Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving and Half Birthday

Wesley had a HALF birthday!! Those are a big deal to me. And they are a big deal for babies because that means they are getting SO big! To celebrate, we took Wesley to his first BYU football game! Go Cougs!! It was freezing, so Wesley hung out inside Dad's jacket most of the time.

I traveled over Thanksgiving for the first time in my life and we had a blast! We flew down to Texas on Wednesday and helped my parents pack up and MOVE from their house of 29 years. That was w e i r d to see my childhood home EMPTY. Should have taken more pictures.

Highlights: We had a blast with Ethan and Tristan who are GIANTS now... I can't believe they aren't 7 and 2 anymore... They LOVE playing with little Wesley and they are so sweet to him. We had an awesome game of tag after we all got hopped up on Thanksgiving pie sugar-highs!

I got to go to a fabulous yoga class with Dallin.

Catching up with Erlynne-- she lives too far away. Sisters should be closer!

Chris took Eric to experience Chik-Fil-A for the first time... now he's hooked! Best fast food chicken ever. and waffle fries and shakes and lemonade and polynesian sauce...

Grandpa Steve can never have tooo much baby-holding time, which was A-O-K with Wes!

Sorting through all my old high school stuff and enjoying the stroll down memory lane.

Helping Lady get Thanksgiving dinner ready-- yummy!

BLUE BELLLLLL!!! Best ice cream ever. Again, Eric has a new addiction. Too bad it's hard to get in Utah!

So much fun with family. It will be weird that my parents aren't there any more. For as long as I've been me, Plano has been my parent's home. I'm excited to have them closer in Vegas though.

And to close, here was the best highlight of all:

Wesley got to meet Santa!! He was a little confused as to why some fat jolly man was holding him instead of mom... and he certainly wasn't about to relax on this chump's lap! (Note the clenched fists). It was absolutely adorable. And this guy is the best Santa-- straight from the North Pole! (Apparently they have Texas accents in the North Pole).

Monday, November 9, 2009

He's mobile!

It's the end of life as we know it! Ok, not exactly... but on Saturday, Wesley mastered the back-to-tummy roll! Previously he could get to his side, but then he'd be stuck there. All of a sudden on Saturday afternoon he did it. He figured out that last step and now he's a rollin' machine! He rolled all the way across the living room floor and got stuck under the piano bench. He got stuck under the chair in the living room. He gets stuck on big toys when he rolls into them as well as the entertainment center. He rolls around in his crib now. I better get to babyproofing!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I'm so domestic...

Look what I learned how to do!
It started out simple enough... I wanted to learn how to can. I bought a half bushel of peaches from a roadside stand for $6. My friend Melissa came over on Conference weekend and showed me how. We canned 12 delicious quarts of peaches. I thought that was the end of my canning adventure...

Then a lady in my neighborhood let me pick her apple tree because she didn't have time to do anything with the fruit this year. Oh and while we were at it, why don't we just pick some grapes too? So about 40 pounds of apples and 8 pounds of grapes later, I ended up with 6 quarts of applesauce, 6 half-pints of grape jam, 8 half-pints of apple butter, and a bunch of dehydrated apples that were gone in no time.

Ok, so I thought I was done canning after allllll that apple-ing. But THEN! Pears went on sale for 25 cents a pound! I couldn't pass that up! For $3 I got 12 pounds of pears and bottled 6 quarts. Maybe I'm done now... Although I did find a delicious recipe for pumpkin butter and if it's anywhere as good as the apple butter I might just be canning again this weekend!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Wesley

I can't believe how big our little boy is getting! He's 5 months old, almost 16 pounds, and a total busy-body. Mom, was I super fidgety as a baby? Marilyn, was Eric? This boy is ONLY still when he's asleep. I'm terrified for when he starts crawling. He's successfully learned how to roll from his tummy to his back and spends his time working on getting from his back to his tummy.

Here are some cute photos I snapped one day...
Ain't he sweet?
I love catching these faces on camera. Hilarious.

Sleeping "peacefully" in his car seat. What up gangsta.

This might be my favorite Wesley-ism. It proves he is my son. He puts his feet up on everything. He LOVES his bouncy seat and always kicks his legs up on those side bars, all casual. This picture also illustrates two other loves-- sticking out his tongue and chewing on his hands.
We love this little boy!

My Best Friend's Wedding







Wesley and I took a whirlwind weekend trip to Arizona at the end of September so I could be a bridesmaid in Michelle's wedding. It was a lot of driving, a lot of screamy baby, and a lot of fun. I love Michelle like a sister and I'm SO happy she and Darin are finally married! I was so glad that I got to be there for the beautiful wedding. LOVE YOU TWO!



Thursday, October 8, 2009

Happy Birthday!!

Eric is 24 today! Woo hoo! For those who don't know, I turned 24 ten days ago. I'm the old lady in this relationship, I've got a whole 10 days on my hubby. We have been discussing how 24 feels old. Not old like withered, caney, beardy, my back aches old, but old like you-can't-get-away-with-stupid-stuff-cuz-you-are-just-a-kid kinda old. Or old in that you should be mature and do stuff like be married and have kids. Or old in that lots of celebrities and almost all college football players are now younger than you. That kinda old. We also feel old because this year's birthday celebrations totally snuck up on us and passed rather uneventfully. We did manage to have a joint birthday cake and blow out 24 candles. I haven't blown out candles in YEARS! It was invigorating, really. Pretty sure I forgot to make a wish actually... Luckily Frazier was there to capture this perfect picture. The first one is the awkward trying-to-smile-while-singing-happy-birthday picture and the second is the CLASSIC puffy cheeks cloud of bday candle smoke picture. Gotta love it.

And now, in honor of Eric on his special day, here is a list of 24 things that make me smile about Eric. (Beware, this might get cheesy/mushy).

1. His adorable face
2. How much he loves Wesley
3. How much he loves me!
4. "You could sell these..."
5. His always positive outlook
6. The way he goes along with my crazy ideas, even when they seem pretty crazy
7. His charm and friendliness. I've still never met anyone who dislikes him...
8. His muscles. :)
9. How easy he is to please. He'll eat anything I set in front of him.
10. He always has my best interest in mind and what would make me happy
11. His determination
12. How much he loves Russian
13. How willing he is to give service
14. How dedicated he is to his calling
15. "Kisses!"
16. "I'm useless when a football game is on."
17. How he stays on top of politics
18. His love of softball and passion for sport
19. He always remembers to say prayers before bed
20. He bought those jeans I liked on him even though they were "dirty"
21. When he picks out my outfits. :)
22. When he wants me to pick out his outfits
23. How we can talk for hours and never run out of things to say
24. and EVERYTHING else about my sweetie!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Help with a huge undertaking

Hello everyone

I'm asking for some help with a project I'm starting. Let me give you the background.

My upstairs neighbors are a 6 year old girl and her single mom. My next door neighbors are the elderly parents of the single mom. They are from Bulgaria. The mom speaks English great and is currently studying Behavioral Science at UVU. The parents barely speak English, but they sure try.

The 6 year old girl was recently diagnosed with a rare auto-immune disorder which requires her to be homeschooled. Well, I've always thought that homeschooling works well for some but not as well for others. Sophie falls in the not-as-well category. She does great at school, not as great at home.

I've been feeling for a while that I should help homeschool her. I ignored this idea and contested it for quite a while, but I finally admitted that maybe I should listen to the Spirit and offer. Last night I presented my idea and I thought the mom was going to cry, she was so excited.

Here's where I need help. They have no money to buy a curriculum, so I'm helping them make one. I've found some great resources online, but I would love LOVE any input and ideas I can get here! Can you email me worksheets, assignments, projects, etc. that your first grader is doing this year? Thank you thank you thank you!

We started today--so far it's been a success! I copied a worksheet my niece Tatum was assigned for homework the first week of school when I was visiting. :)

Alright folks, send me your homework assignments! (And your prayers, too!)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A QUALITY company

I just had a fabulous experience with a company-- so fabulous in fact that I feel compelled to advertise for them.

Swanson Health Products

Here's why I love them so much: First, I searched the internet high and low to find the products I wanted and they were the only site that had them all in one place. Second, they only charge $4.99 for shipping, regardless of the size of your order. Third, they offer free returns if you are dissatisfied with your product, even if you've used half of it.

Today the much anticipated package was on my doorstep. I noticed it smelled much stronger than I anticipated. When I opened it, I realized the tea tree oil had opened and leaked out creating a small, very oily, very scented mess. I called customer service and a lady with the BEST accent cheerfully answered. (They are based in North Dakota-- she was SERIOUSLY the mom from Bobby's World).

The conversation was all of 2 minutes-- no automated menus to try to get through. The lady just answered, I told her the product had leaked and made a mess. She looked up my order, apologized for the mess, got a replacement sent out to me, and credited my card $5 back for the trouble. (The tea tree oil was only $3.95).

What service! Seriously, I'm gonna order from them again because that was the nicest lady I've ever spoken to.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Happy 4 month birthday!

Wesley's 4 months old today! Don't mention it though... he's a little sensitive about his age. He's more ornery today than usual. I guess he relates to those people who get all surly on their 35th birthday because suddenly they feel old or something...


Here's a video of this morning before he decided it was a bad day.
(technical difficulties... I'll post the video once our camera battery recharges)


And in other news, Wesley no longer hates tummy time as quickly or fiercely. It's still not his fave, but I was able to snap this picture at least.



Sunday Afternoon

We decided to put Wesley on the table in his Bumbo chair so we could talk with him while we ate. I think he liked it...

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Green Movement

I recently stumbled across a blog that really got me thinking.

I initially found it from a simple google search for a granola recipe and then I found minutes slip into hours spent reading her posts. Which leads me to a confession: I'm a total closet hippie tree-hugger. I hide it well.

I've decided it's time for me to come out of the tree-hugging closet and hug trees in public! And so, as my first guesture, I'm taking the Ditch the Disposables Challenge! For September and October, Eric and I set a goal to use ONLY reusable bags and not bring home a single plastic store bag. I think it's going to be a challenge for sure and it's going to require us to actually remember our reusable bags, but it's worth it.
See a video about plastic pollution in our ocean
There is a lot of great (and sad) info at plasticbagfree.com.

I wondered for a while if this Green Movement that's getting so much attention right now is a fad, or just a trend. I think some businesses are definitely capitalizing on this idea and turning profit on it and some people may be doing it because it seems like the cool thing to do. However, I think anything that is about preserving nature, life, and sustaining earth for our posterity cannot be a bad thing.

All of this thinking about green got me thinking about my sweet mom. She is one of the greenest people I know without even realizing it. Here's the proof.
  • Her showers are the shortest of anyone I've ever met. She can bathe in under 2 minutes flat.
  • With that, she keeps a bucket in the shower and uses the run-off to water the yard. I used to think she was crazy or just being cheap. Maybe it was, but she was saving the environment while doing it.
  • She washes and reuses disposable plastic bags. She probably hasn't bought a new box of plastic bags in 10 years.
  • She dumpster dives. She might not thank me for putting this on here, but you can't get any greener than that. About 10 years ago, she brought home a pair of tennis shoes that she pulled out of someone's trash can. She tried to give them to me but of course, as a high schooler, I wouldn't be caught dead in some neighbor's trash shoes. She unflichingly wore these shoes (which really were still in great condition) until they were actually ready to be trashed, then at that point she used them to do yard work in. I think it's safe to say she still has those shoes.
  • Back in the day when stores actually still had paper bags, she would always insist on paper instead of plastic because they were biodegradable. Then we used those bags to line our trash bin instead of buying plastic bags to do the task.
  • She diligently recycles anything and everything that can be recycled.
  • She's super diligent about turning lights and appliances off, keeping the temperature at the most energy efficient setting and preserving electricity in any way possible.
  • She's the queen of reusing. As I type this, my baby is playing with a toy that she gave me... the same toy that I once played with as a baby.

I could go on and on. My mom has been quietly leading the green movement for years and years. Maybe it comes from being raised on a farm with nine kids and scarce resources. Regardless, we should all be a little bit more like Lady. Thanks Mom, for setting such a wonderful example.

Here's to dumpster diving and tree hugging!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

An apology...

I was doing some pondering and reflecting today and I feel the need to apologize. I feel like I have given out the wrong impression on my feelings toward pregnancy and childbirth. I know I complained a lot about these two things, because let's face it, they are rather uncomfortable. The Russian word for pregnant is literally translated "burdened." That's accurate. It is a burden and it is difficult, but more importantly, it is such a miracle. It is the most amazing, natural, and beautiful process. Each day when I look at my darling, sweet son, I marvel at the process that brought him here.

As for unmedicated childbirth, I'm so so glad I was able to do it! I found it to be a unique and exhilarating process. Yes, it was intense, long and painful, but miraculous and exciting just the same. I could go on and on about how great natural birthing is to me, but I know it's not for everyone. The point is, I'm thrilled to have a happy healthy baby. Despite my moanings, I feel blessed that I had a healthy active pregnancy and a relatively uncomplicated natural delivery. So I truly apologize for giving out the wrong impression.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Too cute not to post...

Wesley loves surprises. He must have gotten that from me. Here's some darling video.

So proud of myself...

I admit, I'm not a finisher. I could easily name off 20 projects that I have at one time started and not completed. I recently gave Erlynne a cookbook that I started making for her 5 years ago. The only reason it got finished at all was because she happened to be coming in town to see me on her birthday weekend.

I mentioned that going to visit Lana in Arizona had gotten me inspired to decorate. I love looking at repurposing projects-- when people turn trash into treasure. I always have ideas of how to do this myself but then I never actually do it. Until today. Today my golden opportunity presented itself and I pounced.

Eric and I decided to move the computer out of Wesley's room and into the living room. School is starting on Monday and it just isn't practical in there anymore. The problem is that our computer desk is about 6 feet long and will NOT work in the living room. Another problem we had to deal with was an abandoned desk sitting in the carport of the condo we manage. hmmmm

Today Eric picked up the desk. This before picture doesn't even do it justice... What we had was a nasty, decrepit, spider-webby, dirty piece of furniture that once served as a desk. Eric cleaned it off and threw away the rickety eye sore of a top part before bringing it home. At that point this before picture was taken. (This was formerly Clark's desk at the condo for those of you that may recognize it).


So I set to work. Only a few hours, 3 cans of spray paint, half a can of Mod Podge, 6 sheets of paper and less than $20 later, here's what we have!


Isn't it lovely?! I love it. Unfortunately the pictures aren't very great. But trust me, it was in sad shape before and it looks lovely now. Project started and completed in the same day. Biggest accomplishment ever. (Wellllll, not really. But it's up there).
p.s. Sorry the pics didn't make it on the original post. I have a love/hate relationship with Blogger. Most of the hate is directed to the photo uploading...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

3 MONTHS!

Wesley is 3 months old already! Wow. He's so cute and smiley lately. He loves to coo and giggle and smile at us.
For his birthday, we took him out on his first bike ride. He's still a little small to sit in the trailer alone, but the carseat works perfectly. We had only gone about 100 feet before he was asleep. Loved it.







The next summer vacation

Wesley and I left Eric at home and jetted off to Arizona for a week of fun in the sun! And it was indeed great fun. We did a lot of just hangin out, swimming, and playing. Lana kicked my trash on a couple of runs and inspired me to work out more. She also inspired me to decorate my house! Unfortunately, now I'm itching to redecorate everything ... too bad I didn't find a money tree in Arizona. It's always fun to go to different places and get new ideas and fresh perspective. I highly recommend a week away when you can grab it.






This is my favorite. Crew is 2 weeks older than Wesley and has a significantly smaller head. Therefore, Tummy Time is much more enjoyable for Crew than Wesley. Hang in there Wes, you'll get it.





Wesley's face cracks me up in this picture. He looks like a little boy, not an infant.




After a swim, chillin in the swing

Wesley and Crew, asleep in their carseats on the table at Joe's Farm Grill (my favorite AZ restaurant)



First Road Trip!

On July 24-26, we took our first road trip with Wesley. We went over to Durango, CO for his cousin Jax's blessing. It was an absolute BLAST! Turns out Wesley loves road trips just as much as his parents do. I fed him right before we left, we drove for 3 hours and I fed him again when we stopped for gas. Then another 3 hours and we were there! He slept the whole time and didn't cry. How on earth did I get so blessed!?

While in Durango, there was a lot of time spent playing with family. We went to Purgatory and rode the alpine slide (Thanks MomMom for holding Wesley), ate a delicious lunch at Tequila's where Ashton enjoyed getting whipped cream from his free birthday dessert smeared on his face (I wish I'd gotten a photo of that!), ate and swam at Trimble Hot Springs (Wesley is so cute in his little hat in the pool), and had a fantastic brunch buffet at Pam and Monte's. All in all it was a great time. Wesley got super spoiled from being held all weekend, but he eventually got over that. Thanks to everyone who made our first vacation with the baby so much fun!

This was the only time we got the boys together to play. They loved it. And no, we didn't plan the matching outfits. Complete coincidence.

Wes loves his thumb! Look at Jax's adorable sweet face
Baby feeties!






Archer striking a GQ pose after church

Ashton and Andrea

L to R: Andrea, Archer, Aiden, Ashton, Anderson

Our happy little family. Of course Wesley is snoozing away.

The whole gang. Love yall!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009