Saturday, September 15, 2012


We recently had our six month dental cleanings. It has become a sort of competition (probably only to me) to see who gets the best report card from the hygienist when we're finished.  Luckily Boo always has his appointments about two weeks ahead of Noelle and me, so I can gauge how much more I should brush and floss so that I get superior comments on how well I'm flossing and brushing. Don't be fooled, I don't always win and I've had way more cavities than he will ever have in his lifetime.  Side note: Did you know you should not brush instantly after throwing up? Rinse first and brush after a few minutes. Darn that morning sickness with all three.  Luckily we're a cavity free family for the past year! The hygienist told me that my teeth were the best she'd seen all day, maybe even all week. Boo-yah!

After Noelle had her teeth polished she asked the hygienist if her teeth were shiny. After reassuring her in the affirmative Noelle insisted on seeing for herself and requested a mirror for inspection. I guess its better than her teeth falling out. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Crawling up From the Depths

Its true, I feel like I've been down in the depths of dark places. Not so much in a sad depressed sort of way. These are the depths of being the mother of three kids, reluctantly folding piles of laundry, and picking up the exact same toys day in and day out. Its true, my kids play with all the same things and the rest are just accessory toys to make it look like they're spoiled. Wait, they are spoiled.  Our favorites are dress-ups and barbies and the bin of "baby toys" that linger in our family room, but will soon move to the toy accessory closet.  Now that Nicholas is walking he spreads toys, shoes and shreds of toilet paper throughout the domicile. Good thing he's a cutie.
So as we climb out of those depths and get back into a routine now that school is back in session I can maybe get back to my neglected blog. Its still hot enough in our neck of the woods that we're hermits hiding out in our air conditioned caves so I should find a minute or two to enlighten you with life lessons courtesy of Noelle.

Yesterday's life lesson - Sleep is good.

Noelle - "Mom have you been using wrinkle cream?"
Me - "No, do I look like I have less wrinkles?"
Noelle - "Yeah"
Me - "Nope. This is what a good night's sleep looks like."

Boo and I are still wondering how she even knows what wrinkle cream is and why she thinks I need it. I must look old to her.

On another funny note, after church on Sunday Noelle was inspecting my wedding dress that hangs in the closet and asked if I would try it on for her. Reluctantly I said yes, not knowing if it would fit my current frame. Needless to say I put it on and couldn't zip it up myself and then got the zipper jammed. Yep, stranded in my wedding dress. I texted Boo and told him I needed assistance, implying "GET HOME!" After unjamming the zipper he zipped it up and we stood there together reminiscing about that great day. Good times. Noelle was entranced.

Three cheers for fitting into my wedding dress thirteen years later! Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 11

Tonight we celebrated the holiday with some of our dear friends with a red and green dinner. As part of the red and green dinner celebration they also make a cake to celebrate Jesus' birthday.  I had to threaten taking away dessert from my kids if they didn't eat their dinner. This is about how the conversation went;

Noelle: "If I don't eat my dinner I won't get any Jesus birthday cake?"
Me: "Nope, and you won't get any ice cream either."
Noelle: "You mean Christcream."

And that my friends, is why we're awesome.

In her defense, all of the kids were calling the cake Jesus' birthday cake.

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 10

We actually kicked off the Christmas season the day after Thanksgiving when we went to see the lights at the Mesa Temple. We felt lucky to have some of our out-of-town family with us to enjoy the evening. As with any family outing, there is always someone who has a hard time seeing the fun of the moment. There was a fluctuation between Noelle and JW throughout the evening. See how happy she was to have her picture taken? Plus she didn't want to get out of the stroller and walk, but when she did she got a little lost.
Also, this is one of my favorite pictures because JW was so upset that we put him on this giant rock for a Kodak moment. Total insanity. Sis was happy to be with Papa Randy and wins the prize for having the best attitude of the night.

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 9

Christmas cards. Some people have a love-hate relationship with sending Christmas cards. I've always liked sending out cards and in 2003 we started our traditional photo card. Over the years I've tried to be original and make and design my own cards. Some years I have to take a pass and just have a retailer print my cards for me. I really do love making my cards. This year I borrowed designs from Becky Higgin's blog.  You'll notice however that I have two versions. One for those we don't see very often and one for those who probably could care less if they got a picture of our whole family because they see us more than they want to. Either way, we wish you all the Merriest Christmas.

P.S. - If any of my five readers keeps copies of cards they recieve, I need one of my cards from 2004 (Red Sox theme, tri-fold, cute.) I'll send you a prize if you have one for me to put in my Christmas card album.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 8

Christmas dresses seem to be on my list of essential gifts. Call me old fashion, but really I think I only buy my kids dresses at Christmas and Easter. These are the dresses they got from Grandma Nay last year. Luckily they still fit and are great to have during the colder times which are rare in this neck of the woods.

 P.S. I think this picture is pretty fantastic of Noelle and makes her look all sorts of grown up to me. Scary. She did good picture taking right before church because we bribed her. When we were done and she was ready to cash in on said bribe, we told her she had to wait until after church. Rude, eh?

Lets just assume they are singing Christmas carols.

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 7

Ok so I haven't posted in a few days, but that won't stop Christmas from coming and hasn't stopped miracles from happening. So for the seventh day I will share my Christmas miracle.

On Tuesday, which is when this should have posted, I did some shopping and then ran to the post office to get some more stamps and to mail a package. While I was standing in a good size line, (not the worst I've ever experienced) I see a lady reading all the signs and looking around holding a simple letter. She turned to all of us standing in line and asked if any of us knew how much it would cost to mail a letter to England? Most people turned their head and pretended not to hear the question. I said I thought it would probably take three or four stamps but that I would check on my super handy smart phone. (I love my phone!) So I started Googling postage rates to England. I found a rate but told the nice stranger to just stand with me and we would ask when it was my turn at the counter. She looked concerned that the ten or twelve people who where now behind us would be angry. I told her that none would "bludgeon" her. Yes, that was the word I used. Anyhow, we got to the counter and she got her postage and my merry stranger went on her way, happy to mail her letter to England. I was happy that I could make someones post office experience be a little less miserable.

Oh but the miracle happened the next day when I had to return with the box of stuff I had to mail. Not only was there next to no line, but the postal worker was kind and helpful. That my friends is the Christmas miracle.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 6

Tonight we did tag team gingerbread house decorating. Our houses look a little bit like something you'd find in a Dr. Suess book, very crooked. I think Sydney ate half her weight in candy before we even started. Noelle was very methodical and had to keep things in a pattern. I think it has something to do with her kindergarten AB patterns. Sydney keeps climbing up on the stool to examine her house and then tells me its not Christmas yet.

A little side story, a week or so ago Boo and I were putting out some gifts that we've been storing in our bedroom since mid November. These are gifts from grandparent visits that we thought would be most safe if kept out of the main thorough fairs of the house. As we were arranging the gifts underneath the tree Noelle came out of her room sleep walking, but staring at us in wonder of what we were doing. It was as if Boo and I were reading each other's minds. One of us burst out "Noelle its Christmas! Look Santa came!" Her face was blank as we could see her mind trying to process. Boo then swept her away for a bathroom break and then back to bed. Awesome cruel.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 5

Tonight we were at a holiday party and the topic of Santa Claus came up. We were all sharing stories of the mistakes we'd made when discussing Santa in front of our kids. I also have been thinking about all the lore that is associated with St. Nicholas and how it evolved over the hundreds of years. The story is actually quite nice and brings a Christian view of St. Nicholas (aka Santa Claus.)

A couple of the slip-ups we've had that I can remember is when Boo asked Noelle if she wanted to help him put some stuff in my stocking. She couldn't understand why he would fill it up and not Santa. Whoops!

One friend said that she remembered that every year their gifts from Santa were wrapped in a different paper from all the rest of the gifts. (We do this.) She said that after Christmas or on Christmas night her mom sent her out to the car to get something from the trunk. There she spied the "special' Santa wrapping paper. She remembers being super disappointed.

Another friend said that her kids noticed the handwriting on the tags was similar to that of her mother's.

Another remembers being old enough that his dad told him and his older brother to come out to the garage to help him assemble some toys for his younger siblings.

This has got me thinking about when the time will come that our kids will figure it out. Will they be super disappointed or will they just say they knew it all the time?

I think I figured it out when I found some presents in my mom's closet and then on Christmas saw that they were from Santa. Knowing how I was as I kid I was probably pretty proud that I had figured it out thinking that no one could pull a fast one on me.

As I've read in some of the Christmas books we have and some of what I've found on the internet and also a nice talk given recently at a church meeting, to believe that St. Nicholas did indeed live and did kind things is to believe in the spirit of Santa. Although I know there is no magical man that wiggles his nose to get from one place to another, I believe in the good that is Santa. Do you still believe?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 4

Ah the gift it or hate it? I guess the answer depends on the gift and the giftee. There are some years that I am up for the challenge to find the perfect gift or to sacrifice something to afford that perfect gift. However it seems that with my increased brood that my gift giving has been lacking in past years. We have been getting smarter and try to get more utilitarian type gifts even if its not on the giftee's wish list.

I was trying to think back to some of the best Christmas exchanges between Boo and I. Sadly, I can hardly remember any of them. I do remember our first Christmas, I was so excited because the company I was working for had a client that made snowboards and was able to get a sweet deal on a cool board for Boo. Even better was that I kept it at my parents house so that he had no idea it was coming. It was a good surprise. I think the wisest gift I ever received was my KitchenAid mixer. I bought it for myself and told Boo he had to wrap it. I love it and use it all the time.
One of my favorite gifting stories occurred in 2001. On Christmas morning we were opening gifts with all of Boo's family at his parent's house. Everyone had a main gift and then each married couple was given a gift card. With that arrangement opening gifts was very organized so we went around the room one at a time and opened up our present from Boo's parents. When it was my turn I remember Boo looking at me with a grin of anticipation for my reaction. I unwrapped a set of red satin sheets. I was a little stunned, as I had never thought of requesting satin sheets for Christmas, let alone from my mother-in-law. Needless to say I was confused and I think my reaction was a huge let down. I said thanks and then tucked my new fancy red sheets next to me. My  mother-in-law said that Boo told her that I wanted some sheets from Costco but that she didn't see any satin sheets there so she ordered these online. That only added to my confusion. I wanted satin sheets from Costco? Who knew?
It took me several days to process the whole exchange and to piece together what actually happened. I had mentioned in passing to Boo that there were some sheets that I wanted to get from Costco. He thought he was so clever and passed it on to his mom. Somewhere along the line there was a loss of translation, it wasn't red satin sheets I wanted, it was Sateen. Very different indeed.
Before I could clear up any confusion, Boo thought he'd wash up our new sheets so we could put them on our bed. He came home from the laundry mat with our fancy red sheets and said that everyone was looking at him strangely. "I feel like such a hooker," he said as he was shaking them out. I could only grin and reassure him that they'd look great with our duvet. The only problem was that the duvet wouldn't stay on the bed with the sheets. They were too slippery. We definitely never got the use out of those sheets for the price that was paid, but it is my favorite Christmas story.
Reminds me of the leg lamp from the movie A Christmas Story.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Twelve Days of Christmas: Day 3

Hello friends, I'd like to introduce you to Tommy the Elf on our shelf. He's a great helper, in that he doesn't back talk and is supposed to help keep my kids in line because they're supposed to believe that he's going to take all sorts of information back to Santa. I can't be sure if Noelle actually thinks he's magic or that he really will disappear at night. Tommy has been know to be on top of the Christmas tree, on top of kitchen cabinets, on top of our entertainment unit, etc. Do you see a theme in his locations? Yes we have to put him high up because the instructions told the kids that if they touch him he'll lose his magic. However Sis would like to test this theory and I can't have Noelle all up in arms over lost magic. Also he needs to stay up high enough so that Noelle can't get a good of a look at him. She has already said things about how she thinks he's just made of fabric and that he doesn't look like an elf, because you know she has all sorts of elf knowledge and wisdom. Its believed by Noelle that Tommy was sent by his elf friend Hermy. Hermy appeared at our house one day when we had some out-of-town cousins staying at our house. Those kids were so excited to see their elf, but how could it be theirs if it was at our house? Noelle was so upset that he hadn't returned. So after a few stops around my local three mile range of shopping I found Tommy.

Yesterday Tommy didn't come back from the North Pole. You see Noelle had been super sassy about how her mom doesn't make any good cookies with anything on them and then some other tirade of how we never eat anything good. Truth be told her words stung a lot, but that wasn't actually why Tommy didn't come.
The problem with the Elf on the Shelf is that he has to be moved everyday. It sounds so great in theory but I can't move him until I'm about to put my head to a pillow. Our darned two year old has become a night owl and makes moving Tommy a hard task. So often times he doesn't get moved until the morning when we remember and one of us distracts the kids while the other scrambles to find a new location for Tommy.

So yesterday Tommy didn't comeback because he was actually stuffed in the top of a cupboard as not to be seen sitting in the same place as the day before. I didn't have time to actually move him and I could hear my girls making their way around the corner. I panicked! Needless to say I had a good MO for why he didn't come back due to my stinker child's behavior.

I think its been the most effective to Sis. Her little neighbor friend's elf told Santa she'd been really naughty and so Santa sent her a letter to let her know her elf wouldn't be back until she was nice to her mom. So just tonight Sis kept telling me that Annie wasn't going to get any presents because her elf said she was naughty. Glad to know one of my children has been paying attention.

Here's a link to a great post that gave me a great laugh regarding other's experiences with their elf friends.

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 2

We have had the opportunity to help some other families with Christmas this year. We have tried to use these as teaching moments for our kids, especially Noelle. We have been trying to help her understand that there are other kids in our community who probably won't get a lot of presents this Christmas. Its harder than you think to explain to a five year old. I knew it was starting to sink in for her but was still perplexing. She asks very detailed questions about the kids, details we just don't have. I think the excitement finally set in when we wrapped up the gifts.

The other day when UPS brought a doll house that Grandma had shipped to us, Sydney saw the picture on the outside of the box and being all excited asked if it was for her. Of course I lied and said no and then she asked, "Its for other kids?" That has been our tag line while shopping for our unknown recipients, "gifts for other kids."

We have been the recipients of the generosity of others in past years and feel really grateful that we can teach this charity to our children. Hopefully this is something we can continue to do each year as a reminder of all the good that we're blessed with in our lives.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Twelve Days of Christmas, Day 1

'Tis the season and what says Merry Christmas more than a visit to see Santa? Well a trip to the BassPro Shops of course. This was awesome! Sis thought Santa was fantastic and had no fear. Brotherman just went with it like usual and Noelle, well she's rockin' her red boots. The store had a whole Christmas village-like area set up for kids with games they could play (marketing at its finest) and a carousel that we could ride on. The best part was it was all free. Merry Christmas to us!

We took advantage of an early release school day so there were no crowds which was good, because Sis kept running up to Santa to give him a hug and then would go back to whatever it was she was doing before. Also, Noelle shocked me by writing up a list for Santa. It was something like this:

e z bac (Easy Bake Oven)
Brbe has (Barbie House)
spic kids (Spy Kids)
noe brb (New Barbie)

The best part was that she was helping another girl write the same list. Ha!

Picture Explanation

A few people have asked me about the black and white pictures that I've posted on the blog and on the wall in my family room. Here's the long and short of the whole thing; back in 2009 I was encouraged to enter Noelle into a picture contest. In order to do that I needed to take some pictures of her because I didn't have anything recent. So in my usual form I used my crazy mad skillz and taped my dark purple sheet to a wall in my bedroom. I think it was the magic of the packing tape used, but I took some pretty fantastic pictures and even though we didn't win any contests it has turned into a great tradition three years running. So each fall when the light comes through the large windows at just the right time we have a photo shoot. Thanks to the glory of digital I can take a ton of pictures and if it doesn't turn out how I want then I delete them and start over. I love they way they've turned out each time, different but wonderful. Here is the link for 2009 and 2010. Enjoy the look back into the past.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Other Children

With the excitement of a new baby I'm sure some people are wondering if I've forgotten that I have other children. Maybe I do forget sometimes. But then sometimes I forget I have a baby, like today when I nearly left church without him. Not on purpose of course, but Boo had him and he always has to stay for a while after church so I don't usually see him after the meetings. I was on auto pilot and ready to go after rounding up the girls when I remembered I had a third child.

They're both keepers, today.

* These pictures are from our third annual black and white photo shoot.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Four Months

I'm pretty certain he's the cutest thing ever and pretty happy considering he doesn't poop regularly. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Love That Dirty Water

We went to see the movie Moneyball on Friday night. If you even like baseball slightly then I think you'd like the movie. There is a part when they are in Fenway Park. It's typical Boston rainy fall weather. Seeing Fenway and the area around the park made my heart ache. I miss Boston, heaps full, especially during this time of the year. There really isn't a better place to be in the fall and everyone there embraces it with open arms. I can honestly say I've never seen more homes decorated for the season and it's holidays than in New England. But then comes winter and really Arizona is a good place to be during those months.
Love you Beantown. Hope to see you soon.
Sent from my iPhone

Monday, October 10, 2011

Toddler Losses

Last night I was making a mental list of the damage done by Sis in one day. Baggie of cereal dumped out on kitchen floor during fit of rage. Something to do with milk and a bowl. Dancing up the aisle at church ballerina style and then noticing the stairs up to the pulpit. Getting into my sewing stuff, finding the scissors and cutting up a spool of ribbon into small pieces. *Accidentally cutting her church dress in the process. During removal from the chapel, finding toy trains and then using said trains to fend off their owner. A swift bonk on the head worked well. There may have been an incident with popcorn, but I was losing consciousness at this point while nursing a baby. During Canadian Thanksgiving dinner smooshing mash potatoes through her fingers then feeding it to the dog. A black Sharpie marker tattoo all over her legs. More Sharpie on two banana chairs in the theatre room (not our theatre room.) Oh the times i really wanted to crawl beneath the closest chair or table and hide out sheer embarrassment. I offered to clean off the marker with some rubbing alchohol. Hopefully our Canadian friends will invite us back. Luckily she didn't get out of her bed a thousand times because she might have been put in the shed to sleep for the night. (not really but it would be a good home for a hobo like her.) *I say accidentally because it did not look intentional and had it been then I believe there would have been holes all over.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Diamondbacks Game

Boo's company hosted all the employees and their significant others to the final Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game of the year. The best thing about baseball games is that you can arrive 45 minutes late and chances are you haven't missed much. This was also our maiden voyage out without taking the Brotherman. Everyone fared just fine and the babysitter still likes us.
The game was going great until the lights went out. I never did hear what the explanation was for this, but it suddenly started to feel stuffy and warmer inside Chase Field. I could tell things were on the up-and-up when I felt the air come back on. It took a while for the lights to warm up enough to play ball again. It was a good win for the Diamondbacks who are on their way to the playoffs. Go D-backs! However, my heart still belongs to the Red Sox.