Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Random Road Trip Thoughts

We are a road trippin' family. Nate's family is. My family is. And now we are. Harrison understands this fact and has always been an excellent traveler (planes too!). Elizabeth, not so much. She cried (not full out crying the entire time, just general fussing) about 80% of the time on our way to Utah. At one point, she kept crying for Daddy, so calling him on the cell phone did the trick for a few minutes.
This is her after she woke up from her 45 minute nap (yes, only slept 45 minutes out of the 9 hour drive). My sister Katy was dancing and Elizabeth put up her dancing finger (think John Travlota) and just kind of held it there in a daze for several minutes. It was so funny.
Harrison slept, watched movies, talked (a lot) and sang (a lot). Mostly "All Star" (from Shrek), and "There is nothing to tough, nothing to tough, nothing to tough for us" (from Backyardigans) over and over. It was pretty cute. Harrison also reminded us to say a prayer before we left (sometimes he does this before a simple trip to Wal-Mart, funny kid). He said it and it was perfect. Too sweet.
The drive home was interesting. My dad, bless his heart, loves taking the scenic route. Even when a vomiting 11 year-old and an 18 month old who hates road trips are involved. So we took Highway 40 all the way back and got to drive through every little town between Utah and Colorado. I told my Dad he must have really related to the movie Cars and "The cutest little town in Carburetor County," that got neglected once the big highway was built. I must admit that it was a prettier drive, but until Elizabeth learns that she is part of a family that likes road trips, we'll be taking I-70, thank you very much. At least poor Katy saved all of her barfing for when we stopped and just slept most of the time. We did have to stop for her to "stretch her legs," so she got out and writhed around in the grass at a random cemetery. So, so pathetic.

I was grateful I had already had my turn with the flu. Thankfully Elizabeth did a really great job until about 5 PM, then she fussed the rest of the way home (3 1/2 more hours). All in all, it was a fun trip and better than last year when my Dad insisted on driving Highway 1 in CA. I was car sick the entire trip and Harrison threw up all over himself and the car seat at one point. We do laugh about it now.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Recovery Day (For Me, Not My Sick Boy)

I have not blogged in almost 2 weeks because my parents were in town and we all went to Utah. I was going through withdrawals without Internet access the whole time we were gone. I feel like I have a million things to blog about, but I don't know where to start! I guess I'll start with today and go back and worry about the rest later.

After a trip I always need at least one recovery day. Vacations (especially as a mom) are not always relaxing. In fact, traveling with kids is the exact opposite of relaxing. Everyone's off schedule, out of their comfort zones and generally cranky, especially Mommy! I am one who needs her downtime, hence the recovery day concept. So, my parents left late Saturday night, yesterday was my busy Sunday with 2 extra meetings, which mean over 5 hours of church (plus working on stuff for the meetings before and after). I'm not complaining, I love my calling, I'm just explaining why yesterday wasn't my recovery day. So today was the day. I was going to go running, but I went to bed way too late and was up during the night with a sick Harrison, so I didn't do that. I slept in while Harrison did who knows what. Then I spent most of the rest of the day doing my three guiltiest pleasures (which I did not get enough of in the last 2 weeks) talking on the phone, blogging, and catching up on my shows thanks to the best invention ever, DVR. I did shower (eventually), didn't do my hair, didn't leave the house, didn't really cook, and generally didn't do much of anything. Other than read over my lesson for Sunday

The fact that Harrison was sick all day helped to contribute to the vegging atmosphere. Poor baby. It's so sad when your kids are sick. But I do enjoy the motherly feelings of wanting to take care of them and help them feel better. I also don't mind the more mellow and lethargic version of my children every so often. This sickness was inevitable and I'm just surprised it didn't hit sooner. The reason is my mom got sick in Utah on Tuesday and everyday since then one of us has gotten it. It's been like clockwork. Tues-Mom, Weds-Me, Thurs-Katy, Fri-Dad, Sat-Elizabeth, Sun-Harrison. I assume Nate is next, but he claims he's doesn't get sick. (Tell that the Kelly and Erik's old bathroom wall that probably still has barf stains on it.) It was originally a stomach flu/incredibly achy/fever thing, and thankfully it only lasted 24 hours. I think it has mutated though, neither of my kids have had stomach problems, just fevers and it seems to be lasting a little longer. It was interesting to watch how everyone's perspective changed as we each got it. Before you get it you feel like the sick person is being a bit overly dramatic and wimpy. Then when you have it you totally understand why they were acting that way and then as the other people get it you are much more sympathetic. It was nice to be able to reassure everyone that they'd feel much better the next day.

So now that I've had my recovery day, I need to go to bed so I can get up and run tomorrow, actually do my hair, get the house put back together, go somewhere fun with the kids and try to get back into the swing of things (even though I'm leaving again soon!) Let's hope Harrison will be recovered by tomorrow too!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

SYTYCD - Week 6

I got to watch last night with my parents, my sister Katy, and Harrison. Harrison had a late nap and was told he could only keep watching with us if he stopped asking so many questions. His most typical question when watching that show is, "Mom, are they being mean, nice or serious?" Because in the past when he thought they were being mean I had explained that they were just being serious (passionate would go right over his head). Didn't I say I wasn't going to let him watch anymore? What am I doing?

Anyway, we had my traditional mint chip shakes that I have to have when watching the best show of the summer. And we were very entertained by great dancing!

My Top Three
Chelsie & Gev's Contemporary to the Ottis Redding song - Choreographed by Sonya (I think that's her name. The eccentric mow hawk girl who looks like Demi Moore)
Katee & Will's Pas de Dux (sp?) to Imagine by David Archuletta (I love it when FOX inbreeds the talent of their two amazing shows) - Choreographed by the two highly flaming ballerinos (seriously, there's a former male ballet dancer in our ward and he just told me Sunday that that's what they're called. I said if they're fat they can be called "ballerhinos.")
Courtney & Joshua's Rumba to Journey - Choreographed by Jean-Marc

Honorable Mention
The Hip-Hop choreographer they had on this week was really clever. I liked his story lines.
Twitch & Comfort's Futuristic Hip-Hop
Joshua & Courtney's Frankenstein Hip-Hop

I felt bad for Mark and Kherington. They could have been an amazing couple, but they really weren't given much to work with in the way of choreography. Two step and Jazz (with admittedly no story-line). They are both awesome performers, but there wasn't anything to really perform.

The boys definitely out-danced the girls on their solos. I love it when they put a story-line in their solos and you can tell they really planned it all out. Kudos to Will and Twitch for doing that. Joshua, Gev and Mark also danced really well. Out of the girls Kherington was my favorite. Poor Chelsie, it's hard to dance a ballroom solo, but she's always fabulous in her couple performances.

I must admit that I was sad to see Jessica out for her injury. She had just started growing on me. But she probably would have been the next girl to go. I'll be really curious to see who America votes off. It's getting much harder now! For the girls I'd say Comfort, again. (Double ouch). I really don't know for the guys, I love them all.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Party Time - Spidey Style!

Harrison's birthday party was this Saturday. My parents and little sister Katy arrived just in time from Virginia. We had 5 little boys over and it went quite well. Harrison was pretty tired (it was from 4:30-6:30 PM), so there were a few meltdowns (as you can see here).
Overall, it was a big success. My only regret was not taking enough pictures.
We did a Spiderman party because Harrison has been obsessed with Spiderman for almost a year now. (Before that it was Lightning McQueen and all things Cars). I had fun planning and creating all the Spiderman/spider activities. First, we did spider cookies.

Then a treasure hunt that led to Spiderman tee-shirts for all the boys. Here they all are shooting out webs like Spiderman.

We played games like pin Spiderman on the building and shooting the bad guys with webs (silly string).We made this hand-print spider craft (couldn't have handled 4 year-olds with black paint on their hands without my mom's help!) and we played 2 other spider games. I spent everyday last week working on the pinata, which turned out quite well, if I do say so myself. Unfortunately, he wasn't as tough as he was good looking. Harrison went third and busted him open on his first hit. So there were still 3 boys that needed turns. We let them keep hitting the empty, broken pinata and poor Spiderman was completely unrecognizable by the end. Here he is before all the beating began.
The cake was fun to make too. When we were on the cake aisle I had notice the red velvet cake and thought that would be great because it matched the theme and it's Harrison's favorite color. But I wanted to let him pick. I was pretty happy when he also noticed it and picked it all on his own. I was laughing the whole time we were making it because it really was red ("blood red" name that movie!). No, we didn't have a terrible accident, he was just licking the beaters. (Don't mind the slightly white trash tank top, it was on sale at Wal-Mart and I had to get it because it said Rocket Scientist and that's his daddy's job - it's going to be an at-home only shirt). I noticed that I really enjoy the creative process, and I got a kick out of getting everything ready for this party. I also love themes and trying to make everything tie in. It was fun for me to plan it and fun to see the kids enjoy it all (of course I doubt they noticed half the details or understood why we were doing so many spider things!) After all that work, I asked Harrison what his favorite part was and he said climbing on top of his tree house. The boys would have been just as happy to play in the back yard the whole time!

Growing up we did friends parties every other year. As fun as this all was, I'm considering carrying on that tradition. We'll see. Harrison has already announced that he wants a Power Rangers party next. (Just like he's never seen Spiderman, I don't allow him to watch Power Rangers, but he still loves them. Marketing is a powerful thing!)

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Happy Day!

I tried to make yesterday a fun and happy day for Harrison for his birthday. By the end of the day I was feeling a little worried that I hadn't done enough. After thinking about it, I realized that 1) he had a great day and doesn't know any different anyway 2) the only reason I was worried is because as a mom you love your kids so much and want them to know how special they are to you and their birthday is a time you feel extra pressure to do so 3) while presents and fun things are great, they are not the best or most important ways to show love and make your child feel special. Then I felt better.

So the day started with us making Harrison's birthday shirt. This a a tradition I started when he was 1 (although I didn't do it for Elizabeth, I just realized. I'll do better next year!) This year he really wanted a Spiderman shirt (I am not into character clothes at all, so this was a special exception and I still haven't decided how much I'm going to let him wear it in public), so Nate had the idea to put the number on the back. Harrison also loved that idea because a while back he went through a phase of me having to make numbers out of tape on the backs of his shirts so he could look like a soccer player. It turned out a little huge, but he loved it.

Then we went to "Park Day" which is on Thursdays (a bunch of moms from church meet at the park, it's lots of fun for the kids and moms). I took donuts to share and had the kids sing to him. He acted shy and mad during the song, I guess he didn't know what else to do. But he loved the donut!

Harrison got to open one present when Nate got home and before we left for the fun outing. He was smart to pick a small one. In typical Harrison fashion, he took it with us everywhere we went. He had asked for this Zerg a while ago, but didn't know he was getting it and as you could see, he couldn't take his eyes off of it!

Then we left for Chuck E. Cheese (one of Harrison's all time favorite places). I thought this picture was adorable! We don't love Chuck E's over-priced, under-delicious pizza, so we went to Chick-Fil-A for dinner (an obsession I have passed on to my children). Then we went to Coldstone for Harrison's free ice-cream, since we are all part of their Birthday Club. This is not the greatest picture, but I did want to prove I was there for all the fun. Nate doesn't try as hard for pictures where everyone looks good. Unlike me, if I do say so myself!

We came home and opened presents (after putting Sissie to bed.)

This Planet HeROES (as he says it) ship was definitely the hit! He had already been wanting it for a long time when we saw it at Target in March, it was on-sale and we had a coupon, which made it only $15. So we brought it home, hid it and he has been waiting patiently ever since. He played with it all night, took it to bed and resumed playing with it as soon as he woke up. P.S. MICHELLE'S EXERCISE UPDATE

I have gotten up and worked out at 5:40 AM 5 times now. (Our plan is MWF, but last Friday was the 4th). The first day I only ran .1 miles at a time and totaled .5 miles, and we did weights. I felt like throwing up for about an hour after we finished. I am very happy to report that today I ran .5 miles straight and ran 1.1 miles total. For you runners out there, stop laughing. For people like me who ARE NOT RUNNERS (or shall I say was not a runner?), you will understand that this is a very big accomplishment in only 5 times of going. And I do not feel like barfing when I get done anymore. Obviously, I am quite proud. Here is Elizabeth modeling my new running shoes. She looks much better in them than I do.

I also had Nate take "Before" pictures of me today, but I will spare you from the horror of those. It may take months, but hopefully the "After" pictures will be something I will be more proud of. I probably still won't post them though!

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I can't believe my first baby is 4 years old today! 4 years is a long time. That's as long as high school and college (independently). I told Nate we should be given a degree in "Harrison." It's been so fun being his parents for the last 4 years. We've learned so much about him, ourselves, parenting and life. He's one of those kids that is getting easier the older he gets. He's so much more reasonable and logical now. He's very funny and loving. He's super affectionate and social (probably my two favorite things about him). He's also already got a little testimony (so cute one time he got sunburned and suggested we say a prayer to Heavenly Father that it would get better.) He knows he's going to bet baptised when he's 8, go on a mission when he's 19, get married in the temple and he wants to have son and name him Justin (just told me that on Sunday). I hope and pray that he reaches all of these milestones (I'm not super attached to the name Justin, though!)

We've got a lot of fun things planned for today and Saturday (his party). So, there will be more posts dedicated to this special, Little Man. We love him SO much!

Heart Soul = Stardom? (SYTYCD Week 5)

Oh, Mary. That was one of your most off-the-wall comments yet. Yes it was! "We have one rule on this show." Awkward pause (oh crap, what am I going to make up for this so called rule?) "Heart Soul = Stardom." Okay, Mary. Whatever you say.

Last night was somewhat disappointing. Too much ballroom. The redeeming factor of the night was that I watched it with Jenni. We have decided we're ready to be recruited as judges, one of those two for one combos. Our comments were right on with the judges (like noticing that Kherington ran out of steam toward the end of her krump number, saying we'd like to see a different couple dance that Mandi Contemporary piece that Comfort ruined, etc.)

Anyway, I can only whole-heartedly pick a top two from last night and both were choreographed by Tyce.

1) Chelsie & Mark's Broadway to W-O-M-A-N. That was so much FUN! Mia's right, Chelsie is GORGEOUS (even though girls who look like her are a dime a dozen in Utah).
2) Jessica & Will's Contemporary. It was very different. I felt like I was watching Cirq de Solei. At first I wasn't sure about it, but the more I thought about it and watched it again this morning, I realized I really loved it. Harrison asked why they were dancing in their underwear. (I probably shouldn't let him watch with me).

Goodbye Comfort and Thayne.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

4th of July Weekend

I love fun and busy weekends. And this one did not disappoint! On the 4th we picked up Nate's car from the shop (new alternator). Then we came home and cleaned and got ready for a BBQ. We had our friends the Coberlys and Howells over. There was SO much good food and we ate ourselves silly. We also had fun playing Rock Band and the kids enjoyed playing out in the little pools (Harrison also thought it was funny to pee in the pool -- BOYS!)
Notice my crazy child who doesn't want his picture taken. Here's the close-up. Looks like a guy who would think it's fun to pee in a pool.
Melissa and Jacob rocking out!It was a group effort on the drums. As always, Nate was such a good sport with the kids.
Chris, Jenni and Eliza. Jenni puts us all to shame because she can really sing.

I made my traditional Flag Cake (This is a pre-marriage tradition that will never die! I love holiday food traditions!) I was very happy this year to get the stripes exactly right (13, starting and ending with red, etc.) One of these years I'll be able to do it from memory, but I still have to look at a real flag every year.
Notice the grumpy face again.
Harrison and Ty were having a grand old time yelling their heads off. We encouraged it while we got a few pics and then made them stop.

That night we went over the Town Center to watch the fireworks show that Highlands Ranch puts on. The Godfrey's suggested their favorite spot, so we met them there and decided that will be our favorite spot too! The show was great, except for the "fauxnale" as Chris called it. They did this great finale that had Elizabeth running for cover (Harrison's ears had been covered the whole time), and then they shot off about 10 more random, lame, little fireworks. And then it was over. It was like they realized they had a few more and just shot them off for the heck of it. It was actually pretty funny (we were also a little slap happy by then).

I couldn't get Elizabeth to smile for anything. Here she is decked out in her red, white and blue! Matching stroller and sippy to boot! I had been saving those shoes that I got as hand-me-downs before she was born. That will be the one and only time they get worn (her feet were too chubby to push through the front). Dressing girls is SO fun!
Here's Julie with all the kids. Kids adore her and gravitate toward her because she is the sweetest person ever! She the Secretary in Young Women and is probably going to be Harrison's pre-school teacher next year. I was trying so hard to get good pics of her and all she wanted to do was eat crackers!
Jenni and me! Jenni is the one who is motivating me to get up and work out early in the morning (more info on that below).
The next day he told me the fireworks scared his tummy. He probably got that from Ty who said they scared his eyes. They were making fun of me for wanting to take pics with the fireworks in the background, but I think it turned out pretty cool!

Saturday I worked on my lesson while Nate took the kids to the pool. Then I went and got my first ever pair of running shoes (for those of you who know me well, pick your jaws up off the floor). I know I had made a personal vow that the mile I ran on the BYU track at midnight my freshman year would be the last mile I would ever run, but I have decided to revoke that vow. I am starting very slowly and will keep you posted. I got an AMAZING deal on the shoes, so that was exciting! I will be breaking them in tomorrow morning at 5:40 AM (that's when we go work out - insane, I know).

So this morning was a typical morning on the days I teach Young Womens -- which also happen so be Fast Sundays, so keep *starving* in mind as you proceed to read (I think I have finally learned my lesson to get EVERYTHING ready by Saturday night -- it's just so tempting when you don't have church until 1 PM to save some of it for Sunday morning). Basically I still needed to do the handouts. While I was working on those Harrison jumped off the end table and landed on a metal American flag decoration that sliced his toe open. When I heard him wailing, I knew he was hurt so I went running downstairs to lots of blood, which is pretty scary for a mom. Nate was at church for meetings and I was still in a robe, so I was frantically trying to decide what to do. 911? Running to the neighbors for help? No, I didn't want to scare them in my robe because they would have seen what 4 years of cheerleading, 4 years of aerobics, 2 years of nursing babies, and bad genes can do to a girl. So I decided to call Mina, who lives really close and I'm comfortable enough with to expose to the sagginess issue. But after I got his toe cleaned up a little, I realized I could run upstairs and get dressed. So Mina came and saved the day without having to see the aforementioned devastation. I didn't realize she was going into nursing before she switched the English, so she knew what she was doing and also had a great bedside manner with Harrison. She got him all excited about the peroxide bubbles and he didn't even cry for that part! Thank goodness for good friends!

So, once that drama was over, I resumed working on the handouts, and the printer was out of ink. Nate was later than ever and didn't get home until 11:45, so we had an hour and I still needed to shower and get ready, finish the handouts, feed and dress the kids (he did that part). It gets better. The computer froze and didn't save my work, so I retyped this other hand-out thingy for the lesson, quickly cut them up, got everything together and jumped in the car. When we got to church I opened my manual to give Nate a paper that I needed him to make copies of (we have Young Women first) and a huge gust of wind came a blew those stinkin' handouts all over the parking lot. At this point I'm 7 minutes late and I'm supposed to be in there teaching - so forget the handouts! (Thank goodness it was a secondary thing - if it had been the main one, I may have lost it right then and there.)

I know I can be a little overly-dramatic, but that was a very stressful morning for me! Somewhere in the midst of all that I really hurt my back, so that just added to the joy. But the lesson went pretty well and I really do LOVE teaching Young Women. I even love preparing the lessons and handouts (I usually get a big kick out of doing the handouts, it's a creative outlet for me). I just need to not leave it for the last minute when a million things can (and usually do) go wrong! Now that I'm done with the lesson and have eaten and taken ibuprofen for my back (which hasn't helped much) I am feeling much better.