In case you don't know who Michael Chiklis is:

It's raining in NY...

which means it's a good day to blog and clean. But I'm not really in the mood for cleaning, so I thought I'd download the pictures off our camera. I came across this great "before" shot of Crosby (or, the baby of 1000 nicknames) in the tub, a day before he was shorn like a sheep.
His hair doesn't look that bad in front, but trust me, the sides and back were a pile of nappiness. So we whipped out the buzzers and I held him in a baby straightjacket while Travis worked his magic with the clippers. We tried to leave it longer on top, but try doing anything artistic on a squirmy, screaming 1.5 year old. So we ended up just buzzing the whole thing, and now...
Some of his nicknames are: Oz, the croz, master C, dr. crosby, crozzers, cros-berry, baby ninja master. But we're bringing back one his loving uncle Dave bestowed on him right after birth. Yes, sometimes we call him Michael Chiklis.

See the resemblance?


Yesterday it was about 45 degrees here. I know, I know... you people in Colorado are still prancing around in your bathing suits. But here in NY, the weather has been FREEZING. No, below freezing. Our temp on Saturday morning was 24 degrees, "feels like" 12 with wind chill. That's why I was shocked when Mark Pope showed up at my door in soccer gear with a trophy for Calder. He's C's coach for the kindergarten clinic, which we had skipped because, you know, it was colder than Antarctica out there. 

So on Saturday, I was thankful that soccer is finally over and that both kids got trophies. I don't know about your kids, but mine are obsessed.

On Sunday, I was thankful for our fireplace. That thing is awesome... and really warms up the 1st floor.

On Monday, I was thankful it was a balmy 45 degrees. We stayed after school at the playground, and then played outside in our backyard until it got dark. Can someone remind me why I live in New York, when I'm such a fan of good weather and being outside?


One sweet ride

On Thursday Dave took his jeep in to get the heat fixed. Apparently his heat hasn't worked for 6 months and he gets "cold" driving to work at 6am in 30 degree weather. Whimp.

They promised him the jeep would be done by the end of the day. When he went to the mom and pop shop to retrieve his car there was still some work to be done. So they handed over keys to their free, "loaner" car.

Let me tell you people, this was one sweet ride.

It is hard to choose my favorite thing about the car, so I will list them all:

1. The duct tape holding the ceiling up
2. The 20 other keys on the key ring. What are they to? Maybe they also have a loaner condo and a loaner storage unit.
3. The black plume of smoke coming out of the exhaust
4. The lawn mower-esque sound
5. The bumper stickers on the back Dave didn't see until the end of the day. One was a big rainbow sticker. One said, "DEFEND AMERICA - DEFEAT BUSH."


I sort of wish we could buy this car, store it for 15 years, and give it to Brig on his 16th birthday.


11.21.08... Happy Birthday, ENOCH!

Who knew, when I met Enoch 15 years ago, that we would end up living together 3 times? You could even argue 4 times, if you count the couple of days that he and Amy slept on our futon right after their honeymoon, waiting for their apartment upstairs from us to be vacant. I was terrified to go into the living room the entire time!

Enoch is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. He'll do anything for anyone. Need a ride to the airport? Enoch's your man! It's a blizzard and your flight leaves at 5 am? Even better! 

He's an amazing dad and husband. He is always taking his kids (and usually mine, too) on adventures to the movies, the pool, the skatepark, and Costco. He races around on the weekends, trying to pack fun into every minute.

He is also funny, handy, and super cool and stylish. If you have something you're thinking of buying, Enoch will exhaustively research your options and let you know the best one. He's an avid reader and loves information. Not to mention he's super smart... and an amazing designer.

He an awesome friend. I'm so glad when I married Travis, I also married Enoch. And then he married Amy. I am so thankful for the whole Palmer family! What we have is pretty special and unique, for sure. I'm so glad Enoch was born. Happy b-day, E!


Today I had C's first parent-teacher conference, as well as an ISP meeting for Oz. It was one of those days where Amy and I tag teamed all day with the kids, and I wondered how I manage to ever be a mom by myself without the help of my friends. Oh right, I don't. 

The ISP meeting went well, and Oz is going to start receiving speech therapy 2x per week. I don't think it'll do a whole lot for him until his tubes are put in, but it will be good to have him get used to the person so hopefully his talking will take off once he can hear. I'm sure as soon as he starts to talk, and is one more voice demanding things from me, I'll take back this post. But for now, I want the little guy to be able to communicate. We are both getting pretty frustrated with his inability to tell me what he wants. I'm so grateful we live in a place where he can get all these services, for free no less!

The conference went great too. C's teacher said all great things about him, and how well he's adapted. What struck me the most is how she's got him nailed... she knows exactly what his strengths are, and how to help him with his weaknesses. It felt great to know that his teacher really knows him, and enjoys him. My only complaint about the conference was that she didn't talk at all about Travis. 


On Wednesday, I was thankful that my kids have good friends. I invited both a friend for C and S, and their buddies who came over were such nice, well behaved kids. They stayed for dinner and we had such a great afternoon, both sets playing their own thing and not bugging each other at all. S hasn't ever been as social as she is this year, and it's been fun to have her getting more into "Friends." She kept bumping into people as we trick or treated that she knew, and she would tell me, "Wow, I just have so many friends at this school!" They have welcomed her with open arms, and I'm so, so thankful that she's settled in and happy.

All dressed up and nowhere to go

I struggled out of bed this morning, which was substantially harder than normal, since I attended at 10.30 showing of Twilight last night. As many of you know, 10.30 is right around the time I shut down, rendered completely useless until the next morning. I had been out late on Friday night as well (I'm such a socialite!) so by 8.30 last night, I thought there was no way I'd be able to stay awake during the movie. But OH! was I wrong.

The group of five I went with had quite varied reactions. Amy, who hadn't read the books but enjoyed the movie (but was very glad she didn't have Enoch next to her while watching it, since it was quite over the top). Erin, who read 1 of the books (I think... she might have read 2) and thought the books AND the movie were equally cheesy. Eryka, who liked the books all right and hated the movie the first time, but really liked it the 2nd time (yes, we forced her to go with us even though she'd seen it on Thursday night), Ashley, who loved the books and loved the movie, and me, who thought the books were horrible and painful to read (except #4) but loved the movie. I mean, how could you NOT enjoy staring at Robert Pattinson (don't worry... I had to google his name to figure out who he is. I'm not that into him!) for 2 hours? He is, as I said about 20 x last night, The Hotness. I thought they did a great job of having him smolder on screen... and the movie was totally clean, which was delightful. I can't wait for Scout to be old enough to watch it with me. Leave a comment about what you thought... I know you've already seen it.

Travis let me sleep in today, and when I woke up he had also cleaned up the whole downstairs, which had been a wreck the night before. Lovely! So we had a nice, peaceful Sunday morning and I got all dressed for church (I have quite a cute outfit on, if I do say so myself.) and Oz promptly fell apart at 11.02 (church starts at 11.30). 2  weeks ago we let him fall asleep in the car on the way to church and paid dearly for the rest of the day, so I put him down for a nap and am now finally finding some time to reconnect with my old friend, the MacBook:
I took in the computer on Tuesday, because Trav's power cord wasn't working so I thought I might as well have them replace the keyboard on mine, since it had been chipping off along the bottom. I thought they were just going to quickly replace it, and wish I had a photo of my face when the genius bar guy told me they'd have to keep it for "7-10 days". I was completely stunned and felt as if he had asked me to leave one of my children at the store for that amount of time. I grudgingly left it, and was so VERY thankful to finally get it back on Friday evening. Obviously, though, it made for quite a slow week of blogging. So since I've found myself with an unexpected free 2 hours (I'm hoping he'll wake up early enough that I can still get to Relief Society) I might as well try and play catch up on my thankful posts. Is it wrong to be thankful for Robert Pattinson? Just kidding. Kind of.


thankful bandwagon

I'd like to jump on the thankfulness bandwagon for a day. Here are a few of the things I'm thankful for today.

I'm extremely grateful Dave got around to cutting his toe-nails.

I put my finger by these clippings so you can clearly grasp the length, depth, and breadth of these mini daggers. Dave has a deep seeded fear of ingrown toenails, and as a result lets his grow quite long. It is like sleeping in a bed with Edward scissor feet. Brush up against his foot too swiftly or at the wrong angle, and you are likely to lose a little blood. These bad boys have stabbed and scratched me time and time again. It is nice that the foot of our bed can be a place of peace for at least a few weeks.

Anyone who lives in Colorado will join me in appreciating the most amazing fall, ever.

Winter is no where to be found. I would estimate the average temperature of November to be 65 degrees - with a nice 75 degree day at least once or twice a week. We have had the most beautiful weather. The leaves have never stuck around quite so long - which I really appreciate, since they are Brig's #1 form of entertainment.

Last, I am incredibly grateful for this little peanut.

Just when you thought the Halloween posts were over, here he is in costume yet again. Dave called me a few weeks ago and asked me to put him in the penguin costume and take some pictures. Apparently his boss wanted to see Brig in his Halloween costume, and Dave didn't want to send pictures of our son dressed as a thug. I wonder why?

I can't possibly begin to articulate the gratitude I feel for Brig. He is such a sweet little boy.

--He gives me a huge smile every time I look at him
--He loves to go on walks and runs with me
--He is learning to laugh
--He is extremely happy during the day
--He sleeps 11 hours in a row at night
--He patiently hangs out in his infant seat when I need to work - and then rewards me with a huge smile when I can get back to playing with him

I love him so much I almost can't stand it. I can't believe we only met 4 months ago.


Happy Birthday to Ashley!

33 years ago... or maybe it was 34?... this awesome lady was born, and the world has been a better place ever since. I would have posted this yesterday, on her actual b-day, but she was on a flight home from Mexico where she was eating guacamole on the beach and partying with Yanni. Cuz that's how she rolls.

Ash and I have logged many, many hours over the past couple summers in the above position at Lake Isle country club. Last summer was a real bummer when our babies started walking, and we had to resort to shouting at each other from across the pool. I wish I had a picture from last summer of her, instead of the picture of her 2 minutes after she had a baby, but I was too busy to take any pictures at the pool, as I was keeping my son from drowning. Needless to say, she's not the inventor of the jumprope workout for nothing. This girl is in shape.

In addition to jumping rope, here are some other things you might not know about Ashley.

1. She hates cilantro. What? I know... it's inconceivable. But believe me folks, she is still cool.

2. She is up for anything... and takes her kids on amazing adventures.
Here is a picture of our kids from the time we went to the Columbus Day fair... also called the biggest rip off on the planet. The babies loved every minute of it!

3. She loves Greenvale. ALMOST as much as she loves Waverly. Or at least she loves their t-shirts.
4. She is strong. Who else would challenge the bishop to a push up contest at the annual ward clean up? She didn't beat him in numbers, but some say her form was better.
5. Ashley loves food... which you'd never know by her size 0 body. Plus she's a great cook. You should taste her spaghetti sauce!
6. She is not me. There are still people in our ward, 2.5 years after we both moved in, who can't tell us apart. If you are one of those people and are reading this blog right now, here is your clue: One of us has freckles. Many, many freckles.

7. She is one of the funniest people I've ever met. She has a great sense of humor and messes up well known sayings in ways that are always entertaining.

8. She's a huge fan of reality TV. Who isn't? Her favorites are (in no particular order) Little People, Big world, So You Think You Can Dance, The Bachelor, and the Biggest Loser.

9. She's one of the best dancers I've ever seen. Nobody can break it down in a kitchen (or on a boat, or at Greenvale night, or in a library) like Ashley... even when she has a slipped disc. Just ask the YW about camp this summer!

I love Ashley and am so thankful (get it? I can count it for a thankful post!) she was born. And that she moved to Westchester and married Jon, who is so much fun, and had kids that match up with my kids perfectly, and who loves doing all the same things I do. Leave a comment and tell me something you love about her.

Happy Birthday Ash!!!


FHE sans the Family

So I hosted a appetizer/dessert soiree on Saturday. I usually do this post the October 15th deadline for three main reasons:

1 - It gives me an excuse to see all of my favorite people since I figure who can turn down free food where you don't have to tip
2 - I get to try all kinds of new recipes
3 - My dad "begs me" to have a social gathering that he can clean for, disappear for, and then reappear to help wash and put away all of the dishes.

Since dad's diagnosis in June 2007, I haven't thrown this biannual event for 1 1/2 years so I was overdue. I sent out invitations about 3 1/2 weeks ago to almost 50 people. I spent hours looking up and visualizing recipes, reading food blogs, and dreaming of all the fun I would have. When I had about 50 recipes I had a moment of lucidity and realized I needed to narrow it down. I carefully chose a mere 20+ appetizers and 10 deserts [don't worry, I didn't exercise any fasting or prayer].

For the past weeks I have made multiple lists and trips to the King of Soopers and spent many hours preparing the delicacies. Mom's freezer got fuller than a tick.

I learned a few things along the way such as:
  • I would rather have my teeth pulled sans Novocaine then work with phyllo dough
  • graham cracker crumbs can and do go rancid
  • Scott Davies is my hero b/c he went for the dessert first [he is still healing from the Obama win]
  • You can beat half and half till you are blue in the face but it will never get to "soft peak" stage
Soooo, needless to say after spending most nights for the last month preparing for "festivus", I was at a loss as to what to do tonight.

I planned to go to Denver to grab an evening with the Notorious B.R.I.G but Carrie informed me that Dave was having his first PPI with his son. I then called mom to see if she wanted to go and get a winter pedicure but she was headed to Broomfield for Tanner's basketball game. So, I decided to go hang with Courtney Davies and my adopted 3 nephews and niece since they are ALWAYS home. I stopped at Dairy Queen and picked up a ice cream cake and showed up. Ethan who is 4 greeted me at the door exlaiming "did you bring your swimming suit"? Seems they were on their way out the door for a family swim. Ethan urged me to drive home and get my suit. My reply was "I live pretty far and it would take too much time". "How many miles?" was Ethan's response.

The bishop lives a couple of houses down from Courtney but the last thing he wants to see on a Monday night is a ward member. What would I do?

Suddenly it came to me, I'll rent a romantic chick flick and lose myself in a romantic haze and go to bed feeling all warm and fuzzy. Back to King Soopers but not for food this time - the poor checkers were totally confused. The blue box informed me that my movie of choice "Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants II" was checked out. Frantically I scanned the new releases and settled on "I am Legend".

Is that a giggle I hear?

For those who have and have not seen this movie, be assured that there is nothing "chick, flick, warm or fuzzy" about it. Coming from a girl who had nightmares after watching Little House on the Prairie, this was not what I expected. And get this, the movie kept freezing up and I would have to restart it and try to find where I had left off.

Now rest assured, I am not trying to solicit pity. I love my life as a Singleton but for those of you who at the end the day think you might strangle your kids or would give anything for a night all alone, remember that there is just something special about having the F to go with the H and the E.


Can you tell I'm losing steam?

Sorry, people. It's not that I'm not thankful... just thankful and BUSY! For the past 3 days...


I didn't actually hear this news on the 14th, I heard it on the 12th. As many of you know, my dad was diagnosed with leukemia almost 1.5 years ago. He has fought a great fight, along with the help and support of my mom and siblings, and on the 12th he had a blood test. The whole family always stresses out on these days, and they happen every 3 months. On the one hand, you want the test so you know he's doing well and the chemo has worked. But on the other, you are dreading what the results might be. I didn't realize until AFTER I woke him up by calling too early (oops, one of the hazards of the time zone difference), so I had tried to get off the phone with him as fast as possible. Then my mom mentioned the test was that day and I barely thought of anything else, until I got the call at 4.30 that his counts were good and all is well for another 3 months.

I am so, so grateful for every day now. His getting sick really put life and family and everything in perspective for me. Every day is valuable. I really look for those moments of joy in each day... and usually I get at least 1 per day! I'm so grateful for my dad and all the things he has taught me... either through lectures in the living room or by living as an example. I love you Dad!!! Keep fighting!


Finally... I got to be thankful today that soccer was cancelled. It looks like we've got one more week left, and I can't wait for it to be over. NO ONE in our family wants to be ANYWHERE at 9 am on a Saturday morning. Least of all a freezing cold soccer field with a crazy toddler running around, trying to steal the ball, take the cones, and get tangled up in the goal net. Oh yes, today I was very thankful for the rain so we could stay home. One more week! I'm praying for no night games to "make up" what we've missed. Let's just let it go, people. Let it go.


Oh this is going to sound evil... but I was thankful today that S is still a bit under the weather, and so am I, and so is Oz. We were just sick enough to rationalize skipping stake conference, which I heard was amazing. I wish we could have watched it from home. At least the attic got organized and we got some awesome hang time at home. And the Palmers fed us not one but TWO meals... crepes for breakfast and burritos for dinner. How can you not be thankful for that? We are lucky devils. And now I'm really thankful I can take this laptop up to bed and watch 30 Rock on it. Horray for laptops!



Today at 1 PM, Rand left (that's him on the left, roasting marshmallows with the boy in pink goggles). He was here for a short visit... about twice per year he schedules meetings in New York and we usually get him for dinner, and if we're lucky, an overnight stay. We've done some pretty fun things together in NY; we were laughing about some of them last night. Such as our ultra-deluxe accommodations when we went to the Jersey Shore and the Circle Line boat tour we took in the driving rain. I also recall a few years ago he was staying in midtown and had a morning break, so I left the kids and met him up at his hotel to run at Central Park and then have breakfast together. It's one of my best memories... running with Rand. We started running together the summer before he married Leslie, and it's something we really enjoy doing together. I especially used to enjoy it after it had rained. Rand would run ahead of me and pull the tree branches down behind him, so I would get showered. Luckily he didn't do that to me today (and he could have, since it rained last night) but he opted not to. So I'm thankful for that... and that he's my brother. 
He's such a great big brother, uncle, and father. He's completely loyal and devoted to us all, and expends great amount of energy on family vacations as the director of activities. Our first vacation with my family, Travis was exhausted and said, "You didn't tell me I would need to TRAIN to go on vacation!" Most of the activity is driven by Rand, who has energy in excess and doesn't like to see anyone sitting around when we could be out having fun. 
While I'm at it, I'll go ahead and mention how thankful I am for his whole family. I have the best nephews and sweetest little niece in the whole world. Here they are, all enjoying Dora with Oz. Everyone can be a Dora fan. They are excellent cousins to my kids;  always up for playing and sharing and going to various rec centers. 
I'm also so thankful for Leslie... that's her in the BYU sweatshirt. I had to swipe it off her Facebook page... she used to have the biggest hair you've ever seen! Now she's one of the hottest moms in Colorado... and so fun and easy to be with. She always makes awesome food and mentors me in Ebay shopping, jewelry making, and candle accumulation.
I love you guys... so glad we are related.


I had a crazy, frantic day today. It all started with a 9 am visit to a pediatric ENT, who we had been referred to by the audiologist Oz met with on Saturday. I've been concerned that he's not speaking yet, and decided to have him evaluated for possible early intervention. It came out that he had recurring ear infections all last winter, and his hearing test on Saturday revealed that he currently has fluid in his middle ear and thus has hearing loss because of this. 

So I took him, only to find out about the fluid and find out what next steps would be needed to get the fluid out. I was fully prepared to find out that tubes were needed, so that part of the visit was no surprise, but I was shocked that he currently had an ear infection. RIGHT NOW, when I never, ever would have thought something was wrong, my 18 month old has an ear infection. I was given a script for antibiotics and all I could think was, he constantly lives with ear pain. It barely even affects his life now, he's so adapted to it. And he can't hear well... none of the things that we hear. No wonder he's not speaking.

I'm so, so glad for modern technology. I can't wait to get those tubes put in (not till December) and find out how it improves his life. I've already heard many stories from other parents about how tubes changed their child's life. Hopefully his speech will improve quickly, but mostly I hope he won't be in pain anymore. I'm so thankful for doctors and health care. I wish everyone in the world could have it as good as I do.


I hadn't planned to do the kids back to back like this, but S was sick today and it very much made me appreciate the way she usually behaves. All day long, she was very whiny and mopey and emotional. Not typical behavior at all. So today, I was thankful for this wonderful girl... my daughter.
I can't put into words how remarkable she is. How if I had been allowed to make up a list of things I'd want my daughter to be, most of her attributes wouldn't have been on the list because it never would have occurred to me that someone could be like her. 
She is fearless. Fun and adventurous and TRULY up for anything. She is not emotional or dramatic, as most girls can me (including yours truly). She is independent, strong, confident, smart, capable, athletic, outgoing, daring, inquisitive, caring, deep-thinking, artistic, and loving... among other things.
Did I mention how funny she is? She has an excellent sense of humor, and can laugh at herself with glee, never thinking to be embarrassed if she makes a misstep. Here she is in Nana's extra high chair this summer. She took most of her meals right alongside Oz in the tiny high chair. 

She deeply loves her brothers, and is especially good at taking care of them. She is always watching Oz intently, sure he is going to die with every step. She'll yell out, "MOM!!! Are you watching him? Do you see where he is?" if he is within 100 yards of a road. I have to reassure her constantly that I am able to keep him alive all day long while she's at school, and she doesn't need to worry or watch him because I'm on it. She loves to play with both of them, and they adore her.
She loves, no she LOVES food. I've never met a child with more advanced tastes. She's a fan of mushrooms (fresh, not canned), basil and capers on pizza, fancy olives, blue cheese, and sushi. She wants to eat whatever the grown ups are eating and detests kid food like mac and cheese and PB&J. She adored working in the garden with Grampa this summer, and would eat most of the raspberries and many tomatoes before they ever made it back in the house. Her favorite food is probably fresh bread and tomatoes, and she's a big fan of ice cream.
I absolutely, completely, adore this little girl... on the cusp of being a young lady. I love hearing about all the things she's learned at school, her adventures, her daily highs and lows. I'm so lucky I get to be her mother. She is everything I wished I had been at her age... including having less freckles. I love you!!!



Not a day goes by that I'm not thankful for this boy. Sometimes I'm thankful for him every MINUTE of every day. It blows my mind that when I was pregnant with him, I was hoping for a girl. What can I say? With sisters like mine, is it so wrong to hope for a sister for S? But from the minute I saw him, I couldn't believe I ever wished for anything other than what I got. And now that his separation anxiety is in remission (hopefully never to return!), he is practically perfect.
He love Legos. No, he LOVES Legos! He can play and build with them for hours. Or play Lego Star Wars for hours. 
He is kind... seriously one of the most empathetic people I've ever met, big or small. He really gets how people are feeling, and takes some of their pain upon himself. He always understands how I am feeling; whether I explain it to him or not. And I always understand how he's feeling. We just 'get' each other... in the same way that Trav and S get each other. It will be fun to see who oz is like!
This picture really captures how far he's come. One year ago he wouldn't have even gone inside a building where a tarantula was. This summer he held one in his hand! And did it before his usually fearless sister did! Amazing how brave he has become. It's been so wonderful to see him come into his own. Sometimes (most times) I love him so much it hurts. And he wonders why I hug him so hard!!!



At this exact moment, I am really thankful that Oz is asleep. We had a long, long day. He fell asleep on the way to church (never good) and slept for about 30 minutes, waking with a BANG three minutes before Travis began giving his talk. So I didn't hear a word of the talk, or a word of anything, because he proceeded to cry for the next 45 minutes. Not just cry... scream. It was a Scout-caliber performance... exactly what she did when she was 18 months old, except hers could last up to 1.5 hours.

It's very uncharacteristic of him, though, so I took him home and after a bottle of milk, a hefty dose of Tylenol, some food, and a couple episodes of Dora, he perked up somewhat. But all in all, it's been a long day. I'm ready to rest! 

Here's to hoping I don't hear from him tonight. Over and out.



Today I was totally prepared to be thankful that soccer was cancelled. It has been wet and rainy for 2 days now, and I was certain the fields would be too wet to play on. Not to mention slippery! Sadly, soccer was NOT cancelled. So instead I was thankful for my new rainboots. Aren't they cute?

I've been wearing them solidly since Thursday, and was so totally glad I had them on this morning. It was drizzly and cold, but at least my feet were warm and dry. They are going to be even better once I get the fleece inserts!  I can't wait.

I also thought I should mention the man I saw this morning on the River Path. He was wearing an all grey sweat suit, and was about 40 years old. He had a chain around his waist and hanging from the chain, dragging behind him on the ground, was a large tire. Yep, a tire. It looked really hard to pull, and when I passed him I saw that inside of the tire was a bunch of metal. Very, very strange, right? I was thinking I could be thankful for him as well, because the path was so covered in leaves that on my run I kept getting off the path and pushing the baby jogger into mud because you couldn't see where it was. After I passed the tire guy, the path was evident, since where he had drug it you could see the sidewalk... dotted with piles of leaves.

I don't get it. Maybe it's the next Tae bo?



I'm so thankful today that S has stopped asking for a dog. Why? Did she have a change of heart? Decide maybe she's not a dog person after all?

Oh no. She still totally wants one... but she has been offered a guinea pig named Winnie, from a family in our ward who just got a dog and have discovered that taking care of 2 animals is way more than they bargained for. So, by default, Winnie has become the newest member of the Stratford family. Her full name now is Winnie Scott Stratford. Don't ask me why S picked Scott for the middle name of a clearly female rodent. I have no idea.

Day 1 went very well... no requests for dogs. In fact, she's said a couple of times that she thinks guinea pigs are BETTER than dogs. We'll see how long this lasts. I'm pretty sure she's planning on making a little leash and trying to walk her around the neighborhood. That ought to make a good blog post when it happens!

I would have taken a picture of Winne, but I used up all of my energy on Thursday (AKA the day I was super productive) so the thought of going downstairs to take a photo, and then download it to post, was way too overwhelming. Apparently I only get one energy-filled day per week. So here is a photo of what she looks like, pretty much. You get the idea.

I hope this pet ends up fulfilling all her desires for an animal. We all remember how things turned out for the pet fish, right? I just don't think I'm a pet person. I mean I know I'm not. How did I get her for a daughter? She should have been born into the family of the Crocodile Hunter. She would have been in her element, living at the Australia zoo and all.

She did mention a couple of weeks ago that she hopes when Winnie dies, we can get a dog... if she "proves herself" responsible enough to handle a dog. I don't think it's a very good sign for the kid to be talking about the pet dying before you even have it in your possession. But believe me, I'll let you know how it all plays out.


Speaking of Thankfulness...

Yep...Rand dressed as little bo peep!!! Who knew he cleaned up so well.

More Thankfulness. Is that even a word?

Today I was extra thankful for our new school. I can't believe how wonderful it is... it not only meets but EXCEEDS all the hype. C is doing so well. If you had told me last year that on Nov. 5th he would go on a field trip, with neither Trav or I along, I would not have believed you. I am so grateful for his wonderful teacher and for all the growth and maturing he's done over the past year. He had zero stress about going on a trip with his class, and therefore I had zero stress. Both kids have adjusted so well to their new school and have so many great new friends. We love it!!!

Today was the first day I had without Nana... and I felt it! She is the best mom/grandma in the world. She did nothing but babysit and clean the whole 2 weeks she was here. I got so much done and every night she cleaned up the kitchen, and bought us good food to eat (Panera! Twice!), and entertained the kids. She did so much during her visit here... every day she would ask, "How can I help you today? What do you want me to do?" followed by, "Did you buy the Grease tickets yet?" I swear Oz has been combing the house looking for her, and the big kids miss her so much. I love you Mom!!! What would I do without you?! I don't ever want to find out.

I was also thankful (although technically I didn't find out about this until the next day) that Obama is our next president. I think I, like many others, are ready for a change. It's time to try something new; go in a different direction. I'm excited to see what putting him in office will do. I'm hopeful for the future of our country.

This morning one of my favorite people showed up at my door for an impromptu run. On this day, I was particularly thankful for the ability to go for a run. I love to run! And I love running with people. We had a great run, perfect weather, and the leaves on the BRP were perfection.

I am so, so, SO thankful for my house. For weeks (months) there, I was worried I wasn't going to have a house. And I have had my heart set on this one since the first moment I saw the listing on the Internets about 6 months ago. I say to myself about 30 times per day, "I can't believe I get to live here." I really can't. Check out the views from...

my front yard. Yes, that Japanese Maple tree belongs to ME!

My dining room. The kids LOVE the play structure and I love that there is no one behind us. It feels like we live in a tree house.

My kitchen. Aside from my neighbors garage, this is what I look at while I wash dishes (or, should I say, while my mom washed dishes.)

I was really thankful on Saturday evening that finally, after months of waiting and discussing, C's birthday party was over. I could cross it off my list and not feel like the worst mom in the world for having it 3 months after his birthday. The party was awesome... and having no furniture in our living room yet (save one really awesome chair) was a huge bonus. Post about the Lego party will follow...