Thursday, December 3, 2009

Insatiable

Grayson's dinner tonight:

He just kept asking for more. More, more, more. Then he started naming specific things he wanted: cheese, crackers, raisins, cookies. Every time I thought he was done, he threw me for another loop. And when I finally took him out of his chair, there were no crumbs left behind; he didn't hide a single thing. My baby was hungry. Little pig.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

mmmm...cookies

Steps to achieve the most delicious peanut butter cookies ever.

1. Live with Shaneil for a spell.
2. Get her to give you her peanut butter chocolate chip cookie recipe.
3. Mix all the ingredients up in your Kitchen-Aid.
4. Take the dough:
and make it into little balls that you roll in sugar and flatten with a fork.5. Cook them.
6. Cool them.7. Love them.

Monday, November 9, 2009

PS - Happy Halloween!

I got this mouse costume on clearance last year at Old Navy for five bucks. I figured it'd be a safe way to go since Grayson wouldn't be old enough to tell me what he "wants to be for Halloween" yet. Cheap costume, no prep work, and no back talk. Perfect!
I stayed home and handed out toothbrushes while Josh took Grayson around our cul-de-sac to go trick-or-treating. We had been practicing saying "Trick or Treat!" all week, but I couldn't get him to put all three words together on a regular basis.

In action
(look at his little tail!)
Fortunately, he got the important part down pat, so Josh would knock on the door and when it opened, Grayson would yell "treat!" It was very cute (I know this because they surprise 'treated' me after they were done). He loved helping me when kids came to our house and he would step up to the door and take the candy out of his bag and put it into theirs. It was so cute. Such a beautiful night, such an adorable little boy. All three of us had a great Halloween. Can't wait for next year!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

stuff

We met a woman today whose husband goes by his middle name - like Josh does, but for an entirely different reason. Her husband's middle name is Jory. I think I like it, but maybe for a girl. I do like Dayna, though, and it obviously has more significance than Jory would, but I am really liking Jory. Maybe even more than Giana. We'll see.

No, this definitely is NOT an annoucement, but I have been fantasizing lately about how cute Grayson would be with a little baby around the house. There's a baby girl at his daycare and apparently he just loves her. He pets her forehead and says "Hi Baby!" all day long. And of course there'd be the added perk of instant playmate, right? For example, he wouldn't be turning my chair 'round and 'round right now if he had a sibling to distract him, or pulling on my shirt sleeve because he really wants to hop up here and type something himself. Is that the way it works with a little brother or sister or is this just wishful thinking?

But then I think to myself about how in love I am with my baby-turned-little-boy and I just can't imagine not being able to enjoy him as fully as I do. He is truly my ultimate joy in life - I almost feel like I'd be betraying him by bringing such a distraction into our home. On the other hand, we never intended or planned on him being an only child, so I'm sure those feelings will shift once my program is over and life isn't so hectic. I guess we'll see.

I might as well be pregnant with the way I've been craving cookies lately. Two weekends ago I made peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for some of Josh's coworkers and I didn't like the way they turned out. So I made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies instead but I burned one tray and Grayson and I kept eating the rest to the point that there weren't many left, so I froze the remaining 20 or so for a church activity later this month. Of course that made me feel guilty so I baked a new batch of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies this last weekend and they were

so.

damn.

good.

Seriously, they were absolutely delicious. I filled a container for Josh to drop off at work but kept the rest for myself. I am ashamed to admit it was difficult to limit myself to just four cookies per day. Luckily, Grayson didn't like them and Josh has been working so late every night that he usually gets home in time to eat dinner and head straight to bed, so I got to eat as many as I wanted without really having to share. Sadly, they are all gone now and I ate every single last one. The good (and bad) news is that I'm making another batch this weekend to give to a professor of mine to celebrate his birthday. I've already begun fantasizing about all of those cookies and where I'll hide the extras so I don't have to share again. My obsession is almost perverse.

A few more tidbits I'm thinking about right now:
1. I doubt I'll ever tire of combining red peppers with mushrooms.
2. I tricked my son into letting me cook dinner without interruption tonight by giving him a pack of smarties. Just shameful.
3. I'll never get to fully cross "do the dishes" off my list of things to do.
4. The sound of laughter belting from my little boy is the most satisfying sound in the world.
5. Goodbye $62k; hello homeownership and alla its accompanying headaches. We couldn't be more excited to meet you.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What's That?

Just had to throw a little update in here because I'm so infatuated with my son.

Grayson walks all around the house/store/church/etc. and constantly stops to point at something and ask "What's that?" only it sounds more like "Whu ta?" I'll answer him with either a long drawn-out explanation or a short one-word response, but no matter what I say, he cocks his head a little like he's really listening to me and then repeats the last word I said. He even inflects his voice up at the end of the sentence like he's not sure he understood me correctly. It's just so dang cute! He's been repeating things for a while now, but lately he's gotten really good at actually communicating with us. Just Saturday morning we all ended up in our bed and Grayson said his first three-word sentence: "I love Daddy," accompanied with all three signs. He tries to say the ABC's by himself but I have to jump in to give him a little a slew of guidance (he tries to sign the letters too - it's so cute). He parrots the books we read together and my phone conversations. He repeated two lines of our prayers tonight. He is such an adorable little boy!

20 months would be my absolute favorite new age except he's also begun to throw fits when I don't give him what he wants. Example: "No Grayson, you cannot have the knife; Mommy will cut the apple for you." His response: tears of abandonment accompanied by a literal meltdown until he's on the floor and banging his head against something. But it is so so cute how he always rubs my back when we embrace, says "uh-oh" when he purposefully drops something on the ground, hunts for things with his hand on his forehead, shoulders shrugged down, and toes on their tips, and 'jumps' as high as he can. Oh, he just melts my heart.

Dang, I need to be better about pulling out the camera to catch these little moments.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Like a Bee

Wow, am I busy as of late. School really has me hopping. Couple it with Josh's upgrade schedule and all of the equipment problems that ensue, thereby requiring even more of his time and attention on weekends, and it's a wonder I ever actually finish something - cooking, cleaning, studying, playing. And sometimes I don't. Somehow I'm managing to surround myself with just enough of the organized chaos that I've not yet gone completely crazy, but I don't know how I'm doing it.

It gets frustrating that I simply can't find the time to scrub the floor the way I used to. The dishes wait a day to be cleaned now and the last load of laundry often sits in the dryer for a few days before I finally drag them out to fold (and that's usually only because we finally need those clothes back in circulation). I can't remember the last time I spent an hour pulling weeds in the yard, and there has been no jam-making or bread-baking since the program started. It's still uncomfortable to be living like this. Sadly, I feel like I've switched from flourishing mode to strictly surviving.

I don't know why I didn't think my program would require this much time, but I just didn't. Josh groaned the other day when I mentioned I had to study for another test - it seems there's always a test, and there usually is. At least one test per week, sometimes more. The weekends are invaluable for me. Instead of getting household chores completed, I take off to the library for several hours and study in relative peace while my saintly husband wrangles the kid and tries to get the yard work done. But I didn't get my last two Saturdays (Josh was working - Sundays, too) so I've gotten a bit behind in my studies. Things aren't looking up for this weekend, either, and I'll be taking the hardest test to date next Monday.

*sigh*

I really miss my son. We used to play so often. We'd play outside, have lunch in the yard and swing afterward, read book after book after book before naptime, practice signing together, play the piano together, make my bed together. I realized this last weekend that I have to consciously force myself not to hurry him along, pick him up and carry him instead of letting him go at his own pace. I force myself to read a book with him before bedtime and laugh at his antics instead of shushing him. I no longer let him help me fold the laundry or empty the dishwasher - it takes too long. I leave him in his room for as long as possible every morning, just trying to get in one more minute of sleep or study. For some reason, I've placed Grayson last on my list of things worth spending time on.
Now that my time is so valuable, he's become even less so. It broke my heart to realize it.

That's not the kind of mom I want Grayson to have, and
that's not the kind of mom I want to be. So I started changing today. We had fun when we got home from school and day care. We danced to the radio, including our favorite, "If I Could Turn Back Time", and he practiced his latest move - 'jumping' in place - for at least 20 minutes. He helped me empty the garbage, and we mated socks together. It was so much better than waiting until after he'd gone to sleep to do it. I didn't open a single book tonight, didn't fill out a single flash card. I have a quiz tomorrow and a test on Wednesday, but you know what? Meriting a "B" is going to get me the same degree earning an "A" will, so as long as I know my stuff and pass my boards, I'm not going to sweat it if the primary molars have oblique ridges or not. I have more important things, and people, to spend my time on.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Shu, shu

Grayson is completely obsessed with shoes as of late. He'll meander throughout the house signing and saying "shoes" and then put his finger to his lips and say "hmm" like he's trying to remember where he left them. Then he promptly fetches them from their place by the door and brings them to me to help put them on his naked feet. Immediately thereafter, he retrieves *my* shoes from their respective spot alongside his, and insists that I put them on *my* naked feet. If I manage to slip them off and hide them from him, he simply finds another pair, brings them to me, and recites "shoes" over and over again until I put them on out of frustration to get him to leave me and the blasted shoes alone. And if you're wondering, yes, I have worn Josh's shoes on several occasions.

I thought things would simply go on this way for a while until he learns to put them on completely by himself, but tonight he threw a wrench into the system - he went to bed actually holding his shoes. He had one in each hand and he never let go. He wouldn't even drop them for a drink of water or to cuddle his frog. I only just now took them away as he's been sleeping for nearly two hours and I thought it would be safe to do so. Bummer I didn't think to take a picture first. It was quite humorous to see.

School is going wonderfully for me, but home life is still a little chaotic. I take the bus down to campus most days, so I have to get up extra early to drop Gray off at day care and still have time to park my car and get to the bus stop. It's working out for the most part so far, but he's an absolute beast some mornings and it's all I can do to get him strapped in to his car seat without beating him into submission. We were running so late this morning I had to drive down to campus instead. Most mornings go off without a hitch, though, so I can't really complain. I just wish Josh's schedule allowed him to drop Grayson off once in a while. All those early mornings in a row get brutal by week's end.

Other than that, things are the same. Josh is still a work-addicted provider; Grayson is still deliciously adorable and jaw-clenchingly frustrating all at the same time; and I'm still dwelling on the stupid mistake I made on my first test that merited me an A- instead of an A. Boo! At least I'll never forget what kind of cementoenamel junction is the most prevalent, right? It's overlap, fyi. Stupid, stupid mistake. We're anxiously awaiting word about a dreamy short-sale we put an offer on months ago. It's a bit expensive, but it's basically Josh's dream home, so we threw our hats into the ring. The bank has since done the BPO and has been reviewing the offers since last Friday, so we hope to hear something by next week.

PS - The worst mistake you could ever make it to list your home with the Prudential Real Estate team at the South Vally office in Draper, Utah. An especially bad move would be to involve Cheryl Staley in any part of the transaction. If you need details, just let me know. Otherwise, take my word for it and FIND A DIFFERENT AGENT!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

True Love

I ♥ my dental hygiene program.
I ♥ a husband who brings me flowers for our anniversary, even when I completely forgot about it (sorry babe).
I ♥ a clean home and a relaxed mind.
I ♥ evening walks with my family with no particular place to go.
I ♥ secret lunches with my insignificant other.
I ♥ holidays that mean no school for me, and no work for Josh. It's like a mini-vacation!
I ♥ pushing my son on the swing set, helping him pick fresh tomatoes from the garden, and the way he still giggles at peek-a-boo.
I ♥ parades and am so excited to watch one on Saturday!

But I mostly love my sweet baby who is growing up too dang fast and becoming more independent every day. Grayson signs so many words now, and he parrots everything I say. He's become really good at pronouncing his 'k' sound - rock, stuck, etc. He got a haircut last week (pics on a camera somewhere) and it's horribly short. He looked like he was going to enlist that very day. Gray now has all of his primary teeth except his four second molars which, coupled with his haircut, make him look like a little boy instead of a baby. It would be sad but he's still such a handsome little fella. I can hardly take my eyes off of him.

Grayson is already 19 months old and wow, do I remember that bald little head shining up at me just like it was yesterday. I miss him a lot when I'm at school, but Josh and I are very thankful we even have this opportunity to make strides toward creating a better situation for our family in the future. One day he'll divorce AGFA and pursue something less stressful and more personally rewarding. In the meantime, though, life is good. We have no complaints.

I ♥ my life.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Long time, no post

I just don't seem to have enough time in the day to post on this blog after I check my email. How can that be? I'm not exactly sure, but if it means Gray's a little happier and my house is a little cleaner, it's well worth the time spent offline. A quick update while the kiddie naps.
Boat ride, July 29, 2009
Grayson: Turned 18 months old yesterday! Ate his first hot dog at Lake Powell this last week and sadly, he liked it. Also tried his first soda pop (root beer) and liked it. Latest growth spurt must be over because his appetite has gone way down. Will sign to me that he's tired but then won't go to sleep. When I tell him he's being silly, he signs that to me instead. Such a smart and funny boy. Gives great back scratches, loves looking for birds through the windows, and climbs like a monkey. Attended nursery for the first time last Sunday and the ladies in there told Josh he was very well-behaved and quite 'durable' (apparently that means he let the older kids push him over, take his toys, and merely got up to go get something else instead of throwing a fit). My great baby is becoming a good little boy.

Josh: Work- work- working to keep himself recession-proof and doing a fine job of it. Missed out on a great vacation in order to keep the peace between AGFA and IHC. Everyone loves him, me especially. What a saint!

Me: Dental hygiene program pre-req's - check. CPR and first aid certifications - check. Dental hygienist observation hours - check. Tooth molds for dental anatomy class - check. Scrubs - check. Still need books, updated immunizations, and a long-sleeved lab coat.

People ask me all the time if I'm getting excited for the dental hygiene program to start. Honestly, I am not. I'm still enjoying the summer break right now! And I'm worried about moving and about who's going to take care of Gray while I'm in class. Life would be so much easier if we could just fin
d the perfect house and get settled into it before classes begin August 26. We've placed two offers on short sales, but those can take forever, so we're still looking. The upside is there isn't much activity on the house we're presently renting, so every day it doesn't sell is another day we can save more money (20% down + fall semester's tuition is stressing me out). Good times ahead!

Anyway, my summer has been consumed with Grayson, vacations, and school preparations. I'm loving it!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Photo dump

June pics, sans vacations...

Happy Father's Day! June 21 Hiking with Grandpa, June 15My mom said no more haircuts, Grandma! But man, do I look good now! June 9You gonna push me or what? June 12Melting Grandpa's heart, June 12Thirsty, June 28

The first weekend in June all of my siblings and their families came up/over to attend the baby blessing of our family's newest addition - Zoey. Since everyone was here, we partied all day Saturday, hitting up the Wheeler Farm Summer Stampede that morning, touring the Oquirrh Mountain Temple open house that afternoon, and eating dinner in our back yard that evening. It was a wonderful day!

Feeding ducks (this will be boring to everyone except me) video

Cousins, June 6

My Family, June 6

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

May videos

As it's the last day of June now, I figured I'd better try to get at least one more post published. Yes, I still need to tell all y'all about our awesome trip to DC, and we've just returned from the first Lake Powell trip of the season, but because this is a Mom blog, and because I'm utterly infatuated with the little boy that sleeps in the room down the hall, prefers his daddy to me, and chants 'bah bah bah' over and over again whenever he sees a round toy, I'm going to update about Gray.

Grayson's not a big talker. 'Da' 'Mah' and 'bah' came early and quite easily, and he signs probably 30 words that we've learned by watching a couple of Signing Time dvds (thank you library!). But he's slow to actually say the words, choosing instead to grin from ear to ear while I praise him for signing something or doing what I asked. He seems so smart and mature to me in what he understands and what he can communicate, but I'm sure all parents feel that way about their children. But seriously, how many 16-month-olds will say 'ca' and do the sign for cat when you ask them what says 'meow'? How many will put your makeup away and shut the drawer if you tell them to? How many actually pick up their toys when it's time to clean up? (Ah, let me live the dream if it's more than just my gifted son.)

Anyway, a couple of months ago, long before sign language, I tried teaching Grayson body parts. Guess which body part he said first? Belly button ('beh buh'). And second? Teeth. When he says 'tees' he shows his teeth so perfectly, without opening too wide. And even though he obviously has a preference for the obscure parts, he'll honk his nose if you ask him where it is. It's just too funny.
May 8, 2009
video

One of my favorite things about this 14+ month stage is all the mimicking Gray does. Just today I scratched the palm of my hand because it itched. But I only realized what I was doing after I looked down to see Grayson watching me intently and doing the same. I absolutely adore my little shadow, although it freaks me out how closely he watches and how perfectly he mirrors. He's even gotten my electric razor out of the drawer and run it over his legs a couple of times - thank goodness he can't reach the outlet to plug it in.

Because of his desire to copy every thing I do, Grayson is on track to grow up a neat freak, maybe even a bit OCD if I don't chill out in the next couple of years. When I'm mopping the floor, he's also on his knees wiping the floor clean with his cloth. When I'm putting things away, he's alongside me, helping out as best he can. He loves to help empty the dishwasher and he opens the dresser doors for me when I'm putting away the clean, folded laundry. And when I'm vacuuming, I'm nearly running over him and his tiny toes he's so anxious to jump in and help out.
May 5, 2009
video
While at my mom's house a couple weeks ago, I helped her do some spring cleaning. I used the vacuum a lot, and there was Grayson, just itching to assist. Luckily, he discovered a push-along toy my mom has that plays a tune as it spins around. Perfect! My little shadow pushed and pulled that thing all over the house as we vacuumed. He was right behind me. If I moved a chair to vacuum underneath, he also moved it to 'vacuum' underneath. I didn't get a picture of it, but I really wish I had. It was so so cute. This is the first toy I bought him after we got home from that trip and he still loves it. I almost regret it because it's insanely noisy on the tile, but he could have more annoying habits, right?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Whirlwind

Life is just crazy right now. We went to DC for almost a week and came home just in time to clean up the house for my sister's family to come in Friday morning. We played all weekend with the rest of my fam and everyone left Sunday evening. So Monday morning brought about some more house cleaning just in time to leave for southern Utah late that afternoon so Josh could do an upgrade at DRMC in St. George and VVMC in Cedar City. It was a big upgrade and expected to last a full week or more. Things weren't perfect Monday when the new system went live, so Josh figured he couldn't leave until Thursday or Friday.

Well...having already been in southern Utah for an entire week, job shadowing a dental hygienist, helping my mom spring clean her house, ending up sick with some crazy flu on Sunday and Monday, thinking every waking moment about how long our grass was getting, and feeling like Grayson was distracting my folks from their 'California friends', I wasn't too hip on sticking around for several more days. So I bought my dad a couple of bananas
and hung his jeans out to dry in exchange for him to fire up Josh's Pathfinder we keep down there and check the tire pressure for me. After a small hiccup involving expired plates, Grayson and I finally headed home yesterday afternoon. We did stop in at the Cedar City PF to catch lunch with Karynn, her son Kiel, and new sweet baby girl Kierstyn. (Ha Karynn, I just realized I got all the K's in your family at lunch that day!) I'm so glad we did because that's the first time I've seen Kierstyn in real life and holy cow she's so cute!
Grayson thinks he's so big and it just cracks me up. Whenever he sees 'babies' (which includes toddlers that don't respond to him the way he thinks they should) he kind-of pats them and caresses their arms/hair/face and makes cooing sounds the way mommies do when they're showing their kids how to pet animals. So yeah, basically he pets them like they're animals. Kierstyn is not loving it.

Anyway, lots and lots to do (just took 11 mins to get alla the pics off one of our cameras) but for now I'm going to go fall into my nice warm bed with its fresh-from-the-dryer sheets and pillowcases and fall asleep to the sound of the rain that's falling outside. If only Josh were here...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

So how was DC?

You'd never guess that it was absolutely FANTASTIC, what with my extensive blogging recaps describing it to you coupled with my brilliant photography. I've yet to snatch the pictures and videos off my cameras and onto my hard drive to upload, so I'll just give you a couple of highlights for now and elaborate on them next week:
  • Grayson loves flying
  • Grayson loves dogs (we miss you Moose and Molly!)
  • Grayson loves trains
  • Grayson loves warm rain
  • Grayson loves horses if he's riding on top of them (thanks for the ride, Spud!)
  • Grayson loves birds
  • Grayson loves cheering for the home team at baseball games
  • Grayson loves nursery until it's time to put the toys away
  • Grayson loves teeter-totters
  • Grayson loves fishies
Most of all, Grayson loves Jake and Lori; Amanda; Katie, Todd, Bronson and Garrett; Joy; Steve and Carol; Laura, Nick and Noah; and Jessica, Jason, Austin, Layla and Ryan. This trip was probably one of the best vacations I've ever taken, and I think it's because we didn't try to overplan a lot while we were there. Yes, we may have 'wasted' a bit of time, but just being able to relax and meet new faces or see ones we haven't in a long time was so gratifying.

Friday, May 22, 2009

What goal again?

There's no way I'm going to make 10 posts this month. That would require one post every three days, which obviously hasn't happened. It also would require me not cutting three days from May by going on vacation, which is definitely going to happen. Maybe June will be my blogging month...

So we're finally taking a vacation. Yes, we go to Lake Powell every summer, but this is a real vacation complete with airplane, rental car, and baby gear up the wazoo. I took summer classes in 2006, 2007, and 2008, and when I realized I didn't have to take a class this summer, I determined we would go somewhere before I start the dental hygiene program.

This was no easy feat. I had to work around IHC's upgrade schedule, Josh's on-call schedule, his coworkers' training schedules, the Lake Powell trips, church obligations, the Wasatch Roller Derby bouts, and finally the schedules of the people we're going to visit (thank goodness they keep themselves more available than Josh does!). As it is, we'll be missing my niece's baptism and one friend's wife flies out the day after we arrive, but all in all the timing worked out splendidly.

Where are we going? To Washington, D.C.! We're going to visit
Jake and Lori, Katie and Todd, and Josh's uncle's family. I seriously couldn't be more excited. Jake and I went to high school together and have always stayed good friends. I technically met Katie online, but really became friends with her when we both lived in Vegas. Josh's aunt and uncle are so super nice and very successful - good people to get life lessons from. It's going to be a great trip.

So Grayson is 15 months old now and this is my first flight ever with a baby/toddler/child. Any tips or suggestions to make it as painless and easy as possible? We got nonstop flights both ways, 4.5 hours long.
Our flight leaves Thursday, May 28, so please share your wisdom asap. There are some suggestions I found on Vanessa's blog that sound good, but if you have something more to add, please do so! {This means you Jenise, if you can stop staring at Dax long enough to read this post. ;-) }

Friday, May 8, 2009

Sunshine, you work wonders

Grayson had a slight fever Sunday morning which escalated to 102.8 by early evening. So when he was struggling to breathe when he woke Monday morning and then kept panting and wheezing throughout the day, I took him in to the pediatrician that afternoon. Turns out he has croup. His doctor said the parainfluenza virus has been going around lately and he's not the first croup case she's treated recently. They gave him vaporized epinephrine and an oral steroid and he sounded much better that night before bedtime.

He wasn't very wheezy Tuesday and he broke his fever Monday night, but he was very clingy and whiny and sounded raspy when he would cry. The doc gave me a one-time prescription for the steroid 'just in case' so we filled it Tuesday and he seemed to breathe well through the night (although he wasn't sleeping through the night. Mommy=walking zombie since Saturday).

Wednesday he coughed a lot more and sounded a little congested but mostly he just cried and seemed even more clingy than he was Tuesday. When I say 'clingy' I mean he grips me tightly enough that it semi-chokes me. He's like a little monkey that climbs all over me and freaks out whenever I try to put him down. Even when he takes a break from full-on crying there's a constant whimper that permeates my brain and makes my head hurt. Poor guy. I feel so bad when he's sick. And then I feel guilty for turning on the vacuum to drown him out for a few minutes because I don't know what to do and his incessant noise is driving me bonkers.

Fast forward to today, Friday. Grayson slept through the night last night and hasn't been coughing yet today (although he did sneeze twice). He's playing by himself and isn't insisting I hold him all the time. Why the change? I gave up isolating ourselves yesterday and took him outside to work in the yard for a couple of hours. He loved it. He followed me all around the yard as I sprayed weeds growing in the grass. He tried to put on my gloves and danced while I sang to him. He studied me pulling the crabgrass out of the flower bed and proceeded to help me - grunting as he pulled and all. He even threw his weed (small stem of grass) into my weed pile. It was quite adorable to see my little gardener in action.

Maybe his spirits lifted to know that the weed problem is mine and he'll be too young to have to help for a few more years. Maybe the slight breeze cleared all of that infection out of him. It's more probable that enough time has passed that his body is finally kicking some viral butt, but when I see the slightly pinked hue of sun-kissed skin running over his nose and onto his cheeks, I know it's simply because life is more enjoyable when the sun shines.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Biggest Loser

I don't get to watch a lot of television, but I do enjoy catching The Biggest Loser when I can. We have a RS activity almost every Tuesday night so if I get around to it, I'll watch the episodes online later in the week. But occasionally Josh doesn't get home on time for me to attend the activities and Grayson and I sit in front of the boob tube for two hours and witness the amazing journey of these overweight contestants.

I've been pretty diligent at watching this season since the players were split into blue and black teams and let me just say, I really dislike Ron. I hate that the other people felt obligated to keep him on the ranch so much so that they were willing to vote stronger teammates off early on (even though it meant keeping Ron, a weak player, around) and their entire team more likely to continue losing challenges, thereby forcing the elimination of more strong players. A vicious cycle and they fell right into it.

Anyway, for anyone that watches it and is reading this post right now, how are you voting between Ron and Mike? I'm enough of a grudge-holder that I don't want Mike to win ANYTHING because of the way his father has behaved. So...do I send Mike to the final four and hope that Tara beats him and he walks away empty handed, or do I send Ron to the final four to ensure Mike doesn't have a chance at the $250k even though it means risking him getting the $100k consolation prize?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Reaching goals

I was going to set the goal of blogging every day in May but then I realized May had already begun and I would undoubtedly fail. Instead, my goal is to post 10 times this month. I think I can handle blogging every third day.

Last week I achieved a goal that I set a while back - I baked bread from wheat that I ground myself!
Ta-da! Stockpiling wheat, January 17, 2009
First you grind it up
into whole-wheat flourThen mix it into your other ingredientsRoll into loaves, rise, and bake in the ovenFinally, slice and serve
I forgot to take a pic of the bread pans before baking so you'll just have to trust me that those loaves came from my dough. And yes, it tasted simply divine.

Finally baking my own bread is part of a larger goal Josh and I set at the beginning of this year; the goal to "Get prepared." What a blanket, difficult-to-measure, trite little goal. We were pretty gung ho about it back in January, but our passion died down a bit when my class and Josh's job both became more time-consuming. I waxed some cheese in February for our long-term food storage, but all of my videos and pics from that afternoon are forever locked away on a damaged memory card that will only give me error messages when I try to retrieve them.
I waxed a couple of blocks again in March but didn't have Josh available to videotape it, so I only have a few pictures to show you.
Ingredients:
These cheese blocks...
...plus these melted wax blocks...
...equal these wax-covered cheese blocks!
Completely cover with 2-3 layers and you get cheese with an indefinite shelf life. Yay!
Now that I'm out of school for the summer, I've started cracking down on what still needs to be done to 'Be prepared'. We have a long way to go, but thankfully we have a pretty good start.

Finally, there's another, more exciting goal that's been in the works since Josh and I married three years ago: Save enough money to put 20% down on a home. We have finally reached the point in our finances that we are comfortable doing just that and still have a bit in savings for my dental hygiene program and any hiccups life throws our way. It's very exciting to be 'in the market' right now when interest rates are good and the federal government will give us $8k for taking someone else's house off their hands for them.

The sad news about the house situation is that we aren't planting our garden this year because we don't want to leave our boxes and decorative rock behind when we move. Especially disappointing is that a fellow ward member promised to help me can my own salsa this summer using vegetables I grow myself. Bummer. That's a goal I'll have to reach in 2010 instead.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spring has sprung

A lot has been going on as of late around these parts. Too much, but I promise I've been taking pictures even though I've not been sharing them. One day I may get around to posting Dec08-Feb09 for my sweet baby, but for now, here is the month of April...
Grayson has fallen in love:
We've been spending a lot of time outside (when there is no snow!)Which means yard work has begun:
Note the shudder at 1:07 - that's my boy!
video

I mailed in my acceptance form:
The Easter Bunny came to visit Gray at Grandma's house and that health nut brought him raisins and a banana in his basket!
But he got plenty of candy at two different Easter Egg hunts:
Grayson's finally begun reading books instead of eating them:
And finally, yesterday I spent 3 hours, 48 minutes on a 217-question Microbiology final that seriously kicked my ass. The good news is I had an 'A' in the class going in to the final, and now I've just the lab final to take Wednesday and I will be finished with this class and semester!
Something I've learned about (so pretty for a nasty tapeworm)