Thursday, December 29, 2011

Just us

This was our very first Christmas that was just us, and Chuck's sister Megan. We ate diner by candle light on Christmas Eve (a tradition from Chuck's family). Julia Child's lemon chicken, roasted red potatoes, stuffing, green beans, a light soup, french bread, and lots and lots of "bubble juice" as Fiona calls any thing with carbonation.

It was kind of weird not to have the mass chaos of all the aunties and uncles and kids etc. But I did stop up to my neighbors to enjoy their chaos for a moment... I think now that I spend so much time at home alone with the girls, I crave being around lots of people.

We decided that this time off of work for Chuck would be a good time to start the co-habitation of the girls... up to this point Daphnie had been in our room. I was super nervous about it... I wish I could say I have all the kinks worked out... but alas from about 7:00 to almost midnight Chuck and I find ourselves trying to get one or both of them back to sleep (the writing of this post has been interrupted twice thus far). But it ain't all bad...lately I have been trying to be present... you know like in the moment and enjoying it without thinking of what you still need to do or what happened last Saturday...etc.etc. So when I can actually be in the moment I enjoy my late night babies and the fact that I can hold them and rock them and hear their sweet little voices and soft breathing. 

Just look at those luscious cheeks!

Christmas morning was great... I had been trying to build Fiona up for it for weeks. But she opened one present... a hot pink electric keyboard from Grandma and then she didn't want anything to do with anything else. I ended up unwrapping all of her presents and just showing them to her and she was less than thrilled. However, since Christmas morning she has thoroughly enjoyed all of her new toys which are much more age appropriate and challenging for her.

I just wanted to post this pic because I love her little outfit.

I am in the process of uploading some videos of the festivities to YouTube... so be sure to check out my account for all the live action footage :)

The 23rd as many of you may know was my birthmas. I am now 29 years old. Maybe I will go do something crazy this year... just maybe.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Stressful Sundays

I was under the impression that the sabbath day was supposed to be full of peace and rest. Not true if you are a Mormon in charge of primary kids. 

I currently team teach five year olds with Chuck. They are cute and sweet yada yada yada BUT they seem to have an attention span of about 2 minutes... so you can imagine that after an hour being quiet in sacrament meeting, listening to talks that don't make any sense to them they are not ready to sit quiet and still in a huge room with all their friends. Despite my best efforts to maintain some sort of classroom order (because that is what the primary presidency and other teachers expect of me), they just wanted to jump around, laugh and talk about belly buttons.

If we are going to make them stay at church for that long they should be able to run around and play. I am sure some would consider that breaking the sabbath day.... I remember getting yelled at as a kid for running in the gym when church was over. People would say "No running in God's house." I wonder if God would have a problem with little kids running and being happy and playing in His house. I submit that he would not. I mean Jesus told us to be like little children. So why do we spend so much time each week trying to make them act like little adults? Someone gave a lesson in sharing time a few weeks ago about being good... she noted that "wiggling your feet in church was BAD" Are we seriously trying to shame kids for having the wiggles. Movement is important for young kids growth and development.

I seriously want to bring a bag full of toys and games next week... have a two minute lesson and then just play. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Number two review

I am just recovering from my second bout of strep throat in the last month. That makes, one cold/nasty thing, one mastitis attack, and two cases of strep in only a short month and a half. Honestly I have never been sick so many times in my life in such a short period of time. It has made things interesting at best and horrible at worst with a new born in the house. I can only blame myself for a few reasons... one because I committed the cardinal sin of stopping my antibiotics before they were finished (I will never do that again!!!) and second because sometimes I don't know how to stop moving around and take a break. My doctor told me I have exhaustion... she told me to get some sleep (sometimes easier said than done) But Chuck has been helping me get some extra ZZZZZ's and Daphnie is getting better at sleeping through the night.

Speaking of Daphnie, she is delicious. She is soft and plump, smells like heaven (and sometimes a fine baby cheese), she makes the cutest faces when she cries, has the most tiny mouth... and makes a little poutty lip that kills me.

Funny how different the baby experience is the second time around. Daphnie really helps to slow things down around here in comparison to the Rambunctious Rhino Rumble that is my toddler. Which makes me feel really torn. I love playing with Fiona, she says funny stuff, and laughs, cries, dances, eats my food (sometimes) and enjoys a good book almost as much as I do. BUT Daphnie likes things nice and quiet and to be held near constantly. It's hard to know if I am giving each child what it is that they need, because right now they need really different things, and I am only one person and can only do so much.

I still scratch my head every time I try to imagine my mother in law with a house of eight kids. What a women.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Bizz

Well... good news. Chuck got a job!! Can you guess from the poster above which Village Person looks like Chuck when he goes to work?

If you guessed construction worker you are correct! Only his helmet doesn't have a lightning bolt on it, however I do feel a slight temptation to put one on there now. And where he is working it is much too cold to be leaving his shirt undone. (I just have this thing for the Village People and couldn't resist the photo... in college I actually found a LIFE SIZE poster of the group for only $5.00 at a antique shop... It was so big it covered an entire wall of my apartment, and it made me laugh every morning:)

I like my construction workin hubby. Today he came home all dirty and stinky, and I just wanted to smooch his face. This job will help us get through the next few months and help funding for Chuck furthering his work with my brother in law.

We are gearing up for winter. Fiona has been out in the snow, but her favorite place to be on cold days is in front of the computer, watching Barney, drinking a bottle, with her hand in her diaper.

Currently that is cool with me because Daphnie does not handle the cold very well... she likes to be nice and toasty warm at all times.

We do try breaking up the video watching with some hands on fun. We made homemade play-dough the other day which was a real hit. I was boring and didn't color it or anything. It was her first time with it and I just wanted to make sure she wasn't going to eat mass quantities of it. She passed the test with flying colors and play-dough has been added to Santa's List.

Now to answer the top two most frequently asked baby questions: 
1. Daphnie is two months old
2. She sleeps pretty well, wakes up twice but goes right back to sleep. She actually sleeps in a hammock which my sister and law loaned us. It is the coolest thing, and gently rock them with the slightest push. They are from Australia called Natures Sway.

Daphnie continues to be a pleasant addition to the crew. We love her dark brown hair, and the little coos and goos she is starting to make. She also has some great fat rolls and is super snuggly... I just wanna squeeze her all day. But I make sure to set her down for some good Fiona time.

And what about me you ask.... Well I just finished reading the Lord of The Ring trilogy by J.RR. Tolkien. They have been a nice escape for me when I can't actually physically leave the house. I am going to do a movie marathon now to celebrate... but as usual the movies never do justice to a great book and a good imagination. This is the next book on my reading list.

Other than that life is great (minus my occasional meltdowns... I threw an orange across the house the other day in a fit :) but I have scheduled in weekly meditation in the closet which I use to release my crazy).

And that's The Bizz.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Defying Gravity

No this post is not about the hit musical Wicked. Although I do like that song.

This week I had a friend take me to Anti Gravity Yoga. We went as a girls day out kind of thing... only for a nursing mommy there is no such thing as "days out" there are only hours out, and even still it is hard to be away! I had never heard that anything like this even existed, but have to say it is by far the coolest thing I have done in a long time.

You start the class off by swinging in the hammock, then it was followed by a lot of hanging upside down in crazy positions. The teacher said it is really good for women right after they have a baby... something about inner-ear and body changes... I must admit I didn't pay much attention to the details, I was too busy playing in my hammock. (sorry for the blurry pic, I was moving.... Check out the link above for really cool pics)

If they have this in your area, I HIGHLY recommended it, OR if you live by me I would love to go again, plus I can bring a friend for close to nothing for their first time.

Monday, November 7, 2011


So a little bit more about the oils.... There are lots of different ways to apply essential oils. When I take a doTERRA oil internally I will sometimes just drop it directly in my mouth (which with some oils can be really intense), and other times I will put it into an empty gelatin capsule (you can buy them at health food stores). With the citrus oils like grapefruit, lemon and lime, I will put a few drops in a glass of water They are really refreshing and great for the liver among other things. My husband uses Clove oil to brush his teeth and just puts it right on his toothbrush.

 The feet are a great place to apply any oil. The bottoms of the feet actually have more pores than other parts of the body so the oils are quickly absorbed into the body. This is where I applied the Balance oil. With the other oils I used during pregnancy I applied them all topically but to different places depending on what I was using it for. When using Clary Sage to induce labor I rubbed it into the reflexology points for the uterus near the ankle. For the other oils I put the on different chakras. Geranium on the heart, Sandalwood on the third eye, and Elevation on the solar plexus. If you use Geranium to avoid episiotomy or tears it is best used for perineal massage (must be diluted with a carrier oil, I recommend fractionated coconut oil, also sold by doTerra).

In response to commentary on the last post. Yes... they are a little pricey initially. It is an investment for your health and oils will last a long time (depending how you use them). If you are just curious to know if you will like using essential oils there are some starter kits that are a great introduction. That is how Chuck and I started our oil collection. 

And, yes they are sold in Utah. Headquarters are in Orem, Yet you buy them through independent product consultants. The company is set up in a multilevel marketing way. WAIT DON'T RUN AWAY!! Chuck and I have always joked around about multilevel marketing and then we go and sign up!!!! HOWEVER, doTERRA is cool because if you sign up ($35.00 fee) you get to buy the oils wholesale (25% cheaper) instead of market value BUT you don't actually have to do the business side of it. 

So why am I talking so much about these???? Because I just think they are remarkably remarkable. They have been so amazing for my family and kids. You just HAVE to try them. Write me and I'll come give a foot massage, serious! 

Here is a link to a video that give more info.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Essentials

I am hooked on doTERRA essential oils. Truly not all essential oils are created equal. They are by far the best product that I have found on the market.

I want to elaborate but this is one of those things that I have so much to say about it that I don't know how to formulate a short blog post that will keep your attention.

So... I will just say this... doTERRA essential oils were my little secret to such a smooth labor and delivery with baby number two. I used... 
  • Geranium oil (hormone balance, ease tension and stress, avoid episiotomy)
  • Elevation (joyful blend... keepin' my spirits up)
  • Balance (grounding blend... calming, relaxation)
  • Sandalwood (clear the mind of fear... be STILL)
  • Clary Sage (induce labor, delivery, strengthen uterus muscles, start milk production). 
They really made a huge difference, and everyone in the hospital kept telling me how good I smelled.

There are so many oils and each has it's own healing properties... if you want to learn more, this book is an great guide. It tells you what physical ailments each oil is helpful for and how to apply and use the oils to be most effective. We consult it almost on a daily basis. I use oils on my kids all the time for lots of things from teething to headaches, to overall health, colds, sadness... you name it.

My brother in Law is writing a book about the emotional healing properties of essential oils... there is sooo much that these oils can do to help us. 

Ok... that's all for now. If you use essential oils or are interested in starting seriously we should talk.... email me or something I love talking about it. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Toddler Taming

These last few weeks have been quite a learning experience for us. With Chuck gone, the girls and I had to come up with a routine that worked for us and took into consideration that for most of the day I only have the use of one arm. My goal was to have something fun and exciting for Fiona to do each day that would keep her sane... So I thought I would share my toddler tamers with you. Some were more successful than others, I am sure it just depends on your toddler.

1. Crayola Color Wonder- These are those markers that only color on the "magic" color wonder paper. They quickly solved the problem of having to closely supervise color time. Plus Fiona got a kick just out of taking the caps on and off. Then she tried to eat the tips off a few of them :)

2 and 3. Dollar Store Finds... Animals that grow in water. This is really a two parter because I thought taking Fiona to the dollar store to pick out a toy would be fun. Yet it really does NO good to walk down an isle of toys and ask a one year old to pick something. She just wanted everything... started screaming for something yellow, then threw everything I handed her out of the cart and started grabbing for anything she could get her hands on. I escaped the store with a pack of capsules that grow into animals when you put them in water.

I tried to show her one in a little cup, but it took to long to grow and she lost interest. So I threw them all at once in a large bowl gave her a spoon and told her to make me animal soup. She delighted at the stirring, and the thought of "cooking" in the kitchen with me. Then she tried to eat all of the little sponge animals :)

 4. Stickers - I bought a few packs from WalMart and a blank notebook for her to stick them in. This activity was great and lasted for days... we would do a few new stickers each morning.

I do recommended that you do not encourage the sticking of stickers to your face... we had to cut some of Fiona's hair to get a few off her sideburns (yikes).

5. Fort Building- This I have to say was the most successful thing we did. For whatever reason all of Fiona's old toys became new and exciting once inside the fort. We left it up for a week. She loved curling up inside to listen to stories and to play with her light up toys.

6. Ball Play Set from WalMart- ok... so before Chuck left we saw this at the store and thought it was cool... like the old school ball pits at fast food restaurants. However, the product was a little deceiving, I mean on the package it looks like the kids are just swimming in balls, but then when you open it up there are not even enough to fill the bottom. She still loved it though, however it lost it's appear after a couple of days.

7. Naked Time... just the freedom to roam the house in the nude. This is risky business when you have not potty trained, but found that it was worth the clean up.

 8. Something seasonal... Pumpkin Carving - Perhaps a little advanced. I thought she might enjoy playing with the stuff inside the pumpkin but she wanted nothing to do with it until it had a face on it... then she loved it. We even found this cute video on YouTube about making a jack-o-latern and she asks me to sing it all the time.

9. YouTube - Can I just say that I love YouTube! Fiona has about 20 or so videos that she loves. Most of them are renditions of The Wheels on the Bus which is currently her favorite tune. But she also loves "Name-o" which is the BINGO song and pretty much anything with a train in it. You can create a playlist and then it just plays all your favorite videos in a row. I have like 30 minutes worth all lined up... she asks for it everyday.

I especially like that she enjoys this video which is of my favorite band... she just like it because there is a giraffe and an elephant on a bicycle.

10. Big Sister Jobs -  Last but not least, Fiona does not quite understand the whole big sister thing... and most of the time she just ignores Daphnie. But boy of boy does she like to push her in the swing. At first it kind of freaked me out because she would do it so hard and fast... but Daphnie doesn't seem to mind, and she is buckled in, so I let them both enjoy.

And there you have it... What kinds of things do you do to pass the time with your toddlers?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Poison Control

As stated previously I am well into my two weeks sans hubby and car. I do have to say that I have been holding up quite well under the circumstances (except for the other night when I got NO sleep and developed a cold and had a train wreck headache all day... no days off for mommies). I mean being a single parent is honestly one of my biggest fears... and now I'm realizing that while not the ideal situation is like a lot of things in life... you just learn how to survive.

For those of you who are not familiar with Fiona, she is a tornado. She lives life 95 miles an hour... I thought it was just normal toddler-ness, but it turns out some kids are a LOT more mellow. I love my little firecracker but she sure takes some taming.

Today was a Poison Control kind of day. To make a long story really short in the matter of like 30 minutes she had peed all over her new sticker collection I bought her, ran naked through the house, drank from a bottle of Fantastik antibacterial cleaner that I was trying to clean pee up with, and "played with" a tarantula near the door of our house!!!! Poison Control just had me give her a bottle of water, and she had No ill effects. The lady at PC was like "how is she doing" and I was like "she is smiling and laughing at me because she knows she did something she wasn't supposed to." (is it bad that I kind of wanted her to vomit from it just so that she would know not to do it again????) No ill effects to be seen.

Normally Fiona has no fear of Bugs, she will touch any of them (except for Bees I have drilled it into her head that they give "ouchies") She was only inches away from this spider... I seriously almost crapped myself. And I could not for the life of me get her away from it until I picked her up and dragged her off. My landlords son came out and caught it.... I hear they live in the mountains usually... this one just wanted to come down and say hi I guess. I will probably think twice about sitting down in my lawn to relax.

Never a dull moment round these parts.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chaos insues

I kept trying to get a good photo of Daphnie. It is harder than you might think. One because the camera is always in hard to get to places during a Kodak moment because it is hiding from the toddler of the house. Two because she breast feeds almost constantly.... seriously why wont you just take the chupi (pacifier) !!! And three because it is hard to set baby down unprotected with toddler around.

This photo was taken at Fiona's nap time and amazingly enough captured a spit-up which only lasts like half a second.

I am actually typing this post with one hand. My left to be exact, and breastfeeding my kid with the other. I live about 75% of my life one handed now and have learned to do the majority of my daily tasks while breastfeeding. It is almost 9:00, usually I am in bed by now hoping to get as much sleep as I can cram in between night feedings, but I just wanted to say hello.

I am about to embark on two weeks without Chuck.... I question my ability to remain sane and for personal hygiene and grooming standards to be achieved. I am considering buying a huge bag of Halloween candy and just watching a lot of Baby Einstein. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


      All I want to say is WHAT A MIRACLE! Yet some detail is probably in order here. Daphnie Autumn Call was born on Thursday September 22nd at 1:42 pm. She weighted 7lbs 13 ounces and measured 19 1/2 inches long. She is a cuddler, loves to sleep and eat and make little squeaky sounds. She has dark fuzz all over her little body and a good head of dark brown hair.

    The birth went better than I could have imagined. I started contracting on regular intervals at about 7 am, made everyone pancakes, took a shower, did my make-up and made a last minute list of things for Chuck to put in the car. By about 10 I was sitting in our recliner listening to the birth mix of relaxation music Chuck put together. Among some of my favorites song to labor to were, Debussy Reverie L68, Jewel Angel Standing By, and the Lord is my Shepard by The MTC... there were also some great Coldplay songs and even a Red Hot Chili Peppers one.
   Chuck did some guided imagery and meditation with me. He gave me one thing to focus on and took care of everything else. At around noon I started to feel like we should go to the hospital to hunker down, but instead we waited a bit longer while I labored in a camping chair in the front yard chatting it up with my Grandma. Things were intense but I felt calm and in control with each breath.
    When the midwife finally got us to go to the clinic to get my cervix checked she remarked, "you do not look like you are in labor" but my cervix was at an 8. So she followed us to the hospital and about an hour later I had a warm little body on my chest! It was just flawless I could not have asked for a better birthing experience.
   I do have to give A LOT of credit to my ultra calm husband and the use of essential oils ( which I want to write an entire post about).

Here she is with Grandma! So glad my mom was in town and my grandma too!

Fiona playing with the bed and all the buttons.

Daniel and Julia 

Happy Baby... or a gas bubble.

And her usual one eyed glare.

     It's crazy how fast I forgot what it's like to have a newborn. What a different world from having an 18 month old. Things have been a little nuts for me. Mostly because since I came home from the hospital I have been super weepy and quick to tears. I feel really happy and sad at the same time... funny because usually you think of being over emotional as happening during pregnancy, but not so for me. 
     I feel like my relationship with Fiona has had to change drastically in a really short time. Mostly because right now I am either glued to the couch breastfeeding, or I have a baby on my arm. It is great to bond with Daphnie, but I feel so divided... it just seems impossible to give them equal attention at this phase. Any mothers with multiple kids out there have any tips on not feeling like you are neglecting one to nurture another? I can't really pick Fiona up and we don't get out for our daily adventures at the park or around the neighborhood. I miss play time but know that it will be back soon, just got to beef this baby up, and let her figure out how her hands work and all that jazz. 

One day at a time. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sister Sister

I put this on my facebook too... but I wanted to put something on here. I have lots of pictures and great stuff to share about Daphnie, but this is all for now. I'm stinking busy you know... I got TWO KIDS!!!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

The unpublished post: Due-due

I started writing this the morning I went into labor... thought I would add the pictures finally and go ahead and post it for historical purposes.

Ummm... no baby yet. We are one week and two days past the "due date" (which really is just an estimation anyhow) and wondering when we will meet our little Daphnie. My mom and grandma are here with me for the big event... I just hope they get to see the show :) My dad was here too for a week and just flew home. Fiona was thrilled to have her papa around. She was glued to him, it was very precious.

I have been incredibly active and feel great... it makes me feel like some kind of warrior now when people ask me when I'm due. My midwife told me that they do NOT allow women to go two weeks past the date. My mom and grandma both had kids 3 weeks past the due date so I asked what if I wanted to wait a little bit longer. My midwife said they would come to my house and find me and get the baby (half jokingly, but serious).  I am hoping Daphnie comes out on her own, time will tell. There is talk about stripping of the membranes which I don't like the sound of.... anyone ever had that done? They also want me to schedule an induction which Chuck and I refused to do. We are going to try everything we can to avoid having me hooked up to pitosin.

I wanted to write a little post about the things that I made for her when she comes. For some reason she reminds me of bumble bees and the color yellow. I think it's because early in my pregnancy I was helping a friend with a small bussiness venture she was starting and I had to study up on bees and colony collapse disorder. Her company is called Mademoiselle Miel, which in French means Miss Honey. She works with a bee keeper society in Minnesota and makes the MOST delicious honey sweetened treats. She started selling her Honey Bon Bons at some local shops in Saint Paul. I LOVE her bussiness model and the art work that she has had done for her packaging and products. She inspires me to want to start a bussiness myself.

She had a local artist design a poster that would be sold to help raise money for colony collapse. I loved it and bought one of the limited edition posters (only 75 in print) to hang above Daphnie's bed.

Then of course I had to crochet something for her too. This is her little bumble bee hat (it is just like one I made for Fiona).

And this is her little crochet dress, which wont fit her until she is about 3 or 4 months old, but time sure moves fast with babies around. Can I just say I love making these little dresses... when I am an old lady I am just going to sit and crank these things out for grand babies.

Everything is all ready and in place, just waiting to meet our little bee!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Flap Meat

38 weeks preggo. I feel like the Stay Puft Marshmellow (wo)Man. My waddle is in full effect and I have been eating an absurd amount of baked goods.

Two mammoth muffins for breakfast... don't mind if I do.

We just moved to our new apartment. Chuck almost single handedly moved our every earthly possession... what a brut. And for those oh too heavy items, the piano included, he had the help of some people from church that we had not really ever met, and a few ladies came and cleaned the whole apartment with me in an hour and a half. I have to hand it to Mormon people for being willing to help complete strangers scrub toilets and move pianos. It is in such occasions I find them extremely deserving of the title "Saints."

Fiona spent most of moving day running up and down the truck ramp... and I spent most of the day chasing her. Instead of helping I felt like damage control. I broke a gigantic jar of pickles that needed to be wiped up. Breaking glass sucks, but breaking glass into a pool of pickles and pickle juice is much worse. Then I went to change a diaper, only to have Fiona roll over and pee on the floor, in my efforts to clean that up I broke a glass picture frame, tried to clean that up, found that Fiona had peed again ON THE MOVING TRUCK. Went to clean that up, and lo and behold found that there were two baby poops also waiting on the truck for me. Cleaned that up. Went to finally diaper my kid (that should have been step one!!!) To find her covered in poo. Cleaned her up, borrowed new clothes from my sister and law and decided that Fiona and I better served the moving process far far away from it. So I had a good cry while I pushed Fiona on the swing and sang the wheels on the bus through my wimpers.

Poor little Fiona though. Moving is just as stressful, if not more, for kids than it is for adults. Mostly because they probably don't know what the heck is happening, and in an instant their whole world changes. That can be really overwhelming. So today I am trying to unpack while entertaining an upset and frazzled 18 month old. We'll see how it goes. Hopefully she will learn to love her new home soon... it really is quite lovely.

Oh I wish I knew how to prepare her for our next big family change of baby number 2.

The adventures of parenthood!! There are a ton of details about this whole having more than one kid that I don't have worked out in my head yet. However, there are probably like 500 women in my immediate surrounding who are making it happen... so I don't doubt that I too shall figure it out. 

Oh, and the Mexican market in American Fork has a sale on Flap Meat, and whenever I drive by I can't get over what a horrible name that is for a piece of steak. It makes me really happy to be a vegetarian.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Laughable Labels

I find food labels to be highly entertaining. Mostly because food companies often make some pretty ridiculous claims. I have just been chuckling like a complete dork to myself about a can of black olives I recently ate...

The label contained a picture of a bowl of black olives sitting next to a bowl of potato chips. Then there was a comparison checklist in which black olives were proven to be far superior to potato chips in the following categories.
  • Fewer Calories 
  • Less Total Fat
  • No Saturated Fat
  • Fit on your Fingers
While I do not question the validity of these claims it seems a little odd. When did anyone who was reaching for a bag of chips stop and say, "Hey, I think a handful of black olives would really calm this potato chip craving." How in the world can you compare olives to potato chips? I suppose this diagram could be useful if you were at a party and you had a choice between a bowl of chips or dipping into the relish tray. 

No offense to olives, but it's pretty easy to beat out potato chips from a nutritional standpoint. I wonder if perhaps they are trying to tap into some of the success and profits of the potato chip industry...

Good luck black olives... you have your work cut out for you. Oddly enough when I read this I was putting black olives on top of a plate full of nacho chips.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Just to Post

I just wanted to write something as I sit at the computer. For some reason I have numbered them... it is some weird organizational habit that I have.

1. A turkey flew over my head during my morning walk. A TURKEY. Seriously I have never seen a turkey fly, let alone so close to my head. Turkeys are pretty cool birds, they look like prehistoric creatures, and Fiona loves it that when ever we see the wild heard by our house, her mommy makes the gobble gobble sound to try and communicate with them.

2. IZZEs. Blackberry and Clementine to be exact. I hate soda-pop, but I love me an ice cold IZZE. I cracked one open when Fiona layed down for nap and then when she went down for bed. I felt like a person who cracks a beer at the end of a hard day to relax. ONLY... and IZZE is a completely guiltless pleasure. 70% fruit juice with a splash of sparkling water... Oh ya, thats good stuff.

3. Fiona kept telling me that Frodo was hiding today. I am reading the Lord of the Rings series for fun and there is a picture of Elijah Woods on the front cover and I told Fiona his name once and she never forgot it. I put the book high up on the shelf today so Fiona wouldn't rip the pages out, and she was obviously concerned about. She cracks me up with the stuff she remembers sometimes.

Fiona and a big class of almond milk

4. Cookie break at Auntie's house. My sister in law Julia makes some killer vegan chocolate chip cookies. We are all hooked, and it is oh so much fun to watch the girls get messy. It is fun to see how "healthy" you can make things and still have them taste incredibly good. I put healthy in quotations because there is only so far that you can take a cookie... her recipe uses raw honey, whole wheat and coconut oil.... yum yum yum.

Rae Rae shows off her chocolate chip hands.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Keeping Busy

At this point in pregnancy (35 weeks) I am trying to keep myself as busy as possible to take my mind off how hard it is getting to move around and the fact that soon-ish a human being will be coming out of my body. Am I ready to be a mother of 2???!?!?!?!? A question that pops into my mind multiple times a day. A question that I can't really answer because I don't know exactly what it will be like. Onward and Upward they say.

These past few days have been really special. Spending lots of family time and doing fun activities as this will be the last few weeks it's just the three of us.

Outside the Logan temple after Chuck's cousins (Brent) sealing.

This last week Chuck and I watched, "Stranded: I've come from a plane that crashed in the mountains." It is a foreign documentary (on instant Netflix) about the rugby team from Uruguay that crashed in the Andes mountains. The film "Alive" is the dramatized version of it. The documentary is incredible. 14 men survived TWO MONTHS in the Andes mountains without proper food, clothing, shelter or pretty much anything. They had incredibly profound experiences and it changed all of their lives forever.

I have been thinking a lot about it, just because I think we often underestimate what we are capable of. It really reminded me of the scripture, "With God all things are possible". They walked half starved over like 4 mountains without equipment in the middle of winter. I felt inspired; and so I did something I previously thought my pregnant butt would be incapable of doing. I went on a hike in the mountains with Chuck. I didn't die or go into labor and it felt really great to get out and see something so beautiful. It was wonderful, here are a few videos to highlight.

This video cracks me up because you can tell how nervous I was. As Chuck slide down I coiled in my arms and slid with him as you can tell by the camera angle sliding as well. I kept envisioning him cracking his skull on a rock and then carrying him, Fiona, the stroller and my pregnant self back down the mountain. I have an overactive imagination... and I worry quite a bit. In reality this waterfall slide has seen many sliders and is quite a popular destination. It is literally just down the street from us.

I will sure miss the place we live in right now. Only two more weeks until we move again. This summer has seemed like a huge vacation in paradise. It will definitely be one of those "Happy Places" I go to in my mind when I am having a rough day in the future.

Hope you are all creating great family memories as your summer comes to a close!!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

I'm a Groupie

Everyday I sit down on this computer during Fiona's nap and tell myself I am going to post... but after hunting through the Amazon and stopping in the kitchen for a much needed food break I find I have no time.

I signed up for Amazon Mom and specifically the subscribe and save diaper delivery. Who would have thought that a gigantic box of diapers showing up on your door step could make a person so happy. It is the best deal and I LOVE not having to run to Walmart so much!!!!

I have also been finding some really cute kids books too to add to our collection. My new favorites are these two... Can you tell what things we are working on in our house?

For the past month or so I have been attending a once a week support group. There are about 12 women or so, all mothers. Every Tuesday we have a 2 hour long meeting and discussion. I love it. I have been craving interactions with other women, and to have MEANINGFUL conversations. We talk a lot about dealing with issues in our homes and with our kids... but really we talk about how to change ourselves to better our families. The last few weeks we have talked about codependency and how our children can be mirrors of our own behavior or attitudes towards life. The class is run by my brother in law who specializes in personal healing and his mother who works a lot with children and families. She focuses a lot on building safe and healthy relationships. We also learn about different types of meditations we can do and how to express ourselves through free writing and coloring.

It's interesting but my brother in law says that of anyone on the planet, mothers need meditation and time to reflect inwardly the most, yet they are the group that gets it the least. I even found myself feeling guilty leaving for two hours each Tuesday to go to this class. But I have realized that the more I take care of myself the better I can take care of my family.

I think it is common for women (especially Christian women) who are raised to sacrifice and give all we can to God and our families, to feel a certain amount of guilt when we take time for ourselves. We feel that it is noble to "Forget about yourself." But I have been reflecting on how Jesus Christ himself took time away from the crowds and disciples to be alone, to meditate and re-group. He was often interrupted by those who followed Him, as is often true with mothers, but he showed the example. I have had the following scripture running through my brain as of late:

"He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."

I have been asking for people about their opinions about what Jesus meant when he said it. Most people talk about it in the context of serving others. Like, we forget about ourselves and serve others and then we will have a rich and meaningful life. But if we are "selfish" and do things for ourselves we are doomed.

Someone offered me the following interpretation, that Losing our life is about shedding the false perceptions and expectations that are put on us by the world and people around us, and that we figure out who it is that God knows we can become. They proposed that this scripture is about reaching our true potential by following God, and not thinking that we have it all figured out or know who exactly it is we are. This person explained that Selfishness is really self-neglect because how can we serve in love and lift others if we are in the pit of despair. We need to be working on our own sins, problems and weaknesses that we may become Whole and better able to serve.

I can think of something that I have often heard from others like, if you are having a bad day just forget about your problems and help someone else. I understand the good intentions behind this statement, but honestly if you feel like crap I don't think the answer is to bake cookies for your neighbor. Maybe you should figure out why you feel like crap and address the issue rather than ignoring it. Once it is addressed and dealt with and you are feeling better perhaps reaching out to someone else will feel much more natural and not so forced.

That is what I think meditation is for, it is opening yourself up to be still and figure out who you really are, and shutting out all of the voices that are constantly running through our heads! Meditation for me can help me to be quiet with myself and reflect on things that I could work on or improve. If I take the time to do that I find that I can love people more freely... because I take time to love myself.

This image just popped into my head when I typed that...

As a side note, I really do appreciate comments that I receive for good or for bad. That I why I have my blog open to commentary. Just know that my intentions are NOT to start arguments or drama of any kind. And I do think that there is GREAT value in being accountable for the things that you post and say, so please do not feel intimidated to use your identity.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pizza Anyone?

You are probably all very familiar with the $5.00 "Hot and Ready" available at your local Little Caesars Pizza. It is considered the "Greatest Value in America" as toted by one of their neon orange billboards.

However, you may not be so familiar with the Hot and Ready dancers, which I have never seen in Minnesota but are all over the place in Utah. In fact it is not just Little Caesars who employs individuals to shake their money makers on street corners. I have seen oil change places, fruit stands and other fast food establishments try the same method.

The video below though is of my favorite street corner to drive by. I brought my Bloggie with the hope that I would get a red light and catch some footage. The dancing has never led me to buy a pizza, but it sure cheers me up to see these kids work so hard for their paycheck. I guarantee they are not getting paid enough for their incredible talent.

It always makes me wonder what song they are listening to on their I-pods that inspires all the pelvic thrusting and twirls?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Beyond the Superficial

Life is changing in some pretty profound ways for my little family. I have been wanting to talk more about these changes and the things we are learning. So for those of you seeking updates these next few weeks of posts will probably do a little bit more justice to the events that happen below the surface.... but for those of you who can't read a post without some sort of eye candy, I have included pictures as well.

A Bit About Chuck

Here he is... summer buzzed head and enjoying one of his GIGANTIC lunch salads (the greens are hiding below the layer of blue corn chips and rice). I have found that in order to fill him up with a plant based diet... I have to feed him A LOT of plants. But look how happy he is!!!!

"Develop faith in your purposes. Part of nurturing your purposes requires that you have the vision to see what doesn't yet exist, what others cannot yet see. As you work at your gifts and talents, you will recognize those that come from the inner depths of the soul, because you will not need the vote of confidence of others, and you will be willing to work alone for a long as is needed. You will sow the seed, water the crops, and have patience to allow others to catch the vision, to see the light, even if it means several years of working completely alone. When you have the vision of soul and eternity, go forward."
- James Simmons (Original Fast Foods)

I am learning that my husband is what I would like to call "a visionary man." If you are familiar with the Book of Mormon that phrase will probably remind you of Lehi, who left behind his wealth and status to follow a dream or vision from God... into the wilderness and across the sea on a dangerous journey.... much to the dismay of his oldest 2 sons and wife who had not had the same dreams and who questioned his game plan.

We are not quite in the wilderness... Utah is pretty tame. Yet Chuck is leading our family down uncharted paths into unknown territory. He tells me that he knows it will all work out and has faith in the vision. I am learning to have new trust in what I can't yet see.

He has made a decision to not finish the remainder of college, or to go the typical schorarly route of counseling. Currently he is working with my brother in law Daniel on a form of emotional healing that is "Christ Centered" (meaning that it helps people utilize the healing power of the atonement) and does not require a degree or any type of certification. It is actually a profoundly spiritual process. I am benefiting from it currently. Often when you talk about "Faith Healing" or healing through the power of God people often conjure up these types of images...

No... not even close. The type of Christ centered healing Chuck is doing is done on a one on one basis and with the help of the facilitator you are able to uncover negative emotions or experiences that have been stored or kept inside and release them through, talk, guided imagery, prayer and mediation. These negative emotions or experiences can hold up our progress in life and sometimes make us physically ill. It is like having someone guide and help you lay your burdens down at the Saviors feet. A lot of times we hold onto stuff and have a hard time letting go.

The desired outcome is for Chuck to have his own practice with clients who utilize his services... in addition he has a few other business ventures that he is pursuing, including a way for him to utilize his musical talents :)

We have been income free for almost a year now, and have somehow managed to stay out of debt (besides school loans) and feel extremely blessed. Food, Shelter, Love... ya we have all the essentials. When I am feeling financially stressed out Chuck usually brings this scripture to calm my mind...

"Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say to you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?"
-Luke 12:27-28

You may ask, What does Chuck do with all of his time?

Well... he has personal sessions with my brother in law where he receives counseling, and then sessions where he gives it in return.

He has martial arts lessons. Which is not what I thought it was at first. He does not go to learn how to karate chop people and stuff. It is more like learning a discipline or way of life. Self defense is only a small part of it. It is called Wu Ji Chyun Fa (?? I think that's how you spell it).

He paints thousands of feet of white picket fence. We consider this his Mr. Myagi time, and it is an exchange that he is making for rent this summer.

He meditates for about an hour or so a day... he usually retreats into nature, but sometimes mediates at home if Fiona and I are very very quiet :)

He reads a lot of books, listens to CD lectures and reviews notes from his sessions to gain further insight and knowledge... basically he studies.

He goes on walks and hikes to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Lately he has been recording music on his guitar and piano to make a birthday CD for Daniel... which I heard turned out amazing, I have yet to hear the finished product.

He eats delicious food prepared by yours truly. And he spends lots of time loving and taking care of me and Fiona.

This week we are starting the hunt for a new place to live as we have to move out of our little mountain paradise before the baby comes. Chuck is considering finding a part time job until his other business ventures pick up...

I posted that quote above because it really reminds me of Chuck right now. He is having all of these really profound experiences where he feels like he is discovering his true path and purpose in life. It is really fulfilling and satisfying to him... I am amazed at his ability to not care what other people think about his choices, because deep down he knows he is doing exactly what he needs to be. I am really excited to watch all of this unfold and to see prayers answered and miracles happen each and every day.

So if you were wondering about Chuck, he is doing great. More exciting news to come.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cures for the Summertime (pregnancy) Blues

Does the hot weather ever make you want to scream! Somedays I want to lock myself in my freezer ( but I don't quite fit). I do have to say that so far I prefer to be pregnant in the summer over the winter (compression stocking and all!!!) thanks to some helpful coping mechanisms. These are a few of our tricks to surviving the summer heat with a big ole belly!

Breezy Cotton Dresses
I just picked the below one up at Target. It is not maternity... but fits over the bump quite nicely. I wear a short sleved tee underneath to make it nice and modest :) I could wear something like this every day... so comfortable and stylish. If anyone knows where to find other dresses like this let me know!!!

Water Time

At least once a day we play in the water... splash pad, pool, hose, buckets, bowls... you name it. It is a must and I try not to care how soggy, or muddy we all get in the process.


Hands down has to be the most refreshing wonder of nature. Chuck and I can throw down an entire melon between the two of us in just a couple of days, needless to say we have purchased quite a few in just the few short months we have lived here. I will add eating other fresh fruit to this as well. I have never understood why on HOT summer days people want to throw meat on a HOT grill... nice cold fruits and vegetables for me please.

Unashamed Dusty Butt

Sorry no picture with this one. I have learned to not care how dirty my backside gets throughout the day. When I want/need to rest my legs I just sit where ever I please. Sandbox, rock pile, wood chips, gravel, grass, cement... you name I'll sit there and rest my tired dogs (oh, shade is also a must with this one).

Visiting Sesame Street

Or as Fiona would call it, "Sunny Day." She likes being outside so much that it is hard to keep her indoors, but I save my secret weapon (an episode of Sesame courtesy of instant Netflix) until the most brutally hot time of the day. Then I load her up with snacks and as much Elmo as she desires.

So there you have it... 31 weeks in the middle of the summer and doing great. Do any of you have any strategies for summer survival?