Thursday, November 24, 2011


There is so much that I'm feeling thankful for and since I'm feeling a little sappy and can't find my journal, here goes for all of you to read...

1) I am grateful for a kind brother and sister-in-law. Seriously. We have been staying in their new home for 5 weeks while we wait to move into our new home. They have been so good to us & haven't made us feel like "stinky fish" (you know the saying, "Company is like fish, they start stinking after three days").

It has actually been quite enjoyable to share kitchen duties & have friends to talk to each night. ZoZo & MB love having their cousins to play with & will go into serious withdrawals when it's just the two of them again.

2) We are grateful that someday soon (no exact date yet) we can close on our home and begin a new adventure as a family in Highland, UT. I'm super excited to get settled and begin the house decorating. Instead of nesting for one baby, I'm feeling the "nesting bug" for our entire family. I love making a house, a home. I look forward to our family filling it with lots of lasting memories and love.

3) What better blessing than one directly from heaven... we are looking forward to meeting our baby in January. This pregnancy has been an absolute killer on my bones & ligaments and I've experienced extreme amounts of pain which is no fun at all BUT when I hold that little angel in my arms, I know it will be worth it.

I didn't think it would be but it has been exciting not knowing the sex of the baby. That was HeRoos' BIG request and I hesitantly accepted after negotiating certain terms. Those terms are TOP SECRET because if you know what HeRoos had to bribe me with to turn my head during the ultrasounds you would definitely think I am spoiled. A girl has to milk it for all that's it worth when her man really wants something.

4) I am grateful that HeRoos finished remodeling our Master Bath (at our previous home). I need to post pictures because it turned out absolutely beautiful. He tore that thing apart and rebuilt it by himself. He has a talent for figuring things out and being a perfectionist. Yes, it took NINE months from start to finish and was a lingering headache for us but he did a great job on it. We listed & sold our house within a couple months of him completing it which is another HUGE blessing.

5) Good neighbor/friends are worth more than a million bucks. It was difficult for me to get excited about moving closer to HeRoos' work because I had a really great support group of neighbors & friends. It was such a comfort to have people to "swap" kids with and know that they were in good hands. ZoZo & MB made some good little friends and so did I. It was a win-win for all of us. I'm hoping and praying that we can create something similar in our new area.

6)I am grateful for my computer-nerd husband and his brains. He amazes me with his knowledge on various subjects and his dedication to his family & work. He loves his job and we feel so very blessed that he works for people who appreciate him and treat him well. Life is so much more enjoyable when you have a job you enjoy and I'm glad he does.

7) As for my "job", I can't say that I always enjoy it but I feel so grateful that I can stay home with my kids. I've tried repeatedly to make it a goal to not complain about "my job" and somehow I keep failing miserably at the goal. The truth is, being a stay-at-home mom is one of the most challenging things I've had to do but it's fulfilling one of my life long dreams. From the time I was a young girl, I've wanted nothing more than to be a mom. Now I'm living that dream and I'm so grateful for the blessing, even when I feel my brain cells shrinking & my vocabulary mostly consisting of words like "poopy, owie, and no-no."

8) I'm so grateful for my parents and in-laws. HeRoos and I are both very fortunate to have great parents. We were raised by loving parents that extend that love on to their grandchildren.

There is so much more but now I'm ready for some zzzz's.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Watch Out for Mr. Boy!

We have discovered MB's riding!

HeRoos and I went to a church fireside and the speaker discussed parenting. There were some great tips that we started implementing right away. One was to tell your kids what you expect of them and for them to repeat it back to you. Our daily expectaions usually include:

1) Share
2) Be Nice
3) Have Fun

Another bit of advice was to make sure your kids are getting enough play time outside every day. I agree- fresh air and sunshine are a magic potion.

Next, focus on when they are doing something positive. We have been trying so hard to give compliments when they are playing nice together or sharing instead of gettng them in trouble when they mess up.

The next thing we needed to try was something with more leverage. Time-out does not seem to be effective with our little guy so we wanted to focus on something more positive.

The two of us went to the store and MB picked out a bike (I already read reviews and knew he would choose Lighting McQueen). The agreement is that he can ONLY ride his bike if he is a nice brother. Guess what? It is working. The two of them have been playing so much better together with significantly fewer fights. He knows that if he is mean to his sister, he doesn't get to ride his bike. He is getting a lot of exercise and fresh air and there is more peace in our house.

I really hope and pray this continues because being a mom is fun again and it does my heart good to see them play so well together.

Yee Haw! Utah State Fair

We had a really fun family day at the Utah State Fair. We ate tons of greasy food, touched lots of dirty animals, and decided it would be really cool to have a pet bunny (at least that what SheRoos thinks). It really was a perfect day.

The kids were so interested in the animals. We think Mr. Boy may be an "Animal Whisperer." ;) When he stood near a cage, the animals would walk right up to him and they would share a moment. It was adorable. ZoZo on the other hand wasn't a whisperer. She was the "Animal Yeller." She was so excited to see the animals that she would yell at them to come closer. Sometimes they would make noises back or completely ignore her. It was hilarious to watch her and a lamb yelling back and forth at each other. They were definitely communicating.

Little Hands on the Farm was awesome! The kids got to be farmers/ranchers. They planted seeds, harvested the fruits & vegetables, milked a cow, groomed a sheep, sold their goods for money at the market and then got to buy a real apple with their play money at the end. It was brilliant. It is something we will look forward to every year at the Fair.

What is a trip to the Fair without a pony ride?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Welcome Change

Parenthood has been interesting lately (and by interesting I really mean TOUGH). Very difficult. Pull my hair out and scream kind of challenging. We're not exactly sure what the deal is but it seems our children have decided it is time to test our parenting skills and I'm sad to report that we just might have room for major improvement. For the past few weeks there have been numerous meltdowns, back- talking, hitting, biting, fighting, screaming, and even eye rolling. We've implemented a "Nice Chart" and when they do something nice, they get a sticker. We've been using time-out. We try to make a big deal when they are making good choices. Blah Blah blah Long story short: we are tired. Very, very tired.

BUT there is hope...

Mr. Boy starts preschool next week!

MB at his Preschool Open House

Some Mothers cry when their kids go to school. Not me. You might find me celebrating by doing back flips. It's not that I don't absolutely love my kids (even when they're being rotten). I just think there comes times in our lives when change is good. I really hope that this change will be an answer to a desperate mother & father's prayer for help.

Look at these two angels. How can they be any trouble at all? All they wanted was a snack before bed time. And their request? Cucumbers, mushrooms, corn, tomatoes, peppers and bananas. If the old saying is true, "You are what you eat," then I think we should be eating more sweets instead. ;)

Sighhhh. Oh joy to the ups, downs, and all-arounds of parenting. Good night.

Sweatin' for Sarah 80's Style

This morning we went to Salt Lake City to support our friend, Sarah Hays-Shurtz. She has been fighting with everything she has to get rid of cancer. She has an amazing ability to look for the positive.

It was a fun-filled day with great friends, beautiful weather, and 80's attire.

Our kids had a very rough morning and did not want to cooperate & stay in their stroller for the 5K. We definitely weren't there to compete but we came in pretty close to last place. Of course this has nothing to do with "us" being preggo and out of shape (for real, there were people much slower and in worse condition than us).

Me and Melissa G.

Luuuunge, stretch...
HeRoos (don't look too close- you may see more than you want to) hehee, Katie J., Lori P., Me, Corrine R.

At the finish line each person was given a purple balloon to hold.

When Sarah arrived on the motorcycle we released the balloons into the heavens.

Hooray for Sarah!

Katie J., & Sarah

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sarasota Florida

HeRoos and I had so much fun in April that we decided to bring the kids back to Florida in June. It was a completely different experience vacationing with little ones. There were no naps on the beach, novels to be read, nor romantic dining but we did create some great memories.

We decided to give Disney World a try. This is the only picture we have from the entire day. It was HOT. The kids are still a little young to truly appreciate it and I was feeling yucky from being pregnant so it wasn't our favorite day. It was much better after dark when it cooled down and people started going home. We were able to walk straight through the lines to go on rides.

We stayed at this hotel the second night but we didn't have a lot of time to hang out there since we were at Disney World during the entire day and had to check out the next morning.

Busch Gardens was a much better experience for all of us. There was an entire section geared toward ZoZo and MB's age. There weren't a lot of people there and we discovered a water park (too bad we weren't prepared with bathing suits).

Look at those pink cheeks. It was SO toasty in Florida.

I couldn't believe how shy they were around Big Bird.


Mr. Boy and Zo love playing "Tigers" so it was neat for them to be able to see real tigers up close.

They got souvenirs in the gift shop and named their tigers "Snowflake" and "Mister." The tigers have become favorite toys.

We rented a condo for 7 days and it was right on Sarasota Beach. When we woke up in the morning we walked out to the ocean and played until lunch time and headed back in for naps. Then when it cooled off a little outside, we would walk out to the ocean and play until dark.

Rise and shine.

Zo wanted to try out what her daddy had on his face.

The sand doesn't get hot and the texture is smooth like flour. Zo never got bored of playing in it.

Mr. Boy is buried in the sand.

Mr. Boy was in his element. He crashed fearlessly in the waves over and over again. He loved being in the water and we had to drag him out.

Look how happy he is.

We played and played until the sun went down.

I love these little fish!

We rented a kayak and went out on our own.

The kids weren't sure what to think of being in the kayak and going through the mangrove tree.

We parked the kayak at this little island and played in the water for hours. The kids were in heaven.

The sun and water tuckered everyone out.

We went back to my favorite Italian Restaurant and I must admit we were terrified about taking the kids. They exhibited less than desirable behavior at the previous places we had eaten out at. I decided it worth the risk since I really wanted my Eggplant Parmesan dish. To our great surprise, they did well. Zo even decided to show off her dance moves when the musician started playing the saxaphone. She provided free entertainment for all the patrons.

What is a vacation without ice cream?!

We stayed in Orlando for 2 nights before flying out. It was my kind of hotel- nice sheets and an awesome shower. We went to Sea World. The boys had so much fun that they decided to go back the next day. Mr. Boy got to feed the dolphins. Zo and I hung out at the beautiful pool and then went back to our room for naps. It was a great day for the boys at Sea World and a relaxing day for the girls.

Random thoughts...

Vacationing with small children is not easy and we learned a few lessons:

* Never give Zo Benadryl if you want her to sleep. A 6 hour plane ride just might be one of the most miserable experiences of your life.
* When at restaurants and your kids start acting up, it's ok to pretend that they don't belong to you.
* Check to make sure the spray sunscreen works at the store before buying it and heading out on a kayak trip.
* While kids are little and still need naps, money may be better spent on something rather than amusement parks.

On a more serious note, we had a couple of experiences that taught me the importance of trying to help instead of sit back and judge & complain.

While on our plane ride home, Zo had an extremely rough time. She was miserable and made sure she had company in her misery. There were some passengers on the plane who gave dirty looks and we could hear them complaining. We felt awful about it but we tried all of our tricks and were out of ideas. There were two families with small kids sitting near us who came to the rescue. They loaned us books and even a DVD player. This helped calm her down until she finally fell asleep.

Another kind act...Since we were on vacation, we ate out a lot which would seem like a wonderful thing but it was actually very stressful. Our sweet little kids aren't always so sweet, especially when it comes to sitting for long periods of time. We went to an Italian Restaurant near our condo and tried eating outside so we wouldn't disturb anyone. It was so HOT while we were waiting for our food so we decided to go inside. The owner, who was also a grandfather, was in tune with the situation. He came over and talked to the kids and brought them free orange drinks, shredded Mozarella cheese, and olives. He knew just what they would like and took the time to share his calm demeanor. It made our night so much better and I felt like hugging this complete stranger.

It's so much easier to sit back and judge people for their parenting or lack thereof. Thankfully, there are some who know that it's not easy and are willing to help out or even send an understanding smile our way.