Monday, March 30, 2009

My Other ESL Class

I'm not sure if you all know but there were two classes that I had to do student teaching for this semester. My second one ended a little over a week ago. The second class was a TTTC class, and all the students were adults, which made it easier, BUT they didn't always come consistently, which also made it harder. Unfortunately I didn't get all of my students for picture taking time, only the ones that came that Friday for the graduation to receive their certificates for passing the class. It was a lot of fun, but I am thrilled it's over, it was a strain to do teaching for these two classes as well as have my own classes. Now I feel like I can relax. This first picture is of me and my student teaching partner. It was a lot of fun to work with Eleanor Clark, (not just because I love hearing people talk that have accents, but because I learned a lot from her, and I hope I didn't mess her up to bad with my bad teaching :) Just kidding!) Eleanor has a very interesting story, well...actually I don't know about her story story, BUT she grew up in South Africa and then moved to Germany in her later teens (I think in her teens). She's in my grad program and was a lot of fun. As you can also see in this picture: pregnancy hormones + Melinda = ACNE!!!!

This next photo is of my students, but like I said just the ones that got the certificates. They are the culprits that said I look like I'm having twins. Take a good look and glare, maybe even while grinding your teeth. (But don't look for too long, I bent too much and there's a little bit too much cleavage showing.)

This last one is of my teaching internship class, LING 579. All of us were student teaching at both the TTTC and the ELC. I don't know why I have that funny look on my face. It's either because I got confused at which camera to look at, several pictures were being taken at the same time (which is why everyone is looking and smiling in different directions), or it could be the fact that I'm standing next to Lena (the skinny, very tan, smiley Russian girl on my right) who just by standing next to me makes me feel like Java the Hut. She is about an inch taller than me and weighs 103 pounds. I'm not exaggerating, she told our class that! (She was the T.A.)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

One Problem After Another...

So as some of you know I'm not throwing up anymore, and I've been feeling a lot better, but for some strange reason I still don't feel good. Everyone says that the second trimester is like the honeymoon of the pregnancy. I had about a week or two where I was feeling really good. Then this week came and I just felt really funny. Not nauseated or throwing up...just...funny. I've been sneezing a lot too, and realized that it's my allergies. I've always had mild year long allergies, which is why most of you know I make funny noises in my throat or with my nose. Well now they are worse with winter leaving early and spring coming. I've completely stopped wearing makeup because the hormones are making me breakout, and makeup on my breakouts makes my skin feel worse for some reason. Also mascara has been a problem with my itchy eyes. AND I can't take any medicine because I'm preggars. My dad (oh, I LOVE MY DAD) is in town and took Stephen and I out for breakfast. I was sluggish the whole time, despite the fact that I'd had 8 hours of sleep. Well when we left we had to stop by Walmart and get something that I desperately needed. So we went to Walmart, and as if my feeling sick wasn't bad enough, the new shoes that I got last month strangely don't seem to fit anymore. All I did was walk from the car into the store and they hurt my feet so bad that I couldn't take another step. Well right at the entrance of the walmart was a walmart wheelchair.

Stephen suggested that he push me in it to save my feet. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but then as we started through the store I started feeling embarrassed. I thought, "Everyone is looking at me! What if I see someone I know and they think I'm just riding the wheelchair for fun when this could be going to someone else." Then I realized, if someone else really needed a wheelchair they'd probably have their own. The ones that don't have one probably don't need this wheelchair anymore or less than me, so I'm fine. Then we ran into some girl Stephen knew, and the first thing he says is, "Hi, don't worry my wife isn't crippled, she's just not feeling well." Oh Stephen. It still makes me laugh just thinking about it. After I got what I needed we went over to look at the baby clothes. I would just like to say that I am way disappointed in Walmart! They have three times as many baby clothes for girls as they do for boys. I guess that just makes it easy for me not to spend too much then. I came home and crashed on the couch, and slept for like 2 hours, and I still feel drowsy. I hate allergies!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Everything Boy!

So one reason I had originally kind of wanted to have a girl is because little girls seem like so much fun to dress up. Well...since I've found out that we're having a boy I've been looking up tons of little boy things on-line, on e-bay, etc. And I have come to the conclusion that little boy clothes can be just as adorable. For example, I came across a onesie that said "automatic sprinkler."
(It made me think of that depressing movie "Riding In Cars With Boys" where Drew Barrymore is changing her little boys diaper and his "automatic sprinkler" goes off and waters her mouth. Ugh! That's one part I'm not looking forward to!) I keep having to restrain myself from really going out and buying baby clothes until after the baby shower. It is so hard though, I keep seeing all these really cute things. Stephen has convinced me to wait though, just a little bit longer. But I did want to show everyone this totally cute baby christening outfit I found. (It has crosses all over it, if only I were Catholic) But still...wouldn't this be super cute for a baby blessing? (I hate it when baby boys wear girly white dresses for their baby blessings)

It even comes with this cute little bonnet. Hee Hee.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Hey everyone. We just got back from the clinic where we had an ultrasound. The way the tech said it was, "It looks like your baby has outdoor plumbing." I wondered how often she used that joke. I remember my heart was pounding as I held Melinda's arm as she giggled from the cold and tickly feeling of the ultrasound gel. We were both entranced by the image of the monitor as we saw our child for the first time. Everything is normal except for his head, which is bigger than average. I suppose it is a normal Taylor head.

We got pictures of our baby's face (which I think looks strangely reminiscent of an extra-terrestrial skull from Indiana Jones 4) and also it's foot and what looks like baby sucking his thumb. Melinda and I couldn't stop smiling during the whole ordeal. We are both looking forward to being parents; even the sleepless nights and diaper changes and bottle feedings and reading stories and cleaning the house every day and all of the things people commiserate over about babies. I can't wait to be a dad.

Here's a picture of his "outdoor plumbing"

Here's his foot

Here's his face. (Doesn't anyone else agree with me? Who's seen the movie?)

Here's a picture of our baby sucking his thumb. Isn't he adorable?

Monday, March 23, 2009

California Trip

Stephen speaking-
I just came back from a very pleasant trip to California. I was there to take a California Highway Patrol P.O.S.T. exam, which I think I passed pretty well. It took a long time and there were a lot of interesting characters also trying out for the exam. I think there were over 200 people taking the test with me. After the exam I was able to help my friend Stephen Astle move his stuff, and then I hung out with my little brother Colin and his friend Glenn Sewell. Anyway, the good part of the trip was seeing family again. My little nephew Preston is getting cuter everyday. My mother and I babysat him so Nathan could take Becky out to dinner for her birthday. We played games together, which mostly consisted of me building towers and things out of blocks and him knocking them down afterward. Seeing Preston made me all the more excited to be a dad. Melinda and I find out tomorrow whether we are having a little boy or girl. Any wagers? We already have names all picked out.

I was really happy to come home to Melinda on Sunday night. Two nights apart, and I already was missing her terribly. How lame am I? She had cleaned the house (what I was unable to do before leaving) and had dinner all ready for me. Marriage is wonderful.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

An Ode To Marriage

So yesterday the love of my life went far away to the land of California and I miss him terribly.

(Isn't He HOT!!!!)

We will be apart for a little more than 48 hours, lame I know to cry over but I miss him. I missed snuggling up to him this morning pretending like I'm not trying to wake him up, just snuggle, although I really am trying to wake him up. I missed him reading me to bed last night. We started reading books together when we were engaged and haven't stopped since. My aunt, Maria, gave Stephen some very good advice at our wedding reception. She told him that after the reception we would be leaving to go on our honeymoon. She told us that we were to go and never come back from it. Stephen has done his best ever since, and I still don't feel like we've come back after about a year and a half of marriage. Being married to Stephen has truly been the best time of my life. I never thought that after my mission anything would, but this has. I look forward to greeting him when he comes home Sunday. I look forward to finding out what we will be having on Tuesday. I look forward to seeing our new baby and raising a family, living, and loving our whole lives and eternity together. (I don't know if this is more of an ode to marriage or to Stephen.) Marriage is great, and I THANK GOD EVERYDAY FOR IT!

The End to my somewhat Ode to Marriage. the way, some of you had wondered just what our sugar gliders names are. That is a good question. I'm not quite sure. There's a boy and girl, they're twins. There names are either rambo and ginger, or supa and mia. The first are the original names from the owners that we adopted them from the second are names that we came up with. But we constantly forget and call them ginger and rambo so...kinda funny! :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Babies (Sugar Glider Babies That Is...)

So many of you have heard that we have some new pets. AND many of you have wondered just what exactly a sugar glider is. Well here is what a sugar glider looks like, with some information about them.

Sugar Gliders are nocturnal marsupials native to eastern Australia. They are called sugar gliders because about 60% of what they eat is sweet; such as, fruit, yogurt chips, dried fruit, etc. They also can glide (kind of like flying squirrels), they have a flap of skin between their limbs that allows them to glide around. Like this..

And here is a picture of our sugar gliders. (The previous photos were off the web)They are very sleepy during the day, because they're nocturnal, but at night they are hyper active and run around the cage on the walls and upside down in circles on their cage's ceiling.

I know what you're thinking...since I've been pregnant I've really changed a lot. Well I have...but that's not me in the picture. We went out of town Valentine's weekend and had some friends of ours watch them, Ben and Summer Lewis. We had some pictures of them with us in the picture, but we ran out of room on our camera and had to delete them. Plus, I get nervous taking too many pictures of them with a camera that has a bright flash in their eyes, especially since their nocturnal. Just call me a paranoid mommy. We love them and think they're the cutest. Enjoy the pics.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pregnant Me At 5 Months here are some pictures of the pregnant me at 5 months.

Agh! Yes, I know that you think your wife is beautiful Steve but people want to see my belly...not my face.

There we go! Now a side view...

...and perfect. Or not so perfect, WOW look at that belly. There are about 15 pregnant women in my ward, 2 of which are 7 months and my belly is as big as theirs. But Steve keeps telling me to stop comparing so...I will. I hope that you're all satisfied with the pictures. I don't know if I'll do them again, it will depend on how depressed I get in the next 4 months. Bye bye!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

No Graduation For The Taylors

So as some of you know I was unable to go to my own graduation this last August because I was finishing my internship in Ecuador so that I could graduate. I didn't think I would care much...but as the time got closer I started getting sad. Something that I had looked forward to for 4 long years (6 if you count my mission time) of my life. All that hard work and I didn't get to send out the invites, get a funny robe and hat, put the stupid tassel on the other side, walk up to the Dean or whoever and get my certificate, or plan a graduation party with my parents to congratulate...ME! It sounds selfish...but when it came to that time, I really wished I could've been there. Then I thought no big deal, I'm doing my Grad School Certificate thing and I'll be done in April, same time that Stephen will be done with his undergrad, and we can celebrate our graduation together. Then we (I) got pregnant and realized that the amount for us to stay on BYU's student health plan as non-students (because we would be graduationg) was super-duper-uber expensive as well as us transfering to a different health insurance halfway through the pregnancy. So after much thought, study, prayer, and reluctance we realized the best way for us to save thousands of dollars would be to just post-pone our graduation until August. We would have been done in April and had already applied, but this week we've gone in and post-poned our graduation until August. (I'm actually doing mine tomorrow, I've been dreading it, and therefore been procrastinating) But it's sad because even though we'll be graduating, we won't be able to go to our own graduation. Stephen got a job down in Las Vegas, so we'll be leaving shortly after school gets out in April. AND driving 7 hours in a car with a week old new born in August just to go to our graduation does not seem...hmm...practical...or realistic. So...

So goodbye throwing my cap in the air...

...goodbye Dean with my certificate...

...goodbye graduation ceremony...
...goodbye graduation invitations to a party for me...

...and goodbye graduation party and cake. At least I had my high school graduation...oh...and DON'T forget Kindergarten!!!!!

-Stephen would like to add in that he doesn't care. HA! That's what I thought!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Melinda's ELC Class

For those of you who don't know right now I'm doing my student teaching for my TESOL grad program. It's been hard doing it while in my first trimester, but luckily I had a really good sponsoring teacher, Becca Thayne, who helped me out a lot. Now you can all see how big I've become since getting pregnant. I've gained about 12 pounds now total, and I'm 18 weeks. I'll have to start doing those side views of my belly. Not because I want to, but people have requested it so...I'll get on that.

The Catacombs

Guillermo also took us to visit the New and Old Cathedrals in Cuenca. The New one was only 200 years old. The old one was built in the 1500s, after Pizarro whomped the Incan Empire and the Spaniards began colonizing Ecuador and Peru. (All Peru in those days.) Guillermo talked a nun into letting us go underneath and see the catacombs. It was creepy and cool at the same time. This is Guille's nephew Jorge Andres with us.

More Ecuador Photos

Besides fishing, we also went to visit a holy site where the Virgin Mary appeared about 17 years ago. Guillermo and Maria Elisa are devout Catholics and we were as eager to see the revered site as they were to show us. Guille told us about how when he was a kid, a procession of thousands of people from Cuenca marched up the mountain because a fifteen year old girl told everyone she had seen the Holy Mother of Christ. Guille remembered going with his family to see the site. It was gorgeous. More pictures to follow.

Melinda and Maria Elisa made me clean and gut all the fish. Melinda is trying not to throw up in this picture. I remember repeating Bart Simpson when his family was stranded in Japan and forced to work in a fish market to afford passage home. "I think I've found my calling in life. Knife goes in, guts come out. Knife goes in, guts come out. Knife goes in..." The magical fish says, "If you spare my life, I will grant you three wishes."
"Knife goes in, guts come out."
Maria Elisa was an excellent cook. The trout were all deliciously cooked with lime and spices. I think we each had three or four.

We finally got the pictures from our friends Guillermo and Maria Elisa. (We didn't have a camera). We had such a fun time. I was amazed how many trout we caught with nothing but dough as bait and string for a line. But hey, that's a fish farm. Melinda caught her first fish ever.
The scenery reminded me of something out of Jurassic Park, with the fog and the lush mountainsides. Guille and Maria were great friends and we miss them.