Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Becoming a Mother

With Mother's Day coming up, I've got motherhood on the brain.

Before I had kids I worked at the DA's office as a prosecutor. I saw issues in black and white. Right and wrong. I thought I knew everything. I came down hard on drug offenders, I was disgusted by sex offenders and I showed no mercy for juvenile defendants who came from bad homes. I was tough and ticked off a lot of the time.

When I gave birth to Luke, my world shifted. I slowly became a nicer, softer person. I lost the desire to go back to work. I started to see defendants that I had previously prosecuted through a mother's eyes. My heart ached for the moms of the juvenile defendants who sat quietly in the back of the courtroom. When I was working, I always thought the worst thing in the world would be to have a child victimized. While I still think that, (and I trust no one) I think it would be harder to be the mother of a child who victimized another person.

I can no longer watch datelines on bullying, hazing and other terrible practices because I now think of my own kids and how devastating that would be as a parent. In short, the world is much scarier when you think of your own kids out there in it.

I didn't mean to get all serious on this post, but I guess my point is that motherhood changes women, probably more so than fatherhood changes men. The way a mother feels about her child is universal; it is instant love. I think of the mothers in the Tsunami who had their children ripped from their arms and how powerless and desperate they must have felt. I often play out scenarious in my head. If I was attacked, would I fight, would I survive? I have no doubt in my mind that if I was protecting my children, I would fight to the death. That is a mother's love.

I love my kids. They drive me crazy but I am a different person, a better person because of them.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I Must Be Livin' Right

I won the Dear Lizzie ladies luncheon giveaway from Mandee's blog!! I swear this is the best thing that has happened to me since McDonald's had their hugo Diet Coke deal(44 oz for 99 cents) last summer.

I am so excited to go eat their yummy sandwiches, soup and mint brownie. Plus, the walls are chocolate brown with pink accents--could it be more me? I know, I'm a little giddy right now. A few days ago, I told Sam that I really really wanted to win this. He didn't get it. He said, "If you don't win, can't you still just go there with your friends and have lunch?" Oh Sam, you have so much to learn.

I will have to wait until my sister Ashley comes back to Utah because I promised her she could come. I may have to fly her in so it is sooner rather than later. Thank you Mandee and Dear Lizzie for the awesome giveaway! Universe, I owe you a solid.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

On the Wagon

I'm going to Kauai in less than a month. They say the air is so dewey sweet there you don't even have to lick the stamps. I don't care about that--I am just worried about getting harpooned.

I honestly thought I would have gotten skinny for this trip. I have been working for 10 years to afford this trip, and by working, I mean spending a ton of money on American Express to earn airline miles. We are going without the kids which means we will mostly be laying by the pool or beach, getting massaged, sleeping in, napping, eating out and more laying by the pool. Of course, I will be getting the spray-on tan before I go because everyone knows tan fat looks better than white fat.

But in the meantime, I am doing everything I can (starting today) to look a little better in my swimsuit. My personal formula for losing weight is working out everyday, more weightlifting (the only thing that changes my body) and less candy. I don't diet; I won't. The minute I tell myself I'm on a diet or restricting myself I am eating a bag of chocolate chips or hot dog buns out of desperation. So instead of dieting, I try to add more healthy things to my diet, like a lot more protein and less chocolate.

Enter Costco. I love these Yoplait smoothie mixes you can buy from Costco. They are in the frozen food section and they are so yummy. The packages have frozen berries and frozen yogurt chunks. I love smoothies but hate dealing with the fruit. This is easy, you dump it in, pour in milk and viola--a yummy smoothie. Sometimes I had protein powder to make it a meal. Even my kids will drink them and they don't drink milk or eat fruit 99% of the time--I know I'm in the running for mother of the year.

So any other great yummy low fat/low cal food I need to know about? Also, do you have any great tips for places to visit in Kauaii. I am generally not a sight-seer. I'm too lazy--I'd rather lay by the pool. But I'm up for suggestions.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dear Lizzie Giveaway

One of my favorite stores is Dear Lizzie in Highland, UT. It has the cutest chandeliers, fun jewelry, darling baby stuff and yummy treats. Luckily for all of us, they are doing a giveaway on Mandee's blog. (The same awesome Mandee who did the swimsuit giveaway I blogged about a few weeks ago.) Anyway, go to Mandee's blog for all the details. The prize is a ladies luncheon for you and five of your bffs! I really really want to win this!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Still Got It

I've always had a way with foreign men. I'm not bragging, believe me. I think it was my red hair, but whatever the reason, men from all over the world (except the USA) seemed to fall in love with me.

When I was a freshman at BYU, there was a student from Korea in my ward named Johnnie. I taught him some important English phrases like "What's up monkey butt?" and he started sending me love packages containing all sorts of dolphin merchandise (not the team, the animal.) He followed me my entire freshman year, took me to one very awkward Chicago concert and called me regularly from his mission until I finally told him I was engaged.

Johnnie is directly below me in the photo

There was Miku from Hungary my sophmore year at BYU and so on and so on.

Miku is in the black vest

Then I went to Jerusalem on study abroad and I got attention there as well. Of course, none of the boys in the program had any interest in me but the Arabs liked me.

What in the nasty am I doing with this guy?

One man in Jordan gave me his picture on the street with his info written on a slip of paper. He asked me if I wanted a Jordanian fiancee. I have no idea why I still have this stuff.

The funny thing about foreign men is that because of the language barrier, they don't have the luxury of playing it cool. They have no time for the nuances of the English language. They just lay it on thick because they have only a few words they can use--"beautiful," "sexy," etc. It is quite embarrassing.

So why do I bring all this up? Yesterday I was trolling through the mall with two kids in tow. I never, ever stop for the people soliciting products from kiosks (green tea, curling irons, etc). But yesterday for some unexplicable reason, I did. This young Israeli was peddling lotion from the Dead Sea. I stuck my hand out for a sample and he pulled me over. As we discussed the lotion, he told me how pretty I was, how nice my hands were. I told him I studied in Jerusalem 12 years ago and he said if we would have met then, he would have married me. Forget the fact that he was probably 10 years old when I was there.

The scary thing is, I knew the guy was blowing smoke, I knew he told all the women that, but for a split second, I considered buying his lotion gift set for $49.95. I guess I'm that easy. Don't worry Sam, I regained my composure quickly and put my wallet away. I haven't been hit on by a foreign man in over 10 years but the important thing is I still got it!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hippity Hoppity

Easter is one of my favorite holidays. I love the pastel colors, the candy, the spring blossoms, and of course, celebrating the life of the Savior and the resurrection. I knew I had completely failed my children when they came home from church today complaining that they didn't learn anything about Easter in Primary. With a disappointed tone Luke said, "They only talked about Jesus." I said, "Easter is all about Jesus." He said, "No it isn't--It's about the bunny."

Maybe his answer had something to do with our Easter festivities. Here are some photos:

The kids getting their buckets ready for the bunny:

Sam set up the tent and he slept downstairs with the older kids. Luke couldn't sleep because of his excitment for the bunny. I am embarrassed to admit that I could never sleep on three nights when I was a kid: Christmas Eve, Easter Eve and the night before the Nordstrom sale. I know, I'm worldly.

Our church is at 9:00 am and we are ALWAYS late. But I still made the family take the obligatory Easter photos before church:

The money shot:

As you can see Sam wore the vest. He took less crap this year than last year. I think they looked darling.

The little man:

She makes me happy:

except when she does this in half the pictures:

The egg hunt at Grandma Linda's house. Charlie and Max were visiting from California:

Look at the excitement on Luke's face:

Grandma actually hides little presents for all the kids.

Good times were had. I guess next year we need to focus on Jesus.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Like Father, Like Son

I LOVE to coordinate my kids, especially on the big holidays like Easter and Christmas.

Some would say that last Easter I went too far. I got the husband in on the action. He wasn't thrilled about the matching sweater vest (from Gymboree no less) but he begrudgingly put it on and headed to church. I didn't go to church that day because Ryan (who is coordinating with the others but didn't actually go to church) was a newborn and I was staying home with him.

When Sam got home, he told me people (especially other men) gave him total grief about coordinating with Luke. However, Luke thought it was the coolest thing ever to match his dad. So the question is: Do I force Sam to wear the matching vest to church again on Easter? Last year I justified buying Sam the matching vest because I bought Luke's big and he is wearing it again this year and Ryan has one as well--a threesome!!

Have I gone too far. Will Sam leave me if I make him coordinate?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Swimsuit Season

Swimsuit season is upon us. Well, not just yet, but it is the time of year when we all must venture into cramped dressing rooms with a double stroller, bad flourescent lighting and about 50 suits just to ruin our day. Add to that, that I am super-pasty, with a few more veins and stretchmarks this year and I'm ready to wear sweats to the pool.

Since I'm going to Hawaii next month to celebrate our 10 year anniversary, I need to find a cute suit. Let's get one thing straight--it ain't to impress Sam. A few nights ago I strutted out in a new swimsuit to get Sam's opinion. His response? "Can you move, your blocking the tv." I need to look good for the other women watching me as I parade across the pool deck to get another diet coke.

So, I've made a list of rules for swimsuits. Some may apply to you. All apply to me.

1. The top must be suppportive. I cannot emphasize this enough. Since gestating and nursing three babies, my bra size now ends in "long."

2. Avoid the one-piece swimsuit like the plague unless it is this one.

3. You must have a great body to wear a bikini.

4. You must have a perfect body to wear a string bikini. I will be wearing neither.

5. Tankinis (the mom-jeans of the swimsuit world according to the Meanest Mom) are going to be the most flattering fit 99% of the time.

6. Never under any circumstances should you don stiletto sandals with your swimsuit for the pool. Yes, I know super models wear these on shoots. Still. Don't do it. (Believe me--I see this happening at the local pool!)

7. Make sure you use lots of fake tan cream to cover the veins and stretchmarks.

8. Buy a cute swim skirt or board shorts to go with every swimming suit. You don't have to wear them all the time--but when you need them, they are there.

9. Skip the junior's department. It will only add to your depression.

10. Go to my friend Mandee's blog for an awesome swimsuit giveaway. The company is called Lime Ricki and their stuff is adorable. I didn't want to send you because it hurts my chances of winning but what kind friend would I be if I didn't tell you?

Good luck--see you at the pool this summer!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Samantha!

My little Sammie turned 4 yesterday. In spite of the ballet drama, Sammie really brings so much joy to my life. Every day, she says "Mom, I love your outfit" even if I'm in a ratty tee and jeans. She is sweet and sassy and I wouldn't want her any other way.

A couple months ago, Sammie scared me by demanding a spongebob party. Luckily she came to her senses and went with a Tinkerbell theme. We invited 7 of her closest friends. My mom helped me throw the party and saved my life. At the party, one of the moms who stayed to help was 9 months pregnant. Sammie told me today "Mary's mom had a very big tummy. But I didn't tell her that--I didn't want to hurt her feelings."

The night before the party I made Sam put together these tissue paper pom poms. It takes a real man to do the job:
Behold the finished product:

These are the fairy skirts for the girls:
The wands for the girls:

When the girls came in, we put fairy dust on their cheeks:

Sammie insisted that she wasn't four until she ate birthday cake:

The darling girls:

Happy Birthday Sammie! I love you. You are God's gift to my world.


Tonight as we were getting the kids to bed, I happened to flip through the channels and came across Moonstruck. I was no good to anyone after that. It is one of those movies that whenever it comes on, no matter what you are doing, you sit down and watch the rest of the show.

"Do you love him Loretta?"
"I love him awful."

It is such great writing, such great acting--Cher and Nicolas Cage--brilliant.

My other favorite movies of all time:

Family Man (I have a thing for Nicolas Cage--I love Raising Arizona too.)

Shawshank Redemption

Scent of a Woman (OO-Ah!)


10 Things I Hate about You

Terms of Endearment--makes me cry everytime

Groundhog Day

My Cousin Vinny

A Few Good Men

Planes, Trains and Automobiles ("Those aren't pillows!)
and of course, Ferris Bueller's Day Off

I know there is no rhyme or reason to this list but these are my classics. What are yours?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What do I do with this Prima Donna?

Sammie has always loved going to ballet. Here she is her two-year old ballet class. Adorable:

This year, she started tap as well. Everything was great until January. All of a sudden she refuses to go to dance. She cries, fakes a tummy ache, backache, elbow-ache to try to get out of going. I usually drag her there and hand her off to her teacher. She ends up being fine and enjoying it. Sammie is a little bit of a prima donna anyway and has pulled this same stuff with preschool, etc but is now fine with everything else except dance class.
Dance is on Monday mornings. Sometimes on Sunday nights, Sammie won't go to bed until she sees me cross ballet off my calendar with a black marker.

Here's the rub. I've already paid an exorbitant amount of money for recital fees, tickets, and her pink pig costume for the recital. She has told me numerous times she does not want to do the recital, she hates the piggy dance, etc.

What do I do? I know the obvious answer is not to force her to do it. But I wonder if she needs to learn that she is fine and it will be fun (She always enjoyes herself in class once she is there.)
I grew up dancing and want her to enjoy it but more importantly, I want her to overcome whatever fear or anxiety she has over it. After the recital in June, I'm pulling her out of dance but I want to make her finish it.

I need advice on what to do. Help