Tuesday, March 31, 2009

You Know it is Spring When...

I don't actually know that it is Spring. Not when I am freezing my keister off because in a moment of weakness I agreed to sign Josh up for Spring baseball. Did you know that they have like, four practices and two games a week for like, eight WEEKS? If you knew that, why didn't you stop me?

So there we were out in about 25 degree weather while our sweet kid learned the fine art of "Swing batta batta batta Swing!" If he didn't have the biggest smile of all time on his face I would have thrown him in the car and headed to Kneaders for hot chocolate.

Hangin' in the outfield
The cheering section - Dave, Kristen, Laurie and Dave C.Jamie the Assistant Coach
There's that smile!Clara was just plain mad that she couldn't play.
Randall giving lessons
Swing low...

What a Difference

Last summer my sweet friend Natalie turned her thermostat up to some ridiculously high number like 78 degrees to save money. I was horrified because I am hot at 70 degrees most days. But bless her, it gave me an idea. I knew this winter I wouldn't have babies in the house so I told Dave and the kids, "If you are cold, put on a sweater. No more of this 72 degree business. We are keeping it at 66."

The result? Josh has had one cold, Clara has had one cold, I have had one cold. Dave really hasn't had one. Last year I think we had colds every few weeks. Plus, I am saving $30 a month on my gas bill. I can't complain about that. That's pizza money!

We can get a good cross wind going during the summer if we open our windows at night. The problem is that we live in a one-story so that isn't really the safest option. I would still rather have it cold in the winter than above 72 in the summer. What are your thoughts?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Yellow Bed

Last night after my song routine with Josh I went to check on Clara. When I walked in she said, "Mom, I'm all wet and dirty." Which really meant that she had thrown up all over herself. She was sad and scared and of course all you want to do is hug them when this happens except...ew, gross. So Dave stripped her bed and threw it in the wash while I wiped her down before putting her in the bathtub.

After she was clean she was much happier. Of course, now she didn't have sheets (mental note - get more sheets for Clara's bed) and we didn't want her to sleep with us in case she threw up again. We set up the air mattress in our bedroom, put on a bright yellow sheet, and she was good to go. This morning she said in her cheerful sweet voice, "Mom, I just love my yellow bed!"

As I type this, she has come into the office in three different outfits. I'm not actually joking about that. I think she is feeling better.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

It's The Other Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

This morning I am teaching a Square Foot Gardening class as an enrichment activity for my ward.

Let me know when you stop laughing.

And then I will tell you that last year I was quite successful with my SFG. Considering I didn't plant until mid-June, I was able to grow a few things. This year is a different story. This year I have four boxes instead of one, a designed layout, and a calendar that I have developed with what I need to plant each week to have a staggered harvest. Everyone will be green with envy. Pun Intended.

This year I am going to grow: strawberries, raspberries, leaf lettuce (several varieties), spinach, radishes, carrots, tomatoes, summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers, bell peppers, basil, cilantro, and bush beans. I am going to plant both cherry tomatoes and big tomatoes. I just did cherry last year and while I loved them for my salads, I want the bigger ones, too.

I also may try corn again - we'll see if I have room. If not, I may add another box to my garden next year just for corn. I already know I want to add one just for strawberries.

This year in my little greenhouse I have planted leaf lettuce, strawberries, and a few other things to try out. Basically, this is the year of experimentation - to see what grows and what doesn't grow in our conditions. It's so fun! I'm excited to get the kids involved. Josh wants to build his own box and grow a whole mess of stuff. I'm totally on board with that. I envision him learning all of this and going to a third world country on his mission and teaching them how to do it. Lofty, eh? Maybe I should make sure he can read first.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Interesting Thing

The interesting thing about not working is that I don't spend as much money because I don't have it. I just find myself being more frutal, which is a good thing. I think before I buy, which is another good thing. I'm also saving more. All good things. The sad thing is that now I am not sure I want to go back to it. At least not at the intensity that I was doing it before. I've realized just how much time I was dedicating to it and how stressful it was.

At the same time, I love to work. I love to contribute. I wish I could get paid for doing the things I love (don't we all) and one of these days I will figure out how to do that. But for now, I am spending as much time just looking at my kids and burning their little faces into my brain so that when I am old I can remember how cute they were even when they were monsters.

The other interesting thing is that not constantly thinking about finding candidates frees up my brain for other things. This is both good and bad because once I start thinking, Dave's project list gets bigger. And it is already full to capacity. Like it is almost April and we still haven't primed the shelves downstairs that were supposed to be primed in January. Having said that, I am ok with it. I have realized that life just takes time. You can't get everything done that you need to in the time frame you want.

A funny little conversation that just occurred:

Clara: Mom, I got an owie on my foot. It hurts right here.
Mom: (Leans over and kisses ankle) I'm sorry you got hurt. You will get a lot of different owies in your life. You just gotta suck it up and say, "I'm Clara! I'm strong!"
Clara: (Pause) I don't want to suck it, Mom. It will just feel better.
Mom: (Laughing) Well, maybe you sprained it.
Clara: I don't want to spray it, either.

And that, my friends, is why you can't always get things done in the time frame you want. Because it's more important to stop and kiss the owies and have the funny conversations.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Clara's Birthday Party

video
On Saturday we finally had Clara's official birthday party. She wanted a pink butterfly princess party. She was very excited for it. I did the best that I could! We waited so that her friend Hailee could be there. You know how these princesses can be about having their princess friends from neighboring kingdoms attend their galas. Or whatever.
The Fairy Godmother
My dear friend, Erin, agreed to be the fairy godmother. She found a pink sparkly dress at D.I., wrote a story incorporating the names of all of the princesses, and led the princess parade. It was wonderful.
Princess Hailee and Princess Clara arrive!
Clara changed her outfit three times during the party. This is nothing unusual. She usually changes 10 times a day. We started off with the girls creating princess pictures on princess plates. The kind where you do the black rubbing and then color it in. Then we blew out the candles and had cake and ice cream. Then came the story and princess parade, and finally the opening of the presents. It was not a long party, but we packed it in!
Princess Hailee, Princess Clara, and Princess Caitlin
Princess Clara, Princess Hailee, and the Fairy Godmother
All of the Princesses! Hailee, Kate, Clara, Lyissa, Gabi, Caitlin, and the Fairy Godmother
Miss Mert made the cake!
The table setting
Making the princess pictures - Caitlin, Kate, Clara, Hailee and Amabuela
Blowing out the candles
Princess Clara and her pink butterfly cake
Reading the Princess Story
Beautiful Girls!
Princess Clara and Mommy
Happy Birthday!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

P90X

Tomorrow morning at 6:00am, Dave and I have a hot date to start P90X. That is Keysha's plan of attack for us, so for the next 90 days we will be committed to the program. I'm motivated, scared, and already exhausted. We watched the first dvd that we will do tomorrow so that we would have an idea of what to expect. Our plan is to do that every evening until we have watched them all. We are doing it together in order to motivate each other. This is really a big commitment for me because I generally sleep in until around 7:30. So instead of going to bed at 11pm, I will be going to bed around 9:30.

I will be tracking it day by day on my food and exercise journal so that you don't have to read about it daily here. I know that is annoying. I'm owning all of the numbers and Keysha is coming over to do measurements tonight. I would love some encouragement on that blog if anyone feels motivated to leave nice comments. :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Party Food

Loree is visiting from Arizona for Spring Break and you all know how much I heart my Loree. Well, I heart Loree even more for busting out my creative side. Tonight we are going to a partay and we decided to make some cupcakes from a book called "Hello, Cupcake!" that Loree brought with her. Check out the results!
Spaghetti and meatball cupcakes
Spaghetti, meatballs, and sauce Cupcakes
Spaghetti, meatballs, sauce, and parmesan Cupcakes
Popcorn Cupcakes
Popcorn Cupcakes assembled

Cute, no? We had a lot of fun doing it. The spaghetti cupcakes take about 10 minutes after baking and cooling. The popcorn takes a lot longer because we had to create the popcorn, which involved a lot of mini-marshmallows. I'm excited to see everyone's reaction to these! I think they are too cute to eat. :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Another Reason that I love Honoka'a...

and more specifically, Hula Moon.

I met Kristine for lunch today because she is in town. When I was in Hawaii I really wanted to get a purple shirt that I found at Hula Moon, but I was just sitting on the fence because I had already spent enough money. So Kristine suggested that I think about it and she could get it for me. Well, I thought about it and decided that I wanted it. So she turned it over when we met for lunch, and my wonderful friend, Kathy, the woman that owns Hula Moon, threw in a necklace for me. :) Because she loves me, I am positive.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Downsized!

A few weeks ago I started working for a new company and quickly realized that it just wasn't what I wanted to be doing. I'm still working for my old company, but the bad economy has hit and so things have been slow. So today my company asked me to "take a vacation". No, I wasn't fired or laid off. It's basically a take it week by week to see if they have stuff for me to work on. They hired a new salesperson that needs to ramp up.

This comes at a perfect time. I have a zillion projects that have been on the back burner because I just haven't had the time to get them done. My house needs a major overhaul and I want to get rid of stuff that just isn't being used even with the best intentions. I need to gut the kids' closets so that they stop wearing too small clothing. I also need to get my kids away from the tv, and since it is warming up, now is the perfect time to do it. In fact, we are thinking of canceling our tv for the time being. We want to see if we can do it and see how much more gets done. There isn't anything good on in the summer anyway, and anything we want to watch can be seen on the internet.

So this morning I cleaned up the garage a little bit and pulled some early weeds. I put some stuff in the greenhouse. My kids are outside playing with the water table because it's 60 degrees out. I'm about to go out there and read a book while they play. I think I might like this vacation.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Cry for Help

On October 3rd I am going to a high school reunion. 20 years. Not just my class, but the classes of 1987-1990. So basically, everyone that I knew in high school other than the people who were younger, but they will probably crash it anyway.

That is basically six months away, and my body is in a sad state of affairs right now. I was doing great in January (weren't we all) and then the Incident of the Toenail occurred and now it is March 11th. I wish I could say that I was being careful of the toe, but it really hasn't hurt now for about two weeks and no longer requires oreos as an internal way of healing.

So today I did the thing that everyone in my neighborhood knows you should do if you want to get into the best shape of your life. I marched over to Keysha's house.

Keysha is the one we all whisper about and say, "Have you seen her biceps and did you know she wakes up at like, 2:00am to work out?" She really doesn't get up at 2:00am - more like 4:30 or 5:00. But if you aren't a morning person there really isn't a difference.

Anyway, Keysha perked up when I yelled for help. She ripped the almost empty bag of oreos from my crumb covered hands and said, "I WILL HELP YOU!" It may have been slightly less dramatic than that, but you get the point.

So here I begin the very biggest challenge of my life. I have no goals set, no new methods. I am simply putting my entire high school reunion well-being into Keysha's very capable hands for the next six months. And since maybe four people (including Keysha) still read this blog, I won't feel shy about documenting my success in between all of the other stuff.

I go, Girl!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Well, That Was Dumb

A couple of weeks ago we heard about the wonder of Mavala Stop. It helps kids stop sucking their thumbs. So we happily painted it on our kids' thumbnails and sat back to watch their reaction.

SUCCESS! They no longer suck their thumbs. Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!

Except that now Clara has no way of self-soothing and putting herself to sleep. Which means she is boycotting naps.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Hawaii 2009 - Day Seven - Part One

Mauna Kea with snow - a rare clear day!

We slept in a little bit before jumping in the car and heading down to Volcano National Park for the morning. It's about an hour or so away from Hilo. We decided to take the little tour, but the sulfuric acid was bad so Jeanne and Aidan only came with us part of the way. We got to see a hula hut being built, a hula platform, a monument to pele, and smoke billowing out of the crater. We also walked along fissures in the ground where crystals are being formed. Did I mention that Kilauea is due to blow at any minute? I didn't? Yeah, well. It's not comforting walking on top of a volcano due to erupt. Let's put it that way.
The Hula Hut
Monument to pele - if you click on the picture you can see more detail etched into the rock.

The Hula Platform where hula dancers dance for pele
Ellen and Aidan with the volcano behind them.

We drove over to the crater to get a closer look. There is a visitor center there, which is a bit humorous since I am not sure it will still be there if the volcano erupts. Kilauea is a shield shaped volcano versus the traditional cone shaped volcano like Mauna Kea. That means that it is flat. Kilauea is also the volcano that is currently erupting into the ocean, making the big island bigger constantly.
Ohia-Lehua Tree - These are always found near volcanos and when the gas gets bad they close up their leaves and hold their breath. There is a cool legend that goes along with the tree.
Gasses coming up through the rocks and forming the yellow crystals.
Ellen, Aidan and me with the caldera crater (I think?) in the background.
This was once a lava lake and if you are insane (like Jeanne's family) you can hike down and walk across it. I am not insane.
Apparently watching a volcano erupt is very cool.

Next we headed to the lava tube. It's really dark inside so it's tough to take pictures, but the pictures you get are pretty freaky and cool.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Clara Turns Three

Clara - March 2006
Clara - March 2007
Clara - March 2008
Clara - yesterday when she got into my lipstick
Clara - March 2009
Clara - The Birthday Girl!



My baby girl is three.

She informs me that today she is a big girl and will go poop in the potty. I'm patiently waiting for that moment. Should come at any time.


She wants a pink butterfly princess birthday party.


She talks, sings, dances and flirts non-stop.


She's tall and her beautiful blond hair is getting darker as she gets older.


She loves princess dresses and changing her clothes eight times a day.


She loves taking showers or baths.


She still sucks her thumb.


She loves to be naked and has two barbies that apparently share this trait.


She loves to play with her friends Jacey and Caitlin.


She loves preschool and is learning letters.


She alternately fights with and adores Josh. They remind me of Monica and Ross on "Friends".

Words can't really describe my feelings for my baby girl. She is a light and a joy to me and I love her very much. I love that we share a birthday - it makes my birthday more special to me now because I get to celebrate with her. I can't imagine life without her and I never want to! She is a wonderful, beautiful soul and I am grateful to be her mommy and grateful to have her as a little girl. Happy Birthday, Clara!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Way Up High

Several months ago I emailed my friend Ginny and told her that the Draper Temple was going to have an open house and that if she was interested, I would love to have her come with us. Ginny lives in Colorado and her son was born the same day as Josh. We have been friends now for six years and over the years have shared a lot about our lives and our faith. Going to a temple open house is fairly rare in Utah and I knew it would interest her.

Friday night she arrived with Prince William. We ate pizza and got caught up with life. The next morning we got ready and headed to the temple. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. As we walked through the Spirit was so strong that I could almost touch it. I was overwhelmed with the knowledge that I was there with Dave and the kids, and that it was the first time that the four of us had been in the temple together. It could be a long time before we are all together again in the temple so I tried to cherish the moment. When we were in the sealing room we all looked in the mirror together. There were many people, but I tried to just focus on us and the feelings I was having.

Afterward Ginny and I took the boys downtown on the train to the Children's Discovery Museum. They played for several hours and then we met some friends at Red Iguana for dinner. It was a long day and we were pretty wiped out so I think we went to bed around 9:30pm.

Sunday morning we slept in and had a lazy couple of hours before getting ready for church. Ginny and William came with us. I was excited to have her experience Relief Society because I knew she would love it. I was right - it was her favorite part. I did make her cry (and I cried myself) with a comment that I made.

Last night we went to my dad and step-mom's house for dinner which of course meant yummy food. My step-mom should have just been a chef.

This morning Ginny took Clara and me to Kneaders for breakfast before she got on the road. I'm kind of riding a big high today. I'm tired, but grateful.