Friday, December 28, 2007

Elephant shoes to Phill

Today Phill and I have been married for six years! It's hard for me to write something great about this subject, because every word I choose just seems trite, given the magnitude of my feelings for my husband. I'm going to try, though!

I am so grateful to be married to Phill. He stabilizes me, he makes me laugh, he believes in me and supports me. I'm proud to be married to him, and I'm honored that he chose me as his eternal partner. I love how dedicated a father he is, and I love that he helps me gain perspective when I'm overwhelmed. I love his sense of humor and his willingness to laugh at himself. I miss him when he's not here, even if he's only at work, and I love how the kids yell "Daddy!" and run to him when he gets home.

Phill, I love you! I appreciate you! I'm grateful that we found each other, and I'm grateful for the life we've created together. I can't wait for our 2oth, 50th, and especially our 75th when we will be old and wrinkled and smiling with deep crow's feet, with our picture in the paper with all the other 75th-anniversary old-timers. The moment you walked into the room, I knew I was done.

Happy Anniversary!

These two pictures are from our sealing in February of 2005 (thanks, Christine, for taking these!), but I figured that they're appropriate, given that we are together and very smiley in them. (Somehow we just haven't found time to take pictures together....except as a family.)This one is also not that recent--August of 2006, to be exact. But I like it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Home....can anyone help?

We're home! Finally. It was fun, but also exhausting. And I can't wait to put away all our Christmas decorations. That kind of sounds a little cold/inhuman, but after a month of them I'm just crazy-anxious to put them away for another 11 months. Ever the minimalist! Actually, I'd describe myself more as a semi-minimalist. I just don't want too much stuff around me. It's hard enough to keep my walk-way clear with three kidlets leaving their telltale trail of toys behind.

This is ridiculous, but I'm having the worst time bringing myself to let Savanna cry it out at night. I've unfortunately (and, I thought, unintentionally) trained her to wake up a million times a night to eat. And now that she's almost 7 months, I'm mad at myself for being lazy. And in my case, it is mostly laziness. It's so much easier for me to roll over and nurse her and just fall back asleep, rather than holding her until she's sleepy enough to be put down, or putting her down anyway and trying to sleep while she cries it out....she's my third baby! Why is this hard? I know how to do this! I have done this before! But some teeny tiny voice in the back of my mind says imploringly, "No! You can't let her cry!" Anyone have pain-free or less-painful tips for helping her sleep through the night? I'm tired of sleeping in spurts; my mind is as fuzzy as a dry lion and I'm as grumpy as a wet lion. (Yes. I realize that was ridiculous. But it makes perfect sense to me. I am tired and grumpy!) Seven months of this is enough. I have to be alert with my mischievous little wild ones.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Sneak peek

Hello, all my blogging friends and family! Since we're going to be in Salt Lake for Christmas, and not likely blogging for a couple of days, I thought I'd post our holiday card. I hope all of you have a joyful Christmas Day and feel warm and loved. Thanks for "listening" to me.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Clementine trees

Reed just "planted" a clementine seed outside in a Tupperware container open and full of water.....I don't have the heart to tell him that it probably won't grow, even given soil instead of a plastic container of water. I told him it needed sunshine, so he put it out there, and he sat on the couch watching it, waiting, and finally said, "Mom, it's not growing!" And I said, "You have to wait a few days." His dismayed response: "A few days?! Mom, that is so long! I will put some soil in there." He's talking to me about a little tree of clementines. Oh, I just can't tell him!! :) Anyone know of some things I can plant right now, here in Utah, that will be showing at least sprouts in a little while? I think that'll ease his disappointment when he realizes there will be no clementine trees in our backyard. Or maybe I can grow something indoors in a little window box? Any tips?

I bought a journal yesterday, not because I've been needing one--heaven knows that as the Paper Maven/Office Obsessed, I have enough notebooks and paper and journals for a year--but because it was really pretty and big. And I decided I'll use it at least in part to do what President Henry B. Eyering talked about in his talk this last October (LDS General Conference October 2007). I just liked how the journal looked. So I bought it. And it was very satisfying to write in it last night.

Our ward is doing Secret Sister stuff, and last night, I got some REALLY awesome stuff from mine! I got a great wreath, and I love the color combination of the boxes I was given, the tiffany blue and chocolate brown. Oh, and they're full of goodies.

Lastly, I have to post these cute pictures of the babies at bathtime! This is Savanna's first time in the big tub with the boys--she's so tiny I can still just bathe her in the kitchen sink. And I had to post pictures (of course) of how she fell asleep two nights ago, and pictures of Phill reading to the boys. They're reading Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, which makes me cry. (I know, I know, I'm such a boob. Read it, though. It's a very tender story.) *Oh, and I had to post a picture of the kids' outfits, too. So festive--Reed in red, Jaxon in green, and Savanna in off-white. In my effort to take beautiful photos, I forget that it's okay--and necessary--to just take pictures to take pictures....I don't always have to be "on". So be proud of me, Abby. I just took a BUNCH of photos that don't have much to be said for their photographic brilliance--but aren't my babies just lovely? :)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Awesome the sandwich!! Take that, Health Inspector....

I spent the better part of the morning and afternoon putting all my energy into procrastinating the cleaning of our disastrously messy house. And so somehow the mess had not miraculously disappeared by the time lunch hungriness rolled around. I decided that a picnic in the kitchen was a great idea (because I didn't think clearing the table was a great idea), so we spread Reed's Batman blanket on the floor and sat down to pb&j, carrots, and tortilla chips. As I surveyed what I should have been cleaning for the last several hours, I said to no one in particular, "I think that if the health inspector were to show up, I would be fired." Reed (who happens to hear every single word I say to No One in Particular, that smart boy) looked at me curiously and asked, "Who is the health inspector?" I said, "It's the person who comes and makes sure that nothing is rotten and makes sure there aren't too many dirty things everywhere." And Reed said with complete confidence, "I think he would let you stay." And calmly continued to eat his carrot. Jaxon was polite enough to say, "Wow! Awesome, Mom!" upon biting into his sandwich, and when I asked if it was the sandwich that was awesome, he nodded and said, "Yes. Awesome the sandwich." Then he and Reed proceeded to shing with their carrots. (Shinging refers to the sound swords make when being used to fight. It is a somewhat-new family word, created by the boys--my boys who are impressed with peanut butter and would try to convince the health inspector to give me some slack.)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Prettiness, pacifiers, and paleontology

I've said before that I don't care for the little baby headbands that are thin and dig into their poor little heads. And I still don't. But I found a baby headband that I don't just like--I love it. And it comes with interchangeable bows. Listen to me! I'm so girly now! :) I've always thought babies don't need decoration, and I still don't think they need it. But she looks so cute with a little bit of it, I couldn't resist. So here's a picture of Savvy with the new headband, which I have put on her almost every day since I got it. She was really posey in this picture! It was cute/funny.So not only do I love certain kinds of baby headbands, but guess what? For the first time (except for four months of Reed's life when he was addicted to a little 2-ounce bottle), one of my kids has a comfort object. And it's a very convenient one. None of our kids have taken a pacifier. I'd put it in their mouths, and they'd just look at me like they were just humoring me, and then spit it out right away. I counted myself lucky that there wasn't something I couldn't go anywhere without, but it was also difficult when I was the one thing that would comfort them. So one night a few days ago, I was editing some photos and needed to just keep plugging along until the last one was finished. Phill was holding Savvy, who was fussy. After about ten minutes, I looked back, and he pointed down at her. There in her mouth was the very pacifier she had snubbed her nose at only two months ago. And she was fast asleep! I silently rejoiced and went back to my editing. And about ten minutes after that, I looked back, and this is what I saw:

This awesome little piece of plastic and rubber saved me two of my usual three trips to the nursing lounge today--yes, three--and buys me an hour or two here and there throughout the day--and my poor nursing appendages are much less sore! :) (She was nursing about every 45 minutes for 20 minutes minimum. All the time. Not growth spurt-ish. All....the....time.) And this odd little piece of semi-ingenuity has bought me a couple more hours of sleep at night. Happy mama? Oh, yes. I'm not worried about weaning her from it--we'll deal with that later. For now, it's heaven-sent.

Yesterday we had the best family-centered day! After having been told a few times by a few different people how wonderful it was, we finally decided to go see the dinosaur tracks museum in St.George. I love stuff like this! I dreamed about being a paleontologist and archaeologist when I was littler, and it was just insanely cool to see actual tracks and marks and skin impressions--*YES, REALLY!*--from something that lived on the earth so long ago. Reed and Jax loved it, too, and Jax kept saying, "Mama! Scary!" in this awe-filled voice, and all Reed could do was stare huge-eyed and say, "WHOA....that is SO cool!" We were especially intrigued by the track of a tyrannosaurus rex, in which Savvy could have stood up. (That is, if she could stand on her own, and if we were allowed to touch it.)
Afterwards, we spent some time in the little souvenir shop section. Phill and I like to make up for the fact that we were not often afforded the luxury of cool tourist souvenirs or neat road trip buys growing up. :) (Don't worry, Mom. I understand that you couldn't buy the twenty-dollar stuffed animal for each of your seven children! Those Clearly Canadian drinks were just fine.) Anyway, we tend to budget for those fun (and most often overpriced) souvenirs when we do these family outings. The prices at this shop were actually quite moderate, so we were pleased. We also saw some great stocking stuffers, which we will inform Santa's elves about as soon as possible. Reed got a small stuffed teradactyl. Did you know they could be small and soft and cuddly? Well, apparently they can for seven dollars in St.George. After about twenty minutes of deep thought and ongoing discussion, Reed finally had a name for his teradactyl--Mike Dinosaur DeVault. Mike came with us for the rest of the day to Phill's company Christmas party, to our friends' houses, and even to church today, on the condition that he be very silent in Reed's backpack. (He was.)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Happy Late Thanksgiving? Happy December? Oh, who cares? Happy!

What better way to kick off December and the Christmas season than with a very late post about Thanksgiving? :) I'm ridiculously pleased with the outcome of our Thanksgiving dinner! I think I cooked more yesterday than I have collectively in the last six years of our marriage. Phill said now that the secret's out (that I can cook and bake), I'll have to keep doing it. Hahhahha....sort of funny, but very true. I made my Mom's pumpkin pie, and it was to-die-for. I felt like I've been craving it for years, and store-bought pumpkin pies just pale in comparison. (Actually, they really are paler in comparison. Hm.) I also made Paula Deen's Crunch-Top Apple Pie which was soooooo good. It lasted about 24 hours. (And that was 95% courtesy of the eating skills of Phill.) We stuffed the turkey with an apple, half an onion, some white wine vinegar, and water, and then rubbed the skin over and under with brown sugar and cinnamon. It was delicious! Our friends the Darringtons made the potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and green bean casserole. There was a little half-disaster with the rolls not rising like they needed to, and being a tiny bit burnt on the bottom, and I forgot to put tinfoil on the outsides of the pie crusts. But other than that, it was a success! The saddest thing was that our friends the Davies family couldn't make it. Camilla, you ought to know that you were on my mind the whole time--yes, the whole time--and you and yours were sorely missed.