Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ode to a blogger we love

Happy Birthday Whitney

(substitute bogger: not-at-all-hip slightly older dad)

Readers be warned – this post is by a substitute blogger. If you are new to this site, please refer to other posts. For those of you who are frequent visitors: Be happy that you are entertained by someone other than me.

Did you all know that it is Whitney’s Birthday? It is. She was born 25 years ago on this very day; happy birthday, Whitney.

Whitney rarely uses this blog to talk about how amazing she is. Today I will do it for her. Some people may ask me, why? Well, Whitney is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. She does so much for me and others, and deserves a little public recognition. I could go on forever about this wonderful wife and mother, but for her birthday:

25 things that I admire about Whitney

Whitney is…

1- Happy – an emotion that she likes to spread around.

2- Trusting – sometimes too trusting, but she wants to trust people.

3- Selfless – whether it is me in school or the kids’ health, she has a history of putting her needs behind the needs and comforts of others.

4- A good cook – she continues to make delicious, nutritious food even though 70% of time the kids turn their noses up and refuse to eat.

5- A creative writer, with a style that makes me smile – you all keep coming back to her blog; you probably agree.

6- Friendly – She is good at jumping in to friendships, which has served her well throughout her life as she’s moved around the country.

7- Thrifty – Whitney is constantly out to get a good deal; she has an amazing ability to weigh the deal and only jumps on the very best ones, even if walking away is painful.

8- Hard working – You’ve seen what our kids do; our house would not be standing without her hard work.

9- Compassionate – If someone is hurting, she looks for a way to help.

10- Stubborn – She will not back down from a point that is important to her.

11- Passionate – an attribute that permeates all parts of her life, increasing the intensity of all other traits.

12- Smart – Did anybody know that she was valedictorian at her high school?

13- Knowledgeable – Whitney doesn’t accept things on a whim; she is an independent thinker that wants to understand – especially before she passes information on.

14- Strong – Sometimes I call her “sherpa” because she’ll come in from the car carrying a kid in each hand with several grocery bags draped from her wrists.

15- Positive – No matter how tough life gets, Whitney looks up.

16- An art enthusiast – I love to go to museums with Whitney because the art evokes such emotion in her. She loves it and it brightens her life.

17- An avid reader – It amazes me how fast she can get through a book – they aren’t just novels either, Whitney reads a variety of books (see point 13).

18- Loquacious – I admire this trait because it is definitely one that I lack. Whitney is happy to engage in conversation with anyone, she also has a notable vocabulary.

19- Supportive – Whitney sees things that are important to me and makes sure that I can excel at them. I would have never made it through graduate school without her.

20- Beautiful – I love her. Even in the morning before she gets ready, I still think she looks great.

21- Adventurous – She is not afraid to try new things. I tested this one a lot while we were dating.

22- Fun – she likes it, and is a girl that really just wants to have it.

23- Loyal – She does not participate in gossip, and will cut someone off if they start.

24- Genuine – What you see is what you get with Whitney; she doesn’t put on a front.

25- My wife – Need I say more? I adore her because she is my wife. She knows me well – strengths and weaknesses and continues to love me in spite of them.

Whitney loves comments, so if you happened to this site on her birthday – wish her happy birthday - give her the gift of blog. I know there are many of you out in blogland who love to read her blog. Let her know.

Happy Birthday Whitney!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Missing: 1 Easy Baby

*gasp* it's another post 2 days later! Shocker, I know. If you haven't been here for a while, scroll down a bit and read the "real" post and not just this rant ;)

A mere 3 months ago, I had a happy, content little girl in my house. She was active, more than a little mischievous, but over-all, manageable. Where did she go!?! I so haven't been able to find her since her first birthday. You know what the meanies gave me instead? A holy terror of a hellion in curls. That's right, folks. Scarlett is easy no more. Sure, she's still got the long batting eyelashes and ever-present grin, but now there's definitely something menacing in that could even call it a smirk of sorts. But, one might say, she's still a baby! She doesn't know what she's doing! To that I say, bull crap. She knows exactly what she's doing and finds great pleasure in it. Every time I turn around that girl is going after Georgia to hit her with something or pull her hair (Georgia shrieks the loudest and so gets targeted the most), climbing onto the computer desk in order to throw things off of it, climbing onto the dining room table in order to dump things on it (yesterday it was a box of straight pins (twice) into a spilled cup of juice and a dumped bowl of cereal). She's constantly trying to pull a framed poster off the wall on top of her, chew crayons into little bits, throw every single dish out of the dishwasher, or playing in (used) toilet water. When she's not getting into mischief, she's writhing on the floor in a tantrum that befits a much older girl because I haven't dropped everything to hold her constantly. Then, when I do break down and hold her, she rewards me by constantly turning off/playing with the computer while I'm typing, trying to get her fingers chopped off while I'm cooking, or crushing my makeup while I'm getting ready (if she's not to busy trying to eat the toilet brush). To top it all off, she's bumped herself down to a single 45 minute nap a day.'s that bad.

Her saving grace? The fact that she still loves to cuddle and she's extremely happy while mischief-making. I'll take a grinning naughty little imp over a surly, grumpy one any day. Oh, that and the fact that she's still friggin' adorable.

Today's punishment: After I found her splashing around in spilled juice and eggs on top of the table, I held her down and put pigtails in her hair to convince me I had a little girl instead of a she-devil in disguise. Everyone knows that she-devils don't wear curly pigtails and corkers, right?

Don't let the wide-eyed innocence fool you.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My house smells like bubbilicious (and other tidbits of life)

I know, I know, I'm well past my usual "at least once a week" blog post due date. It's just...well...there isn't a whole lot going on. It's post-Christmas, pre-birthday and Valentine's Day, and mostly we've just hibernated in the 3 (!!!) degree weather (luckily it's warming back up into the 30s and 40s now). Then again, I suppose, there's always a few things one can manage to muse upon.

First off, my house smells like bubbilicious. This weekend, I noticed my 2 wallflowers had ran out of juice, so I swung by Bath & Body Works while in the mall on my quest for fabulous jeans. Feeling the need to spring Spring a little early, I figured I'd try something fun, fruity, and a little exotic. I happened upon the Pineapple Orchid scent and thought I had found my match. That was...until I plugged it in. It's just so fruuuity and sweeeeet (minus the exotic). It took me about a day to figure out what the scent reminded me of, but once I labeled it, it was absolutely unmistakable. As I don't completely abhor it, combined with the fact that I'm uber-cheap (I spent a whole $5 on a pack of two)...bubbilicious-smelling my house will remain.


Next up...Remember this post about the giveaway on The Vintage Pearl? Well, guess what?!? I so totally won. How super-duper exciting is that? I got my gift (a circle chain bracelet) in the mail last week and I was beyond pleased with it. Not only that, but the sweet girl who runs the place threw in a replacement chain for my dainty name necklace for free because I had mentioned the need to purchase a new one in an email I sent her about winning the giveaway (mine broke a few months back). How cool and uber-sweet is that? Now I'm officially the proud owner of two Vintage Pearl pieces and I'm so in love with them both.

Last summer, Spencer and I began our hunt for the perfect new dining table and chair set. We soon realized that with our non-existent budget, that perfect new table would actually have to be a less-than-new table. *sigh* Undeterred, I hunted high and low on craigslist and at garage sales. Mid-summer, I found it. It was just the right combination of clean lines and whimsy detail work. Not only that, it was a mere $75 for the table and six chairs. Only problem, the set definitely needed to be painted, reinforced, glued, puttied, reupholstered, etc. I left it up to Spencer because I knew he'd be doing the majority of the work. He figured it'd be a relatively easy project, just fairly time-consuming and so we went for it. It's an old-school harvester table, so the two ends pull out, making it really quite long when the need arises, but slides back in for compact, everyday use. It was perfect fit for our little dining space.

A mere (ha!) 6 months later, we have a fabulous new dining set that I am soooo in love with. Kudos to my fabulous husband who, as predicted, really did do a majority of the work. I helped a bit with a little painting and sanding of the table and reupholstering the chairs, but he did all the rest, which was A LOT.

Warning: these are crap pictures. I had my sewing stuff in the corner, a towel draped over Ezra's chair to avoid messes, my floor was desperately in need of a thorough vacuuming, and the light was horrendous. The blinds in the background, however, now those I love [insert eye roll here]. Consider yourself warned.

Georgia hates getting her hair done. She screams and writhes, making the already-painful and difficult task of getting the snarls out of her curls all the more painful and difficult. She does not like any kind of pigtails, ponytails, braids, etc. in her hair and insists, if she allows us to do anything at all, that we only put a bow clip in. As if the whole process wasn't frustrating enough, Georgia has now decided that she wants her hair flat and straight. So, she spends the entire hair-doing time trying to push her hair flat with her hands, the whole time insisting that her hair is "ugy" and "not bootiful" like I say it is and that she only wants it "fyat" and "taite". Come ON! I spend my entire friggin' life wishing for curly, voluminous hair (I have the thinnest, straightest, flattest hair ever) only to have a daughter that daily hates hers. To top it off, she's two!!! This is something I expected sometime around age 14, but 2 and a half!? You've got to be kidding me, right? I predict a looong 16 years in our future. *sigh*

Scarlett's skin has been hit really hard by the recent bitter cold. Particularly her face. Therefore, she's almost continually lathered with lotion. Well...apparently that's given her some ideas of her own. As, at the time, she couldn't get a hold of the Eucerin, she decided that Butt Paste would have to do.

The hilarious thing about this, though, is that Ezra was so shocked by the whole thing. He's the one who found her and came a-running to me completely scandalized. All it took was a couple minutes searching through the blog archives to remind him, and me, of Ezra's escapades slathering lotion-like substances all over his body, the walls, the carpet, etc. This didn't happen only a couple of times, but in fact, all. the. time.

(In case you're curious, Ezra was about 2 yrs 4 months in these pics)

Since we're talking about Ezra...

My friend, Heather, recently introduced me to the book, Parenting the Ephraim's Child. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, this book was like a being given a life raft while on a sinking ship. I'm so often so completely overwhelmed and bewildered while raising my children and I felt, more then once, that I was drowning. Discovering that I was raising two Ephraim's Children (with the strong potential of one more in Scarlett) not only gave me guidance in my parenting, but it, more importantly, let me know that I was not alone. My kids, Ezra especially, are extreeemely high maintenance. They're extremely emotionally intense, active (more Georgia on that one then Ezra), sensitive, picky, often difficult children. I love them dearly despite, and often because of their intense personality traits and this book has reminded me of all the good that can come from those traits. Georgia's not just manipulative, but she's also charismatic. Stubbornness is not just negative, it also has a positive flipside in persistence. Not only that, but it helped me recognize in myself a previous Ephriam's Child. It helps me understand my own children better when I can remember so many of the same emotions and experiences growing up. So, to any of you out there feeling completely overwhelmed with your handful of a child, know that I understand. I really, truly understand and I'd love to introduce you to my new best friend of a book.

Friday, January 8, 2010

How's this for positive karma?

In an attempt to thwart some of the negative karma from the last post, I'm attempting a more positive vibe on this next one...So, here's my first gratitude post pretty much ever.

Thank you to the sassy post office lady with the big smile. After seeing my predicament of carrying a very heavy, sleeping 2 year old while simultaneously wrangling a wiggly 14 month old, she offered to ship one of them for me instead of my package. She even put my debit card and receipt in my wallet for me while I was running after Scarlett (who I had put down in desperation).

Thanks to James who managed to make me laugh (when I really wanted to cry) while I was wrestling a shrieking Georgia into the cart at Target. It was a big "we're all in this together" sort of relief.

Thank you to Heather, Adrienne, Coty, and Lauren who make me feel normal. I love how we can relate in nearly every single way.

Thanks tons to Stephanie for never thinking I'm shallow when I call to whine about, well, shallow things.

Thank you to the sweet lady who told me that my children were just a bundle of adorable. When I responded that they were "a bundle of something all right," she replied that "even when they're ornery, at least they're cute doing it."

A big thank you to the members who tolerate the shrieking trio in the back of the chapel at church. An even bigger thanks to the ones that not only tolerate but embrace their strong personalities, helping even me see the humor in Georgia and Scarlett dashing away, up the aisle, in the middle of numerous talks.

Thanks to Aubrey, Kristin H., and Jenna for recognizing I have a brain.

Thank you to the nice old lady who tells me my children are lovely and that I remind her of herself in an age gone by. There's a whole lot of you and I just want to hug every last one.

Eternal gratitude to Liberty for letting me call and not minding the constant cacophany of shrieks and tears in the background...or occasional foreground. Thank you for all the hours you keep me company each week.

Thank you to the guy who pushed my heavy stroller up a extremely steep hill in the middle of a Utah snow storm. It happened about three years ago, but I've never forgotten you. I just don't know how I would've done it without you. It was this hill (with pavement instead of stairs) if you're curious.

Colossal thanks to my darling husband for putting up with all of my emotional quirks. He's definitely my better half.

Loads of thanks to the fifty million people who hold open doors, steady carts, and smile at me while I'm dealing with screaming, sticky, darting children.

So, how was that for some positive karma?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Musings of Christmas, etc.

I've been a loser and haven't taken many pictures in a long time. oops.

Christmas was good. So were all the festivities leading up to it. Sorry for the lack of pictures...refer to previous comment.

My little brother, Mackenzie, just left for the MTC on the 30th. I'm so, so proud of him. He'll be serving in the Roseville, CA mission.

Our transmission blew out on our van on New Years Eve while I was driving home with the kids all. by. myself...2 hours away from the middle of nowhere. Yeah, it was pretty sucky. Heaven knows it's going to cost us an arm and a leg.

I trimmed Georgia's hair for the first time ever. She just had a layer of scraggly, thin curls at the bottom, so I just evened things up a bit. shhhh, don't tell her, though. I made sure she was completely distracted when I did it, so that she wouldn't get any ideas about taking scissors to her own hair. (hence, I didn't even bother trying to cut the curls perfectly straight...I mean they're curls, for heaven sake, who is even going to notice?) Right now I've got her completely convinced that only boys cut their hair.

Oh, and my kids are being total b-r-a-t-s. yep, all three of them. Hopefully getting back to our usual routine will help. I'm just so burnt out right now.

That is all.

Ok, ok, now that I look, I guess Spencer did take a few pictures for me. I suppose I'll post them...I can hear the complaining from miles away. Just know that it's your voices I hear in my head, Steph and Lib.

Georgia, Cooper, and Gavin attempting to act out the nativity with my nativity blocks. Dedicated Coop is trying his darndest, but the little kids' craziness kept on thwarting things. (We figured it'd be loads easier to do it with blocks rather then costumes. If we had went with the costumes, inevitably Ezra would've been screaming about having something less-than-ideal on his body, Gavin would've been sword-fighting with his shepard's crook, Georgia would've used the opportunity to streak around naked, etc. I can just hear the yelling now.)

Liberty's adorable little man, Gunnison

Aunt Jemimah Scarlett. With a bigger mouth thrown in, obviously.

For the record, it was actually Scarlett's idea to do the ribbon on the head. Georgia just stole it. She's good at that.

Ezra was absolutely enamored with his GeoTrax set. We could have given that to him and nothing else and he would've been perfectly content. Too bad it's currently sitting 100 miles away in our mini-van. grrr.

Something to cuddle with for our own little cuddler.

And this would be how Georgia spent most of her Christmas morning. A touch of the flu combined with not being a morning person=one grumpy toddler.

So, re-reading this, I realize this post has somewhat of a negative vibe to it. Sorry about that, dearies, but it's what you're gettin', so deal with it.