Sunday, November 29, 2009

The best part of the photoshoot...

The Brianna-only pictures were my favorite. She tends to be much more photogenic than her parents. Though of course she was never smiling WHILE we were holding her... only when she was put in an interesting place, like a backhoe.
Or while in the car as we were leaving:
Or when she spotted a dog passing by
Or when the photographer had the brilliant idea of giving her a leaf to play with:

But most of the time she just ran away from us.

The view from my run

Last Friday Brian spent his "day off" at his office helping "run the show."
I'm not bitter, I promise - I'm used to it. Like when he called yesterday at 5:24pm to let me know he wouldn't make it home for lunch. You'd think it'd be like, "duh - judging from how late it it, I kinda figured that." But not really - sometimes he does actually take a lunch break at 4 or 5pm. Amazing how he can go 9 hours without eating and still be a car rental superstar. since Friday was supposed to be his day off, I convinced him that he could keep Brianna at the office so I could go on a run (the gym was closed, and I had slept in).
I dropped her off, knowing she'd spend most of her time "rearranging" the shelfs of tourism pamphlets, and headed out to a nearby golf course. I had never been there before, because I'm usually in too much of a hurry to get my run completed and can't take the time to drive or bike to a more interesting place. Back in the pre-Brianna days, I would bike up to 10 miles away to find a better trail to run {sigh}. Not complaining, just reminiscing.
The golf course was nice - perfect turf, felt great to my knees and feet - but there were too many golfers out. So I headed up to the hills above it. And got lost. Very lost. I ended up backing myself into a corner, of sorts. I couldn't go back the way I came - it would take another 30 minutes. I couldn't go back a little and find a new trail, because to get back to the ERAC office I'd have to cross several fence lines with cattle inside. So my only option was to climb UP the big mountain I backed myself into. I don't know if can call my scampering up "running" - it was just a fast hike. While I should have felt a little apprehensive and remorseful (I told Brian I'd be back in 40 minutes - turned out to be a lot more) I secretly got a little masochistic kick out of it. Here's a very inadequate picture of one scene from the top:

I'm glad I was paranoid enough to bring my phone with me while running. A few years ago I made fun of people who did that.
I guess it's hard to explain why I think this experience is noteworthy. Blogworthy. It was just one of those moments where I felt... alive. Like I wasn't just a mom spending hours singing potty-related songs with my toddler and cleaning up spilled cereal and pushing a stroller and lamenting my 8 surplus pounds and feeding my hardworking husband and dusting blinds... like how I felt in Hawaii when I would spend hours running through guava tree-covered mountains and long empty beaches and ungroomed river trails... like a strong, free woman. Perhaps only a druggie could understand how the dopamine and serotonin hit could feel so awesome. It lasted me through the weekend. I need another hit soon.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful for Zion and free food

We spent Thanksgiving afternoon hiking in Zion National Park. I can't believe we live so close to such an amazing place. There were many other hikers there today from all over the world - lots of Asians, Europeans... this is a big trip for them, and it's right in our backyard. Add that to the list of things I probably take for granted...
Brianna enjoyed most of the adventure. She wanted to be OUT of her toddler pack more than we could allow her (for time's sake - the sun goes down too early, so we were rushing, and she only goes fast when SHE feels like it). She did a lot of song-singing, and got upset if we didn't join her. She wanted to count everything, and furiously tried to wiggle out at each waterfall or stream, saying "Ah wanna tuhz (touch) eht!".
Our camera hates me (or maybe it's the SD card - I'm getting a new one at a BF sale tomorrow) so these are some cell pics:

Oh deer. Brian took a picture on his phone of me taking a picture on my phone. I told Brianna the mule deer was Bambi. She totally believed me. Sucker.

Sorry - just turn your head to the right.

The extra 30 pounds on my back all afternoon felt really great. Really.

Our favorite part was the Emerald Pools, so I'm stealing some photos of it from the www:As society dictates on this day of shameless gluttony, we also ate a lot. It's an interesting story... we had planned to just find somewhere near the park to get something. But on my bike ride in the morning I saw a Shakespearean-themed place called Bard's with a THANKSGIVING sign on it. So we called, and it sounded like they were doing a traditional holiday feast at a reasonable price. We showed up hungry at 11am and spotted an elderly man from our ward going in at the same time by himself. We invited Brother Massey to our table and spent the meal enjoying his company and his funny stories about his 11 yr old twin daughters from his ex-wife (Brother Massey is at least 70 yrs old...yeah, with biological 6th grade daughters... you do the math). We had only met him twice before - once at church, and once when he broke his foot a couple months ago and we brought dinner to him. I'm never met a more gracious person - you'd think I had saved his house from burning down or something like that. He seemed to really enjoy being with Brianna - he kept commenting on what a good eater she is (until she noticed the pie and started yelling for it - before that it had been, "mooh bocki (broccoli) peez! Mooh cahatz (carrots)!") At the end, I whispered to Brian that we should take care of his tab too, but before he could tell the waitress, she brought the whole bill to Brother Massey - he had already asked her for it! He wouldn't take no for an answer. Such a generous man - it wasn't a cheap tab! I later asked Brian what his favorite part of the meal was - expecting him to say the potatoes - and his answer was, "the fact that it was free!"
So overall, it was a wonderful holiday-day for us. The only thing that would've made it better is being a part of the noisy fun going on in the background at my parent's house in WA when I called today {sigh}. But we're headed there for a little trip in January (thankyou cheap airfare!)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

An attempt at family photos

My goal was to at least get ONE good one of all three of us that I can use as a Christmas card.
Apparently Brianna didn't understand that goal. She's never SMILING at the camera when we are, and vice versa.
I guess I'll just have to make a collage and crop a decent shot of each of us into a family photo.

I should've worn DARK jeans like Brian did.

I also wanted to get at least one good one of all of us to use as an 8x10 gift for my mom. I know - way too ambitious.

"Brianna, please smile at the freakin' camera!"
This is how Brianna felt by the end:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

From the mouth of my babe, part 2

-Today I came into the kitchen to find Brianna with oatmeal all over herself. She looked at me with a serious face and said, "IZ OATMEAL TIME!"

-I've been trying to teach her the difference between boys and girls. She's doing pretty well - it's fun to hear her say, "Nonny GIRL. Papa BOY. Daddy BOY. Mommy GIRL. Brianna GIRL." Occasionally she'll put the words IS A in between, when I remind her.

-One of the attendants at the Child Care at Gold's told me that Brianna sat at the table coloring and singing the Sunbeam song over and over.

-At the store today, she was sitting in her basket and we passed a little boy with his mom. They were walking the opposite direction of us and she yelled at him, "C'MEER BOY! C'MEEEEERRR! BOY!"

-She had an accident today and didn't quite make it to the potty. I didn't scold her, but I talked to her about what she did wrong and how we're going to do it differently next time. She got mad at me and yelled, "PUT DIAPER BACK ON!"

-While we were out doing errands, she called two different men DADDY. That's always awkward.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The marriage to which I aspire

Our ward started the Marriage & Family Sunday School class, so I'm attending it while Brian teaches the 13 yr olds. We were talking about the qualities of a good marriage. One elderly man was called on, as he and his sweet wife were about to celebrate their 63rd anniversary. They're such a cute couple - always holding hands or touching in some way. He was asked what their secret is. He smiled and said, "Well, we never ever argue. We disagree on some things, but we never - - oh wait, there's one thing we argue about. Taking out the trash!" We all laughed, but he shook his head and went on, "Because I have a bad heart, and she has a bad back. She always tries to take the garbage out before I do, so I don't strain my heart, and I always try to take it out before she does, so she won't hurt her back."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

As if she's attention-starved...

Brianna doesn't like to be left out of my activities. She wants to help me do everything.
I draw the line at bathroom activities and computer activities.
She's accepted the first, but the latter is a battle sometimes.

You probably can't tell what this picture is... Brianna is hiding under her blanket, crawling between myself and the laptop. I can imagine what was going through her head...something like, "hmmm, maybe if I put this blanket over my body, mommy won't see me and I can play with the computer too." Genius.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


A few weeks ago we heard rumors about a "sheep parade" down Main Street. One thousand ewe would be marching down the closed-off most prominent road in our big-little city. Though I typically just furrow my eyebrows and shake my head at such odd, redneck entertainment... we happened to already be in the area that morning. And I was mildly curious about Brianna's reaction to such a sight.
Her reaction? "Loss-a doggies mommy! Loss-a doggies!"
Oh, and there were at least a couple dozen different tractors preceding the sheep in the parade. I didn't get it. Brianna felt the need to go out and investigate:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

At the (very crowded) park Brianna started yelling, "Mommy tooted! Mommy tooted!" I have no idea why.
Brianna came up to me holding 5 shoes and said, "put shooz on mommy, go park!" I must've been slow in getting ready because she stood by the door saying "cmon, cmon!" Halfway there she realized she forgot her blanket and yelled "GO BACK!"
Brian just told me that this morning Brianna grabbed his hand and said, "daddy take me fridge"and walked him toward the kitchen.


In case you've forgotten what she looks like.... since all I blog about is myself....She had something in her mouth during this picture. I can't remember what. I probably don't want to remember what.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ok, fine - here are the details.

I really don't even wanna blog about the triathlon - still upset over lost pictures. And not just lost pictures of the tri - pictures of Brianna doing cute stuff afterwards at the park, and pictures of the tri-ward swap meet event. My camera (or the SD card?) has done this before. It asks me to "scan and repair" the card when I insert it to the laptop. If I let it "scan" - it's like letting Brianna into the pantry. Random destruction and consumption. {sigh}
But since I've been asked about it a few times... here's some proof I actually did it:
The tshirt (dri-fit quality style - I hate these types of shirts cuz they fit me oddly), the helmet I won (SOOOOO happy - my former helmet is at least a decade old and breakable with my bare hands), and the plaque (which I think is so pointless - what do I do with it? It's going in a box with the others. That sounds so arrogant, I know... but I don't know how to say it without sounding snooty... I wish race directors would just give me the money they spend on trophies/ribbons/plaques instead. Even if it's just 5 bucks.)
Ok, so - race details. We swam 400 yds (16 lengths or 8 laps), biked 10 miles, and ran a 5K. My final time was 1:07:01. I wish I had known to run 2 seconds faster so I could just say 1:06. But then I just would've wished I had gone 59 seconds faster so I could say 1:05. Never satisfied. That's an issue with me. My swim was slow - 7:53. In the SUU pool two days before I timed myself closer to 7 minutes flat. Twice. But I was sharing a lane with a really big guy, so each time I passed him it messed me up, and I lost track of my lap count so I was freaking out about that. And I kept getting too close to the wall on my flip turns. Lots of excuses. I'm a whiner. After that I rushed out and threw on my bike shoes. Well, Lindy's bike shoes. I borrowed the bike, shoes, and outfit from my friend/neighbor/VT Lindy. She's awesome. She actually does open-water full-distance triathlons. I want to be her when I grow up. The outfit was great - specialty tri-shorts and top, so I never had to change clothes! I swam, biked, and ran in the same (very comfortable) attire. I thought I would feel horribly self-conscious in such a revealing outfit, but when I got there I realized I was dressed quite modestly compared to everyone else. So back to the bike.... I thought this would be the WORST part of the event. I had only tried Lindy's bike once. I'm used to my little commuter-hybrid bike. But I just
flew in it. Road bikes are amazing. I'd never really used one before this. They felt so dangerous and out of control... tiny tires, horizontal body position.... so awkward and unsafe. But once I clipped my shoes in (took me a full 30-40 seconds - I'm very bad at it) I took off and went as hard as I could. It was tough because I didn't know my standing in the race. Since the swim began by waiting in line for the pool for 40 minutes (not joking), I had no idea if the girl up ahead was actually ahead of me, or had started the swim 10 minutes before me and I was passing her. We had chip timers on our left ankles. Another awkward part - I don't like those. The biking was difficult when we had to make turns - I get really paranoid about slipping and biffing it bad. So I ride the brakes the whole time. There was a guy I was biking along side of who would pass me on each uphill, then I would pass him as we leveled out or went downhill. At the last downhill I yelled to him, "no more uphills for you!" My version of trash-talking. After the bike I raced in and threw on my racing shoes. And socks. I debated for a ridiculously long time about socks, and asked several seasoned triathletes. Jury was out. So I opted for socks, and probably should've done without. That would've given me my two seconds I wanted. Of course, as I started to run, my legs felt like bricks. I couldn't catch my stride for a long time. My goal was to let no one pass me. And to catch every single person I could see. The course was ridiculous - a 1.55 mile loop we had to do twice. But they had to have it that way because the beginner triathlon course was half the sprint distance. My run was 23:16 - I'm embarrassed to write that, especially considering how hard I tried. I really thought I'd run my usually 20-minutish 5K. I didn't think the swim & bike would affect my legs so much. I learned a lot from this race. Oh, and the bike was 34:31. The first transition took 45 seconds and the second 34 seconds. That could really use some improvement. There were nine men ahead of me - one being my friend from Orem, Devin Moody. It was fun to see one familiar face. There were great snacks afterwards, and MASSAGES. mmmhmmm. Brian was such a champ - taking great care of Brianna, keeping her from jumping in the pool, helping her steal snacks from the refreshment table, and teaching her to say, "go fastu mommy!" each time they saw me.
And the BEST part of the race.... my new tatoo!
(it's hard to take a picture of your own arm - here's another attempt:)
I'm never washing it off.

Oh, and afterward as we were wandering around killing time until the award ceremony (which I usually don't stay for - I hate how long it takes. But I didn't know if I had won or not) I got sucked in to signing up for Winder Farms home delivery. The saleslady was good. She passed out samples of their organic, hormone free chocolate milk. It was kindof to-die-for. We got to take home this big cooler free and FULL of their fresh for signing up! And we got $15 of free credit and a bunch of coupons. And a few loaves of their bread - one of which (the 10 grain) is seriously THE best bread I've ever had, aside from that one in the DR I posted about, but this one's actually healthy. Anyways, so we have to have their truck come to our house once a week for the next 24 weeks, and have to order at least $8 worth. They have a $2.99 delivery fee. So I don't think it's a big money-saver. Maybe it will be an even wash by the time we cancel.
That's all. Time to get back to Brianna-focused-blogging.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Picture this:
We're sitting on the front row at church. It's Sacrament time. It's relatively quiet. The bread is blessed and a Deacon starts to walk towards us with the tray. Brianna sees the young man approaching. She drops her toy, turns towards him, and boldly holds her hand out in front of herself in a "stop" position. She LOUDLY commands: "GO BACK!"

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fun in-store

I hate my camera. Or maybe I hate the SD card. It somehow randomly chooses pictures to eat. It ate my triathlon pictures. And the pictures from the swap meet I helped organize at church today (both events went really well). I'll be mourning the loss of those photos for awhile. New camera on my Christmas list.
Moving on...

We were at a store and Brianna found all these Christmas toys that play music when you press a button. So she went down the isle, pressing every. single. button. There were over twenty singing toys going off at the same time. The employees looked like they really enjoyed it...since they had probably never heard those songs before... =)

Friday, November 13, 2009


I'm rillyrillyrilly nervous about my triathlon tomorrow. It's only a sprint distance, but it might as well be an Ironman for how anxious I am. Triathlons are so much more complicated than road races... so much more gear, so many more possibilities for something to go wrong... I think I'd almost rather run a marathon tomorrow. I wouldn't have to worry about trying to fit my bike in the car. Brian just left to go to his office and see if a bigger vehicle has returned so we can rent it tomorrow. I should probably go to sleep. But what better way to calm my nerves than blogging?Here's Brianna just waking up from a nap. Check out those rosy cheeks - love 'em. People have commented on them many times in the past. She gets it from her dad. When she's old enough to get embarrassed, she'll probably go BRIGHT red just like him too! Notice the rocking chair - I love it. My aunt Phylis gave it to me a couple years ago. She said she used it for her kids, so it's at least 35 years old - and not a scratch on it! Brianna's so funny when she wakes up - in the mornings, she starts shouting DADDEEEEE, DADDEEEEE (cuz I'm usually out the door running before she's up)... and after her mid-day nap, she calls for me (since Brian is at work). She doesn't cry or get upset - she just sits and calls our names overandoverandover til we rescue her. Okay - maybe it's only funny to me.
Cedar City is known for the Shakespearean Festival, and so I thought it would be pretty lame if we didn't go to at least one show while living here. Tickets are kinda pricey, even with our Iron County resident discount. I knew my friend Heather lets her kids stay up really late, so I asked if Brianna could come to their home and play while Brian and I date-nighted. I took Brianna on a long stroller ride in the late afternoon so she'd fall asleep for a second nap and be okay to party late with her friends (Shaylee and Parker - she adores them). Brian and I REALLY enjoyed "Tuesdays With Morrie." Yeah, I know it's not Shakespeare - that's why I liked it. Call me uncultured, but I'm not much of a Shakespeare fan. The play was great - I read the book several years ago, so I had forgotten much of the plot. I kept hoping my memory was wrong and Morrie wouldn't die. I cried. (sorry to be a spoiler). The best part was being out with Brian by ourselves! It felt like pre-baby life again. Here's my little helper. She saw me cleaning and wanted to join in. Notice she's still in her jammies. If she had her way, she'd stay in them forever. I have to bribe her with outings to get her to change.

Ok.... nothing else to post about. Well, there is... there ALWAYS is... but I'm going to go to bed and try and dream of smooth transitions. I wonder if I should wear socks...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

She's not even two yet

Brianna showed a different side of herself today.... I've never seen her behave so poorly.
We hungout at her friend Emily's house today while her mom went to a doc appointment. Emily is about 6 months older than Brianna. My little {a-hem} angel spent most of the two hours yelling MINE! MINE! as she grabbed Emily's toys and books and snacks. Emily was no pushover - she defended her turf and shouted MINE! back. But more politely than Brianna, and not half as belligerent. And when I played with Emily or picked her up, Brianna would start crying out, "MY MOMMY! NO!" Fortunately Emily has lots of toys, so I could distract Brianna with something other than what Emily was playing with. And there were a few moments of congeniality - like when Emily was helping Brianna learn her letters. And when they took turns kissing Emily's dolls. I've seen Brianna have little conniptions before - but never this long & loud. I swear I heard MINE no less than 872 times.
AND THEN... to add to the fun .... we stopped at Albertsons on the way home (partly because Brianna was yelling "GO SHOPPING PEEZ!") and she showed me that her behavior at Emily's had actually been pretty mild. Wiggling her way out of those cart-seats (the seatbelts are worthless) and "re-organizing" the store. As we walked by the bakery she started an endless squealing of COOKIESPEEZCOOKIESPEEZCOOKIESPEEZ. If she had just asked once nicely I might have let her. But I didn't want to reward the show she put on. So we hurried to the back for their chicken sale (notice how grocery stores put all the staples on opposite sides of the store? Evil) and she managed to get out of her seat. I gave in and let her walk next to me. I had my eyes off her for a few moments and turned around to find her in the candy bins. Literally - IN the bins - both hands, and her head. I felt like mom-of-the-year right then. You can only imagine the tantrum she threw as I grabbed her out of the bins and put her IN the cart - not the child seat area. Her entire body went stiff and heavy as she arched her back and let out the most fake cry I've ever heard her produce. Ever. Honestly - she's usually pretty good at the store. Her nap must have been too short today. Or she's possessed.
So I rushed to the checkout - avoiding the stares of the other shoppers (not even sympathetic ones - totally judgmental -
like why can't you control your child). I got Brianna out of the cart - still crying out her demands - so I could pay. She wriggled out of my arms and I had to let her go so I could open my purse. She took the two second opportunity to grab at a pack of mentos mints and chomp into the package. Like an alligator - straight through, getting at least two of them (with the wrapper fragments) into her mouth. I had two thoughts - crap, now I have to buy that and well at least that will keep her quiet for another 45 seconds so I can get out of here.
A kind employee handed Brianna a decorated mini-pumpkin as we left. She immediately started furiously ripping the fuzzy hair off of it.

Someone's going to bed early tonight.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Finally.... she GOT it!

We've been working with Brianna on identifying colors for months now. Actually, probably a whole year. She's been calling everything RED when asked what color it is. A week ago she started saying everything was YELLOW. I didn't know if that was progress or not.

But TODAY....

We were in a parking lot, and she started correctly naming the colors of the cars I pointed to! She told me one car was yellow, another green, a red one, and then pointed up at the sky and said, "BOO sky!" I was so surprised - she's never done this! It's like something finally clicked - I felt like I could see a new-found understanding in her face as she answered my questions.
We spent much of the day working on other colors - she improperly identified many (called white yellow, black blue, brown red, etc) but I think it's better than everything being RED.

I taught swimming lessons for 9 years and my favorite part was when a child finally "GOT it" - when that light-bulb clicked on and they mastered a skill they had been struggling with. I loved the feeling of sharing that excitement with them.

Experiencing that same feeling as a mom is a bazillion times better.

The Blanket

I think I've mentioned Brianna's attachment to her blanket before... but here is the official post.

She's obsessed.

It must be with her at all times and in all places - unless she's doing something fun enough to make her forget about it.
I've tried to designate it as a bedtime-only companion, but that results in a tantrum. Or worse - she wanders around the house searching, calling out, "BANKET, WEH AWE YOU? WEH AWE YOU BANKET?" over and over, on the verge of tears. It's heartbreaking. And not worth the battle. So I let her have it. I manage to steal it away to be washed a couple times a week - just washed, not dried. Before the washing cycle ends she's usually already discovered the absence and begun her desperate search-and-rescue mission.
I've read that it's healthy for children to have a "security object" - aka Transitional object. It provides them with "sensory satisfaction" (as most children chose an object that is silky or soft - Brianna's blanket is both). It's called a transitional object because toddlers are making the transition from complete dependence to independence. They don't need their mothers to constantly hold and soothe them - it can be done solo... with the help of a blanket/teddy/dolly/binky/thumbsuck. It represents a tangible, 24/7 accessible version of mommy's love. Attachment to a security object is usually the first indication that a child understands symbols, an important milestone in emotional development.
Thank you,

So here is Brianna earlier this afternoon (via blurry cell pic), enjoying two of her very favorite activities: swinging at the park, and holding her blanket:

Monday, November 9, 2009

From the mouth of my babe....

We brought Brianna to Stake Conference last weekend (the adult session Saturday night... apparently we didn't get the no kids memo) and the speaker was talking about faith. He was telling about his conversion to the church, and how his family had disowned him when he joined (his Christian family - very Christlike of them, right?). The ward was now his family, he said. I admire people like him so much. I heard many stories like his at BYU-Hawaii with some of the Asian students. So we were trying to keep Brianna quiet and occupied with her books, as she was literally the ONLY toddler there, so all her chattering would have stood out in the reverent congregation. The speaker was getting emotional, as were many listening to him. He made a statement that featured the phrase "... in the name of Jesus Christ..." and Brianna suddenly pokes her head up and loudly yells out: "AMEN!"

I tried not to laugh as we took her out to the foyer.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

From Nonny's camera

When I was at my parent's home a couple months ago I uploaded all of the pics from my mom's camera onto my laptop in case I needed them for my family calendar Christmas gifts that I do every year. Was that a run-on sentence? Anyway - here are a few favorites I want to post (or re-post, possibly - I can't remember).