Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Blogkeeping -- Winter 2016/Spring/Summer/(Some Fall) 2017

Starting just over a year ago!  100 movies from December 2016 to July 2017.  Lots of so-so and also terrible library selections (two false starts!  Unheard of!), the end of Grimm and the beginning of Psych:

Captain America: Civil War [r] *** • Psych (Season 2) *** 1/2 • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh [r] **** • Silver Linings Playbook *** • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 *** • Psych (Season 1) *** 1/2 • Doctor Strange [r] *** • The Amazing Race (Season 17) [r] **** • Anastasia [r] ***** • Gotham (Season 3) *** • The Secrets of Crickley Hall **** • My Cousin Rachel *** • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End [r] *** • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest [r] *** 1/2 • The Amazing Race (Season 29) ** 1/2 • Prison Break (Season 5) ** • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl [r] *** • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales **** • Split **** • Survivor: Game Changers (Season 34) *** • Lion **** • Cars [r] *** 1/2 • Documentary Now (Season 2) *** 1/2 • Bambi II [r] *** • Bambi [r] ***** • The Light Between Oceans *** 1/2 • Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens [r] *** 1/2 • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi [r] **** • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back [r] **** • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope [r] **** • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith [r] *** • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones [r] ** 1/2 • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace [r] ** 1/2 • The Scarlet Pimpernel [r] **** • Assassin's Creed (false start) --- • Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them ** • La La Land *** 1/2 • Bates Motel (Season 5) **** • Sense and Sensibility (1995) [r] ***** • Sense & Sensibility (2008) [r] **** • Jupiter Ascending * 1/2 • A Series of Unfortunate Events (Season 1) ** • Just Let Go *** 1/2 • Star Wars: Rogue One [r] ** 1/2 • Daria (Season 3) **** • Passengers *** 1/2 • Legion (Season 1) *** • Grimm (Season 6) ** • Napoleon Dynamite [r] **** • Arrival **** • The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials ** 1/2 • The Maze Runner ** 1/2 • Victoria (Season 1) **** • Beauty and the Beast (1991) [r] ***** • Beauty and the Beast (2017) *** • Moana [r] x2 **** • Tangled [r] ***** • Tangled Before Ever After *** • Warcraft (false start) --- • Into the Woods Live In Central Park **** • Grantchester (Season 1) ** 1/2 • Enchanted [r] **** • Deepwater Horizon **** • The Magnificent Seven (2016) ** • Jack Reacher: Never Go Back ** 1/2 • Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children ** 1/2 • Moana [r] **** 1/2 • Daria (Season 2) [r] **** 1/2 • Florence Foster Jenkins *** 1/2 • Newsies LIVE ***** • Ever After [r] ***** • Cinderella (2015) [r] *** • Sully *** 1/2 • Cinderella (1950) [r] **** • Pete's Dragon (1977) [r] *** • Daria (Season 1) [r] **** • A History of Violence ** 1/2 • Into the Storm ** 1/2 • The Help (mostly) [r] ***** • Star Wars: Rogue One ** 1/2 • Prisoners **** • Pete's Dragon (2016) *** 1/2 • The Bourne Identity [r] **** • The BFG *** • Jason Bourne ** 1/2 • Lucy *** 1/2 • Gone Girl *** 1/2 • War & Peace (2016) [r] **** • Anne of Green Gables [r] ***** • Sherlock (Season 4) *** • Doctor Thorne **** • The Hunchback of Notre Dame [r] ***** • Project Runway (Season 15) ** 1/2 • Office Space [r] **** • The Wrong Boyfriend (Wuthering High School) * 1/2 • Inside Out (mostly) [r] ***** • Kubo and the Two Strings **** 1/2 • Hail, Caesar! *** • Mickey's Christmas Carol [r] ***** • While You Were Sleeping [r] *****

100 books from January to October 2017.  More of the usual: lots of children's books (including probably the worst one ever written), and almost none of the other variety, ha ha:

Madeline (Ludwig Bemelmans) ***** • Get Dressed! (Seymour Chwast) *** • The Loud Book (Deborah Underwood) *** • The Quiet Book (Deborah Underwood) **** • Thank You and Good Night (Patrick McDonnell) ***** • Chloe (Peter McCarty) **** • My Bike (Byron Barton) ** 1/2 • Books Always Everyhere (Jane Blatt) **** • Boo, Bunny! (Kathryn O. Galbraith *** • The Heart and the Bottle (Oliver Jeffers) **** • Orion and the Dark (Emma Yarlett) ***** • The Not So Quiet Library (Zachariah Ohora) *** • Little Tree (Loren Long) **** • A Visitor For Bear (Bonny Becker) *** • A Few Bites (Cyb√®le Young) **** • Vanilla Ice Cream (Bob Graham) *** • The Red Hat (David Teague) ***** • Dog Loves Book (Louise Yates) **** • BabyLit: Emma (Jennifer Adams) *** • BabyLit: Treasure Island (Jennifer Adams) *** • BabyLit: Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp (Jennifer Adams) *** • Hooray For Today! (Brian Won) **** • The Very Clumsy Click Beetle (Eric Carle) **** • Chicken and Cat (Sara Varon) *** • Ragtime (E.L. Doctorow) *** 1/2 • Tell Me the Day Backwards (Albert Lamb) ***** • Your Hand In My Heart (Mark Sperring) ***** • Sam and the Firefly (P.D. Eastman) **** • The Lamb and the Butterfly (Arnold Sundgaard) *** • Otis and the Scarecrow (Loren Long) *** • Otis and the Puppy (Loren Long) **** • The Unholy Trinity: Blocking the Left's Assault On Life, Marriage, and Gender (Matt Walsh) ***** • The Nine Old Men: Lessons, Techniques, and Inspirations from Disney's Great Animators (Andreas Deja) *** 1/2 • All the Light We Cannot See (Anthony Doerr) **** • It's Only Stanley (Jon Agee) ***** • Polar Bear Night (Lauren Thompson) *** • To Market, To Market (Anna Miranda) *** • I Love You the Purplest (Barbara Joosse) *** • Twenty Big Trucks In the Middle of the Street (Mark Lee) **** • My Car (Byron Barton) ** • Feminist Baby (Loryn Brantz) * • The Bossier Baby (Marla Frazee) **** • Miss Rumphius (Barbara Cooney) **** • Go Away, Big Green Monster! (Ed Emberley) *** 1/2 • This book is out of control! (Richard Byrne) *** • The Airport Book (Lisa Brown) ** • The Five Chinese Brothers (Claire Huchet Bishop) **** • My Little Sister and Me (Maple Lam) **** • It Is Not Time For Sleeping (Lisa Graff) **** • Good Night Like This (Mary Murphy) **** • The Light Between Oceans (M.L. Stedman) ***** • Ben's Dream (Chris Van Allsburg) **** • Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion (Mo Willems) *** 1/2 • The Hueys In The New Sweater (Oliver Jeffers) ** 1/2 • Just a Dream (Chris Van Allsburg) ** • Cars Go (Steve Light) *** 1/2 • La Luna (Enrico Casarosa) **** • Goodnight Everyone (Chris Haughton) *** • There Are Cast In This Book (Viviane Schwarz) **** • Cheetah Can't Lose (Bob Shea) *** • Officer Buckle & Gloria (Peggy Rathmann) **** • This Moose Belongs To Me (Oliver Jeffers) **** • Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing (Judi Barrett) **** • The Crayon: A Colorful Tale About Friendship (Simon Rickerty) *** • Jumanji (Chris Van Allsburg) **** • Round Trip (Ann Jonas) **** • This Is Paris (Miroslav Sasek) ***** • I Spy With My Little Eye (Edward Gibbs) **** • The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend (Dan Santat) **** • The Twenty-One Balloons (William Pene du Bois) *** 1/2 • Rescue Squad No. 9 (Mike Austin) ***** • Doggies (Sandra Boynton) **** • Harry and the Lady Next Door (Gene Zion) *** • Country Road ABC (Arthur Geisert) *** • The Napping House (Don and Audrey Wood) **** • We're Going On a Bear Hunt (Michael Rosen) **** • A Baby Sister For Frances (Russell Hoban) *** • Press Here (Herve Tullet) ***** • Little White Rabbit (Kevin Henkes) **** • Little Lola (Julie Saab) **** • Plant a Kiss (Amy Krouse Rosenthal) **** • Trick Or Treat, Pout-Pout Fish (Deborah Diesen) ** • A Greyhound, a Groundhog (Emily Jenkins) *** • The BFG (Roald Dahl) *** • The Art of Moana (Jessica Julius) ***** • C&L: This Is Actually My Party (Lauren Child) **** • Blueberries for Sal (Robert McCloskey) *** • Good Night Owl (Greg Pizzoli) **** • Goodnight Truck (Sally Odgers) **** • Giggle, Giggle, Quack (Doreen Cronin) *** • The Monster At the End of This Book (Jon Stone) ***** • Lambert the Sheepish Lion ("Walt Disney") **** • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable (Patrick Lencioni) **** • ABC: A Child's First Alphabet Book (Alison Jay) **** • Professor Whiskerton Presents Steampunk ABC (Lisa Falkerstern) *** • I Spy On the Farm (Edward Gibbs) ***** • Five Trucks (Brian Floca) **** • Raindrops Fall All Around (Charles Gigna) *** 1/2 • Anything For You (John Wallace) **** • One Perfect Day (Steve Purcell, ill. by Matt Nolte) ****

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

MDG at 7 Months

Last week Little Mister hit 7 months!  He's still as happy as ever, smiling at everyone and laughing at the ceaseless antics of his older siblings.  He's sitting up pretty well and trying some new "real" foods, he's sleeping mostly pretty well, though there are nights when he's just not very happy for reasons (the tooth that's emerged and others not far behind it could be the culprit).  The biggest news is that he's mobile!  He's thiiiiis close to actual crawling but he gets around just fine in his own way, which of course changes the game pretty significantly.  He's funny and observant and sometimes pouty but his smile just melts me.
This is actually from before his 6-month mark but I missed it somehow and look at him!!!  And that li'l Hmong hat!
At Daddy's Christmas choir concert!  It's never too early to start them on Bach.

Christmas Eve vest buddies.

First Christmas Day! 
This is actually a still from a video but you can gather what's going on.  He's almost at his goal!
He really likes me, but he loves his Mommy, as is right.

What did I say about that smile?!?

He has this funny pose lately where he turns and rests his arm on his bum.  This is pretty close.

And that's that for now!  Who knows what will have transpired by the time he hits 8?...

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Belated 2.5 for Smoochface

We just had a month milestone, but I realized I never blogged about Smoochface's 2.5!  So here it is.

Our little girl is (morethan) halfway to 3, which is crazy but also lots of fun.  She is articulate and opinionated, has a sense of humor and a sense of style, has high highs and low lows, in thoughtful and sweet.  She loves Little Mister and often pats him when he needs attention, imitating our "there there" voices.  She loooooves Big Brother and can often be found trying to sneak into his room after bedtime to sit in his bed and read together (or, you know, play at very high volumes).  She often resists bedtime, usually vociferously, which has been a struggle, but we try to remember that one day she won't even want to hang out and rock with us in the evenings.  She's reportedly a delight in Nursery, she took right to potty and she has a hearty appetite.  She loves all princesses but especially Rapunzel (especially when we get to watch a Perpunzel Cocoon) and she sings along with whatever we're listening to.  She's started trying to negotiate for things which is often hilarious and her emotions are so strong sometimes even she doesn't know why she feels the way she does.  She's healthy and strong and clever and lovely.
Birthday girl montage!

Trimming Goldilocks

<3 td="">

So happy to be wearing Daddy's old running shorts!


Summer Smooch

She loves a good bake.

Middle child!!!

She doesn't seem to mind.

2 kewl.


She's finally into the water on the day we didn't bring her swimsuit.


Miss A's Salon

Though Mommy has been doing her fair share of creative hairstyling too.

... with adorable results.
We love our Smoochy!!!  Sorry about the delay!  See you in a couple months!

End of 2017/Start of 2018

Time to (finally) blog a bit about Christmas!  It was a very busy and eventful couple of months, which was at once a bit frantic and a lot of fun.  There were the usual traditions (family musical soiree wherein I led a sing-along of Rutter's Angels' Carol, pajamas from Nana, more Santa excitement than ever, sooooo many treats, Christmas movies and shows, ward choir program, etc. etc. etc.) but there were lots of exciting new happenings too.  I'll just let the Instapictures tell the story.
Wherein I offer a 50% off commission sale and have a nice response!  See our art blog for a collage.

Wherein we go to the Christmas In Color drive-through light show!  Feliz Batty-Bat!

Wherein we go to the adult ward Christmas party and I sing Mele Kalikimaka/Christmas Island and wear my favorite shirt and hat (repeat picture post but it's relevant).

Wherein we brave the crowds of downtown SLC and have fun but decide never to to the Temple Square within a week of Christmas again.

Wherein we watch a Christmas classic and are forcibly reminded by Cindy Lou Who of a certain someone.

Wherein we go to the kids' ward Christmas party and it's our best roller skating outing yet. 
Wherein Wife and Baby come hear me sing Bach and Williams with the TSO.

Wherein my favorite Primary tradition continues for the 4th year!

Wherein I am amazed at how marvelous this movie is.

Wherein Little Mister and I are vest buddies on Christmas Eve.

Wherein we try out our new phone with a front-facing camera!

Wherein I try out my new at last running shoes.

Wherein I pose cheesily with my favorite Christmas present, which I call Coco.
Wherein we go to a merch pop-up of the Wizarding World of HP.  Almost like almost like the real thing!

Wherein this wasn't anywhere to be found in stores so we bought it ASAP (even though I know you can listen online... it's just nice to have).

Wherein we cling to the gingerbread feeling by finding any and all local light displays (this was at University Mall, er... Place).

Wherein the NYB pulls through yet again.

Wherein the kids are very fancy with their breakfast beverages.

Wherein The Wife figured out an ingenious way of getting the Christmas cards to stop falling off the front door every ten minutes -- take them off and hang them up somewhere else. 
Wherein The Boy Who Lived rings in the New Year on my desk at work.

Every time I have choir things coming up I have this underlying and ominous dread that something will happen the day before and I'll get really sick or lose my voice or whatever, but luckily another Christmas season has come and gone with much singing and no serious illness, so I think that's reason (for me at least) to rejoice.  It was a really lovely Christmas with lots going on and so much fun and going to church the day before was a perfect way to keep grounded amid all the festivities and remember the Point in the first place.  2018 is going to be just marvelous.

P.S. These days we get sleepy pretty early and one or both of us heads to bed shortly after the hour hits double digits, but this year I totally scored my NYE midnight kiss. ;*

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas 2017

It was pretty much as perfect as could be.

Details to come.

:D :D :D :D 8/
Back view!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Annual Christmas Eve Journal Write 2017

You guys, I was just thinking to myself what a bummer that Christmas was going to be gray and brown and probably clear skies and not very interesting or festive, but no joke, we looked outside after the kids were in bed and it had started to snow. Of course I think it's stopped by now, but it was enough to stick for a little while and that's really enough for me.  (It was also enough to make that last-minute drive to Mom and Dad's house for that package I had shipped there and totally forgot to pick up the many times I've visited since it arrived kind of treacherous and slippery -- I hope everyone who was out drove safely).

SO it's that time of year again and things are changing around here.  Today we had church which was really nice to have on the day before Christmas, there were musical numbers aplenty and everyone was really tired and maybe a little fussy but that made for a nice early bedtime.  This year we dispensed with the whole family fondue tradition in favor of taking our many various offspring and starting our own Christmas Eve dinner traditions, which I'd been thinking for a while now would probably happen this year, and which actually turned out really nice.  We invited Mom and Dad over and had plenty of cheese and dippings and various sweet and/or creamy and/or bubbly drinks and desserts aplenty, and then we all happily jumped into our new joggers from Mom and made ready for bed.

I actually think I've heard Santa hanging around upstairs and think I even glimpsed a goodly number of cool Cars guys and sparkly Princess figurines and maybe something cozy and handmade just for a baby.  I guess we'll find out first thing in the morning!

This is from the first time we decorated it a couple weeks ago... We sort of completely redid it tonight, not unlike last year, after it's been so very... admired over the last several days.  Also we added another string of blue lights and a bunch of blue ornaments.  It just needed a little something extra.
Now goodNIGHT.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

MDG at 1/2

Half a year!  Not for the first time this year I'm wondering where in the world the time went.  It just goes past.

Little Mister had his 6-month checkup this week and he's doing just great.  He's finally dropped out of the 100% for height, but he's getting so nice and chubbsy with his knee rolls and all.  He still has this little darkish triangular type mark thing on his hand, which the doc last time thought was due to contact with limes and sunlight, but it hasn't faded or changed, so it could just be a later-blooming birthmark.  He's still happy and smiley and laughy and spends his days rolling all over the place.  It's so funny to leave him on his blanket and then come back just a few seconds later and find him gnawing on some toy all the way across the room (or Christmas tree ornaments, eep).  He's definitely our holliest jolliest baby at this age and though he has his moments -- it's only fair, everyone gets hangry sometimes, and I myself can be pretty cranky when I'm tired -- but mostly he just looks around and checks everything out and laughs easily.  He's just starting on solids, sits up pretty well, sleeps mostly regularly and is overall a delight.
He's always glad to see me but he likes Mommy best (rightly so).
Parallel MDGs at Thanksgiving
First visit to the zoo!  It was cold but he had a good time.

Evidently!  (THOSE EYES.)

I mean, right??

Hanging at the adults ONLY ward Christmas party.  C'mon, son!  (Put intended.)

6 months!

Let's try some solid foods, boy!

Not sure what to think... he ended up eat some sweet potatoes and more or less enjoying the new sensations.

Half a cake for half a year!  He didn't get to eat any but we all sure did.  (Julie was determined his six-month cake wouldn't be neglected just because he's the third child.)
And now he's all set for his first-ever Christmas on the outside.  He's a good boy and we're all so happy he's ours.