Saturday, November 15, 2008

She's Here!!!

She's here, she's beautiful, and, already, she's VERY loved! Her parents are having to compete with her proud older brother and sister for any time with her! More pictures and details to come - we're simply too busy enjoying her right now!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Manna from Heaven

The past few days have been somewhat of a challenge for me. My two little darlings just got over a NASTY, TWO WEEK (!) bout with some THE WORST stomach flu I've ever known (and let me tell you, I don't like cleaning up vomit and diarrhea when I'm NOT pregnant, so this was NOT very special for me.) Aside from the cleaning and laundry, this has resulted in 2 weeks of sleepless nights, incessant whining, and carrying an extra 40 (sometimes 80) pounds around when the poor little dears were too sick to even walk - loads of fun for my back, I say. Mix in a good dose of nausea and heartburn, a terrible fall one night, a husband living at the hospital and several pretty hefty contractions and you have quite the treat for a 9-month-pregnant body. I hope I don't come across as complaining, because I write these things now, looking back, in jest and even with a smile on my face. But my message is one of hope and inspiration, a testimony of how grateful I am for Prophets, friends and blogs.

Today when I needed it most, I sat down to the computer for a quick second to do my daily perusing of blogs - I usually have only a couple of moments and check just a few blogs each day. As fortune would have it, I looked at the blog of an old college friend here and saw a post which was truly, to me, Manna from Heaven! (Thank you Jennie!!!) She discussed difficult moments as a mother and shared a talk by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland entitled Because She Is a Mother. (Due to the length, I have simply posted portions which really 'spoke' to me - but then entire talk is definitely worth reading! Click here!)

As I sat down and read, I was so moved I could not withold the tears and it felt good to let them flow freely. Thank you Jennie, Elder Holland and the modern day wonders of the internet!

"If you try your best to be the best parent you can be, you will have done all that a human being can do and all that God expects you to do.

There are some lines attributed to Victor Hugo which read:

“She broke the bread into two fragments and gave them to her children, who ate with eagerness. ‘She hath kept none for herself,’ grumbled the sergeant.

“ ‘Because she is not hungry,’ said a soldier.

“ ‘No,’ said the sergeant, ‘because she is a mother.’ ”

In speaking of mothers generally, I especially wish to praise and encourage young mothers. The work of a mother is hard, too often unheralded work. The young years are often those when either husband or wife—or both—may still be in school or in those earliest and leanest stages of developing the husband’s breadwinning capacities. Finances fluctuate daily between low and nonexistent. The apartment is usually decorated in one of two smart designs—Deseret Industries provincial or early Mother Hubbard. The car, if there is one, runs on smooth tires and an empty tank. But with night feedings and night teethings, often the greatest challenge of all for a young mother is simply fatigue. Through these years, mothers go longer on less sleep and give more to others with less personal renewal for themselves than any other group I know at any other time in life. It is not surprising when the shadows under their eyes sometimes vaguely resemble the state of Rhode Island.

Do the best you can through these years, but whatever else you do, cherish that role that is so uniquely yours and for which heaven itself sends angels to watch over you and your little ones. Husbands—especially husbands—as well as Church leaders and friends in every direction, be helpful and sensitive and wise. Remember, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” 6

Mothers, we acknowledge and esteem your faith in every footstep. Please know that it is worth it then, now, and forever. And if, for whatever reason, you are making this courageous effort alone, without your husband at your side, then our prayers will be all the greater for you, and our determination to lend a helping hand even more resolute.

One young mother wrote to me recently that her anxiety tended to come on three fronts. One was that whenever she heard talks on LDS motherhood, she worried because she felt she didn’t measure up or somehow wasn’t going to be equal to the task. Secondly, she felt like the world expected her to teach her children reading, writing, interior design, Latin, calculus, and the Internet—all before the baby said something terribly ordinary, like “goo goo.” Thirdly, she often felt people were sometimes patronizing, almost always without meaning to be, because the advice she got or even the compliments she received seemed to reflect nothing of the mental investment, the spiritual and emotional exertion, the long-night, long-day, stretched-to-the-limit demands that sometimes are required in trying to be and wanting to be the mother God hopes she will be.

But one thing, she said, keeps her going: “Through the thick and the thin of this, and through the occasional tears of it all, I know deep down inside I am doing God’s work. I know that in my motherhood I am in an eternal partnership with Him. I am deeply moved that God finds His ultimate purpose and meaning in being a parent, even if some of His children make Him weep.

“It is this realization,” she says, “that I try to recall on those inevitably difficult days when all of this can be a bit overwhelming. Maybe it is precisely our inability and anxiousness that urge us to reach out to Him and enhance His ability to reach back to us. Maybe He secretly hopes we will be anxious,” she said, “and will plead for His help. Then, I believe, He can teach these children directly, through us, but with no resistance offered. I like that idea,” she concludes. “It gives me hope. If I can be right before my Father in Heaven, perhaps His guidance to our children can be unimpeded. Maybe then it can be His work and His glory in a very literal sense.” 7

In light of that kind of expression, it is clear that some of those Rhode Island–sized shadows come not just from diapers and carpooling but from at least a few sleepless nights spent searching the soul, seeking earnestly for the capacity to raise these children to be what God wants them to be. Moved by that kind of devotion and determination, may I say to mothers collectively, in the name of the Lord, you are magnificent. You are doing terrifically well. The very fact that you have been given such a responsibility is everlasting evidence of the trust your Father in Heaven has in you. He knows that your giving birth to a child does not immediately propel you into the circle of the omniscient. If you and your husband will strive to love God and live the gospel yourselves; if you will plead for that guidance and comfort of the Holy Spirit promised to the faithful; if you will go to the temple to both make and claim the promises of the most sacred covenants a woman or man can make in this world; if you will show others, including your children, the same caring, compassionate, forgiving heart you want heaven to show you; if you try your best to be the best parent you can be, you will have done all that a human being can do and all that God expects you to do.

Yours is the grand tradition of Eve, the mother of all the human family, the one who understood that she and Adam had to fall in order that “men [and women] might be” 9 and that there would be joy. Yours is the grand tradition of Sarah and Rebekah and Rachel, without whom there could not have been those magnificent patriarchal promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob which bless us all. Yours is the grand tradition of Lois and Eunice and the mothers of the 2,000 stripling warriors. Yours is the grand tradition of Mary, chosen and foreordained from before this world was, to conceive, carry, and bear the Son of God Himself. We thank all of you, including our own mothers, and tell you there is nothing more important in this world than participating so directly in the work and glory of God, in bringing to pass the mortality and earthly life of His daughters and sons, so that immortality and eternal life can come in those celestial realms on high.

When you have come to the Lord in meekness and lowliness of heart and, as one mother said, “pounded on the doors of heaven to ask for, to plead for, to demand guidance and wisdom and help for this wondrous task,” that door is thrown open to provide you the influence and the help of all eternity. Claim the promises of the Savior of the world. Ask for the healing balm of the Atonement for whatever may be troubling you or your children. Know that in faith things will be made right in spite of you, or more correctly, because of you.

You can’t possibly do this alone, but you do have help. The Master of Heaven and Earth is there to bless you—He who resolutely goes after the lost sheep, sweeps thoroughly to find the lost coin, waits everlastingly for the return of the prodigal son. Yours is the work of salvation, and therefore you will be magnified, compensated, made more than you are and better than you have ever been as you try to make honest effort, however feeble you may sometimes feel that to be.

Remember, remember all the days of your motherhood: “Ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.” 10

Rely on Him. Rely on Him heavily. Rely on Him forever. And “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope.” 11 You are doing God’s work. You are doing it wonderfully well. He is blessing you and He will bless you, even—no, especially—when your days and your nights may be the most challenging. Like the woman who anonymously, meekly, perhaps even with hesitation and some embarrassment, fought her way through the crowd just to touch the hem of the Master’s garment, so Christ will say to the women who worry and wonder and sometimes weep over their responsibility as mothers, “Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole.” 12 And it will make your children whole as well.

In the sacred and holy name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

A Lesson in Prayer from my two little Angels

Once upon a time, I would have told you I never wanted to have a second child, for fear he/she would take time away from the beautiful, perfect little daughter around whom my life revolved. But on days like today, I am SO grateful that my daughter got a sibling. Does she ever lose some of my attention on his account? Of course. But she gains SO much more - she gains a brother; a little blue-eyed, tow-headed wonder who adores her more than life itself, who (most of the time) worships the ground she walks on. She has gained someone to direct (aka BOSS) around, a shadow, a playmate, a cohort in crime, a best friend. And it brings me so much joy.

I LOVE when I am busy cleaning, cooking, or putting my feet up while eating bon-bons on the couch (ha ha!) and I overhear them playing. Of course, there are moments the playing develops into quarreling and I must intervene - but I try to stay out of them as much as possible because I simply love listening to them!!

Yesterday, Grins was trying with all his might to remove a toy from a tightly-wedged hiding place. When he started getting frustrated, his older sister said "It's OK, (Grins). Let's just say a prayer and Heavenly Father will help us." I then listened as she proceeded to utter a simple "Please help us get the toy" prayer, after which the toy was, of course, easily removed (who, especially a loving Father, could resist such a request?!) I sat there marvelling at these sweet little spirits with whom I spend my every waking moment. How truly blessed I am!

Monday, November 03, 2008

No baby yet.....I'm just growing a brain!

Could the last 2 weeks of pregnancy be any longer? And yet, I know whenever the 'big day' arrives, and we have entered the 'twilight zone' with our beloved little newborn, the pregnancy will have seemed to fly by and I'll look back and long for my nights of uninterrupted sleep and the ability to keep my shirt dry (you nursing mothers know what I'm talking about!).

Yesterday in church EVERYONE looked at me and said "What are you still doing here?!" "Where is that baby?" "Oh, you poor thing"...and so on. Which didn't make me feel all that special. Until one sweet sister said "You hang onto that baby as long as you can! Recent studies have shown that during the last 2 weeks of pregnancy the fetus' brain develops at exponential rates, and that each day is vital in the brain's development. Each day! It's worth it!!" While I've never heard of such a study, it really made me stop and think. Rather than search for a source to validate her claim, I am going to choose to believe these sage words simply to make these next few days/weeks seem 'worth it'. Rather than focus on my heartburn, my need to use the bathroom every 2 minutes and my aching back, I'm going to be grateful that I have a body that is able to conceive, nurture and bear healthy children so easily. And rather than be frustrated at being unable to plan anything in my life for the next month, I am going to enjoy the mystery of wondering what I'll be doing and where I'll be when my new little daughter will courageously leave the arms of her loving Heavenly Father to join our humble little family here on earth. I am going to recognize what an incredible and divine miracle I am taking part in - the miracle of life.

So, right now, I'm just growing my little girl a brain.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Any Day Now...

Right now I am:

~Enjoying the silence of naptime
~Almost through unpacking boxes
~Cooking pumpkin soup and baking rolls for dinner
~Making my way through about 6 loads of laundry to be folded
~Crossing off my 'to do' list one thing at a time
~Oh, and did I mention - dilated to a 5+!

So, any day now, I could be doing this:

But, then again, it could still be weeks. Who knows. One of life's great remaining mysteries.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

What we've been up to....

You may have noticed the sparsity of posts recently. We are still alive, but most of our time is being spent packing (our things, not our children!) It's amazing how we can feel as though we have so little, and yet packing can consume SO MUCH of our time!

I also spent HOURS upon HOURS on the computer researching consumer reports, computing, searching out deals, calculating, etc. and we finally added a new member to (and, really, FOR) our growing family. Meet "Suzie" (named by Angel):

Yes, against our better judgment (prior to the prospect of having 3 kids, we thought we were 'too cool') we have now joined the ranks of the millions of minivan drivers on the road. And all I can say to you SUV lovers out there is: SPACE! We could seriously live out of this thing. And, since our purchase has left us completely penniless...if we can't afford rent we may do just that. (kidding, of COURSE. About living in the van.)

Anyhow, just know that, if you don't hear from us for awhile, it's because we are packing - then moving - then unpacking - and possibly then going to the hospital to have this baby (hopefully in that order!) We'll be sure and post updates when we can, though.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

First Snow of the Season!

This morning we woke up to several inches of snow on the ground. The kids arose while it was still dark, as usual, but as soon as they looked outside they started BEGGING to go out and play in it! I insisted that they absolutely HAD to wait until the sun came up, at least, so they stood for the next hour or so with their noses pressed to the window. I couldn't resist the photo-op with their delightful morning hair! :)

OVERHEARD at the window:

Angel: "It's so beautiful!"
Grins: "Coming down! Snow coming down! WOT (a lot) of snow coming down!"

(In response to my question "What do you want to do when you go outside?"
Angel: "Make snow angels!!"
Grins: "Throw snow balls! Snowball fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!" (is he a boy???)
Angel: "Make snow cones and eat them!"
Grins: "Catch snowflakes in our mouths, AHHHHHH!" (he proceeds to tilt his head back and demonstrate his snowball catching techniques, then both children break out in Barney's rendition of "If All the Snowflakes were candy bars and milkshakes..."
Angel: "We could build a snowman!"
Grins: "Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!" (Just remember, this is a child who would - and often DOES - throw ANYTHING he can get his hands on - and snowballs are just about the ONLY parent-approved item he can throw at people, so snowball fights are pretty much HEAVEN to him.)

Fortunately for me, despite the fact that he was up all night with Angel, the Mr. offered to take them outside. Not that I didn't want to leave the warmth of my robe and slippers and try to stuff my gargantuan belly into some snow pants, but....needless to say, the Mr. is my hero. I then proceeded to gather up all the coats, snow pants, gloves, hats, socks, boots, etc. and get to work. After what seemed an ETERNITY (and not without a LOT of whining because they were MUCH too anxious to get outside to bother with bundling up) I got both kids bundled. The whole while, I was thinking "How am I EVER going to get THREE kids ready to play in the snow! Good grief!"

They finally made it outside, which is where they are as I write this. I helped myself to a nice, hot shower, and then made some hot cocoa and tea, hot cinnamon bread french toast and fresh fruit...but they have yet to come in from the cold. I keep getting glimpses of the flying snowballs, the snow angels being made and the snowmen being built, and wondering if I shouldn't break down and go join them. But then I remember my fuzzy robe and my warm, dry slippers and I am content for them to enjoy it with their Daddy. Does that make me a bad Mom? After all, we do live in Utah, so there will be plenty more snow days to come!...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Happy Birthday Daddy! by Angel

(The following post was composed entirely by Angel (except the italics) and typed by her mother):

Today is my Dad's birthday. He is turning 82 (we still occasionally mix up our 8s and 3s). He is not as old as my mom though because she is 27!

For Daddy's birthday, I wanted to get him a truck. A toy one. But I didn't. But I got him some chocolate balls that are his favorite candy. And he will have one and he will share the rest with me because he loves me so much.

I made a card for my dad. It has a "T" on the front, and Happy Birthday - my mom wrote that. And I drew pink and light blue smiley faces with yellow hair. And I wrote an M. And this is what it says because I told Mommy to write it:

Dear Dad,
Happy Birthday.
I love you.
I love you giving me hugs.
I love you playing with me.
If you want, you can come to my house.
I hope you have a good day.
Love (Angel)

And I made wrapping paper all by myself. It has my hands and feet on it. Light blue and pink ones. And rainbow even black and white.

You're the best. (she actually says that! It's hilarious!) And I hope Mommy will go to work and then I can stay home with you again. But if you have to go to the hospital I'll come with you and help you help the sick people. Because sometimes I love you even more than Mommy.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Love of My Life: My Husband, Eternal Companion, Significant Other, Spouse, Better Half, Best Friend, Lover, Confidant .....

I was just tagged by Ma Fitz so here goes . . .

1. Where did we first meet?
In Hawaii - that's right, folks, Paradise makes for a very romantic beginning!
Laie, Oahu, Hawaii - Human Genetics and Concert Choir at BYUH to be exact.

2. How long did you date before you got married?
The short answer: We knew each other for 1 year without really dating, then when we finally decided we were interested in being more than friends, went on 1 date, got engaged, and were then engaged for 1 more year (longest year of my life!).

3.How long have you been married?
7 years and 2 months as of tomorrow. :)

4. What does he do that surprises you?
He always has something up his sleeve.

5. What is your favorite feature of his?
VERY hard to decide. For blogging purposes, I'll have to go with his SMILE...

6. What is your favorite quality of his?
His integrity, his strong work ethic, and his absolute devotion to God, me, and our family.

7. Does he have a nickname for you?
LOVEY - cheesy, I know, and I can't even remember how it started, but there you have it.

8. What is his favorite color?
BURGUNDY. (Must have the "R" rolled and be said with an Irish accent, I don't know why.)

9. What is his favorite food?
Very hard to tell. He eats and compliments EVERYTHING I make (even the disasters...) and if I ask his preference for dinner, he says "Whatever's easiest for you!" I know he favors asparagus, chicken enchiladas, tortilla soup, zuppa toscana and a special tofu stir-fry I make, but I couldn't tell you his favorite.

10. What is his favorite sport?
Watching: Nothing (One of my most favorite of his qualities!!!) Playing/Participating: Hard to say - he loves running, biking, volleyball and basketball most, but I'm not sure which he'd rank highest. Probably running?

11. When and where was your first kiss?
I'd like to say the rooftop of the Grand Hotel in Taiwan (we came oh so close but he lost the nerve) - but about a week later I finally decided to take matters into my own hands in the ocean at Temple Beach (Laie, HI). Awkward because he wasn't expecting it, but special nonetheless. And it had to be done because he was leaving Hawaii that night. :)

12. What is your favorite thing to do as a couple?

13. Do you have any children?
Only the 2 (almost 3) most AMAZING kids EVER CREATED - one boy, one girl (and one more on the way)

14. Does he have a hidden talent?
My favorite one: He gives the MOST AMAZING massages - I've been to TONS of massage therapists, but not one has even come close to his magical hands. Sorry, though, I'm the only beneficiary, so you'll just have to take my word for it. :)

15. How old is he?
32 tomorrow! - if you're reading, Happy Birthday, babe!

16. Who said "I love you" first?
Him, and he's almost always first every time since.

17. What is his favorite type of music?
Classical, spiritual and celtic.

18. What do you admire most about him?
His determination and willingness to work hard through some of the most difficult challenges I've ever known anyone to be faced with.

19. Do you think he will read this?
Maybe. I know he checks in periodically for updates since he's probably on the computer more than he's home these days (due to school, not by choice).

20. I tag: Sarah Mudaliar

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Our Life from our Children's Perspectives

(BTW: NO, they do NOT still drink bottles - or sippys - this is them pretending to be babies!)

A few quotes from the past few days:

As we drove by the hospital the other day, Grins said "Wook! Deuw's da hospital - dat's wheuw Daddy wivs!" (There's the hospital - that's where Daddy lives). Not really, sweetheart, it just seems that way. :)

And then there are Angel's constant questions:

"Why do Daddys have to go to work and school and Mommys and kids get to play and go do lots of fun things?"

"My dolly got hurt. I need to get her a CT scan."

"Can I go to the Doctor and get an Xray? I really want an Xray."
Me: "An xray of what?"
Angel: "All my bones."
Me: "Why do you want an xray?"
Angel: "I want to make sure all my bones are growing great."
Me: "Well, normally we only get xrays when we get hurt, to see if any bones are broken. I am sure that since you haven't been hurt and you are eating so well and growing so much that your bones are just fine."
Angel: "Well, I really want an xray. I really want to see my bones growing. Maybe I'll fall down today."

Angel: "Why do only Daddys run, and not Mommys?"
Me: "Mommys can run too, if they want to."
Angel: "Why does our Daddy run but our Mommy doesn't?"
Me: (Not wanting to fess up to my inherent laziness - especially in the department of physical activity) "Right now Mommy can't run very fast because she has a baby in her tummy."
Angel: "Why can't Mommys run with babies in their tummies?"
Me: "Some Mommys can - if it doesn't hurt the Mommy or the baby, the Mommy can run really fast with the baby in her tummy. It just hurts Mommy's tummy and her back right now, that's why she doesn't do it..." (I didn't get into the issues of preterm labor, bladder control or laziness...)
Angel: "Well, can we find a Mommy with a baby in her tummy and go to her house and see her run really fast? I would really like to see that."

Saturday, September 20, 2008

So Long, Dear Nutmeg

I almost feel like I've lost a family member...ok, that might be stretching it, but if so, it's not by much. I don't know how I became so sentimental but I seriously have such a difficult time letting go of certain things. The Mr. and I bought this car (which we affectionatly call "Nutmeg") just before celebrating our first year anniversary over 6 years ago! About a week after our purchase, Nutmeg took us from the West Coast to the East Coast and back again, with several stops along the way. She was with us while we served in the cast at the Hill Cumorah pageant. She was with us as we toured medical and PA schools. She has safely transported us to 18 different states and even another country! She has taken us to job and graduate school interviews, weddings, funerals and, most importantly, took us (VERY quickly) as a couple to the hospital, then brought us home (MUCH more cautiously) as brand new parents of a brand new family. She has been dependable and trustworthy, never causing us worry or trouble.

And now, suddenly, my dear husband has said it is time to move on. My expanding belly (and our expanding family) have led him to feel we need a bigger ride. How simply he casts aside our dear, sweet baby of 6 years for a 'bigger, better' model. Sigh. I suppose he is right, and yet, I cannot help but shed a tear at the loss of my dear traveling companion, my 1997 Mazda Protege, fender bender and all. And so, sweet little Nutmeg, I bid you Adieu.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


This picture was obviously taken a couple of months ago (July) but I just found it and since our camera is MIA I haven't posted a pic for awhile, so I figured this would do the trick. :) Aside from being adorable, these two are just the center of my world. I don't know what I did to deserve such great children. They are just too perfect. And now one of them is pulling at my shirt (I guess 'quiet time' is over for today...) and I've vowed not to use the computer while my kids are awake, so I'll have to finish this post later....

Monday, September 01, 2008

I Love My Family!

Friday the Mr. came home and announced that, since he is in between rotations, he got the entire weekend off! This hasn't happened in AGES (he has generally been "working" at his rotations 6-7 days a week, 16-18 hours a day and sometimes more) and is not likely to happen any time in the near future, so we took advantage, loaded up the car and kids, and headed for the mountains. We found ourselves a beautiful little secluded campsite on a stream, fairly close to a lake, and enjoyed nature and one another's company for a few days. It was WONDERFUL! Aside from my obvious lack of excitement about air mattresses and no running water, it was heaven! The kids were so excited to be outside and able to play in the water nearly 24 hours a day that they got along famously. I loved being able to prepare meals in less than 5-10 minutes with virtually no cleanup afterward. The Mr. loved being able to read a non-medical work and rely on his manly braun rather than his brains. And, best of all, we relished the time together as a family.

Since we had about 30 minutes to throw everything together and get on the road, I happened to forget socks for the kids and I, and the Mr. couldn't find his. The first night we all had FREEZING feet and none of us slept very well at all. The next morning we actually thought about driving into town and buying socks, we felt so desperate, but during the course of the day, the Mr. found the socks he had packed - 4 pairs to be exact - so that evening we each got a pair (in the kid's case, they were more like thigh-high long johns). Despite the thunderstorm and beating rain, we all miraculously slept very well that night. Who knew a little think like socks could change lives?!

I wish I had pictures to post, but unfortunately our camera is 'hiding' somewhere - we're hoping it will show itself soon! In the meantime, a couple of cute quotes from our little quick-wits:

Grins - Picked a dandelion and said "Daddy-lion!" Then walked to another, picked it and said "Mommy-lion". We all got a good laugh. The funniest thing was that he was dead serious.

Angel - Asked "Mommy, why does (name withheld) get frustrated more than you?"

Grins - Went inside the house and, after a minute, realized he had forgotten to remove his shoes (customary to do so in our home) - he clapped his hand to his head, as if exasperated, and said "Take shoes off, siwwy biwwy!" (his "L"s still sound a bit like "W"s)

Angel - "I met my husband (Grins) in Peru. We were loving it."

Angel - "Why does red mean stop?"

Angel - When we visited the Visitor's Center at Temple Square, we went to see the Christus. The Mr. went to ask the missionary if she could play the audio dialogue of Jesus speaking. Since the Christus is surrounded by stars, Angel asked the Mr. "Oh, did you ask them to play "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star?" loud enough for everyone to hear.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

And the Winners Are...

In an effort to answer the question posed by my previous blog post, I began researching different books and resources to teach YOUNG children about "the birds and the bees" on an age-appropriate level. I read that, because of the nature of the subject, parents have the tendency to either 'skirt' the issue (ie - "We'll tell you when you're older") or give their children too much information too soon. The Mr. and I researched and read through several childrens books and came up with a definite winner and runner-up. Angel seems very happy with the books as well, and they have seemed to perfectly satisfy her budding curiosity, without overburdening her with the details. So, should you find yourselves in a similar predicament anytime soon, we highly recommend "Where Do Babies Come From" By Brad Wilcox, as well as "Where Do Babies Come From - A delightful first look at how life begins" by DK publishing.

I don't generally do book reviews on here, but if you're interested, here's a quick synopsis: The book by Brad Wilcox comes from an LDS perspective. The introduction for parents is something I personally feel EVERY parent should read - it emphasizes that it is PARENTS' responsibility to teach their children about this topic, and should never be left up to 'society at large' despite the discomfort of parents and children. He outlines 7 excellent steps/tips which I found very helpful. There is an illustrated 'story' for young children explaining parts of where babies come from, without the details, and then a question and answer section at the end for older children. Basically, it's a read for the entire family! The book by DK publishing is great for toddlers and preschoolers - gives a very simplistic view of how all types of babies are made, from plants to ducks to humans. A very good place to start.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mommy, How do you make a baby?

This question has been in the works for a long time coming.

When Angel first learned that my sister-in-law was pregnant (nearly 2 years ago, so Angel was just under 2 years old!!) she furrowed her brow and asked, "Mommy, Aunt Niesha didn't eat the baby, did she?" "No...." "How did it get in her tummy then?" "Heavenly Father put it there." That seemed to satisfy her under-2-year-old brain and I thought we were good.

Over the past few weeks, though, it has been coming up with increasing frequency, partially because she is 3 going on 15, partially because she is very excited about her new baby sister growing within my increasingly large belly.

Lately she has been very interested in how things (ie cars, trains, etc.) work and how EVERYTHING is made. This led to a discussion on man-made things, and how people cannot make living things ("But Heavenly Father is a person" she said, so we went into how He and Jesus are the only 'people' who can create life, etc....). We've also been reading books on animal lifestyles, which talk about how a mother lays eggs - "Where do the eggs come from?" - and the father fertilizes them - "What does fertilize mean?"

So today, completely out of the blue, she asks "Mommy, how do they make babies?" "Who" I ask, stalling. "Heavenly Father and mommies and daddies." "Uh..." I tried to repeat the same "Heavenly Father puts it in the mommy's tummy and it grows until it's ready to be born" explanation that worked so well before, but that didn't work this time. I've been trying to prepare for this question but I truly didn't expect her to be quite so curious at this early age. I finally answered that when a mommy and daddy love eachother, they get married and then, at the right time, they each put a special little part of their own body together and then Heavenly Father puts a spirit into it, and it all goes into the mommy's tummy to grow.

"How does the baby come out when it's big enough?" "The mommy pushes it, really hard." At least that answer worked for now.

So, I'd love to hear, how have you parents handled these situations? We want to be open and honest with our children - but not TOO open at too young of an age.


I need to read this book. I'm on the hunt for it, and when I find it, I'll read it and let you all know how it is. :)

"Adultitis is a silent epidemic that has been ignored for far too long. It's a disease that slowly erodes our inborn childlike spirit, killing our dreams, curiosity, faith, happiness, and hope. It stresses us out. It causes us to take ourselves too seriously. And in some extreme cases, it can cause smile amnesia."

Monday, August 11, 2008

Nap - or at least QUIET - time

If you've been a mother of young children, you know how important, even sacred, ALONE time is. I, for one, would probably go insane without even a short block of time during which I can do what I want to do without listening to one or more of the following: whining, nagging, pulling on my pantlegs, fighting, a big crash, or an extended period of silence after which I find one or both of my children involved in something I should have suspected (ie eating toothpaste, smearing lotion all over one another or creating somesort of artwork somewhere it shouldn't be). Things have been going fairly well over the past few months, at which point my two toddlers finally consolidated their napping schedule and gave me up to an hour of my own time each day. It's been HEAVENLY, especially since I'm pregnant and often need a nap myself. Unfortunately, however, my 3 year old has, over the past couple of weeks, given up naps. She's at the awkward stage where, if she does nap, she lies in bed awake until sometimes after I go to bed at night; but without a nap she gets cranky towards the end of the day and usually needs to go to bed early. I can't fault her for this - I've read that only 53% of 3 year olds and 27% of 4 year olds still nap - but what's a woman to do??? I've been trying to incorporate quiet time, a period of an hour during which she must 1) remain in her own bed and 2) keep quiet, but I am running out of books to keep her occupied. What sort of brilliant schemes have worked for you mothers out there?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Menu Plan Sunday

I am in need of some good summer recipes - by GOOD, I mean HEALTHY and CHILD FRIENDLY (my children aren't super picky but do turn their noses up at strong spices, etc.). By SUMMER, I mean main dishes which are good served cold. (I especially love cold soups as I just found that my kids will eat almost anything I serve in a bread bowl - last week we had creamy cucumber soup in bread bowls and they loved it!) So, any suggestions/ideas would be greatly appreciated!!!

Sunday - turkey meatballs, roasted potatoes, strawberry spinach salad
Monday - CALL NIGHT (Daddy doesn't come home) - kids choice
Tuesday - shrimp and sausage gumbo, grilled corn, watermelon
Wednesday - split pea soup in bread bowls, pacifica salad, canteloupe
Thursday - chicken cacciatore, steamed rice, cranberry salad,
Friday - grilled chicken, asparagus tortellini salad, baguette with dips, watermelon
Saturday - left overs

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

We're Back!

Well, I have officially survived a week as a single mother - although it doesn't really count because we were surrounded by family who were, in many ways, better at entertaining our kids than either of us has ever been! (Why, despite our best efforts, do our children always find us so dull?!

Oregon was wonderful - we spent a good portion of our week at Sunriver, a resort in Eastern Oregon, which was WONDERFULLY relaxing and enjoyable, from feeding the deer out our backyard

to surfing (at the fitness center)

to just lounging around in our awesome rental house. (Of course, Angel and Grins loved the park and swimming more than anything else!)

Then I enjoyed catching up with a High School friend I haven't seen in AGES,

seeing my cousin and his wife with their newest addition, and living it up at my dad's 50th birthday bash. Through it all, despite the crazy schedule, late nights and often lack of naps, my kids were incredibly pleasant and well-behaved; a wonderfully pleasant surprise. Overall, it was a nearly picture perfect vacation - the only thing lacking was the Mr. who was slaving away at a hospital some 800 miles away. So, though we had loads of fun, it is great to be back to Daddy, our own home, and our regular schedule and routine! The kids, though, are already asking "When are we going to Oregon again?"

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ode to our "New Place"

So, since our stay here at University Apartments is such a brief moment in time, I thought I'd jot down some of the things I just LOVE about it, just to make sure I don't forget how much I am enjoying our lovely little abode.

Apartment 1540*, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
Let's begin with the "kitchen" (or rather, kitchen area, as it is not it's own room per say). I love my kitchen cabinets - all 4 of them! I never realized how much I needed cabinets in my kitchen. So thank you, for holding enough dishes for at least one meal and enough food for at least a few days! And thank you, small fridge/freezer combination! Thank you for keeping my milk, eggs, cheese, fruit and veggies cold. I know I complained about your size earlier, but now I realize I don't need room for other things like condiments and leftovers. Oh, and to my portable dishwasher, thank you for *almost* allowing your cord to reach the outlet near the sink - you've helped me discover a newfound love for handwashing dishes. And I appreciate your placement so close to the kitchen cabinets and sink - I love how toned my calves are becoming as a result of having to stand on my tiptoes anytime I'm in the kitchen in order to fit my growing belly between you and the sink!
To the lovely cinderblock walls, thank you. I know you do nothing to block the many sounds of the lovely families all around us, but I do appreciate that we can't actually see the neighbors through you! To the popcorn ceilings, thank you for keeping your asbestos to yourself. It gives me so much peace of mind knowing you won't contaminate my young children.
To my bathroom, thank you for the toothbrush holder. Even though it looks older than my grandmother and is far to small to hold any of our toothbrushes, it really adds to the nostalgia of the joint. And I love that you have no cabinets whatsoever - no need for child-proof locks here! Besides, who needs a spot for razors, toothpaste, hairbrushes, medicine, cleaning supplies or fingernail clippers? You have certainly helped us declutter! And I seriously love that the toilet, sink and bathtub are so close to one another - I can easily multitask (ie brush my teeth or do my makeup while using the toilet, etc) all while within arms' reach of my bathing children - you have certainly kept our safety in mind!
And, last but not least, apartment, your size is just perfect! I used to long for more room but, as I've unpacked, your 650 square feet have helped me realize how many possessions I actually own. You've made me feel like a queen, owning so many things I can't even fit them all in my home. You have helped me simplify my life by getting down to the bare necessities. We hardly notice the loss of our bed, dresser, dishes, toys, games, cleaning supplies, etc! And our guests probably won't mind sitting on the floor. And you've brought our family so much closer since we are always right next to one another!!!

Thank you, house, for becoming our own little corner of the world - our own little nook (and I mean NOOK!). Memories will be made herein. We will cherish you these next 10 weeks. We will grow CLOSER as a family, of that I am sure.

Sidenote: OK, in all seriousness, I have been humbled about the size of our little space. This past weekend we visited This is the Place Heritage Park, during which we took a little tour of the farm. There we saw an entire home which was 10 ft by 12 ft in size, and which we were told housed a family of 9!!! OK, so maybe I don't have as much to complain about as I thought!!

(*Not our actual apartment number, for security purposes. :) )

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Own Mosaic

I saw this on another blog and thought it was clever. You answer the following questions, type your answers into flickr, and it creates a mosaic. Here are the questions and my corresponding answers.

1. What is your first name? Sarah
2. What is your favorite food? artichoke
3. What high school did you go to? WLHS
4. What is your favorite color? canary yellow
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Hugh Grant, hands down! (Don't worry, Jon knows!)
6. Favorite drink? virgin daquiri
7. Dream vacation? a cruise with multiple destinations
8. Favorite dessert? cheesecake
9. What you want to be when you grow up? Christlike
10. What do you love most in life? Kai and Kea
11. One Word to describe you. Pregnant
12. Your flickr name. (kid version: favorite animal?) Sarah Smiles

Monday, July 14, 2008

Announcing (drum roll, please).....


Angel and Grins are excited to announce that in a few short months they will have a new little SISTER! Angel went to the ultrasound with me and couldn't have been more excited - she was very concerned that she wouldn't be able to love another brother, since she "already has one", so the announcement of a girl made her very happy. :) Of course, we would have been happy either way, but we are thrilled.

"A girl is...
Innocence playing in the mud,
Beauty standing on its head,
and Motherhood dragging a doll by the foot."

"A baby girl...
one of the most beautiful miracles in life,
one of the greatest joys we can ever know,
and one of the reasons why
there is a little extra sunshine, laughter and happiness
in your world today."

Also, we have moved and are STILL unpacking. (hence the shortage of posts recently) When we are finally settled I will post more updates. :)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

It's Official...

In a few short weeks, the day after The 3rd Year Med Student begins his clinical rotations, we will officially become "campus dwellers." We were able to score a cozy little six-hundred-something square foot 2 bedroom corner of cinderblock and industrial carpet square heaven, despite the 'year long' waiting list (can you believe there's a WAITING LIST??!!) At first I was excited, but as I pack and prepare to leave our current home, I am becoming increasingly sentimental. When we moved here 4 years ago it was just the two of us - married 3 years, both in graduate school, living the 'care-free' "life before parenthood". Now, here we are, 4 years later, and my, how things have changed. This home is where we watched in amazement as my belly grew and grew until I thought I would pop. This is where we set up the crib and painted the 'nursery' months before the due date. This is where, more than 3 years ago, we lay awake in bed, too excited to sleep, knowing our first child would be born the next day. This is the place to which we nervously brought home our firstborn child, sat down on the couch and said to one another, "Now what?" as the reality of the responsibility of a precious life fell upon us. This is where we proudly displayed "It's a Girl" and "It's a Boy" banners from our front door. This is the only home both of our children have ever known. Within these small walls they have learned (somewhat painfully) to sleep through the night, to talk, to use the bathroom, to eat on their own, to pray, to play. Our front patio has heard their laughter as they've learned to walk, run and ride bikes, and their cries as their little hands and knees have met with it's rough pavement. Our front yard has enjoyed their sweet little feet prancing through it's cool grass in the summer while running through the sprinkler, and tramping through inches of snow in the winter while building snowmen and snowforts. Our children know the quickest path to all the nearby parks, our favorite library (nothing beats SLC Main Library!!), our church, Smiths and Albertsons (both right down the road) and the train station (just a couple of blocks away). Over the past few years, this little 918 square foot dwelling has truly become our HOME. I just can't get over the fact that everything their little minds have grown accustomed to will be changing so drastically in just a few weeks and I can't help but wonder if we're really doing the right thing. In my mind I'd always imagined we'd be here until graduation when we bought our first home, so I feel as though I'm being torn from my warm, comfortable bed a few hours early. Will my children survive? I think so. Will I? I'm not sure. Wish me luck as I wade through sentiment and emotion to pick up and move on.

P.S. FYI When I was 12 I cried for a week when my parents sold their old car so clearly, I don't do well with letting go. :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My Other Blogs

You may have noticed I have started a few other blogs. I have had a long-standing goal to make journals for each of my children, but have been less than perfect at it. I have, up to this point, done some writing on the computer, but love that you can add pictures, etc to blog posts. I also love that it will never be LOST, even if my computer crashes, thanks to the miracle of cyber-space.

So, I am attempting to more diligently post memories of my children on these. I have kept them private so that I may more freely use their names, locations, etc. without the fear of "stranger danger" - but any of you who read my blog and are interested may certainly be added. Be forewarned that my journaling may be infrequent and, at times, (possibly) somewhat offensive (simply because of things children say - they are, after all, VERY honest and, in our family, anatomically correct since we don't believe in "silly words" for sacred parts) - but these are comments I cherish and want to document lest I forget them!

That being said, if you have any inclination, let me know. I just don't want anyone feeling "left out" - consider this your formal invitation. :)

You know you're "expecting" when..... BAWL UNCONTROLLABLY anytime you hear a remotely sentimental song (or even advertisement or commercial) on the radio.

I rarely listen to the radio, but happened to turn it on just in time to catch a tune I hadn't heard before. Here are the lyrics: (wish I could add it to my playlist, but I can't seem to find the file.)

"I came to see her daddy for a sit down man to man
It wasn't any secret I'd be asking for her hand
I guess that's why he left me waiting in the living room by myself
with at least a dozen pictures of her sitting on a shelf

She was playing Cinderella
She was riding her first bike
Bouncing on the bed and looking for a pillow fight
Running through the sprinkler with a big popsicle grin
Dancing with her dad, looking up at him
In her eyes I'm Prince Charming
But to him I'm just some fella riding in and stealing Cinderella.

I leaned in towards those pictures to get a better look at one
When I heard a voice behind me say "Now, ain't she something, son?"
I said "Yes, she quite a woman" and he just stared at me
Then I realized that in his eyes she would always be.

Playing Cinderella
Riding her first bike
Bouncing on the bed and looking for a pillow fight
Running through the sprinkler with a big popsicle grin
Dancing with her dad, looking up at him
In her eyes I'm Prince Charming
But to him I'm just some fella riding in and stealing Cinderella.

He slapped me on the shoulder
Then he called her in the room
When she threw her arms around him
That's when I could see it too.

She was Playing Cinderella
Riding her first bike
Bouncing on the bed and looking for a pillow fight
Running through the sprinkler with a big popsicle grin
Dancing with her dad, looking up at him
If he gives me a hard time
I can't blame the fella
I'm the one who's stealing Cinderella."

Wow! I can't even type it without getting choked up. You can't fully understand this until you have a daughter of your own. I truly don't know what I will do when my sweet little angel ventures off into the 'real world'! (I'm talking about when she starts school in just a couple of years! I'm already a nervous wreck just thinking about it!)

**Along the same lines, another song I LOVE is "I Loved Her First" - it's on my playlist. Click it! You won't regret it!

Monday, May 12, 2008

"I'm Not Spoiled, My Husband Just Loves Me"... the license plate holder of a Lexus I was driving behind a couple of days ago. I scoffed as I read it (I mean, really, does the fact that I drive a Mazda with a dent in the bumper mean MY husband loves me any LESS than hers? Give me a break.)

But, this past weekend, I have to admit, the quote entered into my mind on more than one occasion. My sweet husband always treats me with the utmost tenderness and respect regardless of the day, but he does make it a point to make special days spectacular. He always has and this is one thing I truly appreciate about him; it's fun to feel pampered once in awhile.

Mother's Day for me began on Saturday - I had assumed he would spend the entire day studying since he had a test Monday and he doesn't study on Sundays - so I had planned on cleaning, shopping, doing the laundry, etc. What happened instead was that he awoke early to start the laundry and cleaning and make me a gourmet breakfast (yum!). He then led me to believe he needed us to leave for a few hours to allow him some study time - so I took the kids to the park where we rented a paddleboat, fed the ducks, and played on the playground. We had a great time and were pleased to arrive home to a clean house with all the laundry and shopping done! After we all napped (I LOVE that both of my kids finally nap at the same time - even if it's only about 30 min overlap!) we went to the fair, rode on some rides and then had a DELICIOUS Chinese dinner. It was one of the most fun-filled days we have had for awhile. We had to literally DRAG (well, at least PULL) the kids to the car and then into the house; they didn't want the day to end!

Then yesterday, I had the privilege of an uninterrupted, as-long-as-I-wanted shower (a rare indulgence with 2 toddlers!), we enjoyed church together as a family followed by a quick lunch and then family naptime (I love the weekends!). I opened some gifts (Sneaky Chef cookbook I've been wanting, the Pampered Chef food chopper I've been drooling over, and some Standin' Tall CDs I've been begging for). Then we biked up the canyon and had a picnic and relaxing evening on the shore of the stream in the mountains. It was beautiful and SUCH a fun family time! The best Mother's Day I could have hoped for - RELAXING time with my family. I hope yours was equally enjoyable!

Menu Plan Monday

Never got around to posting last week and I found it was difficult to come up with ideas mid-week; I'm so used to having them planned out ahead of time, and it really does make things easier! So I made it a point to plan this week.

Sunday: Mother's Day - picnic by the river in the canyon (So yummy and SO much fun!)
Monday: sweet and sour pork, steamed veggies, steamed rice, cinnamon bread for FHE treat
Tuesday: Steak (grilled on the bbq, nothing better!), baked potatoes, grilled veggie kabobs
Wednesday: cheesy broccoli soup, crescent rolls
Thursday: white bean tortellini soup, fruit salad
Friday: Eating Out in celebration of Daddy's LAST FINAL OF ALL TIME!!!!
Saturday: Left overs
Sunday: Extended family dinner

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Just Around the Corner....

With Mother's Day rapidly approaching I am, of course, racing to get things ready. I usually have both of my own mothers' gifts ready well in advance but, without fail, I forget to help my children make things for their grandmothers. I've had kids for 4 Mother's Days now - you'd think I could get the hang of it one of these times! Oh well, tomorrow will be craft day, spent creating "treasures" especially for the special women in their lives. I found a couple of simple little ideas here, here and here. But my favorite by far was Family Fun (no surprises there - their website is amazing!). We are probably going to do the Alligator Purse for at least one of the Grandmas! And I love the little soaps - will probably save those for next year when the kids' artwork has advanced to where it can be enjoyed by others and not just me. :)

Any Mother's Day traditions or special Mother's Day gifts or memories you have enjoyed?

Monday, May 05, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

We have decided that, with #3 on the way and with the Daddy starting to get VERY, VERY BUSY with school (think 120 hour work weeks - yikes!) it is time for us to bid the Ronald McDonald House adieu. We have loved our time here and have many cherished memories and friendships which will last a lifetime, but it is time to move on.

We are faced with a dilemma, however, about where to go. Two different options await us, both of which seem like decent options: (The decision is always harder when it's between 2 'rights', no?)

1) Housesitting a big house on the hill near school for 10 months: we would just pay utilities (about $400/mo) and keep up the yard and house, but it would (hopefully) be less work than RMH and something I could handle on my own. Benefits: SPACE!!! (something we haven't had for a very long time...actually, ever!!!) The drawbacks: with how high up on the mountain it is, we will most likely need a car with 4WD, which we don't have, so we would need to upgrade (pricey!) just so Mr. could get to school - and I may be stuck home when it snows! Also, it is a VERY nice house, so I'd have just a wee bit of anxiety associated with keeping 3 children from destroying it. :) And, our move-in date would be when I am 9 months pregnant - no fun!!
2) University Student Housing - gotta love it! Cinderblock walls, threadbare carpet, no dishwasher (although we would probably get a portable!) - but it is 1120 sq feet which is SLIGHTLY larger than our current apt. And there are 5 parks within the complex, and TONS of kids so finding friends will not be a problem. The main drawback: $825/month=student loan money :(

So, you Student families out there, we'd love to hear your housing experiences, good or bad, or any input at all which may benefit our decision! :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Is Your Tummy Heaven?

Lately our darling little Angel has become very cavalier, often rushed, and even noisy during prayers. This evening I decided to have a more 'in depth' talk with her about why we pray and why prayers are so important to me, and why I therefore hope she will treat them with more reverence. This evolved into her asking to hear the story of "Heaven" which she so often loves at bedtime - which is basically my version of "pre-earth life", etc. Basically, I told her that her Heavenly Father asked if she wanted to go down to earth, and that she decided she wanted to. So, on a very special day (left out here for security purposes because I'm a slightly paranoid mom) a few years ago, He sent her to earth to a mommy and daddy who would love and care for her. At this point in the story, she stopped me and asked "How did he send me down to earth?" Not wanting to get into all the logistics, I simply stated "He put you in my tummy, where you grew your body, and then when you came out of my tummy you were officially on earth." She pondered this a moment and then asked, "Mommy, is your tummy Heaven?" I laughed but quickly realized how reasonable her rationalization was, and how sincere she was in asking. I finally came up with a response, "My tummy is like the bridge between Heaven and Earth" which may sound hokey but which I actually believe. I mean, to actually think about a zygote/fetus being cramped inside a confined womb hour after hour, day after day, week after endless week without some sort of reprive? It just doesn't seem humane. So I believe that, somehow, a fetus floats between "here" and "there" - just my own little take on it anyway. But her simple question has truly changed my perspective on pregnancy (at least for the time being. :) ) I get so wrapped up in the discomfort of it all (the nausea, vomiting, weight gain, stretch marks, heartburn, swollen ankles, digestion woes, fatigue...) that I forget the fundamental fact that, at least in some way, 'my tummy is Heaven.'

Monday, April 21, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Sunday: Lemon Chicken (SOOO yummy!), rissoto, steamed broccoli, peaches
Monday: Chicken enchiladas, black beans, rice, corn, peaches (again! per Makea's request), Texas Chocolate Cake (FHE treat)
Tuesday: Chicken cacciatore, noodles, steamed carrots
Wedesday: Texas black bean chili, corn bread, rice, tomato wedges
Thursday: Chicken pot pie, sweet peas, fruit salad
Friday: left overs
Saturday: Spanish rice casserole, green salad, pears

**You'll notice a theme this week...CHICKEN! This is because Smith's had an awesome sale and I stocked up, planning to freeze a bunch. I ended up forgetting to freeze it in time (I don't like to freeze too close to the 'use by' date) so I had to use it all this week. I'm hoping the varieties will be different enough that my family won't notice...we'll see.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Drum Roll, Please....

"I do not have a face to see,
Or put inside a frame.
I do not have soft cheeks to kiss,
I don't yet have a name.
You can't yet hold my tiny hands, 'nor whisper in my ear.
It's still too soon to sing a song, or cuddle me so near.
But all will change come autumn time,
That’s when they say I'm due.
I'll be your new (grandchild/niece/nephew/etc); I can't wait till I meet you.
All I ask between now and then is your patience while I grow.
I promise I'll be worth the wait, because of all the love we'll know.
So have a happy spring and summer
A wish to you from me.
I cannot wait to be a part
Of this loving family!"

~Author Unknown

I realized after the comments of my last post that I had inadvertently 'announced' this in my little scholarship essay....oops! So, there's the official announcement for you, folks. :)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Your Comments PLEASE!

Jon is trying to apply for scholarships to help ease the burden of medical school tuition, etc. Apparently the person in charge of scholarship applications is either illiterate or reads at a rate of 2 words/minute because the limit on each scholarship essay is 255 CHARACTERS (not words) - and that's INCLUDING SPACES, people!! Can you BELIEVE this? I mean, seriously, how can you even introduce yourself, let alone put in a plug for why YOU, out of the gazillion and one other applicants, should be selected to receive the cash. I could go on all day about how unbelievably ridiculous this seems to me, but obviously I have no say in the matter, other than to simply help Jon "write" (or rather, cross out every other word of) his essays. So here's my brilliant idea. Please give your very HONEST opinion: good? or no good? Or, do you have any other ideas??? Because really, all I want is a little bit of dough to help with the $150,000 (GULP!) tuition bill hanging over our heads, so your input is of immeasurable value. Don't worry, you won't hurt my feelings. It's all about the bottom line, remember? :)

Sample Question:

Priority given to students who have worked hard to pay for their education, whose grades may have been affected by having to work while going to school.

Sample "ESSAY" response: (255 characters or less)

Poor family of 9=no college $. Dream: doctor=8 years of college. Tuition/expenses= 4 jobs + 21 credits/semester=3.4 GPA=MCAT x 4=medical school applications x3=$10k. MBA=$35k. Medical school tuition=$120k. Wife + 3 children=$$. Scholarship=priceless

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Book Tag...

...a sad (or possibly humorous) statement on my life.

I just got book tagged by my cousin - here are the rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book (with at least 123 pages)
2. Turn to page 123.
3. Find the 5th sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag 3 people.

Unfortunately, the closest books to me right now are Goodnight Moon and Pathologic Basis of Disease. Since Goodnight Moon is about 111 pages shy of long enough, here you go, folks. Enjoy! What can I say, being married to a Med Student is a full-time job!

"Hemorrhage may be external or may be enclosed within a tissue; accumulation of blood within tissue is referred to as a hematoma. Hematomas may be relatively insignificant (a bruise) or may be sufficiently large as to be fatal (e.g. a massive retroperitoneal hematoma resulting from rupture of a dissecting aortic aneurysm). Minute 1- to 2-mm hemorrhages into skin, mucous membranes, or serosal surfaces are denoted as petechiae and are typically associated with locally increased intravascular pressure, low platelet counts (thrombocytopenia), defective platelet function (as in uremia), or clotting factor deficits."

Wow! Don't you feel enlightened? (It's actually a very simple couple of sentences, but the big words make it sound much more complicated than it actually is.

Anyway, I am going to tag Sarah, The Student, and since I have no idea who actually reads my blog, I am just going to cop out and say, if you want to be tagged, consider yourself so! (If you want an official invitation, email me and I'll hook you up! :) )

Monday, April 07, 2008


If you know me, you know I LOVE freebies! Just found out about FREE BREAKFAST DAY at "participating Jamba Juice stores" tomorrow morning, April 8th, from 6-10am. Click here to learn more. Sounds like a deal to me! :)

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: pasta with olive oil, asparagus and tomatoes, green salad, strawberries and angel food cake (FHE treat)
Tuesday: clam chowder
Wednesday: white bean / bowtie pasta soup
Thursday: texas black bean chili (bumped from last week)
Friday: left overs

Friday, April 04, 2008


About a month ago, I read a book titled The Invention of Hugo Cabret and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a quick read (some 300 pages, but most of them are drawings!) and, I thought, quite touching. It speaks of an automaton, a robot-like invention which draws or writes a specific piece of work, input by it's maker. I assumed it was a fantasy created by the author of the book, but recently I came across the following video, showing a "real, live" (if you can call it "live") automaton. Amazing!

(click here to view video)
(scroll down...the videos are near the bottom of the page)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Have to jot this down....

before I forget it. I know I've been a blog-slacker lately, but life is just way too busy. Should be calming down here shortly (hopefully) so I will try to get back in the habit, but in the meantime, here's a little tidbit for you to enjoy:

There is a hill near our house upon which the kids LOVE to run up and down. We do this a couple of times a week at least (weather permitting) while I'm waiting for dinner to cook or something. Angel came up with the funniest thing. The first time she did it, I thought it was a fluke, but 2 weeks later, out of the blue, she did the same thing, and now it has turned into an actual game. She runs to the top of the hill and instructs me, "Mom, say TICO (tee-ko)!" I do as told, and she runs down the hill. I am then supposed to say "TICA (tee-kuh)" after which she runs back up the hill. This may lack hilarity and be completely uninteresting to you readers, but as her mother, I find this simply hilarious. Where did she come up with these terms? Is this some sort of secret language - or perhaps a legitimate language of which I am completely unaware, yet she somehow learned? I mean, honestly. Where does she get it? What's even funnier is that her shadow, Grins, has watched us do this and now participates shouting "TICO/A" and then running up and down the hill as if it makes all the sense in the world. Ah, children. What could be more entertaining?

Monday, March 31, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Sunday: broiled salmon, risoto, steamed asparagus, red grapes
Monday: spaghetti (red pepper and tofu tomato sauce - SO yummy!), steamed spinach, canteloupe, cheesecake (FHE treat!)
Tuesday: Texas black bean chili, tomatoes, oranges
Wednesday: chicken caliente casserole, corn, pears
Thursday: white bean pasta soup, green salad, mango slices
Friday: left overs
Saturday: General Conference Homemade Pizza (cheesy, I know, but a family tradition)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Singin' in the Rain....

Well, we made it here to Oregon in one piece and in ONE DAY (we drove)! This is the first time we've driven straight through with the kids and we fully expected to have to stop but they did swimmingly! I probably won't have much time to post while here, since we have a packed schedule including a beach house, the Children's museum (Portland one is SOOOO much better than Utah's!!!), OMSI, Easter, and LOTS of family time. But I'll give an update when we return next week!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sweet Grins

It is amazing how much joy something as small as a young child can bring to one's life. Truly incredible - their innocence and purity, their enthusiasm and zeal, their curiosity and sometimes mischeviousness. Every day I thank the Lord for my two beautiful little ones! They are more precious to me than anything else in this world. I hope I can be the mother they deserve!

I love both of my children equally, but in different ways. I find that I post more on Angel as she does more talking, etc - but my sweet Grins has a special place in my heart for his adorable dimply grin which almost ALWAYS lights up his face (I think the only times he is not smiling is while being attacked by his sister or sleeping - and even then he is often smiling!) and his enthusiasm! He is just too cute for words.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Our Little Doctor...

"Angel"'s new favorite game is playing "Doctor". She is quite good at it, if I do say so myself. The other night she was 'doctoring' Daddy. She looked in his eyes, ears, mouth and nose with her little otoscope and said "Everything looks good!" Then she pulled out her stethoscope and listened to his heart. She seemed to have a distant look on her face and suddenly jumped up, VERY excited, and said, "The baby is almost ready to come out!" with her mouth wide open. Daddy could not stop laughing. She sure is clever!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Stop and think....

An article by Shawni Eyre (daughter of Richard and Linda Eyre, mother of 5):

"The other day I finally got myself (and my two at-home-during-the-day kids) to the mall for some post-Christmas returns and exchanges. It wasn't fun. The girls were doing all kinds of acrobatics on the stroller and poor Claire had hurt her knee on the trampoline the day before and kept whining that she couldn't walk. So as I carried her through the mall in one arm while trying to contort my other arm enough to successfully maneuver my stroller laden with bags and a chunky baby, I noticed a mother with a new little baby...maybe a month old. He was fussy and she was trying to comfort him while maneuvering her stroller too. Oh I wanted to just ask her if I could hold him and snuggle him for a little bit. I wished I had my old Baby Bjorn to hand over to her. I could never go to the mall without it when I had babies that little. And then the thought of having my tiny snuggling babies right next to me while I did my daily tasks started eating at me. How they looked when they were sleeping, how they smelled, how they sighed in their sleep, and yes, even their sweet little newborn cries. Baby hunger crept in. "How could those days have passed so quickly??!" I asked myself in awe as I looked at my own crying "baby" and her whimpering sister side-kick.

And then a thought struck me. A few years from now I'll be roaming the mall and all my kids will be in school. I know, I know, it will be nice. It'll seem so free and strange in a good way. But, at that moment in the mall this week I realized that on that day in the future when I'm wandering the mall all fancy-free, there's no doubt I'll run into my double self from this week. She'll be wrestling with her toddlers with a frustrated look on her face, assuring them that they're almost done with the errands of the day. And oh will I ever wish I could go back, at least for a little while, and slow life down while I snuggle those kids up and kiss their chubby cheeks off. I'll try to envision them as their little selves climbing on me and whining and needy, and I'll probably tear up a little just like I am right now because I'll miss those little people. I know the bigger form of my little people will we wonderful. I can't wait to "meet" them and grow with them. But I just realized this week, once again, how much I need to cherish this time, right now, right here...snotty noses, whiny faces, dramatics and all that craziness in one great big package in a bow. Because when I blink they'll be all grown up."

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

My Life in a BOX

I saw this 'word cloud' idea on a friend's blog and decided to give it a go (you can try it here). So, there you have it. Kinda neat.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: soft tacos (by Jon - DELICIOUS!!!) and green salad
Tuesday: Black bean chili (bumped from last week) and cornbread
Wednesday: pork chops, red potatoes, steamed cabbage
Thursday: clam chowder
Friday: dinner out (celebrating Jon's spring break!!!)

I am trying to incorporate more beans into our diet, primarily for health reasons but also to help with the medical student budget plan...but I am in DESPERATE need for bean recipes! Any suggestions would be MUCH appreciated.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Creativity, SNEAKY creativity...

Our darling daughter was uninterested in the delicious chicken pot pie her daddy made for dinner this evening. We insisted that she eat at least a couple of bites before excusing her from the table, as she has a tendency to declare "starvation" when going to bed if she doesn't have dinner. She was taking her own sweet time so the rest of us had excused ourselves from the table and were working on the dishes, bedtime preparations, etc when she announced, "I'm Done!"
Her father looked over to see her sitting in front of an empty plate which, just a few short moments previous, had been untouched. He was pleasantly surprised and smug that we must be doing something right as parents when he suddenly saw her holding, somewhat coyly, something in her hand, seemingly trying to conceal it. He opened her hand to find the sock she had been wearing.... but instead of hanging flaccid and empty it was stuffed like a stocking on Christmas morning. We had a good laugh and proceeded to fill her plate with a fresh batch of pot pie (and, of course, emptied her stocking.) She eventually cleaned off her plate.

Now, I've heard of tucking food under one's plate, feeding it to the household pet, and even putting it up one's nose (ask my husband!!) to avoid having to eat it. But a sock? That's a new one. Does anyone have any similarly devious stories to share? :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Hooray! The weather here has finally made it higher than 30 degrees and I couldn't be happier. I don't know which feeling is stronger: my excitement to go running and take the kids to the park/zoo/long walks/etc and banish the "cabin fever" they've been having, or relief that I no longer have to wear out my back shoveling the parking lot and sidewalks in front and back of our building (ah, the joys of property management...). Needless to say, I couldn't be happier! I now realize why people institute "spring cleaning" - I just have so much energy and excitement about spring!!! woohoo!!

So, without further ado, I bid you, WINTER, adieu with these final snowy pictures...stay tuned for some pictures of SPRING to come soon!