Things I want for Christmas that are ABSOLUTELY FREE.

A solid eight hours of sleep.  No nursing.  No bathroom breaks.  No interruptions.

Someone to sleep train Dallin for me.

Someone to potty train Hannah.

I would love it if someone turned my blog into a book from Blurb.  Just thinking about tracking down the photos I have posted gives me a migraine.  I would love a book, (I’ll pay for that part) but I do not want the mundane task of putting it together.

If you volunteer to do any one of these things, I WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER.

Fess Up!

Why hasn’t anyone introduced me to Canvas Photos? I saw a beautiful painting in my friend’s house, and when I commented on it, she shared a sassy little secret.

It wasn’t painted.  It was printed.

Now, I think I’m a pretty up with the times woman, but HOW COULD I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS?

I am now envisioning my house filled with wonderful paintings of the ocean, flowers, and palm trees from pictures I took while living in the Caribbean.

So now I would like to know, what sassy little secrets are you keeping to yourself that you should be sharing with me?!

(Um, no confessionals please) 🙂

Today’s Distraction

I had great intentions of writing about some great and exciting things, (like David coming home in two days, Dallin’s adorable smile, and Christmas festivities) but while I was waiting for my admin page to load, I decided to see what the Pioneer Woman was up to.  (We would be BFF’s if we actually knew each other.)

Today, Christmas came early for me.

She posted new Photoshop Actions.

I am in love with Photoshop Actions.

If you wonder what I’ll be doing during my free time today, just know that I will be playing around with Photoshop.

While my kids are sleeping, (ahem) of course.

You can download the actions as well here. (You’re welcome)

Now if she would just email me to tell me she bought me a Nikon D90 . . . THEN my wish list would be complete!

No Longer Flying Under the Radar

It’s official.  I have been accepted into the blogging world.  After two years of blogging and over 225 posts, I have been tagged for the first time.  (I had no idea what that term meant for like a year.)

8 Favorite Books:

I have so many favorite books.  I’ll have to just pick a few.

Twilight Series (all four books)
Harry Potter series (all the books)
The Time Traveler’s wife
The Shopaholic Series
Good Night, Sleep Tight. (The Sleep Lady’s Gentle approach to get your kid to go to sleep, stay asleep, and wake up happy
Baby Proof (by Emily Giffin)
InStyle Getting Gorgeous (written  by the editors of InStyle)
Being Happy

    8 Things That Happened Yesterday:

    Yesterday is just so yesterday.  I’m petty sure I can’t recall eight things I did over 24 hours ago, so I’ll name eight things that happened today while my brain is still working:

    I showered
    I put on make-up
    I took my kids to The Festival of Trees
    Loaded the dishwasher
    Talked to my sister Jenn
    Edited photos
    Talked to Dave
    Changed EIGHT poopie diapers and cleaned up my dogs poop THREE times.

    8 Things to Look Forward to:

    My husband coming home after an eight week absence
    My husband coming home after an eight week absence
    My husband coming home after an eight week absence
    My husband coming home after an eight week absence
    My husband coming home after an eight week absence
    My husband coming home after an eight week absence
    My husband coming home after an eight week absence
    And some other stuff like: Dallin being 100% sleep trained, couples Christmas party, Family Christmas party, Christmas, Moving to Kansas, and a glorious reunion with my stuff in storage.

      8 Things on My Wish list:

      A Nikon D90 (with several different lenses)
      A MASSIVE computer monitor for photo editing.
      A powerful desktop computer (one where I can have several different programs running or applications open and it works lightning fast.  My laptop has four gigs of RAM, but I am so IMPATIENT. )
      A terabyte hard drive (What am I? Some kind of computer nerd?  My husband has brainwashed me!)
      A new SUV (not sure what kind yet)
      Invisalign, or veneers, or whatever it takes to get chicklet teeth. (Mary, you know I have teeth envy!)
      A trip to Saba.  (Yes my fellow Sabans, I want to go back for a visit!  But only during the winter months)

        8 Things I love About Winter:

        Actually, I hate winter.  Why do you think we moved away from Utah to Arizona, then to Texas, then to the Caribbean? Ewe, all the dry skin, chapped lips, and sickness that comes along with the cold weather.  This will be my first cold winter in seven years!  Let me think here . . .

        Stephens hot chocolate
        Carmel apple cider from Starbucks
        Snow on Christmas (but only on Christmas)
        Hmm . . . I’m still thinking . . .
        Wearing my cute winter mohair coats
        Wearing my sassy tall red leather boots (note to David, find them in storage and send them to me!)
        Um, yeah . . . I’m still thinking.  It certainly isn’t scraping ice off my car windows in sub-zero temperatures
        OK, I think that’s it

          8 people I tag:

          Good.  I’m done.  This tagging business is way too thought provoking.

          Melanie J (Write Stuff)
          Pam Nash
          Laura White
          Lacy Allphin
          Andrea Swenson
          Shannon Rolfe
          Sheri Jenkins
          Amber Bechtold

            Have fun ladies!  🙂

            Completely Sleep Deprived With Cabin Fever

            Where have I been for over a week?  I am a one mama show with two very sick kids.  I have been able to see, hold, rock, feed, and talk to my children every hour the past few nights.  I actually called David to share with him the crying harmony of our children.  I’m nice like that.  I didn’t want him to be left out.

            On top of a very sick toddler and a very sick baby boy who also is just plain needy, I have been the steward over a green bebe Hannah picked up at my sister’s house last week.  This tiny choking hazard has become her most prized possession.  I can count on her asking me where it is 77 times a day.  Do you know how much brain power it takes to know the whereabouts of this little thing?  A LOT.  Especially since my brain is currently being used in more productive areas like HOW TO GET MY KIDS WELL.

            But, right now, the little bebe is under the kitchen table on the wood floor.

            And that is where it will stay until Hannah remembers to ask me about it.

            On a different note, my kids and I enjoyed a very early breakfast with my dad this morning.  (Unfortunately, we were all up very, very early.) In passing conversation, he mentioned how he remembered when plastic was invented.

            As I choked on my chocolate protein shake practically spewing it on him across the counter, I said, “EXCUSE ME?  I’m pretty sure I didn’t hear you correctly.  Are you implying you were born before plastic was invented?”

            And then he was all, yes.  I am old.  Very old, and you better respect your elders.

            And on another unrelated topic,  did any of you watch Oprah yesterday?  I happened to turn Oprah on at the right time when she announced a great giveaway for ALL VIEWERS. Snapfish is giving away a free photo book to everyone!  Click here and create your free book!  It must be uploaded by midnight Sunday.  I have made several digital photo books before, but I have always used My Publisher (which I have loved) and out of curiosity, I have wanted to try other digital photo book companies to see different layouts and styles.  Now we all can, FOR FREE!

            Sunday Stroll

            In case you haven’t heard, Dallin likes to cry.  A lot.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t turn off the water works when we go to church, so David spends most of three hour block in the hall, wearing him in the Sungli.  I secretly used to think it was weird when people brought their huge strollers into the chapel, but not anymore!  Hey, look at us, we wear our kid in a Snugli, ALL DAY LONG.  WHAT EVER WORKS is my motto.

            When church ended, Dallin was sound asleep.  Since neither of us wanted to disturb the delicate balance, (of him actually sleeping) by transferring him to his car seat, David decided to walk home.  Certainly 30 minutes of fresh fall air would do them both some good.  Hannah wanted to join them, so I buzzed home and took some pictures of their walk.



            Hannah, Dallin, and Daddy.  Walking home from church.  This is the first time for our kids.  EVER.



            Hannah see’s me, and obviously, YOU RUN when you see your mom.  That is what you do when you are two.



            Almost there!  She’s probably banking on a surprise from me . . .



            Well, no surprise from me, but Hannah gives out smiles freely anyway.



            She also takes time to stop and smell the flowers.  Literally.



            And, I’m just going to pull the mom card here and say, MY KID IS SO CUTE.



            And she is sassy.  And those two traits alone tell me that she is indeed, MY KID.

            Dallin, Where is Your Owner’s Manual?

            I would like to thank all of you who have sent suggestions to me about Dallin by e-mail or comment.  My quiet time is limited, so I’m sorry I can’t respond to each of you individually.  We’re still not sure why Dallin is so fussy, but everyday we come up with a new theory.  David thinks he is always hungry, and I think he has a myriad of problems like acid reflux, gas pains, or being overly tired or overstimulated.

            I bet if Dallin could talk, he would tell us that NONE of aforementioned things bother him.  In fact, he’s probably crying because he wants more hair, or he wishes it was curly.

            During this trying time, I have found a few ways to cope:

            I only listen to classical music in the car.  It seems to neutralize the crying sound, and I can actually think while I’m driving.

            I try to focus on the fact that crying is another way of talking.  Dallin is obviously trying to communicate something.  I pretend he is talking incessantly all day long.

            I schedule Mommy/Hannah time.  She needs quality time too, and if I don’t schedule it, she gets overlooked.

            I take time for myself everyday.  I am grateful for a supportive husband and in-laws that make this possible.

            Since I am breast feeding, I am living off food that has no taste.  You know the kind, like bread and potatoes.  This diet is very boring, and I am jealous of my husband who gets to drink milkshakes, but then I consciously remember the motto I now live by: NOTHING TASTES AS GOOD AS SILENCE SOUNDS. Unfortunately, I don’t think cutting out almost every good food known to man has made a difference.

            There is a 99% chance that Dallin will stop crying within five minutes when he is placed in the Snuggli.  Wearing him all day makes it difficult to be productive, but not wearing him makes it impossible to get anything done.

            I have memorized his smiling face in my mind, and I pull up this mental picture when he is sleeping, nursing, or otherwise calm.  It brings a smile to my face because he really is so cute.  I also pull up pictures of him to stare at his cuteness.

            I take Dallin to the doctor often.  One of these days, WE ARE GOING TO FIGURE OUT HIS PROBLEM.



            NOTE TO DALLIN: Before I taint your reputation, I want you to know that you are excellent sleeper during the night, and for that I am EXTREMELY GRATEFUL.  I’d rather you scream all day and sleep all night than the other way around.  At least I’m not tired when you’re crying.  This household certainly couldn’t handle two cranky people.  You are a handsome boy and I LOVE that you let me KISS YOUR FACE OFF even when you’re crying.  You have very kissable cheeks.  🙂

            Going to “THE POINT!” Again . . .

            Every week this month, we have taken the kids to Thanksgiving Point.  (Hannah refers to this place as “THE POINT!”)  The gardens are so beautiful.  You would think I took enough pictures the last time we visited, but amazingly enough, there was more to photograph.



            Hannah enjoying a nice stroll through the gardens



            This is the largest man-made waterfall in the Western Hemisphere.  It is the back drop to a huge amphitheater.



            Aren’t the waterfalls beautiful?



            Walking down to the waterfalls



            Hannah and mommy



            The fam: David, Emily, Gloria, Dennis (David’s parents) and Hannah

            Dallin was also there, but he was sleeping in the stroller.  YES, I SAID SLEEPING.  By some miracle, he decided to chill out and enjoy the walk.  We didn’t want to disturb the delicate balance (of him sleeping) so we left him in the stroller.



            When Dallin wasn’t chillin’ out, he was being carried around in the Snugli by either David or me.



            I don’t know what this thing is called, but Lydia asked us to take a picture of it.  I like to call it life-size-Chia-pets-in-the-garden.



            Dennis and Gloria, taking a breather, watching the stroller, while David takes pictures and Hannah and I roll down the hill.  It’s nice to have a stroller-sitter.  🙂

            I’m sad August is coming to an end.  The summer is almost over and before long the air will be cool and crisp.  Not exactly looking forward to that.

            Getting to “THE POINT!”

            It is “two dollar Tuesday” at Thanksgiving Point (per person, per venue) through the month of August.  We decided to take advantage of this great deal (normally, the venues are $15 per person) and left the house early on Tuesday to have some fun.

            Let me clarify the term “early” when it comes to my family with two small kids.  Leaving the house before 1:00 in the afternoon is considered early.  I’m not kidding.  You would think that our early alarm clocks (well, Dallin is an alarm clock that goes off religiously throughout the night and especially the early morning) would get our butts out of bed and moving, but let’s face it, we’re slow moving parents.

            So, now you can imagine the turbo speed our lives were thrown into when we decided to be at Thanksgiving Point when it opened at 10:00 A.M.  Hannah was COMPLETELY WOUND UP and WIRED yelling “THE POINT! LET’S GO TO THE POINT!”  As if she even knew what “The Point” was . . .

            I rushed around the house, packing everything we needed, or might need, for a toddler and a newborn for several hours.  You know, thinks like the washer, dryer and kitchen sink to name a few.  By the time we got into the car, WE WERE ALL WIRED.

            Dallin was screaming his guts out, and Hannah was yelling “THE POINT!”  I was rolling around in the front seat while I tried to shave my legs (with an electric razor of course) in the six inches of allotted space between my knees and the dashboard, while David took a deep breath and turned up the classical music in the car to drown out the crying.

            Why do we go anywhere?

            As we pulled out of the driveway, Hannah stopped yelling “THE POINT!” and started sympathy crying because Dallin was crying so hard.  WE ALL WANTED TO CRY.  David reached his hand into the backseat and stuck his finger in Dallin’s mouth (the binkie was lost in the car seat, and Hannah couldn’t reach it) and asked me to shift.

            Remember how I was shaving my legs?  Since I am the MASTER OF MULTI-TASKING . . . I shifted with my left hand (not awkward or anything) and shaved with my right hand.  In between “shift commands” from David (Second gear now!  No!  That’s fourth!  I need SECOND GEAR!  Whatever.  Do I look like a left handed shifter?) all I could think about was getting the two day nasty leg hair growth off my legs in the 20 minute car ride.  What if someone saw me with HAIRY LEGS?  I could possibly be confused as a tree hugger, and honestly, that’s not exactly the image I shoot for.

            David’s patience was completely taxed (maybe it was because he only had three hours of sleep the night before because HE HAD TO STAY UP ALL NIGHT AND READ THE LAST TWILIGHT BOOK.  Maybe that’s why.  I mean, I’m not trying to point fingers here and say, Hey, you chose to be tired and ornery.  I’m just not one to to point out the obvious to my spouse.) and he looked at me and said, “WHY ARE WE GOING ANYWHERE WITH SCREAMING KIDS?”

            Obviously, because I said so.  And everyone knows that moms call the shots.  🙂

            Thank heavens, 20 minutes was enough time to shave and I arrived with silky soft legs.  (Not that anyone besides me noticed)  And Dallin FINALLY stopped crying.  Which meant that Hannah stopped her sympathy crying.  Really, I think we should have a moment of silence to recognize the moment of silence.

            We decided to attend the gardens (we’ll do the museum and the petting zoo anther week, if I can convince David the kids won’t cry all the way there) and they were beautiful.  It was totally worth the crazy crying, rushing around, and frustration to get there.

            I took entirely too many photos, but I couldn’t stop. It was like Saba, everywhere I looked, there was something else to take a picture of!  This post is a little heavy on the pictures, but the gardens were so beautiful.  Check them out:

























            Hannah, the little follower.  Always one step behind.



            The Roman gardens



            Our cute little Hannah Bear, checking out the fish below in the water.



            The lily pond.  It reminded me of the park on Saba.



            Hannah ran, and ran.  She covered three times as much ground as we did.





            Emily, Hannah, Dallin (yes, he actually was there although this picture is the only evidence) and David



            Hannah and Grandma Gloria



            Hannah and Grandpa Dennis



            Hannah in the secret garden . . .



            The entrance to the secret garden



            Hannah acting as gate keeper at the entrance



            The Italian gardens

            For such a crazy start to our day, it ended up being so calm and serene.  Dallin slept the entire day (yeah, I knew he and I were going to have a party staying up all night after all that sleep) and Hannah loved exploring as much as we enjoyed walking and looking.  We will certainly go back.

            Way Funner With a Kid

            The last time David and I went to a parade we took our dogs. We didn’t realize that dogs don’t really like parades until after it started. For some reason, the firing guns, loud cars and motorcycles, and all the people that come out in droves to see the parade, scared the crap out of them. We should have seen it coming, and left our dogs at home. But, before we had Hannah, our dogs were our kids, and they had no choice but to go to fun family activities with us. Because it was their job as our dog children.

            Having a real-human-child-that-belonged-to-us was a TRILLION TIMES funner to have at the parade than our dogs. I now understand why parents camp out the night before the parade to secure great seats. NOT THAT I WOULD EVER DO THAT . . . but I get it now.

            Parades are everything Hannah loves: airplanes overhead, candy, kids, horses, people singing, people dancing, cars, motorcycles . . . she absolutely enjoyed the parade. And get this, she talked her grandma and grandpa into attending the event, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS PRACTICALLY THE LAST THING ON THE PLANET THEY WANTED TO DO THAT DAY. Way to go Hannah! 🙂

            This was Hannah’s face for over two hours . . . she also danced her little heart away when bands came by.

            We all had a great time . . . even I did with my huge belly which you can’t see in the empty chair. (Well, someone has to take photos!)

            It was one hot day, and I wished we were on the other side of the street where there was more shade, but we were lucky enough to get such good seats.

            We have just finished our marathon week of fun activities, (the zoo, water park, hot air balloon race, grandpa P’s birthday party, the parade, visiting family and friends . . . phew!) and in 24 hours, our new baby will have joined our family. We are all excited for the arrival of this little baby. Tonight is the last night of quiet, peaceful, sleep!

            Stats and pictures will be posted as soon as we can get them up tomorrow. Check back to see our new little guy, (and what we named him)!