Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Baby David

This little guy belongs to Tara, a friend of mine. She and Dave (who works with Ross and goes on the yearly Mancation etc..) have two girls close in age to mine, and now this sweet boy. He's a couple of months younger than Finn... so we've got big plans for a solid friendship ahead...

More of him over here.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mila's self-portrait

(I feel like I'm always saving and saving and then eventually... just dumping. I keep promising myself I'll save more of their artwork digitally like this.)

Somehow I hadn't noticed how Mila's art skills were evolving. Then I went to a mommy-and-me day at preschool and saw her draw her self-portrait. I died... because then I paid a little more attention to what she was drawing in our art niche all day long and it was systematic... every time... the same. She starts with the eyes, nose, and mouth... sometimes does the ARMS (those are the lines that look like cheekbones above, then the two lines down for legs, and hair that usually extends longer than the "body"...

I love it. I think it gives a little insight into what they see.. she sees no need for borders... chin or cheeks or ears... just the face and the HAIR. She loves hair. She's always yanking out my pony, "take your pony out so you look beautiful mom!".

Monday, March 28, 2011

Dinner Group

It's long, you'll figure out soon if it's worth your time reading or not. :)

For the past 5 or 6 weeks, I've been part of a dinner group where we exchange meals at the beginning of each week. Less cooking, fewer dishes, more time, more food, DEFINITELY more dinners around the table as a family. I'm LOVING it. So I thought I'd share. Just in case you have a couple of friends who have busy mommy-lives like you and want to join forces.

There are three of us in it, so you have three meals for the week. This usually seems to be more than enough since there's always at least one night that's too crazy for a conventional dinner anyway, and we like to eat out or do something weekendy on the weekends. :) And there's certainly left-overs to squeeze in if you need them.

We started out by all purchasing the exact same Pyrex containers. Julie, who'd done this before, insists on a specific one that's sold at Kohl's? I'm sure it's sold somewhere else, but I made my first trip to Kohl's to get mine, and I do love them. They're the perfect size for our 4-adult portion size, and having matching containers in your fridge stacked atop each other makes you feel SO much more organized than a balancing act of mismatched Tupperware. I have both of course. But I love my clean tower of three. They have blue lids that say Pyrex, Storage Plus, 7212-PC. Just in case, by the end of my rant, you are convinced.

We exchange on Monday nights at 5pm. Alternating houses each month. We text each other the Saturday before with what we plan to cook. Making a point to mix it up between red meat, chicken or pork, and seafood. So no two things are too similar. Only one main-dish-salad, so we can plan to eat it the first night while it's fresh. etc... You choose what you'll cook, destroy your kitchen Monday while cooking a triple batch of whatever it is (which is NOT that much harder than making a single batch), and then sit back, relax and have dinner with a clean kitchen for the rest of the week.

Usually the bulk of the food fits in the Pyrex container and we add on a grocery bag of any sides or toppings in zip locks. A couple of weeks ago I did a Spinach Asian Chicken Salad, for instance. I had the Pyrex full of a zip lock of each: craisins, parmesan, shredded chicken, chopped green onions, chopped parsley, toasted sesame seeds, mandarin oranges, and peanuts. Separately, I had a bag of marinated pasta and a bag of spinach. Whatever night you choose to eat the salad you just open all of your baggies, empty in a big bowl and TOSS. What I've found that's so wonderful too, is that--- if I had made this salad just for my family, I would have thoughtlessly tossed it all and had to dump the left-overs. But this way I've bagged everything separately for myself too, so we've got the fixings for a fresh salad days later! :) Can you tell I'm loving it?

So, Lizzie has been doing this for over a year and tried to convince me to do it when she started and I thought it wasn't for me. I like to control what I eat. Theoretically :) I want to eat healthy, (so I can save room for a silly amount of treats and maintain my fertile figure... fertile meaning i-just-HAD-a-baby-can-you-tell?) I certainly want to eat fresh food, and it sounded to me like I'd be eating a bunch of left-overs or casseroles. blah. How many foods can fit in one dish?

But after noticing the kinds of foods she had left in her fridge from dinner group.... my interest was peaked. So when they had a "member" drop out at the beginning of the year and Lizzie mentioned it again, I thought I'd give it a try. And now I'm so sold.

I did try my best to make one-dish-meals for the first couple of weeks, trying to figure it out. I did the chicken noodle soup in the pictures above, this yummy cooking light enchilada recipe, some tortilla soup.... tonight I did turkey chili. But we've also done lots of things you wouldn't think would fit in a casserole dish. Just to give you an idea: (because if you're still reading, you might actually be in to this sort of thing and not just think I'm crazy for going on and on about it).

A Few things we've eaten so far:

Pork tacos
tilapia and rice
thai shrimp salad
marinated flank steak
healthy breaded chicken (breaded in nuts and herbs... no bread, yum Liz)
Light chicken parmesan (breaded in whole wheat crumbs)
Taco salad
Zucchini pizza
Pear and gorgonzola pizza with arugula
... and other yummy salads
AND MORE! Mooohahahaha

If it's shredded pork, or meat in a soup etc... it's cooked.
If it's marinated or breaded chicken breast or meat, or fish, it's raw and ready to stick in the oven with directions taped atop the Pyrex I've been paid to advertise for. (kidding.) But don't worry, you're not eating reheated chicken breast. barf.

We supplement fruits and veggies if it's a meal that didn't come with plenty, especially for the kids. But this is the other thing I'm LOVING. My kids are EATING WITH US! I have felt like a failure as a mom wondering when that day would come. I've heard plenty of moms say how they only offer their kids what they're eating as a family. And if they don't eat it, they don't eat. I applaud them if it works... but I haven't been able to do it myself. With MY kids, it felt like one of those wins that wouldn't really feel like a win. Hungry nights and cranky kids etc..

But I think half of my problem wasn't WHAT we were eating, but that I was never really ready to serve a real dinner when they were hungry. So I'd pull out the pesto pasta I made at the beginning of the week and reheat it for them--- chop up but another apple. Then Ross and I would eat OUR meal when he got home. I'd heard the stats, I knew it was important for a family to eat TOGETHER. I just hoped we'd get around to it before it really mattered.

SO--- we're certainly still a work in progress. But my point is, I'm just excited about this dinner group because it makes it that much easier for me to have dinner ready to go each night at a consistent time, so we can sit down together around a table and eat it. I think I was always in such a hurry throwing something together before, that I didn't want to waste my time seeing if my kids would eat it--- so I'd give them their kiddie food before.

Don't get me wrong, my kids don't live on corn dogs and chicken nuggets (though my babysitters might disagree). But they had their fair share. And I've been shocked at how well they've done on fish and brown rice, tacos, soups... etc... when it's an all-together experience. I'm thrilled. Call me old fashioned, but it just feels like the way dinner's supposed to be. One of those things that seems like maybe it shouldn't matter, but it makes me feel like I've had some success as a mom.

Sitting around the table tonight, all of us with a bowl of chili and salad in front of us, Sophia thanking Heavenly Father in her blessing for "this WONDERFUL dinner that mommy made for us"... (it's a new line I've heard only since we've been sitting together), still with daylight left afterwards for some wild trampoline play (half of the springs are gone and they love it more than ever because they can jump and slide off over and over again since there's only tension on half of it). Then I clean up the 6 or so dishes from dinner listening to the most dramatic girls in the world yell "this is aMAZING.... BEST TRAMPOLINE EVER!!!" over and over again--- and I'm just feeling so grateful.

So start a dinner group.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Some pretty, girly inspiration

(audrey hepburn quote)

Still working on my girls' room.

I don't think I'm normal. I'm exceptionally indecisive and a little flakey. I return like half of what I buy in life... which is why I buy almost everything at Target. It makes it possible. I ALWAYS have target bags in the back of my car ready to go back whenever I end up there. I know all I need is my trusty credit card. No concern for hanging on to receipts or meeting 30 day deadlines. I have issues with commitment, I think. I won't tell you how many stupid Forever 21 shirts I have with the tag still on. I hate bad return policies more than anything.

Also.... I want so badly to be organized and MAINTAIN (the operative word) a super clean, and orderly house. But I don't. I want to feel like every room is decorated in a way that makes me happy--- but we've been in this house for three years and there are spaces that are virtually untouched. And sometimes I feel so overwhelmed by the simple day-to-day, I don't know when I'm supposed to fit in a project.

But it's important to me... so I WANT to. Otherwise I feel the constant feeling of being undone, like when you accidentally go out with only one eye mascara'd. (yes I have.) But it's SOOO hard for me to make decisions... and find stuff I can do on a budget of course.. but even if I had all the money in the world, I think it would still take me years. Because you can't just toss a bedroom in the back of your car to return it when you change your mind.

SO--- I'm STILL making decisions for the girls' newly shared room. And after all of this deliberation, you'd think it'd be PERFECT. But I've decided it just takes me LOTS and lots of research and vacillation and TIME to do what a normal mommy, who likes to decorate, would do in a few weeks. ugh.

So here's where I'm at with the plan.... just for record's sake. Let's see where we end up at the end of it all. What a fuuuun game.

beds- ikea
pouf- tazi

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Nate and Syd

More on the OTHER blog.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


On the day of that horrible earthquake, I blogged about something really unimportant. Not on purpose or anything... I'm sure a lot of people did. But I got a mean anonymous comment telling me I was shallow and self absorbed for thinking of myself on such a day.

What I resent most about that comment is that it's made me feel like I CAN'T blog about Japan, because now it would seem like it was beCAUSE of the comment --- or I would seem insincere...

Like when you complain that your husband doesn't tell you that your pretty... and then he says
"oh but I think you're SO pretty", and you're like
"don't waste your breath, it's too late"... And now you've made it so the poor guy can't win.

But I realized that was a stupid reason not to blog about it. One dumb, bored anonymous commenter.

I'm blown away by the footage, the pictures, the NUMBERS. I can't imagine what the mothers are going through--- trying to comfort their frightened children. Or much worse. I can't let myself think of what the children are going through or I feel crippled with sadness.

I think of it, we talk about it, we pray for them, (if I forget, Sophia reminds me and we start over) but then we get to move on and tuck our healthy kids into their cozy warm beds and have a bowl of ice cream. I can't imagine what it would be like to be living through such a nightmare while the lives of so many others just go on as usual. It's so unfair. What if it were right here? I live right on a fault line... it could be. Most of my family lives on the coast. It could be MY loved ones. It's unthinkable. And yet for so many people-- so many mothers, fathers, and children-- it's a reality.

If you're looking for something you can do, visit for japan with love and you can donate. The money is going toward sending shelter boxes since so many are left without homes. Their goal was to raise $5,000 and they've raised over 50,000... so obviously spreading the word through blogs is working. I'm a little late, but I thought I'd join in.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Do you remember Payton?

I've gotten to take this darling little girl's photos throughout her first year.. and I can't believe we've reached the end! She's got more teeth and hair than the last time, but the same darling little face. More over here.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Oops, I wasn't Finn-ished. ha. See what I did there?

Oh and I forgot to mention, at his 2 month appointment
(a couple of weeks and many feedings ago) he was:
15 lb 6 oz.
97th percentile for weight and 66th for height.

Oooh I posted that second photo and it made me think of an old one of Mila.... let's do a comparison shall we?

Sophia with baby Mila/ Sophia with baby Finn

Everyone says he looks like Mila... but I flipped through Sophia's 1st year scrapbook the other day (pre-blogging days... home with ONE new baby... I scrapbooked. And yes Ross, scrapbook is still a verb... have you done it? Hard work.) anyway... flipped through and thought Finn looked SO much like her to me. I'll have to do some scanning and posting and see if I'm the only one.

I got an email from a www friend in Ireland today, my girls are in green, with a special bag of pistachios in their lunches, and I plan on pulling out the green sports bra for they gym--- I'm feeling especially festive. Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

At (almost) 11 weeks, he:

- Smiles- I think he might be stingy with them like Sophia was. You had to pull out your best material to get smiles out of her. He lights up when he first wakes up and his whole face is a smile... but sometimes he's still looking at the top of my head or who-knows-where at the angels behind me. I haven't found any for-sure smile-makers yet. But he's happy and bright-eyed and aware and DARLING. I love this stage.

-Eats every 4 hours or so during the day- takes like 10 minutes and I wish it took hours... favorite thing I do all day... curled up on the couch with him snuggled in and my kindle in my spare hand.

- Wears 6-9 month clothes (except for pants)

- Has been sleeping a good 8-10 hours at night... and yes I am so so grateful for this! I woke him up last night at like 10:30 to feed him, then he cried out at 6am, I popped his binky in and he went 'till 8! It was the first night we finally put him in his own room and apparently the girls talking a mile a minute at 6am to let us know what they dreamed about was not white noise to him. (That's when he had been eating)... I love my chubby sleepy babies. I think Heavenly Father knows how much I love my sleep.

- Still looks like he's a red head!

- Burps like a champ... and RARELY spits up (his sisters lost half of EVERY meal.. so this is wonderful.)

- Still has the cutest little button nose you've ever seen.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

"When I grow up, I want to be a mommy and an astronaut."

Sometimes I find it hard just juggling mommy and wife-- and they pretty much go hand in hand. But hey----- if anyone can do it, you can.

Friday, March 11, 2011


I was loading up my bar for body pump today at the gym when an older lady said

"So it's comin' along huh?"

"Ahhh--- slowly but surely" I say in response---
about my baby weight loss so far. Most of the faces there are regulars and most of them know I just had a baby, so it doesn't seem weird to me--- what a nice lady, I think.

but then she says

"how far along ARE you?"
Ah man....

It's just kind of sad that the first big milestone I'll hit is just NOT looking like I'm still growing a 10 pound baby. Whatevs.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Finn's Baby Blessing

(Does it sound weird to someone who's not a member of my church? If so, here's a link that will describe what a baby blessing is.)

And this is from our fun family luncheon afterwards.... I sure love family.

Four Generations...

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

I find myself shaking my head all day long... can I really be the mother of THREE?

I used to look at families with three kids and they seemed of another world. Grown ups. Old grown ups. I babysat for them as a kid and I still remember it like it was yesterday. I don't feel much older than I did then. Their houses smelled of bubble gum toothpaste and dryer sheets and a hint of pee. Yup. Pee.

I am SOOO a mom of three.

Monday, March 07, 2011



You are three and I feel like I can see you at 100. You are confident and self-assured and honest. If you're honest to a fault, dad will say you're JUST like me. I'll be proud.

You are loving and snuggly and social--- but independent and so secure. You could play for hours by yourself-- a whole Mila show where you play the mommy, the baby, and the kitty cat... a little too often, the bad guy. You do voices and characters and imagine stories and conversations and make up songs that go and go.... I watch you in awe.

You still throw fits like no body's business and possibly bring out my loudest, meanest side. But we forgive each other quickly and tenderly. You can go from 0-60 before I know what's happening, but at the mention of a piece of bubble gum your entire countenance can be transformed and calmed.... you like to test me. You teach me patience and understanding... and you've made us masters of the art of distraction. I think you're just trying to make me a better mom. Your intentions are good I'm sure. :)

You are explosive and fiery, and yet so lovely and magnificent-- a sight to see. Like that space where the waterfall meets the water below. You can be so loud and strong--- but you can be so sweet and small. With your small morning voice and tiny hands on my back trying to touch me without bothering me whispering "is it still night-time? is it morning time yet?... I think it's getting morning time..."

You make me wish CONSTANTLY that I was better at videoing life... you are smart and darling and overwhelming and funny and clever and CRAZY and passionate and sweet--- so sweet.

I love you baby girl.


Saturday, March 05, 2011

2 Months

My sweet baby Finn,

You're two months old now and receiving your baby's blessing tomorrow morning. Lots of family will be in town to meet you and stare into your big blue eyes, kiss your endless cheeks.... and witness your big day. They want to hear some of those promises you'll be made-- the wonderful blessings you'll see in your life as you make good choices and stay close to your Heavenly Father. It's gonna be good. Rest up today. Tomorrow..... you're the star of the show.

xo Mom

Thursday, March 03, 2011

A room I think would bring peace even when Mila's on one.

I can't stop looking at these photos... someday, SOMEDAY--- I'll have a house with enough texture and detail and wood, that I can have white on white on white like that--- I don't think there's a look I love more.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

American Idol

I was skeptical of what American Idol would be with the new judges. It's so much BETTER. I've never been a J Lo fan, but watching her on AI, I think she's just lovely. LOVELY. And how rad is Stephen Tyler? Who'd have guessed it? I never knew he was so sweet and almost... normal. And yet super weird. I don't know. But I like him.

But Casey Abrams... Oh I just LOVE this guy. Even though he always looks like he needs a shower. His voice, his creativity, that big base he's pulled out a couple of times, his expressions--- my fave right now. And I LOVED Fraggle Rock as a kid---

Also loving, Paul McDonald and his soft voice. I loved his duet a few weeks ago with Jenna from 30 Rock. Ok it wasn't her, but watch it again, you'll see the resemblance. I could NOT take her seriously. Back to Paul.... I even love his quirky gimp arm.

Gotta mention, but too lazy to grab a photo... also loving Tim Halperin which coincidentally reminds me of Jim Halpert (and THEN I heard his name so it seemed eerily coincidental to me.) la la loved his "Let it Be" duet with that gorgeous Colombian girl with all the cute skirts.

I always think I might be over the show by the end of a season... but this one's got me good.

Ross in all his glory as "dad"

Watching the BYU basketball game on Saturday...

Do you see that face? That's the face of a man who wouldn't hear it if a jet landed in our backyard. Or on his head. Put him in front of something good at all on TV, and he's dead to the world ...very focused.

But if he scoops up the kids while he's at it, I'm one happy mama.

And secretly, I do love a good game on in the background on a Saturday. ONLY a Saturday... I'm not claiming false cool-wife-who-loves-to-watch-sports-with-her-MAN or anything. I gave up on that charade a long long time ago...