Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas

Christmas morning is so much fun! I love the traditions, the anticipation, and the joy on the kids' faces when they see what has been left for them under the tree.

These super-cool cowboy costumes were made by Mitch's mom.

Warm and fashionable beanies made by my mom.
(Thanks, Grandmas!)

This look on Caleb's face is priceless. He just realized what they'd unwrapped.

This was Adam's favorite gift.

We had a joyful Christmas. ;-)

But the best part was just being together.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Right now there is a tiny life growing within me. A brain is building, a tiny heart is beating, and even the fingernails are now complete. Our baby is due on June 27.

We're so excited!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Reasons to Avoid Exercising

I find that I am adept at finding reasons to avoid exercising. I remember watching a commercial where a woman dressed in leotards got out her exercise ball and weights. Then in the next frame she was lying on the floor with her feet propped on the ball, talking on the phone. There was a caption that went something like this:
"30% of people intending to exercise find a reason not to."
I scoffed at this commercial. Where was the self control? The discipline? The motivation? I think I was in denial.

I don't scoff anymore. In fact, I have begun directing those same questions at myself when, as I prod myself toward my weights, my mind, oh so easily, produces a reason NOT to use them.
Here are some of the reasons I give myself:

In the past I have gotten out of bed early to exercise before the kids wake up (best way to do it!).
Reason #1: Sleep is very important to one's health.
In a physical education class I took in college, I specifically remember the instructor stressing these three points: sleep, diet, and exercise. In that order.

So if I sleep until Adam wakes me up, we launch into the whirlwind of getting kids ready for school, packing lunches, fixing breakfast, etc. When we return home from dropping Dallin and Caleb off at school, that should be prime exercising time. Exercise, shower, go pick up Dallin from preschool. Right?
Reason #2: Exercising takes away from time with my children.

Well, where does that leave Adam for all that time? I'll tell you where it leaves him. On the couch in front of the TV. What kind of a selfish mother would sit her child in front of the TV to spend time for herself?

One great solution for my troubles is to push Adam and Dallin in the stroller and walk Caleb to school.
Reason #3: It's chilly.
(Yes, I know we live in one of the warmest climates in the US. You have permission to scoff).
Reason #4: We don't have time.
The kids are taking a long time to eat breakfast. Someone is sleeping late (see Reason #1 above). I forgot, until the moment we are leaving, to pack Caleb a lunch, etc.

What if I could justify reason #2 and I did my exercising during Adam's nap, while Dallin plays educational computer games?
Reason #5: I like to be showered and dressed in the a.m. preferably with either my hair done or my makeup on.

When I exercise I usually a)sweat enough to require a shower afterwards, and b)perform exercises that require me to wear non-restrictive clothing, aka sweats or stretch pants.

Okay then, I'll exercise around 9:00 p.m. after the kids are in bed.
Reason #6: I am exhausted.

I've had a full day. I've cleaned up mess after mess, paid bills, changed diapers, stood in line at the post office, baked cookies, played Buzz Lightyear vs. Emperor Zurg, pushed kids in the swing, mopped my floors, gone visiting teaching, made dinner, helped with homework, bathed bouncy kids, and read bedtime stories.
Reason #7: This is my only time to myself.

Reason #8: This is my time to spend with my husband.

Let's say that the planets align and the rational part of my mind will not fully accept these reasons. Actually, having put them to words many of them seem a little silly (what's wrong with showering at 2:30 in the afternoon?)
Doubt not, somewhere it will come out that:
Reason #9: I'm feeling under the weather.
I can't breathe out of my nose. My chest is congested. I have a headache.

Or, finally, if all other reasons fail,
Reason #10: I'd rather be sitting at my computer.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a happy Thanksgiving. Our guests included another family in the neighborhood and two of Mitchs friends. It was a mixed group but we all enjoyed each other's company and all the great food!

It had rained the night before and the kids discovered plenty of super-gooey, fun mud to play in.

Dallin decided to dive right in and slather it on.

The garden hose comes in handy for moments like these.

Mmmm. Adam's favorite pie was Frozen German Chocolate.

A few days after the feast, Caleb got the wish-power half of the wishbone.

I'm just so thankful for everything I have been given in my life. I love Thanksgiving because it's a time set aside for us all to reflect on those things and remember how much we truly have. I believe a lot of happiness comes from being grateful.

My Birthday

I had a great birthday. Mitch arranged for a friend of mine to watch Dallin and Adam so he could take me out to lunch. I love spending time with my husband. After dinner we played games and ate the cake that Mitch baked for me himself!

They sang to me and the kids presented me with gifts. It was just lovely.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Black Eye

Last Monday Adam raced across the family room and, just as he reached me, he tripped. I turned too late to catch him. He came down and his eye slammed into the lever on the armchair. It's a dangerous world.

The day after it happened, and today.

Great Student

Caleb received an award for outstanding school-wide citizenship for 1st quarter. He is doing very well in school.

Great job, Caleb!
He has also had a good time participating in after-school Fun Runs each Thursday.

What If...?

Given a quiet moment, Dallin's imagination knows no bounds. He often shares his musings with me when we're eating lunch, so I decided to grab a pen and jot down his thoughts while I munched my sandwich. So here's a sample of Dallin's imaginings:

What if you could jump into space?

What if when it was night time you slept and when it was morning you slept and when it was night time you slept and when it was morning you slept and you keeped sleeping and never stopped? And then you came to heaven and you never slept?
You'd be really strong.

What if Dad was a kid and you were a kid and Adam was a kid and Caleb was a kid and I would be a kid?
We would be sad. We would want a dad. And a mom.

What if it was never morning?

What if you were made out of chocolate?
(In response, I asked him if he would eat me.)
Yes. If I saw you I would eat you. For dessert. If I was done with my lunch or dinner, and I was walking and I saw you, I would eat you.

What if you were made out of chairs?
What if you were made out of treats?
What if you were made out of pears, and baskets, and bread, and candy, and houses and closets, and tiles, and boxes, and a trash can? And your head was a computer.
What would you think?

What if we put glue on your hair and it dried? And you took a shower and it took for an hour! giggles

What if you were sick?

What if you were made out of monsters?

What if you just got in the van and then Caleb was there (in reference to driving to pick up Caleb after school)?

What if your hand was broken and you had a hook?

What if you had one eye? What would you say?

What if we had a pet mouse? (After thinking for a moment, he continued) I would say, "I think that mouse is going to eat all our cheese sticks!"

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Great Day for a Hike

Saturday was beautiful. Sunny and cool, it was a great day for hiking.

We spent the morning here.

We hiked with our friends Matt and Ryland.

It was a great day for collecting sticks,

throwing rocks,

climbing rocks,

and enjoying the desert beauty.

Don't let Adam fool you. He had fun most of the time.

It was refreshing to spend time outdoors, to soak in the rugged landscape and just be together.

Glorious Sunset

Mitch took this great shot.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Fairies Didn't Come

This morning Mitch got up with Dallin and started fixing him some breakfast. As Dallin sat on the couch he surveyed the kitchen and family room.
"Mom's silly," he said suddenly.
"She is?" Mitch asked.
"Yeah." Dallin giggled. "She thought the fairies were coming to clean the house last night."

Well, they didn't come.

Maybe if I petition the brownies, or the sprites...

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Beginning of Time Out

I sent Adam to his first, full, 2-minute time out. I'll spare you the details of his offence. Suffice it to say that it was shocking and messy. And he did it twice. And at the root of it? Curiosity. Which isn't a bad thing, of course, but it did kill the cat. In Adam's case he sat. Two minutes in the laundry room. And that was that.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

All Hallows Eve

And a good one, it was. Cap'n Mitch, the little mates, and I discovered a good amount of treasure in the neighborhood waters. We had a good time too, Arrrg!

Trick-or-treating at Mitch's work.

Caleb in the costume parade at his school.

Scooping out the goop to prepare for carving.

These are our bone-chillin' jack 'o lanterns. Mitch and I won 1st prize with the first one (from a template) at a party, Dallin helped me design the second, and the third is Caleb's original design.

Halloween night. Time to collect some serious loot.

Adam's got some treasure!

Time for a break. Pillaging the neighborhood is hard work.

I happen to love the Cap'n.

The Dread Pirate Dallin

Beware the Curse of the Googly Eyes, which comes upon those who've eaten too much candy.

Aye, t'was a good night for piracy. The boys already be talkin' 'bout what they'll be next year...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Celebrating Adam's Big Day

We went to see Trouble at Haunted Mountain at the Great AZ Puppet Theatre. The boys were captivated. But when the puppeteers brought out the puppets after the show, Adam didn't want to get too close.

We stopped at the Storytelling Festival and relaxed in the grass as we listened to some great stories.

At home we presented our own puppet shows: The Tiger, the Mouse, and the Alligator (using Dallin's school-made puppets), Dave the Brave (presented by Caleb), and Murky Monster Gets a Scare.

Adam couldn't get enough of Mitch's two bear puppets, who were the emcees of our production. In between shows we played games that went along with the theme of each show.

Adam blew out the candles, and we ate balloon cupcakes and ice cream. Oh, and we taught Adam that instead of saying, "Fine," when someone asks how old he is, he can hold up two fingers and say, "Two." We're still working on that.

And Caleb and Dallin were very helpful in presenting Adam's presents, as well as opening them.

Fun day. Sweet boy. We love Adam.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Adam's Birthday

Yesterday marked two years since Adam was born. After his birth, I wrote in my journal that our brand new baby had "melted our hearts." That still fits. We can't help but smile when Adam is around.

I love how cheerful he is in the morning. When he wakes up he'll call, "Mom! Mom!" from his crib. I'll open the door. "Oh!" he'll gasp, "Good morning, Mom!" It's like the rays of morning sun coming in the window.

Adam's personality is warm and enthusiastic. His reactions to even simple things bring smiles. Today I tossed an empty box into the recycle garbage can. Adam was watching and when I sunk it, he said with a big smile, "Good job, Mom!"

I love the feeling of his little arms around my neck in a big hug. He loves giving his Daddy what we call "knock-over" hugs. That's when Adam puts his back to the front door and then races the length of our house into Dad's waiting arms and "knocks" him flat on his back. All our boys love doing this.

Adam is social and outgoing. It's fun to watch him spark smiles at the grocery store, park, or wherever we may pass someone by and he'll say, "Hi!" like he's been waiting all day to see them.

Adam loves his brothers, and looks up to them very much. It's endearing to watch Adam, in his excitement over something, say, "I go tell guys!" before running to share.

Adam loves music. He'll often tell me to "push triangle," which refers to the Play button on our CD player, so he can hear some music. Every night he insists that we sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and at least one verse of Follow the Prophet before he will say goodnight.

Adam loves to belly laugh. Whether it's from being tickled, chased, or something silly, Adam loves laughing. When he starts, you can't help but smile, or join in yourself. In fact, when he was younger and couldn't speak as well, he laughed anytime he wanted to communicate in the affirmative.

I love his little kisses, and I love to hear him tell me, "I wuv you, Mom."

This is what Caleb said when I asked him why he loves Adam: "He wants to play a lot. He helps clean up. He asks, 'Are you okay?' and says, 'Sorry.' He has good manners."

Here's what Dallin said when I asked him why he loves Adam: "Because I love him."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

We all scream for... cream!

I love this picture. Incidentally, I love ice cream too. And since we're talking about love, I love these boys most of all.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What's for dinner?

"What are we having for dinner tonight?" Dallin inquired.
I told him that we were lucky because we get to have salmon, which is a kind of fish.
"I don't like fish."
"Oh, it's delicious." I told him. "And it's pink." I altered a familiar phrase from Dr. Seuss, "Some are red, and some are blue. Some are pink..." I paused, searching for the right ending.
"And some stink!" Dallin quipped.

Dallin did not eat his salmon. Dallin ate a baked potato.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall Break

We had a great week. We took it easy and enjoyed the freedom from our normal schedule. Here are some of the things we did. Click...

We made memories and shared laughter, and the only bad thing that I can think of was the moment I was nailed by an overhead bird at the zoo.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


This is the man I love...

Look quick.
He may ask me to pull this post, even though I tried really hard not to appear sappy. In fact I didn't really say anything at all, other than that I love him. Which is just a fact.

I didn't go on about his sense of humor, what a wonderful dad he is, or enumerate the ways he takes care of our family. I didn't gush about how he makes me feel like a queen. Nothing about how he pushes me to accomplish my goals, even when I have almost given up hope in them, or how the sun shines brighter when he is around.

Nah, he can have nothing to say about this post.