Thursday, December 2, 2010

'Tis the Season

This is probably my favorite version of any Christmas song ever. My parents have it on some random compilation album, and naturally, I had to put it on my computer when I moved out. Now that my computer is on the fritz and Jake has zero Christmas songs on his computer, I'm a little out of sorts without my seasonal music. Enjoy!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Fingers Crossed

This new version of Jane Eyre will either be awesome or awful. The trailer leans toward awesome (not hard with Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax). Check it out.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

One Month Old

Time flies when you're having fun. And we are having a blast with our little guy. It helps that he's cute.

Jake and Joseph in the Baby Bjorn.



Scrunchy face.

Love that little face.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Church Clothes

My mom made Joseph shirts with little ties sewn onto them. She wanted him to look like a little man at church. Success! On our first day back at church, he looked like a little old man with his tie tucked into his too-big elastic waist pants. :)

So I put on a little zip-up jacket that significantly decreases his "old man" factor and increases his "cute" factor.
All the ladies at church thought he was adorable. They were right.


"Hi, I'm Joseph and I'm cute."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Long Distance Parenting

This was my attempt to make Joseph stop crying for Ashley last night.

No web cam + skype + share screen option + crying baby + microsoft paint =



It didn't work. However, I learned that I could make the picture talk by filling in his mouth with black and hitting undo and redo really fast. Joseph will one day use this as proof that I was almost there during his childhood.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Smiles

Squee!

Moments like this make feeding every hour on the hour in the middle of the night a little more bearable. (Not that this happens often; he's usually great during the night. It's just happened a few times recently, and it wears me out.)



Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mini-Jake

This kid looks more and more like Jake every day. We took these on Sunday night (exactly 3 weeks old).




We sure love our boy.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Picture Catch-up

My mom sent me an email last night saying she was going through "Joseph withdrawals" and that I ought to post some more pictures. In the spirit of honoring my mother, I post these:

4 days old

5 days old

1 week

Grampa and Joseph (about 2 weeks)

12 days

12 days. Bathtime!

Nov. 2--heading out to vote

Yesterday. (Thanks, Grampa, for the jacket!)

More to follow soon...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"One! Ah, Ah, Ah!"

When Joseph is crying really hard, he sounds like the Count from Sesame Street. It's especially clear near the end of the video.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Drawrings

My name is Jacob, and I like to make drawrings:

Here is our family whiteboard, with all of our important goings on:

I felt that there aren't enough Jewish superheroes, so Moishe is going to save the unsuspecting soccer boy from a land shark. My vacation days and Bobbe's "I love Joseph" message also made it into the picture.

I drew this during the CEO's presentation at work:

Hertz and Avis were in a bidding war over DollarThrifty... it's a long story, but I believe my picture captures the gist of the message.

In unrelated, but slightly more entertaining news, I believe I found something to restore my sanity (the last 30 seconds is my favorite part):


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ends and Beginnings

I figure now that Joseph is over two weeks old, I ought to post some pictures.

36 weeks

38 weeks. I carried low the whole time, but once he dropped, I really looked like I had a basketball under my shirt...that was about to fall out.

My water broke at 3 am on Sunday, October 17. We called my doctor's answering service, and the doctor on call told us to come to the hospital, as I wasn't having strong, regular contractions. We got to the hospital at about 4:30 am, and the doctor put me on pitocin at about 5. I progressed pretty well, and at 10:45 am it was time to push. Pushing took much longer than I'd anticipated, and I hadn't eaten anything since the night before (I was on IV fluids, but that's not the same as food), so I got pretty tired and almost fell asleep between contractions near the end. At 12:26, Joseph made his entrance into the world. This was my reaction:

Just after Joseph was born. I was so relieved it was over!

I took a long time getting stitched up, and I was pretty anxious to hold Joseph. He got to hang out in the warmer until I was done. He was mostly very calm and alert during that whole time.

First family photo. I was super tired.

Jake holding Joseph the next day. What a cute dad.

Home at last. I didn't count on that hat being that big. We found one more suitable to his head size shortly thereafter.

I love my little guy.

As simple as my pregnancy was, I'm sure glad it's over and I get to hold Joseph and feed him and snuggle him and watch him grow. I have moments of terror and feelings of inadequacy, especially now that my mom has gone home, but I'm grateful for this sweet little boy and the amazing blessing of being his mom.

Monday, November 1, 2010

How much does a baby cost?

$43,207.25

Non-cesarean, no epidural, only stayed mandatory 48 hour minimum.

Just in case you were wondering.

By the way, my birth cost $2,125. I know because the receipt is in my baby book. That's 12% average inflation. (Actually, it isn't an average. It's a compounded annual growth rate. But who's counting?)

But... he's so dang cute:

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Costumes from the grandmas.




Four links for future reference

A great article in The Economist about corporations and corporate social responsibility (CSR). The first paragraph is absolutely hilarious, but it does curse once (would quote here, but I'm trying to maintain my coveted "G" rating).

A great blog posting from Russ Roberts on "making the world a better place."

An academic paper that has offended a lot of people called "Green Products and Ethical Behavior." It fits in neatly with my theory of moral quotas.

An interesting statistical analysis (uses a lot of marketing statistics tools too) of the make up of individuals who self-identify as subscribers to the tea-party. The interesting point is that it is made up of about 50% conservatives and 50% libertarians. The two groups disagree on quite a bit (e.g., trade, immigration, abortion), but do agree on spending reduction. A WSJ article recently showed something similar, but without the heavy quant behind it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

True Dedication

What do you do when your dreams come true, but you get stuck at court, so you are going to miss it?

Click here for the best filing ever from a Texas Ranger fan.

Price Discrimination

I have to fly to Panama for work, and I realized that it is cheaper to fly to Panama from New Jersey than flying to Utah from New Jersey. How could it be cheaper to fly all the way to Panama?

... and then it dawned on me that they are the same distance away! And I'm not talking about Panama City Florida.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Yaaaaaay

We have a baby! Yaaaaaay! In his honor, we post the following video:




The stats in case you're interested: Joseph Amos is 7 lbs 3 oz. 20.5 inches. 34 cm head. Born at 12:26 PM on Sunday October 17th. Ashley's water broke at almost exactly 3 AM that morning. He emerged from the womb wearing a sailor's cap. We're not quite sure what that means.

Pictures to follow.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Economics News - People Respond to Incentives

I read this about Joseph Stiglitz's latest narrative about current monetary policy ("run the presses!"), and it was making so much sense until I got to the last line.

Meanwhile, Russ Roberts wrote a great piece tearing apart the "spending creates prosperity" argument. One commenter quips, "I can't even fathom that the state of economics in 2010 is such that this post is even necessary. So paying people to do nothing doesn't create any output. Brilliant."

Also, using my ultimate clairvoyantness (here), I was able to predict this recent Reuters headline: "Health reform to worsen doctor shortage." In an economics class, we would have pushed the demand curve out without shifting the supply curve. The result is either much higher prices or a shortage. Because there are so many price controls in place, voilĂ ! Shortage. It's pretty basic, and forecasters are finally taking this into account.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

World Teachers' Day

October 5th was World Teachers' Day. Because most teachers do tend to accept late work, I'm writing about it now. I would like to list those teachers that I learned from in the acknowledgments below. Immediately following will be my disacknowledgments. Feel free to add your own in the comments if you feel so inclined.

Acknowledgments:

- Every teacher that told me I was a poor writer. They were by far more helpful than the ones who said I was fine.

- Most of the SUU economics department, with one glaring exception. If you knew the department back then, you know who I am talking about. The department was fantastic though. For the most part, they were professors who were willing to help you reach your goals instead of just pass their class. That's admirable.

- Mom. Because of her blasted teaching me all the time, I never learned a thing in public school. Thanks Mom.

Disacknowledgments:

- "Joseph Smith was a false prophet. Here is a picture of him [shows picture of Brigham Young]." --2nd grade

- "You should buy up land in Arizona because it will become beach front property when the oceans rise." --4th grade

- "The world is on the verge of running out of fresh water." -- 5th grade

- "Valium is fantastic!" -- 6th grade

- "Colleges will look at your middle school algebra grades." -- 7th grade (so glad I didn't believe that one)

- Step-by-step instructions on how to convert cocaine into crack. -- 8th grade

- "It doesn't matter what the dictionary says, furtherest is a word." -- 11th grade

- "In as soon as five years, the oceans could rise between 16 and 32 feet... or even double that." -- Commencement speech.

Monday, October 4, 2010

There's Just Something About Owls

Although the movie "Legend of the Guardians" hasn't received that great of reviews, I think I'm still going to love it. Especially given this negative review from rottentomatoes: "Snyder and his crew have made a film for an improbably narrow audience -- I can imagine 12 1/2-year-old boys being enthralled by it." ... ... That's me! It's all about a brave little owl striking out on his own to go find a group of hero owls to save his city. Check out 0:53 - 0:57 of this video. That's me!! Ashley and I will probably check it out next week, assuming the child has not arrived.


On Venezuela and Nationalization

When I see headlines like these:

"Hugo Chavez Tweets Nationalization of Private Venuzuelan University"
and
"Defiant Chavez orders land takeover of British food giant"

All I can think of is "All your base are belong to us!"

Saturday, October 2, 2010

General Conference

So I drew this during General Conference. Just imagine seeing it in The Friend.

Elder Quentin Cook, by Jake. Age 26


Sunday, September 26, 2010

I Suppose It Could Have Been Worse Part II

Joint Contribution Post, by JakAshley

In case you missed it, here's Part I.

I was informed that the week after I secured our apartment, a new company was managing the complex. Because of this, we couldn't simply show up to an apartment with the key left inside. The new company demanded the payment before that would be possible. So, we had to overnight our security deposit and first month's rent the day before we flew out.

We flew into Newark, New Jersey on a Wednesday night. After some hassle getting our rental car (not Hertz, shhhhhhhh, it was cheaper even with the employee discount because Hertz only had a couple expensive vehicles left), we took the last leg of our journey to our apartment where we expected an open door. However, the door was very locked. After calling the property manager and getting no answer (at 10 PM), we mulled over the situation over a couple of whopper juniors at Burger King. We came up with three options:

Option #1: Sleep in the car.
Option #2: Find a hotel.
Option #3: Break into the apartment and sleep on our air mattress.

Jake utilized his talents from a troubled youth, and [omitted per Miller legal representative], and that's when the flock of squirrels left. Crazy, eh?

We woke up bright and early the next morning to sort things out with the property managers. Apparently, I had written a wrong number down on the address. Oops. Our stuff arrived later that afternoon, and members of our ward came to help us put things away. They even put together our bed for us and fixed our dresser!

We then needed to purchase a car. Hertz has a new program called Rent2Buy, where you rent one of their vehicles, and if you like it, you purchase it. The price is at a pretty significant discount, and since the cars at dealers that are 2-3 years old are mostly ex-rental cars anyway, why not get a deal? We picked out a car that was supposed to be located in Union, New Jersey. Do not confuse Union, New Jersey with its neighboring Union City, New Jersey. Eventually, we arrived at our destination. Just so you know, New Jersey is the kind of place where it's quite easy to get lost. For example, directions to a location might involve: "turn right, turn left, turn left, turn left, turn left, and your destination is on the left" and if you look at a map, you were going due north. By all accounts, it doesn't make sense. (Thanks Kronk!)

Unfortunately, the car was not set to arrive there that day (Rent2Buy is a new program, and they are still working these last few bugs out). So, we had to rent another car, and finally our car arrived a few days later. At this point, we were just so glad that we didn't have to blow any more money on rental cars (even with the employee discount, it adds up quick). How wrong we were.

To be continued... same bat time ... same bat channel.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

How to Name a Baby

This is Jake here, ready to tell all yall how to name your baby. It's easy. First, wait until your wife is eight months pregnant. Then, make a list with all of the letters of the alphabet on it. After you've done that, make a list of all the names you like that start with that letter ("Y" is the BEST! See below). Next, have each name within each letter fight among themselves until there is only one name standing. Last, your 26 combatants will fight in a five-round single elimination death match. When the wounded, battered champion pulls himself from the carnage, you are ready to bequeath such a champion's name on your child. We are currently waiting on the A-L Semi-finals match to close. They just won't give up! We'll let you know what happens.

(click on the picture if it's too blurry)


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More pictures

While you're waiting for us to write Part Deux of our moving saga, I thought I'd post a couple of updated pictures of my belly and our boy.

28 weeks in NYC outside 30 Rock.

About 32 weeks

About 33 weeks

34 1/2 weeks

The little guy at 34 weeks (profile)

Only four weeks to go! Perhaps we should buy a crib...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I Suppose It Could Have Been Worse - Part I

Joint Contribution Post, by JakAshley

It's been a long, strange journey to New Jersey. It's also been a practical application of Murphy's Law, which is "Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong." This should not be confused with Cole's Law, which says, "Shredded cabbage goes great with shredded carrots and mayonnaise."

It all started with a strange car noise near Panguitch. We were traveling to Salt Lake from Cedar City, and the plan was to get on I-80 in Salt Lake and drive to New Jersey. Near the Panguitch exit our car decided to either complain about its hip-replacement, or a small indestructible weasel was stuck near the front right tire. Naturally we called my dad who suggested we get it checked out in Beaver. After arriving in Beaver, we took our car to Billy Joe's mechanical and bait and tackle shop (or something like that). The nice fellow took a gander and after a quick test-drive said it should make it to Salt Lake just fine and we should have the transmission checked out there. At about Exit 146, Jake noticed smoke coming out of the back of car. Not like a match that was put out smoke, more like billowy nebulous clouds.

If fire and smoke are erupting out of the back of your vehicle, you are either Batman or on fire. We were not Batman. We pulled off at the exit, and Jake, looking underneath the car, assessed the situation. Flames were coming out of the back of the car near the gas tank. He quickly turned off the car and told me to run. I waddled. While we were scampering away, Jake said, "Hey Ashley, remember that one time when you were six months pregnant, and we were running from our car because it was on fire? That was pretty funny, huh."

We called 911, and emergency vehicles soon arrived. Of course the fire had blown itself out by the time they got there, so we just seemed like car hypochondriacs. They sprayed the bottom of the car with water for good measure and said they didn't see any damage. They recommended to hop back into the non-batmobile vehicle and drive it up to Fillmore "real slow-like." About two miles away from the repair shop, the car started making a terrible grinding noise, the kind where you are tempted to toss in some meat to make some sausages. We pulled over again, and began our walk to the mechanic's shop. A kindly couple driving by took pity on us, and gave us in a ride in their car, which wasn't too far from death's door itself.

The man from the repair shop said that because we drive a super fancy European sport's car (i.e., Subaru station wagon), he wouldn't even be able to order a part until Monday. It was 5 PM on a Friday at this point. And because Fillmore isn't exactly a hub of international trade (two weeks from everywhere), the part would take several days to arrive. He suggested a tow to a bigger market, such as Provo or Salt Lake. After making many phone calls to figure out our options, we reserved a U-Haul that was located on the other side of town. Who knew that the "other side of town" in Fillmore would be over three miles away? Jake had to run there to arrive before it closed. I waddled.

My parents rescued us and arrived at about 9 PM, and towed our car up to my uncle and aunt's home in Sandy. We also set up an appointment to get the car fixed Saturday morning by the ever scrappy mechanic known as Mr. B. He took a look at the car, and explained that the differential fluid had leaked, which caused more friction and heat, which caused the non-batmobile. He replaced the differential and pointed out that the transmission also had some issues, but the car should get us to New Jersey just fine. The car sounded fine at first, but at about 45th South it started making some of the same noises. We took the car back on Monday morning, and Mr. B could find nothing wrong outside of the transmission and after driving it around a bit, he said that the car should make it to New Jersey. We felt a bit uneasy about it as the car gave a shudder as we approached the exit to Parley's Canyon. So, we instead utilized Jake's brother Benson's awesome network (who doesn't know Benson?) and took it to another shop. This shop basically said that we might be able to make it to New Jersey, but the car needed a new transmission, which would cost far more than we were willing to pay.

We then held a vigil for Gary the Subaru (named after Spongebob Squarepants's pet snail), wiped the tears, and courageously moved on with our trek. My aunt and uncle let us bum around their house for a few more days while we made our plans to ship our belongings and fly out to New Jersey so Jake could start work the next Monday.

On Wednesday night we got into New Jersey. ...

... To Be Continued

Saturday, September 4, 2010

New Ingredient Announcement

Agree or disagree: This is an effective way to tell people that mushroom is the new ingredient in your cat food.




Did you notice that all the animals shown are ingredients? Is that on purpose, or am I just morbid?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Worth Reposting...

Our niece, now known as M. Diddy.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Things Heard At School III

Wow. I just found this and considering school has been out for two months, we've moved twice, and I'm no longer employed, I figured I should probably post this. Enjoy the last bits of mayhem from my being a glorified teenage babysitter.

"This school's so dang poor. They don't give us personal laptops or anything."
(I work in one of the wealthiest districts in the country, by the way; the school spends about $17,000 per student per year)

"I went to classes for my anger, but they only made it worse."

Me (calmly) to a student in the other class standing in the open doorway while his teacher stepped out: "You need to come back in here, please."
Student: "Who is you talkin to like that? You need to calm down in here! You can't talk to me like that!"

"Guys, is my tongue abnormally pointy?"

Me: "J~, get your head up and find something to work on."
J~: "I have the right to take a break from work."
Me: "Nowhere in the Constitution are you guaranteed the right to take a break."
J~: "It's a free country, man!"
Me: "With consequences."
J~: "But I don't have to serve them."
(internal forehead smack)

C~: "Can go to the bathroom and throw up?"
Me: "Yes."
C~: "Never mind."

"I really hate the feel of cotton balls against my teeth."

"What? Mrs. Miller's pregnant? No she's not."

Girl, pointing to my belly after her friend cursed: "Hey! Don't swear in front of the baby!"

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ultrasound Pictures

A surprising number of you also wanted to see ultrasound pictures. I won't bombard you, and I won't show any "parts," but here are a couple. If they're not very clear, you may have to click on them to see them larger.

This is from our first ultrasound in March. The baby looked like he was waving at us as soon as the ultrasound came on the screen. We melted just a little. :)

These next two are from our appointment on June 17.
Profile.

Wee foot.

No, we have not come up with a name yet, but we've taken to calling him Cletus the Fetus. It's a good motivation to think of a real name.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Burgeoning Belly

Many of you (a surprising amount of you, actually) have requested that I post some pictures of my belly. Well, here you go.

8 weeks

15 weeks

18 weeks

22 weeks

26 weeks