Monday, December 31, 2007
Marlene and I took the kids a few weeks ago, on Toys for Tots day, when you get in for the cost of a toy. It was so busy I was scared for my life a few times, but we had fun anyway. The kids were amazingly good and we did get on a few rides eventually. We didn't take many great pictures, but I guess you'll enjoy them more than my beautiful red phone. Click on each picture if you want to see them life size and kiss those chubby cheeks!
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Best Christmas present EVER:
I've wanted a Blackberry for a while now, but I had no idea Ben was getting me one for Christmas. I also hadn't looked at them much, so I didn't know they came in RED, my favorite color. When I opened that phone on Christmas day, I literally got tears in my eyes. Sad, I know. But hey, it was a beautiful phone.
And now, I truly understand the term Crackberry. How did I ever live without it? Today we went to Sea World and I utilized the long car ride to check both work and personal email, read the news headlines, and look up directions to Sea World. Then, on the way home I looked up the number to a pizza place and ordered pizza. Plus, I could have taken 1.8 MP digital pictures and read my horoscope while I was there. Does the awesomeness ever end?
Ben asked if I checked my email in the middle of the night last night. Come on, I'm not that addicted. But I may have grabbed it as I got out of bed and checked my email in the bathroom. Maybe.
Monday, December 24, 2007
"In each of us there is at Christmastime something of our childhood. We all revel in the fun of Christmas—of giving and receiving tinseled presents, of singing favorite carols, of feasting on goodies we never miss at other seasons, of gathering together as family and friends, all having a wonderful time. But there is something else, something better, and that is to sit together as families and read again the fascinating story of the birth of Jesus, who was born in Bethlehem of Judea...
Christmas is more than trees and twinkling lights, more than toys and gifts and baubles of a hundred varieties. It is love. It is the love of the Son of God for all mankind. It reaches out beyond our power to comprehend. It is magnificent and beautiful. It is peace. It is the peace which comforts, which sustains, which blesses all who accept it." ~ President Gordon B. Hinckley, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Thursday, December 20, 2007
I also took the kids to the UCR Botanic Gardens sometime last week. They had fun looking for turtles in the pond and we went off-roading with the double stroller. For a moment, I was worried we weren't all going to make it our safely. Luckily the kids seemed to enjoy it.
Anna was quite the trailblazer...
Other than that, we have been looking at lots of houses. Some we like, some we hate, and most are overpriced. We have been looking at a lot of homes in Orangecrest because of the ridiculous square footage you get for the price. Who would think we could get 4,000 square feet in Riverside at an affordable price. Unfortunately, many of the homes are big boxes on tiny lots.
I have started to look at listings in the newer area off La Sierra (Victoria Grove) but I am not sure they are any better in that regard. We haven't seen any houses that were priced perfectly and had everything we are looking for. A few that we were really interested in were already sold. I am not exactly sure what we would do if we found a house that was absolutely perfect. Perhaps we would make an offer or perhaps not. We will cross that bridge when we get to it.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Now that Anna is almost ready to move up to the big kid class at church and become a "sunbeam" in January, she has been visiting their class sometimes. The kids range in age from 4 to 12, they sing songs, learn lessons, etc. They even have one or two of the kids give talks each week. A talk is prepared ahead of time and lasts just a few short minutes since the kids are so young.
A little girl went up to the front of the group and gave her talk today. Note: she had prepared, had pictures to show, and had her Dad to help her. After she was done Anna said, loud enough for all to hear, "I want to tell a story now!"
Apparantly they had some extra time, so she did. They let her go right up to the front of the class. I can only imagine Marlene worrying about what she was going to say. We hadn't prepared her, and there were probably 25 faces staring at her. She got up and said something to this effect:
December is for baby Jesus. The shepherds came to see him. And the angels came to see him and sang songs.
Then she went and sat back down with Grandma. Can you believe she did that? I can't believe I missed it, because it is the cutest thing in the world. Luckily Grandma Marlene was there so she can tell us all about it.
One more thing about the big kid class. When it is your birthday they give you a goodie bag with candy. As they were leaving, Anna told them it would be her birthday when she came next week. Too bad her birthday is in June. What a little story teller.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Isabel is still not sure about Arlo.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
By the way, I declare that at least a few times a day. Like when a kid falls off the couch. Or when they whine at my feet for 10 minutes while I make dinner and I ignore them. Or when I turn on a video.
Anyway - my reason today is because Adam and Isabel are 18 months old and they have never had a professional picture taken. Anna had like 5 by this age. I figured I would at least have them done for Christmas, but we haven't yet. And right now Isabel has a scratch and goose egg on her forehead, so I have to wait longer.
My point is - I might send out Christmas cards late this year.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Anyway, here are my old roommates and I, getting together before we left Utah. Ellie posted another picture too.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
***This is Allison now. I asked Ben to blog, and I guess if his heart isn't in it, you get comments like "our kids are not cute." So here are some pictures of our cute kids. (Okay, these may not be the cutest pictures ever, maybe that's what prompted the comments above)
Monday, November 26, 2007
Probably not, but I am. I need to get back on the horse, I know. We are in Cali, enjoyed a nice long weekend, and still don't have everything set up to upload pictures.
Our Thanksgiving was great, we ate dinner at Ben's parents and then had dessert with my family. Kevin and Sabrina's blog has a few pictures, so click here. All weekend I remembered why I love it here. Even though a lot of things are up in the air in our life, we are happy to be here!
Two quick highlights from the weekend:
- BYU beat UTAH!! A great ending to a rivalry football game. Ben went to both BYU and the University of Utah, but we'll always be cheering for BYU.
- The Mission Inn Festival of Lights. I always figured they just turned the lights on one day. But they have music and fireworks, and it was really cool to go and see them turn on the lights. Something to add to our list to do every year here in Riverside.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
We are sad to leave - I've gotten teary on more than one occasion saying goodbye to friends and family. It will take some time for Anna to understand that although she gets to see her grandparents all of the time now, her aunts and uncles and cousins are still here in Utah. There I go, getting teary again.
Ellie made me a cute sign with this quote.
"Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave and impossible to forget."
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Actually, I think we've been talking about it since we got here. Now that I think about it, that must be really annoying to other people. When Ben started law school we always said, "But we plan to move back to California afterwards." I guess at least we had a plan and stuck to it, sort of.
Since we are leaving, of course we have to see our favorite people and eat at our favorite restaurants. We don't want to leave food in the fridge, so we've pretty much stopped shopping which means some eating out. The plan is to go to a fancy place at the Gateway called Fleming's tomorrow night. We'll either be celebrating something with a fantastic meal, or drowning our sorrows with a fantastic meal. More on that to come.
Monday, November 12, 2007
More than one person has asked me in a hushed tone whether I regret purchasing the house. Others, who thought the purchase was dumb to begin with, have now insinuated that the house has been a failure (why are we threatened by the success of others?). Regardless of what others think, this experiment has been a major success. We have made some incredible improvements on a piece of property that I think is inherently amazing. I have learned a ton about people, real estate, construction, and myself. Further, and more importantly, this project has reinforced my faith in God. Let me explain.
I don't claim to be the most faithful or religious person. But among my core beliefs, I know that God knows me and watches over me and participates in my life. This does not mean that my life has followed the exact path I wanted. Rather, it means that things always work out. When it comes to this house, the fact that we have been in Utah has given me an amazing amount of free time to spend with our children. I can't imagine ever having this much free time to spend with them again, especially at such an amazing time in their lives when they are discovering and synthesizing the world around them. I sometimes complain about the time but I know I will always look back fondly. So for those of you out there contemplating something new or challenging, look inside and find a little faith and things will work out.
p.s. Sorry about the cheesy post
Thursday, November 8, 2007
**Update: I just wrote 3 press releases in 2 hours, so now I still have time to watch Grey's Anatomy before I go to bed. Just wanted to toot my own horn today I guess.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
I bought a Bumbo when Isabel and Adam were infants. I thought it was one of the greatest inventions ever - it allows small babies to sit up before they can sit unassisted. The label on the Bumbo package clearly states that you shouldn't set it up on a countertop or table.
Then I found an even better picture. Isabel in the Bumbo on the kitchen counter. Even better, the other two kids are sitting next to her on the counter, unsecured. I assure you it was just to snap a picture and I was ready to catch all of them at once at any moment.
Lessons learned: Still use the Bumbo with the next baby, although not on top of things. Do not, under any circumstances, put a bouncy chair in an unstable, high location. And if you put all of the kids on the counter for a picture, have another adult nearby for safety reasons.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Anna asked every day for weeks if today was the day to wear her costume and go trick-or-treating. When the day finally came, it was pretty hard for her to wait all the way until the evening. So eventually we put the costumes on, took the obligatory pictures, and then headed out. In case it's hard to tell from the pictures, Anna was a chicken, Adam was a cow, and Isabel was a lamb.
First we did a little trick-or-treating on Main Street in Bountiful. Then we went to a local Care Center. I thought there would be a few patients at the care center waiting to give candy, but there were TONS. It was nice, they all seemed excited to see the kids in their costumes. Adam and Isabel quickly figured out how to take the candy and put it in their own bucket. By the time we left we had three pretty full buckets. Last we went to about 10 houses in our neighborhood so a few people could see the kids.
When we said our bedtime prayers I said, "thank you for letting us have a nice time trick-or-treating." Anna repeated, "thank you for letting us get LOTS of candy trick-or-treating." Luckily the kid understands moderation - I think she had two pieces of candy today.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Last Friday we decided to take advantage of the warm weather before winter sets in. So we loaded the kids up and went to the Hogle Zoo. The Hogle Zoo is pretty small compared to some others, but it's perfect for three kids under three. You can see everything in a few hours - and the kids wouldn't last much longer than that anyway.
Anna was very excited and asked to see more animals before we even finished looking at each one. Isabel and Adam stared and pointed - I think the elephants were their favorite.
Here are some pictures...
In the meantime, Happy Halloween! We are going to take the kids trick-or-treating this evening around the neighborhood.
As a side note, I found it interesting that Russia banned Halloween. It is a rather pointless holiday, but I think I would be sad if there was never an opportunity to dress our kids up in silly costumes to ask for free candy.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Without pictures, I have nothing important to say. But since this is kind of like a diary, here are my random thoughts for the week:
Since October is almost over - let me remind you - October is Marie Calendar's pie month. All pies $5.99. We like to take advantage, especially since we don't live close enough to get my Grandma Robertson's pies, the best in the whole world.
Would you like to watch a sports movie? 2 PM every day, our house. When the kids nap, Ben breaks out the sports movies. This week we watched Remember the Titans, Dodgeball, Cinderella Man, Rudy, and Seabiscuit. Good times.
If the kids are quiet, toilet paper is probably all over the place.
Wal-mart is an awful place to shop. Okay, they have low prices, but the lines are long, crying kids are there at 10:00 at night, and the check out person never knows what they are doing. And even though it seems cheap, why does it cost so much when we check out?
On that note, the kids are getting expensive. This week we noticed that our grocery/toiletries/diapers/etc bills are getting outrageous. Time for a new budget for that stuff, because its just depressing to go over every week.
That's all, and its 11:49 so I need to go to bed. I will sign off with my childhood goodnight to my parents, now passed on to our children.
See you tomorrow.
I love you.
Love you truly.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
A few years ago I had a crappy job. Only one person who reads my blog truly knows what I mean, and that's Sara. She worked there too.
Almost from the first day I started I knew I made a mistake. I toughed it out as long as I could. Then, I got pregnant, and the further along I got, the more I hated it. I had to work trade shows and be on my feet all day. I had no paid time off, no sick time, no nothing. So doctor's appointments were scheduled on my lunch hour. And then the job got even worse due to a new manager who required us to work ridiculous amounts of extra hours and had no idea what she was doing.
So I told a journalist the story and she put it in this article. Of course this is just her interpretation of a snippet I told her. But basically the CEO of the company came into my office and said they didn't have a place for me after I had my baby. After that I tried to stick it out and really hoped they would fire me. I ended up quitting a month before I had Anna. The look on my boss' face was worth every moment I spent there.
Notice tip #5 in the article is not to quit. Whoops.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Speaking of our house, I've been meaning to blog about this story. Last week, someone called and wanted to look at the house right then. I hate when we don't get any notice, but on top of that we had just gotten back from being gone for a week.
In Bountiful, and maybe all over Utah, we have these bugs called box elder bugs. When we got back from California, there were TONS in the house. Totally grossed me out. I really mean there were a ton. I probably had gotten 100 of them before these people called to come look. But there were probably still 100 left. I was embarrassed, but when they came they actually said its okay, they are all over this city, its not just you.
So we left with the kids. A few minutes later we get a call from our realtor. He said the people looking at our house just wanted to let us know there was a dead deer in the backyard. Yes, a dead deer. At this point, do you think there is any chance this couple is going to buy our house? I doubt it. Anyway, some baby deer died in the woody part of our back yard. Who knows how, it didn't look like it got in a fight or anything. (Kevin, did you shoot the baby deer?)
Well, no offers from that couple yet, but they did stay at the house for like an hour, despite the bugs and deer. And I'm still getting those bugs. I probably flush about 25 a day down the toilet, maybe more. If the babies see one on the floor they pick it up. Who knows, they might have eaten some already.
Here is what I am planning to do with the rest of my Saturday:
- Family trip to the new Wal-Mart
- Make chicken taquitos for dinner
- Start to prepare tomorrow's dinner, the Yrungaray family is coming over
- Watch some of my hours and hours of Tivo'd shows after the kids go to bed
Friday, October 12, 2007
While working at home is not a new phenomena, what I find most interesting are other peoples' responses to being self-employed. Most people think you are caught up in some dot-com scheme, don't actually work at all, or are unable to find a respectable job. Especially for Allison, various people have made disparaging comments about working from home as it relates to her parenting ability. For some reason these people think that working from home significantly diminishes the quality of parenting. I think it is a great example of work-family balance for our children, lets Allison pursue her professional goals, and gives me a chance to spend time with our children. It reminds me of a somewhat ignorant comment a high school friend said to us upon learning about our plans to have children. He warned Allison that it would be impossible for her to puruse her professional interests and have children. While that might be technically correct, having children has revealed several interesting and more exiting opportunities than the typical 9-5 job.
Allison's professional pursuits have also given me a great opportunity to spend time with our children. Every day Anna asks me where we are going and I try to think of something fun to do. Although our trips to the grocery store may seem boring, there is always some excitement involved in lugging around three small children (and I try to add something fun like our mini-hikes). So although I do not currently work a typical job, I have found caring for the kids much more demanding and rewarding.
A gratuitous picture of Adam. Enjoy!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Some highlights from my research:
-Soda is highly acidic (same acidity as vinegar)
-Soda leaches calcium from your bones and may contribute to osteoporosis
-Soda can seriously harm tooth enamel
-Soda drunk by children is linked to asthma, obesity, easily broken bones, and rashes
-Even diet soda is carcinogenic in lab tests and generates dangerously-high levels of methane in the body (32 times the EPA limit)
Even after all that, sometimes I really crave a Dr. Pepper. that is all!
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
On the way back we stopped in Cedar City and drove up through Parowan Canyon on the way to Brian Head. We enjoyed the beautiful autumn leaves and got out and walked around a small reservoir. Enjoy the pictures.
Cedar City Pictures