Thursday, March 31, 2011

Leap Frog

For the last few days, I've been wanting to get just one more post up before the end of the month. Here it is, 9:00 at night on the 31st, and really? I've got nothing special to report on. So, in lieu of exciting news, I opt for pictures and a random update. Let's go...youngest to oldest, shall we?

The baby...

I had a supplemental ultrasound at the end of last week. The doctor wanted clearer pictures of the arteries going into his heart--they weren't concerned about anything, they just wanted better pictures to be on the safe side. They couldn't get the shots they wanted because he was turned the wrong way. So we went back.

He was still turned the wrong way. After much poking and prodding and ridiculous moves on my part trying to get him to flip, we came to the conclusion that this child is one of two things. He has either got quite the attitude already, or he is particularly lazy. Ha.

Why do we come to such conclusions? There were two or three times that the technician tried to nudge him over so she could get the right angle. He started to move in the right direction...then he paused...and promptly rolled back. And repeat. We tried a few different times and he'd almost...almost...flip over, and then go right back. It's as if he was saying, "Ok, I'll turn for you. Oh, wait...just kidding! Ha ha!" Or, he started the move and got partway only to decide it wasn't worth the effort. Sigh.

Don't worry, though. After a rather embarrassing debut of me literally jumping around the room (I've never been so glad to have gone to my appointment alone!), he finally flipped over and the technician took pictures to her heart's content. His, too. Everything looks just perfect. :)

The toddler...

Megan has adjusted well (enough) to her cast. She can do just about whatever she wants now without any major hassle. It's a little sad to watch her try to rub her eyes, though! That can't be comfortable, rubbing with fiberglass and all.

We have had a rough couple of weeks, though, between adjusting to the cast, getting pink eye (again!), and cutting four teeth simultaneously. The girl drools like there's no tomorrow. Or else like someone installed a faucet in her jaw.

Love you, Megan!

The preschooler...

Preschool! Gasp! Ok, I don't actually know for sure, but our fingers are sure crossed. We are going tomorrow afternoon to hopefully register Jane for preschool at the elementary school around the corner from our house. She desperately needs the social time with kids her age, and--don't blame me--we could use a little less, uh, togetherness. This stay-at-home mom thing has put a bit of a strain on our relationship. Don't get me wrong. I love my daughter. I just think that we can both tolerate each other better if we don't have to tolerate each other quite as often.

The man...

Hmmm. I don't really know what to update about Chris. He is working a lot, and doing well at his job. He recently received just about the highest evaluation score that it is possible to get in the company. That's pretty sweet. So is the proportional raise that came with it.

The pregnant one...

Yeah, that'd be me. Ugh. I have had some of the weirdest pregnancy things pop up this time around that never happened in my previous pregnancies. I don't know if it's because we're having a boy this time or what, but really? Give me a break.

For example. I have a huge, blotchy, ugly brown spot that just randomly showed up on my arm.

Thankfully it's starting to fade, but only slightly. (It looks darker in person than in the picture.) As near as I can tell, this is a normal? effect of having so many hormones in your system. Obviously not affecting every person or every pregnancy, still nothing to be concerned about that I know of. Anybody heard of these?

I'm really hoping it'll just disappear. Like, forever. And never come back. There or anywhere.

And...that's all I've got. We'll close out with a picture of Jane's preferred seating when we went to Dee's for lunch today.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Le Bus

It'll be a few years yet before we get to participate in a true-blue Cub Scout Pinewood Derby, but that didn't stop Chris organizing one for Elder's Quorum in the meantime. It probably only encouraged him.

The rules:
Don't interfere with another person's car.

The end. No weight limits. No size limits. No wheel limits. As long as your car wasn't big enough to run into the neighboring lanes of track, it was allowed.

Here is Chris's entry:

We call it "Le Bus" and we are all proud passengers in the back window. We also lend our initials to the license plate.

I painted it for him.

And I have to say, as soon as I pulled up the pictures to start writing this blog, the first thing I noticed was the HUGE gray hair right on top of my head. Before I started uploading anything, I had Chris come over and yank it out. That's one way for a husband to show his affection, right?


You may have noticed that Chris's car was a little on the, ahem, tall side. That was not on accident. First he attached part of a 2 x 4, then hollowed out the whole thing. Hollow, you ask? Well, not exactly. From about a quarter inch from the bottom up to about half an inch from the top, the entire thing is filled with lead. Chris melted down used wheel weights and poured molten lead into the car until it was full, then capped it off with another thin piece of wood. Final weight?

Seven pounds, two ounces.

7 lbs. 2 oz. is the same that Megan weighed when she was born. Two ounces heavier than Jane at birth. That's quite the pinewood derby car, eh?

The race was fun. There were fourteen cars in the lineup, including the batmobile,

and a CO2 powered pick-up.

Yes, it was pushed down the track by the same mini air tanks used in paintball guns. Um, that's fast.

Chris's car did well. Here, you can "watch" some of the race moments yourself.

There was one problem with our green double decker bus. Because it was so heavy, Chris couldn't attach the wheels using the standard groove in the bottom of the kit-provided wood block. The axles would just pop out until the bus was sitting flat on the ground instead of on the wheels. The solution, then, was to drill new holes so the axles were completely encased inside the wood and couldn't pop out. Which leads to the problem: we could never add any more graphite to the wheels once they were in. By the end, they were running dry, which didn't help so much.

All told, Chris tied for fourth. With the CO2 car, no less. The top three places went to a car built using a shoe horn, the batmobile, and a car filled with bird shot, coming it at just over four pounds. Fourth place? Not too shabby.

The girls did have limited participation. We were short in the graphite department (in truth, we've never owned any...), and, good wife that I am, I got my kids out of bed this morning and headed immediately to Lowe's.

Pajamas and all. Jane thought going to the store in her jammies was just about the best Saturday morning adventure ever. As long as it was ok with Dad, which she kept asking me over and over. She constantly has to check lately if something is ok with her dad. Cute, but kind of annoying, too...

I took a picture of Megan during the prayer. Not intentionally, but I had my arms folded with the camera still in my hand. Pretty good for not aiming, huh?

And she's pretty good and folding her arms, even with that cast. Or maybe it's because of the cast and the fact that she can't even unbend her right arm. Who knows.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Special Edition

When I posted my March shout-out a few weeks back, I was informed (multiple times) that I had missed a birthday. I here submit my formal apology and post my revised perpetual calendar for March 2011.

Everyone say Happy Birthday to Morgan!

She is marrying my brother Bill on July 23. It'll be great, as long as we ignore the fact that my baby is due July 28... At least no one will expect me to do anything! But really, we're very excited for them to finally be getting married. The ceremony will be held in my grandparents' backyard in Draper. Hooray for weddings!!

And Happy Birthday, Morgan! Sorry I didn't have a cuter birthday picture for the calendar. I'm not really sure what that circle thing even is, but know at least that your birthday is marked.,

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Four Days Worth...

of BiRtHdAyS!!

My birthday was last Thursday, Chris's was on Saturday. And yes, we celebrated for four whole days. Lucky us, huh?


Happy birthday to me! Our big celebration of the morning was lunch out with my dad. Thanks, Dad, for buying even though we invited you. I promise I didn't plan it that way!

Golden Corral is great with our kids. Both of them are free and there is always something for everyone to eat. Yay!

Big celebration of the evening was rice krispie treats with my family at our house. I'm telling ya, if you want to win your way into my good graces, rice krispie treats are the way to go.

I found someone online with the same, ahem, passion for this treats as me. His detailed instructions had me cracking up all day. I followed them to the T and man, oh, man, they were tasty. The entire pan was gone within fifteen minutes.

Since I really liked what he said and want to have a copy in my blog book, I am including his instructions in their entirety here, though I will make them small so you can easily skip it if you want. Mock me if you will, but I really do find it quite entertaining. If you want it bigger, click here for the original site.


Note: If you are interested in the heart
      healthy version of this recipe,
      you will have to look elsewhere.

I have spent my entire life refining what I believe to be the finest snack treat of any kind. I have combined ideas and suggestions from family and friends to come up with a recipe which, for me, produces the greatest release of endorphins per bite of any food I can think of. It also contains each of the four food groups... when eaten with an apple and a fish sandwich. The instructions in this recipe assume that you already have a box of Kellogg's Rice Krispies in your possession. While my recipe is based on theirs, I will explain how to make your Rice Krispies Treats extra yummy. I will also mention some common mistakes which might make yours end up less-than-professional-looking, ordinary tasting and expose you as a "by-the-box" chef.

One common mistake is to assume that all roundly shaped rice cereals are alike. Do not try to save 40 cents by getting Healthy Hank's Imitation Rice Cereal Pellets. Get the real stuff! The same goes for the marshmallows. If you doubt what I am saying, buy some generic marshmallows and compare them to the Jet Puff brand. Jet Puffs are hand picked from the finest Marsh trees in Bolivia. All other brands are synthetic and tend to increase one's gag reflex.

Next take your margarine out of your refrigerator and hurl it into your back yard. The animals will enjoy it, and your Treats can be affected if the margarine is even in the same room during Treat preparation. You should purchase some sticks of Land-o-Lakes Lightly Salted Butter. It is my personal favorite, but I am open to suggestions if you know of a better choice. I don't suggest using the same comparison technique as you would for comparing marshmallows, but it is not out of the question. If you insist on using margarine, then save yourself some time and just read the box.

It is important that you prepare the pan before you begin to melt the marshmallows. A 22x12x2 pan works well for a double batch. You knew I meant inches, right? Experts have told me that the technical term is "Jelly Roll Pan." I suggest you remove any jelly rolls at this point. If you have some non-stick cooking spray, leave it in the cabinet. It will completely ruin your Rice Krispies Treats! If you doubt that, take out a cookie and spray some all over it and have a bite. What? You don't want to? I didn't think so. Instead, use your newly purchased butter to grease the pan. Use a lot. Don't be timid. Keep an extra tablespoon of the butter set aside for later. Don't worry. I will tell you when to use it.

Although I personally stopped measuring the amount of Rice Krispies long ago, I need to let you know that if you use the same Krispie-to-marshmallow ratio suggested on the box, your treats will be inferior grade, dry and only marginally sweet. If you prefer foods which are not very sweet, then stop reading, and see my recipe for homemade noodles. A good rule to start from is to use the same amount of marshmallows they suggest, but use 5 1/2 cups of Rice Krispies -- not six! Also, not only will you replace the "M" word with butter, but you should use 3/4 of a stick and not the 1/2 stick stated on the box. As a side note: if you use a full stick, the end product will be hard and chewy -- and not in a good way. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

When I make Treats, I always make a double batch. I suggest you do the same since it involves no extra trouble and produces twice the enjoyment. I use two large (16 oz.) bags of Jet Puff marshmallows, one large box of Kellogg's Rice Krispies (you will have some left over), 1 1/2 sticks of butter and an extra large stew pot. First, slowly melt the butter. Then add all the marshmallows. Be patient while melting the marshmallows. Don't turn the heat very high. If the slightest bit of gray color shows up as they are melting, it will produce a flavor which I can best describe as... well... burnt marshmallows. That flavor might be okay by the campfire, but not in our current context. Trust me on this one. After the fruit of the Bolivian Marsh trees has completely melted, turn off the heat and begin stirring in the Rice Krispies. It is best to have a helper to accomplish this part. Have your helper poor slowly as you stir until your arm begins to cramp. Ask them to pour in the areas in which the white of the marshmallows is most prominent. If you are unsure whether you can completely coat every single Krispie, stop pouring. Don't stop stirring until each one is completely covered with goo. Don't be disturbed by the appearance of spider web looking strings coming from your spoon. Chances are they are not real spider webs.

It is now time to pour the goo-covered krispies onto the jelly roll pan. Don't worry about getting every little spoonful out of the pan. Now you need to find the tablespoon of butter you set aside. If it is lost, get some more. It is sure to show up later on the bottom of your shoe or the seat of your pants. Spread some of the butter on your hands and begin to mash the goo down into the cookie sheet. When it starts to stick to your hands, use more butter. Use your fists to pound it flat. You want them to be as packed as possible, and evenly packed as well. Keep adding butter to your hands and spreading it as you smooth everything as much as possible. Failure to achieve sufficient packing density will result in an amateurish look as well as treats which contain a lot of air. Air does not taste as good as marshmallows -- at least not where I live. Cover it with aluminum foil until it cools. In the winter, I suggest putting them outside in a safe place to speed things along. Be warned that dogs like them them too! At this point, you may stop rubbing butter on your hands. You will look silly.

After the Treats cool, just slice them to the desired size. If you live alone, no slicing may be necessary. For a seasonal touch, add red or green food coloring to the melted marshmallows or use the tricolor Rice Krispies. Do not attempt both food colors in the same pot as it will cause a disruption in the space-time continuum... or make brown marshmallows. If you are unsure how to eat them, please mail them to me. If you know how to make them better, please tell me. If you are under the age of 18, ask your parents before you use the oven. My Easy-Bake Oven version still needs some work. If your finished product does not taste good, then we have had a breakdown in communication. Maybe I will be more specific with my next recipe.

Thanks, family, for hanging out for my birthday.

Our side adventure of the day came when Jane climbed into Megan's crib and tried to hang off the curtains, thus breaking the curtain rod in half. The thing is, this is the fourth curtain rod she's broken this way. Ugh. Her punishment:

Scrub the kitchen floor. By hand. Every spot that Mom pointed out. She also had to scrub a few handprints off the walls. Might seem a little harsh, but now every time she goes to bed, she talks about not breaking the curtains because she doesn't want to clean the floor. I think the lesson stuck--at least for now.

Megan was just helping for fun. She thought it was a great game.

P.S. Thank you everyone for dressing up for my birthday! So nice of you!

I will only wear my "rub for luck" shirt when I'm obviously pregnant (I'll let you guess why...). This is the first time I've been big enough to wear it on my birthday.


My mom picked up the girls at 8:30 Friday morning, and Chris and I were on our own. Hooray!! We spent most of the day shopping at South Towne Mall, where we scored new shoes, pants and dress shirt for Chris, flower girl dresses for Jane and Megan to wear to Bill and Morgan's wedding in July, a new maternity dress for me, and an adorable little outfit for baby boy that says "little brother". Yay for our little boy! And cute new clothes!

We went out to our traditional dinner at Old Spaghetti Factory, then we checked into the Anniversary Inn for the night. 'Nuff said.


Happy birthday to Christopher! We left the hotel and headed up to Idaho. All but one of Chris's siblings was there (slacker Brenda was in Oregon (; ). Since it was Chris's birthday, he had his traditional birthday lunch at China City. Yay!

We did a little treat shopping with Michael and Amanda. At the grocery store, we found an amusing sign that we were, in fact, in rural Idaho. I'm not sure many other places would chose this particular stocking placement.

I did get some funny looks from employees while I was taking the picture. I even had one guy follow us around the store for a while after...

We were actually all there to see Craig and Janet perform in the community performance of the musical Oliver!. I didn't get any pictures that night, but here is one shot that was sent to me via text message.

He was Fagin. I've never seen him look less like himself--nicely done. And they both did a very good job in their roles. Yay!

After some late-night birthday ice cream cake and sparkling cider, Chris and I bid farewell and headed out to another hotel in Pocatello.


Staying in the hotel was well worth it to shave 45 minutes off our drive in the morning so we could make it to our own ward's sacrament meeting in time to sing with the choir. We stayed after for choir practice, then went home for a nice, long, still kid-free, uninterrupted nap. Ah, the bliss of occasionally pretending not to be parents.

Then at 4:30, we were quickly reintroduced to parenthood when we picked up the girls from their grandparents. Thank you, Mom and Dad and Amy and Deborah and everyone else who helped watch them. I hope it was as worth it to you as it was to us!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"Orange" you glad?

We took Megan to the Fracture Clinic today. I'm pretty sure she thought we were just there to play.

Wouldn't it be ironic if she fell off the chair and broke something else while we were there? Of all places to fall, though, it might not be so bad...

Megan was pretty much adorable the entire time we were there. Everyone was laughing at her while she smiled and waved at anyone that walked past.

Oh my goodness, that face. How can you not smile when you see that face?

They did another x-ray, and the orthopedic doctor said that both bones are broken, not just the one. Well, there is the obvious break we found on Sunday, but the other bone has some damage. I don't know if they'd actually call it "broken," but it's not what it's supposed to be, either. In any case, they have put her into a new fiberglass cast. Yay for non-removable!

Here is the new Megan for the next four weeks. Assuming everything goes well, she'll have this cast removed on April 13 and be done. Until then, we have some minor annoyances to deal with. She can't have a bath. Getting into the car seat is a huge pain now since her arm can't bend in any kind of useful way. Eating is all kinds of complicated now. She isn't coordinated enough to eat with one hand--especially her left hand--and her right arm can't really get up onto the table to help at all. And we don't want the cast to get messy or gross. Mostly that means that for the majority of meals, I have to feed her. She has always, always hated being fed--we never did baby food because she was that opposed. I wonder how long we'll last this time...

Sigh. At least her cast is orange...what other color could I pick, really? Phillips pride!

I need to give a moment to Jane, too. She's been feeling a bit left out this week, I think. Megan has been getting too much attention! Jane is jealous.

Despite that, she has done amazing lately in our seemingly never-ending world of potty training. For all you parents out there who care and would understand, I just have to say that for three days in a row, she's had zero accidents. That's pretty much unheard of at our house. Grandma Karrie helped us celebrate today with Jane's own specially requested reward:

Have you ever seen a 3-year-old so excited about her very own jar of pickles? That's not what I would have picked...but really, whatever works! And whatever it is, it's working, so we'll stick with that.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Add that to the list

Remember how we had to give Jane steroids every day for eight months? And antibiotics to Megan for seven months? And how Jane broke her leg? And how Megan had major surgery?

Well, yesterday
Megan broke her arm.
Let's add that to the list.

It happened at Chris's grandparents' house in Sugarhouse. We were there for the monthly Pyper family dinner. Chris and I were in the kitchen visiting, and the girls were running around with their second cousins. There were lots of people around, so I wasn't really worried about watching them too closely.

Then we hear screaming. It's far away, so it takes a minute to realize that it's my kid. Grandpa Pyper headed down the stairs and picked up Megan. Yep, you guessed it. She fell down the entire flight of stairs into the basement. Only Jane (3) and Kambri (2) were with her at the time, so we don't know exactly how it all played out, but we know for sure that she went all the way down.

She was brought to me and sat on my lap for a Long Time. At first she was extremely upset, but I couldn't tell if it was a painful cry or just a super scared cry, as I'm sure she was completely freaked out from falling so far. She calmed down after not too long once she had a drink and her pacifier, but she wouldn't dream of getting off my lap. That was fine, I just kept visiting with Chris's aunt Carolee. We both started noticing, though, that she wouldn't move her right arm. It just hung at her side, and anytime there was something close by to pick up, she would either use her other arm, or just look at it and whimper. Not normal! I felt her arm and moved it around a little bit--she didn't like it, but she didn't really object, either, so who knows what it meant, right?

Here's where we got lucky. Chris's uncle Sean is a doctor and he was there. Yay! We gave Megan some toys and watched her not use her arm, then Sean checked her out. He was telling me that "When kids fall, they usually have a break right about here" and she SCREAMED. Yep, we found the spot. And after dropping Jane off at my parents' house, off to Instacare we went.

This was one of those parenting moments when you can't help but second-guess yourself the entire time. There was no visible injury--no bruise, no bleeding, no swelling--and after her tylenol had kicked in, Megan had even started moving her arm around. She still wouldn't grab anything, but she was moving it up and down no problem. Sigh. All I could do then was wonder if we should have waited a day and it would have just fixed itself, like kids do so often. But we were already there. And good thing, too, because it was in fact broken.

Here are the x-rays:

On this first one, you can see just the tiniest bump on the side of the bone, which I've circled. This particular x-ray is mostly fun just because you can see Chris's fingers, too.

The scan didn't pick up the actual break well, so I traced it in red. It is called a buckle fracture. It's only a tiny little break, but it goes towards the inside of her bone, rather than down the side like a hairline fracture would.

This x-ray shows the biggest difference. You can see a bigger bump, again inside the circle.

Overall, it's not really a bad break. It should only take 2 or 3 weeks to completely heal, without any worries of disrupting growth plates or anything. They put on a splint at the Instacare and sent us home.

That nurse, by the way, was one of the nicest nurses I've had working with my kids during all our random medical experiences. She was great with Megan, and it was her idea that we would want to have copies of the x-rays for "future bragging rights." It was fun, too, that everyone thought Megan was just the cutest thing ever. :)

Here is a picture of her this morning in the splint.

They said this is all she really needs to have for the break to heal, but I'm hoping we'll be able to get her into a hard cast anyway. She has moments when she desperately tries to get the thing off and I'm worried that with just the ace bandage covering it, she'll succeed. Our pediatrician has referred us to the Fracture Clinic at Primary Children's. We'll see what they have to say as soon as they call me back.

And here is a picture of Jane just because Megan was getting her picture taken and Jane wanted one, too.

So, in our three years and two months of being parents, we have now done daily steroids, daily antibiotics, broken leg, major surgery AND a broken arm. If we're this bad with our girls, what's going to happen when we have a boy?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Drum Roll Please

So, this is Chris. For all of you that were really annoyed that we found out the baby's gender and then didn't tell anyone, that was my idea. All of that originated with the idea that I figured we would have another girl, and this would be the third time around, and that's just boring. So we needed to add some more excitement to the whole adventure. Well,


and, due to that fact, I am super excited and didn't want to wait until tomorrow to tell everyone. I know I'm a little late for most of you but I personally can't get to sleep because I'm excited so I'm posting now anyway.

I wanted to post the actual "it's a boy" picture in all his manliness but Laura is opposed to naked baby pictures even when that baby only weighs slightly more than half a pound, is just larger than a can of Red Bull, and is being viewed through a crappy black and white ultrasonic picture. So, you get the feet instead.

But, they always say that you can tell from the size of a man's feet...

It's a Boy!!!

It's A...

I was more nervous going into this ultrasound than I was with either of my previous pregnancies. I think that has a lot to do with being home and having more time to think about it...and being around my family more meant it came up more often in casual conversation.

I entertained myself this week by researching old wives' tales of gender prediction tricks. Here are some of the results...

The baby is lower than I'm used to, enough so that I easily lose feeling in my legs because of it.
Verdict: Boy

At my appointment this morning, the heart rate was 156, higher than 140.
Verdict: Girl

I crave salty foods and meats more than sweets.
Verdict: Boy

Chris has not gained much extra weight while I've been pregnant.
Verdict: Girl

My pillow is directed north when I sleep (as if that really means something?).
Verdict: Boy

I will NOT eat the heel of a loaf of bread.
Verdict: Girl

My dreams have been more frequent and much more vivid than during previous pregnancies.
Verdict: Boy

When my keys were laying on the counter, I pick them up by the small end of one key.
Verdict: Girl

The needle on the string test.
Verdict: Boy

Now, weird, random predictions aside, let's consider some personal preferences...

I am the third girl in my family. I think I turned out pretty good--therefore, third girls are worth it.
Verdict: Girl

We have two girls. A boy would be fun, just for variety's sake.
Verdict: Boy

We have two girls. We know what to do with girls!
Verdict: Girl

We have a lot of girl clothes. They are getting boring. It would be fun to have an excuse to get new things.
Verdict: Boy

We have a lot of girl clothes. No need to spend more money!
Verdict: Girl

We have wanted a boy from the very beginning of our marriage. It's about time, isn't it?
Verdict: Boy

We make stinkin' cute girls. Why not stick with what we're good at?
Verdict: Girl

Well, the ultrasound was this morning.

And the verdict is...


Sorry. We're not telling. Yes, we do know. But we share a lot of our lives with everyone we know.

Just this once, we want to keep a secret. :)

For a day.

Seriously, there is no way I could last longer than that.
We'll tell you tomorrow.

Monday, March 7, 2011

March Shout-Out

I have a perpetual calendar that my sister gave me for Christmas a few years back. I admit, I was very bad about changing it each month--look, one thing that improved when I became a stay at home mom! I'm now never more than a day or two behind (instead of three or four months...), and usually I'm right on the ball changing the calendar for the new month.

March was fun because I got to use so many of the little pictures.

Deborah (1) and Charyl (5) lucked out and got the official birthday markers.

Lisa and Christian (20) lucked out and got the real anniversary marker (3 years!).

My birthday (17--ten days!) was obvious with the shamrock, right?

And Chris and I are celebrating our joint birthdays on the 18th, hence the ribbon and confetti. Old Spaghetti Factory and Anniversary Inn, here we come.

I had to get a little more creative with the other ones...

My parents' anniversary--34 years!!!--was on the fourth. They got the "Mom" flowers.

Chris's birthday is the 19th--he gets the "Dad" hat.

We find out the gender of our baby (assuming baby cooperation) on Friday the 11th. Hence the basket of eggs--get it?

P.S. Have you voted on the poll yet?

And last but not least, Michael and Amanda have their first anniversary coming up on Wednesday. Check the picture again. Yeah, they get the jack-o-lantern. Why? Both of their birthdays are in October. That's as close as I could get!

Happy Everything to all involved!

And a side note on life...

One of our family's recent stresses has been our children's clothing. Oh, man. Jane got into the habit of pulling ALL of the clothes out of their dresser and making an ENORMOUS mess every time she was supposed to be sleeping. Solution attempt #1: Move the dresser out of the bedroom and into the playroom. Well, that helped with naptimes, but mostly it just meant that all of the clothes were mixed in with all of the toys instead of being the only mess on the floor.

Not really better.

We contemplated, discussed, thought, considered, and further attempted ways of child-proofing the dresser. Pretty much wasn't happening. The dresser is fairly old and, well, crappy, so the drawers hardly stay in as it is. There was no good way to secure the drawers firmly into the dresser without basically rebuilding the whole thing, and even that with no guarantee that we would be able to keep Jane out.


But! I am happy to report that we have finally reached success! Instead of child-proofing the dresser, we child-proofed the closet and moved the dresser in there.

Door #1:

The board on the floor is simply pushed up against the dresser and is long enough to fill the entire door gap, preventing sliding in any direction. To open that side of the closet, you just have to lift up that board. As long as you have already opened the other door.

Door #2:

This was more complicated. Chris mounted a small board within the door frame that you can see on the far end of the picture. He then drilled a hole through the metal frame of the door itself and put in a screw. The board you see across the (mirrored) door rests on top of each of those, preventing the door from being opened.

Yes, it is 100% Jane-proof. Hooray!

Let's enjoy the small successes.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Stress Relief...or Avoidance...

Chris said he can gauge how stressed I've been by how often I blog...or rather, the lack thereof. Ha. I think he's right...I'm tired of potty training (AHHH!) and teething and laundry and dishes and cooking and cleaning and and and...

So, in an effort both to cheer myself up and to further avoid the mountain of clothing and underwear that is my living room, I thought we'd delve into some of the funnier things my children have done lately.

Jane had gone to Draper with my mom and Chris and I took Megan along with us while we went grocery shopping. It was a long trip with several stops. Apparently it was pretty tiring.

She was smiling and talking one second, and the next her head flopped back and she was sound asleep. She stayed that way for over twenty minutes, too.

Megan is very good at saying least, knowing when to say please. Here's how she says it: ___________. She doesn't actually say anything. She just blows at you. Ha.

Jane got a hold of my camera yesterday. Let me tell ya, I was so excited when she brought it back to me with a mostly dead battery and covered in chocolate. Lovely. Most of her 66 new pictures looked something like this...

Of course, there were just a few that were actually in focus.

Name the movie! I'll tell you right now, you're wrong. ;)

How many pictures do you have of the inside of your toilet?
And how many of you have a green toilet?

I think, of everything, this was the most artistic of Jane's shots.

And this one looks like a regular picture of Megan.

We have had some success in potty training. To be fair, Jane has actually done very well, for the most part. We won't go into (gross) details here, but suffice it to say, we're not there yet. We did have one HUGE success that required elaborate celebration. Jane's chosen reward? Sunglasses.

My reward was one of the cutest Jane pictures we've had in quite a while.