Saturday, January 30, 2010

2009 Meme

Thanks to Marie for challenging me to do this. It made for a nice recap of the past year.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before? Have a yard sale, blogged everyday for one month, and successfully stuck to a budget plan
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Sadly, not one of them (getting pregnant prohibited most and I slacked on the rest). This year's are exactly the same.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? I did! My friend Lissa also did just a couple days after me.
4. Did anyone close to you die? No, thankfully.
5. What countries did you visit? None
6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009? Job reliability and better income
7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory and why? October 6, 2009, the day little Brody joined our family.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Making a baby.
9. What was your biggest failure? Not fulfilling my YSA Advisor calling as well as I could have.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nothing too serious, morning sickness, a cold and flu here and there, and a surgery incision that refused to heal.
11. What was the best thing you bought? Our van, it's been a good vehicle for us.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Our family, friends and ward members, for their selfless
generosity
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? I was appalled by celebrities unfaithfulness, but that's nothing new.
14. Where did most of your money go? Car repairs
15. What did you really, really, really get excited about? Brody's birth, Palmer's milestones, dates with my hubby, and girls nights, trying new recipes, paper crafting and reading and book discussions
16. What song will always remind you of 2009? Halo by Beyonce. It played through out my sister-in-laws wedding luncheon and reception.
17. Compared to this time last year are you: Happier? I would say the same. Thinner? No Richer? Sadly, much poorer
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Exercise
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Watched television
20. How did you spend Christmas? With a lot of family
21. How will you be spending New Years? I spent it with my husband and kids.
22. Did you fall in love in 2009? I stayed in love.
23. How many one-night stands? Zero, of course.
24. What was your favorite TV program? The Office
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I don't hate anyone.
26. What was the best book you read? The Peacegiver
27. What was your biggest musical discovery? Jenny Oaks Baker, I saw her perform at Time Out for Women and she was phenomenal!
28. What did you want and you got? A healthy baby, a new camera
29. What did you want and not get? Another job for Greg, a Kitchenaid mixer
30. What was your favorite film of this year? Julie and Julia
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old did you turn? I went to The Cheesecake Factory with Greg. I turned 27.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? I want say more financial stability, however I think I learned a lot from our experiences, so I wouldn't change a thing.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009? If it fit my super pregnant belly, I wore it.
34. What kept you sane? Girls nights out
35. Which celebrity did you fancy the most?I <3 my Ewan!
36. What political issue stirred you the most? The economy
37. Who did you miss? My mom, as always and the Stewarts who moved to D.C.
38. Who was the best new person you met? Brody
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009: Humility and accepting help
40. Quote or Song Lyric that sums up your year: In all of living have much love and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured. - Gordon B. Hinckley

I want to tag Sariah, Jenn, and Lisa. Have at it girls!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Achoo! Sniff, sniff...

The Hess home is a sick home this week. Palmer and I both have a nasty virus that is going around at my work. I have spent the past week sneezing, sniffing and moaning. Palmer has spent the time in a heap on the floor crying. He is exhausted, but too sick to get good rest. It really is so sad to see him so miserable.

Life around me seems to fall apart when I am sick. The house is a wreck. I am far behind on laundry (which is so frustrating because I had just gotten caught up on it). I went home sick from work on Thursday. I should have just called in, but I was being stubborn and was determined that I was better. I had to miss book group last night, which I love going to. And, we've eaten fast food two nights in a row. I hate not being on top of my game.

When Greg is sick he holes up in our bed for half the day and then miraculously emerges feeling fine. I have struggled with this illness for over a week now, and it doesn't seem to be getting any better. I think this is because it is impossible for a mom to truly let herself be sick. Yes, I went home sick from work, but then I was just met with my work at home. I need to nurse every few hours, and sometimes in the middle of the night. I attend to Palmer and give him long hot baths and lots of medicine to help him feel better and either forget or am too exhausted to do the same for myself. I've been doing the bare minimum in keeping up with the house, but there has still been plenty to do. When Greg is home, he is a good help. He went out and got dinner last night so I didn't have to cook, and woke up with Palmer this morning since I was up with the baby earlier. But the thing is, he needs to go to work, which leaves me on my own most of the time. I'm sure all you moms out there can relate.

I know I am being selfish and whiny when I say this, but since I'm feeling bad I'm going to let myself say it anyway, where's my sick day?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Heartbreaker

Brody has got to be the sweetest little guy. He is so smiley! He doesn't cry often, and when he does it's a deep voiced, quite quiet cry. He more often just pouts and lets out random whimpers. His pout is absolutely heart-rendering; he forms a very large frown and his bottom lip juts as far out as it can reach. You cannot help but give into it.

He is very tenderhearted babe. He cries when Greg sneezes or a toilet flushes. We recently reassured him enough that he no longer cries when we play peek-a-boo with him. What a little heartbreaker!

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Pose

Palmer started striking his signature pose, thumb in the mouth and other hand in his hair, at three months of age. What do you know that Brody has started doing the same thing at the same age. He currently puts his whole hand in his mouth since he has not yet found his thumb, but I have a feeling he will be a thumbsucker too. Yesterday, my older sister informed me that I did the same thing when I was little. Weird. Is it possible that such a funny mannerism can genetically be passed on?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recipes - No Frost Chocolate Cake and Apple Cake

I've been on a cake making kick lately. These two recipes are definite winners. The chocolate cake was so unbelievably easy, just as easy as a mix. It rich and dense, almost brownie like. I made it for the missionaries and it was a hit. This past Sunday Sariah and I made this apple cake for an after dinner treat. It was absolutely lovely... moist, light and delicious. There were six of us dining that evening and we finished off the entire pan!

No Frost Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
2/3 cup oil
2 1/2 cups flour
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients together. Stir well. Pour into a 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle with 2 cups chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Apple Cake

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar + 2 tablespoons, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups chopped, peeled apple
1 cup walnuts, divided (optional) - I left out
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 9 x 13 pan. Stir together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a separate bowl beat butter on medium speed. Add 1 cup sugar and vanilla. Beat until fluffy. Add egg; beat well. Add the flour mixture slowly, alternating with cold water, beating on low after each addition until combined. Fold in apples and nuts. Pour into pan.

Topping:
Stir together remaining 1/2 nuts, 2 tablespoons sugar and brown sugar. Sprinkle over batter.

Bake 40-45 minutes until set.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Our Fifth Anniversary

Greg and I celebrated our fifth anniversary this past weekend. Through out the past year we had planned on taking a vacation for this special occasion. We hadn't vacationed since our honeymoon and decided that five years of marriage was a good reason to take another much needed getaway. Unfortunately, when the time came we found that we were not in a position (financially and physically with a nursing infant) to do so. A month or two previous, we had both agreed to just forget the idea and just celebrate by going out to dinner.

Greg, being the great hubby that he is, had a little something up his sleeve. He told me he would arrange the babysitter for our dinner and for me not to worry about it. He asked him mom to watch Palmer (with the help of our niece and my sister Sariah since she was not available the entire time) and my Dad and Betty to watch Brody not only Friday evening, but overnight and onto Saturday afternoon. He booked a hotel room in Park City and gave me a custom-made ticket to a weekend getaway. What a sweetie!

We had a marvelous time! We left for Park City around 5:30. We quickly checked in to the hotel and then went to Main Street Pizza and Noodle for dinner and ordered the most delicious pizza! We topped off the evening in the outdoor hot tub. I was so enjoying being in the hot tub (pregnancy and an open incision have kept me away far too long) that I kind of cooked myself, but it was worth it. We had breakfast at the hotel and then hit the outlet stores for a little shopping. We finished off the event with lunch at Bandits BBQ on Main Street and a trip to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. How wonderful it was for Greg and I to get a little break from life's stresses and celebrate our marriage. Five years down and eternity yet to go... lucky me!

Thanks to Tamara, Nancy, Sariah for watching Palmer, and a huge thank you to Dad and Betty for watching Brody and patiently getting him to take the bottle; you all are the best!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Three Month Photo Shoot

These are the results of Brody's three month photo shoot. As you can see, he is one well nourished little boy! I just loved the red background they had for Valentines Day; it was perfect since he is such a sweetheart.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Three Months Old

Brody has become so big so quickly! He had a huge growth spurt through the holidays. With Palmer I was so excited for him to grow up and to start doing new things. I find motherhood a bit different the second time around. I'm enjoying the baby phase much more now that I somewhat know what I am doing, and I'm not wanting him to grow up as quickly as he is. I want him to stay his sweet little cuddly self as long as possible. We just adore every soft, squishable, baby-fresh part of him! Here is what is going on with Brody at three months of age.

He has learned: to sleep through the night, to laugh, to coo a bit, and to give super big happy smiles

He likes: nursing, sleeping/napping in the dark, cuddles, his mom, dad and big brother, lullabies, being tickled, mobiles, bouncers and being held

He dislikes: the bottle (so very, very much), formula and the binkie

Things he does/about him that make us laugh: his chubby little belly, his bright eyes, cute little sighs of happiness, big gummy smiles and little chuckles

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ewww... Gross!

"Ewww... gross!" is Palmer's new favorite expression. He says it about almost anything he comes in contact with that is slightly messy, stinky, sticky, etc. I started this now popular phrase by saying it in an adamant, somewhat playful, voice to Palmer anytime he tried to touch the toilet. A few months ago he was going through the phase of trying to play in the toilet water (as most children do at some point in their life) and my exclamation of disgust with the habit worked like a charm. He has since stayed clear of any toilet and instead points to it and recites, "Ewww... gross!" (I hope I haven't ruined him in regards to potty training with such a practice).

Yesterday at work I was changing Brody's diaper. Palmer likes to join us in the bathroom at work whenever this occurs. He prefers not to be locked out of a room where his family is, but more so I believe he joins us because of the exceptional acoustics in the bathroom. He spends the whole time hooting, howling and laughing at his boisterous noises. After a minute I heard an enthusiastic, "Ewww...gross!" I didn't think too much of it since we were in a restroom with a toilet. I glanced over my shoulder just to make sure everything was alright. What I saw made my heart jump up into my throat! I beheld my toddler standing next to an open garbage canister, displaying a big cheesy smile, and holding a used tampon applicator in between his hands. I shrieked like a little girl, grabbed a wet wipe, ceased the applicator, threw it back in the garbage, nabbed Palmer and flew to the sink. I then proceeded to scrub his hands with antibacterial soap as hard as I could for several minutes.

Ewww... gross indeed!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Lazy Mornings

I recognize that I have a pretty great job. I work very part time and my kids are able to come to work with me. Palmer really enjoys the outlet that the daycare provides. Honestly, it would be difficult to imagine a better situation to make a little extra money for our family.

However, my work has been closed for the holidays the past couple weeks, and I must admit that I've loved every second of it! It was fabulous to be a true SAHM. I was able to get all my Christmas projects finished on time, keep a clean house, make many yummy time-consuming meals, visit with friends and family, play Mario Brothers Wii with Greg in the evenings, watch movies, finally catch up on laundry and get to some household projects I have been meaning to do for months. I especially enjoyed the laid back mornings. I am usually rushing myself and the kids to get fed, bathed, dressed, and hopefully napped before I start my shift. How nice it was to just relax, cuddle up with my little sweeties and simply enjoy being together. Greg's and my bed became a regular morning meet up for snuggles and giggles.



I've said that I would keep my job even if we didn't need it because of how much Palmer enjoys it, and because I basically get paid to watch my own kids (along with some others in the mix that is). But after enjoying the past couple weeks of vacation, I'm no longer sure if I would really want to do that. It definitely provides us with what we need now in a very ideal way. Yet, if given the choice, I certainly would chose to have as many precious and carefree moments, as pictured above, with my children as possible.