Friday, August 26, 2011

All Gussied Up

Edgar's sister Elsa got married last week and we finally got some family pictures taken with our new edition--who is none too new. He's already one, big as can be, and loves photo shoots about as much as his old man. Poor Lili's dress was supposed to be lilac-colored, but there was a mistake made somewhere along the line and the little girls' dresses came to us in pink--5 days before the wedding and from China. There was no time to send them back. Her dress was also about a foot too long. Thanks to a lot of help from my sister Marianne (okay, she finally just did it for me after I had to take out what I had done), I was able to hem it. The website from China advertised "Too many colors! Too many sizes!" Unfortunately, that proved all too true.

I also had a tricky run-in with a dress from China (different company). We hosted a foreign-exchange dress in lilac for a little over a week. It was a nice enough dress, but it didn't fit me. I e-mailed the company (there was no customer service phone number) and explained that I couldn't even get the dress zipped up. I had measured myself and was confident that I'd ordered the right size. They sent back an e-mail which said, in essence "prove it." I had to provide a picture of Edgar trying to zip the dress up on me. He had to hold a tape measure, showing that the dress was too small--not that I was too big. After that, they agreed to consider a return. I wasn't sure I'd have time to exchange the dress (it took 20+ days to arrive from China) and the shipping was costly, so I tried to sell the dress on ebay. I took a lovely picture of it on a hanger, but the hanger didn't do it justice. I tried copying the model's picture from their website, but it would only allow me to copy the bottom right hand corner. So I called Marianne (which is what anyone with that skinny sister in the neighborhood would do--she bails me out regularly and particularly when it comes to foreign formal wear) and asked her to pose for a picture. She's a good sport and was willing to do it. When she came over, I put the dress down on the counter. I didn't realize I had spilled oil there that morning when I had made pancakes. Marianne quickly noticed the dress was stained. Would anyone want to buy a stained lilac dress? I was distraught. We went ahead with the pictures--we were able to zip the dress up on slender Marianne. After she went home I noticed some of Edgar's orange soap that he uses to get grease off his mechanic's hands. Would that work on filmy foreign fabric? What did I have to lose? Lo and behold! It took that oil right out, leaving no evidence of my dirty counter! I confidently posted the dress on ebay. I had the option of inviting my facebook friends to view it. I chose not to--forgive me if you would have wanted that lovely gown. Days went by and then a week and nobody was remotely interested in my too-small evening wear. I decided to send it back to China. The company had kindly offered to pay up to half the price of the dress for it to be altered. I asked them to keep the dress and to give me what they would have to alter it. They surprised me by refunding the full cost of the dress and the cost of shipping it back to them on that slow boat. Actually, I speak too soon, They have said they will give me a refund, but I haven't seen it yet. In any case, it was fun to learn a little bit about Chinese culture by having that dress stay with us for a little while. She seemed to enjoy American culture as well, and she picked up English very quickly.

And now, lest you think Edgar doesn't ever smile, I captured him doing this when he didn't realize anyone was watching. Here he is with his brothers Sergio and Osvaldo:

Doesn't that smile look good on him?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Feliz Dia de Las Madres

While I was looking for a Mother's Day card for my mother-in-law today, I saw one that said, "You're not my mom, you're my wife." I didn't read the inside, but I thought it could aptly say, "So why are you the one buying my mom a Mother's Day card?"

Tomorrow is Liliana's ballet recital. I was going to buy tickets for it tonight. I called Edgar to see if he thought his mom would like to come with us. Now, since we're going to town anyway, we had thought Edgar would take me to dinner for Mother's Day--his idea :). Well, I called Edgar.

"Do you think your mom would like to go with us tomorrow?"

"Oh yeah. I think she really would. Is that okay with you?"

"Yeah." Why wouldn't it be? "It might be long. There will be a lot of little girls dancing to a lot of little songs."

"Oh." He wasn't sure if he should go on. "I thought you wanted my mom to come to dinner with us."

"Oh. Um. No. Do you want her to?"

He knew it was a loaded question. "Well, I know she would like to."

What could I say? A date with my husband and mother-in-law isn't quite the Mother's Day gift I was envisioning. A date with my husband who wanted his mom to be there too wasn't really what I had in mind either.

We were planning to have someone in Edgar's family babysit for us while we went on the date. It turns out they're mostly busy getting ready for a niece and nephew's First Communion on Saturday and our last-minute plea for a babysitter is ill-timed.

"We could ask my mom to babysit," he offered. He hadn't asked her out yet. "We'd have to bring Ammon with us."

Edgar's mom has a bad back and can't lift our overly-chubby (though adorable) baby. I've been on "dates" before with a baby. We take turns walking around and dancing with the baby and eating our food--cold. We don't get a chance to talk much or hold hands or anything. It's almost as fun as dating a mother-in-law.

In a moment of generosity, I said, "You know. It is Mother's Day. Why don't you take your mom to dinner and I'll take the kids to McDonald's and Wal-mart?" I know, either one would be bad enough, but I'm looking for martyr status here, so I threw both of them in.

He was smart enough to put up a fight and say he had wanted to take me. I made him promise to take me another time and he finally called his mom and acted like his plan all along was for just the two of them to enjoy a Mother's Day meal. He gave me a big hug and said, "She sounds really excited."

Ruben, who has been begging to go to Wal-mart (we don't get out much) gave me one of his big hugs and said, "I love you, Mom!"

As I looked at his dirty little glasses, his hair stiff with dried sweat, and his sunburned cheeks, I wondered what kind of woman would someday snatch him from me. I hope she's the kind of girl that will let him take me to dinner for Mother's Day--especially if I'm alone like Edgar's mom. Tonight I feel generous. I might not even file this experience away to bring up in the future when it could be advantageous . . . Time will tell. In the meantime, I'll remind myself that my dear mother-in-law has still cooked and washed socks for my husband for twice as long as I have. Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Liliana's Birthday and Baptism

That's my swollen hand and my sick little Lili. These are pictures of pictures--I can't figure out our scanner and Edgar's at work. See, I told you it would get worse.
She was dangerously small--2 lbs., 1 oz. and 14 inches long.

Now she's a big girl who knows how to read scriptures! Lili with Grandma and Grandpa Dahl and the scriptures they gave her for her 8th birthday.This is how we usually do Lili's hair. She wanted to decorate her own birthday cake. She did a great job. It was easier to let her do that since I knew I would get to do her party cake all by myself. I'm a little psycho about cakes, which is a dumb thing to be into since they are very, very temporary.

Cousin Desi did Lili's hair. Isn't that something? She is so talented! This is the birthday cake for the party. I spent about six hours on it. And where's that cake I put so much into now? You don't want to know. Wouldn't it be better to be into sewing or painting or something that lasts? Even learning a few hair-dressing skills would do more for us than cake-decorating.

Since I did spend so much time on the cake, perhaps it deserves a little more press:

Here are the guests (and lovely assistants) of the party. It was a hat/hygiene kit party. Desi helped the girls decorate little straw hats, Jessica Ballard helped them assemble hygiene kits (in lieu of gifts, we asked girls to bring things for hygiene kits), and Liberty served food to everyone. It was the easiest birthday party we've had. It helps that my daughter and her friends are getting older--and that I have such helpful helpers.
With such a winning smile, who needs a wish?

Baptism Day--Deseret did Lili's hair again. Edgar's family wanted to know who did it. I kept trying to tell them it was me. "No, Olivia, really, who did it?" They know me.
All the fam--the boys got new sweaters for the occasion.

Lili in her new baptism dress.

Edgar, Liliana, and Abuelita--Lili got baptized in the same dress I was baptized in--my mom made it for me.
My parents with Lili.

My grandma Jaynes, Edgar, Lili and me.

Morgan, Liliana, and Carolina. We had dinner at the church after the baptism.
Lili's friends gave her new pajamas and a Pillow Pet. (I keep calling it a Pet Pillow much to Lili's consternation.) That night when I tucked her in, she said, "Now I'm really a member of the Church!" She's not faking it anymore.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Holiday Brunch, True Grit, A Baptism, and a 20 Pound Baby!

I meant to post pictures of my annual ladies' holiday brunch earlier, but better late than never, right? We missed Grandma Dahl, Thelma, and Emma, but Thelma did influence me. I got out some glasses that were wedding gifts because I knew Thelma would have wanted all of the glasses to match, and we didn't have ten matching glasses in our cupboards.The table, complete with matching glasses.

We had a great time. I love the women in our family! Next year, Lili will be hosting with me. The brunch is for ladies 8 and older.The guests.
Johnson Girls and Melanee with the brunch favors.
Grandma, Me, and Katie
Mama, Marianne, Me, and Grandma
Jennifer and Baby Ammon (this was taken at the Johnsons' New Year's Eve Party)

Melanee and Ammon had our family for Christmas. They gave us this lovely rendition of our last name (please note I am sporting my Christmas apron which I only wear at the holiday brunch!).
Melanee also made scarves and hats for each of our kids--they love them!
Was there ever a better-looking group of Ammons?

For some reason (heredity?) my two oldest children are going through a True Grit/"John Waynes" (as Ruben calls him) stage. Naturally, Ruben is named in part for Reuben "Rooster" Cogburn, but when my dad used to call Ruben "Rooster," he didn't like it. I'm pretty sure Ruben won't have a problem with it anymore. He may need a little help with his wardrobe though. This is the best he and Lili could do. After watching True Grit at least 5 times this last week, they wanted to look the part:
Lili's Wal-mart red cowboy hat and her purple plastic belt might not win any awards, but she's doing a little better than her Davy Crockett/Bob the Builder counterpart. I enjoyed having True Grit in the background and it's been good to review the origins of much of my family's conversation.
Marcos wanted to get in on the action. Can you tell we've just been studying about the Anti-Nephi-Lehites who buried their weapons of war in our family Book of Mormon study? We really have been!
Our nephew Morgan was baptized on January 1--a great start to the New Year:
Robert and Morgan
Morgan and his dadsSome of the good-looking kids at the baptism: Carolina, Marcos, Lili, Morgan, Ruben, Luke, and McKenli

In other news, our baby is BIG! The little guy weighs 20 pounds now. When Lili and Ruben were one, they didn't weigh 20 pounds and Marcos was 22 pounds at 18 months old. It's fun to have a chubby one--especially when he's such a pleasant little fellow.
It's not as easy for Marcos to hold him as it used to be:
Finally, Edgar and I are celebrating 9 years of matrimonial bliss today. We are taking the carpool of ballet students (Lili, Liberty, Carolina, & McKenli) to Elko for their class and going to the Star Basque restaurant for dinner. Here's to 99 more!