Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Did I really just say that?

M:"Skyler, stop complaining. Aria, don't tie your brother in a knot."

Monday, December 29, 2008


Overheard in Aria's room. Skyler is trying to get to a toy on the top shelf of the closet.

S:"It's too high to reach!"

A:"What are you going to do? Are you going to do wall-jumping?"

S:"No! I'm not going to do wall-jumping, Aria. Why, that's impossible! (Pause). I'm going to climb the wall like Spiderman."

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Did I really just say that?

This is a new series I'm starting, inspired by my friend Jaymie, who periodically documents the strange things that come out of her mouth as a parent. I'd like to dedicate this first one to her.

Shelby: "Alright, new rule. No one in this family is allowed to shoot anybody else in this family ever again."

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pajama bottoms

I've been thinking a lot about pajama bottoms. They most recently head-lined in my brain when Shelby and I attended Light in the Piazza at the Pioneer Theater in Salt Lake a couple of weeks ago. A minute or two after we'd taken our seats, a young woman walked up the aisle next to us wearing pajama bottoms...well, she had more than JUST pajama bottoms on. I'm pretty sure there was a pajama top as well, hidden not-so-cleverly under a hooded sweatshirt.

Now, I consider myself a fairly non-judgmental person, but I couldn't help but think to myself...and out loud to Shelby, "What on earth is she doing coming to a professional theatrical production wearing pajama bottoms?!" I then, in the privacy of my head, ranted about people wearing them out in pubic. Later, I felt a little guilty because I have, on two different occasions, gone out in public wearing pajama bottoms. So, after much thought and consideration, I've decided that there are just a few, rare exceptions, when I think it is perfectly socially acceptable to wear pajama bottoms out in public. Feel free to disagree with me, but this is my list:

1. It is anytime after 11:00pm and your children are sick. Trips to the store for medicine, or to the hospital may be made in PJ B's.

2. It is anytime after 8:00pm and it is "that time of the month." Trips to the store for medicine, sanitary supplies, or chocolate may be made in PJ B's.

3. You are asked to paint a set on a Saturday morning. You may wear your PJ B's.

4. You are in a show and are traveling straight to the theater, on a night when you have no one you know coming, where you will change directly into your costume. After the show, you will not go anywhere with friends, but will go directly home. You may wear PJ B's.

5. You are actually clinically depressed. You may wear PJ B's.

6. You have just had a baby (no more than 6 weeks ago) and are making a diaper run, because your baby goes through 11 diapers every day and your husband had to go back to work, so he can't make the run for you. You may wear PJ B's.

It is more than possible that I have missed a few special circumstances, so if you can think of any, please feel free to add them. Like I said, you may also disagree. I've just been thinking about this for several weeks, and I'm hoping that by writing it down, I can finally get some sleep. In my favorite pajama bottoms. At home.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Over dinner tonight:

S:"Aria, What do you call a snowman in June?"

A:"Uhm, Winter?"

S:"No, it's Summer. June is Summer. What do you call a snowman in June?"

A:"Uhm, I don't know."

S:"A puddle!"

A:"Ha! Ok. What do you call a train in February?"

S:"A train in February is still a train."

A:"Oh. Right. Well, what do you call a train in December in corn?"

S:(Confused) What?"

A: "Grass!"

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Traditions

I get a little funny during the holidays. Well, I'm always a little funny, sometimes a lot funny where people laugh at my aside comments or entire rooms erupt into applause at some joke I came up with. But, by "a little funny" in this case, I mean "a tad quirky." There are just some things about the season, you know?

I bake. Like last year I baked...and baked and baked and baked SO much that my husband thought I was pregnant. No, I wasn't and no I'm not. I just like to bake when it snows, okay? I like how my house smells, I like that I can share my bake-y things and I like that I can eat as many of my bake-y things as I want when everyone else has gone to bed. So far this year, I've made so much banana bread, gingerbread, and peanut butter balls it would make your head spin! I went through our entire flour food storage last December and it's going that way again this year. So,if you are still wondering, "What on earth could I get Annie for Christmas this year?" as I know many of you are, you might consider flour. It's relatively inexpensive and it's something I would really like...and that YOU might really like a couple of weeks later in cookie-form. Which brings me to the next topic:

I'm kind of a strange person to shop for. I've been notified recently that I frustrate some people because I rarely ask for anything really cool for Christmas. It turns out that the things I like to get are not necessarily the kinds of things that people like to give. For instance, last year I seriously BEGGED my husband to get me some large plastic storage bins. He finally relented, but insisted that if anyone asked me what my husband got for me, I was supposed to say jewelry, or a fancy something else...anything but plastic storage bins. Sorry honey, secret's out! On the list this year are CD storage wallets, a new shower liner, and various colors of eye shadow(I think Shelby has those covered. Thank you, honey!) It's not that I can't purchase these things for myself, or that my husband doesn't make enough money or anything like that. I just always choose to by-pass these items. "Another time." No particular reason. I don't mean to be annoying. I just like not-cool stuff, I guess. I'm cool with that. Maybe you could be too! So, maybe if you're still thinking, "What should I get Annie for Christmas?" you could think of the top not-cool presents. I'd probably LOVE them! I could use one or two more storage bins. I'm just sayin'....

I am ALL about holiday traditions, I just have a really bad memory about those kinds of things. I swear to you, every year I have to have Shelby remind me how we do Christmas morning. As children (and truthfully, faithfully through our teenage years) we came out on Christmas morning after, and ONLY after, we heard the voice of Pee Wee Herman scream, "IT'S CHRISTMAS!!" followed immediately by dancing/singing gold-sequin-clad back-up girls and the sharp choreography of the Naval Academy Men's Choir. Having Pee Wee's Christmas Special playing while we opened presents was so strangely normal to us. It was not until I mentioned this in Relief Society about 6 years ago, when we were talking about traditions, that I realized that this was not the sort of tradition that most families take part in (I gathered this from the absolute halt in comments and the looks of 30 faces staring at me in bewilderment. I also learned that night that not everything that comes to my mind needs to be shared). While my children do watch this show during the holiday season, it is not part of our Christmas morning routine. Maybe that's why I have no idea what we DO do. I'm sure Shelby will let me know soon.

I enjoy shoveling snow. I like the way my toasty body sweats inside all my outdoor gear and I like the way, in contrast, my eyes freeze because no one's ever invented eye-mittens. I like the satisfaction of seeing the results of my hard work and being a part of that Truman Show-esque moment when every household has someone outside takin' care of business. No-you know what I mean! I like to be that person.

I still cannot successfully wrap gifts. If you pick up the one that's all crumply and has way too much tape on it--that's from me. I don't even need to make a tag. You'll just know. I have given you the gift of predictability. Merry Christmas.

Seriously, Merry Christmas.


Looking at a picture on Grandma's refrigerator. The picture is of a little naughty boy looking at Santa.

Grandma:"Aria, what do you think of that little boy? He looks naughty."

Aria:"He's not naughty, Grandma."

Grandma:"No? Well, what is he?"

Aria:"He's mad."

Grandma:"Why is he mad?"

Aria:"He's mad at Santa because he didn't get what he wanted for Christmas."


A:"Mom! I know all 3 cities in Clearfield!"
M:"Really? What are they?"
A:"Well, one is Clearfield, then Provo, and the last one is Idaho. Idaho is my favorite city in Clearfield."

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Our Gallery

The Ferrin family is proud to announce the grand opening of our new art gallery. Admission is only 1 magic eraser.
Can those erase red sharpies? Here is the proud artist, and his "proud" father:

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Ward Christmas Party

Tonight for our ward Christmas party, the primary children participated in a nativity scene. Skyler was a shepherd and Aria was an angel. I know, I know.
Skyler, looking thrilled, with his fellow shepherds. Apparently he had to take down a desert leopard to clothe himself. The exertion was overwhelming for him:
Aria and Ruby:The whole shabang:
Aria secretly wanted to be a lamb (and practiced baa-ing all afternoon), but she went on as an angel and was very proud of herself. Afterward, she asked her daddy, "How long do we play?"

D: "Play what?"

A: "That little show we just did."

D: "Oh. That's it, honey. Just that one time."

A: "Hm, that's not a very long run."

Friday, December 5, 2008

Roto rooter

As many of you know, and as was mentioned previously, Shelby recently underwent a surgery which his ENT affectionately called the "Roto Rooter" treatment. It was a long time coming and we are so grateful for all the generous and wonderful support we have had from family and friends.

The surgery consisted of a much-needed septoplasty, turbinate reduction, and removal of some sinus bone. I've seen poor Shelby in better shape both before and after the surgery, but now, nearly two weeks out, we are beginning to notice the positive changes in his ability to breathe and drain (gross, but necessary) properly. Hallelujah! Stick it out, babe! You're doing great!

Here are some photos from surgery day, beginning with this pre-surgery cheese ball. You can't see it, but he had booties that matched his cool hat. SO stylin'.
Here is how he thought he would look after the surgery.
Here's how he actually looked after the surgery. Pretty close, huh? He doesn't remember much of this time. I had to keep reminding him to breathe. That was fun and not at all upsetting...for both of us.
Here's how I looked after the surgery, completely confident in my ablility to care for Shelby.
And here, we finally got him home where he could recover comfortably, and by comfortably I mean totally uncomfortably with kids yelling and climbing all over him and with his wife accidentally elbowing him in the nose in the middle of the night. It's actually a miracle he's recovering :) What a trooper! See how happy he looks?!
Thanks again to everyone for your help, prayers, and support. Thanks to you, Shelby will finally be able to breathe easily.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Shelby here, hijacking the blog again.

Last night I gathered the children together to share something very special with them. Something that has been an important influence for good in my life. Something filled with wisdom and mirth that has carried me through tough times. Something that only comes on TV during the first part of December.

I'm talking about that yuletide classic, "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer."

If you think I'm joking about how influential that movie has been for me, you've obviously never heard me reassure my wife in moments of codependence, "let's be independent together." Or bad-mouthed a cranky child by teasing, "Hermie doesn't like to make toys." And you've probably never seen me cry when talking about the Island of Misfit Toys, home to the wonderful toys who have been shunned because they don't work quite like others expect them too. Think about what I do for a living and you'll realize why, though it sounds absurd, I'm not kidding. I bawl every time.

The movie taught be such life lessons at a tender age, which is why I was so eager to share it with my children.

So there I was, holding Aria next to me when Rudolph was suddenly rejected for his shiny nose, rejected by all, that is, but the lovely Clarice, who reassured him, "there's always tomorrow for dreams to come true."

Because Aria has had a rough time lately with being good for Christmas, I took this opportunity to teach her that tomorrow will always be another day, filled with opportunities for change and even for dreams to come true.

Dad: "Who knows what tomorrow will be like, Aria? Even if you've had a terrible day and gotten into lots of trouble, tomorrow might be the best day of your life."

Aria: "The best day - of my life!?"

Dad: "Yes, you never know when your dreams will come true. Tomorrow might be the day when everything turns out just the way you've dreamed."

Aria: "Yes! There will be pink, sparkly ice cream!"

We all learn life's lessons at our own pace, I guess.

Monday, December 1, 2008


The kids are in the tub.

A:"Mom! Xander bit me!! Ow! Mom! Xander BIT me!!"

S:"It's because he thinks you're delicious."


X, smiling and poking his head above the rim of the tub:"Yum. Yum yum."

A college Thanksgiving

A little shout out to Jaymie, who reminded me of one of the strangest holidays I've ever had.

One fall at BYU a bunch of us who were not going home for the holiday decided to host our own Thanksgiving dinner in our condo. We decorated the table and even donned pilgrim and Native American garb cut from paper grocery sacs.

While many of the guests were quite experienced cooks, some of us were most definitely not, as was evidenced by my sealing the pie securely to the pie plate by wrapping the crust up and under the tin. It was fine craftsmanship.

I still can't remember who broke the thermometer in half. I only remember the declaration that whoever found the other half of the thermometer in their piece of turkey was prophesied to have good luck for the following year.

I remember that Janna and I tried to make the gravy, that the fat was poured down the drain and that there was a lot of flour involved. The "gravy" somehow turned green, and though no one ate it (as per a warning from the chefs) the guests had seen how hard we worked on whatever it was and insisted that it at least be placed on the table.

I know this isn't the kind of post I usually make, but is there anyone out there who remembers more details? My memory is less than reliable.

Also, I have still never made my own gravy (except from the packet). I choose to fight my demons one at a time. Oh, and I think Thanksgiving should be at MY house next year. Muu ha ha ha!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

My mother is horrified

K, so since Shelby had his sinus surgery, I've been doing things I've never done before. To my credit(hey, it's my blog) I do lots of gross and/or tedious things on a regular basis: do dishes, clean out shower and sink drains, do laundry, change totally nasty diapers, do dishes, wipe boogers, do laundry, clean mysterious substances under the kitchen table, laundry, dishes, laundry. Also dishes.

There are, however, some things that I just have never had to do or, to be honest, have avoided doing hoping that someone else will just do it. Shelby is usually my someone else, but since he's been out of commission, I've had to be my own someone else. I know. It's so sad to think about.
But what could I do? The vacuum bag wasn't going to change itself and the house needed to be vacuumed...badly. I think you hear what I'm saying. I've never changed a vacuum bag in my entire life. Never. What?! I've been busy! Plus, it's gross.

Anyway, I surprised even myself. I can do it! My new talents also include putting up the Christmas tree and supervising the decorating of said tree by myself, hanging up the outside Christmas lights and changing the humidifier water. I'm a regular Maverick. I've been pumping my own gas for years. Brushing my own teeth for longer. I know. Kind of amazing.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Because Shelby is still recovering from sinus surgery, I was out putting up the Christmas lights for the first time ever. Aria came out and watched me from below.

She looked up quizzically:"Mama, does it look like a crap yet?"

M:"What? What did you say?!"

A:"Does it look like a crap yet?"

M:"Aria! Why would you say something like that to me?"

A:"Daddy said it would look like a crap. Does it look like one yet?"

M:"Mommy needs to go have a word with Daddy."

(For the record, Shelby vehemently denied saying any such thing....hmm.)


Today Skyler and Aria were out playing on the tree swing, when Aria did not get as long a turn as she wanted.

Aria, huffing and yelling:"FINE!! I'm going to run away to AMERICA!!!"

Skyler, calling after her:"Aria! You're already IN America!!"

Aria:"Really? Oh....well FINE! I'm going to run away to SALT LAKE!"

Xander, waving:"Bye!! Bye, Aria!!"


Aria is sitting in time out...again.

M:"You'd better be careful, Aria. Santa's watching.

A:"I wish he wouldn't. "

Friday, November 28, 2008


A:"Momma! I have a tummy ache to go with my sore throat. I guess I'm just a little sicko."

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Skyler and Aria recently had the great privilege of attending a local production of Peter Pan with their Grandpa Ferrin. He generously took both of them to the brunch beforehand and then the show (they were pretty impressed with the "Director Reserved: Ferrin" signs on their seats--it pays to go to shows with the "in" crowd).

After watching hours of Captain Hook terrorize the good guys, they saw him thrown overboard his own ship where he had to sort out his fate with that ticking crocodile he so hated.

Skyler, who watched silently, but intently, finally leaned over to grandpa and whispered,"Well, it's like I always say; what goes around, comes around."

Aria and Ruby, free fallin'

Attention people: the name and images of Aria's little friend used within this blog post are done so with permission from the minor's mother.

Aria's best friend Ruby is one of the coolest kids I know. Maybe it's because of her absolute devotion to wearing either a skirt or a dress every day. Maybe it's her adorable glasses. Maybe it's because every word that comes out of her mouth reminds me of something Aria might say. Maybe it's because she's polite, smart, and funny. I'm sure, however that it is mostly because she is such an awesome friend to Aria. If given the opportunity, these two would spend the whole day together (and have on a few occasions) and would never tire of it. As it is, when everyone is healthy and home, they play almost every day for at least a couple of hours. I LOVE it and I LOVE her!!

Here are a few photos of the two sillies jumping in our giant leaf pile: (check out Aria's pose in the first pic).

Since we're posting about Aria and Ruby....

The two cuties climbing our crab apple tree in the backyard:

Kinda like the PC ads?

This was the day the kids decided that their laundry bins could magically transform them into computers:


This morning over breakfast, Skyler was informing us on the poll results of a recent survey conducted in his first grade classroom.

S:"Well, in the class, I voted for turkey, but mashed potatoes won."

M:"Oh! Was it a survey about Thanksgiving foods you like?"

S:"Yes. You had to choose what was your favorite Thanksgiving food and your choices were turkey, pumpkin pie, and mashed potatoes and because my teacher voted for mashed potatoes it made 10 and so mashed potatoes won on the graph."

M:"Aw, man! Sounds like a fun survey though!"

A:"Uhm, Skyler? How much kids like chicken patties?"

Saturday, November 22, 2008


At recess last Thursday, Skyler was plowed over by an overenthusiastic, oblivious running classmate. He unfortunately landed head-first on the black top and received the most enormous goose-egg you've ever seen. Trust me. I really think you've never seen one this big. None of the teachers or staff at the school had ever seen one this big either. The pic doesn't do it justice, I assure you. It literally stuck out about 2 full inches from his head.
The good news is that the swelling is way down and he remained coherent. The bad news is that he had to get it in the first place, and also that the bruising is pretty unbelievable. We're just grateful that it wasn't worse. Head injuries are scary!!
Oh! Also, that thing on his head is the cold corn bag I sewed at the Super Saturday activity! Sew handy!! I must admit I'm surprised it works.


Anyone who's been around my children lately will have noticed that they've been a bit cranky. For those of you who know Aria, this will come as no surprise, but for Skyler it's a little shocking and quite disconcerting. This happened on the ride home yesterday:

Aria:"Mom, you're a stinkermama!"

M:"What?! I am not! Why would you say that, Aria?"

S:"Um, I'm thinking of a word that I think maybe Aria's thinking of and that word is "Youdeservedit."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Olive Garden

I've come to the conclusion that the Olive Garden is the only restaurant on earth where the people dining there are really as happy as they appear to be on the commercials. I know that I honestly look that happy when I eat there. You should take me there and see.

Red Robin? Applebees? The people look WAY to happy to be where they are. Send those people to Olive Garden! It's where they belong.

I dare say that the only other commercial that has it right is maybe Chuck E. Cheese, but that doesn't count because all those people are

1. Children

and let's face it,

2. Happy for reasons other than food. You know it's true.

So, thank you, Olive Garden commercial makers. You are the diamond of truth in the rough sea of misleading restaurant advertisements.

And thank you Olive Garden chefs, for pasta fagioli soup, chicken alfredo, and extra dipping sauce for my extra yummy breadsticks. I love you.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Creating warmth..kind of

I decided to pick up my crocheting again. Maybe it's because I've been feeling cocky with my recent sewing success (see "Sew what") and haven't been able to get my hands on my still-in-storage sewing machine. Maybe it's because I'm quite certain that once I do get my hands on it, I'll have no idea what to do next. Better stick with something you know, right? While you're trying to figure out what to do about what you don't know. And I know crocheting....kind of.

Sew (HA HA!), I brought my little Sterilite bin of all things yarn-y upstairs so that I may crochet while watching my favorite shows. I've decided that I will make a scarf. I've never made one before, so we'll see how this goes.

A little history: In the past I have crocheted (that word looks dirty) dish cloths, which have come out wonderfully when I am consistent with my crochet count, and when I use absorbant yarn. I have even dared give these as gifts...mostly to my mother...who swears she loves them. I choose to believe her.

I have also crocheted a couple of blankets, standard double crochet. I gave one to my son Skyler when he was born and he loves it. I actually believe him. The other "blanket" was given to my sister as a Christmas gift. Let's just say she was gypped that year. There is still debate to this day, 7 years later, about what the "blanket" was intended to be. Some say a doll's cape. Some say a very very small, misshapen lap throw. She keeps it as a conversation piece...and for no other reason. I promise you. (A couple of years ago, I told my mom I was making her a Christmas gift and she very noticeably cringed...and asked me not to).

So, I've decided to start on my scarf, paying attention to my crochet count and how tightly I pull my yarn. I've done about 6 rows on a 25 count (excepting 2 rows which ended up being 26...math has never been my strong point) and I think it will turn out well. You all had better be cheering me on because maybe I'll decide that this is your year to receive a little homemade love.


Today I took Aria to her dance class at the city rec building. I was holding Xander and as we waited for the elevator, he spotted an elderly gentleman who looked like a war veteran; you know, wheel chair, black ball cap, oxygen tank, a long, long white beard.

Xander, excited to show off his vocab, pointed and yelled,"Ho Ho HO! Ho Ho HO!"

Yeah, the elevator could not come fast enough. :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I can't believe I forgot this one!

After Aria and I finished voting, I promised her we could go get a free "voting donut" from Krispy Kreme. On the way, however, we had to stop and make a deposit at the credit union.

A: "Momma, where are we going? I thought we were gonna get a donut."

M: "I'm sorry, honey, we are going to get a donut, but first we have to stop at the credit union so I can make a deposit."

A: "But I wanted a donut!"

M: "You'll get a donut...and if you don't complain while we're here you can also have a sucker."

A: " What!? We voted for a sucker!?"

(And I thought to myself, you know, given the big ol' mess our president has to deal with, maybe we did. Too late! I respectfully say, 'Sorry, sucka!')


Our whole little family was driving to Layton yesterday and it was getting a little noisy (to say the least). Skyler and Aria were jib-jabbing back and forth...loudly and a bit argumentatively about which were the best video games and their strongest selling points. Picture this at the same time and in full volume:

S:"I love all the Mario games the best! They're way better than the ones you like to play because if you get to a certain level you can get a magic flute which lets you warp to another level like level eight which is one of the hardest levels you could ever play, but you'd better try to get extra protection by becoming raccoon Mario or something like that because if you get hurt by a Bullet Bill....

A:"No! I love Barbie Dress-ups! They're just the BEST and I like them better than the other games because you can change all their outfits and they have all different kinds of shoes and pretty dresses and you can even pick which earrings you want them to have or change their hair color and some have costumes with ballet clothes and....

Finally Shelby and I had had enough and Shelby yelled over the chaos,"That's IT!!! ENOUGH!! If you guys want to talk that's fine but you have to be QUIET and if I hear one more word about video games we are NOT going to the party."

Xander, sitting quietly: " m'AH RIO!"

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thithter Thuthy thittin' on a thithle

Hear ye, Hear ye! Skyler lost his first tooth!! Yay, Skyler!! Tonight we were at the high school watching Lend me a Tenor (isn't that just how it goes with our family?) when 5 minutes into the second act, Skyler leans over and whispers excitedly, "Mom! My tooth! My loose tooth came out!" He was so excited and there was fortunately no blood, so we were happy all around. :) What a cutie!! He kept showing everyone and wouldn't put it down (except when he accidentally dropped it in the HS hallway amongst 30 arts patrons all congratulating the actors...thank you for finding it, Jaron).

Before putting it under his pillow, he stroked it tenderly and whispered sentimentally, "Goodbye, my tooth."


Xander doesn't have many Xanderisms, chiefly because his vocabulary is somewhat limited...being only 22 months old and all. So, we take what we can get :)

Xander has recently been introduced to his favorite cereal of all time: Alphabits. When requesting these...

X:"E B's! E B's! E B eh' G's!"


Grandma Blais and I were at the mall yesterday with Aria and Xander. As is standard during this holiday season, Santa was seated in his wonderland throne. After much convincing and certainly being swayed by the fact that Santa had given Xander a candy cane, Aria decided to talk with him.

Later, she us what she had asked Santa to bring her. Suddenly she paused, then burst into sobs.

M:"Oh my gosh, honey, what's wrong?"

A:"I don't like what Santa said to me (heaving sob)!!"

M:"What? What did he say to you, sweetie?"

A:"(Heaving sob) He told me to pick up my toys and clean my room--Waahh haaaaaeh haaaaaaeh!!!"

I guess some of us just aren't willing to pay the price.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A good example to us all

Usually in the morning, the kids are up before we are, and they play downstairs in the playroom or family room while Daddy and I drag ourselves out of bed. I went down to join them and to convince Skyler to get dressed for school when I saw this:They were going for a morning run together on the Wii Fit. It was so cute, I had to snap a pic. They were both breathless and running, saying things like, "Come on Aria! I'm just around the corner!" "I think I lost my trainer!" They were hard-core!
After they stopped, they turned around and Aria, panting, said, "I was just exercising so I could be ready for dance class today." To which Skyler added, "And I was exercising so I could be ready for Handwriting."

It's a throne, right?

Occasionally, if it gets too quiet in the bathroom, I check to see what's going on. This is what I saw a couple days ago:
(She happens to be reading a Christmas toy catalog).

Monday, November 10, 2008


So, Michael McLean came to Aida tonight and caused quite a stir backstage. For those of you who don't know, he is a popular LDS songwriter. Anyway, while I have admiration for him and his success, I don't get very star-struck (besides David Archuletta...how cute is HE?), so I had time to think of other things backstage; namely other celebrities or people of note that have crossed my path. I've decided to make a list of them here for my own sake, mostly for remember-y purposes. Feel free to skip this post, or travel down memory lane with me-whichever you prefer. I'll be adding to this annoying list as my memory revives itself. It could take a very long time.

Real People Celebrities I've Met:
Michael McLean
Ashley Simpson
Donny Osmond
Angie Larson
Norbert Leo Butz
Audra McDonald
Ivanka Trump
John Lithgow
Paul Zaloom from Beakman's World

Also, Soleil Moon Frye sent Shelby and me an anniversary card. How cool is that?

Never again

Today, I did not kill my daughter. Thank you, thank you. I am noticing that whenever I take Aria to Wal-Mart for any reason or for any length of time, she is a horror. I consider myself a fairly patient mother; loving, kind, good-looking, but I swear to you, I will never take her into that store again if I can help it. It does something to her, or to me, or both. It's hard to tell. Did you notice that last time I declared it no small miracle that I did not kill my daughter, it was also a day I took her to Wal-Mart? It is the truth. Maybe it's the constant asking for things...constant. Maybe it's the hanging all over the cart and using her foot as an emergency brake. Maybe it's the complete break-downs when I refuse to get her everything she wants. I'm sure it's a combination of many things, but I will not do it again. I am making a choice, for the betterment of our relationship, for my sanity, and to ensure that Aria will indeed live a long, happy life.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


M:"Sweetie, did you read the note I left for you in your home lunch?"

S:"Uhm, no."

M:"What?! You didn't read it? Why not?"

S:"Well, I didn't know what it said! Hmmm...I guess that's how it always is before you read something."


S:"Well, I guess I thought maybe it said that you hated me or something."

M:"What?! Skyler! It said that I loved you so much and I was thinking about you and hoping you were having a great day! I would NEVER say I hated you. I don't hate you, I LOVE you!"

S:"Oh, yeah. Or maybe I thought you were writing about Olivia (name has been changed to protect the innocent), and you know, she's my enemy.

M:"What?! Why would I write a note to you about Olivia?"

S:"I don't know, Mom. Why would you?!"

M:"What?! I DIDN'T!"

S:"Oh. Oh yeah."

Little known fact: it's gripping!

Xander is a fist eater. Not in the eat-your-fist way; you know the trick 11-yr-old boys show their friends to shock and amaze them? Not that way. He eats as much food as he needs to while sitting down, then stores the rest in his fist for later. Like he'll eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, leaving a big hunk hidden in his fist while he plays trains, colors, climbs the bunk beds, runs around the yard or swings on the playground. Then, several hours later, when you go to wash him up for dinner, he still has that hunk of sandwich locked tightly in his grip for a snack time that never came. You know, just in case. It's both gross and very impressive.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Today, I took my Aria and Alexander to the polls to witness democracy at work. I've spent the last few days explaining the presidential campaign to Aria and the importance and privilege of voting. She was SO excited to be able to stand next to me as I voted; I even let her push a few of the buttons for me(don't worry, it was supervised). She was being very good and quiet so I could concentrate, then I heard an excited squeal:

A:"Eee! I can't believe it! This is so exciting! Who is going to win to be the President, Momma?"

M:"I don't know yet, honey. We'll have to wait and see."

A: "Ooo! Maybe YOU!"

(Several hours later, she even said, "Momma. Did you win?" Hey. It could happen :)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sew what?

Okay, for those of you out there who insist that I have no flaws or shortcomings (there are many of you-hold your applause) I feel it only ethical to let you in on a little secret. I don't sew. I know, I know. It's difficult to believe, but it is oh, so very true.

There are people who say, "Oh, I don't sew. Only, buttons and hemming my kids pants." Yeah. I don't do those things either. I also don't iron, but that's another story. I wish that I was awesome at sewing, but I'm afraid it's a little like when I played basketball; I might end up being good enough to pretend to be useful, but the truth is I'll never make a lay-up. Never.

I actually own a sewing machine. It was given to me 5 years ago by a friend who was moving. It apparently is in good working condition despite it age, a fact I'm sure I could verify should I ever use it. I must confess I'm very scared of it. Bobbins frighten me and produce the same visceral effect that math does; you know, the nervous laughter which turns quickly into hysterical crying? Yeah, it's not pretty.

I've kind of blamed it on my mother for years...and by 'kind of' I mean absolutely (sorry Mom). You know, because there are all those women whose mothers sewed and continue to sew, probably still working on the same enormous quilt made from the same baby clothing they sewed for their own children 30 years ago? Dang them. My mother could bake circles around them, and clean their houses in ways they could never imagine. But my mother does not sew...a fact I blame on her mother...which if you knew that story, you'd never blame me for saying it. I also have no pioneer heritage in the traditional sense, so I get no help there.

Why the fear though? Well, I made a pair of shorts and a bean bag frog in 7th grade Home-Ec. When I say 'I', I mean the Home-Ec teacher. The next time I sewed, it was in a college costume shop class. I am not joking when I say that the teacher sent me home because I was crying too loudly over my zipper-failures. Like heaving sobs and boogers. Yes, college. Needless to say, I don't have a good track record and I'm afraid.

I'm also afraid, however, now that I'm 28, I can no longer blame it on my mother. There comes a time when a girl has to take responsibility for her own lack of talent...especially now that I've been married to a man whose parents both can and do sew formals, wedding gowns, costumes, you name it.

Recently, in my quest to overcome my weaknesses and fight my demons, I signed up to make a heat/cold corn bag at a Super Saturday with my ward. I was VERY nervous. What if the corn bag required a zipper? What if there were bobbins involved? Fortunately, I had a VERY patient and understanding sewing mentor who talked to me in a very soothing voice and lulled me into completing the project. It was like sewing on Percocet. I have to say, it didn't even turn out half-bad and nobody got hurt.

So, now I still can't sew buttons or hem pants, but If you've got an achy neck or a goose egg on your head, I'm your girl. I'll work my way up to hemming.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Somethin' about our family I guess....

So yesterday I bought Alphabits cereal for my kiddos. I thought it was a great idea for Xander who loves to sing the alphabet and is just getting to identify some of the letters. It was also a great idea for Aria who is learning to read and who loves to spell out her name whenever she gets the chance. I thought Skyler would appreciate it simply because he loves to read. I never thought that he'd like it because he could do this:
I guess boys will be boys.


This morning I asked Aria for a kiss on the cheek, then another, then another. I kept at it and she obliged over and over. Finally she stopped and looked at me.

A:"Mom. You can't have everything you want."

Friday, October 31, 2008


This is Shelby, doing a little guest blogging today to tell you a story that could only have come from my family.

Two nights ago we were in the front yard carving pumpkins. The kids found the process of cleaning pumpkin goo out with their bare hands fairly unpleasant and soon found other ways to entertain themselves while Annie and I finished the job.

Before long, Skyler and Aria were climbing into the lower branches of an ugly juniper tree near the corner of the house. Skyler was the first to reach the top part of the tree, about 15 feet from the ground. Aria joined him a moment later and yelled out:

Aria:"Hey daddy, I can see the roof from here."

Daddy:"Cool, honey!"

Aria:"Can I get on it?"

Daddy:"I don't think so. That would be dangerous."

Aria (pouting):"But I wanted to get on there and play a violin!"

After a moment of confusion it hit me, and I was so proud to have a theater nerd for a daughter. If you got the reference instantly, I'm glad to have you in the family too.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Warning! This is about poop.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Xander made a poop on the potty!!
He was standing next to the potty the other day, looking at it and grunting, so Shelby asked if he wanted to try using the big boy potty.


So, Shelby stripped him down and sat him on the potty. After making a few toots, and with a crowd gathered to cheer him on, he had success! First time, first try. Way to go buddy!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Randomly as we were driving home:

Aria:"Mom, if a ball was mad at you, it would piss at you."


So I was eating sandwiches and cottage cheese with the kiddos the other day and was struck by just how much I adore them. So, I commented, "I just love you guys SO stinkin' much!"

Skyler:"Yeah, you would never let anyone kidnap us."

Aria:"Yeah! Or kill us! Or put us in jail!"

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Proof of omentum momentum

Remember the omentum momentum post a few weeks ago? Well, I've got proof. A while ago, Skyler was asked in school to draw a picture of his family. Guess which one is me! Yup. That's me. The second-tallest adult. The one with the enormous stomach...and the boy haircut. I am HOT! Also, I levitate, which is very hard to do with all the extra weight. Take that! I am AWESOME!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ring Ding Dong

There has been a little debate going on in our family about which is better: Ding Dongs, the popular chocolate, creme-filled cake snack sold by Hostess here in the Mountain West; or Ring Dings, the popular chocolate, creme-filled cake snack sold by Drakes in New England. Both are comparable in weight and ingredients, and both are owned by the same parent company. Both, in my opinion, are yummy and worthy of late-night snackage.

For the record, Shelby has argued with my mom for years about this topic. He argued that they were both owned by the same nation-wide company and were therefore pretty much the same. Mostly he wanted her to stop griping about how Ring Dings were SO much better.

We decided to settle this once and for all by conducting a blind taste-test in our very own kitchen/lab. Here's how it all went down:

Skyler was very methodical, but quick. He voted with a preference for the Ding Dongs. 1:0
Aria took her vote very seriously. She nibbled one, had a sip of milk, nibbled the other and repeated several times. After deliberating audibly with her, "Hmm....s" and "Uhmm.....s" she confidently declared her allegiance to Ring Dings. 1:1Xander opted to ditch the blindfold and happily gorged himself on both. He seemed impartial. We assumed he voted both. 2:2Now the big tests. I tried the first, then the second. With a tinge of guilt I began apologizing to Shelby. "I'm sorry honey. Maybe it's because it's what I grew up with, but for whatever reason I just like the second one better. It's just a little bit creamier and...What?" I tore off the blindfold and saw Shelby laughing. I had voted for the Ding Dong! I shamed my mother...but I honestly don't care. Ding Dongs are WAY YUM! 3:2Finally, with his reputation on the line, Shelby stepped up to the plate. He tasted one. He took a drink. He tasted the other. His discerning palate at work, Shelby knew there was a lot riding on this test and final vote. And...he unwittingly voted for the Ring Ding! 3:3 We all had a good laugh at the strange reversal in which eight years worth of arguments over these silly snacks were suddenly turned on their heads.
Ah, the irony is rich. 330 calories and 17 fat grams, to be exact.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Little known fact: job security

Recently, Shelby promised one cent for every dandelion the kids picked from our yard. Skyler and Aria happily bring us bundles every few days. Strangely, there have been several sightings lately of a certain blonde girl literally planting dandelion seeds in our front yard...apparently assuring income for the future. You've got to hand it to her, for a 4-yr old, she has great financial acumen.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Skylerism, the latest on his love life.

One of the great things about Skyler attending the school where Shelby works is that Shelby can keep a finger on the pulse of his life at school. Today, Shelby overheard Skyler talking to his sweetheart in the lunch line:

S:"Don't forget your milk. It has calcium which builds strong bones! And you need that. You have little bones."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Today, Aria and I were spending some quality time laying on my bed and watching one of her favorite shows, Max and Ruby. Without warning, Aria looks at me, literally lifts her right leg a foot off the bed and makes the longest, loudest toot ever. I just looked back at her.

Nonchalantly, she said, "Mom? Did you make a toot?"
A: "Yes, Momma. You did."

Monday, October 13, 2008

My favorite thing I heard yesterday

Yesterday I had the awesome privilege of attending a multi-stake fireside for the youth and their leaders. Sister Elaine Dalton, Young Women General President was the keynote speaker. She was so awesome! As part of her talk, she invited a few young men up to the pulpit and asked them individually what priesthood they held. She happened to ask the youngest one first and he replied,

"I'm a deacon and I hold the ironic priesthood."

First snow, Winter...uh, Fall 2008

Sunday morning we all woke up to a Winter wonderland..in the early Fall! After church, we let the kids enjoy it:)

Daddy was thrilled to take the 1/2 hour to help them all get dressed.
It was perfect snowman snow. The kiddos are standing behind their "self" snowmen.
The whole snowman family. See the Halloween ghost decorations hanging behind them (Courtesy of Shelby).
Skyler said, "I can't believe it! I love the snow just as much as video games!" He's also big into tasting the "delicious" snow....
Aria insisted on wearing this too-small hat because it was the only one with a pom pom on top. She also insisted on wearing gloves that were not wet-proof because they were "prettier." She later insisted on wearing my gloves....
Xander didn't remember snow from last year, so he was pretty excited. He wanted his mittens off so he could make little snow balls and squish them until they broke. He got a real kick out of it and kept repeating, "Snow! Snow!"
Who doesn't want yummy hot chocolate with marshmallow fluff after an afternoon out in the snow?!

Not a bad way to start the season, even if it's early!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Over dinner tonight:

Skyler: "Yum, this Cherry 7Up tastes like cherries!"
Aria: "No it doesn't. It tastes like 7."

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I went to college for this?

I have a degree in Audiology/Speech-Language Pathology. Now, I know most people don't work in the same field in which they earned a degree, but this is ridiculous. I've become a professional "Momma Slide."

Skyler: "Keep your arms in the ride. Don't stand up, and a have a great day on the Momma Slide!"

No, really. He actually said that. That's the kind of professional atmosphere I bring to the Momma Sliding experience.


I had just removed a contact that was bothering me and was taking it to clean in the bathroom. I walked by Aria.
A:"What is that?"
M:"My contact."
A: "Ooo, stick it in my eye!"


Over lunch:
S:"Mom, do you know why yogurt is so healthy for you?"
M:" Why, bud?"
S: "Because it has a kind of bacteria in it that makes a good germ that helps your body memorize food."
M:"Memorize food? Oh, do you mean metabolize?"
S:"Oh, yeah, metabolize."

For the record, my body doesn't metabolize food. It memorizes it and asks for more. I knew yogurt was the culprit!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Chuck E. Cheese

My mom took the kids and I to Chuck E. Cheese's the other week. Thanks, Mom! You're awesome! Shelby "had to work." Actually, he really did. We missed you, love!

Xander does this move with his hands very enthusiastically when he's trying hard to be patient. He's waiting for pizza.
And....got it!
Cruisin' the Chuck E. Cheese highway.Grandma's big win!
Momma's big win!
Enjoying the spoils.