Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas morn

I hope all of you that have children can understand where I am coming from. Niev is almost a year now and I thought she would be more interested in the gift/Christmas thing than she was. Ian and I did everything we could to get her interested in her presents, but nothing worked.

Ian and I made Niev some blocks as her big gift (yes, there are 129 blocks that all needed at least two coats of paint, a primer and a sealer so 129 blocks with 4 coats is roughly...516 total coats. It took FOREVER). Ian was so excited for her to be able to play with these blocks. He even went as far to "tell Santa" to make a castle out of the blocks. We were thinking that she was going to destroy the castle as soon as she saw it. Not the case. She was more interested in the orange in her stocking than any of her amazing presents! I took the orange away from her and she SCREAMED until I gave it back. She is a funny girl.

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I like present opening, but this took way too long. I know I seem like a Scrooge saying that, but WOW it could have gone on forever so finally I opened a few of the smaller gifts to Niev that Ian and I gave her.

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Her Gramma Buh (Ian's mom) gave her a baby doll for Christmas. It was a classic Niev moment--talking and kissing her baby, oh wait, there's a camera!


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Overall it was a great 1st Christmas for Niev and she loves her drum set, blocks, dolls, books and more books and music that she got for Christmas. We love our little girl and she needs to stop growing so big!

Ian and I got each other a nice video camera so we could keep ahold of every breathing moment of our Nievlette. Sorry the quality is not that great--downsizing makes things very grainy

Friday, December 21, 2007

Baby, it's cold outside!

Wow, so if you don't live in Utah, then I need to inform you that it is officially wintertime! My sister, Melissa, was going to take care of Niev yesterday while Ian and I went to SLC to celebrate our anniversary (just a few days late). Melissa lives on top of the largest mountain in Utah valley and it snowed yesterday morning, but only where Melissa lives. We couldn't even reach her street! We were just spinning our wheels on the new inches of snow. It was truly the actions of my magically heroic husband that got us to the point of dropping off Niev. (And yes, there was a celebratory cheer that went out when we reached Melissa's driveway!)

Niev looks like an elf in this picture
Ian and I went to the Salt Lake temple and then to Cheesecake Factory for lunch. It was a fabulously stuffing experience for all involved. They give you way too much delicious food there. We went to pick Niev back up and luckily the roads had been cleared.

We chatted with Melissa and Boston for about an hour. During that hour, it had truly been blizzarding outside. As Melissa describes it, "I saw you walk off my porch, but then you disappeared into a white mass." It is a miracle that we stayed on the road. It is a very windy road and the grade of the hill varies from 8-10%. It was scary!!! At times, we couldn't even see the road and it was very slick. The normal 15-20 minute ride home took us an hour and twenty minutes! Niev was getting very impatient in her seat. Once she got home, she was in the best mood ever. I truly love our baby girl. Hope you enjoy! video

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Party time and ducks pooping?

Ian and I are on the ward's activities committee and so we were supposed to make up a flier. It is great to see what Ian comes up with. He is so creative and after much nagging from me, he creates the funniest posters. It is fun.

Our ward was having a dinner and program and maybe Santa. Evidently there are some people in our ward that don't believe in celebrating Santa. I am not sure what to think about this, but it seems like you are taking away some of the magic for the little ones. It is so fun to see their imaginations run wild with what they see and hear during Christmas. Oh well, no fun for them.

Anyway, our program was very sweet and touching at times and very hilarious at other times. One woman started singing the "Twelve Days of Christmas" with dramatic gestures and all. Immediately, Ian and I thought, "Oh no, this is the longest song ever!" Well she stops about the third verse and decides it is boring and too long so she is going to involve the audience. She begins calling up different people from the audience to help her sing. Lo and behold, Ian gets called up to be the six geese a'laying! About the eighth verse, she asks them to start acting out their parts. I knew Ian would be prime for this calling; he could not have gotten a more perfect role for him! He asked me to not blog any of the pictures, but I just have to! (If there are no longer pics here, it is because Ian has caught me and made me remove them--I wish I had a video of it. Sorry if the pics are a bit fuzzy--poor lighting.) He truly was the hit of the party!

Niev got scared at everyone laughing so hard and started crying because I was taking pictures and one of the young women was holding her. Sorry again that it is blurry.


Of course I had to include a pic of Niev on Santa's lap. She just looked at him. Didn't cry, didn't laugh, didn't seem excited--she was pretty nonchalant about the whole thing. I really wanted some kind of expression, but no, not even a cry.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The grass is sometimes dirtier on the other side

Today I was flipping through channels to find something to watch as I cleaned. I was told by my mother-in-law, Paula, that on the BBC (British channel) they have a show called "How Clean is Your House?". She mentioned that they have fun tips and that I should just watch one or two episodes.

Well I happened to see it as I was flipping and decided to tune in. Man, if you ever want to feel that you are the Mrs. of Mr. Clean just watch the first five minutes. I won't go into too many details because honestly I was gagging at times, but it really did make me feel as if my house is not THAT dirty. The woman was a single mom trying to do work and school so she had her excuses, but to me there is no excuse for rotting food in your BATHROOM! Anyway, it motivated me to clean and to teach my kids to clean better.

I also learned several tips such as dipping a calcium encrusted showerhead in lemon juice (not diluted) for 10 minutes--so I guess that is called soaking instead of dipping, but I was amazed! Any extra bits that don't come clean, take a paper clip and poke the holes! Also, they use a lot of natural cleaning products rather than using the harsh chemicals. I better go finish cleaning my house!

I think Niev looks like an 80's album cover of "I am a Child of God" in this picture!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Memories in the corner of my mind

Today is Ian and my anniversary second year anniversary so I thought I would give a little tribute to my husband on our second anniversary. He is such a great husband to me and very understanding. I am truly so lucky to have such a patient, honest (almost to a fault), hardworking and absolutely hilarious husband. He is very compassionate and cares for Niev better than any father I have ever seen. What a blessing our marriage is in my life (especially since I was 26 and still not married and thinking that I might just be that "Old Maid" that travels around the world and visits her nieces and nephews treating them as her own children--whoo, it was a close one). Thank heavens for Ian!


I thought I would share two of my favorite memories from when we were dating and then two memories of our married life which is symbolic of the wonderful two years of our life together!

While we were getting to know each other, Ian and I would go on these forever long walks. I would go to his house or he would come to mine at around 8 or 9 p.m. and we would just walk and walk and walk all over Provo. We would finally call it quits after about 3 or 4 in the morning and every once in a while, we would be together when the sun came up. I had just graduated from BYU and was looking for a job and Ian was working, but we were pretty free as far as schedules go. Those walks are little treasures in my mind as I got to know my best friend and love. He was so easy to talk to and rarely would he bore me (a few times with his stories that lasted WAY too long).

Another one of my favorite dating memories is when I went to Europe with my sister, Julie and her family. I asked Ian to pick me up from the airport on my way home. My connecting flight kept being delayed more and more and I couldn't really get a hold of Ian. We couldn't land because of weather and had to keep circling. We almost ran out of gas so we had to make an emergency landing in Green River, CO and then fly back to SLC. When I finally arrived in Salt Lake City, I found Ian with a huge stack of signs saying: "Lora Weber" next sign, "Ian really" next sign "really, really, really, really, really, really" next sign was filled with "really, really, really, really etc." and the last sign said "missed you!" I had missed him quite a bit too. He had waited at the airport for almost four hours and it was so good to see him again.

This pic was taken right after Ian proposed

Once we got married, I was working and Ian was finishing up school. We had felt like we needed to start our family. We decided to take a pregnancy test . Ian was so excited and nervous as he frantically opened the packaging and read me the directions to ensure I was doing it right (can you really mess those things up?). WE didn't want the other one to cheat and see it first so as it was running the test, we put a box on top of it. After the three minutes, I looked at Ian as I quickly lifted the box and then slammed it down again. Ian's face lit up like a boy on Christmas morning as he sees his first bike in front of the tree. I quickly looked and saw two solid pink lines announcing that we were pregnant. Ian and I jumped into each other's arms and started jumping up and down in our hallway, as we laughed, hugged and cried. That was Mother's Day 2006 and he has been excited about Niev ever since!

Ian's sister, Alyx, came to visit the first winter Ian and I were married. We decided to go sledding and it was already dark. We borrowed two snow tubes from my sister, Melissa and went on a walking hunt to find a hill. We finally found a long enough one, but it was so dark we couldn't see if it was really safe. Ian decides to try it out and gets a RUNNING start as he dives on his tube. He realizes he is going much faster than expected and is trying to slow himself down with his feet. Snow is flying everywhere. Alyx and I are at the top gasping for air as we are dying from the giggles and small ice-tears run from our eyes. Ian finally plants his feet in the snow and he catapults himself into a group of bushes/weeds at the bottom of the hill. Ian's face was shredded by the weeds. He looked as if he had been attacked by a cat. We find out that he barely missed a gutter on his way down. It was a great memory and still makes Ian shutter a little bit now.

I love you, baby and happy anniversary. It is only getting better and better as time goes by!

Friday, December 14, 2007

A few of my favorite things

I was asked once who Niev's personality is more like, mine or Ian's. I didn't know how to answer that because Niev is such a unique person and just seems to have her own little quirkiness. Somethings remind me of Ian and some of me, but mostly it is just all Niev all the time. She does love several of our favorite things though.

Niev shares Ian's love of baths (which I think are filthy because you bathe in your own scuzz).

We bathe her in our kitchen because we do not have a bathtub in our apartment (for those of you who have been in our bathroom, this is even a funny concept! A bathtub in our tiny bathroom is a foreign concept). We have a blue bathtub that sits in the middle of our kitchen floor which is nice because I can do dishes or cooking while she takes her bath. As soon as we get the tub down from the top of the fridge (a place for everything and everything in its place), she begins giggling and quickly crawling towards it. She loves to dunk her head and looks to you for a laughing response.





One day I was washing dishes while she was taking her bath. I heard her gagging so I turned around to see brown sludge all around her mouth. I then saw floating turds in her bath and almost began dry heaving! Her baths don't last as long as they used to because this became a common occurrence.

Niev also loves game shows just like her mommy. I watch Price is Right almost every morning as I am feeding Niev. She LOVES it, especially the beginning with the music and flashing lights around the screen. She will start dancing to the music and then pull herself up as close to the TV as possible. She will point, dance and then turn to you as if saying, "Do you see what is on right now? It is my favorite-est! My bestest time of day is HERE!" It is fun to watch and secretly Ian likes to watch as well (but not so much since stupid Drew Carrey is the new host).


So Niev is a perfect mix of her own sweetness, Ian and the most blessed mom in the whole world!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Our Nievlette

As many of you have not had the chance to get to know Niev or may have never met her, I wanted to share some of her with you. First of all, she is a kick and a half! She only wants what you don't want her to have and LOVES to eat. She has always loved to eat.

One day, I was cleaning the house (which because of the size of our apartment only takes about thirty minutes, but only about three to completely destroy) and had just vacuumed the floors. I put the vacuum away and started to straighten the bathroom when I hear the rustling of plastic--always a bad sign! I come into my nice clean living room to this:

Evidently I had not fed her enough breakfast and she decided that she would help herself!

Niev also is beginning to make sense of words. She can wave bye-bye and if your lucky get a blown kiss. Today, I went to Melissa's house (my sister) and she has a little boy, Boston who is a month older than Niev. They are really fun together. video

Every time Boston had a toy, she would take it away, I would scold her and then she would look down and hand me the toy looking quite ashamed of herself. She also took his bottle away to get a little drink for herself, but when Boston would start to cry, she would try to give him his bottle back (which meant she would bash his head with the bottle which would only make the cry more intense). Here they are this summer at our family reunion. Niev laughs every time I ask, "Do you want to go see Boston today?"Niev LOVES music. She will rock out whether it is on a commercial, music box, radio or just be singing along as I bang on pans. She will sometimes sing in church and raise her arm while flinging it so that all can see that she is leading them in this great chorus. Her favorite song for the time being is "Popcorn Popping" and she can even doing the popping corn. If she is cranky, all you have to do is start out, "IIIII looooooked out the window...." and she will begin laughing and look so excited at you. "Popcorn Popping" has helped with many a diaper change.
She also likes to make her own music on dad's keyboard. We now keep it under the couch so it is easy access and she works the function buttons much better than Mom or Dad.
There is much more to love, but blogs can only be so long so maybe I will continue this tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Book Club

Melissa, my sister, was in a book club with some women in her ward. As she talked about the books they were reading, I told her I was very jealous. She invited me to be in club with her. I have now been in her book club for three meetings and have enjoyed it. It is great to see Melissa interact with people in her ward because she is hilarious! I love spending time with her especially when Jeremy and Ian are willing to take care of our babes.

This last month we read Hallelujah--The Story of the Coming Forth of Handel's Messiah by J. Scott Featherstone. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this book. It is historical fiction and gave me an inside view of who Handel was and how it came to be that he wrote Messiah. It was a bit slow at first but I thoroughly enjoyed this read especially during the Christmas season. I did not expect to have a book help me to come closer to God. I would highly recommend it.

I don't think a blog is complete without a picture so here is Niev's eyelashes. Aren't they the most gorgeous thing you have ever seen! We love our baby girl.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Family Home Evenings

This weekend we had stake conference and Elder Quentin L. Cook was our visiting authority. It was his first assignment as an apostle. What a fabulous experience it was! During the adult session and general session, the overall theme was families. Our stake has been focusing on families this last year especially Family Home Evenings, family prayer and family scripture study. This next year, the stake is focusing on temple attendance and helping our families to be eternal.

A few months ago, they had us fill out a survey during Relief Society. There were four questions on the survey: 1) Do you hold FHE almost every week? 2) Do you have family scripture study almost every day? 3) Do you have family prayer almost every day? 4) Why do you think some families do not do these three things? I felt that this questionnaire gave me a chance to reflect on how we were doing on the small things that make such a HUGE difference.

At the end of the general session, Elder Cook gave the results of the survey. These were given to only those who had come to church within a months time so those who took the survey are all active members. Less than 50% hold regular FHE, less than 50% read scriptures daily and less than 30% prayed together as a family daily. Elder Cook promised us that if we would stick to these three challenging actions, that our families would be eternal. We would see a difference in our children (much happier and not so much contention within the home), their dedication to the Gospel and our relations within our family. What more could we want! He did mention that we may not see the effects of these things until after they have left home, but that our actions would be rewarded.

Ian and I had been doing these things, but with a sloppy attitude so we determined to do better. Last night we went swimming as a family at our rec center. The water was FREEZING for Niev. Her poor teeth (yes, she has a big whopping total of four now!) were chattering and her lips were blue so we didn't stay long. It is hard to find activities that involve an almost one-year old.

She looks very unhappy, but I promise that she was having fun!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Gramma Buh comes to visit!














I have a great mother-in-law that visits quite regularly and this is only due to the fact that we have her grandbaby. She adores Niev and eats her up while she is here. While she visited, we got our Christmas tree, decorated, played games, ate and chatted. I could talk to her for hours and Ian is a giddy boy whenever his mom comes into town (he is a bit of a mama's boy). She is so great to shoo us out of the house and spend time alone so that she can have one-on-one time with Niev.

I have found that after having just one child, it is really hard to stay as connected to my husband. Before Niev, I felt very secure in our relationship and that we were always on the same wavelength. But now that we have to share our time with another person, it is more difficult to have that constant connection and alone time. This is when I REALLY appreciate Paula, Ian's mom. She allows us to re-connect and have all the alone time we need in order to be happy (which for me is a LOT of time).

Our stockings are hanging from our dartboard--it is great to be poor!
Here are some other fun pics of Niev that I thought you might enjoy!

This hat was given to her by Ian's sister, Kaki, and I couldn't wait to put it on her so when we went to buy a Christmas tree, I had to winterize her!

One day after church, playing in her rocking chair


Also many of you have asked about Ian's art. If you want to go to his website see: ianstrawn.com

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Lora is blogging?

I am sure many of you are very surprised because I actually have decided to set up a blog for our family. After much persuasion and recognizing that we are going to lose touch with a lot of fabulous friends once we move, I have decided to begin blogging about our family.

To update you all, Niev is almost 11-months old and she is as cute as can be! We adore her and can't wait for Christmas and her birthday. I am sure we will be more excited than she will be, but nonetheless, it will be a camera moment! Niev loves music and seeing pictures of herself. We hope she will grow out of her conceited-ness.

Ian had his first solo art show in LA and it was received really well, but the pieces didn't sell as we had expected. The traffic coming into the gallery were all 20-somethings and it was a new gallery so I think our expectations were a little too high. Since then, Ian has sold several of those pieces and several galleries have taken on his work. He is now represented by San Francisco, LA, Seattle, Boston, and London. His latest exciting news is that he was just bought by Billy Getty which will go into his private collection and be shown by him. He is related to the Getty family which started the Getty Art Museum in LA. This is a career maker for an artist. It is great!

I am now a stay-at-home mom after three years of teaching in Alpine, UT. I loved teaching, but am SO glad I can just stay at home with the cutest baby ever!