Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Today was one of those "payback" days as a parent. I went to Luke's parent-teacher conference at school. Like usual, I was running late and I ran into see Luke's math teacher first. I apologized for being so late and she immediately said "Well, the good news is Luke is perfect and we have nothing to talk about."

She went on to tell me he is respectful, kind, diligent and smart. She says he always gets his work done and has never caused her a single problem. She went on and on about what a wonderful kid he is. I actually started to cry because it caught me so off guard. (I'm blaming the tears on the pregnancy!) I guess I was expecting to hear that he messes around in class like he does at church! I then headed over to his language arts teacher where I heard more of the same.

Of course, I'm proud that Luke is smart and doing well in school but I think I'm the most proud that he is kind and respectful. He is the kid I make all of my parenting mistakes with and believe me, there are many. He is the kid I take my bad moods out on and I yell at the most (because he is the biggest and the one most willing to do what I say without throwing a tantrum.) But he has a big heart and always wants me to snuggle him in bed, even after I've yelled at him all evening.

I've been extra grateful for Luke this week because recently, I found a girl's blog whose 7-year-old son has cancer. I've been obsessed with following this little boy's progress and I can't read it without crying because I have an almost 7-year-old and I can't imagine my Luke having to go through what this little boy is battling. If you want to check out that blog. Go here.

Luke isn't perfect but tonight, I'm on cloud nine that he is doing so well at school. I'm even more grateful that he's healthy. I hope this post didn't come across as braggy. I guess my point is that sometimes our kids turn out despite our mistakes and shortcomings and for that, I'm grateful.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Good Enough Easter Outfits

My kids wore their Easter clothes to church today. (Next week is General Conference for my church, and we watch our prophet speak on tv rather than attending meetings) so we won't actually be going to church on Easter.

For some reason this year, I didn't go all out on Easter clothes. Sammie is wearing something she already had and Ryan is wearing an old outfit of Luke's. I did buy Luke a new sweater vest and shirt to coordinate.

If I weren't huge and pregnant right now, I would have loved to have coordinated myself with my kids and bought myself this darling dress with a cardigan:

or this cute dress and a cardigan:

(Both are from Nordstrom.)

In the past, I've put some serious time into Easter outfits, but this year, I just wasn't feeling it.

During Sacrament meeting, we were sitting on the folding chairs in the back (where we always sit) and I thought about how funny it is that families all seem to have their spots. When I was growing up, my family always sat toward the back of the soft seats, on the second or third to last bench on the north side of the chapel. That was our spot. I can still remember where all the other families sat as well.

Now we are totally part of the folding chairs group. I used to wish we weren't--like somehow we would get more out of the meeting sitting up front. But now I've given in to it and just decided it is the best place for little kids who like to sit on the floor and color, etc. Today, I overheard the lady sitting behind me turn to her husband and say "They are so distracting" referring to my family. I ignored it--but seriously lady--go sit up front!--You know what you are getting with the folding chairs crowd!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Before and After: the Banister

Remember my Plain Jane, boring oak banister?

It has gone bye-bye.

Behold the new banister:

And another angle:

I am so in love with it. When I squint my eyes and only look at the portion of the floor we have done and the banister--it makes me so excited to get this project done!

Now that the banister is in, we can finally finish the floors. More pictures soon!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

33 More for my 33rd Birthday

Today I turn 33. I know. It is sooo exciting. Especially when it's a Thursday and I'm a mom and still have to do all the same old mom things. But I'm not complaining. I have a great life, with great kids (who drive me crazy) and a handsome husband who pays the bills.

In keeping with tradition, I'm adding 33 more things about me to the 32 Sam wrote last year and the 100 I wrote when I started my blog. Without further ado:

1. I detest wire hangers.

2. My favorite lunches involve some combination of soup, salad and a sandwich with a girly dessert like a mint brownie and a big diet coke.

3. I love Cher. I love every movie she ever made and every song she ever sang. I love her attitude, I love her clothing even during the 80s and 90s when it was extra crazy and risque and I love that she refused to be on Dancing with the Stars "because (she) has an Oscar for ---sake!"

4. I do not like talking on the phone but I've learned if I'm dreading making a call to just get 'er done.

5. My car is a garbage can on wheels.

6. My purse is a garbage can with straps.

7. I'm very anal about keeping my kids' rooms clean. Go figure.

8. This little boy has broken my spirit the last two years. Yet, I'm madly in love with him.

9. I only watch three shows right now--the Real Housewives of New York (not as good as the OC,) Damages, and Brothers and Sisters.

10. I love Brothers and Sisters because the relationship between the two sisters and the mom totally remind me of me and Ashley and my mom.

11. My favorite part of being pregnant is parking in the expected mother parking without shame.

12. My least favorite part is having my pants sagging down all the time (and being huge.)

13. Since my water has broken spontaneously with all three of my previous pregnancies, I keep a beach towel with me at all times in my last month of pregnancy.

14. I love polka dots.

15. I believe all baby showers should be open house style--drop off gift, grab a plate of food, chat, leave. No games, no 3 hour obligations, no advice. That's just me. I also believe showers should only be given for a woman's first baby. I know I'm not making any friends with that statement.

16. One of the biggest mistakes of my life was buying all navy blue appliances when I got married--toaster, kitchen aid mixer, blender, can opener, etc. I'm so over navy blue in my kitchen. I'm dying to buy this metallic red kitchen aid but I know I'll regret it in three years. Every appliance from here on out will be stainless.

17. I will never ever wear socks with capris. I have trained Sammie never to do it either. Once in the dressing room at Dillards, an older lady asked my opinion on some capris she was trying on with socks. I told her I liked the capris but encouraged her to only wear sandals with them and not socks. I felt like I had done a little good in the world that day.

18. I believe in taking short-cuts when cleaning.

My friend Carolyn A. just gave me these for my birthday--she knows me too well.

19. I consider the full-body mole check to be 10x worse than a trip to the OBGYN.

20. My favorite treats all involve dark chocolate and mint. Think Mrs. Cavanaugh's dark chocolate Mindi Mint eggs at Easter, Fernwood's dark chocolate mint sandwiches at Christmas and the Utah truffle (yes there is such a thing and it is delicious!) year round.

21. If I ever move, the most important feature in my next home will be a decent sized mud room with lockers.

22. I'm highly intimidated by the post office. I would love to start selling things on ebay but the thought of mailing out my wares holds me back.

23. I also intend to sell a bunch of stuff on Craig's list. Then I get lazy and just end up giving it all away.

24. I've never left an anonymous comment on any blog. I believe strongly in owning what you put out into the blogosphere.

25. I hate jazz music.

26. I get very uncomfortable at restaurants when a musician approaches my table and performs for our group. Do we tip? Do we have to stop talking and listen? Awkward.

27. I have a very hard time not spending coupons (ex: friends and family at the Gap, Gymbucks, etc.) I get this from my mom.

28. I love black and white together for clothing. I have six black and white skirts.

29. I don't believe in fad diets, diet pills, or diets in general. The word "diet" immediately makes me feel ravenous.

30. In the last five years, I've developed a fear of open water like oceans and large lakes. This is in addition to my obscene fear of birds.

31. I love taking the time to wrap a gift beautifully. I also appreciate receiving a beautifully wrapped gift.

32. My favorite gifts from Sam are cards with meaningful written messages (he hates doing this!) and massages--nothing kinky, just like a great food rub.

33. I believe that adults should lower their expectations for birthdays. With that said, I also believe you have to take the matter into your own hands. I plan my own birthday dinner, get my own babysitter, book my own spa treatments and buy my own gifts. I don't want to be let-down and I never am!

Here's to another great year!

ps. If you really want to hear some nitty-gritty about me, my sister Ashley did a birthday "tribute" to me on her blog. Check it out here.

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Humble Hero

My cute little Grandpa Poole died a week ago today. His funeral was Saturday. I've been putting off this post because I did not know how to sum up his life and who he was into a few paragraphs.

Grandpa Poole was probably only 5'6 and I towered over him but I will always look up to him. He was the kindest, sweetest, most honest person I know. He had a remarkable life. During WWII, he was captured by the Japanese and was forced on the Bataan Death March, where he was starved and abused. He ended up as a prisoner of war for 3 1/2 years were he was mistreated and starved on a daily basis. At the end of the war when he was finally rescued, he weighed under 100 pounds.

The amazing thing was, he forgave his captors the day the war ended and has never looked back. He didn't want hate and anger to ruin his life. He rarely talked about his experiences until later in life when people became interested in his story. He has always been so positive and eventually sent his son on a Mormon mission to Japan.

I'm so proud of my Grandpa and I'm most proud of him for things that had nothing to do with his amazing war experiences. My sweet grandma died when I was one year old and he has been alone a long time. He kept himself busy working in his yard and helping his neighbors and widows that lived in his neighborhood. At 85 years old, he was out shoveling other people's walks and mowing lawns. He assigned himself to set up chairs at every church function and would stay to put them away afterwards. Every time I had a baby, he would find out I was in labor and get on his knees and pray for me.

Grandpa Poole was very skilled at making things with his hands. When I was a kid, he made a float every year for me and my siblings to ride on in the East Milcreek Fourth of July parade. He made everything from the Love Float to a political merry-go-round. A few years ago, he started making floats again for my kids to ride on in the same parade. The picture below is of Luke and Grandpa last year right before the parade. He knew it would be his last.

I will miss this humble, sweet man so much.

Monday, March 8, 2010

My New Addiction

It's Monday night and I'm suffering from post-Bachelor withdrawal. I'm pretty sure that is a real condition. In order to make myself feel better, I'm whipping up a batch of my favorite cookie dough. I guess you could actually make the cookies as well (and they are delish) but my family eats so much dough, there is hardly anything left for cookies--we're disgusting people. The oatmeal almost makes them taste healthy (don't worry--the chocolate chips make up for it!)

If you want to indulge, here is the recipe:

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter flavored Crisco
2 cups brown sugar
Mix well.

2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
mix again.

3 cups quick oats
1 cup chocolate chips

Bake at 350 for 8 minutes

Saturday, March 6, 2010

If You Don't Know Me By Now....

Then you will never, never, never know me....No you won't.

I am always astounded how the posts that I write late at night, on the spur of the moment i.e. tattoo Barbie, Shame on you Girls, etc, are the ones that get people the most fired up.

The thing about me is that I am a little more spice than sugar. I like a little controversy in my life. I like people who have opinions and I don't mind having different opinions than my friends and agreeing to disagree. I'm a lawyer. In my field, we argue (sometimes heatedly) different sides of an issue and then go to lunch and talk about the Bachelor (or whatever the latest celebrity gossip is.)

When it comes to blogging, I find that I feel the most fulfilled when I am being totally honest and when I feel like I'm connecting with my readers. I've tried to be diplomatic in what I say, but sometimes I get tired of censoring myself to please the masses. Sometimes I just want to say that home births are disgusting (I know it is not pc to say that!) or I want to say that I think some women who choose to give birth naturally feel morally superior to the rest of us and I think it's a joke. However, I usually try to say things more delicately than that.

I don't offend easily. For the most part, I believe that being offended is a choice. I try to choose to not be offended as much as possible, but I guess even I get offended at times as well. I have no problem if someone doesn't like what I wrote and says so in my comments. The only thing I don't like is when my blog becomes a forum for people to rant about an issue. I think everyone should be allowed one comment and then get off. Don't attack other commenters. And no one needs a rebuttal.

I remember a couple years ago, one of my favorite bloggers did a post about things that bugged her about Utah. One thing she mentioned was that everyone was layering tank tops over t-shirts. (See the photo of me above!) For a split second, I felt hurt. I was probably wearing that exact thing at the moment I read it. Then I kind of laughed at the silliness of it and realized that everyone can think and say what they want and I still love her blog.

The point of all this is that I think we need to all have a little thicker skin in the blogging world. I think it is too easy to attack each other in comments where we would never do that in real life. It's fine to disagree but let's do so with dignity.

I did love all the comments and the award for the best one goes to Jenn J. who reminded me of those horrible belly cast molds that some women do when pregnant--those truly are awful. But if anyone out there has done one and advocates them--feel free to make it known in the comments!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Maternity Mysteries

I am baffled by many things. But tonight, I'm going to focus on the things that baffle me pertaining to pregnancy, childbirth and child rearing. In no particular order:

1. Pregnancy bare belly shots (same goes for pregnant ladies in bikinis)--why not just wear a form-fitting shirt. Do we really need to see the bare skin and stretch marks:

2. Natural childbirth (by choice)--I have friends who are afraid of needles, etc. but I can not understand CHOOSING to endure that kind of pain for no good reason:

3. Doulas--what exactly is the point:

4. Home Births--I am horrified by home births. I have nothing nice to say about them and I can't even be diplomatic so I won't elaborate:

The picture pretty much says it all.

5. Homeschooling--I know really good people who homeschool. It is not for me. I am too selfish. The only thing that keeps me putting one foot in front of another and trudging through life is knowing that in roughly 6 years from now I will have all four children in school for 7 hours a day:

What baffles you?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Happy Birthday Ryan!

I can't believe it has been two years since this little guy came into my life. He has been both my hardest child (hands down!) and my silliest. He has the softest, firmest, sugar cookie dough cheeks and I kiss on him every day. He still likes me to carry him around the house on my hip and screams "go!" if I stop or try to sit down with him. This has dang near killed me.

He pushes me to my limits and then gives me the sweetest, softest kisses and says "bye-bye mama" over and over whenever I have to leave. When I return, he is standing at the door dancing and gives me the biggest hugs, even if I just went out to get the mail.

He is the most demanding child I've ever met and yet his double dimples let him get away with murder. He is all boy and has the cutest swagger to his walk. He loves cars, choo-choos, and dogs. He also loves wearing hats, taking baths, and going to the nursery at my gym. He worships "uke" (translation--Luke) and loves to give Sammie kisses though he still can't say her name.

He loves junk food of every type, especially "ookies" (cookies) We call him "Ry Ry, Dino and pork chop. He is my favorite buddy and he makes me excited for another little boy. I love you Ryan.

Monday, March 1, 2010

We All Saw it Coming

But it didn't make it any easier did it?

I knew Jake would end up with Sausage. And I'm not a hater. I don't understand what he sees in her. Personally, she drives me CRAZY. But I do understand that sometimes you can't put into words how you feel about someone. Love is a funny thing and you can't make your heart feel something it won't--I know that's the line from a cheesy love song--but it's true.

The whole thing went down just as I knew it would. Tenley showed up and won over the family. Everyone fell madly in love with her. She's perfect--why wouldn't they? Then of course, Vienna rolls in for her very awkward day with the fam. Somehow, someway, the family ends up giving Jake their blessing on Vienna (I'm still a little confused about where they changed their minds about her) but they apparently do.

On Jake's last date with Tenley, we can all see that he is torn. He knows Tenley is the better choice but he's not as physically attracted to her as he is to Vienna (Don't ask me why!) This is why I love this show. It is so real. He does love her--just not in the same way he loves Sausage.

When Jake sent Tenley home, I actually shed a few tears. She is so honest and good--it was hard to see her get her heart broken again. She is darling and she should be the next bachelorette. But I think the producers didn't pick her for the same reason Jake didn't pick her--she is just too nice and sweet and she is lacking spunk.

I get it. I get that Jake just didn't have the physical attraction to her like he did to Vienna. Tenley was a way better choice for a wife but Jake (like most men) couldn't help himself. And because of that, he went for the bimbo and it won't last.

He tried to tell Tenley on the boat that something was missing, he tried to tell her when he said good-bye and he told her again (in not so many words) on the After the Final Rose and she still looked confused. One thing that always bugs me about this show is how the runner-up always thinks s/he deserves an explanation. They don't. They knew what they were getting when they came on the show. Only one person wins. Someone has to go home. He may have loved you--but he didn't love you AS MUCH as he loved the other person. The end. He liked someone else better. It isn't rocket science. But at the same time, I can imagine how hard it would be to be sent home with your heart broken and how you would still want an explanation.

With that said, Sausage is trashy trashy trashy and I give them 3 months.

Only one thing made me question Jake's common sense more than his decision to pick Vienna. That was his decision to go on Dancing with the Stars! What the? With the likes of Kate Gosselin and Pamela Freakin' Anderson! Now I've heard it all.

What are your thoughts on the finale? Have you made peace with the outcome? Are you happy that Ali is the next Bachelorette? Do you think Jake is a major tool for doing DWTS? and will Jake and Sausage last?