Monday, July 30, 2012

splish splash

I love summers in the mid-70's.  And I love that my in-laws have a pool.  And I love that both of my kids love the water.


We had a pool party with 3 of Paul's high school friends and their wives and families.  There's only one friend that has a child and he's about 7 month's younger than Garrett and 6 months older than Addie.  There's also a friend with a baby on the way, really soon!  More play-dates!

Garrett gave the diving board a try... It took some coaching and gentle nudging, but he finally 'fell' into Paul's arms.  But he was a little pro at jumping from the side of the pool into the water.  He's part fish.

The men and the boys.

The sneaky picture with the 37 week pregnant mama sleeping in the hammock.  (I would kill someone if they did this to me.)

The whole group. (awake)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A walk through uptown.

I've been overwhelmed with blogging this year.  Maybe because I'm crazy enough to have 3 blogs.  Although the other two get very little attention.  But at the same time, I'm glad I have a desire to keep up on it.  I was looking back through for a recipe a couple months ago, (because I still haven't caught up on labeling each post), and even though I didn't read much, it was fun to see pictures and remember little things I'd already forgotten.  It was enough motivation to keep me going on this family journal!  So every now and then, like right now, when I have a minute to myself, I'm going to post little things to keep up better.

And yes, I'm fully aware that none of you are like, "Hey Andrea, do you have some more pictures of your kids you could post?"

I'll remind you that this blog is much more for me than it is for you, so if you don't like it, stop reading it... But please, keep reading it.

And just because I'm already rambling, I'll keep it up for a minute.

When I call this a 'journal' I start thinking of little things I leave out because it is public, and I wonder if I'll just remember the more personal things that didn't make it to the blog...  Then I start to wonder if I should just put it out there, because I've never been one to care much about what people think... But I don't want to hurt feelings... I don't want people to think I'm not careful about things that obviously shouldn't be or really don't need to be shared, like, I'm just telling you to tell you.  And who are you? Ya know?

For example, I probably spent 2 months wondering if I should blog about my older brothers second divorce and how hard that was on him. (and me.) She came over for my birthday, and to celebrate my pregnancy I'd just announced (Garrett).  Everything about the evening was so fun.  We ate, laughed, and we played Wii for hours.  And I never saw her again after that.  She and I were close, I thought.  It just sucked.  And later she admitted to my brother that she'd found someone else during their marriage.  That sucked worse.

And right now I'm sad and mad because my brother just younger than me came out on Monday with his wife and planned to stay until Sunday, but he and I had an argument, that I guess wasn't worth working through, so they left today.  Lame, right?  I'm not blaming him, or me.  But I remember when I was younger, having friends with older siblings and being so shocked when adults couldn't get along.  It seemed impossible!  My brother and I have always butted heads, our whole lives.  But we always 'figure it out'.  I hate that we fall into the category to my parents as adult siblings that don't get along.


And now, a walk through uptown...

The men went to an Angel's game last night. So me, my mom, and my sis-in-law took the kids on a walk through uptown Whittier.  It's a fun little town.  Lots of cute little shops and restaurants, outdoor cafes, a theater, coffee shops, a farmers market, street fairs, and lots of people watching.

But the only cute stuff I took pictures of was these two.

We stopped for an Ice Blended Pure Chocolate at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, (try it), and Garrett gave my lid to Addie without me noticing.  She was enjoying it so much, I just had to get a couple pictures.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

more lazy summer days...

Addie is becoming more and more mobile.  She's a professional army crawler.  And she loves to play on her knees and try and stand up.  She's great at spinning on her belly.  And tonight she learned to go from tummy, to knees, to bum.  She also has strong big toes!  When she's in a hurry she 'launches' from her toes and belly flops forward, over and over.  It's so cute.

Auntie Annie just got back from Ireland and Scotland, and look how flippin' cute she made my kids!

Paul is wanting to get more creative in the kitchen...I'm not complaining.

We had another fun beach day with my friend and her boys.  Her boys are almost 5 and 7, but they are so cute with Garrett, and so patient with him when he doesn't understand how to do what they want to do.  They are great little friends and I love it.  When we go to their house to play, Garrett likes to stay in the living room to play so they bring ALL the toys to him.  A few days ago the oldest one picked up a toy and started to walk backwards with it towards the playroom, holding it out, and saying, "come on Garrett, come on."  His mom said, "what are you doing?!"  And he said, "I'm trying to lure him in!"  And it worked!  Garrett took the bate! :)  Such sweet kids.

My parents are in town for the week, and my brother and his wife came down from St. George for a couple days, so we're just having fun and enjoying the mild weather.  California weather isn't the worst thing in the world.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

salsa, loneliness, and a movie synopsis

I mentioned the salsa to a friend yesterday, and I've been meaning to post it for a few weeks, so I thought I'd hurry and do it.  I of course found it on Pinterest.  When I was in Utah last week, I said, "I saw this idea on pinterest..." so many times, that my mom said, "how did you survive without pinterest?"  And she also said, "when you tell me about something, I'll just assume it was on pinterest unless you say otherwise."  Anyway, this salsa reminds me on Chili's salsa, which I love!  During one of my pregnancies I'd send Paul to Chili's just to get chips and salsa.  Oh the money that could have been saved if pinterest wound have been invented earlier. (Paul would say, "Oh the money we'd save if pinterest was never invented.")...but anyway.

Easy Blender Salsa

1 - 14oz can diced tomatoes
1 - 10oz can original Rotel
1/2 small onion roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and mashed
1/2-1 jalapeno, seeded or not
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin
small to med size handful of cilantro
juice of one lime

throw it all in the blender, pulse to combine ingredients until it gets to the consistency you like, and enjoy!

My notes:  I drain the juice off of the diced tomatoes.  I wasn't sure the first time I made it so I saved the juice in a dish, but when I was done I for sure didn't want to add it.  It would have been too runny.  (I don't drain the rotel.)  I just used garlic from a jar. 1/2-1 tsp.  Be REALLY careful with the jalapeno.  I've never used more that a 1/4 of one for a DOUBLE batch, and the recipe calls for 1/2-1 for ONE batch.  Garrett loves him some salsa, and one time I used 1/4 of one for a double batch and Garrett about choked to death, so I made ANOTHER DOUBLE batch to add to it.  The batch I made yesterday has NO jalapeno in it, and it's perfect.  The rotel has some kick!  They also make hot rotel if you'd like.  And I'm super scared about cutting jalapenos with two mobile babies.  What if I drop a seed?!  What if I don't wash my hands well enough and I touch their faces?!  Anyway, I'll be making it jalapeno free now because it's perfect without.

We snack on chips and salsa often around here.  It's also great on tacos, and on tossed salad with a little ranch.  Oh, and the time I made a quadruple batch, I froze some in a jar.  It still tasted yummy, but it got a little runny.

(yesterday's batch)

I think Addie misses Garrett.  (He'll be back from Utah tomorrow.)  She is so fussy all day!  And it's been like that all week.  She has to be able to see me and reach me at all times.  Usually she'll sit on the floor and play with Garrett while I shower, do dishes, fold laundry, etc.  But not this week!  It could also be teething.  But I choose to believe that she loves and misses her brother.  So much for a productive week with only one kid!  This is where I had to put her so I could have a two minute shower yesterday, and she still fussed.

Have you heard about the new movie called, 'The Obama Effect'?  A friend of mine posted about this on facebook and I thought it was funny, so I watched the trailer.  The synopsis on itunes trailers starts like this:

"In the beginning of the 21st century, no one ever thought that an African-American would become the first President of the United States."

...umm, what?...

What does that mean?  Maybe they mean the first president of the 21st century?  Which is also not true, for anyone who's confused.

Anyway, just thought it was funny.  And I'm guessing the movie will probably be about as thought out as the synopsis.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

And...back to Utah.

We had something come up last minute that we needed to be in Utah for by the morning of Friday the 13th.  (Maybe more on that later.)  So I loaded us up Thursday and when Paul got off work we drove through the night and made it to Bountiful by 2:30am.

The kids were so good while I did laundry and packed.

We spent time with family for pretty much the whole (quick) weekend.

Paul tried some grilled watermelon.  Garrett waited for dinner to cook.  And of course, Uncles Dave and Scott spoiled Garrett.  This kid loves basketball, and he's not a bad shot either!

Paul and I grabbed dessert with the Mchenrys late Saturday night.  And we were on the road Sunday morning.

We stopped in Salt Lake for breakfast with the Elberts.

Then we stopped in Eagle Mountain to say good-bye to Scott and Laura and see all the work they've done on their house. (no pictures)

And we had dinner in St. George at Taylor and Samira's new place.  Tay cooked for us, and it was a nice pit stop.

All the stops made for a long day (15 hours), but with only one kid it wasn't too bad at all.  We left Garrett with Grammy and Grandpa since they already had a trip out here planned for later this week before we found out we had to go to Utah.  So they'll bring him home on Friday.

There was a down poor in St. George and Las Vegas.  I wish I'd taken pictures of the roads turned rivers in St. G but I was driving.  It was crazy!  These are pics from the freeway passing the strip.  It looks like a lake!  But it was just the sunset and the side of the road.
It was such a short trip and I'm so sick of that drive, but grateful it's doable with two kids and that we get to be with family as often as we do.  But we're taking a break from Utah...for a month.

These kids...

melt my heart...


Sunday, July 15, 2012

3 years

Paul and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary recently.  I guess it's not super recent.  It was over a month ago, and I never wrote about it.  Is it strange that the only thing I remember about it was that I took Garrett and my mom to the airport?  ...I think Addie and I went to Costco... and maybe Paul and I and Addie went to dinner or something... We were getting ready for our big Bear Lake trip and we planned to go to one of our favorite restaurants in Utah, so we (apparently) didn't do anything too exciting.

We went to The Mandarin in Bountiful (where we had our rehearsal dinner) to celebrate once we were in Utah.  And if you think our actual anniversary sounded exciting? Well, you better brace yourself.  We went on a Saturday night and that place is always packed.  Even on week days.  So we went early because we thought we'd have to wait and they don't take reservations.  We got there at 5PM.  And yes, we were that old, boring couple who finished their Saturday night anniversary date by 5:55PM.  We're so lame.

But at least we have fun.

And at least we're still in love.

And we can't wait for many, many, many more anniversaries together. Especially if we only have to pay a babysitter for 1 hour of service, and we are seated next to all the senior citizens who have dinner at 4:00.  We'll be those senior citizens before we know it!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer time...and the livin' is easy...

We're keeping it simple around here this summer.  We have a couple more vacations to look forward to in August, and we have family coming here in a couple weeks, but other than that it's been, and is going to be, lazy days at the park, beach days and activities with our mom-and-me group, and evenings barbecuing and swimming.  Doesn't get much better!

I've made it a goal this summer to get my kids dressed everyday.  I know, aiming high.  I was going to set the same goal for myself, but come on, let's be real.

So, I'll probably take pictures often of them pre-spit-up, pre-sand, pre-milk, pre-jelly, pre-water, pre-dirt, etc, just so I can look back and pat myself on the back come fall/winter when we go back to jammie days.

Garrett still loves (over) watering the plants everyday...

He also loves his 'helper' stool, and we almost had a sibling fight when it looked like Lulu may become the new sous chef.

We went to the beach on Monday with a few other moms and kids.  My friend Ashleigh, who has 2 boys and loves Garrett, played with him and her boys the whole time while Lulu and I sat under the beach umbrella...

Well, I sat.  Lulu made it her goal for the day to pull herself up to standing on anything that seemed sturdy enough.  She'd done it once at home, but this particular day I saw a lot more determination and a lot more excitement when she was up. The excitement could have been because of the other 2 moms that were cheering with me.

She's becoming mobile fast.  Garrett took his first real crawl just a day or two before he hit 8 months.  Addie will be 8 months on the 15th and she's dang close. (truthfully I'm not as excited about it with her as I was with G)  But it'll happen whether I'm ready or not.  Right now she's belly-flop crawling.  Meaning, she gets to her knees and then flops forward, then pulls up, then flops.  She's getting places but usually it comes with red knees, chin, and forehead.  She also stays on her knees and plays with toys pretty well now too, but sometimes she falls forward onto the toy and then flops like a fish out of water, usually whacking her face on the toy over and over.  Poor little girl, she works hard!

And with Addie's new mobile tricks has come a lot of restless sleeping.  It's like she thinks she needs to move, spin, and flop all the time.  I watched her today for a while and it was like she was trying so hard to get comfy but couldn't.  Hoping she figures it out soon because she was up 3 times last night and we're used to 9 hour stretches out of her.

Anyway, that was all info I'd usually save for her blog, so I'll finish up here.

I could tell Garrett felt a little ignored today because Addie mostly skipped her first nap and that's usually our best play time.  So tonight when I got home from my massage, Paul put Addie down and I was going to put G down.  But not before we made cookies at 9PM!  He loved it!  I love my one on one time with each kid everyday, and if some days it comes when they should be in bed, so be it.  He was a great helper and an even better taste tester.  Geez I love this boy.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Independence Day

We had a very low-key 4th.  We stayed home in the morning and then went to the in-laws late afternoon.  I spent a bit of time thinking about what the day really is.  This year I have several friends and spouses of friends who are currently serving out of the country, and I found myself thinking about them, and the sacrifices so many make for our freedom.  

I also thought about past years and traditions.  Missing my grandparents house across from Sugar House park, where one of the biggest firework shows in Utah happens.  I missed hanging out with my cousins.  Watching everyone fight traffic while we sat on the lawn eating ice cream cones and doing sparklers while we waited for it to die down.  And missing the few years when I lived in the apartment above their house and I could just go upstairs and go to bed and listen to the cops yelling and directing traffic.  I remembered different friends and dates that I'd invite over the years to join me and the family.  Some good, some not so good.  Remind me to tell you about the year I had my friend call me and fake a car accident, so I could get out of a date I was already on, so I could go back and be with family.

Although I miss the good ol' days and simpler times, I'm pretty happy with how I've spent the past couple years.  No crowd fighting.  No sitting in the sun for hours.  Just fun with my little family.  Barbecue and peach pie. Playing in the water. And then snuggling my babies and having them in bed before the firework shows are even over.

My kids had plenty of clothes given to them this year to show their patriotism.  We had enough outfit changes throughout the day to rival a Lady Gaga concert.  Most changes weren't to show off the new clothes, though, more because of water, spit-up, tomato juice, dirt, etc...

 Addie loves the tree swing.  She was in it for about an hour and could have stayed longer.

Auntie Annie bought 5 baby ducks a couple of weeks ago for Grandma and Dude-pa's yard. (I think she mostly bought them because Garrett loves ducks.)  On Tuesday evening, G-ma and D-pa decided the ducks needed their own pond, and by the time we got there yesterday, it was mostly finished!  Garrett had a blast with the ducks, he was outside for hours.  And Addie didn't mind the baby ducks, either.

 Garrett loved throwing poppers.  And even though he walked around the house with his ears covered, he wasn't scared by the sound.  Addie wasn't bothered by it either.  They both just sat and watched and Dude-pa lit fireworks, and as we heard others throughout the city.

Happy 4th!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

June Trip to Utah: Part 3

We found out during our trip to Utah that my dad was going to be having surgery while we were there.  After some back and forth conversations with Paul we decided that the kids and I would stay a few extra days to be with my dad.  Grandkids are a great distraction when you're recovering and waiting for results.  Paul flew home the day after we got back from Bear Lake (Sunday the 24th) and then he flew back late on the 27th to drive back with us on Thursday the 28th.

It was nice to have nothing to do for a couple days after our Bear Lake trip.  Being at my parent's house, where they are the clear choice when it comes to playmates, I got my vacation from my vacation.

I helped with a bridal shower for my cousin Elizabeth.
We played at the park.

Garrett showed me his owie's.
We went to Wheeler Farm one afternoon.  Garrett thought every duck, every chicken, every animal, every tractor, every barn, every stick, and every rock was the coolest thing ever.  And my laid back Addie was happy just being along for the ride.

I love the bottom right of Garrett in the picture above.  Pure joy!

The kids and I spent an afternoon with my Grandma and Grandpa Garrett.  My Grandpa has a friend who lives just a couple blocks away who he helps garden with everyday.  My Grandpa had an immaculate garden when he lived and Sugar House and I think everyone knew that giving that up to move to their town home with a tiny yard in Centerville would be one of the hardest parts for him.  He met Bobby in his new ward and just asked one day if he'd be willing to let my grandpa come over and help out.  I think they've saved each others lives.  My grandpa has transformed an already beautiful garden into something incredible.  They also have ducks, chickens, quail and bees.  And my grandpa just does it because he loves it.  And he gets all the vegetables he needs!

Anyway, my Grandpa was on his way to Bobby's to do some watering and he asked if he could take Garrett.  My cute old fashioned Grandpa just sat Garrett in the front passenger seat of his car, belted him in, and they were off.  I probably should have insisted they take the car seat, but my grandpa was just so excited and Bobby lives so close that I just said a quick prayer that they'd be safe.

When they got back about an hour later, Garrett was SO excited!!!  I've never seen him try so hard to communicate everything he'd just seen.  Even though the only thing I understood was 'QUACK', I knew it must have been fun.  I'd never been to Bobby's and I knew when I saw this excitement that I'd be sad if I didn't get a picture of the 2 of them, so the next day I took Garrett back for some pictures.

I loved when Addie would grab my Grandma's hands.  Such well used hands with tiny brand new hands.  The pictures didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped, but it was so cute.

Just before Paul flew into town, my dad got results from his surgery.  The doctor had said it was a text book procedure and that everything should be fine.  Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.  Some cancer was found in a lymph node.  He went in for a CT scan on Saturday, and has an MRI scheduled for tomorrow.  Hopefully we'll know all we can know by Thursday and then treatment options will be discussed.  We almost stayed longer, but felt we needed to get the kids home and back in our routine.

The drive went better than expected, and although I said I'd never do it with both kids in one day again, we did.  We stopped in St. George, where Taylor and Samira are living now, and had a nice break.  I think that helped.  And I'm guessing that won't be the last time we do the drive in a day, so I won't say it again.

Home at last!  And still (mostly) happy!