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Find it, Mommy!

26 December 2010
Today we were driving around. Sparrow was in the backseat wearing his coat. Hawk and I were sitting quietly when suddenly we heard "where's my hand?"

We looked at each other, not sure what Sparrow had really said.

"Where's my hand?!"

I turned around. Sparrow was peering intently down the sleeve of his coat, where his hand had gotten stuck.

"Where's my hand?! Where is it, Mommy? Mommy, can you find it? WHERE'S MY HAND?! WHERE'S MY HAND?!?! I lost it! I LOST MY HAND."

Maybe you had to be there, but Hawk and I almost died, we were laughing so hard.

I'm related to the Real Santa Claus.

24 December 2010
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Bamboo and Panda wish you a merry Catmas. They would like to inform you that each home should have a tree inside for the feline's ultimate enjoyment, and ideally it would have several ornaments for knocking down and trailing around the house. Hawk and I would like to inform you that we are thrilled that the tree and the ornaments are going away on Sunday.

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Hawk and Sparrow both have "baby's first Christmas" ornaments. My mom neglected me. Or mine is hanging on her tree, one of those.

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This nativity is placed far away from angry toddler hands. Don't worry, Sparrow has his own to play with. Which has lead to me saying, many times, "Don't throw the baby Jesus! Don't eat the baby Jesus!" etc.

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My grandma made me this ABC's of Christmas book using Christmas cards back in 1998. She collected tons of Christmas cards and made a book for each of her seven grandchildren.

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My grandma is fantastic.

And now I have a Christmas surprise for you.

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Look who I caught on camera!

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My grandpa? Santa Claus?! It's too good to be true! (No, Sparrow had no idea this was his great-grandpa. We told him Papa was taking a nap.)

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Happy Christmas.

I need a little Christmas, right this very minute.

14 December 2010
So, Mrs. Smith brought up an excellent point in her post the other day, about the Christmas spirit. You know, that "Christmas feeling" when it just feels... magical. And it made me think about my own feelings around this time of year.

This year, I haven't felt that magic yet. And thinking back, I haven't felt Christmas magic before the 24th for at least 3 years in a row.

You know what happened 3 years ago?

We got rid of TV. We still have a TV, but only for movies/Wii. As such, I no longer get to watch all the Christmas movies/specials/episodes and COMMERCIALS.

Can it really be that all my Christmas magic feelings were because of the TV? Was it all based off the commercialism surrounding the holidays? Crap!!

I had great plans this year of doing activities, crafts, snow-filled days and hot-chocolatey nights with Sparrow. We were going to talk about Christmas stuff and read Christmas books and yay Christmas and decorate and do everything this year. But then I got hit on the head, and then I got pneumonia, and I am just now coming off of the "always feeling wiped out" part of it. And now Sparrow has a cold too. We haven't had a lot of money this year so I haven't been able to go do as many activities as I'd like, or go shopping as much as I would like (and oh would I ever like!) So what I am saying is, I am having a minor existential crisis because I feel like a Scrooge and I'm worried that it's because Christmas always meant getting stuff and I REALLY need to get my priorities straightened!

And I'm trying to figure out how I feel about Santa - good, bad, or ugly? I'm falling somewhere in the middle of the spectrum here. Sparrow gets a chocolate from his advent calendar every day ("Christmas candy!") and he talks about Santa and can recognize pictures of him, but he doesn't get the whole "Santa will bring you a present if you're good." And I'm not sure I want to do that anyway. Argh. Parenting is confusing.

On the plus side, Sparrow and I have read a few Christmas stories. He has been learning Christmas songs (favorites being "The Little Drummer Boy" and the Hallelujah chorus, and also "Rudolph the Hot Sauce Reindeer," which makes me giggle every time.) He LOVES the Christmas tree being up, and even though our darn cats keep trying to scale the thing/bring us ornaments off it, I do have to admit I like having it up too. It's pretty.

Oh, and I'm a little upset because since I've been sick I haven't been able to sing in a couple of Christmas choirs I was looking forward to, and I was going to sing a duet with my mom at her church a few weeks ago but couldn't do it. Christmas music is something I look forward to starting in September, but I make myself wait till after Thanksgiving to sing/play/listen, so I'm bummed I haven't sung as much as I'd like. And my voice is only just starting to come back, darnit.

I don't know. I just feel like, Christmas is in 10 days, and I want this to be a special time for my family, but I don't know what to do to make it special and I don't want to spend millions of dollars but I do but I can't and I really hope it snows soon because right now it looks like February and that's just depressing.


And let me just be honest - part of me is just so done with 2010. Not a bad year all things considered, but I am really excited for 2011.

Sparrow and a snowstorm

08 December 2010
I'm feeling mostly better but I still have a nasty cough, frequent headaches and I get wiped out ridiculously easy. Still, thank goodness I got sick/concussed at the beginning of the month instead of over Christmas! (knock on wood.)

Look at these eyelashes and tell me they aren't ridiculous. What, I ask you, does a two year old boy need with eyelashes this long? It is obscene.

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Here he is with our intrepid cat. Yes, both of our felines like to play in the bath. They also beg for us to turn the faucet on so they can have running water to drink.
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Here is Sparrow, hiding in the car under his very favorite blanket. This blanket was placed on his incubator when he was in the NICU and we got to bring it home with us. Thank you, Project Linus! As a side note, if you ever find fleece fabric with this pattern, buy it and I'll pay you for it.
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The rest of the pictures are blurry, but that's because I was taking them while hanging out of a window on the freeway. We were only going 30 mph, because it was so slick and scary. It snowed for about 18 hours straight and we had 2.5 feet of snow when it finally stopped. These were all taken on November 28th.

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Later, we heard that there were over 300 accidents that night. We were lucky not to be among them. If it hadn't been our last chance to see my dad and his family for a long time, we wouldn't have ventured out of our house!

This is the road leading up to our house. I was worried we weren't going to make it, but our relatively new tires did a good job.

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Four Years

06 December 2010
Four years ago, almost to the minute, I became a Mrs.

Oh marriage. It hasn't been easy, and it hasn't always been fun, but I'm always glad to have Hawk by my side. He takes such great care of me and Sparrow.

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I'll love you dear, I'll love you
Till China and Africa meet
The the river jumps over the mountain,
and the salmon sing in the street.

I'll love you till the ocean
Is folded and hung out to dry...
--W.H. Auden

When it rains it pours!

03 December 2010
And now I have pneumonia.

It makes me laugh, but when I laugh, I cough, and when I cough it makes my head hurt. Dang it.

Not off to a good December

01 December 2010
On Monday, I shoveled a ton of snow off our driveway. We have a 2 car driveway and got 2 feet of snow, so you do the math. I was proud of myself for getting a work out in. It only took an hour.

Yesterday my lungs hurt, but I figured they were just sore from the cold air. I've been really tired but I thought it was because we were so busy last week.

last night was Hawk's holiday work party. They had it at this place that you can rent out, and it has different rooms of varying sizes. On the 3rd floor is an ice rink. Just for the novelty of it, we decided to try skating. I was doing really well, recalling my ice skating class in college. I did some sweet moves and even went backwards. The third time I went backwards...

SPLAT.

I landed on my head, elbow, butt. In that order. I lay there on the ice for a moment, and then two guys came and helped me up. I couldn't help it - I cried. Somebody from the other room came in and asked if I was okay - "I heard your head hit the ice from the other room." Everybody saw and heard me fall. My head didn't bleed, but it HURT and I saw spots and was dizzy.

I didn't sleep well last night. This morning I woke up with no voice, a sore throat and a nasty cough. Hawk came home at noon and my head was hurting so bad and I was feeling nauseous, so we went to the doctor, who told us to go to the ER. I spent 3 hours in the ER, mostly resting in a darkened quiet room (Hawk and Sparrow stayed in the waiting room, so I had naptime!) They did a CT scan of my brain, but there's no bleeding or anything so they sent me home with a diagnosis of a grade II concussion and a prescription for a painkiller.

I'm tired and I don't feel good. Pout.

And at the 2011 holiday party everyone is going to remember me as the girl who wiped out on the ice. Whine!

Free $25!

29 November 2010
Hey, want a free $25 gift card to Amazon.com?

Go here and sign up. It takes less than 20 seconds. And $25 free bucks? So worth it.

Woot.

28 November 2010
I have written a "novel." I fought for every single word ten times over. It was a battle every single step of the way. I am not kidding, I thought I was going to die rather than finish this sucker. But I have 50,096 words, and I am done baby. I hate my novel and it's crap, but it's done.

I'm going to go sleep for 6 months and then start the editing process.

Booyah.

Not relaxing!

24 November 2010
I thought Thanksgiving was supposed to be kind of calm and easy. No running around like a headless chicken. Ha ha, silly me.

Firstly, I have to deep clean my entire house. Like, by the end of the day. I also have to sell several pieces of furniture that are cluttering up my life. Before the end of the day.

I am leaving in a few minutes to go pick up my grandma from Ogden and take her to my mom's house. That will take a big chunk of time out of the day, but it's worth it because I love my grandma.

I also want to go see my paternal side of the family; they are staying in Ogden but I don't think I will get to see them until tomorrow.

I have to write 5000 words to get caught up on NaNoWriMo. I also need to figure out how to unlock my iPhone and get it done or else list it on eBay. I need to lose approximately 5000 lbs before tomorrow as well.

I need to read 18 library books and return them.

Mostly I just need to get the house clean, but my motivation is ... nonexistent. Hence, I blog.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Letter to Natural Health Magazine

19 November 2010
Dear Natural Health Magazine,

I would love to renew my subscription to your magazine. I enjoy reading your articles and find the information you present relevant to my daily life and informative as well as engaging.

However, for the last few issues there has been a full-page advertisement in your magazine that is pornographic and inappropriate.

At first, I thought it was a one-time thing, and that surely you wouldn't reprint that ad or any like it again. I was highly disappointed to find that I was wrong.

Natural Health is a magazine I used to keep on my coffee table to flip through. I can no longer do that for fear my young son will try to look at the pictures and come across this disgusting page.

I used to pass my copy of the magazine along to several friends and relative, including my own grandmother. After the inclusion of this lewd advertisement, I have felt unable to do so. And while I had considered buying magazine subscriptions for several friends as Christmas gifts, the continued presence of pornography in your magazine has turned me OFF.

If in the future you decide to keep your advertisements G or even PG rated, then I would be happy to re-subscribe to Natural Health. Until then, it is with regret and a little anger that I will not be renewing my subscription.

Jerkfaces.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows review

18 November 2010
(Part 1 obviously)

So, Hawk's work sent us to see Harry Potter tonight. I haven't even been out of the theater for half an hour yet, that's how much I love you Internet peeps and how much I wish to tell you of this movie.

First off, I was highly concerned after hearing rumors of a nude scene. These rumors scared me but as it turns out, it wasn't too bad. No full-on nudity is present, however! There are 2 parts where we see naked-but-for-underpants Harry, including a scene where Harry is wearing a bra (not kidding.) There is also a scene with Harry and Hermione getting "passionate" and neither of them are clothed. That part was totally unnecessary and made me irritated, but it lasts for about 15 seconds.

Now that that's over with. Let me just say one thing:

THIS IS NOT A HAPPY MOVIE.

This is a VERY depressing film. The book is too, but at least at the end of the book there's closure and everyone goes on their merry way. Here it's, "see you 6 months kids!" By the way, this is not a movie I would take a child to. Maybe if your child has read the books and is a mature 10 year old. Maybe. But there's the aforementioned passionate scene, and there's also very scary and intense images throughout the film. Hawk is terrified of snakes and had a very hard time handling the numerous snake-jumping-out-at-you scenes. There was also a scene with spiders. Ew.

I was impressed with all of the actors and I think everyone did an amazing job. I do wish I had read the book before going to see the film, as I haven't read it since the night it came out and did a skim job then. I will be reading it before part two is released for certain.

I don't remember the Snatchers from the book at all, and I really hated the scenes with them. It's like they tried to make the main Snatcher a Captain Jack Sparrow rip-off, and it was lame. I rolled my eyes many, many times. Oh well.

It's hard to say if I liked it or not. I think it was well done (though seriously, I could have done without seeing Daniel Radcliffe's "harry" chest ha ha I made a funny), and I'm not sorry I saw it. It was just really... dark. I would go see it again, certainly, but I would wait until the hype dies down because yikes the theater was scary packed tonight.

David Yates is by far my favorite Potter director. Three cheers for him. I am looking forward to Part II in July!

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this review, I did it out of the goodness of my heart. I'm also not awesome at writing reviews so take this with a grain of salt. I mostly just wanted to clear up the nude scene confusion. I haven't read the book in depth so I'm not qualified to say how well it matches up with that. And while I enjoy the other characters, the main trio is what I am most interested in, so the fact that everyone else gets very little screen time didn't matter much to me.
14 November 2010
I wish I had something intelligent today, but alas, I don't. I'm channeling all creative forces into my NaNoWriMo novel, where I am 5,000 words behind schedule. Bah!

Without further ado, the grand prize winner of The Price of Freedom CD is Lara! Good thing you visited my blog, Lara :) Email me your info and I'll send you your bounty. (booty? bounty? treasure stuff.)

Sometime in the next week or so I'm doing another giveaway with more prizes, so keep checking in!

The Price of Freedom + giveaway!

11 November 2010
On Saturday, I had the opportunity to go see a stage musical called "The Price of Freedom" with my grandpa and grandma. It was amazing. It wasn't a musical like you'd normally think of one, but there was an orchestra on the stage, and then 7 singers that portrayed real life people from World War II. There was a newlywed wife and her husband who fought in Germany, and while he was gone the wife gave birth to his son. There was a mom and her two soldier sons, and then a soldier who asked his girlfriend to wait for him. They sang parts and read excerpts from real letters. There was also two movie-like screens where images from the war and pictures of soldiers were displayed in tandem with the music. Believe me when I say, it was incredible.

But the best part, for me, was the time I was able to spend with my grandpa. He served in the Air Force and flew helicopters to rescue stranded soldiers. I haven't known him for very long, just four years (I'm adopted), so when he tells me stories about his past I hang on every word. During the intermission, he told me that he related very well to the soldier whose son was born while he was at war. Grandpa was flying a helicopter in Vietnam when someone got on the radio-thing and told him that he had a brand new baby daughter and Mommy and daughter were healthy and fine. He said it got hard to fly, because he was crying so much.

Yeah, my favorite part of the night was definitely when the veterans in the audience were asked to stand - once at the beginning, just so everyone could see how many were in the audience, and then at the end, when a special song was played just for them. My grandpa stood tall and proud. I admire him greatly and I am so glad that I have the chance to get to know him. I know Sparrow loves his Papa Dan and will someday love to sit at grandpa's knee and hear his stories.

In honor of my grandpa and Veteran's Day, I am giving away one CD of "The Price of Freedom." This has all the orchestra music and singing, but not the speaking parts. It's still amazing though, and I have to skip two of the songs if I am in the car because they make me cry. So in order to win this giveway, just leave a comment. I'm not doing extra entries because A) I'm lazy and B) they bug me. But you can spread the word if you want. I'll pick a winner on Saturday at 8:00 pm Mountain time.

I hope to instill in my son a sense of gratitude and admiration for those who have served our country. I am grateful for our soldiers who put their lives on the line to keep us free and safe. God bless America!

Birthday wishes!

10 November 2010
Happy birthday to my littlest brother J who turned 4 on Monday. I can't believe he is getting so old! That makes ME old! J, I hope you are working hard at driving your daddy crazy. But be nice to your mom!

And happy birthday to my littlest sister E who will turn 6 tomorrow. Holy cannoli! E, you are so smart! You are a fantastic little girl and I am so happy you are my sister.

Sparrow, Hawk and I are all very excited to see you soon!


For the rest of you who aren't cool enough to have birthdays this month (we Scorpios can kick your pants!), check back here tomorrow for a special Veteran's Day giveaway!

24

06 November 2010
It is my birthday today. I was born 24 years ago. Wow. That is a long time to think about. My mom says I was born during the only good TV show during the 80s (The Cosby Show.) She should have known then what she was getting herself into, mwahaha.

I don't really like birthdays because I feel like most of my time has been wasted. No matter what I do, I feel that way. I got my associate's degree when I was 17 and when I turned 18 I felt like my whole life had been a waste and I had accomplished nothing.

I am setting 25 small goals this year. This will be the Year of Kestrel. I need to focus on getting myself healthy, on getting some baggage cleaned out, and you know other general stuff. I'll keep you posted on the goals. In the meantime,

happy birthday to me,
happy birthday to me!
It is my birthday!
Happy birthday to me!

(PS You know what the best present I got was? This morning, I tried on a shirt I bought 2 years ago that has always been too small for me. It fit, and I looked great. I wore it with pride all day. I have lost 20 lbs since my 23rd birthday. Not a huge amount, but it's a sustainable one. Woot!)

Why I love Shutterfly

04 November 2010
Previously I have used Shutterfly for their scrapbooks. Their product quality is a great deal for the price, and the ease of putting my scrapbook together using their system can't be beat. Seriously, I've tried.

It's getting close to Christmas, and I've been thinking I have to start getting ready to make some Christmas cards. I don't really want to get store-bought ones, because usually ones you get at Target or Walmart are boring and/or lame. Enter Shutterfly.

Their Christmas cards are so stinkin' cute! Look at this one! And this one! I love them. Also, this style rocks my socks because you can write your whole Christmas letter on the card itself! AWESOME.

As a side note, I send a lot of packages out during the course of the year and especially lots of mail during the holidays. It's a pain in the butt addressing 20 packages by hand, especially the return address. Shutterfly has adorable address labels that are perfect to save my sad little Sharpie - guess who's investing in bazillions of these little suckers?

If you're trying to think of a perfect Christmas present for your in-laws or your parents, making a Shutterfly photo calendar is a genius idea. I've never made one of these, but I have several friends who swear by their quality and usefulness. You can personalize and add anniversaries and birthdays so if someone forgets to send you a present, you can call them up and pretend to be upset, since they clearly have no excuse, what with your perfect calendar right there and all.

When Sparrow was born, I looked EVERYWHERE for baby announcements. I finally ended up making 20 by hand and it was a huge pain in the butt. Well guess what? Shutterfly has baby announcements-you just upload the picture, enter in the birth information and whatever else you want, and ta-da! Yeah, that could have come in handy 3 years ago. If I ever have another baby, or heck, adopt a kitten, I am totally using their birth announcements. They even have a "first birthday" announcement section. Too bad Sparrow is almost 3.

Anyway, I highly recommend Shutterfly. I really have tried Winkflash, MyPublisher and Snapfish, and Shutterfly is by far the best book for the best price. Now I have to go get some holiday pictures taken, so I can order me some of these cards!

This post brought to you by Shutterfly's holiday card promotion, where bloggers review Shutterfly's holiday cards and receive 50 free cards. I learned of this program from Chocolate on my Cranium, so you can blame her for everything.

What have I done???

03 November 2010
Oh crap. Okay, see, Sparrow's hair is SO curly that the back gets matted into tangled snarls very quickly. There is no stopping it. I have tried everything. The only thing that works is getting him a haircut. Yesterday I decided I didn't want to pay $20 for his haircut (they charge $10 but I always tip them $10 because they are SO patient and good with my squirmy nerdbird) so I pulled out the buzzers and prayed.

I didn't pray hard enough.

Before:
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After:
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Holy crap, his grandmothers (he has 6) are going to kill me. Dead.

I hope it grows back to Cute-ness by Christmas. Still though, his hair was so matted this time that only the number 3 buzzer would even touch it enough for it to untangle. I inspected some matted locks close up after he was done being...gulp....shaven, and it seriously looks like he sleeps in gum. Weird. And annoying.

This may be my last post ever. Nana is coming to visit this afternoon. I have to go find Sparrow a hat...

Halloween thoughts

31 October 2010
I returned from California in one piece and my boys were also alive. Now I am re-adjusting to reality. I could have used more vacation time :P

Halloween used to be my favorite holiday. I loved dressing up and all the scary creepy things - decorations, spooky parties, and especially going to haunted houses. Oh how I loved haunted houses. This year has been disappointing though.

See, everyone we've come in contact with over the last couple of weeks has asked Sparrow two questions: "what are you going to be for Halloween?" and "are you going to get lots of candy?" All Sparrow hears is "candy," so he starts freaking out and begging for candy and screaming when he doesn't get any and obsessing over it and it's just been a nightmare. We've gone to 3 Halloween parties and they aren't any fun because Sparrow freaks when we don't let him have more than a few pieces. And then of course Hawk and I eat too much as well.

I'm also bummed about costumes. When I was a kid, it seemed that 90% of costumes were home-made. Now almost all costumes are bought, and they're just not as awesome! I admit, I've bought Sparrow's costumes for the last two years. Last year he was a dragon and this year he was the Cat in the Hat (I got his costume off eBay though.) his first Halloween, he was a pumpkin and I knit his little pumpkin hat and it was really cute. Also, most of the costumes now are either gory, really scary, or immodest. I'm not a fan of that for little boys. I'm not a fan of 3 year olds wearing masks either (a kid in our music class had on a superhero costume complete with mask the other day, ugh.)

I'm totally cool if Sparrow decides he wants to be a Jedi and dress up like one, but I'm not really okay if he wants to be Spiderman or Ironman or whatever. I think the difference is, Jedi are peaceful monk-like characters (at least how I see them, and I do a lot of Star Wars reading because the whole idea of growing up in the Jedi Temple basically is the best thing ever). Also, they don't wear masks. And they promote peace and service wherever they go. I don't really get that vibe with most superheroes, most of them have selfish aims somewhere in their little brains.

We didn't take Sparrow trick or treating last night (in Utah most Halloween festivities were yesterday so as not to interfere with Sunday) and we won't take him tonight. We have one more party to attend, a family party tonight with dinner so it's not all junk food, and then we'll be done. Phew. I don't know how we'll be celebrating Halloween in the years to come, but I do know we will be much more picky about activities we attend and candy we expose the little one to. Because let's face it, sugar detoxing is not something any of us really enjoy, is it?

On a side note, if I lived in California I would totally take Sparrow trick or treating at Disneyland. It's $40 and lasts from 6-10 p.m., and all the characters and rides are done up in Halloween stuff plus you can ride stuff and it just looked like a ton of fun. When I was in Disneyland on Tuesday, we didn't stay for the trick-or-treating but it sure was fun to see all the people dressed up, because 95% of those costumes were very family friendly.


Also, this year Sparrow is the Cat in the Hat and Hawk and I are Thing 1 and Thing 2. Easiest costumes ever - we have on red sweats and taped a circular piece of paper with THING 1 or THING 2 cut out on our chests. Ta da!

Here's Sparrow in 2008 for his first Halloween:

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2009:

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2010:

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Leavin' on a jet plane

22 October 2010
Today I am escaping my little family for a weekend. You'd think I'd be thrilled at the prospect - no changing diapers! No tantrums! No diaper bag! But instead, my internal dialogue is going like this: no snuggles! No surprise "I love you Mommy"'s! No walking with Sparrow and him reaching for my hand. WAAAAAAH!!!!

And I'm a little concerned about leaving my boys alone. I am sure they will be fine, but a little part of my brain is worried about coming home to a feral, half starved child and a husband who has died of overexposure to toddler.

I'm going to California to hang out with my two bestest friends, Owly and Dove. Two nights with Owly, two nights with Dove, one day at Disneyland with both of them, and then home. It will be lots of fun.

I just hope the house is still standing when I return! Time for me to PARTY ON!

Pumpkins

18 October 2010
I got nothin' to say (or show, really) on the potty front. Sparrow's decided to take it slow and so have we. Because I am lazy. He's pretty good about telling us when he's getting ready to #2, but #1 he has nooo idea. And that was a lot of nothin' for someone who has nothin' to say.

We went to a pumpkin patch at the beginning of the month. This is my lazy blog post with mostly just pictures.

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Potty training

12 October 2010
I was going to wait to train Sparrow until he was at least 3. He hasn't been too interested, but he does like to flush the toilet when I have gone and sits on his own potty chair occasionally.

He's asked to go sit on the potty a few times and twice has pooped in it, for which he got M&Ms. Most of the time, as soon as he messes his diaper he asks for a diaper change and he's pretty good about asking for a change if he's just wet, but I don't think he gets wet as well as he does messy.

Tonight he was begging to go potty, so I had Hawk take him but he didn't produce anything. Sparrow has been begging to wear big boy underpants all day.

Gulp. I think we are going to start potty training tomorrow. I'm not ready for this, but I think he is. Yikes! Keep your fingers (or your legs, whatever) crossed for us!

This is an awesome site.

11 October 2010
Have you heard yet of Groupon.com? I LOVE this website. You tell it what city you live near, and every day there is a different deal available. Let's be honest, I don't buy many of their deals, but the ones I do get are awesome!

I got $80 worth of yoga classes for $20. I got a $100 car check-up for $25. I have a month of unlimited activities and classes at Gymboree Play and Music for $20 plus a waived enrollment fee if I decide to sign up after my month is over. I got a $20 Halloween River Cruise for $7. I mean come on, that is a ton of money I saved!

To sign up, you just go to here and enter in your email address and a password. Then select the area you live in/near, and ta da! Every day you will get a new email with a different deal. If you don't want to receive a daily email you can disable it and just check the site, but I highly recommend the email just in case you forget to check it one day and miss something great. (Yes, I have done this and kicked myself for it many times.)

Okay seriously, go check it out!

I've been married too long

05 October 2010
Last night, Hawk and I were watching House. One of the characters was talking about having an affair.

Me: "I'm having an affair."

Hawk: "Oh."

Me: "Don't you want to know who with?"

Hawk: "Is it the cat?"

Me: "... we've been married too long, you know me too well."

Bamboo: "Meow." (You laugh now, human male, but soon your time will come. I will take you down and the large petting one will be mine and only mine, mwahahahaha!!!)

Room re-do

02 October 2010
Sparrow's room was decorated in a cute blue and yellow star theme. I loved it. But he grew up way too stinkin' fast, and the room just seemed outdated for him. So I decided to re-do his room with cars, which are his big love of the moment. Ugh. I hate cars. I tried keeping him away from anything resembling a toy car for the first 15 months of his life. It didn't work. He loves the stupid things. Ugh ugh ugh.

I mean, oh yay, cars!

There were lots of really cute car quilts, especially from Target, which is where most of the decor comes from. In fact, I even bought the quilt they had, but then I found one from Sears for $20 as compared to Target's $60. Um, that's $40 I could be spending on other stuff. Like, ice cream. So I went with Sears. An added bonus is that this quilt is neutral enough that if Sparrow decides he hates cars (please) we can change his room easily.

All told I spent about $100 total on the whole thing. I tried to keep it as cheap as possible, while still making it cute and fun and stylin', and also avoiding anything with licensed characters like the plague. Which is a lot harder than it sounds. Try searching for "Car bedding" and see what comes up. Stupid Cars movie.

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I snapped these pictures while the room was clean - it lasted about 15 seconds. The car nightlight on the wall is from Circo/Target and frankly, it sucks. It sucks hard. Circo needs to contact IKEA and figure out how to make awesome wall lamps/nightlights, because this thing is useless at best.

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The pictures I got off eBay, and the frames are junky $3 ones but they look all right. If I'd gone with the Target collection the art would have cost upwards of $60 alone, this way it was only about $20.

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This is the little reading nook. I am going to add a Pottery Barn style bookshelf soon, maybe for Christmas.

I thought about doing a lamp on the headboard, but figured Sparrow would think it was a toy and cause a fire. I also considered simple curtains, but either Sparrow or the cats would try to climb them. He has a set of cotton sheets and yesterday I splurged and bought a set of flannel sheets in the same style. I assume that someday, winter will arrive. I am hoping Autumn decides to visit for a few days first though.

Ta-da!

What a nutty week

28 September 2010
On September 18, Hawk's grandmother passed away in her sleep. She had a stroke at the beginning of the month, and it was looking like she'd pull through, but alas. The whole family flew in from North Carolina last week and the funeral was on Friday. It was crazy - lots of time spent driving, cleaning, cleaning, driving, socializing, and also driving.

Sparrow did really well at the funeral. He was quiet for the whole service. I didn't take him to the actual burial though, visions of toddlers jumping into open graves and playing leapfrog over tombstones dancing in my head and all. It was nice to be able to see Hawk's family again - some of his siblings we haven't seen since our wedding almost 4 years ago. We got some good family pictures too.

Yesterday for our Family Home Evening, I read The Family: A Proclamation to the World to Hawk and Sparrow. Then we sang "Families are Forever." Then we visited the dinosaur museum. I could probably figure out some way to tie that in, but I'm not even going to try. Instead, enjoy some pictures and a little surprise video that Sparrow prepared for you.

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Hawk's siblings and parents.

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Three generations. And clearly, Sparrow's life is about to end. Oh the tragedy of being two.



(Psst. You should still go check out my two new friends at their awesome blogs.)

The greatest mission is motherhood.

21 September 2010
So let's be honest, there are days when family life is a pain in the butt.

And then there are days when it's the best thing ever. It's kind of like ...life... with bipolar disorder. Hey, I'm a genius.

So, the other day, as I was browsing random blogs, I came across Tale of Our Quest. One of her first entries is about this book she read in college, called "Strengthening Our Families." It's a textbook that basically digs deep into The Family: A Proclamation to the World, and gives ideas for how to really accept the principles and teach them to your family.

Basically, it's incredible. I have renewed it from the library twice and I'm really hoping to get a copy for my birthday in (yikes) a month. As I've read it, I've tried to share the things I am learning with Hawk. We don't talk as much as I would like to about this kind of thing, and this book has kind of been a no-pressure, non-threatening, non-pushy way to talk about church and our family and how we want to do things in our home.

And you know, I just really love the Proclamation. It came out when I was 8, and I kind of made it through my entire youth without ever really noticing it, but since I've become a wife and mother it's been a comfort and a guide in my life.

My mom, upon finding out she was pregnant with me, was talking to her stake president one day and expressed her regret that she wasn't able to serve an LDS mission. The stake president told her, "Anna, the greatest mission is the mission of motherhood." I'm grateful for that wise old guy. I've regretted my decision to get married instead of serving a mission, and whenever those thoughts arise, those words soothe my restless soul.

Anyway, here is the link for the Family Proclamation. You should read it - it only takes about 3 minutes, and it's worth a glance at least.

Here's a couple of great blogs that are having a month-long celebration of the Proclamation.

Round Two

20 September 2010
Remember how in March we did battle with the fire alarms?

Last night we battled again. And this time, WE were victorious.

This time, when the beeping started, I happened to stare for a moment at the fire alarm in our hallway. It was blinking green, green, red. I checked the alarm in our bedroom. Green, green, green. AH HA. So we ripped the hallway one off the ceiling and waited. Sure enough, it beeped. But it's the only one that beeped. So we took the battery out and flung the fire alarm into the closet under a pile of clothes, where it sits awaiting fresh batteries.

There were no more incidents. Booyah.

Although I still don't understand why the darn things insist on going off at 3 in the morning.

Greeting cards

15 September 2010
Today I was searching for a few greeting cards for upcoming birthdays. I wanted something funny, awesome, and appropriate for the vast (vast, VAST!) age ranges I was buying cards for.

I am shocked and appalled at the downright disgusting images and jokes I read in the search for a decent card. As I looked for a good card to send my dad, I was able to scan most of the cards just on the outside and could tell how nasty and inappropriate it was. On one card, there was a cartoon of a naked woman ON THE OUTSIDE of the card! In plain sight, where my son and any other person walking by could see it.

I had no idea that people thought bathroom humor was an appropriate message to send someone on the day of their birth. One of the cards I saw started out nicely saying "Thanks Dad for the things you taught us," and then followed up with three or four nasty jokes and horrible accompanying drawings. It seemed that if the card-receiver was over the age of 10, the greeting card industry has no problem with cards with curse words, gross out humor, and in some instances pornography.

This is disgusting and I am really disappointed. Who makes up this stuff? Who writes these things and why are we buying them? I can only assume people do buy cards like this, judging from the amount of wading through crap I had to do today.

In the end I was able to find two cards that I felt expressed what I wanted to say in a tasteful manner. I honestly felt sick after leaving the store, knowing that some of those words and images are going to be stored in my brain forever. Yuck. A thought that just came to me is that I still supported the "bad guys" card people, just from buying cards that come from their company. Well, no more. I refuse to patronize businesses like this.

Shame on you, greeting card industry.

(I would tell you which company was the worst at this, but I don't want to stir up any interest in their products.)

Why I am not ready

06 September 2010
I can't leave this little booger!




Isn't he handsome in his new church clothes?


Here's the handsome beastie in time-out.


This is my mom, Toby's Nana. She just graduated with her doctorate. We are so impressed and proud of Dr. Nana! (Isn't she beautiful? She looks like she's 20. People are always shocked that she's a grandma.)


It's my EYE!


See? I am much too immature to go to college right now :)

New plans, again

04 September 2010
Remember how excited I was about going back to school?

I dropped out.

It's actually been a long slow process. In May I started getting nervous and feeling less than great about going back. In July, my dad got a new job. He had been working at BYU, so I was going to get half-tuition. Tuition still isn't very much compared to normal schools (it's around $2K a semester) but it made me even more nervous. So I dropped my classes down to 2 credits.

See, I had been really worried about leaving Sparrow at day care. An uncle was going to be taking Sparrow and while he would get to interact with his two cousins aged 3 and 4 and he would likely learn Spanish as they are Spanish-speaking, I wasn't comfortable with the idea of Sparrow becoming...well, like other kids. I mean, he's already hyper enough, he already screams enough, and I don't really want to have him scream all the time because during day care time he has to compete for attention. That probably doesn't make sense, but trust me. There was a huge difference in my voice volume and my siblings' when I was growing up - and I was not a day care kid.

Then money got a little tighter. And I visited a few pre-schools and didn't like what I saw. And the pre-schools I do approve of require the child to be 3+ and/or potty trained. And a few of the schools cost more than my tuition would have, which just ain't gonna fly. And I just kept feeling worse and worse about it.

So I dropped out. I'm a little bummed, let's be honest here. I had really looked forward to going back, and I was excited, and I even bought a new back pack and a few supplies so that was really exciting. Now the plan is to wait until next fall, when Sparrow will be both potty trained and 3.5. And hopefully I will be ready by then.

In the mean time, we are going to stay home together. We will continue taking Music Together classes and I will take Anti-gravity Yoga classes. I have a few textbooks I got at a thrift store, two are Spanish books and one is a Nursing Assistant workbook. I am going to utilize those. I am making a goal to read 300 pages a week of intelligent literature.

I am looking forward to going back to school someday. But for now, I will work on my education by myself, and it will be okay. I might take an independent study course, I might get my CNA, I might not. Whatever I decide, it will involve lots of reflection, prayer, and study. But it will work out, because it always does.

Well, usually anyway.

Of time outs and surprises.

25 August 2010
We're still trying to piece together a plan of attack for Sparrow's misbehavior. He's lost a few privileges lately - last week after he refused to help me pick up his toys, he lost the chance to go swimming (which was tragic since we were already in our swim-suits.) Sunday he lost a cookie after he ran away from Hawk and I and wouldn't come to us.

In these cases we say: "Sparrow, you need to help pick up your toys. Please help me pick up. Can you get that one there? How fast can you put it away?" We are pleasant about it and try to make it a game. Normally it works. Sometimes he gets a hair up his butt and backs away, smiling this devil smile and just watching us - you can just tell he's waiting to see what will happen, he's testing us. It's a little frustrating. I have to bite back the urge to smack the smile off his cute little mischievous face.

"Sparrow, if you don't help pick up, we can't go swimming today. I'm going to count to three and if you don't help Mommy/Daddy, we are not going swimming. One.............. two.................................................-"

He looks at me. "Three!"

"Yes, three. Okay, no swimming today."

Then we have a meltdown, and I explain to him 3 times that since he did not obey, we can't go swimming. After that if he keeps screaming he goes to time-out for 2 minutes. Then I distract him with something else. If he keeps asking about swimming I will say something like "We can't go swimming today because you didn't obey Mommy. When you obey Mommy, we can do fun things. Maybe we will swim tomorrow if you are a nice boy."

It's working okay. I am still reading lots of parenting books and getting advice from people. He had 5 time outs in his music class 2 weeks ago (he gets worked up and screams, which scares the kids, so I take him out. Or he climbs in things he shouldn't) and last week he only had 3 time outs, so it's working a little. It also helps, when he screams, to tell him "we can't scream because it scares the kitties/the baby/our friend" etc. That REALLY works and makes me want to start carrying a baby doll around with me!

I did have a chance to watch a 9 month old on Saturday and a 5 year old yesterday. The 9 month old cried the entire time I watched him. I was reminded of why I don't like babies. Not being able to solve the problem drives me crazy. In this case I knew why he was crying (wanted his mommy) but I couldn't do anything about it, and it was maddening. I remember not knowing what Sparrow wanted. I am glad to be done with the infant stage.

On the other hand, watching the 5 year old gave me such hope. He was so sweet and helpful and good. He even went to the bathroom by himself! WOW!!! If I can hang on till Sparrow is 5, we're gonna be good.

In other news, I have a huge surprise for Hawk as a very early anniversary present. I am giving it to him today, after I figure out a clever way to present it. I'll let you know how it goes!
17 August 2010
Sparrow has had a death wish the last couple of weeks. He's pushing and pushing and pushing and testing his limits and boundaries as hard as he can. It has not gone well for either of us.

I mean, it's been constant. The screaming, the whining, crying, hitting, throwing things, disobeying in a defiant snotty little way. Ooh that is what gets me the most - "Sparrow, we don't throw our toys. Please pick it up." He smiles and backs away, watching me.

Yesterday all the way to the library we repeated the Library Rule together: The rule in the library is quiet in the library! No screaming, no yelling, no throwing. The rule in the library is quiet in the library..." Of course two seconds after we get into the library he starts to scream and throw things. We checked out as fast as possible and he didn't get the train book he had thrown across the room. And that night he looked at me and said "The rule in the library is quiet in the library."

He also constantly repeats "no screaming, no yelling, makes Mommy sad."

After a meltdown in the store today, I am seriously considering never leaving the house again. I am so sick of parenting. This has been going on for two weeks and I am ready to give up and move to Alaska. Or put him in a box and mail HIM there.
14 August 2010
I was eating a burger from Burger King and I bit down on something hard.

It was a rock.

There was a rock in my food.

Never eat at Burger King. They put rocks in their food.

Riding TRAX and Frontrunner

06 August 2010
Sparrow and I decided to spend the night at my grandma's house. She lives in Ogden, which is about an hour from where we are. We usually drive, but since my mom was also going to be staying with grandma, we decided to ride public transportation up to Ogden and then drive home with my mom the next day.

The first leg of our journey was on TRAX, which is a lightrail system. Kinda like the Metro in Paris, or some sections of the Tube in England.



Here we are on the way to the station.


In front of the TRAX train.


Our train left at 12:30, so we brought Wendy's with us. Apparently you're not supposed to eat or drink on the TRAX trains. Whoever made that rule up has never had a hungry two year old.






After no small amount of nervousness, we made it to the Salt Lake Central station and transferred to the Frontrunner train. Our TRAX driver almost hit a moron who decided to walk on the TRAX rails, but we stopped in time. Earlier that day, a two year old fell in front of the TRAX train and was caught between the train and the platform. He was miraculously just fine. I was worried that Hawk would think it was Sparrow because no names were released and the news just said it was a two year old boy and his mother, but Hawk had no idea. Nice to know he's up to date on current events. Or something.




Ignore my shiny face. Have I mentioned it's been in the high 90s here lately? And that I was carrying a two year old and his backpack and fleece blanket and my backpack? And it was 1:30? Bleh.


Finally we arrived at the Ogden Station. These horses are everywhere in Ogden, I am not sure why. Ogdenites are weird. I can say that, because I was one. Anyway, the horses are everywhere and they are each decorated with a different scene. We just happened to get the ugly baseball horse.





My mom and grandma picked us up at this sign and we were off to play.



We'll definitely ride the TRAX/Frontrunner again soon! We had a blast and it was really cheap. Kids under 5 ride free, and it was $2.50 for a 2 hour TRAX pass and $2 for a ticket on the Frontrunner from Salt Lake Central to Ogden stations.

Pie! Peach and plum pie!

01 August 2010
Today I made an experimental pie.

We had 5 lbs of peaches and plums in our fridge leftover from last week's co-op. I can't eat raw fruit because my body thinks I am allergic to the pollen. (Grr.) And we had Hawk's sister and her hubby over for dinner. So I decided to make pie. Unfortunately, there are very few recipes for peach and plum pie on the Internet. And the only ones I could find called for ingredients I didn't have on hand, and I didn't want to go to the store today.

So I improvised. It was terrifying. You should not improvise when baking, it can turn out very nasty. But surprisingly, my pie was delicious! It was very liquid-y, but verra yummy.

Basically, this is how it went:

2.5 cups peaches, pitted and chopped into little pieces
2.5 cups plums, pitted and chopped
3/4ths cup sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
.5 Tbsp orange extract (ish)
2 tsp ginger (ish)
1 tsp cinnamon (ish)
1/4th cup oats


Mix the ingredients well. If it doesn't smell ginger-y enough, add more. If you think you might like more cinnamon, add more. Definitely add more oats, because they will soak up the juices. Next time I am going to put in 3/4ths a cup and see how that tastes. Stick the mixture in a pie crust and top with another pie crust. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes. Put a baking sheet under your pie because it will leak into your oven. Pull it out and sprinkle 2 tsp of sugar on the top crust. Let cool completely. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

I wish I had gotten a picture, because it was kind of pretty! But it was too good, and we sucked it down. Yum!!

Pout

31 July 2010
Sparrow split my lip open this evening using the back of his head.

It bled for 20 minutes.



This is not an excellent fashion statement.

A tragic day

28 July 2010
Poor, poor Sparrow. Yesterday we went outside so he could play in our wading pool. I sat on the porch and read a book. When I looked up, there was a hornet crawling up his back.

Yikes!

I went over very slowly and tried to use a pool toy to swipe the hornet off. Alas, I was too slow or something because the hornet stung poor Sparrow twice on the back of his neck.

He cried for about 2 minutes, but then was okay. Still, there were about 15 hornets having a field day with the pool, so we came inside and I fixed him a bubble bath. As he was playing in the bath, one of the cats jumped in and sliced his leg open.

We spent the rest of the afternoon on the couch, with blankies and popcorn and juice, watching movies. It was just safer that way.

Thoughts on Education

25 July 2010
As an only child, Sparrow will likely attend a private school, mostly because we think it is important that he learn how to act around people his own age and also because we'll be able to afford it.

Hawk attended a charter school for his junior and senior years of high school. Since his family lived out in the boonies of North Carolina, Hawk was able to be a boarder at the school. So basically, the school he went to was Hogwarts for math and science geeks. As a teenager I think this would have been awesome, but as a parent, I don't think I'd want Sparrow to leave the nest that early.

As for my education, as I have done research and thought about this subject, I find myself wishing that my mom could have stayed home and home-schooled me, or else put me into a private school. I do remember taking a private school entrance exam when I was in first or second grade and passing with flying colors, but my family couldn't afford to send me so I just did public school. I did all right. I never really applied myself, because I just didn't care that much. Looking back, I wish I had worked harder on most everything. I got mostly As and Bs because I am smart and I have a good memory and I do the homework, not because I ever studied even once. In math (which I still hate) I got Cs and Ds, until my junior year when I actually listened to the lessons and tried my hardest and applied myself. The third quarter I got a B and the last quarter I got an A. I remember crying because I was so proud of myself for getting an A in math.

I am pretty sure my lack of challenge is what contributed to my failing out of college. I had no idea how to study and I had even less of an idea how to be motivated to attend class so I failed. I didn't care about "rising to the occasion." The semester I spent in England helped a little, if only because I was surrounded by students who were between 2 and 10 years older than me and I learned from how they worked. I will be taking 2 credits at BYU starting next month, and I hope that as I work my way up to attending school full time, I can figure out how to be a good student and a hard worker. (For the record, I am taking a Preview to Nursing seminar and a violin class. Why yes I am excited, thanks for asking.)

Let me also just say that had I not attended public school, I would have never met my BFF Dove, who I now consider my sister. So there's that.

I have been researching the methods involved in classical education. I just ordered Charlotte Mason's series on education and I look forward to reading them. I really like and agree with what I have read about her ideas. What I know is still limited because I am waiting to read her series to learn most of her stuff, but here's what I have gotten out of the limited things I have read.

First, the child works alongside the parents in the home. Second, when the child wants to learn something, they approach the parent. The parent does not pressure or approach the child (this part I am not sure I agree with totally.) When the child wants to learn to read, they ask the parent to teach them. If at any time the child is disinterested or skipping lessons or whatever, the parent says "well clearly you do not value my time as your teacher, so I am not going to teach you until you are ready to pay attention/work." And the lessons stop. The parent teaches the child using the "best" books, which are classical works. Reading is highly emphasized, especially the reading of classics. Through reading the classics, the child learns science, history, maths, grammar, punctuation, spelling, writing, etc. When the child gets to be a teenager, they enter a "scholar phase," where they study a subject they are interested in with a mentor.

That's what I have taken from what I've read around the Internets. I really, really like these ideas. However, I am not sure that we will rely on all of them. If Sparrow is 12 and he still doesn't know how to read because he doesn't care to learn, we have a problem. While I agree with having classic works available to the child at all times, I don't think that classic books are the ONLY books they should be allowed to read. There are modern books that some might view as trash that have taught me and helped me through hard times in my life. Fantasy books, ones that are well written, are important to me and have truly saved my butt a few times as I could escape into a world that did not suck as much as my life did at the time. As much as I hate comic books, I do think that Calvin and Hobbes is pretty decent. As an LDS pre-teen, I really enjoyed reading Chris Heimerdinger's Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites and reading those books inspired me to read the Book of Mormon. Some of the books and series I read as a child and teenager (primarily The Boxcar Children, Goosebumps and the Animorphs series) inspired me to want to become a writer of young adult fiction, a dream I still aspire to. I can't imagine a teenagehood without the Harry Potter series. Oh man, how I love(d) those books.

I'm also not going to ban movies altogether. Hawk and I both love to watch movies as a bonding activity, and I'm not going to take that away from us. We bought a Wii last year because it's a gaming system that allows for cooperation between family members. We only buy games that require two players, and our TV and Wii are in the main family area so nobody gets to go off and be solitary with them. While I am totally in favor of limiting the amount of time spent on the TV and keeping a close eye on what we watch, I am never taking Star Wars out of this house! We don't own all the Disney movies and never will, but we own several "classics" like The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. We may never have normal television, and I am totally okay with that. When we did have TV channels, we spent way too much time watching and scheduling our lives around shows we wanted to watch. We've been without regular TV for 15 months now and we've all survived.

My main point is this: for our family, home schooling might not work. We might try it, we might not. And that will be okay. We are not going to bribe Sparrow to get good grades in school, but he's also expected to work up to his potential (and unfortunately for him, we already know how smart he is. Little turd.) He is expected to read more than he watches movies, and learn more than he plays the Wii. As a family, we are encouraging both private reading and family reading. Watching movies together as a family is an important bonding activity for us, but not to the detriment of anything else, and we need to do physical activities too. Sparrow will always have access to excellent books, will have some access to fun books and no access to books that I think are total crap (such as Captain Underpants.)

As a family, we are each expected to learn about things that interest us. I want Sparrow to see that it is important and fun to keep learning always. When he gets older, I plan on taking him on extended vacations during his summers - maybe one year we will live in Italy for the summer, and the next we will live in Germany. I want him to see and become involved in the world, because I think that that will foster a desire to learn in him. Heck, it already creates a desire to learn in me. I need to get learning some languages and history here!

Lately

19 July 2010
Lately:
  • I have been feeling stagnant, bored, unfulfilled and dissatisfied with my life.
  • I have been whining about the (ridiculous) temperature and wishing there was a way for me to go live on the Oregon Coast during the summer.
  • I have been missing the companionship of women - Dove moved, and Owly has always lived far away, and I miss both of them deeply. I miss having that bond and friendship and, well, the fun!
  • I have been moping a lot, being a brat, nagging and berating and belittling Hawk.
  • I have not been working on my mental health issues as much as I should have.
  • I have been putting off working or being the slightest bit productive for playing on the Internet.



I really hate the summer. I mean seriously. I don't sleep as well, I don't like to go outside, I don't even want to move for fear of getting hot. I would kill for a little cabin or even tent somewhere on the Oregon Coastline.

My tentative plan for fixing all these latelies? I don't know. Two things I really am setting in stone are that I am going to pray, for real (meaning not just in my head) every day, and I am going to read my scriptures every day.

As for the things I am not really setting in stone, for fear of overwhelming myself and ending up with my butt fused to the couch again, I am going to try a few things.

  • Get some form of exercise every single day, even if it's just taking Sparrow for a short walk to the mailbox and dumpster
  • Work on keeping my house clean, or at least cleaner
  • Shower before 11 a.m.
  • Limit Sparrow to one movie a day
  • Get one project done a week, whether that be decluttering an area or making something.
  • Work on saving some monies so we can take a trip to California in November
  • Maybe...MAYbe... get Hawk to set up a time limit on our wireless, so that I can only be online after 2. I tried this before in our apartment, but it didn't work because people had unsecured wireless I could steal. There's no unsecured wireless here.
  • If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.


I don't know. Writing that list was really hard, and kind of painful. It's hard to be a good person and parent and wife when you don't feel well mentally. I am down a lot, and I don't know what else to do to fix that. Argh.

I do also have a goal to get us out of the house four times a week. Mondays we have Antigravity Yoga, (a parent child class!) and Thursdays we have Music Together, so there are two things down. Maybe we will aim to get to the grocery store on Tuesday and then a random field trip on another day.

This week I want to take Sparrow to the aquarium. He has been really interested in sea animals since we visited SeaWorld. I took him to see Disneynature's Oceans at the dollar theater last week and he really enjoyed it.

I thought it was boring, but whatever. Pierce Brosnan narrating just didn't do it for me.

Anyway, let's hope we can get back to a happier life soon.

Our trip to Oceanside, California

13 July 2010
Sparrow and I visited Oceanside/San Diego last week. It was awesome! Here are some highlights from our trip.

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Drivin' thru Vegas!

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On the 4th of July we went to church with Aunt Owly. First our church (we found an LDS ward in Laguna beach) and then Owly's church on the beach!

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Sparrow at "cheech"

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We went to Seaworld and saw this poor exhausted, depressed polar bear. It was pretty hilariously cute.

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Great Grandma rescued Sparrow from the weird walrus.

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Nana pulled Sparrow all through Seaworld in his wagon.

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Great Grandma and Nana at Old Town in San Diego.

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With three Mommies on the trip, things got a little...violent.

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We threatened to leave whiny Sparrow with this cactus. Seriously, he had a hard time because he was so spoiled for most of the trip, dang kid. Plus he ate tons of crap and got very little sleep.

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Luckily Nana still loves him.

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We saw a sweet random little concert. Sparrow enjoyed the fiesta music.

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We were all pretty tired. Except Sparrow. That kid runs on no sleep. It's ridiculous.

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I spent like 20 minutes watching the wolves at the San Diego Zoo. I have about 50 pictures just of the wolves. WOLVES.

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Sparrow preferred the polar bear.

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We visited the grounds of the Newport Beach temple. I have about 50 pictures of this temple too. It was gorgeous, and such a pretty day to visit. We spent as much time on the grounds as we could before Sparrow started to get antsy. He tried to swim in the fountain. It was embarrassing.

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Aunt Owly works very close to the temple, so we went to visit her for a few minutes. Sparrow was SO excited to see her, and was totally bummed after she left. Me too. We can't wait to visit her again soon!

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The boy has got it made.

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The last day, Sparrow woke up at FOUR THIRTY in the morning, so we left Las Vegas (where we stopped for a night) by 8 in the morning. We got breakfast from McDonald's. Sparrow decided his pancakes were better as hats than food. He is a strange child.

We had a good time and wish we were still there! It was all in the 60s last week and man, it was PERFECT. Now back to the Utah desert, where it has been 98. At least we're not in Baker, Nevada. We stopped there for gas and it was 119 degrees Fahrenheit. I thought I was going to die.

We love you California! See you again soon!