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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mish mash: Part 2

Didn't plan to take this much time to compile Part 2 of the Mish Mash series. Oh well. It was a BUSY weekend, and I had zero free time. So here I am now. This post is primarily about Chloe. Not that she's changed too much since the last Chloe post. Her obsession with being a grown up, married, and a mom so that people can't tell her what to do anymore continues to blossom. She's such a funny girl.

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Friday evening as we were driving home, she and I had the following conversation:
Chloe: "Am I gonna be a mom?"
Me: "Someday you will be."
- pause -
Chloe: "And then I'll have really big boobs?"
Couldn't tell ya what I said next, as Neil and I were too busy laughing.
Where does she come up with this stuff?

Then Thursday as Chloe pranced around in her white princess dress and pink crown, she said,
"I'm dancin' with Uncle D 'cause he's my husband today!"
....Versus yesterday when someone else was her husband??

Lately she's been asking me to turn on a cd of classical music so that she can then dance around the living room. Today as she approached me, she explained that we were going to the temple so she could get married and dance with Bert, her new husband. Bert is a character in Mary Poppins, whom Chloe adores.

The other night it was a similar story. She was pretending to be Mary, Jesus' mom. She put a kitchen towel on her head and then her crown over the top of that, as if to look like Mary. When we asked who she was going to marry, she looked at us like we were stupid and said, "Joseph!" Good to know she's got her Biblical figures straight!

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Chloe can spell her name out loud and write it out without assistance. She's also got Neil's name down, and is beginning to memorize Ryan's and mine. She's constantly asking, "Does ___ start with the letter _? More often than not, she's right. She's also becoming quite the artist too. Her pictures are more detailed than I would expect for her age, though I may be slightly biased. She draws spiders, suns, moons, rainbows, people and most recently, animals. Here she is last week, drawing a bunny.

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Okay, funny story. The other day she somehow got a hold of the Valentine's card I gave Neil this year. Not to get too detailed, but let's just say the card was a little on the provocative side. Nothing visual - it just had a playful saying. That's all. :) Anyhoo, Chloe somehow found it, proceeded to write her name in it, place it back in the envelope, and hand it back to Neil, saying, "Here Daddy! This is for you!" Her innocence at having not a clue what the card said is obviously what made this story so hilarious. And until Neil opened the card, he thought it really was from Chloe. Oh, if she only knew...

To say this girl is a social butterfly would be a HUGE understatement! She is constantly greeting complete strangers whenever we're in public. I don't think we pass a single person ANYWHERE without her saying something to them. And regardless of whether or not they acknowledge her, she'll just keep talking to them! If they say "Hi" back, she proceeds to ask them a question, or two, ...or three. If they ignore her or don't realize she's talking to them, she'll just keep saying "Hi!" louder and LOUDER until she's gotten their attention. I shouldn't be embarrassed, but often I am. I just don't understand why she has to talk to every single person she happens to see. Last night we were at the park and she walked right up to a man and asked, "Do you have a bathroom at your house?" After his response of, "Well, yes I do!" followed by a hearty chuckle, she informed him that we have 5 bathrooms at our house (which we don't, by the way). Some other commonly asked questions include, "What's your name?", "How old are you?" (everyone's personal favorite), "Are you a mom (or dad)?" and "Do you have kids?" Luckily most people flatter her just as enthusiastically as she approached them. And while I'll admit I'm glad she's friendly and social overall, sometimes I wish, for once, that I could just go to Walmart without having to converse with the entire store!

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She continues to love her brother. We are constantly telling her to put him down, as she'll just drag him all over the place otherwise. He's a good sport, and remains good natured most of the time. And now that he's on the go, it's difficult to know how he got somewhere - whether it was his own doing or his sister's!

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This was taken last week while the kiddos played in Chloe's room. Notice Chloe in her crown and princess dress. Might I add she was wearing her princess shoes too! If I ever gave her the option of wearing this attire to bed, she'd do it in a heart beat! Such a sophisticated little princess my Chloebug is!
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Friday, June 26, 2009

Flashback Friday

Here we are in our first apartment just days before tying the knot.
Neil is sitting on 3 boxes containing his belongings.

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{mid-August 2002. Provo, UT. Photos by Mama Jill.}

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So in love. So excited for our future together. Awww. Has it really been 7 years?
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Keep scrolling...

4 new posts below. So keep scrolling. And stay tuned for more updates tomorrow!
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Mish mash: Part 1

Wow, it's been a while! I think this is the longest stretch I've gone without blogging (before the 3 previous posts). I wish I had more time to devote to it. Life is just busy, that's all there is to it. Some days I can't even find the time to shower let alone blog! I love my life though, sticky floors and all. Since I don't have the energy to write a full update on the mish mash of recent happenings, I'm going to do it in parts.

Part 1: Ryan

Friday marked quite a milestone for this boy. Yep, Ryan's officially mobile. He'd been scooting around a little here and a little there, but nothing of significance. That is, until Friday, when the light bulb went on and he realized he could get places. He still hasn't mastered the traditional crawl yet. He has no trouble getting on all fours, but when it comes to actually moving, he plops right back onto his stomach and slithers across the floor until he's reached his destination. It's pretty entertaining to watch, especially considering his fast speed.
The other morning I went to get him out of his crib and was astonished to find him kneeling against and holding onto the railing, glancing over the edge of his crib. If he'd leaned forward any further he easily could have flipped out! Yeah, just a little scary. The stinker! He just keeps surprising us with new things! The picture below was taken after the fact, when he'd lowered himself back down. Still, you get the idea.

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Ryan is getting to be a better eater, enjoying a variety of foods. He's more willing to eat the jarred stuff than he used to be (really just in the last week), but still prefers table food. Smart boy! Yesterday I was eating left over Parmesan chicken. He was sitting in the booster next to me and quickly made it known that he wanted to try some. No sooner was he was out of his booster than he had successfully grabbed a handful of noodles off my plate. Between that and an occasional lick of spaghetti sauce, Ryan was in heaven. Today he's refused jarred food all together! Go figure.

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"Oops!"

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"You didn't see that, did you?"

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"Well, I guess there's only one way to clean up this mess. Veggie puff, anyone?"

Ryan's quickly becoming vocal. He makes lots of screeching, grunting and growling sounds and seems quite pleased with himself. In the last couple days, he's discovered "baa" and has repeated it frequently ever since. Another fun discovery is the 'If I drop something, Mommy will pick it up' game. Lucky me.

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So that's the latest with our sweet boy!
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Happy belated Birthday, Lori!

Special (and late) wishes to Lori Jean, who celebrated her birthday Friday, the 19th!

I still remember receiving my first birthday card from Lori back in 2002, just days before Neil and I were married. In it she expressed happiness at finally having a sister, since she'd grown up with 3 brothers! I remember feeling the exact same way, as I'd too only known life with a brother. She was so friendly and accepting even having never met me. And to this day she has never been anything but kind and giving. We have had some special moments, and I am so grateful that she is in my life.

Lori, I'm sorry this birthday wish is late. But I hope your day was wonderful. Love you lots.
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Kozy Kreations

I just wanted to give a shout out to my friend, Carrie who recently started her own business: Kozy Kreations. She's been making baby blankets for months, but recently added to her "kreations" these darling aprons!

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They come in child and adult (both male and female) sizes. These aprons would make a great gift for any little girl, or even a matching mother/daughter set. Check out Carrie's blog for pattern options and pricing. She does an excellent job, and deserves a big pat on the back!

Since receiving her apron, Chloe had demanded to wear it almost constantly.
She LOVES it, as if it isn't perfectly obvious...

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{Rolling pin and 3 year old, not included}

Here is the blanket Carrie sent me when Ryan was born. The back side is blue.
It's one of my favorites of his blankets.

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Way to go, Carrie! Keep up those kozy kreations of yours!
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Recipe of the Week: Summer Chicken Salad

I know, it's been forever since I blogged. And now here I am posting a recipe. That's about as impersonal and far away from an update as you can get! So shooot me. But before you do, give this chicken salad a try. I'll post more later, I promise. Neil's on business until Thursday, so I should have a little more ME time in the evenings to get this baby caught up (and Carrie, that includes a post about you).

In honor of a new season, here's a light and simple summer dish.

First, you want to grill some chicken, preferably the night before so that the chicken is chilled by the time you get to the salad. If you have a favorite marinade, great! Use it! I like to try new things, and last night I threw this marinade together. Quantities are simply estimates, as I rarely measure:
  • 2-3 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 c. bbq sauce
  • 1/3 c. orange marmalade
  • 1/4 c. honey

Depending on size, slice each chicken breast into 2-3 large chunks. Combine bbq sauce, marmalade and honey in casserole dish. Add chicken chunks and coat evenly. Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer, allowing chicken to soak up the flavors. Grill chicken, eat and enjoy, reserving enough to last yourself another meal or two.

Now we get to the really good part. This is what I had for lunch today.

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Ingredients (quantities according to personal preference):
  • left over chicken, chilled and thinly sliced
  • lettuce - I prefer butter aka bib lettuce. If you're local, Sunflower Farmer's Market sells it for $.77 a head.
  • avocado, thinly sliced
  • mandarin oranges
  • craisins
  • some other favorite toppings: strawberries, blueberries, goat cheese, almonds, pine nuts, or anything else that sounds good to you
  • salad dressing (I prefer classic Italian)

Combine ingredients, and enjoy! Simple? Yes. Original? Well, sort of. Yummy? Absolutely.

Happy Summer, everyone!

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

7 months

Ryan was acting so darn cute the other day, that I just had to grab the camera.
I know, so out of character for me! :) Here's some of what I captured.

ryan
"Hi there!"

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ryan
"Wait a second. Something isn't right here."

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"I'll find that arm if it takes me all day!"

Ryan
"Well I don't think it's very funny!"

Ryan
Ready...

Ryan
Set...

Ryan
"On second thought, I think I'll just lay here."

Ryan

ryan

ryan
So sweet.

This last week he's started lifting his little arms in the air when he wants to be held. He's also started waving on command. Goodness, he melts a mama's heart. Love this boy! Could he really be 7 months?
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Friday, June 12, 2009

Flashback Friday

Since this picture was taken 10 years ago TODAY, I found it fitting for this week's 'Flashback Friday'.

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Vacaville High School graduation
June 12, 1999

GO BULLDOGS!
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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Beethovens in the making

All right, Grandpa Roy and Grandma Jill - this one's for you!

Chloe was banging around on the piano as I was getting Ryan up from his nap this afternoon. Seeming more captivated than usual by the pings and pangs of the keys, I decided it was time for Ryan to give the piano a try. So I plopped him on the bench next to Chloe and away they went!

Ryan

Ryan,Chloe

Ryan,Chloe

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By the way, Mr. cute, smiley Beethoven boy is 7 months old today!
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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Recipe of the Week: What's for Breakfast?

I've been on a muffin kick lately. And when I get on a muffin kick, there is only one recipe I turn to for satisfaction! The first time I made these I knew it wouldn't be my last. They were devoured in a matter of minutes and Chloe asks for them ALL THE TIME! Here is the original recipe. It has over 3,800 reviews and averages 5 stars. There, is that convincing? Enjoy.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 c. white sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 c. butter, melted
  • 1/3 c. packed brown sugar
  • 2 T. all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1 T. butter

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
In large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 c. flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another large bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour miture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 T. flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 T butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
Bake in preheated oven for 16-20 minutes.

My own two cents:
When I make a batch, I only bake however many we'll eat that same day (storing the remaining batter in the refridgerator) until it's all been used up. Muffins just aren't as good left over. The topping especially loses that perfect crunch and just becomes mush. The recipe says 10 muffins, but I can usually get 16. The last time I made these I used the mini muffin tins and will probably be doing that from here on out! They just tasted better that way for some reason.

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And because I'm feeling generous, here's another yummy recipe that also falls into the 'Breakfast' category. Our friends, Dan and Stef introduced this to us a couple years ago during a Conference weekend, and it has since become a Conference weekend tradition. I'm not too fond of eggs, but I LOVE this stuff! Perfect variety of flavors and textures. It's pretty too!

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 loaf French bread, cubed
  • 1 1/2 c. cubed ham
  • 1 c. bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 c. green onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 c. shredded Cheddar/Monterey Jack cheese blend
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 1/3 c. milk
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. pepper

Instructions:
In a greased 9x13 inch pan, layer bread, ham, peppers and onion. Cover with half of cheese mixture. Repeat once more. In large bowl, combine eggs. Whisk in milk, salt and pepper. Pour over layers in pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Cook at 350 for 55-60 minutes. Cut and serve!

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Chloe, Chloe, Chloe...

My imaginative "princess", "mom", and "vallerina",
whose actions are always justified by whatever "role" she's playing...

My sassy spitfire, who knows all the tricks to getting my blood boiling...

My chatterbox, whose mouth never stops...

My nurturer, who loves to "take care of" her brother,
even when he sometimes doesn't want to be taken care of...

My 3 1/2 going on 16 year old...

My sweet, lovable sunshine girl...

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...without whom life just wouldn't be the same.


Here's the latest from the mouth of this darling girl:

"You have to put that on my bed before you get married in a white dress because I'm your mom!" (referring to a pile of freshly folded laundry) - yes, she's still on the "I'm a mom" kick.

"In a second I'm gonna be a mom tomorrow!" - see?

"When I burp at the table, I say 'Excuse me, Mom. I burped at the table!'"

"Do you like crabs on ya? Do you like 'em to pinch your hair?"

After handing Chloe a Kraft single, "Good job for buying these! I'm so happy I have them!"

"So are ya kinda sad I'm not there?" (to Grandma over the phone)

Chloe: “Can I have a string cheese?”
Neil: “No Chloe, you can’t have anything until you finish your cereal!”
Chloe: “But I’m not hungry!”

“If you go near him again you’re gonna get especially a spanking!” (to Neil regarding Ryan)

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{I thought this photo was fitting given the last quote}

Valeri: "Chloe do you need to go potty?"
Chloe: "No, I'm just walkin' all over the place!"

“Purple and white are my favorite colors. That’s why I better don’t eat these!”

“I’m sad a little bit that I don’t get ta see ya anymore!” (to Grandma over the phone)

“Mom, why don’t you go away from this house now.”

"Look! It's a box in a jacks!" (referring to Jack in the Box)

Valeri: "Chloe, is it raining?"
Chloe: "No, it's dripping!"

“elegators” (elevators) and “spastacio” (pistachio)

Sunday we had a, well, I'll just say memorable moment. After finishing her lunch, Chloe asked for a piece of leftover cake. As I proceeded to slice a small piece off one end of the cake, Chloe, who up to this point had been cheerful and sweet, suddenly exploded into a rage, and while jumping up and down in tears, screamed that she wanted a piece from the OTHER end of the cake! How dare I offer her the side that was only 80% saturated in sugary frosting! Gosh! Thinking she'd quickly get over it, I slid the piece onto a plate and placed it in front of her. BIG MISTAKE! Her hateful glare said it all, not to mention what she did next. That's right. Without hesitation, she grabbed the cake off her plate and chucked it across the room! I'll admit, she had pretty good aim - hitting the chair across the table, the slide glass door, curtains, and even still managing to get some distance on the floor! I can still see it all in slow motion.
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Now she's thrown some pretty impressive tantrums, but I've never seen anything like this! Naturally she spent the next several minutes in time out. And yet even after a lengthy discussion about why she was there and what was going to happen if she ever did anything like that again, she still had the nerve to ask me,
"Can I have more cake?"

Neil and I have recently tried to be better about explaining why certain things aren't okay, rather than just constantly saying, "No, don't do that!" or "That's not okay!" Lately Chloe's been asking, "Does Jesus like it when I...?" I've loved the opportunity to explain small yet useful lessons to her, and only hope at least half of it sticks. These days I feel like quite the broken record, so sometimes it's hard to tell.

Chloe can write her name, can draw a decent stick figure of a person, and loves drawing other various things (spiders, rainbows, flowers, etc). She loves being read to, and is constantly stopping me to ask a question. She's absorbing so much, it scares me!

Can't believe she's 3 1/2! Where, oh where do the days go?
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