Monday, June 18, 2012


(Warning: Long, full of video, and about a month overdue)
Biggums is what Grandpa Randall calls his little grandchildren and that is what Jon calls Addie. Unfortunately, this 11 month old biggums girl seems to be interested in things that I shouldn't have to teach her about yet:

Make Up
Credit Cards
Cell Phones
Board Games

Tampons, Maxi Pads, and Nursing Breast Pads

But there are things that are right on track.

Unfortunately, the endearing first words of "mama" or "dada" are never to be. Her first word is officially "balloon", pronounced "buhgoon" with the "goon" ending in a high squeal. As if she could have chosen a harder first word. However, she has now officially begun saying "hi" and "Da" for Dad. Lucky guy. 

She has become an incredibly good mimicker: she can repeat "stop" "ouch" "up" and "ball" remarkably well. It's funny how when I ask her to say "mama", she just cocks her head and stares at me. 

She is also a serious babbler using intonation and cocking her head as she speaks. It is darling. 

New bump on her left side, old bump on the right side. 
She has been an official walker since the middle of May. Every day she gets more and more confident and has now decided that she is good enough to haul things around that are just as big as she is. Unfortunately, she also goes faster. We will be running very soon! (How weird is it to watch your 16 lb, 12 oz baby walk. She is way too tiny!) The best part is that she knows that she is doing something totally awesome and she makes sure that she gets praised for her accomplishments! The worst part is she gets at least one bruise or bump a day!

She has 5 official teeth. Her newest tooth is her left canine. She has her two middle teeth and her right canine hovering just below the surface, and due to the recent pain and tears, I can predict they are about to show their pearly heads. 

Making Friends
She has discovered the incredible world of stuffed animals. She was so indifferent to toys favorites, moving on quickly between toys. But she recently became very attached to a large sheep pillow pet we call Sherpa and a small stuffed elephant named Ellie. If we ask her where either one is, her face lights up and she goes off on the hunt. When she finds them, she throws herself on top of them and gives them loves. Then she wants me to snuggle both of them, so she'll bring me the animal and then climb into my lap for a big group hug. Melts my heart every time. 

 Dressing Up
She has recently realized that she can make anything into a necklace and she has learned how to put them on and take them off (sometimes, not very smoothly). She will put on a bow or the handle of a bag and then pose for us by tilting her head to the side. Such a personality. 

this is the "posing" look she gives us...head tilt to the side, small smile
Finding a Groove
She has discovered that she has rhythm in her tiny body and finds the funniest ways to express it. She rocks back and forth in her high chair, claps things together, shakes things, and has recently learned how to rock herself in her rocking chair.

She has also discovered that she can dance! Any time music comes on - in the car, in a store, on the TV - she starts to wiggle her shoulders and rock her head back and forth. She can also dance on command!

She is never as happy as when both her mama and daddy are home and playing on the floor with her. She becomes very hyper-active, showing off for both of us. Her most favorite activity of late is being chased around our ottoman. I have never heard her laugh so much as when we chase her.

She LOVES her books. She will sit and turn their pages all day. She doesn't have a long enough attention span to look at the pages but she loves turning them. My favorite is when she will bring me a book, turn herself around and plop herself in my lap. Love, love. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Grandma Frandsen

Today my great grandmother, Marjorie Frandsen, passed away at the age of 95.

She was the most perfect example to me of what I hope my life with Jon will look like as we grow old with one another.

She had been married to Grandpa for 73 years. And when you watched Grandma and Grandpa together, you could feel the love they had for each other. They still held hands, still wanted to be close. And I know that they will not tolerate being apart for very long.

She had 6 children and countless grandchildren and great grandchildren, and even one great great grandchild, Adalyne. She cherished her posterity and I always felt so loved in her home because of the time she took to know me personally. She and Grandpa established traditions that brought our extended family together, that created memories and friendships that I treasure today. Memorial Day camping, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve party, New Year's sledding and homemade chili.

5 generation photo
One of the most memorable lessons I took from her as a teenager was the value of a woman's education. She was one of the first women to attend college and she took advantage of the opportunity. Whenever we discussed my schooling, she would press upon me the importance of getting a higher education and I always wanted to follow in her footsteps. And once I began attending BYU, she always wanted to know how my studies were coming and what path I was going to take for my career.

Grandma was a blast to be around. She was so sharp, so witty. I loved talking with her, listening to her sarcasm and humor. She always made me laugh and her laugh was contagious. And she was such a classy lady. She took great pride in being well dressed and well groomed, saying that you always feel better about yourself when you take the time to get ready.

Two months ago, we had the chance to go to Utah and see her and I am so grateful that we took that opportunity. We knew that she was struggling to recover from surgery and I was worried that being so far away, this would be our last chance to really spend some time with her, and that turned out to be the case. Adalyne was older and got to interact with Grandma and we took some very special pictures.

Addie was very interested in her squishy skin. Grandma had a great sense of humor!

While it is sad to know that she will no longer be able to be there to make a witty comment and I wish that my daughter could have known her the way I did, it is al so wonderful to know that she is with her Father in Heaven, no longer in pain. She's probably making someone else laugh up in heaven.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Memorial Day to Remember

Memorial Day is always a huge treat for me and my family. I look forward to it every year. In fact, this year, I thought we couldn't go and I cried. Literally cried. 

My mom's whole side of the family gets together for one big camping weekend somewhere in Southern Utah, this year was in Kodachrome Basin. It was a tradition started by my great grandparents who are now great great grandparents. This includes my great aunts and uncles, my aunts and uncles, my first cousins, my second cousins and my third cousins, (not sure what Nicole and Tyler and Porter are exactly in relation) my parents, and my brothers. I love this family. Despite it sounding like we would hardly know each other, we are all so close and we LOVE spending time with everyone. Our family is awesome! (Pics are thanks to family members Dennis and Mike!)

Our campsite

My dad and bros spent one night riding their longboards down insanely steep sandstone
This weekend is a sort of ritual. In fact, it has come to be known as the rite of passage for new members entering our family in marriage. Jon had to go through it the first year of our marriage and he swears that he almost died trying to prove that he could keep up with the adventurous monkey boys of the clan. We hike, hike, and hike some more. And we're not talking about a little jaunt up some pretty nature walk. We're talking about clambering up and down slot canyons with 15 foot drops and 800 foot ascents at 70 degree inclines. My family has been blessed with monkey abilities. Oh, and did I mention that we do this all with children. Yep. Our most recent hike had some serious 12 - 15 foot overhanging drops and our crazy family packed two two-year olds and two couple-of-months old babies and little Addie down this slot canyon. Oh, and Jon came too...with his broken ribs because he's crazy and didn't want to get left out. We rock.

The hike in

One of the large drops

Hanging out in the tight slot canyon

Notice the car? In the 1950s a couple drove off the cliff and their car was wedged here. After authorities removed the bodies, they left the car and built up a bridge over the top of it. You can still see the original tires and everything. 

The miserable hike out...beyond steep and full of sliding rocks and dirt. You can see a person on the far right side to give perspective. 

Everyone happy to be to the top!
This was our first attempt at camping with Addie and despite being pampered by a trailer, there were some fairly awful times. We have learned quite a bit for our next camping trip:

1. Addie is afraid of heights. The kind that induces fits of screaming hysterics. Those 12-15 foot drops just sent her over the top...I have never seen her so frantic. Although she did get better with them once she learned to trust me, despite being in the backpack. Holding her hand while she was in the backpack did wonders.

We are about to descend into the slot canyon and Addie didn't like the look of the 200 foot drop to the bottom. Holding hands to give comfort. 
2. Trailers have heaters that can run off of battery power. We did not know this the first night and we froze. Poor Addie got sick because of the cold on her first night.

3. The trailer battery must be FULLY charged in order for the pilot light to kick on in the heater. Night two, the heater stopped working and since we are not trailer gurus, we didn't know how to fix it although we tried everything we could think of. That night it was in the 30s. Addie became even more sick and ended up sleeping on my chest from 5 -9am so that she could breathe through her snotty nose and so that she could be warmer.

4. It is worth any amount of money to have a warm baby. That includes finding and getting warm water for bottles, microwaves or stoves to heat food, and packing baby gloves.

5. There is no such thing as too much sunscreen for a baby.

6. Our baby hiking backpack is incredibly awesome. I highly recommend the Snugli Cross Terrain. I packed Addie for 4-5 hours in that crazy canyon and up the steep walls too. The sorest things were my legs because I was out of shape, not my shoulders or my back. Thank goodness. (She wouldn't let anyone else carry her, or else I would have passed her off.)

7. Don't let your husband go hiking with broken ribs, even if he really REALLY wants to. Jon is still sore from our intense slot canyon hike.

7. Hippie hikers stink. We were passed by a group of hippie hikers who were going on a three-day journey down the same slot canyon. They had next to nothing to deal with the freezing weather at night, didn't know where they would get water, the girls were wearing pioneer skirts, and one girl was bare footed--no shoes at all as she walked down the canyon layered with sharp pebbles. Her feet were like little hobbit feet!

Unfortunately, we missed out on a great hike on Monday through a river because Addie was running a fever, Jon was ultra sore, and I had an allergy attack. But Memorial Day is always awesome no matter what happens because the people are so awesome. We had delicious food, good stories, and fun hanging out in our camping chairs kicking soccer balls at each other. We're so glad we could go so that we could see Brian and Kim to say goodbye before they head off on their East Coast adventure and it was so wonderful to see all the family who lives far away who traveled long distances to get there! We can't wait till the next Memorial Day and next time, we'll be more prepared!