Saturday, December 31, 2011

HaPpY nEw YeAr!

It's the end of another year.  I'll tell ya folks, this one went by super fast.  It's hard to believe that tomorrow is 2012 because it really seems like it could just as easily be the January that was twelve months ago, not a new one starting tomorrow.

Such is life, right?  I heard someone say once that for kids, time moves slowly.  A kid is never tall enough, big enough, smart enough, or old enough to get what he/she wants.  Then, once that kid is finally an adult, time starts slipping away so quickly that you can't catch up.

I guess I'm an official adult now because that's just how I feel.

As part of our family Christmas card this year, I did a photo collage of 2011.  Rather than count down the months and all that happened, it's easier to just post the card.

Christmas Card Back 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011



Today is HIS birthday.  He is 17.  He is awfully close to being an adult.  I don't know how I really feel about that.

The other day at my moms, sitting around the table, eating our home made mini pizzas for lunch, we reminisced about the giant boy before us.

It was just the mom, the kiddos, and the grand kids - one of my favorite combinations of people

We asked him what some of his earliest memories of us are.

He just sort of stared and said he didn't know.

We asked if he remembered sluffing church to look at animals with Haley.  If he remembered standing with his fists in the air shouting, "Ole! Ole! Ole!" when watching his favorite Day at Disneyland VHS tape.  Or if he remembered how I'd always let him ride in the front seat with only the seat belt and my hand to protect him.  Or if he remembered one day being very stomach sick and squishing it all over Haley's lap on the ride home.

I asked him if he remembered what he'd do on days when I picked him up from daycare/babysitting.

He said he didn't.

Know what we'd do?  We'd come home to an empty house, get a drink and head to the basement.  He wasn't that little, maybe three, and I'd find us a show (probably Arthur or Kratt's Creatures), and I'd lay down on the worlds best, ugliest, softest, ideal for sleeping brown couch and he'd climb up on top of me, stomach to stomach and would lay and watch the show with me.  We'd usually fall asleep.

Even if he doesn't remember, I do.

And I'll never let him do it again because now he's a giant.  And he'll squish me to death.

Happy Birthday Willie!

We love you!

Past Birthday Wishes.....

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Day!

Looks like Santa showed up for two good little boys.

Christmas Day was really nice.


Early morning, great church meeting, LOTS of food, and family, and fun.  It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood, and one where we werent' too rushed and still had the time to enjoy our family, wallow in wrapping paper, and watch the little kiddos get so excited and overwhelmed and begging for more, but gladly going to bed at the end of the night (and volunteering to take naps the next day!)

Thanks to all our family who made this day so special for us and our kids.

At my Grandpas house.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Eve

We started the day off with the very last activity of the boys advent calendar.  Dad was home to help the boys with their TREASURE HUNT!  It was a smashing success.  My grumpy almost 5 year old, when basking in the joy of his treasures told me, "Mom - that was a really great activity.  It was really nice of you to do that for us.  Do you think you can do it again for my birthday?"

Yes my boy.  I think I can.

We had a pretty lazy day, too.  The boys ran some errands and came home crazy.  I ran some errands to run away from all the crazy and grumpy boys.  Our house smelled delicious because we were in the teens on hours for our Christmas Eve roast (a 10 pound piece of meat that took 21 hours to cook on very low heat.).

Eventually, we got dressed and headed out to my grandpas house for our traditional Christmas Eve feast and program.  We weren't able to attend last year, but this year we did and it was great fun.

As my sister, my mom, and my aunt have already mentioned, Christmas just wasn't the same this year without my grandma.  I missed her terribly all weekend.  More than I ever imagined.  But, I didn't have a meltdown (saved all of those for her birthday in September and the entire week before Thanksgiving) - I only started crying (but pulled it together) three times on Christmas Day and driving away from her house after dropping off a few things on Christmas Eve.

My sister said it best - Christmas has always meant Grandma.  I was never as helpful as my sister, but for as long as I can remember, I've blocked out the week before Christmas to sit at her house, drink diet cokes, and wrap hundreds of presents.

Oh, the presents.

In fact, without realizing exactly what I was doing, I had all my presents wrapped as usual, with an entire week to keep my hands idle.  I got ready for her even though there wasn't anything to get ready for.  That, my friends, broke my heart.  My grandma loved Christmas so much and not having her there was hard.

But, we all survived.  We did it without her and we did it in a way that I hope still made her proud from heaven, watching us

Sorry for the tangent, back to Christmas Eve!  The food was yummy.  The company was good.  The program was great.  Our family should start a traveling choir - we sound great all crammed into my grandpa's living room singing Christmas songs - as long as you don't mind the fact that we're all a bunch of punks when singing.

Cross rib roast cooked for 21 hours. Heaven.

These kids used to be little. Not any more.

My grandpas Christmas tree

People say we look alike.

My grandpa in my grandmas special chair. I love him.

Christmas Eve, Eve

Or should we call it Christmas Adam?  ( I read that in a comment on Instagram and after I figured out the joke, I thought it was pretty funny)!

So, Christmas is over and....when I got on the scale this morning I weighted 1 pound less than I did a few days ago.  My scale must be broken.

Our Christmas Festivities this year lasted us three full days.  We started on the Friday before Christmas with Ross' parents.  Before dinner, it was full on lego city building time.  Then we had a decadent prime rib, potatoes, carrots and made candy cane cookies for dessert.  The boys got a head start in opening presents and we came home tired.

Holy Legos, batman.

Building a Lego city

Story time


Friday, December 23, 2011

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas

It's time to disappear for a few days to celebrate the holidays. Lots of family and food and overwhelmed kiddos and tired mamas and papas.

"Monday, Monday, la la, la la la la" may take on a whole new meaning this year. I cannot really remember the last time Christmas and all it's beautiful chaos was celebrated on a Sunday but I'm pretty sure the hangover we're all going to feel on Monday morning will keep us in bed as long as possible. 

To celebrate the end of the week, the impending end of the year I thought it would be fun to share some videos with all of you out there in the land of Internet. Okay, yes, there are only like 5 of you out there but these are definitely for you.

 A quick description of each.
1 - There is a boy on my brother's basketball team. He hardly plays in the games but he is a good team leader and dancer. The team has worked out a new routine before each game.

2 - We have no snow! No snow on the ground and even though there have been a few little flurries, there's been nothing to play in. The weather has totally screwed up a couple days on our advent calendar. Luckily as one of the boys prizes I gave them some snow to grow.

3 - Yesterday, we gathered with some of our favorite older cousins to build gingerbread houses. It was a fun morning and early afternoon filled with laughter, fun and lots and lots of frosting. Wyatt's contribution to his house was about what I thought it would be.....he consumed a lot of frosting and candy.


 and Merry Christmas to all!


The chicks gingerbread house made w a talented partner and favorite cousin.

He's almost 5. Eek!  Did his g-bread house almost completely on his own.

Monday, December 19, 2011

One of the busiest weeks of the year!

Twas the Monday before Christmas and all through the house,
little boys were crazy, bouncing off the walls of the house....

Okay, I am not a poet but last week was really busy.  One of those weeks where your days are filled with errands and wrapping, and shopping and your nights are full of basketball and parties, and festive activities.

Here's a quick glimpse into our last week.

Last night, grandpa had to ride in the back of the truckster w the little squirts.

Dinner and seeing the lights piled into Grandma Judy's family truckster.

Tonight's dinner. Yum!
Eating out every single night of the week somewhere because there just was no time to cook at home.

Zoo light w grandma and grandpa

Zoo lights. New family tradition. @hoglezoo

Zoo lights with Grandma and Grandpa.

Advent day 15:  oh Christmas tree.

Lots of Christmas crafting and baking (and basketball watching)

The preschool Christmas program

Preschool Christmas program participating and watching.

From one of my most favorite people in the world. Thank you!

Exchanging gifts with very good friends.

Christmas concert is about to begin.

Christmas program watching (and painted finger nails, fancy clothes, and out to dinner without the kids!)

Went to the funeral today of a 96 yr o WWII silver star winning vet. Full military. Awesome.

On Saturday, we attended the funeral of Ross' 89 year old great uncle. He was a cool guy. It was a neat service. After the funeral he received a traditional military farewell with a 21 gun salute, flag folding ceremony, and a whole lot of cool.  He was a WW II veteran and received the silver star for his service during the war - I was told that he helped liberate Vatican city when Italy was invaded by the allies.

Vanilla bean cupcakes with nutella butter cream icing. Yummy!!!!

Lots of parties and food and family and friends. More sugar than I every should have consumed, but consume it I did.

And that was just Monday through Sunday.  This week we've already had crafts with friends (we painted ornaments which I've decided is the absolute coolest thing ever!).  We've got more parties and family, festivities and food ahead of us.  Believe it or not, I can hardly wait.

We painted ornaments this morning w friends.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Yummy, yummy, yummy!

Oreo cookies.

I only like them two ways.

Dunked in milk or covered in chocolate.

Chocolate covered oreo cookies. The only thin that has worked right for me today.

I ate dinner with the family a couple weeks ago at Zupas and they were selling a box of 8 chocolate covered oreo cookies for $10.  That's more than a dollar an oreo.  Now, I'm sure they used more expensive chocolate than me but come on - $10?

I made these the other day for a couple of neighbor and teacher treats.  They are super yummy.  Half dipped in red vanilla flavored candy melts and the other half in milk chocolate.

Maybe if I decided to sell them, I could make a pretty penny.  I decided to eat them instead.

(p to the s.....I've updated my little food blog.  If you haven't looked for a while, there are a few new food ideas up.)

Stupid is as stupid does...

In my home, there is no land line.  Yes, we do not have a house phone.  We each have a cell phone and that suits all of our needs just fine.  In nine years of marriage we've never had a land line and haven't needed one.  We thought about it when Elliott was born but quickly realized that everyone who would ever watch our child would also have a cell phone so there really wasn't a need.

Having a cell phone only household has helped a lot.  We are on all the "do not call" lists and almost never get solicitations.  The occasional political leaving a message, the reminder call for a doctor's appointment or a pharmacy pick up but that's about it.  At least for Ross.

Me?  I get all kinds of crazy stuff.

At least one day a month, I get 5 to 7 calls from "unknown".  Who is unknown?  Lucky for me, he leaves a message.  Unknown is a fax machine and some person in an office somewhere faxes my cell phone on a pretty regular basis.

I always seem to get calls from random weirdos.  My number must be very similar to the number of some drug dealer or something.  Now, If I don't know the number, I don't answer the phone.  It's a pretty easy rule to follow and one I am very good at.  I'll gladly listen to a message and return a phone call, if it is for me, but if the number and the message don't apply, I'll definitely ignore.

So, this week I've received three calls and voice messages that sort of take the cake.  Each call has been from a gentleman named Mitchell from  the Hospital Help Desk.  He is calling regarding a message from Julie Smith about her e-mail account being suspended and not working.

I am not Julie Smith.  I did not call the Hospital Help Desk.  I do not have a suspended e-mail account.

It's fine that my number gets mistaken for someone else's number once.  Maybe even twice.  But, for a person needing to leave a message for Julie Smith, when he hears, "This is Ann...leave a message..." wouldn't you think he'd get the hint that he's using the WRONG number?

Not only that, but the third message left this morning (yes, when I saw the number and knew it was Mitchell I almost answered) was rather belligerent.  In a little too gruff of a tone, Mitchell informed me that he's called three times and since Ms. Smith hasn't responded he'll be forced to take care of the account issue by eliminating the account!!!  And, if Ms. Smith has a problem with that, she can use her ticket number to start the help desk issue over again!  And have a nice day!

Should I feel bad?  Probably a little bit.  Do I?  Not at all.

I'm not sure who is more stupid - Mitchell for calling the wrong number and leaving a message in the obviously wrong voice mail account three times or the person who left the wrong phone number in the first place.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

In a nutshell...

Wednesday night. Basketball marathon night.


Play like a team. Win like a team. #hhsbball


Most of us at the game to watch our team lose.

And a little more basketball.

The boys and I did our sub for Santa drop off this morning. It was an awesome experience and hopefully a new tradition for us.

The boys and I delivered our family sub-for-santa project and had a really awesome experience at the Christmas Box House.

Eating the whipped cream waiting for the hot chocolate.

Eating all the home made whipped cream while waiting for the home made hot chocolate to be stirred with the home made chocolate spoons made by the mom with too much time on her hands.

And then we went to see the lights in the afternoon when no one else was out.

Visiting Temple Square to see the nativities when there are no people and some sunshine instead of the lights when it's freezing and too crowded.

Yummy Harry and David on my porch this afternoon. Thanks uncle Paul.

Receiving beautiful gift boxes of delectable treats from my super hip and cool Uncle Paul. I've never been gifted from Harry and David before and you have no idea how excited I was to break into those truffles and Elliott into the pears.

We also were able to listen to my Grandpa speak in church, as well as my dad.  I wrapped presents to put under the tree.  The husband and I even had a "date" whatever that is and though our intentions were good - to shop for a final few Christmas items for our kids and family members, we spent most of our time at the new Banana Republic outlet by our house.  Who can pass up the BR when the whole store is 70% off?

Not the boy that I married, that's for sure!  And, though it was nothing special, there is definitely something sweet, and sincere, and reminiscent of the "good old days" in hanging out just with him, sitting at the hidden back table at a barbacoa.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Time for a second opinion

Waiting for the endocrinologist. Time to figure out what's wrong with me

During the last few weeks, it's been hard to have the bedes.  The medication that I take doesn't seem to be working, and some of it makes me very sick.  I've been struggling to manage my numbers, stay at an even keel, and feel "healthy" every day.  Because things just feel a bit out of control I did something I never do and last week called the doctor for an extra appointment to get some help, some guidance, some instruction on what I should do.

I got to my appointment yesterday, checked in with reception, and sat down in the waiting room.  Not five minutes later the nurse took me back, put me on the evil scale, and ushered me into a room where I would wait.  Apparently I'm too good looking to sit in a waiting room (or too ugly!) so I had to sit and wait for 35 minutes in an unused exam room.

After the appropriate time of waiting was over - I could hear everyone who was supposed to be helping me, the nurse and my PA in the hall chatting about what pharm. rep was bringing them lunch today - I was taken into another room to have my blood pressure checked, answer a few questions, and yes, sit and wait some more.

Finally my health care professional came into the room.  He's sort of a frantic Kramer-esque guy and though I don't particularly like him much, he's consistent.  In 5 years of visiting the same office I've been through 5 such professionals and this guy has stuck with me for over a year so I keep going back.

I tell him my issues:
1) The insulin Lantus that I am taking is no longer working properly or effectively.  If I do more than 45 units at night, I bottom out in a few hours (talking 30's people, that's real bad) and then have very high numbers in the morning (150 or higher, also bad).  If I do less than 45 I sleep through the night, but awake to numbers around 170.  

2) The oral drug I take, metformin, makes me sick.  He wants me to take 4 tablets a night but 4 is beyond my threshold and I wake up with stomach problems you wouldn't wish on an enemy.  It's pretty awful stuff and I cannot stand up straight, live in the bathroom all day, and say prayers that I can make it to preschool drop-off and pick-up without dying.  Seriously, I cannot explain to you what that medication does to me.  I can tolerate 3 tablets with a terrible episode every 4-6 weeks but if I take 4, I'm miserable within about 12 hours.

3) I've lost weight.  Not a lot of weight, but enough that I am seeing changes.  I actually went shopping for a size smaller pair of jeans on Saturday because mine are all falling off of me.  I haven't lost a ton of weight, only 10 pounds, but my jiggle is less jiggle and I have new muscles where I haven't had them for years.  This weight loss however has stalled.  It's like my body is a hoarder of poundage and won't let anymore go.  Some days I practically starve and sweat myself just to see a loss of some ounces and I'm not getting anywhere.  

These three things are making me nervous.  I am too much of a kooky rule follower micro manager to let my diabetes be out of control and I need help.  So, I presented my PA with this information, and a list of morning numbers since October.  He looked over my documentation, and prescribed the following.

A - Take the Lantus in the morning, then I won't bottom out.
B-  Take this cholesterol medication.  Even though I don't have high cholesterol, this medication should help my stomach so that I can go back to taking 4 of the evil metformin. 
C -  Oh, you've lost weight?  That's nice.  Oh, you haven't lost as much as you think you should be?  Well, you must be building muscle mass.

And with that I was given some paperwork for new labs to be drawn, scheduled a new appointment and was out the door.

None of my issues were addressed - in fact they were ignored.  I was very upset and called my husband to tell him it was time to find a new diabetes doctor STAT!  I need a second opinion, a new medication plan, and someone who will listen to me.  I'm not a dummy.  I know about my condition.  I do what I need to do to take care of myself.

So, my good husband listened to me on the phone, did some searching on the website of our insurance provider and found me someone new.  He made me an appointment for next week.  This time I'll try a woman.  A nice, grandmotherly woman who specializes only in diabetes.

I just hope that this is a start in the right direction.

Monday, December 05, 2011

In a nutshell....

Tis the season....

To be busy. This weekend marked the start of a whirlwind for us in the next 6 weeks or so.  Once we get through the holidays our Dad ditches us for the high life in Chile and Argentina for a couple of weeks while we freeze our butts of at home.


Legos w friends. Like words w friends but way better.

We played Lego's with friends, who are almost like our long lost identical twin brother.

We attended Ross' work party where Elliott got picked up by a mildly creepy Santa Claus and I made a foolish attempt at a family photo in the elevator. Just once I'd like to have a picture of the four of us where we don't all look like dorks!
Hey - sorta creepy corporate Santa picked me up for the picture.

Another awful attempt at a family picture.

We spent our Saturday all going in different directions. Elliott went to a ball game with Grandma Connie. Ross and the Chick spent the day napping, dog sitting, eating pizza, playing video games, reading books, and playing ring around the rosies with stuffed dogs. I spent most of my day alone, standing in long lines, trying on size smaller jeans, and eating at In-and-Out alone. I did not have to share my fries.

These are all mine.

Uncle Willie came to eat dinner with us and to play. He loves his nephews and his nephews love him lots. We watched videos of goats and hedgehogs and all things fart related on YouTube and wrote letters to Santa Claus.  It was a perfect night.

Writing to Santa and asking for none of the stuff santa told me he already got.

Too bad Santa and I haven't communicated clearly up to this point because everything the boy wrote on his letter to Mr. Claus WAS NOT something that the big guy has already had the elves whip up in the shop. Maybe the Santa letters need to be written in November next year.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Squeaky Shoes!

Someone:  "Hey, Annie, what's one of your most favorite sounds in all the land?"

Me:  "Oh person, that's easy.  It's the sound of basketball shoes squeaking on a gym floor!"

Someone:  "Really?"

Me:  "YES!"

I love basketball.  I love to play and I love to watch.  I love to yell and cheer and scream until I'm hoarse.  I love the teamwork and the energy on a court.  I love that in a few short seconds momentum and leads can change.

As a general rule of the universe these last few years however, it seems that the basketball gods have been against me because all the teams I cheer for are terrible.  Lose by 30 terrible.  Win one game a season terrible.  It's been a bit devastating to see my Runnin' Utes, who at the time of my youth and when I was a Ute dominated (well, they were good), turned to the rubble of the basketball world.  It's been hard to watch my brother give so much of himself on a court for a losing, head case team.

This year though....

This year is different.

At least for the Wolverines!  The Utes?  The suck worse than ever and I just cannot bring myself to talk about it.  But the Mighty Wolverines started their season this week and (knock on wood) are 2-0 and there is a spark on the court that gives my basketball gene a brain freeze.

Last Wednesday's game against East High School was truly one of the most fun high school basketball games I've been to in my life.  We came back from behind and were the WINNING TEAM.  Something that never would have happened for last year's bad news bears.  Yes, the fans taunted my brother, calling him Albino - which he is not by the way.  He's just very pale!  Yes, we came from behind and no, East high fans we don't "still suck".

Fast forward to Friday night.  The opponent was Logan high school a team that got the opportunity to beat our guys twice last year while taunting with racial slurs and bigotry.  I think all of us watching, and maybe some of the boys were a bit nervous and going down by 20 in the first quarter definitely didn't bode well for a victory.

But, these boys rallied.  They jumped out of the gym and rebounded and ran plays and boxed out.  They cheered each other on.  They locked arms on the sideline.  They smiled, they laughed.  They were excited.  They loved basketball.

And they won!

They rallied and they won.

We won!  We won!  We won!  #hhsbball 

There are a lot of things that I find fun in life but there are few that compare to the energy in a gym when your team is winning.  It's easy to always find fault with youth sports and as my brother has been through so many programs I'm often one of the first to jump on the complain train.  But....BUt....BUT....seeing these boys who I know, seeing my brother and his team win?  There isn't really anything else more fun than that.

Well, there is one thing more fun.  Reading my brother's tweets after the games.  That is pretty fun.

Capture 2



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