Monday, April 30, 2012

Snack time! I love the mini table.

And I love that they all enjoy snacking on garbanzo beans. Weirdos.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Harbor Freight Creep.

We went to Harbor Freight yesterday to buy a generator (so when the "big one" happens, I can still charge my phone!)
In this photo I'm trying to discreetly take a photo of that guy's shirt on the right.
 It says: I [heart] abortions.    
 I wanted to inform the creep that he wouldn't love them so much if his mother had also felt the same way.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Quiet, clean entertainment. 
Is there anything better than finding an activity that keeps your child happy and busy for an extended period of time?! (one that doesn't involve a screen). Even with her bf Oakley over for a playdate... Which usually means DOUBLE mess... They just stayed there doing their "lacing puzzles" for a full hour! So awesome.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

whatever works!

This can't be good for her neck.
But at least my sick little girl is finally napping!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

overly ambitious

Our morning plans originally involved just going across the street to Three Little Monkeys for storytime.
A very doable venture.  
But I had a few other errands I wanted to do that were also walking distance.
So I bravely {naively} loaded the kids into the cadillac stroller with everything we'd need for all our stops. I thought I was pretty well prepared - had diapers, waterbottle, money, phone, sippy cups...
3.5 hours later I collapsed in exhaustion on the floor, promising myself never to put myself through all that again.
But knowing me, I'll forget how crazy it was and do it again soon. So I'm documenting the play-by-play in hopes of preventing another ordeal. 
1st stop: Great Harvest. I had a free bread coupon I wanted to use, and I needed to get some treats for our downstairs neighbors to thank them for being so tolerant of my children's shenanigans (they recently threw all of their books off our 3rd floor balcony onto the bottom floor neighbor's BBQ grill. Probably sounded like a freak thunderstorm to them).  It's just a little over a mile away, so I thought we'd be fine.  Great weather outside. The kids should enjoy the ride. 
They did - for the first half. Then I don't know who started what, but somehow Brianna and the babies got into some kind of altercation. There was spitting, tongue sticking out, hand slapping, swatting, glaring, and yellings of "NO! STOP!" (the extent of the twins' fighting vocabulary).  Then someone lost their sippy cup, so logically stole their neighbors. That led to everyone losing their sippy cup privileges. That led to everyone crying. 
We finally arrived at GH and they were happy to get out. While I ordered our goods, the kids happily rearranged the bread displays. I know employees really appreciate that help with their interior design scheme. 
They sat down to enjoy their pumpkin bread samples. I thought I could slip into the bathroom really quick right next to them. Nope, they all insisted on coming with me.  Into the bathroom.  Really?  Can't I have 90 seconds of privacy?  Nope.   Getting them to leave their edibles at the table was a minor struggle. But I absolutely draw the line at food in the bathroom. Ew. 
Then I had 4 sets of hands to wash and dry. 8 hands total. 40 fingers. That takes awhile. And often the first child's hands have to be re-washed because they've touched something gross while the other two were getting sanitized. 
Grabbed the food and finagled them all back into the stroller, realizing we'd be late for story time if we didn't hurry. I had to half-speed walk, half-jog the mile+ to the toy store. Arrived just in time. Or I would've, but I had to de-crumb them from their bread samples. Such a mess. Brianna loved storytime - though would've preferred I sat with her the whole time. The babies made it through the first couple minutes only. Then I had to spend the rest of the time trying to keep them from destroying the cute store.  Managed to buy birthday present for nephew while there (complimentary gift wrapping in store! Done!). 
Then Brianna had to go to the bathroom. Had to drag kiddos over to the nearest one - at Paradise Bakery. Always fun parading through that cute posh-ish eatery in the middle of peak lunch hour.  All these business-people and classy girlfriends and trendy moms who have it all together with their perfectly dressed child(ren. But usually just one).  Then there's me... one squirmy toddler under each arm, calling out to a 4 year old either running way ahead or dragging far behind. Frazzled but trucking along happy enough. 
Next stop:  (because I couldn't just give in now and go home. Oh no. Must finish errand list).  Shopko for sore throat spray. I got very little sleep the past two nights because my throat hurt. Probably a minor cold.... since I have a runny nose and headache too... but I find that any sickness I have is best handled by being in complete denial about it as long as possible. Avoiding drugs is ideal, but I really needed the cepacol spray stuff to get some sleep.  So Shopko - stroller wouldn't fit through. I'm glad I live in a city where I feel somewhat confident my stroller won't get stolen when I leave it outside for 5 minutes.  Well it ended up being ten minutes because Brianna had a little meltdown inside Shopko because she couldn't sit in the basket. Their baskets are tiny and barely fit the twins (one in seat, one in basket).  I also gave in and bought headache medicine. At the checkout I'm pretty sure the cashier was trying not to bust out laughing as this frazzled mom with three wild children comes up to the checkout buying headache medicine. Yeah, ya think?!  Sheesh. You'd think I'd have that kind of thing on hand, but I haven't had to (or been willing to) take anything for a few years now (while pg and bfing).  The only thing I found was a bottle of Excedrin that I had to toss because it expired an embarrassingly LONG time ago. Not telling dates. 
Back into the stroller. Brianna's mostly calmed down. I wanna go home. She spots Costco and begs to go in for samples. I'm hungry and agree, against my better judgement.  We walked out of there 30 minutes later, having had all the samples twice, hearing 943 people tell me what a cool stroller I have (and want to tell me about how they're also a twin, or have twins, or know someone whose aunt's doctor's cousin's ex-boyfriend also had twins.  Wow, small world. So many twins. That's great. I don't care.)   The big mistake was the Vitamix demo. The lady insisted all of my kids have their own sample cups. Overflowing with green smoothies. Then on our second round, chocolate ones. So of course, we walked out of Costco with 3 kids covered in green and brown messes all over their faces and down their shirts. I probably had my share of food remnants on my body also. Oh well - at least everyone had lunch today!
Finally, we got to go home.
Wait, nope - left my waterbottle at Three Little Monkeys. Stopped there to grab it. Had to restrain children from getting out to go play in there again.  NO way munchkins.  Couldn't pay me.  Well, you could. But it'd have to be at least a 5-digit sum. Maybe 6.  I was pretty DONE with the day (and it was only 1:30!)
Crossed busy street by waving at cars to make them stop. Always awkward and unsafe. I didn't care. The crosswalk was too far away and my feet were begging for a break. It had been 3 hours of constant movement - usually pushing and/or carrying included.  I need a pedi bad. 
Arriving home, all of us a little beaten up, I somehow decided it was a good time to clean the stroller out. Maybe cuz I knew if I didn't do it right then, it wouldn't happen. So I unloaded everything and everyone and we hosed it down. Thoroughly. Of course soaking the kids in the process, but that didn't matter. They were headed for the bath anyway. We don't usually do mid-day baths - only night time. But these kids didn't get to step foot in the house - they were carried straight to the tub. I probably should've showered too but I just changed into my jammies. Felt so good to get out of the dirty sweaty clothes.
After I got the babies out of the tub I quickly got our laundry washing. Which also had to involve getting the last load out and hung up. But I had to move the dry clothes off the indoor drying rack first. Such a fun process. During which, I heard the front door open and close.  Then silence.
Of course I found them all running down the common hallway, down the stairs to the first floor. Brianna dressed, but the twins totally naked. At this point I contemplated just letting them continue their wild streaking and hope some kind neighbor would have pity and dress them. 
Wrestled them down. Diapers. Clean clothes. Full tummies. Into their cribs. Grateful for the sleep-inducing effects of nursing. 
Back out into the front room to find Brianna totally passed out on the couch. Not even a thumb in her mouth, which means she really truly passed out in a matter of seconds.
I joined her laying down.  Watched a little Ellen to make me laugh, and promised myself I'd write about this in case 20 yrs from now I look back and wonder what I did with the kids all day. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Spoiled or Business-like ?!

Brianna was sitting at her table playing with a sticker book. 
Brian came home from work and emptied his pockets, handing Brianna some change. 
She usually loves this and gets very excited. 
Brian said, "Here's some money Brianna I found for you at work!" 
Without looking up from her project, and with no emotion, she replied, 
"Just put it my piggy bank."

So many possible captions ...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Courtney or Brianna??!

If I look back at this photo in twenty years... I don't think I'll be able to quickly tell which of my girls this is!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Annie's Pizza Review and Giveaway!

THIS is how surprised I was when I found out I was selected to review and do a giveaway for Annie's Pizza:
I know, right?  Lucky me!  It's cuz I'm a "Mom Ambassador" with Green Moms Meet.
My kitchen helpers. They're especially good at ripping open boxes.

But really - it could be lucky YOU  too, because they sent me extra coupons for free Annie's Pizza to giveaway on my blog!

But first you have to listen to me gush about how good this stuff is. 

Have you heard of the Annie's Homegrown brand?
 I've bought their Mac N' Cheese and those cute cheddar and chocolate bunny snack crackers before. The kids love 'em of course and I don't feel as bad about them because they're much better than the conventional stuff.
Lunchtime at the new kiddie table!

I mean, obviously I'd rather my kids munch on raw asparagus and baked kale chips, but that doesn't always appeal to them for some reason.

So we make compromises. But with good brands like Annie's, I don't feel like it's much of a compromise on my part.

Bennett was very good at sharing the pizza.
As long as he got the bigger piece.
From Annie's Homegrown website: For more than 20 years, Annie’s has been nourishing families with simple, down-to-earth foods that taste great and are easy to love.  Annie’s is driven by a team of folks who are passionate about food, people, and the planet we all share. That’s why we’ve sought out the best ingredients Mother Earth has to offer, harvesting pure, natural flavors to make delicious foods every family can feel good about.  Honest-to-goodness goodness is cooked up here.

So the pizza - We LOVED it.  I wouldn't say that we're frozen-pizza connoisseurs here, but we've definitely tried our share. We often get the frozen Costco ones when they're on sale, or Kashi, or Newman's own, or Freschetta. 
But of course, in Brian's life B.C.  (before Chelsea), he lived off frozen pizza for much of his childhood. The cheap kind - Tony's, DiGiorno, CrapInCardboard, you know what I mean. I wish I could say his taste buds have evolved, but he still likes that stuff. 
The amazing thing about this pizza, is that EVERYBODY loved it!  The heath nut mama, the three little ones, and handsome Mr. Pizza himself.
They're like $10-11, so not the cheapest pizzas - but you get what you pay for. They're quality. And they're really huge and thick too.
About the goods:
  • Certified Organic
  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • 100% real cheese, made with milk from cows not treated with the growth hormone rBST*
  • Naturally rising crust, 8g whole grains per serving
  • Meats with no nitrates or nitrites added except for naturally occurring nitrates in sea salt and celery juice powder
  • Good source of calcium & protein
Anyone else think these two cheeseballs kindasorta look alike?!
TO ENTER:  Let's keep this simple. Just leave a comment on this post. I'll randomly select a winner on Saturday April 21 after I get the kids to bed. :)  Then I'll email the winners and mail out the free pizza vouchers! I think these are only available at Whole Foods. So if you don't leave near one, you probably know someone who does live near one and this would make an excellent gift :)

Karma points for "liking" Annie's Homegrown on Facebook!

Disclaimer (they told me to put this in. But really - are there blog police somewhere who actually get do something if someone doesn't include a disclaimer on their post?!): I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet SM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet SM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Earthquake drill

We participated in the Utah Shakeout - the largest Earthquake drill ever in the state. As you can see, my children LOVED it:

Monday, April 16, 2012

Grocery shopping was ALMOST fun!

We went to Reams in Salt Lake because I got a Groupon for it (or LivingSocial voucher, whatever. There are way too many groupon-like sites these days it's ridicuous!)
I LOVE their carts! They are the only carts I've seen that kids can sit in/ride on,  yet are actually easy to manuver!  If only it weren't such a ghetto grocery store (big mistake buying the voucher), I'd go all the time just for these carts. 


My wonderful mother is so goofy sometimes.
More and more as time goes on.
We recently received this surprise package for Brianna.
Addresses to Brianna Oneita Smith, oddly enough. No explanation there.
The contents inside were a little random too - a couple packages of cute underwear for Brianna, 2 sizes in the future.
Of course Brianna was thrilled and wanted to wear them right away. All of them. That made a cute picture, but I better not post that one.  =)
I love my never-know-what-to-expect Mommy/Nonny!

I cleansed. It's kindof a big deal. To me.

I'm DONE!!  It feels so good to have made it! I decided to do 7 days instead of 10. Not a decision made on a whim or because of temptation - I just really felt DONE. I accomplished everything I wanted to and got what I wanted from this quirky little experience and test of willpower.
Bennett REALLY liked my green raw smoothies. Totally worth
getting your head stuck in a Vitamix blender. 
I really didn't think I'd make it the entire time. I'd rather have done something easier to prove my personal strength - like ran a marathon. =)  In fact, initially I had just planned on 5 days. That's a week, right? All the week-days, anyway. Close enough. But then I got that far and thought - I'm half way there! Maybe I could do 7 days. That sounds better. And that would mean doing it over a weekend, which is the hardest! Weekends are meant for treats and overindulgence, right? And this was even our ward's fast Sunday weekend, so I had to break a 24 hr fast with vegetables and fruit! Sheesh!  I don't think I've ever done anything like this. It feels good to just know I've made a commitment and stuck with it!
Day 1 in the evening was actually the hardest. It's gotten easier since then. I had a BAD headache for about 7 hours. It was a sugar withdrawal. Isn't that crazy? Such a strong physical manifestation of detoxing from substances that most people wouldn't even think twice about consuming. And I wasn't even going crazy on sugar - just normal things like granola bars, chocolate, yogurt, cereal, bread. My "fixes." I'm excited that I did something hard. I broke a bad habit. I showed willpower and self-control. That's amazing me to, because I've always been such a fan of instant gratification. :) Those are the intangibles. Tangible benefits: my skin looks so much better. My nails look better and stronger. I have a wonderful steady energy all day - no highs or lows. Just constant. And my favorite - 9 pounds off, thus clothing fitting better. Maybe that's not my favorite actually. Because when mama goes raw, the whole family gets raw-er! Everyone's been eating more fruits and veggies - as snacks, and in smoothies. It makes me feel awesome to see my fam drinking green superfood concoctions! I reallyreally believe that everyone should eat this way at least 50% of their day. They'd be so much happier. Raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. It's filling and fullfilling in so many ways.

Uh-oh!  Someone got caught green-handed!

Let's review: -Completed seven days of eating "raw" - fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds. -Done with some friends and the group Cleanse America. -Only cheats: I drank tap water instead of the recommended purified water, ate nuts that weren't raw (it's tough to find truly raw nuts - they're all roasted to get shells off), and ate more nuts and seeds than were recommended for best cleansing results (they said all the fat would get in the way of nutrients being absorbed.) -Withstood major temptations: ward party treats, GNO treats, Vosen's bakery, and kid's leftovers!! -Lost 9 pounds that I really wanted gone. I don't know if anyone else would notice, but Brian does and I do and my clothes do! :) -Feeling super duper empowered from the whole experience of delayed gratification and self mastery! -Pretty sure eating all those bunches and bunches of green leafy veggies (kale, collards, spinach) have ensured that I will live an extra decade or two. -I broke my cleanse with a scrambled egg breakfast and a chicken salad lunch. Aaaannnd a bowl of Frosted MiniWheats. And a couple jelly beans. I still have a long way to go :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Watching their morning "Little Einsteins" show on Disney Junior, one little girl felt inspired to empty out a laundry basket of socks and get cozy in it.
Her little shadow found a cardboard box so she could also enjoy the cartoon from an odd location.

Bennett's HOT

I forgot to post this picture months ago -I took it immediately after hearing Bennett's third word (1st: BALL 2nd: DADA - notice how far down the list I am? sad.):  HOT!
I was shocked when I heard him saying it so clearly, and pointing (with the purple bowling pin) to the space heater that we had been teaching him was "HOT!"  Suddenly the little parrot was saying it too!  It was so cute the way he pronounced it like HHHAAAwwwhhhTT.

And now, I kinda want to cry, because that cute fuzzy sleepsuit is wayyyy too small on my little (big!) baby.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Courtney's BBF

At the library this morning- in East Salt Lake where we never usually go but I had a 5k out there -
 Courtney fell in love with this little boy.
 She was following him everywhere and laughing at him and kept staring at him.
Can't figure out why he was so peculiar to her. Hmmm.


I love these ladies.
Randomly someone will text everybody- "Girls night at my house!" and we all happily leave our loved ones to have some female time.
 Games, treats, lively conversation. Love it!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Best idea ever. I hope.

So it's annoying having two highchairs in our small-ish kitchen.  They take up a lot of room. They're hard to clean because food crud gets everywhere and I find myself scrubbing all those edges, bars, sides, backs, etc.  so very often it's ridiculous.  Or I find myself NOT doing that, and it builds up to the point where I can identify meal remnants from a few weeks' past.  Very sanitary.
I've been thinking of switching them to booster seats.
But I feel like those aren't any cleaner or very safe - since of course my toddlers want to get in and out BY THEMSELVES... 
Independence is annoying. 

But at Costco today I had a revelation. I saw this product and the lights went off. It was as if there was a beacon of light streaming down from parting clouds with heavenly choirs singing.
A mini table! Right in the kitchen!
Maybe not the classiest thing, but - SO PRACTICAL! It actually isn't as big as it might appear in this photo. Four small children would max it out. It folds down easily and FLAT - so very portable and hideable, if needed.  Cleaning will be so much easier - just wipe down the top, seats, and clean the floor underneath - which I have to do anyway.  Often. Very often.
So I'm selling my highchairs online - or maybe to someone in the twin's club - and it will almost cover the cost of buying this. Hooray!  I'll report on how it goes and if I end up regretting this. But I don't think I will. I think my kids and I will love it!

Sunday, April 8, 2012


So if you didn't already think I'm a little nutty, you may now. Tomorrow begins a ten day "cleanse." A "raw food" cleanse. Ten days of body detoxification. Ten days of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds. In their natural state.

WHY?  Before the health discourse, I have to be honest and state the real reason:  A good friend asked me to do it with her. CHALLENGED me to do it. Even went as far to mock me when I initially refused. "So miss SuperMom, marathon-runner, you're not scared of any other physical challenge - why THIS one?!"    Ummm... because it's going to be hard. Really hard. But she's right - if I can do other hard things, I can do this.  And it's not a strenuous undertaking void of substantial benefits, like other notorious feats may be.
I'll likely never wear the badge of a natural med-free baby birther, so I have to get my personal empowerment from doing something else, right? :)

As published in "The Journal of Nutrition," benefits of a raw foods dietary detox may include: improved digestion, increased skin clarity, higher resistance to cold and flu viruses, reduced menstrual problems, weight loss, improved bowels, reduction of bladder/kidney infections, lowered cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reduced risk for cardiovascular disease, increase in energy levels, improved flexibility, muscular strength, cardiovascular endurance, reduced dependency on addictive substances, and aid in battling chronic illnesses.
2So basically ten days from now I'm expecting to be the energizer bunny, free from my carb addiction, skin glowing, smaller jeans finally fitting  :)
If that all doesn't happen.... I'm going to be really ticked, and head straight to Cold Stone.

So here I go! Along with my friend, and a huge group of crazies online. And YOU? Feel free to join the fun!  :)  I'm posting this here to keep myself accountable.  So feel free to ask me about my progress and thoroughly berate me if I fail. And on a serious note - another motivation I have to do this is the fact that I have a very close friend going through a much more serious detox/rehab right now. She's lost almost everything because of her drug addiction. And I've felt pretty helpless and frustrated the past few months. But for some reason, doing this makes me feel better. If I can exercise some serious self-mastery, so can she!

"Twas the night before Cleanse America, when all through the nation 
A committed group of raw foodies, prepare for a healthy sensation. 
Their kitchens are stocked with whole food goodness,
 In hopes that a 10 day cleanse will begin a lifetime of whole food-ness. - 
We sprang to the challenge, Wellness Warriors as our guides,
 Share their tools of education, motivation, inspiration, and support, by our sides. 
We hear them exclaim personal empowerment and clarity regarding our health, 
Happy Cleansing to all, and to all wellness-wealth!"

Saturday, April 7, 2012

oh the possibilities!

I just discovered the new photo image processing features on the Picasa software update I downloaded.  There are SO many options! I could spend all day playing with pictures.  And I'm not even really "into" photography - I'm pretty clueless when it comes to anything more advanced than point-and-shoot. But Picasa makes it super user-friendly.  Here are a few I threw together really quick:
Top left: original.  Then "Pencil Sketch,"  then "Polaroid," (notice I made the background match the color of her pants - the "color picker" tool is so fabulous!)  then... I forget what the bottom left one was called, but it looks like Brianna is radioactive.  Then the bottom middle is actually my veryvery favorite - it's all black and white, except I can make just ONE part colored! And change the brightness and size of the color. That could make for some really awesome pictures - I need to play with it more.  And the last one - just a "color boost." So fun for kid pictures. That's how I think they see their own lives - bright and vivid and exciting and magical.   And that's how I see the future of photo editing!  Sheesh - what's it going to be like 10-20 years from now?!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Mama Courtney

I'm grateful for the help with feeding this boy!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I could spend all day playing with photos and fun apps that do things like this to pictures:

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Double heart attack

Some days I wish they weren't such babies.

Other days I wish they weren't so BRAVE!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ignorance would've been bliss

There's a Maverick store next to the park we often play at after going to the gym everyday. I didn't even remember they had frozen yogurt til I saw a sign out advertising their new Irish Mint flavor. So I made a veryvery uncharacteristic decision to walk over with the kids and get cones for everyone.
 The problem is- now we can't go to that park without all the kids begging to walk over to Maverick! It's so annoying! I talk it through to Brianna, and explain that we can buy a lot MORE frozen yogurt later at the store, for even less money than the cost of 3 small cones. But the younger two don't get that concept, anymore than the concept of running out in the street is dangerous.
So we're going to have to chose a new park.
Lesson learned: never ever buy treats for your kids. Ever.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

"He said Jesus AGAIN!!"

So the whole idea of conference-bingo seemed brilliant, and this is the first year Brianna could really do it on her own.
The problem is... we ran out of candies pretty fast! Have you noticed how many times the prophets and apostles say those bingo words... Temple, Family, Heavenly Father, Faith, Jesus Christ.... If she gets to put a little candy on each word when she hears it- that adds up to a LOT of candy! But if you limit it to one per word- the game ends quickly and we're back to chaos and distraction and no one hears any conference messages. And we need those messages!! So I don't know what the solution is, besides re-watching the talks later. I think whoever invented the conference bingo game idea never actually tested it out.

And the boys were definitely enjoying conferenzzzzzz :