Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Church Clothes

We're a week behind on wearing our Christmas clothes to church. We were traveling last Sunday, so they wore their new duds yesterday. We enjoyed going to church with Nate's sister, Becky and her family. Harrison and Jonluke are 6 weeks apart, so they we very excited to go to primary together.

Thanks to my mom for providing the outfits. She even made that darling little plaid pleated skirt. I love how preppy it is.
For those who remember the fiasco with the boots in our family pictures, I'm happy to report that Elizabeth now loves her "pretty boots." She agreed to wear them to church one week when it was really snowy and Daddy made a big deal about how pretty her boots were. Then she got all sorts of attention for them at church. She wanted to wear them every day that week and has loved them ever since. Should I be disturbed that my less than 2 year old is already enjoying getting attention for cute shoes? She really is a girl. And both of her parents care about that kind of thing, so I guess it's inevitable. I actually love that she loves all things pretty.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Much More Merry

I don't have much time or any pictures, but I need to get it on the record that the Grinchiness has passed. Amid two crazy weeks of stress (which I'm sure you all had too) there were some very merry moments that I'll post about later with pictures. And now that we're in Utah, sleeping in until 9:45 (thanks honey, for getting up with Harrison) and relaxing in our pajamas with the Christmas tree in front of me and the snow covered mountains behind me, with snow falling peacefully down, I am feeling much better.

The night I posted the Grinch post, I did have a "heart grew three sizes that day" moment. Elizabeth took a late nap because of our late church schedule. Late naps always make for a very grumpy wake-up. So she was bawling and would not stop. I tried everything and finally couldn't take it any more, so I put her in time out. After several more minutes of her screaming I asked Harrison if he could go in there and try to cheer her up. He went in and sweet as can be started quizzing her on all of her body parts (Sissie, where's you nose? Where's your belly button?) She immediately stopped crying. After going through all of her body parts, he quizzed her on all of his (Sissie, where's Harrison's hair? Where's Harrison's toes?) Then he said, "Okay, are you ready for one more chance? No more crying or mommy's going to put you back in time out." And then they emerged from the room holding hands.

After a stressful week and a long Sunday, it was so nice to have Harrison be so helpful and so sweet to his sister. I remembered my mom always saying she wanted kids who were nice to each other when we asked what she wanted for Christmas, and I totally related. As a mother, there is nothing more heart warming than seeing your kids truly love each other and be kind to each other.

I have a lot of catching up to do on here and unfortunately already down loaded my pictures onto my home computer, so I'll have to do those when we get home in two weeks. I'm looking forward to these two weeks of enjoying family, friends, food, and very few responsibilities. I should have plenty of time to blog about it all too, which will be nice.

I'm also very happy to report that for the first time ever, Elizabeth did a great job on the drive here. She didn't cry like she usually does for hours at a time. She did replaced the non-stop crying with non-stop talking. Every time she saw a semi she said, "fire truck" over and over again until we acknowledged her. Nate was determined to teach her that it was not a fire truck, just a normal truck. We also decided to just let her go and see how many times she would repeat something if we didn't acknowledge her. We got to about 30 before I couldn't take it anymore. She's so funny. She really is at a darling stage and warmed up to Nate's family quite quickly. Harrison was so excited to get here that he asked literally every ten minutes if we were half-way there yet. He kept saying, "I'm so exciting to go to Utah. I just can't wait."

I'm pretty exciting about it too.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Despite the goal I made on Monday to not raise my voice for at least the rest of '08, we have had a bit of Grinchiness this week on the part of yours truly and the children. So much for "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!"
Monday morning, this happened.

If you read my last post, you recognize that those are two of my special Christmas dishes, and that I only get one place setting of each pattern, so that's it. And it's discontinued. I didn't get angry though, just sad. It really was an accident and Harrison apologized several times throughout the day, and it was so sincere and sweet. Elizabeth is kind of fixated on broken things, so she keeps pointing to the hutch where the dishes are and saying, "Boten, Sesan" (broken, Harrison). Today, she threw a plate on the floor and it broke. After sending her to time out, I took her over to the trash can to show her the broken pieces and tell her how naughty that was and the first thing she did was point to the hutch and remind me that "Sesan boten." Don't try to shift the blame Little Miss, his was an accident.

Tuesday night, Harrison had his pre-school Christmas program. They've been practicing for weeks. He had sung most of the songs to me at home. But he didn't sing at the program, despite being front and center. Not one word. Just looked tired and somewhat miserable. He came straight to me at the end and said, "I didn't sing." Ya, I noticed. So I asked why. "Because I hate Christmas." "What?? Why??" "If there's one thing I hate it's the NOISE." Okay, so maybe we've watched Grinch one too many times. I'm surprised he didn't say, "It's the noise, noise, noise noise."

Here the kids are waiting to make their entrance. His facial expression should have tipped me off.

Here he is after the program, still looking grinchy.

Once we got home I got him smiling. Notice that my left eye looks smaller than my right.
Well, I have been sick since last week. Tuesday morning I woke up with an ear ache and a sty in my eye. I went to the Dr. and sure enough I had an ear infection. She gave me antibiotics for that, but said there wasn't much I could do about the sty. I've had them before and usually they pass quickly and aren't that big of a deal.

Well, this was me Wednesday morning.

And by Thursday morning it looked even worse!

Friday it was still pretty bad. It's now Sunday and it's looking better, but still not gone. I keep thinking I'm so grateful that I don't have any permanent facial deformities. I don't like feeling self-conscious and ugly. And of course, this was our ultra-busy, typical December week. So a lot of people were exposed to the hideousness.

Thursday was the day Harrison's teacher picked to celebrate his birthday (since he has a summer b-day). He wanted Santa Cookies, Reindeer Cookies and Sleigh Cookies. I came through on two out of three.

I actually really get a kick out of making stuff like this. I must admit, I was surprised and disappointed that his teachers didn't say ONE WORD about the darling cookies. I guess it was silly to expect lavish praise. . .

Thursday night we had an appointment to see Santa at the library. Harrison had been very excited about it for weeks. I purposely picked a night that Nate would be able to go with us, not realizing it was ward temple night and his other calling is something along the lines of "encouraging people to go to ward temple night," so he didn't get to come after all. And as usual, things without Daddy (especially at night, after a very busy day) are not that fun. Some of the lowlights were -Harrison wrestling with some friends and a couple of strangers in the middle of the floor (in front of about 50 people), causing a 2 year old to get a bloody lip -Me bringing all the hair stuff to do their hair while we waited for our turn, EXCEPT for a comb (which is the key to doing cute pigtails) and apparently no one else carries combs with them (I usually have one in my purse, that's why I didn't bring one, but it wasn't in there) -Harrison purposely and defiantly splashing water all over his shirt minutes before it was our turn to take pictures -My eye being at it's peak of ugliness that day -Elizabeth being terrified of Santa and crying for all the pictures. There was really nothing Merry or Christmasy about the feelings I was having that night, which made me feel like the worst mother on earth.

Harrison got lectured the whole way home and was feeling really bad. I later found him with the camera. He had taken this picture (a blurry close up of his PJs).
When asked what he was doing he said something about checking to see if his heart was two sizes too small. That made my heart feel two sizes too small (at that point I was surprised it could get any smaller, but I guess mother guilt can do that).

I'm sad to report that I'm still waiting for the "heart grew three sizes that day" day.

Friday, December 5, 2008

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It has been so nice to have the decorations put up early and enjoy them this week. Especially because we've had more snow, which really adds to the special Christmas Spirit! The other morning Harrison wanted to have a picnic, but the ground was covered in snow, so he settled for an indoor picnic.

Yesterday Elizabeth was admiring my pigtails (it's the only other option I have if I don't actually do my hair) and it dawned on me that her hair was finally long enough for real pigtails. She was being pretty cute posing for the camera.
Harrison came home very excited that they had made gingerbread "houses" at school. If I had known a one dimensional graham cracker with the corners cut off to make it look like a roof was enough to make him happy, we would have been doing gingerbread "houses" years ago!
Here are some pics of the decorations. Notice the $20, 6 foot Wal-Mart special that I had to beg Nate to let me get our 2nd Christmas. I actually don't mind it. We never stay home for Christmas anyway. I always say the first year we stay home, we'll get a nice tree. Maybe even a real one, I LOVE the smell of real Christmas trees! I have no shame about putting it up on this table to make it look more substantial.

We hate how ugly our Craig's List couch is, so I decided to cover it up with the darling Christmas quilt my mom made me. Then the usual black and white curtains just didn't match the rest of the Christmas decor. So I remembered this long piece I red fabric I had stored away and voila - a festive looking window treatment was born (see above pictures).
I love my nativity that I collected a few pieces at time for several years. I'm sure it's not done growing yet.

I started a tradition of collecting one place setting of Christmas dishes every year a few years ago. I've always had trouble figuring out how to display them. Well, thanks to a friend of a friend who gave us this hutch, I finally have the perfect place to put them this year! Bytheway, I'm having trouble finding one I like for this year. Usually Target or Kohl's comes through for me, but I didn't like their selections this year. So if anyone sees some cute Christmas dishes while you're out and about, let me know.

We also got a little more into the Christmas spirit on the outdoor decorations this year. It's still not much, but we're working on it. I was very happy that Nate bought an extension cord and figured out how to get it all hooked up. It was against his somewhat bah-humbugish nature.

It's so fun to see Harrison get even more into Christmas this year. He loves singing Silent Night and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. He looks forward to taking another link off of his Christmas chain every night. He watches the cartoon of the Grinch at least three times a day. And he told me today that, "Santa is nocturnal because he comes in the night." Quite an impressive observation!

Harrison's list gets longer with every toy commercial he sees. I'm having trouble deciding what to get Elizabeth though. Other than dolls, doll accessories, toy dishes and toy food, does anyone have any good suggestions for a 2 year old girl? (Her b-day is a week after Christmas, so I need even more ideas!)

I hope you are all enjoying the most wonderful time of the year as much as we are!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

3 Saturdays and A Sunday (kind of)

I don't know about you, but as far as I'm concerned we've just had 4 Saturdays in a row. I haven't known what day it is as we laze around, eat, decorate for Christmas (while watching the snow fall peacefully outside - it couldn't be more perfect!), do fun family activities and just enjoy life. Then today at church they'd had trouble with the heater earlier in the day, so the Bishop sent us all home after Sacrament Meeting. They thought the classrooms would be too cold, but I went in all of them to collect the trash (apparently that is part of the job description of Young Women's President in this Stake) and they weren't cold at all. After all the lazing and being somewhat cooped up, I had been looking forward to 2 hours of adult time sans kids, but everyone else seemed really happy to go home. So today has ended up feeling like the rest of the days of this long weekend. I'm not complaining, I'm just saying, after 4 Saturdays in a row, I'm not dreading Monday as much as usual.

We loved having Uncle Andrew come visit us from BYU this week. He is such a fun-loving, easy-going, helpful, happy guy, who is so easy to have around. Harrison greatly anticipated his arrival and has been really missing him since he left this morning. He even requested to call Andrew a few minutes after he left because he, "forgot to tell him Happy Thanksgiving." So we did. It was sweet. Here are a few pictures from T-Day. We had our friend Tiffany and her darling daughters over, plus another sweet family from the ward and our neighbor Dave (whose daughters are in our ward, he goes to another ward). The kids mostly ran around like crazy the whole time. Notice the Spiderman "wallet" that Harrison is holding in every picture. He got it at Chuck E. Cheese's on Weds. and hasn't put it down since. He sleeps with it every night. I guess is was worth the 300 tickets it cost. Seriously, 300? That seemed high to me (listen to me talking like an expert on Chuck E. Cheese prizes).
Apparently Harrison has entered the "creating things from junk" stage that I have observed other children his age go through. He is loving the tape, tin foil, paper etc. Here's one of his creations he made on Thanksgiving morning.
Harrison had been begging to go bowling for days, so we finally went on Friday. After a little training from Dad, he got the idea, and didn't have to use the ramp like he had in the past. His strategy was, what I like to call drop and ditch. He would simply drop the ball, turn around and run away. Why bother watching to see what the ball does? The bumpers are going to guarantee you get some pins down and everyone is going to praise you no matter what.
I am sad to report that after countless bowling dates with Nate in high school and an entire semester of a bowling class at BYU, I only beat my 4 year old by about 12 points. I did get 2 strikes and was happy to find out that our old tradition of getting a kiss for every strike was still in effect. (PDA is hard to come by from Nathan). Unfortunately, the kisses were not nearly as thrilling as when I was a teenager, but hey, it was still fun!

Yesterday we went sledding/snowboarding. I forced myself out of my comfort zone and went for one ride on the sled. (I don't like risky activities where I feel out of control). I screamed most of the way down,
and was grateful when I realized I could use my hands as breaks to slow down. Andrew was carefree as usual. This was a much bigger hill than what Harrison was used to, so Nate held on to him most of the way down. He is showing so much improvement each time he does it and seems to like it more and more as well.
Here are Rew and Elizabeth watching them go down.I have also spent a fair amount of time playing nurse to each of my family members the last few days. WARNING - The next few pictures are kind of graphic!
Harrison got a bloody nose right when we sat down to eat Thanksgiving dinner. Elizabeth fell off the bed and hit her head on a spare printer that was on the floor. She spilt her scalp open.
It looked pretty bad, but it wasn't bleeding much, and after the initial crying, she was totally fine. So I took my usual route of avoiding the ER like the plague. We peroxided it and super glued it up ourselves. She was SO cooperative and she's seemed fine since. Even if it leaves an ugly scar, it won't matter, because it's in her hair.
Last Thursday, Nate got this removed.
It's a scar from a birthmark he had removed in high school. It seemed to be coming back and looked kind of suspicious, so he finally got it looked at. The doctor didn't think it was cancerous, but thought it would be a good idea to remove it anyway and said he could make it look better. Does this look like it's going to look better to you? It seriously looks like a pre-schooler or extremely intoxicated individual stitched this thing up. It makes me so upset every time I look at it. In hindsight, I realize that we totally rushed into this surgery without really thinking it through. It probably didn't even need to be done. He is missing out on most of his usual activities because he is supposed to take it easy, it's going to cost who knows how much, he's going to have a worse scar, and I have clean the nasty thing out and redress it every night. Here is all the equipment used in the nightly ritual.
I could really use a nurse myself. I have developed a serious pain in the neck. It has been bothering me on and off for over a week now, but today is the worst. It hurt so bad this morning, I felt like throwing up. It hurts down into my shoulder and gives me a headache. I'm probably going try going to a chiropractor tomorrow, but they make me nervous. It is the exact same neck pain/headache that I get in the 2nd trimester of my pregnancies. But I don't get the reward of a cute little baby this time. And I don't have the comfort of knowing that it will go away in a month or two. I am nervous that it is going to bother me for the rest of my life. Enough complaining, though.
So that's what we've been up to these 3 Saturdays and a Sunday (kind of). Whew, that was a long post!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Day of Firsts - Updated

I DID IT!!! As you probably remember, I took up running in July. I WAS NOT a runner, I HATED running and I HAD NO DESIRE to become a runner. But my friend, Jenni, talked me into trying it and was such a huge inspiration and a great motivator. I started with a tenth of a mile at a time (yes, that's about one minute's worth). I set a goal to run the Turkey Day 5K and 4 1/2 months later, I just did it! Notice how happy we look. That's because we had just barely started running!

So I had actually done several practice runs that were 3.1 miles just to make sure I could do it and even ran 4 miles the other night. So I was pretty confident. I was only worried about running it outside because of hills and cold. We had practiced running outside, but not in a while. The first half of it was uphill and I really wanted to quit, but wouldn't let myself, of course. The 2nd half was mostly downhill, so that was really nice. There were a few little hills at the end.

Knowing Nate and the kids were waiting for me at the finish really helped keep me going. I feel really great that my kids know that I take care of myself and that I can set that example for them. It was so nice to hear Nate and Harrison both say how proud they were of me. Nate really was impressed, because he of all people knows how absolutely out of character that was for me. I guess I am a runner now, but I still don't really love it. I enjoy the sense of accomplishment and knowing that I am healthy enough to do it. I don't hate every minute of it like I used to. Who knows if I'll ever really love it, but I think I'm going to keep it up for now.
Here's a not very cute action shot!

I was worried that I would hold Jenni back because she pushes herself much more than I do. So we had said we wanted to do it in under 33 minutes. My fastest I'd done it on the treadmill was 32.24 and hers was 29 something, but her fastest in a race was 32.30. So we were shooting for around there. I am happy to say we did it in 31.06!!! We said we'd love to do one under 30 next time. We'll see about that! So now that I've got that out of the way, I need to conquer another first today. . .my first turkey! Somehow I've gotten out of making the turkey every one of my 29 years. Even the one other year I hosted. So today's the day. After talking to lots of people and doing research on-line I decided to try brining it in vegetable stock, apple juice, garlic, water, salt, brown sugar and a few other herbs and spices. Hopefully it will be as successful as the 5K. And hopefully I'll make it through the holiday without throwing up like I have the past two years. No, these were not bulimia induced episodes, although the thought crosses my mind each year. One was pregnancy related and one was stomach flu. On that appetizing note, I'm going to go start cooking! I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am so thankful for all of my friends and family that I get to keep in touch with through this blog! (And a number of other things, but that's another post!)

So, it's later tonight. I just looked up my race results. We actually ran it in 31.04 (2 seconds faster than I thought). I was 535rd place in the race (out of about 2000), 188th place for women and 51st place in my division (female 20-29). I wish I knew how many women there were and how many were in my division, because otherwise, those numbers don't mean much.

As for the turkey. . .not as successful as I hoped it would be. It just seemed like a lot of effort that didn't pay off. It didn't taste any better than any other turkey I've ever had. In fact, it was probably some of my least favorite I've ever had. But that was probably because I had my hopes up that it would be amazing. Also, I took it out when the meat thermometer said it was ready, but then when I went to cut it, it was still not all the way cooked in the middle. That grossed me out/frustrated me because everyone was waiting and hungry, so it probably contributed to why I didn't like it much. Thankfully, all the side dishes were great. It was so nice that our guests contributed so much, and that what they brought was so good too. We also enjoyed their company! So overall, it was a great Thanksgiving. I guess it would have been too much to ask to have beginners luck in both of my Thanksgiving Firsts!