Tuesday, December 14, 2010

stormy stormy

The wind and hail and rain and thunder woke me last night.  It lasted all night long.  Brent leaves for work by 6:20, and soon after I got a phone call.  He'd locked his keys in his car at the gas station on post.  So I yanked the kids from each of their beds (thankfully Mercedes was already awake) and we braved the storm.  Pitch black, foggy windows and POUNDING rain.  I'm just not used to weather, I guess.  Brent was worried that since he was parked in front of the gas pump, his car would be towed.  Luckily, the tow didn't arrive before we did.  

I'd planned a big grocery trip to Trader Joe's for this morning, but decided on our way home to stop at Safeway and run in while I could leave the kids locked in the car (in Mercedes' care).  Sure that so far from home and early in the morning (7:30 by now but still pitch black outside) I wouldn't see anyone I knew, I ran in for some milk, bananas and cheese (the three things I didn't want to wait until Wednesday to get).  I was doing fine until I got into line for the one open register and discovered that I was behind my Relief Society president, and the casher was Cooper's Sunbeam teacher!  At least I was wearing a bra, right?

As soon as we pulled into our driveway the rain stopped.  The sun even burst through for a bit.  I was beating myself up for not just waiting to do my shopping later (I'd been trying to avoid taking the boys out in the pouring rain).  Now, though, I'm glad.  The rain stopped for a very short two hours and it's now dark and windy and VERY WET outside.  

This place is gorgeous and I love living here, but I still look forward to the day when we will (hopefully) live on the Southern California Coast, weather-free.

a 4th birthday

"I'm FOUR years old!  I'm FOUR years old!" - this is what Coop was heard shouting from the rooftop yesterday morning.  

And suddenly he does seem older.  He only wears diapers to bed.  We've just learned to accept the accidents as they come.  

Coop's friend Tanner came over to play the morning of his birthday.  They had a blast screaming and running from Lincoln, who was "it".  

Every 15 minutes or so Coop would ask, "Is it time for my cake yet?"  

We were done with our dinner of whole wheat waffles topped with blueberries and maple syrup by 5:00.  We had the shortest Family Night lesson in history and opened presents.  The silly bands were definitely a hit.  Now he's playing on the floor next to me with a new watch on one wrist (a mickey mouse one given to coop by our neighbor), and about a million superhero silly bands on the other.  

And finally... the cake.  Brent likes to be in charge of desserts, and chose to make a confetti bundt cake covered with whipped cream (we drizzled strawberry sauce on each piece - yum).  I was tasked with finding the decorations for the cake.  Mercedes and I found a tiny Buzz and Woody to put on either side of his Toy Story Alien candle.  

After a call from each of his grandparents, Coop and the rest of us settled in to watch Toy Story 3 (one of his gifts).  Pictures will come... at some point.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

fall

Autumn passed too quickly here.  

It was beautiful, though.  

We enjoyed vacations from the gray rain by riding our bikes and playing in the leaves.  

I'm looking forward to next year, reminding myself that the dreary wet days will pass.




Thursday, December 2, 2010

all i want for christmas



is my two front teeth

Mercedes after losing her first tooth.


So... some people have asked us what we want for Christmas.  

Does anyone else not like being asked this question?  

Of course, I ask it of others because I want to know what they want and I want to give them gifts.

So here is our family Christmas Wish List:

First of all, what we want most is to be able to spend as much time as possible with each of our friends and family.  Really.  This is what will bring us the most joy and fulfillment.  We miss all of you so very much.  

Since we are working toward paying down all of our student loans in the next few years, we don't have much extra cash to spend this Christmas.  We'd be most comfortable with no one spending any money on us.

Beyond that, we do (of course) have some needs and wants...


  • Brent:  He needs a belt (he's lost his brown or black one, but I don't remember which - I'll ask).  He'd also like the new President Monson Bio.  He's into cooking challenges lately, so a really detailed recipe book would be fun for him (like the Williams-Sonoma one that's at Costco right now).  Our Mac mouse died a few years ago, and it'd be great to have a new one. He likes movies like:  Iron Man and Sorcerer's Apprentice.  But mostly, he just doesn't want anyone to spend any money.  That'd make him the happiest.

  • Lisa:  Some alone time with Brent would be wonderful.  So if anyone wants to watch the "monsters" for a few hours... that's my biggest wish.  I'd like to learn about Yoga, and am saving up to take a class here - so a book about the subject or some $ to go toward my goal would be great.  We still don't have a flag for our flagpole.  And I'm always excited about itunes gift cards.  Or Costco.  Or Target.  This may be shocking news, but I love to shop.

  • Mercedes:  Is in need of some white ankle socks.  She wears a size 2/3 shoe.  She's into silly bands.  She just got her ears pierced, but with her sensitive skin will probably only be able to wear 14 karat gold studs.  Also, she doesn't yet have a gymnastics leo.  They're pretty pricey, though.  She doesn't need new shoes, but desperately wants a pair of Ugg-type boots.  Size 3.  

  • Cooper:  Wants some silly bands of his own.  He needs some white ankle socks.  He wears a Size 9 shoe, I think.  It's gotten VERY cold here, and some mittens and/or a ski hat would be well-used (he wears a size 4/5).  He likes automobiles, trains, and dinosaurs - and especially loves books about them.  He'd probably have fun with a new puzzle.  He just told me that he wants a boy doggie.

  • Lincoln:  Also loves automobiles, trains, dinosaurs and books.  He loves to play ball.  He also needs some mittens and a hat.  He wears a size 2.  Both Coop and Link have grown out of their warm coats.
So there you are.  

By the way, we're pretty excited for Christmas.  We can't wait to see Grandma and Grandpa and Gram and Grandpa and Chris and Kevin and Annmarie and Gerratt and Nietra and Avery and Kimball and Britton and Aiden and Liam and Suzannie and Dave and Sarah Kaye and Gaba and Brianne and Rowena and Aiden Eccles and Great-Grandma and Randy and Lorraine and Rebecca and Rachel and Natalie.  And the snow.  

Thursday, November 25, 2010

getting ready

A new blanket of snow has fallen.

Mercedes has taken the "innerds" out of the bird.

Cooper is jumping and singing, "It's a DEAD TURKEY!!!"

Linky is drinking Egg Nog.

Our Cheesecakes are prepared (Brent's is white and chocolate and mine is the Cheesecake Factory's Pumpkin Pecan).

Soon the BIRD will be in the oven and I will start the dressing.

Then we'll make the Lion House Roll Dough.

At 3:30 our guests will arrive.

Life is good.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

snow days (or really, ICE days)

An EIGHT-year-old Mercedes on her birthday, with her brothers.

We've had record snowfalls and now it has all turned to ice.  No work for Brent today.  No school for Mercedes.  In anticipation, I did our Thanksgiving meal shopping yesterday.  Brent is excited to spend today experimenting with Cheesecake.  

He doesn't want to make just a regular New York Cheesecake for Thanksgiving.  No - it has to have LAYERS.  Of course, neither one of us has ever made a cheesecake before.  So it's good that he has time to practice.  We'll see if it turns out to be a "Neapolitan" or a chocolate-pumpkin cheesecake.  He has lots of ideas and no use for recipes.  He wants to create an original.  My poor husband who thrives on being challenged is feeling stuck, I think.  Seven more months until residency.  He feels like he's just been "hanging out" for the past two years, professionally speaking.  So he's looking for ways to challenge himself at home.  Now that the yard is done (at least until spring), he's focusing on cooking.  

Mercedes is EIGHT!  She was VERY brave on friday and got her ears pierced, something she's wanted for a long time.  She only suffered a short stint of "piercer's remorse" on friday night, crying: "I don't feel beautiful any more!!!"  I think that she was just tired and in a bit of pain.  She woke on Saturday excited to stare at her ears in the mirror and show her best friend Megan her new jewelry.  On Saturday night Mercedes went on a special "birthday date" with daddy.  She wore a dress and a bit of make up and had her hair curled.  And then they went to her choice of restaurant:  The Olive Garden.  After dinner she and daddy did a bit of Christmas shopping.  Finally, we celebrated as a family on Sunday with pumpkin waffles with green whipped cream for breakfast and brownies and ice cream for dessert.  Did you know that if you put candles in hot brownies, the candles will melt from the BOTToM up?  They do.  So we have a pan of brownies filled with wax.  Cooper's primary teacher heard more about Mercedes' birthday than she could have hoped to - he was very excited about his sister's birthday.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

finally

I feel like I can finally breathe again.

Things are looking up.

It's just too bad about Harry Reid.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

random news and goings on

Mercedes and Grammie at her house on Skyline Drive, Labor Day weekend 2007
Today is Grammie's birthday.  We miss her. A lot.  Especially on long car trips.

She often came with us on our looooong drives to Utah from SoCal.  I remember her feeding Coop his bottle and then rubbing his back to help him to burp- all while he was in a carseat - when he was two months old.

She let Mercedes wear her high-heeled shoes and put on mascara - from the time she was Lincoln's age.

Grammie was always full of energy and up for an adventure.  We look forward to being with her again.

For the past week, I've been hooked on Taylor Swift's new CD, "Speak Now."  I'm listening to it right now.  "Why ya gotta be so mean?" is one of my faves.  I sprinkle in some Christmas music for good measure and to get us into the festive holiday mood.

Also today I deactivated my facebook account.  I've been thinking about it for a while... and just decided to do it.  I did it for a variety of reasons.  It just felt unnecessary to me.  And I'm striving to simplify.  Our family feels over-scheduled to me lately.  I'd like to cut Mercedes' gymnastics classes down to once a week (from two), but she isn't too keen on the idea.  With her not getting home from school until almost 4, I feel like we don't get enough time together.

Always present in my mind is the awareness that come this July, Brent will be gone so much that I'll feel like a single mom again.  A friend of mine whose husband is in his final year of residency said to me today, "I'm just done with being a single mom."  Her almost three year old son hasn't ever spent much time with his dad.  He's leaving (the dad) for nine days this week, and then in February will be gone for nine weeks.  All this and he spends most of his time at the hospital.  Made me even MORE scared of the next four 1/2 years!

I'm grateful for my sweet boys who are still home with me.  I am amazed at what they teach each other.  Yesterday Lincoln was pretending to be "a doggy," something that Cooper does often.  Mercedes always pretends that Coop is her dog and that his name is "cheese its."  Cooper treats his underwear the same way that he treats his diaper (if you know what I mean), and we often wonder if he'll ever be potty-trained.  But still, he is absolutely the cutest kid I've ever seen and I love to cuddle him.  He says, "Mommee-aahh" and "Daaddeee-aahh."  I don't know where he came up with that.  Lincoln loves to yell, "NOOOOO!" and "STOP!"  He doesn't mind me cleaning his bum when I change his diaper, but he FIGHTS HARD when I try to put a clean diaper on him.  He just wants to be naked all the time (which isn't so weird for a kid, but it's the opposite of Cooper and Mercedes who are really into modesty).  If he's able to get his pjs off in the morning, then he'll take them off and his diaper too.  I often go in to find him laying in his bed, grinning and sucking his little thumb.

I like to watch chuck with Brent on Monday nights.  It's a pretty funny show, and pretty much the only show that we watch together.  Usually if Brent's watching tv, I'm reading a book because I'm more into drama and he likes cake/cooking/mythbusters/pumpkin-chucker type shows.  I usually try to watch with him, but I get bored pretty quickly.  He's a sweet boy who will patiently watch all of my silly romantic-comedies with me just because he likes to spend time with me.  How'd I get so lucky?

Mercedes is still learning (and struggling - a bit) to read.  Before bed she likes to read the Book of Mormon (or sometimes the "story" versions) aloud to us.  It requires patience on my part (watching her struggle to figure out how to say "Moroni") but it's also a very special time for us.  I'm grateful that she loves the scriptures.  She loves to do what is right and tries so hard to be good.

I'm so happy and grateful to have a family.

Monday, November 1, 2010

happy birthday uncle gerratt!


Halloween here on Palisade Blvd. was AWESOME!  


We had a ton of fun (we meaning me, Mercedes and Cooper) sitting on the porch and handing out candy - at least until we ran out, that is.  We saw some great costumes.  My favorite was Napoleon Dynamite.  There were some pretty scary looking teenagers covered with blood!  I think that the masks scare me the most.  The ones that are like hockey masks and completely disguise the wearer.  Those freak me out.

Although rain was forecast (and of course it rained on our trunk-or-treat on Saturday), the night was cold and CLEAR.  Rain would have taken some of the fun away, I think.  The kids had a lot of fun gathering candy at the church party on Saturday night, and although Mercedes was feeling a bit left out as she watched the trick-or-treaters traveling from house to house together, Cooper had a blast serving his "customers" in his shaggy dog costume.  He even scared a few toddlers.
Coop as a Shaggy Dog last Halloween

By 7:30 we'd run out of candy.  Which worked out pretty well, since that's the kids' bedtime.

And so today after I'd taken down the Halloween decorations we turned on the CHRISTMAS MUSIC! I usually start Christmas listening long  before Halloween, but this year I waited.

Now I've got my Hobble Creek Baked Apple candle burning and Peter Breinholt's Christmas CD playing as the boys chase each other around the house and I get dinner ready with the rain pouring down outside.

I am so excited for Christmastime!

And so on this first day of November 2010, we'd like to shout a very loud and happy HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Uncle Gerratt.  Hope your day (and year) is awesome.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

walking in the rain

Yesterday it did not rain here.  Yesterday was an exception to the norm here.  Yesterday was sunny and bright and we went on a bike ride and played at the park.  We had fun.

This morning when Cooper asked to go on a walk I figured, "why not?  If we don't go out in the rain, then we'll never go out."

So Lincoln and I walked (and rode) while Cooper rode his bike.  In the rain.  Then we played at the wet wooden park.  In the rain.  Lincoln slipped on the wet metal ladder.  Good thing I was spotting him!  The boys were wet and muddy and had bright red hands, ears, and cheeks.  Cooper said, "this is so much fun, mommy!"  and then, "Let's go Lincoln!"  (meaning lets go back up so that we can go down the wet slide again) to which Lincoln always replied, "Let's go Lincoln!"  He likes to repeat.

When we got home I made the boys strip down in the garage before going into the house for lunch.  What's a little more laundry?

I'm listening to Lincoln cry in his bed while sitting on Mercedes' bed.  Cooper is slowly getting to sleep in the bunk above me.  Tonight he's afraid of Monsters.  I know that really, he just doesn't like to be alone.  None of my kids like to be alone.  I know that some kids do like alone time, I just don't know who they are.

Brent took Mercedes and her good friend Megan to a Christmas Choir practice.  It's a tri-stake children's CHRISTMAS choir for ages 7 and above, and they are both sooooo excited about it.  I'm excited that the rehearsals are usually on Saturday mornings instead of week-nights.  I'm not a night person.

I've been tired lately.  Fortunately, I'm having my yearly thyroid blood test done tomorrow.  I don't know if that's the reason for my (more than usual) fatigue, or if it's the lack of sunlight.  I have been spending time with my "happy light" each day.  Seriously.  That's what it's called.  I found it at Costco on Monday.  I'm supposed to spend 30-60 minutes with it in my periphery and within 5 to 24 inches of me each day.  Usually, I just set it on a chair next to the couch while Lincoln is napping (so he won't knock it down) and read for a while.

Ahhh.  I hear Coop snoring (he's a loud snor-er); and Lincoln has stopped wailing (hopefully for good).

Now it's just me and the sound of the ocean (from Coop's sound machine).

Peaceful.

No - there's the crying again.

Oh well.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

this is NOT my day

After we got home from the Safeway this morning, Cooper was chanting: "this is not our day... this is not our day... this is not our day..."

My kids are pretty great parrots.

My day actually started off very nicely.  A little cuddle time with Brent and then off for a run.  Mornings are s l o w l y (because I LOVE my sleep) becoming my favorite time of day.  It's really the only time that Brent and I have to spend together.  You know, uninterrupted time without whining or hitting or teasing or crying or stinky diapers or accidents.  He wakes me up at 4:45 am and then gives me 15 minutes to s l o w l y wake up.  Then we workout together.  He's a great trainer.  My run this morning was the best yet.  All of those ab workouts and bike rides have made my legs and core much stronger.  And I only sucked wind on my last lap (the one where I push it as fast and hard as I can).  He's patient with me and says things like, "you can do it!"  and "you're stronger than you think!"  Then afterward he tells me how proud of me he is.

Then I get to take a nice, quiet shower and get dressed and enjoy the peace... until the kiddies wake up.  Lately they've been getting up around 6:45 - I think that Brent opening the front door to leave for work is their alarm clock.

And... it begins.

The morning madness.

The "Mommy will you get me milk in my cereal and milk in my cup" and "I want to watch TV!", and "Mommy you're not getting it fast enough!" and "Mommy, I want something else to eat..." from Cooper.

The daily morning meltdown as Mercedes gets dressed for school... because something always seems to go wrong and then I'm the meanest mom in the whole world.  When I make her lunch she wants to buy and when I don't have time to make one she tells me that she doesn't like to buy.

Lincoln is my morning angel.  He's always happy to see me and is happy to cuddle with his blanket and milk on the couch.  Then he plays and eats and eats and plays.  And poops.  And plays.  And gets into trouble - but with a big cutie grin on his face.

But the thing that was different about this morning that made today not my day?

The Washington State Highway Patrol.

Yup.

When we first moved here I was PARANOID about getting a speeding ticket.  I figured that I needed to be since most of the traffic goes 55 in a 60 zone.  They're all worried about getting a ticket, right?  I've always (except for my brief sojourn to the south) lived in areas where most vehicles move at 80 mph in a 65 zone.  I'm usually comfortable at 70 (providing the weather is good).  If it's raining/snowing/foggy I slow down.  As a mom I'm much more cautious than I was ten years ago when I felt immortal (and did A LOT of speeding).

But with Cooper screaming at me because he wanted a fruit snack NOW and not in 15 minutes when we got home and me just wanting to get HOME and focused on merging onto the freeway and into the left lane where people usually go at least 60 mph (it's more like 45 in the right), I wasn't paying as much attention to my speed as I should have been.

It had been YEARS - MANY years even - since I'd gotten a ticket.  Today I was ticketed for going FIVE miles per hour over the speed limit!!!!  (As a side note, when I was at traffic school in Lehi, UT the police man told us that we probably wouldn't ever get stopped unless we were going over 80).  I guess here in Washington where there's no income tax and a 9.5% sales tax they need to get their money from traffic violations.

So the rest of the way home I must have been chanting, "this is not my day."

I don't think that Brent will be ecstatic when I tell him that we owe Thurston County $93.00, and that traffic school isn't even offered - so our car insurance premium will probably increase.

How is YOUR day going?

Monday, October 4, 2010

we're getting ready...



As the kids get older, Halloween is becoming more and more fun for me.

This year we're having lots of fun decorating the house together.



For family night this evening, we made some decorations.

We also took some "costume" pics for the grandparents - so that they could have a preview of things to come.

(As a side note, Cooper is in the kitchen with Brent - still working on their art projects. Cooper has been saying to Brent: "When we're rich, that's when we're going to die. That's what Mercedes told me. But don't worry - Jesus will fix us." This kid seems to be VERY interested in death. And sword-fighting. And bad guys.)










This is the hat that Brent made for Cooper.


The leaves are changing.

I bought fresh apple juice at the market today.

I love autumn!!!

So my question is:

Are YOU getting ready?

Are you having as much fun as we are?

Monday, September 27, 2010

this guy


Today, when I went into this guy's room:



to get him up from his nap his pants were on the floor. And so was his diaper.

I'm grateful that it wasn't "messy," if you know what I mean.

Later, when he finished his snack, he came up to me and grabbed my leg saying, "Mommy!"

I picked him up and said, "I love you."

And then he said it.

I kid you not.

Nor do I exaggerate.

"I wuv woo."

Really!

This is a day to remember.

Now his older brother is chasing him around the house, pretending to be a horse.

And his bedding is in the washer.

Life is grand.

idity

HUMID HUMID HUMID HUMID HUMID.

MUGGY MUGGY MUGGY MUGGY MUGGY.

Sure, it doesn't get "HOT" very often in the Seattle area, but humidity like this should warrant central air to be STANDARD.

Alas, it is not.

I'm seriously about to start looking into having central air put in before next summer. We already have central forced air...

I was not created for this HUMIDITY!!!!

p.s. This morning at 5:30 while Brent and I were on our walk, we saw two deer. In someone's front yard. Eating leaves. It was cool because we totally don't live in the wilderness. We live near the coast of the southern Puget Sound. There are some wooded areas in our town, but the houses are VERY close together in this "master planned community." It would have been cool to see them walking or prancing through the streets and yards... which is what they had to do to get to where they were. Maybe it's not the raccoons who are getting into our trash every night?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

sunday

Today as a primary we practiced for our upcoming Sacrament Meeting Program. Cooper fell asleep. I saw him slow-blinking, trying so hard to keep his eyes open. Then he leaned on the back of his chair. Then his teacher held him for the rest of church (over an hour).

After our meetings, our ward had a "break the fast." Before the prayer was said, Lincoln had dumped a pitcher full of ice and water on the table, me, him, and cooper - all of which ended up on the floor. Now those "motion detection" paper towel dispensers seem really nice most of the time. But when we were cleaning up a pitcher full of water today? I saw the drawback. Brent finally found a mop and then we were all good. And wet.

As Cooper was getting into the car with Brent and acting up (per usual) Brent said, "Cooper, if you don't settle down then I'm going to pull one of your hairs out." Cooper's response? It was sooo Coop: "THAT'S NOT POSSIBLE!"

On the way home Mercedes said to Coop, "you smell funny... you kinda smell like Grammy." I realized that his teach had left a remnant of her scent all over him. It smelled nice. Just like Grammy.

But the definite highlight of the day was my Mercedes; braving her nerves enough to share her testimony in church for the first time. She's been practicing for the past few days. She decided all on her own that she wanted to (she's always been WAY too scared in the past to even consider it), and then in preparation she wrote out what she'd say and practiced it. It went like this: "I bear my testimony that I know this church is true. And I know Joseph Smith is a true prophet, and Jesus died for us. And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen." From the stand I saw Brent get teary. Coop just barely preceded Mercedes in the meeting. She didn't want to get up first, and so fearless Cooper went. And BLASTED the congregation. That kid knows how to make his voice heard in a microphone! But it was very sweet and humbling and touching.

Now we're just waiting for our "family project" to finish baking. Brent has wanted to make peach cobbler all week, and so he enlisted all of us to help him this evening. It's smelling pretty good right now. You're welcome to come by and enjoy it with us!

You're also welcome to bring some vanilla ice cream with you if you have some on hand.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

recently...


  • I've misplaced our usb camera cord, so I can't download pics from my camera, like the ones I took today of Coop and his friend Tanner playing in our pop up tunnels.
  • I ordered directv. I bought a super-expensiv-o antenna, and it only got one channel. So I gave in. I miss the news the most. We'll down-grade our internet and cancel netflix. Can't get FoxNews on Netflix, you know?
  • Cooper "peed" (pardon my speech) on our leather couch. He fell asleep yesterday before I realized it. He woke up wet a little while later. Oh well. That's life with kids, right? At least that's what I tell myself every time he has an accident (5+ times a day).
  • I've been getting excited each time I see sunshine. This is because it's a rare occurrence anymore and I've decided to be grateful each time it appears.
  • I fell asleep at 7:30 last night. Getting up at 4:45 to exercise with Brent means that I fall asleep at night before the kids do! Hopefully I'll adjust soon...
  • Lincoln's top canines finally came in. He's still working on the bottom ones, the poor little guy. He hasn't woken up screaming in the middle of the night for a few days now - a wonderful thing indeed.
  • We discovered that there is a girl in Mercedes' class at school who is also in our ward! Hip hip hooray! She's had a difficult time making friends so far, and there's only one other girl in her primary class. But Megan (who is also in her school class) just switched to Mercedes' primary class (there are two for her age group) and they have become fast friends. Even better? Megan lives just down the block!!! I was able to tell Mercedes that my prayers were answered on Sunday when we met Megan, because I've been praying that she would make some nice friends and the loneliness would end.
  • One of my bike pedals fell off during our family bike ride on Saturday morning. Thankfully, we were close to home by then. The pedal is totally stripped, and I miss my bike already!
  • Cooper has added "crane" and "Bob the Builder" to his repertoire. So now he pretends: to be a dog named "Lollipop" or a horse named "Skip's Up" or "Mr. Crane" or "Bob the Builder." When he's pretending to be a crane, he crawls around saying "crank, crank, crank" over and over and over... it gets old but I'm glad that he likes to use his imagination.
  • Lincoln says "Mama" a lot now!!! I love it. For so long, he'd only say "Dad-ee" and "Pam-paw." (grandpa). He also says, "tank-too", "dog-ee", "no no no", "yes" and "milk."
That's all that comes to mind at the moment.



Monday, September 13, 2010

park city, bethers style


In August Brent and I were privileged to spend some alone time in Park City, UT. It was gorgeous.

We didn't have to worry about our kids at all, because we knew that they were safe and well-cared for (meaning SPOILED ROTTEN), thanks to Grandma and Grandpa. Although, I did worry about the abuse said g&g must be getting from my rowdy kids.

We stayed here:

It was a comfortable and cozy bed and breakfast, with super-great service.

The highlight of our weekend (other than getting to just spend time together without anyone demanding to be fed or held or wiped, etc...) was a ride on the Park City Ski Lift.

We found our future vacation home:



And enjoyed stunning views:



The pictures are so gorgeous that I've almost forgotten how scared I was to be so very high up, riding on a string. Or that I was FREEZING cold in my capris and sweatshirt. Or that it was very LONG.

We had fun together.



That's really the point, right?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

right about now...


That song in my head?

"Kids are Music." Thanks Sister Gates! If you grew up in Southern Orange County, then you've probably heard it.

Feeling?

Frustrated. Mercedes promised that if I let her wait to shower in the morning (instead of last night) that she definitely would not whine about it. Well, it's time for her to shower and she's whining and pouting on the stairs. Getting that girl ready for church? NOT fun.

I should be...

Getting myself ready for church. This is my least favorite part of the week. I do enjoy being at church. But the getting ready part? LOATHE it.

Reading?

I recently finished reading "The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud." I highly recommend it; I loved the writing and the story. I've moved on to Meg Cabot's latest "Airhead" book. Yes, I'm embarrassed to admit it. I never outgrew the "teen fiction" stage of life. I'm always in the middle of a few non-fiction books, too. Right now it's "The Engine 2 Diet" - I'm feeling more interested in trying out the "Vegan" lifestyle for a while (my brother would cringe if he heard me say that).

Watching?

I've been enjoying Covert Affairs this season.

Wearing?

House clothes. Today that means: Orange Piggly Wiggly shirt, pink and white striped pj pants and pink emus.


Where in time would I rather be?

Can't decide...

With Mom in backyard in San Ramon, CA. I was 10. Don't you just LOVE the perms?

With cousins in Lewis's backyard. I was 9. Jacob, Rebecca, Mark, Sarah, Jenny, me.

With roommates in the summer of 1998. I was 21. Me, Gwen, Sarah, Lacee. Apartment #437 is the best.

Mercedes and Brent in our first South Pasadena apartment in 2004. She was Lincoln's age then. I miss my little girl!

SLC Airport seeing Ape off on her mission in 1998. Sarah, Lacee, Ape, me. (It was VERY early morning - that's why we all look like we just rolled out of bed. We did.)

Lewis's back porch. I was 3 or 4. Aunt Sharon's was always my favorite place. I'm guessing that's Rebecca on Afton's lap, but I'm not sure. Rebecca, Afton, Mark, me, Sarah.

Ahhh... my back yard on Fortuna East in Irvine. My dad and brothers often had "surfing" contests. Whoever stayed up the longest won. It was usually Kevin because he hardly weighed anything. We had a rope that we'd swing into the water on. I love that house.

Friday, September 10, 2010

shneikies


A minute ago I was folding laundry in my room while Cooper was pretending to be a prince. I'm his princess, but he had to wait until I was done putting the laundry away to take me on a ride into the jungle with his "shooting thing" to shoot the snakes with.

I looked out the window and said, "Cooper - it's raining!"

His response?

"Holy Shneikies!!!"

Thanks Brent. I know that he learned that from you.

Being a Mom isn't all lollipops and rainbows. But it sure is fun sometimes. And it's worth all of the excrement that I have to clean up. I love these kids.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

entertainment


Sometimes the kids put on "musicals" for us in the evening.

It's better than TV.

The pictures don't communicate the hilarity of the production.

This one was called "pj heads."

They started out with rain coats and umbrellas, because (in the musical) it was raining. And then they got too hot and took them off.



potty pics

Calm down. I didn't take pictures of the actual, ahem, deposit - like Kate G. does.

Just a pic of his reward the first time that he actually USED the potty on his own.



Good Job Coop!!!
(And it was HIS choice to wear Lincoln's pjs).

first day of school

September 2nd, 2010:

Yes, I know that my photography skills leave much to be desired.

But I still think that she's gorgeous.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

a rant

Are we really already one whole week into the month of September???

How did this happen?

Right now I'm sitting at the kitchen table with Mercedes as she does her homework. And it's EXCRUCIATING!!!

My second grader is required to answer essay questions about ANARCHY and BULLYING.

Seriously?

Brent just said: "I don't think that I even knew what anarchy was in the second grade."

The teacher is following some discipline theory. The first two levels (anarchy and bullying) are "unacceptable behavior." The other two, which I'm sure we'll be covering tomorrow, are "acceptable behaviors."

This poor girl gets home at 4 pm and is tired and hungry. She feels overwhelmed and so do I.
Is this the rest of my life? I hate homework. Kids are in school ALL DAY. They need time to develop OTHER skills too.

In other news, Cooper is currently BUCK naked. This is because he's in the process of learning to use the "potty." Every time I've tried to train him, he's completely wet his pants (down the leg) several times within the first hour. So I gave up. But last Saturday, Brent had HAD it. So he took over. I told him, "the only way I was able to teach Mercedes not to wet her pants was to REMOVE all pants - so that she'd feel it right away." And I've TRIED that with Coop. But this kid is so "OCD" that he can't handle not having pants on. He FREAKS. But Brent is more stubborn than I am, so for the first two days he dealt with it. Cooper still does not like being naked from the waste down, but he's not freaking anymore.

We go through about five pairs of pants a day. Every once in a while, he convinces me to let him put pants on. "Mommy, I promise I won't pee-pee in my pants," he says. And I feel bad for him. And I give him some pants to put on. And then he wets. He DOESN'T wet if he's naked. He RUNS to the potty.

The sunshine in all of this is that I have not had to change a dirty diaper today (at least not of a boy older than 20 months). The bottom line? Cooper's having a much harder time getting it than Mercedes did (she was trained - nights too- within about a day). But I still feel like shouting, "YIPEE!!!!!!!!"

And then there's my Lincoln.

Lincoln is a crazy kid.

Feisty.

Mean when he doesn't get his way.

Lately he's been turning on the sink faucets.
And leaving them that way.
And he always goes for the dangerous items in my bathroom drawer (scissors, razors, toothpaste) when I forget to lock him out. Yesterday I found him in the bathroom sink, about to poke his finger into one of the sockets that I didn't think I needed to child-proof.

I've found him doing things that the other kids didn't ever try. I'm learning new things with this one. But I still love him to pieces. He was my peace and comfort while Brent was away. It's only recently that he's evolved from a mellow, happy and easy-going baby to a MONSTER with too much smarts. (Like he can reach into the knife drawer - those "childproof" things don't work because his middle name is HERCULES.)

That's all for now.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

avocados


For dinner last night we had grilled mahi-mahi. Yum. I'm glad that my kids like to eat fish (except for Coop, of course, who only likes sandwiches). I like to top my mahi-mahi with diced tomato and avocado.

Lincoln is my kid who will eat ANYTHING, as long as he is in the mood for it. Broccoli, beans, squash, tomatoes, bleu cheese, pickles, salsa... Yesterday afternoon he chowed down on the apple slices that the big kids didn't finish for snack.

But last night we made a discovery. He does NOT like avocado. He was so disgusted once he tasted a mouth-full, that he wouldn't touch the rest of his dinner. Like he was afraid of it. It was pretty funny.

So it'll be a while before I serve these to him again.



Sunday, August 29, 2010

thank goodness for monday

I am SO GLAD that Sunday is OVER!

Brent and I had to speak in church today... not such a big deal for him; huge scare for me. I don't so much like being in front of people. Brent told me, "try not to say 'um' so much." So I wrote out my talk and just read it. When I'm on the spot like that, I can't think clearly! But thankfully, it's over.

Brent did a wonderful job. He hardly even cried - which made him very happy. I spoke about Agency, and he spoke about Accountability for that Agency. Wish I could speak like he does. Seriously. He doesn't even get nervous. He just gets mad when he cries.

After our Sacrament Meeting I went home and crawled into bed. I took two Advil this morning, and they didn't even take the edge off of this head pain. Surgery = NO FUN. So I slept until the kids woke me up for family scripture and prayer time.

Mercedes' school starts on Thursday and I've not registered her yet! Oopsie. Before we went to Utah, I'd left messages and gotten no return calls from the district office. Now that we're back and school is starting soon, I don't have to have an appointment but they are closed on Fridays (the first day that I was off of the hard drugs and allowed to drive last week). The poor girl is so worried. The other day she said, "Mommy, what if you don't get me registered in time and I can't go to school?!" So that's #1 on my list tomorrow. Tonight when she said our family prayer, she said "Please bless us that Mommy will feel up to registering me for school and that it will be sunny and maybe we can walk on the beach." The district office is right on the coast of the Puget Sound, and the kids have been anxious to visit the beach.

Better get off to bed.