Thursday, December 30, 2010

Snow Day

On the 15th we woke up to this:

Calvin begged me to let him go outside and make snow angels. He got dressed up and I sent him out in the backyard to play. He was happy.

Autumn watched him go outside and pounded on the window, shrieking and demanding to be let out with him. I dressed her up, took her outside, and the second I set her down, she was not happy.
(I did put gloves on her, but she refused to keep them on. She looks cold and sad, but she was outside for all of 2 minutes.)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

Dear Autumn,

I can't believe we're already to this point. Your first year has flown by. It seems like only yesterday that we brought you home, and now you've traded in all of your new baby squishiness for four teeth, crazy fuzzy hair, and big blue eyes. You're walking, jabbering, and getting into all kinds of trouble. I honestly can't keep up with you.

I'm sorry that I've neglected capturing your first year like I did for your brother (I still have hopes of catching up over Christmas), but trust me, that doesn't mean you are loved any less. You have absolutely the sweetest disposition and the very best little grin. You are almost constantly happy. You are resilient when you get beat on by Calvin - which is far too often. And you're just plain adorable all of the time.

Tonight when I was rocking you before bed, I leaned my forehead against yours and gave your tiny nose an Eskimo kiss. You giggled softly, barely able to keep your eyes open. When I tried to pull my head up, you pulled me back down so that my forehead was pressed against yours until you drifted off to sleep. There are so many of these little moments where I just feel incredible gratitude that you are mine. We are so blessed to have you in our family. Happy Birthday, Little One!
Calvin put this "Birthday sticker" on her forehead. My mom said she was very proud of it and wore it all day. At home tonight, she kept going cross-eyed trying to see it on her head, and she didn't want me to take it off (although this may have had something to do with very strong glue that was ripping her skin off). Here she is walking happily around the kitchen. Moments later she tripped on a block and cut her lip open.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Calvin (in a quiet voice, peeking around the basement door AGAIN, 2 hours after initially being sent to bed): Excuse me, Mom. Excuse me?
Me (in my sternest voice): Calvin, go to bed! You should have been asleep hours ago.
Calvin: Mom, I just want to watch tv downstairs. With you, Mom.
Me: No!
Calvin: Please? Please, Mom?
Me: Okay, but only for two minutes. That's it.
Calvin: Can I have chocolate milk, Mom?
Me: No!
Calvin: Please? Please, Mom?
Me: Sigh. Okay, but only a tiny little bit.
Calvin: Mom, you're such a good girl.

Yes, he's over-indulged and manipulative, but dang it, if you can't control your own mother, what's the point?

Something new I've learned about myself: I hate grading papers. Absolutely loathe it. I will do anything to procrastinate, including making dumb blog posts.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Long Lost Twins

You have to admit she bears a striking resemblance to Jack Nicholson.


Buzz and Jessie

We usually go to a pet store a few times a month so that Calvin can see the animals. We have a little local pet store that always lets him hold bunnies, or he can watch them feed the fish, or he plays with adorable little kitties. It's a great way for him to interact with pets, without us having to have one.

Lately as he taps on the glass to make the mice wake up and spin on their wheels, I have been drawn to the bird section. They always look so lively and sound so happy. They always make the inside of the store feel like springtime. For the last several months, every time we've gone to the pet store, I've felt a bit of longing as I've watched those perky little animals. So tonight, on a whim, I decided to take some home with me. I texted Andy who is in CA to see if he had anything against birds, and then I decided on the finches. I bought a cage, all the junk they need, and had the teenage girl catch and release two males before I finally got the pair I wanted.

Aren't they beautiful?
(It's hard to get a camera to focus on jumpy birds behind bars.) I thought Calvin would love watching them, but so far he's not all that interested. He did, however, give them great names. He decided that we should call them Buzz and Jessie.

The Lamb and the Lion

Today I was putting some baby and maternity clothes in storage bins, and Calvin found his old lion Halloween costume. He wanted me to put it on him, and then ran around in it growling for a few minutes before he came back to digging through the bins. He then found this fuzzy little outfit that I bought for Autumn, and wanted her to dress up as well. (She never wore it because when it was cold enough to wear it, she was too tiny to take anywhere that it was cold. Is it dumb to buy cold weather clothes for babies when, if they're born in winter, you're not supposed to take them out of the house for the first few months?)

The Girl didn't get into play time quite as much as The Boy did, but they looked cute, so I took pictures.


Tri-fit Challenge

In august my stake (church groups in my area) had what they called a tri-fit challenge for women. It was a 1 mile walk, 5 mile bike ride, 3 mile run. You could do all of the legs, or you could have a relay team that each did one part. I decided to do all three, and my sister Mariah agreed to do it with me. It ended up being kind of bogus because in order to start your leg of the challenge, you only had to wait for the first person to return, not your team member. This was lame, for example, because once the first person got back from running the mile, ALL of the bike riders could leave, and once the first bike got back, ALL of those doing the run could leave. So this meant that anyone doing all three was at a distinct disadvantage. Of course no one kept time and it was "just for fun" so really I shouldn't have cared.

The race was hard. Super hard. It was in the foothills, so a lot of it was uphill. You would think this would mean that a lot of it was downhill, but not so. We would meander through the mountains for most of it, then cut strait down for a few blocks, and then be back to the mountain-ish areas to make it back. Thankfully we did pretty well. The bike ride was the hardest, and a lot of the women stopped to walk their bikes up the slopes. We were just proud of ourselves that we made it the whole way without walking our bikes or quitting when the final run sucked.

The best part was that when we were approaching the finish line, Andy and my kids were there waiting. Calvin was so excited about the race, that he completed the last few yards with me. He high-fived all of the ladies as he ran across the finish line. And then he ate watermelon and stole some balloons. And then he ran across the finish line five more times. He thought all of it was magical.

Thanks Riah for doing this with me. I couldn't have done it without you! Let us never speak of it again.
Me, Riah, and Calvin after crossing the finish line.

My cute family. Thanks for coming to support me!

Right after we took this picture, Autumn smiled at me and we noticed that she had her first tooth! It's a cute little tooth on her bottom left. 8/7

Saturday, October 2, 2010

He already has her doing his bidding...

Andy's parents gave this little wagon to Calvin when he was learning to walk. He loved it more than anything, but as he's gotten bigger, it has spent a bit of time in the closet. Since Autumn is starting to pull herself up on furniture and is trying to walk around, we brought it back out. She absolutely loves pushing it around. At first the boy was very upset that she was taking over his toy.... until he realized that he could use her enthusiasm to his advantage. Yeah, he's a smart one. 9.18.

Playing with Picasa

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

That's what he said

The boy is a constant source of entertainment. This week he has made me:

(After pooping his pants and receiving a scolding)
Calvin: Be happy and I'll say I love you.
Me: No, I'm not happy. That makes me very sad when you don't go to the potty.
Calvin: Mom, just be a good friend!

And after telling him no more Scooby snacks because he's had far too much sugar for one day, throws his hands in the air and says "I give up!" as he stomps out of the kitchen.

Feel nervous for his future:
After telling him a bedtime story of Hansel and Gretel where the characters are Calvin and Autumn and the mysterious house in the forest is made of cheese. He looked thoughtful for a minute before saying quietly, "do it again. This time the witch eats Autumn."

And feel a moment of real fear:
This morning while trying to decide on a toy to take to the babysitter (my mom). "No mom, I want the man" (as he's pulling open a random storage closet we never open). I say, "what man? there's no toys in there, your man is in here." to which he responds, "no mom, the other man. The man that's my friend and we talk and he stays in here." Ummmm. Yikes.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Any Given Morning...

(I especially like The Boy's leg over Andy's neck.) 6/27


Today I was working around the house and was glad The Girl was entertaining herself for a bit. I saw her pushing around a bag of marshmallow's but didn't think anything of it because there was no way she could get it opened. Five minutes later I walked into this:

She and the floor were both covered in goo. The yuckiest part? The black hairs attached to her face:
Ewww. 6/28

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Andy makes fun of me that I like yard sales. I think they're awesome. You never know what you'll find. Sure you have to dig through a lot of junk to find a treasure, but I find it oh so therapeutic and enjoyable. Like these bikes I got last summer. Practically brand new at $20 each.

My stake (church area) is doing a mini-triathlon in August that I stupidly signed up for, so we had just pulled out the bikes and dusted them off when we walked into Costco (my sister-in-law Bek calls it "The $100 Store" because you can't leave it without spending 100 bucks) and saw this beauty sitting there. We couldn't resist. The kids love the ride, and I love that I can get a bit of a work out with the kids contained, even when Andy is out of town.

Our first ride started out great, until Autumn tried holding Calvin's hand. He kept screaming at her to stop, and moving as far away from her as he could get in the tiny space. By the time we got home, he was smashed as small as he could get into the corner screeching shrilly with the girl lying on top of him stroking his arm. Ahh, family bonding. 6/26

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fourth of July (Longest Post EVER)

I think the 4th of July should be on Sunday every year. Since I think people were confused about when to celebrate it, there was stuff going on all weekend, and then again on Monday. Loved it. I think I may be getting old and sentimental about liberty and freedom, because this year I decided that I really love the 4th and all it represents. Here are some of the highlights from the weekend:

July 3rd:
My mom's family had a reunion. They're not generally my favorite events, but this time was a lot of fun. We met at a park for breakfast, and then went to this super cool swimming pool that was geared towards young kids, and perfect for Calvin. They have two larger water slides that are for bigger kids, or little kids with a parent and a life jacket. We suited the boy up, and he made Andy go on it with him all afternoon, one time right after another. I was glad Andy was there. The steps felt wobbly to me and there were huge gaps between the stairs. Walking up on my own made me nervous, but walking with my two year old kid who wanted to climb on his own sent me into panic attacks. My mom took pictures, so as soon as I get them from her I'll upload one of the boys and their slide.

All day I tried to get the girl to look at the camera. She was too fascinated with the water.

My brother will kill me for posting this shot. I loved it though.

After swimming we met back at the park for dinner and socializing. Calvin loved it, Andy actually interacted with my cousins, and I didn't hate it. We did find out though that one of my favorite cousins (we were bridesmaids in each others' weddings) who has had lupus for the past several years has had several of her organs fail. She's two months pregnant and they'll decide this week if she'll be able to keep the baby. She's a genuinely great person and we're praying hard for her.

After the reunion, some of us met back at my house and Andy impressed us all with fireworks.

Calvin wore his sunglasses - upside down - the entire show.

Little Buddy was terrified. Grandpa and his mom took turns trying to calm him down.

July 4th:
After church for Sunday dinner, my family threw me a birthday party. My mom made delicious pork burritos with the green verde sauce from the Mexican joint we love. I got lots of presents including pink polka dot rain boots for me to garden in, a piece of plywood for a project I want to do, a few books I've been dying to read, and some DVD's I've wanted. Andy's parents also sent me the best gift of all - cold hard cash. Thank you everyone!

The best part was that it actually kind of sucked - several family drama moments that I won't mention, my niece walked in front of a moving teeter totter and it hit her in the head, knocking her ten feet across the grass, my sister who was flying back home had a cancelled flight and lots of drama getting a rental car to come back to my parents with no luggage (and she had bloody scratches all over her face from her 2 year old that reacted oddly to the motion sickness meds she gave him), and a few other things. So everyone was grumpy. My mom said it was the worst bday party ever, and that we would have a re-do. Thanks Mom, but I don't think I can handle another one...

So back to my special day. Anyway, everyone was grumpy. They started to sing the birthday song and I threw a tantrum. I did NOT want them to sing to me. Now that I'm old, I hate that everyone sings it and just stares at you, watching your reaction. What an awkward tradition. So I had a fit and my mom was upset. She said "but you HAVE to have the birthday song!" She was distraught at the thought of not having it. So my brother-in-law Curtis said, "hey! why don't we whistle it?!" So everyone tried to whistle it, but they were laughing too hard, and then it was hilarious watching everyone try to get through it, and it made me happy. I think whistling the bday song is the perfect tradition and I'm going to ask for it every year instead of the singing. I know - that story was WAY too long.

My dad went on a pioneer trek over the weekend with the youth and he was in charge of the handcarts. My mom wanted us all to get pictures in them.

Carrie with all of the kids. So cute. And then Andy and Jared grabbed the front and took them all for a ride down the street. I've never seen a group of happier kids.

Uncle Andy is always a hit on the trampoline. Here are the kids attacking him.

July 5th:
I generally avoid the 4th of July parade because people are psychotic. They camp out to save spots, everyone is pushy and mean protecting their turf, some bring big nasty dogs that slobber on everyone when I'm sure the dogs wish they were home and couldn't care less about the stupid people parade, and so on. If you don't get there early, you don't get a great seat, and I have no desire to camp out to watch a bunch of marching bands and elected officials in convertibles.

However, this year Mariah and Curtis live a block away from the main street of the parade, so they let us park in their yard. People were quadruple parked in the middle of the road - I kid you not. There was nowhere to leave a car within a mile, so this little setup was awesome. They blocked off their drive with garbage cans, and then let all family cars in like we were celebrities, we loaded up our stuff, walked two minutes, and then sat down in our camping chairs. It made the whole thing much more enjoyable. Calvin loved it, Carrie brought donuts and milk, and all the world was good.

Happy parade faces:

Calvin's favorite things:

A funny picture:
these porta-potties were called "Honey Buckets." I don't know why I find that funny and disturbing.

After the parade we bummed leftover BBQ sandwiches from my parents, and then took a long nap. That evening we went for a bike ride, watched other people's fireworks, and just laid low. It was a nice, relaxing weekend and I was sad to see it go.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Queen

Much to his father's horror, Calvin has been sporting my 30th birthday tiara and wand lately. A few weeks ago when I was sorting through some old boxes he saw them and pulled them out. He had me put the tiara on, and then pranced around singing, "I the queen!" over and over again. Today he had me put it on again and then went outside to play. He spent thirty minutes in the sandbox with his crown perched on his head. He loves the look and doesn't appreciate anyone saying anything negative about a little boy queen.

April Showers

I finally downloaded a bunch of pictures from my phone. This was in early April. I took the kids to my parents' house during a rain storm, and Auntie Carrie taught Calvin the fine art of puddle jumping. I love that the boy is still in the stage where everything is magical. (I guess Carrie is too, so maybe some people just don't grow out of it. I hope Calvin doesn't.)


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Visiting Teaching

In Mormon land we have a thing called Visiting Teaching. It's where you are assigned a few women to visit every month. The purpose is to make friends and meet each other's needs. I think it's a great program in theory, but as I tend to be anti-social it's not really my thing. I visit my ladies, and mine visit me. I keep it short and sweet. But this week when my gals came (I really do like all of the ones I visit and get visited by. I'm lucky.) we had the usual chit chat, and then one girl changed my opinion of her forever.

She's this gorgeous, size 0, peppy cheerleader type blond who wears 3 inch heels to church and always looks perfect. Today when Calvin walked in the room she perked right up and told him she had something for him. She pulled out her huge designer purse and it was like Mary Poppins' bag as she started pulling out a big bag of balloons and a pump. She then proceeded to blow up and twist balloons into every imaginable concoction. Calvin was in heaven, and I will always love her for being the one to make Visiting Teaching super exciting for a day.