has listened to or watched me talking with someone about the presidential race and certain candidates that I dislike and has taken on the facial expressions that I use during these conversations.

It was so hilarious!!

On another note, maybe there are those of you that have noticed the absence of contractions, quotation marks, and question marks in this post. IÄm having a problem with the keys on my computer. Somehow Iäve managed to lock in international letters and symbols when I press these keys. Does anyone know how to help me remove this setting_ PLEASE! I am annoyed beyond all annoyance you could imagine (Hopefully, Iäm not making any nasty faces as Iäm writing this)! Help me! öä,-üõ+öäöÖÄõüõÕ Although...this comes in very handy if I want to post in Spanish or Portuguese. I would love to know how to do this on purpose.