Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pink Vader and the Caterpillar Foodie

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar with Daniel, and saying that the protagonist ate one pomegranate or three mangoes instead on one apple or three plums. Little Man thinks that's hilarious no matter how many times I do it.

. . . laying on the bed this afternoon and helping Anna practice rolling over. At this point she can only manage to flop forward or back when I roll her halfway, but hey, you've gotta start somewhere.

. . . pinning Hello Kitty Darth Vader on my Pinterest board.

And another thing . . .

. . . I asked Phillip to rig my computer to lock down at 11pm again. We stopped doing that for a while, but I was just staying up too late.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Happy Sunday

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . lots of inspiration at church.

. . . visiting with my parents, my sibs, and some visiting aunties. We stayed way too late, though; I fear I'll have some cranky kids tomorrow.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Two Salsa Camps

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . turning on fun music and doing chores together.

. . . smooching my sweetie.

. . . eating my homemade peppermint ice cream. The flavor is perfect, and the pink color makes me happy for some inexplicable reason. I'm not usually a fan of that color, but when I opened the container tonight the bright pink ice cream just made me smile.

And another thing . . .

. . . I tried a new salsa recipe tonight. I could barely stand it, perhaps because of the jalepeno - I rarely cook with them, so I think the flavor was a little distracting for me. Ironically, Phillip loved this salsa. Long after I had left the table he was still dipping chip after chip, occasionally mumbling "wow" to himself. Sigh. Hopefully we'll be able to find a compromise that we both like. If not, I suppose making this recipe now and then will be one more way I can say "I love you, Honey."

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Overcoming Opposition

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . waking up with no fever.

. . . discovering that Blogger's spell-check knows how to spell "space-time continuum."

. . . taking my kids to the park.

. . . going to the temple with Phillip. I don't think I've ever faced so much opposition--so many little circumstances working against me--when I've planned a trip to the temple. Still, we were determined to go, and I'm grateful to say that things worked out.

And another thing . . .

. . . while playing with our Disney sticker book, Daniel put two Mickey stickers in the same scene. Doesn't that disrupt the space-time continuum or something?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Tylenol and Cake

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . feeling drained again by the end of the day. I let my fever do its own thing until the thermometer read 103.3, then I took some Tylenol. Huzzah for Tylenol.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . talking with a neighbor outside in the cool, late afternoon while our kids played happily.

. . . Daniel helping Joy by handing her the crayons she needed.

And another thing . . .

. . . it's hard to know whether to classify this morning's parent-teacher conference as a good memory or a not-so-good one . I enjoyed hearing how Joy is doing in class, but it's also unsettling to recognize my own weaknesses in the things she struggles with. I guess we'll all work on them together.

. . . it's also hard to know how to classify making microwave chocolate cake with Joy. It was a fun experiment, but the cake wasn't that great. I took a few bites, then decided an apple sounded much better. Joy agreed, and set aside the rest of her cake to eat apple slices with me. That's my girl.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Under the Weather

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . feeling really under the weather tonight--headache, chills, fever, zippo energy. I'm so grateful for a husband who's willing to hold down the fort while I disappear under a blanket.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Joy asking to play with her little sister, then making her laugh and reading her a story in a silly voice. It was cute.

Medicating with a Nap, Chocolate, and Laughter

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . planning my menu based not on the recipes that speak to my soul, but on what ingredients will go bad in my fridge if I don't use them NOW.

. . . feeling sick and tired. Sick because I'm battling one of the minor but persistent bugs that have plagued my family lately; tired because I stayed up foolishly, ridiculously late last night. Mom fail.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . taking a nap this afternoon, then eating some chocolate.

. . . my husband helping with the laundry because I felt like I'd been put through a wringer by the end of the day. Thank you, honey.

. . . discovering a blog by a dad who draws a cartoon on his son's lunch box every day. This one and this one had me laughing out loud. Vonnie and STM, something tells me you would like this blog. I think Cathy and Beth might enjoy it, too.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Time Flies in the New Year

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . wondering how the internet managed to gobble up two hours of my life tonight.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . arriving at Joy's school to pick her up, and seeing her class strolling along with a giant Chinese dragon (the kind you'd see in a Chinatown parade with a dozen people underneath it).

. . . celebrating Chinese New Year by cutting out some red decorations with Joy, cooking a semi-authentic Chinese dinner of pork fried rice, and serving red smoothie and even numbers of mandarins for good luck.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cougars and Waffles

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . the big kids being cranky and clingy because we let them stay up way too late last night.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Anna sleeping through most of stake conference, so I got to hear almost all of the talks.

. . . eating waffles at Pink Grandma's house.

. . . kissing Daniel's cheek.

. . . reading the latest edition of BYU Magazine. I love my alma mater. I had a lot of fun there, and I grew in so many ways.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Books and Shoes

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . hearing some good talks at the adult session of stake conference tonight.

. . . getting home from stake conference this evening to find Joy reading a story to her attentive babysitter.

. . . trying the Peppermint Ice Cream I made yesterday and discovering that after 24 hours in the freezer it is actually scoopable, and actually good. It's a slight variation on Aunt Connie's recipe: 1.5 cups heavy cream, 1.5 cups milk, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp peppermint extract. Oh yeah, and some red food coloring and crushed candy canes (I was in the mood to try something belatedly festive). I think next time I'll stir in some crushed Oreos at the very end instead of the candy, 'cuz I love me some mint cookie ice cream. So good, and so good for you. ;)

And another thing . . .

. . . if your child takes something into the store with them, assume it will be left behind.

. . . today my daughter had her first experience buying shoes that were super cute, but not very comfortable. You'll encounter a lot of those in your lifetime, sweetie, so always keep the receipt.

. . . my favorite Christmas gift Joy received this year was her Pixar Storybook, because I love seeing my daughter eager to read day after day. My second favorite gift she got is some cash from my grandparents, because whenever she asks for treats at a store I can tell her she's free to buy them with her own money. That usually ends the conversation because her money is always at home in her purse, and by the time she gets home she's forgotten whatever fleeting fancy prompted her request.

Future Grandma's Accidental Sherbet

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . coloring with Daniel.

. . . making thumbprint art with Joy.

. . . playing catch as a family.

And another thing . . .

. . . this evening as I sat holding Anna and keeping Joy company, I reflected that my life will probably be simpler in a few years when it no longer revolves around nursing, naps, and babies who want to be held most of the afternoon. Then I glanced down at Anna kicking her little feet and waving her little hands, and I realized that there some parts of this sweet stage that I will really miss when they are gone. I'm sure that's why grandparents love grandchildren so much: they get to enjoy all the cuteness and fun of children without the long hours and the burden of imposing discipline. It's nice to know that after the era of cuddly babies is done forever in our home, there will someday be more cuddle-bugs to snuggle in our family.

. . . call me crazy, but I'm still tinkering with my ice cream maker, even in the middle of winter. Tonight I tried a Peppermint Ice Cream recipe; we'll see how it turns out. Ironically, my best flavor yet was actually an accident. I had some too-sweet, too-sour Watermelon Lemonade Sorbet and some blandish Blackberry Frozen Yogurt in my freezer, and since I couldn't bear to eat either on its own I softened them, mixed them together in the food processor, then refroze the result. It was surprisingly good--kind of a berry lemonade sherbet. I may actually try replicating it.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Green Cards

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . waking up on the wrong side of the bed. It's frustrating when I know I'm being a miserable grouch who no one wants to be around (including me), but I just can seem to drag myself out of the grumpy, self-centered rut. Fortunately prayer always helps, but it's rarely an instant cure.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . cuddling Anna.

. . . eating Nutella on leftover pancakes.

. . . playing Uno with Joy.

And another thing . . .

. . . during one of our Uno rounds, Joy played a wild card then said we should put down green cards. The next time it was her turn, she drew a card because she didn't have any green in her hand. I asked why she'd chosen a color that she didn't have, and she explained that she had a blue card and a yellow card, and blue and yellow make green.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Simple Pleasures

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . feeling really, really tired.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . reading with the kids.

. . . swapping smiles with Anna.

. . . Phillip giving me a hug.

. . . reading this amusing recollection of childhood rumors about "Ladder-Day Saints."

Folded and Out of Stock

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . taking all three kids to Costco, only to discover that they were out of the main thing I went for. They promised they'll have more tomorrow. Sigh.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . seeing Anna smile.

. . . smelling bread baking.

. . . getting all the laundry folded on the same day I washed it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rest and Recovery

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . little Daniel still running a fever. Phillip and our friend Clay gave him a blessing this evening.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Phillip holding down the fort so I could rest this morning.

. . . Papa coming to visit. The kids loved playing and reading with him.

. . . feeling back to normal by the end of the day.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sick and Scruffy

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . feeling sick to my stomach all day. I am so grateful that Phillip was here to help with the kids today.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . delivering my talk. I think it went well.

. . . taking a very long nap this afternoon.

And another thing . . .

. . . yesterday I went for a little stroll around the neighborhood with Anna in the sling. I amused myself by making up names for the “styles” of landscaping in people’s yards. Some examples included Adequate (just lawn and a hedge), Wee Orchard (citrus trees and lawn, few or no flowers), Scruffy (a pleasant hodgepodge of plants, some of which have gone to seed or need to be pruned), Minimalist (a nice arrangement of one or two kinds of low-maintenance plants), and Water Wise (drought hardy plants such as rosemary, lavender, and aloe). I suspect that my own future yard will be a combination of Wee Orchard and either Minimalist or Scruffy.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

All Done and Very Tired

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . waking up really tired. Anna got me up three times last night. Once is fine, twice I can handle, thrice is brutal.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . finishing writing my talk for tomorrow. The Lord has helped me a lot, and I pray that His Spirit may touch people's hearts as I speak tomorrow ('cuz if it's just me talkin' they won't get anything out of it).

And another thing . . .

. . . in this busy, complicated, overwhelming world, there is something wonderfully simple about cuddling a baby.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Zucchini Bread, How Do I Love Thee?

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . poor Daniel getting a fever. I think he caught the bug Phillip had a few days ago.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . ending my quest for a good zucchini spice bread recipe. Martha Stewart's version is tasty with a very good balance of spices.

. . . making progress preparing my talk for church on Sunday. I've found some inspiring quotes on a topic I love (the temple), but I worry I won't fill all of the time set aside for me. Brevity is my strong suit.

Bed and Breakfast (for dinner)

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . showing up for Anna's doctor appointment and finding that everyone had gone to lunch. I had written the wrong time in my planner.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . waking up this morning and actually feeling rested (the kids slept in).

. . . Pink Grandma coming to visit this morning. She gave me a tutorial on recorder playing (I realized the thing shrieked because I didn't cover the holes firmly enough), and took the kids for a walk to buy cupcakes. It's always fun when Grandma comes. :)

. . . making waffles for dinner.

. . . attending a Relief Society and hugging good friends.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Screwtape and the Lonely Soup

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . Phillip feeling too sick to eat the dinner I cooked. I felt bad for both my husband and my soup.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . taking a little nap on the couch with Anna.

. . . Joy giving me a big hug.

. . . having a great discussion of The Screwtape Letters at my book group tonight. I really enjoy that book. I love its clever premise, and the way it always gets me thinking about things as they really are.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Freedom and a Drowsy Jellyfish

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . realizing that some of our dear friends are going to graduate and move away in a few months. Such is life, but it's still hard to imagine life without them.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . seeing Daniel smile.

. . . finding a family who's willing to swap childcare so we parents can attend the temple more often. I've missed worshiping there.

. . . getting a few errands taken care of. Anna's getting old enough that I feel like we can venture out without her having a meltdown or getting her nap schedule thrown off. It's nice to have some freedom and a change of scene. I've gotten so used to staying close to home that I have to remind myself I have other options. I think we need to plan some trips to the park.

And another thing . . .

. . . When Daniel was examining his fish puzzle today, he noticed that he didn't see any eyes on the jellyfish. He quickly arrived at a logical explanation: "Jellyfish sleeping."

Goals and Baby Laughs

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . wanting to do more than I can.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . hearing Baby Anna laugh out loud every time her sibs jumped off the couch.

. . . hugging my family.

. . . talking about our goals for the coming year, then writing them out and taping them where we'll each see our goals often. It was hard for me to be patient while Joy wrote hers out, though. It's awesome that she has goals, and it's awesome that she can write, but it took forever and I found it difficult to be patient and keep smiling when I was anxious to move on to the next part. I guess a side effect of always having way too much to do is that I try to do things as quickly and efficiently as possible, and that makes it hard to be patient with children who feel no such pressure to hurry.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hugs and Prince Omelet

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . discovering that the cookie box in the pantry was empty.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . hugging the big kids. It makes us all feel better.

. . . giving Daniel a high-five when we finished a puzzle.

. . . hearing a great Relief Society lesson.

. . . watching Veggie Tales on YouTube with Joy. Those things are both wholesome and hilarious. I particularly liked the one about Prince Omelet (er, I mean Hamlet).

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Stars and a Punctual Book

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . being really tired this morning.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . looking up at the stars on a clear, moonlit night.

. . . finishing a family history photobook this afternoon before Snapfish's big discount ends tonight. The project has confiscated my life this week, and though I'm pleased with the result I'm also glad to have my life back. The book only documented our marriage through 2009 (I didn't have time or energy to tackle 2010 or 2011), so I'll be doing another book sometime in the future. Not for a while, though.

And another thing . . .

. . . Nutella on whole wheat bread is really, really good.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Funny Cat, Boring Yogurt

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . making some beautiful, creamy, but very bland blackberry frozen yogurt.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . laughing out loud at a random cat picture I saw on Pinterest. Truly "a merry heart doeth good like a medicine" (Proverbs 17:22).

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Call Me "Fruit Sensei"

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . hugging my kids.

. . . doing a puzzle with Daniel while Daddy played Fruit Ninja with Joy.

. . . getting the highest Fruit Ninja score of the night on my first try. Yessss.

. . . receiving a holiday newsletter from my old friend Heather. I enjoyed "hearing" her voice in the way she writes. I'm grateful for friends who keep in touch with me even though I struggle to do the same.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Rejuvenative Power of Rest and Macaroni

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . watching the big kids have fun playing at the park.

. . . eating Trader Joe's Mac N Cheese for dinner.

. . . sharing a good laugh with my husband, and falling asleep on the couch with him later.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Resolutions and the Moons

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . Joy skinning her knee twice today.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Anna sleeping through the night. Thank you, Baby. What do you say we try that again tonight?

. . . spending a leisurely Sunday together as a family, since the bishop is out of town and Phillip didn't have to be at any meetings.

. . . looking at Jupiter through our telescope tonight with some of our neighbors. It's amazing to me that you can see its four biggest moons using just a little telescope like ours. Our own Moon was an impressive sight, too.

And another thing . . .

. . . I’ve had several goals on my mind lately, and these are the ones I’ve settled on for this year:
1) Have scripture study time with Phillip each night right after the kids go to bed.
2) Complete some preparedness goal each week (e.g. copy important documents for our emergency kits, learn to bake solar oven bread, plan a family emergency drill, etc.).
3) Study at least a page of the Book of Mormon each day and learn something about Christ. 4) Develop an exercise routine (however simple or brief), and stick to it.
5) Print a new edition of my cookbook.
6) Knit a Love Scarf.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

In N Out

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Joy letting her brother win when they played a game this morning.

. . . cuddling Anna.

And another thing . . .

. . . as I shopped for a wedding gift at Bed Bath & Beyond today, I couldn't help feeling that I was in a toy store for grown-ups. I could browse in there all day.

. . . we went to a wedding reception this evening, and the music was so loud you could hear it from the parking lot. Joy wouldn't even go into the noisy room, so I put our present on the gift table and congratulated the family, then we headed to In-N-Out for dinner. As I thought of the carefree young bride dancing with her husband and their friends, I wondered if she'll be in my shoes in six years--arriving at parties late and leaving early because her social life is constrained by naptimes and the wants and needs of children. It wasn't a bitter thought, just a curious one.