Friday, December 30, 2011

Seven Years!

Happy anniversary to us!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Gifts

Here are the Christmas projects I made this year.

These are niece Emmy's matching dresses for her and her doll. Oh how I hope they fit. Rhett decided he was too old to try on dresses I make. I used this tutorial from Red Dirt Mama.

Some finger puppets for niece Lucy. I started these when I was in the waiting room during Chuck's back surgery, and finished them minutes before finding out about the great basement flood.

A crayon roll from this tutorial at Skip to my Lou. The iron-on vinyl sure was interesting.

A fun little drawstring bag for a nephew. I think it was a great use of this totally awesome fabric. Tutorial found here at Yarnmonster.

A funny little cross-stitch for me. It makes me laugh.

A little skirt and diaper cover for a friend's friend's baby. Don't worry; I charged a lot for this commissioned work. One frozen yogurt, and the friend must take me out to get it. I told you I'm expensive.

Potholders for my sister-in-law.

2011 family ornaments. (From Dana's tutorial at Made.)

Although I didn't have the energy for pajamas, I did do some shirts for the boys. These were opened Christmas Eve.

What's next? Figure out how to use my new serger! Aiyiyi. So intimidating.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Day

I hadn't planned on posting anything today. In fact, I would prefer to post something totally un-Christmasy. Not because I'm a Scrooge, but just because I like to be different. (I'm such a brat, right?)

But I love this picture of my little family too much. I love my little family too much! And I love how Bruno eased his way into the photo shoot totally unnoticed until I was looking at the pictures on the computer.

And this one's great because the binoculars were Rhett's favorite gift of the day. And my favorite gift was watching Rhett play with them! Isn't Christmas so great with little kids? It is.

And that Bruno. Always in the midst of the action.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Advent

In addition to putting up an ornament on our Christmas tree advent calendar, this year we had little daily "activities." I really enjoy doing them, and every day Rhett wakes up asking, "What fun thing do we get to do today?" Here's a little taste of what we've done:

We made and decorated Christmas cookies.

We made ice cream one night. And then a couple of nights later, we made a "new dessert" and this year that dessert was a waffle cone in which we ate the ice cream.

We visited the temple to see its lights. (A visit to the temple always includes dinner at Continental Pizza and Subs.)

We saw the trains at Brookside Gardens.

And maybe, just maybe, we opened the Christmas Eve presents already. Seeing as though they were Christmas clothes, I thought it was okay.

Finally, we decorated a gingerbread house. I did get a picture of Rhett smiling, but I had to post this one because it's just so him. (First time I made a real gingerbread house. Please ignore the sliding roof and collapsing wall. We're still learning.)

Other undocumented (but not illegal) activities included: sang carols by the tree, had hot chocolate by the tree (which should be cider since only one person in our house likes hot chocolate), donated some food, read a book together as a family ("Greatest Christmas Pageant Ever"), had a red and green dinner (more like pink and green, but whatever). Overall, I am very pleased with how it turned out. Only eleven more months until we can do it again!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Unfortunately I don't have a picture, but I'll try to keep this to less than 1,000 words.

Picture it: a trip to Home Depot. It's just me, Chuck, and Ollie, as Rhett was with the babysitter. We're looking for lumber so we can construct something to help keep water out of our window well. We didn't bother with a lumber cart because we knew it was only one two-by-four that we needed. We find the piece of wood and have it cut in half. But because of Chuck's back, he is unable to carry it. Instead, he's pushing the stroller while I have one piece of wood over each shoulder.

Let's just say it wasn't Chuck's manliest moment. It might have been mine, however.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Me vs. Baby Weight

For the first three months of me versus Baby Weight, BW kicked my butt. BW didn't feel like going anywhere, rather just hanging out and making me feel chubby, and ain't no one who likes to feel chubby. Turns out I'm really good at maintaining my weight, but not so good at losing it.

Eventually I got tired of losing the fight. To combat it, I decided that I'd do five days a week on a "weight loss" diet, followed by the weekends which would be my regular "maintaining" diet (but certainly not a binge diet). Also, I made weekly weight-loss goals, alternating between one and two pounds a week. (I'm no "Biggest Loser"--thank goodness!). And of course, I'm exercising every day but Sunday. Because I can't run with Ollie yet and because I prefer to exercise in the morning, I've been doing a workout video on weekdays and then running on Saturdays. It's worked out well.

I then spent a LOT of time planning daily menus that were completely balanced and not filled with too many fats, oils, and sugars (my ultimate downfall). Know what I learned? A couple of things. First, it's HARD to plan these menus! Seriously, new-found respect for nutritionists. Second, it doesn't take nearly what I thought it would to get my daily recommended amounts of vegetables and fruits, making it slightly easier. So I'm trying to find ways to get more protein and vegetables, since I naturally excel at fruits and whole grains. Finally, the dishes! All these "healthy" foods require me to cook at times when I normally don't (lunch mostly). But that tilapia fillet? Dirties a couple of dishes. That black bean and corn quinoa salad? More dishes. That snap-peas-and-chicken-and-strawberry to-die-for salad? Dishes! Ugh. I'm running the dishwasher and doing tons of dishes by hand. Peanut butter with jelly and a granola bar was so much easier.

And how's it going? Well so far, I'm down 7 pounds. At five pounds, I rewarded myself with a McDonald's ice cream cone. At 11 pounds, I get a pedicure. At 16 pounds I'm getting out my pre-pregnancy clothes. And the grand finale of 21 pounds? My shopping spree...a spree for which Chuck and I have saved money for months years. Oh how I want and need this. It'll be my own little "What Not to Wear," but without Stacy and Clinton (although I'll definitely have help). Who knows? Maybe I'll throw in a new hair cut too. (That is, if I still have hair after Ollie is done with me. Man, that kids has a kung fu grip!) Anyway, it's hard, but I know I can do it. I'm just really really missing my daily Hot Tamales fix.

P.S. I'm not kidding about that snap pea salad. Seriously. Get you some NOW.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Love this Baby

This ever-drooling, ever-spitting-up baby.

This ever-hand-eating, sometimes finger-sucking, ever-feet-eating baby.

This ever-attentive, ever-patient baby.

It's unfortunate these little people can't know how much you love them until they have their own. 'Cause DANG.

P.S. What are you getting for Christmas? Don't know? How about an ice cream maker? Because seriously, if you don't have one, this ice cream alone is worth the purchase. So good. So so good.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What's Getting Me Through

I feel like it's been a long time since we went on vacation. After this very trying week, I feel vacation-needy.  We were in Utah last January, but that feels like it was so long ago. And now with Chuck's back and baby Ollie, traveling is just not in our near future.

But there's hope. Summer 2012: I think and am pretty sure that we'll be spending about a month in Utah. I've been cleared to work from "home" (yes, my work knows I'll be in Utah) for that long, and with my parents on a mission, well, we might just invade their house. If they were there, I'd feel like a month would be a bit of an over-stayed vacation. But since we won't be bothering them at all, let's do it! It'll make all the Utah-weekenders (like Tetons, Moab) so much more doable. I am pumped.

Then, about a year after that when my parents finish their mission, Chuck and I (sans kids) are heading to Japan! We're definitely going to take advantage of my parents being over there; how could we not?!

And finally, about 18 months after that, Chuck and I celebrate our 10th anniversary. We're already saving money for this trip (along with the Japan one) and think we'll do a cruise. Chuck really wants to experience a cruise and since we'll have done Japan, I'm okay with it. If we go over our anniversary (late December), we'll do Caribbean. If we don't, then...maybe Alaska?

I know these things are forever away, but a girl can dream, right? Don't worry though; these days are not dragging as I pine for my trips. I mean, how can they when I have a son who declares the occupants of his underpants to the Bishop?

P.S. I should mention, for Rhett's sake at least, that he did not actually have poo in his underwear at tithing settlement. He never really has had a poo accident. But anytime he has any little streaks, well, it's all or nothing for that kid.

P.P.S. Also helping me is this! I won! I used my major award just hours later and spent WAY more than I won, but that's what they hope I do, right? I'm just doing my part for the economy. Winning! (And that's winning in the I-won-a-contest way, not in the yucky-Charlie-Sheen way.)

P.P.P.S. It kills me that I wore hot rollers for three hours before church on Sunday only for the curl to fall out before sacrament meeting was even over. Kills.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Things Rhett Says

He's drawing a picture of his cousin, Emmy.
Rhett: I'm not going to draw a penis because I know girls don't have penises.

We're driving in the car and sun is getting in Ollie's face.
Rhett: Sorry Ollie, but there's nothing we can do about it. Jesus built the sun that way.

I'm trying, for the millionth time that week, to get Rhett to say things for which he's grateful. I'd been pretty successful, until now.
Me: Rhett, can you tell me something for which you're thankful?
Rhett: Mom, I'm pretty tired of that. My heart's just not in it.

On the way home from Thanksgiving dinner, Rhett's trying to decide if he wants books told on the couch, or two stories in bed. Normally we do both, but it was late, so he had to pick only one.
Rhett: I'm going to choose books. Know why, Mom? Because I'm bored and books beat boredom!

Rhett: Can I have a cookie?
Me: No.
Rhett: Can I have a snack?
Me: Yes.
Rhett: Can the snack be a cookie?
Me: [laughter]
The kid got a cookie. Can you blame me?

I'm opening a can of black beans. I finish.
Rhett: Good job you!

On the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day of bedroom carpet wetness, I got tired of happy Christmas music so I checked Chuck's CD player (remember, my car was covered with a carpet pad). It turned on some (edited) Eminem.
Me: This is called rap music, Rhett.
Rhett: Oh. Who likes rap music? Oh, right. Mummies.
Get it? Wrap music? Laffy Taffy wrapper maybe? Halloween joke book? Who knows.

In the Bishop's office for tithing settlement. Because Chuck couldn't be there, I'm juggling both kids after a long, napless Sunday. Any charade that I'm giving off to the Bishop that I can handle this situation surely faded once Rhett said this gem.
Rhett: I have poo in my underwear.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Just in Case You Need to Feel Better about Your Life

I give you mine:

The day of Chuck's surgery we had a rainstorm which dropped more than 2" of rain at our house; that night, we headed for bed as per our usual old, lazy selves. I was feeding Ollie because Chuck is not really supposed to lift anything, plus he was in a considerable amount of pain (but happily no leg pain!). Chuck walked into the bedroom to find his feet squishing in the carpet. Not what you want to happen on a dark, cold, rainy night. After surgery. With a baby at home. Let's be honest: you never want this to happen.

What did I do? What do you think I did? Cried! Ha. Then, because I had no choice, I finished feeding Ollie, put both Chuck and Ollie to bed, and got dressed in rain clothes and boots to go bail out the window well, which had filled with 8" of water during the storm. For 30 minutes I bailed. All the while, I composed my pithy Facebook status update. Chuck and I knew there wasn't much either of us could do about the floor until morning.

Morning came and we borrowed Chuck's parents' wet vac to help get up the water on the carpet. Unfortunately the wet vac put almost all of the water I vacuumed back onto the carpet due to a leak. Out with you, wet vac! Thank goodness it was trash day. It was then that we knew we needed outside help. We called a friend who happens to be a student with classes mostly at night, who easily and quickly came to our aid. (Many, many thanks be given to the Merrills!) Jon and I (mostly Jon) moved all the furniture, disassembled the bed (which won't come out of the room until it's completely broken down), and then pulled up the carpet, and the soaking wet pad. The one fun surprise was some green tile underneath everything! What a treat! Jon cut out the carpet padding and at this very moment, it's drying on my car. (But I must mention how the carpet pad came to be outside.  Soaking wet, the thing weighed a LOT and was very drippy.  So instead of haul it through the entirety of my house, we opted to shove it through the window well, which was now dry.  Fun times.)  The carpet downstairs is drying with a blower I rented from Home Depot. And all of the stuff from our bedroom (minus our two dressers) is sitting all amok in the basement. I want you to guess how this makes me feel. (A mess that I can't clean up? I dare you; take a guess.)

See? Aren't you glad you're not me? Thank goodness I have three of the sweetest boys on earth in this crazy house. Strike that. I have two sweet boys and one smart, funny, cynical man whom I love very much. You know, I think I still want to be me even through all of this. So, sorry, but no, you can't have my life. Now, now, there, there. Don't cry too hard.

However, be very glad you're not Chuck. While his surgery was a total success and his leg pain is completely gone, he's suffering now because, well, someone cut open his back and did stuff. With knives and other sharp objects. He's in a lot of pain and does not like feeling useless. Hopefully this pain will resolve itself quickly so that he can enjoy such things as putting on socks! Lifting his boys! Cleaning the bathrooms! Jogging with me and pushing the double stroller! (Yep, it's all about me.)

P.S. Has anyone ever paid for a cleaning service? Since my parents left, I feel like I haven't been able to really clean and it's starting to drive me crazy. And with Chuck out of commission, I don't see it happening any time soon. I think if I see a deal come up on Groupon, I might just take it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Apparently Chuck Doesn't Have a Problem with Matching...

...if they're wearing this:

P.S. How cool is this tree (the one in the back)? Sorry about the one in front, but it's a little awkward to take a picture of someone's tree in their backyard while you're driving by in a car. But I love this tree. Rhett wants it in his backyard so he can climb it. You might need to click on the picture to make it bigger; it's worth it.

P.P.S. Surgery today! I'll be at the surgery center with Chuck while a woman (to whom we are extremely grateful) from church watches the little ones. Update later...

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Four-Month-Old Ollie!

Four months! We're that much closer to two years old! (I know, I know; I'm supposed to cherish these baby times because "they grow up so fast." Not true in my house; these days are sloooow.) But oh how we love this baby. We love him almost as much as he loves putting his little baby fists in his mouth and rolling onto his belly.

So far, so good. Sure, we'd love it if he slept through the night like Rhett did at this age, but it could be worse. He could be night-waking AND not taking great naps during the day. So we'll keep our reality, thank-you-very-much. The little one is definitely a solid daytime napper, even quickly adjusting his schedule so that nap #2 coincides perfectly with Rhett's nap. And he's going to bed at 7, which also happens to be Rhett's bedtime. Slowly but surely, we're returning to our lives, but with an additional member whom we love all the way to Pluto (and back to Earth, and then back to Pluto, and then back to Earth, and then back to Pluto, and then...).

Length: 24 1/3" (25th percentile)
Weight: 13 lbs. 11 oz. (25th percentile)

P.S. My parents check into the MTC today! Awesome! Goodbye parents! See you in 18 months!

Friday, December 2, 2011

I Spy, Chuck Doesn't: 2.0

Is it too soon to make fun of my still-ailing husband? Hope not's time again for another rousing game of "I Spy, Chuck Doesn't!" [Cue game show music, preferably "Wheel of Fortune."] This time you are looking for light bulbs. And please don't judge the state of this cupboard nor the ceiling above it. It stresses me out but I haven't yet made time to organize it.

Anyway, GO! Feel free to click to enlarge.

P.S. How sad is this pizza? You know which quarter is mine, right? Sigh. These boys. They kill me. Doesn't it look one-fourth yummy?