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


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.