Sunday, April 21, 2013

Color Run

Kim, Marci, Lindsey, Emma, Michelle, and Rileigh - Before the color bombs
 I did the Color Me Rad 5K with some of my favorite homegirls.  
 The colors weren't exactly what I was expecting.  Running through the fog was almost as fun as it was terrifying.  I would start out laughing and then as the cloud surrounded me my enthusiasm morphed into a claustrophobic, I can't see where I am going kind of terror.  Just as the panic would set in I would emerge into blue skies and continue jogging.
The race route was packed with all kinds of people, many who wouldn't traditionally be considered runners, and there was no timer which led to a casual and fun atmosphere.  
The best part was when someone had a great idea that we would all join hands as we crossed the finish line.  Unfortunately we latched onto each other way too early and looked like a bunch of nerds.  Have you ever tried to run while holding hands with two other ladies?  It ain't easy.
What I paid for in self respect I more than made up in the laughing that followed.  I just couldn't stop giggling. 
I don't get much time to just be a girl hanging out with her buddies and somehow in the moment I reverted back to my Jr. High self.  This proved to be liberating, but when it was over I was glad to go back to being a boring, albeit colorful, mom.
Thanks to my pals for the good time.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

An Artist

I have been keeping some of Rocky's artwork for a post and it is time for her big show.
The first piece isn't as much of a drawing as it is a note.  She interpreted it for me and this is what it says,
"Dear Mommy, You are the best mommy ever.  I love you."
I wanted to include this so that I had proof that she said it.

The Snowman
 This next one is a Valentine that Rocky was given a day or two ago, despite the fact that it is April. 
It was given to her by her cute little friend Joel, who is also a part of this trio of royalty.

 I included Joel's note even though I knew it wasn't part of Rocky's repertoire because I wanted to establish that she does know what a love letter should look like.
Brandon was quite puzzled when she gave him this "Valentine."

When he asked her what it was she said that it is a rotten potato with a rotten eye.  I wanted to know if there was some secret message so I asked her why she gave it to her daddy.  She just said that she thought he would like it.  She was right because he really did.
If that isn't art, I don't know what is.

Self Portrait


(Helmet - Paul's $20, frog boots and layer dress - Hand-me-downs $0, Sprinkles-Dollar General $1)
Daisy went out wearing this the other day and contrary to what one would expect, this made her one of the cool kids in Eugene.  The boots are self-explanatory because nobody can be hip with wet feet.  When I was little the only children who wore bike helmets were "special".  I think that special kids are great, nothing against them, but in this town the kids who wear helmets are the lucky ones that have bikes.  There are always a bunch of them wearing them at the park.  This is where Daisy's shrewd sense of fashion came in because she doesn't have a bike.  It is like those ladies who wear glasses even though they don't need them because it is stylish.
She accessorized with her "pet" Sprinkles.

In other Daisy news she is potty training which is an exciting time for any mother.  She has actually been quite a champ with very few accidents.  The problem that arises is that she tries to bargain with me about rewards.  She will tell me that she has to go and then stand by the bathroom.  Then the bargaining begins.  I'll start with a sticker and she'll counter bid for a sticker and a cookie and then after a pretty intense exchange she usually ends up with a sticker and one fruit snack, and we are both happy.  I read somewhere that you shouldn't let kids tell you what the rewards should be because then they don't think they have to do what you ask.  I also read somewhere that the best thing you can do with your child is to teach them to compromise.  So there you have it, I'm either the best mom or the worst.  Either way, my kid is potty trained.

Rosy's Stats

 Our little Rose Bud is growing so quickly.  Since she is 7 months we figured that it was time for her to go to her 6 month checkup.  She weighs just under 16 pounds and is 25 inches long which puts her in the 25th percentile for both. 
 You can't really see them in the photo but she has two little bottom teeth and she loves to smile in a way that shows them off.  She also does this funny cooing sound and I have filled up my camera's memory card unsuccessfully trying to get a video. 
She always wants to be on her belly and can roll both ways but seems startled when she falls onto her back.
She is all about enjoying her solid foods and is happiest when she gets to eat something she can feed to herself.
We love her.  She is such a fun baby.

Brandon's Questions

There are always several volunteers to help Daddy with his homework.
If you have talked to me in the past month or so you most likely heard about Brandon's Qualifying Exams.  He was given a question from a committee of professors and had two weeks to respond and then the next day was given another.  I'm sure you can imagine how fun it was for all of us.
Then, like in Disney's Cinderella he had to get started on his 'regular chores' and take the finals for his classes.
He worked very hard and we are all amazed that he was able to do it all.  Because this blog isn't just for the entertainment of my millions of readers, but also doubles as our family history I wanted to record his questions.  If you are squeamish about literary jargon just skip to the next post.  Or, if you are up to a challenge go ahead and write the answers.  You can send them to me via email and I will print them off and chuck them into the recycle bin because the only thing that is probably more boring than these questions is their answers (with the exception, of course, of Brandon's papers because they were probably thrillingly insightful.  I didn't get to read them because he was still working on them hours after I went to bed and then turned them in before I had a chance.)

1. To what extent can self-translation be considered an exceptional case within the broader realm of literary translation?  If second-party translation (i.e. translation done by and individual other than the original author) can be considered a practice entailing divided authorship or authority over a text, and if much of the field of translation studies conceives of translation in this way, how does the fact and practice of self-translation challenge some of the central paradigms of that field?  Demonstrate throughout your response that you have a clear grasp of the theoretical framework that will support your dissertation.

2.  Urayoán Noel is a Puerto Rican poet whose poetry, in Spanish and English, presented in a bilingual format in Kool Logic/Lógico kool, playfully and ironically explores the tensions and the symbolic charge of both languages.  In relation to the Dirty War, and his exile as an Argentinian Jew, Juan Gelman's Dibaxu also establishes a very nuanced political critique and a statement about exile and love, through his poetry in Ladino and Spanish.  Choose at least two poems with their two linguistic versions by both Noel and Gelman, respectively, and through a comparative analysis discuss the connections and disconnections between these two very different aesthetic projects.  What is the importance of the act of self-translation?  How are exile and displacement represented in these two books of poetry?  You must develop a strong argument in your close reading of the texts, and place the poems in a broader political, historical, and literary context.

He will have to defend his responses later this month in front of his committee so send all your good vibes his way.  Then, if all goes well he will be able to actually start writing his dissertation.

Bean Town

I don't spend very much time blogging about things in the news but this week two really sad things happened and they both reminded me about my time as a missionary in Boston.
The first is one that everyone knows about.  Two bombs exploded during the marathon which killed 3 people and injured over 100.  I, along with everyone else, was horrified.
It struck me harder than usual news stories and I think it is because I have tender feeling for the city and also because I am a runner.

Elders Maldonado, Hatch, Fryer and Anderson
The second tragedy wasn't mentioned in the national news.  One of the Elders that I served with passed away.  Elder Hatch was my zone leader during my early days as a missionary.  At that time I felt like I was unskilled with my Spanish as well as in the basic day to day duties of a sister missionary.  He acted as an older brother and truly mentored me at a time when I was feeling homesick and vulnerable.  He was a great leader, and a true friend and his example had a huge impact on my entire mission.  In the picture is also Elder Anderson who was another good friend that passed away right after finishing his mission.
I haven't kept in touch with many of the friends from that part of my life and I wonder if it is sort of because I want to keep my memories like this picture.  Frozen forever in a special time where all my worries were about how I could help others.  I think that when you share spiritual experiences with others you build very special friendships and those of us who served together in the MBM will always be close.  While I was a missionary it was the hardest thing I had ever done, but when I look back all I can remember are sweet moments of love and testimony.  So I am sharing this photo on this blog so that I can always look back and remember my mission brothers, and feel grateful for the opportunity that I once had to wear the black name tag.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


 Jilly brought her little chickens to show them off.  They are kind of too big to be considered chicks now but they stole the hearts of my babies.  They are even bigger now and look like awkward teenagers.
It is kind of shame that babies can't stay small forever.

Bonus:  I usually don't spend much time looking at the stats for this blog but I thought I would check it out because I was feeling bored since there is no Downton Abbey tonight.  I looked at the Google search section which shows how people found the blog.  In the last 24 hours it was linked twice to "amputated leg."  Man, those dudes were probably so disappointed.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


 These photos are to document the day that Rocky had the biggest meltdown a kid has ever made over a stubbed toe.  It was no big deal because it was at the pool where the only people I knew were all my friends who had met there for a playgroup.
In her defense the wound was quite substantial and the blood was all over the side of the pool, but the fit that Rocky had was more on the scale of an amputated leg.  After a ridiculous display of bawling it turned into hysterically screaming that she wanted to go home...for 20 minutes.  It was to the point that everyone at the pool was feeling uncomfortable, the kids, their parents, the employees, and even the people doing laps on the other side of the complex.  In these situations I always find myself looking around and trying to figure out who is going to solve the problem and am horrified when I realize that the answer is me.  I did what any other mother would do, left my infant and three year old in the pool with my friends and took Rocky into the bathroom to beat her.  Well, that is what I felt like doing.  I finally told her that if she didn't get herself under control she was going to lose her Friday night movie.  The movie night is not something I normally use as a threat but I was out of ideas.  Leaving was out of the question because the tantrum that Daisy would have thrown about leaving would have probably been just as loud.  The second I mentioned the movie the screaming stopped, the tears stopped, and a poised little girl walked out with her harried mom and got into the pool like nothing had happened.
I wonder what the other moms thought had happened.
Crisis solved.  
 This photo is a perfect example of how to manipulate a blog.  They really were playing happily with the Play Doh when I took this shot.  What I didn't take a picture of was the psycho mom that yelled at them a few minutes later for mixing the colors.  I left the room for a minute to use the bathroom (something that I should know is not allowed for a mother of three kids under five).  When I came back the Play Doh was ruined forever. I'm not so sure about the details because all I can remember is unfettered rage.  I may or may not have thrown a huge ball of mixed colors across the kitchen.  After I started to calm down I put myself in time out and had to repeat to myself that it is okay if colors get mixed as long as they are having fun.
Maybe this is where Rocky gets her fire.
I still feel slightly justified in my anger because it wasn't just the colors that were mixed.  It was the old dough with the new dough.  The crumbly nasty stuff with the beautiful, pliable, soft and vibrant freshly opened birthday stuff.  Seriously?  Who is with me?
I think this situation is a mistake that none of us will make again.

 It is in moments like these that I cling to this little girl who is too little to even recognize a color, let alone mix it with another.  Her rebellion is surely on the way but for now I will enjoy the fact that if she does something annoying it isn't on purpose.
 And now for the big finish.  Just skip the first part and look at this and you will see how happy we all are.

 It is all part of the truth - the good, the bad, and the ugly.  It is just a lot more fun to remember the good.

Spring Break in the Promised Land

 Rosy did her best to suck up to Hayden because even at the tender age of 6 months she knows that he is the coolest member of the family.  I would feel sort of guilty for saying that, but it is kind of general knowledge among the Rigbys.  That being said, they are all cool so that just speaks to the power of the H.  She is trying to get an in with him as an apprentice so she can study his ways.

If anyone is looking for trouble you need look no further than this armchair full of it.  I don't know how so much spunk came in the form of three small girls but in about 10 years, just watch out.  They will be especially fatal if they continue to be so beautiful.  I don't know who is going to get it worse, their parents, or the boys that fall in love with them.
 We had the BEST time at the Weber State game.  The Dee Events Center was more packed than I have ever seen it and the crowd was wild.
 It was a great game that stayed close enough to be exciting, even for these little wildcats.  Of course it probably helped that they had their grandparents to keep them company.

 Spring at the Howard house means that it is time to bust out the trampoline.  This is another one of those photos that isn't flattering at all but it will live on this blog as proof for my children that at one point I wasn't always just an old lady.
 For weeks before the trip to Utah I went on and on about Rosy and how she is just the sweetest baby ever and how she just smiles all day long.
When we arrived she had a fever, a runny nose and a consistent whine.  She bawled almost the whole week.  I didn't even know how to take care of her because it was so out of character.
When we got home the other day she was still crying.  I was worried that she was just starting to show her real personality.  Then a couple of nights ago I looked in her mouth and she has two teeth.  Once they cut through she has hardly made a peep and has gone back to her sweet self.  Part of me is still bummed that the trip was so hard but the other part is just relieved that she is cute again.

The Big Wedding

I am not exaggerating when I say that this was the most exciting wedding I've ever attended.  I got to give a toast.  This is basically what I said.
Emily was my first friend.  We would say that we were best friends and have sleepovers.  Every year we used to watch the Miss. America pageant together.  As we got older we had different hobbies but she was always the truest kind of loyal friend and we had so much fun together.  She lived across the road from Mark and we had all kinds of adventures with him and his friends.  When we were small we would create battle plans to protect ourselves from their cooties and then when we were older we spent more time shooting hoops in Emily's driveway and sitting in the lawn chairs telling jokes and stories.  In high school it was pretty clear even though it was never said that the two of them had something special.  Then there were years of long distances and growing and splitting and re-uniting but I always knew that they were the classic example of two people who just belonged together.
The wedding was beautiful and they were both so happy that it was impossible not to have a great time.  They were married in the new Brigham City temple and it was just such an honor to watch my best friend marry her best friend.

This was a really cute older couple that we saw outside the temple who just happened to be holding one very sweet baby.
 I got to relive one of my favorite high school traditions with my two other best friends...hanging out without kids.
I made this blanket for the happy couple and I think it turned out cool.  I started it at Christmas and I still barely finished in time.  While I worked on it I thought about how awesome I think both of them are and how much I appreciate the friendship they have given me.  I know it is overly sentimental but I hope if they ever use it they'll feel my gratitude.


 We really Eastered it up this year with three egg hunts and new dresses to boot.  Daisy was the lucky girl who found the King Egg at Abi's hunt.  It is a good thing too because we've been using the loot as bribery motivation for our current project, potty training...but that is another blog altogether.
 Since these two are such egg fiends we colored some ourselves.  I wanted to get a photo of them actually working but when the camera comes out, so do the poses.  I'm not sure there are many modeling agencies that are really looking for someone who can create the appearance of a pot belly where none exists, but if you hear of anything, let me know because I have got the girl for them.
 After the second hunt they realized that they had to eat all the candy they could in the first five minutes before it was taken away by their mean parents.
Brandon found the cutest pink egg that was out there.
 The third hunt was with the Isaacsons and it was like kid paradise.  There were tons of treats, toys, hot dogs and cousins.
I was taking care of Rosy when the actual egg hunt began but my cousin Casey told me that he had been keeping an eye on Rocky.  She was just taking the candy out and leaving the plastic eggs behind.  I don't know if she was trying to reserve basket space or what but her strategy made for some dud eggs for her cousins to find.  There was also some baby food hidden for the little ones and when she came across that she just threw it aside and hurried onto something more appealing, like Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs.
Daisy  wouldn't even look by herself but insisted that Jill stay with her.  This turned out to be a huge advantage.  The Isaacson tradition is that at the end of the hunt all the kids turn their loot in and the adults separate it out so everyone ends up with the same stuff.  Daisy dutifully turned in her basket but then Jill took her to the spot where she had hidden a bunch of gummy Krabby Patties that hadn't been found.  While the other kids were waiting around Daisy was filling her pockets with illicit treats, and I do mean that she was literally hiding them in her pockets.  I think she ended up with 6 or 7.  I'm thinking that the family might be glad that my kids will probably not make it to another Easter picnic again for several years.

I know this photo has horrible quality but it makes me laugh every time I look at it and I think that has got to be worth something.  

 Rosy and her cutest Tio Jared.

And just when you thought that Easter was over there was another big treat from their Eugene abuelos, los Valverde.
I know I should have gotten rid of the red in Daisy's eye but it wasn't a trick of the camera.  It was really there.  All that candy brings out the evil in that girl.

And we kept up our tradition of totally failing at getting a photo where we all look nice.  I keep thinking that it will be easier as they get older, but really it just gets harder.  Thanks for the cute dresses Oma.