Saturday, December 29, 2007

Aren't I Lucky?

Okay, after receiving this book (Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson) as a gift from Mark's mom FOREVER AGO I finally read it last night. Wow.
Mark was trying to study and I had the tv on and it was bugging him, so rather than go into the other room I picked up the book and thought, "hey, this has been sitting here for an eternity, maybe I should read it!" I'm so glad I did. The ONLY thing I didn't like about the book was the occasional use of the word that I love when used in it's proper context and HATE when used in vain. The positives about the book FAR outweigh this annoying negative however and I feel like I'm a better person now for reading it. It is extremely emotional, poignant and beautiful. I read it from cover to cover in about 3 1/2 hours (it's a VERY easy read) When it was over I couldn't help but go and pick up my baby and rock him, nurse him and smell him and just feel so lucky that he is here (something I had the urge to do from about 1/2 way into the book until the end). I also went into Gabe's room to check on him (he's been sick) and it was all I could do not to crawl in bed with him for the rest of the night. I loved the lessons learned in this story. The most wonderful thing was when I tried to silently tiptoe out of bed to kiss my babies, Mark rolled over and said "I love you, beautiful" - seriously, it was almost like he had read the book just before me and knew that this exact moment would be the most perfect moment in all the world to say those 4 little words! I rocked my baby and felt like the luckiest person in the entire world and if a simple little 3-4 hour book can do that then I think you should all go and read it!!! When you do you will understand the title of this post "Aren't I Lucky?" perfectly. My mom had also read this book and suggested that I read it, I don't know why it took me so long to take her and Mary's advice! I'm going to be a little better than that from now on. Thanks you guys!!

Friday, December 28, 2007


and WAAAAAYYYYYYY behind. I'm so sorry that I haven't posted in awhile. To say things have been crazy around here is quite possibly the greatest understatement of the world. I have so many things to update so please bear with me. :)

Thank you to all of you that have posted on mine and Shar's blog wondering where I am, and to Shar herself for even dedicating a whole post just to me. :) She hit the nail right on the head and explained perfectly what I've been up to. Since a picture can speak a thousand words and I don't want to type all day I'll post a few showing what things have been like around here.
First of all, I thought it would be SUCH a GRAND IDEA to make hard candy suckers for all of my neighbors. My mom made them ALL the time when I was little and I LOVE the memories from it. Shar and I even talked about it and reminisced when she came by and I was in the thick of things. I had put all of the sucker bits in a bowl to munch on (because that is what my mom always did) and when Shar came by she mentioned how just looking at the bowl of bits and smelling the hard candy in the air evoked so many fun memories. I think this is primarily the reason I wanted to make them this year. I wanted my kids to remember their mom making suckers when they were little too. Though, in hind-sight I don't think the memories from this year will be very fond for them. I always get a little too stressed when my house gets out of control and this little adventure of mine made a MUCH BIGGER mess than I anticipated. GRRrrr. I was happy that they finally got done and it was fun to take them around to the neighbors so all in all I'd say it was a success. Mark (who will admit openly that he is NOT a big hard candy fan) says he thinks we should do chocolates next year and has already committed to helping me out. He thinks we should do it the Sat. after Thanksgiving and the whole family can just stay in their pj's all day and help, I'm all for it if he helps me and we get it all done in one day. Plus, I think it will be fun to try something new. So maybe MY kids will remember when they grow up about how their mom AND DAD always made chocolates for their neighbors every year and they got to help. That will be much better than the "I remember one year, my mom made suckers and we didn't see her for a week" memory that I'm going to try hard to erase out of their little heads in the coming year. :) Here is a picture of the colorful little guys:

After the candy adventure I was faced with the candy MESS and various other messes in my house that I let get WAY TOO OUT OF CONTROL and I wanted everything SPOTLESS for Christmas so I was frantic as I busled about turning this:
Into this:

And this:

Into this:

Do you THINK my kids have enough TOYS? And Santa came AGAIN this year!! I think I need to have a talk with that big guy......For those of you that remember my post awhile back about ALMOST getting the toy room done and wishing I had posted a before and after picture...? Well, I DIDN'T get it done and so then it got WORSE WORSE WORSE and WORSE. You couldn't even WALK in there!!! SO, this time I DID get before and after pictures and now the toys are mostly all in lock-down and will need paretal assistance to get out. I figure this way I can combat the mess a little instead of just letting them loose in the basement for days on end and never going downstairs to see the damage. :)
This is my next project. These are the toys that I allow upstairs and the place for all of the board games. They are mostly Gabe's toys and he's not the best picker-upper so usually things just get thrown back in the closet and the door shut (usually by a kid that has to put full body force against it to close it). I'm always leary to open the door as I know someday I'm going to fall victim to a toy and game avalanche and my kids won't be able to find me for a month!!
The good news is that although it looks ridiculous, it's really just a matter of stacking things a little better here and there and clearing the floor which I think in all actuality will take less than an hour....I just need to reserve enough energy to do it and right now my reservoir is running VeeeerrRRRYYY low in the energy department. :)
Also, I've been busy creating my family slideshow for 2007 which always ends up taking longer than I plan. It is such a rewarding task though and I love that we have a slideshow of all of our pictures since the year 2000. Joshua was only one and a half when I started making them. The boys all have a binder that holds their discs and we all get a copy that we can keep forever. Since I'm WAY behind on their scrapbooks I figure this is the next best thing. They've also come a long way since 2000 and now can incorporate video which is SO COOL! I will replace the slideshow from 06 with the 2007 slideshow at the bottom of my blog soon...maybe today if the stars all align in my favor.
So that's what I've been up to! I'll post with everything else SOON and I promise not to disappear for so long again....well that's a pretty steep promise...I'll TRY not to anyway.
And I do need to say that while I've been away from MY blog for awhile I haven't been away from yours. I've loved reading that my cousin Kandis has officially acheived CPA STATUS!!! Unless you are personally going through this I just don't think you understand what a HUGE UNDERTAKING it is and I am SOOOO proud of her!!! WAY TO GO CUZ!! I know Mark is SOOoooo jealous that you are done and hopes that he can add those wonderful little letters to his name sometime this next year too! :) I also LOVED finding out that my amazing and almost perfect cousin AD has a "real-life" life afterall, and was SO relieved to find out that even something as simple as a night out can get messed up at her house too. whew!
I continue to be amazed at my wonderful sis who has taken this bloggin' thing on FULL FORCE and just astounds me with her almost daily posts and cool pictures to illustrate with that she finds online. She's growing up and making me so proud... *sniff. I also totally love her movie reviews. Seriously, if you are contemplating a movie you've GOT to go to her site first to get the dish about your movie, I can almost GUARANTEE that the movie you're thinking about will be there, from Alvin and the Chipmunks, to The Legend, she's got it all. :)
I've been celebrating with Christine for finally selling her condo, and laughing with Tib over her holiday eating tips. For your daily blogging fix you just can't do better than my cousin Camille who started blogging AFTER me and already has over 100 posts. PLUS, they aren't BORING in the SLIGHTEST, she is so funny and witty that you just can't help being hooked, and she has two little ADORABLE boys and is so inspirational, I just love going there. :) I can't forget about Sheriece (she's not on my favorite's list yet, because I keep forgetting to ADD HER!) her blog is HILARIOUS! She is my cousin's daughter so what does that make her and I?? I tried to figure it out once but then my head started to hurt so I didn't worry about it anymore. She doesn't remember me from Adam but I TOTALLY remember her from when she was little and her blog is just awesome. I love how she taught everyone what the meaning of "blog" is and how she now provides cool links in almost every post. SO FUN! I've also loved catching up with my cousin Carla and hearing about her fun holiday shopping, her tip on what to do instead of buy a gift card that will go to waste was very inspiring also! :) Ok. I'm on a roll now. I can't forget Lisa whose life patterns mine (or vise-versa) SO much that it's almost scary! I love reading about the adventures of her 4 boys and feel as though she understands more about my life than anybody else can. I've loved reading about the incredible poem that my nephew Kyle recited in front of his WHOLE SCHOOL and catching up with friends Peggy (Santa almost didn't come to their house, that was a close one..WHEW!), Megan and my new friend from Christine's site Danielle even if it was 4am. That is what I LOVE about the blogging world, it doesn't matter when you show up, you can still catch up like you never left. :) Oooh, I CAN'T FORGET about Reagan and her wonderful post about the things she's learned in her 28 years of life. I laughed all day about that one! I LOVE ALL OF YOU!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Happy Happy Birthday to YOU!

Happy Birthday to my MOM! We LOVE YOU to BITS! Thanks for being such a wonderful Mom and Grandma, we don't know what we'd do without you!!!

Today is my Mom's birthday. I won't tell you how old she is, because I'd be in big trouble. :) I called her today and she said " is just another day." :) Well, might just be "another" day for you but I think it's a WONDERFUL DAY! If it weren't for you, I wouldn't be here for starters...and wouldn't that just be a horrible world to live in???!!! HAHA. Okay, I'm TOTALLY being sarcastic. But at least I can say if it weren't for you I wouldn't be here and if I wasn't here then my beautiful boys that you love so much wouldn't either... right?!!! So, all in all, I'm so happy that it is my wonderful Mother's birthday today. I'm happy that this day belongs to her and I will be celebrating all day, even if it is ...."just another day". Love you Mom!!!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Chopped Liver...

This is me. After a C-section delivery, countless sleepless nights, and the fact that I'm still carrying more baby weight than I'd like, this is the thanks I get. My sweet baby has now laughed out loud for my MOM and SAM. That's it. I am doing all but stand on my head for this kid and acting like a complete dork nearly 24 hours a day just to get so much as a teensy little giggle and he's giving me nothin', nada, zippo... I am officially chopped liver. ...sniff

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

What do Baby Will and a Godfather's Supreme Pizza have in common?

Nothing...Nada...Zilch...Zero. In fact, they really don't agree with each other at all. I had said pizza for dinner on Monday night and again for lunch yesterday and BOY was that baby UNHAPPY, needless to say neither one of us got much sleep last night! Poor baby, I guess Supreme Pizza is out for me for awhile!

Today was photo shoot day with the little brothers. Out of the gazillions of pictures I took, I managed to get a few keepers. I can't believe this baby is already 3 months old. Gabe is usually really happy to sit and take a few pictures but he wasn't today so we didn't get very many good shots, most were blurry from him moving so much and so fast. The one of Will smiling is my FAV. and it is blurry too. ARGH. I've really been trying to convince my wonderful husband that I need an SLR. :)


you've just got take matters into your own hands and learn to hold your bottle early because everyone around you is busy. Poor baby. :)

Really, I still nurse him mostly but he gets (and LOVES) a bottle about twice a day because my milk just gives up on us twice a day....I'm hoping we can hold out until he starts eating solid food too and my milk alone will sustain him but until then, a bottle it is. It was so cute today when he was gripping it like his little life depended on it.

Oh...not again!

My POOR cat. This is his favorite place to sleep in the house...especially since we got leather furniture and he refuses to sit or lay on it (YAY). Well, when it is time for the rightful owner of the bouncy seat to sit in his chair I always kick the cat out by just lifting up the chair and turning it upside down - not nice, I know...but I'm usually holding Will in the other hand so I only have one hand to work with...ANYWAY, yesterday Gabe kept putting a plush Lightning Mcqueen talking car in the seat with him. The car talks when it gets smashed or even touched it seems because I kicked the cat out the first time and the car fell out too and said "Hey! I'm not supposed to be smashed!" it took me by surprise because I didn't realize it was there. Then a few hours later the cat and the car were back in the seat and I kicked him out and the car said "OH, NOT AGAIN!" I don't know why this struck me as hilariously funny but it did, it was such perfect timing I guess and it was totally like Toby (the cat) was saying "OH, not again!!" he,he,he! I often wonder if some of his best dreams include being 50 times bigger than us and dumping us out of bouncy chairs or baskets of laundry. HA! Funny stuff.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Weekend update...

Okay, so I'm WAY behind and since I'm planning on printing this out at the end of the year to keep as a journal I feel the need to catch up quick. Be prepared for lots of misc. stuff in no particular order at all.... :)

I'll start with our day last Friday. Mark usually gets home from work a little early on Fridays so we like to use these days to go places if we can. This is the day we planned to take the boys to the mall to pick out their ornament for 2007, have lunch and go see the Festival of the Trees. We met Mark at the mall at about 2:30 and headed to Mervyn's first as sometimes the Hallmark ornaments go on sale there so we thought we'd sale and hardly any selection so off to the real Hallmark we go... after what seemed like FOREVER the boys finally made their choice...changing their minds a trillion times along the way (and with a little parental intervention) they ended up with some pretty cute ones, I think ....after telling us all day that he wanted to find a Spiderman ornament, Sam gets there and decides he wants a plain old snowman, WHAT??!!! We talked him out of that one because we knew once we got home he'd wish he had chosen the Spiderman after all...and he was SO happy with it when we got it home. Poor Joshua kept getting talked out of every one of his choices because they really made absolutely no sense...I mean, the whole REASON we pick HALLMARK to get their ornaments is because with their selection they can usually find something that fits them perfectly or goes along with something they've done or experienced throughout the year and that is what we explain to the boys before we even go into the store...yet without fail, Joshua's first pick is always something that leaves Mark and I dazed and confused and trying as hard as we can to change his mind. He wanted anything that did something cool, like light up or talk...he wanted a juke box that played music for a whopping $28!! Sorry, kid! We love you to bits but there's just NO WAY you're getting a $28 ornament! He wanted a weird hot wheels car that had flourescent PINK on top, and he wanted a Soccer ball that's about to score a goal....which would be fine, if he had or EVER has played SOCCER! He finally got his heart set on a basketball with a pair of shoes beside it that plays the sounds of a crowd cheering and that one was perfect, everyone agreed (Joshua is about to start Junior Jazz and Mark is going to be his coach... they are both so excited). Poor kids. I hope they remember how much fun we had when we got to go and pick ornaments and not that their parents wouldn't let them get what they really wanted. :) Mark and I realized that when the kids move out and take their ornaments we are going to be left with NOTHING, so we entertained the thought of picking one for us, but the one we really liked was $24 bucks and we just couldn't justify it. Lucky for us when we checked out the lady said "oh, if you buy 2 or more ornaments you get this little snowman ornament for free" YAY for us, our tree won't be completely bare afterall! :) So this is what everyone ended up with...

Joshua's Basketball and shoes:
Samuel's BLACK Spiderman (he was the black Spiderman for Halloween so this really was perfect for him:

Gabriel's Mickey Mouse (LOVES Mickey Mouse Clubhouse beyond MEASURE)And little Will's "baby's first Christmas" ornament
This is the little snowman we ended up with:
Having just watched "A Christmas Story" with the boys we also really loved these: (I love their names!)

a Major Award: Ralphie Saves Christmas:

After we left the mall we headed to Chick-Fil-A for lunch. YUMMMMM! It was really really yummy, I'd forgotten how good their Chicken strips and fries were, it was a fun treat! After lunch we went to the Festival of the Trees. This is a really neat event that showcases incredibly beautiful trees that are donated and sold for THOUSANDS of dollars and all the money earned goes to Primary Childrens Medical Center. There were some really amazing trees. One of them even had a HUGE flatscreen HDTV that came with it, there were some that included a dinette set and chairs, one with a beautiful bed, and a star wars one that was INCREDIBLE, it had every figurine imaginable attached to the tree and then another HUGE pile of unopened figures that were included. One of my favorites was the giraffe tree, it looked like a giraffe had fallen into the tree with his head on top and his arms and legs sticking out of the front. It was really cute. Another one of my favorites wasn't a tree at all, but a "candy factory" that was DARLING! They also had some pretty incredible play houses for outside complete with carpeting, lofts, electricity and siding! How fun would that be!!! Here are a few of our favorites: (I know they all look like the same but I thought I'd share them anyway).

The Candy Factory:

This is what Will and Gabe did most of the time we were there:

One of the highlights of the day was when the boys got to stand in a GIANT BUBBLE! It was just a kiddie pool filled with bubble solution and a hoola-hoop attached to rope, who would have thought that could be so cool!! The kids really loved it and Gabe even tried it which surprised me because we woke him up from a DEEP SLEEP to ask him if he wanted to do it so he went from dreamland to bubble-ville in about 30 seconds. Right at the end he slipped into the bubble solution and got his feet drenched, the video only shows the first second of this, he was so cute about it though and didn't mind at all that he got soaked, he just laughed it off like it was no big deal at all. Whew.

As we left the festival there was a HUGE line just to get tickets so we were SO GLAD we had gotten there early. We got home about 8-ish and the boys got to go downstairs to watch the Jazz game with Mark, then they got to sleep downstairs so it was pretty much a perfect day from start to finish for the little guys. I hope they'll cherish the memories of this fun day forever, I know that Mark and I will.

NOPE, I'm not done yet....

So on Saturday we awoke to a BEAUTIFUL BLANKET OF WHITE SNOW! I am not a snow lover...though I'm not actually a snow hater either...unless it's grey or yellow snow, that kind of snow I definitely hate...but this snow was absolutely perfect! We had nothing planned except for staying around the house and getting things done-ish stuff so it was fun just to stay inside with the fire going and watch it snow ALL DAY LONG! It really didn't stop. Joshua's little snow measuring stick measured the snow at 7 inches deep and it kept snowing for at least another 2-3 hours after that! Mark went to pick us up some lunch (grocery shopping actually WAS on my list for Saturday but it didn't get done so we had slim pickin's for lunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday) and took a video of the snow falling. He didn't necessarily want me to put it on the blog since he is "narrating" it, but I love that he is narrating it and I'm the administrater of the blog so on the blog it goes! :)

I think that is enough for one night. I've still got to post about Thanksgiving and Black Friday, but those will have to wait for another day. Aren't you excited?! :)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Lovin' on Grandma!

We LOVE it when Grandma comes to town and it NEVER happens enough! This weekend we got to see Grandma for a whole day and a half! She lives in Phoenix and flew home for her family Christmas party on Sat. night, then flew home on Sunday night (she works for Southwest Airlines so this is easy for her to do...and FREE!) She even came to church with us on Sunday, what a TREAT! Gabe said "mom 'tay home, Maa-ma take me chooch" which translates to "mom can stay home, grandma will take me to church!" :) It was really nice to have an extra set of hands there to help. HOWEVER...during Sunday School when we are all supposed to be reverent and listening...what is Grandma doing??? Playing with the baby (and not very quietly, I might add..) and what does the baby decide to do??? Reward her with an all-out GIGGLE!! The little stinker, giving Grandma his FIRST laugh when he's supposed to be setting an example and being quiet! Those two were in CaHOOTS I tell you! It was SO STINKIN' cute! He really did laugh out loud at least TWICE! So, being the jealous mom that I am and not very happy that he didn't laugh for me first I immediately took him into the nursing room with the excuse that he was hungry and tried and TRIED to get him to laugh for me to no avail, not even a squeal. Has he laughed since??? NOPE...nothing. I remember telling Mom that Will smiled for the first time and she said that she couldn't believe how fast he was growing up and how sad she is that she is missing it and I said, "Hey, he hasn't laughed yet, maybe he's saving that for you!" I had no idea that I would be right!! He really just loved her to pieces and smiled at her like he smiles at Mark and I, and he doesn't smile so freely to just anyone so it was really really sweet! When we got home we broke our fast with a FANTASTIC lunch of leftovers from the Christmas party that mom brought home and then Grandma broke out the goods and shared wonderful cookies and caramel popcorn with us. The boys were in HEAVEN! Joshua wanted to show her how to play the game "Apples to Apples" it is one of Joshua's favorite games and it was so funny to see what she came up with until she realized you have to put down the cards you think the JUDGE will pick, not necessarily the best definition...this is very crucial when playing with an 8 and 5 year old...for example, no matter WHAT the word is you are trying to describe, if you have a card that says something like "Pokemon, Batman, Egg Nog...etc"...THAT is the card you play when Josh or Sam are the judge, since it matters not what the word is, but the word they get to PICK , and the cooler THAT word is, the better your chances are of getting YOUR card picked. She cracked up everytime she put down a perfectly good card only to get trumped by a totally ridiculous card that the boys liked instead. He,he, times! She always brings the boys treasures from her thrift store excursions and this trip was no different. She brought them each a book, and some fun halloween costumes from Target. Now they can add a ninja and a swamp monster to their dress-up tote. She has also been making the baby some of the CUTEST little pacifier holders, and this time brought a darling little snowman for Will to wear when he's out on the town. Lucky, lucky boy! I'll try to take and post a picture of them soon. Here are the boys and grandma at the table playing games. The one of Mom and Will is very blurry but still so cute that I posted it anyway. Thanks for coming, Mom! We LOVED seeing you, even if it was for too short a time!

Saturday, December 1, 2007