Sunday, July 29, 2012


Today we were waiting outside of the bishop's office to meet our new bishop and Morgan was looking at a poster of CES fireside speakers.  She would ask their names then trace their names with her finger and say them like she was reading.  Then, out of nowhere, she goes, "these guys don't poop."  Ha!  What?!  Then I reminded her of the book we have called Everyone Poops (it's a great read).

Anytime I get frustrated -- mostly during shopping with Morgan -- she tells me, "stop being mad."  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  But Mo, I'm not mad at you.  Just frustrated with whining and your aversion to riding in the cart.

After she's been in the tub for a while and her hands get all wrinkled she will look at them and say, "Nana hands."  Then she's usually ready to get out.

Morgan is so outgoing most of the time.  She asks anyone -- Target employees, people in lines, kids, adults... anyone -- their name.  Then she tells them her's.  I always tell her how proud I am that she is nice to people, no matter what they look like or how old they are.

When she is not feeling outgoing, she will tell me that she is "feeling shy right now."

Big Girl Bed

We moved!  Yay!  I can't tell you how much I hated the house we were in -- and I really try not to hate things.  I miss the people and the subdivision pools but I have to say I am so glad we are not in that prison house anymore.  No yard.  Very dark.  And everything tan (dark tan).  I'm getting depressed just thinking about it so I'm going to move on now.

Morgan got a new bed (and new bedroom decor -- see this post for more on that).  It is a queen but only has the box springs and mattress.  We had the frame, but that made it too high for our 3 year old.  

And it's a good thing we lowered it because she fell out of bed last night.  But doesn't she look angelic curled up on the floor like that?

Friday, July 6, 2012


My spunky little girl is so much fun.  She also does everything she can to antagonize me.  Seriously.  Everything I say, she'll do the opposite.  I thought this was supposed to happen in ten years.  

But she is still sweet and cute.  She likes to dress up (over her jammies) and dance with her friends.

Wear "Punzel hair" and slide down daddy's back with her lamb wrapped up in a dish cloth blanket.

Put things around her neck or wrists.  In this case it was panties around the neck.

Put things around Mommy Lamb's neck.

Talk on the phone.

And help mommy clean hand prints off the mirror.


We got to visit our family in Green Bay, Wisconsin over memorial day weekend.  It was mostly just visiting and not many pictures, but it was fun to see everyone.

We got to go to a small amusement park and Morgan loved the Ferris wheel.  

Riding with cousins Taylor and Lily.

Eating cotton candy.

Walking with grandpa along the shore of Lake Michigan.

Running down a hill.

More amusement park.

Without holding on (because mom said to hold on).

And riding in her own train car.

One day when everyone had stuff to do we went to the mall and Morgan got to jump on this trampoline.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

China 2

Day 3.  Shopping.

First we had lunch with another business acquaintance (who gave me a pearl necklace -- sure do love business in China), then we shopped till we dropped.  

There is nothing like shopping in China (unless it's shopping in Mexico, where things are also made in China).  We went to a 5 story mall with purse shops, scarf shops, shoe shops, watch shops, iPad case shops.  You name it, there was a shop for it.  In all I think we spent 6 hours shopping that day.

I got a mani.

And we rode home partly on a rickshaw with a bike with a motor until the motor died and the guy wouldn't peddle (I don't blame him).  We caught another rickshaw attached to a motorcycle.  This is the first time I thought I was going to die.  Driving in China is crazy.  Being in a rickshaw motorcycle driving crazily with other crazy drivers was total insanity.  It was fun but I told Tom I wouldn't do it again.  I mean, I have a kid.

Day 4.  The Great Wall.

This was my favorite day.  We had breakfast at the hotel around 7:30 and hired a car to take us to the wall at 9.  It took about an hour and a half to get there but it was a part of the wall that was less crowded than a part that was closer.  Anyway, we rode a lift up the mountain to the wall.

Then we hiked for about 40 minutes.  It sure was great (bahaha! -- I'll be here all night)!

And went down the mountain on a slide.  So. Much. Fun.

There were a bunch of shops (surprise!) at the bottom.  This is my favorite thing that I saw.  Get it?

We rested at our hotel for a couple of hours after the wall and took another cab to a restaurant that the hotel recommended.  I took this picture because that is the menu.  Huge!

The food ended up being like $200 and there was no way we were paying that in China (or anywhere else for that matter) so we left.  I was so ornery.  Poor Tom.  But in my defense, I hadn't eaten anything but an apple since 7:30am and it was after 4pm and I'm pregnant!  Hello!  So instead of finding a place to eat we decided to go to another mall and shop.  And I was happy. 

Last day.  Shopping again.

We went to another shopping place this day.  Still huge and still had everything the others had.  In all we ended up with two Louie V purses (one for a diaper bag), wallet, D&G purse and wallet, Pashmina scarves, silk scarves, two D&G coats, 12 Polo shirts, jewelry, art, sunglasses, 3 iPad cases, 4 pairs of Toms, dresses for Morgan, knick-nacks, candy, carry-on suitcase, ties, MontBlanc pens (to replace the one I threw away), and I'm sure there is more.  

We went to dinner at a popular Peking Duck restaurant.  Tom said it was something I absolutely had to try while I was there.  And it was good.  

This guy cut up our duck for us.

This is the certificate (of authenticity?)  for our duck.

And our little duck pastry dessert with fig inside.

We ended the day shopping at one of the other malls and took the subway (all day, actually).  Here is a picture of a Beijing subway at rush hour.

And here's a bathroom.  They were all like this at the shopping place and I tried not to have to go ever.  I ended up using it one time.  It's all about hovering low and not stepping in it, which is difficult but manageable. 

I had a really great time alone with my best friend and 20 million other people.  I'm proud of Tom for keeping up his Chinese and being able to take control and negotiate well.  This may be the only time I make it to China and I'm grateful I got to go.  What a cultural experience!  The Chinese love their country.

China 1

It has been a crazy ace few weeks -- but it's been pretty great.

We're moving to Utah, right.  If you missed that, see this post.  So a couple of weeks ago Tom went to China for the second time in four months.  While he was gone my parents came here to help me pack up some things for them to take back on their trailer.

We drove to Utah on Monday, June 25th and they took Morgan with them to their house.  On Tuesday I looked at houses to rent and picked one on the Thanksgiving Point golf course.  The house isn't bad, but the location and amenities are kind of perfect for us.

At 5pm that day I caught a flight to Seattle then on to Beijing, China to meet up with Tom.  I got there around midnight (the next day) so we just slept until the next morning.

My first full day.  Tom had a meeting at 3pm so we went to The Forbidden City before so I could see some historical Chinese culture.  It was raining that day, which was perfect because there weren't a million people there.

We took a cab from our hotel and I got my first glimpse of Tom in his Chinese mode.  He got mad at the driver because he wouldn't turn on the meter and just wanted to negotiate for the ride.  Finally Tom worked his magic and he turned the meter on but he dropped us off at the exit of The Forbidden City so we had to find another way to the front (about a mile away).  We didn't really have time to walk nor did we want to because it was raining so after trying to negotiate with a bunch of cabbies that wouldn't negotiate (I'm sure because we're American) and me starting to cry from being totally overwhelmed (the move, finding a house, being in a city of 20 million without being able to understand a word or read any signs), we got a ride on a rickshaw. 

We were solicited for a tour but we're really not tour kind of people so we declined (and were followed by the girl for five minutes) and walked around the city by ourselves (I'll just watch a documentary on the city to find out what it's really all about).

Day #2.  Tom worked, I relaxed.  It was a much needed day.  I slept, worked out and read Anne of Green Gables by the pool (in that chair on the right, in fact).  The word to describe the day... zen.

That night we went to dinner with a business acquaintance and to a night market later.  During dinner I was dying trying not to fall asleep.  It reminded me of my mission when I first was transferred to the Spanish program and I couldn't understand a word.  Warm, full, and sleepy.  Not a good combination. 

We got a mini tour of the financial district on our way to the night market.  It was very clean and new looking.  The night market... not so much.  But there was a lot to see and a lot of bartering to be had.   We kept getting approached and touched by beggars exploiting small children.  It was sad but the touching freaked me out.  Don't touch me!

This was the most culturally different thing I saw there.  They are starfish, scorpions, and sea horses on a stick.  The worst is that the scorpions were still moving their legs.  I'm not sure if they are bar-b-qued or just eaten like that.  I wasn't daring enough to try.  

That night we were trying to get a cab to take us home and after about 10 minutes one finally stopped.  Well, another girl and an old lady thought they were there first so we got into a heated debate with the girl.  I didn't say anything at first.  The girl was American but of Chinese descent.  She was arguing with a girl we were with and Tom.  She said they needed it because the lady was old, our girl was saying we needed it because I'm pregnant.  I was like, "just give them the cab."  Let's be honest, old trumps pregnant.  But the girl was being so so so mean that I went up to her and told her that if she would stop being such a not nice person (but I put it a little less innocently) she would know that we were going to give her the cab.  Well, she didn't hear the part about giving her the cab and she started calling me names.  One of them was a "skinny,  a-- b----."  I'll be honest.  Any time someone calls me skinny, I don't care what comes after.  Total compliment!!!  

That taxi driver actually refused to take any of us and the girl and old lady walked off.  Another cab came and we got a ride to our hotel.  In the end, that driver told our friend that I was elegant and beautiful.  Ah, a night full of compliments.