Thursday, January 31, 2008

For Laura

Once upon a time, my best friend, Sheryl, had a Valentine's dance in her ward. I went as the photographer, but it was an 80's dance! Like I wasn't going to go dressed up and have some fun while I was at it! My sister commented today that she had never seen the pictures, so these are for you Laura...

This is Marisa, Sheryl's sister, and Rick, my brother. They are both clearly always good to have at a party. The two of them figured out a version of the "Thriller" line dance and taught it that night. It was AWESOME.
These are Sheryl's friends in her ward, but I can't for the life of me remember their names. Wait! The wife is Debbie...that's all I've got. But they were fun and into it. Isn't it always nice to have good sports around?
I went with more of a pop star look, while Jeff was my celebrity boyfriend, sporting a "Miami Vice" look. We just happened to end up with coorinating colors. What can I say? Certain colors were more popular then. In 20 years our kids will dress up "90's" and wear forest green, or they'll dress up "2000's" and wear brown.
Sheryl looks gorgeous even when she's dressed up in ridiculous 80's workout gear while pregnant. And doesn't Darren look smashing in his acid wash jeans and skinny tie?

This night was really fun, but I have to say, I think thrift store shopping for our costumes had to have been the best part. We would get so excited with a good find and then we laughed ourselves sick when both Rick and Jeff scored some nice shiny gold chains to wear. Bodacious. (I'd like to note that 3 of the four men are wearing loafers, and two of them are sockless. Awesome and Ewww.)
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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Saver's Shopping

My ward is having a Valentine's dance, and since it was my idea to have it, I couldn't be content with just any old dance. So we're having a best dresssed contest. You are supposed to wear prom attire, but from any decade. So a few of my friends hit Saver's looking for the perfect thing.

Aleece and I know it's just not a perfect girl's night without chocolate!
Kristie brought Kai, but he was so perfect we hardly noticed him. Except of course when she put this wig on him. HA! Looking dapper, Kai.

Don't you think Holly should have bought this dress? She looked FAB in it.

I ended up buying one, but I have to get it taken in and accessorize, of course, so I'll take pictures of the final product later.
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For those that want to know...

I know a lot of blogging friends have talked about wanting to print their blog entries like a journal and here is a fun solution!

It turns your blog entries into a hardbound book. Perfect!

Snowy Day

Try as I might, I couldn't avoid taking the younger kids out to play in the snow any longer. After we got buried in snow on Monday, I decided to let them play while I shoveled. Lame. Actually it was good workout. But I couldn't get that workout until everyone was properly dressed which took 30 MINUTES. Ugh. But since I invested the time in bundling them, they were very happy and comfortable out in the cold. Don't they look sweet and happy? Especially Bearbear who tried to ride the much too small tricycle while spastically singing the crazy frog song. I have weird kids.

I didn't want Jeff to have to come home from work and shovel in the dark, and there was so much snow I wasn't sure if he could get the car into the driveway (that car is a fighter but lately it's barely limping along), so I decided it was upon me. In previous years I've gotten in trouble with him for doing that, I don't know why he thinks a woman that's 6 months pregnant shouldn't be shoveling snow, talk about over reacting...heh......heh. After a little less than an hour of heaving dense snow, every muscle straining under the weight of the shovel, I stood at the top of the driveway, exhausted, admiring my hard work. I was quite pleased. Our driveway can park 5 cars (I left a little of one side undone- it didn't really matter, we weren't going to walk or drive on that part), so it was no small task. I also shoveled a narrow path to the front porch, just enough for one person to get through.

As I stood there, being rather pleased with myself, thinking how proud my husband would be with me for working so hard and saving him from the task, and hoping that the workout burned off the chocolate cake I'd eaten at the in-law's the night before, a kind man (who looked to be about 60) with a snow blower saw that a poor weak woman was shoveling all by her own little self. So after he finished the walks at the church next door, he sweetly came over and helped me out, finishing the part I hadn't cared to do, and cleaning up the edges. I couldn't thank him over the noise of the snow blower, so I paused from snapping photos of the kids and blew him a kiss as he left and he just laughed in reply.

We went in the house when we lost the sunlight. It then took me 20 more minutes to peel all the layers off the children, and clean up the rapidly melting snow that we all tracked in.

Then my husband came home, scanned the driveway, looked at me and said, "Wow, who came and used a snow blower on the driveway?".

Come ON.
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Friday, January 25, 2008

Tagged by Sheryl...

Seven random things about me:

1- When I'm driving in the winter I love to slide just a tiny bit and fishtail. I get some sort of pathetic housewife thrill from it.

2-I dance like no one would believe when I'm with my younger kids. Even my 8year old is too big to see it now. Seriously, it is some major blackmail material.

3-I hate when a question is answered with "Sure". I guess I think it sounds like the person is saying "I really don't want to, but I can't or don't want to tell you 'no' , so I'll give you a half-hearted non-committal answer instead".

4-I don't like touching raw meat. Ew. It feels like botulism right in my fingertips. I also only cut meat on ceramic plates because I have an irrational fear of the bacteria not washing out of my porous plastic cutting boards.

5-I like tomatoes, but not the tomato snot inside. Isn't that the texture? It is. Trust me.

6- I love love love Mexican food. I could eat it 5 times a week and not get sick of it. MMMMM. Spicy and warm and meaty with cool tomatoes and lettuce piled on top. And NEVER get between me and my guacamole.

7-I never read a book twice. I feel like there is WAY too much great literature out there that I've never read to waste time re-reading a book. Even if I love it. Even if I have nothing else on hand to read. It's dumb, if I like it I should just read it again. But I don't. I just catch up on What Not to Wear- even if I've already seen it.

(The exception to this is Ender's Game and Pride and Prejudice- which I've read both of at least eight times each over the past ten years).


I've gotten tagged twice in the past week, but I haven't made time to do it yet so here is the tag I got from Janet...

How long have you been together?

Jeff and I met this month ten years ago. TEN YEARS? Yup, I guess that's right. We met after work one day (he worked at Franklin Covey and I worked at Kiddie Kandids as a photographer), we had just happened to be parked next to each other. It had snowed and Jeff came over and helped me scrape the snow off my car. Awwwwww.

Who said "I love you" first?

Jeff, I had him totally whooped. :-)

Who is smarter?

I'm totally going with Jeff on this one. He's brilliant. I have him fooled though, when he's rattling off some smarty-pants thing I don't understand, I just nod and furrow my brow like I'm fascinated and say "right...right..." and he thinks I get it.

Who pays the bills?

Jeff usually does. I don't know why it ends up that way, it just does. I guess I'm in the middle of nursing a baby or changing a diaper or sitting staring at a wall in some exhausted trance, so he just goes over to the computer and does it. Thanks honey. I didn't want to anyway.

Who cooks dinner?

I do. I plan meals for 4-5 nights a week and every Friday night is cereal night. Jeff LOVES cereal night. However, if I'm too tired or don't feel like making dinner, he will. Jeff is actually a really good cook, and he loves trying a new recipe.

Who drives when you are together?

Jeff does. I do sometimes, but I think it just frees up my hands to change the songs on the radio for our little demanding music dictators in the backseat.

My husband is AWESOME, I'd like to add.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Funny Bear-Bear

This is my Bear-bear. He is SO funny. If he was a girl he'd be called a drama queen. He goes from one extreme to the next, happy and giddy and his face just puts sunshine in my heart- I tell Jeff all the time that Bear's my sparkle. Then suddenly he'll turn into one of the most miserable beings on earth, nothing goes right for him, and the tears don't stop. He has more swings than a blind golfer. Last night he was exhausted and having trouble with his toothpaste which made him to dissolve into tears. I consoled him and helped him and then when the situation wasn't quite so volatile I said, "Wow, you must be really tired or you wouldn't be crying so much" , he looked up at me in astonishment, baffled why I didn't understand, and said "No, I have problems!". Jeff and I laughed for an hour (after he was in bed).

1-At the zoo. Grandpa bought all the kids a popsicle.
2-Fishing at Brighton.
3-We were on a hike with Jeff's parents and some of his siblings. Bear wanted to look at a mountain across the valley, and when Uncle Stephen offered him Bear his binoculars, Bear said, "No, don't worry, I have some".
4-First day of Preschool.
5- Cuddled up with the baby.
6- He was about 3 yrs old here. This is one of my favorite photos of him. Click on it to see it better. This kid has really long lashes and a serious uni-brow.
7- About 3 years old. I should have cut his hair before I took this picture.
8- He wanted to be a police officer for Halloween. When I was taking photos I said "Give me some serious cop faces", these are just two of the series. They are frickin' hilarious.
9-Look how the shape of his mustached changed! HAHA! He is the king of facial expressions.
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Monday, January 21, 2008

Song Practice

So here it is. This is our practice of what we sang yesterday. The sound quality isn't great, but you'll get the idea. We've just started learning a fun arrangement of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, I'm looking forward to that!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

My Singing Ladies

This is a group of girls (I say girls because we will be young forever!) I've been singing with for a little over a year now. From the left it's Robyn, Kandis, Kristie, Aimee, Wendy, Jesyca, and Me. We've had others that have come and gone, but this is us for now. We meet once every week after our kids are in bed and practice some music for fun, and every once in a while we'll sing at church functions. We all trade parts around for each song, so it's been a great learning experience for me. These women are beautiful and talented, and VERY patient with my inexperience. We sang this morning in Robyn's ward bright and early. I have a video clip that I'm trying to make work, so I'll post it when I figure it out.
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Saturday, January 19, 2008

This is our first born. I was feeling a dose of mommy guilt for not having many photos of him on the 'ole blog. We call him Nanos because that's what our second born called him when he was learning to speak, and it stuck. We sometimes call him Mookers- there's really no explanation for that.

1- Baptism day. These are two good lookin' guys.
2- He was Indiana Jones for Halloween. Doesn't he look brave and adventurous?
3- The kid loves press on tattoos.
4-Playing the piano with Grandma. She's been giving him lessons- sweet, huh?
5-The first day of second grade. Man, he is so handsome!
6- It was hard for me to find pictures where he wasn't being a weirdo.
7-This is when we went fishing with Jeff's family.
8- With his best friend. These two crack me up, they are so funny together. I don't mean cute funny, I mean funny funny. They are goofy and clever and they make me laugh.
9- Getting an award at school.

So there he is. He's funny, and helpful, and he loves his little brothers. When I say love, I don't mean he likes them, I mean he likes helping them do things, and getting them snacks, and hugging them when they cry, and reading them books, and he'll even change wet diapers. He's always shown a natural gift for music, and a real talent with drawing and painting. He also LOVES to read. He's lately gotten pretty good at shooting hoops with Dad, too.
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Friday, January 18, 2008


Okay, if you knew me 10 years ago you'd know that I had a MAJOR crush on Jimmy Chunga from 107.5 The End (now 101.9). I even went to an appearance he did at the opening of the theaters at Jordan Landing and hugged him- lame I know, and I didn't care. I used to listen to him on the radio every morning on my way to work. My opportunities to listen to The End have drastically tapered since I've had kids, until today when I listened for over three hours. Do you want to know why? Because when I turned it on when I was driving home from the gym this morning, who did I hear on Chunga's show? MATT MATTSON. That's right, MY Matt, the Matt I know was on The End. I was freaking. I still am a little.

Matt is an actor, song writer, singer, artist, comedian, and all around big 'ole teddy bear. He's extremely talented and I love cheering him on. So GO MATT! You're my new idol. Chunga, Chels and Court were nice to you, and you really did great. You won the contest against Court, and you made them laugh a bunch of times. It was perfect. I was so proud.

(I need to recognize Meghan in the background of this photo, she's Matt's sweetheart and she's delightful and this picture does not do her justice).
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Recognizing my Friends

I've been thinking about my friends a lot lately. They are a big part of my life. So I'm gonna start recognizing them more on my blog. Today I'm going to feature some of my friends I've had for over a decade. Left to right , Erik, Rick (my brother), Matt, Sheryl (my BFF) and Neil. Oh, yeah, that's me sitting on the ground. This was a couple of years ago in my backyard. I've known Rick since I was born, Erik, Matt, and Neil since middle school, and Sheryl and I became friends my sophomore year in High School.

What can I say? My friends make me laugh. A LOT. Plus, these guys are just really good men. And Sheryl? Well, she's HOT. You know, we've never been sad to be surrounded by a bunch a guys. Go figure.
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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Per Aubrey's Request

So here is my angel. That's what I call him...or snoog...or shoog...goobuh...or gabey. Poor kid, will he ever know his name?

1- In the fall leaves just before Daddy cleaned them all up.
2-He LOVED lying all alone under a Christmas tree. He'd lay there and laugh and grin at the lights and branches.
3- Christmas morning pulling on a ribbon on the only package he really got.
4- With Daddy on the 4th of July. So tiny.
5-So so mad. He got sick of lying there really fast.
6-In the full size shot of this you can see that both hands and feet are spread out like he's skydiving- quite comical.
7-SUCH a finger sucker. It looks cute now, but I really wish he go along with my efforts to switch him to a binki.
8-Nanos and Gabey. He really loves his big brother.
9-Newborn photo taken by Sheryl and Sara. I still love him in bright blues like this.

Seriously, I think this child is so photogenic. One more thought, his eyes may look blue now, but all his brother's eyes changed to brown at about a year old, so we'll see when it happens for him.
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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Okay, I know it may seem that there are a lot of pictures of Jojy posted, but he always puts himself into such bizarre situations that I have to take photos. This way, when he's an adult, I have proof of what a destruction addict he really was. As far as blogging this evidence is concerned, these photos just make good stories.

This white powder he's covered in is cornstarch. I've come to appreciate it as a much better baby diaper powder than the fluffy smelling commercial stuff. I keep it in a ziplock bag with the diapers. Bam-bam discovered it and simply HAD to dump it. You see, he has an illness, he can't see something where is should be and stay content just to leave it be. He must seek and destroy-like a missile. A missile that unfolds clean laundry, pours a gallon of water on the bathroom floor, and throws leftover food as far away from him as possible.
You would never guess how deep cornstarch can get into carpet unless you're the one trying to vacuum it out. He made it extra nice because he also dumped it all over Bear's favorite dress up clothes ( a hat and over sized boots he wears to be Santa) that he left on the floor.
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Jojy has discovered a new favorite toy/ best friend. A bar of Irish Spring soap. He discovered it a couple of days ago when he tore open the box, and the two have become inseparable. He says (with a lisp) "I love thisth sthoap! I love it.". He eats beside it, sleeps with it, plays with it, talks to it, and takes it in the car. Twice today he has been reduced to tears, beside himself for loss of "Sthoap" (pictured above). In a few of the photos you can still see the tears on his face after being reunited with his beloved, Sthoap. He may have a dirty face, but he is smelling Irish Spring fresh.
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Monday, January 7, 2008

A Retraction

My dear friend Dawnell pointed out something to me that I feel should be addressed. In my second post on this blog I gave one of our mutual best friends, Sheryl, all the credit for inspiring me to blog. This isn't entirely accurate. Dawnell was the first of our little best friend group to have a blog, which she really needed because she lived in New York, and now, New Jersey. I love her blog because I can see her chubby little baby grow up, and equally as important, Dawnell's new shoes and haircuts. You know, the important stuff. But to give proper credit where it is due, Sheryl is the one who kept telling me I should start a blog. So there you have it, Dawnell started it, and Sheryl encouraged me.

How's that Dawnelly?

Our New Year's Eve

On New Year's Eve we decided to stay home. Jeff isn't much of a night owl, and we'd battled a lot of late nights out with the kids over the Christmas break, so we really weren't up for it. Jeff and I made fresh shrimp for dinner (the kids ate breaded shrimp from the freezer that I baked, I don't think they were really ready for the reality of shell fish-except Nanos he's big and brave). Bear was horrified by the preparation process- cutting the gray shells and legs off the shrimp before cooking. We hung out, watched movies, played hide and seek for well over an hour, read a stack a books together,and put the kids to bed before 10. It was really quite fun. Jeff and I hit the sack before 11.

Hide and Seek was the highlight of the evening.

Here's Nanos next to our bed- he was hiding under pillows and blankets, but a lump of blankets isn't much of a picture. He was an awesome hider. Very dedicated. We even gave up once and he had to reveal himself.

Jojy usually had Daddy or Mommy hide him, but this time, when Daddy left to count, he found his own spot- behind the shutters on the kitchen door. It was so cute because when I first noticed him all I could see were his tiny feet. Hahaha.
This is Bear hiding behind the bathroom door. Even though he's a patient hider, he still doesn't understand that you can find him if he speaks because you know where his voice is coming from. For instance, if you say "Hold still, here they come to find you", he'll say "Okay mom, I will". Thus blowing his cover.
Because it's near impossible for Jeff to fit into any hiding spot, he usually pretends to hide, like sitting in the middle of the room and putting a dish towel on his head. It makes the boys...and me, laugh. But this time, he stood on the edge of the tub and bent in between the shower curtains. So if the boys looked in the tub they still couldn't see him. It was so funny that it took us so long to find him in our tiny house!
Happy New Year!!!!!!
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Oh MY GOSH! I got on to my blog today and I had like 6 new comments!!! I didn't realize how thrilling that would be. And my cousin Jen commented too! Thanks Mae, Sheryl, Jen, Aubrey, Sara and Janet for commenting- you made my Monday! MWAH!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Sweet Bear

Look at this face! Isn't it sweet? Just say yes.

Two days ago he climbed up on my lap and curled up like a cat. A few seconds later he looked up at me with his dark eyes and impossibly long eyelashes and said softly "Mom, I love you. You're so special. I think you're more important than kings...or queens...or gold." Could you die? I almost did.

Then the next day he decided to dress Jojy without me knowing. Except I figured it out when he came to ask me a question:

"Mom, are we going anywhere today"

"Probably not."

"Okay, so short sleeves are okay since we're staying home?'

"Sure. I guess."

That's when I knew he was dressing his little brother since he was already dressed in long sleeves. Then Jojy appeared wearing this outfit.
Notice that not only is he wearing short sleeves, shorts, and slippers, but the shirt is buttoned very crookedey. Is that a word? Whatever, I don't care, it sounds like it fits to me.
It was very sweet. And even though his arms and legs got cold very fast, I had to leave him in these so I wouldn't hurt any one's tender feelings.
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Jeff and I come from nickname families. Big time. Even now my siblings call me Shebbs, or Chelle-belle and Jeff's brothers call me Mitch. Some of the names our siblings have come up with when we were kids are strange and unexplainable- Chooka, Mustard Fish, GoGo, Mutt, Grunty the Ice Pig, etc. So coming from such an upbringing left us almost unable to call our children by their real names. Of course, we use Dingus for all of them, but they also each have their own.

I have struggled with whether or not to use my kids real names on my blog. I guess I still haven't decided, but for now, I think I'll use their nicknames, it comes as naturally to me as their real names anyway. So in order of birth, here they are:

Nanos, Bearbear, Jojy, and Gabey...