Saturday, February 27, 2010

More faces I love

These are the Smith grandkids. My nieces and nephews are awesome - Brianna is lucky to have so many fun cousins.
It makes me feel like Brian and I should have more kids than just 3 so our future grandchildren will have lots of cousins too....
Or I'll just stick with my original childbearing motto: quality over quantity.

I can't wait to see all (hopefully) of these cute faces over Labor Day weekend!

Friday, February 26, 2010


We recently got teased with great spring weather. Then it went back to winter. Not just snow, but temps in the teens all day. Poor Brianna had been spoiled with the week of outdoor fun, so she put up a fight when I told her we had to play inside all afternoon. But my stubborn baby insisted she wanted to go outside and wasn’t deterred with my warnings of how extremely freakishly cold and icy it would be.

So she got bundled up:

Opened the front door:

Surveyed the blizzard scene:

Played with the snow drifts that had been blasted onto the front door:

Then closed it and said, “I not play outside. Ez cooooold.”

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


It's hard to describe how Brianna asks to "color," but I just love it. She pushes her lips out all pouty-like. They get even more pouty if I try to give her crayons instead of markers. Why can't she be normal and like crayons?! Oh yeah - cuz she can't draw on her face as easily:Yay for waterproof markers that wash off the table easily:

ps - is this the most mundane post I've ever done? Maybe just one of the top 10? That's ok with me.
I've been really enjoying my low-key, simple-joy, uneventful life lately.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

mmm... toothpaste

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We're still having dental hygiene issues. She rarely lets me brush for her; she insists "I do it by self!!" Her version of "brushing" is not much more than sucking on the toothpaste then begging, "more peh-paste peez!" I've read several articles about toddler tooth care which have just made me paranoid that we're going to deal with painful dental caries, especially since she still uses sippy cups much more often than regular cups. Also, family history isn't on her side - Brian and I both had cavities as kids. I think I probably had 4 or 5, and he had at least twice that many. But we both consumed WAY more sugar/junk food than Brianna gets. When I think back on what I ate as a kid - and hear about what Brian ate - I'm amazed we've survived into adulthood. Crap like Captain Cavity cereals every single morning. So I guess I'll just give her a celery stick to chomp on before bedtime and hope that makes up for her lack of actual brushing. Or maybe I could bribe her to let me brush her teeth... I'll offer her some taffy or tootsie rolls.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Preg update: 15 weeks

-Doc appt went well today. Heard the heartbeats (154 and 160). Relief and joy.
-THE ultrasound scheduled for March 23rd. I'll make a guess-the-genders post a week before.
-Though the official due date is August 19th, my doc says there's no way he's letting me go a day past 38 weeks. So - the latest these babies will be here is August 4th. I hope to make it right up to that day - I'm crossing my fingers and toes for at least 6 lb twins (each, obviously - though I know that means 12 pounds of baby, thus 726 lbs on me).
-I'm a pill popper. Folic acid pill in the morn, prenatal mid-day, more folic acid at night. Tums for tum aches. Finishing antibiotics off from last week. Someday I dream to be pill-free.
-I've had a net gain of 5 pounds after the 1st trimester loss. The appetite-loss issue is officially over. I am omnivorous again.
-Currently absorbed in several books about twins. Kindof overwhelming - especially all the photos of breastfeeding multiples. Getting myself used to the fact that I will being doing very little - if
anything - other than infant care for the first few months. Very worried I'll be DD size.
-My bras, especially sports bras, seem to be
shrinking severely. Odd.
- I was told recently that my belly doesn't look pregnant - I simply look like I ate a really big meal. Fabulous. I'd rather look fully pregnant than gluttonous.
-Sticking with same OB/GYN. I had strongly considered switching for awhile there. But he's a good guy and I think truly has the babies' best interest at heart. Not mine though - he's big on restricting me from doing what
I wanna do. Eg: travel, run, lift....
-I'm supposed to eat more protein to strengthen the amniotic sacs. Like over 100g/day. Problem with that: I like carbs. I'd rather have a loaf of bread than a steak.
-Continuing with appts every 2 weeks. Yeah, TWO weeks... for a few months, til we switch to EVERY WEEK. I might as well just get an apartment next door to the clinic. Big thankyou to my dear friends who are willing to watch Brianna for me! I will be calling on you often.
-Reality is slowly sinking in. We are really having twins.

The world would be a better place...

...if everyone was as thoughtful as my friend/neighbor/VT Cindy.

If you wanna do something reallyreally nice for someone sometime, here's an idea: unexpectedly call them up on a Monday morning after they've spent the weekend sick and offer to come take their child for a few hours so they can have the freedom to get their world back in order.

Seriously - nicest thing ever.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Alllllllllllll beder

That's how Brianna says it. And she is - it's a lovely little miracle. She slept for 15 hours yesterday (no joke - 15 - I checked on her several times to confirm breathing) and woke up as happy and energetic as ever. All symptoms gone. So I'm not even going to make her take the amoxicillan we got for her (since that involves an extremely unpleasant force-feed anyway - unpleasant and pointless, since she's learned to gargle it up). And I'm feeling much better after a full night's sleep. I actually feel a little guilty and embarrassed for whining so much last night. But a big thank you to everyone who validated my woes!!
On to happier topics:
Brian and I got a night out last week.
Posted by PicasaIf you notice my eyes look freaky here, blame Picasa's red-eye corrector.
We were at SUU's Women's Athletics Fundraiser Banquet. Brian needed to go for business purposes, since various SUU departments rent vehicles from him often. I felt a little odd being at a women's athletics banquet that didn't feature me at all. I know that sounds snotty, but over the collegiate years I sat through manymany such events. Fancy schmancy catered meal, cheesy highlight video set to pop music, boring speeches, self-congratulatory attitudes, ridiculous contrived awards presented... I remember thinking that I'd rather endure a 10 mile tempo run in the snow than an ostentatious banquet. But I did enjoy the silent and live auction!
I like bidding. There's a competitive aspect to it. It's a good thing I don't believe in gambling - I can get a little impulsive. Like when I saw this painting and was pretty sure I'd die if I didn't win it. I guess we'll never know, because I DID win it! No one bid higher (perhaps partly due to me sliding the bidding sheet partially out of view....) We also were the highest bidders on couple other small items. We got great deals on everything. But as you can see from Brian's expression, he wasn't having half the fun I was. Though by the end it was me curbing his enthusiasm during the live auction high-ticket items.
A few people asked to see a picture of my hair after Meredith highlighted it for me last month. This shows what she did - just subtle thin streaks. Sparse enough that I won't have to run to the salon whenever there's half an inch of root showing. Because just the idea of paying someone to rub damaging chemicals in aluminum foils on my scalp makes me gag.

Big thankyou to the G family for taking care of Brianna while I got to go out and pretend to be more than a SAHM for a night!
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Saturday, February 20, 2010


Excuse me for a moment while I forget all that I should be (and am) grateful for and vent about the crap that is stressing me out:
-SLEEP: I haven't had more than 20 consecutive minutes of it for 2 nights now. Don't gimme any snotty line like "well you're just getting ready for nights with two infants!" I remember actually enjoying my nighttime nursings with Brianna. But there was nothing enjoyable about coughing spasms every 15 minutes until the sun came up. Then last night I let Brianna join us in bed because she wasn't feeling well - which always equals sleep deprivation for me because of her wiggleyness. Spell Checker says wiggleyness isn't a word. Well what else do I call her incessant position changing, Mr. omniscient Spell Checker?! I'm having anxiety just thinking about trying to get sleep tonight... I dread staring at the clock as the numbers change... 9:30, 10:05, 11:12, midnight... I know I should just turn the clock around. But then I'd probably grab my cell phone and check the time anyway. My attempts at naps the past few days were futile. Just more coughing and trying to force myself into dreamland.
-HEALTH: So I mentioned the coughing. It started Tuesday, on my way home from the gym. My chest felt tight and I was light headed and I had a serious dizzy spell while driving home. I should've pulled over - it was bad. Like an inner ear equilibrium problem. Progressively worsened the next couple days. I'm not the Western medicine pill-popping type. I'm also not the Eastern medicine holistic home remedy type. I really believe the adage, "treat a cold and it will last 7 days; leave it alone and it will last a week." But that belief is more money-motivated than anything... I don't wanna fork out office co-pays and Rx costs nor the outrageous prices at the health food store for silver fish oil skin extracts blahblahblah. I don't even wanna go buy fresh organic lemons to make the hot lemon water my mom swears by. I believe in sleeping it off and thinking it off. Ever read James Allen's "As A Man Thinketh"? "The body is the servant of the mind. It obeys the operations of the mind, whether they be deliberately chosen or automatically expressed. At the bidding of unlawful thoughts the body sinks rapidly into disease and decay; at the command of glad and beautiful thoughts it becomes clothed with youthfulness and beauty. Disease and health, like circumstances, are rooted in thought. Sickly thoughts will express themselves through a sickly body. Strong, pure, and happy thoughts build up the body in vigor and grace. There is no physician like cheerful thought for dissipating the ills of the body; there is no comforter to compare with good will for dispersing the shadows of grief and sorrow." The book should be required reading for everyone.
But I spent the second night of sleeplessness thinking, forget you James Allen... I'm calling the doc first thing in the morning and getting drugs. Lots of drugs. Good thing I did - Brianna had a minor ear infection and I was given an antibiotic because violent coughing can cause miscarriage. Brian is also somewhat ill but we weren't willing to deal with more co-pays and office visit crap just to be told he has a common cold virus. He is currently treating his illness with OJ and a Bourne movie. I hate being ill. It ruins all my plans. And makes me write ridiculously long, whiny blog posts.
-EXERCISE: Haven't done it since Thursday. Even then it was a wimpy run and half-effort mommy&me class at church. I can already feel my muffin tops expanding. And - obviously - I'm in a badbad mood without my daily endorphin hit. I'm going running first thing Monday morning even if I have pneumonia.
-FINANCES: I keep whining about health care costs for a reason. The family budget is tight. Reeeeaalll tight. We paid cash for our new vehicle because my goal has always been to never take out a loan for anything but houses. But that has left us without our savings cushion. Six month savings cushion, to be exact. My wise father has always counseled us to have a 6 month reserve, in case of job loss. We've always had enough that we'd be ok if we didn't make anything for 6 months or more. Now I'm anxious for Brian's next paycheck. I like being frugal by choice, not by force. I can't voice my concerns to Brian very much because then he feels like he's not working hard enough. But he really is - Brian's consistently been scoring in the top - if not at THE top - of his area and beyond. He makes more than branches that are twice his size. This isn't his fault at all. So we'll build up the reserve again... until it's shot down with the bill after the delivery of these babies - I'm estimating $20K total. Our insurance co better be nice. So I'm trying to cut back even more than usual - which is hard. I'm already compulsively frugal. Now it's become obsessive.
-MISCELLANEOUS WHININGS: I have to miss two friend's weddings this summer because I'll be too pregnant to travel. I hate not being there for my friends, even though I have a great excuse. I've been asked last minute to sub teach for a primary class tomorrow and I'm planning on going at it half-effort and I feel lame already. My house is messy. My dishwasher is broken. My camera is broken. I ate sugar free pudding and have an aspartame headache. It's snowing again and I'm ready for Spring. I've snapped at Brian several times in the last week. I'm really worried about Brianna being neglected when I have to devote so much time to the newborns. My OB/GYN thinks I'm high-maintenance. I'm being ungrateful for my many blessings, which causes me guilt. And stress. Stress can cause problems for the fetuses. That causes me stress.

But I feel better now. Nitenite.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2 year update

Brianna had her official 2 year old checkup a few days ago. It's SO nice to only have to do these once a year now. I can't imagine what it's going to be like to take the twins to all those infant checkups... for all those shots... [shuddering]. But hopefully at least I'll be tougher. I bawled right along with Brianna the first few times they stuck needles in her. But at this appointment, I just told her she was going to have a shot and it was going to hurt but afterwards the nurse would give her a toy frog. She happily accepted the agreement initially, but then threw the frog down in protest after the painful injection. Apparently she didn't think it was a fair tradeoff.
Here are the official stats:

I don't know what the 803 number after the 28# is. I don't think it matters. She's at a healthy weight and length. According to babycenter's height predictor calculator, she'll be 5'9 at age 18. The doc struck up a conversation with Brianna and said she's way above normal in her speaking/cognitive ability. The only problems we have are that she never makes it through the night dry, and she has too much earwax. Any suggestions on how to get that out? The doc told me to do drops of peroxide/water in her ears. Brianna would love that as much as she loves immunizations.
The pediatrician left us saying, "I hope I don't see you here for another year!" Yeah, we hope so too!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Early nesting

Since I might be bedridden and swollen to blimp-size proportions in a few months, I figure I better get all that pregnant-woman "nesting" work out of the way while I'm still completely comfortably mobile. I started with the bathrooms: All surplus items are now in Brianna-proof containers, stored away in the cabinets under the sink/counter. Everything is labeled. Expired items discarded. Ridiculous surpluses donated.
Any kind souls who are willing to come stay with us post-delivery and help out will have access to tons of extra dental tools, hair care products, lotions, etc. (Thank you RiteAid/Walgreen freebie rebates).

Sunday, February 14, 2010

We got our Valentine ON

I'm actually not the biggest fan of Valentine's Day. Pretty sure it was invented as a conspiracy between some jewelry-chocolate-flowers companies. But I'm also not the biggest fan of holiday-scrooge-poopyheadedness, so I did my part in sharing the love:
I'm the official holiday treat supplier for Brian's office. Unfortunately, I don't think he understands these are supposed to be for the CUSTOMERS...
I hope they at least saw the cute signs and felt loved/appreciated, despite the fact that the cookies were likely gone within a couple days.Brian and Brianna got heart-shaped pancakes with strawberries and heart-shaped crepes for breakfast. Excuse Brianna's shirtlessness. She has an issue with wearing clothing lately. I did manage to get her into a cute Valentine dress for church. And I got Brian to wear his pink tie. I was festively attired as well. Thus we were more righteous and wholesome than the rest of the congregation because of our extreme outward participation in this completely non-religious holiday. All our windows featured festive stickers/clings (got them on clearance in March last year for a quarter. i RoCk).Brian and I did small gifts to each other - I made him this 8x10 photo collage (Walgreens was doing a freebie on the 13th only with a special code I received from my sources) and he made me a sweet card with sappy stuff written inside. Not because he wanted to. He was almost begging to head to the jewelry/flower/chocolate conspirators and give in to the mass marketing messages that plague our society, but I reminded him of MY love language. It involves no spending of money whatsoever. I love my cards I coerce him into writing for me every year.
Brian informed me that he might just die if we didn't decorate sugar cookies and bring them to our neighbors. I informed him I would loooove to, but we lacked the ingredients to participate in such a needlessly time-consuming messy ritual. But he found a recipe for whole wheat sugar cookies, (click here) and went next door to borrow butter. Thus I was stuck. And I learned I was wrong... it was actually a lot of fun. Brianna loved doing the decorating and didn't try to stuff them all her in face like I thought she would. Brian on the other hand.... I had to remind him that these were for the neighbors, as HE had planned. And for his employees at work the next day. So we made up some uncharacteristically (for me) cute plates and spent a couple hours visiting neighbors (bottom right photo - neighbor Debra, from Alabama - kept us chatting forevvvver. Husband Tom gave details of his post-heart-attack stent put in through his groin). One neighbor was a single older lady who had just returned the day before from major surgery - and we didn't even know it! So we felt really good about that visit.
Warm Valentine fuzzies.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

New ride

It's not stylish, sexy, nor extremely fuel efficient... but it's reliable, comfortable, and practical!
We have entered minivan world. A friend told me, "welcome to the next 20 years of your life."
Brianna was probably the most excited about it - as you can see from her first meeting with the newest member of our family. We've named her Kia Sedona. So creative, I know.Brianna went squirrel-crazy inside. She kept climbing over everything and jumping around, smiling and squealing. I had to wrestle her into her car seat.... which is SO MUCH EASIER now that it's higher up! I will NOT miss having to duck into our little Honda into the middle row to get her buckled. But I did feel safer having her in the middle verses now having her on the side. Oh well. I guess she'll have to sit in the back when we have the babies, so they can be up front. Or have one baby in the back middle, since that's the safest spot. But how would we choose which baby? Whichever one is behaving better gets the safer carseat location?
Notice bottom right photo - Brian folding the back seat down completely. Yeah, we could fit a room full of boxes in this mommyvan. Life just got awesomer.
We bought it from Enterprise and got a pretty good deal. A little below the "blue book" price. It was nice knowing it would be in perfect mechanical order and has been well maintained. This vehicle was actually in Brian's fleet for a long time here in Cedar - so he knows for sure that it always got routine maintenance done on time and never had any smokers or pets in it. There are some "bells and whistles" features I'm really enjoying. In fact, I can't think of any features it didn't include. A few people raise their brows at the brand Kia, but from everything I've read, the Koreans have come a long way in car manufacturing. This model had the highest safety ratings for 2008.
The hardest part about this transition was saying goodbye to our Honda. Not for sentimental reasons - I don't believe in developing emotional attachments to pieces of metal - but just cleaning it out.

It took a really long time to get it decent enough that we weren't too embarrassed to trade it in. It's amazing how much stuff we can collect in a vehicle after 6 years of use together. 8 for Brian, actually. It's the car he drove all the way from SLC to Phoenix in while we were dating so he could take me back to Utah and try to convince me that the state had a little more to it than just jello and modest clothing stores. I wasn't convinced and did another semester in Hawaii. But that Honda picked me up at the airport when I finally gave in and joined him in the beehive state.
We traded it in at 175,000 miles but probably could've put another 100K on it. I was very happy to get blue book value. I'll miss the fuel efficiency - but there's just no way we could've fit 3 kiddos in the back. And I hated having to try and fit our skis in there. So - adios Honda. I'm glad we get to remain a one-car family.

ps - if anyone is interested in buying a car from Enterprise, let Brian refer you. He gets a little bonus.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Last Spokane trip

Well, until Christmas, probably. We went there last month for a couple weeks (didn't mean to stay that long - but Orbitz tried to send me to Paris instead of Cedar. Close, Orbitz, real close). I did a few posts about it - Mere doing my hair, Brianna and Lily hanging out, movie review, a semi-sappy HOME tribute, Brianna and Papa sharing apples, Brianna and the Chipmunks, the mountain of clothes I gave Lily.... okay, I did a lot of posts about the trip. What's new.
Here's the rest of it:We celebrated Meredith's birthday. I kept thinking it was her 22nd birthday but she insists she's 24. I'm still pretty sure I'm right.
She got a makeover and starter kit from Bare Escentuals (I didn't spell that wrong - they did) and I tried to entertain Brianna in Nordstroms for an hour. Not easy. I did discover that she really loves makeup and kinda knows how certain items are used. Like lipstick - obviously meant for the chin area. And mirrors are for squishing your face against.
Mere also had a Coldstone birthday cake. My family is so weird - they'll go spend $30 on a tiny gourmet cake, everyone will have a small sliver of it, then the rest goes in the freezer until eventually it gets thrown away. I question whether I actually share their bloodlines.Another ski trip. I love Mt. Spokane. Really - even better than all the Utah slopes I've tried. Sentimentality/nostalgia plays a huge part in that, obviously... but also trips like ours, where the sky was clear, the sun was out, and I never saw more than 2 other skiers on my hill at the same time as me. Brian boarded - which meant we waited a lot. Not that he's slow - it's just that snowboarders have to stop before and after each chair lift to detach and reattach their board. So annoying.
Swimming at the Y. I'm beyond-words jealous of my parent's YMCA just a few minutes from their house. It has everything. I loved attending classes everyday. The cardio machines were great. The pool was awesome. Only Vernal's Rec Center can compare (actually, Vernal's is still way better, because it was walking distance and had super awesome childcare employees, whereas one of the childcare employees at North Spokane's Y is evil). My sister Sammy walks the pool twice a week for water therapy. Meredith usually gets to take her. Just another reason I wish I lived near them. Brianna got to swim almost everyday while we were there - only thanks to Nonny. My dad took her once, and came home saying, "I am never taking her swimming again." Why the poopy attitude, you ask? Hint: the choice of background color for the swimming collage above was no accident. =) I think she gets too much fiber.

On that classy and tasteful note, I'll end.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

30,000 feet to grounded

In case you're wondering what it was like....She climbs over seats, plays peekabo with nearby passengers {whether they want to or not}, pushes her daddy in the face, crys, shrieks, attempts escape into the isles, shows us her pouty face when we tell her to smile, and launches her mouse toy into the air just for the reactions.

I'm glad she's 2 now and costs full-fare, so I'm not tempted to do any more trips with her than necessary. I don't know how we survived the 12 (crazy - 12!) roundtrip flights she got in during her freebie days. Though we now have lots of frequent flier miles that are tempting me to get out again before the twins come and really put a hold on any kind of travel plans...

A funny: she now associates peanuts with getting on an airplane. Whenever she gets to eat peanuts for a snack, she'll often say, "I go airplane go see Nonny??"

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Freddy the non-sicko thinks I'm not careful enough.

After posting those videos from Brianna's birthday (see two posts below) on youtube, I received this message (not anonymously, but I don't recognize the username):

freddytk421 has sent you a message:
Subj: your videos.
You should be careful what videos you upload. There are lots of crazies out there. I was searching
the word Brianna and saw your bathtub video on the list. I'm not a sicko or anything just wanting to give you some friendly advice. you can make them private if you want to share them with your family and friends.

What do you think about this? I'm not the type of person to be subject to extreme paranoia or inane fears. I'm not worried about someone "finding" us or doing anything bizarre with my videos and pictures. There are millions (billions?) of videos and child photos on the www. I know I can make my videos private. I can make my blog private. I can put a mask on my child when we're out in public and call my family members by pseudo-names and squirt hand sanitizer on every surface we have to touch.
I believe in safety first - wearing seatbelts, getting immunizations, buying insurance, and locking doors.
But do I really need to curb my photo/video sharing?!
It's exasperating to keep hearing vague warnings like "well, you just can't be too careful when it comes to kids" or "well this guy I knew had a friend who heard about a story where some weirdo..." Right. Pretty sure that's about as likely to really happen as my child getting Salmonella from peanut butter.
WHAT exactly - EXACTLY - are Freddy-type people worried about?!

Red Cliffs hike

On the way home from my half marathon in St. George a couple weeks ago we took a detour to check out the Red Cliffs Rec Area. It's a gorgeous place - like Zion's Nat Park, but smaller and without any tourists. It's about 15 miles north of St. George, near Quail Lake. We just wandered around for a couple hours. Brianna loved it, though it was pretty muddy so we had to do a lot of hand-holding. Going to places like this makes me wish I had a decent camera. And camera skills. Oh well - memories are more important, right? I also wish we had brought the toddler hiking backpack along, but this excursion wasn't planned at all. I thought I'd be wasted after the half, but I took it really slow and easy so it wasn't any different than my usual Saturday long runs. Except that I totally forgot to bring my sports bra. It was one of the few times in my life that I was extremely grateful to be small chested. TMI, sorry. Running the race slowly was annoying - I kept seeing other runners ahead I knew I could beat (judgmental and snotty, I know) and had to remind myself I'm running for 3. Brian was so supportive - he never has once complained about having to give up his Saturday mornings for me to run. Love him. So when he suggested stopping for the hike, I initially protested because Brianna really needed to get home to nap, but I'm glad I decided not be uptight for the afternoon. Though stuffing an overtired overstimulated child back into the car after running around for hours was NOT fun. My favorite parts were the little waterfalls we kept running into and the caves everywhere. It'd be fun to go back without the kid(s) and explore more. Then again, it's even more fun seeing Brianna's eyes light up as she pointed out different bugs and rocks and ponds.
Here are a couple pictures of this place taken by people who actually know how to use a camera well:
Falling in love with Southern Utah!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Videos from the birthday

I didn't take as many as I had hoped...nor the quality I had planned... but since when does anything turn out as I plan?! I uploaded a few clips we took onto youtube. Here are links to them and a little explanation:
Brianna showing her dance moves. After she has her bath and is dressed in her jammies, we like to let her get her leftover energy out. Notice the 90's EFY music blasting in the background. Gotta keep the Sabbath day holy, ya know.

Usually she wakes up from her nap happy. Today she didn't. But it's her birthday and she can cry if she wants to.
The only gift she unwrapped was from her Grandma McKell. It was an elephant that comes to life when it's back is petted. I really like Brianna's smile here - very genuine, not the huge cheesy grin she puts on for most pictures/videos.

We weren't planning on doing anything in the evening - just hanging out at home playing games with our birthday girl. But our good friends surprised us and came over with a gift for Brianna! She was SO excited to see them at the door. She loves her friends Tyrus and Sienna. They gave her a supercute gift - a mix-in-a-bag for birthday cookies and a cookie cutter (which I mistook for a pizza cutter because I'm smart like that). At the end of the video I tell Brianna to say "Michelle, you rock!" But Brianna chooses to say, "I rock!"
We decided to make the cookies right then while they hung out at our house. But I messed it up somehow and they spread too much so it looks like brownies. I thought I might as well stick a couple candles in them and sing to her! Brianna obviously loved the attention but had trouble blowing those candles out. Afterwards Brian said to me - "I know why you wanted to make the cookies while they were here - you didn't want to eat them all!" Brian has me all figured out.
Her birthday ended with her favorite activity - bathtime. At this one, Brian bravely stuck his head in the tub and taught her to blow bubbles. Because every 2 year old should have that necessary skill.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Dear Brianna,

Since you won't remember nor appreciate the efforts and funds we would have to expend to conform to the society-honored gluttonous traditions expected on this milestone day of your life.... we're just going to spend it simply doing the activities you love to do. Coloring, games, church & nursery, favorite snacks, naptime with daddy, walks outside, wrestling, movies, long bath, door-bell ringing, animal sounds, finger paints, songs, more snacks, more snacks, kick snow, visit neighbors, call Papa, cook something, clean windows, hide-n-seek, call Nonny, play in the shower, try on hats, paint toes and nails... and I'll try to take little videos of all it, so in the future you'll know how crazy and fun you were at age 2. If you throw a tantrum for any reason, I will also video that, so know what you were really like at this age.
But what you may never know is how strongly your parents love you.

Two years ago today you brought more joy into my life than I ever imagined possible.

ps - 28 lbs (66th%), 34.5 inches (65th%)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Bloated or showing?

With my first pregnancy, I didn't even tell my coworkers that I was pregnant until I was 20 weeks along. I wore regular pants with the rubberband-trick for 10 weeks after that.
But now, at a mere 13 weeks... I had to wear my empire-waist temple dress today instead of my regular one. And I have banished all snug-fitting shirts because I don't have a cute little volleyball-sized bump poking out - I just look bloated.
Maybe this wouldn't have happened if I had been puking the last couple months like normal preggie girls, instead of feeling just fine. It's all downhill from here, folks. I'm going to go through my closet and take half of the items out and label them "clothes I reallyreally hope I'm wearing loosely a year from now."
I'm not taking/posting pictures of my "growth" - partially due to self-consciousness, and partially to the narcissistic nature of it. I might post a photo at the very end, just to blow your mind with my ginormity.
Somebody should warn Brianna that storytime will have to be done sitting side-by-side, because her younger siblings are gradually pushing her farther and farther off my lap.

Friday, February 5, 2010

A week of Brianna moments

Whenever Brianna does anything I deem cute/funny/gross/smart/silly/weird or otherwise noteworthy, I always tell myself I should write that down. Then I don't and I forget it and sit there thinking, "what was that thing she did I was going to tell Brian about and put on the blog?!?!" So this past week I've kept a post in draft mode and just added a couple things each day that I want to remember:
1/28 - I asked Brianna if she wanted to go swimming. She looked confused and said, "where's Papa?? Where's Nonny??" (she went swimming with them in Spokane a couple weeks ago and must think THEY are her swimming buddies, not me).
-Fortunately at the pool I had her in a tight swim diaper... because, as she ALWAYS (not exaggerating) does - she defecated. Big time. I think all the kicking and running gets her bowels going.
- We walked by a picture of my mom on the wall and she pointed to it and said, "Nonny friend."
1/30 - We were in Spanish Fork at Brian's parent's condo. Brianna was playing with her cousin Ali with a baby cradle. Brianna started singing, "rock-a-bye baaabbyyy...rock-a-bye baaaabbyyy..." I have no idea how she learned that tune.
1/31 - Brian and I gave talks in sacrament meeting. We didn't wanna risk ruining the spirit by having Brianna there to yell out, "MY MOMMY!" So we had our neighbors, Tom and Debra, have her at their house. When I went to go pick her up for Nursery, I found out they had taken her to Walmart and bought her an Elmo toy. I don't know if they know we don't shop on Sunday... but now Brianna says, "no church - I go shopping!" =P
2/2 - I asked Brianna how many babies she wants. She said two, but held up all five fingers. I asked her how old she would be on her birthday this weekend, and she again said TWO, but held up all five fingers. Ok, now it's not sounding as funny as it was when it happened. Had to be there, I guess.
2/3 - Brian had a basketball game at church. Brianna really wanted to go, but it didn't start until 8pm. Call me an uptight child-sleep-nazi, but bedtimes are somewhat inflexible. But Brianna kept asking, saying, "I go see Daddy play soccerball!" I corrected her, but she insisted that it was soccerball, not basketball.
2/4 - As Brianna and I were leaving the grocery store, she ran up to the large Dumbo pay-to-ride kid's machine and yelled out, "Mommy, give me MONEY!" She must have seen some other kid do this before, because I certainly have never forfeited my quarters for those yucky outdated lame rides! I told her, "we can go home and you can do chores to earn money and pay for your own ride. She said, "yeah" with a blank stare, but just stayed on there waiting for money to magically appear from me.
- Brianna's behavior during prayers is hit-and-miss. Sometimes she will sit still with her arms folded and head bowed the whole time, and other times she ignores us. Lately she has started repeating what we say as we say it. So tonight, out of the blue Brian asked Brianna, "do YOU want to say the family prayer tonight?" I looked at him like - "do you realize you are speaking to a baby?" But Brianna said, "yeah." Then folded her little arms, bowed her little head, and started off with "Deah Henvey Fadder, tank you foh dis daaayyyy...." and the rest was a little unintelligible. I caught a few words - daddy, sleep well, safety, house, Jesus - she kept going on and on, so I finally prodded her with "in the name of..." and she ended it with a resounding AMEN! Then started singing her usual goodnight song and walked towards her bed. I was almost in tears. Proud mommy moment.
2/5 I was babysitting the neighbor kids and my friend Michelle was over with her kids. So there was a 5 yr old, two 3 yr olds, two 2 yr olds, and a baby... all in my tiny 1200 sq ft house. Brianna wasn't accustomed to all the commotion and chaos. She's used to being the center of attention in a relatively calm environment 99% of the time. But she found a way to GET that attention... I didn't notice her leave the room, nor did I notice her at all until I hear one little boy yelling, "she's NAKED!" and I look over to see Brianna literally running around all the kids, totally in her birthday suit. Maybe she doesn't realize her birthday isn't for a couple more days still.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Daddy-daughter troubles

Lately Brianna has been a little anti-Daddy. It's sad because it hurts Brian's feelings, as he is very pro-Brianna.
She will yell at him and push him away, saying things like "NO daddy!" "MY mommy!" "Daddy go back!" "Mommy do bath - no daddy!"
The weirdest part is... during the day while he's not home, she asks for him at least once an hour. Most often she says, "where Daddy?" And I'll tell her he's at work. Then she'll usually say, "I go see Daddy work. Go to office." and head for the door. It's hard because Brian is super busy when he's at his office - even if I brought her there to see him, he'd be too busy with customers and phone calls and car cleaning and report deadlines. Just today, Brianna answered her own question. She said, "where's Daddy? Daddy working."
Then when he comes home at night, she sprints to the door to greet him... then runs right back to me and glares his direction.
He gets frustrated because he wants to give me a little break from her, and he wants to have some QT. But how can you play with someone who screams at you at swats at your eyeballs?
The eyeball-swatting thing... I think we've curbed it. Just this morning we brought her into our bed since she woke up too early (7:05. That's early. I prefer at least 7:20. Every minute counts) and instead of swatting at Brian, she reached up for his hair and started patting it, saying "nice daddy, nice" as we've been trying to teach her to do.
Brian says she does way better when they're alone together without me, like Tuesday nights when I go to the gym to watch Biggest Loser while elliptisizing. He did dinner, bathtime, and bedtime with her, no problems at all. So maybe I just need to leave every night?!
Hopefully soon she'll switch favorites. I promise I won't be the least bit offended.
I'd love for someone to tell me their child does something like this too.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

From a previous lifetime...

I have felt a little urgency lately to do more organizing/de-junking/project completion. I still have 6 months left, but I have this paranoid fear that I'll be on bedrest at the end because I'll be so huge that if I stand upright gravity will put me into labor too early. Knock on wood. Warning: if that ever does happen and I am sedentary for any length of time, you'll want to avoid being near me; I'll be in a really bad mood.
Anyways... so in yesterday's organizational efforts, I began going through some boxes of "college stuff." I was able to throw away some items that make me shake my head in disgust at my own silliness for keeping so much pointless junk. Like a bottle of sand from each of my favorite beaches. How smart am I for lugging those around during the last 5 moves Brian and I have done?! I also had a lot of old classwork I kept....because.... I really don't know why. Because I spent countless hours on them? Because my posterity might care about my paper on the Krebs cycle or my articles that got published in the Ke'Alakai campus paper? I think not.
It feels SO good to have made that box 20 lbs lighter. I do have some sense of sentimental value... I kept a few things. Like the shoes I wore in every single one of my races at BYUH. Totally pointless to keep - they're disgustingly trashed. But when I see them I remember how I felt tying them in my special good-luck method at each starting line. And I kept these ID cards from campus and the PCC jobs that Brian and I had. These ID photos were taken in September 2003 - right when we first met and started dating and I began thinking of ways to make him go away so he didn't try to get me go back to Utah with him. Obviously I eventually gave in.
Anyways... thankyou for reading my self-indulgent trip down memory lane.
I'll try to stay on task from now on and do Brianna and twin-related posts only.

After I post a few more fun pictures from dating days.Good. times.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

McKell mountain rendevous

I don't know what's more lame: doing an extremely belated post, or not blogging about a fun event just because it's like 7 months after the fact.
I'll be on the safe side and post this:Last summer we spent a few days up in the mountains at a ranch with Brian's siblings and parents. I wouldn't call it a family reunion, since everyone wasn't there, but it was definitely the most fun McKell get-together we've ever had. Brianna loved running around outside all day, playing on the swings, seeing the horses, and going on the paddle boats in the "lake." I didn't take many pictures, but I did take a video of Jami and I going down the zipline and landing in the water - click here for that. It was a great location - my friend's family owns the property and rents it out. There was no phone coverage and electricity was limited, so I was "roughing it" about as much as I'm happy with. Call me prissy. I won't pretend to be an extremely outdoorsy person. Not for lengthy periods anyways. I like warm showers and sanitary conditions.
I'd love to go back to this place with my own family. I know they'd like it. I just don't wanna go this summer cuz I'll be too pregnant to go down the zipline without my parents reporting me to DCFS. And watching everyone else do it without me would be torture. Though I should probably get used to it. I've decided to be done doing races, and it's already driving me nuts to see local fun runs advertised. Anyways... I'm rambling. Back to catching up on belated posting...