Friday, July 27, 2012

For a really, really good cause

UPDATE:  We were able to raise over $300 for the Bonner family.  That's a lot of ice!

Our totally awesome neighbors from our old neighborhood, Wayne and Jeana, could use your help.  They are adopting a little girl named Victoria from Eastern Europe.  She is five years old and has Down Syndrome, as does their three year old daughter Kaelyn. 

Adoption is expensive.  Foreign, special needs adoption is really expensive.  When Ross and I found out what Wayne and Jeana were doing, we really wanted to help them out and the best way we figured to help would be with a fundraiser through Shavy Jones.


On Saturday, August 4th, all the shaved ice proceeds of the day will go towards this awesome family and their quest to bring their little girl home.

If you haven't made it this summer to Shavy and need to visit, this is the perfect opportunity for you to do some good and eat something good.  If you're a Shavy regular, make sure you come on Saturday.  We've got out best shavers scheduled to work and you won't be disappointed.

If you want to help spread the word leading up to August 4th, then click on the flyer and share it on your own blog, your own twitter feed, and your own facebook page.  (The flyer is just on my flickr account and you can just download a copy for yourself to share.)

We look forward to a great day with a lot of ice, all for a good cause.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Thank you, ancient China!

Last summer, in the new neighborhood, while Ross was gone to Australia, the Fourth of July actually terrified me.  There were so many fireworks being blasted off on my street and the circle next to me,  that I honestly thought my house might burn down.

The fact that a home in my old neighborhood did burn down because of some delinquent fireworks lighters last summer didn't help calm my nerves.

Anyway, last year I was up until almost 1:30 in the morning pacing, checking on my boys, and praying for the stupid aerials to stop so I could feel calm and go to sleep.  And then?  The fireworks went on for the next three days, but only until about Midnight.

Flash forward a few weeks to the 24th of July Pioneer Day celebration and it wasn't quite as bad.

Now, this year, I'd been warning Ross for weeks to get ready for the barrage of fireworks this July.  I'd been lamenting about how bad they are and how mad it was going to make him.  Well, we missed the fireworks on the 4th because we stayed at my parents house to light a few small ones of our own and by the time we got home, the neighborhood was mostly quiet.

That led me to believe, foolishly, that last night, the 24th would be pretty calm.  With the general ban on fireworks in areas across the state, plenty of big celebrations lighting off the big stuff I figured we were safe.  We got the boys to bed at 9:00, did our end of night routines and as soon as Ross and I climbed into bed around 10:30, the fireworks started.

At one point, I seriously thought that there was gunfire on my street.  I jumped, I started, and I cursed the bombardment for over two hours.  The light shows in my neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods were still going on, with hooting and hollering, until almost 1:00 am when I finally drifted off to sleep.  For a few hours, my neighborhood actually looked like a war zone from a movie with loud booms, gun shot sounds, and bright flashing lights that felt like artillery bombardments.

What's the point?

I'm a grumpy old woman and I despise fireworks.

It's totally cool to light off a few small things in your driveway to terrify your kids before they go to bed.  I like the "danger" of sparklers and to see the excited fear in the faces of my kids who are nervous they might light their jammies on fire.  I do not think that the same things shot off at Sugar House Park should be lit three houses down from me in someones front yard.  And, in a neighborhood full of small children like mine,  who are on year round school schedules that start back at school today, it's pretty inconsiderate to be lighting of those gun shots booms at Midnight, let alone 1:30 in the morning.

Now, when my boys are obnoxious teenagers I might change my mind.  But when my boys are small, delicate little flowers, I am not a fan.

Monday, July 23, 2012

In a nutshell....

We had a busy weekend.  Well, a busy Saturday.  I really love being busy.  My poor feet, not so much.  As of this weekend I'm officially down to two pair of flip flops and a pair of crocs.  That's all I can fit on my feet.  My beloved Birkenstock's, even when loosened, are too tight for these mammothly swollen feet of mine.  Six more weeks.  I can make it 6 more weeks.  (I hope.  I can make it seven if I'm lucky.)

Anyway, on Saturday we hosted a family BBQ in commemoration of Pioneer Day with my dad's family.  Ross and I hosted the same event last year and I think everyone had a good time.  We had great food and everyone hung out and enjoyed themselves (I think.  Right?  You all had a good time?)  And, we ended the evening with everyone trekking over to Shavy Jones with a shaved ice.  I made my brother and cousin work the "party" shift so that all the family would get the best shaved ice.  I hope it was worth it.  Willie did say a group of polygamists stopped by so that at least made the evening exciting.

Sunday was also a busy and good day.  The little Chick was a crazy out of control mess most of the day.  He was tired and had leg aches.  He's in this transitional nap/no nap phase and the days he doesn't have even a short rest he's a mess the day after.  But, all was well and we had a yummy dinner at my mom's and a pioneer day photo shoot of the grand kids with the ghost of Uncle Willie appearing in the some of the photos.

My boys absolutely LOVE their Uncle Willie.  They have such a good relationship with him and I am so glad that he loves them back.  Last night they had a lot of fun playing outside, learning new words (Babushka) and running around, singing, doing interpretive dance, eating at least half a dozen Popsicles a piece and getting really sweaty. 

What better way to spend the weekend than with lots of family and fun.

Now, if only I'd slept last night instead of being awake from 1:00 -5:30 am I wouldn't be dragging quite as severely from the busy weekend this morning.

Oh well.

Enjoy some pictures.




Can you find @willie_petersen in this picture?

The nephews and their uncle. *love*

And, what Sunday night would be complete without a little bit of personal grooming and hygeine. My brother is super hairy and until last night, had some pretty wild eyebrow action going on. After watching a video on eyebrow grooming for men on youtube, the two of us hit the bathroom with some sissors, a come and some tweezers to clean those bad boys up. I must say I did a pretty good job even though we didn't tweeze. Tweezing is a little too rough for a 17 year old boy. But, he did decide to trim some nosehairs to, which is pretty brave.

What did you do on Sunday night?  Me?  Oh, I just trimmed and tweezers my brothers eye brows. @willie_petersen

I used to be the officially little brother toenail clipper. Trimming up his eyebrows was the least I could do. I'm sure his football helmet will fit better now.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Boys of summer....

I love basketball. I don't mind being at a live football game.  Soccer, baseball, golf...these sports are not my favorite but I'm good for a game a season, usually (Except golf.  Not a sport, just an expensive hobby!  Look at the shape of the majority of men who play golf, professionally or otherwise, and you'll have to agree!)

Anyway, after Elliott has such a great time playing baseball in the spring we decided to sign both boys up for the summer league sponsored by the Salt Lake Bees.  The kids got t-shirts, hats, 2 tickets each to a Bee's game, and last night got their trophies and pictures.  They've already used half their baseball tickets to have a night out with dad a couple weekends ago and are going to another game in August - mom gets to stay home and the boys get a great night out with their dad.  Awesome!

Anyway, last night was the last game.  We've had 8 games in 5 weeks and the boys, especially the littles on Wyatt's team, really improved a lot.  Technically, the boys played "t-ball" but by the last game last night, every kid on both teams was hitting coach pitches and were really doing well.

Ross was the coach of both of the boys teams.  He is such a good dad because dealing with a bunch of crazy 5-6 year olds and 3-4 year olds for a couple hours a week is pretty crazy for a dad whose used to sitting next to the CEO in a meeting.  But, he did an excellent job, the boys loved him and he even got a couple of hugs last night...not from his own kids.

I was proud of all my boys.  I was even more happy to have the cool weather last night - it was cloudy and overcast and a great night to sit and be fat and swollen in my folding chair.

jul 12








Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A pretty good summer day!

It started out by blasting the Monkey and the Squirt out of bed to drive them over the river and through the woods to grandmama's house.  They were hanging out because I had an early morning appointment with some monitors.

My Tuesday and Saturday mornings for the next 8-9 weeks.

I guess it's cool to spend over an hour a week listening to the not born baby's heart beat in stereo and watching the little guy squirm around while fluid levels are checked but, I'm only three NST's in this time around and I'm already tired of it. Only 8 weeks to go?

After that, I met the kiddos at the pool and relieved grandma of her babysitting charges. I got the full report on what they ate, whether or not the went to the bathroom before swimming and who was sporting a little bit of mascara and rouge.

Grandma put mascara in him this morning. It really brings out his eyes.

It was a perfect day to sit and watch swimming lessons, too. 81 degrees and breezy. I couldn't have asked for better.

I live swimming lessons when it's 81 and breezy outside. Thank you yesterday's rainstorm.

Then it was home for lunch - french fries, hires fry sauce, and strawberries - playing with toys, making messes and a couple of errands to the pharmacy and grocery store. We had quiet time, time, homework time (for me) and time to e-mail the last 10 days worth of blood sugar stats to the endocrinologist. By the time we got through all of that junk, it was time for t-ball.

The first game of the night only had 6 players total - five from our team and one from the other. It became a hodge podge of parents and kids having a lot of fun and even though they are supposed to use the tee, because they are all three (and four) Ross pitched to all the kids and they all knocked the balls out of the park the entire 45 minutes they played.

Tball Tuesday.

The second game was a bit out of control, but my left-handed batter did a great job and for the first time in two seasons of baseball, I caught him sitting in the field picking at the grass.

After that, because it's just what we do, we all ended up at the patio of Mt. Mike's pizza for the nightly special and some shaved ice shaved by one of our favorite shaver's, Uncle Willie. Things got hoppin' and we stayed until close...and until said Uncle got his stinker nephews pretty wet with melted ice.

Perfect Tuesday night.

We found our way home well after 9:00 pm and the boys had the fastest double shower of their lives. They were jammied and in bed, though not asleep, by 9:30 at which point I disappeared leaving their hyped up sugary little selves in the care of their t-ball coaching, ice shaving dad.

Yes, I'd say it was a pretty good summer day.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Another one bites the dust

Another tooth bites the dust. That's two in a month. Woah!

The new tooth started moving in about a week ago.  Within a day of that, the other little itty bitty front tooth became loose.  It's been a constant distraction for this little boy for days and days.

Last night, while doing some evening swimming at grandpa's house, said little boy's dad hoisted him into the air and he landed with a splash.  He came up laughing and that dad saw that the itty bitty tooth was crooked and just hanging on.

So, he did what all dads do, he said, "Hey come here.  Open your mouth," and yanked that itty bitty tooth right out.

This time though, we didn't lose it.

At the rate he's going, two teeth in a month, the tooth fairy is going to break the bank.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fort Knox

Funniest thing I've read in a long time. 
(My husband shared this with me over the weekend.  I'm still laughing.)

Lately, everything in my life can be blamed on my hormones?

Or not.

I'm trying really hard to get all the things done in a day that I usually get done and still find a few minutes here and there to put swollen and sore ankles and feet up.  This week though, I've started my twice weekly NST's (Non-Stress Tests) (which are anything but non-stress).  This is where I go to the hospital, this time around to the Labor and Delivery department, get set-up in a triage room,  hooked to a billion monitors and then told to "relax" for 20 minutes to an hour while little twitchy does his thing  being tracked on a monitor.  It's actually a nice break, sort of, except for all the stress of doing it twice a week, finding someone to watch my kids, driving to and from the hospital and inevitably, even though I go right before, needing to use the bathroom right as everything gets hooked up and the nurse walks away.

Phew!  I'm tired just thinking about it.

But, I keep reminding, baby, baby.......In a few short weeks I get a baby out of all this and that, in the end, keeps me from crying.  On most days, anyway.

But, I digress.  The boys and I had to run an errand this morning.  The place we needed to go, when we pulled up in front at 10:45 didn't open until 11:00 am.  Fifteen minutes to kill.  I had a brilliant idea.

Why don't we go to the library, just around the corner.

Even better?  Why don't I be a good mom and actually get a library card.

It was decided and I had two little boys very excited to venture to the biblioteque.

Me?  Not excited.  Library's literally make me sick to my stomach if I'm there for more than 10 minutes.  No joking.  I enter a library and I have to find a bathroom.  When I was a student at the "U" and had to crank out some massive study sessions at the Marriott Library my routine was always the same.  Enter library; find cubby; sit down, get out all my stuff; open Ritz crackers; sneak open coke; pack up most of my belongings and speed walk to the nearest bathroom, hoping the stuff I left in haste was still there when I returned.

It always was.  Thank you fellow Utah students.

Anyway, the public library.  We walked in confident.  I approached the librarian.  I should have known by the "I hate my job" look she was giving me that this was not going to be easy.  I told her that I needed a library card.  She asked me if I've ever had one before.  I said, "Yes, but not since I was probably 10 years old."  She looked me up by my maiden name and birthday and I was not in the system.  Obviously.  Because, like I said, maybe when I was 10 I had a library card...that was 24 years ago.


Next, she handed me a bright pink half sheet of paper and asked me for my drivers license with my current address.  I told her that I moved recently (a year is recently, right?) and that my DL did not have my new address.

She was not amused.

She told me that if my address was not current on my DL then I had to have another document with me to get a library card and referred me to the paper.

Some of the other documents included:
passport or government ID (with current address)
cell phone bill
medical bill
water/gas bill

You get the idea.  She then directed me to a computer to fill out an online application and told me that she could issue me a temporary card.

I did as I was told and then let the boys each select three books.

We went to check out.

She found my recently completed application, gave me a temporary card and then I stood there, thinking that she would help me check out the books.

Bitter librarian just stared at me.

I asked if she would help me.  She said no and pointed to the computer kiosk.  She told me it was easy to use and that I SHOULD be able to do it.  Apparently by this point, "I'm with stupid" was printed across my forehead with an arrow pointing down.

I did it.  Barely.  Apparently with a temporary card, I could only check out 2 books, not 6.  And since I didn't know this, I checked out two of Elliott's books and none of Wyatt's.  Dramarama in the car I tell you.  Drama!

So, here's the thing.  Apparently I am super naive about the library.  I didn't realize that they needed a vial of blood from my first born a lock of hair and a criminal background check with up to date finger prints to check out a book.  It's a library.  I wanted some books!  Just some books!  I figured that I'd go in, they would verify my address, match me up to my husband (I tried to use him as a reference....avid library user he is but alas, it didn't work) and I'd have a card.  Voila!

Like Forrest Gump said:

Stupid is as stupid does.

I may never go back.

And, my stomach still hurts.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Picnic in the Park

My mom took the week of off work.  Minus regular days off for major holidays, its the only 5-7 days she takes off for the entire year.  And, of course, we swoop down on her house like hawks to mice because who doesn't want to spend all their free time messing up grandmas house....when she's there.

Our assignment for the week though was to help clean out the basement.  You see, my mother has been trying for, oh, at least a year to clean out all the paper and junk in the basement so that mine and my sisters old bedrooms are functional.  Both of us girls still have tons of junk in our old bedrooms and it needed a good clean sweep.

On Thursday, since it rained all day (yeah, blessed rain!) it was a perfect day to sit on the floor and look at old junk - certificates and awards, pictures, and goofy cards that I made for my sister and that she made for me.  My brother of course was our slave labor, carrying heavy boxes of recyclables upstairs...and complaining that we were throwing away all of his memories.

We didn't throw them all away.  We saved one small folder of stuff that truly qualified as "memories".  The dancing flower however, that my grandma gifted me for Christmas over 20 years ago headed for the trash.  It was not, in fact, my brother's memory but my own.

The project was no where near complete when we all headed for home on Thursday afternoon, but we had plans to resume the cleaning on Friday morning.  But, with a few quick phone calls yesterday morning it was determined that my mom was done with the basement project and we needed to do something fun.

And something fun we did.

Picnic in the park.

Feed the geese and ducks in the park.

Wyatt fall in the nasty dirty water in the park pond.

Molly screaming because she was happy or sad or excited or grumpy.

Elliott being the big kid and being in charge.

Jack being cute and sleepy.

Haley supervising the kiddos feeding ducks.

Mom and Annie being grossed out by floating bread in the stinky water and sitting far, far away.

Buy random dollar bin toys and candy from the toys store.

Molly eat the paper and the starburst on the way home because we weren't paying attention.

Overall, it was a great way to spend a Friday afternoon in the middle of the summer.

4 grand chillins in 1 car.


Can't forget the old man. He's with us too.

Following the leader

Friday, July 06, 2012


The 4th was busy but a good day.

We started my laundry room project, but of course ran out of time and didn't get it finished.  Saturday, then.

The bulk of our holiday was spent at my grandpas, swimming.  Well, all my boys swam, I sat and sweated on the side of the pool.  In the end, I was not brave enough to shove all my fat and big belly into a swim suit in front of 40 something of my family members.

My boys however, they are fish.  Absolute fish.  Thanks to their dad swimming with them, cousin Natalie giving Wyatt a private lesson and a whole lot of cousins to mess around with.

In the end, it was a great day that ended just as we, as parents had hoped, with two boys sound asleep in the car on the way home.


Swimming with dad.

4th of joolie swimming

Flying high with some baby butt crack on the side. @rrosshowden #gooddad

A few cousins at the pool

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy 4th of July

Vanilla bean cupcakes with chocolate malt frosting. Happy 4th.

The 4th is by no means my favorite holiday.
(see here as an example)



This year, our dad is home and not in Australia.

This year, I have a little twitchy kicking and entertaining me all day, and making me so sweaty I'll brave the swimming pool, extra fat and all.

This year, I'm going to get started and hopefully finish my laundry room project I've been trying to start since January.

This year, we're going swimming, eating hamburgers and potato chips and cupcakes and homemade root beer until we pop - hopefully without the Chick puking.

And this year, the boys are going with their dad this morning to pick out their own fireworks.


We've been married 9.5 years and never purchased fireworks. Maybe I should go along with the camera to document the adventure.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Cousin Camp


Long story short.  Ross Grandpa Tupper passed away in North Dakota a couple of weeks ago.  He was 95 years old, led a great life, and was honored by his family.  Ross made the trip up north to pay his respects but the boys and I stayed home.  This fat, swollen mama wasn't prepared mentally or physically to do a whirlwind adventure in 48 hours.  And flying the four of us, renting a car, traveling in that car for hours and just wasn't going to work.  I wanted to be there for Ross and felt terrible for staying home, but I guess those are some of the sacrifices you have to make.

Anyway, Ross' brothers whole family went to the funeral and his parents brought my nephew Isaac home with them.  They are on their way back to Arizona to drip him off with his family as I write this, but we've had some grand adventures while Isaac was here.  He's only a little squirt, 3.5 years old, and was with Grandma and Grandpa for almost 12 days.  That's a long time and we did our best to fill that time with fun.

The three musketeers ran through the sprinklers and chased soccer balls.  Grandma Connie and I took them to the zoo where we saw the amazing polar bear in action and chowed down on churros and diet cokes and stood in front of the misting fans until our faces were sparkly with water..  The boys ate lots of kids meals, built lots of trains, and ran around like wild men.  

Isaac came to t-ball and Uncle Ross tried to teach him (albeit unsuccessfully) to swing a bat and hit a pitch.  He did okay hitting off the tee, but I'm not sure anyone has ever pitched a ball to him before.  He did however do alright fielding and throwing.  Why is it that boys all know how to throw?

Isaac appendix

But then, our adventures took a downturn.  After a pretty traumatic attempt at getting Isaac home after a family dinner at our house, and a crazy rough night at Grandma and Grandpa's house, Isaac was taken to the emergency room in the morning and was told that he'd have to get his appendix taken out.  A whirlwind of phone calls, the decision of his parents to stay in Arizona, and transport to another hospital later, that cute little boy had his appendix out, was discharged early from the hosptial and grandma and grandpa have been taking good care of him since, with a movie and some drawing at our house as part of his recuperation.  Which has been pretty speedy and miraculous.  He's lucky that Grandma and Grandpa caught it so early.

Isaac will be back to Utah in August an the boys cannot wait.  They will both be in school and our summer will be "over" by the time he gets back, but we'll still have the evenings to play and be wild....which is just what little boys need to do with their cousins.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Home made mints

Homemade mints for a baby blessing tomorrow.

I had a little bit of time last week (you know, when one kid goes to a friends to play and the other takes the last nap of his life) to sit at the computer and look around on Pinterest for some inspiration.  Food inspiration, that is.  After all, tis the season of the summer BBQ and family party and I needed something new to bring to the table.

And I found these.  Homemade peppermint patties.  Sort of.  They were fun and easy to make and I should have made a double batch.

Chocolate Mints
1 pound (1 bag) powdered sugar
4 oz cream cheese, soft
1 tsp mint extract (and a little more to put in the chocolate)
6-8 oz chocolate chips

1.  Add sugar to the cream cheese.  Beat until completely incorporated.
2.  Add the mint extract
3. Using a teaspoon to measure, roll the dough into teaspoon sized balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
4.  Create a small bowl/indentation using the back of the teaspoon into each ball.
5.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
6.  Melt chocolate chips, add mint extract and blend well.  Place chocolate chips into a zip lock bag, cut off the tip of the bag and pipe the chocolate onto each mint.
7. Let the chocolate set, cover and refrigerate 4-6 hours (or over night).

Keep the mints in the fridge.  I bet they will be good for at least a week, if they last more than a few hours.


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