Monday, August 31, 2009

A Kennedy Gone

I actually am sad to see Ted Kennedy gone. I think he was a person who was willing to work hard, cross party lines but also leave the work at work. I've heard a lot of stories about how he still enjoyed friendship with people even after having bitter disagreements with people in the senate.
We need more politicians like him, honestly. That's not to say that I agree with his views, but he as a person tried to do what was best for the country. Seems like those are few and far between anymore.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

P at Four Months


Ah... my most favorite month of them all. I tell everyone that four months is my absolute favorite. And boy is it! The smiles, the giggles, the ability to hold one head and self upright, the immobility, the cute clothes, the sleeping. Really, does it get better than this?

P sleeps from about 8:30 pm til' 7:30 am -- really, she just lays in there and sucks her thumb til' we get her. This is the only time that she's a huge thumb fan, not so much after naps, but in the AM it's her best friend. She also naps from about 9 am to noon and 2 pm til' around 4 (this afternoon nap is still being adjusted due to pick-up, etc.). Every now and then she has her screaming moments, but for the most part, the girl's a sleeper. She still likes to be swaddled, but we leave her arms out, because she'll get them out anyway. She's a huge fan of her crib. She has a hard time sleeping in her car seat (unless we're driving) or in our arms.

She's so mobile in her crib. From day one she could some how inch herself to the top so she could bang her head against the headboard of her crib. Now we find her in various positions when we come to get her up. She can't roll but she is starting to be able to get where she wants.

She's starting to love the toys. Just within the last week she's made the jump to be able to touch the toys on her bouncer. If I dangle a toy over her she'll grab at it. So fun to see them make these "leaps" Her most favorite places are under her baby gym (which I constructed from fabulous toys from Kid to Kid), or under her mobile. Oh, or in her dad's arms. She ADORES her dad. They've both had a hard separation now that he's back to work. She's definitely the woman of his dreams. Feet and hands are slowly also becoming toys.

She is obsessed with trying to sit up. If I have her in the swing she holds onto the little toys on the bar and pulls herself up. If she's in the boppy she's doing crunches the whole time. She probably has a nice little six-pack goin' on...

I've been taking her into school in the bjorn and she seems to enjoy being up where she can see people and faces. I don't hear much complaining (unless I stay too long to chat).

We've been trying to read her some books and she finds those enjoyable, unless she's sleepy -- and then all bets are off.
Still workin' on the reflux. Lately she does up to 7 oz of a bottle. I usually start them on solids around 5 months (what do you guys do -- I waited til' 6 with C, and by then I think he was so in love with his bottle it was hard to feed them, so I did 5 months with S). We see the Dr. on Monday -- I'll ask her if I should take her off the Zantac and see what happens. Seems like most babies have that cleared-up by now.

The boys love her to death. S is a little more into the loving to death type thing, if you catch my drift. I have to remind her she's not a drum, she doesn't like her eyes touched, she doesn't liked to be scared by scary monsters... I think you see the picture there. Conner's getting really good at helping to take care of her. He's done a couple of bottles and he enjoys holding her and playing.

We just barely switched to size 2 diapers. I think we probably could've switched a couple of weeks ago but I still ahd some and she wasn't leaking, so I used them up. It'll be interesting to see what she weighs on Monday (ahh, shots -- the one time she hasn't been a dream is the week of her 2 mo. shots, I hope this time is a little better).

My friend who babysat this week wondered where I got such a dream of a baby, and she really is. I've thought a lot about what my life would've been like if we hadn't had her. This week would've been about 9 ba-zillion times harder if I hadn't had her pink-clad tiny face to come home with me each day. Love you P. You bless our home in ways you can't imagine.
Look how we're growing-up in our monthly picture:

Friday, August 28, 2009

He Watches Us

After my perfect world blog entry I thought I'd just share experience I just had:

I've been missing my earbud all morning (hands free cellular here in CA), which is not an uncommon occurance (just ask Drew). I was throwing in laundry when I heard one of my pants jingle. Oh, some loose change -- but then I realized I threw my earbud in my pants yesterday while at the grocery store. I quickly fished them out (before they got wet, thank goodness) and found the missing earbud. If I hadn't heard the jingle I never would've thought to check the other pants -- and I'm fairly sure it wouldn't have made it through a load of laundry.

Just a reminder that God loves me, he's watching me and everything will turn out fine if I listen and do what I'm told.

Phewsh.

Keep the Focus

My principal ticked me off this morning.

Now, I know there's a few teachers out there who read my blog, and you'll all be shocked. Honestly, I have only had amazing experiences at this school and with the principal but I REALLY feel like the whole teacher on medical leave thing has been taken a bit lightly. I think perhaps because I have a job where it is entirely one on one I am so able to communicate things and let them know what's happening that I forget that they have a whole school to run.... that life isn't really all about one on one interaction.

Our teacher is out on medical leave (a pretty serious one, not anything fancy like having a baby). I only found-out on the gossip line, but no one said anything to the parents until we got a note on the first day. I'm worried how the transition will be handled when the new teacher comes back. I talked with the sub (whom I love, but I'm trying not to become too attached to -- because come the 8th, she's gone) and she said she was going to try and contact the teacher to see about it. I asked the principal and I felt like I kind of got the brush-off, like it wasn't important.

So, I texted Lara -- as I always do -- to tell her to get on chat, that I needed a cooling off period. And she gave me that. She reminded me to focus on Spencer. Truth is, Spencer will care less when the new teacher comes... he'll be fine. I know there are kids who won't be quite as fine, but really it won't be that big of a jump -- give them a few days and they'll be along like the rest of them.

Most likely, it all boils down to the fact that I'm not in the class I really wanted, and I feel like sometimes people keep secrets to keep themselves from getting flack and I'm in an indsutry where that doesn't fly. I am also a person where that doesn't fly.

So, I wrote the principal a note. Just saying that I didn't feel like my concern was validated and that's that. I have to let it go and focus on Spencer. For instance, he is finding a lot of joy in wrestling with Conner lately. That needs to stop. I will make a list of things to fix in him, rather than things I can't control (as if I can control my 5 year old).

But, back to me -- wouldn't you be bugged by it? I really wish the teacher could come and spend an hour with the kids sometime next week, just so they have an idea of what an amazing year they're going to have.

I just want everything to be perfect. Is that so wrong?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday Musings

  • Don't you love cleaning something that hasn't been cleaned well for a while? I do. It gives me far too much joy. I am almost embarassed by how much joy.
  • I've had a lot of thoughts on marriage lately. Our sunday school lesson is on it, and we just had our anniversary. Thoughts on being married young. Expect a blog about marriage soon. I know -- just start holding your breath now.
  • Sometimes I feel like life wouldn't work without stay at home moms. Schools work better with their assitance, they help other people's kids as well as their own. Really, people need to realize this.
  • I am feeling the joy of being home this morning. Can't wait for the whole half day K thing to end this week so he can go full day and I can kind of feel like my life is moving on. I mean, I haven't ground wheat ALL WEEK. Sad, but true.
  • I am hoping that being back on some semblance of a schedule will help my diet. Hard to eat right when it seems like you're just jumping from place to place. Don't love that feeling. At all.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hilary the Spy

Due to some unforeseen circumstances, Spencer's K teacher needed a little assistance. I am lucky enough to have some friends who are lovers of the baby variety and they were willing to babysit P while I went over. I spent about 1/2 an hour in Conner's class and then spent almost 3 hours with Spencer. Observations:

1. Conner's teacher is gonna be great for him. There's a lot of concentration and hard work in there. Love that. He's also super fun when it's time for the fun. Work hard, play hard... it's our family motto (right after "happy eternal family" -- work hard play hard is really what the nitty gritty motto is though).

2. Spencer talks too much. He has input to give on EVERYTHING. I am not surprised as he talks all the time at home anyway, but it's something we need to work on, as it doesn't make a great student. However, thankfully, once the teacher mentions it, he quiets down. {sigh}

3. Spencer, as all children are, is attracted to the "wild child". Like moths to a flame it's the boy who's shooting everyone on the carpet. Uh-huh, that kid -- he's all we talk about at home.

4. If my child cries while I'm not there is he really crying? Well, something like that. Sometimes I just wonder if it's because I'm there. He threw a little fit at snack time, and that just wasn't cool in my book. Luckily, his teacher dealt with it.

5. I LOVE Spencer's teacher, but I'm having a harder time dealing with the teacher switch than I thought I would. It's no secret I adored Conner's K teacher and I'm still just so sad when I walk by her room. I miss it. It's not to say that he's not getting any less of an education in the other room, it's just not the same -- and heavens knows I love things that are the same. I just don't know if I'll smile when seeing a smiley face again....

So, do you have solutions to kids who talk too much, and senseless emotional bonds with teachers? Do tell.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fatty Potatoes

The Next Food Network Star gave a recipe on the show to make au gratin potatoes with your kids. I kind of fiddled with her recipe, and came-up with this:
  • Cut potatoes lengthwise, and then slice fairly thin-ly
  • Grate some swiss cheese
  • Grease muffin tin
  • Put potatoes in tin to fill 1/3
  • Put tiny handfuls of swiss on top of potatoes
  • Put more potatoes on (up to about full)
  • More tiny handfulls of swiss
  • put a tiny pat of butter on (I think I used a tablespoon for the entire pan -- just cut it really thin, 3 times and then broke each of those slices into 4 and put them on top.
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • I added some freshly grated nutmeg, because I am fancy
  • Pour about a Tablespoon of cream on top of that
Cook until potatoes are tender (and for me, I want it brown on top).
I would say at around 400 degrees for about 1/2 an hour, possibly less (you could broil the last few minutes if you wanted the top browned).

SO yummy, just like regular potatoes au gratin but when they're in those tiny tins it seems like you eat less. Plus, because it's like that Conner helped out and really enjoyed it. I cut the potatoes, shredded the cheese and then I did the butter and cream (although, Conner could do the cream, it was just faster for me to do it).

I'm thinking of doing it next with zuchini, mozerella and spaghetti sauce.

you could also do sweet potatoes and brown sugar....

the ideas are endless.

I also did the whole first day thing, Spencer had a playdate after school, I cleaned out the fridge, cleaned the kitchen, swept, mopped, made cookies, made feta and bacon stuffed chicken and the au gratin potatoes. Thank you academy, I'm ready for my award.
I still have the giant packet from the school to fill out.
{sigh}

First Day: A Nervous Reversal.

Today is a very special day.... a very, very, very special day....
Today is the day we've waited for.
They say it's the first day, nar-nar-nar-nar-nar-na (aka, they say it's your birthday).
I was running out of songs to sing as the kids were getting ready for school today (btw, the poster helped today, plus I think it's adorable wall art). I must admit, it was a bit of a rush out the door. Just hard to take care of all the needs, and I NEED to pack lunches the night before, that's just all there is to it.
We didn't get to school before the first bell, and I had to park about 12 miles away (considering parking kind of far a few days a week, just to give us time to talk and walk.. and maybe I can jog back to the car ... in my own personal dream world). We hurried to Sencer's class. He did fine, walked right in, talked to his teacher (he looked a little scared when he saw her, but I reminded him that she was Jessica's Kindergarten teacher, and he was pretty happy with that -- figured she must be alright). I did really well. I was startin' to get a bit teary as we turned the corner. Perhaps mostly because we didn't have the teacher we'd expected and I knew that'd be different for all of us. But, once we got in it wa all smiles and I was good to go. I felt bad that I couldn't be the mom that helped him go sit down, but I had P outside and Conner had already run to his class, and I told him I'd see him before the bell rang... anyway, he did great. So happy for Spencer, he's so ready for this. I wish I was just as ready. Luckily, K was less than 2 hours and we were actually in a meeting with the pricipal for most of it. I'm glad to have my little buddy home for a few more lunches together. Kids seem to spill more info when food is involved.

Then it was off to Conner's class. I must admit I was much more comfortable over there, with parents I knew and enjoyed. However, as I peeked in I saw a very nervous Mr. Conner. His teacher is not known for allowing tom-foolery, and they were all silent, already working on an assignement. He REALLY wanted this teacher, but now that it was a reality, he wasn't sure this was all it was gonna be. But, it is what it is and I know he'll end-up loving him. Everyone I know does, and heavens knows a cut-down on tom-foolery would a welcome addition to our home.
New challenges, new friends and new routines. Bring it on.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

He's Leaving Me


No, not Drew. Although, I'm fairly sure he has just cause.

Spencer. He's going... and frankly, I haven't thought of it all that much. I know the school, I know the routine and heavens knows he's ready. I will admit that having a different teacher than C has thrown him for a bit of a loop. He seems a little more nervous than he did before, but I know he'll be fine.

Frankly, I've just been SO EXCITED for this day for him. So excited for how much fun he'll have (kindergarten has been BY FAR my favorite year of school -- just because they celebrate things so much, and reminds me to celebrate the little things too). So excited for how he'll adapt to it. So excited for him to show off his skills. So excited to have him gone. So excited to have him AND Conner gone (and the school is lucky that they aren't in the same grade because fighting has been coming to a HEAD as of late). I am, I am excited.

But yesterday, as I started putting away our old lesson stuff, it hit me. I won't do a lesson with him again. Well, I will -- next summer, but he's been my little lesson buddy for so long. We started them right when Conner went to school, Spencer was just 18 months and I was concerned because he wasn't talking (like, at all). We just did basic flashcards with pictures on them and him saying the name, some singing, a bit of coloring or craft and of course, a book. And it's continued. For like 4 years, it's continued -- almost every day. And now it's done and I've prepped him and there he goes. Off into the wild blue yonder. Off to have some other woman teach his lessons.

{sigh}

Parenthood is all about prepping them to live without you. I hate that. They need to need me. Part of me needs them to need me. Of course, part of me is also very excited for tomorrow, to watch him fly.

Fly, fly away...

but only til' 10:40. That's right, just 2 hours of kindergarten fun tomorrow. And then it's home again, home again, jiggidy-jog. Maybe I'll try to sneak in a few lessons this week. I'm sneaky that way. And yes, I love this picture because he's holding our hands. I love that both my boys will still do this... love that.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Phewsh

Just got back from the teacher listings.

Spencer has Miss T. We hear she uses music a lot in the classroom.... perhaps a lovely fit for a little boy who just started piano lessons...

Conner is in a 4/5 combo with Mr. Most-Beloved... we only have one male teacher at our school and I've only heard wonderful things about him. He is VERY excited. He really feels like these are answers to his prayers, and honestly -- he kid's like 4 for 4 on teachers. He always gets which one he's hoping for.

In a side story, Spencer's teacher is on medical leave for the first couple of weeks of school, but they haven't told anyone. So, you go in thinking your teacher is Mrs. T and you've prepped your 5 year old for it and all that jazz, only to find that it's a DIFFERENT Mrs. T. I'm not one to find rage quickly, but I think I might find it in that instance if they'd known and hadn't given us a heads up. If someone of power ever reads this blog, I'd be happy to call the parents for the teacher and just let them know. I know it's leaked a bit, but K is such a hard transition for both mother and child that it's nice to know who's got a grip on your kid. In a completely random tangent, the teacher who is subbing for Spencer's teacher actually had one of our favorite babysitters in Kindergarten. It truly is a very small world.

It's the Most Annoying Day of the Year...

Sing it with me.

I have to have blogged about it before. Our district (at least all of the un-charter schools that I know of in our district) doesn't post class lists until after the office closes on the Friday before school starts. School then starts on Monday. I have a few thoughts on this:

1. Privacy issues? Someone told me they can post names and class lists outside the school because of privacy concerns. So, they get postcards in the last month before school.

2. Just bugged. And, I'm bugged every single year. I get the reason that you don't want parents complaining, but there are to be a line between parents complaining and what's good for the kids/parents. In fact, in the past they've told Kindergartener's who their teacher would be in July -- but not this year. We're all still in the dark (although some of the K teachers have contacted their students... not mine though {sigh}).

3. I think I'm realizing I don't like secrets. I just don't feel good about things that people know that they're not supposed to tell anyone else. {sigh}

So, what does your school do? I aboslutely adore our pricipal, but it's so hard for me to wrap my head around why this all has to happen so late in the game. You, YOU my fine reader -- tell me what your school does. I wanna know. Really. I do. Hit comment. Now.

Yes, you.

Of course, it is exciting... at this last minute stuff. And, it provides a blog each year. I should be grateful for it. Right?

I am Everything I hate

As I sat down to dinner last night and surveyed everything that was on the table. I realized I hate myself. If I'd had a crystal ball when I was 16 and saw what I'd placed on the table last night I probably would've slit my wrists. What did I see? Homemade bread that I'd ground the wheat for, and green beans I grew in my own garden (which I try to keep organic).

EWwwww.... when DID I become this person?

Well, it's obviously happened slowly.

We've gardened pretty well for the last 5 years and slowly I'm getting more into it. I might even get a compost bin (hate myself for wanting one).

I've always enjoyed fresh bread, but now that I have a grinder and I have read some stuff on the Internet I am really excited about all the health benefits that fresh ground flour can give a person. Also, as I think of the people who consistently grind their own wheat, they are not overweight, not in the slightest... usually they are some of the skinniest people I know. Of course, that is most likely a trend I will buck... Our church has a thing called the "Word of Wisdom" and I have really been struck by how they stress eating grains and using that as the staff of life (my mom hates that part, since she's allergic to wheat). This morning I just ground a few cups to have on hand in the freezer when I'm baking. I made some chocolate chip pancakes with it, it was delish.

The good news is, the salad came out of a bag, so I can't completely hate myself. I just think it's interesting how people change. I still vow I will never take up tole painting. Or making glass grapes. You've gotta draw the line somewhere.

** I'd be happy to grind wheat for anyone local. Of course, you'll have to get your own wheat, but I might even be able to help with that. ;)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Teaching Responsibility

It's no shocker to avid readers of my blog that mornings before school are NOT my favorite time, and now with 2 to get ready I was dreading it even more. I am the kind of girl that feels like preparation is the KEY to success... so I came-up with a craft for the boys. First they decided on a morning routine -- all the things they needed to get done. Then, we went through some old magazines I've been saving for summer crafts. Then, we typed out the steps and they pasted them all on some construction paper and then I took it to Office Max to get the really good lamination on it. Hopefully it makes it through the year. ;) Anyway, it makes me smile as i come down the hall and I really hope that it helps. I really need them to take the responsibility of getting themselves to school. I also really like the pictures they picked out.

Yesterday morning I also spent 45 minutes teaching Spencer how to appropriately vacuum his room. We're changing the responsibilities and that's one I'm adding for him. I sat in there and showed him how to do it and then watched him do it and gave helpful hints. I just kept reminding myself that it would save time later on. At least I hope it will.

In other news, big teacher announcement. I have come to the stunning conclusion that Spencer will not have the same Kindergarten teacher that Conner had. After a brief moment of sadness I'm actually now really OK with it. C and S and pretty darn similar and I think it would be hard for a teacher not to make comparisons between the two. I like that Spencer is starting out with his very own fresh slate. However, nothing's set in stone til' tomorrow and the way our state is going with finances, possibly not even then. Boo stupid state legistlature... boo....

I hope everyone's noticing how cool and flexible I'm being about all this. I will tell you more as I can, but I am sworn to secrecy....

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's Risin'


The Wheat Grinder is here... I finally made the decision last week. And I didn't even blog about it. Most of that is due to the fact that having 3 children is kickin' my behind as of late. I may have to lower my personal standards a bit. Possibly the one involving liquor. ;)

I ended-up getting the nutrimill. I guess mostly because we are young (or like to think we are) and this thing has a lifetime warranty. Also it is supposed to fit above my cabinets according to the site -- although that' not quite true... but pretty true. I just can't have the lid on. Which is fine, because it pretty well touches my ceiling. Anyway, you can just get the gist of how classy I am with my wheat grinder up above my cabinets. Also, that Pleasant hill Grains often has ones on clearance (you needd to call -- but I talked to Michelle and she hooked me up) so I got it for 239 with no tax and free shipping. My 2nd place runner, in case you care, was the lower version of this one the vitalmill -- the just lowered their prices and it's only 129 now... pretty cheap. The main differences seem to be the warranty (the Vitalmill is only 5 years) and with the vitalmill you are unable to adjust the flour coarseness... neither of which seems to be huge. I mostly went with the warranty.
ANYWHO, the bread is rising, and I'm excited to taste it. I'm trying to find a great bread recipe now. I googled "cooking with freshly ground flour" and I came-across a lot of great articles about how important it is to eat the "whole grain" instead of just the white flour. I was midly impressed, and felt happy with my decision to buy one. I also got a couple of buckets with Gamma lids from the same place.
Look at me, gettin' all Mormon. It is kind of sickening, right?
Sure, say that to my face as I hand you a home-baked loaf of bread, I dare you.
If anyone has great recipes for homemade bread I'd love to hear them. Also, if anyone knows where to get gluten or dough enhancer around here, that'd be just super. ;) I am guessing whole foods, possibly trader joe's... perhaps I'll be makin' a trip after I take C to scouts.

The Boys Vs. The Girls

I forgot to put this one on my prior family picture post. I found these signs when I did a prior shoot at the rose garden, and I thought it'd be fun to have them side by side somewhere.


In other news, when I posted the pictures on facebook I got a lot of love, but mostly I got a lot of love for my jacket -- which, I got on sale from Kohls.com for like 10 bucks. Feel the joy. Go Kohls.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

OMG, My Post is on Lara's Blog Today!

Lara texted me this fine AM at 6:30 in the morning... and I was like, "OMG, my post is on her blog today... I need to write something witty on my blog." And I drug myself out to my computer to do just such a thing. Of course, I'm pretty sure she was getting me back for texting her at almost 11 pm last night. We're just getting used to this darn time difference.

I'm fairly sure I've linked to Lara's blog more than any other, for we have been blog buddies from the very beginning. Really, like the first week or so. I saw her blog link on the 2P's message board and I clicked on it, and for a few days we literally had the same blog topic, every. day. We are sisters from different wombs. She is there for me in ways that other friends just can't be. She gets me. In an oddity, I am more like her husband and she is more like Drew, but we totally get each other, always. It doesn't hurt that our husbands are both in the music business, we have kids almost the exact same ages and we're both from the heart of happy valley (I went to high school with her husband -- and she knows Drew from music classes at BYU). Sadly, the story could've gone a whole other way if Lara had been a Music Dance Theater major at BYU. I just couldn't be friends with a Young Ambassador. Sorry. Luckily she did vocal music and while she loves Opera, I can forgive that. Almost. She was actually the very first person I called when I found-out I was having a girl. Even before I told my mom. Sorry mom.

For those of her readers who clicked over here -- Lara's doing great. I actually added text messaging just so we could stay in touch while she is on her move. It sounded like the drive wasn't too horrible, and they're settling in to their new place (which closed just fine, phewsh!). I think her internet will be up on Friday. I'm sure it's killing her. :)

Yesterday we went to the Boardwalk. Honestly, I don't think we'd been for like 5 years. I think I went when I was first pregnant with S and being hot, and considering fried twinkies just didn't go over real well for me.... shockingly. They have 75 cent nights on Monday and Tuesday, which is a great deal (rides, hot dogs, cotton candy and drinks are all 75 cents) and it made for some good times for the boys.

The sad news, my boys take my timid genes. Spencer would get in line for a ride, and about 3 steps in decided he needed to go potty, or cry, or both. When we went to 6 flags I was just fine with him getting out of line, but somehow, last night, I decided it wasn't fine anymore and we pushed him. Drew did a lot of sweet talk, finally he'd get on the ride (lines weren't too bad last night) and he'd love it. Slowly he realized that perhaps we wouldn't lead him astray. I was careful not to put him on rides that he would think was awfully scary, but he enjoyed the ones I did hand-pick for him. In other news, the kid's literally a menace on the bumper cars, it was hilarious! Anyway, this morning after I was awoken to the text (maybe I need to turn off the sounds with texting) I was realizing how God does the same thing. He's not going to put us on a ride that's to scary for us, but I am often in the "line" getting ready to cry that I need to go potty.

After sending them on a ride Drew and I always quick to make sure they realize what amazing ride-pickers we are and we know what they'll enjoy (funny, they have yet to fall down and worship us) I know God hand-picks things for me that I wouldn't pick for myself, that's for sure... but I need to remember he always has my interests at heart. Just some rides look awfully scary, don't they? I also need to remember get a funnel cake every now and then, although I'm not sure how that fits into my analogy, I had my first one last night, and it was awfully tasty!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Looking At Yourself

Lately I've been wondering a lot what I look like to other people. Not so much that I obsess over what they think about me, but just kind of in a curiosity way.

Taking the family pictures has been a bit of an eye opener. I kind of picture myself as a fat blob who just kind of rolls herself from place to place and while I am not satisfied with how thin my thighs are, I do think the weight loss is visible, and that's a happy thing.

But, it's not just looks... I wonder what people think about me.

For instance, I invite people to a lot of things, and part of me wonders if people find me needy -- like I need people around me. I mean, I do... but I mostly want people to feel included, and like I like them. Because I do. I even like you.

I also talk a lot. I annoy myself sometimes, but I just can't stop.

I also have a lot of vulgar female stories, and I figure that's just endearing -- some people might be bothered by it.

But, I am thankful I don't obsess over it. I do wonder every now and then though.... don't you?

A Word to the Wise

One of our doctors (at my hospital, not my own personal physician) was recently found guilty of sexual battery. Word to the wise: When your doctor does a pelvic or breast exam in the office he should have another person come in. My doctor's a woman and even she has someone come in. It's just a smart practice.
Honestly, I have no idea how you'd say that your doctor touched you inappropriately during female exam... seems like all the parts they're touching are pretty dang inappropriate... but he was found guilty.
Do your doctors have someone come in?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

12 Years Ago

This was supposed to be posted yesterday, but I just didn't get around to it.

Really, how do you go from this:

to this:

Hint, 12 years...

We finally got around to taking our new family pictures yesterday. Huge props to Keri who I had in Young Womens a LONG time ago, and is now interested in photography. Honestly, I don't think we're a great practice session, but hopefully it wasn't too painful. I kept thinking back to that day, 1 year ago when I gave Drew 11 bottles of Dr. Pepper with a nice EPT stick in the middle showing our lives were gonna change, once again -- for the better.

Although, if it was possible, she does make taking family pictures EVEN WORSE. So, tell me which one's your favorite. I was gonna number these, but I forgot. Sorry, but I am gonna print one up big (I'm not sure any of these are worth a canvas, I think I might wait til' P is a bit older and more smiley for the camera) -- and I'd love to hear which you think is the best.

And finally, some of my favorites, although they are a bit less than perfect .... if you can imagine that. :)


Happy Anniversary Mr. E., when we knelt across the alter oh so many years ago I don't think we ever pictured our life like this. I think I should entitle this little series "commitment" for that is what it shows. I was thinking about putting my subtitle "it's a crazy life, but it's our life" but those particular people show less than commitment. And for me, that's just not cool. Drew and I were talking a little bit about the sacrfices we give in order to have a happy marriage and I think it's admirable of people to do it, and to stick with it in these days. And you've gotta laugh a lot in marriage, or you'll cry... hence the subtitle I chose. BTW, bottom left picture is how P is most happy. She LOVES to stand up. Loves it. Go P.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Shortcuts to Coupons

I just saved 75% on my grocery bill, and here's how:
Cellfire
Shortcuts
These are e-coupons that can be added to your club card (I use a Safeway card here), and they're automatically taken off when you scan your card (or punch-in your number). BUT, here's where the savings comes: You stack a store sale (or a store coupon), plus an e-coupon, PLUS a paper coupon. As a glitch in the system (and I'm pretty sure this is gonna get solved at some point). cellfire and shortcuts each have their own coupons and they aren't coordinated at all. SO, you can use a cellfire coupon AND a shortcuts coupon. Let me give an example:
Huggies Diapers were 9.99 last week (I was just trying this out to see how it worked then)
cellfire had a save 3$ on 2
shortcuts had a 1.50 off one
and I had 2 paper coupons totalling 3.50
Math:
Huggies sale price of 9.99 (x2) - 4.50 in e-coupons -3.50 in regular coupons gives you 2 packs for 11.98. But wait, there's more! There was an overlap on the 1.50 coupons (I'm not sure how this happens, but if you clip them every other week, new ones show up and they overlap) which gave me another 1.50 off -- bringing it to 10.48 for 2 packs. Halla.

Another example:
Betty Crocker warm delights are on sale for 1.69
2 shortcut coupons of .50 cents each
2 cellfire coupons of .50 cents each
1 paper coupon for 50 cents (on http://www.bettycrocker.com/)
Math:
1.69
-1.00 (cellfire)
-1.00 (shortcuts)
-0.50 (paper)
equals an overage of 81 cents -- that's right, they PAID me 80 cents to take this little gem home.
There are lots of new coupons put on all that time (on shortcuts and cellfire) so check back often, esp before you go to the store.

Good deals for me this week (most of these had cellfire, shortcuts and paper coupons):
  • Betty Crocker Brownie Supremes Mix
  • Chex Mix
  • Fruit roll-ups and BC fruit snacks (which also have a "super coupon" at safeway -- AND if you buy 4 youg et 2.50 off your next purchase)
  • Nature Valley Granola Bars (which also have a "super coupon" at safeway -- AND if you buy 4 youg et 2.50 off your next purchase)
  • Betty Crocker Cookie Mies
  • Gogurt
  • Honey Nut Cherrios
Let me figure out what a great deal the fruit Snacks were....
Let's see, I bought 4 for 4 bucks (Safeway Super coupon)
I had e coupons totalling 4.45
and I had paper coupons totaling 1.80
AND I got 2.50 on my next shopping trip, courtesy of General Mills
So, I got 4.75 to take these off their hands.
Go me. And go you.

YES, it takes a fair amout of figuring out. For me, it was an hour with windows open with the Shortcuts page, the cellfire page and the safeway page (so I could check prices on the items). But, worth the time to stock the shelves, especially with school coming back into session, the gogurts and fruit snacks make a great addition to lunches!

One last reminder, the store coupons only come off once. They are all used on one item. So don't think that I could buy a bunch and still get away with it, because you can't. They're like one coupon that you clipped -- only it's kept on your card. I hope this all makes sense! Let me know if you have questions! Oh, and I took all 3 kids with me, mostly just to prove to myself that I could do it. And I did. ;)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Comprende?

Spencer is a big reader, he can read anything, including the scriptures. However, following in the footsteps of his older brother, he has no idea what he's reading, and I'm not sure he even cares. This summer I've really tried to ask questions while we're reading together and show him that if he doesn't understand something he can ask, or use the other words to help him understand.

Anyway, what have you guys done to help with reading comprehension?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Super Interesting Article

After years of working out I came to the conclusion that it wasn't going to make me thin -- and now, research is finding out the same thing. My cousin Bryce again linked this one on his blog:
Exercise Won't Make You Thin
Although calorie counting is working for him, it didn't work for me. However, I am back on eating consciously... but also realizing it's hard to do with 3 people demanding attention during the day. I was reading my blog entries of how I lost it the first time (I lost about 30 pounds before I got pregnant -- I am up about 10 from that point, courtesy of lack of sleep, I'm fairly sure). So, from this point I have about 40 pounds to lose. I really want to lose it, I want to be able to do more with my kids, and frankly look less frumpy.
Allergies are killin' me today though. What do you guys do for your allergies? Right now I've just taken a zyrtec daily, but it's not cuttin' it right now.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Moments of Pride

The shift to being back at home is tiring, as is any shift. I'm slowly remembering my kids don't listen to me, they talk the entire day and they are exceedingly slow... so I have to take joy in the tiny things.:
1. P is awfully tiny, and it's fun to find joy in her. I have yet to have to yell at her, or ask her to stop talking. She does babble every now and then, but I can totally take that kind of talk. I love it when she pauses for my answer, and then goes on.
2. I wrote a funny facebook status update.
3. My kids had pool stuff piled precariously on the passenger seat of the minivan and I had to make a quick stop at a stoplight, my hand shot-out and caught all of it -- pretty proud of myself I am.
Really, it's the little things (because the big things only happen a couple of times a year).

Monday, August 10, 2009

Interesting

My cousin lead me to this interesting report on Mormonism -- by statistics. It's pretty interesting.

Home Again Home Again Jiggidy Jog

It's my first official day of being home. I feel so crazed about getting a ton done.

I know this will be difficult for you to believe, but Drew and I just don't have the same cleaning standards. Today I took the produce drawers out of the fridge (which is probably not something that even occured to him) and OMG, it was nasty. Anyway, now my kitchen doth sparkle and I feel like I'm getting back into my groove.

I bet it's just as hard on the kids having me home as it is on myself, so I think I'll take us all for ice cream after lunch as a treat for us making it through. Go team. On a side note, my baby is just so gosh darn adorable. I simply haven't had much time to enjoy her lately. Today we were playing and talking and I just loved it. I know for sure Drew is missing that time while he's at band camp.

And I know what you're all thing, "this one time... and band camp...." and no, I've NEVER heard that one before....

Friday, August 07, 2009

Back to Eating Consciously

With the funk and working so much has come eating to just get through the day. Eating to stay awake, eating to find some pleasure -- but it's showing when I look at the scales. I am now 10 pounds over where I was about 2 weeks after I had Paige. {sigh}
Now that work is almost done it's time to get back to eating consciously. My own steps for that:
1. Eat when I'm hungry (the key is to not get STARVINGLY hungry, because then you reflexively over-eat).
2. Enjoy what I'm eating. So often as a mom I'm plowing through food just to get something in my body I don't really enjoy it. Not cool.
3. Stop when you're full. While I still have yet to really figure out the "full" point, while enjoying my food I ask myself if I'm still hungry, really hungry -- not just wanting to eat.
4. Not be afraid to box-up leftovers or throw food away. It's a big issue with me and my money-saving habits but I have to remind myself that I am not a human waste can. The food does no better in me than it'd do in the garbage or the compost bin (really wanting to buy a compost bin -- but that's another story for another day).
5. Also, I saw somewhere that 1/2 of your plate should be fruits or veggies. I like that idea, and it's an easy way to visualize it. I think I'm gonna try to gear our meals this way, when possible.

I'm trying to do 20 minute'ish workouts. We can't pretend that my life is particularly sedentary and I find that when I'm doing the really long and hard workouts in the AM that I am really tired come the afternoon, I am also trying to be realistic in the fact that I have 3 kids to get up, ready and going to school in about 2 weeks. Lindsay Brin has just come-out with some new workout tapes for moms. They're all under 30 minutes, with several options on them, and they're 50% off this month. I got a few of them for some variations. I also really like her core methods -- I am really starting to figure out what she's talking about when she says pelvic floor. One of them says it's a "tummy tuck without the surgery" -- I'll let you know how that claim works out. :)

Go Me.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Back to School!

Tomorrow, Drew is back and I will welcome my life back with the 3 kiddos, taking the reigns. Drew starts band camp, which -- although he's not paid for it -- is the longest week of the year for him, 8-5 every day and lots of stuff to do once he's home. It's hard to go from full time manny to full time teacher... where, oh where is the in-between?

Anyway, I realized on Monday that I needed to take the boys for their back to school trips. So far it's only been Conner, but now I needed to take Spencer for his trip as well. I give each child 20 bucks to pick a first of school outfit out. I think in the past I've done 25, but I found them new undies and shoes already during the summer, so I decreased it to 20...

And then comes the misery. I am HUGELY interested in my kids learning how to deal with money, and use it effectively -- but that's not to say that I enjoy watching them do it. Do they get this top, or that top -- they like one more, but one's cheaper. It's the same things that go through my own mind (I just do it a LOT faster). I took Conner today, and we had the added bonus of him bringing along some allowance money to spend. {sigh}

However, kids need to know how to spend money. They have to be given money, and the opportunity to use it... it just isn't fun {for me}.

Conner said he had a great time, and we also had some nice talks about who he wants for his teacher, what he's excited about, etc. It's just a good thing to do. I did it with Spencer yesterday, but somehow it wasn't as painful. Probably because I really want Conner to understand the whole money thing. He's always trying to borrow from me. I bet you can all guess how that goes over...

A few things I found-out:
1. Short sleeve shirts are already on clearance and in many instances, they're gone! How weird is that?
2. Kid to Kid is having their clearance. Stuff with the special tags are 25-50% off plus if you buy 3, you get 2 free -- AND if you mention the coupon you get another 10% off of that. I went yesterday and got 16 pairs of pants for 45 bucks, I took Conner today and we got 5 shirts for 11 dollars. I think both kids are pretty well set for the year now. Oh, and I also found-out that you can join their "book club" and get a free book for your kids each month you shop there. Conner chose How to Eat Fried Worms. As always, if you're there, you can get a 3 dollar credit by mentioning me or my blog!
3. One on one time is a valuable tool, esp. now that I have three. I don't feel like it happens much at home.
4. Still kind of in a funk. What do you suggest?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Snap Out of It

Having a harder time than I thought with yesterday.
Still.
Of course, this is great since the thing that cured me of post partum depression before was going to work, and guess who works her last shift this week... well, not "last shift" but band camp does start next week.
And if that doesn't bring on depression, I don't know what will.
Anyway, hoping to snap out of this sometime soon...

Monday, August 03, 2009

Postpartum Flash

Did a fetal demise at work today. Really emotionally killing me. I wonder if 3 months out was too soon. I figured I needed to jump back in at some point. It's just hard to imagine my life without my little P - -but with one kink of the cord my world would be a whole other story.
I would like to go lay on my bed and cry, but I'm a woman with dinner to make. Everyone needs a cause, right? :)

The Blog About Glasses

I thought I'd share what happened in my glasses saga.... I went to the eye doctor with contacts that I could barely see out of (shh... don't tell the cops). I told him I wanted a new contacts prescription. He went on and on with some phony baloney about how I just won't see as well with contacts. I came out with contacts that I can actually see out of. He's given me the same shpeil the last couple of years but this year I was just not gonna take it anymore. Our optical insurance has a glasses program so I got one pair through that one (it was about 50 dollars after insurance through his optical) but then 39 dollar glasses.com had a sale where Drew and I both got some for 38 total... pretty sweet deal. You can see them all here:



Top is my old boring pair and then you see the 39 dollar glasses. I think they're just fine, except I got the thicker lenses (to be cheap). I didn't know how the whole online ordering thing would work out and I didn't want to shell out a bunch for thinner lenses if it wasn't gonna work. So, now those glasses a a little hard to wear. Things are a bit fish-eyed on the edges. Yesterday I went to a couple of garage sales and I kept thinking there was a step down when there wasn't.


The bottom ones are the ones I got from the eye doctor office. I went out on a limb and got butterflies on the edges, but I ended-up really liking them. Still not sure about the butterfly though. It's also been rough just getting used to the thicker plastic frames. You see them all the time, which can get a bit over-stimulating. What do you guys think?


As a side-note to ordering glasses online, I didn't realize this but I have a VERY small face (and an obviously large brain, no comments from the peanut gallery please). Anyway, it helped to try some on at the eye doctor and figure out what size lenses look best on me. You can also find-out by measuring your current glasses. If you have questions, feel free to email. I was a bit daunted by the whole thing. Drew (pictured right) went a bit more haphazardly about the whole thing, and he ended-up liking them. It's fun to have something different either way.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

This is What I've Become


I literally made all of these hair box, except for one today. Seriously, today. I've had the stretch lace sitting around for a while but today I Figure was the day to get it done.
Remember when pink in high doses made me sick, and now I'm addict!
I need help people, help me.
She really does look about 10 times cuter with a hair bow on though. I only speak the honest truth. I swear on my hairbows.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

A Woman With a Past

Sometimes I forget I have a past, at least while I'm in California. There's not a single person here (on a full time basis) who remembers me prior to the age of 25, which is when we moved to this lovely state. They have no idea who I was before that, and most likely they don't care.

All of that changed recently when my OLDEST friend moved just north of us. Well, I think she's my oldest, one friend might have her beat by just a bit, but let's just say we go WAY back, further than Kindergarten. It's amazing to think that I've known her since I was Spencer's age. And this was back in the day when we'd spend hours and hours at each other's houses just playing and running between yards. For a while we even lived next door to each other.

Anyway, it was so fun to sit back and reminisce. Sometimes you get back with friends and there's an awkward silence because of all the time that's past, but not with her. She even has two adorable girls who play with my boys and her husband was in band.
Good.
Times.

I know if I had stayed in Utah I'd be around people who had known me forever all the time, but here it seems like a treasure, to be able to talk old times with someone, who can realize how ludicrous our up-bringing was.

And yes Laurie, I wrote a blog about it. I sent my husband for yogurt and didn't have much else to do. But really, we had a lovely time this evening. We should do it monthly, or as marching band schedules will allow.

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