Monday, March 30, 2009

Colin's Star Wars Party

Colin's birthday is this Thursday, so we had his party on Saturday. It was just the cousins, plus his blacked-eyed friend (as pictured), because how could we not invite her? It is going to be really crazy in the future when Colin starts expecting church and school friends too!

We kept the party pretty simple. Each guest got a Star Wars name when they came. Colin was Carja, and Gabe was Galuf. We played "Obi-Wan Says" instead of Simon Says and hunted for asteriods (candy wrapped into foil balls), and had hamburgers, hotdogs, and cake. The kids had a great time and Colin was perfectly satisfied.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Keepin' It Real Wednesday

The Elders were over for dinner tonight, and I was running around getting this and that, carrying a fussy baby who was ready for bed, and trying to calm my hyperactive boys. They get really crazy when the missionaries are over.

I finally got a chance to sit down to eat my own food, and I went to sit Oliver in his high chair next to Chad's chair. I slid him down into it, with the tray snapped firmly in place over his lap, with a wedged piece between his little legs. I kid you not, the thought came clearly into my head, "Strap him in" and I quickly ignored it to go eat.

I am sure you won't be surprised that about ten minutes later there was a quick rattle-rattle of the tray being kicked off by the baby, an "oh shoot!" from Chad as he tried in vain to grab him, and the cry of a baby as he slid down and fell on the wood floor. What a fine example for the Elders about "how NOT to parent your future children."

Oliver had no bumps or bruises and was fine after ten minutes of comfort from mom upstairs, but why oh why would I do such a silly thing as not take the time to strap him in?

I can't even say I forgot, like the few times I have gone to get a baby out of his carseat to find that they were never even strapped in. Have you ever done that? Doesn't your heart just leap into your throat as you picture all the roads you just drove down without your baby secured - all of the potential hazards that you just avoided?

For some reason tonight's highchair incident falls together in my mind with yesterday's bat incident and the two together stress me out. What was the bat incident, you ask? Well, Colin decided to play baseball with his next door neighbor friend yesterday, and "swung really hard" with an aluminum bat, not realizing that she was directly behind him. She came over today with a black eye on her angelic face. She (and her parents) seem to have completely forgiven Colin his accident, but let me tell you that the sight of that black eye made this mommy's heart ache.

Nice follow-up to the videos of Ollie being attacked by the ball, and the picture of Gabe tripping, don't you think?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Did Anyone Else See Oprah Today?

I was very intrigued by the segment about calorie restriction. Dr. Oz introduced us to Joe, who is 5'9", weighs 130, and eats 1950 calories a day. He is 51 years old. He tries to get the most nutrients possible out of each bite he eats. For instance, for breakfast he eats a bowl full of the peels of three apples, with blueberries, raspberries, and 2 ounces of walnuts. A quote from

When Joe started practicing calorie restriction, he weighed 175 pounds. Since then, he's lost 45 pounds, and he says he hasn't had a cold in seven years. Though he's in his "golden years," researchers studying Joe say he has the body of a 20-year-old athlete. "I saw my blood pressure go down substantially. My heart rate went down substantially," he says. "I had more energy than I'd ever had."

The first time I heard about calorie restriction (probably six months ago) I thought it was some overly-conscious borderline anorexic way of eating. The more I have heard and read about it though, the more it makes sense and actually sounds very in-line with the word of wisdom.

Would I ever be strong enough to actually follow a plan like this? Good question. Through the hormonal ups and downs of pregnancy and nursing(for 6 1/2 straight years now) I always have periods of time where eating right is a priority and periods of time where I just don't feel strong-willed at all.

I know that I personally feel such a difference in every aspect of my health when I am eating natural food that is packed full of nutrients, rather than processed junk food. Not only does my body feel (and look) better, I am always happiest when I am eating right. I also feel like I should be teaching my kids better eating habits and helping them notice the connection between eating well and feeling well.

How about the rest of you? Have you experienced the effects of healthy eating?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Oliver and the ball, Part III

Now afraid of the ball, but can't help laughing.

Oliver and the ball, Part II

The ball betrays Oliver.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Oliver and the ball, Part I

Oliver and the ball are friends.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Take a guess...

..about what happened here.


It was Colin's turn to bat, so Gabe sat down on the bench beneath the arbor. I told Gabe to come join me, so he started skipping over. Chad, trying to be funny, rolled a ball at Gabe's feet, which Gabe tripped over. Not funny, Chad. Not funny at all.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Keepin' It Real Wednesday

I always complain about how the time change affects my children, but today I realized that I have been a real witch in the morning over the last week and a half. Since Daylight Savings ended, I have to get up when it is still dark out, which my body tells me is just wrong. This makes me feel like I am back in high school, going to early morning seminary. I used to yell at (and sometimes kick) my mom in the morning when she woke me up (yes, I was a moody teenager -imagine that!). This morning I caught myself yelling at both Chad and Colin before the sun was even up. Yikes.

Anyone else have a hard time getting up in the dark?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Jay Leno, please

Colin's teacher sends home a newsletter every week to let us know what they have been working on. Check out this little snippet from last week's!

Monday, March 16, 2009

In lieu of flowers

Chaddy and I got into a little tiff last week. Chad did something that really ticked me off, and he was clearly in the wrong. In case you are imagining something really juicy, I'll just let you know that it had to to with his 401K and a Roth no, not juicy at all. This is as exciting as it gets around here, folks.

After Chad admitted that he was wrong and apologized, I told him that I still wasn't happy. In our almost eight years of marriage, I have never gotten an "I'm sorry" gift - never once some flowers or candy to smooth things over, like the fellows do on TV. I told Chad that, this time, I expected some sort of token to show his remorse. He replied that he would see what he could come up with, and I played it real icy cool in the meantime.

At around 9 o'clock on Friday night, we were watching Hell's Kitchen together (I told you things were exciting around here - you donkey) and it brought on an intense hamburger craving. My moaning and groaning over the craving was interrupted by the sound of the baby fussing upstairs. I left to comfort Oliver and when I came back down Chad was nowhere in sight. The van was gone too.

He came back ten minutes later, with his token of remorse in hand-

A Five Guys burger, a greasy bag full of fries, and a Chick-Fil-A shake.

I really think it was the most delicious meal I have ever eaten.

Chad was officially forgiven.

Boy does that boy know me.

If you send a gardener to Lowe's for topsoil....

...on a warm March day....

.... chances are, she's coming home with lots more....

Of course it has been raining ever since so I haven't been able to plant them, but they make me smile whenever I see them sitting on my kitchen floor, with all their lovely promises.

Oh, and I forgot the topsoil.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Choice

After a very long day today, my considerate husband came home and immediately took the baby from me and rolled around with him while I finished taking the frozen pizza out the oven(third time we have had it in a week - no joke. Thanks to Shannon for the Palermo's deal and I hope your induction today is going well!). Immediately after dinner he took Colin, who is feeling all better, outside to play baseball. Gabe soon joined them and I watched as the little boy who had been pouting and yelling at me all day slowly started to smile. By the time he hit his fifth ball or so he was absolutely beaming.

Oliver and I were watching through the front door and Oliver was sent in a fit of giggles. Colin and I recently discovered that Oliver likes to watch balls in motion, especially when they hit things. So next we took Chad out front, kicked the soccer ball into the garage door, and watched Oliver explode with laughter.

What was previously a horrible, no-good day was turned completely around in an hour and a half, all thanks to the man who came home. He could have rightfully slumped in front of the TV, lamenting the fact that we all got about 5 hrs of sleep last night. The choice that he made to be engaged cheerfully with three little boys who desperately needed his love was inspiring to me. A little thing yes, but it gave me hope that more little choices like that on my part will bring more happiness to my life.

I didn't get a video of Oliver laughing, but here , here, and here are my favorite videos of giggling babies for you to enjoy. Try to watch them without laughing - I double dare you. Have a lovely evening!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Keepin' It Real Wednesday

Click on picture for full effect

Dear Audra,

You know the other day you were talking about how you had been on a sweets binge and I could not stop laughing and laughing? It was because I was picturing the countless number of Mint Three Musketeers that had passed my lips in the last couple of weeks. Man, have I been on a roll.

Well, Saturday evening, I walked into the kitchen and saw that Gabe had not finished his Jr. Candy Sundae (butterfinger, yum yum) from Sonic. I cursed his name and then thought long and hard about finishing it off, despite the fact that Gabe had a fever of 101. I could practically see the flu germs crawling on, and it still looked oh-so-yummy.

That's when I knew I had a real problem.

See you at our other blog tomorrow?

Your friend in need,

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Why I can be excited about a snowy evening

Well, I got some snow-bashers on my Tonight post, and let me just say, I hear ya. I understand. But dear sisters, please let me demostrate why, here in Charlotte, we can be so excited about snow.

It snowed Sunday night and Monday morning. The next two days were cold and sunny. This was my front lawn on Tuesday.

But we did not despair because we knew what was in store......

Just three short days later...

....and this was my front lawn! It was 75 degrees outside today. Let me tell you, my boys did not need those long sleeves they had on!

Oliver felt grass for the first time in his life. He seemed to like it, but still can't manage to open his eyes all the way when he is outdoors. So much sunshine!

Us non-sickies had a good time outside while Chad and Gabe stewed in the cave. Chad's fever broke today, so it looks like he is slowly on the mend and Gabe doesn't seem to have nearly as bad a case as Chad.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Visiting from Light Refreshments Served?


That post (the due date one) was written during my pregnancy with Oliver, who, you will see over to the right, is six months old now. I must note that he was born five days after his due date, on his big brother Colin's first day of kindergarten, when my midwife offered to induce and I jumped on it. Someday Colin is going to understand what "induce" means and will wonder why I stole his thunder, but for now it is a story he likes to share with his classmates. I know you aren't supposed to count on due dates or anything, but my first two boys were 12 days and 7 days "early" so I was definitely suprised and impatient with Oliver!

Some of my other favorite posts are linked to over on the right in case you want to check them out. Hang out, ignore the sarcastic/weird/sometimes gross comments by my family members (or don't ignore them - they are half the fun!), and have enjoy yourself!


Um, I have a big big favor to ask of ALL of you (even if you normally just lurk). I am a guest blogger today at Light Refreshments Served. Can you please please please go over there and comment so I don't feel like a total stooge. You do have to register, but you are willing to for me, right? Do I need to beg on my knees?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Another day

The last few days I have been writing a post in my head - a jubilant tale of how, at six months postpartum, my world seemed to fall back into place. How it seemed to be the magical babyhood month when I felt the reigns of my household firmly in my grip again. I was practically twirling around the house.

And then, Chad came home from the Dr. this afternoon with the declaration that he has type A influenza, and the Dr. wants him to stay home from work for ten days (yeah, right!).

And then, I found myself getting a little testy with the kids as we were getting ready for bed.

And then, after tucking them into bed, I walked downstairs, put the leftovers away, walked straight past the dirty dishes into the computer room, feeling just a little weary.

And then googled whether or not I should take the medicine the Dr. filled out for me (to prevent me from getting the flu). Okay while breastfeeding? Doctor says okay, everyone else says "hmmm." I really don't know. I tend to lean towards the "no" side, especially since it is only "just in case."

So tonight I will go to bed early, with my baby, in the guest room, while my poor sick husband tosses and turns yet another night. He really is miserable, that poor man, and I am lonely without his laughter. Maybe he will feel better tomorrow.

And then tomorrow, maybe that post will compose itself.

*Update - Gabe's got a temperature of 101. Another Coleman bites the dust.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Belated Thank You

Thank you to my sweet mother and father-in-law for the two dozen roses I received on my birthday. I can't tell you how many times they made me smile over the last week.

Sweet baby love

I was looking through my February pictures tonight and came across this one -which I hadn't really looked at when I first downloaded it. I love it for a couple of reasons. The baby has glowing candles on a cake right in front of him, and where is he looking? Only at his mommy. If you ever need a self esteem boast, get yourself a baby, treat him real good, and then bask in the love and attention they bestow on your undeserving self. I also love this picture because it was taken by Colin, who had very specific directions for me -even having me squat down to get my face by the candles. The result wasn't bad, was it? No wrinkles in sight!

*Edited to add

So, Chad made a joke last night about how Ollie was probably actually looking at HIM in this picture, and I think he is probably right! Click on it and you can make out Chad, wearing a hoodie to the right of the picture and it looks like Oliver is looking right up at him. That boy is truly smitten with his father. He likes me to hold him so he can just gaze at Daddy.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Am I crazy?

We have been searching for flights to Spokane, WA to visit Chad's parents. We wanted to go for Colin's spring break, but haven't found anything very inexpensive yet, so we are thinking of going during the summer (Spokane is a MUCH prettier place during the summer anyway!). The cheapest flights we have found so far would cost a total of around $1400 (four tickets), for an atrociously long, two stop flight - any decent flights would cost a few hundred more.

So here is the crazy part - I started thinking today - why don't we drive?! I looked the trip up on mapquest and it is 2546.08 miles, or about 38 hours of driving. Estimated gas cost? $210. Double that for a total of $420, and figure in food and a couple nights of hotel stay (hoping that Ashley would board us one night), and we would still be saving hundreds of dollars.

The pros: Save money, see a little bit of the country, maybe stop by Yellowstone, see Ashley and her baby (even if my kids are wiped out the whole time we are there)

The cons: Where do I start? A total week of driving with two kids and a baby, and all of the potential misery that would entail. It could be really really ugly. Not just for the kids. Chad and I always joke that we could never be on Amazing Race because we fight every time we travel somewhere together. Chad would also have to take more work off without the benefit of using that time to see his parents and the rest of his family. It would used for driving.

Yet there is this tiny optimistic part of me that thinks that with the right preparation it wouldn't have to be a horrible thing. If saving money is a huge priority for us (which it is), then shouldn't we be willing to try?

How much am I willing to spend to avoid potential misery?

Do you think it would be a disaster?

Sunday, March 1, 2009


We were at Bobby and Sabina's tonight to celebrate Evan's five year old birthday. Thirteen cousins and six adult siblings and sibling-in-laws, plus the missionaries. One of the Elders, looking around at the various babies and toddlers on hips, commented that "babies are the new accessories." Bobby commented that there was nothing new about it - this was the way it had been for over six years. Us adults chatting with a kid or two hanging off us.

Empanadas galore were eaten, and Chad wondered aloud if the snow had started yet, and then looked outside and said "Oh, wow." Big, fat snowflakes were sauntering down and the ground was already completely white. A magical snow, especially for our neck of the woods. Most of the kids ventured out for a few seconds, and Callie, who just turned two on Friday, had to be brought in with white snowflakes melting on her halo of curls. As if a cake and presents weren't enough excitement for an evening - add this in and the air was electric for the youngsters!

After a slow and crunchy drive home the boys were allowed a quick jaunt outside with daddy and then tucked away to dream of the sledding and snowman building that would come in the morning.

I can't stop looking outside at it, and at my husband, working on his laptop - thinking of the many times we watched the snow fall from our apartment window in Provo. Fond memories, but still not as lovely as the moment we are experiencing, with three beautiful boys sleeping upstairs, in our own home, and years of experiences since then that have strengthened our marriage so much.

And it is late, but who wants to go to bed? I just want to want to stay up, feeling cozy and warm, and beyond everything else, so grateful.