Monday, July 28, 2008

Happy Birthday to My Wonderful Husband!!!

Yesterday Justin turned 26 so I have another six months before he can start teasing me about being so much older than him (I know we are still the same age difference but it is harder for him to tease me when we are the same number). Saturday night Randy and Debi watched the girls for us so we could go out to dinner. We went to Sullivan's, an extremely nice steak house in downtown Anchorage. The food was wonderful and it was so nice for both of us to have some time alone without children. Although we were out for Justin's birthday, he let me choose the dessert even though he knew I would pick the chocolatiest thing on the menu. We had a very nice date and I think we both enjoy having any excuse to go out and spend some fun and special time together.

After church on Sunday I made one of his favorite dinners, Taco Bake, and then we had a few people over for cake and ice cream. All week Macy had been excited about shopping for "surprises for Daddy" and then she loved to help make a cake for him too. I think the memory of her birthday was still pretty fresh in her mind and she kept saying that she wanted a "birthday too." We gave him some hip waders and some nice bike shorts along with various types of Jerky (arctic ox, salmon, reindeer, etc) . I think it was a pretty great day for him. I really appreciate everything he does for us. He works so hard and he gives work his all so that he can be successful there. I feel so blessed to have such a good and loving husband. I love you Justin!!!
And here is a pic of the girls playing and being cute before church. Macy came out of her room with the headband on and we caught her putting the other one on Kylie. We like them :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Stir Crazy

What was supposed to be a 2 day trip for Justin to finish his training on the C-46 has turned into him staying in Kenai for the entire week so he could fly there even after he had his check ride. Bummer for me but cool for him because they haven't been flying much due to bad weather so they have gone fishing every evening. I think that was awfully nice of his work to give him an all expense (almost) paid fishing trip to Kenai, Alaska for the entire week. I am more than a little envious of my husband who gets to run off and fly and play all week while I am stuck here with the clouds and rain (apparently this is turning out to be the coldest and wettest summer on record) with Macy who, to put it nicely, has been very naughty this week. To put it not so nicely, I almost gave her away at the library today after she threw an unprovoked tantrum during Story Time. It's been a very long week. Overall she has been doing extremely well with potty training, until she gets in a naughty mood and gives me this look that says "you may be my mother but you can't tell me what to do" and then wets her pants in defiance. Have I mentioned it has been a long week?

However, there have been some positives:
1) On the way home from Fairbanks Justin spotted a Black Bear in a meadow. Kylie waited in her car seat, very patiently, while the rest of us got out to watch it. It was our first "non-zoo" bear we have seen since our arrival.
2) Kylie now signs "eat," "more" and "all done." She loves to wave at people or whenever she hears the words "Bye bye" or "hello." She is also getting pretty good at standing on her own.
3) The other night Macy said "Mommy! Come here!" followed by "Sit there!" as she pointed to the floor. After I sat down she got out her play comb and mirror and told me "Me comb mommy hair, mommy pretty." She then proceeded to comb my hair and show me myself in her mirror time and time again, constantly telling me how pretty I looked. I had thought that games of beauty parlor were years away.
4) Last night I told Macy (who had been horrible lately about going to bed) to go pick out a book for me to read to her before she were to go to bed. She ran off and I got distracted for a minute and then started looking for her all over. I found her in the most unlikely place, her bed. When I walked in she was sitting there with five books spread around her and when she saw me she very calmly said "Read please. Bed." I found it entertaining.
5) Kylie has been very sweet lately. Whenever I am sit on the ground she will crawl up to me and either rest her head on my leg or pull herself standing next to me and put her head down on my chest. She is such a little mama's girl but at least she likes other people now too.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Finally! I get to see Alaska!!!

We had been thinking about going camping with my cousin Randy and his dad and other friends but they decided that they couldn't this weekend so we decided to drive with Randy up to Fairbanks/ North Pole to stay with his dad for the weekend. I was exploding with excitement to see more of Alaska than just Anchorage (which is considered "almost Alaska" by most people up here). Friday we bought some pullups for Macy (who after some little set backs has been doing really well with potty training) so we could drive without worrying too much about stopping for potty breaks and loaded up the kids for the 5 1/2 hour drive up to Fairbanks. To say that the drive was beautiful would be a drastic understatement. I don't even know how to describe the beauty of Alaska to those who have never seen it, it is completely unlike any other place on Earth. I enjoyed driving through the little towns and seeing the prices of gas (up to $5.65 a gallon), the little cabins everywhere and how gorgeous the mountains and scenery are. The kids did really well on the drive with the exception of Macy's carsickness which errupted when we were about 15 minutes from our destiniation. I think the windy roads combined with the candy and cookies we kept giving her to keep her happy really back fired against us. Since our arrival she has really enjoyed all of the attention (but was there any doubt she would?).

This morning we went to the parade in Fairbanks for "Golden Days" and Macy loved seeing all of the floats and dogs. We loved holding Macy because the paraders were drawn to her so she was a candy magnet for us. Yes, I use my kids to get candy, wouldn't you?

We also went to watch the big duck race in the river. (Do you see how gorgeous this is???) Who knew it could be so fun to watch thousands of rubber ducks float down a river? I guess life is simple in Fairbanks. Randy bought a duck for our family so we are waiting for them to post the winners to see if we scored some serious cash, I will let you know if we win (which I am convinced we did). I have really liked Fairbanks which is only about 1/3 the size of Anchorage. If it wasn't for the devilishly cold winters (can you say "-45?") I would move here the first chance we got.

The kids were worn out after our morning of fun. I love how Kylie kept holding on to the balloon as we walked to the car after the race. There were both asleep in less than a minute after being put back into the stroller.
I will post more about our big trip later! I hope your weekends are half as fun as our has been!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Favorite things

There are many things in my life that bring me large amounts of joy. Some of these things are when my girls laugh and smile, when Justin is sweet and romantic, nice clean sheets on the bed, a brand new outfit, a sunny day, chocolate truffles and gourmet food. Recently I have a new love and this love provides me with sooo much happiness. Let me introduce to those of you who have not yet discovered the fabulousness that is the movie


I realize that most people out there who have not been living under a rock, like I do, have long ago experienced this movie. I, however, only saw it for the first time while I was visiting my family. Since then I have been dying to see it again and yesterday my cousin Randy brought me his copy to borrow. We watched it last night and I have had it on on the background while I clean the house this morning since I don't have the soundtrack but I want to hear all of the music again. If anyone has not yet seen this movie, you must do it right away. I would hate for you to live life any longer without experiencing this

I told Justin that if I could sing like these performers, I would never stop. He told me that he would divorce me is I sang non-stop. Fair enough, I guess life has trade-offs. :) Anyway, there is my plug.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Macy's vocabulary has exploded lately and I find some of her phrases and exclamations very amusing, especially when they are coupled with her limited pronunciation abilities. Here is a sampling (thanks Jayna for the idea):
Hantizer"- Hand Sanitizer: as in Macy gets hand santizer instead of me holding her while she washes her hands for the umpteenth time after she attempts to go potty yet again, with no success.
Mimi may meh"- Macy made a mess. Can also me "Mommy may meh" or "Kylie may meh"
Elmo"- Can mean Elmo or Nemo. It entirely depends on the context and there is absolutely no difference in how she pronounces it.
Ice cycle"- Can be Bicycle, Tricycle or Motorcycle.
Kylie Get"- As in Kylie will get it so we better pick it up. Nothing is ever put away or cleaned anymore for the sake of cleaning up a mess. According to Macy, it is so Kylie won't get it.

Some other fun phrases of hers are: "Little green Car"- our Honda, "Big Blue Truck," "Ella Mama and Papa"- these are Ellie's grandparents who stopped by to visit us a few days ago while they are RVing through Alaska. She has talked about them non stop since then. "Big Suprise"- what she gets after going Poopoo on the potty, "Daddy Sad"- what she says with a forlorn look as she shakes her head several minutes after being reprimanded for being rude to Daddy.

And a brief update on the potty training: Macy just yelled "Wet Now!" from her bed and I rushed her to the potty in time for her to go #1 and 2. The expression on her face when she goes and knows she did something good is priceless. Hopefully she will settle down now and finally go to sleep after just 1 1/2 hours of trying.

Potty Training

We started potty training Macy three days ago and have been using the "3 Day Potty Training" ebook that my cousin had used and recommended. Here is a log of how things went:

The first day
she had many accidents and she only made it to the bathroom in time once and that was around 10:00 p.m. after she had told me that she had to go dozens of times and I had spent the entire evening running her to the bathroom with no luck. My little evil genius discovered that if the tells me she has to go to the bathroom then she gets to get out of bed and spend one -on- one time with mom while she sits on the potty. This little game went on until she finally fell asleep at 12:30. Yes, I put up with the games for nearly four hours because I didn't want to tell her she couldn't go when she actually needed to, plus she has been somewhat rebellious about night time lately anyway and there wasn't much I could do to force her to go to sleep.

Day Two actually seemed to go worse than the first. She wouldn't drink much which resulted in us having fewer opportunities to practice getting to the bathroom on time. She did seem to to gain slightly better bladder control which could account for the fewer number of accidents but we failed to have a successful potty attempt. She also woke up wet in the morning and after her nap but only took 2 hours to get to sleep at night (ridiculous, I know).

Day Three is supposed to be the last day of this program but I was fairly certain it would take us at least another day or two. She again woke up wet in the morning but dry after her nap (hooray!) but then had an accident after being unable to go on the potty. The good news is that she went #2 on the toilet all by herself and then went #1 twice in the evening. I was so excited and relieved to feel that she is finally getting it. Hopefully tomorrow will go even better.

Sorry for the icky details but I thought I would put our experience out there for others who were thinking about trying this book/technique so they could get an unbiased opinion. Wish us luck the rest of the week!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


So here is Kylie sporting her first ponytail. I love the second second picture with her laughing. We couldn't seem to keep her in one spot long enough to take a picture so Justin kept grabbing her and trying to hold her still. I also have no idea why she looks so pudgy in the first one because she had thinned out quite a bit since her stomach bug illness.
Macy didn't want to keep her bow in yesterday until I started taking pictures of Kylie with her cute hair. Once she figured out she would get some attention for having pretty hair, she became a little model for us.

Kylie also did her first sign yesterday. She signed "more" while eating some lunch and I was pretty excited. Once I started yelling and celebrating, Macy tried to get Kylie to sign more words. They can be pretty entertaining to me.

Monday, July 7, 2008

We're back

It took several attempts and many phone calls to Frontier Airlines but we eventually made it home. It had been a frustrating endeavor to try to make it back up here because all of the flights were filled to capacity and I was beginning to worry that Justin was going to have to come home without us so he could make it to work. We flew out of Salt Lake on Thursday after getting turned away for the earlier flight. We got out several hours later but couldn't make our connecting flight to Anchorage so we rented a car and drove to Colorado Springs to see Justin's sisters, Stephanie and Charice. They were nice enough to let us stay with them on such short notice and they were very encouraging in trying to get us to stay longer. I really wanted to but we were very stressed about the prospect of not ever making it home and me having to travel with the kids alone so we figured we ought to try the first flight we could. By some crazy miracle we got on a flight with only 6 open seats and 19 stand by people listed ahead of us. I was completely shocked when they called our names.
Macy did pretty well on the plane, with only a few little fits when the fasten seat belt sign stayed on for the first hour of the flight. Kylie was pretty good too. After a brief nap she was wired and her and Macy had a WWF brawl on the seat between us for a good half of the flight.

Thanks to everyone who let us totally disrupt their lives so we could stay with them over the last month! We really had fun seeing so many friends and family and we appreciate all of the help we were given. Justin is already trying to plan trips back to Utah and Colorado so don't be surprised if he shows up at your door.

Justin FINALLY gets to start his flight training tomorrow and I am so excited for him. Tomorrow he leaves for Kenai for up to a week, depending on how quickly he learns how to fly the plane. If he gets back in time he will head out the next week to go fishing with my cousin Rebecca's husband, Brad, on his big commercial fishing boat. And, in case you are wondering, Justin and I are not splitting up, we just never see each other any more. Sad for me but at least we are both having a lot of fun in the meantime. (I do miss him like crazy when he is gone though!)

Now for journaling purposes:
Kylie has gotten to be so cute and fun the last week or two. She now plays peekaboo, patty cake, waves and shows us that she is "So Big! by raising her arms into the air. I love when they get to the age where they start playing with people. She has also become a lot less timid. She let a strange lady hold her on the plane and she played peekaboo with the flight attendant while we waited to get off.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Photo shoot

In a perfect world my children would go to get their pictures taken and smile and be sweet little angels. In reality, Macy threw multiple tantrums for no apparent reason (we were even bribing her with chocolate, which she rejected) and Kylie was terrified of the photogs. It didn't help matters that Macy pushed Kylie over, resulting in a giant goose egg on the little one's forehead and severe emotional trauma for the remainder of her pictures. Here are some of our favorite shots :

I love how terrified of the flower Kylie is in that one. I was very disappointed that I couldn't get better ones of the girls in their pink dresses because they were so adorable (but whiny) in them. Macy loved dressing up so we got some fun ones with the hat and boa. Justin's Grandma ("G. G.") Sewed the pink and blue skirts and we thought they were pretty great. The one with both of them together was taken seconds before Macy pushed Kylie away resulting in many tears and her big bump. We ordered some different ones because with some cropping and adjustment they turned out well but it didn't work to get them on here.

We head home tomorrow (hopefully) so we can get out of this crazy heat and back to enjoying Alaska in the summer.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Carousel and Swimming

Our one picture from our McCall trip. Don't let the smiles fool you, we were pretty miserable and Kylie was about passed out on her dad.
These are Macy and Kylie's first carousel rides at the Boise Zoo. I couldn't get Macy to smile for the picture but she enjoyed it.

Macy and Cody swimming at her birthday party. She doesn't know it yet but they will Marry in 22 years. :)
Here is just a sampling of some of the last few weeks' events. I don't feel like going into too much detail so I will just say that we have been having fun.


The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed.

I've got 38, not as many as Brie, where I got this list from, but still pretty good I think. Many of these are on my list but for a few (like harry Potter and Lord of the rings) I just don't have enough interest so the movie will suffice. This does give me a good list to go off of for my next book. I think I want to read Atonement but that means I will have to take a break from my Kathy Reichs series (it is quite wonderful). I also tend to neglect my children when I start a book so I may need to be careful about how many of these It try to tackle.

Look at the list and bold those you have read.

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austin
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkein
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible - New Testament - I have read much of it, but not all
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare - okay, just about half of them, but close
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck -
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34. Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres -
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel -
52. Dune - Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones' Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession - AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte's Web - EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo