Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Aaron's Not-So-Great Birthday

Last year, Aaron's birthday was great. This year, it was not-so-great.

The festivities started the night before, on a birthday date. It was SO great to get away for a few hours on a real date. We saw "The Tourist" which ended up being just okay. Definitely entertaining, but since we go to the full-price theater only a few times a year, we try to save those rare occasions for mind-blowing blockbusters and this one didn't fit the bill.

After the show, we went to Tucanos for dinner. To make this part of the story short I'll just say that even though we had reservations, it took us 45 minutes to get seated and then there was a whole lot of drama about Aaron's birthday meal and they weren't going to discount it for us and we ended up waiting to speak to a manager FOREVER and yadda yadda yadda the food was good but it wasn't worth all the shinanigans.

After dinner, we picked up Cleo and took her to Yoda's birthday party. Yes it was a party for dogs...and it was actually pretty great.

On to day two, Aaron's actual birthday. I planned ahead. I was prepared. It didn't matter.

Aaron's fam was coming over for dinner at 5. I had choir at 11 and wouldn't be home till after 4 from church so I knew I had to get started early. In between preparing and cleaning up meals for kids, changing award-winning diapers from Kate's recent viral nastiness, getting kids dressed, and getting myself showered and dressed, I made Aaron's birthday cake, frosting, and prepared the main course for dinner and put it in the fridge. Phew.

During sacrament meeting, Kate had another blow-0ut and wouldn't ya know it I forgot to bring diapers so Aaron had to take her home to change her. Here is our conversation via text message a short while after he left:

Aaron: Cleo ate my birthday cake
Me: Tell me you're joking
Aaron: I'm not, I just beat the crap out of her and put her in the backyard

AAAAAAAH! Oh and as an added bonus, she also got into the trash and spread it throughout the house. Cleo is SUCH a good dog, but even good dogs are still dogs. And since ours is the size of a draft horse, the cake might as well have been on the floor instead of cooling peacefully on the back of the oven. And in case you're thinking the cake was a mix, it wasn't. There was real cocoa in that baby.

Aaron came back to church a little forlorn after cleaning everything (including Kate) up. As church was ending, I remembered that I had a meeting so had to send him home with the kids to start dinner. I instructed him to start the rice ASAP because we only had brown rice left which takes at least an hour to cook.

I got home around 5 and whipped up a new cake. Aaron's fam arrived and the kitchen was a disaster and the rest of the house didn't look that great either. Whatever, at least we had a cake. I got everything together by 5:45 and lifted the lid of the rice to put it on the table...and it wasn't even CLOSE to being done! Seriously? An hour and a half later? So I turned the heat up and we waited. At 6:00 the rice was still crunchy. I was already stressed, but adding hunger into the mix turns me into somewhat of a Mrs. Hyde. Aaron took me quietly aside and suggested I just go to the store and grab some Minute Rice so we could eat this century. Ug. Alright.

I grabbed the keys, hopped in the Corolla and -- yep -- slammed into my mother-in-law's car. That's when the tears came. She was parked right behind me but apparently dark winter nights and urgency-induced tunnel vision don't mix. The kicker is, when she heard I was leaving, Ellen told Aaron she was parked behind me and he said, "better go move your car before Ash hits it."

She came out to find me sobbing in the front seat. When she opened the car door I wailed, "I hit your CAR!" And she just laughed.

Aaron didn't laugh.

There was no crumpling of fenders or anything serious, but we do have a nice little round hole in our bumper from where the screw in Ellen's licence plate punctured it. Nice.

Dejected, I slumped inside and waited for the rice to be done. I had to call my sister and un-invite her family for cake since we probably wouldn't eat it till after bed time. Finally at 6:45 I plated everything up and called everyone to dinner. Only to find out that two of Aaron's siblings had a church activity that evening so Ellen had left to take them to it. Awwwwesome. So we ate with Nate (Aaron's youngest brother) and when Ellen got back, she ate alone.

The bright side? Cake Jr. was delicious.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Me: (Tickling Finn)
Finn: (laughing)
Me: (Keep tickling him for a long time)
Finn: (laughing) Mom... (stops laughing, gets serious)I want you to go clean up some stuff.


Finn: Mom, can we snuggle downstairs?
Me: (Surprised because he has never requested this) Sure! I'll be down in a minute.
Finn: (runs downstairs) Mom, I did everything we need!
(He had got a blanket out, dimmed the lights and put the footrest up on the recliner)


Finn knows the phrase "Can I get a what what?!" and has figured out appropriate times to say it. At dinner one night, he was not eating very well. He did something funny that made Aaron and I laugh so he followed it up with "Can I get a what what?!" and we both said, "No. Eat your food."


Finn: Mom, we're not old right?
Me: No, we're not old.
Finn: Yeah, because old people die.
Me: Well, that's right, but people don't die until they're really really really really old.
Finn: Yeah, like you're phone!
(My phone is super out-dated and falling apart. It's kind of a joke between Aaron and I how crappy it is and I guess Finn picked up on it. Luckily I just finished switching my contacts over to a new phone from my brother so I won't be calling from ghetto-ville much longer!)


Finn: Mom, you're my little firecracker. (phrase that a dad says to his daughter in a story I read him the night before.)


Finn: (looking me straight in the face) Shaloony! (He was being silly, trying to call me a name. He learned this from Toy Story when Woody says to Buzz "Good Riddance Ya Looney!" because it sounds like he says "Good Riddan-Shaloony!)


Finn: (playing with army guys) Mom, what's this thing called? (Referring to the plastic piece that holds the legs together)
Me: Oh, that doesn't really have a name. It's just a piece of plastic to help the army guy stand up.
Finn: Yes it does have a name! It's C-H-I-N-A!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our New Dog!

Now that we have a house and a yard, we've decided to end our 4 year petless period and get a dog!

Below is the ad we found on KSL:

Beautiful Black German Shepherd - AKC Purebred. $50
Salt lake city, UT 84116
Dogs do not get any better than this. Cleo is a pure bred German Shepherd who is smart, sweet, and obedient. She is amazing around children and plays well with other dogs. She only barks when she needs to (like when someone tried to break into our house... or when the creepy guy was walking towards the kids). But she does like to sing with an occasional fire truck.Cleo is 6 years old. She is 90% black with some tan markings. She's laid back but loves a good run or play. She's in great health and will come with all relevant paper work for vaccinations, spay, and micro chip. She has paperwork from the AKC. She is accustomed to being indoors with family and is trained to stay off furniture.
She responds to:
Down (lay down),
Leave it (drop steak on the floor and tell her leave it - she won't touch it. Also works with dogs and other things).
Take it (OK...go ahead and take the steak I just dropped),
Back it up (give me some space),
Gentle (used around children playing or giving her treats.)
Release - release a tug-toy.
Drop it - drop a toy or a ball.
Go Potty - umm, yep. You guessed it.
Outside - will run to door to go out
Inside - will run to door to go in.
Find it - find hidden treats.and the list goes on...
I'm in school and am looking to join the military... So we are looking for a good home.Cleo will come with an insulated outdoor house, toys, leashes, food, treats, back-pack, and heart worm pills.

Aaron has always wanted a German Shepherd and I was hesitant because I didn't think they'd be good with kids. But everything this ad says about this dog is true!
the above picture makes me happy

Do me a favor, will you please, and spare me the comments about how bigger dogs are more work...I know that. We are in a house with a big yard now, and this dog is so well-trained it will be nothing like having a puppy. Aaron and I are going to have a nice, lengthy discussion tonight about responsibilites that come with a dog like this. He is so happy right now I'm pretty sure I could get him to commit to anything. I'm sure there will be hiccups here and there, but I just couldn't say no to Aaron's dream dog for this price, with this temperment, with this training and with all that extra gear. Bring on the name suggestions!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Inspired by my sister Andrea, I have started making an effort to write down all the funny things Finn says. He is constantly coming up with great one-liners and silly questions but I have a hard time remembering I've started jotting them down with the intent to capture them for all time on this blog. Here is installment numero uno:
Finn runs out of the bathroom pantsless.
Me: Finn, did you wipe your bum?
Finn: Nope!
Me: Finn, I'm pretty sure you pooped so you need to wipe your bum.
Finn continues running around half-naked.
Me: Finn, if you pooped, you need to wipe your bum right now.
Finn: Mom! I didn't poop! I went diarrhea!
Finn is playing with a Woody doll in the backseat of the car. Woody normally talks but the battery is dead.
Finn: Dad! Woody talked!
Aaron: Oh yeah? What did he say?
Finn: He said, um...he, he said uh 'Hooooooooooowwwwwwwwwdy Paaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrtnerrr'
We are leaving the theater after watching Toy Story 3.
Finn is playing with his 3-D glasses.
Finn: I like these glasses Mom.
Me: Yeah they're pretty cool, huh?
Finn studies me for a minute, notices my regular glasses.
Finn: Are your glasses 1-D Mom?
Finn is in the corner for a time out. Kate is standing beside him and trying to play.
Finn: Mom! Mom! Kate is over here while I'm in the corner! Take her away Mom!
Me: She's not hurting you Finn, just pretend she's not there.
Finn: I can't because I'm ignoring her!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Family Photos

Our friend Nataly Harris needed a family to take pictures of for her latest promotion, and we were happy to volunteer! Since it was only a 30 minute session, we just have a few shots to choose from:

I think I'm going to print the one in the middle with us all standing, even though Kate's tongue is sticking out. I like the bench one, but I think Finn's smile is weird in it.
I LOVE these shots that she got of Finn and Kate:

As soon as I print these we will finally have something up on our living room walls!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween 2010

Nana Lana gave these cute Halloween shirts to the kids last year, but they actually fit perfectly this year. (Yes, Kate still fits in some 6-12 month shirts even though she is 16 months old!) They had fun wearing them this Halloween season

Our festivities started off with a Halloween playgroup at our house. Trying to get all the kids in one picture was difficult to say the least. This is the best shot I got...right after Finn accidentally fell over with Kate!

Friday afternoon we went trick or treating at Novell. Finn just went desk to desk and raked in SO MUCH CANDY. Here are a couple shots I got of the kids in the car on the way there: Finn the 'scary' dragon. (He made sure I knew he was a scary dragon, not a nice one.) And Kate as Snow White.

The next day was our ward Trunk or Treat. Since I had more time, I decided to have more fun dressing Kate up. Her "Bride of Frankenstein" get-up won second place in the costume contest!

At the party:

Kate's prize was a box of Sour Patch Kids which she thoroughly enjoyed:

Both kids had a great time trick or treating at the party, but were both so thrashed afterward that we opted not to take them around the neighborhood this year. Kate even shook her head 'no' when someone at the party tried to give her a piece of candy. That was the signal that we were definitely done.

On the way home:

Friday, October 22, 2010

California Trip -- Disneyland

Aaron and I knew that if we were making a mega trip to So Cal, we had to fit Disneyland in there somewhere. I was able to make some blankets for the 'give a day, get a day' promotion which meant Aaron and I got in for free! We had to pay for Finn (3 and up need a ticket and he JUST had his birthday a month before) but since we didn't have to pay for ourselves we figured it worked out.

Some of my family were also in Cali early so Mom and Dad, Tom and Lesli and Britt and her kids were there with us as well. It was SO FUN seeing Finn experience Disneyland for the first time. Kate had a blast too and was good all day even though she doesn't know Micky Mouse from a draft horse. The day went by SO FAST. Luckily since we were there in the off-season, the crowds were super small. The longest line we waited in was 15 minutes and the weather was PERFECT.

In line for Peter Pan. We may have scarred Finn by taking him on the Matterhorn first, but all was remedied by Mickey hats (courtesy of Brittany) and Peter Pan's Flight which he LOVED.

Splash Mountain pics above and video below:

Finn and Kate both fell asleep right before we saw Buzz :( ... so I just strolled by him for a quick pic(with mom in the background)...don't mind the guy and his kid that actually waited in line to see him!

Finn and Kate during Finding Nemo -- we all loved this ride! Finn kept saying "Wow!" and Kate was glued to her window the whole time.

Aaron's friend Dan and his son Luke me us in the afternoon. Since Luke is a little older, he can go on the roller coasters so Aaron did that with them for a while and I went to Tom Sawyer's Island and on some kiddie rides with my parents and the kids. Then I joined back up with the guys and we all went on a few rides together.

Hmmm, this was taken just about nap time I think.

The kids loved exploring Tom Sawyer's island with Grandma and Grandpa....and taking a couple silly pictures together.

While we were waiting for our turn on this ride, I asked Finn what ride we were waiting for and he loudly exclaimed, "Jumbo!"
Kate was so cute waiting in line. She loved to copy Finn and stand on the bars and didn't seem to mind at all that she was confined with a bunch of strangers.

Dinner Time = Turkey Legs!!!

After dinner we went on "It's a Small World." I didn't get any pictures of it, but it was one of our favorites because both Finn and Kate were so wide-eyed and totally into it. They have changed the ride a bit to include some Disney characters and Finn almost fell out of the boat when he saw Woody and Jesse.

Aaron's favorite ride was Buzz was one of the few rides that we went on more than once. Finn LOVES all things Toy Story these days and was in awe at this ride. You get to shoot at targets during the whole ride and we had a blast...pun INtended. Finn chose a Buzz blaster gun as his one souvenir. I think the above picture is funny because Finn is tired (last ride of the day)and Aaron is totally concentrating trying to get a good score.

We stayed in a hotel across the street that night and it was so nice being able to just walk a few minutes and relax instead of driving for two hours back to Poway. The kids were still super hyper at the end of the day and it was really cute watching them unwind in the hotel room.

A sad part for me was when we were talking about what a great time we had and Finn got a startled look on his face and said, "Mom! We forgot to see Mickey!". My heart broke. I had been prepping him for our trip telling him that it's where Mickey lives and we are going to see Mickey's house. I tried to get us over to Toon Town during the day but we were too busy and at the end of the day, Aaron just wanted Finn to be able to get as many rides in as possible. Finn was a good sport about it though and just asked if we can visit Mickey next time we come to Disneyland.

I am SO GLAD that we included Disneyland in our travel plans. It was SUCH a fun day!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

California Trip -- Ellises, Parks and then some

Our good friends The Ellises used to live next door to us in our condo and moved to So Cal a couple years ago. We knew if we were driving all that way, we had to visit them! They kindly let us take over their home for a few days and we had a great time catching up. Finn LOVES them and even though they aren't parents yet, they are soooo good with him. On Sunday, they took Finn to their sunbeam class and he loved it. Kati is pretty much the best photographer ever and has always taken great pictures of my kids. She took a TON of us and put them all up on her website so I could download them. What a gal. Here are just a few:

We walked around the harbor, had a picnic at the park, played games and just relaxed. While at the park, Ian and Aaron coached Finn with a baseball set and it was awesome (that's what Kate and I are watching in the above picture.) Here is a video of Finn in action:

Since I was letting Kati take all the pictures, I didn't get any of the Ellises or one of all of us together...sad. I love friends that you can pick right up where you left off with. We are so glad that we got to see them!

After we left the Ellises, we drove to Matt and Jessica's house. Matt welcomed us to their home with a yummy lasagna dinner and the girls were all very excited to see Finn and Kate.

We were only able to stay with Matt and Jess for a couple days ...I wish we could have stayed longer! But since they had our kids while we were at the beach house (ttthhhhaaaaankyyyyoooouu), it was probably just the right amount of time for them :) While we were there, we went to the aquarium, a family dinner at Chris' house and a dinner at the park with a bunch of Aaron's highschool/our college friends. It was SOOO good to see everyone! Finn had a great time playing with cousins that he rarely gets to see...some he met for the first time! We miss everyone that lives out there so much.

Thank you so much to everyone who made an effort to see us while we were "home". We had such a wonderful time visiting with family and friends that we don't get to see enough.