Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I can only imagine what it's like being basically brand-new to this world and knowing so little about how society works. Brianna's observations and questions sometimes remind me of how I've felt when visiting very foreign countries. Though she's been more bold in asking questions because she has no fear of offending anyone. Here's our conversation lately (well, an abridgment - we've had similar forms of the same one a few times):
b: Mommy, where Daddy?
me: He's at work. He'll be home at dinnertime.
b: Why Daddy work?
me: He works so he can make money for us so we can buy the things we need.
b: Mommy work?
me: I don't leave you and go to work - I stay with you and take care of you all day.
b: Daddy go gym?
me: No, only I can take you to the gym. Daddy's at work so he can pay for our gym.
b: Where Parker's Daddy? [Parker is her friend down the street]
me: His Daddy is at work.
b: Where Parker's Mommy?
me: She's with Parker at Parker's house
[this conversation continues with Brianna asking about Sienna's mom and dad, Allen's mom and dad, and so on, listing all her friends and asking about where their parents are and what they are doing.]
Brianna asked about her friend Cedric, who happens to have parents with reverse roles. That took her a minute to process. Now she'll randomly make statements like, "Cedric mommy goes to work."

Brian and I had a [short] conversation once about what it would be like for us to switch breadwinners... I go off to some Public Health job all day, he stays home with the rugrats... Brian emphatically stated that he would go absolutely nuts and could not handle it. Funny - I feel the same way about doing his role!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Blog giveaways

Maybe you already knew this, or maybe you are as oblivious to the big wild blogosphere as I am... there are TONS of sites that do free product giveaways. There are even blogs dedicated to telling you about other blogs doing giveaways. I've just discovered this, and thought that I should probably enter more, since they seem pretty legit. It makes sense - a blog author wants more "followers," and some company wants product advertising, so they team up. I'm skeptical that some blog authors cheat and don't actually use a random number generator to select the winner like they claim they do. So I haven't entered a lot of them - maybe 30 or 40 in my life. And that's only because I actually won one several months ago - a $30 giftcard to from the PYP blog. But since then, no luck. Until...
I won THIS today! It's a personalized storybook! Check it out here - it's such a cool concept: This personalized storybook is a powerful way to show a child how absolutely unique and special she is. My Very Own Fairy Tale is a 8 1/2" x 11" hardcover, professionally bound book that transports little girls into a magical garden where flower and berry fairies crown her as their fairy princess. Beautifully illustrated fairies bring letters one by one to spell out the child's name, while describing character traits that make the recipient alone the perfect princess. This award-winning storybook makes a keepsake gift for new baby girls through age 12! Made in the USA. As an added personal touch, this educational book includes the child's birth date, a printed dedication from the sender, and an illustrated Fairy Patch featuring 62 fairies with interesting facts about their flowers and berries. $30 value (plus shipping costs).

Fun, huh! Some of you creative-type people could probably figure out a way to do this on your own and not spend $30. But not me. Because of this win, I'm probably now going to spend an inordinate amount of time entering more giveaways. At least for the next 3.5 months while I have two free hands to type and ample discretionary time.

Monday, March 29, 2010

DiGiorno/St. Patrick's Day Party

There's a site called where you apply to host various product-centered parties at your home. You just fill out the app, and if you're selected the company sends you a bunch of free product samples so you can throw a party featuring their stuff. This particular promo was for DiGiorno and their new "Pizza & Breadsticks" product. How novel - everything you need all in one box. Even the dipping sauce. Junk food has reached new heights of innovation. I'm not even sure why I applied (a subconscious obsession with trying to win free stuff, perhaps?) but I was pretty surprised when I was selected as one of the winners and sent this package full of party goods ... then I was like - oh crap, now I have to throw a big party and really clean my house and deal with all the mess after and an overstimulated toddler. I know - I'm such a nerd. I'm definitely the type that would rather be invited to an event than to host one. But afterward I was totally glad we did it - everyone had an awesome time. Plus, after the babies come I doubt we'll do stuff like this. I wasn't sure how many pizzas they would send me (it ended up being 6), so I kept our guest list much shorter than I would've liked to. We had about 15 people over (including kids), but could've fit more (surprising to say, since our house is pretty small). The most fun part (for me, anyway) were the games we played. I love that "two truths and a lie" icebreaker - it made for some hilarious conversation. When everyone laughed, Brianna would do a forced-laugh too, which made everyone laugh harder. She was having a blast with so many people at our house and all the energy. Our last friends left at almost 10pm (quite late in weeknight young mormon family world) and we didn't settle her down enough to sleep til about 11. That's the latest she's ever been up in her short little life. The party theme was designed to be centered on March Madness... but since I'm not good with keeping track of all those touchdowns and goalies and stuff, we made ours a St. Patrick's Day theme. Everyone had to wear green and bring a green sidedish. I dyed veggie dip and oatmeal cookies green. We did some fun St. Patrick's Day trivia and gave out the prizes the company sent to us. I felt/feel a little hypocritical participating in a promotion for a product I don't actually believe in at all - it's just your typical frozen pizza made of cheap ingredients and full of transfat. I ate one piece and felt gross. Even Brian said it wasn't that great of a pizza and was pretty greasy. But like I said - the best part was enjoying a fun night with our friends. In green.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I'd like to bear my testimony that Brianna is crazy

We were sitting in the back at church today. It was a testimony meeting full of long awkward silences. Brian decided to fill the empty pulpit by going up to bear his testimony. Brianna didn't notice he had left until he started speaking. Before I could stop her she had made a bee line for the pulpit. She nearly made it to the stairs when he ended and walked down to pick her up. But she quickly turned back to me and sprinted down the aisle yelling (in the otherwise silent chapel), "DADDY DONE TALKING! DADDY DONE TALKING! DADDY ALLLLLL DONE!"

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bowling with B

Not with B & b - JUST B! It was great to get away for a little date night. Besides temple trips, we haven't done anything alone together for fun outside the house in a long time.
I wish I could take the credit for being spontaneous, but it was my awesome friend Michelle who called me up Friday afternoon and informed me that Brianna was coming over to their house that night and Brian and I had to have a date. She wouldn't take no for an answer (and I wasn't going to even try - I'm no dummy!) I called Brian and informed him of our sudden Friday night freedom, and he said - "great Chel. I'm super busy. You plan it - I'm up for whatever." I laughed, thinking of course I'm planning it. Brian's the dinner-and-a-movie type. I am NOT. Obviously, going bowling isn't the most wild n' crazy original idea either. But the 20 degree windy icy weather limited any outdoor activity, and we don't exactly live in the most lively night-life town. Plus, I actually really enjoy bowling, and it's not something that we can do when accompanied by our wild toddler.
I got a strike on my first try! Then the next 9 tries featured several gutter-balls. I have a consistency problem. But I ended up with a 90, which is really good for me! I think I've only broke 100 once in my life. Brian's much better - he got 137. Showoff.
What's bigger - the bowling ball, or my 20-week belly?? Quote from B: "Carrying this load around in front of you must make you really off-balance."

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Not my babies. Other people's babies. From all around the world! This movie looks awesome:

Brianna loved watching the previews with me!
I heard about this movie from a site called bzzAgent. I am registered on it, but you don't have to be to watch the trailer:
Another link:

The official synopsis: Everybody loves... BABIES. Coming to theaters this Mother's Day Weekend (May 7th), this visually stunning new movie simultaneously follows four babies around the world - from first breath to first steps. From Mongolia to Namibia to San Francisco to Tokyo, BABIES joyfully captures on film the earliest stages of the journey of humanity that are at once unique and universal to us all.

I haven't taken Brianna to a movie theater since she was an infant and would just sleep/breastfeed in my arms the whole time. But I think this is one she might actually sit through and really enjoy. I'm definitely more of a wait-til-it-comes-out-on-redbox person, but this will probably be the last worthwhile movie to hit theaters til our twins come - and after that... well, can you even picture Brian and I taking a toddler and 2 babies into a theater?! I can't picture us taking that parade anywhere! How do moms with lots of kids DO it?!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Keep your pants on, Brianna

My favorite part of going to the gym is when I get to leave (haha - yours too?)
But not actually because I'm glad I'm done working out, but because Brianna is always SO excited to see me! She comes sprinting into my arms and does the best "tight hug" (as she calls it).
Today she was especially excited to see me because she had something important to tell me about - "Mommy, I went potty all by self." I confirmed this with the childcare worker (Amberlee - she's awesome. She actually enjoys being surrounded by a dozen crazy toddlers for hours and hours everyday) and Amberlee told me the story: Brianna had walked up to her, pulled her pants down, and said, "I need go potty now." If you're trying to picture the scene, imagine Brianna's bare bum. Because she refuses to wear both diapers and undies, so there's nothing under those pants that got pulled down to her ankles.
Usually the attendant comes to get me so I can help Brianna use the potty, but Amberlee was a little too shocked at Brianna's sudden exhibitionist move that she just hurried her into the little bathroom. They're not allowed to help the kids at all - not even with clothing - so Brianna had to manage the whole process solo.
Amberlee was a little shaken up by the experience. I think Brianna is a hoot (and I'm really glad we get a diaper-buying break for a few months!)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Best of both worlds

First I want to say how much it means to me that all my friends and family are so happy for us. I'm amazed at all the "congrats" offered in person, on the phone, and online. We feel very loved. My facebook page is crazy - I seriously got all choked up when I looked at it this morning and saw about 60 different WHOOHOOs. But I wasn't nearly as choked up as yesterday when I saw THESE:

Our new son and daughter! 5 fingers, 5 toes, fully functioning organs, and 9 ounces (145g/154g) each. That's normal size for a singleton baby at this length of gestation as well. They labeled our girl as Baby A, because she's closest to the exit and would be the first one out if I wasn't having a c-section. We got to see her brother, Baby B, punch her in the head. The ultrasound tech said they do that to each other 24/7. So our children will arrived already accustomed to regular beatings. Excellent.
Heart rates were 154 and 148 - which fuels the wife's tale that males have slower HRs. The boy was MUCH more active than our girl - she had her head up in the placenta. Thus no clear profile shots. And, obviously, no clear pictures period. I'd be impressed if someone can actually make out which body parts are being shown in each image. I'll have PLENTY of photo ops in the future (ie - an ultrasound at every single appointment starting in a couple months) so we're sure to get clearer views.
Brian's reaction when the tech announced our female child first: "Oh, a girl - that's awesome." Brian's reaction when the tech announced our male child: "I GOT A BALLER!" (ie, basketball player. Because he couldn't possibly play basketball with our female children, right?) Another good quote from Brian du
ring the 30 minute show: "This is way better than a regular movie." And afterwards, "Chel, you better go home and take a shower to get all that goop off your tummy." I love my husband.
Dr. H said I have the lowest-risk type of multiple pregnancy to have. The babies are in concordance (less than 20% diff in weight), they have their own sacs and placentas, the lab tests for neural tube and genetic defects came back negative, I have low BP and RHR and a history of healthy fullterm pregnancy. This means I won't have to travel all the way to St. George for appts with the perinatalogist, and I am unlikely to have to endure bed rest or have preemies. I'm also hoping to skip the drugs that stop early contractions. Those things are all at the top of my must-avoid list. I'm measuring at what would be 24 weeks for a singleton preg. That's about 5 weeks ahead, which will increase until I hit 30 weeks and am the size of a 40 weeker. I expressed my concern to Dr. H that I've already gained 15 lbs and he just laughed at me, saying I have a loooong way to go. I'm hoping it doesn't get worse when I have to stop running in a couple months. He said I don't have to change my exercise routine at all until it gets uncomfortable. Does anyone care about all these little details? Oh well. If I'm going to record them at all then it has to be here, because there's no way I'm keeping up a blog and a personal journal. Plus it might be helpful to someone someday. I've really enjoyed reading blog posts from other moms who've had twins (and not just SeriouslySoBlessed).

As much as I'm elated/thrilled about all this good news, the overwhelming feeling is simply relief. I've been so paranoid that something would go wrong with the pregnancy. But now I can relax a little. Our children are on their way!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

gUeSs ThE gEnDeRs!

Less than 48 hours til the big ultrasound!
I have to try not to think about it or I go a little craaaaazy watching the clock.
Are we having two boys, two girls, or one of each??
(yeah, it took me a ridiculously long time to color each letter, so please leave a comment so I don't feel like I'm as frivolous as I regard myself right now).
You have a 33% of being correct.

To answer a very common question - I have absolutely no idea what's swimming around inside me. I believe that the whole notion of intuition is too strongly influenced by wants and desires. There are pros and cons to each scenario, so I'll be ridiculously happy just as long as all their organs are intact!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Alright friends, family, anonymous readers from Kyrgyzstan.... I neeeeed your help!
Please go here and vote for us (me) to win this stroller!
It's a Facebook contest - a magazine called Free Baby Magazine is doing a giveaway, sponsored by Kolcraft. All you have to do is go to the "fan page" for Free Baby Magazine then click the "become a fan" button, then leave a comment under my comment (ie - my shameless entry and sob story). You can vote EVERYDAY until April 1st (no foolin') and I would be eternally grateful if you would. You're not busy, right? Right. So - go vote! THANKYOUTHANKYOU! (two thankyous - because I want this stroller twice as much as anyone else). If you saw the "ride" we currently own, you'd totally know why. Brianna is so embarrassed to be in it that she instantly falls asleep with her blanket over her head to avoid anyone she knows seeing her in it. Or maybe she just fears for her life because all the pins and gears are falling off. And even if she was in a cadillac-stroller, we'd be in the market for a bigger one - less than 5 months til our babies are here! And 3 days until we find out their genders!
Pleaseplease vote... You'll get TONS of blessings if you do.
Vote HERE - and again... THANKYOU!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Preg update: 18.5 weeks

Let's see, what's new.....

Yeah, that's about it.
NOT MUCH! That's probably something to be grateful for!
I haven't been to the doctor in 4 weeks because I asked if we could skip the bi-monthly visit during this less-eventful period in the pregnancy. Though it would've been nice to hear the heartbeats again, I'm glad to have a little break.
No aches/pains to report. Nothing major anyway. I've had a few "growing pains" - probably from ligaments loosening. That's why I stopped running at 27 weeks during my first pregnancy. But they're not that bad. And my teeth are kinda sensitive while I'm running outside. Weird huh - anyone else experience that?
Mid-section is expanding rapidly. I now look pregnant, especially if I'm wearing a snug shirt. If I'm wearing something baggy like a hoodie, people don't know I'm pregnant. At least no one did this morning. I was volunteering at Bountiful Baskets and at the end I mentioned to my group something about being pregnant and they were all like - "what?! You shouldn't have been lifting those boxes then! If we would've known we would've stopped you." Good thing I didn't tell them then. I don't like it when people try to police my physical activity levels. I'm not an idiot - I know what I can and can't do.
Still running everyday. Well, almost. 5-6 days/week. 30-40 min on weekdays, 60 on Saturdays. About the same speed as last month. Most mornings are on the treadmill, either due to bad weather or my morning laziness. It's tough getting a run in before Brian has to leave at 7:20. I can't believe I used to get up at 6 to run. That seems insane now. I like sleeping, even if I have to deal with occasional bad dreams. I don't know if I can blame them on pregnancy or not. I hesitate to do so because I don't wanna be one of those women that blames everything on pregnancy.
Still trying to focus on getting more protein. I'm doing a lot better - I add protein powder to my milk for cereal in the morning, and I've been doing crockpot soups with lentils and other beans. I also really like canned garbanzo beans and will snack on those, and hardboiled eggs - but just the white part. The yellow stuff tastes gross - Brianna won't even eat it. I also found some great chicken sales lately, which helps a lot. I add canned salmon or tuna to my salads, and I've even eaten some of the dead cow meat Brian's grandpa gives us. Usually I can't stomach that stuff - it's not very lean, so I feel like I spend forever cutting off the fat, or cleaning up the grease that the burger patties produce. Sounds delicious, huh? So there's more diet details than you ever cared to know. Don't criticize me for spending so much time blogging trivial facts - YOU'RE the one reading this ridiculously long post! :)
Weight gain - about 15 lbs, I think. I'm not used to it - every time I get on the scale at the gym I think it's broken. Then I see my reflection somewhere and realize it's actually being kind to me, cuz I look pretty thick.
Baby movements - not much. A few pokes that I am 97.8% sure were caused by baby B and/or C. Two nights ago I'm 99.2% sure I felt a series of hiccups.
I haven't done any baby prep in the house. I'm waiting until we find out the genders (on TUESDAY!!), then I'll be more serious about it. Maybe. Not really much I can do though. They're going to sleep in our room for the first while. So I need basinet(s) I guess. And diapers. Isn't everything else just a luxury? One luxury I reallyreally want is one of those sound machines. I already have a womb-bear, but it needs repair I think. I'll need a stroller eventually, and highchairs or boosters... and life would just be complete if I had Bumbos... but that's all wayyyy in the future. Just taking things one day at the time. And I'm rambling. I can blame my tendency to ramble on pregnancy, right?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Silly girl

You probably can't make out what this picture is:

Brianna is in the street with her blanket over her head. If you were there when she did this, you would've also heard her saying, "where's BRIANNA?! Where's BRIANNA mommy?!" Then she pulled it down and yells, "HERE I AM!"
I snapped a pic with my phone so I could remember to blog about this - because it's just one example of how wonderfully silly she has been lately. Here's another:

She's laying on our driveway (in her jammies, because she insists on staying in them), saying "lay down too mommy!"
She's becoming such a ham. It's very entertaining for me.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I don't talk politics very often - in blogworld, nor realworld. I just see very little point in wasting my breath, especially living where I do - the reddest state in the nation, right? I read up on issues occasionally. I vote. That's about as into it as I get. Mom-life is a little too busy to do more. But I want to share this picture Brian texted me that he took at a local auto body shop:

You probably can't read the small writing, but it's pretty funny. And totally disrespectful towards our Commander-in-Chief, absolutely. But I'm not about to defend a man who has deleted the majority of his pre-election promises from his campaign websites because he failed to follow through with them. The list is disgustingly long.
Remember last summer when our busybusy President took the time to do a partisan stunt on Comedy Central? He must have gotten bored with spending all our money and taking his family on expensive trips.
Or how about his proposed new car standards that will end up killing an estimated 4,000 Americans every year... but why would he care about that, when he's ok with that many abortions being performed DAILY across the nation.
And then there's his flipflopping views on genocide: "Preventing a potential genocide in Iraq isn’t a good enough reason to keep U.S. forces there" - Obama on campaign trail. But later...."The international community has an obligation, even when it’s inconvenient, to act when genocide is occurring" - Obama now, wanting applause from the audience of the moment. Too bad he doesn't feel that way about the silent American genocide (ie, abortion).
The most ridiculous part is how often someone who doesn't like Obama is accused of being racist. Only if that person is white, of course...because you couldn't possible dislike an African American solely based on their poor choices and lack of integrity.
To be fair - every president does stupid things, flipflops, fails on campaign promises... maybe it just annoys me that this one spends one minute signing tobacco legislation and the next minute lighting up...
Maybe Hillary would've been better?!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Not to be confused with Fannie Mae

I subscribe to a couple money-saving website/blogs. They let me know about good deals going on in internet-shopping world. Most of the time I scan through the page quickly then delete it, because I really don't care about the code to get 40% off at Banana (short for Banana Republic, according to the ultra-vogue) or earn a $50 off $500000 purchase at Anthro (perhaps some people are so busy shopping that they just can't spare the time to say the store's full name?)
These "deal" sites (ie, Hip2Save, PYP, ForTheMommas, Freebies4Mom - there are seriously thousands of sites like these) also do a lot of coupon scenarios, which I don't follow since I eschew the whole subscribe-to-six-sunday-papers game and don't want 10 boxes of betty crocker crap, even if they end up being 4 cents each.
BUT -the reason I continue subscribing and scanning through these emails (or are they called RSS feeds? I'm embarrassed I don't really know what that means) is because they often have some deals and freebies that just totally make my day. I get all kinds of fun stuff in my mailbox every week. But THIS freebie blew me away:
By filling out a little birthday calendar on the 1800flowers website, I got a $40 "fresh rewards" pass that could be used at all the companies under the 1800flowers umbrella - which included Fannie May! I waited until they had a free shipping promo going on, then placed my order. As tempting as it was to buy myself $40 worth of gourmet chocolates... I got two fabulous large tins of their dried fruit & nut mix. Seriously - best stuff ever. Brianna dove right in. It was amazing to me how gross my can of Krogers mixed nuts tasted after eating Fannie's mixed nuts. Quality makes such a difference. No cheap peanuts/raisins in this mix - we're talking roasted walnuts, cashews, almonds, dried blueberries, cherries, cranberries...... huge party in my mouth.
Of course I can't continue to live and snack in luxury, since just the container this treat arrived in probably cost more than twice the quantity of the generic version of the actual food inside.
But we enjoyed our moment of opulence.
Though Brianna's favorite part might have been the opening of the box:
Giving a 2yo control of the scissors makes me a responsible parent, right?
Brian was a bit alarmed when I told him a large package arrived for us from Fannie May - "is something wrong with our mortgage?!" Ha. Kinda ridiculous though that the two very different companies have the same name.

aNyWaYs....back to peanuts.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hoping for froggy dreams

I'm having a serious DREAM problem. The past few nights have been horrible - I wake up with my heart POUNDING and I can't go back to sleep for hours, if I do at all. Last night it was about Brianna getting abducted at a mall by the creepiest guy, and it was so real, I was almost crying when I woke up. I went into her room just to confirm she was fine. I hate this! I've been praying everyday for the dreams to go away. I try to think happy thoughts. But the same scary images come back so vividly. I don't know what to do.

Related note: when Brian left thus morning, I stayed in bed. I was exhausted after such a horrid night. I asked him to get Brianna eating breakfast and playing with Legos, or whatever.
About 20 minutes after he was gone, I suddenly hear the Leap Frog theme song coming from the back bedroom. We don't have TV service, just a DVD/VCR player attached to a 25 yr old television. I got up to investigate, since of course Brianna couldn't have put a movie on by herself. But I walked in and there she was, sitting in front of the tube singing along to LeapFrog's catchy "the A says AH, the B says Buh, the C says..." I asked her how the movie got started. She looked at me and said, "I pessed the ty-angle mommy!" I guess she had seen me "press the triangle" to start her movies enough times that she figured it out! It was one of those wow, my kid can do and say that?! moments.

Maybe I'll watch this cheesy video all day and hope I dream about it instead.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

We dog-sat

...but when Brian got home from work, I told him that we had been given a dog by someone on who was giving theirs away last minute, along with all the gear. Brian was skeptical at first - "that dog looks just like the Gardner's dog." I replied (NOT keeping a straight face at all) "Yeah, crazy huh! Same kind of brown Lab!" He asked the dog's name. I wasn't ready for that one. I stuttered....ummm, HENRY. Brian said, "but you just said it was a girl?" And again, with my fantastic lying skills, I replied, "yeah, kinda crazy - they were weird to name a female dog Henry." But Brian still believed me! I seriously love my sweet gullible trusting husband!
I admit I felt pretty bad when he was so happy seeing "our new dog:"And then I had to tell him to show me how happy he was that we'd have to give her back to the Gardners in a few days:
Fortunately, he wasn't mad at me. Perhaps just felt a little silly for believing me so easily.... especially when I reminded him that I had told him a few weeks ago we'd be dog-sitting in March.
Dakota was a fun addition to our home for a few days. She slept in this crate, but spent all day in our backyard running around. Brianna and I attempted to take her on walks, but she's still a puppy so it was a little crazy. I doubt we'll ever own a dog - not until our kids are older and can do all the dog-care themselves. And then there's the on-going debate Brian and I have about whether to buy a purebred or adopt one from a shelter (I won't get onto my soapbox about that).
So I guess Brian will just have to get his dog-fix from our friends and neighbors. Seeing him wrestle around with this big puppy was cute.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The most thoughtful Nonny EVER

What would YOU do if you heard that my little city was finally getting an aquatic center? Would you send me a box full of supplies to help my daughter and I to enjoy it?

Good thing I have an amazingly generous, thoughtful, and creative mom! Check this out:Kickboard, Tinkerbell swimsuit with ruffle-bum skirt, straw-sippy cup, swim shampoo, comb, water shoes, sandals (size 6 - she's growing!), $$$ for the membership fee, swimsuit cover-up/dress (size 4T - we have a tall girl!), SPF 50 spray sunscreen, goggles...I asked her to try the suit & coverup on and she wiggled out of her clothes faster than I've ever seen her before. She loved wearing the Tinkerbell suit (though was confused when I mentioned Tinkerbell - I'll have to get the Peter Pan movie so she recognizes the character on her suit) and the pink dress looked so comfy and princess-ish on her. In the bottom right photo she's trying on her new watershoes, and in the top left she's getting her goggles on. It was a bit of a struggle for her to figure them out. This was her first attempt:When we actually opened the package she got the idea. Then she tried on the headband-bow that her Nonny (or aunt Meredith??) added in:I don't think headband-bows work well for toddlers with a full head of hair - it gets all bunched up. Or maybe I just need to tie her hair back. Either way, she loved it and said, "I so pretty!"
She also loved her new socks that were added in the box - obviously, not for swimming - but very much needed, with how often she takes her shoes off and runs around in socks-only! They even have the days of the week on them. Totally educational.
I didn't even tell my mom I needed any of this... nor did I tell her that I don't have a swim suit that will fit me for the summer months... but just last night, Meredith called me from Target because she had been sent out to find a maternity suit for me!
Kinda plain and boring, I know... but I figure that I won't want to draw any more attention to myself than my gigantic belly will do on it's own.
This is the best part... so, immediately when the box arrived I called my mom so she could be on the phone as Brianna and I were opening it. I knew she had put a LOT of thought, effort and $$$ into sending this (she had been talking to me everyday for over a week about her big surprise coming in the mail) so I wanted her to feel involved as we opened everything up. About halfway through this thrilling event, I told her to hold on so I could blow in my camera. I wanted to get some pictures of Brianna having fun opening the box and seeing her new treasures. But my camera is totally jacked up - the battery pops out randomly, the SD card slot has to be blown in several times or it won't read, the lens is always blurry or smudged... hence the fabulous photography you've seen from me the past few months/years. I'm no good at photography anyway, and a junky camera doesn't help. But I won't go buy a new one - it's not on my necessity list. And right now, the family budget may go in the red if I leave the strait & narrow necessity list.
You can't even imagine my shock and delight when, as I was blowing in my camera, my mom laughed and told me to keep looking through the box. Because this is what she had put at the bottom:YAYAYYAAAYAYYAYYAAAYaaayYYYAYAAAaaa! I can take normal pictures now and not spend 5 minutes hitting and cursing my junky old camera! My mom used her yearly Costco reward gift certificate for me. And it means the world. Not just that she gave me all these awesome material goods, but that she was so thoughtful. Gifts that take a lot of time and effort are the most meaningful to me. I told her this counts for the next several birthdays.
I really hope Brianna has children someday so I can have my chance to to pay this forward to my future grandkids. Brianna totally understands these gifts were from Nonny, and now associates Nonny with swimming - "I go swim with Nonny! I go see Nonny!" Yeah, I want to too!

Friday, March 12, 2010


Check out that bruiser under her eye. Poor kid. That's the hazards of playgroup... you never know when some 3 year old bully is going to lash out at your child with a sharp toy. That bully is lucky he's still alive - I was ready to send him to an eternal timeout. But I didn't wanna start something with his mom. Though I totally could've taken her too.
So now my widdle pwincess has an owie. I kissed it profusely, but it still took a long time to heal. In the meantime, I had to deal with many questioning eyes and suspicious inquiries. What, do I look like a child abuser?! Fine, maybe at certain points of the day when I'm makeup-less, wearing old running shirts, postworkout, rat's nest hair... and I'll be honest, when I've been outandabout and spotted a child looking like he's had a beating, often my first thought is that - he's had a beating. I glance the parent(s) up and down and consider calling DCFS. Kidding, but does anyone else kindasorta think that way too sometimes? OR - do YOU also know what I mean about feeling like you get interrogated about every minor injury your child incurs?!
Maybe I'll keep her bubble-wrapped all day long. Then her scratchless body will attest to my perfect parenting.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Our stake champion

Apparently church ball is a big deal around here. A really ridiculously big deal.
After Brian's team won the stake championship tournament, you'd think they had done something of eternal consequence.
Though Brian actually might have, since all the trash talking and faking fouls put him in need of repentance.
But Brianna and I were glad to go support him doing something he really enjoys: Though as you can see from the bottom 3 photos, Brianna was definitely enjoying her snacks more than the game. The center-right photo shows her taking a short break from munching on her homemade fruit leather to attempt to give her daddy a high-five. Though Brian kindof ignored her, which shows just how obsessively into the game he was.
Center-left photo shows Brianna getting all stealth, trying to put the moves on little Mason. Or maybe just trying to steal his banana.
Top-left photo: Brian making his foul shots, which after the game he informed me were totally "clutch." Please tell me someone else also has NO idea what that bball term means?!
Top-right: our superstar, number 23, in victory pose after their nail-biting 2 point win.

Brian got to keep their trophy (yes, they actually got a trophy) for 3 days at our house. It's on rotation now among the players. Next time that thing comes to our house, I'm really going to put my foot down when he tries to bring it in bed with us again.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


You'd be tempted to feel sorry for her with that sad little face. But if you saw her crazy behavior during church services, you would agree she deserved this timeout!
I have no idea what to do. We bring a bag full of toys/games/snacks... and it lasts maybe 20-30 minutes, if we're lucky. So what happens for the remainder of the 70 minute service? Craziness. She's crawling over the pews, under the pews, constantly attempting escape, shouting AMEN along with the speaker (testimony meeting can get pretty funny), stealing toys from nearby kids, rearranging hymn books...
The worst was about a month ago, when she successfully escaped and made it all the way to the front - like up the stairs, behind the speaker, behind the organ... we just sat there, totally frozen - wondering if it was more distracting to wait for her to come down herself, or to send Brian up to retrieve her. Then a well-meaning but inconsiderate lady in the ward decided she would "help" us and go up there to get Brianna. So of course Brianna just screamed (laughing scream) and ran away from her. By this point I had told Brian that Brianna was his, and I'd be out in the hall waiting to inflict punishment on the wayward toddler. Truth is, I was just beyond embarrassed and couldn't stand to watch anymore. I'm not sure how they got her down and out, but when she was finally handed to me she got the longest timeout of her life. After church, I had a couple dozen (not joking) people come up to me and thank us for the entertainment. They said Brianna's antics were the best part of the meeting. It was somewhat comforting, but I'd still rather have her just sit on my lap reading a book for 70 minutes. Is that too much to ask?! Or maybe they should start having nursery during sacrament meeting too. Brianna would actually love a full 3 hour nursery (not being sarcastic - she absolutely loves nursery and has never had any problems during it).
In Brianna's defense, church is at the worst time possible - right during her usual nap. So she's totally wired-tired.
I felt better the next week when another little two year old ran up there and did a little piano solo before his furious parents retrieved him. At least we're not alone.
What do/did YOU do with your two year old during church meetings??

Monday, March 8, 2010

What NOT to do

Occasionally I'm asked advice about various topics that I should have some knowledge about - Public Health, distance running, baby & toddler issues... but most of the time, I can only feel comfortable telling what I've learned does not work.
Brianna has been pretty solid with potty training for the last few months - especially the last few weeks. She only has a diaper at night because she's still in a crib (and I refuse to change that - but that's another topic for another post). But I could never tell anyone else how to do it, because we had no real method or system or anything resembling normalcy. I could tell someone NOT to do this:The mini-potty. Ugh. It's such a mess to clean up and gross to empty out. It gets smelly if I don't Lysol it regularly. Just one more unpleasant chore I could've saved myself from by planning better. I should've bought an attachment for the regular toilet and a step stool so she could climb up solo. But now she likes her little potty and only wants to use it when we're at home. I have no idea how long this will continue, but I'm tempted to resort to using treats to get her to ditch the mini-potty, as I also resorted to with potty training several months ago. I always promised myself I wouldn't use food rewards for anything. Now she expects it everytime. Add that to my list of what not to do.
Maybe I'll do better with our second (and third) chance. Just 19 weeks left! (I hope!)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Name That Food, season VI

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It's one of her favorite snacks to bring to church because the other kids don't want to steal it!

If you are unfamiliar with this game, please see previous seasons of NTF

Friday, March 5, 2010

"Ants on a Log"

You've all heard of it, right?
This was one of my most favorite snacks as a kid, so I thought I'd try it out on Brianna when her friend Emily came over to play.
Brianna's not a peanut butter fan at all, but she does eat celery and raisins, so I thought giving the whole concoction a cute name would get her to eat it (along with seeing her friend Emily try it - peer pressure can be very helpful). It worked - she liked it! Though, in the second picture, I think she's a little confused at Emily, who just licks the PB and raisins off, and wouldn't eat the apple skins. Brianna started copying, but I nipped that one fast. I don't wanna deal with weird eating habits from my kid - I have enough of my own. Smarty pants Emily does teach Brianna some good habits though - she was counting the "ants," telling me what color everything is, speaking in full correct sentences, and jumping with both feet off the ground! She's just 6 months older than Brianna - it's amazing what a difference those 6 months make! I'm hoping in these next 6 months Brianna will make a lot of progress in every area and we can squeeze in as much QT as possible - because then her two siblings arrive, and I will literally have my arms full!
Here's another picture of them having fun together:

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Essential water skills

Brian decided it was about time Brianna learned to blow bubbles in the water. I've tried to teach her when we go swimming, but we don't get to go that often (hopefully that will change when the Cedar City Aquatic Center opens in May - less than 2 miles from our house!) and she usually just blows on top of the water, or puts her mouth under but inhales water instead of blowing out.
So my brave husband leaned over the tub and blew into the water each bathtime for several days. I thought it was a little gross - that water has soap/shampoo residue and who-knows-what-else in it. But it worked! Brianna loves blowing bubbles with her daddy now.

She also has learned to lay on her back - which hopefully will translate to floating.

ps - do you like my photo editing to keep her modest? I decided since she's two now that I will end the naked-photo-posting... ya know, since she might be President someday, and these could come back to embarrass her.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

a suuunBEAM

Brian and I got to sub teach for a primary class for the past couple weeks. Not the sunbeams - one year above that (thank goodness! Sunbeams scare me). I was kinda dreading it, because I've never done this and had no idea what to expect.
But - I LOVED IT! These kids were so great - they loved the stories I told them, they answered questions amazingly well, they worked so hard on the art/craft projects we did.... and it was much less prep work and pressure than teaching RS, as I do on the 2nd Sunday of every other month (weird calling, I know. But I also am the pianist, so I feel a little more useful). Ultimately, I still think I prefer to be in RS than Primary. But this was really good for me - I vow to do a better job at thanking Brianna's nursery leaders and primary teachers in the future.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Feeding the fishies

It makes me happy to see her so happy over simple things:We fishsat for our friends (the Brady's) last week.

Monday, March 1, 2010


Here are a few phrases Brianna has been using lately (I'll type them out in correct English, simply because it's faster than trying to type them out as she pronounces):

-"Oh my WORD!"
-"Where's my blanket? I love it!"
-"I have two babies in MY tummy!"
-"I don't knoooooww"
-"I have owie - KISS IT!"
-"Where's my toothpaste?"
-"I brush by self!"
-"I not poopy, I peepee"
-"I want to call Nonny/Papa/Meredith/Daddy" (in that exact order, usually).
-"Watch me dancing!"
-"I want honey bread"
-"I went potty. I need treats."
-"What is that? What is that? What is that? What is that?"
-"Where ___ go? Where ___ go? Where ___ go?"
-"I so cute"
-"I like this song"
-"No singing mommy! Daddy sing"
-"No dancing mommy!" (it's a good thing I'm thick-skinned or she might have hurt my feelings by now)
-"I go get mail!"
-"I want to go SHOPPING"
-"I see pictures Brianna?"
-"I sleep mommy's bed?"
-"I choose cereal"
-"I blinking! I yawning. I kick! I stretch. I stomping!" (some variation of this, with randoms actions thrown in)
-"Phone ringing! I get it!"
-"DADDY! Come GET me!" (her 7am morning shout)
-"Stop - I need to shake this" (as she grabs a stop sign post near our house while we're on walks. She grabs the post, shakes it, and continues walking).
-"SEE? I sharing!"
-"Amy my friend. Sienna my friend. Shaylee my friend. Maya my friend. Parker my friend..." (and continues to list all her friends)
-"I go see Tom neighbor" (he always gives her animal crackers).
-"I go airplane see Nonny and Papa"
-"I feed fish!"
-"No sit carseat!!!!"
-"I slipped fell down owie"
-"I love you. You love me. We happy family. Great big hug, kiss me you. Won't you say love me toooooo"
-"Take me to different park"
-"I watch different Elmo movie"
-"No treadmill mommy!"
-"I had nice nap"
-"Daddy at work. I go see Daddy office?"
-"I got new car!"
-"I making mess."
-"I sorry mommy. I sorry mommy. I SORRY MOMMY" (she continues, escalating severely, until I say "I forgive you" and hug her. It's very tough to do when I'm really upset with her).
-"Last name McKell"
-"I four"
-"It's MY birthday" (whenever she hears anyone saying it's someone else's birthday).
-"Thank you Daddy. Thank you Mommy. Thank you ___. Thank you____." (she thanks everyone in the room and will continue thanking them until she receives a firm "you're welcome" response).
-"Mommy, I really appreciate all that you do and how much you sacrifice for my well-being. I am forever in your debt and will show my gratitude by living a virtuous and productive life." (Seriously, she says this ALL the time.)