Wednesday, November 28, 2007

100th Post

Why should the kids get all the milestones? This is my 100th post on this blog (not counting comments). Aren't you proud of yourselves for putting up with that much of me?

And in the proud tradition of stealing another blogger's idea, I'm posting "100 things you didn't really want to know about me."
  1. 1. Sometimes I wear pajamas all day long...until just before Rich is going to get home.
  2. 2. I love to cook and try new recipes (or make up my own from whatever's handy).
  3. 3. I'm going on my 3rd year teaching in a co-op preschool group.
  4. 4. I'm a portrait fanatic (like you couldn't tell that from the blog) --I take the kids every month for the first year, then 15 mo., 18 mo., 2 yrs, 2 1/2 yrs, 3 yrs...and annually from there.
  5. 5. I don't scrapbook.
  6. 6. The best I can do is put pictures in a binder...which I'm about 1 1/2 years behind on.
  7. 7. Weeks can go by without my kitchen island surface being visible.
  8. 8. I have no junk drawer; I have junk buckets.
  9. 9. I constantly have to throw away medications past their "use by" date. We just don't take anything that often.
  10. 10. I am still working on a thread-crochet tablecloth that I began in 2001.
  11. 11. I like to pretend I speak lots of languages just because I know a dozen or so words/phrases in each.
  12. 12. The last time I had the flu was 7 1/2 years ago...on my wedding day.
  13. 13. I can sing soprano, alto, tenor, or bass (as long as the bass part doesn't go below a B or C, depending on the day).
  14. 14. I got to sing a solo in the Tabernacle in SLC once...
  15. 15. the basement for my brother's baptism.
  16. 16. I attended 6 different elementary schools.
  17. 17. All 3 of my kids were born C-section.
  18. 18. I buy far more books than I probably should, and I can't stand getting rid of any.
  19. 19. I got 2 'C's in college...
  20. 20. in volleyball (25% of my final grade was serving overhand and spiking)...
  21. 21. ...and one in Honors Astronomy, which was at 8 a.m., and I just could not stay awake.
  22. 22. My final G.P.A. was 3.74.
  23. 23. My degree is a B.S. in Business Management with an emphasis in Finance.
  24. 24. I'm the Spreadsheet Queen.
  25. 25. My day-to-day budget spreadsheet has 9 worksheets in it.
  26. 26. One wall of my bedroom is completely covered by stacked food storage boxes and cans.
  27. 27. I own 8 pairs of shoes, 4 of which I wear with any regularity.
  28. 28. I still have and wear things I wore in high school.
  29. 29. I got my ears pierced when I was 14, but I've let them grow back together.
  30. 30. I like to pretend I can garden.
  31. 31. The only grass I have at my house is about 250 sq. ft. of synthetic lawn in the backyard.
  32. 32. I was a Resident Assistant my sophomore year at B.Y.U.
  33. 33. I picked my husband out from a photo phone directory to ask to a girls' choice dance.
  34. 34. When I asked Rich to that dance, I hid puzzle pieces inside of which got drop kicked. We couldn't leave it out, since it had a puzzle piece in it, so we brushed it off and took it anyway.
  35. 35. Rich went from being a random date to being a prospect when he followed up on a conversation with a written note--about racquetball and peanut butter brownies.
  36. 36. I rarely wear make up. Any make up. Not even chapstick.
  37. 37. I really enjoyed all of school. Yes, even junior high.
  38. 38. I (as far as I know) learned to read when I was 3 years old.
  39. 39. I'm a compulsive grammar policewoman.
  40. 40. Math was my favorite subject in school.
  41. 41. I've never broken a bone (that I know for sure--one crooked finger may have been once).
  42. 42. I'm losing control of my 'pile' filing system.
  43. 43. I have a really hard time getting rid of things...even the silly McDonald's toys that get left around.
  44. 44. My favorite board game is Settlers of Catan.
  45. 45. I was valedictorian in high school (one of 8...).
  46. 46. I gave a pretentious speech quoting A Separate Peace.
  47. 47. I ran for student council 5 years in a row but never won.
  48. 48. The only currently running shows I watch are Lost and Smallville. (I may get on board with Pushing Daisies; we'll see.)
  49. 49. I am the Primary Music Leader in my ward.
  50. 50. I once did an entire science project the night before it was due, simply because the teacher told us at the beginning of the semester that it couldn't be done.
  51. 51. I am a severe procrastinator.
  52. 52. I have a mild to moderate telephone aversion.
  53. 53.I never went out with any guy more than once except my husband.
  54. 54. I went on a total of 7 dates other than my husband.
  55. 55. I worked the 4 a.m. custodial shift in college for a semester.
  56. 56. I worked as Administrative Assistant to the VP of Finance at Tucson Newspapers for a year before Sarah was born.
  57. 57. I like to play racquetball.
  58. 58. I played cello for 9 years before I stopped practicing (I dust it off now and then still...).
  59. 59. If I could have a super power, it would be to stop time.
  60. 60. My secret weakness would be brownies.
  61. 61. I was on my 7th grade track team long enough for one meet, throwing discus.
  62. 62. I like Aussie hair products.
  63. 63. I once got chewed out by my Economics teacher for being "argumentative."
  64. 64. I don't measure much when I cook, and I don't follow recipes exactly all the time.
  65. 65. I have vivid, convoluted dreams with intricate plots.
  66. 66. I'm afraid of deep water.
  67. 67. I am the laziest practicing seamstress you will ever meet.
  68. 68. When I was little I wanted to be a librarian or a lawyer when I grew up, in addition to being a Mommy.
  69. 69. When I was a teenage babysitter, I got paid $2-2.50 per hour.
  70. 70. I had a Pennysaver paper route.
  71. 71. I won some kind of something for a Junior Author program in 1st grade and got to meet Judy Blume.
  72. 72. My book was about an elf and a Great Dane.
  73. 73. I went to preschool at a place called Kiddie Kollege, where I remember singing "Lift Up Your Voice," drinking tomato juice, writing my name for a candy bar treat, and sitting on wooden pastel benches in a semi-circle.
  74. 74. I ate toadstools with my next-door neighbor friend when I was 5ish and had to take ipecac.
  75. 75. I played a munchkin lullaby league girl in a local production of The Wizard of Oz when I was 7 in Ohio.
  76. 76. I apparently think my past is much more interesting than my present.
  77. 77. I still pick tomatoes off things; everything else I tolerate now.
  78. 78. I am a night person. I can stay up till 2 or 3 a.m. and still function, but can't seem to get up willingly before 9.
  79. 79. My hair frizz is impervious to styling products.
  80. 80. I think I could happily go the whole rest of my life without a pet.
  81. 81. I have an obsession with having things go the right way; playing cards, Monopoly money, dollar bills in my wallet--it all has to face the same direction.
  82. 82. I can crack eggs with one hand.
  83. 83. It has been 7 1/2 years since I saw a general practitioner.
  84. 84. I heart Netflix.
  85. 85. I like to use My Points and take online surveys to earn gift cards and cash for my personal discretionary funds.
  86. 86. I played with Barbie dolls well into my teenage years.
  87. 87. I think the new "correctly proportioned" Barbies look weird.
  88. 88. I hate to wear socks. Shoes are not far behind.
  89. 89. I used to horde my Halloween candy (followed by Christmas candy and Easter candy) to sell to my siblings after they'd eaten theirs.
  90. 90. I lent money to classmates in Junior High...after they signed a contract for 50% interest.
  91. 91. I established a class "bank" for the pretend motivational money we could earn in Social Studies...complete with interest, loans, and checkbooks.
  92. 92. At various ages, and in various neighborhoods, I attempted to sell to neighbors flowers, small balloons (made from broken fragments I'd found), small pillows sewn from 2 quilt blocks, and lemonade/Kool-aid...that I can remember.
  93. 93. I really like ellipses...and dashes--they're awesome!
  94. 94. I got my first blog spam comment today. Aww. I'm a real, grown up blogger!
  95. 95. I love Wal-mart. There's a miracle down every aisle.
  96. 96. I'm mean. When I get email forwards and urban legends, I send the snopes link to everyone on the distribution list before deleting it.
  97. 97. I have said exactly one curse word in my life. It was the "d-word," and I tried it out once. I thought my mom heard me and never did it again. I am even uncomfortable saying the "s-word" related to vacuum function, although it doesn't bother me too much when others do.
  98. 98. I will have participated musically in Church on 35.6% of the Sundays by the end of the year. We're making a plan to limit next year.
  99. 99. Sometimes I do math for fun.
  100. 100. Tonight is the dress rehearsal for an oratorio I'm singing in called "Bethlehem." It's gonna be awesome!
And...I did it! That was harder than it looked. I'm going to let this count for the "Random things" Meme that happy mommy tagged me with.

1. Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post.
4. Let each person know that they've been tagged.

So, I tag...Ginger, "Awesome Mom," "Martin," "ahem," "That Other One," Amy, and Jennifer.

Monday, November 26, 2007

One of those milestones...

I suppose there has to always be a first time. First handful of sand in the mouth, first time getting knocked down, first lip cut on a tooth...

...first session of playing in the potty.

Gotta love it as you say "Ack! Ucky!" and that sweet face turns around grinning. She would pick one of the times Sarah forgot to flush too. But I'll count my blessings that she was just splashing, instead of squishing--or worse.

Update: We're just full of milestones today. I left all the kids playing in the family room to run to the bathroom for a couple minutes. When I came back, Karen was sitting ON the couch backward, one tip away from falling backward onto the floor on her head. I asked the kids how she got there, and Noah just said, "Oh, she climbed up there." And bless him, he's probably right. Man...she can't even walk, and we're in the climbing stage?

Update 2: I just found Karen up on Sarah's bed, and I know there's no way she climbed up there. I asked Sarah about it, and she said she lifted Karen on the bed because "she wanted up." I asked her again about the couch. "Oh yeah. She was pushing buttons on the TV, so I put her up there." So, no climbing, but we had to have a baby safety talk with Sarah.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Did I mention we start Christmas early around here? I didn't actually think about Santa being at the mall already when we dropped by, but once there, he was not to be missed. Plus, it being his second day, there were NO lines. We walked right in. They had a really cute set up with a mailbox, powered by the North winds, to put letters or wishes (held in your hand) in, and soapy 'snow' blew out. They had a giant button with a dial to determine if you're naughty or nice (I forebore testing it on me). And they had Santa, of course. You know the whole fun set up was a ploy to sell us on the pictures taken at every step, but we got such a cute picture...

It would have been a wrench passing up the cute shots of surprise at the snow and concern over the nice outcome...but the prices really were highway robbery.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Reading Snapshot

I read a ton. I'm usually trying to get my kids to watch a movie or go do something so I can read. Here's a somewhat-recent, non-comprehensive, what-I-can-remember-offhand list of what I've been reading, most recent first.
  • Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie - It's Peter Pan. The story isn't unfamiliar or surprising. But it does contain lots of delightful and charming little details that just can't make it into a movie. (I can't believe I just said "delightful and charming," but how else do you describe the wonderful mix of prose and imagination in a line like "the night lights all yawned and went out" or something like that.)
  • Fall of a Kingdom by Hilari Bell - Fantasy novel based on Roman conquest of Persia. Diverse characters, with the requisite magic thrown in. It's the first of the Farsala trilogy, so it had a lot of setting up to do. It will be interesting to see where the characters go from here.
  • Beauty by Robin McKinley - Beauty and the Beast has probably been my favorite Disney movie since I saw it in the theater with my friend...just us, no parents. I'm a sucker for the story in all incarnations. But McKinley is a wonderful storyteller, and this version harkens back to the older versions predating Disney (where there are sisters, and the father steals a rose...). Funnily enough, McKinley actually wrote two versions of the story. The other is Rose Daughter, which has some interesting and unique elements to it. While I'm rambling about favorites, if anyone knows the movie version that has statues that come to life (people painted all white) and Beauty dreaming of the Prince, let me know; I'd like to find it.
  • Austenland by Shannon Hale - This is like a chick flick in a book, but not like the steamy, chick lit romances. It's totally Jane Austen. If you like P&P, you'll like this.
  • Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card - I've read this several times before, of course, but I was leading the discussion for book club last month. I thought it only reasonable that I review it.
  • Invasive Procedures by Aaron Johnston and Orson Scott Card - Interesting premise. Good suspense sci fi. Well written. Quite entertaining if sci fi's your thing.
  • Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis - This is another re-read. I think the movie is coming out sometime next year, and they're fast reads.
  • River Secrets by Shannon Hale - I liked The Goose Girl better, but it was fairly quick reading and a nice story.
  • Farseer Assassin trilogy by Robin Hobb - She really knows how to build a world with interesting fantasy/magical elements. I really like the way her trilogies work, building conflicts and story arcs for each individual book while working toward a big finale for the end of the trilogy.
  • One Jump Ahead by Mark L. VanName - Good, solid sci fi. I hope we find out more about the main character in his next few books. If it drags on too long, I may lose interest.
  • The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory - Month before last's book club pick. It was okay. I was really annoyed by some of the main character's choices, and her 'change of heart' was just too sudden and not convincing for me. And a warning for anyone thinking of reading it: there's some h@nky p@nky that goes on.
  • Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr - Reminiscent of the Twilight series, but all in one book. I liked it well enough all the way through, but I really like the ending. Hard to say why without spoiling it for anyone thinking of reading it. :-)
That's probably far enough back. If you read all that, and know the perfect book for me, feel free to give recommendations. I'm always ready for more books to read.

Christmas Music

I play Christmas music on the sly all year round. About mid-October, when it stops getting into the 90s every day, I start playing it in the car and during the day. Once it gets to November, I give up, and start playing it all day long. Here are my Christmas albums:

Favorites from Growing Up:

Because It's Christmas - Barry Manilow
The Christmas Album - Neil Diamond
Christmas Portrait - Carpenters
Miracles: The Holiday Album - Kenny G
Once Upon a Christmas - Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton

Rich's Favorites from Growing Up (the ones that weren't already listed):

Airus Christmas - Kurt Bestor
A Canadian Brass Christmas
Fresh Aire Christmas - Mannheim Steamroller
A Christmas Treasure - Julie Andrews

New Favorites:

The Gift - Jim Brickman
Handel: Messiah - Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Home for Christmas - Alstons
Noel - Josh Groban
Nutcracker Suite - Warsaw Orchestra

Ones That Aren't Necessarily Favorites (But it's Christmas!):

Airus Christmas II - Kurt Bestor
A Charlie Brown Christmas (& 40 Years mix of various artists)
A Christmas Gift of Love - Barry Manilow
Beyond the Season - Garth Brooks
Christmas Classics (dollar bin generic mix)
A Christmas Experiment - Canadian Brass
Christmas Favorites - Nat King Cole
Christmas with Chanticleer
Christmas with Julie Andrews
A Classical Christmas - Messiah (dollar bin recording)
The Forgotten Carols - Michael McLean
Holiday High Notes (another dollar bin mix)
Primarily for Christmas - Brett Raymond

Buying new this Season:

A Brad Paisley Christmas
The Christmas Collection - Reba McEntire
Christmas Songs - Diana Krall

What are your favorites?

Monday, November 12, 2007

National Children's Book Week

In honor of NCBW, here are my 7 (more or less) favorite children's books:
  1. Alexander's Pretending Day (It's like Runaway Bunny.)
  2. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
  3. Guess How Much I Love You?
  4. Bread and Jam for Frances
  5. The Napping House
  6. Blueberries for Sal
  7. Pickles the Fire Cat

Sarah's 7 Favorite Books:
  1. The Lazy Scarecrow
  2. Pajama Time
  3. Princess Tales
  4. Alexander's Pretending Day
  5. I'm Going to Eat You
  6. Ten Little Fish
  7. Minnie and Moo: The Night of the Living Bed
(Sarah's list looks suspiciously like a "The Last Several Books We Read" list.)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

One-Year Family Resemblance!!

A bonus, mini-resemblance:

I couldn't find any crier pictures of Sarah around the same age, but she was always more cooperative in front of the camera. She looooves having her picture taken. Karen, on the other hand, has a Temper.

Wow, she's adorable!

Did you ever see such a cute baby?

She has such an expressive face. No two shots are ever exactly the same.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Karen's Birthday

For Karen's actual birthday on Friday, we didn't do too much out of the way. We did sing "Happy Birthday" to her many times throughout the day. And it sounded like she was trying to say something like "birthday" at times. She got to open her cards from Grandparents, and she liked playing with the money. We had to take it away after a little while so it wouldn't get torn or eaten.

Her party was last night. She got a cake decorated like a stack of presents and, of course, her own personal #1 cake to demolish.

We went to Nana's house for dinner, which Karen enjoyed. She managed to get her whole serving of mashed potatoes in her mouth at once. When it came to cake-demolishing time, she was playing the little lady. She daintily picked the frosting bow off with two fingers and ate it. She did get one small handful of cake, but that was about all.

Moving on to presents, Karen was much more interested in playing with balloons than in opening anything. Sarah was happy to help out. Karen got a musical mirror toy, stacking cups, a toy xylophone 'piano,' some baby bubble bath, a stuffed rhino, and a tiny baby doll. She did give token hugs to the rhino and baby before going back to the balloons.

So Monday, after dinner, I gave Karen her cake to see if she'd eat any more. I'd gone in the other room for a second when I heard the plate hit the floor. When I went in to clean it up, I discovered the plate...but no cake. There was frosting on her face and hands, but no cake. She must have inhaled the thing. I'm glad she enjoyed it anyway.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Here are the final pumpkins. Rich and I had pumpkins too, but they never got carved. They will become pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, and pumpkin pie instead.

And the final iterations of the kids' costumes before we went out the door. Noah and Karen just went around the block, then Sarah and I went out a little more.

Sarah really wanted to go see a talking skeleton decoration she'd seen before, so we walked over. Unfortunately, the talking one was turned off (probably too scary for little kids), but at the same house, someone was dressed as a skeleton and pretending to be a robotic decoration. He scared Sarah a little at first when he suddenly moved toward her, but then she wanted to go back and shake his hand. She was highly entertained.