Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Eggs of Wisdom

On Sunday Rhett asked me, "Mom, do you expect any surprises in your bed tonight?" My response: "Well I do now." I forgot until I found a plastic Easter egg in my pillow (Rhett's been playing with them recently). Cute. But when Chuck found his, he actually thought to open it. Surprise! Inside was a fun little note that read, "I like it when you give me sips of your soda." Of course I eagerly opened mine and found this gem, "I like it when you tell Dad to put away his phone." Awwwww. Sweet buddy.

So Monday night I was excited to find another egg in my bed. Imagine my disappointment to find this message: "Don't Steal." Words to live by, Rhett. Words to live by.

P.S. We're getting ready for tomorrow's likely snow day number 6. Toilet paper? Check. Milk? Check. Supplies for pancake tacos? Check.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Happy To Be Home? I Think Not.

You know how it's always crappy to return from a lovely vacation? I'm about to tell you how in five easy steps you can make it even worse.

1. Fly into a snowstorm. You know, one so bad the plane circles the airport for 35 minutes just waiting for the ground crew to clear the runway. But don't attempt to land just once. Oh no, ask the pilot to do a practice land but don't tell anyone on the plane he/she is doing it. Make sure to ask the pilot to get really close to the ground in your descent and then abruptly start climbing as if you were taking off. It's fun to scare passengers! Especially moms with little kids on the plane!

2. Upon landing, wait for your luggage for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Watch as planes that just landed get their luggage delivered within 20 minutes, but yours? Oh no. It's sitting on the runway somewhere. Getting soaked with snow.

3. It's not exciting to have your car start right-away (even after snowstorms and record-breaking cold temperatures), so try to do better than we did. BUT when you exit the long-term parking, try to get the most unreasonable employee to check you out. You know, the one that admits his company made a mistake (ahem, I'm looking at you ill-printed ticket), the one that won't be reasonable and let your car full of small children go. Sure, we tried to pay, but we were forced to sit for 20 minutes and argue with the man about the exact time we entered the lot. Fun!

4. Drive home on I-95 without it being snowplowed or treated, with lots of other cars, and a lot of snow! It's fun! Will the cars in front of you stop whilst driving up a hill?! Who knows! It's part of the fun. Make sure to make your normally-45-minute drive take twice as long.

5. When you get home, have fun shoveling in the dark the 10" of newly-fallen snow that fell on the couple of inches that fell earlier in the week while you were gone. Because that's what you want to do after waking up to 50-degree temperatures that same morning: dig out snow gear.

BONUS TIP! Wake up in the morning already forgetting what 77 degrees feels like, get church cancelled, and enjoy the snow!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Arizona, Part 3

Because it's me, I have weird random thoughts about Arizona:

I love my western hair. Washing it is so easy when I can let it air dry. Air drying is so wonderful when I know it won't be crazy frizzy, or even frizzy at all.

Denny's restaurants are everywhere. Why is this? Gretchen told me that Arizona has a big brunch culture. But Denny's?

Everything starts early in the morning. I LOVE this. I would do so well with this. Get out early, and then hide inside in the air conditioning in the afternoons.

HOAs can be CRAZY.

Speed limits are awesome. With limits of 75 mph, we can get places fast. Unless it requires driving through downtown Phoenix, and then it's slow. But I'm no stranger to traffic.

Phoenix is HUGE. It's one of the largest (geographically-speaking) cities in the country. (Crazy fact: the top four largest U.S. cities by land area are all in Alaska. And these four are all larger than Rhode Island.)

Solar panels. This shouldn't be a surprise, but man, they were everywhere. Good for you, Arizona.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Arizona, Part 2

Travelogue continued...

Wednesday. We opted to head north towards Sedona (instead of the Grand Canyon), with lots of stops on the way. It was long day, but the kids did great. I was nearly in tears a couple of times because it was just so darn beautiful. We had this amazing blue sky set against the red rock. The temperature was perfect (for me) and it was just so, so wonderful.
1--Montezuma Castle.

2--Montezuma Well.

3--Bell Rock hike outside of Sedona.

4--Tuzigoot (then Jerome, but I got no pictures there).

Becoming a junior ranger.

Thursday. To make the boys happy, we went to the zoo. The boys loved it of course, and Chuck and I are always happy to have happy kids.

Friday. We started the day hoping to get some waffles at a waffle truck, but sadly missed out. That's okay because we met up with Nikki and kids one last time. We were also super close to the Gilbert temple, so we thought we should stop there as well. Then we lucked into some tickets to a hot rod race through a friend from college. It was a new experience for all of us, but it was fun (after the first 20 minutes of Rhett's crying).

Monday, February 23, 2015

Arizona, Part 1

We just got back from a lovely week in Arizona visiting Chuck's parents and oldest brother and his family. And when I say lovely, boy do I mean it. Weather-wise, it was perfect. Mornings in the upper-40s, afternoons in the upper-70s, skies of blue. Activity-wise, it was fun! We did lots of things with just enough downtime. Family-wise, it was so good. It was really good for the boys to see their grandparents and cousins, and all the adults enjoyed seeing each other. Just good times all around. Our only plan was to go to the Grand Canyon, but then we nixed it. Really, my only goal was to be outside as much as possible. And that we did. And now for the travelogue:

Saturday. We left Maryland on a direct (but not non-stop) flight. We stopped in snowy Columbus and felt sooooo lucky to get out of the airport and on to Phoenix.

Sunday. We started with a walk around the neighborhood, then to sacrament meeting, and finally enjoyed family. Lucky me got to have lunch with a dear friend who now lives in AZ.

Monday. The whole family met up with our friends, Nikki and Collin. We played, ate, and visited. It was so great seeing them, even if Ollie and Freddie are frenemies. That evening was more family time.

Tuesday. As we all needed a down day, we spent the morning at some botanical gardens, and then went home to rest and have a regular bedtime. Everyone benefited!

Friday, February 13, 2015

We're Doing Stuff and I'm Taking Pictures

Last Sunday was really warm and so we thought we'd go downtown. It was perfect. We had a perfect parking spot, perfect weather, and perfect children. Well, two out of three. The boys ran around and we yelled at them to be respectful. Typical, I guess.

Ollie the photo bomber.

Then on Monday we made and decorated some Valentine's Day cookies. Ollie likes making me crazy by crossing his eyes. Ugh.

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Cutest Dinner Conversation (at least, before it dissolved)

Last night at dinner I asked Rhett, "If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?" And as we were having white chicken chili (which, if gauged by the boys' reaction, was the worst dinner ever), he wanted to find someone who liked that dinner. Nice. So then Chuck asked him, "Oooookay, if you could have ice cream with anyone in the world, who would it be?" Still thinking along the same line, Rhett replied, "Someone who doesn't like ice cream." You know, so he could eat theirs. So then we amended the question further to, "If you could spend 30 minutes with anyone in the world, who would it be?" While Rhett was thinking, Ollie was quietly whispering to him, "Pick me. Pick me." If only that moment could have lasted longer.

But no. Soon it was return of the dinner battle. Sigh. Some day they'll eat what I cook, right?

Friday, February 6, 2015


I guess I took some pictures, finally. Rhett was sick on Tuesday. I guess older sick kids do puzzles.

And I lied when I said I wasn't making anything. Every week I'm doing something for Ollie's little preschool (of class size 1). Wednesday was X. X is the worst. But mixing colors until you have five jars of root beer is the best.

Monday, February 2, 2015

A Groundhog's Day Life

Truly, nothing is going on. I'm not sewing. I'm not doing any other fun crafts. I'm not taking fun pictures of my kids (January 2015 had the record lowest number). I'm just cold. And boring. To make it worse (and I kid you not that this just happened), look what I posted almost exactly one year ago?! I tell you. My life is just on repeat.

I'm still buttering toast, but not freshly-baked bread. And as our butter dish was broken Saturday night, it might be put on hold for a couple of days until its replacement can be found. And let it be noted, I will never, ever toast banana bread and then put butter on it. WHO DOES THIS?!

Hot water heater is going strong, as is the heated mattress pad (best. anniversary. gift. ever).

Sad to say diet root beer has made a reappearance. When it's on sale for buy two, get three free, I just can't resist. I have resisted the vanilla ice cream, sadly.

I just want it to be warm. But not too warm. At least it's February!

This is one of the nine pictures I took.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Things Ollie Says

Me: What are you doing?
Ollie: You know, I'm doing something all kids love to do.
Me: What is that?
Ollie: Tie theirselves up!

Ollie: Hey Everett...I have a present for you in my pants! [(It was, thankfully, a car.)]

Ollie: I know a game! Pull out your penis! [Potty training sure brings interesting conversations.]

While putting on church clothes...
Ollie: I'm about to be handsome. I don't want to be handsome.

Ollie: When I'm a grown up, I'm supposed to go running, but I'll choose not to go running.

Ollie: Pizza, you're so good that you earned a present. And that present is me eating you.

His latest phase is that he wants to trick us...constantly. No fewer than 20 times a day we have to pretend that he didn't do what we asked. Then we have to get pretend mad. Then we have to be pretend elated at the surprise of him really doing this thing. These are things like pretending he didn't feed Bruno (but he really did), pretending he didn't put his dishes away (but he really did), pretending he didn't get dressed (but he really did)...It's always something with kids.

Oh, a late-breaking entry. This from last night:
Ollie: What do I look like?
Me: I don't know. What?
Ollie: A dead fish out of water.

If only you could this see in action. It was a LOT funnier.

And just another cute pic.

Monday, January 26, 2015

That's the WORST

Walking kids to school in the rain.

Forgetting to restart my running watch so it says I only did 2.33 miles.

People putting dirty utensils in dirty pots that are full of dirty water.

Your three year old putting your dinner into your drink.

Getting your hopes up for Ikea's smaland to give you some alone time, just to be crushed as they could only take one of your children.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Vote For Our Floor

Chuck and I are considering redoing our kitchen floor. We really like this product named Marmoleum, and it's laid out in tiles or planks. Here is the one pattern we like the most, shown going in opposite directions. What do you think? Which direction do you think is better? (Note: We're not doing these colors. Don't worry.) UPDATE! During nap time I put together a third option. Re-vote if you feel inclined.

Pattern 1:

Pattern 2:

Pattern 3:

Vote now! Exercise your democratic rights!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Still Thinking about the Deliciousness

Sunday morning I had the best breakfast ever: a pancake taco. Take a pancake, layer on some vanilla yogurt and sliced strawberries, fold up like a taco. Eat. Melt into the floor because it tastes so doggone good. Don't share any with your kids. Repeat Tuesday morning.

Huh. Looks like there are versions already out there on this. Can't wait to try them. One and Two. Although I think my version crushes both of them.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Questions of Great Import

Last week I made some banana bread for someone. When I heard how it was eaten, I was shocked. WHO DOES THAT?! So of course my question is: How do you eat your banana bread? (I don't want to bias the results, so I won't tell you until later how I eat it or how the blasphemer eats it.)

Also, at what time of day do you put on pajamas?

P.S. Know what I missed from Friday's list? The blow dryer! Ah, drying under my clothes.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Surprising Oases

It's been pretty cold here. I know, I know. It could be worse; I could live in Wisconsin or Illinois or Michigan. But for here, it's cold. And remember, it's a wet cold.

Anyway, I've been surprised by the warmth you can find in unexpected places. Here they are:
The vents. Duh.
The oven. Just bake something and then leave the door open. Ahhhh....
The sink when doing dishes.
The shower when you turn on the weird heater switch. (Don't have one? Sorry.)
The toaster. I feel like it's a little fire and I love warming my hands over it.
Also, vacuuming warms me up.
The best: my bed. That new heated mattress pad has been heavenly.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My Kids Dress for Success

Lately Ollie has been changing into pajamas as soon as he can. On Monday this meant 11:00 a.m. If I know we're not going out, I'm not sure I should even bother asking him to change into "day clothes," right? He's always loved being in "soft pants" but he's finally learned that ALL pajamas are soft pants.

And then there's his brother. Rhett has never been afraid of wearing nice, or even dressy, clothes. However, he has NEVER been the type to do a pajama day at school. (I fear for Ollie that everyday will be pajama day.) But whadda know? Yesterday his class took a field trip to an 1800s replica working farm (or something). This explains why Monday night Rhett asked what boys wore in the olden times. "Did they wear suits? Tuxedos?" Um no. They wore jeans and plaid shirts (or I know). Also, they wore suspenders.

So wouldn't you know this is how he left the house Tuesday morning:

I thought the bare feet really added to the effect.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Sometimes it's amazing (creepy?) how much Facebook really knows about me.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Why I Don't Want To Get Out of Bed

Chuck and I recently celebrated our 10th anniversary. The day itself was okay. We sent the boys to the babysitter, saw a horribly depressing movie (Unbroken, and yes, I read the book, but no, I was not prepared for the visual impression it would make), ate an okay lunch (they got Chuck's meat wrong and charged me for a bottled water), went shopping for new floors for the kitchen, picked up the boys from the babysitter, and then went to dinner at a friend's house. Fine.

But as we already had two adult-only trips to mark the occasion, it was totally fine that it wasn't a hugely amazing day. It was also fine that neither of us got each other a gift, because you know, enough money had already been spent.

However, winter has finally arrived. And even though our bed is now sheeted in flannel (last year's attempt at warming our bed in the winter), it's just not cutting it. So I bought us a heated mattress pad. And there you have it: the extra-long version of the story, "Why I Don't Want To Get Out of Bed."

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Thrift Store Gems

This may be the best thing I've ever found at the thrift store:

Well, that and this:

(I may be kidding about the latter, but I am definitely not kidding about the former.)

Monday, January 5, 2015

2014 Christmas Cards

Here's our 2014 Christmas card (which may have gone out after Christmas). The idea and the card came together in 24 hours, I'm proud to say. If you didn't get one, it's probably because you live close enough for me to see you often, or you didn't send me one. Sorry. I'm rude like that.

P.S. You know what I loved most about this? I didn't have to do my hair or coordinate outfits. Genius. Should you like to steal the idea for next year's card (or even this year's late card), let me know. I kept the props.

Friday, January 2, 2015

E! True Holiday Story

Don't let the pictures fool you: it was NOT an easy holiday season. Let's start with Ollie. Here's pretty much every conversation we have with him these days:

Me: Ollie what do you want for lunch?
Ollie: Meat, cheese, cracker!
I deliver it.
Ollie: NOOOOOO! Not like this!
He completely melts down. After calming down, I try to get the lunch as he wants it. He has another fit and redoes it himself...just like the way I initially served him. Sigh.

As you can imagine, dealing with this multiple times a day has been kinda rough. So December has been kind of rough. I didn't do all the things I'd like to have done with the boys because I was just too tired. Oh well. They'll get over it. And next year, if I can pull it together, they'll be that much happier.

More on Ollie, the kid was nearly impossible on Christmas day. He didn't want any of his presents and almost tried ripping apart this tent I made. I mean, really.

I'm learning that something that I need daily is a break from my kids. And when school is out and it's a holiday, I just don't get those breaks. We didn't nap Ollie hardly at all last week, and bedtimes were later and later. So by the time the boys went down and all our tasks were completed, there was almost no downtime. (With early-rising children, early adult bedtimes must be kept.) Turns out I don't do well with this. Let's just say I was a teeny bit happy to go back to work on Monday.

Anyway, my brain is fried, hence the scattered post. Sorry. I have hopes of sanity in the new year.

P.S. I really loved eating tacos, beans, and rice on Christmas Day. New tradition, maybe?! Feliz Navidad, maybe?

P.P.S. Nothing like the word "refinance" to make you feel like an adult. Blech.

P.P.P.S. And no, that's not a skinny Bruno with a dye job. We're dog sitting.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Christmas Day was so much better than its predecessor. It wasn't nasty and raining, I didn't spend all day in the kitchen, I got a nice run in, the boys played (mostly happily), we had family over for an easy dinner of tacos with rice and beans. It was just easy. Only regret was that I failed to get a picture of the whole family. Oh well.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve morning...

was spent (at least by me) in the kitchen. For the kids it was spent annoying me in the kitchen. But at least it all looked pretty, right?

Doing the gingerbread houses was the best part of the day. Well, that and eating dinner with friends. Well, that and putting the kids to bed.