Monday, August 23, 2010

Sticking with New Year's Resolutions

Since the summer term ended, last week I decided I needed something to keep me busy-ish. So, I started the Insanity workouts. My sister-in-law has been doing them for a while, and she looks so great, I thought I'd give them a whirl. So, I'm doing a little workout journal, partly so I can actually keep track of my progress, and partly so I'll keep doing it after school starts again. Now, as of today, I have done one week of the program, I gained 2.5 lbs (which I'm saying is muscle gain) and then lost 1.5 lbs. I've also been measuring my waist to check for improvements there as well. I have lost an inch and a half around my waist, yay me! So, I'm going to keep at this, hopefully :-)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Say Cheese!

Last night I was up by myself (Brandon had gone to bed early b/c he had to wake up at the ungodly hour of 3:00 am) and I decided it was a good time to catch up on everyone's blogs. I especially enjoyed my cousin's blog, where in each of her posts she has some great story to tell about how cute her little girls are. This was brought back to my attention today when Evie came up to me with her empty cup of juice and said "Mas." Brandon and I immediately understood that she was asking for more--in Spanish. Since when does my little girl speak Spanish? I realize she's been watching Dora the Explorer, but c'mon?! She's not even speaking ENGLISH very well, much less SPANISH. Anywho, this incident has prompted me to make a list of things that my cutie pa-tutie little girl does that makes me love being her mother.

  1. She knows exactly what she wants. Even though she can't say it in words always, she still communicates quite effectively. She has no problem walking up to whomever, grabbing their hand, and pulling them to whatever it is she wants. Very direct.
  2. She says "please" and "thank you." It was no problem getting her to say "day du" once she gets what she wants, but bending her will to say "peash" was like pulling teeth. But now that she does say "peash" it's so cute that she walks up to me, says "Peash. Day du," and pulls me to what she wants. It's so endearing that I've trained her so well :-)
  3. Evie has developed an extremely hyper-hygienic streak. I have to be careful about letting her near the bathroom sink, because she'll HAVE to wash her hands. She is also constantly taking her shoes and socks off so that she can clean between her toes. It's the cutest thing EVER to watch.
  4. Evie is the most maternal child I've ever seen. Her favorite thing is to take care of her baby dolls, or even better, her little cousins, when they're available :-) I recently started finding perfectly clean diapers in the trash cans--they'd been unfolded and stuff, but clean. Came to find out, Evie takes out her fresh diapers and puts them on her babies, and changes their diapers on a regular basis. And she throws them away like a good mother. It's a good thing I found out what she was doing, otherwise we'd be buying diapers a bit more frequently.
  5. She's also quite the flirt. She totally knows how to work the system. It's a good thing I'm training to be a disciplinarian, otherwise I'd be melted butter ALL the time. She can look at something, assess the situation, and turn on the charm all in a matter of seconds. It's fantastic to watch her mind at work. She's so smart.
These are the immediate things that come to mind, but there are so, so, so many more reasons that I'm endeared to her. She's our little princess, and we love every minute we have with her. How can you not love this face?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Man oh man...

I have just found out about this awesome blog that I'm a little obsessed with now. This girl has taken on a "Julie and Julia" project and put a practical spin on it. She's given herself $365 for 365 days for 365 different clothing pieces. This chick is AMAZING!!! She is taking the year off from tradition shopping and is browsing flea markets and garage sales and altering AWFUL retro pieces into (for the most part) chic and stylin' outfits. She's completely gifted! I wish I was that cool.... I totally recommend checking out her blog http://newdressaday.wordpress.com/. Let me know what you think of her. I'm in awe of her talent and creativity. (super jealous).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

:-S

I've decided I will really need to pick up a hobby when I've graduated. Today I've gotten out of bed, done a lame work-out (because I suck), showered, did myself all up (kinda), cut a pineapple, and boiled eggs. Evie and I have read a couple of books together, watched several PBS shows together, and eaten breakfast and lunch. I played the piano a little before Evie kicked me off, and now she's taking her turn to pound like Jon Schmidt and yell "birt'day!" as many times and as loud as she can. I can only clean the apartment so much. What to do? I've ruled out going outside; I'm anti-sun burning my retinas. And if we do laps around the mall I'm bound to spend the little money we do have. :-S I probably shouldn't take Evie out anyway. She's got a runny nose; that's why she isn't in daycare today while I'm at class. If only I had my art stuff...


Monday, May 24, 2010

Good Advice

My uncle sent this article out to our family, and I really appreciated the content. It's good to hear over and over to help keep us as parents focused on what's really important. Please, enjoy.

"
Friday, May 21, 2010

The Most Important Job On Earth
by Alexander Green

Dear Reader,

My friends John and Marcy seem to have it all ... Great health, a beautiful family, a lovely home, plenty of money.

The problem? Their teenage kids are driving them completely nuts.

My wife Karen and I recently spent a weekend with them at their home in upstate New York.

"It's so exasperating," complained Marcy. "They don't study. They stay out until all hours. We never know where they are or whom they're with. Of course, it's uncool for them to answer a phone call from their parents when they're out, but they won't even text us back. It's infuriating."

"Who is supplying them with the cell phones, the cars and the money?" I asked.

"Well, who do you think?" she said, irritated just thinking about it.

I let it go at that. This conversation wasn't improving the evening and, besides, it was none of my business. But I couldn't help thinking how different things were growing up at my house.

I was one of four boys, fairly close in age. Like all boys, we acted up. Regularly. But if things started getting out of hand, my Dad would threaten to "lower the boom."

(I'm not sure any of us really knew what that meant, exactly. But from the look in his eye and the tone of his voice, it was clear that any "boom lowering" would not accrue to our advantage.)

That was when we were young, of course. But by the time you reach your teenage years, your relationship with your parents is pretty well established. And the way my brothers and I were raised, it would have been unthinkable to treat our Mom or Dad like a doormat.

Yet I have several friends who tell me they are experiencing pretty much the same thing as John and Marcy. They complain about their kids' poor grades and bad manners, their lack of respect and motivation, their general feeling of entitlement.

What I don't hear many of them saying is what role they as parents are playing in this state of affairs. Some of them might benefit from thinking a little less about fixing their kids and a little more about fixing the way they parent.

This is a touchy subject, I know. Everyone who has had a parent or a child - every living soul, in other words - is an expert on the subject. But could any job be more important?

As parents, it's our responsibility to educate our kids about the consequences of their behavior. This requires frequent communication (and sometimes punishment). Yet, according to a recent study, the average parent spends three and a half minutes per week in meaningful conversation with his or her children. No wonder so many kids are a mess.

What should parents communicate? For starters, guidance, understanding, and opinions about what is right and wrong. They need to stress the importance of education and hard work.

Most of all, parents need to communicate that their love is unconditional, but their approval is not. Kids need to understand that eventually we all sit down to a banquet of consequences.

And it's a tough world out there...

In 1940, for example, public school teachers claimed that the top seven disciplinary problems were talking out of turn, chewing gum, making noise, running in the halls, cutting in line, dress code infractions and littering. Today it is drug abuse, alcohol abuse, pregnancy, suicide, rape, robbery and assault.

We can speculate on the reasons for this - violent and sexually-charged television shows, movies and video games, millions of homes without fathers, or other factors - but there is no denying the general coarsening of the culture.

Columnist George Will recently remarked that, "Sixty years ago, parents' primary job was getting their kids to adopt the values of the culture. Today their primary job is getting them not to adopt the values of the culture."

Things really are tougher for parents now. But that only means good parenting is more important than ever. Yes, the schools will teach them reading, science, history and math (or should). But it is up to us to teach our kids about important things like work, health, money, relationships, and integrity.

Part of this, of course, is setting an example. Your kids may not hear much of what you say. But they are watching what you do like a hawk.

And while there are different approaches to parenthood, in my view there are certain core values all kids should be taught:

*Respect your elders.

*Two ears, one mouth: Listen twice as much as you talk.

*When you give your word, keep it. Always.

*Look people in the eye when you talk to them.

*Stand up for yourself.

*Be kind to animals.

*Smile, it don't cost nothing. (Bad grammar, good lesson)

*If you don't have the time to do it right, how will you find the time to do it over?

*Spend less than what you earn. Save and invest the difference.

*Always say "please" and "thank you," "yes, sir" and "no, ma'am."

*Understand that the workplace is a hierarchy, not a democracy.

*If you borrow something, return it in better condition than you got it.

*Learn to think for yourself.

*If you don't know something, look it up.

*Cigarettes don't make you look cool. They make you look stupid.

*Drugs deliver short-term highs and lifelong lows.

*Sex is great but unwanted pregnancies and STDs are not.

*When you need help, ask for it. When others need help, give it.

*Doing the right thing always has its reward.

*If you mess up, apologize.

*Anything worth having is worth working for.

*Do what you love for a living and the money will follow. (Not enough to make you rich necessarily, but enough to live an authentic life.)

*You don't need someone to complete you. Complete yourself.

*Successful people make a habit of doing the things unsuccessful people don't want to do.

*Hold the door for people - men and women alike.

*Accept responsibility for yourself.

*If you face a difficult decision, ask, "How will this make me feel about myself?"

*And never forget: Non illigitamus carbonundrum. (That's Latin for "Don't let the bastards get you down.")

This is just a partial list, of course. Eighteen years is about how long it takes to learn what we need to know to become responsible adults. After all, most of us don't start making good decisions until after we've screwed up making so many bad ones.

In the end, parents only have so much ability to guide their children's behavior. Scientists still don't know how much we're shaped by nature versus our environment - and probably never will.

But preparing our kids for adulthood is an awesome responsibility, the most important job on earth. So it behooves us - and society as a whole - to do everything in our power to do it well.

Family is the cornerstone of society, the ultimate economic and spiritual unit of every civilization. Twenty-five hundred years ago, Confucius said, "The father who does not teach his son his duties is equally guilty with the son who neglects them." (This is just as true of mothers, especially today when so many kids are growing up without fathers around.)

Parenthood is and will always be a sacred task. When our kids are grown, they will have to deal with the consequences of their choices. No parent wants to live with regrets about what he or she "should have done."

For most of us, our families are what we care about most. I know that if I felt I had failed as a father, no success in any other area could make up for it.

Yet each family is unique and no one will ever know the full reality of your situation.

Still, imperfect as we are, there is great satisfaction imprinting the best of us on our kids and doing whatever we can to give them a leg up in our competitive world, knowing that, however we fell short in one area or another, we did the best we could.

Carpe Diem,

Alex

Have "Two Cents?" Just send your thoughts, ideas or comments to editor@spiritualwealth.com.

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Alexander Green

Alexander Green is the Investment Director of The Oxford Club. The Oxford Club Communique, whose portfolio he directs, is ranked among the top 5 investment letters in the nation for 10-year performance by the independent Hulbert Investment Digest. Alex is the author of The New York Times bestseller "The Gone Fishin' Portfolio: Get Wise, Get Wealthy... and Get On With Your Life" and, more recently, "The Secret of Shelter Island: Money and What Matters." He has been featured on Oprah & Friends, CNBC, National Public Radio (NPR), Fox News and "The O'Reilly Factor," and has been profiled by The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, Forbes, and Kiplinger's Personal Finance, among others. He currently lives in Charlottesville, Virginia and Winter Springs, Florida with his wife Karen and their children Hannah and David. "

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Graduation

Unfortunately this is not an academic graduation with degrees, caps or gowns, but we do have tangible proof of it. This is a graduation from living with and off of family, to becoming independent adults, again :-) Yay! We signed a contract for a new apartment this Thursday and we will be moving at the beginning of June. Pretty excited. So, if anyone wants to help us move (wink wink) let us know, and we will inform you of the official moving date.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

3 years and counting...

Today is mine and Brandon's 3rd anniversary. If we were going by Seinfeld, we've reached "a long time [to be married]." However, it doesn't feel like a long time. It does feel like an accomplishment, one well worth the effort.

To my handsome prince: I love you.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Blah Blah Blah (Bob Loblaw)

This post is mostly a to-do list and a complaint. A brief disclaimer: I realize that this is my fault and I also know that this is for the greater good. I have a short, sweet, week and a half break in between semesters, and I was looking forward to a nice lull as opposed to the chaotic hum drum of school life. Instead, I've found a whole load of stuff that I still need to do before the semester starts. Daycare stuff, intern stuff, buying books stuff...and a whole ton of other junk. I see being a good church going Mormon as the same way. You do everything you should as a kid/adolescent to get to the temple...and it isn't happily ever after. I mean it's happy, but now you have to work even harder to protect what you've created. Sometimes I wish the people in fairy tales would die or get twinkled at the end. That's a real happily ever after. No lists, no chores, no more needed progression....Oh well :-)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Family Pictures! YAY!



Here's our updated Palmer look. Hope you guys enjoy them! Thanks again Natalie! We love our new family pictures


























Monday, January 18, 2010

Since Christmas

With the new year, most people make resolutions based on their experiences over the past year. I think this year we're basing our resolutions on what's happened the last 20 days.

During the days surrounding Christmas and after, we noticed that Evie would get kind of fussy when we'd lift her right arm to dress her, so we kept an eye on it to see if anything was wrong, and we didn't notice any other discomfort. New Year's Eve came around, and Brandon noticed that Evie's forearm had started to swell, so I took her to the Instacare where Brandon's mom works. The doctor looked her over, and decided that we'd get some x-rays to make sure nothing was wrong.

Revelation: Evie had broken both her radius and ulna. How: we have no idea.

After a good look at her x-rays, the doctor wrapper her arm up in a splint, and Evie got to try her first sucker, which she enjoyed a little too much. After the splint set, the doctor told us to go to the ER, as the orthopedic surgeon was there already for another little girl's broken arm.

Brandon and I took Evie to the ER, and were lucky enough to stay there for really no reason for about 3 hours. The ER doctor came and questioned us, as an unknown broken arm for a 15-month old is a bit suspicious. After he questioned us, they had a social worker come in, which was also fun. An hour after that interview, a couple of nurses came in for some more x-rays, and then they left. Half an hour after that, the orthopedic surgeon came in and told us to schedule and appointment the next week so that he could put Evie's arm in a cast. Finally, we left.

The following Tuesday we went in to have Evie's arm cast, but alas, it was not to be. When Evie's arm had been splinted originally, her bones were relatively straight, and there should have been no problem with casting it. However, her bones had moved during the few days in between doctors visits. So, we scheduled a "surgery" for the next day. It wasn't really a surgery, we just had to make another appointment, because they gave Evie and anesthetic while they set her bones and put her in a cast.

Finally, we'd taken care of poor Evie's arm, and we've learned that our little girl is quite the trooper. Here are some pictures of her the last couple of weeks using her arm like nothing's holding her back. On an unrelated note, she's developed quite the dancing style ;-)

This is Evie at Christmas, using her broken right arm.

Still using the broken arm

Here's my little cutie in her splint and sling

The hospital had cute little surgery clothes for her to wear

And this is my baby after the procedure, still heavy on the narcotics :-) I can't remember the last time she slept in my arms. It's been awhile.



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One of the people Brandon works with gave him some spicy latino candy, and Evie found the caramel sucker covered in Cayenne Pepper. Not even phased.
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