Thursday, April 30, 2009

Worry Wart

Hello, my name is Lera, and I am a worrier. I will fully admit to spending many needless hours grinding my teeth and biting my finger nails over extremely unlikely situations. Greg, on the other hand, doesn't worry about anything. Even if his previous commitment (as in knew about it for months) is not only present but slightly late and he hasn't started to even think about it. Hence, this is why I took on the task of writing many of Greg's school reports during our engagement at 11:00 at night while he lounged yawning on the couch. And why I still lay awake after he hits the snooze in the mornings to make sure he will actually get up for work... and why he falls asleep again without worry because he knows I will wake him up when needed. Seriously, I not only have to worry about my life, and my dependant child's, but my husband's as well. (I do also worry about my other family members and friends too, so probably worry about Greg is more of my issue and not entirely his fault.)

Here is what is worrying me this week.
  • Greg's job security, and how we will support ourselves if he were to lose his job.
  • The swine flu. (This one is not totally paranoid. My boss just returned from one of the infected places in Mexico.)
  • Getting out of debt and becoming self sufficent.
  • How often I have to eat with this pregnancy and the likelihood that I will gain a billion pounds by the time I am to deliver.
  • Throwing up in public.
  • How we will ever get our backyard ready for a garden in time for planting season.
  • Finding the time to get caught up on my house cleaning.
  • And yes, due to a nightmare last night, zombies.
Well there you have it. A peek into my paranoid brain. Why, oh why, can't I just turn it off and worry about things as they come? I'm not entirely sure if it's because I am a woman, a mother or if I am just an anxious worry wart. The answer is probably all of the above.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Eleven Month Photo Shoot

These were taken at JC Penney, as always. The outfit was a gift from our home teacher after he visited Hawaii. It was so nice of him to think of us. Although I am very glad we got Palmer's picture taken professionally every month during his first year of life, I am excited that next month we will be finished with the frequent visits to the photo studio. Well, that is until October comes and we have the next baby to take over and over again.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Flowers Turned to Wild Animals, Tom Hanks, and Feeding a Small Army

Has my title interested you enough to read on about our weekend?

Friday London and I had planned on taking the kids to the Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point. By the time we got there though the weather was awful and we were told it was about a two hour walk through. The kids were freezing, and it looked like it might even rain so we decided to bag it and went to Cabela's to look around instead. Neither of us had been there before. I am NOT into hunting at all, and I think taxidermy is pretty creepy most of the time (head mounted on walls and such), but most of it was tastefully done, and the aquarium, shooting gallery and candy shop with yummy fudge was too cool. So the day was saved thanks to a trip to the sporting goods store.

Saturday we attended a Seagull Book Reunion. I, along with a couple others, set it up through Facebook. My previous manager, Holly, now manages Fat Cats, so we had the party there. We ate pizza, and played arcades and bowled for free. Holly also gave us a gift card to return again; she definitely had the hookup! It was so fun being able to catch up with all my former coworker friends. Here's a crazy side note to our evening, Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson were also bowling at Fat Cats. Holly clued us in so we could all casually stroll by them to check them out. I tried to get a picture but it was too dark and they were too far away, and I didn't want to be a stalker so I gave up after a couple tries. However, from what I saw, I can now claim that I bowl better than Tom Hanks.

Sunday we had signed up to feed the missionaries. It also happened to be the same week we had a big Nichols family dinner planned, so we prepared a whole lot of food. We had mini meatloaves, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, rolls and brownie sundaes (with Leatherby's ice cream) for dessert. We received a call just before dinner letting us know the missionaries had been transferred that afternoon, so we invited the Dunn family over to help eat all the food. We played a couple games. It was a very yummy, loud and fun Sunday.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Daddy's Little Helper

Palmer loves his daddy! He loves to do everything daddy does, such as playing the drums/piano, playing video games, or just relaxing on the couch and watching The Simpsons with him (We might have to cut this one out when he's a bit older and understands the show better). So when daddy was putting back together Palmer's bath seat (he had to give it a good cleaning since someone pooped in the bathtub, I'm not naming names, but I'll just say it wasn't me and it wasn't Greg), Palmer just had to help out.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Scrapbook Frenzy

I have been on a scrapbooking frenzy lately. Saturday night I went to a cropping party at Heartland Paper with a bunch of friends. We each brought treats to share and Rie provided games and prizes. I had so much fun! We are going to make a monthly tradition of it. Yay! Tuesday night I had the Relief Society Enrichment Activity at my house, and I was able to do a little more scrapbooking. Look at me go!


Emily's (sister-in-law) bedroom shower invitations, made 25: cardstock - Bazzill, stamps and ink - CTMH, font - LD Curlz, punch - EK Success, pattern paper - Kaisercraft, brad - Lasting Impressions

Palmer's birthday party invitations, made 12: cardstock - Bazzill, pattern paper - unknown, popdots and punch - EK Success, ribbon - Offray, stamp and ink - CTMH

Festival of Trees layout: cardstock - bazzill, pattern paper - Scrapworks, scissors - Fiskars, diecutes - Quickutz, pen - Zig, popdots and ink - CTMH


Mission Possible, Young Women in Excellence Night layout: pattern paper - Kaisercraft, Lasting Impressions, stickers - EK Success, alphabet chipboard - Lil Davis, diecuts - Quickutz, brads - Making Memories, ink - CTMH, stamp - Autumn Leaves, pen - Zig, corner rounder - EK Success

Frog Card, Make and Take for Enrichment Activity: pattern paper - Making Memories, stamps and ink - CTMH, ribbon - Michaels

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Conversation with My Eleven Month Old

Palmer (happily and energetically): Blah, Blah, dub a dub doo. Ga!
Me: A blub, blub.
Palmer (still happy): Doo do phuf la la nu.
Me: Na na na boo boo.
Palmer (very excited now): a dub ya ya! Heee!
Me (thinking to myself): I really shouldn't talk to him in baby talk. I should use real words so he will learn to talk himself.
Me: Palmer, can you say momma? Momma. Momma, Palmer.
Palmer (suddenly very upset): Umph, waaaaaah!
Me: Yep, that seems about right. That's how you say momma.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Recipe - Banana Nut Bread with Chocolate Chips

To my delight, I had some bananas ripen on us this week, which resulted in some delicious banana nut bread. It is one of Greg and my favorite breakfast treats. I always add chocolate chips to mine, as I seem to do with just about everything, to make it that much sweeter. I'm sure everyone has their own version of this recipe, but I thought I'd share mine anyway.

Banana Nut Bread with Chocolate Chips

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 cup walnut chips
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 soft, ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup chocolate chips

Cream sugar and shortening; add eggs, flour, baking soda, bananas, nuts and chocolate chips. Pour batter into a greased and floured loaf pan. Bake at 325 degrees for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Check after an hour, and every subsequent 5-10 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean when poked in the center.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Left Behind Treasures

For those of you who don't know, we bought my parents' home after my dad remarried and wanted to move. My dad and his new wife, Betty, wanted everything new in their new house, and so we were left with pretty much a fully furnished home (as well as a whole bunch of odds and ends to go through in the backroom, garage and attic, but the benefits definitely outweighed the setbacks in the situation). We inherited couches, tables, chairs, shelves, a bed, and dressers, for which we were very grateful. Even though these amenities saved us a small fortune and were greatly appreciated, they are not my favorite left behind treasures. Everyday I am surrounded by small mementos that remind me of my mom and provide me with an instant smile and lift of my spirits.

  • The bathroom fountain:

My parents remodeled most of the house about a year before we purchased it. We all lived on one floor for a about six month worth of house work, which surely made for some interesting living conditions. Both bathrooms were totally made over with beautiful tile work. I love our bathrooms; they are the nicest rooms in our home. My mother once saw a wall fountain at a bagel shop that she fell in love with. She knew she wanted a wall fountain in her new designed upstairs bathroom. Initially, I thought the idea was tacky, but she insisted and with my older sister's help found this gem on Ebay. I now love it, and every time I look at it I am reminded of my mothers little eccentricities.

  • The entry wall ornament:
I saw these at Costco while we were living with my parents and fell in love with them. I so wanted to buy one for our future house, but couldn't justify the purchase. My mother was looking for a tapestry of some sort to hang on the entry wall. I told her I had seen the perfect thing, and took her to Costco to snatch one up. By the time Greg and I had the money to purchase our own, they were long gone. This is the only thing I actually requested that my father to leave behind. It reminds me of the fun shopping trips my mother and I would share. She was the ultimate shopping partner, always excited to find a good sale or an especially beautiful piece of merchandise and was always ready to spend money.

  • The garden turtle:
For those of you who have frequented our porch, you might have wondered why we have a ceramic garden animal to greet you. It certainly is not my regular style of decorating, but to me, it is one of the most dear ornaments of our home. My mother went through a phase long ago in which she fell in love with lawn animals. Every birthday and Mothers Day we would buy her one, and she eventually collected a small herd to gather on our front lawn. Over the years they have slowly disappeared, except this lone turtle. My nephew Trevor loved the turtle and it would often make its way into various rooms of our home, bringing outside dirt along for the ride. Even last week it had a little trip to the sidewalk kitty-corner to our home; I'm sure it's passage was provided by the small hands of a neighborhood child. How can you not crack a smile when greeted by the eyes of this little fellow?
  • Mother's journals:
Okay, so these weren't necessarily left behind by my father, rather they were predetermined to fall in my hands by my mother before she passed. My older sister inherited my mother's wedding ring, and my younger sister received her locket. I requested her journals. I have always loved the written word, and I knew from a fairly young age that my mother's journals would be the most precious gift I could receive as a memory of her life. I have been reading them slowly since she passed, at times when I feel I need her the most, treasuring each word, each story. She was an avid journal keeper when she was healthy, a time I don't remember as much as I would like to, and it has been an absolute pleasure for me to revisit the person she was before illness took a toll on her body. What a missionary she was! What an amazing gardener and how dedicated she was to canning her produce. How she loved her friends. How wholeheartedly she served all those around her. How she willingly sacrificed herself for the good of her family.

I feel so very blessed and privileged to be left with such wonderful mementos and memories of my dear mother.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday was pretty laid back this year. We attended church and had dinner with the Nichols Family. We celebrated Easter with the Hess family last Sunday. We had ham, scalloped potatoes, carrots, deviled eggs and I made grape salad. London provided homemade chocolates (personalized marshmallow eggs and peanut butter cups) and a lovely strawberry dessert. Pappy and Betty gave all of the grandchildren a bag of Easter toys and candy. Palmer especially loved the plastic eggs. We gave Palmer a bubble fan for Easter, which he was thoroughly enthralled with. He even cried when it was time to put it away. I love celebrating the holidays, and Easter is no exception. I do have to admit though, after two family dinners, as well as our own little family dinner all consisting of ham and some sort of cheesy potato dish, I think I'm ready to move on to some new foods such as summer barbecues and cool crisp watermelon.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Motherhood and Pregnancy: a Demonic Duo

This morning was quite the adventure. Palmer was screaming and reaching for me, so I picked him up. He then proceeded to throw up, not spit up but actual throw up, all over himself, me, the chair, the carpet... seriously, it went everywhere! I quickly stripped him and myself down so we wouldn't mess anything else and drew him a bath. Once he was in the tub, I decided to clean up everything before changing so I wouldn't dirty another set of clothes. Of course, this incident had to occur in the morning, when my stomach is pretty sensitive anyway, so as I was cleaning up the mess, I became sick myself. So there I am, hovering over the toilet, totally naked, puking, with a screaming baby in the bathtub next to me.

Oh my, I thought it was difficult being pregnant the first time, but add another baby in the mix and the experience is in an entirely different playing field.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Burn Out

It's happened. We've become one of those couples who argue over whose turn it is to change the baby's diaper. I always watched those couples, when I was single, newlywed, and even a new mom, and would resist rolling my eyes as they bickered back and forth over a job that takes a couple minutes to perform. But yes, we have entered that pivotal stage where every diaper, every feeding, every time Palmer gets into the entertainment system wires, we launch into a desperate debate of whose turn it is to take care of that said baby issue. My conclusion to this new phenomenon is simple; we are utterly and overly burnt out!

There's been a few times during motherhood that I have felt my fire fizzle in such a manner, and thankfully, my considerate husband Greg has always been there to pick up the pieces, i.e. run a load of dishes while I take a nap, comfort a crying baby so I can comfort myself, or take me out to eat instead of having me make dinner. I don't know if it's the added difficulty of being pregnant, or the fussiness Palmer has been exerting through his various recent illnesses, but now even my dependable husband backup is burnt out.

So here are some things I am imagining today as Palmer naps to help me feel better.
  • A dip in a bubbling hot tub on a cool evening.
  • Sitting on a beach and rubbing my bare toes into the warm sand.
  • Relaxing on the couch and reading a book while a maid cleans my home.
  • Dining at a fancy restaurant with candlelight, a pianist and creme brulee.
  • Sleeping on a nice big soft bed with a big fluffy pillow.
Ah, I almost feel better already.

Tonight we are redeeming my sister's birthday gift to Greg, a free date, movie and babysitting. Hooray! Hopefully we will return a little less stressed, a little more relaxed and a bit happier. And as a bonus, someone else will be changing the diapers this evening.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Eleven Months

Palmer has become quite accident prone this last month. He has started swallowing his food whole instead of chewing, even though he has six teeth already! The other night we watched him down a three inch french fry in one gulp. He looked like a character out of a cartoon; it was so crazy. Greg's friend told him he considered Palmer a choking hazard. He also falls all the time! Several times a day I comfort him after he has bonked his head, face planted on the carpet, smashed his finger, etc. Today I noticed two big scratches on his face (to accompany his current bruised bump on the head and carpet burn) and I have no clue where they came from. It is true what they say: boys are wild!

He has learned: to crawl, to pull him self up to a standing position, to point, and to clap, to climb a couple stairs, to shut door and open drawers, and to wean

He likes: eating (especially chocolate and goldfish crackers), yelling, reading books with mommy, playing with daddy in the morning before he goes to work, "talking" to other kids, wind, crawling around and exploring everything, baths, the television remotes and all other electronics that he is not supposed to touch

He dislikes: drinking formula or milk (it has been an absolute struggle to get liquids down him this past week), grass, wearing socks, going down for naps, and taking medicine (this is a new one; he used to love it)

Things he does that makes us laugh: cries when he can't get his body into the the teeniest, tiniest little opening, shuts the door on himself and gets upset, big toothy smiles, and cute giggles