Friday, March 31, 2006

I seriously can NOT get enough of this photo.... Posted by Picasa
I put the rest of my photos on my flicker stream there on the right hand side... in case the grandparents want to see the gk's....
They're awfully cute...

A photo shoot of Mr Conner today Posted by Picasa

Not letting myself die

I saw this layout on 2P's this AM. And it kind of represents a lot of what I learned in Mommy Wars. Well, sorta. It's just that women don't want to let themselves "die" while they're giving life to their kids. So, I started thinking (while doing my makeup, because that's my main time to think)... what do I "do" not to let myself "die". Here's some of my thoughts, and I want to hear yours too!
1) Work. So, I'm not truly a SAHM. I work 8 hours a week as a labor and delivery nurse. I love to chat with my friends, help younger nurses, learn from older ones. Sometimes I even have to take classes with tests and although it's often more brain power than I can muster... it kind of makes me happy knowing I KNOW something, and they even give me a little card to prove it.
2) Photography. Part of the "mommy me" wants to die every day as I see their little faces and attitudes grow-up. I'd like to capture every moment and savor it. I think Photography at least lest me capture a couple of the moments... a couple of the faces....
3) Scrapbooking. Although this one also goes along with photography I also like the creative side of scrapbooking. Colors that go together to enhance the photo -- stuff like that. I don't believe I'll dwell on this one, although we all know I could. :)
4) Cooking. Putting a nice meal in front of the fam gives me a little boost, and I like to think that my kids eat better than your average children. They might not always like it... but it's what's available.
5) Reading. I love being taken to another time, place, new people -- even if it's just for 1/2 an hour. I also think that reading as an extra curricular activity is a great example for my kids.
So anyway, I can't think of much more but I wondered if anyone else had anything that helps them stay alive. It's a scary world out here mommies... let's not lose anyone. :)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

One of HOF freebie assignments. Check how cute the kid is. {sigh}... Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Mommy Wars by Leslie Morgan Steiner

I saw this book on the Today show, and I thought it would be an interesting read. Steiner is actually just the editor, since it is a bunch of essays from both stay at home moms, part time workers/moms and full time working moms.
For me, it wasn't ever really a question of if I would stay home. I was initially VERY hesitant to move to CA which would mean I Would have to go back to work full time for a few months, and after that work 20 hours a week. I didn't like the full time part, and I wasn't too fond of the 20 hours a week.
However, the eight hours that I do now seems to be the happy medium for me. I feel very lucky to both partake in the full-time mom routine but still dabble in what I went to school for and get paid a decent amount for it.
Some of the essays just seemed to moms making excuses for working full time. Personally, I don't think that full time works for ANY mom (I am not juging them, but I have been there and you're tired, you still feel the urge to clean your house and get all your playing in with your kiddos... it's a painful time).
I particularly liked one woman who said, "ask yourself, would you want to be your kid?" I think that sometimes people forget once you have a baby, your priority needs to be that baby. Of course, that doesn't mean that there doesn't need to be time for mom and for the parental relationship (because both of those, in moderation help the child).
Anyway, I thought it was a pretty good read (even if I was grimacing while reading some of the essays). I enjoyed getting different viewpoints from different moms. And frankly, in the end it reminded me that my priority DOES need to be my kids. Frankly, my work is the LEAST thing that takes away from my kids. More often it's blogging, IM'ing, cleaning, talking with friends. We all know that parenting is a balance of all those things and I enjoyed seeing how other moms handle it.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Sunday is a Special Day

So, Conner got an invitiation to a birthday party for this Sunday. It's for one of his best friends at school. It's a batman invitation and he was REALLY excited to open it. Sadly, it's for Sunday at 3 and when I told Conner when it was (being fully prepared with a whole little speech about how Sundays are for family and church) he said, "we can't go, we have to go to church." I was just so impressed by my little guy. So often you think that NOTHING is getting through that extra-strength cranium of theirs. But, obviously something is...
My guy Conner, he's a super-hero!

Some of you may have seen the original... which was later ripped-up, and used to make THIS... Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 27, 2006


Is that really the name of the show -- you know, with Julia Roberts, and that other lady who's dying? Anyway, yesterday during some of my fevered languishing, that movie was on TBS. I'm not sure if it was the sinus pressure or what, but I had a nice cry about it. I love it when Julia's taking the pictures with the kids and their mom. I love it when they talk about how their mom knows every bump, every scar, every story.
I started to wax poetic in my bed. I've been reading Mommy Wars this past week (book report to come soon). Many of the women in there seem to minimize what it's like to be with your kids 24/7 and really be the stay at home mom. Although, many wouldn't consider myself to be a SAHM, I kind of group myself with them. Anyway, after watching that movie and reading my book I realized how imporatnt a mom is. Sometimes when you're fighting in the trenches you don't get the big picture. You don't realize how in love with you your littles are. You don't realize that while youre life revolves around them, their life revolves around you (although I can slowly see that changing with Conner).
Anyway, today even though i can hardly take another whine eminated in my direction (Spencer's sick too) I need to realize how important my little job is (the unpaid one) and relish in the fact that I try my hardest.
And now, back to the couch.

Assignment E for HOF. Posted by Picasa

If I had the energy...

Me: "Drew, can you come home right after school today." (keep in mind, I am feverishly languishing in bed)
Drew: "Why?"
Ok, this is coming from a man who's had 5 sick days in the last month.
Ok, seriously?
Am I asking for too much for him to come home right after school instead of hanging out with students for help.
He did mention that he might come home and get Conner....

Sunday, March 26, 2006

My petty little thoughts

Well, living in a cesspool a gal is BOUND to get sick. We have Conner bringing home Kindergarten germs, Drew with HS germs, and Spencer having his grubby little hands all over the nursery. Let's not EVEN talk about the hosptial stuff I bring home.
So, I'm home "sick" today but shockingly enough on MY sick day I get to spend it with Spencer pelting me with the mini magnadoodle.
Of course, Drew has choir practice after church but I'm fairly sure that Spencer just asked for an early nap...

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Stake Play

No, it is not a play about meat -- LDS church groups are devided into large church groups which are called Stakes. We even have stake houses, but that's a blog for another day.
Anywho, for the past few weeks Drew's Tuesdays have been taken-up by Stake Play, and although I've been glad that he's only had to go once we had the kidos in bed, I've missed seeing him on our one "free night" a week.
I forget though. I forget how much the youth love this play. I forget how different LDS youth look (in general) from the other youth I see at Drew's high school. I forget that a play can be fun and quirky, and wholesome. I forget how much TIME leaders put-in to these youth groups.
It was fun to go tonight, and be reminded of these things. And thankfully, I won't have to be reminded of them for another 3 years (although Drew is vowing this was his last one).

Friday, March 24, 2006

Even got a little jab in from that FINE cake. :) Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A tip of their hat

Last night a friend of mine handed me a thank you card. I thought it was just from a co-worker for a baby present. Turns-out it was from my last patient at Regional. Some of you might remember that I had a prolapse cord as my last patient there. I won't go into details, but I have also seen babies die from prolapse cords, but because we caught it quickly and with my hand in a particular area, we were able to save the baby.
I was really touched from the card. It was from the grandma and also from the mom. Just saying how whenever they look at their sweet baby they'll remember the hands that saved his life. They gave me this cool egyptian drawing called hands of love or something. Just saying that God put me there that night to save their baby.
Although I am sure that any nurse could've saved there baby, it is nice to know that I was the one that did that. I also know that the prize I gave them of a healthy baby boy (they named him Malichi) was WAY more than what CK would've shipped my way.

Book Review: Rachel and Leah (the Women of Genesis) by Orson Scott Card

I think I read the first in this series (Rebecca) a few years ago. It takes place in biblical times, and just delves into the lives of women during that time. It is obviously fictional, but based on real characters from the bible.
This is the story of Rachel and Leah. Jacob comes and wants to mary Rachel and is placed into for 7 years to "earn" her. I'm sure many of you already know the story.
I really enjoy how he goes into their lives at the time. The whole handmaiden/servant type deal. I enjoy hearing what women of different ages did during that time. For instance, it seems like when women were married, most jobs outside of the home were totally stopped.
Anyway, good read. Just thought I'd put-out what I'm reading, in case anyone's interested. I've gotten some good ideas off of other friends blogs.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Conner's Lehi's Dream FHE... Seriously, maybe I shoudln't hand journal.  Posted by Picasa

Two new layouts done today... How cute am I? Posted by Picasa

This was for the journaling assignment (C). It's probably my favorite layout ever. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Fit as a fiddle

Today I had my "yearly" check-up. Of course, my good friend Cindy was going to watch Spencer for me and I had that all lined-up, and true to Erickson boy genes, he was sick this AM -- meaning HE got to come WITH me to the big appointment. He was screaming when they took my pressure -- making it 143/93. Thanks so much.
AND... drumroll please... I've lost ONE FREAKING POUND since last year! Dang it. Now, I'm fairly sure that I gained a bit o' weight over Christmas so I'm sure I've lost more than that since I started my little regime. Still.... depressing.
So, I went in the room, they re-took my pressure and it was 123/63. I have, what we might term labile pressure. I am easy sent into a stress-case. And no, that isn't a shock for any of us here.
Got all my female parts checked out, and my doctor said I had a nicely hung uterus, especially after having 2 babies. I'd like to thank my High School physiology teacher for introducing me to the world of Kaegels at such a young age. Thank you.
Spencer, the entire time was a tad nervous she'd take her white gloves to him, but he managed to console himself with some Pirates of the Carribean fruit snacks.
And thus... another year without anyone probing me...

Re-did this one once, I really like how it turned out. I'm sure SOMEONE wants a picture of a nurse troll in their magazine... don't they? BTW -- this is Assignment B -- to get 10 photos on my layout. Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 20, 2006


So, yesterday when I was coming home. I was sitting outside the airport, shivering with the cold wind blowing, and all I could think about was hearing those two little boys say mamma!
I thought how funny that was since most of the times I want to sit in the fetal position and rock back and forth with my hands over my ears trying to IGNORE anyone using those words.
But, they did miss me and they did hearald me with an appropriate chorus. And I am a lucky woman for being able to miss those sounds, even if it was just for 2 days. Thanks Drew!

Sharing my Hall of Fame Entry

This was my candid photo assignment (A). I really liked how this photo caught both my little monster, and his love for swinging on his belly. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 19, 2006

My dad rocks

Last night was the award ceremony for my dad. It's hard to realize that someone might be so important to anyone but yourself, but I realized something I knew all along -- my dad is a BYU rockstar. When I tell friends who went to B YU, who my dad is, they're always impressed and about 50% of the time they've had him for either economics or American Heritage. It seems like he is a friend to everyone he meets and although we carry the same Pope genes of wanting attention DIVERTED from us, my dad didn't run out of screaming. Way to go dad.
I'm so glad I could come and be here for this occasion.
And on a brighter note, I got to see snow this AM.
I, my friends, am a lucky, lucky gal.

Friday, March 17, 2006

This is me... clutching a complete stranger

Ok, some of you might know that my DAD (Dad, while I'm in UT -- PUH-LEEZE let me take a new "headshot" for you) is receiving a professorship award at BYU (whatever that means, but from my more collegiate friends, I suppose it's a big deal). I am flying to Utah in about 2.5 hours to see him receive his award. That's right, they're flying me in to clap.
I'm really excited to be in Provo. There's food I miss, haven't seen my family in a while. Oh, and did I mention I'm going ALONE?
That brings me back to my title. I am NOT a flyer. I seriously, have grabbed complete strangers sitting next to me. Some of you might know that my uncle died in a plane crash when I was a sophmore in college. Every ounce of turbulence I'm wondering what his few moments before his death felt like. Utah is not having the best of weather, so that makes me even more nervous for what I'm flying in to. Everyone send me confidence vibes... and let's pray that the last edition of Creating Keepsakes is SO enthralling that I don't even notice my surroundings.
And, I am feeling extremely bad for my past HOF posts. A good friend of mine pointed out another fellow scrapbooker who had received a baby this past week through adoption, but before the papers were finalized the birth mother decided to take the baby back. It's times like these that you are reminded what is truly important, and that is most definately NOT hall of fame. It's the things inside my scrapbooks that make my life worth answering the phone. I am officially done with contests, because I need to keep my life in perspective... and did I mention I have another job. In the fabulous words of Joanna Bollick, "leave the stay at home mom jobs to the stay at home moms." Will do Joanna, will do... (k, not totally sure that was a quote... but it was close).

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Kindergarten Winter Concert

Gettin' back to the scrap roots, and lovin' it.


That's RIGHT ladies and gentlemen... I won.
WHAT did I win, you might ask... was it hall of fame (HOF -- it's a scrapbook contest, in case you couldn't decifer that from my endless prattle about it -- and that's the last time it will be mentioned)... NO... it wasn't.
It was the Huhtala Baby pool!!!! I was the BIG winner, with 35 points, trouncing on my friend Robin's 32 points!
30 bucks to the restaurant of my choice. Seriously, I'm amazing, I guessed the EXACT date, the weight to 7 ounces, and the exact heigh. And her labor length to less than an hours difference.
So, i'll have to admit, there's been a bit of sadness around my house. It's hard to try hard for something and get nada out of it -- but when I got her email it all clicked. There is one thing that i do very well, and that's deliver babies. I know about risks, I know about moms, I know about babies and i know about "baby exit areas". Just made me feel happy to know I'm a winner at something.
Thanks Ed and Amy!!!

As the Irish Would Say: Day O' Crap

Alright, I was totally ready to NOT get a Hall of Fame call -- but not so ready for this:
I am watching as people are getting calls, it's always exciting to chat with friends about who we think it is... and I get a "unidentified caller" on my phone. I'm FREAKING OUT. I answer, and no one is there. I'm just shaking, because I took a second to compose myself prior to answering, and then -- nada. I thought for SURE it was her (I never get unidentified callers).
But, no other calls.
Then, the JW's came (mind you, this is all in the 15 minutes before I leave for work). They told me that the bible is the only true book and the Book of Mormon can't be true. I was still shaking when they came. I couldn't liste to what they had to say...
I cried myself to work.
To feel like it's truly yours, that you've won -- and then to have it not be true.
Frankly, it's the cruelest moment in my life.
But, uber-busy at work tonight, glad I didn't have to think about it.
Congrats to all the winners!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Perks of a two year old

Ulcer feelin much better, thank you -- my avid readers. :)
So, Spencer is 2... and at times certainly showing the temperment of one. However, there are a few perks. For instance, every time I blow my nose he comes running wanting his own nose wiped. I mean, Conner would've broke through walls not to have his nose wiped. Weird.
And just now I was asking Spencer "What's your name" -- he goes "ummm.... bab-bab"... but the look on his face while he says, "ummmmmmmmmmm..."
Make a visa commercial about THAT!

Monday, March 13, 2006

This is me with an ulcer

No, no HOF calls, for anyone, yet.
I have had a sore throat, and then yesterday took some alieve and then my stomach REALLY started hurting, but Conner wanted to go to church -- so I took him. Felt REALLY sick when I got home.
Now I'm wondering if it's just stomach pains from the stress of HOF... which is REALLY sad, considering I didn't think about it hardly at all yesterday, just mostly about all the pain.
I internalize stress.
I think today would be a nice time for a walk...

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Listen to the Land

Did anyone go on that Disneyworld ride? I am fairly sure it's not there anymore, but it just talked about how plant life works and different ways plants grow, etc. I remember not loving the ride, but enjoying that I learned a little something, it was airconditioned AND that song stuck in my head just like It's a Small world (frankly, now, I can only remember the "listen to the land" part though).
Today I did a little garden planting. We've done tomatoes, peas, now beans and cucumbers and also a raspberry bush (anyone ever done one of those? I am nervous). This week the JW's were here. And while I do enjoy listening to their views on certain things (and they are more than willing to allow me to share my own views) I had a really hard time with their "views" this week. They were talking about Adam and Eve and how they had a perfect life, and only made perfect choices before they ate of the fruit. I have always had a hard time with this concept until a couple visits to the temple, and it all became clear. However, I'll have to save those thoughts for another time and place. But, of this I am sure. If you lead a perfect life, you would never know sorrow. Adam and Eve had all the plants just grow and bloom around them, and didn't have to put in any work. But, every time I plant something, and later pick it and use it in a recipe I feel amazing joy.
I know that there is a joy that comes out of true work. i know that without a little sorrow, you can't know joy. So, I'm glad I don't live a perfect life, and am allowed to more deeply feel.
Even if that involves feeling the mud
{in Conner's words "ewww"}....

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Blessing of HOF

I have reazlied the true blessing of me entering HOF. I remember when we moved her I would cry at LEAST once a week about not having any friends and not fitting in. And with hall of fame I've had so many people tell me they're rooting for me and that I rock.
It's just a nice feeling, to remember that I have so many friends.
And frankly, that's a prize better than HOF... at least, I'm fairly sure it is...

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Had to get out my excess energy in SOME way... promising to be a better mom tomorrow. Posted by Picasa

Killer Customer Service

It's so funny, today I have just experience to stories of customer service at both ends of the spectrum.
First, the good side: My mom introduced me to a contact lens cleaner called "Clear Care" -- we found it at Costco, but now we can't find it anywhere (Utah OR CA). So, I emailed, they said that they were switching their plant over or something and they were transitioning but expected stores to have a full stock by the beginning of April, but that they'd send me some. Today -- like just 2 days later, DHL knocks on my door (no, they didn't deliver Lisa Bearnson to me... but that would've been nice) and there's 2 starter packs of the Clear Care. I was just so impressed. Plus, their product is great. I feel like I have brand-new contacts every day. You all should try it.
Then... the "not-so-good" side: We switched our cellular service over to Sprint about a month ago. It's nice, beause my mom and I are on the same plan, so we can talk forever without paying a penny (nice, when Spencer wants to say "hi" on the phone for 5 minutes). Anyway, I was supposed to get my first month's service for free. I get my bill -- it's 158 bucks (Because they ALSO added activation -- which we were also supposed to get for free). So, I call them, they tell me to come in, I say "are you serious?", and then they take down my account info for a manager to look at. Today, I call back, no one has a clue about my problem. And again, they take down my info.
Now, I think there's a good chance that I have the WORST possible luck with cellular customer service, but I wish companies would realize the positive-ness of customer service, and how little, actually it takes to make a customer really happy.
On a brighter note, I am SUPER ornry today. No phone calls from anyone in particular and I'm just trying to remember how much BETTER I am...
Edited to say: Beans are not hats (yes, I just said this at the dinner table) AND Sprint credited our bill, better than I had hoped... but it was still slow.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A little better than before

I find myself, every day -- just trying to make it a little better than the day before. For instance, S has been taking a sippy cup with him in the car to drop Conner off every day. It's a huge ordeal for him to give it up. So, today I just decided to get rid of it before we got to the car -- baby steps that make each day a little easier.
Mind you, there are plenty of days I take giant stpes back, but it's the intent, am I right here?
So -- pick something, to do a little bit better on today.
I did pilates today, and I have been slacking on that. Frankly, the day's just going fabulously. :)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Ok, I am really feelin' like getting back to my roots -- simple pages, no crazy hand-cut titles. Just tryin' to document our family's little life... AND, I really like how my hand-journaling looks on this one, maybe being sideways helps. Posted by Picasa


A) Love Reese Witherspoon, couldn't be happier for her. I know it's a couple of days after, but whenever I see her on TV I just beam inside. I think she's fantastic.
B) I am better than any silly little contest (right Shannon)
C) Cindy, you need to stay off the computer late at night. You rock, but go to bed.
D) Took Spencer to the pediatrician today (2 year check-up... can you BELIEVE he is TWO?). It was a new pediatrician, and HELLO... I LOVED her. I always thought my last pediatrician seemed a tad anxious about life when i went in and this woman (I think she's just a tad older than I am) just seemed so sure of herself and totally supported my whole, "eat it if you're, hungry -- if not, go play" philosophy -- even though Spencer is in the 25th weight wise -- and that was with his coat, shoes and diaper on.
E) (and this one is REALLY depressing) Spencer wouldn't get NEAR the scale so I had to hold him and then minus my weight from his. Ladies, I think I may have GAINED weight in this whole little quest. Now, there is a chance that the diaper bag was on me, as well as Spencer (I am obviously minusing Spencers weight from me) along with my coat and shoes... anyway. HARUMPH. I do have my fabulous yearly exam in a couple weeks and if I'm the same weight then...... {grrrrr}.....

Monday, March 06, 2006

For the Love of Filthy Lucre

Drew and I have been reading the Book of Mormon together. We just started Jacob. He talks about how you should only desire for enough money for your needs and then it is time to share with the poor. I, of course, wonder exactly what a NEED is. We don't have a ton of money for "wants" around here -- but we did just get back from Disneyland.
I saw a study on the Today show a few weeks ago that said after you hit a certain amount (I think it was 50k) per year (gross income) that you're happiness dosn't increase with your money. Obivously, it makes sense. IF you're truly worried about NEEDS (and in this case, Disneyland is not one of them), it's hard to be happy. But, once the NEEDS are under control happiness comes from family, friends, etc. Just another reminder of what's truly important, and me working every minute of my life, just ain't one of those "things".

Sunday, March 05, 2006

40 things that are more important than HOF

Having some HOF issues (if you don't know what it is -- it's a scrapbooking thing). Feeling nervous, I did my entry with the feeling that I wanted to win and WOULD win -- reminding myself that i am NOT going to win is painful. So, today in chruch I just thought about HOW many other blessings I have and how many other things are WAY more important than this contest! In, no particular order.
1. Drew
2. Conner
3. Spencer
4. My mom
5. My Dad
6. My whole freakin' extended family.
7. The gospel
8. Friends
9. Church callings
10. My heath
11. The health of my family.
12. Music
13. Trying to get playing the flute more
14. My job
15. Drew's job
16. Cleaning my house
17. Working in the yard
18. Scrapbooking for fun.
19. My scrapbooking crop that is this friday night at 7 :)
20. Date nights
21. Emergency preparedness
22. Food storage
23. Making food for my family
24. Making everyone I know feel like my friend
25. Organizing my scrap stuff.
26. Watching the season finale of Project runway
27. Watching everything I have on DVR.
28. Teaching Spencer his body parts
29. Teaching Spencer his letters
30. Teaching Spencer important songs
31. Reading with Spencer
32. Reading with Conner
33. Taking naps
34. Helping out in Conner's class
35. Reading my scriptures
36. Planning FHE's
37. Eating salads for lunch
38. Going on walks
39. Did I already say naps?
40. Pretty much everything I can think of.

So, this week, when the calls are made, and I'm not amogst them, I hopefully can come back to this list. Plus, I'm going to UT in less than 2 weeks, it's nice to have something to focus on.

Friday, March 03, 2006

not so sure about the title... but I love everything else... esp. the picture. Posted by Picasa

Look at that... a doodle on a page. THANKS FOR THE LESSONS SQUILLEN!!!! Posted by Picasa

An accounting of my Lifestyle Change

No, I am not gay. :)
My life style change (for the newer blog readers) involves eating salads for lunch, and 30 minutes of physical activity, every day but Sundays (and often on Wednesdays -- although I try and do some pilates before work).
I have lost one inch gals. People SAY that I am looking skinnier... but I think they're just trying to get on my good side. I measured today. And while I think I have lost more than that in total (because I Didn't measure at the beginning of Jan when I started -- just at the beginning of Feb. when I was into it a month). However, I feel skinner, and my belt is 2 notches in from where it was.
I also feel SO much better when I am doing my changes. I was sick for a week, and we did a week in Disneyland and I can tell when I'm eating my full amounts of veggies I am a MUCH happier woman.
So, those are my thoughts. Anyone else have a workout/eating testimony for me?

Thursday, March 02, 2006


K... is it possible to read and look at this layout without smiling? I think not...


So, with all my planting lately, and trying to get our "dwarf citrus" to grow... I've been thinking a lot about how things grow, and kind of comparing that to my other "obsession" -- my kids. It's amazing how with ALL things you have to put a great deal of effort into the initial growth phase, and then -- as the plant gets bigger, you don't have to water as often or tend to it. Every plant needs a pruning every now and then... but it's just a reminder to be vigilent with my "little plants" while they're small and hopefully some day they'll be "gigantic oak trees" with little seedlings of their own.


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