Friday, February 27, 2009

Go Greg!

Greg called me yesterday with some great news; he was offered the new position he applied for at his work. This is especially exciting because it comes with a nice hefty pay raise. Hooray! We are humbled and so very thankful for such an amazing blessing! It really could not have come at a better time for us.

The economy is so rocky right now, and we have been financially struggling to make it, along with so many of our family and friends. Sadly, many of them are even completely out of work. These truly are worrisome times. We pray such wonderful news may soon come their way as well.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Where All Our Money is Going

Car mechanics, that is where all of our money is going. The past few months we have been bombarded with automotive trouble. Perhaps this is because both of our cars are from the mid-nineties and should probably be replaced, or maybe it's just been some bad luck. But we are paying out big bucks to keep our cars running.

In December we spent $200 on my car for new front tires because we got a flat, while just two months earlier we had replaced the rear tires. Last month we spent $700 to fix a coolant leak in my car. And last night Greg accidentally ran over a median and cracked his car's radiator; we found out this afternoon that it's going to cost us another $400.

Oh man, we want to get out of debt, but we are barely making it as it is. It really would be nice if our cars would decide to be a little more considerate of our financial situation!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hess in a Mess

Our weekend was a bit dirty and messy... in more ways than one.

Getting down and dirty. Friday night I went out with a bunch of girlfriends to participate in a private class at Studio Soiree. It was so much fun! I had an absolute blast! We mostly worked on the floor, but we did try a bit of the pole. I must say, that pole is a killer workout! The place was very professional; I would suggest for any married woman to give it a try. After the class we went out to Leatherbys. All of our husbands got together (with the kids) and went out to dinner and then played video games and fuzzball.

Time to clean house. Of course, the next day I was so sore I could hardly move. So much for being a little sexier for Greg; I was walking around like a 90 year old grandma. I usually try to have the house clean for Sunday, but since I wasn't moving too well, it didn't get done. Our home teacher came to visit in our messy house. I was pretty embarrassed. Today I am getting back on top of things now that the post workout burn is just about gone. Housework... it never seems to end!

Messy family dinners. Palmer is starting to loose interest in baby food. We still give him his rice cereal and try to get a jar of pureed vegetables down him once or twice a day, but more and more often he is opting to eat our grown up dinner alongside us. It's pretty fun having family dinners together, and Palmer loves the flavors and textures of his newly discovered food. Last night he enjoyed London's cheddar, broccoli and chicken casserole and the night before he gobbled up my pizza pasta. He is getting much better at self feeding too, which frees up my arms, but leaves a bigger mess to clean up.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Give Away

Alright all you blog stalkers (and my beloved regulars, of course) come out, come out, wherever you are and leave a comment. I am taking this from my friend Valerie's blog, and am excited to carry on the fun!

The first three people to comment on this post will get something made by me! My choice--but just for you.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
2. What I create will be just for you.
3. It'll be done this year
4. You will have no clue what it is going to be.
5. I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

The catch? Oh, the catch is that you must re-post this on your blog. The first 3 people to do so and leave a comment telling me you did, will win a marvelous homemade gift by me! Let the games begin! Oh, and I have to be able to contact you with mailing information! I promise it will be something good! Good Luck to all!

Good Reads

Last night I hosted our relief society book group. We read The House on Mango Street. It was my third time devouring it, and I love it more every time I rip through its pages. The first time I read it was in high school and I didn't truly appreciate its worth. The second time I revisited the tale was as a college student who was basing a lesson plan around it, and I realized what an amazing piece of literature it actually was. This time, I read the entire book (it's only about 100 pages) one night when I couldn't sleep and just enjoyed the ride. Sandra Cisneros is an absolutely amazing, beautiful writer. I want to be her when I grow up! This next month we are reading The Guernsey Literacy and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. I'm about half way through and am really enjoying it; it's a charming read.

The book group is great fun for me. I love reading and it gives me a coaxing to follow through with my passion and even to share it with others. I've also been enjoying My list of books to read has grown immensely since I joined its ranks. If you're interested in swapping reviews, feel free to sign up and be one of my book buddies.

"He that loves a book will never want a faithful friend, a wholesome counselor, a cheerful companion, an effectual comforter. By study, by reading, by thinking, one may innocently divert and pleasantly entertain himself, as in all weathers, as in all fortunes."
~ Barrow

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Still Long and Skinny

Palmer had his nine month check up yesterday. I was excited because this one would be shot free. What I didn't know was that since he is breastfed, he would have to have his blood taken to check his iron level. Poor kid; he still got poked. The doctor, the nurse and the lab workers all commented on how happy and smiley he was. They asked me if he was always like that, to which I replied yes, and they shook their heads in amazement. The nurse said he is the happiest baby she has seen all week. It's always nice to know that others enjoy your little one as you do. The checkup revealed that Palmer has too ear infections, which looking back on the last couple weeks explains a lot. He's been more clingy and fussy (at work with me and in the evenings) than usual and waking up in the night crying (he's always gone right back to bed before I even made it in there, so I didn't think much of it). He is still a long skinny boy. He weighs 18 lb. 12 oz. (the 22nd percentile) and is 30 3/4 in. long (the 99th percentile). His head circumference is average. I'm thinking he might end up even being taller than his daddy! The doctor called him one tall drink of water which made Palmer laugh.

Monday, February 16, 2009

My Sweet Valentines

I love Valentine's Day! I love having an opportunity to celebrate your love with those you care about. Of course, this being our first year with a child, it played out a bit differently. We had to change a few plans as the day went on, but having Palmer be a part of it made it even more special. We went to a late lunch/early dinner at T.G.I. Fridays, where we had our first date and have gone ever Valentines' Day since. Palmer enjoyed his first french fries with gusto, which in turn, gave us some time to enjoy our meals.

We exchanged small gifts. Palmer received a heart balloon, which he has played with nonstop since we purchased it Thursday night. I gave Greg the DVD series Planet Earth. He enjoys nature shows and has been eyeing it for a while but has been reluctant to pay its high sticker price. I found a great deal on it and he is really enjoying it so far. Greg gave me the absolute sweetest gift! He gave me some bath salts, bath gel, a gift card to Borders, and a letter detailing a day for me away from the stresses of being a mom and homemaker. He says I can do whatever I want for a whole day (hence the bath and book, my favorite relaxing combination) and he will take care of the baby, the cooking, and the cleaning. His thoughtfulness truly amazes me!

I am thoroughly in love with my sweet valentines! My two guys are so wonderfully sweet and fun; Saint Valentine sure did a fine job in my life!

Valentine's Dance

I can't take credit for this slideshow, it was created by my good friend Tennisa. But, I thought it was so cute, I had to post it!

On Friday the 13th we went to our Stake Valentine's dance with some of our bestest buddies. We had a blast! Of course, with this group, you can't help it. We were definately the rowdiest group there. The experience unleashed my inner dancing diva. It had been so long since I shook my groove thing; I'm excited to go dancing again soon. We also were able to met Greg's sister's new boyfriend, which was awesome. He is very cute and we are really excited for her to have a sweetheart!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Punishment or Blessing: a Lesson Reconfirmed through Puke

I am finally over the worst stomach flu I have ever had in my life. I don't mean to be dramatic, but I think I'd rather jump from a speeding car than go through it again; alright so maybe I do mean to be a bit dramatic. I won't go into details, but I'll just say that today I am vehemently scrubbing the toilets, the bathroom tile, my clothes, my skin, my hair, and everything else within human projectile distance. Seriously, it was bad, and to my abhorrence, it lasted three whole days!

It started Friday night. We had planned on going to our stake temple day. Greg got off work early. I arranged a sitter for Palmer. We got spiffied up, drove to the temple in rush hour traffic, and hunted desperately for a parking spot. As we were waiting in line to enter the temple (yes, it was so busy that there was a line to get in) I pulled out my temple recommend to discover it had expired five days earlier. I wanted to cry. I felt like I so needed an evening in the peace and tranquility of the temple. We dejectedly went back to the car and I called my dad who was watching Palmer to tell him we were coming back to pick him up. He told us to go out and enjoy the night and that he would still watch Palmer.

We decided to get some dinner at The European Connection and see the movie Coraline, which was in 3D. Greg really enjoyed the movie. I can't give you an honest opinion since I was quite preoccupied about half way through the movie being doubled over with nausea and pain. I was inconveniently at the top of the theater, sandwiched between a crowded row of people on each side. It would be a long, jostling way to the bathroom, so I figured the movie was almost over and tried to think unnauseating thoughts. I somehow made it through and on the drive home we came to the conclusion that I must have gotten motion sickness from the 3D effects. I told Greg that I was being punishing for not making it to the temple. When we arrived at my dad's house, I literally ran to the bathroom to immediately throw up the contents of stomach. At home I repeated the act. About the fifth trip to the bathroom, at three o'clock in the morning, I concluded it was not from motion sickness.

I am a strong believer in finding blessings through our trials, and as I look back on this nasty virus, I find it is no exception. I have had my fair share of embarrassment over public displays of sickness (i.e. throwing up on TRAX in college, twice, on connecting trains, as in two separate groups of observers), but I do believe nothing would top the mortification of throwing up in the temple. So for that, as well as my recovery to health, I am thankful.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Bath Time

Bath time is Palmer absolute favorite activity. He just loves playing in the tub! He starts showing his excitement by jumping and kicking the moment we begin running the water. He loves his rubber duckies, exploring his pruney body parts, splashing in the water and playing with the bubbles. He gets quite messy now with baby food mishaps, a lot of drool, and who knows what else, and needs a bath almost daily. He would stay in the tub all day if we let him.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Greg's Birthday Hoopla & Recipe - Coconut Pecan Frosting

I am finally posting about Greg's birthday celebration, an entire week later, because it took the entire week to wrap it all up! Around here, we draw out birthdays as long as possible.

On Saturday, January 31st, we had Greg's side of the family over for cake and ice cream. We bought a small white cake and a small chocolate cake from Schmits Bakery, our favorite. The kids played Nintendo downstairs while the adults lazed around upstairs and talked the night away.

His actual birthday was the February 2. Greg took the day off work, and I woke him up with a big nicely wrapped present. He received Rock Band 2 and a limited edition Star Wars Lego set (he collects them). He was especially excited about the Rock Band because we had heard that it and Guitar Hero's equipment wasn't compatible on the Wii, and had decided not to purchase both because of the money and amount of storage they would take. I later found out the Rock Band was indeed compatible with Guitar Hero equipment, and surprised him with it. In the afternoon we went to the Draper Temple open house as a family. It was lovely, a beautiful temple! In the evening, Sariah babysat and Greg and I went to dinner at La Luna and to see Paul Blart: Mall Cop. The movie was pretty ridiculous, but Kevin James still gave us a lot of great laughs!

This Sunday we celebrated with my side of the family at our bi-monthly Sunday dinner. We had chili, baked potatoes and cornbread and German chocolate cake with warm butter pecan coconut frosting and ice cream. The frosting is a family favorite, prepared for my father by his mother since he was a little boy. We always make it on the spot and pour it over each slice of cake while it's still warm. I've been really sick with the flu (maybe food poisening, because it's going on day four now) this weekend, and was not thinking straight when I made the icing. I mismeasured and even poached a few eggs in the mixture (it was pretty embarrassing), so London took over and started a brand new batch that was delicious.

Grandma Vera's Coconut Pecan Frosting

1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup coconut flakes
1 cup chopped pecans

Combine evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, butter and vanilla. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened (about 12 minutes). Add coconut and pecans. Beat until thick enough to spread. Makes 2 1/2 cups.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Obessive Compulsive

I'll admit it, I'm a little obsessive compulsive at times. I mentioned before how our home is not always clean, but it is sure to be organized. For some reason I can tolerate an unswept floor (for a while) but not an unalphabetized movie shelf. So imagine my dismay when I finished loading the dishwasher to discover this...

Okay, so it might not be such a big deal that I noticed the empty space among the other nicely arranged dishes. I'm sure many of you out there might take notice. But my obsession didn't stop there. I then scoured the house looking for anything that might possibly need a run through the dishwasher, i.e. cups or plate that could have matriculated to other rooms in the house, a close to empty butter dish or flour/sugar container, even one of Palmer's toys. To my frustration, I came up with nothing.

Then Greg came to the rescue with a dirtied glass and dinner plate and was greeting by a very happy and appreciative me. I gratefully took the soiled flatware and enthusiastically thanked him. Little did he know this rare act of eagerness originated from a neurotic compulsion rather than the perceived cheerful homemaking desire. Shhhh... don't tell.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Valentines Tag

This is actually a tag from Facebook, but I thought I'd post it here instead so all could see. I absolutely love Valentines Day. After Christmas, it is my favorite holiday. I even loved the holiday when I was single, but now that I have my sweetheart it is even better.

1. How long have you been married? four years
2. When did you first meet? May 2004
3. How long did you date? seven months
4. Before He/you asked the big question? four months
5. Where and how did you/he ask the big question? he asked on a picnic in the canyons, a reenactment of the date we went on when I first realized I was falling for him
6. What were you wearing? both of us had on baby blue t-shirts, I know this because we took pictures of us that evening
7. Were you surprised? totally, we had not even discussed it
8. Did you answer right away? yes, but he didn't hear me say yes and asked me for a confirmation on the drive home as I was wearing the ring
9. Where did you get married? the Bountiful Temple
10. What were your colors in your wedding? baby blue and lavender
11. How many guests came? too many to count
12. Were you nervous, happy, excited? very very happy
13. Did you have kids before getting married? no
14. Did you pick the engagement ring or did he/you? he picked it out (with his mother) and surprised me with it, just as I always imagined it would be
15. What do you do to keep your marriage alive? spend time together in (bow-chicka-wow-wow) and out of the home, but most of all be kind and thoughtful to one another
16. What do you do to show the special love of your life that you care? tell him I love him and give him lots of hugs and kisses
17. One thing that totally turns you on about your spouse? everything, he's hot!
18. Something that drives you batty? he makes me nag him
19. What do you want to do for them this year for Valentines Day? the usual, a small gift, dinner at Fridays (where we had our first date) and a special nightie
20. What do you hope they do for you? the same - minus the special nightie
21. Name one Valentines Day that really stands out among the rest? our first, we exchanged small gifts, he wrote me a beautiful note on the card, and then at dinner surprised me with gold heart shaped earrings
22. Have you ever forgotten Valentines Day with your spouse? no way, I would never let it happen
23. Do you cry? often, but that's not his fault; I am a crier
24. What would be the perfect dream valentines day? a trip, anywhere, we've only ever vacationed on our honeymoon
25. If you would you make this one coming, the most memorable ever? it will be the most memorable ever because I'll be sharing it with two of my sweethearts, my wonderful husband Greg and my sweet baby boy Palmer (hope he'll like the loaded potato skins and Jack Daniel's sauce from Fridays)

I'm tagging any other lovers of St. Valentine, cupid, and conversation hearts.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Nine Months

Palmer is nine months old today. He is such a big boy! I can't believe how quickly he grows up. We are sad that he is no longer our little baby, but are also thoroughly enjoying this fun stage. At nine months he has learned to exert a lot more energy with much less sleep. He is so unbelievably wiggly, and although he is not yet crawling, he is everywhere. He is a very happy, friendly, talkative and curious little guy, and he bring so much joy and laughter to our lives.

He has learned: to eat about anything (we are still selective on what we allow him to eat, but he can chew up just about any adult food. Yesterday, he enjoyed my soup and roll along with me at the Jenne's baby blessing luncheon), to kiss, to roll anywhere he wants and consequently to get into our television/video gaming wires, to wiggle out of a Bumpo, to remove the tray from his highchair, to grasp small objects (such as Cheerios) in between his pointer finger and thumb, to imitate sounds we make, to click his tongue, and today he waved back at a Sister Palmer during the Draper Temple open house

He likes: playing in the bath tub, baby talking, going out (he must leave the house at least once a day or he goes absolutely stir crazy, much like his mommy), Baby Einstein videos, other children (working at the day care is finally paying off), being outside, wind, jumping, toys and anything he might possibly conceive to be a toy (especially paper and wrappers), and eating adult food

He dislikes: being in the carseat, making it through the last of my shift at the day care, having to stay in one place, pureed meats, and getting his face wiped

Things he does that makes us laugh: flips all over the place when we are trying to change his diaper, constant wiggles, big smiles, lots of talking and cooing, and squealing laughs

Happy Birthday Greg!

A happy birthday shout out to my wonderful, sexy, hilarious, mac daddy of a hubby! Twenty seven years ago today you came into this world to make my life better and brighter. I love you more than words can say, and hope all your birthday wishes come true. Awww... cheese!