Monday, December 14, 2009


Some Dutch/Belgian child was an absolute genius. In the Netherlands and Belgium there is a guy called Sinterklaas and he is a different man from Santa (Kerstmaan). So talk about double the goods. We love other cultures and so we have adopted ourselves into Belgium and the Netherlands. Russ is trying his darndest to teach all of us Dutch and so far Gen looks to be by far the best. We also try to steal some of their traditions for our own and so Sinterklaas pays us a visit too. Sinterklaas comes and brings a toy and candy the night of December 5th. Kids leave out their shoes stuffed with horse food for Sinterklaas' horse and then he and his helper, Zwarte Piet leave candy and a toy if you are a good kid. If you're a naughty child Zwarte Piet comes and whips you and steals you off to Spain (where he is apparently from). I don't know about you, but the South of Spain sounds awfully nice right now and I think I could handle a beating as payment. Piet, I've been extremely naughty this year please come and ship me off to Spain.

Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet

Girls Putting out the Shoes

I Guess They Were Good

Gen and Hannah both love their new princesses with pony

Don't Bother Her, She's Eating--In the corner is a typical Sinterklaas gift. A chocolate letter corresponding to your first name.

And of course a Kinder Egg.

Selecting This Year's Tree

After Thanksgiving we headed to our favorite tree spot and picked out our Christmas tree for this year. Gen got a bit cold (of course she refused her winter coat in favor of some flimsy jacket and Hannah of course has to do everything Gen does) so after Gen had insured that we had picked the right one, she headed for the car. I'm beginning to wonder about the flocked tree this year. I'm about ready to pull my hair out with how often I'm vacuuming and pulling flocking out of every surface known to man. I've got me two wild girls who definitely cannot leave the tree alone!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Real Man

Most of the time I can't bring myself to blog, because I don't want to download and upload the pictures. I really hate that part, but it does add a lot, so then I just end up not blogging. I think today though you'll be glad there isn't a picture of our most recent adventure.

This morning as I was running to get a cup to rinse Hannah's hair as Russ was watching over them (don't worry I watch those drowning commercials that leave me wanting to sick up every time they come on) and well in the interim Hannah decided to leave a twelve inch log in the tub. Yummy. Gen is screaming she wants out and Hannah still doesn't get what the big deal is with pooping the tub. I think she's ready to still spend some quality time in there. A couple of weeks I was dry heaving up a storm as I tried to remove said fecal matter from the tub to the toilet and so Russ being my courageous knight in shinning armor, took care of that horrid chore and he didn't even puke. Seriously, is there anything more manly than that? Definitely not. And Hannah if you poop in the tub again, I might be sending for the gypsies.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Quite Possibly the Best Birthday Ever!

So I hope no pictures is simply indicative of a fabulous birthday and not the result of an addled mind. I am known to forget and loose just about everything. But seriously I had an incredible birthday. I'm so lucky to have such wonderful people in my life who love me and make life awesome. Allie and my mom watched the girls so Russ and I could take off the afternoon of my birthday for Salt Lake. I haven't had a break like that in three and half long years and wow was it amazing. We went shopping, watched tv, read, ate yummy fish at Market Street Grill, went clubbing and stayed in a fantastic B&B and both slept in the next morning. I haven't felt that happy and that much like myself in a long, long time and it was absolute bliss. I also loved the phone calls, the texts, gifts and super nice notes from everyone. I'm so blessed. A huge thank you! I can't wait for tomorrow and the long weekend! I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pee Pee, Boobies and Darn It!

Perhaps this is an inappropriate thing to put on a blog, but I find it quite funny so I'm going to throw caution to the wind and tell you. But you've been warned and if you're not up for a little something PG rated, you may want to skip this post.

One of my favorite thing about little kids, is when they are learning to talk. The way they say things and how they sometimes mess up can be absolutely hilarious. With Gen it's "movies" and Jasmine. Instead of movies, Gen says "boobies". You can imagine all of the hilarious phrases that result from this mispronunciation. "I don't like mommie's boobies. I just like my boobies." "Daddy, do you like mommies boobies?" "Please, mom, can I watch a boobie?" . . .and so on. Jasmine on the other hand sounds like "darn it", but the swearing way. You know you are a bad mom, when you constantly ask her what "that princess' name is" just so you can hear it and laugh. But I bet you're thinking of asking Gen the next time you see her too.

Well Hannah has begun to have one of her own. She has "learned" how to say pretty, lately and when we pass some pre-mature Christmas decorations (more on that in another post) Hannah will get VERY excited and yell "pee pee". Yes, Hannah yes, pee pee.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


So Russ decided recently to let his face follow it's natural course and grow a beard. I really liked the way he looked, but I wasn't so in love with how it felt. Somehow feeling like a cactus is burrowing into the inside of your nose is pretty distracting. Genevieve was altogether not a fan. She kept getting this worried look on her face whenever she'd look at Russ and then would tell him "You need to shave dad. You have pokys! She would also refuse to kiss him except for on his forehead or some other barren spot. Here are some pics of the shave in steps.

And I was so lazy I just laid on the bed a took pictures of myself and Russ as he came out after each shave.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Homecoming Parade

This is the best parade ever. There is absolutely no sleeping out, staking out a spot hours ahead of time or really any fuss. We pull up and walk 10 feet and set up the chairs and then the kids have a great time being showered with candy and I have a great time getting all kinds of good coupons and watching all of the fun entries. This year Mom broke with Nana and came and sat with us. Good move mom! :) Maybe next year we'll have to come sit in your spot, but can't you see ours is oh so much better?

Monday, November 9, 2009

The husband is back and the worst week in a long time is over. If you can help it, never let your husband leave. This isn't the first time, nor is it likely to be last (tragically). I'm not sure how much I'm going to be able to take my own advice, but the rest of you should. However, if you enjoy being so lonely, scared and completely wiped-out that you cry yourself to sleep every night and seriously contemplate the idea of day-care, then maybe you shouldn't listen to me. Yes, my husband helps me A LOT and we hang out whenever he isn't working or slaving over school apps. So really I shouldn't be complaining of one week without him, but I am.

His business in and of itself was long and drawn-out, but then he extended a bit to head down to Duke for an interview and visit. I'm sad I couldn't go check it out like I was able to with Dartmouth, but we're glad he could get down there and get home quicker than flying out and leaving us all over again. Which would likely end in the house blowing up, the kids roaming the streets aimlessly and me with glazed eyes, mumbling about the bird in the black of the night. Wait I'm at least already there.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Get Your Run On

Occasionally, and lately, very occasionally, we get our "run" on. Now when we proclaim we are going running, Genevieve gets really excited, runs into her room and dons her "exercise clothes". I have never referred to her selected outfit as "excercisey" nor required that she change her clothes, but she deems this fun and essential. Also unbidden she finds it necessary to do her "stretches". I really need some of her enthusiasm to leek over into my lazy bones. Here's hoping!

Hannah before said run.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


It was sort of like having those first few days with her again. The ones where I had no idea what I was doing and couldn't get over the newness of it and hadn't found where I was supposed to fit in as mom (not that this has come completely yet anyway). I also had a feeling of what have I gotten myself into. I'm not sure her first dance class is supposed to make me feel like this, but it did. Was I supposed to wait and watch? Was I supposed to help her with her shoes? I have to buy tap AND ballet shoes? How much is this really going to cost? What are all of these other moms doing? I look horrible--apparently I was supposed to dress up for this. Those were some of the thoughts floating around my mind as I tried to keep Hannah's interest through this hour long foray. That was a little over two weeks ago. On her third class I dropped her off and swept Hannah off to Target with the hope that Gen wouldn't have to pee and that her teacher wouldn't care if she had to change her shoes for her. Target wasn't as fun as watching her "dance", but Hannah was much happier and I think we both enjoyed a little one-on-one time and Gen appears to have done fine without my eyes following her behind the one-way mirror.

*The pictures are of Gen's little Halloween performance last week.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I think we're all going through withdrawals since Halloween's end. Genevieve is totally dismayed that Halloween decorations keep disappearing from lawns and I'm wondering when she's going to be ok with our decorations going back into the box. As I type she has on a Halloween shirt and a witch hat. She simply cannot believe that Halloween is over, no matter how many times I try to gently tell her. I'm missing all of the fun events and reasons to get out and about. Hannah is even begging to have her costume put on several times today.

Russ has super hot soccer legs and I love having Halloween as an excuse to enjoy them. I seriously wish kilts were back "in" as common men's attire. Because Gen loves Halloween so much I decided to relent to her ever present request that I be a "nice witch" this year. (She loves to tell us all what we need to be for Halloween. Sadly I couldn't make Russ his Batman costume. lol)! I made my costume myself and it's the hardest thing I've ever sewn, so I was pretty excited there was actually a finished product.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pirate Island

One of the things I love about Allie is she's still a kid at heart like me. We both still LOVE Disneyland and no one was more excited about Pirate Island opening than Allie. She'd seriously constantly check it's opening status via e-mail and drive-bys and so we were so there when it finally opened. I must say it's pretty cool, and while the food isn't terrible it's not that great either. The arcade was a bid of an ADD, germ-fest, but it was fun.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

If You Need a Plumber I've Got Your Man

After several attempts with Draino and Liquid Plummer, we could avoid the inevitable no longer. I dread dealing with anyone in any sort of fix-it occupation. Mostly because I know nothing about what they are coming to fix and so immediately I feel in a terrible position of being extremely vulnerable to being taken advantage of. I also hate being in charge of explaining the problem, being there alone with them and making sure they are fixing only what needs to be fixed and doing it in an expeditious manner. I also dread the end when. . .da-da-dum. . . the horrific number that I'm supposed to fork out for their forty-five minutes of tinkering is supposed to warrant. It's usually exorbitant and I'm left wondering if I'm going to have to sell a kidney.

Our last happy experience involved a minor fridge problem, which was going to cost a fortune. The two guys that showed up spoke some form of backwoodsy English I could barely decipher and after they had broken several things on the fridge after several trips and a plethora of hours, somehow everything they did was NOW covered by the warranty.

So when I needed to call a plumber I was crazy nervous about who to get and how much it was going to cost. I had heard the most horror stories about plumbers and so I was super scared. Providentially my nice neighbor across the street had a plumber's van parked outside her house and I ran over there, after he left, to find out if he was any good. She recommended him and I'm telling you, he's awesome! Shane is honest, I understand what he's saying, he tells you how much it's going to cost and he's actually reasonable. He also recommends a drain guy who is just as cool--Dennis of Drains R' Us. So if you have a problem call Hank's Plumbing (Shane does the replacing of pipes) or Drains R' Us (Dennis expels the junk).

Monday, October 26, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

Wee Witches Weekend

A couple weeks ago, Mom, Allie, Hannah Gen and I headed up to great, and a few more greats, grandpa Archibald Gardner's Mill. He had eleven wives and so really, probably everyone in Utah is related to him somehow. This time we went up for a "bewitching" good time. And this time for reals, I am related.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Big Red Barn

has really good ice cream. Sometimes I contemplate driving all the way to Santaquin just to partake of the ice cream goodness. But then I remember it's Santaquin and I have one child in particular who thinks that screaming the whole time we are in the car is a good idea. Little tip Hannah, it's not. And really the outer reaches of Utah send me into involuntary twitches, but it's worth it for the fun of fall. Hannah and Genevieve absolutely loved it. I'm loving it! We're having a great time absolutely devouring every fall/Halloween activity this valley has to offer. I think I'll almost be a sad as Gen when it all comes to an end.

This year, as with all years, we rode the "hayride" out to the pumpkin patch, took a bazillion horrible pictures of ourselves, ate super yummy ice cream and then headed for dinner at the good ol' Family Tree where some nice man always croons away "Monster Mash" for Gen. This year my Gammie came and we loved the new addition.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I just can't get enough of this absolutely gorgeous weather. I feel like singing in the streets. The leaves are breathtaking both here and in the mountains, the temperature is absolutely perfect, the sky is an amazing shade of blue and there is just enough rain all smattered among the lovely sunny days. And the smell, I still can't put my finger on it, but whatever it is it's divine and I could drink it is so invigorating.

Please don't leave! Please!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Stewart Falls

Yep that's right the Stewarts hiked and paid tribute to great, great, great, grandpa Stewart's falls. Remind me to tell you the story sometime. After our hike Aunt Martha also made us the most gourmet, gorgeous picnic you've ever seen! It was even better than the July spread of her magazine. But family is family and you've got to bring out the big guns for them. Alright, so it's all a lie, well except that the Stewarts did really like to the falls--we just aren't related to whomever these falls are actually named.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


The Uintas were gorgeous this year and we luckily made it up there before the weather took it's dramatic turn. I'm still way nervous about the idea of camping with Hannah so this was as good as it got as far as camping was concerned. Something about the idea being miles from civilization while Hannah is still circling the tent at 3 AM, keeps me away. Here are some pics from our adventure.

11 years after my first pair, Russ has seen the light :)

Photo Courtesy of Gen

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Pedometers Make You Crazy

I'm giggling uncontrollably inside the sheets. No way is he stepping up and down by the side of the bed. It's late and he's looking like a lunatic trying to get what? like twenty more steps.

Russ is always trying to slide in just a few more steps and embarrassment is no barrier. I wouldn't be surprised to find him, at two in morning, pacing around the front room, or wait no, because that would be after midnight and wouldn't count towards that days allotment.

Now that the hilarity has worn off, I'm thinking of a plan. Maybe I can use this new found obsession to my advantage. "Oh I think we left the diaper bag in the car, would you mind getting it? Just think of all the steps you could get?!" Too bad you can't get any steps from diaper changes or disciplining moments. Wow then that really would be handy.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Utah Weather Sucks!

Russ thinks that's a naughty word, but I'm feeling a bit rebellious today, so I think I'll risk the lightning bolts.

This morning I found myself running late and scraping, that's right scraping, my windows with whatever I could find, which happened to be the top end of a tube of sunscreen. Monday I was strapping the kids into their infernos and scalding their poor little bums and today I was freezing my hind end off searching for the scraper.

I'm pretty sure this sweet little valley doesn't know the meaning of fall or spring. Sure you might get a day here or there where you can actually enjoy being outside, but really in the midst of the 90s, down into the 40s. It's really hard to remember a nice day here or there.

I've almost had it, I'm almost determined to pack up and move to the land of perpetual spring and where it actually rains. With the way today is going I just might.