Wednesday, September 29, 2010

First United Bank of Dallin

Dallin has been doing well with getting around. He has a little scoot/crawl that he does. He takes a few crawling "steps' on his hands and knees, and then he'll do an inch worm scoot to get to his destination. Today he mostly crawled about 3 feet to the diaper bag, knocked it over and took out my wallet. He knew exactly where it was and what is inside it.

Coins!
Later on he pulled the credit cards out.

It's way too early for him to be interested in money!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dallin's New Trick

Dallin has been doing this new thing with his tongue. It's really cute. He started doing it a few days ago, and now he keeps doing because he's know that we'll laugh when he does.

You'll laugh too.
video

Here's more of it.
video

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dallin's Room

The front part of our apartment has been put together and settled for a while, but it's taking time to get to the back bedrooms. They still have boxes lying around and it's hard to get through them or find things you need. I finally got around to straightening out and organizing Dallin's room. Here it is, for those of you that want to see it. It's not all that different from how it looked in Provo. Same furniture, same stuff, smaller room. Enjoy!
Dallin still enjoys his bouncy toy. He's finally tall enough for his feet to reach the ground without putting a book under it!
Notice the desk lamp on the right of the picture. The apartment doesn't have light fixtures in the bedrooms or living room, so we've had to make do with a few lamps, and this lamp is the only light in Dallin's room. (Have I mentioned how much I love this apartment? This is 2010! Why doesn't this place have built in light fixtures?!?!)

The view from the door.

The closet. Very exciting.

And the extra bed.
Mom, here is proof that the bed is all made up and ready for you when you decide to come visit us. You get a really cute roommate. And we might even get a bigger lamp for you.

Risotto Sunday

We went to church today. We've been having trouble getting there on time, especially since it's 20 minutes away, but today we made it! We're making more friends and getting to know more people.
I got a drink at the drinking fountain and Dallin looked really interested, so Mckay bent him over to the water. We've done this before months ago, and Dallin would just let the water flow on his lips or into his open mouth, but he didn't quite know how to drink it. Today, he knew exactly what to do! He was slurping up little bits of water and was actually swallowing them! Then he would get another gulp. It was so cute!
I feel like he's being making little steps of progress with the development of his mouth and such. The next step is eating solid foods, right.....?

For dinner I tried a new recipe: Dirty Risotto.
When my parents were cleaning out the house getting ready to move last month, they let us take anything we wanted out of the food pantry. We got a lot of good stuff, but one of my favorite finds was some arborio rice for making risotto. I'd never made a risotto before and I figured I should learn how. It was pretty easy. It takes a little bit of time and attention to prepare, but Dallin was a good boy and he sat watching me the whole time so I could concentrate on cooking. This risotto has spicy italian sausage, pancetta (or bacon if you're cheap like me and already have bacon in the house), bell peppers, onions, mushrooms (we omitted those), and some parmesan cheese. It was delicious! It has a lot of flavor to it because you cook the rice in chicken broth, not plain water. I might recommend using low sodium chicken broth. I used regular broth and the risotto tasted fine, but it did have a lot of salt.
I served the risotto with some ceasar salad and garlic bread. I've been really into caesar salad lately and it's usually the highlight of a meal for me. But when it was paired with this risotto, I almost didn't want to eat the salad because that would take up space in my stomach where I could be putting risotto. In the end, I ate too much of both and felt very full.
It was a good Sunday.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Relief Society Saturday

Our stake had a Relief Society Conference today. I went to the conference while Dallin stayed home to play with daddy. While I was gone, Dallin and Mckay were playing on the couch and Dallin got down from the couch onto the ground all by himself. He's done this before, but it's usually with a lot of guidance from us, or he does it accidentally and it really scares him, so he cries when he lands. This time he did it all by himself, he didn't fall and he was so happy and proud of himself.
(Notice the triscuit in the shoe at the bottom of the picture? That was all Dallin.)

The conference was from 3-5 pm. The annual Relief Society broadcast was also tonight at 8pm. (Being in the eastern time zone sucks for live broadcasts like this). So rather than drive 20 minutes back home from our church building after the conference only to go back a few hours later, I watched the broadcast at home on the internet. (We don't have cable, and they don't show it on the local channels here. Go figure. I guess that's a Utah thing. :))

Dallin was really interested in watching the broadcast too.
He really did just sit there and stare at the screen for a few minutes.
After a while though, he started playing with the computer...
...and laying on it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Evening Walks

Evening is Dallin's crankiest time. It's also the time when we are exhausted and just want to relax, but Dallin doesn't like that idea. He wants us to hold him and devote every ounce of attention to him, especially during the time between us eating dinner and him going to bed. We've found that taking an evening walk really helps him. And it's good for us too. We can always use more exercise.

Now that it's getting cooler, we've been taking more walks. Dallin will sit there happily for hours watching all the cars and people go by. We walk through the neighborhoods near our apartment and look at the houses we pass. We talk about how someday we will buy a house. We point out features that we like/dislike and what we want our house to be like. It gets me really excited to buy a house, even though that is probably still a good 8 months away. We walked past a house today that was for sale. It was only $75,000. We could totally buy that! It was pretty small though (1000 sq. ft.). That's not much bigger than our apartment. But looking at all these houses gets us really excited for having a house of our very own someday. That day can't come soon enough.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Piano Player

In our Provo apartment, I always felt very self conscious playing our piano. It was very easy to hear our neighbors through the walls and, therefore, very easy for them to hear me if I played the piano. And we had our piano against a wall that we shared with a neighbor, so if I did play, I tried to play quietly.

I feel better about playing in our new place. I can't ever hear any of our neighbors, and the piano isn't against a wall we share with anybody. Nobody has complained yet, so I think I'm safe.
Dallin likes to sit on my lap while I play. He puts his hands on the keys. He doesn't really hit the keys repeatedly, he hits them once and then keeps his hands on them, pushing them down. It makes it hard to play a song when Dallin is using all the keys you need.
He rests his head on the keys too, blocking even more of them. Occasionally, he'll try to eat or lick the keys.

I'll teach him how to really play eventually.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

He's a drinker!

Dallin really likes to drink water out of a cup.
He prefers water. If you try to give him something else in a cup, he can smell it and he knows you're trying to trick him. He won't fall for it.
He's not very good at it yet, but he's learning. Most of the water spills on his shirt and not much makes it down his throat. I usually have to hold the cup for him, but today he seemed really interested in holding it himself.
I love how much he is growing up.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Picture Frame Re-do

While I was unpacking, I found this picture frame.
It was given to me when I was a teenager. At the time I thought it was pretty cute. Since then, my tastes have matured and I no longer like the style of the frame. I thought about getting rid of it, but then I decided to fix it up. (I've been in a crafty mood lately so I jumped at the chance to craft something.)

I took the back and glass out of the frame and removed all the hardware from the back.

The paint was bumpy in some places so I wanted to sand it down. Apparently we don't have sand paper, so I used something else. A nail file.
Pretty clever, eh?

I got some black acrylic craft paint at the store for 97 cents.
I painted the entire wood frame. It took a few coats to get it all looking nice and even.

And then I was done!
It was a very easy fix up, and now I feel like I have a new picture frame. And it only cost me 97 cents! I like it.
Plus, everything looks better with a picture of Dallin in it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Our Little Explorer

Dallin was crawling/scooting all over the floor tonight before bed. He made his way all the way over to the kitchen table and went under it.
He found some cool things to play with under there, like a can of soda
and a refrigerator magnet.
I think he like's being mobile.

Bumbo Escapist

I love Dallin's bumbo. It's the best invention ever. He can sit right next to me when I eat breakfast or when we eat dinner. Sometimes when I do the dishes he sits on the counter in the bumbo and patiently watches me.

Now that's he's getting more mobile on the ground, he's figured out that he can move around in his his bumbo.
Often I'll see him in a crawling stance, his knees in the bumbo seat with his hands out of it on the table. A few times he has even managed to "jump" out of it entirely.

Finally, after more than 17 months, I need to keep a careful eye on this kid so he doesn't fall.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Smothered Burritos

We love Mexican food. But there are only so many ways you can combine the basic ingredients (beans, cheese, meat, tortillas, etc.) into something tasty. I feel like the standard burritos, tacos and taco salad are getting old. Mckay suggested a brilliant idea he got from his brother-in-law's family that gave the burrito a new spin.

Smothered Burritos.
My new love.

These things are amazing. It's like a mix between a burrito and an enchilada. Like an enchilada style Cafe Rio burrito, but better.
There's not really a recipe for them, you just throw stuff in, but I'll tell you how we made them.

Smothered Burritos
refried beans
green chiles
mexican cheese blend (like monterey jack and cheddar)
A can of green chile enchilada sauce
tortillas

Put heated refried beans, green chiles and cheese on a tortilla. You could add more things like meat and rice, but the key is to keep it simple. Roll it up and put in a lightly greased baking dish. Make as many burritos as you need. Cover the burritos with canned green chile enchilada sauce (or homemade if you know how to make it), and top with cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

They're really simple but amazingly delicious. We served them with a side of cilantro lime rice. (I know the Crapos reading this will cringe at the thought of cilantro, but it's so yummy.) I fried some leftover rice in a pan with some oil, lime juice, chopped cilantro, a few sprinkles of cumin, and salt and pepper. Another wonderful side that completes the dish is homemade guacamole. My mouth is watering as I'm typing this, and I just barely ate one. We even had it 2 nights in a row. And I'll probably eat the leftovers tomorrow. This is going to become a new favorite dish.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Illusionist

I'm really good at falling asleep during movies. I think I get it from my mom. She's good at it too. It doesn't even matter if it's a really good movie that I've been dying to see. Sometimes I just can't keep my eyes open. On the flipside, I've stayed wide awake for some really dumb movies I wish I had slept through.

This movie, "The Illusionist" came out in 2006, around the same time as another movie, "The Prestige." They are somewhat similar; both about magicians, same time period. I've heard most people say they like one or the other, and the one they liked better was usually the one they saw first. I saw the Prestige first and I absolutely loved it. One of my favorite movies. I've tried many times to see the Illusionist but I haven't yet succeeded in seeing it all the way through. (Remember how I sleep through movies?)

I saw it once (maybe even twice?) in the dollar theater. I fell asleep about 30 minutes in. I've watched it with friends a few times. I always fall asleep at the same place. I've made 6 or 7 good attempts to watch this movie, but have still never seen the whole thing.

Last week, I found it at the local library. YES! I was so excited to finally be able to watch it. One night we tried to watch it and we both fell asleep. AAAGHHHH!! It was due back at the library before we got another chance to watch it in its entirety.

I'm doomed to never see this movie. It's not that I'm DYING to see it. But it looks like a good movie and it seems like I would really like it. Plus, I want to compare it to the Prestige and see how it holds up. Maybe my mind already knows that The Prestige is far superior to The Illusionist (my mind having heard the movie several time while I slept), and it just wants to save me the heartbreak.

I've had a desire to see this movie for 4 years. Call it my BHAG, if you will.
I will watch this entire movie someday.

Tooth Brush

Dallin has always had a fascination with tooth brushes. Remember this picture from about a year ago?
Dallin would just stare at me the whole time I brushed my teeth.
(Side note: Dallin is wearing those very same pajamas right now as I am typing this, a whole year later. Oh Dallin....)

It shouldn't have been a surprise to me when it came time for him to get his own tooth brush and he loved it!
I thought with Dallin being so sensitive to anything you put in his mouth, he wouldn't like me shoving a tooth brush in there. I've offered him so many delicious foods that he has turned down, but give him a tooth brush with nasty fruity bubble gum tooth paste that makes ME gag when I smell it, and he's perfectly content to let you brush away.
Sometimes I just don't understand this kid.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

BHAG?

Judging by the comments from my last post, few if any of you know what a BHAG is. For those of you who are dying to know but haven't looked it up on your own, BHAG stands for Big Hairy Audacious Goal. The phrase was coined by 2 men who were studying large successful companies and seeing what made each one successful. They found that each company had started with a very big goal, and worked as hard as they could to achieve that goal. So, in mine and Mckay's conversation, he mentioned a specific amount of money he thought we could save in the next 11 months for buying a house. I didn't think we'd be able to save that much money, and then he said, "It'll be our BHAG. We'll make a goal to save that much money." Apparently Donald Trump uses this phrase a lot. Don't ask me when Mckay become a Donald Trump aficionado.

So there you have it. Now we've all learned something new.

I finally got around to hanging up all our pictures in our apartment. It looks a lot nicer. More like a home. More like it belongs to us now that there are cute little pictures of Dallin all over the place. While unpacking the picture frames, I found our wedding guest book. I enjoyed looking back over all the names of friends and loved ones.

I really love this one page in particular:
A whole page taken up by my 4 brothers. Great job guys.
This made me laugh.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Questions

Our blog title used to be "Eastons in the West." Since we're no longer living in the west, it doesn't really make sense. "Eastons in the Mid-West" has been our temporary title, but we're not sure if we love it. We toyed around with "The Purduestons," combining Purdue with our last name. We could just do something simple like "The Easton Family," but I want it to have more pizazz. So, any ideas? Start naming them off!

While you're at it, maybe you can help me by answering another question: Have you ever heard of a B.H.A.G. (pronounced BEE hag)? Mckay and I were talking about saving up for a house, and he said, "It will be our BHAG." I had never EVER heard that before, and Mckay couldn't believe that. He was acting like this was a very common word people use every day, like "table." It's an acronym, so the letters stand for something. Once again, I ask you, have you ever heard of a B.H.A.G.? And it doesn't count if you just barely googled it. I want to honestly know how many people have heard this before. And I want to be right and rub it in Mckay's face.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

For dinner tonight, I made homemade chicken nuggets. I never really thought of chicken nuggets as something that could be made from scratch at home, but I saw the recipe on cheekykitchen.com and I was intrigued, so I tried it.
(Picture courtesy of cheekykitchen.com. Mine didn't turn out nearly this pretty. Nor are my photography skills this good.)

The thing I love about this recipe is that it is half ground chicken, half mixed veggies. I have a hard time getting Mckay to eat a lot of vegetables, so I loved the thought of sneaking them in. The recipe uses a bag of frozen California mixed vegetables, which is usually carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower, the 3 vegetables he dislikes most. I don't have a star shaped cookie cutter, so I cut my nuggets in a diamond shape. They were really delicious. Mckay loved them, and it wasn't until after dinner that I told him about the vegetables in them. (The beauty of him being colorblind is that he didn't notice the suspicious orange and green flecks of color in the nuggets.) He was shocked that I hid vegetables in his chicken. I think he was even more shocked that he didn't notice and they tasted delicious.

All in all, the recipe was a success. It was quick and easy, pretty healthy, and I knew exactly what was in my chicken nuggets. No mystery meat. I'll definitely be making them again.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Music and Crazy Drivers

When we move into a new ward, it usually doesn't take long before people find out that I can play the piano and organ. I really enjoy playing the piano and I don't mind getting up in front of a group and sharing my talents like some people do. I've found in my experience with music at church that it's not as hard to find someone who can play the piano as someone who wants to. I think that's why my musical talents have been put to so much use in the church.

In this ward, I'm not exactly sure how the word got out, but it was fast. Last week, the bishop was meeting with new families in the ward individually during Sunday school, and we were one such family. While in there, he asked about our previous callings, and I recounted that all my past callings had been musical ones (Ward Organist, chorister, choir pianist, Relief Society pianist, primary pianist, etc.). He seemed happy about this but didn't really say much. 5 minutes later, I sat waiting for Relief Society to start and was asked if I could play the piano. Unless the bishop has a telepathic link with the R.S. presidency, there was no way for her to know of our conversation. But I happily agreed to play for the day. And I played again today. In a short amount of time, I am now accompanying a musical number for next week, I'm playing for a R.S. activity at the end of the month, and I'm the substitute for the ward organist when she needs me. The cat is out of the bag.

On the way home from church, we had a dangerous experience. We were driving on a 4 lane divided highway (2 lanes on each side), with a speed limit of 55 m.p.h., we were traveling about 60 m.p.h. in the right lane. Mckay, being the amazing, cautious driver that he is, noticed in his rear mirror that 2 cars were coming up quickly behind us, one in each lane, side by side. It seemed that the car in our lane was trying to speed up to get in front of the car in the other lane to go around us. The car in the other lane was going just as fast, to block the first car from changing lanes in front of him. I'm not sure what was going on, if these two cars knew each other, if they were messing around, but we were caught in the middle of it. They were coming up pretty quickly behind us, at least 70 m.p.h.. Neither had any intention of slowing and yielding to the other. The one car was just feet behind us and still accelerating, so Mckay swerved onto the shoulder to avoid being hit. They both passed us, still going just as fast, still locked side by side in the two lanes. We were pretty shaken up by the experience. A car almost hit us! The car had to have known we were there. If not, the driver is a very oblivious one and needs to learn a few things. I'm glad that Mckay was paying attention and was able to act quickly and safely to avoid an accident. We were glad to spend the rest of our Sunday peacefully at home instead of at a repair shop, or worse, a hospital.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Chicago Temple

Today we went to the Chicago temple. It's about 2 1/2 hours from us, so our ward rented a big bus for the trip. Dallin loved the ride. He just wanted to look out the window the whole time. He hardly slept there or back because there was so much to distract him. All the kids were left at a nearby church building to be babysat while the adults went to the temple. Neither of us had been to this temple before so it was a fun new experience. We're excited that we will get to go to this temple many more times in the next few years. It's a really beautiful place.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Up again

Dallin has been pulling himself up to stand by all kinds of things (see previous post), but he just discovered today that he can stand at the toilet.
He was so proud of himself for figuring this one out.
But when he discovered the fun water in the bowl to play with, I directed him to a new, cleaner toy.

While folding laundry today, Dallin started putting things into the hamper, and then he crawled in after them.
I love this kid!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Up and Down

Dallin has been getting a lot better at pulling himself up to stand at things. Getting back down on the ground from standing is another story, but he's making progress. Dallin really loves to pull himself up by the bathtub.
He'll stand there and bounce on his legs for a bit.
Then he'll start throwing toys, washcloths, shampoo bottles, pretty much anything within his reach over the edge and into the tub. Today he stood up at the tub, got back down to grab some toys, and then took them back up to throw over the edge. I was so proud!

He's resisting "cruising" along the side of the tub. If I put something just outside his reach, he gets mad.
I know he can take a few steps and get it, but he refuses.
And he gets really mad.

Big Houses

One thing I love about our drive to Purdue everyday is that we pass these huge fraternity and sorority houses along the way. I forgot that these groups are such a big deal at other universities, because the don't have any at BYU.
There are a lot of really cool, big houses on campus. If I were a student here, I would join a sorority just so I could live in this house.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Water Fountain

Today we went to the Purdue campus to walk around and show Mom and Dad Easton where Mckay spends his days. The only part of campus I had been to before today was the chemical engineering building, so this was all new for me as well. It's a BIG campus.
There was a cool fountain on campus, and Dallin liked looking at it.

We decided that if there was a fountain like this on BYU's campus, there would be kids running through it all the time because so many of the students there have children. Here at Purdue, we are in a very small minority of students with a child. We got the fountain all to ourselves.