Sunday, July 31, 2011

Stair Mastering

One sporting a diaper, the other a camo onesie... we're not redneck at all...
One of the problems with living in a single-level condo on an upper floor of a large complex is that my poor babies haven't had much opportunity to practice on stairs. They have no problem with ascension - they LOVE racing up those stairs - but discension... not pretty. It would be funny watching them attempt to just walk or scoot down, except that I'm scared to death they'll go tumbling.

Horrible people let their children eat hotdogs.

I know, a little strong.    Just trying to get your attention.
This post is actually more about mommy-guilt. The never-ending, ever-increasing, mommy guilt.
I just stumbled across this video, called Meat Smoothie. Yes, Meat Smoothie. I was reminded why I feel so pukey every time I find ourselves at some social event where it's awkward not to let Brianna have one of those nasty generic abominations. So she indulges and my mommy-guilt level goes up.
 And of course Brian indulges (times 5 or 6), and I just schedule him a colonoscopy. A little too late for him.... but my children! I have a mandate to care for them the best I can! And I can do better than generic hot dogs. But so often, I don't. So often, Brianna gets "hot dog care" - basically, sub-optimal parenting. Too much TV/movies, too little quality time. Too much impatience from me and not enough empathy for her 3 yr old struggles.  Too much "I'll be there in a minute" and too little dropping-everything for her. I need to give her more than hot dogs.         Smart Dogs, anyone?!

It seems like, as Bennett and Courtney get older, they're getting more hot dog care. It won't be too long before they actually are offered and end up consuming one of those nasty abominations. It was so easy when they were infants to feel like I was doing a great job - I knew they were getting perfect nutrition, lots of cuddly time, a happy safe environment... what else did they need?! But now they have bruises on their foreheads because I didn't protect them from falling. They see cartoons big sister is watching that the AAP say will rot their brains. They eat food off the floor. They eat non-food off the floor.

And my sodium-nitrite-filled mommy-guilt continues.  

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Fwd: testing

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: chelsea mckell <>
Date: Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 8:44 PM
Subject: testing

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pedicure, not "pedi"

I treated my favorite ladies to some toe pampering when they were here in April. Partly in an effort to repudiate my reputation of being cheap (I'm frugal, not cheap, and almost a spendthrift when it comes to family gifts) and partly because I wanted an excuse to have my own extremely neglected toes prettyfied. So off we walked to the SpaNails.
Lovely ladies getting their lovely feet pampered by lovely.... Asians....  Seriously, call me racist, but  I want to find a salon that has non-Asian pedicurists. Or at least ones that don't sit there yapping away a million mph in their foreign tongue, likely talkin' smack about us. I don't have a ton of experience, but the whole 3 pedicures I've had in my life have all been just that awkward. 
This is what happens when I tell the girls to LOOK AT ME for a picture.  Hmph.   But aren't those kid-spa seats just s'darn cute?!
Drying our nails, and discussing how the only great part about this whole experience was just spending time together. Cuz the pedicures sucked. 
In typical Meredith-style, she just grabbed a bottle of polish and started doing Brianna's toes. As you can see from Brianna's expression, she's a little critical of Meredith's cosmetology skills. 
Lovelovelove these sistas!
and these toes!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I'm not trying to sell anything to you.

What the heck - I just noticed on my last two posts that there are red highlighted words linking to outside pages.
I didn't do that!! Why is blogger being so mean... and trying to make me look like a MLMer....

Monday, July 25, 2011

Church ~ why do I bother?!

It's kindof cliche - all the mothers wandering the halls with their young'uns say it - "why do I even bother coming...."Because at moment, it seems so pointless. We're not hearing the speakers. Our kids aren't getting anything out of it (besides lots of snacks). We distract others who COULD be actually learning/worshipping as we're supposed to do on the Sabbath. I DO pack snacks/books/toys... they're just not as exciting as running around the pews, obviously. Actually - chairs, not pews. Oh how I'd love to sit on the softer pews again. But nope - we have to be in the back on the hard chairs. Even if we were actually on time and found a spot on the soft pews, we've learned from experience that we just make more of scene sitting nearer the front, as there's more of an audience behind us.
We end up sitting out in the foyer. Or sometimes it's worse and we go find a nearby classroom that has a speaker connected to the chapel. Then we can close the door and just let the kids sit wander the room while we listen.

So why go?! For appearances? Showing-up points? An excuse to put on makeup and try to look decent? A little religious educational time at Nursery for Brianna? I don't know.
We go - every week, never missed since the babies were 2 weeks old - because we know that's where we're supposed to be. It will get easier someday, and we'll have the right habits.

On a semi-related note...

Riding an elevator to get to our garage. Weeeeiiirrrddd.

With the 4th of July and the 24th of July (Pioneer Day - even bigger than the 4th around here), there was an abudance of patriotic-dressed children at church. Of course, I didn't wanna be seen as a communist, so I had to join in. I just hope I didn't cross the line into the obnoxious category. Because some people not only crossed the line, but blew up into annoying combinations of red, white, and blue star vomit.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sista time

They're coming to visit this weekend! SO EXCITED!We've got wild plans - a 5K, yard/estate sale shopping, SLC Gateway splashing, naptime, a birthday party for Lils and Thing 1&2 (obviously just an excuse to make fun cupcakes), church with Grandma, and vtech video games.
I told Mere this was our first visit in YEARS without Mom and Dad around.

So, obviously, we must take advantage of that and throw a wild party! BYOBlankie!
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Not babies anymore?!

They both climbed up the slide and went down by themselves. Over and over. And didn't want my help. It kindasorta hurt my feelings.

Monday, July 18, 2011

No such thing as overprotective.

It seems like there's so many child injury/death stories on the news. I don't know if hearing about these is GOOD for me, to give me a healthy sense of caution in potentially dangerous situations (like breathing), or if it's bad because I live in semi-paranoid fear of something awful happening to my precious munchkins. Our pediatrician in Vernal told me something I'll never forget: there's no such thing as an overprotective parent. And that the best child-proofing tool is a watchful parent's never wavering eyes. I tend to be a little more lax than most parents, I think. I'm not much of a germophobe. And I tend to let my children run around with scissors and climb on glass tabletops while eating uncut grapes and popcorn pieces near open flames. So it's probably better I hear the evening news on tv.
There's been like 9 child drowning deaths in Utah this year so far. So tragic. I can't even imagine the pain those families are going through. And several of the stories involved parents just being too inattentive near water. And while I like to think I'd never be that careless... I know it could happen to anyone. It takes just moments of distraction. Just the thought of it

Even being at one of our favorite park locations, near a canal fully fenced off, puts me in a state of complete tension. Every time we go here and the kids want to throw leaves in the water, I make a mental plan of what to do if they fall in (even though it's pretty implausible). I picture myself hurling my body over this fence and swimming to my childrens' rescue then performing child CPR (certification expired last February).
Please never ever happen to us.
I think I'll go put them in bubble wrap now, with floatation devices attached.
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Sunday, July 17, 2011


I can go around our house pointing at pieces of furniture and say who passed it down to us or how I otherwise acquired it free or super inexpensive. Lots from my parents, Brian's parents, a little from Grandma, Lindsay, a couple sweet yard sale finds.... with only the exception of our couch (which I adore and was worth every Big Lots penny), everything is well-loved. And I'm totally ok with that. I mean, I drool over cute/smart IKEA stuff like anyone else... but when it comes down to it, I just can't bring myself to spend bucks on impractical things like bed headboards and pretty patio sets.  Or even new dressers.
Especially since buying used dressers makes me feel like we can get away with fun little projects like this:

Brianna LOVED using the drill to unscrew the handles from this $2 dresser. And she thought making yellow paint footprints on it was great.

The babies enjoyed hanging out in the garage, catching some needed Vitamin D (this was in February).   At the end of this life, if I get a chance to ask The Man In Charge some questions, I'm going to inquire about the lack of Vitamin D in breastmilk. WHY?!

The project would've ended perfectly, except that for some reason she had a meltdown realizing that her hands were MESSY.    Yeah, crazy how that happens with painting handprints (duh!)... you'd think if she cared so much, she wouldn't have even started....  Silly temperamental 3 year olds!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Little Princess ---or--- The Latest of My Winnings

Is there a certain word or phrase that really catches your attention?                        

Like "FREE! or       "Refreshments will be served" or      "Gay midgets performing."

 For me, it's "ENTER TO WIN!"
I really like entering to win contests.
I like prizes.
They make me happy.

These photos are from a mini-photo-shoot I won off a photographer's contest. She's a friend-of-a-friend here in Bountiful.

I was given a 20 minute shoot for one person, with a CD of 8 images.
Although it was tempting to take it all for myself and have Cassie Kerr take pictures of my round face...
[unfunny sarcasm]

I couldn't resist the opportunity to take advantage of the whimsical parade float we pass everyday. Brianna always begs to play on it. So we dressed her up (as much as I could justify - I would've loved to be more creative with her hair, but it's just another thing I can't bring myself to do when I'm like 2 weeks behind on laundry).
And had a great time!
Cassie Kerr did very well. Check out her site.
Brianna was beside herself in Princessy bliss.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

Nickel Auction and Vegenaise

Sometimes I feel like I'm a little odd.
Like I don't do things others in my demographic do, or I don't do it like they do... like my hobbies and the way I spend my time and the things I buy/do/ignore/compete for/say/believe are a tad odd.
Like I'm just quirky.

And posts like this don't help that at all.

Last Friday I got together with 30 of my BFFs in Bountiful and passed out jars of Vegenaise and Vegenaise branded spatulas I got shipped to me for being a Mom Ambassador, while we all had fun auctioning off our unwanted household stuff for nickels.

No big deal. Typical night around here.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Extra, extra!... Must've been a slow news day....

Last month we got a few moments of fame.
Why us? One not one of the other bazillion women with twins?
Because I'm online way too much.

So, I received an email one random day from a reporter at the Deseret News asking if she could interview me about my thoughts on a recent study published about the connection between women's health and twins.
Me, being a sucker for an opportunity to share my thoughts on any given subject (a little narcissistic, but I really enjoy doing surveys and telling others what I think. I'm highly opinionated on just about everything). I found out later the reporter had emailed several mothers of twins (discovered off the Salt Lake Mothers of Twins blog), and because I responded first with my phone number, we got the opportunity to have a free photo shoot with their photo guy. He asked us to "just act natural. Do what you'd normally be doing." I laughed at him. Did he really want photos of my children half-dressed, me in my pajamas, frazzled, with fragments of the last few meals sticking to my clothes and a general scene of chaos in the living room?!.... right. So I asked the photographer to come as late in the evening as he could, and I went into turbo-cleaning mode. So by the time he came, everyone and everything was presentable. Cuz we wouldn't want the newspaper reporting the TRUTH about having twin babies!
The gist of the article is that healthier women give birth to twins. The U studied census data from the 18th and 19th century. Women who had given birth to twins lived longer than women who gave birth to singletons. I joked with the reporter that it's because surviving the chaos of twins makes women more resilient and able to handle any other trial thrown at them. But really, I think it probably comes down to something more obvious - that God only gives us trials that He knows we can handle. When I look at some of the things my friends have gone through, I think - I could NEVER handle that! Yet so often people see me juggling my 3 little ones, and hear about the 120 minutes of sleep I get every night, and tell me they could never do that. So it's all relative. But regardless of the University's study findings, the newspaper article was probably the most fun for my Grandma - she went out and bought several copies and mailed them out to people! That's not like her at all! So it was worth all our efforts dealing with the wild paparazzi.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Can you even imagine having this many babies all at once...
Scary! But at the same time... just more babies to love!
YAY FOR MULTIPLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   (see, I've even started to embrace the use of multiple exclamation marks!  MORE = BETTER!)

I think I forgot to post this picture like 10 months ago.
Just found it while searching for a different picture, and it made my heart melt. Little yellow burritos. So newborn-sleepy, they could crash immedatialy after a bath in the sink. {sigh} I miss this. Not enough to want to do it again anytime soon, but still... Ohmybabies. I just want to squeeze them.
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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My children have talent.

Since I don't have Biggest Loser to watch every week obsessively now, I'm having to fill the void with America's Got Talent. Not quite as addicting or entertaining, but there's a few acts that make me text my sisters to make sure they watch it too.
But really, who needs grumpy Piers and perverted Sharon to fill my home with their fake critiques when I know that the real talent in this world is found right within the BC McKell household.

I present to you....
  The contortionist Brianna, fitting her ENTIRE body - AND sidekick blanket - under a storage bin!

Mr. Bennett. effortlessly doing the splits.  IN HIS PENGIUN JAMMIES.
 I know.
I'm getting him an agent.

And last but not least, Ms. Courtney - able to finish any meal WITHOUT the use of utencils.

 Absolutely breathtaking.

They'll be signing autographs after bath time.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

11 min. for 11 mo.

I don't have a lot of opportunities with two free hands to type and no one crawling on me desperately trying to steal the laptop  (WHY do they like it so much?!?)  But they're all napping now - all 3 - so I'm going to see how much I can type in the next 11 minutes. I'll be lucky if I can get that much.
So - exactly one month til we have one year olds! Two of them! Twice the celebration. Though my attitude on the ridiculousness of 1st birthday parties with child sugar binging hasn't changed. But Brianna will have a 3.5 yr old freak-out if we don't do SOMETHING, so maybe a pool trip. And a billion pictures. Because I know that without pictures, I'll never remember this stage. I've been around so many friends' newborns lately, and I can hardly remember when my babies were that little! In some ways it was easier then - because they couldn't MOVE - but I'm definitely enjoying their current stage, where we can have a little more fun!  They love showing off their "tricks" - waving hi/bye, clapping, saying MAMAMA and BAH (ball) and DADA and CAP (clap), and doing "arms UP!"  They walk around the house holding on to furntiure, walls - whatever's on their level. Courtney has done a few steps solo. Previously I thought I didn't want them to start walking because it would make life harder. But now I'm thinking that there could be benefits - like having my arms free again if they can start walking sooner. And getting their little hands and knees off the dirty floors in public places.  But regardless of whether I WANT them to walk or not, they're going to have to figure it out on their own because I just don't have time to spend coaching them! Though I'm going to try and get a video of it soon. I haven't seen Bennett do more than one step solo. He mostly just sits on his bum and squawks for me to come pick him up. He's a little bit of a mama's boy. I love it. Though I'd prefer he had Courtney's eating habits - she nurses quickly, and eats just about everything I offer her. Bennett takes would stay latched on all day if I let him, and literally glares at me if I try to feed him something he thinks he doesn't like. I'm not good about planning actual meals - they graze all day. Like Brianna. Like me. Some may think that's a good habit, but I disagree. I can never remember who has eaten what and when. Nap times aren't on much of a schedule either - just one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Not at any set time - just whenever they look tired. There are days I hardly glance at the clock all day, because we just don't have anything SET.  Every day is go-with-the-flow. I'm not saying that's a good thing or bad thing - it's just how life is. We do get OUT everyday now - between the two naps, we all get in our big stroller and go to the park, or storytime, or lunch at the school, or Brian's office. Though he's been so busy lately, he rarely takes a lunch break with us. But he just got a few new employees, so hopefully we'll see him more. These 12-hour days the past few months have been rough! But I'm grateful his job is going well here. I wish I had a crystal ball just to see where the next move will be, because it all seems so up in the air. Boise, St. George, Salt Lake....  and I have no control over it.  Just like my kids - no control over them. And the ridiculously hot weather. And rude/stupid people online. And my never-ending housecleaning chores. I'm a control-freak in forced rehab. And (most of the time) loving it!
K. Time's up. I'll add pictures later. To prove they're still alive and have survived 11 months of life with their scatterbrained mutha.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The diff with subsequent children...

I'm pretty sure this was the first time taking the babies down a slide. 10 months old. First time.
By this age, Brianna had probably been down on a slide at least 5,372 times.

We didn't intentionally deprive our babies of a fun experience. Just didn't think about it. Too busy keeping everyone ALIVE.

I wonder whether this type of delayed-fun-activity would've happened regardless of whether the subsequent family additions were double-blessings or single-blessings.
No matter how hard we try, it's pretty impossible to replicate that first-child experience of having mom and dad's full attention.
It's a good thing the babies still take turns waking up at various times all night long, so they both get plenty of one-on-one time with their parents!
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