Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Last Decade Countdown

Ten years ago, almost to the minute (if my memory's correct), I did the best thing of my life. I married Sam for time and all eternity in the house of the Lord. Here's my countdown of the last ten years:

10 - Years
9 - jobs
8 - years of schooling
7 - rain jackets
6 - bikes
5 - homes
4 - boys
3 - schools
2 - Subaru's (plus 2 other cars, I had a hard time with the 2's) and
1 - amazing spouse later,
I wouldn't change a thing.

I love you Sam and I can't wait for all the decades (and happily ever after that) to come!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Chewy Saga

A couple of months ago Henry went to a friend's house for preschool. They have pet chickens and Henry fell in love. He begged for chickens. I am not ready for this whole pet thing to start, but I am really not ready to even consider chickens. So I told him if he could take care of all his responsibilities for 2 weeks (his room cleaned, toys picked up, and chores done daily) then he could get a fish. If he takes good care of the fish we could go from there, fully expecting him to not be able to (is that terrible? We are talking about giving Henry a living thing here, are we not?), but willing to follow through if he did.
A few days later a fly was caught between our window and screen and Henry decided that that was his cage and that he was our pet fly. He named him Chewy. Apparently Chewy likes to eat sprinkles; that is according to Henry and my niece who also recently (in a freaky coincidence) had her own pet fly named Anna. So I now have sprinkles in my window sills for whenever Chewy gets hungry.
Chewy has been lost a few times. The first time Chewy got lost Henry was so upset he was moaning Chewy's name and crying, calling for Chewy out the window. You'd have thought Chewy was a dog. About a half hour later Chewy "came back" and Henry was chasing him around the living room, beside himself with giddiness at the return of his beloved pet. Chewy has been lost several times since then. But Chewy always returns. A few times Chewy has brought along family members. He has brought over his dad, his son, his mom, and several friends. Once Henry brought up Chewy, caught between his thumb and forefinger and showed me that Chewy had lost a wing and 2 legs. I was wondering if Henry would start to suspect something when Chewy later returned with all his legs and wings. But Henry said something about there being lots of Chewy's, so that answers that. Here's the kicker for me though, that night in his bedtime prayers Henry asked Heavenly Father to bless Chewy to feel better. That's a new one in our house.
Chewy's popularity waxes and wanes, but Chewy seems impervious to this. He keeps returning; prancing around the living room waiting for Henry or Miles to chase him around, gloating at Sam and I that we have to be much more sneaky about our pest control methods. Meanwhile, the fishbowl complete with blue rocks and a tiki man statue still sits empty, but Henry is happy...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The just got home from vacation blues...

It seems its almost more work to recover from a vacation than to get ready for it. So we just had a great weekend away. Hot dogs, watermelon, peanut butter s'mores, crownies (cookie brownie combo), a ton of chips, BB guns, the beach, and lots of A-team episodes. We had fun. Yesterday I woke up ready to regain control of my house. Then about an hour later got back in bed and stayed there most of the morning. I think my weekend caught up with me. Little sleep and lots of junk food apparently don't go well in a 30 year-olds body. So yesterday I got a few loads of laundry done, enough to get everyone dressed yesterday and today, but none of it folded. I feel mostly better today, but I still have no food (a few eggs, half a cup of milk, no yogurt, no cereal, no fruit...), a ton of laundry, unpacked suitcases, and a bomb of a house. And what am I doing with my time? Blogging. Shame on me. Shame on me for "wasting" my time, for treating my body so badly in the name of vacation, and for complaining. Today I will fold all my laundry, and wash a significant amount more. I will go grocery shopping and I will unpack my suitcases. If I get the chance I will clean. Next time I go on vacation I will try to keep the motto "moderation in all things" and get more sleep.

Monday, May 17, 2010

How do you do it?

Okay all you fabulous, talented, hard-working ladies out there. And yes, I am talking to you, too. I want to know how you do it? You blog, sew, scrapbook, read, make jewelry/hair accessories, cook fabulous food, exercise, do photography, decorate your homes, do woodworking, paint, help other people, and many, many more things; and your kids are taken care of. Your houses are clean, your laundry is folded and put away (enough of the time). You check and reply to your emails and do your church callings, too. And I want to know how you do it? I am not looking for words of encouragement. I am not being hard on myself, and I do recognize I have a young needy baby at the moment. I want to know how you do it. Do you stay up late, get up early, neglect your housework on and off? Do you wait until your husband is home and let him take over the kids awhile, put them in front of the TV, drop them off at grandma's, get a babysitter, or trade with other moms? How organized are you to get all this done?

I am finally starting to feel like I might be able to handle life again, but that just means I can buy and prepare meals, stay caught up on the laundry (enough), and get everyone where they need to go. That doesn't cover all the other things on my to-do list. So again, I am not looking for affirmation, just how it works at your house.
I am waiting your juicy tidbits of wisdom or confession. (You can email me if you don't want your answer going public :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Chocolate Cake vs. the Gym

First of all, no explanations or excuses about my blogging habits, I've said it all before.

I have 2 great goals/desires for myself. I want to bake delicious food. I love to bake, and always have. I just got a book recently (Bakewise by Shirley Corriher) and I have been reading it more intently than any textbook I have ever read. It fascinates me to discover what each ingredient in baking does and how it effects your final result and then use that to fine tune a recipe to get just what I want. I don't want to be the best (home)baker. I used to think I did, then I realized that I don't want to be compared to anyone else and their baked goods, I just want for me and those I serve to thoroughly enjoy what I bake.
My other desire for myself is to get in shape. I have a few goals and numbers I am working on specifically, but mostly I just want to be more active and healthier.
There is a conflict of interest here. How can I spend my time trying out new recipes for pound cake, from-scratch brownies and lime cream tortes when I am trying to be healthier and even lose a few lbs in the process? I can't give it all away (the food, that is), I don't have enough self-control to do that. After all, part of the reason for wanting to bake is to eat it, right? Maybe I need to get up earlier and burn more calories to make up for it... I don't know. I am too passionate about these goals to to give up on either one yet. Any ideas?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Waving the white flag and a good piece of pie

I surrender! I spent almost a week of my life in my kids bathroom singing songs, reading books and shouting the accolades of chocolate chips and dinosaur stickers for naught. Wednesday night Miles started showing signs of progress in potty training; but after Miles got up from his nap Thursday afternoon we went back to 0, zilch, nothing. I was back to "running to the potty" every 10 minutes, followed 3 minutes later with cleaning up the floor. Worn out, increasingly discouraged, and overwhelmed with all I had not accomplished that week, I gave up Saturday evening. I am not a quitter, but I know when to say uncle. I only decided to try potty training because he was showing signs that "the experts" claimed made him ready. He wasn't. So we gave up for now, we're friends again, and we'll resume it in a few months when conditions will hopefully be more ideal. I have been known to get on a soap box about potty training, but there's nothing like a good piece of humble pie to teach you to keep your trap shut and realize that no matter how much you've learned you will still be surprised.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Catching up - part 2: November

November began with Henry's birthday. I like to make creative cakes based on whatever my boys are into or request. Henry requested cupcakes with chocolate frosting and m&m's on top. I had to do something creative so this was it:

it says: : "Henry turns 5 today!"

Henry probably has the most personality crammed into one little body I know. He has a passion for living life to its fullest (for good or bad), that often proves to be contagious. He keeps things lively around here that's for sure. We love you Yanni!
On Henry's birthday we started a family round of swine flu, paired with a dead washing machine. Kincaid got sick first, then Henry, then me, then Miles, and finally Charlie (who was only about 5 weeks old at the time). Needless to say I was a mess by the time Charlie came down with it. Luckily, and miraculously, Sam was able to stay healthy and help me restore sanity. Thanks also to my wonderful friends for all their help and support during our rough time (Amber even came over to help fish a toy out of Miles' nose. That is true friendship right there!).

Later in the month we blessed Charlie at church. The day before Sam, all his brothers, his dad, and a few grandsons shaved their heads for and with Sam's mom, to support her and her battle with cancer. It was quite a sight to see so many balds heads around Charlie during the blessing. My dad and cousin with their full heads of black hair (or dark brown depending on who you ask) really stood out! It was great to have everyone's support, you guys are awesome and we love you all! We had not yet taken a family picture with Charlie, so I took advantage of the occasion. This is the best we could get, but at least we're all in it.

Here is mom and Charlie on blessing day.

Here is Charlie in his blessing outfit. What a handsome little man!

Next was Thanksgiving. I was a little busy celebrating (stuffing my face) to take many pictures, but I got a couple. Here is Charlie almost 2 months old wearing his Thanksgiving outfit.

My sister Kristy and her husband Aaron and their 2 girls came up for Thanksgiving. It was so fun to see them and hang out! I even got to get in a thrift store shopping trip with my mom and sister, just like the old days. It was great. Here is a picture of Caid, Miles, and Henry with my nieces on Thanksgiving. Do you see the resemblance? Poor Henry looks like the odd man out. The cousins had a blast together all week. Thanks for coming guys!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, January 11, 2010

It seemed like a good idea...

I don't know what it is about me, but every time I have a baby, I suddenly decide the older sibling needs to be potty trained. I have spent more time nursing while sitting just outside the bathroom door singing songs and reading books than I care to admit. Anyway, here I go again. Today is day one of Miles' potty training. It's going so terribly that I almost didn't post this so no one would ask me how it was going if I decide to give up. We have had 11 accidents and 1 success. That was after the first 5 hours. I was thankful for nap time so I could put him on a diaper without guilt and spend some time in the rest of the house that didn't involve cleaning puddles. I go cold turkey straight to undies (I believe pull-ups are the enemy of potty training until they have a good handle on the concept, but I do use them or diapers during naps and at night until they consistently wake-up dry) so I know to expect a lot of accidents at first, I just don't remember having to take Caid or Henry to the bathroom every 5 minutes and still have this many accidents. I have tried telling myself to give it one week before giving up, but he's younger than the other 2 were when I trained them, and if I wait I can do it in the summer when Sam's home, Charlie is a little less attached, and Miles will be spending more time outside, cutting down consistently on clean-up. Can you appreciate the temptation? Plus I thought I picked a week when I had nothing going on, but I was grossly mistaken and that adds an extra wrench in things. Anyway, I am mostly just venting. I don't really intend to give up yet, but I will have to rely on pull-ups more than I hoped. I will enjoy the next hour, then back to the grindstone and give it at least 2 more days before I let myself really get discouraged. Wish me luck!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Catching up - part 1: Halloween

Unfortunately I have no funny stories or clever words to share, but because I love looking at pictures of my kids, I am posting about the last few months at our house to try and catch up. First, Halloween: Our pumpkin carving was done in waves. Sam's brother and his family host a big group pumpkin carving party every year at their church. We decided to go this year and carved 2 of our pumpkins then.

Henry was the only one really interested in carving the pumpkins, well besides me, but Charlie was only a couple of weeks old at that point so I ended up with him 90% of the time. Sam was less than excited about being left to take over, so he let Henry go at it all on his own. Luckily they now have kid-safe carving tools that are surprisingly effective.

The preschool I am doing with Henry went on a field trip to a pumpkin patch and I invited my sister and her kids to come along.

I was hoping to get a great "pumpkin patch" shot of the 3 boys (Henry, Miles and Charlie) and I together, but the boys didn't share my enthusiasm. This was the best I could get. Henry wouldn't get in the shot at all and this is the closest Miles would get to me. Oh well...

Along with some other fun things, the boys each got to pick out their own pumpkin out of the pumpkin patch to take home. So that night commenced round two of our pumpkin carving. Miles and Henry were both excited to carve their own pumpkins.

Halloween day itself was fun. After we finished our Saturday chores (Saturday is a special day, right?), we took the boys over to our parents to show off their costumes. My mom and dad had a fun "fishing game" set up for the boys to play to get their treats from them. They had a lot of fun with it. Luckily I thought to take a picture of the boys with my parents while we were there because the rest of the day I spaced it and that was my only shot of them in their costumes all day. I kept meaning to put them all in their costumes again and do a re-take later, but Charlie has now grown out of his and with it being January now and I still haven't done it I guess it's time to move on... Here's the boys and my parents, and then a close-up of Charlie in his. Kincaid was the red power ranger, Henry was Buzz Lightyear, Miles was a firefighter, and Charlie was a pirate.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


After finding myself saying some interesting things in response to (my) life's interesting situations, I decided to make a list of things I've said that I never thought I would (have to) hear myself say:
1. We do not paint on the door with yogurt.
2. We do not pull our pants down in front of other people. That is not a game.
3. Please don't pee on your outside toys.
4. "Get off me you bodaggit" is not really a very nice thing to say to the Bishop. (That's a line from the movie Napoleon Dynamite, in case you're not as obsessed with it as much as certain members of our family.)
5. How did you manage to drop: Thomas, my watch, your sword, Lightning McQueen... in the toilet?
6. I'm pretty sure the neighbors do not want you decorating their tree with your underwear. What? Oh, well trying to get your underwear caught up in the neighbor's tree is not a game.
7. You threw your underwear over the neighbors fence? (see #6)
8. The toilet brush is not a sword, we do not play with it.
9. Me: Don't fill up on fruit, we're having dinner soon. Kincaid: What's for dinner? Me: pancakes.
10. I am not a napkin, please don't wipe your face/hands on me.
11. I am not a tissue, please don't wipe your nose on me.
12. You have cheese in your eyebrow.
13. Why are you cuddling with your brother's dirty diaper? (at least it was only a wet one)
14. Who put the whoopie cushions under our pillows?
15. Putting a clean pair of undies over the dirty ones is not changing your underwear, you have to take the dirty ones off first. The same goes for socks.

There are so many more, but I keep forgetting to write them down and then I can't remember them. Oh well... life with kids is crazy, huh?

I plan on adding some more pics and updates soon, but I am still figuring out our new computer. Happy New Year!