Dec 20, 2007

Know Your Religion

Recently Elder Ballard gave a talk encouraging listeners to use new media, including blogs, to have religious discussions. Now, generally I avoid topics I can't mock ruthlessly, but I'm an extremely obedient and curious girl. So here goes...

Here's what I want to know:

  • If you are reading this, and you are not a Mormon, what is your religious affiliation?
  • What is one thing you want Mormon's to know about your religion?
  • What is one thing you want to know about Mormons or Mormonism?
  • Who sent you the funniest Christmas Card this year?
  • Do you know who Mitt Romney is?
  • Mormon readers: what religions are you curious about and what questions do you have?
  • Does anyone else really REALLY want "The Clapper" for Christmas?

Let's recap: Me=obedient and curious. You=cooperative and comment-prone.

Now, twalk amongst yourselves! (And then leave a comment.)

Dec 17, 2007

Woah Snow and Other Matters

*Rhode Island is a small state. And evidently, they have a small amount of snow removal equipment. Because when it snows here, the state pretty much shuts down. Thus, church yesterday was cancelled because of a paltry (at least by Utah standards) amount of snow. Not that I'm complaining or anything! It was awesome.

We decided that it would be okay to play in the snow on the Sabbath as long as we communed with nature and appreciated the beauty of the earth while we were at it. So the boys (reverently) built an awesome sled run down our hill, and then after dark built an igloo on the back deck. I mostly stayed inside with Babe though D did get me out on the sled for a few runs. (It was pretty awesome. And spiritual.) Go to Doug's blog to see a movie and pictures.

*Dear Friends and Family,
Some of you have the extremely smart and thrifty idea of posting your Christmas letter and picture on your blog. That's fabulous! Now, if you could just print both of those out, put them in an envelope and mail them to me, that would be great. I really really like getting Christmas cards in the mail. It's pretty much my favorite thing about December. That's not going to be a problem for you, right?

*Many of you know that I'm somewhat addicted to Hot Chocolate. In San Francisco, there were LOTS of cold, foggy mornings to break out the Spray Whip and tea kettle. And lots of friends nearby to partake with. Here...not so much. So, whereas before I was a social drinker, now I'm a closet drinker. But I'm fine with it. Don't judge me.

Anyway, my favorite "basic" hot chocolate is "Stephen's" brand. I used to buy it in bulk at Costco whenever I was in Utah. (It's a product of Utah.) I could find it in California, but it wasn't common and it was very expensive. Of course, I had no expectation or hope of finding it here in RI, so last time my mom came to visit she had to pack a #10 can for me.

But then...a CHRISTMAS MIRACLE! I was in Sam's Club the other day, (I hate it, but the nearest Costco is in Massachusetts) and what to my wondering eyes did a appear?
A box (of 28 single serving packets) of Stephen's Peppermint Candy Cane Hot Chocolate!
I couldn't believe it! I grabbed a box and raced home with my treasure. When Doug saw it, he was about to protest my splurge until he saw that it was Stephen's. We made some immediately. And guess what. It is SO GOOD! SO GOOD! In my opinion, it's even better than Starbucks Peppermint Hot Chocolate because it's a little bit sweeter.

Conclusion: It's good. Really good. If you ever see it in the store, BUY IT!
(Yes STEPHEN'S, you can send me some free product now!)

*Merry Christmas!

Dec 15, 2007

6 Things You Never Wanted To Know About Me

I hope you're happy Jen Ross!

#6 When I was twelve years old I found a stock broker in the Yellow Pages and bought a few shares of Disney Stock with my babysitting money. I still have them. And until a few years ago I still had the stock broker. I miss you Bonnie.

#5 Every single year I ask for a Chia Pet and "The Clapper" for Christmas. And I never get either one. But one year (around age 11) I did get a Dust Buster.

#4 I was engaged to someone else before Doug. We broke up on Christmas day.

#3 Based on the number of unexcused absenses I had my senior year, I should not have graduated.
#3a. I graduated because teachers always liked me.

#2 I secretly want a puppy even though I unsecretly hate dogs.
#2a. Doug and I had a pet snake that got cooked to death over Christmas vacation because of a faulty thermostat. (Our apartment did NOT smell good when we got home.)

#1 I can't "tag" people to do blog meme's because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings by leaving them out.
#1a. Once my friends and I wanted to toilet paper a whole block of houses so we wouldn't hurt anyone's feelings. But the cops caught us before we even started.
#1b. I still feel bad for every time I was ever mean to anyone ever in my entire life.
#1bi. I'm sorry if I was ever mean to you or ever hurt your feelings. I'M SORRY!!!

Tag. You're all "it".

Dec 10, 2007

Dec 6, 2007

Happy Birthday Max!

Six of my favorite things about Maxwell:

1. He has a fabulous smile and an awesome giggle.
2. He's a great big brother to Gabe (always) and Sam (sometimes).
3. He's got great pirate moves.
4. He loves books, being read to, and is learning to read.

5. He's smart, curious, and helpful.
6. He says things like "I can carry that Mommers 'cause I'm stronger than lightning!"
6a. He calls me Mommers.

Happy Birthday Maxwell-Boy! We love you!!!

***For Maxwell's Cake this year, I found a Texas Sheet Cake recipe on It was so good and easy to make, I'm putting it on my recipe blog!

Nov 29, 2007

Important Stuff

Important Item #1:
I'll be sending out Christmas cards soon. If you'd like one, would you please send me your address? My e-mail is:

Important Item #2:
Tonight D said "I expect our boys to be Samurai Warriors by the time we leave Japan".

Important Item #3:
Exactly two weeks ago, my wallet and D's work bag were stolen from our car while it was parked in Boston Common. (The automatic door locker doesn't always work.) Today we got both back because Doug decided--four days after the fact--to file a police report (despite me saying it was hopeless).

The only things missing: Ibuprofen (they left the bottle), a few random gift cards from my wallet and D's I-pod. They left D's key's, (which included home, office, hospital, and two cars) his check book, and all of my credit cards and drivers license. (And temple recommend, library card, discount cards, YMCA card, etc.)

Can I just tell you what a huge relief and blessing it was to get everything back? Yes, I can: HUGE!!!

Important Item #4:
D put up Christmas lights tonight.

Important Item #5:
Don't be greedy. Four is enough.

Nov 26, 2007


Doug's brother Dave,
his (famous in blogging circles) wife, and their adorable little girl left yesterday after a fun filled Thanksgiving weekend.

And I'm sad.

Because now I have to get back to real life which includes far fewer yummy breakfasts and much more domestic drudgery.

And because I found that Laura and I have LOTS in common just by virtue of being married to very similar brothers. (Plus we're both super smart and witty and humble.)
So it's really good to talk to her!

And because little Eden is so beautiful and provided endless hours of entertainment for all of us.
And because my boys had so much fun having them here.And because Dave did the dishes.

Thank goodness Christmas is coming!

Nov 13, 2007


Today I made a tactical error. I sat down to nurse Gabe in the family room without first securing the remote control.

Sam was watching Playhouse Disney's Little Einsteins which I love. So no problem. But about a minute after I sat down it ended and something new started. Something horrible. Big problem. I'm stranded on the Lazy-Boy (nursing a tiny lazy boy) and the remote is out of Sam's reach. I felt my eyes start to bleed, but there was nothing to be done. I had to watch...


Have you ever seen Doodlebops? It's one of the shows my kids aren't allowed to watch because it lacks artistic appeal...and it's obnoxious. Oh, and because if you're prone to seizures, I'm pretty sure the acid-trip-inspired set will trigger one instantly.

What's that you say? You like this show?* No, no you don't. You don't like it. Because although Moe, Deedee, and Rooney all have skin painted different colors, and even though they all dance around with instruments and pretend to play, and even though they sing peppy, obnoxious songs, this show has no redeeming value.

Need a little more convincing? This is the chorus of one of their songs that I had to hear repeated about 58 times to a pseudo hip-hop beat:

You're my heeeeero, and
you're my frieeeeeeeeend,
and I'll look up to you
again and again...

Enough said.

Don't even get me started on "Yo Gabba Gabba".
*Also, don't trust your kid's opinion. Kids eat their own boogers.

Nov 5, 2007

Hooray for BOOKS!

I love to read. I love to read a LOT.

Sometimes to the detriment of my social life. Like when I give a bad review to one of my friends favorite books. Or like when I take my novel to family functions with the in-laws and they mock me ruthlessly. (Hey, Doug takes his book too.)

I think I may have inherited this obsessive love from my father who always has a book with him. He used to read while driving to California for our family vacations. Yes, WHILE DRIVING. He propped Louis L'Amour on the steering wheel. If you ever run into him at Disneyland (which isn't hard to do) you'll find he has his book there too. Just in case he has to stand in line and happens to find his companions boring. (It happens a lot.)

Or, I may have inherited it from my mom who seemingly read herself to sleep every night of her life. I remember her coming out of her bathroom, cozy nightgown on, smelling like Keri Lotion, and climbing into bed to read to me. Or for me to read to her. Or for us to read together.

Or it could have been motivated at first by greed since we got paid a penny a page to read as kids.

Whatever has caused this slight dysfunction, me and reading go together like ink and paper. That's why I'm so happy with the last two packages I've gotten.

Yesterday a package came from Amazon with my name on it. It was pretty much the same thing that happened in February. Knowing I hadn't bought anything, I wondered if this was something Doug had ordered using my Amazon account. Once again, I figured if that was the case, too bad for him. I opened it to find this awesomeness:

The Superior Person's Book of Words by Peter Bowler from our fabulous friends, the Dunn's.
(And did I ever mention I really love big words? I do.) I can't wait to read this.

A week or so previous to this, I opened a package from my sister and found this little bit of love:

A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
Jenny promises it will be one of my favorites. I'm only about 2 chapters in, but so far, so good. She also recommends renting the mini-series after I finish it. Fine by me! Only thing better than a good book, is a good book made into a mini-series! Especially if it's produced by A&E like my favorite: "Pride & Prejudice - The 5-hour version." (That's not exactly the official title.)
Some may find all this reading a waste of time. But without it, this blog wouldn't be nearly as egregious*ly executed with such afflatus** and might just succumb to battology***.

So like I said before; HOORAY FOR BOOKS!

*Exceptional. An interesting example of a word that has gradually changed from complimentary to pejorative in its usage, being now most commonly found immediately preceding the word ass.

**A sudden rush of divine or poetic inspiration.

***The continual reiteration of the same words or phrases in speech or writing.

Nov 2, 2007

Book Review

I've finished quite a few books lately and two are worthy of review.

The Gift of Pain by Philip Yancey and Dr. Paul Brand
Have you ever read one of those books where you want to read every other paragraph out loud to whomever happens to be in the room? Where the whole time you're reading it you think, "Oh, I wish this, and this, and this person would read this!?!?" or "Why isn't this required reading for every college student on the planet?" This is one of those books. It's non-fiction but reads as easily as a novel (which is rare). My friend Ginger let me borrow her copy and I'm glad I did. Now Doug is reading it and he likes it too. Two thumbs way up!

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Takes place in Afghanistan and the Bay area. One area I know little about, one I know lots about. I'll admit, I checked this out a few months ago, started it, got to a pivotal but extremely disturbing scene, and stopped reading.

Then was told by 20(ish) people (Diane) that it's the best book ever and I MUST finish it. So I checked it out again and finished it this time. I have to say, I have mixed emotions! Don't get me wrong, it's an excellent book with excellent writing. But it's also really sad and really depressing at times.

So I'm in an argument with myself about whether or not I like it and I can't decide. Because I don't like sad stories, but some sad stories need to be told and sometimes I need to hear them to be shaken out of my complacency. So I'm withholding judgement. You'll have to read it and tell me what you think. In the mean time, I will recommend The Story of My Life: An Afghan Girl on the Other Side of the Sky by Farah Amedi without reservation.

Happy Reading!

Oct 29, 2007

Who's Who?

You all did a great job! (Although it's not fair copying their old babysitter, Gin.)

1.Sam 2. Gabe
3. Max

4. Gabers
5. Sammers
6. Maxer
P.S. I'll make cookies for anyone who comes to visit!

Oct 26, 2007


I'm a victim of abuse. Child abuse. My child is abusing me! Samuel's naturally angelic nature seems to have been suppressed lately. Like for the last year.

Today Sam bit me approximately 3 times. Hard. Really hard. Hard enough that I'm sitting here looking at bruises, complete with teeth marks, on both arms. I have a really big one on my thigh too, but since it isn't "daisy-duke" weather, it's safely hidden.

This isn't the first time this has happened either. If we were going on the "three strikes you're out" system, he would have been thumbing his way across America to get to Grandma's house long ago.

One major cause of strife lately revolves around dressing. Sam doesn't want to get dressed. Or undressed. Or redressed. He tells me his clothes are dirty. And too hot. And too cold. And too yucky. Or that they're Maxwell's. Or Gabriel's. Or Daddy's. Too small and too big.

When I tell him we have to get dressed so we can go somewhere, he tells me he doesn't want to go to school. Or the store. Or the Doctor.

But, since we usually have to do these things, we have to get his clothes on. So I put them on. Against his will. And he struggles, and screams, and kicks, and bites me. Hard. (And usually he strips again the first chance he gets.)

I've tried all the bad parenting techniques. I've yelled at him, spanked him, bribed him and bitten him back. (Don't freak out, I only did that once, and not hard enough to leave a mark.)

I've mostly tried LOT'S of good parenting techniques including "1-2-3 Magic" and "Love and Logic". I've tried distraction. I've tried giving him options.

A week or two ago, I tried taking him to school naked from the waist down. (I got him dressed, he got himself undressed. I offered to get him dressed, he preferred to stay undressed.)

I've put him in time-out, and his toys in time-out, and myself in time-out.

Nothing has worked.
And I need help. Serious help!
Because when I say "Bite me!" I don't really mean it!

(Don 't be fooled by my cute face. I'm a biter!)

Oct 25, 2007

Weekend in Vermont

I've been meaning to post some of the pictures from our Vermont trip a few weekends back. But when you have 200 pictures to work with, it can be a bit daunting.

Doug's parents invited us to come and stay with them in a beautiful cabin by a lake in the midst of some of the most beautiful fall foliage I've ever seen. We did a lot of sight-seeing including visiting an awesome old farm and the birthplace of Joseph Smith. It was one of our favorite New England Adventures to date!

Thanks Mom and Dad Dub!
Posted by Picasa

Oct 22, 2007

Our First Contest

Doug just posted the FUNNIEST photo ever on his sight. And it inspired me to hold our first ever Photo Caption Contest! There will be a prize and everything, so get on over to his site and enter!

Oct 20, 2007

The Bishops Ball

Friday night we went to a BLACK TIE (please "ooh and ahh" here) Dinner and Dance put on to benefit Doug's hospital. It was a very fancy affair attended by the Governor and some local dignitaries. (Doug's boss got tickets for the residents, otherwise we wouldn't have been there.)

It was quite stressful getting ready for such an event with three hygiene challenged children swarming me and making constant demands on my time and attention. Especially with no other woman (Ginger) nearby to assist me with my hair and make-up. I'm a little personal-grooming challenged myself.

When Doug got home shortly before we were supposed to leave, I was in quite a panic. (If you look close you can see a slightly manic gleam in my eyes.)

Once we got there, though, I was able to relax.

Possibly too much.

After dinner and a presentation about the hospital, the live band started playing and people started dancing. Now, I do love to dance, but I haven't done it in awhile (like 7 years) because:

a) I'm not even slightly coordinated

b) Doug doesn't dance, and

c) Every other person on the dance floor had the advantage of being either slightly or completely drunk.

BUT, Cosmina dragged me out with her and I was surprised how much fun I had once I started pretending I was drunk and therefore wouldn't remember anything in the morning.

(Doug was embarrassing me by taking pictures.)

(*I would just like to note here that the children of Providence's "Upper Crust", have no idea what their parents do on Friday nights. If they could see their middle-aged mothers drunkenly gyrating on the dance floor, they'd probably slit their wrists.*)

(*I should also note that nothing embarrassing like that was going on in my group. We all looked super cool and hip. Okay, so maybe everyone other than me did.)

(*And I should also also note that Doug did uncharacteristically join me for a few songs.)

(*And let me tell you, he has some MOVES!)

Later, after shakin' it on the dance floor, Cosmina and I made a new friend. I believe his name is David?

And here we are with a few more from our group. David and I are the only two who aren't Dentists here. (At least, I don't think he's a dentist?)(Don't judge me for being tan-less. I'm also skin-pigment challenged.)

In conclusion, a good time was had by all.

The End.

Oct 18, 2007


You've all heard the expression "I painted myself into a corner."

But what you haven't heard is the lesser known, and yet much more serious phrase;

"I've tiled myself into a bathtub."

Next step: Remove Emily's least favorite color from the wall.

Oct 16, 2007

Chunky Monkey

Dear Sweet Cheeks,

I'm sorry I ate all Chunky Monkey Ice Cream you brought home yesterday. It's just that the little bit we tried last night was so yummy that I've been craving it all day. And then when you had to work late and went to play basketball shortly after getting home, well...

I felt like I deserved, no, NEEDED a little treat.

And I was gonna put some in a bowl (for portion control) but then I figured since I was only going to have a little...why dirty more dishes?!? And well, things were going according to plan until I had to go deal with with Sam. There was some issue with a toy falling behind the bed, and then some screaming...which necessitated a few more bites when I got back to the couch. And then, uh, it really wasn't worth getting up again to put it away with just a little left in the carton so I just finished it off.

All except the walnuts. I spit all those out.

Oct 15, 2007


Recipe blogs seem to be all the rage these days, and although I'm no gourmet chef, (Doug is a MUCH better cook than I am.) even I have one. Granted, it only has about 5 recipes on it, but I'm planning to add many more. Not because I think people will start flocking to it, mostly just because I like having my recipes on the computer and in one spot.

ANYWAY, to my point: After I had Gabe, we were the lucky recipients of MANY super yummy dinners. (Being a Mormon has serious perks.) One meal we really loved came from my friend Jenni and she has the recipe posted on her blog, HogieWogie. After months of cravings, I finally made it and not only was it pretty darn easy, it was as DELICIOUS as anticipated!

***Here is the large meal we received in many large disposable containers:***

Mediterranean Gyro Chicken
Wheat and White pita pockets
Tzatziki Sauce (Greek yogurt with cucumbers and seasoning for the chicken)
Rice pilaf with Orzo. (She said it was from a box but it must have been a great brand because we thought it was homemade.)
Greek Salad with olives and a very yummy dressing
The best, most dense, rich, yummy Chocolate Cupcakes I've ever had.

I think that's everything. Boy oh boy was that a yummy meal. The hardest part of making this was remembering to buy fresh dill and then finding the Tzatziki sauce. (Though I hear it's very easy to make with plain yogurt.)

It was worth it. It was to die for. Next time I'll double the recipe because we didn't have nearly enough left-overs.

Here is the link to the Chicken Gyro recipe on her blog. It will soon be posted on my recipe blog.
ENJOY! (That is an order.)

***If you have a baby and I'm assigned to bring you dinner, you will recieve Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice casserole. Possibly a can of apple sauce if I have one. I'm a one dish kinda girl and sides go beyond the scope of my abilities. Sorry in advance.

Oct 12, 2007

Fall Decor

My sister-in-law, Mrs. Dub, of Musings and Misadventures fame, wanted to see how people are decorating for Fall. And since I was in need of some posting inspiration, I've decided to oblige!

As I was gazing around the house a few weeks ago, I determined that the spring flowers in my wall sconces needed to go. So I found some Fall-ish flowers and swapped 'em out. Then, in an attempt to cover up the ugly wire stems, I had a stroke of brilliance and added the Candy Corns! (Genius, eh?) The only problem is, I'm always craving Candy Corns now. And only convincing myself that they're stale is keeping me for robbing the decorations!

Anyway, this is my favorite decoration at the moment: Next we have my Cornucopia. We had one of these growing up and it came out for every Thanksgiving. When my mom wanted to get me out of the kitchen on Thanksgiving Day, she'd send me into the Family Room to arrange the gourds. I finally acquired my own "Horn of Plenty" last year and I love it. It's a little sparsely populated at the moment, but I'll get some apples in there for filler.
Now we come to where the decorative harmony just falls apart. Below is a picture of my refrigerator. Recently, Doug's sister Lisa and her husband Rich came to visit. They had gifts for all of us and mine was an adorable ceramic pumpkin filled with Peanut Butter Cups. (How awesome are they???) After Max got caught with his hand in it a few too many times, I cleared the top of the fridge and put it up there with another cute little ceramic pumpkin candle.
That's #1.

For #2, I put our sound activated witch up there...also to keep out of reach of children.

And then #3 started to accumulate. That's the stack of things that are in "time out". It includes Sam's Blanket, a couple of pirate swords, and a bunch of Cars that the boys left out.
You'll notice the pile is spilling over.

Of course, the front of the fridge didn't stay clear for long and it acquired a poseable skeleton, a fall landscape, and two more scary school projects including the one-eyed spider (#4).

It may not be beautiful or "Martha" worthy, but I've made my peace with child induced chaos. (sort of) And I can always eat some of the decorative Candy Corn if I need to.

Oct 11, 2007

Pop! Goes the Gabey

I have this little trick I use to successfully take a shower (when I bother to take a shower)without any children getting into mischief or maiming one another. This is based on a precedence of mischief and maiming...not just being overly cautious.

I wait until Max is at school. One less boy equals half as much trouble. Then I turn on the magic hypnotizer (PBS) for Sammers. Next, I stick Gabe in his bouncy seat in front of the T.V. But NOT watching the T.V. I put him facing Sam. That way, Sammy-Boy is entertained watching a show, and Gabe is entertained watching Sam. (Sam can be quite animated talking back to the television.)

Usually this works like a charm. Until today. When I got out of the shower, it was quiet...which is a good sign. But when I walked into the family room, I saw Gabe had twisted himself around so he could watch Curious George. His neck was so twisted it looked like his head was ready to pop off. His eyes were glazed over and a little drool was collecting in the corner of his mouth.
Hmm...seems that my brilliant plan wasn't so brilliant.

So at the risk of turning a third boy into a complete television addict at such a young age, I guess I'll just wait until Saturday to shower. 5-6 times a week is overkill anyway.

Oct 7, 2007

Random Kindness

FIRST: I would just like to state that we had an extremely fun visit this last week and it's all thanks to blogs. Yes, that's right, BLOGS!

If it weren't for the fact that I'm a loyal reader of the "D" family blog, (and therefore in the know about practically everything happening in their lives,) I never would have invited them to come. BUT since I am a faithful reader, I had no problem asking Lindsay, whom I've previously only met two times, to drag her family from Utah to Rhode Island to help celebrate Doug's birthday. And I'm pretty sure, if it weren't for the fact that she reads my blog, she wouldn't have come.

So YAY for blogs and YAY for visitors!!! (So is that the way to spell "yay", because I used to spell it yeah, but in the Bible it's yea, so I'm just not sure...)

ANYWAY!!! Back to why I started this post. Driving to Boston with the D Family the other day, I remembered something that happened on my previous trip to Boston. And it made me want to write a post in honor of all the people in the world whom I don't actually know but who rock.

So here goes;

Two Boston trips ago, I went to pick-up my mom at the Logan airport. She was in town to meet Baby Gabe who was only a few weeks old. By the time I got to the airport, he had been screaming for about 10 minutes and was ready to eat. I made the first loop around the pick-up area, didn't see her, and kept driving because the traffic cop wasn't letting anyone stop. Second time around, I couldn't handle it any more. It was killing me to hear Gabe crying and the other two boys loudly telling him to stop wasn't helping. I pulled over, hopped out, and got Gabe quickly out of his car seat. I figured the cop would soon be over to get me to move but figured it was better than nothing.

I was right. He saw me pulled over, saw that no one was being picked up, and came right over. Then he saw how frantic Gabe was and how distraught I looked because he said, "I can't let you stop here because I just got rid of all those other people, but if you want to pull around again, you can park right over there in the taxi area and tend to your baby."

He was a big burly black cop but I so wanted to kiss him right then! I quickly strapped Gabers back in, drove the loop again, parked where he had shown me, and proceeded to nurse Gabe until Faezer came out 15 minutes later. (That's how long I would have been driving in circles with a screaming baby if it weren't for that wonderful, wonderful man.)

Next: More recently when we were on our trip to Maine we stopped at a beach in Acadia N.P. To access the beach you had to take a long, narrow wooden staircase down to the water. When we were leaving, I got a head start up the stairs with Max, and Gabe in the Baby Bjorn. Half way up, Max, who was (as usual) running, tripped and fell pretty hard on the stairs. Hearing him crying, a boy around the age of 10, stopped, turned around, saw me with a baby strapped to my chest, and walked back down to Max. He asked him a few times if he was okay, then waited to see if Max needed help getting up and watched him with concern until he did. None of the nearby adults bothered to help, including the boys mom who looked at him with confusion. He was obviously nervous and a little embarrassed, (he kept looking at me like I might shoo him away) but he stayed put right by Max until he was sure he was okay and could make it the rest of the way up the steep stairs. I was VERY impressed by him and thanked him profusely for trying to help my little Maxer. THANK YOU YOUNG BOY WHO GAVE ME HOPE FOR THE FUTURE OF MANKIND!!!

Last one: This one is a bit old, but we still praise the unknown name of this unknown lady. It was last summer. After dragging two kids around New York City all day on foot, we found ourselves at the Empire State Building. Since we'd been wanting to see it, and we were there, we bought tickets to go up to the top. Then we got in line. Turns out, you have to wait in line to take the elevator to the top and the line was about 2 hours long. We were despondent. We didn't know what to do. We had already purchased our tickets, but we also had two tired boys with us, and a long way to go to get back to our hotel. We were planning to give up and get out of line when Doug stopped an employee to ask her advice. He told her our boys were exhausted and asked if it was really going to take 2 hours? Should we wait? Could we come back and use our tickets later? She looked us over and said "Come with me." Confused, we got out of line and followed her through a back hallway that led... the front of the line. She left us in front of some elevators and said "Wait here." and then left to get back to her job. It took us a minute to figure out that she had just placed us two hours ahead of where we had just been! Doug barely had time to rush back over to her and thank her before the elevator came and whisked us up a million stories. (Where my fear of heights was further cemented. But that's another story.) THANK YOU ESB EMPLOYEE WHO SAVED US FROM AN EVENING OF MISERY!!!

SO! to you three kind people, we send you positive psychic vibrations whenever we think of you. May you be eternally blessed with the closest parking spot to the mall entrance and freedom from indigestion for all of your days. Because YOU ROCK!!!

Oct 6, 2007

Good Eats!

I've put two new recipes on my "recipe blog". So if you're looking for something yummy to make for breakfast tomorrow, check it out!

Oct 3, 2007


Douglas a.k.a. Sugar Lips/Honey Buns/Sweet Cheeks/Sugar Booger turned 30 yesterday! (October 2nd) For his birthday surprise, I invited an old friend of his to come visit. Actually, I invited the friends really cool wife and we conspired together to plan the visit. The surprise has been in the works since February and frankly, I'm astounded I kept it a secret that long.

Mike and Doug became friends when they lived in the same dorm their freshman year at BYU. They both served missions in Germany and stayed friends post mish. In fact, Mike went on our first date with us! (Accompanied by my roommate Anna.)

Mike, Lindsay, Auriana, and Andrew arrived Monday evening before Doug got home from work. When he walked in, all he could do was stare speechlessly at the visitors. It was freakin' awesome.

We've been partyin' it up ever since. Happy Birthday Love Nut!!!

Sep 23, 2007

then I realized that it was my hair that was making my head hot

Gabe: "Look Jaren! My mom is taking our picture!!! Isn't she a hottie!?! Woot!"
Jaren: "She's alright. My mom's hotter."

Jaren: "Dude, what just happened? Why is it so cold in here all of the sudden?"

Gabe: "I dunno, but I feel like I need to take a bath..."

*dedicated to Diane

Sep 19, 2007

Brain Overload

Six years ago, Doug was working on finishing his undergraduate degree at BYU and planning on entering Dental School. Somehow, he got it into his pretty little head that it would be a good idea to join the Armed Forces to help pay for school.

I was opposed to the idea. I mean, it's a little terrifying having to turn your life over to strangers who basically own you and determine where you live for a set number of years. (One reason I never served a church mission! But at least the church uses Divine Inspiration to make these decisions!)

Anyway, one of the arguments that helped win me over was the "we'll get to travel and maybe even live in a foreign country!" one.

Well, that was a low blow.

'Cause see, I've always wanted to live in a foreign country--or at least travel extensively in one--and this seemed like the only way. My dream was to go to England, but anywhere in Europe would be a dream come true.

So Doug applied for an Air Force scholarship and won a spot. They would pay for three years of Dental school in exchange for three years of him Dental-ing on an Air Force Base.
When he decided to specialize, they deferred his repayment for two years.

So here we are with one year left of his residency. That means one more year before he begins his three year repayment.

Until recently, the location we'd be spending our three year repayment was up in the air.

Well, not any longer.

And I'm still processing it.

And probably will be for the next twelve months.

So if you want to know more you'll have to Click HERE.

'Cause I'm still pretending we're going to England.

Sep 17, 2007

Sammy's First Day of Preschool!

A few of my favorite Sammy quotes:

"But Mom! But why?" *my answer* "But NOOO!"

"Mom, we have a pwob-wum."

*dramatic sniffs* "I hab bad coughies! cough, cough!" *sniff sniff*


Sep 15, 2007



This afternoon my toes got cold...during the DAY!
Then, tonight I smelled cold in the air mingled with wood smoke and earthiness.

This tells me two things:
One, it's Fall.
Two, I ain't in Carlsbad anymore.

In other news...

our dryer broke. RIGHT before our trip just when I was trying to do all the laundry and get everyone packed.

So Doug found one on Craigslist and bought it today for $75. He dragged the old one out and the "new" one in. Only to find the "new" one has a three prong plug where our "old" one (which is actually much newer) has a four prong plug. So now we're home with lots of laundry to do and still no dryer. (Do you know how hard it is to find places to lay out 5,000 tiny boy socks and pairs of underware?)

And furthermore...

Doug and I got the first season of "Alias" on DVD from the library. What I want to know is, how come Sydney Bristow looks hot with hair every different style and color imaginable, and I can't even find one look that's passing?!? (Unless my friend Ginger is doing my hair and make-up...then I look S-E-X-Y!)
It's her lips, isn't it?

Sep 11, 2007

Food Update and Max Gets a Stitch

By staying in a hotel and having to eat out twice a day, we've easily managed to knock a few more eating establishments off the "must hit" list: (Yes, many are fast-foodish and/or chains, but we don't do much fine dining these days with the little terrors. Having your toddler run screaming through a nice restaurant tends to ruin the ambiance.)

In-N-Out: Doug got a 3x3 "animal style". I always stick to a plain old hamburger with no tomatoes or onions...and then try to scrape off all the tiny pickle bits from the special sauce with a french fry.

I'm not a big fan of In-N-Out shakes (though they're better than some) so after getting our burgers the other day, I made Doug drive across the street to Jack-in-the-Box for a "real ice cream Berry-licious shake". Ummmmmmmm! Totally worth it!

Last Thursday night Kristen and Wendy came to our hotel for a swimming party and we ordered Claim Jumper for dinner. (Doug picked it up for us and delivered it pool-side.) I ordered my old favorite the "Stuffed Baked Idaho". It's a baked potato with grilled chicken, steamed veggies, and Alfredo sauce. VERY yummy. (Also very easy to make for dinner at home...which I frequently do.) Then of COURSE Wendy, Kristin and I split the I'Declaire. Approximately one pound and one trillion calories of pure dessert heaven!

Over the weekend I got a little break from eating out when I and the boys went north to spend a few days with our awesome dental school friends, Ginger, Lee, Ani and Maggie. (Doug was at his Peds conference Fri, Sat, and Sun.) (There was one meal from Del Taco. )
Gin is an awesome cook and Sunday night made her delicious and famous Chicken Curry! For dessert, Devil's Food Cake with cream cheese frosting and ice cream.

Yesterday on the way home from Gin's, I got to stop for a visit with my cousin Wonderful Photographer Wendy. She graciously took us to lunch at another old favorite--Souplantation: all-you-can-eat buffet bliss for young and old alike! Doug was doing an office visit so had to settle for El Pollo Loco for his lunch.

Then it was back to Carlsbad for the last 2 days of our trip. We checked back in to the same hotel and went straight to the pool. Five minutes later, Doug was leaving the pool to take Max to urgent care. Max bonked his chin on the hot tub railing and split it open. We didn't know anything had happened until I saw blood dripping down his face and looked for the source.
Although I told Doug just to fix the wound with super glue but he refused and took him to a "real" Doctor who gave him one stitch. (He was frustrated that he didn't have the supplies to do it himself.) Max was very very brave and didn't cry until the Doctor told him he could not go back in the pool for one week. To comfort him, Doug bought him some Tofuti Cuties (non-dairy ice cream sandwiches) and some water proof band aids. And then let him get back in the pool.

On his way home, he surprised me with Pick-up Stix. Love those Cream Cheese Wanton's and Original Chicken. For dessert, we had some yummy chocolate mousse cake and a little of this:
My sister-in-law Laura just happened to be in town camping at the beach with her friend Hilary. And where Mrs. Dub goes, Miss Dub goes. Namely, Eden. The neice we had not previously met. I'd like to say she and Gabe did some serious bonding, but she was a little aloof what with him drooling all over the place and not being able to crawl.

That brings us up to right now. We will soon be on our way to my very favorite eating establishment of all time. Pipes. A little all-breakfast cafe that caters to surfers located a block from the beach in Cardiff. They have the BEST French Toast, fresh squeezed OJ, breakfast potatoes, Mexican Hot Chocolate, and omelets around. We visit every time we're here. I can't wait! HOORAY FOR FOOD!

P.S. We're now home! Pipes was great. All three boys did awesome on the flight. SWA is fabulous. It's sorta good to be home.

I miss California already!!!