Goodbye Mid-Day Nap. You Were Good to Me!

PMS and head colds are not a great combination.  Unfortunately, I had both this week.  After a particularly taxing parenting day on Tuesday, Hannah said to me, “Mom, you should take a day off.  I think it’s Daddy’s turn to watch us.  You should just take a day off and get better.”

Oh boy.  Is she really only five?  By the way, I told her that was an EXCELLENT idea.

Speaking of Hannah . . . six days ago she decided she didn’t need to take naps anymore.  She didn’t tell me, she just stopped falling asleep during her nap time.  I knew we were on borrowed time for a year or two now . . . but the sad day has come.  She just doesn’t need a mid-day nap to keep her going all day.  We’re still in the transition period where one nap is too many and no nap is not enough.  I know many of you are pulling out your invisible violins, playing an obnoxious song for me right now in honor of this milestone.

Let it be noted for all posterity . . . Hannah is a champion sleeper.  She took a nap everyday of her life until just after her fifth birthday.  As this chapter in our lives close, let’s have a moment of silence.

Oh yes, I almost forgot . . . Dallin is still a champion sleeper!  My life is not turning to to complete chaos overnight!  Let’s have another moment of silence for the moments of silence that kid gives me everyday.

Ah.  Yes.

Cheers to silence!  And sanity!


Top of Utah Marathon

Is it really the 22nd of September already?  WOW.  Where have I been?

In an attempt to bring my blog up to speed, I am randomly posting now.

Random would be the operative word here.

Unfortunately, there are not more than 24 hours in a day, and for some reason, my body likes to sleep at night, and that TOTALLY cramps my style.

Sleeping and eating.  Such pesky habits I can’t seem to kick.

Anywho, let’s talk about David’s stellar performance at the Top of Utah Marathon!

In a nutshell: we rented an RV. The kids thought we were the BEST.  PARENTS.  EVER.  Dallin puked.  I slept in every bed in that RV during that ONE night, so as you can imagine, I was just a peach after three hours of sleep that weren’t even consecutive.  You’re jealous, right?

It poured.  ALL NIGHT LONG before the big race, and ALL MORNING DURING THE RACE.

I know what you’re thinking, LUCKY DAVID!!!

It rained, it poured, it HAILED on him!  No stopping this running machine!  He crossed the finish line with a time of 3 hours and 39 minutes!  He didn’t qualify for the Boston Marathon this year, but it was a great time for his first marathon!




Golden Gate Park

When I was 16, I visited San Francisco with my best friend Tricia and her mom (and her mom’s friend).  Tricia’s mom, Leslie (who owns the Alpacas) flew us all out there for her 16th birthday.

Best birthday idea EVER!

I remember going to several tourist attractions, and one that I really wanted to see again was the Japanese Tea Gardens.

I hoped it would be all I remembered and more . . .

And it was!

The Japanese Tea Gardens are located at Golden Gate park (Which is like SF Central Park).  They were beautiful, quiet, and well manicured.

The only stressful part was keeping two excited kidlets QUIET.

How do you keep kids from running outside?  How do you keep them from using their outside voice when they are outside?

No idea?  Me neither.  We ended up walking like 29 miles over to another park the kids loved SO MUCH.  (Okay, it only felt like 29 miles because we didn’t have our rockin’ BOB stroller yet, and pushing a heavy stroller and kids up and down 45 degree hills makes every step feel like a mile!)

I have more to share from our time at Golden Gate Park!  Come back!  🙂

Disneyland Round Two

Did I mention we made an impromptu trip to Disneyland right after my art show at AAU?

I know San Francisco and Anaheim, California are not in the same vicinity, (Okay, so 6 hours is not close at all, but hey!  We’re flexible!) but we are spontaneous and when I got a phone call from my BFF Lydia (who now lives in Florida) telling me she was flying into LAX the same weekend we were in San Francisco . . . well, what do you do?!

You completely change all your plans and create more fun ones!

I love that my husband is as spontaneous as I am.  It makes trips and life adventures a lot more exiting and flexible!  We cut our trip in SF a day short, and drove down to Los Angeles and extended our trip by a few days.

Paris (our stinker dog who makes an appearance on this blog every once in a while) was super depressed to be left at a kennel for a few extra days, but she got over it quickly when we returned to Utah.

This time around, we enjoyed walking around Disneyland with our stroller.  (Really, I can’t recommend it enough!)  Dallin took a good two hour afternoon nap in it, and both kids fell asleep around 8:00 PM, so David and I had a few hours to take turns riding on the fun rides for which the kids are both too short!

They are such good friends, I love it.  They are getting ready to ride Autopia here.

Hannah is a jerky driver.  I let David experience her driving.  🙂

Oh my goodness.  My kids LOVE Pooh Bear and Tigger.  This attraction was closed when we went to Disneyland a few weeks ago, so they were SUPER excited to see their favorite characters!

Oh, how Dallin LOVES Tigger.  I almost cried at the adorableness.

Splash Mountain was also closed a few weeks ago, so this was Hannah’s first time riding it and she LOVED it!  She is such a roller coaster junkie!

Oh yes, and she got to meet Princess Jasmine.

What a fun, fun day!  Honestly, I’m ready to pay the exorbitant southern California living expenses JUST so we could use annual passes to Disneyland!

We all want to go back today!

Mother’s Day 2011

I used to dread Mother’s Day.

I used to refer to to it as, “Barren Awareness Day.”

Now that those days are behind me, I look forward to Mother’s Day and all the handmade gifts that go with it!

Early Sunday morning I heard Hannah sneak into our room and walk over to David’s side of the bed. In her loudest whisper she said:

“DAD! WAKE UP! I NEED YOUR HELP! KATIE (her 12 year old cousin who babysat her the night before) REMINDED ME THAT TODAY IS MOTHER’S DAY AND I NEED TO MAKE MOMMY BREAKFAST.”


David finally pulled his sleepy body out of bed and off he and Hannah went to make me a “secret” breakfast.

A few minutes later, while I lay sleepily in bed, Hannah poked her head back into my bedroom and said in her outside voice, “MOM. YOU NEED TO STAY ASLEEP UNTIL I SAY SO.” And then she left. What a funny kid.

Breakfast was lovely (eggs, toast, bacon, and mixed berries in whole whipped cream) and she made me a lovely card as well. Please take note of the 10 pieces of gum stuck to the card.

They are ALL MINE and I’m not sharing. 🙂

This card was so fancy, she had to decorate every side. I love homemade gifts.

I ended my day with a whopper of a headache. Lovely, right? I fell asleep around 7:30 and woke up at 7:30. How’s that for a Mother’s Day gift? 12 whole hours of sleep!

The Palazzo in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is about the half way point between Los Angeles and American Fork, so we broke up our 10 hour drive by staying in Las Vegas one night on our way home.

David found The Palazzo for us and our hotel expectations will never be the same.

Goodbye Motel 6.  We never liked you anyway.

Hello Palazzo.  You are the long lost best friend we never knew, until a couple of weeks ago, and now we wonder how we ever lived without you.

The Palazzo opened in December 2007, and is part of the Venetian Hotel.  It is beautiful, and clean, and new . . . you can just smell the new-ness of the place.

Our view from the 37th floor was perfect for watching the pirate show, and fireworks from Treasure Island.

Our room had a step down lounge area and three (count them, THREE!) HD TV’s.

Dallin spent a lot of time with his cars on this marble ledge.

Yes.  we could get used to a place like this.

I convinced the kids that the bathtub was just like a pool . . . possibly more fun!  (OK, so the pool was closed after we checked in and it opened after we checked out, I had to convince them!)

What a novelty to all of us . . . watching TV in the bathroom!

This beautiful butterfly in the lobby of the hotel was made out of flowers.  Um . . . I’m totally borrowing this idea!

Bottom line:  We gave the Palazzo 5 stars!


While We Were Sleeping . . .

While we were sleeping the other morning, we had a very busy elf in the kitchen.  I’ve mentioned before how Hannah is an early bird.  She usually keeps herself pretty busy for a an hour or so drawing, playing with her toys, or getting online (she only has access to two websites) while she waits for us to wake up.

The other day we woke up to a very, very special surprise . . .

Almost bursting out of her skin, she bounded into our room exclaiming, “GUYS!  GET UP!  I HAVE A SURPRISE FOR YOU!  YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO BELIEVE IT!”

Boy.  Was she right.

We walked into the kitchen-half expecting to see a mural painted on the wall or something-and she presented us breakfast!

OK, we were all speechless.

Need I remind you that she is only four and a half years old?!

She served us on her colorful plastic plates (they are within reach for her in the kitchen) and found all sorts of yummy things for us eat:

  • Bananas
  • Apples (Only for the adults, she and Dallin didn’t get one because she said they would be too full for them!)
  • Yogurt (hand selected flavors for each person)
  • Almonds (various amounts for everyone)
  • Strawberries (they never actually made it out of their container on the table, but they were for us to eat anyway)
  • Lettuce (YUM-O, right?)

She is posing in front of David’s plate.  (The blue plate was chosen for him since he is a boy.)

Don’t those raw mushrooms look SO DELICIOUS first thing in the morning?  🙂

My plate is below:

Not only did she remember to get spoons for everyone, but she also remembered to put napkins on the table.  (Um, for the record, I don’t remember to napkins on the table 90% of the time.)

Here she is explaining why she made us breakfast . . .

So we wouldn’t have to do “ALL THAT HARD WORK!”

Well, she’s a keeper and I think she really should start earning an allowance!

This Week in Pictures

Last week I mentioned the train show we went to as family.

Oh.  My.  It was kid heaven.  Dallin thought he’d hit the little boy jackpot . . . everywhere he turned, there were more trains!

This one was very intricate and make out of Legos.

OK, moving on . . .

I drove past this ice castle in Midway on my way to a food shoot.  OH.  My.  HECK.  It was incredible.  Amazing really!  I can’t wait to take the kids there and take pictures!  It looks like freezing cold temperatures are good for something!  ICE CASTLES!

OK, moving on to my darling, hilarious kids . . .

My parenting skills have gone on auto pilot since Hannah learned how how navigate,, and  The motherly-older-sister in her guides Dallin online as they discover shapes, numbers, colors, and dinosaurs.

It’s pretty awesome really.  (I really should start paying her an allowance!)

Hannah takes her computer time so seriously, she asked us for her very own password to login.  A PASSWORD PEOPLE.

I was all, who in the heck is going to mess with your account?!  (She’s four!  Her account has software protection!)

Well, she is four and half and would like us to respect her request, so she is the proud owner of a password.   Need to log off, change users, shutdown the computer, or restart it?  Just ask Hannah, she can help you.  Want to find out what her password is?  Just ask her and she will give you a lecture on how you never ask what someone’s password is!  (Trust me, you never want a lecture from this kid!)  A few days ago I made Hannah take a “time out” from the computer and she acted like it was the WORST thing  that could ever happen to her.  EVER.

Then she asked me when she was going to get a REAL computer and she made sure I knew what a real computer was, “Mom, you know, like I need to get online and check and do my reading on Starfall, and I need to help Dallin with his letters.  So . . .I need a  REAL computer.  Mom, my pink computer that I got for Christmas last year is NOT real.  It just plays games and it is NOT real.  Mom!  Did you hear me?  I need a REAL computer!  Not a fake one!”

“OK, I think I got it, let me see, you want a REAL computer?”

Next up?  Self portraits.

Dallin really can’t stand waiting for his pictures on the LCD screen.  He thinks they should be there in real time, so as you can imagine, pictures are very frustrating to him.

But . . . we just figured out how to take self portraits on the iPhone where you can turn the camera around to see yourself before you snap the pic.

This is Dallin’s new favorite feature.  I have 235 more pictures just like this one.  🙂

This is Hannah’s ballet class through the looking glass.  (She is in the very middle with the pony tail.)

Looks like all that stretching is working!

Lastly, I straightened my hair over the weekend.  I only do it like every five years, so as you can imagine, my kids were speechless when they saw me.  Seriously, SPEECHLESS.  They both wanted to touch it.  I sort of felt like a blond haired woman in Tokyo.

They were intrigued with my straight hair, but after looking at this picture, I think all they could see was my forehead.  Dang!  I need some bangs!

DIY Toy Storage!

I’m nesting.

Not in the “pregnant” or “I just had a baby” sort of way . . . it’s more like “the kids’ toys have taken over our house and I’m pretty sure we don’t meet fire hazard standards.”

I really, really, really, really hate storing toys all over the place.  Did I just say “store?”  Because that is a joke.  We have NO TOY STORAGE.  We really don’t have any way to ORGANIZE toys, so you can only image a neat freak like me, sort of freaking out about now . . . it’s been two weeks since Christmas (which brought an influx of new toys) and I’m at my tolerance max.


I really don’t know how I (or anyone for that matter) could survive without Google.  Let it be known:  I LOVE GOOGLE.  🙂  Thanks to Google, my husband now has several projects on his “honey do list.”  🙂  After doing a few searches for “toy organizers” I came across and oh my goodness . . . I haven’t left her site yet!  She posts DIY projects with tutorials and let me tell you . . . it is addicting!  It’s super easy for me to pick out lots and lots of DIY projects because I’m not actually the one that will be doing them! It’s like shopping without a budget!

It’s so liberating to shop this way.  🙂

I saw this “Playhouse Room/Bed” and FELL IN LOVE.  Heck, I could sleep in a bed like that!  Think of all the toys that would magically have a home right under the bed!  🙂  I love the plans with the stairs.  Oh my.  Hannah needs this STAT!  To see a detailed project description, check Sherri’s blog at

You can find the plans for this playroom/bed here.

I’ve been wanting to buy Hannah a beautiful timeless kitchen set.  (Also read as: a kitchen set that doesn’t look cheap and plastic . . . a kitchen set that looks like furniture, and something you’d be happy to have displayed in any room in your house.)  I’ve seen some beautiful kitchen sets, but they are all like a million dollars, so this DIY kitchen not only fits the bill aesthetically, but it’s cheap to make!  (I don’t pay my husband for labor, so yes, it really is cheap!)

Plans to make this kitchen are here.

The above images are from Cat at Constant in Chaos.  Her husband made this kitchen.  You must check out her post to see more photos.  WOW.  You are going to want to make this kitchen too!

I really liked this bed too . . . the plans for this simple bed are here.

OK, WE NEED THIS BOOKSHELF.  No question.  Plans for this bookshelf are here.

I love this idea!  Hannah needs a place to store, and play with her Barbies, Poly Pockets, and all of her other trinkets.  This doll house will be perfect!  The plans for this doll house are here.

Not to leave Dallin out, he has his share of small toys– lots of trains and cars to be exact– that need a home.

I’m very excited for my newly organized playroom!  Dang!  I can hardly wait!