Monday, October 26, 2009


We had some of Nate's family come visit last weekend. It was the first time his mom and his oldest sister, Wendy, and her son Sterling had been to our house. His dad had been earlier this year.

They arrived Thursday afternoon. Friday morning they got up early and went to the Denver Mint. That afternoon Nate and his dad went golfing and the rest of us went to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. I left my camera in the car and was too lazy to go back and get it. So if I can ever figure out how to get the pictures off my phone, I'll do a post about it.

Saturday we went and did sealings at the temple. I seriously almost passed out and decided that I won't be doing sealings again when I'm pregnant. I have never passed out, but that's the closest I've ever been and I didn't like it one bit. However, being in the temple with family is always special. I am so grateful that both sides of the family are temple worthy people who enjoy going together.

Then we went to Harrison's soccer game. It was fun for him to have an extra big cheering section.

Then we did our mandatory visit to Hacienda Colorado that we take all guests too. Never get tired of that place. Please tell me they have Hacienda in Heaven. Or at least, some great chips and salsa and shrimp enchiladas.

Next we went to Elitch Gardens. Thank goodness the tickets were free (from a guy at work) because it's the kind of place that's pretty fun as long as you didn't have to pay to get in.

Here are Nate and Sissie on the Ferris Wheel. I was a bit of a nervous wreck on that thing. She did not want to sit down and kept trying to look out over the edge.

Our view of the rest of the fam in the other car.

Harrison does this face when he's embarrassed/nervous and doesn't know what else to do. He wouldn't look up at us. It always makes me laugh.

Elizabeth didn't want to ride the boats at first. But she did want to ride the airplanes (must not have noticed that the airplanes go up kind of high).

She was not happy about that.

Then she wanted to try the boats. She liked that much better.

Neither child would have anything to do with the horses on the carousel at first. I tell you what, my kids are quite reserved about rides. Lizzie doesn't even like to ride the horse at the grocery store. They get it from me. I wouldn't go down the twisty slide at Burger King until I was about 9 years old. I actually quite enjoy roller coasters now, so hopefully my kids will get braver.

Harrison lovingly pointed out that the horse was old like Obaachan. I guess because it had grey hair. Personally, I don't think my mother-in-law looks old at all. She takes excellent care of herself and has those great Asian genes that age so well.

After seeing Obaachan ride the horse, Harrison got up the nerve to try it himself. He kept saying, "You promise it will be fun?" Then the minute it started he said, "I love it!"

So, we had to go for a third time. Thankfully there was no line, so we would get off and get right back on.

Elizabeth still wanted nothing to do with the horses, but Faith did get this
cool picture of her in the sleigh. I love the lighting.

Toward the end of the day, the kids started to get more brave and actually rode the bus (which they had thought was too scary earlier in the day).

They were also willing to try the swings, which they LOVED!

The funny thing is, we took Harrison to Disneyland when he was 3 and he rode every ride. All the "mountains." I guess he was just to naive to be scared then.

Sunday morning we all went to church. I put Elizabeth in her Hawaiian dress in honor of Obaachan (who is from Hawaii).

They all left after sacrament meeting. We were sad to see them go. My kids adore all family members on both sides and LOVE having visitors, so they are always pretty bummed when people leave.

Elizabeth continued in her sneaky, clepto ways the whole time they were here. No one's purses, gum, or cell phones were safe. We kept finding things in her closet and in her drawers. If anyone was missing anything, we'd ask Elizabeth where she put it. Sure enough, she usually knew where it was. This Saturday, she made it home from Target with a thing of eyeshadow in her pocket. I'm really going to have to watch this girl.

In other Elizabeth news, she wore panties for 8 hours yesterday and kept them dry the whole time. She's had them on this morning and has pooped in the potty. I'm a firm believer in child-initiated potty training. I provide all the tools and teach them the skills when they are interested, but I let them take the lead on when they are ready to stick with it. Of course, I encourage and praise and reward. But I do not say "I'm going to potty train my child this week." And I do not make it a power struggle. Harrison dabbled with it for about 9 months and then one day, he decided it was all potty all the time. She's been interested for almost a year and goes on the potty at least once a day. She almost 100% poops on the potty (Which really is the thing I care most about! So much easier to clean up!) So, I'm wondering if this it? I would really love it if she was fully potty trained before the baby comes. Even if this isn't it, I think we're getting really close and I'm pretty sure we'll be done by then.

Zoo (maybe), Pumpkin Patch, and Trunk-or-Treat posts to come! And I still want to catch up on some old stuff from this summer!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bad Teeth

I have really bad teeth. It has been one of the banes of my existence. Every time I go to the dentist, I have to fight back the tears as he tells me a laundry list of work I need to get done. I just see dollar signs and think of all the other things I'd rather be spending my money on than fillings, root canals and crowns.

Nate has great teeth. Hardly any cavities. I think a lot of it is genetic (although his parents have both had a lot of dental issues and mine haven't had as many, so maybe not). We both eat quite a bit of candy. He flosses and I don't. That's probably the main difference.

Anyway, the point is that it appears that Harrison has unfortunately inherited my teeth. When I got back from California a few weeks ago Nate pointed out that Harrison had a broken molar and it looked black underneath. I felt a sense of dread and thought, "It begins." Then I thought, it's just a baby tooth, I'm not going to worry about it. Until last Tuesday night when he complained during dinner that it really hurt to the point that he didn't even want to eat one of his favorite meals (The chicken pineapple teriyaki meatballs from Costco, you really must try them. Who doesn't love a dinner that you can warm up in the microwave for 2 minutes, make some rice and open a can of pineapple?) Anyway, I called and made an appointment for the next day.

All morning was filled with worry and questions as to whether or not it was going to hurt. I really didn't know if it would or not, because I had no idea what the outcome would be. I explained that the dentist is a friend of ours, we've played at their house, he goes to our church, and he'll try not to hurt you. He said, "Tell him to be gentle with me, because I'm just a little guy." (So precious).

Well, it turns out that it did hurt. BAD. It had a big cavity in it and infection under it, so they wanted to pull it. My heart sank. Who wants to have their child go through pain and discomfort? (I tried to think about what Natalie and baby Claire go through EVERYDAY and be strong!) Anyway, the dentist was probably smart to send us to the waiting room, but then it was awful sitting there and listening to what sounded like a torture chamber going on in the back as I heard Harrison scream and cry. Thankfully, the dentist's wife, who is also my friend from the dorms at BYU, Sarah, stopped by just in time to distract me from going crazy.

Poor baby, they had to give him Novocaine two different times because he wasn't numb enough. Then on the way home the drama really started. There was much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. He was really worked up. So I got him home, gave him some ice and some Tylenol, and held him while he watched a movie. I told him that if he went to sleep he'd feel a lot better. Sure enough, he fell asleep for about almost
2 hours. I called the school and told him what was going on and that he might be in late depending on how he was feeling.

He woke up feeling much better, but didn't want to go to school and I figured with all the trauma, it was fine for him to stay home.

They gave him his tooth in a little, orange treasure box. I laughed out loud when I went into the living room later that day and saw this.
I guess he though it worthy of becoming part of the decor. Also, please note the sticky skeleton prize adorning the wall.

He was left with a pretty good sized hole. They are going to put in a spacer next month. Heaven help me that it's an easier procedure.
It was great to have our happy little Harrison back (although notice, he has his "green blanket," must have still needed some comfort!). I just hope that he doesn't have a life time of this kind of thing ahead of him. Better start flossing.

That evening was much more enjoyable. It was my first Wednesday of not being Young Women's President. After four years (2 in CA and almost 2 here), it's been a long while since I've had an open Wednesday night. Nate's class even got canceled, so we went to dinner (and happily found out it was 99 cent kid's meal night AND they had little pumpkins for the kids to decorate!) Then I went to Wal-Mart, all by myself, which was down right fun!

As always, I have to remember that if bad teeth are our biggest medical concern then we should thank our lucky stars. Things could be so much worse. And I have to be grateful that we have insurance and that this was fully covered (supposedly. I hope I don't get a surprise bill in the mail).
AND, there are lots of great activities that these bad teeth of ours help us do. Talking, eating, smiling -- "these are a few of favorite things!"

Monday, October 12, 2009

Some Lessons

I learned some lessons last week.

Lesson #1
One of my fears as a mother really isn't as bad as I thought it would be.

When I heard a loud yelp followed by lots of crying from the kitchen I figured it had something to do with the electrical outlet, because the only other time I'd heard Elizabeth sound like that was the time she shocked herself by touching a plug that was half out of the outlet. Needless to say, I was quited shocked when I went in and found this. I always thought this kind of thing would kill a kid. Thankfully, it doesn't.

Lesson #2
Stew Meat is called STEW meat for a reason.

I had a busy day Tuesday and knew that I wanted to make Stroganoff using stew meat. I wanted to cook the meat for a long time, but didn't have time because it was frozen, so I figured, it wouldn't be that bad sauteed. It was one of the culinary disasters of my life. So tough, Nate was teasing me that it sounded like I was eating corn nuts. So I took the rest of the meat and simmered it in beef broth and by 10:30 that night, it was tender, moist, and falling apart. The leftovers were quite yummy.

Lesson #3
If you move into a brand new church building and they want to have an open house and ask your auxiliary to make a SIMPLE display and they keep stressing to keep it SIMPLE, it's probably because they know that no one will come to the open house and don't want you to feel bad that you (or in this case, mostly your wonderfully talented secretary) went to a lot of trouble to make it really nice.

Well, they should have know that Mormon women generally don't keep things simple and are incapable of NOT doing our best and making things look beautiful. So I am posting in on my blog so that someone other than the ONE non-member family who came in the THREE hours that we sat there can see it!

Lesson #4
My son is very tender-hearted and sentimental.

Okay, I already knew this, but when downloading pictures from my camera, I found this one from when I was in CA.

He fell asleep holding one of the love notes I had hidden in his sock drawer for him to find while I was gone. If that's not the sweetest thing. . .

Reminded me of when Nate started school again after winter break last year and Harrison was quite distraught not to be able to say goodnight to him. This picture was the next best thing.

Lesson #5
Even the freezing cold weather we've been having doesn't motivate this girl to keep her clothes on.

Maybe the beanie will make up for the lack of all other clothing.

Lesson # 6
Never underestimate the cooking skills of a bachelor.

One of Nate's friends from school and work threw a "dinner party" this weekend. Well, I assumed this guy was married and his wife would be cooking. When I found out he was a bachelor and all the other people would be single, my expectations went way down and I assumed we'd be having pizza or something grilled.

Turns out, this guy's little brother is the executive chef a restaurant and has taught him a thing or two. We had caprese salad, eggplant parmesan, ravioli with butternut squash sauce, garlic bread, and carrot cake. It was better than a restaurant and I was in heaven.

I told Nate that Matt is now my new favorite friend of his and that we need to do whatever it takes to get a return invite over there. Whoever said the the way to a man's heart was through his stomach just hadn't met me yet.

Side note: I get a little nervous going to social events with people who are close to my age, but not in the same stage of life as me. Knowing I'd be the only married, stay at home mom, who doesn't drink or swear, and is pregnant with her third child made me feel a little self-conscious. It doesn't help when Nate says things like, "Can you make sure you look really cute? Why don't you curl your hair (um, okay) and be sure to wear something that makes you look really pregnant (read: not just fat)." When I obliged he was so funny saying that's exactly how he was picturing me to look and that he felt sorry for me because when I introduce people to him it's like saying, "Hey guys look at my new Civic," but when he introduces people to me it's like saying, "Hey, look at my new Acura 3X" (or something like that, some nicer car.) That was so much sweeter than his last car analogy. When I said that it takes me so much longer to show that some pregnant women he said, "Well, if you shove a bunch of stuff into a Civic, you'd totally be able to notice, but if you stuck the same amount of stuff into an Expedition it really wouldn't make a difference." Wow honey. An Expedition? Apparently, I'm morbidly obese when compared with a small woman. I proceeded to argue my case that I would be more like a PT Cruiser (size wise -- not that I like those cars). I also told him that if I die and he remarries, he better make sure she has a really thick skin, or just not say stuff like that. Don't worry, my self-esteem is fully intact and I still love him.

Lesson #7
If you've already been to 3 hours of church that day and you're considering taking the children back to an hour long dedication for your brand new church building, but your husband can't go with you -- JUST DON'T GO.

Sure she looks pretty cute and innocent here, right before we left, but let's just say it ended with me dragging both kids out during the closing song because I couldn't take one more minute of their shenanigans while Harrison loudly yelled, "Am I going to get a spank? I don't want to get a spank!"

I guess that's better than what he said while I was bearing my testimony earlier that day. Thankfully not loud enough for me to hear all the way at the pulpit, but reportedly loud enough for several of the rows around us to hear. When Nate picked him up off the ground in an attempt to keep him from brutalizing Elizabeth, Harrison said, "Ow, that hurts my nuts!"

I'm sure this week will be full of even more of the wonderful lessons that come along with being a wife and mother!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Wedding Weekend

Last weekend I flew to California for my cousin, JR's, wedding. My parents, my sister Laura, my brother Andrew, and my brother Travis and his wife Kat(e) came too. Plus a whole bunch of other extended family members. We had a great time. Beautiful weather. The prettiest part of California that I've been to (Irvine/Newport Beach). A touching sealing of two wonderful (and gorgeous) people that waited a long time to find each other. Fun times with family. And lots of good food.

Laura, my mom, and me after the rehearsal dinner.

My best cousin, Suzanne, and me at the rehearsal dinner.

A bunch of us outside the beautiful Newport Beach Temple.
Lovely angle and posture from yours truly.

Suzanne, Kat(e) and I are all pregnant. Laura wanted in on the fun too.

Suzanne is due at the beginning of December, Kat(e) is due the beginning of January and I'm due at the beginning of February! We're all having boys and hope that they'll be the best of cousins!

The reception was on a boat called "The Eternity." How appropriate! Here's the immediate fam that was there, although it's hard to see all the way to the end of the row.

This was during the "cocktail" hour.
Laura, me and Kat(e), who was sampling the "Thulin Tango."

Andrew, Laura and I. The shrimp appetizer was the culinary highlight of the night for me.

Me and my sis!

It's funny how much we all stressed about our outfits for this "black tie optional" event. I felt like I was getting ready for the red carpet. Then we got there and realized 1) there was quite a variety in people's interpretation of "black tie optional" (not that mine was all that fancy, but really, one guy showed up in skinny jeans and converse) and 2) it's not the red carpet. No one is analyzing every detail of your outfit from the jewelry to the shoes. Even though it was stressful (especially for a pregnant lady who is in the mostly-looking-just-fat stage), it was fun getting all dressed up. Thanks to my friend Tamara for lending me the purple (very "in" color right now, for those who haven't noticed) dress, and some other cute stuff for the weekend!

The fashion police would have probably dogged on my choice of hairstyles. I wanted to do something fancier than my everyday look, so I forced Kat(e) to curl it for me and she did as well as possible with my annoying hair. For me, going curly is always a crap shoot as to how it's going to turn out. So then we put it half up and I felt like I really didn't look like me. I felt bad that I had wasted so much of Kat(e)'s time and didn't want her to feel bad that I didn't love it. Then I was in a funk. I wished I had just left it straight and put it half up like Laura (seriously, I just need to always do whatever she does - I always end up liking her choices about things like that better). Kat(e) pointed out that most people don't look like their normal selves at these kind of events. And Laura pointed out that I am the most indecisive and annoying decision maker ever. Very true. Alright, enough with the vanity.

Love my cousins! Zannie, Steph, me, and Laura.

Here we are with the happy couple. Shae was the most beautiful bride!

The next day we walked around Laguna Beach. We tried to do a cute phone booth picture, but it didn't work out quite as I envisioned it.

We went in an art gallery that had all this original Dr. Seuss art work. My kids love Horton Hears a Who, so I had to take a picture with Horton for them.

We went to BJ's to have the original pizookie (pizza/cookie). A friend told me about these and I have been making my own version of it for years. But I had to have the real thing at least once. Mine are just as good and a lot cheaper.

The disturbing part about BJ's was at the end when I was waiting in line for the bathroom and I saw a sign at the very back of the restaurant that said something along the lines of: Some food at this restaurant contains chemicals that the state of California has linked to causing cancer and birth defects.

Um. Okay. I'm glad to know that now that we're done eating. Especially seeing as how I'm pregnant. I mean, the pizookie was good, but if I have a baby with 3 heads because of it, I'm going to be pretty ticked. Maybe next time you could inform me of that BEFORE I start eating. Or here's a better idea, how about we don't put any chemicals in the food that we know cause cancer and birth defects!!!

Other than that (and seeing Fame, which should have been titled Lame), we had a great weekend! It was so great to spend time with so much family! Thanks mom and dad for the hotel room, food, and movie.

It was great to see Nate and the kids again. I missed my kids like crazy, but it only took about an hour for the reality of having children to set back in (fits, fights, etc)!