Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing—Benjamin Franklin

Monkey business

Living with a two-year-old is perhaps the most entertaining thing in life, not to mention the most enlightening. It helps that I am pretty certain that I have the cutest child in the world too. 
With Bryce gone for the summer, we've started Skyping with him on a pretty regular basis (Little refers to it as "The Daddy show") and we have a special phone ring for him so that whenever Daddy calls, Little knows and instantly runs to the phone. Because of this (and a recent trip to visit with my family) Little now wants to call people all day long. So either we spend all day on the phone chatting, or with him trying to convince me to call someone or other. 
Another thing I love is that Little has started making up songs. He's always been big on music, but now I get serenaded with ballads of Daddy or Giraffey's escapades. I love it.  
Between getting more and more curious about the world and being able to communicate more about it, Little has also started to feel the need to label everything. It's not just a toe, it is a "big toe." It's not just a cracker, it is a "happy cracker." Sometimes they seem arbitrary, but for the most part his labels actually make quite a bit of sense. The best has been with fingers. Little finds his pinky and thumb fascinating and so decided to take it upon himself to label all the other fingers. The first one (the pointer finger) is the "mommy finger"--my sisters and I were laughing and decided it's because that is the finger I use to scold him--and I'll give you one guess as to which one is the "daddy finger".... Yup. The middle one. We had a good laugh about that. (I have to put a disclaimer that Little has never seen Bryce use said finger, but it is still pretty funny.)

We've also gotten into the stage of egregious mispronunciations. Let's just say that every remotely harsh consonant somehow turns into an loud-as-humanly-possible "t" sound and plenty of the other consonants turn into the "sh" sound, making all too many things sound very much like a certain unmentionable word. I feel like I have to walk through the grocery store announcing to the world that he doesn't mean it and we don't actually use that word in our house. Some of his mispronunciations are just plain funny though. Our favorite to date has been the way he says my sister's name. I'm fairly certain that she is going to be "Auntie Monkey" from now on in our house.
On top of all of that, I don't think Little could be any sweeter. If one of us gets hurt or sad, he is always the first one there asking, "You ok?" and making sure everyone is taken care of. Granted he often bustles himself off before you even have a chance to answer, but the fact that he cares at all makes me happy. We were visiting my sister's house the other day and there was a loud movie on downstairs. It was scaring him so I kept trying to take him upstairs, but he wouldn't budge. I figured it was because he didn't want to leave all of his cousins, but he was so agitated that I finally had to drag him kicking and screaming up the stairs, only to have him turn right around and bang on the door saying, "NO! Baby safe! Baby safe!" Little has a cousin about his age who he refers to as "Baby," and was still downstairs. I was more than a bit proud that my little man was willing to brave the scary movie to make sure his cousin was safe too. 
Life with Little just couldn't more fun. He is so happy and has such a great little personality sometimes I can't even believe it.

I am the craftiest-of-all-crafty women

...and I think I need a tool belt. 
I'm kidding about the craftiness thing (and only half kidding about the tool belt), but my latest project makes me feel more than slightly triumphant. 
As I mentioned before--probably too many times to count--we live in a shoebox-sized apartment and thus have been forced to find all sorts of creative storage solutions. By the end of this stay, I am going to be the world's most organized and efficient human... and then we're going to have to leave this shoebox behind and start all over again in another one. Lame. But in the meantime, I think this one is my best solution yet. Our kitchen shelves hold maybe two boxes of cereal and a plate, so most of our food is in the hall closet (causing problems as we have a bug infestation of epic proportion at the moment. Blech.) and we needed to do some serious rearranging. I pulled a few ideas from the internet for pot racks--pallets, bicycle wheels, and some seriously awesome ladders--combined a few, and added a few ideas of my own to create this little beauty: 

I use the term "beauty" loosely. Granted, it was formed from salvaged parts, so all things considered I think it looks much better than anticipated. Either way, it works fantastically and cost next to nothing. We had to buy the chain and screw hooks and what not, but other than that it is basically just a couple pallets on top of each other (I had to reconfigured one of them), some wire strung between nails (next time I will use chicken wire because it would have been 10 times easier), a bunch of S hooks to hang the pots on, and a little bit of leftover paint. And there you go: one impoverished, and yet very working pot rack. 
And my pride needs me to note that I managed to figure it out and build it all on my own (which doesn't look like a feat, but trust me... in my mental state, it was). Bryce helped me hang it, but that was mostly because he was home when the shelf supports came, otherwise this baby would've been all me. 

Next up... The Closets: How to Turn a Closet into a Storage Room Without Making it Look Like a Storage Room.... I'll get back to you on that as I currently have not the foggiest clue.  

Scripture power

I have been taking my IPod to church with me A: for a Little distracting devise when he can't stay quiet in the meeting for one minute longer, and B: so that I don't have to lug around my big scripture case.
I have used it here and there for personal scripture study, but I haven't really done the whole electronic scriptures thing much. However, I just discovered how awesome it is and I am never going back.
I have always been a hardbound book, millions of bookshelves, love the smell of paper kind of gal, but between the Kindle and the IPod... I'm feeling sort of like a traitor. 
There is still nothing like flipping through the pages of your favorite book, but there is also something to be said for having all your favorite books with you EVERYWHERE YOU GO. Fantastic. Lets just say they are slowly winning me over to the dark (albeit paper saving) side.
I decided for my scripture study I am going to transfer all my notes that are worthwhile into the electronic scriptures on LDS.org and I am loving it. Not only do I get to study all my notes all over again, but I am finding that by doing it electronically, life is so much simpler. I can write a novel in the sidebar if I want to and it doesn't take up any space. I can link to everything I ever dreamed of linking too. It has all the colors my little highlight-happy heart could ask for. I can access not only the standard works, but General Conference, study helps, and every manual under the sun and link them all together. Plus, it is all quick and easy to find. Not to mention the fact that I can carry all this around in my back pocket.
In short, the Gospel is true, I love the scriptures, and I'm pretty sure making all this available at the touch of a button was divinely inspired just so I could get the spark back in my scripture study.

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