Saturday, January 31, 2009


Since Brianna is almost one year old, I'm trying to get her off of the bottle (for dental health). She's not nuts about sippy cups. So we're trying real waterbottles. I'm just putting water in there so far, since I don't want to waste breastmilk. And she would definitely waste it, since half the water ends up dripping down her front. But she's having fun learning.

VernalMOMs wii

Every few weeks, the VernalMOMs group has MNO (Mom's Night Out)
I went to my first one last week - it was a Wii night! I love playing the Wii. I'm not very good at it though. When I do the BOXING game I just punch the air wildly and randomly, hoping I'll somehow win.
This is Sam and Carrie boxing. Carrie is my hero - she's the one that started the VernalMOMs group. It's how I've met most of my friends here!

Friday, January 30, 2009

quote of the day

“To you who are parents, I say, show love to your children. You know you love them, but make certain they know it as well. They are so precious. Let them know. Call upon our Heavenly Father for help as you care for their needs each day and as you deal with the challenges which inevitably come with parenthood. You need more than your own wisdom in rearing them.

~Thomas S. Monson

teeth brushing

We've had issues lately with brushing Brianna's eight teeth.
We were lazy and didn't start brushing her teeth til she was six months. I used a finger brush with banana flavored baby toothpaste and she loved it! Loved it - past tense. Not anymore.

One day she decided she HATED having her teeth brushed. So she started biting the finger brush (thus, my finger) HARD. So we switched to a regular brush. She hated the process even more. I don't get it - we use the yummy baby toothpaste, we try to make it fun, we brush our teeth to show her how much we enjoy it... yet she continues to cry and push us away the whole time. We often just pin her arms down and make her endure 20 seconds of torture. Better than rotten baby teeth, right?

But I've found another solution - letting her do it herself. The little stinker is quite independent - maybe that's her problem. So I just give her the brush and she goes to town chewing it. The question is - does this have any dental benefit for her?! I don't know. But I do know it has sanity-preserving benefits for all of us.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


No longer just a "stepper" - our baby has, by definition, entered toddlerhood.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Visting Grandpa McKell

Brianna wanted to show off her walking skills to Grandpa McKell, so we headed down to Spanish Fork last Sunday afternoon for a visit.

Brianna LOVES all the stuffed animals at his home - especially this cow that moos and shakes (get it - milkshake!)

Grandpa McKell started giving advice to Brian and I about the logistics of renting and dealing with renters (he owns several properties and has been a landlord for decades). It was interesting to hear him detail how "tough" he had to be enforcing the rules (ie, no pets). He said, "finally after telling that lady 4 times to get rid of the dog, I wrote her a strongly worded letter!" You have to know Grandpa McKell... there isn't a mean bone in his 90 yr old body. Those insolent renters probably think they can take advantage of the sweet elderly man. My Brian isn't much different. The only time he ever says anything mean to anybody is when he's in traffic and they can't hear him. So when we (hopefully) rent out our Provo townhome, I'm going to have to be the tough one.

When we leave his home, Grandpa McKell always yells out (several times) "come again soon!"
We will.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


With all the packing/moving we've been doing in the past few weeks, Brianna has found a new hobby:
taking everything OUT of boxes and suitcases, then getting in and out of them.
"Mommy's little helper" ? Ha!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bowling ball for sale

Shhh.... don't tell Brian (he never looks at this blog)
I'm selling his bowling ball on Craigslist. I think I'll ask $10. I'll be happy if I get $2. Heck, I'll be happy if someone is willing to drive over and just take it!
He shot down my intial request to sell it, since it was a gift from his Grandpa. Now before you go thinking I am a horrible person for trying to pawn off his sentimentality.... you need to realize a few things:
  • he hasn't ever actually used it. Ever.
  • it's heavy. heavy things are annoying.
  • we are MOVING - meaning time for serious de-cluttering.
  • i guarantee he will neverever notice it's missing.
  • his Grandpa gives him lots of stuff. Like the eagle statue in our room. I might sell that too though.

Friday, January 23, 2009

morning sickness

It's 10:30am, and Brianna has already had breakfast, lunch, and a 90 min nap. How could she fit all that in by this early hour?
She woke up at 5am.
Yep. Up and ready to play at 5. It was painful.
She's been gradually waking up earlier and earlier for the past two weeks. A month ago she was consistently waking around 7am. But that turned into 6:45, then 6:30, then 6am...
Now we are in this completely ridiculous early-to-bed, early-to-rise routine. I have no idea where she got that absurd idea from.
Brian and I have been taking turns letting the other one sleep til 7. But it doesn't really work. Brianna is a noisy play-er. She shrieks and giggles nonstop while pushing things over and hitting her noise-making toys. Our house isn't big enough to mute that out. And honestly - despite the fact that farmers aren't even up milking their cows yet....we're both excited to see her.
Which makes sense - since we haven't seen our babe in 11 hours. Yep - do the math - she goes to bed at 6pm. I've tried keeping her up later. I really have. But when Brianna is ready to sleep... there's no convincing her otherwise.
So what do I do?!?! If you have any ideas, please call me. But not past 8pm. That's our new bedtime.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Virtically mobile

I don't think we can call this "walking" yet. Her record is 14 consecutive solo steps. Some may call that walking - I consider it stepping. Though I'm proud of her accomplishment, I do bemoan the fact that all this stepping-practice leads to increased bumps and bruises.
I've been wondering lately what drives a child to start walking. We, her parents, don't spend much time encouraging it - it's all her own ambition. But why? She must know she can get wherever she wants much more quickly by crawling. I wonder if it's an intrinsic/instinctive drive to attempt walking, or if it's simply environmental (ie, mimicking other vertically mobile people). Who knows. Anyways - life is fun. She gets more entertaining day by day.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Name that food... Season II

Let's play this game again...

Can you identify what is Brianna eating?!

12.4 points to the winner

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Vintage vs Grandma

Vintage threads ... or Grandma-ish?!

Monday, January 19, 2009


I did the full one a few years ago... now I'm a little more sane and will be doing the HALF on May 16th with my good friend Melissa(Flake)Bates.
It's a gorgeousgorgeous course and thankfully I have plenty of time to build up my long run (I'm only at 7 right now).
Anybody else wanna join us??
Sign up by Jan 31 for early registration discount!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Buy my car

Ever noticed how cars take up a lot of garage space?
It's annoying. So I'm selling mine.
It's time to say goodbye to ol' Blue.
She has served me well - taking me to school when I was too lazy/late to walk, transporting me to stores when I had to purchase more than I could carry on my bike... and that's about it.

Oh - I think it took me to Grandma's house in Bountiful a few times. That's why there's only 91,000 miles on this 1991 gem!

It never had a mechanical issue (besides that one time I had to replace the battery after leaving the lights on - whoops). It gets a sweet 35 MPG. Awesome Hawaiian seat covers can be thrown in if I feel nice. Neil Diamond bumper sticker on the back (thanks, Lindsay and Mere) is complimentary.

See the ad:
Be honest... am I having too much fun?

Friday, January 16, 2009


She likes to wave. All day. Every day. To everyone. To no one. When she's happy. When she's crabby. Brianna waves.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

This is what Home Teachers are for...

Our Provo Home Teachers came over Sunday for their last visit. When they posed the obligatory (awkward) question, "is there anything we can do for you or help you with?" instead of answering the typical, "no, we're ok, thanks." I said, "YES!" and pointed at the treadmill. I knew Brian and I wouldn't be able to load it in the truck ourselves. It's freakishly and annoyingly heavy. When it was first delivered to my house (I won it in 2006!), the moving guys told me they weren't allowed to come in the house, so they would be leaving the 5 billion pound NordicTrack box on my front porch. I just looked at them like "are you kidding me?!" so they grumbled and said something about just doing it really quick, and no stairs.
Anyways, so our three home teachers (apparently our ward is so nervous about us, they think we need three instead of just two) loaded it into Brian's ERAC truck (yay for work perks! Free moving trucks!) Thank you Tom, Takeshi, and JJ!
I was so flippin excited to run on it Monday morning (versus having to bundle up and brave the single digit temps and icey roads). So Brian had one of his TSA buddies come over and get it in the house for us. I scooted it in front of the TV so I could watch the morning news while running. But my world came crashing down when I attempted to stick the 3-pronged power cord into the 2-hole outlet. NOOOOOOOOOO!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Going down

When Brianna was 8 months and discovered how much fun it was to go UP the stairs... we figured we better teach her to go DOWN the stairs the right way - before she learned the hard way!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Party girl

Brianna went to her first birthday party a couple weeks ago. It was for her good friend, Cianna Waldron. Brianna decided to gift Cianna one of her most favorite treats - conveniently travel-sized for her mom, Kim - a good friend of mine since elementary school.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Christmas vacation re-cap

Christmas is over, the decorations are put away... yet I still haven't posted all our pictures.
Neverfear, here they are. You can all stop holding your breath now.
In non-ordered randomness, I present.....
Christmas 2008
The Idea House, backyard view. Awe-inspiring, I know. When my parents leave on their mission - it's MINE!
You gotta look closely at this one. The expression on Brianna's face, the expressions on everyone else's... this is baby exhibitionism at it's best.
Walking back up the driveway post-sledding
Brian made a jump at the end of the driveway hill. This is a millisecond before he went flying in the air
Ready to sled down Rae Lane! WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
The finished puzzle! I have a thing for puzzles (that's an understatement)
Jenny and I started puzzle #2... but Lincoln decided to put an end to it. Oh well - 1000 pieces await us next year!
Dad (Papa) snowblowing their front walkway! I think Spokane's latest snow count is nearly 7 feet. Record high by far. Absolute insanity. Very Siberia-esque.
I LOVED having Sammy at home! Brian obviously did too... from the really weird expression on his face.... don't ask me
Kitchen scene. Nonny did an excellently tasty job of putting 4 pounds on me in 8 days. Ever had cornflake-crusted french toast? I have. It's amazing.
My LOOT. I have taken a picture of the gifts I received each year since I was old enough to operate a camera. Though I feel way too old to continue this superficial and materialistic tradition.... some things just never die. Some of Brianna's gifts are in here too. And Brianna is in it too, of course. An arrangement of organized items MUST be attacked! Big thanks to my family for their superfluous generosity.
Brianna and McKay at the back patio door, viewing the newest Smith additions - Azie and Deano.
Isn't McKay just adorable?!?! He's Brianna's closest cousin at just 3 weeks younger.
Meredith gave everyone the Christmas gift of a free haircut. She's amazing - she can talk on her cell phone AND take 3 inches off my locks. Scary huh. Does anyone like my Cousin-It pose?
Nonny is such a fun Nonny. She's with the kiddos in the 4th floor playroom. They do dance parties, dress-ups, fairy tales, reading time, blocks... I wish I had a Nonny!
More sledding. Yes, their driveway really is this long and steep.
Brady spent several hours slaving away, building a large pile of snow. Very productive.
I'm such a graceful sledder. This belongs in a magazine. Not sure which one though... (don't answer for me if you're not going to be nice!)
Snow up to my knees. I'm obviously trying to flap my wings and fly out of it.
The missionaries live in the apartment above the garage. They beg to come play in the basement and sometimes my parents are too nice. So here's a half-shot of them playing pingpong, and piano (there were 4 missionaries - actually 6 at one point).
The night I was stranded in Seattle, dad came to rescue me. We stayed at Dave and Jenny's gorgeous home on Queen Anne, and went out to a Greek Pizzeria that night. Dad is entertaining his grandkids with magic finger shows. Brianna is obviously more interested in her food.
Jenny and McKay playing kangaroo

Brianna was insanely happy to be entertained by her fun cousins
On the airplane to Seattle (see, I told you these were out of order and random). I got to sit next to Christy Strom - a friend from high school who I haven't seen in years!
Brianna LOVES playing with the plastic cups. I'm trying to get in on the action.
My parents didn't have an infant car seat, so Brianna had to use a forward-facing one for her first time! She's obviously crazy about it, as you can see. Elmo lovey helped konk her out (gotta love those triggers)
Mom treated me to pedicures at a classy little salon! AND I got a facial/massage that left me floating on air. THANK YOU MOM! If you're trying to get me to come visit more often... this is definitely the way to do it.
Queen Nonny. She deserves it!
Probably my favorite part of big family get-togethers... playing board games at night! Wits and Waggers and Quelf were my favorites this year.
Nonny felt it necessary to hose my child down after every diaper. I think she just wanted an excuse to stick the naked baby in the sink.
Princess Brianna. This is why I don't dress her up very often.
So happy to be home!