Saturday, March 29, 2008

Weekend Adventures

We had some fun outings this weekend.

Friday evening we went to the temple grounds because Leah likes to play (reverently, of course) in the fountains. Samuel slept through the whole thing. Then we went to the creamery for some ice cream. Yum!

Saturday, Chris took the GRE. We spent the afternoon relaxing by playing a few video games. We got Lemmings for our PSP. Remember the original Lemmings game for PC? The very one! It has the same levels, but way better graphics. Talk about a trip down memory lane...

After our pizza dinner, we spent a few minutes outside flying a kite. It was very windy and turned out to be too cold after about 10 minutes. Leah enjoyed it for a few minutes, and then stood in one place crying--she was extremely ready for bed.

Once the kids were in bed, we folded several weeks worth of laundry while watching a few episodes of Lost. We're addicted (to Lost, not laundry) After getting all our laundry put away I noted that I will start all over again on Monday.

So while we had Spring on Friday, Saturday was Fall, and Sunday was definately Winter, having gotten several inches of fresh snow dumped on our wonderland. *sigh* How I long for Spring to stick around for a while!

Friday, March 28, 2008

What Chris has been up to

By popular request, this post is about Chris.

Chris has been doing really well at work and has had some great opportunities lately. A few weeks ago, he was invited to present during an EdNet training, which is streamed live over the Internet to all the Voc Rehab offices in the state. He did a great job and was subsequently invited to participate on an interview panel in Salt Lake City. That's where he is today. Tomorrow morning he will take the GRE. Despite the busyness of life working full time, studying, and preparing presentations, Chris also takes time regularly to play with his kids and read to them, make dinner more often than not, clean the house, teach Elders' Quorum once a month, work out several times a week, and still have time to play!

Every time he comes home, he is greeted by a frazzled wife who exhaustedly faints into his arms and a happy two year old who runs to greet him with a hug. The baby always has a smile ready for his Daddy, who is always extremely goofy. How we love SuperDad!

A sample of Chris' tasty cuisine for the whole family:

Monday, March 24, 2008

PSP Blogging

I'm posting this from our new PSP using a wlan connection. This thing
plays games, movies, music, stores pictures and video, and has a web
Cool, huh? Unfortunately, it doesn't change diapers. Typing is time
consuming, though. Thanks Robert and Dalia!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Project Completed!

Here are some pictures of Leah in her Easter dress that I finally finished today. I started early (like, 3 weeks ago) and then took a week and a half hiatus...then scrambled this week to finish the sleeves and the hem. Here is the final product. A little baggy, very shiny and very Disney Princess-like (not intentional). If I have time, I will finish a matching vest for Samuel that I cut out...who knows if I'll have time with only one more day until Easter.

I wanted to layer the yellow lace over the satin for the bodice because I had a dress like that when I was a little girl, and it brings me happy memories (only mine was orange, I think...)

Total time: probably about 15 hours, but I wasn't keeping track.
Total cost: $30. I could have bought one for less, but I didn't want sleeveless, and this way I could make it longer on her so she can wear it all summer.
Total lifeline calls: 3.

Obviously, she wouldn't sit still for a picture, but isn't she a beautiful little girl?

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

On Becoming a Star OR Uninhibited Wanderings of the 2am Mind

I wrote that blog title at 2:00 this morning because I was blogging in my head while I was up feeding the baby. Here's why:

Since I've been following this season of American Idol, I've once again become obsessed with wanting to audition just to see how far I could make it--rather, I'm curious if Simon wouldn't turn me away at the door. One day a couple years ago I started memorizing the words to and practicing a Nellie Furtado song because the auditions were coming to SLC and so I needed to learn a really hip song. (Of course, now that I'm older and wiser, I know you could sing the national anthem for all they care...) I chickened out, or rather wasn't in the least bit committed and likely forgot. But really, I'm curious if the judges would like me.

Please journey with me through the musings of a sleep-deprived hopeful...

There are several problems with my American Idol dream that filter through my mind while I'm up in the middle of the night. First, what would I sing for my audition? I used to think I would sing a Jewel song, but then last season they had Jewel as a guest judge during auditions. How mortifying would that be to sing a Jewel song in front of Jewel? There's always Dixie Chicks, but somehow I don't think that would bode well with Simon (don't get me started on what I think of Simon...)

It occurred to me at 2:00am that without question I would sing "Misty," which has become my signature song and which I even sang for my husband at our wedding reception. The best part is that I've never heard a recording of it, so how I sing it is all me, and I know the words like the back of my hand.

Second problem: I'm a huge copycat. Humor me and lets just imagine that I was really good and got to, say, the top 12. Doing popular covers week after week, the judges would catch on that I sing them all exactly like the original artist and would criticize me for my lack of individuality and personality and whatever. The real question is, what style do I sing? and I really don't know. I don't have my own style. My favorite songs to sing are very classical, operatic, or from a musical, and as I said already, anything on the radio I sing exactly how I hear it. (Of course, at 2am it doesn't occur to me that perhaps there is a more refined talent competition I could enter...)

Lets not forget to mention that I am a terrible performer, can't dance a lick, I'm awful at remembering lyrics, and I take any kind of criticism or rejection way too personally. Plus, I just don't look the part of the next American Idol.

Okay. It's out of the closet: I want to be the next American Idol. All things considered, I'm still just a little curious.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Perfecting "Disheveled"

Monday and Tuesday I did in fact get dressed, but does it count if I never left the house?

Today I finally got to the grocery store (only the first of two). I didn't think I'd make it with Leah needing a nap, but at the last minute decided to go for it with the promise of some kind of tasty treat for Leah if she didn't whine. Of course, since I was planning on taking Chris to work and coming straight home, my daughter had neither jacket nor shoes. No big problem, since it's springy today (in honor of the first official day of spring) and she would only be sitting in my cart. We shopped, we had our treat, and we came home.

Then I realized as I unloaded my groceries that at that moment I had reached the epitome of disheveled. I was wearing nice slacks but with flip flops and a T-shirt, had an only mostly intact pony tail and no makeup, and my toddler was barefoot with red fruit sauce stains on her shirt and face and in her uncontrollable mass of hair. How appropriate that I had been shopping for diapers for two.

After her nap, we will again venture out to the second and more time consuming grocery store, but perhaps we will wear shoes and have our faces clean and coiffures coiffed. Any other marathon shoppers out there this afternoon might wonder why that same cute baby boy is sleeping in some other lady's shopping cart with some other little girl.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Good days and bad days

The latest installment in my quest for positive progress.

Yeah, this week was up and down. I'm learning how to say no and take a break when I'm burned out. I'm learning how to let some things go and pick my battles better--this process will take a while. On the good days I played with my kids more, wore makeup and ate nutritious meals; on the not so good days I ate Girl Scout cookies and did pointless things like compare my mugshot to B-list celebrities and watch teeny-bopper flicks on the Hallmark channel. But I'm embracing the moments where I choose to relax and take a few minutes (or a few hours) and be lazy. I need that sometimes, and I'm deciding not to feel guilty about it.

This week I'm going to work on routines. My kids need routine and I'm hoping that through creating a more predictable surrounding for them, my routine needs will fill in the blanks. I'm starting by putting the rocks in the jar first and then I'll pour in the sand. I fully intend to put off the laundry as long as possible, to veg out during American Idol, and finish off those Girl Scout cookies, but I'll also make sure everyone is clean, dressed and well fed, and I'll do my best to keep them smiling.

Here's to another week.

Giveaway at The Clean Plate Club

Here's my latest attempt to win something.

I'm entering to win a $50 gift card to Williams Sonoma! If I win, I'll get some kind of bakeware. I haven't really shopped around yet.

Here's the giveaway at The Clean Plate Club. Check it out sometime.

Here are some things I've won in the past that I never would have won if I hadn't entered:

A blog makeover.
An original Pachyderm Painting at the circus.
A Saturn custom road bike.
Some red nail polish and a lunch for two I won at my high school's Senior Celebration.

On the other hand, I've entered to win lots of things that I didn't win, including lots of free cars. Too bad I've never had any luck there...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I probably have better things to do...

This just looked like fun! Although, both kids are sleeping which means I should probably go to bed instead of goofing around on the computer...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Doubly Serendipitous

When my parents visited in January, Dad brought us a double stroller that was donated by a family in their ward who no longer needed it. Upon examination and with a little scrubbing, I realized that it had some pretty neat features. Both seats recline, the front seat converts for quickly snapping in an infant car seat, and the back seat is completely removable, converting into a rear-facing jump seat or a standing platform for a toddler. How cool is that!

After spending several hours investigating the features of this mysterious contraption and trying to realize its true potential, I decided to hunt down the user manual. I went to the BabyTrend website hoping to find a manual based on the product number but had no success. Thinking I had nothing to lose by trying, I filled out the customer service questionnaire on the website asking if they had the instructions for this older-model stroller. Within an hour I had a response, and by 5:00 Chris came home with a 20-page fax of instructions! This is the first time in a long time I've had a good customer service experience. We've already been on an all-family walk with the stroller!

Here's another great find: On Saturday, I was pulling through the drive up DI drop-off with a box of stuff to donate when I saw a lady drive in with a truck-bed full of stuff. In it was a double child bike trailer. I've been anticipating that someday we would get one of these, but seeing as it costs several hundred dollars for a decent one, I knew it wouldn't be any time soon. I sat there idling in my car for 3o seconds debating what I knew I should do. If I didn't do it, I would always wonder and regret. In a decisive instant, I put the car in park, got out and knocked on this woman's window. "Are you getting rid of the bike trailer?" "Yes." "Can I buy it from you?"

I would have given the woman $20, or possibly more for it, but she offered to just give it to me for free...after all, she was going to donate it for free. (Should I feel guilty that DI didn't get it?) I excitedly wheeled it back to my car, only to realize that it was huge and would be a project to fit it into a Honda Civic. We tried and pushed and shoved, with a line of cars waiting and honking behind. I ignored them. After several minutes, the drive-through attendants had me pull out so we could try again in the parking lot where people weren't waiting behind me.

I know its lame to do that at DI, but I knew I would never forgive myself if I didn't try. I guess you have to be gutsy like that and make a fool of yourself if you really want something (and for free nonetheless!) With some instructions, some new tubes in the tires, and a little TLC, this will also be in great working condition. What a find! and definately a Supermom moment!

So with these two new acquisitions, our total number of strollers is now up to five. (Three too many--I think I'll be selling our other ones) Now I just need to figure out where to put them all!

It really is true that one mom's junk is another mom's treasure!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

About honesty

Out of curiosity, last night I watched "The Moment of Truth." The contestants on this reality, win-me-some-money show have been through a polygraph exam on 50 personal questions, 21 of which are chosen for the show. They have to answer truthfully in front of their family members (and all of America), with the answers from their earlier polygraph test revealing if they are being honest or not. I have to say I was briefly entertained and then sorely disappointed.

The tag line at the beginning of the show is, "Is there an honest person left in America?" One of the contestants questions was "Have you ever said a credit card charge wasn't yours when in fact it was?" The girl had to answer honestly that yes, she's done that before (because that's what her polygraph would later reveal). If she said no when she really had, her lie would give her away, and she'd lose and be off the show. Here's where I'm disappointed: an "honest person" is not defined by the liars who are willing to admit to their lies on national television for a couple grand, it's the people who don't lie in the first place. So, great. The lady is a dishonest person who got away with it, but the show labels her "honest" and gives her $100,000. What's up with that?

The questions get increasingly personal, and have to do with whether or not you've been faithful to your spouse, and if there are secrets that would destroy your marriage, etc. (And even more that are not appropriate for my blog or my ears!) It wasn't entertaining. It was just sad. Sad that people aren't honest with their spouse. Sad that people aren't faithful to their spouse. What can a marriage be based on if not total honesty?

I have to conclude that I would never be cast on the show for several reasons: I don't do dishonest things like cheat on my spouse or with my creditors. (Makes for a pretty boring show!) Secondly, in an instance where I would have to confess a shortcoming or prejudice of mine, I can guarantee that my husband already knows about it: there are no secrets between us. And lastly, who would want to humiliate them self by answering questions about how they negatively perceive other people? That sounds a lot like "hanging out your dirty laundry" for all to see. It seems kind of pointless to me. (Lets not forget to mention that I would never voluntarily participate in this kind of thing anyway)

Anyway, here's TV's sorry attempt to see if anyone out there is honest. What a waste of my time!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Why I hide my toothbrush

As a married couple, you share a lot. Germs, bedroom, kitchen table, dessert, all your insecurities, the list goes on...

I think we may be the only ones that choose not to share a bed sheet--we each just like being able to twist and wrap to our little hearts contentment without having to fight over the sheet's midline in our sleep. (Hey, at least we share a bed, right?) But there are just some things you don't share with your spouse. I'm talking about my toothbrush. I am very particular on this point.

On many occasions in the past five years I have arrived at the bathroom sink only to find my toothbrush either missing or freshly wet. What can this possibly mean, you ask? It means that my honey forgot which one was his and commandeered mine. Sure enough, I'll find it in the shower (where he brushes) or when I ask him he'll say "I thought mine was the green one!" "No, yours is blue, because you're a boy." I have no idea how many times this happens that it goes undetected by me--let's just say ignorance is bliss. As much as I love the man, if I know its been in his mouth, I can't stand the thought of using it again. I relinquish all claim on it and get out a new one. The last time he used my toothbrush and we had no spares, I actually started crying (okay, so I was two weeks post-partum, that might've had something to do with it).

When I ventured out to buy a new toothbrush that time, I bought a bright pink one and a bright purple one--girly colors. So now my toothbrush is pink (because I'm a girl) and the purple one was stashed in my drawer for when I was ready to replace my toothbrush. There's no way a man would willingly pick up a pink or a purple toothbrush, right? Wrong! One evening he comes into the bedroom ready to tuck in and cheerfully announces, "I couldn't remember which toothbrush was mine," (of the three in the house he's stolen from me, of course--they're all his but the pink one) " I got out a new one. It's purple!"

Now there are two toothbrushes perched anxiously in their holder: pink and purple. No matter how hard I try, it's only a matter of time.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

One Year

One year ago today I was sustained as the Relief Society president of our ward. We had barely been in the ward for two months. No one was more surprised than me.

Here are a few tidbits I've learned because of this calling and in the process. Just for the record, I've learned all these things the hard way, if you know what I mean.

  • The Lord knows me personally. I may doubt myself but I can't doubt the Lord. Everyone else sustains me and looks to me as a leader which just goes to show that the Lord's calling outweighs the insecurities of His servants. I'm pretty sure I'm the only one that doubts myself. Others don't see it, so there is no use in being self-conscious about taking the lead, as I am entitled to certain inspiration(this has been the hardest learned lesson for me). (Anyone in my ward reading this, please don't burst my fragile bubble of security by telling me I'm mistaken)

  • I've never seen anyone roll their eyes at "the naive, 24-year old rookie Relief Society president." Again, I'd rather believe that this is just my worst fear and not actually true. I don't know why it takes repeated effort to convince myself that no one in Bishopric meeting is saying "Wow, what were we thinking when we called Sister Fosdick?"

  • Delegation. Trust me, I haven't tried to do it all myself--I simply haven't had the energy for it. You know how they say that when you want something done a certain way, it's just easier to do it yourself? I have found that even though I want things done a certain way, I still can't do it myself--I just have to be very descriptive and specific in giving instructions while also leaving room for people to use their own agency and flair. Then I have to expect something original. I'm never disappointed. Its also really great that I can count on the people I delegate to--they are on the ball and really get things done.

  • For those instances where delegation doesn't go so smoothly, its more important to help someone grow into a calling than to just take it away from them and give it to someone who will get the job done better. It's the people over programs principle. I've also learned that when trying to get to the bottom of the problem you have to ask very specific questions and get very specific responses to really understand what is going on.

  • It's just as hard to do something you dread today than to put it off for weeks and worry about it and then have to do it anyway. You might as well just save yourself the grief and get it done sooner.

  • Some emergencies need my immediate attention, and some need time to simmer--the person may be able to find a solution on their own, and just because I'm the first one to call doesn't mean I'm personally responsible to solve the problem.

  • I'm really good at spotting jumping monkeys. I'll elaborate on this another day. Maybe Mom could be the guest poster on this point? (So you don't have to scratch your head until then, a "monkey" represents a responsibility, and each "monkey" belongs to a certain person.)

  • Criticism, critiquing, and negative feedback are not personal attacks on me, but are opportunities to try again and grow and learn. I can't beat myself up over criticism, because then I'd be afraid to try again. And often each negative criticism represents just as many or more positive responses that I usually never hear about.

  • Whenever I need to call on someone with an assignment, I've learned that I should always ask them how they are doing first. I know it sounds simple, but its important.

  • I've re-learned the importance and significance of the Visiting Teaching program. I am a believer!

  • And of course, my testimony of the gospel has also grown, but I would like to think that that would grow annually regardless of what calling I currently have.

Anyway, here I am again bearing my soul with all my insecurities. I'm sure there are more things I've learned but didn't think to include, and I'm sure there are some goodies coming up in the second year. I'd love to hear the lessons you've learned from serving in the Church, and then hopefully I can learn from your experiences, too!

Monday, March 03, 2008

You can be a Trendy Mommy, too!

Unless of course you're a Daddy...but I suppose you can be trendy too.

Do you like the new look? All credit goes to Jen at The Trendy Mommy Blog Designs. I was one of five lucky winners for a free blog makeover! Hooray! She did a great job. I'm sure she'd love to hear your feedback and praise...leave a comment and I'll make sure she gets it--lets make her ears ring all week!

My blog makeover was FREE, but her rates are really affordable for a simple, quick, and trendy new look. See her blog design site and also check out The Trendy Mommy Spot for trendy mommy products, deals, recipes, and more.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

One more thing

I forgot to mention that Samuel was blessed in church today. Click here for the details!

Good Intentions

Progress Report, Week 2

Don't they say that the road to hell is paved in good intentions? This week was full of good intentions that didn't come to pass. I intended to work on my house every day, be more spiritual, go on a date. I have a pile of good, highly recommended books I picked up from the library that will go back this week, spines uncracked by me. Things I did do this week that weren't on my to-do list include begin construction on an Easter dress for Leah, sell stuff on eBay, keep two children happy at a 15 minute (which was really a two-hour) doctor's visit, and have the Friday-night flu (not to be confused with Saturday morning fever). Let's just say I'd rather sew than fold laundry. I kissed lots of owies better, fed the baby constantly, and got in plenty of schlub-time. Fortunately its starting to get warmer so I'll be able to absorb adequate vitamin D in the near future.

Maybe next week will be better.