Monday, December 7, 2009

A tribute to Grandma Stum

My Grandma Stum passed away on December 4th due to old age. She was nearly 93. The photo was taken at her 90th birthday party.

She's always been in good health. I will always remember this about her. Her water aerobics classes, "green" drinks, whole wheat anything, hiking, etc always kept her strong. My grandfather passed away 9 years ago this month and now they can finally be together again. I am grateful for the Plan of Salvation that gives me the comfort and knowledge of this principle. I know that I will see them both again.

My grandparents served 2 missions to Africa, paving way for the priesthood there. My grandmother generously let Tyler and I live her in basement for the first two years of our marriage. She was ready to let us live there again with two children but this summer she decided, due to slowing mental and physical health, that she needed to move to a more assisted living situation. That was just a few short months ago.

She is an example to me of righteousness, perseverance, charity, love and kindness. She had 5 children, 28 grandchildren, and too many great-grand children to count. I am grateful I was able to be with her in her angelic state a few days before her passing. She had snow white hair, fair skin and a smile on her face.

Goodbye Grandma! I know you are loving where you are now and I know the hosts of angels that greeted you are grateful for your lifelong service!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Big Girl syndrome

No, I am not referring to myself, though I need some lessons on this too.

Jocelyn has been digressing a bit lately. I think she has a feeling and understanding that this baby is coming soon (I am due Jan 27th). She has exhibited some baby girl behavior that is starting to be really annoying.

For example, she wets the bed during naps now. She now has to wear a pull-up to nap in.

She used to sleep through the whole night without waking up wet but now has to wear a diaper. (Why is it that the faster they potty train, as in Jocelyn's case, they have more accidents? Whereas with Samuel, it took a year to potty train him but once he got it he never struggled with accidents again. Any of you experience this? ).

She talks in baby talk now. It drives me crazy! The jibberish is cute while she's reading books to herself or her animals but when she tries to communicate with me in her baby talk, I don't respond.

She likes to be wrapped up in her blanket, cuddled and rocked. Sometimes she'll even suck her thumb.

She forgets how to put on her own coat and socks.

And today after one of her temper-tantrums I asked her to put her own socks and shoes on like a big girl and she wailed, "I'm not a big girl!" whereas 2 months ago she was so proud of growing up like Samuel.

So my only theory for this behavior is jealousy and fear of this little baby, whom she is excited to see, is coming into her life and she will no longer be the young one, the princess, the baby, the only girl.

I can totally relate!! I feel the same way in a lot of ways right now. Come to think of it, as I write this, I can't put on my socks (because I can't see my feet) or coats (because my shoulders have grown like a man's), I wet the bed (well, not exactly, I just have to work on those kegel exercises), I liked to be wrapped up and coddled, and I yell instead of talk in jibberish. So, I suppose, we are more alike than I thought. I only hope this doesn't last for too long after this little wiggly girl is born.

Picture taken November 2008 by Liz Draper

Monday, November 16, 2009


Thanks for all of your comments. I am glad to know that you are still reading!

I want to open a discussion via comments. Or just share your opinions on a variety of topics that you all can relate to.

1. We are getting a vacuum for Christmas! (some of you may have already repsonded on FB) yay! Which brand do you recommend? Why? What features do you love about it? Which do you hate? Any that you do not recommend?

2. What do you use to get stains out? Stains such as baby poop and grape juice?
I personally like to use the Clorox bleach pens for whites and Shout gel for others. On tough stains I use powdered Biz, soak it overnight if necessary. I am wondering if there is something better out there. Oh, and I used Oxi clean on baby stains w/no luck.

3. When should brothers and sisters not bathe together? Sleep in the same room?

4. What are your favorite freezer meals? I want to try and stock the freezer before the wee little one arrives.

That's all I can think of for now...I am sure I'll come up with some more later on. Thanks for your input!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Glucose testing

Does anyone read this blog anymore? Just wondering, it's a little quiet in the comment section.

So, I failed the 1-hr glucose screening test which meant I had to go in again for the 3-hr glucose test. For those of you don't know what that is I'll briefly explain. Every pregnant woman has to be tested for gestational diabetes when she is between 24 and 28 weeks along. Gestational diabetes is a temporary form of diabetes that doesn't allow the pregnant body to create enough insulin to overcome effects of insulin resistance. It can be dangerous for baby and mother if it is not treated properly.

So, the test goes like this. You go into the hospital. I went in during Samuel's pre-school thinking it would be lovely to only bring one child to be bored for 1 hour while sitting there. So Jocelyn and I head into the hospital and immediately see all the signs with people wearing masks, H1N1 plastered all over them, listing symptoms, etc. I am greeted by the nearly elderly lady at the info desk. She stops me and asks that Jocelyn wear a mask, whether she has a cold or not. I agree to wear one because I had a sore throat and runny nose. But Jocelyn refused. She kept wailing, "I don't want to be a doctor." What happened to my brave little girl? Had she already forgotten about her broken arm this summer? Or is it that she's glimpsed too many House episodes? Either one, she refused. I did not want to make a scene. I did not want to put up with a masked (and growing independent toddler) for one hour and quickly called Tyler demanding he come home once classes were over to watch the kids so I could take the test later that day. And then I thought later, she wouldn't have lasted the one hour with or without a mask. She wouldn't have lasted the first 5 minutes in which I have to chug the nasty orange drink. She would have tried stealing it from me, and enjoyed it too!

So, I went later that day, chugged the nasty drink. It isn't quite as yummy looking like the photo above. It's more like a diluted McDonald's orange drink, the kind they always served in barrels at church activities growing up. You know that kind? Not my favorite drink. Then an hour later I get my blood drawn.

Come to find out, I "failed" this one hour test and have to go in for the 3-hour test later that week. So I have to fast for 10-12 hours before my 7:15 am test the next morning. I delight in eating homemade popcorn with m&m's (they don't melt they just get soft inside, a tip I learned from my BFF Heather) right before the 12 hour mark.

I go in the next morning, leaving the kids at home with Tyler. Get my blood drawn first, to see if I still need to be tested. And I do. Then I get to chug the drink again. This time, however, it was lemon-lime flavored. Not as bad as the orange stuff.

1 hour passes....

I get my blood drawn again.

I stand up, walk to the waiting area, try reading again, and I feel nauseous. I go to the bathroom, put my head b/w my knees and try not to puke. I was incredibly dizzy and praying that I would not pass out on the bathroom floor as it would be some time before anyone discovered me. I finally feel well enough to stand up and leave the bathroom.

1 hour passes...

I try to sleep until this loud toddler comes in with his family and he is screaming hysterically. Having a meltdown every time he doesn't' get his way.

Get my next pin prick, this time in the same place as the last. My arm ins't bruised yet. They told me that it's a good thing I didn't throw up because I would have had to do the test all over again!! They said it should get easier from here on out. Remember, I am still fasting (save a nasty orange drink and some water).

1 hour passes.....

Last needle! Yay! 4 pricks in one morning is enough for me to realize I never want an epidural. Though the epidural is waaaaay bigger, I just don't like the thoughts of needles. The vain was not giving as much blood as before so she was poking around and it felt like she hit a nerve or a bone because it really hurt. I hate needles but am growing used to them.

So, I can finally leave. I just sat in the hospital for 4 hours!!! Ugh. I needed to eat right away and they suggested protein so I stopped at the Burger King and bought a $1 double cheeseburger, 1/4 pound of questionable beef. But it was gooooood.

So, moral of the story. Um, that test sucks. I don't know the results yet. I hope I don't have the diabetes because then I have a higher risk of developing it in my later years. But a forced change in diet wouldn't hurt me either.

UPDATE: I passed with flying colors. Phew!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fall 2009

Autumn is my favorite time of year. The colors, the scents, the temperatures, the memories, the food....I love it! And with kids it's even better.

Here are a few highlights of ours thus far, overload of photos.

Pumpkin Patch
We tried a new patch this year. One in Salt Lake Valley, called the Pumpkin Point Farm, that had a free corn maze, about 10 tractors for the kids to play on, kids sized wheelbarrows, hens eating corn, free hayrides, cheap pumpkins and an orange cat that had Jocelyn smitten.

BYU Homecoming Parade:
BYU Law was able to walk in it this year. Sadly, we didn't walk the whole thing because I stopped to take a photo with an old roommate, Christine. By the time we were done talking our group was like 3 sections ahead of us and we would have had to book it to catch up. Try doing that with one stroller, one lady with a bowling ball attached to her stomach and one 5 year old on a bike with training wheels. Not going to happen. So we stayed behind and enjoyed watching the rest of the parade and getting the free candy!

Samuel prepping for the parade
Meeting Cosmo (BYU's mascot). Sammy was scared for the first 10 seconds and then he ran into his arms willingly.
Christine and I. She looks exactly the same, lucky girl!

Law Halloween Party:
Each year the Law school hosts a Halloween pizza party, costume parade and trick-or-treating in the student carrels (each law student gets their own little cubicle in the law building). They received so much candy that they could no longer carry their heavy bags. Their costumes seemed to go over well. Sammy was a "boy cowboy" and Joc was a "girl cowboy," according to Samuel.
Sammy's chaps kept falling down.

Tyler wore his chef shirt. There was a law student making balloon art instead of giving candy.

Annual doughnut marathon
This year I made spudnuts ( a new recipe) and the same pumpkin cake doughnuts that I made last year. I was filled with grease for days.....yum! Thanks Jana for helping out!

This was before I got frustrated at the kids using the dough as playdough. Do you like my anti-feminist apron? My MIL made it for me as a joke. I think it looks very flattering above my prego belly ;0 I look like an old lady!

My Aunt Allie's annual family Halloween party. Creigh and Peter are my 1st cousins. Cute boys.

We did let the kids go around Tyler's sister student apartment building for a little more candy. I bought a bag of candy from Costco thinking I'd get rid of it all but living in the basement seems to turn some off from coming around. Thank you to Jana for providing these photos and for bringing Carson down for the Halloween festivities.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Stupid swine flu

You successfully postponed a family Halloween party,

You canceled my kids day trip to the Fire house because they no longer give tours,

You force me to wear a mask to the hospital for glucose screenings and shots because I have a runny nose and sore throat (but no fever and cough),

You won't allow my children into the hospital when I have to do the glucose screening tests so I have to wait until Daddy is home to watch my kids,

You may not allow my children (come January) to see their newborn sister in the hospital, even while wearing a mask!!!

Stupid swine flu, go away! Please do not invade our home because I don't want to put up with the hacking, no sleep, achiness, runny noses, sore throats and constant fevers. I was vaccinated but my children are not so please stay away! I am not happy when I am sick, pregnant and dealing with sick kids or husband!

And please don't cancel the boutique this weekend because I didn't procrastinate sewing for nothing!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Come one come all

Hello fellow Utah'n friends!

If you're available this weekend come up to Farmington to the Piper & Chloe boutique. A bohemian Anthropologie style show that will feature some of my items along with other talented artisans! Situated in beautiful home and started by a talented and kind group of sisters and mother. Come check it out. You may find some great Christmas gifts or ideas for your own creations.

Check out the blog here.
And get the directions before you go there. I got lost trying to follow their instructions as long as some friends who tried coming this spring :)

They have a playroom for those who need to bring their kids.

November 6th and 7th. Friday, 10-7pm and Saturday, 10-5pm 46 Robyn Way Farmington, UT

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Domesticated Grapes

I learn a lot from failures. And it feels good with successes. I experienced both with my first canning experience.

The yard we have been blessed with in this current abode brought forth some beautiful concord grapes. A friend in the ward suggested I make grape juice with it using a juice steamer. Luckily, my grandma had one that I could borrow! It was suuuuper easy to make the juice. The jelly, on the other hand, was a little more challenging.

I attempted to make 3 batches. Only 1 was a success.

The first batch, I was using liquid pectin. But in my haste to get started I mis-read the two simple instructions (not one of my strong points to begin with, reading instructions) and I mixed the steps up of when to add the sugar and then pectin. With liquid pectin, you put the sugar in first, then the pectin. With powdered, it's the opposite. So, after reading online, I felt I couldn't continue with making it and saved it for a later use. I tried drinking it and it tasted okay, a little bitter. So I decided to make fruit leather in the oven with it. After baking it for 12 hours, it jelled instead of dried. The pectin did that, of course, I should have known it would gel! I had to throw that out. darn it.

The 2nd batch I used the 2nd packet of liquid pectin. I followed the instructions properly this time, or so I thought. After waiting 24 hours (and now nearly a week) they have not "set" yet. I'll have one more chance to re-make those jellies which means I have to buy more lids and pectin (only to use a tablespoon of it and store the rest of the pectin for a later use). My guess for this failure was that I did not let the juice and pectin get to the proper boiling point before adding the sugar. But that doesn't seem right either because it boiled all over my stove! Sooo, I don't know what went wrong.

3rd batch is a charm! This time I used powdered pectin, to see if there was a difference. This batch turned out perfectly and we've already finished off the first jar. I wanted to give these away for Christmas neighbor gifts but I like it too much to share! Selfish, isn't it? But really, it was so much cheaper to make than to buy it in the stores, and I wanted it for my food storage.

I was happy for days after I made this jelly. I felt so domesticated. It was sort of empowering, like a right of passage into the "canning club." or maybe it was just a great sense of accomplishment. Now I wish I had a huge garden earlier in the summer to can all sorts of things. Though I am still scared to attempt making salsa since that has so many steps and gathering the best produce and recipe is important. Hopefully, we'll be living here next summer and we can plant our own garden and start from scratch!

So here they are, it actually yielded one more jar than suggested (and is in the fridge). To learn more about how to make juice/jelly, go to my Bonne Nouvelle blog and I'll post a how-to and helpful websites there.

Baby Elephant

The last time we went to the zoo with my cousins and their children we fought through the crowd of people to see this. Isn't he precious? He's as tall as Samuel. He was really putting on a show. I can't describe how I loved how his little trunk and legs moved. They were so small and uncontrolled still. Precious little baby!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pregnancy update

For those of you that are curious, here is a "belly shot". However, in this phase of life I hate being in photos. So, I made this one small. Just pretend my weird facial expression and all the shadows aren't there but to give added effect.

I think I am ready for this little girl to come soon. I have come to accept the fact that we'll most likely (anything can happen) be bringing this little girl home in January. I think I'm okay with having three children now. I am excited to have a little one, to see her little hands, and other small things that come with babies. I'm excited for the kids to see her too. I feel her move a lot. She makes odd and sporadic movements and it's fun to feel. I feel bad because some of my pants are too tight in my belly area and I feel like she's pushing out like, "hey, give me some room here." I also can't wait to try to have my "old" body back. Which, let's be honest, I am not one to bounce back quickly. But feeling a bit smaller will be nice.

Names we're thinking of: Madeleine, Rosalind, and Lilian. I doubt we'll decide until she's born.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Feeling itchy?

I guess that's a question for Tyler. I'm not feeling it. Today is our 7-year wedding anniversary. Technically, though, we've been together for 12 years!!! Tyler and I met in high school French class. C'est romanitque, non? We lived in the same stake (Church boundaries) but never met until I noticed how obnoxious he was in class. And how I've learned that he has not outgrown that, cough, admirable feature over the years! I've learned A LOT from being married to this man. He's made me better in so many ways and tested my patience and skills in so many other.

What we've been through:
--2 children
--3 cars
--8 moves
--lived in 2 states and one other country
--3 college degrees
--potty training 2 children
--how many computers??
--countless hours of long night discussions
--2 new pieces of new and good furniture (couch and bed)
--failures and successes

Some things I love most about Tyler:
--He's a great father
--He's a better cook than I am
--He can handle putting the kids to bed while I go out shopping or with friends
--He passed his good looks onto our children
--He will do dishes or mop the floor if it gets disgusting enough
--He's taught me many things over the years
--He loves me in spite of my flaws

Here is a photo montage of every year (with the exception of one) we've been together! You'll notice I've gotten fatter and he's lost more hair. Ah, we are growing old already.

1997--first "real" date:

1998: My senior prom

1999: Tyler's senior prom
2000: BYU dance and greeting Tyler at the airport before he embarked on his mission.

2001: We were apart during the mission
2002: Married in the Manti Temple. The weather was much like it was today, in the 70's and beautiful!

2003: Christmas time

2004: My graduation from BYU in front of my 2nd year "dorm" where we said many good nights. I am also pregnant with Samuel.

2005: Paris, sadly I couldn't find any photos with just the two of us. I guess we need to work on that.

2006: Fishing in Alaska. I was pregnant with Jocelyn here. (I wish I could be that thin now while being prego!)

2007: New Years Eve Party and Family photos

2008: Family photo shoot at the Salt Flats

2009: Today!

Happy Anniversary! May the next 7-12 years be even better!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Early Summer Fun

Now that it is Autumn I thought I should finally post some more things that happened this summer.

Moving from Murray

Help from Aunt Hannah. She and Grandma helped a TON with packing.

At Gourmandise with our favorite friends we met while in Paris, Julia and Chet and their two boys. Chet is a professional chef, studied with one of the best chefs in Paris!

Unpacking in Denver. When Jocelyn "reads" books she puts the book up really close to her face, speaks jibberish, twitters her feet and shakes a little bit with zeal. It's really fun to watch for us but most people probably wonder what she is doing.
"Helping" carry things in while wearing my shoes.

Some of the boys at my nephew Warren's blessing over Memorial Day weekend. (my eldest brother Alex and Dad). Notice Jocelyn wearing someone else's shoes.
And yet another pair of shoes....

Most of the grand kids.

Me at the Molly Brown house tour in downtown Denver. She was a neat lady. And her house is gorgeous.

Um, ya. Jocelyn didn't want to change out of her birthday suit after swimming at Grandma Furber's.