Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Saint George Townhouse

Several months ago, Rinar and I decided to do a little bit of investing in the real estate market, because everything is on clearance these days. The problem is, I don't want to be a landlord and I don't want to have to pack my stuff and move. It is just too much work. Therefore, we decided to find a place in St. George, Utah.

Why St. George?

Well, it is less than two hours from here. It is completely different from here, and both of us have lots of family that live there. Hence, we are there practically once a month anyways, so it is a place we will use.

We looked at several properties in the downtown area and settled on this one.

It was a short-sale property. We put an offer on the place in February and hoped for the best.

Finally, yesterday it became official! It is a fantastic property right next to the park and the temple. We couldn't be more excited.

Yep, the temple is behind us and we are close to the main city park.

This is Vernon Worthen Park and it is where they have the finish line for the St. George Marathon. There are also festivals, tournaments, and other cool things that happen here. They have a neat playground, a rodeo, and a rec center across the street. Of course, the temple is the most beautiful building in town and the townhouse is in its shadow.

Now it is going to be so much easier to make a weekend trip to St. George. As it stands right now, it is quite an ordeal to pack up stuff for 5 kids and 2 adults in order to stay over for even one day. A lot of times we would just drive up and back in a day because of that very reason.

St. George is where our roots are, so no matter where we go or if we were to ever move somewhere because of work, we will always come back to St. George often. This was another good reason to get a property.

I am also excited to have a decorating project. This place has so many possibilities. I am giddy. I really want to try to decorate and furnish the whole thing with yard sale and thrift store finds and still make it fabulous. But we are not skimping on the beds. Those are going to be new. This girl needs her beauty sleep.

So, for all of my friends and family out there, mi casa es su casa. Once Rinar and I get this place livable, we would love to have you come stay here. I don't want it to lay fallow, that is for sure. The more the merrier. It is like that darn swimming pool. I hate having a pool that does not get used. If it doesn't get used, then what am I spending my money on anyways?

Payment for townhouse usage will be a few honey-dos. We have got to whip this place into shape. What? Did you think you would get to stay here for free?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It's Potty Time

I really don't know what to say. For some reason, Eli has decided he wants to use the potty. He led the charge yesterday and started using his potty like crazy. He must have done #1 about 8 times. He kept sitting on his little potty and peeing over and over again. We would get excited and then go and dump it in the toilet and flush it away. Then he just sat right down on his own and had a bowel movement. It was pretty good. It required no coaxing or bribery. He just did it.

I looked at him sitting there and realized what he had done. I squealed with delight and his eyes lit up and he got really excited. Eli was excited that I was excited. It was so much fun. We flushed that stinky thing down the toilet and called Dad.

Throughout the day, he continued to go. But you know how capricious a two year-old can be, so I didn't know what today would bring.

I'll be darned, he has already gone 3 times, including another bowel movement. I am completely and utterly amazed. Can it really be this easy?

As for Harry, he has reached a milestone of his own: two new teeth on the bottom. His very first! Plus, he is feeling better. That is a relief.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sick and Tired

It has been a rough week. With Rinar out of town for his weekly Albuquerque trip, Julia decided to get sick at 12:30am. I had to give her a bath and have her sleep in my bed for the night. We went back to sleep at 1am. She woke up every hour or so because she was so miserable. In the meantime, Zach was coughing profusely at about 2am. So I turned on the humidifier and gave him some medicine. At 3am I heard Eli crying vigorously. His light was on and he was standing there in a daze. He had vomited on his blanket so I changed everything out and put him back to bed.

It was not the most peaceful night's sleep I have had, that is for sure.

Hence, Wednesday required an incredibly high volume of diapers in our house. I was up to my elbows in it. Let's just leave it at that.

Thankfully, I have some incredible neighbors and friends who rescued me as I was about to drown. I called Rich M. to come and give Eli a blessing. He brough Dwan with him and they gave him a beautiful blessing. Then Rich told me he would send Elaine over to help me. She came and started doing laundry and vacuuming things. Eli had vomited on almost every carpet in my house. She started cleaning the carpets and then Rich came back and cleaned all of the carpets upstairs. It must have taken him 2 hours to do it. He just did it. Elaine held babies and just gave me the extra pair of hands I desperately needed.

Things started to subside a bit and I only had to wake up once the next night. I thought Eli was better, but he wasn't.

Thursday was a day of baby-holding. Eli planted himself on my lap and wouldn't leave. Julia was still sick and Harry seemed to be getting sick, but I wasn't sure. Julia and Eli wanted me to hold them. So I called my visiting teacher Sue H. to come help me. She came right over and held Julia while I held Eli and took a nap. I really needed a nap, that is for sure.

Rinar had been sick in Albuquerque, but thankfully he didn't come home sick. He got home late because his plane was delayed, of course, and was able to help me. Finally there was someone else around who could change these incessant diapers.

Raef came down with it over the weekend and now Harry is sick.

Did I ever tell you that I have FIVE children now?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Kids Hopes and Dreams

Now that I have a girl, I have realized something very important. I am going to be able to fulfill all of my lifetime dreams. My kids are going to be able to do lots of amazing things.

For example, Julia can participate in pageants. She can strut around and shake her little booty so that creepy 40 year-old men can ogle her petite 4 year-old body. she can learn poise and confidence. I may be slightly overweight and average looking, but I can show the world that I should be allowed to procreate. but my daughter will be beautiful.
Hopefully, with all of the skills she will learn from pageants, she can grow up and marry some rich guy or be a model or something totally awesome like that. Everyone will look at her and serve her and fawn over her and her gorgeousness. She can even be famous! Wouldn't that be an amazingly wonderful thing? She will never have to work or struggle or earn anything for herself, it will all just fall into her lap.

Raef will be a NBA basketball player. He is tall and very athletic. He will play year-round. We will get the best coaches and make sure we buy a house in the best basketball school district. Wait, Findlay Prep is in town. We actually won't even have to move! We will just get a 2nd mortgage on the house to pay for the tuition. I mean, the kid loves basketball. What is there not to love about it? Since we will invest a boatload of money and I am obsessed with basketball, I will force him to play until he despises me and the sport. But he can quit anytime if it isn't fun anymore.
Zach is going to go to Harvard. I didn't get to go to Harvard, but he will. It will be just like I went there and I can brag to all of my friends that I have a Harvardian(?) and they don't. Since I didn't put the work or effort in to get the grades and tests scores, I am going to expect Zach to do it instead. He will study until his eyeballs pop out of his brains. Plus, he has to be well-rounded, so he will have to be the student body president, eagle scout, violin virtuoso, golfer, and have 5000 hours of community service, among other things. When he complains and starts to crack and need therapy for the impossible standards I will set, I will remind him that it is my his dream to go to Harvard and he has to work for it!
Eli will be a world-renowned singer and amazing guitar player. I always wished that I could play the guitar and sing and be on the stage. Now he gets to do it instead. Isn't he lucky? He will be famous, too! Don't we all want to be famous? It is something to live for, to strive for, without a doubt. Let me call that modeling agency. Where did I put the number?
Harry will live at home with me until he is 35. I have to have a baby in the house. I am a mom after all.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Feeding Ducks

I got a huge bag of expired Trader Joe's bread products from some lady I met on Craig's List. It was a little weird, but I wasn't going to turn down free food. It was a little too exotic and too expired for our family, but I didn't think the birds would mind. We headed over to Sunset Park tonight after dinner. It was a beautiful night.

It was the first time Eli got to feed the ducks and he loved it.

I walked Harry and Julia around while the boys threw the bread into the pond. Harry had a big smile that he was sharing with the numerous walkers and runners and bikers we passed along the way. It was fun to see how they would smile at him and he would smile back . Finally, he was laughing at them. He thought it was the funniest thing ever. So did I. So did the walkers. We had a good ole time.

I also got my blogs put into books and I thought I would show you. This is from blog2print. This is my blog in print for 2008 and 2009. I can't believe I have written two full books.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Keeping Busy

I have quite a few projects that I am working on right now. One of them is a delicious play kitchen for my only daughter and for the millions of kids that linger here on a weekly basis. All I can say right now is...turquoise! Plus, my husband is a saint. I create the vision in my mind and do all of the painting and he does the rest. But when he was out of town this week, I did break out the power tools and do a little bit of sawing myself.

Pictures will be coming soon, as soon as I am finished. But let me give you a hint with the inspiration for my project.

Whoa, huh? My kitchen has a refrigerator though. This has been on my brain for a while. And I am determined to get it finished. This kitchen was done by my neighbors daughter, which doesn't surprise me one bit.

I also have a fun trip to look forward to in August. My sister Heather and I are going to start spreading the news. That's right...we are going to NYC. Luckily, one of the perks of my husbands job is that he gets frequent traveler rewards, which means I am staying at a Marriott in Times Square. You have got to be where all of the action is, right?

Heather has never been there so it should be awesome. We are fortunate enough to be going at the beginning of August when the Yankees are playing the Boston Red Sox. I really don't have strong feelings for either team, but I love to go to MLB games. They are so much fun and this couldn't be any better. We decided that one of us has to wear Yankees stuff and the other needs to have Red Sox attire. I am going to brave it in some Red Sox gear. Am I crazy? Oh what the heck! I am going to take my chances. I think I will be safer in a Red Sox hat at Yankee stadium, more than if I were wearing a Yankees cap at Fenway Park. Beantown is nutso over their team and the stadium is a lot smaller.

So, I need some recommendations on food places not to be missed and any other must-see thing we have to do while we are there.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Kid Report

Raef can now wear my shoes and I am actually telling my eight-year old son not to wear my good running shoes. That is, when he remembers to wear shoes at all. Several times now he has gotten in the car sans shoes. Grrr! I scold him and remind him that he is 8! Do I really have to tell an 8 year-old to put shoes on? Really? Seriously?

Zach still has his head in the clouds. I punched him in the arm today pretty hard when he put his fingers in Julia's mouth again, for the 5000th time! He smooches her to death on the mouth or puts his fingers in her mouth. Grrr! I scold him over and over again to leave her alone. Will he ever learn? Really? Seriously?

Eli went to the doctor today. He had an ear infection and a cough which meant two prescriptions. On the way home from the pharmacy he fell asleep in the car. He never falls asleep in the car. And speaking of cars, the kid is obsessed with them. He found a pink scripture bag and stuffed it full of cars and carries it around everywhere. Or he has a car in his hands at all times. He has Zach hoarding tendencies. He also has picked up a horrible habit of sucking his thumb and putting his pointer finger up his nostril, his boogery nostrils. Then those boogers end up caked on to the top of his nose. Ew? How do I get him to stop? Really? Seriously?

Harry is now a crawler and just a lovable little baby. He now has a thing for this little red monkey with a yellow face and blue hands. It was a doll that Zach sucked on when he weighed about 5 pounds. Harry loves it and sucks on it. I tried to take it away and feed him and my once happy and content baby started screaming for it. Is it really time for him to start caring about this kind of stuff? Really? Seriously?

Julia is just a little doll. I call her Miss J., Missy Moo, Jules, and Julie-lah. She is eating solid foods now quite well, thank you very much. She has two little teeth on the bottom of her mouth. She loves her binky! She can also roll over to her stomach pretty well, but does not really roll from her stomach to her back, though she can do it when she is mad enough. She is a princess and I think she knows it. Unfortunately, when she is laying on the ground sucking her binky and minding her own business, Harry will crawl over to her and rudely take her binky out of her mouth. I could say really? seriously? right now, but who are we kidding. He is only 7 months old. He can't help it. Plus he has the biggest smile on the planet so I will cut him some slack. Really. Seriously!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

And In Honor of Mother's Day

Yesterday I went to get my bountiful basket at the Well-Rounded Momma just up the street from my house. Bountiful baskets is a wonderful food co-op. You sign up on a Tuesday and pay $15. Then on Saturday there is a drop-off location, usually at a park, where you go and pick up your goodies: an entire laundry basket full of fruits and vegetables. This week I got a watermelon, tangelos, a bag of apples, bananas, romaine lettuce, spinach, corn on the cob, tomatoes, and mangoes. That is a pretty good haul for $15, huh?

Usually I do not participate because the drop-off location is on the other side of the valley and it is just not worth the drive. However, we are so fortunate that someone decided to volunteer here in Henderson.

The Well-Rounded Momma is a little business where they give support to pregnant/breast-feeding mothers. They do a lot of classes and things like that. So, it would be expected that you are going to see a lot of mothers there with babies in slings and backpacks. Check. There was a lot of that there.

Even the lady who sat at the table had a baby in a sling. I signed my paper to check in and got my basket. Then I saw some people I knew there and started to help them with their stuff. The line was pretty long with lots of women and more than a few men. I turned around to look at the table where you sign in and there I saw a monumental breast. It was about the size of the watermelon I just got in my basket. I am not exaggerating. At the end of that breast was a baby happily suckling away.

Now I am a breastfeeder myself currently. I even will nurse in public and I really don't care. I cover up the best I can but occassionally something might say peek-a-boo. There was no peek-a-boo with this ample watermelon. It was opening night at the Met and it was on full display.

I would include a picture but....

Even with this said, I don't really think I would have thought much about it. There was just one little problem. She was signing people in and her breast infringed on the table a little bit...where the sign in sheet was located. Normally when you sign a paper you have to lean over to do it. So, in essence, your face ended up being about 18 inches away from her voluminous milk jug.

I can just imagine how uncomfortable that might have been for the men in line and even for some of the women.

Or maybe it was a way to drum up more business. You never know in this day and age.

Friday, May 7, 2010

An Early Mother's Day Surprise

Rinar had a surprise for me today. He didn't go to work, let me sleep in and arranged for babysitting for all of the kids for the whole day!

Whoa, right? Yep, my sweet husband. We went to the gym and did a Body Pump class together, then grabbed some lunch afterwards. Then we went home and got all cleaned up to go to the temple. Before we left Rinar surprised me with a wonderful present, a new temple dress. I have used my old one for about 14 years now. I found it for $2 at Deseret Industries in Salt Lake City. Everytime we would go to the temple, I would always think to myself that I should really buy a new dress, but once we were done I would forget. This has been going on for years now. Luckily, Rinar remembered for me. He picked out a beautiful dress while he was in Albuquerque that fits me perfectly.

We headed over to the temple and did a session together. It was really wonderful to be there with him. Afterwards, he gave me a letter he wrote to me telling me how much he loves me. It was so sweet. Apparently, I had written him a letter 10 years ago telling him how much I loved him. I completely forgot about it and I had no idea he kept it and has read it lots of times over the years. That was a nice surprise.

Anyways, I came home to five very happy children. Eli was so excited to see me and he even gave me a big hug. That makes my heart sing. See, I guess he really does love me after all.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Heart Like His

I have been thinking about the concept of an open heart. Last year we did a book club selection, A Heart Like His by Virginia Hinckley Pearce. It is a very simple book, a quick read. I really didn't think much about it. I guess I filed it away in a small recess of my brain where it gathered some dust. But I have been thinking about it quite a bit lately.

My sister Christi sent me a book to read last month, The Bonds That Make Us Free by C. Terry Warner. It has had a profound impact on her life and I have greatly enjoyed reading it. For some reason, it has helped me to remember the things I learned from Sister Pearce. We want to have a heart like Jesus Christ. It is what we should want.
Do things because you have a profound love of God and because it is the right thing to do. When your motivation is pure, everything works out: relationships heal, you heal, you exude love and are attractive to those around you. In other words, you become a window to the love of Christ. When people see you, they will really see Him. I love this. I have loved it intellectually for a while, but in the past few years I have tried and continue to try to practice this. I want a heart like His. I will question myself: why am I doing this? For what purpose? If I am afraid of offending someone, I will examine what my motivations truly are. If they are good and true, then why should I be afraid? I press forward.
We can get bogged down in our own insecurities and fear, whatever that fear may be. Why? Why should we be afraid? We have all been sent here by a loving Father in Heaven. Since I believe this is true, that means that I am very special. I can do anything. I want to unlock my heart even more. Yes, it may expose me and leave me vulnerable, but so what? There are people around me who need me. They need the things I can give: my loud laugh, my weird sense of humor, my sarcasm, my charming personality. They need all of it. It is who I am. I cherish it.

I may not have the perfect body or the cleanest house. I certainly am never going to win any sort of fashion award and I still bite my nails. However, I have been blessed with so many talents. I can sing, sew, decorate, teach, serve, and love, just to name a few. My heart will be open.
I am not going to timidly sing because I am afraid of looking silly. Nope. My voice will ring out (or sometimes crack, which frequently happens), whether it is with a large congregation or a small gathering. I will sing because it is what I love, but more importantly when I sing my very best every single time, I give others around me permission to sing their very best as well.

I will sew and decorate my best and share my creations with those around me. I love to create things and I will have an open heart so I can lift the hearts of those around me. Their joy is my joy just for the sheer pleasure of joy.

I will teach to my fullest and pursue learning because it brings pleasure to my mind and soul. I do it for the joy of it, not for what I hope it will bring to my kids by way of scholarships or awards. I teach because it is the right thing to do and I want my children tosee how much pleasure it brings to me, just to learn for learnings sake, not for the grade it will get.

I will love and cherish what I have because I know that it is a heavenly gift. Everything I have comes from God. I want to have that pure love of God woven into every fiber of my being. It takes one strand at a time, but I am learning. Even if I am used or mistreated, I don't want to ever be cynical or sour myself to humanity. I want an open heart like His.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Give Peas a Chance

There you go...Kelly and her boys. That is all of them. What a handsome, and slightly annoyed, and slightly silly little crew. This was at the end of dinner. If you notice Eli has a nice bruise on his forehead, courtesy of dear ole' mom. That's right, I pummeled him today. I swear it was an accident. Cross my heart!!! Really!

He stepped in front of me as all of my momentum was going in the same direction and as my foot got caught on his head. I stepped on him hard and he got a fat lip and a bruise right there. I felt really bad..and yes, he DID get a cookie. I wanted to give him 4 or 5 but he seemed satisfied with one.

And then there is Julia. Can you believe she got two teeth yesterday? They are bottom teeth. It would be nigh impossible to get a picture of them, but trust me, they are there. She also loves to eat solid food: peas, carrots, pears, apples, etc.

Harry, hmmm...not so much. I think what he is trying to tell me is...

"Me no likey peas!"

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Chronicles of a Terrible Two-Year Old Revisited

So in conclusion to our nightly bed time battle routine, the next day I had to do it all again. I repeatedly put my cute little pumpkin pie to bed...over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. Did I say repeatedly? Oh yeah, I did.

The little monster, excuse me, adorable little monster was so stubborn. Holy cow. He could barely keep his eyes open and yet, he would consistently come out of his room. I spanked him, cajoled him, lovingly caressed him, firmly reprimanded him, but it still did not matter. I started this process at 6:30pm because I knew he was tired. It did not matter.

Finally things settled down at about 9:00pm. Then it was really quiet and I went to check on him. And I'll be darned, this is what I found.

He was sound asleep in the hallway on the floor. So, did I win or did he?

Rinar came home on Thursday with a new solution.

Which was accompanied by this...He installed it and then installed Eli inside the room. There was a lot of banging and screaming but it sounded like the choirs of heaven.

{cue "Choirs of Heaven" music}


The next night came with a lot less resistance and just resolution, really. He knew he couldn't get out and he knew we were not coming for him. But in a final act of defiance.

Yes, he is sound asleep.

He is two after all.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Say Goodbye to Brown Vinyl

Many years ago in Atlanta, I found a pair of brown chairs at the Salvation Army. I got two chairs for $10. I had every intention of sprucing them up, but you know how life goes on. Then about 6 months ago I bought a bolt of fabric from Home Fabrics for $1/yard. I knew they were going to go on the chairs.

Yeah, it is a boring brown chair. And after a month of it being halfway done in the garage, much to the chagrin of my husband, I finished!


Look at the back too. Sleek and stylish, right?

Now you can feel free to slather me with praise. It was actually quite shockingly easy to execute once I came up with a game plan and an electric staple gun. Boy, that sure makes it a breeze to finish.

I just love it without the arms. It looks modern. I chose a neutral fabric because I really didn't know where I wanted to put it and I didn't want to paint myself into a corner.

I think this is going to make a great time out chair for Eli.

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