Sunny 9 for 2009

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Happy New Year: 2009! Whoop, whoop

[Comments] (2) And the New Year's goals are...: I am going to be better at keeping a cleaner house. I was going to say 'try', but there is no try, only do. I don't want to set myself up for failure in the beginning so I am going to be optimistic. After the marathon, I will have more energy for unfun stuff like cleaning.

My first sacrifice in keeping a shipshape house was to get 'the mess' out of the living. 'The mess' being a corner of infinite toys. Those toys drive me nuts and they keep dividing and multiplying. At night I look around the living room mess and nothing is mine. I am really no good at keeping up with 4 people's messes. Mine and everyone else's. In college with my own room, it was never messy. There was a place for everything and everything in it's place. I even did the dishes 50-75% of the time and on one Sat of the month I would usually do an overhaul on the kitchen and living area. But cleaning up after 2 Tasmanian devils and a giant child, I tend to resent the work because it gets undone so quickly and I don't get to enjoy it.

I need to get better at including Lily in the clean up and getting her excited about it and introducing it to Gunnar. I hate cleaning with them because it takes 3 times as long and I would rather get it all done fast after they go to bed than to prolong the agony. The bad thing is after they go to bed sometimes I collapse in a big puff of air on the chair and there is no moving me for awhile. Anyway, enough airing my dirty laundry...

I decided that now was the time to move Gunnar's crib into Lily room. They are roomies now. I wasn't ready to put him in a bed, I just don't want to deal with that right now. We did have Lily spend the night in Gunnar's room a couple times to try it out. The first experience was a disaster (on Lily's part) and I will leave it at that. The second was just fine, so the third night the crib went into Lily's room. Gunnar wasn't quite as excited about not being in his room as he was for Lily to be in his. He cried and kept saying "ah roooooom, ah room, ah room". Finally he settled after family prayer. I figure that a couple more days and he will hardly remember being alone. So next step is drag all the toys in the now 'play room'. Wah-la...already going to be a cleaner house.

[Comments] (4) I hate goodbyes, shh...just go: So Julie and Chuck left to go back to Utah yesterday. I also took down the Christmas lights on the house; the last remnants of Christmas. Winter break has finally come to a close. I am glad Lily is back in school. Gunnar and she are friends but he is not really a worthy playmate that can stand up to her shenanigans. Once again I will say she is definitely an older sister (boss).

I miss my sis and I am bummed to think that I probably won't see her for awhile. Before she left we went to lunch at the Nordstrom's Bistro at La Cantera with mom and Chuck. Ben was very thoughtful and offered to watch Gunnar during his nap. It was an offer I couldn't refuse, and it was a wonderful afternoon to say the least. We had a great lunch and discussed many things including our latest findings on Scientology and why it is such a creepy cult. Then we strolled around the mall, made a purchase for Aaron for our anniversary coming up (let's just say he and Chuck are going to be twinners), and shared some frozen yogurt at Orange Cup. It was a fun, recharging day for a mom and I am sad to see J&C go, but they were here for 3 weeks and we got spoiled enough having them this long. Aly and family were the only ones that didn't make it home.

What a merry, pleasant, relaxing, and entertaining Christmas it was. I kinda miss it. Now onto the next thing. Anniversary on the 19th, along with MLK Jr day, a 25k race, Valentines Day, Presidents Day, and then the big race. Lots to look forward to.

Clean bill of health: I went to get my teeth cleaned at the clinic yesterday. It was something I wanted to do before we moved just to avoid hassle in the future. Still no cavities. Nothing turns me on more than Aaron brushing my teeth. haha It's fun to see Aaron in his element. My little dentist in 4 months. :) It's weird to think we won't be students anymore.

My life, kinda like Marley and Me: One movie I got to see over the break was Marley and Me. It was a girls night one and I have to say I was expecting hammy predictable lameness, but was pleasantly surprised at how clever and funny the whole movie was and that I decided that I really like Owen Wilson's voice. He is not much to look at but I really like his voice. A lot. Jennifer Aniston, on the other hand, needs to eat a cheeseburger (or maybe 12...why is it that when some people are that skinny their head looks like a giant pumpkin? just sayin).

I was really touched. Her life was my life in some aspects, and I could really relate except I would have gotten rid of that dog in the beginning making the movie not like my life at all. (Remember Sadie? Sad fact, I tried looking for any post about Sadie and how we ended up getting rid of her or even when we got her but there was nothing. How sad is that? That earns me the unequivocal title of Least Animal-Lover Person ever. A title I am sure to lose sleep over.)

Now that I have established that I have black pen ink for blood and an empty bird cage instead of a heart, I say go see the movie, you will cry your eyes out. Or in my case shed a tear or two and get that painful lump in your throat because you are willing yourself not to cry, especially about a misbehaved dog you would have given the boot a long time ago.

Faster than you can say Bob's your uncle: Want to know how quickly a two and four year old can use up a dollar? One pack of stickers at the dollar spot can be applied in about 4 minutes, leaving the rest of shopping time miserable unless there is another 'thing' to occupy his brain. 30 minutes in a store/4 minutes= 7.5 times $1= $7.50 per shopping trip and you can't buy half a thing so rounded up to 8, just to tame the beast in the basket, if I can even man handle him into sitting in the cart. Packages opened, toys ruined, stickers used up.

Lily is a breath of fresh air compared to Gunnar at the store. Today though, she ate an entire carton of blueberries. Luckily they were on sale for $1.99, a thing of string cheese for 39 cents, and she chose an organic green apple to munch on which was $1.99 a pound, and I bet the apple was at least a half pound. Let's see, oh yes, the receipt says .43lbs so it was 86 cents, and don't forget the cherry "sample" the kids helped themselves too. I mean I pay for the apples and whatnot they eat while cruising the store (chewed up and all) but I refuse to pay for 2 cherries at $3.99/lbs. HEB will just have to arrest me. Not to mention the box of fruit snacks and raisins opened which is a little embarrassing while checking out...I hope the checkers have kids of their own and understand. Plus Gunnar ate everything Lily ate and more. I'd say I spent a good $8 feeding my children just to keep them quiet so I can get some grocery shopping done (and the package of toothbrushes for $1.50 I threw in the cart to appease the beggers). More than the price of Happy Meals, but better for you. I guess I'll take what I can get.

[Comments] (4) Good Eatin: Yesterday I went to eat lunch with Lily. She really wanted me to come to her school and I have been meaning to since school started, and everything fell together just right yesterday. Mom watched Gunnar at her house while he napped, and I zoomed on over. Wow, brings back memories. I had a choice between the tacos with fake meat, I totally remembered it, and two new things- baked potato with dried up ham bits and cheese that doesn't melt, and a ham and cheese wrap in a tortilla. Lily picked the tortilla wrap, cutie thing to pick, and I had the baked potato. With the cheese that doesn't melt.

The side choices were a little different except the pinto beans and corn bread. There was orange jello with bits of fruit cocktail suspended in it (Lily wanted that of course, but strangely only ate one bite), a mealy apple that was pretty gross, and I love apples. They find the oldest cheapest crap to feed to kids and it is no wonder they don't like fruit and veggies they way they serve it there. I had an iceberg lettuce salad with a tablespoon of ranch. They also had tiny bottled waters, and the good ol chocolate milk. I used to get that every time. Even for cereal in the morning. Yep, Golden Grahams with chocolate milk. I'm not surprised Lily gets the choco milk too. And of course I bought Lily the obligatory ice cream popsicle that all good moms get their kids when they come to lunch with them. It cost freakin $3.30! Holy crap, prices have gone up. Good thing Lily is on the free lunch program.

The best part is that Lily was excited to see me there, and wasn't ashamed of me at all. She has a cute class. They were like 'bye Lily's mom' when I left. My mom of course teased me and asked if Lily pretended not to know me like I did when I was in 2nd grade. Yes, I did pretend not to know my mom when she surprised me by coming to lunch. In my defense, I was very shy in elementary school and anything that brought extra attention to me was torture. I hated wearing jackets because I felt like they made me stand out more than usual. I quit ballet because the snobby girls made fun of my payless "Alf" shoes. The way mom dressed me and didn't do my hair didn't help my shyness to say the least. I hated people noticing me, so you can understand my horror when I all the sudden see my mom in the front of the line. All eyes were on me so I just walked really fast ahead of her and pretended that she was not my mom. I warmed up to her at the end of lunch when she started buying everyone chocolate bars and they were all happy to be around us.

It's all good though, she has since forgiven me. Man o man, I was a strange kid.

[Comments] (2) phew: Aaron passed the National Boards test he took in Dec, and the best part of it was that he didn't spend too much time away from the family studying for it.

Claim to fame: Yesterday I took a boot camp class and got my booty kicked by this local celebrity. I could tell when I saw her, who she was. I watch her on the news sometimes and I always think she has the buffest arms. And she does. She is super nice and personable in real life. I loved her class-way good and she is prettier in real life. She was just the sub and works regularly at the other Spectrum, but hopefully I will get to take a class from her again. Pretty cool.

[Comments] (2) What's it like to sleep on a $140 pillow?: Heavenly! That's what Aaron got me for our anniversary except he got it on sale. Atta boy! I have him trained not to buy things at full price. He also got me an Ulta gift card. And flowers. Ahh, what a sweet, sweet man. Even though we resent each other's interests (him playing Warcraft and me indulging in expensive hair products) we can still be supportive of each other's decisions (me letting him get another better gaming laptop and him getting me an Ulta gift card). Hmm, I think I am getting gypped and I need to find more expensive hobbies.

Lily was so upset when he came home with presents for me and none for her that she actually went into her closet and started bawling. Really, full on legitimate crying out of emotional pain and probably scarring. So that night while Aaron and I were out on our date he bought Lily a baby doll. That girl stole my birthday and now she wants to steal my anniversary too. : P It was cute this morning when she found her doll, she brought it into my room and was so excited. She asked if it was for her and I said that daddy bought her that present and she was like "because you and daddy got married!"

But back to my uber important pillow. Once you have slept on a fine pillow, you cannot go back. It really is quite sweet that Aaron got me a pillow because it was the first gift he bought me ever. It was for graduation, since we started dating a couple weeks before I graduated. Aaron worked for JC Penny Home Store at the time, and he won my mom over when he could carry on a conversation about thread count of sheets and could refold a down comforter and get it back into its original packaging. So I opened the gift from him, and me being the 17 yr old dingbat that I was, was all 'you got me a pillow' and he was all 'it's a $150 pillow (that I got for $50 from my sweet job hookups)' and I was all 'but it's a pillow' and I think I threw in some rolling of the eyes. Naive.

Now I stuff my dang pillow in every suitcase I pack for any trip. It is worth the space. I cannot sleep properly without my beloved pillow. I remember one time when I was living in Spokane and some friends and I went to Seattle overnight. Of course I brought my pillow along, but I absentmindedly forgot my pillow in the hotel. My stomach hurt until we got home and I could look the hotel number up and call and make sure the cleaning lady didn't take off with my $150 pillow. Luckily it was in the lost and found and they shipped it to me.

So the thoughtful gift Aaron got me about 10 yrs ago is done for. It has been demoted to "hug around the chest pillow". He got the great idea after I stole his pillow and he was getting terrible sleep. Seriously, I was getting shoulder aches and neck pain because my pillow went belly-up.

Aaron and I now have a total of 6 pillows in commission on our bed. In case anyone is wondering why I need so many pillows, it's simple. One between the legs to align my hips and back, one to hug, and one for my head. It seems I gain another pillow with each baby I carry and I can't give it up after the baby is born. Aaron is now following in my footsteps graduating up to 3 for him too.

I love me a good pillow.

[Comments] (3) Decisions, decisions...: Hmm, go to Enrichment tonight and learn about emergency preparedness (ie food storage) again, OR watch 3 hours of Lost? Call me crazy but I am going to be sitting on my rear with pumpkin cookies in hand watching Lost. I'm up to my eyeballs in dried beans and soup and I so don't want to be guilted more by hearing about saving money and blah blah. When you are basically living off student loans there is no saving involved. Maybe next year I will be more interested in it or even next week when Lost isn't on. I just wish every 5th Sunday and Enrichment wasn't about this. I get it is important, but people are either going to do it or not. We get it already.

*Cute note about the word decision-when I put Gunnar in time out and then go back in to get him out I always ask him what did you do wrong, and was it a good decision or bad decision, then say sorry. Gunnar is so cute because he always explains to me perfectly what he did wrong and then he will say 'bad decision'. It's a mouthful for a 2 yr old, but so precious. It is kinda bad because I almost enjoy time out because he is so dang cute.

You know what you did wrong? Ah hit sissy. Was it a good decision or a bad decision? Ah bad decision. Are you going to go tell sissy you are sorry? Ah yeah...sorry sissy. Uh hugs. Now imagine that with the cutest smile on his face. Who could be mad at a boy like that?

[Comments] (3) Swoosh: Today I completed another stepping stone in training to get to my goal of marathon in Feb. I competed in the Bulverde Endurathon which was 25k. That's 15.5 miles. And it was pretty chilly and windy this morning. The course was a lot harder than I thought. Lots of hills, ack! My goal was to do as well as my half marathon in terms of time per minute which was 9 minute miles for that. I pretty much blew that goal out of the water. I really surprised myself today. It helped me tons to have a running partner to push me and keep me going. I ran with my friend Jessica from the ward who is an extremely talented athlete who ran competitively in college. She just had a baby 5 months ago, c-section, and she's awesome.

Even though I felt a little blah from it being that time of the month, the wind, and the hills I completed it in 2 hrs 11 minutes 30 secs. That translates to 8min 28sec miles. For 15.5 miles. I am still in shock. And pain. I am so elated. I even checked to see what my time would have been if I were running a half marathon (and I so badly wanted it to just be that, but I had to keep going) and at that point I timed it at 1 hr 50 minutes.

I felt pretty good the whole race until mile 11 I felt it catching up with me. In case I ever want to relive the misery, because you really do forget how bad things feel for example getting pregnant again, I remember at mile 12 thinking 'I think my ankle is going to give out on me and could possibly be broken. My feet felt like I walked through burning coals barefoot. I have a blister on each pad of my foot below the big toe the size of a nickel. I just kept thinking to myself just keep going, when you finish then you can rest, pain is temporary, don't think about it. I didn't even want to talk about it with my friend Jessica, who I ran practically the whole race with but she beat me by about 45 secs, because if I even spoke about it, I would start saying to myself it's okay to slow down a little bit. That is what I think is really the crux of running is- tolerating muscle and joint pain. Breathing and heart rate you get used to, granted you have to be at some level of fitness, but you get to the point where your body gives into you and says fine, I will keep my heart rate this high without giving you crap about it, but the distance training is for your muscles, skin, and joints. Sprint training is for your pace.

I just feel like anybody could train and complete a marathon. The key word is train. A lot of people don't enjoy running. For some sadistic reason I do. In the past I liked running, I was always the first girl to complete the mile in elementary school and middle school and on the tennis team in HS until this freshman came on the team and we would go back and forth. Granted, I am far from superior. It is hard to get back into it when you stop for awhile and intimidating to try it again. But it is nice to be reacquainted with my old friend.

Little Person (Don't hold your breath and feel free to take a nap if needed): Since Gunnar Boy is at the age he changes weekly, it's time for another update on his mannerisms and little personality. He has pretty much learned his colors in the past month. When he was first recognizing colors, he knew blue and pink, but everything else was pink. The boy loves pink. He and lily fight over the pink crayon kinda like the way Lily fights with Gunnar over who gets to go to bed with the vroom vrooms. I guess they just want to keep each other in check and commandeer whatever it is the other person wants. He is still a little sketchy on shades resembling pink, like red is always pink, but he is getting better. He even surprised me with some shapes. He has known circle and star for awhile but he started recognizing triangle. The reason why this is so amusing to me is 1) I am his mother and everything he does is like a Mozart opera or Michelangelo masterpiece to me and 2)This poor kid gets about a quarter of the lap time I gave to Lily when she was his age, reading books and doing puzzles and stuff. She had all the books memorized before she even turned 2. She did the whole dog and pony show whenever we wanted to show her off. Poor Gunnar doesn't get half that, but he has an older sibling. That assuages my guilt a little bit.

He calls himself "Nuh-nuh" and if you ask where's Gunnar? he will pat his face. When I get him out of his crib in the morning and set him in his highchair for breakfast (yes he is still in a highchair and I have to sit him in there first thing when he is semi unconscious otherwise he throws a fit, he will not sit for more than 30 secs if he is not in a highchair) he will sometimes request 'ah glasses on'. He is very fond of his glasses and if I take them off to clean the lenses which are often greasy and crusty, he gets upset and wants them back on.

I am sure I have mentioned this before but if I haven't it is worth noting that Gunnar has a serious Michael Jacksonesque freak obsession with gloves or 'mits' as he calls them. Preferably both, but I can usually only find one so he goes around with one stiff mitten on his hand because he doesn't ever curl his fingers with it on, making it look even more hilarious.

The boy is a Houdini. It doesn't matter what we do, he eventually figures out how to get out of his diaper in the morning. I will go in there and he will be naked from the waist down. He sees me and he will swat his leg giving himself spankings saying 'ah naughty diaper, naughty!'. Cracks me up.

He loves walking Lily to the bus stop and waiting for the bus. He will look up the street and say every time 'ah bus coming?' and then answer his own question 'no, not yet!'. Every time he sees a bus on the street it is automatically 'sissy's bus'. Across the street from the bus stop there is a house that has the most hideous frog and goose yard art. They freak Gunnar out. He will be running around playing tag with Lily and then stop in his tracks and lock eyes on the goose and wave his arms at it saying 'uh no duck, ah way. Scary duck!' Gunnar loves waving goodbye to sissy though, and while walking home he will say "ah Nemo, ah lunch, ham sandwich'. Lately he wants to watch EIO Baby Einstein though, but likes Dora and Diego too.

He is surprisingly responsive to the Diego and Dora shows. When they ask questions, like 'is this the green eyed tree frog?' 'noooo' and he usually gets it right. Lily never responded out loud to shows, just watched. His favorite song is Wheels on the Bus and Monkeys Jumping on the Bed and Swinging in a Tree. Gunnar still is the best eater out there. He LOVES salad. He will always finish it off and eats just about anything I put in front of him. The boy eats all the time. He is always asking for 'ah snack' and then will grab my hand and say 'show me, show me' and drag me over to the pantry and want me to open the door so he can show me what he wants to eat. He usually grabs about 4 bags of fruit snacks, I don't blame him, those are good, and he loves almonds. He always goes for Aaron's chips. He can never be satisfied with one thing though. 'I want raisins too.' He loves all fruit especially grapes and bananas and gets violently mad whenever we pass up any fruit in the grocery store. He usually snacks on an apple, banana, and some sort of berry before I can even leave the produce isle. And he always wants a snack before dinner, so he eats that, and he eats all his dinner. He seriously eats all day long.

When I say Gunnar gets violently mad, I mean psycho here. He has the ugliest angry scream ever. It is psycho, I am serious. He gets so intense with rage he shakes. I really hope this is just a phase. It's pretty disturbing to say the least. One time he wanted me to get him a fork instead of a spoon and his pronunciation of fork is not to well. I couldn't understand what it was he was saying b/c it sounded just like the F word, and finally he started screaming this obscenity to me in frustration until I finally realized what it was he wanted. I otta wash his mouth out.

I cannot pass the microwave or garage door opener with him in arms without him squealing 'I push it, I do it too!' He has a thing for buttons. Loves buttons. Remotes, anything with buttons. He gets so mad that he can't reach the button to roll down his window. He likes to have it down and sometimes he can get his toe on it and then he gets all excited. He also has a thing for markers and is pretty good at coloring on paper. He saw a quilt at Aaron's Uncle and Aunt's house with every Smith's hand traced in each quilt patch. Ever since he has been so fascinated with tracing his hands and my hands on paper. Kinda random, but super cute.

He adores Ashley and when he saw her again recently he said 'I missed you'. Living in a track home subdivision, there is not much variation in housing so anytime he sees a house that looks like David and Ashley's with their brick color he exclaims 'Ashley's house!'. He knows when we are on our way to Moppie's house when we make that turn onto Circle A. Once we get into mom's house he goes straight for the jellybean jar. No variation. He always gets a double handful. And goes back for seconds and thirds if he gets the chance. When Chuck was here for Christmas he taught Gunnar how to feed Rocky, the dog, food. He kept asking me for more 'ah meat' fajita meat and then would ask to 'ah hi Rocky'. So I took him outside and he kept throwing the meat at him. I couldn't figure out why he started doing that until I saw Gunnar duping Chuck into taking him outside to 'ah hi Rocky'. I then saw Chuck giving Gunnar bits of meat to throw at Rocky. It entertained him all night.

He is definitely a dentist's son. He is anal about brushing his teeth. He goes in my room every morning and climbs on my toilet to get to the toothbrushes and turn on the water and brush his teeth over and over. He never lets me put back the toothbrush so we have a graveyard of them on the floor of the car. It gets expensive supplying him with all the confiscated toothbrushes. Perhaps one of the cutest things he does, and Lily did this, he will reach up and say 'ah hold you'. He likes to do it when I am making dinner too, and then it isn't so cute. He also says 'er are you?' or 'ah sissy go?' when looking for me or Lily. Cutest words to escape lips. Not so cute when he says 'oh way' when he is shooing me away.

He is a very good nurturer though. I will often see him with one of Lily's dolls underarm or him feeding a baby a bottle. It is so precious to watch my baby, baby another baby. I love that he likes to sleep with dolls and stuffed animals too. I even caught him pretending to change one of the diapers on a doll. He is tender at heart. He'll be such a good daddy.

Dear Gunnar, All the little things you do, endear me to you. Love, Mama

[Comments] (2) Crunch: In light of the past week(s) I am weighing the pros and cons of my children sharing rooms. Lily has only slept in her room for the whole night once since Gunnar has joined her. It wasn't uncommon for her to come sleep with us once in awhile but every night? ComeOn. Lily and Gunnar are rowdy and play into the night. I think last night I threatened more spankings than I have ever in their lives. Of course I didn't spank, but I don't know what else to do. I just want quiet after 7:30, is that too much to ask? Gunnar has broken the sign above the crib. Lily steals Gunnar's cars he sleeps with and he can do nothing about it b/c he can't get out of the crib, but she is walking around playing all night. Lily gets into the crib with Gunnar and wakes him up, and he is not happy. I go in there 20 times after I put them to bed. Con, con, con, con, con, con, con. Pros---I'll have to get back to that one. Why did I do this again?

Sweet dreams: Last night I asked Lily if she wanted Gunnar to go back to his room. Just to make sure she wanted him there still, and to see if she felt pushed out of her space. She emphatically protested Gunnar going back to his room. I then told her that if she didn't sleep in her bed the whole night through then I would move Gunnar back.

This morning when I came out she rushed out of her room and exclaimed "Mommy, I had a really good dream last night. It wasn't scary. There wasn't a mean old witch. It didn't have horsies, but it had unicorns in it. Haha, it was a good dream." This is progress. Plus it only took them probably 45 minutes to go to sleep instead of 3 hours. I haven't moved the toys yet, because I am still on the fence on whether or not this move is going to be permanent. Things are looking up.

[Comments] (2) Another one?: Yes, something is going around. I've caught it. It's called Tag. I got tagged a couple of time for the "25 things" on FB and a tag for 6 so I will just do all 25 on my blog.

1.I love scalding hot showers. They don't burn me, but Aaron claims they burn him.

2.I shave my legs once a week. Aaron claims not to have known this about me before we got married. Too bad.

3.I love multi-tasking.

4.I have a thing for accents. I used to befriend all the foreign exchange students I knew and pick their brain about their homeland.

5.I love music. I wish I can sing, but I love listening to music.

6.When Aaron gets a real job and we have a couple dollars to rub together (or $1000) I am going to buy a sweet bike and go on loooong bike rides on Sat. Maybe even do some races.

7.I love to kiss my babies on their mouth. I said I never would b/c I used to want to throw up when I saw my friend kiss her dad on the lips in high school, but I couldn't help myself.

8.I love listening to Lily make believe when she doesn't know I am listening. She has a vivid imagination.

9.I find cooking very relaxing and cathartic, and I love cooking alone with nothing interrupting me. I have deep satisfaction when I make a healthy delicious meal.

10.I enjoy small get togethers and don't like "parties". I don't like making the rounds. I would much rather have an intimate meaningful conversation with a handful of friends rather than seeing a lot of faces and saying hi.

11.I always tip over 20%. If the service is terrible I might tip only 20%. I used to serve tables and I don't think people should go out to eat unless they can tip well. That's what take out is for.

12.I don't like to sleep with any lights or noise. I have to turn the num lock key off at night because I can see the light shining on the ceiling.

13.I rarely pay full price for anything. I get a rush from getting things on sale and I am not satisfied with purchases unless I got a good deal on it.

14.I don't wear make-up everyday and I love it.

15.I am a moody person. That is to say I like to be in the mood for something I eat, or do, or watch.

16.The older I get, the more I like myself.

17.I don't scare easily. I don't have a thing for making sure my doors are locked and I don't get scared if Aaron isn't home (sometimes I like being alone), and bugs and things don't scare me. I think they are gross but I but I don't have a fear of it unless I know it can kill me.

18.I like musicals.

19.I always say stuff I regret. I am working on the filter from my brain to my mouth. I am just used to my family and we don't really offend easily, but I have to watch what I say elsewhere.

20.I like soft ice cream. I hate when it is so hard you can barely taste it. I think that is why I love Cold Stone so much, because it is so creamy and soft. I also like brownies the next day after the flavors have settled. I think hot brownies, like ice cream, lack flavor because of the temp except one is too hot and the other is too cold.

21.I am not a picky eater. At all. Except when it comes to poor quality, and processed things.

22.One of these days (in the near future) I am going to go skydiving. I have always wanted to do it and I told Aaron to get it for me as a gift but he won't so I am just going to do it myself. Anyone want to go with me?

23.I love a good strategy board/card game.

24.In another life, I would have studied abroad and traveled the world. I love history, sociology, anthropology, and archeology. I guess you could say I have an interest in people.

25.I see things in black and white. I am trying hard not to be a "it's right or wrong" type of person even though that is the way my brain wants to process it.

Phew, now that that's off my chest. I guess we can add another one- I talk too much.

[Comments] (1) American I-sore: Who here feels so bad for Paula Abdul right now? Next to Kara DiGuarini she looks like something the cat dragged in. I would not want that job anymore if I were her. The show is a little more interesting now that there is a female brain though. Am I mean? Yes. Am I going to hell? Probably.

[Comments] (1) Dear Lily,: Stop taking craps in my toilet and not flushing. It reeks!

Love, Mom

Explain it to me: It got into the 70's today, I am wearing shorts, and now it is hailing outside. How did it get frozen? TX weather is so weird.

[Comments] (2) It's tricky: So I had a dilemma yesterday. The kids and I were out in the front yard playing while waiting for my mom to come pick us up to go get my car from the shop. There is this old lady that rides around the neighborhood in her scooter, sometimes alone, but sometimes accompanied by her dog...it looks like a pit bull. A fat pit bull. She was "walking" the dog yesterday and rode by us on the other side of the street when all the sudden our across the street neighbors' dog started barking. So the old lady's dog started off for the fence line dragging the old lady's scooter and crashing it into the curb. (The lady can walk if she wants to.) So the old lady was getting jerked off by the leash and the dog was relentless in chasing the fence line of the other dog. The old lady was getting jerk to and fro and I really felt bad for her, but I didn't know what to do...help her and risk getting mauled by the dog or the dog chasing after my kids while trying to help out the old lady. Whose to say I could have contained him any better myself. I was back and forth and feeling really guilty I wasn't doing anything especially when the old lady tripped and fell and was practically getting dragged by the beast. I did decide to stay and protect my kids though because my first priority is keeping them safe. After all the old lady should not have a dog that she cannot control, let alone be taking it for walks in the neighborhood. I was ready to grab the kids and run in the house at a moments notice, but didn't want to leave quite yet so I could be sure she would be alright. Finally, when the lady regained composure, she grabbed the cane on the back of her scooter chair and started hitting the dog with it. Then I didn't feel bad for her so much. But at the same time what an annoying dog. So there's my story. It was really awkward and weird, and I think I played my cards right...or maybe I just missed the boat on "loving thy neighbor". I still think my mothering instincts were right.

On another different topic, it is really hard to do day to day things when you have a cut on your finger. I am so mad. I was washing out a yougurt container that had a little bit of foil top left on it, so I could toss it in the recycling. While I swiped my finger around the edge the foil sliced my thumb, and deep too. Who knew a stupid yogurt foil thing was sharp enough to cut? Thumb injuries are the worst too. You do everything with your thumb and it was sore and tender for two days. I couldn't wash my hands without it stinging and it got stiff from not being used b/c I would hold it out to the side so it wouldn't get aggravated.

Then 3 days later (yesterday) I was out doing yard work, trimming plants, pulling weeds, and racking dead matter up and I sliced my index finger on the blade of the shears. Those things are sharp. I was just tapping a stick off that was stuck on the blade and my finger barely grazed the other blade. So learn from my mistakes and don't touch the foil on a yogurt container or touch a shear in any way.

[Comments] (6) I told you so: So today Aaron stayed late at school and then went directly to the YM basketball game he had to coach for. It was perfect b/c I took my mom to pick up her car from the shop across town after Lily got off the bus, so there was not really time to get dinner going so I took the kids to Quiznos since Aaron wasn't going to be home anyway. Every time we go out to eat with the kids I swear it is going to be my last time. Now I can handle ChickFila and usually only when Aaron is with me b/c I get so stressed out with Gunnar (I had to be put in the other nursery than Gunnar b/c snack time was more than I could handle with him).

I knew I would be by myself, but I decided what the heck, I am in the mood for a torture session spending quality time with the kids. So we went into the store and usually after I get Gunnar out of the car I try to distract him so he doesn't know he is being carried. He weighs a ton but at least he is with me and not running away and leaving a wake of goods on the floor. Plus it sculpts my bicep. He of course emphatically wanted to ah walk myself. So we get in the store and Lily has to pee, so I take them in the RR and I try to keep Gunnar from touching things. I wash Gunnar's and my hands and Lily washes her own of course and discards the perfectly good paper towel I got for her to save time, so she could get one all by herself. I order and it takes them 10 yrs to make our dinner while the kids are choosing every single bag of chips and bottle of coke they have (that they put at a child's eye level, mind you). We finally sit down to eat. Gunnar refuses a high chair so he is up and down, up and down, then standing up on the chair, and then back down. He ran away from the table at least 4 times. Lily had to go to the bathroom again, this time #2, and she called for me to wipe when she was done. (Don't worry we were the only ones in the store beside the employees.) Blah, blah, blah...bottom line is it took about 40 minutes to eat.

The gist of the story is I didn't get cross with either of the kids the whole time. I am getting better at coming to the realization that Gunnar is just 2 and just because other 2 yr olds can sit through a meal doesn't mean mine can and just because I have to leave my chair several times a meal (at home or somewhere else) doesn't mean I have to get all sour and bent out of shape. No, I don't like it but I don't like being in a bad mood even more. So who cares if Gunnar leaves the table with Cheetos fingers and smears it all over our couch and carpet before I can get to him? Why stress over it and think the carpet is all ruined now and it's no good and we already need new carpet already b/c of all the spills? I have been disillusioned that my stuff is going to remain nice and it is not the end of the world. I can let things slide and not get all huffy about it.

The big deal is that I left Quiznos thinking, kids- 1, me- I refuse to play the losing game anymore. I didn't let it bug me like I used to which is a big feat for me in personal thinking. Yeah it is annoying, but I don't have unrealistic expectations like I used to, you know, like before you have kids and you know exactly how to be a good parent and handle the tough situations. Nay, you will be such an awesome parent you will hardly have to handle hard situations. For those people I will be lmao when it happens, and trust me, it will happen. Oh boy, does it happen. I just hope I can hold onto this paradigm shift.

[Comments] (2) The Friendly State: Today at Walmart I bribed Gunnar with gum. He ate all 20 pieces. There is no stopping him when it comes to gum. However, he started gagging on it even after I fished the huge wad out. He was struggling to breath but it wasn't like he was chocking either. He just had to work it through the system, whatever was making him cough.

A really nice, thoughtful lady came up to me with a bottled water for him, unopened of course. I just thought that was such a nice thing to do...I don't know if I would have done that. People just love my kids around here. Everyone is so friendly to them in the stores, especially nerdy boy Gunnar. Whose heart doesn't melt when they see his face?

We went to the Rodeo on Mon for Aaron's day off with Jake, Erin, Courtney, Mark, and the kids. It was dollar days and what is usually outrageous prices were somewhat reasonable prices. We got Lily and Gunnar cowboy hats, and Gunnar the cowboy boots he has been dying for. We had lots of food; Aaron downed 5 $1 hot dogs. The kids loved the cotton candy, and we split a "gigantic cookie" with Jake and Erin. For $8 the cookie had better be gigantic! We didn't get the deep fried Snickers bar this time...don't knock it till you've tried it.

We saw the show animals and the baby swine race. Luke didn't care for the smell in all the corrals at all. It was funny. I'm with you on that one, buddy. We also rode a few carnival rides. On the last ride we only had one ticket left so we let Lily just go. The worker looked at me and I said that Gunnar and I were just going to sit this one out b/c we were all out of tickets. She told me with a wink and a nod go ahead, it's ok, I know he's special needs, you guys can ride. I know he is special needs so just go ahead and ride. Hmm, ok, he wears glasses, not mentally handicap, but whatever, it got us a free ride. I am not offended she said that, or even know that she meant it that way or was just trying to be nice and make up a reason for us to be able to ride. It was just funny, and we got a free ride from it.

We are going to miss the state of Texas and all its friendly people and the rodeo and cowboys. Giddyup.

[Comments] (11) I feel pretty: So I was having a conversation with Ashley my SIL about Down East Outfitters and how much I LOVE their stuff, particularly their skirts. She was asking if I wanted to order something since she was putting in an order with the gift card her dad got her for Valentines Day. I am so jealous of that gift card. I was teetering on whether or not I should get something because in all honesty I have so many church clothes it isn't even funny. I told her I could mos def go to church 6 months straight and not wear the same outfit. Ashley was shocked, and the more I thought about it the more curious I got. How many outfits did I have? I counted 42 skirts or dresses (about 75% skirts). So there are 52 weeks in a year and you take 2 Sundays off for Gen Conf. That leaves you with roughly 2 months a year that I would have to wear duplicate outfits. Too bad I don't have an office job so I can dress up all the time and put those skirts too good use. It is a shame that some of my clothes only see the light of day once a year.

That was my game with myself in high school too, was to see how many times I had worn an outfit a year. I would keep count in my head, so it wasn't scientific but I think my average was wearing an outfit only like 3-4 times a school year. Of course that is just tops, I never had as many jeans and bottoms as tops. And I didn't like sharing clothes, so I never borrowed from my friends.

I don't even know what to say about it. I know it is crazy, and there is medication for what I have.

I went ahead and told Ashley to only order me one. Morale of the story is- I have a sickness a girl can never have too many skirts.

[Comments] (2) The Oscars, Hollywood, and You: Here is an article I thought was interesting food for thought:

"Whether you enjoy watching the Academy Awards or not, the yearly celebration of Hollywood’s finest at the very least provides an opportunity to reflect on the movie industry and its trends, its successes and its failures. As we examine box office totals and the Academy’s choices for 2008, the numbers provide interesting insights and some fertile ground for discussion. Take the following statistics:

* Of the five movies nominated for best picture, four are rated R and one is rated PG-13

* The average gross box office of the five movies was 50 million, skewed high by the sole PG-13 movie, Benjamin Button, which grossed nearly 123 million

* Rated R movies accounted for 50%(!) of the rated movies released last year, but only accounted for 22% of the total box office revenue

* Only 14% of the rated movies released in 2008 were G or PG, but they accounted for 23% of the total box office

* PG-13 movies accounted for a whopping 55% of the total box office gross and were 36% of the movies released

A Thirst for the Family Friendly

The numbers indicate to me that America has a thirst for movies in the “family friendly” G/PG category. I think the statistics show that people enjoy clean movies and want to see films with their families. But despite the overwhelming success of non-rated R movies, Hollywood still makes as many rated-R movies as it does all three of the other ratings combined! From a purely business perspective, sense would seem to dictate that studios need to shift resources away from the raunchy, profane, and violent. So why don’t they?

While the answer is likely complicated, the number of rated-R movies released and the Academy Award nominations may suggest that one factor is a values gap: those within the industry simply don’t share the same values, perspectives, and goals as the movie going public. The statistics demonstrate that we want more quality, clean entertainment, while some directors and studios may want to generate buzz by pushing boundaries, seeking for prestige among their peers, or releasing films that reflect their own morals and interests. What To Do?

While studios have every right to release what they want, those of us who would like cleaner, values-oriented entertainment must voice our opinions. While every industry wants to reward its innovators and visionaries and be successful, we need to send a message that more graphic sex, violence, and profanity do not innovation, a vision, or even good business sense make. Until Hollywood understands this, or perhaps until they understand us, ClearPlay will have plenty of work to do."

-Brian Fuller

[Comments] (9) Spring cleaning: Time to sell the house...we have been busy getting it ready to show. We got the carpets cleaned and I did a bunch of weeding already. On Sat we did more yard work as a family. We gathered up all the rocks (which were many and heavy), and I mowed the front yard, and Aaron degrassed the area around the trees. The kids helped by putting the rocks into the wheelbarrow. It started to sprinkle and Aaron broke the hoe and shovel so we called it good and treated the kids to Chick-fil-a for lunch for all their hard and cooperative work. (Hmm, family Sat cleaning sounds like a good tradition to start.) The food is good and they have a playground. And Luke got to come with us.

I have been cleaning out closets and rooms. I combed through clothes and toys. The thing about me is I love to get rid of stuff. It feels so good afterward to be decluttered. The thing is though that there are some things I have been dragging around with me for years I just can't bring myself to let go of. For instance my tennis skirts. I don't want to get rid of them even though I will probably never wear them again to play tennis in or anything for that matter. But they are my tennis skirts! Many matches were played and won in them, and memories made with my team mates. I have had one black skirt since 8th grade and it has held up great! I like to look at them when I see them every year or so when I dig through drawers going to give things away. They are there and I see them and it puts a smile on my face.

Or the shirt Julie made when she came to visit me my first year away from home. We went to the Backstreet Boys concert and she made me a shirt that had an iron on of the group and on the back a picture of Nick and under it saying "Nick's girl" and for herself she made one of Kevin with the same thing. Am I ever going to wear that shirt again in my life? Oh heck no! But Julie made it for me and we had so much fun that trip.

And the UCLA Bruins champ shirt that was the first old baggy night shirt Aaron gave me when we were dating to remember him by when I went to sleep. So what if it has holes in the arm pits? Speaking of holes in the armpits, the armpits have completely disintegrated in my UVSC physical ed shirt. And my In-N-Out shirt Aaron bought me while on vacation when we were dating before I even knew what In-N-Out was, has seen better days. How am I going to throw that away?

I have every letter than anyone has ever written me (including the ones from you Susie when we were like 13 and it has the pictures of you with blue hair) and wedding announcement. I've got it all. I still have the movie ticket stub of Star Wars Episode 1--the first movie date Aaron and I went on. How can I defile the memory by throwing the proof away? I have a sweatshirt that I have had since Junior year for heaven's sake. I have been dragging that thing around with me for 12 years now. It's practically an antique. I am pretty good at throwing away some things, but there are certain things my heart never wants to let go of. When I die everybody can just bury my body with trash bags of my 'stuff'.

Or maybe not...those things are in the Goodwill pile right now. *tear, tear* I guess it's the thought of moving cross country to possibly a smaller house than we currently are living it which I know is going to be old with teeny, tiny closets, forcing me into two options, drag that crap around the country with me and sleep with it stuffed under the mattress or in boxes around my bed, or get rid of it now.

Wrench. Ahh, I can't even bare to throw those things away...no one else wants them but I must donate them and let someone else pronounce their demise.

Retrospective: Gunnar is the same age Lily was when Gunnar was born, give or take a day or two. It is sort of mind blowing to me that I did all that, looking back at what I accomplished. It takes a lot to have a newborn and a two year old, then a 3 yr old and a 1 yr old, and so on. I have a lot more to say on the matter, but it is something I think I will journal privately.

Alyson and I have had long conversations about this very thing, and I am very thankful to her, for her sage wisdom and perspective. I love that she went through it before me and can pass along good advice. She is always there when I need her. Thanks for being such a great big sister Aly! Love ya.

[Comments] (4) (Marathon:the extended version. For the Readers Digest version, please see my picture blog.) I didn't drop dead, so that's good news: However, I think it is a myth that Pheidippides died on the spot after delivering the news that they had won the battle. If he truly died, it was probably from the 150 miles he ran in two days previous to the battle (which he may or may not have been in) and then ran the 26.2 miles to deliver the news.

But enough about him, let's talk about me. This past weekend I participated in the Cowtown (Ft Worth) marathon, and I loooved it! I'm still sore yet I have already looked up another one for the end of the year. We shall see. It is a very cool feeling to know you have done something of that measure. All the way home I kept having this feeling of something big like I went through a rite of passage. I really like that feeling. A lot. And it was worth every ounce of sweat and physical pangs I went through.

The little dear Erin, watched Gunnar and Lily on Fri so Aaron and I could head out early on the road to get to the hotel with enough time to stretch and mentally prepare. Also, thanks to David and Ashley who watched the bebes overnight and the whole next day. We left around noonish and stopped in Waco at the Cracker Barrel for a nice carb fest of pancakes, biscuits, and cornbread. The drive wasn't too bad, about 4 1/2 hours, and we made it to the hotel and checked in. We stayed at the Hilton with a special "race participant" rate. It is the same hotel JFK stayed in before he was shot in Dallas. We checked out the expo and met up with friends- Matt and Nancy, and Jessica and John. I got my packet with my race number, chip, and sweet t-shirt. I am going to wear it with pride. Aaron and I got Jamba Juice and then headed back to the hotel before 7 for some wind down time. It was early to bed and early to rise.

Lucky for us racers (sarcasm), the wind came into Ft Worth which makes for unpleasant running conditions. After the Endurathon which was sooo cold and windy, I was in no mood to duplicate that. Man, that race sucked-at mile 14 there was a steep hill and all I could think was just get up the hill and you will be home free. Only 1.5 more to go and it is downhill or flat. Wrong! At the turnaround at the top of the hill it felt like someone kicked me in the chest because the wind was so strong and I had to fight it the whole way. But I digress, the weather that morning was in the 30's but with the wind factor it was supposed to feel more like 23 degrees. I love running in cold weather, but I hate running in cold windy weather. I get pretty hot that I don't really need much extra clothes except for the first mile really. Luckily, I didn't think it was worse than the Endurathon. Some people thought it was still pretty chilly. I thought the wind felt good.

The lines for the port-a-potties were long, and that is where I hooked up with Kelly. Cousin Kelly. My running inspiration. She's amazing. I couldn't find any of my other running mates-no pun intended. Aaron, Kelly, and I shoved our way to the start line. The gun went off, and we stood still. The crowd was so large, but I loved it. It was adventurous to see how long it would take to get to the walk, then the trot, then to the run. I ran my first 4 miles with Kelly. She was taking it "easy", haha. I was going my pace. So at mile 4 I gave her my blessing and told her I think we needed to split since I knew I didn't want to be dragged along by her like an old school toy phone with a string attached that had a roll over and was then bouncing around while being dragged. That is what Kelly would have been doing in a sense if I had stayed with her until I took out my pocket knife and cut the string.

That is when I took off my long sleeve shirt. It is comedic, how many pairs of mittens, gloves, ear warmers, and sweatshirts I saw discarded along the way. If I had taken my $2 mittens with me (which I handed off to Aaron at the gun) I think the cheapskate in me would have tucked them into my belt and taken them with me to the bitter end. I couldn't bare to toss gear away. Around mile 6 I was looking out for Aaron. When we went over the map the night before to see what stops he could make to take pics, it was only around mile 6 and then 11. The other miles were as such that he could not get there in time and then the ones he could, he would not be able to make the finish line in time if he hit those ones. It turned out that he missed me at mile 6. I was too fast, hehe, but it was good for me because I kept looking forward to seeing him other places. Like maybe he will be at this aid station, and it kept my mind off of running, looking for him.

I finally saw him at mile 11, but it went by too quickly. Just a wave and a few pics and I ditched my long sleeve shirt with him. At the half marathon point I was stoked. My time was 1hr 55mins. I was thinking if I kept my pace I could finish around 3hrs 50mins. I couldn't imagine that being in my sights and was elated. I felt great and on top of my game. Even at mile 16 I was feeling good. I was in a good mood listening to my music, thinking about Lorna when the song 'Low' came on and how she wants some "Apple Bottom jeans". I was jamming out to Beastie Boys, thinking "I could so do another marathon, this is fun" and then somewhere in between mile 18-19 I could feel it. The tide was slowly turning. My left ankle on the side, whatever muscle that is was starting to get sore and my right hip flexor was getting pretty stressed making my right lower back a little tight. It was slowly starting to get to me. I promised myself a walk break at mile 20 but took it at mile 19 during an aid station to down a GU and Gatorade. I then gave myself a mental talk about starting the race anew at mile 20. It was going to be a 20 mile race then a 10k. I broke it up in my mind thinking I could hopefully get a fresh start at mile 20. It doesn't work that way. The race just went downhill from there. I mean I still ran, only losing a little of my pace, but the energy it took to maintain what I had was huge. I had nothing left to 'step it up'. There wouldn't be negative splits in my future, but I didn't beat myself up too much about it, being my first marathon and all. I kept thinking, only an hour left of running, surely I can do another hour and then I can rest.

Mile 23 was definitely the longest for me. I kept thinking, oh surely I am on mile 24 by now, they just didn't put up the mile 24 marker. Then I saw it. Crap! I had only gone a mile. Miles 24-26 were just sheer focus and will power to keep my pace up. My right hip flexor at that point had actually spasmed a couple times making my stride feel like my leg was going to give out beneath me at times. I didn't see mile marker 25 at all, so you can imagine my elation when I started recognizing streets and knowing I was in the final stretches. Finally when I rounded the last corner and saw the finish line I dug deep and found energy I didn't know I had to sprint to the finish line. I passed 4 or 5 people in that sprint, it was sweet.

I was really worried in the end. My goal time was under 4 hours, meaning that anything with a "3" in front of it would make my day. Even if it was 3 hours 59 minutes and 59 secs, I would be happy with that. But the official gun time was about a minute ahead of my real start time. I knew I would most likely get my under 4 goal, but I also didn't want my gun time to be over 4. I wanted the time clock in my pictures to say "3" as well, not just my chip time. I think that was part of the reason I was able to sprint it out at the end when I saw the clock flashing 3:59:20,21,22,23 and so on. I needed to finish under 4. So my real time was 3:58:31 and my gun time was 3:59:30. I told myself I would be ok if it was anything less than 4hrs and 30mins, but I really wanted that "3". My final stats were 8th female in my age group to finish, 44th female overall, and 271st person overall to finish the race out of over 1100 runners-about 200 of which never finished the race.

I got my medal and stood around looking for Aaron, waiting for him to come to me. There were a lot of spectators around and I didn't want to waste energy walking through the crowds. About a minute later he came up to me and then I saw Michelle a split second later. She had tears in her eyes and was sad that she just barely missed my finish. Parking was atrocious. We walked through the food tent and grabbed some snacks (free food). I put it all in the bag, nothing sounded good to me at all except the semi frozen thing of orange juice and popcorn. Weird because I am not really a popcorn person. Along the way of the race there were jellybeans, bananas, oranges, GU packs, water, Gatorade, Snickers bars, and a few other things, but nothing sounded good to me. I forced myself to down those nasty GU packs b/c I knew I needed them, but I almost barfed when I had to.

After the race Matt and Nancy and Jessica and John met up with us at TGIFridays. I would have loved to hit IKEA on the way home in Austin but Aaron would have had to push me in the wheelchair because the highest I could lift my right leg was about 2 inches. I was the sorest Sat night. Sunday I was still sore but a bit better. Today I woke up sore but don't really feel to bad this afternoon. It's amazing what you can accomplish and get done at home when you aren't training for a race. I cleaned so much. I do have to say that I wore some moleskins for my blisters on my feet. They were a lifesaver and definitely a thumbs up. I didn't get any bad blisters this go round, but it was funny, when I took off my socks I originally put the moleskins on the pad of my foot underneath my big toe. When I saw them again, they had pushed forward and were clear up almost on my toe nail. A lot of movin and groovin going on there.

Overall, what a positive experience. I definitely want to do another. How quick we are to forget the pain. The end result overshadows it all.

[Comments] (4) Work horse: I've been work, work, working like a crazy person all week to get our house in shipshape. Our house is finally on MLS. Now I just need to finish the yard to have it presentable to potentials. Sigh. I am sooo glad we will be renting this next time around. I don't want to go through this again anytime soon, especially in a terrible housing market. Incidentally, Obama is giving away 8 grand for free to first time home buyers, you know, so there is more of a reason for people who can't afford to buy homes, to get a home. It's all good, maybe they can buy my house, it's going real cheap.

[Comments] (5) Pamper me: I think I might have opened Pandora's box here. Today, after ample amounts of yard work, I had to go to the store. Lily begged to come, and it's hard saying no when you feel so flattered that someone wants to spend time with you that bad. As I looked down to put my flip flops on I shuddered at my feet. My poor feet. I needed a pedicure, stat. The wheels started turning and I thought, why not take Lily with me to get a pedicure.

At first I just thought she would sit next to me and we could have some girl time, but I remembered this place did have these little chairs made just for little girls. I thought, why not? Maybe Lily will be turned into a spoiled brat b/c she is getting pedicures as a 4 yr old, time will tell. But we sat in our chairs side by side and hung out. She didn't know what to think about the water at first, and she was a little squirmy. Not as relaxing as I would have liked. It was cute the way she picked her nail polish color. At first sight she went straight for the pink with sparkles. I tried to distract her with other colors b/c the one she wanted would be see through and boring. She finally settled on this ruby red sparkly one. It is really pretty actually, but I went with a hot pink/orangish since it is spring here in San Antonio. It's been hot enough anyway.

When Lily saw the guy cutting back my cuticles she kept telling me she didn't want that. Tell them not to do that to my feet, I don't want that, it will hurt lol It was a fun mother daughter thing even though I think I have created a monster. Hopefully she won't think pedicures are normal to have often or that they are a right. Four is pretty young, but she was pretty darn cute to look at in the little chair right there with me getting her feet and legs massaged. Such little legs. It kinda bugs me that I can't understand a word that the salon people say to me, plus they speak so quietly and I am hard of hearing. I would really love a hearing test b/c I honestly think some of my hearing is gone. I really would like to know what they are saying instead of just nodding and smiling. I think it is crazy that they talk to each other across the room and they can understand each other even though they speak so quietly. I just wondered if anyone else thought that was strange. But the lady that was doing Lily's asked if she wanted her fingernails painted. Of course she wanted them painted, she's 4, but for $10 more, I will paint them myself. Sheesh! Ask the parent next time. I didn't hear her and when I realized she was painting her nails, it was too late. Oh well, they are pretty darn cute though. Little Lily, Miss Priss.

[Comments] (2) Love/hate relationship, and how to solve the world's problems: Dirt. I love it and I hate it. I just spent the past few days in wonderment and awe while planting flowers and in semi-disbelief that merely putting them in the ground would let them flourish. I mean I've done it a hundred times. I know it works, but it is still amazing to me that I can transplant little individual pansies with roots in a hole, and pack dirt around it. And they grow and look fantastic, at least most of the time. My irises are already blooming, and my gerber daisies look awesome. I just think it is great, and it has inspired me to go ahead and plant a vegetable garden this year. I took last year off, and the year before that was kinda a bust since Lily ripped most of the newly planted fragile peat pots out that took a month to start. Plus we are admonished to have gardens and it's nice to save on groceries.

I hate dirt because it has been my bane for the past couple days as well. I have been washing windows and blinds and dusting ceiling fans, furniture, and a/c vents and wiping down baseboards and doors so much that I can barely move. So much work, so little time, and finite energy. I don't want to see another speck of dirt in my house again, or at least until it is sold.

Which brings me to my next point- how to not look like an idiot 101. Last night I forwent doing the dishes in order to wipe down said items. Big mistake. Always do dishes in case a realtor calls at 8 in the morning wanting to show your house in an hour! Holy crap, talk about STRESS! The kids weren't even fed or changed. I scrambled like crazy and things looked good except for my room. Ah! I felt like such a retard. Hi, here's my house, don't mind the clean laundry in the corner or the bed with the comforter thrown on top. I didn't even have time to brush my teeth or put on a bra before I had to get out of the house. How embarrassing.

Finally, I know most of my problems would be solved if I had a big walk in pantry and bigger walk in master bedroom closet. Seriously, poof...problems would be solved. I need more space!

rootinest, tootinest cowboy: Gunnar's current obsession has fallen from Finding Nemo, to EIO- or any Baby Einstein, now to Toy Story 1 or 2 or "Woody" as he calls it. Before it was- walk into the door and he would say ah Nemo/EIO and now it's ah Woody. He's hooked. I asked who was his favorite buzz or woody, and he said buddy! He is a song and dance man too, Gunnar loves to sing-along to "You've got a friend in me". So cute. He also gets really upset when in the second Toy Story when the toys are crossing the street and the semi wrecks and the big cylindrical concrete tube rolls off the truck and rolls over the piece of gum, he goes "ah no, no, no mommy no, ah gum". I have to calm him down and tell him the gum is not hurt. Or maybe it is just cause he doesn't want to see gum getting wasted. He loves gum.

Some other things I love to hear Gunnar say are tookie (cookie), tisses (kisses), me, I do! (when you ask who wants...), oh man!, tos (because), how bout..., sandwich, show me (when he wants to show me something or have me get something for him), and my all time favorite- ah hold you (when he wants me to hold him). Lily did this too, and I am sure most toddlers do. I asked him the other day when he was getting into my drawer 'what are you doing?' and he goes stuff... He's a clever one.

When I am reading a book to him, and he sees something creepy, like spiders, he goes no ah get me as he pats his chest. Then I reassure him that they won't get him, that they are nice and he goes ah nice, ah nice spiders, and he might throw in a kiss for good measure. He has started sitting at the table for meals too, and been pretty good about it. He sits still way longer than in the past. Such a big boy. We've been playing Sardines with the kids lately and Gunnar is very cutie. It's good practice for him to count. After we are done counting he goes ah check here, no not here, shh!, check, I found you.

The days of sharing a room and no more. We moved the crib back into Gunnar's room. He was so upset that guess what he finally did the first night back into his room? He climbed out of his crib for the first time. He actually learned to climb out of the port-a-crib while at Ashley and David's a couple weekends ago for the marathon, but this is the first time he has done it in the big crib. He did great in a big bed after that for 2 times, a nap and a bed time, but then all the sudden he was terrified to sleep in the big boy bed again. He freaked out and he said it was "not safe". So he won't sleep in a twin. He leaps into his crib. So now we lowered the bar so he can easily get in and out of the crib on his own, hopefully transitioning to a regular bed soon. It's better this way though, Lily and Gunnar separate. I am so glad that is over. We gave it a good 2 months. Oh well. Maybe when we move and have bunk beds, the kids will share better.

[Comments] (1) That's what you get: I went through some old archives and read this entry. I had to laugh and share. She is still the same ol firecracker. What a crack up. We are going to have a blast together when she is a wife and mother...then I can bring up to her all the hell she put me through when we're on the phone and she is complaining to me about her kids misbehaving.

[Comments] (2) What daddy does: I still don't think the kids comprehend what Aaron does all day. So when we went to the dentist yesterday there was some apprehension. Lily wanted Gunnar to go first but they had her. She took one look at the dental chair and clung to my leg. I finally had to put bawling Gunnar down (he was offering up some sympathetic cries on her behalf) so I could man handle her into the chair. She became relaxed after they gave her cool sunglasses to put on and let her hold the mirror. She started laughing when they brushed her teeth, saying it tickled. And when they gave her the treat bag she was in heaven. She said it was fun and wanted to go again.

When she was younger, the past 2 times she has been to the dentist, she was awesome, no problem whatsoever. Gunnar on the other hand has always been the sensitive type. He was afraid of water the first year of his life, so a trip to the dentist sent him into pathetic cries. I had to hold down his arms but the helpful thing about his crying the whole time, his mouth was wide open and you could see everything. Wouldn't you know, he is teething and I had no idea. He is getting his two year molars in on all sides. I never see that far back in his mouth but after this, he will have all his baby teeth. Gunnar is not a baby anymore. He loved his treat bag too of course. He didn't actually stop crying until we left. I loved the snuggles though. After he was done, he wrapped his arms around my neck and didn't let go. What can I say, I love hugs.

[Comments] (3) Oedipus complex: So the other day Aaron was giving me a big hug, and Gunnar comes up and goes Hey! My mommy! No Daddy, no! Ah my mommy! As he was shoving Aaron away, he was clinging to my leg and hugging my leg while pushing on Aaron's leg. Guess someone has some competition in this house. haha Maybe he will say he wants to marry me when he grows up like Ethan did to Hailey. I still chuckle about that.

I can't say how much fun it is to have a sweet little boy like Gunnar. I just love him. I will sometimes say Who's my baby? And he'll say- ME! Who does mommy love? ME! Go out and get you a Gunnar b/c seriously, they are aDorAbLe!

*We went to a car wash that was pirate themed and ever since then he keeps asking to go back to the yar! car wash. He loves car washes now which is strange considering he was terrified by them a few short months ago. Every morning when we get in the car he has something to say about going to a car wash.

[Comments] (2) Thoughtful: We were watching tv, and the commercial for Oxyclean stain detergent came on. Lily was dazzled and amazed at the guy pouring it on the stain and the stain disappearing. She goes, Wow, it's magic. Hey mom, do you me to get that for you for your birthday? How sweet an offer and so thoughtful of her to want to make my life easier. Every time I'll remember this, I'll chuckle.

[Comments] (1) Sweet escape: We packed up for a few days and headed to Port Aransas for Aaron's spring break. What a trip. We stayed in this condo that had nice amenities with the Jessops. The weather was not hot enough for me or anyone else for that matter, to brave the ocean. We just went for walks along the shore and the kids had fun searching for sea shells. We were able to take advantage of the pool and hot tub. As for me, one who like scorching showers, I stayed with my kin in the hot tubs.

No one got burned or stepped on a fish bone thank goodness. The only casualties were sleep deprivation due to Lily and Gunnar sleeping in our room with us and maybe a little bit because the adults stayed up late and playing games. I loved playing games, Melissa and Tim are fun ones to play with b/c we have mutual interest in them. The kids staying in our room was not so much fun. Gunnar found it entertaining to wake up every couple hours and wanted to play and goof off with us. It's not so cute at 3 AM. I know he does this every night since he did the same thing to Lily when they shared a room. I think I wrote a post about how he was screaming at her to get up at 5AM one morning and I heard Lily grunting and finally waking up enough to say Gunnar! IF YOU DON'T BE QUITE I AM GOING TO HIT YOU!" It made me laugh. Anyway, he was up to his old tricks (something I am sure he just goes back to sleep for when he is alone) plus both of them woke up at 6AM sharp each morning. Also, not fun.

It was nice to relax and have nothing else on the agenda except whatever we felt like. Upon getting home I felt so sick. I am sure it was from eating at greasy spoons for every meal of the trip practically. One too many fish and chips. We had to take advantage of the seafood being right on the coast. We went to Snoopy's and Moby Dick's for dinner. Very good but I am so done with grease for awhile.

It's nice to be back and still have time to enjoy more days with Aaron home. After his break he has 4 weeks left of school. You don't even know how trippy that is! 4 years and now all we have is 4 weeks. I hope it goes by fast. I hate to think of all we have to do before we move. So much is out of our control and I hate that. I want to be able to take charge and work things out. I don't like these sort of life lessons.

The kids totally crashed early and I am so excited to sleep in my own bed and not have to wonder what the dark stains on the carpet are from. Gunnar had a funny melt down after Aaron but his aah-at (what he calls his blankey) in the washer. He had such a conniption it was almost laughable. He finally stopped but then when I went to dry it, he remembered his loss and didn't settle down until it was finished drying. Not enough naps for him.

Good times, but next time I am going to leave the beach trips for dead of the summer, not spring break.

PS Julie is having a girl!! Crazy thing is, we both like the same girl name and we didn't know it until now. And it is not that common so the taste must be in the genes.

Also: Gunnar was talking in his sleep last night. He said "Woody! Um, EIO." I would love to hear about his sweet dreams.

Quote of the Day: Lately, when I am putting Gunnar down for bed the converstation goes like this I need vroom vrooms. No Gunnar, no vroom vrooms. Just one vroom vrooms. Sorry bud, no vroom vrooms. Trains? I need trains. No trains either.

At first I gave in and was like ok, one car, thinking that it would just be like a doll. Maybe he wanted to sleep with a car, but after hearing him drive his cars on the wall and hearing "whaaaaa, wheeee, whaaaa" I thought better of it. The cutest though, was when he was fast asleep in his car seat and when I was transferring him to his bed, with his eyes still closed he whispered I need vroom vrooms.

[Comments] (9) Done deal: It looks like we have sold our house. We close May 15th and are leasing it back until we move early June. I feel like celebrating. I am so proud of myself. (I need to brag here, I feel so good.) I pretty much single-handedly sold the house myself. I researched a broker company to list it on MLS, I filled out all the paperwork, I took all the pictures after I worked tirelessly to organize the whole house and have it spotless, I continued to keep it clean day after day for a month while we had showings, I have done tons of yard work pulling weeds, planting a garden, mowing the yard, and edging (Aaron helped me a couple Saturdays). I went into uncharted territory, having never sold a home before, and successfully did it in an unfriendly economy with a month left to spare. I totally deserve the 3% we are saving from not hiring a realtor.

I am super grateful that we are making money on the house as opposed to so many that are in the hole after all is said and done. I feel sorry for the people in markets where the bubble popped and they are now in debt $100,000, $200,000...and so on. I know someone who knows someone that owes $400,000 and no house to show for it! Thank goodness that is not me or that we won't even owe $1,000. Such a relief.

I am going to miss the home showings though because I love having to have my house clean. Sometimes I think 'what's the point in making my bed, no one will see it, and what if I want to take a power nap and wasted work on having to remake it anyway' but I like having the motivation to keep things nice and it feels good. Overall, we are so blessed. I prayed every night that things would work out and left it up to the Lord and I really feel like my prayers were answered.

To sum up: It's a good thing I don't have the car today. (It's actually a bad thing, we have already spent $2000 on repairs last month alone, and it won't start again and check engine light is on. The stupid thing's trade in value is $3000 at best and I am mad I tell you! I am tired of my car being in the shop.) I was confined to my home and so I updated my blog with an obnoxious amount of Easter posts. Pretty much the past week/weekend. Fun was had by all. Sad we will be moving away from dear family, but excited for new adventures.

Not-so-eventful events: I finished a survey study today for pull-ups for Gunnar. I got $65 for participating in the survey and free pull-ups for the week. Pretty good deal if you ask me. All I had to do was have Gunnar wear them which I do anyway. Diapers that is, but he loved the new Cars pull-ups. No potty training on the horizon. He only told me once the whole time that he had "cold pull-ups" on. (They feel cold when you pee.)

I've just been getting things done around the house and doing some closing tasks. I will be relieved to hand over the key and be done with it. Just glad the work will be over, really. I actually teared up when I found out our house was going to belong to a stranger. I didn't want other people in my house and sleeping in my room. After all, it will always be mine/ours.

My body is over daylight savings. It is about time. I can wake up around when the kids wake up with not too much protest from my body. That's good.

I won a cute accent tray from a Southern Living party last night. I love free stuff.

And some eventful news, Jared and Cherie, Aaron's cousin, and her kids are coming to stay with us as they vist SA and Sea World tomorrow. We are excited to play with them.

[Comments] (2) Tidbit: Gunnar is the most ticklish person alive. Ever.

[Comments] (2) A boy and his B: Gunnar decided he wanted to take off his diaper and pee on the carpet after I put him to bed. (Not unusual) So when I checked on him an hour later and found him asleep on the floor with a naked bum and a pee soaked rag, I threw the B in the washer. During the diapering, he woke up enough to be coherent. About 45 seconds after I put him back in the crib and closed the door, I heard him crying hysterically, Mama, open the door. Ahh-at go?! Open the door, please, having reached for his B and not find it.

That kid...one washing and drying later he went to bed, but not for lack of trying earlier. He just would not stop bawling unless he was in the family room with us. He's got us pretty well trained.

[Comments] (6) It's official: Aaron is heading home from his last day of clinic. He is now Dr. Aaron Smith. I am a Dr.'s wife. teehee He still has the WREB to pass so he can officially practice on patients, but right now he has his DDS earned with blood, sweat, and tears. His patients blood, Aaron's sweat, and my tears.

Aaron's group leader, Dr. Hill, told Aaron that he has the best hand skills in the whole group. He said even though he is not totally on the ball, organization-wise, he said those people don't necessarily make the best dentists. You don't have to tell me that he has great hand skills, heh heh. (I'll wait for you to come back from the bathroom vomiting.) But it was very gratifying and sweet to hear that, especially after feeling like Aaron cannot plan his way out of a paper bag sometimes. (Don't think I am mean, he'll tell ya.) I've always known Aaron is talented, and I believed in him even though we were scared spitless at BYU wondering if we were ever going to make it here. He hates school!! For his professor to endorse him as one of the best dentists in his year, I find that a big payload. Here's to Dr. Smith!! You rock, babe!

Sunshine on my sholders makes me happy: In honor of earth day, I am going to enjoy the sun and weather out by my mom's pool. I *heart* the earth. Especially spring time. It's a great day to be alive.

I have to say that Lily has said some pretty funny things lately. She refused to wash her hands claiming that she is allergic to water. But mom, I am allergic to water. As I drag her kicking into the bathroom. She got that from me when I told her Aaron is allergic to cats after she begged to get one. She also fell and scrapped her knee pretty deep at recess yesterday. It is the kinda cut that it hurts to walk on b/c it is so tender, and she was limping around. When I saw it I gushed you poor thing, oh Lily, are you ok? And she said It's ok, I didn't cry. I was very brave, mom.

Also, she drew a picture on the magna doodle and was like Look mom, it's our family. (There were 4 bodies in the picture) But that's not Gunnar. He's not in the picture. That's my new baby sister. Now I have to clarify I am not pregnant, but Lily keeps telling people I am pregnant and that I am having a baby in the summer. Whenever we go to Target or Old Navy she asks to get an outfit for Emerson. She's got something right, if we have another girl I told her we will name her Emerson (which could change whenever), but she honestly thinks we are having a baby sister for her and she asks when she is coming all the time. Not for awhile sweet pea, sorry. Poor Gunnar though, he is on Lily's bad side right now. Most the time they play great, but every now and then...

Gunnar, too, has said some quips. Mommy Sir!, when he is angry with me or trying to get my attention. I'm pretty sure it derived from me reprimanding him by saying No Sir! Another crack up is when he is very upset he goes Never, ever, ever again! Never, ever! I think he is telling me to never do whatever I am doing to upset him again. It is hard to take seriously, and oh so funny.

Happy Earth Day!

[Comments] (2) Convos with Aaron: Aaron and I were outside pulling weeds from the garden and I said I sure hated that when you pull weeds it turns your fingers and hands green.

Aaron: That's why it's called green thumb.

Me thinks: Oh, so that's why. I thought it was because you want to keep your plants green.

Even funnier--listening to Aaron's one sided conversations with his buddies while playing WoW. He is such a dork! Now grab the sacred staff. I need res...heal, heal, quick heal me. Oh man, that battle was epic. Summon again. Pretty sure a game where you have "mounts" named fiery war-horse you are pretty 5-star LAME! During his raids I just picture him as a 14 yr old pimpled face dork in his parents basement playing games. Kinda like Bill Haverchuck in Freaks and Geeks.

Animal lovers: We have a neighbor kitty that takes naps in our backyard in the same spot. It frequently visits us and my kids get really excited to see it. Gunnar is surprisingly kind and gentle with it. He loves to go and say hi and pet it when it lets him. Sometimes he will try and feed grass to it. It is very sweet that he likes animals. We all know he didn't get that from me. Although I liked our cats when we first got them, I grew out of the animal thing when I became more aware of smells and dirty hands feeling.

Lily asked me what the point on the unicorn's head was called. I told her it was a horn I guess, but it was just pretend anyway, because unicorns were not real. She argued, they are real because they are nice, and nice things are real. Only mean things are not real. I like that kind of selective acceptance. Like the nice unicorns in movies are real but the mean antagonists (witch/monster) don't exist. I too take on this philosophy. When eating a sweet, the calories consumed are only what it says on the box, regardless of serving size...yes please, I'll have another. And we all know that treats eaten on the Sabbath don't count altogether.

[Comments] (2) From the mouth of babes: "Mommy, you need to hurry up and get married so I can have another sister and brother."

I am not quite sure what she thinks 'married' means...even more unusual was the other day Aaron was scolding Gunnar for something and Lily retorted "don't yell at him, he's my husband". She will also say that she and Gunnar are going to get married when they grow up. Pretty amusing.

[Comments] (2) May Day: Mi-chelle, ma belle, Sont des mots qui vont très bien ensemble très bien ensemble. Happy 22nd birthday, Michelle.

Today was eventful. This whole week has been pretty busy actually. I thought I would be ushering in my 30's with a new van. It turns out that our little sedan, the one I bought in college, is not what it used to be. I would have loved more than anything to drive it until #3 made it's debut. It has been a cheeky fellow and picking and choosing when it wants to start. I am done paying for repairs.

So Aaron and I did our homework and decided to go with a new white Hyundai Entourage. It's got everything and we got it super cheap. We just got it this morning in from Nebraska. They literally only had a handful of the Limited ones left in the United States. It exceeded expectations in real life. I mean it is a minivan, but a pretty sharp looking minivan. I am already feeling regretful about the dvd player b/c I don't believe my kids need to watch any more TV than they already do and that, of course, is their favorite part.

Lily has called the seat in the back as her own. Gunnar wishes he could be back there but the point was easy in and out, not mom crawling over seats to buckle kids in. I know, I'm mean. It is fun to drive and I am still getting used to the buttons and gadgets. For example when I am reversing, it started to beep at me when I was getting close to the curb. Pretty cool. And anytime it is in reverse the mirrors point down so I can see stray children and whatnot. Pretty neat safety features. I can't wait to know what does what like the back of my hand b/c it is not easy to figure it out while driving.

Gunnar had an eye appointment this afternoon as well. Everything looks good, but he didn't dilate his eyes. He said to wait until sept to measure his eyesight again. I said "I really hope it doesn't get worse" and the Dr said "it will". Nice manners. I guess if Drs can't be honest, then who can I suppose. Aaron has the WREB tomorrow and Sunday. I hope everything goes as planned. Also, we close on our house a week from today. Pretty crazy stuff happening in the next little while.

[Comments] (2) We have arrived: WREB is officially over. Aaron thinks he passed. I guess they let us know for sure before graduation. So last night we went to mom's for Michelle's birthday dinner. My mom is the best cook, hands down. She made awesome mahi mahi, salmon, mango chutney, coconut lime rice, crusted pecan feta salad, asparagus and peppers, and chocolate cake and as an appetizer hummus and pita chips. It was one of my favorite meals.

Aaron joined us at the tail end after he finished the exam. What a relief. I feel exquisite! Aaron and I stayed up late chillin with Julie who is in town. it is fun to see her and I love patting her pregnant belly! We stayed up way too late, and for some reason I couldn't sleep when I went to bed. Probably bc I took a nap.

This morning I took advantage of Aaron being home all day and went on a run outside. It was such a nice morning. I enjoyed being by myself. I love where we live and that in one direction we can get right to stores and conveniences, and in the other direction is a calm road with cows 8 feet from the road. Country and city, that's how I like it. Here's to a 2 month long vacation!

The Reader: After reading the synopsis of the movie that Kate Winslet won best actress for, I realized that the story sounded very familiar. I googled it and it turns out that I read that book years ago. Strange.

[Comments] (1) Bubba boy: While pulling weeds in the garden, Dubya was walking the perimeter of the garden too scared to come in b/c I told him mean scary ants would get him. I told him that b/c there were ants but mainly because his "helping" is pulling out the plants and not weeds. The tomatoes were in the middle and still green and small, and he kept saying "I want some grapes." I told him, no they are tomatoes. He argued no ah moes, ah grapes. I have some grapes, please. He was so cute, I wanted to give them to him anyway.

[Comments] (1) "Closing Time": Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.-Semisonic

The house is no longer ours. We closed on it yesterday, and by Monday we should have a large sum deposited into our account. It all happened so fast, and since we still live here it doesn't seem real. I am very grateful for it, I love it. It is almost like a member of our family. My mother-in-law always says her favorite house is the very first one they owned in Seattle. Not because it was the nicest or biggest, but because it was the first. I love this little house. It was so perfect and wonderful for this phase of life we are/were in. It is cute and comfortable and we are so glad it was ours. We have so many fond memories here, I hope the new buyer treats it well. I can't wait to come back after a few years and see how big the trees have grown.

We go out east the end of this month to look for a place to rent for the year. Hopefully it will be a teeny bit bigger than this house. We are busting at the seams.

The Graduate: HoRrAY! David got his bachelor's degree. He walked the stage this morning. I am so proud of him. He is one of the hardest workers I know. He earned his degree with night classes and what not, working full time with his jobs pretty much the whole time he was in school. I have so much admiration for him b/c I tried working full time for one semester while going to school and it wasn't pretty. That is the hardest thing to do. I am so proud of him! Great job little brother! He says he is applying for Masters programs. Have fun with that. hA!

I feel like a huge weight is lifted.: 3,600 pounds to be exact. I listed my car on craigslist yesterday and minutes later I got a few emails. Some people came to test drive it last night and a lady gave me an offer I couldn't refuse. I went and signed it over today and I have a wad of cash in my purse now. Aaron said I could spend it on myself and that I deserve the money for whatever I want. Laser hair removal came to mind, haha.

Alas, the money is already spent. Such is the life of a student. The cash is going straight to paying down the new car and credit card. Woohoo. I felt rich for a second. It was kinda fun to pretend to spend it in my mind. I did, however, reserve the right to buy a new graduation dress for Sat. After bed time, I'm going to the mall. Who wants to come with me? :)

So thank goodness I got to check that big item off my list of things to do before I move. Also, a bonus it sold before we left town and had to deal with that mess.

[Comments] (4) Nation's capital: We are house hunting in DC now. We think we found a good match. Aaron wanted something close to work...it's just not feasible here. Our realtor says (commuting) it's just a way of life around here. It's not too bad though. About 25 minutes without traffic and 45 with. That is old news since that is how it was in San Antonio. Aaron just needs to be one with his ipod and some good audio books.

So it's south of downtown in Waldorf, MD. It is in a very nice community with a hiker/biker trail, 'lake', tennis courts, swimming pool, 'tot lot' playground, and near shopping and conveniences. A huge plus, the school is great and within a couple blocks of the house. Overall, I love it. Especially going into it with the notion that everything is teeny and super expensive, close together and crowded. Not the case at all in this town. It's a 4 bed 2.5 bath, two car garage, hardwood floors in the downstairs. It is pretty new, built in 2003, and we have a good deal of money left from our housing allowance to pay for bills and help out with other expenses. We feel very fortunate.

I do feel sorry for Aaron's commute, but that's DC for ya. Seriously, there was nothing safe near the base. I flat out told him we would not be living in one house...he agreed.

We even had some time to get in some sites. Very exciting stuff. Looking forward to being east coasters.

[Comments] (6) Church stuff: Today in church I hear this quote that I thought pertained to our day and time. What a testimony that the leaders of our church really are being Divinely inspired.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell "Meeting the Challenges of Today" Oct. 10, 1978. "Make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters, in the months and years ahead, events are likely to require each member to decide whether or not he will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions. President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had 'never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional or political life.'

"This is hard doctrine, but it is particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ. . . . Your discipleship may see the time when such religious convictions are discounted. . . . This new irreligious imperialism seeks to disallow certain opinions simply because those opinions grow out of religious convictions.

"Resistance to abortion will be seen as primitive. Concern over the institution of the family will be viewed as untrendy and unenlightened.... Before the ultimate victory of the forces of righteousness, some skirmishes will be lost. Even in these, however, let us leave a record so that the choices are clear, letting others do as they will in the face of prophetic counsel. There will also be times, happily, when a minor defeat seems probable, but others will step forward, having been rallied to rightness by what we do. We will know the joy, on occasion, of having awakened a slumbering majority of the decent people of all races and creeds which was, till then, unconscious of itself."

To die for: I haven't had much time to blog lately. Super busy with the move and all that entails. Getting medical records, change of addresses, registering the car-huge headache, last minute appointments. Aaron and I were able to steal away on a date though. David and Ashley wanted to hang with the kids. They took them to Chuck E Cheese. (Their favorite place in the whole world. Lily talks so much about her past and future birthday party there, now Gunnar is asking for "uh my birthday party at Chuck E Cheese.") They also took them to Build A Bear. Gunnar got the cutest bear with glasses! that he named "super boy" and Lily got a ballerina bear. They're spoiled rotten by them.

So with a free babysitter, Aaron and I went to Melting Pot. We got a gift certificate there from some super nice person (Jenni!! oh my gosh, thank you!) for Aaron's graduation. It was great. I seriously love that place. It is very delicious and not the worst thing for you...cheese is cheese and chocolate is chocolate, but the main course and salad are quite low fat. I enjoy myself immensely when I go there. It was awesome and a great treat to a crazy day. We then went to Academy to spend the rest of the money I have on a gift card. I don't think they have any Academy's where we are going so I had to use it up.

I am pretty tired, not much sleep going on here with Gunnar kicking down the door at 6AM. I'm waking up early for my last long run with my dear running bud Nancy. :(

Waldorf, Naptown, worldwide. What?: We're here. We took our time getting here, four days. It was pretty uneventful, which is good. I didn't want any drama since I drove in the minivan the whole way here by myself with the kids while Aaron drove the truck. I thought early on that we might make a road trip out of it and go to Nashville and see some other sites, but when all was said and done and the movers had taken our stuff, I just wanted to be done with it. Moving is stressful and so not fun. Especially when you clean your place really good and you get to your new place and it is kinda gross. Not that it was filthy, but other people's dirt is not doable for me.

We finally got internet so that's good. The gas company was being a huge pain b/c there was a balance left on the house when the other renters were evicted and didn't pay the bills. They wanted me to come into the office in DC to show our lease and id's. We finally got a minute today to do that. Cold showers are painful, I tell ya. While trying to find the gas company building I asked guys working on the power lines where it was. The man was like girly, you should not be on this side of town. You have the wrong texture skin if you know what I mean. You need to be really careful and hold your stuff close to you because these people will take it if you know what I am saying. Be careful. Don't even come here at night. It didn't seem that scary in the daytime, but it was in a poor neighborhood you could tell. I was the only white person in sight. It's kinda different being the only white people at the play ground or whatever. Lily made her first friend. She's a cutie girl in the neighborhood.

The kids have said some pretty cutie things lately. When we got to our house and Lily tried the door she was like gasp, maybe Barack Obama is in there. She knows very well we are living near DC where the Pres of the USA lives, and she takes it literally. She gets really excited when she sees his picture and told her teachers before we left that she was going to live in DC where BArack Obama lives.

Gunnar was so hilarious when the movers were packing our things. He heard one of the ladies ask me if we wanted to take the pillows with us or if we wanted them to take them. When I told her to pack them, Gunnar shouted No! ah my mommy's pillows. Not yours. He thought they were taking all our stuff away. When I took the kids into the house one last time to say goodbye after it was all empty, Gunnar walked into his room and busted out in tears. He said Where'd my room go? I love my room. I want it. Ah where'd it go? Same with his blankets they packed- but I love my Cars blanket, I want it. Or I need my cars, I love my cars.

I thought I would only give a quick update. There is still a lot to unpack and I thought I would just be quick, so I will have to write more later.

PS The a/c was broken when we got here, and although it is not as hot as texas, quite nice weather actually, it is still too blasted hot for no a/c when you are moving boxes around. I am glad we got that fixed today too.

[Comments] (5) A note on Gunnar's new bed: Since the move, Gunnar has been sleeping in a big boy bed. I thought he might not be into it since before the move he would cry and say it was too scary. He didn't want to sleep in a crib but also wasn't into a bed, so he agreed to sleep on the crib mattress on the floor. It worked well, we'd often find him on the ground when we would check on him but whatev.

We decided not to take the crib with us, so as the old adage goes, out of sight out of mind. He hasn't asked about it at all. He accepted his bed without protest. So that's that. I looked around for cute bedding to go in his room. Here I was on Pottery Barn browsing, not really into spending that much. Then we were at the BX. Gunnar spotted some Cars sheets. So hideous, but he grabbed them and put them in the cart. When I tried to put them back, he screamed no, my Cars sheets, I want em! while clutching them to his chest. How could I say no? It is his room anyway. I couldn't take it if he brought it up in his 30's at a family reunion saying yeah, I remember the time when all I wanted was Cars sheets and you never got them for me. So he won. We bought the eye sores. He is so cute with them too, it was worth it. Plus, the hit on the pocketbook was a fraction of what we would spend on cute sheets. Also, David and Ashley already bought him a large Cars fleece blanket so it's a set. Done deal. Boy is happy so I am happy.

[Comments] (2) I like, I love: I like the new gym I found. Nothing will compare to Spectrum. Of course it is a lot cheaper. You get what you pay for.

I LOVE Bob Evans. I know I am weird for loving IHOP. What can I say, I LOVE pancakes. For me, it's like eating dessert for breakfast. Bob Evans is SO much better than IHOP. I think it is an East Coast chain b/c I have seen it in FL too while visiting Aly. They've got great salads as well.

I like the cooler weather. I can't say I love b/c from what I hear, it has not yet gotten into "Summer heat". It's hot and humid here in the summer too. It's just that Summer doesn't last as long. So in that, I LOVE the short summer. (I know I will HATE the long winter. I like my winters to be broken up into 2-3 weeks excellent weather, with one week cold weather, SA style.)

I LOVE all the trees. You can tell the trees are truly native and not planted by the first settlers of the area. They're huge. And GREEN, and gorgeous. I can't wait for Fall when they all change colors!

I like that Waldorf is smallish and that I have almost figured my way around most of it, or at least what I need to know about it.

I LOVE Ikea. We have already been once and made a few furniture purchases that were needed, and I love that it is within a reasonable distance.

I like my new ward. I have only been once, and can't say that it was love at first sight, but I think I like it.

I LOVE BJ's Wholesale. It is literally 3 minutes from my house (as is the mall, yay). It is like Sams or Costco-except not as good in some things, and they have cheap gas. I like that I can fill up right by my house and not have to plan trips in that area for fill up. Plus, the best part is they accept ebt. We have a little left over and we are needing it since Aaron has no pay check until Aug.

I like that I am a resident of Maryland. Sounds exotic to me, though it is not, exotic. I will say that I am glad we are only going to be here a year. Not even a month and I feel isolated. Mainly because I have no friends yet, except a girl named Stephanie that I talked to at church and bumped into at my gym. Score! We have had our first visitors (Joe and Louise) so that is good. Keep em coming. I miss everyone!

Me no likey things.

I don't like that when people get in accidents here, which seems to be like everyday, they pretty much camp out in the spot and don't move until everything is taken care of. Once they blocked off a whole entire light (all 4 lanes) and just made everyone wait. Get the heck on the side of the road people and cops. No wonder there are traffic jams here.

Next one, traffic. Part of life here. Hasn't been too atrocious...yet.

GPS. You suck Mr. GPS. Get your crap together and rub a couple measly satellites together once in awhile, will ya? A girl can not be going to the airport and not have satellite reception for 10 minutes. I NEED to know these things. They are vital, that's why I bought you. And don't tell me wrong streets to turn on in downtown. I swear, you would think 2 yr olds are sending the GPS directions. Haha wouldn't it be funny if I made them take a right, then the next right, then the next right, then the next? Going in circles is fun! not!

I don't like the busy season. It will be nice to go downtown when there aren't a lot of people.

My wireless is spotty here. Might be the provider, Verizon, but it is supposed to be the best. It's fiber optics. And we ordered regular cable- just your basic channels, nothing special. We only get one major network. This is probably nationwide since the switch to digital, but I am mad. I am paying for channels I don't even get and I have to pay more to get a box to be able to get them. It's not like we have old tv's either.

Renting sucks, I feel bad calling the landlord about all the kinks that need to be fixed that you find out after living in the house. I shouldn't feel bad b/c it is his responsibility to fix it, I just hate putting people out. I liked having a new house that had nothing wrong with it, and if something did go wrong, we would just fix it. No calling, no waiting. At least he is a nice landlord.

Things are freakin spensive! (I know, I need to stop using crude language, but I like it. Gunnar saw a pic on a billboard of a frog, one with the red eyes variety and Gunnar goes "look! a freaky frog". Must stop using bad language in front of children.) Gas is comparable, slightly higher than in TX, but my trash service is $40 a month! I paid around $60 for 3 months in TX. Generic hair cuts are $16 not $12. Ben and Jerry's is like yowza! Luckily groceries I can get at the base (I paid a dollar fifty for a gallon of milk thankyouverymuch) but they really get you in other things. I like this house and all, but if I was not in the military and having to pay out of pocket for housing I would not live on the east coast. It's great and all, but so is TX and it's so cheap. Plus it has my peeps there.

That's the story so far.

[Comments] (1) gone 'n done it: Upon Lily's discovery that her father had shaved his head (not bic'ed, there is a difference) she goes daddy! why's your hair all dead? Why is it not coming back again? She knows a few bald people, and I think Lily thought Aaron was going bald. Although, I don't know why b/c all of Aaron's hair was showing still, just really short.

The shaved head is just a temporary thing. It's not b/c he has to wear it that way. All the while Aaron's dad was in the military you could never tell by his hair cut. No flat tops or buzzes. His regular hair cut could pass. It's just because he is about to leave for COT (bootcamp for officers) in less than a week (wah!), and it is just better to not have hair to worry about while in Alabama and sweating from the physical training. Much cooler, much easier.

He will be growing his hair back out. Not that he looks bad. Just that he has a full head of hair, why not show it off?

Treasure these times: I see Gunnar coming down the stairs, which surprises me b/c he was supposed to be napping. He has his hands out to his side, palms forward, and says in his deep, scruffy Gunnar voice uh! big! mess! Go and clean it mommy. I see lotion all over his hands and shirt. I tell him to show me where the big mess is, not wanting to be surprised later. He leads me to my bathroom where he relieved the lotion bottle in little squirts all over the tub and floor and appliances. If only he weren't so dang cute I would have spanked his little bottom.

After waking up, and calling for me before I had yet gone to bed, I came in. It was dark and I asked him why he was out of bed. He ran back toward his bed but tripped on the pile of shoes he had unloaded from his drawer. He goes ahh, look at this mess. Clean up the big mess. I asked him who made the mess, and he goes in the same gruff voice I did. I made the mess. We'll clean it in the morning you goof. We all know it will be out again when I come get you anyway. Gotta love my cute little man.

Quacks: Our neighborhood claims a trail around a lake. It's really a glorified duck pond. There are duck ponds everywhere here. Driving along, Gunnar exclaims duck pond! for every single one. And you have to acknowledge him and repeat him or else he screams it over and over again. Just like when we go over the Potomac and he screams the beach!, you have to to say "yes Gunnar, a river" with as much gusto as him and only then does he deem it an acceptable response.

With ponds, there are many ducks and geese and little duck crossings. When we first got here and our A/C was not working, we had the windows open. Around 3AM I was awaken to this wah,wah,wah,rwah,rwah,rwahwah,wah,wah, as you could hear them approach the house, walk by the house, and head away from the house. Cutie things, they are.

Best compliment ever: Today during Gunnar's nap, Lily and I were chilling in her room. I was laying on her bed and we were playing eye-spy. I was trying to get her to cuddle with me b/c I really felt like a nap for some reason. So then I said 'how about you give me a foot massage?' She was like ok, and then goes to touch my feet and said hey, I know what you need, let's buy that thing on the commercial that gets rid of all the white stuff on feet. Wha? lol, she must have been referring to the pedi egg or something like that. How did she know my calloused heals were the thing for that? She wouldn't flat out say no she didn't want to massage my feet anymore, she just said 'why don't you just rub my feet?' So I did. Give me a break, I wear a lot of sandals.

Gunnar was picking his nose at the pool. His finger was up so far and he was digging away. I asked what he was going in there and he replied boo-ghers like it was some French delicacy. I asked what the boogers were for and he goes, dinner. You can't make this stuff up!

[Comments] (1) Husbandless: I dropped Aaron off at the airport this morning. We won't even see his face until Aug 1st! He's at the officer version of boot camp. Can't wait to hear about their first day tomorrow to see if there is any in your face spit screaming going on. Hopefully it won't be too physically taxing. I guess it just depends on each year and what commander is there.

The kids are funny. They don't really get it. When we got home and saw Aaron's truck in the driveway Lily goes "daddy's home". Umm, daddy's on an airplane, remember? I told Aaron to take a good look at Gunnar b/c he won't look the same when he gets back.

So I'm a single mommy, but it's all good. On the agenda-trips to the park and pool, and quesadillas, little pizzas, and Mac and Cheese for dinner. I'm not going to knock myself out. I should be just fine. I'll let you know in 2 weeks if it is going as well as I planned. :)

When I grow up: I was reading a Dora book to the kids that talked about different jobs grownups have. At the end of the book it asks 'what do you want to be when you grow up?' Of course Gunnar points to all the pictures throughout the book of Boots in a baseball uniform and soccer uniform. We wanted to be all sports player. Lily said she wanted to be an artist and a doctor. Cuties.

UPDATE: In the car Lily said she can't wait for "you and daddy to get married so I can have a baby sister." I told her daddy and I were already married, and she said she can't wait for Jesus to send me a baby in my tummy so she can hold her baby sister. She also said she wanted to be a Dr. so she can deliver babies.

[Comments] (2) Juxtapose this: We went swimming at the neighborhood pool today. It is so fabulous, and free. It comes with the lease, and the owner pays the HOA fees. It is such an awesome neighborhood pool b/c it is so close and they have a baby pool that is pretty large that my kids love. Although, Gunnar who is the biggest nancy boy there is, is starting to actually get in the big pool after seeing that his friends could do it and didn't want to be left out.

So today after we were at the pool for about an hour, it started raining. It got progressively worse until we were forced under the big tarp canopy sitting at the table, eating snacks, waiting for it to calm down. Gunnar sat tentatively in his chair wrapped in his towel. He had a disconcerted look in his eye and said "mama, I scared of the rain. I don't like it". It was raining pretty hard at that point, but like I said...nancy boy. So I devised a plan. To make a first trip to the car carrying Gunnar snug in his towel so he wouldn't be bawling or lagging behind dragging his towel and getting it soaked. As I was cradling Gunnar in my arms like a baby (my kids always ask to be held "like a baby" after we get them out of the bath in the warm dry towel) Gunnar and I made eye contact and he said in a soft voice mama, I wuv you. oh.my.gosh. I adore this little boy so much. So I said "I love you too Gunnar, you are my little baby." And he goes yeah, I your baby. I could have died, he was so precious.

So then I put him in the car all sweetly wrapped up and sit him in his seat, but I don't buckle it b/c I britney spears it down the street b/c we don't live that far. I threw my keys in the passenger side seat because I didn't want them getting all wet and I needed hands to carry the bag of pool toys and the pool bag with snacks, my book, sippy cups, etc.

So Lily and I make a run for it and what do I see in the windshield but Gunnar's little head bobbing around. That little scamp. He had my keys in hand and had locked us out. I stood there in the rain for 5 mins trying to explain which button Gunnar should push. To make matters worse, there's five in an automatic doors minivan, and he pushed every single one of them ten times before he pushed the right one. He got the big button down (the one that locks) and of course the red "panic" one was cool, so he set the alarm off a couple times. So embarrassing. I can just imagine the passerby's seeing me yelling through the window "no, not that one, the one right under that button. Push it!" while the alarm is going off and on. Nice!

What happened to my sweet little baby that so tenderly exchanged voluntary i love you's with me? Here I am frazzled, yelling at him through the window with him giggling and getting kicks at my expense. What a little buster. Folks...that's what we call motherhood.

[Comments] (1) Just right: Perfect amount of snuggliness.

G-Mommy, can you snuggle me?

K-Ok, Gunnar but only for a little bit.

...me just chilling next to Gunnar...

G-Mommy, can you go now?

I think it is so cute when he does this. Wants to be with me, but likes his own space too.

[Comments] (2) S'more things: ...I really like about 'my new house'. I love that my master closet is in the bathroom. Seems more appropriate than right off the bedroom. I love the gas stove. So much nicer to have even heat and a flat surface to cook on. The dishwasher is so quiet. It is nice to be able to load it, start it, and then go watch a show rather than load it, watch a show, and start it before I go to bed.

One bad thing though. The washing machine's spin cycle can wake the dead. Now that thing is loud.

An inconvienient truth: "Gunnar, spit out that bead."

sprints away laughing

me not wanting to deal with one more thing thinks, I'll get him when he comes back around.

Gunnar nonchalantly strolls back in the kitchen. "Mommy, I ate the bead all gone."

...great, I'm just to pretend like I didn't hear that. I'm sure it will come out in his poop eventually.

[Comments] (4) cheap thrills: We went on a walk this afternoon to our duck pond to feed the ducks some garlic bread leftover from our dinner with Barrie, Jan, Suzette, and the Whitfields. The ducks were crazy. They were hissing, and have no fear of humans. They were stepping on my toes and gathering all around us despite Gunnar running and throwing the bread at them. Aaron assured me that ducks won't get sick off the butter and garlic salt. They might have some really stinky farts though.

If you want to get a good arm work out, go out and buy this for your toddler. They will use the handle bars like you did when you were 5 and thought that steering a car meant jerking the wheel from side to side. Trying to steady that thing and go straight while Gunnar was yanking it back and forth worked my delts really good. On the other hand, Lily was super cutie on her Dora tricycle. She made sure that when we turned a certain way she used the proper blinker on there.

[Comments] (2) Something smells fishy : Last night we went out for Maryland's famous crab cakes and seafood for dinner with Mom while she is in town. Lily said she wasn't hungry and didn't want to order anything. She kept asking me what that smell was. I told her it was the fish. She was like 'I know, but what's that bad smell?' The fish! 'But something smells stinky.' Trust me, it's the seafood.

After we got home and put the kids to bed Lily bemoaned "I'm hungry". Sorry kiddo, you don't eat dinner (there were chicken nuggets and hamburger on the kids menu for crying out loud) then you don't eat. So she was all upset and told me angrily "You shouldn't have gone to a stinky fish restaurant for dinner, I didn't like it." I'm such a mean mom. ps I have had oysters for the third and last time in my life. bleah

[Comments] (7) It's about time...: To write about whats been going on. How we are so glad Aaron is back, and what we were up to with him gone (lots of trips to the gym and pool). I asked Aaron to write his own blog post about COT with pictures and commentary, but he just sorta laughed. Some of the pictures are cool so if I have time to get around to it, I will do it. This blog is about me, ME, me so my number one priority is to blog about me and my trip to Paris first. But first a quick word on Aaron.

He's come home a new man! I haven't seen a change in him this big since he came home from his mission, in where he gained 20-25lbs and started growing facial hair. Not kidding, he still can only grow a sparse goatee and random hair along the jawline. He looks great and happy and a little more buff than before. The man never works out and still has huge arms and so you can imagine what his arms look like after a few push ups. haha But seriously, his countenance is glowing despite telling me over and over how much he didn't like COT; I can't help but think a part of him found it rewarding and fulfilling.

We are very happy Aaron is home. Very. So happy that when he started his first day on base yesterday and when the kids asked why he was absent again and I told them work, Lily was near tears saying I thought daddy was all done with work. No, now he works here and will be home every night. His first couple days have been fine, no big surprises, or accidents on his commute. Mainly just getting paperwork done. He can't wait to get a hold of a patient and hand piece again. Soon...

So while Aaron was away for almost 5 weeks, I took a little trip without him. It was spur of the moment, really. As much spur and moment as you can get with a European vacation anyway. Michelle was in London for an internship for 8 weeks and I, having a list of travel desires a mile long, cooked up a haphazard scheme to get myself to London to see Michelle. And we threw in Paris for good measure. Hey, why not? What's a little more at that point, right?

I knew it was a long shot, but I figured if I never asked it would never happen, so I went out on a limb and asked my dear friend Rebecca Cook if she would so kindly watch my angels for 7 DAYS. She said yes! She initially turned me down on paying her, but I insisted and forced her to take my money, and I think maybe she was glad at the end of the week after all the work was done that she was getting paid. Just maybe a little bit even though she was willing to do it out of the goodness of her golden heart. My 2 kids and her 4 kids=6 kids and she handled it like a champ. So impressed. Totally not surprised, she's awesome.

So I hurried and got my passport. It came with plenty of time to spare, only took two weeks and didn't have to pay for it to be expedited. I found a good ticket to fly into Paris and then fly out of London. Did my research, figured out where and what to see on my lonely nights with Aaron gone. Everything worked out awesome with only a few bumps along the road.

My kids also did great Rebecca said. Lily was no problem, actually loved being Bryn's little sister, and Gunnar had his issues, but for the most part behaved nicely. Besides Gunnar missing me so much, they both had a great time too with some bona fide bike riding cuts and running around bruises to show for it.

My mom overlapped my trip in London for a couple days as well. I got home before her and she had a layover in DC so she just scheduled to stay for 2 1/2 days to hang out with us and see where we lived and all. We had lots of fun going downtown and seeing the FDR Monument, Air Force Memorial-with a great view of the city skyline and Arlington cemetery, and Pentagon Memorial. We loved it, and the kids were good sports but after those 3 things Lily asked "What are we doing next, and if you say another monument I am not going to be happy." We also had the company of my mom's Aunt-in-law and cousin-in-law who are delightful people.

We went to dinner at a place called Blue Bay for authentic New England seafood, and we also had lunch at a local Greek diner in Arlington. Such a busy day--one of many skipped naps for Gunnar lately and us going out to eat. The next day I was able to get a babysitter so Mom, Aaron and I went downtown again sans kids, to a delicious Thai place and Cold Stone, then drove the National Mall with everything lit up. So beautiful! It was very relaxing and fun. And I found the best babysitter EVER! I didn't know 16 yr olds like her existed.

Anyway, we look forward to Mom (and Ben) coming out to visit again maybe in Oct, and David and Ashley coming out to visit next week. That will make our 4th visitors in 2 months. Any other takers before our calendar gets too full?! haha ...more on my trip to come.

I'm tired: But I'm having fun with many new adventures with David and Ashley here. The end for now.

[Comments] (8) Head check: K, so in the car this week we were driving to the commissary and I was zoned out thinking about something, and I hear in the back seat from Gunnar "I like this song mama, what's it's name?" I give a listen...it's the song by Cobra Starship-Good Girls Go Bad. Nice. Real nice. How am I going to explain to my 2 yr old what "I make them good girls go bad" means? So I told him "Good Girls".

So I got to thinking. I wondered how many songs I witness my kids listening to, nay-have my kids listen to, that make sexual references and other distasteful language throughout the song? The next song on the radio was "Poker Face". To my absolute surprise Gunnar shouts out "Hey sissy, it's Polka Face!" Oh my gosh, I'm a terrible mother. How on earth does my 2 yr old know the title to that song? How am I going to explain "and baby when it's love, if it's not rough it isn't fun" to him? Why on earth do I listen to this crap? The next song after that, Outkast, went "Don't want to meet your daddy, Just want you in my Caddy. Don't want to meet your momma. Just want to make you come-a." Are you kidding me?! These are songs I have heard a thousand times. If you just sit and listen to the lyrics, most songs on the radio are laden with sexual innuendos, flat out speech about sex (you don't have to be a genius to figure out what they are really saying), and sexual metaphors. I did a test, 3 songs in a row.

Then you hear about "kids are exposed to such and such by age 9". Well, they're 2 and it's by their mama. Hello? What are my priorities? To keep up to date on the latest in the music industry? At what expense? What do I do? Not ever listen to the radio? Is that extreme? Will people think I'm crazy? But these are my kids. MY CHILDREN. He's 2, she's 4. I am subjecting them to this filth. It's not like they are "picking this up from their friends at school". I am their advocate. I should know better. What to do? Where to find balance?

It's a mad MAD world. How am I supposed to raise children in this sin infested, pleasure loving world? "Freak out!" And le Freak was not Chic. What's a mom to do? I know, I know. Stay close to the Spirit. Pretty sure the Spirit doesn't jam out to stuff. I am so over Old MacDonald and Wheels on the Bus. I'll have to find new clean music both of us can agree on. Makes me very sad though for my kids. It was tough 15 yrs ago, and it's worse now. Let's just have the earth be hit by a big fire ball already and get this over with.

[Comments] (1) So big!: Lily's 5 years old today. This morning she woke up and came downstairs and told me that 'today's my birthday'. She has been counting down the days. For her birthday I brought her class cupcakes. When I picked her up from school, her teacher had made her a birthday crown.

It's a tradition in my family that for your birthday you get to pick whatever meal you want, and mom will cook it for you. So I asked Lily and she chose spaghetti. But when Aaron got home from work, he told Lily she could choose wherever to go to eat. Of course she opted for that. And where else but McDonalds. Yuck. So we took the kids to Micky D's and they played on the playground and had happy meals. I decided not to eat there and to go to Girls Night Out at Carrabbas after the kids went to bed. Much better!

Lily was dying to open up her present before dinner so we let her. Aaron and I got her a princess locket at Disney World while we were there. She is obsessed with a locket I have and always wants to wear it. She loves that I put a picture in there, and she has always wanted one. So now she has one. She also got a Littlest Pet Shop from Aaron and me, that Aaron picked out, for her friend party.

I seriously can't believe I have a 5 yr old. What's even tripp-y-er is that Gunnar is almost 3. My youngest is 3, almost! Crazy.

August is a birthday month...me, David, Lily, and now Vivian. I have to give a shout out to Viv since I haven't already. She was born the 18th--3 days late. Julie was scheduled for an induction that morning, but she ended up going into labor on her own the night before. Crazy I know! So now I have a new niece I can't wait to meet. She is a lot like Lily. Both made their mama's really sick, both made their mama's retain ridiculous amounts of water, and both were little chunky babies within 2 oz of each other. Viv had an extra day in, so she was 2 oz bigger. Can't wait to see you Vivian! Happy birthday to all the August buddies out there!

[Comments] (4) You know you are old when...: You say to yourself in the McDonalds as you survey the dining room with teenagers, kids these days... with an eye roll. I sound like my dad! Well, I am eating my words with a scoop of ice cream on the side. I am loving my aging. Or you could say maturing. Seriously, the older I get, the more I like myself and am more comfortable with who I am. For me, this is the age of, I am going to do with my life what I want to do and not let fear get in my way. My mom has a quote on her fridge that says something like "Don't go through life trying to "find yourself", decide who you want to be." I love that philosophy.

I can't wait to experience my 30's. I mean the wrinkles and age spots are no fun, but I really like the knowledge and experience that comes with age. This added number really isn't a huge change for me, mostly because I have been 28 in my mind half the year anyway. I have a hard time keeping track of my age and I sometimes seriously thought I was already 28.

This year has mostly been such an awesome year for myself and my family. Aaron is finally done with school! I mean he is in a residency, but we hardly call it school. He gets home no later than 4:30 every day, sometimes earlier than that. It might change when he does more clinic work, but still. Dental school was easier for us than it was for other people. Having said that, now looking back I can see how much things sucked compared to how it is in the real world. Did I mention a paycheck? That's nice too.

So there's that, and the fact that we live in this amazing place that I love with fantastic friends that I feel like I have known a lot longer. I have accomplished a lot of really empowering goals this year too. And I can't forget to mention all the fabulous vacations I have been on recently. And my kids just keep getting cuter and more endearing. Aaron and I keep finding new and better ways to show our love, and respect each other as individuals. This year has been so amazing. I am afraid to think that since this year has been so great, that we are in for a doozy next year. I know there are bigger, better things in the future for us, but I am so appreciative of life right now. I am so grateful to be alive and able to experience all these wonderful things.

It's not to say I don't have trials, and that my life is so awesome and nothing ever goes wrong for me. This isn't a "Seriously, so blessed" type of post that seems so generic and standardized. I go through lulls and highs just like everyone else. I have my off days, sometimes many in a row. Part of the awesomeness of this year has been out of the overcoming some of the hard balls in life. Or maybe more accurately said, the wisdom that comes with age that makes the trials more bearable. There is still a lot for me to learn. But seriously, 2009 has been divine. 2010 is going to be zen.

Happy birthday to ME!

p.s. Mom-thank you for birthing me in the heat of August. Sorry for coming 10 days late- and coming the day you dropped grandma back off at the airport. That was a really bratty thing of me to do.

[Comments] (3) Almost over, wah?: It's crazy to me that this month is 2/3's over and I haven't posted anything on this blog all of Sept. The start of Fall is this week, and we have been enjoying cooler weather. We've enjoyed a visit from Aaron's brother, Ben. (Not to be confused with the other Ben's in the family.) He had an interview in Delaware so he stayed with us a couple nights, and we got to go to dinner with him in DC. He told us about this place called Ray's the Steaks. It was pretty dang good, and we will most likely go there again. Thanks for the suggestion, Ben, and the company! So he was our 5th visitor in our little house in Maryland. We're having fun living it up.

Next highlight is I have left the Stone Age. Yes, I have DVR. No more VHS recordings of shows. No more frenzied bedtimes "get to bed!! mommy has shows to watch!" No more commercials. It's all about taking back my time. TV is on my time and my terms-when I want to watch it, maybe during nap time while folding clothes or live. Either way, it is when I feel like watching. So here is me, joining the 21st century. I thought I would hate the EST with the shows not starting until 8 and all, but I actually love it. It gives me that little extra time to straighten the house, finish the dishes and whatever I want before TV starts. I like having it all done beforehand. All and all I am glad I cheaped out as long as I could doing without a DVR, but now that I have one it is worth the $15 extra a month. Plus, we got rid of Netflix so it equals out.

A little bad news this month. Lily was climbing on her desk--the half human half monkey she has always been--and was playing dolls and barbies on the hutch. I never allow her to climb up there, but she was and she accidentally pulled the hutch over and it landed on her. She got a gash on her head that was not bad enough to get stitches, but it bled everywhere and scared her straight. Hopefully she learned her lesson not to climb on furniture anymore. In the future, if Lily ever shaves her head and the question ever arises where she got the scar on her scalp, we can always look back to this blog to know it was when she was 5 and pulled a desk hutch on top of herself.

Now, I will close with an excerpt from Lorna's 5th grade diary that she shared with us last time we sisters were together, and we had a big laugh: "My favorite thing to do is go to the mall and show off my popularity." Haha hum, I guess you had to be there.

Travelogue: David and Ashley's trip in Aug is finished on my other blog. They were here for a week and we took so many pictures and did countless things. Getting that done was almost as hard as London and Paris. Details are there.

[Comments] (6) Ticked off: It's sooo not fair. Life is not fair! I don't mind life not being equal, I just want it to be fair. Aaron got pulled over again last night, and he got out of getting a ticket again. When's my turn? It's not like I get tickets left an right--I got two that royally pissed me off--but c'mon! The man has been pulled over no less than 5 times while we have been married and not once, not ONCE has he gotten a ticket. He has more luck than a leprechaun.

First off, he was talking on his cell phone while driving which is against the law, then he was speeding, AND he rolled through a stop sign, and while pulling over he turned onto a one way street, and the cherry on the top is he had expired proof of insurance. We have insurance but the paper was expired. So there you have it, 5 offenses. And he got NOTHING. I asked for his secret and he said you just have to act really penitent. I think it is because he is a guy, a respectable guy, and the cops see him more like a buddy.

I have never heard of a girl getting off from crying. Not that I have ever tried. If I could even squeeze out tears they would instantly evaporate from the lasers beams I am shooting out of my eyes to maim the cop and his car. Oh yeah, if looks could kill.

The bright side is we have never had to pay for Aaron's follies, which are many. I could list them, but I will only give the highlights--almost killed me when we first got married and living in Alaska and he was speeding on black ice and rolled the car in a big snow drift, caused a multi-car accident in the wake of a giant moving van he was driving, and most recently almost drove us off an overpass after jerking out of control to avoid hitting a car he was swerving into. Yeah, that was fun. We are still alive because we were heading home from the temple, is my belief. And he complains about my backseat driving. Just sayin. So if I die at the hands of Aaron, know my last words are I TOLD YOU SO.

ps I am really laughing, and not really mad that he got off of a $1000 ticket. That would suck to have to pay.

Last laugh: At dinner the kids were throwing their usual objections as of late to anything I put on the table. They complain just for the sake of complaining. It's not like they don't like what I've made. I've usually made it before and they ate it just fine. And if it is something they have never had, after I convince/force/coerce whatever the case may be, they end up liking it in the end.

Just as with any night I put salad on their plates, and Gunnar who loves salad and will ask for more started complaining how he didn't want it. Then I put cooked spinach on their plate. Lily is really good in that she will almost always eat whatever I give her if I tell her how many bites she needs to eat of each. She is like me, we can power through anything we don't like to do as long as we know how long or how much discomfort we have to endure. Gunnar is most easily persuaded by bribes. If you eat all your dinner, then you can have dessert.

Gunnar was just not having the spinach. Lily ate her three bites like a champ. Gunnar not only swept the spinach off his plate and onto the table, but then he flung it onto the floor in three splats. Lily ate her dinner portions and chose to have chocolate pudding for dessert. Gunnar ate all his salad but still refused the spinach. At one point he was a go for me to help it into his mouth but he started gagging before the fork touched his lips. He was bawling and wanting pudding so bad, but I was holding my ground that he didn't have to eat the spinach. I wasn't going to make him eat it, but if he wanted dessert then he had to eat his spinach first. Finally his sad pathetic cries broke me a little and I said all he had to eat was a little leaf. He ate it, lips trembling, but he ate it. Just to prove my point that it wasn't that bad and he didn't die from the experience, I had him eat another. He chewed just fine, and so we went to the fridge to pick out his dessert. I gave him the choice of chocolate Jello, tapioca pudding, or apple sauce. He picked the apple sauce. HA! He may have reduced his sentence of bites, but I got him to eat spinach AND apple sauce. This is what I call a win-win.

[Comments] (3) That reminds me...: Some random story came to mind that I got a chuckle out of remembering. First, I am reading the new Dan Brown book The Lost Symbol, and part of the book made me remember something. In the book it describes a man getting through the subterranean entrance into the Capital and then going through security. Anyway, my experience with getting through security was a little funny. Not funny was the poor Asian people in front of us that had a CVS bag full of American candy and chocolate that it looked like they had just purchased that morning and had to throw it away. Absolutely NO food or water was allowed inside the Capital. We chugged our water (I hate getting dehydrated) and David had to throw out the rest of his Gatorade he had for breakfast. Everyone's packed lunches sat in a big heap on top of the trash bins.

So you get in and you have to put all your stuff on the x-ray belt. We had to drive Aaron's truck so he could have enough seats that when he got home he could take the babysitter home with the kids. So on his key chain is his consecrated oil vial. I totally forgot about it and was confused as to why they would pause on our stuff and take so long. I looked at what he was looking at and he was thoroughly examining it, had it opened up, trying to get a drop on his glove, etc. He was probably thinking what on earth is this? I don't think there was any oil left in there anyway, but it was funny, what are you supposed to say Officer, I know it looks like my coke stash or perhaps a bit of anthrax, but it is really consecrated oil that we Mormons use to administer Priesthood blessings to the sick. Um, yeah. He closed it up, no questions asked, thank goodness we were spared that potentially awkward moment, and handed us back my keys, and we went on our way to our tour. I just thought it was interesting and maybe someone else could share the laugh.

Lils: It's a new season, so much has happened this summer since the move. This is what Lily has been up to:

Lily is now in a gymnastics class. The girl is crazy, I wish I had her energy. From the moment we enter the gym she is bouncing-I mean literally bouncing up and down, climbing, moving, running from corner to corner like a pinball. If I had that kind of energy, my house would be spotless all at one time. She is very cutie in class too. She has made a friend and they walk the balance beam, swing on the bars, do front and back somersaults, and work on cartwheels. None yet, but we'll see. They start off doing stretches and if we could all keep our flexibility at that age, wouldn't that be awesome.

She likes school a lot. Her teacher is really good. She is making her write her full name out- Lillian, which is nice. I thought about teaching her to write her full name but just never got around to it. Now I don't have to. Love that. They teach d'nealian style handwriting which I kinda think is dumb. I guess it is to help them evolve into cursive better, but seriously, Lily's name is a little ridiculous. There are little curly's on the i and the l and the a and the n, pretty much every letter that has a curly on the end is in Lillian's name. She was confused in the beginning of the year why she had to do it like that, and now she just does it.

Lily is also learning to read--I use that loosely. Right now it is mostly memorized things and when I cover the pictures she isn't good at reading what the words say. But it amazes me what 5 yr olds can do and how much of an advantage for a mom it would be to have a teaching degree b/c you know when to push and introduce things whereas now I am just clued in, maybe she should wipe her own bottom. That's my problem as a person is when things are done, I like them to be done right and I didn't want Lily wiping her own bottom because she probably wouldn't do it right. So now I am to the point where she's 5 and she's gotta learn to just do it. If it isn't done all the way-I can't control it anymore and I'm not supposed to. I'm slowly learning that it's ok. No one is going to die and I don't need to have a panic attack about it.

How did I get on that subject? Don't know, but I'll just go with it. I do feel a little vindicated having an outsider deal with my child everyday. One afternoon while I was picking up Lily, Mrs. Kitlas kinda had a look on her face while trying to get lily to follow protocol of releasing the child to the parent. I asked how are things going to probe and see if it was more than a misreading. She then asked if Lily was stubborn at home? Umm, YEAH! Man it feels good to know I am not the only one that thinks so. That there isn't something wrong with me (or even Lily per say) but that I am not imagining all these power struggles we have. I have say it once, and I will say it again...I love Lily to death, her personality is awesome, I wouldn't want to change her in anyway, she is going to be an amazing adult, but man is she frustrating sometimes. She is so independent and I love it but not so much having to deal with it as a mother of a 2 yr old, 3 yr old, 4 yr old, etc. Heaven help me the minute she goes through puberty. I am dreading the mood swings already. BUT we will be best friends when she hits college, I know it.

Really, most the time she is an angel. She is breaking me in as a mom and I feel bad. It's like on Regis and Kelly- Kelly said kids are like pancakes. You always ruin the first one. (If you need me to explain that metaphor I will). Well, in my case, I really don't plan on ruining her, but things may not be so pretty from time to time. I can just live and learn and hopefully get better at my job everyday. I secretly love it when Lily sneaks into our room in the middle of the night to sleep with us. She will always be my baby.

Guns: 2 yr olds are terribly fun. They can also be just fun and sometimes just terrible. Sometimes I just want to squeeze his cheeks, and sometimes spank the other ones. Little Gunnarisms that make me want to 'eat his jellies' as I tease him:

He is still taking awesome naps. One day as I was tucking him in for a nap he goes this bed is cozy. He always asks to snuggle me for just a minute. He always makes sure that his head is on 'Light Queen' on the pillowcase, and my head goes on Mater. He likes Mater, has nothing against him, but his head has got to be on 'Light Queen'. Then he wants to make sure I have put on his Cars blanket, his blue blanket, and his "gasketball" blanket. I love that he calls it gasketball. It's so cutie. I don't actually cover him up with all those, I just put them on the foot of the bed because he would be sweating. Then he says nigh-night, wuv you, see you in the morning...I don't want the fan on. His prayers are a work in progress. It is the same every time. "Jesus Christ, mommy and daddy, lily and gunnar, go to church, have a good dinner, Jesus Christ"- and then the loop starts all over again. He doesn't realize when to stop. We have to work on beginning and ending.

His favorite song to sing is Popcorn Popping. He is getting really good as singing and remembering words. He really likes the new song the kids are working on in Primary for the program called God Gave Us Families. He sings the chorus spot on and he's got a cutie voice too. We got new tennis shoes, and wouldn't you know it he's like the goldfish in Fish Out of Water. One week in his new size 8's and we go back to wear his old sandals and his big toe is hanging off the edge of a couple summer shoes. They literally grow overnight, don't they. At first he loved his new shoes but he would always want to wear the trusty (and smelly) sandals. We had to tell him his new shoes would make him super fast. And now he loves to wear his super fast shoes.

Another thing he is particular about is his diapers. He's grown out of 5's which is a big deal for me because I never had to buy bigger than a size 4 for Lily. Size 5 and 6's are 'spensive! So I bought his size 5's for the day and 6's for nights. I always buy Huggies but this month Pampers were on sale and cheaper than the Huggies. Big mistake. Huggies has Mickey Mouse on the front and Gunnar doesn't want the Sesame Street Pampers diapers. He wants his "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" diapers. I can't wait to use up all those Pampers so I don't have to hear him bemoan those diapers anymore. If fact I think when we are done with this next box, I am not going to buy anymore and give the potty training a try. We will see how it goes. I don't want it to come too soon, but it will be nice for the first time in 5 years to not have to buy a single diaper. I can't wait for that day!

He is about to be 3, which I am in denial about, and is already talking about his birthday party and how everything he sees he wants for his birthday. Older siblings rub off. He's my little guy.

[Comments] (3) A smattering of thoughts: I realized today that I don't have a half birthday. The poor souls born on a leap year have no real birthday except every 7 years. I don't even get a half birthday ever b/c Feb 30th doesn't exists.

I am definitely in the thick of raising a boy. After putting Gunnar in time out I always ask him do you know why you are in time out? Gunnar's go-to answer for everything he has done is "because it's not safe". Even if that doesn't match what he did wrong, I realized that I say that a lot to him. Usually he is right, and most reasons I have to put him in time out is to keep him from offing himself or at least getting hurt very badly.

Today I pulled out a zip-up hoodie from the closet with the cool weather we are having. I obviously haven't worn it from last winter, and I was amused to find an opened, half full package of cucumber seeds. How random and funny. It brings to mind what I was doing probably in March is when I last wore the jacket. Planting a garden and getting our house ready to sell. Plain.

October is here and pretty soon Halloween. I know what Gunnar is going to be and have bought his Halloween costume already. I still need to take Lily to pick out hers. It is a lot more fun when they don't know and/or don't care so you can put together something cute. I already know Lily is going to change her mind a billion times and we are going to get in a fight on Halloween because the costume she has, she won't want to wear even if she picks it out. It brings to mind when she was 3 yrs old and we had a costume day in the joy school Pre-K co-op and I had bought a witch costume on super clearance at the Pottery Barn outlet and she shows up and all the girls have princess costumes and she is the only one not a princess. She was clued into the princess bandwagon, and I had to talk her into that thing 2 more times for the trunk or treat and actual Halloween.

Halloween is almost here, and that means Christmas is around the corner. Which means Christmas cards. I saw the cutest Christmas dress at Old Navy today and had to resist buying it. It wasn't on sale and so I didn't, but if something makes me almost want to pay full price, it means it's pretty dang cute. There were actually several really cute dresses and I would have a hard time choosing so I am kinda glad they weren't on sale so I wouldn't have to choose. I don't think I could.

We missed conference b/c Aaron, the kids, and I took a fall foliage trip to Vermont--a dream I have had for about 6 years now. It was gorgeous and so much fun. I had a blast just hanging out with the kids and Aaron with no distractions except picturesque landscape and yummy Vermont local cuisine including Ben and Jerry's ice cream at their factory. More on that later, but I have been catching up on conference by streaming it while I do dishes and make dinner, etc. Can I just say how much I am loving it?! It seems like every other talk this session was given directly for me. I can't wait to finish them.

While in the car Aaron and I talked about where we want to get stationed next. Aaron really wants to put Guam up on the list. I don't know how I feel about that yet.

Gunnar is having more eye problems. I took him in and apparently his eyes aren't focusing on things well. One eye wanders. So I need to take him in to another specialist and possibly start him on therapy sessions to work on getting it up to speed.

Both my kids need hair cuts. I am dreading it.

I am tired of being halfway sick. Not really full on sick, but enough pressure to give me headaches and a somewhat stuffy nose. It's been like 10 days already.

I love October, and I can't wait for the leaves to change down here like they have in New England.

[Comments] (3) pump'in: I need to make something pumpkin. I'm thinking the pumpkin cake that we had at the reunion--it was to die for, but I should opt for the pumpkin enchiladas recipe I found. Or maybe I will make Ashley's pumpkin cream cheese sandwich cookies. Those are the best. Or maybe I will make all 3 before Thanksgiving, and then have Aaron make his homemade pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. Or maybe I will make Chuck make the pies since the chef himself and Julie and Princess V will be in town to celebrate. Life is good if you are having to decide between pumpkin cake and pumpkin cookies.

What's your favorite pumpkin/fall recipe?

Pumpkin Cream Sandwiches: Since no one else wants to share, I thought I would. except Julie, thanks, I'll try those This recipe Ashley made and ever since I have LOVED these cookies. Pumpkin Cream Sandwiches

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2/3 cup cream cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

Heat oven to 375° F.

Beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until smooth. Add the pumpkin, vanilla, and egg and beat until combined.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a medium bowl. Slowly add the flour mixture to the sugar and butter and beat on medium-low speed until fully incorporated. Spoon heaping tablespoons of the mixture 2 inches apart onto parchment- or foil-lined baking sheets. Bake until puffed and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Clean the mixer, then, as the cookies bake, beat the cream cheese, heavy cream, and confectioners' sugar until smooth and spreadable. Spread the flat sides of half the cooled cookies with the cream mixture. Top with the remaining cookies.

EDIT: I actually do not put them together as sandwiches. I make the cookies and then frost the top. The frosting makes a lot and you are able to use up more of it. Plus, when you give them away to people, it looks like more if you have them separate as opposed to just sandwiches.

I'm making them this weekend for company coming over. I'll try not to eat half the batch single-handedly. No promises.

Brain vomit : I pretty much had the afternoon from hell, and am venting to get it out of my system so I don't have to think about it anymore. It started really good. Gunnar and I went to Trader Joe's this morning for the first time. It's new to me, but I had heard a lot of good things about it. I never went because I thought it was expensive like Whole Foods. It turns out it is like Whole Foods but the price is more reasonable.

It was a blast. Gunnar and I got heirloom tomatoes, butternut squash, artisan focaccia tomato basil bread, pumpkin pancake mix, garlic and herb pizza dough, homemade lemon pepper pastas, organic fruits and veggies, and other odds and ends. I love cooking with new yummy stuff. So Gunnar fell asleep in the car which is good because his schedule is tight. I have to have him down for a nap on time, otherwise I have to wake him up to pick up Lily at school, and waking a child up from a nap goes against every fiber of my being.

When I transferred him he did not go right back to sleep, he decided to play in his room. Long story short, he finally fell asleep 5 minutes before I had to get Lily. I was really mad because I told the kids we could go to the park this afternoon since it was going to be in the lower 70's and the only nice weather day this week.

Well, with all the threats I made to Gunnar if he didn't go to sleep the 62 times I went into his room, one of them was if you choose not to take a nap then you are choosing to not going to the park. Dang, why did I have to say that one? Why does my mouth write checks that bankrupt me and I have to either be miserable listening to tantrums all afternoon or leave myself with no credibility whatsoever? So I said, tell you what, if you guys will be good in the store (I still needed to go to Safeway to pick up chicken breasts on sale for $1.68/lb before the sale ends tonight) we will go to the park. Well Gunnar had not taken a nap and was pretty much incapable of behaving in the realm of acceptable human behavior. The mother of a rabid hyena would have thought it was too much to handle. So at the check out stand my nerves were already fried as Gunnar was screaming and whining "I want to write my name" b/c I wouldn't let him use the credit card swiper pen and pad to scribble on, and then the man behind me commits one of my worst pet peeves. Do not, I repeat do not load your groceries on the belt and stand less than arm's length behind a person paying. It is so rude and invasive. I want a shopping cart's length in between me and the other person, and if that shopping cart is in my bubble, that is still not good enough. Being close in proximity to the person in front of you does not mean you are going to check out faster. So I already wanted to throttle Gunnar and then there's this man breathing down my neck as I go to pay. Before I knew what I was doing I turned my head to that man with a nasty glare and said do you mind?He quickly turned his head away as he should have, I was trying to put in my pin number for crying out loud, but I instantly felt a self-loathing that I had been that woman at the store who was rude and full of bad energy. You know the ones. The old man swearing under his breath complaining about not being able to find one dern thing in the store, and you thinking to yourself, get a life. I was that weirdo. Seriously though, people, you shouldn't even be standing beside the belt, give the person in front of you some space and privacy.

So then I was having a bad afternoon, and I felt guilty on top of it for being rude and passing my bad day onto someone else. Other things happened that I won't go in to. I have vomited enough foulness for the night, but this is one of those nights where I just wish Aaron could do the dishes while I could decompress and watch Biggest Loser. Except he's on splits with the missionaries and only came home from work to change. Oh well. I think I will just go back to the part of 'Trader Joe's was awesome and I can't wait to try the pumpkin pancakes', and forget the past 8 hours ever happened.

[Comments] (1) I forgot: I forgot to say that I was stoked to find out that Trader Joes carries the same British crumpets I had while in London. I loved them and almost went to the grocery store to take a couple packs home. I didn't have to because they have them here (well in Alex,VA).

Also, I'm feeling much better than yesterday. Sometimes I can be quite the diva. Aaron's schedule has been rough this week. That coupled with the kids put me over the top. It's all good. We've got a fun weekend planned and I have that to look forward to after this crazy week.

[Comments] (2) Honorable mentions: Congrats to Joe and Louise for bring a new niece into the world last week. Her name is Miriam and I can't wait to meet this towhead girly.

Also, I'm embarrassed to say it but I forgot to give a shout out to my brother in law Dave, who got to come stay with us overnight a few weekends ago. He missed his flight back to FL, unlucky for him, but lucky for us b/c we got to hang out and eat Ledo's pizza and watch old SNL clips together. Dave, next time you have a conf in DC, feel free to miss your flight and hang! That makes it visitor number 6. Michelle is coming next weekend wa-hoo (lucky number 7) and Chuck and Julie are coming in Nov making the list at #8. Who knew we, er, the city were so popular?

Who's next?!

[Comments] (3) Momentous occasion: Gunnar has been needing a hair cut for awhile. I dread it. Since buzzing his head in July I haven't had to do anything since then. It has been a nice reprieve. I can't emphasize enough how miserable it is to complete the task. He cries, flails, screams, jerks, and makes the whole ordeal unbearable for everyone involved. I am surprised we haven't been kicked out of the salon before, even though a person more or less discretely hinted not to bring him back, and many a times the haircut was cut short. no pun intended

I've been grooming Gunnar for the upcoming haircut saying things like it sure would be fun to go to Chuck E Cheese. If you get a haircut, we could totally go and have so much fun. That and the usual candy bribery. The other day I proposed the option again, and Gunnar went for it. There was definitely some trepidation in his eyes and face, but he agreed, and Lily was trying to be helpful by giving his tips like it's okay, just suck your thumb, it's okay. That girl really wanted to go to Chuck E Cheese so she was going to support Gunnar as much as possible.

When we got to the barber, Gunnar willingly got in the chair and was very sad and scared but he gave a chuckle when they put the cape on while I was talking about all the fun rides there were at Chuck E Cheese. I was keeping his eye on the prize. This was HUGE, and a good sign. While grooming him I told him they were going to go whrrrr in your hair but it's not going to hurt, and you are going to get pokies in your shirt but we are going to go straight home and get them off in the bath. I think telling himm all about it before the fact helped a lot.

Like I said Lily was standing right there giving him moral support the whole time saying it's ok, it's ok, almost done, you can do it. I am so proud of Gunnar, for the first time in his short 3 yrs of life he made it through a hair cut without crying and clawing his way out of the chair. Seriously, a big deal. I really hope we have turned a new leaf because the hair cut took half as long since the person was actual able to continuously cut without interruptions, and the experience was a lot more pleasant. You better believe we went to Chuck E Cheese that night. So awesome. I'm looking forward to the barber maybe even having time to do a style haircut in the future and not just some snip snip and call it good.

There were four in the bed and the little one said: I love lazy Saturday mornings. I awoke to Gunnar's noise and decided I wasn't ready to get up for the day and that I wanted to see if Gunnar was old enough to snuggle in the morning. Lily is at the age where she will lay down for a couple minutes but I didn't know if Gunnar "got it" yet. I went and got him and brought him in the bed. He knows what snuggling is because at night he always asks for me to snuggle just a minute so when I told him that he went for it.

It's seriously one of my favorite things to do is on a Saturday morning when no one has to be anywhere, just to lay in bed and snuggle and play and laugh with the kid(s). Gunnar is the most affectionate little guy. He leaned over to Aaron sleeping and kissed his cheek and said "I love you daddy". He then snuggled into me and said "I love you mommy, you're my big boy". He calls me that because I go between saying "You're my baby" or more lately "You're my big boy" so now he calls me his big boy too. He knows the difference between boys and girls which makes it that much funnier to hear him say it.

Gunnar leaned over and was pointing to my eyes and said "eww, what's that brown stuff?" I had a little smudged eye liner on from the night before that didn't wash off and he goes "that's disgusting." lol little noodge. Lily woke up finally and came in. Then I got to really snuggle-this girl knows how to spoon. It was the complete family, all four of us in the bed spending time together. It was a great way to start off the day.

[Comments] (1) Brisk: During my early morning run today, the sweat from my hands came out on top of my gloves and then turned frosty. I could tell because I was wearing black gloves and it looked like they had been flocked a little bit. Pretty weird--I've never had this happen before. Yeah, it was cold!

[Comments] (2) Burr, it's cold in here: This is all quite new to me, the wearing jackets in Oct and not really letting up. In TX the year Gunnar was born, I was so excited to not have to be my largest in the summer. It may have well been summer because as I recall, it did not get cool until the day I left the hospital with him. Geez, thanks!

Oh sure you might need a zip up in the morning, but by 2:00 you were sweating. I literally NEVER EVER wore jeans from the months of May-Oct. For 6 months I wore shorts every day. Even in April and Nov, the jeans were worn intermittently. But for those 6 months I didn't even look at jeans.

Yesterday, to make more room in my closet, and because I have a large Rubbermaid labeled jeans and sweaters that needed to be unpacked (and still one in the garage), I gathered all my shorts that I haven't worn a single time in a month, and all Aaron's shorts and exchanged places in the Rubbermaid with the jeans and sweaters.

It's not that it has been too bad here, gorgeous weather actually, but if I am not dressed properly my toes and hands will be frozen by 4:00 on. In SA I remember wearing flip flops year round. If it was too cold to wear them, that's ok because I knew by the afternoon I would be fine. It goes like this in the winter-mornings and evenings it is cool. Midday is warm. For a week or two we could have a cold front and then it is chilly, but then it goes away and for 3 weeks you are left with "perfect winter weather" picnic weather if you will. And the cycle continues.

Now maybe I am a tad cold because we haven't turned our heater on past 66 degrees. Perhaps. We are trying to save money, electricity is a lot more here, and all I have to do to get comfortable again is vacuum. (Why does that job make you sweat even in the winter? You are just pushing the thing around.) OR my new favorite thing is what Aaron calls my Back To The Future vest. It is AWE--wait for it--SOME. I have it in a couple colors, and it's perfect. It keeps you cozy at the same time freeing your arms to do household chores without feeling constricted like sweat shirts or jackets do. Plus, Old Navy is having 50% off all their outerwear. (Ok, online they are not quite 50%, they are more like 30% off and they have half the color selection so go to the actual store.) Go and get you one, and if you have an Old Navy card like me, you can get it for another 30% off that making it only $14. It's that awesome.

Now I am looking for some rain boots, because every week it rains cold rain here ALL DAY LONG from anywhere between a day to 5 days straight. My feetsies get cold walking around with wet socks and tennis shoes. So if anyone one knows of awesome rain boots for cheap (you know me, it's gotta be a good deal) please let me know.

[Comments] (5) for your eyes only: So last week, I tried to write a health care post about my health care of all things. A couple hours after I had posted it, my brain reflected on it and I just about died inside to think I just shared with the world my IUD problems. I quickly got to a computer and deleted it and spent the rest of the night feeling sheepish and wondering if anyone had already read my open book life.

Today, I will give it a go again, yet this time about Gunnar and with much less TMI. Gunnar's health care. My poor little baby Gunnar. I adore this little boy. I could eat him for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and still snack on him throughout the day. Gunnar is and will always be my baby. This little guy went in for his "6 month" ophthalmologist appt. He was actually a few months overdue for a proper one since the past two were right before the move and right after the move and weren't proper appointments at all. We finally got the full blown appt out of the way and have been given two official diagnoses. First, our suspicions are correct. Gunnar has intermittent exotropia. Basically, one eye wanders when he is tired or not on his A game or zoned out. He can have surgery to correct it, but it really isn't too bad yet and the Dr and I both agreed that it is something to look into when he is older like 6 or 7 when "kids start making fun of his eyes in school" as the Dr put it, since his condition is very mild right now. Kids are so mean! And they probably will make fun of him, so when he is older and if it gets worse we will look into that, but for now he is ok. Just ignore his wandering eyes if you speak with him face to face and he zones out.

Secondly, his nearsightedness is now a raging -6.50 in both eyes. A whole 1.25 higher than last dilation. He's legally blind, but with his glasses he has near perfect vision, and it is very correctable with surgery if he chooses to get lasik when he is older. All in all, it is nothing serious. He is a happy, healthy boy. Sometimes, as his mother, I wished my body had been able to make his body more perfect, but there my vanity goes thinking I am responsible for creating my beautiful children. They are Heavenly Father's children and he is just letting me borrow them to discover tremendous happiness, and just a touch of torture.

But, there it is. Gunnar's health update. He is turning 3 in exactly 2 weeks so I better get onto making his well baby check up. Then we shall see how much this boy has g r o w n!

[Comments] (5) On death and dying: Nothing prepared me for the day one of my kids asked me why do people die?, so naturally when Lily asked me that question I was dumbstruck. We decided to buy the new Pixar movie Up. It came highly recommended by many people including Louise, who is a very tough critic. She rarely thinks anything is "really good" so I thought it really must be good.

Aaron popped it in for the kids. I was puttering around, getting things done, and still haven't seen it. It wasn't until the next day while Gunnar was napping, and Lily was watching it as I was doing the dishes. When all the sudden I heard this sad little voice and teary eyed girl peeking over the arm of the sofa almost begging me mommy, I don't want you to die. Why did Ellie have to die? When will she be back? I want Ellie to come back. I don't want you to leave. Why do people have to die? Where do people go when they die? I felt ill prepared to answer all these abstract questions in a way a 5 yr old would understand. All I could do was hug her and cry on each other's shoulder. I know it was wrong, but I promised her I wouldn't die, at least anytime soon. She was so sad and I wanted to reassure her and make her feel better.

Death is such a difficult topic and I think it is every child's worst nightmare. We talked about heaven and the resurrection and eternal families and I think we both felt better. It made me remember life is short and fragile and as a result I have not yelled at my kids as much this past week. I used to ask my mom what would you do if I died? And she would always say I would spank your little bottom. Death is something I struggle with and definitely don't want a lesson on it anytime soon. So the moral of the story is if you watch Up with your kids you might have to explain the mysteries of the universe with your kids.

Sunny 9 for 2009

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