Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Track Santa today!

Cooper's school has some fun links on their home page. This one is especially cool. It's NORAD tracks Santa on Christmas Eve. Grab the kids and see where Santa is right now! Hurry!

Merry Christmas to all!

Papa found my camera!!!
Pictures to be uploaded at a less hectic time.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


I've kind of fallen off the blogging wagon ever since I "misplaced" my camera over Thanksgiving vacation in Tahoe. I'm not ready to say that it's "lost", but at this point in time I don't know where it is. Luckily we still have Cooper's camera and now Uncle Jon is here and we've started also using his.

We've been doing some fun things these first few weeks of December.

  • Cooper had a dance "show" at school called "Turn the beat around" where he was part of the first grade number dressed as "Cat in the Hat". The kids did a great job for how few practices they actually had. The first rehearsal was on Halloween day, with all the students dressed up in their costumes. Cooper would come home and practice his dance moves, the whole time chanting to himself "group one, group two, group three, heel toe, heel toe, clap clap clap, hip hip, kick a chair" etc, etc. So cute! Here he is all dress up, ready to go onstage.

  • Ward Adult Christmas party at the church

  • Relief Society Progressive Dinner

  • Enrichment craft night that turned into hours upon hours of hard work and dedication. You scrap booking mommies are no lightweights.

  • "(name removed for anonymity) Academy" Christmas party where the kids decorated sugar cookies, played on the trampoline and made an art project with Aunt Alli. When Grammy saw the cute poinsettia decoupage that Cooper and Catelyn brought home she said they needed to be framed they were so cute. Here's a picture of Catelyn decorating her cookies.

  • Helping out in Cooper's classroom once a week. I go in on Thursday mornings to help Cooper's teacher Mrs. B. Sometimes it's copying in the office and sometimes it's helping the kids finish an assignment, and sometimes it's preparing art projects for the kids to make. I am so grateful that my mom is available and willing to watch the girls while I go in to help Cooper's class. It's something I'm so glad I have the opportunity to do. Here's a picture from November at their Thanksgiving party. They were holding hands and saying what they were thankful for before their feast.
  • Cooper's teacher calls the moms that help out in the classroom "Super Moms". One of my super mom tasks was to make the "pilgrim collars" that the pilgrims are wearing in both these pictures.
  • Singing time with Catelyn and Lydia. Once a week there is a "Mommy and me" type of singing class that a couple of ladies in the ward teach for the preschool and toddler age kids. Catelyn and Lydia love it. I tell you, Catelyn is so musically talented. She can pick up a tune like no body's business! Lydia really gets into it too and claps and sings along.

  • "Night of Nativity" at the Lincoln ward building. There are hundreds of Nativity sets on display and they have special musical numbers all night long. Catelyn walked around the room with me asking "Does this one break?" at every single nativity set. With the exception of maybe three, the answer was "Yes, don't touch."

  • Breakfast with Santa. We invited our neighbors to join us and all the kids had a great time. The cub scouts had crafts for the kids and there was a fun singing time while the kids waited for Santa. As soon as Santa came in the room Catelyn made a bee line straight for him and was the first one to sit on his lap. When he asked what she wanted for Christmas she said "A candy cane!" Lucky girl. Cooper was less enthusiastic about sitting on Santa's lap but was very willing to write Santa a letter and give it to him. Santa was very good and asked Cooper to tell him about the letter and before he knew it, Cooper was sitting on Santa's lap.

Lydia, not so happy with Santa. She was fine until we put her on his lap...

  • Decorating for Christmas! The kids helped put ornaments on the tree and Cooper even got to go up on the roof with Papa to put the house lights on.

  • Helping out in the yard and kitchen. All of the kids are great helpers. Cooper loves to help Papa in the garage or yard and Catelyn loves to help cook in the kitchen.

I think that is a pretty good update of our happenings. The last thing I will add is that Lydia has started potty training. It went very well for about 3 days and now she's lost a bit of interest, but here she is with her first "pee pee in the potty" reward. A "pop-pop".

  • I forgot to mention the Ugly Christmas sweater party that I went to last week. It was a white elephant gift exchange and there were some rowdy presents under that tree I tell you. My friend Jody blogs about it here.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Catelyn's surgery

Quick version in case you don't want to read this whole post: Catelyn is doing very well and says "I love my new tongue."

Long version:

Papa, Catelyn and I left at 5 AM Wednesday morning to drive to Sacramento for the surgery at Sutter Memorial Hospital. She was scheduled to be the first surgery of the day at 7:30 so things went smoothly. The hospital was a little hard to find, down some pretty narrow streets in a nice neighborhood.

We checked in, signed paperwork, Catelyn was weighed and measured. She was a little concerned that she was at the hospital. She'd had some trauma at the doctor's office recently so she's been pretty scared of being seen by doctors. I told her that Dr Evans (she asked if he was Uncle Evan) was going to help her tongue not be stuck anymore and we were at the hospital so the nurses could help him.

We were walked over to the patient room where Catelyn had a bed w/ a child's gown and pajama bottoms waiting. She also had a brand new Diego tree house play set w/ Boots, Dora, Diego and horse figures to play with. There was a wonderful lady named Monique there who was a child specific counselor to help the children feel calm and safe. She explained about the tools the nurses were using to check Catelyn's heartbeat, look in her ear, etc. She was so nice and it helped Catelyn feel calm. They also brought Catelyn over a little DVD player to hold on to and watch while nurses came in and out to talk to me.

The nurses, anaesthesiologists and I decided to give Catelyn a medicine before the surgery that basically makes her forgetful so that she won't be scared and won't remember having been away from me during the surgery. After she had taken it the anaesthesiologist came over and asked Catelyn what her name was. She started to spell it but got confused after "C". I told her she didn't have to spell it, but what was her name? She said "Catelyn" and the doctor was impressed that she could remember that after taking that medicine. Just before it was time for her surgery Monique let Catelyn choose a toy to take home from a huge box that she brought over. Catelyn chose a flower shaped bug catcher w/ tweezers and a magnifying glass. Here is a picture of her w/ it, taken from my phone.

Dr Evans came over and said everything was ready to go so they wheeled Catelyn over to the operating room. We were told that it should be a very short procedure, probably around 20 minutes and then we would go over to the recovery room where it would be around 45 minutes for her to wake up. Dad and I hopped over to the cafeteria for a quick bite and then went to the waiting room.

Dr Evans came in at 8:10 to say that she was done and everything had gone well. I asked a few questions about if she would be in much pain, diet restrictions, tongue exercises, etc. Basically she should eat mostly soft food the first day, nothing crunchy like Doritos, take Tylenol when needed and let her rest and take it easy the rest of the day. He told us to sit tight until the anesthesiologist got her settled in the recovery room and they called us back there.

About 8:20 the anesthesiologist (who was pediatric specific btw) came to walk us over to the recovery room. He told us that the procedure had been a bit more substantial than he had anticipated so they had put Catelyn "further down" (asleep). She was fully asleep and had an IV as well as a tube to keep her mouth open and her tongue down. I wasn't prepared for the way she looked.

She was perfectly fine, I just had never seen any of my kids w/ an oxygen mask after a surgery. Lydia's surgery they let her wake up quickly and brought her to me afterwards. Catelyn stayed deep asleep like this until 9:00 when the nurse tried to gently stimulate her awake. She raised the bed, took her mask off, removed the tube in her mouth, stroked her forehead. Catelyn wasn't stirring. 10 minutes later the nurse decided to take her IV out, which forced Catelyn to rouse. She was really groggy and it took another good 10 minutes to get her dressed and sitting up.

When it was time to go, the recovery nurse brought Catelyn (Papa was carrying her) into a room w/ shelves full of stuffed toys and had her chose one to take home for herself, and also one for her baby sister. She chose a large pink flamingo and the nurse gave her a little pink bunny for Lydia. We had to get a bag to carry all of the toys and presents that Catelyn got while at the hospital.

On the drive home Catelyn was playing w/ her "new tongue" and learning to do new things with it. She said "The hospital helped me. My tongue's not stuck anymore." Since then she has started to learn how to "click" with it but is still learning that the tip can be lifted up to touch her top teeth. She's feeling good and doing well. If you made it this far, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Lydia's letters

Yesterday I was talking to Mom about our grocery list while mom was sitting down at the computer, when Lydia climbed up on her lap. Lydia leans over to peer at the keyboard, points at the "D" key and says "D!". She then proceeds to name about 20 letters on the keyboard, all in random order. Mom says "Do you see what she is doing?!" Yeah, she's letting her brilliance shine. If Catelyn can read at 4 I'm wondering what Lydia will be capable of! PS Lydia just turned 20 months this past week.

Monday, December 1, 2008

If you want to see how our week was

Troop on over to my SIL Sarah's blog. She already posted pictures and updates on our week in Tahoe. (Seriously, click the link and go see) I'll have to see about uploading pictures in between unpacking, decorating for Christmas and Catelyn's surgery on Wednesday.
Catelyn is getting her tongue tie snipped. It's an outpatient surgery with dissolvable stitches. It probably won't help her fear of doctors but should improve her speech. Her fraenum is so short and thick that it's causing her teeth to be spaced on the bottom. You can see it a little in this picture from the day before Halloween. We noticed how tied her tongue was when she was born but doctors said that she would most likely outgrow it. Now that she is four and her teeth are being affected I decided that it was time to solve the problem.
Other than that it's time to get this house organized and ready for Christmas!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Small update

I'm sorry that I've not updated this blog for a while. It turns out that my laptop (which I upload all my pictures to) is on the fritz and I have been using my parent's laptop for my Internet fix. We have been busy, taking a trip to Tahoe, completing soccer season, canning tuna (ok so I didn't help with that project) and more so I have not attempted to upload pictures to this new laptop yet. I'll work on that soon though.

Meanwhile, I have been quite interested in the backlash and eruption of emotions from the opponents of Prop 8. I understand that emotions run high on this issue but it has been very interesting to see the hatred directed at one particular group of people subsequent to the No on 8's loss at the polls last week.

I find the "tolerance movement" to be completely lacking of any tolerance toward the Mormon churches differing viewpoint on the issue. People disagree on this, and many other points. People, through the democratic process get to voice their opinions and, thanks to this great country, their voices get counted. How can this so called "tolerance movement" pretend to be anything of the kind when they are throwing a tizzy that more than half of the people who voted, disagree with them?

The Mormon church is being decried as bigoted. It's being protested against, blacklisted, defaced, vandalized, and so on and so forth, even to the point of having "unkown white powdery substances" delivered to the temples. (Granted, we don't know who sent those powders, never the less, it was an act of terorrism directed at the church)

I wanted to post the official press release given by the Church in response to this past weeks "activities". Please read.

God bless America and all those who fight to give us the freedoms we enjoy (and often take for granted).

PS, I will be changing the name of this blog in the near future.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

We did it!

I am very thankful and proud that the people of California passed Proposition 8 yesterday and stood up for traditional marriage and their moral values. It was a hard battle and there were strong emotions on both sides of the issue. For me Prop 8 was never about ill feelings or hatred toward a group of people, but was a defense of the Divine institution of marriage and keeping it sacred. I encourage all who read this blog to go here and read the Church's response on Prop 8 passing (as well as the initiatives in Arizona and Florida.)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

We had quite a fun Halloween!  We had many things to look forward to and many things to enjoy.  First on the list was Cooper wearing his costume to school and the girls having a Harvest Festival at the gym that they also dressed up for.

Here is Cooper in class, dressed like Captain Hook.

Next, we were anticipating Papa coming home for the whole weekend!  Papa has been working hard down in Fresno since August and we were excited to have him back with us for a while.

In preparation for both Papa's return and Aunt Michal and Uncle Jared's Halloween party, that afternoon my mom made homemade buttermilk donuts with maple glaze.  We got the recipe from Michal's good friend and amazing cook, Prudence Pennywise.  First I'll show you a picture of the donuts, then I'll give you link straight to the recipe.


Oh Mama, are these the best thing ever!  Here's Catelyn w/ her apron ready to help in any way we will let her.


Papa came home just as we were finishing up with these.  He was happy to be there I'm sure.  Next it was time to get dressed (again) and head over to the party.

Peter Pan and Captain Hook.


Captain Hook and Tinkerbell.


Papa the Pioneer with a Mermaid, Ballerina, and Tinkerbell.


80's Jared and Becky.


All the youngest cousins, minus Scotty.


Then we went home and went trick or treating until it started to really rain and it was time for bed.  I hope everyone's Halloween was as fun and enjoyable as ours was!

Waving in the rain

This morning I went out to help wave Yes on 8 signs in our neighborhood. It's been raining this weekend but we were all determined to make our voices heard, come rain or snow. To be honest the rain probably strengthened our cause because we had about 35 people at one intersection and it was wet! Only one young man came out with a homemade sign for No on 8 and he left after about an hour and a half.
We got a lot of waves, and thumbs up and horn honks. Only a few dozen shakes of the head no, and thumbs down and only around 10 middle fingers, mostly from young women (note, I didn't say young ladies.)
I stayed out there for 4 hours, 2 hours past my shift because it felt so good to be doing something proactive for the cause.
Here's a little shot of our corner. It was raining pretty good by this time.

I came home pretty wet, but not too cold. I was glad to have had the gloves. My fingers were water logged after I pulled them off.

Help support our efforts here in California to pass prop 8 by donating whatever you can here.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm a political activist!

I never thought there would be a time when I would feel the need to become a political activist.  4  judges have forced me to become one.  Proposition 8 is the most important issue that our generation will face.  The time is now, we are the people to face this challenge and California is the place where the battle lines are being drawn.  I've been to two Yes on 8 rallies in the past 8 days.  My first ever political rallies.  They were both inspiring but the most important thing I took away with me is that we all need to be more than cheerleaders.  We need to get up and make a difference!  Here are some highlight pictures.

Last Monday, at the start of the Yes on 8 bus tour in Sacramento.  I traveled there with my sisters in law and their kids.




This morning, on the steps of the Capital in Sacramento.  (if you look closely you can see a homemade sign saying "who stole my yes on 8 sign?"  I thought it was great!


This is the couple who filed a suit against the state of California over the removal of the terms "Bride" and "Groom" from the marriage licence forms and refused to get married as "Party A and Party B".


The ladies from the ward in front of the Capital this morning.



Hurray for Freedom of Speech and the right to assemble peacefully!  God bless America.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I was tagged by my friend Heather, so here goes:

8 TV shows that I love to watch
1. Dancing with the Stars
2. Extreme Makeover Home Edition
3. The Amazing Race
4. Antiques Road Show
5. So You Think You Can Dance
6. Flight of the Conchords
7. Gossip Girl (although I don't watch it anymore)
8. Saturday Night Live

8 Favorite Restaurants
1. Cheesecake Factory
2. Chipotle
3. Claim Jumper
4. El Torito
5. In N Out
6. Carmel's of Asheville
7. Macaroni Grill
8. Cheesecake Factory (it gets two votes)

8 Things happening this weekend
1. Ward Trunk or Treat Halloween Party
2. Church
3. Taking Tutu to the airport
4. Upload pictures from all cameras
5. Help finish costumes
6. Decorate House
7. Decorate trunk for Trunk or Treat
8. Snuggle some cute kids

8 Things that I am looking forward to..
1. Papa coming back in 2 weeks
2. Tahoe (with all the fam)
3. Michal's Halloween Party
4. Thanksgiving (in Tahoe with all the fam)
5. Catelyn sleeping through the night w/o pull ups
6. Cooking w/ pumpkin
7. Christmas
8. Prop 8 passing with flying colors!!

8 Things I love about this fall..
1. Cool air
2. Trees changing colors
3. Being at Grammy and Papa's
4. Back to School
5. Tutu here cooking great meals
6. Bishop's Pumpkin Farm (bought the cookbooks!)
7. General Conference
8. Cooper learning to play soccer

8 Things on my wish list.
1. iPod nano - it would help a lot at the gym
2. drop 2 sizes from going to the gym
3. Prop 8 passing on Nov 4 (keep up the good work everyone!)
4. Lydia growing more hair
5. Cooper scoring a goal to boost his confidence
6. Martin getting a good job
7. Get organized
8. Get off Welfare

People I am tagging: Cousin Marie, Cousin Jen, Cousin Ellen, Malia, My Three Amigos (I almost posted your name!), Sister Sarah, Mimi, Cousin Steven.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Teaching about gay marriage in schools

It's started already, despite what the State Board of Education president and Superintendent of Public Instruction have said. They claim that there is nothing to compel California schools to teach about the subject of marriage, failing to note that 96% of schools do so voluntarily and therefore must comply by state standards. Here is the letter that "Yes on 8" campaign found necessary to sent to each of these gentlemen, reminding them of reality.
And here we have the real live reality of having gay marriage legal in this state. San Diego school holds surprise "Gay" day for Kindergartners. This was posted Oct 22, 2008! We also have the incident in San Francisco where 1st graders were bussed to City Hall to witness the gay marriage of their teacher.
How anyone can say with a straight face that Prop 8 has nothing to do with teaching school children about gay marriage is beyond me. It's already happened!
Help us pass prop 8 any way you can. If you are out of state, donating even $10 will make a difference if everyone who cares about this issue decides to do so. Spread the word!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Vote yes on 8 this Nov 4!

Fun filled Saturday

Yesterday was action packed and fun filled for our family. Cooper had a soccer game at 11:00. Tutu and Catelyn went with us. The team he played was a team that 3 of Cooper's friends from church were on. I got some fun shots of him playing. He's in the white shirt, #6.





We then headed straight over to Uncle Jared's office for his Patient Appreciation day. Aunt Michal had made lots of yummy food and we even got to see Aunt Alli and cousin Isaac. (Sorry no pics)

After that we went right to Cooper's school Fall Carnival. It was surprisingly warm for the afternoon but the kids had lots of fun going to all the little games, climbing in the fire truck and eating snow cones and cotton candy.






This picture was so funny because someone was announcing over the speaker about a winner and Catelyn says "We're the lucky winner!" with her finger pointed up like that. And yes, her chin is blue.