Friday, July 31, 2009

My Boys Friday: Doing something important with it

Years and years ago, when my great grandpa passed away, he left all his grandchildren $1000. Growing up in a family like mine where money isn't the most important thing in the world, I remember my mom sitting on her check for quite some time.

She didn't go out and blow it.

She didn't buy something stupid with it.

She didn't use it to pay off bills.

Instead, after a lot of thought, she decided that the best way to spend the money would be to purchase something that would always remind her of her grandpa, my great grandpa.

A grandfather clock.

The details are a bit blurry now, but my mom, sister, brother and I spent months and months (or maybe weeks and weeks) scouring the valley for THE clock. It couldn't be too fancy, or too new. It needed a story behind it, some character, and it needed to be grand.

The day we walked into the the little clock shop I remember we all knew, when we saw the clock, that it was THE clock. It fit all my mom's specifications and the little old grandpa who sold it to her told us some wonderful stories about it's history. It wasn't new, and had already had quite a life.

And if I remember right, it came in at exactly $1000.

It represented grandpa.

It still does.

That was the point, to have something that would help us remember.

On Monday my dad and his siblings closed on my grandma's house. She passed away last November and as of Monday, her estate is now closed. I guess in a way, Grandma's memory is closed a bit too. I still think about her almost every day, know that she is watching us from heaven, and am pretty sure that before the Squirt was born, she gave him a stern talking to about being a good boy, because she had experienced first hand, every Sunday at dinner, what a stinker his brother could be.

That being said, yesterday my boys and I had the chance to go to lunch with my dad and my brother. I was just in it for the cherry coke and everyones crushed ice. Then my dad reached into his pocket and very nonchalantly handed me a piece of paper.

A check.

For a large sum of money.

From my grandma.

I told my dad to take it back, that I didn't need or want any money.

He said that my grandma would have wanted me to have it.

He's probably right, but I'll tell you internet, it made me nervous to say the least.

If there was ever any money that needed to be used wisely and thoughtfully, it's that money.

Immediately, I thought of the grandfather clock in my mom's family room. And wondered...

What can I do with this money to honor my grandma?

I don't need to use it for bills, or toys. I don't just want it to sit somewhere.

After talking to Ross, he gave me the best idea.

The money is going to my boys.

The great grandsons.

They each will get half into their savings accounts.

It may not be a clock, but it will be a legacy.

To be able to tell my boys when their older that part of their mission or college education will have been paid for by their great grandma.

Who loved them very, very much!

4 generations

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

Photography submissions for the county fair are due this weekend.

Each individual can enter up to three photos in three different categories. My brother-in-law is submitting photos as well, hopefully not in the same categories as me.

I'm entering in the Amateur category, and cannot decide which images to submit.

Here are my options.


Botanical or Macro:

Option A

Option B

Child, portrait
Option A

Option B

So, what do you think? I can submit three, which three should I do?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"I yuv da boat, mama"


As a kid, my grandpa always had a boat at the yacht club at Pine View Reservoir up Ogden Canyon.


I LOVED going to the boat in the summer. It was the general highlight of my youth and adolescence. We'd go up twice a week in the summer and on Friday nights have a big party.

Every week.




It was heaven.


My grandpa still has a boat but it doesn't get much use. My uncle has a boat and last night he invited us up to the club for sweet little Eva's birthday party.

It was wonderful.

A flood of memories.

The Monkey YUVED the boat. He had a smile plastered on his face from ear to ear the entire ride.



Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Squirt:: 10 weeks

10 weeks


Today, my little squirt is 10 weeks old and guess what - I cannot believe where the time has gone.

10 weeks.

Time flies.

He is so much fun that I can hardly believe how lucky I am to have such a great little guy in my family.

He is still happy and content. He can lift his head up all the way when he's on his tummy and unlike his brother, doesn't scream at me for making him do it.

We have so much fun talking to each other every single day. This kid's smile at 10 weeks can light up a room - I can only imagine what it will look like when he's older. The smile and the eye lashes. Oh my! How my boys have such diving eye lashes I don't know, but I'm jealous to say the least.

I suppose that there aren't too many milestones for such a little person - just being alive and happy every day counts for a lot. The Squirt drinks 8 oz. bottles, sleeps peacefully through the night. He loves the Beatles, particularly "all my lovin" and I cannot say enough that he is just the sweetest thing around.

Wyatt's birthday is already such a blur for me. I remember crying the night before as I put Elliott to bed because he was no longer going to be my baby. I remember setting my alarm to wake up at 3 am so I could eat something before my 12 hours of empty stomach started. I remember walking into the hospital more calm and content than I thought i should be, watching baby shows on the tv and getting a little sick to my stomach because the hospital was behind schedule and I was starving.


I was much more alert and aware of the whole c-section process with Wyatt - I even watched my reflection in the light for most of the prep and the start of the surgery. Everything was so fast the second time around, or at least it felt that way. The spinal, the numb legs, Ross coming into the room and then voila! a baby with a head of dark hair and an angry little cry. Absolutely wonderful I tell you.

After Ross left with the baby and my doctor was sewing me up, the conversation turned, believe it or not, to porn stars. I was too out of it to know how it got started, and wasn't of course, interested in participating, but did you know that Adam West (the original Batman) was in naughty movies? That's what my anesthesiologist said. Not sure if it's true, but who knows.

That's all I remember. I was wheeled to recovery and was pretty sleepy when Ross came back in and started making phone calls. Totally drugged and wrapped in blankets - a pretty good feeling. I was more coherent than I thought I would be and by the time we got up to my regular room and they brought my sweet baby too me, life was awesome.

Everything from that point is a blur - I suppose as it should be. Lots of visits and babies and family. Yucky hospital food and a desperate need to get home and start taking care of my family again.

And that was 10 weeks ago. It could have been yesterday and a year ago all at the same time though. Isn't it funny how time plays tricks on you like that. One minute, pregnant and grumpy and miserable and a few hours later, a baby and happy, a little drugged, and immediately forgetting all the yuckiness of only a few hours earlier.

Pretty cool how nature works that way....or in my case, medicine.

I'm one lucky girl to be the mom of such good boys.


Friday, July 17, 2009

My boys Friday: not that I'm comparing them or anything

There are very few ways that these boys of mine are alike.

They are both 50% me and 50% their dad.

They are both cute.

They are both boys.

That's about as far as their similarities go, especially when remember what the MOnkey was like as a baby. Oh, the screaming, the screaming, the screaming.

After the Squirts 2 month check-up yesterday (a week late), it seems that these boys have at least one commonality between them.

Their size.

2 month compare

Thursday, July 16, 2009

weight watchers -

I joined weight watchers 4 weeks ago today.

I lost 7 lbs in the first two weeks and have gained two back in the last two weeks.

It's still a loss of 5 lbs. The goal is still 30 lbs by the end of the year. I need to get my act together, but am still on the right track.

Must find time to exercise.

I get to eat 32 points worth of food a day. Most days I do pretty good and am making conscious food decisions every day. Trying to anyway.

I signed my husband up for weight watchers on the 4th of July. He weighs about 20 lbs LESS than I do, wants to lose more than I do, and gets 35 points a day.

On the 4th of july, the breakfast he ate was valued at a whopping 36 points. His entire day in one meal.

We had a conversation this morning about the ww.

Ross is 40 points IN THE HOLE this week, and his week doesn't end until Saturday.


And I weigh more.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Music that makes you dumb

My favorite band, Guster, tweeted this weeks ago.

What kind of music do you listen to?

I've always "prided" myself on listen to music that doesn't appeal to the masses - masses largely meaning high school kids, college kids, and really old people who only listen to church music.

Some of my favorite bands and musicians?
Guster, of course
Iron and Wine
Belle and Sebastian
Death Cab for Cutie
Nickel Creek

Of course, nothing out of the ordinary, but that's what I like. Anyway, I stumbled across this website recently and it was very amusing.


Here's the premise - SAT scores of college freshman directly correlate to the type of music they listen to. The lower the SAT score, the "less intelligent" the type of music.

Now, I didn't take the SAT (I took the ACT) and I am a poor test taker, but my musical tastes fall to the high test score side of the spectrum.

It makes me happy to know that listening to Guster is an intelligent choice, in more ways than one.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Where my thoughts have been, besides my kids

Nearly every minute I'm awake in a day doesn't belong to me anymore. The demands on my time by other people, little people, are often more than I know how to handle.

I don't read the news.

I don't watch tv.

I don't read any more gossip websites. Sorry Perez.

I don't talk to "friends" or do play dates.

I try to clean my house, and raise my kids. And fix dinner.

We go on adventures, if heading to Target can count.

By the end of the day, it often seems that I haven't done anything. And yet, I have. I've done a lot.

More than I ever imagined could be done in a day.

I sing and dance and read.

I have a helper with the laundry and the dishes.

I talk and talk and talk.

To a very bright two year old.

Often though, there is a gaping hole in my head where my brain used to be. The part of my mind that thought about current events, politics, social issues. That part that used to be a teacher and know everything.

I still know everything.

It's just a different kind of everything.

An everything that involves discussions about weeds and chalk and why we don't like grasshoppers instead of war torn nations or the implications of the national debt.

and guess what.

I'm okay with that.

When I have time by myself, I miss my kids terribly. When I see no end in sight to a long day, all i want to do is ship them away.

I think that just means I'm a mom, right?

I would love to spend a Saturday with my husband, doing nothing, like we did many years ago. But we're too busy for such a wasted day.

Even though my life no longer feels like my own, I still have one solace - one element that is mine.

I still read.

I've almost finished "possible side effects" by Augusten Burrows. It's a book of essays about his very chaotic and nutty life. I love it. It's got me thinking more in the last few weeks I've been reading, about life, than anything has in a long time.

It got me to thinking the other day - about how the books I've read have always seemed to mirror and reflect my own life in some strange way, however loosely.

As a kid, I read about the Kennedy's and "where the red fern grows". I never did series books, still don't and even though i probably invented the story, I've convinced myself that I read "to kill a mockingbird" when I was 10 or so, because my grandma wanted me to.

When I was in Junior High and High School I was drawn to tragic figures like Marilyn Monroe. Read lots of autobiographies about her. Even did my senior English project about her. When in some dumb elective in high school, while my group was doing our project on Bruce Lee, my teacher let me sit in the comfy chair in his room and read Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" because he saw i just wasn't' into the project.

In high school, I discovered Hemingway and Steinbeck and Jack Kerouac. I read "The Old Man and the Sea" as a 7th grader and one of the nicest gifts Ross ever gave me, before we were married, was a large collection of Hemingway short stories. Corny as it may be, there were many occasions where I would bring that book and make him read me stories. Maybe it was the draw to Europe, and bull fights and war that hooked me, but Hemingway has always been a comfortable read for me.

Then to Kerouac - oh how I love to get lost (literally and figuratively) in a good Kerouac novel. Another tragic hero, but who can beat reading about Dean Moriarty in "on the road" or "the subbterraneans" on a hot summer day.

I had a phase where I read about art. Always art. I owned amazingly beautiful art books, mostly about impressionism. It was such a draw for me at the time.

Early in college, I read crap. I read those "dime store" novels about love and relationships that I found on the sale racks at Barnes and noble. Always about a 20 something girl looking for love and in the end finding the great guy.

Talk about projecting.

I wanted to be that dumb girl in all those books.

As a teacher, I read history all the time. Great war books - the entire Ambrose collection and more. I knew so much then about history and the characters that created our country.

Since, I've read books about raising children and toilet training. Books about royalty and simple people. Books that made me laugh and made me cry.

Lately though, I'm drawn to neuroses. And short stories. Short stories about the neurotic. A perfect combination, don't you think?

David Sedaris and his wacky family. Augusten Burrows and his disastrous childhood with a manic parent.

Not sure what it says about me and the place I'm in, in my life right now.

Maybe reading about other people's disasters helps me to appreciate my own life.

And how good I've got it.

That's probably it.

Whatever the reason.

I know that at the end of the day - I've got a book waiting for me on my nightstand. The final few minutes of each day, I get to myself.

And I wouldn't trade that for anything.

Friday, July 10, 2009

My boys Friday: The talent show continues

As if you could ever get enough of my boys, right?


We, the parents, have recently taken to calling them "thing one" and "thing two". I need someone to make me a t-shirt or bumper sticker that reads:

If it isn't thing one, it's his brother

With "Thing One" I had the brilliant idea to try toilet training this week. Big mistake. I learned that even though a 2.5 year old says 50 times a day, "I'll go pee pee in the toilet and it will be so exciting" he doesn't mean it and when he ends up peeing on the rocking chair in the baby's room he really didn't mean it.

Anyone know how to get a kid to sit on a toilet? That apparently is the first step to toilet training that we seem to have overlooked.

"Thing Two" is still cute as ever and not concerned about toilet training. Thank goodness. Last night Thing One was at my parents - we went to the zoo then swimming and then they kept him (thank you). Ross and I ate dinner together with Thing Two and the conversation went something like this.

The scene: Ross eating. Annie holding Squirt and eating. Squirt, watching and participating in the conversation to the best of his ability.

Ross: Did we ever do this when Elliott was this age?

Annie: You mean sit down together and eat dinner? No, we didn't.

Ross: What did we do?

Annie: I fixed dinner while you took the screaming child upstairs with you. Then after I fixed dinner I ate it by myself while you sat with screaming child on the couch. After I ate, I took the screamer and you ate at the kitchen table by yourself - then you cleaned up. Usually I could get him to sleep for a few minutes break from screaming.

Ross: Oh yeah, that sucked.

Annie and Ross: Thank you baby!

Squirt: ofe4tulsn oewigufwpi (that means you're welcome)

Besides participating in adult conversation, pukes a lot. Baby puke is way over-rated. I'm pretty much over it. I wish the kid was, too. He pretty much pukes all the time, though the frequency and amount has decreased in the last week (knock on wood).

Here is some video proof of what we deal with in the talk and puke department. If nothing else, it makes life interesting. It's like a game - when and where will the puke happen next?

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Squirt:: 8 weeks


Even though the Squirt is officially two months old at the end of the week, he hit his 8 week mark today.

The last four weeks with this kid have been as good as the first four. He's happy, content, hungry, pukey, and happy.

He smiles and talks and coo's at me all the day long. He is patient and sweet with his parents and brother.

He is cuddly and sweet and generous with the lovin' both in giving and receiving.

This little guy fully recognizes my voice and my face now and nothing makes me happier than seeing his eyes light up when I come into focus. The other day, my mom was changing his diaper and when I entered the room talking, he turned to find me and when he did - I was shocked at his reaction. Bright eyes, kicking legs, flailing hands and as much talking as his little mouth could spit out. Oh, it just melts my heart every single time.

The last few weeks have been crazy and hectic and out of control. That saying, when it rains it pours? It was said for our little family. With all that's been going on, this little guy has handled it like a champ. Every day, every time I look at him I feel so lucky that I get to be his mama. We've had a few incidences in the last couple of weeks with projectile puking and stomach bugs - and very very dry and sensitive skin, but otherwise, all is well.

He is the calm in a storm of crazy.

Two weeks ago, he weighed in at 13.3 lbs. I'm sure that at his 2 month appointment next week, we'll be close to the 15 lb mark.


Oh so in love with this boy!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Whirlwind, as usual

The 4th of July has never been my favorite. Too many people to see and places to go. Since being married, Ross and I have managed to be out of town or sick for the 4th the last 6 years but this year we were around, and made the best of it.

We did though, schedule ourselves to work at Shavy Jones Locker in the evening to avoid as many festivities, and fireworks as possible.

As part of our day yesterday, we went to my aunts house. In the last three months we've added three new babies, 3 great grandchildren to the family.

thee months, three babies

These boys are almost exactly one month apart each (r-l; Cody on April 4, Wyatt on May 12 and Max on June 9). Elliott was part of a threesome of boy cousins two and a half years ago so it's a bit funny that Wyatt is, too.

These boys are so cute and cuddly and seeing my grandma with all three of them, is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

Today, we blessed the Squirt in church. Ross gave him a great blessing and the meeting was as interesting as it could be - letting anyone use the microphone always proves to be a bit dangerous. Not all of our family was in attendance because of the busy weekend, but we were so happy to have so many people come out in support of our little family at church and at our lunch at the park after.

I love my family so much - immediate, extended, and in-lawed. It amazes me every time how easily we all come together and jump to the aide of each other. Everyone brought so much food and I will forever be indebted to the kindness and love and generosity of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grand parents.

So - rather that be patriotic this season, with love of country - I'm thinking a bit more internally, with love of family. Ross and I were dependent on so many people for help the last few months before Wyatt was born and the first few weeks after. There is no way we could ever repay all the love and kindness. And, I just can't beat an afternoon at the park, with food and all the people I would rather spend my time with than any others in the world.

Thanks to everyone.

my family

Friday, July 03, 2009

My Boys Friday: the talent portion of the program

Thing One:

He loves to sing. He loves the Temple. When you combine the two, you get this. (We've been working on our song for weeks)

Thing Two:

Besides being an exceptionally talented puker (my gosh does this kid spew. All the time, everywhere. It's just disgusting.), this sweet baby of mine is a talker...and he'll talk (at least a little) in front of a camera.

Enjoy the cuteness.


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