Running with baby

I had forgotten how HARD it is to push a baby jogger while you run. Especially if said baby weighs about 25 lbs.

Travis (best + coolest dad EVER) took the big kids into the city to "camp" at his office, hit several museums, and work on a diorama project this weekend. So after Oz and I woke up (he slept in until 9 AM this morning... thank you baby!) we decided to use my practically brand-new baby jogger and go for a run.

I ran with S all the time when she was a baby... basically every day for the first 6 months until the weather turned cold; then Mr. Billy Blanks entered our life. As I ran today, I realized this is probably why the fat seemed to melt off my body after she was born. I remember being back in my skinny jeans for her 1 month check up. It has taken me a full year (and I'm not even there yet) to lose the weight with Oz. It must have been all the running with the baby in a jogger. I am definitely going to be sore tomorrow... possibly even more sore than last weekend, when I played kickball for 1.5 hours at the Darger's farm. Best day ever.

Another thing I had forgotten is how people love to see a baby while they're exercising. We were running on a path by our house where eye contact is forbidden and the only verbal contact ever made is when people say, "on your left" as they pass you. But today I had people smiling, waving, cooing, and commenting as I ran by. That Oz is such a crowd pleaser.


A tale of two jump ropes

So as you all know (and are probably really sick of hearing about), I've been jumping rope for a while now. Well, bathing suit season is just around the corner and I've got to look good so I can wear this little number that arrived last week:

Cute, right?

I decided to take things up a notch and use my new, weighted jumprope. Well. Let me tell you, it feels like you are jumping rope with a small child holding onto each arm. It's SO MUCH HARDER. I can only do it for 1 minute, and then I have to switch to my old reliable rope. Once I switch it feels like heaven.

What do you think? Will I be bathing suit ready? Our pool opened this weekend. YIKES.


Why watching The Hills has been good for me

I've been waiting for Carrie to post about her fabulous bridal shower (I haven't even spoken to her yet to get the low down) but since she's such a slacker, I'll post on the party I attended Thursday night now. My super cool friend Gabby, AKA Design Mom was asked to host a Method party and asked me to come. It was in SoHo, and it was fabulous! We ate delicious food, talked our heads off, and decorated plates. Well, we tried. Some were more successful than others. Here are some pics from the party:

That orange plate is not mine. I wish. My plate looked a lot worse, because I am not super skilled in the crafting department. Still, it was a great party. We got a sweet bag to take home full of Method product! I already have some Method stuff and I love it, so I'm stoked to add to my collection.

How does this party relate to The Hills (my new favorite show)? I've found that watching gives me really good ideas for new hairstyles. That's one of my new styles in the Method pictures.

See. You really can learn new things watching reality TV.


Making Dave Proud

Here it is, the lawn. More pictures of grass than you'd ever want to see. And one of Oz, who now tries to escape every time someone accidentally leaves the door open.

In other news, I just figured out you can add more than one picture at a time on blogger. I can't believe I didn't figure it out before.



51 Hours, 6 minutes, and 24 seconds till....

I love to plan and have parties. From the time I was in Jr. High I would plan parties and do all of the baking and munchies. I was always more inclusive rather than exclusive and would invite anyone and everyone. This wasn't by any means because I was popular, I just loved to have a party.

College wasn't much different, my apprentice Sara and I would plan "make your own pizza", Pounce parties, "The Question Game" parties, Cinco de Mayo parties, and our favorite, "Daylight Savings" parties. For a while there we put methyl blue in our goodies [makes your urine turn green] until people started catching on and look questioning as we offered them a decadent chocolate party treat. Since Sara and I were always running, walking, rollerblading, or riding our bikes in Provo, people assumed that our baked "party goods" were healthy and fat free. We'd always assure them that the caramel brownies, chocolate cakes, etc. that they were consuming were health food.

Post "the BYU" I got into dinner parties. Twice a year I would research all kinds of new recipes and cook for my favorite peeps. Mom and dad's house was always the venue and poor dad was my new apprentice as he spent time putting up extra tables, carting chairs from the next door neighbors house, and delivering and retrieving the dishes I had baking in all of the neighborhood ovens because I hadn't thought about the logistics of cooking all the needed items at once. Dad then sequestered himself downstairs as my guests invade his home. Mom on the other hand was always in the thick of the party.

Then I got into bridal and baby showers and these are by far my favorite. I love to celebrate two people committing their lives to each other or the arrival of a new sweet spirit to this world. I also love how men just can't seem to grasp what the concept of a shower is. They seem to think it is some sort of secret societal women's ritual that they want no part of and can't seem to understand why women are so obsessed with them.

Unfortunately, when Sara got married and had all her kids, she was living in another state so we couldn't "shower" together. So you can imagine my excitement when my baby sister announced at Christmas that she was pregnant. What were my first words "Oh, we have to have a shower!". So I've pretty much been planning on it since then. Well, it is finally here.

Since I always go way over board on food, I realized that the menu I was planning was impossible for the twenty attendees to consume even if they were finishing a 40 day fast. I decided to cut out 5 of the 8 appetizers I was planning and fore go the mini key lime pies since Leslie is doing a fabulous dessert. [I am being vague as to the specifics so that Carrie will be a little surprised by our menu]. Last night I wrapped all the presents and I've prepped everything else I can. So now it is just the waiting game.

So I'm not sure what the point of this post is other than IT IS PARTY TIME. Don't be surprised if you read about it in the Daily Camera or Denver Post.



I stare at boring green leaves 49 weeks in the year so I can enjoy these blossoms the remaining 3 weeks. Our first Iris bloomed yesterday - now I know spring is really here. These flowers makes me happy.

So Close...

...and yet, so far.

It has taken 8 months to drain this bad boy. I want to get rid of this tub so badly and free up the kitchen space. Alas, there is still a quarter inch of hot sauce to consume. It is driving me crazy. I've taken to storing this on the kitchen counter to encourage use.

Dave makes a quesadilla. I suggest: "Don't you want to dip that in hot sauce?"
Dave gets a bowl of ice cream. I point out: "Magic shell seems a bit childish. I think a real man would top his ice cream with Franks!"

No matter how much we pour out this last quarter inch will not deplete. I think this is some sort of magic tub of hot sauce with the ability to re-produce. Maybe I could sell it on ebay? I might just have to throw it away...but I don't take defeat lightly.


Night (New York Style)

I feel for you Carrie, I really do. It's so miserable having to go through all that to get to sleep. Here's a little snapshot of what sleep will entail for you in a few months from your favorite night nomad... this was my night on Thursday:

9 pm: Lay down with kids to put them to bed.

10 pm: Wake up and realize I fell asleep (again). Normally at this point I would stagger into my own bed, and call it a day. But I remembered I had left cookie dough, formed in balls on the cookie sheets, down on the counter. At least I had the good sense to turn off the oven before I went upstairs. So I gathered up all the dough, and rolled it into logs wrapped in wax paper, and put it in the oven. Then I semi-cleaned up the kitchen and went up to bed, where Travis was working.

10.45 pm: I accept the fact that I've been up too long and done too much to go back to sleep anytime soon, even though I'm super tired. So I go back downstairs and take a Tylenol PM and get my laptop to bring up to bed.

11.45 pm: Finally feel some effects of the Tylenol and decide to stop The HIlls marathon I've been watching on MTV.com and go to bed. Just as I am drifting off to sleep...

12.02 am: Oz wakes up. He's acting strangely, but I feed him and get him back to sleep.

1 am: Go to sleep, for the 2nd time.

4 am: Oz wakes up again, screaming his head off. I go in and feed him, and try to put him back, but he continues to cry. Thus ensues a 2 hour ordeal involving Advil, Dora, a diaper change, sucking out his nose, and Travis coming in to see what all the commotion is and asking how he can help while I'm in a full-on wrestling match with the baby. There was a brief reprieve between about 5.30 and 6 where he was quiet, and I went and got in bed with S (who was in C's bed, but C had left to come into our bed) but just as I was drifting off, the baby started up again.

6 am: Finally got him to sleep by laying by him in S's bed. We both woke up around 8.30. I've got a Tylenol PM hangover and feel as if I've been hit by a truck. Is it any wonder that I'm tempted to kick off my day with some Pepsi?


Nightly Bed Time Routine


Go to the bathroom
Brush teeth
Wipe make-up off eyes

4 minutes total


Go to the bathroom
Brush teeth
Wipe make-up off eyes
Wash face with special acne fighting face wash (love those hormones)
Dry face
Apply special acne fighting lotion to face
Apply normal lotion to eyes, hands
Go to the bathroom
Wipe excess lotion from bridge of nose
Blow nose
Apply anti-snoring nasal strip to nose
Apply anit-stretch mark oil to belly
Wash residue oil off hands
Re-apply lotion to washed hands
Apply chapstick
Go to the bathroom
Note growling stomach...crap - I'm going to have to eat something
Cut up and eat an apple
Evaluate - was that enough?
Have a little ice cream...just to be safe
Put cutting board/plate/bowl in dishwasher
Get a drink of water
Eat 2 tums
Brush teeth - again
Go to the bathroom
Fill up water bottle and place on bed-side table for mid-night cravings
Gather up 4 pillows used during night-time sleep
Fight Dave for 2/3 of the bed
Place pillows in required spots (under hips, between legs, under belly, under head)
Turn light off
Remember pre-natal vitamins
Turn light on
Take pre-natal vitamin
Re-arrange pillows
Turn light off
Not again
Get up, and go to the bathroom
Re-arrange pillows
Try to sleep
7 minutes pass
Debate with self.
Seriously...could I possibly have to go again?
Go to the bathroom

52 minutes total

This is way past ridiculous.


Mother's Day Loot

On mother's day eve Dave and I were downstairs chatting. Somehow mother's day came up and he said "um...are we - as in you and I - celebrating mother's day this year?" He looked nervous. I responded "No...I'm not a real mother yet. Sacrifices for my child so far only amount to physical discomfort. We can start up celebrations next year." He let out a relieved sound and then led me into the new bathroom where talk abruptly turned to his hand-built medicine cabinets. I was pretty sure he was going to remind me that these medicine cabinets were built with love and time, and could easily qualify as a mother's day gift.

He kept asking me if I liked his medicine cabinet better. I didn't really know where he was going with this line of questioning - but I assured him I loved and respected the medicine cabinets equally. Finally he said "Why don't you open my medicine cabinet so you can make sure it isn't bigger than yours." When I opened the cabinet I saw a wrapped gift hidden in the back, and a pleased look on Dave's face. What a trickster.

Dave knew he had done well when the tears started even before I opened the gift. It was a charm bracelet with one single charm representing a mother holding a baby. What a perfect gift.

Wow. There is nothing quite like a picture of your arm to remind yourself that your skin is not the lovely, smooth, olive skin you are used to looking at all day. You have freckles. As a side rant - has anyone seen the new sunscreen commercial? The one where the beautiful, perfect skinned girl looks at herself through a "special" machine and can see all the hideous (hidden) sun spots lurking behind her skin's perfect exterior? When she looks through the machine she basically just looks like a girl with freckles - and is horrified. This of course is more than enough motivation for her to lather up in sunscreen. Am I wrong to be a bit offended by this message?


Mr. mantastic in my belly scored some mother's day gifts as well. These shoes were from my sister-in-law Leslie. So cute right? I figure he can use them for casual or formal wear.
Casual = a day at the park, most likely saving some other baby's life.
Formal = accepting his award for baby of the year.

And here is a hoodie Aunt Yah Yah gave him a little while ago. Yes, he isn't even born and she is already spoiling him. Could this be cuter? What you can't see is this fabulous little number is terry cloth! I had this folded up on Dave's dresser. He held it up and said "This is never going to fit me, we need to get a bigger size."


A Ribbon

I came across these pictures today, because my mom informed me that I haven't given her a picture of my kids in about 6 years. Oops. We got a digital camera and what can I say? No more double prints to mail home. So I was going through my photos to find some for Nana when I found these... here's the story.

The weekend before S's b-day was crazy... more crazy than normal. We were all pretty sick, Travis had a massive project he had stayed up until 4 am Saturday night to work on, and I hadn't slept much all night because Oz wasn't sleeping. So Sunday morning I informed Trav that I was not going to church, and he informed me that he wasn't either. Meanwhile, S had been making this ribbon out of a coin Trav had given her from his office a week before. She fell apart when I told her we weren't going to church, and I thought she was upping her spirituality in honor of the upcoming baptism. I was wrong. Turns out, she had to go to church that week because they were singing to her in primary. Hilarious. It meant such a big deal to her, so I agreed to take her for the last 2 hours, and leave the sick baby at home. She insisted on wearing this blue and white polka dot dress, which didn't make sense because a) it's a summer dress and it was freezing cold that day and b) she never cares what she wears. She pleaded and begged for this dress, saying she'd wear a long sleeved shirt under it, and on and on until I relented. (In reality it was probably about 3 seconds, but you know... I was sick.)

Everything fell into place when she asked me to PIN the ribbon she had made to the dress (get it: blue dress, blue ribbon) so she could wear it to church. The ribbon says, "It's by birthday". Do you think she has a future in advertising?


twilight trailer

This may just be the world's shortest trailer...but at least you can watch it more than once.


I think I'll go ahead and arrange a baby sitter now.


Oz is One!

A year ago tomorrow (in a few hours, really, since he was born just after midnight) Oz ravaged my body as he entered this world. I truly thought I would never walk, or sit, or do anything ever again without GIANT amounts of pain. Birthing him was for sure the hardest thing I've ever done; the hardest thing I hope to ever do! But, I must say, it was worth it. He is a lovely, lovely baby. He sleeps well, he eats better (I think he now weighs around 25 lbs.), he's good natured, and I'm pretty sure he speaks Spanish, thanks to Dora. I had to bring up our little TV from the basement, because the projector was disconnected for the baptism (post to come, I promise!!!), so he could get his Dora and Boots fix. This is the position he's been watching from:

Nana celebrated early with us by getting him an ice cream cake from Coldstone and giving him some cool toys, along with the requisite box of Kleenex. She tried and tried to get him to pull them out, but he was having none of it. He's just to advanced to be amused by things average 1 year olds would find fun! I fully expect him to be playing Lego Star Wars by 18 months. Here's a picture of Nana trying to get him to pull out the Kleenexes. Look how cute she looks in her sassy jeans:

If there was ever a baby more loved by his siblings and parents, I can't imagine it. Oz, we are so glad you joined our family!!!


My Dad the Travel Nazi

Many of you know that in our religion, when someone turns 8 they get baptised. This is a pretty big deal and so mom, dad, and I made the trek to NYC for S's big day. Now some people love to travel, my brotherinlaw Travis for example. He loves airports, planes, sitting at the gate with his laptop looking really busy and important. If they ever need a volunteer to give up their spot and get a free flight, Travis is their ace in the hole. Most of us tolerate travel and then there is T. Gordon Lewis who HATES to travel.

By nature dad is a borderline pessimist and always plans for the worst case scenario; but, I have to hand it to him, in the past years he has really worked to change his way of thinking by reading books and meditating etc. That said, when he gets into travel mode or when anyone in the family is going to make a trip, all his study, hard work and behavior modification zips out the door. He just can't help it.

My first real insight into his condition was when we were in Brazil picking up Rand from his mission back in the late 80's. Footloose and fancy free with my Farrah Faucet hairdo, IZON shirt and GUESS cropped jeans, I wondered why dad was sleeping with his money belt, plane tickets, and passports in the locked hotel instead of putting it in the safe.

Dad always "sets the departure time" for leaving for the airport and then 15-25 minutes before said time announces in his priesthood voice "okay, let's go". For those of us [mom and myself included] who generally allow less than needed time to get ready, this announcement induces fear and panic. As mom always declares "your father ALWAYS moves up the time"

Well, the trip to NYC was no exception and since this was dad's 2nd airplane trip in 4 years due to his chronic back condition, he was in true form. It started with the following email on Wednesday the day before departure:


Our flight tomorrow leaves at 12:16 pm. If we plan for check in 1.5 hours early and for outlying parking, which requires taking a shuttle, we need to leave Boulder at about 9:30 am. Will you come up to 655 or should we pick you up?

You know how stressful it is for me to get your mother out of the house anywhere near time, I have to count on you to be here when we agree, not 10, 20, or 30 minutes later. Do you want us to give you a "wake up call"?


After checkin, he distributed our tickets in order to navigate security but before we walked to the gate dad collected mom and my ticket. I looked at him and said "can't I hold my own ticket" and he shook his head.

At the gate he kept saying, "we don't have a plane yet". As they moved the departure time back 15 minutes every 15 minutes he got more and more uncomfortable.

We ended up arriving about 1 hour late so he relaxed a bit.

Dad and I were coming home Tuesday and mom was staying until Saturday. Monday was very grey and rainy in NY and Dad kept doing something on the computer. At 4pm he announced "well Laura, the flight that we are on tomorrow left 2 1/2 hours late today". He was already in travel mode. We decided we would leave for the airport at 12:30 for our 2:30 flight - we were loaded and on our way at noon.

The trip home was without incident and with each mile closer to home, dad seemed to relax. Our bags were the first to come down the carousel and dad said with surprise "wow, I guess the premier check really works. I've never gotten my bags that fast". We got to long term parking and were on our way.

In the car on the way home Dad said "well we left at noon NY time, it is now 6pm Colorado time which means 8pm NY time, so it took us 8 hours with very minimal delays". It was a statement that really didn't warrant a response. I think he was just surprised that it went so smoothly.

Can't wait for our next trip!!!


Pokemon Party

All right, Carrie. You can stop the harassing emails. Your fellow blogger is coming out of hiding, finally. It's been a crazy 3 weeks. Let's review:

The entire week before S's b-day I was doing party preparations. Trips to Target, Costco, the trophy store... busy, busy. The following week was spring break, C had a mole removed which required 2 trips to the dr., S went to the dr. once, and I was planning the baptism. We took a stressful trip to Piermont, NY to pick up a bike that didn't fit in our car, and the family began arriving. On Friday they ripped up my lawn, and dirt spewed all over the house I (and by I, I mean my cleaning lady Annie) had just cleaned for all our visitors, so I had to clean it AGAIN. The entire weekend was crazy busy with all the visitors and baptism prep. Everyone was gone by last Tuesday, but Nana stayed on, so I had a giant list of things I wanted to get done while she was here, so I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off.

That was a long explanation but you can now all fully understand why the Pokemon party post was a bit delayed. Without further ado...

Well, it’s only taken me 8 years to learn to throw a successful kids’ party. Of course, it didn’t hurt that most of the guests were 8 years old. Both S and I were kind of stressed beforehand, because of last year’s Krypto party, where we had a group of kids that didn’t mix well and no one wanted to do the stuff I had planned. S even asked me a couple days before: “Mom, what if no one wants to do the activities?” I replied, “Don’t worry... they will” while thinking, If they don’t participate, I’ll just call their moms and tell them to come and pick them up. Or maybe I’ll tie them to the treehouse.

We started out with a discussion, where I told the kids that today we were going to train to become Pokemon masters. Then I took them into the kitchen, where the table was set up with 30 different colors of Sculpey clay. Their instructions were to create their own Pokemon... a new kind that had not been discovered yet. They LOVED it. S is a huge fan of Sculpey, and we’ve made all kinds of stuff out of it, including a 12 inch tall replica of Amelia Earhardt.

After that, we went back into the living room for a Pokemon quiz. I divided the kids into two teams, and asked them a series of trivia questions (created by yours truly) that started out easy and got progressively harder. The harder the questions got, the closer the contestants got to me. By the 5th question both teams were screaming and jumping up and down, about 2 inches from my face. They were into it! I got a little claustrophobic though.

Then we headed outside to hunt for Pokemon that were lost (Pokemon cards). Each kid was allowed to find 4 cards, and they were acting like I had hidden $20 bills out there in the yard. Travis told me one guest said to S: “This is the BEST PARTY EVER!!” to which S replied: “I KNOW!” I try not to brag.

After everyone had found their cards, we came back in for Pokemon bingo. I had made up 15 different cards, and we made it so each child got Bingo twice. They didn’t seem to care if they got it first, or 10th. As long as they all got Bingo and the candy prize, they were stoked. Then we had the awards ceremony.

I had been planning this part of the party for months. S is obsessed with trophies, medals, and ribbons. She got her first medal from soccer a couple of months ago, and wears it to church every couple of weeks. She won’t even let baby Oz play with it, for fear he’ll break it. She’s been known to spend hours in aunt Yah Yah’s room, drooling over all the running trophies. Since there’s no telling when she’ll get one of her own, I decided to give her the first. I found a trophy store in Yonkers, and for a mere $3.75 each, got each kid an engraved bowling trophy (it was the closest thing to a Pokeball that I could find). I called S up first, and made a speech about how great they all did, and how they all won the award, and then reached in the box and presented her with a jar of baby food. She loved it... it was like April Fools’ day part 2. Then I pulled out the trophy and the kids were so excited. A bunch of them were like, “This is my first trophy ever!” I loved it.

Then we just had pizza and Pokeball cupcakes. It was a great time. The best part about it was that Oz, who is not a fan of huge groups of screaming kids, spent the entire party up in his crib watching Dora. Ada spent half of the time up there with him, since she loves him more than any party. We checked on him every few minutes (and listened on the baby monitor) and he was happy as a clam... and Trav and I didn’t have to watch him and were able to enjoy the party. I think I had almost as much fun as the kids did. It was such a fun group; really nice boys and girls who were very well-behaved (aside from a small brick throwing off the tree house incident, but we banned them from the tree house after that).


The perfect fungi

Don't you wish you were eating dinner at my house tonight?

Even I'm a little jealous of the Carrie from 43 minutes ago. The girl who had yet to eat her delicious portobello mushroom sandwich. Why does it have to go so quickly?

We have had these delightful treats for dinner 3 times this week - and they aren't getting old. A word of warning though. This is not a meal to share with a new acquaintance. You and your guest will end up covered in ricotta cheese - smeared from one ear to the next.

Portobello Mushroom Sandies


• ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
• 4 TBS extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
• Salt and pepper
• 4 large portobello mushrooms
• 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
• 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
• 1 rounded TBS tomato paste
• 1 ½ cup whole milk ricotta cheese
• 3 TBS store bought pesto sauce
• ½ cup chicken stock or broth
• 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
• 4 Kaiser rolls split in half
• 8 thin slices prosciutto
• 1 small bunch of arugula (I used spinach)

Preheat the oven to 450

In a shallow bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, about 2 TBP of the EVOO, salt and pepper. Add the Portobello mushrooms and toss to coat. Arrange the mushrooms on a cookie sheet gill side up. Roast for 12 minutes.

While mushrooms cook, heat a medium-size skillet over medium high heat with 2 TBP EVOO. Add the sliced red onions, garlic, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Cook the onions, stirring frequently for about 8 minutes.

In a bowl, mix the ricotta cheese and pesto. Once the mushrooms have roasted for 12 minutes, remove and spread ricotta mixture among the mushrooms (gill side up). Return to the over for a minute to heat the cheese

Add the chicken stock and chopped olives to the onions. Turn the heat to high and continue to cook until the stock has reduced almost completely.

Arrange one cheese topped mushroom on the bottom of each split roll. Top the cheese with some of the onions. Top that with 2 slices of prosciutto, arugula and other 1/2 of roll.

4 servings