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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Little Home on the Seattle Prairie





Just call me a pioneer. We didn't have any Christmas decorations this year, our stuff being in St. Louis and all. So, we decided to make some. I bought some felt, made some stockings, we made red and green paper chains, strung popcorn, and also made salt dough ornaments. That was really fun, since it had been years since I'd done that. Here's the recipe for anyone else who feels like being a pioneer this year.

Salt Dough Ornaments

* ½ cup salt
* 1 cup flour
* ½ cup water
* Rolling pin
* Cookie sheet
* Toothpick (I actually used a straw, it was much easier)
* Miniature cookie cutters
* Acrylic paints
* Glitter glue or glitter paint
* ribbon

How to make it:

1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
2. Mix together, salt, flour, and water until dough is formed.
3. Knead the dough on a floured surface until the mixture is elastic and smooth. If dough is too sticky, sprinkle with flour, continue to do so until stickiness is gone. Do not add too much flour, this will dry out the dough and will cause it to crack before you get a chance to bake it.
4. Roll out the dough to about ¼” thick with a rolling pin that has been dusted with flour.
5. Use cookie cutters to cut out as many shapes as you want.
6. Use a toothpick (I actually used a straw and it was perfect) to make a hole toward the top of the shape. Poke the toothpick into the shape, then holding toothpick straight up and down, make a circular motion as if you were stirring something. Keep circling until the hole is the size you want.
7. Place all shapes onto an ungreased cookie sheet and place into the preheated oven.
8. Bake for 2 hours.
9. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

I didn't paint mine because, evidently, we just "can't keep buying things." Including paint.

Have fun!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Knock, knock. Who's there?

It was Gingerbread House Night at our place tonight. A thoughtful, yet fun-filled family home evening where we became confection architects while drawing thought-provoking analogies to "foundations" and the such. I was on one side of the table, working on the backside of the house. See House Picture #1. I carefully decorated the roof, added a palladian window for added interior light, the little sculpture gardens on either side of the door... Clearly, a place where some festive someone will bake treats and hum holiday tunes. And probably host a big holiday party.



On the other side of the table, though, other things were in the works. It may look like a normal, innocent, kid-and-dad constructed gingerbread house. See House Picture #2. Don't be deceived. If this had audio, you would have heard something like this:



Me: So guys, what is our family's foundation built on?

The others: The gospel. We need more frosting. Right here, by the powder attack things. When people try to get in, the powder will GET them!

Me: Right, the gospel--

The others: Okay, kids, here are the video surveillance cameras--

Me: --and Jesus Christ--please stop eating the frosting--

The others: I know, let's take out the powder attack things and put in sucky things! If they try to open the door, the sucky things will suck them in and get them. Can I have another gumball?

Me: What can we do to make our family's foundation stronger?

The others: MOTION SENSORS ON THE DOORS AND WINDOWS!! (cue maniacal laughter) YEAH! So, if they try to get in, the alarm will go off! And the sucky things will get them!! (more laughter)

Me: Okay, but what about prayer? Seriously, you're not going to have any candy left to decorate.

The others: I KNOW, I KNOW--we need some LASERS!! Right on top so they can shoot down! Yeah! They can shoot down if someone touches the FALSE DOOR KNOB!

Me: And love. We have to have love for each oth--

The others: Oh, cool, Daddy, a FALSE DOOR KNOB! What's a false door knob? We need more sucky things!

Me: Do you see that we all make up parts of our house? It's like we're each a par--

The others: The gingerbread guy is the guard! Yeah, the guard! We need more video cameras!! (cue more laughter)

Me: And I say these things--

The others: MORE SUCKY THINGS!!



Note to self: Nix the Jason Bourne movies before Gingerbread House Night next year... (no, not the little kids, just the big one)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Things

Exciting thing: We have a contract on our St. Louis home.

Bad thing: Girlie just cut her own hair. Family pics are in 1 1/2 weeks.

Funny thing: Sammy thinks his hand has actual magical powers (thanks to the gas fireplace switch and a dad with a sense of humor). And he wears his undies backwards so he can see the picture better.

Ridiculous thing: I've been sucked into the black hole of facebook, where I waste too much time and refer to myself in third person.

Amazing thing: I got the Holy Grail of Christmas cards--a picture of all three kids, in front of the tree, matching holiday jammies, ALL looking at the camera, ALL smiling. At the same time.

Happy thing: Found my camera/computer cord so I can now post more pictures. Just couldn't think of one appropriate for this post.

Fun thing: Made popcorn chains to decorate our live tree with the help of "Miss Julia" and her cat "Milky" (who, even though played by Sammy, was a pregnant mommy cat), who insisted on eating more popcorn than creating festive decorations with it.

Excited thing: Can't wait to see our friends in St. Louis.

Wondering thing: Can any of those friends pick us up from the airport next Friday night?? (really)

Skeptical thing: "They" say our van is fixed. For real this time. I'll let you know in a few hundred miles.

Clean thing: Sammy, in the bathtub. Again.

Indulgent thing: Coach sunglasses, justified only by the fact that they are prescription. J and I are still in talks.

Romantic thing: J and I have a 4 minute date every night, walking to the mailbox after the kids are down.

Kissable thing: Little Red, who is so soft and squishy, and totally a mama's boy. We call him Master Oogway now (from Kung Fu Panda--he was the old turtle with no teeth, much like our little lip-smacking one).

Lucky thing: me.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Only a Week Late

So, yes, we did indeed celebrate Thanksgiving here, too. J's brother and his family came up and we had a marvelous time.

It had me thinking, however. Amidst the only-mildly-controlled chaos that happens to be my life right now, I have a plethora of things to be grateful for. The one that stands out, however, and has stood out all year is this: kind people. I am so grateful, from the bottom of my heart, for the kindness of people all over. This year has been peppered with selfless friends who have lent a hand, an ear, a shoulder during this doozy of a year. My friends and neighbors in St. Louis (and elsewhere), I love you. I truly do. It makes me cry just thinking about you. My eyes are burning right now. I'm grateful for the kindness of strangers/new friends here in Seattle who have made this adjustment possible. People who have gone out of their way to reach out and welcome us to our new home.

So here's to all you angels out there, parading around like you're normal people or something. May the stars align over your heads and the Good Luck Gods smile down upon you. You've touched my heart with your care, your kindness and your compassion. I have fond memories and think of each of you especially during the holidays. I am thankful for YOU. God has blessed me so richly. You mean more than you could ever know.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

How to Drive a Sporty Little Crossover


How to Drive a Sporty Little Crossover, in 10 Easy Steps.

1--Buy a 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan, with only 5 miles on it.

2--Start driving it.

3--Have it break down.

4--Have it break down again (repeat as many times as necessary, preferably when your husband is half-way across the world).

5--Get to know the phrase "powertrain control module" so well that you appear to know what you're talking about.

6--Start asking Chrysler for a new car.

7--(And this one takes some doing) Move half-way across the country to continue the fight with Chrysler.

8--Have it break down one final time. This time you may almost swear.

9--At the dealership, look them in the eye and ask them seriously how many more times they are willing to risk your children's lives.

10--Voila! You will find yourself in the driver seat of a (rental) brand new, silver, much hipper than your minivan, Dodge Journey.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Who is this girl??


And what, you may ask, is she doing on my nightstand? Good question. I have an answer for you that will only spawn further questions.

She is on my nightstand because we moved. No, not the whole "moving to Seattle, blah, blah, blah" but moving--again. Yes, again. To a new apartment, owned by Lynda Wong, who, if you were like me, you would assume is a lovely aging Asian woman. You'd be wrong, as I was, because she's actually blonde and blue eyed.

So, you're still wondering why we moved again, this time to a six-month lease. The "whys" would make for boring blogging. So I'm going to tell you that on the cusp of the upheavals that may or may not be wreaked upon us by the new governmental changes, we thought it best to max out our taxpaying dollars and give the United States Post Office Department of Address Forwarding a run for their money.

Now, onto Ms. Wong's ground level condo. The description was "partially furnished" and the rent was affordable, so we moved in. It's beautiful, really it is. Nicely decorated, well kept. The surprising thing is, that while I was expecting beds and some furniture, this place is not exactly "partially furnished." It's more like "hope you don't bring too much junk with you because all of my stuff, sans clothing, is still here." And when I say "stuff" I mean dishes, pots and pans, towels. Then I mean Vicodin in the kitchen cupboards, jewelry in the bathroom drawers, stuffed birds in decorative cages in the sitting room, and coconut body oil on the counter. I also mean grocery store coupons, post it notes with phone numbers inside the cupboard doors, chicken nuggets in the freezer and a full array of condiments (including oyster sauce) that we are "welcome to use." Also, courtesy of the previous tenants, we also had nighties folded under hair-covered pillow and sheets. But I digress.

It is TRULY like Lynda woke up one morning, thought "Hey, why don't I move to Hawaii", packed her clothes and took off. She left everything, including wedding and family pictures that cover our walls, tables, and nightstands. Weird, you're telling me.

And that, friends, is why Lovely Nameless Relative of Lynda Wong is on my nightstand.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sam Sam the Clean Wild Man


Sammy likes to be clean. It's his new thing. Granted there are worse vices. Like the phase where he wanted to cut everything. But that's another story. It was first manifested when, carving pumpkins, he gazed for a moment at the pumpkin guts before a polite, “Can I have some gloves, please?” I laughed, and smugly thought, 'that's my boy.' It's morphed into an obsession, though. He'll ask to take a bath or shower at least twice daily, and believe me, it's funny to see a little 3-yr old showering by himself. Like a little tiny man. Baths are more common, though. He'll ask to fill up the tub “Very, very hot, please” and then he'll just lay on his back and float. Usually he covers his ears under water and shouts “HEY, CAN YOU HEAR ME?” Then, like yesterday, when I am on the phone or something I'll catch a glimpse of a naked little bottom running into the laundry room (where the toys are kept) and then 30 seconds later, long foam pieces of the Cranium fort or big legos being joyfully toted to the bathroom. Interception. Yelling. Threats of draining the water. Happy playing.

When I deny him a bath, there is howling and gnashing of teeth. He's even gone so far as to have a potty accident on purpose. It used to be a direct ticket to a nice warm bath, but I caught on quickly. I'm no dummy. I made him just scrub off with Little Red's wipes, amidst loud protests of, “NO! I WANT TO BE CLEAN! THIS MAKES ME NOT IMPRESSED WITH YOU!!” (Apparently, he's not impressed with much these days). He also likes to wash his hands for a really, really long time. By the time he's done, the rest of the bathroom is clean/soaked too.

On the flip side of this fiasco, I can now use phrases like, “Come on, buddy. If you get this mess all cleaned up, I'll let you take a bath” and “Boys who make good choices get to play in the bath!” Gotta love when you can use good personal hygiene as a carrot.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Someone has a really interesting life


I mistakenly received a postcard meant for someone else. The picture on the front was a wild gorilla and the stamp was from Uganda. It read:

We finally made it to the gorilla trek campsite and tomorrow is the big climb. The weather has been good with occasional showers lasting only minutes. We have seen all the required animals with the cape buffalo, baboon, monkey, hippo and many different deer and antelope the most plentiful. Only three days till stateside.



How fun is that? A real life adventure. Different from the kind of adventure where you uproot your family and stuff them into a curry-smelling apartment half-way across the country, but still...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What I failed to mention


What I failed to mention about our first Seattle adventure, was that we came back from Pike Place Market only to be greeted by a parking ticket. Apparently they like to hide one parking "kiosk" per block behind some trees and stick it to you when you are new and have no idea that the idiots charge for parking on weekends.

I thought I would share my letter contesting this, which resulted in my fine being cut in half.

Feel free to copy it should this same thing happen to you in Seattle.

______________________________________________________________________

Your Honor,


First, I do admit that I made a mistake. But, I honestly didn't know I was in violation at the time. I had just moved here. In fact, it was my first weekend here and I was still in a rental car. We were out exploring Pike Place Market, which was fabulous. I moved here from St. Louis, where (if parking costs) we still have old fashioned parking meters at each parking space, which don't even require money on Saturdays or Sundays. I didn't see any meter or sign, and I was busy keeping my three very young children in tow. It was only when we ventured back to the car that I noticed a ticket and looked way down the street for any sign.


I did make an error, but considering that I had no idea about parking regulations in this area, I would sincerely appreciate any leniency the Court is willing to grant. I am excited to be in the beautiful Seattle area and would be very grateful for a gesture of goodwill.

Very truly yours,

Things' Mommy

_______________________________________________________________________________

Only, I signed my name. He or she is probably not a fan of my blog.
So, there you have it. Who knows? It might save you some money, too.

One other thing: I was not actually driving. J was. He insisted that I 'handle' this, as I am "better at handling 'this sort of thing'". Not entirely sure if I should be offended or flattered.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It Came Back to Bite Me


Putting the kids to bed at 6:25 p.m. last night, that is. So, whenever J is out of town for more than a couple days, bedtime seems to creep up earlier and earlier. Plus, I have daylight savings helping me out. The kids can't tell time, so they accept "Bedtime, kids" as soon as it's dark. (In the summer their bedtime is 8:30-ish. When J was in Utah for a week, I swear there was one night we ate dinner at 4:30 and they were in bed before 6:00 p.m.) Last night, as I was attempting a Thanksgiving-themed family home evening lesson, the kids' silliness meter was going berserk. I said, "Okay. That's it. Lesson's over. Family prayer." The kids were already ready for bed, so after prayer they trotted off to bed, and fell asleep right away.

"Sweet," I thought.

I slept horribly last night. Between waking up every time Girlie coughed, and bad dreams of my teenage sister unabashedly joyriding in my minivan, it was rough. Plus, I was sleeping with Little Red in bed with me. When J is gone, I trade one cute, bald guy for another.

Bright and early, I heard the kids laughing and running around, but I couldn't get my brain awake enough to really care. It was still dark, and I hadn't gotten J's 6:30 a.m. wake up call yet (10:30 p.m. Hong Kong time), so I knew it was way too early for the day to begin. When Sammy galloped in, he snuggled a little, and then in an angelic, repentant voice, he volunteered, "Okay, we won't get into cookies anymore!"
"Oh, have you been eating cookies?"
Just then Girlie came in. "Come here, Sweet Pea." She came over to snuggle, but was acting weird--snuggling backwards. I turned her around and then squinted in the darkness trying to figure out why she looked like a clown.
"Oh, do you have Mommy's lipstick on?"
"Yes," she smiled broadly. "I wanted to look like you."

I rolled my eyes. How can you get mad at that? I extracted myself from the warm bed, and came out to assess any other damage in our still-dark apartment. Then as 'punishment' for the kids, I poured big bowls of honey nut Cheerios which they had to finish before leaving the table. (For some reason, they're not hungry) Which is why I am sitting here at the table, typing this blog.

That'll teach me to put them to bed at 6:25 p.m., eh?

Friday, November 7, 2008

"I Sink You Smell Like Woses"

That's Sammy's latest way into my heart. It's quite effective. Even after one of his many Sofa Gymnastics Extravaganzas.

As you may or may not be aware, we've been a bit of a medical circus as of late. In the last 2 weeks we've had: 1 trip to the ER (following the 911 call), 2 trips to Urgent Care, 2 follow up doctors visits, a case of croup, a bout with pneumonia, three kids with fevers (as high as 103.3), and some resulting exhaustion. And a partridge in a pear tree. And while it is overwhelmingly stressful, it also makes for some funny pretend play. As follows:

"Okay, I am the doctor. Sammy, you are the patient."
"Okay, but I need my hospital bracelet."
"That one is mine. Yours is right here." (these are real, by the way) Girlie instructs us to please sign in in the notebook.
"Do you have the insurance card?"

"So, patient, what seems to be the problem?"
"Um, I'm sick."
"Well, what fluids have you been drinking? You need to drink lots of fluids. Uh, oh, your temperature is 103. I will call 991 and have the ambulance come and get you."
"But I already went to the urgent care."
"Well, let's take a picture of your chest." (x-ray)
"Take a picture with the fer-monitor." (thermometer)

The fer-monitor is used for the x-ray.

"Oh boy. Your lungs look a little cloudy."
"Okay, and then I can have my an-tin-bio-kics?" (antibiotics)

And so on, and so forth. It is funny and so sad simultaneously. I try to pick laughing over crying though, per Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin's instructions. And, did I happen to mention that J just left for a full week in Hong Kong? He was invited to go, which was great...the timing just wasn't all that convenient. But, being the good wife I am, I gave him my blessing. In exchange for the price of a mere Burberry handbag.

Ah. This too shall pass. And I'll be a stronger person for it. A stronger person carrying a Burberry handbag. And smelling like woses.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Confessions

Okay, just to keep it interesting, thought I'd go ahead and expose myself (only in written word). BUT, in order to read this, you have to promise to comment and confess something yourself.

10. I like to skinny dip, but haven't in quite a while.

9. I have been known to spray whipped cream directly into my mouth. It's true.

8. I am afraid of sleeping under ceiling fans, for fear that they'll crash down in the middle of the night and shred me.

7. I used to own a water bra. I think I still have it somewhere.

6. Sammy has a mirrored door on his big closet. I dance in front of it almost daily.

5. At BYU, one of my best roommates and I made a volcano (you know the kind, with baking soda and vinegar in a big salt dough mountain) in the middle of the sidewalk, in the middle of the night. And left it there.

4. I have been 'snacking' on cashews and white chocolate chips lately. I'm pretty sure those foods were not meant for snacking on.

3. Sometimes when I cook for someone/something and it doesn't quite turn out, I laugh and blame J. (Like his barbequeing skills could really account for the way my soy powder-packed hamburgers turned out)

2. When my oldest two are acting up, I have occasionally whispered to Little Red that he is my favorite. I'm pretty sure he won't tell.

...and humiliating enough,

1. I was runner up for Miss Teen Kansas. I'm just glad I don't have to actually face most of you after I write this. And Aubrey will love me anyway.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

In Costume


Since our apartment complex had no Halloween spirit whatsoever, we trick or treated in a nice, rich neighborhood that handed out full-size candy bars (J was thrilled). Girlie was Princess Tiger Lily (from 'Peter Pan'), Sammy was a reluctant cowboy, and Little Red was a pumpkin, instead of the cute baby chick that is back in St. Louis. The weather was beautiful and a great night was had by all.


The kids at our ward chili-eatin', hay ridin', fish pondin', face paintin', cake walkin' trunk or treat.


My little cowboys all ready to go the hoe down for Girlie's school fundraiser. We did a little square dancing, a bit of Electric Slide, a smattering of popcorn eating. Thanks to Anisa for the boots!

Monday, November 3, 2008

If You Have an Extra Minute and No Inhibitions

Open up this link (you may have to copy and paste it), click on the top pumpkin, and try to dance along. It is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

http://www.hallmark.com/ECardWeb/ECV.jsp?a=EG5755042951831M276674250Y&product_id=

I'll post Halloween pics soon.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

So, maybe I lied...

But it was only so you wouldn't worry. My egregious untruth? That Sammy was better. Because, not only was he not completely symptom free from his croup, yesterday he was diagnosed with pneumonia, which, while it's kind of a fun word to spell, is not nearly so fun to have in your household. He would appear to be a sassy, energetic kid with a cough, but x-rays prove otherwise. Just the cough part, not the sassy--that's permanent. What's that? Why, yes, it is the number one cause of death for children under 5 worldwide, thanks for asking. What's that? Yes, of course I'm terrified to sleep and not watch him. I almost crawled in bed with him last night for that reason. Then I thought, "The only thing worse than a child with pneumonia would be a mom with pneumonia." Because then who would finish sewing the Princess Tiger Lily and cowboy costumes (that's right, ladies, I coerced him into being a cowboy instead of Batman--I am so sneaky)? So, every cough last night had me padding across the apartment to his room. Which left me extremely tired this morning. Too tired to fight a three-year old who insists on wearing his swimsuit and can undress himself. My retaliation? Turning up the thermostat to 50 degrees. If you recall from a previous post, we've got heat issues. 50 degrees turns our apartment into a Pergo-floored sauna. Perfect, apparently, for racing matchbox cars all morning.

On the bright side, I might lose some water weight if I stay in this sweltering apartment much longer. Also, we're really getting to know the medical community here, and, hey, who doesn't need more friends? In fact, we get to meet yet another doctor tomorrow. I'm just a girl who likes to be involved. : )

Thankfully, no one else seems to have so much as a sniffle, including much-loved-on Little Red (whose alias I need to change since his hair isn't red anymore). Anyway, thanks for thoughts and prayers. Love ya.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

In the Interest of Keeping in Touch

I have a Sprint cell phone, and wanted to know who else has Sprint/Nextel, so that I know who I am lucky enough to chat with for free. You can email me at melynieje@yahoo.com, or post it here for the world to see. I'll email mine out too, just let me know if you'd like it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

In a Nutshell


I'm 31 tomorrow. Yep, the 27th is my birthday. Here is a snapshot of my life, at 31.

Josh likes work at Microsoft. I have yet to discover what he actually does for a job.

We had our Primary Program yesterday. Girlie did a smashing job with her part "My family helps me to grow closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus by reading the Book of Mormon and watching church movies."

My stove is possessed and has yet to turn out a really good meal. I'm not kidding. Anything relating to heat here is possessed, really. That includes the thermostat and the water in my shower.

Our walkway is perfumed with the dryer vents from the units above us. It smells wonderful.

Sam Sam the Wild Man has calmed down significantly since we moved here and potty trained himself. He's quite pleasant now. Except that he occasionally threatens to run away. We tell him to write when he finds work. He still loves his little brother just a little too hard. Oh, and he got croup on Wednesday and spent the night in the ER with J because he couldn't breathe. Very scary, but he's better, don't worry.

Little Red is rolling over, is so chubby, and very smiley. And forgot how to sleep. He just started rice cereal, which he loves. Josh tried to feed him a green bean yesterday without my noticing. He forgot he was dealing with Eagle Eye Mama.

My daughter refuses to let me pick out clothes anymore, very sad. She also reported that "Sawyer" in her class loves her and thinks she's cute. I about choked. Even worse, I saw them holding hands and running on the playground. Even worse than that, he has a sort of mohawk. When I told my sister, she laughed hysterically and said, "Your daughter is dating a ROCKER!!!" Apparently my girl is growing up and I haven't exactly figured out what to do about it. Ideas?

I can now find my way to the school, Target, Albertson's grocery store, the library, and church. Any place else is slightly impossible for me. Too many trees blocking my view.

We had our first school activity--a hoe down. It was great. I've never had more fun doing the Electric Slide than with Girlie and Sammy.

It is so beautiful here, it feels like I am on vacation.

I have significantly more white hair than I did even 5 years ago. Josh pointed that out to me in Sunday School. I told him my hair was just shiny.

All said, life is good. My family is healthy, happy, and together. That's what's important to me.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Our First Seattle Adventure








Leslie, I found him. And gave him your love.











Clearly, we had a lot of fun this weekend. First, it was actually SUNNY and gorgeous. Seattle is sooooo beautiful. This whole place makes me feel like I should be carrying a paper grocery bag with fresh flowers and baguettes sticking out. It's just that romantic. We went to Pike Place Market down by the waterfront. It is a historic place, full of charm and flavor. There were fresh fish on ice, bunches of fresh flowers (the bouquet I'm holding was only $8), all kinds of produce. We enjoyed a couple bags of salt water taffy. We also spent a nice time at IKEA before heading to Snoqualmie Falls (okay, truth be told, we ended up at the falls by accident). They were really spectacular. The fall colors are breathtaking. This weekend was the first moment that I said, "Okay, I'm really glad we moved here." Then on Sunday, we got to hang out and feast on Chinese food with one of my best friends/BYU roommates, Aubrey and her family (who just happens to have moved here a couple weeks before we did). It was a complete blast and our kids had so much fun together. How lucky we are!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I've Been Tagged

by my friend Chris. I guess that she thinks that because she took over my calling, I now have oodles and scads of time to sit at my computer and write about myself. : ) Okay, so it's kind of true...here goes.

4 Things:

4 Jobs I have had:
1. Preschool art teacher--taught classes for 4 summers. What a blast!
2. I was a waitress in a cute little coffee shop. Back then I wore short skirts, but had the gams to go with them. ...ah, those were the days...
3. I was a legal assistant. Kind of. Not sure of my actual title, but Atty. Kevin Lake was my 2nd favorite boss ever.
4. Interior designer. I was/am my favorite boss ever, and the job was every bit as fun as you imagine. I am lucky to have picked that field.

4 movies I have watched more than once
1. Titanic. I think I have spent an actual DAY of my life watching that movie (3 hrs x 8 times)
2. Beauty and the Beast
3, It's a Wonderful Life
4. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

4 TV Shows I watch
1. Ugly Betty
2. Lost
3. Grey's Anatomy (Derek Shepherd, I'm still looking for you)
4. The Office

4 People who email me regularly
1. Pottery Barn Kids
2. Restoration Hardware
3. Doctor Dictionary (word of the day)
4. Josh Elvidge (maybe he just feels sorry that no real people email me regularly)

4 favorite foods
1. Cheesecake
2 Chocolate (which, incidentally, I haven't had since I figured out that it made Little Red scream all night)
3. Mexican food
4. Fruit

4 places I want to visit
1. Prague
2. Italy--all of it
3. Ma Valley, China--birthplace of my maternal grandparents
4. Boston. I think I should probably visit before I move there someday.

4 things I look forward to in the next year
1. Moving into a new house. Not that I don't appreciate an apartment with housekeeping service... it's just...
2. Losing the last bit of baby weight.
3. Exploring Seattle
4. Simplifying. That was one of my goals for 2008 ...pregnancy...seizure...baby...new job...selling a house...moving to Seattle... I'll try again in '09.



4 things I like about my Hubby
1. What a fantastic dad he is. He loves the kids so much, and is so fun and crazy. No one really sees that side of him.
2. He is so even keel, and it balances me out nicely. I'm a little crazy.
3. He humors me. Not every husband would let his wife paint walls red just because it is Christmas.
4. He makes me laugh every day. And I've learned very good negotiating skills from him. ("Okay, I will clean up the potty accident, if you will...")

4 friends (TAG, you're IT!)
1. Amy Rhoades
2. Laura Finlinson
3. Sarah Ringer
4. Hannah James

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

So, it's raining....again....

They are not kidding about the rain here in Seattle. Really, they're not. It has rained sometime during the day, every day, since we arrived. And may I point out a few things about the rain, and about Seattle life in general, so far.

First, among the other things not brought, or to arrive shortly--our umbrellas. Oh no, you might think. Whatever will you do? Not to fear. Umbrellas are apparently not needed here, despite the constant moisture. People walk around in the rain as if they're not being pelted by little droplets. Now, to be fair, they do walk a bit faster. But still no umbrella. Maybe living here long enough makes you impervious to the rain. I actually think I might get a few stares and odd looks if I were to use an umbrella. So, that's weird.

Next, the rain, while making me somewhat less energetic, makes me want to bake. Bread, cookies...anything delicious and warm, really. And since we are apparently in for 160 days of rain a year, the next time you see me I may be much, much bigger and trudge around in the rain...eating cookies...not very energetically.

Also, I could have saved quite a bit of cash in not shipping wardrobe items that were non-black or grey. I am not kidding. It's all people seem to wear here. Which actually makes me want to wear ORANGE, despite the fact that every bit of my skin tone begs me not to, just to freak people out. It's especially interesting, given the stark contrast between the drab clothing and incredible brilliance of the fall colors out here.

When we decided to move, our neighbor said, "I thought you guys didn't drink coffee." J said, "We don't." Said the neighbor, "Well, you're going to have to start if you're moving to Seattle, Starbuck's headquarters!" Now, I'm not saying that I'm going to start drinking coffee. I may, however, take a cue from the black-and-grey-wearing folks out here and use a disposable coffee cup as, not a drink, but an accessory. I am so not kidding, it's like "Okay, earrings, shoes, coordinating handbag, coffee cup. I'm good to go." Maybe it looks smart and sophisticated. Maybe it makes their hand feel important.

Anyway, I'm off for more Northwest adventures. Leslie (and any other Grey's fans), don't worry, I'm keeping my eye out for Derek Shepherd everywhere I go.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

So, how was your trip????

Fantastic, thanks for asking. Really, the plane ride couldn't have gone better (aside from the inevitable circus that we were getting through security). Thanks, mostly, to the kindness of patient strangers and Barbie doll-looking flight attendants. The kids did very well on the plane. Little Red just slept, aside from the couple blanket-less nursings he had (I had conveniently checked all the blankets and forgotten to pull a blanket out). On the plane we feasted on cashews, fruit snacks, gum, and cheese crackers. The string cheese which I bought that morning, specifically for the plane ride, is still in my fridge. At home. The same place the extra binkys are. As well as Girlie's backpack full of special things for the flight, Little Red's Halloween baby chick costume, my swimsuit, important documents, our home plans, the Seattle brochures I grabbed on our house-hunting trip, and a slew of other semi-important things. All things that are not here. Other things that are not here? Clothes. I am not kidding. I shipped all of our clothes earlier in the week, so we came with the clothes on our back. Last minute (read: 'almost forgotten') things made it into my plane luggage, so I've got plenty of clean socks, jammies and "under-things". Oh, and Riley's favorite outfit (the one I told you about, Amy): a hideous concoction of an 80's style mesh jersey, swimming trunks and light up snow boots. That made it here safely. Phew. Which brings me to my next dilemma. I am about to be a Sabbath breaker. I did, in all fairness, try my best to go get some church clothes at Target last night. But when you race in the door 5 minutes before closing time, they don't smile at you. I looked around as fast as I could, but didn't even find a shirt to go with the skirt I had in my hand, let alone clothes for all the kids. So I hung it back up and met J empty handed. Luckily, church doesn't start until 1. For a nanosecond, I considered just not going to church today. It seemed too inappropriate to attend in our stinky travel clothes and I didn't want to have to shop on Sunday. Then I thought of the faithful Saints in the Ensign who travel 5 hours on foot through jungles and dusty roads to get to church, and hung my head.

This is two hours later.

So, I bought Sunday clothes for my entire family. There. Judge me if you will.

In other news, let me tell you about our apartment. It smells. Strongly. Of curry. And, according to J, it is a million times better than it was before he spent a small fortune on air freshener. So, he put in a request that they (the apt. people) figure out something with this smell. When we got home from church, there was a note from them on our table that read "The smell I smell is curry." That's it. It was so funny. We've been quoting it all day. Anyway, our apartment is pretty big, three good-sized bedrooms and two baths. It's an older, updated apt. New flooring, cabinets, fresh paint, but I can still see the dark wood doors through a big chip in the new paint. The furniture is really nice, but even so, it reminds me of Pelican Cove apartments where J and I lived when we first moved to St. Louis, 6 1/2 years ago. It kind of makes it seem like the rest of our life has just been a dream--except now I can't figure out where these three kids came from.

Monday morning. I've GOT to publish this before it drags on any longer. Church was fine. Not as good looking as my old ward, but still friendly. : ) I crashed at 7:00 last night (in all fairness, it was 9:00 to my body). Okay, I'm out. My sweet St. Louis friends, I miss you. A lot.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Happy 3rd, Big Man Sam!










This is a little belated, since his birthday was actually Sept. 13th. But, folks, that just about the speed we're going nowadays. For your viewing pleasure, here is a recap of Sammy's third birthday. After I suffered through the bitter guilt of not throwing him a big 'friend' birthday party, we decided to just have a fun family day. It included going to the zoo, riding the train, a family party (embarrassingly enough, I succumbed to a popular character theme--NOT because I, in any way, thought that it was acceptably creative, but because my little boy has huge, beautiful eyes that light up when he says "I want a SPIDERMAN CAKE!!!!"), playing baseball outside with his new set, and having popcorn and a movie. I can't believe he's already THREE, and at the same time, I can't believe he's ONLY three.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ramblings...

It's been a while since I last posted. Clearly, we've been busy.

First, to my darling friends here in St. Louis, it's devastating to leave you. I love, love, love you and will miss you terribly. I cry almost every day just thinking about it. Our roots have become very deep here--you've seen us through the births of our three kids, we've laughed, we've cried, we've had annual Christmas parties. Ah, good times. We really, truly LOVE our life here, and it breaks my heart apart just a little to leave. On the upside, you can now throw "Yeah, my friends in Seattle..." around in your every day conversation. You now have a place to stay, should you be in the Pacific Northwest neighborhood. And, I'm only a blog away. Thank you so much, for everything.

My house looks very bare. Much barer than, I'm sure, you've ever seen it. We haven't packed or anything, just cleared away any excess so that it 'shows' better. My goal is to keep it "1/2 hour from perfect." It turns me into kind of a crazy lady. I gave away my last house plant today. It was really sad. They're kind of like extra children. Children that I frequently forget to feed and pay attention to. So, not really like children... Still.

We're very busy, desperately trying to keep our home clean enough to sell. October 11th is the tentative date that we'll arrive in Seattle, to our temp housing. Pray that our home sells quickly, because if this lady has to have a Christmas without her decorations... Sniff, sniff. I can only comfort myself with the knowledge that I'll have IKEA so close by, should I get desperate. Really, it won't take desperation for me to spend more than my share of time and money at IKEA. Really it would only take some sort of transportation.

Meals around our home are getting interesting. Trying to eat through our food storage, freezer, pantry. Can anyone really have too much spaghetti? Rules are getting interesting too. Gone are the days of half-hourly wardrobe switches by Girlie.

I know we'll love it. So much to do, so much to see, a phenomenally expensive cost of living (for this Midwest girl, anyway). So, if you're in the neighborhood, please come find us. We'll be the ones in the $400,000 shack.

Monday, September 8, 2008

SURPRISE!!

We are moving to Seattle.

No, I'm not kidding.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

All in the Eye of the Beholder

So, today I was shopping with Sam Sam. A display of fake eyelashes for Halloween caught his eye and he asked if we could get some. I said no. Besides the fact that he's a 2 year old boy, Sammy is the last person who needs fake eyelashes. Any mascara model would kill for his forever-long beautiful lashes that were clearly wasted on a boy. But then I started thinking about my eyelashes. I've never had big, full lashes. I just don't. I blame genetics. But, I didn't think they were that bad until my little sister wanted to give me a makeover and commented on them with a subtle, “Wow, your eyelashes are really short.” It had never really occurred to my consciousness what short, stubby eyelashes I have. It makes sense now, why I always get excited about new mascara commercials. I spent some time in the mirror that afternoon, staring at them. I tried batting them. It just looked like I had something in my eye. I tried opening my eyes really wide. Then I just looked surprised. And I got wrinkles on my forehead. So, I thought, what if I did get some fake eyelashes. Obviously I couldn't just start wearing long, luscious lashes right away. People would do a double take, and then probably start laughing. No, maybe I could sort of graft them in over time. I'd start out with some short stubby fakes, and then gradually replace them. Every week I'd do another sixteenth of an inch or so. Then, after about a month and a half, I'd have these long, beautiful, innocent-yet-so-seductive eyelashes. People on the street would stop and stare, this time in the good way. But then there's the issue of maintenance. If they were to fall off, there could be problems. Especially if they fell off while I was talking to someone. “And then I walked into Ann Taylor Loft and I saw—what? Is something wrong? What are you looking at? Why do you look afraid?” I'd smack into walls as I covered my eyes and ran blushing out of the building. Or worse, what if only one of them fell off and I didn't notice? The person I'd be talking to would look from eye to eye, trying to figure out what in the world was wrong with my eyes, and what that hairy caterpillar-like thing was doing on the collar of my shirt. They'd start unconsciously toying with their own eyelashes. Then when they figured it out, they'd be too nice to laugh. Instead, they'd kind of cough and say (fluttering their hand around their eye) things like, “Um, you've...got...um..kind of...right...there...sort of..” They'd never be able to get it out, so they'd quickly excuse themselves from the situation. And I wouldn't understand, until, that night, after a day of running errands in public, when I looked in the bathroom mirror. And then I'd move to Canada.


I think I'd better stick with my own “fun size” eyelashes and keep hoping for some new miracle mascara.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What a trip...

We decided to go to my family's home in Kansas for Labor Day weekend. Road trips. That, my friend, is some good quality family time. Seven hours is a substantial time in the car together. In Europe, I'm not even sure it's legal. But, it doesn't start when you close the door to your not-hip minivan. No, it starts way before, when you're packing for every conceivable emergency. You pack the usual: snacks (fun enough to excite the kids but healthy enough to ease your guilt), drinks (that won't stain the new seats of your not-hip minivan), toys and entertaining-yet-educational books. Then there's the one's that only moms think of. There's the butter knife (the ugly college one that Josh contributed to the marriage) that you'll use to spread peanut butter for sandwiches and then later use as a tool to fix the jet ski that left you stranded in the middle of Winfield City Lake. There's the entire tub of wipes that are used for diapers, wiping hands and faces and will later be used for hats and then thrown at the windows when your kids get really bored. There's the little paper cups that you'll use to control drink portions and then later tear the bottoms out and hand them out in pairs as binoculars for a rousing game of I Spy.

You know that about a half hour into your trip your child will need to use the bathroom. So you'll look and look for a rest stop or a gas station. When you find the gas station, you'll go inside and you child will ask in a very loud voice who the other people are, and why are they going potty. They'll continue in that volume as they ask about why you are putting toilet paper on the seat and then not sitting all the way down on the toilet. They'll ask about the little box on the wall and then they'll ask you why you're talking in such a quiet voice. They can't hear you very well, so they'll talk even louder to encourage you to do the same. When you get them on the potty, they'll sit for longer than necessary before informing you that they just don't have to go anymore, the potty is all gone. You'll wash you hands, and their hands thoroughly with soap. You'll go to great pains to use paper towels to turn off the faucet and open the restroom door. You'll keep a tight grip on their little hand and lead them back to your not-hip van before you realize they've been dragging their free hand all along other people's cars and the gas pump. You'll spend a good amount of time maneuvering your way around the van picking up dropped colored pencils and retrieving books and your broken cell phones that now belong to the kids (because, they are, after all, the reason that they were run through the dishwasher). You'll twist your back in unnatural positions to turn on a movie and distribute Cracker Jacks, which you know are not healthy but you bought them anyway because they remind you of car trips when you were little. While you're stumbling around the van the kids will chastise you for taking your seat belt off. You'll smile sweetly, tell them they're absolutely right and hope that they don't report you to the pediatrician. About every ten minutes or so, they'll ask if you're to Grandma's house yet. You'll tell them no, and then spend the next ten minutes explaining 'why not?' About12 granola bars later, you'll get to your destination. You'll have a fabulous weekend, just long enough to forget about those seven hours that ended up being so worth it. Just in time to do it again.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

For Cryin' Out Loud

So, most of you who know me well, know that I cry. At almost anything. I don't know, I think I just came that way, wiring all crossed and whatnot. There's the normal stuff--anything patriotic, Church commercials, anytime I see parents and kids loving each other, Extreme Home Makeover, whenever I hear Pomp and Circumstance at graduations, etc. But then there's the other stuff, the Emotional Upgrade, let's call it. I cry when kid's teams perform, whenever someone is being brave, at beautiful music, whenever I read the Friend magazine to my kids (one time Girlie asked me why reading it always makes me so sad), when sports teams take the field (although I have to be there in person for it to make me cry). Parades are like an hour of crying for me. If you ever see me at a parade, I'll be smiling really, really big. That's to keep the tears from running down my face. I don't know what it is about parades--all the horses, American flags, little tiny gymnastics teams, marching bands, I guess. I've seen phone or soup commercials that do me in. But, a couple nights ago I was at the gym. I didn't even have my headphones, so I couldn't hear the TV that was on my elliptical machine, but I was watching the Olympics. Did any of you see that little Chinese girl and her amazing dive? It was like she jumped off the platform into a crumply, complicated blur, and then entered the water without a splash. It was truly amazing. Okay, right there, in the middle of a gym, with no obvious reason to anyone watching me, I burst into tears. Smiling, crying, there I was burning calories and sobbing about it. Then the TV showed her looking at the score (which included a bunch of 10s). Tears. Then she bowed. Lots more tears, great big smile. Then it showed her hugging her coach and bawling. That's when the noisy intake of my gulping air really disturbed the concentration of the gym. I called my sister (who had been watching it) on the way home and we cried again about it. I got home and told J about it. I cried some more. I'm even tearing up as I think about it now.

And now, my three month old seems to have inherited the crying gene, so goodbye.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Cheerful Disobedience

Lately, Sam Sam has taken up the practice of “cheerful disobedience.” I know, I had no idea what that was, either, until my little guy would give me his biggest grin as he'd say, “But, I just don't want to.”

Sammy, please help pick up your toys.
But, I just don't want to.

Sam, can you please stop yelling "Great balls of fire" and flinging water out of the tub?
Well, I just don't want to.


Hey, buddy, let's not glue your fingers together.
You guessed it--he just didn't want to.

He's been carrying on this way for a few days now. My wild Sam, WHY did you rip this page in your new book? He'd look down and shake his head, as if commiserating, and give me his sincerest, “I just don't know.” Son, WHY did you smash the wings of your wooden airplane into tiny shreds? That was met by a long shrug, a big sigh, and a, “I just...got carried away. I don't know.” Did my 2 year old really just...sadly think that he got “carried away?” He will gaze up at me with his huge eyes and then close them and shake his head as if to say, “Oh, I am right there with you, Mom. I so cannot believe that I did this. And, it's cheerful, too. There's no true remorse, there's no penitence. Just a matter-of-fact, cheery little statement of the obvious.


Well, I suppose I'll take this over "IT'S NO FAIR!!!" that I got in response to my dangerously slow "You had better get down on this floor and help clean up this entire bag of lentils that you have just spent the last five minutes standing on the table and flinging around my entire house."


P.S.: Under no circumstances buy into the "Help your child's motor skills by teaching them to pour. Use beans or rice if you don't want a wet mess!"


Monday, August 18, 2008

Daddy's Cup Cake


Well, I did it. I sent my first off to kindergarten. The day I've been dreading, and the one she couldn't wait for. All morning was spent asking "Is the bus here yet?" I brushed her hair for an extra long time, probably because of the funny, twisty thing my heart was doing today. She declined my well-planned outfit for her first day in favor of her "Daddy's cup cake" t-shirt, and insisted on picking non-matching hair elastics. "That's okay," I told myself. "That's what I raised her for--to make her own decisions."

We took plenty of pictures, pinned her name tag/bus number to her shirt, loaded the school supplies into her backpack, made sure she knew where the hand sanitizer pocket was, and walked up to the bus stop early. Well, it was supposed to be early, anyway. We were a good house away when the bus pulled up, so we had to hurry. The lump in my throat got huge and we hurriedly loaded her onto the bus. I waved and called out, "Have fun!" It came out too loud, and ended with a strangled sound and a sob. The other moms patted my back and said "Your first?" Then they assured me that by the second, third, fourth I'd be booting them onto the bus and cheering. The only thing that kept me going was her excitement and anticipation. And, only two hours 7 minutes until I see her again.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My Heart--in three parts

Little Red in his blessing outfit that J brought back from his trip to China.



Friday, August 15, 2008

Boys will be boys...and sometimes girls

So, I don't know of many little guys more dedicated to being a boy than Sam Sam the Wild Man. He is fully committed to all things boy. Right out of the gate, he was all burps and gas. He loved to eat and now eats almost as much as I do (sometimes more). I worried a little when I found out I was pregnant with a boy. I'm totally girlie, as is my sweet daughter. I mean, pink, dress me up, loves shoes, and still believes in princesses living happily ever after. I kind of thought that our boy didn't stand a chance. I figured when he got old enough I'd hand him a ball or a truck and say, "Um, here. This is for you. I hear you are into these." In retrospect, there was nothing to worry about.

He is loud. He yells. Almost always ("I JUST LOVE MY BABY!!" comes out the same volume as "BIG BOYS DON'T HAVE TO SIT IN TIME OUT!!!"). He runs fast, vaults over my leather couch, jumps on my heirloom quilt, drops my good dishes into the sink with gusto. He tackles his sister, lifts gallons of milk to show his strength, and adds sound effects to any situation. He refuses to eat cereal that has girls on the front (only boys or animals) or use the purple foamy soap in the bath ("ORANGE IS FOR BOYS, PURPLE IS FOR GIRLS"). He gleefully makes "guns" out of anything--blocks, books, flowers, drinking straws. Not sure how he even knows what they are. We don't have guns, talk about them....we are a peace-loving people.

Which is why, it was such a surprise to see him waltzing into the room, swathed in pink satin and organza. "Hey, buddy. You're wearing Girlie's flower girl dress?"
"Yes, I am a princess," he said in a very princess-y voice.
"Wow. I thought you we're a little boy."
"No, I am a princess now." I had to admit he made a really beautiful girl. Meg appeared behind him smiling. "Do you like my sister?" she batted her eyelashes. Ah, the mastermind behind this estrogen packed room. I just had to laugh. Though J would have blown a gasket had he been here, I actually found it hilarious and figured that when he was ready, he would be a boy again. So I didn't make him change. The next time I saw them, they had bright purple lip gloss smeared clown-style around their mouths and eyebrows. I enjoyed the water-and-pretend-cookie tea party with them, addressing them as "Your Highness" and "Lovely Princess."

Apparently, it goes both ways. Later, they both came out of Sam Sam's room--each sporting a pair of his swimming trunks. Both shirtless. "LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. HEW IS MY BWUZZER (brother)."

Monday, August 11, 2008

...and then there was the time that I got old...

It's been coming on for a while now. Little signs. Hints that "aging" applied to me. Most recently, we bought a minivan. That pretty much sealed the deal. Not that (for a minivan) it's not fine, it's just that my "hip" factor took a serious dive. Even the "new car smell" wasn't comforting. Not like my white Camry was so edgy, it just wasn't made to tote around multiple kids, swimming gear, the stroller, and groceries all at the same time. It's kind of like driving around a big, mobile billboard that screams "Hey, look at me! I'm totally old! SUCH a mom, right here!" All my minivan-driving mommy friends threw around "convenient" and "roomy" and "great to travel in." "You'll love it" they all promised. But, it was like turning 30 all over again.

30. Thirty. Treinta. Trente. I'd never actually thought I'd make it to thirty. Not that I thought something bad would happen to me, I just never actually pictured being 30. It's like you cross some invisible threshold. All of a sudden you start hearing things like "lower metabolism" and "cholesterol testing". I started noticing wrinkles on my face that I swear were not there the day before. Especially when my eyebrows go up in surprise that I have wrinkles---that's really when they show. And the white hairs that are in stark contrast to my almost black hair? They went and got buddies and now there are too many to comfortably pluck out in two minutes.

On the 4th of July this year, our city's Freedom Festival featured several live bands over the two-day celebration, including Candlebox and Gin Blossoms. J and I high-fived over the fact that such hot bands were coming (picture "rock on" hands and some gentle head banging). Then, with a sudden start, we realized these were hot bands, not they are hot bands. Were hot bands...in "our day." We have a "day" now.

But, never mind that the check out lady totally didn't bother to check my ID when the scanner registered that I was buying rubber cement. Never mind that I look at the restaurant hostesses and wonder if they can drive yet. Never mind that I look for my music in the "Easy Listening" section at Best Buy. It's okay that I look forward to bed at about the same time my night used to begin. So what if that "stow and go" seating is really nice and "convenient". I'm 30...for a couple more months, anyway. Old enough to have a little of the wisdom life has to offer, old enough to be taken seriously. And, really, people--being 'old' feels sooo much younger than I ever thought it would.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Grocery Shopping with Sam Sam


Okay, who wants to go grocery shopping with me??
I know, me neither, but I have an $8 off coupon that expires today.

No, you need to change.
Because we just can't wear swimsuits to the store.
We just can't.
Fine. But your shirt doesn't match.

Now, guys, when we get to the store, we can't use a race car cart--baby Red doesn't fit in one.
Because baby Red doesn't fit in it.
Because baby Red doesn't fit in it.
He just doesn't.

Um, I guess you can hang on the side, but you have to be REALLY careful and hang on tight.
Please don't throw your head back.
Just stand up straight. Seriously, you're going to get schmucked.
I'm not kidding, you're going to--
We'll put ice on it at home.

No, we don't need lettuce. Or that lettuce. Nope, not that one either.
Eggs, I do need eggs. Just one, just one.
Please put those eggs down.

CAREFULLY, son!

Okay, help me pick out some good bananas! Be soft, soft--oh, don't toss them, please!
No twist ties in our noses. Please.
Okay, I need four refrigerated cans of pizza dough. Can you please put them softly in the cart?
Oh, please stop dropping them on the eggs. Not the eggs.

SON. PLEASE. STOP. DROPPING. THEM. ON. THE. EGGS.

Then you'd better hurry up. We're going. Seriously. Okay, bye.

I can't believe that you can run and jump and grab onto a moving cart! That was hilarious. You should be a stunt man.

A stunt man.

It's a guy who--never mind. Forget it. Let's not give you any ideas.

Okay, bread is next.
No, that loaf of bread is $5. Let's get this one instead. Put it right there in the cart.
Please stop kicking the bread.

Hamburger. How does this one look? No, stop poking holes.
I know it's squishy. I know. It doesn't matter.

Almost done. Let's go.
Please stop shouting "It's a disaster!!"
What is that from? Ratatouille? Sheesh...

Can you help me load things onto the counter? No, this counter.
The lady needs them on this side, you don't have to walk around to give it to her.

Please stop yelling "It's a DISASTER!"

I'm not kidding.

Can you get buckled into your seat? Go ahead, get buckled in. No, you're not a big boy yet.
I know, yes, you're a big boy. Not big enough.
When you're fifteen.

Sammy, it's not a disaster.

Oh, shoot, I forgot to get that rain check...
Forget it....so not worth it...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Where'd the Summer Go??


So, clearly we've been busy. Last post, Little Red had just joined our family. Now, he's two months old and weighing in at a whopping 14 lbs and 23 inches long. He's at that adorable chubby baby stage where it looks like he has rubber bands around his wrist and his thighs look like a little stack of tires. I could just eat him up.

He's a fantastic baby. One of those "angel babies" J and I have only ever heard about. He is happy as can be, usually, and has a gummy grin that fills his whole double-chinned face. He loves his sleep (must get that from me), and goes to sleep for the night at about 9:30/10:00 p.m. This morning we had to wake him up to nurse at 7:00 a.m.

A lot has happened this past little while. J took a two week vacation, I mean, business trip to China and Hong Kong. It was a fabulous experience. He had a great time and brought back lots of treats for everyone. The kids and I stayed down in Kansas with Grandma and Grandpa the whole time, where we got to see all of my siblings except Mr. and Mrs. Las Vegas. The kids had a blast playing with everyone, taking summer classes (Tinkerbell, Tumbling, Thomas the Tank Engine, Musical Instruments, and Ballet), swimming, going to the park, and visiting Grandpa's "foot office."

Girlie is set to start KINDERGARTEN next month. Very, very big, traumatic time for me. She's revvin' to go, I'm having bad dreams about the bus. The only things I'm looking forward to are buying school supplies (why is that always so fun for me?) and the outfits. I do love to dress her. I've always thought that if another daughter isn't in the cards for me, at least the one I have is as sweet and girlie as I could ever want. Little diva, she does wardrobe changes at least hourly. Sometimes more. ...Not sure how she's going to handle staying in one outfit for an entire afternoon at school...

Sam Sam is as wild as ever. He's making up for Girlie never doing the whole "terrible twos" thing. He's full of life, energy, enthusiasm. One volume: LOUD. One speed: FAST. One way: HIS. He keeps things fun and interesting. He adores "his baby." He loves him very...vigorously. Several times a day he comes up and says, "Mommy, I just love my baby."

I've just started getting out to playgroups, church, running errands with all three kids. It's actually going okay. We've even done a couple movies, including Wall-E. Sam Sam does Wall-E's "Eve-a!!" imitation perfectly and it's hilarious. Anyway, we've started to get into the groove of life, then I look up and think, "Where'd the summer go??"

Friday, May 23, 2008

Drumroll, please...



Announcing the newest sweetheart to join our family: Little Red! Our little guy came at 4:54 a.m. on Monday, May 19, 2008.
He weighed 7 lbs 14 oz, and was 21 1/4" long. His most notable feature: his reddish hair!! I couldn't have been more surprised. The labor and delivery was (relatively speaking) great and pretty easy (again, this is still labor and delivery, mind you). Everyone gave him the weird-ish compliment of looking like a "c-section baby." He was out in three pushes, so he was all pink and perfectly shaped. He is a little doll, and so good and peaceful (that's unusual for our newborn offspring). We had a wonderful, wonderful experience at Progress West Hospital and came home on Wednesday. It was really funny, Girlie and Little Red are almost exactly 5 years apart, and we had Girlie's delivery nurse for Little Red's delivery. Five years later, different hospital--what are the odds? For my part, I'm doing (again, relatively) great. Recovery is going super fast and great. I even took all three kids to the doctor, BY MYSELF yesterday. Even I was impressed. I'm still totally exhausted; he nurses like it's going out of style, and for some reason, he's extra hungry at night. But, besides that, he's doing great, I'm up and about, the kids are completely in love with him (I have to protect Little Red from all of the extreme lovin'), and Mom is here helping us all. J hasn't noticed any change in sleeping pattern, but don't worry, his time is coming. J did an amazing job of juggling everything in our life while I was in the hospital. He was really, really wonderful and I feel so blessed to have such a support.