Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Silly girl

While finishing up some Christmas shopping at the toy store the other day, Hattie discovered a little chair just her size. She immediately sat down and wouldn't get up. Thinking it was adorable, we decided to buy it and put it in the cart. Of course, she wanted to sit in it, which she did the remainder of the time in the store. (Note: She has never behaved so well for so long at the store.) On the way home, she nearly had an anxiety attack from not being about to sit in it, and had to content herself with petting it:



Back at home, she has quickly become obsessed and is always found sitting in it. Here she is with one of her other favorite toys, a ball of yarn. What a kid!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Brown out



This picture doesn't quite do it justice. But "brown outs" are common in Lubbock, and afterward, I'll have 1/4 inch of dust on our entry way and dust layered on our windshield wipers like snow. This particular day, there wasn't a cloud in the sky, but it felt overcast...and the wind was terrible. Someone said that because of the brown outs, houses in Lubbock tend to have fewer windows. I'm still glad we have lots, even if they will be a pain to clean.

It gives me an idea of what it would have been like during the dust bowl.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

She's a movie star!

I suppose Hattie is just at an age where everything she does is cute. I love capturing her playtime. She can play like this for a long time as long as I am close by.

video
She's really becoming quite the snuggler.

video
She has started making a "dgah" sound and we love it.

And watching "Signing Time" every day is finally starting to pay off! She is supposed to pat her leg for dog, but her belly is good enough! She really can sign baby, as well as "mom," "doll," and "bird."
video

Monday, December 8, 2008

Birthdays and such

Alas, I turned 27. To celebrate, we went to see 007 on Saturday afternoon and got some dinner. Hattie was at Danielle's house all afternoon while we partied, so in the evening, Danielle came to our house while her parents went out. We figured opening presents is more fun with kids, so we opened gifts early with Danielle's help.




Finally! I've wanted these movies ever since I posted about them in May.


And the girls had a great time playing together. Danielle is 2 1/2 so she's old enough to share and be nice to Hattie.

Sunday, my actual birthday, was nice and calm. We dyed my hair for kicks and giggles, and it came out a little too red for my liking. Good thing it washes out! Also, Kristina and her daughter Juliet came over for dinner and pie, so it was good to be with friends since family is far away!

Definitely in my late 20's now. That used to seem so old. When I was teaching Relief Society a few weeks ago, I said something about when I grow up...and everyone laughed at me. I guess I still feel like a kid.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Trickster

Here are some videos of Hattie's new tricks: walking, finding her hair, and kissing (open mouthed :).

video

video

video

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Our house

Finally some pictures of our house. Enjoy.


We love all the windows in our house...we never turn the lights on during the day.


We don't have a dining table yet, so the bar is wonderful.


We finally have enough cupboard space.


We love all the high ceilings too.


Our box spring broke in the moving truck and we haven't bothered replacing it since Hattie likes to crawl on and off.


View from the master into the family room and bathroom




Hattie's messy room


The study/sewing room/spare room

Monday, November 17, 2008

Creepy postcard update

So, thanks to your suggestions, I solved the mystery. I'm ashamed I didn't think of this on my own, considering our technology enhanced/internet dependent era. Thank you, Mana, for suggesting to simply Google her name. I found that she sells "Drugs, Drug Proprietaries, and Druggists' Sundries"...wow, a drug dealer! I am certain it is her because the address listed online for the business matched the return address on the postcard. And, also like Mana suggested, we drove past her house (that was actually Paul's idea originally...no wonder you two are friends) and she lived in a nice neighborhood. I've decided not to call and I have put all our curiousity to a rest.

Also, thank you Carma for letting me know how she got my name and address.

Friday, November 14, 2008

What would you do?

I received a strange postcard in the mail yesterday, from a woman I have never heard of who lives 25 blocks north from our house. This is what it said:

Melanie,
I noticed that you are new to the neighborhood and I have a quick question. Can you give me a call? Thanks.

She then left her name and number. Her handwriting appears to be that of an older woman. She doesn't live close to us at all, and if she were someone in the ward she would already have our phone number. I'm guessing she wants to sell us something or convert us to her religion.

What would you do? Call her? Nothing? Write her a note back asking what the question is and how she got my name and address?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The poop car

Every morning when I drive Paul to school, this is what I see:



There are no trees above it and I have noticed some days that it is not parked in the same spot, so I know that it hasn't been abandoned there. Disgusting, eh? I wonder how long it's been building up...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Grace

I find that when life is calm and I have nothing to blog about, I don't follow anyone's blog. When I logged in to Google Reader today, I had 180+ new posts to read. So you know where I'll be during Hattie's naps over the next few days.

Since our life has been pretty mellow lately, I'd like to share a few highlights from my sister Laura's blog, specifically about her 5-year old daughter Grace. She has some fantastic quotes.

1. During our dinner prayer just moments ago Grace humored us with this one. "Bless the people to be safe in their bathtubs while the floods are coming." Yea, confusing her severe weather survival skills!

2. Aaron returned home from Mexico today bearing gifts. Dresses for the girls, sandals for the babies, jewelry for me and a whip for James. While we were still relishing in the new treasures and slowly untangling the whip, we overheard Grace say, "When I grow up I want to be a Mexican whipper so I can whip all the horses."

3. Last night during family scriptures we were discussing the commandment to keep the Sabbath day holy. Somehow we got debating whether Sunday was the first or last day of the week. To redirect us, Aaron clarified that really it doesn't matter what day it actually is as long as we set aside a day to rest and worship our Heavenly Father. I proceeded to explain that when I lived in Jerusalem we had our Sabbath on Saturday since the Jews observe that day as their Sabbath. Grace then asked, with sheer astonishment, "You were a Jew?"

4. Grace is watching Scooby Doo this morning. She just came over and said to me, "I like Scooby Doo because it has violence." When I asked if she knew what violence meant she responded, "Killing." Great . . . this is from the girl who wants to be a Mexican horse whipper.

5. Grace charmed us with a few funnies last week. Grace's teacher let me know there had been an incident at school one day. During the ride home we were discussing her bad choice when she piped up with, "But taking the Lord's name in Spain, that is super bad!"

6. Aaron worked from home one day and the three of us were eating lunch together. Aaron asked Grace, "What would you do without a mama?" To which she responded, "I'd find myself a great mechanic!"



We love you Grace!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Texas hospitality

The other day Hattie and I went for a walk. We stopped first to get the mail. Impatient by nature, I immediately opened some of it. There was a letter from our old, dumpy apartment complex saying we still owed them money. Knowing that we had paid in full, I put the mail in the basket under Hattie's stroller and continued walking, planning to call them when I got home.

As I neared the elementary school and turned the corner, a gust of wind surprised us and blew only that letter out of the basket. I started chasing it, but had no luck since I wasn't willing to abandon Hattie in pursuit, nor rush out into traffic. I watched it blow away across an open field, hoping I could remember what it said.

Then a woman in a suburban stopped and asked if I needed that paper. I said, "It would be nice," and she took off. I stood on the corner and waited. I hadn't taken the time to notice what color her car was, so I didn't know who to be watching for. After a few moments I started wondering if she would return. Maybe it blew out of her reach as well. Would she come back and tell me that she wasn't able to get it, or just leave me there? Then I would be standing on the corner for 15 minutes looking for a vehicle that I didn't recognize. But gratefully, I didn't have to wonder long. She pulled right up on the curb and handed me the paper, and I thanked her as much as possible before she drove off.

It just made me realize once again that President Hinckley was right. When he was in Lubbock dedicating the temple he said, "Lubbock doesn't have a lot of personal charm. But the people are great!"

P.S. I was right...we didn't owe our old complex any money.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Time for another tag

What's your husband's name? Paul (technically Elden, but he goes by his middle name)

How long have you guys been married? Just shy of 3 years

How long did you date? Nine months

How old is he? 28

Who eats more sweets? Me...but he's not too far behind

Who said I Love You first? It was a tie, I think

Who is taller? Paul

Who is the better singer? Me, but he's not too bad himself

Who is smarter? Paul

Who does the laundry? I do.

Who pays the bills? Me. (As a side note, today Paul handed me the instructions to a tool he received so I could file them away in our "Instructions" filing spot. After doing so, he looked sincerely at me and said, "You can never die!" Not that he was worried that he wouldn't be able to operate any of our appliances without me, but he really doesn't participate in any part of the financial/organizing part of life. He really would be lost. I don't mind it though.)

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Paul. We actually both have a hard time falling asleep on the other person's side of the bed.

Who mows the lawn? Usually Paul...I haven't mowed since Hattie was born. But I actually like doing it.

Who cooks dinner? We cook together as long as he's home.

Who drives? We were just discussing this the other day. I think whoever is "instigating" the outing drives. If we are going to the fabric store, I drive. If we are going to Lowe's, he drives. On mutual outings, like Church, we alternate depending on whoever is ready first.

Who is the first to say they are wrong? Me. At least I think so.

Who kissed who first? Paul

Who asked who out first? Me, hahaha

Who wears the pants? We each wear them on different days for different things.

I'll tag: Erika, Eden, and Miranda

Friday, October 31, 2008

Hattie the Destroyer

Hattie is the official destroyer of order. As soon as she sees me folding laundry, she promptly comes to unfold it. She is constantly taking books off the bookshelves and out of baskets. When she sees me stacking her toy rings, she beelines it over to me to start taking them apart again. Tupperware is usually scattered throughout the house. So I feel like I am always cleaning up. You may suggest that I shouldn't even try to pick up after her. Well, if I don't, she gets frustrated because there is nothing else to destroy. So when she wakes up from every nap, the house has been restored to order, only for a few minutes until she attacks again.



She is also an expert Oreo eater. Observe.

video

She also waves goodbye at EVERYTHING. Dad gets out of the car, she waves. We leave a room, she waves. We close the fridge, she waves. But we can never catch it on camera.

Hattie also enjoys doing chores. Every morning she helps me open all the blinds in the house and at night she helps me close them. She's getting really good. She also likes watching Paul do his chores.



We also just got some of the "Signing Time" videos to learn some sign language. She loves them...or she loves the computer. Probably a combination. She dances as the music comes on and laughs when she sees the cats, dogs, and birds. Our little animal lover. But she also loves pushing the play/pause button, mute, and chapter skip button. We'll need a TV eventually if we want our computer to last!

In short, she's at a fun age.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Le-a

How would you pronounce that name in the title? You would say "Leah," right? Think again.

Paul heard a story today about a woman in Louisiana who was suing the school district because everyone pronounced her daughter's name wrong. It was spelled "Le-a". In the newspaper article about the lawsuit, the mother was quoted saying, "The dash ain't silent!" That's right folks. Her name was pronounced "La-dash-a."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Party...party...party!

I thought you'd enjoy a few pictures from Hattie's birthday party last month.


Do you eat it?


She's getting the hang of it


Her new favorite book


Her birthday stash (sp?)


Her demolished cupcake

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Walking and Dancing

She has taken her first steps...she won't always do it on demand. It took about three tries before I got this video.

video

And like many babies, she has taken to dancing. While we were at my Aunt Carma's this weekend, she kept wanting me to wind up this plastic radio that plays "Raindrops keep falling on my head" over and over. And she'd just dance the whole time.

video

Saturday, October 18, 2008

It's autumn time









video

While we were at Aunt Carma's, I raked some leaves for Hattie to play in. It took her a while to figure out what to do...she sat there for a while before she started to throw anything around. But she got the hang of it eventually. I love the fall!

Thursday Night Football

On Wednesday, I was all geared up for yet another trip to Dallas...eventually I'll stay home for a month at a time, but this time my parents were here for some business and the BYU vs. TCU game today. My flight was set to leave at 12:30, but due to a hydrolics problem, they said it would be 4 hours late. So we went back home (after being there for about 2 hours already) so that Hattie could get her afternoon nap. We went back at 4:00, since it was supposed to take off at 4:30. But they said NOTHING for another hour and a half. Finally at 5:30, they said announced that they would be able to fit all of the remaining passengers on the 6:30 flight. So 6 hours after we were supposed to take off, we were finally on our way. The worst part was the hour and a half when the attendants wouldn't tell us anything, even though it had been over the 4 hour limit. Grrr. Without that midday nap, the day would have truly been a nightmare.


But Hattie did pretty well. She's the next Bobby Fisher, I'd say. We start 'em young at our house.

video

Sadly the game was very disappointing. I won't go into details, but it was still fun to be at an away game. There were a lot of BYU fans there.




Dad, Mom, and I with Aunt Carma and Uncle Steve


Monday, October 13, 2008

Growing up

There are lots of things to post about, since I've been behind lately. Most of my time has been gobbled up by getting settled in our new place. We are essentially moved in. We just lack a little furniture and a few pictures still need to be hung on the walls. You might wonder why it took so long to finish moving in, but I did go to Dallas for a week. Here are some highlights of Dallas and our new house:


Her new favorite spot at Grandma's - she's obsessed with stuffed animals


Both Paul and Hattie celebrated their birthdays in September, so my in-laws threw a belated party for them

Hattie has been a ton of fun lately. She has started to play by herself really well. And she has taken her first steps! Nothing consistent, and we can never catch it on video since we need a cameraman. She also loves books now, particularly her animal book. She'll take it to bed with her and in the morning we'll find her perusing through it.





video
Hattie's face is the best at the very beginning of this clip, just as it starts - a classic grin

The reason I went to Dallas was to take care of my brother-in-law Daniel. Daniel is 17 and needs constant care. With mental retardation, autism, frequent seizures, and diabetes, he can be a handful. He has the mind of a 14-month old baby, who can walk, but depends on his family for everything else. My mother-in-law was in Utah for the week helping out with a new grandchild, so I was there to watch Daniel in the afternoons when he came home from school. It was only for a few days, but I loved being able to care for him - taking his blood sugar, feeding him, giving him his insulin, and even changing his diaper. I understand more fully what it means to be an Iverson. In a way I never had before, I was able to love and care for someone without compensation or even acknowledgment from the one is was serving. And the more I take care of him, the more I love him and feel a part of the family. I am grateful for the chance to serve him and love him more.


Hattie likes to give Daniel snuggles

Friday, September 26, 2008

Another first for Melanie

I spend the afternoon at our new house, unpacking our kitchen, doing laundry, and trying to keep Hattie happy while still being productive myself. Finally, I give in to her whining and decide to go home. I notice that it's 5 pm..."Perfect timing," I think to myself. So I decide to experiment. Rather than take the roads through town and to the freeway that loops around Lubbock, I decide to try Milwaukee, a road near the outskirts of town with fewer stoplights and perhaps less traffic. Maybe it'll prove a faster route between our two houses.

So I coast along, talking with my mother-in-law on the phone, and I see a policeman ahead (You should know that there are an uncanny number of policeman here in Lubbock. I hear there's one for every 100 people and that there is one living at every apartment complex. I see them everywhere). "Hum, I wonder what the speed limit is out here...probably 50." I glance down and see that I'm going about 53 and keep going (Lesson 1: Never assume you know the speed limit). Of course the lights turn on, and I laughingly tell Jessie that I have to hang up.

The cop is very nice...apparently it is a 45 zone (I'm just glad it isn't a school or construction zone). And, just my luck, I don't have my car insurance on me since we barely changed policies. So I am cited for speeding and having no insurance. My first speeding ticket ever, after almost 11 years of driving. Paul laughs at me when I get home.

So this morning I arrive at the court promptly at 8:30, hoping to miss the lines. Somehow, everyone else in Lubbock has the same idea (Lesson 2: Don't assume that the lines will be short in the morning). So after desperately trying to keep Hattie happy, I go up to pay. I bring my insurance with me to dismiss that charge and they tell me my options: I can pay $99 and take a defensive driving course and the ticket will be erased from my record, or I can pay the ticket in full, and be on driving probation for 3 months (meaning I can't get another citation) and the ticket will be erased from my record. She realizes that I have an Oregon driver's license, so it ends up that I cannot choose the defensive driving option. So, $153 later, I pay for my first traffic violation ever*.

They also tell me that I have to get a Texas driver's license, even though my Oregon one is good until 2013. I ask why. They say that then I can select the defensive driving class option the next time I get a ticket. Then they say that if I were in an accident they would more easily be able to identify me and get help. Makes sense, but it doesn't really seem to necessitate the change. I ask again, if those were the only reasons. They say that I could be cited for not having a Texas driver's license if I were pulled over again.

Now, I love Texas, but that seems a little extreme. Getting a ticket for having an out-of-state driver's license? They said that students were exempt, but not wives of students. Has anyone else ever heard of this in other states?

I must admit, I won't mind getting a new driver's license...the photo on my current one was taken on our wedding day, so my hair is formal and my smile ridiculously large.

*I did receive a ticket when I was 16 for running a stop sign, but I didn't pay for it since I went to teen court. I'll have to save that story for another day.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Feliz Cumpleanos

I love birthdays. And today is Paul's! The big 28. Gratefully he has no studying to do because of his test yesterday, so we have him all to ourselves.

We went out last night and enjoyed dinner and Bahama Bucks...I never knew that shaved ice could be so good! I think they have around 80 flavors. This morning we tried sleeping in...no success, thanks to Hattie. So we got an early start on presents.




(Mom, of all the things you could have picked, this was the best! He's been talking about this game for months!)


(We scored Erika, he loved it!)

Then Paul was able to do one of his favorite things...read. We went out and got the new Brisingr book and picked up a pie (since Paul doesn't really like cake) at a fabulous little bakery that I discovered by sheer luck. It was amazing...since it was our first time in the shop, they threw in some sample cookies and a dozen cheese rolls! Talk about customer service! I'm already dreaming of our next visit.

All and all, a good birthday so far. Happy birthday, my love.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Rain, rain, don't go away

Just to remind you of how anxious we are to move to our house, let me give you some highlights from the week:

- the water was shut off 4 times this week...a record so far.
- a man knocked on our door at 9:00 pm in the pouring rain with only shorts and a coat on to ask for a cigarette...quite the door approach. Paul said he was drunk.
- someone stole our laundry basket, of all things.

On another note, this morning it was foggy. I love the fog. I only remember 1 or 2 foggy days in all my years in Utah, but for those of you from Ontario (or who were on Study Abroad with me in London), fog is a normal thing. I have always loved it. It makes me want to bundle up in a blanket, grab some hot chocolate, and read poetry. Weird. So now that I've had a foggy day in Lubbock, it feels even more like home. Hattie and I went on a walk in it (at 7:30 am) and it was so peaceful and quiet (probably because it WAS 7:30 am). I hope it wasn't a fluke and that it happens regularly here.

Another thing I love about Lubbock is that when it rains, it RAINS. I've never lived in the Midwest, so it's new to me to be driving down the street in a foot of water. We haven't seen the sun here in about a week, I think. They even closed school yesterday because of the rain. Gratefully, no rivers are close, so no big chance of flooding.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Take me to the Aquarium!

Over the Labor Day weekend, we took a road trip to Dallas to escape for a few days after Paul's test. While there we went to the Dallas World Aquarium. It was a hit. Hattie LOVES animals, we discovered. We'll have to hit the zoo next time.



Some crocodiles, if you can see them.



They are looking at a green bird with a black head...it blends in pretty well.



To our right is a manatee hovering behind us...it was hard to get a good picture here because everyone wanted one.



Cool parrots



Hattie wanted to touch everything. Plus she liked being out of her stroller most of the time, getting spoiled by dad.



These fish are bigger than the ones at Wal-Mart!



I loved these frogs...they looked almost plastic.



Bad picture, but that is the coolest seahorse I have ever seen.



I loved being in the shark tank and seeing them swimming around us.



A puffer fish, I think.



Hattie liked the stinky pink flamingos.



Looking down on the shark tank.