Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm All About the Workout!

Remember my last great workout? Well, check this out...

While she was doing this...

I was doing squats, lunges, ladder-climbs and working my arms with a roller to do this...

Halfway done and getting exciting!

E is for Elephant

Monday, September 22, 2008

Halfway to 8!

September 22nd is one of my favorite days of the year for two reasons:
  1. It's the First Day of Fall! Yea, cooler weather! Yea, sneakers & jeans & hot cocoa!
  2. It's the Bubbs' Birthday!

So my baby turned FOUR YEARS OLD today!! She is growing up so so fast! We are so blessed to have her in our family. She's a wonderful older sister (most of the time) and such a joy to watch as she grows up. She's starting to create her own make-believe world (and Simster joins in the fun). She's starting to sound out words and knows what letter most words start with. She loves going to preschool, primary, the library, and hanging out with the family. She waffles between saying she's a "Mommy's girl" or a "Daddy's girl" and enjoys spending time with each of us on her own. She's getting old enough to help with PJ and for the most part, she likes to. She picks her nose a lot. Pretty much constantly. Just an FYI - and yes, we're working on it. I'm trying to find her a NPA meeting to go to (Nose Pickers Anonymous), but they seem to be all booked with other kids her age. :) She enjoys singing primary songs, especially "I Am a Child of God" and "I Love to See the Temple". She loves to play house, swim, play with trains, dance, jump on the bed, torment boss around play with her brother, and draw (both pictures and write letters). Her favorite foods are cereal, tortillas with cheese, broccoli, chicken, and apples, although she's pretty good about eating most everything. One of the cute things she says "Mom, do you remember when you were little and I was the Mom and I had to make dinner for you? That was nice of me, huh? And you have to say thank-you or I would be grumpy." Gotta love what comes out of her mouth! We've been fortunate to this point, but now that she's four, she is really turning in to a...

PRINCESS! She got a set of dress-up clothes today and was THRILLED! We probably didn't have to get her anything else! Simster also had fun trying on dresses, tutus, tiaras, and high heels, but Dad put a quick stop to that one... We spent a busy day today, with lunch at McDonalds

and several stops to pick out supplies so we could do this...

I think I was insane when I agreed to redo her room as part of her birthday. Well, at least I shouldn't have attempted the project ON her birthday! We just finished up the primer stage and I'm going to work on the colors tomorrow while the kiddos are at preschool. We also have some gifts still to open and a party in the future... Hey, who said birthdays can't last a week? :)


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Long Overdue

(Update: It looks like the hospital bill will be lower because they are going to bill it as a participating provider - Whew! Thanks for the info on that, Carrie!)

So I was just going through our pictures and realized I never posted about my "business trip" back in August. So here we go...

On the way out to Utah, I had about a three hour layover in Denver, so my Mom and my brothers came to see my at the airport. This is my baby bro A, who will be leaving on a mission in October. Gotta love the shirt, huh?

Of course, PJ had to pose with her uncle before we left. She'll be talking and such by the time he gets home!

The time in Utah was spent primarily working. It was full of mixed emotions - overall, I am sad my stint working there is done, and I will miss the associations I have had and the contributions I have made to the Center. Before I started there in 2003, they had one or two computerized testing programs, so 95% or more of the current testing system was created and supported by me. I will definitely miss it. However, I am sure my replacement will do great things, and it's time to start a new chapter in my life.

PJ and I at work. This is one of the only shots of the lab at work. This is my co-worker Inna and her cute son Sasha. He's two months younger than PJ, but definitely looks bigger! I will miss Inna a ton and am crossing my fingers that her hubby decides to go to law school out here in Texas!

Another cute kid picture. They just sat there on the floor jabbering to each other in Baby-nese.

PJ with her great-aunt J. My uncle & aunt were kind enough to let us stay with them while on our trip. Aunt J even watched PJ a few times while I was working. They have always opened up their home to members of my family and it's been greatly appreciated. I lived with them my freshman year of college.

We got to spend a lot of time with Gma as well, which was so much fun! PJ loves hanging out with her beautiful great-grandma! And I know Gma misses me and the kids, so it was important to visit with her.
PJ cuddling with Gma. Isn't my grandma so cute? Hard to believe she's 93, that's for sure! I miss her a ton!
Hanging out on campus with Gruncle (great-uncle) C. He's such a good grandpa to my kids... I hope he has some of his own in the not-too-distant future!

We also got to meet up with DH's family for lunch on one of the days we were there. Here's PJ with Aunt S.
This is a picture of the little gathering coolwhip threw together. It was fun to see old friends and to eat and visit and chat and etc etc etc! I only have this picture because my camera died! And along these lines, it was so nice of coolwhip to let me stay at her house! It was like old times again and her kids are so fun and cute. I had a great time - closure with my job and visiting with family and friends, most of it at the university's expense :)

This is for DH's benefit - his old primary kids on sk8boards. Gotta make him proud!

On the way back home, we again had a layover in Denver. This time, my Dad met us and we were able to visit with him for a while.

It was really a fun trip! I wish I had had more time to visit with friends, but I hope to be back not too long from now. On the plane ride over, a couple of passengers were discussing all the perks of Utah (national parks, skiing, boating, hiking, and more) and I was feeling very sad that we left. But on our last day and on our way back, all I could think about was getting HOME! We are definitely starting to feel like this is our home! I will always miss family and friends that are still in Utah, but our home, right now, is in Texas!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Capitalism at its Best

I am very proud to be an American. I am grateful for the freedoms that are mine and especially that I am allowed to practice my religion without persecution, that people still talk about prayer and God in politics (not everyone, of course) and that for the most part, my rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are intact.

That being said, the past few days have made me grumpy. I guess some people take advantage of the system, but I don't classify myself as one of those people. I pretty much consider myself a bill-paying, law-abiding, hardworking citizen. So why....
  1. Although the hospital we went to for my emergency room visit last month takes our insurance, it turns out the silly doctors don't. Of course, I was flat on my back, dizzy and basically passed out while DH was not even in the ER, he was wrestling with the kids - so I guess I wasn't smart enough when the nice doctor showed up to remember to say, "Wait! Do you take my insurance? Oh, you don't? Then can you please leave and let me wait in complete agony for another three hours until a doctor who takes our insurance shows up?" I think it should be a law that if the hospital accepts your insurance, all the physicians in the ER should as well. It seems kind of unethical to expect someone who can barely see a foot in front of her to read the fine print and ask every stinking person who comes in if the $500 billion dollars they'll be charging will be covered with her insurance!!! So now we have approx $1000 we have to pay the docs since they aren't participating providers. DH thinks we should argue with them. We'll see.
  2. I should NOT have to call the 1-800 number four or more times just to cancel a subscription to something! The first two times, I told them I thought I had already canceled, they asked me for a cancellation code (which of course I didn't have) and then proceeded to talk about all the benefits of the subscription. Then the lady said, "Keeping in mind all the benefits of this service, I am going to keep your membership active. You have a nice day!" and click! She was gone. Finally I got smart and used my mean voice. Except the problem I have is that when I get mean, I cry at the same time. The emotions are tied together and it definitely makes me less than credible. The final call, I finally managed to be rude and obnoxious without a tear and we FINALLY are done with it!
  3. How come I pay my bill on time every month and the one time I pay the day it's due at 5:05pm, I get hit with a $20 late fee? My favorite credit card (starts with a D) doesn't even charge me a late fee until like 15 days late. Neither does my mortgage company. And so why does the $100 phone bill charge me $20 for being five minutes late? It doesn't reek of customer appreciation, that's for sure. Maybe if I was a habitual 5-minute-late-bill-payer, that would make sense. But it rarely happens. (And yes, I know I was late, I probably deserve it, but it still doesn't make me happy or make sense.)
  4. Our insurance company, based on the facts from DH and the other guy and the pictures DH took, is convinced the accident he had last week was the other guy's fault. Of course, the guy's insurance is convinced it was DH's fault. Now we have to wait while they battle it out (because neither one wants to pay), which could take who knows how long. And what do we do about the deductible in the meantime? And how long will the car be in the shop? Deep philosophical questions.
Anyone want to vent about something similar? I've been venting a lot lately, so I hope you can forgive me. I'm hoping to get it all off of my chest now so I can move on with my life. I have to prep for YW tonight, tidy/clean the house for an unexpected visit from my BIL, and try to take care of this scratch in my throat. So venting over. At least for a week or two. :) Time to move on, right?

(On another note, I'm feeling better. Thanks for all the kind words and sympathy for my last post. I think you're all right - if I didn't have days like that, I might never enjoy the good days!)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Why I Feel Like a Horrible Mom Today

  1. There are dirty dishes in my sink.
  2. I was two minutes late dropping off the kids for preschool.
  3. I'm having pediatrician woes and decided to try someone new - who happens to be 35 min away. So I had to wake PJ up from her nap to go to the doctor.
  4. PJ is 9 months and only 13 lbs, 2 oz. The doctor is concerned. I have been avoiding the well-child visits because of my pediatrician woes, so the doc doesn't have all her records to compare. But still - she's very small and the doc is encouraging more feeding, nursing, and formula (And before you get grumpy at him, he did say - "I'm not saying you're a bad mom...")
  5. Because I was picky with the pediatrian and now 35 min away, I'm going to be late to pick up Bubbs and Simster. I bug DH to go and get them.
  6. DH gets in a minor accident on his way to pick up the kids. I call the preschools to let them know I will be running 15 minutes or so late.
  7. DH has the car with the carseats, so I drive from preschool home (5 minutes) with the kids in regular seat belts.
  8. Somehow I managed to hide the insurance card so well that DH doesn't know where it is.
  9. DH needs the insurance card before the cop shows up. Kids are happily finishing lunch. The accident is just around the corner in our own neighborhood, so I rush to the car, leaving the kids alone in the house, drive to the scene of the accident (20 seconds), show DH where I put the insurance card (40 seconds) and drive back home (20 seconds).
  10. When I arrive home, one of our neighbors (someone I don't even know yet) is holding onto a screaming Simster, accompanied by a sweet-looking couple with a baby who were checking out the house that's for sale next door. Turns out, he spilled his water and wanted me to clean it up. So of course the obvious thing to do is unlock the deadbolt and run out into the street.
  11. The couple & the neighbor don't seem to believe me when I explain I'd been gone for only 2 minutes max. I promise I'm not a bad mom - they don't seem to buy it. Not sure I blame them. I won't be too surprised if someone calls the police on us.
  12. Simster comes back in and is grumpy and bites the Bubbs (something he hasn't done for MONTHS!), and PJ is screaming because she's hungry (and didn't the doc just tell me to make sure I'm feeding her?).
  13. Knowing that my children are under 4 and that they are unfortunately smart enough to unlock the deadbolt, and knowing that they know not to run into the street but our neighborhood is still so new so there's not sidewalks everywhere so they would have to run into the street to get to me, and knowing that somehow in 2 minutes something could happen that would make them want to find me, and knowing that a car could come around the corner on our rather quiet street and hit my child who's running into the street trying to find me, I should NOT have left them alone, even for less than 2 minutes!
Because I have a Heavenly Father who loves me, I was still very blessed today! (The accident wasn't serious, DH is fine, kids were at friends' houses for preschool and they were very understanding, a car didn't hit the Simster...) But it's still a hard day for me as a mom. I should know better. The kids need better. I see better moms all around me and wonder why Heavenly Father felt okay sending me kids in the first place. I just hope and pray that He understands, and that my sweet DH and my kids understand that I really am trying. I just mess up sometimes a lot.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Finally! . . . And Yet Too Soon?

It is 10:25am. The house is dead quiet. Normally, I would worry about such an occurrence, but today all four of my family members are accounted for. PJ is sleeping peacefully after a fitful night, DH is down being productive in his office, and the Bubbs and Simster? They are in PRESCHOOL!

Here's a picture of them today before heading out. Today was the Bubbs' first day of preschool. I'm doing a co-op with her with 7 other moms. We each take a week and do the theme etc at our house. This means I will only be teaching preschool once every 10 weeks (a couple of the moms have more than one kid so they will teach more than once). She has been waiting and waiting for this moment...
I think she will do fine and have fun. She's well-behaved (most of the time) and she already knows all of her letters and numbers and can sound out 15+ words.

Mr. Sim actually started preschool two weeks ago (one of the reasons the Bubbs has been anxious!). He is in a preschool with three other kids run by two of my friends (-> I pay them). I was a little nervous about it because he is the youngest by five months and the other three are all girls. I thought he would be rowdy and hard to manage (like he can be at home). But here are some pictures from his first day...
My friends say he is doing fine; that he listens and pays attention and does a good job drawing his letters. Whew! The funniest thing is that whenever I pick him up at the end of the day, I ask "What did you learn in preschool?" His answer is, without fail, "I dunno." This is his answer to many things right now ("Why did you smack your sister?" "I dunno."), and we all know he is learning and he's having a grand old time.

But me? I have been counting down the days until this moment since the first time the Bubbs shoved Simster's head into the ground when he was like a month old. Some peace! Some quiet! Time to do what I want for once! Could these kids please grow up already?! And now, with the Bubbs almost 4 and barely waving goodbye when she joined her friends this morning, and the Simster 2.5 going on 6 and chattering away about his preschool, I am a little sad. I had a friend over the other day who also has three young ones and we were talking about how people say to enjoy these moments because the years go by fast and all of a sudden they're grown up. She read somewhere someone say "The years do go by fast, but a single day can last forever!" I'm feeling both today. I'm thrilled to have my kids learning, picking up on so much and being so excited to discover the coolness of knowledge. But there's a part of me that is sitting here in the quiet, missing the pitter-patter of two-year-old Bubbs and six-month-old Simba. Life as a mother, right? Last night DH gave the kids father's blessings before they started the "school" year and I cried. I was picturing the Bubbs at 17, asking her dad for a blessing before she starts her senior year. Hopefully recognizing this new chapter in their lives will help me cherish the moments more. And probably by the end of the day, they'll be back to fighting like usual. :)

Oh, and not to be left out - here's some pics of PJ with her mommy and daddy at the park last night for FHE. :)

Monday, September 01, 2008

That Time Again!

I am MORE than excited. The end of August/beginning of September is more than just a new school year and the beginning of Fall. It is COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON! Thanks to the long-awaited intelligence of a certain satellite company, we are the proud watchers of...
bringing us all the 4-1-1 and the live action and the replays, excitement, interviews and more so that I can drink in another fabulous season. This is definitely my new favorite TV channel. The first day we had it (Aug 27), I turned it on to find them replaying 2006's nail-biter. Priceless! Then we DVR'd the opening game on Saturday because I was at the temple with the youth. We watched it (with a little fast-forwarding) and it was a little more exciting than I wanted it to be... (fumbled AGAIN?! Can we please hold on to the ball, people?!) - but we came out comfortably victorious.

Anyway, if you're trying to track me down sometime this fall on a Thursday night, Friday night, or Saturday afternoon, try our media room. There'll definitely be some whooping and hollering and crying and laughing and many roaring rounds of singing the fight song and such. And forget about Oct 16th. I'll be here -

BUT I'll be wearing THIS -