Monday, August 25, 2008

Exciting Things

Exciting Thing #1
We got the Black Pilot of my mildest dreams (that's mildest, not wildest - it's an '03, 66,000 miles, cloth interior, with possibly broken, unbeknownst to us before we bought it, rear AC, and it smells funny). But still, I have been wanting a black Pilot since they came out and I am very happy to have one. Added Bonus: Nate didn't have to go to UT for the weekend, we got it here.
Apparently we love black Hondas. We now have a "Mama" and "Baby" version as Nate pointed out when he said, "If you look in the garage it looks like we have a mama and baby Shamu in there."
Nate has always had a special place in his heart for Sea World and large mammals of the sea. (In his words while at a whale museum on our honeymoon in Maui, "There are dinosaur-kids and whale-kids. I was a whale-kid.) Bytheway, he needs to add a new catergory to the list -- Spidermand-kids, of which I had one, until 5 minutes ago when I discovered I might have two.

Totally random picture of my my original Spiderman-kid, my shaggy little brother, Andrew, and my cousin Jill who stopped by on their way from VA to UT this weekend.

But I digress. I actually love having matching mama and baby black Hondas and feel like an official Highlands Ranch Mommy now that I have my very own SUV, and a Pilot, at that. I do feel a little sadness at turning my Civic over to Nate, though he claims she will feel much more taken care of under his stewardship. I have the comfort of knowing that I will be driving her whenever possible, because it's more frugal, and that's how we roll (pun intended).
Exciting Thing #2
Harrison got into the pre-school that I've been hoping and praying he would get into all summer. My exact prayer was that whichever one was best for him and our family would be the one he ended up in. (He had a sure spot in one and was 1st on a waiting list in the other.) However, I was quite sure that the waiting-list one was the best for us. a) 4 days a week instead of 3 for $1 a month more - what mom of an active 4 year old boy wouldn't see the value in that extra dollar? b) no school on Fridays, which Nate has off half the time, so now we can have fun family days or long weekend vacations c)it's a more formal school environment, which I think he will really thrive in. I was glad that Heavenly Father agreed with my opinion and made it happen.

Exciting Thing #3
Elizabeth is regularly saying her version of "thank you." Having already mastered "please", she's well on her way to being a well-mannered child.

Exciting Thing #4
I broke my personal record and ran 1.1 miles straight and 2.1 miles total this morning. I know, it's only by .1 miles, but remember who you're dealing with here. Baby steps, people.

Exciting Thing #5
I'm pregnant. Oh wait, no I'm just exhausted and can't stop eating. Thankfully at this point, it's not because I'm growing a person in my belly. And with my current stress level and patience level, that is an exciting thing. Remember, I tend to blog at the worst possible times, like right before I'm supposed to be getting ready to go out of town. Out of town again, you ask? Didn't you just go to UT and VA? Yes, but we may as well cover all our bases and go to CA while we're at it. Harrison informed me that he will "miss the planet while we're in California." I got out the globe and attempted a short geography/solar system lesson, which was met with a firm, "Mom, put that away. I want to watch Spiderman and His Amazing Friends." (his newest TV obsession) Seriously, I love that kid.

Exciting Thing #6
I found this in someone's garbage today.

Some of you may know, I've been on the lookout for a toy kitchen. Some of you may also know, I'm not at all opposed to garbage picking (a trait I inherited from my mother who got it from her father). What's better than free? Although if anyone sees or hears of a better model, for the same price, call me. I now have a car big enough to meet most of my garbage picking needs, and I can be there in minutes. The fact that I wiped the thing down with at least 5 Clorox Wipes was not enough for Nate, he's still freaked out by it. Whatever. Germs don't bother me much.

Exciting Thing #7
The children are starting to enjoy fun activities together that don't involve disasters for me to clean-up.

Their choice of activities three weeks ago. Yes, that's white sugar, folks.

Fun activities in the last few days. Love the "cheese" faces and both looking toward each other. Harrison kept trying to teach her how to play and she clearly wasn't getting it, as the controller is upside down.

Hopefully Nate's dream of having a child compete in the X-Games are not starting. If he really wants that to happen, he needs to stop showing me the wipe-out montages

Exciting thing #8

New blog background. Got sick of the old one.

Hugs and kisses to anyone who stuck with me all the way through this post.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Contest - Come on People

Not very many of you have gone to Melissa's photography blog and done her super easy contest with a fabulous prize (I know because I've been checking rather obsessively). See my "Contest - For Locals" post and act immediately. It ends tomorrow night. And remember to say I referred you.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Statistically, I Have a Great Man!

I have to brag about (and poke fun at) my husband a little bit. First of all, he just got his grade for his first class of his MBA program, which was a statistics class. He got an A!!! May the rest of his classes go so well.

He has also put his new knowledge to work in doing research for buying us a new car. His hot pink (OK, maroon with a pinkish hue) Altima has died, after we put over $700 into this summer trying to keep it alive. (Harrison has said several things like, "I'm sad about daddy's car. That it died.") Anyway, in true Nate fashion, a numbers man through and through, he has come up with quite a system including an Excel spreadsheet with links to each car to help us decide on a new car. Here it is in his own words, which I will make purple, in honor of his favorite color (this is from an e-mail he sent to my mom). I don't expect anyone to read the whole thing, the first few lines will give you the gist and the length will give you the scope of the thoroughness:

"My calculations are as follows and I apologize if it's a little convoluted:I'm expecting the Pilot to reach 200,000 miles, so I subtract the current miles of each Pilot from 200,000 to see how many more miles the vehicle will go. Then I divide that by 13,000 miles because that's our driving average per year on the Civic over the last 7 years. The resulting number tells me how many years it will take to get to 200,000miles. Then I divide the current price of the Pilot by the number of years it has left and end up with the price per year. I did this calculation for every Pilot under $15,000 on yahoo autos in Denver and Salt Lake/Utah County (see tab 'Pilots in CO' and 'Pilots in UT'). The sorted results are in the 'Results' tab. There are 3 types of Pilots;the LX (fewest bells and whistles), the EX, and the EX-L (same as EX but with leather. I think yours is an EX-L). As you can see from the Results tab, the cheapest Pilot in dollars per year is an LX in Utah at $1053 per year. The next cheapest was an LX in CO at $1090, but I called in on that one yesterday, and it was sold that morning. The ones I'm interested in are ones under $1200 dollars per year. Utah offers 22 under $1200, and CO only offers 7. I also ran some stats (since I just completed a stat class), and here are the results:
Type # avail Average Minimum Median Maximum
EX-L 14 1451.2 1257.9 1425.7 1910.9
EX 14 1426.0 1154.2 1410.3 1865.2
LX 10 1249.9 1090.3 1200.5 1457.4
Type # avail Average Minimum Median Maximum
EX-L 13 1291.2 1169.7 1273.3 1536.8
EX 28 1205.3 1102.3 1195.7 1516.1
LX 4 1129.4 1053.2 1115.1 1234.1

So on average, if I buy a Pilot in Utah, I'm saving myself at least $100 per year over 10+ years which means well over $1000. If I can save myself over $1000 by buying in Utah, then it's worth it for me to go there. However, if I can find another deal like the LX in Denver that was already sold, then I'd just buy it here. Hopefully I can find that type of deal in the next couple days before Andrew gets here. As far as gas mileage goes, the Toyota Sienna AWD gets 16 to 22 mpg (as opposed to the 2WD version that gets 17 to 24). The Pilot gets 15 to20. A savings of 2mpg over 150,000 miles at $4 per gallon of gas will be a savings of $3332. The cheapest AWD Sienna in Utah is about $4000 more than its Pilot equivalent (same features, same miles). And I can't seem to find any AWD Siennas in Denver that are under $20,000. So that's my analysis so far. The guy who had the cheap Pilot in Denver said he's getting more on Friday. So he told me to call back Friday afternoon to see what kind of deal he can get me. If that doesn't pan out, then I'll probably jump in with Andrew and go to 2 dealers in Utah on Saturday (Rand's and Forrest Motors). Oh, there are links to each car that I'm interested in on the 'Results' tab as well as the dealership that has it. Hopefully this all makes sense. "

That man cracks me up! I'm just glad his looks and style don't reflect his inner nerdiness! I love that he knows how to quantify it all and make a well-informed and rational decision. I just keep saying, "Get me a reliable, safe car that's not white." No offense, but I don't like white cars. By the end of this weekend, there should be a post about our new car.

Contest - For Locals

Anyone who lives around here, go to Melissa Howell's photo blog here and do her contest. The prize is a photo shoot and an 11X14 (she is an awesome photographer -- you want this prize). On the blog, scroll down a few posts to the post "Blue Prints Contest" and read about what to do. It's easy. Plus you'll get to see lots of great pictures she's taken of people you know. Anyway, remember to put that I referred you to the site, because if you win, I win.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Beach Trip Part 1

All the pictures from the beach trip are on Nate's computer, so I haven't been able to post, but my sister-in-law, Kat (or Kate, she's trying to change her nick-name, but she's the only one sticking with it) did a great post about it, so here's the link to hers.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Back to Reality

We just got home from "the best week of the year" as Nate calls it. We went to Sandbridge, Virginia (near Virginia Beach) with my entire family - 15 total. My parents rented us a great beach house and we had a blast, as always. My family has always been a beach loving family and has been doing beach vacations for as long as I can remember, but this particular annual beach trip is a 4 year old tradition that we love. It is just so fun to get everyone together -- away from distractions like jobs, callings, and housework - to a relaxing environment where the sole purpose of the entire week is to have fun and enjoy each other's company (and eat good food - 3 pounds worth to be exact - arg! - and that's even with running 5 of the 7 days).

Anyway, tomorrow I will post pictures, but for now I will leave you with a line by Harrison that sums up how we're all feeling. I have to preface this by saying that on the way to the airport this afternoon Nate was complaining about how sad he was to go back to reality. So when our plane landed (many hours later) Harrison said, "We're back to Colorado, reality and earth."

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Cute Colman Cousins

Nate's sister right above him, Rachael aka "Ray-Ray" (or Uncle Ray-Ray, as Harrison kept referring to her) and her family visited us last night. They were missing their oldest, Nathaniel, but Maya, Grant and Faith all came, along with Christian, their Dad. It was WAY to quick of a visit, but the cousins had lots of fun. As you can imagine, my kids look much more like their cousins on their Dad's side than on my side. In fact, we think Elizabeth and Faith (named after Nate's mom) look a lot alike!

There is a string of 4 girl cousins in Nate's immediate family, and Faith is the first of those (actually I can think of 9 others very close in age if you count 2nd cousins, but there might be a boy in there somewhere breaking the streak). Grant is the first in string of 10 boy cousins (including 2nd cousins) and Harrison is the last of that group. They are almost exactly one year apart, but the same size, as you can see in the first picture.
Here is a picture of those ten boy cousins (in birth order) and their moms in February of '05 at Nate's Grandpa Watabe's funeral. Excuse my white nylons with a black skirt, I forgot to pack black.

Another interesting tid-bit. Nate and I both have a set of three rhyming nick-names in our family. They have Ray-Ray, Nay-Nay, and Jay-Jay. (Rachael, Nathan, and Jayson -- which also all get shortened to Ray, Nay and Jay). In my family it's Mu, Lou and Rew (for Michelle, Laura and Andrew -- our's don't make as much sense and aren't spelled the same, but still).

And, as you can see, all the stress yesterday wasn't totally necessary, as I've still got 2 1/2 hours until we need to leave and I'm finding more time to blog!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

SYTYCD Emergency

So after my long, stressful day I finally sat down to watch the long anticipated 2nd to last show and something was jacked up with my recording. I only got to see the last two dances. Based on the re-cap, it looks like I missed some really cool stuff (the Russian dance looked insane and the Wade Robson dance with Katee and Joshua looked really good too.) I am DEVASTATED. If anyone that I live near or will see in Virginia will please save it for me on your DVR I will be thankful forever. Jenni - tell me you didn't delete it right after you watched it. Some one, please help!

STRESSED? Why not just blog?

The post about the children destroying my things will have to wait. I'm super stressed, but of course, I'm procrastinating all of it to blog, because that's more fun. Also, my last blog had so many typos, how embarrassing. Nate pointed them all out because I forced him to read it (he has been boycotting my blog ever since I started posting about SYTYCD). I looked it over this morning and realized he not only edited for typos, but also content. So I put back in the part he took out, that little punk.

We are leaving for Virginia tomorrow for our 4th Annual Harrison Family Beach Trip. I am SO EXCITED! We are going to have a BLAST! But the getting ready part is not as fun. So I need to do laundry, pack, and get everything squared away for my calling while I'm gone. I've got Nate's sister, Rachael, and her family who are driving through and will be stopping by for a few hours and dinner (they live in Hawaii and we hardly ever get to see them, so this is exciting, I just wish I had more time to focus on the fun of it instead of being stressed) so I need to clean and cook for that, then I've got mutual, a Youth Conference planning meeting, and the SYTYCD finale! Oh, and Nate will be at school all night too. At least several of the things are enjoyable.

I did get up at 5:40 this morning and ran with Jenni after not being able to run with her for over two weeks because of both of our trips. And we won't be running again together for another two weeks. Sad. It's SO MUCH MORE FUN with her! And she pushes me. Today, I reached my first short term goal. Which was to run one mile straight and another mile broken up. Plus we walked a mile (mixed in with the running.) I have actually run a mile straight several times now, but this was the first day I ran 2 total. My next goal is two run 2 straight and the long term goal is to run the 5K at Thanksgiving. (Long, long term might be a triathalon, we'll see.) My other short term goal is to run a mile everyday at the beach. I figure I have everything working in my favor (people to watch my kids, not having to do my hair everyday, low-altitude, beautiful scenery, an endless supply of running partners) plus we'll be eating like banshees because that's what we do at the beach. I will report back to you on how that goes.
And just because every good post needs a picture, here's a truck we were driving behind on our way to Utah.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Hilarious Harrison

So many funny things come out of his mouth everyday, but here are some of the more memorable ones from lately.

Today I broke my 9 day streak of not yelling, so I was very down and I sighed loudly.

H- Mommy, why are you letting your breath out?
M- Because I'm sad.
H- Sad?
M- Yes, sad.
H- Sad?
M - Yes (said in an increasingly annoyed tone).
H- Fat?
M- No, Sad. (But thanks for pouring salt into my wound.)

Harrison put this bandaid on the wall because there was an "askadent." (A picture frame was knocked off a ledge and went crashing down the stairs leaving a gouge in the wall.)

We were watching two brothers named Lane and Braden.
M- Harrison, you remember these guys, Lane and
H- I know, Lane and Lemuel.
M- No, Lane and Braden.
H- Ya, Laman and Braden.
And he proceeded to call the poor kid Laman the rest of the afternoon. Mommy, Laman pushed Elizabeth. (I'm sure Nephi uttered those very words to Sariah at some point!) Too funny.

I've taken to making lots of threats lately and Harrison has caught on that threats are most effective when you think of one of the most important things to the person and then threaten to take that away. Which for him is usually his Planet Heroes ship or his Power Ranger or something like that. So he has told me, "Mommy if you don't stop talking to me like that I'm going to take your make-up away." And even funnier, "Mommy, if you do that one more time I'm going to tell Daddy to delete all your shows." Scary how well he knows me, that one would really hurt!

He has gotten belated birthday presents from both Grandma and Obaachan (Japanese for Grandma) in the last few days. He got a Lightning McQueen "Cumbrella" (there was only 1 Spiderman one and it was broken, so he settled with his first love, Lightning) that he insists on taking everywhere we go so his shoulders won't get too hot from the sun. Just this morning, he got a Spiderman costume and wore it most of the day. He insisted on having Logan come over and bring his Spiderman costume. Logan had to be bribed to put his costume on for a few pictures (he's had his for a long time, so he must be over it). Anyway, they were too cute. I told Harrison that in the movie, Spiderman lifts up his mask so he can give kisses and he proceeded to do that several times throughout the day. Don't worry, he wasn't upside down and we didn't make out!

I could go on and on with more funny things about that boy, but I was a tired, grumpy mommy today, so I need to go to bed. Tomorrow I will post about how my children seem determined to slowly but surely ruin everything we own.

Friday, August 1, 2008

SYTYCD Week 7 & 8

I've lost my passion for blogging about SYTYCD, but I may as well finish out the season.

Last Week's Favorite
Katee & Twitch's Door Dance by Mia

Mary's Off the Wall Comment of the Week:
Knock knock - Who's there? - 2 - 2 who? - 2 of the best dancers we've had on this show.
My 4 years old tells better knock-knock jokes than that.

I was shocked to see Will go home, lots of people had him picked to win. Although I must say he way overdid it that night. He was totally exaggerating all of his head movements and trying too hard. I loved his James Brown solo and hated the solo he went out on. He was doing some sort of Asian thing and it didn't work.

This Week's Favorites
Katee & Joshua's Contemporary to All By Myself by Tyce
Courtney & Mark's Funky Contemporary by Sonya (mohawk girl)

Thank you Joshua for getting your braces off in time for us to see. Your teeth look amazing!

If I had a bum like Chelsie's I'd b every tempted to show it all the time. Thank goodness I was blessed with a bum I like to keep covered up!

I am sad to see Chelsie and Mark go home. At this point I would be sad to see any of them go. I thought Mark went out on a great solo (suspenders) and Chelsie's solos are what probably got her kicked off. It's hard to solo when you're specialty is ballroom, but some people have pulled it off way better than her (namely Benji and all of his relatives). She is a fabulous dancer though and oh so gorgeous. I also love that most of the girls this season have curves and aren't anorexic looking.

I loved the group number to The Rose last night. It's so great to see a happy, light, uplifting number that isn't seductive. Not that I mind those too much, but still, it's a nice change.

I think I'd like to see Katee or Twitch win it. I might be pulling for Katee a little more because she's a girl and she's half-Asian, both of which have special places in my heart. Okay, so I'm sexist and racist. She's also the most talented over-all dancer they have left and I don't think I've seen anything from her that I didn't love.

This is very depressing that the season is almost over. And American Idol doesn't start until January. What's a competition show junkie to do for the next 5 months? I don't think Project Runway alone will get me through it. Oprah, come back! Lost, The Office, I need you too! Thank goodness I'll also have Breaking Dawn to entertain me for a few days too. (But I have to finish this other 600 hundred page book for our Annual Family Beach Book Club - thanks a lot, Kat!)