Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hyrum sings: Army of Helaman

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Hyrum's Top Music: Oct

It's been a really good month for Hyrum's music. Thanks to the Disney Sing It we got last month, he's discovering a bunch of new songs and movies to love. And with the discovery of Veggie Tales' "What have we learned today," Hyrum may just have set a new one month record for the year. It makes a difference when a song is only 30 seconds long...

Hy also sang his first proper note this month and he's starting to have some rise and fall in his voice when he 'sings' along with us. It's very fun.

Top Fifteen
1. What Have We Learned Today - 102
2. Give a Little Whistle - 38
3. And the Green Grass Grew All Around - 37
4. Praise to the Man (arr. Mack Wilberg) - 35
5. It's the Time of Your Life - 34
6. Tarantarra - 34    yes, it's still here and the first song he asks for every day
7. Smurf Theme - 29
8. Six Little Ducks - 28
9. Primary Colors - 26
10. I Love Rocky Road - 25
11. Neil Diamond's Hallelujah Chorus (aka Chorus 10) - 21
      Praise to the Man (arr. Roger Hoffman)
      VeggieTales Theme
14. Bob the Builder Theme - 19
      Spoonful of Sugar

All time favorites below the fold as usual

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Joy picked up Pinnochio for Hyrum at the library. We've been watching it briefly in the morning. Yesterday he decided that putting on too-big shoes (mine) and his Bob helmet (yellow) turned him into Pinnochio. Then he told Mommy that she was Jiminy Cricket and they danced around. It was a lovely morning activity.

So now there are four people he tries to dress up as: Buzz, Bob, Woody, and Pinnochio. 3/4 require him to wear boots and all require a hat.

Mommy reports that she can't find my church shoes anymore....

Bednar on Balance

From a fireside in Ogden this Sunday, Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles shared:
First, Elder Bednar posed the question "How do you obtain balance?"
"Somehow, someway, we find that there is this desire for optimum equilibrium where there is this perfect harmony and balance in life," he said. "I have figured out a few things. You can really only do one thing at a time. And, if you are only doing one thing everything else is being neglected. Therefore, can you at any moment ever be in perfect harmony? The answer is no."
On the many demands on our time:
When you say no to something that is nice but not necessary, ultimately you are saying yes to something that is essential.
Unless of course you are saying yes to something completely inconsequential but entertaining. He also addressed revelation, dating (get rid of the lists of what other people should be and focus on lists of what you want to become), and his testimony of the atonement of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Making Lemonade, Carping Diem, and Improving Shining Moments

Joy and Hyrum were talking to Grandma Boo via webcam when I texted them that I was done with my seminar and could they please come pick me up from school so we could have some family time before I left again for home teaching and got back to our job market. (This all was planned and FHE was Sunday). Joy excitedly said goodbye and raced out the door with Hyrum ... leaving her keys inside the locked house. Oops.

It was chilly and neither of them had sweaters. She decided they would stay warmer if they walked out to meet me along the way. So she encouraged Hy to jog along beside her up the hill and down the road to meet me.

I had also started walking home as I usually do so we can meet each other all the sooner. Last night it was a good thing too! We met up outside the school and decided we might as well have family fun time on the move. Hyrum wore my sweater as he rode my shoulders and we talked and made merry. We paused at one point to admire a noble buck in a grassy field just at the crest of the hill, with autumnal trees and a rising moon in the background. It was quite impressive.

Normally we read the scriptures, but none were at hand, so we told Hyrum about the scriptures we were reading. Joy told him about Enos and I told him about Peter blessing the lame man at the temple. A good time was had by all.

Then this morning I went to wake Hyrum. While we read his scriptures, he paused to tell me "Peter goes to the temple." Why, yes he did, Hy. What did Peter do at the temple? "Blessed the man who couldn't walk." And what happened? "He stood up and walked!" Was he happy? "Oh yes!"

A good time was had by all.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hy Meets the Beach

Hi there. Hy here.

After all the fun at Disneyland, Mom and Dad took me to the beach to finish off our sunburns. At Disney the sun mostly hid behind fuzzy clouds, so we only had very little burns. After two hours at the beach, though, we were nice and toasty.

My job at the beach is to find rocks and bits of wood. I then return them to their oceanic home. Throw throw throw throw. Walk a bit with Mom and Dad. Throw throw throw throw....

We walked along the beach until Daddy saw a large flock of birds - seagulls, pigeons, and some other friends. Daddy told me that when he was my age, his favorite thing to do was try to catch a bird. What happened next was unexpected. Is that MY dad?

That does look kind of fun! I spent the rest of the afternoon following in my noble daddy's footsteps chasing birds. While we were on the pier, Mommy noticed one bird I was standing near but hadn't tried to chase yet. She asked why I hadn't yet. I tried and Daddy made a video.

Cutest line of the day: "I can't catch a bird." Daddy showed me how it's done. He got to stroke one of the birds' wings. Some day when I'm big, maybe I can catch birds like Daddy.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Power of Cookies

Hyrum still doesn't meet many foods. His staples are still strawberry yogurt, applesauce, blended peaches and pears, an eggless raw cookie dough, and cheddar cheese. Normally he eats one of those foods two meals a day and we can convince him to have 2-3 more of them during the day.

Somewhere along the line, though, Grandma Boo introduced him to cookies. At Disneyland, we learned he would quite happily eat 2 or more sugar cookies with pink frosting and sprinkles every meal if we let him. As one of his very few sources of (highly processed) grains, we're happier than we would otherwise be.

Then we unlocked the vast incentivizing power of the cookie. Joy made him a deal: he gets half of a cookie for eating 5 different foods during the same meal and another half for 'trying' a new food. Either a pink sugar cookie or one of these 'butter keks' with chocolate and "Small World" pictures on them (castles and windmills are his favorites).

He made his way through a cookie a day or more last week. He actually put a piece of lettuce on his tongue! (before gagging and pulling it off) He ate a little whole grain bread with enough peanut butter on it! He eats 5 different foods for two meals a day! Peas and carrots are starting to sneak back into his diet and peanut butter shows up every time he has a cookie. Huzzah! We got him his own can of sprinkles he can try putting on new foods to see if that makes them more appetizing. We are careful not to overreact during the meal, but we'll dance online here with you.

Five foods gets you cookie
That's good enough for me.
New foods gets you cookie
That's good enough for me!...
Oh, progress progress progress starts with cookie!

It came to pass

Pop was in a Sunday School class once when a woman shared that her favorite phrase from scripture was "And it came to pass," which opens far more verses in the Book of Mormon than any sane author would have written if he were trying to get on the bestsellers list. Wars, famines, sorrows, peace, prosperity, life ... it all comes and passes. Whatever we are going through will pass, and she found that very comforting.

Last week I was diagnosed with a parasite. I dutifully took my pills and it should have passed away by now.

But the doc thinks that isn't what's wrong with me. It's irritable bowel syndrome caused by job market stress. So I'm looking forward to another 6 months of disgusting symptoms and Metamucil. And then it will come to pass.

Yesterday I had a strange pain in my back, but it went away after a short nap. Just before bed, it started coming back. Then suddenly it hit with full force. I couldn't find any position that relieved the pain. Nothing helped. Screaming and whimpering in agony, I phoned my parents for a priesthood blessing and their counsel to hurry to the ER. Home teachers came to guard sleeping Hyrum while Joy and I spent a sleepless night at the hospital. I have never known such prolonged agony as I waited for them to admit me. But being in the waiting room and the dry and less-dry heaves finally came to pass.

Kidney stones, the CT scan said. Here, have some more drugs and some antibiotics for your infections. Oh what instant bliss and relief! Huzzah for narcotics! The pain came to pass.

The night passed away without sleep. One of my smiling nurses explained that she has had 3 children and 4 kidney stones. The kidney stones hurt worse, there's precious little you can do to prepare for them or prevent them, and nothing much anyone can do other than give you a CT scan and some narcotics. But they come to pass.

For Joy, as emotionally effected and drained by the night's events as I was, church and her myriad responsibilities passed away and she survived.

A 3mm stone is hanging around somewhere inside me, waiting to be passed. And then it will all have come to pass. Until another one comes. And passes.

A song and favorite poem, "Even This Shall Pass Away," on the subject.

Recitation: Doc & Cov 101:16

For those who don't speak toddler, that's
"Doctrine and Covenants 101:16 says, 'Therefore let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God."
We've explained to him that when we remember that God is our Father and that He loves us, we can have peace and be still even when things aren't going well.

Next up: John 3:16 (Why he's learning this)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

One person's faith vs anti-Mormon literature

The person is Greg Smith. Last year he explained to a conference of people interested in the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that at one point in his life someone had thrown some anti-Mormon literature at him. He had to figure out what he was going to do about it. Below the fold is most of what he said about his personal journey to find answers.

In short, his prayed that he would trust God and not leave Him, then asked if following up a line of serious research and study on the question would damaging to his spiritual life. His spiritual life and commitment couldn't wait the years it would take to answer his questions thoroughly. So he had to make a choice first and trust God for the rest. It was a consecration of his mind. He testifies that that particular prayer was answered and that the results of his further prayer and study have more than repaid him for any sacrifice he might have offered along the way. The bottom line is: Do you trust Father?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Another announcement: a parasite

Somewhere in mid-August, or maybe long before, I got myself a parasite.


If I had HIV, this could be fatal. As it is, it has the potential to provide - without putting too fine a point on it - some gastrointestinal distress. Such a thing has been plaguing my workout sessions and evenings for 6 weeks now, so I finally went to the doctor, who ran some tests and called me promptly with the news the same day the lab got the samples. I'm on some meds and it will be gone in short order.

As a plus, I got a call from the state health department trying to figure out a) where and when I got it; and b) if I prepare food for anyone outside my family or go swimming anywhere that I might spread it. We couldn't and I don't. It spreads through contaminated water, by the by.

My doctor's best guess is that while I may be carrying this bug around, it's probably not what's really causing my discomfort. The fact that symptoms show marked signs of getting better and worse depending on exercise and stress - and that I have a lot of stress lately - leads him to think they just happened upon the cute little fellow as a byproduct and we might as well ask him to either leave or pay rent. So I am to eat more fiber, rest, and try to avoid thinking about the job market or a 2.5 year old or work or the hundred things I ought to be working on or ... riiight. This may be here for a while.

Announcement: Hy skills

Tonight, Hyrum successfully put on his night shirt 2/3 of the way. He got it over his head and one arm through without any help.

Dinner with Hyrum

We had dinner at the Blue Bayou at Disneyland and Grandma Boo got hold of my camera. In a fit of grandmotherliness, she took many many pictures of her adorable grandson being absolutely adorable. Here, without commentary, are the pictures of Hy and the glowing Buzz Lightyear that accompanied our lemonades.

Buzz flies with sound effects.

Okay, I know I said without commentary, but I had fun with my son. There's a button to turn Buzz on or off. He asked me to turn Buzz on. With one finger poised over the button, I would use my other hand to very obviously twist some other part of Buzz - his wings, his head, his foot, his arm - and then when Hy took it from me, he would try to figure out how Daddy did it. He never caught me, good magician that I am. It provided a great deal of entertainment for the table.

Oh, and good magician that I am, I did finally let Hyrum know how the trick was done. ... About a month after we got home.


Monday, October 4, 2010

More Disney memories

BFF - Best Friends Forever
(or until we get home anyway)

Hyrum's pose when he says
"To infinity and beyond!"

We knew the train would be big hit. What we didn't know was how tired he was.

Hy is just learning how to smile for the camera. This is his pasted-on smile.

"Let's see, I know Narnia is through this picture somewhere...."

A few Disney memories

Hyrum proud of his Mickey ears. "We match!"

In line for Small World.

After Small World and Toontown, he wanted to ride the Snow White ride. That was not our best choice. Snow White is scary. There's a witch. He didn't want to ride any more rides after that! But Mickey helped him feel better. We were reading a few days later and saw a picture of an old woman. He said, "a witch." I told him that, no, she's not a witch, just a sad old woman. This Halloween, he is slowly learning the difference between old women and witches.

The Tea Cup ride was one of Hy's favorites that he asked for again and again the next day. He also really liked the Bug's Life version of the tea cups at CA Adventure that Pop took him to.

I'd ask him, "Do you want faster or slower?"
And that's when I'd get the smile.

Merry-go-rounds were also big.