Monday, November 28, 2011

When I ask Courtney to SMILE:

Large leopard print thick headbands are totally IN, right?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Watch out Nursery class - Brianna's in charge of snack time today!
Natural curl in her hair! Love it. 

My little nursery goer only has 4 Sundays left until she graduates to Primary. My twin hall-wanderers only have 9 Sundays til they join Nursery! Then I finally get to lead the music without a baby on my hip and another wandering the Relief Society room perimeter searching for the escape route.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

We supported Small Business Saturday by going swimming at the local Rec Center. That counts, right? Because as much as I theoretically believe in supporting small business... I like to shop at Costco and on Amazon. A lot. Sorry!
The Lazy River with my little fishies, who are anything BUT lazy -
Courtney is fearless, and Bennett is clingy. So I'm running after one, while trying to coax the other in.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Fun

Totally normal people wake up early the day after Thanksgiving to do a 5K with 200 other people wearing a Santa suit.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Silly Kohls

I'm not much of a retail shopper. I prefer Nickel Auctions and garage sales.
But I will be going to to Kohls for my 6th time in 6 months to spend the 6th free $10 gift card they've sent me.
I don't know why they do this.
I just buy socks every time.
I'm afraid to sign up for their card they keep asking me to get, because then the free $10 cards might stop coming every month.
Thank you Kohls for keeping my family in free socks.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sometimes Courtney stands on the dinner table wearing Bennett's Clothes.

That's all.

Stats Schmats.

I took the babes in for their 15 month appointment the other day. By myself. With Brianna. Few people can identify with how crazy and slightly embarrassing it is to manage that. But we all made it out alive, with the only bandaids being the ones that covered Courtney and Bennett's immunization injection spots. Always so sad to see them getting poked. But it would be infinitely more sad to see them being one of those kids in high school getting measles because their silly parents believed the mumbo-jumbo about immunizations.  Sure they have risks and side effects - both my babies spent the next 24 hours slightly lethargic with a low-grade fever. And they actually slept 11 hours straight - a rarity for them. But the benefits outweigh the risks.
There. My unsolicited soapbox on immunizations.
Moving on...

Bennett 20 lb 11oz 15th%   31.5in 60%

Courtney 20lb 10oz 15th%  31.5in 80%

I'm actually pretty happy about those numbers - it's an increase! And especially since the charts they use come from the CDC, which is pretty skewed.  Still, I find myself frequently trying to think of really high-calorie healthy foods I can get them to eat to fatten them up a little.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Have you ever SEEN a more kissable FACE in your LIFE?!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

No Patience for Persimmons

Brianna was super excited when I brought home this little beauty from Smiths. We had purchased a few from Costco a week ago and they were amazing. Not quite as good as I remember the ones from Hawaii being, but pretty fabulous for being so far away from the source. Not wanting to wait for it to ripen/soften a little, Brianna cut right into it (she thinks she's old enough to use knives now, among other dangerous activities. This new stage of independence is scary). I heard a screaming/choking/suffocating sound coming from the kitchen. I sprinted over to see her gagging out her slice of persimmon. She cried out, "IT'S...IT'S...EEWWIEE!"
Confused, I cut myself a slice of my favorite fruit.
And I began the choking/suffocating sounds.
After recovering and feeling very betrayed by this persimmon, immediately I googled this freakish phenomenon. Apparently that's what happens when you eat a persimmon before it's totally ripe - you get an intense chalkly taste, which swells up inside your mouth. I can't believe I never figured this out til now. I've had hundreds and hundreds of these fruits. But nevereverneverever again will we eat one again til it's so overripe it's oozing with juicy persimmonyness.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Half way through each day, the babies decide to pass out for a few hours.
As much as I enjoy this time to spend keeping our family's heads above water (DOES THE LAUNDRY EVER END?!) I lose the first half hour or so because it's hard to make myself get UP when I've got these two on my lap asleep. Transferring them to their cribs is veryvery tricky. Especially when I'd rather just sit and stare at their sweet little sleepy faces. They're so beautiful when they're asleep... because they aren't throwing tantrums, falling and hurting themselves, or hitting each other. It's such a beautiful sight I sometimes cry.
Note: Blue jammies being worn by Bennett in first photo, then Courtney in this photo.
Most of Bennett's clothes are interchangeable, while Courtney's clothes definitely
don't go on Bennett. We're such gender stereotypers.
But there are consequences if I hang out oogling over sweet babies in napland too long... like their nearly-4-yr-old sister answering the door and telling the neigbor, "sorry, my mommy is busy. She's feeding the babies with brezfeeding so they'll go to sleep and we can play." Then slamming the door. True story. And has happened more than once.
So I take pictures of them sleeping like this, since I can't stare at them forever, but I'll always remember my little nappers at this stage.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011


There are a few things I DON'T let my compulsive frugality get in the way of - healthier food, good vehicle, traveling, gym membership, family gifts...

But everything else... I go cheap on.  Sometimes really cheap.

That's why, even after our already lower quality skillet/pan got severely dented (shouldn't have used it to hit that pinata!), we still kept using it. Though an eyesore, it was still basically functional.

Fortunately, my mom noticed the sad little damaged item on our stove, and found it to be an abomination. She immediately took me to Costco for a more appropriate cooking tool.
Brianna was excited to open the new pan.  REALLY excited. Really.
Thanks for the upgrade, mom!  I'm so glad to have nicer kitchen gear to burn cook food in.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Chomp, rarrr.

Just having fun on my phone :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Smith Fam Calendar

I finished up the Smith Family Calendar tonight (a little early - I don't like being done with Christmas prep THIS early - it kindasorta ruins the fun and drags out the holiday too long). But I had a good coupon code on Snapfish. I've been doing these family calendars since 1997, I think, with only a few years missed. It's probably more selfish than anything - I just want everyone to remember to call me on my birthday. So I make a calendar with everyone's birthdays, plus lots and lots of fun family photos. We all live pretty far apart, so I think it helps us all feel more connected. Or maybe I'm just dreaming that, and they all just stick the calendar in a drawer somewhere after glancing it over. Hmph. Oh well, I enjoy making them. This year's was pretty rushed and much less time intensive than usual... maybe 4 hours instead of 40... (not joking) but I have BIG plans for next year (2013's calendar... why does that sound SO far away?!) It involves taking photos of people twisting themselves into letters and spelling out calendar months. It will be epic. But 2012 is a little boring, though hopefully still fun and practical. I'll share the front cover collage:
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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Running, Nonny, Halloween.

Am I a horrible mother if I admit there are some things I kinda resent having to miss out on because of staying with my kids all day? That, and having a husband who works 12 hrs/day.... I mean, I hate to blog about anything less than how much I adore my kids and how grateful I am for my husband's good job and rainbows and puppies and smiling happy faces and funfunFUN.... but seriously - seriouslyseriously -
Specifically - trail running. EXPLORING running. Taking-my-time, enjoying-the-scenery running. Running with no time constraints, no destination, no missing out on sleep...
That never happens anymore. I run about twice a week - and one of those runs is a Saturday race. The other one is magically squeezed in somewhere else - either in the early morning (in the DARK, since I have to be home by 6:30am so Brian can go slay the dragons), during Brian's rare home-lunch break (which means I'm lucky to get 30 minutes max and he's ticked if I'm late), or in the evening (also in the DARK, since he's not home til late, and of course that means I'm missing dinner/bathtime/bedtime routine). The gym treadmill is the only other option, and that's just not fun. I only like group classes at the gym. Or reading a really good book while on the elliptical. SO there are my excuses. Not even excuses - just the facts.
BUT - last Monday, I got a small taste of freedom. And it was fabulous. Here are some photos from my 9.5-mile mid-day run:

So pretty! I discovered the Bountiful Pond. It was a detour off the Legacy Trail that I'd never taken because I never had time and didn't want to risk getting lost. "Risking getting lost" used to be my favorite thing to do on a run! Those "no trespassing signs" were targets - I knew the good trails must start right behind them. But I'm a wimp these days, and stay on the beaten paths. Usually.
You've always wanted to see up my nose, right?
Sorry - just wanted to show off my cool pumpkin running shirt.
It's from Kim's Halloween 5K fundraiser for adoption in
Saratoga Springs a couple weeks ago. My costume
was a wanna-be distance runner and busy mama.
This is the pic that pops up when Mom calls me.
She's either saying SUPRISE! or RARRR! or
"Chelsea why are your kids naked again?!?!"
So how was this all possible?   A VISIT FROM NONNY!
A visit from Nonny is like a visit from a superfairygodmother.
She brings joy, fun, HELP, thoughtful presents, wise advice, helps me keep up my home (and unconsciously motivates me to clean like crazy before her arrival), and loves my children more than anyone else on the planet besides their parents. So I can trust her completely and feel fine leaving the house.
Even to go on a long run! Such a treat for me! My Halloween treat.  Way better than all that candy I stole from Brianna's stash.

My favorite part of Nonny's visit was entirely selfish - I made her get up with me bright and early Saturday morning so I could go do a 5K.  Brian was working - so she was in charge of the triple stroller!
 And she insisted on trying to get the kids to wear their cute new monkey-hats she bought them. They're really adorable and very comfy and warm. Too bad only Brianna can be convinced to keep it on her head. But we'll work on it. She also got them a cute stuffed monkey that sings "HeyHey We're the Monkeys..." It's so cute to see them all dancing to it! But they weren't dancing in their stroller. They were pretty miserable. Mom put up with a lot so I could do my race. I owe her big time. Especially since the 5K turned out to be another fluke - a small little race with a big prize! $50 cash, $20 in gift cards, some running clothes! Score! And honestly, I didn't even run that fast. There were only like 25 people there. I was just at the right place at the right time - all thanks to Nonny!
ALSO - because of Nonny - Brianna and I got to have the most amazing Halloween experience ever. We had dressed up in our Hawaiian costumes just to visit Brian at work. But on the way home, I noticed kids in costumes heading into the hospital. So we stopped and joined in. And now we have a tradition that I hope we'll continue on forever. Hospital trick-or-treating. Such a neat experience. It's hard to complain about anything in life after spending a little time with these sweet people.

And after the hospital, we went next door to the retirement center. The elderly people were lined up in chairs, excited to see all the cute kids in costume. Their comments and attitudes were so sweet, I almost didn't notice the smell there. Almost. I hope I can always live independently til I die.  Then as if these two locations weren't enough, we headed across the street to the long-term rehab facility for more trick-or-treating! I'm training Brianna to become a compulsively excessive person like her mother. It's not an entirely bad thing, right?!  She definitely had fun! And it was good for her to see different kinds of people with special needs in different settings. We talked about it on the way home, and how we need to try our best to be healthy, and thank Heavenly Father for our healthy bodies as long as we have them. Of course I felt a little hypocritical having this conversation with her as we were both eating Halloween candy.  I wish Nonny could've stayed longer so I could have run it off! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fun on Brianna's dime

My good friend Michelle has a supercutefun blog called Fun On A Dime.
Brianna is featured in one of her posts today, including this very pink picture I hadn't seen til now:
Brianna actually remembers her friend Sienna (next to her in the photo, and the birthday girl here) surprisingly well considering how old she is.  And the fact that she can't even remember her full name sometimes. But she sure remembers her friends!  We did a Facebook video-chat last week that was really fun. The girls basically just stared at each other and squealed.

Michelle also recently published my MPH-themed post, with me as a "guest blogger."

I feel I have quite a presence now in bloggy land.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011