Friday, February 27, 2009

My Kids are Funny!

Every day Parker says to me "I can't want to take a nap!" Heath's office closed early today so he called to say he was coming home about the same time that Parker and I were having our daily naptime argument. So I let Parker talk to his dad. Parker said, "Hi Dad. I want to take a nap and then I can rent a movie." Fair enough. So I get Parker's music on and shut the door.

Later Gavin came to my bedroom door and was whispering to me. At first I couldn't figure out why but then I noticed Parker lying on the floor. For half a second I thought it was strange that he was paying no attention to Gavin. Then I heard the snoring. That totally cracks me up!

I followed Gavin downstairs to his computer because he was emphatically whispering about something to do with the computer. We got downstairs and this was our conversation.

Me: What's up?
Gavin: The computer keeps doing something bad.
Me: What's it doing?
I'm looking at the "Parental Controls blocked this site" screen. Gavin exits off of the screen and restarts the Internet. (I later showed him the back button!) Playhouse Disney is the home page for the boys. Then he clicked on "What's On" and it goes back to the "Parental Controls blocked this site" screen.
Gavin: See? It just keeps doing that.
Me: The computer blocks anything for parents. Just play the games.
Gavin: Just play the games? I want to see what's on.
Me: It's just a schedule of the shows. It's for the parents. Just play the games.

Somehow we got into this whole kid versus adult thing.

Gavin: The computer knows I'm a kid?
Me: Yes, it knows you are Gavin and it knows you are a kid.
He was impressed.
Gavin: Does it know you are an adult?
Me: Yes.
Gavin: Can you see what's on?
Me: On my user name I can.
Gavin: I can play Playhouse Disney on your user?
Me: No. But you can play any games for kids that aren't blocked by Mom and Dad on your user.

I told Heath about it when he got home. He says that's going to happen more and more as Gavin learns to read more. As the Web opens up to him we will have to carefully allow him to see more than just Playhouse Disney.

Scrapbooking Venting

I'm feeling a little resistant to change. First the Wiggles and now my scrapbooking obsession? Today I felt discouraged as I went to JoAnn to check out the scrapbooking selection. Over the last several months the scrapbooking section has been rapidly dwindling. Now the selection is so small it really is sad. The worst part is most of the scrapbooking stores in my area have closed so now JoAnn is my closest source to feed my habit! My mom and sister both gave me gift cards for my birthday. I have used about $8. There is nothing to buy!

Has the scrapbooking world all gone digital? I don't want to go digital. I really do enjoy touching the paper. I know most of my pages looked better before I glued them because I can't glue straight. But that's part of the whole process.

I don't seem to scrapbook very often anymore. It's like I have 3 little kids or something! I used to feel bad that I "was getting behind." But I've decided that it just doesn't fit into my life the way it used to. Thank heavens for blogging right? I scrapbook to tell a story. Blogging is my way of telling the story now. If I have several years of just blogging books and very few scrapbooking layouts then so be it. But I haven't given up on scrapbooking. I still love to do it. I think I will love it more now that I have taken the pressure off of myself to scrapbook every little thing. But when I do feel inspired and have a vision in my mind of what I need to make it happen, I would like to be able to shop for scrapbooking supplies.

So come on scrapbooking stores! Recession my foot! I have window shopped at the mall and it's so crowded you would think it was still the Christmas season. I have shopped at other stores and it's the same deal. Full parking lots and so many patrons in the store I want to scream! Don't tell me you can't keep your store open because the economy is in a recession and you aren't getting business. I will give you business!!! Don't make me shop for my scrapbooking supplies in Utah because it's "Scrapbooking Headquarters." There's still a demand in other states and countries. So hook me up!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Interesting Thought

My sister once told me that if everyone could put all their challenges and trials on a table and then could choose any challenges or trials, they would end up choosing their own that they started with. Think about it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What I hear . . .

Me: Parker, my head hurts.
Parker: Yet me see. Oh yes, it does!

Me: Parker my head still hurts!
Parker: I know.
Me: Make it go away.
Parker: Ok, I will. I will get a bandaid.
(He chose a purple bandaid because it's my favorite color and then he put it on my head for me! Do I have the sweetest little boy or what! It actually kind of helped my headache. Must be the power of love.)

Me: Gavin, let me tell you this much . . . if we EVER decide to get a pet it's NOT going to be a cat!
Gavin: Then I'll get you a puppy. Girls like puppies, right?

Gavin: What kind of pet is peeve? Is it a dog?

Me to Heath: Oh brother!
Gavin: Oh sister! Oh uncle! Oh grandma!
(When I was a kid I had a friend whose sister's name was Holly. When I heard about Hollywood I thought that was so cool that her name was on a mountain. So I tried it with the other kids in that family but it never sounded quite right. Chadwood, Toddwood, Jodiwood. Just not the same.)

Parker: Mommy, we buyed a baby!
Me: We bought a baby?
Parker: Yes! It's Gwen!
(I guess technically that's true. It's amazing how much babies cost. We were double insured with Gavin so we shouldn't have paid anything but he was expensive. I swear we paid for Parker at least twice. The University of Utah has a crappy billing department!)

Me: No, I'm talking about your Dad! (I don't remember what we were talking about.)
Gavin: Well I'm talking about your Dad! What's his name? I've never even met him afore.

Parker: Those are just clean.
Me: I know, but you put clean underwear on over your wet underwear!
Parker: Oh, there they are! I can't find it when I looked for it!

Parker: I can't want to do that! (or) I can't want you to do that!

Parker: We did that yast night. That's what you telled me yast night.
(last night basically means in the past even if it happened 20 minutes ago!)

Gavin: When Mrs. P cuts my hair it doesn't hurt!
Me: I know. She uses scissors and Dad would use the clippers. You didn't like how loud the clippers were.
Gavin: When Dad cutted my hair it would hurt my hair.

Gavin: Mom, can you comb my hair? I'm having a bad hair day!
(other days I hear) You don't need to comb it! It looks fine! It just looks fine!
Me: Have you seen it?
Gavin: Let me look in the mirror. It looks fine!

I'm sure I'll think of a million more as soon as I post!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Virtual Birthday Party

If you hate looking at picture posts, stop reading now! If you are one of Gwen's grandmas and you are sad that you missed the party because you are visiting us later, there are enough pictures you will feel like you were actually here. If you are one of our friends and you didn't board a plane to visit The Little Miss, shame on you! Ha ha I'm kidding.

I have to point out how weird it is that all 3 of my kids celebrated their first birthday on a Sunday! True story. Both boys were born on a Saturday. Gwen was born on a Friday but with Leap Year she celebrated her first birthday on Sunday.

The party started sans pants. I promise my kids really do start out fully clothed. The dress came off for lunch. Then the tights came off after a diaper change. She was heading up the stairs for more clothes. I just tell her to get her own pants and she does. She even puts them on herself and her own socks and everything. Ha ha ha! I'm kidding. She doesn't dress herself yet.

We were planning on putting her down for a nap before partying but she was so excited about her presents. She was squealing while Heath talked to his mom on the phone. So we decided to open presents with a happy Gwen rather than a well rested but groggy Gwen.

Could she be any cuter?

The many faces of Gwen! She did help a little with the wrapping paper.

I love this picture. She was so interested in everything she got. Here she is fascinated by the overpriced bows we bought.

Love those 5 packs of onesies. They're all super cute.

Ah yes, the birthday cake. The piece de resistance. That would look better if I knew how to put the accents over the letters. Funny story about the birthday cake . . . Gavin was crying really hard Saturday night. I went up there to see if he had a bad dream or whatever.
No, he said, "I don't know when it's morning. I want to eat Gwen's cake in the morning and I don't know when it's morning!"

So I told him it was still night, he needed to go to sleep and it wouldn't be morning unless he slept first. Then I assured him if he didn't figure out when it was morning I would definitely let him know! So he agreed to go to sleep.

The boys would not be quiet about that cake all day! Can we have cake yet? It's Gwen's birthday, let's eat her cake! ALL DAY! We gave in right after a very filling dinner. The boys ate almost 2 cupcakes each. Heath cut one in half and gave each boy half. They begged for more so he cut another one in half. They begged for more so we gave them the rest of the large center cupcake we were eating. They begged for more and we said no.
We gave Gwen the bee. Gwen was blowing the whole time we sang Happy Birthday to her. Heath put the bee in front of her and she wouldn't blow anymore! She just kept trying to touch the flame. Heath blew out the candle for her.

She tentatively touched the icing.

Then licked her fingers. She decided she loved it.

As you can see here.

She kept making silly faces for Dad. So he kept taking pictures. It was pretty funny.

It took a while but she did manage to get down to the cake. That poor bee didn't know what hit him!

She's getting too tall. She can reach her toes over the tray. So her socks were slimed with chocolate!
We also got her a doll. I didn't get a picture of that yet. It's as tall as she is. It's a ballerina with elastic loops on her feet to loop over Gwen's feet. They can dance together. Gwen just needs to learn to walk first.
I can't believe my baby is a year old already. That year went by fast. She is so cute and funny and smart. We sure love having her around. Her brothers love her to death. Happy Birthday Miss Gwen. We love you!

For Grandma

My mom really wants to see pictures of the cake. So really quick, here's some pics.

flower and bumble bee
This is the outfit my mom gave Gwen. I don't care that it's raining today. She looks adorable in it.
Gwen found the boys' Spongebob!

Mom, look at all that drool! Gwen is coming right for you with all that drippy drool! She can't wait for you guys to come visit. Are you still excited?

Our Crazy Weekend

Rocky start but it ended up blissful! I think it's worth saying out loud that I sobbed the whole way home from school on Friday after picking up Gavin. I think part of that extreme reaction was due to the fact that earlier that day I had committed myself to forgiving his teacher. I should have known it wouldn't be easy! I have the best husband for letting me call him and sob in his ear for another 15 minutes while I vented. Saturday night I went to the adult session of Stake Conference. I needed to be there. It was nice to hear so many talks on faith. As I was singing the closing hymn I realized that I have left the Lord out of my school frustrations too many times. I am confident that with a renewed faith in the Lord we can resolve the issues we have been dealing with this year.

Heath and I wanted Gavin to know how special he is to us. We didn't want yet another negative weekly behavior report ruin his day. We want him to understand that he is allowed to make mistakes. If I have learned anything about Gavin it is that he gives up easily when discouraged. So Heath had the idea of giving Gavin a special reward. A just for being alive and we love you so much kind of reward. I told Gavin about it and asked him to think of something special he wanted to do that night for his reward. I told him that before the Primary activity. Parker was so excited about it so I told him he could choose something the next weekend. This may be our new family tradition.

The boys had a blast at the activity. As we were leaving Gavin's sugar cube temple he had built fell on the floor in a sad busted heap. The Primary President helped Gavin fix the broken parts with new sugar cubes. Unfortunately I still had to make him carry it to the van by himself. I had Gwen in one arm and Parker's temple in the other hand. The temples were on a slab of cardboard covered in foil. Not the most stable thing but Gavin was doing great. He made it all the way to the van. I opened the doors. Still good. I was about to give directions about where to put the temples so we could get everyone in the van. Cardboard got tipped ever so slightly. The temple slipped and crashed to the ground again. Gavin started crying and blaming me. Poor guy. I felt horrible. I picked up the pieces and got everyone in.

Gavin wouldn't stop his temper tantrum. As an introvert he needs down time. A time to be alone. He hadn't had that all day. That was why he was having the tantrum and I knew it. I picked him up and tried to comfort him. Somehow I talked him into getting back in the van. He was a pill the whole way home. I was getting close to just yelling at him but instead when I pulled into the garage I told Parker to get on the computer. Then I told Gavin to get on the couch. I got Gwen in her high chair with snacks and took Gavin into the living room. That's our favorite room to defuse our intensity. I apologized for the temple mishap and then we just talked about whatever he wanted to talk about.

Anyway, to make a long story short . . . Gavin said he wanted to rent a movie. Heath took Gavin in the Mini Cooper to choose a movie and they brought home Carl's Junior for dinner. So we enjoyed dinner and watched "Veggie Tales The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" in our pajamas. Gwen went to bed early in the show which was nice. The movie was really funny. The boys went to bed at 10 pm. Parker missed his nap for the Primary Activity so they actually slept in on Saturday! Parker got up around 9 am. A record for him!

We had an earthquake on Saturday. Very small. It was just weird because it felt like something had hit the back of the house or something but then I realized it was an earthquake. I was about to go back to what I was doing when Heath calls out my name from another room. He almost never says my name. I answer to Babe. So I didn't really know what to think. So I say, "Heath? Was that an earthquake?" He said yes and we went back to what we were doing. But he checked it out online and saw that the epicenter was 5 miles from our house! The quake was only a 3 point something. Very short. Hardly noticeable. That's life in The Bay Area!

We finished shopping for Gwen's birthday. Like I said I went to the adult session of Stake Conference. When I got back Heath made the cupcakes for Gwen's cake. We watched a bunch of PVR'd shows, argued over who should wrap her presents, (we both HATE wrapping) Heath wrapped, and somehow we didn't get to bed until 1 am! Midnight is normal for us but we just weren't tired. So Sunday I woke up at 8 am. Not a big deal since our ward meets at 1 pm but we had Stake Conference along with 60 some odd other Stakes in Northern California. (Stakes from Bakersfield to the Oregon border had Stake Conference via satellite from SLC.) I was very proud of us for getting 5 people cleaned, fed, dressed, and out the door in less than 2 hours! We made it on time! Heath had even made bacon and eggs for breakfast. Gwen wasn't much of a fan. Her birthday was great and I will do separate posts for that.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Growing Up

We are officially out of formula! Words cannot express how happy that makes me. Gwen is completely on whole milk now. She is turning 1 on Sunday which means we can turn her car seat around. That means I can rearrange the whole van. I can put Gwen on the driver side and the boys on the passenger side. This is a big deal because it's closer to park in the drop off zone at school but I hate doing it because the boys get out on the street now. Obviously the only traffic is the 6 other parents with their late start kids but my boys are slower than a turtle with a hernia when it comes to getting out of the street. I also stop worrying about SIDS after the 1 year mark. She will have no more dietary restrictions. Bring on the peanut butter (none of the recalled stuff though), eggs, chocolate, and honey! She's already had graham crackers with honey. Is that bad?

Gavin and Parker are at a Primary activity right now! Parker is so excited. He always wants to do everything Gavin gets to do. Now that he's a Sunbeam he's invited too. So it's just me and Gwen. Ok, it's really just me. Gwen is asleep! What oh what should I do with my guilt free me time?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Touching Rainbows

Parker: Just a minute Mommy. I need to touch that rainbow.

He bolted out of the van and I curiously watched him walk to the opposite side of the garage. I thought he would touch the rainbow on the paint cans. My eyes moved up as he reached out for a big square of glass or something against the wall. I don't even know what it is or why it's out there. It looks like it's an old window or something but there was in fact a square rainbow in one corner being reflected from something. Parker touched it and walked away with the most satisfied grin on his face excitedly announcing that he touched it.

The boys were making Me Books (click on the square with the Playhouse Disney logo to make your own) this morning. Rainbows are a part of it.

This morning was wonderful.

No hassles getting ready. They took turns on the computer. When it was time to go they got ready without any nagging from me. Gavin could not stop talking about some of the elements in the Me book. He went on and on about the imaginary pets he made up. He wanted a flying horse and a walking horse. He was going to be a race car driver when he grew up and all of us were going to sit in the back seat of his race car while he raced. Something about racing the horses. But just the walking horse because it can run. The flying horse can fly in outer space! He talked all the way to school. I completely forgot to "take a minute" before getting everyone out of the van. Gavin didn't seem to need a minute this morning. I pushed Gwen in her stroller with one hand while holding Parker's hand who was also holding Gavin's hand. Parker pointed out that we were all holding hands. It was the perfect morning. A little rainbow magic from a real rainbow was the icing on the cake.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

When it rains it pours . . .

You probably can't really tell but this is the ravine behind our house. It's full of chocolate milk. Not really. This is what it looks like when we finally get enough rain. The picture isn't great. My reflection is in it. There was no way I was walking in the mud to hold the camera over the fence for this shot!

This is the most flooded I have ever seen our flower beds. This is a rare moment with no rain today.

It's been one of those days here. Not the clearest picture but it's obvious how sad Parker is. I put the Spongebob Legoes in a bag since he took the house apart and I don't know how to fix it. Sorry Buddy. Maybe Dad can help you later. This face just shows how we've all felt at one point today. Infinite morosity.

Another Learning Moment

I've decided that life was never meant to be as difficult as some people make it. Unfortunately not everyone got the memo!

Things I've learned recently:

  1. Everything takes longer than you expect unless you plan on it and then you're twiddling your thumbs!

  2. It's scary to send kids out in the real world. They may be ready but sometimes other people aren't ready for them.

  3. Some people are really wolves in sheep's clothing.

  4. Some people suck all the fun out of childhood.

  5. If your kid tells you a story that doesn't sound quite right, remember that 5 year olds don't lie and the story probably isn't quite right. I never thought I would react to school stories the way I do but my only regret is not doing something about my feelings sooner. My mom recently reminded me of a childhood story where her teacher was mean and the kids tried to tell their parents but nobody believed them because they were kids. Many parents and adults apologized to those kids after parent volunteers overheard the teacher accusing a student of lying and then slammed her into the door and locked her out.

  6. If you have important things to work on your kids are guaranteed to be extra needy!

  7. I would much rather do one job well than have several jobs started but not finished.

  8. My blood sugar is a roller coaster when I'm stressed out.

  9. Cleaning still helps me work through stress better than anything else. If I text Heath in the middle of it that's a bonus.

  10. I can't always change gears (mentally) very quickly but going from one stress to another stress can happen in a snap!

  11. When it rains it pours. Which can be good but usually isn't.
  12. I always hesitate to post but end up doing it anyway!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Love Affair with Tracy

Before I get to the title of today's post, I wanted to share some fun pictures. Isn't this first picture pretty interesting? So ghostlike.

This is such a sweet picture of the Little Miss.

This is Parker and Gwen holding their Valentine's from Grandma W.

This picture just cracks me up. Parker looks so funny.

But this one is the best. Parker looks like he is so intent on reading it while Gwen has given up and is eating hers. Gavin loved his so much we can't find it anywhere!

This is a pretty cute picture of all my babies.

Gwen's pants have holes in them now. My kids are sure rough on pants. Not only does Gwen have holes in her pants, but she only has 1 pair that really fits. And those are even getting too short. So we had a family road trip to Tracy today to raid the Carter's in the outlet stores.
Every time we decide to go to Tracy I start craving Sonic. I never liked Sonic when we lived in Utah but now that it's not even a choice I crave it periodically. But today was not a good Sonic day. It has been raining since yesterday morning. It's also pretty cold outside so we didn't think it would be too fun to sit outside with kids. There is no way we are going to let them eat in the van. Even if I trusted the boys I don't know what we were going to do for Gwen. She feeds herself table food now which is (angels singing) AWESOME! So we went to the Olive Garden instead. You don't have to twist my arm to go there. I love Olive Garden.
Gwen did a great job. Of the 3 kids she had the best manners when it came to keeping her voice down to a reasonable indoor level, she didn't slump in her seat or disappear under the table in search of lost crayons. She didn't play with the silverware. However, she did drop a bunch of Cheerios on the floor. She hated the bread stick pieces I gave her. Some of those probably made it on the floor too. When we gave her a little bit of the boys' macaroni and cheese she wouldn't let me feed it to her. But I don't think she really liked the texture or something because when she fed herself she would almost immediately spit it out. Mostly on the floor. She leaned over the side of the highchair and emptied her mouth. Where are that girl's parents??? Really the Olive Garden experience was good. The food was great and the Diet Coke was fabulous.
After lunch we bought Gwen a bunch of clothes since her birthday is on Sunday. On Saturday we went to the mall by us just to get out of the house. We bought Gwen 2 pair of shoes. She's almost a year old, it's about time she started wearing shoes. We saved the pink baby running shoes for her birthday but she has been wearing the glittery pink ballet flats since we bought them. We bought her 2 pair of jeans. Size 2T. Hopefully they fit her longer than the 12 and 18 month size pants did. She gets the pants now because she needs them. We also got her 5 more onesies. You can never have too many onesies. The only onesies she has that actually fit her are the ones my mom got her for Christmas. The rest I have to stretch pretty good to snap between her legs. And we got her a new dress for church. She started out with so many dresses to choose from but now she has outgrown them all. I regret the impulse buy of the little bow hair clips. If I had known they were almost $7 for 2 sets I would never have grabbed them! Rip off! I'm all for the price of beauty but really. $7 for something I can make myself with my limited craft skills? Come on.

Heath got a new pair of pants for work because he desperately needed them and I got a new shirt because my husband rocks. Gavin spent some allowance money on a Lego pirate kit. We only hit Target because I wanted to get Gwen a doll for her birthday. But there wasn't a great selection. I really wanted to go to Toys R Us but I was NOT going into another store with my kids today. We have until Sunday. Maybe later this week I will forget how whiny my kids have been today . . . all day. And we will find Gwen a doll.
It's back to reality tomorrow. Back to waking up with the alarm clock. I love that the boys let us sleep in on Saturday. It was the best Valentine's Day present ever to wake up at 8 instead of right before 7! I thanked them profusely and made them camel eye toast with a heart shape instead of a circle. That was as much as we celebrated Valentine's Day and we were all ok with that.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine List

  1. Cupid tripped on his way into our house and now there are Valentines EVERYWHERE!
  2. The boys started helping themselves to candy.
  3. Gavin got all upset about Fun Dip saying, "Look what you made me do Mom!" When I asked what he meant, he was mad that I made him put Fun Dip in his Valentine bag at school. The Fun Dip packets were the Valentines he was giving to his classmates. Since I didn't know which bag was his I made him put a packet into every bag like his teacher instructed us to do!
  4. Gavin started opening Fun Dip . . . in the family room.
  5. I convinced him to go into the kitchen.
  6. He spilled Fun Dip powder all over the table, his chair, and the floor.
  7. Parker helped himself to two lollipops. When I asked if Gavin said it was ok, Parker took a big lick and said, "Gavin can I eat this?" Gavin said yes but at that point what else could he do!
  8. Parker has lollipop pieces stuck to his shirt.
  9. The schools can't have parties. Totally fine by me so I just laugh when they try to disguise what they're doing by calling it a Valentine Literacy Party!!!
  10. I heard that a mom planned a secret Valentine party after being told by the teacher several times that there would be no party. Parents in that class were confused because they were being told by the room mom that they needed to bring treats and make decorations and a million other things but the teacher kept insisting that she didn't want a party and nobody should plan one. Surprise!
  11. On the news this morning they were reporting about how the economy is affecting floral shops. The shop owner they were interviewing said, "Men should be able to buy flowers for their girlfriends. If they go on a trip it will cost money." What, buying flowers is free?
  12. I love that the shop owner implied that Valentine's Day is for boyfriends and girlfriends. Really it's a day set aside for people to express their love for one another by buying overpriced flowers and chocolate. Didn't we learn anything from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days? Lust wants chocolate but Love wants diamonds! Oh wait, jewelers try to make money on this holiday too. I don't see why I need a special day to tell my husband I love him. Aren't birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc enough? I am TOTALLY kidding! I know I bug people with how much I hate holidays. I'm just trying to spread a smile! Happy Valentine's Day everybody!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

An Updated Superhero Maid Doing Laundry Post

The update on Gavin's anxiety is that it seems to be getting better. He had some moments this morning as soon as he got up but it didn't last too long. No screaming though. I haven't shaved my legs in 2 days. I think I was in too big a hurry yesterday or was lazy or something but today I was afraid Gavin would be screaming. He was fine. There were a couple of brief imagination moments with the end of his bath and getting ready for bed. My thoughts are a swirl around this issue. I feel like it is unfair to completely blame it all on school. I still believe school played a large part in this. For now I think Gavin is just a very complex and emotional little boy. He always has been and always will be. I think he's actually working through several different things right now: school, autonomy, sense of self, confidence in his own abilities, etc.

I appreciate the comments I received. I was nervous to put a post like that out there but the reaction I got was better than I could have hoped for. So thanks to my friends and family for your support. Dawn, you mentioned a father's blessing. I had asked Heath to do that on Tuesday night. He was willing but events happened as they did and he grabbed the stuffed dragon instead. Also there have been many prayers on Gavin's behalf. I feel more confident now that this will all work itself out soon if we keep teaching Gavin that he is in control of this situation.

On a lighter note . . .

I let the boys dress up as super heroes today. They thought that was awesome! Parker loved being Batman so much. He was so funny. If the mask was over his face he believed he was a bad guy. When he wanted to be a good guy he would pull the mask up so his eyes were showing. Parker also wore the full costume while he napped. Mask over his face and all. Gavin told me he wanted to take his costume off "because I don't want to be dressed as Superman to play on the computer!"

This is an action shot of Superman flying. Too funny.

I love the crooked smile.

This picture is to illustrate why I may change my job title to Maid. Yeah, so it's a bunch of laundry. Big deal right? This is 4 days worth of laundry for 2 little boys. For real. 13 shirts for Gavin and 9 pair of underwear with matching plastic pants for Parker. Am I raising boys or Barbie dolls? Just kidding. I've always complained about the amount of laundry they create but now that I do laundry more often for them to keep Parker out of pull-ups during the day, I realized how much they go through in a day.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I have debated back and forth about sharing this. I have to remember my audience: me, Dawn, Grandma Holmes.

Yesterday out of nowhere Gavin started screaming hysterically. I could not figure out what had happened. When we finally got him to calm down we figured out he had seen something scary on the computer. He is working on his Nature badge on Kindergarten World so there are extra plants. One of the plants is snap dragons. They are animated to look like dragon faces trying to bite the air.

I know how sensitive Gavin can be to things so I was very understanding although it was an extreme reaction even for him. Only things got worse before they got better. He would be nowhere near the computer and start screaming and shaking uncontrollably as if he had seen Satan himself. It was the scariest thing to watch him and try, pretty much unsuccessfully, to calm him down.

We tried distracting him which kind of worked. I grabbed a picture book at the same time that Heath grabbed the remote to turn on the TV. He was fine for quite a while. Heath told me he wished Gavin would just get over it. I knew he couldn't. First of all, he had no idea how. I really empathized with him because I sometimes can't get things out of my head either. Prayer is the only way I can stop obsessing over things I never wanted to think about in the first place.

Gavin seemed to be doing better and I thought maybe it was over. So I didn't tell my sweet friend about it when she came to watch our kids last night. Apparently it had happened again while we were gone. There's nothing like the Mommy Guilt that washes over you after spending a couple of delightful hours with your husband and coming home to see your child's face flushed from his own intensity, tears still glistening in his staring eyes, while he's all snuggled up to the lady you asked to babysit. Thank heavens it was her and not some 13 year old girl from the ward. She didn't share many details. Just that Gavin was afraid of dragons.

It happened several times after she left. Grasping for anything to try to solve this strange problem, (by the second time it happened in the afternoon I knew there was more involved than just a fear of animated snap dragons) I was snapping my fingers and demanding he look at my face, at his dad's face, look at the pictures we have of the Savior on the wall. Nothing really worked. Heath described it as Gavin looking right past us. I have never seen anything like this. It was very scary.

We thought he was calm enough to go to bed but suddenly started freaking out again. Heath marched into Gwen's room and grabbed the stuffed dragon that was in her crib. The same stuffed dragon we bought for Gavin before he was born but he never cared about. Heath told Gavin that the dragon would scare the bad dragons away. It worked. It worked so well Gavin never woke up all night! SUCCESS!

But it started back up again this morning. This time it was scary gorillas. Heath is more in tune than I am I guess because he had all the answers. He started telling Gavin that Gavin had power over his own imagination. He taught Gavin to tell the bad things to go away and leave him alone. It seemed to work. But how could I send a ticking time bomb to school, on a crowded Wednesday no less?

Heath told me to tell the teacher that Gavin had been having anxiety attacks and to tell her how we taught him to deal with it. When I tried to tell her she heard from her point of view. She got stuck on dragons and started telling me that she has always told her class that dragons and monsters are not real and they never were and they won't hurt anybody. She told me that Gavin always plays with the dragon toys and he was interested in the dragons when she talked about Chinese New Year things. I told her that I love mythical creatures so Gavin has grown up with dragons (his nursery was wizards and dragons for crying out loud). She then told me that she would remind the class that dragons aren't real. I hoped that out of the blue statement wouldn't set him off again.

She was busy talking to another mom about an issue with her son when I got Gavin after school. I hesitated to leave but figured if anything happened she would have grabbed me first. We were about halfway home before I finally just asked Gavin if he was afraid of anything today. He told me that he wasn't. Huge sigh of relief.

The rest of the afternoon he would suddenly start muttering. It was so random but he would say things like "Shoo bee. Get out of my thoughts. Shoo." It was really weird to watch but he was successfully dealing with "the demons in his head." He did fine at the birthday party Heath took him to. He seemed to be a normal kid in the sense that he wasn't shy and he was joining in activities. The last problem we had with all of this was when he started muttering again. Heath had been presenting to a client this afternoon and didn't know Gavin was doing that. So when it happened tonight Heath thought he was being supportive and talking to Gavin about it. Gavin lost his mind again. We got him under control and when he was out of the room I clued Heath into what I had learned this afternoon. "Let him be and it goes away with no incident."

I am so happy that Gavin has found personal empowerment over his mind. My favorite line from the movie Just Like Heaven is "Your mind is a dangerous neighborhood you shouldn't be in alone." I can relate. So at least Gavin realizes he is in control of his own life. But the unanswered question is what happened? I hate how this school year has worked out. I hate that he has been singled out all because his teacher thought that being shy and slow to warm up was a bad thing so she has pushed him beyond his limits. Mine too. She means well but I can't believe how insane things have gotten. The ridiculous lengths she has gone to to make him fit into some mold. Gavin has some habits that come up when he's stressed out. They haven't gone away since December. Were these panic attacks part of his stress? I just want my little boy back. I wish this year had never happened to him. I hope that with the principal's involvement now that we can salvage what's left of this year and next year we can start over, that maybe my 5 year old won't hate school anymore.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Happy 8th Anniversary

These pictures are not in chronological order! I was not pregnant and having babies before trying on my veil! But this is my favorite song from one of Heath's favorite movies The Princess Bride.

Happy Anniversary Heath! I guess it's not a surprise when you had to help me compress the file to upload it to the blog. But you were surprised last night when I told you about it. I love you!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Storybook Love

Tomorrow is our 8th anniversary. We can't believe it especially since we cruised right through our 7th year without ever feeling itchy!

I'm sorry the picture isn't the best. We need to scan our wedding negatives. Luckily we had 3 sets of prints. But after giving one set to my mom and one set to Heath's mom and scrapbooking most of them, there aren't that many pictures left to choose from.

It all started with us both graduating college and deciding where to live. It was a big decision for both of us and I'm not sure we would have found each other if we had made a different decision.
I finished my classes at Southern Utah University in December of 1999. I had talked to one of the Special Education professors for advice before I filled out my student teaching application. I told him I wanted to student teach where the jobs were. I felt like I had 3 choices - Las Vegas where teachers were in demand and I could live with my aunt and uncle while having a job and paying rent, stay in Cedar City while keeping my telemarketing job and continuing to pay rent, or move back home to the Granite School District that was saturated with teachers but since I was technically still a student my mom wouldn't make me pay rent. The advice I was given was to go where I felt most comfortable or I would never do well enough to be hired. I moved back home to save money and avoid the need for a job on top of my full time student teaching job.
I started student teaching in January and finished in June. 10 weeks of Special Education and 10 weeks of Regular Education. For most of my teenage years I bragged that I didn't want to get married. A seminary teacher wisely guessed my bad attitude was because I hadn't seen many great examples of marriage in my life. I really wanted to find someone to fall in love with but I wasn't sure where I was going to find Mr. Right since I had left the college scene to spend my days with middle aged women, most of whom were divorced! My brother would tease me by saying he thought I would marry a dad of one of my Special Ed students. Hmm . . . a guy old enough to have a school aged child? I don't think so!
In the middle of all this Heath was graduating from The University of Washington. A few years earlier he had visited Utah for a friend's wedding. My grandparents were at the reception and after hearing his plans to move back to Utah, they offered to let him stay with them. That might sound weird until you know that Heath grew up in Utah. He grew up in my grandparent's ward one street away from them. Heath's dad got a job in the Seattle area so they moved when Heath was 15. My parents got divorced about 2 years later when I was 15 and we moved in with my grandparents. My mom bought a house in the same neighborhood. So Heath and I know the same people but we never lived in the ward at the same time!
Heath had the choice of staying with my grandparents or with his aunt and uncle in Provo. His uncle was a BYU professor. Move to Utah to find a wife? BYU is your store! But my grandparents lived close to Franklin Covey Headquarters. Heath was hoping to work in a different department there since he had worked retail for them for several years. So he chose to stay with my grandparents. Which is how we met.
When I first saw Heath I thought he was stuck up, full of himself, and Peter Priesthood personified. I don't know why. First impression based on looks alone. I don't remember where he had come from since he was all dressed up. I think it was his white shirt and tie that made me think what I did. He was taller than me which I thought was great. Apparently they grow guys short in Southern Utah! I'm not that tall and I was taller than most guys. He thought I was cute enough but was pacing himself.
Our first date was after I had my hair cut. My hair had been between the middle of my back and waist for over 10 years. It was permed and severely damaged but in the 90's that was the style so I thought I looked good! But I wanted a new look to go with my new job. (I was hired after my last student teaching experience in a 6th grade classroom.) My sister talked me into going to show my new haircut to my grandparents but really to see if Heath was there!
He was there and agreed to come with me to show my mom at her work. She was properly excited and shocked with my transformation. Then she asked what we were going to do. I don't think it ever crossed my mind that I had just asked him out! My mom suggested we see a movie and get some dinner. So we did. When I dropped Heath off at my grandparent's house I felt like it was a fun evening but a total waste of my time since I didn't think Heath was interested in me based on the way he talked at dinner. According to my Grandpa, Heath couldn't wipe the smile off his face!
The next day was the 4th of July. Heath had no choice but to join in our family traditions. It ended up being a fun and flirtatious day. The next day Heath came over to see me. I was on cloud 9! We have seen each other every day since, with the exception of business trips.
Some people may argue that we moved too fast but we believe that when you know something is right you go for it. We had been "dating" for 2 weeks before we started hypothetically talking about marriage and kids. True story. We were engaged 2 weeks later on August 7, 2000. I was super nervous about getting engaged. I knew it would happen soon but I didn't know when. I think I was nervous because things were happening so fast. There was no reason not to but I had been raised with unhappily married parents. My mom was always saying we needed to date for at least a year before getting engaged. But life never happens how you plan it.
Heath went to the hospital where my mom worked to ask her for my hand in marriage. My mom was shrieking she was so excited! Heath surprised me. We went to Murray Park, our favorite park, to have a picnic dinner. We did that a lot so I had no idea what was about to happen. Heath told me he was interviewing with the Shane Company. I had picked out a ring that I loved from there but Heath was interviewing with a lot of companies so I didn't think anything of it. I was so clueless I even changed out of my work clothes (I was teaching at a year round school) and into an outfit that wasn't my best. Heath picked me up and we went to the park. We walked around after eating and stopped at a bench that we sat at a lot. Suddenly he was down on one knee saying my full name asking me if I would marry him. Then he slipped the ring on my finger. I stared at the ring for a good 30 seconds before I finally realized I better answer! Of course I said yes. No tears though. No tears when we got married either. Heath teases me about that. The tears came after babies, not when they were born but I cry very easily now!
We were married 6 months later. I know that's weird by Utah standards but we were also old by Utah standards. I had just turned 23 and Heath was 25. We timed it the way we did because like I've said before, I don't multitask well. I met Heath's family the first time I went off track right after we were engaged, we planned the wedding the second time I went off track and were married the third time I went off track. I don't regret it. Maybe we both regret having our anniversary so close to Valentine's Day but I hate holidays so it's easy not to celebrate that one. The problem is roses are too expensive and everyone is going out for Valentine's Day. Oh well. We love each other and that's all that matters. We weren't sure if we would ever get through our first year and now it's been 8 years. Here's to an eternity together.

Ultrasound Update

I had 2 fears with this thyroid ultrasound today.

  1. Where was the x-ray department?
  2. Fear of not being afraid!

I am the queen of freaking out and today - nothing. I wasn't even all that concerned about where the x-ray department was. Heath told me to ask at the information desk of the hospital. As I was walking to the front entrance of the hospital I saw a sign that said x-ray. So I followed the signs and ended up going to Admitting. I know that room well after 10 weeks of bi-weekly non stress tests with Gwen's pregnancy. The lady told me I was already pre registered and she told me how to find the x-ray department. It was to the right of the entrance instead of the left which was how I got to Admitting.

I checked in and waited for a while. Then a nice lady took me back to a room, put a fresh sheet on the bed and told me to lie down. I didn't have to change into a hospital gown or anything. I was so comfortable lying on my back NOT being pregnant!!! It was a little strange for her to tuck the towel into my shirt instead of my pants. And it was even stranger for her to squeeze the gel onto my neck instead of my belly.

She was very gentle as she swept the wand over my neck. I could barely feel it. She hummed while she measured and typed. At one point she told me my thyroid looked lumpy and bumpy just like what the doctor had told me. I foolishly asked if she could tell if there was anything to worry about. She told me no and that that information should come from my doctor. Then she went on and on about people who demand that technicians give them a diagnosis. I wasn't trying to do that. The words just came out before I realized that she wouldn't know anything to tell me.

So I've gone back to not worrying about it. If I'm dying I will find out in a few days. But my guess is I'm fine. If I find out that something may become an issue in the future I may decide to have the whole dang thing removed. I'm no stranger to surgery. I have had two hernias removed as a small child, I have had my tonsils and adenoids removed (the day after Christmas when I was 8 years old!), I have had a metal rod inserted and 18 months later removed from my humorous bone from a car accident where I broke my arm and back, and I have had three babies surgically removed from me. I know I don't need my thyroid. I take a pill a day as it is to regulate my hormones. My only concern with surgery is I will have an ugly scar on my neck and we all know how vain I am!

Speaking of scars . . . when I came home I picked up Gwen. She was a little fussy and laid her head on my shoulder. Not to cry and not to feel loved by me. No, she bit me. I pulled her away quickly but it still hurts. I looked at my shoulder and she broke the skin in the middle of my scar from the rod in my broken arm surgery. Nice. My little vampire!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

6 Things That Make Me Happy (Tag)

I was tagged by Shannon to post six things that make me happy.

Here are the rules: Link to the person who has tagged you. Write down six things that make you happy. Post the rules, tag six others and let them know you did it. Then tell the person when your entry is complete.

  1. cleaning the house
  2. the smell of sunshine in my kids' hair
  3. rain
  4. roses
  5. baby toes in the sand
  6. blogging

Now I tag: Becca, Heidi, April, Erin, Jenni, and Dawn

Friday, February 6, 2009


I am so thankful that I have a ward family. Knowing that the church is the same no matter where you go made moving away from friends and family easier on me. Now that I live so far away from my family I am so thankful for the friends I have that I met at church.

Babysitting would be a nightmare if I didn't have a ward family. One of the moms from Gavin's class lives so close by that we help each other out with driving to and from school periodically. I have babysat for her a couple of times. She always wanted to pay me for it. That was so strange to me. I totally forgot that outside the church people pay for babysitting. I told her I babysit for free and would not accept payment. She would do things for me to make up for the money she was saving. The last conversation we had about it she really wanted to pay me and I told her I really didn't need her to so she reluctantly dropped it.

I hope I'm not taking advantage of anyone in my ward when I need a babysitter. Usually we both have kids so we trade babysitting but I have some "empty nester" friends who babysit for me too. My kids love them. One of my friends teaches Primary so I substitute her class when she needs me to. I'm taking her class this Sunday. She said she felt so guilty asking me all the time. I told her it was no big deal but she made us cookies and insisted that I think of a time for her to watch my kids again. So I have a babysitter for our anniversary next week!

I saw my endocrinologist on Wednesday. He gave me paperwork to have an ultrasound done on my thyroid. He said it felt enlarged and lumpy. He wanted to see it to make sure everything was ok. He didn't want me to find out 10 years from now I had thyroid cancer or something. So today I called to set up the appointment. I agreed to have it done on Monday because I thought Heath might have the day off. Gavin doesn't have school. Apparently it's Lincoln's birthday so there's no school. But Heath doesn't have that day off nor does he have President's Day off the following Monday. At first I thought it was no problem. Then I panicked thinking not only is it a holiday so people with kids most likely have plans, but it's in 3 days!!!

My friend who babysat for me Wednesday afternoon for our visit with Gavin's principal agreed to come and watch my kids for me again on Monday. I am so grateful for everyone who helps me with babysitting. I hate asking for the help (pride) but I am so grateful for the help. My kids will be overjoyed to see her again.

Rainy Days

This has been the warmest and driest winter I've ever lived through. Thank heavens it's been raining some yesterday and today. But look what it does to my kids! I told Parker to get his jacket on so we could get Gavin from school. I stepped away for 5 seconds and was greeted by

this! My first thought was not to grab the camera. The words out of my mouth were "What happened here? Who did this?" Parker but said Gwen did it. I remembered that I had left a paper towel on her tray after cleaning her up from lunch. My next thought was not to grab the camera. It was that I didn't have time to take care of this mess since we were late leaving to get Gavin from school.

After we got home I grabbed the camera since that seems to be the popular mom reaction when kids explore their world. I love that Gwen's shirt says hug. She's so proud of herself! Ok, not really. She had no idea she did anything wrong.
Still clueless! But oh so cute.

Capturing her paper transgression on camera didn't really float my boat. But this new activity of hers where she climbs onto the bricks in front of the fireplace is pretty cute and picture worthy. She is so funny.

Parker loves to have his picture taken so he got in on the action too. My little monkeys. They are too cute.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Mostly Gwen updates

Parker is seriously the cutest with his new Toy Story toys. He carries Woody and Buzz around as if he was Andy. This morning he was sliding Woody down the bannister.

Gwen takes herself for a walk with her walking toy that also converts to a car she can ride on. She pushes it around like she's pushing a shopping cart. It's so adorable.

I will most likely have to buy more formula. Costco would have been too much formula but the regular grocery store was not enough. The good news is on Sunday we are mixing half formula with half whole milk. The doctor said that we should do that 2 weeks before her birthday. I cannot wait to get her off of formula. I never wanted her on it in the first place but I was definitely humbled by her inability to breastfeed. It was a good lesson to learn that I shouldn't judge people since I don't know their story.

In other good news, Gwen can drink out of a sippy cup. I make her drink her formula out of a sippy cup now. I have the opinion that children don't need bottles after 12 months. We made it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Of Course

After arguing with Parker for the last hour he's finally asleep. He got Toy Story toys from my friend Michelle. I don't think she reads my blog but I wanted to thank her anyway. It's like Christmas all over again here! Parker has been having a blast with toys from his favorite movie. So at naptime he was busy playing. He came out so many times to find more friends for his new toys. Then he came downstairs while I was still helping Gavin with homework. That is my pet peeve especially since I know Parker never slept. So I sent him back upstairs to listen to his CD one more time. He was told he could come out when it was over. Guess who's asleep! Of course.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Beware, you will laugh and you will ewww...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Silly Little Miss

Gwen is at such a fun stage in babyhood. Unfortunately, there are not a million daily changes to blog about like there were a few months ago. So I feel bad that I spend more time talking about other aspects of our life. And it makes it a little hard to scrapbook her monthly letters from me since I look at blog entries and pictures to remember what happened in the month. That and I'm nearly 3 months behind. It's like I have 3 kids that take up all my time or something!

Yesterday I put Gwen in this little red dress we got for her when she was about 4 months old. Since the dress is a size 18 months it still fits. But it looks more like a shirt with matching shorts than a dress anymore. A little inappropriate for church. Then I did her hair before her nap. What a concept! Less to do in that short 30 minutes between lunch and leaving for church. So that's why she has a red dress on and pink bows in her hair. (Her hair is still kind of thin for these hair bows. They didn't make it through the first hour of church.)

She was playing with her brothers' toys as usual. Our house is such a mess right now I can hardly function. Must declutter. Now! Anyway, we checked on Gwen and saw that she had put Parker's pajama shirt over her head. She was so proud of herself too! What a goofball.

We love our Little Miss so much. She is so sweet. Funny too. She's like a little mocking bird. She copies all kinds of sounds. Obviously she copies her brothers' screeching. Funny but annoying after a while. If someone does a noisy mmmm kiss Gwen copies it. She'll cough when someone else does. Yesterday Heath sneezed. It was a big sneeze. Gwen was busy tearing up our room but she did a little ah ah thbbtttt! So cute and funny.