Monday, January 31, 2011

Are we there yet?

Taking a road trip sometime this year? Check out some ideas on my other blog!

Plus, there's a new recipe! Yummy muffins!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Uncensored: No more "special" days

DISCLAIMER: I know that most of you have experienced this same predicament. It's meant to simply make you laugh and not get sympathy. This is not the first time I've experienced this nor the last. I don't want you to think I never go out with all 3 kids by myself, because I do. Doesn't mean I like to, because I'm sort of a wimp that way. I know that many of you already do or have lived in a big city and experience this often. Or have several children and experience this often, all over the globe, even in smaller towns. Or that you or your spouse has a job that requires them to be away from home a lot. I'm just feeling out our options for our future.

So I wanted to do something special with the kids tonight. Tyler would be gone literally all day. We saw him for 30 minutes this morning and 10 minutes this early evening. The kids were well behaved today, dinner was on time. They ate it all up with little complaint. They cleaned up their toys quickly. I wanted to treat them at the BYU Creamery.

Tyler has been gone a lot this semester. They say that the first year of law school is the hardest, the second is the busiest and the third is just boring. Well, so far it's been true. Tyler is involved in editing for two journals this year, one being the Law Review. He's also always involved in an intramural sport, currently basketball. He commutes to intern for a judge up in SLC every Friday. Plus he's a TA for two classes, one in the Law school and one with his old prof over in Philosophy. Basically, he's busy and it's giving me a taste of what it'll be like when he's a "real lawyer." He keeps reminding me that I've been spoiled thus far in our marriage, and I have! Being a student wife certainly has it's perks. But this semester has been exhausting!

We've been toying around with the idea of having him fly out to NYC and DC in August for the annual job fair interviews. See if he has a shot at getting a job offer back east. We've juggled the pro's and con's. Is it worth it? Moving away from family? Working crazy hours and a stressful job at a big firm? How adventurous (in a good way) can it be to travel and live in a big city with 3 kids? How temporary can we make it? How will moving so much affect the children? Etc, etc....

So after reading several friends blogs about their experience living in New York City with kids, I wanted to test the waters. See how I could manage on my own while Tyler works long hours. So we went to the Creamery. Big whoop, right? It's an ice cream parlor/corner market. It's not big. There aren't scary mean people that shop there. It's mostly full of students, families or couple's returning from the Temple up the street. But it was crowded. The prices are high but the quality is good. "Easy peasy, lemon squeezy," as Samuel quotes almost daily. Right? Wrong.

Samuel wanted green ice cream and Jocelyn wanted pink. Cecily just wanted anything with sugar. And I wanted to save money. So I ordered a large hot fudge sunday because it came with two scoops, whipped cream and a cherry on top! Sounds perfect, right? Well, apparently I got it all wrong. Jocelyn was disappointed because I ordered her pink peppermint ice cream instead of the pink "sparkle" stuff that tasted like children's cough syrup. Then Samuel informed me that I had it all wrong because his was not in a cone. And he didn't want that kind of whipped cream??? And Cecily just squaked until she got enough sugar in her system to give her a headache! And I ended up eating most of it because I hate wasting, especially expensive food.

So as it started melting I scooped it up into a cup to salvage and freeze it for later. I had to prevent Samuel from steeling the cups for the fountain drinks and repeated that I did not "buy a drink" that we were only allowed water. Then we marched over to grab a gallon of milk. I was holding the 20 pound baby in a puffy coat in one arm, slipped the credit card in the reverse pocket. Joc and Sammy each had their own styrophom cup of water and I was holding the ice cream in my other hand. I informed Samuel that he needed to give his cup of water to Jocelyn and grab a blue gallon of milk. Mind you, he's only 6, and skinny, so this gallon was quite a burden for him to carry. We walk up to the counter, pay for the milk. Jocelyn starts swinging on the railing. Samuel informs me that he needs to find his coat and leaves. I wait at the check out, impatiently for him to return. But he does not. Still no sign of him. I keep waiting, huffing and puffing, trying to figure out how to carry 2 cups of water, 1 gallon of milk, 1 cup of ice cream and one 20 pound puffy baby. All the while, the two female student cashiers just gawk at me, mouths hanging open like they've never seen a mother in distress. lol. They don't offer to help in any way. Not to find my son. Not to hold my milk. Nothing. So I grow more impatient and grab everything, and head to the table only to find Samuel's coat but no Samuel. I decide to throw the water and ice cream away.Oh, well, it was melting anyway. Instruct J to grab S's coat and we hunt for S. It takes 1 full circle around the store before I spot him and yell at him, down the aisle, scaring more students with my glares, that we need to go, now. Or my arm will fall off. He had to pee but I told him it had to wait until we got home. By this point I am so frustrated people start moving out of my way because they see me bulldozing through the store. My face says it all. I immediatley start lecturing them both about how ungrateful they are for complaining. About why I never take them to do "special" things because this is the way they behave. That they are not obedient and need to stick next to my side, especially in crowded places. Then I thumped Samuel on the head for laughing and complaining some more. I lectured them some more when I put them to bed and tried to teach them about gratitude. Not sure if it sunk in. J still thinks that I don't deserve Christmas presents from Santa Claus because I am " a bad mom." Gee, thanks.

I was so done! I failed my own test! I don't know if I COULD handle the city life. More crowds, more glares, more "special" places to go unappreciated. But what could I learn from that experience? What could it force me to learn about patience???? I want to find out?

So anyway, thanks for letting me vent. It's kind of funny, in retrospect. I'm over-stuffed with ice cream that I didn't really want to eat. It throws off all my calorie counting! And tomorrow I don't anticipate the question that I hear every stinking day, "What are we doing special today, mommy?"

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The final Reveal

About one year ago I came across this blog. This amazing woman repurposes old furniture into play kitchens. You can visit her 6 week detailed instructions here and donates them to charity. She does under a seriously small budget and re-uses already existing materials, very eco-friendly.

So after I came across her website I could NOT STOP thinking about starting my own! I looked at several pieces of furniture in thrift stores, craigslist, KSL, garage sales, etc but could not settle on the perfect piece of furniture until I saw it. A baby changing table. But not just any changing table. It had to have the side closet. After calling and missing, by minutes, several pieces that were under $10 I gave up for a while. Until I was on an anniversary trip with my hubby and my Jana, my SIL spotted one for me in her local listings. It had been up for months and very could have been sold already. So I texted the gal and waited for a response. It was still for sale and she lived, literally, down the street from where we were. So Jana and I drove over and bought it, and the couple kindly helped (struggled) us get it into our car. Tyler flipped out when he was how much room it took up. Luckily, Cecily was the only child with us otherwise the other two would have had to sit on the roof. It was more then I wanted to spend but it took so long to find it that I took it. It was $25.

$75 later I have this!

Want to see what it finally looked like?

See my other blog for pictures and details about how I made it. Caution: it's really long. But that is to help others if they want to build their own!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Cecily!

Happy Birthday to my little bug! I can't believe she's a year old already. So much has happened in the last year. I feel like I'm in a better place in all aspects of my life compared to a year and 2 days ago. She has been such a blessing in our lives. Her disposition is still so sweet. She is a light in my life.

She is delightful. Already maternal. Nurturing. Cuddly. Lovable. Strong willed. Happy.

Need I say more? Maybe later.

Check out the party details on and a ton more photos this blog.

One afternoon

I saw this in a blog somewhere and thought it looked like something right up Samuel's alley.

Build a tower with toothpicks, mini marshmallows and Hershey kisses. We had all the supplies. It entertained Samuel for a good while.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Washington DC

Tyler wanted to attend a National Lawyers Convention in Washington DC because Judge Scalia was speaking. So he made preparations to go hoping one of his law buddies could go with him. We have B1G1 free Delta tix to use each year. But the others still couldn't go so he invited me to come along. This is the day after I auditioned for Joyful Noise, mind you. So I told Tyler I couldn't let him know until I spoke with the director. Well, he obliged and allowed me to miss rehearsals and encouraged me to go on a trip with my hubby, so I went along!

We flew Tyler's mom out from Denver to watch Samuel and Jocelyn and brought Cecily along. Not the first time we've had a nursing baby crash our romantic getaways!

My aunt and uncle live 45 minutes out of DC in Maryland and they kindly let us stay in their beautiful home. I haven't been there since I was 12. It brought back a lot of memories with my cousin Sarah. Watching the Summer Olympics. Drawing gymnasts, or rather, watching in awe as Sarah drew sketches of them. Going on walks in the mini forest behind their home and just enjoying the humidity (groan) and the sights of the East coast. But I digress.

So we traveled to DC for 5 days and had a lovely time. And it was perfect timing as the leaves were still on the trees! While Tyler sat in a conference for 3 days I was able to visit with my cousin Tim and his little family, Rebecca and Ginny, my cousin David and of course Scott and Kari. Plus, as a bonus, and more motivation to go, Katherine, my freshman roommate, and one of my longest time friends, lives out there too. So I had a lovely time!

The weather was very fair to us. Jacket weather, and just a few chilly nights.

We wandered along the mall a couple of the evenings:

Yes, I nursed Cecily inside the Smithsonian visitors center. Ya, we had just walked 45 minutes bcse I parked along the river in the boonies to get free parking. We were both freezing cold as the sun was setting and Cecily had been very patient and this was the only place open after 5pm where I could privately and warmly feed her.

This wall was huge! Look at all that writing compared to the little gal. Don't ask me what's written up there....I think it may be the Declaration? Or was it the Constitution?

Gotta love that face!

Gotta love that marble man!

Can you find the Washington Memorial?

His dream job would be to work here, the Supreme Court. Doesn't he look so professional?

The capital. There were a bunch of Tibetan monks right out front. Pretty fun!

Kat and my double chin.

No, I am not pregnant, despite the belly bulge :) Gorgeous sunset.

We had to go to the American History Museum because I HAD to see the ruby slippers. When my mom went on her only east coast trip while I was still in high school she sent me a postcard with these slippers. So I had to see them in person. We got into the museum 10 minutes before close. They warned us that they were closing so I asked where they were right away. She directed us where to go and went up and they were front and center. We quickly took a few shots and then rushed downstairs to try and see Julia Child's kitchen (it's new) but just as were to turn the corner I captured a glimpse of it, the guards started kicking us out. And they are very aggressive about closing on time. I suppose they are 9-5 gov't workers and want to get out of there. Anyway, I was kind of ticked because it was actually on 4:57! Anyway, we were able to see the slippers! Ahhh. I love that film.

Sunday was our only full day to sight see. First, we went to Arlington National Cemetery for the sole purpose to see the grave our dear friend, J.B. He was one of Tyler's best friends since high school. He was stationed in Germany serving in the Air Force. We went and visited his home and he took us around Germany and Luxembourg while we lived in Paris. He was a great friend and wonderful person. A truly talented and kind person, full of the light of Christ. Well, one day he died in a car accident on his way to the base. Right before Christmas right before Jocelyn was born. He was 25. It was a huge blow to us, especially for Tyler. We still miss him. We were grateful we were able to visit his grave. It's a sacred place. I believe any cemetery is sacred. There is a special and reverent feeling in them. We were also able to witness a changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier, which was also a very special experience.

Look at all these graves! Rows and rows of soldiers and civilians who have died at the cost of wars. It was a humbling sight.

I told Tyler we had to be sure to go Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington. Tyler was glad we did! In fact, he wants to move there. He was in such awe over the property. It is a perfect lot. Right on the river, you can see for miles. Huge "yard", farm, everything. It's like a little village. Really cool place and really, the "mansion" seems so humble for today's standards. Gee, that Washington fellow, he was something else! Plus, when I came here 18 years ago, it was not so crowded. It has grown! The publicity for it. They've built a new museum and there is a lot more to do now with your visit. Totally worth the short drive!

Look at this front yard. Sweet!

A golden Eagle keeping his eyes on the squirrels for his next meal.

One of Washington's gardens. Tyler wants to mimic this style when he opens his own restaurant someday.

From the backside.

The view of the Potomac. Down the hill and through the gate is where the National Treasurer was filmed. Really, though, only a few actual US Presidents have "partied" on these grounds, which surprised me. It's a perfect gathering spot.

We let Cecily roll down the hill a bit. Okay, just about a foot but she could easily have kept going if we let her.

One of his farms.

Ya, this gingerbread house, assembled by the White House chef, totally puts ours to shame.

Cecily, though extremely overtired, after 5 days of fewer and shorter naps, handled herself very well. Bravo child! Only a little bit of benedryl and some newly purchased pacifiers (since we lost both, and a pair of socks somewhere on the mall that week) got her through the plane ride home.

Dinosaur Museum

We have an itty bitty dinosaur museum near the BYU campus that I like to take the kids to. Mainly because it's 3 minutes away, free, quick to get through!

Here are some pics from our most recent trip.

Jocelyn's dance class

Jocelyn took a dance class last Fall and loved it. It was taught in the basement of a neighbors home (the sister of a boy who played on Samuel's T-ball team, actually). It was a perfect situation. In a home, which was down and around the street a bit. Small sized (only 5 girls) and the teacher was preparing for her dance student teaching. She is a dance major at the Y and has taught their interpretive dance classes before so she taught it the exact same way for a lot less money. Although she was shy the first week or two she certainly warmed up to Miss Sarah and the other girls.

But when it came time for the "recital" for the parents she freaked out because their were male parents watching and would not move a step. She cowered in the corner. So I sat and watched the others dance. It was a little frustrating to go hoping to see what she learned all semester but the teacher reassured me she was not like this throughout the dance class. Phew.

Sadly, because she is now student teaching, the parents are looking for another teacher. How can I teach my daughter not to have stage fright? It's kind of foreign to me. I mean, I DO get nervous before I get in front of an audience, big or small. Don't get me wrong, I feel it. But once I am up there, it's easy. However, I don't remember when I learned to overcome that. Any suggestions? She did the same thing in swim lessons......

Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Years Eve 2010

Each year my in-laws host a dress-up/ethnic themed dinner. The first year it was a celebrity American themed dinner. Last year it was an Asian theme. And this year was Italian.

Does it bother you as much as it does me when people pronounce Italian "eye-tallion" ? Man, it kills me.

Oh, well. I got over that and enjoyed myself anyway. Tyler and I contributed by making brushcetta (like we did for this party) and I made cute little flag pennants that I strung in the dining area. My MIL added some typical Italian style restaurant tablecloths to add to the ambiance.

The rest of the menu consisted of Tyler's aunts famous Lasagna, a delicious and simple Caesar salad, blood orange Italian soda (name?), and this yummy Carraba's copycat chicken dish. Reeeeeally yummy. And we finished it all off with gelato. mmmmmm.

And of course, the funnest part, the dressing up. I was a slacker this year and pretended to be a gondola driver. Ya, I only got as far as a shirt. The kids were Mario Kart characters, because, you know, they are Italian! Samuel, Mario, Cecily, Luigi and Jocelyn, Toadstool (Okay, not Italian, but you know, with the theme). Tyler was a Italian teenager because he looked HOT in his new sweater that I bought him from Eddie Bauer on clearance for $15. I heart Eddie Bauer. My FIL dressed as a mafia gangster along with Troy, Jana and Carson. My MIL was an Italian cook and the girls were Italian masqueraders.

Goodbye 2010! You were awesome!