Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Test and an Assignment

Audra had her audiology appointment today. She is being tested to see if there are any problems hindering her speech. She passed with almost flying colors- she has a little "water on the ear" or something, but they are pretty sure it is because of this cold she is just now getting over. So, apparently she just has no interest in talking- but she goes in again in February for a full evaluation. I am actually really impressed with all that they do- it is all through the school district, and they are fantastic!

Then, I got an assignment that I am struggling with a little bit. I have been asked to talk to the youth at church about my divine purpose in womanhood at this stage of my life- i.e., being a young mom. I am having trouble with knowing which direction to take this, so I thought I would ask you all for advice. Whether you are religious or not, whether you work or stay at home, most of you who read my blog are young mothers, and so I ask: What joys are you finding at this point of your life? What do you feel your purpose/divine destiny is as a young mom?
I am hoping by reading your answers I might be guided to know which direction to take with this! And, for you men out there who read my blog, I think it would be really neat to hear what you have to say about your wives who are mothers- what do you think about their divine role as mothers at this stage?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

To Alarm or not to Alarm

Ben and I are thinking of getting a security system for our house. We have been contemplating it, and finally started doing some research and we found that it is a little expensive, but not too bad. The installation is the really expensive part, because we don't have a phone line so they would have to install a special cell-phone thing to our house to use our cells for the alarm. We want the alarm for two main reasons:
1. Ben is going to start traveling within the next year, so I will be alone with two small children for weeks at a time (yeah, not looking forward to that...)

2. The worse the economy gets, the more desperate people are going to get, which we believe will increase robberies and overall crime rates

I also saw a third reason on the news the other day:

3. There are 2 robbers in our neighboring county (Jefferson) who knock on people's doors during the day. If nobody answers the door, they go in and rob the house. Of course, I am home during the day- usually. But, when I take a shower, I put Audra in her bedroom to play (with the monitor on so I hear everything that is going on and I make sure her room is completely safe). What if those robbers came to our house while I was in the shower and Audra was in her bedroom by herself??? That thought scares me more then anything.

So, we started looking more into an alarm system. We are currently looking at ADT and Brink- I believe the two biggest home alarm companies in the country, and I need some advice:

Do any of you have an alarm system or know somebody who does? Do you/they like it? Is it worth the money? I haven't looked up statistics to see if people with alarms are less likely to get robbed, but has anybody heard anything about that? Is anybody else considering getting one (that one is more of a curiosity question)? Any information would be most helpful!

Monday, January 26, 2009

NOT a Debate!!!!!

OK, so there are two pressing issues out there that I think are worthy of providing information on. This is absolutely, 100%, NOT A DEBATE! If you want to debate, go to the Political Moms Unite site (a little more liberal) or the Moms Into Politics (a little more conservative) site and you can debate there. I DON'T WANT THIS TO BE A DEBATE- I am merely posting information on two things that I think are of great concern- and, I think you will all be pleasantly surprised because one is a conservative issue and one is a progressive issue. Once again, this is just GIVING INFORMATION and NOT A DEBATE!!! Either you will agree or disagree, and it doesn't matter to me- I just think everybody should be informed.

The first one is a bill called FOCA- The Freedom of Choice Act. I had not heard of it, but it basically takes away any and all limitations on abortions- including making it so if a 14-year-old wants an abortion, they don't have to tell their parents. This concerns me, and I am sure many of you as well, so I am posting a web link with a petition to stop the FOCA from continuing:

The best thing to do, however, is to e-mail your representatives. You can locate them at
If anybody has better information on how to contact your representatives, feel free to post- but again, this IS NOT A DEBATE- either you want to do this or you don't, that is up to you.

The second issue is a certain man who I have mentioned before who happens to get paid millions to spread what I consider to be hate and lies. Well, his newest thing is that he hopes Obama and the economy fails. Now, any logical thinking person would say, "wait- if the economy fails, that could really hurt me." Today, over 70,000 people lost their job- TODAY! They are calling today "Bloody Monday" because of all the job losses- SEVENTY THOUSAND!!! How on earth can anybody be happy about that? It makes me sick!!! Again, this is NOT A DEBATE- either you like Rush and agree with him, or you don't, but I can't stand the fact that anybody out there is pushing for the economy to get worse and is actually getting air-time to promote what I consider to be un-patriotic views. So, I am pushing to e-mail companies that support him and tell them you think supporting the likes of him is wrong and that you will no longer patron their business. This is a site that lists his sponsors as well as their e-mails and such:

It is a slightly outdated list, but apparently many of the companies do still support him. Also, General Motors now supports him (which surprises me because he wants them to fail as well, so go figure!)

I don't care if you like Rush or not- THIS IS NOT A DEBATE- but, if you are as upset about this as I am, then you may want to send out e-mails, so I am MERELY PROVIDING INFORMATION SO THAT IF YOU WANT TO DO SOMETHING YOU CAN, AND IF YOU DON'T WANT TO DO ANYTHING YOU DON'T NEED TO! I have both liberal and conservative friends, and I am not trying to tick anybody off by either of these issues, I am just trying to give people an opportunity to take action on either issue if they so choose.

(I hope I am making my point that I am not trying to debate anybody, I am merely providing information, and either you can do something or not- but the information is there!!!!)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cloth Diapering?

I had this debate on my friend's blog about whether cloth diapering is worth it or not, so this is NOT a debate, but my friends' who had the 1-year-old with the accident (for more information visit their blog at because they are absolutely inspirational!) have been given a great gift from the Denver Diaper Company.

If you are interested in trying out cloth diapers and order through them, they will give customers 5% off all purchases, and give back 5% of the proceeds to the Fischer's to help with their new expenses in having a special needs child. Jenny explains it better on her blog (website above), but if you want to check out the Denver Diaper Company, here is their address:

You can also donate directly to the family on Jenny's blog- even a couple of dollars helps. But, even if you can't donate- you should definitely read Jenny's blog because you will come away feeling so inspired and grateful for all that you have! She is such a beautiful and inspiring woman! I love you, Jenny!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Silly Girl

It's hard to see (if you enlarge the picture it is easier to see), but if you look closely at Audra- does there seem to be something wrong with this picture?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My (shared) BYU Legacy

Before I got married and had Audra, I actually did some pretty cool things (not that changing diapers isn't cool...). One of those things of which I am rather proud was organizing Community Outreach Day at BYU. I know most of you are asking, what on earth is that?

Well, Bill Clinton declared Martin Luther King Day as a national day of service, and while I was attending BYU I decided that BYU should have some sort of service day to honor that. They already did a candlelight vigil, but nothing in relation to service. I went to the student union (BYUSA) and pitched my idea: On the Monday holiday of MLK Day, instead of staying at home and doing homework, we would encourage students to come and give a few hours of their time doing service. We would provide breakfast, the service projects, and the transportation and all the students would have to do was show up. I happen to be a very good organizer, and I presented my ideas pretty well, but they said, "we love this idea, but don't get too excited. The most people we ever get to attend service projects are about 50." In my head I was like, "we're going to get 10 times that!" and I got to work.

I have to say this is a shared legacy, because by default my roommates and sisters became very involved in the project as well (by the time I graduated my roommates got very scared when I said the phrase, "I have an idea"- Ben is almost to that point, but not quite yet). I also had a wonderful committee, and we put in a lot of hours and got everything ready- not sure what to expect. Coming up with a name was one of the hardest parts- we considered "Neighborhood Awareness Day" and several others before finally settling on "Community Outreach Day." That first year, we had over FOUR HUNDRED people show up! BYUSA was totally shocked- they had never had such great success before, especially for a project that was in it's first year. I won an award for all of BYU for the best new program of the year. It was all over the news- it was such an awesome thing to be able to come up with the idea, plan the whole thing (with aforementioned help), and have it be such a huge success. And, I am proud to say, the tradition still continues. Here is a news article about yesterday's festivities:

I hope this legacy that I started continues and that someday if Audra decides to go to BYU, she can be put in charge of planning the program her mother started for one of the years she is there! It really is cool to think that something I started is still continuing to this day- even if my name has been forgotten, at least my program has not!

(I apologize if I sound a little prideful in this post- but I am a little proud of this. I think I have been able to do a lot of great things, and sometimes it is really easy to forget that when you're a stay-at-home-mom. I do miss the recognition of accomplishing goals and being rewarded for your work- and I truly envy you mothers out there who have been able to find the perfect work/mom balance so you can get that recognition that so many of us crave, but still be the best moms to your kids as well. And, I will just throw in, that on the flipside of that coin, I have the utmost respect for all of you working mothers- I think you guys have the toughest job in the world because you go out in the workforce and face the stresses and deadlines that come from that, and still have to come home and put food on the table! So, while I envy you that little freedom you enjoy, I also am in awe and have such respect for you because of the hard work you do!!!!)

(And, I know some of you thought I would post about the wonderfulness of today- but I think the events transpiring around the country today speak for themselves- though I look forward to reading about anybody else who is posting about today. I am sure virtually all of you, even if you do not like Obama, at least appreciate the historical nature of the day and the excitement in the air across the country. Happy Inauguration Day!)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Death For Dinner

To celebrate our anniversary, we went to one of our favorite things in the whole world: a murder mystery dinner. Ben's parents and sister watched Audra overnight (THANK YOU- apparently she had a blast with them- we aren't surprised, she sure loves them!!!) so we could go enjoy ourselves and not worry about getting home early. We had such a great time- at one point I was laughing so hard I cried! The theme this time was of Molly Brown and the Mysterious Murder. We would highly recommend this to anybody- it is an absolute blast! The website if you are interested in going is it really is a great time, they do such a fantastic job!

Sorry the pictures are so small.

Ben also surprised me with these beautiful flowers:

It was really funny when we brought Audra home and she saw them. She started pointing at them and going "oohhh!" Apparently, she has very good taste in flowers- watch out future boyfriends!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Memory Lane

Many of you attended our wedding/reception, so you know just how wonderful it was (and if you don't think it was wonderful, don't ever tell me because I want to continue with my illusion of the perfect day:)). Everything about that day- just 4 years ago- was fantastic. Truly, I could not have asked for a better day!

Because I am from Seattle and Ben is from Denver, we decided to get married in Bountiful, UT. Not the most ideal choice, we realize, but it made the most sense because it allowed the greatest number of our friends and families to attend. It was actually kind-of nice planning a wedding from a state away, however, because I couldn't stress out about everything. I simply sent pictures to the cake person and the flower person. The cake was perfect, the flowers I didn't love, but, I couldn't worry about it- and that part of it was nice.

Of course, there were some complications. We were quite worried that it would be terrible weather and people wouldn't be able to come. Obviously, by the pictures, you can tell that the weather was perfect- we could not have planned it better! We flew into Salt Lake on Thursday, and had to get our marriage license on Friday, and then the wedding was on Saturday. That did add a little stress, but everything turned out fine- it was just the worrying about it! If I had to do it over again, though, I wouldn't change a thing!
Anyway, here are some memories of the day:
(You knew I had to sneak in a smooching picture somewhere)

We decided to get married in the afternoon. I know some people like morning weddings, but I wanted to be able to relax, sleep in a little bit, and not be stressed. And that is totally how it was- I was totally relaxed and stress-free all day. It was awesome!

What I remember most from the sealing (we call it "sealings" in our church instead of ceremonies because we believe we are literally sealed to each other and to our families not just in this life, but forever) is just being so incredibly happy. I had the biggest smile on my face the whole time and I just couldn't stop smiling- I felt like the luckiest person in the world to be committing my life and all eternity to this amazing man- who wouldn't be happy about that? I don't know what Ben remembers most-probably the sealer saying he could give me our first "legal" kiss...

One of our running jokes is that Ben was late to our wedding (he went out for a big breakfast with his family). My memory tells me that he was about 5 minutes late from when we were supposed to meet with the people officiating the wedding. His false memory tells him that he was right on time, and I was just early. I am pretty sure I am right...
My veil would not stay in my hair- it kept falling out, and was rather annoying. My sister Stephanie was put in charge of veil watch. She did a great job!
After the wedding, we took pictures for a couple of hours. We were STARVING by this point, so we stopped at Arctic Circle with my parents for a late lunch. This turned out to be not a great move, because then we weren't hungry for dinner- and the dinner was amazingly good! We had a "formal" dinner as our reception at this historic building, The Lion House, in downtown Salt Lake. Everything was catered, and absolutely DELICIOUS!!! But, unfortunately, everybody got totally stuffed and couldn't eat the cake. So, we had tons of cake leftover. I still don't know what happened to it...

The best part, of course, was being able to share our special day with so many wonderful friends and family. That was the BEST- it was like a huge party just for us, and we loved it!
After such a wonderful day, it was time to say "good-bye." Ben won't let me tell you the really funny story about how he locked us out of our hotel room and he had to run down and get another key, but I will just say- it's a really funny story!!!!

Really, though, I can honestly say that was the best day of my life- and I am grateful every day that I get to spend forever with this hunk of a man! Am I lucky or what?

You may ask, "how are you going to celebrate your anniversary tonight?" Well, it is quite exciting- I have a church meeting, but I will think about him while I am there. Then when I come home, we will watch The Office because that is our favorite show. (We are going to celebrate tomorrow night instead- I'll fill you all in later with our crazy getaway adventure- WITHOUT Audra!! Yippee!!!)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Little Bragging

Sometimes, you just have to brag- and today is one of those days. Perhaps it is because tomorrow is our anniversary (stay tuned for a fun look back at our wedding day tomorrow), or because Ben came home pretty proud of himself after work yesterday. Either way, I just gotta say- I got the best husband in the world (I hope all of you are saying, "no, my husband is the best husband in the world" to which I will edit my last comment to say, "I married the best man in the world for me"-is that better?).

Ben is probably the smartest man in the universe- honestly. He graduated top of his class with a degree in Computer Science and a minor in math. He is just brilliant! Then, at work, they keep giving him all these problems to figure out or software to develop, and they will give him like 3 months to finish it, but he always finishes in about 2 weeks. This has been a recurring theme with him at work, and it always amazes his bosses. In fact, he switched jobs within Lockheed a couple of months ago and he has until the end of Janary to finish his first assignment- well, he is now on like assignment 12 because he finishes the projects so quick. His current boss came up to him the other day and said, "do you like what you are doing?" and Ben said yes, and his boss said, "good- but if you don't, let me know. Your old boss has said she is going to try and get you back, and we want to keep you here, so if you don't like what you are doing, let us know and we will switch you to an assignment you like." In this recession, we are so very grateful that he is a very wanted commodity in the work force!!!

Anyway, yesterday he came home pretty pleased with himself because they have assigned him this problem with the software that they have had for years and assigned several people to fix, but nobody has been able to fix. Ben is pretty confident (I had to remind him not to get too confident!) that he will be able to fix it. He said, a little pridefully (he is never prideful and is actually very modest about his brilliance, so it was actually really cute to see him be so proud of himself), "I have never not been able to solve a problem- I'll get this." Of course, I know that he will- he is so amazingly smart! He is pretty excited that they are giving him this very difficult problem after only 3 months of being there!!! Knowing him, he'll have it solved in a week:)
Like so many of you, I am so incredibly grateful to be married to such an amazing man! He is such a hard worker who takes great pride in doing his best every day, he is a fabulous father, wonderful husband- and, in four years of marriage- I have NEVER had to ask him to take the trash out- not once! Wow! What more could a girl want in her dream man?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Giraffes Stink!

Yesterday was free day at the zoo (I love that!), and I learned something: giraffes and elephants REALLY REALLY REALLY stink! That should not have been a surprise, but it has been awhile since I have been to the zoo (makes me wonder what Africa smells like). This is Daddy and Aud in front of the giraffes- what we thought for sure would be Audra's favorite because she loves giraffes, but, alas, she was not too impressed with them (perhaps because of the smell).

She did, however, LOVE this guy:She was in her stroller, unbuckled, and as soon as she saw the polar bear, she jumped up and said "oohhhh!" and couldn't stop staring at him. It was very cute, and we were surprised because she doesn't seem to care about bears in any of her books- oh, well.

Here she is watching the bear with grandpa holding her:

And, she also really enjoyed the tropical exhibits- including the snakes- YUCK! It was neat because she could walk right up to the glass- she was the perfect height. She especially enjoyed the tropical fish with all of their pretty colors. They reminded Ben and I of our cruise- sigh. Someday we will get to go again...I think in this picture she is in front of the commoda dragons.Thanks, Arienne, for telling us about the free day! It was a blast, and surprisingly was not too crowded! It was a little cold, but not bitter so it was a fantastic day!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Swim Fun!

One of the best things about where we live is they have Recreation Centers with indoor and outdoor swimming pools and workout gyms and tennis courts- everything you could ever want. We decided we needed to utilize these gold mines, and Ben had the day off work so we took Audra down to go swimming. It was awesome! This rec center has a perfect water park for little kids. They have these spouts, as you can see, that Audra at first was afraid of, but then later enjoyed. Then, behind her you can see a "big toy" with a water slide- that was her favorite. She went up and down about 300 times. Ben was at the bottom catching her, of course, so that she didn't drown, and if he wasn't at the bottom when she got to the top and she had to wait for him, she would get quite upset. It was really funny.

They also have a lazy river so Ben put Audra on his lap and went around and around- she didn't like this as much as the slide (of course), but she liked Daddy holding her!We were there for about an hour and then about 50 kids showed up for a field trip. OK, a field trip to the local rec center pool???? I had a few problems with that, moms- let me know if you agree or disagree!!!

1. What kind of educational value is going to the local indoor water park? Unless they just finished a unit on seals and they were learning how to swim like seals, I do not understand how they can justify to parents that there is any reason a school could consider that educational. Now, I understand it is good for kids to have fun, but that's why I think they should have Halloween parades- not field trips to go swimming.

2. I found out it was a Highlands Ranch school that was going- that means, the kids can go to the pools for free anytime they want (and I am certain they have all been there a million times). Why do they need a field trip to go????

3. They have only been back to school for three days after Christmas break- do they really need a field trip that soon?

Luckily, we were ready to get out when they got there, but I just couldn't believe that a school could somehow justify the costs to go there for a school trip. Oh, well. If any of you want to join Audra and I for a day at the pool, give me a call! Audra loved it, and I am sure she will love going a million more times!!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Not A Gymnast (But maybe it's her coach- me)

I signed Audra up for a tumbling class thinking it would be something really fun for she and me to do. I was right- it was very fun! We had our first class today, and Audra seemed to have a great time right up until the end. I was exhausted and sweating by the end! It is hard work being a tumbling coach (i.e., running after Audra constantly and trying to get her to do the various activities).

For some reason, I thought it would be more playing whatever they wanted- I was wrong! It was real gymnastics with balance bars and rings to hang from, and a bar where they could hang upside down. Not a gymnast myself, Audra and I struggled a little the first day (today), but we still had a great time, and hopefully Audra will warm up more to the equipment instead of just the big slide.

She loved anything having to do with climbing- and there were LOTS of things to climb (and it was nice, because there really wasn't any way for her to get hurt!)

The balance beam was the hardest part- notice how I am holding her. She would shuffle along with me mostly holding her up. But, then the instructor came over and helped her, and she did just fine! So, I guess it is just me. I am not the world's greatest gymnast coach, I guess. Oh, and we didn't even try hanging upside down from the bar!

Her friend Shanelle is also in the class- and Shanelle is the rock star in the class! She might be in the olympics someday- she just walked right across the balance beam with hardly any help. I couldn't believe it! Well, I guess Audra can't be the best at everything...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Unintendend Consequences

My brother-in-law talked on his blog about how sometimes the government writes laws which wind up having consequences which were not intended. I believe this may have happened, and will affect all of us.

I got an e-mail yesterday about how after Feb. 10 no used children's clothes will be able to be sold at garage sales, thrift stores, on Craigslist or anywhere else unless each piece is tested for lead after a law was passed banning lead-based children's items. Thinking surely it must be a hoax, I did some research on it this morning, and have come to the conclusion that it is actually true. Here is an article about it posted in the LA Times:,0,2083247.story

I am a little confused that this has not received more attention- there should be HUGE public outcry- this is absolutely insane! Can you imagine the landfills when all of us are forced to throw all of our baby clothes in the dumpster instead of passing them on to friends/family??? Also, don't our police have better things to do like arresting drug trafficers instead of worrying about baby clothes smugglers???

Organizations are trying to get Congress to clarify the law to exempt clothes, and here is a site where you can send an e-mail directly to your senators:

Because I do believe this is true, I think it is a major issue. I think the idea behind the law was to make children safer- who wouldn't vote on that bill? but that the unintended consequences will greatly afffect us all in a negative way. If you have information that this actually was a hoax, please let me know!!! Otherwise I might be going to the thrift store on Feb. 9 to buy lots of boy clothes (just in case we have a boy...).

And if anyone is having a girl who has had a boy and wants to swap clothes if we do end up having a boy, I am all for it!!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Greatest Laugh

Nobody can tell me Audra doesn't love her Daddy! Since he has been home the last couple of weeks (he went back to work yesterday- a very sad day), she wants nothing to do with me, and only wants to play with Daddy. Today while he was going to the bathroom, she was outside the door on her stomach trying to reach her hand under the door to get to him- isn't that cute?

Well, here is a little video of the two of them playing together. They played this "game" for like 15 minutes- Audra putting the toys in the dolls hands, and Daddy dropping the toys out of the dolls arms onto the floor. You can really hear her laugh, which is the best sound in the whole world! It is so fun to see her character coming through- she really has quite the personality!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Best In-Laws Ever!

Without a doubt, I have the best in-laws! They are so incredibly good to us, and to Audra! A lot of people have both sets of grandparents to help baby-sit, but we just have Mac and Ann, and whenever we need them, they are there to help us out!!!! Audra is really lucky to have such wonderful grandparents nearby!!!

Last night Ben and I had a real date! We went to dinner (Cheesecake Factory- YUM!) and a movie (Seven Pounds- more on that in a minute). Mac and Ann said they would watch Audra and put her to bed! Yippee!!!! All day I kept telling Audra, "tonight you are going to be with Grandma and Grandpa and they are going to put you to bed. Is that OK?" And she would shake her head "yes." Then, Ann said that Audra LOVED having them put her to bed (I am not surprised by this- she loves it when they come to our house and she gets to show off her toys to them in her house). Ann said she was showing off and being really goofy and fun, as if they were having a great slumber party! Good for Audra- and HUGE THANK YOU TO MY IN-LAWS!!!!! It is so wonderful to have them nearby, and when Ben got his big job offer to the East Coast, being so far from family was one of the main reasons we didn't take the job- it is such a huge blessing, and we are very grateful that they are so good to us!!!

Well, like I said, we went and saw Seven Pounds. I would recommend the movie- it was very well done, and I thought Will Smith was fantastic- I hope he gets an Oscar nod. However, it isn't a movie you need to see in the theatre in my opinion- unless someone is going to tell you the ending!!! Don't let anybody tell you how it ends- that would literally ruin the entire movie! So, if you can keep the ending a secret until it comes out on video, I would say wait to rent it. And, make sure you have some tissue!
It was great to go to the theatre- I think the last time Ben and I went together was for Bourne Ultimatum. We don't get to the theatres too often!!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Ben and I aren't big into New Year's- though we did stay up until 11 PM last night, which is very late for us. But, we are excited for the new hope this year promises! Hopefully, the economy will turn around, crime rates will go down, health care costs will go down, and we can all have a wonderful, safe, happy new year!!! We wish you all the best for a fantastic 2009!!! (And, is it just me, or was it just a little bit ago we were singing "party like it's 1999?" Where does the time go?)