Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We Wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Get Well Soon

Christmas was amazing. I forgot how much more fun Christmas is with little kids, and my parents have nine grandkids now.
The car trip, with a brand-new baby, took 13 hours. In all honesty, V wasn't the biggest hold-up. We let N watch DVDs the whole ride down on her new portable DVD player--and she got carsick right around Orderville. Well, N puked all over the back seat, and we stopped for a good hour at a gas station to get it all cleaned up.

The week before Christmas, I worked, and Dani enjoyed being in Arizona. It was so nice to just go into the front yard and get some delicious oranges right off the tree.

Christmas traditions are a great thing. In my family, we have some old traditions and some newer ones. The oldest tradition of the Millecam household is the "Jerusalem dinner" where we eat food that is typical of what Christ would've eaten. Personally, I love dates and flat bread. Granted, we probably eat in a way that the extremely wealthy did at the time of Christ, but it is always nice to sit down for a meal and have the environment remind you of the Savior.
Another recent tradition is the opening of one present for everyone: new pajamas.
The last notable tradition of a Christmas Eve is sitting around a campfire in the back yard. Here's some pictures of my fam from that:

Christmas morning was awesome. N isn't old enough to exactly know what is going on, so we were able to get her up at 8:00, and give her a solid breakfast. My parents told us that everyone would arrive around 10:00 am and we'd start our big family Christmas around then. So, I figured, since we brought all our family gifts with us, we'd do our Christmas just before everyone arrived.

This year, God blessed us much more abundantly. I can honestly say that Dani and I were able to afford everything we wanted, and still have more than enough to meet all our financial obligations.

We got N a number of toys, but the most notable one was a Bilbo. It's a plastic basin. I like to think of it as a "utility toy." It's a toy where the fun in it is finding new uses for it. N has used it to carry and drag her toys around. I've used it to carry and drag her around. It's a stool, and a big goofy hat. N's cousins had a lot of fun with it too.

While Christmas was a great time of giving and love. Everyone but Dani, myself, and our kids got sick. Dr. Shockey saw four Millecams in two days. I felt for them--but I had that same disease for three weeks starting the second to last week of classes (it lasted through finals, and having a baby, and traveling).

We drove back on New Years day. It only took 11 hours (which is close to typical).

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The little things

Well, Dani gets induced on Tuesday morning (at least, we're pretty sure on that, if something happens then it'll be Wednesday). I figured I'd get a post in concerning the less vital aspects of our life before V comes and dominates this blog.

We had our little family Christmas on Saturday. We're having our real Christmas in AZ with my parents (traveling with a newborn isn't as bad as everyone thinks it is, we did it with N being only a few months old, and we're not worried.).

The big ticket item for this little family Christmas was the Camera I got for Dani. It's a Cannon Rebel T1i something or other. So far, I think I've played with it more than Dani (who is really too immobile to stage most the shots she wants). For the technically saavy readers, it's a 15.1 Megapixel camera that can do video recording in 1080p! I've had a lot of fun with it and Dani's tripod.

Here's one of the first shots we took. Please click on this image for the full version.
Now, this picture is a sort of the result of some Digital photography tricks. The highest quality format you can take a picture in is the camera's native RAW format--which is just the straight data that the camera collects. Most cameras do a quick bit of compression on that data, along with some touch-up work to counteract some of the negative visual effects inherent to the camera. Working with RAW images is not usually a pretty process. In order to get this image, I needed to do some touch-up work to simply make this picture viewable. While it took about an hour to learn all the tools and finally get it touched up, the end result is a very beautiful candid shot of my little girl.

The next "little thing" on the list are my finals. I only have two, and I'm taking them both tomorrow (since I don't think I'll have time when V comes). One of them will be mind-numbingly boring (CS100), and the other will be a real challenge of what I know (Partial Differential Equations for Physicists). I've studied, and I'm prepared, but still nervous.

Next on the list of "things that would never show up on the blog if I didn't post them before V comes" was our sledding trip on Saturday. Dani sat in a camping chair while N and I raced up and down the hills of Rock Canyon Park. I could not believe how crowded that place was! There were easily 100 people there. It's a good thing that park is so huge, otherwise we wouldn't have had a portion of the slope to go down on. Here's a picture of N in her "marshmallow" get-up, as Dani calls it. Again, you have to click for the full effect.

And last and least on this list: My gaming addiction is as healthy as ever. I've come back to an old game I played in Highschool called Runescape. It's free, and you can play it in a browser ( and unlike other games of its kind (World of Warcraft, ect.) this game can be fun to play without constantly killing things.
To feed that addiction, for our little family Christmas, Dani got me an entry-level gaming mouse. It's the kind of a mouse designed for professional gamers. After plugging it in, I feel like I was given the keys to a sports car after driving a city bus all my life. I logged onto Team Fortress 2, and started getting about double my normal kill/death ratio. I then tried Counterstrike for the first time, and I was number 2 on my team (not bad for not even knowing the controls to start out with). Lastly, I pulled up Crysis. Crysis is a very tough game. The bad guys are super intelligent, and will come at you with team tactical strikes. I beat Crysis once through on regular difficulty, and then started playing through it on the hardest settings. With this new mouse, I was able to snipe people more than 130m away with an assault rifle! I struggled through the first level with my old mouse: after plugging in this new Razer, I zoomed through two levels! Wow, who knew that a $30 mouse could make such a difference?

So, that's the Pre-V stuff. My next post will be about my new daughter--scheduled to come about 30 hours from the time I'm posting this.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dingle Hopper

First off, Dani loves Disney's "A Little Mermaid." I hate it. I think it's just an awful movie on pretty much every count, except the music. It's like Dani's "Bride and Prejudice" (The bollywood version of Pride and Prejudice)--I just cringe every time its on, and usually excuse myself to another room to do home work or find an excuse to get out of the house.

So, when we sat down to eat some chicken and rice the other day for dinner, I looked over to see my two year old daughter combing her hair with her "dingle-hopper," rather than eating her rice with her fork. I was completely stupefied--no idea how to respond to that.

I think I must've given her the exact same look that Eric and Grimsby give Ariel inadvertently.

Why I'm (still) a Mormon

I don't expect much more to ever be posted on this blog, and I'm largely just posting this to share it with some particular friends....