Monday, June 30, 2008

My Life...1,2,3,4,5...etc. etc.

I got tagged by Shanna so here...my homework assignment is done.

Twenty Years In the Making

20 years ago...


1. I was 11 years old and I lived in Durham, North Carolina.
2. I was getting ready to go to Neal Middle School, home of the Eagles. The school colors are green and yellow.
3. I decided to try out for the basketball team and had to get a physical to be able to participate. When I was at the doctors, I asked them why I had bumps on my feet. The doctor freaked out and decided to get a sample, so they got a big syringe and extracted a bunch of yellow fluid from my foot. This started the long journey of many future doctor appointments, as I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumetoid Arthritis.
4. I went to my first basketball practice in knee braces, which were really silly. I stopped wearing them after about 3 practices.
5. I had to start wearing leg braces as I slept at night to keep my legs straight as I grew. It was very painful and lasted for about a year.

10 years ago...

1. I had been married now for about 2 1/2 years to my lovely husband Rinar.
2. We were on our college journey together at the University of Utah and had just moved to University housing near This Is the Place Heritage Park. It was a one bedroom apartment on the second floor and all the walls were made of cinder block...very chic.
3. I decided to major in history and I was working at Subway.
4. Rinar worked at Zion's Bank as the most awesome teller ever!
5. We drove an '89 VW Fox, and had a car payment of $100/month.

5 years ago...

1. I lived in Atlanta, Georgia.
2. I had twins that were almost 18 months old.
3. We lived in a small townhouse with no yard, no parking, and no sidewalks anywhere.
4. I took the kids to Northpoint Mall at least twice a week because they had a really cool playground that was perfect for my two almost-toddlers. Raef could walk, but Zach couldn't so he was able to get lots of practice on a padded ground.
5. I was ending my journey of losing 30 lbs., so at about this time I weighed in at under 140 lbs. It was great and I did it all pretty much on a stationary bike at my house while I watched the first seasons of America's Next Top Model and 24. (Hey, I didn't have cable and that was all that was on, so I had to watch something.)

3 years ago...

1. I live in Henderson, Nevada and it was really hot. Okay it is always really hot now.
2. I was the most awesome Nursery Leader ever. My kids were in nursery with me.
3. We had just finished a major remodeling job on our kitchen. We put in new windows, took out windows, moved doors, plumbing, I mean everything.
4. We had a big family reunion in Las Vegas with Rinar's Coburn family. It was fun and exhausting all at the same time.
5. Rinar and I planned a trip to Costa Rica, and while we were there we went to Nicaragua for the day. It was very fun, but I really missed my kids. 7 days was way too long to be gone for me.

1 year ago...

1. I decided to do this crazy thing called Invitro Fertilization.
2. The IVF was successful and I find out that I am only having one baby instead of two, which was a big relief for me.
3. I was woozy and exceptionally hot all the time and didn't start to feel like myself until it started to cool down...in September.
4. We said sayonara to our exchange student Michael Lin from Taiwan, who had stayed with us for the entire year and really, really, really tested every ounce of patience in me. I was glad to get that over with as I realized that I am not ready to be the mother to a very moody teenager.
5. We had another Coburn family reunion in Hurricane, Utah and we were in charge of it. It went well, but I was really glad that it was over.

So Far This Year...

1. I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy who weighed in at 8 lbs. 3 oz., 21 1/2 inches long and we named him Elias Lynn, after Rinar's father.
2. It was a lot harder recovering from a C-section and the pain was excruciating for almost a week.
3. I am a milk goddess. Eli now weighs 18.5 lbs.
4. I am revving up for a fantastic homeschooling year with my kids.
5. We are taking a big vacation to New England in a few days and I plan on eating lobster.

Yesterday...

1. I went to church and actually got to sit through sacrament, because Rinar took Eli out into the hall instead of me.
2. I didn't have to do sharing time, which was a nice break.
3. I finished reading a book about Jumbo and I was surprised that I really liked it and learned a lot.
4. I made a pineapple chicken dinner with rice and Rinar didn't like it...but I did.
5. Rinar left for Albuquerque last night, and I am always proud of myself when I can spell that correctly.

Today...

1. I feel like a slug.
2. I dropped off my library books, so I think I will only owe them $0.20, even though it probably cost me $4 to get it there.
3. I ran on the treadmill today for 30 minutes and continually picked up the pace.
4. I still have not taken a shower and I stink. Rinar will be home soon, so I better get going.
5. I should probably make my bed too.

Tomorrow...

1. I have a lot of packing to do for our trip.
2. I want to go to Body Pump so I can get some muscles. I need them if I want to be able to carry Eli around.
3. I need to make a list because I constantly get distracted.
4. I am going to my book club to discuss Princess: Life Behind the Veil in Saudia Arabia, a very depressing book that makes me very glad that I am an American.
5. I am taking dinner to Meredith as she just had her baby last week.

Next Year...

1. I want to run a marathon and break the 4 hour mark.
2. I need to lose 20 lbs., but if I do #1 I should be okay.
3. Rinar and I are going to go to Mexico, as soon as I wean Eli.
4. I want to get our yard landscaped so it doesn't look ghetto anymore.
5. We might move somewhere greener, you never know, and I can always hope.


So now that I have finished this long list of stuff, I get to tag someone else. So this is my plan...

Angie, Brook, Leslie, and Angela Creamer (my stranger friend).

Sunday, June 29, 2008

How We Say Things

Oh the subtelties of the English language. As I listen to Zach say certain words, it is very endearing.

Lasagna = masagna

Degrees, as in, it is 98 degrees = Agrees, as in, it is 98 agrees outside.

Med = medium

Yes, we all know that this is true. But he actually says that something is med. The first time he did this, Rinar was like, huh? Med? To which Zach replied, "Yes, Dad. That means medium!" So, he uses this as a word, without the realization that is an abbreviation that you write, but don't say. Who are we to correct him? It is too cute.

Raef has one too that I just picked up on...

Neckwork = Network

***

There are only 3 more days until we go on our family vacation to Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and wherever else we decide to go. It should be a lot of fun and I am looking forward to getting out of the Mojave desert and all this brown.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Mel's Baby




Ava Lynn was born on Tuesday morning. These are pictures of her about 5 hours old. Eli came with me to visit his future bride (Mel and I have already decided).

Suzuki Camp -- Day 5

Ta-da!!! The final day and we are done. The kids did a great job and they really improved this week. I think it was worth the time and money. Here are the pictures I promised you. They finished off the week with a concert to show the things they practiced.



Group class with Allen Lieb. Tough, but very patient. Once again, when Allen asked the kids if they have any questions, Zach asked when it was time for lunch. A one-track mind, if ever there was one!



Allen Lieb with Raef and Zach.


Sven Sjogren, the very enthusiastic instructor/composer from Sweden.


Here they are waiting for their performance with a new violin friend.



***And on to another note, following up from my post from yesterday****

There was a little blonde-haired, long-braided little girl in the boys class and all week she was terrible. Every five seconds, the instructor would correct her. She was constantly playing the violin when she should not have been doing so, or sitting when she was supposed to be standing, or standing when she was supposed to be sitting. In other words, she was not listening to the teacher at all, and I saw her on day one, and then today and I don't think I saw any improvement. My boys definitely did better, although they still had to be corrected every once in a while, well it was mostly Zach, but you know what I mean.



The moral to the story:

The little girl's mother was the movement teacher!!!!! Look in the mirror, lady.


video

This is an original piece by their teacher Sven Sjogren.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Suzuki Camp -- Day 4

Today the movement teacher at Suzuki Camp saw me bringing the kids in and said, "Are the the Erickson's mom?" In the back of my head, I was dreading what she was going to say next. After I acknowledged the truth of her statement, she informed me that my kids don't listen or follow instructions and that they freak out when they lose stuff.

I knew that Raef had freaked out yesterday when he couldn't find his lunch box. Whatever! What am I supposed to do about that? It is not something I can just fix with the snap of my fingers. It is just something he is going to have to out grow. What does she expect me to do about it? I am not sure. As for the kids not following directions...I KNOW! It is my biggest challenge with them too. What does she expect me to do about that in one day, also? Were they malicious or mean to another kid? Were they disrespectful to her? NO. The diagnosis really comes down to this: they are boys!

They NEVER sit still. They NEVER walk. They are BOYS!!!!!

I haven't heard any complaints from the non-school teacher instructors at camp. This is from the public educators that are there. Of course, I am trying to keep a low profile because the other instructors haven't seen me yet, to complain about my kids.

So, back to this movement teacher. I just told her that I would appreciate it if she could be patient with my kids, because I know they will get with the program in time...hopefully by the end of the week.

But this brings me to another point entirely...

Hallelujiah for homeschool! I am so glad that I have made the decision to invest in my children. They are rambunctious little boys with so much to give and if I put them in school, it will get squashed out of them because they can't sit still. Zach would be labeled a trouble-maker, even though he is incredibly sweet, very sharp, and a brilliant reader. Raef would just be a lemming and fall to peer pressure because he is so sweet and such a people pleaser. He has the most tender heart and I fear it would get squashed in public school.

I love my little boys and I know them the best. I see everything about them: their strengths and weaknesses. They are amazing children and I am a grateful mother.

To finish my story, when I was getting ready to leave another lady asked me if I was Zach's mom. I was wary to own up to it, based on the past few conversations I have had with people there. But to my relief, she said her son has really taken a liking to Zach. This it of news really cheered me up. Yeah, someone likes my kid.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Suzuki Camp - Day 3

Yesterday I didn't do much, unfortunately. But I did make up for it today. I got my hair done and bought some art supplies for the kids at a real art store. I have been meaning to do that for a while. I also returned my library books BEFORE they were due! Then, I came straight home and mopped the floor and cleaned the cabinet doors. I feel so much better today.

As for camp, yesterday Zach got in trouble and the teacher made him cry. He wouldn't stop talking during the concert. He was being very rude and she took care of it. I can never get him to stop talking either, so it was good to have someone else deal with it instead of me.

He did much better today. When they got home I tried to get them to tell me what they did today. Both of them responded, "I don't remember." Later on during dinner, things started to come back to them and I could tell that they really learned a lot today. It made me happy to see it. Zach was playing a game where he would do the bowing for a song and we would guess what he was playing. What a great way to visualize the song you are playing. Then Raef was showing me "Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, whoops Johnny, whoops Johnny". It is pretty cute and I can tell they learned that at camp as well.

It was a pretty good day today. Oh how quickly they grow!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Suzuki Camp -- Day 1

Today was the first day of Suzuki Violin Camp for my boys. They did pretty good but it is pretty apparent that they have not been in a school setting.

It was a long day for them and Zach had a hard time following directions, pretty much all the time, all day. In one class the teacher kept calling out his name to get him back on track. I am hoping that tomorrow he will start to get it more. When that teacher asked the class if they had any questions, Zach raised his hand and asked him, "When is lunch?" Mind you, it was the second class of the day and not even 11am.

Raef was a model student and followed directions like a dream. So, whether they are in a class or not, they are pretty much the same wherever they go. At lunch, they were playing games, and Raef fell down and was crying very loudly. I suspect that if he did go to public school, he wouldn't do that anymore, once he were called a cry-baby or something like that. But I guess it doesn't matter when you know Mom is there for you.

So, like I said, it was pretty obvious that they have not been in a school setting before.

I don't think it will take them long for them to adjust, though. They are both smart kids. I will make sure to post some pictures as the week progresses.

Tomorrow, I will have time to get things done that I need to do. I don't even think I know where to start. However, I am looking forward to some free time without two six year-olds to take care of all day.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Little Confession

Today I want to make a confession about something that is very important to me...

FOOD

I love food. I think about food. I eat food. When I am not eating food, I am talking about food. Sometimes I get overwhelmed thinking about all the things I could make, and then mourning the fact that there are not enough days or calorie allowances in one day to eat all the things I want to eat. Food is just a wonderful invention.

My favorite talk show host is Glenn Beck and the reason I think I like him so much is because he loves food too. He loves to talk about food on his show. It is great. Finally, somebody as weird as me.

I watched the Discovery Channel series called "I Can Make You Thin" and he says that you should eat what you want (YEAH!) but when you are full, stop (BOO!). I have definitely got one of his pointers down, no problem. I eat what I want. But the stopping part is really giving me fits.
So to combat my love affair with food, I have a gym membership. I make a point of going at least 3 times a week. If I didn't, I don't think I would be able to get out of bed.

One of my good friends loves food too. But she also likes to exercise a lot more than me. I am going to confess here on the internet that we are having a food affair. She will come over here just to see what is in the basket above my refrigerator. That is where I keep all the good, yummy, highly fattening stuff. Even tonight, she stopped by to drop off a book and get some cookies I had just made. She also popped some kettle corn to take home to her hubby. She loves the kettle corn. She never refuses a cookie or treat. I knew I would love her from the moment we first met. What makes it even better is that she is a dietician. haha! (Love you, Mel)

You see, when we are not eating together, we are on the phone talking about food. I was just mentioning to her the other week that I wanted to go to Roy's Hawaiian Fusion again just for the Chocolate Molten Cake. I must have had that a year ago, but I was thinking about it the other night. It happens to me alot. I will think about something yummy that I am dying to eat again. By the way, they are building a Chick-Fil-A in town and I have been obsessing about it for months now. Imagine a world where there is no Chick-Fil-A. That means you are in Las Vegas. I also constantly dream about a certain eclair I got at a bakery in Solvang, California. It was near enough to heaven as you can get, and probably only about 2000+ calories. I want another one!

I don't think this is healthy. Do you have food confessions?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A St. George Trip

Yesterday we made a day trip to St. George to visit Rinar's family and my family. It was a lot of fun. Look at who we saw...


These are my uncles from Orem and Provo, Dave and Barry, holding my baby Eli.

Then after we hung out at Grandma's house for a little while, we went to the new park next to the tabernacle and had a picnic with Rinar's family. See how much fun we had?


Brooke, in all her pregnant glory, Grandpa, Jason with his son Cayleb.

This is Grandma and Leilani.

Lyf with Kate.

Brooke, Nordel, Bella, and Jayde. Aislinn is in the back making bunny ears.

Lyf's girls: Mary Jane, Bryn, Bethany, and Lindy in the front.

Zach: You should not go in the library if you look like this!


video


Zach really, really enjoyed the water. Take a look at his antics.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Monday Night Camping

Rinar really thought of this on his own Shanna, I promise. But I really guess we have to emulate our cool friends...except I am not so cool because I slept in my own bed, thank you very much. What can I say, I have a baby!


Rinar read the boys a story from Stuart Little and they played with the flashlights and giggled and all that good stuff. I think the boys actually went to bed around 10:30.


Eli just posed for the picture but he slept inside with me. It looks like he saw a ghost or something.

Eli's First Swim

We finally put Eli in the pool...don't you love the hat?





Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Tender Heart

Raef has the most tender heart I know of. He must have had it before he came to this earth. His sweetness and thoughtfulness are unparalleled for a boy of his age. This is great example of how wonderfully nice he is.



After church today, he came into the Primary room and gave me a cookie. I said thank you and ate the cookie. It was a good cookie. A lot of times the teacher will encourage the kids to give nice things to their parents. Well, I came to find out later that his teacher had given him two cookies to eat and he only ate one. He gave the other one to me. Now, this is a kid who LOVES treats. If it is made of sugar he will eat it. But today, he thought I would like a treat too. Isn't that just soooooo wonderful? Everyday he teaches me how I want to be when I grow up.
Plus, Raef always makes me Valentine's cards. I get one at least once a week. This is his latest one. On the back he signed his name...RAEF.

How To Draw a Prince

You know how you have some kids who have to have it a certain way and that is all there is to it?







Well, in our family, his name is Zach. Every day it becomes more and more clear that there is definitely only one of him in the entire world.





Today during Sacrament meeting Zach asked Rinar to draw a prince so that his princess would have a friend. Rinar did his best and drew a prince... but he didn't realize how much Zach loved the drawing. Later during the day, Rinar was at the church doing clerk stuff and I was at home, sacked out on the couch. Zach called Dad's cell phone and left him a message. It said, "Dad, can you show me how to make a prince? I need the 'structions'. Bye." This message was immediately followed by another message that begged for him to come home as soon as possible and that he wanted the 'structions' again.


So, this might seem like a strange request, right? Well, not in the mind of a 6 year-old boy. He has a book called What Shall I Draw? by Usborne Activities. This has introduced him to drawing and he won't draw anything, pretty much, unless it is in this book. Needless to say, all of his drawings look the same. So, there are instructions for a princess with a castle and everything, but there is no prince! And of course, a princess needs a prince. He has drawn the princess at least 30 times and I guess that today it dawned on him that the princess needed a prince. So, Dad is the go-to art guy. Zach wanted instructions on how to draw a prince. Rinar dutifully got out a piece of paper and started to draw it portrait style, but Zach turned the paper to landscape and then informed Dad that he needed to write at the top of the paper "How to Draw a Prince". So, Rinar did that and then these are the instructions he came up with...



1. Draw his head and hat

2. Draw his body

3. Draw his arms and legs


And this is the result...












Now you all know how to make a prince. Enjoy!




Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Yeah For Me!

It was a ho-hum day today. I woke up late, which I can do because Eli now sleeps about 10-12 hours straight. Yeah for me!

Then I got around to eating breakfast. I never make breakfast for Zach and Raef anymore. It is one thing they do on their own. Yeah for me!

I actually remembered to sign the kids up for some classes at the City Rec center, so they are now registered for Tae-Kwon-Do and a singing class. Yeah for me!

We practiced the violin today, even though I really didn't want to. Yeah for me! Then we went to the library for story time and so I could get the book I have on hold that is next month's book club selection. I didn't have to sit in the storytime because the kids are old enough for me to have a half hour of free time at the library. Yeah for me!

Then I remembered I wanted a desk calendar to start plotting out the year and so we headed over to Wal-mart. The kids were really good and I only yelled at them a couple of times at the store. Yeah for me!

It was three o'clock when we started for home and I realized that I had not fed the kids any lunch. Since Rinar is out of town, I decided to make the kids lunch...at Wendy's. They ate a lot which enabled me to "make" them a very light dinner consisting of mozzarella sticks and carrots. You can see that I am really into health foods. No clean up, no dirty dishes. You guessed it...

Yeah for me!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

My Tears

Well, the nieces are gone now and life is back to normal almost. I had a good day at church today, but I did a lot of crying. Leslie, my second counselor is moving and so today was her last day. She conducted in Primary and announced to everyone of her departure. The children sang her favorite song, "I am a Child of God" and Cheryl, Me, and the Bishop were all crying. I am really going to miss her. She has a such a sweet disposition and a strong testimony. Over two years ago I spoke at her baptism, and then I gave her the new member discussions. Then last year I watched her get sealed to her husband for all time and eternity. After this, she got pregnant at the same time as me. Her beautiful daughter Caleigh is just 3 weeks older than Eli. It has been a wonderful journey together.


In a few weeks, my really close friend Keri is moving also. It is just a few more miles away but it is out of our ward. This makes me sad too. She is my Primary Chorister and really good one too. I don't want to replace her!
I did have a good thing happen this week by way of the mail. I won a Pay It Forward game by my super cool friend Shanna in Atlanta. She sent me a photo box full of yummy treats and goodies: 2 super huge candy bars, an American Flag decor thingey, notecards, brown rice medley for Trader Joe's, and a nice hand-written card. It is so much fun to get surprises like that in the mail.
FYI... I do plan on doing a Pay It Forward game. It is coming soon, and I will have a neat prize to the winner. So, stay tuned!
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