Thursday, June 28, 2007

Guess what?

I'm going to TULSA! To see my extra special friend and her extra special kiddos! Yaaaaay! *happy dance*

My aunt is helping to pay, so that we can go on the trip I had planned before Jeff lost his job and that I was so disappointed to lose out on. And we are going to stay almost a whole week! We're getting there around noon local time on the 18th and will be coming back in the afternoon of the 25th. And I'm just so excited! I don't even care that I will miss my husband and will be traveling alone with 2 kids (luckily they are good travelers, I don't really mind that.) I am gonna have SO MUCH FUN and I am gonna SEE MY FRIEND RAYANN! I haven't seen her in more than a year now-- almost 2?-- and I have missed her HORRIBLY. Much more than I have missed anyone else I moved away from, I think. We talk on the phone a lot but it is just not the same!

So yeah, I'm excited.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Summer Sling Giveaway

It's a giveaway at Adventures in Babywearing! I'm a big fan of ring slings and baby wearing, I wasn't able to wear my first, sensory-challenged baby, but this second one is a cuddler and still loves the Maya Wrap. KimzCreations has donated a neat sling made out of fabric that provides UVA/UVB protection! Go on over and check it out!

Kira and Aerin need your prayers

My friend Kira's daughter Aerin needs surgery on her hemangioma. They discussed it last year but it was put off to see if it would get any better and allow Aerin time to grow and gain some weight. Kira is having a really rough time emotionally right now, she's scared (rightly so! Surgery on your baby is scary!) and needs comfort, love, and support. She and her husband Andrew are just wonderful parents, they're a wonderful family, Aerin is so sweet and cute, and it's a miracle she's even in the world with us. So if you could all send your prayers and good wishes to Kira, Aerin, and also Andrew, who I don't hear as much from but who must also be anxious, you know how it is with daddies, they have to feel as much as moms but feel they must be the strong ones, it would be a good thing. We love them so much and we want Kira to know we are always with her and praying for her and thinking of her and her family.

Ooooh, book giveaway!

Overwhelmed with Joy is giving away a copy of The Memory Keeper's Daughter and it looks like a great book! Hop on over to check it out and enter!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sick Day

We all have a virus. Jeff would normally have gone to work anyway, but I'm having a really rough time (I don't want to talk about it) and he didn't want to leave me with the kids sick in the state I was in this morning. (He ended up sleeping an extra 4 or so hours, which he NEVER does, so I know he was really sick too.) We were feeling a lot better this afternoon (although Ems still has a snotty nose like nobody's business; I've had to give her Sudafed just so she'll be able to sleep at night.) So we went to the thrift store (I got Ems a Sesame Street rain coat for this fall and a few rash guards for when she gets a few sizes bigger, I believe in planning ahead, and also one of those loungy armchair-type pillow things.) Then we went to Target to get a few things we needed (like plastic bags and spoons and new shoes for Emma.) We got the bags and stuff, then headed over to the shoes. Well, they did not have any Sesame Street shoes except sandals, and we needed tennis shoes. The horror of not having what she wanted! Finally I spotted Superman pjs with a cape that velcroes on and everything. Emma had a pair of Superman pjs from the thrift store that she has outgrown and they were too warm anyway. I just packed them away. Since they were only $13, I told Ems that if she could be a big helper and choose some shoes she would wear, and throw away her old ones (which are falling apart and STINK), she could have new Superman pajamas. Yes, I bribe my children sometimes. But it stopped the tears threatening to make us leave the store, and she picked some Curious George tennies out. THEN while Jeff went to get toddler toothpaste and hair gel, I found the clearance clothes. Uh-oh! I found two shirts and a pair of pants for Ems, and a maternity/nursing dress I just had to have. It is so cute! And it was 50% off the original price-- $14. But when I tried on the large, it covered my chest, covered my knees-- and my garments showed under the arm! Oh, no! So I looked at the material, and decided it was really stretchy and cut pretty generously. So I went and got a medium, and it fit! It's not too tight and the arm holes aren't so deep that my garments show, so it's all good. :) And it's so stretchy I think it will fit until at least the 8th month of my next pregnancy (which we're trying for right now.) Plus the top has criss-cross parts so that I can nurse in it if I have to (although I do not like that style as much as the Motherhood dresses with the over layer over the vertical slits, because I don't use a cover when nursing, but Bridey is down to not much now anyways, most days just one time in the morning, so I don't always wear nursing tops, just tops I CAN nurse in in an emergency.) I tried it on for Jeff when we got home and it is so cute! I could wear it to almost anything, you could dress it down or dress it up, it could go to church, a casual party, a cocktail party, dinner and a movie, or the theater. It all would depend on the shoes, jewelry, and hair. It's so hard to find a MODEST, garment-covering "little black dress" that will work while pregnant or nursing! So I'm very pleased with it.

In other news, Emma can now sing the entire "Winnie the Pooh" theme song, and Bridget can hum it (and will if you say "Winnie the Pooh"-- she even said "Pooh Buh!" before humming it the other day!) Emma is trying hard to learn to hop on one foot, and Bridey can sign "more". (We weren't understanding her when she said "muh, muh!" the other day, because that means so many things, so she broke out the sign! And I thought she wasn't paying attention when I signed to her! Actually, I think it was really Emma who actually taught it to her. She is much more patient with things like that than I am.)

We are looking really hard for a new place to live. We hope to buy but are not sure yet whether that is an impossibility; we are applying for the state-administered first time home buyer program. We are hoping to find that we can get a manageable payment through them (since renting a place big enough is apparently going to cost us in the $1600-$2000/mo. range anyway.) I just cannot stand the situation we are in any longer. We desperately need to get out. We'd appreciate prayers on the home-finding front, as well as for our general well-being and sanity.

So that's pretty much it. Life can be really crazy sometimes, seems like this is one of these times.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Four Years

It was four years ago today that Jeff and I were sealed in the Los Angeles Temple, for time and all eternity. We have had ups and downs, but even the downs were bearable, because we were together.

After becoming pen pals through, we felt a connection. He gave me his phone number, I called (his mom picked up! He was sick! And I scolded him not to eat cookies when he was sick!) A few months later he came out to visit. And the rest has been not about him or me, but about us. Us apart, then finally together. Soon us and Emma, then us, Emma and Bridget. And through it all it just gets better. We have both changed, but I can honestly say that he, at least, has changed for the better. More mature, more responsible, but still hard-working, with a sense of fun, still attractive and gentle and loving and lovable and wonderful. I love to see him with our girls, the way he cares for, teaches, plays with them. I am prouder than ever of him for working to support us while simultaneously working to finish his degree-- and maintaining a B+ average! I'm proud that he has learned to do things for the girls and even a little bit of cooking; he's also taught me a lot. He's helped me control my temper better, helped me realize when I need to curb certain behaviors, and he's even taught me a few sports terms. ;) So we've grown together instead of apart, and our love has grown too, encompassing our children and still increasing toward each other every day.

What a good choice it was to write him back when he e-mailed me-- even if he was tired and I thought he must be a bit dumb at the time! (I was so very wrong on that count.) I'm so glad to have him in my life.

Happy anniversary, darling.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Jeff got an ice cream maker for Father's Day. (He also got socks, which Emma picked out despite me trying to steer her toward the Land's End shirts, so this was to make up for that.)

Last night we made ice cream as part of our FHE lesson. (It was Jeff's turn for the lesson, so he related everything we were doing to how we should function as a family, and the recipe as the plan of the gospel, etc.) We used Alton Brown's recipe for chocolate ice cream (except we used Ghiradelli's Ground Chocolate instead of cocoa.) We ate some "soft serve" last night but I just had my first scoop of the "fully ripened" product. It is incredibly delicious! I am soooo glad Jeff wanted an ice cream maker for Father's Day. We will probably end up making more sorbets than ice creams, but when we do make real ice cream I am going to just be in heaven. Fattening, fattening heaven.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Bridget's First Shoes

We had a little milestone today. We went out to do errands and Bridey ended up getting her first pair of shoes. (I don't count the ones she's had that were just for decoration, before she was even cruising in them.)

When we got Emma her first pair, it was a big deal finding ones that fit. Bridget's feet are longer (she's 14 months and wears a size 4!) but she doesn't have quite the high instep that Ems and I have so she didn't require Stride Rite shoes for her first pair (luckily for us!)

To backtrack a little, Ems was cranky so we went out. We stopped for lunch (we got an order of hummus with pita and a mango smoothie, and all shared it), then went to the thrift store (I found Jeff a navy blue Hugo Boss suit in excellent shape, the only defect being a name marked on the waistband and inside label, for $10. I also got Ems a pair of Gymboree pants, a Hannah Anderson dress, and a Land's End sweater for when she is a little bigger-- $0.75, $1.99, and $0.49, respectively.) Emma wanted a pair of thongs that she found but they were grody. So I said we'd go to the shoe store (Payless is right there) and look for some. They didn't have thongs in her size but we did find water shoes that fit her (amazingly!) so we got them. While I was there I measured both their feet (Ems is now almost an 8, which is what size we got; she'll need new tennies and church shoes soon, those are both 7.5s) and since Payless was having their BOGO deal (second pair 1/2 off), I decided to look for some for Bridey. I found the cutest little jellies. I know that's not really the recommended first pair of shoes, but I have my reasons. See, I've been observing her, and found that she walks better on firmer surfaces, she hates trying to walk on carpet. So I surmised that she might need a firmer sole. And it's so hot and she hates socks, I wanted to get her some sandals. But the leather ones would just get completely scuffed up if she decided to crawl around in them. So jellies were perfect-- no scuffing. Anyway, with tax my total was a little more than $12 for the two pair, not nearly so bad as Emma's first shoes!

I put them on her in the stroller and she spent an hour shaking her head no, grunting, and trying to pull them off. When she was resigned to them (and after a cup or two of apple juice/water and a snack) we headed to the park. She was thrilled to finally be let down to play at the park! (Our rule is no babies on the ground outdoors until said babies wear shoes.) She promptly sat down and tried to pull the shoes off, but being unable to do so, decided to stand up and try them out. So she took a few hesitant steps, fell down, did it again, but in a few minutes got used to them-- and went crazy walking around! Apparently the shoes were exactly what she needed for a little extra stability. They have vastly improved her walking. (Goes to show that the experts don't quite know everything about baby shoes, I've read so many times that flexible soles will help baby walk. Every baby is different! I'm glad I'm confident enough to trust my gut where my gut differs from the experts' advice.)

And she looks so cute walking around in her little shoes! Now I can't WAIT to see them in their matching swim suits...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Pictures from the Game

A few were taken by Emma, if you were wondering. ;) And they turned out really dark but that's what we get for forgetting our camera and having to use a disposable.

(BTW, CVS has REALLY CHEAP photo developing. It was about $8 for single prints AND a photo CD, one-hour service!)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Today at work Jeff was given tickets to the Dodgers-Mets game. The boss is a season ticket holder and couldn't use them so we got them, rather late in the day (afternoon, very short notice.) We called everyone we could think of but no one was free on short notice, so we used all 4 for ourselves, which ended up working out well. We stopped at the store on the way there and picked up a picnic (you can take food in as long as you have no thermoses, cans, glass bottles, opened plastic bottles [they must be factory-sealed when you bring them in], coolers, or bags/purses larger than 14" square. So I got a big ol' sandwich from the deli, single-serve potato salads for me and Jeff, rice puddings for dessert, two bottles of water, a pack of apple juice boxes, and a Gatorade for Jeff, and we put some in the diaper bag and I carried the rest in a grocery bag.) We got there at the bottom of the second inning, and stayed for the rest of the game (it was a short game.) We grabbed the travel booster that we keep in the trunk and were able to strap it on to a seat so Bridey didn't have to be in our laps the whole time-- and she loved it! We were right over the press box, in the center front row of the reserved section, both kids were able to see the field and just adored it. It was Flag Day so we all got little flags going in and the kids had a blast waving those, too! And we had a preferred parking pass (comes with the season tickets, apparently) and it was a breeze getting in and out, at least compared to how it usually is at Dodgers Stadium (which is not the best designed, parking-wise.) And it was so warm that I actually only needed one of the blankets we brought, Ems and I shared it, and I didn't put on my sweatshirt (the girls put theirs on at the end.) We forgot the camera but since it was Bridget's first baseball game we decided we really needed pictures so we bought a disposable. Therefore we will have to get them developed and scanned before I can post them, but I will get them up when I can. Everyone around us thought the girls were just so cute, especially when Emma sang along with "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and when Bridget clapped (she claps whenever everyone else claps, the polite child.) Emma asked all the way home, over and over, "So, did you have a good time at the baseball game, Mommy?" "So, did you have a good time at the baseball game, Abba?" And we would reply, "Yes, I did!", to which she would add, "Me, too!" And we really did. It was so nice to get out together for something other than dinner or just going over to relatives' houses, it was really a nice time.

The only down point of the day (other than my cramps, which luckily a combination of Advil and Tylenol is helping) was that apparently Emma decided to decorate herself and her sister in festive Dodgers blue and got hold of a blue Sharpie. I came out and she had colored everything in the playpen-- including herself, her sister, and their clothes. Ay. So we have two pairs of jammies that probably will never be the same, and they had to spend about 40 minutes in the bath tub getting scrubbed as I could catch one or the other of them. Parts of them are still faintly blue and probably will be for a few days. Oh, well, it has to happen once or twice in every family, right?

Sunday, June 10, 2007


I was at the computer and Jeff came out with Bridey to have her say good night to me. I said, "Night, night, sweetie!" and blew her a kiss-- and she crossed her hands over her mouth and blew me a kiss back!

Oh, my goodness, that is so precious! That's the first time she's ever blown a kiss, and for once we were BOTH there for a child's "first!"


So it's been a fairly quiet weekend, some good, some bad. Emma got sent home sick from preschool Thursday. She is finally just now getting really better. That's good, it means she'll get to go back on Tuesday. Bridget and I haven't been feeling so hot, either; Bridget didn't get a fever like Ems but she is fussy and just generally not good. I have just had a bit of general bleh, on top of my still-aching back and neck. So we didn't go to church today; there are prematurely born babies and older people and a kid with a compromised immune system from an organ transplant in our ward, we don't go when we have something we might spread.

Yesterday was my last day of class for the session. We had fun. We did architecture, and built a castle out of boxes, then one out of cake, then ate the cake, then tore down the boxes. I found out I am teaching this summer; I had been asked about fall by accident, instead of summer, but I guess I am starting in July. Oops. I told Claire that I can do this summer but I will need to have a few weeks off for vacation!

We went to Sun Thrift and I found a $500 Maclaren double stroller for $3.99. It needed a lot of cleaning and the shades have some fading but it's cleaning up pretty darned good for $4. There was no structural damage or anything, just a lot of dirt. Emma and I went out and washed it with Simple Green and water, then rinsed it with a hose, after I had taken off the seat covers to wash. I was going to sell it but decided to keep it; we will put the big double stroller, which was getting hard on my back with the girls getting so big, in storage, and I have promised Jeff that if I really really love this one I will sell off the other one (if I decide I don't like it I will sell this one off.) I will have to e-mail them for instructions since it is a discontinued model, so there are none on the site, and it needs a little WD-40, but that's not a big problem. It's navy with light blue seats, so good for whatever comes along next. I love Sun Thrift.

I am having awful heartburn. Pretty much whatever I eat either gives me heartburn or makes me queasy. No fun.

We have the tower fan out in the hall, set on "high" and "rotate", and Bridget loves to crawl or walk up to it, stand in front of it, and giggle as the air blows past her. It's pretty hilarious. She's such a goof.

So that's my life this weekend. Some good, some bad, and some mediocre, like most weekends, really. They go by far too fast now that Jeff is working all week. My consolation is that it's not as bad as it will be during tax season. I'm not looking forward to that...

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Stake Conference and My New Most Embarrassing Moment

So Stake Conference was this weekend. It was great, as always. We had 3 GAs attending: Elder Boyd K. Packer, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve, someone from the presidency of the Seventy whose name unfortunately escapes me, and another member of the Seventy whose name I also can't remember. (I'm rotten like that. Sorry.) The reason was that the Glendale Stake was discontinued, and they joined our stake. We used to be part of the Glendale Stake, but split off 37 years ago. Now people keep moving out of their stake, while ours is rapidly growing (two new wards and a new branch in the past five years or so.) So the La Crescenta Stake began as part of the Glendale Stake, and now the Glendale Stake has become part of the La Crescenta Stake.

In any case, we had wonderful talks. For the Sunday morning session, we had brief testimonies from all the released leaders (they did some shuffling in the presidencies and such.) Then a rest hymn, then President Packer spoke, then we sang our choir number. (We also had the opening hymn.) President Packer spoke on "the only true and living church of Christ", and it was wonderful. He also poked some gentle fun at our stake president, who served in his mission when he was a mission president. My favorite quote was, "Satan will try to trap us, and say, 'I have you now!' But he never has us! The Lord will not rest until all of His children are safely home." Powerful stuff.

Anyway, after our closing piece was the prayer. I started to get a little bit dizzy, and caught myself on the bench behind me. But I thought I was okay, so I stood back up and bowed my head again. I then proceeded to pass out (I get these low blood pressure episodes, it happens.) That's right, my new most embarrassing moment: I passed out on the stand, in front of the whole stake and 3 GAs. I fell forward (because I was leaning that way because of the bowed head) and came back to consciousness just in time to throw out my hands and stop myself from hitting my head. Then I couldn't get up right away. The sister next to me was a nurse, and made me lie down. Everyone had been asked to remain seated until the GAs left, as they had a plane to catch, so they got to see me passed out on the floor as they went by. Our wonderful stake president, who is a doctor, asked if there was a paramedic present (of course there was; he came right up) and waited to make sure that I was attended before leaving with the rest of the presidency and the guests. I had my pulse taken and was fine, and was eventually able to get up to a pew to sit down, but couldn't immediately stand. The sister who had been next to me went to get my husband, who moved the car closer (we had parked at the school above the stake center) and got the strollers and kids in the car before helping me out. But, yeah, embarrassing. I'm never going to forget that stake conference, for more reasons than one!