Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

SIX Little Friends

Technically pre-Christmas, this little get-together of little boys was SO much fun! Our good friends Kaden and Connor came to visit us from Pleasant Grove, and Noah came from 3 doors down. All 4 of the Wii-playing boys have birthdays within 9 weeks of each other, while the 2 year-olds are about 5 months apart. And yay! Kaden and Connor's mom will be having boy #3 in plenty of time for Dylan to have a little friend, too.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

FIVE Pairs of Jammies

It was lots of fun to have our downstairs neighbors with us for Christmas this year. Instead of just 3 adorable boys in new jammies, we had 5! (Adam, Kaleb, Dylan, Ryan, Alex)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

FOUR Shots of Dylan

I had plenty to choose from, but here are some of my favorite pictures of Dylan's first Christmas.

Monday, December 28, 2009

THREE Wise Men

One of the best gifts I could have received this year was for Kirk to actually participate in something. Watch, heckle, half-heartedly observe... yes. But participate? Well, here is the evidence that at least this one year, Kirk did his part as a wise man. Oh, and Alex was a wise man and Adam was Joseph. THANKS HONEY!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

TWO Traveling Brothers

On our Christmas Eve trip to Ogden, Adam and Alex made several quick switches between loving each other, bugging each other, and finally... resting on each other. If it isn't clear from Adam's expression here, he was NOT happy about where Alex chose to rest his tired head.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

On the First Day of Christmas...

Our Christmas was WAY too exciting for just one post. So here it is, "12 Days of Christmas" style:

My family headed south for an Arizona Christmas, so we had a little Casdorph Christmas a few days early. We watched a pretty funny "mockumentary" called Stalking Santa, ate some chicken stew and yummy bars, and enjoyed each other's company. We finished up by exchanging gifts. The kids got jammies from Grandma, and Alex immediately had to try his on. He started calling them his "animals" (because of their cute animal print) and would not take them off for two days. He literally wore them for a full 48 hours.

Thanks to Grandma Casdorph (aka MOM) for starting the holiday off right!

Check back for the next 11 days to read about the rest of our fun Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mario Party Super Brothers

Yeah, yeah, I know it's really called Super Mario Brothers. But not at my house. Here we play Mario Party Super Brothers. And we play it all the time.

I have to say that this video game is both the best and the worst thing to ever come into my house.

Best because it can entertain 4 little boys for endless periods of time.
Worst because we have to hear, "Can I play MPSB?" during pretty much every moment of every day.

Best because the adults love to play it just as much as the kids.
Worst because we have to kick the kids off to get to play it.

Best because the kids can handle it all by themselves.
Worst because they argue incessantly about who stole who's Yoshi and who is leaving who behind.

Best because it is something we can all do together as a family.
Worst because we can't seem to do it together without lots of frustration.

Best because the kids love it so much that when told they couldn't play it because it was Sunday, they went and found pencils and paper and pretended to play it. Still not sure exactly how that worked, but they seemed to love their make-believe version just as much.

I guess for now, the "bests" have it.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mission: Accomplished

Remember these?

They've successfully turned into these...
Now I just can't wait for the Sunday after Christmas to put these babies to use. (At least the blue ones. The cute girly one is for my neice.)
Links for anyone who might want them:

Sunday, December 13, 2009

"You're Ruining My Life!"

I was really flattered when someone told me my boys are the best dressed boys at church. Not that it's something I'm going for. I just kind of hope it somehow it compensates for the fact that they are the worst behaved.

Week 2 of Kirk working on Sunday was significantly less successful than last week. No Cinderella story here. Dylan did not sleep through Sacrament Meeting. Adam and Alex were neither quiet nor well behaved. In fact, at one point (while lining his crayons up as a loud choo choo train), Alex screamed at Adam, "You're ruining my line!" Although his speech has been getting incredibly clear lately, the couple in front of us still thought he had told Adam that he was ruining his life. Thanks to the angel known as Sister Pope who came and rescued us again.

Last week I was grateful for blessings manifested here on earth. This week, I'm thinking I'm owed some in heaven. Next week, Kirk will be attending church with us. Period.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Faith and Blessings

Last Sunday, Kirk had to work for my dad, and I was faced with the prospect of a Sunday alone. I briefly considered playing hookie from church, but then I decided I'd better go, even if it might be difficult.

It was Fast Sunday, and I really did want to fast. With all the craziness of bathing all the kids and dressing them myself plus dragging them off to choir practice with me, eating was not even an option. At least it made fasting easy.

In Sacrament Meeting, my kids are generally ok-behaved. Not great. Not terrible. Just OK. And that is generally with lots of threatening, bribery, and two parents to watch them like hawks. This Sunday, I think I learned what Cinderella must have felt like when her Fairy Godmother came to grant her wish of going to the ball. My kids were ANGELS. My only explanation is that Heavenly Father blessed me for my faith in braving church by myself. Not only was I blessed with well-behaved kids, I was also blessed by ward members who stepped in to help in the few moments where my two hands were simply not enough. Thanks to Sis. Pope for sitting with Alex when he needed a little extra attention. Thanks to Sis. Michaelis and Sis. Mecham who both held Dylan for me when I had to focus my attention elsewhere (like on my primary calling). Thanks to the countless others who made offers to help me if I should happen to need it.

Unfortunately, the kids' equivalent of Cinderella's midnight was apparently 4 pm, when we got out of church. The last four hours of the day were less heavenly. Still, I am incredibly grateful for the blessings I received.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tuck, Straddle, Pike

My brother-in-law teaches a tumbling class at a dance studio not far from me, and when I mentioned that I thought gymnastics might be a good outlet for some of Alex's energy, he said I could bring him by to try out a class. Granted, the class he teaches is full of teen and pre-teen girls, most of whom can do back handsprings. But hey, you have to start somewhere.
Alex got to participate in the first half of class when they do "line tumbling" which basically means they all practice the same stuff one after another in a line. Alex proudly took his place in line and completed his "front rolls" (somersaults in laymen's terms) just like the girls. Then when the girls did their back rolls, Uncle Skye taught him how to do his "moose ears." (He had him put his thumbs by his ears with his fingers out like antlers to get prepared for his back rolls.)
After the line tumbling while the girls were taking a water break, Skye taught Alex some of the inportant tumbling terms, tuck, pike, and straddle. Skye said Alex caught on very quickly for his age.
Alex seemed to have a great time, and his focus amazed me. Maybe we'll have to talk Skye into teaching a little kids tumbling class so we can go every week!

Monday, December 7, 2009

2 Months Already?!

The last two months have officially been the fastest of my life! Every day I feel like this little guy's infancy is just slipping right through my fingers. I generally don't find much time to take pictures lately, but I made sure to do a little "photo shoot" today on his 2 month birthday. He was so sweet, and he let me take a million pictures of him. (Okay, actually only 92). He even did his little attempt at a smile in a few of them. I was fortunate to catch him in such a cute mood.
It has been so fun to have his little personality in our home. In so many ways his temperment reminds me of Adam (sleeps a lot, rarely fussy), except with the cuddly cuteness of Alex. He still sleeps all the time, which I am not complaining about. He is generally only awake for about 90 minutes between his 3 hours naps. He only wakes up once during the night, which I can definately handle. And when he is awake, he just LOVES to cuddle. He almost never cries except when he truly needs something, and he is so easy to soothe. He loves to be swaddled up really tightly, and he loves to be held by his big brother Adam.
All is well here, although most days keeping up with the boys is all I can manage, and any cleaning or laundry I manage to do is just considered a bonus. We are all adjusting well, and I simply couldn't be happier.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Articles of Faith

During church today, I decided that there really ought to be a 14th Article of Faith, at least for the Relief Society.

We believe in clipboards, sign up sheets, and refreshments and in sending around clipboards with sign up sheets for refreshments.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

You've Got To Be Kidding Me!

I needed a prescription called in to a pharmacy today. I chose WalMart because I knew they had my insurance info, and it is the closest pharmacy. I was disappointed to find out it was going to take them an hour to fill the prescription, but I was doing my best to have a good attitude about it. Until I picked up the prescription. Seriously? An hour for this? It is a freaking box of pills. It's not like they even had to count anything. Just pick up a box of pills and put it aside for me. Really? Next time, I think I'll drive the extra block or two to get to Walgreens.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 19, 2009


In high school, my friends affectionately called me "West Sider" because I was one of about 5 students at Alta who lived west of the freeway. So naturally, when I met my Granger-class-of-'96 husband, I just knew we'd have lots in common, seeing how were both from the west side. :) He was quick to set me straight though. Perhaps I'm not an east-sider, but he won't let me claim the west either. He says I'm from the south side.

Let me add that I did formerly harbor a bit of prejudice against West Valley. You know, just the normal stuff that, honestly, a lot of people here in the Salt Lake Valley tend to think. West Valley is run down. West Valley has a lot of crime. A lot of white trash people and immigrants live in West Valley. Then I moved here. I live in a really classy, new neighborhood full of exactly the kind of people that I want my kids to grow up with. I'm proud of the businesses and programs here in West Valley, and I'm proud to live here. Hopefully with that disclaimer, my husband won't take offense at the rest of my blog. It's just too perfect to pass up.

I took the kids to Granger High School today where my mother-in-law works as a lunch lady. She has an awesome relationship with her co-workers, and they love to see the new babies, so today was "show off the new grandchild" day (which we carefully planned to coincide with yummy Thanksgiving lunch day). We were sitting there, enjoying our lunches, when the principal came over the loudspeaker to announce that the school was on lockdown. Yeah... lockdown.

Not knowing the nature of the threat, but knowing all too well that I recently read two separate books about school shootings, I gathered the kids close and tried not to show fear. I was very relieved to find out (thanks to the walkie talkies worn by the janitorial staff who had been lunching with us) that the threat was on the outside of the building. Still, Granger's lunchroom is kind of a circular room of which about half is huge windows. Even though rationality suggested there was nothing to be afraid of, I have to admit that my mother hen instinct kicked in, and I couldn't hold my kids close enough.

And, of course, Dylan got hungry in the middle of all of this. I hadn't planned to feed him while we were out, so I was completely unprepared to have to nurse him in a lunchroom full of strangers. I tried to stall him, but he told me in no uncertain terms that he had to eat. Being an incredibly private person, I opted to use a back office in the lunch prep area to feed him, but that meant leaving my two other boys back in the room with all the windows. My stupid overactive imagination kept threatening to run away with me the whole time I was feeding him. Thankfully, after about 10 minutes of being away from my kids, the lockdown was over and we got to go home.

3 years at Alta without a hitch. One lunch at Granger (okay, I admit, I've been there 4 or 5 times before, but still) and I get stuck in a lockdown. Sorry, honey. It had to be said.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Let's Don't Talk About Lisa

Kirk downloaded a program that lets us crop our digital music files to make ringtones, so everytime my sister Lisa calls me, I get to listen to 30 seconds of the Lonestar song, "Let's Don't Talk About Lisa." Kind of fun because its obvious to everyone around who is calling. Also fun because it gets stuck in everyone's heads. He he he...

Anyway, when Lisa got married in 2008, she up and moved to Georgia, and we've only been able to see her a few times since then. But thanks to the upcoming marriage of her best friend, she will be in town next week for Thanksgiving. And I can't wait!

My excitement and the turkey season have got me thinking about all the awesome things about my sister Lisa, and I thought I'd put them to paper (sorta) and share what makes Lisa so special.
- Lisa is an incredible aunt. When she lived here, Adam called her apartment the "party house," because she'd invite him over for sleepovers. I'm not sure exactly what they'd do, but I know they had all sorts of special little traditions like pancakes in the morning, and singing and signing the "I love you" song at bedtime.

- Lisa loves to succeed, win, and prove herself to people who doubt her. Ok, so maybe it's pretty much a family trait, but it runs especially strong in Lisa. I love seeing Lisa accomplish the seemingly impossible whether it is putting herself through college without so much as one student loan or just winning at croquet.
- Lisa calls me a couple of times a week just to see how I'm doing. I don't think she's realized yet that my life is pretty boring and that it will be pretty much the same every time she calls. But I love hearing her stories, and I love feeling like my lack of adventure is somehow important to her. I love that she takes the time to call me, because in my child-infested little world, I know I just wouldn't remember to take the time when I had it. Keep calling me, Lisa!

- Lisa has the kindest heart ever. My mom loves to tell the story that when we were little, Lisa would never just ask for one cookie; she'd always ask for one for her and one for Andrea. Where I am naturally a bit selfish, Lisa doesn't know the meaning of the word. She is generous with her time and her talents, although she keeps her heart pretty well guarded. A tough exterior to protect her tender nature.
- Lisa can't shimmy. We've done a lot of shows and dancing together, and sometimes she's just more of a jock than a dancer, and it makes me laugh. I really miss being in rehearsals and on stage with Lisa.

- Lisa is a great listener. I remember when I was in elementary and a bit boy crazy, Lisa and I would go outside every Friday night and shoot hoops. I would tell Lisa all about my "problems," and she'd listen like they actually mattered. When I was dating my first boyfriend (and she was 12), she'd listen patiently and help me talk through things that were bugging me. Now when I just need to vent so I can get past something that's bugging me, I know I can always talk to Lisa. She doesn't judge, and she doesn't try to fix. She just listens.

- Lisa can't spell. She seems so perfect so much of the time that it's nice to know she does have little weaknesses, and it's fun to tease her about them. If only everyone in the world had a biggest flaw as unimportant as not being able to spell.

- Lisa is dependable. Seriously, she is a rock. If Lisa says she'll do it, she will go to the ends of the earth to do it. Letting people down kills her. And she'll drop everything to help someone out in a pinch. When I call her when I'm out shopping and need someone to look something up on the internet, she never complains or tells me she's in the middle of something, although I'm sure with her crazy schedule that she probably is.

And that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of how awesome this girl is. Or of how much I miss her. I can't wait to get to spend a few days with her next week, and I really can't wait for the day that she gets to live a little closer to home so we can at least be there for each other's really important things. I love you, Lisa.

Friday, November 13, 2009

I Can't Wait!

I can't wait to turn these:

into these:

Finished product pictures to come soon. Or at least by Christmas.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I Feel Entitled

I try to blog at least weekly. I do one load of laundry daily. Dinner is on the table promptly at 5:30 (ok... almost all the time). Most days I make my bed. I update my GoodReads on the same day that I finish a book. I pick out music for the entire ward choir "season" (September through May) diligently by August. I make to do lists and then actually do the stuff on them. All in all, I have to say that I'm pretty proud of myself. And as a result of all this great stuff I do, I feel entitled to:

- At least one new blog update to read every time I check. Which, for the record, is generally twice daily. And, for the record, this doesn't happen. Too many of my friends have blogs but don't actually blog. C'mon, guys. I want to read about your lives so I can vicariously enjoy your adventures and be grateful I'm not you when your kids do bad stuff.

- A few minutes to myself each day, even if I have to ignore my kids to get it. Sometimes I take this in the form of an extra long bath. Other times, it is in the form of running errands all by myself. Who would have thought this would seem a privilege.

- Kids who treat me with respect. Again, this doesn't always happen. My 4 year old has recently learned how (and when) to roll his eyes at his mother. And occassionally he screams at me. The two year old just ignores me. But I guess it's a learning process, and - as Adam pointed out the other night - sometimes I do interupt him when he's trying to tell me something, which really frustrates him. I guess I still need to work on making sure the respect goes both ways.

- A husband who doubles as a knight in shining armor when he gets home. And I actually have this! Seriously, I am married to the best husband and father a person could ever ask for. He does laundry. He washes pans. He takes out the garbage without complaint. He changes diapers and bathes children and reads bedtime stories. He cleans up dog poop and shovels the snow. Definately knight in shining armor material.

- Chocolate. I miss the days when I could eat it (and anything else) without consequence, but it is still nice to enjoy some chocolate on pretty much a daily basis. Right now, the source is the kids' Halloween candy. Mmm... Snickers.

- A good nights' sleep. Not gonna happen.

- The truth. Whether it is from the kids or from friends or from neighbors, it's nice to just be told how it is. If you're not going to follow through, don't take the assignment. If you hit your brother, just say so. If my hair looks really ridiculous because I tried to dye it blond and it went a weird copperish-red color, it's okay to say so. Honesty just saves so much time.

- Happiness. And I can honestly say I have it. Three great boys to love and clothe and tease and clean up after. A husband who acts like a husband and not like one of the kids (most of the time). A home. A great extended family. You name it, I've got it. Well, except for money. And time. And that good night's sleep I mentioned.

Ok... maybe not entitled, but definately grateful for what I do have.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Doing a Casdorph Proud

I married a button pusher. Where most people try to steer clear of the things that bug people, I'm pretty sure Kirk has a sixth sense that clearly displays these things as large buttons that he can easily go up and push. Examples:

Lisa values her personal space. Kirk sees a big button that says "hug me."

For his own sisters, he generally sticks to personal insults. Last night, Heather mentioned she has an ingrown toenail. Kirk's response: "I'd be infected, too, if I was on you." (Yeah, I'm pretty sure he's 13).

When he looks at his mom, I'm pretty sure there's not an empty space between all the easy-to-push buttons.

I have plenty of buttons of my own, but one of his favorites is the "all Casdorph's cheat" button. Honestly, he wore this button out years ago, but somehow the joke has spread. Now most of the Fife's and Michelle's husband Skye like to use it, too.

To be fair, a lot of Casdorph's do cheat. (Ahem... Michelle and Jack)

I can just hear Michelle now. "I don't cheat! But if you're going to hold your cards out where I can see them, I'm gonna look!"

I'm also pretty sure my dad and my Grandpa Casdorph aren't above cheating. So it's not that there isn't some truth to the statement. But for the record - I don't cheat.

Abrupt subject change here:

Adam is the spitting image of his dad and undeniably a Fife. Alex looks and often acts a little more like me. We call him our little Casdorph boy. Trademark brown eyes. Loves chocolate. Loves bread. Loves to sing. Loves noisy power tools. Loves attention. Loves motors. Loves the stage. Casdorph boy.

Now to tie it all together:

Here's the evidence that even though NOT ALL CASDORPH'S CHEAT, I do think it may be a genetic trait that I managed to pass through to Alex.

Clearly cheating at the ring toss.
Manually turning over the tic-tac-toe pieces to reveal pumpkins.
It makes a Casdorph proud.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Shooting with Jay

THURSDAY: At dinner, Adam announced to us that he wanted us to get him a gun, and he wanted to learn to shoot and hunt. No idea where this came from, but I told him that his Uncle Mark likes to shoot stuff, and so does our good friend Jay, and I was certain that sometime he'd be able to go shooting with one of them.

FRIDAY: Jay's Facebook status update said he'd be going shooting on Saturday and invited anybody to come join him.

SATURDAY: Adam got to go shoot lots of guns, and from all accounts, he loved every minute of it. Kirk and Adam were gone for nearly 6 hours, which spared me from hearing, "When do we get to go trick-or-treating" all day.

Thanks, Jay, for making a little boy's dream come true (and so quickly)!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Here's a little taste of our Halloween fun:

Costumes: Kirk and I went to Grandma Tess's party as 80's sweethearts. I had fun with the blue eyeshadow and aqua net bangs, but I just didn't have the energy to put the costume back on for the ward party or for actual Halloween. One night only, folks.

My boys went as the "Wonder Pets." For those of you fortunate enough to not know, the Wonder Pets are cartoon characters who save animals in trouble using teamwork. My kids love the Wonder Pets. Since I pretty much hate Halloween waste ($30 spent on a costume no one will ever wear again) I try to make their costumes as reusable as possible. This year the boys now have warm jammies and awesome reversible capes (Alex's doubles as Batman, and Adam gets to be Superman). I'm pretty darn proud of myself for sewing these myself. I even made Alex's aviator cap. See below for pics of Adam as Linny - the guinea pig, Alex as Ming Ming - the duck, and Dylan as Tuck - the turtle.

**Take the extra two seconds to click on the above picture to view it larger. I don't know why it is showing so small. Lame.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Definately Different

For months, everyone has been telling me that going from 2 kids to 3 is a pretty rough transition. I believed them then, and I'm living it now.

  • I missed an adorable photo opportunity of #2 (laying on his belly on the floor working on a Halloween puzzle) because I was busy feeding #3.
  • I thought I'd lost #2 in the parking lot of the library. I left him on the "big boy" side of the truck expecting him to climb into his car seat while I put #3 in the other side. I came back around to strap in #2 and couldn't find him anywhere. After doing a full circle of the truck and calling his name several times, I came to the conclusion someone had kidnapped him while I was not watching him. Seconds later, a teenage boy brought him to me explaining they'd found him by their car. (Lesson learned... take the extra 30 seconds to lift #2 into the truck.)
  • I didn't get any pictures of #1 & #2 pulling faces at the guts that had to come out of their pumpkins before said pumpkins could be carved. (Adam was literally on the verge of tears when Kirk tried to touch Adam's hand with the slimy guts.) Once again, busy feeding #3.
  • I find that I have to constantly choose between quality time with the kids, cleaning the house, and taking care of myself. I am pretty much sucking at all 3.
  • I have to go to bed at 8:30 each night due to sheer exhaustion. #3 then wakes me up 3 times to eat before I have to get up at 7:00 to start the morning routine with #1, #2, and the two nephews that live with us. I wake up feeling just as tired as I felt when I went to sleep. Basically, I'm using tons of energy doggy paddling just to keep my head above water and getting absolutely nowhere.
  • #2 (who used to be a momma's boy) has deserted me. He now clings to his daddy whenever daddy is around. I miss him.
  • Every night is bath night for somebody. T, Th, Sun for the big boys. M, W, F for the baby. Ok, technically we don't have to wash anybody on Saturdays.
  • I have laundry coming out my ears. It amazes me how much laundry a little 9 lb boy goes through!

But if that sounded like complaining, it honestly isn't. I may be tired, and I may feel like I am running constantly to keep up with my own life, but I am keeping up. I am functioning. The kids have yet to go unfed or unwashed. No one has run out of clean socks or underwear. And I have an awesome husband who does everything he possibly can to help out when he's home (I would have drown by now if it wasn't for him). Yes, it's an adjustment, but it is such a small price to pay to have our sweet Dylan as a part of our family.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Dylan's Blessing

I promise the invite is really cute, but I know the details may come out smallish in blog form. So here they are in easy to read print:

Dylan's blessing:

Nov. 8th at 1:00 p.m. at our church (7035 W. Loch Ness Ave.)

Refreshments afterward at Kirk's parents' house (3750 West 4040 South)

Love to see any of you there.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Extra! Extra!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Someone Else's Eyes

I was lucky enough to have my friend Jami of Life in Moments Photography come and photograph Dylan's birth for her portfolio. The slideshow she put together is absolutely gorgeous, and I will always treasure the memories she captured. It's funny, though, to see the experience through someone else's eyes. I find it interesting that:

- Apparently, when I look tired it looks quite a lot like pain. I had an epidural long before Jami got there. So any picture that looks like pain isn't.

- I really love my pillow. Kirk got if for me one Christmas, and I thought it was kind of a weird gift. But that pillow is the most comfortable thing I've ever laid my head on, and I refuse to lay down without it. It comes camping with us. It goes to hotels with us. And I couldn't even imagine being in a hospital for 3 days without it. However, I didn't realize I apparently spent most of my time waiting for Dylan to come hugging said favorite pillow. Hm.

- I felt scared when they put me on oxygen without really explaining why. Apparently I looked scared, too.

And two things I already knew that I've had reconfirmed:

- I'm super uncomfortable with letting people in to my special moments, and obviously the birth of a child qualifies as that. But this is beautiful, so I'm trying to get over it.

- Jami is AWESOME at what she does. Seriously, use her when you need a photographer. She's amazing with my kids, and she puts up with my husband. (Unfortunately, she laughs at his jokes, which just encourages him. Seriously, Jami... you've got to stop encouraging him!) She always makes me feel totally at ease, and her pictures are BEAUTIFUL.

NOW... you're welcome to watch the slideshow on Jami's blog here. (Scroll down on her blog.)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Wii Fit Plus

Kirk's mom gave me $25 for my birthday, and I immediately knew what I wanted to spend it on. I only had to wait 1 week for the release of the new Wii Fit Plus.

I've been the proud owner of the Wii Fit since its initial release about 18 months ago. I loved using it for the occassional workout, but could never get into a good routine because I was frustrated with the process of having to click several times to start the next "exercise" and only being able to exercise in little 2- to 3-minute chunks. I knew eventually they'd get it right and come out with a game where you could set up an exercise queue or use preset routines to just get going.

Enter Wii Fit Plus. All the exciting games, difficult muscle exercises, and crazy yoga poses of the first, plus several new games and exercises. PLUS the ability to set it up for a hassle-free workout. I can't wait to be recovered enough to actually try it out.

In the meantime, I have thoroughly enjoyed watching Adam march while throwing a baton, navigate through the obstacle course, juggle, and patiently try to drop marbles through holes. When it just isn't a great time for riding his bike out front, I'm glad he has an in-living-room option for some moving around. Even Alex is pretty good at heading the soccer balls. Good, clean fun for all!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pics of the Little Red Head

Well, yesterday's labor was long and boring, but at 5:48 we finally welcomed Dylan Parker Fife to our family. He weighed in at 8 lbs even and 21 inches long. That's a little lighter than we expected, but the biggest surprise was his red hair! We have the combination of the Middlemiss and the Nelson (both his Grandmas) genes to thank for that. He spends most of his time asleep, but he is a very content little guy when he is awake.

Here's his reddish hair. Sometimes it looks reddish blond, sometimes reddish brown. It is really affected by the lighting.

And here's a really cute picture Kirk took during Dylan's first bath. I just think he looks really relaxed and sweet.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

October 7th

Knowing I'd be having this baby early, I never thought we'd be this down-to-the-wire, waiting to find out for sure when I'd be induced. After lots of waiting and worrying, I finally have the green light from my doctor, and we'll proceed with induction tomorrow. Barring any craziness, that means Dylan will be born on October 7th. Wanna know what famous people will share his birthday?

Taylor Hicks

Toni Braxton

King Charles XIII of Sweden


Drumroll please...

Simon Cowell

What does all that mean? Beats me.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Something Wrong With This Picture!

Yesterday, my brother-in-law noticed that there was something wrong with our driver's side rear tire. Yeah, I'd say 3 completely missing lug nuts, two sheared off studs, and a seriously messed up drum and wheel count as "something wrong."
I was hoping that a review of the Jiffy Lube security footage of them inspecting my car last week would show that they did in fact pull the left rear tire (as our paperwork shows), and they would be taking care of this problem for us.
Unfortunately, I just got off the phone with Jiffy Lube, and they apparently did not pull a tire. Which means this little predicament is the fault of my husband and father-in-law, who must not have tightened the lug nuts when they replaced the brake shoes in early September.
So that's the bad news. The good news is that Tony noticed our little problem before any more of the studs came completely off, before we managed to lose a tire on the freeway, and before any of us were injured. In light of all that could have happened, I really just find myself grateful.
I'll just have to remember that gratitude while we take the time and money to get the truck fixed and while we have to rely on the charity of others who lend us their vehicles because the truck is our sole source of transportation.
Gratitude... gratitude... gratitude...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Field Trip

It's been a long 2 weeks waiting for the "Fire Fighter Station" field trip day to finally arrive. Hallelujah, the day finally came, and it was every bit as exciting as promised. As soon as we got there, the fire fighters were called off to an accident, but they promised that if we'd wait a few minutes, they'd come back and do the tour. So we hung out at the fire station for a while. It was well worth the wait. "Grandpa John," the station chief, obviously has some grandkids of his own and was great with the kids. He talked to them about having a fire safety plan at home, about smoke detectors, and about keeping their rooms clean so the fire fighters won't trip if they have to come and rescue them. The kids also got to practice crawling under the "smoke" to get out of the house.

Although Grandpa John was pretty entertaining, he was nothing compared to a real ride in a fire engine. Grandpa John split the kids into two groups, loaded them in the truck, and took them for a spin around the parking lot. Pretty cool. The last thing the kids got to do was my favorite. Each kid got to put on a fireman jacket and hat and spray the hose.

I'm already looking forward to Alex's turn at Jacque's Preschool!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Babies on the Brain

We spent today at the Hogle Zoo, in part to distract me from the fact that I haven't had the baby yet. Turns out there were so many baby animals at the zoo that it really wasn't much of a distraction! Here's the little giraffe, baby elephant, baby tigers, and little snow leopard.

We had a really great time, and it was a great way to spend a Saturday. Thanks, Mom & Dad Fife for being willing to hang out with us all day.

Oh, and a for an update on the actual baby, for now Oct 7th will be induction day. I was really bummed (and in my hormonal state actually cried about it because I was hoping for the 2nd) but I have since come to appreciate my doctor's decision knowing that he is the expert. Unfortunately, I don't seem to dilate at all until really close to my due date, and even at that it is minimal and slow. My doctor says I have to do my homework (manage to dilate to a 1) before he can induce. We've set the Oct 7th date, but he says if I can complete my homework early, we can move the date up.

To help me not go crazy in the meantime, Kirk and I have booked a hotel for Oct 2nd & 3rd (with points Kirk has earned with all his business travel). My parents are going to take the kids, and I am looking forward to a quiet, relaxing weekend where I can catch up on sleep and spend my miserable time in the pool.

So 2 weeks & 3 days.... I can do it!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

This One's For the Girls

I don't think a lot of guys read my blog, but if you're a guy and you're still reading, this post isn't really for you. Also, unless you're a mom, this post probably really isn't for you. So stop reading. :)

If you're still reading, here's the current source of my anxiety. I didn't breastfeed either Adam or Alex (Adam wasn't into it, and my schedule with Alex wouldn't have permitted it), but I really want to try breastfeeding this time around. I wish I could say it was for the right reasons, like supposedly being better for the baby, but I'll be honest - it's not. My somewhat selfish reasons for wanting to breastfeed are:

1. It's cheaper.
2. I feel like I have something to prove to myself - that I can breastfeed.
3. I have no good excuses not to.

I really want to succeed, but I'm already starting to have anxiety about it, and I know that the more uptight I am about it, the harder it's going to be. So to help easy my anxiety, I need tips from moms who've been there. I'm mostly worried about the emotional aspects of breastfeeding: feeling so needed all the time, having to sit still long enough to actually feed the baby, etc.

Here's what I've done so far:

1. Set up a glider in the nursery, facing into the room with the back to the door. I'm hoping this will help me focus on what I'm doing and not on everything else going on in the house. (But I can keep the door open so I'm still approachable if a kid needs me.)
2. Used credit card reward points to order a new iPod Nano. The plan is to make a playlist of songs that either calm me or put me in a happy mood. I'm hoping this will take the focus off how much time I've spent feeding the baby. (I have serious issues with feeling like I'm doing nothing for any length of time.)
3. Signed up for a breastfeeding class which was supposed to be tonight but got postponed to the 28th. (I now get to spend my birthday in a breastfeeding class. Yay.)

Now I just need tips, tricks, and encouragement from those of you who've been through it, and then we'll see how this goes.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Something to be Proud Of

I wish I'd taken a before picture to help illustrate how truly amazing this is. Kirk and I took a nothing-special-about-it bay window in our bedroom and turned it into this awesome little reading nook. The most amazing part, though, is that we did it ourselves!

I married an accountant. Translation: my husband is not trained for construction projects. And he married a whatever I am. Translation: I am not trained for "domestic" projects like sewing. But he and I have both been slowly increasing our skills with each project we try to do, and this time, neither of our fathers had to come to our rescue. (Although we did use them for a bit of advice, some tools, and a bit of lumber. Thanks, dads.)

The biggest challenge was definately trying to figure out the hinges (because the two center sections of the window seat open for storage). Other than that, the project went surprising according to plan.

The easiest part was making the slipcovers for the pillows. I expected it to be more of a project than it turned out to be. Maybe I'm just finally getting decent at sewing. I can almost even sew in a straight line these days!

I still hope that someday we can afford to just pay people to complete my crazy ideas, but I do have to say that finishing this project by ourselves is definately something to be proud of.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Starting School on 09-09-09

If Adam was old enough to realize it, he'd have loved that today is 09-09-09, because he's always possessed a little more than the average need to have organization and order. Sadly, this need doesn't seem to apply to his bedroom, but rather to the little things in life, like how I arrange the candles in my decorating. (I've learned that I just can't split up sets; he will rearrange them on a daily basis to make sure the candles that should go together do go together.)

Today was his first day of school, which I had decided not to blog about. But I quickly changed my mind when I picked him up today. At his preschool, the whole class walks in a line to the front doors where they are then handed over to the appropriate adults. Since Adam's name is so early in the alphabet, he gets to be at the head of the line on the first day of school (2 years running). Right away, I noticed the beaded necklace he'd made. I thought it was a really cute project, and that the teachers probably instructed the kids to group them by color, and maybe even to count out a certain number of beads. Then I noticed the normal 4 year old's necklaces. They were not grouped by color. The charms were not evenly spaced. They looked as if they had a great time just stringing things on in whatever order they happened to pick them up. I reiterate that I consider this behavior normal.

Kirk and I are collecting a file of evidence to hand over to Adam when someday he realizes his weird need for order is precisely that: weird. We want to make sure he knows that we did not do this to him. He came to us this way. So far we have pictures of a gingerbread house with the candies separated by type and placed in straight lines. We have pictures of Christmas ornaments which had to be grouped by color so they'd have friends. Today, we'll add this:

Oh, and one thing I didn't notice until Adam pointed it out. "Mom, the apple is next to the red beads because it is red. The pencil is next to the yellow beads because it is yellow. I had to put the chalkboard next to the green beads because there were no black beads."

Saturday, September 5, 2009

It Won't Be Like This for Long

The other day as Alex was napping, I was curled up on the love seat with a book while Adam and his Leapster occupied the couch. I glanced over at him, and I was overwhelmed. By what, I'm still not sure, but I felt like I just had to have a picture of that moment.

He looks so big to me here, but I started to think that when I look back at this picture in 2, 5, or 10 years, he will look so small. With each child, time seems to pass so much more quickly, and I just felt like I needed to stop and enjoy this moment. I stared at him for a minute or two, then got the camera. He looked up at me as if to say, "What are you doing? I'm just playing my leapster!" Then he smiled at me and went back to his game. I love this kid so much, and I loved this moment so much that I just had to share. In the words of the Darius Rucker song, "It won't be like this for long."

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Change is Coming

A few months ago, I was having a really rotten day, and I just couldn't seem to pull myself out of the bad mood. Kirk randomly suggested that I go to the grocery store, buy some hair color, and dye my hair. I know it would have cheered me up, but I listed off several reasons why I wasn't going to go through with it right then. I jokingly told him that he could go to the store for me, though, and that I'd dye my hair whatever color he got for me. He didn't go that day, but we've kind of joked about him picking a hair color for me since that day.
Well, Monday night we headed out to Walmart for a few odds and ends, and ended up in the hair color aisle. After seeing my reaction to the idea of blonde, Kirk just HAD to pick blonde for me. No offense whatsoever to blondes, but I come from a family of brunettes, and we just kind of like it that way. So besides the fact that I think my eyebrows are going to look awfully silly, I'm just not prepared to be a blonde. But a deal is a deal, and I told Kirk I'd try whatever color he picked. It only cost $2.97, and if I look completely ridiculous, it will only cost another $2.97 to change it back to brown.
I did think really carefully about the timing, though, so I still have approximately 33 days until I go blonde. I want the pictures at the hospital with the baby to actually look like me, so I'm waiting until I get home from having the baby. Then I'll go blonde during the period of time when I'm really not going to be leaving my house much anyway. And I'll probably be back to brunette by the time we bless Dylan.
And so it begins... the countdown to one of the most random decisions of my life. Can I handle this kind of planned spontaneity? Let's wait and see.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

All the Way to the Top

I've been trying to figure out exactly what made the difference between how many pictures I took of Adam as a toddler verses how many I seem to take of Alex. Maybe it's that I have a nicer camera now. Maybe I'm more of a picture taker. Or, maybe Alex just presents more opportunities. If I took more frequent pictures of Adam, I'd end up with a lot of pictures of a cautious kid making relatively good choices. Alex, on the other hand, is constantly coming up with picture-worthy moments. For example, climbing to the top of the fence at Adam's t-ball game. Also interesting to note is that instead of making him get down, I sent Kirk to spot him. I wanted to know if he could make it all the way to the top!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Looks Like October

For those of you who have been anxiously waiting on pins and needles for my doctor's appointment today {okay... maybe that was just me...} here's the fairly uneventful update:
  • I didn't gain any more centimeters and actually lost half a pound, so I'm thinking baby may have just had a growth spurt before my last appointment.
  • Dr. Terry says if we go any earlier than 1 week early, it probably wouldn't do us any good. Yes, the baby would be smaller, but my body would also be less ready, so the delivery would probably be equally difficult (or easy) either way. So 1 week early it is.
  • Dr. Terry says we'll try to let Adam keep his record as my biggest baby. He says he doesn't intend for this baby to get any bigger than 9lb 5oz. I'm not sure that's all that comforting, though.
  • Basically, the philosophy is that since I've done it before, I can do it again, so wish me luck on what I doubt will be a small baby.

I don't have a for-sure induction date yet, and I probably won't until mid-September. But I'm pretty sure it will be October 2nd, which means I only have 5 1/2 weeks left. May they go quickly.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Great Deal and a Bit of Cheating

When we were in SeaWorld over the summer, the vehicle we'd taken (belonging to Kirk's sister) was broken into, and her GPS system was stolen. At first we thought the thief didn't bother with anything else (Kirk's 4 year old iPod was left untouched), but then realized that Adam's Leapster was missing. I doubt they'd have taken it, except for his birthday last year, I bought him a really nice PSP backpack case that worked great to store his Leapster, headphones, extra batteries, and game cartridges. Imagine the thief's surprise when the PSP he thought he had stolen turned out to be a Leapster. HAHA!

Still, it wasn't funny at all that one of Adam's most prized possessions got stolen. So we did what any parent would do... we didn't tell him. With all the summer fun, we've managed to go almost 2 months without him realizing it was missing. Until today.

After Adams tears and our promises to replace the stolen toy, I decided to check out eBay for a replacement. I'm pretty pleased with the deal I found: 1 Leapster, 1 case, 1 battery charger, and 7 games, most of which are right on his level, the rest of which he can grow into. All for $110, with free shipping. For those who may not know, a Leapster costs $50 new, and games run at $20 if you can get them on sale. This was a GREAT deal.

And now for the bit of cheating...

When the package arrives in the mail, Adam will get the Leapster. He will get the case. He will get the battery charger, and 2 or 3 of the games. What, you ask, will I do with the rest? Save them for Christmas and his January birthday. Yay for being a cheap mom.

Monday, August 17, 2009

All the Fifes

This weekend, we got to go camping with every member of the Fife clan except for Tony. It was a short trip, but we had a great time. Here's the highlights:

On the first evening, I couldn't find Alex for dinner. It turned out he was under this bucket. He ended up spending much of the weekend there.
Adam was so excited when he found this "dinosaur" bone. Here I am at 32 weeks pregnant, getting ready to ride the 4 wheeler. I had to ride standing up so I could absorb the bumps with my legs instead of my belly, but I had a great time!
The boys had just as much fun with the 4 wheelers when they were turned off as when they were turned on. They liked just sitting up there and pretending to race each other.
Mike and Marie's Razr was tons of fun, especially for the pregnant lady {me} and the younger kids. It was fun for me and the boys to spend some time out on the road together.

Apparently, I didn't really take any pics of Kirk this time, but he was there, too. :) He actually took this picture as we were leaving on Sunday morning. We had to get up at 7:00 to pack up camp and head home because I had to be back for choir practice. When we passed this lake on the quiet Sunday morning, it made getting up early all worth it.

Thanks to Mom Fife for putting this trip together. Thanks to Mark and Rachel for getting us a camping spot. HUGE THANKS to Mike and Marie for bringing their toys. They made the trip! Thanks to Heather for braving the trip sans Tony so we could enjoy having all the kids there. Let's definately make this a yearly tradition!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Earlier Than Expected?

I went to my last 1-month dr. appointment yesterday with one major question in mind. I've been feeling like this baby is really big, and I wanted to know if there is anything we can do to know how big (preferably prior to weighing him after he's born). He just feels huge to me, like he consumes more space than the other boys did at this stage, and it's been causing me to worry about things like emergency c-sections. Kirk - I think in an attempt to help me not worry - has been assuring me that it's probably all in my head. But I figured it didn't hurt to ask, right?

I saw my nurse because Dr. Terry was off delivering 2 babies. She's really awesome, though, and I trust her as much as the doctor, so I still asked my question. She let me know that we can do an ultrasound at 36 weeks (4 weeks away) to try to gauge the fetal weight. She did warn me that it isn't very accurate, but it might give us a guess.

Then she measured me. For those of you not up to date on how it all works, you are supposed to measure 1 cm for every week of pregnancy. So 32 weeks should equal 32 cm. She measured once, then (unseen by me) mouthed to Kirk, "He's big." She took a step back, stepped forward again, and measured again. She laughed.

"Sorry," she said, "I really shouldn't laugh. But you're measuring 2 weeks ahead."


"I double checked, just to be sure, and you're definately 34 cm. So, we might be looking at taking this baby even earlier." (We were already planning on taking him a week early due to my history of large babies.)

I don't know for sure yet, and I'm not sure when I will know for sure. But here's what I do know:

1. It's not in my head. This baby is big.
2. They are going to use the due date from my ultrasound (Oct. 9th) when scheduling the induction. So I can pretty much count on Oct. 2nd to be Dylan's birthday, unless they do decide to take him earlier.
3. I'll get to see the baby via ultrasound at 36 weeks, which I've never done before. I'm excited.
4. Both the baby and I are totally healthy, and none of this really poses a threat to either of us, as long as we don't let him get too big.

My hope: that they let me have the baby on Sept 28th. I can't think of a better present for my 28th birthday. :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Scarlet Pimpernel

We've already seen this show twice at Hale Theater, and we absolutely loved it both times. So last year when we heard Hale was doing it again, we decided we'd better get our tickets early. We bought our tickets nearly a year ago, and the show was practically sold out already! We decided this time we'd share it, so we're taking Kirk's mom as a birthday gift, and we're taking his dad along for the ride.

Kirk's mom really wanted to make a nice evening of it, so we're going to go out to dinner beforehand. I think this actually qualifies as a date! I can't remember Kirk and I going on one of those in quite awhile.

So whatever the day has in store for me, BRING IT ON! I get to go out tonight.