Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas in Pictures

I've been pretty onry for the past few days so I don't really feel like blogging...but I know if I don't put these up now, nothing will get posted. So here is my Christmas recap in pictures.

Will told me tilting his head makes cute pictures

The crowd on the Eve

sausage and olives for dinner...well its Christmas

Luke using the star light to examine uncle Jef's tongue

the cleaning crew

Jesus wants you to sanitize before knocking

the opening of the eve pajamas...

clothes? what do you mean all I get to open is clothes

auntie M to the rescue with cooler pj's

yep...its Legos

snuggling with blankie from aunt B

trying to assist in the Lego construction

finished products...and a tilted head for cuteness effect

new computer from dad

showing Meghan Lego Designer

cousin project on Lego Designer

Festivus Feats of Strength...Jackie 1 - Zen 0

boxing gloves uncle Will gave to the kids
(fyi - Alex has no natural aggression)

Papa makes a great punching bag

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Published Part II?

Just over a year ago I was contacted about having a photo I took in London used in a online photo guidebook. I was pretty shocked especially because I thought it was a pretty random picture that they picked. But still a pretty flattering thing.

Well a few days ago I was emailed about the possibility of using a picture I took for a Parks and Rec magazine. When I got the email and read it was for a P&R thing I just assumed that it was one of some work pics I had put online at Flickr, but weren't actually ones I took. I told them sure, go ahead. Didn't think much of it, was just curious which of those pics they had wanted because I didn't think any of them were very noteworthy.

So they sent me a copy of the proof today, and much to my surprise, it was a picture I took, of Will! Again, I never would have picked that picture to be published and I still don't think its that great a shot, just happened to include a subject they were looking for, rubber playground mulch. Who would have thought taking a pic of your kid at the Kanab playground could turn into your child showing up in a national magazine.

The thing I was also really excited about is its in the NRPA magazine. Now anyone who doesn't work in my department will think, umm...ok...but this is a big deal people! We are actually members of NRPA at work and receive this magazine! I can't wait for it to come in the mail.

Again a little weird feeling because I happen to personally know some amazing photographers, so to just have some random shot of mine published, actually just makes me want to get a really nice camera, take a class, and just dive in and learn a lot more about the art. Haven't stopped smiling, definitely made my day :)

(Oh and just a hint, post your pics on Flickr, apparently people search there a lot)
link to the original

Sunday, December 6, 2009

NOT a tradition

Last year Maiken and I bought ginger bread houses for the kids thinking it would be a fun tradition to start. This was the result.

A few trees for roof support, lots of dripping icing, but the kids had a great time. And my face hurt from laughing afterwards. (btw - that icing was NOT applied by a child) So last weekend while at IKEA we saw some gingerbread houses and thought we would give it another try, and its from IKEA so it has to be part of a family tradition (our family is swedish).

Dear IKEA, You make cool furniture and great kids dishes, your food is pretty good, but your gingerbread houses suck!

Who has ever bought a gingerbread house kit that didn't include icing or candy? Lameness.

Kids working together on Will's house, Lucia's was under HUD Homes repairs

At least kids have no concept of their mom's preconceived visions of activities, and still just have fun.

New Obsession

If you had told me a year ago that Will would go a month without touching his beloved "vehicles" collection, I would have laughed. But its true. It seems these days are long gone...

And have been replaced with days of...LEGOS!!!

driving in the car with Will
Will~ Mom what are your favorite things?
Me~ You, trees, monkeys...
W~ Oh!! If you got me a jungle lego set I could build you a tree and a monkey!
W~ What else do you like?
M~ Mountains...
W~ I could build you a lego mountain!!
M~ Could you build me a lego Will?
W~ (thinking) I don't think my head can know how to do that, but I could build you a pretend boy

M~ What do you want for Christmas?
W~ A lego set where you build a fire truck and a fireman
M~ Ok, what else do you want
W~ A lego set where you build a police car and a policeman
M~ Ok, besides legos what do you want
W ~ Well...maybe a car...or maybe a lego set where you build a car

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lagging Brain

So that post I did with the photo catch ups from my phone, well I had a memory finally hit my brain that the whole reason I was downloading the pictures was because of one specific picture, which I did not post. Side note: I have lost the ability to have continuous thoughts for more than about 2 minutes in a row since I had a kid.

Back to the picture, I took this in a Sam's Club family bathroom and immediately had bathroom envy. And can I just add that as a now single mom with a son, I think family bathrooms are the best.

At the time Will was going through a phase of being scared of the big potty. Problem with the little training potties is while convenient for training and ease of the kid going by themselves, I don't consider cleaning them out much of a step above diapers. Enter perfect solution. A kid sized real potty. If I had a house and the money this is totally a splurge I would have put in. Along with a kid height sink. It would be like our own little Kindergarten bathroom. Will loved it so much he went three times because he just wanted to keep using it.

And just because I took this today, enjoy:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Floats Your Boat

I have a mixed cd I made a while back that I have been listening to a lot. The first song on it is Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me". For me this is one of those songs that as soon as I hear those first beats my volume knob starts turning. And for me it almost can't get too loud. I let it slowly get louder and louder until its reached my ears capacity right when the drum beat comes in. I end up listening to this song a lot when Will isn't with me because I don't think he would approve. I can already see his embarrassment when he becomes a teenager.

I like the song much better now then I did 20 years ago when it came out and for some reason its just one of those, doesn't matter what mood you are in, I will always smile when I hear it and just want to crank the volume.

Seems like a tangent, but stick with me. Recently I was at one of my local restaurant addictions, Cafe Rio. They put the guacamole that usually goes on top in a little cup on the side. Not a big deal except after I had eaten it I saw those little bits sticking to the side, and had I not been in public would have cleaned that out with my finger, or ok lets face it, my tongue. This may be just a sign of a food addiction, or just an example of the awesomeness that is guacamole.

So what I'm wondering is, do you have a song that you just love to crank up the volume to and sing at the top of your lungs? And do you have a food you would lick the plate just to get the last taste, or is that my own issue :)

And just in case you need a little 80's in your day, enjoy.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Photo Catch Up

Someday I will get around to posting about Halloween, but that day is not today. Instead a little photo catch up. I recently found out how to get photos from my phone to my computer. No this did not end up being some magical trick, and no this is not a new phone, I guess I just actually wanted to do it today. So pretty random, put just wanted to post them.

(*Warning - these are photos from my phone, which is not great. So please disregard the quality as I have)

This is just a random picture from before my sister moved. And its not a great picture in anyway other than I think it accurately depicts what its like when the fam is over and how only 3 kids can still make it seem like 10. And I miss my sister, so I just wanted to put it up.

I took this picture several years ago while waiting in a parking lot. This delivery van pulls up and parks, and this was his idea of an acceptable parking job. No there are not any cars around that would have prevented him from pulling out a little and getting in there correctly. He just didn't care. And it just amazed me that not only is he taking up two spots, he is like 4 feet away from the top of the spot, therefore sticking out into the driving area that same 4 feet.

Parking Issue II. This was after having sat through a work safety meeting where we were talking about defensive driving and among other things the city's parking policy. Found it a little ironic to come out and see how the safety instructor had parked. Notice, the lines are going the opposite direction.

This was from my cousin Beth's son's birthday party where I forgot to take my camera. They did an awesome activity where they made these little cars. I had seen a play last year based on Go Dog Go and they actually had the same concept for the cars and I always have wanted to make one for Will. They are banana boxes with straps attached so they can wear them. They had paper plates on the sides for wheels, circles in the front for lights, streamers in the back for tailpipe fire, and party horns for the horn. Very creative.

And a Halloween preview, cause honestly who knows if that will ever happen. This year we had the kids draw on paper what they wanted the pumpkins to look like and then the mommies helped carve them out. Of course Will was not satisfied with just a Jack-O-Lantern and so trucks needed to be added. So I had him drawn one truck on the back and I did the other, and then it had officially been Willized.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I was kind of amused today when I got home and found a "Welcome to the neighborhood and ward" packet on my door step. Thanks. I moved here six years ago. What I found most amusing was that I'm on the included phone list. Hmmm...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Is it ok to play?

Before actual post - Do you have those times where you just don't feel like blogging. And maybe don't even feel like reading anyone elses blog. And then the desire starts to come back and you're like, wait I missed so much and now I need to catch up but where do I begin. Or do I just start from here and sort of forget those weeks that just went by. Well...moving on.

So I usually stay away from "controversial" topics on here. Because I don't like confrontation. And honestly, I have my opinions and you have your opinions and that's just the way life is. I probably won't change mine you probably won't change yours so lets just sit in a circle and sing Kumbaya. But I have a dilemma and I'm actually interested in hearing your opinion. Yep yours. Not that I don't feel that away about any post...back to subject.

Will wants a toy gun. I hate guns. Dilemma. Do you let your kid have something that you really really dislike cause its just a toy and making a big deal about not having it seems like a bigger deal then the fact that you don't like it? Or do you say, no, I don't like this and I don't care that I don't know anyone else that has said this, its still my feeling?

History - When Will's dad Pat was little his mom didn't want him to have a toy gun. She bought him a toy drill and instead of having a gun like all the other kids, he used his drill to shoot things. And he was laughed at. Now the main point of this is that even if you don't give a kid a toy gun, they will make one up. Use a stick, their hand, a drill, what have you. So is that any different than just buying them the gun?

Here's my issue. Guns are made to hurt things. Kill things. Not a fan. And I'm not saying that I have a problem with people owning guns. Not the point. You have your gun and we can talk about that another time. I'm talking about kids. Little kids. Pointing a toy at someone and pretending to kill them. Cause that's what you do with toy guns. You take turns being the bad guy and you kill each other.

Now I know the vast majority of kids that grow up playing cops and robbers do not go on to commit school massacres or such. But you know what, some do. And not that I'm worried about my kid becoming a criminal, but it just seriously disturbs me to see him point his finger at someone and make shooting noises.

Today I read a story in the paper about some kids running around outside with an air gun. They were running around the neighborhood chasing each other and all of the sudden the kid found himself staring down a real gun. It happens that they were running outside of a police officer's home. He heard kids yelling, looked outside and saw what he thought was a real hand gun. He went outside and pulled his gun on the kid. Now luckily the story ends there. The kid didn't get hurt. But he could have. Just because of appearances.

So does it come down to what kind of gun, where you let them play with it, how you let them play with it, or is that just all irrelevant and you say, you know what, I don't want you to have a gun? And if you do, do they grow up wanting this thing so badly that it becomes a bad thing? Something that they get into trouble with because they don't understand the power of a gun? Circles and circles and circles in my mind.

So...does your kid have a toy gun? Did you have a toy gun growing up? Talk amongst yourselves. And then leave a comment :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Lego Time

Will and I were building this awesome helicopter this morning. He came across the round white piece in front on the picture. He asked me what it was for and I told him I wasn't sure. (Keep in mind this is a fire and police set) After looking at it for a few seconds Will decided he had figured it out. "Oh I know. I bet its for a chicken stand. Do you think they have a chicken stand outside the police station?" Uh....yeah...I bet its for a chicken stand bud.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Will quadrupled

My little boy turns 4 today. Crazy. I know its a cliche, but you really can't believe how fast they grow up, and how much they change in those first few years. It seems like just yesterday...

He was so tiny, only 5 lbs, and the only thing that got me through those first couple of weeks was cuddling with this tiny little bundle. He learned to climb on the couch before he could walk. Thought I was in for trouble but turns out I ended up being very lucky and have so far avoided any major accidents.

Somewhere between his 1st and 2nd birthday the truck/car/vehicle obsession began, and man I had no idea what was to come. Who knew that buying him a matchbox car to keep him quite during a shopping trip would turn into this...
(only a partial collection at the time)
This year has been really hard, lots of new adjustments. I tried to prepare myself that it might be I would have a little toddler acting out a lot just because of the things he was going through. But much to my relief he has handled everything really well. He is such a calm, mellow kid that I have a hard time when I'm around "normal" kids cause I'm just not used to it. (Not that he doesn't have his moments, don't ask him to share) He is such a wonderful part of my life and I wanted to make note of some of my favorite things about him.

~ I love his truck obsession. Sometimes it gets old for me and I don't get it at all, but its so fun to have a kid that will get so excited just by driving past a construction site.

~ He is the best hugger. Ask anyone that has received his bear hugs. He will come and tell me that he needs a hug and then after receiving one asks if I need a hug too. Hugs are too special to not dedicate to one at a time.

~ His is still a cuddler. And I can't tell you how much I need that. I hope he stays that way for many years to come. Ok, it might be weird if my teenager is still cuddling on my lap, but I'm gonna hope it never goes away. When he is feeling needy for some cuddling he comes up and makes this little whimpering animal noise and that's his sign that I need to pick him up and give him some one on one attention.

~ He is extremely interested in learning. I think he will absolutely love school, but I wish for a very patient teacher for him. Its more than a "why" stage with him, he actually wants you to explain things in a very detailed manner, to a degree much further than I almost always have the answer. And he remembers things that I never thought he was really even listening to. I feel bad at my lack of knowledge for his questions, but I really don't know how earthquakes happen, what they do when the water gets to the sewer plant, how radio towers work, or what the speed of light is. This kid needs to watch the science channel non-stop to fill his need for information.

~ He is extremely kind hearted. Two recent examples. I recently mentioned this, but we were at the fair and he didn't want to leave a lone lamb that was crying outside because it was probably lonely and he didn't want it to be sad. We were at the store looking at toys and there was a little tiger in a circus cage. He stopped and went back to it and very concerned told me that somehow the tiger was stuck in that cage and maybe it needed help. He is very sensitive and gets his feelings hurt very easily, but is also quick to apologize very sincerely if he knows he hurt my feelings. He will also come and ask you to tell him sorry when he is upset. Sometimes this ends with me saying "I'm sorry that you are upset", but if you say sorry, he will say thanks and move on from the issue. I'm guessing this won't last forever.

~ He loves animals. Especially dogs. He has very deep attachments to the dogs in our extended family and asks when he gets to see them next on a weekly basis. He also tries to watch out for them and if he thinks one is not being treated fairly by the others, he will try and go to their rescue.

~ Before Will could talk we taught him the sign for more. He was very good at using it for when he wanted more bottle/food but he quickly learned it could be used for other things, including asking to be tickled. He would place your hand on his tummy and then make the sign for more. He still loves to be tickled and if you start tickling him he will ask you to stop so he can take off his shirt, cause then you can get better access.

And just for fun...
Happy Birthday bug! I love you more than words can express.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Please, don't close your eyes while driving

While in Kanab last weekend, my little sister Alex was reviewing for the drivers ed test. The following are actual practice exam questions. Yes. These are questions we are asking people who are learning to get their drivers license. Just remember this the next time you think "Hell, where did you learn to drive?"

1. The best way to fight fatigue is to
a. use a stimulant
b. rest
c. look at the scenery
d. drink coffee

2. Traffic laws are enforced by
a. the CIA
b. state and local police
c. the department of motor vehicles
d. United States marshals

3. One way to reduce driving risk is to
a. anticipate the actions of others
b. always use high-beam headlights
c. join a support group
d. close the windows

4. Through driver education, students learn
a. how to maneuver and control a vehicle
b. the traffic laws of all 50 states
c. how to drive without paying attention
d. how to join a support group

(is drivers ed endorsed by some sort of support group?)

5. If you are temporarily blinded by headlight glare, you should
a. look down
b. see a doctor
c. reduce your speed
d. close your eyes

6. Some people with physical disabilities are able to drive by using
a. prosthetic devices
b. a breathalyzer
c. peripheral vision
d. narcotics

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Words of Wisdom

One of my least favorite parts of my job is event planning. Hate, hate, HHHHAAAATTTTEEEE it. But because I have to plan events, or maybe because I was born with common sense, I have learned a thing or two. I would like to pass along my wisdom to the masses (ok the 6 people that read my blog.)

There is an order of planning that goes into an event. Yeah there are things that can be moved around here and there, but there is one thing that never waivers. Never. You secure your location BEFORE you send out invitations. Just thought I would pass along that info. Before, remember that.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Just Pondering...

Is UDOT like the biggest employer ever? While driving from Salt Lake to Payson, there are currently 8 construction projects going on. EIGHT!!!!! I don't know, maybe they could pick say one every like 30 miles, have a whole bunch of people work on it, you know team work. Get it over with, move onto the next one.

Side note: The Dixie Chick's album, Taking the Long Way (no pun intended) helps get me through that exciting drive like nothing else. Still in running for my favorite album of all time. Oh, and Geneva Road is my new best friend.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Gittin my hick on Part III

Will has been asking for about a month to go to a Monster Truck Show. Since his birthday is in September I figured I would start looking around and try and find one close to b-day time. None to be found, but there was going to be a Demolition Derby at the Utah County Fair in Spanish Fork. So I asked Will if he would be interested and it was decided we would go.

I wasn't exactly sure how I felt about going to a demolition derby, I'll admit I felt like I would be surrounded by a lot of acid washed jeans and halter tops. Surprisingly, I had a lot of fun. Although I wouldn't recommend the stadium very highly. Sitting on wood benches without backs or leg room for three hours will make you do something you have never done before.

I have never left a sporting event before that clock hits zero. Never left a concert before you are absolutely sure that another encore is not about to happen. And yet, I suggested leaving the derby before the final event. A tired kid on my lap and a whining one next to me made me falter. Even so I think we all had a good fill of getting down in the dirt fun.

A fire added to the excitement

And for a kid obsessed with tow trucks, the fact that most had to be removed from the ring that way, was just a huge bonus.

A really hard hit

First hit of the round, both cars stayed that way despite several attempts to unlock the cars, even by other cars ramming them.

Powder Puff round (all women). You can't see it very well but the green/blue car right in the middle drove in already on a bent axle, and yet went on to the be the only driver standing taking the round handily.

A friend heard on the radio that there is going to be a monster truck show in the area next weekend. So our adventures will continue next week after getting the chance to see GRAVE DIGGER!!! (supposedly he's pretty good :) So far my neck is still pretty white, but we will see after this summer full of adventures.

Gittin my hick on Part II

Utah County Fair here we come!

Animals to see and smell. Cows seem much bigger from 4 ft away. Apparently 80's aerobics are very big with the lamb crowd.

Weirdest rabbit I had ever seen.

This little lamb was tied up outside by itself. It was crying like crazy. A toddler tantrum has nothing on a crying lamb, that is one annoying sound. Will asked what was wrong with the lamb and someone said that maybe it was just lonely being outside by itself. Will got very concerned for the lamb and thought maybe we should go over and stay by it so it felt better. He wouldn't leave until some more lambs were brought out and we assured him that the lamb now had friends to keep him company.

Will has shown a recent interest in legos so you can imagine his delight when wandering the 4-H/crafts area and we came upon a little lego town. Will just wanted to keep walking around and around staring very quietly at it asking for it all for his birthday. Crying was involved in our departure from lego town.

Quick lesson on bigger and smaller

And of course giving in for a few carnival rides. And this is why you give in to paying those ridiculous prices, for the look.