Annie's Favorite Times of the Day

Walking big brother and sister to school. We get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, and Annie makes a beeline for her stroller. She adores her daily constitutional!

Annie is never happier than when she's stuffing her face. Finger foods are best, including string cheese, mini PB sandwiches, rice puffs, Cheerios, and soft cooked veggies.

Bathtime. Can you tell the girl is squishing her own fat??? Silly, chubby baby!

Second Grade Savvy

Oh, dear. I have a second grader, and boy is she gorgeous! She always has been. Would ya look at this cutie?

And now here she is: seven and gorgeous and so confident. Go, Nicole!

Blast from the Past

This boy.....

started kindergarten today!

Holy moley, he's so big. And cute. And smart. And hilarious. Love him!

13 Is My Lucky Number

I am: hilarious, determined, mobile, cuddly

?People say: I have great hair, am a riot

?I have: eight teeth plus one molar on top, wispy red hair, shrinking thighs and tummy, and toes that like to play, "This Little Piggy"

?I can: get to standing in the middle of the room, crouch to get toys I want, clap my hands, wave (sometimes), find my belly (Mom's favorite!), do so-bigs, almost walk in a circle (turning is hard), and give strawberries

?I love: my fuzzy pink blankie, my siblings, my Mommy, my binky collection

?Recently I've: tried the mall play place, guarded my binky from grabby kids at the mall play place, had roseola, stayed with just my Daddy for a weekend, been working on feeding myself -- but they won't give me a spoon yet

I don't like: when my mom walks away from me, talking to strangers, the word "NO," getting my diaper changed

My regular day includes: waking up around 6am to get shushed by dad then sleeping till about 7:30am, blueberries for breakfast, exercising with mom, morning nap, yogurt and fruits and veggies for lunch, adventures till naptime at 3pm, hindering dinner prep, eating dinner, going to bed at 8pm

Mom's favorite things about me: the way I toddle, my obsession with bellies

Dad's favorite things about me: my cuddly side, my big toothy grin

Next month I'm looking forward to: walking more steadily to give Mom's arms a break, attending exercise group, spending more time just with Mommy while big bro and sis go off to school

Some notes on Annie this month: Thirteen months might seem an odd time to post milestones, but it's been such a big month for growing and changing for Annie that I couldn't resist. Also, have you noticed there are no still shots of Annie this month? You try catching a one-year-old standing still. GOOD LUCK. :)

Shakespeare Trip 2010

Every mom should get to take a trip like the one I get to take with my sisters and mom each year. It's tradition for us to gather the group and head to Cedar City, where my parents both grew up, to visit family and go to the Shakespearean festival held there every year. This year, we got to take along my new sister-in-law, Bizzie, and our first-ever boy: baby Harvey! They were both delightful traveling companions.

Our first stop was the Springville Art Museum for their annual quilt show, and I just took a few pics of my favorites, though I could have done many more.

Wouldn't this make a great baby quilt?

I want this one for my bed:

Ooh! So perfect to hang on my wall during the holidays!

Again, I want this one for my bed. I love all the pinwheels.

After checking out our digs in Cedar, of which Harvey definitely approved...

we went to perennial favorite restaurant, Milts, for steaks with Dan, Jodie, and Alexa. They know where to get the good stuff. That night, we saw "Much Ado About Nothing," which made me want to watch the movie version again. Oh, Keanu Reeves, you are so terrible....

Saturday took us to the fitness room early to do P90X, which Rachel brought (so committed!), then off to the cemetery to visit our grandparents' graves, eat lunch, and tell stories. Rachel has a gift for getting people to talk about themselves and share interesting things, and we got to know our new sister pretty well. She is one. Funny. Gal.

Also, Harvey enjoyed the pineapple. :)

That afternoon, we saw "The 39 Steps," crashed in the hotel room for a few rounds of Bananagrams and baby cuddles....

... after which we hit the Garden House for dinner and, on Alexa's recommendation, their fabulous chocolate cake. Which gave us all the energy we needed to enjoy the Greenshow....

...before seeing The Merchant of Venice. And enjoying too many tarts. Raspberry tarts.... Cream cheese tarts....

*wipe drool off keyboard*

Top the weekend off with a car ride full of laughs and a stop at Kan Kun in Beaver for flautas, and we call it a wrap for this year. Ladies, it was a blast! See you next year!

Mauery Reunion 2010

All the cousins spontaneously congregated around the Christus when we visited Temple Square. So precious.

Lunch at the park after touring Temple Square

Trip to Clark Planetarium -- I was too busy chasing children to take many pictures, but we had a great time.

Lunch at Liberty Park

Mauery Cousins' theater production. I'm not sure of the play's title, but two days of dedicated writing, inventive prop creation, and persistent rehearsal really paid off in a great evening of entertainment!

Utah trip: 4th of July

Summertime wrap up continues. We have loved visiting family this summer and enjoying the outdoors together!

Independence Day Hike at Silver Lake

A Chocolate Cake Story

Our kids were never slouches in the cake department on their 1st birthdays, but I've yet to see one who knew so immediately that she wanted that cake.

It was HERS, thankyouverymuch. To be grabbed with both hands and stuffed into the mouth.

Then smeared on the body a la war paint and licked off each finger individually and thoroughly. She'd have licked the stripe of chocolate frosting off her chest if she could've figured out how to get her tongue to reach.

And yes, we'll be picking stray crumbs up off the chair before we leave, Papa. Ooh! Ooh! I see one!

And my favorite photos of the night: one very, very content Annie chillin' in the baby hot tub. Kitchen sink. With bubbles. Aaaaahhhhh...


I Am: pudgy, cute, opinionated, mobile, shy but secretly love attention

?People say: What gorgeous HAIR!!!

?I have: been on my first road trip, visited my grandparents, been swimming, learned to crawl, mastered pulling myself up to standing, walked holding my siblings' fingers, worn my first pair of shoes

?I can: give loves to my family, pretend to talk on the phone, brush my hair, play with my fridge farm, bounce to music, take toys OUT of their boxes, sometimes put toys back IN their boxes

?I love: my fuzzy pink blankie, my Love Monkey stuffed animal, my funny brother and sister

?Recently I've: swung in my new backyard swing, gone blueberry picking, pet a bunny at the county fair

I don't like: when my mom walks away from me, talking to strangers, the word "NO," getting my diaper changed

My regular day includes: waking up around 6am to get shushed by dad then sleeping till about 8am, jam toast for breakfast, exercising with mom, morning nap, yogurt and fruits and veggies for lunch, adventures till naptime at 3pm, hindering dinner prep, eating dinner, going to bed at 8pm

Mom's favorite things about me: my enormous thighs, my belly laughs, my babbles

Dad's favorite things about me: the way I give loves

Next month I'm looking forward to: walking on my own, going on lots of picnics, spending a weekend with just Dad and my sibs

Some notes on Annie this month: Annie's red hair is a sure-fire conversation starter. Random people at the library, the store, and the park come up to me and have to make what I call the Redhead Connection.

"Oh, a redhead! I was a redhead when I was little."
"My sisters are all redheads!"
"I have 3 redheaded grandbabies."
"I always wanted a redhead but my brother's kids got it instead."

Seriously, it's a compulsion. People HAVE to tell me about the redheads in their family and gush over Annie's hair. Which IS beautiful. But it's not like an award we won for being extra smart or cool or anything. We just got lucky. People seem to think it's a mark of honor, though, so let's just hope that works in Annie's favor. :)

Summer Photos

Utah trip: First leg

Grandma Nancy's house

This picture just screams "summer" to me. Yay for popsicles!

We spent LOTS of time like this. The stomach flu hit us for the first 4 days of the trip. BLERG. After I recovered, the kids did about 2-3 days each. Grandma was brave and cuddled up with them on the couch to read, and read, and read, and read.....

And then we got better! And went up the canyon to a little tucked-away park for picnic time. Annie's never happier than when she's eating. (Ya don't get thighs like these by being a slouch at dinnertime.)

Swings! And Rachel's legs coming out of James's head.

Nathan squashing Uncle James. He makes great noises!

One happy Grandma:

More photos to come...

Seventh Heaven

Look at my girl! Seven certainly agrees with her. Yeah, it's been over a month since her birthday. Don't judge me, okay. Judge the cuteness of that smile! And know that it's extra big because her first grade carnival just happened to fall on the same day as her birthday. Face paint and root beer floats AT SCHOOL on your BIRTHDAY???? Does life get any better?

It does if you have strawberry cupcakes waiting for you at home:

Oh my goodness. Nicole picked these out of a Sesame Street cookbook and at first I was very leery of the recipe (most food in there is "kid-friendly," read "bland as cardboard"). But the frosting on these was divine -- tasted just like a strawberry shake. Next time, I'm adding cream cheese and eating the whole batch myself. She chose her birthday dinner, too: hot dogs, potato salad, and green salad, shared with the Harts, as usual.

The next day we partied with friends. Nicole requested a "pony and movie" party. So Michael's saved the day again with pink foam cowgirl hats to decorate:

What a bunch of hams.

And we played racing games outside with our stick horses. I love how Nicole's new wristwatch channels the energy of the sun to give her super powers!
What? It's just shining? Come on, where's your imagination, people?

And last, pile on the presents!

After that, I couldn't take the squealing anymore, so we plunked them down for the "movie" portion of the party: a My Little Pony DVD. The girls loved it, and it took me directly back to my childhood.

We had a great time celebrating Nicole!

P.S. At one point in the party, the girls started bragging about who their "boyfriends" were and how many boys they'd kissed!!! ACK. Nicole sat quietly and listened to the other girls one-up each other, thank goodness, but who thought you'd hear this at SEVEN???? Luckily, another mom in the room obviously had older kids because she cued her daughter to say this:

Mom: Suzie*, how old do you have to be to go on a date?

Suzie: Sixteen!

M: How old do you have to be to kiss a boy?

S: Twenty-one!

M: How old do you have to be to get married?

S: Twenty-five!

Dude! I want my girl to stay little longer. :(

Where Be the Tray-sure?

There comes a time in a girl's life when, well, something's got to go. Apparently, for me the time has come and the something has been the blog.

Who do I blame this on?

These ruffians:

But by popular demand (well, mostly relatives I saw in UT over our vacation), I'm gonna bring it back! Watch for some catch-up posts (Nicole is now 7, we went to Utah for a long time, my brother looks really great with legs sprouting from his head -- what now?), and maybe a gimmick in August to get me back in the habit.

Not tonight, though.

Tonight I'm prepping to lead teacher training tomorrow and teach sharing time on Sunday.

So this'll have to hold you for a while.

Peace out.

The Best Part of My Weekend

Preschool Zoo Day

Nathan's last field trip was on Monday -- we headed to the Oregon Zoo with all his friends, and Annie in tow. We zipped around at 5-year-old hyperspeed, or at least as fast as I could push the stroller. :)

First stop, elephants:

About 13 exhibits later: sculpture garden

Voila, new lion exhibit! Well, new to us at least. The habitat is beautiful, and the lions were active and majestic, sunning themselves on this rock, and pacing around the enclosure.

We went on inside to see the lions through a thick pane of glass, and one of the females obliged us by coming right up to us and lying down nicely for a photo op:

Can you tell her breath is steaming up the window??? So close!

And then this:

Nathan was outta there so fast he could've been a gazelle. Her paws are as big as my boy's head. Boy, am I glad for that glass.

After our hearts stopped racing, we headed over to his most requested animal: the naked mole rats!

They're hard to see here, but they're awfully cute, little, hairless, rodents, who wiggle around with their eyes closed and live in burrows. I don't get why Nathan loves them, since they're homely and wrinkled and stink to high heaven, but he begged for a visit and I couldn't refuse.

We had a great time with all our preschool friends! I can't believe it's gonna be over in a few weeks. Wee Wisdom, you've been good to us these past four years!

How big is Annie....?


{Rachel, I totally stole this from you. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?}

Nick Names: Annie Bananie, Growly Bear, Fatness

What makes me squeal: Spinning, my big brother and sister

Mad scientist in the house

Nicole participated in her school's science fair a little more than a week ago, but the real fun was watching her dedication to her project: Rotten Apples.

At our house, we find ourselves answering questions covering a WIDE variety of topics, usually before we've even had lunch. One of our recurring topics, though, is decomposition and decay. The kids want to know how long it would take [name any household item (i.e., refrigerator, fish tank, fork, little sister, etc.)] to decay. So we set up Nicole's science project to yield us some icky, decomposed, gooey shtuff.

Prepared, Nicole is. We started well in advance, and she checked on her specimens weekly to record their changes. But her favorite part, I think, was preparing her display board for the actual fair. Here's my girl, hard at work:

Nickel for Nathan

Apparently, it takes a birthday to get me to post anything new here (plans to fix that are in the works), but I couldn't let Nathan's 5th birthday slide by without posting about my fabulous boy. He's been dreaming of a "Builder Party" for a good 6 months, so I couldn't wuss out and take him to Safari Sam's or something easy like that. Nope. Mama delivers with a construction-themed cake:


Thoughts on being 30:

  • Since it was my "golden birthday," my kids thought we should do lots of 30 things to celebrate. I passed on the 30 party hats, 30 presents, and 30 cakes (30 lbs., anyone?). But I did get 30 balloons and 30 tulips!

100 Day Celebration!

Nicole's had a rough two weeks, starting with Sunday the 14th when (on Valentine's Day) she gave her dad the lovely present of barfing on him in the middle of sacrament meeting. Trust me, we had no warning, or we would NOT have brought her to church.

What's Your Major?

Sometimes I wonder about my college education.

At the time, getting my degree in English was definitely the right thing to do. I loved my classes, I graduated in good time, and I even (gasp!) got a job in my field -- full time and with benefits -- that paid for Nicole when she made her appearance.


I wonder sometimes if a different discipline would have prepared me for motherhood more effectively. You know, now that I know more about how I'll actually be spending my time as a mommy. A few obvious options:

Home economics
Sanitation engineer
Child development

But can a person major in Legos?

Lego design?

Lego engineering?