Monday, April 26, 2010

Procrastinating Cleaning.

I'm just lazy today. Lee and I are hanging out on the couch. He's eating crackers by the boatload. Annalisa is snoozing blissfully in her bed. And I'm not doing a thing, except posting on the blog. So there, world. :)

I haven't put up cute pictures of the kids in FOREVER (in actuality, probably only a few days, but I know you're all beginning the early stages of withdrawal). So, here you go. This was playing at the park this morning for our family walk and exercise time.






Pictures are really important to me. I love documenting the kids growth and personalities. I have never taken a picture that I regret, and I doubt I ever will. Even when my house is a mess and my dishes are in desperate need of washing, I think it is okay to pause and remember the happy things about life. Especially when my house is a mess!

OK OK OK, my procrastination time has passed. I'll go do dishes now. bye.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

SSS: The world's greatest aphrodisiac

Something Super Saturday!

My sister-in-law Alisa...
...asked me if she could come over and make cinnamon rolls with me, so she could host a party that would impress a certain boy. :) Of course I agreed excitedly.

It brings back memories of Cody and my dating experience. I used cinnamon rolls and cookies and all kinds of goodies to lure boys to my apartment, and I caught the best one.

Also, I just LOVE cooking and hanging out with family, so this was an awesome duo. We covered ourselves in flour as we whipped up a triple batch of roll dough, which equated to approximately 70 rolls. Think we got enough? I dunno...

I kept a small chunk of dough for myself, just enough to make 10 rolls for breakfast this morning, which we just enjoyed...oh. my. goodness. I cannot believe how perfect they were! So warm, perfectly soft and tender dough, just the right amount of cinnamon, and on top--my secret-ingredient cream cheese frosting oozing down the sides! HOLY COW! The whole house is perfumed with cinnamon and fresh bread smell. I'm still licking frosting off the sides of my mouth. I asked Cody if he thought they were good and he gave me a huge kiss. Lee took one look and said "Ooh, Cimmanin rolls...than-chew, mom, than-chew! I love you mom, can I give you a kiss on the cheek?" I agreed. :)

Alisa, these rolls got me kisses from two cute boys this morning. I hope you get a similar response! :D Moreover, they were a blast to make, delicious to eat, thrilling to plan for, and overall, something super that made this week extra special.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A crying baby

It really is eleven o'clock. That's the late side of the evening for us. (Usually past bedtime.) I'm sitting in bed right now with the laptop as Cody is in the living room with Annalisa, who is crying pretty hard. She wants me to come comfort her, but part of the weaning we've been working on the most is not having mommy in the middle of every night. Some nights are fine, others, like tonight, are harder. Just so you know, Anna did go to bed at eight, our family bedtime, but then just barely woke back up.

Anyway, I thought I'd give you a few thoughts while Anna cries and Cody is waiting for her to stop crying, and I'm waiting for Cody to come to bed. Today we had five kids here at the house under the age of four. Lee and Anna, of course, and our adorable little cousins Shayden and Gavon, and then a new baby in our ward whose mommy needed some help. The baby is 2 months old, and was pretty cute, but I'd kind of forgotten how helpless and fragile they are when they're so new. All the other kids were transfixed with the baby, Anna and Shayden especially (the girls). Anna wanted to do EVERYTHING for her new little toy, the "bee-beee!" She threw major tantrums everytime I stood up with the baby, or wouldn't let her kiss his little head, or let her put his binkie back in his mouth. I tried to encourage her to mimic my actions on her stuffed animal, but she wanted the real deal. She was very soft, though, and never hurt the baby or did anything mean. She just wanted to be right there, and if she was refused, she cried. The other kids liked holding and kissing the baby in the first few minutes, but were quickly distracted with Pinocchio. Ah, the magic of Disney.

I'm hearing something...actually, I'm not hearing something...It's the sound of silence.... Cody, you are fantastic!

Actually, Cody was more than fantastic tonight with all those kids. He somehow managed to pacify all five of them for a full five minutes, allowing me to finish my own dinner and prepare a bottle for the wee one, and allow Raychel to clear the table and get ready for her meeting. Now THAT is a man! He is so dear to me. I love you, Cody.

I do want more babies. Probably even sometime soon. And I do love babysitting lots of kids when I am able. I am glad, however, that I will not have five under the age of four. :)

And a couple of shout-outs to Raychel and Nikki, amazing mommies, who deserve a huge hug and a huge congratulations, and I want you to know how much I look up to you and wish you all the best of luck! I've been thinking about you both a lot, and admire your dedication and love that you have for your families.





*And THAT, ladies and gentleman, is why you shouldn't post on your blog after eight o'clock at night. :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The end of an era

Caution: this post is about breastfeeding.

Some of you may be shocked to find out that Annalisa is finally done nursing. You'll either be shocked because you didn't know she was still going, or you'll be shocked that I finally mustered up the courage to end it. The past few months it's been dwindling, down to about twice a day, but Monday morning I woke up and said to myself, "that's it, that's the end." And we're doing it.

I have really loved nursing Anna. She has always been really good at it. And if you're having troubles with your babies, please don't be jealous--I had a miserable time nursing Lee, who is the world's slowest eater (usually takes him about an hour to finish his food). So Anna is more like a miracle to me. I never expected to breastfeed until nineteen months, but she and I both loved it, and it is healthy, and it wasn't interfering with life, so we kept going.

So why the decision to stop now? For the same reason why I'm growing out my hair again. I'm just ready for the change.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Guess-the-Snack


Remember the carrot breakfast the kids had a while back? It's time for another round of guess-the-snack!

Hints:
- it is a fresh item, not processed at all.
- it is completely edible, though a bit tough, so it isn't something you'd normally eat.
- This picture was taken on Sunday after church. If you saw me on Sunday evening, and know what I made for dessert, and what I put in it/on top of it, that will be a HUGE hint (for those who don't know, I made carrot cake).

Backyard Vacation

Last weekend was a fun one for us. We didn't go anywhere distant, but we tried to make a vacation in our backyard.

Lee and Cody camped in the tent Friday night. It's April, yes, I know, but with unseasonably warm temperatures (in the 70's and near 80's during the day, only to the 40's at night) I OK'd the campout. I did load the tent full of blankets, though. Cody was worried about...nothing. I was worried they'd get cold. Lee was worried about bears. Anna was worried about not joining them. But we all managed to go to sleep in the end.

Saturday we played in the tent some, but we also took Lee over to our local Lowe's hardware store where they had one of their "Build and Grow" clinics. They give the kids a little wood kit, an apron, goggles, and a lightweight hammer. They get to assemble their very own project. This week was a little planter. Grandpa F. came too, and we helped Lee tap in the nails and get it together. While he was a little overwhelmed during the actual project, it was all he could talk about when we got home. What a great way to spend a Saturday morning! I'd highly recommend going to it if you live near a Lowe's. Home Depot does something similar too. They're free, and there's no age restrictions. Cool, huh!

Finally, after playing outside a lot, I made us a tasty dinner of Adobo rice and pasta, fresh (cooked) artichokes, and herb crusted salmon with real hollandaise sauce. mmmmmm.

Dinners by Cody

This is Lisa typing still, so don't be confused by the title.

As much as I love to cook, there are still those days when I either can't or just don't want to. For many years I've asked Cody to make something, and then been a little disappointed (yes, I still remember the elk burgers flavored with vanilla...). But recently, Cody and I have been brainstorming some things that could help. I feel like smacking my head for not thinking of this sooner, but part of it did rise from buying that second freezer, which is a recent change in our family's food storage.

So here's the help I've set up to ensure no more vanilla-elk burgers happen:(Like how nice and clean our freezer is? and empty?)

1) Frozen pizzas! No store bought ones here with one teaspoon of cheese and four pepperonis. Nope, We make our own. When I purchase the stuff for pizza, I like ALL the toppings, but if I make just one pizza with it, we inevitably have leftovers. So now, I make double or even triple batches, then assemble a whole bunch of pizzas, bake one, freeze the rest raw on trays. When they're rock solid, we pop them off the trays (just like popping ice cubes out) and wrap them well in plastic wrap. Then they can be stored long-term, even sideways, and are ready to go whenever we need. Just thaw, bake, and serve!

2) Stir-Fry. I keep packages of frozen vegetable stir-fry mix, pre-cooked shrimp or plain (raw) chicken tenders, and packages of Japanese Yakisoba noodles (the kind from the produce section where they have things like wonton wrappers and stuff) in the freezer. The noodles have sauce packets that go with it. So all Cody has to do is cook up the chicken pieces, add the noodles/sauce, and frozen veggies, and voila! dinner is ready.

3) detailed plans. Cody lost a bet with me, and owed me dinner. I requested steak with fresh mango salsa and whipped coconut sweet potatoes. So, I wrote him a very detailed recipe, complete with times he should start each thing, and let him go at it. It worked pretty well. The dinner was delicious!

If anyone else out there has any tips for how to guide those with less cooking experience, please share! And also, I must share how proud I am of Cody for even trying as hard as he does...I'm not the easiest woman to please, and he is so kind, caring, and dedicated. And optimistic! Thanks, Cody!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Something Super Saturday

This is a new little thing I am starting. On Saturdays I will post (or attempt to post) about something, be it a product, an action, a thought...just something...that has made the past week better for me. Said thing will then be my "Something Super" for the week, and on Saturday you get to hear all about it! If this sounds fun to you, please feel free to join me. I would love to see you all post about something super every Saturday. Note that these "something supers" are NOT commercials for any product, but just something that has brightened my week, and I hope it will help you get to know me just a little better. And help me focus on positive things.

Now for my Something Super, and since it is kick-off week, I'll do 2 things:

1) Dove shampoo. My hair is thick. Very, very thick. I love it. And I love taking care of it, particularly washing it in a nice, hot shower. Being a mom with young kids, sometimes a shower is my only alone, quiet time. Recently I've been using a cheaper shampoo, which hasn't been super pleasant to use. So this week I splurged a little bit and bought myself a ginormous tankard of Dove moisturizing shampoo. This particular bottle came from Sam's Club, my favorite place to buy supplies like this, and only cost $6! A bargain for sure! Plus, it has a really great peach smell that has been encouraging me to wash my hair twice each shower. :)



2) Tcherepnin Bagatelles, number 6. Back in high school, when I was taking piano lessons and actually doing some festivals and things, I memorized two of these Bagatelles. I enjoyed them (number 1 and number 7) thoroughly--Tcherepnin was a 20th century composer who wrote a series of Bagatelles that are all a little quirky but lots of fun. Since my high school days, though, my piano playing has slowly been replaced by other activities...two activities, to be exact with the initials L and A... but a few months ago, I started teaching piano lessons again. Teaching has inspired me to play a little again, and amid my other dabblings, I pulled out my Bagatelles book again, and found this delightful little one that I've taken upon myself to learn. Not for anyone but me, and for the fun of playing the piano again. It has really relieved some major stress recently!

I challenge you all to think of something that has made your week super. If you feel so inspired, go ahead and post it on your own blogs. I would love to see what you like, and why!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pictures, finally











I lost my SD card earlier this week, and I've been kinda lazy, so it is high time for some pictures and stuff other than melting ice cream.

Last Sunday was kind of a crazy day for us. Two weeks prior, right before General Conference, our stake/ward boundaries were rearranged. We lost about five families (mostly students, couples, not many kids...two kids to be exact...) and gained 150. Needless to say, there was a lot going on in our ward, with amazingly high attendance, lots of welcomes, and general excitement about the big change. Our kids were really good, though. Anna was perfect in nursery--no crying or anything--and looked adorable in her Easter dress (thanks again, Grandma S.!)


Also on Sunday, we had a fun little Easter celebration (as if our Easter hadn't been awesome enough...). Up at my parent's house, the Wascaly Wabbit struck again! Axton was there to join in the fun this time. It is always fascinating to me to watch Lee--on Cody's side, he's one of the younger cousins. On my side, he's the oldest. He handles the shift really well by being eager to please for everyone. Annalisa, of course, is adorable. Grandpa S. calls her spunky. I'd say that's pretty accurate.

Uncle Eric posed for a picture at the kid's table. The kids are pretty proud of themselves.


Sara, Eric, I warned you that this picture was going on my blog! bwahahaha!

Since Sunday, we've of course had the fridge break, which takes up a surprising amount of time with things like waiting for and watching the repairman, unexpected grocery trips to replace spoiled food, and obvious moping/grieving stages. I also taught my piano students, had a little "booth" at our Relief Society meeting on Wednesday, and there were more than one trips to the park and back yard just to play. It has been beautiful weather this week. There's also been other things Cody and I have been working on...thinking a lot about, but it doesn't fit the nature of this blog (remember my title? For Kicks and Giggles?). So, We've had a pretty busy week. Which finally gets me here, to today. The pic at the top of this post is the kids posing on the couch. The ones below are Lee's fine photography. If you would like him to take pictures at your next family function, he charges only $100 per hour! All proceeds go directly to the CodyLisa charity foundation. Book now; limited availability. *some restrictions may apply. Contracts to waive all child labor restrictions are required. Parental supervision may or may not be included.






Wednesday, April 14, 2010

firm-ish-solidness

Hooray, the refrigerator is finally fixed!

After we found everything in the freezer thawing, we (of course) realized that the whole fridge was broken, not just the freezer. Within a few hours, it was warmer inside the fridge than outside the fridge. I tried to convince Cody to get some dry ice just for the night, or do something, but he assured me it would be alright. Trying to be a nag-less wife, I didn't press the matter. I should have. :) I love, you, Cody, I really really do! That was Monday. We called the repairman and he said he could come the next day, Tuesday.

So, yesterday we waited all day for him to call and say he was coming. Not that we really had anywhere to go, considering the store was out because we had no where to put groceries, and it was raining so the park was out too. Cody finally called the guy at three in the afternoon, since I have students at five, and we were trying to figure out how to make and eat dinner around piano students and a repairman in our kitchen...anyway, he finally showed up at four. He pulled it out, surveyed it, unplugged it, and diagnosed that the circuit board was bad and would need replacing. That's a $300 fix, which is cheaper than a new fridge, so no new appliances for us. (good? bad? don't really care?)

But of course, as you might have guessed, a repairman who comes over at four, in no way and in no possible universe can fix it right then. Of course he doesn't carry the parts he needs in his van. Of course he will take another trip to repair it. Of course our food will continue to rot and we will continue to lose money over it, and our landlords too. *side note, if ANYONE knows a truly hard-working, honest repairman, that can fix something in one day or less, please give the name and number! I'll fly them in from Italy if I have to! *further side note, this guy seemed really nice. I have nothing against repairmen. I just hate that they always seem to show up at four in the afternoon and have to take another whole day to get back to you. *even further side note, I guess not all repairmen are bad. That one who fixed our furnace back in December was able to come in, diagnose the problem, go back to his warehouse for parts, come back, make the repair, all in less than forty-five minutes. I should have that guy on speed dial, I suppose.

Aaaanyway... back to my story. Today Cody is gone for the majority of the day, so I'm home alone with the wee little dumplings. And I have a Relief Society lesson/mini-class/"booth" to prepare. So I'm working on entertaining kids, trying to keep the house in semi-order because a repairman is supposed to come back over any time, AND get my homemade instruments prepared for my music table tonight. Which (shoulda seen this coming miles away) the kids of course think are the bomb...kind of the point, since my booth is on involving kids in music, and the instruments are FOR THEM, just not quite... and we have no food in the fridge. Because, the fridge is broken. grrrrrr.... Nope, not a good morning, nope nope nope.

The repairman showed up at ten. He came in with a small box of tools, pulled the fridge out, puttzed around, and in about twenty minutes, announced the fridge was now repaired, and that it would take a couple hours for it to get cold again.

WHY couldn't he just do that last night? he would have still been home by five. And I wouldn't have had to throw away all that food. Just half of it.

My only solaces are thus: 1) We rent, so all of this mayhem was covered by our landlord. Aside from replacing all our lost food, which I'm kinda thinking about asking for. At least knocking fifty bucks of our next months' rent or something. Because it's going to be a big shopping trip today. 2) While the fridge was all empty, I scrubbed it out good. Lee helped. Anna splashed in the sink. 3) there was a gallon of expired milk and also a plate of moldy chicken that I was too squeamish to just throw away, and this gave me an excuse to ask Cody to do it. :D Have I mentioned I love my husband so much and am so grateful for him? He really is fantastic.

Now, if you've read through this whole beast of a rant-post, and you've come to the bottom, you deserve a serious prize. Your prize is--making me work out! Leave me a comment and I will gladly do 5 sit-ups.

Monday, April 12, 2010

oozy goopyness

Last night I noticed a little frost building up in the freezer (our upstairs, attached-to-fridge freezer, not my new one). This happens when the door doesn't shut completely. I pushed it shut.

This morning there was more frost, and a few things were thawing. We had scones for breakfast because one of my beloved frozen loaves of bread was goo. We checked the seal of the door, pushed it shut harder, thinking it had just been left open.

Now, after lunch, it was worse still. All of our orange juices were thawy and wet on the outside. Ice cubes are floating in little pools of water. The frozen cookie dough was starting to mush. All the time, the compressor is running like there's no tomorrow. *"Yup, it's busted alright."

So we called our landlord, who arranged for a repairman to come tomorrow. We moved everything from the upstairs freezer down to the new freezer--thank goodness that Cody gave me that amazing gift!--and fortunately everything fit. Now I'm worried a bit about freezer burn from the thawing and refreezing, but we'll see what survives later. For now, I'm taking the opportunity to clean it out really well, without having the rag get frozen to the inside, which often happens. :)

*Note--the homestarrunner.com quote is a little strange if you've never seen that website. Those who are familiar with it will have a laugh. Those who are not will probably think I'm crazy. Some will say both are true.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lee funny

Cody just told Lee that he had to go to bed at eight, and showed him that the clock hand would point up. So what did Lee do? Got a chair, climbed up, and moved the clock hand backwards!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Living on the Wild Side



While down in Southern Utah, Cody took the kids out to play a bit, especially Lee.

Lee loves riding Dixie, even though she is completely untrained and could potentially buck him off at any second. Though I think it would be more likely that Lee would lose his balance and just fall off; Dixie isn't a bucker, but she can get jumpy.

Then look at this picture and imagine how high up my boys are...they're kinda cooky, those two boys.

Anna wanted in on the fun. So she decided to taste the door. Sorry Mom and Dad...now you know why your front door is filthy! :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Random right-now thoughts

I'm having a bunch of thoughts I would post on Facebook, but since there's so many, I will do a little blog post. Here are my would-be Facebook statuses:

Lee quote of the day: "I just saw a nuvie of Michael Jackson. He's way funny. And he was dancin' like this!" (starts wiggling crazily)

Lee quote/action of the day: Me: "What should we have for lunch today, Lee?" Lee: "Um, some pancakes. With blueberries. And butter. And syrup." Lee then leads me to the kitchen by the hand. "Here you are, in the kitchen. Stop here mom. And make it for me."

Lisa M. F. S. is feeling lightheaded. Not because I'm faint, but because my head is much lighter. I got a lot of hair removed at the salon today! (thinned, not really shortened much)

Lisa M. F. S. is currently being paid to play online. I hate it when students forget piano lessons; which is why I have already made it perfectly clear that if they forget, they still pay. Not fun for the poor lady who just forgot about her 3 kids' lessons today.

Easter Sunday Candy Hunt





The Easter Bunny struck on Easter Sunday! Cody's sister Sheila and her kids were there to chase candy with us. It was fun to have a few cousins for the kids to help them figure out what this was, and to reduce the amount of candy we had to take home. (I...uh...the Easter Bunny kinda outdid himself this year.) My favorite line from the Candy Hunt was from cousin/niece Alexis, who I had complimented for helping Anna and Lee find some candy instead of just taking it for herself. She smiled at me and said, "Yeah, I'm nice to Lee, because I'm his secret friend."

Cody...uh...I mean the Easter Bunny was so proud of getting this one egg in the tree.




Once again, Anna decided the candy was for immediate consumption.

Monday, April 5, 2010

D. Ray T. reunion


The next few posts will be dedicated to Easter weekend. I'm setting it up to post one a day so that you can enjoy it over the course of the week, and so I don't have to worry about it for a bit. :D

We went to Southern Utah for Easter weekend. It was nice and sunny, and mostly warm (especially warm in St. George, though the higher elevations were cooler). We all got sunburned too.

On Saturday in St. George there was a T. reunion, involving Cody's Mother's family (her parents have passed away, but this was a reunion of all their children, grandchildren [Cody], great-grandchildren [Lee & Annalisa], and even a few great-great-grandchildren.) There were 120 people in attendance. Wowsah. The picture below is just the first cousins, or the Grandchildren of D. Ray T. You should note that not everyone in the family was even in attendance. There were quite a few people missing, actually,

At the reunion, there was no shortage of fun activities. General Conference played inside and on speakers outside, and there was basketball, badminton, a swingset and trampoline, lots of food, and inside there was pool, ping-pong, or general exploring of the rather amazingly large host's house. Mom S. put together a little Easter egg hunt for the kids. Anna decided the candy was for immediate (and I mean immediate) consumption. Lee was more interested in the trampoline.

Holly was determined to teach Annalisa to play Badminton. I thought it was cute.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ouch.

So...I'm feeling kinda stupid...

I decided to shovel the walk this morning. It snowed yesterday and last night. I took the shovel to our astroturf stairs and ended up slipping. I landed hard on my tush and it hurt pretty bad. I had to call Cody on my phone, even though he was just inside the house, because I couldn't get up to go tell him what happened. He came outside and since I was still lying on the ground moaning in pain, he told me he was taking me to the hospital. He helped me hobble to the car and I kinda just laid there until he came out with the kids.

We went into the ER and after sitting there for a bit--still in excruciating pain--they took me back for X-rays. Sure enough, I broke my tailbone. I'm now stuck in bed and trying to get a few things done, and I can't move much without pain.

Just one more reason why I shouldn't shovel snow!