Monday, March 30, 2009

Welcome Spring!

Just in case any of you miss living in UT or have considered living here, please take this weather chart into consideration. We will be enjoying snow storms every other day this week! Of course, in between the snow, we will have beautiful spring days and may be able to dig our daffodils out of the snow banks to see them. Happy March!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sweet Kate's Birthday

Today was Katie's second birthday. It is always a bittersweet birthday because around this point you lose your baby and gain a toddler. Katie celebrated the week by deciding she would sleep in a big bed. It has been the easiest transition from crib to bed of all our children. She even takes naps in her big bed without climbing out!!!

I always make a ducky cake for second birthdays. I have found that almost all two year olds love ducks and can actually say "Duck!" Katie did a great job blowing out her candle. She also did a great job cutting the cake. Yes, Katie is definitely two, and decided that SHE would cut the cake. Instead of dealing with a sobbing pile of child on the floor, we handed her the knife (butter!) and let her cut.

Happy Birthday Sweet Kate. You are a bright joy in our life.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Two new replacement credit cards.
Two fairly efficient people.
Paul cut up cards.
I cut up cards.
When all the cutting stopped, we realized that we need:

New replacement credit cards.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


When I was growing up I always felt surrounded by mountains: the Superstitions to the east, South Mountain to the southwest, and Camelback on the way to Granny's house. I was blessed to grow up in a hiking family and actually spent a lot of time camping on mountains, climbing mountains, and driving up and down mountains. Understandably, I tend to associate different stages of my life with mountains. Four Peaks: I love these mountains. They oversaw many hikes in the desert as well as picking prickly pears.
The eyelash (or praying monk) on the Camelback mountain. When we saw the monk, we knew we were pretty close to Granny's house.
Red Mountain. I remember when Red Mountain was waaaayyy out there. I think it is in the middle of the city now!

When I went to college, I lived right at the base of Y Mountain. As I would walk home from class, I can remember feeling claustrophobic- I felt like the mountains would fall down on top of me. Now, when I drive towards the Y, I feel like I am coming home.
Now this is my mountain. I need to hike to the top- but that will have to wait until next year. I love it in the winter with snow. I love to watch the sun come up behind it as I run. I especially love it when it turns pink at sunset.

2 Nephi 12:2-3 "And it shall come to pass in the last days, when the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths."
This afternoon we were able to attend the dedication of the Draper Temple. It was a really nice experience. The best part was that Joseph and Rachel were old enough to attend. They were both really excited. I hope it is something that they remember the rest of their lives. I am grateful for temples and especially grateful that Paul and I were able to be sealed in the temple nearly 12 years ago!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring! St. Pat's, and A Late Night Snack

WARNING: This post may contain an image not for the faint of stomach.

It is spring! Of course this means that we should have several more snow storms and the weather should turn cold and nasty a few more times, but I feel confident in packing away the gloves, Paul can remove the snow blade from the lawnmower (yes, you read that right), and my children are wearing bathing suits (without my permission- they think it is summer). Last night after dinner Paul did this:

Hooray for a garden ready to plant. I will try to plant peas, spinach, and chard. I love the first flowers of spring. They defy winter with their shocking colors. I envy my sister whose daffodils bloom a good three weeks before mine!

St. Patricks's Day falls into the category of: confusing holidays. These are holidays that I have a hard time explaining to my children. Halloween is also a much beloved but confusing holiday. In fact, besides wearing green, we never did much with St. Patrick's Day until my sister introduced us to corned beef.

Now we celebrate St. Patrick's day like the good Irish Roman Catholics we aren't. We started out our day with green shamrock pancakes. It doesn't take much to impress children. We had to dig out the short sleeve shirts to find green ones for the kids to wear, but everyone was safe for school. Joseph chose to wear a very iffy shade of green in hopes that people would try to pinch him. For dinner we had corned beef, carrots, and potatoes.

After dinner we left the dishes and went out to play/work in the yard. Soon it was time for baths, brushing teeth, stories, and bed. I sat down to read a story with Adrie and Katie, except Katie had disappeared. "Oh no! I left cookies out on the counter." I hurried to the kitchen and did find Katie. Except she did not opt for cookies for her late night snack. Oh no, the cookies would have been the good choice. Tell me, if you were faced with these options, what would you choose?
You choose: Leftover cookies or leftover fat that Paul trimmed off the meat before serving.

Yes, when faced with this tantalizing choice (and this is how they were placed on the counter- I did not move them for the picture), little Kate was cheerfully making her way through the bowl of fat. It makes my stomach turn just to think about it.

Dear Katie,

If at some point in your life you face clogged arteries, high cholesterol, or other such problems, I take full blame for the start of the problem. I should have cleaned up the dinner dishes.

Love, Mom

Friday, March 13, 2009

Words of the Day

Echolocation: Echolocating animals emit calls out to the environment and listen to the echoes of those calls that return from various objects in the environment. They use these echoes to locate, range, and identify the objects. Echolocation is used for navigation and for foraging (or hunting) in various environments.

In our case, we have the actual echo wandering around our house. Katie is right in the middle of her echo stage. I call one of the kids, "Adrie!" and seconds later I hear a little echo "Adrie!" She currently copies all sounds, behavior, and attitudes that she observes. It is pretty cute. Oh, did I mention that she copies ALL behavior? This includes putting her feet on the dinner table (copied from Skye), cracking eggs (when my back is turned), and making juice (as pictured- she sees Paul do this almost every night). The other day I gave her a cup of water. She quickly made it clear that I had forgotten her ice. After I corrected the problem, she commenced with the oddest behavior. She would shake her cup and look inside and she would tap the cup against her hand and look inside. What was she doing? Who is she copying? Which leads us to our next word of the day.

Pica: The regular consumption of nonfood substances such as clay or laundry starch or an abnormal appetite for some things that may be considered food.
Yesterday I went to a Dr's appointment or more specifically, an appointment with the midwife. When she asked me how this pregnancy was going I said "I am eating ice again." I have to say again because I have done this with every pregnancy. She asked if I was anemic- No, they always test me and I am never anemic. Then she said "Well, if you are not anemic, you have Pica." So at long last I have my answer. Why do I consume large quantities of ice during pregnancy? Because I have an "eating disorder" that has no explanation. This morning I pulled out my nutrition book and read about pica. I have decided that I am content with my ice crunching considering I could be eating: baking soda, burnt matches, clay, cloth, coal, cornstarch, crayons, dirt, hair, leaves, mothballs, nylon stockings, paint chips, paper, pebbles, plaster, sand, string or wool. My nutrition book also informed me that pagophagia or ice eating, is defined by the consumption of one or more trays of ice cubes a day. Ha. I have that beat. Considering that at my worst I have consumed a 10 lb bag of ice in 3 days, I think I meet this qualification. Although pagophagia is often linked to iron deficiency, it is also linked to pregnancy.

Last night I broke the news to Paul. He wasn't surprised since he has to endure the sound of my crunching for months on end! His response was "If it is an eating disorder, can you control it or stop it?" Hmm a good question. I have often wondered if I could just quit my habit. Sometimes I feel like an addict and these are my suppliers:

Pictured: My ice maker with a crushed ice setting, Maceys, a local supermarket that sells the 10 lb bags of pebbled ice, and Sonic, a good source of pebbled ice, although I get it with just water!

It is hard to describe my need for ice. I found a good description in my nutrition book: "Pica has a forceful calling card: Pica permits the mind no rest until it is satisfied." Last night I weighed my options. Should I try and quit? Should I just make it through this pregnancy and hope for minimal damage to my teeth? Considering all the things I could be craving (ice cream, cake, cookies, etc) is ice that bad? I came to the conclusion that if this was something I was facing long term, I would seek help or get rid of my refrigerator! However, my pica literally ends within hours of giving birth.

When you show up at the hospital to have a baby and they tell you "you can only have ice chips," Paul always laughs and tells them to bring a bigger cup. Soon after I deliver a baby, Paul usually asks if I would like a cup of ice- just to witness the incredible transformation- I go from eating cups and cups of ice to nothing. Cold turkey. Although I always drink ice water, I never, never, never chomp on ice.

In the meantime, I apologize for my habit! Paul bears the brunt of the problem- he is the one that has to turn the up volume on the DVD so he can hear over the crunch, he fills my cup at dinner (the ice crusher is a lovely feature, but takes time!), and he has been known to stop at Sonic and ask them for the largest cup they have completely filled with ice with just a little water to wet it down (they charge about $.10). He is patient and never complains. It may seem like a little thing, but isn't life mainly a collection of how we react to all the little things?

Now excuse me, I need to go refill my cup.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Books, Books, Books

Yes, you did read the title correctly! It is: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. My good friend recommended this book and I really enjoyed it! It is the story of Guernsey Island (British) that was occupied by the Germans during WWII. The book is written in a series of letters which allows the reader to experience the voices of the different characters. As I have said before, I really enjoy reading historical fiction and I especially enjoy reading something that presents a common subject in unique light. This is definitely a different view of WWII.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Very Big Problem

For quite some time after we were married I went to the local laundromat to do our laundry. One day as I waited for the dryer to finish, a mother came in with several children in tow. The kids ran around as she moved several loads of her laundry to different machines. A short time later, the youngest child obviously had a diaper that needed to be changed. The mom took the child to a corner and started the process. Up to this point I was not really paying much attention to the family. In fact, this day at the laundromat would have faded into all the other days if not for the final object the mother pulled out of the diaper bag:
I now watched with interest while she closed the tabs of the diaper and then proceeded to duct tape the child into the diaper (the tape never touched the skin, she wrapped it several times around the top portion of the diaper). She looked up at me and said "He keeps taking his diaper off and I am sick of it!"

Fast forward 11 years and 5 children later. Although I have had several children remove their diapers, Katie is the first to do it constantly. She mimics everything that goes on in this house and has decided that she is ready to be potty trained. I am not ready to go through the process. She is a little young. Unfortunately, every time I tell the kids to use the restroom, Katie includes herself. I am finding diapers everywhere and more often than not we have a little streaker running through the house. So far we have not had any major disasters but the suspense is starting to get to me!

I have two options: try potty training or go out and buy more duct tape. What is your vote?