Alex was participating in a Baby Study through Cornell's psychology department. We had to get there at 9am on the first day of the study. When we woke up that morning, it was -16 degrees. We were running behind so we didn't give the car very much time to warm up. The car was freezing and Alex, the-boy-who-won't-wear-gloves, quickly started crying that his hands were cold. We were about five minutes down the road when we got to a big hill. Sam's car started losing power and when we were about twenty feet from the top of the hill, it shut off. This road had no shoulder so we were just sitting in the middle of our lane. I jumped out of the car and tried to push it; I think it rolled back down the hill a few feet. So then Sam jumped out and he tried pushing it; it was a really steep, icy hill so we lost a few more feet. Meanwhile, Alex is still crying about his hands.

Sam came up with the brilliant idea to let the car roll back down the hill and "push" start the car. Amazingly, it worked. So we were back on our way to the Baby Study. That was an adventurous start to our day. I am starting to think I should have a tow company on speed dial. Snow in Ithaca is like having a kid; no matter how much you clean today, it's just going to be messy again tomorrow.

The Baby Study was really interesting. They were researching how kids 15-18 months old learn words from video. They had him wear special overalls with velcro so he could carry around the battery pack himself and it was out of the way. Then the hat had velcro for the camera to attach to. They were able to put everything on him without him even noticing. On the first day, they showed him a new toy on the video and gave it a weird name. They were letting him push a button during that time. The second day, they held up two toys and asked him to find the weird-named toy. Then the camera in front of his eye recorded if he looked at the right toy. I was amazed because he was looking at the right toy! They also did it with more recognizable toys like balls, books, shoes, and dogs. The researcher's hypothesis is that by Alex pushing a button and changing the picture, he was interacting with the show and would therefore learn more from it.


I told my family how cold it was that day, and my dad said, "Yikes! Make sure the window sill walker doesn't stick his tongue to the glass!" I laughed about that for a long time.


Man Date

Sam had to go to Philadelphia for an interview and it just happened to be on the day of the Jazz vs. Nets game. So he called his friend who lives in New Jersey and they got tickets to the game. The Jazz lost (to the Nets, what?) but Sam still had fun. It was very nice of Jason to pay for Sam's ticket, and they even had pretty good seats! It really was a date!

Every time I ask Sam to take pictures at an activity, he always takes pictures of the food. Silly boy.



Alex's First Rave

Alex doesn't last very long in the cold so we have to find ways to entertain ourselves inside for the most part of the day. This has been one of my favorites. We play with flashlights almost every day now. He loves running around and I think it is so cute to watch him. He has so much energy and gets excited to watch the lights flash around. It is amazing to watch him chase the lights and see his face when he realizes that he is controlling it. He is a smart kid.



Another trip across the country.

This is from my journal. I was trying to write about these events on the blog and I had already forgotten many details. I blame that on a combination of the pregnancy and blocking out a traumatizing experience. I want to thank my family for being so supportive of us through this whole situation. I was so tired and was having a rough time. My parents really stepped up.

On January 12th, we started the drive to Ithaca. We left Layton at 11am. In the first two hours, Alex threw up three times. But he didn't throw up the whole rest of the trip. We drove all night until at 3am we pulled over to sleep in Kansas. But it got too cold so I decided to start driving again 20 minutes later.


So on Thursday, January 13th at 3:20am, I started driving. The car immediately was making weird sounds. The battery light came on. We drove for 45 minutes and then the cruise control went off. Then the ABS light came on. Then the airbag light came on. Then the headlights started dimming and every single light on the dashboard came on. The car eventually lost speed but it still said we were going 80 MPH. I pulled over to the side of the road and then the car shut off. We called our insurance company and they couldn't find anyone to tow us because it was 4:30am. We finally called 911 and a trooper came and let us sit in his car. It was negative six degrees so we were freezing. Our windows had little ice tracks everywhere. It took forever to get a tow truck out there. We got to Topeka, Kansas (the town that was 20 minutes away) at 7am. The auto shop was just opening. We sat in their waiting room for 5 hours and then we went and checked into a hotel because they told us that they couldn't get the parts shipped until the next day. Oh yeah, and they estimated it would cost $1200. The tensioner pulley broke and damaged the power steering pump and idler. Annoying. We spent the rest of the day catching up on sleep and hanging out in our hotel room.


On Friday, January 14th, we checked out of the hotel and went back to the auto shop's waiting room at 1:30pm. They said the car would be ready at 4 or 5. The parts didn't even arrive until 4:15pm! They finished at 6pm. It cost $1281. Kill me now. We went and got dinner and then filled up with gas. The pump was going so slow so Sam jumped back in the car since it was freezing. But we didn't notice that the pump didn't stop itself! Someone pulled up and told us the diesel was overflowing everywhere. We jumped out of the car. It was probably 2-3 gallons on the ground so it definitely could have been worse. When Sam went inside to tell the worker, he barely spoke English and didn't understand what Sam was trying to tell him. The worker handed Sam his receipt and some BP rewards point cards. So we just left the blue-green liquid everywhere and off we went. Sometimes while I was driving, I would look over at Sam sleeping and I was so happy I could do that for him because I knew how he was feeling. But because I was driving, he was able to sleep! I think that is true love.


On Saturday, January 15th, we arrived to the Warnick's in Columbus at 7am. We slept on the ground/couch for two and a half hours. Then we ate breakfast, hung out, ate lunch, then left at 1pm. The weather was a little yucky for the last 3 hours so we didn't get home until 8:30pm. We unpacked and then I went grocery shopping. It is so nice to have things put away! The drive wasn't bad. I am just sad we didn't get home before dark or in time to pick up our five weeks of mail from the post office before it closed for the long weekend.


Sam has now been to 41 states (he added five new states during this break). Alex has been to 29 states (he added 13 new states during this break). Emily is still stuck at 44 since none of the states we drove through were new to her. Bummer.

Thanks for this video, too, Dad!



Utah was very fun. We had Alex's Pack N Play in a closet and because it was so dark, he slept for around 13 hours each night. Since we have been home, this has continued! We are big fans of him waking up at 8:30am.


We went to South Jordan and spent the day with Michelle and Keaton. It was really fun to see Keaton and Alex playing together. They missed each other (since they hadn't seen each other for a whole eight days)!

We went to Provo for dinner at Saigon Cafe. We loved this place when we lived in Provo and it was cool to go back with some friends and family.



We were able to get five tickets to a show at Clark Planetarium free by using our passes to the Science Center in Allentown! Alex was really interested in the balls on the tracks around the ceiling but he was not very interested in the planetarium show.





I resolve...

I love setting goals year-round, but there is something special about doing it at the beginning of a new year. I get a new calendar and I feel like I am starting so fresh. I did pretty well on my resolutions from last year but I did not post all of them so I won't be reflecting on my resolutions. I noticed that my resolutions are very similar year to year. I do not see a problem with this. I do not want to stop doing the things I have been doing and if having them on my year-long to-do list makes that happen, then so be it.

Here are a few of our family's resolutions for 2011:

1. Do all relevant reading while in school and then stay on top of HR mailings once out of school.
2. Exercise.
3. Write in journal once a month.
4. Be a better home teacher.
5. Get a job.

1. Teach Alex to clean up after himself.
2. Establish a bedtime routine with Alex.
3. Shower and get dressed first thing in the morning.
4. Prepare home-cooked and healthy dinners.
5. Plan activities that include a wide variety of friends.
6. Support Sam.
7. Plan fun activities to do with Alex.
8. Manage my time between two kids and a husband efficiently.
9. Send birthday cards to all immediate family members.
10. Write in journal weekly.

1. Attend the temple once a month.
2. Go on dates and get babysitters!
3. Have Family Home Evening each week.
4. Keep each other updated on our schedules.
5. Serve faithfully in our callings.


Tuesday Thyme: Tomato-Basil Parmesan Soup

I hate tomato soup. My whole life, I have avoided tomato soup. If we were having it for lunch, I would not eat. I do not buy it. However, my mother-in-law made this tomato soup and I loved it. Even Alex was eating it! Had I been alone, I would have licked the bottom of my bowl. This soup is amazing. So I made it again on Sunday.


Tomato-Basil Parmesan Soup
Source: 365 Days of Slow Cooking, I got it from my mother-in-law
Makes 2 quarts

2 (14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
2 c. finely diced celery
2 c. finely diced carrots
4 c. chicken broth
1 c. finely diced onion
1/2 bay leaf
1 t. dried oregano or 1 T. fresh oregano
1 T. dried basil or 1/4 c. fresh basil
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. flour
1 c. Parmesan cheese
2 c. half and half, warmed
1 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper

1. In a large slow cooker, combine tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, bay leaf, oregano, and basil (if using dried seasons, add in the last hour of cooking).
2. Cover and cook on low 5-7 hours, until vegetables are soft.
3. About an hour before serving, prepare a roux. Melt butter over low heat in a high-sided skillet and add flour; stir constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup from the slow cooker. Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth.
4. Add all back into the slow cooker. Stir. Add Parmesan cheese, warmed half and half, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook on low for another hour until ready to serve.

I wasn't sure what else I should serve the soup with so I decided to make some bread bowls. I had never made these bread bowls before and I usually fail at making bread but they actually turned out really well! I highly recommend this meal. Make it right now.

Italian Bread Bowls
Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe
Makes 6-8 bowls

1 1/2 T. yeast
2 1/2 c. warm water
2 t. salt
2 T. vegetable oil
7 cups all-purpose flour
1 T. cornmeal
1 egg white
1 T. water

1. In a large bowl (or bowl of an electric mixer), dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
2. Add salt, oil, and 4 cups of flour to the yeast mixture; beat well. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well with an electric mixer at medium speed after each addition until a soft but not sticky dough is formed (you may not need to use all 7 cups).
3. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes (or let knead in an electric mixer). Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.
4. Punch dough down, and divide into 6-8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a round ball. Place loaves on lughtly greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal (or use silpat liners or parchment paper). Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
6. In a small bowl, beat together egg white and 1 tablespoon water; lightly brush the loaves with half of this egg wash.
7. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
8. Brush with remaining egg mixture, and bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks.


The Layover

We left Arizona on January 2nd and headed to Las Vegas. My Aunt Natalie is a dental hygienist and she cleaned our teeth. The next day, my Uncle Paul (Paul and Natalie are siblings, not married) did our check up. He is a dentist. Sam had not been to the dentist for about ten years but he has ridiculously good teeth. I had not been to the dentist for four and a half years but I have ridiculously bad teeth. Due to the pregnancy, I couldn't have any x-rays done but he said my teeth looked pretty good! Hallelujah!


Next we stopped in St. George to have lunch with Sam's grandma. She took us to Olive Garden and it was delicious. She had never met Alex so it was very fun for her to see him in his element of throwing food across restaurants.

As we were driving into St. George, Naomi said that we should stop by and see them. Naomi and I met while we were living in Akron, Ohio. Her husband was the sales manager and she was the office manager for the security systems company where Sam worked. I had completely forgotten that Naomi recently moved to St. George. It turns out they live only five minutes from Sam's grandma! I had never met Oscar and she hadn't seen Alex since he was 17 days old so it was very fun to reunite.


This is the best layover I have ever had! There were no delays and we got to do everything on our own schedule. I am so glad we stopped to see people even though I usually just want to drive until we get to our final destination. Maybe I will be more willing to stop now that this was such a good experience!



I have been procrastinating this post just because of the sheer number of pictures and activities. I wasn't complaining while we were in Arizona! It was so nice to be home. I immediately felt comfortable there and it hardly even felt like I was on vacation. We were staying in my old bedroom which no one lives in now so we were able to put all of our stuff in dressers and on shelves. It was a great experience.

There are many things that I didn't take pictures of. For example, Alex ate about a pound of tangerines a day. He loves them. We got to sleep in every day because Alex would run out of the room and either my mom or one of my little brothers would watch him. We played a ridiculous amount of Phase 10. Hours and hours each day. I am sure there is more that I cannot remember right now, but I will just summarize by saying it was a very full and fun 19 days in Arizona (December 14th-January 2nd).



















True Love

Emily: Would you watch WNBA games if I were in them?
Sam: *sigh* If you were in them. If and only if.

Note: Sam does not think the WNBA is entertaining at all and has no interest in it. So it is a big deal that he would watch it for anything!

In other news, today would be my sister's 28th birthday. Wow. Happy birthday, Rachael!



A strange phenomenon entered my speech patterns over a year ago. It may have been present before then, but I didn't notice until more recently. When Sam and I first got married, we each had very exciting things going on in our lives. We were both working, I was a student, he had graduate school coming up, etc.

Now, although both of our lives are exciting, they are exciting in very different ways. His way is the classic excitement: he is about to graduate, he is looking for a job, he has multiple very demanding side jobs, he is always meeting new people. My exciting is a little harder to explain to people: I stay at home with the most adorable, frizzy-haired toddler with cheeks that make me want to smooch him and sass like a teenage girl.

I am as excited for Sam's life as he is for mine. We kind of absorb each others' lives. When I talk to people, I find myself saying, "We are students," "We don't have a job yet," or "We have lots of homework so we can't go to [activity]." None of these things are true for me! Sam is a student! Sam doesn't have a job yet; I am not looking. Sam has lots of homework; after 8pm, I can do whatever I want!

I know it is strange to talk to people as if Sam and I are the same person, but I like it this way. It makes me feel like we are unified. We care so much about what the other person is doing that it becomes as if we were doing it together. So I will let the "We" continue. We are doing very well today.



Being in Arizona and seeing old friends put me in a few awkward situations.

I am not really a hugger. There are times when hugging fits and it is comfortable; I have no problems hugging at those times. Although I am not the one to instigate a hug every time I arrive and depart from an event.

Seeing old friends, I was forced to decide... Hug? Parent Trap handshake? Regular handshake? High five?

Guys have it so much easier. Their choices are head nod or fist bump. The end.


Pregnancy Update

I have been trying to compare this pregnancy to the last pregnancy, and although I am significantly less freaked out about the unknown of labor, I am freaked out because I remember so much of it! I thought hormones were supposed to make women forget the pain, but oh do I remember. It hurts my back just thinking about the labor.

There are some things I want to remember about this pregnancy:
-I feel like Sam is having more fun with this baby. Although the Whack-a-Mole on my belly is getting a little tiring, I still like it.
-This baby is way more active than Alex was in the womb. I don't think it gets more active than Alex on the outside so I wonder what this kid will be like.
-Sometimes Alex will push his knee into my belly and Baby Bruce will poke back. Mommy gets caught in the middle every time!
-I have to go to the bathroom way more this time than I did last time. Sam called me a camel last pregnancy, but this time I have had to wake up in the middle of the night a few times!
-I have mild heartburn already. I didn't get it until the final two weeks last pregnancy.
-Sometimes it feels like my milk is letting down. I am not sure if that is normal, but it is bizarre.

As I have heard many other mothers say, I am also worried about loving both children. I want to spend time with both of them but I know I won't have as much time to give each of them as much time as Alex got. I want to love this baby so much, but I don't want Alex to feel rejected. Is it possible for me to love another baby as much as I love Alex? I feel a stronger bond to this baby than I did to Alex-in-womb. It took until after Alex was born for me to connect with him and accept that he really was my baby. I know I will love them both and I will have to find alone time to cuddle with each of them individually, I just hope neither of them feels like I favor one over the other.

25 weeks

30 weeks



Sam will be graduating at the end of May, and despite his many efforts, he does not yet have a job lined up. This same thing happened last year when he was looking for an internship. He did not receive an internship offer until about a month before we were to move to Allentown.

Last year was extremely difficult for me because I could not understand why he was not receiving an offer. I am not present during Sam's interviews but I have heard him on a few phone interviews and he definitely seems qualified, competent, and impressive.

Being a planner, it is difficult for me to not know where we will be living in six months or if we will even have a place to go. I am sure Sam will get a job one day, but it is obviously preferable that he has one upon graduation.

This has been a hard trial for me to understand. Last year, I felt like I improved a lot with relying on faith. I thought that trial was over and I never expected to repeat it. I have been thinking about this experience as if it were working out a muscle. Last year, that muscle got really worn down. It had time to repair during the summer and I thought it was really strong. But then the job search started and, although the muscle was stronger to start with this time, it is getting worn down again. One day, I am sure this muscle will have time to repair again. When that happens, I hope to be able to help someone else who is going through this same thing. Because believe me, I understand!

I know what it is like to have no control over my life. I am not the one sitting in interviews. A rejection to Sam hits me as if it were a rejection of me. And I take it personally. But I didn't do anything to deserve the rejection! I know what it is like to have no idea what is around the corner. I know what it's like to hear everyone else talk about their future plans and not be able to join the conversation. I know what it's like to have a husband who doesn't want to see his friends from school because they repeatedly ask him how the job search is going. I know what it's like to worry about paying for groceries.

Last semester, Sam applied to over 30 companies. He got first round interviews with twelve of those companies. He got second round interviews with seven of those companies. And yet, no offers.

Nietszche said, "Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torment of man." Each time I start looking up apartments in Denver, Austin, Somers, or Philadelphia, Sam either gets rejected or never hears back from the company; I am not sure which is worse.

I know there are people who have much harder lives, but I wanted to record my feelings and "hope ya know,
we had a hard time."

Thanks for sending me this video, Dad!


One more semester!

Sam started school today. Twenty minutes after he got on the bus, I started looking around and thinking, "Now what?" We have been together, practically nonstop, for five weeks. It was a nice attempt at making up for all of the time I didn't see him last semester.

Alex missed Sam, too. When he woke up and saw that Sam wasn't in our room, he went into every single room looking for him. This continued through the day. This video was taken at lunch.

Sam's last first day of school!


A good feeling.

The day before we left for Christmas, we went to a FreeSale (like a yard sale, except everything is free). I didn't have a chance to put away everything before we left so last night I was flipping through so books we got from the FreeSale. One of the books had an envelope inside the front cover. I opened it to find $140!

Oh how badly I would have loved to keep that money, but that is not who I am. I immediately got on the computer and searched for the email address for the woman who had the FreeSale. I emailed her and told her about the money and asked her how she would like to get it (mail, delivery, pick-up, etc.).

Today I got an email back from her. It said, "Oh Emily! You have no idea how much I need it! Thank you! I had taken it out of the bank so I could buy wood and then couldn't find it. It's been pretty chilly over here!!"

As nice as it would have been to have an extra $140, I think I needed this feeling even more. So many people have been helping us recently and I feel like I am always taking from people. It feels amazing to give something back. I made a difference in someone's life today. Thank you to everyone who has made a difference in my life.


First kiss.

Four years ago, Sam and I were hanging out in the basement of his apartment. We had finished watching "The Ringer" and were watching one of those World's Strongest Man competitions on TV. He happened to have some dumbbells on the ground so I tried picking them up to show that I was also strong. I think they weighed 50 pounds. I couldn't even get one of them off the ground.

Sam must have thought I was pretty cute for even trying because after a few more minutes of flirting, he kissed me. It was such a sweet kiss. Each of us had only ever kissed one other person (not counting the Halloween when Sam was a kissing booth and whored it up with all sorts of girls - this was before we met) and I was so happy that he had kissed me. Happy enough that I couldn't contain it and I actually laughed. Then I kept laughing. I could not stop myself.

He seemed a little offended but at least he kissed me again. I got home and told my roommate Sam had kissed me and that I laughed at him. It was the start to a great relationship and many more laughs and kisses, although they don't usually go together anymore. At least, I am not laughing at the kisses. I never was laughing at the kisses. I was laughing because I was bursting with happiness. Sam just does that to me.

In lieu of a mushy kissing picture, here we are in 2007.


I think I first need to defend myself for being a kissing booth since I was accused of "whoring it up."  I stand by that Halloween costume as a great costume for an unattached single guy.  The fact that it actually worked made it even more awesome.  I thought it was a funny gag, and then some attractive girls actually kissed me.  What could be better?  It's not like anyone's feelings got hurt, or they felt like I was taking advantage of them. I suppose this goes in to my feelings about NCMO which is an entirely different subject.

Anyway, back to the kiss...to this day I still have trouble reading Emily's signals, and since going in for a first kiss is always kind of a leap of faith, at least it always was for me, it took a lot of time for me to get the courage up.  I still can't remember what exactly it was that made me decide to go in for it and then, terror of terrors after we kissed she busted up laughing!  It's a good thing she had allies in my roommates otherwise I'm not sure I could have seen her again and felt confident in my abilities.  Long story short, I'm glad it happened, and I plan to do it again...Right...NOW!


First Haircut

We waited a long time to give Alex his first haircut. Partly because I like his hair long and frizzy, partly because I refuse to pay to get his hair cut, and partly because I wanted my mom to teach my how to cut his hair.

Alex seemed okay with the idea until we wrapped the drape around his neck. He started crying and would not sit still. He got a little bit better and was happy to be held by me at the end of the ordeal. He looks very cute but his hair is fine so it still sticks up. We saved some of his hair to put in his baby book. I cannot believe we have such a blond little boy!




If months were years, he'd almost be legal.

Alex is 17 months old today. That means there is only one more month until he gets to go to nursery! He has been getting warmed up though, because we have been sending him to nursery for the last two weeks we've been in Arizona. He loves that place.

I have not been very good about keeping track of things Alex has been up to but here are a few things I can think of right now:
-If we say, "Arms up" he will raise his arms in the air so we can take off his shirt.
-When he sees himself in a mirror, he gives the cheesiest grin.
-When he is running around, sometimes he will stop, lean his head back farther than should be possible, and grin.
-He loves throwing away his dirty diapers.
-He can suck through a straw.
-He brings me books and climbs into my lap for me to read to him.
-After we put on his shoes, he runs straight for the door because he knows it's time to go outside.
-He has learned how to turn off the stove and oven. It has happened multiple times that I've thought I've had something cooking, only to go back into the kitchen and see that he has turned off the stove.
-He blows on the flame coming from the stove burners while they are on.
-If he sees toy trucks, he kneels down by them, pushes them around, and "vroooms."
-He loves when we wipe his nose. If he sees us get a tissue, he runs over and sticks out his nose to us.
-He has learned how to climb up on our bed by using the bed frame and then the gap between the box springs and mattress as steps.
-He loves apples. He eats an entire apple every day.
-He can open any doors with handles.
-He thinks everything is a cell phone. He walks around talking into all sorts of objects.
-He called 911. My BlackBerry has an option while it is locked to make an emergency call. I was asleep, Alex decided it was an emergency that I wake up. It worked.

He ate a red gobstopper and it looked like his mouth was bleeding.

He got into the pantry and grabbed a handful of Nilla Wafers.

He really likes Egg Nog.

He is really thirsty. And skinny.

He is a messy eater but is getting better with feeding himself.

He is pretty pleased with himself.

He loves stuffed animals.

Kisses for his friend.

He does not like wearing this hat.

He still loves laptops and computers. He will type on them then reach over and move the mouse around then go back to typing.

He is obsessed with my shoes and tries to walk around with them on. Sam is worried.

He climbed on the table and got the gingerbread house off and then helped himself to it.

He loves all balls, especially ones that fit in his hands well. He would play catch all day long. His accuracy and distance are definitely improving but that won't stop him from running two feet away from you and throwing the ball at your face.

He does cool flips.

He doesn't like grapefruit.

He struggles while trying to walk in the snow. He struggles with walking on any uneven surface.

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