Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Last chance for the Hogle Zoo

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...


I am seriously behind on the blog. Here is my excuse - all of our pictures are on Ben's laptop, which he is currently using for a video project. So the laptop has been sitting upstairs uploading video for about the past week. As soon as it is available, I will have zoo pictures, pumpkin patch pictures, and of course Halloween pictures from tonight.

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

Long time no see

We've been slacking on our blogging this week. The weather has been nice so we have a few family outings to blog about. All of the recent pictures are on Ben's computer, but I will try to get to them this weekend.

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.

Good night.
See you tomorrow.
I love you.
Sweet dreams.
Love you truly.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Grandchildren by the dozen

Marlene (holding Maya, one month), Sal
Andrew (2), Zach (3), Isabel (1), Ethan (3), Anna (3), Adam (1)

I've been watching John's Flickr to see these pictures because it has been a long time since we took a picture of all of the grandkids. It is amazing to me how close in age all of these cousins are - you can really tell in pictures like this. Lucky grandparents!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Worst Job Ever

Since I'm getting personal, as Ben pointed out regarding my last post, here is another personal story for you.

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


Our wedding anniversary is in February...but whenever October rolls around I think of some other anniversaries in our life.

October 1996 - Ben and I dated for the first time. Between homecoming and Halloween, I guess love was in the air. Ha. We were a whopping 16 years old. I can't believe that was 11 years ago now. A few weeks ago when we were in California we got nostalgic and went to Poly's homecoming football game.

October 1998 - I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A big step in my life at a young age, and I attribute so much of my happiness today to that decision.

October 2003 - Anna became a glimmer in our eye. (Okay, that means she was conceived.)

October 2005 - Our Hawaiian vacation. Its pretty sad that I would consider this an anniversary, but I still think about that trip and can't wait to go back. Plus, on this trip we had planned to start another glimmer in our eye. But apparantly, it was meant to be that the October baby hold out until November, to join a second baby.

October 2007 - Our next glimmer...ha, just kidding. Nothing notable this October. Just great memories.


And since its not a good blog post without some pictures, here are the last three Halloweens! In a few weeks you'll get to see this year's cuties.

**This is still my favorite picture of all three of them

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Saturday at home

Today I am enjoying my Saturday more than I have in a very long time. As Ben explained, I've been working a lot, and last week I did one boss a favor and went into the office for a few days, which stinks. But today, the kids slept in past 8, which is amazing. They must love me. And, I've been in a cleaning frenzy. I love cleaning, have I ever mentioned that? I mean, I don't truly love the actual act of scrubbing a toilet or mopping floors, but I love the results.

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

What do you do for a living...

Allison recently made a comment that she can't see me working a normal 9 to 5 job anytime soon. It's true, I have enjoyed my time off from typical full-time work and school . The last regular job I had was a summer law clerk at a Riverside law firm. Before that, I worked as an Instructional Technologist for Pomona College with a pretty laid-back work schedule. So besides my brief summer work, it has been three years since I worked a normal job. That is not to say I haven't worked. For the last few years, I have been paid as a consultant for various web-related work as a web developer/designer/usability consultant. The same is true for Allison. She has worked in various PR/writing positions for several companies without stepping a foot inside their offices (until recently).

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

Soda pop

There have been several times in my life where I felt the need to stop drinking soda. I recently decided it was time. After a few hard weeks of feeling tired and sluggish, I think I am officially over the hump. While my main reason for quitting soda was because I wanted it too much, there are several serious health concerns to consider before drinking soda. These health concerns are in addition to the obvious concerns about empty calories, sugar and diabetes, and addiction to caffeine.

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

Southern Utah

Surprisingly, southern Utah has more to it than red dirt and polygamists. On our way down and back from California we enjoyed a few of the sites. I could probably write about it but I am sure pictures will suffice. We stopped in Zion's on the way down and rode the shuttle and then went on a small hike. The hike was a little over a mile and the twins rode in the stroller. Anna did a great job walking the whole way. Needless to say, the kids feel asleep immediately after we got back to our car to drive the rest of the way to California.

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.

Zion Pictures

Cedar City Pictures

Friday, October 5, 2007


Since we are in California, we decided to take the kids into my mother's work. Apparently her grandchildren are all she talks about so when they are in town they have to visit her at work. The kids enjoyed the attention and my mother's coworkers enjoyed the diversion. Everyone was very nice.

However, one thing about the trip bothered me. It seems that every time we are out, someone makes this comment. If I had to guess, I would say I have heard this said hundreds of times over the last year. Apparently all anyone can say when you have three small children is "It looks like you have your hands full." Again, there is nothing incredibly rude about saying this. Besides the obvious lack of originality and attempted wit, the statement has some relevance to our little family.

The funny thing about the comment is that it is never made when our children literally occupy all our attention. Rather, people make it when the three are all being good, strapped in a grocery cart or in a stroller. These are the times when we least have our hands full. In fact, not once has someone commented to me that I have my hands full when I am, in fact, overwhelmed. Also, people sometimes say it in a tone that denotes our family is too large. While this is rare, I don't know why people feel the need to comment at all when they feel this way. Fortunately, I don't live in China and I am entitled to more than one child. So, if you feel the need to say this to someone, consider these alternatives.

5. Nothing (literally, keep your "hands full" comments to yourself)
4. You have adorable children
3. What a cute little family
2. I want/wanted twins (I am only joking with this one, it is the second-most common thing we hear and I think it is ridiculous on so many levels)
1. Is there anything I can do to help/let me get that door for you

Twice as Nice

**Update. We counted last night and we went out five nights while we were in Califonia. I think our parents are very worried for when we move here. Don't worry - we won't go out that much, and we'll get babysitters. You don't always have to babysit!


Right after the kids ate dinner last night we jumped up, gave them a bath, and put the babies to bed. All of this happened in about 15 minutes, and they were fast asleep. Pretty good, hu? We had to make a 7:30 movie, hence the speedy bedtime. Mom Y put Anna to bed and we went to the drive-in and saw TWO movies. Yes, TWO. It was great.

Then today, my Mom left work early and we brought all three kids to her house. We went out to an early dinner, then shopped, then went out for dessert before we had to get back to pick them up. Actually, Anna is still there, she is spending the night.

Two dates in a row. And about the same cost as one date night in Utah since we have to pay a babysitter (except Sabrina and Kevin, thanks guys!).

I could get used to this.

We love you Mom and Dad Y, and Mom and John.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Cooking class

Apparently Allison has completely abandoned her role as chief writer and editor of this blog. Don't worry, we are not dead. After last week's brief "hail" storm, we quickly decided to go to California for the week. Thus, we are currently in California enjoying the beautiful weather. We stopped at Zion's National Park on our way down. Since I haven't transferred those pictures to my computer, you will have to settle for pictures of cupcakes.

Anna does not like watching tv much. While that may seem good to some parents, it is a drag when your little ones won't stare at the tv for a few minutes so you can get things done. However, we recently discovered that Anna likes "kitchen shows." So, Anna and I watch a little food network during the twins' nap. As a result, we have started to cook a lot more interesting food. Last week we made pecan crusted chicken breast stuffed with bleu cheese and bacon. We also had lasagna rolls. Finally, we baked coconut cupcakes. Everything turned out better than I hoped. Anna is a great chef, although she typically walks off the job between 3 and 4 times a meal. She's always around when it's time to taste the final product.

Sorry about not posting much lately. Our life is relatively boring although we are enjoying our time in California. We are trying to figure out what to do for the rest of the week. Outside of a few meetings, I have the whole week to entertain the kids. I am debating taking them to L.A. or somewhere more exotic than Riverside but I am not sure they are old enough to enjoy anything like that.