Category Archives: Holiday

It’s been a while!

>Man, it’s been AGES since I blogged! Things have been kind of busy around here since I had Oscar.

So, let’s see… um, Oscar is growing very well, and is doing wonderful. He’s a great eater and sleeper and has such a laid back, chill personality; very much like Jeff!

Something we did with the girls was stick a giraffe on their heads on their first Independence Day. Obviously, we had to do this with Oscar too!

He looks rather bemused actually. As opposed to Zoe’s ANGRY face:

Or Ruthie’s “I like this!” face:

I love all three of these pictures; I plan on maybe getting a picture frame that holds three pictures to put all of these pictures together. But the various reaction between the three just shows me how different they really are.

Being a mom to three kids is honestly MUCH easier for me than having two kids. I’m not entirely sure how or why; and that will probably change once Zoe starts Kindergarten; because then for a few hours of the day for 5 days a week, I’ll just have two kids at home. It’s going to be hard on Ruthie I think more than anyone else since Zoe’s been a constant in her life since the day she was born, and while he’s cute and fun, Oscar doesn’t do much. I’ve been feeling content with the number of kids I have, and I KNOW for certainty my family is now complete; everyone that’s supposed to be here are here.

Oddly enough, cloth diapering is going much easier than I had anticipated. There’s been a few hiccups along the way, but I’m seriously thinking to myself; “This is way easy and so much better than having to worry about disposable diapers!

I’m getting closer and closer to my driver’s license! I’ve done 3 observations with the driving school and one driving time; I have two more scheduled for next week. And after discussion and weighing the pros and cons we’ve decided that I will take the driving test with a private company versus going to the DLD/DMV. I’m hoping this will all be done by August 1st; however I’m not entirely sure if that will happen. At the very latest, I need to have it by August 10th; that’s the day that kindergarten registration is. That’s in three weeks; I KNOW I can do it!

Once life catches up I’ll be able to blog more.

The Holidays Are Now Over

>Which means the closing of another year.  Each year between Christmas and probably the first week after the New Year, I always sit back and reflect on the past year, and contemplate the upcoming one.  Unfortunately I have not blogged much this year for various reasons, but I’ll try to blog and highlight the ups -and some downs- of the past year.

First and foremost, due to Jeff receiving a full month paid vacation from working at eBay for 5 years, we were able to drive across country to visit my family in Virginia, Indiana and Illinois. Seeing my family was great, and I was able to spend time with friends and family who I have dearly missed.  And while visiting was wonderful and I was able to share some of my childhood experiences with the girls, it truly made me realize and appreciate living here in Utah. While I will always have fond memories of growing up in Virginia, I can’t go back to live there ever again.  I don’t belong there anymore. In a sense, I felt detached in a way from the whole experience. I’m not saying the trip was negative in anyway or we didn’t have fun or we regretted it, but it really gave me a sense of confirmation that I belong here in Utah. The trip also made me evaluate myself as a person and as a parent.  I admittedly crossed the line a few times when losing my temper, and I saw myself in a light that I never wanted to see myself in. I have resolved to be a better parent, and I have noticed some change and success with this. But it has been an emotionally trying year in that regards, but I can say that I have improved my demeanor, but I still have a long way to go. One of the brighter sides of our road trip is that Jeff and I had A LOT to talk about on the drive to VA and on the way home.. in a sense I think it brought us closer together as a couple.  And of course, because it’s sooo rare that a picture of the two of us is taken (I think more pictures of Bigfoot exist than pictures of the two of us together), I’m sharing a picture of us from his work Christmas party:

Aren’t we adorable?!

The other highlight was getting pregnant for the third time in July.. of course we didn’t confirm the pregnancy until August! The miracle and blessing of being able to get pregnant is still just as fresh and marvelous with Oscar as it was with Zoe and of course Ruthie too. This past year or so, I’ve had family and friends who have lost their pregnancies at various stages, and even one friend who lost her child just mere days after the baby was born. There’s no words to describe the sorrow and heartbreak of these situations.. while I’ve never experienced the losses they’ve gone through, that doesn’t mean my heart still didn’t break when hearing about each loss. Each one of the women are all fantastic mothers, and it’s really not fair they’ve had to deal with the losses they’ve dealt with. I admire each and every one of them for their resolve. I’m grateful for every kick, poke and yes even the muscle pulling and popping because I know what the alternative means.  This pregnancy has been a double blessing, because I have been able to finally get answers for all of the inexplicable aches and pains and weird falls and other episodes that I’ve experienced for most of my life with the diagnosis of my Rheumatoid Arthritis. I’ve got a friend who has it, and I contacted her and she gave me an emotional boost and some advice as well as the title of a book that she recommends reading; I’m going to have to buy it soon.

I’m also grateful for Jeff finally agreeing to cloth diaper Oscar; in fact we got the diapers in the mail on Christmas Eve!  As weird as it sounds for being grateful for extra loads of laundry, I really feel like this is the best thing that I can do for him as well as the environment. My only regret is not having the resolve and education to do it with Zoe and Ruthie; but at least I’ll be able to do it for him.  Jeff really is an amazingly supportive husband and friend; there’s not enough words or sentences for me to express how grateful I truly am for him being in my life. He has made me a better person, just by accepting me for who I am and of course instilling good habits in me.. although it did take me 6 years of us being together for me to stop biting my fingernails. *wink*  Here’s the box of diapers…

In addition to the blue and green diapers, I also have red and yellow. And one crazy lime green one.

This past year too the girls have grown and changed so much! Zoe’s now five, and it’s kind of scary/thrilling knowing she’s going to start school next year! We had her birthday party at the Sandy Living Aquarium, and she LOVED it, and in addition, I’m so grateful to all of our friends and family who took the time out of their schedules to come and make the party more exciting for us.  Ruthie has also grown in leaps and bounds, and her personality of sweet, spunky and a bit sassy is starting to show. While it is at times trying, I’m glad that she’s developing her own personality. The girls started sharing a room not too long after we got back home from our trip, and they both LOVE it! The girls will pick on each other and tease each other, but they really and truly do love each other.. and I’m so glad that they are able to share that experience with each other. Both girls are extremely smart! Ruthie’s learning how to count; and when I mean count I mean she’ll see a number of items, and she’ll stop saying numbers when she’s run out of things to count.. no recitation of numbers just for the sake here! Ruthie’s also recognizing most letters of the alphabet. She’s a bit later than Zoe on this -who knew the entire alphabet by sight 2 months after her second birthday- but it’s still great! I need to sit down with her and figure out exactly which letters she recognizes and which ones she doesn’t, but I’m pretty sure she recognizes most of the alphabet. And of course, Zoe’s learned how to recite the numbers from 1 all the way to 100! When we’re in the car for longish drives, and she’s still awake, she’ll start reciting the numbers.  She gets stuck on 40, 50, and 60 but with hints she’ll get through them just fine.  And another thing she’s taken up doing is ADDITION. She’ll sit in the car and stare at her fingers and then randomly say something like, “Does 2 and 5 make 7?” and then we’ll say yes and then ask her other ways to make the number that she asked about.  We’re trying to teach her how to read, but because I’m not sure how I learned, and Jeff’s not consistent with sitting down with her and trying to teach her how to read phonetically, it’s slow going.  But she does know how to read a handful of words, and she’s recently become very interested in asking how words are spelled… in fact last week when we were planning our grocery list, she got a pencil and a paper and made a list all on her own! She also can recognize both uppercase and lowercase letters. Zoe aside from not really being able to read has pretty much already exceeded the requirements of kindergarten in the sense of the goals they are supposed to reach by the end of the year; so it’ll be interesting at the very least when she’s tested for entrance into Kindergarten next August. Here’s the girls on Christmas by the way.. it’s the most recent picture of the two of them together:

They are fairies!


Next week will mark the one year anniversary of us having Casey. I can’t even begin to express how.. interesting it’s been with him in our lives.  It’s certainly enriched it for sure!  He’s a GREAT dog.. even when he gets stuck on the roof at my inlaws’ house or runs up the street and comes home with a rawhide bone he didn’t have before -for the record he only did that ONCE-. We don’t have a fenced in yard… but that doesn’t matter. We can let him out by himself and he won’t run off -well he’s done that twice in the last couple of weeks but he always came home after calling for him- and he ALWAYS stays in the yard when we’re outside. He’ll find himself a patch of ground and lay out and just watch and observe, and of course he’ll play if we got his stuffed duck or a few tennis balls outside.  He NEVER dug in the garden, and with the exception of digging a very small hole once this summer to bury a milkbone, he doesn’t dig up the yard or anything. I think the truest test of his character was back in November, when he somehow sustained a 5-7 inch gash on his back/side that went all the way down to his muscle. We’re unsure how it happened, but we think he was trying to get under the chain link at my inlaws’ house, and it went unnoticed because their female had tended to it by licking it and it had started to close up and scab over. We didn’t realize anything had happened until the next day (Monday) when Ruthie had leaped on him and reopened the wound.. and shockingly all he did was cry out in pain, look at her and walked off.  I didn’t think anything of it, until Zoe said “Mommy, Casey stinks.” and then about a minute later “Casey has something on his fur.”  Looking at it from about 12 feet away it looked like he had rolled in poop -something he’s never actually done, but there’s always a first time for everything- and it wasn’t until I saw the pink flesh of his muscle that I knew something was wrong. I told Jeff he had to come home IMMEDIATELY and I took a picture and sent it to him via picture messaging. One stressful trip to the vet and $400 later, he was put under for surgery, stitched up and given a good bill of health. What was alarming though was the rate of necrosis.. the vet said that it was consistent with a week old stab wound.. despite the fact that the injury happened within the previous 12-16 hours of him getting medical attention.  He is probably the best dog to have around kids, because the girls are constantly pulling and laying and just generally rough with them and he hasn’t ever really snapped or bit them.. and I think most people say that about their dogs, but when the dog has a big gash on them and a kid that weighs about 30 pounds comes flying and flopping on them, even the most mild mannered dog will retaliate by snapping at them or even biting them.  The vet was shocked when we told her what his reaction was.. or lack of one really.  Jeff and his dad inspected the chain link fence that he was trying to get under, and they found a VERY sharp piece of fence that we think he cut himself on. When the weather gets better, they will be going and clipping the fence to make sure it doesn’t happen again with Casey or any other dog.  I’d insert a picture.. but I’ll spare you from regurgitating your last meal/snack that you ate; it looked pretty bad.

And I feel horrible about slacking on the pregnancy belly pictures.. honestly I haven’t been feeling well enough to do it, but I FINALLY had Jeff take on on Christmas! Hope you enjoy! and of course, I’ll be taking more.

I promise I’m not grumpy, just EXTREMELY tired. This pic was taken on Christmas after all! I’m 24 weeks and 5 days along in this picture.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed the update with pictures! Hope you guys had a good holiday and that you’ll have a GREAT New Year!

Easter 2009!

>This is actually our first year of doing Easter with the whole works.  Last year, the girls got baskets, but that was about it, considering we had just moved into the apartment easter weekend, so we were too busy to do anything else.  But this year in addition to getting baskets, we colored eggs; well just me and Zoe did, Jeff was busy fixing something at the time so he didn’t participate.

 
Here’s us coloring eggs.  Zoe did such a great job scooping the eggs carefully out of the dye cups and placing them down on the paper towel to dry, and she also helped mix up the dye to color the eggs.
 
Here’s Zoe holding her egg with her name on it.  We also did an egg for everyone in the family, as you can see.
Here’s all the eggs we colored.  We did boil all eighteen eggs that were in the carton; however three of them cracked while boiling, so instead of coloring those, we just ate them.
Here are the girls’ baskets.  The Easter Bunny decided to leave the baskets outside of their bedroom doors.  The pink one is Zoe’s, and the purple one belongs to Ruthie.  Zoe thought the Easter Mr. Potato head was awesome, so awesome that she liked it enough to be embarassed by liking it so much; something that happens quite frequently.  She usually hides herself or just her face if that’s the case, and she hid under her table for about 5 minutes before we told her to come out and look at it.  Ruthie got two Easter themed Little People toys.
We had Easter dinner at my SIL Melissa’s house.  It was supposed to be at Jeff’s parents’ house, but the heating element went out in her stove so she wouldn’t have been able to cook dinner.  Anyway, Melissa has a row of daffodils in front of her porch, and Zoe LOVES to pick flowers, so she picked a daffodil and like with all flowers.. she had to smell it!  I also love the expression on her face in the second picture; especially because somewhere we have a picture of Jeff with the exact same expression on his face, and I’m pretty sure it was a picture taken on Easter as well.  I’m not completely sure if I remember the picture correctly; but either way it’s pretty funny.
Anyway, I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter.

Our Christmas

>

Well, I finally got around to taking the time to post our Christmas pictures!  We didn’t get alot of gifts for the girls, something we’ll never do, but we did get enough pictures.

 
The first picture is Zoe’s reaction to our exclaims of “Get up Zoe, Santa came and left you and Ruthie presents under the Christmas tree!”  She was embarrassed about it for some reason and decided to hide under the covers.  After about 5 minutes of waiting, Jeff decided to get her out of bed, and she brought along her Dora Pillow book to hide under.
 
Zoe was really shy about the presents until she caught sight of the giant penguin.  After that she was much more open to the idea of presents and opening them.  And there’s Ruthie in the corner smiling at the camera.  The next picture is slightly out of sequence; however she was WAY excited to see a treasure chest with a blanket and a tent inside of it.

Here’s the blanket that was in the treasure Chest.  She adores butterflies and the color purple, so that’s what she got; a purple butterfly blanket.  The other side is a lighter shade of fleece in a solid color.  Zoe’s always playing with the etch-a-sketch in the checkout, so we figured to ask Santa to bring her one.  She enjoys playing with it, but I think her favorite thing is to shake it to make the lines disappear.

The last thing Santa brought Zoe was a Smurfette doll that came with a one episode DVD (Romeo and Smurfette in case any of you were wondering what episode it was)  She enjoyed watching the DVD so much, we went ahead and downloaded the whole first Season for her to watch, and she’s completely enjoying that.  The next picture is a present from her Grandma Teresa (my Mom) which is a laptop with letters and numbers.  The neat thing about it that you can set the age of the child on the laptop so it grows with your child.
 
 As you can see, Zoe’s the most excited about CLOTHES!  I didn’t get a picture of the other outfit, but it was a purple velour jumpsuit with a purple shirt; this one was a red top with pink pants, and again it was from Grandma Teresa.  Ruthie got this toy from Grandma Teresa; it’s one of those things where you stick the toy in the correctly shaped hole (in case you couldn’t tell ::wink wink::)
 
 These two presents were brought to Ruthie by Santa!  This was her first Christmas, so I don’t think she quite understands what’s going on, but she really did like the ball! It shakes and moves and sings when the baby plays with it; it’s supposed to encourage the baby to crawl after it.  Ruthie likes to hold toys in her hand as she crawls around, so this ball will get her going to chase it.. or it’s supposed to anyway.  She mostly sits and pokes at it.  Ruthie also really likes the seahorse, when you squeeze it, the belly lights up and it plays music.  She seems to be soothed by it, so that’s a good sign.  Of course, she’s staring at it funny because she’s unsure exactly what it is; she’s since warmed up to it.
 
 These last two presents are from Grandma Teresa once again; the first picture is of an outfit, and the second one is pajamas with the little girl cat from Aristocats.. I honestly don’t remember her name.  Unfortunately, Zoe’s quite fond of cats and was a bit upset that they were not her pajamas.  But she’s okay with that.
The girls overall enjoyed their Christmas.  They got cute tutus from Uncle Andy and his family, and Zoe likes to play with hers; Ruthie really isn’t that crazy about hers, but I do plan on getting pictures of the girls later on wearing their tutus, they’re going to look adorable!


Merry Christmas!

>

… 188 cookies and two pies later.
Yes, that’s right.  I’ve baked 188 Gingerbread cookies for gifts, and that’s NOT including the 30+ that were not suitable for gifts.  Remind me to not do this again next year.  Of course, the cookies are delicious so, I suppose it’s worth it.  Liz, I may try my hand at candy making after all… it’s probably much easier than baking an insane amount of cookies!
Anyway, here’s some more pictures of the Christmas tree.
 
  These were taken the other morning, natural lighting really helps show how beautiful the tree is.  I especially love my tree topper.  The picture on eBay did not do it justice, and I was very pleasantly surprised to see how beautiful it is.
 
 And here’s what it looks like after Santa came to visit!  I got a package yesterday from my Mom; hers are the ones that are wrapped in green paper and also the decorated shirt boxes.  The decorated see through containers are our gifts to the family, and the rest are from Santa!
I can’t wait to get pictures later when Zoe wakes up.  The only downer is that I still have one last pie to make; an apple pie, and I have to do a quick load of laundry as well.  Oh joy!  At 12:30 we’re going to Jeff’s parents’ for lunch.  I’m super happy this Christmas because I did some digital work and got paid for it, so I managed to make enough money to buy something for Jeff.  It’s great because I didn’t have to use the money he earned for the family to buy him a gift.  It’s not much, but I know he’ll like it because I bought it for him.  But I won’t say what it is yet.
Once again MERRY CHRISTMAS!  I hope your day is filled with blessings and joy!

Oh Christmas Tree!

>I took some pictures of our Christmas tree. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to get great pictures of it with the camera, so I only was able to manage to get good pictures of it. They don’t do the tree justice though. I plan to get pictures of the girls in front of the tree in dresses when I can get to it though.

The first picture is of the tree with all the lights off. The second picture is with the light on in the living room area of our apartment. We put it up in the dining room area since that’s the only place we have room for it; we don’t have a dining room table, so why not put it there? I don’t have stockings up either, since I need to make them; however Zoe does have a stocking, somewhere. I do have the fabric though!

Part Two: Halloween Pictures!

>Well, here’s part two today!  As promised, I got some awesome Halloween pictures.  It was a really nice -for October in Utah- night out; however it was sprinkling outside but it wasn’t that bad.  It really brought out the fall smell.

Here are the pictures!

 
We went to our friends house up in Kaysville, and here’s a picture of the girls sitting on their fireplace.
Here’s a closeup of the girls.  It’s really hard to get them to cooperate at the same time.  Still a cute picture even if Zoe’s making a funny face.
Here’s the girls with our friends’ two kids with ours.  Ripley is a purple dragon and Rafe is a pirate.  BTW, (Ripley’s a girl, in case you couldn’t tell)
Here are Zoe and Rafe holding hands.  Cute picture!  Rafe was so cool, he needed TWO trick or treating bags/buckets.
 
Here’s Zoe in the ‘trick or treating’ zone.  She was having alot of fun. Unfortunately the picture isn’t the greatest one.
And here’s Ruthie.  This is what she did pretty much the whole time we were trick or treating.  Trick or treating takes alot out on a little one…

Christmas is Coming!

>I know, Thanksgiving hasn’t even come yet, but I just finished making Christmas tags for a swap I’m doing on a message board, and seeing them finished gave me not only a sense of acomplishment, but excitement too for Christmas!

This year is extra special to me because not only is it Ruthie’s first Christmas, it’s also the first Christmas we’ll have a real Christmas tree!  Last year we just had a small tree thing that was made out of cardboard and tensil -it was loaned to us by Jeff’s Grandma- and I’m so grateful that I was finally able to purchase a real tree this year.  And I almost didn’t get it because it was shipped to the wrong place -the Overstock.com warehouse in West Valley out of all places- and was rather upset because the UPS folks said they sent someone out to get it, but it was missing.. lo and behold it showed up about 5 days later!  So I’m now the excited owner of a 7.5 foot tall, prelit Christmas tree!

Then I came to a delemia.. how to decorate it?  I’m not a fan of the ‘traditional’ red and green for Christmas.. well not for a tree anyways- and I thought about it for a while, and then we went to Roberts one evening and I was able to decide on a color motif; pale pink and gold!  I’m not a huge fan of yellow gold at ALL when it comes to jewelry, but I love it for Christmas!  Anyway, since Robert’s prints out a weekly coupon, I’ve decided instead of getting all the ornaments at once, I’m going to use a coupon once or twice a week until I get enough boxes!  Yay for 40% and 50% off coupons.  Anyway, here are the boxes I’ve bought so far; I plan on getting two more boxes of each box to have 96 ornaments total.

 
 (Ignore the mess on my crafting table please) 
I’m thinking to get two dozen icicles as well, but I haven’t seen them yet, and I may not depending on what is available.  Jeff and I also decided we’re going to get a star and not an angel, because we want to avoid Zoe screaming at us to let her play with the ‘doll’ on top of the Christmas tree.
The biggest debate now for me is do I make a skirt or do I just buy one?  I could make one no problem, and it’ll give me greater flexibility in terms of fabrics and design, but on the other hand, Sewing for me lately has become a huge hassle, and that’s something I’m wanting to avoid.  But I need to find a skirt that matches my ornaments, and one that’s within a reasonable price range, but that may not be possible.
Well, there’s slightly just two months before Christmas and at least 4 weeks until I put my tree up -I’m going to put it up sometime after Zoe’s birthday and the first week of December- so I have time.  I can’t believe how fast this year has blown by!
And can I just say, I’m EXCITED for tomorrow?  I just hope the forecast for rain is incorrect, and we’ll just be passed over!

Trunk or Treat!

>It went really well!  Zoe didn’t get a ton of candy but that’s okay, Halloween is next week and she’ll get WAY more.. and according to my friend, in her neighborhood they give out BIG candy bars, so it’s all good..  anyway here are some pictures.. more of Ruthie but Zoe’s not inclinded to be photographed these days.

 
 This picture is classic.. it says “WHY AM I WEARING THIS RIDICULOUS OUTFIT??”   You can tell she’s kind of peeved.  It might be the stroller more than anything else though.
 
 I love this picture of Ruthie!  She’s kind of leaning back a bit and looking over her shoulder, which is so adorable!
 
 And here’s Zoe in her costume giving a crazy face!
In case you can’t tell they are both little skunks.  Anyway, that’s all.. I will post more pictures after Halloween gets here!