Monday, January 26, 2015

Happy Birthday Hailey!

My second-born's second birthday was yesterday and I can't hardly believe it.
My dad came down for the day to celebrate with us and he brought her a present - a mini trampoline.
Here is a blurry picture of her enjoying it. She LOVES it. Hailey has to be moving, constantly, so it's perfect for her.
She also loved her Duplo set. (Thanks Grammy and Pappy!)
Some things about Hailey: She is stubborn and persistant and can throw the most spectacular tantrums when she is grumpy (which is often).
But she also loves to cuddle and give hugs and kisses. She is always quick to say "I'm sorry!" whenever anyone says "Ouch!" even if it's not her fault. She shares her stuffed animals and books and treats with Tessa. She always makes us laugh with her crazy antics and amazes us with her ability to climb on everything.
She is my outgoing and spirited daughter and I love her very much.
Happy Birthday Hailey!

Monday, January 19, 2015

The talking chin.

We did this for a while the other night.
It was the best.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Children are of the Devil.

1. This morning I came out of the shower to find my front door wide open and my two girls running around in the yard in their bare feet and pajamas. My closet is currently inaccessible because I locked all their toys in there as punishment. We are going to the store this afternoon to buy childproof door handles.

2. Last Friday, the girls spent the entire two hours of nap time running in and out of each other's rooms and driving me absolutely bonkers. So I locked myself in my bedroom for a little while to restore my sanity, and when I came out I found this:
That would be the entire contents of the art supplies drawer spread on my floor. And if you're wondering, yes I did have paint stored in there. And yes, the girls did get it everywhere. Hailey's jacket had to be thrown out. It was on the floor, the walls, the desk, the drawer, the computer chair.
And of course, on my precious Christmas glasses that I had sitting out waiting to be put away.
I. was. livid. They were sent to their rooms while I spent 45 minutes (45 minutes!) cleaning everything up. Then Seth came home and took over as parent and I refused to interact with them for the rest of the evening.

3. On Tuesday, in the two minutes it took me to go use the bathroom, Hailey climbed up onto the desk, and started playing with the Christmas glasses (still not put away - I had to finish cleaning paint off of them!) by stacking them. You can guess what's coming, can't you?
Five of them shattered, including one that I had just bought three days prior, because the original had a crack in it. Glass everywhere. It was awful. And these aren't regular glasses. I have to buy them off eBay because they don't make them anymore. They're expensive. Booooooo. (And no, Hailey didn't hurt herself.)
So, moral of the story: don't have kids, because they ruin EVERYTHING.

Monday, January 12, 2015


Since I haven't blogged anything about Christmas I am writing up a HUGE blog post for pretty much the entire month of December. You're welcome!

I insisted on going and buying a Christmas tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving even though we had only gotten back from Raleigh late the night before and our house was a disaster. But Thanksgiving was done and that meant I was free to unleash my Christmas frenzy, and unleash it I did. We did everything Christmas that weekend.
We went to a Christmas tree lot where they still let you cut down your own tree.
The girls "helped" carry the tree out of the lot.
Then they "helped" me decorate the house.
Then they "helped" me bake cookies.
Then they "helped" themselves to a few without my permission.
The girls got an insane amount of stuff. I am never buying anything for them ever again. Tessa keeps asking when we are going to open more Christmas presents and my answer is "Never." It's not a satisfactory response for her though, because she keeps asking....
We went up to my Dad's house for the week of Christmas and except for being sick, it was wonderful. Highlights include:
Richmond's famous Tacky Lights Tour
Naps with Grandad
Decorating cookies
Spending time with family
More Tacky Lights Tour
More naps
More decorating cookies
More spending time with family
We went up to the Winsors for New Years Eve and Second Christmas and then there was more decorating and more spending time with family. (And more presents!)
There was also a Nativity play!
And by play, I mean dressing all the kids up for a quick (terrible) picture and not acting anything out.
Which is about as much as you can hope for with six kids who are more interested in decorating the gingerbread houses with CANDY.
Oh, and Tessa still wishes me a Merry Christmas before nap time everyday even though it's the middle of January.
THE END. Again I say, you're welcome!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Books: 2014 Part 3

I read 48 books this year. So close to 50! I blame Gilmore Girls. I don't think I picked up a book for the entire month of October.

Part 1 here.
Part 2 here.

1. How To Take the Ex Out Of Ex-Boyfriend by Janette Rallison ** I admit, the main reason I checked this book out was because the author has the same name as me. (It's even spelled the same!!! A rare occurrence.) Buuuuuut the book didn't quite live up to my high expectations. The characters were kind of blah (generic nice girl, generic nice boy), and the writing was also kind of blah. I can't even remember the story now.

2. The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery *** Um, did you know that L.M. Montgomery wrote other books besides Anne of Green Gables? Because I did not. And I love Anne of Green Gables. So I guess my expectations were a little high, because I wasn't too enamored with this book, although I did enjoy it. Valency gets a "shocking diagnosis" and transforms her life to the way she really wants to be living. A sweet love story, but man alive she goes on and on and on about the wonders of nature (which admittedly I'm not the best audience for, so don't take my opinion too seriously.)

3. A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans ***** EXCELLENT. The author decides to literally live by the Bible. Chocked full of things to think about and I really appreciated her insights on some of the more difficult aspects in the Bible about the supposed inferiority of women. And it's not all intense heavy reading - I laughed out loud at many parts (the robot baby story had me in tears.) I think everyone should read it.

4. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd ***** So so so good. And I was almost to the end of the book before I realized it was based on a real person! Historical fiction about Sarah Grimke, who was a well-known suffragette and abolitionist and Hetty, a (made-up) slave who grew up alongside her. Beautiful, clear writing and I loved seeing the parallels and differences between these two strong women as they struggle for their own kind of freedom.

5. Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer **** I love Georgette Heyer books. The main character in this one irked me - such a jerk! He kidnaps a girl! But somehow I was still rooting for him. It's the writing. It's too good.

6. Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer **** So, I went on a Georgette Heyer binge. I borrowed a few from my SIL with the intention of spacing them out because I had other books on my nightstand to read, but... turns out I love Georgette Heyer books too much to do that. Lots of snappy dialogue in this one that I loved.

7. A Convenient Marriage by Georgette Heyer *** Another one. Don't judge me. Although I didn't like this one quite as much as the first two. The pace and the dialogue seemed slower to me compared to the other ones. And the characters weren't as endearing. Or maybe I was getting burnt out on regency romances by now? I didn't even know that was possible for me....

8. The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer ***** Nope. It's not possible. I love them! And especially this one! My favorite of the four. There is always the best intrigue and comedy and romance in Georgette Heyer's books, but this one seemed to blend them together perfectly. I laughed, I cried, I loved reading it. (I didn't really cry.)

9. Persuasion by Jane Austen **** It occurred to me that I hadn't actually read all of Jane Austen's books, which seems insane for someone with reading tastes like mine (see: Georgette Heyer binge), so I decided to remedy that. Short and sweet and it has all the elements that make Jane Austen so fantastic: clever writing, characters you love, witty dialogue, etc.

10. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell **** OK, this was just cute. I really love Rainbow Rowell's books. It's the way she writes. The characters and their dialogue seem very modern and accessible and believable. Cath, a fanfic writer, has to navigate college and boys without her twin sister.

11. The Crucible of Doubt by Terryl and Fiona Givens ***** I can tell I will be rereading this one. I really appreciate the way they approach difficult topics within the Mormon faith. I think it would be a good read for all Mormons, whether you're struggling with doubts or not, if only to get a stronger and clearer idea of what our doctrine is and is not.

12. The Gift of Fear by Gavin deBecker ***** Powerful. Important. If you are a woman you should read this. It has given me the tools to trust my intuition and to disregard unnecessary worries. Not that I am constantly surrounded by violence, but you never know. It has very good concrete information: lists and mnemonic devices and specific phrases to use and such. I highly recommend it.

Yes, eight out of twelve are romances. When your capacity to think goes dead by the end of the day with two toddlers, sometimes you just want a fluffy romance novel to read. DEAL WITH IT.

But suggestions for non romance novels would be good too....