Tuesday, January 27, 2009

O-ma and O-pa Visit

Troy's parents came to visit us for a week and we were so excited. It is wonderful to have family come to town. The week went too fast, but we got to do some fun things while they were here. They were even so nice as to help us with our yard on their vacation.

Erica saying "Wassup" (or signing "music")

We went to Trail Dust Town, which is this old, western movie set in the middle of Tucson. We bought lots of old school candy (fun dips, sixlets, jaw breakers, etc.), watched a stunt show and walked around. Erica was naughty and got put in jail, but her attorney got her out before the night was over.

Erica loved her O-pa. She would always sign "grandpa" whenever he wasn't looking.

She got to go on a train ride with da-da and O-ma.

Yesterday, Erica randomly decided to crawl inside her dirty clothes bin...

...so O-ma decided to come play peek-a-boo with her. She loved it!!!

We were sad to seem them go and now it seems so boring at home. Come again soon!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

"Sometimes I fuss so much that my mom is ready to get rid of me. I know I better come up with something cute and quick to make sure she'll keep me around. I found that sucking on the mustard bottle is sure to buy me a couple more minutes."

"Although my mom never does her own hair, she sure has a lot of fun doing mine. It's actually long enough to go in a pony tail. I always make my mom put at least 3 clips in for fun."

"Did I mention how cool boxes are? They entertain me for hours. Mom tried piggy tails today. I like these even better. I love to look at myself in the mirror and smile when I have them in."

"I decided to try stacking blocks this week instead of knocking them down. I think my record is six or seven blocks all by myself."
"So this is what Kayla does when I'm asleep. Get off my chair!!"

Monday, January 12, 2009

16 months

I know I should be finding references for my bar application right now, but this is more important (and interesting, for me anyway). On Saturday, Erica turned 16 months old. To celebrate, we went to the zoo with our neighbors. The cute, dark-haired girl is Sydney, who loves to come jump on the trampoline with Erica. Whenever Erica sees her, she gets this huge smile on her face. Sometimes I wish Erica had been a second child for how much she loves other kids.

We also bought her this car. It is really a Christmas present from her grandparents, it just took us awhile to get it. Erica played with one of these cars at a friend's house and absolutely loved it. She loves any kind of car, motorcycle, train, airplane, etc. One of her favorite new activities is to stand behind the steering wheel of a real car and pretend that she is driving.

Despite some sickness and newly asserted independence, we are enjoying Erica more and more. She is communicating a lot better with signs, pointing and grunts. She loves to be outdoors and brings me her shoes a couple times a day. She takes one 1 1/2 hour nap a day and sleeps a solid 11 to 12 hours at night. Can't complain there.
She used to be a fantastic eater, but has suddenly become picky. I'm hoping it is just a phase. She also throws a fit in the bath now even though she used to love it. She insists on trying to do things above her capabilities and then gets frustrated when she can't do it (i.e., putting shapes into a sorter, stacking nesting cups).
She loves to read books, play peek-a-boo, swing, jump on the trampoline, watch movies, listen to music and walk around outside. We just started her in a movers and shakers class, which is a gym class for toddlers. It consists mostly of running around on a mat, crawling through tunnels and doing summersaults. She just went to her first one and loved it. I can't wait to go again either. It also helps that the class ends around dinner time and is only one block away from In-n-Out. Again, can't complain.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I am so irritated...

I started filling out the Arizona Bar application a few months ago. Yes, I am still filling it out and I will tell you why in a minute. I want you all to read through this and see if you could actually come up with all this crazy information. It is seriously harder to fill out the application than study for the bar. I am paying almost $500 for a background check, but I think they should be paying me for all this information I have to provide. Here is just a sampling:

1. Every permanent and temporary address for the last 10 years.

2. Account for the entire period of your life since age 18, including employment, schooling, unemployment, military service, extended vacation, etc.

3. Any traffic violations in the last 10 years, including non-moving violations.

4. Driving records from everywhere you have been licensed in the last 10 years.

5. List 5 attorneys that know you, oh but they can't be anyone that is related to you, has supervised you or is listed elsewhere in the application (see below).

6. Oh, by the way, for each event listed in #2, fill out another page that includes the position you held, dates, employer's name, employer's address at time of employment, employer's current address, supervisor's name, reason for leaving employment, and a current reference at the employer who can verify your employment. However, this reference can't be listed anywhere else in your application. (That is 11 more pages for me.)

7. Oh, by the way, for each place you listed in #1, fill out another page that includes 3 more references. That is 3 for EACH place. Include their name, contact info and how many years you have known them. And, of course, you can't list anyone that has already been listed elsewhere in your application. That is 36 more references for me. Does anyone even know this many people. If you are reading this blog and even feel like you know me at all, can I use you as a reference? Please email me your contact info and how long I've known you. Thanks.

As you can see, I'm stalling on completing the application. I'm seriously debating whether I should actually finish this thing after all. Thoughts?

Friday, January 9, 2009


December was a whirlwind of activity. I will try to capture a summary here without boring too many people. And if you do get bored, well, then just pass right on by and I won't be offended.

Christmas started early in Tucson. Erica received some gifts from her great aunts and I didn't want to wait until we got back from our trip to open them. Troy knows I can't wait, so we got to open them on the 18th. She got stacking blocks, books, a puzzle and a dolly. She loved them. She still hasn't grasped the concept of opening presents and the paper is usually more interesting than the gift.

On the 19th we headed to Utah. My mom put together a Phillips Family Reunion. She rented a home in South Salt Lake for a week where all 8 siblings, spouses and children could stay. It was a great set-up with a ping pong table, huge screen TV and lots of toys.

We also got some free babysitting so Troy and I were able to hit the slopes a few times. It was soooooo cold though. I actually ended up getting mild frostbite on the tip of my nose. It turned brown and peeled off like a sunburn. I tried to get a picture of it, but it ended up being a really unattractive close-up of my nose. Not something I wanted on the web.

My Papa (maternal grandfather) celebrated his 85th birthday and we were lucky enough to attend the party. For his present, I spent hours and hours putting together a slide show of his life. It was worth it when we got to show it at the party.

Santa Claus also showed up at the party. Erica was clawing and climbing up me like Santa was out to get her. I thought she would like him because she usually likes bearded men. Oh well.

My nieces and nephews acted out the nativity scene on Christmas Eve, complete with live dogs and stuffed monkeys.

Erica with Grandpa and Grandma Tutu on Christmas morning. Thanks for giving us such a fun week. It was great to see all my siblings and their kids. Some I haven't seen for more than 2 years. It was such a great week.

Erica's favorite present was a $3 cell phone from Target.

She also liked the big box.

So did her cousins Mary and Lincoln. I don't think she wanted to share.

After family week in Utah, we headed to Pocatello to see my parents new abode. Both weeks were full of storms, wind and unusually cold weather. I was happy to return to the Arizona sun at the end of the trip. It reminded me of why I put up with hot summers.
Erica enjoyed her ride on Grandpa Tutu's tractor.
So did Troy.
Lena, a girl who got baptized my first day in Ukraine, happens to live in Pocatello right now with her husband and son. I have not seen her since she was serving her mission in St. Petersburg about 7 1/2 years ago. It was great to visit her and eat some authentic Ukrainian food.
Had our trip gone as planned, we would have spent a few days in Pocatello and then returned to Utah to visit friends and family and to do some more snowboarding. However, we ended up getting really bad colds and stayed indoors in Pocatello until the day we left. Sorry to all those we were not able to see.
I guess if we had to be sick anywhere, it was nice to have my parents providing food and babysitting while we recovered. Grandpa Tutu was always a sucker to Erica's requests to watch trains on YouTube.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Starring Erica and Cousin Noah

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