Sunny 9 for 2008 February

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[Comments] (1) Free-dom! (think William Wallace): Life has been so much easier since Gunnar has learned to walk. This means he does not want to be sitting on my hip any longer. At least most of the time. He is such a curious boy now, I love it. But I am starting to see his sister come out in him. He is a much lower key person than her but still likes to get into cupboards, which is his favorite if he is in the kitchen, or anything else he can get his mouth on. He is a very friendly guy too going up to strangers at Costco and saying hello to people at church. He will take the free Goldfish you offer him too. He is so chatty that even though he can be in Sunday School happily walking around, he blabbers so loud that we have to take him out.

The poor guy though has had a diaper rash for almost 2 weeks straight. We are going to try soy milk to see what happens. He was on half formula, half regular milk until after Christmas when we ran out of formula and so I am wondering if that is it. I am really getting tired of changing 4-5 poopy diapers a day. Lily had a permanent rash until she was out of diapers due to sensitive skin. My poor kids. Speaking of allergies, Aaron's nose has not stopped dripping since before Christmas. On the news a couple nights ago they were saying Mountain Cedar is way up---normally a 500 count is high, and yesterday it was 21,000!!!! Therefore, sneezing, blowing, snoring, and watery red eyes are what Aaron has been living with for MONTHS! He asked me, would you trade my allergies if I were to have the rest of the children (pregnancies) for you. Let me think about that---YES!

[Comments] (2) Babehs: We woke up this morning to 11 (viable) swordtail babies in the breeding tank. Our little mama delivered last night. They are the size of a grain of rice. I hope most of them make it. We shall see...

Happy Birthday to Lorna!: Sweet 16! I can't believe my youngest sibling is already 16. Seems like yesterday I was changing her diapers and putting her to bed. Love you Lorna!

The trouble with two: I added more pictures to my other blog. I don't know whether to add the text here too, or not. They are things worth mentioning. But I guess I won't. I'll just let you check it out at

[Comments] (2) Which reminds me: So Lost is on tonight(!!) and in the previews there is a new character. He looked familiar and I remembered I had seen him in Rescue Dawn. He did such an amazing job on a POW character in the movie. I don't think I mentioned it when I saw the movie, but I thought I should in case anyone wanted a tried and true movie to rent. Go see it, it is a great show. It is a little hard to stomach in some places b/c let's face it, they are in a prison camp. Not everything is peachy, but I loved the movie.

Steve Zahn was in it too, and he was great. And who doesn't love Christian Bale?! He had me from Santa Fe in Newsies and jiving to It Don't Mean A Thing from Swing Kids (I love that movie!). And I know I mentioned it before awhile ago, but I will say it again, if you haven't seen Empire of the Sun, you should.

While Hailey and I were interchanging what movies we had seen, she brought to my attention As You Like It because I said I liked Bryce Dallas Howard. I saw it and really liked it. It is a Shakespeare comedy, and in the previews they featured Shakespeare: Retold. I have it in my queue now and will let you know how I like them. Another interesting tidbit from that preview is the main character on the tv show Life. Who would have thought he was English? It reminds me of when I found out Colin Farrell was Irish and I didn't believe it because his accent was too good. Well, Gunnar just brought me a book and is whining at me so I guess I better stop talking about movies and read to him.

[Comments] (1) How to be embarrassed by your 3 yr old: part 18,951: So the weather has been really nice lately. It is a little chilly in the morning which gets the house cooled down so we don't have to run the a/c and in the afternoon it is sunny and perfect. I like a little of both--having to wear a jacket in the morning and then being in capris in the afternoon. Makes me enjoy the "winter" and the wardrobe of it while still being comfortable most of the time. And Gunnar has been taking shorter naps (which means I will probably move him over to one big nap a day instead of two) so there is time to kill before Aaron gets home from school or whatever so we have been busting out the double jogging stroller and taking walks.

Gunnar loves walks. Loves them. As soon as I plop him down in the seat he doesn't even make a peep until I get him out. I have to ask Lily sometimes if he is asleep or awake because I just can't believe how quietly he is sitting there observing. Lily loves walks too, probably because she grew up on walks, but now she sometimes wants to walk along with least until there is a stray dog running around. I've told stories of some bombs that have come out of her mouth while on walks in the past, and she has gone and done it again today. This robust lady was going out to her car while talking on the cell phone and Lily goes, "Mom, is that a big FAT lady?" "Of course not, Lily!" I say as we are barely 15 feet away from her, hoping that if by chance she heard Lily, she would hear me and then feel better. Then she begs the question, "why is she not fat?" like she so often does--why this, why that, to whatever I just said. Oh my gosh, I don't know where she picks up some of those things. I don't know whether to laugh or duck my head and run. I am so dropping Lily's lunch off at her school in pajamas and hot rollers when she is in 7th grade for this.

On another tangent, this past weekend Lorna was in the car with us, and she asked us a question and Lily goes "Moppie said not to ask questions". She was reminded of my mom saying this to her because Lorna was with us, but after one day of my mom having the kids for a couple hours I picked them up and on the way home Lily informed me that "Moppie says not to ask any more questions." I called my mom to confirm what I suspected that Lily was asking why? to everything my mom was telling her. My mom who likes to be the adult in an adult-child situation just forbade her to ask any more questions. For some reason this really makes me laugh inside. I can so see this playing out in my mind. And Lily has gotten a lot better at not asking so many- 'Why can't I see outside? Because it is foggy. Why is it foggy? Because the clouds came down to visit us. Why did the clouds come down? Because they wanted to say hi. Why did they want to say hi? What do you want quantum physics? Ask your dad.'-anymore. There you have it.

[Comments] (1) PS: My mom is 51! She just had her birthday the 6th. Happy b-day, mom!

Sah-weet: Why is everything better frozen? Frozen cookies (choco chip, Girl Scout cookies), frozen candy bars (especially Snickers), frozen grapes, frozen bananas (especially the ones dipped in chocolate). I swear I love all my treats to be frozen. They taste so much better.

The Lovely Bones:: Finished. Two thumbs up. The first part was very hard to stomach. Very sad and insightful and feel good all at the same time. Read it and tell me what you think.

[Comments] (1) I'm guilty too: Yesterday at church, as my kids were harassing the families with better toys in front, behind, and next to us as is common every Sunday, I reflected on one of my New Years resolutions which is not to judge people or hastily come to conclusions about them in the 10 minutes passing/playgroup/or any other social encounter. Especially about their parenting. It was then that I was hoping these people were not doing to it me.

The longer I am a mother, the more I realize I know squat about raising kids. Like when you are in the store and your child is misbehaving and your mind is spinning through the Rolodex of possible solutions and you are so busy trying to problem solve let alone how to do it in a calm, cool, collective way--like a good mom should, you can barely think about what it is you are there for and all you want to do is hurry up so you can leave. Good times. Or when I see small families or couples with no kids yet I totally want to reinforce them and say good for you...get yourself to a good place in life before you dive into having kids because you sure aren't doing them a favor if you aren't ready yet, and don't let people pressure you into thinking you aren't a good Mormon unless you start a family right away. Or when I see smaller families I think that's right, quality over quantity. If you are the type of person that can handle a lot, good for you, but if you aren't the type of person that can I think being a really great mom to a few kids is way better than being a lukewarm mom to a lot of kids.

So I guess what I am saying is I get it now. Thanks to Heavenly Father for sending me strong-willed child(ren). Lily is so active and independent and bright and I wouldn't have it any other way, but I totally learned my lesson. I don't think any parent wants their kids to be brats. I try to lead my kids in a good direction best I can. If you think I am doing a crappy job, you can have a shot at it. But I know now when I see a kid screaming in a store (that is if it isn't my own) next time I am going to try harder to be understanding and less "shut your kid up, can't you control your kid?" Now I know, you can't control your kids (that is unless you want to beat the spirit out of them) and I have eaten my words many, many times.

[Comments] (1) Tagged by my sis Julie: .A. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.

B. Each player answers the question about themselves.

C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 other people and posts there names. And then leaves a message on their blog letting them know they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog to get the directions.

What I was doing 10 years ago? In 1998 I was a Jr in the beginning and then a Senior to end the year. I was on the tennis team and all that normal HS stuff.

5 Things on my "To-Do" List…clean (there is always something to clean, Lily's bathroom needing the most attention at the moment), finish the laundry (also something that is always a to-do), watch Am Idol I recorded, go to a spin or yoga class tomorrow, or maybe both depending on my mood, and start and finish this Christmas picture craft I have been putting off, and I’ll add one more- organize my desk space.

3 Bad Habits I have…eating sweets, being lazy and procrastinating stuff, and not making my bed regularly.

Places I have Lived… San Antonio, Provo, Spokane, Eagle River, and San Antonio again…we shall see where we go in a year.

Things most people don't know about me…I used to want to have 10 kids when I was little. I’ve had a broken right arm in 3rd grade and it was in a cast when we learned cursive…I blame my bad handwriting on that. During that time I had a cast, I used a pen to scratch an itch I had and the pen cap came off and lodged in my wrist area. I couldn't get it out and each attempt would jam it further in there. It hurt really bad but my mom said that we were going to get my cast off in two weeks anyway that she didn’t want to make an additional appt. So when I got my cast removed, skin was growing around and in the pen cap. My body was about to swallow it whole. I still have a slight scar in the shape of a pen cap if anyone ever wants to see it. My pet peeve is driving behind large cars/semi-trucks/construction trucks. I hate that I can’t see around their fat butts and they block my view.

I tag whoever wants to do this.

Fun day: I love holidays for obvious reasons, and yesterday was no exception. We first started the day off with me: a trip to the gym with the kids, and Aaron: a long filled morning of paintball with the boys. I am glad Aaron got to have fun time away since I feel like it is mostly me that is leaving alone to run errands or whatever on Sat's. So I am glad he got to do that, and he also brought Sonic lunch home for the kids.

After the kids woke up from their naps we headed out to Sams and the kids discovered how much fun it is to jump on the mattresses and run wildly up and down the very large aisles. Yeah, we left pretty fast from there. Then we went to Americus Diamond to get my ring polished and serviced. Love that place--they redip your ring for free. And then we went to Petco, and then to Petsmart. We bought some new fish, them being: sunburst Mickey Mouse platy (get it--the tail that looks like a Mickey mouse head?), 2 black mollies (I just love how they look like shadows swimming around, but Aaron thinks they are creepy), creamsicle lyretail molly, rubber lipped pleco, 2 red clawed crabs to replace Mr. Crabs-I miss him...isn't that face the plainest thing (in the Smith sense of the word) you have ever seen?, and a black angelfish. Of course the fish look way more colorful and vibrant in real life. It is a lot of fun having a fish tank, especially when I never have to clean it out ever. We have some other fish too, but that is just what we got yesterday.

On the way home, I called Pei Wei and placed a take out order because the kids were tired and I didn't want to deal with them at a restaurant. We had our Silverado movie ticket stub so we got a free lettuce wrap, Mongolian beef, and kids honey seared chicken for the kids to split. Our dinner was only 12 bucks...less than fast food and better tasting. So that's that. It was a good day.

Kids say the darndest things: Today in the car Lily exclaimed 'I ate the brats all gone mom.' I'm going deaf so of course I asked a couple times for her to repeat herself since I totally didn't know what she was talking about. Finally she goes 'you know, brats crackers. I ate them all gone'. Ahhh, you mean Ritz crackers. 'Oh yeah, Ritz crackers.'

Speaking of food, I made stir fry for dinner tonight with all the veggies in my fridge that needed to be used up before getting too old. I already had to chuck the eggplant, but I put in squash, asparagus, onion, fresh ginger, carrot cut into strips, and chicken over brown rice. Every time I make this meal I love it, but it really is just veggies mostly and Aaron and I are scouring the kitchen before bed because it doesn't keep you too full. Aaron has so far snacked on a glass of homemade lemonaid, Almond Joy, package of Corn Nuts, and he was begging me to make smoothies. He is in the kitchen now making noise and who knows what he is scrounging up.

Update: He made himself honey toast. hee Oh yeah, and he drank two full glasses of Gunnar's whole milk. And you ask how he stays so thin? Why by do absolutely nothing physical except for maybe a men's church ball game every week or two. How fair is that?

[Comments] (2) G-dub: I always said this age was my favorite stage with Lily, and Gunnar confirms that the 12-18 months stage is one of my favorite times. This is when you think you are totally awesome because your kid starts blooming and becoming smart and realizing the world around them and doing all these new things and you are like 'yep, my genes are so awesome', but it is also before they start throwing tantrums and disobey you just to see you burst out of your skin into hot molten lava. So bare with me, or not, while I run down the latest on the G-man.

Teething--he is currently cutting 2 more teeth. His lower laterals. It is about time. He hasn't gotten a new tooth for a few months. This time around is not that bad. A little moody and runny nose, but him sleeping more has offset anything negative. About a month ago Aaron and I gave him a haircut. His hair was getting long (on top that is). It was the most miserable experience ever. Next time I am so going to a place for $10 instead of putting Gunnar and myself through 20 minutes of sheer torture. He bawled the entire time and was trying to bust loose from my half nelson. Our clippers were old, so that didn't help. I thought he would never settle down after that one.

So on my pic blog I have some of him in his glasses. Sometimes throughout the day they become crooked usually to do with something Lily has done to him. Once in awhile I see him push them back up on his nose. It is so cute, and reminds me that he is no longer a helpless baby. He is getting bigger and does things on his own. I can't wait to start him on dishes.

His new PASSION in life is books. At first I thought this one wouldn't happen because Lily was into books before I can even remember. They were always her favorite thing, so I thought it just skipped Gunnar. No way. This kid could sit on my lap with Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb all day long. It's pretty cutie the way he goes about it. He will go pick out a book and then come over to me (usually with a ugh, ugh whine) toss the book in my lap and bounce up and down until I pull him up or try to climb into my lap. And let me tell ya, those chunky board books hurt if they land on your wrist or your HEAD the wrong way. Those suckers are hard. He loves to be read to, and I think it is precious. He is only interested in those starter books though. The ones that just say "red apple" or "4 balloons" or any of the "I Spy" books. Things with just simple objects or animals. And when I actually read a story he just starts flipping pages. He just likes to point to stuff and for me to say what it is. It's weird that he loves Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb though because he doesn't like stories. I think it is just because it is almost like a song and he likes that I bang my thumb on the pages like I drum. And the best part is he gets his own books which makes my life so much easier.

Some other new things are his new swing, the one for babies that looks like a car seat almost. He was a little leery at first but has grown to like it. He just chills in it. He loves going down our slide on the other hand. We get huge guffaws from that. It is too bad that he is still little though because he loves Lily's trike. He has this little thing I can push him on but that is not as cool. He goes for it every time. And cries when he can't ride it right. He loves to go for walks in the stroller too. I plop him right in and he doesn't make a peep until it's over. I do this at the end of the day before it is dinner time because that seems to be the worst time of the day for all three of us- Lily, Gunnar, and me.

With all our trips to the pet store, I have to mention that he loves looking at all the animals. He will walk right up to them and say "dah". His favorite are the birds because he loves to hear them outside and it is the one sign he can do. Although he did sign 'shoe' the other day and 'out' but those are not consistent. It is kind of a pain though to go to the pet store though because he gets so frustrated that he can't touch the animals. He starts banging on the glass and getting all huffy but when I take him away, he does limp body so he can go back, and he does this giddy laugh/cry thing like oh, I love this, but why won't they let me touch them. He's learned some things from his sister like dancing in the car to music. He'll sway side to side with a big grin or clap away.

I have to laugh because I think I am not like most moms. During Gunnar's first few months, I admit there were times when I really thought he was a funny looking baby (like most babies are) but mother's aren't supposed to be able to distinguish that. Maybe it's a good thing, maybe it's a bad thing, but I seriously would look for pictures trying to find a "good" one to post or whatever and just not loving that picture. He was definitely better looking in person, let's just say that. And I was talking about that with my family, and my brother was like "Yeah, I know. And when he was a newborn and you were saying 'I think he looks just like you, David' and I was thinking, I hope I don't look like that" I laughed my head off. It's ok that he said that because now his kids with be fair game. ;) Gunnar got way chubby in the first 6 weeks and then his hairline was weird when he lost all his hair. But he really has come around I think to be such a cute sweet boy. And he is so photogenic now. I have to keep myself from posting too many pics instead of digging for some good shots. What a fun time we are having now with our little family. Now all we need is for him to get a little bigger so Lily won't be able to give him choke holds tight hugs as much.

[Comments] (18) Re-evaluation : I totally stole this post from off my sister's friend's blog. I am just really fascinated by this. Just recently I looked at a website that talked about before and after pics of celebrity plastic surgery. You wouldn't believe how many have had something done. Tons had nose jobs, and almost all had Botox. It vindicated my suspicion of Nicole Kidman's whole face overhaul. She looked so different when Moulin Rouge came out and now I know why (eye lift, nose job). Fergie doesn't even look like the same person. Anyway, enough of's AnneMarie's post:

The Pursuit of Beauty "I've been reading a book called "Deadly Persuasion" which is a book on the influence of advertising on women. Wow! Some very eye-opening information! Here are some of the facts I've gathered lately on body image and how it's possibly affected by the media.

*The average model today is 5' 10" and weighs around 110 pounds (that is not even enough body fat to have a normal menstrual cycle!).

*The average model today is 23% lighter than what is considered normal weight; 25 years ago, the average model was 9% lighter than normal weight. (The models are only getting skinnier!)

*78% of normal-weight women are dissatisfied with their bodies.

*The original Barbie would have had proportions of 39"-18"-33". In 1997, after serious concern about her unrealistic body, the toy company did expand her waist and shrink her bust somewhat (an 18" waist wouldn't have even allowed for all her normal organs!). I know she's only a toy, and I played with Barbies as a little girl, but it's part of the whole package of portraying unrealistically proportioned women.

*The #1 wish of teenage girls is to be thin.

*At age seventeen, 78% of girls are unhappy with their bodies.

*In a study on fifth graders, 10 year old girls told researchers they were more dissatisfied with their own bodies after watching a music video by Britney Spears or a clip from "Friends".

*When three weeks of Saturday morning toy commercials were analyzed, it was found that 50% of the ads aimed at girls spoke about physical attractiveness.

*The more media consumed (magazines, movies, music videos), the higher the body dissatisfaction among teenage and college-age girls.

*In a popular picture used to advertise the movie "Pretty Woman", the face was Julia Roberts' but not the body. Someone else's body was used because apparently even Julia Roberts doesn't have the ideal body!

*More than half the adult women in the U.S. are currently dieting (and this often means short-term, quick-working methods which are unhealthy and result in yo-yo weight gain and loss, instead of looking at changing habits for life).

*About 60% of Caucasian middle school girls read at least one fashion magazine regularly.

*Women's magazines have 10.5 times more ads and articles promoting weight loss than men's magazines do.

*Most models are thinner than 98% of American women.

*46% of 9-11 year old girls are sometimes or very often on diets.

*40-60% of high school girls are on a diet at any time.

*42% of 1st-3rd grade girls wish they were thinner.

A quote that does a great job summarizing much of the author's work: "Girls of all ages get the message that they must be flawlessly beautiful and, above all these days, they must be thin. Even more destructively, they get the message that this is possible, that, with enough effort and self-sacrifice, they can achieve this ideal. THus many girls spend enormous amounts of time and energy attempting to achieve something that is not only trivial but also completely unattainable. The glossy images of flawlessly beautiful and extremely thin women that surround us would not have the impact they do if we did not live in a culture that encourages us to believe we can and should remake our bodies into perfect commodities." Jean Kilbourne

The week of February 24th is National Eating Disorders Awareness week. Five to ten million Americans are directly affected by eating disorders. Check out for some great info. Here are some tips I gleaned from the website about what parents can do to promote a positive body image and help prevent eating disorders:

*Practice taking people seriously for what they say, feel, and do, not for how slender or "well put together" they appear.

*Help children appreciate and resist the ways in which television, magazines, and other media distort the true diversity of human body types and imply that a slender body means power, excitement, popularity, or perfection.

*Encourage your children to be active and to enjoy what their bodies can do and feel like.

*Do not talk about or behave as if you are constantly dieting.

*Convey to children that weight and appearance are not the most critical aspects of their identity and self-worth.

*Discourage the idea that a particular diet or body size will automatically lead to happiness and fulfillment.

*Don't constantly criticize your own shape ("my butt looks so big in these pants", etc.).

*Don't support pornography or other "institutions" that cast women as objects for the pleasure of men.

*(specifically for men) Demonstrate a respect for women as they age, in order to work against the cultural glorification of youth and a tightly controlled ideal body type. (Why is that only men should become distinguished as they age, while women become wrinkled and need face lifts?).

It is such a struggle to maintain a healthy attitude about our bodies. The pictures of women on magazine covers are airbrushed and enhanced. Many models and celebrities we admire have resorted to different "enhancements" and "jobs" to fit the "ideal" body which has been created, not to mention they probably have enough time and money to work out 2 hours a day with a personal trainer. What I would love to see is more "everyday" people in the media, people of different shapes and sizes, people who have disabilities, more people of different races, and more women who are older than 40 and actually look like they've aged (ever feel like once an actress reaches 40, she is almost never seen again?).

Yes, I do believe in establishing healthy eating and exercise habits, so that we are taking care of our bodies. But the messages of the media would often have us feeling that we are never good enough, creating in us a discontent and a void, causing us to feel that we are never thin enough, stylish enough, or pretty enough (and yes, outward appearance is of the utmost importance in our image-obsessed culture). I can speak from personal experience that being thin is not inevitably associated with greater life happiness. During my adult years, I have been underweight, overweight, and normal-weight for different periods of time. When I weighed less, I was no happier than when I weighed more. Happiness for me has been much more closely linked to the quality of my relationships, my spirituality, good health habits, and my level of gratitude.

After reading and thinking about women's bodies and the messages we receive each day, I feel there is a greater need than ever to examine how we view ourselves and each other. We definitely have to filter and criticize the unrealistic images we are continually viewing. By so doing, hopefully we can feel more self-acceptance and more peace with the imperfect, beautiful bodies given to us by God."

Tribute to leap year: I have a question for you Mr. Universe. How come the soft part of a sock is on the outside and not the inside where it will actually touch your skin? It doesn't really make sense now, does it?

Sunny 9 for 2008 February

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© 2003-2009 Kristen Smith.