Monday, January 31, 2011

What Would Mom Do?

Caleb: Dad, I don't think you're doing what Mom would want you to be doing.

Harry Potter Books are Good

Caleb just finished the third book in the Harry Potter series and thought it was "good."  You may not be impressed with his assessment, but he wasn't just saying it to be saying it.  Caleb, while a very good reader, rarely reads more than the requisite "few minutes" before bed.  With this book, as well as the first two in the series, I saw him sneaking off to read, cross-legged on the backyard bench, cuddled on the couch, or even at the kitchen counter at times when he would not normally be reading.  He was hooked on these books. Thank you, Mrs. Rowling!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dallin's Tooth

Does Dallin's smile look any different to you?  
No, you can't see it.

Here, I'll show you.

Dallin bit into an apple yesterday and lost his first tooth!  He promptly dropped it down the drain while trying to rinse it off.  Not to worry though, he left a note for the tooth fairy explaining things.  The tooth fairy is forgiving that way.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Guest Room Before and After

I was talking with an interior design friend of mine about how some people seem to have a knack for decorating.  She said, "You either have it or you don't."

I want to preface this post by saying that I don't have it.  Inner design sense, that is.  Nevertheless, I enjoyed the challenge of sprucing up the guest room using mostly things I had on hand.

Guest room before:

And...the reveal.  
Guest room after:


This painting is my favorite thing in the whole room.  My grandfather painted this in 1958 and it's a treasure of mine.  Mitch's father made the frame out of wood from Mitch's maternal grandfather's old barn.  

These doilies are also treasured heirlooms.  They were made by Mitch's maternal grandmother.  I decided to pull them out of our storage chest, starch them, and display them.  I love them on the wall at the head of the bed.

I sewed the white pillow from a cotton t-shirt.

My sister gave me this darling white canister, and my in-laws found the beautiful antique table at a garage sale.

This frame is made from more of the barn wood and the singing mushrooms were a gift from a childhood friend.

My father-in-law built this bench out of an old twin headboard and footboard.  The rug was made by my mother-in-law.  Another of my grandfather's paintings hangs on the wall.  

My goal was to create a soothing, comfortable room for my friends and loved ones to stay in.  And I loved being able to showcase things that have meaning for my family and me.


The problem
My boys love the Wii.  A lot.  So much that in recent weeks they were often circumventing my 1-hour-a-day rule and spending too much time like this:

Meanwhile, we're enjoying the best weather of the whole year - gorgeous sunny days, blue skies, temperatures in the 70s.  This is what we look forward to the whole sweaty summer, and these boys were spending it in front of a screen!  

The crackdown
Mitch came up with the idea that they can't play during the daytime.  So if they have free time while the sun's up, they're much more likely to wander outside and jump on the tramp, shoot baskets, or swing.  I've got to tell you, those first few days under the new rule were pretty hard.  You could say the boys, especially one and I won't mention any names, were having Wii-thdrawls (that was a bad one, sorry).  But now it's understood, and the rule isn't questioned much and I'm happy to say that it's working out pretty well.

Run Forrest, Run!

I am training for this race:

I had always been one of those people who moans and shakes her head at the mere mention of running.  "I hate running," I would say.  "How do people do that?  Why would  you put yourself through that kind of agony when there are other, less torturous ways to exercise?"

I am no longer that person.  How did this conversion come about, you ask?  Okay, I never said I love running, but I no longer hate it.  There are even rare moments when I enjoy it.

What happened?  Baby fat and a bandwagon.  After Brandt was born I just couldn't banish those last ten or...twelve pounds, darn it!  Exercising, trying to eat right weren't cutting it.  I needed a consistent cardio regimen and I knew it.  Then the bandwagon.  My niece invited me to run a 5k with her and some other family members.  I agreed.  There was something about signing up for an organized event, committing, that made me kick it into gear.  I got outside and ran.  I started getting up at 6:00 am and running 3 days a week to train and yes, in the beginning it was agonizing.  But I was building up my stamina and pushing myself  and soon I could go farther and farther.  I set a goal to run the 5k in under 30 minutes and I exceeded my goal by over a minute.  After that race I continued running for exercise and a friend of mine invited me to sign up for the Ragnar.

Training for this race has pushed me farther that I thought I could possibly go.  I have more than doubled my distance and look forward to pushing my record run to 8 miles on Saturday.  That doesn't mean that I look forward to my runs with glee, but running does provide a clarity of mind and a physical release that I've always felt from exercise.  And the best part?  I didn't think I could do it and now I know I can.  It feels so good to exceed my own expectations.  I'm half-way to my weight-loss goal, I feel healthier, and I look forward to some crazy fun come race day.  If I can just find time to squeeze in my training...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Navel Assumptions

Dallin: Adam and Eve didn't have belly buttons.
Me: These thoughts are deep.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Winter Wonderland

We don't see snow very often.  When we do it almost seems magical to the kids.  Okay, to me too (keep in mind, I never have to actually shovel the stuff or scrape it off my windshield).  It reminds me of those few precious snow days as a kid when we'd wake up to a thick blanket of snow and hurry to tune into the radio to learn if school was cancelled.  Whooping at the good news we'd don our snow gear and grab our sleds.  My kids will never have school cancelled due to a snowstorm but we try to make it up to play in the snow at least once each year.  We were lucky enough to be able to spend a couple days with Mitch's brother's family at their beautiful cabin here.

There was no snow when we arrived, but shortly thereafter the snow started really coming down.  There's something so cozy about watching a winter storm out the window in warmth and comfort.  Whenever there was a bit of a break in the storm the kids would suit up and go out to play.  They had so much fun.

And the beauty of the snow took my breath away.

Disgusting Dishes

"Mom, I almost threw up looking at something." It was Caleb's turn to clean up the kitchen.  He had attacked the dishes piled in the sink, but a minute later he walked into the study where I was addressing an envelope.
"It was a bowl of oatmeal with chocolate milk and apple juice in it."  He made a face as he paced back and forth on the rug, "It was disgusting."
I assured Caleb that, since I do that chore every day, I know exactly what he's talking about.  To his credit he did buck up and finish the job.

A Good Exercise

"Is this a good exercise?" Dallin asked as he lifted his body off the chair under him with his hands and balanced for a few seconds.
"Yes.  It is a good exercise," I said.
"I'm not surprised," Dallin responded, "It hurts."