Thursday, March 29, 2007

A short do

She woke up from her nap the other day, somehow with a whole new hair-do. She just looked so big to me with her hip, new, long, side-swept bangs, I had to take a picture. It usually wants to lay straight down on her forehead like a little boy's would, or I clip it back... so when it curved gracefully to one side all on it's own, I was in awe.
The second picture is of her newest face. I don't know where she got it, but she loves to stick her lips out in this super-pucker.
It's pretty dang cute.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Booty

Here is our essentially "new" living room. The couch, the ratan chairs, the cushions and pillows, the lamp, even the little blue vase, and the pot for the fake palm (it's been sporting the black plastic all this time) are ALL from Melisa. (Actually so is the coffee table but that was a few years ago.)

The couch

The blue vase, the plant pot, the lamp, one of the ratan chairs with it's cushion and pillows, the pillow on the black chair (two of those), the set of two bamboo in vases...

A new lamp shade in the family room along with a big pale blue Anthropology pillow (does that make me incredibly shallow that I like it more knowing that it's from Anthropology?) THE ARMOIRE! I love it! The silk peonies in a vase on top, and the silk, light blue, LONG LONG curtains. I have never bought curtains from anywhere nicer than Target. Our last ones were light green sheers that hung right above the window and still didn't touch the floor (why do they make them so short?) So needless to say these are a big step for us... I had to take the rod 8 inches higher (LOVE that)... and even though you can't tell in the picture... these one's actually block out some light.

And lots and lots of pillows!

Yeah we made out. There's more fun stuff I haven't gotten situated too... I might have to throw on a picture of the guest room after I finally get to it. Unless I have tomatoes thrown at my blog by then for gloating. Please don't think I'm gloating... I'm just SOOO grateful.

On a very different note, did anyone watch Planet Earth on Discovery? I don't watch enough of those things, but I tried to watch it with Sophia and she actually layed down with me and watched for a while. It's amazing, the creations on this planet. And sad how many animals I know almost nothing about.

Monday, March 26, 2007

A "Productive" Weekend

(Mike, Mel, and Heath on the porch of their new little Laguna Beach house.)

(Sophia with her cousin, Heath at Melisa's.)

So I won the lottery this weekend. We went down to my sister, Melisa's house in Encinitas (San Diego) to "help" her with her big moving sale... and by help I mean to take anything she didn't sell. We were EXtremely helpful. This is the sister I've mentioned before who has a beautiful house decorated even more beautifully. I've always loved anything and everything she picks out... probably a combination of factors: she has a degree in Interior Design, she's artistic and just has REALLY great tastes, and she's my big sister... so she's inherently cool to me. So when she said they were selling their big house and "downsizing" to a super cute little house across the Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach (walking distance from the beach!!! Can you imagine?!), I definitely had my hopes. It pays to live close to GENEROUS, stylish siblings.

So she had already made us a deal: a couch and armoire for some babysitting.... not bad eh? We had scheduled a Uhaul to get those back home, which came in pretty handy as we bought a few more things from her before the moving sale, and then of course cleared her out post sale. I'm sure some pictures of my fun new decor might find their way to the blog in the near future. THANK YOU Mel and Mike!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Hydrogenated Oils??!!!

So we all know they're bad, but am I alone when I say I've never actually understood why? The fact that they were, was enough for me. But I've been thinking for a while now that I really needed to do some reading on the topic to have some real conviction behind my attempt to ban them from our house. So last night I read a couple of articles online; one entitled "What's wrong with Hydrogenated Oils?" and the other, "Trans Fats, Metabolic Poisons." They were the first I stumbled on, so I'm sure there are much better, more accredited studies out there, but these were educational nonetheless.

(Permission to stop reading if you are actually going to read the articles, are already educated in the matter, or are just un-interested... because here is my attempt at a brief summary.)

Hydrogenated oils (oil that has been heated with hydrogen and the chemical makeup is changed in the process, now containing hydrogen bubbles and becoming a solid, like Crisco) contain tons of Trans fats. They are literally poisons. In the same way that arsenic is a poison because it restricts oxygen from getting to your cells, hydrogenated oils restrict nutrients from getting to your body's cells. They also allow tons of bad things through, allergens, carcinogens, and other toxins. Carcinogens cause cancer. I didn't know that.

Saturated fats have always sounded like the culprits-- they are nowhere near as dangerous as Trans fats. While they are not "good" for you, the essential fatty acids in fat ARE, and they are at least able to be burned. The trans fats bind themselves to cell walls in your body, because as a once essential fat (i.e. good oils that haven't been over heated) they are supposed to have a function in your body (acting as guard at the cell wall, letting in the good stuff, keeping out the bad.) However while the side that binds to the cell wall remains unchanged, and so still binds, the side that is supposed to do the work is ruined in the hydrogenation process. So instead of letting in the good and keeping out the bad, it does just the opposite. It allows the toxins to pass through while keeping the things out that help your brain, immune system, metabolism, heart etc... to function properly. The articles I read describe adamantly that hydrogenated oils are just like tobacco, they will kill you over time. They lead to allergies, cancer, auto-immune disease (your body attacks itself), diabetes, obesity, and more.

"Until the 1970's, food producers used coconut oil to get that buttery flavor and texture. The American obesity epidemic began when it was replaced with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil -- most often soybean oil." It is a much cheaper fat, which of course is reason enough for the food industry to put it in just about EVERYTHING processed. We all know the less processed the better, but make exceptions for plenty of foods. I sure do. I love the idea of a completely healthful, whole food diet... but love treats far too much to ever really be a health "nut" (as you can tell from my slightly more than rail thin frame ;)) However, I just feel like there should be no place in my home for this particular evil, and especially no place in Sophia's diet.

I will say I was shocked when I looked a little more thoroughly at my labels. I knew to watch out for them in anything packaged in my pantry like snacks for Sophia, crackers, chips, cereals, bars (granola/protein/"fruit"). I didn't really think they used them in ice cream. I mean I never thought ice cream was good for you, but I've been addicted to Dreyers Light Mint and Chip for a while now, and thought it was a lesser evil. So sad to say it has them, as do Skinny Cow's. I think it's worth eating the full fat Breyers with all natural ingredients. At least then it's just a matter of not over-eating, but not a matter of poisoning yourself.

Wow this might be the most boring post ever. But I couldn't stop reading about this stuff last night and thought I had to share, just in case somebody cares like me, but also hasn't found the time to actually learn the dangers. The articles of course say SO much more than I did, SO much clearer than I did.

I realize that perhaps, like a smoker, I won't be able to completely quit overnight (I mean I do have half a carton of light ice cream in my freezer waiting :0) but also, like a smoker, I see no reason to share my addiction with Sophia, with her tiny, pure body. I'm all for home cooking, baking, and enjoying splurges, but they never HAVE to include this crap. (Had to call it what it is.) Sugars, fats, carbs.... in excess, yes dangerous, but in moderation, burnable. Trans fats- pure poison.

I will now step down from the soap box.

(High Fructose Corn Syrup, second evil---- but a blog for another day. :) )

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Her Mother's Daughter

So did I say how much I love cloudy days? We had another one yesterday... a few rain drops even! It felt like Hawaii to me; moist cool air, slightly warm breeze (a little contradicting I know) , palm trees, thick puffy clouds... I just can't believe what the weather can do to my mood! It felt so good to be outside, after running some errands and having to turn my windshield wipers on for a minute on the way home, we ran around the backyard until Ross got home from work... and then we ran around some more. It was so obvious that Sophia loved the change as well. After witnessing her flushed cheeks on the 100 degree day, I have to believe she feels like me and will always be more comfortable in cooler temperatures. She is so her mother's daughter.
Since clouds make for better pictures and we so rarely get them, of course I had to pull out the camera and snap a few. I mean could her eyes get any more blue!? Ok and maybe I'm also terrified that every cloudy day might be our last for several months. Gotta captures those happy memories, to remind us why we live here in the middle of the summer.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Couple of Additions and One Sad Girl.

HERE is our new black table from my sister in law, Kim! I don't feel like I can get a picture that does it justice... but I LOVE it!... and her for giving it to us in exchange for babysitting! And of course I love that it matches our $75 Target (sale) hutch.

And this is our first, tiny step toward a more organized little play area in the family room. We have our couch at a diagonal which leaves a corner of the room to hide Sophia's mess... but it would be great if it didn't always have to BE a mess. This little Home Goods book shelf is step one.

So the 18 month shots were officially the worst! FOUR shots. Two in each leg. It was horrible. She was just so aware of what was happening, I couldn't keep her from watching him stick her the first time and then she just cried the saddest cry through the rest. It killed me. I always think the doctor must think I'm a nut, frantically singing the itsy bitsy spider intermixed with a shaky "I'm soooo sorry punkin" through watery eyes. Gives me the shivers just remembering. Luckily we don't have to go back until she's 2 and that's only for one shot. She can handle one. She's been super tough in the past. But four was just torture.

She woke up before 9 last night inconsolable, don't know if it was the shots or the cold. So we let her hang with us in the love sac for an hour or so while we watched American Idol. (That's what this picture of her and Ross is.) We've really only done that once since she was like 6 months old, and secretly (well not so secretly since I'm blogging it), we LOVED it. It's one of those tiny silver linings to sickness. She's way more cuddly. This morning she was the same way and we snuggled on the couch watching the Disney Channel for like an hour (she never sits with me longer than a few minutes.) When she finally got up she walked really funny, almost limping, so I'm thinking maybe her thighs actually hurt from the shots. :( So sad.

Hmmm.... anything else to blog about since there's obviously no recognizable theme to the post... I really hope Sanjaya goes home tonight. (American Idol.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A weekend of fun and more.

I almost took a picture of the sunrise this morning... but didn't have the energy to stand up from the love sac, where I was lying with Sophia... as it was much earlier than I like to "stand up" at all. I could swear she JUST got over a cold, but now she's got a brand new barking cough. Why can't one cold just exempt them from the rest. Like, they've done their time, they should be able to be healthy for a while! So needless to say, she was up before the crack of dawn... now that dawn happens a little later I guess. 5:30 or so. Poopy diaper which is totally out of routine, and hacking cough. So we hung in the love sac and watched our friends, the Little Einsteins. I really did see a beautiful sunrise out the window a while later and think, "I should take a picture of that." Now I realize why it was extra pink, we have CLOUDS today! (Hence the seemingly unexciting picture.)

Blogging has connected me to lots of long distance friends I didn't keep in touch with before. This means we are all made aware of the different circumstances in which we live. Weather- being a big one. Some of us are cooped up in the winter hiding from snow and freezing temperatures and awaiting a blue skied, sunshiney day. Some of us, on the other hand, myself included, enjoy blue skied, shineshiney days all winter, and then SUFFER (no sarcasm involved here) through blue skies and sunshiney days in the summer. The sky never changes, but the temperatures do. This past weekend already broke 100. The sunshine is not so welcome when it zaps all energy and turns your and your daughter's face into a sweaty tomato. SO- my point with all of that? Today looks like it's going to be a cloudy day! At least part of it. And that is really, really good news. Good enough to make up for the 5:30 start to the day.

So the weekend was an especially fun one. We had our friends Lindsay and Wes from Vegas come down and stay with us for the Pacific Life Open Tennis Tournament. Lindsay and I were in the same major at BYU and worked in the same group in our big capstone class and so spent quite a bit of time together. Luckily she was one that made working into the wee hours of the night fun. Good company. So of course we love that they only live a few hours away (that's right, there's a short cut to Vegas from here that's just over 3 hours.) They're pregnant with their first right now, and just found out (with 90% assurity) that it's a BOY! It was fun to see her with her barely there bump. Congrats Linds and Wes!

I am ashamed of both of us since we each have blogs and neither of us managed to take a picture together. Lindsay put a super cute one of Sophia on her blog, and all I really got was one of Sophia playing football with Wes. It will have to do, just so I can prove they were really here.

18 month shots today. Yuck. We'll see if they still want to do them even though she's getting sick. I HATE shots and feel the WORST empathy watching my little girl get pricked. Yuck. Did I already say that? Yuck.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Goin' swimmin'

The best swim suit shot I got. I thought the scowl was cute--
not by the pool but you can imagine.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Revealing the New Year's Projects

New Years Projects we wrote down at the start of this year: (different then our resolutions.... these are the things we can actually be done with. If only losing weight and reading scriptures more often worked like that. Accomplished projects are bolded.)

-Paint cabinets white
-Finish painting bathroom (it's been sporting blue tape for months now, since one quart didn't cut it.)
- Paint bathroom cabinets white
-Organize hall closet
-Organize end-of-hall closet
-Organize guest closet
-Organize Sophia's closet
- " Master closet
- " Garage
- " Tupperware cupboard (got the cheap set from walmart where all the lids match and it comes with a little case. It's ABOUT time.)
- Organize Pantry
- dejunk bedroom drawers
- create play space for Sophia
- Finish painting baseboards (another unfinished project from.... 2 years ago now!)
- Collect at least 6 months worth of food storage
- Finish wood floor transition pieces (of course another very old unfinished project)
- Finish and order digital photo album for 2006

Boring post- but thought it might motivate me even more to finish the list.

My friend Lizzie's heating her new pool today (since it's 88 outside- hot sun, still a cold pool) ... so Sophia and I are going to put ourselves, winter chub and all, into a couple of swim suits! Woohoo! I hate heat with no water, but I do LOVE the smell of chlorine, the cool water in the hot sun, and that tight feel of sun-kissed skin on a warm day. I can feel it now.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A kid-filled weekend!

(Why is this picture arranging so hard... is there something I don't know?)

So it’s the first day back to normal life. As illustrated in the pictures, we’ve had my niece and nephew staying with us since Friday, (SUPER sweet kids) so our days were a little more fun-filled than normal. My brother, Ryon and his wife, Jeanette, the ones that live in Phoenix and have six kids, took a little trip to Mexico for a long weekend. Their oldest, 10 year old Savannah, and their youngest, 18 month old Ryon stayed with us. Unfortunately, the weather decided to jump up to the high 90’s on this particular weekend; one in which we were really counting on the outdoors to help us in the entertainment department. This would explain the incredibly rosy cheeked pictures (especially my daughter since she is… MY daughter- for any of you who have seen me in an embarrassing moment, on a hot day, a really cold day, surprised, angry…really anything but relaxed in the low 70’s… I turn bright red.)

Saturday we played and Ross set up Sophia’s new trike (see picture of little Ryon riding it) and tried to start the daunting task of organizing our garage. Sunday we struggled through church (ok well only through part of it, both babies had runny noses which means no nursery—screamed through Sacrament due to lack-o-nap, so Ross took them home and Savannah and I stayed so I could teach my lesson.) Monday our friends John and Marnie (she's 5 months along and expecting a BOY!!!) brought us dinner (SO sweet… I promise someday I’ll be able to handle three children AND cooking dinner, but I was happy to accept it). We all ate outside (see pictures with lots of bodies outside), played soccer and football and enjoyed the benefits of daylight savings- and the ONLY time of day when my backyard has shade. That was a fun night.
So they took off this morning and of course we have a normal day of errands planned as running around town with 3 very bored children did not sound like something I wanted to be responsible for. So we did our little morning run (it must have already been 90 out there at 9:30 am.) And on the agenda is shopping for some new, bigger tees for Sophia (see picture with chasing Daddy and protruding belly), some new wall shelves for Sophia’s books in her toy corner (eventually really want to copy my friend Missy who decorated a whole perfect play nook for her daughter- check it out), and the regular: some groceries.
Oh and one last thing... Ryon and Jeanette brought back from San Diego "the black table"! The one from my sister-in-law, Kim that I was so excited to refresh my dining room with. So we might be dropping by the model home to see how they did the dining room. Mine has never been right and with the new table... I'm hoping to get it there. Before and after's...I'm sure... to come. Sorry for the picture overload. Consider it a collage of the weekend.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Just more of the girl.

Yeah so I don't know what the deal is with the little yoga pose... but she would walk around the backyard talking, then stop and do the triangle pose... then walk around and talk some more, triangle pose... etc... where do they get these things? So cute. Never can quite capture the cuteness in a picture, but still thought I'd share.

And pretty unrelated... here are a couple of videos from Sunday play with Daddy.
(First: as always, my voice is SO loud... I hope for your sake that you can tune it out.)

What happens after you spin a little girl incessently in the air? (No don't worry, no sign of sickness... just dizziness.)

And maybe that makes her a little crazy?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

My little girl's growing up so fast!

Seriously-- what happened to my baby? She's sittin' there on the kitchen counter with her legs all long and lean- lookin' so big, reading a magazine! (she really does flip the pages and babble like she's reading a story), eating her dark greens which plenty of grown-ups don't even like to do (she loves broccoli), and clipping her toe nails (I made them baby safe before she went at her tiny toe-tips.) She just seems like such a big girl these days and it really feels like it happened over night. She turned 18 months this week. Here are some Sophia-lights (highlights).

-Current favorite foods: cucumber, broccoli, kidney beans, tomatoes, grapes, avocado, chicken nuggets, pizza, eggs, oatmeal, berries (straw/black/ras/blue- she doesn't discriminate), yogurt w/ cottage cheese, toast, apples, clementines (only a good sweet batch- she's picky), pirates booty, ... and of course, she is her mother's daughter... icecream. We try to only pull it out after bed time. But sometimes, on a particularly long afternoon... who could blame me?

-Vices: 1. Binky, 2. fan, 3. TV (ahhh- Like all of us, I swore I'd never be a TV mom. Any suggestions?)

-Words: "Woah", "Wow", "mama", "daddy", "ball" (only a couple of times so far, sounds more like "bow"), "dog" (also sounds like "bow"-- don't know), "Jesus" (occasionally only after we've pointed at His picture and are walking away at her insistence, then she points back and says Cheesa), "uh-oh" (all day long), "no" (it comes out more like "mo"), "hi-ya!" (every time we go to the gym she takes out her vice #1 to say it to the front-desk girl), "amen" (only when we're really lucky and it's actually pretty spot on), "plane?" (Maybe. She points up every time one goes over and utters some syllable- probably sounds like "bow"... we'll call it plane).

-Super cute habits: 1. Every night after her bath she runs naked straight to the love sac, while patting her knees like the Little Einsteins (proof of vice #3), then rolls around in it like the happiest little naked baby in the world. 2. She stands (yes it's terrifying) on the arm of the couch and counts (in her own language, but in a melody that sounds like our counting) to three and then jumps into the love sac laughing whole heartedly time and time and time again. 3. She puts her finger to her lip a little like Austin Powers (no we did NOT teach her that) and says Hmmmmm babble babble babble, hmmmmm..... babble babble etc.... very cute. What is she saying?

-Loves: climbing, climbing, climbing, eating, jumping off of things, reading, singing, giving kisses, piggy back rides, playing in the dirt, being chased, baths, and high daddy-tosses in the air.

She is my toddler. A year and a half. Holy smokes...she's cool.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Pop out test.

How come they pop out sometimes... and not others? This one's a test... and yes, I played musical centerpiece for the sake of the picture.

A weekend's work

Yup, we really did it. We painted our cabinets. Our friend Denae (she's on my links) blogged back in November about redoing hers, black island and all, and we loved it. Granted she did it the right way-- with the sander, the sprayer, and the professionals. We just primed and painted. Scary, and totally faux pas (sp?) I'm sure. We were a little terrified as we watched the brush strokes form and realized there was no going back, but frankly, as you can see from the before picture, we had nothing to lose. The standard cabinets they put in these houses aren't only a bummer stain, they're not even real wood, so we couldn't even sand them if we wanted to. I figured even if up close you could totally tell they were painted, brush strokes and all, it would still improve my mood every morning to come out to such a fresh palette of colors in my kitchen. So we love it. There's just one problem.

When I went to get my white paint, I had it in my head that all I needed was a can of pure, sitting-on-the-shelf, ready-to-be-purchased, white paint. It didn't help that I had Sophia on her 3rd errand in the afternoon, with a newly diagnosed ear infection, squirming and fussing on my hip... so I figured I didn't exactly have the luxury of being picky. After finishing the paint job, we looked through a Pottery Barn catalog to see where to place the hardware. We were then confronted with many a beautiful kitchen or bathroom with a much creamier set of white cabinets. Hmmm. I didn't say anything at first for fear that Ross would laugh (or worse) at the idea of fixing our JUST labor-intensively fixed cabinets.... but last night it all came out.

He's on board. Who'd have thought my husband would want the creamy Pottery Barn cabinets at the expense of another night of slave labor in the kitchen too!? Yay! So until we have the "after" after pictures, here are the before and after pictures (backwards for the blog's aesthetics).... with one thrown in of Ross in action.