Thursday, November 29, 2007

ending on a good note

I feel like I've sort of been in a daze lately. I feel like a stranger in the strange land. It has turned cold here. Really cold. I'm not used to this and it doesn't feel like home to me. I really love the holiday season and was so excited when I realized that it was somewhat extended this year because of when Thanksgiving fell on the calendar. But I have yet to finish decorating my house for Christmas. I'm going to an ornament exchange on Saturday and have waited until the very last minute to make my 12 ornaments. I'm still not finished. I should be doing that right now.

Something kind of odd/surprising happened today. Because this is my blog, I choose to give the long version of the story. Last week I bought Maryn a Cheer Bear from Wal-Mart for a stocking stuffer for Christmas. Jon said that he saw some Care Bears at Target that he thought were cuter and cheaper. So today I went to Target, took some other stuff back and left the Care bear wrapped up in a bag in my basket. The Care Bears at Target were the exact same cuteness and price so the bear I had stayed wrapped up in my cart. When I got home, I put the large Target bag (with the bear, other stuff I bought at Target and some craft stuff I'd gotten from Michaels) on the kitchen table. Maryn was interested in the big bag, so I handed her a little bag of jingle bells I'd gotten from Michaels and left the room. I got involved in doing a million other things and later noticed Maryn sitting on the couch holding Cheer Bear. This was one of those moments in parenting where I was standing at a crossroads. I could have gotten upset with her and taken Cheer Bear away or make it a positive experience a be excited with her for her new toy. I chose option #2 and took her downstairs to show Daddy. He said that that was the same bear that he and Maryn had looked at at the store and decided that she could have it when she learned to use the potty. We decided to continue with that plan and put Cheer Bear up on the fridge. I got out the potty and Maryn sat down on it for about 20 seconds and then asked for Cheer Bear. I explained that she actually had to pee in the potty in order to get Cheer Bear back. She was very sad but I stuck to the plan. She tried one other attempt with no results but kept coming back into the kitchen to wave up to Cheer Bear. Later when she and Seth were getting ready to watch Care bears on TV, Maryn was doing her usual rounding up of all her Care Bears (she likes to have them all around her so she can wave the bears at the screen when each particular bear comes into view). She asked to sit on the potty so she could get Cheer Bear down. After 20 seconds, she said "I did it Mommy!" And she had actually done it. I'm pretty sure she was just as surprised as I was. We celebrated and Cheer Bear was brought down. And that was it. When I tried to get her to sit on the potty again, she wouldn't do it. So I'm not sure what to do now. She obviously does well with motivation, but there are only 2 more Care Bears that she doesn't have. Should I go for it and try to actually potty train her? Or just let her do it if she wants to? I'm leaning towards option #2, mostly because it's easier.

So now, the good note. I went to our ward's book club tonight. It was rescheduled to tonight from two weeks ago which worked out well for me because it gave me a chance to finish the book. (The book we read is #2 on my links list, Stolen Lives). This book club has been going since May 1993, so when the whole "interest group" thing came out for RS, it was just sort of included. But this is what is so great about it- it functions without the (I need to choose my words carefully here) confines of an official church-sponsored book club. So book choices (from what I saw from the list they gave me of previous choices) aren't limited to what might appear to be "safe". I had such a great experience. It's nice to feel like I'm a part of something enlightening.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving recap

Jon and I have been joking that we have reached a milestone in our lives. Have you achieved "grown up" status when you spend Thanksgiving in your own home and cook your own dinner? Joking about it helped me not be so down.
Yes- we celebrated Thanksgiving here, by ourselves, just our little family. The food we made was actually really good (if I do say so myself). We brined and roasted a small turkey breast, roasted garlic and used it in our mashed potatoes, and steamed fresh green beans which we ate plain-not in casserole form (per Jon). I made rolls (from my Mom's awesome, yummy, no-fail recipe), cranberry jello salad (also a favorite from my childhood- I was the only one who ate it this year), cranberry sauce from fresh cranberries (really easy to do, I just followed the recipe on the bag of cranberries), and 2 pies. After learning from Julie (as close to an expert as possible) last December, I decided that I wanted to be really good at making pies. Well I promptly forgot about this desire as the year progressively got crazier (I had a baby, moved, worked full-time, then moved again). So for Thanksgiving, I pulled out my paper from said demo and tried my best to recreate what I had made a year ago under heavy tutelage. I decided to make two pies because I knew Jon wanted a pecan one and I knew he would want to eat the whole thing himself and although I like pecan pie, if there is a choice, I prefer fruit pie. While making the filling for my pie, I was also making the afore mentioned cranberry sauce on the stove. I decided to throw in a few cranberries with my apples. The result was a tart, absolutely yummy, pink apple-cranberry mixture. I was pleasantly surprised by how the two pies turned out. They didn't reach my personal standards of pie perfection, but I thought they turned out pretty well considering it has been a year since my last attempt. I'm thinking about making a pie every week until Christmas so I can get more practice in.
I love going shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. Was any one else totally surprised to see some stores opening at 4 am? I think that's craziness. As usual, I perused the ads to see what items I just had to get. Unfortunately, there was really nothing that I absolutely had to have. Except for a 100 pack of DVD-Rs for only $6.99 at Best Buy. But I decided that it wasn't worth getting up early (in the freezing cold) to door-bust only one item for $6.99. So I stayed home. I did go out at about 9 am to Target. We only have one Target close to us which was apparent by the ridiculously long lines snaking through the store. After much deliberation, I did end up standing in line for a few items. I somehow got in a fast moving line, so it wasn't so bad. Then I went over to Best Buy and sure enough, the DVD-Rs were long gone. But I did get a movie for Jon for only $2.49. It felt kind of funny when I got up to the register and the guy said "That'll be $2.68" with a smirk on his face. I ended up going back out shopping later that evening with Jonas in tow. He looked so cute all bundled up. And yes, I realize that he is too big for this car seat, time to switch.

On our last day of nice weather, the day before Thanksgiving, I attempted to take picture of the kids for our family Christmas card. I only got 7 shots and as fate would have it, none of them turned out decent. I'm trying to decide what to do because it has been raining and cold since then so there is virtually no sign of vegetation left to use as a backdrop. Below is Maryn after the photo shoot. I wish I could have done that too.

My sister is coming to visit for Christmas and I am so excited! Among other things, we are planning on going to see this exhibit on Christmas Eve. And thanks for the early Christmas present!

Friday, November 23, 2007


More pics and details to come. Don't be fooled by Jonas, he spit out every bite he took.
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Monday, November 12, 2007

last week in pictures

Jonas is finally recovering from a nasty cold with subsequent ear infection. Despite these setbacks, he continues to push the limits of his mobility. I have caught him crawling up the stairs (he made it to the fourth step) and standing on his own.

This is what we do (almost) every night. It's crowded but easier to get them all done at once.

We made sushi. Not the raw kind, just California rolls (sans avocado). Jon did the rice, I did the rolling. Delicious.

We snapped this picture of Jonas because we remembered doing the same with Seth.

Two more cute pics of Jonas, complete with ASU pride.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

daylight saving time

I don't like it.

The first time in my life I have ever had to participate in this ritual was last Sunday morning. We're on day three now and my kids still haven't adjusted. They wake up at 6:15 am now instead of 7:15, want to eat lunch at 10 am, instead of 11, and are tired and cranky monsters at 7 pm instead of 8. How do the rest of you cope with this?

Kids' schedules + daylight saving time = NO GOOD!

Jon keeps asking me why I think it's such a big deal "You act as though you've never changed time zones before!" Yes I have, while on vacation, which usually means there is a grandma around to play with my kids when they get up with the sun. Last evening I was on my way home from the grocery store, with all the kids in tow and I called my sister to complain that it was pitch black outside at 5:30 pm.

In my normal fasion, I wanted to find out everything I could about daylight saving time: Does the whole world do it? Why? When was it first implemented in the US? Like I mentioned in my post about leaves changing color, I feel like I'm the only one in the dark about this. As if those of you who have participated in this time changing thing your whole lives know exactly why you are doing it. As usual, after researching it a bit on the internet, I realize that it's complicated, political, controversial, etc. But this time I don't have the desire or energy to explain what I learned about it, I'm too tired from dealing with my kids' non-adjusted schedules. So I will just say that I don't like it and can't wait until I don't have to deal with it anymore- which means I'll have to live in either Arizona or Hawaii. I'm okay with those options.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Halloween fun

Hoorah for Halloween! For pictures of all the festivities, click here.

When I asked Maryn what she wanted to be for Halloween, she simply said "pink". So that's what she was- pink. I guess you could also say she's a fairy princess. (Thanks to Aunt Wendy for the cute tutu!)

Seth was very specific about his costume. He wanted to be Luke Skywalker from Star Wars 6 (Return of the Jedi). So he may look Sith to the uncultured, but to those who know- he's Jedi Master Luke.

In true third-child fashion, Jonas wore the baby dragon costume handed down from Seth. I was excited to take pictures of Jonas in this costume and compare them to the pictures of Seth in the same costume 4 years ago. I was a little bit disappointed to see that they don't really look that much alike. They really are brothers, I promise!