Sunny 9 for 2009 October

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[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.

Sunny 9 for 2009 October

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