Thursday, January 27, 2011

Talk. Expound. Chit-chat. Speak.

I'm a flibbertigibbet. Not in the flighty, gossipy way, more in the I chatter way too much. I can't help it.
The more meetings I go to and the more I go visiting teaching, the more nights I spend at home hitting my head on the wall for how much I talked. I come home and I blame Johann (who was of course not present at said meetings) for not telling me to shut it. He of course tells me he wasn't there, how could he tell me to shut it. That's when I get him with technology-you could have text messaged it!
Moving on.
I'm not sure where my need to talk and talk and talk comes from. Part of it is probably spending most of my time with a 2 year old. The other part is probably nurture/nature from childhood. We were never exactly 'well-off' so instead of having a junk-load of expensive toys and family vacations to occupy us (oh yeah and my parents often implemented no tv rules that lasted in monthly bouts) we talked. A lot. Ok, we mostly beat each other up-we were in karate and had sparring gear so that makes it ok-but we also talked. A lot.
As a kid I was always given those really creative nicknames like "chatter-box," really guys? Anyway. I still get embarrassed when an adult who knew me growing up reminds me of my talkative heritage. It's one of the few things to make me go speechless for quite a while. Pathetic but true.
Yet, when we go home for breaks during school we inevitably end up sitting around talking.
I don't know that my enthusiasm for talking is topical. I think you could talk to me about anything and in my mind I would be able to connect it to something (thank you and no thank humanities & history training). In fact, the second someone mentions something, I start to think of all the different things it connects and relates to; I think about other things people have said in a similar tone, with similar facial expressions etc. After seeing the HBO film about Temple Grandin where someone mentions shoes and her mind registers every shoe she has ever seen I got a little weirded out and started to feel mildly autistic for a few days.
I have moved on from feeling mildly autistic but the annoyance with myself for not being able to be one of those graceful, prudent speakers has not. I admire that a lot.
I am trying though. I'm trying to reign it in. In the words of Anne Shirley:

"I know I chatter on far too much... but if you only knew how many things I want to say and don't. Give me some credit."

So I'll keep working on it and in the mean time, try and give me some credit. This post could have been quite a bit longer! =)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Provo Library Used Book Sale

I am really bad with couponing, finding deals etc. It's not one of my domestic/consumer strong points. But yesterday I feel like I did do something right in that area.

We got 37 books for 19.50 yesterday at the Provo City Library Used book sale. Most of the books are in pretty fair condition, I had to go through and tape a few but overall not too bad.
We even managed to snag Doctrines of Salvation for a buck. Not in pristine condition by any means but for a buck? Yeah, I 'll take it.

Henry found an old Batman and Robin comic book. Of course he snagged it and we had to get it for him to peruse. Oh, Henry.

Date night

*WARNING. I USE THE WORD BARF (or some variation of it) multiple times in this post.*

As you may have read in the previous post, one of my goals this year is to go on a weekly date with Johann.
We started a babysitting swap with another couple in our ward and this weekend was going to be our first time carrying it out.
Then Henry got sick.
He seemed to be getting better.
Then he did a little mini-barf during his nap.
We called and canceled with our friends figuring getting their two kids sick would not be appreciated.
We decided we still needed to have a date and we needed to watch "Doubt" which we had sitting around from Netflix for almost a week. Done deal. Henry in bed, "Doubt" and ice cream. Not a bad date.
Half way through, *cough, cough* *BLLLLLEEEAAAAH*
Man. Henry has never really puked until last night.
It was gross.
Then as we were trying to get the situation under control-enter the follow up act, then lots of tears and confusion; from Henry, I know, you thought Johann.
So what is the point of this post aside from me talking about my kid's puke?
Sometimes the realization of being fully invested in having a family kicks in and I realize I don't mind it. In fact, I like it. Not the cleaning up muck part so much, but the fact that when we hear Henry upchuck during our 'date' we just get up and take care of it. Clean, comfort and get him what he needs until he is ready to sleep again. And then go back and finish our date.
We'll be doing this dance for the rest of our lives and I don't mind. Not one bit. I enjoy the tune far too much.

*I thought Henry had Conan 'do going on and couldn't resist.*

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Goals 2011

This year seems like it just might be a crazy one. Johann will be finishing his on-campus classes and looking for, and then starting an internship. Somewhere. There is a strong chance this will involve moving of some sort. He has practicum 2 days a week in Salt Lake so that means that while it is still freezing Henry and I are pretty much limited to the apartment on those days.
I have a new calling that fluctuates from always having something in the back of my mind that needs to get done to being completely occupied for hours to days at a time.
Henry is going to be turning 3. He is busy, busy, curious and chatty now. He always wants to know what you're up to and most of the time wants to have a share in whatever you're doing or talking about. He is trying to change his sleeping schedule. I really need to get him potty trained soon. The diapers are getting ridiculous, but I know that with his personality, pushing him will only backfire. So, I have to find a way to coax him nicely and slowly. We'll see how that goes.
There are all sorts of things going on and coming up that will play a huge roll in (cue dramatic music) the rest of our lives.

With all that in mind, I have taken some more time to really sift out what goals are important for me this year. So here they are:

1. Get more sleep: Go to bed early, get up early.

2. Keep reading: Yup, purposefully very broad.

3. Write more: Blog once a week. Go to the museum once a month and write about a particular painting or two.

4. Read a chapter from the Book of Mormon and a conference talk daily. Read the gospel doctrine and Relief Society lessons before class.

5. Have a date with Johann weekly: even if that means just watching a movie together at home.

6. Attend the temple monthly and have family home evening weekly.

7.Keep a monthly budget.

8.Get rid of the weight I gained during (and after lovingly nurtured) while pregnant with Henry. I've been working on it but I need to make a very concerted effort to just kick the rest of it. Three years is long enough, though that first year I didn't sleep at all and I have a sneaking suspicion that didn't help me out much. Anyway, I have tons of excuses, now its just time to do it.

9. FINALLY take a family picture. It WILL happen this year. The end.

And because no blog post is complete with out a picture:

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Robots and Aliens

Being stuck inside for the greater part of the day can be lame. But, with bathtub markers and a sweet set of wooden building blocks, it can be much less lame.
Henry has had a distinct theme in all of his drawings and building lately:

"Look at my ALIENS, Mama!"

"I made a robot!"

"He's a short robot"

I love that Henry is in a much more verbal stage than ever before so I can hear what he is thinking and how he figures and relates things. It is also fun to see him building and drawing and see which details are most important for him. You can't see it in the above bath picture but his aliens have been having eyebrows lately and his robots are never fully satisfactory until they have 'shoes' or 'feet'. I was also pretty impressed when a few weeks ago he drew a picture of himself and Johann and he gave Johann glasses! I still need to scan that picture but its great to see him noticing details and incorporating it into whatever he is doing.
Now I wonder what will be next after robots and aliens have lost their appeal...if that is possible, of course.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Now we're back

Now that we have finally come back to Provo, I wonder what Henry will miss most: playing games on Uncle Aaron's iPad, getting treats from Grammy, being able to play rough and tumble constantly because of all the uncles, helping Grammy bake, having Grammy read him her big books, being able to play in a back yard, playing papa's drums with Abuela, bossing everyone around, going to places like the zoo with Abuela and Grandpa, chasing Dandy the dog...the list goes on.

Poor kid, I'm only one person, and not a very exciting one at that! Hopefully we'll be able to have fun together this winter while Johann's busy with school and finishing that thesis.
I'm just glad Henry got to have three weeks completely surrounded by family and friends. What a blessing!

California Christmas Break Part VIII: New Years Eve

It is 2011. Shouldn't we all be using hovercrafts and teleporting by now? Really. =)

We rang in the new year with the east coast because we are too old a grumpy to stay up until midnight and start the new year pooped.
My mom had some family friends over and Johann's parents and brother came from Riverside for some fondue goodness. The last time my mom tried fondue for New Years turned out horribly. None of us knew what we were doing and the cheese sauce was bleh but I can still hear my mom's words ringing in my ears, "I spent 30 dollars on cheese-you guys better eat it!!!"
Don't worry, we didn't end up having to eat it. It was a pretty big disaster though, so for two or maybe now three years, we stayed away from anything to do with fondue.
This year, however, my mom and her friend Karen decided to give it another try. There was a bit of trouble with the first cheese sauce but another one was made and everything turned out delicious. People brought cake, pie, empanadas and some kind of roll with brie-I dunno but it was yummy.
And now, a couple pictures:

My brother, Jacob, ever the big smiler in pictures. He was getting read to go to a YSA dance, maybe that's why he was sad. Don't despair, Henry showed him some robot moves that I am sure scored big points with the ladies.

Henry as we rang in the new year. I really hope this face isn't indicative of the year to come!!!

Happy New Year Everybody! Hope it is a good one for all.

California Christmas Break Part VII: Mi Madre's Birthday

This year we celebrated my moms birthday by taking a family trip to the Redlands Temple to do some family work. We were able to do endowments as well as sealings for quite a few of our ancestors. It was such a joy.
Thanks again to Johann for staying home with sick Henry so I could go. Originally Johann's parents were going to watch him but then Henry got flu sick and the idea of taking him on an hour drive with, you know, flu symptoms, seemed less than wise. I'm sure our car interior wouldn't have thanked us. =)
After we finished at the temple we headed to Red Lobster for my mom's birthday lunch, which was yummmy.
We headed home and later that night had her birthday cake and Henry got to give her the necklace he picked out. It was so cute when we were in the store and I told Henry we were looking for a present for Grammy. He picked up this necklace and said, "It's for Grammy. It's cute. She likes it!" And he was right all the way!

Happy Birthday to one of the best of moms and grammys out there!

California Christmas Break Part VI: Grammy Fern

Growing up my parents would take us at least monthly to visit my Grandma Fern and Grandpa Hat (Hakell) who live in Hemet. After my dad passed away and the stress/time of taking care of a family of 5 fell all to my mom alone, our visits, understandably were less frequent.
Grandma would come and visit us when her health permitted but then she was no longer able to.
Now we're all a bit scattered around but whenever we go back for breaks we make sure to go and see Grandma Fern.
I love seeing Henry play with Grammy Fern. She is still so with it every time we've been to visit with Henry and I think they both get a kick out of each other.

Here, Henry is scarring Grammy Fern with his big muscles so she retreats behind Johann for protection.

Our family with Grammy Fern.

It was a fun visit. I hope that Henry will continue to get to see and know her. She is a really great woman.

California Christmas Break Part V: Christmas!

Henry poking around the tree on Christmas eve at my mom's house. He was pretty good and never opened any gifts but he was awfully curios the first few days when we arrived in California.

Annual Goodwin Christmas Eve Mexican Dinner.
I love that after going through years and years of doing the ham and all that traditional stuff my mom decided to go with something she knew everyone loved: mexican food. So my brother Aaron makes ridiculously good salsas and guacamole, my mom does enchiladas, chicken taquitos (above), beans and rice, and orders tamales. It is a ton of food and the leftovers last for weeks. Delicious.

We opened gifts at my mom's early Christmas morning. Henry was, of course, the first to be up (aside from my mom who was making...)

These delicious cinnamon rolls. I have never met a cinnamon that I liked better than my mama's.

Then we headed to Riverside to open gifts and spend the day with Johann's family. There, Henry opened what I think is his favorite gift this year, a combo pack of super hero costumes: robin, batman and superman. Robin is his favorite. He had everyone (especially aunt Nanni) helping him switch costumes constantly though and continues to do so. A day hasn't gone by yet that he doesn't want to wear them.

We had a very Merry Christmas. It makes me sad to think that this could be the last one where most everyone in our immediate families is together. I hope we get to live near everyone but in the event that we don't, I am grateful we were able to have this wonderful family filled Christmas.
Every year when Christmas rolls away and that special spirit leaves, I'm reminded how grateful I am for my Savior-his birth and mission on earth that make it possible for me and my family to return to him again and how wonderful it will be to have that spirit present everywhere always.

California Christmas Break Part IV: Tangled

I think I may have ruined my husband's emotional side. I began to realize the extent of it when we went to see Tangled over the break.
During the scene pictured above, which is suppose to be the romantic climax with the beautiful lanterns lit all around them as they sing in a little rowboat on the water, Johann leans over and says to me, "I hope those lanterns are biodegradable. Can you imagine all those lanterns year after year..." bah haha. I almost died.
There is another part of the movie where something happens with her hair (I won't say exactly what since it would spoil the film) and he said, "Oh and it's just magically styled just like that, huh?" haha. "Romantic" movies with my husband always turns a bit funny.
Overall we liked it though. Some of the songs were a little too much for my taste but the characters were fun and so was the animation. A cute little flick.

California Christmas Break Part III: Emma Jean's

Emma Jean's is a little, and I mean very little, diner just near the D street freeway entrance in Apple Valley/Oro Grand area. My brother told us about it many times but we never were able to squeeze in a visit until our extended Christmas break this year. It has one of the best dinning atmosphere's I've ever experienced; it's noisy but not crazy, pretty much if you're there anyone of the regulars has a right to, and will talk to you, and one of the owners who serves as the waitress is nice but tough and will tell you when you've got something wrong, like when I thought two pancakes for Henry, she basically gave me this knowing look and said, "Nah, we'll give him one and see how that goes." ha. It really was a big pancake.
Moving on to the food.
I am almost certain that when I die, the coroner will list the main cause of death and then right under it he'll list a secondary cause: THE BRIAN BURGER.

This delicious burger stood no chance once I had a single bite.
The bread was soooo good, the meat was soooo good, the chilies, the cheese...
aaahh. It was sickly good.
Simple and tasty.
Not only did I eat my entire burger,
I finished the all perfectly little fried devil's fingers too.
And half of Henry's mickey mouse pancakes.
They tasted like little cinnamon pancake heaven.
Go ahead and start judging.
It was worth it.

So to my brother who introduced us to Emma Jean's, thank you. But now I have to start planning my funeral, especially if we ever live within a 50 mile radius of Emma Jeans.

California Christmas Break Part II: San Diego Wild Animal Park

A little over a week before Christmas we headed to the San Diego Wild Animal Park with Johann's parents, brother Derek and my brother Jacob.
It felt like the park was completely empty which was a little eerie at first but then I loved not having the crowds and being able to stay and look at one area as long as we liked.
It was overcast and a little chilly but I think that contributed to the animals being out and about more. We had a fun time!

Henry taking the classic rhino statue picture.

The lions stayed snuggled up next to the glass panel (a lady told us they heat it) so we got to be up close and personal. Henry loved it!

Henry tried to make a little friend but she just wasn't going for it. Poor guy.

The King of the Jungle finally moves, only to reposition himself for more napping.

Checking up on Henry's measurements.

Pretty sure the gorilla on the rock was head honcho and put the other gorilla in time out. Sad.

Henry doing his best flamingo.
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California Christmas Break Part I: Welcome Home!

The first of Johann's brothers returned home from his mission to NY just in time for Christmas.
Now we are awaiting brother no. 2 from Washington this month.
Welcome Home Derek!

*Picture of Derek with "Robin" on Christmas morning.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Dare to Disapprove

I cannot explain how excited I was to open a small box on Christmas morning with a card informing me that I had a date on January 1st, 2011 with my husband to see West Side Story at the Pantages.
Last night we took off, found a good parking lot, grabbed some dinner and headed into the theater with plenty of time to look around and get seated.
The orchestra began and as the stage lit up and the dancing started we knew it was going to be amazing.
And then insert a few inappropriate additions in the blocking here and there. No worries, it was just that once. It won't get worse.
But no, we're wrong, still, consistent sprinkling of nastiness.
End of Act I. Ok, well, the production is really good, they emphasized a lot of the more seedy and sexual elements but surely it won't get any worse.
Begin Act II. Not too bad so far. Oh wait, here comes the song "Officer Krumpke" and the entire number is one big nasty spectacle . Really, I'm ashamed to say we didn't get up and leave. I think we were both a bit shell shocked though.
Now, I'm not that naive, I understand they probably did a bit of cleaning up for the film to meet censor standards; it wasn't even the acknowledging of the dirtier side of things that bothered me, I get that you need to know these are some messed up sleazy kids. What really got to me was the reveling and celebration of it. It's one thing to show someone mud, its another to wallow around in it and then drag them in to wallow with you all while laughing and getting it in your mouth. And frankly, that is what I felt this production of West Side Story did.
I think my greatest disappointment is knowing now that there is nothing I can just take Henry to see on Broadway as he gets older (sadly there were kids ages 4 and up at this performance): one of us, Johann or myself, will have to preview it first.
Luckily the last performance was today so I don't have to warn anyone against seeing it but I think next time, I'll just stick to the film.
So despite your great repute, I dare to disapprove of the nasty job done with West Side Story. What a shame.