Friday, January 25, 2008

Sweet Home Alabama

Ok, so it's not exacly my home, but it is my sister's and I'm heading there! My mom, my sister Stephanie (and two of her kids), and I (and my two kids) are leaving to go visit my sister Liberty in Alabama tomorrow morning. Lib's husband Kit is out of town for the month, so we're all going out to help out with her three adorable little boys for a week. So if you don't hear much from me in the next week, that's why. I know most of ya'll would think we're more than a little crazy to drive 12-14 hrs. across the country with a 2 yr old, a 3 yr old, and two infants in the car only to go and help out with a 5 yr old (5, right-I think Jos is 5...), a 2 yr old, and an infant in a teeny-tiny house, no less-and honestly, we probably are. But that's ok, because despite the fact that we'll run ourselves ragged and probably pull out some hair in the meantime, we're just going to have the bestest time ever...because that's what sisters do.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Missing: 1 Lace Tablecloth

So, I've been called to be the enrichment counselor in our Relief Society Presidency (I believe in many wards it's called the 2nd counselor). I'm more than a little nervous, to say the least. They just pulled me from my previous calling as personal progress leader in the Young Women. How exactly does one go from that calling to the other? Not to mention the fact I'm only 23, in a ward full of much older, mature ladies. I don't even own a lace tablecloth...sigh.

I just think the Lord has a sense of humor.

Friday, January 18, 2008

My fabuwous Ezra

Ezra says and does such funny and cute things that I figured I'd share some of them with ya'll.
1. He likes to point out the moon in the sky during the day. I think Spencer told him what it was once and he just latched on to the idea.

2. Whenever he eats something he likes, he says it der-icious. Other pleasing things are considered fabuwous (wonder where he got that one:P).

3. Ezra loves horses. Granddad's horses aren't actually Granddad's horses anymore. Ezra calls them his horses and even knows them by name and sight. Lucy, Fox (although that one sounds like a swear word when he says it:P), Jack, and Jill.

4. He's caught onto the expression, "I got an idea!" The funny thing is he thinks that statement is an end unto itself. No need to follow up with an actual idea, Ezra just likes to inform us he has one.

5. Ez'll steal Georgia's socks and hide them, just so he can walk around looking in different places and saying, "Nope! Not here!" After an appropriate length of time looking for said sock, he discovers it and does a little marching dance.

6. He made up a song today while waiting for me to make his chicken nuggets. It went something like this: Chicken Nuggets/Chicken Nuggets!/They're coming/They're coming!/(grand finale) Chicken Nuggets are COMING!!

7. Whenever we practice him turning down food, Ezra says, "No thank you, I'm allergic. I'm allergic to milk, nuts, and girls." (ok, this one might have been fed to him, but it's still hilarious to hear him say it)

8. You sing Ezra a song maybe three times and he'll remember it and be able to sing along with you. He loves any kind of song-primary songs, hymns, nursery rhymes, theme songs (Broccoli/Celery/Gotta be...Veggie Tales!) and his own made-up songs (refer to #6). We discovered he knew all of How Great Thou Art the other day (or, as he likes to say, "how gweat thou waart"). It's not a song we sing real often, but somehow Ez had picked it up. I'm still trying to get him to sing it for the camera and when I do, ya'll will be the first to see it.

9. Presently, Ezra has a swollen and bruised eye from a bump against our foot rest, a small blood blister on his finger, and a dying, light gray front tooth. Yep, he's that active.

10. He knows how to work our entire DVD player. He can turn it on, open it, switch out the DVDs, close it, and push play. Ez does this all by standing on my glider footrest (and no, it is not stable, hence the eye mishap). Oddly enough, he hasn't figured out how to change the channels on the TV to get to the one where the movie will show up. When he gets that one, we're in real trouble. Then again, with his mischievous grin and those baby blues, I'm beginning to think we already are...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Pizza Paradise

For Family Home Evening on Monday night, we decided to make pizzas! It was a lot of fun now that Ezra's old enough to help "decorate" them. After a minor snafu when we had to return a moldy pizza crust to the grocery store (ewww!), we were ready to begin!


It was just so much fun putting toppings on the pizzas that we ended up with loads of different kinds. We used mushrooms, olives, pepperoni, ham, red onions, and pineapple chunks...I told you there was a lot! We left off the cheese, of course. While they were cooking, I gave a fun little lesson on how we're grateful to Heavenly Father for giving us our bodies which help us do lots of things, like taste nummy pizzas. We finished off by singing Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes, which Ezra got very into (as he does with most songs).

After the lesson, the eating began. Ezra loves pizza, although he insists on stripping the slice of any toppings. I've had lots of people commend me for "trying" to eat pizza without the cheese, but it's actually really good. You know how sometimes you'll dip breadsticks in pizza sauce at pizza parlors? Well, eating cheese-less pizza tastes a lot like that, only you get the added bonus of toppings! What's not to love? It's also a bit crunchier, which is fun in it's own way.

Ezra takes his pizza-eating very seriously

Georgia kept trying to eat the camera

Overall, it was a great way to spend the evening and gave me the motivation to try to keep up with regular FHEs. I have to hand it to my dear husband, the pizza-making was all his idea. I would definitely recommend it to everyone with little ones, we had a ball! Have a fabulous day!

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Mummy Tummy

So...I have a bit of a problem. I've lost all my baby weight (and a few extra pounds), but my stomach is still looking woefully post-baby. It's not that my tummy is all that big; it's just so mushy and wrinkly. My mom, my sister Stephanie, and I were discussing yesterday how sometimes we'll catch a glance of ourselves in the mirror while changing and just be shocked and appalled at what we see. I know that sounds a little harsh, but if your body has been ravaged by babies, I'm sure you'll understand. My skin isn't all that elastic (or so I've been told), and it's hasn't recovered much from pregnancy. I understand that I can't do much about the wrinkly a bad neighbor in an ugly house, that's here to stay. I would however like to do something about the mushy tummy muscles. I ignored the mush after I had Ezra because I planned on getting pregnant very soon and frankly, I just don't think it was this bad. The fact that it seems to be getting worse with each pregnancy gives me a sense of urgency in getting rid of it in the hopes that it won't be quite so bad next time. So I'm begging for your help! If you've been able to tone your stomach muscles at all post-baby, please tell me how. Things are getting a little desperate! really is that bad. If anything, the picture's a little flattering.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Baby Names

Don't you just love baby names! ok-maybe you don't, but I sure do. There's possibly nothing on this planet that I enjoy discussing more than baby names (except for maybe weddings-that's a close second). No, this is not a pregnancy announcement if any of ya'll are getting any ideas. I just have loads of pregnant friends right now so it's been on my mind. While I'm definitely not an expert, I seem to usually have my finger on names just 'cause I like them so much. Here are some of the recent names I've discussed and my honest opinions on them:

Sophia-gorgeous, just gorgeous, but again much, much too common (#1 out of 100 on the last list I've seen)
Alice-this name is growing on me (must be those darn Twilight books:P). It's different without being unrecognizable. It might be a little Brady Bunch for some people, but I think it'll be making a come-back.
Emmett-One of my all-time-favorite boy names. I'd use it in a heartbeat, but Spencer says it reminds him of the football player. Very classic without being common...sigh.
Emily-very classic and pretty, but too common (#8)
Xavier-despite what one might think, this name is not as unusual as it used to be. It's presently #67 on the list. I still think that in everyday use, however, your child probably wouldn't have another one in his class and it would still be considered "unique".
Arthur-kids get teased easily enough without having a name that tapes "kick me" on their back. Even the cartoon aardvark is nerdy.
Samuel-definitely stands the test of time, but a bit common. It's definitely being used less these days (only #54 on the list). I'm a fan, although I don't think I'd ever use it.
Owen-incidentally, this is actually Spencer's middle name and his grandfather's name, so we might just end up using it somewhere sometime. It's definitely rising in the ranks (#40), but is still not "common" yet.
Lucy-this is easily one of my very favorite girls names. If I can get over my alliteration aversion, I'll probably use it. It's #85 on the list, but one doesn't actually seem to hear it that often yet. Some people might think it's a little too "old lady"-but that hasn't stopped me yet!

Thanks for listening to me rant on my favorite topic. Feel free to give any of your opinions in the comments. Hopefully I haven't offended anyone...if I have, I'm sorry. Have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

My Girl

It seems that Georgia often gets gypped in the attention arena of life. It's not that I don't think my baby girl is precious and gorgeous and spectacularly intelligent, it's that she seems so mellow next to Ezra that she gets overlooked. It's because of this that for today's post, I'll brag to all ya'll about my beautiful Georgia Marie.

Whitney, Spencer, and Georgia on her Blessing Day

Georgia was born on May 26th, 2007 at 7:25am after 24 hours of labor (the first 12 were merely uncomfortable, though). She was 7 lbs 6 oz and had beautiful dark hair and bright blue eyes. She was a really easy-going infant, and hasn't changed much since.

My beautiful baby girl

Mom and Georgia enjoying some quiet time together

Georgia loved to be held right from the start and would get mad whenever we put her down, whether she was asleep or not. She loves her big brother and always has. When she was little she'd smile at him when he walked in the room and now that she's older she'll laugh at his antics and follows him around. Georgia loves when he tickles and plays with her, although she doesn't love it so much when he covers her with blankets or tries to sit on her. Overall though, they're just the best of friends!

Ezra telling Georgia about all the great things in store

Ezra and Georgia posing for the camera

Georgia's always been pretty active (even in-utero), trying to keep up with big brother Ezra, so were weren't surprised at all when she started to roll over at just under four months and crawl at six months. She hasn't taken a break since.

Georgia movin' and shakin'

Georgia is just such a happy baby! She very much a Mama's girl and gets upset when I'm out of her sight (that includes 3-5 times a night:P). I like to call her my "hip baby" because it seems as if she's always attached to my hip! She's always smiling and giggling at the world. She's brought so much joy and laughter into our home that I can't even imagine life without her anymore. Our family just wouldn't be complete without her! In sum:

I've got sunshine

On a cloudy day.

When it's cold outside,

I've got the month of May.

Well, I guess you'll say

What can make me feel this way?

My girl.

Talkin' 'bout my girl.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Christmas, New Year's, and all that

After my long holiday hiatus, I'm ready to resume my regular (ok, sporadic) schedule. Before I forget, here's a hearty congrats to Kristin (oh...and Dave) on new baby Evie! Welcome to the Mommy Club-we're the coolest!

Christmas Eve was loads of fun. We started with a weenie roast in Mimi and Granddad's back yard, followed by our traditional Family Home Evening. We had a good time playing the bells, listening to the nativity, and reading Mimi's brand new Christmas book. My part of the evening was providing different foods that Mary and Joseph would've eaten on their way to Bethlehem. We drank grape juice and ate dried dates, pomegranate seeds, and apples and pears dipped in honey. We also dipped veggies and pitas in hummus and seasoned olive oil. We also had lots of olives, of course! A lot of the food was surprisingly good. Santa's elves also stopped by and dropped off some Christmas jammies for the kids.

Ezra and his cousins, Cooper and Greyson, enjoy a spot by the fire

Spencer with Ezra and Georgia in their festive PJs

Christmas morning started off with a bang a little after 7:00 when we opened presents. Ezra got a tricycle and he hasn't been off it since. Spencer surprised me with a road bike and we can't wait for the weather to clear so we can start riding. Before then, however, we can ride indoors using the new trainer that I got Spencer for Christmas.

Ezra's ready to roll!

My spiffy new bike (please ignore the ugly brown paneling and carpet:P)

Georgia loves her new towel from Mimi!

We spent New Year's Eve and Day at Granddad and Mimi's too. We had loads of fun playing games, eating good food, and talking, talking, talking (as we Holyoaks are prone to do:). I made some fabulous coconut shrimp and for the benefit of all my admirers, I've included the recipe below...have a fabulous day!

Easy Coconut Shrimp

1 c. flake coconut, toasted

1 pkt. Shake 'N Bake, extra crispy

1/4 tsp. each curry powder and ground red pepper (cayenne)

1 lb. fresh or thawed frozen extra large shrimp, cleaned

1 egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine coconut, Shake 'N Bake, curry powder and red pepper in shallow bowl.

Dip shrimp in egg, then roll in coconut mixture until evenly coated on all sides.

Bake 10-12 min. or until shrimp are cooked through (if shrimp are pre-cooked, then just heat through). Serve with chutney, sweet-and-sour sauce, or pina colada dipping sauce.