Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I love Costco, I really do. Especially with as many diapers as we go through at this house. But going to Costco with both of my kids is pretty much the bain of my existence. Usually they aren't too bad. But here is my dillema. They bicker if they are both in the cart, but if I let Beth get down i'm constantly worried i'm going to lose her in that huge store cramed full of people. If I threaten her life enough she stays close, but then she like the hang on the the cart and ride, which I usually like since she can't get lost, but she's not fighting with her brother. That is usually our solution, until today, when she jumped off while I was pushing the huge heavy cart and I inevitibly ran over her toe, and havoc ensued. The screaming, crying, every one stopping to look at me kind of havoc. I just love that kind! She really wasn't majorly hurt. No blood. No broken bones. But my darling daughter is a bit of a drama queen so it was quite the scene. I finally wrestled her back into the cart and finished our shopping, but she was a MAJOR pill for the rest of the time. I was trying not the be that mom in the store yelling at her kid the whole time, but I sure wanted to be! I was trying to do it quietly at least. Anyway, all I have to say is, it is a very good thing I don't have to do Costco trips very often. The regular grocery store is quite enough for me.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Farm

I have had these pictures to post for a while and kind of forgot about them, so I figured now was as good a time as any since I haven't posted in a while. A few weeks ago my friend Nicole and I took our kids to Wheeler farm. It was lots of fun! The kids were highly entertained by all of the animals. Beth was a little nervous about the roosters cause they were pretty noisy, but she loved the sheep, she kept saying they were her favorite. James loved the horses and the ducks. Unfortunately I didn't get pictures of everything cause my batteries died right in the middle of everything, but you get the idea. :)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Banana Anyone?

I couldn't resist this picture! James LOVES his bananas. He has just finished eating (or so I thought) and I had gotten him out of his high chair and he promptly went to the table and grabbed the banana I had left too close to the edge and helped himself. Can you say big bite?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Something I Love

I am going to take a page out my cousin Emily's book and tell you about something I love. I am not generally someone who loves cleaning supplies. Cleaning is just not something that gets me going, its just something that unfortunately has to be done. I love my house to be clean, don't get me wrong, and there are moments when I really get in the mood for a good cleaning, but its just generally a chore for me. Well my newest love has changed that a little bit. Meet my new vacuum:

It is a Dyson DC 14. It is not a top of the line Dyson, we even bought it factory refurbished to save us some serious cash, but I LOVE this vacuum! We didn't want to spend a ton of money for a vaccum because we apparently kill vacuums around here, but I was SO tired of our old one, and basically it didn't work any more. I did not vacuum very often because I hated it, the kids hated it, and it didn't really do any good because the vacuum was awful, well no more! This vacuum is easy to push around, fairly light, super powerful even though its not huge, quiet (some reviews said it was noisy, but who ever said that has not met my old vacuum) and comes with all the attachments you need. The kids even love it! James begs me to vacuum almost every day and he used to scream the whole time I vacuumed, I kid you not. This vacuum has rescued our carpet from looking sad and having lots of high traffic areas that looked like they would not recover, to looking almost new. It will pick up Triscuit crumbs from our fairly high pile carpet and just about anything else my kids can mash into it. We also use it on our hard floors and it works great. I've gone crazy using it to vacuum our stairs, floor board, vents and air returns too. Something I never would have done with our old vaccum unless someone was holding me hostage. So in case you haven't gotten the message, I like my new vacuum, and suddenly my house is much cleaner! Some part of my house gets vacuumed daily, sometimes just for fun, or to appease James and Beth. So how is that for a review?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


So James has been in the wonderful transition period between two naps a day and one nap a day. When Beth got to this period I remember it taking some adjustment and it took a couple of weeks to settle into our new schedule, but it worked out fairly smoothly. So far with James it has been a bit of a battle. If I let him take a nap in the morning (or force him down for one, which I have been known to do on some days) he ends up refusing to take an afternoon nap thus making the second half of the day fairly miserable. If I make him wait until afternoon I have to be prepared for a bit of a fight all morning with a whinny tired baby. He still needs two naps, but he just won't take them any more! With all of this combined with his new walking skill, he's been pretty cranky and tired the last few days. Yesterday Ryan was working from home and while I out taking Beth to the doctor (yes, we have illness in the house, AGAIN) he heard James playing in the hall and then all got quiet, and when he went to check on him, this is what he found.
Obviously, the poor kid is tired! He did the same thing this morning, just passed out in the middle of the room. Something he has never done in his whole life until now. Kids are so silly! Why won't they just admit they are tired and take a nap? Both of these mid-morning naps ended up being a little too early and making for a bit of a afternoon battle. Today I managed to finagle another nap but only after a battle for my sanity. Silly boy. Good thing he's so dang cute.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Our Backyard

I mentioned several weeks ago that we were finishing our backyard. Well its done! Yay! Well, not done done, but when is yard work ever really done? But we have sprinklers, grass, edging and lovely dirt to eventually plant stuff in, and Saturday Ryan got our swing set up! Yay! The kids, well mostly Beth, were so excited! The new sod had to be left alone for a couple of weeks so we were all itching to get to try it out, so we had fun playing on it and laying in it, and Ryan even had fun mowing it I think. Its great and beautiful and GREEN! Here are a few pictures of our new fabulous yard.

Looking to the left from our back door.
Looking to the right, don't mind the huge cardboard box, it was still there from assembling the swing and I forgot it was there when I went on my picture taking spree, whoops!
The kids loving their new swing set!
James was being Daddy's big helper while he assembled the kids picnic table we got for the yard too. He was SO fascinated with the tools, especially that power drill. Wow, he played with it forever!!

I'm excited to see what else we do with the yard and eventually get yard furniture and a grill and all that good stuff, but it all takes time, (and money) so for now we are enjoying what we have. Now we just have to keep our fingers crossed that we actually get some nice weather for a while to enjoy it!

Walking Man!

I think I can finally say it's official. James is walking! He has been taking steps for ages now, but never more than a few at a time. He is such a proficient and FAST crawler that he just didn't feel the need to walk more than a few steps at a time. After weeks of torturing us with 3 or 4 steps, with an occasional 6-8 steps just to make us think he was finally crossing the threshold he finally decided to do it! He still crawls plenty when he really wants to get somewhere fast or if he plans to make it to the other side of the house or something, but he is doing tons of walking now. I've been trying desperately to catch it on camera and he has been highly uncooperative, but i've gotten a few steps here and there. I will try and add a couple of short video clips to this post once I get my computer to cooperate! (We are hoping to get a new computer shortly so hopefully I won't have to many uploading battles)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Invisible Woman

My Sister-In-Law Stacey sent me an email with this story in it and I really enjoyed it. And, being mother's day today, I thought I would share it. I hope all you mothers out there have a wonderful day today and find time to enjoy your children and our calling as mothers.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?" Obviously not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask,"What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please."

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.

She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this." It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:

"To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

1. No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.

2. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.

3. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

4. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it." And the workman replied, "Because God sees."
I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over.

You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become." At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.


Friday, May 9, 2008

Straight from Heaven

Last night I got to spend an hour watching and holding a precious 2-day-old baby boy. He was so sweet and tiny and you could just tell that he was absolutely straight from heaven's grasp! I loved watching him try and open his sleepy eyes to look around his new home and try and focus on the new face that was holding him. I loved feeling his warm tiny body wiggle in my arms. But, most of all I LOVED watching his new parents fawn over him and care for him in that new parent over-protective, but oh so sweet way. Their faces said it all. They felt so blessed and so overwhelmed and they were just so full of love for this new little spirit that had joined their family.

I couldn't help but think back to those first few days with Beth and then with James. I could remember how overwhelmed with love and responsibility we felt seeing those precious little babies who were ours FOREVER! Not just for a few hours or days, but really ours to be stewards over forever. I was so glad to have that reminder yesterday. Sometimes its hard to remember when your toddlers are pushing your buttons and you are raising your voice at them (like you vowed you would never do) for at least the 20th time that day. Or when you are having to send someone to time-out for the same infraction for the 3rd time. Some days are frustrating and I feel like I get to my wits end and I forget how precious my kids are. How they really are God's children that he has lent me to raise. I forget how excited I was to know when I was pregnant with them and how deliriously happy I was when they were born and I finally got to hold them in my arms. Sometimes I even forget those wonderful moments when Beth wraps her arms around me and says "I love you Mommy, your my best friend!" Or seeing those smiles from James and getting his loves and kisses. But today I am going to try and remember. With Mother's Day just a few days away I think its important for us mom's not only to be appreciated but to appreciate what a special job it is that we have! I'm totally preaching to myself here...but just as a reminder to myself, who could not love these faces???

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

My Beautiful Children

A couple of weekend ago we went to Thanksgiving Point and one of my friends from the ward took some beautiful pictures of my kids and our family. The flowers were gorgeous and the sun was out. The wind was blowing about 20 miles and hour all day, so our hair was blowing all over the place, but the pictures are still beautiful. Here are a few of my favorites.

There are bunches more but these are a few of the highlights. Unfortunately we didn't get any family shots that I am in love with because one of both of the kids is uncooperative in all of them, but we got some okay ones. But the backgrounds are all lovely. Yay for Spring!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The disappearing Remote

So two days ago our TV remote went AWOL. We looked EVERYWHERE! We knew it had to be one of the kids hiding it somewhere, but we checked all of their favorite spots, and every where they usually play thinking it couldn't have gone too far. We have one of those fancy plasma TV's and you practically can't run the thing without a remote, so we were in quite a jam (especially since I'm a horrible Mom and we are TV junkie's over here). We were getting ready to gut the house again in a desperate search when Beth came running in the bathroom this morning while I was in the shower announcing that she had found the remote! HOORAY! Where may you ask did she find it? In her little potty, of course! That's right. Beth has one of those small training pottys (a whole nother saga for another day) that has a little bowl for the "deposits" and then the whole top can come off to attach to big toilets so there is a big opening in the bottom of the potty that can be used as a wonderful hiding spot it turns out. Apparently James had discovered this spot and there were several items in there hiding including the lost remote. Who would have thought. Where do kids come up with these things??!!

Beware- lots of mentions of blood below

We had our first really bloody injury this weekend. I will spare you pictures. It was lovely. We were at church and James was dancing around sunday school when he fell and hit his face on a chair. And for those of you who are familiar with facial injuries, they like to bleed! We think he split the little piece of tissue that connects your lip to your gums. He doesn't really let us look at it, so its hard to tell where the injury really is, but that's our best guess, its definitely his gums above his front teeth. He still has a bit of a fat lip, but luckily the bleeding only lasted 5 hours or so...and no i'm not kidding. It would clot up for a few minutes here and there, but as soon as he would eat or chew on a toy as toddlers do, or bump against something we would have a fresh crop of blood. We followed him around with a wash cloth trying to minimize the bloody damage. We bathed him when we got home from church cause he was covered and Beth kept asking if I "got all the bleed off." It was basically nasty. Luckily he was acting totally fine, other than really annoyed that we kept washing his face. I never considered myself all that squeamish, but seeing all that blood coming from my baby was hard!! I felt so bad and I kept wishing there was more I could do for him. I know there are a lot more injuries like this in my future, so I better buck up, but for now I will just be happy we survived and there were no stitches involved. Whew!