Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Weatherwhetherweatherwhether You Like it Or Not

(blog title comes from a funny VeggieTales song)
I know blogging about the WEATHER isn't exactly the most fascinating topic. Almost as fun as reading birthday/trip/reunion/zoo recaps.
But seriously... I've just been in weather heaven the last few weeks. It's perfect here. PERFECT. Sunny warm days, cool nights... not humid, not too dry, nothing we can't do anytime of day because of weather. We're all still in tshirts but not getting sweaty mid-day at the park. My early morning runs (the ONE I do per week) are chilly but oh-so-pleasant. CAN I JUST FREEZE SEPTEMBER AND KEEP IT HERE FOREVER?!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Chelsea the Type AB Panelist

Do you ever just marvel at how many amazing people you run into in this great big world...
We've moved more than the average bear, and every new location brings new friends and acquaintances. There's a few duds and rotten ones, of course, but it's overwhelming to me how many wonderful, awesome, inspiring people I have the blessing of crossing paths with. I can't emphasize that enough - it's just amazing to me. The world is full of beautiful people. It's too bad it's not possible to get to know even more of them!
[deep announcer's voice] That little reflection was brought to you today in part by the Salt Lake Mother of Twins Club. [end deep announcer's voice].
I've been attending a few activities with the SLMOT. All the moms there have been great, but I'm mostly amazed at the ones who volunteer so much time and energy in organizing it all! They've got TWINS (at least one set - some have more) and they're still givinggivinggiving to the world! People who do things like this, especially when there's absolutely no tangible benefit for themselves, are just super neato.
One of these SLMOT leaders, Kris, led a lovely evening entitled New and Expectant Parents of Twins Seminar. Kris asked me to be one of the Panelists. Obviously she didn't know me very well, otherwise she would've been aware of my relative incompetence and survival-by-sheer-luck history in the mothering twins department. But the event went fabulously and I think I managed to do what I do so well - fake it. I gave my two cents (or more like two dollars), answered questions, spoke up when I felt so inclined and kept my mouth shut when I needed to (but really didn't want to.... seems like that happens quite often to me...)
But the most eye-opening aspect of this evening was my personal epiphany - I'm not as Type A as I thought I was. In fact, I'd call myself Type B, except that really has a negative connotation  (laaaazzzyyy). And I'm not lazy. But I'm not half as prepared as those other panelists next to me were!
Middle panelist: Chelsea the unprepared. Bottom right: Bennett the wild runner's head (Brian had the joy of chasing around the munchkins during this seminar. And he honestly enjoyed it!)  There were about 40 in attendance. Kris did an amazing job leading it all!
Sheesh - they had NOTES! And HANDOUTS! And references in their notes! And SCHEDULES! They all talked about SCHEDULES!  Just that word makes me want to throw my watch out the window and run out into the woods in my pajamas and climb a tree. Not that I'm anti-scheduling/notes/preparedness..... I'm just so BAD at all of that! I've triiiieeedd to be more Type-A ish. It just doesn't work for me. It's like my right hand thumb-wrestling against my left.
Just thinking about making to-do lists gives me anxiety. Calendaring is so repressive. Meal planning is controlling. Meticulous preparedness measures in general are restrictive and soul-leeching.   I JUST WANNA LIVE IMPULSIVELY. Is that so unreasonable?!
Yes, I know it is. The world would cease to turn if we didn't have a bunch of Type-A's running it.
But yet.... as I said before, I've always thought I'm a little Type A....I do tend to be a multi-tasking ambitious freakishly compulsive competitor....
So I'm glad Wikipedia says there's a Type AB personality. Cuz otherwise I'd feel so lost, not being able to be categorized.... we all have the need to feel pigeon-holed, right?
Oh well. The bright side is that I may have a lower risk of coronary heart disease than the other panelists.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


I did a 5K at the park to support the prevention of child abuse and won eight tickets to Grizzly hockey games and Brianna did the kiddie race and was last but won a Diego compass toy and Brian got lots of treats and the babies got orange aprons from Home Depot and danced to the live band and we got a picture with the bear who apparently wanted to eat my head and we all had a fun and lovely typically-quirky Saturday morning. 
The end.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I love Stake Conference...

...because we only have to wander around the halls and parking lot for 2 hours instead of 3 hours.
I get them all dressed up so we can tour the parking lot. It makes so much sense.
But actually, when Brian filled me in on the talks I missed (we took turns listening), he said there was one directed at parents of young'uns, telling us that we were in the right place, even if we thought there was no point being there.     Okay.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bennett and Courtney's House of Horrors

They start screaming as soon as we arrive.
Which of course makes their mother feel awesome. Even though the staff say they calm down after a couple minutes... the initial separation is ugly.
As if going to the gym wasn't hard enough by itself...
But at least Brianna loves it!
Which also makes me feel sad, because she seems to prefer being here than hanging out with me.
So either way I lose, and wonder whether lap swimming is really worth it.                     

Monday, September 19, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011


They're watching the BYU-Utah game on the laptop. It was a
sad day to be a Cougar.

We really enjoyed our Arizonian visitor over the weekend. It got a little confusing with the names, so I ended up referring to them as B-Smith and MisterMcKell. When her uncle left early in the morning, Brianna said, "where did that guy go? Can we go with him and play with Dean?" (her favorite boy-cousin-friend).  An AZ-destination road trip in the middle of winter might be a good idea!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


This stage of my life is called, "Sitting on the floor." Do other moms end up on the floor a lot? I play with them on the floor, feed them, change them, clothe them.... then I put them to bed and sanitize the floors.
 So that I can feel ok about hanging out there again the next day. 
 I know the floors of my home better than I know the counters.

PS - I know what you're thinking. The outfit's hot. I know. That's why the babies are nearly naked - I spend so much time putting together awesome combos of old race shirts and funky jammie pants that I don't have time to dress them. Or do my hair. Or theirs.  We're so ultrasuper upper-class.  And I don't overuse my dry sarcastic humor. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pretty buggy Bountiful

I'm not a two-headed photographer. That's Bennett's little head next to mine, being held in my front carrier. Courtney was in the stroller.

Of course Brianna ran up to the beautiful landscapping and plucked up one large marigold....  It's hard to chastise her for that though when she runs up to me with her stolen treasure and says "Mommy I found a flower for you! Put it behind your ear!"   Pretty sure I'd totally crush her if I explained that she KILLED the flower, and there's no way I'm putting that thing on my head because it's covered in tiny bugs...
So I just smiled and put it behind her ear. She can handle the bugs.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fearless McKells Gone Wild

Classic Fun Center in Layton ... We should've warned them we were coming...
No fear of heights
No fear of Pirate's Cove
No fear of two babies trying to make me bald 
No fear of purple dinosaur rides
No fear of running out into the skating rink. Over and over and over again.
No fear of going broke on the arcade games (cuz they were only a dime!)
You know how on most games there's a "jackpot" - one tiny little slot that you're pretty sure is rigged so no one can get it...  well Brianna got lucky and hit it big time! Her little eyes lighting up at the endless streams of tickets pouring out was priceless. 
Teaching them young to cheat on the skeeball game and walk up the ramp.  You did that too, right?
Cashing out at the end. Brianna left with all kinds of trinkety junk toys that I'm sure I'll find beneath couch cushions next week.
The babies were mesmerized by the fabulous assortment of choking hazards. 
The babies got a little too wild at the end and started dancing on the air hockey tables.
 That's when we knew it was time to go. But we'll be back!  (Only if we find great coupons again for this place, of course. All this fun cost $4!) 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sandbox = Litterbox

We were having a lovely time in the giant sand box at the Elementary school near our house...
Doing that thing that I'm supposed to do with my kids consciously but only end up doing on accident - Sensory Integration Activities - aka playing....
When suddenly we discovered that some felines had also been doing some activities there.      Ew.     Party over.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Left her hanging...

Really good moms put their child up on high playground equipment, then step back and take a photo, just to see if their kid gets freaked out or not.

Brianna did well. No freak out, just slightly.... concerned.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Conjoined Siamese Twin Swingers

Despite the looks on their faces, they really do love swinging like this!

During my pregnancy with these two, I went over every worst-case scenario possible. Because I'm all about positive thinking.    
One of those lovely thoughts was - what if they're the 1 in 50,000 twin births that end up with connected limbs?! But I consoled myself with the thought that at least if they were connected on their backs they could still use the swings at the playground. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Someone teach me how to do hair.

This would be a really great style if only she were an 80-year-old man.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Best Holiday On The Calendar.

A day off?! What's that?!

No obligatory presents, costumes, specific meals, traveling, ridiculous parading.... Brian gets the day OFF, I get to do a race, there's no guilt from turning a religious celebration into a secular consumer-driven superficial joke, the weather's always perfecto.... THERE'S NO HOLIDAY THAT CAN BEAT LABOR DAY!!!

We chose to spend our holiday morning out in the cute little town of Hooper  (pronounced "Huper" by the locals).  It was their Tomato Days Festival. Carnival, booths, crafts, activities, music, cookoff, contests, small-town-fair merriment!

(Should be Day not Days, since it's a one-day party...
 but what do I know. 
I say Hooper instead of Huper)
 I have to be honest... we didn't journey out there simply for the sake of good family fun.  I dragged the BCBCB crew to this town so I could do their 5K because there weren't any other races nearer our home. And my happiness is dependent upon the adrenaline rush of regularly racing. Not joking. And even though I'm not that fast these days (19:54 on this one), I can still win these small-town shows - and at this one the prize was $50!         Which of course I immediately spent nearly all of at their beautifully inexpensive organic Farmer's Market. 
I LOVE these swings, don't you?! So cute and secure.   But they were putting the babies to sleep.   I can't wait til they can make it past 10am before getting too tired to play anymore.  We had to leave Huper/Hooper before fully enjoying the festivities for the sake of preserving well-rested kiddos. 

Later on in the afternoon we had to ruin a perfectly wonderful holiday by pigging out at Sizzler. Oh believe me, we all enjoyed their lovely salad bar while there, and I enjoyed the zero price tag since I had won a gift card for it at a race a few weeks previous.... but we all left looking like we were pregnant. With twins.

I hate that "UGHI'MSOFULLI'MGOINGTOPUKEANDINEVERWANNASEEFOODAGAIN" feeling. You know you know what I'm talking about. We all spent the rest of the evening in a food coma.
We fondly refer to this look as her "stink face." She gives it to us more often than we'd like. We got it here for insisting she finish her veggies before dessert. We're such mean parents. 
If all goes as planned, Brian will spend his next Labor Day doing something just slightly more exciting.....

Climbing up Mt. Kilamanjaro.  Seriously.  My brothers and father have invited him along on their crazy Smith-men journey to Tanzania to conquer the world's highest free-standing mountain (over 19K ft). I'm just a little jealous. But hopefully I'll also be having fun in Spokane fulfilling my 18 year goal to win the Spokane LDS Labor Day Fun Run (cuz there's no way I'm staying home alone if he's gone for a coupl weeks!). Ever since I got second place to Katie Graesser I've been wanting to go back and claim the title.  That would be almost as cool as hiking up Africa's tallest mountain.

Learning to be geeennntleee... gentle...GENTLE!

They all get so excited when they see dogs. It's a great opportunity to teach them to be gentle... 
Poor puppy got a little too much love by my not-so-soft children.

*Note: lest anyone wonder about my sanity - NO, we didn't get a puppy. I already have 3 puppies. They'll get a dog when they can take care of it themselves. I'm not crazy enough to put myself through cleaning up after yet another's creature's doodoo.

Monday, September 5, 2011

This is why I make so little progress each day.

I spend a ridiculous amount of time cleaning up after Brianna's "ideas."

Today's idea:  Bennett apparently looked dirty to her. So  
 - logically - 
Brianna squirted liquid soap all over him. 

Of course. 

And while I spent foreeevverr cleaning him up, she had several more "ideas" that took up the rest of the afternoon.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Putting my children in dance classes would pretty much be violating everything I believe in.
But it's very tempting when I see Brianna sweetly flitting around the house in her fairy dress, happily mimicking some silly show she saw. 

Tempting. But I don't think I could look myself in the mirror if I allowed her to get into that subculture.
She'll just have to dance around while participating in the extracurricular activities I approve of.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Remember when....

You swung around the silver bars separating the cashier lines at the grocery store while your mom went thru the checkout line....

Friday, September 2, 2011

Instant Friends

It's so amazing to me how quickly Brianna makes friends with other kids her age. She just walks into any setting, spots someone her size, and joins up with them to play like they've been friends for years. Sometimes she does a formal introduction, "What's your name?  I'm Brianna. That's my mom. I have a baby Courtney and Bennett. Wanna play tag?"   I don't know if she's more or less outgoing than other kids her age.  But it's nice to know we don't have a shyness problem!
Here she is with one of her one-hit-wonder-bfs.  I think her name was Fiona.  I was just sitting playing with the babies, watching these two run around. Her parents were on the other side of the park, possibly also wondering who that cute little girl was playing so happily with their daughter.

When it was time to leave, there were no tears, no begging to play more with Fiona.... perhaps Brianna knew that next time we went to the park, there would be someone else her size and they would be just as good of friends. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My new favorite sport

As much as I love running...

I had a one-afternoon stand with Tetherball.

I'm in love.

The next step in our relationship?

Buying my own Tetherball post so I don't have to rely on playing at my friend's house.

Here is Brian challenging my friend's husband Joe.  Sadly, Brian lost to Joe.... but he was at a strong disadvantage - by an inch height - and by being exhausted after 592 rounds of the game with me. 

Must. get. Tetherball.