Wednesday, December 24, 2008

a happier, more detailed holiday update

Jon wrote a much better blog post about our recent travels.  Read it.

a time of many firsts

Over the past 6 days, I have experienced a few firsts:

  • visiting the states of Iowa and Nebraska (if only to drive through)
  • getting to meet new children of good friends
  • driving down Provo Canyon at sunset (very pretty)
  • watching inches and inches of fat snowflakes fall from inside a warm house instead of from inside our minivan (so glad we got here just 12 hours before it started)
  • over the past 24 hours- cleaned up the sick from all three of my kids (sorry to grandma and grandpa for making a mess of their house and thank you for helping clean it up- it wouldn't be a vacation without someone getting sick, I guess)

Merry Christmas Eve

Monday, December 15, 2008

mustering up some Christmas cheer

I blame my sickness earlier this month for my lack of holiday spirit. I really just can't get into it at all this year.

I'm rushing around trying the get ready for our cross-country drive this weekend and it's stressing me out. That on top of Christmas cards unfinished, Seth's class party to organize and run on Friday, and literally freezing cold temps that make me never want to leave my house again until March. Humbug.

So to liven things up a bit, I'm going to include two videos of the kids. Eventhough, I'm not feeling it- I'm still trying to make this holiday season fun for them.

The first video- Jon filmed. It's way long- 6 minutes, so Iunderstand if most of you can't make it through the whole thing (I almost didn't). I'm not shown in the video thankfully because I was in the height of my horrible sickness- as you might be able to tell from my voice.  The second video is way shorter- so if you only want to watch one- watch that one!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

MIA, indeed

Just when I thought I was getting back on my feet after returning from our AZ vacation, my legs got swept out from underneath me- I landed hard on my back and that's where I've been for the past four days.

I never, never, never get sick.  Seriously, the last time I was really sick was when I had mono nine years ago.  And this time seemed way worse than that (but maybe it was because nine years ago, I didn't have a houseful of husband and children who depended on me).

I think getting strep throat as an adult is like getting chicken pox as an adult- 1,000 times worse than when you get it as a kid.

And now that I've sort of reentered the land of the living today, I'm realizing that we're leaving for our (3 week) Christmas vacation in 11 days.  Um...I think I'll go back to bed.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

intruder update and vacation pics

The good news is- we have 2 down. The bad news is- we have an infestation.

In other, better news- I have uploaded pics of our trip to AZ here. I'll post more details soon.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I miss AZ (post UPDATED)

Yes, we made it back....48 hours ago. And I still haven't unpacked and cleaned up everything. I plan to post pics and stories of what we did soon- as soon as I get my house back to normal.

We left sunny AZ at 7 am, at 75 degrees and landed in IL at 11 am, at 30 degrees. We drove home in blowing snow and arrived to find ice-coated porch steps. Cruel reality.

You guys in AZ don't know how good you have it.

****I just went into my pantry to get stuff out to make cookies for Jon for mutual tonight. Guess what I found? Little holes chewed into all my bags of sugar and rice and popcorn. And crap literally all over the place. Welcome home.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

a little ballet before we leave

As I was clearing the memory card on my camera in preparation for our trip, I found this video that I forgot I had taken of Maryn in ballet class.  So yes, instead of accomplishing more on my to-do list, I'm blogging.
The video was taken a few days before Halloween, that's why she's wearing her kitty ears and her friend Samantha is wearing a cape.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

too busy

I'm frantically trying to prepare for our vacation.  We're going from 40 degree highs with snow flurries to 80 degree highs and sunshine.  I could not be more thrilled.  This is the first time we've made it home in the 15 months we've lived here.  And yes, I say home because it will always feel like home to me.

I had grand plans last week for getting things done early so as not to be rushing around this week. Alas, it was not to be.  Last week turned into "the week where I babysit everyone else's kids".  (And not to offend those of you whose kids I watched.  It wasn't actually hard to do, it's just all those hours of me not being able to do anything else added up.)

So here I sit, I have three more days to accomplish all the tasks on my to-do list- and I'm blogging, which isn't supposed to be on the list.  To give you an idea, here's a condensed version of my list-
  • Make 15 pairs of hairbows (yes, that's pairs) to put in consignment for the big holiday shopping weekend  (I finished these last night, thankfully)
  • Make 12 snowman-out-of-lightbulb ornaments for an ornament exchange party (that I will be missing while I'm gone) this includes painting and speckling (with snow paint) the lightbulbs and crocheting little hats and scarves for each
  • Host and feed hot dogs to everyone at playgroup this morning
  • Laundry and packing for 5 (using only one under-50-pounds suitcase and 4 small carry-ons)
  • Gather up toys, electronic gadgets (extra wii-motes, etc), and other things to distract the kids on the flight and find some way to pack them too
  • Clean so that we don't have to come home to a messy house
  • Flu shots for 5 (Jon isn't happy about this one)
  • Enrichment tonight (might need to skip)
  • Maryn to ballet and Seth to Tae Kwon Do tomorrow

I could go on, but just reading that list makes me tired.

Despite being overwhelmed.  I am so so so excited to come home and see family and friends, many with new babies I have never met.  It's going to be a great trip, like the light at the end of this very cluttered tunnel.

We'll make it!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

somtimes I like having a live doll to dress

I am absolutely in love with this green and blue plaid dress and argyle tights outfit.
And the fall leaves look pretty too.

P.S.- Jonas loves yogurt, eats it every day, but unfortunately insists on feeding himself. I tried to get a candid shot of him with the spoon in his mouth like this today, but he saw me coming at him with the camera and said "cheese".

And one more thing- Jon left his Ipod in his pants pocket after camping with the scouts this weekend. I washed all his camping clothes...twice (they smelled really bad). And guess what- the Ipod still works!

Friday, November 7, 2008

cue the Hallelujah chorus

I didn't think I'd see this again in my lifetime!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween 2008

Happy Halloween to all!

For costumes this year, Seth chose to be Indiana Jones (thanks to Aunt Carlie for the hat and "man-purse") Maryn chose to be a kitty, and Jonas was a cowboy (with a too big hat and no boots- don't worry, he still looked cute). Jon was also Indiana Jones for some of the festivities (picture below).

We participated in a variety of Halloween activities this year: our ward trunk-or-treat, trick-or-treating at Daddy's office building, and trick-or-treating with our friends on Halloween night. (See those pumpkin buckets in the picture above? By the time we were done with all of these festivities, we had accumulated 6 bucket-fulls of candy. Sick. We let the kids pick out 10 pieces each and are going to give the rest to our Bishop- he keeps a stash in his office.)

Seth had been practicing the Indiana Jones half-smile, it shows up in a lot of the pictures.

Jonas's bandana functioned well as a bib to keep candy goo off of his coat.

By the time we remembered to take a picture of Indy father and son- Seth had had enough of the festivities.

The next few pics are of our kids and their BFFs. We all went trick-or-treating together in their neighborhood. (Which is a few residential streets away from a fancy country club, we even went to his house- but he wasn't handing out subs.)

Henry Jones, Jr. and Henry Jones, III.Little witch and kitty girl.

I'm sure the kids had a lot of fun over the past few days. They enjoyed trick-or-treating (for while, until they realized how much walking it took) and enjoying playing with their friends late into the evening (past their bedtimes). Jonas showed no hesitation and walked right up to people on their porches with his hands outstretched. We also had freakishly-good, AZ-type fall weather, not too cold at all.

As usual, for the grandparents, more pics of the events can be seen here.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

yes, we're tired around here

This is how I found Jonas napping a few days ago, surrounded by his favorite things.

Maryn has been having night terrors where she wakes up screaming and is inconsolable. It wears both of us out.

But she sure is a pretty girl.

Monday, October 27, 2008

if you have the time...

When did the week of Halloween become as busy as the week of Christmas? Maybe I feel this way because I have three costumes to get together and a kindergarten class party to pull off.

But if you have a minute during this busy week, please take this survey. (It was put together by a friend of mine.)

Happy Halloween week!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Halloween cookies (on the good ship lollipop)

Last week, the kids had a great time decorating cookies. After the sticky mess of frosting and sprinkles was cleaned up, I realized that I probably shouldn't have had them do this right before dinner.

Jonas (with pink eye) licked all the frosting up with the little knife and left the cookie.

This is pretty much what Maryn does when I ask her to smile, she screams.

For more pictures of the event, click here.

I'll end with a little Shirley lovin'.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

remember my favorite tree?

This tree is right outside my front door. I see it everytime I pull into my parking spot. Love it, love it, love it. The leaves turn the most beautiful buttery shade of red. (Yes, butter red is a color- I just made it up.) I should really find out what type of tree it is. They are all over my little town and they have the most gorgeous leaves by far.

I never knew how much I loved autumn until I moved here.

PS- I found my new autumn background here.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Jonas feels the jazz

I included both of these videos because the first one is the cutest, but I filmed it sideways. By the time I came to my senses and started filming the right way, the music was pretty much over.
But seriously, the boy can groove, right?

Monday, October 6, 2008

crafting and ballerinas

Thanks to conference weekend, I was able to finish this hat and booties set for a friend. You can't tell in the picture (I have no idea about camera lighting) but they are a really pale pink with white ribbons.

These are some large swaddling blankets I made for the same friend. (I actually feel badly for saying that I "made" them because all I did was do a roll hem and a straight stitch on the sewing machine. Seriously easy.) She came with me to pick out the fabric. Isn't the owl one on top just the cutest?!

The following pictures are of Maryn in her ballet class. She is enjoying every second of the 30 minutes each Wednesday. (The teacher only allows parents to visit class on the last Wednesday of the month.) While observing the class, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the teacher is actually teaching the girls ballet positions, using the correct piano music for each.
The ballerinas in the pictures are (left to right) Zoe, Samantha and Maryn.

As an amazing coincidence, two of my best friends (one mentioned previously) are being induced with their third babies tomorrow. (In different states, one having a boy and one having a girl.) Best wishes to both of you for minimal pain, healthy crying babies, and speedy recoveries!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

some recent funnies

Here are a few things that have happened lately that I want to remember:

While in the car with Jon (I think G-pa Stone was there too), Seth said "You know what Dad, grass is like the Earth's hair."

Further proof that Maryn is almost exactly like my sister Wendy- While clipping Maryn's nails last night, I noticed that a few were very short already while the rest were all the same length. When I asked her about it, she said "I pulled them off with my teeth." Yes, folks- at age three, she bites her nails.

We have been listening to a CD of Disney songs (Jon made a random mix). One of the songs is "Davy Crocket" to which Maryn sings "Baby, Baby Crockett, king of outer space."

Monday, September 15, 2008

milestone reached by brute force

I went to pick up Seth and Maryn from a birthday party on Saturday afternoon to find Seth sitting on his friend's dad's lap crying and bleeding. Apparently, Seth and two of his buddies were wrestling in the jumping castle when Seth took a knee to the chin. The impact knocked one tooth completely out and loosened the other one significantly.
It took him a good hour to calm down and stop whining about his tooth. Finally he said to me "Mom, I can feel the space that my tooth left in my mouth and I'm getting kind of excited." (Excited about the tooth fairy, which he had never heard of, which I had just finished telling him about, which now I regret doing.) He had trouble eating for the rest of the day because he kept forgetting about the remaining wobbly tooth and biting into hard things like bread.
"Mom, how is my tooth ever going to feel better?"
"When you decide to be brave and let me pull it out."
"Will it hurt?"
"No more than having your other one knocked out."

He woke up the next morning with four shiny quarters under his pillow. (Tooth fairy payments have increased significantly since I was 5 and losing teeth.) He spent the whole morning wiggling and fretting over the remaining tooth until finally he came up to me and said "Mom, I'm ready to be brave." (I admit, I was still a little nervous to pull it out, my biggest fear was that I wouldn't get it out on the first try.) After one swift yank later, the deed was done. He didn't even cry and patiently bit down on a wad of tissue paper until the bleeding stopped. That tooth still had a considerable amount of root on it (about 3-4 mm for you dentally-inclined types). It probably wouldn't have fallen out on its own for 2-3 more months.

I think he's going to have those two huge holes in his mouth for a while, so I'm really glad it wasn't his top teeth.

Seth's just excited to have earned two dollars in two days.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ike flooded my basement and fixed my cable

We received the remnants of Hurricane Ike this morning in the form of a torrential downpour that lasted four hours and flooded our basement (for the third time this summer). 4.3 inches according to our local newscast.

(Some quick words of explanation- our city's "run-off" drainage system is inadequate because it was built long before our city got huge. So whenever there is a lot of rain in a short period of time, the drainage system works for a while, then gets too full and stops draining- thus the water running down the hill onto our porch runs right under our french doors and into our basement, instead of down the drain located on our porch. So there's really not much we can do about it...I know, Mom- sandbags.)

Here's a video that Jon shot as the water was seeping in. (In the video, he mentions that it was the fourth time we've had flooding- but it's really only the third.)

The floor is red painted concrete which I actually thought looked pretty cool until all this flooding has made the paint peeley and gross.

Here's more pics of the flooding: In the first one, you can see our sandbox turtle with two cinder blocks in front of it that are almost completely submerged.

In this second photo, you can see how high the water was in reference to the chair leg. We think there was about a foot of water up against our back door.
The goods news of the day is- for some reason our cable connection is now crystal clear after months of the picture on almost all channels getting worse and worse. This was after multiple visits from the cable guys who said there was nothing they could do to restore the picture. We couldn't even get two network channels (one of which is the station Oprah is on). But for some reason, this huge storm fixed the problem! Cool, right?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seth's teacher update

Apparently we're BFFs now because she asked me to be her Head Room Parent (aka- party planner). First order of business- class Halloween party.

In all seriousness, after that day of fretting- I'm over it. I've corresponded with her via email several times now and she's very pleasant in that realm. Because of this, I've realized that we're actually very similar- not that friendly or outgoing in person (unless it's with someone with whom you're well-aquainted) and way more comfortable corresponding via email.

You'd think that two people who are so similar could get along.

We'll see. :)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

overheard at breakfast this morning

(Jon and I were in the living room, the kids were eating breakfast in the kitchen.)

Seth- "Mom's really the boss.  I know Dad's bigger than her, but she really is still the boss."
Maryn- "No, Dad's the boss!"
Seth- "No, Mom!"
Maryn- "No, both of them!"
Jon- "Maryn's right, now quit arguing!"

Seth and I know the truth.

Friday, September 5, 2008

what do you do when...

you don't like your kid's teacher at school?

I went in to Seth's class today to help with art. I was really excited to see how he interacted with his classmates and whether he was good at following directions (because he doesn't do well in this area at home). What I wasn't prepared for was the cold shoulder the class and I got from his teacher.

I'm not sure what I expected, but something along the lines of...
to kids- "Good Morning, class. We have a helper today, Seth's mom."
to me- "Thank you so much for coming in to help us out today."

What I got was...
to kids- "Sit down and get our your books." "Close your books and listen to the annoucements." to me- "What's your name again?"

Maybe she was having a bad day? (She is pregnant.) I really hope that's it and that she isn't always like this. I guess I was expecting someone more outgoing and energetic, someone who seems like they actually like kids. Do I have a starry-eyed expectation because my only examples are my mom and sister (who are both fabulous kindergarten teachers)?

My biggest consolation is that I have very few foggy memories about my Kindergarten experience. I don't remember anything about my teacher other than that she was really old. So I don't think that one sub-par teacher is going to make or break his elementary experience.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

twinkle toes

I took this pic a while ago and never got around to posting it (surprise!). Maryn and I did this fun, girly activity while Daddy and Seth went to see a movie (Journey to the Center of the Earth- 3D).
If you look closely, you can see her itty-bitty pinky toenail- courtesy of Daddy (look familiar, Michelle?).

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

ballerina girl

I'm blogging way out of order, I have so much else to catch up on. But I wanted to post pics of the first day of Maryn's ballet class. (Thanks for the leotard, Grandma Jeannie!)

She let me do her hair in these little buns, so cute!
I wasn't able to stay in the room because Jonas was so jealous and wanted to go and sit with the girls, so I had to take him out to the hall. This is a pic of me peeking through the door. Maryn is sitting to the right of the girl in the white tutu.
The class is 30 minutes a week for 3-4 year olds. It's not a real ballet class, it's more about movement and music. But the instructor does teach them the ballet positions and they practice them while playing games and using props. The girls aren't required to wear dance gear, they can wear whatever they want, really. But it's a fun opportunity to dress up like ballerinas (and some of the girls went all out, believe me!)

The following pic is of Maryn and her absolute best friend, Zoe. Whenever we are on our way anywhere, Maryn asks "Is Zoe going to be there?" Luckily the answer is usually yes!
(I think we'll skip the tights next time!)

Monday, August 25, 2008

first day of Kindergarten.....the afternoon after

To begin, I have four words for you....THE BUS WAS LATE!

It was the longest 8 minutes of my life.

The little kids and I sat at the bus stop for about 10 minutes, and when his arrival time came and went (3:27), my head was immediately filled with all the scenarios of what could possibly go wrong and why the heck he wasn't here yet.  I had to call Jon to talk me down, I was giving myself an anxiety attack.  I don't think the convenience of the bus is worth all this.  (Plus he was on the bus for almost an hour and his school is only 1.5 miles away.  I think I'm going to rethink this bus thing.)

But when we were finally home safe and sound, I was able to ask Seth about his day.  Here are the responses I got to my many questions: 

"Mom, I need to wear tennis shoes because we do this thing called PE.  It's inside- in the same place we eat lunch.  There's a bunch of different things you can do, it's kind of like the Olympics."  (Like I said, we watched a lot a lot of Olympics these past two weeks.)

"I didn't really like lunch.  It was kind of like a taco with red sauce."  (It was a pizza quesadilla.)  "So, I just ate the applesauce." (NOT the salad.)  "And you know what?  Dad was right- they did have chocolate milk!"  (Jon had told him last night during dinner that he could drink chocolate milk at school every day if he wanted to.  I did not agree.)  So his first school lunch was applesauce and chocolate milk.

"When my teacher said that everyone needed to go sit on the carpet, I was the first one there!"  (He also got 4 "super stars", some sort of recognition for being good.)

"Mom, I didn't think about you at all until I was on the bus."

I guess that's good.  (sniff)

first day of Kindergarten

The important business of today is.....Seth started Kindergarten!
Lucky for us, his school doesn't start until 8:30- we aren't very early risers in our family. This morning, Seth came in my room at 6:45 and said "Do I need to get up and get ready for school?" We told him he couldn't get up until 7:00 and exactly 15 minutes later he walked back into our room. He had picked out the clothes for his first day weeks ago- he was so excited to wear his "army" shirt (thanks, Aunt Wendy!)

The morning went pretty smoothly, except for breakfast. I'm sure he was excited and nervous, but Seth hardly ate a thing. We all piled in the car and drove the 5 minutes it takes to get Seth to his new school. Jon waited in the car with the younger kids while I took Seth up to the front doors of his school and showed him where to stand in line. He got a little nervous and teary standing there with me, but he got it together in time for his teacher to appear and take them all inside.

Seth's school is a very old red brick split-level schoolhouse (I think the sign on the outside says 1927). The enrollment is very small, with only 2 classes per grade K-5. And to make things even better, his best friend, Brennan, is in the same class!

It's been about two hours since I dropped him off. The anxiety has worn off a bit, but I still miss him. What I really miss is his helpfulness in taking care of Maryn and Jonas. He is really good at keeping an eye on Jonas- making sure he stays out of trouble and making sure Maryn doesn't bully him. I've already had to break up squabbles this morning between the two kids.

I expect the anxiety to creep up again around the time school gets out. I'm letting him ride the bus home and I'm very, very nervous about that. But in this case, my logical brain won over my emotional brain because if he rides the bus home, it means that I don't have to wake up Jonas from his nap to go and pick him up. So I'm praying that the bus experience is good and safe. Only 5 more hours until he's supposed to be home.

My baby started school! I hope this gets easier with subsequent children.

Friday, August 22, 2008

August, oh August, I hardly knew thee

Where has this month gone?  I have been so busy and August has just flown by.  I have so many posts in my head waiting to be written.  (I think I need to be a daily blogger because when I realize that I haven't written in a while and so much has happened, I get overwhelmed and continue to procrastinate.)  Here's the list to help me remember everything that happened this month, more details coming soon-
1. I officially entered the last year of my twenties.  
2. A BFF (who also just happens to be my awesome sister-in-law) came to visit with her two cute kiddos.  She's now embarking on a new adventure, currently in the eye of Hurricane Fay. Yikes!
3. Seth is starting full-day kindergarten on Monday (25th) (and riding the bus, to top it all off).
4. Jon received a new calling at church.....he won't let me say what it is yet, so there's some suspense for you.
5. I have been watching hours and hours (and hours and hours) of the Olympics these past two weeks- haven't really been able to get much else done.
6.  Adding to my inability to get anything done- this month, I read The Host and just finished Breaking Dawn this afternoon.   
7. I finally finished a craft project that I started almost one year ago.  (Pictures coming soon.)  At this rate I may have trouble with my next endeavor...
8. I'm gearing up to open an Etsy store.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

my husband is famous and my kids are cute

Check out Jon in the pop culture blog-o-sphere.

And thanks to Mat for taking awesome pics of my kids.
We had a fun time with all our visitors this past week, thanks for coming to see us in the Midwest!

Monday, July 21, 2008

a boy of few words

The following are two short clips of Jonas talking. As you can see, his vocabulary is quite small and consists of about 5 words: Mom, Dad, ball, hi and eat.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

what we've been up to

We are enjoying our beautiful summer here in the midwest. Humid- yes, but not too bad...yet. Because the sun doesn't go down until 8:30 pm, we have been spending many evenings after dinner at the pool or the park.

For the grandparents- more pics of our 4th of July fun and other July adventures here.
Jonas doesn't realize that he will have to endure many years of teasing later on for this picture (eh, Scotty? I think I feel a song coming on). But I'm simply trying to document his life. Because of the closeness in age (I think) Jonas loves to play with or do whatever Maryn is doing. This includes donning princess shoes. (The only reason Maryn allows this is because a little plastic heart broke off of one of the shoes and now she won't wear them.)
In other news, we got one of these. Still not sure how I feel about it. Sure it's fun, but is it really worth it?
Happy Summer!

Friday, July 4, 2008