Monday, October 25, 2010

Girly Goodness

I was able to join in on girly get togethers this week. Yay! Thursday night I spent the evening with my two favorite girly girls, my sisters. Sariah and I arranged to take out our older sister London for a night of pampering. Life has been pretty rough for her lately, dealing with the stresses of a job loss, financial problems and her husband's bi-polar depression; she was definitely in need of a good girl's night. We gave her a few choices of things to do and she picked a winning combination: pedicures and hot chocolate at Hatch's Chocolate Shop. It was Sariah's and my first time trying Hatch's hot chocolate. It was unbelievably delicious! The three of us now refer to it as liquid love.

Saturday afternoon, London and I attended a sisters and daughters Halloween party at our friend RaeLyn's home. It was great fun, right up our alley with a potluck and make and take crafts. I had worked a Halloween breakfast earlier that morning. All the servers had to opportunity to have their faces painted by a professional. I asked the face painter to paint me up to match my butterfly wings that I planned to wear at the party. She did an awesome job. Thanks to her artistic touch, I won best costume. London won best food item with her pumpkin shaped cheeseball.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tuesday's Television Takeover

I regularly watch three television shows each week. My very favorite show is The Office. It is also Greg's favorite and we enjoy watching it together. It is only a half hour long, and if we don't catch it on Thursday night, it is no big deal to just watch it on the Internet some night after the kids go to bed.

The other two shows I watch are The Biggest Loser and Parenthood. I've been a fan of The Biggest Loser for a few years now. Unfortunately this show is two hours long, and takes so much time to watch and keep up with. (Not to mention that trying to watch television while the boys are still awake can be like fighting a losing battle.) And then to make my Tuesday nights tune in even longer, I got hooked on Parenthood, as it was on during the time I nursed Brody to sleep for the night. Which brings the grand total to three whole hours of television on Tuesday. Greg is not really into either program, so watching them after the kids go to bed (during the time we spend together as a couple) isn't an option.

My solution? Tuesday is now my laundry night. Greg is currently studying to get his CNA, and never seems to find enough time to hit the books. So Tuesday is now his study night. Some Tuesdays are more productive than others based on the kids' behavior, but all in all it's been a good solution. Now if I can only find a way to justify some of my other guilty pleasures... like chocolate.

What television shows do you make an effort to tune into?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Full Ownership of My Body is Bittersweet

For the first time in over three years, I am not nursing and/or pregnant. It is a very strange feeling to me. I have been looking forward to this day for a long time, and now that it is here... I don't really know what to do with myself.

Yes, it is very nice to once again have full ownership of my body. This past Sunday was the first Fast Sunday in over three years that I have been able to fast. When I was first pregnant with Palmer and happily chomping on saltine crackers at church, I remember a ward member telling me I would miss fasting. At the time, I thought, that would never be the case. I believed being able to eat whenever you need/want to was a pretty great perk to being with child. Yet sure enough, I did miss it. More so, I missed the ability to choose to fast. I missed practicing my devotion to my Heavenly Father in such a concrete way. I do know that my reason for not fasting was worthy; in such a case I was instead showing devotion to my child. However, this past Sunday's fast I appreciated more than any other fast I have completed up to this point in my life. It is also nice to know that I can leave Brody for a night, if needed, and he will be just fine. He can be provided with all that he needs, even without me. As the date to wean neared, I had expected to be happy in welcoming these good changes.

What I did not expect, was for weaning to be bittersweet. I find myself missing that precious time with Brody. I miss cuddling with him. I miss winding down from the day by nursing him to sleep. I miss knowing that I am giving him something precious of myself. These were feelings that I had not even considered and was not in anyway expecting to feel. Especially since Brody is my second child, and I have weaned before. I think this time was really different for me because this time, it was my choice to stop breastfeeding. I was forced to wean Palmer early (doctor's orders) a few months into my pregnancy with Brody. I remember being frustrated that I had to stop breastfeeding earlier than I wanted, but I also remember feeling relief, because I was so utterly run down and worn out nursing while pregnant. This time around, I chose to stop. It was my choice to move on from the intimate relationship Brody and I had through breastfeeding.

So here I am. Just me. Full ownership of my body. The time I've looked forward to for three years is now here. Now that I am no longer physically devoting myself in every way I know possible to my children, and no longer experiencing crazy hormones as a result, I can finally once again, feel like myself. Ironically, now that I have finally achieved this sought after state, I find that during those three years of not feeling like myself, I redefined myself. I became the mom who gave everything, who was everything for her children. And even though it was exhausting, stressful, often frustrating and at sometimes burdensome, it honestly was wonderful. At this time in my life, that woman who gives all of herself is who I am. This woman who can hand her child a sippy cup of milk and be on her way, is a stranger to me.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Family and One Year Photo Shoot

Brody had his one year photos taken this month. Once again, I was able to get his photos done once a month for his first year of life. And once again, I'm so glad I'm done. I am always happy I've done it by the end of the year though. They grow up and change so quickly. Thankfully, this time I'll have a bit of a longer break before doing it again with our next baby. We also decided to save ourselves a trip and get our family pictures done for Christmas at the same time. JC Penney had a special with their greeting cards which made it cheaper to just order through them than to make my own this year. So for the first time since I can remember, I will not be sending out homemade Christmas cards. I suppose I'll just have to compensate by making cute gift tags for the presents we exchange. I am really pleased with the results of this photo shoot. The boys had a difficult time staying still, but the photographers were wonderful working with them.

(the boys are hams just like their dad!)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Recipe - Orange Sesame Pork Chops with Whole Wheat Teriaki Noodles

This is a recipe that originally came from Rachael Ray. I have tweaked it a bit to make it cheaper and tastier. Greg is a big fan of pork chops; I am not so much a fan. However, I have found a couple meals to make with pork chops that I like, and this is one of those. This is one of the best tasting Chinese meals that I make, and as a bonus it uses healthy whole wheat noodles.

Orange Sesame Pork Chops with Whole Wheat Teriaki Noodles

1 pound whole wheat or whole grain spaghetti
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 boneless pork loin chops,
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons orange marmalade
6 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 bag frozen stir fry vegetables

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta and cook the pasta to al dente. While the pasta cooks, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. On a plate mix together flour, salt and pepper. Roll the chops in the flour mixture. Place chops in skillet, cooking the first side about 6 minutes, then flip and cook 4-5 minutes on the second side. Remove the chops to a plate and reserve; cover with foil. Add 3 tablespoons orange marmalade, a couple tablespoons teriyaki sauce and 1/4 cup of water to the pan; bring the sauce to a bubble and combine for 1 minute, then stir in sesame oil remove from heat. While the chops cook, heat a second skillet with 3 tablespoons oil over medium high heat. Stir fry the vegetables until cooked. Drain the pasta and toss with the stir fry vegetable and remaining teriyaki sauce, about 1/4 cup. Top the pork chops with the orange-sesame glaze. Serve the teriyaki noodles alongside.

Visiting Geepa

During the first weekend of October we took a trip to Ely, Nevada to visit Greg's dad, Kelly, or Geepa (Grandpa) according to Palmer. The actual driving was pretty rough. It only takes a couple hours on the road to remind me why we do not take road trips with our kids often. Plus, Brody had contracted some sort of stomach bug, which made for a lot of pulling over and a lot of blowouts! Poor kid, poor car seat, poor van seat (that's right, it was to bad that it dripped down through the slats in the carseat onto the actual bench seat of the van).

Once we arrived, we had a great time! We played pool, hot tubbed, played Wii, visited with Kelly's friends, and ate and ate and ate. Greg and Kelly went out four wheeling Saturday afternoon. They went to the tip of the nearby mountain. I did not get a chance to four wheel do to a badly timed migraine (boo). But I am glad Greg got in some good quality time with his Dad.

Palmer had a hard time not touching all of Grandpa Kelly's nice stuff, and Brody continued to fill diaper after diaper which lead to a very sore bum, but all in all the boys had a great time as well. They must have played pretty hard because they both took a turn napping on the drive home (thank goodness!). Until next time Grandpa Kelly.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Brody First Birthday

Brody turned one this past Wednesday, September 9. We celebrated by having both sides of the family over for dinner and cake and ice cream. Brody loved all the attention from his grandparents, aunties and cousins. He was all smiles. He was spoiled good and received: a big truck that makes noise when bumped, soft Toy Story Woody and Jesse dolls, a T-Rex flashlight, a bead maze, wooden toy cars, $25 to Toys R Us, a V-Tech book that plays music and lights up (and has a microphone that he has so enjoyed yelling into), a Zuzu Pet, and a musical gear station. He and Palmer have put all the toys to great use in the past few days. After presents we stripped him down so that he could really go at his cake. We weren't sure if he would even get into the cake since he usually doesn't like to get really messy when eating. He prefers for me to spoon feed him if the meal is really wet. However, he does have a fascination with eyes, and since his Aunt Andrea made an adorable Elmo cake, he had no reserve in regards to digging into those big frosted eyeballs. He did not get nearly as messy as Palmer did. In fact, he didn't even get to the cake before he was ready to be done. We bathed him right afterwards, but his skin was still stained pink from the red, red frosting, as was his highchair, Greg and my hands, the bathtub and everything else he came in contact with. I served a couple cakes I had baked along with ice cream to everyone else. It was a great time! Thanks to all our family who came to celebrate our little guy's first birthday!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

One Year Old

Our little baby Brody turned one yesterday. We celebrated by having both sides of the family over for dinner and cake and icecream. I will be sure to post pictures and a video of the affair in the next day or two. The time sure has flown; I can hardly believe he is no longer that itty bitty babe who lay swaddled and snuggled in my arms one year ago. We adore Brody so very much! He is just the sweetest! With his cuddles, big bright eyes, silly smile, and curious nature, you can't help but fall in love with him. Here are the stats on Brody as a one year old.

Stats: height - 30 1/2 inches (74%), weight - 19 pounds 19 ounces (9%) and his head circumference is in the 62%

He has learned: to crawl, to wean and to close doors

He likes: being held (especially by Mom), exploring, sippy cups, cuddles, tickles, playing with his brother, toys that light up and make noise, looking in the mirror, macaroni and cheese, goldfish crackers, poking eyes, poking at buttons, electrical wires, remote controls, cell phones, and keys

He dislikes: being alone, waiting to eat and when Palmer (or other babies) cry

Things he does that makes us laugh: pokes/points at everything, doesn't like to get messy and will prefer to be spoon-fed with such meals, when crawling he often lifts the right leg all the way up to his foot as if he is going to walk, hearty laughs and silly smiles

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Greg went to give Palmer a high five at the kitchen table. At the time Palmer was drinking from his sippy so he just leaned forward and tapped Greg's hand with the end of his cup for the high five.

Palmer calls Brody "Boey" (pronounced like David Bowie) and Pappy "Happy."

Always has to take one or two bites of food and a very long gulp of water before folding his arms to bless the food before him.

Palmer got in our round wicker hamper the other day and while peeking his head above the rim announced, "Oscar!" - as in Oscar the Grouch.

Always yells "o-born" when shouting into cylinder shaped objects. Six months into such a behavior we finally have realized he is calling out "bull horn," something he saw Mickey Mouse do in a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode.

Likes to get ready with me in the morning. As I primp, he brushes his hair, cleans his ears with Q-tips and puts on chapstick.

His best buddy at work is named Katherine. He has known her most his life and talks about her often. At dinner he will ask for a "Katherine" (a.k.a. napkin) with his meals.

Points out shapes on everything he sees. His favorite shape is an "ovfal" - oval.

Can count as high as fifteen when concentrating, but when counting quickly will always say, "One, two, three, six, nine."

Whenever told to focus, he speedily replies, "Hocus pocus."