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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Days never to be forgotten

At work I am experiencing the calm before the storm. A 6-month project is on the verge of starting. Once it starts, I will be spending every waking hour (and then some) feverishly developing the product to make sure it is a "home run," as my manager frequently reminds me. Right now this is the number one priority project in my portfolio, which basically means it is veeery important it get done on time. I get stressed out just thinking about it.

But it hasn't started yet. And until it does, I really don't have much to do. So combine a low-demand work week with abnormally warm weather for February and you get 3 straight days of fun and adventure.

~DAY 1~

We started off with a trip to the zoo. That morning I told Logan we were going to the zoo to see some animals. On the way there we passed a field with some horses. "Look, Mommy! Animals!" I was tempted to turn around and go home at that point. Apparently all you need for a "zoo" is some nearby farm country.

But we went anyway. And while we were there we saw some of these guys.

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And some of these.

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And some of these.

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Ha, just kidding. My kids may act like animals sometimes but I'm not quite to the point of putting them behind bars. Yet.

Savannah wasn't as mesmerized as Logan, but she was generally happy and content to sit in her stroller. I can't ask for much more than that.

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The weather was amazing for this time of year. I couldn't believe how little snow was on the ground and how warm it was (relatively speaking). Our cute friend Bennett was stoked just to be outside. I love how excited he is in the picture, considering we weren't even looking at an animal at the time. Kids are so easily entertained.

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~DAY 2~

The next day we headed down to Jumping Jacks with my cousin, Naoma, and her kids. We nearly had the place to ourselves which was awesome. It took Logan a bit to warm up, but eventually he even went down the biggest slide all by himself.

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Poor Savannah. She always gets the short end of the stick, having to sit and watch while everyone else plays. And I'm not sure where her other sock is. Those things disappear like rabbits.

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Logan and his second-cousin, or his cousin-once-removed, or his fourth-cousin-thrice-removed, or whatever they are.

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Naoma is as much of a shutter bug as I am which means for once I am actually in a picture! Thanks Naoma. I hope you don't mind that I stole this from your blog.

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~DAY 3~

Today is day 3 of our whirlwind of fun. The sun is shining AGAIN and I am counting my blessings. I haven't decided yet what to do today, but it doesn't really matter. I am just grateful to have a job that is flexible enough to allow me to take advantage of these days and make memories with my family.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Underage

Last week the kids and I met Jeff at Pei Wei for lunch. While waiting in line, I held Logan to keep him out of trouble.

Or so I thought.

A waiter approached us to ask how many were in our party. He took one look in my direction and said, "Whoa!" with a somewhat concerned look on his face. I turned to see what he was looking at and discovered Logan had reached behind me and pulled a Bud Light out of the cooler.

"Logan! Put that back! You can't have BEER!" I reprimanded him as I took the cold bottle from his hands and put it back with the others.

"But, Mommy, I LOVE beer!" he whined back.

At that point I pulled up my sweatshirt hood, dropped to all fours and crawled out of the diner.

No, not really. But the thought crossed my mind.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Back to school

Today Logan came to me with his backpack on.

"Mommy, I'm going to school," he declared.

Why not? I thought. It's a nice day and heaven knows we all need to get out for a bit. "Get your shoes, buddy. We're going to school."

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Unfortunately, school was out for the day.

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Or maybe it was fortunate. If school had been in, we wouldn't have been able to play on the playground.

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Savannah came too.

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Logan was kind enough to push Nana's stroller so I could be on camera duty.

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We stopped to stare at this ghetto bike rack. Yep, this is the school Logan will be going to in 3 years. Can't wait.

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At least it has a cool bell.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Self-defense

Last week we had our 9-year-old neighbor from across the street come watch our kids for a half hour. When we returned, it was dark so I volunteered to walk her to her home.

"It's okay. I'll be fine," she told me.
"I know, but it's dark and cold and I'd feel better if I made sure you got home okay."
"No really, I'll be okay. I have a flashlight. Besides, I know Taekwondo."

Long pause.

"Well, in that case... I guess I'll just watch from the door."

Word to the wise: Next time you are feeling threatened, just call on my 9-year-old neighbor to act as your bodyguard.

Monday, February 16, 2009

My Valentine

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In recent years (i.e. since we've had children), Jeff and I have not made it a point to go out for Valentine's Day. Babysitters were hard to come by, eating out was expensive, and movies at home held so much more appeal for me than movies in theaters. But there is something to be said for a night alone to rekindle your marriage, so this year we made an exception. We hired a babysitter, shelled out a couple of Jacksons for some delicious Japanese, and went to see the latest romantic comedy.

The holiday actually started the day before, when a beautiful bouquet of roses, irises, and lilies was delivered to my door. I will admit that in the past I have questioned Jeff's taste in flowers, but these were so gorgeous and fragrant that they completely restored my faith in my husband.

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I was in charge of dinner reservations, which is why on Friday night we still didn't have any. I called around to several restaurants but with no luck. The only restaurant I could find that was even taking reservations only had availability before 3:45 or after 9:30. Thanks, but no. We decided to try our luck at Sakuru, a Teppanyaki restaurant that only ever takes walk-ins. We thought that by eating early (around 5) we could avoid the rush. Being Valentine's Day, I was surprised that the wait was only 30 minutes, but even so we were going to be cutting it close on our movie. I tried to relax during the comical display or culinary art, but we had to scarf our food and rush our check to even think about making the movie.

(Lesson #1: Do not pre-purchase movie tickets if you do not have dinner reservations.)

Somehow we managed to only miss the previews and a few minutes of He's Just Not That Into You. We eyed the theater anxiously, hoping that we weren't going to have to sit separately. I spied some seats on the far side, so we made a dash for it. I think we claimed the last two seats together in the entire theater; unfortunately, that meant they were also the two worst seats in the entire theater. They were in the front row and on the far left. Our angle was so skewed that anytime someone walked across the screen they appeared to gain 20 pounds. The movie was cute and I enjoyed it, but my neck is still stiff from twisting it sideways for 2 solid hours.

(Lesson #2: If you are late enough for a movie that the only seats available are in the front row and against the wall, go see something else.)

Despite everything, I thoroughly enjoyed the date night with my husband. It was nice to be able to spend time together without feeling the strains or stress that work and kids can bring. Next year I might suggest that we celebrate the week before or the week following this over-crowded holiday, but I hope I never dismiss or underestimate the importance of continuing courtship.

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Daddy's girl

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Elder Logan

For Christmas, Logan's aunt gave him a "Missionary in Training" badge. He has been so excited to wear it. He calls it his "mish-on-rair-ry tag." He looked just like a mini-missionary when he wore it to church on Sunday. I sent pictures of Logan to my brother (currently serving a mission in India) so he would know just what an example he is to his nephew back home. It cracks me up when Logan wants to wear the tag on weekdays in his street clothes; he looks like he is a missionary on P-day.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Precious Moments

Whenever I hear laughter coming from the other room, I always grab my camera before going to see what's going on. Often my presence interrupts the fun, but sometimes I can capture a few of these precious moments on film (or memory card) before it ends. Today was one of those days as I found Logan trying to help Savannah roll over (which was funny because she has been rolling for months and definitely does not need any help). They were both giggling like crazy.

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Does anyone have any suggestions for what to do with crazy, static-y, super fine, baby hair?

A few minutes later I caught Logan playing with his train set. This has become his favorite toy lately. Every day he pulls it out and builds a different route across the kitchen floor. I am amazed by his creativity; when I build a track, it always looks the same. His are always unique and he finds uses for track pieces that I could never have thought of.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More Conversations

Last Tuesday night, after dinner, Jeff asked Logan: Hey Buddy, do you want to watch TV with Daddy tonight?

Logan: Yeah!

Jeff: What should we watch?

Logan, without a moment's hesitation: The Little Mermaid!

Jeff stood there for a minute, not saying a word, while I ducked around to corner and tried not to laugh too loudly. Logan looked quizzically back at Jeff, then finally understood.

Logan: 'Merican I'ol!*

Jeff: That's my boy.

*American Idol

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Teeth!

Savannah has her two bottom teeth! At 7 months old, she's not exactly ancient, but I was beginning to wonder if she was ever going to grow any pearly whites! I'm not complaining--teeth mean fevers, loss of sleep and grouchy babies--but I find it interesting she took so long when Logan got his first teeth so early.

Well, early or late, here they are. You can just see the two white specks at the bottom of her mouth.

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Here's another one.

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I am trying to get over my fear of black and white conversions so I've been easing myself into it. Here are a few others I've been playing with (and some that I just couldn't stand to remove the color from).

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Friday, February 6, 2009

I won't quit my day job

A few weeks ago I took some family pictures of a brother of a friend. I was nervous prior to the shoot because (a) it was the first time someone was paying me to take their picture and (b) they were going to be indoors. Novice that I may be, I know enough to understand that good light indoors is nearly impossible to come by without the help of an expensive flash or special lights. The family was aware of this fact and wanted me to come anyway so the next day I drove to their home in Salt Lake, trying desperately to look like I knew what I was doing.

An hour later I emerged, hoping that something (anything!) on my memory card was going to be worth keeping. As soon as I got home I immediately uploaded all 200+ shots to my computer. I scanned through them quickly, tossing out the blurry or blinking shots. Miraculously, I still had over 100 to work with. A few minutes Hours of editing later, I had a CD with 140 images ready to be mailed. I still much, MUCH prefer the outdoors, but at least I don't feel guilty for charging a small fee for the final product.

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Draper Open House

My experience: Last weekend we went as a family to the Draper temple open house. First we went to a nearby meetinghouse where we watched a video on temples. I really liked the testimonies of the prophets and apostles on the divine purpose of temples. After the video we loaded up onto buses that took us the short distance to the temple. We walked through temporary tunnels from the bus drop off into the temple. Although the Draper temple is smaller than many other Utah temples, it still took us nearly an hour to walk through it. It had a light blue and wood color palette that I thought was really pretty. I told Jeff I wanted to decorate our living room like the Celestial room (minus the white carpet). Even though everyone used hushed voices as they walked through, it was missing the spirit of reverence and peace that dedicated temples have. After we made it through the tour, we were led into another meetinghouse. The cultural hall had pictures of Christ and information about the Church along the walls and cookies and water in the center. We got a quick snack then went to wait in line for a bus to take us back to our car.

Logan's experience: Today, while driving around town, Logan saw a bus.

"Mommy, look! Bus! Mommy, bus! Like the temple! I love the temple, Mommy. I love cookies."

Well, at least he remembered the transportation and food.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

TGIF

Last Friday after a crazy hectic work week, I was able to break away for a few hours and meet up with some friends at Cabela's. Who would have guessed that a hunting and sporting store could provide hours of entertainment for a couple of cabin crazy moms and their kids?

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Logan thought the stuffed animals were awesome. He couldn't get enough. He just kept running around the room, climbing on the rail to get a better look. I, too, enjoy the animals much more this way. There were very few that I would want to meet in the wild!

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In the shooting range upstairs, we discovered that MarKey is an expert shooter. She was the only one to hit the black bear.

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Bennett didn't think the guns were very fun.

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After we left the crew at Cabela's, the kids and I headed to Ikea. Logan finally meets all the requirements to be left in their Smaland (mini-daycare) while I shopped. He was really excited to go play and almost threw a fit when they made us come back in ten minutes because they were full at the moment. But once they finally did let him in, I was free to shop for up to an hour while he played.

I think every store should have a Smaland.

Or maybe not. My wallet suffers when I get to shop kid-free.