I'll bet all of you who are familiar with Signing time are singing the song right now! We'd borrowed a signing time DVD when he was around 5 months but basically just learned the signs ourselves and tried to work with him face to face rather than use the DVD. The signs we used a lot were "More, All done and eat/food" but he never really did anything with it. Hyrum always is begging for our food when we eat dinner and grabs at it if he gets anywhere near it. Derek had him on his lap during dinner and Hyrum was ravenous so we gave him some tastes as we dutifully signed "more". Then all of a sudden he started clapping. I didn't think anything of it at first but then it hit me...I wonder if he's doing the sign for "more". He kept doing it- not consistantly of course but it's was a start!!!

As the days go by we are seeing that sometimes he puts his hands together by his mouth and then puts one hand to his mouth. He may be learning yet!

He claps/signs "more" with one hand closed and one hand open as you can see. It might just be a boy thing. :) He has started to wave as well! We still need to work on pointing to things and pictures in books. I'll let you know how it goes.

I haven't done a Hyrum update lately and a lot has been happening all of a sudden. At his 9 month check up they asked me if he was clapping or waving or saying "Dadadadadadadadada" Horrified I said "No" He was banging things together but not his hands. He'd make all kinds of sounds but they all were squeals or moans or what sounded like a lot of complaining but no real consonant sounds. I got right to work. (He was 19lbs 9 oz and 29 in long if anyone was wondering)

But this is what he said...

*Side note: Isn't it fun to relive this time of life with your kids. Where in the adult world can you just blow raspberries for this long. As parents you can!

I worried so much about it. I said "Dada, Mama, Papa, baba, lala, wawa, gaga, nana..." until I was blue in the face and nothing. We realized that we never really waved to him so of course he wasn't waving he didn't have any concept of it. All he wanted to do was stand and walk around holding our fingers. He climbed up on everything. His scoot was looking a lot more like a army crawl and he'd get up on his knees to climb. He'd even stand on his own for 15-20 seconds but nothing even close to a word. Then one day as he worked his way from toy to toy across the room I heard a beautiful sound. I didn't recognize it at first because it was in his high pitched squealing voice but when I listened it was unmistakable. "Didididididididi!" Which quickly morphed into "Deh deh deh" "Dei dei dei" "Da da da" Sometimes even sounding like "Daddy" Derek was naturally thrilled but we were sure he didn't know what he was talking about.

Here's a little visual of his new accomplishments.

*Yes we are bursting at the seems. I simply have NOWHERE to put that beautiful cradle that Derek's brother made us, nor the 72 hour kit I got for Christmas. Save, save, save!

Today is my big sisters birthday so here are 33 things I love about Holly.

1. She makes me laugh harder than any person I know. To the point of literally rolling on the floor tears streaming down my face, can't catch my breath laughing.
2. She writes the funniest blog posts ( just an example)
3. She doesn't take herself too seriously! (can you guess which one she is?)

4. She visits me a lot ( they've been out here at least 4 times since we've been here)
5. She takes amazing pictures

6. She is SOO creative! She helps me with ideas in callings that I have.
7. She does SOOOO much and stays sane.
8. She's a domestic GODDESS!!! ( she made a bunny costume for her daughter in one week!!)

9. She has adorable kids! She loves them and they love her.
10. My son loves her too. And she loves him. ( Is this sounding like a primary song? " We are a happy family!!")
11. She remembers what I remember (We saw trees that walked...)
12 She is alway so supportive and impressed with what I do.
13. She took me to the MTC and saw me off to California
14. She didn't disown me as a sister when I locked myself out of her house when I was babysitting and drove a half an hour to get a key from her. ( although I don't think she had me babysit again)
15. She calls just to chat
16.She's saving ADORABLE girls clothes for me when I have a girl
17. She thinks I'm a good cook
18. Star Wars gives her a headache but she lets us introduce her kids to it all anyway

19. She is PASSIONATE about her love for fry sauce.
20. She has the best day trips with her family
21. She loves the outdoors
22. She gives the BEST gifts
23. She loves to dance
24. She's faithful in the church
25. She magnifies her callings, and is a natural at them all
26. She introduces me to the best music
27. She raised some of the most fearless, sweet, independent and creative kids around (they figured out this way to haul a lot of leaves at once all by themselves)
28. She and her husband have a great relationship
29. She's so supportive of him too
30. She can find great deals
31. She let me tag along with her in between semesters at school
32. She has always been there for me
33. She finds beauty and humor in everything
Happy birthday Holly! We love you!!

Spring has begun it's first big push this last week or so and I'm absolutely ready for it. But as I was looking on the camera of the pictures I've yet to take off I found these pictures and I decided that maybe I'm not as ready as I thought.

One morning after a night time light dusting of snow I opened the door to get the newspaper and found this happy sight
Some busy bird had been scurrying all around our porch. Sometimes hopping sometimes doing circles. It was fascinating and amusing to look at. You could almost see this little bird bouncing around looking for seed. It even bounced from stair to stair.
I never saw this little bird but it's little prints greeted me after every dusting of snow. I'm going to miss it when the snow no longer leaves a canvas for his art.

My sweet Husband relented to my pleadings for a cheap Valentines day this year. We are trying like crazy to save for a house. Which if love is in the air with Derek getting his Wii then Love is in the air with me saving for and dreaming of a house. We all have our loves! :) So we agreed that we would only spend $20 each on Valentines day TOTAL!! And that was even pushing it if you asked me, :) So this year we focused on meaning rather than money.

Derek loves to get me flowers. He has ever since we started dating. I had fresh flowers in my house for the first few months of us dating without fail. So he did get me roses ( yellow- he always has to get me at LEAST one yellow flower) and four boxes of conversation hearts. My Dad always got each of us girls a heart box or a little cardboard box of conversation hearts growing up until we got married ( then it was our husbands job) Even when I was on my mission my Dad sent me a box of conversation hearts- and Derek did his job this year. Since the flowers weren't arranged I got to do it which was really fun for me.
I got him a box of Turtles that I got on a really great deal complete with coupon :)and a card offering him wii points or money towards wii play or a wii controler ( which is more for me so we can play together :D) Then we had french bread pizzas and Martinellis by candle light with Harry Connick Jr playing in the back ground and let me tell you it was WAY more romantic than any restaurant we would wait in line for 2 hours for. The french bread pizzas by candle light has a special place in our hearts because that is what we did on our first Valentines day married. In the morning we'd taken BOTH our cars to the shop Derek dropped me off at work and just waited for one to get done to go to school. We didn't get paid until that day so we didn't have any money to get each other anything so we bought french bread pizzas on sale and ate them by candle light and danced in the kitchen to Harry Connick Jr. So we paid homage to that first Valentines Day married with out first Valentines day with Hyrum.
Hyrum REALLY liked the candles and really got into eating his Cheerios that he's working on getting used to. He ate a whole tray full before he gagged and threw up. He's really getting better at this...promise!

That evening before we went to bed we read "I Like You" a cute little book that I got for Derek on our very first Valentines day...the day we got engaged. At the time I was kinda embarrassed that we got engaged on Valentines day. It was so cliche and over done but now it's kind of fun because we can relive that day over and over again through things we did on that day being repeated. There are elements from that day that are ALWAYS a part of our Valentines day celebration. Paper hearts ( I put paper hearts all over his car) Hershey's kisses and heart breakers ( I left those in his car to find) Yellow flowers ( he left a yellow and red rose along the scavenger hunt he put me on that night) and reading I Like You. Ahh memories! So fun!

I hope all of your Valentines Day's were wonderful!

A quick update about my post from a few days ago...WE FINALLY FOUND A WII!!! Tuesday morning I began my little morning ritual of calling Shopko to see if they had any and they actually said yes. I sat on the phone, shocked not knowing what to say. No one had ever said yes before!

So, with the excitement that can only come with a healthy addiction to video games, I rushed off to Shopko before work and picked it up. It was modestly difficult to focus throughout the day especially, and for some reason I kept being paranoid that someone was going to break into my car and steal it. When I got home, Sunny was waiting at the door, camera in hand...

Then she had to run off to Young Women's and me and Hy spent the evening hanging out. After putting him bed, I had to work for an hour or so. Finally, around 10:00pm I finished up work and could finally open up the Wii. Sunny and I set it up and made a Mii for her, Hy and myself. The little Mii of Hy is almost as cute as he is. At that point it was late and we needed to go to bed. (although I really wanted to stay up and play....)

So, another chapter chapter of video games begin. Here Wii go!

It must be February because love is definitely in the air in our apartment. Hyrum must have been trying to eat one too many Valentine's Day advertisements because we came into the kitchen and Hyrum was hanging out around the portable dishwasher like this...

We carried him into the other room and he made a bee line for the kitchen again. What is he doing we asked each other. Why does he want to be in there so much? We watched him and started to laugh when we saw this...

He was literally kissing (or trying to suck on) the dishwasher! He has noticed the baby in the dishwasher and oven before as he's passed on his walks through the kitchen holding on tight to Mom or Dad's fingers. He'd stop and smile and maybe pat it but it looks like the relationship has progressed a bit. :) Although, he hasn't done it in the last few day's...they may have had a falling out. I'm just glad (and kind of surprised) that it wasn't the oven friend he chose to kiss. He seems to like danger.

When I was 7 or 8 years old my family purchased a Commodore 64. I spent many hours playing the typing game that came with it. Letters would descend from the top of the screen and you had to type the letters before they got to the bottom. As you went through the different levels, the letters would fall faster and there would be combinations of letters you would need to type. I also remember writing a little program that would change the color of the screen to a value I selected. Man I was a nerdy kid. I spent plenty of hours playing on that old computer.

I received my first Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) when I was in 6th grade. It was totally worth all 8-bits worth of graphics. I remember going to the video store and renting new video games on Friday nights and playing it with friends, sometimes all night. Sometimes my thumb would get so raw that I would tape a cotton ball to it so I could keep playing.
From the original Super Mario Brothers...

...to Zelda II: The Adventure of Link...

...I have many fond memories of gaming enjoyment.

The NES was replaced with the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES).
The SNES was based on a 16-bit graphic system which meant that the graphics were TWICE AS GOOD!
Super Mario World

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Super Mario Kart

My video gaming was ultimately fueled by the decision to purchase a 14.4 modem for our then Compaq computer, a decision made largely due to the insistence of my good friend Eric Jenkins who worked at a store in our local mall, Software, Etc. Thereafter, much of our time was spent figuring out how to connect our computers so we could and play games like Warcraft, Warcraft II, Starcraft, and Age of Empires II against one another.

We'd also hang out on the Bulletin Board Systems (BBS's), the closest thing we had to the Internet in those days, playing Barren Realms Elite. I will never forget the time several of us, lead by Eric, overthrew another one of our good friends, Chris Arnell, the then Barren Realms Elite Champion after weeks and weeks of secret planning. I can trace many of my closest associations for more than a decade back to the decision to purchase that modem (along with the decision to introduce Eric and Josh to Magic: The Gathering...which is an entirely other post...)

Missions came and went and we never seemed to have the hours upon hours to devote to gaming. Eventually, I passed on the SNES to my niece and nephew, so they could get some enjoyment out of the old system (who consequently have been converted into little gamers themselves much to the dismay of my sister-in-law). I was system-less for a while until my sweet wife and her parents bought me a Nintendo Gamecube...

That was followed a couple of years ago by my folks getting me a Nintendo DS...
...both of which I still have. I wonder if Sunny ever regrets getting me that Gamecube seeing as she has had to endure, on many occasions, watching me play this game or that game (although we've opted lately for games that we can play together like Lego Star Wars). Recently, I haven't really seen a lot of video games that I was dying to play. Then the Wii was released.

I first played the Wii at, guess who, Eric's house. As soon as I played one, I knew I needed to get one, especially because it is the first Nintendo system to be backward compatible with the previous system (my Gamecube). You can also purchase games from the old systems for $5-$10 to play on the Wii.

Time passed and thanks to a promotion at work, I finally convinced Sunny it was time to get a Wii (I think she just got sick of me pestering her). Only one problem....
You can't find one! (unless you want to pay at least $100 above MSRP to the eBay pirates who wait in line at Circuit City at 5 a.m. to get one...) So, until supply catches up, I wait...patiently...sometimes....

In the meantime, today is Eric's birthday. I'd like to dedicate this post to him. Thanks for convincing me to buy that modem those many years ago. Happy Birthday my friend!