Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Disneyland, Finally

Once upon a time we went to Disneyland and finally I'm done putting together the Scrapblog for it. Although, I have decided never to use Scrapblog again. Downloading their pages to print costs $4.00 a page. Yep. $4.00. From now on I will be scrapping (if ever again) in Photoshop and printing at Costco or Walgreens.
Anyway, our vacation was fabulous. We stayed at an awesome hotel, had great company (Thanks Dave and Summer!) and felt relaxed and happy to be there. Summer and I had a fun time listening to other parents scream at their children. :)
Anyway,here's our Disneyland scrapblog

Saturday, April 24, 2010

We're Multiplying!

At the WSU track meet today I ran into my good friends, Stacie, Cristina, and Leah. Stacie and Cristina are due two weeks after me and Leah is due in August. Once upon a time our talents were running really fast (Cristina jumped and threw as well) at Weber State. Now our main talent is looking good while pregnant. :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sweet Moments

Yesterday a thunderstorm swept through, crashing and whistling and lighting up the house in the early morning hours. Mike had already left for work and I could see the lightening strikes leaking through the blinds, so I reached over from the bed and opened the blinds to watch, curling my pregnant self under the blanket for warmth. A few minutes later, Hannah came crying into my room, scared by the tin sounds of the thunder.
"Come here Hannah," I said and opened the covers. "Come watch it with me. It's a little scary, huh?"
She snuggled her little body into mine and together we "oohed" and "ahhed" at the flashes in the dark clouds. And we shivered together when the thunder was loud.
"Look mommy, there's one!" Hannah whispered.
"Ahh did you see that one?" I whispered back.
And together we turned her terror into wonder.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Percentiles Schmercentiles

A couple weeks ago we took Kenzie and Hannah in for their "Happy Birthday, here have a shot" doctor visits.

Hannah didn't get a shot, poor girl, but Kenzie was treated to the joy of four shots. One stung like the dickens (according to her sad, heartbreaking tears), and then gave her a fever and general feeling of unwellness for the next day.

Last time I took Kenzie in for a flu shot, she told me how brave she was going to be. I didn't believe her. Then when the nurse poked her leg, Kenzie didn't even flinch. She said nothing. They were so impressed they gave her two suckers and two stickers. 

Kenzie must have a limited supply of bravery (don't we all?), because this time she trembled and feared and told me she did not want to go to Kindergarten. Because I associated Kindergarten with shots. Whoops. She survived, not quite as bravely, screaming a little and giving us that horrible, wounded look that says, "How could you do this to me?" But now she's ready for kindergarten. As soon as she completes the 27 skills on the "Is Your Child Ready?" list that I'm SURE all the other kids will have completed when they reach kindergarten.

Statistic-wise Kenzie sits at a solid 25% in both height (41.5") and weight (38 pds).

Hannah was deemed to be in the 75th percentile for height (38.5") and the 50th percentile for weight (32 pds).  When Kenzie grows out of her clothes we just hand them right to Hannah. And then Hannah refuses to wear them unless they are a dress or a skirt.

In other news, I am still pregnant. But working on not being ornery.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Hallelujah. The weather finally decided to get its act together and we've been enjoying sending the girls out to the sandbox to play where they dump sand in each other's hair and play for hours. I might have to break down and change their sheets more than once every 6 months. Hannah's bed is getting a little crunchy.

But before we join in the raccous celebration of outdoorsy-ness, let us journey to the inside of the gym where Kenzie takes tumbling.

Remember the tumbling fiasco from last year? Well Kenzie has been taking tumbling again this year (and yes, she's wearing the same outfit as she was 1.5 years ago). I signed her up with Kandelyn and told her we would do it for one year. I'm not sure if it's the fact that Kandelyn is in her class, or that Gracie (who is uber-talented at tumbling) got moved into her class, or even that Kenzie is older now and gets more of a sense of accomplishment from doing the tricks, but Kenzie is in love with tumbling this year.

She likes to practice at home. She never gives me any grief about tumbling. And she gets determined. I love her new found tenacity. She practiced, sometimes with tears in her eyes, doing flips until she could land on her bum (instead of her neck, ouch!).

Now, she begs us for a trampoline so she can practice flips. I credit Summer and Dave and Gracie with teaching her front flips. And she's been working on her back handspring. Go Kenzie!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sewing Easy, Fast Doll Skirts from Scraps and Hair Elastics

A Tutorial for the Perpetually Lazy Seamstress

I am not a sewer (Haha. Sewer.), I mean seamstress. But sometimes I agree to do things for my children that require sewing. Last night Hannah was given a fabulous baby Snow White doll from Shaelynn and Ali (hooray, they're engaged!), for her birthday. She loved the doll but asked me if I would make a skirt for it. Sure, sure, I said, hoping she would forget all about it, or that I could tie a napkin around the doll's waist and leave it at that. But she didn't forget. Today for our Monday Mommy/Daughter date she asked me again if I would make a skirt. So I decided to impress her with my sewing skills. Inspired by this Lazy Days Skirt tutorial from Oliver + S I set out to make my daughter's dreams come true. If I were truly not so lazy, I would have pulled up the tutorial and follwed the steps on a smaller scale. Instead, I guessed my way through the project and did this in about 30 minutes:

First I "measured" the dolls waist and length. I cut one of my fabric scraps a little longer and wider than the doll.

Next I pinned the wrong (inside out) sides together. You should probably do some more folding and ironing at this point. I didn't.

I sewed those babies together to form a little tunnel of fabric.

Then I pinned a fold down at the top. You should probably measure and iron this.  I just folded a little bit over onto the inside out fabric.

Sew this fold close to the edge, almost all the way around. Don't connect the sewing circle- Leave a little hole (big enough for a safety pin to fit through) to put the elastic in. If you are smart (not like me) you should put the hole for the elastic threading at the same point that you sewed the skirt together in the first steps. I won't pretend that I sew very straight, but if you follow the guide by the side of your sewing foot, it is generally okay. (And when you add the elastic it bunches all up and you can't really see it anyway)

Next, get some elastic. I didn't have any thin elastic, so I decided an old hair elastic would do.

I found the seam of the hair elastic and cut it.

To make the threading of the elastic easier, I stuck a safety pin in one end, stuck it in the hole and threaded the elastic through my sewed down fold.

To keep myself from cursing when the elastic I'm threading accidentally pulls all the way through I pinned down the end.

I pulled the two ends of the elastic out and sewed back and forth over them until I felt sure they would stay together for at least the duration of my children's attention span. Then, I sewed the hole on the fold. If you're really lazy, you can probably skip that step.  

To finish the edge, I pinned some ribbon I had from some other project on the bottom. Again, if you're smart, you could put the ends of the ribbon where the seam of the skirt is, so the ugly parts are all in one spot, not strewn randomly around your skirt. 

Then, of course, I sewed that ribbon on.

Oh look, she's got a skirt. Just what every doll needs.

This is obviously not Snow White, but Kenzie needed a skirt for her doll too, so I took pictures with hers. And I'm not showing you any close-ups of my seams. They look drunken. But, this is a skirt that will be loved for about 1 day, maybe a week at tops and then it will be lost, trampled on, or forgotten. I'm sure you can improve on the design, but I did like the hair elastic. I think that's a perfect cheap touch. 

Friday, April 9, 2010

One for the Money, Two for the Show, Three to Get Ready

And I mean, get ready. Hannah is now three. I'm pretty sure there's some sort of cosmic force that tells children, "You are now three. Act as if your parents are idiots. Yell. Scream. Throw things. Disobey."
Wait. This is Hannah's Birthday post. Let me switch into my Primary worker voice:

Oh dear, sweet Hannah, who is currently screaming in her bedroom about the terrible tragedy of a skirt that is falling down (because it is Kenzie's skirt. She refuses to wear anything else but skirts. And YES, I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER HER CLOTHING. OR OVER ANYTHING. So much for that primary worker voice)
Okay, maybe it would be best if I just posted some pictures and didn't say anything else. (I would wait until I was in a better mood, but that probably won't be until the baby (that isn't born yet) is sleeping through the night, or maybe when Hannah leaves for college, so I'm going to go ahead and post)

A nice card and present from Grma Bette and Grpa Charles.

Opening a present from us (a Baby Aurora doll. I've totally sold my soul to Disney).

Kenzie is just as excited as Hannah. All through the present opening Kenzie asked, "Will you share with me Hannah? Will you share?" Hannah replied solemnly, "Yes. Tomorrow."

A trip to Chuckee Cheese. Hooray for coupons in the Sunday paper. The girls loved riding the rides and earning tickets. We totally lucked out when one of the workers told us we could keep a stack of tickets he accidentally left on top of a game. The girls were able to buy fabulous rings, stick-on earrings, a sucker, and a fake snake. Oh, the joys of cheap toys. The girls spent the majority of their time in the playground. Hannah couldn't quite make it up the platforms to the playground, so Kenzie helped her. Hannah depends on Kenzie a lot and Kenzie is a good, patient sister. (Now all Hannah needs is a good, patient mother.)

Did I mention that it snowed about 6 inches on Hannah's bday? I had to break out the winter coats again. Here she is exhausted after all the fun at Chuck E. Cheeses.

That night we had some family over for cake and ice cream. Hannah helped me decorate the cupcakes, wouldn't make eye contact with anyone while we sang to her, and loved opening presents. She got a fun pink ball from Gma Vickie and Gpa Alan, a fabulous pink skirt and book from Gma Shirley and Gpa Reid (I finally pried it from her body after 3 days of continuous wear), and a Tinkerbell kite from Dave, Summer, Gracie and Boston.
Happy Birthday Hannah.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Two Holidays and a Race

You thought I ran a race for a minute, didn't you? Well, due to the beatiful issues the pregnancy fairy has granted me this time around (these cute and fun issues rhyme with "stem toyed" and "stabial eradose chains," and if you can't figure that out, we're all better off), I have not been exercising at all. If you think this makes me crabby and forgetful and angry at the world in general, you would be right. But let's pretend I feel cheerful and happy, that my mental facilites are operating at an all time high, and that I love spring.

Since I am not running I live vicariously through Mike. On Saturday, he ran his first 5K of the season at HAFB. According to him 23:20 sucks. According to me, his coach and cheerleader and vicarious-liver-through (yes I'm a liver), it's a great starting point for the season.
While Mike ran, the girls and I participated in a little 1K with the Easter Bunny. The girls were troopers, and even though we were the last ones across the line, Kenzie bragged all day that she beat me and Hannah.

Good job everybody. I'm only partially blaming these new and fun varicose veins on the fact that I carried Hannah part of the way. (Don't worry Hannah. I'll only expect you to visit me every day and take care of me in my infirmities as payment.)

In between sessions of General Conference, we went and painted egg holders and colored Easter eggs at Josh and Sherrie's.

Look there's me large and pregnant in the background. I'm wearing my NCAA Division 1 Indoor Championship shirt. I bought it when all they had left were Xtra larges. There's nothing like a track shirt from the days when you really were fast and skinny to make your self-esteem and self-image soar.

Ahh Easter. I can hate Spring, but I can't hate Easter. Besides, I L-O-V-E, love, love Peeps. See those cute purses? A lady in my ward made them. They turn into little beds for dolls. So fun!

Sunday was also Mike's bday! He got a bike pump, a new jacket (a day late because it didn't come on time), and the picture from the previous post.

We went to listen to Conference at my parent's house and had a marvelous lunch and Easter Egg Hunt. I like this picture because A. I don't look pregnant and B. I don't look pregnant. and C. I only look marginally disgusted with the world in general. (I hide my emotions well.)

Kenzie working the Easter Egg magic.

Hannah hunting for treasures.

Cousin Sophie (Do you see how her parents are cheating for her? For shame :)

Then it was off to Grandma and Grandpa Cs for another session of Conference and a hunt to the death. No children were actually harmed.

Kenzie, learning to throw some crazy elbows as she runs for the eggs.

Hannah's bounteous haul. She insisted that she wear her "Easter Egg Hunt" dress for the search.

Now the question is what to do with the all that candy? I figure we have a couple options: A.Throw it in the garbage B. Confiscate it from the children and stuff it in my face while they sleep C. Save it and hand it out for Halloween D. Let the kids eat it for their next 3 meals, thus doing away with the need to cook for at least a day.
What would you do?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Unbirthday Mike!

Ten years ago Mike returned from his mission in Austria (Holy cow, he is so old!). With him, he brought two pictures that he got while doing doors. One is a print of a painting by an Austrian lady and one is the photograph of the street in Austria in the painting. Of course he brought other things home, like those worn out shoes that he still insists are fine to wear, they just need new shoelaces, and shirts with nasty yellow rings on the collar. But anyway, I digress. He saved these pictures with the intent of framing them together. It has never happened.

Every time I drag Mike to a craft shop he peruses frames and tries to find one that would work perfectly, but he never finds one. Part of the problem is the photo he has is a 3x5 and the picture is a 6x8.
Around Christmastime he got it into his head that he needed to find the negative for the picture and print a bigger photo. He looked and looked for the negative, but it was nowhere to be found. He was upset that he couldn't find it.

Well, Mike's birthday is coming up and I decided that as part of his presents I would find the negative (I have far superior finding powers than he does :) and frame a larger photo and the print for him. If I couldn't find the negative I would just order a special mat and have it framed anyway.

I set out to find the negative and found it tucked in between some books on our bookshelf downstairs. I was so excited! It would be the best surprise for his birthday!

I printed a 5x7 of the photo, found a cool frame, and then put the negative and the smaller photo back where Mike had originally searched for it, thinking he would NEVER look in there again.

A few days later, while I was at a Relief Society meeting, Mike went on a search for a picture of Christ he wanted to give Stacie, his sister, before she left on her mission. When I came home he was so sad that he couldn't find the picture for Stacie, but he said, "I found the negative of that picture! It was right there. I must have missed it."

Dang! I had imagined how delighted and surprised he would be when I gave him the framed prints. I was sure that he would say, "Oh Steph! I looked all over for this! Where did you find it?" Which would be followed by adulation and gratefulness. Oh well, he hadn't noticed that the picture itself was missing and still didn't know that I had framed it. So I played it off saying, "Oh that's wonderful!"

Later that night, he was still tearing the house apart looking for the picture for Stacie, since she was leaving for the MTC in the morning. He seemed so sad that he couldn't find the picture of Christ. When he searched one more time through the envelope where we keep the pictures that we want framed he said, "Steph, my other picture is missing! I can't keep track of anything!" He was mad at himself and so disappointed about not finding Stacie's picture.

I decided to play it up a little, "Oh! You can't find it? Are you sure you didn't put it somewhere else?" I had to leave the room so he couldn't see me chuckling. But I did feel bad. He was so sad. I went into our room and watched him through the doorway. He just sat there, holding the disappointing envelope, and staring into space. I hated to see him so dejected.

I finally dug into the closet and brought out the framed picture. "Happy Early Birthday!" I said.
"What the heck? I totally thought I lost this! I was so mad! I love it. This is the best present ever," he said. 

I laughed and laughed. I sure love my Michael. It didn't make up for the fact that he couldn't find Stacie's picture, but it did make him feel a little bit better. I had to tell him the whole story and then we laughed together.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Last Person Left Alive, a conversation with my 5-year-old

Driving in the car is the best time to catch a good conversation with Kenzie. On Saturday I took her out to buy a present for her friend Ashlyn's birthday. We were talking about Easter and the Resurrection when Kenzie says to me, "Mom, who will bury the last person left alive?"
"Umm, probably nobody. Maybe they'll just be whisked away to heaven." (I always have such brilliant answers, don't you think?)
"Will Daddy be the last person left alive?"
"Well, I don't think so. But I don't know." I am pretty sure Mike does not hope to be the only person left standing at the end of the world, although two years ago I canned enough pears to allow him to survive infinitely.
"Maybe Heavenly Father and Jesus will bury the last person," says Kenzie hopefully.
I think I will refrain from telling her my version of the end of the world which involves fighitng, gore and skeletons turning to dust in barren landscapes.
"Yes, maybe so," I say.
"I want to be the last person alive," Kenzie declares.
We teach our children to dream big around here.