Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Foreshadowing of Things to Come

As with everyone, the things forbidden us are always the most appealing. For the longest time we've told Isaac 'no' when it comes to electronics. The cellphone is one of the worst. When I found an old one I had back 6 years ago, we relented and let him play with it. It is one of his favorite toys. He'll grab it and hold it to his ear and make,"hmmm, Hmmm, HMMM!" noises. Is this what I might see in a few years when he's a teenager?

A future 'text er'!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tightrope Walking

All you mothers out there will probably chuckle at this one. Me, I guess I'm still quite a rookie at this ... in fact, I have the sinking suspicion I might always be! ;0) Any changes, and I mean ANY changes can really throw your rhythm and once again you have to sit back, reassess and try again.

Previously living in Albuquerque, Isaac and I had only a few other young mothers to interact with. In fact, aside from Sundays and my monthly Visiting Teaching visits, Isaac never saw any other children. Now we have exactly the opposite problem ... there's tons to do! There are story times, play groups, play dates, etc, etc. At first Isaac was having a great time - little people everywhere! But in just the last 2 days I've noticed he's more irritable, spastic and wired. Despite all the new activities and friends, he is not really all that happy.

I'm sure some of you out there are going - duh - but I'm a little slower on the uptake. After some thinking I realized that the QUALITY time we spend together as mother and child has decreased significantly. What he needs is me! He doesn't need the chauffeuring between activities, or the myriad of play dates that we somehow get invited to, he just needs some good old play time with Mama.

So for a fun new activity, just him and I, we came up with a new kind of fun. We took the play pool, and empty container and some packing peanuts ... Voila! New and crazy fun!

We put it in the container, poured it out, (NUMEROUS times), kicked the peanuts around and even threw them at each other. Afterwards we cleaned up. That little half hour to 45 mins of focused play had him so much calmer and happier for the rest of the day.

So the lesson is ... BALANCE. Yes, I need to get out to stay sane, (thank heavens I have more than a grocery store to go to now) and he needs some interactions with other children... but just enough so as to keep 'Mama and Isaac time' intact! Now the question is, once I achieve this ... what happens when another kid comes along????!! ;0)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's a Small World After All

Within the church , it's an incredibly small world. We've been going shopping out in Chinatown on Wednesdays and attending the storytime at the library there. Emily Roberts told us about that and since Isaac loves playing with Eden, (and vis versa) we thought it was worth the drive. It turns out the lady running this storytime is LDS as well. She served her mission in Hong Kong back in '94 and one of her companions was one of my close friends at BYU - Petra Sin. Incredibly small world!

Today the kid read Lois Ehlert's "Growing a Rainbow" and then made their own rainbow flowers. Isaac's favorite part is the playtime - so many new toys!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Playground Fun and all that Jazz!

We've decided that it will be our Sunday ritual to go to Hermann park, weather permitting. We finally made it to the far side of the park where Isaac played happily on the playgrounds. Thankfully he's really starting to walk on his own, so the park doesn't sap our energy as bad as it use to.

Afterwards we wandered over to the Miller Outdoor Theater where a Jazz concert was being held. Isaac has a definite love of music, he was dancing and wiggling long before he's been walking. We sat and listened for almost 45 minutes while he happily munched on his animal crackers, wiggled his butt and clapped his hands to the livelier tunes. He was almost more entertaining than the concert!

Friday, August 22, 2008


Today we went to the Children's museum and I thought I'd check out the gift store since I get 10% off. I love a good deal so of course I always look at the clearance rack, after all who can pass up toys at 50% off. We found the DADO Cube .. its this amazing toy that helps to develop spatial and size awareness, as well as undertand proportion, balance and structure. We took it home and Isaac loved it ... of course I'm not sure who played with it more, him or I! ;0) I figure it's a toy that can be played with for years to come

We also created a 'play area' with a swimming pool that I borrowed from a friend. He sat and played in it for over 2 hours.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hmm,Hmm Good!

I just have so say - I'm so proud of myself!!!! I had a bit of free time and after visiting Wendy and Steve in Arizona, I had to try her bread recipe. Now I've done alot of breads but have always been hesitant of wheat breads. They always seemed to turn out crumbly and dry, but Wendy had made incredible bread for us, so I had hope. In addition, I had a wheat grinder I had yet to use, so I dug it out of storage and when all was said and done, this was the result:

Fresh bread, nutty and moist at only a fraction of the cost. Tomorrow I'm making a Tarragon Chicken Salad to go with it! Hmmm, hmmmm. :0) Here's the recipe:
Wheat Bread

1 C warm water
4 T yeast
1/4 t sugar
Stir and let these sit to rise in a small bowl

In mixer add:

4 C warm water
1 1/2 C sugar
3/4 C oil
1 C grain cereal (ex. - 9 grain mix - very grainy)
Let soak 5 - 10 minutes in mixer. Then add yeast mixture. Then add the following:

2 1/2 T salt
12 C whole wheat flour
2 C white flour
(you can vary the ratio of whole wheat to white)

Knead dough until gluten forms. Approximately 15 minutes with a bread mixer. Place dough in a large greased bowl and cover with oiled saran wrap. Place dough to rise in the oven with the light on. The heat from the light is enough to help it rise. Let rise until double. Place into greased bread pans. I usually make 4 large loaves. Let rise until double. Bake in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. The higher temp for a shorter period of time seems to produce a more moist loaf of bread.


There's so much to do here in Houston that I've planned things out such that every weekend Kent doesn't have to work, we go for an outing. It was raining rather hard on Saturday so we opted to go to the Galleria. I didn't know much about it other than it was a unique mall and the 'Water Wall' (a massive fountain/waterfall) was nearby. We needed an umbrella for Kent and it was only 12-15 mins drive from us.

Lo and behold, the Galleria is not just any mall. It houses some of the largest names in fashion: Neiman Marcus, Armani, Versace, Saks, Gucci, Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent etc. They also have some that I haven't seen since I was in Canada - United Colors of Benetton and many other that I can't pronounce: Bvlgari, Bui Yah Kah, Lalique, Missoni, Velleriano, etc. Perhaps I'm really not posh enough to know such names! ;0) Above the mall is the hotel and in the basement is a skating rink. A rather odd combo to me, but it is one of the busiest places in town.

As for the umbrella, Kent and I were keen on one from Gucci, but felt it would be just so 'common' being bought from a mall! ;0) J/K

Saturday, August 16, 2008


So we've been teaching Isaac both English, Chinese (specifically Cantonese) and some sign language. It's done in the hopes to help him feel empowered to communicate his needs and wants. He's picked up the Chinese well, it seems to be easier than the English and even made some of his own 'words' for items, such as cheese. If you put your teeth together and suck in, this sound is 'cheese' - don't ask me where he got it. As for his sign language, he does well and understands that it's the quickest way to get what he wants. The other day we went grocery shopping. His little hands are quick, the next Oliver Twist, and he'd grabbed a cup of jello that was on sale, 4 for a $1. At first I told him no and tried to take it away but he vigorously signed please. With those large brown eyes, I couldn't resist, besides, he'd never really eaten very much jello before and I thought it'd be fun to try.

Later we were in the check out line. I was busy paying and didn't noticed he'd grabbed a snack pack of mini Nutter Butters and was happily shaking it and smiling at the man next in line. Again I said no, but being the bright boy he is, he anticipate it and was signing please before you could blink your eye. If it worked before, why not this time? I was firm and we put them back, but the man in line laughed so hard and said, "That's a little man who knows what he wants!"

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Over the last week as we've been in Arizona attending Dad's funeral, we've renewed many family bonds. It is sad to say that often death does something to one's perspective to remind us of the lasting and eternal things. Family has also become much broader as friends and ward members told us their love and experiences with dad. While it was a difficult trip, we are grateful for the opportunity it gave us to reconnect with family once again.

Isaac took his first steps on our trip. For the last month or so we've tried everything to get him to walk to us. Praise, food, etc. nothing worked. Along comes his cousin Trent, a cutie little tyke with boundless energy and a huge smile. All he had to say was, "Come here Isaac!" and my son stood up, took one glance at his feet and with a huge grin, proceeded to walk 3 steps to Trent. Since then we've tried bribing Isaac, but to no avail, this child walks when HE wants to walk!

One cool kid with his cousin Jenna and their dog Zoie. The poor dog was terroized by my son.

Isaac with his cousin Taryn who is just 2 months younger than him. They played so well together - following and mimicking each other. It was sweet to see.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Beloved Father's Passing

Wednesday July 30, 2008 Perry Lyle Montierth passed away. Kent and I were both extremely grateful that we had the opportunity to see his dad and spend time with him before we moved to Houston. He was a good and generous man, did the best he knew how as a father, and was an extremely loving grandfather. We were blessed to have him. For me personally, he was a wonderfully accepting man and welcomed me into the family with a warmth I never knew possible. We will miss him greatly but take peace and comfort in knowing we will meet again in the eternities.