Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Love Affair with Amazon.com

Dear Amazon.com,

I think that we have to stop seeing each other. I have a real problem with impulse control and when I see all your pretty things at rock bottom prices my palms get sweaty and I start to shake a little. So far I have only given into the "Pink Retro Kitchen," but today after I realized that my camera has pretty much bitten the dust I started scrolling through your wares only to discover this little gem for such a good price.


Again I could feel my resolve weakening...I mean I DO NEED a new camera and it would work with all of my old Pentax lenses that I originally started shooting with way back in the "good old days." Quickly I had to retreat. After watering the garden and sitting on the back porch with Emily eating a whole cup full of delicious raspberries (they are actually even better that chocolate and I don't say that lightly) and watching my tomatoes grow (I hate tomatoes, but I planted them for salsa, so far they are looking pretty excellent) I decided that our relationship has to end. My resolve is just not strong enough and I feel my credit card calling my name. So long for now.
Longingly,
Jennifer

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid

So growing up I always wanted to be a writer. I have more than one journal full of some pretty terrible "creative" writing. As it turns out I make my living writing, just not the glamorous and witty prose that I had imagined, my writing tends to focus on how widening a road will impact tortoises, or how much noise can be reduced by building a concrete wall. Riveting topics I know. Overall what I write has not changed the world the way I once imagined that my writing would, instead my writings get placed on bookshelves and only a select few unlucky souls "get" to read them. That is not to say that I don't love my job, I really do love what I do, it is far more exciting than it sounds.

In keeping with my original dream I have started writing a novel set on a remote island in the Caribbean, I think I have completed 2 pages in as many years...currently my prospects for becoming a best selling novelist are dim. So many nights before I fall asleep I sit in bed thinking of clever blog posts. I compose them word by word, "writing" and "re-writing" them many times in my head...They are hysterical posts full of wisdom, then I wake up in the morning and realize that there is no way I really want the world to know my crazy innermost thoughts. Recently I composed a long post in my head about my house cleaning habits. It is not a secret that I am not the tidiest housekeeper in the world, but what I realized by the light of day is that everyone is better off not knowing the details. If I were to disclose how many days/weeks it has been since I last cleaned my toilets, or how long that pile of clean laundry has been sitting on the chair next to my bed you would have one of two responses; either you would laugh, look around your house and feel a little better about yourself, or you would wonder if you really can be friends with me after all and if you should make a call to DCFS. You see putting yourself out there has risks! The key is to just put enough of yourself out there so that you can express yourself without providing the incriminating details that could result in harsh judgement....Hummm I'm not sure anybody actually reads this so maybe it is not a problem, my little counter on the side of the page goes up each day, but I'm not sure how many of those are actually a result of my checking to see if anyone has left comments on my last post...Really this is what my life has come to. I once had such grand visions for my literary future.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

So after Ryan did AWESOME for Mother's Day I did terrible for Father's Day (sorry babe). As previously mentioned I have been super sick since Wednesday night. Since my new calling is as a nursery leader I decided that parents probably didn't want me infecting their kids...so we pretty much spent the day at home hanging out and watching some Handy Manny, Tigger and Pooh, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. We did make it over to my mom and dad's since Em was pretty much hanging from the light fixtures after three days of home confinement. My mom gave Em her first swim lesson in the hot tub and I have to say I saw some serious improvement. She now happily puts her whole head under the water with no choking, she also was floating on her back, and kicking. I think by the end of the summer we may have a swimmer.

Anyway I just wanted to take a minute to tell the fathers in my life how much I appreciate them.

Dad, thanks for all the time you spend with us, thanks for being patient with me and with my kids, thanks for loving us so much, and thanks for all the projects you help us with. We LOVE you more than you could possibly know.

Sam, thanks for being so kind and happy, thanks for always having stuff in your pocket for Em to play with, thanks for being so gentle, thanks for your fun stories, thanks for letting us use your middle name (even if it was for a girl). We love you so much and wish we could spend more time with you.

Ry, thanks for being such a great dad. Thanks for playing hide and go seek with Em, thanks for never complaining when the house is messy, thanks for never complaining when you see how much I spend on kids clothes, thanks for loving us, thanks for helping me put the girls to bed, thanks for figuring out how to get Emily to brush her teeth without screaming, thanks for protecting our girls, and thank you for a million other things. I adore you!


Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Little Bug

Poor Chloe gets forgotten more than she should on this blog. Emily is doing so many cute and funny things that sometimes I forget the more subtle and sweet things Chloe does. Yesterday we went to her 4 month appointment (yes I realize that she is almost 5 months, it has been a crazy month and we missed the first two appointments that I made). She is tipping the scales at a whopping 12 lbs 10 oz, putting her in the 6th percentile for weight. She is 26 inches long putting her in the 86th percentile for height, and for height to weight she is way off the charts. She is skinny and long. The doctor suggested trying to pump her up with as many extra calories as I can. She has started baby food (sweet potatoes, rice cereal, and pears so far). She is ok with baby food but doesn't LOVE it so far the way Emily did. The two girls are SOOOO different. Emily was not a giggler, Chloe loves to giggle. Emily did great with naps but we struggled with sleeping though the night. Chloe NEVER wakes up at night but we struggle with naps, she could stay up for 12 hours during the day and not even be fussy. Emily was NOT cuddly, Chloe is pretty cuddly (although she is constantly moving so it exhausting to hold her). Emily loved bottles and would eat ANYTHING you put in it. Chloe only likes to be breastfeed and when necessity requires her to eat out of a bottle she will ONLY eat breast milk or the really expensive liquid formula (how does she even know the difference!). Emily was a binky sucker, Chloe a thumb sucker. Both girls were strong. Chloe is rolling from front to back and back to front and can hold her self up when she is on her tummy. Both girls are adorable and we love them SOOO much.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Not Worth The Fight

So today I am just one step above "feel like I'm going to die." It seems that I have got some kind of super fun cold. Emily has spent the day inventing ways to entertain herself. I have been spending the day deciding which battles I want to fight. I should have fought the battle over the almond extract (FYI almond extract on black chairs leaves little white spots). I did fight the battle over wearing a diaper (for some reason I don't feel like cleaning pee off the carpet). I choose not to fight the battle of the swimsuit....She decided she wants to go "fwimmin' with cousins." I don't want to inform her that the cousins have all gone home, maybe I can talk Ryan into taking her swimming tonight.

When I got out the camera she said "mommy I give you cheese" then started running toward the camera with a big smile on her face. Where does she get this stuff, I never say "say cheese."

This is her attempt to put on the swimsuit.

This is her hiding under our rickety tv cabinet in the loft...I hope it doesn't fall over.
The good news is that she has been super cute with Chloe. The two have been sitting together giggling, one of the best mommy moments ever. The bad news is that shortly there after she decided it would be a good idea to poke Chloe with a stick....AAHHH!


This is the first pile of cute baby clothes I have given away....I'm just a little sad to be giving them up, no more little babies in our house. I had to take a photo so I could remember all the fun memories in these little clothes.

Ok I hear Emily downstairs I better check to see if there is a fight brewing that needs to be fought.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I Love You This Much!

The other night as I was laying in bed I realized that Ryan and I have been together for 10 years! Ten adventurous, fun, exciting, frustrating, glorious years. I never thought I would laugh, cry, and love quite as much as I have over the past 10 years. I had grand plans to make a photo book commemorating the journey, but alas, my grand plans have been thwarted by time and this post is as good as it gets. In fact, if it were not for the call this morning asking “do you know what tomorrow is…” I’m not sure I would have even handled this, sorry babe. The past 10 years have been the best of my life. I look forward to many more decades and hopefully eternity with you. This post is mostly intended for Ry and is pretty long, I won’t feel bad if you skip all or most of it.

1999 Significant Events:
· I went to live on a small Caribbean Island (South Caicos), just days after realizing I was in love with Ryan. It was the loneliest 4 months of my life…Thanks Dad for not yelling at me for some pretty obscene phone bills.
· Ryan went to school at Dixie College and worked nights at the Texaco, I spent more than one evening hanging out in the back room of the Texaco...The things you will do when you are young and in love.
· We fell in love, well I fell in love first then convinced Ryan it was love. I love that he pretty much always goes along with my hair brained schemes!
· Y2K didn’t end the world, as predicted by Ryan. This was the first of many fights I fought just to fight.

2000Significant Events:
· Early on Valentine’s Day Ryan sent me tulips, I suspected that there may be more to it since I had previously told him that I would marry the man that sent me tulips. Ya I was big into SUBTLE hints.
· After a candle lit dinner at Pizza Factory and a carriage ride around the Temple, Ryan asked me to marry him. I happily said yes.
· I took out my endowments in the San Diego Temple, it was a beautiful day.
· We got married on June 17th. It was a perfect day (except for that incident with my mom and the flowers and the pool).
· We went on a cruise for our honeymoon. We stopped in San Diego where we went to the temple, Catalina where we went scuba diving, and Ensenada (which I could have skipped).
· We moved into our first apartment. It was a one bedroom apartment that was last updated in the 70’s. Despite my best efforts I could never get the floors or bathtub clean. Only two burners on the oven worked and it was a glorious $350 a month, about the only thing we could afford considering our generous salaries working at Valley Title and Texaco. We did have a nice view of the cemetery from the front window though! I made a serious effort to be the happy homemaker, I made dinner every night (there were some disastrous meals) and I even ironed his clothes…those were the good old days. I am now lucky to make dinner more than a couple of times a week and forget ironing I found Red Hanger (sorry babe). 2001Significant Events:
· In January we packed up our meager belongings and moved to LA. Our apartment there was a step up, it had been remodeled sometime in the last decade (that may be generous), despite its ancient metal cupboards, lack of dishwasher, lack of air conditioning, rolling slat windows, and stained tub. It was a glorious $550 a month and we were in a rent controlled area so the rent could only increase like 5% a year. Living in that apartment in the Rampart District was one of the happiest times I can remember, even if our car did get broken into regularly. It was the only place we have lived were you could get corn on a stick covered in Mayonnaise for $1 from a street vendor who cooked the corn in a garbage can in a shopping cart. It sounds gross, but really you can’t knock it till you try it.
· I started working part time at United Title, my miracle job that I found while walking the streets looking for our miracle apartment. Ryan started working for American Research Bureau, his miracle job that the Elder’s Quorum President helped him find. Ryan worked full time while I went to school at USC full time.
· Ryan went to his first Dodger’s game. We weren’t giant baseball fans but our friend’s Uncle Gary had season tickets right behind first base that were AMAZING!!!
· We went SCUBA diving in the Channel Islands for our anniversary and dove with sea lions.

2002Significant Events:
· I graduated from USC with my degree in Public Policy, Management and Planning.
· Ryan went to the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics courtesy of ARB (his employer), Ryan felt bad that I couldn’t come because I had finals, so he surprised me with tickets to Stars on Ice. Our seats were literally on the ice, and Scott Hamilton sat next to us (he was not a big talker).
· We got season passes to Magic Mountain and season tickets to USC football. We spent most weekends on roller coasters or football games.
· Ryan got pneumonia and ended up in the hospital overnight. It was a pretty traumatic event and he will tell you all about how I left him to die on his birthday while I went to San Diego with my family. Believe me Ry I still feel bad about it.


2003Significant Events:
· We went to the Rose Parade, we spent the night along the parade course. It was beautiful, but we vowed never to do it again.
· We bought our first house in Valencia. It was BEAUTIFUL. I loved the space (3 bedrooms), the garage (no more parking on the street), the neighborhood, and just about everything else about it. I was not fond of our mortgage payment or the 1.5 hour commute, each way. The best part of the commute was that I got to go with Ryan. We spent hours every day talking about everything imaginable; we didn’t even have a radio in the car (see previous notation about the car break-ins).
· One weekend we decided to go to Santa Monica for the Red Bull Flutag (you’ve seen the commercials where they build crazy contraptions and “fly” them off the pier). It was hysterical and tons of fun. Our friend Kate even designed the “flug-Shack-Shoe” (A giant Laker shoe) and made the plunge.
· We made many weekend trips to Santa Barbara including one trip with Pat and Sam.
· We got our first pet, Zoey Bunny. She was sick when we got her and we spent SOOOO much money trying to nurse her back to health, it worked, for awhile.
· Ryan started school at College of the Canyons. He decided he wanted to be an accountant. Those were some long days for him. He was working, going to school, and commuting 3 hours a day! We spent a lot of time in the car studying.

2004Significant Events:
· We went to the Rose Parade—AGAIN. Yes we had previously vowed not to go, but couldn’t say no when my sister and her husband begged to go.
· We sold our first house (goodbye giant mortgage, hello freedom). The bad news was that we didn’t have anywhere to live for the next three months…so we might have camped out in Ryan’s office apartment while everything we owned was in storage, but I won’t admit to anything.
· We bought a new house in Utah. It was beautiful, gigantic, far less expensive than our house in CA, and best of all we got to pick everything out ourselves. Ryan and I spent months looking at model homes in California getting ideas. I still love just about everything about it.
· We went to Hawaii with our friend Jeff. Ry and I spent A LOT of time SCUBA diving. We saw just about every fish on our list. Those that we missed in the wild we saw at the aquarium.

2005Significant Events:
· We finally moved into our new house in Utah.
· Ryan started school full time at the University of Utah.
· We adopted Beatrix, Bear, and Babe bunnies (don’t ask what I was thinking, I still don’t know, yet another time my husband went along with my hare brained ideas…he he he at least I think I’m funny).
· We spent most of the summer working on putting in our yard. It seemed like a good idea when we started but was SOOOO much work.
· We went back to LA to visit Jeff, go to the Long Beach Aquarium, and to watch USC POUND Arkansas.

2006Significant Events:
· Ryan finished at the University of Utah
· Ryan started work at Extra Space
· Ryan’s Grandma and my Grandpa both pass away the same week.
· We went to visit Amy and Dave in Connecticut, we also enjoyed several very fun days in New York City.

2007Significant Events:
· Emily was born. This was definitely one of the most significant events of our marriage. Suddenly life became about making her happy instead of about making ourselves happy.
· I started working part time. I am so happy that I can spend most of my time with our cute girls. It is so nice that my job is a fun escape rather than a constant drudgery.

2008Significant Events:
· So many family first’s; first trick-or-treating, first steps, first words…Ryan could not be a cuter dad and he adores Emily.


· Jen starts work at Jacobs.

2009Significant Events:
· Chloe was born. It has been 5 months and the world is still a blur with two energetic girls.
Ry I adore you more now than the day I married you. Thanks for an amazing decade! We have been some pretty cool places and done some pretty cool stuff, but I think my favorite part of the journey was being with you. You have a knack for making things fun.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Raspberries Anyone?

My raspberries that I planted 3 years ago are going NUTS. There are about 8 starts that have sprung up in my grass I am going to pull them up and throw them away, unless anyone wants raspberry starts. It takes a couple of years for them to get going, but then they go crazy. You need a pretty good sized spot for them and then every year you just have to keep pulling up what you don't want. They are a bit of a pain, but totally worth it when you get the fruit. Looks like I am going to have a ton of berries this year!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Not Really Dead, Just Feeling Like It

So I have not really died, I have just been REALLY busy the last few weeks. To summarize the last few weeks:

55 hours of work
1 trip to St. George
70 people at a dinner catered by my mom, my sister and I (4 courses, 12 chocolate cakes, 6 enormous pork roasts, more dishes than I could count)
8 cousins all staying at my mom's house
Many missed naps and sleepless nights
1 trip to the cabin
1 trip to see the animals at Thanksgiving Point
8 kids and 3 adults at Discovery Gateway, Clark Planetarium (thank you Air Force), and Temple Square
1 child we thought we lost on the train
8 sick kids (they all took a day)
2 new teeth
1 hour sliding down the inflatable slides at Classic Skating
More hot tubing and "fwimming" (how Emily says swimming) than I can count


So needless to say it has been madness. I can't believe how much 8 kids eat, it is AMAZING. This morning Emily slept in until 11:00 and took a 3 hour nap. We missed church, but there was NO WAY I was going to wake her up, she seriously needed to catch up on some sleep and so did I. I wish I had lots of photos of all of our adventures, but my mom and sister have been the photographers. I have been taking a photo hiatus. Below are some of my favorite photos from our family photo shoot last month. Also some cute ones to get you caught up on Miss Chloe's new accomplishments.


Rolley Polley Chloe. Watch out world Chloe is now rolling over.
Here she is sleeping on her tummy after rolling over, and screaming until she fell asleep, she is not a fan of her tummy.

Yeah, she found her thumb!!!!! It's not a binky, but it does make her happy, which makes me happy.

Charity, Abby, and Emily in St. George Memorial Day weekend.