Thursday, July 31, 2008

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Palmer

We so enjoy all the funny phases Palmer goes through. There was the E.T. phase, the Zoolander face phase, a phase when he would respond to any stimulation by stretching his arms out to the side with his finger widely fanned out, and now he does what we call the Superman. If he is awake and on his back, he more likely than not, will be striking this pose. It is always with his left hand too. I wonder if it is any indication that he could be left handed.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Poem - Naptime

I haven't written anything since my college days, and even then as an English major I mostly did expository writing. I had even felt I had lost the ability to write creatively, the venue of writing I had so defined myself by in high school. My younger sister Rie is also a writer and has recently started writing again. Sariah's poems are amazing! She is so talented. They inspired me to get to pick up the pen once more and revisit my lost obsession. I wrote this today and showed it to Rie. She insisted that I post it. I'm actually a bit nervous to do this. I feel so rusty; like I'm really putting myself out there. But I am proud of her for posting hers and I told her I would follow suit. So here it goes.

Naptime
by Lera Hess

I rock you
back then forth
back then forth
bouncing up
back down
human touch
carried rhythmically

You stretch
yelp, cry, yawn
sing a small cord
swish your face
smack your lips

Eyes fall heavy
a final peek at the world
make sure it’s all there
I am still here

Then you go
leaving a yielding expression
of peace and wellness

Friday, July 25, 2008

Your Day

Picture taken March 18, 2007: Dad, my younger sister Sariah, and Mom

I hit a very sad mile marker today. I scrapbooked the last picture taken of my mom before she passed away. I didn't realize this until I had finished the page and was about to journal on it. I was overcome with sadness and wished I had scrapbooked it in a different way, a way that would commemorate its importance. The picture was one of a several that had been taken on my father's 53rd birthday and I had entitled the page "Your Day." I decided to journal my feelings about the day on the layout and this is what came out. Even though I had meant for the title to refer to my dad, I think it has much more meaning now as it refers to my mom.

"Dad’s 53rd birthday will always be a treasured memory of mine. Mom had just returned from one of her long hospital stays, and she was better than she had felt in quite a while. She was her old self: happy, boisterous, and as always, the life of the party. It was her one good day in months. When we called our friends just two weeks later to let them know of her passing, they were shocked. They all commented on how they had just seen her at Dad’s party. How she had seemed to be doing so well. Indeed, she was well. She was surrounded by her family and friends celebrating her beloved husband’s birthday. I am so very thankful to have one last memory of her true self, loving life and partying it up!"

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Memories: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, Bring 'em On!

1. As a comment on our blog, leave one memory that you had with our family or a member of our family. It doesn’t matter if you know us well or not, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It’s actually pretty fun to see the responses. If you leave a memory about us, I’ll assume you’re playing the game and I’ll come to your blog and leave one about you.

Kitchen Hazard

When I first met Greg he told me he was a good cook. He later told me he just assumed this because his Dad could cook. Through the years we've learned that Greg is an absolute hazard in the kitchen. If I had a stressful day he would kindly offer to make dinner (good hubby). He would always pick the easiest meal on our list and I would sit back and relax as he went to it. This generous offer would usually end up stressing me out even more and leaving Greg running around like a chicken with its head cut off. For example, once he made rice three times because he measured it wrong every time, and after an hour or so had to drive to Panda Express and order a side of rice for the rest of the now cold meal. And amazingly enough, he once set the stove on fire boiling water which resulted in having to buy a new stove. His cooking skills are a running joke in our family, and now when I have a stressful day he just offers to take me out to eat or order a pizza.

I consider myself to be a pretty good cook. I had no idea what I was doing before I got married, but now I really enjoy cooking/baking and am quite successful at it. That is until Palmer came along. Since having him I have had to cut down on my fancy home cooked meals and adapted to more packaged dinners. I just don't have the time and energy to commit to cooking as I did before. The other night I was making rice; should be pretty easy, right? Well, with a two month old the answer to that is a resounding no. Palmer woke up from his nap and started screaming just as I was putting it on the stove. I tried to stay and watch it as long as I could, but the baby was pretty mad, so when the rice was almost boiling I decided it was good enough and turned it down. I then fed Palmer. Then I checked the rice; it looked fine, so I dished my meal up. When I took the first bit my teeth felt like they were chewing little rocks. Only the very outside of the rice grains had softened. Greg and I just ate the chicken and veggies for dinner. I decided to make a quick batch of rice for us to eat with the leftovers for lunch the next day. I set the burner on high, determined not to turn it down too early. This time I totally forgot about it because I was taking care of Palmer and about an hour later I walked upstairs to find our kitchen filled with smoke and a very, very burnt pan of rice. So I guess I can no longer tease Greg about his three time ruined rice, because I'm already 2/3 of the way there myself! Hopefully when my kids get a little older I will be able to cook well once again.

For the record, I must admit Greg can cook some mean pancakes and scrumptious mashed potatoes.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Recipe - Blond Brownies with Brown Sugar Frosting

I tried a new recipe this weekend. They were pretty tasty, very buttery.

Blond Brownies with Brown Sugar Frosting

Brownies:
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt

Frosting:
1/3 c. butter
2/3 c. packed brown sugar
3 T. milk
2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 c. chopped pecans

Beat sugar, brown sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs in a bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy. Stir in baking powder and salt. Spread batter evenly into an ungreased 13x9 pan. Bake 20-23 minutes. Cool completely.

For the frosting melt butter over low heat. Stir in brown sugar; cook over low heat for two minutes, stirring constanly. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in powdered sugar and vanilla, mixing well until smooth and spreadable. Add more milk if needed. Spread frosting over brownies. Immediately sprinkle with pecans.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Big Laughs

We were getting ready to put Palmer asleep tonight, which means going through the routine: changing his diaper, putting on his sleeper, swaddling him and rocking him until he falls asleep. But tonight the routine was different. Palmer loves the changing table for some reason. He will always smile (which is why some of his best pictures are of him on the changing table) and he is always in a good mood when he is on it. Well tonight, as we were getting him ready, I decided to do that cliche blow on his tummy to be funny thing and guess what, IT WORKED! So we decided to get our little 5:46 minute length digital video camera and record what came next, something we will always remember, Palmer's first big laughs.

video

Friday, July 18, 2008

Little Lamb


My sister Rie gave us this super cute sleeper as a gift in the hospital. For the record, Greg hates this outfit. He thinks it is down right brutal to dress a little boy in it. I love it and couldn't disagree more! And from the look of these pictures, I believe Palmer sides with me.


Here is a close up of the fluffy little bum and feetsies.

There is a point to this post besides showing off our cutie Palmer. What is your take on the outfit? Is it a hit or a miss? Is Greg right, and this is some cruel form of punishment, or do you agree with me and think he looks oh so sweet?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hold On

Palmer has a death grip. The first day in the hospital he picked up the Q-tip the nurse was using and swung it around. He often grabs my hair and usually pulls out a few strands in between his fingers. His hands are almost always dirty because he won't relax his grip long enough for us to wash them. Every once in a while we like to have a little fun with him and put random objects in his hands for him to hold on to. The other day Greg put a flower in his hand and he looked so sweet; I had to take a picture.

Yesterday he purposefully reached for the frog chime that hangs from his car seat and was playing with it. How fun it is to see him learn and grow.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

American Idol Concert

Greg and I went to the American Idol concert last night (the tickets were my birthday gift), and it was great! Here is my official review. Michael John was awesome; he gave me goosebumps singing Dream On. He should not have left the show so early on. Carly was much better live and I was impressed with her Crazy on You. Jason was a cutie, very unique. Brooke was darling, made me teary eyed when she sang Yellow. Carly said Brooke took her to see the temple earlier that day, which I thought was cool of her. David Archuletta was wonderful. He really has a beautiful voice. The crowd went so crazy for him that there were times we couldn't even hear him sing. (Funny side note: the screaming of the crowd made my milk come in. Ha ha!) But after seeing everyone live I must stick with my original favorite. I <3 David Cook! He is amazing! He did an encore of Billie Jean that floored me. Love the guy! Thanks to Greg for the tickets and a great night, and thanks to Rie for watching Palmer.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ugly Babies

Lets face it, most babies are just naturally cute, but every once in a while...



Our friends once told us that when you are at a loss for words when describing a baby you should say the baby is alert. Which basically translates to your baby is ugly. I remember them coming to us very frazzled a few days later because someone did say their baby was alert. Well, I think we came across our own version of this covert communication the other day. We were at the bank and a woman came up to us. She looked at Palmer and started the conversation with a nice big, "Aww..." Greg and I both immediately smiled waiting for the, "He's so cute/adorable/sweet/darling/handsome," remarks so follow. But no, she went on to say, "Your carseat is sooo cute!" Then she walked away. We both stood there with a shocked look on our face, blinking, speechless. What was that? I know we may be just a little biased thinking our baby is the cutest thing in the entire world, but did that woman really just look at Palmer, decide to skip over him because she had nothing positive to say, and go straight to complimenting the carseat?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Nursery


To my dismay, Palmer has grown out of his bassinet and has been sleeping in his own room the past week. I miss hearing his soft snores at night, but I guess I will live. He loves his room. He likes the yellow walls and bright colors. He loves being on his changing table and laughs at the picture of a monkey on the wall above him. He also loves his mobile. We have a couple other mobiles in the house but he really loves the one above his crib. He can stare at it forever! Unfortunately, it is the only mobile in the house that does not run on a motor and we have to come back to it continuously to wind it up again. I am glad he enjoys his room so much. It's nice to know that he appreciates the place we created for him!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Arachnophobia

I'll admit it. I am a bit of a thrill seeker. I love roller coaster, haunted houses and really want to go skydiving in the near future. But get me near a bug and I go running. Unfortunately I am forced to confront this fear quite often. When Greg and I lived in the apartments we were on the lower level and many, many multi-legged creatures found their way into our apartment. Now we live in a split level home and our bedroom/bathroom/nursery are all in the lower level, and we have the same problem with unwanted visitors. I usually trap the bugs underneath a bowl or cup and wait for Greg to come home and kill them.

A few nights ago we were putting Palmer to bed. Greg called for me to come and help get the crib ready since he was holding the baby. All I had to do was cross the hallway to make it to the nursery, but alas I could not because of the humongous spider (the size of a 50 cent piece) right in the middle of the hall. It was so big I could see the hair on its body. I tried several times to quickly run by it. Each time giving myself a pep talk, convincing myself that there was no way it could run after me and bite me, that it should be scared of me not me scared of it, that I needed to help my son and this was a silly fear. Nothing worked though because every time I laid my eyes on it I would shriek and shake and huddle back into the corner of our living room. Greg had to put the baby down and kill the spider before I could leave the room. Seriously, what's wrong with me? He asked me what I would have done if he wasn't there. I honestly have no idea.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Past, Present & Future

I stole this from a friend's blog because it looked fun. Feel free to steal it from mine if you need something to blog about.

20 years ago. I was in Ohio playing outside on our acre of land. Either on the swing set or in our tree house. I had just started kindergarten and was put in the resource class because I did not know how to write my name yet. My mom misunderstood what the class was and was bragging to everyone how gifted her daughter was. hehe. I did learn to write my name and did eventually make it into gifted classes by the end of my elementary education.

10 years ago. I was sixteen and loving life. I had my first job at a pizza place which I got fired from for giving my friends a free pizza (definitely learned my lesson and have never done anything like that again). I met my best bud Jenn and we became inseparable. I had just started dating and was going to a sweet sixteen party just about every weekend.

1 year ago. The absolute hardest time of my life. My mom had just passed away, and I missed her fiercely. My dad and his new wife were living with us until they found a house, which I did not deal with very well because the pain of my mother's death was so fresh. We had been trying for two years and were still unable to get pregnant.

So far this year. I had a beautiful baby boy! Greg got a better job. We are happy, and somewhat healthy (hopefully no more surgeries). I have wonderfully supportive friends, ward members and family.

Yesterday. Busy day. I took Palmer to get his 2 month pictures taken and was not too happy with the photographer. He called Palmer a monster several times because he wasn't looking at the camera, and he mocked Mormons... very unprofessional. I visit taught my friend Amy. I made sausage pesto casserole for dinner, and Greg and I attended our first planning meeting for our new calling as our ward's Young Single Adult Advisers.

Today. I am cleaning and taking care of the baby. He has had some tummy aches and has been a bit constipated, so I will be adding some prune juice into his regular feedings. YUM! I can't believe that I am actually trying to get my baby to poop!

Tomorrow. We are having a dinner party with a couple from Greg's work. I'm thinking I'll make chicken taco casserole, Spanish rice and a pecan pie for dessert. I will also be cleaning to get ready for our stamp club which takes place the next day.

The rest of the year. We will be working on our yard, trying to make it a bit more presentable. We will continue to cut back and try to live on our budget and I will start a day care to supplement our income. We'll be getting to know the young adults in our ward through visits, stake activities, and our own FHEs. Greg will work hard at his job and school and I will work hard at being a good mom, wife and homemaker. Good stuff.

Workin' Man

So I got my new job and I like it. They are not slave drivers and on our downtime, we can do stuff like bloging. YEA!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Recipe - 4th of July Pie

We had a good 4th of July holiday. We had a BBQ with my family at London's house. She made her traditional 4th of July Pie, which is so yummy. We then watched a spectacular display of fireworks at our friends', the Dunns, house (good job Bobby!). Here's the recipe for the delicious pie. I'm sure once you try it, it'll become a tradition in your house too.

4th of July Pie

4 squares of baking chocolate
8 whole strawberries, halved lengthwise
1 graham cracker pie crust
3/4 c. thinly sliced fresh strawberries
1 pkg. cream cheese
3/4 c. confectioners sugar
3/4 c. milk
1 pk. 3.3 oz. instant white chocolate pudding
1 c. fresh blueberries
1 c. whipped topping

Microwave chocolate on low heat until melted. Dip half of the halved strawberries in chocolate. Set aside to set. Spread the rest of the chocolate on the inside of the graham cracker crust. Arrange thinly sliced strawberries over the crust. Beat sugar and cream cheese until smooth, slowly beat in milk. Beat in pudding on low speed for 2 minutes or until set. Spread over strawberries. Place blueberries in the center of the pie. Arrange strawberries around the edge of the pie. Pipe whipped topping between strawberries and blueberries. Refrigerate until serving.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Copping Party in Lindon

Last night we hung out with our friends the Jennes. The hubbys took care of the kids (while they played video games) leaving me and the other girls free for a night of cropping. We scrapbooked at the store Jenn designs for from 6 - 11 pm. I had a great time! I only finished a couple of layouts, but I did get supplies and planned for two others. I've posted the fruit of my labors below.




Thursday, July 3, 2008

Two Months Old

Palmer was born two months ago yesterday! Here's what going on with him at two months of age.

Weight: 11 lbs. 6 oz.
Height: 24 in.
His weight is in the 45th percentile, his height is in the 85th percentile, and his head circumference is in the 17th percentile.
He has learned to: laugh, coo, sleep through the night, and put himself to sleep
He likes: being held, mommy's and daddy's voices, mobiles, having his diaper changed, wiggling, being sang to, and sleeping with his hands above his head
He dislikes: baths, pacifiers (most of the time), and being ignored
Things he does that makes us laugh: funny faces, long stretches after naps, coos, sneezes that sound like "hi-yah", crazy mood swings, and constant wiggling

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I Have Cool Friends: Take Two

My best bud Jenn (pictured next to me at last September's Memory Trends) owns a scrapbook paper company called Studio 8. They just released three new paper collection, which are my favorite yet. Someday soon her name will be mentioned with other famed scrappers like Lisa Bearnson and Heidi Swapp. Check out the goods...

http://studio8paper.com/

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

DMV = Evil

Today I had to wait for four hours at the DMV to renew my license. Ugh! Enough said.