Sunday, January 31, 2010

I Finally Did It!

After 28 months, I have finally been able to accomplish the inpossible:Put Audra's hair in pigtails! Fascinated by the spray bottle and with the help of new Goody elastic hair bands, Audra let me put her hair up and kept it up until after church when she decided she had enough of being cute.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Because She's So Cute

Here are some pictures of our little cutie. I love that smile!

We started her on solids on her 6 month Birthday back on the 9th. So far, here is a list of what she does NOT like:

Rice Cereal






Here is a list of what she DOES like:

Hmmm... I am a little worried she may want to nurse until college! It's actually pretty funny- we have some great video of her hating real food! It's just taking her a little longer to get used to eating real food, but that's ok. She'll get it- I'm not worried.

Claire officially started crawling yesterday. I was giving Audra a bath and all of a sudden Claire just decided to start crawling and off she went. I'll get some video to post later.

And, not to leave Audra completely out, here she is doing what she loves best- playing with Claire:

I had to prompt her a little bit in the video, and she's talking really quiet, but she loves to come up to Claire and say, "I'm gonna get you!" and then tickle Claire. Sometimes Claire is amused, other times not so much. (I know my videos are lame, but I think Grandma High likes them)

January Totals

Here's the grocery totals for January:

Total Spent: 339.15

Total Saved: 492.93

Percent Saved: 68%

Goal: To only spend 200.00/month on groceries

I did not so do so well this month. I SAVED a ton by my coupon shopping, but I spent way over my goal of $2oo/month.
BUT, you have to consider my other main goal: to get my one-year supply of food. I feel blessed that I am not completely constrained by a super strict budget, so when there is a big sale I can stock up- which is what I have been doing this month!! In two months I went from my food storage shelf looking like this:

To looking like this:

And, I was still $70.00 UNDER my average of what I used to spend before I started shopping with coupons.

I purposely put all those boxes of cereal in the picture- I now have over 60 boxes of cereal in storage that we are rotating- we go through 3 boxes a week, so I figured I might as well put them in food storage. And, they all cost me right around 1.00/box! Not bad for name brand cereal.

So even though I didn't reach my initial goal of cutting my food bill in half, I am getting closer to my main goal of getting my year's supply of food (and after seeing the horrile situation in Haiti, I am definitely realizing how important that goal is!).

Monday, January 25, 2010

All I Want For Valentine's Is My Two Front Teeth

What a big month this has been for our little Claire! She and I had a mommy/daughter weekend where we flew to Seattle for my brother's wedding. She got to meet her cousin Phinn (where they kept trying to steal each other's binkies:

Her great-grandparents High:And celebrate her Uncle Matt's wedding day:

I will briefly brag that she was UNBELIEVABLE on the airplane both ways! On the flight back, she did not make a single peep the entire flight! It was awesome! On the way there, she just wanted me to hold her high so she could see everybody behind her. My arms got tired, but it was totally worth it because she was such a perfect angel. As people were leaving, they kept saying, "what a great baby! She was wonderful on the flight!" All true- what a trooper!!

The wedding went well- even though the bride was an hour late. Hee, hee- that's something we won't ever let her live down. Come on, you have to laugh at that! Besides that, everything was perfect, and this is truly so exciting for our family! A lot of you know that my brother has had trials with women in the past, so we are ECSTATIC that he found such a perfect match. They are wonderful together, and I could not be happier for my little brother. Welcome to the family, Ilea!

Back to Claire. Look at what she is doing:

Is that not the cutest picture? She has been sitting up like that since about Jan. 14.

Gearing up for her next move:

Woah, look out world! Here she comes:She sticks her bum HIGH into the air, and then pushes herself forward. She doesn't crawl so much as scoot, but man can she get around! Time for baby gates, I guess.

Then, she has gotten her first two teeth! Her bottom 2 middle teeth are in. This has not been a pleasant experience for the poor girl. With Audra you didn't even know she was teething, but poor Claire is having a tough time. At first, I was really bummed because that meant less sleep for me. But, now I am surprisingly grateful for the excuse to hold her in my arms and rock her in the wee hours of the night. I know that seems strange, but there is something so precious about holding your baby- who is in pain- in your arms and soothing them. I tried to take a mental picture of me rocking her to sleep so that in years to come, when I have forgotten how tired I was, I will remember those precious moments. And they really are precious moments- a blessing in disguise.

Of course, nobody wants their baby in pain, however! So I did run to the store and came across these miracle pills:

Hyland's Teething Tablets: They are awesome! They are homeopathic and all natural, and they actually work! Tylenol and Ora-jel did nothing for Claire, but these work amazingly well- I highly recommend them for teething babies! In fact, this is what the back of the box says:

Please note: If your baby has been crying or is very upset, your baby may fall asleep after using this product because the pain has been relieved and your child can rest.

HELLO!!! I was totally sold!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Just For Fun!

This is not religous or political- just pure speculative fun!
The other day I watched a History Channel special, "The Doomsday Prophecy" about the Mayan "prophecy" that the world will be destoryed on Dec. 21, 2012. I had heard of this before, but this special went into detail.
The idea is that the Mayans had a circular calendar, whereas we think of time as a continuum, they thought of it as cyclical with periods of time repeating themselves. Their calendar "prophecied" (I put that in parentheses because I don't know if I would personally call them prophecies) certain things happening at various times based on astrology and previous events.
Most of you know that I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Ladder-Day Saints, and WITHOUT getting into religion, the Book of Mormon is ancient scripture of what we now consider Native Americans- the ancient Mayans, Aztecs, etc. Any student of The Book of Mormon has heard of "The pride cycle"- a cycle which repeatly occurs in the Book of Mormon where the people are reighteous and blessed with posterity, they become greedy, prideful and wicked, then they are destroyed for their wickedness. Then they turn to God and become righteous, are blessed with posterity, and the cycle repeats. I bring this up for two reasons:
1. The cyclical calendar of the Mayans is consistent with ancient texts of their ancestors, which our church does believe to be true
2. I would say that our culture is full of greed and wickedness and therefore possibly "ripe for destruction" and therefore also perhaps fitting in with the idea of this prophecy being true
Another important note: Dec 21, 2012 is the day of destruction because that is when the sun will be in perfect line with the Milky Way, an event which occurs only once every 26,000 years. The way the world will be destroyed is by flood.
So here are my questions: Have any of you studied this at all? Do you find it fascinating in the least, or is it just a bunch of hype and Dec. 21, 2012 will pass as any other day?
I find it an interesting topic of discussion, but I will wait to share my opinions until I hear some of your thoughts first!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Five Years (It Seems Like FOREVER!)

"I have always considered marriage as the most interesting event of one's life,
the foundation of happiness or misery."
-George Washington

On Friday Ben and I celebrate 5 years of marriage. I will be at my brother's wedding with Claire, and without Ben, so I thought I would post about it now.

Last year I posted about our fantastic wedding day. Today I thought I would talk about our marriage. After all, in reality, who cares about the wedding day after the wedding? It is the marriage that is important.
I love the above quote by Washington because I have found it to be so true, and unfortuntaely know too many people who think marriage is going to be great and wonderful, but who end up miserable. There is a really annoying attorney commercial here that says, "Life is about choices." As I go into philosophical mode here, I agree wholeheartedly with that statement. Life is also about the consequences of those choices- and ultimately, we are the ones who have to live with our choices and those consequences.
When it comes to marriage, after studying our Church doctrine and beliefs, I have come to the conclusion that fate does not exist. I believe we choose our partner- it wasn't fate that brought us together (I actually think that is much more romantic- I love saying, "I chose you Ben, because I wanted you, not because of some cosmos that told me I had to marry you).
I also believe there are varying degrees of happiness. I am sure there are many men I could have married and been "happy" and many men I could have married and been miserable. I think going into marriage we are hoping that this choice makes us the happiest of all the other options! For some people, of course, they go into marriage thinking they are going to be happy and then everything falls apart and they end up miserable- just like Washington said. Sometimes there are warning signs before hand, sometimes there are not.
Anyway, as a result of my marriage choice, I can honestly say that I am the happiest person in the world! Every day I thank the Lord that I was able to marry Ben. I always thought I would have to settle to get married. I was 26 when I got married, which in our church is ancient (isn't that rediculous?), and I wasn't sure I would ever get married. BOY AM I GLAD I WAITED!!!!! Ben makes me so incredibly happy, and we have built such a fantastic life together. Never in a million years would I have thought I could be this happy.
Of course, some people are not so lucky. I remember being married after about 3 months and thinking to myself, "marriage is the greatest thing in the whole world! But, if you married the wrong person, this would be Hell!" I mean, you are with that person ALL THE TIME- for better or for worse. You know every little detail about each other. You know how to push each other's buttons. You know what makes the other person laugh. For better or worse, you're all you've got when the trials and the joys come.
Now, after 5 years, I look back at the choice I made and thank my lucky starts that I chose Ben, and he was willing to choose me. (I was being sarcastic in the title of my post- but really, it does seem like we have been together forever because it is hard to remember a time when Ben wasn't my everything!) He is my perfect match, and I love him more then all the chocolate and ice-cream in the world combined! Without a doubt, he is the best thing that ever happened to me, and while I am sure I could have married others, my life would have been miserable with them as compared to the pure joy I have being married to Ben! Thank goodness I didn't get married just to get married, and I waited for the person who truly completes me!
I love you, Ben!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Six Months

Claire turned 6 months Saturday. Here's her stats:
Weight: 14 lb. 11.5 oz (24%)
Height: 26 inches (67%)
Head 16.34 (23%)
She continues to be on a perfect growth curve- that's what we like to see!

As you can see from the picture above (ignore the laundry in the background), she is still as happy as can be...mostly. She is turing into quite the mommy's girl, which is good and bad. If she sees me leave the room, she immediately starts crying until I come back in. I have to put her in the bouncy chair in the kitchen while I cook. She also likes to be held. A lot. It's nice to be loved, but it may not be so nice when it's time to put her in nursery at church.

She gets up on all fours and pushes herself all around the room, but she isn't crawling quite yet (we are happy about that). Yesterday for about 20 minutes Audra "followed" her around the room- while Claire pushed herself backwards- with a book she was reading to Claire. It was incredibly cute!
Sleep. Hmm. About 4 nights ago I said to Ben, "I know we can not be the only parents in the world who have babies that sleep horribly." It seems that everybody always wants to brag about how great their babies sleep. I'm not buying it. Maybe they sleep great for one week, maybe parents think waking up twice a night is sleeping great. I don't know, but I know that Audra and Claire cannot possibly be the only babies to ever live to have sleep problems. So I am glad that some of you have been willing to talk about sleep problems on your blogs- that makes me feel better, even though I really am sorry that you have to go through the struggles you have to go through.

Anyway, back to Claire. Being in Seattle screwed her up (and she and I are flying back this weekend for my brother's wedding, so it will get screwed up again. Such is life, I guess). She only takes 2 20-45 minute naps a day. That's it! That seems crazy to me. So we started to put her to bed earlier- assured by Dr. Weissbluth that she would still sleep as long in the morning, she would just get more sleep at the beginning. WRONG! We put her to bed 45 minutes earlier, she woke up exactly 45 minutes earlier. After 3 days of this, we went back to her normal bedtime (7-ish) because waking up at 6:15 for the day was unacceptable.
Right now she for sure wakes up once a night to feed. That's fine. Every once in awhile, that is the only time she wakes up. Most nights though, something else will wake her up: she pees on her clothes, she breaks through her swaddle, she rolls onto her stomach (even with pillows made to keep her from rolling over), or she just wants her pacifier popped back in. So, most nights I am up with her twice, but sometimes it can be 3 or even 4. Thankfully Ben lets me sleep in on the weekends, but it can be rough. Honestly, it is HIGHLY possible we are done having children all because of the sleep issue. We do not work well with no sleep for months on end. I used to think I wanted 5 children- that's what my mom had. I thought, "if my mom could do it, I can do it." WRONG! She is a saint and a warrier- I am neither. I am tired.
One person who doesn't care if Claire wakes up in the middle of the night? Audra. She is still Claire's #1 fan:

Claire looks a little possessed there, but it was really cute- Audra put the ring in her mouth, and then wanted Claire to put it in hers. I love watching the two of them together! They are so fun!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


My first day of student teaching I was so nervous I seriously considered dropping out of the program. Then I entered the classroom and KNEW I was where I was supposed to be. That nervous feeling never left, though- I was always nervous at the start of a new day- worried about whether or not my lesson plans would work out as I had hoped. Worried that I wouldn't be able to connect with the kids. Worried that I wouldn't meausure up to expectations.

But then the bell would ring and class would start and I would fall in love with being in the classroom- fall in love with teaching, with being able to interact with the students and help them prepare for college and life, fall in love with the sense of accomplishment that comes from knowing you have done a good job.

I wanted to be a teacher since I was 5. I used to make my siblings play school with me, only I was always the teacher. I would line up my stuffed animals on my bed and teach them (which is an excellent way to learn the required material of the course, by the way). For 5 years I got to live my dream.

I was good at teaching, too. Parents still e-mail me or stop me at the store and tell me how much they miss me. I'm not saying that to brag, I'm saying that because it is nice to know that I was able to have an impact on students and be an influence on them in their lives.

And now it is coming to an official end. Of course, I can always reapply and go back, but for now my tenure is ending. I got the resignation papers in the mail and it is time to send them in (one of the very few perks we get as teachers is a very long extended leave- we get 3 years maternity leave- unpaid, obviously- before we have to go back).

I wasn't sad about it until I started typing this post.

Since staying home with my girls, I have noticed more and more a negative attitude toward stay at home moms. Not from my friends or family, of course, but in the media. I have seen so many characters in a show say something along these lines, "my mom gave up her dreams when she had me," that I can not even count.

I really want my girls to know, though, that I am not giving up my dreams to be home with them. They are my dream! The greatest thing about the Feminist Movement-in my opinion-was that it gave women choices: my CHOICE is to stay at home. Nobody is making me, this is what I want (even if some days I wonder why).

In reality I don't miss work. What do I remember most about teaching: ALWAYS being stressed! Even during our long vacations, I was ALWAYS thinking about teaching. I would get so mad/jealous of Ben because when he comes home from work, he comes home from work. I was always thinking about work- you teachers out there know exactly what I am talking about. Anyway, my point is that it really was WORK. It was HARD- and then you would have an angry parent or student, or politics in the office (SO much politics in the school system- I can't even tell you!!!), that I often would lose sleep. I don't miss that. I don't miss the grading. Or the lesson planning. Or the 5:30 wake-up time. Or the stress, stress, stress.

I had 5 years to live what I thought was my dream. And it was great and I would never change that for the world because it taught me what my true dream is: to be a mom. Now I will never have to regret never "fulfilling my dreams" because I am lucky to have the best of both worlds- accomplish what I thought was most important and then move on to the next stage of life which is even better and more important.

And so I officially close that chapter of my life to enter a better, more challenging, chapter. I don't get the accolades (usually free movie tickets) or the applause that I once got. But I get a slobbery kiss, a play date with friends, and two of the greatest kids ever born. What more could a woman want?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Kids Say the Darndest Things!

I love that Audra is now old enough to say really funny things. Here are a couple of favorites from the last few days:

(In the parking lot at Target)

Audra, with her hand up in the air: Stop, car! Don't hit me!

As we are about to go to the museum:

Me: Audra, we are going to the museum. You get to be like Curious George the Monkey at the museum!
Audra: I don't WANT to be a monkey! I want to be Audra!

Then, this isn't Audra, but I also love my husband- he cracks me up! Here is a conversation from last night:

B: Guess what I'm thinking.
Me: That you love me more then anything else in the world.
B: That's right. Guess what else I'm thinking? No, don't guess. I will just tell you.

I love that man!

Then, out of my mouth have come some things I never thought I would say:

Audra: I want orange.
Me: Eat your ice-cream and then you can have an orange.
Context: She had already had about 6 clementines and had just asked for ice-cream so I wanted her to finish it. But, man, that's not something I would have thought I would say!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Barbara's Not So Fascinating List

I posted about Barbara Walter's Most Fascinating List last year and I wasn't going to this year- until I read the list and realized how much I completely disagree with the entire thing!

Here's the list:
Kate Gosselin
Adam Lambert
Lady Gaga
Sarah Palin
Brett Favre
Tyler Perry
Glenn Beck
Jenny Sanford
Michael Jackson’s children
And the most fascinating: Michelle Obama

SOOOOOOO many things wrong with this list!

Frist: Adam Lambert???? HE LOST AMERICAN IDOL!!!! What on earth has he done that is so special outside of being gay- which isn't special anymore!!!! If he had won, maybe I could understand (though last year's list didn't have the AI winner on it), but HE LOST!!!

Second: Sarah Palin- she is an ignorant twit who QUIT HER JOB SO SHE COULD WRITE A BOOK AND GET RICH- how does that make her any different then every other publicity-seeking-bimbo in America???? Dang, I hate her. (But PLEASE elect her as your Rep. presidential candidate in 2012 to ensure another Democratic sweep!)

Third: Lady Who???

Fourth: Kate Gosselin. Why is she on the list but not John? Is she more fascinating then him- or just seeking the publicity more?

Fifth: Tyler Perry- what has he done this year that is so much greater then every other year?

Sixth: Jenny Sanford- her husband cheated on her. That makes her fascinating? What politician hasn't cheated on his wife? I don't think that makes their wives fascinating. It makes me feel sorry for them. (to her credit, though, I will say that I was happy to hear that she left him- she deserves better)

And the worst thing:


I never paid much attention to this list, and now I will pay even less attention to it. What a waste of paper to have made this list in the first place.

Obviously, these are my very opinionated thoughts. Anybody else's thoughts?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year's

I suppose I should say something about the New Year, even though Ben and I have been party poopers about it. We went to bed- exhausted- at 9:30 after a full day of traveling on New Year's Eve, and neither of us has really put much thought into it being a new year. My thoughts are pretty much summed up in this quote:

Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on,
with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.
-Hal Borland

It doesn't seem to me that all of a sudden everything is going to change or be different just because the calendar changed. Life continues to go on, we just get older. I suppose I have made one big "resolution" for this year- to get our food storage. But even that started in 2009 and is just continuing on into 2010. Resolutions are funny to me. Why do they have to be at the beginning of the year, and only once a year? I think goals should be a continual process- not a one time deal. So, I guess I am a party pooper. But, nevertheless, I do wish you all a wonderful, happy new year with many happy suprises!

Lots Of Pics From an Unforgettable Vacation

For Christmas we went to Seattle to be with my family and had a wonderful time. The best part was watching Audra play with her cousins.. That's by far what I miss most about not being in Seattle- I really, really, really wish Audra was able to play with her cousins on a more regular basis. (I miss the rain, too- but that is for another post)

Here she is with Alicia- Audra LOVED these reindeer ears. So cute!

Claire on Christmas morning:

Audra LOVED the trains around the tree- probably more then the presents:

Isn't she cute?

All of us on my parents' bed watching TV. I don't know why, but that seems to be a gathering place for young and old alike:

Here we are on the Boardwalk. It is sooooooo beautiful! Denver can't compete, in my opinion.

We went with my sister to the Pacific Science Center. The girls had an absolute blast!

I don't know who the girl in the background is...

Then, we went to Snoqualmie and stayed at a cabin (which is quite the misnomer as this was really more like a beautiful vacation home then anything resembling logs and a cabin feel). We went snomobiling and had some great family time, but unfortunately the good pictures of the views are on my parents camera, so these will have to do:

Claire doing what she does best: Looking cute:

I have a great picture of Audra taking a bath with her cousins Katie and Aubrey, and while it was G-rated I decided against posting it in such a public forum, but the story behind it is cute. Steph was giving her girls a bath, and Audra insisted on joining them- she just LOVED being with her cousins and doing everything that they were doing. If they were taking a bath, she was NOT going to be left out!

We really did have a great vacation, and as usual, it ended way too soon. But, Claire and I get to go back in 2 weeks for my brother's wedding, so it wasn't as hard to say good-bye this time!