Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jed's First Talk

Sunday before last, Jed gave his first talk in Primary. This year, all our talks are scripture stories. Jed wanted to give his talk about Moroni burying the golden plates. Here is what we came up with:

Moroni had a special book, his daddy's book called the Book of Mormon. He knew that the bad guys were coming after him and that they would want to take his book and destroy it. So we went up to the top of the Hill Cumorah. He dug a big hole. He put rocks all around the side and bottom so the book wouldn't get dirty. He put the book, his sword, and the eyeglasses* in the box. Then he pushed a big rock over the top so the bad guys would never, ever find it.

Jed memorized the whole thing and we had little hand motions to go with each line. The day before his talk, we went down to the church and he practiced at the microphone. He did great! That Sunday, Sis. Bunting called his name and he marched right up to the podium with a big smile. He went up to the microphone, looked out confidently, and then saw all those kids staring at him... and got very, very shy. I went up with him to help when I saw him shrinking, but by then his head had already hit the podium top and he couldn't lift it up. With some urging, he finished the talk, but most of it was muttered into my chest with a barely audible amen. Poor little guy was a bit shaken, but I was still proud that he had learned his talk so well and finished it, even if it was harder than he expected.

*He got a little confused about the Urim and Thummim interpreter stones and really latched onto the idea that later they were used like eyeglasses. So we just ran with that.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Zoe Ann at nearly 2 years old

Shake It

For FHE we played this silly "shake the ping pong balls out of the box" game from Minute-to-win-it.  Look at those cute booties!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Slightly Dull Pregnancy Update (for those who are interested)

People keep asking me how my pregnancy is going.  And I suppose the answer is perfectly fine!  Truth is, this has been a great pregnancy from my perspective.  Sometimes I wonder because in my past pregnancies, I've always got lots of comments on how great I look, how cute I look pregnant, etc. but this time around all I get is worried comments: "How are you feeling?"  and "Are you feeling ok?"  and "How is the baby doing?" so apparently with number 3 I look like heck, but I feel great!  I did have one lady tell me at the beginning of the pregnancy that I was a beautiful pregnant woman, so I keep clinging on to that (thanks Margaret!)

As a side note, there is only one thing you should ever tell a pregnant woman:  "You look great!"  Because that's all she really wants to hear.

I've had only a little sickness, and then only when traveling, and I've been sleeping much, much better this time around.  (For those who don't know, I have had horrible insomnia with my last two pregnancies.  I've still had a little this time, but so much less severe I don't feel like a walking zombie all the time!) I am carrying a 5 more pounds this time around (no thanks to a month of stomach flu, which always makes me hungry, and Christmas right at the beginning of my pregnancy) but I am right on with my weight gain, to the point of perfection.   I have a little swelling but nothing severe.  I always measure exactly 2 weeks large at my checkups, which is the same as with Zoe.

The most wonderful thing is that thanks to a fabulous physical therapist who helped me figure out my sacroiliac joint pain after Zoe's birth, I have had little to no pain so far, which has made the whole pregnancy a gajillion times more pleasant.  Apparently as soon as I get pregnant all my ligaments decide to completely stop doing their job and my whole back/pelvis falls apart. She gave me exercises and corrections I can do myself, so when I do get out of alignment I can get myself back in and the pain goes away in a day or two.  So I can sit and walk without extreme discomfort, as in pregnancies past, and it has made everything much easier on me! I am loosening up more and more as time goes by, so it will be a little worse I know, but we only have what, 7 or 8 weeks left?  I can handle that.

As far as preparations, I ashamedly confess I have done hardly any.  Our babies usually sleep in a pack 'n play in the bedroom with us.  I have plenty of blankets and clothes from babies past, I have baby carriers, and um, besides two bosoms what else do you really need?  OK, I guess we do need two new carseats (to fit three across in the car) and a few packs of newborn diapers, but otherwise I'm feeling pretty lazy about the whole affair.  Truthfully, I haven't given the baby a lot of thought so far.  I can only imagine what it's like when you have even more kids running around, you might forget you were pregnant for months at a time!

Lately, though, the baby has started kicking hard enough to make me stop and catch my breath, and that makes me realize that 51 days is NOT very long, and it makes me more than just a little bit excited to see our brand new baby number three.  The kids and I have been reading books and watching movies about brand new babies.  Jed made up a little song that he sings in a high little falsetto while rubbing my belly every morning:
"Baby I love you
I love you now
Come out soon
Little baby!"

Tuesday Morning

Just another morning at our house.  Zoe and I were just getting over a little intestinal bug, and Michael had just come down with it so everyone was home together, and the kids LOVED having daddy home for the day!
Breakfast is nearly always some variation on eggs, smoothie, and toast.  Here Jed and Zoe are hiding underneath the little bar, waiting for mom to finish breakfast because Zoe was "Hong-ee!"
During breakfast I got out my clipboard with my planning for the day. Thanks to my mother's diligent instruction on "time management" as a child, I am almost compulsive about my daily lists. (Thanks, Mom!) I've been through many different methods, but a couple years ago my friend Tessie gave a lesson on prioritizing based on this training, and I have used it every day since. (Thanks, Tessie!) I also try to have a weekly planner at the back of my clipboard so I can see what's going on. So, anyway, when I pulled out my list, here is what I found on yesterday's list:
And here's what I found on the blank page I'd put out for today:
These little drawings that pepper my papers (and occasionally, but hopefully no longer, my furniture) make me smile every time. Everyone in Jed's world is so happy. Anyone with sticky-up hair is male (like dad) and everyone with smoothed down hair is female (like mom.)  Also, lots of cars.  The word "bad" is supposed to be "dad" and you can see where Jed has labeled his own handprint.
After breakfast and planning we have a little devotional. I want to start doing some simple kindergarten homeschooling with Jed in the fall, and over the summer I am slowly building it into this post-breakfast time. Ever day we work on our memorization scripture for the month (I hope to move to weekly in the fall), read some scriptures (just hit 200 pages in the Book of Mormon this year!), sing our song of the week, then sing a few more songs we like, discuss our manners/behavior topic for the week, carry over our dishes, and then do our "morning chores" before we can go run and play for the day.  Here are the kids doing a little drawing right after the devotional while I clean up the dishes.
And you can imagine where they ran as soon as those chores were done!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Popcorn Mustache

Sometimes things get a little dull in the back seat.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Fun

The kids and I have been on a major summer-fun binge. "Friday Fun Day" has expanded to become "Wednesday-Thursday-Friday-Saturday Fun Days" to the point that my housekeeping has become a disaster and dinner lately has been sandwiches more often than I'd like to admit. But boy are we having fun! Gotta fit it in because we only have... 58 days?! (*Gah! Ack! Runs around like chicken little in a panic!*) Here are a few fun things we have been doing:

1. Library. Jed and I love books. (Zoe does, too, but she insists on holding them herself and shouts at us if we read the words to her, so it's not quite as much fun for the rest of us.) We signed up for the summer reading program, which so far as I can tell is merely a way to initiate children into gambling at an early age. (Really? You get to enter a raffle every time? In what way is that possibly motivating to a 4 year old, let alone a nearly 2 year old? And then they get to pick for the "number of the day" which they never, ever get. Oh well. At least the kids still get excited about going and seeing the librarian mark their paper with the sponge marker.) I think it's silly, we just like going to the library anyway. Jed and I have been reading so many fun "big kid" books lately, like Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Mr. Popper's Penguins. We also really loved Pippi Longstocking until he got scared by the strongman at the circus and then we had to stop.

2. Outside. Every day we try to have an hour of morning "outside time." We have a nice big kiddie pool and the sprinkler out there. Usually Zoe is in the pool, filthy and wet, within ten minutes. I get a surprising amount of gardening done in an hour. We let the chickens out and it's Jed's job to keep them out of the garden. His method usually involves shrieking for me and waving the hose madly at them, it's pretty fun to watch.

3. Walking. I have been nervous about how I will exercise with three little ones, but this week Jed has gone hog wild for bike riding! He has improved leaps and bounds lately. Yesterday we went to a big empty parking lot and he rode with some more experienced girls, which helped him catch the vision of longer distance, less-whiny riding. He rode and rode and rode for hours until I thought his little legs would fall off.
Then today a friend and I went walking up the river trail from Lock and Dam Park, which involves going up a very long, very steep hill, and Jed made it the entire way up! What a trooper! Going down the other side was a little dicey, but he made that too. I am excited for him but even more excited for me! I will still be able to get out and enjoy walking with him biking alongside after the baby comes.

4. Swimming. A couple of our friends have backyard pools and let us come swim in the afternoons on occasion. What a delight, we are so grateful it is free and fun with so many good buddies for the kids. Zoe can stand up by herself! Jed can dunk his whole body now!

5. Splash Park. We went last week with another group of friends. I was ticked because the YMCA summer camp took over the whole place (Um, don't you have your OWN private pool?) but we all still thoroughly enjoyed the cool spray and fun toys. Zoe had a "big girl" on each hand the whole time and she could not have possibly been in greater toddler-heaven. Jed kind of missed having his own sister-buddy all to himself, but he finally settled in and had a great time too. He is very, very attached to his Zoe. When he has her hand in his, he is the big kid and he can do anything. When she runs off with some other big girl, it's kind of hard for him and he gets a bit sad and shy. Sweet little boy, I love him.

6. Parade. We went to the ShrinersFest parade last Saturday, which I declare the most perfect children's parade ever. Emergency vehicles! Convertibles of every variety! Huge horses and miniature horses pulling wagons! Clowns in tiny racecars! Clowns in big painted buses! Silliness galore! Only 25 minutes long! And just one candy for each kid at the end, perfect indeed. Those Shriners really know their stuff. Jed particularly loved that EVERY BMW WAS BLUE, HIS FAVORITE COLOR. It's kind of disturbing that he can identify BMWs at age 4, but then I look at my husband and his father and it all makes sense.

7. Picnics. The weather finally cooled off a bit so we've been eating lunch, dinner, and sometimes even breakfast out on the picnic table (AKA The World's Best Picnic Table, Thank You Michael!) in our carport. Heaven!

I know I've forgetting a half dozen other fun things we've done, but you get the idea. Fun fun fun run run run morning noon and night. Better enjoy it now, kids, because when the new baby comes it's all shuttin' down.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sugar and Spice

At dinner, Zoe sang me the darlingest song that Jed taught her, "I love you, I love you, I love you Mommy!"

Not so nice:
If I said thank you, or smiled, or so much as glanced at her, she would stop singing, scowl ferociously, and shout, "STOP! No way!" Only when I obediently looked away, smile erased, would she cheerily again begin to sing.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Another Day

Today was one of those days where it feels like I had excellent intentions but nothing much really got accomplished. As I was just reviewing my day, I think identified a few key moments that illuminated my meaningful accomplishments.

Like when Jed and I had one of those nice heart to heart mother/son talks as we discussed "Why we don't hide urine-soaked clothing under the bed, but rather put it in the dirty-clothes basket." This came not long before my discussion with a screeching Zoe regarding "Why we don't take our motorized toothbrush into Walmart."

My cleaning chores never did get all crossed off, but I Jed and Zoe made sure I had plenty of more pressing housekeeping tasks to accomplish,, like cleaning marker off the couch, cleaning poop off the couch, cleaning pen off the couch, and collecting the pillows from the couch that were scattered about the house approximately 1,543 times. Also, cleaning pen off my daughter, pen off her shoes, pen off her clothing, pen off her bed, and something that looks a lot like melted crayon off the car front seat. A good ten minutes were spent fantasizing about purging all pen/pencil/crayon/marker objects from my life forever.

I washed and folded a load of laundry, just as intended, but that was fairly offset by the three (THREE!) sets of clothing both the kids had already been through by 10 AM. They didn't wake up until 8, I'm not sure how they can be so effective at getting wet and filthy so quickly and consistently while I just try to shove some food in them, throw on some makeup, put my hair in a ponytail, and get out the door to the store. Especially since they seem to spent 99% of the time running around in their underwear anyway.

Despite these usual little frustrations of motherhood, though, we still had a nice day. The kids were cheerful and generally obedient. We had a nice morning devotional. I got plenty of kisses on my poor stubbed baby toe. We read books together quietly, restfully, peacefully during quiet time. Zoe wailed her way through dinner, but after 30 minutes or so of full ignoration, she decided to revert to her usual darling smiley, giggly self. My handsome husband came home and showered us all with love and affection. I'm a pretty blessed busy mom -- even if I don't have much to show for it except a slightly worn home, two half-naked runners, a big kicking belly, and one very attractive man.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Sunday morning, as I rushed around in the usual Sunday jumble, trying to get everyone ready and fed before I left for the first round of meetings for the day, Zoe snuck up behind me. "Mommy-mommy-mommy!" she shouted, holding up to me her spraybottle of detangler (conditioner and water) and a comb. Ah, she wanted her hair brushed. I sat her down and gave her a little spray and combing. Looking very pleased, she stopped to look in the mirror on her way back to the bathroom.

A few minutes later, I was in the bathroom, too, brushing my teeth and making myself look halfway decent. "Ma!" exclaimed Zoe. She held up my makeup bag. I got her out her little sponge and she daintily patted herself all over the face. Then after mascara-ing up myself, she wanted me to pretend to put some on her. She got out her chapstick and smeared it liberally about her visage. To finish things off, she insisted on some smelly lotion to smear all over her half-naked body.

As we left the bathroom, she patted her hair and smelled her arms. She grinned and pointed at her cheeks, then at her pink-adorned toenails -- she and Jed had both insisted on a full trimming (for both) and pink painting (for her) the night before. "Do you want to show Daddy how pretty you are?" "YEAH!" she shouted, and beaming from ear to ear went to go show Dad how lovely she looked.

Moments like this make me doubt that my child really is mine. Wasn't I the girl who wore t-shirts and jeans and a pony-tail every day until college? I didn't really learn how to put on make-up until forced to by a visitor center mission at age 21. And yet here I have this little painted beauty, prancing around the house in all her beeyooteefullness, rouged cheeks and pouty lips, dressing up in pink fluffy this and golden beaded that. If this doesn't make the case for nature vs. nurture I don't know what would.

Later that day, her nursery leader said she spent the whole time in nursery trying to peel off her shoes and socks, undoubtedly to show off the glory of her first painted toenails.

The next afternoon, I turned some music on in the kitchen. Zoe dragged over the laundry basket, turned it upside down, climbed up on top and started showing off her most groovy dance moves, some of which involved pulling up her shirt to show off her belly while bouncing that darling little bum. Should I be concerned for her teenage years?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Washington D.C. - The Engagements

I promised to share our Michael's engagements for the marvelous Amanda and Dustin. This is a small sampling, you can see the full set here.

What the set doesn't show is that it was absolutely pouring the entire time. Michael, the camera, the fiances and their helper-friend Jenn were soaked to the bone, and yet they all still look fabulous! Meanwhile, my dear mission friend Melanie took me and my two soggy, still pajama'd children in, for which I am truly grateful. She and her two darling little girls entertained us while her husband made us an awesome breakfast. We had such a lovely time visiting with them, and our visit made the perfect ending to our visit in D.C.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Washington D.C. Pt. 6

At last, we were on our way home. The night before we left, I got to see my beloved friend Megan, one of my closest childhood friends, and we laughed and chatted the whole night long. I don't even remember how long it has been since we had such a visit, at least 5 or 6 years, and oh how fun it was to be together again.
The next morning early early we had engagement photos (we'll cover that in the next post) and then we headed out for Charleston, WV, where we stayed the night. We stayed at a nice Marriott Hotel, courtesy of my darling brother Eric and his awesome discount. While we waited for our pizza dinner delivery, Jed and Zoe played superheroes, jumping onto the bed and catching quite a bit of air. \
As anticipated, this didn't end well and somebody got a nasty bonk. Here he is getting plenty of love from Mommy and gentle back pats from Zoe (who is a sweet little comforter whenever somebody gets hurt.)
He's all right!
All tuckered out and ready for bed, Mom!