Sunday, November 25, 2012

Phone calls

Liv had been wanting to talk to Amy for awhile, so when I was talking to her on the phone yesterday, I let Liv talk to her.  We were in the car running errands, and she just talked and talked and talked to Amy, Grandma, and Grandpa (DeGroff).  She would not let me take the phone back.  She kept telling them all about what she was doing and what was around her.  It was the first time she's had a really long conversation on the phone where you can tell that she knows she is talking to someone.  For a long time she's been able to talk a little on the phone, but was never comfortable just having a long conversation.  Last night, she was telling them about the water she was holding, what she was watching, what she was wearing, etc.  And she kept addressing them by name: "I have sparkle shoes, Grandpa.  I have sparkle shoes, Grandpa.  I have water.  I'm watching signing time.  I love signing time, Grandpa."  It was so cute!  If she felt like they weren't listening or didn't hear, she'd repeat and say there name.  And her intonation was right on when she said, "I love you,  Amy."

Then this morning, she grabbed a pretend phone while I was getting ready and said, "Hello, Liv is here.   Uh huh." She was having the cutest little conversation.  I wish I could get all of these things on camera, because describing them just doesn't do it justice!

Daddy "taked" it

We went shopping yesterday and had some apple slices with us.  Liv had been eating one and took it into the store with us.  She handed it to Tyler, leading him to believe she was done, so he ate it.  Then I came over to them, and she told me she wanted her apple, and that "Daddy taked it!"  It was so hilarious!

Then today on the way to church, Tyler ate the last pretzel, and just after he popped it in his mouth, Liv said she wanted one.  We had to tell her they were gone, and she said, "Daddy ate them all!"

Needless to say, Liv will probably be a little more careful with her food around daddy ;)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Dolphin Show

We took Liv to Indianapolis to the zoo today for the dolphin show.  We ended up going to the 12:30 and the 2:30 show because she loved it so much.  On our way out the second time, she said, "Dolphins are amazing!  They're great jumpers!"  She's already asked us a few times to go back and see them :)

We also loved seeing the seal, elephants, zebras, and the fish.  She liked looking at the sharks, but didn't want to pet one!  I'll post some videos we took.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Ever since we took Liv to the orchestra concert a few weeks ago, she has been talking about violins and cellos (really, she was before that, but even more now).  She told me she really wanted a violin, so I asked if she would practice every day if I got her one.  She said, "Practice every day.  Promise."  So Tyler and I found an electric violin for kids online today and got it for her birthday.  It looks real, and plays music only when the bow moves across the strings, so it seems realistic.  Can't wait to give it to her!  And we just found out our friend Amanda used to teach kids to play the violin, so we're hoping we can have her teach Liv when the time comes!  We're in the same program, and she just started with me this year, so we'll be here for the same amount of time :)

Keep Your Eye on the Ball

Tyler, Liv, and I were playing catch with her little soccer ball, and Liv was doing a pretty good job of catching it.  One time when she missed, though, Tyler told her to keep her eye on the ball, so she put the ball up to her eye!  Love her!

Another great moment tonight was when she told Tyler and I to "Stay there.  I want a timeout."  It's so exhausting dealing with parents.

Next, she said, "Bye mommy, bye daddy.  I'm going to school!"

She makes being a parent so fun!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Mr. Autumn Man Party and Twinkle Baby Star

We went to Kate and John's "Mr. Autumn Man Walking Down Street with Cup of Coffee, Wearing Sweater Over Plaid Collared Shirt" (basically We Love Fall, but Really Hate Winter) party tonight.  On our way to pick up Amanda and Andrew for the party, Liv was singing in the backseat.  She sang all of the words to Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, but on the last line added in, "Twinkle, twinkle, baby star."  It was so sweet!  I just love her little singing voice!

Between the Halloween party last week and tonight's party, we've been able to see a lot of our friends from school.  It has been so fun to get to spend time with friends from our department!  They really are so great!  I met a girl from the Chekov class, Lizzie, that was really fun to talk to.  She is from the comp lit department, and talking with her and our other friends just reaffirmed how excited I am to be studying literature!  So many fun people were there tonight (Michael, Bryan, Natalie, Alyona, Amanda, Lizzie, Andrew, and Kate and John, of course).  Happy to be studying/friends with such amazing people!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

We had most of our Halloween festivities last weekend, so I thought I would actually post today.  We'll be taking Liv trick-or-treating tonight with her friends Jo and Lydia.  She'll be donning the butterfly costume, as the bumble bee costume is a little too small.  And itchy.  After I took these pictures, we took the costume off, and Liv refused to put it back on, due to it being slightly traumatic taking it off--she was pretty stuck in it, and I was afraid we'd have to cut her out.  But we got her out and all is well.  We took Liv to the trunk-or-treat with our ward Friday night.  She went to Tyler first for some candy, and then she and I made the rounds while Tyler handed out pumpkin cookies and candy.  True to form, he made everything look great--he lit candles and brought our pumpkins and table to display everything by the back of our car.  The combination of the candle and pumpkin cookies made our stop a pretty popular one, and the cookies were gone in minutes!

On Saturday, we got a babysitter (Peri, who was so cute with Liv!) and went to Natalie's Halloween party. It was so fun to get to hang out with everyone, and the costumes were amazing!  Alyona was a pioneer (Soviet-style), Melissa had a horse head and wore a fancy dress (by far the most popular costume), our friend Michael came as a member of Pussy Riot (another Russian reference), and so many other great costumes.  Tyler and I went as Viktor Yuschenko and Yulia Tymoshenko (former President and Prime Minister of Ukraine and huge players in the Orange Revolution).  I think it's safe to say we are made for each other!  Who else would dress up like Ukrainian politicians with me? :)   

Here are some photos of our Halloween so far:
Our little bumble bee

Our sweet butterfly (lucky back-up butterfly costume)

Tyler at the trunk-or-treat
Liv's first trick-or-treat, and it's from daddy
Me as Yulia Tymoshenko
Viktor Yuschenko and Yulia Tymoshenko
Us with Alyona as a pioneer

I just love this little face!

Just another sample of some amazing costumes!  Alex and Coady were amazing!

We hope you have a Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Bedroom 2.0

Ever since Kim and I got engaged, what our bedroom should look like has been a topic of "discussion". When we were selecting items for our wedding gift registry at Target, we realized how incompatible we were for each other. When it came to home decor, we both had very different tastes. Strange, considering how many other things we agree on. Well, I'm happy to say that after two and half years of matrimonial bliss, our tastes have moved much closer together. Here are some pictures of our new bedroom, which is a synthesis--and I think a harmonious one--of our two styles.

And of course, the BEFORE pictures:        blah, blah, blah

The room in progress:

 Note from Kim: As you can see, Tyler really did all the work ;) (Actually, I learned how to use the saw and cut most of the vertical pieces...and then Tyler did pretty much all the rest)

 It turns out Liv is really into this home improvement stuff, too.  We finally broke down and bought her a tool set (pictures to come)

The finished project:

 Except this part.  This is not finished in this picture.  It is in real time, though!

 So our question to you:  Do you like the white and brown bedspread, or the white bedspread?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I'm Studying Literature!!!

I talked to the department, and I am now officially on the literature track of the PhD!  I am so excited!  I have loved linguistics, but I have really missed literature.  Now I can have the best of both worlds :)  I will still finish the MA in Slavic Linguistics, but I will do the MA/PhD in Slavic Literature.  YAY!!!!!!!!!


Tyler went to get Liv up from her nap, and when he walked in, she said, "Dirty diaper, daddy.  Check it out!"

Liv slapped Tyler twice really quickly, and then when he went to say, "Ouch, Liv, that hurt!" She put her fingers up to her lips and said, "Shhhhhh!" so he couldn't tell her not to hit.

We started a babysitting exchange, and when Venita and Jeph were here to pick up Benson, Liv and Jo were downstairs playing.  Liv yelled up to me from downstairs, "Come here mommy!  Come back here!  Come back here! Right now (in a sing-songy voice still)! RIGHT NOW (not so sing-songy)!!!"

Today at the store, she told the fish, "Goodbye!  Have a fun time!"  Then when we went back over with Tyler, she told the fish, "Come here! This way!" and tried to lead them out of the tanks.  She also pretended to feed them and told them to eat.  But the best by far was when she said, "I love you, fish!"

We were skyping with Tyler's family Sunday, and Liv recognized Dani and Jariek.  When we went to tell them goodybe, we told her to tell grandma goodbye, and "I love you."  Instead, Liv said, "I love you, Jariek!"  So sweet!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sparkle Shoes, Chili, and Good Helpers

After being sick the last few days, Liv seems to be getting back to her usual self of wandering around, pulling me around after her, and saying fun things.  Tonight we had a chili cook off for the ward, and Liv loved exploring everything.  A few times, she would wander off, and then come to find me and mistakenly grab another blonde woman in the ward instead.  She was pulling on her hand to come follow her and trying to crawl into her lap.  It was really quite funny.

We headed off to Once Upon a Child after the activity and got Liv some new sparkly shoes.  She loves them!  Tonight when we were putting her to bed, she asked to sing Old McDonald Had a Farm. We let her pick the animals to sing about, and about our fifth round, she picked shoes.  So I sang, "a shoe, shoe, here, and a shoe, shoe there," to which she replied, "Sparkle shoes!"  So we did a couple of rounds singing about sparkly shoes, too.

My favorite thing she said today was when Tyler was taking out the garbage.  We were all outside, and as he made his way to the trash, Liv said, "Daddy's taking garbage.  Daddy's a good helper!  You're a good helper, daddy!"  So fun!

We also called Aunt Amy at Liv's request, and got to talk to Grandma and Grandpa Madsen.  She was hoping to talk to Dani, too, but didn't get to.  Liv loves her family!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Favorite Phrases

Liv cracks me up.  She says the funniest things these days.  Like when the DVD stopped working the other day, and she said, "What's going on?" followed shortly thereafter by, "What happened?  What's going on?"

She also yelled at me to "Go in the kitchen!" tonight.  She wanted some privacy, and apparently I was getting too close.  At other times when she wants privacy, she'll say, "No! Stay over there!"  This is then followed by a very sweet, "Hi, mommy," and a wave.

She also asks, "Where did daddy go?"  and "What are you doing?" several times in a row, even when you give her the answer.

A week ago, on the way to the sitters, she said, "Super Why, with the power to read!"

She can sing most of the words to a ton of songs by herself, and I love catching her singing to herself.

Liv also knows almost all her letters (she mixes up u and v with w) and points out letters wherever we go.

She also says really sweet things like, "I love you very much!" and she gives really great hugs :)

Friday, August 31, 2012

AATSEEL Conference Submission

So Tyler, Alyona, and I submitted a proposal to present at the AATSEEL (Association of American Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages) conference that is being held in Wisconsin.  I really hope we get to do it!  Tyler has been painting, so I spent a bit of today working on the proposal.  Alyona had started it off for us, I finished it up, and Tyler made it sound great.  Our working title is: This Isn't Your бабушка's (grandmother's) Textbook:  Moving Toward a Multimedia eFormat in Russian Language Learning.

Little Update

Well, we survived our first and second week of school!  We love our classes, and Liv has loved getting to play with her friends while we are at school.  We've had a great couple of weeks since I last blogged.  Here's a run-down of the happening:

The Friday before school started we had a grad student get together with the other Slavic students at Natalie's house.  We got to meet the two incoming students and see old friends.  The next night, we got together with some friends for a BBQ at the park.  Bonnie and Adam did a fabulous job hosting!  The food was delicious and the company was even better!  Stacie and Spencer, Erica and Jake, Mami and Jeff, and the Waltons were all there.  Liv and Lydia had so much fun playing in the little stream by the park and swinging in the swings.  I'm afraid Liv gets Lydia into things she wouldn't be otherwise, but they just have so much fun!

We have also started going to our new ward--the Clear Creek ward.  We miss seeing our friends from the other ward, but love our new ward, too!  We have seemed to really lucked out here with amazing Sunday School teachers, and this ward has not disappointed!  We loved our lessons from Gordon and Julia in the old ward, and our new teacher is absolutely amazing, too!  I don't know his name yet, but we think he is quite impressive.

Tyler and I have also started our new callings as institute teachers.  We lead the Friday forum.  Last week Tyler made so much good food for it, and Sister Tibbs was so great to cook for us for today's Friday forum.  We have loved getting to know more people through our calling.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

We Love the Rain!

Liv was so fascinated with the rain.  It was just pouring down!  She wanted to touch the rain, so we let her go at it.  She ended up soaked, but she absolutely loved playing in the rain!

She had a ball!

Mothers' Group at the Park

More Catch Up

 Liv's little sailor dress she wore on Sunday

 I will not be surprised at all when Liv decides she wants to play soccer

 A cute little bridge by our house

 She loves wearing daddy's glasses

 Liv's getting better at climbing this rock wall

Liv saved me a place on the slide

Liv as of Late

 Lovin' the glasses and stroller!

 Liv always wants to go down by the basketball courts.  We ran into our friend Adam playing.  

 Liv saw some kids doing this and wanted to try it out

 Liv loves her PB and honey!

"I'm flying!"