The Quote-

"Parenthood is why some animals eat their young"



-by Someone Really Smart

Monday, December 29, 2008

Crack This


This last week all of the womenfolk (Carlie, Beth, Nana D, me, and the girl cousins) went to go see the Nutcracker while all of the menfolk watched the boys. It was great! It was the first time I had seen the Nutcracker performed (no, Casa Grande's stirring rendition of the ballet does not count). I will say I was a little disappointed that they decided the Sugarplum Fairy was an optional character. Clara danced to the song, but it was still beautiful. It made me miss being able to devote more time to taking dance.
Getting there was easy... until we realized we had made 3 circles and still hadn't seen the building. "Oh, wait,wrong address. It's on a different street." We'll leave the navigator anonymous. We'll just say she has long, black hair and her name rhymes with, "Harlie." But we still got there :) However, the traffic was horrendous afterwards- it took us 2 hours to get from the parking garage to the freeway. It should have taken us about five. I'm sure I've knocked off at least 5 years of life from everyone that was in the car. I'm not the nicest driver, and it made it even more lively since the roads were covered in ice. Good times!
While we were there, Kent and Grandpa Hills (Chris and Chad joined later after work) watched the boys. Kent took Brody, Zane, Taylor, and Braden sledding down the street. They had a ton of fun, and Brody got some serious speed on the hill. I had tried to go down the same hill, but I was too much of a sissy to not drag my feet to slow me down. Here's a video of all 4 boys giving it a go.

video


And this picture was just too funny not to post. Doesn't he look a little tipsy?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I'm Dreaming...

...of a white Christmas. And I might just get one this year.
It's been snowing a ton here lately. It's awesome! I've always figured that if it's going to be cold, it might as well snow. That way you have something to do. But it doesn't bode well for drivers. I can't count how many cars I have seen stuck on the side of the road. Salt is apparently too harsh on the environment, so, thanks to tree-huggin' granolas, they don't salt the roads here. So to spare our lovely environment, we are forced to drive on perilous roads with white knuckles going 10 miles an hour while people are sliding all over the place. Good stuff.
The first day it snowed we made some ice cream (or should it be snow cream?). I had never heard of it, but it was actually quite yummy- milk, sugar, vanilla, and some snow! Taylor wanted chocolate, so then we tried it with chocolate syrup.
So with snow comes sledding. Kent hooked up our little saucer sled to the bike and pulled Taylor all over the neighborhood. He loved it.

On a different note, Erik had his 9 month appointment this past week. He's getting a little scrawny. He dropped in both weight and height percentile, but seeing as he's happy and still growing anyway, I figure he's fine.

He's also standing up by himself quite a bit now. He's taken a step or two, so we'll see how long it takes him to actually start walking.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We Really Are Alive

Okay, so it's been about a month since I did a post. We went to Utah and California for Thanksgiving since Kent was working at the Children's Hospital in Seattle. Anyway, I'm too lazy to play catch-up with posts, so I'm just starting over. So Happy late Thanksgiving.

Here's a little something to kick off the holidays (okay, so Christmas is in 8 days, but whatever). All four of us worked really hard at perfecting our sweet moves. And this is actually really close to what Kent looks like when he dances.

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Saturday, November 8, 2008

And I Thought Craig Was Bad

When we would be visiting Kent's parents in California, Kent's brother Craig and his wife Nicole would come over. Taylor LOVED his Uncle Craig. That's because Craig would throw him all over the place. I just knew that Taylor would end up with something broken as a result of "pwaying with Uncle Cwaig."

That being said, I surprised myself by coming up with this totally awesome (and completely un-original) idea of sledding down the stairs. So we put all of our couch cushions at the bottom of the stairs and tried it out. Taylor loved it.
This is about the moment when I realized that it might not have been such an awesome idea.

After much coaxing, I finally got Kent to try it.

After a couple of times where the sled caught a stair and Taylor went head-first down the rest of them, it's amazing he didn't break anything- like his neck or any other limbs. I could just see how a trip to the emergency room would go:

Dr. Hills (Chris or Chad): "Uh, what exactly were you doing that caused his femur to break?"

Me: "Well, I thought it would be really fun if we went sledding down our stairs."

Dr. Hills: "Um, okay." Wow, what an idiot.
.
Me: "It was actually fun, until the sled caught on the stair and Taylor tumbled downstairs head-first." Wow, that would really suck if he called CPS.
.
Kent: "It was Steph's idea." Wow, she's an idiot.
I think I'll stop freaking out when Craig throws Taylor around on the couch.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other

It was love at first sight... okay, maybe at second sight after we had looked at all the other couches first. But it was second sight at least. We found our sectional at Costco Home which, by the way, is totally awesome. It's a Costco specifically for furniture. There are only two in the country- Kirkland, WA and Tempe, AZ. Anyway, we ordered it, and we got it around the end of June or beginning of July- something like that.

So why am I making a post about our awesome sectional that we got delivered 4 months ago? Take a look:

See anything suspicious? If not, look again.

Kent was vacuuming the other night and that's when I saw it- the sections to our sectional are not the same! One has those big brads all along the bottom and the other doesn't. We usually have a big ottoman in front of it, so I guess that's why I never noticed. I called Costco today and asked them what could be done. So Costco is going to call the furniture company that we ordered it from and try to get us a replacement.

I love Costco.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Epiphany

It's funny how you can hear something a thousand times, thing you understand, and realize that you really don't understand until you really do understand. Yeah, okay, that sounded a little confusing.

You hear from everyone to enjoy your kids when they're young because they grow up too quickly. A mom of one of the kids on Taylor's soccer team told me, "Yeah, my house is a mess. I've decided that there will always be laundry and dishes to do, but my kids won't always be here forever." I can guarantee you that my house is not all that clean. There are always dirty dishes in the sink, clothes on the floor, laundry to be done, floors to be swept, etc. And I've always thought that I understand the whole idea that they won't be here forever. Until the other day. The boys were asleep and Kent was working overnight at the hospital. It had been a long day, and the part of the day that I did spend at home was spent cleaning and getting frustrated with Taylor. So I was cleaning up in the kitchen and went to put something away in my pantry and saw this:
My initial reaction was to grab them and toss them in the toy basket. I get miffed when Taylor goes into my pantry and plays with my cans that I just organized according to content (yes, yes, I'm sometimes highly anal). He also brings his cars and toys in, and sometimes I step on them (it's a wonder I haven't broken anything yet). So I was about to put them in their appropriate place when I had an epiphany; holy cow, sometimes I'm way too anal. I'm a control-freak. Everything has a place and I like organization. That's not to say my house reflects that philosophy. But I do get frustrated and stressed when my house is messy...

And I finally realized that no, my boys won't be here forever. They're going to get older. I'll get to the point where there are school assignments scattered everywhere instead of cars, and then college applications instead of school assignments. They'll get to the point where they won't think I'm the coolest person in the world- in fact, I'm certain they'll eventually be embarrassed by me. They just simply won't need me in the ways they do now.

So there the cars sit; still on a shelf in my pantry. Taylor hasn't played with them in a few days and has probably forgotten that they're there. But they remind me to not be so anal and to enjoy my boys while I have 'em.

On a brighter note, for those of you that are married, does this look familiar?
That's right: it starts early.

Friday, October 24, 2008

What Do You Think?

I obviously changed my blog. Should I keep it, or change it back to the way it was?

Tagged

Nicole tagged me. Taylor was 6 months old in this picture, and we we were getting him ready for a bath. I thought he looked like a plumber with his crack hanging out.

Alright Kelli, Megan, Bethany, and Carlie. Your turn. Go to your pictures, then the 4th folder, then the 4th file (or, like me, the 4th folder, 4th folder, 4th folder, 4th pic).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lucky Number 7

Erik turned 7 months the other day. I thought it would be a good time to actually go through all our pictures and find one of Taylor at the same age. So here is Erik at 7 months:
On the other hand, here is Taylor. Now that I'm a little more objective, I see things a little differently. First of all, he had some funky hair and a big o' honkin' melon on his shoulders. And just look at those arm rolls! It's funny- Erik still weighs as much as Taylor did when he was that age. I guess they just carry it differently. And of course, Taylor has his bottom lip sticking out:
My mom swears that Erik looks exactly like me when I was a baby. Looking back at my baby pictures, I hope she's wrong because I wasn't a looker. So I either just can't see how cute I was or Erik really isn't as cute as I so un-objectively think he is. But some people say that Erik looks exactly like Kent. It was the same way with Taylor- half the people say he looks exactly like me, and the other half say he looks like Kent... which is funny, because we look nothing alike. Here are some pics of me as a baby. If you cross your eyes and squint, I'll look better.
If you look at this picture, I think Taylor looks more like my brother than me.

And here are some of Kent. If you ask me, I think both of the boys look more like him. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lost and Found

Well, I found them. Remember a few posts ago when I lost 2 different packs of post-its? After buying a third pack, I had found one, but the original pack that I had bought remained lost... until today. It was in the corner of our living room behind one of those stand-up picture panels. My guess is that Taylor put it there. So now I have 10 pads of those big 4X6 post-its. Need any?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Time Off

This past week Kent had 3 days off. So we took advantage of it and hit a few spots. First, we went to a beach nearby. It's called Saltar's Point Beach. Taylor loved it. It was a little cold, but of course that didn't stop him from jumping in the freezing water. There were a lot of little black crabs under the rocks. It was fun to try and find them. Taylor would pick them up and say, "Oh, he's pinching me" very calmly, but he kept picking them up. Regardless of the cold, it was still fun looking for crabs and pocketing the shells that we found (that we probably weren't supposed to keep).



Then we finally headed up to Seattle. We hit the Children's Museum, and then, of course, we had to go up the Space Needle. The boys did great, and we had a good time.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Did You Get A Haircut?

Nope, I get 'em all cut.
Since our kids didn't seem to get curly locks like Kent (not quite sure what happened- my hair isn't straight either), they look shaggy and homely when their hair gets long. So we had to give them a buzz tonight. Here are the before pictures:
Erik
Taylor

And here are the after pictures:

Don't they look like they had fun?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pumpkin Pickin'

Today we went down to the pumpkin patch to do some pumpkin pickin'. So we brought the boys' costumes along to try and get some good pics. They did pretty well. So check out our slideshow!



Also, take a look at this picture. A lot of you know that Taylor sticks his bottom lip out a lot. He's always done it. Makes him look like a bulldog. This picture shows just how different Erik and Taylor are. Look at their lips:

P.S. There seems to be some confusion about the whole lawn-mowing incident. Let me just clarify that it will not become a habit- it was done in a brief moment of heart-felt charity. After all, I am still a woman.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Dedicated To Linda

Behold your maker, green blades of filth! Dare you grow more than two inches in a yard under the jurisdiction of one such as I? May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits! You will soon know the wrath of hard, cold steel against your sides and live a long, painful life! MWAHAHAHA!!

Anyone that knows me knows that I do not mow lawns. It has nothing to do with getting dirty or physical labor- I just DON'T mow lawns. It's a man's thing. No one knows this more than my mother-in-law, Linda. When we were in California visiting her and Steve last year, we would look at houses together. If we saw a house with a big yard, she'd say, "Remember, you don't want a yard that's too big. If Kent's too busy, you'll have to mow it." I'd kindly explain to her that I simply don't mow lawns. That's a man's job. And if Kent was gone, then I'd hire some young entrepreneur to do it.

Well, the missionaries in our ward live in a house rather than an apartment. We drive by their house every day because it's on the main road to and from town. And everyday I would think, "Wow, that yard looks awful!" The grass was about a foot high, and there were weeds everywhere. It wasn't necessarily that bad, in hindsight. Keep in mind, however, that by comparison it was pretty bad. People often call DuPont, "Pleasantville" and for good reason- every single yard is manicured. It's a very clean neighborhood. So Kent and I took it upon ourselves to take care of their yard. They have better things to do. So this past Saturday we realized it needed another mow. Kent was tired, and so was I. But I didn't want him to have to mow both lawns, because ours needed mowing, too. So I decided that I'd mow our lawn. It was a big step for me. Understand that I swore off mowing lawns- but I knew Kent was really tired.

Needless to say, the local golf course won't be hiring me as their groundskeeper. There was no discernible pattern, and I had to go around the tree in our front yard about four times. But I thought Linda would be proud of me- she probably knows how much willpower, courage, perserverence, and sweat this took for me. And I did it all in my rockin' pink rain boots.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Appeasement

I was on the phone with Nana D (Diane, for those of you who might be slightly confused), and she told me that I had to update my blog. When I explained to her that I had just updated it today, but it wasn't about the boys, she insisted that nobody wanted to read what I wrote- they just want to see pics of the boys. So I relented.

Here is Erik after breakfast the other day.


Taylor is holding up a piece of paper that was from school. Apparently he had written his name all by himself!

Handsome little devils, aren't they? Anyone beg to differ?

My Brown Thumb... And Post-Its Have Legs

I've tried to grow all manner of different things, but they all die. Like my cilantro, for instance. They sprout... and then quickly die. That's along with the other seeds I planted- basil, lavender, parsley, and forget-me-nots. But I also planted some sunflower seeds in the backyard. I apparently put them in the wrong place, though, because every kid that comes over gravitates to that corner of our yard, so none of the sunflowers are standing. By the time they bloomed, they all looked as if they had withstood varying speeds of wind. But they bloomed. So that counts for something, right?

They bloomed in the same corner of our yard that has blackberry bushes growing up from the other side of the fence into our yard. Yummy! There are blackberry bushes every here, and I mean everywhere. Like on-the-side-of-the-road-on-the-way-to-church everywhere. And they're good.

But they're not easy on the arms. You can't get to half of the blackberries because of the giant thorns-of-death all over the bush. Check 'em out.


On another note, I've bought 3 packs of post-its in the past week. When I bought my first pack, I unloaded all of the bags from the car. The post-its sat on the ground for about an hour, and when I went back to get them, they were gone. I looked everywhere. Hmm... So I bought another pack when I was at the store the next day. I unloaded all of my bags (I made sure I knew which bag the pack of post-its was in). When I went back to get them, though, they were gone. I was getting really frustrated at this point. TWO PACKS! I was tearing my house apart looking for my post-its. Where the heck did they go? They must have grown legs and walked off. So I bought a third pack. Of course, as fate would have it, the next day I opened my deli meat drawer in my fridge and found one of the packs. I have yet to find the last pack.

Friday, October 3, 2008

So Long, Farewell

For the past two weeks we've been lucky enough to have the Ballard family stay with us. They're our friends from Maryland, and they're totally awesome. Brad was doing an ophthalmology rotation here, so they stayed with us. It was great- Taylor was totally entertained for the past two weeks. We're hoping that they start their residency here this coming June: I've even picked out the lot where they should build their house- it would be about 4 houses down from us! Kent and I have also betrothed both of our kids to marry their kids. Kenyon is a year younger than Taylor, and Indiana is 4 weeks older than Erik. So both Amanda and I have decided that they're going to get married.

Unfortunately I missed a lot of good pics of the kids playing. The ones that I did get came out too dark.


This is Taylor and Kenyon saying goodbye- dark, but the best I got.


Here's Erik and his future wife.
We'll miss you guys!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Green Movement

You gotta love China as well. They're all for saving the environment, and to show that they're willing to help out, they're banding (no pun intended...) together to put a stop to wasteful habits. Take this article for example. Not only are they encouraging safe sex, but they're giving those defective-and sometimes used- condoms a whole new purpose.
Hair Bands.
Yeah, that was my reaction as well.

Breast is Best!

A little forewarning- this post might be wordy, and no, it is not about the debate between breast-feeding and formula.
Wow. You gotta love PETA. Not only are they out there saving the day for all those poor little animals becoming movie stars (can't work 'em too hard now, can we?), but they're also looking out for our health. They just suggested to Ben and Jerry's that using breast milk would be better for the obesity epidemic and in the better interests of the treatment of dairy cows. Once again, WOW. You can check out the article here. I'd suggest reading it. Not only is it hilarious, but the following comments will make more sense.
Aside from being completely laughable, this article and letter to Ben and Jerry's irritated me in a number of ways:
  1. Come on. No letter that has Dr. Spock as a reference should be taken seriously. After all, think about how all of those kids turned out. And the name just says it all. Spock.
  2. So if it's inhumane to milk cows, why in the world are they suggesting we should start milking humans? Granted, these moms are paid for their liquid gold, but, like my friend Kim said, I really don't like being compared to a cow.
  3. Though the technical definition of "cannibalism" refers to eating flesh, I'd say milk is close enough, unless you're younger than a year old. See #4.
  4. As I'm sure the majority of the population will agree with me, that's just disgusting. Besides, do all moms taste the same anyway?
  5. I don't really think changing the milk in ice cream would change the course of human life as we know it. People aren't obese because of the milk in ice cream. People are obese because they can astonishingly consume huge amounts of ice cream, and that's after they've snarffed down 3 Big Macs and 2 large orders of fries. With a large soda. For breakfast.
  6. When pediatricians say "breast is best" I'm not quite sure this is what they have in mind. They're usually referring to infants and babies, not full-grown human adults.

So what say you? Willing to try some all-natural ice cream? After all, it's probably nice and heart-healthy, seeing as it has no cow's milk-can't claim that it has no dairy, since the technical definition has to do with milk, and not just cow's milk. So does that mean that lactose-intolerant people can now fully partake in one of life's more simpler pleasures?

As for me, I'll have to pass. However, being a nursing mom, I'm mildly curious as to what those Swedish moms from the article are paid...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Half a Year

Erik is now a whopping six months! He had his check-up today, and he weighed 19 pounds, 6 ounces, and he measured 26 1/4 inches. So that puts him in the 90th percentile for weight and the 50th for height- once again, short and fat. He's rolling over a ton and actually gets up on his hands and knees and rocks back and forth, and this is completely opposite from Taylor. Taylor was so fat and hated being on his stomach, so he didn't roll over or crawl until 9 months. But he sat up by 4 1/2 months: Erik still can't sit up. Taylor didn't get a tooth until 8 months, and we just realized today that Erik is getting a tooth. But he's doing great! Happy as can be, and just full of smiles. Isn't he cute?

Pediatric Retreat

This past weekend we went up to Pacific Beach with all of the pediatric residents. Aside from the fact that Taylor threw up on the way there, we were all stuck in one small room when we were supposed to have two rooms, the "luau" consisted of blown-up hawaiian sceneries taped up to the walls, and the bonfire that was supposed to happen never actually happened, we had a great time! The beach was beautiful, and you could drive around on it! Kent was excited and tried to throw up some dirt while he was driving, but I got nervous about getting our new car stuck on the beach (one of the other residents ended up doing the same thing and got towed out by a truck that drove around looking for people that got stuck). Anyway, good times! We even did some bowling. So here's a slideshow.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Little Pampering

While we were over at Carlie's for one of our weekly Sunday dinners, we realized that it had been a while since we heard anything from Braden and "Trailer." (That's what Braden calls him.) So we go upstairs to see what they've gotten into this time, and it turns out they had helped themselves to Bailey's makeup. They did all of this themselves, though I'm not sure I should be admitting that.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

First Day of School

Taylor started preschool today! I wasn't sure who was more excited- me or Taylor (or maybe even Kent, now that I can go grocery shopping on a more regular basis).

Okay, he looks slightly horrified in this picture, but I swear he was really excited.

And after I dropped Taylor off, I got in the car and thought about how big the boy was getting... and immediately zipped off to indulge myself in my newfound freedom by trying to finish up some home decor shopping. So I load my cart with my fun finds, unload them to be scanned and purchased... and realize I left all of my dear plastic purchasing power at home. I was quite bitter. So I raced home to at least try to get some enjoyment out of my first day with Taylor at school (now that I think about it, it's a miracle I didn't get a ticket speeding on the freeway... especially considering I didn't have my license). We'll try again Thursday.

The Puyallup Fair

First, for those of you who don't know how in the world to say, "Puyallup", it's pew-all-up. I had no idea how to say it the first time I read it. Anyway, we decided to brave the 120,000-people-crowd and go to the fair! Stuff like this is definitely not the same with kids, but like Steven Colbert said, where else are we going to step on strangers' vomit? But I don't remember the fair ever being that expensive. It was $3-$4 per ride per person. And those were the lame kid rides. Taylor had a blast, though. We went to go see the animals. He loved the goats. For some odd reason he kept looking at the goats' behinds.

If I would have known the cotton candy was going to be this big, I wouldn't have bought it (every one else in front of me bought the lame plastic bag, so I didn't see how big it was until after it was already paid for).

I try not to be anal about guns, but did they really need to put fake machine guns on the airplanes?

Erik was so good. He just hung out the whole time.

Kent was so proud of himself. He wanted to do the game where you knock the milk cans over with the baseballs, and he did it on the second try. So we ended up leaving with a huge red dog. Taylor loved it. And as you can see, it barely fit in the car.