Monday, December 31, 2007

I love this song

This is my new most favorite song ever! The line, "I love you more than I could ever promise", that's awesome! Why can't I think of stuff like that to say?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Oh my goodness - you are 13 today

Happy Birthday Willie!

Happy Burfday Baby Bwoder!

I can't believe that you are officially a teenager today. I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. Mom and dad told us goodbye in the morning and a few hours later aunt Jackie drove us up to the hospital. We rode up the elevator with mom's doctor - he missed your birth - and arrived at a room to find mom and dad a little out of it and a sweet little baby for us to hold and stare at. You were starving and ate Haley's finger and we just stared at you. Then we left you and mom to go get a hamburger at Crown Burgers and go to the Utah basketball game.

I loved holding you as a baby and picking you up after school. You would just lay on my chest and fall asleep. Or if I was laying on the floor, you'd climb on my back and fall asleep there, too. I love that you respond to every nickname we've ever thrown at you, including Cheryl, and that you have a goofy sense of humor. Remember that one time you felt bad because the kid at schools last name was Elder? And his first name was Deloy and you didn't even understand why we were laughing? That was awesome.

I am so happy that you are smart, and funny, and that you like sports, and school (sometimes), and scouting, and the computer. It's awesome that you have your own blog and that you know how to use the Internet for good, not evil.

It makes me even more happy that you love your nephew and know that you are his favorite uncle. Nephew loves you back!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Baby Friday - sometimes, I get the feeling he's mocking me


Those of you who know me well, know that I'm quite easy to tease and that in general, I don't do much about it. I just take it. It seems that Elliott knows this already and is giving me the evil eye - or the pig snout, which ever he'd prefer.

It just seems like this week, today included, the world is out to get me.

mocking me?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Christmas Aftermath

christmas morning

We survived the holiday - barely. We spent Christmas day with all three of us under the weather rushing around to see as many people as possible. We sat in terrible traffic, ate a lot of food, and spent the day in a blur. Elliott ended Christmas day puking in the car and we were just happy to be home and say that we survived. Thank you so much to everyone for the wonderful gifts. We are so lucky to have such wonderful people in our lives that care about us.

Now that we are 2 days removed from the holiday we will never forget, we are in deep - deep mess, deep exhaustion, and deep piles of laundry. However, after Ross was sick in bed all day yesterday, I finally made the bed this morning - the first time in three days the covers haven't been a jumbled mess. I'll take that as a sign things are on the mend.

Now, whose ready for New Year's Eve?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Talking to Ralph on the big white telephone

It's my baby's first Christmas and I should be excited, right? Happy, joyful, overcome with emotion, right?. Right now Ross, Elliott and I are supposed to be spending Christmas Eve with his parents, grandparents, and Uncles family. Where are we? Camped out at home, in the dark, watching football.

It's almost 7pm and this is the first time I've sat up today or really even had my eyes open. I woke up 12 hours ago not feeling well. Initially, I chalked it up to "trying to get regular" after traveling and a week of overeating. I often undergo full system shutdown's when I travel and it usually takes me a week to get back on track.

By 10 am I knew that the alien inside my stomach wasn't normal and that I was in for trouble. I moaned and wailed and carried on - when I wasn't asleep or writhing in pain in bed. I called my mom for sympathy, and made Ross do everything - laundry, grocery store, cleaning up the house, taking care of the baby.

Around 1 pm, things got a little rough. I was pacing the house trying to inspire the bug in my stomach to get out and Ross was holding a grumpy, "somethings off" baby in his room. As I was running upstairs to puke my brains out, Ross came to tell me that Elliott had done the same, all over both of them. Once I was done talking to the porcelain God and had regained my composure, I tried to assess the damage to my baby and his dad. It was rough.

Elliott puked buckets on his dad twice today. I just feel terrible but am glad it wasn't on me or we would have had a heck of a problem on our hands.

Our first Christmas Eve as a little family will go down on the record books - missed parties, no good food (only jell-o for me), lots of wardrobe changes, and some quality time with the toilet.

I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

11 months

Well kiddo, what can I say? You are a month shy of one year old today and the time has just flown by. You are a mover and a shaker and win over the hearts of everyone you meet. As with every month you've been a part of our little family, you are making leaps and bounds in your progress towards bossing me around like your dad. It's okay though, you're just too cute to get mad at. There is absolutely no way I can write about everything that you are doing and learning, but here are a few highlights from the last several weeks.

the new conquest

In one Sunday afternoon, you ate chicken nuggets (and now you love them and will eat 4 for lunch), figured out how to clap and crawled up the stairs - all 17 of them. You are so close to walking that we're sure you'll be doing it by your birthday and you are getting good enough that I only need to hold one hand as you tentatively take steps around the world.


Your dexterity is improving daily and I'm amazed at what you can pick up and even more amazed that you don't shove every single thing you find into your mouth. You love to push buttons on the remote control, the telephone, the garage door opener and the carbon monoxide detector in the hall. The day you did that was a great experience - I got to see your skeleton jump out of your skin just like on a Tom and Jerry cartoon.

This month, you visited 5 states: Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia and Maryland. That brings your grand total up to 9 (Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Nevada). That's quite impressive considering traveling with you is a little bit of a challenge. Everywhere we go though, people stop and stare at you. Probably because you are staring right back at them with your big blue eyes, but you definitely seem to be a ladies man, that's for sure. You have a radar for moms and grandmas and cute little girls. You could stare at cute little girls for hours and hours.
"take a picture it will last longer"

I love that you will sing songs with me and that you are learning the actions to "Itsy Bitsy Spider". Every morning when we come downstairs for breakfast, I turn on the music and you giggle and shudder for joy in my arms with anticipation of the song that we will hear. Some songs get you groovin' immediately and I'm so happy that you enjoy the Beatles, beach boys, and death cab for cutie. It's so cute to watch you get excited about singing and learning and that your books are your most favorite toys. It makes me so happy that you babble and talk to me all day long - I no longer feel that I am home with a baby, but a real person that interacts with me. You probably think I'm dumb, but that's okay. I don't mind.

on the move

I am so happy that you are 11 months old. You definitely seem to be leaving me in the dust and needing me less and less each day, especially when your dad, grandma, grandpa, haley and willie are around, but I know that you love me. The times you'll rest your head on my shoulder and say "ahhh" and those huge, unsolicited open mouth kisses on my nose tell me so everyday.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Baby Friday - time for a haircut

eating the camera

This handsome kid is almost 11 months old and in desperate need of a haircut before Christmas. Grandma, can you help us with that?

getting ready to go

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Months ago, we lost some very important documents. Not knowing what happened Ross and I just figured that I brought them home and set them down somewhere to be lost and gone forever.

Since losing these documents, I've accepted the blame everywhere we've gone, willingly looking the fool saying, "Yep, I lost them. Dumb me."

These important documents were recently replaced. Yesterday, while he was feeding Elliott and cleaning out his wallet, Ross found the "lost" documents from months ago.

He had them in his wallet the entire time.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Philadelphia - the final recap

We made it home late last night. Phew! What a whirlwind of a trip. It's a toss up whose more tired out of the three of us but the fact that Elliott is out cold in his bed and Ross and I are up and moving slowly is a good indicator. Nothing is as exhausting as traveling with a baby, I think. At least nothing that I've experienced at this point in my life. We are wiped out, but had a great time. Thanks to Craig and Christina for letting us stay in their house - even if we had to threaten to leave because of a power outage. We are so happy that the power came back on and the baby didn't freeze.

As I was wrapping things up yesterday packing and putting my computer away, I thought that my boys were upstairs doing the same. Boy was I wrong. I found them like this: sound asleep without a care in the world.
they were supposed to be packing

Once I got them awake and we got all of our bags packed and our coats on (it was absolutely freezing yesterday)we had one final goal, it was imperative that Ross each lunch at Reading Terminal, downtown. Luckily, he could expense the $25 dollar parking to make the whole experience worth it. Ross ate until he couldn't eat anymore and the 12 foot sandwich he devoured after the huge slice of pizza can definitely attest to the super human size of his stomach.
dad's lunch - after the pizza

We made it to the airport safely and were ready for the 5 hour adventure back home. Elliott once again made it through with flying colors. He slept a bit and then spent a good deal of the flight standing up, playing and eating cheerios.
airplane home - standing up

All in all, it went smoothly. Much better than this very negative worry wart thought it would. Will I do it again? Not anytime soon.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

do you want 12 inches or 24?

12 inches of cheesesteak

Last night we went to the Dairy Cottage. It's a very "local" place where I'm sure that very few tourists venture. The establishment only accepts cash and if you don't have cash, there is an ATM at the door. The menu is huge but they're know for their tasty and huge cheese steak sandwiches. You have two choices, 12 inches or 24 inches and if you plan to split your sandwich for someone, you have to pay an extra $2.00 gratuity. We also discovered last night that their onion rings and French fries are pretty good, too. Ross announced at the end of the meal that he could eat at the Dairy Cottage every day. Good thing we don't live in Philadelphia because Ross is never one to shy away from a food challenge - even one he sets for himself.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Cathedral of Basketball

Today, we went to a basketball game. The game wasn't quite a headliner event, Temple vs. Drexel, but the arena was well worth the time.

the palestra

They game was played in the Palestra. It's was built in 1927 and only holds about 8,000 people. It has a very high school feel to it though the basketball played is niot high school ball. It ahs all the intensity of a major rivalry game and we were so close to the action that the building was muggy and sweaty by the end of the game. Though we were nervous about the level of competition the game ended up being a nail biter with some great feats of athleticism and theatrics - and, the very small student sections were extremely entertaining.

palestra arena

Elliott did very well in the super loud gym and had a great time at the game. He ate part of a slice of pizza, pooped his pants twice, broke the clip off of his wet wipe container, and played, played, played on the bleachers. It was a good time to be had for all.

Elliott watching the game

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Griswald’s go to Philadelphia

It’s inevitable that when our small family travels, craziness ensues. Well, it’s happened on this trip as well. Luckily though, it has nothing to do with a dead car. Phew!
waiting for the airplane

Now, we were extremely tentative about the flight on Thursday – me getting down right sick to my stomach about it, particularly because as we were sitting in the SLC airport waiting to leave, we discovered much to our dismay that our baby was going to be the only child under 4 years of age on the entire flight. That was terrifying! Everyone would blame our baby for the bad flight, right? Elliott did wonderfully on the flight, sleeping for about half and playing the other half, and he found the flight safety instructions and barf bag to be extremely entertaining.
Luckily, it wasn’t us that caused the disturbance on the plane.
sleeping on the airplane
That was caused by a crazy woman from Boise, Idaho. She sat in front of us and brought her own oxygen tank (note: she didn’t need oxygen the entire flight, I was watching) because the air on the plane wasn’t enough. Just as our boarding was finished, this woman’s tank started to make a screeching fire alarm sort of noise. The battery was dead, no o2 was flowing and we couldn’t take off until the flight attendants could turn this woman’s defective machine off. They ended up taking it off the plane, taking the battery out, giving the woman Delta airlines air, “just in case”, and 45 minutes later, we got to go and get de-iced. In the end, our 3 hr 35 min. flight took an extra hour and a half, but we made it to Philly in the middle of the night.

By the time we got to Craig and Christina’s house, our gracious hosts stayed up patiently waiting for our arrival, Elliott was wired, the dogs were nuts, and we knew it was going to be a long night. It was. We finally got Elliott to sleep at 3:30 am Philly time (2 hours after we arrived) and he was awake exactly 4 hours later freezing cold with major boogers up his nose.

A good start to our trip, but that isn’t the best part. I decided that since we were so close, I wanted to go to Washington DC for the day. I wanted my baby boy to see our nation’s capital and I had grandiose dreams of walking the Mall with him in his stroller and having Ross take our picture in front of the World War II memorial. That and I wanted to eat at Cosi, a cute little bistro-ey chain place that I really, really like. Ross, being ever dutiful, obliged and after we got some of his work stuff out of the way, we headed to DC. Problem – it was a Friday afternoon, traffic is always horrendous back east, and we just kept hitting the wrong road. Our rental car has a navigation system and the woman navigating us had done a wonderful job, but we just couldn’t seem to get her directions right. I knew my hopes of “snapshots to remember” was lost in our “3 hour tour” and by the time we got to a Cosi in Arlington, we had driven the sketchy roads of the District of Columbia got lost on Constitution Avenue, didn’t get out of the car once, had Elliott screaming out of hunger and despair, and me feeling like a total moron.
why can't Cosi be in Utah

It all worked out alright, I guess. Cosi was tasty and worth the drive, Elliott ordered off of the kids menu and ate most of a grilled cheese and flirted with every girl in the joint. My kid, I discovered today, is a flirt. He stares and smiles at every girl and woman he see’s regardless of age, race, nationality, dress. He knows exactly what do to and even the woman at the toll road booths smiled and talked to him from their booth to our car.

happy baby

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Off to the city of brotherly love

ind. hall trough the trees

We're going to Philadelphia today. We are flying there. It's an almost 5 hour flight. Please pray for us and the poor souls who have to site in our general vicinity. Also, those of you who live around us, check on our house an make sure no one steals it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It's on my wish list, is it on yours?

There was a time in my life where I was obsessively political and in tune with issues around America and the world. I was a poly sci major for crying out was imperative that I know the names of world leaders, who has WMD's, and what nations want to blow up the US on any given day. Since those college days however, I've mellowed extremely. So much so that I struggle with politics today and can't be part of the process. I vote, but no more debates, news articles, video blurbs or commercials. I'm past it now. Apathy is my new middle name.

That being said, this is a fantastic item and I'd love to own it. I know that in Utah, my vote doesn't really count. It never has and never will because I live in a state full of people like my husband, "conservative turds" (to quote Ross after the 2004 election), who vote Republican even if Warren Jeffs himself were a Republican candidate for President of the United States.

I have to say though, that if Hillary Clinton gets the Democratic nomination, much to the chagrin of my husband and father, I'll probably vote for her. I have a history of voting for the "guy" who isn't going to win (Ralph Nader, John Kerry, etc.) and politics aside, I'll probably do it because she's a woman. Men have "ruled" this nation for over 200 years and done enough to screw it up. It's time for raging hormones, girl power and a little socialized medicine (that one was for you Ross) to have a chance. It's not like she can make things worse, right?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Photography by Annie

For most of the day Saturday, my house and frozen yard was turned into a photo studio. If I had good lighting equipment, things would have been better but for the most part, the sessions went well.

Early in the morning, my friend Michelle let me take pictures of her beautiful little girl, Micaela. She was initially a reluctant muse, but gave in once she realized that a nerds rope was on the line. She let me follow her around inside and out with the camera and we came out with some great shots. Michelle wanted pictures of Micaela in her Christmas dress, but I'm not so sure I delivered on her request. We still got some great shots though, here are my favorites:
shadowy face


cute girl

Later in the afternoon, I did a little photo session for my cousin Melanie and her husband's younger siblings. We had a good time inside and outside in the too bright snow, and ended up with some decent pictures. I wish I was as photogenic as my cousin.
sibling portrait

Thank you to all of you for letting me take your pictures. I hope that you got some shots that you like. If not, I'll do your pictures again. Or perhaps recommend you to another, "real" photographer.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Tis the season

I love basketball. It is indoors, goes by fast, and the parents are no where near as dumb as football parents, as a whole.

Today was the mighty wolverines first basketball game of the Jr. Jazz/Super League season. They came out in the matching shorts and jerseys and think they're all studs. Especially when the first game of the year was against a bunch of girls.

I wash shocked when I walked into the gym and saw that these goofy boys would be playing ball against a bunch of very serious young ladies. The girls were good ball handlers but in the end, ball handling doesn't score points, and causes hormonal boys to want to show off - by stealing everything off of the dribble.

their first game was against girls

In the end, the score was a little out of control but the boys beat the girls. Even though the girls made a valiant effort.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Baby Friday

Elliott has a cousin named Makayla that lives in Colorado. They are 8 days apart in age and as parents, we do our best to keep up to date on each other's kids. Makayla sent Elliott an early Christmas present and he likes it. It's a Winnie the Pooh bath tub and as you can see from the picture, he's a little big for it, but enjoys it in and out of the bath tub just the same. Poor Pooh seems to be more of a punching bag than a playmate, but my boy is a "boy's boy" so what should I expect?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Christmas about me

It seems that Ross is the Grinch in our family this year, not me. He won't let us get a tree. He thinks Elliott will eat it or something. He won't even find our stockings to display. In an effort to continue trying to dispel the Grinchy mystique that haunts me, I thought I'd post my answers to some holiday questions.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Wrapping paper with curly ribbon

2. Real tree or artificial? Real. Real tall and real skinny. I don't think that I'll be getting one though.

3. When do you put up the tree? Still no tree - I have a sparkly thingy shaped like a tree from target that my presents are surrounding, but it doesn't really count.

4. When do you take the tree down? Refer to #2 and #3

5. Do you like eggnog? Absolutely not! Who likes to drink nog?

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Is it bad that I don't really remember any gifts? Sorry mom. I love to receive clothes and shoes. One year when I was obsessed with living on an Indian reservation my grandma gave me a beautiful statue of an Indian girl. It made me cry.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? More than I want. I'll give you one if you need it.

8. Hardest person to buy for? Ross. That's why this year, we decided no gifts between the two of us. Just stockings.

9. Easiest person to buy for: Elliott and Willie. And myself, I'm very good at getting gifts for myself.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Since I don't really remember any gifts I've received, I guess I can't say that I got anything bad. Once, when my cousin Alex was in West Virginia, he sent us all coal for Christmas, but that was actually pretty cool.

11. Mail or email cards? Mail

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Charlie Brown Christmas

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I had all but one present purchased by Thanksgiving day and almost all of my presents are now wrapped and not under a tree.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No, but Ross has given his brother clothes that he bought for himself that didn't fit and we've re-gifted wedding presents at other weddings. Does that count?

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Fudge, with no nuts and my Auntie Chris' homemade caramels.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? If I get a tree, the lights will be white.

17. Favorite Christmas song? See previous blog post. "Last Christmas" by WHAM. I also like "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas" sung by ColdPlay.

18. Travel for Christmas or stay at home? Ideal? People come to me.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Dasher, dancer, prancer, vixen, comet, cupid, donner, blitzen

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Again with the tree! Ross, you're killing me here.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Ross' family opens all on Christmas Eve and my family opens on Christmas day with the tradition of opening one on Christmas Eve (Pajamas for all).

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? This time of year. I took one of my moms tranquilizers this evening just because I can't handle life and I think that I'm going to have a heart attack.

23. What I love most about Christmas? Watching my family open their gifts and finding "just the right thing" for all of them.

Have a Very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Last Christmas

This year, I'm trying to avoid being a Grinch. No guarantees, but I'm trying. Even though the holidays make me ill, I do love Christmas songs. The old traditional tunes are always good, especially when sung by the "good oldies" like Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin, Rosemary Clooney, Nat King Cole and the like. Those songs always seem to find a special place in the hearts of most people this time of year.

Though those "oldies but goodies" have their place, they aren't my favorites. My favorite Christmas song is "Last Christmas" by WHAM. Pathetic? So what? I remember my first introduction to WHAM - we were in St. George when I was very young visiting a teacher friend of my mom's. She had a VHS tape of WHAM videos and I remember watching that video dozens of times before we left to head back home. If I happen to hear, "Wake me up before you go-go" I can't help but smile and dance.

Anyway, after you watch this video, you'll find this is your favorite song too. Regardless of his personal life choices, who doesn't love a little George Michael and that other guy every once in a while?

Enjoy this precious gift from me to you. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Songs in the key of Annie

At the admonition of my dear sweet, cuddly, self proclaimed "stud muffin" little brother, I am going to try (but not try that hard)and continue blogging every day in the month of December.

NaBloPoMo lives on.....

When I was a kid and we went on road trips, one of the games that we would play was to try and think of a song about a person, for every letter in the alphabet. We'd all play and shout out all the songs we could think of. Some letters were tricky (Z) and some had the same song all the time ("Quinn the Eskimo"), but we were generally successful in our game. This however, spurred us onward and upward, at least me, to seek out songs that were "just about me".

There are two Annie songs that I like in particular. I will share them with you now.

#1: Valley Winter Song by Fountains of Wayne
Hey Sweet Annie
Don't take it so bad
You know the summer's coming soon
Though the interstate is choking under salt and dirty sand
And it seems the sun is hiding from the moon

Your daddy told you
When you were a girl
The kind of things that come to those who wait
So give it a rest girl
Take a deep breath girl
And meet me at the Bay State tonight
(lyrics truncated)

#2: Annie Waits by Ben Folds
And so
Annie waits, Annie waits, Annie waits
For a call
From a friend
The same
It's the same
Was it always the same?
Annie waits for the last time

The clock never stops, never stops, never waits
She's growing old
It's getting late
And so he forgot, he forgot
Maybe not
Maybe he's been seriously hurt
Would that be worse?
(lyrics truncated)

Both of these songs remind me of periods in my own life. They are snappy and catchy and when they come up on shuffle, I will always listen.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

How deep is your snow?

Our snow? About 6 inches, thanks for asking.
deep snow

It was snowing this morning when we woke up and snowed until about 1:00 or so this afternoon. When we got home from the Utah basketball game, I started shoveling. I like to shovel the snow. It's nice.

My neighbors used all their snow to build an igloo. It's pretty wicked.

Though I'm not much of a fan of driving in the snow, or being out in the snow, I do love to be home and watch the snow. There is soemthing so clean and pure and calming about it all. I learned from my mom that one of the best things in the world is to sit on the couch (I prefer to do it with some hot chocolate) and watch the snow fall.


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