Monday, April 28, 2008


So much for our springtime weather. Today was cold, wet and rainy. Only a few more days left of April showers, and then it better be all May flowers!

Given the icky weather, we stayed pretty close to home today. I bundled Tessie up for exercise class, and we had a Primary Presidency mtg. after the gym.

I know I've lost it when I start taking pictures of other people's kids, but this was too funny to resist. We turned around during the mtg. and the kids had turned the Primary piano into some kind of military bunker for their toys. Can we all sing "Armies of Helaman?"

Finally, we've received some feedback on the premiere of the Mighty B (the Bessie Higgenbottom) cartoon, which aired Saturday. Check out this pic of my friend's little girl, Samantha. (They moved out of our ward a couple months ago).

Sammie is one of the funniest little girls I've ever known. Seriously, she's hysterical. I suppose if she can find the humor in the show, so can I.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Clownin' Around

Tess sometimes has goofy moods. Usually this happens right after her nap, after she's been changed and had a bottle. All seems right in her little world, and she gets downright silly. And of course, I can't resist snapping pics of my goofy girl.

The cute owl onesie that seems to be contributing to her mischievous spirit is from her Aunt Reen (she's not wearing the matching pants--they're still a wee long on her).

Just a couple of pics of Tess hanging out with Dad. Ry is such an amazing dad to Tess. I know he's tired and worn out when he gets home, but he always makes time to spend with Tessie in the evening.

Tess enjoys her dad time. It's so cute to watch her play with him. It's interesting that when she's with him, she frequently reaches out to touch and stroke his face with these inquisitive, gentle pats. She doesn't do that with me. She seems so engaged and interested when she's with him.

Tess is getting better at chowing down her cereal. She'll be eating us out of house and home in no time!

Bessie Higgenbottom Options

I emailed some of my friends about the Bessie Higgenbottom Dilemma. One wrote back, "Oh my!" Another told me she hit reply and just didn't know what to say.

My friend Stephanie came up with the most constructive ideas. She is French-Canadian and has 7 names! (During ward conference they read the names of all the auxiliary leaders. When they got to her name for the Primary Presidency, they got through about 4 of the names and just kind of gave up. They didn't even read her last name--the name she goes by in the ward!)

Her response is the only one that has made me feel any better, so here it is:

Ok, you have options.

You call Tess Tessie until September 2013; then she becomes strictly Tess or Tessa.

You call Ryan’s parents to explain the chauvinist nature of last names. You’ve decided to adopt a matriarchal stance in your home. You are now the Murdock family.

You set fire to the Nickelodeon studios.

You kidnap Amy Poehler and demand immediate cancellation of show.

You carry mace; anyone who says, “Have you heard about a new show called Be…” PSSSTTT. The end.

Tess carries mace to kindergarten. Tess never joins the Girl Scouts. Tess never learns about bees or honey.

Life is full of wonderful options! A little creativity adds that pizzazz, that je-ne-sais-quoi I’m-going-to-kill-you-if-you-mention-this to an otherwise humdrum existence. Who wants to be another boring Julie Jones? Ann Smith? Jessica Johnson? Really! Let’s celebrate those of us who are stuck with seven names! Hurray Tessie Higgenbotham, she of the pepper spray fame, she of the ballsy leave-me-alone look, she of the unique name!

If anything else, I think there’s room for a creative lawsuit against Nick here. Let’s guarantee Tessie a nice, free college education!


Stephanie Elsa Inge Sarah Angeline Dupal Demartin

You notice, however, that she spelled my last name wrong--like it is in the cartoon. The creep has already begun. Sigh.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bessie Higgenbottom

This show premieres on April 26th. It is absolutely, totally and incredibly not a joke. What the heck am I going to do?

OK, I removed the clip--it was driving me crazy every time I checked my blog. You get the idea.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Baba's Little Monkey

We had the special treat of having my dad visit for the weekend. BYU-I sends him out periodically to help set up student internships. Sometimes his schedule is so booked that we only get to see him for a few hours. This time he was able to make arrangements to stay for a couple extra days!

We met him in D.C. and spent Saturday morning at the Folger Shakespeare Library. We went on a garden tour and learned all about gardening during Elizabethean England and Shakespeare's use of plant and herbal imagery in his plays. We also took a tour of the library, including the cool theater-in-the-round and some of the library's original manuscripts from Shakespeare's time.

The tours were very, let's just say, informative--I think these tour guides know a whole lot about Shakespeare and don't get enough captive audiences to share it all with. During the second tour I was about ready to start pinching Tessie so we 'd have an excuse to ask for the "abbreviated" tour.

It was neat, though. We got to see an original First Folio of Shakespeare's works, published in 1623. We learned that the Folger has 79 of the 228 existing First Folio copies in its collection.

Baba and Tess (after a reading of Anna Karenina in the park)

Tess had a lot of fun with her Baba! His Donald Duck voice is still in good form (I guess it's like riding a bike!), and he earned a number of winning smiles from Tessie.

Tess Panting Like a Dog

Dad came up with an entertaining game where he'd lie on the floor next to Tess, hold her by front of her sleeper suit and gently tip her over on her side (we could call it Tip the Tessie). OK, it might not sound the most exciting to you and me, but she was certainly enjoying it!

This weekend Tess realized that she can double the fun of playtime if she incorporates her feet into the routine. She's been able to grab hold of her feet a couple times. She has as much fun kicking at her toys as she does using her hands to play with them.

Dad came to church with us today, and we put him to work as a substitute teacher with Ry for the CTR 5 class. That will teach you to come visit us! We put him on the plane a couple hours ago and he should be back home with Dipsy soon.

Good thing we'll see you in a month, Dad, or else we'd have to be really sad missing you! We love you!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Day of Food and Fun

Tess started off the day with her first taste of food that doesn't come out of a bottle. The pediatrician said Tess is ready to start dabbling in the world of solid foods!

This morning we tried a little cereal with a spoon. She liked the cereal, but she still needs a bit more practice with her spoon technique. Most of the cereal ended up on her face and on the bib, but I think it was a good first attempt.

Sorry about this video. I accidentally taped it sideways, and I don't have the capability to rotate video. So it looks like she's eating while stuck to the side of the wall, a la Spiderman. That would be impressive. She's pretty good at holding her head up, but not that good.

After breakfast, it was play time. Tess had some fun with her new teething ring.

Lately Tess is obsessed with putting her hands in her mouth. Honestly, sometimes during feedings we'll catch her sucking her thumb while sucking on the bottle. She tries to slip that thumb in when she thinks no one is looking.

The doctor said Tess is not teething yet, she just gets a lot of enjoyment from sucking her hands. Her pediatrician recommended we find other things for her to suck on, so the thumb doesn't become a habit.

After Tess tired of the teething ring, she found her own thing to suck--my face. She loves to give wet, slobbery cheek kisses. Today she managed to suction on to my chin (ewww!). Evidently Tess didn't want to be the only one with drool running down her chin.

This afternoon we went shopping for BPA-free bottles (I know I said I wasn't going to worry about that, but I found some very inexpensive ones and I can still use the same nipples she likes. It's worth it for the peace of mind.) We also found some fun, summery sandals.

Before heading out to pick up Dad, we went for an early evening walk. It was gorgeous here today--I couldn't let it go to waste! (The pic of me is after the walk, so don't mind the sweated-off-makeup-face and gym clothes.)

Day is done, gone the sun. And we get to do it all over again tomorrow!

(I love the silhouette of Tess' duck fuzz in this picture!)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Following Up

We're back from the pediatrician, so it's time for the 4-month status report. Tess had a really good visit. The doctor was impressed with how active and interactive she is (and by how long her eyelashes are!).

Tess now weighs 13 lbs. 12 oz. (not quite 14 lbs.!), which puts her in the 60th percentile for weight. She's 25 1/3 in. long--she's in the whopping 85th percentile for height! Maybe she'll be tall like her dad!

I really like Tess' doctor. You can tell she really enjoys babies and she took lots of time to answer all my paranoid mom questions (e.g., vaccines, fluorinated water, BPA bottles).

I just need to chill about that kind of stuff--there's only so much you can do and worrying about it doesn't help. The doctor did a good job of making me feel like I'm doing a good job with Tessie.

The shots were brutal--two in each chunker-thigh this time. Tessie's shrieks were truly heart-wrenching.

But afterwards I held her close, gave her a bottle and she finally fell sound asleep. Since she's still zonked out, I have a few minutes to blog on a few other things I've been meaning to follow up on:

1. Tess's vs. Tess'

Well, the poll results weren't exactly helpful in deciding which way to go on this. The poll did at least confirm that I've been justified in my indecisiveness.

I think I've settled on the spelling Tess', simply because of the number of s's. If her name didn't end in two s's, I'd go the other way. But three s's in a row starts to look a little s-s-snake-like, if you ask me.

Feel free to spell it however you like--I have no strong feelings one way or the other.

2. The "Dipsy" Designation

A while ago, Ann asked how my mom got the name "Dipsy." "Dipsy" is a name that Kenzie picked out especially for my mom (one of the perks of being the first grandchild!).

Kenzie & Isaac

When Kenzie was born, my mom decided that as a grandmother she wanted to be called "Gramsy." She thought that sounded like a sophisticated grandma name. My mom called herself "Gramsy" around Kenzie and tried to get Kenzie to call her that. Kenzie had other plans.

Lauren Kate

We're not entirely sure where Kenzie got the name "Dipsy" from. Granted, it does sound a little like "Gramsy;" at least the end does. However, we have strong suspicions that she picked it up from the only other Dipsy we know:

Not too long ago, Kenzie was watching Teletubbies with Grandma Dipsy. Kenzie was shocked when he came on the screen, "He has your name, Dipsy!" No kidding!

OK, so it's not the exactly the sophisticated grandma name Mom was going for. But, I think it's grown on her. I told her that if she wanted, we'd call her "Gramsy" and try to banish the Teletubbies nickname, at least on the east coast. She'd have none of it.


I think she secretly even likes the name. It is unusual--she's one of only two Dipsy's I know. And she's definitely the cuter of the two! We love Grandma Dip!

3. Congratulations, Keith!

We recently got the news that the ever-hard-working Keith has decided to enter retirement! Congratulations, Keith, on a full and impressive career!

We're sure that retirement won't be too much of a break for him. He always has plans for staying busy, whether it's through teaching or part-time work. If he does find himself with a little downtime, I'm sure Wendy will be able to help fill it!

And hopefully, he'll have a little more time for this:

That's all for now. Tess is up and in good spirits. It's beautiful today, so I think we'll go for a walk. Bye!

Monday, April 14, 2008

We've Kept Her Alive for 4 Whole Months!

Thanks to everyone who sent Tessie birthday greetings today! Tess particularly enjoyed the "Happy Birthday" serenade from her cousin Kenzie.

Tess is growing up so fast! She weighs at least 14 lbs. now. We'll let you know more precise stats after her doctor's visit on Wed.

In celebration of her 4-month birthday, we attempted a Tess in Bloom photo shoot today. She was in a very strange mood and mainly kept trying to eat the flowers (I had considered buying real ones. Good thing I didn't, or she would have had her first salad!).

Happy Birthday, Tessabelle! We're so glad we have you!