Friday, May 29, 2009

Starting a Healthy Living challenge

My sister Kathryn is spearheading a healthy living program this summer, and Cody and I are in. It's going to be fun, I think, and a good place to get motivation as well as track our progress.

My personal goals are to make healthy living way more fun, flavorful, and exciting than lazy living. How I plan on achieving this is:

-Make exercise fun! Go on walks with my kids and husband or anyone else. Hike in the Canyon. Go swimming. Plan it in as often as possible, at least daily.

-Design new and interesting recipes that are healthy, full of vitamins and low in fat. Since cooking is such a huge hobby of mine, and a huge stress relief for me, making these recipes is very exciting for me. I plan on sharing them on my food blog.

-I absolutely MUST be totally honest with myself, and stripped of pride and full of humility, if I am to re-learn how to live in a healthier lifestyle. Therefore, regular weigh-ins, along with people to report to, and lots of encouragement, are necessary.

If anyone wants to join in on this adventure, check out the Choose Healthy Living Blog Kathy is preparing. She has information there on the program, and you can send her a comment to join. We start June 1. Wohoo!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Proof that Lee loves everybody

And if your name didn't make it on the video, don't worry, we love you too!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Silly Beans Puppet Show

Dinner was still cooking, much longer than I had hoped...well, we were just slow, I guess, not that it took longer, but that we started late...anyway, I ended up needing to entertain the kids as well as improve my own dark mood. Next thing I know, we're doing puppet shows with our bare hands behind the window in the kitchen door. Lee about split a gut, he thought it was the funniest thing! Now his hands have happily enjoyed their dinner, stolen our noses and ears, and have told us all kinds of stories.

Lisa's translation: One hand sees a Reindeer, the other hand says "that's cool!" Then they put on hats. Other topics of hand-puppet shows: cabop floats (root beer floats), hiking, and octopuses. (or is it octopi? I don't know.)

Memorial Day

The privilege of the week came yesterday, when we were able to go with my grandparents to visit some of the graves of a few beloved ancestors. Since moving to this area, I've always wanted to do this, but never got around to it. Yesterday things just worked out and I'm glad they did.

We visited the graves of my fifth (I think it's 5...maybe 6?) great-grandmother, Drusilla Dorris Hendricks. When she was crossing the plains with her paralyzed husband and their children, her son became the youngest member of the Mormon battalion. My favorite story from her life came when she was out of all her food, and she recounts how she swept her floor and prepared to die. Just then, a Brother Allred and Brother Williams came to her home with a sack of flour and a sack of potatoes, after having been prompted to bring them. Drusilla and her family were able to eat and survive then. The rest of the story is that Drusilla's fifth-great granddaughter and Brother Allred's fifth great-grand nephew (dad, correct me on that one) married and voila, had me! I always think of that and remind myself that when we serve others and follow the spirit, we have no clue how far and deep the repercussions will be felt, and how close to home they can get. I doubt Brother Allred thought he would be saving his own family when he chose to take that sack of flour to a sister in need.
In this photo, Granddad is standing next to the memorial of Amanda Smith, and pointing at the grave of Drusilla and James Hendricks.

We also got to see the memorial of Amanda Barnes Smith, one of the great pioneer women. She was the mother-in-law of my fourth great-grandfather. She and her son have a famous story from Haun's Mill. When the mob came to Haun's Mill, they rounded up all those who wanted to live and told them they'd be safe in the blacksmith. Amanda's husband and sons were amongst them. Once all the men were inside, the mob opened fire on the building, killing her husband and shooting away the hip of her son. She had to drop her husband's body down the city well because there wasn't time to bury it, and nobody else would do it for her. Her son's hip was shot clean away, and she took him home to dress the wound, fearing it would be get infected, and knowing he would never walk again. She said a prayer, and she said she saw in a vision how to properly dress the wound. She made a lye from the ashes in the fire and cleaned the wound, and dressed it and nursed her son for several months. Her unwavering faith not only prevented the wound from becoming infected, but her son actually grew a new ball and socket and his hip was healed. Several months after the incident, Amanda was working and heard the children screaming her son's name. Fearing he had passed away, she ran to see him walking for the first time. He always walked with a limp after that, but he walked.

Now, I'll publish this post and find all the mistakes I made on these stories. :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Root Beer, Ebelskivers, and Family

Cody and Eric making Ebleskivers, Saturday morning. It was fun to see Eric again and to hang out with Sara a little bit. And of course, eat some of the most delicious comfort food on the planet!

Notice Lee still wearing his socks and shoes? :)

It's pretty exciting to get the family all together, and a great way to start our Memorial Day weekend. Happy Birthday, Grandma S.! This picture was taken of all of Cody's siblings and all our nieces and nephews at the famed Grandma S. birthday party, complete with potato salad, and of course, homemade root beer. We were super excited that Lee and Anna both won in the drawings--must have lucky kids.

Friday, May 22, 2009

P.T. post #10

"No mommy, you leave. Mys do it. Go to your room and clip your fingernails."

Yes, Lee wants to do it all by himself, which is totally fine by me! It is sometimes a little battle to make sure he's pulled down his pants appropriately and situated himself correctly, as he no longer wants our help. He hasn't had very many accidents in the past week, yippee! We still have to remind him to go; if we don't encourage him to run to the potty, he won't. But he's sure learning, and I am finally feeling confident about the future of potty training. As I had predicted, there just came a day when he got it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Garden Time!

We planted our garden! If you've been faithful with this silly blog for a year or longer, you may remember my garden woes from last year. This is now the 4th summer we've lived in this house (impossible to believe, I know), and therefore the 4th garden we've planted. The first one was a menial success, emphasis on menial. The second year, we grew nothing but weeds, and horrible weeds at that--this nasty, sticky grass that has briars and grossness and gets in your pants and socks and never comes out (bet you can't tell I hate the stuff). Last year, we went all-out, with fertilization, black plastic, and an abundance of what we thought were cantaloupe-turned-pumpkin.

This year, we have high hopes, as last year produced so beautifully. We planted fewer plants this year, as last year turned to a jungle at the end. We now have tomatoes, peppers, a variety of herbs, butternut squash, and watermelon plants in, and the garden is going to be awesome! We weren't able to obtain the lovely rabbit manure that contributed to our success last year, but I have some other fertilizers that I hope will be second-best.

Funny: after planting the plants, Lee came inside asking us for his watermelon now. He hasn't quite grasped the concept of waiting for the plants to grow.

Call for Editors

In my last post I announced that I finished the book that I've been writing. Now I'm ready to do an extensive edit, in the hopes that I can (knock on wood) get it published.

Would anyone out there be willing to help me edit? The book is about 250 pages, and is a love story. It's clean of profanity and has no explicit love scenes. I need help double-checking basic grammar and for type-o's. I also want an editor to check for the flow of the plot, and of course, if you like the book overall. My mom and sisters are already so wonderful for helping me with this so far, but I would like a couple more sets of fresh eyes. I currently have it saved in a Microsoft Word document, but can also publish it to PDF if that is preferable. Just leave me a comment if you would like to participate in this little endeavor.

Thanks, ~Lisa

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Feeling slightly disconnected

It feels like it's been forever since I posted last, so I thought I'd give you all a brief update.

I finished my book! A big hobby of mine is writing. This particular novel I've been working on for about a year and a half, about a year of which was spent with writers-block. :) But this weekend, I finally finished it, and I've been sending it to a few people to read and edit. It's super exciting for me, but I have to be careful not to devote all my time to writing and still take care of the kids.

Speaking of the kids, They're so good, and so cute, I feel very blessed to be with them all day every day. Anna likes to stand up on the side of the couch or a chair, and follows me around the house. She hates the mornings because she'll crawl and chase me into the bedroom, and just as she gets to me, I step over her to go to the bathroom and she has to start all over again.

Lee's potty skills and his language skills are both taking leaps and bounds in the right direction. I'm really excited for him. He learns more and more every day. Some of his new sentences that he says are "No, I don't want to do that anymore" (every word distinct) and "Can Shayden come to my house today, or something?"

Cody has been working up a storm, and I've been sneaking to the computer whenever I get the chance. I'll try to be better about taking pictures and keeping you all updated on our life. I know you can't live without your For-Kicks-fix. :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

P.T. post #9

Since Tuesday, Lee has come to a major independent streak. He wants to do everything himself. It's super exciting in the potty training department, because he's been taking himself in there whenever he needs to go. Consequently, we haven't had any accidents since then. Whoa! Last night he didn't want to put his diaper on, even just for bed, because "I don't wear diapers. I go potty in the toilet!" I put him to bed in pull-ups, and they were dry this morning. I am totally shocked, and very pleased. I'm going to try to stick with pull-ups for a few more weeks, though, just to make sure he's really got the routine down pat, before going back to briefs. Good job, Lee!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

P.T. post #8

I know it's kind of lame to do two potty training posts on one day, but after I wrote post #7, Lee hit a major landmark in his potty training. He just pulled down his own undies, went in the bathroom (in this order), climbed up, and did it! He has now done that 3 times today, all within the last hour. This is so amazingly exciting! It's the first real sign he's shown that he recognizes his urge to go.

8 months yesterday

Remember this little thing?

Now look at her, 8 months old! Amazing. She crawls, pulls herself to a stand, and slowly walks along furniture. She likes to babble, stick her tongue out, and is a real momma's girl. She follows me around the house. She does like other people too, though, and can flirt up a storm. She has Grandpa F. wrapped around her little finger, and can already get away with practically anything. Lee likes to call her "my sister."

Happy 8 months, Annalisa! We're so happy to have you as part of our family.

P.T. post #7

Making progress!

If you've been reading my blog, or at least reading these potty-training posts, you'll know I've been frustrated recently with Lee's potty progress. I read online this quote: "Potty training will take a lot of patience, probably more patience than you think." I was hoping to have Lee potty trained by his third birthday. As my dream is slipping away faster than the diapers can pile up, I must admit, he is making progress.

After my last post, we put Lee back in pull-ups. I was just way too disgusted with his numerous accidents daily. But, I think the stint with briefs helped, as now he is finally refusing to wear diapers. He tells me often, "I pee in the toilet, not in my pants!" Hooray! All my nagging has finally sunk in! Whether he actually does it is a different matter, but at least he says it.

One little funny thing--on Mother's day I got Lee out of bed to find him in a huge puddle of his own urine. I said, "Oh no, did your diaper fall off last night? You wet the bed." He replied, "Yeah, daddy forgot to put a diaper on me last night." Full sentence, not kidding. He is sure getting to be proficient in his language. I don't think daddy actually forgot, but I'm not sure...

Stay tuned for more adventures in the world of potty-training.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's day, to all the women out there who read this blog.

When Cody was a kid, his mom would kiss him goodnight. As he got a little older, he didn't want kisses any more. She would say then, "Don't you kiss me!" and to spite her, he would. I use this trick all the time on Lee, and it works great. I think Cody would love to give his mother a kiss today, and I would too. We love you, Mom S., you are such a powerful and happy influence for strength and unconditional love. I feel very blessed to be numbered with your daughters, and I really look up to your example. You are truly beautiful to me.

Just yesterday, after the race, we stopped for a potty break. Outside the bathroom, I waited with my mother for the boys to finish up with Lee. As we waited, a young man was pacing back and forth, on the phone with a locksmith who was refusing to open his car because the man did not have the last $7.00 up front. Yes, we eavesdropped, but in the end, mom turned back to hand the man $7.00 from her purse so that he could get his wife back to her nursing baby. As she did so, I could see tears well up in her eyes, through my own tears, as she knew she could help someone in his time of need, and it made her day. My mom has always been generous and thoughtful of the needs of others. It is an example I always strive to live up to. Thank you mom, you are such a pillar of love in my life.

To my Grandmothers, Aunts, Cousins, sisters, and friends: I am so grateful to be considered your sister. I feel within me the camaraderie of sisterhood that resides within us all, and I salute you this day for your loving and nurturing hands, that works this world for good, and makes us all better people.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Race for the Cure

I've been looking forward to today for a year now. As some of you may or may not know, my mother had breast cancer about 4 years ago. She's a survivor--yeah mom! About a year ago, I did my first bits of research on the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. There's one in Salt Lake every year in the spring, and last year it was a stunning event that really sparked my interest. I decided I wanted to do it this year, in 2009. Mom and I "trained" three times a week, and finally, today it came.

It didn't disappoint! There were thousands of people there, I thought I heard 8,000, but then found out I was wrong. It was 18,000. Wow! We were floored at the size of the crowds. What a thrilling experience; to join this massive group where we are all suddenly friends, united in a cause, cheering each other on in the fight against breast cancer. When we turned the half way of the 5 K, 3.1 miles, we turned around and could see the 5-lane wide road completely full of people back to the starting line. We looked ahead and saw the 5 lanes still full all the way to the finish. What a spectacular, breathtaking view. My pictures simply do not do it justice.

The rest of the day we played in Salt Lake City. We got real Belgian waffles (my dad served his mission in Belgium, and was totally stoked to find this waffle shop in downtown Salt Lake), then played at the Discovery children's museum. Sara's friend Eric was a huge help, both with entertaining Lee, and with providing tickets to the museum. Definitely a good time.

Now we're all tired, but it has been a fun day. Happy Mother's day tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Tooth as arrived!

Annalisa cut her first tooth today. While I should probably be excited about this, as it is a big milestone for her, to me it merely means grumpiness and no more baby gums on my fingers. :(

In other fun news, we went up the Canyon yesterday with my parents and sister Sara for a Hot Dog roast. It was good times. Lee liked feeding the ducks and crossing the bridge with Grandpa. Annalisa liked being snuggled on Aunt Sara's lap. Dad liked playing with the fire, and mom liked the company.

P.T. post #6

After pooping in the toilet twice, Lee's taken a turn for the worse in his potty training. Maybe we only saw the eye of the storm. Actually, I'm quite certain that was the case. Today he soiled 4 pairs of underwear and 3 pairs of pants, and 2 pairs of socks, and it's not even 4 o'clock yet! I had to go shopping today just to get out of the house, I'm that frustrated. Grr.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Dinner, Anyone?

Lee Loves to cook. I mean, really loves it, can't get enough. I think he learned to love it from me. I like that he enjoys the kitchen, but you've gotta watch this kid like a hawk, or else less than desirable results occur...

p.s. I never did take him to time-out, but we had a long lesson about not using mommy's spices without mommy's help. Speaking of which, I just saw him run to the kitchen, better go check on him...

Friday, May 1, 2009

P.T. post #5, aka so proud!

He did it, he did it, he did it!

I was so fed up with waiting, bribing, coaxing, and still cleaning up poopy underwear, that I literally stripped Lee down, moved the toilet paper out of reach, left him on the toilet, and came to the computer to look up potty training tips with tears in my eyes. SO sick of it. I was ready to quit.

Just as I sat down at the computer, Cody yells out, "Good job Lee! You did it!" I ran back to the bathroom, to see that yes, indeed, for the first time in months, Lee's number made it in the toilet, not in the undies! Hooray! I am so proud of my son.

Now he's enjoying his Finding Nemo fruit snacks and he gets to pick a time to go swimming (maybe tonight, if we can).

Inevitably I will be putting up a few more of these potty-training posts, with more accidents and frustrations, but today I don't have to clean poop out of underwear, and I could not be happier. After a really long week of potty-training messes, this was a blessed event that calls for major celebration.