Monday, July 30, 2012

You're not cool unless your toothpaste matches your jammies.

She loves the Dora toothpaste. I despise it. Have you read the ingredients?! Junkjunk.  But the natural kid's toothpastes are like 5x as much. So back to the debate I always have.... quality vs. cost....

And... check out the CURLS! I'm kindof crazy about the natural curls. They're at their best during this slight humidity. Makes me want to move to Hawaii so it'll be curly all the time.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

To The Pool!


Drooling over these at the Farmer's Market

You'll say SOOOO CUUUTE !!

Til you see the price....

Sheesh, why can't they just manufacture it in China and save us a bunch of money.   Buying local is so overrated. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Goofy bike, goofy Brianna.

The funny part of this pic isn't the rad circus bike. It's that Brianna is wearing pink goggles on her head like sunglasses, and had been doing that all day.  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Had a few Texan Smith kids over last night.  4 of them. Would've taken all 5, but the youngest is just 14 days! Brianna looooves her cousins, and loooooves staying up late jumping on beds.
 Quote of the night, "Please Aunt Chelsea, no 80's music!" -Annalee.     Oh, and one more from her: "Somebody put a loin cloth on that kid!" (referring to naked Courtney, post-bath-air-dry-running. Festivities included a semi-violent game of Duck, Duck Goose,  Freeze Tag, Ice Cream, Dora Dance Party, morning breakfast picnic outside, Lego class at Three Little Monkeys, Lunch Park, Rec Center swimming, and rock wall climbing.  Hopefully I'll get around to posting the pictures - we've got some good ones of this crazy crew! I'm so glad they came to visit - it's been well over a year since I've seen them.  Wish I lived closer to (most of) my extended family!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Out of Brianna's Mouth Lately

How cute was I when I hatched out of your tummy?

Those cute days when Bennett and Courtney were babies in highchairs are OVER!

Let's have a big MEETING at our house! It will be so fun!

Uugghh.... I think I have daddy-a-ria. [diarrhea]

I love your computer and YOU too mom!

Moooommm.... you innerrepted me. I was still talking. You should say sorry.

"Mom, I'll just follow you, and you follow Jesus."

"Can you be Bennett's husband?"

"Do you love your husband, AND Daddy?"

"AbraCadabra, AllaKaZoom, turn Courtney into.... a MAN!"

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Best (mormoncoupleswithkids) party game ever

Parties games are so different these days than they used to be BC (before children). Can't be long or involve a lot of thinking, explaining, concentrated effort...
So this one is perfect!  And worked out really well last night when we got together with 5 other families and our BBQ was rained out. The kids ran around inside, and we had dull get-to-know-you conversation until I busted out the pens and paper and informed everyone they needed to cooperate with me.
I don't know the name of this game but I love it.
It's like Telephone but in pictures and writing.
Everyone has a piece of paper and writes a sentence at the top. Any sentence describing any scene. Then everyone passes their paper to the next person who has to draw a picture of that scene. Then they pass it to the next person after folding over and hiding the sentence. Next person has to write what they see in the scene. Next person illustrates. Next person writes. All previous writings are folded over and hidden. At the end you hopefully get something like this:
First sentence: "My knee hurts when I run"
Picture:  girl with knee pain, and arrows to girl running
Next sentence describing above photo, without seeing first sentence:  "Macarena"
Next pic:  two people  with music notes above their heads wearing Mexican party clothes.
Next sentence: "The mustached gentleman wearing a sombrero danced with the most beautiful girl at the fiesta."
Next pic, depicting above sentence.
Next sentence: "The Mexican hairy cowboy hugged the female from Planet of the Apes."
Next pic, depicting above sentence.
Final sentence  (remember, we started with "my knees hurt when I run fast.")   "Chinese man with lanterns on his hat swings Planet of the Apes girl around."


Is it ok if I post more Lactation-Helper stories?  Is it boring? or TMI?  Nothing flares up the Mommy Wars like a good breastfeeding conversation.  But being a La Leche League Leader, it's a huge part of my life. I spend hours and hours answering calls, emails, leading group meetings, studying and researching Lactation as an academic subject....
I need a place to unload!
We'll see how this goes. Maybe I'll have to start a private blog for these stories, like I did for my running stuff, so I don't clog up the BCBCB blog.
Ok, tonight's story: I got a call tonight that made my heart and head hurt.  A mom calling asking for weaning tips for her 3 month old baby who is severely allergic to milk and soy proteins. Mom prefers to put baby on expensive hypoallergenic formula than eliminate dairy & soy from her own diet. There's even a drug she can take to break down the proteins and still eat those things in moderation. But she just didn't want to. I was polite and gentle in my suggestions - not wanting to give a bad impression of LLL. We're here to help mothers who want to breastfeed. That's in the Mission Statement. But this one didn't want to. So I gave her the weaning tips she called for.  But I DIED inside, thinking of the dozens of mothers I've helped who would've traded places with her in a second - desperate and crying for help with their various problems. They'd live off beans and rice for the rest of their LIVES if it meant they could give their child that tremendous gift of a biologically normal start.  I imagine this is somewhat like working in a Fertility Clinic and an Abortion Clinic.  Having to watch one mother throw away what another mother desperately wants.  
I hate to sound judgmental, because I know every mother's situation is different and I can't begin to understand the whole picture of her circumstances. And I honestly don't think poorly of her or any other mother who makes similar choices. I just believe they don't fully understand the decision they're making, the long term consequences, and what they're taking away from themselves and their child.  It's like those who slam the door on missionaries or refuse to accept the Gospel - they don't completely understand what they're doing and the repercussions of it.
Stepping off my soapbox now.  :)

Monday, July 16, 2012


I just returned from a profoundly wonderful experience.
One that brought me back to a time I've almost forgotten because it's so fuzzy it my memory.
Nearly 2 years ago, I was that new mother of twins, sitting on my couch semi-helpless with two tinytiny babies needing me constantly, a toddler running around, a husband working long hours, no family living near, receiving help from amazingly awesome friends and neighbors. I was sore and exhausted and overwhelmed.  I never felt like I properly thanked the dear friends who helped us so much during that time.
But now at least I feel like I'm paying it forward.
I received an email last night, as a La Leche League Leader, from a new mother of twins in SLC. She was having a really rough time with her 4 wk old nurslings. It was amazing how much we happened to have in common - kids the same age, same birth experiences, similar family situations....I could relate to her situation 100%.  Except that she was having some serious breastfeeding troubles due to some bad advice.  Myself and another leader went to her house for 3 hours, helped her get the babies positioned better, latched better, and she was amazed - the pain was gone.  I helped her learn how to put both babies in her Moby wrap - which she hadn't even taken out of the package - and go for a walk outside.  We stayed there and answered all her questions, showed her different techniques, made a plan to wean off the artificial milk supplements, and left when she felt comfortable.
I'm still on a Lactation Helper's High - it feels awesome to make a difference like this for someone in such a crucial part of their life. And getting to hold and smell and enjoy those precious, precious little infant twins... ohmyword. It sent me right back and I could've just cried, thinking about my own tiny babies, not too long ago.
Doing this makes me feel so much better about those many thank-you notes I never got around to writing.  I love being a La Leche League Leader!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Check out Utah Running Guide: Free RACE Entry Giveaways

Ohmygosh.   I'm kindof freaking out.  So I wanted to send out email invites to friends/fam would would be interested in Utah Running Guide and the Race Entry Giveaways.  Trying to boost numbers.  Facebook had an option of importing my gmail address book list and sending out invites.  I thought I'd have a chance to just selected the names I wanted to. Nope.  This message got send out to everyone I've ever emailed from this account.  That's 3,052 addresses.  Oh dear.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

GIVEAWAY! Allergy-Friendly Food For Families cookbook from Kiwi.

Lucky lucky me - I got to review an awesome cookbook, and I get to give one away to one lucky person!
While I'm a big fan of finding recipes online, there's something really great about pulling down a cookbook off the shelf and flipping through the recipes.
Especially when there are gorgeous pictures. And great health info. And convenient tabs, a handy ingredient list, cook & prep times, nutrition data, and ideas for including kids in the fun.
I can't think of a single thing it's missing, honestly. I can sit down and read through it like a novel almost - it's very entertaining and actually MOTIVATES me to WANT to try out these recipes. And that's a big deal, cuz I'm really not a kitchen whiz. I'm veryvery good at making a bowl of cereal, and green smoothies. And that's where my skills end. And that lack of competence is very demotivating sometimes. But reading this cookbook.... makes me feel like I can fly. Around the kitchen. Making yummy things.
We've tried a few recipes and really enjoyed them.  Greener Sloppy Joes, pg 91. Cashew-Cinnamon Yogurt Sauce, pg 146.  And these Almond Flour Honey Cakes, pg 138 with Mixed Seed Butter Frosting. My whole family LOVED them!

Let's review here, folks. You need to walk away from reading this review knowing:
-The recipes are super family-friendly and healthy.
-Many recipes are perfect for kids to make with a little adult help.
-Even if you don't have any allergies in the family (like us), the recipes in here are still for YOU.
-The pictures. They're amazing. You will be tempted to lick the pages.
Where can you learn more? and
Where can you buy the book?
How can you WIN one?  Leave a comment. That's all.  OH, and I'd appreciate it if you'd like my totally unrelated but uber-important site on FB, Utah Running Guide :)
We'll randomly select the lucky winner on Sat. July 14th after I put the kids to bed. Which could be quite late at our house during the summer...especially when I feed them honey cakes at 9pm.... =)
***Giveaway OVER! Congrats to the TWO winners:  Annalee and Amanda!***

Monday, July 9, 2012

Runnin' a Runnin' Business!

I am the new owner of !
Here's the story, briefly:
My superstar running friend started the site a few years ago. She worked hard on it and grew it to be a great resource for runners in Utah and surrounding areas. She had a passion for promoting running events in the state.
But she moved to CA and started a new site,   She wanted to sell her URG site, but got overwhelmed and sent me an email a week ago asking if I wanted it.  Immediately the wheels in my little head started spinning.  IDEAS!  Lots of ideas. The kind of ideas I have absolutely NO TIME for and shouldn't entertain. 
But I've decided to GO for it! 
So I've taken over the site, given it a lift, tuck - the works. Completely changed the focus and advertising program. 
I started a Facebook Page for it, where I host GIVEAWAYS for FREE race entries to Featured Races in Utah.
The FB Timeline Cover - for now. I'm not nuts about it. Anybody out there good w/ graphic design?!  
 This has never been done before - a place where people can try to win free entries to races!  That's the #1 reason most runners don't do MORE weekend races - it's an expensive hobby.  Problem solved - just come on over to Utah Running Guide and enter to win!

Last week we gave away an entry into
the Half Crazy Half Marathon.This is our
 current giveaway! A free entry into the
 Save Your Skin 10K run. It's a fun one
along the Legacy Trail. Giveaway ends
Wednesday - go enter! Even if you don't
want to win! Seriously - I need the numbers! :)
It's an innovative advertising approach that I think Race Directors will like, because entering the contest requires "liking" their race page and "sharing" it.  That's a big deal, with the potential of getting their event details out to THOUSANDS.   Yay for the power of social media!
So. I'm working hard on this. Hoping it will take off.  Already, according to web analytics, the site gets about 2,000 unique visitors per month, and we have a Facebook Group (vs/ FB Page) with nearly 600 members I can directly message.  So it's good start!
YOU can help - please LIKE the URG site on FB and enter the contests!
My VISION:  A site where the best races in Utah are featured, where Race Directors WANT their event advertised, because all the Running-Enthusiasts swarm to Utah Running Guide!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

These people call her Nonny

Mom asked me for an updated Grandkid collage as soon as the new arrivals could be photographed.
Bethany arrived today and Tucker came a few weeks ago. That makes 21 living grandchildren! That's a lot, especially considering that they have Smith blood, meaning they're all Chiefs and no Indians. Mom - here's the test - can you do all their middle names and birthdays? Or at least birth months. Go! 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Explaining the Explanation...

There are a lot of pictures I'd like to blog, but they require so much explanation that I don't bother.

But maybe I need to stop that, because these quirky pictures make me happy.

And they're what real life at the McKell house usually looks like!

Like this one. Brianna proudly announced that she created CARROT PANCAKES. Notice that under each carrot is a piece of pancake.

The explanations:  the pink paint around Brianna's left eye is the remnant from face painting this morning at a 5K.   The black thing on Courtney's head is a backwards visor. The blurred boy is sweet little Bennett, coming in for a bite of carrot pancakes. The messy hair on my girls... I promise I try to do something with it. But then they take it out. So it's like shoveling snow during a snowstorm.

See, this is why I don't blog my quirky explanation-requiring pictures. This post is way too long for being fairly insignificant.

Monday, July 2, 2012

NPS Store

Discovering the NPS Store in West Valley was one of the happiest days of my life. I mean, our wedding and children's births come first...and a few epic runs... But finding this place definitely makes the top twenty. My cousin Sally Alley (seriously that's her name) told me about it when I was talking about looking for a new area rug. She had to describe how to get here like ten times to me, since I couldn't find it on my GPS, and there's not really a website for it. It's a scratch-and-dent, surplus type store. A fell-off-the-truck and/or black market type place. Very shadey crowd there. But I don't care - I love it! There's a warehouse side, with a hugehuge variety of things - like Home Depot meets Fred Meyer, with some Costco thrown in. Then there's the grocery side, reaffirming my opinion that being a couponer isn't worth the effort. Because the grand total of these 2 carts full of groceries - pretty much all good healthy stuff, not KeeblerCouponKrap, - was $105.
Yep, $105 to FILL our trunk. Thanks to the NPS store (and Bountiful Baskets) I think we keep our monthly grocery bill down around $300 for our family of 5. With zero hours spent clipping, organizing, planning, etc.  NPS Store trips always take me at least an hour - cuz the store isn't organized very well, always changes products, I have to watch exp dates, I have to bag my own groceries, drive to "scary" West Valley, deal with crowds on Saturdays.... but it's worth it!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

i wuv windsay!

It's great to have a sister to talk to on the phone everyday.... it's even better to have a sister to get cool stuff in the mail from! Check out this haul - you'd think it was Christmas! Nope, just Lindsay feeling Santa Clausey. She sent us a box full of happiness. A box big enough to fit all my children inside of. Or at least toys for all of them! Cute wood puzzles, a whole learn-to-read system, musical toys, tons of boy clothes, and a new bedspread. Lindsay loves me! To thank her, I mailed her my copy of the Insanity workout program. Complete with tape to hang the calendar on the wall (inside joke). Now she's very sore, yet appreciative. I wish we lived closer so we could share our stuff easier!

Two Important Things For You To Know

1. Brianna likes rock climbing.

2. Brian likes patriotic swim trunks.

And that is all.