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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Perhaps Monkeys are More Intelligent than We Thought

Most of you have heard about monkeys and Shakespeare - if one could theorectically put an infinite number of monkeys (which is not possible) in front of an infinite number of typewriters (which, again, is not possible), they would come up with all of the works of Shakespeare. Or perhaps Dierdot, or maybe even Dumas, but that might be pushing it. Brandon and I have discussed this problem several times, and I have always insisted that that could never happen. Well, I might be wrong.

Yesterday morning, while typing my last post (I apologize for two in two days; that really is much too often), I handed Kathleen our phone to keep her busy. She likes phones and keys and whisks and measuring spoons and pencils and chess pieces, just not her toys. The beeping sounds that come out of the phone, and occasionally even Grandma's voice, are an endless source of fascination to her. And there is no possible way she could actually get a correct sequence of numbers entered while the phone was on to actually call someone - that would be akin to some monkey typing "to be, or not to be" (all less than three letters).

However, after hearing someone's voice, not the operator, come out of the phone, I unplugged the phone line to be on the safe side. An hour later, a police car showed up in front of our house. Was everything fine, he wanted to know, they had recieved a call from this address. And that's when I realized - I should get some monkeys, some typewriters, and see if they could best good old Bill.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Babysitter: $18. Dinner and a Movie Without Kathleen: Priceless

Brandon's birthday was in early June, but we hadn't had an opportunity to celebrate it with dinner. A serious perk of being married is that you essentially get to enjoy not one, but two birthdays. Two dinners out (after all, it's no fun going out to dinner by yourself), two cakes, two celebrations, and two occasions for presents. Brandon recieved a Vaughn Williams CD - I like Vaughn Williams!; ice cream money - enough for two!; and Mastering the Art of French Cooking - hey, I can always enjoy a cookbook whose main three ingredients are cream, butter, and eggs. Brandon didn't fare so well for my birthday, however; I don't think his shoe size is a 7, and he definitely doesn't like wearing knee-high black leather boots.

Kathleen does NOT do well being 1. out of the house and, 2. up past her bedtime. Combine the two, and you get to force feed a screaming baby to keep her quiet, and then pace the back of the movie theatre afterwards. Many people's children love being out, spending time with mom and dad. Not ours. So, our only option was to find a babysitter.

Never having actually paid a babysitter before (previously we had an exchange worked out with Brandon's cousin), I wasn't quite sure how to go about finding one. I could always call around in the ward for eligible young women. But then how much do you pay someone to come and watch DVDs at your house for hours? I didn't need the super-certified, years-of-experience babysitter. I just needed someone who had the ability to call 911 and snatch the baby out of her crib if the house caught on fire.

Thank heavens for the local community bulletin board. I love them, because you can find all sorts of odd offers, and interesting goings-on. Additionally, you can find a babysitter, with a posted price: $3 an hour. She and her friend were only 11, but that's all we needed. So, hoping that one could trust one's neighbors in Springville not to be known for baby-neglect, I gave Makenzie Moon a call. She sounded perfectly normal, and better yet, she lived 3 houses away around the corner! $3 an hour for someone who will walk to your house!

Wednesday night Brandon and I got spiffed up, met the babysitter, her mother, and her friend who came to keep her company, and then joyfully headed up to Provo without our favorite child. We enjoyed a delicious dinner (with no interruptions other than from our server), a nice perusal through the bookstore (without a bored child), and saw the nine o'clock showing of Miss Potter. If our Whoppers, Junior Mints, and Charleston chews hadn't melted in the car during dinner, the night would have been perfect. However, I will take melted candy any day over a screaming child.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Why Children are Like Cats

When I was growing up, my family had a cat, Harriet. Unlike most aloof, distant cats, Harriet was more needy and attention-loving. Often when I would sit outside reading a book or newspaper, Harriet would saunter up, meow once or twice, and sit herself right in the middle of my book.

Kathleen loves the vacuum cleaner. Sometimes I will find her in her room, where the vacuum cleaner is kept, and find her cocking her head and cooing at her tall, red, plastic friend. And if she and the vacuum cleaner are friends when it is off, she adores it when it is on. As soon as Kathleen hears her favorite roar, she will come crawling as fast as her knees and hands can take her and sit, staring adoringly, right in the path of the vacuum cleaner.

I think perhaps that my baby is cut out to be a housewife, because in addition to her love affair with the vacuum cleaner, she also has an affinity for laundry, the fresher the better. This afternoon we sat down together to fold the laundry. Of course Kathleen's favorite spot was right in front of me, on top of the laundry.

If only we could train her to use a litter box.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

She Gets it From Her Grandmother

Yesterday afternoon I was watering my small garden and trimming the grapevines on our fence. Kathleen was outside with me, enjoying nature. Very much. As you can tell from the mud smeared on her face, and clothes, and hands, and dress, I think she'll be an avid gardener, just like her Grandma Henderson. Now I just need to teach her which plants are weeds.

Clearly we didn't read our previous post carefully enough

Kathleen loves water. She loves her bath, she loves the sprinklers, she loves splashing in her pot outside while in the yard. Logic follows that she would adore the local pool with its myriad of water-spraying, splashing, and pouring devices. Logic, however, was never found in a 10-month old baby. Sure, she was somewhat okay in the shallows, but her wails only grew louder the greater variety of distractions we tried to find. Luckily, the pool was so noisy that we couldn't hear the wails very much; I was having a nice time despite Kathleen's protestations. Brandon, not being around her wails as much, wasn't. Finally, however, after a bottle, some time on the grass (and pool chair), and a slow entry into the water, she began to enjoy herself. Long enough for Brandon to ride the waterslide once before completely breaking down again. Brandon doesn't have much hope for next time, but I do!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Doings in the Sherwood Family

Brandon has been off work for the past three days, so we have gotten some things done. First, and most important, we made pilgrimage to IKEA. Kathleen, we thought, would love IKEA - lots of bright colors, people to see, time with mom and dad. As I have come to discover more and more, however, she is her father's child. She doesn't like leaving the house. At all. We tried to take her to a movie. Once. We tried to take her hiking. For about a mile. We take her to church, but she doesn't have a choice about that one. By the time we got to the kitchens, she had had enough. Unfortunately for her, we had things to purchase, so she took turns on Brandon's shoulders, in his arms, walking on the floor as we held her arms. Cheerios were the only solution.

While she munched, we got the final things to make our apartment home - a bed frame, nightstand, lamp, light fixture for the kitchen, magnetic knife strip, a few other small things, and a toy for Kathleen. She doesn't seem too interested in the toy yet. IKEA is a dangerous place because there are always more things than one anticipated buying that are suddenly very useful and needed. For Brandon's birthday last week, I purchased him Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child. As anyone who cooks knows, the purchase of a new cookbook necessitates the purchase of new cooking equipment. And there they were - exactly what we needed - a souffle dish and cast-iron enameled casserole! Perfect for all of those delicious souffles and creams and stews I am going to make! Well, we had eclairs instead for Liz and Jordan, and our Spanish rice that evening was cooked in a normal pot with a lid.

The joy of IKEA is extended by the joy of furniture assembly. Combined with the ever-curious Kathleen who isn't interested in new toys, it makes for an interesting time. IKEA furniture comes with a 2-pound grab-bag of various and diverse screws, nails, nuts, and other things, all devastatingly fascinating, and at the same time deadly, to a 10-month old. Eventually after she crawled off our mattress headfirst onto the pile of wood that would become our bed frame, she finally got relegated to her Johnny Jump-up. I believe that if we could somehow hook up a generator to the spring, she could power our whole house with her jumping.

As briefly mentioned earlier, yesterday brought Janet Elizabeth Samuelson Jacobson (she would like to have all four names used) and her husband Jordan for a visit. Jordan and JESJ have just finished graudate school in Boston, and are in Utah visiting family before a migration to Cincinatti where Jordan will be continuing schooling, and JESJ will be going with him. We had a nice French blue cheese quiche, that could possibly have one's weekly intake of fat in one or two servings. Following that were the eclairs. But that is why I invited people over to eat - Brandon and I have less leftovers to get fat on, and it's an excuse to eat nutritionally devastating items. Like French food.

So after all of the excitement, Brandon is asleep, Kathleen is asleep, and I'm enjoying silence and anticipation of leftover quiche for dinner.

Why We Have Children

Yesterday, Kathleen had her first bubble bath. As she is a naturally curious child and finds that oral exploration is her favored method, she leaned down to lick the bubbles. Of course, the bubbles then covered her face in various formations: little old man beards; wonderful goatees, complete with nicely pointed moustaches; the abominable snowman, and Father Christmas. Brandon and I died laughing and took pictures while trying to breathe. Kathleen, of course, looked at us with a confused expression, which completed the look (more pictures are on the picassa site). I suppose that made up for the eclair she had smeared across her face in the previous picture. The third picture is so that she can't complain in fifteen years that we never took any nice pictures of her. The silly ones are just funnier!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Your daily intake of Sherwoods

Welcome to our family blog! As anyone reading this already knows who the Sherwood family is, no introduction is needed. We've created this blog in order to keep everyone who cares updated, and make no personal communication necessary (Brandon's goal). We won't promise daily updates (in fact, that will NEVER happen), but we'll try for weekly ones. We also have an online photo album, mostly of Kathleen, at Enjoy!