Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Demise of the Bet (at least the dumb part of it)

I knew the end was in sight when Mike decided to trade his not exercising for allowing me to eat a cookie. Then he said, "Steph, is it really sucking the joy out of life?" Then my Grandma had a chat with Mike. One of the best things about Mike is he is, without exception, nice. So he gave in (after some bribery).

Now we are going to use a point system. What does this teach us? That incessant whining does the trick every time, especially if you get your Grandma on your side. :) And I wonder where Mckenzie gets it from?

This bet was my own fault, I shouldn't have whined so much. I was starting to kind of get used to it. Kind of. Not really. Okay, I hated it.

The point system will at least allow for the occasional craving for me and not-that-often-exercising for Mike. We plan to have a monthly contest, as well as a long-term contest for bigger prizes. I guess we will use that tax rebate to fund our prizes. After we save some of it, of course.

This weekend, we snowshoed the Green pond trail. This trail connects to the Wheeler Canyon trail that we did last weekend. We have a grand plan to hike (down) the whole thing starting at Snowbasin. I'm not sure when we will put this plan into action, since it involves a babysitter as well as good weather. This Sat. we are going up to Snowbasin to check out the grounds for the U.S. National Snowshoeing competition. Which will be here in March. I get to write an article about it. I'm so excited!

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Life of Inconvenience

Everything with kids is inconvenient. You want to go on a trip? You might as well hire an elephant for the baggage. Play in the snow? Plan on at least a half hour to get the kids in the snow clothes and out the door (and then plan on that extra 15 min. for when you realize that the baby has pooed her pants underneath all those snow clothes). It is much easier to sit at home and do nothing.

Mike and I made a goal (this one is less contentious than our no sweets/exercise bet), to live a life of inconvenience. Carpe diem! "Every man dies. Not every man really lives." We will sieze the moment and do things, even if they take work and planning, and running back into the house because we forgot one more thing.

We were getting into a rut. One or the other of us would suggest something, and the other would say, "No, that's too much work. Let' s just stay home/watch a movie/go to bed." No longer! Our tombstones (and our blog for that matter) will not read: "They lived a life of convenience."

We've already tried a few "inconvenient" activities this Jan. We did decide that convenience and comfort are two very different things: Thus we will be investing in another hiking backpack before we attempt anymore hikes with both kids. By the way Snuglis are not recommended for hiking trips. Here are some pics: We went snowshoeing up Wheeler Canyon. It is our favorite place to hike. Mike and I have biked there too, and it's beautiful in every season.

Here we are in our backyard playing in tons of snow!

Kenzie was so excited to go down her new slide.

This is our new swingset kind of assembled. Maybe Santa will come back and finish putting it together.

Of course, we're always looking for friends who want to be inconvenient with us. Come join us.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Cinnamon Rolls and Monkey Bread

After three weeks of this contest of wills, I have finally figured out the rules. 1. If Mike likes to eat it, it is not a dessert; 2. If I like to eat it, it is considered a dessert.
This week Mike claimed that cinnamon rolls are not a dessert. I agreed and promptly ate two. Besides, it would have been rude not to eat them; they were sent home with me from an interview I got to do with the Four R's, a famous singing group out this way.
Overall we are still sticking to the one treat a week rule (which I don't think I made clear in my last post). Mike has succesfully "exercised"-- another area where rules are fuzzy for him (I don't think downhill skiing is exercise), and I have succesfully cut back radically from sweets.

I told him I am satisfied we have enough will power and that this ridiculous bet should now stop. It is sucking away my will to live. What is the point in exercising if you cannot eat what you want? Perhaps I am a teensy bit addicted to chocolate too, since I have had to resort to hot chocolate once a day to get my fix. (Drinks are not dessert items unless solids are added to them, such as ice cream.)
At least there is an end in sight-- we have agreed that this kind of bet is not lifestyle changing (there is no way I can or would want to do this once a week thing forever). So we are going to steal my sister Alisha and brother-in-law Dustin's idea. They do a point system. 1 point a day for not eating a treat, 1 for exercising, and 1 for scripture reading. Mike is saying we can't switch to points until the end of Feb., but I am holding out for the end of Jan. I imagine points will be infinitely better--- I also imagine myself suddenly becoming and scripture-reading exercise freak, since I will want to eat a treat everyday. Not that this is a bad thing. . . .

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


I feel so pleased! I did something cute! I made a header. Cuteness is a rarity for me. I am more of what I would say a "functional" sort of person. With digital scrapbooking, perhaps I can obtain the ever-elusive cute craftiness I have always secretly admired. Hooray!

So today Mike said that his mom gave him some rice pudding on his ride to the bus stop. "Oh," I said. "That's nice." Then it hit me. Rice pudding is a dessert! Mike claimed that rice pudding was not a dessert and then the argument devolved into ratios comparing the amount of sugar in canned peaches to rice pudding. All I wanted was to taste one of the pumpkin pie treats that Jenn brought over today, in exchange for Mike's eating the rice pudding. But Mike insists that he did not lose and won't budge. I was sorely, sorely tempted to just pop one of the delicious smelling (and looking) bites into my mouth, and declare myself the winner, but then I would have lost the high ground and a part of me (the part that dislikes rice pudding) thinks yeah, not a dessert. What do you think? Rice pudding (1/2 c. of sugar in recipe) a dessert or not?

Other family fun: Last week we took our new sleds and went sledding at the park. It lasted two hills since we chose a windy and freezing day to do it. The park by our house has the gentlest, shortest hill, which is fun if you are two. We'll have to go on the bigger hills when I feel braver. (Not for myself, but for Kenzie). My brother Jared came along, and Kenzie had a fun time ordering him around. Jared is back in Nebraska, getting smarter. We loved having him visit though.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Farewell to happiness

After binging (and not purging) for the holiday season, I was feeling sick. So in a moment of weakness I rashly agreed to give up sweets. This would be okay, and easily breakable, except that I bet Mike that I could do it for longer than he could. Mike has it easy. He doesn't really love chocolate or desserts. He loves potato chips and salty snacks. Of course he claims that these are not included in the bet, only sweets. I, on the other hand, am practically giving up my first born child by forswearing chocolate. I think I have (had) some every day. It was like my reward for surviving. Although I didn't get Mike's greatest food weakness included, I did manage (after a lengthy discussion) to get Mike to concede that besides giving up sweets we must excercise 3 times a week.
I told Mike that I don't think this bet will really accomplish what I want (being more healthy), because I will just end up eating more food to satiate my craving, never satisfied, so just keep eating, in an endless loop. He just mercilessly laughs and tells me no exceptions! This bet is indefinite. It goes until someone loses. The only way I think I will win is in the exercise department (Mike claims to not have time), or because Mike is forgetful. He might eat more than one treat because he doesn't think about this bet. (I, on the other hand, can not forget the bet, it consumes my thoughts, and I will only lose due to lack of will-power.) If I lose Mike says that I have to. . . Well, you'll have to ask Mike. All I'll say is that it is something he likes a lot more than I do.
If Mike loses he has to plan a trip (for us) to the location of my choice. I guess I could have said he has to sing two songs from the musical West Side Story while riding the bus to school, but that wouldn't have been quite as fun, just funnier.
Oh well.
This bet is pretty much my huge New Years Resolution. Today I ate my treat for the week, Oreo chocolate cheesecake. Mmmm. Now I am planning next week's treat: Blog brownies. I have read Holly's post about them and all the comments. I can't wait for next Sunday to try them.
Other vague and less measurable resolutions include being a better mom and being less controlling. I am a control freak (is the PC term for this life engineer?), and I am trying to not be. I am afraid eating chocolate only once a week will not help me in this area. Minus chocolate I might be more controlling and less patient with my children.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

What are little girls made of?

Ponytails and sweetness are what Mckenzie is made of. Her hair has taken a long time to grow out and although it has seen a ponytail before, this is officially the first "big" ponytail of her life. I wanted to document this momentous occasion and pay tribute to the ponytail- a hairstyle beyond compare.

Ode to the Ponytail

Simple and sweet
Saucy and neat
Functional in cold or heat
You keep my hair out of my face
You work great when I race.
I never have to bother much
You are perfect in a clutch
Mine's a little short broomstick
Kenzie's is wispy- not thick
Oh so nice, the ponytail
Without you life would be