Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Messy Marvin

So I decided to make cinnamon rolls for the sisters that I visit teach since I haven't visited for a couple of months. Plus I'm having a hard time getting ahold of one of them so I thought this way I'd have something to drop off with the message if I don't catch her.

I turn my back for just a second to put the rolls on the pan and I turn around to Aidan eating all of the flour off of the bar. I can't imagine dry, plain flour being even remotely appetizing so in this case, I think it's the potential for mess making that is the main attraction.
The terrible two's can be quite funny! Of course that depends on how many children you have at one time two and under. I remember the days when they weren't so much fun.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mind Over Matter & Balance

I realized something this morning that I love about going to work everyday. I didn't let my children's behavior affect my attitude. When you stay home, it is much more difficult to stay positive and be happy, no matter what situations you are dealing with.

I found myself getting irritated this morning with my children for lots of dumb little things. When I work, I don't get hung up on these dumb little things because I can see them for what they are. When I'm home and my entire day revolves around cleaning, laundry, cheerleading, cooking, to-do lists, errands and so forth - not to mention all the teaching, tutoring, reminding, helping, encouraging and counseling. I do all these things when I work as well but it's not all that I do. And because I'm trying to fit much more "doing" in a 16 hour day, I don't get caught up on everyone's moods. I'm focused, attentive and goal-oriented. All the other things slide right off me.

I guess this is one of the reasons why staying at home is more difficult for me than working. It's either 100 miles an hour (upward progress) or a dead stop (downward spiral).

I really need to figure out how to have some internal balance.

Monday, August 25, 2008

School Daze

5th Grade, 4th Grade, 2nd Grade, 1st Grade!

This summer went by so fast! It is already time for school to start- I can't believe it. Before school we went to breakfast. It was fun to sit and talk to the kids without the distractions of being at home. They each are so excited for the new school year.

Hannah is such a great student and so self-motivated. Her favorite subjects are writing and math. This year she has the opportunity to win the Golden Explorer Award. It is something they do in 5th Grade. There are about 30 things they must do- some of them are very challenging. Mrs. Davies said last year she only had 2 students win the award. At first, Hannah wasn't going to try it because she said it stressed her out. But after her 2nd day of school and listening to Mrs. Davies explain the specifics, she came home ready to go!

Haylee has Mr. Bradford this year. He is the famous 4th grade teacher at Spanish Oaks. He has a way of motivating the kids to learn and holding them accountable for their own work and behavior. Haylee is a great student. I was so impressed with her hard work last year. Her 3rd grade teacher told me she wanted to challenge Haylee and give her harder spelling words. My reaction was, "But she studies all week just to get the basic words down." She said that Haylee always scored 100% so she wanted to push her a little. Haylee did not back down from the challenge and kept scoring 100% even with the advanced words. I know this perseverance will pay off as she goes through school.

Alex is a natural. At everything. I never worry about him and academics at school. He is very smart. He loves to read and enjoys learning about things even at home in his free time. (For Christmas, we got him "The Dangerous Book for Boys". It is the best book ever! If you have boys, check it out!) He is motivated to do well and wants to please his teachers and his parents. His teacher Mrs. Sanders will spend some time on values and choices this year. This will be good for Alex. (I'm hoping the 2 instances of cheating last year were isolated incidents). Sports continues to be a main thread in Alex's life. He is in soccer right now and can't wait until next year when he can start playing football.

Andrew (some of you know him by Logan) is at school all day. Heaven help us! He is my only child that is not self-motivated to do well in school. In fact, he could care less about learning. He has done a good job of keeping his reading skills up this summer so I hope he will continue to improve. He has a very tender heart and I'm sure has already fallen in love with his teacher. He exercised his independence by choosing to be called "Andrew" this year. Even though he is totally a Logan and I would like to refuse to let him go by Andrew, I am proud that he cares enough about something to stick to it. I am desperately trying to call him Andrew at home so that he does not develop 2 personalities. Although if it means he is motivated and excels in school, a split personality may not be a bad thing.

Now we're down to one at home. I quit my job so me and 2 year old are spending our days together. I'm trying to enjoy it, especially since he will be a kindergartner in 2011. Sobering thought.

Aidan, Take 2

video

So I've decided that someone should just invent an item that you would normally wear everyday that will start videotaping as soon as your mind thinks, "I should get this on video!"

Aidan was cutting up paper and dropping it off the side of the bar exclaiming, "Whoo Hoo!". It was the cutest thing but by the time we got the camera out, we had to coach him to do what 1
minute ago was a spontaneous act.

We did manage to capture the gist of it and at the end you can see by the evidence of the crashed pieces of paper how much fun he was having!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Random Thoughts from My Soap Box...

Our Ward is having their first Relief Society overnighter in September and I'm so excited! Unfortunately a lot of my friends in the ward are not excited- and are not planning to go.

This is where those of you who are in my ward stop reading if you don't want to hear my opinion on this. (Of course now that I said that you must go on...) I'm dying to share my thoughts and my only other option was Testimony Meeting so feel relieved that I chose my blog instead....

So personally, I feel like this is the best type of activity our RS Pres. could ever plan. We have like what, 1/10th of all the primary kids in the world in our ward alone? Obviously that's exaggerated but for those of you who don't know, over 50% of our ward is under the age of 12. So my point (one of them) is that how many of us get to leave our husbands and kids EVER completely free of guilt and apology? Not many. This is why so many of us are early to Enrichment.

Fortunately for me, I have a husband who is constantly encouraging me to have my own free time and get out of the house with my friends. When the kids were little and I never left, he would have to call my friends and say, "Come get her- she needs to get out and won't go on her own. I'll even watch your kids!" (On these occasions, Ed would end up with anywhere from 3 to 7 additional children to entertain - all under the age of 5 or 6)

I know that this is a rare quality in a husband and believe me, I am sooo grateful. But for those sisters who don't get a lot a free time to be with other women- this is a FREE PASS. It's a church activity.... how can you feel guilty, apologetic and all of those other sorry words when you are taking time to fill your lamp?

One of the other reasons I am so excited to go is the chance to talk to, hang out, be silly, play games, laugh and cry with women in the ward who I don't get the opportunity to be around through normal church service. I have never been in a ward where I could literally sit down with any one of the 100+ sisters and have a meaningful conversation. Seriously- every woman in our ward is that amazing.

I've heard mentioned that some of the women are worried about cliques and groups. This type of activity breaks down those walls- it eliminates them. Take Girls Camp for example. Young Women are just an earlier version of ourselves, right? I was so proud to see our YW at Girls Camp unite and serve each other. This is why the Church has Girls Camp. Because when you are on a mountain or in a canyon, the Spirit is all around. That quiet beauty that constantly whispers, we are children of a Divine Being who loves us, inspires and motivates us to become one. It is easier to love each other and serve one another when we are removed from the daily chores of our lives. When we get a chance to be with other women minus the children, husbands, homes, cars, and other responsibilities, we are more open to becoming one. Gone are the comparisons, the inadequacies, the doubts. All that's left is our open hearts.... and bad camping hair!

I really feel strongly about this (can you tell?)! We need activities like this to catch our breaths. Fill up. Recharge. We need each other to do this.

And for that 1% that might read this and go, "No- I don't need it. I'm fine." Well, then don't do it for yourself. Do it for those of us that need you.

Phew! This soap box is sagging with my weight. (But not as much as it used to!)

Help! Project Illiterate....

Those of you who are crafty (Dawn, Denise, Amberlyn, Robin... you know who you are)

I happened onto someone's blog that I do not know. She posted a comment on one of my friends' blogs and since her name was Amy I wanted to see who she was. (To be honest, I really don't like it when my friends have other friends with the same name as me... I'm totally serious.... I know... issues!)

Anyway- read some of her posts... she sounds hilarious! I sooo want to be friends with her. (If she would change her name!) Sorry-got sidetracked..... she has a blogshop where she sells things. My problem is I can't figure out what she is selling- I mean what do you do with them? It's way cute stuff- I just don't know what it is.

So can you help me out? Go to Karin's blog and read Amy's comments on the State Fair post. She is the only other Amy that's not me.

So clue me in on the big secret. And get a Jacob/Edward bookmark while you're there. Also- check out her Twilight shirts - what a freak! (I mean that in a good way!)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

That's enough about me...What do you think about me?

Denise posted this on her blog and I thought it would be fun...

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn’t matter if you know (knew) me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog.

WARNING: Do not leave this post without making a comment!

Cake Heaven!

On Saturday, Dawn and her kids came down for my birthday. She brought me this beautiful cake (the bow is the back so this is a side view) and some Simply Vera Wang flip flops from Kohls. I can't decide which is cuter, the cake or the shoes! The shoes would have to win only because I get to wear them over and over. AND you all know how much I love flip flops!

The cake isn't just good lookin'. It tasted amazing! See more of Dawn's cakes at www.dawnscakes.blogspot.com.

Thanks Dawn- you're my BFF!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!


So today is my 35th Birthday!

It's been a fabulous day. I started by sleeping right through my alarm at 6:15 a.m. telling me that it's time to go swimming. Then, Ed awoke me with the heavenly aroma of a Betos breakfast burrito. (I ate half and only the filling.) He was kind enough to take the kids to swimming lessons while I continued to lounge around in bed.

The kids showered me with gifts from the dollar store as soon as they got home. They were so excited that they handed me their cards before they even signed them!

Amberlyn and I went out to lunch to celebrate my arrival into mid-life. We went to PF Changs and had the works! She gave me kitchen knives (which Denise will be thrilled to learn since she told Amberlyn about the sad nature of my kitchen). BTW- my kitchen utensil collection is just fine.....

While we were at lunch, Mary (a friend from work) and Tyler (*her "friend") surprised me at PF Changs with a beautiful collection of roses! The most perfect part? There are exactly 35 roses (12 in wrapping paper and 23 in the vase). I felt like a beauty queen!

Thanks Ed, Kids, Amberlyn, Mary and everyone else who wished me a Happy Birthday! I got like 35 texts too!


*You know how it is when you're single- you're always afraid to "define your relationship". But they are the cutest couple and I'm secretly hoping they get married. Guess it's not a secret anymore! Don't kill me Mary- no one really reads my blog anyway! :)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Good Job Girls!




Stadium of Fire

What a crazy Fourth of July week- all the practices, shuffling back and forth to and from the stadium.... it was fun!

So Betsy and I decided to meet at my house at 5 p.m. The girls had to be to the stadium at 7 p.m. I went to Sally's and bought 3 sets of fake eyelashes, the extra pair for Chalese. So about 4:30, Haylee came up with wet hair and since Ed was standing around, I put him to work blow drying Haylee's massive head of hair. I laid out the eyelashes on the table as I was attaching them to Hannah's eyes. I got one side glued on just as a gust from the hair dryer came sailing across the table. I looked down and her other eyelash was gone! Betsy and Chalese were walking in at that moment when I started to fa-reak out! I can never just let anything go so I continued to twirl around the kitchen while yelling and cursing. Finally, Betsy's reasoning overcame me (she had been telling me to let it go for minutes on end.) Chalese didn't really want fake eyelashes anyway despite my insistence that we stop at Sallys on the way to the Stadium.....

Once we got to the stadium, I was as calm as a cucumber. They make all these threats that if the girls aren't lined up on time that they could be replaced by an alternate dancer. This is very stressful to know that you spent all this money and time and if you're late at all- it's all over. So like I said, once we got there- stressball here was A-okay.

The girls performed fabulously. Thanks to my luck at getting great seats on craigs list, we could see the girls perfectly. I was so emotional when they were dancing- I can hardly sit through any performance of theirs without balling. I'm such a proud mama.

Miley Cyrus actually put on a great show. I'm sure that I like her music more than the girls.

After the show, I bought the girls official Miley Cyrus Stadium of Fire 2008 t-shirts. Haylee and Chalese put them on right away. Hannah decided she would wait- she was still trying to figure out if liking Miley was cool or not.... (ohhh to be young again)

On the way home, we drove with the van door open since it was soooo hot and since we were crawling through traffic anyway. This seemed to make the girls very nervous- they kept asking Betsy and I to close it. What rebels we moms are! A car full of BYU guys kept bugging us that our door was open... (I've forgotten how little effort it takes to entertain a zoobie). When this car full of boys heard that we had "Stadium Dancers" in the car, they erupted into cheers and congratulations. Haylee couldn't stop giggling.

It was a very fun night!

Monday, August 04, 2008

During Picture (since I'm not done)

August 4, 2008
186 pounds

Before Picture

July 2007
230 lbs.

My "Secret" Weight Loss

So most of you now that I have struggled with losing the baby fat. In my case, baby fat refers to the pounds I gain when I am thinking about getting pregnant, when I am pregnant, when I'm post par-tum, and during the two years that I'm trying to take care of a newborn.

Since in my case, the vicious cycle has repeated itself well before the previously mentioned two years has gone by, I have never really made it a priority to lose that weight.

5 kids, 20 extra un-lost pounds from each pregnancy = 100 pounds!

I decided that since my child-bearing ability changed last fall that it was now or never. So I began working on losing the weight.

I came across a Fabulous program and am happy to say that after 4 months, I have lost 43 pounds! For details on this program and my experience see http://www.confessof2fatgirls.blogspot.com

Now- why the secret? Well- 2 of my BFF's (Denise & Robin) have recently lost a lot of weight. In March, we began planning a girls weekend in Las Vegas and I knew I was going to be the only "fat one" there. I wanted to surprise them so badly that I decided not to mention my efforts on the phone, on my blog, etc.

Truth be told, I also didn't want to mention my efforts in case I failed. Other than my family, Robin and Denise are the 2 most people that I want to be proud of me.

This was highly motivating for me. I had a goal to lost 40 pounds by July 17th. And knowing that they would see me and "freak out" made me push myself harder than I ever have.

So I met my first goal. Now I'm working towards losing 7-10 pounds per month for however long it takes me to get to 130 pounds. I'll probably even out about 150 eventually but I would like to be 130 just once more in my lifetime (and not when 95 yrs. old taking my last breath).

Sidenote: Some of you may read Amberlyn's Pounding the Pavement blog which can be found by clicking on the link at the beginning of this post. When Amberlyn started the blog, she invited me to post on it as well (I am the other fat girl). I told her that I would be happy to... but I was trying to keep my weight loss efforts a secret from Denise and Robin. So we, I mean I, decided to create an alias to post under so that I could remain in secret. I just have to say that after this experience, I understand why Batman and Superman have such a conflicted existence. It's a full time job to keep up an alias and your real life at the same time. Anyway- if you follow the pounding the pavement blog at all you know that there are a couple of posts from "Mandy"- this is a nickname for Amanda Covington, my alias. Sorry to deceive you. If it's any consolation, I have more of a conscience than Batman and Superman so I couldn't keep up the charade.... this is why there are only a few posts from her.