December 30, 2010

December 25th: Wonderful. Christmas was stress free and relaxing. A great day.

December 26th: Different story. We misplaced keys and drove back and forth from Park City three times. But the worst part was that Ella was horribly backed up and cried on and off for hours. I had to give her 1 suppository and 2 enemas before we made any progress. It was really awful. It was also Ryan's birthday and he pretty much got the shaft. No cake, no singing, no real celebration at all. He was a very good sport.

December 27th: I had a busy day at work and came home to a little girl who absolutely refused to say she was sorry for something she had done and spent 2.5 hours in time out. I honestly wondered if she was going to end up sleeping in the corner. Whew.

December 28th: Had a nice day, but spent most of it trying to make good on my Christmas present to Ryan: get his car serviced. Didn't get much else done.

By the evening of the 28th I was starting to feel overwhelmed {I'm sure the pregnancy hormones had nothing to do with it.} Early December found me overly ambitious and I tackled two major projects: making a new room for Ella and finishing our basement. Ella's room was 60% done, and it was driving me crazy that I couldn't find time or energy to finish it. We needed to make time-sensitive decisions on the basement, but irrationally I felt I couldn't even deal with it until the girls' rooms were completed. Then came the blessed phone call from my mom. "Kimmy and I don't have plans for tomorrow. Why don't we come down and help you get Ella's room finished and get the basement figured out?" How did she know? Exactly what I needed.

I love the finished product. So does Ella.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Ella is really into who's who lately. Ma Sue is "Your mommy" and Ma Janet is "Daddy's mommy." The frame on the wall has a really cool genealogy chart Kimmy and Chris made to showcase her roots. Love it.

December 23, 2010

merry merry

Hope you have a wonderful holiday.

December 22, 2010

baby baby

{thanks, Britt, for coming out of retirement to make these...Ella loved the "Baby Jesus"}

The best part of having your first baby is the Pinebrook shower. The moms of our childhood friends know how to throw a party. There is always delicious food, fun people and fabulous gifts. Since Jamie was in town for a few days we decided to squeeze in a shower over the holidays. Since Park City is wonderful but a little bit out of the way and snowy this time of year we decided to host it at my house. Which meant that I had help cleaning my house, got credit for food that I did not make and a party that I did not plan, and got to keep the leftovers. Sweet deal.

Congrats, Jamie, and can't wait to meet the little girl.

December 16, 2010

tone deaf

If you know me reasonably well, you know a few things about me. Things like I am irrationally afraid of mice. I hate pickles {although one of my best friends just told me she didn't know this about me....hmmm}. I love a good bargain and I love to share it. I am always up for a good cup of hot chocolate. And I can't carry a tune to save my life.

It's the last of these that has been on my mind lately. I am not quite tone deaf. I can tell when I am out off key. My problem is that I only hit about 1/3rd of the right the notes. It is truly foreign to me how people can look at sheet music and sing the correct notes. Not my gift. Not my mother's either. Lately Ella has really been into music and is always asking me to sing her a song. I oblige, but as I do I cringe because, really, I sound awful. And while I don't expect much at two, her little voice sounds an awful lot like her mother. you think musical talent is nurture or nature? Should I refrain from Twinkle Twinkle and the Wheels on the Bus? Or should I instill in her a love of music, even if I do make my husband cringe when he hears me croon?


*this post was inspired by hearing David Archuletta sing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I bet his mama is not tone deaf :)

December 15, 2010


Thanks for the input on the phones. I personally am a big fan of a live person (loved Molly's comment), but it's not completely practical right now. As a good first step we streamlined our phone tree. There used to be 38 seconds of "Welcome to Southpoint Pediatrics...our office hours are...our blogs is...our fax is...etc, etc, etc." and then the phone tree. Now it says, "Welcome to Southpoint Pediatrics. Press 1 to schedule an appointment {gets you to a live person}. Press 2 to leave a message for a medical assistant {gets you to their inbox, where they call back very quickly}. Our office hours are....the other 36 seconds..."

I'm still in favor of the live person answering the phone, at least when they can, but at least we are headed in the right direction. I mean, come one, no one wants to wait on the phone when you've got a sick kid.

In other news, today Ella pointed out that the Christmas lights weren't on. "You're right. I'll turn them on." I did, and was rewarded with, "I so proud of you, Mommy!"

Oh, Ella. When you're cute, you're cute.

***Okay, just called our office, and it's not short and sweet yet. But it will be. I promise.

December 9, 2010

polling the masses


When calling your Pediatrician's office, would you rather have a phone tree or a live person answer the phone?


December 8, 2010

ella at 27 months

  • She is a fan of Dora. The children's museum in Manhattan had a whole Dora floor. She loved it.
  • The other night we were eating dinner and she was being a little obnoxious. Not bad, just making it difficult to have a conversation. Ryan started to say something about her behavior, and I said, "I know it's annoying, but she's just two." A few minutes later she was doing something I didn't approve of and asked her to stop. She replied with, "Mom, I just two." I guess she got me.
  • We've been using a lot of "option 1 or option 2." (Example: This morning she was on the verge of a meltdown because she wanted to say the prayer. Option 1: mom says the prayer. Option 2: go to time out.) She can be so stubborn, but when she is 'making' the decision she does so much better. Although I don't think it will be long before she realizes that she's being played.
  • She is not interested in potty training. It's fine for other people, but she prefers her diaper.
  • Her favorite number is 11. If you are having a conversation with someone and say, "Let's meet at 1125 south 400 east tomorrow afternoon" she'll say, "Were you talking about my fwavowit?"
  • The other day she was playing with her toy clock and said, "I tan't find 13! I've looked everywhere!"
  • She started pre-pre-school today. She is a little set in her ways when it comes to how the world should be run, so I thought some time with other kids may do her good. She loved her backpack, but informed me she would have preferred a purple one like Dora.

  • She thinks it's hilarious to make up "funny" words. Today she told me she was drinking "milker" and we were going to the "poke office." I am "mam-ha," we are going to have a "bay-pe" and Ryan is "dat-tee." She doesn't use the 'funny' words often, but when she does she gets a twinkle in her eye.

December 2, 2010

ella in the city

As I mentioned, we spent Thanksgiving with my two sisters in Manhattan. Lucky for us they both live in the same apartment building, with fabulous apartments and extra bedrooms (full-sized!! not NYC-sized). I was a little apprehensive about taking Ella as the week before we left she was acting very much like a two-year old. I seriously considered calling off the trip. But to my delight, she was a delight. Only had one minor meltdown; she was a real trooper. {2 doting adults and a grandma granting her every wish may have helped, too}

You would think that
with Jamie's photography skills and all, we would take better pictures. But no. iPhone shots or bust. And none of them very good. But here's what I've got. (if anyone else took any good ones send them my way)

that's her camera smile....we need to work on it a bit

the train show at the botanical gardens. once we made it through the line, it was really cool

after a wet morning

ella and lily at the park--they had a great time together. and norwalk has a fabulous aquarium if you're ever in the area

Thanks, Wrides and Crosbys. Ella already wants to go back to 'York.

November 30, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #30

(I am writing this from 37,336 feet while flying over Caspar, WY, on my phone. Technology is pretty amazing, isn't it?)

30 days. Made it. Paying more attention to what I am thankful for has truly made me more appreciative of the many many blessings I have. I know sometimes it was more of a "here's what I did today and I am thankful for it" and twice I asked my sisters what they were thankful for to get some ideas....but all in all this has been a great experiment in gratitude...and I am thankful for it.

I also realized that I never gave thanks for my wonderful daughter. I am more grateful to have her in my life than just about anything, and she deserves her own post with pictures and eloquent words. But I'm at 37,336 feet and not that good with technology. I know everyone thinks their child is something special, but man, that girl is something special. Love you, El.

November 29, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #29

One of my least favorite pregnancy related changes are the newly acquired varicose veins/spider veins on my left leg. They kind of gross me out (I spared you an actual picture), and I am really hoping they go away after delivery. But while lamenting my unsightly lower limb last night, Jamie pointed out that at least it is winter and I am not wearing shorts.

True, true, true. So here's to cold weather and covered legs.

November 28, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #28

day 205

I give thanks every time I feel her kick.

November 27, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #27




yeah, I'm eating for two

November 26, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #26

Ryan carried Ella and her stroller up and down subway station after subway station today.

Ella's favorite part of the day was not riding the ferris wheel in Toys R Us, but "riding on the train."

Thanks, Dad.

November 25, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #25

We made it.
Ella slept the entire flight.
Not a peep.
Kimmy made a delicious feast.
A great Thanksgiving.

Thanks, family.

November 24, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #24

The pictures from my phone taken while at a stoplight do not come close to doing it justice, but today was gorgeous.

November 23, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #23

Lately I have been one tired mama. But not a fatigued type of tired. An 'I-can't-walk-up-the-stairs-without-stopping-to-rest' kind of tired. We are traveling for the holidays, and I was a little worried about how I would keep up. But today I got a letter from my doctor telling me that there is a reason for my drained state: I am slightly anemic. Hallelujah. That I can fix. And fix I will.

Also, today I am thankful for my husband who knows how to work the Delta SkyMiles agent. Yesterday I had received an email that I was upgraded on our flight to NYC. Yippee. First class. Sweeeeet! But when I checked later on no such upgrade existed. When I called the woman was all snippy, telling me that it had been a mistake and I had been put back in my original seat and the upgrade went to "the person who deserved it." Talk about deflated. Well, long story short, Ryan called and was able get me back to 5C. Thank you!!!

{But really, thanks to my mom who is ever so graciously staying back with Ella (who will hopefully be sleeping). I know, I'm kind of a jerk to even take the upgrade...go ahead and judge...but I am pregnant...and anemic...does that make it any less reprehensible??}

November 22, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #22

Lately I have found Ella's stuffed animals scattered throughout the house placed on "pillows" with "blankets" on top of them. She spends hours rearranging them, putting them to bed, waking them up and reading them stories. It is one of the cutest things I've ever seen. Puts a smile on my face every time.

November 21, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #21

Lately Ella has been waking up around 4 every two or three times a week. She usually goes back to sleep fairly quickly, after a drink or a diaper change. But years of being paged at all hours of the night (often with emergencies requiring me to be awake and alert) has made it hard for me to fall back asleep*. So this latest phase has not been my favorite. But what I am thankful for is what happens in the mornings. Ella has become very very good at playing by herself in her crib. She will play with her stuffed animals contentedly until I come and get her, giving me an extra hour or so to sleep. It has been great. Maybe she can teach her little sister.

*If anyone has any tips on how to fall back asleep quickly, please share. I'm trying to figure it out before February...

November 20, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #20

Costco. Love it. Hate it. But mostly, love it. I know it leads me to buy things that I probably don't need. And it leads to excessive waste. And it can be crazy. But there is something really fun about finding that great item that you can only find at Costco (cut up butternut squash, ribbon, books, jammies, little shoes, Christmas tree, the list goes on...less fun when you find that your bill is $200+). Today Ella and I made a little Costco run and even though it was really crowded it was fun. There was a sense of comradery amongst the madness. People were sharing information "Where did you get that? Have you ever tried that before? Was it good?" and lining up for samples.

So, thank you Costco. I had a good time, and can't wait to try out the new cookbook that I didn't need.

November 19, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #19

A few days ago I was driving home from Park City listening to NPR when I heard a story about Operation Pedro Pan. In the early 1960s Cuban parents began to worry what life would be like under Castro's reign. Fearing for their children's safety and future, they made the agonizing choice to send their babies to Miami under what was dubbed Operation Pedro Pan, a program set up to give visas to children. The children were initially cared for by a Catholic priest and then sent to refugee camps and foster homes. The families hoped they would see their children again but they had no guarantees. As political tensions rose, many families were not able to reunite.

Now 50 years later, these children told their stories. It was heartbreaking to hear them talk about their parent's decisions. As I thought about the little baby coming to our family and my desires to keep her safe and protected, I ached for the mothers who sent their children into the unknown and I had a renewed sense of gratitude for the freedoms and life I enjoy.

November 18, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #18

Today we had a little project to complete. One with a deadline and a budget. It involved printing 200 pages cutting them into 600 pieces. Ryan and I worked on it last night, added finishing touches this morning, and then I headed off to FedEx/Kinko's to get it printed. The helpful associate Breigh gave me a rough estimate of how much the printing/cutting would cost. Around $350, almost 5x more than we had anticipated. So she gave me a few tips: go home and adjust your margins so you can fit three to a page; buy your own cardstock. This got it down to $150.

So I raced home and tried to adjust the margins. I went to Hobby Lobby and bought cardstock. And I came back to Breigh. I wasn't able to completely adjust the margins, but Breigh opened up her fancy little design program and viola, problem fixed. Then she did a test printing. The cardstock I bought turned out to be good for scrapbooking but horrible for printing, and the pictures looked like they had been rubbed with a piece of sandpaper. At this point I didn't have time to go out and buy better cardstock, but it would be $140 more to use Kinko's. Breigh came through once again.
"What if I sold you a ream of our cardstock for $16.99, and then it would be yours..."

Oh, Breigh, thank you, thank you, thank you. You not only made our project beautiful, but you reminded me how wonderful it can be when people go the extra mile. Tomorrow I'll try to pay it forward.

November 17, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #17

{ornament from my Great-Grandmother's collection}

I am one of those people that considers it slightly sacrilegious to put up your Christmas decor until November has come and gone. November 30--no go. December 1--check.

But today when my wonderful mother-in-law offered to help me decorate...and when I realized that we won't be around for much of November...I couldn't resist. I turned on the Pandora Christmas radio (via TiVo--my favorite new obsession) and decked the halls.

Thank you Janet. And come December 1st, I will be thanking you even more.

November 16, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #16

Today I had an OB appointment with an extra ultrasound. Early on there was some concern about the scar from my c-section, and they wanted to make sure things had shaped up nicely. It was one of those things that was probably going to be fine, but if it wasn' could be bad bad bad.

As hoped for, everything looks great. Little baby girl is doing just fine and the scar is right where it should be. Plus, I am now 28 weeks which is a little bit of a magic number.

With all the things that can go wrong in a pregnancy I am so grateful that thus far things are going well.

November 15, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #15

Tonight as we were sitting at dinner Ma Jan asked Ella for a fork. Ella gave a wry smile, looked out of the corner of her eye and quipped,
"What do you saaaay?"

November 14, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #14


They are good to have around.

November 13, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #13

Today our ward completed a three month project. Someone with much greater vision and faith than I organized a "Miracle Makeover." A very deserving family (single mom, child with special needs, never complains) was chosen and their house was completely renovated. People donated old items that were then stripped, painted and metamorphosed into something beautiful. All of the furniture that was originally in the home was sold at a garage sale to fund the project (with the help of donations from church members). And for the past 24 hours members of our ward worked in shifts to tear down and rebuild walls, paint, install plumbing, wire new light fixtures, lay carpet and tile, organize and clean...all before the family arrived in a limo for the great "reveal." The end product was amazing (the pictures snapped from my phone do not do it justice), but what was even better than the home transformation was the sense of comradery and love that was felt as everyone worked together. I am thankful to be a part of such a great neighborhood and church.

November 12, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #12

Tonight I am tired. Bone tired. The past week of being a single parent has caught up with me. I have had plenty of help and nothing all that taxing, but I am wasted. Heaven bless single parents.

Ryan comes home tonight and I am thankful to have him back.

November 11, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #11

This morning Ella woke up at 5:30 wanting a drink. It took me a while to fall back asleep, and as I tossed and turned a bit I thought of how thankful I am to be able to sleep (most of the time). And while it may seem a little trite, it got me thinking about all the other things I can do that I often take for granted. As it usually does, the moment passed and when I woke up I went about my day not giving my abilities much thought. But for 20 minutes or so, in my quarter-asleep state, I was overcome with gratitude for all that I am able to do.

walk. talk. eat. listen. sleep. see. eat. read. drive. learn. eat.

November 10, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #10

Ella turned two this week. I know that theoretically she turned two on August 29th. But it wasn't until November 9th that she started to act like a two-year old. We had two major meltdowns in as many days, enough so that Ryan seriously started to wonder what had happened to our child.

Thankfully Ella and I had a great day today. We snuggled up this morning and read "The Gingerbread Baby" and then later today made Gingerbread Babies of our own. It was a good day, free of major tantrums.

I found this recipe online, which is always a bit of a gamble, but they turned out great.

Soft Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup dark molasses
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  1. In a large bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices until well blended. (I like to use a wire whisk but a spoon will work too.)
  2. In another large bowl beat the egg and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.
  3. Add the molasses and butter and beat well.
  4. Add the flour mixture and mix just until blended. (Overworking the dough will make tough cookies.)
  5. Form the dough into a disk shape, wrap with plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. When you are ready to bake the cookies, make sure one of your oven racks is in the center of your oven and preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  7. Line your cookie sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper. Alternatively lightly grease the cookie sheets with shortening or cooking spray.
  8. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick, getting it as even as you can.
  9. Cut with a 2-inch gingerbread man cookie cutter or your favorite shaped cutter.
  10. Place cookies at least 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets.
  11. When you have cut as many cookies as you can, lightly press the cookie dough scraps together, re-roll the dough and cut out additional cookies.
  12. Bake for about 10 minutes or until they are slightly firm when you touch them lightly with your index finger. (You don't want to let the edges brown or over-bake them or they will be very hard.)
  13. When done, remove pan from the oven and immediately transfer the cookies with a spatula to wire racks to cool completely.

November 9, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #9

Today I am thankful for many things. Great friends, a sweet little girl, good health, a job I enjoy...the list goes on. But one of the things I am finding with this 30 Days of Thanks experiment is that in being more aware of things to be thankful for, I am more aware. It sounds obvious, I know. But it has been eye opening to appreciate some of the little things that previously went unnoticed.

Today it is my garbage can. For the past 6 years I have had a tall garbage can in my pantry. I hate it. It is taller than the shelves and always feels in the way. And gross. But I couldn't figure out a good way around it. Today I had new insight and swapped things around so my recycling is in the pantry (not as gross as smelly food) and my garbage is in a smaller container under my sink. How did I not think of this before???



November 8, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #8

Some days you don't pull it together enough to use the Crock-Pot.

Thanks, Bajio.

November 7, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #7

Right now, most of my house looks like this:

But there is one drawer that looks like this:

And one pantry that looks like this:

And that very small island of organization keeps me from going completely nuts. Ella was crazy today, we only had about 50% of the ingredients to make dinner tonight (and it was tuna fish sandwiches and nachos--not something fancy), and, as mentioned, my house is a wreck. But looking at this drawer and the pantry reminds me that in a very small part of my house there is some semblance of order.

And for that I am thankful {and mostly sane}.

November 6, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #6

Ella loves it when her "Uh-hul Aa-on" comes over. Loves it.

Thanks, Aaron.

November 5, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #5

Today I had to go to a potentially awkward work lunch. It was one of those things that could either go really well or be really uncomfortable and I was anxious about it. Pit in the stomach type of anxious. So I said a little prayer that I would be at ease and it would go well.

And you know what? It went great. I was calm and everything went smoothly.

Thank heavens for answered prayers.

November 4, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #4

Today I spent the day with dear old friends and dear new (ish) friends and with this little darling

who said, "Are you so excited to be at home with your Ella?"

I was.

Thanks to all the people who make my life sweet.

November 3, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #3

This one may be a bit premature. I hope I don't jinx myself.

I am not a fan of mice. I am really not a fan of mice in my kitchen. Most years, around this time, the mice in our neighborhood decide that our kitchen is more cozy than their nest outside. Some years I handle it okay. Some years I don't. One year I had a minor breakdown where I became physically ill, complete with fevers and vomiting.

I don't like mice in my kitchen.

This year I attempted a preemptive strike. I bought three ultrasonic mouse repellent plug-ins. According to the internet they don't work. But it was worth a try. I also bought poison (in little bags they have to chew through) and placed it outside.

I'm not sure of the reason, but so far I haven't seen any evidence of the little critters. And for that I am truly thankful.

November 2, 2010

30 Days of Thanks #2

Cookie Cutters

We got Ella's first official haircut today. We went to a kid-friendly salon called Cookie Cutters. They had Dora, balloons, and suckers. Ella was in heaven and I think it turned out darling. Thank you Cookie Cutters.