Tuesday, March 25

Another Tag

5 Things I Was Doing 10 Years Ago
1. I met my future husband-hated him!
2. Dating my first serious boyfriend.
3. Working at Burger King
4. Marching Band
5. Learning to drive

5 Things On My To-Do List Today
1. Laundry
2. Empty two laundry baskets full of random crap
3. Make the bed
4. Do the dishes
5. Visit some family

5 Snacks I Enjoy
1. Reeses
2. Hot chocolate
3. French Fries
4. Bananas and peanut butter
5. Chocolate milk

5 Places I've Lived
1. My mother's womb
2. Price Utah
3. Riverdale Utah
4. Hyrum Utah
5. Cincinnati Ohio

What I Would Do if I Became a Billionaire
Invest in real estate, take my entire family on a cruise, pay off our parents houses, and invest in our future.

5 Bad Habits
1. Eating too much
2. Not exercising
3. Ignoring my kids
4. Spending too much money
5. Being grouchy and taking it out on my husband

5 Jobs I've Had
1. A Janitor
2. Burger King team member
3. Cashier at Wal-Mart
4. Invoice office at Wal-Mart
5. Shoe department at Wal-Mart

People don't know about me ...
1. I'm left handed
2. I have a terrible temper
3. I could never fly over the ocean
4. Bridges freak me out
5. I'm a terrible gossip

Saturday, March 22

The Gift of Music

An unexpected gift showed up at my apartment on Thursday afternoon. I was busy cleaning up the kitchen and preparing chili for dinner when an unexpected knock sounded on the front door. I answered the door, expecting it to be one of Jeremy's friends asking if he could come out to play. To my surprise, Mary was standing on my doorstep. I gave her a quizzical look and inquired as to what she was doing at our house, but she only smiled and asked me to move my van (which was parked directly in front of our townhouse) so that they could unload something. Confused, I glanced across the parking lot to where their truck was parked, and saw a piano tied securely in the bed of the truck. As reality sunk in, tears sprang instantly to my eyes. I have literally hungered for a piano since I left my parents house behind 8 years ago. We stored Mary and Russ's Clavinova for about a year while we lived in Utah, but other than that I have had only sporadic access to my favorite instrument. The worst has been since we moved to Cincinnati because I had become accustomed to being able to use the piano as my self therapy in Hyrum. Also for the four months that we lived in Dayton. Amongst all the stresses of life in the last four months, I have sorely missed having a way to release tension. I immediately and joyfully cleared a space large enough for the piano just inside the front door, and the instrument was barely in place before I had pulled a few of my favorite pieces of music out and sat down to play. I am so grateful that my thoughtful in-laws recognized a need, and when the opportunity came to take advantage of an unwanted instrument, they jumped on it in my name. The piano originally came from their small branch in Dayton when a newer instrument was purchased for the building, but I credit Mary and Russ with being thoughtful enough to claim it for me. In the long term I am considering teaching piano lessons, but until all the difficulties surrounding such an undertaking are resolved, I will simply enjoy being able to fill my home with music again. Because I know I will never be able to adequately express my appreciation to you, Mary and Russ, I offer these pitiful words: thank you. Thank you from the very, very bottom of a grateful heart. I love you.

Wednesday, March 19

Photo Proof

I've been asked when I'm going to post pictures of my new haircut, so here goes. It's a kind of 'come hither' look that I'm sporting here, it just kind of worked out that way. I love that it's easier to blow-dry in the morning, and I love the versatility of having much shorter hair. It doesn't weigh my head down as much, and I know it's going to feel great this summer when it gets muggy. Speaking of weather, there is much flooding going on here right now. It's been raining steadily for about the last 36 hours, and is slated to continue into this afternoon. Areas near here are flooded up to the license plates of vehicles, but so far we're okay here. I think it unlikely that our house would flood, but worry about some of the roads near us. All the same, we're headed to the grocery store today to pick up some essentials just in case. In other news, Ammon's childhood friend Peter is scheduled to fly into Columbus this evening for a visit. Ammon has the next five days off work, and we're all looking forward to a little rest and relaxation. We don't have much scheduled past a lot of board games and fun, but it should be a nice break from the humdrum schedule.

Tuesday, March 18

99 Balloons

This video was sent to me by my sister-in-law several days ago, but I didn't get around to watching it until this morning. Ammon warned me that I would need tissues, and he was absolutely correct. Grab several for yourself, and prepare to be touched.

99 Balloons

Monday, March 17

American Accent

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The West
North Central
The Northeast
The Inland North
The South
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Huh. Whaddya know, I actually DO live in Southern Ohio!

Sunday, March 16

Brotherly Love

The other day my boys were sitting on the couch watching TV, and asked me to take a picture of them. I feel blessed to have captured such a beautiful memory, one that I'm sure would have quickly been forgotten without photographic proof. Lately I've felt very caught up in the day-to-day workings of having three small children. Brooklyn hasn't slept well for several weeks. She has gone back to waking up three or four times during the night, and only takes short cat-naps during the daylight hours most days. I've been feeling worn around the edges for a while now, and am struggling to figure out how to manage my household when I feel as though I rarely get a break. Unfortunately, it's usually the boys that end up getting shorted when my attention and time is limited, which is terribly unfortunate and unfair. I wish that there were at least two of me, one to take care of Brooklyn and the more mundane household tasks, and another 'me' that could take more time to play games with the kids and pursue other more enjoyable pastimes. Until I learn to clone myself, I will struggle to fit everything into the hours that I have been given. I need practice remembering how truly blessed I am. We have so much to be grateful for, more than seems fair, really. We have health, resources, and a love that goes far beyond anything that can be described with mere words. Our children are beautiful, healthy, and caring toward one another. My relationship with my spouse is something beautiful and pure, something to be cherished every day for the rest of eternity. Really, what are a few missed naps and sleepless nights when compared to the blessings that I enjoy? Why should I fret about having to spend hours every day holding and comforting a fussy baby? I know people who would give almost anything to have a baby to hold and soothe, and to hold close during the long hours of the night. I know parents whose children are grown, and ache to go back to the days when children's toys litter the living room floor, and chicken nuggets are normal fare. I am grateful for the days of peanut butter kisses, smeared fingerprints on the windows, and early morning wake-ups. I'm thankful for sweet smelling hair after a bath, and chubby thighs to be kissed during a diaper change. I'm grateful for tickles, cuddles, and hugs that make even the darkest day seem brighter. Today, I'm grateful to be the Mom of three children who possess unlimited potential, unmatched potential for love and greatness, and affection with each other that warms my heart. I'm grateful for life.

Monday, March 10

The Chop

I'm headed out in a few minutes to get my hair cut again. I've tried and tried to set up a badly-needed haircut several times in the last few weeks, with no success. Either money problems, illness, or lack of time has foiled me from getting my tresses near any scissors. My hair at this point has spent the last two weeks being tied up and out of my face, because I can't stand having the dead and split ends brushing against my skin. I'm planning to drastically cut it today, and unless I chicken out at the last minute, will have several less inches to worry about by this evening. Ammon sent me an email from work today pleading with me not to chop it all off, but I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to heed his request this time. Our massive snowfall over the weekend is already beginning to melt, and it's a balmy 40 degrees outside, much warmer than it has been since last Monday. It's starting to feel like spring might actually come to Cincinnati, and I want to meet it with a new, fresh look.

Saturday, March 8

The Final Count

The snow continued to fall well into this afternoon, dropping several more inches in our area. I'm told that the last storm of this magnitude to strike the area was ten years ago, in the early spring of 1998. Estimates for snow in the last 30 hours range anywhere from 10 to 18 inches, depending on who you trust. We had planned a dinner party for tonight with another family in our ward, and were very uncertain whether or not they'd even be able to make it, but upon inspection it appears as though the main thoroughfare between our house and theirs has been cleared, so they're going to attempt the drive in their pickup truck. Hopefully our meal proves worth the trouble!
This is Ammon's car, mostly buried by the drifts that continued until about 3 o'clock this afternoon. We briefly entertained the idea of trying to get out to go buy some ice cream to go with the pie I'm baking for dessert, but decided against it when we contemplated digging out either one of the vehicles. On my dream list for a house: a heated garage.
I'm not sure you can make out this picture, but this is the drift of snow right outside our front door. Right now it's about 15 inches.
These are the same bushes that I took a picture of this morning, with considerably more snow on them.

Winter Marches On

On Monday of this week, it was a balmy 70 degrees. The kids are I spent the morning playing outside playing at the playground within our complex, and generally having a wonderful time enjoying the weather. I opened up all the windows in our townhouse and aired out the stale winter air, and turned the heat off for a full 24 hours. When Ammon got home from work, he stayed outside and played football with the boys while I got dinner ready. After dinner, we even broke our own 'no going outside after dinner', and allowed the kids to go out and play for an extra 40 minutes. We met several of our neighbors that were also out enjoying the weather. All in all, it was perfectly delightful. However, if I had known that the cost of that beautiful day would be this:

5 days later, I might have enjoyed it a bit more. We've been under a winter storm watch for the last 24 hours, but I think most people assumed that the weather man would be wrong once again. Several times this winter snow has been predicted, when in actuality we just got a couple inches of rain. It's been an incredibly mild winter, especially for a girl accustomed to northern Utah winters. Ammon's employer shut down their facility at noon yesterday, and sent everybody home. I held lunch, thinking he would be home soon and we could eat together. After 45 minutes, I went ahead and fed the kids, and we proceeded to clean up lunch, thinking it would be nice for Ammon to come home to a sparkling clean home. After two hours, I finally gave up and was putting Kadon down for a nap when Ammon walked in. The interstates were a crush of people trying to get home before the worst of the storm hit. Last evening we decided to brave the weather and head to the grocery store for some basic necessities, and I'm grateful that we did because the snow is still barreling down on us at 8 am, and the chances of us leaving the house today are hovering somewhere between slim and none.

I guess it's a good thing that my Mom brought me more hot chocolate from Utah. We're going to need alot of Stephen's to make it through this weekend.

Newport Aquarium

Next door to the display the boys are standing in front of is a large tank full of piranha's. Here the boys were pretending to be wild, vicious creatures. Either that, or they just realized that I forgot to pack snacks for the outing, and are turning on me.
There were several all-encompassing tanks inside the aquarium. It was daunting to walk through the tunnel-shaped tank and realize how many hundreds, perhaps thousands of gallons were pressing down on the glass above and around me.
There was one large room dedicated to various types of jelly fish, and my Dad decided that this was an appropriate opportunity to share the story about the time he was snorkeling in Hawaii and got stung by a stingray on his ascent. I actually enjoyed listening to this story as well, because I think I've only heard it once or twice in my life. It's moments like this that make me treasure time with my parents, and hope that the boys will remember them forever.
What trip to the aquarium would be complete without a hands-on shark tank? Jeremy loved trying to pet the sharks inside this tank, and perfected the 'two finger' approach they requested. I couldn't bring myself to attempt to touch the slimy fish, but everybody else had a marvelous time.
Even Brooklyn had a wonderful time at the aquarium. Her favorite parts were the over head aquariums, because the lights and colors were perfectly situated for her to enjoy.

Thursday, March 6

Updated at Last

I know, I've been long absent. I've been trying to take a step back from the keyboard lately, and focus more on spending quality time with the flesh and blood beings in my life, and haven't gotten a lot of chances to post about what we've been up to. My parents visit came and went, and it was a lot of fun. We visited the Newport Aquarium, the first day they were here, attended a showing of The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything on Saturday, and had a lovely meal (without kids!) at the Montgomery Inn Boathouse on Saturday night, which was a great treat. On Monday, we split up and my Mom and I went to the Cincinnati Children's Museum with Brooklyn and Kadon, and Ammon, my Dad, and Jeremy visited the United States Air Force Museum, which is located in Dayton. I had planned to post pictures of the aquarium today, since that ended up being the only thing I actually got pictures of, but blogger is having difficulties with their photo uploading, so those pictures will have to wait for another day.

Other than that, things have been going really well. Brooklyn was diagnosed with reflux earlier this month, and the medication she's taken seems to be helping with her chronic heartburn, even if it hasn't helped much with the amount of spitup she has. She's also been sleeping better, which has been a relief for everybody. She had gotten into the habit of taking very small catnaps throughout the day, and being cranky the rest of the time because she was severely over-tired. Thankfully, we seem to have worked out a system for getting her to nap better, and most days it works pretty well. We ended up trying rice cereal again just a few days after the first failed attempt, and she has taken to it with gusto. She shows a definite preference for fruits, but I finally got her to eat some green beans this morning, so maybe there is hope for her after all. She shows great interest in lots of unacceptable food--yesterday she was positively drooling over french fries, but had to be content with a couple small tastes of the ketchup instead. She's showing her personality more and more, something we've all enjoyed. She still isn't rolling over, but she can't wait to be able to sit up on her own, so I'm sure all these milestones will come in their own time. She's five months old this week--I can't believe how fast she's growing! She's still tiny, fitting into 0-3 month clothing, but has finally grown out of preemie clothing, along with most of the newborn clothing. I wonder if she'll ever catch up and be a 'normal' size, or if she'll stay petite. Only time will tell.