Sunday, January 30, 2011

weekend roundup.

I spent Saturday morning here:
The House of the Lord looked extra beautiful in the new-fallen snow.
I love how you walk into the temple with questions and confusion,
and walk out with answers and clarity.
Works every time.
Today started off as a blissful Sunday.
Carly was actually good during church.
I was taught in Relief Society (this talk; its fab).
And it actually went well.
I was cruising home in the car with Car, and pulled into our complex.
And so did a cop with flashing lights.
You've got to be kidding me.
He pulls me over.
Does the whole:
"License and registration and proof of insurance, please."
"Where are you coming from?"
("Church" I reply. "Oh . . . ." he says.)
"Do you know how fast you were going?"
I hand him my stuff.
Turns out my proof of insurance was expired.
I frantically search for the new one.
I don't have it.
The cop is back at his car and I become frantic.
Can he arrest me for not having it?
I start sobbing.
{Oh, yes, I did.}
And not to get out of the ticket.
I don't know how this cop thing works.
Its against the law not to have it insurance.
Cop comes back and notices me sobbing.
Hands me an outrageously priced ticket with two citations:
1) speeding.
2) no proof of insurance.
Then he informs me he did me a favor.
Since I have an out-of-state license, he should have taken it.
Ummm. . . really?
Love you Michigan, but that is a whack law.
Especially for a state with major universities.
Guess where Carly and I get to go in the next 10 days?
Oh, just court.
With proof of insurance, so we don't have to pay half of the outrageous ticket.
I started out really scared.
Then got really annoyed.
Now I'm beyond mad.
You know. Its the end of January and this cop who was probably younger than me is trying to make a quota after a month of slacking off. Chris went home teaching later this afternoon and saw a cop in the same place with someone pulled over.
His name is Joshua.
And he is lame.
(that may not be the case at all. and I was totally speeding. but for now I choose to believe it.)
But I'm grateful he didn't arrest me.
Some weather reports guess we'll get up to a foot of snow this week.
Wish us luck.

Friday, January 28, 2011

come on, vogue.

can we just pause for a moment and
admire this child's fabulosity?
i tell her to smile for the camera[phone]
 and this is what she gives me.
can you say diva?
its the weekend.
this semester, fridays are our worstest, longest days.
way to end the week, right?
but its NHL All-Star weekend.
which would be cool if top-vote-getter Sid wasn't still out with a concussion.
but I get to go to the Temple tomorrow with a group of sisters from our ward.
as long as it stops snowing sometime soon.
its been too long for me.
happy weekend.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

we must be doing something right.

most of Carly's first year we weren't especially good at doing family scripture study.
its hard when she is so little.
how much could she really be getting out of it?
one of our new years' resolutions was to be better at that.
we've been getting her all ready for bed, then reading scriptures and saying a family prayer before she gets her bedtime story and bottle (still).
we aren't perfect but we're trying.
[remember this delicious one-year-old?]
Tonight I got home from the gym just in time to eat a quick dinner and participate in the bedtime rituals.
When she was all ready, I sat in the rocker with her story books and told her to come over for stories.
She started saying some word.
It was a word I had never heard her say before.
She started pointing out her bedroom door.
Oh, great. I thought. What does she want?
She said the mystery word over and over.
She left her room and went into ours.
Chris followed.
She pointed to a stack of books.
"Scriptures?" Chris asked.
We must be doing something right.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

thelma and louise.

We met our friends Camilla and Kennedy at Hobby Lobby yesterday.
Hobby Lobby is not necessarily a toddler friendly store.
Carly made her way through it, ripping things off shelves.
I try to pick up after her, I really do.
I do my best, and figure some disgruntled employee will get paid to do the rest.
But her destruction caught the eye of a couple of store managers.
As we checked out at the counter, they both stood at the sliding doors trying to look casual.
 One asked casually, Is that stroller for her? Pointing to Camilla's travel system that held 3-week-old Kennedy, and gesturing to Carly.
No, we reply, there is another baby in there.
I wanted to say "Yeah, I carry my 18-month-old around in a travel system."
In hindsight, I'm wondering if they thought we brought it in to stash some merchandise.
Anyway, we head to the doors and I need to stop to put Carly's coat on.
Carly hates her coat.
The managers stop us, and say something that meant:
Carly was so crazy and ripping so many things off the shelves, we have to search your bags and stroller to see if she/you stole anything.
I didn't have a bag, so they searched poor Camilla's purse and diaper bag.
I was in the middle of putting Carly's coat on, so she fell to the ground and started kicking her legs and screaming in protest.
Can you just see how we looked, Camilla getting searched while I wrestled my out-of-control screaming toddler on the ground?
I mean classy.
Camilla and I are pretty much Thelma and Louise
We are buddies, Carly and I.
But she has been a little challenging as of late.
A lot of tantrums.
We are trying to learn how to discipline her, as she is in a hard phase where she understands some, but not all, in terms of obeying what we say.
The other day I was so exasperated I was reduced to tears.

A little later I texted my mom something like:
"We're buddies. When we're not making each other cry."
Then I have a day like today.
And I put her to bed thinking she is straight from heaven.
Because she is.
And she is totally my buddy.
[planting her booty in Target, where we were NOT searched on the way out]

Sunday, January 23, 2011

yum yum yum yum, delicioso!

Carly appears to be a fan of Dora the Explorer. Lately she has seemed a bit bored with Elmo's World, so I was flipping through the children's tv guide thing on our tv and saw that Dora was on. Decided to see what she thought. She was an instant fan.
The other day I asked "Do you want to watch Elmo?"
"Nah" she said.
"Do you want to watch Dora?"
"Elmo or Dora?" I asked again.
"Doh-ah" she says.
Not even kidding.

It didn't take long for me to start saying "Vamanos!" and "yum yum yum yum, delicioso!" and singing the "We Did It" song every time Carly successfully blew her nose.
We are practically bilingual in the C House.
Anywho, we had a Girls Night Out last night where we played Just Dance on the Wii.
It was good times all around. Someone even said I would be fun to go out dancing with because I didn't care and just let loose.
She meant it as a compliment, so I took it that way.
I've got moves you've never seen before.
But the point is, I decided to bring some treats to add to the sugar potluck.
When we were in Idaho, my aunt made these yummies and I ate about 10 in one sitting.
So I decided to give it a try.
I'm not much of a cook or baker. I watched Julie and Julia, and for about 10 minutes really wanted to learn how to cook. But then I had to figure out what to make for dinner and my desire totally dwindled. I also have a tendency to burn cookies every time I make them. Chris will back me up on this statement.
So hold on to your seats . . .
I'm going to share a recipe.
Because they were seriously de-lish.
Ok, instead of typing it out, here it is, complete with Carly scribbles.
[click to enlarge]
They are pretty much Rice Krispy Treats on blood-doping treatments.

 A few tips?
Tip #1 Get everything you need out and put it on the tiny part of the counter not covered in dirty dishes.

Tip #2 Multi-task by listening to Taylor while cooking (or is this baking?).
That way you can sing, dance, and cook (bake?) all at once.

Tip #3 When you realize you left your biggest pot at a friend's house after taking them dinner, melt the marshmallows using a wok.

Tip #4 Try really hard not to eat the sugar-and-butter covered half-melted marshmallows.
But if you have to, use a spoon rather than a fork.

Tip #5 The bigger you make the treats, the fewer times you'll have to scoop out of the wok.
And then when you eat "just one", you get significantly more yums. 

In all seriousness, though, mine were a bit harder than my aunt's. I'm not sure, but my understanding of general chemistry leads me to guess its because I boiled the sugar/butter combo too long.
Watch for that.

Now eat and say in your very best Backpack accent,
"yum, yum, yum, yum, delicioso!"
P.S. An adorable video of what Chris and Carly do while I cook/bake.
Excuse my hyena laugh at the end.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

blackmail and other tidbits.

Someday, Carly is going to be 16 and totally smart and beautiful and all these guys are going to want to take her on dates. When they show up at the door you better believe we'll be waiting there to meet them and show them . . .
this little lovely.
This is how our week has looked.
See, told you it was slimy.
But things are clearing up, so after Carly's 3 day no-outside quarantine, she just might get to enjoy the 20 degree great outdoors tomorrow.
(Oh, and Chris couldn't believe I was mean enough to stop and take this picture. But seriously, how could I pass up an opportunity like that?)
A few other tidbits . . . 

*I'm loving the gym. Its such a nice escape. I'm always so much happier after I go. One time after I got home, Chris asked "why are you so happy?". haha. Great. But I do enjoy it, and yesterday I ran for 32 minutes straight. That's like a miracle for me and my bum knee. I don't think I've gone that long since high school. My goal was 25 minutes, because I had been going 20, and when I got to 25 I thought I can keep going! and then I got to 30 and I thought I can keep going! Then I got to 32 and I thought I'm going to pass out! I know . . . 32 minutes, big whoop. But it is a big whoop for me.
[Carly got to do plyometrics with Sidney Crosby]
*Since we've been quarantined I've spent the week with crazy hair and no make-up, in my pajamas. This has led to total slothdom and during Carly's naps I have been watching movies rather than doing something productive. After getting our new tv, we rediscovered the joy of movie watching. We try to do a "movie night" every weekend and turn out the lights and move the love seat right in front of the tv. Its fun. We also discovered we get a bunch of movie channels that show great movies. So occasionally we scan through and record any movies that look good on our DVR. Its like renting HD movies for free without leaving your couch. Awesome, I know. I also discovered our library has a great collection of good movies. This has led to me watching an unsightly number of chick-flicks/movies Chris would never watch: Bride Wars, Elizabethtown, Julie and Julia, The Proposal, W., 17 Again. And that's just this week. As a couple, we're currently half-way through Time Traveler's Wife, and just finished Sherlock Holmes, and The Invention of Lying is on deck. See, lots of movies. This is very usual for me, as I'm not traditionally a movie person. Oh, and Carly and I watched Cars on her sickest day. I forgot how funny that movie is. And the end totally made me cry.
[the mommy and the sicky watching the Pens lose tonight. lame.]
*Do we have American Idol fans out there? We usually wait until the final 16 or so to start watching. I actually hate the middle part when everyone first gets to Hollywood. But we watched last night to check out the judges and I must say . . . I like them. They seem to know what they are talking about more than the old ones. We'll see how I feel about them when the real singing starts.
[pointing out the "pree" things at the store]
*I've been having a crazy amount of dreams the last two weeks. Last week I had two per night every night. And they were all sad or freaky. I had a dream one night that we were driving and someone came and opened our car doors and robbed us. That morning when Chris kissed me goodbye when I was still sleeping I told him "I love you. Lock your doors." Fabulous. Another night I had a dream that Chris and I found out we cheated fate, and we were both supposed to have died in the World Trade Center attacks. So we had to go back in time and die in them, but since Carly already existed, she couldn't stop existing so she went back to her little baby state. Anywho, we had to decide whether we wanted her to die in the towers with us or go on living. We decided to have her die with us (oh, my gosh) but then when we got to the towers realized we forgot her. Anyway. We die in the towers, and spend the remainder of the dream watching Carly's whole wonderful life from heaven. I woke up sobbing, and when she woke up I hugged her extra tight, grateful we have her, and she has us. Ummm . . . intense, right? But I had another dream where I was in the twin towers and was responsible for getting Prince William and Kate Middleton out alive, but I didn't succeed and we sat in this room watching the plane come toward us, and William and Kate held each other tight right before we all died. Basically, if you want to have dreams about dying in the twin towers, make sure and watch the movie Remember Me with Robert Pattinson.
[kissing herself in the mirror. she's just that beautiful]
My poor Sid is still out with his concussion.
Its giving me major anxiety.
That's all.
If you made it through this post, you're a stalwart.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


she's sick.
we're talking snot everywhere
coughing all night
sneeze queen
today is a
kind of day.
and can we not talk about how many
german chocolate cupcakes i've had in the last 36 hours?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

welcome, welcome, sabbath morning.

oh, church.
I do love going to church.
The last few months have been a battle though.
Carly is energetic.
She will have a blast in nursery, I think.
We are less than a month away.
I love my girl.
But her energy makes it hard to get much out of church.
We survive Sacrament meeting, squeeze through Sunday School, then implode in Relief Society.
The last few weeks I've been taking Carly to Chris for the last 20 minutes when things slow down a bit in the Bishop's office.
Its been nice to have a few quiet moments in Relief Society, and get a little spiritual lift.
Today, the final 20 minutes were just what I needed to hear.
The lesson was about sacrifice.
One quote she shared was wonderful:

"It is not a sacrifice to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is never a sacrifice when you get back more than you give. It is an investment. And the living of the gospel of Jesus Christ becomes a greater investment than any of which we know because its dividends are eternal and everlasting"
 -Gordon B. Hinckley

It got me thinking.
Last night I wrote out our tithing check.
Every time I do that I think its a little crazy.
I mean, think what we could do with that money.
How many diapers would it buy?
How many bills would it pay?
So I thought of it as a sacrifice.
But its not really.
Because we have faith in the blessings of tithing.
We have been recipients of these blessings.
We don't make much money.
Chris is a student and I stay home.
But we always have enough for our needs.
And that in and of itself is a miracle.
We get back so much more than we give.
The same can be said for motherhood.
It is hard.
You sacrifice comfort, ease, sleep, time.
Your abs.
Your sanity.
Sometimes it feels like so much.
But you get back more than you give.
You get first smiles and first giggles.
First steps.
First words.
You get slobbery kisses and tiny hugs.
And this is only the beginning.

I love being Carly's mom.
Sometimes you just need a reminder of how good things are.
Which is why you go to church.

Welcome, welcome, sabbath morning.
I needed you today.

Friday, January 14, 2011

a few hours.

Our man got home just as Carly was waking up from her nap yesterday.
Then we got him for a few blissful hours until he was off on a church assignment.
Poor guy was exhausted, but we think he is fun to have around regardless.
I think I've mentioned before the man is a superhero. Last night Carly was screaming hysterically, and I went in to try to calm her and it didn't work. I had a splitting migraine, so Chris, just home from his church thing, sent me to bed and went in to rock her. Before escaping to my bed, I brought in a bottle, just in case he needed it. I found him on his feet, holding and bouncing her just like when she was a newborn, and he was the only one who could make her happy.
We love our man.
Thanks for your winter suggestions. Feel free to add any as you discover new and exciting things. I will try to do the same. Yesterday was hard. Spent most of the day on the verge of tears. So really, if we are going to not only survive but enjoy the present, I'm gonna have to snap out of that, right? I've got a running list of ideas, most of which I look at and say "oh, Carly would be too nuts" or "Carly is too young" or "that takes too much effort". Nope! No more excuses. We are gonna have fun this winter if it kills us.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

send help. (asap).

Oh, dear.

{my living room, right this very second}
Is it just me or is January like the lamest month on the calendar?
I mean, you're coming off the magical holiday high.
You've just been surrounded by fun and family.
And now its cold and lonely and quiet and . . . boring.
Yes, Carly and I are bored out of our minds.
Its so cold here.
Far too cold to go outside regularly (or ever).
The outdoors have always been our saving grace.
Carly plays with toys, but her "play" is really just throwing them all over.
We have been turning to our TV for entertainment WAY more than I ever wanted.
Its Chris's 3rd day back at school, and we are already fading fast.
What do you do in the wintertime, when all the world is white and frozen, to keep things fun and avoid going absolutely insane?
We are open to any suggestions you've got.

Monday, January 10, 2011

standing on the edge of everything.

Our girl is 17 months today.
I've had Timmy's song "Seventeen" stuck in my head all day.
Though, in the song I'm pretty sure he means "standing on the edge of everything" in a figurative way.
Carly takes it more literally.
{Carly loves her "preee" necklaces}
She has come up with some new words in the last month:
[peek-a-] boo
baaa (sheep noise)

She can identify all sorts of body parts.

She likes to be  up high, hence her knowing "up".
She doesn't use it when she wants to be picked up.
She uses it when she is climbing up the couch or standing on top of the ottoman.

 {chair on top of couch, that's the way to do it}

She is tidy, which is a shocker if you consider who her mother is.
She is always putting things away and picking things up.
If I leave something on the floor when I leave a room, she will point at it and grunt until I put it away.
She likes to play with the toothpaste tube. She grabbed it off the counter today, and I was looking everywhere for it. Then I looked in the drawer where it belonged . . . and there it was. So while I leave it out on the counter, she puts it away.
She's a good example.

{sitting on the very edge of the couch while watching "preee" Avatar}

She is getting good at pretending.
She especially likes to pretend cook and pretend eat.
I think she'll throw some fine tea parties when the time comes.
We inherited a little kitchen from a friend in the ward, and the first day it was here I had to literally drag her away from it kicking and screaming so we could eat lunch.

{the oven cooks more evenly when on its side}

She is busy and going going going.
No wonder she sleeps 13 hours a night.
She has made friends with an elderly lady in relief society who keeps a toy horse in her bag.
Carly goes right up to her, knowing she'll get the horse.
And when I tell her to give it back at the end of the meeting, she walks right over to her and hands it back.
Somewhere in there, she also manages to play the piano, stand up on the piano bench, grab the chalkboard eraser and pat it all over her face so she has a nice white coating, and run out the door and down the hall whenever it opens. Needless to say, I'm counting down the days until nursery.

{static queen}

She is good at sharing, always offering me even her favoritest things.
Today we were playing "baby" with her stuffed monkey, and she gave the monkey her dishtowel to snuggle with. If you know her, you know that's a big sacrifice. She is sweet like that. 
Speaking of her dishtowel fetish . . .
The other night around 11 Carly woke up and started crying.
She has been doing this a little lately, and usually we just give her a minute and she calms down and goes back to sleep. This is good, because if we go in there, she is wide awake and ready to play after a long "nap". So she wakes up and doesn't stop crying . . . for 45 minutes. Finally, her screaming turns frantic, so I go up there leaving all the lights off just to make sure a limb isn't stuck or that her lip didn't split back open (again . . . ). Nope. I find her standing in her crib, face soaked in tears, reaching down to the dishtowel she had dropped on the floor. I gave it back to her and she snuggled it tight. I rocked her, then put her back in her crib. She rolled over and went right to sleep.
Forty-five minutes of crying over a dropped dishtowel.
For reals.

{snowy jaunt when the sun finally came out}

She likes things her way.
The other day, we were out of her fleece footy pj's so I told Chris just to put some cotton two-piece ones on her. She screamed when he pulled them out and pointed to the dirty footy jammies in her laundry basket. So she slept in dirty pajamas.
We pick our battles.

{exhausted in the bathtub}

Her newest thing is paper and pens.
She likes to walk around with a pad and paper, pretending to write.
Chris and I joke she is evaluating our performance as parents.
When she is in a controlled environment, I'll click the pen so it will write.
She scribbles and scribbles, and looks up at me like its the coolest thing ever.
Then I dive and click the pen closed as she runs away.
I don't really want pen on the walls.
She loves to "read" books.
She settles down with a book on her lap and loudly says "da da da da".
Then she turns the page and continues.
She really loves the scriptures too.
But I think its because of the thin, crinkly pages.

{taking notes}

She has started eating with a fork (and sometimes even prefers it).
She can drink out of a real cup without spilling (occasionally).
Her favorite song, "Little Bunny Fufu".
She is an especially big fan of "bopping".
Our friends had their little girl, Kennedy, last week.
We visited them and I held Kennedy and really could not remember our sweet Carly ever being that small.
It goes by so fast.
Chris and I often lie in bed at night talking about
how smart and beautiful and amazing Carly is.
I hope we do that forever.

Friday, January 7, 2011

the wounded.

On Tuesday, Carly and I went to playgroup.
It was all fine and dandy.
On our way out, a friend and I stood chatting in the empty parking lot of our church while our two Carlys ran around. My Carly caught her shoe on the pavement, and went down like a felled tree.
The parking lot caught her face's fall.
I picked her up, and was actually quite surprised to find her mouth gushing blood, and a lovely piece of skin hanging off her lip. Another friend had a first aid kit, and got it for me. As she brought it over to help, her two-year-old climbed into the car and locked her out.
Smooth ending to playgroup, right?
(She was able to get him to unlock it shortly after she told me to leave.)
Anywho, I went home to Chris and after cleaning it up and calls to our moms (we're still rookies), we concluded she didn't need medical attention.
Just nice and skinned up.
And really swollen.
People pay good money for lips that size.
I did, however, get the honor of cutting off the strip of skin, which was now dead and dried out.
Now we are just trying to keep it clean.
It has since scabbed over.
It was looking good until today at the library when she walked straight into a wall of glass and ripped half the scab off, causing it to bleed again.
Oy vey.
Chris's aunt suggested we wrap her in bubble wrap.
I just might take that into consideration.
The Winter Classic was on Saturday.
I was so excited all day.
Chris even made me my very favorite corn chowder.
And it was awesome (the game and the chowder).
It just would have been awesomer if my Pens had won.
And if my boy Sid hadn't come out of it with a concussion.
They say he'll be back in a week.
Here's hoping.
The Pens just aren't the Pens without 87.
Lastly, my legs hurt.
If you recall, one of my 2011 goals was physical fitness.
I decided to actually put my talk into action, and found a nearby gym doing a special for not-a-lot per month. So I decided if I cut out my random little Target buys (good-bye, clearance rack) then that would be about how much the gym would cost. So Carly and I will have to find a new hang-out, but I get to go to the gym!
I'm loving it.
But I haven't had a steady workout routine since before I got pregnant with Carly.
So my legs hurt.
Really bad.
My ultimate goal is to look something like Gisele Bunchen.
Though, I'm flexible on that.
Happy Weekend.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

brown-eyed girl.

Last but definitely not least for this Christmas visit?

We got to meet our new beautiful niece, Shayla Jane.

Shay is the sweetest.
She is so calm and quiet.
She seems to only put up a fight when her bottle gets taken away for burping time.
And she does the cutest diva cry when that happens.
She has these big brown eyes.
You would look over at her and she would just be chilling on someone's lap.
Just looking around with wide eyes.
She reminded me of the cutest little owl.
We love her lots.

{snuggling with Uncle Jason}

{brown-eyed beauty}

{hanging out with Uncle Chris}

{this gave me flashbacks to when Chris would make Carly fall asleep}

Carly loved Shay.
Well, at least she was really interested in Shay.
She would point to her and say,
"Bebe! Hiiii!"
She would pat her really gently.
And she only kicked her in the stomach once.
(Shay handled it like a champ.)
It will be fun to see these cousins grow up together.

{in her pretty tutu dress for church}

My daddy sure loves his granddaughters.
He does this hold we call "the grandpa tree".
I saw him holding Shay that way and remembered him holding Carly the exact same way at the exact some age. We joked Carly looked like a little leopard hanging out in a tree.
But it makes those girls fall asleep like you wouldn't believe.
Grandpas know best.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

christmastime extracurriculars.

During our Christmas escape, we also . . .

Made/ate lots of food.
Both real . . .

 . . . and pretend.
(Carly is a  real chef. She will even give you tastes.)

We sat in cute chairs . . .

 . . . and jumped off cute ottomans.
(Whether someone was ready to catch us or not.)

We got our craft on . . .

. . . and walked away with some fun final products.

We watched the Penguins beat the Caps in 56 inch HD.

We snuggled grandmas.

We played with uncles.
We just had fun being together.

Did I mention we had a wonderful Christmas?