Sunday, March 30, 2008

Whoa Neti!

I first saw a Neti Pot on Oprah last year. Dr. Oz said that using one really cleans out your sinuses and can relieve symptoms of allergies and other nasal/sinus problems. I thought it was pretty interesting and kind of gross (they demonstrated how to use it on the show). A couple of months later my sister told me that her friend swore by it and recommended that she get one to relieve her nasal allergy symptoms. This week I was looking online for things I could do to relieve my cold symptoms (the medicine I was taking wasn't doing anything) and the use of a Neti Pot was one recommendation. I sent Shaun to get one in my desperation. We got the SinuCleanse brand that is plastic and was only $10. It is so cool and grosser than I thought, especially since i have a cold. It does work, but the relief (at least with a horrible cold) is only temporary. I'm sure that if it was just allergies you were treating it would last longer. The greatest thing about it is that it is drug-free. Another great perk is that it only cost $10 and you can use it forever. I definitely think it is worth the investment if you need relief from sinus problems and your medication isn't quite cutting it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Flashback Fridays

I stole the idea to do Flashback Fridays from my sister. I was totally planning on doing it starting today, but I decided yesterday that I would change things up a bit. I will be doing Time Machine Tuesdays instead in honor of Shaun's favorite trilogy, Back To The Future. So check back Tuesday. Hopefully I will have remembered to post a story from our past.

Ethan's Letters (and Our Colds)

I thought I would share some of Ethan's letter drawings. This was done on the computer. Shaun taught him how to "draw" (and erase) on Photoshop's Doodle Pad. His hand-eye coordination continues to amaze me. It's difficult for me to "draw" using a mouse! He does do better with a pen (actually, he does his best drawings on his Doodle Pro, which makes it impossible for me to keep them), but I thought this was a pretty good attempt, too. The letters in this drawing are E, A, D, (a line) and F.

I love how he just keeps adding lines to his E's, but he leaves only two on his F's. His favorite letters to write are D and H. I think the line before the F was going to be an H, but he didn't have enough room to finish it.

We are all sick with a cold right now. I guess I jinxed us when I commented on my sister's blog that we hadn't been sick yet this season! I got it the worst, and today my voice only works when it REALLY wants to and my nose looks a lot like Rudolph's. The kids have had some trouble sleeping, but have not been too bad as far as runny noses and coughs go.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ethan's Signing Time Audition

Anybody who knows me well knows that I have been teaching ASL (American Sign Language) to Ethan since he was a baby. I first fell in love with ASL when I was in middle school and took an ASL class. I found that it came pretty naturally to me and since then I have been teaching myself here and there and I also took some classes in college. While I was taking those college classes, my sister and I came across the first Signing Time video and decided to teach my one year old nephew some signs. My family and I were amazed at how quickly he caught on and how well he could communicate before he could even speak. From then I decided I would teach my children to sign as babies. Ethan used his first sign (more) at about 10 months. He learned very quickly from there. I loved that he could tell me what he wanted instead of crying and making me guess what he wanted then. Now it's just fun that my son knows a second language. Ethan loves watching Signing Time and learning new signs. When we heard that they were holding auditions for Signing Time, I thought it would be fun for him so we did it. It is produced here in Utah, so it won't be too hard to get him to the studio if he makes it. You can watch his audition here.
To anybody who has little ones (especially those that can't speak yet) and hasn't heard about the benefits of signing with your child: I strongly recommend Signing Time as a way to get started. Not only is it great for your kids, but the signs are taught so simply that you can learn along with them so that you can then reinforce their learning. This is what they say on their website (

How can Signing Time help your children?

  • Would you like to communicate with your child before they can talk?
  • Do you want to increase your child's reading and language abilities?

Scientific studies show that "typical" children who learn to sign:

  • have higher IQ scores
  • are better adjusted
  • read at an earlier age

Many parents observe that by learning to communicate earlier, the "terrible twos" are not so terrible—children can use a sign instead of throwing a tantrum to express their needs.

And I'm a believer! I have heard of other companies who are trying to cash in on this concept that do not teach true ASL (I think one is called Baby Signs). Those I do not recommend. This could confuse children, especially if they think they know sign language when they're older and they try using it and aren't understood (that's strictly my opinion). I'm not sure when we find out if Ethan "made it", but I will definitely post about it if he does.

Friday, March 21, 2008

I'm a Labrador Retriever!

Another silly quiz.

What dog breed are you? I'm a Labrador Retriever! Find out at

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I took this quiz for fun and thought it was true enough to share.

Bedtime Bear
You are usually asleep on the job but that's okay because your job is to make sure everyone gets enough sleep! You're shy and sweet...when you are actually awake! Getting sleepy already?

Grandpa Hands

One of the things I remember most about my childhood is "Grandpa (or Grandma) hands (or feet)." These are the wrinkly hands you get after being in water for an extended period. We always knew we had been in the bath tub long enough if we got "Grandpa hands." We obviously called them that because we thought our hands looked like our grandparents' wrinkled hands. Every time my kids' hands get wrinkled from the water, I remember this and wonder if they will ever come up with their own name for them some day. Their grandparents don't have very wrinkly hands yet, so I don't think they would come up with the same name. Ethan sometimes looks at his "Grandpa hands" like there is something wrong with them. I think he's just starting to get that they have something to do with taking a bath... Maybe he'll call them "bath hands." Anyway, I wonder if anyone knows the scientific explanation for "Grandpa hands." If you do, would you please comment and let me know? I've always been curious.

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Best Sound (and Sight) In The World

I usually try to keep Ethan away from Spencer when Spencer is playing on the floor (He is sitting up now) because he loves to squeeze his hands, steal his toys, and "ride" him while saying "Usher (Spencer), horsey". But lately, Spencer has enjoyed some of his time spent with Ethan on the floor. They have started to "wrestle" (Ethan does most of the wrestling) and their latest game is my new favorite thing to witness: Ethan tickling Spencer. Ethan will sit between Spencer's legs and tickle his belly. Spencer laughs harder than he ever does when I tickle him, then Ethan laughs and says "Usher, funny!" This will sometimes continue for 5 or 10 minutes, with them just laughing away at each other. I love that they can actually play together now, and I love that I can now hear laughter from both of my children without being the "laughee". It just seems to sound sweeter when you hear it from a distance. I am so grateful to have such beautiful, happy boys!

Some wrestling pics:

Saturday, March 1, 2008


I am having a hard time really pushing the potty training thing because I think it might be too hard. Ethan is really interested in it, and I think I know what I'm doing, but I am definitely not ready for a huge, drawn-out fight. I am asking anyone who reads this blog to give me any tips or things that have worked for them. Ethan already likes to sit on his potty and will sometimes wear underwear, but he hasn't had that all important first success yet. Thanks!