Friday, November 30, 2007

I just got back from the most awesome walk/jog/almost run! I started walking this week and am walking three miles three times a week. I am SO excited to be doing something! It's been a long (and I mean long) time since I've exercised regularly. And even when I did, it never lasted.

But I can feel that this time around is different. I needed this on more than one level. Physically of course, but mentally and emotionally too!

Today was really good because I listened to music while I walked, which I didn't do on Monday or Wednesday. Holy cow! Eric said that Battlestar Galactica was the best workout music ever and I now know EXACTLY why.

Colonial Anthem
Escape the Farm

If you've got time to kill, download either of these songs and go walk around the house for a minute. By the time you're done, you'll understand. Or, if you're goofy enough to try it, walk in place while you listen to it. Seriously. This music is perfect for exercising.

At first I was walking, but I kept running in spurts and I was grinning like a fool the whole time. I think I would've jogged or ran the whole thing if our stroller could've handled it. I really want a jogging stroller now!

I used to listen to Deep Forest (here's a song by them: Sweet Lullaby) when I would clean (aka my Chinese music). Now I just listen to anything upbeat that keeps me going or anything that I can sing my heart out with when I clean. I'm so excited to have found something to exercise to! (I hear that exercising to music makes for a better workout, that you burn more calories too!)

I don't know what musical terms to use to describe either Deep Forest or Battlestar. Maybe some of you with Music degrees will be able to describe them after you listen to the tracks. Let me know! And I know that everyone has their own music preferences so I realize this music may do nothing for you, but it sure is working for me!

** Isn't there a way to put these songs directly into this post? Anybody else know how?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I just had to add something Rachel said to me today. We were talking about responses to what we do and she said, "I really like boggling them by proudly and boldly saying, "I'm a mother. I mother." I have found that gets some really cool reactions....even from the most sour people."

I think that's an awesome response and I can see how it would change people's reaction from the typical response to "stay-at-home mom" to a little thoughtfulness and remembering just what moms DO.

I wonder if when we respond that we are "stay-at-home" moms, if we don't sound apologetic while a response of "I'm a mother. I mother." might be more hopeful and positive?


Lately I've been thinking a lot about the work I do here at home with my girls. Some of my dearest friends have blogged about it over the last couple of months and I've finally formed my thoughts into words that I can share.

Aside from living in Germany for six months when Autumn was a baby, this is the first time I've lived outside of Utah since having kids. And since so many Utahns are LDS (you know, us Mormons...), there is more understanding than say, living in China where the norm until recently has been for families to have two children and naturally, both parents work. Yes, I'm generalizing, a lot, but I'm not blogging about those things right now. What I really want to say is...

I am tired of people seeing me out and about with my three daughters and looking at me like "Are you out of your mind?" or "Ummm...have you ever heard of birth control?" or "Can't you control them?!"

I am tired of people seeing me out and about with only TWO of my three and the thoughts are still there! "Oh, my, your girls are so close in age!"

Goodness. What's happened to people that families and children are not such a happy thing anymore?

But I really didn't intend to rant. I am to the point where I don't care when people think those thoughts so loudly. I know that what I am doing is important. I've been thinking about the "job title" of Stay-At-Home Moms. I wholeheartedly agree with Tiff that people write me off when I say, "I'm a Stay-At-Home mom". I echo her in saying, "Don't dismiss me!" And I've been thinking...when people ask me, "What do you do?", maybe I'll say:

"I'm a teacher."
Oh! What do you teach?


"I'm a chef."
Oh! Where do you cook?
"Why at home of course!"


"I'm a psychologist."
Oh? Do you have a specialty?
"Absolutely! I work with the emotionally unstable to help them live productive lives!"

And then depending on my mood on the given day, maybe they'll get more than one answer! Like:

"Well, I'm a full-time psychologist but I also work part-time at a laundromat. I like the extra time it gives me to read."

"I'm a teacher but I really love to drive so I started my own chauffeuring business."

"I'm a chef but I'm also a clean-freak so I also do housekeeping on the side."

More thoughts on being a mom, from my friends:

My sister Rachel
If I never take an award-winning, groundbreaking, earth-shaking photograph, that's okay. If I never write something that broadens the mind, draws upon the emotions, and clarifies the senses of the thousands who read it, that's okay. If there is nothing to my name except "Wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend", that's perfect. That's fine. Why? Because I'm a mother. I'm doing the hardest job I could possibly do--and "job" is really not accurate. I--those of us who mother--do something that requires all my energy, time, passion, and effort. There is no break! And I am nurturing those who will forge paths and brave trials of which I never would have dreamed. My family is my legacy, my family is my honor, my family is me.

Now, of course I have difficult months, difficult weeks, difficult days, difficult moments. I would never claim that it's all smooth sailing. But the rewards are so great, and they more than make up for the times I don't know if I can keep going. Sometimes I watch my children in their sleep, their faces so relaxed and open, and I feel so close to where we come from, and I feel a mixture of homesickness and love--I think that's what it means when you say "I love them so much it hurts". I feel blessed by the experience, and humbled to have to work so hard every day to give yet more of myself. I'm happy to be a mother. I love being a mother. If all I ever do is be a dedicated mother and devoted companion to [my husband], it will be the very best I could have given in this life.
My good friend Crystal posted this quote in September from her friend Kelly's blog.
My best pep talk for moms who are at home and struggle to want to be there involves choosing to be happy, and creating a life you love. if you feel trapped by the walls of your home i need to let you in on a little secret: it was you who decorated those walls and it is you who is looking at them instead of going to the park and enjoying a crisp apple and a great book while your kids play. make your home, your life, your routine, one that makes you happy. paint the walls a color that doesn't feel like prison and get out and enjoy your freedom to play with your kids. do you know how many women would love to have your problems? you certainly don't need a boss to make you feel important, your children think you are the greatest thing since sliced bread. in your home you have already risen to the c.e.o. position, and you are working for the greatest company in the world. talk about prestige. you get to use your computer for browsing blogs and etsy instead of spreadsheets, and you get to decide what everyone gets to eat for every meal. i mean, that's just powerful.
My good friend Tiffany:
What I do matters. Don't you DARE make me feel otherwise. There are not enough of us in this world anymore. If my family has to eat peanut butter and saltines for 10 years just so that I can be home with my children, so be it. You can drive you fancy cars, live in your big houses, and look down your perfect plastic noses at me all you want. But that just makes you ignorant. You are not worth enough of my time for me to help you realize I am much wealthier then you will ever be!
(To my friends that I've quoted, I hope you don't mind! You're words are so eloquent and help me keep my perspective!)

An interesting tidbit to tag on, did you know that it is estimated, based on all the "jobs" a mother does, her income would be $134,121 per year? If you'd like to see the entire article from, click here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Okay, I have lived in Colorado, Germany, Belgium, and Utah which ALL get colder than Florida.
Yet, somehow I have NEVER seen a sign like this.
Something seems a little off here right?

Monday, November 26, 2007

And so it begins...

Esther has been climbing on kid-sized chairs and our couches so
it was only a matter of time before this happened.
Guess she didn't want to leave all the fun to her cousin Emma.

What? Me? Trouble?

See that "so pleased with myself" smile mostly hidden by the table?

Mmmm, crackers.

Family Words

I've been leafing through a book I just got from the library called Family Words: The Dictionary for People Who Don't Know a Frone from a Brinkle by Paul Dickson. Here's a list of my favorites. Thinking about made-up words reminds me of one of Frindle by Andrew Clements. Last time I read that, I think it took me three hours. It's a fast read, and so fun.

I laughed really hard at a lot of these. I've got to start using some of these words!

  • Air-raid: One family uses this as a code word warning of an attack of what air-raid suggests when spelled backwards.
  • Amn't: Contraction of am + not. Cynthia MacGregor of New York City says that she has been using it since childhood. She has also been complaining that it is not an acceptable English word, which, of course, it should be.
  • Applaudience: An audience that has come to applaud: specifically, those composed of parents and grandparents at children's piano and dance recitals. Presumably the term was created to reassure a child who is nervouc about "all those people" who would be at his recital.
  • Barkative: The creation of a ten-year old in the Mende family in Ontario. It is a perfectly logical term for dogs that bark a lot.
  • Chik-chik: Cutting finger and toenails, as in, "Here, let Mommy chik-chik your nails."
  • Crinkles: Popcorn hulls that stick in your teeth.
  • Eardo: Condition of a dog's floppy ear when it is flipped backwards.
  • Fant: To act like an infant. "Stop fanting" would be a proper admonition to a seventeen-year-old behaving immaturely.
  • Flibble: To jiggle a loose button or tooth with one's finger.
  • Flimp: Feeling one gets from being up all night with a child or children. It is a different feeling from, say, staying up all night figuring out one's taxes.
  • Flustrated: Combination of flustered and frustrated.
  • Forgetabilia: The opposite of memorabilia.
  • Frabble: Audible flatulence.
  • Fraintance: State midway between an acquaintance, whom you have only met once or twice, and a true friend, whom you feel close to and would do anything for.
  • Frankenstart: Blend of Frankenstein + start. Reported and defined by Renee Charles of Green Bay, Wisconsin: "To being a job you know you don't have time to do right (thus wasting time, energy and sometimes money on a worthless project) but yet you do it anyway."
  • Frup: A contraction for "throw up," used when you are too sick to utter both syllables.
  • Gasnoids: Word used to interrogate suspects when a toilet has not been flushed, "Did you leave gasnoids?"
  • Ghost Poo: White, styrofoam packing pieces.
  • Gluebottom: A visitor who won't go away.
  • Griefcase: Child's name for the briefcase in which his father, a professor, brought home his bluebooks for grading. The boy is now a lawyer and has a griefcase of his own.
  • Handibles: Those things that are too big to go into the dishwasher and must be done by hand.
  • Hunna: That wet spot on the pillow case you discover upon waking that proves you've been drooling in your sleep.
  • Krunk: A person who cannot be pleased -- "un-appeasable." " I tried to deal with him, but suddenly realized he was a krunk."
  • Larp: To be blinded by light, as when the lights are turned on in a dark room or a flash bulb is exploded unexpectedly. Created by two English teachers attempting to get a word to fit a common situation. "I was almost asleep when she larped me."
  • Niblings: Nieces and nephews collectively; siblings once removed.
  • Puckles: Marks left on the skin by an elastic waistband.
  • Snack Pockets: Side fat; "love handles."
  • Uffish: Blend of uppish + selfish. An oddity in that it is a family word from a novel discovered by Allen Walker Read. Compton Mackenzie's 1926 novel Fairy Gold is about a family living an isolated life on a small island off the coast of Cornwall. The children use a number of blends in talking with each other, including uffish, glumpy (gloomy + grumpy), and sloach (slow + coach). Charles F. Dery points out that uffish appears in Lewis Caroll's Jabberwocky. The title character is described "as in uffish thought."
  • Uglies: Homework. This evolved from homework, to homely work, to the aptly disdainful, uglies.
  • XYZ: (My notes: We all know what this one means but I'm including it because here's something else interesting about it) In the summer of 1986 a "Dear Abby" column was devoted to letters on X.Y.Z. and affiliated family codes. One of the most interested was contained in a letter from Denise Biggins of Fairport, New York, who said, in part, "I'm an immigrant from the 'old country' and was brought up on Shakespeare. In our family, we'd say, 'Ah, woe is me' -- the rest of the phrase, 'for I am undone,' was of course, unnecessary." (Bonus: Can you name the play that comes from?)

Here are some words we've used growing up in my family:
  • Bernard: Code for "I love you". I can't even remember the entire story behind this one, but my brother started it.
  • Chooties: The clumps of spaghetti that are produced when you forget to stir your noodles while cooking.
  • Tinkies: The hair around your ears that is shorter than the rest of your hair and never stays in place.
  • Wonky: Weird, messed up, stupid.

Family Words mentioned another book that I think I'll go look up. 12,000 Words by Merriam-Webster. It's a supplement to their normal dictionary and lists and defines the words that "have become firmly established in the language" in the 26 years previous to 1986. Maybe there's a newer version by now. They published 6,000 Words in 1976 and 9,000 Words in 1983.

What family words do you use?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Autumn & Heidi love dressing Esther.
They think of her as one of their toys.
Fortunately for them, Esther enjoys it (most days).

Look at that smile.

She kept walking around holding the jacket at the collar.
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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Today I am thankful for so many things I can't even think where to start!
  • my family
  • my faith
  • a roof over our heads
  • The United States of America
  • soldiers
  • beautiful weather
  • libraries
  • fun playgrounds
  • good friends
  • good food

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I know, I know - it's taken me forever to get these up here. I took these with Eric's amazing camera, however I am not so amazing with it. It took me a few pictures in to realize it needed to be on auto-focus since I had no clue what I was doing. So Heidi's picture is blurred and we never did get a clearer one of her. She is always on the move.

Autumn as a Japanese dancer (she got this at Grandma's this summer)

Heidi decided she wanted to be "Princess Presto" from PBS's SuperWHY.

Esther as a bunny. I love the cotton ball tail.

And I just HAD to include this little boy. Eric wasn't able to go to our ward Trunk or Treat (yep, rehearsals...) and I knew he would appreciate this costume.


Optimus Prime

(of Transformers)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


(this is from -- I cropped the bellybutton...
I guess marketing thought T-shirts wouldn't allow the buyers to see the jeans?!)

I'm on the hunt for some jeans. I have an old pair that "died" but I haven't been able to part with them (translation = they sit in my closet and every once in awhile I stare at them with longing).

I'd love to find some just like them but I bought them at a thrift-shop (I miss Plato's Closet!) and only know the brand name. If all YMI jeans are like, I'm in love. I know you can all relate. It's always hard to find that perfect pair of jeans...

The tag has a style number...anyone else had experience with hunting down the actual style?? Maybe it's time to put in a call to YMI's main office.
In other news...there's a new post on my music blog and I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. Just post me a comment! I'd really love a discussion on it. Every Wednesday will be a Forum or Discussion post, so keep your eyes peeled! (Whatever does THAT mean anyway and where did that come from?)

Someone should tell her this isn't how we wear underwear, but it's not going to be me!

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Okay, I really miss the snow and the fall colors.
But the girls don't seem to mind a bit. Today Autumn said,
"Mom, I love Florida because it never snows! Did you know that Mom? It never snows!"

Big sister helping out

I can't believe how much Esther can do now!

Look at her!

Crazy loon. Yep, she's mine.

This is what I got when I asked Heidi to show me the acorn. Too busy for the camera.

These girls are very into "collecting" and acorns are it right now.
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Monday, November 12, 2007

I've been watching a lot of TLC's What Not to Wear lately and learning so much about what works for my own body type. Sometimes I think it would be a blast to be on Stacy & Clinton's show - but most times, I think it'd be completely humiliating and embarrassing. They're so honest and not always tactful that quite often I feel really bad for the girls on the show. That being said, they do know what they're talking about and teach good principles about finding styles that fit your own body type. And I would almost go on the show JUST for the perks of having Nick do my hair and Carmindy do my makeup.

Today being Veteran's Day (I have to take a second to say - Go Army!! Yay for my dad, my uncle, my brothers-in-law, my cousin and all those other wonderful people who have served and continue to serve in the military! Okay...I know that was short and there's a lot more to that but I'll save that for another time since this post is about clothes.), so, today being Veteran's Day (just to reiterate after that long side-note) Eric and Autumn had school off and we did some shopping - FOR ME!

It was really fun! Surprisingly so. Even with three kids in tow. We spent a total of five hours shopping. I can't believe it. And although I only have one shirt and one pair of shoes to show for it, I learned SO much about stores and clothes-types that work and don't work. I feel like it was time well spent.

I've learned that I love Charlotte Russe! At least for now anyway. I know styles change - but for now, they've got what works for me and I'm so excited! I love tunic tops! They really work for me. And trapeze tops are fairly good too. I think JC Penney will also be good if I hit the sales. I'm still on the lookout for places with things that work for me. I found several that did not, but now I know to steer clear of them.

I'm still trying to find some jeans that work for me and know that flares will work best. Not huge flares though. Any suggestions? I tried Old Navy and they almost worked but I want something that has some kind of design on the back pockets. Sounds silly, but it makes a difference. ;)

* Disclaimer: I am not a model! And I am happy despite the strange expressions on my face. :)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Esther's been walking for about two months now. I'm a little behind in this, but I finally found my camera cable. So here is some video footage I took during the second week she started walking. She loves to cuddle with things and she's trying to cuddle with a finger puppet here, but she just can't keep it where she wants it.

Okay...I'm going with Wonder Woman because I really like being a girl...I guess they should include a gender question on a test like this. :)

Your results:
You are Spider-Man

Wonder Woman
Green Lantern
Iron Man
The Flash
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.
Click here to take the "Which Superhero are you?" quiz...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Autumn lives and breathes school. She comes home from school to play school. She is always the teacher and she teaches Heidi everything she learns. She even dreams about school. I remember being that girl.

Today she wrote these notes and tucked them into "folders" (books) and placed them on "desks" (any flat surface) for her imaginary students to take home.

Blog Title

Okay, so I know I explained how I changed my title because of all the extra traffic it caused...but I still like it better than anything else I've thought of! It was original and fit me, so it's back. And now that it's a private blog...I don't have to worry about random people finding me. So there. Hah.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Alrighty. It's time. I know I said I was going to give it a week and here we are more than a month later. As of tomorrow my blog will be readable by invitation only. I know that'll throw off the groove ("You've thrown of the emperor's groove....Soooorrrryyy....") of all you RSS feed/Google Reader people out there, but hopefully you'll still come visit and just add my page to your bookmarked pages.

Sunday I found a paper among Autumn's things that read:


I thought it was pretty clear that she was trying to write:


Only to discover that the phrase she wanted, was:


Wow, guess we're starting early! I suppose that's what comes of having all girls?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Okay, I'm having too much fun online today. I found MyHeritage through a friend and they say:

Autumn is a perfect mix of Eric and me
Esther is a perfect mix of Eric and me
and Heidi looks more like Eric by 3%

I bet that if I were to do their baby pictures, they'd all look more like Eric. There's a saying that newborns look like the dads so they'll take responsibility. Of course, that's an "old-wives' tale". We could do a study though. Is it really true?

And apparently, I look like 9 celebrities, by 67% or more. Vote for who I resemble the best (by 78% actually...who knew...). I'll post the results after the poll closes.

And here are some links to your choices if you're not familiar with what they look like:

Sarah Jessica Parker
Kristin Cavillari (I have no idea why she's famous...everything she's been in was as herself...anyone else know why?)
Evangeline Lilly (please tell me you all know she's Kate in LOST)
Laura Dern (from Jurassic Park)
Glenn Close (Cruella De Vil in 101 Dalmations and the head "lady" in Stepford Wives, Claire Wellington)
Lisa Snowdon (a British fashion model)
Q'Orianka Kilcher (in the movie New World, she's half-Peruvian, half-Swiss)
Lacey Chabert (She's only in one movie I've seen, Daddy Day Care (lame I know!) as Jenny, but she does voices for a lot of cartoons. She is actually the person who sings Once Upon a December in Anastasia. I love that song.)
Shannon Elizabeth (Again, the only movie I've seen her in, is Jack Frost with Michael Keaton...although she's been in a lot of things...)

And FYI...Eric's matches were:
Hal Sparks (73%) -- No way.
Sean Bean (71%) -- I don't think so.
Neil Sedaka (71%) -- Umm, no.
Brain Littrell (70%) -- No.
Donny Osmond (68%) -- Okay, although I think noone else looks like Eric...I think Donny's the best fit in this game.
Matthew Perry (68%) -- And Matthew Perry would actually be a close second.
Brendan Fraser (68%) -- Again, no.

Eric and I check out all sorts of music from the library and love to share it with our girls. We hope they will come to love music as much as we do. And we want them to understand what their daddy does for a living. We want them to feel like they can be part of what he does.

We already have several family favorites and we've decided to share them and everything else we find with anyone else who's interested. So, naturally (right?), we've decided to start a music blog.

Since we've just gotten started, there'll be a lot of changes over the next little while. We have an "I Recommend" section that has several CD's we'll be posting reviews for soon. And we'll be adding "I Recommend" sections for Books & DVD's soon.

If you have found things your kids have loved, let me know and we'd love to have you contribute to our Classical Music for Kids blog.