Saturday, August 30

he's weird, she's beautiful

Tyler, drinking straight teriyaki sauce. He figured out it was faster to do it this way than to dip his fork in it over and over again.

Really, if I hadn't been there for the birth you could not convince me that this stunning beauty is my genetic offspring.

Wednesday, August 27

a lot of this, a lot of that

I haven't posted in a few days, not for lack of ideas, but for a lack of coherent ideas. I'd like my stories and posts to flow a little better with a common theme, or even just a point, but that usually doesn't happen here. Organization is not my strong suit, even in my thought processes. But do you know where my strengths do lie (as I discovered today)? In killing wasps. I've written on here about wasps a time or two, so you know we've got a wasp problem. Today at the pool, innocent little Tyler was trying to eat his lunch and a few wasps just kept flying around him, scaring him. So I picked up a flip-flop and proceeded to swat at them. By the second one I had figured out their flight patterns and such, and continued to kill 8 total. At that point I realized that they were multiplying faster than I could kill them, and Tyler was done with his lunch, so I just got in the pool and left the wasps for the others to kill. But I have to say, it felt GOOD to kill those wasps--they had it coming to them.

Speaking of Tyler and bugs, do these fake ladybugs scare you? No, I didn't think they would. They do terrify Tyler though. So you can imagine what we've been doing with them the past few days. Putting them under his plate at dinner, on his sippy cup, on his head, near a toy he wants, etc., etc. Jeremy did draw the line at putting it in his bed though, we do want the child to sleep.
Also, we got t.p'd. Thanks Kole and Dorothy! It made me feel young again, even though I was only the recipient.

Jeremy's family got together at a lake over the weekend and we finally got to go wake boarding. And I've been paying for it ever since. Soooo much fun, soooo much pain.

Also, the kids and I made sugar cookies, which we rarely do because I eat them all within a two day period. Really good sugar cookies are one of my weaknesses. But I taught Tyler how to cut out shapes with the cookie cutters, so every time he would make one, he'd put the cookie cutter down, push on it with all his strength, and say "PUSH!", except he sounded like he really was working on pushing something out.
Also, about a hundred times a day I hear him say, "see? watch mom!" and then I watch him jump off some object he's found to stand on.
I've signed Alexis up for gymnastics, they start next week. She's really excited to walk on a "balance bean", so hopefully they let the four year olds do that.

We've also been swimming every day, trying to get our fill in before they close the pool. Alexis can really swim! And when I say swim, I really mean it. She kicks her legs and uses her arms and it actually looks like swimming rather than drowning, like it used to. She still doesn't have the strength to do it for long periods or to get high enough out of the water to get a good breath, so I still have to watch her close, but it's pretty amazing. I'll try and get a video of it this week so you can all see.

That's enough of an update, I hope it wasn't too boring. I'm trying to keep my mind off the fact that summer is almost over, and we're trying to take full advantage of the warm weather. But mostly I just spend my days marveling at the fact that these two beautiful creatures came from me. It's beyond amazing.

Friday, August 22


Did you know that today (well yesterday, since it's now after midnight) is the one year anniversary of my blog? Don't worry, I'm not going to make another video montage.

So I've been thinking about why I like having a blog. I've found it can be a good outlet for my emotions, because this mothering business I'm in is definitely emotional. Also, I've found that I kind of enjoy writing. Though I don't know if this actually counts as "real" writing since I don't brainstorm, and draft, or edit...which is probably why I like it. Also, I like that it gives me a place to write down any old memories that come to me, or a recent event that I'll want to remember. Which leads me to my next point.

I have a terrible memory. I'm not sure why, but I always have. I cannot remember the names of any teachers I've ever had, except for two from high school, and even those come and go. I don't really remember what I was like growing up, what I liked to do, what my favorite colors or favorite toys were, or even the names of half my friends. And you know how some people talk about their very first memory from when they were like 4? That's not me. It seems most days the earliest memory I have is from the night before. Also, most of what I do remember is very visual. My memories come in snip its, flashes of people's faces, or what they were wearing or what they were doing. I don't remember sounds so much as pictures. Is everyone like that? For example, I can picture myself walking to my senior English class in high school, almost as if I'm watching myself from above, but I can't remember much about my senior year of high school, like what classes I took, what I did after school, what my favorite subject was, what graduation was like. I think it's all buried in my brain somewhere though, and every now and then something prods a memory out of the dark recesses. Of course I do have a few fall back memories that are the only things I remember, which means I've shared them enough times now that I probably can't forget them. I've been reminded yet again of one of these while my brother and his wife have been in town this last week.

My brother Aaron is 18 months younger than me and even though he's taller and stronger, I have always been a bit protective of him. It's not that he needed me to watch out for him, I've just always felt some sort of guardianship over him. It's lessened now, but I think that's because his wife is something fierce and would never let anything happen to him either. I hope I haven't given you the impression that he's a sissy, because he's not. He can take care of himself and doesn't need either his sister or his wife to do it. Anyway, onto my memory, sorry, but details are vague. Which, on second thought, probably makes the story better.

It was the first or second winter after my family had moved to a suburb of Portland Oregon and it was snowing, which is rare for that area. I was in either 8th or 9th grade, and my two brothers and I were out trying to sled down a little hill across the street from our house. While we were out there this extremely dumb kid named Colby came over and started teasing us. He was mean to everyone, but he seemed to always be picking on Aaron and a few of his friends. I can't remember why he was teasing us that particular time, I just remember that he was making me really mad! It didn't upset me too much when he'd tease me or Peter, but when he turned and started bothering Aaron I just snapped. Colby and Aaron were at the bottom of the hill, and I was at the top. I got so angry that my instincts kicked in, and I leapt off the hill, aimed right for Colby, and knocked him to the ground. I honestly don't remember what happened after that. I probably sat on him for a minute, told him to leave us alone, maybe called him a name. I'd like to think that I punched him, but I probably didn't--I'm not really a fighter, so I'm sure I ran out of gusto before it ever got that far. I do know that he left and didn't bother my brother so much after that, so I guess I scared him enough.

While it makes me sad that I can't remember a lot of stuff, it does comfort me to know that I remember stories like that--stories that make me seem cooler than I really am.

Wednesday, August 20


If a picture is worth a thousand words, this one says:

That after all the whining and crying I hear on a daily basis from BOTH children, I've finally lost my marbles. I'm no longer playing with a full deck. I've been driven around the bend. I've got a screw loose. I'm not all here. I'm as nutty as a fruitcake and as mad as a bag of hammers. Have I forgotten any?

**Also, for all you ituners out there, which is just about everyone, check out this weeks free single of the week (I meant to post this sooner, but forgot). As most of you know Jeremy has been playing drums in the band Brilliant Stereo Mob for years and years. The lead singer, Tim, writes their songs, and he wrote one called "The Wisdom of Crowds" which BSM has performed for years. If you have their CD Fists, Guns, and Knives it's the first track on that album. Anyway, Tim's brother's band, Gran Ronde, also recorded it, titled "Wisdom", and that is this weeks single of the week. It's free, go download it!**

Monday, August 18


Things are getting confusing around here...well for Alexis at least. See, today is her birthday, but on Saturday was her party. Almost all of her aunts and uncles and grandparents, and all of her cousins came swimming on Saturday and then showered her with gifts. But it was important to me that she know that TODAY is her actual birthday so I kept saying, "no, today is just your party, your birthday is on Monday". So yesterday at church when people would comment on her new jewelry, "oh, did you get that for your birthday?", "no, it's from my party", lest they be mistaken. Then this morning she kept telling me that she wanted to have friends come over for her birthday, and will her birthday be inside or outside?, and how long will her birthday be? And then at my aerobics class she would go to all of her friends and say, "you can come over for my birthday". I've been trying to explain to her that her birthday is just the same as the day she was born, and it's inside and outside, it's all day, and you don't have to do anything special for it to still be your birthday. She's not getting it. To her four year old mind, presents = birthday.

Here's a few pictures of swimming fun, and her blowing out her candles.

I've said it before but one of the very best things about Alexis is her enthusiasm. When she is excited about something, she is EXCITED about it, and then you get excited about it just from watching her. The first present she opened was a little doll house from her grandma, and oh boy did she love it. Every present after that was exciting, until we got to the grand finale, it was a bit anti-climatic.

Here she is hugging grandma for the dollhouse. Her cousin Mason is also hugging grandma for the dollhouse because he loved it too.
Here she's modeling a cute shirt from Uncle Aaron and Aunt Tricia.
After all the other presents were opened Jeremy and I decided to give her one of the gifts from us. I even got my video camera out hoping for a good reaction.

"Alexis, go sit on Uncle Eric's lap and close your eyes"
"Okay, open them!"
"What am I supposed to be looking at?"

"Oh, gee, cool...i guess.* Thanks mom and dad. Where are my toys?"
But at least one person appreciated it.
He's definitely a second child, enjoying the cast-offs of the first.

*She really did like her bike, I was just expecting more of a reaction!

Friday, August 15

It's time for...

...another video montage. This time it's in honor of my little girl who is growing up way too quickly. I know I've complained about her on here before, but she really is a blessing in my life. She's changed my life so completely, she makes me want to be a better person, and has taught me more in these 4 years than I think I learned in all the years of my life previous to her. And despite all our struggles, she is just a little girl, and we all know that girls just want to have fun!

Wednesday, August 13

Idle hands and whatnot

You know how you have those moments where all the adages people say finally make sense? The ones like, "early to bed and early to rise make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise", or "practice makes perfect", or "a rolling stone gathers no moss". Well, how about "idle hands are the devils playground"? That one has finally clicked with me! Give the kids some sponges and a little water and they are too busy to bicker with each other. Now the only whining I hear while cleaning the kitchen is my own.

Monday, August 11

the camping trip where everyone gets sick, and I get tired

We're back from our trip, but before I give you the recap I wanted to share this picture taken of Tyler just before we left. We put him in a wife beater (you never realize how bad of a name that is for a shirt until you type it out!), and he looks like a little stud. Also, we cut off the mohawk. I was sad to see it go but we wanted to cut it all even so that we can grow it out long again. However, since we are not capable of giving him a normal haircut he does have a tiny rats tail in the back.

So we went camping in Silverton, Colorado and I cannot even begin to express how beautiful it was there. The pictures we took definitely don't do it justice! It rained a lot but we didn't care because it wouldn't be half as beautiful if it weren't for that rain, plus our tent didn't leak. If it had I'm sure I'd be complaining. We went there for the family reunion of Jeremy's immediate family (brothers, sisters, parents, etc.) and had a great time. Looking back at things individually I'm not sure why I say it was fun, but when I think about it collectively it really was an awesome trip.

The whole first day we were there Tyler kept spiking fevers. By some miracle I had actually remembered to bring three different bottles of Tylenol, so we were alright, but I still was worried about him. We happened to be out 4-wheeling that whole day, so I spent most of it holding him in the back of the truck. He was a trooper but you could tell he didn't feel well. He was really lethargic, which he NEVER is.
See how sad and sick he looks? And see the motherly concern just swimming in my eyes?
This is Alexis the bobble head. She got to ride the 4-wheeler with grandpa and had to wear a helmet that weighed as much as she does.
This is the ghost town we rode through. Alexis insisted that the abandoned houses are actually called "dams". Nothing could convince her otherwise. So, look at the cool dams!
This is the point we rode to. If you can't tell it says 12,800 feet. That's one high sucker.

Jeremy gave Tyler a priesthood blessing that night and when he woke up in the morning he was perfectly fine. So that day we went to the nearby town of Ouray where they have hot springs and spent a few hours swimming and got a much needed shower. It rained a lot while we were there, but you somehow just don't care when you're sitting in your swimsuit in 92 degree water. Also an old man from New Mexico, after hearing I was visiting from Utah said, "You vote republican! It's your fault!". But again, when sitting in that warm of water you don't care about much, like correcting them with an "actually I probably didn't even vote in that election", I just figured it would make him more mad.
Not the best picture of Alexis, but this is at the hot springs after we've swam and showered.

That night Alexis got sick. Everyone was around the campfire and she would just stand away from everyone, staring at nothing. That's very odd for her and we finally figured out why. She didn't sleep well that night (there was not a night where one or the other didn't end up in our bed) and wouldn't even leave the tent in the morning. She threw up a few times and I spent most of the morning laying with her. Jeremy gave her a priesthood blessing around lunchtime and within minutes she was up and chasing chipmunks ("shipymunks" as my nephew calls them) with her cousins. That night a bunch of the boys went to do some more 4 wheeling, while the rest of us hung around camp.

Jeremy doing stuff he's not allowed to do when the kids and I are in the Rhino.
Corn eating contest. Jeremy's dad won.
A really cool picture taken by Jeremy somewhere. The clouds were amazing and some of them were just so low.Tyler, Alexis and cousin Mason on the 4 wheeler. Alexis and Mason are making their "shipymunk" faces.

One thing I learned from this trip is that teaching children the real names of certain pieces of anatomy is just fueling them with ways to embarrass you. One night we were playing Mad Gab and Alexis was watching us. As far as she could tell we were all just shouting out random words, so she decided to join in. She said a few words and then ran off with her cousins again. She came back a few minutes later while we were still playing, sat down, and took the opportunity during the one moment of silence to yell out the name of a certain piece of male anatomy. You know which I'm talking about. I laughed so hard that I couldn't talk for about a minute. Then I later reminded her that we don't talk about things like that in public, but I think the response she got when she said it counteracted that lesson in her mind.

By the way, are you guys enjoying the Olympics? I like to watch it because it reminds me of the Olympics 4 years ago, which I watched while in labor with Alexis. And if you had asked me last night while she was having one of her major episodes, I would say that I preferred where she was 4 years ago to where she is now.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have about 20 more loads of laundry to do before I'm allowed to go to bed tonight.

Monday, August 4

what do you say when you call out to the birds?

Today I asked Alexis to draw what we are going to be doing this week. Below is the result. Can you tell what it is? It takes a minute for the eyes to make sense of it (it was easier before she drew hair on all of us), but once you figure it out it's pretty cute.
We are going camping, so this is our family in a tent. On the left is Jeremy (notice the spiky hair and the fact that he's the tallest), I'm next to him and we're holding hands. To my right is Tyler (more spiky hair) with some scribbly things around him which she says are his "covers". Then finally we have Alexis with a frown on her face. She's sad because she doesn't want to go to sleep. Which really means that I should have a frown on my face too because most likely I WANT to go to sleep and she's not letting me (much like just about every night this week). Then I asked her what the point on top of the tent was and she got all excited and said, "that's where we call out to the birds!", so she went and drew that blue line which, I can only guess, is some sort of bird calling device.

I'm sure that long explanation of her picture bored you, but I was excited about it. Looking at pictures she draws is always a little like getting a peek into her brain.

Anyway, we're going camping in Colorado, so you won't hear from me for another week or so. Maybe less, if you're really lucky. It's supposed to be cold there and a little rainy, the kids already have runny noses, I've got a canker sore the size of Alaska in my mouth and a sore throat due to bad allergies, so it's got tons of potential to be one of the worst camping trips in history. However, I do love to camp, I'm excited to see somewhere I've never been, the company will be good, and we're taking the Rhino, which is always fun. I am excited to go, I just always get a little anxious and nervous before trips, but it will pass. Plus, it can't be any worse than the trip I took with my family as a kid where there were so many bees I never left our van, except to run to the tent and run to the bathroom. Or the time we camped in Canada and I got an ear infection and spent the rest of the time worrying about if my ear drum was going to burst if I did just about anything I wanted to do. Awesome trips, mom and dad! See ya in a week.

Oh yeah, also my sister-in-law is selling her townhouse and I told her I'd add a link to the site in case anyone is looking for a townhouse in Clinton, UT.