Tuesday, January 27, 2009

To Jicama with Love

Do you know this little gem of a veggie (or is it fruit)?
Have you tasted of it's goodness? If not, let me introduce you. Meet my friend Jicama. I realize it looks a bit scarey, but under that ugly, splotchy skin is a crunchy, delicious delight. And before going any further, I must thank my sweet friend Jen Crandall, 'cause she is the jicama queen. With her ready bag of it every summer at workshop, I discovered that this is a delightful little no calorie treat. Now, Jen, I may need a real lesson on proper jicama preperation, 'cause mine came out a bit messy.

We're halfway there. And my flash sucked up the pic, but whatev.

There she is, all cut up and ready to go. A quick, easy snack that won't end up on your bum.

Mmmmmm! DEE-lectable.
Now, WHY am I doing a post on jicama? I'll tell you. Each week of this triatholon training Dixie presents us with a new challenge. This weeks challenge is to ONLY eat fruits and vegetables when and if snacking. NOTHING but produce for snacks. I'm telling you, nothing makes you more aware of your eating habits than challenges like this. I realize, I quite enjoy crackers, chips or little cookies for snacks. Heaven forbid I eat the amazing oranges sitting outside my doorstep on my tree. WHY would I eat the 5 lbs. of grapes in my fridge? Who needs the cut up cucumber in my fridge? Good grief. So anyway, I went to Sprouts last night and stocked up on some lovely celery, carrots, peppers, lettuce and jicama. Clearly I'm most excited about the aforementioned crunchy goodness.
So, if any of you are interested in just taking on these challenges on your own, I'll just let you know what they are.
Week 1: No soda of any kind. Let me just say, SO SUPER grand for me, as I'm not a pop drinker.
Week 2: No eating after 7:00. This one made me realize what a snacker I really am.
Week 3: Get in at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies each day. This also takes more thought on life, for sure.
Week 4: No snacking on anything but fruits or veggies.
So, go for it, I dare you! Give them a try. They really are great for making you think, and just helping you make a change in lifestyle, not dieting!
And, while I'm at it, why not just give a little update on my progress. In biking I've made some great strides. I can now stay fairly close to Dixie which makes me really happy. I'm up to about 13 miles in 48 minutes, or at least that's what the bike tells me. The biggest improvement is, I can keep my RPM's at a much higher rate for a much longer time. This morning I stayed in the 90's for MOST of the 33 minutes. On the treadmill, I've actually RUN at a 5 for consecutive minutes. That is HUGE for me people. I do NOT do running. I've also run at a 7 for 30 second spurts. 'Cause I said, if that HUGE boy in biggest loser who wells 100+ more lbs. than me can run a 7, even if it was only 10 seconds, I CAN RUN on 7 too. My next goal is to break freaking 2 miles. In swimming, I swam a full 800 without stopping on Monday morning. My arms are a tad bit sore today, but it's all good. So yeah, even if I still feel so fat, and don't think my clothes look better, I know that I'm making some pretty great physical strides. The next step is, allowing myself to push hard enough to barf, or almost barf. Apparently, according to "my trainer" that's a good thing, and it'll usually take you to the next level. So, we'll see.

In other news........
Look who just lazed away the morning and snoozed until 10:00 today. Yeah, HE did! Well, he did wake up at 7:00 for some grub, then he snuggled in with Daddy and fell back to sleep. I seriously had to keep going in and checking on him, 'cause it was freaking me out that he was still asleep. However, I was able to get a lot more done in the morning.

And that's the sweet look I got when he decided to grace me with his awakeness.

And lastly...when the girls are driving me nuts and I need them to get out from under my feet, you know, I send them to our lovely dirt patch. So this morning Maggie was all kinds of screamy, so I finally said, how bout you go push your baby outside. She LOVES to push her stroller. So, she trotted right on out with Brooklyn following closely behind. Then scooted there babies back and forth for quite some time. It's really so freaking adorable. Especially because Brooklyn is SUCH a good little Mommy. She's always feeding, patting, wrapping in blankets, putting them to bed, worrying abou them. AND, she feels it is her personal job to make Max happy, which she does quite well at. She'll sit at the foot of the swing and talk to him, play with him, put his binky in, etc. This morning she kepts saying, "Come on Maxy, show me your happy smile." And when she started calling him Bubbers ('cause we do) it nearly killed me. It's a good thing she's cute and such a good helper, 'cause it really offsets her NAUGHTY side! Oh and she IS that!

And with that said, I'm off to vaccuum up all the cracker crumbs that Maggie enjoys crushing, grinding and spreading throughout the house. Then a quick dusting, finish cleaning out the fridge and then lessons. Oh man, too much to do before Thursday.
Peace in the ghetto,

So SEXY It Hurts

Guess who got new glasses......

Guess who looks totally HOT and SEXY! My manz is saxy.

And guess who looks totally adorable wearing Daddy's glasses.

Now, when is it MY turn to get sexy?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Have I Mentioned?...

Have I mentioned that in 3 short days I will be Here:

With ALL of these wonderful people? (Well ok, all the adults, no kiddies)

With all of these HOT ladiez (minus Jodie, 'cause she's a loser that way)

And all these fine menz (minus Eric, 'cause he will be with Jodie)

And this sassy Sailor girl Jess (sorry it's the only pic I could find in my computer)

And nutty butt Julie (again, sorry, only pic I could find quickly. However, it TOTALLY shows her true personality, so it's only fitting)

Apologies to Tracie and Amy, for I had no pictures in my computer of you to share with the world.
Why this grand adventure you ask? Well, my Daddy and I share the exact birthday, so to celebrate our 36th and 66th birthdays, the whole fam dam and a few of our friends are going! Isn't that just the coolest? Yes, I thought so too. It's gonna be such a blast, and frankly, none of us can get out of here soon enough. We need a little of the "happiest place on earth".
Max gets the luck and the pleasure of spending the weekend with the wonderful Denton family, to whom I shall be forever grateful. Maggie gets to spend one day with a babysitter and the rest of the weekend with Gramma Peg...many thanks! Thanks to Amy for hooking us up with the suhweet rooms for super cheapo, and for the ticket discounts, and many thanks to Disneyland for giving me my Birthday into the park for free. This trip made possible by hookups, kind friends, Disneys goodness and Jeres sheer will.
Tune in next week for pics and stories of our grand adventure!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Friday fun...after the morning meltdowns

Ok, so as I said, it was a ROUGH morning on Friday. Well, it started out all sorts of grand, as I beat back the demons that wanted me to stay in bed and I got up and went to the gym at 5:30. I ran (I use that term VERY loosely) my requisite 24 minutes, sweated profusely and then did a few machines and went home. I had big plans for my day, and a lot of it was going to happen before 9:00 a.m. So, I got ready, amidst Maggie bawling and screaming at me every other minute for who knows what. Seriously, it was NEVER ending. I'd get her preoccupied by something else, she'd be "happy" for a minute or two, and then suddenly the world was crumbling around her AGAIN! Then, Brooklyn was whining at me endlessly about who knows what, and Max shockingly wanted some attention too. Somehow I got ready, got their hair done, the kids dressed, diaper bag packed, bows to deliver, car loaded and we were out by 9:00. But, as I mentioned I was a BIT frazzled at this point. So, I did the very unmotherly thing of just screaming outside the car, just you know, an exasperated, AAAARRRRGGGHHHH! I needed to let out a bit of steam, have I mentioned that I'm so NOT as cool as anyone thinks? Anywho, we were on the road, Maggie was crying yet again, so I took a deep breath and decided that we needed a little singing to defuse the situation. Brooklyn LOVES to sing in the car. We'll sing a song, and as SOON as we finish one she says "what else?" It keeps me on my toes, trying to remember or come up with songs. We sang some rousing rounds of "wheels on the bus", ABC's, Doggy in the Window, and by now Maggie was appeased and all was well. Quick stop to Jody's to drop off product, long drive out to Mel's to drop off bows for her cute baby girl to wear and then we headed for the mall. I had the brilliant idea that it was time for 3 month and 18 month pictures for the kids. I figured it would be best if I was the FIRST one at Kiddie Kandids that morning. I figured right. We waited a moment outside the gate, then they let us in. Maggie was a bit tentative, as she is want to be in any new situation. But, it was going ok, until I asked the lady to change the backdrop. Holy death and destruction batman. As the background began to scroll, apparently the sound was as terrifying as a million monsters to Maggie as she began to shake, scream and clutch to me for her ever lovin life. Are you KIDDING me? After MUCH comforting and assuring her that all was well, she calmed down enough to let go of me. It took further convincing that she would live if she sat and allowed us to take a picture. The whole process was REEDONKULOUS! When she finally calmed down, she would only stick her tongue out, and the girl wouldn't take pictures, until finally I said, "JUST TAKE THE PICTURE, TONGUE and all!" So, we got some cute shots, if you don't mind some serious baby tongue. Then I put Max in her lap and suddenly she was all Cindy Crawford on me, posing her head this way and that, looking straight at the camera, smilling. Whatev. The shot of them together is darling of her, ok of him, don't mind the barf splotch going on, I was taking what I could get at this point. At least he put on a big fatty smile for his time in the spotlight. All i'm saying is, if SHE won't make me money for her refusal to model, maybe he can, since he's mister smiley pants. So, here are the results (or some of them) of the picture taking shenanigans.

Tongue wha? It's a mystery to me!

HOW can you NOT love this smiley face? It seriously kills me that he's so sweet!

Brooklyn was MORE than ready to blow the picture popstand and get to grander things. She kept coming up to me and asking "if I was done YET." So, for her good and helpful behaviour I rewarded the girls with a ride on this:

Ummm, have you ANY idea how freaking expensive it is to ride this lovely carousel at Superstition Springs? Well i'll tell you....FIVE FREAKING bucks for one very short ride for 2 girls. Five bucks, two girls, 1 short ride = RIPOFF.

However, Brooklyn got to ride on "the chicken" and she was pleased as punch! Maggie on the other hand was not excited. As you recall from last weeks carousel riding adventure, she is not keen on the up and down action of horseys on a pole. She posed for the picture, started the ride, and then FREAKED out. Thankfully, this little gem was nearby:

Would you LOOK at that face? She sat in that seat like a little queen, and frankly she was torked when the ride was over and I dared to remove her from her throne. Max was also sitting in that seat, but I didn't include that picture.

After our strenuous picture taking, horseback riding and spinning, Brooklyn whined long enough about how STARVING she was that she won herself and Maggie a little Chic-Fila lunchy. It was a hit.

Next we meandered on over to Danas house to drop off some stuff and to see our buddy Jayce. He was pleased to see us, and Maggie was THRILLED to see him. They played around in the garage for a bit, then we headed to the backyard.

It was time to jump on the tramp. Would you LOOK at that face? Miss Saucy pants was out in full force. Dana tells me it's just me she's acting out against right now, apparently that's what kids do. Whatever. Just so she knows, it is NOT appreciated so much by her mother. Good thing she's so dang cute!

Ummm, her jumping skills are rather lacking...well ok, her standing up on the trampoline at all skills are severely lacking. So, she took the smart route and just sat in the center. A better time was had by all.

After sufficient play time we loaded up in the car and headed for home. As it turns out, the day wasn't so bad after all. Upon arrival home, all went down for naps, I took deep cleansing breaths and we were all a happy family again.
That evening we went to dinner with Jennys family. It was it's own Maggie specialty, but that's OK. For the record, don't go to The Islands, I remember every time I go (once every 2 years or so) that I don't like it, not at all. But, it was nice to spend some time with Jennys family and to get out as our own little family. The thing is, I FREAKING love my kids and I LOVE being a Mom more than anything. But holy poopers, it can be a challenge at times to get through a day.
So, bring on tomorrow baby!

There are no guarnatees...

As I sit here watching my daughter play and explore, and listen to my baby breathe as he sleeps, and wipe away tears from my eyes...I'm reminded once again that "there are no guarantees" and life is so very, very fragile. You never know when it can be taken from you, and I wish there were some sort of understanding as to WHY some have to be taken so much sooner than others.

This morning our dear friend (one who has been soo good to Jere for many years) Matt Hill passed away from cancer. He'd only been diagnosed with it 3 weeks ago, and had just finished one round of chemo. Apparently, he was needed somewhere else, but it sure doesn't seem fair, or make it any easier. My heart aches for his darling, sweet wife of one year, for his loving family, for all his friends, for the things that will never be. He was brilliant, talented, hilarious and kind. He took Jere under his wings and showed him friendship and love, for which Jere will be forever grateful, and he will be so, SO missed.

I'm very grateful for an understanding of our Heavenly Fathers plan. I'm thankful to know that there IS a plan and that Matt is in a better place. But MAN, even with that knowledge, it does not make it any easier to accept that he's gone; That mortality is so very, very real. We MUST make every moment count. We need to be doing all we can, striving to improve, working to become all we can. And, we need to love our families, show appreciation more, laugh more, be kinder, don't take anything for granted, because.....there are no guarantees.

We love you Matt, you will be greatly missed.

Friday, January 23, 2009

There are Days...

There are days when it's all too much! I was DONE with THIS day at 9 a.m.

Need I say more? Did YOU ever have "one of those days?"
Perhaps tomorrow, when I've sufficiently rested and overcome my unmotherly irritation at all things childlike and crying, I'll talk about our excursion to get pictures taken and what we did to overcome said emotional traumas.
Until then.....
Quiet kids and sunbeams,

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


BEHOLD....I give you the pink and SPARKLY shoe!
These shoes have magical properties of which I do not comprehend. They have become Maggies shoe of choice, her ONLY choice. Screaming and angry, just show her the shoes, sad and crying, need a pick me up, put on the shoes. Wearing turquoise shirt and brown pants, no matter, MUST be these shoes. Wearing jeans and a black shirt, no matter. Just woke up and still in your pj's? Who CARES, these shoes go with EVERYTHING.

Here's another view, just so you can appreciate their true lovliness. These little beauties were a gift to Maggie from Aunt Lana for her first birthday. At the time Maggie was still wearing size 2, and these are 5 1/2's. Yeah I know right? That was SOME growth spurt in the last 6 months. Anyway, they seemed enormous and as if they'd never fit. Finally, last month they fit, and in the last week they have truly become Maggies joy in life. Literally, as soon as she wakes up, she insists on putting on her "ya yas". I don't know, she just says yah yahs and it means shoe, because if you ask her what she means, she signs shoe. So this morning, Jere got her out of bed, and when she came walking into the kitchen, this is how she looked:

Just a little night shirt and her awesome, sparkly yah yahs. By the way, I asked her if I could take a picture, and she wouldn't allow me until she sat in this position. As you can see from the picture below, most of the time when I try to take a picture of her I get this:

So frustrating. She really has a VERY strong mind and will of her own. Hmmm, wonder where she gets THAT from. Anyway, lastly, no girl can truly be a princess (pink shoes or not) until she's put on her makeup (or discovered Moms and made messes).

Who knows what I was doing, cleaning up something or paying bills, I don't know. All I know is, I walked into the kitchen and she ran suspiciously into the bathroom. Upon closer inspection, I found her with a tube of lipstick and this AWESOME application job. It sort of looks like she made a heart on one side and a star on the other. She was feeling pretty great, until I flicked her hand and washed it all off. Guess it's time to find a higher place for the makeup.

Lipstick dreams and sparkly shoe wishes,

Eighteen Months

Eighteen months to the day........we paid for our first babysitter. This is Lacey, she's in college, grew up in our ward, and she is the LUCKY first paid sitter. Apparently Maggie was super the happiest and didn't even cry at all when we left. Umm, she cries when we leave and Grandma or Auntie is there. I mean, she gets over it immediately, but still, happy day, no fits or crying.

Many, MANY thanks go out to Grandma Peg, Auntie Julie and Gramma and Bampaw Shumway for the 18 months of free sitting we appreciate it MORE than you'll EVER know!!
By the way, the reason for needing a babysitter....my entire family went out to dinner for P-diddy's big 31st Birthday. It was a lovely evening of good eats and good conversatin. We went to BJ's, I highly reccomend that place, it's quite delish.

Meet Buster

World, meet Buster. Buster....meet the world.

Buster came to be on Aug. 7th, 1984.

He was a gift for Jeres 7th birthday from his beloved Grandma Van Patten.

Jere has slept with him EVERY night since that birthday.

As you can see, Buster has seen better days. He's "blind" in one eye, he's losing stuffing, he's nowhere near his original color. His nose is chipped from a battle with Jeres older sister, strings are coming off, his fur is crusty, but he shall never depart.

I introduce you to Buster because some of you noticed him in the picture of Jere and Max sleeping. I didn't realize he was in view until after I posted the pic. When I saw him there, exposed for all to see, I hesitated for a brief moment, giggled and thought...."it's not like Jere doesn't tell everyone that he sleeps with a pound puppy." He really does tell people that, but I think until now, most of you didn't really believe that a grown man REALLY slept with a pound puppy. Now you know....he DOES! For so many years Buster was a bit like Snuffalupagus (how do you spell that) on Sesame Street. Do you remember how they used to play him off like Big Birds imaginary friend? Big Bird would see him and talk to him, and then someone else would come walking up and Bird would go to introduce Snuffy and hello, he'd be gone. Well, I guess Buster is like that....Jere said he existed, but you just never got the pleasure of meeting. I'm so glad that my picture snafu could rectify this situation. Let's just get it out there now and forever, my grown manz sleeps with a stuffed animal. Phew, now don't we all feel better.

For Christmas this year, Auntie Julie (she insists on that moniker) gave each of the kids (including Jere) a new pound puppy. So, now Buster has a posse.

May I introduce you to Babs, Boo, Buster and Baxter. Aren't they just a sweet little bunch. And yes, I get it, we tend to have a thing for alliteration in names, it's funner that way.

So Erika, yes, that WAS a pound puppy you caught in the pic. Wendy, NO I didn't place it there for added cuteness or sweetness in the pic. He lives, he sleeps with daddy Jere now and forevermore. Amen

Friday, January 16, 2009

January in Arizona

So this is Arizona in January. While I'm all for clear skys and days in the park, whilst the rest of the country is buried in snow and ice, I won't lie when I say, I wish it weren't quite SO hot out. I mean honestly, it's JANUARY for goodness sake, I'd like to wear a sweater and mean it. I'd like to play outside and not SWEAT. With my whining out of the way, I would like to say...we had a lovely afternoon with cousins at Freestone park. There was picnicing on the grass, chasing kids up the hill, feeding the ducks, sweating, cleaning up the picnic, sweating and walking over to the toys, watching the kids play on the slides and sweating.

Maggie gets real excited to see her Aunt Lana. She marched right over to her and insisted on being lifted up to sit by her. After the aforementioned sweating and playing, we decided to check out the carousel and train. While EVERYONE else went on the train, Brooklyn, Maggie, Max, Jayce and I took a spin on the carousel.

I was trying to a cute and clever look over the shoulder shot, but Jayce was NOT understanding my directions.

Brooklyn was MOST excited about this horsey ride. Maggie was excited until it started moving....then she was shaking and terrified. She literally was clutching the pole so tightly, her whole body was shaking. I wish I had a picture of the look of shear terror on her face. Eventually she had my shirt so tightly in her grip, I was fully flashing the bored workers AND she was sliding off the horse. It was a bit tricky, but we got it worked out.

Max got to enjoy the ride too, just a spinnin in his chair.

I love this kid, he's just so freaking funny.

And speaking of Max, I must close with these shots. I came home from the gym the other morning, and this is what I found in my bed.

SEER-E-US-LEE is there anything more heart melting than your manz and your baby all curled up and sleepy together? I just love it so. Look at his little fist all balled up at his chin...I could just EAT him! I really am appreciative of Jere being willing to get up with him, do whatever he needs to so I can be up and gone at the gym. It's awesome to be up out and worked out before 6:30 in the morning. I get a lot more done with my day, AND I feel better.
In final news, today was Maggies 18 month check up. She did NOT appreciate the Doctor touching her in ANY way, and she appreciated even less the SIX shots she received. I felt so bad for her, but like always, she took it like a trooper. Minimal tears with the shots. She didn't act bothered at all until WAY later, after her nap. When she woke up she just cried and cried and told me her legs hurt. She would only lay in my arms and cry. It was so sad, and frankly, I don't really know what to do with crying babies, so it was hard for me. But, after some Tylenol, a good dinner and some snuggle time, she's all ship shape. I mean, as you can see, she's watching her "new favorite" show and happy as a clam. Phew!
So, we're all good here, just waiting for Daddy to come home from a late night of work. Oh the Friday fun that happens at the Van Pats.
Sunshine and carousels,

What to think?

Ummmm, should I be worried that my 18 month old suddenly became completely enamored with Drake and Josh? I mean seriously, the TV happened to be on Disney channell, it came on and she stopped in her tracks and just stared at the TV. Then, she insisted that I get her chair out for her, and once it was up, she promptly plopped in it and sat motionless, staring, awestruck at stupid Drake and Josh. Heaven help me now! Do I have a problem brewing or what? On the other hand, it makes frivolous posts like this possible.


Ok, apparently I can't just blame a thyroid disorder for my overly hairy face. I've been called out on this, that perhaps it's not my crappy thyroids fault. I thought it was a very plausible thing to blame it on. However it has been brought to my attention by my mother that perhaps it's hereditary. And if by hereditary she means that somewhere in my ancestry there are giant black hairy jungle apes then yes, I'll buy the genetic predisposition to said hairiness. Or maybe, just maybe this is one of womens dirty little secrets** and we ALL suffer from this cruel trick of nature in silence. I mean, it's all good until you get caught in sunlight right? At that hideous moment, all your hairy little secrets are truly revealed for all to see. Riding in a car is a real ordeal, there is no hiding said faults. Never stand outside on a sunny day innocently chatting with a friend and turn profile, all your hairs will stand up and salute your conversation partner. Oh really....what can I blame? Not my thyroid? Well then can I at least blame my thyroid for my fat? Oprah did.

It's a thought.

In other words: Thanks be to ALL who have commented, that is so fun. And it totally validates my theory that we all suffer from this irritating condition. Special thanks to Andrea for the hilarious story of her friend and the bleach cream. Frankly, bleaching my lip sounds a bit painful. And on that note, my lip hair is something I feel I can control and take care of. It's the freaking "beard" that has me at my wits end. But, I have to go back to the lip hair (which for the record is not THAT bad on me). I forgot to share a special little gem of a story inthe original post. It goes like this:

I have this charming student whom I love and adore, his name is Tucker, he's 16. He's been with me since he was like 10 or something, so really he's like my own kid at this point, or just a pesky little brother. So, one day I innocently say, "gee Tuck, looks like you've got a bit of a stash going on there." His response was "no more hair than you've got on YOUR lip." Yeah, he DID say that. I told him that was RUDE! He failed to see why (you have to know him). But, what I didn't get most of all, was why was he defensive about having a stash, he's a boy, they do that. So yeah, I told you......cursed!!

**are you aware that in a recent article I read that another very common problem among women is bladder dripping, or just plain wetting your pants? Yes, it's true, apparently more women than you can imagine suffer from this indignity, for varying reasons. You'll be pleased to note that this is NOT one of the problems I suffer from. I guess God figured the blad, hairy fat thing was enough to deal with.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Single Hair

It all started innocently enough. There was just ONE single hair, it appeared out of nowhere it seems, but there it was...black, coarse, and entirely uninvited to my chin. I first remember this hair when I was a Senior in highschool. It was just random, a minor nuisance, and somewhat fascinating. I would duly pluck said hair and all was well again. Well, somewhere along the way, that ONE hair became two hairs. Again, this was still minor and was easily remedied, a little pluck once in awhile and all was right in the world. I wish I had a picture of me in highschool, 'cause even if I had thin hair, I had A LOT of it baby.

What does the hair on my head have to do with a random chin hair you ask? Well, I went on a mission, and somewhere in there I noticed a bit of thinning in my bang area. It wasn't bad, but it had started. After the mission, the thinning went with a vengence. It was horrifying for me really, I could see my scalp. This was NOT cool. It seems nature has a cruel joke to play, it's called thyroid disease. For whatever reason, it makes you go baldy on the head, and then this happens:

Apparently the naughty thyroid funnells good hair from your head, straight to your chin. Yeah, one day I woke up and I was the freaking bearded lady. That is NOT cool nature, NOT cool. Those two hairs became many, and when daily plucking is a necessity else you look like the lady above, you know it's not a good day. So GREAT, now I'm bald, bearded AND fat. OH THE HUMANITY. (All you who thought I was perfect, HA, blew THAT theory all the Hell.) Oh well, thank goodness for good tweezers, magnifying mirrors and the fine art of a good back comb I say.

This post brought to you by bright sunlit windows at 8:00 a.m., magnifying mirrors and 20 dollar tweezers.