Saturday, January 29, 2011


I just uploaded a bunch of short clips to youtube. I won't clog up my blog by putting them on here too (especially since they obviously can't be added to the blog books I print from Blurb - but wouldn't that be cool - a VIDEO blog book?!! Someday, I bet!)
But here are the links to them:  Brianna spits water from bathtub on Courtney. Courtney laughs. Brianna spits more water. Courtney laughs harder. Brianna laughs. I laugh. YOU will laugh. Similiar to the first. But slightly different. And as I've said before, I have that typical mom problem called I-can't-choose-just-one-so-I-post-several-of-the-same-but-slightly-different. My three children sharing their very first bath all together. So cute. They'll cherish this someday. Or be absolutely disgusted and embarrassed about it. I'm playing peekaboo with the babies and Brianna gets upset with me, "NO, you not say peekabo, I say peekaboo! Peekabo!" Courtney laughing. Watching this makes my heart melt and gives me the overwhelming urge to attack her with kisses. Brianna beating on Bennett. Kindof like a drum. So sweet. Brian's typical lunch break. He won't sit down. He just stands and scarfs down food, while holding a baby if needed. Brianna's in the background YELLING her request to hold a baby. Over and over. I hear this a lot. All day. Aren't you jealous?! Brianna fingerpainting with her paints from Nonny (thanks mom!)  The little squirrel refuses to look up and smile at me when I ask her to. But then I tell her to show me her ANGRY EYES (like from Toy Story 3) and she finally gives me a half-glance and smile.  Shortest clip ever - just a few seconds - but shows a frequent occurance here: Brianna holds baby, baby cries, Brianna laughs at crying baby.   Tender.

That's all for today, folks.  But don't worry - there will be MORE soon! So very much MORE! Why?  Because I got a FLIP!  Well, not a real one. It's a knockoff brand from Dell - Creative, I think it's called. But I think it's basically the same thing, just poorer resolution maybe. I actually gave it to Meredith a year ago for Christmas as a very generous gift. Then reminded her for months to get it out and start using it. Finally I found it in her room - unused - when I was there a few weeks ago. I asked if I could borrow it. She said yes. Mine now. Lesson learned - if I give you a present and you don't like/appreciate/use it, I will kindly take it back and use if for myself. There.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Last bath

One of the fun things about having twins is making them share things that normally wouldn't be shared, and get squished in awkward positions together.  Sadly (for me, probably the opposite for them), this was their last duo bath in the infant tub:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Changes on the homefront.

- We talked Brianna into moving bedrooms. We made it sound like the most exciting thing in the world, and she bought it. It's so weird having her in a different room, but it was a necessary change. I feel like she's such a big girl now - she can reach all the light switches, do the whole bathroom routine by herself, and be reallyreally mischevious.
- Brian set up two cribs in Brianna's old room. The babies nap in there during the day, so I'm able to access my own room now. They're still mostly with us at night though. I like keeping them close.
- The babies now use bath seats that allow them to sit upright, not lay back. They're getting more sturdy with their sitting-up attempts. Bath time is a real circus around here, because Brianna insists on being a part of every second of it.
- They've started bringing toys to their mouths. Oral fixation.... so weird. Can you imagine seeing something new and thinking, "hmmmm, what's this? I'll just stick it in my mouth to figure it out...." 
- Both roll around a lot - proficiently and deliberatly. Courtney does full 360s sometimes. It's somewhat entertaining... but mostly disturbing. Mobility progress is no bueno. 
- I took them out to visit their Dad at work and bring him a breakfast sub. Brian's jaw dropped to see me venture out of the house without urgent cause.
- I keep getting the feeling we're going to move soon. Like Spring. Maybe it's all in my head. Hopefully.    I mean, Brian wants and deserves a promotion, which necesitates moving North.... but the thought of packing everything and everyone up is petrifying. Still.... I'm de-junking the house, saving big boxes, and figuring out housing logistics in case this is a real premonition.  
- Brian and I made plans for a date. A real one. By ourselves. Out of the house. Will we be able to just forget about the babies and enjoy ourselves? Idunno.
- Babes are wearing some of their 6-9 month clothing... which leaves me with loads of 0-6 month clothes they never even tried on. What to do with it all??
- Courtney likes to stick out her tongue and spit. I love my camel baby.
- Both babies are showing all the signs of readiness for solid foods... like making suicidal dive-bombs towards whatever I'm eating. I let them have a tiny taste of banana. Their eyes lit up like the 4th of Juy. I brought the highchair in from the garage and cleaned it up. Official first feeding will be soon - as close to their 6-month date as I can stand to wait.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Brianna and HannahHeidi

My friend Amy came to visit with her girls. They used to live here in Cedar and we loved to get together for playdates and stroller walks. Sadly they moved to Kansas. I know - KANSAS. Might as well be another planet.
But Amy has relatives near here, so we got to see them in December.
Are her girls not the most flippin adorable identical twins you've ever seen!?
I don't think Brianna can tell them apart, because she calls them both HannahHeidi and asks, "Can HannahHeidi come over and play?"

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tonin' Uptown, Tonin' Downtown, & Dance Your Pants Off

"Bennett, buddy, we need to talk about those double chins and thunder thighs of yours..."


Monday, January 24, 2011

Poor Bennett

I'm grateful he's a very tolerant little brother.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I suffer from that condition so many other mothers are afflicted with... called I-can't-just-choose-one-picture-of-my-kid-so-I-post-a-bunch-that-are-basically-the-same-but-slightly-different.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

From Brianna's mouth lately...

"Bennett you are a toy, you can't fly."
"Book Of Roman Stories dat my teechur tells to me, all about the lahminites from anchin hisereee....
"It's importnit to ME"
"I gotta look at my instruh-shuns"  [said very seriously while dumping out a board game - Stratego].
"Daddy, you play the drums, I play the microphone, mommy plays the instrument!
[to her sippy cup]  "You're not a girl, you're a sippy cup!"
"Oh Courtney, my boooodiful daughter."
"Daddy's not a boy. He not a girl.  He's a sock."
"I had cereal in my eye and I cwied all night long!"
"Bennett you're my little daughter too."
"I need to do my work so I get a popsicle."  [as she's drowning a window with a spray bottle]
"This can get real serious, I gotta go potty."
"Brianna needs more tension" [I think she meant attention, and must've overheard me tell someone this]
"Bennett you gotta move it move it!"

Monday, January 17, 2011

i LIED! More Christmas!

 And I have to blog it all right? Or it might as well NOT HAVE EVEN HAPPENED.
So when we got to Spokane Christmas Day evening, we should've been exhausted. The babies had done their usual all nighter party, then we had our early morning Christmas, then the crazy packing, cleaning, 3 hrs driving, Spanish Fork McKell get together, another hour of driving, airport security line fun, 90 minute flight, 40 min drive to the house....
But I was so excited to be there and see everyone! So we went right into Christmas mode.
I gave the gifts to Brianna, she passed them out to their recipients.
I'm laughing in the above picture because....
Kardon (Cougar's Dad, Lindsay's, umm, friend?)  is opening an unexpected gift "from Brian" that has written on the tag, "to my brozzle Kardon, with Love from Brian McKell." And it's a bottle of men's sensitive fash wash.  I don't know if Brian appreciated my humor, but I found the whole scene extremely entertaining.
As you can see from the his wild expression of joy, Dad was ecstatic about his new calendar. (THE REST OF YOU SMITHS BETTER BE LIKING IT MORE!)

I love this tradition. Dad puts his change in a big jar all year long, then at Christmas each kid gets to reach their hand in and see how much they can get in one grab. Brianna's total: $1.44 We'll have to start practicing for next year. And hope she doesn't inherit my small hands.

I think it's funny Brian caught this expression of mine. I'm pretty sure I'm saying to Brianna, "DO YOU HAVE TO GO POTTY?!" That was a frequent urgent question to our little pooper throughout the trip. Fortunately, I think she only had 2 accidents during the 15 days there. I had her in pullups just in case, because I know she does fine at home, but I wasn't sure how she'd do out of her element and in such a big house. She actually acheieved a new milestone there - she can now get up on to the toilet (pronounced twah-ley) by herself, no stepstool needed.

Every year mom gives us all a new Christmas book (religious, secular, classics, a good variety), with an envelope taped in the back and paper to write about our Christmas that year. I think this is the 9th year, so we've accumulated a nice library of Christmas books with memories written inside. Here she is reading the newest one to the group:
And now.... Christmas can end.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011

Last Christmas post, I promise.

Some people are good at keeping blog posts simple. A couple photos, a few words, done. Quality over quantity.
I'm not one of those people, obviously.
Here are a few more scenes from the morning of the 25th, taken from my new Canon 3500, the best point-and-shoot on the planet. I bought it and wrapped it up for Brian then took it away from him as soon as he got distracted with his other gifts.
Top left: B&Brianna opening an Amazon box that arrived via free 1-day shipping. I love Very much. Bottom left: Brian pretending to be excited about a Love&Logic book I got him. Top right: Brianna confusedly holding a NuttyGuys crate that was supposed to be for Brian's office but it arrived too late.

Top right: B and his new waffle/sandwich maker grill. Bottom left: Courtney opening her gifts. Brianna was very eager to help.
I put our new fam pics in frames and hid them under the couch for B to find via the hot-and-cold game (family tradition).

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fam pics

One afternoon in the beginning of December I was feeling overwhelmed with the thought of getting Christmas cards out. I really wanted to; giving and receiving cards from friends & family is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. But taking a current & good quality family photo seemed nearly impossible. Just getting through the day sometimes seems impossible. On an impulse I called Jenelle, a photographer in Enoch who did our babies' newborn photos. She was available the following afternoon. I booked it, hung up and thought - what did I do?! I started scrambling.. outfit decisions, location, poses.... then I quickly got sidetracked and ended up just throwing clothes on everyone last minute. I didn't do a great job. I need to be more prepared in the future. But Jenelle tried her best with us, and was very patient with my whining and continual lament of my post-babies figure, as well as the squirming and temperment of the chickens. Yes, I call them chickens sometimes. Anyways... here are a few of the results:

Look close at her mouth... there's a BUBBLE!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Brianna's first haircut

I guess technically it's not her first... there was that incident about 2 years ago (I forgave, but can't forget)...  we won't revisit that tradgedy. Spokane's finest cosmetologist gave Brianna her first real haircut. At nearly the age of 3, my little girl had never had the back of her hair touched by scissors. I had planned to let her hair just do whatever it naturally wanted to do - grow beautifully wild and long, curly/straight, whatever. But she had strands that were literally 3 inches longer than others. It was a little weird looking. So Meredith just evened it all out in the back straight across.
Brianna wasn't too fond of the whole experience... we eventually convinced her to sit on the salon chair by herself, without daddy holding her (notice his nice new cut too - it's great having Meredith in the family). But for Brianna to actually hold still, Lindsay had to sit by her and distract her with funny faces and fruit snacks. I'm glad we got this over with - now we can go another 3 years before the next trim!
Meredith also did my hair, but I didn't get any pictures (me and my double chin avoid the camera these days). It's shorter now than it's been in more than a decade. With long layers and highlights. Everyone loves it, but I feel like I don't even know the girl in the mirror. For some reason I always think of Hawaii when I think of my hair - maybe because that was my faovrite time with it. The humidity and salt water made me always look like I just spent all day at the beach. That sounds so nice right now... 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Jesus dinner

As I wrote about earlier on that ridiculously long "brief" Christmas recap that no one probably read in it's entirety but I don't care cuz this is my jouuuuuuurrnaaalll...(*big inhale from run-on sentence*) Our little family started our first Christmas tradition: a Christmas Eve "Jesus Dinner." Candle-lit, on the floor, featuring attempts at authentic Biblical-Bethlehem foods, followed by a reading of Luke 2. I didn't go into any heroics with the food efforts - just pita flatbread, honey, fish, grape juice, and figs. Next year I'll do my research and put more time into it. But this seemed to work well enough. Brianna had the sweetest little spirit about her, even while Brian was reading the Bible.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Popcorn air poppers.

First Brianna was SCARED of it.

Then she saw popcorn flying everywhere except for in the designated bowl.

Then she decided this is FUN!