Wednesday, December 29, 2010

the bargainer.

Oh wowza.
We went to Idaho and came back.
How come it always goes by so fast?
About 5 million pictures to come.
Really cute pictures.
We did have the two cutest babies in the world under one roof this Christmas, after all.
But for now we are in Chicago, taking an extra day of vacation while we still can.
We went shopping today.
I saw this coat.
I'm a coat addict, if you didn't know.
My daddy got me a fabulous one for Christmas.
And how cute is this?
Original price: $200.
Erin takes it home price . . . .
Not even kidding.
I'm such a bargainer.
Its my warm-cute-casual-sporty coat.
I have a category for every coat.
I'll spare you the rest.
I'm a happy coat addict tonight.
PS. See how I'm in a movie theater?
We saw True Grit.
Mighty fine.
Though I personally didn't like the end.
And there wasn't a smidge of romance.
But I would recommend it.
We head home tomorrow.
Can't wait to see my bed.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

clowns for christmas.

Let me tell you about my favorite Christmas gift this year.
But I will have to take you way, way back . . . 
Back when we was kids, we had a birthday clown.
It was a small wooden clown doing the splits.
It had Velcro on the front, and we had coordinating little wooden presents with each of our names on them and when it was your birthday the birthday clown held your name present.
And it had a button on the back that would play "Happy Birthday" when you pushed it.
It was a big deal.
My brother's birthday is 3 days before mine, so it is a running joke that I stole his birthday clown glory because as soon as his party was over, his name came down and mine went up.
That birthday clown was at every birthday celebration during our childhood.
My mom hand-painted it herself.
It was one of those staples of childhood you don't realize how much you love until its gone . . .
We found all sorts of birthday clown evidence in our scrapbooks.
Here is my oldest brother Michael giving him bunny ears.
Or maybe he is doing a peace sign?
 Second brother Jason delighted with his cupcakes as the clown looks on.
 He hangs in the background as I show off my Little Miss Cupcake.
 Baby Brady's first birthday.
It was a big deal.
A few years ago, we were all talking and someone brought up the birthday clown and said we should bring it back out. My mother nonchalantly said "Oh, I think I gave it to DI."
Ummm . . . what?
Frequently over the last years we have given her a hard time over killing the birthday clown.
I'm mentioned it on my blog a few times before.
On my sister-in-law's blog, she talked about my brother's birthday and said he told her "something about some clown".
And we joked about how mom destroyed our childhoods.
Someone even brought it up on Christmas Eve.
I think she got sick of us.
But seriously.
Give away the birthday clown?
How could she?
Yesterday morning was Christmas morning.
And not one of us expected to find what Santa brought us:
 My mom found the birthday clown pattern.
She had my cousin cut the appropriate shapes of wood.
She painted three birthday clowns (one for each married kid and our new families).
All without any of us suspecting.
They even have the button on the back that plays "Happy Birthday" when you push it.
It took her months of work.
I'm pretty sure she did it just to shut us up.
But it just might be the best Christmas present I've ever gotten.
 We hope your Christmas was as wonderful as ours.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

santa claus is coming to town.

we had to do it.
just this once.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

out of the mouth of a babe.

Our Wild Thing hit 16 months last week.

A complete list of words she can/has said:

"dah-eee" = doggy
"preeee" = pretty
"bye bye"
"tinktink" = stinky
"bah" = ball
"baba" = pretty sure she means mama
"ah ah ah" = monkey noise
"naynaynay" = horse noise
"Jeejee" = Jesus

A few things I don't want to forget:

She loves when daddy comes home. There was a short time there when she would get so excited when he walked in the door, she would scream so loud and stomp her feet in excitement. "I feel like the Beatles" Chris said. He is funny like that.

She also loves bath time. Chris gives her her bath each night and I think its something everyone looks forward too. I get a break and get to hear my two favorite people laughing and screeching and splashing. Chris gets fun time with Carly when he often hasn't seen her all day. And Carly gets fun bathtime with daddy. On the few occasions I do give her a bath, she just looks at me like, this is so boring. So its a win/win/win.

She is a meticulous and strategic player. She organizes things and puts things in other things strategically. Like how she puts finger puppets in her stacking cups. But the right puppet has to go in the right cup, and only she knows what that is. And she puts her Little People animals in the dishwasher basket, and utensils in buckets. She also likes to organize puzzle pieces and move them back and forth between two locations. You can see in her eyes that her brain is always working hard.

A few nights ago, before I gave her a bath, I was getting everything ready and she went and sat by the wipes and said "tinktink". Stinky. I asked, "do you have a stinky?" I usually smell a dirty diaper a mile away so I didn't think she really knew what she was saying, but I went and checked, and she was right. Her very first time telling me to change her diaper. She also points to the toilet after I use the restroom and says "tinktink". This means she will be an early potty-trainer, right?

She is very independent. This week I was trying to get her out the door so we could run an errand and she was not letting me put her boots on. So finally I said, "ok, I'm going on an adventure out in the fresh air. have fun all alone stuck at home." I put my coat on and left, standing outside our front door. I expected crying or whining or pounding on the door. Instead I hear through the door: "bye bye! bye bye! BYE BYE!". I stood out in the freezing cold trying to make a point, then went in to find her playing with her puzzle pieces right where I left her. We are in trouble, I think.

A few days ago when I put her down, she was not acting too tired. But I leave her in her dark room anyway. I close the door, and hear "BYE BYE!". Cutest thing.

She still isn't a big eater. Though I discovered she likes BBQ chicken, so she actually gets protein occasionally.

When daddy gets home, she goes to him and he picks her up and she kisses him, then me, then him, then me. She could bounce between us for a long time, if we let her. And sometimes we do.

She is smart.
She has a total diva attitude.
She knows how cute she is.
She wants things done her way.
She is busy.
She is crazy.
She is sweet.
She is hilarious.
She is the bestest.
I love her.

Friday, December 17, 2010

juice box thief and other tidbits.

I love a juice box.
Like, I think juice tastes better out of a little box, sipped through a little straw, then out of a cup.
Personal preference.
And I'm starting to think Carly feels the same way.
I put juice in her sippy cup and she enjoys it well enough.
I break out a juice box for myself and she goes all crazy over it.
I hold it for her to take a sip, and in no time it is in her sole possession.
Juice box thief.
Only it doesn't take long for her to get confused by which drinking device she is using and she will tip it back like a sippy cup, resulting in a juice-covered shirt.
Serves you right, juice box thief.
A few other tidbits:

So did you know that Chris's dad is in my little brother's mission presidency?
Small world, huh?
Brady got called to the mission Chris's parents live in, and shortly afterward Chris's dad, Pat, got called as a counselor to the President.
This week they saw each other for the first time at a Zone Conference.
When Pat told us he was going to see Brady, I said, "Give him a nuzzle from me!"
I think they stuck to hugs.
But reports say he is one rockin' missionary.
And I'm one proud big sis.
Excited to hear his voice next week.
Did y'all hear about the Provo Tabernacle?
So sad.
What a beautiful building it was.
And so much history.
So far it doesn't sound like it can be saved.
My last of many times at the Tabernacle.
Brother's BYU Law Graduation.
Carly will only have attended in utero.
Guess what!
I WON something.
Rach over at Playing House does these little giveaways of super cute things she makes at home.
And I actually won!
I'm excited.
Its a cute pin that you can pin on anything you want to snazzy up:
Though, mine might be different colors.
I left it up to her because she is fab like that.
 Every year at Christmas time my Pens visit the Childrens Hospital in Pittsburgh.
They are all charitable like that.
I like a group of well-paid professional athletes that can look outside their world to make someone else's day a little brighter.
Especially because these kids just love them.
To read about how cute they are (the kids and the boys) click here.
Last but not least, we had a small Christmas celebration tonight.
Like, really small.
Chris and I agreed not to buy for each other this year.
But I got this coupon in the mail for $10 at JC Penny, so I looked and found something on sale.
So I got him a snazzy new shirt for $3.
He was not happy about it.
I didn't expect him to get upset; it was a happy surprise!
But he loves to spoil me, and he felt like he missed out.
Our peace-making conversation went like this:
Me: Ok you can get me something for Valentines.
Him: You better believe I'm getting you something for Valentines.
Me: And I won't get you anything.
Him: You better believe you aren't getting me anything.
I love him.

We also let Carly have a dry-run at present opening in preparation for Christmas morning.
If you ask me, she needs to work on her paper-removing technique, as well as her reaction.
She is fabulous.
We leave for Chris's grandma's house in Chicago tomorrow.
Bring on lots of husband,
lots of Moose Track's ice cream,
and lots of people to entertain Carly all day.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

a bit bah humbuggy.

you should have seen me last week.
so pulled together.
Chris was gone like . . . all day. Every day.
Finals week.
But I was working out every day and Carly and I were getting out every day.
Running errands, library time, hanging out with a friend.
So on top of it.
Good times.
Then the blizzard came on Sunday.
Monday morning we got up bright and early to get
 Carly her immunizations and for both of us to get flu shots.
The roads were slick. It was cold in that ridiculous way.
Carly whined more than I did out in it.
And that's saying something.
So since then we've been . . .
Well, you see, I spent all my energy surviving last week, so this Monday and Tuesday, with Chris being gone all day, I was reaching breakdown status.
Monday we spend the remainder of the day in pjs watching tv. I {gasp} even put an hour of Elmo on so I could take a nap. Not an award-winning-mom moment.
Tuesday was even uglier. Though, I actually managed some mascara and a trip to the grocery store.
Then today.
Today our hero stayed home.
Finished his final assignment.
Chased and tackled Carly for hours.
And let me run to the store . . . all by myself.
Then tonight I did my hair AND wore make-up and we went to his program's Christmas party, which took place at a large, beautiful house two doors down from Tom Izzo's large beautiful house.
It was a nice day.
You see, I'm ready to go.
Ready for family and fun and festivities.
So very ready to say "buh-bye!" to our double-date days
of waiting and boredom and being trapped by the snow,
and "hi!" to lots of daddy time,
grandma and grandpa time,
aunt and uncle time.
Saturday can't some fast enough.
{Though I guess it can, because I have a jillion things
to do before we are ready to go, thanks to my laziness}
(Carly's newest word:)

Cutest thing ever, that "buh-bye!"
Such a diva.
She makes me happy.
As does . . . .
shrimp scampi
24/7's special on the Penguins
Chris almost . . . almost being done
Christmas cards
Taylor Swift's "Silent Night"
I shouldn't be such a scrooge.

Monday, December 13, 2010

the goose is getting fat.

Carly has this Elmo Christmas book where you press these buttons on the side and it will play the music of three Christmas carols and the lyrics are on the pages so you can sing along. Carly likes to sit on my lap and press the buttons over and over and make me sing the songs. There are only three: O Christmas Tree, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and  . . . a song I've never heard before that goes "Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat." Ok. I know all the words now and it totally gets stuck in my head all the time. But Carly loves it. So I sing. And sing. And sing.
Anywho. Christmas is coming.
Chris and I got a move to Michigan for Christmas this year.
But if we hadn't, and if we were magically rich,
my Christmas list would look something like this:
Maybe this is the power of advertising.
I love the Flip video commercials.
They always make me think,
"I need one of those to have for all the cute things Carly does!"
And the fact that they come in Penguins form only seals the deal.
I quite literally drool over the iPad.
Chris doesn't get it.
I think they are the coolest things ever.
Oooooo. Mommy wants.
I have really grown to love taking pictures.
And I would love love love a really nice camera that takes beautiful quality pictures.
And I can't leave Carly out.
I love little play kitchens.
I got one for Christmas when I was really little.
Loved it.
How cute is this vintage pink one?

Last but not least . . .
Ladies and gents, the Winter Classic is a few short weeks away!
Every New Years' Day the NHL puts on an outdoor hockey game and make it into this big fun event with special jerseys and merchandise ($$$). This year the Pens get to play in it against one of their rivals.
I'm so excited.
Party at the C House.
I would love some Winter Classic gear.
Though, I'm really not a "wear a jersey around the town" person, so it would be a pretty expensive "hang out around the house" shirt.
There you have it.
My materialistic side.
Though, its hilarious most of those things are electronics.
I'm usually not a very electronic-y person.
Oh, and we had a nice weekend.
Chris and I were going to steal a nice movie night on Friday and actually spend time together, but Carly woke up shortly after we put her down, so we had a "stay up until Carly will go down" night instead. She is lucky she is cute.
Saturday Chris went to school and Carly and I went on a date to the ward Christmas party.
Sunday we went to Church and got our first Michigan blizzard, which prevented us from going to a friend's house for dinner. But that's ok because I ate shrimp scampi and we watched a Indiana Jones marathon on TV. Ummm . . . can I name a son Indiana?

I get my husband back on Friday.

 {I love dressing Carly for Church}

 {Carly thoroughly enjoyed Sunday's lunch}

Sunday as we headed out to Church, we opened the door and Carly saw lots of snow for the first time and said: "Preeee!". Yes its pretty, but she's not the one who has to drive in it.

Then I tried to get a picture of her standing in it, but she seems to have decided she likes the snow about as much as her mama does.
Which is not a lot.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

one lousy santa.

I have fond memories of "Santa" from my childhood.
We never really went to see Santa at the Mall.
{Which is why I have yet to take Carly either of her Christmas's}
I think I always knew that Santa was fake.
The real Santa was way to busy to be hanging out at the Pine Ridge Mall.
But I did believe.
And we had such fun Santa traditions that are important to us even now.
Every Christmas Eve, we make a sign with our name on it.
Then we each get a square on the couch or a chair and put our name sign on it.
That way Santa knows where to put our presents.
This is important, because Santa doesn't wrap his presents.
So its good not to get mixed up.
Then on Christmas morning, my brothers and I would stand at the top (or bottom, depending on the house) of the stairs and yell "Mom! Dad! Can we come down yet?!". And every year, even now, they say "Oh, Santa didn't come this year. Better go back to bed!" And we would laugh and moan and say "Yes he did!"
And he always, always did.
We were lucky that way.
Carly is still fairly unaware of what Christmas really is.
She loves the lights and the music.
And the "teee".
But she doesn't get presents or Santa.
And she's not quite old enough to understand the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of our Savior.
But those childhood memories and traditions have made me realize this year the importance of a parents' role as . . . Santa Claus.
And I totally failed my first go around.
Chris's mom and I have been looking for a little softy chair for Santa to bring for Carly.
I finally settled on one, and I thought she was going to buy it and bring it when we all met up in Chicago.
I didn't get the memo she was going to have it shipped to us.
Also I thought she was going to buy it from a specific store.
But she got it at
So this big box comes from Amazon and I can't figure out what it is.
"Look Carly a box!" I say.
She loves boxes, and knows the insides always contain something for her.
I open the box.
She pulls out her chair from Santa.
She loves it right away, but its supposed to be from Santa so I try to take it away. And she starts screaming and reaching for it.
So I caved and Santa came early for Carly.
I am one lousy Santa.
But she sure does like her little chair.
And she looks really cute in it.
I will have to step up my game next year, when she might actually get it.
 PS. Oh, and in case you are dying of curiosity:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

phone picture purge.

a few phone favs:

Carly prefers to push than to be pushed.

During her obsession with playing in the front seat of the car.

 Mommy's grocery store helper.
Like I said, she prefers to push than to be pushed.
People will look at my cart moving all by itself with confused faces.

 She loves her "bah".

One of my favs.
Simultaneously holding the dishtowel and sucking her thumb.
What a beautiful mess.

Windy day.

"Helping" mommy pack.
She has a thing for playing with tampons. ha!

Exhausted after a long morning of Christmas shopping.

How she watches Elmo every morning after breakfast.
Cubs blanket? check!
Dishtowel? check!
Animal friends? check!

BIG Christmas tree at the mall.

Winter beauty.

This is a new thing.
She likes to carry around a shopping basket at the store.
Even though they are as big as her.
And she has to take breaks because its so heavy.
But she insists.
And it gets her a lot of "oh she is so cute!" from strangers.

Love her green chucks.

The end.
Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

revenge is creamy.

Carly seeks revenge on the jar of alfredo that sent her to the ER.
Revenge is sweet.
And creamy.

Monday, December 6, 2010

i need a little christmas.

We had a fun weekend.
A Christmasy weekend.
Poor Chris is so busy right now, we were all in need of a little Christmas.
Right this very minute.
Friday night we finally got around to decorating our tree.
Carly was a big fan of the ornaments.
{no surprise there}.
 We had to wait until Chris got home on Friday night so it was kind of late.
That's my excuse for my appearance.
And Carly's appearance.
 I do love all our ornaments.
We don't do the fancy, matching ornaments thing.
We collect ornaments along the way.
We buy them when we visit a place or to symbolize something meaningful.
I shared a few last year.
Carly got to hang her baby shoes with daddy this year.
So sweet.
 Despite her face in this picture, she does like me.
And she did have fun.
 The pretty ornaments.
 Our little Cindy Lou Who, who is not even two.
I use the word "pretty" a lot with Carly.
Usually referring to her, her hair, or her dress.
When we were decorating the tree, Carly displayed her understanding of the word,
as she would pull ornaments out and say "preeee".

When we lived in Provo, we had a tradition that we would have a "gingerbread" house building party at Christmas time. It was a fun time and always a good way to relax during finals.
We miss those friends, and those Christmas parties.

{me and Chris, circa 2007.}
 We had a friend, Matt, who always made very impressive creations that took hours and hours.
Here he is building an amusement park swing.
It actually rotated.
He also made a helicopter and landing pad one year.
 So Chris and I were pondering upon those fun times, and all the friends we have made here, and we decided to revive the tradition. Between early pregnancy vomiting and newborn haziness, we never did it in Kville. So I'm glad we've revived it here.

The 1st Annual Lansing Gingerbread House Party took place on Saturday.

{the hostess with the mostess}
 I made and/or bought lots of yummy appetizers and desserts. We also sent our guests home with little Christmas buckets filled with fun hot chocolate packets, candy, and a C family Christmas card.
 After food, everyone got down to business.
{Carlos concentrating}
 {Kim and Bobby working on their masterpiece}
 {the whole par-tay}
 Carly and her new BFF Camilla. Poor Camilla is due with her own baby in a month and Carly makes her carry her everywhere.
 The J Family and their cute train.
And their cute kids.
 {Kim and Bobby with their completed masterpiece}
 The T family and their gingerbread Christmas tree.
Very impressive architecture to get those triangles to stay up.
 Cameron and Camilla's creation.
Santa in an outhouse.
Complete with the "stuff" in the bottom.
If we had had a winner, this might have been it.
 Oh, and us.
Chris spent a good deal of the building process up in Carly's room with the kids.
So I was in charge.
And this is never a good thing.
If you can guess what our creation is, I will send you a prize.
For reals.
We had so much fun and we were glad everyone came during this busy time of year.
And I'm glad everyone fit into our home!
Its a tradition we will continue.
Even though I will be eating queso dip and spinach dip and pistachios for the next two weeks.
Yay for a little Christmas.