Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tidings of great boy

Poor Olivia and Sam weren't quite as excited about playing
outside Monday as I'd thought they'd be.

Isn't this a happy, great time of year? The only time in the winter season where people might actually like snow for the Christmas-y ambiance it provides. Me personally, I could have it in Jan-Feb for a while as long as the temps stay in the 30's and 40's so we can play in it comfortably. And everyone has to go sledding at least once a season! But by March, snow needs to be on the way out.

We love going to the Christmas Parade every year! I think we could use the same picture every year, as well...we are going on 3 years with the girls' coats. It's awesome. I'm not sure about Russell's pea-colored Shrek hat, though it was free with some Kellogg's proof of purchases.

Me and my little reindeer! So if you can't see my pregnant belly in this picture, then you are missing out. We found out today what we're having and we're excited things are going well in there for the little boy. Sam is pumped to have a little brother. Don't feel bad if you didn't know- sometimes I'm not sure how to fit my reproduction into conversation. Any which way, the lines are open for discussion now!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Out with the old, in with the new

I love MS days. You know, when the MS truck comes and gets the pile of stuff you've wanted to take to DI forever but who has time to drop stuff off at DI? So when I get that phone call from MS I am more than happy to scour my house for more goodies to donate to make their trip out here worth it, and to make me feel like I just deep-cleaned my house, one of my favorite feelings in the world (don't we all love it?). Here's how I do it, because this is something any person with a home needs to do to de-junkify:

  • First, numb yourself. That's right...don't do this when you're sad, solemn, nostalgic, loving, etc. This is much easier if you go through this process as unbiased and indifferent as possible.
  • Look through all your board and card games. Look again, because 1/3 of those babies you have not played this year, or the last. Time to give it up. Don't have it "just to have it". If you were lucky and it still has its shrink-wrap on, you can re-gift it this Christmas.
  • Go through all your kids' stuffed animals. There are a few there from teachers and from dollar stores and from Easter baskets that aren't getting the love more than a couple times a year. Your kids won't notice their absence. Ok...they will, but just for a screaming short-moment. Don't tell me they don't have 10 other stand-bys in line for lovin'.
  • Look through your kitchen. Pots and pans, plates...drawers of measuring many do you really need? It is so nice to have LESS STUFF in the kitchen, because it is the place that is constantly increasing with stuff.
  • Look through old books/dvds. Time to give away the vhs. Time to give away those books by Nicholas Sparks and Richard Paul Evans. How many times do you want to re-live a doomed romance or a sappy plot?
  • Clothes. This is my favorite part. The more you get rid of, the more empty your closet is and needs a re-fill. Justified shopping!
  • The husband's stuff. This is the hard part, because they are more difficult than the kids when they find out you got rid of their stuff. Who knew? Even if they never use it or never will. Beware of sentimental attachments they have with "stuff" (I can't mention item(s) to protect husband's identity). I still don't get it. Item is in back of storage gathering dust and mites and rendering itself even more useless, yet husband refuses to let item go. I feel angered that I can't win this battle, but won't give up just yet. MS comes every few months.
So, that's where I am with all of this. What a joy losing excess baggage around the homestead. No one can see the difference but me, but I can FEEL it too!

Can't wait to go shopping. Need some new shoes, new jeans, and maybe a few new books...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

vacationing Utah style

Well...what a nice Fall Break we had in CA! Now I am getting why people seem to go there all the time around here. The car ride isn't horrendous, though I can't believe I'm saying that. And if you live in St. George or even Las Vegas, then Disneyland is a mere few hours away!

Russell really discourages me taking nudie shots of our children, but little bums don't count! Especially little toddler boy bums. They make me smile, and in a purely innocent way.

Laguna Beach is a beautiful beach! We were a bit disappointed there weren't any famous people strutting around in their bikinis and shorts, but we did see several mid-life crisis males trying really hard to look hot in their speedos and super-dark tans.

Disneyland Street Parade. Ani and Is got to go dance. I was sure proud of them, because I don't imagine I would have had the nerve to do that when I was young. Or now.
We convinced my mom and dad that what they really wanted to do was to take a Disneyland trip and my powers of persuasion worked! They had a good time and we enjoyed the perks of having the ratio of 1 adult per child. It was great having them with us.

Disneyland, thanks for the good time and only minimal long waits in lines. We'll be back...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Last of picture stuff. Pure Fall Beauty!

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

August Collage

Click to see bigger pictures, if you'd like, if you love my kids that much. So just a quick catch-up...August was Anika turning 8 and getting baptized. Big event. We went to Color Me Mine for her birthday party and that was a really fun crafty thing to do. Great for all ages...paint your own ceramic things! Who doesn't love using creative juices every once and a while?

Isabelle started Kindergarten, which she enjoys. She had some awesome hair for crazy hair day! I miss Kindergarten, too. It was just a chill time with all the kids and treats and games.

Olivia started preschool and enjoys fighting with her friend over who gets to open the door every preschool morning. She had her 4th birthday and as you can tell, it was the perfect day.

Sam loves his woof from Ikea and will just lay on him whenever the mood strikes.

We hit Lagoon in Sept, which was a very great time to go weather-wise, especially since it was evening. Great times.

Soon I will post our Sundance collage. It was true beauty up there! We made it up Saturday, because we had to say we did it. There is still plenty of time to go; maybe 30 percent of the leaves had changed.

Friday, September 25, 2009

What makes a bad day for me and my big BOoHoO

So I shouldn't even be blogging about today because I have August to catch up on, which was a pretty big month at our house. However, I really have to digest this day as to purge it from my system and process it out of my life!

So it starts off with great potential. A day off from school that coincides with the Friday off Russell has from work. Another plus: it's Fall and the temperatures are great. Sounds like the perfect opportunity to have a fun family day, right? Well, right. But oh so wrong, thanks to poor planning and even worse execution. Our first plan was to hit Park City, which we like to do every Fall to see the leaves, but because I didn't really know *what* exactly we'd be doing up there and it seemed too sunny for Park City in the Fall (just a very specific personal preference) I changed the plan to going to Sundance, riding the ski lift, and doing a little hiking. We had to be back in Provo by 4 for dance class. Russell used most of the morning to do a little side work at home, and we didn't leave until 11:30. I thought we were still good, though I had errands to run in Orem before we got to the hiking part. Well, Russell took two kids to RCWilley because he is a bed-baby and really wants a new mattress, though ours is still soft (I'm no bed connoisseur), but he says it's not good if you wake up in the morning with a backache from your bed. I took the other 2 to Michael's to look at some Halloween stuff. I buy 3 bucks worth of stuff, Russell buys the salesman's pitch and we're out 40 minutes.

Next dealy- eat lunch. 1st problem: we told the kids McD's. 2nd problem: it's the McD's by the Orem Target, which is horrific, both in locale and quality. Okay, truth be told, when you go to McD's you know you're most likely not getting a stellar experience, but aim for sub-par and you'll be content. Anyway, not only was the order wrong (which is very usual) but the food was even more nasty than usual, even the apple dippers! Sad, McD's, very sad. And I like their cheeseburgers and fries as a rule...I'm not a snob. Anyway...Russell and I left feeling money was wasted and bellies were still hungry.

One more stop before the much anticipated nature event at Sundance: a "quick" stop into Target to get something I left there last time, and to briefly look at some kid clothes. Well, anyone and everyone knows you can't get out of Target in less than half an hour, and you most definitely won't leave without spending a big sum of money. This was no exception, and by the time we got out of there, it was 3:00. Oops! Russell and I are explaining to the kids that we don't have time to do what we actually PLANNED to do! How sad is that? We both felt pitiful and lame.

We got to dance class a bit late, because of traffic and one other errand we decided to run, and then took the kids out early (which is hard for me) to make it to Anika's last soccer game and party, which made it a big deal for her to go. Sadly, she left ONE shoe and ONE shin guard at home, and we had to run home and we ended up at the soccer game at half-time. Yuckety yuckety yuk. So how's that for a day that just leaves you feeling like UGH! I really needed a personal assistant today to help me with my planning, to check kid's bags, and to pack a lunch for us all, because dang, it looks like my fail to plan really caused my plan to fail. Cliched but true. It could have been a satisfying nature appreciation day! You'd be seeing pictures of me dancing in fall wonder....all of us laughing joyously and making memories, having intellectual discussions about seasons ...or maybe we would have fallen off the ski lift, so maybe this is the best day ever since we avoided a near-catastrophe? Is that how I should look at it? My gut tells me I should have cut out all the extra-curricular consumer errands. Story of my life guys, story of my life.

Anyway, if I could just do today over again...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Di!

di, me, meg in PA
Di and I are pregnant in this pic- I got to hide behind the candy bar
(we miss Diana all the time while she lives in NJ)

Well, it was just 8 months ago this day I wrote a birthday post for my older sister and promised I'd be back for another post of emotional sentiment for my younger sister, whose birthday is today. Well, since I really don't have that much sap in me to cover any more years down the road, this might have to be the first and last year I do this for my beloved sisters. So I will make this time a really special experience for everyone involved.

So a few words about Diana. She's just a good true person with smarts, patience, and creativity. I can't go into our growing up years as they had a lot of turmoil, thanks to myself, but I do like to focus on the times I was a good sister. We've had lots of great times!

We got creative with our huts in the field during the summer. I'd like to say that girl with the permy big bangs is Diana, but sadly, that was me. Diana's in her house- she's hard to find, but if you're good at ISpy..

Anyway, Happy Birthday Diana! I'm excited for the day when you live a lot closer and we can celebrate your big day with a night of clubbin' and mocktails.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

In memory of post #2

Back in the old days of 2008 when I started my blog, I had issues to discuss. I am a little sad I have departed from my insightful commentaries on various consumer products, or politics, or world news. Well, with the exception of the last two mentioned, my blog was a source of strength for my many reader. Her name being Megz. Going back I realized how succinct I was, how I didn't just go on and on for paragraphs. I miss the old me.

With that old post in mind, I wanted to give an update. Secret deodorant being the issue at hand. I didn't even post a picture back in those days of newbieness, so I made sure to not be lacking in that area today. If I were one of those bloggers, I would even show my armpit, perhaps with a little stubble (of course I don't have stubble ever!) as I apply the Secret. But I'm not going to do that for you.

So here's what happened. Secret did some random consumer research online, found my blog, saw my dismay at their change in formula, and after a year switched it back! So now I am finally back to wearing Secret Unscented. I tried several other flavors of deodorant, and I have been disgusted from the smells emanating from my armpits ever since. I am not a smelly person (i'm pretty sure), and I don't sweat excessively. So with that in mind, how can any sane person desire a wet-sweat-tainted version of Watermelon Sunset coming from the top two corners of their body? I don't want to smell my pits at any point in the day. No Baby Powder Unfresh, no Fusty Flamingo, and please no Tropical Breaking Wind. Not only do people get a whiff of you as you walk by, but you have to smell yourself all day long. And that is just something I can't handle. I love me a good perfume or lotion or spray, but mixed with body sweat just doesn't quite have the right zest, you know?

So my question is, how do you people out there that wear scented versions of deodorant defend yourselves? I am almost of the mind that you should go au-naturel- body-smell before you go scented.

But credit where credit is due. Thank you Secret, for taking the scent out of your Unscented once again. You heard my voice and I will once again pay 10 bucks a year to your company. Gracias.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Everyone loves a before and after

Whether it be a dramatic body before and after photo or a little less exciting home improvement before and after, who doesn't love seeing changes? And hopefully changes for the better?? It's like getting to take both roads in your journey and not just one with befores and afters. Think about it. We could have kept this kitchen as is and be pretty darn content with it, or we could change it up and see how it can change our lives. And let me tell you, my life is SO MUCH better now. My house is so pleased to experience a little plastic surgery. I am so much happier I now walk with a bounce in my step. My kids are singing all day and never a sassy mouth doth spout.

(so brown and sad)

(light, airy and bubbly)

(our painted and glazed island)
You could call us lazy painters but I just call us smart and not wasting time with unimportant roadblocks. Here's the thing- we removed the hardware but didn't remove the cabinets, didn't take out the drawers or the stuff in them ( just threw a newspaper page on them if we remembered), didn't sand (but primed with Valspar sander primer) and about 16 hours and three coats we finished. How great is that? I know some people think it's sacrilegious to paint over wood, but we didn't burn it or anything. It's still in our kitchen, just covered with a nice coat of paint to keep it toasty.

Di, Ani and Is
Moving on.... summer has flown by with its softball, swim lessons, 4th and 24th celebrations, parades, family reunion, and good times of that sort. It has been great to have my sister Diana and her family come down for their yearly visit from NJ. We braved the stinky and algae-ful Salem Pond water last week (how did I ever swim in that pond?!) and enjoyed a little paddle-boat ride. This is a beautiful place though. I am always in awe.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Car bonding

yup, a real live picture

Well, this was it! Our first family vacation out of state in a looooong time. I wasn't super-excited about packing the kids in the car for 14 hours but with the help of a dvd player (I know- weak!) we eliminated any fun family singathons and alphabet car travel games and instead sedated the kids with Barbie, Elmo, and other equally numbing entertainment. And you know what? Bless it all.

Above is Snoqualmie Falls in Washington state. I thought the kids would be speechless at nature's death-fall but they didn't seem too captivated. Shucks. Took me back to "The Fugitive" with Harri Ford, my ol' buddy. Great movie.

On a ferry with R's parents to Lopez Island, one of the San Juan Islands. Some people actually live there, which came as a surprise to me! I always thought those little specks on the map outside WA were just for looks. Goes to show...

The pictures below were from a beautiful beach there on Lopez. We saw sea life--some starfish, a washed up jellyfish, and crabs.

Burying Isabelle's legs in the sand. Good wholesome sand fun.

Cute Liv. The girls brought home about 10 lbs of seashells. I walk into their rooms and am blown over by the smell of sea air and dearly departed fishies. We did bring the beach home with us!

Best hats ever.
Be assured that Sam had his fun too. How can sand +water+boy not equal true bliss? Things did go a little too far when his naughty big sister Iz dumped a handful of sand down his diaper. Poor Bud! That is a place where one needs no exfoliation.

Well, we had a good time visiting R's parents and family on our trip. Now back to figuring out how to hook myself up with a comfy hammock, an icy drink, and an uninterrupted reading hour in that hammock for the remaining days of summer...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Have I gone too far in my teachings?

This is the Friend. You know- the LDS kid's mag. Anika (7 1/2) came up to me last week, asking me a question about this particular game. The idea is to put a smiley or frowney face on each picture, depending on whether the kids in them were doing good/happy things or naughty/sad things. So Anika was stumped on the picture of the kids sharing an ice cream cone in the lower left corner. She asked me "is it a happy face because they are eating ice cream or is it a frowny because they are sharing each other's ice cream and getting germs?" I laughed inside but secretly felt proud that she knew sharing licks with friends is a big no-no in our home. I've been doing a good job in my germ awareness teachings! But I also felt a little sad that the editors at Friend magazine are not germ-correct. I mean, really- this is 2009! With herpes and swine flu and scabies and mrsa who dares swap spit with buddies anymore??

Friday, May 15, 2009

What I've learned about marriage

I knew I'd get everyone's attention with that title.

We celebrated our 10th anniversary in a whirlwind 28 hours. Who says that isn't long enough? It was like 10 regular dates right in a row.

Though I put that picture of me at Anthropologie to look cool, we did our best shopping at tried and true Old Navy and Target. It just feels easier to spend $$ at places where the overall prices are lower. Even if you end up spending more. Tricky Target.

The kids had fun with my good parents and R and I had a nice escape from It All. Of course we still had to watch the Lost season finale and it only made the trip even better. What a show...but just one more year of it, darn it!

Oh yeah- back to the anniversary. We'll have more than one season left of our marriage, I think. Kind of like tv- some seasons are better than others. But it's the whole storyline that counts, and if the characters are real and likable. Man, I'm good with waxing philosophical about tv and marriage! Parallels in everything just gotta look.
Keep thinking those deep thoughts.
Happy 10, R and Me!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Just enjoying my Spring

It has been an awesome Spring. We get the run of the gamut this time of year. Flying kites in the wind, washing the car with the rain, one last (hopefully) jaunt in the snow, being outside all day in perfect temperatures only to endure frigid cold the next day, it's all a part of moody Spring. And I like it. I have weather ADD. If it's rainy for too long, sunny for too long, or snowy for too long, I get a little bored. I'm one of those people who actually like talking about weather, not just because it's a safe small-talk topic. How I'd love sitting down with Mark and Kevin Eubank. If you don't know who those cool guys are, then you need to google them. Mysteries are so easy to solve with Google. Speaking of mysteries, I have always wanted to do one of those group Mystery Murder Nights. Has anyone done that? It'd have to be with people I know really well, though. If we did it with a random group I think I'd be afraid that someone in the party really was a psycho-in-waiting and just using the guise of the game to finally play out their murderous desires.
I took this picture with Sam in the baby bjorn as an admirable reference to the Best Buy commercial with the guy holding the man-dude in his baby carrier. I thought that commercial was funny. Just the idea of that hairy man being held like that walking down the grocery aisle is right up my humor alley. Plus I relate well- I use the BB faithfully the first 4 months of my children's lives. I'm like a kangaroo. So it was a fond moment to pull out the carrier and try it on Big Grumpy Clingy Boy (ear infection strikes again!). Sam is 15 months and 20 lbs, and yeah, it wasn't quite as comfortable as the days when he was half this size. Plus, if you can see, he didn't quite take to it.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A slight dash of hypochondria and loving healthy days

First things first. Happy Easter everyone! Hope everyone is enjoying some religious happiness and some ham today. And mini-eggs and pb eggs.

You want to know what desperation is? Trying to find Cadbury Mini-Eggs the week of Easter. Holy cow....I looked far and wide for them in 5+ stores. Not for the kids (might as well give them stale chocolate chips- they can't tell the difference!) but for myself, for the long months ahead when Cadbury doesn't produce these delightful mini-drugs. I'm a little selfish this way. Always looking out for numero uno...but what can I say? Good candy makes me a better person. It really does! So I looked on ebay, and there they were...40 oz. and all. I won't tell you if I bought them at double (ok, almost triple) their value but hey- someone's got to woman the house. And if it's going to be me, I've got to have premium gasoline to keep goin'.

Aren't big sisters the best? Bangin' some music

Finally getting to wear his cool moto jacket!

I just can't seem to master my health imagination. I know I've talked about this before, but it is a recurring theme in my life (as are mini-eggs). It's been a week of sick kids. Stomach flu, then some other weird things....then I'll get a line of thinking that goes this way: "hmm...he has spots on his belly that don't look like the other ones (drool rash)...aren't liver spots due to weakened kidneys? What if the reason he's been so moody and clingy is because he hurts, and has organ problems we didn't diagnose??" And then I'll hit the internet, looking up all the things that could possibly fit any given symptom. The same with Anika's cough that followed her flu. She wasn't getting better fast enough so I wondered if she had pneumonia, or meningitis... good thing about all of this is that I am learning a lot more about illnesses and I almost could diagnose a patient. Well, I'd probably over-diagnose the patient, but better to over-do than under-do, right?
humbled by the calming goodness of an oreo

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Fun on the couch side-effects

This was yesterday. Have you ever seen a child more pleased than Isabelle about going to PCMC for a doctor appt? She's had the best attitude ever about her broken arm. (For all you that don't know- she broke her arm above her elbow falling off the couch last week. She fell all of two feet. Yes, they have that song "No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed/Couch" for a good reason!)

Isabelle today, pre-surgery. Good attitude hanging on, even after a change into hospital attire. I'm a little jealous; when I stay at the hospital all I get is a blue faded drape that dons no ferris wheel or carnival tent. She also got cotton candy gas. Seriously good stuff. She is doing well and we're glad she's back home. Great job Is!

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Monday, March 23, 2009

The part where I have to give in order to get

how you'll feel if you don't win

I am doing Stephanie's pay it forward game. The first three people to leave a comment on my blog will receive a gift from me some time in the near future (let's be more specific and say month). The catch is you must do a pay it forward post on your blog to keep the fun going. Remember only the first three will get a gift and it will be good. (Erin-standards good, which could also mean Target brand gummi peaches good, but who doesn't love those?)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I love my baby enough to share mini-eggs

I've always been a skeptic of the "terrible two's". Labels that cause expectations that are often not even true and induce false dread and false relief. I mean really, isn't "terrible" a little harsh? Kids are sweetly naughty because of their innocence, right? Plus we've all got our semi-terrible moments (well, me not so much), even those of us several decades old. So why put all the pressure on an innocent 2-year old to be naughty and difficult?! To let the age be the scapegoat of all unwanted behavior, I guess.

Why am I even going off on this? Well, because for me I find the difficulty in the 1- year olds and want some validation and perhaps some understanding. Here is some of my evidence 1 year olds are more of a handful than 2-year olds:

  • 1 year olds grunt, point, and pant their desires, which must be met immediately!
  • They want to do boring stuff like stand at the microwave for minutes and just open and close that door for what seem like hours.
  • They don't like the telly so how can long car rides work or using the telly as a babysitter? (super problem, I know).
  • That beautiful display tower of jello at the store? Gone.
  • They remember the taste of that m&m well enough to know where they are and to grunt you in the direction of them. Can't quite reason with them "treat after the sliced bananas, baby" (ok, shame on me for exposing my babes to the evil seduction of sweets)

The list goes on but so will boredom if I continue...

Steering away from all that negativity (if it's taken as that) and more on a "isn't he precious" note, here are some pictures of Samuel doin' some of his 1-year old hobbies.

Playing mop for a good 10 minutes. He also likes R's wooden shoe trees. You never know what makes a good toy for a 1 year old.

Look here- I'm impressed that he knows how to twist a screwdriver! I have to change our belt about every two weeks because of all the random dress-up scarves we have half-hiding, just within suction's reach.

What I have to put on the floor to keep to keep him entertained so I don't have to hold him while I do my important duties.

So those are my thoughts on this matter. But dang, as high-maintenance as he is, he is a GOOD boy. Labels and all.