Saturday, August 25, 2012

Scenes From a Marriage: You Had Me At...

Nate: Why do you have all that butter on the counter?
Emily: I'm softening it to bake it with the blueberries we haven't...
Nate interrupts
Nate: You had me at "butter" and "blueberries."

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Happy birthday, Cora!

Luke and Cora (much like their older siblings) had a love/hate "you're more like my sibling than my cousin" relationship for a while. They're both stubborn and see the world differently.

Lately, they've bonded as they've found that they share a common love of antagonizing their older siblings...that coupled with their desire to get into mischief.

So, I was excited to have Luke draw Cora a picture for her birthday. Luke did it, and I asked him to explain it to me. Luke said, "This is Cora with a parachute, but it's broken and she's falling down. And, this is me with a gun, and I'm shooting her."

Perhaps the rivalry still exists?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dear Asher...

We just got a slew of last day of school stuff today. In Asher's stuff was a "Student of the Week" packet where each of Asher's classmate wrote to him.

I suppose they were each supposed to ask him a question because there are lots like, "Will you be my friend?, Are you my friend?" But, the majority of the questions run along the lines of, "Are you always happy?"

Asher is pretty much always happy, especially if he's around friends or getting some screen time.

Here's the one that made me laugh:
Dear Asher,
Asher you are so smart. Asher you are so funny. Asher will you come to my house someday?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Asher's Talk

Nate helped Asher write this talk that he gave today in Primary. Let's just say it shows Asher's and Nate's personalities...

I Will Choose the Right After I am Baptized and Confirmed

Hello, my name is Asher. I am seven years old and next year, I turn 8 years old and I get baptized.

When I get baptized, I go to the church and get dunked under water. I am a little scared of getting dunked underwater.

Getting baptized is like taking a bath to get rid of all the bad things I have ever done. Sometimes, kids have to get baptized two times because all the bad stuff doesn't come off. This happens if their feet do not stay underwater when they get dunked.

I think I am going to have to get baptized two times. I am so good at back floats that my dad might not get me under water.

After I get baptized, I get the gift of the Holy Ghost. I think it is going to be kind of weird to have a ghost living with me all the time. I wonder if the Holy Ghost is going to watch me go to the bathroom. That would be really freaky. (fortunately, Asher was laughing so hard during this part, I don't think anyone understood him.)

Sometimes it is hard for me to know what is right and what is wrong. I think the Holy Ghost will help me know the difference between right and wrong. That will make it easier for me to choose the right.

I know that it is important to choose the right because my dad wrote the letters CTR on his arm a long time ago so he would remember to choose the right, and the letters never came off.

I want to be baptized and get the gift of the Holy Ghost so I can choose the right and make my mom and dad happy.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Blast for the Past: Moo, Baa, La, La, La

Man, we love that book...

My favorite line?
Me: It's quiet now. What does Lukey-boy say?
Luke: The end. (pause) Poop.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Emmeline is the boss and other random facts

Emma and Grandma Judy on a walk
I'm going to blame Blogger going and reformatting how we post blogs for the lack of posts lately.  I have a few drafts, but it took me a while to get the hang of inserting pics.  Good thing I never claimed to be a diligent blogger who records everything--it's doubtful that you'll ever hear about Christmas 2011.  Not that it was a bad Christmas, just one that I didn't attempt to record.

Yesterday, I picked up Emma from Kids' Club at the gym, and my friend said, "I didn't know Emma could talk."  I replied she doesn't really...she mostly speaks in inflections.  My mom is better at understanding them than I am. Her favorite inflections is, "What is that?"

My friend said, "Oh, I heard her telling a baby to go."  And, then, I realized Emma does have a few words.  Her favorites being, "No, Mine, Go." She continues to call her dad, "Nate," and unfortunately, she's mastered the inflection I use when I'm irritated with Nate--wait, not that I'm ever irritated with Nate.
Emma finished with her walk

She hates the car, and that's totally my fault.  She's so much easier to take out than her toddler brothers were that I do 3-4 errands at a time.  I never dared to do more than one or two with Asher and/or Luke.

And, I love the fact that when I say, "Don't, that will hurt," or "Hot!" or "Be careful!" she's the first kid I've ever had who actually thinks I might be telling the truth.

Mom, I Have a Good Idea...

Since Christmas when Luke started creating "Santa traps" (don't worry, I just need to get down the string for his "Easter Bunny traps" and take a picture so you'll know what these look like), Luke often comes up to Nate or me and says, "Mom (or Dad), I have a good idea..."

...and then, proceeds to tell us some creative solution to a Lukey problem, like:
Mom, I have a good idea.  Let's get a seesaw, you can put me on one end and jump really hard.  That will shoot me over to Walter's house.

Dear Dad

This is why I hate moonsand.
This is an email Luke had me type to Nate on Friday (we're trying to loose the nighttime pull-up):

Dear Dad,

I won't pee in my pants anymore. I will go to the potty right away, and this is so I can get a movie or Hot Wheels, or a doughnut, or go to Old McDonald's or get an ice cream all the way to the top or to the zoo (Mom, type "toooo the, the, zoo.").

And, I will get something with the Friday, Saturday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Saturday, and Mom and Dad are going to tape it up to the wall.

I will put stickers on the other days, there and there and there.

Dear Dad, and I will do underwear until I say.

Asher and bad boys

Look! We did a craft together.
This morning, Luke brought Asher his school picture and said, "Asher, which ones are the bad boys in your class?"

Asher's response was, "There aren't any bad boys in my class," which he said with simple conviction. 

This probably means that I need to work on my judgmental attitude because I thought of two as soon as Luke asked (including the one who punched Asher in the stomach).

Thursday, March 29, 2012


We finally finished the other half of our awesome gardening bed in November. Emma was delighted, too.

Trying New Things

So, I'm trying my hand at fundraising and celebrating my 35th birthday by trying to raise $3500 for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). Phew...that makes me sweat just typing it out! Don't know if I'll make it, but it'll be fun and worthwhile to try.

And, I figure if any organization deserves me going outside of my comfort zone to raise money for them it's the CCFA.

I wrote a post about my time with ulcerative colitis here before. And, here's my fancy fundraising attempt:

For my 18th birthday, when some kids were getting a new computer or a new car, I got a colectomy--that means a surgeon removed my colon. I had been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis when I was 14 years old, and my chronic, inflammatory bowel disease had irreparably damaged my colon in just four years.

Leading up to the surgery, I was getting two blood transfusions a week, going to the bathroom hourly, and eagerly waiting my next dose of anti-nausea medication. For a month I had been on bowel rest--a nice way of saying I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink in the hope that giving my colon some time off its hard work of digesting would help it heal. While being fed intravenously, I would salivate over the Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial that came on the hospital’s TV. Though not usually a KFC fan, I longed for some crispy fried chicken and mashed potatoes.

I awoke from my colectomy and immediately noticed a difference. The nausea was finally gone. Though the recovery was slow, I eventually returned to a blessedly normal diet (I could eat raw vegetables again!), gave birth to three children, and remain ever grateful that I had the surgery.

Post-surgery my health has been great. I know how lucky I am. But, there are millions of Americans who aren’t as lucky, and for years I have felt the nagging guilt that I need to give back to the community that helped me when I was so sick.

When I heard about the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s (CCFA) half marathon, I knew this was the time. Recently, I started strength training and running, which have helped strengthen the muscles around my knees. (Some of my joints have damage from the steroids I took to keep my ulcerative colitis under control as a teenager.)

So, I made the decision to run in the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon this July. I am part of Team Challenge, a program that trains participants to run or walk the race while helping us raise money for research and support for Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis. Since its inception, CCFA has been a part of every major discovery regarding ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease. CCFA offers support to patients and families, and even sends kids with these diseases to camp. For many of these kids it is the first time in their lives they get to be “normal.”

CCFA holds a special place in my heart because they were the ones who organized pediatric support groups when I was first diagnosed (a disease with the primary symptoms of diarrhea, incontinence, and flatulence is difficult to deal with as a teenager). Later they found me a support group when I was dealing with my ostomy, and they organized conferences that helped me and my parents learn about on the newest treatments for my disease.

I am excited to have this opportunity to tell and reflect on my story while meeting new people as we work to help others who struggle with this disease. The timing is serendipitous; the race two days after the seventeenth anniversary of getting released from the hospital after my colectomy.

So, I have made a personal goal for this exciting challenge. In honor of my upcoming thirty-fifth birthday, I am committed to raising $3,500. Please consider helping me reach my goal. I look forward to raising money for an important cause. Call me with questions and check out my personal webpage.
With many thanks,

Monday, March 5, 2012

Emma's puddle

So, Emmeline managed to find the only puddle of water in the whole dry, dusty park today, and played in it for about 15 minutes.

She managed to get the top of her head wet while she did one of her favorite things...looking at the world upside down.

We all had a good laugh when she stood up and kept looking around, trying to figure out why water was dripping on her face.

I had to stop her when she resorted to drinking the water, but she did it a few times. I figure at least we know where the dysentery came from.

(Thanks, Jessica, for taking the pictures!)

"Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya..."

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Things Everyone Enjoys

green noodles (pesto penne)
Costco teriyaki chicken and rice (the silence that descends around the dinner table when I serve this kind of breaks my heart--why don't they like anything I make that much?)
"chinese" noodles, which is any noodle with chicken and a sweet brown sauce, so pretty much, it combined the first two favorite meals in one dish

Curious George (really, it's the #1 favorite)
though, Emma and Luke love Baby Einstein and Olivia

Outdoor activities:
jumping on the trampoline
chalk (some like to eat it, some like to draw with it)

Too bad these favorites will have fallen out of favor by summer. I hope we'll find as many new favorites by then.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dear American Association of Pediatrics

Dear American Association of Pediatrics,

You know, I didn't handle the whole "no cold medicine for kids under 6" all that well a few years ago. And, now, we have to keep toddlers backward facing in carseats until they're 2?

I feel like you're out to get me. You come put my 25 pound baby in her carseat for the next 10 months, ok?

The mom who's been up all night with a 4 year old with a cold

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Even Her Poop Doesn't Smell

My lovely friend, D'Arcy, took these pictures long ago.  Aren't they awesome?

Phoenix friends, she'll come down to do photo sessions if we can get enough people to book her :)

And, the title of this post conveys a significant problem I had with Emmeline until a few months ago.  The girl's poop didn't smell, which was great until she got a diaper rash because I didn't know she was poopy.  This used to happen pretty frequently until she was about a year.

Once she became a year, she started getting all this attitude--she'll roll her eyes, I'll often hear her say, "No, no, no, Yuke," when Luke has been at school for a couple hours, and she insists on bottles of milk in the middle of the night.  I can't stop thinking about her teeth.

Did I mention all this coincides with her poop starting to smell?

(Sorry, D'Arcy, your photos shouldn't be linked to a post about poop.)

The Thermostat

Asher was cold on Sunday morning so he set the thermostat to 90 before we left for church, came home to an 89 degree house and gave him a lecture about not touching the thermostat.

Five minutes later, Nathaniel comes from the bedroom and says, "Did you turn the air conditioner on to 58 degrees?"

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Doughnuts or Ice Cream

Mom: (after a particularly trying day) Ok, if you guys will clean up, I'll get you either ice cream or a doughnut.
Asher: Um, can we get both?
Mom: No way!
Asher: Why not?
Mom: Because that's way too much sugar...
Asher pauses to think
Asher: Mom, which has more sugar a doughnut or ice cream?
Mom: Asher, I have no idea.
Asher: I'm going to get ice cream because I bet it has waaay more sugar.


For the past couple days, Emmeline keeps saying, "Gum."

Now, as evidenced by the doughnut/ice cream debate, I'm not a mom who's above bribing her children with sugar, but I haven't ever given Emma gum.

She said it a lot when we would be handing each other things (one of our favorite games--have you played it? Where you hand someone something, they say, "thank you" and you take it back. Ask Emma, it'll blow your mind!).

This morning, I realized it's a shortened, "You're welcome."

Love figuring out a baby speech puzzle. (Did I write about the months it took me to figure out that when Luke kept asking about the "mangoes," he was actually referring to the "flamingos?")

Because Aunt Rachel Knows Her Lukey Boy

Rachel found this for Luke and it couldn't be more perfect. Luke often can be found signing a little Salt 'n Pepa around the house (this very song, in fact), and Lukey loves him some animals.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy Holidays

Thanks, Jessica, for the expert photography and Rachel, for the card design!

We took a page from Luke's idioms for this our greeting.