Sunday, March 31, 2013

Oh Easter

The prettiest day of the year. 

When the people are pretty, and the weather is pretty and the message is pretty.

So why can't the photos be pretty?

Flipping through the 58 timer-photos from this morning is like a cartoon book. The flipping kind.

It was a beautiful Sabbath morning. Sun shining. Birds chirping.

And then a man and a boy entered the scene. With weird faces because they were lonely.

So a woman enters, carrying The Babe who she has just chased across the field for the umpteenth time in 10 seconds.

But the mean lady immediately insists on confiscating all "pew-ers" (named for the "pew!" sound they make) and other contraband.

But the Short One refuses to relinquish the pew-er. His only shot at happiness.

So she hunts him down. Meanwhile the man becomes a velociraptor capturing and frightening The Babe

Dangling by his fingertips The Babe stretches to reach the ground - FREEDOM!!!

But he is captured by maniacs.

Looking around for an escape route, he takes the chance and runs!
FREEDOM! (again)

But the pew-er wielding Short One is on the loose.

The Short One and The Babe are captured by Velociraptor/Man .....

....and eaten alive.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

What I Ate Today

My famous friend Anne has a blog with the subtitle "and also what I ate today" which always makes me giggle.

Last night I ate some really cool things though.

We had a "foods Jesus would have eaten" dinner with my sisters and their families and my parents too. Since we currently come with a lot of kids, we made it very kid friendly food and talked about the symbolism of some of the things.

We tried some Passover foods that Christ would have eaten that night: bitter herbs (parsley) dipped in salt water, unleavened bread (matzah), lamb, grape juice, Harozet (wrapped in lettuce) and we even washed our hands in special oils before eating.

Then we ate our real dinner, pocket bread, with chicken, tzatiki sauce, greens, grapes, cucumbers, onion, dates, figs, it was a regular feast.

At the end of the night we hid bread throughout the house, turned off all the lights and eat held a candle while we looked for it. Then burn it in the fire place. (representing destroying the sin in each of us.)

It. Was. Awesome.

The kids thought it was cool, they (and I!) learned a lot of cool new things and since we all helped it wasn't too much work for anyone (except Sarah probably...sorry Sarah.)

But my favorite part is that it wasn't about getting presents or candy or stuff.  It was awesome, and fun AND meaningful.

I hope it is a new tradition - I'm already putting it on the calendar for next year.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

I Couldn't Have Taught Him That

Motherhood often has me amazed by the things I need to teach my children.

"Your head is not a napkin."
"We don't lick toilet seats."
"Stand. With your feet on the ground. STAND!"
and my personal favorite this week
"Aim that pee-er down boy."

But now that the boys spend a couple of afternoons each week with the cousins (2 of whom are female) I'm thrilled with things they are learning there.

"Oooh mom. I love your toes - they looks so boo-tiful. How about your fingernails too?"
"May I have this dance please?"
and kissing. Oh the kissing. There's just a special way a boy who misses his momma raises his hands in the air and puckers up as he runs across the room.

And lately it's playing a whole lot of pretend. Yesterday Tommy was a puppy (and John growled), today he was a cat (and John growled) and tomorrow he'll probably be a dinosaur (and John will growl.)

There are just some things I never could have taught them.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Mr. Mom

When Tommy was born I thought I'd be going back to work at the Church Office Building.  But halfway through my maternity leave my sister asked me if I'd be interested in her Medical Billing business - which I was.

So quite a few weeks later I went back to work for a week to train my replacement. Who really didn't need my training - but it was nice that they thought I'd be helpful.

During that week Josh took time off work to stay home with Tommy.

During that week Josh totally showed me up.

Like a lot.

When he'd come home from work before that week, I'd tell him how I had just held Tommy all day and couldn't do anything with two hands. I told him how I would start dinner right away, but I hadn't had the chance yet. Josh never complained. Actually in 4 years I don't think he's ever complained about how much does or doesn't get done while he's gone.

Anyway, during that week I'd come home from work and the house was clean, the baby was happy, the laundry was done and (I'm not lying) he had rotated the food storage.

That's when I knew that this man would make a much better mother than I would. Which is intimidating, and threatening to someone like me. Someone who wants to be doing something because I'm good at it.

So going back to work is terrifying for me. What if Josh is better at being a mom than I am? What if my kids don't miss me? What if he rotates the food storage and scrubs the bathrooms and never gets behind on laundry? OK the truth is none of those would be bad things...just threatening to me.

Well during the last month my boys have been in love with each other. Tommy has started asking Dad for things even when I'm around and Josh has learned how to spend a whole day playing.

But last Friday when I walked through the door from work, Josh was flustered. The boys were both standing at his feet crying and trying to crawl up to his shoulders. He was standing in front of the open fridge and as I walked through the door he sighed "What am I supposed to FEED these people?"

It only took one word from me and everybody jumped into action ending the evening on a high. But for just one teeny tiny moment they were all lost without me.

And the self-righteous prideful part of me loved it. But only because it was just one moment. The kind I know (from experience) always passes.

Friday, March 22, 2013

So You Wanna Pay A Babysitter

It's been a long time since I babysat.

Long enough that I don't remember what I was paid - and I certainly don't think it's relevant anymore.

Tommy is three-and-a-half years old and we've never paid a babysitter. Is this because we're cheapskates? Probably. But also because we have a lot of family. And it never occurred to us that they might like to be compensated for watching the boys.

But this week we had a real live babysitter.

So we paid her at the end of the night.

And as I'm hugging my boys hello and having them gather their shoes and things, I look up and there's Josh pulling money out of his wallet to hand to a responsible young lady and I realize.....

We're old.

Like hiring babysitters old.

Maybe next time we'll even be old enough to arrange for the babysitter ourselves instead of mooching off our friends.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Tommy has been extra tired lately. Because remember how my working has rocked out schedule?

This morning he woke up at 7am. Which is honestly sleeping in for him. But it was still too early.

He woke up crying and did. not. stop. We snuggled, he wanted me to hold him, he wanted breakfast, but he wouldn't eat. He wanted a story, but not that one. He wanted a blanket because he was "frozen bo bozen" but it couldn't cover his toes. The worst of it happened as he plopped down on his bed whimpering "I'm feelin' sad because nobody does love me." We talked about that for a bit, then I started to make the beds and do the laundry and he followed just behind me moaning and groaning.

We tried to reset (reset at my house means get upsidedown, then say "good morning!" again like we just started our day.) but "upside down is too scary" so only I got to play.

Then at exactly 9:30 he marched his butt into the kitchen, chose a bowl and poured himself some cereal with a smile on his face. He tapped me on my knee and asked "could I have some milk on top of my cereal please?" and gave me a kiss on the cheek.

Call me crazy but I think that at 9:30 he was ready to be awake and at 7 he was too tired to function as a human being. I honestly believe that being ready to be awake totally changed him.

I wish I could get the poor child to nap, but he'll have nothing to do with it. You can bet it will be an early bedtime tonight, but what I'd really like to see is him getting to bed on time again on a regular basis.

I just don't know how to make that happen.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

New New

Remember when Josh got a new job like 9 months ago?

And I got a part time job a month ago?

Well apparently 2013 will be the year of the new jobs, (remember how 2012 was the year of the change?) because now he got a new new job.

The new job was great. He was getting experience as an RN and he LOVES the orthopedic rehabilitation center he worked for. The Peaks was a brand new place, and he had a great experience there. But for whatever reason they couldn't keep enough patients.

So the hours were cut.
And cut.

And if you know Josh (and I think you do) he stressed.
And stressed.

So he started applying for other jobs that could provide better benefits and more stability.

Then a couple of weeks ago he interviewed at Provo Canyon Behavioral Hospital. And the guy who interviewed him apparently really loved him, because they offered him a full time job. Working 3 12's during the day.

He had his first day of orientation yesterday and is psyched to start there. He is really hoping to keep a day a week or some kind of part time work at The Peaks because he loves it there, but he is more excited about having benefits and stability. At orientation he met a bunch of other newbies, and they were all hired for part time or PRN (as needed) work - he's the only full time new guy there which is gives him a great boost of confidence.

He is (again) excited to try something new, gain some experience and have this awesome schedule.

And I am excited to have health insurance! (peanut allergy anyone?) And even MORE excited to have dental insurance! (I miss the dentist, which is weird since I hate the dentist...)

So, here's to new new jobs. Congrats to Josh for landing it.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Not All Bums

This shouldn't be news to you....

but not all bums are created equal. 

In the least creepy way possible....tiny baby boy bums are my favorite.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Centrifugal Farce

Every year my family makes an album.

It becomes the soundtrack for my year. And is easily my favorite thing to listen to. Always. Running, walking, cleaning, singing, partying, moping, all of it. Somehow this soundtrack is good for all of them. 

Here's how it works: each person secretly chooses one song and submits it to Nate. The Album King. He compiles the album and distributes it. Then we listen and guess who submitted which song. The winner is the one who gets everybody right in the fewest number of guesses. Then we all listen to the album and tell each other how cool we are. 

This year there were a few surprises. Like my mom choosing The Cave by Mumford and Sons. In her defense, she had no idea how cool it was when she chose it.

It took Josh and I 4.5 guesses to get them all right. 1/2 guess because he guessed separate from me for the first guess, then completely abandoned me while I got them all correct by process of elimination (and mostly dumb luck). 

The winner this year got them all right on the first guess. I think we're all still trying to figure out HOW Spence & Em cheated because getting it all right at once is simply unbelievable. Especially this year. 

Do you want to be a Pseudo-Fugal and hear this year's album? 

Go ahead. Click here and enjoy.

Palladio Escala
Let the Rest of the World Go By Gordon MacRae & Jo Stafford
Learning to Fly Pink Floyd
The Once and Future Carpenter The Avett Brothers
I Won't Give Up Jason Mraz
Downton Abbey -The Suite Chamber Orchestra of London
50 Ways to Say Goodbye Train
Run Vampire Weekend
The Cave Mumford & Sons
First Day of My Life Bright Eyes
Dizzy Tommy Roe
Let Your Heart Hold Fast Fort Atlantic

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Grown Up Bribes

February in my family is filled with promises and plans for The Cabin. 

If we just work really hard for the next 13 days then we can go to The Cabin. 
If we do all our chores and clean our house, then we can go to The Cabin.
If we get plenty of sleep leading up to it, we can survive on just a few hours a night at The Cabin. 

This year was no exception. Over President's Day weekend we were fortunate enough to be invited by one of our favorite family friends to go to The Cabin. 

Where we ate too much, slept too little, and laughed too hard. 

This year we perfected the game of werewolves and learned who is good at lying (me! Grandma Huggie) and who is not (Katy - aka The Giggler) and who looks like they're lying whether they are or not (Josh) and who isn't really sure if they are lying or not (Dad). Any game that can keep all of us playing (even The Old Ones) until 2am is a winner in my book.

While we were there we went tubing at Soldier Hollow, which is always a blast (even if Tommy looks like it isn't). 


Church on vacation is always something....special. But this Sunday was maybe the hardest Sunday of my life. I sortof thought that with the cousins to distract the boys I'd listen to the meeting, but poor Little John who hadn't slept properly in days simply wasn't having it. He cried. And cried. The overheated and overcrowded chapel was unbearable. So we cried in the hallway instead. 

We did enjoy the rest of our day, and the weekend (though exhausting) was well worth it. 

I know your family is cool, but my family is extraordinary cool.

Already I am ready to do it again - here's hoping it comes again soon!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Let the record show that on March 12th, Josh busted out the fan because it was too hot to sleep. I hate that fan. It blows in my face all night long and makes me wake up with dry lips and feeling like I'm suffocating. But I love

Let the record also show that today it was 76 degrees inside. my. house. at 6:30pm.

That's you how know it will be nothing short of a miracle if we survive this summer with no air conditioning.
That's also how you know it really is a good thing that I'll be working - in an air conditioned office - every afternoon.

But the good news is that the snow has all finally melted from the front yard. We spend most mornings in the yard or riding bikes (OK just Tommy. On a trike) down the street to visit Maggie-Dog.

Every time we get in the car Tommy requests that I "turn on a little wind with the rolling down mom!" Roughly translated, he wants me to roll down the windows. And I do. Gladly.

Because springtime in Utah is something you should just let in.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Brother Love

Our routine has been thrown off significantly by my job. And for the most part it's just fine.

But the bedtime thing (which has historically been my favorite part of the day) is kicking my butt. We've been teased often about our ridiculously early bedtime before, but we do it anyway because it is what works best for our kids. Dinner around 5, baths, scriptures, prayers, stories, songs, bed. By the time 7pm rolls around my kids are usually out like a light.

Except when they aren't. And lately, that's every day.

In reality it doesn't matter one bit what the clock says when my kids go to sleep; but when they go to sleep before 7, they sleep in until 7. When they go to sleep after 7, they usually wake up before 6. So I've always just stuck to the early bedtime.

In theory I leave work at 5. In practice I get home around 5:30 or 5:45. I make dinner, feed the boys, rush them through their baths, skip all of the fun parts of bedtime and close their bedroom door behind me feeling like I've just wrestled alligators and look at the clock to find it closer to 8 than 7.

Now when they go to bed it's such a whirlwind of craziness and hurrying that they're still wound up when I turn out the light and leave the room. I love listening to them laugh and giggle and play with each other. Tommy starts out in bed, but by the time I reach the kitchen he is sticking his arms through the crib slats and making faces at John and they're both in a fit of giggles.

Last night John was laugh-crying so I went in to remind Tommy that snatching animals out of John's crib and playing with them in front of him isn't nice. When Tommy heard me coming he raced back across the room and jumped in his bed, so I don't really know what he was doing. But John had all 4 limbs sticking through the crib slats and seemed to be stuck in a position only a contortionist or baby can manage.

As I untangled him he started laughing again and I turned around to see Tommy behind me pulling funny faces and reaching for John's toes to tickle them.

These two are ridiculously fond of each other lately. The play and wrestle and laugh all day long. From the second Tommy wakes up and sticks his face in John's crib to say "Goooood MORneen Little John!" to the moment he collapses on the floor by his bed tickling his toes after dark.

Post Edit: I wrote this 3 days ago, and have spent 3 days trying to get a picture of them being adorable and loving and funny together. Instead one of them is constantly stealing the other one's books, balloons, animals, balls, blankets, rugs, you get it. Everything.

Sometimes John wins:

And sometimes Tommy wins:

But for 3 days they haven't been close enough to each other to be in the same photo without needing my immediate intervention to save them from each other.

So instead you get these lovelies. Because this week the sun started to shine and my babies both ran out of the house and into the middle of the road faster than I could take off my ridiculous work shoes and chase them.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Date of the Month: February

I forgot to write about Date of the Month last night.

Pleasant Grove High School did Beauty and the Beast this year and we HAD to go. I also got a gift certificate for Taco Amigo and figured we'd go back to high school for the night.

It's funny because although Taco Amigo was a big part of most people's high school experience I never went there until after leaving Pleasant Grove. So...there's that.

Anyway, Cami was kind enough to come down and watch our boys for the night, and we headed out. But true to form Utah County chewed us up and spit us out and laughed in our face. "You want to go to Taco Amigo? Bwa ha ha ha ha ha!!!! Loser." Taco Amigo was closed. Some kind of remodel or something. That gift certificate is still sitting on our kitchen counter. Another time.

Instead we went to Wendy's.  Think what you want about date of the month club, but I contend that these are seriously hot dates.

After parking on the drag (which has been repainted sometime in the last 10 years. TEN YEARS?!?!?! What the crap? I'm old.) we walked toward the fancy new lighted sign.

Back in the good old days (when we had to walk to school up hill both ways) we parked down at the bottom of the drag and there were no such things as fancy lighted signs at that school. But this night was all about luxury (Wendy's....high school musical.....we're good at luxury) so we parked at the TOP of the drag and sat in our aisle but front and center seats to listen to the orchestra tune.

It was lovely. But the play was incredible! I don't know why I was so surprised by the talent of these kids, but I was. Acting, singing, sets, costumes, stage-business, music, all of it. Exceptional. I couldn't believe the people responsible were teenagers. (and their fearless leaders)

The next time you have the opportunity to go see a high school musical DO IT. Okay? Just do it. And tell me if it's just Utah County teenagers who are awesome or if it's all of them.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

An Exercise Class A Week = Success!

I really wanted to try a few different classes at the rec center because I am not good at running and I really have no desire to get better at it. So I thought I'd try to find something else I like.

My first Cycling class left me feeling like a complete moron. "Stand" she shouted. I sat. "double time!" she insisted while I fell off the bike.
A jam-packed class of Zumba had me homesick and wishing Eva (my old Zumba instructor) had moved with me. Also reminded me just how non-sexy I am.
Yoga Tone was much more my speed -slow & deep breathing (but I am woefully inadequate even at that)
Weight Training was loads of fun, but it's taught at a horrible time for me.

The only class I only did once was Weight Training. I did the rest at least 3-4 times this month, which was really fun.

And you know what? I like them all.

Trudy teaches Yoga Tone and takes so much pleasure in hearing whimpers of pain. It's endearing.

Christine teaches Cycling and even though I cried the first time I was in her class she told me to come back. She is very personal trainer-y. (In my vast experience watching The Biggest Loser I feel qualified to dub people personal trainer-y.)

Zumba has a million different instructors, some I like better than others, but the thing about Zumba is that it's distracting. And that's good. Also it's taught roughly 10 million times a day. So you can show up at the gym anytime you want and probably walk into a Zumba class.

I hope I get to keep going to these classes because they are fun, but there are only so many hours in a day, and obviously my "leave my kids at home without me" tolerance is not high. So.....I make no guarantees.

Friday, March 1, 2013


Well I've driven to and from work all by myself 5 times now and I have zero solutions for large scale problems. So.....

Josh has been a super great stay at home dad. My boys are always happy when I come home, and I'm about to buy into that whole absence makes the heart grow fonder thing.

If ever I wondered if my children loved me, I needed only to leave and walk back through the door at dinner time to know they do. John comes through the house, sees me in the doorway and his jaw drops and his tiny chubby fingers go up to his shoulders to say "who's there?", then he straightens his arms down, and stretches them back as he runs for me and open mouth kisses my face.

Meanwhile I hear Tommy saying "is that MY mom?"

There is nothing like that. Truly.

But there's also nothing as heart breaking as peeling my crying children off me to hand them to Josh when I leave. When Tommy climbs up in my lap and pushes my hair away from my ears so he can whisper "I just want you to stay here with me mom." it takes everything I have to leave anyway.

Here's the thing, he's 3 - he's upset about most things in the beginning. And he's always always happy when I come home. He has fun when I'm gone and I know he's just fine. But there in that moment with my baby on my lap, I feel like I'm letting him down.

This week has been jam packed with other obligations and I've spent more hours gone than home. Most weeks that won't be the case. We'll fall into a regular routine and we'll all be used to it. But this week leaving my family sucks.

But on the other hand.......

I am loving work. My boss is awesome, he gets excited about things and asks for my opinion about everything. (paint color. desks. marketing strategy. organization.) He's doing everything he can to make me happy and there is just the right balance of new information and familiar tasks to make me happy.

I love using my mind, feeling capable and listening to my own music. For 4 hours in a row every day I am unquestionably productive and that is a welcome change.

Plus Fridays are meaningful again.

In the meantime Josh is applying like crazy for other jobs. He had a promising interview this week, but all we can do right now is pray and wait.

We are especially thankful that he's had patients lately. I'm confident that we'll be just fine. We always have been and I have no reason to believe that will end now.
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