Thursday, January 31, 2008

Da Jazz

Jason took pity on me and got me out of the house last night. My sister, Tana, called with free Jazz tickets and Jason told me to go with her, her husband Matt and my Dad. We had a great time yelling for the Jazz. And, they won! Must be because Laura watched the game at home (and at Grandma and Grandpa's) while we were there. I particularly enjoyed going with my sis who loves the Jazz and basketball as much as I do and being able to chat about the game and other girly stuff too. Here is the bad picture of us cheering our guts out!
I picked up the perfect Laura shirt while I was at the game. It is pink and references her favorite player: Boozer. When I gave her the shirt this morning she sounded out his name and jumped up and down hugging the shirt. Here she is modeling it!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Laura Happiness

Poor Laura has also had to suffer quarantine while Sara still suffers on with RSV and now another virus on top of her RSV. So, I have been doing my best to have a few things Laura can do and be happy.

One of the most fun things has been letting Laura stay up late and watch the Jazz games with us. She loves yelling for Boozer. Also, she has learned the game enough that she can pause it if Jason and I are busy with Sara when there is a great play we need to see. "He buried the three" and "He slammed it home," are phrases she uses. Also, she is a good luck charm. Each time she watches the game, the Jazz seem to win.

The only people we have let her see are her grandparents. Nothing in the world makes Miss Laura happier than to hang out with her best friends -- her grandparents.

I also got her a cool craft that she could work on while I have been so busy holding a whining Sara or taking care of Sara's sicky needs: sucking the nose, administering medication, etc. She got a princess kit of crafts and has just gone to town all by herself. The glitter glue is a particular favorite.
We did break down and let Laura do one fun thing out of the house: she attended her cousin Emily's Princess Birthday Party. Yes, she dressed up as a princess with her lovely black eye. Keri had a super cute time planned and Laura thoroughly enjoyed herself. You can read about what they did HERE. But, the thing I was most excited about was how well little shy Laura did with a group of almost entirely new kids. It would appear she is really growing up. Oh, and then when we got her home, we stuck her in the tub to remove any chance of germs to try to protect poor Sara.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sick Sick Sick

Poor little Sara has been sick for a month. She has not gone a day without getting her nose sucked since she was diagnosed with RSV. This morning she was really wheezing so I took her to the doctor again. He informed me that RSV can last up to 8 weeks in a kid Sara's age. NASTY! And, now, she has another virus on top of the RSV. We are incredibly happy right now that I am a home mom. Can you imagine trying to figure out how to go 8 weeks without taking your child to day care while working?!

Sara is remarkably good natured about it all, but we miss her smiles and laughter. Though, the pound of weight loss (from nearly 21 to nearly 20) has not been the worst thing on my arms while I have to hold her ALL day long. Look at this poor sick baby!
So, we are now on serious quarantine at our house. The doctor said to do my best not to get either girl out in order to not expose Sara to any more illness. So, it would appear that this blog is as much as you'll be seeing of our family for quite a while.

Successful Salad - Asian Salad Recipe

I made up a salad recipe that turned out much better than anticipated. (Jason's translation: It freaking ROCKED!!) So, I thought I'd write it down here. And, J's parents requested it.

Lettuce
Green Onions - sliced
Mandarin Oranges
Krab
Leftover Grilled Chicken
Chow Mein Noodles - crunchy
Sliced Almonds (well, I can't eat these due to allergies, but they'd be yummy in here)

I top it with a sesame ginger salad dressing. I have now made it without the chicken as a side dish and without the krab and it turned out equally good.

Monday, January 28, 2008

President Hinckley

At this day of mourning, I'd like to turn your attention to my favorite of the tributes for President Hinckley. To watch what Carole Mikita prepared (Special Coverage: President Hinckley Passes Away) click HERE and skip forward to about 8:40 into the movie.

Let me add my words that he was an inspired man and led our Church in amazing directions with incredible faith. He will be missed!

To see the Church's official tribute to him, click on the above picture, or HERE.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Let the Tour Begin...

No, not the Tour de France, the tour of our new house as we finally complete (including decorate) our rooms. Yep, all you're getting is two bathrooms because that is all we have completely done.

The first room is the girls bathroom. It's one of the few rooms of my house in which I have canned art. But, I like how it turned out. Sara particularly likes the red shower curtain and tries to snag it each time after getting her pants changed. I thought of moving the changing pad for the photo, but having the room to keep it there all the time happens to be one of my favorite features of the room, so it stayed.
This last room is the master bathroom. We carried the navy in from the bedroom and I like how it looks with the tile and paint. The art on the walls comes from my travels to England and Italy and were prints I purchased from local artists. They were framed in matching frames due to a wonderful sale at Michaels. I hope to add pictures from other travels someday: Egypt anyone?! (Okay, I'm dreaming, but I can, right?!) You can see each of Jason's and my favorite features of the bathroom in these pictures. Jason: the big shower and very tall shower head. Mine: the hugely long and deep bathtub.

That's all for now. We're getting much closer on other key rooms and I will post them as they are completed. But, due to lack of sleeping girls, the basement finish may take precedence.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Treasure

Today started out rough, so I decided to write down all the things I love about staying at home with my girls. I am incredibly blessed that I get to be a mom at home. It is the best job in the whole wide world. The majority of the time I really treasure the opportunity to be with my girls all the time. Not only do I love it for all the experiences I have with my girls, but it also feels wonderful to be following the direction of the prophet. Some days I may not feel like I'm smart; other days I may want a nicer car; but, ultimately all I want is to be with these precious spirits. Look at how much fun we have together.
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There are so many things I love about being home each day. One of my favorites is that I get to be around for every first. Some firsts lately have been Laura's first reading of all the words in the house and Sara's first time standing completely independently. Here is Sara discovering the keyboard for the first time.
Something else I love is that the girls come to me for comfort. Sara looks to me when she feels ill to make her feel better; I am her comfort. Laura looks to me to help her when something is confusing (we've been talking a lot about life after death lately) and I can teach her according to my values and beliefs. And, of course she looks to me for comfort too. We hugged a long time yesterday when she got her black eye after slipping and running her face into a chair. Check out this shiner!
I also love all the special traditions we have and the memories we make in our daily routines. I just didn't get nearly enough of these when I wasn't home all the time with my Laura. Laura's and my current favorite treat is to pop popcorn and watch cooking shows together while Sara sleeps. I love this special snuggle time we have together. It is one of my greatest treasures and I believe it is one of hers too. The memories I made with my mom at these times are still some of my most treasured and I hope they will be for my girls as well.
Something I love and want to share is what Sis. Beck said in this month's Visiting Teaching Message, "Female roles did not begin on earth, and they do not end here. A woman who treasures motherhood on earth will treasure motherhood in the world to come, and ‘where [her] treasure is, there will [her] heart be also’ (Matthew 6:21). By developing a mother heart, each girl and woman prepares for her divine, eternal mission of motherhood. …" Sometimes I feel like I am not fulfilling my potential by staying at home, but reading what Sis. Beck says here, I know that by staying home I am fulfilling my greatest potential. And, for my friends who have not yet been blessed with marriage and kids, make sure to read the rest of what she said HERE.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Girlfriends

This Sunday we got to watch Clara, Karyn's new baby, be blessed. It was strange to be back in the old ward - it is so different from our current ward. Each ward definitely has distinct strengths and weaknesses and it seems that where the old ward was strong the new ward is weak and where the new ward is weak the old ward is strong.

Being there also made me feel really old. The 9-year old boys we started off teaching in Primary are now passing the sacrament. And, one of my initial Laurels is married and expecting a baby in only a few months. Also, I realized that I met Karyn when our Laura and Lily were just barely a year and we only had one child. Now we have 5 kids between us. Wow!
The blessing was absolutely beautiful. And, we got to stop by Karyn's house afterwards for a get-together. All the pictures were taken there. They seemed to be all very girl-centric. I am very lucky that my best friend happens to have a little girl just the right age to be a good friend to my girls. Look at us all!

Manly

Jason did a few manly things this weekend. The first involved his grill. We had our first successful use of the rotisserie. Oh my goodness was that a yummy chicken. I am a person that usually hates skin, but that was amazing. The meat was tender, moist and done. We'll be doing this regularly. It was also great to be able to do a big (4.5 lb) chicken instead of buying one of those little ones (2.5 lb) one from the store. I'll be able to do something yummy with the leftovers this way. Here is Jason with the masterpiece.
We also had another big snowstorm today. The snowblower was repaired (Thank you, Dad for your help in getting that done!) so we gave it a run. It was faster and took tons less effort. Hallelujah!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Family Pictures

We attempted professional family pictures this past Saturday. Our expectations weren't especially high with two little ones, but we got a few decent ones. At least one is good enough that we can hang it above our fireplace. We are so excited to have a fireplace and mantel above which we can hang a large family photo that we were anxious to get one there. This is the one we chose.
We also tried to get some pics of the girls together and got a few cute shots but nothing magnificent. Thank heavens the sheets are just $5 and I'm not breaking the bank to purchase only an okay photo.

Here are the other family pics we liked and will be putting elsewhere in our house in smaller format.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sara at Seven Months and Scads of Shoes

Well, I finally got an acceptable picture of Sara at 7 months old. She is much too busy to allow me to get a good picture of her, but I think this does the job. I put the pinkness behind her because I had to show how much her hair has grown lately.
Okay, I think that maybe this picture with me shows better how much her hair has grown. Yep, she has the paintbrush ponytail!
Little Miss Sara has really started to talk a lot lately. This picture of her shows her saying "Hiya" to Laura. She says quite a few things now: Dada, Lala, Mom, Hi, Hiya, Hat, Hit and will put Hi with any of our names for a phrase like "Hi Dada".
Sara is also beautifully affectionate. She loves to give kisses (very wet, open mouthed kisses) and will grab my face and pull it towards her for a kiss. That is how I get greeted most mornings; she'll say hiya and then grab my face and pull it down in the crib to give me a kiss. She snuggles in as well many times when I or Jason are holding her. It is heaven to get little Sara snuggles. Look at these yummy smooches.
One of my most favorite things now is to watch her eyes dance as she learns and laughs. They seem to be learning almost all the time. Check out these peepers.
Finally, poor Sara is always in shoes. I seem to have a problem and just keep buying baby shoes for her. I recognize that it is ridiculous because she can't even crawl yet, let alone walk. Alas, when I pass them in the store they are so cute that I just can't help myself. I purchased all of these adorable things (except for the green pair from my Sis-in-law, Mel) and usually have to stop myself from buying more when I go to the store.

Cutenesses

I am definitely one of the luckiest mommy's ever. I just fall more and more in love with my girls every day. One of my favorite new things is how often I come into the room to find them playing together. Sara is fearless and loves getting rides (forwards, because she can only go backwards) from Laura in her walker.
They also love to snuggle and laugh together. I often wake up to them laughing and playing together in their room. Sara just thinks Laura is the most amazing person ever. Laura is thrilled that Sara interacts with her and thinks she is amazing. It is also helpful that Sara now calls for "Lala" and Laura always obliges by running to her side.
Finally, I just have to put in this picture of Laura on the phone. She is really into the phone right now. She talked to Jason for a half hour in Mexico and I regularly find her talking to my mom on the phone as well. I generally find her here - under the kitchen table - looking every bit a teenager as she chats away.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I Like to Think I'm Tough...

Today kicked my butt! Two nights of very little sleep, a 19 lb Sara, and 5 inches of snow made me realize how wimpy I am. It is also making me question our rather large driveway. I believe that getting the snow blower fixed has now moved to the top of my list of things to do. However, Laura sure loved playing on the "mountain" that I made shoveling the drive.
Oh, and isn't the snow beautiful?! If you look closely at the trees you can see the birds. I love having this view out my back. It reminds me of home - where I grew up - with the trees, birds and deer.
To quell Sara's whining I gave her a cookie. She does not like biter cookies or those little puffs, so I gave her a homemade chocolate chip cookie. It kept her happy for a half hour. And then we had to have a bath. One of my favorite thing about being a mommy is introducing my kids to fun and yummy things.

Last night the girls stopped by to remind me that I have a brain and rescue me a bit from my quarantine. It was great to be able to chat with all of them! Thank you, ladies!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Singledom

Jason is out of the country this entire week on business and I am going it alone. Let me say that from this experience I know I never want to be a single parent. Laura is really enjoying the special Mommy time, though. Today we painted her nails. Note how similar they look to my toes from a previous post. Yep, it was her request to look like Mommy. Her hair was also in a ponytail to look like Mommy today.
We have also been doing a lot of work with her digital camera and the cool software it came with. Look what Laura created. She wrote all the words completely by herself...alas, she could not find the space key.
And tonight I let her stay up a bit to watch the Jazz game with me and have a treat. Okay, I may have just been in desperate need of some snuggles from my girl! But, it does seem that any time she stays up to watch the game, the Jazz win. We made the evening fun by making Rice Krispie Treats! Isn't she just darling in her crown and apron helping me out?!
Sara, however does not seem to be quite so happy with having only me around. (I am actually pretty certain that she is working on cutting her bottom teeth, which is probably the main trouble.) For some reason she has given up her long afternoon nap and replaced it with a little catnap. This has led to crying and a generally grumpy disposition for Sara every afternoon. In the middle of her huge crying jag today, the only happiness was a bath. And, the attempt to get her seven month pictures went terribly. I think I'll reattempt those pictures when I have reinforcements.

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Things

I keep getting requests and "tags" to write things about myself. So, instead of continuing to ignore these things, I will write a few randoms that are not widely known about me.

1. I LOVE the Utah Jazz. I have loved them for as long as I can remember. This has made me oddly knowledgeable about the NBA and I can usually hold my own in any conversation about it. One of Jason's favorite stories about me is that one day a guy friend of his came to our house and I had a Jazz game on TV (before the days of DVR). The friend remarked that I was a great wife to have the game on for Jason to come home to. Jason then responded that, "Oh, she doesn't have it on for me. She has it on to watch it herself."

2. I have recently stopped wearing makeup the majority of the time. I will throw on mascara for special occasions, but really, I don't wear it any more. I realized that the majority of the most beautiful women I know don't wear any makeup on a daily basis and stopped worrying about the days when I wasn't wearing any myself.

3. My biggest pet peeve is ingratitude. I do a lot of handwritten Thank You notes in my life and just don't understand people who can't drop at least an email thank you for assistance they've received or publicly acknowledge assistance/ideas they have received from others.

4. I am insanely affectionate. I have learned to tone this down in most situations, but fortunately Jason is also affectionate. He is the only person in my life (other than my Mom) to whom I feel I can give affection at any time I feel prompted. It is wonderful that we match up so beautifully on this aspect of our lives.

5. I really love to cook. I may not be creatively crafty, but I feel that I am pretty creative in the kitchen. I enjoy experimenting with recipes...you'll never find me following anything exactly.

6. I have a disease called Interstitial Cystitis. I hate it. But, I feel that as long as I can stay on my meds (Allegra, oddly) that it is usually pretty under control. Having it under control has helped me feel more on top of all the rest of my life. It is great to not be in constant pain any longer.

7. My favorite time is 11:11. Yep, I actually have a favorite time. I fell in love with it as a tiny person waiting for Santa to come one Christmas Eve. It is my favorite because it is the same on a digital clock forwards, backwards, upside down, and inside out.

Okay, that's all folks. Maybe another time when I don't have Jason around to snuggle with at night, I'll put in a few more.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Another Weekend

This weekend was not particularly exciting, but was lovely nonetheless. Early in the weekend we got quite a bit of furniture put together (isn't it amazing how many different/more things you need in a new house?) and moved some of the last stuff from Mom and Dad's. Sara just thought it was cool that we were wearing hats.
I must comment that I love this site for furniture. When I can't find exactly what I want (specific dimensions, odd use, etc) anywhere else, it seems that I can always find it here. We love our new hamper and what I am calling my "toss table!" Hopefully now I will not be misplacing my purse and it's great to have a place for all the chargers right in the kitchen near the garage.
I also went out for a night of pampering with the Andreas. We got pedicures b/c Andrea is going on a cruise and I wanted to use my gift certificate from Jason for Christmas. Due to Andrea taking over for my passive aggressive self (thank you!) my toes turned out great. Then we went to our favorite Thai Restaurant for dinner. Going out with those ladies is one of the best things in the world...I always go home happy! And, it's even better when they come over afterwards and give me help on home decorating.
On Sunday, Laura gave a talk in Primary. Her topic was "I am a child of God and He has a plan for me." She wanted to sing "I am a Child of God" and to talk about Grandma Jo. It was the most touching thing to hear Laura bear her testimony of the plan of salvation and then hear her precious little voice singing. She had every adult in the room in tears. How I love her precious spirit. The Lord really blessed me with a special one in my Laura. Here is the picture she chose to hold up during her talk.
As a final note, the girls seem to be much healthier today. Laura seems completely better and Sara is only stuffy still. Phew, hopefully this is the end of scary illnesses for our family for a while.