Sunday, January 31, 2010

How twins are made

I've received some interesting responses and questions regarding our news of twins on the way. One of them is, "wow, how'd you get twins?"
Here is the answer:

Saturday, January 30, 2010

wireless DTR

Brian's contract with Verizon ended.
My contract with AT&T ended.
It was time to take our relationship to the next level - a shared family plan.

But... whose company do we switch to?

We had to define our relationship.

And the winner is...
Though it seems like the answer is ME - it was actually mutually agreeable (especially once Brian saw the sweet phone included with his new AT&T contract). The fact is... while I only use about 400 minutes/month, I use about 2000 mobile to mobile minutes. He doesn't even touch that. So if we join any other service, I start having to pay for all my talk time. Or try to cut conversations with my family members (ha!)
This whole post may seem extremely trivial (as many of my posts probably do to some of you) but having ONE bill and ONE minute plan just makes me feel so much more united with my husband. Like I just wanna give him a big wink and say, "call me anytime baby - it's free."
Are YOU one of our AT&T mobile to mobile freebie friends?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Imagine spending several hours writing a talk for sacrament meeting on receiving answers to prayer. You include several great quotes, some personal stories, scriptures - the works. It flows. It fits the time limit. You're satisfied. Nearly a week later, you go to print it out... and cannot find it anywhere. You search until your eyes hurt. You pray to find your talk on prayer. You are *this close* to throwing the laptop out the window. You then spend hours re-writing the whole dang thing. Right when you finish and go to find the original talk.

It was fun.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I wish I had a picture, but it was one of those moments I didn't want to risk spoiling by running to grab the camera.
Brianna let me brush her teeth! This is huge. Monumental. She has never been good about dental hygiene. She just likes sucking on the toothbrush for 2 seconds then saying, "all done!" or "more pa-pace" (yeah, she gets lazy on the word toothpaste and it comes out oddly). She neverevernever lets anyone help her - totally typical stubborn 2 yr old behavior. But tonight I just said very enthusiastically , "open your mouth really big and I will have so much fun brushing your teeth!" And she let me!
Never imagined something so seemingly trivial would make my day.

Happy fish

We took Brianna swimming almost every day while visiting my parents. She loved it. I forgot her swimsuit, so mom got this yellow one for her. Though adorable, I'm actually quite opposed to allowing children to wear flotation devices. If she were to get into the water at a later date without the supportive gear strapped to her, she may think she can float better than she can. I really believe in teaching a child at the earliest age possible to be comfortable in the water, to love going all the way under, and to kick and paddle and sidebreath their way across unassisted. I saw too many children during my 9 years of swim teaching that were freaked out about getting water on their face or using a kickboard. I vowed - never my children. I'll throw them in before they can walk.
I wish we had a better pool here in Cedar - I miss my parent's pool and the Vernal Rec pool.
And there's my soapbox for the day.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The moment I'll never forget

Top photo: baby B. Middle photo: baby C. Bottom photo: the duo in their bubbles side by side.
So here's the play-by-play: I went in for my 10 week appointment in a horrible mood. I hadn't eaten much all day since everything looks gross, I had Brianna with me since I had forgot to get a babysitter ahead of time, and I thought the whole appointment was pointless since I had just been in for a 6 week ultrasound. Then I had to wait a full 30 minutes because the doc was so behind. Wasting time in waiting rooms infuriates me. I was a little rude to the receptionist, asking if I should just reschedule and come back later, or if in the future I should call ahead to see if they're running behind schedule. Brianna was having a blast in the water fountain and magazine rack. I was frazzled and frustrated to the point of tears. When they finally got me back, the nurse asked if I had any questions. I told her I just wanted to be done and leave asap.
So the doc comes in and starts the ultrasound. Brianna was on the side screaming "MY MOMMY!" and showing her animal crackers how to fly.
I hear the heartbeats and start to calm down. Heartbeats make me happy.
But this heartbeat sound was a little different - it sounded jumpy and scattered and way too fast. So I asked my doctor if the baby looked okay. He said..............
"Yes, both babies look great."

And suddenly my world was happy.


I was asked to do a post about this site I use to earn free stuff.Search & Win
I love it.
Simple explanation: Swagbucks is a search engine, like google. Except you earn points - "swagbucks" for doing searches. You save up your swagbucks and trade them in for giftcards. I'm halfway to a free flight on Southwest. My friend Michelle introduced me to this site and usually trades her swagbucks in for Amazon giftcards. There are hundreds of different places to use your swagbucks to buy things. You can also earn swagbucks by finding "codes" that are hidden on the website when you click on sponsors, or the swag-people will text them out randomly or send them out on Facebook. But I mostly earn them by having a Swagbuck search box on my toolbar. Super easy - takes no time at all. I'm basically earning free money doing something I was already doing before - getting online.
It's one of those sites I discovered and thought - why in the world isn't everyone using this?!
Learn more or signup here: swagbucks You start out with 3 free swagbucks when you sign up through that link.
Disclaimer: I hate it when people try to get me to sign up for something so enthusiastically that I wonder what kind of perk they get by referring me. So let's be upfront: for the first 100 swagbucks you earn, I also earn 100. Michelle got 100 for referring me. She deserves it - I'm totally grateful she told me about it.
Ok, stop reading. Go check it out. You'll thank me.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A sweet deal

My neighbor came to my door a few weeks ago with a proposition:
She had to work while her hub schooled. So they would bring their three kids over to my house to play once or twice a week:And in return for the childcare, she would give me a case (thirty pounds) of fresh local honey from her bee-keeping family. Sweet deal! It's great for Brianna to have the interaction, and hopefully I'll be able to enjoy the honey once I get through this first trimester (sadly, it's on my gag list right now. Along with the majority of food items with strong flavors).

A few answers

We had an appointment today with our OB. I'm not even sure why we had it. And we have another in two weeks. My doctor must think I'm high-maintenance. I'm ok with the extra attention though. It's amazingly comforting to hear those two little heartbeats going strong at 180 bpm. Almost makes me cry every time.
A few answers to your (my) vexing questions:
-These babes are fraternal twins (he's 99% sure). That means Brian's family genetics had nothing to do with it. I learned though that even if they are identical, his family history is irrelevant."Twinning is a maternal factor" as the doc said.
-Seven weeks until we find out the genders. I love saying genders. I love saying babies. I love saying anything refering to having two inside me. I might even start using double exclamation points even though they annoy me.
- Due date is August 19th. Technically. Doc said to plan on a late July baby. He said he delivers most twins around thirty six weeks. I'm hoping for August. Though I know I'll be slightly uncomfortable by that stage (an understatement perhaps?) I don't want 4 pounders. The longer they stay in, the bigger and healthier they'll be!
- I got in a little trouble because I've lost 6 pounds since my last visit. I didn't even realize it. Maybe that half marathon I did on Saturday had some effect. But it's probably more due to the fact that the majority of food items look repulsing. I spend a lot of time wandering around my kitchen, trying to think of something that sounds remotely palatable. Nada. But I told the doc not to worry - in a few months, I have no doubt he'll be telling me to sloooow down before I break his scale.
- It's ok to continue sleeping on my back until my belly is bigger (yay!)
- Stay away from unpasteurized foods (gee, that will be tough).
- Take extra folic acid supplements twice a day. Plus 2 prenatals. I feel like a pill popper.
- Drink more water
- Cut down mileage because my joints are loosening (I doubt I'll follow this. I only run about 25/wk. I'll keep it up til I feel uncomfortable. But I am going at a much slower pace - never higher than 8mph on the treadmill. It's annoyingly slow but relaxing).
- I'll have a scheduled c-section. I don't want this though - I'd rather go into labor naturally. It's better for the babies' respiratory system. Those labor hormones help them get ready to breath solo. So we'll see if I can negotiate this one. The other doctor at this clinic will also join in on the surgery, and the resident PA. Brian too. Cuz it'll be a big party and everyone's invited.
- Brian sat there silently the whole time. Finally at the end the doctor asked him how he was doing and if he was a little overwhelmed. He said, "no - I'm fine - I'm just trying to figure out when we should go buy a bigger vehicle."
:) Funny B.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Animated Sabbath

With the new year and customary time change of our church services, we now attend from 11am-2pm. This doesn't work well for our usual 12-2 napper. So each Sunday has been a struggle. We try to get her to sleep in as much as possible, then keep morning activities really low-key and non-tiring so she can make it til 2 without the nap. This means movies.
But only one type, and Brianna knows that by now. So this was our conversation this morning:

Me: Good morning Brianna! Do you want to have breakfast then go watch a movie? Brianna: Yeah. Bambi movie. Me: No, today is Sunday... Brianna: NO JESUS MOVIE! NO! I WANT BAMBI! NO JESUS MOVIES!
But we put one on and she got into it enough to stop complaining. The weird thing is that during the week, she will ASK for a "Jesus movie," and I'll say no - just so it's like a treat on Sunday.
I should explain what exactly we refer to by "Jesus movie." It's the Animated Stories from the New Testament series. I used to watch these every Sunday as a kid - it was all we were allowed to watch (until 5pm. Don't ask me how my parents came up with 5pm being the end of Sunday). We had the whole animated Book of Mormon VHS series, the Old and New Testaments, and the "Heroes" series. I had them all memorized. So a little over 2 years ago, when Brian and I got a knock at the door and it was a cute little RM going door to door selling these DVDs... we were
suckers. I should say - I was the sucker. Brian didn't want them (or rather, didn't want to spend the hundreds of dollars) but he doesn't like awkward sales situations so didn't say anything. Actually, anytime a sales person comes to the door, he defers it to me, or tells them his wife isn't home so he can't make the decision. I'm his scapegoat. Anyways.... so being pregnant, I told myself it was for the benefit of our unborn child. And our unborn child needed the entire interactive DVD series, along with the coloring books. And I needed the "Women of the Scriptures" book on CD series that came with it. The Church History and Cleon Skousen DVDs were in the mix too. I had serious buyer's remorse the next day. But now I'm glad we have them.
On a separate but semi-related note... I finally finished my study of the Preach My Gospel book today. I had a goal to finish it in one year. That was two years ago.
I loved it. I don't know if I've ever done more effective scripture study. It made me look up cross references, take notes, focus on basic topics, and learn how to teach others. By "others" - I mean my own children. I substituted the words "your investigator" for "your children" and "missionary" for "parent." We were challenged to do this a couple years ago at a stake conference in our Provo ward. I think from
Elder Oaks. I didn't realize how long it would take me - sometimes one page would take a week (though I should mention that this is partially due to my ocassional 5 minute study sessions before crashing). Anyways.... just want to encourage anyone reading this to make sure you have a copy of this manual and use it. It's such an amazing resource. It made me appreciate what full-time missionaries do everyday. I never went on a mission (married at 20) and I'm not sure I could've handled it. But hopefully I'll get at least one little boy who can grow up and go spread the gospel to the world! And Brian and I will definitely do a couple's mission when we're older. In Laie. Or just the North Shore in general. We're flexible like that.
I feel like I'm rambling. That happens with too much Sabbath free time. I better go figure out what to do next for scripture study! Or just go watch another "Jesus movie."

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Me: "I'm having TWINS?! I'm having TWINS? I'm really having TWINS? I'm having TWINS?" (repeated over and over until I could tell the doctor was annoyed).
Brianna: "NO tvins!"

Brian: "We're going to have to think of TWO names now!" and "We can buy a minivan or SUV from enterprise."
Mom: "You are not having twins." (repeated 40 times) then "Chelsea, I don't like it when you joke about serious things. If you were actually having twins, your father and I would have to drive down there right now and start helping you get ready." and, "if you're serious, this will change the planet. The universe."
Dad: (in monotone voice, not even skeptical - totally unamused - in response to mom yelling "Chelsea has twins"): "She's joking."
Grandpa McKell: "Oh wow - my brother Art's wife had twins, but they both died."
(he apologized later for that. I wasn't offended at all though. He's 92 - he can get away with saying anything)
Cousin Tiffany: ( I called her to find out where Grandma was) "Yep, you'll definitely win the favorite grandchild contest now!"
Grandma Smith: "It's a good thing you're tall - you're going to have to stretch out big!"
Dave: "I don't appreciate you wasting my time with your nonsense stories" [hangs up on me. Then calls back] "I'm really super excited for you and I think it will be cool to have twins in the family. I'm glad they're going to someone who actually wants them."
Aunt Debbie: "My goodness, you'll be busy!"
e: "I'm thinking about the Doublemint song now."
Coach K: "W
eeAiiiieeee!" [or however that should be written out... it was his Hawaiian yell]
Barbara: "W
e're so happy for you. So is it two or three?" and "this happens every other generation in my family!"
Uncle Bill B: "That rocks - I love being a twin." and "Brian must be feeling pretty proud of himself, heh."
Meredith: "How did this happen?!?!"
April: "So now you'll hav
e three and can be done with the whole pregnancy thing!"
Stevie: "Way to go, Octo-mom!"
Brady: "That's this because you were taking those drugs?"
Mark: "I want twins too."
Lindsay: "I don't believe you." (me: I have pictures to prove it!) "I don't know where you got those ultrasound pictures." (me: Why in the world would I make up a story like this, Linds?!) "Chelsea - you do things like this all the time." then later: "If anyone can handle this, it's you. You'll do great."
Meg: "Are you joking me? Are you joking me? I am so excited for YOU. I'd be freaking out if it was me, but I'm really happy for you!" then later, " I can imagine all of the spirits in line getting ready to go down to earth and an older lady "angel" (I always imagine them older like the workers in the temple) saying to one of the spirits, after she herself had been informed, "there's been a change in're going to go along with your brother/sister here a little earlier than we'd thought." I then see the spirit SO EXCITED to get to come a little earlier. YAY!!"
Crystal: "That's awesome! You've always wanted twins! ...You're gonna get huge!"
[Nice friends]: some form of "congrats, how exciting!"
[Inconsiderate friends]: some form of "wow, I'd never wanna have multiples - good luck."

Thank you to all those who offered positive encouragement! To those who didn't - you can't rain on my parade!

Friday, January 22, 2010


- We have to buy a larger vehicle. A much larger vehicle.
- There is NO way I'm getting a dog or a cat after yesterday's news from the doc.
- I'm supposed to eat an extra 600 calories per day.
- Brianna is reallyreally going to have to learn to share.
- I need to go to the library and get a stack of books on a topic I have read veryvery little on.
- Our next childbirth experience will definitely be another c-section.
- My previous goal of not gaining more than 25 lbs during this pregnancy is unrealistic now.
- I won't be making it to the full 40 weeks again.
-Others who have also had this experience are the ones most excited for us. They say it's double the fun and joy. The naysayers and pessimists have NOT actually had this miracle and therefore need to stop discouraging us.
- Brian is extremely proud of himself.
- The blog title will be changed to B & c & b & c & b
- I'm running for three.
- My dreams have come true. This is what I've always wanted.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mountain of clothes

Brianna gave all her 12-18 month size clothes to Lily last week.

 It filled a 49 lb suitcase. 
If she wears at least 2 outfits per day, she might be able to wear everything once. 

Note:  I bought none of this. All were gifts or hand-me-downs. Ridiculous, I know. 

Lily is holding the pink tutu and smiling. She's definitely Meredith's child. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I finally left home and arrived home.
I said goodbye to my family to return to my family.

Isn't it interesting how the definitions of the words
home and family change as we start our own? Brian and Brianna are my family. My home is in Cedar City. But last night, sitting by the fireplace playing boardgames with my dad, mom, and sister... it was very easy to feel like I was at home with my family.

I had a wonderful "vacation." I put that words in quotes because in my mind, a vacation needs to involve sand and sunshine and foreign language. But I didn't have to cook for 2 weeks, so this trip still can fall in the vacation category.

It's nice to be back in Cedar. I like feeling like I have control over my environment. At my parent's house, if I leave a dish by the sink, hours later it's gone and washed. If I leave dirty clothes near the washer, they're magically clean and dried within 24 hours. The gas tank of every vehicle I drive never seems to hit empty. It's horrible. I have no control whatsoever.

But now I'm home. If I don't start dinner, dinner doesn't happen. If I don't keep up with laundry, it multiplies and takes over the hallway. No one fills my refrigerator but me. The utility bill doesn't magically get paid.

Maybe I should change my definition of home and move back there.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Movie review

Dad took Meredith and I out on a movie date today. He wanted to take us to Avatar. We showed up and it was sold out. Lesson learned: buy tickets online in advance. So we settled for Leap Year. I kept waiting for the plot to start. I'm pretty sure I've seen this same movie several times, just under different titles. Yawwwwnnnn. But - I really like Amy Adams. She was in Enchanted and Julie & Julia. She actually grew up LDS til she was 11. Or so the www tells me. And the Irish co-star, Matthew Goode, made me want to dance an Irish jig. So it wasn't a total waste of time. While we were waiting for the movie to start, Mere and I walked into The Lovely Bones and watched about 15 minutes of it. Totally want to see that one. But later. I'm a Redbox person.
Mom took care of Brianna and Lily for us while we were gone. When I asked her how that went, she replied, "well - one acted like a 2 yr old the whole time, and the other acted like a baby."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hairy stories

For Meredith's birthday last week, she asked me for one present: to allow her to highlight my hair. She's been begging for years now. I finally gave in.
I know - kinda silly - what kind of person repeatedly turns down an offer for free professional highlights?! Me. The (former) owner of "virgin" hair. I just hate the thought of dealing with "roots" and having to pay gazillions and schedule lengthy appointments at smelly salons. Plus, after each summer I end up with natural highlights. Especially when I used to be outside all day long running and teaching swimming lessons. It felt so unnatural to have that foil junk in my hair and see her painting me with smelly goop. I did this just once before - about 11 years ago at a cosmetology school. The girl messed up and turned my highlights purple. I wanted to keep them but my mom made me let them fix it. Their "fixing" involved several strands chemically frying off. I swore off permanent/drastic hair changes after that traumatic event.
But Meredoo promised me these would be so subtle that I wouldn't have to keep them up.
She was right - I really like them. I guess I should post a photo of the results. But then I'd have to do some awkward glamour pose. I'll try to find a middle ground. Or just come see me in person. If you're ever in Spokane, hire Mere to do your hair. She's good.
But she also chopped off like 10 feet of hair. I feel bald. I told her 1-2 inches. She always laughs when I say that. She keeps threatening to cut Brianna's hair, to "even it out." But I think I've sufficiently scared her enough that she wouldn't dare (I told her I would then cut HER daughter's hair). I wish I knew what Brianna's hair would look like if it had never been cut. I don't want her to have bangs (too high-maintenance - I'm anti high-maintenance, if you didn't get that part), so we're going through an awkward stage where I'm letting them grow out and I have to pin them to the side. Or just let her look wild.
Speaking of hair... Brianna's latest quirk is that she kindof freaks out if she finds a hair somewhere. Like if she's in the tub and one gets stuck between fingers. Or she picks something up off the ground that has a hair attached. Or in her food (understandable). She starts yelling, "MOMMY - a 'AIR! 'AIR! Git OFF!" So interesting how kids learn/decide that one thing or another is undesirable and worthy of flipping out about.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I used to sit by my Dad and share his apple slices.

Brianna has taken my place.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Brianna and Lily

18 months apart, just like their mommies.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Papa and Nonny's Cedar visit

I mentioned that my parents stayed with us a few weeks ago, but I didn't add any details beyond the baby blessing festivities and our ski trip. Here are a few more of our little adventures in Cedar:
We picked them up at the St. George airport. The photos (left to right, up to down) give the play-by-play: we waited by the gate with Brianna swinging from the security poles, I hid around the corner while Mom and Dad came in to find Brianna, she ran away from them (though had been talking about how excited she was to see them for several days prior), I hugged mom, Dad hugged Brian (a little awkward for Brian - he didn't come from a hugging family - he must learn the Smith ways), Mom chased Brianna for a hug, then she and dad sat back and let Brianna come to them, they captured her finally and squeezed, then Mom won Brianna's endearment by taking her to the automatic hand santizer machine.

Pirate's Island in St. George was a fun place to go for dinner. Fun - meaning I didn't have to try to force my toddler into unnatural behavior (ie, sitting in the same place for more than 5 minutes). They have a great games-center and "little pirates" play area. Mom used all our tokens on the ski ball and had a tough time sharing with Brianna. I had to remind her to set a good example. Brian and Dad enjoyed man-talk time (top middle photo). We had coupons for 2 free salad bars (I LOVE our Dixie Direct book). Getting Brianna to leave resulted in the episode depicted in the previous post (screaming wiggly fish).

Nonny and Papa took Brianna to Discovery Park and a cute little bookstore.

Dad - unable to sit still - took it upon himself to install strong shelving and organize our garage! He also fixed a squeaky door and waxed my skiis. That's my love language - acts of service. Not gifts, not quality time, not words of affirmation... DOING nice things. That's why, while I'm here in Washington visiting my parents, I spent 10 hours cleaning out and organizing their jumungous basement. I knew he'd appreciate it more than anything else.

Mom insisted on visiting our city's only health-food store. She's way into that kind of thing. Dad isn't. But he came in when I told him about their awesome "oatscreme" - like icecream, but made out of oats and vanilla. Brianna loves it.
Bottom right photo: we had our neighbors, Tom and Debra, over for dinner one night. Mom helped me prepare a decent feast. This photo was after it was all cleared away - I was too busy playing hostess to take a picture of the spread. By playing hostess, I mean restraining Brianna from making scenes.

Most of all, I really enjoyed seeing my parents play with Brianna. They got right on the floor with her. Books, puzzles, Cooties... she was smothered in attention.
That's all. We reallyreally enjoyed having them. It probably would've been their only visit to Cedar during our time there (which will likely be another year or so), but they'll have to come again for the new baby this summer! That's the real reason we decided to get pregnant - to lure my parents back for another visit.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Brianna's new Step-Great-Grandma

Grandpa Berrett tied the knot last weekend!
We're thrilled for him. It's so nice to know he's happy and not alone.

I wish we could've showed our support by attending the festivities, but he only gave a day's notice to everyone! Brian and I were both in Spokane. So we'll have to send a card.
Grandpa Berrett has worked hard to keep himself healthy throughout his life, and he deserves these fun active Golden Age years with a companion (for time only).
If anything were to happen to me (I don't know why people use this phrase - let's just say what we really mean - if I DIED...) I would totally want Brian to not be alone. If he wanted to, he would re-marry quite easily (cuz he's totally a catch, in my opinion). But I'd want him to marry for time only, and with a pre-nup, to make sure Brianna gets all his dough. If the opposite happened, I think I'd survive ok solo. But, in general, men seem to be a little more socially co-dependent. Pretty sure research supports that.
Aaaaanyways... consider this the beginning of my living will. I've been meaning to go create a legal one - so our munchkins and assets go where we want them to - but I hate forking over the legal/notary fees. I'll just plan on living forever.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Like a fish out of water

That's the best way I can think of to describe Brianna's meltdowns when we have to force her to leave somewhere she doesn't want to leave. It's like trying to hold a live fish in your hands. A live fish desperately trying to get back in the water. Flinging, flopping, arching, slapping, wigglying, kicking... We decided to document this particular fishing episode - it was an attempt to exit Pirate Island (an arcade/fun house in St. George).
Please tell me your two year old does this too.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Brianna's first T-Bird game

I was really hesitant to bring Brianna to a college basketball game. But when Brian called and made a formal-ish invitation to join him on a date night... couldn't really say no. So a couple of weeks ago we traveled the 4 miles from our house to see the Thunderbirds take on... the other team. Can't remember who it was. That's how into the game I was. Brianna took up most of my attention. She did surprisingly well! We got such a kick out of her clapping and cheering along with everyone else. The middle photo shows her mid-clap. The top right photo shows her in mid-"hooray!" I loved it when she yelled that. The people in front of us also thought it was cute, though probably not cute enough to make up for how annoyed they were at her kicking their seats occasionally. Sorry people. Bottom right photo is Brianna making an escape attempt - another reason I can't remember any game details. I was benevolent and self-sacrificing enough to allow Brian the game-watching time while I took Brianna on wandering trips. Ha. I admit it - watching others play (most) sports just doesn't curl my toes. How stereotypical am I?! Sheesh. At least I was there and supportive of Brian's hobby. And now I've blogged about it so I can remember to remind him of this fact for years to come.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Since I took a picture of our Christmas card stash last year, I thought I'd show this year's display.
Many thanks to all those who sent their cute, thoughtful holiday wishes.

Brianna really wanted to take them all down. While the tree and other decorations are packed away, I think these cards might stay up for a little while longer. It makes me happy to see them every day.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Poor kid. She's never been crazy about going to the childcare at the gym. She doesn't put up a huge fight, but our conversation usually goes like this:
"Brianna, we're going to the gym. I am going to workout and you get to play with all the toys at the daycare!"
b: "Go shopping?"
me: "no, we can't go shopping. Maybe later."
b: "go to park?"
me: "no, we're not going to the park. Maybe later. We have to go to the gym."
She eventually gives up trying to offer alternatives. She gives a big pout and one last plea as I "abandon" her... then reluctantly accepts her fate and begins playing.
But the second she sees me through the window on my way to rescue her, this is what I see:

Monday, January 4, 2010

Proof I have too much free time:

A 20-hour Smith Family Calendar project.
Created 8 copies from my computer and my printer and $95 worth of ink, paper, and binding supplies.
Every single family member is featured on every single month (so no one can complain about over- or under-representation).
Click to enlarge.
The quotes around the photos are selected from a previous family calendar quote project done by Meg and Steve in past years. They have everyone submit favorite scriptures, quotes, jokes, memories, etc and compile them into a "daily thought" flip-calendar.
The bottom half (I can't upload that on here because it's a Word document - anyone know if it's possible to upload Word docs onto a blog post?) is a regular monthly calendar format, with each family member's name on their birth date. No excuses to forget to call each other on that day!
The main thought going through my head during the 2 weeks I spent obsessively working on this project was, "THESE PEOPLE BETTER APPRECIATE THIS!"
Much thanks is owed to my patient, tolerant husband. He helped me deal with the several setbacks and mistakes I made that caused me so much weeping and gnashing.
His advice: "maybe next year you should start this project in August or September..."

From Brianna's mouth, or other end

Brianna came to me last night and said, "Mommy, I go park?"
I responded, "Sorry - we can't. It's dark outside now."
She said, "turn on LIGHT!"

I was sitting in front of the laptop working on a project. Apparently I had tuned out Brianna, because she finally got right up in front of my face, grabbed my head with both her hands and said "LOOK at MEEE mommy!"

While Brianna and I wrestling, she BIT me! She hasn't done that since back in the nursing days. While that hurt worse, this made me very upset. I don't want a biter. How to punish the biting if it occurs again??

I went into Brianna's room when I heard her waking up from her nap. Our typical routine is to cuddle a little and read or just talk until she's fully awake. I often ask her "did you have a nice nap?" Well, this time, the first thing out of her mouth was, "Mommy, I had a nice nap." Ok, that doesn't sound as funny as I'm writing it down as it was when she said it to me. You'll just have to trust me it was THE MOST hilarious thing in the world. Ever. Nothing's ever been more funny.

We were at a New Year's Eve party with some other families and we were being introduced to some friends. I told Brianna to say hi. Instead, she took the opportunity to lift her shirt up and say, "MY BELLY!"

Brianna has THE stinkiest toots ever. Sorry to be so crude. But it's an in-my-face problem (literally) almost daily. Seriously, she could clear the Savannah after every meal (we just watched Lion King).

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Updated McKell-side photo

From December 19th family Christmas party

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Sabbath in Vegas

Last Sunday we were thinking of how we could best keep the Sabbath day holy.
We decided that hanging out in Vegas would be the most appropriate activity possible. Actually, we had two legit reasons for temporarily leaving Zion: 1) Baby blessing of Lucy Smith, Brady's new daughter 2) Our neighbors from Alabama (I've written about them before) flew in and asked us to pick them up.
So we left a little after 7 (because everyone slept in and I woke them all up just barely in time to rush out the door and make it to the church in Henderson 3 minutes early). The baby blessing went very well and Lucy looked even more beautiful in person. After a lovely luncheon and hanging out at Brady's in-laws (where Brianna embarrassed me with her squirrelish behavior) we headed to the Venetian hotel to pick up our neighbor friends.
Tom and Debra insisted on taking us on a little tour around their favorite spots along the strip. We saw the typical spots - Mirage, Treasure Island, Bellagio, the Volcano-thing, and 500 nearly naked girls. Lots of cute (ridiculously expensive) little shops, giant bears made out of bazillions of flowers, gorgeous Christmas displays, and one indoor area with a fake sky that totally made you feel like you were outside. In Italy. If it weren't for the excessive 2nd hand smoke we were all inhaling, I might have really enjoyed it. We had to walk through several large casinos, where I witnessed the funding source for all the amazing decor: gambler's lost money. I walked by one table where, within 5 seconds, a man put down 5 chips (worth $100 each, I later learned) and had them swooped away at the roll of a dice. He then put more chips down. Sick. Our friend won $1000 off of one quarter put into a (very cool-looking, I admit) slot machine! But then continued to spend til those winnings were lost. Even if I didn't have any religious belief in the wrongness of gambling... I still think I could never bring myself to risk hard-earned money in something so pointless.
There's my soapbox for the day.
Bottom left photo: a statue that turned out to be a well-painted real person standing very still. I hope she gets paid a lot for that. Photo above that: Brianna enjoying her gelato treat our friends bought her. $7.50 a scoop. Insane.
In several photos, Tom and Debra are holding Brianna. She wouldn't let them do that for long, but it gave me enough of a break so my arms didn't completely die. Thirty pounds of wiggly toddler carried for 2 hours in crowded smokey areas really wears this pregnant lady out.
The nice warm weather in the middle of winter was the best part about viva-ing Las Vegas.