Monday, December 31, 2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Chef Brianna

She made a sandwich for her sister.

Pita bread, ketchup, cheerios.


Friday, December 28, 2012

Brianna ScissorHands

It's been about a couple months since the tragic incident.... and I'm finally recovered enough from the initial shock and anger and sadness to talk about it. Brianna cut Courtney's hair.
Snipped it right across the front.
Turned long wispy strands into blunt ugly 80s-child-style bangs.
On Brian's watch, not mine, of course.
So I've been stuck in this melting pot of mixed emotions:  infuriated with Brian for not watching them and allowing scissors to be played with,  angry and disappointed in Brianna for doing something I'm pretty sure she understood was wrong, relief that no one got hurt and that the damage wasn't worse than it was.... all the while being careful not to let Courtney know how awful her new bangs look. 
Of course I'd still think she was just as beautiful if she was entirely bald or Brianna had really gone to town with the snipping.... but still, it's sad to see her looking like Jim Carrey's character on Dumb & Dumber. 
And of course, this look is reminiscent from that incident a few years ago with Brianna.....

Courtney's dresses

I decided that since I was having a tough time finding any available hangers, it might be a good idea to sort through Courtney's dresses and maybe possibly get rid of a few.
Or a few dozen.

Seriously, this girl had FORTY-TWO dresses in her closet. That's almost a new one for every weekend.  Each was a hand-me-down, gift, or Nickel Auction purchase.  I narrowed the field down to 19, and I'm quite proud of myself for that. The ones that didn't make the cut earned me a big chunk of change at the following Nickel Auction!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Brianna's Christmas crafts

Made at her preschool (definitely NOT at home. I wish I was that good of a mom. I'm craftily-challenged). The snowman face is a milk jug - with a big hole in back, where a small string a of lights were stuffed in.

And the gingerbread house is the real deal - actual gingerbread, frosting.... meaning the house is already partially eaten here, because of course that kind of thing doesn't last long on our counter tops without little fingers digging in. And, I'll admit, big fingers too :) The reindeer's antlers were cut out from an outline of Brianna's hands. Brianna often asks why Rudolph's nose is red, and why the other reindeer wouldn't let him play their games. Very sensitive to bullying. :) Note the Christmas cards on the wall - those are the ones we received from fam and friends. Less this year than ever before! Sad. I mean, I totally get why people just do digital cards, or none at all. Seriously, I'm surprised I DON'T do digital cards. But there's something about receiving it in the mail and displaying all season. Makes me happy. Next year I'll be more on the ball and send out OUR cards earlier, and to more people. That always does the trick :) Hope you all had a merry Christmas, full of fun kid projects!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Out of Brianna's Mouth Lately

"I think Courtney will be grrrrrreat when she grows up."
"Some people with brown eyes are NOT our friends."
"I tried to fall asleep but I couldn't stop thinking about you rubbing my back. You need to do that."
"You're doing well, Kid.  You're doing well."   [to Courtney, in a voice like Shrek saying "That'll do, donkey. That'll do.]
"We'll call me, Brianna The Great! We'll call Courtney, Courtney The StopSign!"
"Mom, do you wish you had baby named Jesus too?
"Do you know why frozen bananas taste so good? Cuz they're called CHELSEAS!"
"Hey, check out this move" [strikes a pose with one leg in the air and hands spread out]
"Would you like to put on a movie for me, then sit by me and hug me the whole time we watch it?"
"I never dream about anyone in our family, except for just you mom!"
"YOGURT and DATES?!?!! That's ALL you could THINK of to OFFER me for snacktime?!!  Ugh!"
"I don't wanna be a Grandma!!"
"Does Jesus like silly putty?"
"Some people do Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, not Christmas. I guess they don't know about Jesus."
"Courtney is so gentle. She'd never feed me to anybody."

Extra, Extra!

I was interviewed for this article in the Daily Herald:

A guide to choosing the right shoes for the runner in you

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Appropriate sledding footwear

 We got so lucky today with PERFECT sledding conditions.  Yesterday it dumped a few inches - blizzard conditions for a few hours - but today the sun is shining and it's so nice outside. Awesome Christmas present.
So after the morning festivities  (just our little family here at home - really low key, loved it) we told them to get their snow clothes on.  Brianna came out like this.  No amount of logic would dissuade her. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

wish I had a video for this somehow....

The other night, we put the kids all to bed around 8:45.
And at 10pm, Bennett was STILL SINGING. 
He often lays in bed and sings for a few minutes til he falls asleep. But tonight... he just kept goingandgoingandgoingandgoing.  It was crazy. The alphabet song, the eensyweensy spider, the snowman song, the wise man built his house upon the rock, head shoulders knees toes, Families Can Be Together Forever, I Am a Child of God, the Barney song, "if all the raindrops were lemon drops and gum drops" song, twinkle twinkle, Jesus Wants me for a Sunbeam.....
I think he stopped sometime shortly after 10. The singing gradually got slower and quieter. 
As much as this was delightfully odd and entertainingly quirky for us...  I can't imagine what it's like for Courtney. Either she got serenaded to sleep (I hope)..... or laid there trying to fall asleep for over an hour listening to her brother belt toddler tunes. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Baker's helper

I only slightly realize that pictures like this are considerably less amazing and phenomenally adorable to others than they are to me. 
Because that's how we all are as mom-bloggers, right?

We post these simple, classic pictures of our kids, and think the whole world really will do a collective gasp and faint at the cuteness.

When in reality, if I saw a friend's kid in this same position - just mixing a bowl of muffin batter, hair in bun, smiling.... I'd think little of it. Just a casual, "oh, cute."

But when I look at *THIS* picture... I'm quite sure it belongs on a billboard or magazine.
Brianna is the most sweet, precious, intoxicatingly beautiful 4-yr old on the planet. To me.   

Friday, December 21, 2012

The back of my ride

Big thanks to +Julie Housley and her awesome vinyl skills for making me this Utah Running Guide sticker!
 She made four of them for me - one for each side of the van, and one I'm still trying to convince Brian to let me put on his car.... (he's very protective of his vehicles. He even attempts to avoid kid crumbs in there. Silly boy).   Jules has a company called It's Wall Talk - so if you ever need/want vinyl projects, she's seriously the mostest awesomest.    As I'm working with Race Directors/Marketing Directors for events we're advertising for at URG, I'm trying to get them to create vinyl stickers with their event logo  (or if they already are, start hiring It's Wall Talk to do it instead!). Such a win-win.... they give runners a swag item they'll actually appreciate and likely enjoying displaying.... and the race gets year-long mass mobile advertising!
So again - thanks Jules!  And Utah friends - if you're willing to slap one of these URG stickers on your car, I'd be more than happy to mail you one! (or four)  

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Future dream home plans

At Brianna's preschool (at the teacher's home), there's a kid's nook under the stairway. She's turned it into a restaurant, where the kids "order" from the window (right side holes in wall). Cute little tables and chairs back there, full plastic food menu options, cooking utensils....SO FUN! Today was the Christmas party, so I brought the twins. They wanted nothing to do with the Santa that came, but everything to do with the fun stuff at Silver Maple Preschool!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Church love

I don't know if there's a rule that you're not supposed to take pictures during church (especially Sacrament mtg), but when Brian catches me doing it, you'd think I was headed straight for outer darkness just for attempting. But I snuck this one in:
It was so cute - we were singing "Angels We Have Heard on High" (I LOVE Christmastime music at church - so nice to sing more upbeat songs!), and Brianna put her arm around Courtney and started singing and swaying to the music. Loudly. Laughing harder and harder as it went out and swaying faster and faster. Courtney loved it, but was trying hard to protect her apple from falling. Bennett usually isn't included in these public displays of silly love. Poor guy. He needs a brother ;)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Nickel Auction Night!

Easily my favorite monthly activity, and the best GNO ever. Nickel Auctions make my world go round.
Just like last year, I hosted the December auction. But unlike last year where we had 8 women show up, tonight we had 23! Including my cousin Krissy from Spokane, that was fun. I had Brian take the kids over to the Tanner's home, so he and Steve could manage the 6 crazies while Becca and I had fun.  Such a weird auction though - only about 5 women brought stuff to sell! Usually it's 8-10, and we're there for 3 hours. Tonight was like 90 minutes, and that included long breaks between sellers, giving ladies a chance to enjoy the potluck  (I made crockpot full of homemade chili, and it was GONE!)  So, thanks to supply & demand, my stuff sold great. I think I made like $15 bucks!  I sold a few things I wouldn't have wanted the kids to see.... but of course they'll never notice it's gone.  And while other people were selling, I rushed and went through my closet, grabbing out a bunch of clothes to sell  (rule: if you haven't worn it in 2+ yrs, time to get rid of it!!)
Lovelovelove Nickel Auctions.  Best form of recycling out there.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

small smiley miracle

They're ALL looking at the camera. And smiling. At the same time.
This NEVER happens!

Now if only they were all dressed and the house was clean, we could frame it.  But really.... a picture with everyone looking good, and the background too... statistically impossible. 

But so glad I have this one at least! 

Friday, December 14, 2012

A day for hugging my babies

I stayed with Brianna til she fell asleep tonight, rubbing her back and singing her songs. It's been a day full of holding her close and trying not to cry in front of her. With her being almost Kindergarten age, I keep thinking of what it's like for those poor parents who don't have their Kindergartners to tuck into bed tonight.  I remember in High School, hearing about the Columbine shootings. Then in college, hearing about the shootings at the UofA, then last year in Norway. And some others. It's just so insane. So tragic. So scary. I can't imagine what things will be like when my little ones are adults. I just know I'm going to try harder to enjoy each moment with my kids, and keep them as safe as I can.

PS - I just love Brianna's fleece bed spread. It's a quilt my 89 yr old Grandma stitched together, just about a month ago. She told me not to tell any of my cousins/siblings, so they wouldn't get jealous or expect her to do the same for them.  So on the slim chance they're reading this... sorry. Tough luck - I'm her favorite.  :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Just so I don't forget this...

This evening I was trying to work, and Bennett was doing his loud shrill squeals (happy mood, just for fun). Like VERY high-pitched screams. 
I said, "Bennett! Your noises are maddening!" 
And he instantly stopped, paused, smiled at me and repeated, "maddening!" 
Courtney heard that and decided to parrot, "maddening!" 
Which of course prompted Bennett to again yell out, "maddening!" 
Then Courtney. Then Bennett. Then Courtney. Then Bennett.
So there I am at my laptop sitting on the couch with two toddlers running around the room laughing and yelling, "Maddening! Maddening! Maddening!" 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Jaime Swim Art

I love Jamie Swim Art!  Go check out her art and Like her FB Page!

Sincere apologies to my friends Sally & Julie, who entered Jamie's FB giveaway also.  And they didn't win. They only successfully helped ME discover the giveaway, which I entered.... and won  :)

Sidenote:  I'm confident enough that Brian never ever reads this blog, that I'm posting this on here, even though it's a Christmas present for him.  He will LOVE it (he's kindof ridiculously obsessed with all-things-tropical).   The photo doesn't do the painting justice. It's super cute.   THANKS JAMIE!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Princess Subway

$2 subs means we're coming here everyday all month. I hope they're open Christmas day. Seriously. Cuz it makes my kids eat lots of veggies (not even blended up - the real deal!), I don't have to prep or really clean anything, it's relatively healthy, we get Subway reward points, we get a free cookie from filling out the survey receipt every time, and we bought the Subway gift cards at Smith's where we get Smith's reward points!  YAAAAY!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Subway love. For $2.

My poor homeless looking children.

I'm taking this picture to prove that I do at least feed them, though obviously don't clothe them myself.

Men are wussies.

Bennett and Courtney both got sick earlier in the week. Some sort of very short-lived flu or virus or stomach bug. Maybe food poisoning, cuz there was no fever. Just diarrhea and a couple pukies.  So gross to clean up.  But here we are at Smith's photo center, where I was working on ordering some photos, and Bennett fell totally asleep right at my feet. Courtney and Brianna were happily playing in the drop-in childcare  (I LOVE SMITHS DROP-IN CHILDCARE!!) but Bennett.... sweet little Bennett.... wouldn't leave me. He was still exhausted from being sick earlier in the week. Courtney? Totally over it and back to normal by the next day. But my little boy... obviously takes after his Daddy, who also doesn't tolerate sickness well  (though to his credit, he rarely rarely rarely gets sick - hasn't missed a day of work due to illness EVER. That's right - EVER).  
But, as usual, there are some perks to having sick kids.... lots and lots of cuddle time!  LOVED IT!

Trapped and Happy

I often (like every day) find myself stuck, sitting on the bed, with two babies asleep on my lap. A head on each thigh, as I'm sitting cross-legged, helping them fall asleep.  Not a big deal at night, when Brian can come in and help me transfer them to their cribs. But during the day, at nap-time, it's very tricky transferring them by myself without waking them. So I often just sit and enjoy it. And snap pictures to blog. Love my little toddler-babies.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Manger Blocks!

Thank you sista Becky!
Pardon the brightnesss. Someday I shall learn how to properly operate a camera.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Antlers at Trader Joes

I was so excited about the new Trader's Joes opening in SLC that my antlers stood straight up.

Seriously though, I love that this store is in Utah now. There are just a few things they have that I can't get anywhere else - not for their price, anyway.  Most especially - their tortillas.  Super high quality, super inexpensive. Same for jams and other breads. Sometimes decent produce deals. And probably other stuff, I just haven't checked around enough. And it's not really possible to do that yet, cuz the place is freakishly packed. It's a tiny store, and there were probably 100 people in there on Saturday morning.

Why the antlers..... why not?  Brian told me to take them off, but he was he only one who even noticed. No one else looked twice.  I love that.  During the holiday season, it's perfect acceptable and not remotely unusual to wear antlers around in public.
(They were from the Jingle Bell Run 5K at Trolley Square that Brian and I had just finished. SO FUN!!)