Tuesday, May 31, 2011

the one-day vacay.

Last week we were trying to figure out something fun to do for Memorial Day. Or friends informed us that they got a hotel room on Lake Michigan for a cheapalicious price on Priceline. We debated for a few minutes. I mean, it was already Wednesday, and I'm just about the least spontaneous person around. And we were thinking about going to a Twins game the following day, but I was wavering because the Twins are currently the worst team in baseball, and half of their players are hurt, including lovely Joe, so I wasn't sure I wanted to make the effort and pay the money to go . . . I mean, no lovely Joe? Booo. So we decided to join our friends and have a superb one-day vacay on the "beach" at Lake Michigan. Yay, us (and them).

We stayed in a hotel with about 1 million of our closest friends. With the holiday weekend, it was busy. But we still managed to squeeze in the swimming pool on our first night, since it was raining outside.

[Carly tests out her new swimsuit and flip flops]

Turns out Carly has too much T family blood in her to think swimming is all that much fun. She didn't like the pool too much, and we only got her to go in for a few minutes. She did, however, like the hot tub quite a bit. Diva.

[Carly and daddy soaking in the hot tub]

[Cameron and baby Kennedy, me and Carly in our brief pool visit]

[baby K was REALLY relaxed in the hot tub]

She had lots of fun jumping into the hot tub too, though she is not particularly good at jumping forward. Rather she jumps straight up and throws her feet forward, like she is jumping on the couch and landing her bum. She also makes her jumps very close together; right when you put her up on the ground, she would jump again. It make life interesting for the catcher.

[watching her beloved 'Toys' after her bath. hotel life is the good life]

The next morning we headed to Grand Haven and the Lake Michigan shore, once again with 1 million of our closest friends. It was hot on the walk there, but right on the beach next to the water it was cold and windy. The great lakes do that. There were all sorts of girls in bikinis and I was shivering fully dressed. And Carly, well, she wasn't a fan of the sand. She refused to walk on it, and when she we put her down on it she would say "Uh-oh!" and sit on the towel and clean her feet off. She didn't like having dirty feet, I guess. And she was terrified of the water too. Hopefully she does better when we go to the Oregon Coast next week (I know, we just live the cushy life, don't we?). We had lots of fun just sitting on the sand, eating some snacks, trying to get Carly to play in the water, watching the boats, and visiting the nearby lighthouse.

[the boys and their baby girls.]

[beach bodies.]

[beach baby K.]

[Carly "go nigh-nigh" with Camilla and Cameron.]

[mama and Carly check out the boats.]

I was so freaked out walking to the lighthouse. Its just a huge cement pier with no fences or anything, and Carly has the habit of randomly sprinting away from us. The thought of her going off the side had me totally nervous. But she wanted to walk herself so we let her walk right in the middle of the pier. Or she rode on daddy's shoulders, which is a close second favorite to walking herself.

[Carly and daddy head out to the lighthouse.]

[headed back down the coast; Carly is totally suspicious of that freezing cold water.]

After the beach, we had lunch at a local Grille, where the food was average but the atmosphere was fun. I ordered Carly $5 mac and cheese, and was surprised to find that it was totally boxed Kraft mac and cheese. Classy. After that we walked around the main part of Grand Haven, where they have lots of cute little shops.

[Carly and "Cuh-ma" push their strollers in Grand Haven.]

[cute little candy shop where carly touched everything and I may have invested in some dark chocolate turtles.]

After our Grand Haven tour, we headed home.
Carly fell asleep in about 30 seconds on the way home.

We came home to find all three of us torched from the sun. I put sunscreen on, especially on Carly, but it was from last year, and we didn't reapply (the cardinal rule!) and now we are paying for it. Carly doesn't seem like it phases her, except in the bath, but me and Chris are big babies over it. I hate sunburns. Today we purchased SPF 80 for swimming, SPF 50 for every day, and one of those "rash guard" swim tops for Carly. We're supposed to learn from our mistakes, right?

[parents of the year award, right here]

We had lots of fun on our one-day vacay.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

questions for you, my peeps.

quick questions, bloggy buddies:

anyone have trouble making comments? whenever i try to it just makes me log in over and over again and my profile never shows up, it just says "anonymous". I'm annoyed. some of you i've tried to post my comment like 5 times, so i hope it doesn't fix itself and then you have 5 identical comments from me all the sudden. if it does, you know you're loved :)

blogger keeps telling me i'm out of memory space or whatever on my blog because i've reached my picture compacity. but that doesn't make sense because there are blogs a lot older than mine with a lot more pictures than mine. is there a way to increase said capacity? I've been deleting my picasa albums, and now the only ones i have left are locked because they are connected to blogs. is this making sense? i'm getting annoyed.

anywho, just wondering.

oh, and while I'm asking questions: when you guys potty trained your kids, did you get one of those little seats that you put on the toilet, or a small mini toilet thingy they sit on? I'm a fan of the seat on the real toilet idea, mainly because i don't want to clean out a plastic bowl of feces, but just wondering what works. and did you get it early and gradually introduce the idea, or bring it out and start right away? like i don't want to have it hanging around and then carly just think its a toy. carly isn't quite ready yet, but she is getting more interested. She tells me when she needs a diaper change, HATES diaper changes, interested in what i do on the toilet, says "bye bye mama pee pee!" when I flush, etc. I'm ssssooooooo ready, but what mom isn't? Anyway, thought i'd ask. thats all.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

summer fashion.

Carly's guide to summer fashion in two simple tips:

1) Demand a "preee dess!" as often as possible, even if it means going down the slide will be more complicated. Beauty requires sacrifices.

2) Appropriate accessories include purses, dishtowels, baby dolls, long beaded necklaces, a wide variety of stuffed animals, and shopping carts.

Oh, and DO NOT let your hair be brushed for more than 2 seconds. Its the secret to perfect "beach waves".

Happy Summer!
(except for the fact that is is currently pouring rain and the heat is on)

Monday, May 23, 2011

if you give a carly a breadstick . . .

 . . . she won't want anything to do with it.

Even if she has been crying "eat! eat! eat!" for 15 minutes in the mall.

And even if you had a conversation that went like this:
"Carly, are you hungry?"
"Do you want to eat?"
"Do you want to eat bread?"
"You are hungry and you want to eat bread?"

Instead, while you try to clean up, she will run away into a nearby store and come running back out with a really cute clutch. "Bag!" she will tell you, as you run it back into the store.

And you will only have been at the mall for 20 minutes.

She is lucky she is cute.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

we're the three best friends that anyone could have.

Once again, we've had a nice week.
Chris is getting home around 5-ish every day, instead of 7 or 8 like he was during the semester, so it feels like he is around all the time! I'm never ready for him when he gets home. ha! No, we love having him around, though I think Carly wants him home ALL the time. I get asked "Where dada go?" or if we can "go see dada?" several times a day.

[carly and her posse watching "go!", aka Diego]

On Monday, Chris's mom and two of his sisters, Jenny and Sarah, came up to visit from Indiana. Carly was quick to learn "Jen" and "Saaa", she just had a little trouble remembering which was which. But she got lots of attention, and even kind of learned "grandma". On Monday night we enjoyed a Texas Roadhouse dinner, then watched a superbly edited version of The Hangover. I'm positive that movie is filthy in its original form, but edited it was probably one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. Even if it did suddenly jump from one scene to the next a time or two.

The next day Jenny and I got our workout on at the gym, then we all headed up to lunch at Jimmy Johns and a walking tour of campus. Sadly, it was freezing cold. But we still had fun and saw squirrels and MSU is always beautiful.

[Carly, Jen, and Saaa]

[campus tourists.]

[carly sure loves grandmas.]

While on campus, we headed over to the bookstore and made sure to go to the MSU Dairy Store.
If you ever make it to the MSU Dairy Store, Buckeye Blitz will probably change your life.

[mommy's little shopping pro.]

[carly taste-testing grandma's pistachio ice cream.]

Then we just hung out and chatted.
They left that evening, which was too fast.
We like visitors (hint hint).

[beautiful mess.]

Wow, I'm having trouble remembering the rest of the week.
It rained for 800 days in a row and when we would drive by the park poor Carly would sadly say "slide wet, swing wet".

On Friday I went to our ward's Girls Night Out. I've missed the last few months so it was so nice to go. Except I was out until 1:30, then got home and hadn't seen my husband in days, so we chatted until 3. Now, I'm a night owl, but even I felt the effects of going to bed at 3 am.

On Saturday we got some sunshine. So of course we took Carly to the "big park" and tried to jog along the wooded trail. It was beautiful, but I am just not a trail jogger.

And finally, we had a nice Sunday.
I taught a lesson.
I have to say, I'm pretty sure I have the best calling in the church.
I teach once a month, I get to teach General Conference talks, and I have an awesome Relief Society that teaches me more than I could ever teach them.
Chris has strict instructions to never let the Bishopric release me.

Then I took a two hour nap and Chris made us french toast for dinner.

[a daily event: watching for daddy to get home.]

I know.
We're not very exciting.
We're just in a groove these days, and enjoying being the three best friends that anyone could have.

ps. look who was trending on twitter a few days ago.
I always knew she was meant to do big things.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

i made carly a twins shirt.

I make a habit of not swearing.
And I'm quite good at it.
In fact, I don't swear at all.
But there is one thing that makes me really want to swear.
Her name is sewing machine, and we are total frenemies.

But I started feeling the urge again.
I told Chris I was going to bust out my sewing machine, and he got his scared face on.

We are planning on (hopefully) going to watch the Twins when they come to play the Tigers in Detroit at the end of May. I wanted Carly to have a Twins shirt, but *surprise surprise* even toddler shirts are outrageously priced online. So I decided to [try] to make one myself.

It went something like this:

1) I printed out the Twins' "twin cities" symbol they have on their hats. I cut out the letters and pinned them to the fabric and cut them out in the appropriate colors.

And by "fabric" I mean old shirts from our take to Goodwill box.

2) Ironed the letters on a $2 white Walmart t-shirt using sewable iron-on paper. I really should have done the heavy-duty iron-on stuff and just left it be without sewing. But I thought the sewing would be cute. And it would have been, if I were a competent sew-er.
3) Sew around the edges of the letters:

That was when it got scary. But I managed to make some sort of crooked uneven stitch around the both letters. Go me.

4) Washed it. Done.

While a toddler Twins shirt online goes for about $25, I made mine for $2.

It looks really cute from a distance.
You're not allowed any closer than this.

And of course I had to have my little Cubs/Twins fan model mom's handiwork.
But she wouldn't let go of her best friend du jour, "puntoo".

Go Twins.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

bibbidi bloggidi boo.

Well, we've had a nice week since returning from Idaho.
Nothing groundbreaking going on, but we're enjoying the journey.

A few highlights:

The Saturday after we got back we had a belated birthday celebration for our man.
I made his favorite pistachio cake.
It always smells so good, I'll have to try a GF version eventually.
The birthday clown made his first appearance since his comeback.
And Carly took a peek at daddy's presents during the photo op:

We've had some really great weather this week.
This means we've spent most of our time at one park or another, even going in the evenings when we should be winding down before bed. But really . . . few things are lovelier than a summer evening at the park.

[Carly pushing mommy on the merry-go-round until mommy wants to puke]

It was so warm that we busted out Carly's summer jammies. She is beyond yummy in them. I tried to take a picture, and got photographic evidence of her using a q-tip, even though she knows very well that she is not to stick a q-tip in her own ear. Every time I get one to get water out of her ears she points to it and says "mama's job!".


On Friday we headed up to visit daddy on campus. I've said it before, but campus really is so beautiful. We went on a long walk and saw squirrels and ducks and ants ("baby bugs!") and heard the bell tower ("ding dong!") and walked through the beautiful herb garden. Then we even convinced daddy to come home with us instead of staying on campus to work. We're charming like that.

[walk in the sunshine]

Saturday morning on the way to the gym I stopped off at a garage sale some members of the ward were having. I'm dying to find Carly one of those Little Tykes slides that I could just put on our back area and let her play on so I could actually cook or something. Anyway, no luck with the slide, but I did find a shopping cart, which I knew Carly would love. I was right.

["cart! cart!"]

This weekend has been nice.
Rewind, today has been nice.
Carly had a grouchapotomus day yesterday. We went to the adult session of Stake Conference (what are you supposed to do with your kids?) and brought her and she was not having it. I wondered why we even went. Then we were going to head to Old Navy to use a 50% off coupon and find Carly a swimsuit, but we got lost and headed toward Flint, MI. Anyway, we salvaged the night by putting the grump down early, eating take-out Chinese and watching playoff hockey and a movie.

Today stake conference was nice, as it was a regional conference and we got to hear from Elder Ballard and President Eyring via satellite.

The warm weather, however, did not stay around. The rain moved in and it is freezing out . . . just as our heat is no longer working. We came home, bundled up, and watched Toy Story 3. Then we heated Carly's room with a blow dryer, put her down, and made a cake. Should be a nice evening.

[died laughing when i saw this picture; carly's first-ever unattractive picture]

Last but not least, guess who entered the blogosphere?
My wonderful hub, that's who.
Take a looky:

That's all I have to say about that.
Happy Sunday.

Friday, May 13, 2011


Oh, Carly. You're twenty-one months now. When you reach two, can I stop counting in months? I'm losing track.

One of my favorite things about you is how much you love to be outside. When I ask if you want to go outside, you go into a tizzy: "Shoes! Stroller! Towel! Bear! Woof! Bag!" You travel heavy, its true. No object left behind. Which is cute and all except when you get exhausted after being at the park for an hour and I carry you and your entire posse back home. We get home, you get water, and then you run to the front door: "more outside!". I'm doing everything in my power not to discourage your love of playing outside, but its exhausting. I do love when we come inside . . . you smell like sunshine.

You learn at least a word every day. Usually out of the blue you bust a word out that you've heard 800 times: "sidewalk" is the newest, I think. And "again", as in "swing again!". Oh, and "kangaroo". One of my favorites that you say: "pahpake" (pancake), as you are totally obsessed with pancakes. You eat at least 3 every morning, along with fruit. You are also learning more and more phrases. You recently learned "I love you" which you blend into one super-word. Today we were walking around campus and I gave you a stick and you said "a piece of a tree." That is what I always call sticks when I show them to you, so it was so funny. You're brilliant.

You've recently started insisting daddy and I each have a towel of our own. If I leave my towel behind, you come running in with it yelling "mama towel! mama towel!". Heaven forbid I leave it in the living room while I go into the kitchen. Last night you were fussing when I put you down. You had your towel, and I asked if you wanted mine too. You took it and added it to the plethora of things in your crib and I heard you say as I walked out "night-night, mama towel. night-night, carly towel."

The other day you wanted Leo as soon as you woke up. He was downstairs, so I said "Should we go down and get him, or do you want mommy to go get him and come back up?" You replied: "Mama get. Go, mama, go!"

You like to run: around the house, down the sidewalk, in a store, you don't discriminate. Except against grass. You make an effort to avoid grass. You take an evening job in between our room and yours right before bed. Its like you have to use up every last minute you have before you sleep.

Speaking of running, last time we were at grandma and grandpa's house in Idaho you learned to crouch down and say "set . . . go!" like a sprinter off the starting block. Its seriously cute.

You are suddenly very affectionate. You've always been loving, but you like giving big hugs and kisses and even snuggles. Not long ago it was hard to get any of those from you because there seemed to be bigger things going on in your opinion. I sure like the kisses.

You've started kind of making jokes or playing games. Like we were looking at the books on your bookshelves and there were a lot of them, and you put your little hands up and said "Oh no! Where book go!" and started laughing like you are the funniest thing ever. Because you are.

You love being chased by daddy. And being caught by daddy. When I get home from the gym, you both have rosy cheeks and disheveled hair from all the wresting and running that went on while I was gone.

["smelling" the flowers]

You like Diego, Max and Ruby, Toy Story 3, Jack's Big Music Show, and Bubble Guppies.

You like to read books, and identify big objects in the pictures as the "mama" or "dada" and the little objects as the "baby".

Your favorite foods are pancakes, fruit, grape tomatoes, pasta, broccoli, Parmesan goldfish crackers, yogurt, and beans.

You will not touch potatoes or eggs. Or most meats. Except you love hotdogs, which I'm assuming qualify as meat if you get the turkey kind with no nitrates.

We have a lot of fun together, our little family of three.

Love you a lot.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

having a mom; being a mom.

I have a mom.

We are a lot alike, my mom and I.
We both love dark chocolate.
We both prefer a shirt or shoes or a treat over a dozen dead flowers.
We both sing loudly in the car . . . and the kitchen.
We can sit and watch Extreme Couponing and agree its insane.

My mom is one of my best friends.
Not once have I said goodbye to her without tears.

She has taught be so much.
From her I learned to live a Christ-like life, while still blasting Heart on the radio. 

If you want to know how I got so cool, it's because of my mom.


I am a mom.

Its still weird when I say that.
But its a role I treasure.
You know how my mom is one of my best friends?
Carly is one too.

We like to hang out.
And we have a lot in common too.
She is a third-generation chocolate lover.
We both love to sleep in.
We are both chaotic.
We both have Chris wrapped around our fingers.

I marvel at her.
She is alive and energetic, but she is so tender and full of love.
I stubbed my toe a few days ago.
I was hopping around, saying "ow ow ow ow!"
Carly looked at me with concern: "You ok, mama?"

I don't know exactly how she got so perfect.
My only prayer is that I won't mess her up.
That she will always be so good.
That I can teach her an appreciation for Taylor Swift and dark turtles.
That I can teach her to love the Gospel, and set her sites on the temple.

And that she'll always want to be my best friend.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

the great 208.

Oh, man.
Can we just say it is 1:25 am in the mitten.
But 11:25 in the 208.
You'd think I could sleep at 11:25/1:25, especially after flying across the country with a toddler.
You would be wrong.

So wanna see some pictures of the trip?

Its an Idaho tradition to make a "To Do" list upon arrival.
Its is the simple things that make the list.
Like go to Costco.
And eat at 5 different places.

My personal list this time around looked something like this:
-stuff to get Carly's pictures taken
-get Carly's pictures taken
-Five Guys
-Jimmy Johns
-go to Temple
-see Renee

I'm happy to report, I crossed every item off my list.
And then some.

But how about we start in the 801?
We spent the weekend in Utah.
My brother lives in a Pleasantville-esque cute neighborhood.
We went to one of the 10 p-a-r-k-s they have after Shay's sealing.

[Papak pushing Carly on the swing]

[my brothers climbing whatever that thing is]

[me and my moms]

[3-of-4 T kids; we'll forgive Elder's absence]

Carly promptly attached herself to her aunt Kasee: "Kase!" she would scream, every time they parted for a few moments. Poor Carly still says "Kase" every once in a while, remembering the good times. I have to inform her that "Kase" is in Europe for 5 weeks.

[Kase and Jase get a glimpse of their picturesque future]

[aunt kasee shows carly the appropriate technique for rolling down a grass hill]

[too bad carly is afraid of grass]

[with uncle Jason]

[mopping uncle Michael's kitchen floor]

I thought it might be fun to get a picture of Shay and Carly together. There were a few problems. Shay likes to be held, rather than sat on the couch. Carly likes to run, rather than be sat on a couch. Carly likes "bebe" from a distance, but doesn't really want "bebe" reaching out to grab at her curls. Shay is 6 months old: prime reach out and grab phase. Hence, the single picture I snapped looks like this:
[loving cousins]

We spent the night in a hotel. Carly woke up outrageously early (7 am) and was still tired. My dad was on his way out, so he brought her to my bed. Oh, it was the sweetest thing. Usually when this child is awake, she is awake. But she was obviously still tired. She smiled real big at me, then laid down on my chest. I gradually felt her head growing heavier. I moved her to my side. We snuggled and slept in until 9:45. The first time since she was probably a month old we've slept side by side. I was a puddle of happiness, thanks to the snuggling and the 9:45 wake-up time.
The next day we got to see Shayla get blessed, then headed back to Idaho.
I always take like 2 pictures in Idaho.
Because you know what we do in Idaho?
Go for walks.
Shop a little.
Eat a lot.
Play some more.

Carly ran my poor parents ragged.

But it sure was a lovely 10 days.

One thing we did do out of the norm was get Carly's pictures taken. Coming up on 21 months, and we've never gotten pictures taken of her (family pics when she was three months old). I went to high school with Molly, and she takes such beautiful pictures. I was so nervous. Carly's aunt (we love you, becky) taught Carly to say "cheese" to the camera, and whenever Carly does, she squints her eyes and squishes up her face and looks like an ogre. I was dreading that every single picture Molly took would have the ogre face. Luckily, Molly was super great with Carly, even letting her do sprints up and down her hallway. I'm excited to see how the pictures turn out. Just a few non-ogres would make me happy.

[for some reason i love this picture]

On Tuesday afternoon, my dad had to go up to Idaho Falls for work so I caught a ride up and went to the temple. Can you even believe that I'm an Idaho girl who has been a temple-goer for nearly 5 years and I have never done a session at the IF temple? Crazy. But wow, is that Temple beautiful. It was also the first time I've ever gone all by myself. It was a neat experience. If you've been to IF, ask me sometime and I'll tell you why I LOVE LOVE LOVE its celestial room. I dare say its my favorite.

[Carly's incredible post-nap curls]

On Wednesday Carly and I met up with my high school friend Renee and her two cute kids. Carly and Maggie are exactly one month apart. Maggie is such a tiny thing! We have pictures of them together two other times, so I thought we'd try again. Toddlers are definitely harder than babies, especially since Carly had just had her photo shoot the day before and was wary of photographers. But it was fun to catch up with friends we don't get to see often enough.

[cute girls]

We finally got some beautiful weather the last few days there, and enjoyed some nice long walks pushing Bear and Towel around in a mini stroller.

[Carly and "dah", aka Grandma]

Is this making sense? I'm losing steam.
And there is now MMA on my TV instead of hockey.

The point is, we had a wonderful long getaway.
How can 10 days go by so fast?

But we did miss our man.
When we saw Chris at the airport today, Carly jumped out of her stroller and ran to him. He scooped her up and gave her kisses.
Reunited and it feels so good.