Monday, March 31, 2008

cuteness personified

I love my Lily and today is her fifth birthday! Yes, I said fifth - I can hardly believe it. She is such a big girl. I think she has been anticipating this day since April 1st of last year. This morning she woke up to my traditional paper balloons floating from the ceiling. Everyone at my house knows that means something special is happening that day and today Lily knew it was for her. She was overjoyed. She has been asking since breakfast if she could have her party (which consisted of me, Scott, Adam, and Grace - some party). She requested spaghetti for dinner and a pink cake (I did a pink cake with green frosting - a very cute combo). She received the nicest gifts from her grandparents, who both seem to know just what she likes. All in all it was a great day for her. She can now start the countdown to six! WE LOVE YOU LILY!!!!!

ahhhhh...dirty clothes!

I have a nice husband. When we sold our home in Washington we anticipated selling it for what it was worth instead of $50,000 under value. With the market plunge (and our area in particular being one of the worst areas in the nation) we were just glad to get it sold. Anyway, when we sold our home Scott told me that with some of the money we made off the house he would buy me the washer and dryer of my choice. For our entire marriage I have been using 15-20 year old appliances that we would find in the classified. This was fine for a few years, but as our family grew I found those machines to be inadequate. I would have to dry everything twice and the washer would get out of balance if I even slightly overloaded it (as I often would).

So, we sold our home and didn't get nearly as much as we had planned - in fact we made just enough for the down payment on our home here. That meant no new washer and dryer for me. I was bummed, but figured it wouldn't have happen anyway. Scott, on the other hand, was determined to make good on his promise. He told me to research which set I wanted and then he would make it happen. Well, one thing led to another, we were sent a large reimbursement check from the move and TA-DAAA...I got my new washer and dryer. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world (I know, I am such a nerd getting all excited about laundry)! On top of it all, Scott built me a pedestal to set them on so I don't even have to bend over. What a nice guy.

Friday, March 28, 2008

ed sullivan!

A couple weeks ago I auditioned for the play Bye Bye Birdie. I haven't auditioned for anything in probably ten years (and it showed at auditions), but I thought I would try anyway. So I have to mention, I have forgotten just how funny theater people are. They were a hoot; it was funny because compared to them I am a bore. Which is weird because in my family I am the silly and dramatic one. Anyway I was asked to come to "call-backs" and they had me audition for the parts of Rose and Mrs. Macafree. Rose is the main character and Mrs. Macafee is a supporting role (she is the other main character's mom). The entire audition I was feeling worse and worse about Rose - she is suppose to be this sassy, Spanish, hot tamale. If you know me well, you would know that I not like that at all. The only thing I really had going for me was that I am part hispanic (but the director doesn't know that). Anyway, I went home hoping I wouldn't get asked to play Rose (too many lines, songs, and pressure) and couple days later I got a call asking me to play the part of Mrs. Macafee!!!! I was (and still am) really excited. The show is in June (the 20-26, I think) and is being performed at an outdoor theater. If you are Utah around that time, you should come for sure!!!

PS Regarding the title; I sing a song about Ed Sullivan with Mr. Macafee - it is one of the funnier songs in the show. In fact both of the songs I sing in are really funny.

Monday, March 24, 2008

easter shades

I am not what you might call a typical Easter mom. Easter is the one holiday I seriously downplay - call me old-fashioned, but I want my kids to actually understand why we celebrate Easter. I think the Easter Bunny is probably the dumbest invention of all time and I am shocked each year when I see kids with their Easter Bunny loot - for some kids it rivals Christmas. At least with Christmas we threaten them to be good because Santa is watching (Just for the record, I am a BIG Santa fan - he is in a completely different category than the Easter Bunny).

So this year for Easter I (notice the "I", and not the Easter Bunny) got the kids each a bag of Peanut M&M (quite possibly one of the best three candies ever invented) and cool pair of sunglasses. We had a big pancake breakfast with Uncle Brian and Aunt Callie (who spent the night). Then in the evening we went to my parent's house for dinner. It was a beautiful sunny day and our church meetings were really good. It was a lovely Easter and in time maybe my children will be old enough to really understand what the significance is. OH, and we did dip some hard-boiled eggs in colored water. They turned out so vibrant and pretty.

Friday, March 21, 2008

what i ate today

My sister Renee had the genius idea of starting new blog called, "What I Ate Today." It is a great idea - she takes a picture of their dinner and then adds the recipe and ratings. I decided to become a contributor to the blog. My posts will be titled, "What the Hills Ate on....." So, if you want some good dinner ideas, check it out.
This is a dinner I made a week or two ago. It was really good.

let's ride

Because it was such a beautiful day the other day we decided to go on a bike ride. Lily had been begging all day. We love to go biking. Adam and Grace sit in a bike trailor that I pull and then Lily has a child's bike that tandems onto Scott's bike. It is supposed to help her learn how to ride by herself, but she pretty much just sits there and lets Scott do all the work.

When Scott got home she was so excited that she started getting ready. She put her helmet and hoodie on and waited for a good 45 minutes while Scott got the bikes out and ready. She just hung around the front yard waiting for the okay to get going.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

ha ha ha ha ha

Boys are kind of a pain in the neck - well, at least mine is. But even knowing this, I wouldn't trade my Adam for anything. He may be a stinker when it comes to nap time, potty time, and meal time, but I still love him (I think he was blessed with those big brown eyes for a reason). Plus he makes me laugh. Yesterday he was on a roll...
In the morning I told the kids I had to go to the store to pick something up. Here is how the rest of the conversation went:

Adam: What are you getting Mom?
Emily: I need to get some medicine (it was my birth control pills and I didn't know how else to explain it)
Adam: Why? Are you dying?

I laughed so hard. Of course I told him I was just fine. Then later he was climbing and jumping on me and I kind of lost my temper. Here is how this conversation went:

Emily: Adam, stop climbing on me...that hurts.
Adam continues to climb and jump on me.
Emily: PLEASE, ADAM, STOP. I am not a jungle gym...I mean seriously, what do I look like?
Adam: look like Mommy!

Once again I started laughing and was no longer angry.

He such a cute boy...he breaks everything within a 20 foot radius...but still a cute boy. I think we will get along even better when he is like five and figures out how to touch something without destroying it. Hopefully by then he will eat his dinner as well and go poop on the potty (I won't need to worry about naps anymore).

As a side should know that potty training is coming along well. Slowly, but well. He is starting to slightly get the picture. Thanks everyone for your advice - Mares, you plan seems to be working..
Adam is "helping" me in the kitchen

Saturday, March 15, 2008

oooh...look...its tinker bell

Today I took Lily to see Disney on Ice. My mom, my sister Jennifer and her daughter Rebecca joined us. It was a blast! I was so impressed with how well-done it was and Lily was so cute to watch. It was held at the Energy Solutions Center (where the Jazz play) and I was amazed at how many people were there. It was so cute to see all these little girls running around in their princess dresses. Wow - to whoever is the marketing director over at Disney, all I have to say is job well done! I think every little girl in the Salt Lake Valley had some kind of Disney-related outfit on today. None the less, it was so fun. I am glad I didn't miss it!

lily and adam too!

The other day as I was trying to put Adam down for his nap he kept saying he had to go and get the other Adam. I was so confused. Well, it turned out he named this teddy bear Adam. My children are such creative toy namers - a long time ago Lily named this doll Lily. So here we have Lily and Adam and....Lily and Adam.
I took this picture of Grace at the same time. She is just so CUTE!!!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

are they smile lines or crow's feet?

Once again the monumental day has come and gone this year. What day is that you may ask? Well, it was my birthday - a day that I really used to love until I turned, oh, about 18. No one loved being 17 more than me. I was young, thin, had lots of friends, a car, and very little responsibility. My parents trusted me (there was no reason not to) and so I had a lot of freedom. I could date without the pressure of getting "serious" and spend my summers playing softball and swimming. Life was great! Then I turned 18 and had what you might call and early-life crisis. It dawned on me that I suddenly had to move out of my parents' house, get a real job (I had only had a piddly little high school job that made no money), go to college, think about marriage, pay bills, understand credit, etc, etc, etc. It was all very overwhelming to me and I think I cried most of the day. I don't want anyone to be misled into believing that I led a charmed life with my parents - we had to work hard and do plenty of chores, but they took very good care of us and I really liked being with them. Well, it has been 12 years now and with a husband and three kids it is finally sinking in that I may have entered adulthood. AHHHHHHHH! My pores look huge and I have a nice inter tube sitting around my middle from these babies. BUT, after my birthday came and went on Friday I have been doing some evaluating. I actually wouldn't trade my life right now for anything. I love my babies and I love my Scott. I don't love my pores or the wrinkles around my eyes and I especially don't love admitting that I have turned th..thir...thir...well, you get the idea.

So a little run-down of my birthday... it was GREAT! I have a very sweet husband who took the day off work so that we could spend it together. Plus, as a bonus the weather was beautiful! We took the kids to the zoo, and then to Temple Square. Then my parents came down in the evening to watch the kids while Scott and I went to eat at Market Street Grill. It was really yummy and the atmosphere was really neat. When we got home I was surprised to see my sister Jennifer's car in the driveway. She had baked a decadent chocolate cake and came up with the kids. It was such fun. Plus she brought me a nice gift (Barnes and Noble gift card) and my mom got me the DVD of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat." Both of which are perfect gifts for me. And to top off the whole day Scott got me a day at the spa (I must complain about my pores a lot because he said a facial may be just what I need to feel better). It was a great day and I feel really blessed to have such nice people around to spoil me. I have a feeling that maybe my thirties may turn out to be alright after all. I guess I should contact the morturary and let them know that my life hasn't ended with my twenties and I won't be needing that burial spot after all.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

how do you say grandpa chickens in croatian? (take two)

So when we got this news a couple months ago I tried blogging about it, only to have to delete the post a few hours later. Thus the reason this is "take two."
OKAY...So you did read correctly; I said Croatian. Scott's dad has been called to be the mission president of the Slovenia/Croatia mission. We are really thrilled for them, but more thrilled for the people in the Balkan region, for they will get his great parents for three years. Lucky! They are such neat people and we have no doubt that they will be wonderful mission leaders. I am especially excited because now Scott and I have a reason to travel to that part of the world - I have always wanted to go to Italy and Greece and the mission is nestled nicely between those two areas. The saddest part is that my kids won't get to see Grandpa and Grandma Chickens for a while, but with the conveniences of the modern world hopefully we won't be too out of touch. They enter the MTC at the end of June and are right now trying to get a jump start on the language (they will be speaking Croatian). We are really happy for them and know they will do a great job! We love you Mom and Dad!
P.S. The kids have named them Grandma and Grandpa Chickens because they have chickens. My parents are Grandma and Grandpa Goats, I bet you can guess why.
Explanation of pictures: Top picture is of Dave and four of the boys on our Grand Canyon trip last Thanksgiving (Darren, the fifth son, is on a mission in Jamaica right now).

The bottom picture is of Dana, Scott, and Karen (Karen is the only daughter and just took the California State Bar Exam - she is amazing. She live in D.C. with her husband)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

oh poop!

HELP! I seem to have children who are potty rejects. Lily didn't really take to potty training until she was three and a half and I am seeing the same pattern for Adam. I have tried everything to get this boy interested in going potty like a "big boy" and he just isn't going for it. He turned three in November and since then his interest has actually declined. Plus, he has the stinkiest poop EVER. I kid you not, people who have been around him have even told me that they have never smelled a stinkier kid. Not only that but he goes like four times a day (on a good day). It is disgusting and I am getting so sick of changing his diapers. So here is what I have tried so far... please let me know if you have any additional ideas.

A sticker chart - with ice cream rewards (FAILED)

I let him pick out some big boy undies and then wear them. When he had an accident I let him wear the wet undies hoping he wouldn't like the wet feeling on his bum. He didn't seem to mind. (FAILED)

I taped candy bars high on the bathroom wall and told him he could have one once he went on the potty. He still hasn't gotten one, although my guests have really liked having a treat after they use the potty. (FAILED)

I told him he is a baby because he is still in diapers and that maybe we would move him back into the crib. I don't think he believes me - after all, Grace is in the crib (dang those empty promises). (FAILED)

I have gotten just down-right angry with him. Obviously this didn't work. (FAILED)

I have tried to lay off and not put any pressure on him. After all, he will go when he is ready -- unfortunately my nose is feeling different. I think he has liked this method, but again, no results. (FAILED)

He went bottomless (no pants or diaper) for a while. He hated this, but still didn't go on the potty. Eventually I had to put pants on him to run an errand. Of course he let it all go then. I may try this one again on a day that I don't have to go anywhere.

Okay, so there you have it. If you have any great ideas about how to get this kid to go on the potty, please let me know. I am willing to do anything at this point - singing potty seat, hypnosis, psychic, magician, letting him join the local circus (they would return him once they had to change a diaper)..... I am desperate, so please HELP!!!!!