Thursday, September 30, 2010

What's Red, White and Blue All Over?

Today I was all caught up on the laundry. And the dishes. I had gotten Josh down for a nap. Grace was playing quietly in her room.

So, I thought I'd reward myself and catch up on a craft that I had begun last May. For the Fourth of July.

I'm just thinking ahead for next year, really.

I put the first coat of paint on, then left it to dry while I went and took a shower. Taking a shower made me think that I needed to scrub the tub. Scrubbing the tub made me think that I needed to organize the cleaners under the sink. Organizing under the sink, and filling up a trash bag with empty/never used cleaners, made me think that I needed to clean out my trash can.

So, in the midst of my If You Give a Mouse a Cookie-style-cleaning, I forgot about my craft.

When I went out to the kitchen later, Grace had surprised me by clearing off the table and washing it. She was so proud! She had put several things under the table, though, while clearing it. In the back of my mind I knew that this wasn't good, but I couldn't pinpoint exactly why.

Until a few minutes later when Josh started crawling around under the table. In the newspaper covered with paint.

He (and my carpets) were very patriotic-looking yesterday.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

First Project: Family

Adam's first project of this school year was due today. The topic given was family. He decided to do a scrapbook of "A Week in the Life of My Family."

He took pictures of everything that we did last week, collected receipts/tickets/agendas/lists, put them on paper, captioned them in ink pen, and called it good.

Obviously 7-year-old boys have different definitions of scrapbooking than this Mommy does.


He did a great job, and it was a lot of fun to see everything that we did in a week. It was even more fun to hear his opinions on what we do.

Apparently it was an off-week fun-family-wise, because as he was gluing pictures of us at the post office, grocery shopping, doctor appointments, ballet lessons, PTA meetings, Mike working at D.I., and at church during Primary, he said, "We kind of are a boring family."

Maybe we're boring compared to the circus or something, but I happen to think that we do a lot around here.

With a baby who has a penchant for dumping anything and everything out and playing in the toilet, my life is never boring, anyways.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Confessions of Stay-At-Home Motherhood

I was looking at my blog the other day, and started feeling a little guilty.

Countdowns to school and the 31 days of Halloween and reading time and learning time, are all over this blog. I've heard more than once someone tell me, "You are such a fun mom!"

I always feel a little guilty when they do, because (in reality) it's not all rainbows and chocolate here. And I have my selfish reasons for being (or trying to be, anyways) fun.

When I was in high school, I was boy-crazy. No lie. However, I never really pictured myself getting married. I figured it would happen, and I figured we would probably have kids, and I figured I would do the typical Mormon-girl thing and stay home with them, but it wasn't something that I really thought about or necessarily wanted.

I wanted to be a journalist.

Well, originally I wanted to be in the FBI. But, I thought that being an investigative reporter would be a good second choice.

Just as I was beginning college, though, I fell in head-over-heels in love with the first boy that I seriously dated. 9 months later I married that boy. That boy wanted babies right off, and I loved him enough to do just that. A few pregnancy problems and miscarriages, and we had our first baby boy just a few weeks after our 2nd anniversary.

Over the next 4 years, I continued to work to pay off bills, moved away so that we could finish college, worked part-time, had a baby girl, and attended school full-time.

When we moved to Las Vegas after graduation, I had my first taste at being a full-time stay-at-home mom and homemaker.

I always knew that it would eventually happen.

I had no idea that I would hate it so much.

Reality hit hard and fast. The dreams of life being grand once we had a "real job" quickly faded. Finances were so tight in the beginning of post-college life that we had a $25 a week food budget. Being in a new city and state made me feel lonely. Mike needing the car to work 45 minutes from our home made me feel isolated.

It was a really hard time.

I broke down to Mike one night, and told him my deepest, darkest secret:

That I hated it. Really, really hated it.

He was really struggling, too, at the time with supporting our family and adjusting to a new job. He told me something along the lines of, "Fake it 'til you make it."

Which isn't bad, considering.

One day I told family (some) of what I was feeling. My sister-in-law gave me the best advice ever. She told me that the more she put into being a mother, the better it was for her.

I'm an all-or-nothing person. And before I gave up on doing the homemaker thing (which, after a lot of prayer and fasting, is what I knew I should be doing), I threw myself into it.

I made my #1 goal to show my children how much Heavenly Father loved them through my actions and to be able to have the Spirit in our home.

And went to work.

We had learning time, reading time, craft time, and coloring time. We did countdown chains and themed days. We celebrated every holiday and cooked together. We read scriptures and acted out scripture stories. Prayed and sang Primary songs. I (tried) to keep our home in order and make it as nice as I could on our budget.

And as time went on, I realized how much I began to love motherhood and being a homemaker. I loved being able to be with my kids every day. To watch them grow and learn. To see their sweet testimonies blossom. That I could so positively influence my family... that through my actions, we could have the Spirit in our home.

I can honestly say now that I love being able to be with my kids daily. I adore them (and all of their craziness). I love being able to make our little apartment a home. It's made me happier than I ever imagined.

I wouldn't trade it for all of the investigative reporting in the world.

That's not to say that I don't have hard days, where everything comes crashing down, and I cry and want to give up.

Because that does happen.

But, the more that I forget myself and get to work, serving my family, the more I love and cherish it. The more I appreciate being a woman, and the unique role I have as a mother.

I don't want to ever, ever go back to the way it first was.

And if it takes me doing Halloween crafts for 31 days to keep it that way, then that's how I'm going to roll.

* I hope I haven't offended anyone with this post. I believe that Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us. Sometimes that plan means staying home with our children, and sometimes that means providing for our families. This is just my story. ;)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The 31 Days of Halloween

I normally do The 13 Days of Halloween, but there is SO much fun stuff around, I couldn't narrow it down to just 13.

So, I went with 31.

However, in order to go with 31 days, I had to keep them at costing $1 (or less) per day. So I got creative and looked around and decided on these as our budget-friendly (and spooky) activities.

It should be fun!!!

1) Doorbell ditch “BOO” treats
2) Make Ghostly Milk Jugs
3) Make Halloween Hang Ups
4) Make Caramel Apples
5) Play the Skeleton Scavenger Hunt
6) Have Mummy Mini Pizzas (for dinner)
7) Decorate Mini Pumpkins
8) Read Spooky Books by Flashlight
9) Make Yarn Spiders
10) Make Nutter Butter Ghosts
11) Play the Mummy Toilet Paper Game
12) Make Oreo Spiders
13) Play Pin the Face on the Pumpkin
14) Eat Dinner in a Pumpkin (for dinner)
15) Make Glowing Ghosts
16) Make Halloween Costumes
17) Decorate Halloween Sugar Cookies
18) Visit a Pumpkin Patch or a Kid-Friendly Haunted House
19) Make Pumpkin Pancakes with Black Syrup (for breakfast)
20) Play Grab the Ghost
21) Make Pumpkin Bracelets (or Keychains for Adam)
22) Drive Around and Look at Halloween Decorations
23) Make Haunted Houses
24) Decorate Wicked Witch Cupcakes
25) Make Halloween Shirts
26) Play Find the Ghost (game similar to the "Find the Note" game in Primary)
27) Decorate Trick-or-Treat Bags
28) Special Halloween lunch (mummy dogs, wicked cheese fingers, apple bites, jello Frankensteins)
29) Carve Pumpkins
30) Go Trunk-or-Treating (or is it Trick-or-Trunking?)
31) Special Halloween Dinner (still deciding on the details for this one)

I can't wait!

Anyone have any fun Halloween ideas?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Drive-In Movie

On Thursday one of the drive-in theaters had a "Customer Appreciation Night" and were offering 3 free movies. Toy Story 3 was one of the movies that were free and Mike thought it would be fun to go. We found out that the movie didn't start until 8:00, though, and Adam has to be asleep by that time or he is so grumpy the next day.

So, Mike and Grace went.

They had a really fun time!

I asked how the movie was, and Mike said that they didn't see much...they had stopped off at Target beforehand and had grabbed some snacks.

Sugary snacks.

Lots of sugary candy and popcorn and some chocolate milk to boot.

A tired and way sugared up 4-year-old in a car with lots of buttons and lights to play with = not to much movie seeing.

We'll have to rent that one when it comes out... ;)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Trial Run

For our Toast to Fall celebration we ate these pumpkin bars for dessert.

I had been planning on giving Josh a few bites of mine, but Mike thought he should have his own piece.

(No, we are not in the running for 'Parents of the Year'... why do you ask?)

We're just considering it a trial run for his birthday cake for his first birthday.

I don't think he's going to need too much practice, though, he seemed to understand what to do with it right away.

Genius baby, remember? ;)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Toast to Fall 2010

Tonight we had our annual family "Toast to Fall" party.

Grace and I made pumpkin bars and decorated during the day while Adam was at school. When he came home, we made some garland to decorate (using fake fall leaves) together, and then we made dinner while he did his homework.

And when Mike got home we ate and toasted to my favorite season!

Here's to cooler weather, Halloween, pumpkins, soup season, applesauce, Thanksgiving, fall colors, crunchy leaves, the smells of spice candles, and more!

I LOVE everything about fall... it's the best!

We all had a really fun time talking about our favorite things about autumn.

Josh was a little irked, though, about not getting a plastic champagne glass full of sparkling cider.

(Maybe I should have filled his sippy?)

So he took matters into his own hands.

That's my baby!


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Night Out

We have been so ridiculously good about not eating out.

Like we haven't eaten out at all for months.

Rah! for us, right?

I have been kind of jealous, though, because they bring in yummy lunches all of the time at D.I. At least once a week, he gets to eat something fun... while I stay home and eat mac and cheese with the kids.

Who says motherhood isn't glamorous?


So, last week his boss bought Cafe Rio and sent Mike to pick it up. Mike had to pick up so many that he ended up getting a free meal on the punch card. And since kids eat free there (score!) we went out to eat tonight and shared the free meal, so that we didn't have to pay.

How much fun is that?

It was Josh's first time in a real highchair and he LOVED it! Almost as much as he loved his cheese quesadilla... he finished the entire thing!

We had a lot of fun getting out and breaking out of the routine for a night!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Maybe It's No Longer a Good Idea

it's not?


Who am I kidding... letting him play in the fridge is so definitely not a good idea.

18 eggs were the victim this time.

I think that our fridge playing days (and my sanity while I make dinner) are long gone.

Though some could argue that my sanity was long gone a while ago.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

At The Races

A customer at D.I. gave Mike 4 tickets to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for last night's race. Grace is so not a big fan of loud noises and I wasn't sure how Josh would do, so Adam and Mike went together.

They had a GREAT time!

Their favorite part was when two of the cars racing crashed and there was a fire (luckily, no one was hurt). I think that's a terrible thing to like about a race... but what do I know? ;)

I'm so glad that they got to go together and had such a fun time!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lucky Boy!

This summer we participated in the Barnes and Noble summer reading program. Adam read 8 books and got a free book, and we were happy.

On Tuesday I got a call from Barnes and Noble. The employee on the phone told me that Adam had won the grand prize for the summer reading program drawing! I couldn't believe it... I hadn't even realized that there was a grand prize (we were totally thrilled about the free book)!

He won all 10 of The 39 Clues books... autographed! Adam had finished reading the first of the series and had been saving up to get the second book (our rule is if our kids want a book we pay half/they pay half)... and now he no longer needed to! We were SO happy for him!

We went down to Barnes and Noble today so that they could present him with the prize!

He was SO thrilled (and was especially happy about the new backpack that the prize books came in... I guess he got a new backpack for this school year after all ;) ).

He has been reading them like crazy since we got home!

Adam loves reading and I am so thrilled that he does. I love that he stays up late, late reading and brings books with him wherever we go. It's so fun to see something that I love so much passed down to him.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

This Girl Can Cook!

Grace and I made some star cookie pops with the leftover dough I had from the "kissing hands" cookies. I did 2 batches, and then left to care for Josh.

Grace asked if she could play with the rest of the dough, and I agreed.

I came over about a little while later, and she had rolled it out, and cut out half a pan of cookies! I was so impressed!

Note: Do NOT judge me for my nasty baking sheet.


I'm so proud of her!

I love how determined she was to do it all on her own, how she didn't give up when the dough stuck and she had to re-flour, and how proud she was of herself.

I especially love the star's bent little points. Too cute.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Climbing on Up

We don't have a highchair, so we've been using the Bumbo paired with the feeding tray to feed Josh.

It's just not working for us anymore.

He can get out of the Bumbo and be climbing the window in a matter of seconds.


... a stinker with seriously stinkin' cute feet, that is!

I'm in love with his feet!

Not so in love with his determination to climb things rather than eat.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


The other day I was baking the last batch of cookies, when Josh starting screaming.

I love the boy. But, I can ignore some fussing. Especially while I'm dealing with hot ovens.

Recently, he figured out that if he bangs his head on the ground, I will immediately pick him up.

Okay, maybe he's only 9 months old.

He's a genius, what can I say.

Or maybe it's coincidence that whenever I don't pick him up right away when he starts to cry, he hits his head on the ground.

Personally, I'm going with the "he's a genius" thang.

Anyways, he crawled into the kitchen and started to do his head-banging routine, so I went and nursed him and asked Adam to get the last batch of cookies out of the oven. The pan slid back as he was taking it out, and a corner got his arm, resulting in a 2nd degree burn.

I felt so bad! He was in so much pain!

After a lot of cool water and cold packs, he's feeling much better (though definitely not well enough to do chores or anything). Obviously.

On a bright note, the scar will look pretty cool someday.


PS - I really don't ignore him while he cries all that often.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Her at 4...

This year's birthday interview with my curly-girly.

Side note: When she was born, her hair looked like it had a little bit of curl at the neck. Excited, I began calling her "Curly-girly." I was much too hopeful. Her hair is ridiculously straight. And not only does she have no curls or waves at all, it's extremely difficult to get her hair to hold curl. The nickname stuck, however, so now I call her a cute name that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. ;)

Favorite color: Purple... and all of the colors in the whole world!
Favorite TV show: Barney, Caillou
Favorite cereal: All-Berry Captain Crunch
Favorite dinner: Pizza
Favorite animal: Horses and monkeys
Favorite movie: Eloise
Favorite toy: Barbies, my horse, babies, coloring books
Favorite song: "I am a Child of God"
Favorite thing to wear: My dresses
Favorite treat: Cookies with lots of frosting and sprinkles! and cooled s'mores
Favorite thing to do outside: Run and ride my bike
Favorite thing to do with Mommy: Make treats, read books, and I like to play with her.
Favorte thing to do with Daddy: Play toys with him and when he swings me in the air.
Favorite thing to do with Adam: Play "restaurant" with him
Favorite thing to do with Josh: Play peek-a-boo!
How do you know your family loves you: Because they really, really, really do!

And, yes, we really, really, really do love her!


Friday, September 3, 2010

Helpin' Man

He loves helping* with the dishwasher.

*My definition of helping and his definition of helping vary greatly.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

9 Months

17 pounds 8 ounces

27 3/4 inches

- He's begun to cruise along the furniture! (8/27 first time)

- Cut his second tooth (9/1)

- Loves unloading the dishwasher! He can hear it from the other room if it's being opened. He loves grabbing all of the silverware and throwing it on the ground.

Beware of our silverware if you eat at our house. ;)

- Loves dumping anything and everything out.

- He wasn't gaining weight so I started giving him a 4 ounce bottle in the morning after I nursed him and at night after I nursed him. It's made a big difference. He's much happier and gained 2 pounds! I'm hoping to be able to make it to a year with supplementing with the two bottles every day. We'll see.

- Loves pizza, peaches, grilled cheese sandwiches, and Cheerios.

- He can wave "hi" and "bye"... cutest thing ever seriously.

- Is still the biggest mama's boy and wants to be held constantly. Sometimes this is SO frustrating! I feel like I can't get anything done because I'm always holding him and he won't go to other people. Most of the time I love it, though. Who wouldn't want to constantly be holding a baby as cute as him?

- He sometimes will sleep through the night, but he usually gets up at 3 or 4.

- When he's in a good mood, he LOVES Mike! He gives Mike the biggest smiles and loves being swung around in the air by him. He has to be in the right mood, though, because otherwise he will insist on being with me.

It's been a crazy (and a crazy fast) 9 months. I wouldn't have it any other way. Love him!

Immunizations and Donuts

Today, I took Grace in for her 4-year well check and Josh in for his 9-month well check.

Talk about traumatizing!

For me.

Of course.

Josh sailed through his, and we were happy to hear that he was all caught up on his immunizations, and only needed to get some routine blood work done.

Grace was up next.

She weighs 36 pounds and is 42 1/4" inches tall. Which puts her in the 50th percentile for weight and 92nd for height.

Not that you care about that. But someday when I scrapbook again, I will refer to this post for that information.

Because by the time that happens, I will probably have lost the slip the doctor gave me.

After she had been declared to be healthy, it was time for her immunizations.

We had talked beforehand about her getting her 4-year boosters. That she had to get 5. That it was going to hurt a little. BUT, that I would be right there with her, that she could squeeze my hand hard and I would take a little bit of the pain away, and that we would get her birthday ice cream afterward.

She bravely laid down when it was time, closed her eyes, and just yelped a little as she received them.

It made it so much worse for me.

I was a wreck.

It would've been easier if she had screamed and kicked and yelled. Much like her brother had.

Instead she was so brave. And sweet.


As soon as it was over, she jumped and said, "That wasn't so bad!" She wasn't too traumatized, and hasn't mentioned it since.

We raced to her cooking class afterward. It's at the community center. According to the class description, they "teach about nutrition as the children learn to cook healthy and yummy food."

They made ice cream sundaes and donuts.

Though they did talk about muscles.

She was pretty sugared up, so we skipped the birthday ice cream.

All in all, not as bad of an experience as I thought it was going to be. Because, after all, isn't it said that homemade donuts heal all wounds?

Or something like that...