Wednesday, August 27, 2008


This year we (and by we I mean Preston because I was 9 months pregnant) had the daunting task of landscaping our yard. Luckily for us our yard is pretty small. Unluckily for us, it had a pretty bad slope in the back which meant we had to build a retaining wall before we could back fill everything and then haul in gravel and topsoil. Also unluckily for us, leveling out the yard meant that our 6 foot fence suddenly turned into a 3 foot fence. Oh and did I mention that before we could do ANY of that, we had to dig trenches and lay sprinkler pipe and install the entire sprinkler system - because we did!?!
Annie even got in on the action. I'm sure grandpa thought she was really helpful too! 10 points to each of our dads for giving up their Saturdays for about a month to help us with the laborious task. Again, by us I really mean Preston and our dads and our brothers-in-law. After we got all that done, it was finally time for laying the sod. And voila, a few months later, we have a yard!

Except for the spontaneous death of some of my plants and flowers, I think it looks pretty good, all things considered.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

explaining patriotism...

Annie loves it when I tell her stories about things. We'll be driving in the car and she'll say "tell me a story about a cow mom" or "tell me a story about when you were little mom". Sometimes she'll ask to hear stories about the most obscure things in the world - and I try to oblige.

With all the Olympic coverage we've been watching she has gotten very acquainted to seeing the American flag and hearing the National Anthem (as if putting the flag out at our house every morning and bringing it in every night weren't enough). So the other day we were driving in the car and she said "tell me a story about the flag mom".

I started telling her about what the 13 stripes and the 50 stars meant. I told her about the colors and about how the flag has changed. Then I started telling her about Francis Scott Key and why he wrote the National Anthem. Before I knew it I had launched off into a 20 minute "speech" about patriotism and why America is so special and how we should feel so grateful to live here. I told her about the soldiers and why they fought and died for this wonderful country. I was crying because explaining it is different from thinking it or even feeling it. I came to realize you can't explain patriotism, it is something you just have to feel.

Both Preston and I are so fiercely patriotic. He can't make it through the National Anthem without crying and one mention of America the Beautiful and I'm a puddle of tears on the floor. We both love to read about American History and WWII. Some of my heroes can be found among the Founding Fathers like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington.

How do you explain the tears filling your eyes when you see a soldier carrying the flag in a parade or jets flying overhead? How do you explain the love you feel for a war veteran, even one you've never met? How do you explain your gratitude for being afforded the blessing of living in America?

By the end of my "speech" I looked back and Annie had fallen asleep, but hopefully one day she FEELS the same way we do about this wonderful country we're blessed to live in!

This is last year at the Swiss Days Parade. We tried explaining that you stand and put your hand over your heart when the flag passes you by. It ended up being more of a hiel hitler sort of gesture, but at least she tried!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

scooter instead...

Annie's Grandma Lisa got her a wonderful princess bike for her birthday and decided to give it to her early so she could enjoy it all summer instead of just part of it. Well, Annie decided it was too scary to ride the bike because it was too tippy (even with the training wheels), so she NEVER rode it. It just takes up space in our garage to this day. So when people were asking me what she wanted for her birthday, I decided maybe a scooter was a better idea for our resident chicken.

Her Grandma Lori found her this adorable scooter - and it even has 3 wheels so it's not tippy. She really loves riding it (although she is still as careful as can be because she's not the bravest soul). So I decided to capture her in all of her birthday scooter riding glory. Oh and when your 4 year old decides her outfit matches and looks cute, there is no convincing her otherwise.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

quarterly bad mom...

I hope it's "normal" to feel like a completely inadequate mother at least quarterly (although, if I'm telling the truth I feel completely inadequate nightly after my kids are asleep). Each night I resolve to be better, more dedicated and more disciplined as far as my kids are concerned and each morning I wake up the same person.

Annie is a wonderful child...wonderful but she's also four. She wants to do EVERYTHING herself. She wants to choose her own clothes, do her own hair, pick her own schedule - yep, she's ALL girl! By the end of the day my patience has usually run thin. OK, another honest moment, my patience is usually gone by 10am.

I cave in more than I'd like to just so there is no argument (something I SWORE I'd never do) and I just need to be better. This post has nothing to do with anything really, other than to just vent my frustrations with the fact that I feel like there is more I should be doing and that my kids, Annie particularly, deserve more *sigh*.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

daily vent take ten...

While I was pregnant, I couldn't WAIT to not be pregnant anymore. And, while I wouldn't trade non-pregnancy for pregnancy, there are a few things I'd like back.

I would like my pregnancy hair back. As of 3 days ago, my hair began that descent into a state of awfulness from which there is no return for at least 6 weeks! It doesn't matter how many times I wash it, it still looks like an oil ball. It doesn't matter how many times I brush and style it, nothing helps. Soon, so much hair will have fallen out I will have little wispy fly-aways all over my head and look like one of those people who is touching that electric ball thingy. It is a wonder and amazement that I still actually have hair because most of it is on my bathroom floor or on its way to the city dump (yesterday was garbage day).

I would like my waistline back. I'm not one of those people whose baby weight comes off 5 minutes after they have their baby (side note: if you are that person, we can no longer be friends and if we're already not friends I'm sorry for you, but there is no hope for us in the future). I was so excited to have my baby and finally have a waist again. Well that was wishful thinking...what I have isn't a waist at all, it's more like one continuous love handle. So I got a bright idea and figured I'd exercise. I got one of those exercise balls (which is kicking my butt) and started on my merry way. Every muscle in my body is sore, which I figured was a good thing - I MUST be losing weight. So I got on the scale after 3 or 4 days of the exercise ball and what do you know??? I GAINED 6 pounds! Am I the only person that can exercise and gain weight?

I would like my smaller feet back. With each of my pregnancies, my feet have gotten bigger (oh great, even my feet gain weight). We're not talking the normal swelling, we're talking an increase in shoe size. In high school I wore a size 9 1/2-ish. When I got pregnant with Annie I had to start buying a size 10. Shopping for shoes isn't my favorite thing in the world *gasp* so I don't do it very often. So when Preston and I were in Santa Monica my feet were hurting so I decided to stop in at the Sketcher store to get some new shoes. I asked the dude for a 10, my normal size. He brings them out and they were TOO SMALL! I finally ended up leaving the store with some size 11 flip flops (aka water skis). Raise your hand if you've EVER seen a cute shoe in size 11...I didn't think so!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

my head is going to explode...

Every now and again, I come to a point where I just can't take it anymore. I don't understand how people can be so dumb. But Emily, can't you just understand that people have different opinions than you do? Yes, I guess I understand that, but I just don't know why people enjoy being wrong!

I have been faithfully watching the Olympics, I LOVE it! I don't think I've missed even an hour of coverage (thank you DVR). But if I see ONE MORE alternative energy commercial showcased during the primetime of the Olympics, I think my head might explode. Seriously, why do so many people think that alternative energy is the answer to the "energy crisis"? How about instead of spending billions and billions of dollars on something that could at best produce 20% of our energy, we drill off of our own shores? Every other country is doing it, why aren't we? Or how about we just claim the right to 1/2 of Iraq's oil? We've bought and paid for it with billions of dollars and nearly 4,000 lives. Instead, we're lobbying against other countries for the right to drill and purchase the their oil. Or how about instead of burning up our food source and calling it fuel (which by the way is less clean and more expensive to refine than oil) we just EAT the corn?

Does any of this seem difficult? It doesn't involve building any new oil wells and drilling in environmentally sensitive areas. We don't have to upset the environmentalists, though heaven knows I'd love that. We don't have to fork over billions of dollars in pipeline or man hours.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

cake wrecks...

This is quite possibly one of the funniest blogs I've seen in a long time. I don't know where people come up with this stuff. The guys commentary is every bit as funny as the pictures. They're all worth looking at and reading but I've added links to a few of my favorite ones...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

daily vent take nine...

Everyone has a vent about driving and bad drivers so it is inevitable that I'd finally have one. Truthfully, I could have vented MANY times before this about the bad drivers I've encountered while on the road but I've saved it until I can't stand it one second longer!

Is it just my car that attracts the worst drivers on the planet? Seriously, if there is a bad driver within a mile of my car, it is like there is some magnetic field that pulls them toward me.

What is it about women and roundabouts that don't mix...specifically middle aged and older women? It's not that tough, it's like an organized doughnut. There are no stop signs, no lights - simple.

So I get to a roundabout today and the old lady in front of me stops at the point of entry and waits....and waits....and waits until there is not a car in sight (and since it is a pretty crowded intersection, it was a long time). Most of the cars oncoming were turning before they even got to her. So FINALLY she pulls out into the roundabout and what do you know, stops again in the middle of the roundabout when she sees a car approaching. It took me like 45 minutes just to make it through the roundabout!

I hate it when people cut through parking lots! I'm guilty of doing it but I try not to do it often and if I do, I'm at least aware of other cars around me who are trying to abide by the lines. So yesterday I'm going to a store and pulling into the parking lot. I was driving correctly and not cutting through when some lady in a Cadillac going like 50 mph on a diagonal, cuts across the WHOLE parking lot and pulls right in front of me and STOPS. I could tell she was aiming for this parking spot that I was headed for and since I had been driving correctly, I sped up and pulled right in to the spot. My car isn't that nice, I have insurance, don't think I didn't think about ramming her right in the side of her car, because I did!

I hate it when you're trying to pull into a place like a gas station or fast food restaurant or some place like that and there is a car waiting to pull out only they are RIGHT in the middle so nobody can get in OR out or around until they pull out. My mom does this a lot!

The carpool lane is NOT the fast lane...nor is it the slow lane for single old men. I hate it when I'm in the carpool lane and going like 75 (my average speed on the freeway) and someone comes racing up behind me and rides my tail hoping that I'll go faster...not going to happen chuck! I also hate it when I'm in the carpool lane and there is some single old guy in the lane going like 45. He is usually always from Idaho and in a Ford Taurus. I also hate it when I'm in the carpool lane and people stare me down like I don't have enough people in my car to be driving in the carpool 2 kids are people too!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

happy 3 months...

Halle is 3 months old this week and I can hardly believe it! It has gone so fast and I hate it. She is such a happy and content baby, I don't know how I lucked out 2 times. I thought for sure she would be a nightmare because Annie was so good (I guess there is still time). It's also funny because she is so fat! Annie was skin and bones when she was a baby but Halle is packing on the pounds - so it's fun to have a chubby baby!

Monday, August 11, 2008

my nose...

I've never claimed that I have a small nose. I'm on a diet (not a very successful one if I must say) and I think I've lost like 5 pounds - not very much. BUT with every pound I loose, my nose seems like it get bigger! So now I have a quandary...if I lose weight I'll be skinner but I might end up with a GIGANTIC schnoz. Or I can stay a little bit fat and have a proportionate nose...

Friday, August 8, 2008


It's only 2:00 and already it's been one of "those days". First of all, I woke up feeling more tired than I did when I went to bed last night. Then for breakfast Annie decided she wanted Rice Krispies. So she's like 3 bites into her bowl of cereal when she decides that climbing on the counter would be a good idea. It was when I told her to get off that she accidentally kicked her bowl of cereal onto the floor. Luckily the bowl didn't break but unluckily Rice Krispies went EVERYWHERE. Have you ever tried cleaning up soggy Rice Kripies from every inch of the kitchen? I don't recommend it.

Then when I went upstairs to change the baby's diaper, Annie decided she wanted to eat Shredded Wheat. She pulled the nearly empty and full of crumbs bag out and it happened to be upside down. So right after I finished cleaning up the Rice Krispies, I got to clean up Shredded Wheat. Bless her heart, when I got downstairs she had pulled a rag out of the drawer and was trying to clean it up. It actually was only making it worse but 10 points for trying.

Then for lunch I fixed her a cup of noodles (we have NO FOOD, I have to go to the grocery store). Well half way through that, you'll never guess what happened...yep, she spilled it!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

unimportant things...

I couldn't think of anything to blog about so I stole this from Jamie's blog (thanks Jamie). I'm supposed to list 6 unimportant things about myself and if you read this, do the same can never know too many uninteresting things about a person right?

#1 - I am a TOTAL dork. I don't just mean that I say weird things every now and again, I really am such a geek. For example...I like learning words and figuring out what they mean and then using them in my everyday conversations. My newest word is tangentially. Another dorky thing about me is that I made up a song so that I could learn all the Presidents of the United States in order - first, middle and last names too! Ask me any of them...9 was Henry Harrison. One more thing...I am a closet Lord of the Rings fanatic. I am about one cape short of showing up at a convention.

#2 - I am addicted to snow cones - particularly the ones by Dan's on Highland Drive in Salt Lake. I have packed the kids in the car and driven up there more than once this summer to satisfy a craving. I have tried others but they just don't compare. My favorite flavor used to be Green Apple with extra cream until they changed it. Now I like Red Raspberry with extra cream - gee, I wonder why I can't lose weight?!?

#3 - I am horrible at math but I am really good with numbers. For example, I can't do 9 times 7 without a calculator but I can remember phone numbers, birthdays, addresses, old locker combinations, etc. with no problem.

#4 - I got lasik for my birthday...except that I didn't get it. When you get lasik they cut a flap on your eye so the laser can go in and correct your prescription - at which point you go blind for a few minutes they make the correction and then fold the flap back over and everything is supposed to be fabulous again. So there I was, with my eyeball in the machine and I heard the machine make a cut, went blind, and then heard the doctor yelling at everyone. I had no idea what was going on, I couldn't see and he's yelling at all the nurses asking why they messed it up - that was awesome! Turns out the machine cut my eyeball crooked and I couldn't get the surgery...odds of that happening: 1 in 18,000. I should have gone to Vegas instead!

#5 - My ring finger on my left hand is longer than my pointer finger - which I just read in the American Journal of Medicine gives me a greater chance of getting Alzheimer's. What was my name again?

#6 - I wish I spoke with a British accent. I wish that since I don't that I could at least fake it well, but I can't - not even a little bit. Whenever I try to speak with any sort of accent I sound like a pre-pubescent boy with down syndrome (no offense intended).

Monday, August 4, 2008

happy birthday...

Annie recently turned FOUR and I can hardly believe it! I swear we just skipped right over 3 and went straight from 2 to 4. She is such an amazing little girl and teaches me so much every single day.

When she woke up on her birthday she said "mom, do my feet look bigger because I'm 4"? Also, when we got home after all the days activties, she just looked at me and said "mom, I had such a good day".

One of her favorite things to do is swim so we decided to go to Seven Peaks for her birthday. She had a great time and said her favorite things were the big waterslides.


One of the presents Annie got was a Bella Dancerella set from Netty. It has a DVD, a wand and a dance mat and they teach you how to dance. Well, Netty also bought her this princess dance leotard to go along with the dance set. Annie about died and went to heaven. She has worn it for 12+ hours every day since she got it...

In case you're wondering if the Costco cupcakes are as good as their "regular" cakes, the answer would be YES...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

daily vent take eight...

This one is short and I also realize I'm going to tick off about half of my friends with this one - but I don't care. And, if you're truly my friends, you're used to it anyway...

I HATE private blogs!

I don't understand them. I guess it's not so bad once you've signed on and you're already a registered reader but holy crap it's a pain. Besides it being a pain, it takes all the fun out of blog hopping - something I just spent the last hour and a half doing and LOVED every second of it - except for the dumb people who had private blogs, yours were NOT fun to read!

What's there to be afraid of? I'll pay someone $5 if they personally know someone who has had something bad happen to them directly because of their blog. If it's privacy you're after - write in a journal.

Now, I'm not suggesting that I'm going to list my address and social security number on my blog but I just don't get what the big deal is?!?