Saturday, March 29, 2008

Andrew's New Photos

Andrew got two of his photos back from scanning in CA today. The above is the new version of the one he had previously scanned at home. The colors and detail are much better in this one. Anyway, check out his blog to see the other one. It's a black and white one--also at Arches National Park. Remember to always click on his pictures to enlarge--they are always better bigger.

At the end of April, Andrew, Kate, and I are all going to go camping down at Kodachrome Basin State Park for our fifth year anniversary--yay! It will be our first time camping since we've had Kate; I think she is going to love it. Andrew is really excited to be able to take some new pictures, too.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Time to Exercise...

...has finally arrived. I've been steadily gaining poundage since having Kate, and now I say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. No more! I had a great plan for this semester of getting up before Kate and going running (while Andrew was still home). Yeah, getting up before Kate is not my idea of easy nor fun. So, then I thought I could run when Andrew got home from school. Until I realized he didn't get home until 10 or 11 at night, and by that time I wanted to chat with him and go to bed, rather than jump outside and exercise. And besides, I really loathe running in public. It ain't pretty.

I decided what I needed was a way to exercise at home after Kate was asleep. After talking about it for weeks, today I FINALLY went out and bought a stationary bike. It's not the one above (as it is still in a box in the car), but it's somewhat like that one. I mostly just wanted something that was very small (we have ZERO space) and affordable. The smallest one was also the cheapest--so there it is. I am so excited to get started on a daily exercise routine. I can't believe how much weight I've gained. My goal is to lose 50 pounds--yikes. I'll just take it a week at a time, though. I'm not going to go crazy with dieting because I just get discouraged. I figure if I'm exercising every day, then I can probably just eat normal foods. we go!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Kate did not care for the jelly fish.
She only liked these fish from a distance.

Kate and I drove up to Sandy's Living Planet Aquarium tonight. Pretty pricey for not much stuff. About as impressive as the tanks at Red Lobster. It maybe rivaled Kate's doctor's office. They did have a pool where you could reach down and touch sting rays, but there was no way I was getting Kate's arm in there. And I really didn't have much desire myself. She'd probably enjoy it a lot more when she's older. She did like the gift shop. Oh well, at least I didn't have to pay for her.

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Clean House! Oh wait...nevermind.

Well, I was going to post yesterday (Saturday) and say that anyone who has ever felt like they wanted to "pop in" and say hello was welcome to do so. I was down on my hands and knees for most of the day scrubbing the kitchen and bathroom. But, alas, the moment has already passed--even before I could write about it. I baked some more bread last night so the kitchen is a wreck again. And the bathroom gets messed in two seconds of Kate's bath time. So--sorry. Anyone who wants to pop in will have to wait until next year when I have another spring cleaning burst. 'Til then...

Friday, March 21, 2008

My First Attempt at Baking Bread

The above is NOT mine!! Look below., I looked online for what wheat bread is supposed to look like when it's done. Yeah...not too similar. Funny, I guess it's supposed to actually look like a loaf of bread. I didn't let it rise long enough because I didn't want to be up until 1 am. The recipe I used used whole wheat flour and white flour, and it still sank to the bottom of my stomach. Andrew did say it was the best bread he's ever had, but he was also extremely starving at the time. No, it did taste pretty good, actually. But now I have to work out a few kinks.

I have to say--I felt like I was really accomplishing something when I was kneading the dough. I felt like a pioneer woman or something. I had an electric wheat grinder and stove--but still--I could relate. :)

The only thing is--how do I make grilled cheese sandwiches for Kate using this stuff? It would never work.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Picture of Joseph Smith??

I saw this on Misty's blog and was blown away! You can check out the story about it here The church has not said if they think this is him or not, but the researchers seem to think it is--based on his death mask and skull pictures. You can read the article about it, but I guess Joseph even mentioned in his journal that he had had a picture taken of himself. So maybe this is it?? Honestly, it kind of freaked me out! It freaked me out because I have a very set idea of what he looks like in my mind and this wasn't it. But I think this could be him. He looks enough like the paintings, anyway. Andrew and I stared at it for a long time last night. We compared it to pictures of his nephew--Joseph F. Smith. They definitely have similarities! It would be really cool if they could confirm it.

Andrew is a distant relative of Joseph Smith, and he kept asking, "Does it look like me?" I guess he's been told a lot that he looks like the statues and things of Joseph. I can kind of see it... Funny, though, because I sent this picture to my dad and one of the first things he said was, "It looks like Andrew." It must be him then! ;)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Food Storage Epiphany!

Food storage has been on my mind lately. We've been married almost five years now, and I just started thinking about food storage this month! With the economy struggling, the dollar tanking, and wheat prices soaring've been very bothered (as I've mentioned before) that we haven't been more on top of storing food since we've been counseled for so long to have wheat, etc. stored. Plus, my parents got called to a service mission as directors of the bishop's storehouse in Omaha. It's just been on my mind!

Anyway, I don't know the first thing about food storage. For some reason, it has always felt like there would be a fuzzy haze around me when I'd hear people talking about it. It just seemed SO overwhelming to even think about, let alone begin. I really don't know why it has been such a hard concept for me. It was really when I was baby-sitting the other weekend, and I saw their food storage that it suddenly made sense to me. You don't just store a bunch of beans and wheat for 30 years, you eat it as you go! It was sort of a "duh" revelation for me. But one that I needed because I realized it isn't as hard as I thought!

I went to the cannery today for the first time in my life. I didn't realize that you can only purchase bulk items, unless you work one of their canning shifts--which I couldn't do since I had Kate. But I was able to get wheat. I can't believe how cheap it is. Four 25 pound bags for $25! Bread is selling for $3 a loaf now, just imagine how cheap it would be to make it (well, factor in the price of the grinder...but over time...)! Now, I have to find a good grinder (recommendations would be great). I'm really getting into this! I would love to start making my own bread--doesn't that sound fun? Hmm...does this make me officially "old"? I think so.

As I've been thinking about this stuff, I've been looking around online for more info. I found this site that I think is pretty good and will probably be even more helpful once I start using the wheat in recipes. It has lots of ideas on how to use food storage and other tips. Check it out You have to register (for free), but it's very helpful--especially if you're a beginner like me.

Macey's just had a big case lot sale last week. They said they have them every few months. They also have a permanent section for food storage. I went there last Saturday night and the place was PACKED. I had to go outside to wrestle a cart away from an old lady (j/k about the old lady). Tons and tons of people were loading up on food storage stuff. It was really cool! So many people--young and old--were spending their Saturday night getting prepared. Only in Utah, right? But still--very cool.

My family is WAY ahead of me on all this stuff, and I'm sure all of you are as well. I've just been so excited about it, thought I'd share a little!

Monday, March 17, 2008

It's come to this...

I mentioned that Kate has been unusually fussy lately. I did, in fact, spot her upper molars coming in. So that explains some of it. But not all.

She's started refusing diaper changes lately. She's never given me any hassle about changing her diaper before. But now, when I ask her to lay down for a diaper change, she'll sit right in front of me where she used to lay down, and scream if I try to get her to lay down. The only times she'll let me change it is when she is drinking a bottle or after bath time. So, the changes have been much less frequent. But when she has a messy diaper, what can you do? You have to change it! I don't want her getting diaper rash or anything.

You're probably thinking, "Just hold her down." Well, that's not as easy as it sounds. A 20+ pound baby is a lot stronger than I realized. Even if both Andrew and I are holding her down, it's really hard and the diaper is just thrown on as best we can. Besides, I don't want to spend the next year or so giving forced diaper changes. What to do?? I tried distracting her, of course, with animals and songs--nothin' doin'. So I pulled out two of her animals, asked them to lay down (which they did very obediently), and proceeded to change their diaper. Kate was fascinated and giggling and even clapped when it was over. Great! So I try again with Kate--yeah right--not happenin'!

Luckily, my sister is a "Love and Logic" instructor and always has great advice. Her kids are some of the nicest, most well-behaved kids I've ever seen--so I listen to what she has to say! For this, she recommended (if I wanted to try it) "holding therapy" where you just hold the kid (lovingly) and don't let them escape. You hold them for as long as it takes for them to settle down, and by the end it creates a bond between parent and child. She said that when she used it on her youngest, and she finally calmed down, she was stroking my sister's face and being super loving--amazing!

So I tried this. I'm so weak! After just a few minutes of thrashing and screaming (her--not me), I let go. After picking her up and trying over and over, she eventually got tired and laid down on her stomach. I had to change her diaper in that position--not easy! Especially because it was a messy diaper!

This has been going on for days. I decided that I would hold her again when she freaked out. So I tried again yesterday when she had a really stinky diaper that I wasn't going to let go for very long. I had enough time before church started that I could spend an hour holding her if it took that long to calm her down. She was just wearing a diaper because I had been in the process of changing her clothes, when she realized I was going to attempt a diaper change. And so it began. I held onto her tightly so she couldn't wriggle away (but not hurting her at all, obviously). She squirmed, pulled my hair, tried to bite me, etc. Her little head was covered in sweat. Her diaper had begun to loosen. She howled and raged. It was horrible! I began to worry and stress that Andrew's grandparents would think I was abusing her or something! 10 minutes of this passed. How long would this take?? 15 minutes....20...I finally let her go. She sat down in front of me on her blanket. Then I noticed that the poo juice was getting all over the blanket! Argh!

She was exhausted and laid down on her stomach again. I changed the nasty diaper upside down again and put her down for a nap. Afterwards, I was really distressed. I didn't have the stomach to do it for as long as it would take. The books my sister had read said that for the first time it will usually take a long time.

I was worried that she would need a diaper change at church and wondered what would happen. She ended up leaking pee out of her diaper and all over me (because I've been letting the time between changes stretch out due to the fight that ensues every time). I took her to the changing room and plopped her on the counter. She was so freaked out by being on the counter that she held perfectly still. Hmmm....the lightbulb went off in my head.

I didn't try it until just now, though! She had a messy diaper a few minutes ago and of course, started to freak when I picked her up. So, I took her into her room and put her up on her dresser. She froze! I quickly changed her diaper as she played with some stuffed animals. A miracle! I don't know if she'll always let me change her up there (if not, it'll be back to holding time--which I'm sure will eventually work if I could just hang tough)--but it gives me hope!

PS Woah--this is a LONG post. Thanks for making it this far (if you did).

Kate's Riverdance Tryout

I love that her leg takes on a dance of its own. She even looks at it like, "What are you doing?"

She's just in her diaper because she's about to have a bath. I usually let her have fun for a little bit in her diaper before the bath. She LOVES it.

I'll explain why her diaper is so huge later.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I kind of got the job...

Finally, the "lady" called me today. Right off the bat, she sounded embarrassed. She said that they determined that there just wasn't enough work right now to hire me, but that since I had already completed everything, and she had already interviewed me and it went "really well," they would call me as soon as a job opened up. She did tell me in the interview that they had a lot of product testers right now.

So, that's cool that they want to hire me, but kind of a bummer that it may not be for a while. That means Andrew may have to get a job this summer. We'll see what happens.

My New Favorite

Okay, so last time I mentioned American Idol not very many people commented--does no one else watch this or what? I had missed a few early weeks and had completely missed Brooke White altogether until last week when she sang a Pat Benatar song. I really enjoyed her performance, and she became my #2. Then I found out she's LDS--bonus! After last night (she sang Let It Be), she is my favorite. I love the whole Carly Simon thing she's got going. David A. totally choked last night, but I still like him. He's got the talent, but I'm not so sure he's going to win. My other two favorites are Jason Castro (really loved last week's Hallelujah--one of my all time favorite songs) and David Cook. I'd be happy if any of them won. I know everyone loves Carly Smithson, but for some reason, I just don't like her that much. There is quite a lot of talent this year. I'm probably getting way too into this! :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Terrible Two's--Nine Months Early??

Kate has really been a fussy one lately. The only times she's been like this have been when she's teething, so I assume that's what it is this time,'s just that I don't see any teeth coming in yet. I really hope this isn't her next phase.

In addition to her all-around fussiness over the past week, she has stopped eating everything except for bread, fruit, and Graham crackers. I tried rolling a green bean up in a piece of bread to trick her. It fooled her the first time, and she let it pass (not without a glare, though). But when I tried to feed her again after that, she wouldn't let anything by without a thorough inspection first. She unrolled the bread, promptly tossed the green bean overboard, and shoved in the bread. She used to be a great eater--green beans, peas, broccoli, you name it--she loved it. I hope it's just a teething thing and her appetite will come back. Not sure how healthy she'll be if all she eats is bread and fruit. I don't want to get into the habit of fixing something else that we're not already eating. Anyone have ideas for a picky eater?

Poor thing. I do feel sorry for her--I think she must be in pain from her teeth. She's still a sweetheart, though. She'll be screaming bloody murder one minute, then she'll wrap both arms around me, lay her head on my shoulder, and give me a consoling pat. It's as if she's saying, "Don't worry, Mom. I'll be back to normal soon."

It will be a relief, though, to see those new pearly whites break through--then I can breathe easy!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Interview Update

Well, thanks to everyone who offered to help me out. Luckily, I was able to reschedule the interview for the morning when the kids are at school, and Andrew's grandma watched Kate and let me borrow her car to get there.

PHEW! I am tired! The kids I am watching are pretty good, but the oldest one is a little defiant. Oh well. Just one more day of this!

So the interview went pretty well, I think. The lady that interviewed me was really friendly and easy to talk to. It's weird to call her a "lady," as I'm sure she's younger than me. She said I did "really well" on the test, and she loved my writing sample (it was a novelization of a few scenes from Gattaca for a Literature and Film class). She also seemed really intrigued that I was editing someone's life story. Overall, I think it was a good interview (only 20 minutes). She said she would call me next week.

She did ask me what I might struggle with in the job, and unfortunately, I was honest. I said that not knowing how much work it would be, I was a little concerned about being able to get it all done. What was I thinking?? Argh. I just don't want to accept a position (assuming I'm offered the job) that I can't meet expectations because of Kate. She said it might be between 20-30 hours a week, but it may not even be every week. If it was 30 hours, that may be kind of tough. But if it was only twice a month, I could do it. I just hadn't thought it would be quite that many hours...

Maybe I will email her to thank her for the interview and clarify what I said. Trying to get a job is so stressful! Especially when it's a job you want!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Patrick Swayze is Dying!

If you haven't heard, Patrick Swayze has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (he's 55). Even though I haven't seen one of his movies in a LONG time, I felt really sad! I had been a fan from age 8-21, baked him a cake on his birthday even! So...even though I haven't been a fan for years, it's almost like a part of my childhood is dying! I know that sounds really cheesy, and I'm sure you're all laughing right now...but thought I would post something about it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Job Interview!

I heard about an editing position with BYU Independent Studies a few months ago from a co-worker (it's a work from home job), but I had been so busy with selling the house and settling in to our new place that I never sent a resume. Once Andrew quit his job, though, I thought it wouldn't hurt to send out my resume to a couple of places. I only heard back from one--the Independent Studies one. They emailed me back right away. I had to submit a cover letter, writing sample, and then take their test (which I did yesterday). I was pretty nervous because it has been a long while since I've done much editing. I thought I did okay, but thought too hard on some of the questions and went against my initial instincts (always a bad idea!). I sent a follow-up email to the supervisor, and she called me within a couple of hours to set up an interview for Friday. YAY!!

I don't want to get my hopes up, though. But this job would be absolutely perfect for us! Not to mention great experience for me. Andrew wouldn't have to get another job and could just focus on getting done with school. And I could get a little brain stimulation while Kate is napping or after she's gone to bed. Of course, that would mean less time for cleaning...and blogging. But it would really help us out.

There's one problem, though. I agreed to baby-sit a family of four kids this weekend (Thurs, Fri, and part of Sat), which of course, overlaps with the interview. Andrew will be at school, so I will have to find someone to watch a bunch of kids for me for a couple of hours. Hmm...

I'm sure it will work out somehow. I'm excited/nervous for the interview. We'll see what happens. Wish me luck! :)

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Bean Museum

I've been asking other mothers what they have found to do with their kids in Provo. I kept getting the same response--"The Bean Museum." Probably most of you in Utah Valley with kids already know about it, but it was new to me. It's two floors of stuffed animal exhibits--FREE. I finally decided to check it out today. It was really cool! Kate LOVED it. I wish I had had our camera to get video of her. She'd go right up to the animals and roar as loud as she could. It didn't matter if it was a lion or a bear--she would growl just as ferociously at a rabbit or a duck. She is going to love the zoo! But in the meantime, I think we'll be going back to the Bean Museum often.

On the second floor, there was even a landscape/nature photography exhibition going on. Andrew will have to enter next year.

I would definitely recommend it to everyone in the area!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Spreadin' the Love

When Kate was really little (0-6 months), she really didn't seem to like being held all that much. I was worried she wouldn't be a cuddler--but there was no need to worry!

Kate loves to hug everything--my leg, my arm, pillows, DVD cases, stuffed animals, and even pictures of animals. She'll lay her head on whatever it is and give it a good pat. It is so cute!