Monday, January 30, 2012

Caleb's Crossing

I'm an admitted bookworm.  I grew up devouring books almost as fast as I could get my hands on them (my pace has slowed since then).  My family members and good friends know that I love giving book recommendations, and I love discussing books I've read.  So I thought as part of my blog I'd do a post on each book I finish.  I'm not bold enough to call it a "book review," just my own little ramblings.

I just finished Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks.  If you haven't read March or People of the Book by Brooks, they're both fantastic.  March won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction a few years back.

Caleb's Crossing has a very intriguing premise.  I was shocked that it was based on fact.  "Caleb" refers to Caleb Cheeshahteaumauk, one of the first American Indians to graduate from Harvard.  What stunned me was the year he graduated: 1665.  I had no idea Harvard even existed so far back, much less had American Indian students in that era.

What is fresh about this book is that it studies the convergence of American Indian and English societies in the 1600s without falling back on the simplistic "brutal English, peaceful Indian" storyline.  Caleb's "crossing" references several things, but one of his "crossings" is from his native society into English society, while most often books on this sort of topic focus on the English who are brought into American Indian culture.  There's obviously nothing wrong with that story, English learning from Indian, but it's just been done so many times already.

What isn't fresh about this book is the main character, who surprisingly isn't Caleb but is an English girl named Bethia.  Bethia is your typical strong female lead: ahead of her time, intelligent, strong willed, etc.  Again, there's obviously nothing wrong with a character like that, it's just that she starts to feel indistinguishable from every other strong-female-lead, everyone from Eliza Bennett to Belle in Beauty and the Beast.

At first the writing style was off-putting to me.  Brooks tries to keep the language typical to the time period, with outdated vocabulary and phrasology.  But after a few chapters I stopped noticing it, even though there were plenty of words that even my Kindle dictionary app couldn't define for me.  It does feel very authentic.

All said, I enjoyed the book.  I especially liked reading the Afterword, which explains the facts behind the fiction.  I don't think it's possible to tell a story of the American Indians of the 1600s that has a happy ending, of course.  Brooks tried to stay true to the facts of the real life characters, and it makes the ending all the more bitter.  But it is eye-opening, and really made me think deeply and in a new light about the history of the American Indian people.  It's a great book for a book club, especially a church book club.  It has a lot of interesting musings on religion, and is clean reading too (probably about a PG rating).

This Is Your Brain. This Is Your Brain On Football.

Since baby Levi is such a solid guy, people constantly remark, "He's going to be a football player!"

Of course, football is the one sport I'm against.  I know all sports have some level of danger, and that kids are going to get injured.  But concussions and brain injuries are a whole different story.  I might not be able to protect my little boy's knees and elbows, but I'm determined his brain is going to be safe.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tummy Time is Not Funny Time

Baby Levi hates tummy time.  If we try it when he's not in a perfect mood, this is about how it goes:

Screaming and crying . . .

. . . and then giving up. 

Guess we'll try again later.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Story Hour -- Wear Your Sports Bra

Baby Levi and I went to our first story hour at the local library.  It was "Baby Story Hour," and even though it said it was for ages 12-24 months, I figured we could sneak in anyway.  I mean, it's story hour.  You sit and listen to stories, right?

Apparently, not this story hour.  It was more like "Baby Cardio."  There was dancing.  There was marching.  There was flying.  There were bubbles.  It was ... AWESOME.  Baby Levi was a little young for it, but I picked up the slack and did a lot of the work for him.  He absolutely loved it. 

And also AWESOME was the fact that it totally wore him out, and he was asleep in the stroller before we even made it home.  Good thing, because I was exhausted from the dancing, and the marching, and the flying, etc. etc. 

Naptime for both of us!  Just don't let me open up Facebook or I'll never get off this stupid computer.......

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Baby is Cuter Than Every Other Baby. Even the Jolie-Pitts.

When I was pregnant, I had a lingering worry that my baby would be ugly.  Levi's response was, "There are a lot more things I'm worried about than having a ugly baby."  Point well taken.  But still.  I wanted a cute baby!
Mothers would assure me that I would think my baby was cute no matter what he looked like.  I didn't believe them.  I thought I would be objective.  If my baby was ugly, I would recognize the fact and deal with it.

Luckily, baby Levi was and is the cutest baby in the world.  Just kidding.  I absolutely cannot be objective!  The mothers were right!  I think he is so beautiful, but I have no idea if that is actually true or not.  Thankfully, I don't care.  I love thinking he is the most beautiful baby.  I love when Levi and I see babies on TV, we look at each other and say, "Our baby is way cuter than that baby."

But it just may be true.  Look at that cutie!


At baby Levi's four-month doctor's appointment, his pediatrician recommended introducing solid foods into his diet.  She mentioned that she thought it would help him sleep longer at night, since at the time he was still waking up hungry several times in the middle of the night.  I was excited to get him started (can you guess why?).

Sadly, he did not like rice cereal.  At all!
Look at that sad face!  Why, why are you doing this to me, Mom?

So after a few days of trying, we took a break for a few weeks, hoping he'd do better if he was a little bit older.

Now he's eating cereal much better.  He actually seems to like it.
A messy face is a happy face.

We're gearing up to start with some fruits and vegetables next, like avocado and sweet potato.

Baby Levi can't wait.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


My mom was in town for a few weeks and left Monday.  We took advantage of the free babysitting and went kayaking on Saturday with our friends Andrew and Christina.  I do like to kayak, as long as it's a tandem kayak and I'm allowed to stop rowing anytime I feel like it (which is about every 5 seconds).  Luckily Levi doesn't mind pulling my share the majority of the time.  Even when I am trying to help, I probably just dip-my-paddle-in-the-water more so than actually row.  I'm not what you'd call an "athlete."

Mapping out our route

Looks like they're walking on water.

I ended up a little sore (guess I did do some paddling after all) and Levi ended up a little sunburned, but we had a fun day.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Thunder Thighs

When baby Levi was born he was a scrawny guy with chicken legs like his mama.
Baby Levi as a newborn.

Yvette as a newborn.  Knobby knees, just like now.

Now he's so big he doesn't even look like the same baby!  Look at the enormous thighs he has now. 

Mama feeds him good, apparently.

Baby Levi Rolls Over!

Baby Levi rolled over from front to back today!  I've only seen him roll over on his own once before, and I think it was an accident.  Today he did it three times in a row (definitely not an accident), and the third time I caught it on video.  So proud of my baby!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Baby Levi is loved by a lot of people.  He's got a crew of the greatest grandparents a kid could have!  All the grandparents took turns watching over him while I was back at work, so he was able to bond with each grandparent individually.  He's the first baby boy in both the Farnsworth and the Baker families!  Though Donna does have a whole posse of grandsons on her side. 



Grandma Sherrie

Noni (you can't really see her in the picture, but we didn't manage to get any other photos of them together!)

What a lucky little guy!  And Levi and I are definitely blessed, too, to have so much love and support from our parents.  We couldn't do it without you!  Muah!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Tiger Yarmulke

There's no real story here.  I just thought this picture was so cute.  Either he's grown out of his hat, or it's a baby yarmulke.  You choose.  And yes, I did have to look up how to spell yarmulke.

Five Months

Baby Levi is five months old today!  That doesn't sound very old, but he's grown so much in that time.  Let's do a little time travel, shall we?

Newborn baby, 6 pounds 11 ounces.  Look at all that hair!

One month, 8 pounds, 5 ounces.  Still just a little peanut.
 Two months, 13 pounds, 4 ounces.  Look at those cheeks!

 Three months.  Getting to be a chunker now!

Four months, 17 pounds, 11 ounces.  We started calling him baby Shaq.  Huge baby! 

Five months.  Such a doll!  
He's gotten so big lately!  He can't even fit in 6 month clothes anymore; he's wearing 9 and 12 month clothes.  We love our baby butterball!  Fat babies are definitely the cutest.

Speaking of birthdays,
Happy 1st birthday, Piperoni!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I (heart) PD15

Tomorrow is my last day working at the Public Defender's Office.  I have been there over 6 years!  Officially, I am taking a 6 month leave of absence.  Then, after 6 months, I can decide if I want to come back to work or not. 

I probably will not.  But it's nice to have the option.  :)

I have a lot of mixed emotions.  I am *really* happy to be able to stay home with my baby boy.  I know it is so important to him, and I love being with him.

But I love the Public Defender's Office.  I love the work that we do.  I love the people who work there, their compassion, their fire, their zeal to stand up for the lowliest of people.  I love the feeling of helping someone who really, truly, needs my help.  I love fighting against "the man." 

And I've worked with some incredible people.  Truly smart and talented lawyers, and really great friends.  I'm going to miss seeing them every day, and starting innumerable conversations with, "So I've got this guy who..."

Okay, gonna cry now.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Universal Studios

On Saturday we went to Universal Studios Islands of Adventure.  I was dying to go to experience HARRY POTTER WORLD!  It opened while I was pregnant last year, and we didn't go because I couldn't do any of the fun rides.  Hogsmeade!  Hogwarts!  Butterbeer!  Ollivander's!  Yes, I am a nerd. 

So could it possibly live up to my expectations?

It was so beautifully designed.  There were so many fantastic details.  The line for the main Harry Potter ride didn't even seem long because there was so much to see on the way.

Pumpkin juice and Butterbeer.  Sooooo delicious.  We even got Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans.  Some were good, some ... not so good.

Ollyvander's Wand Shop.  Those are stacks of wands, all the way up to the ceiling.

Other than Harry Potter, we spent time at Dr. Seuss Landing and the Marvel Comics area. 

We thought Dr. Seuss would be baby-friendly, but baby Levi couldn't really ride any of the rides there. 

He did get to ride the Caro-Seuss-al.

Baby Levi also got to check out the bookstore.  He's going to be a reader, most definitely.

Levi's buddy, the Lorax.
Ray had a bad hair day.

The only bad thing about the day was that it was FREEEEEEZING cold.  Not just Florida-cold, but legit Utah-natives-are-shivering cold.  No water rides for us.

Want more??  Check out Niki's blog post:


We took baby Levi and Piper on their first Disney adventure last Friday.
The adults were a lot more excited than the babies were. Although Piper was pretty thrilled with eating the map.

Baby Levi wore his Tigger outfit (thanks Donna!)
The whole gang was there! The only ones missing were Dad, Donna, and Bryan. Dad was never the Disney-maniac that the rest of us are, but Bryan would have loved to come if he could have gotten off work.  Lexi and Ale were in Florida, but didn't make it to Disneyworld with us.

Of course, the Farnsworth Handbook of Disney dictates that you start out with Space Mountain.
Between fast-passes and baby-swap, we rode Space Mountain three times in a row, and probably could have gone once more.
Obviously, the babies couldn't go on Space Mountain. But we were surprised that they could go on almost every other ride at Magic Kingdom.
Their favorites were:
Winnie-the-Pooh, and

It's a Small World.

Baby Levi liked the Buzz Lightyear line better than the actual ride.

He did manage to shoot off a few rounds.

The other Levi was very serious about his Buzz Lightyear score. I think he ended up with about 500,000 points (no joke).

The hardest thing about taking the babies to the park was pulling them out of their strollers at every ride because that made it hard for them to nap.
They had to squeeze in naps waiting in line.

They ended up pretty tired by the end of the day. But they did so well! No meltdowns, very little crying. I think they had a great time. I know the rest of us did.

Want more??  Check out Niki's blog post: