Sunday, March 29, 2009

One last thing

Vote for me! The competition ends Tuesday so I want to rack up a few more votes between now and then. You can vote once each day-link to the right. :)

The Many Faces of Jack

I mentioned before that I am never, ever allowed to refer to my second born son as Jack these days. I can't even call him "racecar driver Jack" or "dinosaur Jack." The Jack must be omitted and replaced with the following: (this is a list of the characters he has been in the last week or so)
1. Space Man
2. Racecar Driver
3. Army
4. Baby Kitty
5. Snake
6. Superman
7. Monster truck
8. Superman monster truck driver
9. Bolt
10. Baby chick
11. Ladybug
12. Tiger
13. Worm
14. Baby Worm
15. Hyena
16. Army Tank
17. Batman
18. Penguin

I am sure there are more, but those are the first that come to mind. And this always includes some sort of costuming. Here are two pictures:
Race car driver-see the number on his back?

Space ManAnd here is a really cool picture of Nathan flying a rocket. Whoops-I mean Bolt-I think right now he is bolt although he is wearing his bolt shirt over a tiger shirt over his superman shirt, so who can ever know?

30, Flirty, and Thriving

I turned the big 3-0 about a week ago (bonus points to anyone who can name the movie my title came from). It was a really nice birthday! I am a big birthday fan and always make sure I have a great day if at all possible. I took myself out to lunch and made Jack sing happy birthday repeatedly! I also found out you can get all sorts of free stuff for your birthday:

That was cool-I have had Baskin Robbins, Coldstone, and Red Robin all free this week and still have a Black Angus coupon I will use.

Two of my favorite things about my birthdays were these:

My friend Melissa made me the coolest birthday cake ever. She is quite the cake maker and she designed a Twilight cake and brought it to me. It is a combo of the book covers of all 4 books. I took a picture:

My father in law is an amazing poet and he wrote me a 30th birthday poem which I love! I hope he doesn't mind that I am sharing it. It is just so great!

March 2009 can be more than alarming,
Yes, half-way to sixty can really be charming,
So soon from the campus and beautiful life,
Now filling the role of a mother and wife.

And having your fill of the laughs and the joys,
Of being the mother of three little boys,
To put up with sounds of those bodily functions,
Cooking nine meals a day, with the in between munchin.'

And driving to school, then to play in the park,
While running a business from dawn until dark,
And serving as seamstress for costumes and such,
And concocting fantasies boys love so much.

Now there is much more so you cannot be bored,
Being welcoming officer for new folks in the ward,
Knocking on doors by assignment, lets say,
To show that the members are happy, but not gay.

Now then there is Josh who needs special attention,
And keeping him buoyed up deserves special mention,
He's doing great, that's certainly true,
Most of which we suspect is much thanks to you.

So while you are cleaning or screaming in-house,
While leaving for church finding urp on your blouse,
Remember those little guys love you a lot,
You're their best friend-believe it or not.

You've built such a wonderful felicitous home,
For those little boys, and Joshie we've known,
A palace of joy for them all to grow up,
And put up with all of the little boy stuff.

So thanks for the wonderful person you are,
And for lots of hours you spend in the car,
Those little boys and Josh all will go far,
And you will too, Amber, for you are a star!

Isn't that so nice and so great! Thanks Tracy!!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

$3 Date

I had a great date last night with Josh-and it only cost like $3!! We "date" after the boys go to bed on Friday nights.

Last night we got Coldstone-free because it is my birthday week! And Panera Bread with a $10 gift card (got that using My Points-all you have to do is click on links in emails and go through their site first when shopping online at places like Old Navy and Barnes and Noble online-want to try it-let me know and I will send you an email about it) so we only had to pay $3. (I went and got the food and brought it home.) Then we played Rummikub and then we watched movies on If you haven't ever done that you should-they are like Mormon Ads and they have a whole ton of them on their site. Very nice!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tae Bo

You should be impressed-impressed and scared of me. I am a kickboxing champ these days. Josh and I do Tae Bo in the evenings after the boys go to bed. We just a new workout DVD this week-Boot Camp 1. And it is kicking our butts, whoops, I mean, we are kicking butt... (I can barely walk up the stairs today). But seriously, Tae Bo rocks-so much fun and a great workout!

You gotta see this video and then imagine me and Josh in our living room trying not to kick each other!

You know you think it's cool! :)

Field Trip!

Yesterday was Nathan's first field trip-to the San Diego Zoo. (Isn't it cool that we get to go on field trips to world famous tourist spots?) Jack, Dallen and I "just happened" to show up at the zoo at the same time as the Kindergarteners (I couldn't chaperone since I have the two little guys). What a coincidence! :)

It was a fun and exhausting day. I can barely get myself off the couch today-I am dragging still so I imagine the boys are too. Here are some fun pictures from our day:

A monkey:

A Baboon:

A happy gorilla:

All the wild kids on a brass hippo. Jack promptly fell off and smacked his face on the ground. Guess I should have expected that.

La Jolla Cove

Last weekend we discovered our new favorite place in San Diego-La Jolla Cove. Josh and I had been there at night for a walk along the beach of sorts but we hadn't taken the boys in the day yet. It was the best thing we have done in San Diego yet.

I didn't bring my camera (on purpose so that I would spend time enjoying the day rather than taking pictures to prove I enjoyed the day) but here is a picture (from the internet) of the Cove:
It is beautiful but the best part are the tide pools. We went at low tide (by chance-glad we hit it right) and got to explore all sorts of tide pools filled with all kinds of sea life-crabs, brine shrimp, mussels and who knows what else. It was a little boy's dream to be able to explore and see new things.

Then we let the boys play in the water at a beach even though we hadn't brought their swimming suits. There are also seals all over to see. Basically, it was paradise. We will be going back and we will be taking people who visit us there-are you tempted to come visit us now?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Welcome to my new blog

Hi! I moved blogs because I had our last name in the old one's title and I didn't want to have it in there anymore. I don't really care about using first names but wanted our old name out.

I spent hours designing this blog-I am such a nerd. Instead of just using a blog template like everyone else, I have to do things the hard way and make it all from scratch myself. But I like how it turned out. (The pink and blue is supposed to be like girl (amber) and boys (the rest of them).

Anyway, as long as you are here-Vote for me! Link on the top right. Thanks!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lunch in La Jolla

Nathan is home from school today with Strep throat-but he is really only home because he was technically contagious until 12 today and school got out at 12:50, so I couldn't send him. He is feeling better. So, it has been sort of like a bonus day off for us.

We decided to meet Josh for lunch-he works on the top of the Torrey Pines mesa in La Jolla-literally right next to the famous Torrey Pines golf course and the ocean just beyond that. We recently found this really great place to go-right at the edge of the mesa overlooking the ocean (and the golf course) where gliders take off and soar over the ocean.

So, we packed a picnic lunch and picked Josh up and drove there. We had fun. Here is a picture of a glider up above us:
This picture cracked me up because they are making the same face-and it wasn't planned! Like father like son:
This picture captures Dal so well-that's my sweet little guy:This is the child formerly known as Jack. I believe that every time I have called him that in the past month I have been promptly scolded and informed who he actually is, which can change from one minute to the next. In this picture he was being either a monster truck or a monster truck driver with one eye closed, I can't remember which (but he did insert the with one eye closed part). Oh and inside out pajama shirts are a must for costuming no matter who he is, hence the ragamuffin look:

We also took Anakin Skywalker with us. My favorite part is the PB on his face:Here is a little ditch the boys played in for a while-caused by erosion. It was cool:The group minus me because someone has to hold the camera:

And last, my favorite. When we got back from our walk to the edge of the mesa and to play in the ditch we found that our lunch had been ransacked and this squirrel was sitting nearby eating one of our Girl Scout cookies!

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Geek is at it AGAIN!

It has been a while since I took a picture and posted it on my blog of my Grocery Game success. But tonight was a can't resist kind of night. This time I was a double geek because I got in the picture with my stuff! Ha! At least I am comfortable in my geekiness. Really, after dealing with grumpy kids who had nothing but mean things to say to me all day it felt good to go to the store with just myself and have so much success that even the checker commented that I am a "smart shopper."

I bought: 21 boxes of name brand cereal (Captain Crunch, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Quaker Oat Squares, Honey Nut Cheerios, Gold Grahams, Mini Wheats, etc.), Tide, Scrubby bubbles, granola bars, toilet paper, gum, Oreos, chips, Spray N Wash, and salad dressing all of $56-savings of $74, PLUS I got a $6 gas card. PLUS, don't forget for those of you not in SoCal to adjust for the exorbitant prices of groceries here-almost double what I paid in Madison, so think more like $30 what you would spend. Now THAT is a deal:

And I am a nerd. But anyway...

Here are some cute pictures from the last couple of days. Family Home Evening tonight-Josh did a cool lesson on the Armor of God tonight and here are the boys in their Armor. I love how Jack looks a little unsure of what is going on.
Here is one of my problems in life. I would like to have a nice backyard-difficult because the yard was nasty before we moved in, but still. I try to keep the back porch cleaned up and vaguely decent-and then the boys go out and mud ends up everywhere. On Sunday night they even took a muddy broom and "washed" our outside windows with it. Nice. I waver between letting them be kids and wishing it could remain a little nicer out there. Here is some of their Sunday destruction although you can't really make out the whole mess here.

But, they are sweet boys. While I was off Grocery Gaming tonight Nathan read Dal his bedtime story (since I normally do it). Isn't this sweet?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Answers from Nathan

These questions are going around the internet-an interview for your kids, so I decided to try them with my boys. Here are their answers:

1. What is something mom always says to you? Be kind, be a friend.

2. What makes mom happy? When we do good stuff.

3. What makes mom sad? When we do bad stuff, like cry and say "mom, I want a drink, I want some food, can you please do all of this for me?"

4. How does your mom make you laugh? By tickling me

5. What was your mom like as a child? You had curly hair like Damien (our neighbor who has REALLY curly hair)

6. How old is your mom? 29 cause you're almost 30 (he is correct)

7. How tall is your mom? 8 feet

8. What is her favorite thing to do? Have a chat with me sometimes

9. What does your mom do when you're not here? Does preschool with Jack

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? Watching gliders (?)

11. What is your mom really good at? Hmmm, let me think about it. Playing games.

12. What is your mom not very good at? Some stuff in the Wii fit.

13. What does your mom do for a job? Calls her customers

14. What is your mom's favorite food? Salad sometimes, BBQ chicken too

15. What makes you proud of your mom? That you can make me lunch

16. If your mom were a TV character, who would she be? Padme Amadala

17. What do you and your mom do together? Talk sometimes with each other

18. How are you and your mom the same? We both have sharp noses

19. How are you and your mom different? Well, you're a girl, I'm a boy and we have different colored eyes.

20. How do you know your mom loves you? Cause you said "I love you" right before nap

21. What does your mom like most about your dad? I think she likes about dad...the dates together.

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go? I think Carl's Jr.

Interview Answers from Jack

I don't think Jack really understood all these questions but it was fun anyway...

1. What is something mom always says to you? You are sometimes mean.
2. What makes mom happy? Me being nice to you and you being nice to me
3. What makes mom sad? When you be mean to me...manipulate, manipulate
4. How does your mom make you laugh? When you make me say funny things
5. What was your mom like as a child? I don't know-it's a secret
6. How old is your mom? Um, I don' know
7. How tall is your mom? Um, right about my tall
8. What is her favorite thing to do? Play with me, make letters and numbers
9. What does your mom do when you're not here? Go to the temple
10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? Um...
11. What is your mom really good at? Making sandwiches
12. What is your mom not very good at? Making nachos
13. What does your mom do for a job? Go to her business
14. What is your mom's favorite food? Rice
15. What makes you proud of your mom? That she bes nice to me
16. If your mom were a TV character, who would she be? A pirate
17. What do you and your mom do together? Make letters
18. How are you and your mom the same? By giving you some treats
19. How are you and your mom different? When you don't get treats like me
20. How do you know your mom loves you? Because you like me
21. What does your mom like most about your dad? No answer and he is done now.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Day in the Life...

For a while now I have been wanting to record what I do in a "typical" day-with all the details from morning to night just so that I can save it and remember what life was like at this stage. I want to do this a couple of times a year maybe-I think it will be fun to look back on someday and I think it would be fun to get a peek into other people's days, so here is a peek into mine.

I was concerned though that if I knew the day I was going to do it I would skew the results by making it a stellar day on purpose just so I could report that. So, I asked Josh a few weeks ago to come home from work one day and say "today is your 'day in the life'" and then I would record details of that day that night. Well, he forgot that whole week. And then my mother in law was in town and that wouldn't reflect a typical day. And then I had no space bar. So, I asked him again this week to surprise me with which day I should record details of. Being the scientist that he is, he actually generated some sort of random number selector so that HE wouldn't skew the results either, and TODAY IS THE DAY!

This may be way too many details for you, but hey, my grandma might at least like it. And maybe my posterity will to:

6:52-Wake up to Dal crying (never a good sign if he is crying when he wakes up, although since the freeway runs below our house and the traffic makes a lot of noise I don't always hear him right away, so that might be why). By the way, this is the first night in a long time that none of our kids were up sometime in the night to go potty, with a fever, needing a snuggle, to sleep on our floor (Nathan does that regularly), etc.

6:53- Bring Dal into my bed in hopes of a morning snuggle. (I can hear the other two in their room playing.) He has other ideas. He cries, flails his body, is inconsolable no matter what I do. I sigh and get up. Put Dal on the floor (he screams) so I can put in contacts, brush teeth, etc. while he claws at my legs and cries.

7- Bring Dal downstairs and feed him a PB and syrup waffle and get him a "didi" (drink). Now he cheers up. Make waffles for the other two and call them down. Leave two big guys eating while me and Dal head upstairs to get ready.

7:20- Getting myself ready while Dal plays in his favorite spot-my bathroom cupboard (full of bandaids, lotion, q-tips, etc.) Jack comes upstairs and asks if he can have a shower and go potty! I say sure to both. :)

7:30- Nathan is dressed, get other two dressed and ready.

7:45- In the car. Wow! This is 5 minutes earlier than normal and Jack even had a shower in the meantime. I have no idea why this morning went so smoothly.

7:50-8:30- Drop Nathan off at school. We are on the playground before anyone-weird. Ms. Chambrone tells me something that Nathan told her yesterday about 90 degree angles and is impressed by how smart he is (I can say that because this is my blog and I want to remember that not because I am trying to brag) We stay after Nathan goes into class and Jack plays on the playground for a few minutes while I talk with my friend Tina.

8:30- Get home and put Dal down for nap. Jack asks to watch a movie so I let him. (Land Before Time the sequel-oh boy!) I sit down to eat breakfast and look at blogs/facebook, check online bank statements, etc. for a few minutes (oh and of course I have already checked my business email several times in the day at this point).

8:55- Clear breakfast dishes and wash them. Straighten up a little.

9:05- Change laundry and go into living room with Jack so I can fold laundy near him. Instead I decide I am cold and need to snuggle his warm little body so I hop up on the couch with him for a few minutes, then I fold the laundry.

9:30- Dal wakes up and we make my bed and straighten up upstairs.

9:40- Come downstairs and get Jack ready for a walk.

9:45- Go for our new "routine" walk- a figure 8 of our neighborhood which is hilly and gives me a pretty decent workout but not too much to make me not want to do it again. We collect "marbles" while we walk. There are these little plastic beads all over our neighborhood and we have no idea why they are there but we collect them everyday-Jack even brings a bag to put them in. I try to play 20 Questions with Jack since we are on Q week but he doesn't get it.

10:05- Get back home, regroup and head out the door again to go to music class. At this point I have just told Jack we are going for a drive. While getting in the car he asks where we are going. While backing out I tell him. He throws a fit. He does this every week-doesn't want to go, loves it when we get there. We also drive the figure 8 so I can find out how far it is. Just slightly more than a mile.

10:30-11:15- Music class. Jack does well today with sitting and participating. Dal doesn't cry like he did the last few weeks.

11: 35- Get home from music class and feed the boys lunch. I eat leftover pizza while feeding Dal a container of baby food. (After his chicken nuggets.)

11:55-Put boys down for nap (choir of angels singing from above-I love this part of the day). I go lay on my bed to read scriptures and another book for a while.

12:20- Head downstairs. I can hear Jack awake still. Lay down on the couch with my computer. I can still hear Jack awake. I go up and tell him to get in bed and go to sleep.

12:30- Work on my mom's business and my own interspersed. I add 2 or 3 new bracelets to my mom's site, add one of hers to mine, place orders, answer emails, etc. And do some blog reading, message boarding, etc. through this a little too. Finally about 1 Jack falls asleep after me going up again. Josh calls for his daily chat about 1:15.

2:00- Check mail, find that Josh's W2 finally came so I can finish our taxes. I sit down and plug it into our taxes right then and I am pleased to see that we are still going to have a big refund. Yay. (Goes straight to estimated taxes for 2009 but still is so nice to have.)

2:20- Wake both boys (I hate it when I have to do that) to go get Nathan.

2:30-Nathan gets out. He doesn't have his daily reading book so we have to go to his classroom to search for it. We finally find it. Play on the playground clear until 4 today (we usually stay about an hour). The boys play nice, I push Jack on the swing for a while but mostly I chat with my two mom friends, Karen and Tina (Tala isn't there today) and Dal hangs out near me most of the time because he is tired still.

4:07- Leaving playground and Jack announces that he doesn't have purple turtle toy with him. I drive the van to the gate of the playground and run to the sand box to look for it. I am not successful. Jack sobs-poor guy. (Did I mention that he lost his shoes on the playground this morning? Luckily they were there when we went back this afternoon).

4:15- Get home. Boys want to watch a movie so I let them. Me and Dal come to the kitchen to start dinner. I discover that I don't have one ingredient-Salsa Verde. Dal gets a little fussy but not as bad as normal lately at this time of night.

5:05- Josh gets home-20 minutes late tonight. I hand him Dal and run to the store to get the Salsa.

5:30- Eat dinner-Cafe Rio Salad (my favorite!!!!) Talk with the boys and have a relatively calm dinner for a change. Dal cries during it (he does a lot of that lately-what happened to my sweet, easy going baby?)

6:00- Clean up dinner. The boys help clear the table (sort of) and play in the backyard and all around us as we wash dishes and whatever.

6:20- Watch a few Mormon ads on You Tube with everyone.

6:30- Josh and the boys go upstairs to play boy things (something about repairing the van Dinkler and Dopple headed gratchet on the spaceship) while I have a break and read a book for 20 minutes.

6:50-Get Dal ready for bed. This is one of my favorite parts of the day. Except today he is being a pain because he is tired and won't sit still for me to get his diaper on. Finally I get him in his jammies, give him his pacifier and sit down in the rocking chair to read a story. Then we sing our song-"You are my sunshine" and when I say we, I mean it. He sings along.

7:05- Josh baths boys. I help get them in jammies. We read scriptures, pray, and I read bedtime stories (they only get one tonight because they lost their other two) and Nathan reads his nightly reading book. (Most nights Josh does bedtime stories but I wanted to tonight.)

7:30- Boys are in bed!!! Yay! Come down and help Josh finish cleaning up kitchen. Bake my nightly (well, not every night) Pilsbury cookie. Oh yummy yummy yummy!

7:45-8:15 Type this "day in the life" up. Jack has been out of bed only once. I imagine Nathan was asleep the moment his head hit the pillow.

Now, the rest of this day is anticipated since it hasn't happened yet: Talk and spend time with Josh-he might exercise while I talk to him, place orders, etc. Get in bed sometime between 9:30 and 10 and if I am not too tired I will read for a while.

There you have it. My day. Of course throw in there several business, calls, diaper changes, and all that sort of thing. This was a busier/more out the house day than most, but a really really good day. Glad Josh's random number generator picked a good one. :)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Now that I have a working space bar I can begin blogging again! Yay!

It's been two weeks and I can't even think of what to write about at this point, other than that Grandma P. came to visit us for 8 days last week. We had a lot of fun with her, even though it rained for several of the days she was here. We went to Chuckecheese, Balboa Park for free museum Tuesday (talk about culture, my boys have now been to an art museum-not necessarily the greatest place to take 3 little boys), several parks, me and Josh went on a couple of really nice dates, and we went to Sea World twice.
Here is Grandma with the boys on the raft ride-Jack didn't like getting wet!
Grandma bought each of the boys a cute little penguin-each boy has a different one:
Here is Jack with his cute little penguin. Despite the little beast that he sometimes is, Jack can be so tender and sweet and loves baby stuffed animals.
And here is Grandma with the boys:

Dallen has been sort of miserable lately-and I don't mean that HE has been feeling miserable, I mean that I have been feeling miserable because of him. So unlike him-he is usually an angel. But lately he does a lot of crying when I walk away from him and he wants to be held all the time. I weaned him recently and I suspect that has something to do with it as well as the fact that he has been sick 3 times in the last month, but even when nothing else appears to be wrong, sometimes he is so fussy. And then other times he is like this-I just walked past him with the camera in hand and he smiled up for the camera:

Here are the flowers my sweet boys picked for me (off the neighbors tree-whoops) for me this evening. Nathan told me something like "moms who rock the most get the white flowers and moms are the coolest get the pink" and I got both! Swoon!

Oh and a funny story-funny for those who read it, not funny for the person it happened to. I was holding Dal the other night after dinner and he had the neck my shirt in his little fist. All of a sudden he sort of pulls out my shirt and barfs all down me-I was covered! Not funny! It was nasty. I don't think he was sick to his stomach or anything, he is just prone to gagging or something.
And last, Nathan has a tendency to get big ideas and nothing can stop him from proceeding with them. Because my dear mother allowed certain daughters of hers (ahem and she only has one) to plan grand schemes and carry them off all her life, I figure I can't put a stop to his big ideas. Tonight he had it in his mind to cook something he saw on a Carebears movie recently. So, he did and then asked me to try it. I refused and said he had to try it first. We had a really good laugh at this!!