Friday, July 30, 2010

What We're Up To . . . Individually

There have been a lot of things going on that I haven't blogged about, so I'm putting it all into one random post. I've been working on this one for over a week now and it's turned into a brain-dump as well.


I can't really separate what they're up to because they're usually doing the exact same thing. (Sometimes good, sometimes bad.)

Like sitting on the couch zoned out to a movie after breakfast. With their fingers in their belly buttons. That's something Ivy started doing (when she's sleepy) and Sophie does it occasionally.


Or when they "go somewhere" in their couch cushion car. (They made that one up themselves.)


The newest excitement in the house was getting this little kitchen for them to play with it. An elderly woman in our ward had it at her house for her grandson to play with. He grew up, lost interest, and she offered to give it to us with a bunch of dishes and play food. For free. We managed to find a spot in the girls' room after packing up a bookcase and sticking it in our garage. (Hey, we're going to have to do it in the near future anyway, why not start now?) Anyway, they love it. And it keeps them out of our bedroom, where they just get into trouble.

Ivy's been interested in the potty again and will pull her pants down where ever she is in the house and say, "potty, potty!" She likes to sit on it, but so far nothing has come out. I'm not reading too much into her enthusiasm quite yet (lesson learned from Sophie). She's just mimicking her big sister for now, but it still make me happy. She's also approaching her "two's" and able to voice her opinion very strongly when she doesn't like something. But she's still in that stage where hearing her say "NO!" is still cute. She's also learning new words everyday. It's an exciting time for her :)

Sophie's her usual curious, independent self. She's started to ask "cuz why?" all the time and takes it upon herself to be "mommy" to Ivy. She's very smart and has a good memory. She's also obsessed with Belle lately and has to watch Beauty and the Beast for their after-breakfast movie just about every morning. (I have to take a shower some time. Most of the time it's the only TV they watch all day.)

I've decide to stop saying things like, "Sophie's driving me crazy," which will be tough because I say it almost every day. Instead I'm trying to say to myself, "she's trying to teach me [insert something that I need to learn]." So, lately, she's been trying to teach me flexibility. By flexibility, I mean letting go of my efforts of being efficient with my time. . . to a point. One of my peeves is something happening at a far slower pace (or more disorganized) than it reasonably should. (I know . . . not a good quality for a mom.) Sophie has to make decisions about EVERYTHING we do and she tends to take her sweet time doing so. Not a huge deal, but something with which I need to be more patient. It helps that she says funny stuff. One day while handing me a strawberry she goes, "Mommy can you cut the spinach off?" I love that she knows what spinach is, too.

Most nights before she goes to bed she has to "take the water out of her eyes". She stands at her play kitchen sink, "pulls" something out of her eye and puts it in a tiny container. Sound familiar? She's been watching me put my contacts in and take them out her whole life. I was wondering when the mimicking would start. She's a funny girl.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that she's stopped napping every day. She'll nap maybe 2 or 3 times a week. I'm adjusting to not having at least an hour of "me time" to recharge my nerves halfway through the day. I try to spend time with her doing fun things, so that helps.


Steve's got about 6 weeks of school left. He found out that he's passed all of his national boards, and his clinic exit exam (YAY!). The only test he has left (in his life) is to get certified in whatever state he chooses to practice in. But first he has to finish clinic. This is a huge one. Um. . . know anyone who needs to get checked?? Please call Steve. Please.

One project that he's been working on is getting a website and a blog set up. Kathryn, a friend of ours and a talented graphic designer, did a logo for us and helped us choose a name for the business. Since Steve's incorporating his wellness program with his chiropractic clinic, we thought "Fusion" would be a good name to use. His website is just a blog that we set up to serve as a website until we get going and can afford to pay someone to build a nicer one. Speaking of blogs . . . he started blogging, too. And he's quite good. He puts a lot of though and consideration into what he posts. Here's his blog if you're interested in seeing what he has so far.

It seems kind of surreal that we're going to be on our own here pretty soon. Well, not completely. Steve's decided to work for someone for a while to get his feet wet and learn how to run an office before he opens his own. He's getting together some applications to send out. Luckily he can do the wellness portion whether or not he has a physical office of his own, doing health talks and enrolling people (more specifically, businesses) in the program.

Did I mention that he loves what he's doing? (Well, not GOING to school, but what he's learning and getting ready to implement.) He lights up every time you get him going on a health-related topic. That makes me happy. I really don't care how much money he makes if he's happy with what he's doing and we can pay off his loans before we die.

Steve still serves as the Stake Young Men Secretary (leadership over the young men in our area), but luckily it doesn't take him away too often. He's gone often enough!


Well, I'm still plugging along keeping our home together and our kids dressed and fed. Cooking and blogging really is my creative outlet and it keeps me sane. I like to keep my "food life" off this blog, but I thought I'd give you a couple of updates that were pretty exciting to me.

Over the past few months I've had the chance to teach a couple of classes during weeknight Relief Society (women's organization at church) meetings. One was about healthy eating and the other was rolling sushi. Ya, rolling sushi. When they asked me to do it I'd made sushi a total of ONE time. Both classes turned out fun, though.

I have a steadily growing readership on my food blog which both excites me and gives me stage-fright. If you don't read my food blog that much or never get on Facebook, you may have missed my little announcements of getting featured in the spring issue of Latter-Day Woman Magazine (online only, page 10) and on Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen Blog. Those were very happy days. :)

Outside the kitchen, I've tried my hand at growing a few things. I'm usually a horrible gardener. Add to that, very little space or sunshine and most green things under my care end up dead. At least flowers. After I had a tomato plant explode, crawl up our porch and almost move into our house the first summer we were here, I planted three in the same spot along with about 10 different kinds of herbs tucked here and there. Holy, Hannah. That must be the magical tomato spot because I have tomatoes coming out of my ears. So far only one has turned red. I hope we're here long enough to pick some. If not, I'm sure my neighbors will find things to do with them.

Oh, and I had a little pink rose plant (yes, Natasha, THAT plant) stolen right out of the ground. It wasn't cut or trimmed off -- it looked like someone had dug around the roots and lifted it right out of the ground. And I swear my chives looked significantly smaller one day as I went to trim some off.

I recently was released from the Primary presidency (leadership over the children's organization at church). All of us were released, actually, and it was rather sudden. And bittersweet. Since then I've been the roving substitute. I don't mind at all.

That's about it for us. If you've made it all the way to the end, consider yourself "gold-starred".

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Santa Cruz. . . on a cold day


My brother and his wife Andrea (and little Carter) came to see us last weekend! We don't get many overnight visitors (mainly because our place is, like, 900 sq ft.), and amazingly enough it didn't feel cramped! We did lots of stuff over the weekend, but the only place I took my camera was Santa Cruz on Monday. (I get lazy. Plus it's another bag to carry around.) Once I get pics from my brother I'll post more.

When we got to Santa Cruz it was about 60 degrees. If even that. We were all bundled up for a few hours, but walked down to the beach in the afternoon anyway. That's when the sun came out. Nice timing :)

The girls love playing with Carter, who's just a couple months older than Ivy. That kid is on turbo ALL the time. He cracks me up. I love his determined running.

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A friend of ours, Hailey (Mack for those of you who may know her) came with her little 3-month-old Behr to hang out with us for the day.


I love these legs. Maybe I'll get some chubby legs on my next kid.


Here we have Ivy's limp-bodied refusal to walk when she doesn't want to go anywhere.


Both girls ended up liking the water this time. Sophie even ran out by herself a few times.


Then she turned into a mermaid. (Her dream.)


How did that sand taste, sweetie? I bet the third handful was even better than the first.


Saturday, July 17, 2010


Earrings have become wildly popular around here. I've always worn earrings, but since cutting my hair, I feel I need to wear big dangles to. . . um. . . (how do I say this tactfully?) prevent people from thinking I'm of a certain orientation. It's common here, so ya . . .


I've gotten the earring bug again and pulled out my supplies and started making a few pair for fun. (No shop reopening, though.) I let Sophie pick out some beads one day, and I made a couple pair of earrings for her. Did you know you can wear french hooks without pierced ears? It's easy. Just hang them on the top of your ears and viola!


Ivy's model face.


Hats have also been making their appearance. Ivy insisted on wearing her hat while she ate lunch one day.

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(In the bottom left photo she's saying, "cheese".)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Day in Monterey

Last week was the last week of Steve's 4-week break from class. (Not clinic, unfortunately. Clinic never sleeps.) With Steve's (slightly) more flexible schedule, we decided to take off a few times and do some fun things with the kids. We were lucky enough to play on the beach twice in one week! The first time we went to a small beach just up the freeway.


The girls wouldn't go near the water when we got there, so Steve dug a little trench and put water in it so they girls could splash around a bit. They got used to that, so they ventured out into the bay. Ankle deep. (Baby steps)


A few days later we spent the day in Monterey. We love Monterey. If it wasn't so expensive to live there, we'd plant ourselves there permanently, I think. We hadn't visited the aquarium since we moved here so we made sure and did that.

Side note: As I was pulling out photos to put on this post this afternoon, I noticed that Sophie, Ivy, and I are all wearing the exact outfits that we wore in this photo. Sophie insists on picking out her own clothes and she usually chooses this combo when it comes out of the washer (if I've hidden the "Kitty Dress" soon enough.)


The only decent picture of us inside:


Afterward we walked down Cannery Row and went down to the water.


Brave little Ivy let Dad play in the water as it lapped the sand.

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Sophie wasn't into that.


She stayed up high and played in the sand.


As far from the water as she could possibly get.


After that and a visit to my great-uncle's place in Carmel, we found the Dennis the Menace park.


It was designed by the creater of the comic and is, quite possibly, the coolest public park we've ever been to. Not the best place to take a bunch of kids by yourself, though. There's no way you'd be able to keep an eye on more than one kid at a time. Luckily we're still 1-on-1.

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Sophie's a slide girl.


This one kinda tickles as you slide down.


This one throws you around like a ragdoll. She went on this one about 8 times.

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Ivy liked to walk around and point at stuff.


And brave an occasional slide.


But what she loves most of all is to climb.


To climb things that a 19-month-old should have no business climbing.


I stood behind her and spotted her, but she did all the climbing herself. When she got too high, I had to climb up myself so I could reach her. At that point, I was starting to freak out a little and kept my hands on her legs. She would have gone all the way up and onto the play structure if I hadn't have pulled her down. She's nuts.


Steve and I both went down the slides, too.


This one seriously makes you dizzy.


I don't think there's a male on earth that could resist a zipline.


After a long hour of playing (by then it was about 8PM), we got some drinks. . .


went to a local pizza place, drove 90 minutes home, then plopped ourselves into bed. The girls slept until 9AM the next morning -- probably the latest in their lives. It takes a lot to wear them out.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Report Shortly

We've been having lots of fun during Steve's last week of break, and I'll be back later to tell you about it.

Meanwhile, this was one of my favorite pics from the week. I love Ivy's face. :)