Saturday, March 23, 2013

Racers, Start Your Engines!

Jonah has been in cub-scouts for several months now. I am experiencing several new "firsts" as a mother of said cub-scout. I remember going to my brother's award ceremonies and what-not when I was young, but that's about the extent of my experience with the scouting program.

You guys... It is crazy. We had the annual Pinewood Derby and let's just say that some people really get into it. It was a really fun night overall, and in his different heats, Jonah took 3rd, two 4ths, 5th, and 6th. Luckily he didn't mind, but he has a lot of ideas for next year to make his car (which he dubbed "The Flying Flame") much faster.

He received a design award for his car, and he was happy about that. And really, I just have to say that the whole thing is kind of silly, because what boy actually makes their own car?! None of them. We all know this is for the dads, c'mon.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Luck O' The Irish

 Well, another holiday (I can't believe I even call it a holiday) has come and gone. St. Patrick's Day is my least favorite, but for some reason, my kids love it? I think it's because everyone in VA makes such a big deal out of it. At least, it's bigger there than it is in UT. There are a lot of catholics there, and maybe a lot of people with Irish ancestors? Anyway, it's a big deal. And it has made my kids HUGE fans of the ridiculous holiday.
Their teachers in school would tell them stories of how the leprechauns came and made mischief and the room would be messed up, with little green footprints everywhere, and green food coloring in the toilet, and they would go on a leprechaun hunt and make leprechaun traps, and the leprechaun would leave gold coins on their desks, and the whole nine yards.  
I have always had them wear green, maybe we ate green food and milk for breakfast, and more recently, we would have a nice leprechaun deliver us a treat in the evening. And it worked, because at school, they got their fill for all of the other silly stuff.
Well, as you know, St. Patty's Day fell on a Sunday. My kids have been talking for weeks about how the leprechaun must be coming to our house to make his mischief, because they won't be at school that day. And here's the thing.... my kids actually believe in leprechauns. I am not kidding.
They also believe in the Tooth Fairy, and Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny, and Cupid. It's true. They all do. Even Laylah. And I have to say, I really love it. It is fun and exciting, and they get so eager for holidays, and to me, it is worth it. It is worth a little extra work on my part (and only a few dollars) to make my children happy. They are always grateful and they never have a greedy attitude about it, so I am okay with it. I am okay with having a leprechaun come to our house. I know it will all end someday, but at least they'll have their memories, and I hope to them, those will be the real treasures.
So anyway, the leprechaun came, oh yes he did. And he sent us on a fun little scavenger hunt. The first clue was taped on the wall next to the bathroom where everyone would be sure to see it first thing in the morning. And the kids were so surprised, they came right in my room to show me clue #1 which read:
Top O' The Mornin' To Ya!
It's s St. Patty's Day scavenger hunt, it's true
look in the fridge for clue #2!
The leprechaun had turned some of our milk green (which Magnus was so confused by, but he really wanted to try some, and I had to pour him some right that second) and also left another clue which read:
You found the green milk, hooray!
Now, go look where you pee for clue #3!

They were baffled when they ran to their bathroom and couldn't find a clue, and then someone figured they better check my bathroom. And whattya know, there it was...
Now, I can't actually remember what I wrote on this clue (It was like, 1 in the morning when I was doing this), but it was something about finding the green grass and shamrocks and checking out the door for clue #4.
I had taped it to the front door and it read:
Isn't the grass nice? Now, to find clue #5, you must watch the story of St. Patrick's Day, live!
I found a darling VeggieTales youtube story about why we celebrate St. Patrick's Day. I didn't even know the reason why, so this story was also very informative! My kids loved it. Click HERE if you're interested in watching it.
After we watched the video, we read the last clue that said:
I love this story of how I came to be.
Thanks for playing my game, it has been fun
I left you a prize in a machine that can run!

 Baron is actually the one who thought of it being in the dryer, and he was right. There was a green bucket with gold treats, and green glowing necklaces. It was a fun little scavenger hunt, it took about 15 minutes to figure out the clues and set it all up, and I spent about $8 on the prize. I printed off the cute clue sheets HERE.


I then made shamrock pancakes and we drank our green milk.
We also wore green. Green skirts, ties, socks, shirts, bracelets, rings, and fingernail polish. I really am not a fan of the color green by the way...
It ended up being a really fun day.

 Oh yes, and I must add that Baron left this out for our "leprechaun" that night. He gave him some of his very own "gold" from his piggy bank. I wrote Bear a note back on a green shamrock and left it on his pillow. He was beyong thrilled that the leprechaun responded.
Oh, to be a kid again :)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I Live By My Cleaning Schedule

I really don't, that's just a big lie. I used to though. I used to love to clean. And actually, I guess I still love to do the actual cleaning, and I love the end result, but somewhere between the time I first got married and now, it has lost some of its... Satisfaction? Draw? Sparkle and shine?

I feel like I never actually get to enjoy the end result because there's always 1 or 2 (or 3... Or 4...) kids in my wake making a bigger mess than was there before. I kind of blew up on Saturday while I was cleaning up the kitchen from breakfast, and not 5 minutes after I had started the dishwasher, someone came walking in wanting a snack. Seriously?! No.... Seriously?!?

It cracks me up that when I had 1, and even just 2 kids, I had a rigid cleaning schedule. Nothing else was to be done on my cleaning day. Except cleaning.

Then Daphne came along, and I was working part time, and it slipped a little. It always got done, but maybe later at night when the kiddos were in bed.

Then Bear... And finally Magnus arrived and I'm like, What? So there's a ring around the bathtub... So what? I'll get to it when I get to it. Take a shower instead. Or, What? So there's dust an inch thick on the TV and you can't see what you're watching? You shouldn't be watching tv anyway, either go outside and play, or dust the tv yourself :)

Sometimes, I invite friends over for dinner just so I know I will clean my house from top to bottom. Then a week later (when it's time to clean again) I think, Didn't I just clean?!

At first it stressed me out. My mom is an immaculate housekeeper. I grew up in a house that was always spotless. I finally had to accept the fact that I can't do it all right now, (and I am always left wondering how my mom did it) and I decided that the mess will always be there, waiting to be cleaned.

However, my kids won't be. So, I choose the kids (for now ;) And a semi-sometimes-clean-slightly-strewn-with-toys-and-sometimes-dirty-sticky-smudgy-stuff house. Eh, it works (most of the time)

Plus, look at that face! I'd rather spend time playing with him instead of the broom any day!

Friday, March 15, 2013

New Shoes Make Everything Better

Yesterday was kind of a weird day. Actually, it's been a weird week. I am used to being pretty busy and not having a lot of time to myself. We have a little lull in between my children's activities right now, so I have only been in the car half as much as I normally am.

Anyway, I have actually been *gasp!* a little bit bored this week! Add that to the beautiful sunshine and warmer weather, and I have just really wanted to get out of the house every day to do something. And let me just say that it wasn't so much a weird day, as it was a weird, abnormal night. Let me explain...

Well, yesterday I went to Target, and after I picked up the kids from school, we went to their grandma's house to play with cousins that are visiting from St. George for spring break. We had a blast playing outside in the beautiful weather.

After we got home and had dinner, I still had that itch to get out of the house and do something... sans kids. I guess a long winter will do that to me. I texted my sister Kaylie and asked her what she was doing that night. She responded that she and my mom were going to a Relief Society activity and invited me to come. So, I did. Andy had a basketball game that night, but he would get the kids to bed before he left and then go. So, I went and had fun with my mom and sister, and accidentally left my phone in the car. We chatted for awhile after the activity, so when I got in my car to go home around 9:30 and checked my phone, I had 5 missed calls from home and 2 texts from 2 different neighbors (who, thankfully, are good friends). One of the texts said that Laylah had called them, after I didn't answer my phone, saying she was scared, and worried about me, and thought I should have been home by now, etc, etc. So, my neighbor had texted to let me know that she was heading over to stay with Laylah until I got home.

Oh my goodness. I was so embarrassed! First of all, I felt like a little kid that was coming home after curfew. I felt like I was going to get grounded or something. Second of all, I was a little frustrated, but mostly really proud of Laylah. We have been leaving her home with the kids for several months, on occasion, when we go out, or on nights like last night, when both Andy and I have stuff going on. She is incredibly mature for her age, and knows how to call us, or a neighbor (obviously :) if she needs to. She also knows when to call 911 if there was an emergency. Plus, we always stay close to home, no more than 15 minutes away. Also, I'm not trying to brag when I say this, but we have really great, well-behaved children, and we trust them. Anyway, Andy was just down the street at our ward building (apparently she forgot to call him before the neighbor...?), but she has always done a great job babysitting, and we've never had a problem before.

Well, I guess last night, Jonah told her a scary story, and after they all went to bed, she couldn't fall asleep because she was scared. She kept watching the clock, and when I wasn't home by 9 (when I said I would be) she got worried. I'm proud that she called our neighbor, but like I said, embarrassed that I got caught out "past curfew". The kids have always gone to bed when we tell them to, and always been sound asleep when we get home, so I didn't think a half hour would make such a big difference. So, anyway... A happy ending to a rambling story.

Well, I needed some time to veg out after that, so Andy and I were watching a movie after finally getting Laylah to bed. I had kind of dozed off when I heard Magnus running down the stairs and jumping onto the couch yelling, "Hi Mommy!" He was wide awake and ready to play... Uhhh, what?! He is usually such a great sleeper, so I was a little thrown off by him waking up at 11:30, seemingly thinking it was morning. We let him stay up with us for a little bit, and after a snuggle, he went back to bed pretty easily. I kind of fell back to sleep on the couch when I was awakened again by another voice saying, "I just threw-up". Poor Jonah... He was sick, apparently. Luckily, he had made it to the bathroom and went back to bed after a hug. I dragged myself off the couch and went up to get ready for bed. I should have just slept on the couch downstairs, because for the next 3 hours, right before I would fall asleep, I was awakened by Jonah loudly throwing up in the bathroom, which is right next to our bedroom. Uuuggghhh.

So, it was a really long night. But, as I checked my email this morning, all my worries disappeared as I saw a confirmation email from DSW saying my new shoes I ordered would be shipping in just 2 days! I had completely forgotten that yesterday, I ordered a fabulous pair of shoes that were on clearance, plus I had 3 reward certificates AND free shipping. It made them practically free, so how was I supposed to pass that up?! And bonus, I have been looking for a pink pair of pumps for over a year. It was meant to be... Shoes just make everything better :)

Bring it on Friday!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Staying Away From Vegas For Awhile

I'm taking some new medication. I only have to take it once a week, on Sunday nights. However, I forgot to take it Sunday, and I remembered that fact last night while lying in bed, around midnight. I dragged myself out of bed and swallowed that tiny, white, oblong-shaped pill.

The next morning (which would be this morning), I was super dizzy when I woke up, and almost fell over when I got out of bed. I shook it off and went about my day. Later, I was sitting at the kitchen table and Andy walked in and asked me to come look at something. I stood up and almost immediately blacked out. My knees buckled and I started to fall. Luckily, Andy was there to catch me, or I would have. He asked me what was wrong, and I again, shook it off and told him nothing.

Anyway (this story has a point, I promise), after I ran tonight, I was showering and noticed my new medication's patient education sheet sitting on my vanity. I picked it up and read over it. Side effects include: dizziness, headache, weakness, and fainting. Hmmmm, okay....

I went on to read this : WARNING- check with your doctor ASAP if you experience change in behavior (ex, aggression, increased GAMBLING or sexual urges)

HA!! I guess it's a good thing that gambling is illegal in Utah... I'll steer clear of Vegas for awhile, just to be safe. As for the other urges... I think I'll be fine :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Treat For FHE

It was my turn to choose our treat for Family Home Evening last night. I decided to make chocolate covered honeycomb candy because I just saw it on my friend Miranda's blog (, and it looked really yummy, and super easy.

Well, it's easy if you do it right. I burned the first batch in a major way. It was yuck and my whole house smelled. I'm so glad it's warm enough to open the windows so I could air out my kitchen. Luckily, I had it in me to give it another go, and the second batch turned out much better. I only had a bite, but I thought it was really yummy.

Here's the recipe:
3/4 C sugar (I used brown)
2 TBS water
2 TBS honey
1 1/2 tsp baking soda

Simmer first 3 ingredients on med/high heat for about 4 minutes, without stirring. When it looks caramelly, quickly stir in the baking soda. Have some parchment paper ready to pour the hot candy onto. Pour it out and let it set-up. After it's hard, break it into pieces. It's yummy plain, but if you want a little something more, melt some chocolate chips in a bowl and dip the honeycomb into it. Yum!

Now, that's better

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Slowly But Surely

I just had to post this morning. I have officially hit my 30 pound mark in my weight loss AND I have lost 30 inches all over my body. It has taken 9 months. This is a huge accomplishment to me! I have been working my bum off... Literally. Actually, something else that has been shrinking dramatically is my... ahem... chest area, if you know what I mean. My mom bought me a new bra last year, and it is probably two sizes too big now. I need a new one! This makes me so happy, as I have never been a fan of... you know.... largely endowed chest areas (I don't want to type it because then I'll get a million spam hits, so, ya know :)

On top of that, my half-marathon training is going so well. The only problem I have encountered is my right leg has terrible shin splints. I'm not sure what to do to fix it. Some days it is so bad, it hurts to just walk down the stairs. Anyway, I figured out that I have run 105 miles total since I started training back in January. I am just shocked at how far I've come. Running has become much easier for me, and much more enjoyable than it used to be. I also really enjoy the fact that my sister Kaylie and I run together. We have some great conversations, and it makes the time fly by.

I know this is terrible picture quality. It's me and Kaylie, getting ready to run in 25 degree weather, while it was snowing. Hardcore, I tell you :)

So, here's a picture Baron snapped of me the other day, wearing some jeans I bought about 4 years ago (my first pair of skinnies) that I haven't been able to wear for the past 3. It makes me feel so good to be able to see the change in myself and not to see a stranger looking back at me with a wider, rounder face. I will have to post a "before" picture one of these days, but that will be tricky because I rarely ever allowed pictures to be taken of me. In fact, if one of my kids happened to snap one while playing with my phone or camera, I would promptly delete it. I'll look around and see if I can find one.

Alright, and I have to confess. In my last fitness post, I said I wasn't going to have sugar after my birthday for the next 30 days. Well, I kind of forgot about Valentine's Day, and also the fact that I would be going on vacation to a place with some of the yummiest, sugariest treats there are. I know it's gross, but I have a confession.... I LOVE cotton candy. Love it. So, I decided I would start back to my no sugar thing the day after we got back from our trip. I was careful throughout the rest of February, but I did eat treats occasionally. However, the day after we got back, it's been back to no sugar/treats. I've been going 7 days and I feel great.

Anyway, just wanted to check-in. Because I'm proud of myself! 19 pounds to go....

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Sure Cure For A Blah Day

I have been feeling sort of "blah" lately.

Oh, you too?

Well, Wednesday morning, I woke up feeling a little bit sorry for myself. You know, post-vacation blues. I always get them. I was also annoyed with the weather and lastly, really missing my friends in Virginia. I just haven't really found my niche' in this new neighborhood quite yet, but I'm sure I'll get there.

Anyway, back to Wednesday morning.... Actually, back to last September, the beginning of the school year. When Bear started preschool, I realized I would only have 1 child for 2 1/2 hours 3 x's a week. I instantly had visions of all sorts of things I could do with those free hours, of which I have rarely taken advantage of this entire school year. One of the items at the top of my list was to find a sitter for Magnus and go to the temple. And exactly how many times have I done that, you ask?

Zip. Zero. Zilch.

Until last Wednesday, that is. I woke up and the idea popped in my head (in between gloomy thoughts) and I knew that was just what I needed. I found a friend to watch M for a couple hours, took Bear to preschool, and off I went. It was a BEA-U-TIFUL day. I even rolled my windows down while I was driving. I didn't even need a jacket. The temple was wonderful and enlightening and peaceful, as usual. Just what I needed.

I finished just in time to pick up Magnus, grab a to-go order of egg drop soup (my fave) and go pick-up Bear at school. I opened my fortune cookie while waiting for Bear to come out, and I thought my fortune was quite fitting.

I have really been making an effort to be more positive and uplifting to those around me. It makes such a difference in my own attitude and life, which I need right now.

Because no one likes a Debbie-Downer with post-vacation "blahs". Especially not me.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Vacation in Numbers

1- Super fun, amazing, wonderful trip to Disneyland!
26- the amount of my family members that came along on this awesome trip (14 kids, 12 adults)
14- how many times Baron asked me if he could buy a toy (I told him yes, but reminded him every time he asked that we would choose something at the end of our trip so we wouldn't have to carry it around the whole time)
21- total hours we traveled in the car going to and from California
17- miles I ran while we were on vacation because of the half I am training for
15- miles I walked around Disneland and California adventure in 3 days. This is in addition to running every morning. Yeah, my feet were sore.
9- the amount of times Laylah asked for some cotton candy. We finally got her some :)
2- amount of times my boys wet the bed at the hotel.... I guess they were a little tired
6- how many times I rode Indiana Jones (my favorite Disneyland ride :)
5- this is the amount of frozen lemonades our family consumed
90- degrees that it reached on Friday (86 and 79 the other two days.... LOVED IT!)
11- how many times our friends who were watching our dog found Sadie on our doorstep when they would let her out to go potty and she would run away
152- the amount of times Magnus yelled "Buzz Lightyear!" or "Mickey Mouse!" combined
65- degrees that the pool was and yet, my kids still went swimming in it. Crazy people.
40- dollars that it cost for 4 bowls of soup in Disneyland. Oi vey!
5- as in AM, which was the average time Magnus woke up every morning. He never does that at home, so I'm not quite sure what his deal was. Thank goodness for morning cartoons and a pillow I could put over my head.
12- loads of laundry that I need to do now that we're home
7- how many times we lost Jonah. One time he was missing for so long that we finally found security, and they found him for us. A nice worker had given him a Star Wars Mickey pin while he was waiting for us to pick him up, and he has worn it every day since. What can I say, that kid is just like me.... oblivious to things going on around him, especially when there are just too many awesome things to look at
6- how many days we were gone.  Could have used about 20 more days.... I hate coming home from vacation
245- the amount of times my kids exclaimed that a ride was "SO awesome!!"
24,986- the amount of times I took kids to the bathroom
So, have a gander at our fun time...

 The girls rode with my parents so we could drive our smaller (and more reliable) car
 We finally made it!


And sadly, time to go home...
A few highlights:
-the fact that my ENTIRE family was able to come. It was so much fun getting to spend time with everyone. Love my family.
-All of the shows at Disneyland, the fireworks, parades, and especially the World of Color at California Adventure
-Our hotel breakfast. We stayed at the Desert Palm Inn and Suites. It was a great place to wake up to and a great place to crash at night.
-Again, the fabulous weather. So beautiful.
-The fact that 4 out of 5 of my kids could go on every ride. I loved it! It was so much fun now that they are a little older and love to go on the bigger/better rides.
-I loved that my kids got to spend so much time with cousins. They are all such good friends and so close, and it made it that much more fun.
-My wonderful sisters. Kaylie and Suzanne aren't married, and they were just so sweet with my kids. They took them on rides, played with them in lines, carried them when they got tired, chased after them when they got lost and/or ran away (mostly Magnus....) and were just Super Aunties the whole week.
-The magic of Disneyland. I just love everything about it. They don't do anything halfway, and just go all out. Now that I have kids, it is especially evident to me just how wonderful of a place it is.
-Memories. So many wonderful memories. it was just such a great trip and I can't wait to do it again someday :)