Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year in Review - 2009


We made it through another year.

Glad that's over.

Seriously though, the past year seems to have flown by and gets added to the list of eventful years in the life of the Griswalds.

A brief recap, if you will.

January - The Monkey turned TWO! What a joyous and happy event that was.

February - A road trip to Arizona to celelbrate Ross' Grandma Bea's 80th birthday. It was wonderful to catch up with family and go to the zoo.

March - Another road trip - this one to the butt crack of civilization - Casper, Wyoming. Sorry folks who live in Casper, but man, time to spruce that city up and get rid of the terdlets under the bugs bunny statue.

April - Lots of basketball watching and turning my boy into a gym rat. Thanks Uncle Willie for giving us something to do. And, we planted our first ever garden. Big Mistake!

May - Ross and Annie a year older and welcoming Chicker to the world.

June - Adjusting to two kids - yikes! Glad we survived.

July - Swimming, summer fun and Shavy Jones. I'll never get tired of shaved ice.

August - Trips to the zoo and the end (sniff) of summer. I went back to work and boy oh boy, was I in for more than I bargained for. It was such a shock, I got my hair dyed brown...what has become my natural color. Bye, bye blond.

September - Cousin Maddie starts to help with the boys and the Monkey gets toilet trained. Yeah! Pull weeds in our garden, I mean weed patch.

October - Halloween - ick. Ross and I realize that our lifetime goal of avoiding all holidays has evaporated and we are now stuck.

November - Visits from Isaac and his mom and dad for Thanksgiving....lots of fun time hanging out with family and figuring out how to play indoors all the time because it's so cold outsisde. Harvest the garden of weeds. We failed miserably at that one.

December - The Chicker's first Christmas - and he learned to crawl. Lots of toys, merriment, and love from our families. Thanks MK for all the help.

The new year that is only hours away promises to be a great one. We'll try to be brave and travel a bit, sell more shaved ice, celebrate more birthdays and anniversaries, and enjoy the time we've got together as a family.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

15 years ago today...

IMGP6535 brother was born.

The biggest shock to my almost 17 year old life and the greatest adventure ever.

I love my brother. I remember walking into the hospital room right after he was born as vividly as I remember the birth of my own two kids. I always will.

After one of his basketball games this season, he rode home with me and the boys. As we were walking out of the school he said to me, "You realize that all these people probably think you're my mom."

Yes Willie, I know. People have always thought that I'm your mom and then always will.

And guess what - that's perfectly okay with me.

Meow, Meow Daniel Tiger!

Friday, December 25, 2009

A major holiday with the Griswald's wouldn't be complete without water leaking somewhere!

Christmas Day

We had a wonderful Christmas. Thank you sooooooooo much to our wonderful family for sharing such a great and exhausting day with us.

Of course, the person who least likes Christmas, me, was the first one up on Christmas morning. I think that I just wanted to get the show on the road, the day started, and be on our way. The sooner we entered into chaos land, the sooner we'd come home to the mess we created.

Chicker woke up at 8 and the two of us decided it was our duty to wake up the older brother. We did. It took him a minute to figure things out, then we headed to the basement to assess the Christmas delight. Ross and I didn't do a very good job of explaining good old Saint Nick to the kid however because all day long, whenever he was asked, "Did Santa Claus come to your house?" he promptly replied, "Not yet!" with emphasis. However, when asked, "Did you get presents this morning?" he emphatically and frantically replied, "Yes!" and started to list off his pirate booty...most importantly a baseball bat and ball.


We left home and headed to my parents house for a great morning of opening gifts, a delicious breakfast (thanks mom) that left us all stuffed, and then some awesome lounging around. I had a great nap on the floor and didn't even mess up my hair. Thanks for loaning me the spongebob pillow, Willie. By mid afternoon, both of the boys were entering Jekyll/Hyde meltdown modes, but we packed up and trucked over to my grandma's house for even more gifts, food, and merriment.


My grandparents are amazing. They can't walk so good, breathe so good, or hear all that well, among other things, but they are two of the kindest, most generous people I know. My grandma spends half a year shopping for about 53 people comprising about 13 families. Her gifts are always thoughtful, beautiful, and specific to each individual family member. I love my grandparents, and my parents more than I can ever express in words - I cannot even generate the thoughts I need to think up the words. I do know one thing - my grandma has the softest hands I've ever touched and I love it.



The day was a whirlwind of paper and ribbons and bows and toys and laughter and joy. On the ride home we had two sleepy boys that we were hoping would settle in for a long winters nap.


As soon as the car was in the garage, the boys were up and ready for action; toys, hungry hungry hippos and.....

Chicker figured out how to crawl.

On Christmas Day!

He's crawling everywhere and grabbing all his brothers toys. This leads the brother to take the toy away, yell, and then push the baby brother over, for good measure.

And, in our family, what major holiday would be complete with out a little bit of water damage?

After our long day, we were finally home to play - the boys in the basement and me in the family room sorting and organizing and making piles. I carried clothes upstairs and had to use the bathroom. The toilet I selected was a bit low on water, leading me to the conclusion that it was plugged. I flushed for good measure - it was plugged alright - and went downstairs to identify the culprit and order him to fix things promptly.

To make a long story short - the plugging, and the flushing led to overflowing.....lots of overflowing of lots of brown, stinky water. And what does a good toilet over flow on a carpeted floor from a toilet with a crack in it get you?

Why, toilet water leaking through the ceiling in two spots right into your living room, that's what.


And a Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Get the flash player here:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas - see you next year!


My challenge to myself is to not blog again until after Christmas. Or maybe even, until the new year.

Shutting down.

Turning off.

Tuning out.

I want to spend time with my family and not worry about the internets.

I wish you a happy holiday.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

When you're in my heart, your in my family

Oh, how we love this song in our house. Have you heard it? We sing it all the time.

It might be our theme song.

Last night, we had a family party.

There are lots of babies. I love babies.

There are three babies all the same age, each one month apart from each other.

thee months, three babies

This picture was of the babies on the 4th of July, they were all new and still tiny and squishy.


Here are those same babies now. Growing up, getting cuter by the day.

Friday, December 18, 2009

My own little rebellion

I didn't wear a watch today. I only looked at my naked wrist maybe half a dozen times.

My children were happy and well behaved today. The had naps. When they wanted not when the watch told me.

It's dark now and bed time is looming. I'll be going to bed early, without looking at a clock.

For me, that's a pretty liberating feeling.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's about time

So It's a week before Christmas and we finally have a tree. We've been trying to get one for about a week and the two grumpy children in our house have dashed the plans every single night.

On Tuesday night we finally gave up and just bought a tree at the grocery store as part of our regular weekly shopping. I gave up total control and let the boys pick it out. It isn't the Charlie Brown tree that I lovingly appreciate every year, but it will do.

This morning, we decorated.


I guess now it's actually beginning to feel like Christmas.

That, and the fact that I've spent 10 wonderful hours wrapping Christmas presents for my grandma. I look forward to wrapping week every single year and have managed to work my fingers off in a few days this week. Oh, how I love to wrap. I really do. It's cathartic for me, I think. All I need is a diet coke, some presents to wrap, and a xanex. Those three things together really hit the spot. It's like being on a beach.

Really. I'm serious. I like to wrap that much.


Monday, December 14, 2009

My Gift Guide, 2009

In the last few weeks at work, I've been called upon to help create a presentation titled, "Holiday Gift Guide, 2009". I've now done the presentation twice and figured that I'd share the websites, or at least some of the websites, with you, my humble blog followers.

All 10 of you.

Really? There are a whole 10 of you?


Here it is, enjoy (oh, none of the blog links are active, because I'm too lazy to really do the linking. Just copy/paste if you want to look.) – give a gift playlist to someone you love, like an old fashioned mix tape. – gift subscriptions – handmade gifts for everyone – get your design on a t-shirt – put your favorite tweet on a t-shirt – flip digital video cameras – iphone, ipod, itunes, computers – skins (covers/protectors) for all your electronic devices – toys for your kids – personal energy generator – eco friendly, bio-degradable pens – all natural body products that support women of Kenya – eco friendly arts and crafts products for kids – photo books, photo cards, calendars – photo books with lots of great themes – sell you book as well as get it printed – personalized printing – greeting cards, cards for events, etc. – connect to your flickr account and print business cards, note cards, etc with your own images – personalized printing – you want it printed, they’ll do it and usually at a discount – personalized word clouds – new tool for making videos online – free accounts for teachers – pro show gold software that lets you make fantastic slideshows – great camera stuff and ideas for your pictures

This year for Christmas, Ross and I decided to set a price limit and purchase our own gifts - stuff we really wanted or needed, with out having to bother telling the other person. It worked out well. I've wrapped a few of those items so we have something to open "from each other" on Christmas morning with the kids. Corny, yes, but I'm really excited about it.

My favorite gift to myself this year came from here:
I got myself one of these, with each of my boys initials and a super long chain so I don't choke.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

True love

Just a little while ago my husband told me that if the price was right, he'd sell me into slavery because I've proven that I can birth sons.

If that isn't true love I just don't know what is.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Squirt:: 7 months


Last night your dad and I went out without you and your brother. We talked about how quickly time is flying by, and that we're getting old. Your dad said that he feels like he's already got one foot in the grave (I promise, he was just being dramatic.) and that you and your brother are growing up so fast it feels like time is just blowing past us like a tumbleweed.

Except, it isn't. Sometimes time feels like it's going to fast, but right now time is moving perfectly for me and today you are 7 months old. I vividly remember the day you were born, as I'm sure I will for the rest of forever but I am also so excited that you are growing up. I've been thinking all day about what to write and I'm not really sure. You are such a special boy and I love you so much.


This past month, it seems that pretty much everyone, including your grandmas, has taken to calling you Chicker, or the Chick, or Chickie. You'll be a grown man and that nick name will probably stick with you for the rest of your life. I'm sorry about that, but sometimes that's just the way things go.

In the last few weeks you've made lots of great progress. You want to crawl, and have figured out the backwards scoot; you can pull yourself up onto almost anything that is standing still and you even think that you can walk when we hold your hands. I'm amazed at how well your motor skills are developing. You're light years ahead of your brother at this age.

You're eating #2 foods, think bottles are stupid except in the middle of the night, and are starting to figure out a sippy cup. Just the other day I gave your hair a trim - the third trim since you were born. Your hair is crazy by the way. It stands up straight on one side and lies flat on the other, just like mine.


When you were a tiny baby that just nestled into my shoulder every night I was convinced that you would be the sweetest most unassuming and calm little guy in the whole world. I think that in that regard, I was way of the mark. You, my little boy, have a wild and determined streak in you. Those hawk eyes of yours, I'm afraid, may be designed for mischief - and stitches and emergency room visits and maybe even bugs...something your brother and I are not looking forward to.

You love to be the center of attention - and scream at the top of your lungs when you aren't. The other night your dad was saying the prayer at dinner and as we all bowed our heads you started to scream. Then, that crazy brother of yours screamed back at you. Then you screamed. Then he screamed. The prayer never really got finished that night because your dad and I were laughing to the point of tears at the comedy unfolding before us.


That's right kid - you love your brother. And he luckily loves you back. The dynamic between the two of you is, well, dynamic. I know that you'll have your rough patches as brothers probably tend to do, but you two will be the best of friends. I can see it as you watch him, and in the way that the Monkey plays with you.

I guess for me, as your mama, the last month has been my favorite not only because of who you are and the amazing personality your developing, but because you're my little chubby wubby. I think I spend hours a day squeezing your legs, kissing your cheeks, and holding your ankle-less feet in my hands. There is no way that a picture can document how wonderfully squeezable you are - trust me, I've been trying. I know that you're going to follow in your brother's foot steps and that soon, this wonderful chubbiness will be gone. I long for it to stay - but it's okay.



I've got plenty of pictures of you in the bathtub to remind me of just how squishy you were.


I love you Chicker! And so does everyone else, probably in the whole wide world.

Friday, December 11, 2009

My other boy friday - Proud of the big iggy


Yesterday was an important day.

The big ninth grade star of the basketball team, my brother, faced off in his first ever non junior jazz tournament game against a six foot eight center. The opponent may have been taller, but definitely not better than my brother with with his sweet pump fake and reverse cross over moves.

I'm always impressed with the moves.

Man - where does he get those from? Why me, of course. (Right Willie?)

After a tough game with traditionally poor oficiating and guards who forgot they were on a team, we lost by 13 - the amount of free throws the guards missed.

My brother though? He played his heart out and was definitely the best athlete and team player on the court.

He didn't get the ball much, but when he did, he made things happen.

And, perhaps most important in my book, that brother of mine went eight for eight from the line.

He shot 100% under pressure. With an obnoxiouus crowd of junior high twerps and grumpy parents screaming at him.

He was cool, calm, and collected on the line.

Total awesome-ness.

We're proud of you Uncle Willie!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

growing up

My sweet baby Monkey isn't a baby anymore. He'll be three years old in about six and a half weeks.


I cannot beleive it. Lately, after a busy day of question after question about the weather, the tv, the baby brother, and the diets of dinosaurs I often find myself at a computer after the boy has gone to bed looking at baby pictures and old videos. I'm shocked at how quickly he is growing up.

Though we have our daily battles - I think we're too much alike for our own good - I love this little boy more than anything in the world. He is my boy through and through and I wouldn't change anything for one minute.

I love the funny things he says, the crazy dances, and the brilliant mind. Oh this kid is so smart I tell you! It just makes me grin from ear to ear.

So does the fact that he calls marshmallows, smashmellows; tennis raquets, tennis rackakets; his blankets, his blanklets; and a rhinocerous a rhineroserous.

This is my boy last summer. Can you beleive it?

Saturday, December 05, 2009

An Acessory

Last night we went to an event. It was an event where men rule.

Luckily we weren't there very long. I felt like my husband's purse the entire evening.

His very large acessory. The large acessory that bothered to try and look nice, like patent leather, just to carry the diapers and popcorn and be set down when it gets in the way.

You see, in a world where "men rule" the wives are usually trophies - they are there to look nice and speak when spoken to. They are introduced, "This is my wife..." and then vicarously excused. It seems to be assumed that they all stay home with the children and spend thier days in the lap of laundry luxury - that they don't think or talk or have jobs and interests.

It's just one of those things. No changing the system. But it really bugs me.

And just for the record, I don't enjoy being the handbag.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Getting into the spirit - just a little bit

My Christmas cards are addressed and sealed - just waiting for festive stamps.

My shopping is COMPLETELY finished except for three gifts. That's like, 98% done.

My boys and I pulled out our measly supply of holiday decorations on NOVEMBER 30 (i'm okay with measly, we don't have the storage space) and decorated our living room with our Charlie brown tree, nativity, and a few other odds and ends.

The Monkey has a light up snowman in his window. We put it up last night and then walked out into the street in the bitter cold to take a look and giggle with excitement.

I bought my Monkey a 2ft tree (Can't beat $7 at Target) and it's decorating his dresser.

We made a paper Christmas countdown chain - but the kid hasn't quite grasped the concept yet.

We might get a tree this weekend and I can hardly wait to wrap some presents. I'll wrap yours for you, if you want me to.

point is?

I'm trying this year to really be excited and have a little SPIRIT.

Now, if only we could get our dad on board....then it might be a festive holiday for sure.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Day 30: Empty

That's it. The end of my 4th successful NaBloPoMo.

Yippy, Skippy.

Blogging every day of the month sure makes time fly by. Not too much happened of any interest, but it was still a fun effort. Blogging has always been fun for me and as long as it continues to be, I guess I'll keep doing it.

I'll tell ya though, I've run out of gas.

The tank is on empty.

Not much left to say, except maybe this...

Why do people think that no one can see them pick their nose while driving in the car?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Day 29: family

We've had a great weekend full of lots of family gatherings.

I love family.

I really do.

It's nice to have people to do stuff with - even if that means watching your football team almost win a hundred year old rivalry game and being so superstitious about it that no one could move from their spots, or stop what they were doing, just in case that was the reason our team was making a comeback.





One of the best ways to spend a Friday afternoon.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Day 28: Family

We have a nephew that lives in Arizona. We love him. He's cute and squishy and makes funny dinosaur noises. He and his family came to visit us for Thanksgiving and we're very happy that they came. We've had a lot of fun getting to know the little guy.

Yesterday we did a family picture, and a trip to the zoo and dinner at Hires. Yummy, Hires.

Today we did breakfast at our house and then let the boys play in the basement. I'm so glad that they've got each other, and that they are all three close enough in age that they can always be friends.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Day 26: thanks

So many things to be thankful for. Too many to list. Today were going to try and keep the technology to a minimum and spend time in a face-to-face world with actual talking and limited typing.

Wish us luck.

Happy thanksgiving.

Turkey gives me a stomach ache.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day 25: Bragging


Today my Squirt went to the doctor's for his 6 month check up. He's in the 90th percentile overall, weighing in at 22 pounds even and 28 inches long. Unlike his brother at this age, he is on the chart, but just barely. He is the size of an average one year old and I'm so proud of all he's accomplishing.

I really like my pediatrician. She's a grandma and a wise lady. Today she asked me what the kid can do. I told her that he can do lots of things, but when I told her that he scoots around the house on his butt insead of rolling and that he can pull himself up to standing on bed rails, crib rails, just on someone's finger tips and that when prompted, he'll make a sound that sounds like, "hi", she was really impressed.

So, my precocious little boy is above average in size and in general behaviors.

We were also told to move to level 2 baby foods which means we are one step closer to no more formula and bottles. I'm sad to see the little Squirt grow up, but am so excited to move on to the next phase.

And, for all those out there that care (none of you I'm sure, except maybe my blog stalker...) our pediatrician recommended not getting regular flu or H1N1 vaccines for either of the boys. I'd been waiting for her opinion and she said at this point, that the flu has flown the coop and that the odds of the boys getting sick after the shot are just as high with the vaccine as without. Maybe we're crazy, but in our house, no flu shots this year.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day 24: Insurance


The national health care debate? Can't say that I've paid much attention.

Okay, I haven't paid one smidge of attention. I have no idea what was proposed, passed into law, or debated upon.

I do know though that today I am happy that I have dental insurance.

Last week when I had a cold, I did a lot of breathing through my mouth.

I don't recommend being a mouth breather. Sometimes however, it's unavoidable. As part of my mouth breathing, I noticed that one of my teeth, a molar on the right side in the back, was not only a bit sensitive to cool air, but to cold drinks. I called the dentist and got an appointment for this afternoon.

Once at the dentist, it at first appeared to be pretty routine. Sit in the chair, wear the bib, do a couple of tests. I assumed that the minor tooth pain was due to a cavity - I'd cracked a filling and had it repaired back in July and I just figured that the tooth was having a few issues.

Well, it was having a few issues.

The roots were dead and my tooth was abscessed.

After my dentist poked around and looked at my x-ray he said to me, "You only have minor pain?"

I said, "Yeah, it's not really that bad."

"You should be in excruciating pain. Your nerves are dead. We need to do a root canal today. Do you take the gas?"

"Root canal? Yeah. Gas? Yes!"

In all ironies of ironies, I had a diseased tooth that should have been killing me and I couldn't even feel it. But, my mouth refused to get numb and after 3 doses of Novocaine and a bit of drilling I felt everything. I got another dose - and still felt everything. My dentist gave me a fifth dose from that giant needle right into the center of my tooth.

It hurt.

My eyes watered.

Then, two hours later, with the right side of my face numb up through my ear and down through my neck I was on my way home with a prescription for antibiotics and an appointment for next week to finish the procedure and cap everything off.

Good thing my December trip to California got canceled today. Too bad I'll be paying for it through my mouth anyway.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Day 23: Routine

We're in a food rut. You know how it is, live with a two year old, eat two year old type food.

We've got a few standby's in the food department that lately, we seem to eat every week.

Pasta with meat sauce
Pork chops and green beans
Home made chicken fingers and fries

There's a little bit of rotation, but we seem to eat more of one thing lately than anything else....


Does anyone else do this? When I was a kid it was a special occasion to have breakfast for dinner. Now, eat breakfast for dinner almost every week.

I like pancakes with chocolate chips. Tasty!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day 22: bed

My parents had a water bed when I was a kid. Oh how I loved that bed. It was the best place to have a nap in the whole world.

It was also often a familial gathering place. We'd all camp out on Saturday mornings, watch basketball games, and recap our days on that bed. It was just a fun place to hang out.

There is a point nearly everyday where my little family and I all end up on my bed. We talk, laugh, play, and just relax and hangout. It's fun. I look forward to those moments every single day.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day 21: sleepy

I've never taken NyQuil in my life except for the last few nights.

That stuff is a killer.

It hasn't helped my cold at all, but I have been knocked out to the world.

That's not such a bad thing.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Day 20: Talents

There are a lot of boys in my life. I've always seemed to get along with boys better than girls. I guess it's a good thing I have sons. I can relate to balls and sports much better than dolls and princesses.

Three of the main boys in my life have great talents. Today, I'd like to share those talents with you.

Boy #1 - my brother, Will the Thrill
This boy is a super basketball player. He's averaging 12-17 points a game, with as many rebounds and 5 or 6 blocked shots. Pretty sweet. He misses too many free throws, but I guess that's okay for now. Ninth grade ball isn't quite the big time yet.

(he's #44 in case you were wondering)

Boy #2 - My boy, the Monkey
This boy is so talented, but he's a really good dancer. besides wearing his snow boots around the house with his jeans tucked in, here's one more reason we call him Napoleon.

Boy #3 - My Squirt
Oh, the squishy sweetness of this one. He doesn't roll over. He doesn't crawl. He can however, pull himself up to standing pretty much anywhere. He started doing it on the rail on big brother's bed and yesterday we practiced with the crib. He aced the test on the first try. It's probably a good thing that he doesn't roll or know how to sit up by himself or we could be in a bit of trouble.


Oh, and I cannot forget Parkie - he's one of my boys, too. His talent? He's got many, but I most appreciate that he loves my boys - that's a talent for a 13 year old - willingness to hold a baby and like it.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 19: Sick!

Going to instacare.  I've got a sick eye

Two weeks ago on a Saturday morning I woke up with my left eye almost completely swollen shut. It hurt. I didn't think it was that big of a deal except that it hurt and maybe a warm wash cloth could help but my husband convinced me otherwise. He convinced me that I had a crazy infection that would cause me to go blind in my left eye unless I went to the doctor and got some antibiotics.

It hurt.


I gave in and went to insta-not-care with all the swine flu sickies. Luckily I only waited about 30 minutes. I didn't touch anything but my phone. There was a guy there hacking up a lung and a bunch of people who willingly donned masks. Ick! By the time I was finished I was ready to slather my body with hand sanitizer!!!!!

A doctor saw me, took one look at my eye and told me it was a stye.

A stye?

Yes, a stye. Something that I've had quite a bit in my life, but usually on the upper eye lid, not the lower.

I felt like a fool. Who goes to the doctor for a stye?

Me, apparently.

Now, I have a cold.

Being sick sucks!

Having a stuffy nose totally sucks.

Not being able to take cold medicine because ALL cold medicine makes me so drowsy that I cannot stay awake to save my life, let alone take care of my kids really sucks.

Knowing that I've had two days to pass my germs along to my kids?


Because if there is one thing that doesn't suck (sarcasm, folks), it's sick kids.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Day 18: Crafty

Creativity is awesome. Once you get your brain in the right direction, anyone can be creative, I think.

Crafty is something else though. Craft stores, for me, are like heaven on earth. Yarn, glues, paper, stamps, stickers, paints....ah, I'm in love with all that stuff. Turning all those supplies into a project however, takes a little more skill and dedication of time than I'm generally willing to donate to many tasks.

But now, I'm in the young women's presidency for church and that means crafting seems to be oozing out my ears. I just completed my phase of the 2010 birthday gift for each of the girls. After many iterations and countless visits to craft stores I ended up with something that I thought was pretty cool.

As a presidency with no budget, we wanted to give the girls some sort of necklace or medallion, to remind them of the church - their strength and beliefs. We decided to use the 2010 mutual theme, "Be strong and of a good courage..." and I volunteered to make the charms.

Like I said, crafting isn't my strong suit but I thought that these little babies turned out pretty neat.

I designed little medallion pictures, covered them with modge podge glue, glued them to beautiful little tiles, applied a resin finish, and glued a claspy thing onto the back. I made 42 of them. In the end, they'll have a ribbon necklace attached and be stuffed into a cute little bag with a cute little tag and given to each young woman on her birthday.

They turned out pretty cool.

I'm a bit proud of myself.




Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Day 17: Fish

At the beginning of the summer, when the efforts to toilet train the Monkey were beginning, Ross had to go to Wal*Mart to purchase some steel toed boots. The Monkey accompanied his father on such an adventure and came home to pronounce the following.

"Mama, if I go pee-pee in the toilet, dad is going to buy me a fish from Wal*Mart!!!!!!!"




Don't get me wrong, I was all for anything that could help generate the motivation necessary to take a two year old from the comfort of peeing in his pants to the terror of peeing in the toilet, but a fish?


You see, I don't do pets. No pets of any kind. I don't believe in them. They might be against my religion.

My sister and I had gold fish once when we were younger - her gold fish had something wrong with it and got covered in black spots and my two golf fish got cooked from being on the black stone fireplace with a little bit too much direct afternoon sunlight.

My husband once told me that he wanted a dog. I told him that if he got a dog, I got the Audi of my choice. We now have two kids - who needs a dog?

Anyway - my almost three year old monkey is a steel trap. He remembers everything. I mean it - EVERYTHING!

So, about a week and a half after figuring out how to pee in the porcelain throne, that kid of mine reminded his dad of the deal.

Luckily though, the fish didn't have to come from Wal*Mart.

Everyone, meet our fish. Cleverly named, wait for it....


Blue Fish.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Day 16: Me

I have texture issues with food. That's why I don't like cheese, beans, peaches and kiwis, to name a few.

I like to have vacuum lines in my carpet all the time.

I am a superficial cleaner. You like windex? I like clorox wipes.

I let my kid drink coke and eat cheetos and go to McDonalds.

I don't let my kid watch TV all day long.

I love to dance, with my two year old and sometimes my brother.

Getting the mail is often a highlight of my day.

I almost never wear socks, even when it's cold out.

I've never danced with my husband.

I'm responsible for feeding the new fish.

I don't believe in pets.

It bothers me that animals don't have to wear seat belts in cars and can run around and lick the driver, but I get a ticket for speeding.

I like my hair to be symmetrical.

I don't like stupid people.

I make the bed every day.

I almost never put away my clothes.

I borrow my brothers proactive solution.

I leave dresser and cabinet drawers askew because it drives my husband crazy.

I love my iphone and ipod, but I don't like mac computers.

I squeeze toothpaste from the bottom.

I am passive aggressive....sometimes.

I make lists every single day.

I don't like to go to the grocery store.

I do like to go to target.

I don't use coupons, but I will use gift certificates, but only for clothes or music.

I say crayon, not crown.

I kiss my baby on the cheeks all day long.

I wear jeans every day, even though I don't really like jeans.

I love my family

I generally take tepid to cool showers - I don't like hot water so much.

I use the seat warmer even in the summer.

I love Disneyland

I spend too much time on my computer

My wedding shoes cost the same as my wedding dress

I am almost finished with my Christmas shopping, but I don't really like Christmas.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Day 15: obsessed

barbed wire

It's been mentioned many times on this here blog that I love to read. Really. I LOVE to read. It's what keeps me sane, and smart, and verbal, and my brain active.

Right now though - I've got a reading obsession.

I thought that I'd always know the story of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. My mom sang us a creepy song about her wandering the tower of London with her head tucked underneath her arm, when we were kids. At the beginning of the year I had an Elizabeth I phase and read several books about the "Virgin Queen". I've often told people that I should have been born in England, not America - Europe just feels so much more natural to me in some way.

I digress...

A month or so ago I saw the movie, "The Other Boleyn Girl" on tv. It portrayed the queen of 1000 days in a manner with which I was unfamiliar.

I thought I knew her history and alas - I knew nothing.

The movie - largely because of what I thought were historical inaccuracies sparked an obsession? An historical quest?

I'm on my third Anne Boleyn book in about as many weeks. It's fascinating. I cannot stop reading about this women, her passion, her drive, her deception.

Truly - reading about her is better drama than can be found on television or the movies...and it was real life.

A woman destined for fame and fortune and power that ended up getting her head chopped off for deceit - namely in the form of "treason" (ie affairs, incest, speaking out against the king).

Reading about Anne has restored in me a passion for history that had been buried a bit - buried in diapers and dinner and my duties at home and at work. I desperately look forward to each night where I get to tear myself away from reality for a bit and read about real people, and their real lives...even if it's all speculation and here say from 500 or so years ago.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Day 14: Snow!

It'a a blizzard outside my living room window right now.

Sideways snow.

Sticking to the road and the sidewalks.

It's beautiful.

My husband is taking me to a 2:30 movie and an early dinner - because we're apparently 65 years old and need to have supper before it's too late.

I'm excited to go - but I think sitting home, listening to music, and eating the brownies I just made while watching the snow might be just as much fun.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Day 13: Smile!

It's the weekend. Yeah! We love the weekend. It means sleeping in until 7:30 and a nice relaxed time (usually) where all four of us are home - the only time all week we're all home.

That's a good thing.

To commemorate the weekend - I've got two things for you.

First, a picture of the Monkey - doing what he does best.

Second, a video of the Chicker - doing what he does best.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day 12: Six


Today is the day little Chicker- the day you are six months old. Honestly! Can you beleive it? Six months ago you were a brand new little fart eating my heart up and now you are a giant little fart with so much excitement and such a thirst for life.

In the last four weeks, you have amazed me as usual. I am so lucky to be your mama. I don't know what I did in a previous life, but I am so lucky.

You have two teeth - finally! We never thought those goofy toofies were going to pop through but are so happy that they finally did. You look so cute with teeth.

In the last week you've started sitting in the high chair, and scooting yourself all over the house. Your girth is too extreme to let you roll over or crawl, but you still manage to move yourself all over the house.

Just this morning I set you on a blanket to play and within a few minutes you had moved yourself off the blanket onto the carpet, chasing a toy. What a speed demon!

You are eating two meals a day. Cereal and fruit in the morning and fruit and vegetables before bed. I think that you weigh about 22 pounds and are about 27, maybe 28 inches long. Cool, huh?


You are having baths in the big bath tub and absolutely love to play with all of your brothers toys.

You laugh and laugh, almost never crying. You sleep all the night, but never during the day. I look forward to your Kramer-like 15-30 minute catnaps. Like the pediatrican said though at your 4 month check-up - you are so happy and smart and sleep so well at night that you just don't need all the rest during the day.

If only you weren't so interseted in my computer.

needs a haircut

Your eyes sparkle, your personality shines, and your laugh is contagiuos.

You need a haircut - but we'll take care of that later.


Perhaps most important - you hit a major milestonen today...your first basketball game. It was Uncle WIllie's time to shine as the awesome 9th grade star of the basekball team and you had a blast. You cheered and watched, and did awesome. And, Willie's team won - you must be a good luck charm, too.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day 11: Tradition

It's been on my mind a lot lately - the idea of tradition.

What is it?

Why does it matter?

What do we do?

In a lot of ways I am a traditionalist. I like order and structure and knowing that at the same time of year, or for a particular event or holiday, the same things will happen year after year. Cake at birthday parties, Friday night burgers at Hires, reading a good book before bedtime. It's that stuff that helps keep me sane.

But at the same time - I don't believe in doing things just because they've been done for so long that no one even remembers why it started in the first place. Just because we've always done it that way.

Quite the conundrum if you ask me.

My life is in this transitional phase right now - where I've got my own family to create what I hope are meaningful traditions with and yet at the same time, still try to conform to old family traditions that I may or may not like, and that may or may not have lost their luster.

It's tough being a wife, mom, daughter, sister and gran-daughter all at the same time. I want to be part of the old, but I'm desperate at the same time to break tradition and forge ahead.

I'll tell you though one of my favorite traditions - Sunday dinner. I grew up in a family where we always tried to eat dinner together and even now, we still do Sunday dinner at my moms house, 90% of the year.

I look forward to Sunday dinner. I start looking forward to the next Sunday dinner as soon as a current one has finished. I like that my sister and I sometimes get to take the lead and host a Sunday dinner at our own homes.

In sifting through some old movies on my computer I came across a video from a Sunday last summer, 2008. It completely epitomizes a Sunday after dinner - everyone in the same room, but doing their own things.

Mom sitting and enjoying the music, Willie lounging on the couch, Dad reading and falling asleep, James eating late (must have been a guard weekend), Haley with Elliott, Ross not in the room because he was probably at the computer checking some fantasy sport scores and me, behind the camera.

This is one tradition that I never want to part with. Sure, over the years it will change, and require a much larger table or two, but I hope that we always do it.

I love my family. And we all love to eat.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Day 10: Fit

Every fall I have flashbacks to when I was younger, particularly an elementary school student. It was that time of year, the time to go school shopping, and high on my list was a new pair of jeans.

An impossible mission for sure.

I was always too tall for anything in the girls department.

I was too small for the womens department.

I have vivid memories of being in a ZCMI dressing room with my mom throwing jeans over the top of the door and me trying on, probably literally hundreds of pairs of denim.

Nothing fit.

Nothing ever fit.


Now I'm much older - and a little more settled into my shape. I'm still working on losing weight - I've lost all but a few pounds of the weight I gained with the chicker and still have 8 to go by the end of the year to reach my goal of 20 by 2010.

Anyway - I'm back on the quest for jeans. A really good pair that fits.

And the quest may never end. Since May, I've purchased 4 new pair. All of them "fit" in one way - length, waist, hips, thighs - but none of them fit in the right way, all the way.

I don't own a belt. I'm constantly pulling up my pants.

One pair makes me look like I have a bit of a front butt.

I really don't.

One pair makes me look too much like a mom.

One pair rides too low and my underwear is always hanging out.

One pair is super long - which is awesome - but I'm saving them for Christmas.

I'm not sure why it's such a struggle to find pants that fit and are flattering.

It's not that too much to ask, is it?

- oh, this post sucked!

sorry, I'll try again tomorrow.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Day 9: Remembering

Yesterday was not only my dad's birthday, but the one year anniversary of my grandma's funeral.

I think about her every single day.

The boys and I look at her picture every single day.

I miss her a lot.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Day 8: Celebration

My mom always used to sing this song on father's day.

It went...

"My da, aa,, here, is a man...."

I'm sure there were more words but I cannot remember them.

Today is my dad's birthday.

fun at snowbird

I love that he's my dad. I love that he's my boys grandpa. I love that he loves history, and sports, and hanging out with us.

I'm proud of my dad for going back to school and finding his own path - even if it's taken him 20 years to get there.

The Monkey and I baked you a cake this morning - yummy!

Happy Birthday Dad!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Day 7: Animoto

A new site to check out -

It's cool, it lets you make spiffy movies, it has a great deal for educators.

Ch-Ch-Check it out.

Friday, November 06, 2009


my almost three year old just said, and I quote,

"Blunt trauma is a restaurant."

say what?

Day 6: Gratitude

My boys

I am thankful for my boys - even if last night they kept their parents from getting a good nights sleep.

I am thankful the week is over. Was it an extra long and painful one for you, or was it just me? Stupid daylight savings.

I am thankful for a weekend to regroup - and one in which I don't have to do any work - I can just spend time with my family.

I am thankful to be meeting a good friend for lunch this afternoon.

I am thankful for naps - for whomever takes them, and for the thought that one day, I might get one, too.

I am thankful for the warm weather this week. It's fleeting, but was great while it lasted.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Day 5: Squishy overload

I love my baby.

I love him so much it's not even funny.

He brightens my day, makes me smile, and helps me breathe.

He has one and a half teeth, is half the size of his brother, and loves to laugh.

Yesterday, the two of us had part of the morning to ourselves. We missed the monkey, but it was nice to have some quiet time with just me and the chicker. He was in such a good mood that I busted out the camera to document the happy, the personality and the teeth.

Yes, my little baby, one week shy of 6 months old, officially has one tooth that has broken through and another one that seems to be minutes away. The last two months getting to the teeth have had their rough spots, but he's doing so much better now. It's great.

Oh, how I love to kiss these cheeks.

Get the flash player here:

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Day 4: Overwhelmed

I encounter the question a lot these days.

"How do you take care of two kids and have a job?"

My answer is always this.

"I don't know. I just do it."

That's got me to thinking though, about just how I do it.

And yesterday provided me with the answer.

A brief detour first...
About three weeks ago when I was pulling into the driveway after book club I crashed my car into Ross' truck. There was some decent damage to my cute car but the truck came out okay.

A week after that, I got a speeding ticket. The third ticket in 16 years of driving. I don't know what's worse: A snarky police officer, finding out that the speed limit on a road you drive regularly changes three times, and there are almost no signs to deliniate the difference, or having your inquisitive two year old (who happens to think all snarky men in uniform are awesome) asking you a million questions about the cop, and why you won't just drive away.

Wasn't my best moment.

Ross paid my ticket this week. $115. Merry Christmas to South Jordan. When paying my ticket he realized that the snarky copy who pulled me over was the same snarky cop who pulled him over 2 months prior, for entering a left hand turn lane too early.

Can you say quota? Good Job.

Flash forward to Monday night. I was making chocolate mousse - I screwed up major in the egg department. In desperation I called a friend whom I now owe at least a dozen eggs.

Yesterday was the Young Women's program I made the mousse for. I was also in charge of a video - the video that was to be the primary form of entertainment for the entire program.

I was in a training yesterday (that whole, working mom thing) from 8:30 - 2:00. My mom was there, it was fun.

I got home at 2:30 and ran to my computer to put the finishing touches on my video.

Only to realize that I had created it in a program and saved it in a format that I couldn't get it off my laptop. If I'd had my wits about me, I could have figured something else out, but there were no wits to be found so I started to panic.

And redo. the. entire. thing. from. scratch.




I'll save you the file conversion horror show, and the dying a slow death home computer misery story.

In the end, I got the video 6:30. the program was at 7:00. I had one chance to make it work, and thank heavens for all those prayers that it did work. Just in the literally nick of time.

Now, back to the question of "How do I do it?" and how I found my answer.

The answer came yesterday.

My very kind husband who is also a helluva a dad took the morning off yesterday while I was working. While he was home, he had to go to work for a quick presentation so his parents covered for him for an hour or so. Then, my sweet wonderful cousin came to Ross' rescue and had the boys for the early afternoon. She takes such good care of them.

When my children were back under my care again, and a little grumpy too boot, things started to go haywire. Stress is not my friend. Or even my "frienemy".

The more I began to panic about my project and about my failure to do things in a timely manner (I'd had my dumb movie done for 2 weeks, but failed to realize my tech. issues until the last minute), the more my husband came to my rescue. He called me to check on my status and mental health. He helped me try to come up with a back up plan and reassure me that things would work out. He came home from work early, took the boys and ordered dinner so I could stare at my blasted computer and try not to cry.

I guess that's why opposites attract. He was capable of calming my inner spaz while I was on the verge of a mental collapse.

That was just yesterday. I cannot tell you all the days that I have help, and am rescued - sometimes when I NEED it and sometimes when I WANT it. Those of you who are moms, know the difference, right?

The next time I get asked the, "How do you do it all?" question I know my answer.

I do it "all" with lots and lots of help.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Day 3: Miniature food is so cute!

For my Mormon readers (that's all of you, right?) you probably remember the story of me, running into Sister Elaine Dalton at the hair salon and not having a clue who she was.

The day after I was called to be the Young Women Organization's secretary in my ward.

Well, tonight is our "Young Women in Excellence" program and among many things that I was responsible for, one of them was making chocolate mousse as part of the refreshment ensemble.

The presidency and myself decided to go for the miniature route with all our treats.

Because miniatures are cute.

And time consuming to make.

I decided to do chocolate mousse - in little chocolate cups.

The final product turned out well. Not as good as Bakerella would do it, but about as good as Annie-in-a-hurry can do anything these days.

I gave it my best.

It takes a lot of dishes to throw together a chocolate mousse.

Chocolate Mousse

It also takes one very large diet coke with lemon from a fast food joint on the way home from the grocery store.
Chocolate Mousse


But, once the bowl had been licked clean (not literally of course, these treats are for people other than my family), I ended up with some pretty cute, completely edible and tasty treats on my hands.

Chocolate Mousse


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