Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Oops!

I accidentally wrote a book! I have always wanted to write a book and be published. Heath helped me by formatting all of my 2007 blog posts. It was very fun for both of us to reread the adventures our family has had since we moved to CA. 130+ pages later and I can order my very own book that I authored. I should be able to get it just in time to teach a blog class to the Relief Society sisters in my ward. I'm very excited to teach the class. Any suggestions?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

FMI

For my information: I cut Gwen's bangs today. I worry that I did it too short but her hair never completely covered her forehead anyway. At least it doesn't look all wispy at the ends. Her hair is growing a lot lately so I only trimmed her bangs to make them look better. I love the curls around the edges.

My cousin Danell said Gwen looks just like me. I think that's interesting coming from her because when Gwen was first born I thought she looked just like Danell! All that dark curly hair. Gwen is a cute baby no matter who she looks like.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Quiet Desperation

Grandma Westover talked to Santa about bringing the boys band aids in their stockings. The boys aren't always asking for band aids but every once in a while they get obsessed. Grandma and Santa came up with the idea that if the boys got their own packages of band aids they could use them whenever they wanted but once the band aids were gone, they were gone.

This morning Gavin came upstairs with his head down saying, "I'm sorry for opening the box of band aids." So we explained how the band aids would work and encouraged the boys to make the band aids last until next Christmas.

I love the quiet desperation this box shows. The band aids were so tempting but the box would not open!

Gavin determined that his neck hurt so he needed band aids on it. They look like tattoos.

Parker had an old scab on his wrist that definitely needed a band aid. Childhood is short. Enjoy your band aids boys.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Waning Vanity

I should make Heath take a picture of me because today I actually look good. Not only did I shower today but I did my hair too! I never thought I would ever be the type to not take care of my appearance regularly. I used to do full hair and makeup when Heath was on a business trip and the furthest I made it out of my house was to the garbage can.

There was a funny comic on Last Comic Standing this last season that talked about women like me at the gym. He described women who go to the gym with their hair and makeup fully done, wearing cute clothes, but getting annoyed that people were staring at them!!! Ha ha that's me! That's also why I don't go to gyms. My bedroom or family room works perfectly for me to work out. Or seriously think about it. Which is all I've done for 2 weeks. I'm afraid to consult the scale. I may have gained 10 lbs in 2 days. Who knows?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Ho Ho Ho to You!

This is the boys decorating reindeer cookies. Thanks for the idea Mindi! The newspaper on the counter is where the plastic light catcher ornaments are drying. We had fun making crafts and treats this year. Watch out Martha Stewart!!!

Gwen's classic Ed Grimley hairstyle. No ponytail holder.

Christmas Eve. Can you tell Parker is just a little excited?

Grandma's PJ's look great on everybody.
We told the kids they had to stay in bed until we got them up this morning. Parker is a master time waster. Needing to go potty is his favorite manipulative tool. He usually stands around upstairs until we notice he's out of bed or he lurks around corners until we notice. Then he announces he needs to go potty. We get so exasperated! Just go already! So I tried to nip that one in the bud last night. I told him to go (like I always do) and told him that was his last time to go. There would be no getting out of bed. It worked for about 30 minutes.
Heath and I were in the middle of some PVR'd show. I had a sneezing fit and Parker said "Bless you!" Tell me we weren't surprised to see him standing behind the couch! Of course he said he had to go potty. Heath got him back into bed and luckily he didn't get back up so Santa could come.
We got up around 7 am. It made more sense to only get Gwen up 1 hour early rather than 2. Everyone was so excited. Gwen even seemed extra jazzed.
Did Santa really come? Did he get the cookies and milk we left for him?

I look so lovely! But Gwen was excited for Christmas.

Boys opening Santa gifts. Good job Santa. You brought the Hot Wheels the boys wanted. Gavin was so concerned about not getting to talk to Santa. He wanted to know if we told Santa he wanted Hot Wheels and if we told Santa he was a good boy. I think Santa got the message. In the last couple of days we've heard a lot of tattling and "Santa is going to be mad at . . . "

Gwen couldn't be bothered with her Santa gift. She was ready to take her new blocks and run.

Parker was so excited this morning he was shaking as he opened presents. I love how my kids exprience everything full tilt.

Gwen is completely fascinated by the book Grandma and Grandpa gave her. Grandma Clarke had given her a Little People Lift the Flap Christmas book. My mom said she should open it right away so she could enjoy it all month. I am impressed with how well she deals with books. I didn't think a 10 month old could sit quietly with a book without trying to eat it or something. It's fun to read with her.

Parker's book about feelings is perfect. As a middle child myself, I understand middle child syndrome. I think Parker can really identify with the feelings discussed in the book. Although he never realized he ever felt that way. I asked if he ever felt awful and he said no, just happy. At least he's not like me and takes life too seriously. The other day we were driving around looking at Christmas lights again. Parker suddenly announced, "I'm very mad!" I asked why and he said because he wanted to listen to Happy Ho Ho Ho to You. I was so impressed with his ability to express himself I changed CD's once the song was over so he could listen to his favorite Harry Connick Jr. song.
We've had a wonderful Christmas and hope everyone else has had a wonderful Christmas too. My favorite gift was when we were on speaker phone with my whole family. My sister said she had one more gift for us. Right away Heath knew what it was. I'm a little slow and thought she was silly for not getting the gift in the package with the ice cream stuff she sent. No, she's pregnant!!! I get a new niece or nephew in July. Congratulations Candi and Ed!

Christmas PJ's

Thanks Grandma! We love our PJ's.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas Adam

My friend, Janelle, had this on her blog. I thought it was cute.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper .

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial.

3. When do you put up the tree? The day after Thanksgiving.

4. When do you take the tree down? New Years Day (usually)

5. Do you like eggnog? No. My mom loves it and for several years it was a tradition to drink it Christmas Eve while reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? It's hard to pick a favorite. There are many memorable gifts from my childhood.

7. Hardest person to buy for? Heath. So I don't do it. I tell him what I want him to have and make him buy it! He's too tech savvy for me. I'd hate to make a mistake!

8. Easiest person to buy for? My mom. She has a list of gifts she wants. Candi or Deanna pick one, buy it, and we pitch in money.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, we have 2 full nativity scenes with at least 3 more partial scenes on pictures, ornaments, and other holiday dust collectors.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A friend of mine gave me scrunchies. I don't remember what I got for her that year but I remember I was pretty annoyed by the scrunchies.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Elf

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? When I can .

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? It's possible. I know I've recycled wedding gifts.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Carbs. Chocolate is my favorite at Christmas time.

16. Lights on the tree? It's pre-lit with white lights.

17. Favorite Christmas song? Holiday Wrapping by The Waitresses

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? This is the second year we've been away from family. We'll be home.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? YES! Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? My heritage is German and my Grandma grew up opening presents on Christmas Eve. But we open them Christmas morning before the sun is up.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? My Grown Up Christmas Wish. I HATE that song.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I love my ornaments I got from Costco last year. They are gold in color but unbreakable plastic. So pretty.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? We're still establishing this tradition.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? A new dining room set. It's a nice wish.

26. Do you decorate the outside of your house with lights? This year we did. It was easier and took less time than wrapping our tree like we did last year.

27. Outside lights Icicles, Colored, or Clear? Multi colored.

28. Who is most likely to respond to this? I don't know. I don't get consistent responses from fun tags like this.

29. Who is least likely to respond to this? Probably everyone since Christmas is in 2 days

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Live Nativity

Tonight our Stake put on a live Nativity. For as much as I joked about the live animals it ended up being no big deal. All the animals were enclosed. I don't know why I thought they would just be wandering around! And sorry everyone who wanted pictures of me on a donkey. The donkey was too old and not a good donkey to ride. The horse that has been used in past years was lame and couldn't be used. I walked.

I thought the costumes were pretty good. I felt kind of weird in my costume. I had a regular sized, fluffy bed pillow stuffed under my costume. It went to my knees!!! People told me I looked great or said something about how there was no mistaking who I was. But as soon as it was all over the first thing anybody said to me was, "You're carrying pretty low." I hope I looked fine for the actual performance and only looked weird when it was over because I had been sitting down and the pillow shifted or something.

Of course we completely forgot to bring our camera so we couldn't have anyone take pictures for us. Oh well, my good friend Heidi had a camera. Her husband was the innkeeper and her son was the innkeeper's son. When she posts the pictures on her blog I'll have to steal them. She was so sweet to watch our kids for us. The boys sat on hay spread over the asphalt right in front of the stable. I don't know where Gwen ended up but I never heard her cry. Yay. She was my biggest concern about all of this.

It was a neat experience to actually be in this performance and to play the part of Mary while Heath played the part of Joseph. When I was younger my family would do a nativity with the cousins. My cousin Brigitte always got to be Mary. I think it was because she was the oldest girl but I was so jealous of her. All I ever got to do was be part of the angel choir.

Heath and I walked onto the set. At the far end was the innkeeper and his son. He had a loud booming voice saying "Move on. There's no room here." The first time we practiced I almost teared up. He seemed so mean. As Mary I felt helpless. But then Joseph pleaded for us. "We have traveled far and my wife is so tired, isn't there anywhere we can rest?" Thank heaven for the son who brings up the possibility of the stable. The innkeeper tries to say no, it's only for animals. Joseph pleads again, "Sir, we would be happy to stay there if you would permit it." The innkeeper gestured toward the stable like if that's what you really want go for it. So we settle into the stable.

Parker immediately comes over to us. Heath quickly ushers him back to the crowd on the hay. As we sat there listening to the narrator and different musical numbers it became a little more real to us. We could here the animals in their pens on either side of the stable. At one point we could really smell the animals. There was a family that stayed in those conditions. The Son of God was born in a stable with animals all around.

Shepherds came then Wise Men came. At one point there was a little boy about Parker's age that stood up and walked toward us. He came close enough while staying on the hay. He just stood there with this look of awe on his face. I looked up at him and smiled. He was interested in Baby Jesus. But He was just a doll I was cradling in my arms. The boy stood there for several seconds and then sat down. I can only imagine what it would have been like for that boy if I was holding a real baby. It was a tender moment for me to see the story come alive for this little boy in the black GAP jacket.

The whole scene was almost finished and the Westovers hadn't ruined the pageant like I imagined! Then in a brief quiet transition, Parker walked up to us and in the loudest 3 year old voice says, "Daddy, I got to go potty!" I never fully regained composure after that. It was too funny. Heath quickly grabbed Parker and put him in the back. Heath was blocking Parker. Luckily there wasn't too much left before we were finished. If anyone videotaped that moment I want a copy!

I am so grateful we had that opportunity to portray Mary and Joseph. I know that Jesus really was born in these humble conditions. I know that Mary and Joseph were chosen by God to be the parents of Jesus. I know that Jesus is the Christ and that He came to earth to save us all. How blessed I am to know this and to know Him.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Year in Review

January 2008
Grandma and Grandpa came to visit a couple days after Christmas and helped us ring in the New Year. This was their first visit to our home in California so we showed them around some of our favorite tourist spots including San Francisco. Grandma and Grandpa treated everyone to a ferry ride in San Fran.

February 2008

My fabulous ward family gave me a wonderful baby shower. I felt so spoiled with all the clothes I was given for my baby girl.

Heath and I celebrated our 7th anniversary.

On February 22 we welcomed Gwenyth Louise to our family. Grandma Clarke came to visit and help take care of the boys while I was in the hospital. It was a short visit but it was so wonderful to have her here.

April 2008

Gwen was diagnosed with acid reflux. Once we got that under control and colic ran its course, Gwen has been a much happier baby.

Grandma Clarke made Gwen's blessing gown out of my wedding dress. Grandma and Grandpa Westover visited again for Gwen's blessing. We had a lot of fun with them again. Grandpa helped Heath prep the soil for a garden. We enjoyed the beautiful sunshine. We all went in to San Francisco to show off Gwen to Heath's co-workers and enjoy Fisherman's Wharf.

May 2008

We splurged and got a pool.

Ok, it was a cheap inflatable pool that didn't last through the summer before it popped. We filled a rubber raft with water for a pool after that! The kids happily splashed no matter what they were sitting in.

This month we also planted our garden.

June 2008


Gavin attended a month long Pre-K summer program. It was a wonderful school experience where he built confidence, made friends, learned new things and had new experiences.
July 2008
We took a road trip to Utah to visit my family. Heath and I had a date to Desert Star Playhouse. We spent the 4th at Kids Discovery in the Gateway. We enjoyed a barbecue and fireworks at my Grandma and Grandpa's house. Parker was allergic to my mom's house and spent half of Gavin's birthday in an Urgent Care facility getting breathing treatments. That was not the highlight of the trip!
We did our own family portraits in Tyson and Deanna's neighbor's yard.


Tyson and Deanna threw a fun birthday party for Gavin and Parker. The kids enjoyed a pinata, a Spiderman cupcake cake and presents. The boys wanted nothing more than to have a birthday party for their birthdays this year. Wish granted.

Heath's Grandma visited California and stayed with Dan and Dana. It was fun to visit Heath's aunt uncle and cousins. It was special for Gwen to meet her other great grandma.
We made a trip into San Francisco to visit an arcade museum. That was a fun day.
August 2008

Gavin started Kindergarten. Three days later we did another road trip to Seattle to visit Grandma and Grandpa.

September 2008
We had so much fun in Seattle and did so many things. I think my favorite part was the University of Washington vs. BYU football game. Gwen wore her BYU cheerleader outfit and got her picture taken with a male BYU cheerleader. We enjoyed spending Labor Day with extended family and we enjoyed all the time we got to spend with Kirk and Dayleen and their kids throughout our time in the Northwest.
We had professional family photos taken.
October 2008
Life in California was all about Prop 8 this month. Gavin's class had a field trip to a pumpkin patch.
There were Halloween activities and celebrations. Grandma Westover made great Halloween costumes again.

November 2008
We spent a relaxing Thanksgiving at home. Heath brined a turkey breast overnight. It was the best turkey ever! We enjoyed having pie with the Adams Family. They are a couple in our ward. They recently returned from a mission and at their homecoming we learned that Heath's cousin is their son in law. Small world. So we spent part of Thanksgiving with family.

December 2008
We are enjoying the holiday season. We hope you all are too.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy International Holidays!

Gavin's kindergarten class has been learning about families, traditions and all the holidays celebrated this time of year. So today they had a holiday party where kids were encouraged to bring food that represented their cultural heritage. We took store bought chocolate chip cookies because we are white, American and proud of it! That and with everyone being sick we didn't feel like making Heath's fabulous chocolate chip cookies last night. Zoning on the couch was nicer.

The party was fun. Parents were invited so Heath worked from home and I went. There was a large table full of sugary treats. The smaller table had real food and drinks. The smaller table was the second table! I ended up sitting at the smaller table to help minimize kids reaching out and grabbing food themselves. One kid touched a lil smokie then changed his mind. I told him since he touched it he needed to have it on his plate!

Gavin's teacher was already in tears as she welcomed the parents to the party. She is retiring at the end of the year so each big celebration is her last. In the middle of the party the class room mom presented Mrs. W with a gift from the class. It was a wreath decorated with gift cards to her favorite stores. She cried more.

Then when the early start kids were getting ready to go home she sang the class a song to the tune of a popular Christmas song that I can't remember right now. She had put her own words to it about how this is her last holiday celebration at the school and she was crying inside. She laughed through her tears and said she was also crying on the outside too! Many parents were crying too. They had older children who also had her as a teacher in kindergarten. I'm a social cryer I guess. I have a hard time seeing someone emotional and not want to cry myself. Then one of the moms said, "Can you imagine her on the last day of school?" I really felt for Mrs. W. She loves her job and she has been teaching for 37 years. The last day will be brutal for all of us! But I can't imagine how sad she will be to watch her last class walk out the door.

The kids all made paper stockings and glued them on paper bags. Each kid brought a small item for every stocking. We were going to decorate the candy canes as reindeer but it didn't happen. I went to JoAnn's yesterday and spent 30 minutes going up and down every aisle twice. I couldn't find googly eyes or pipe cleaner. The streets, parking lot, and store were too crowded for my taste so you couldn't pay me to go to Michael's (a store that is crowded in off seasons) with 3 kids. I had good intentions of putting ribbon curls on the candy canes. But in the end I figured the Mickey Mouse themed wrappers were cute enough! Keep it simple right?

The kids opened their stockings during the party and were so excited by the small treats, pencils, stickers, foam crafts, etc. I loved how the kids would say to each other, "Look what I got!" not realizing everybody got the same thing! So cute.

It rained a little this afternoon. And I'm halfway finished with Heath's Christmas present. I can't believe how fast Christmas is coming up this year. I barely got a chance to enjoy anything. I don't really feel rushed to get things done. It's more like every day seems to fly by. Wasn't it just my birthday? And already it's a week before Christmas. Tonight we get to start reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Yay! I love that tradition.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Place Value


Maybe Gavin shouldn't have missed two days of school!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Rough Night

Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. I was surprised at how warm it had been every day. Now it's very cold. The newscasters are warning people of a hard freeze. I think that means we will have several nights of below freezing temps. So we need to beware of bursting pipes and what not.

I wanted rain. We're certainly getting it now. Gavin wanted snow. We're getting that too. Just not in our neighborhood! But the elevations for snowfall are falling to below 1000 feet.

I jokingly wished Gavin would get croup so we wouldn't have to do the live nativity. But later in the week. As I said it I knew he would get it that night. After 5 years of dealing with this horrible childhood illness, I am learning the warning signs. Gavin was stuffed up when I got him from school yesterday. A cold was on the way. If it was just a cold I would have made him go to school.

I warned Gavin that he might get croup. I told him to calmly get out of bed and get Mom or Dad if he couldn't breathe. About an hour after I fell asleep Heath got out of bed. I didn't hear anything and I really don't remember how I got down the hall but on some level I knew if Heath was going to the boys' room something was wrong. Gavin had been climbing down the ladder struggling for breath by the time we got there. I carried him downstairs, grabbed a blanket, and sat on the porch.

That was the worst he's been since he went to the ER as a 4 month old the first time he got croup. I actually got cold. Normally we aren't outside long enough for the adrenaline to go away and for my body to realize it's cold. I think Gavin was panicked that his breathing wasn't getting better. Keeping a croupy child calm helps their breathing return to normal faster. Heath actually brought out Parker's inhaler to try to help Gavin. It was either that or call an ambulance.

When we got him inside we rubbed Vicks vaporub on his chest. Heath gave him a priesthood blessing, which was when his breathing finally started to stabalize. Then Heath made it to the grocery store minutes before they closed at midnight to buy some children's Ibuprofen. I just read in Parenting Magazine that Ibuprofen not only reduces fever but reduces swelling so it's perfect for kids suffering from croup.

Heath spent what was left of the night on the couch while Gavin tossed and turned and kicked me all night. I know Heath is super tired and it's going to be a long day at work for him, but I think he got more sleep than I did!

Gavin's Kindergarten program is tonight. I feel horrible for keeping him home from school but I don't feel right about sending him to school after such a long night. If this had all happened early Wednesday morning I would have had no problem keeping him home the rest of the week! But of course he gets sick the night before the big performance! Childhood health is the biggest blessing.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cindy Lou Who

Heath suggested I put Gwen's hair into two pigtails. One is hard enough. Two was a challenge because she is so wiggly. But I love the results.

This picture is specifically for Becca. She wanted a picture of Gwen's teeth. There are 4 more on the top.

Doesn't she look like Cindy Lou Who with her hair? Gavin calls this dress her Santa dress and he thinks if she wears it she needs to wear a Santa hat too.

The dress is prettier in real life but this is "the dress."

Ignore the fact that I am holding Gwen in this picture. I just thought she had a cute look on her face in this one. Gavin also thinks that Gwen looks like a doll with her hair like this. She has a little doll with pigtails. We should get a picture of Gwen holding her doll.
Gwen has the cutest laugh. Maybe cute isn't the right word for it. She laughs from her toes. Her voice is a lot deeper than you would expect from a baby her age when she laughs. Sometimes I can't tell if it's Gwen or one of the boys laughing. But then she squeals really loud and I know it's her. Laughter fills our home and car and lives daily!
In other news it has rained off and on all weekend. Yay! Wally Weatherman is not forecasting rain for later this week but I heard a mom from Gavin's class say that it's supposed to clear up tomorrow and rain the whole rest of the week. That would be fine with me. I love the rain.
Saturday Heath and I are supposed to be Mary and Joseph in a live nativity. With live animals. Heath is supposed to lead me in on a donkey. If you don't know me very well you may not think that's funny. Those of you who know me are probably cracking up right now.
You know the book "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever"? In that book there was concern about the Herdmans ruining the Christmas Pageant. Well, I have my doubts with this live nativity. My kids will be babysat by "someone in the audience." Gavin and Parker will be yelling out, "That's my mommy. Daddy! Look my daddy!" Meanwhile Gwen will be screaming and crying because of her stranger danger phase. I will be riding on a donkey/burrow and then staring lovingly at a doll representing Jesus because can you imagine Gwen as baby Jesus? Crawling out of the manger. My father in law said, "I want a picture of that!" as soon as he heard. If it rains the whole thing will be done inside without the animals. Stay tuned to see who's right, Wally Weatherman or the mom from school.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

More Kid Funnies

Gavin was invited to a birthday party this morning. Parker was upset he couldn't go. I told Parker that he won't always be invited to Gavin's friends' birthday parties. I said that Conner didn't even know him. Parker said, "My name is Parker!" like introducing himself would solve the problem!

I'm wearing a hat today. Because I haven't showered yet and my hair looked really weird and there was no fixing it. It was an early morning for a Saturday with a bunch of stuff going on at the same time so no time for me to shower. I knew I didn't look good but I lost my last shred of self-esteem (just kidding) when Gavin pointed at me and said, "What not to wear, Mommy!" I asked what was wrong with what I was wearing and he told me my hat. Well thanks for your honesty son! You watch too much TV.

On the way home from the birthday party Gavin and Parker were fighting over the toys from the goody bag. Parker started complaining that Gavin wasn't sharing. At one point he said in a matter of fact voice, "Don't fight Gavin, just share."

Friday, December 12, 2008

Boring

We were listening to Christmas music on the way home from school. Carol of the Bells came on and Parker immediately said, "This is on the Baby Movie!" He calls the movie I made the Baby Movie. Then Gavin asked, "Is this even a Christmas song?" I told him that it was and it was called Carol of the Bells. We talked about how that song was playing when Gavin was opening a Christmas present at Grandma and Grandpa's house.

Parker: Me too!
Me: No, you weren't born yet.
Gavin: You were just in Mommy's tummy. (Gavin was 5 months old in the video)
Parker: I just boring. I wear a diaper when I boring.

I'm telling you, every day I laugh at least once.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Moove over Angel!

This is a typical Nativity scene in our living room. Animals and people scattered everywhere. They were actually scattered all over the floor and Gavin picked them up so I could vacuum.


But when you look closer you see a cow standing on the roof! And the angel looks like he/she faceplanted in front of the stable! I will let you interpret the rest of the characters your own way.
Parker tried to put the camel on the roof. The camel is the only piece that doesn't have the little indented circle underneath. Gavin was upset with Parker for trying to put the camel on the roof. Not because it's weird to have animals perched up there but because it wasn't the camel's turn to stand on the roof and list off the things he's thankful for! I think that's when the cow got up there and soon after Gavin went to school and nobody played with it the rest of the day. Sometimes all the characters line up to take a turn on the roof.
Kirk and Dayleen gave us this Little People set for Gavin's second Christmas. He was about 17 months old. I told Gavin the story of Jesus nearly every time he played with it. My favorite moment was when I saw that Gavin had Mary sliding down the roof yelling "Whee!" repeatedly. I love Christmas!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Before I forget . . .

This is a random list of things I keep forgetting to post.

1. My candy bar poster:
Dear Mom,
We wanted to be SWEETTARTS and give you a gift for your birthday. We thought about sending you to New YORK or for a visit to to the MILKY WAY to see the STARBURST. We thought about SKORing you a date with one of the 3 MUSKETEERS or get you a KAT (KIT KAT)but HEATH SNICKERed and said that the only AIR HEADS that you date is him, your main CRUNCH. So TAKE 5 from the ROCKY ROAD and let the DOVE slip through your BUTTERFINGER and have an XTREMEly (AIR HEADS XTREME)happy birthday.
KISSES, the boys! (little drawing of Gavin and Parker)

2. Gwen understands no. She shakes her head no when we tell her no. Once she even shook her head no to tell me she had too much food in her mouth for another bite! I'm not making this up!

3. Gwen rubs her teeth together. It makes a cringe worthy sound like a plastic spoon rubbing against a styrofoam cup.

4. Gwen can click her tongue and she can curl up the sides of her tongue like a taco shell.

5. She giggles when I let go of her to see if she can stand on her own. Because she's laughing she inevitably falls down. Last night I was laying on my bed and she had crawled up in my lap. She had her legs in between my semi crossed legs and was standing for several seconds on her own. I was afraid to point it out to her in any way because I was afraid she would lose her confidence and start giggling and falling again.

6. Gavin freaked out when he saw the books his teacher sent home for him to read this week. The stories were just as simple as the other books she's been sending home but I think he was upset about the fact that there were 3 stories in each book. Monday I couldn't get him to finish one story. Yesterday he read all 6 stories no problem. He was very proud of himself. My little reader.

7. Gavin has very vivid and imaginative dreams. I'm going to throw this theory out there knowing most of my readers have no idea what I'm talking about. But I think dreams may be linked to "spiritedness." Gavin has always had very vivid dreams. He finally stopped crying in the night from dreams when he was about 4. I have always had very vivid dreams. Some nights I wish I wouldn't dream so I could actually get some rest! Heath is "spunky" and not "spirited." He says he's jealous that I remember so many of my dreams. Occasionally he'll remember his dreams and he always makes a point to tell me about it. Maybe "spirited" people remember their dreams more often because they experience their dreams so much more intensely than the average person. What do you think Erin?

8. Parker is my favorite helper. I love having Gavin help me but his willingness to help is not very consistent. Parker is training to have a major case of obsessive compulsive disorder! He is the best helper when it comes to cleaning anything. He points out dirt and offers to clean it up. He actually does a good job too. I let him use markers. I don't think I've even let Gavin use markers at home. Parker is such a neat freak he didn't make a mess. He was very upset about the few marks on his hands! I love when Parker helps me load and unload the dishwasher. The other day he was a cleaning machine and kept putting toys away. I told him at least 3 different times to stop picking up toys because I wanted Gavin to finish. I could not get Parker to stop! It's a problem because I think Gavin knows if he sits around whining long enough about it, Parker will put all the toys away for him!

9. We drove around looking at Christmas lights for Family Home Evening. I counted 38 snowmen. I don't know why I counted but after counting 7 on our circle just after leaving our driveway, I couldn't stop noticing the snowmen. I was surprised by how few people decorate for Christmas. We drove in some of the richer neighborhoods (hard to believe there is such a thing in this expensive city!) and could barely find any lights on houses.

10. Gavin wanted to talk about his teddy bear for sharing time at school. I had him take copies of the scrapbook pages I made about his "Best Friend Ted E. Bear." His teacher read the whole story to the class. It took her 2 days! I'm not embarrassed, I just wasn't expecting her to read that to the whole class. Gavin's teddy bear is more than a toy to him. I think that point was definitely made!

11. I've been making dinner almost every night for the last several days. The best thing I made was slow cooker lasagna. That was good stuff! Tonight it's steak burritos. I'm slow cooking the steak all day.

That's enough randomness for now.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Beatitudes for Children



Blessed is that child who has someone who believes in him and has high hopes for him.






Blessed is that child that who has someone to whome he can carry his problems unafraid.






Blessed is that child that to whom life is a book of knowledge and is privileged to turn the pages one by one.






Blessed is that child who is allowed to pursue his curiosity into every worthwhile field of information.






Blessed is that child who has someone who understands that childhood's griefs are real and call for understanding and sympathy.






Blessed is that child who is led gently by the hand along the pathway of life by one who is a guide, companion and inspiration.






Blessed is that child whose love of the true, the beautiful and the good has been nourished through the years.






Blessed is that child whose efforts to achieve have found encouragement and kindly commendation.






Blessed is that child that who has learned freedom from selfishness through responsibility and cooperation with others.






Blessed is that home, or community, or nation which sees in the child the hope of the future and dedicates itself to the realization of that hope.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Almost a Convert

I have been anxiously anticipating today. Today was the day I was supposed to become a soft contact convert. My eye doctor accurately guessed that the reason why I go back and forth between contacts and glasses is because I find my contacts to be uncomfortable. I never realized that was what I was doing but as soon as he said it I knew he was right. He told me all the benefits of soft contacts and I figured I'd give it a shot after 15 or 16 years with gas permeable hard lenses.

Unfortunately, neither the doctor nor the receptionist bothered to explain to me how payment would work. So I set up the appointment thinking I would walk away with soft contacts in my eyes today. After sitting in the waiting room for quite a while I was called back. The nurse asked if I had heard the payment options. I thought that was weird. I know contacts aren't cheap but I couldn't understand what she meant. I told her I hadn't heard and she was visibly stressed saying she hates having to explain this. She went on to tell me that my insurance won't pay for an opthamologist to fit me for contacts. I need to see an optometrist or pay at least $150 out of pocket for the opthamologist to do such a mundane task! I decided to save myself the money and go to Costco when I get the chance. It's only about $60 there. So I wasted my time and my babysitter's time but what could I do?

Honestly, in the 3 weeks or so that I was waiting for today's appointment I was annoyed that I had to make a separate appointment for this at all. Now I understand why. Too bad my doctor was too busy trying to sell me on Lasik to bother to tell me I should just see an optometrist. The Lasik thing bugs me. I asked him about it last year. I'm not seriously considering it or anything. I just wondered if my diabetes would be a reason why I could never have it done. He told me that if I can keep my blood sugars fairly consistent that I may be a candidate for Lasik. Then this year he suddenly offers information that I'm a great candidate for Lasik because of the shape of my corneas. So after wasting my morning I'm starting to see what happened. He really wanted the separate appointment to talk me into Lasik. The contacts were just bonus. WHATEVER!

This is the same guy who wouldn't give me a prescription for glasses last year because I had worn my contacts for a couple of days before my appointment. He claimed my eye shape had changed because of the contacts so the prescription wouldn't be accurate. I have never had this kind of run around from an eye doctor before! It's been at least 3 months since I've worn my contacts. I've been waiting forever. Now I have a glasses prescription so I'm wearing my contacts until I get tired of them again. Nobody can stop me now!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Boys Rule!

My boys are the best. My husband is also considered one of my boys and he seriously rocks! I have the sweetest husband ever. Tomorrow is my happy birthday. Money can sometimes get a little tight around my birthday because it's right before Christmas. And we visited both families this year. So we agreed (I thought) that we wouldn't do gifts for my birthday and we're having a smaller Christmas this year.

I was starting to feel a little skeptical when Heath kept talking about some surprise he was planning with the boys. I couldn't imagine what he was planning. The timing couldn't have been more perfect for all the thoughtful things they did today.

As a member of the Ward Activities Committee I have been busy with the Ward Christmas Party that was tonight. I was at the church at 9 am helping to set up the cultural hall. I left around 12:30. As soon as I got home Heath was loading everyone into the van to get lunch. They were planning on bringing me some lunch but I was able to go with them instead. Then I got some time to watch What Not to Wear and vege on the couch for a bit before Heath helped (ok I helped him) make "Christmas potatoes" for the party. Then I was off to the party.

The kids were out of control today. They love their daddy and he is awesome with them but they aren't used to spending the ENTIRE day with him and not me. So Heath decided that wrestling with 3 active kids at a ward dinner party alone was too much for him. I didn't blame him. He took them to McDonald's so they could blow off steam and energy on the playground.

I wished he took me with him. Parties are not my thing at all. I am an intense introvert and get drained very quickly by large groups of people (most of which are extroverts). Plus, I had to PERFORM!!! As if all my responsibilities of helping in the kitchen and what not didn't take me out of my comfort zone enough, I had to participate in a skit. We did a Jamaican laugh in scene. Apparently I'm too young to remember the Laugh In show but I'm familiar with the idea. I delivered my lines/jokes but not in a Jamaican accent. Then we did the 12 days of Christmas, Island style. I did not sing my line. I also didn't die of total humiliation and embarrassment!

When it was all over and I had gathered all my dishes and the tablecloths I need to wash and return, I walked into my warm, messy, and inviting home to see the most beautiful faces. My 3 boys beaming with pleasure. They had made me a candy bar poster. It's so cute. Then I saw on the counter that Heath bought me roses. I love roses. He also bought me a lemon meringue pie and an eclair. He is making me my favorite breakfast and dinner tomorrow. Apparently he wants me to be fat for my 31st year! But I'm so excited by all of it. What a sweet family I have.

Gavin and Parker were so excited to be allowed to wait up for me. It was past 9:30 by the time they got into bed. Gavin was asking if he could go to bed soon after I got home. It's been a strange day for everyone but in the end it all worked out the way it was supposed to.

I cheated a little and opened my birthday presents from my mom and Tyson and Deanna. I was tired of school and all the extra work that comes with and all the work I was doing for the party, plus I had changed countless poopy diapers and Parker had a messy accident in his underwear. (Heath bought more pull ups that night because Parker just isn't ready for underwear yet) I figured I deserved some early birthday presents. Yay! A gift card to Joann and a scrapbooking kit. Now that this party is over maybe I can go back to scrapbooking once in a while. Thanks guys! I love it!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Holiday Parker

They say parents tend to take the most pictures of their first born and progressively slack off after that. We have a ton of each kid. But probably the most of Gwen. Heath always pulls out the camera and says something about her being the excuse for the nicer camera. He doesn't say anything about us buying it before we even knew she was a girl! She's Daddy's little girl and his favorite camera subject.

Parker is my favorite. This kid is so photogenic. I love all of his pictures. I think he looks like an angel. What a sweetie!

He poses himself most of the time. Holding the pom pom on the hat was Parker's idea.

Even the goofy pictures look cute.

Parker had to get his own bear after Gavin got a picture with Beary Bear. Santa gave him a huge stuffed monkey last year so Parker would stop playing with Gavin's best friend Ted E. Bear. Parker never plays with the monkey. He loves the little bear one of our babysitters (Michelle) gave him for Christmas.

He may be out of focus but I love this laughing face.

That's my Parker.