The Hap-Happiest Season of All

So, we're back again and it is nice to be home. Don't get me wrong, I love being at my in-laws, it was just really nice to sleep in my own bed last night.

We had a wonderful Christmas full of laughter, food, music, movies, shopping, and more laughter. Gardiner's are really funny. I used to think that it was weird how funny that they thought they were. They all lay around like cats and laugh at each other. Now, I look forward to these times when I can lay around and laugh with them.

Her new kitty from Grandma Roxy.

"It looks so pretty I could EAT it!"


Good MOrning!

The "Gift of Gifts." A vintage sewing machine and iron for Blondes that really work. I will be putting these on a shelf. They're rad.

This is the room that the "cat lying" takes place. It is also where random work-out sessions occur at no earlier than 11pm.

It's hard to be away from you own family during this time of year. Especially when my mom tells me of all the fun that they had been having in Nevada. We better be having Breakfast at Grandma's next year.


Trading Up

Back in September we sold our faithful little '95 Toyota Corolla and bought a Honda (scooter, that is) and Easy E has been driving it to work ever since. It was to save him time in finding a car that he liked. He hasn't complained about bad gas mileage, being stuck in traffic, or getting hop-ons, but overtime he has grown pretty tired of it. I must say that it has been rather humorous seeing a 6'2" tall man in his dress clothes driving a scooter to work in affluent Scottsdale.

Yesterday we made a big step and bought a car. A 2006 Scion xB. We have always liked them, have test driven them before, and a guy made us a great offer. Actually, it was a pretty dumb offer, so we took it and are still in shock. People either love this car, or they hate it. After driving it...we love it. We are now one of "those" people who drive the "box." He claims that it's like an ice-cream truck that has mated with a Civic.

What do you think?


Keeping the Spirit Alive

Sure, after the collapse of the gingerbread house my Christmas spirit was a little discouraged, but alas, we have recovered and are back in the true spirit of things:

We have taken family pictures,

Put up our tree,

and seen the lights.

After a week of parties, football games, and shopping we are ready to rest up...
so we can play again next week.


Peek A Boo



Rescue Me

(this is long, but totally "blog worthy")

It's Friday. Fridays are supposed to be chill, fun, and stress free...right? Am I missing something today? Sure Blondie was up between 3 and 4 am saying "have to" over and over, and The Man flew to Nor Cal for a meeting early this morning, but it was supposed to be one if those "chill" Fridays. I thought I had all my bases covered. Blondie was going to play with Audrey while I went apartment hunting. We are all ready to go at 9 and not bad timing if you ask me, but where the crap is my phone? I'm looking everywhere I can think of before I instant message Mandy to see if she can call it. She calls and incidentally, it had fallen out of my pocket in her car. It's okay though, Mandy calls Tiffany and we are out the door.

After casually viewing 6 apartments in the pouring rain Mae and I were about to pick up Blondie. Thankfully the baby is sound asleep and hasn't minded too much that she has been strapped to her seat for the past 2 hours. I click her seat into the back, throw my keys up front, shut the door, and wait...what...it's locked? Why is my door locked? Are you kidding me? All the doors are locked? I have locked my little baby in the car. Of course, I don't have me phone, and The Man is in California.

Frantically, I run into the random leasing office and explain my situation. My heart begins to race and my hands start to tremble. She gives me the yellow pages and a phone then goes out in the rain to check on sleeping Mae. The yellow pages are a blur to me and the writing blends together. I call Eric and he can't talk. He tells me to call a locksmith. The locksmith on the phone tells me that Volvo's are extremely hard to get into and suggests that I call the police. What? The Police? Yeah, right. There has to be another way. I try my insurance agent...answering machine. Isn't this why we have an AGENT! "Like a good neighbor?" I call Volvo, but we are not under warranty. With all my resources exhausted I call the Police and talk to the dispatcher. The leasing agent comes in and tells me that little Mae is awake and screaming. She gives me an umbrella and I go out to stand by my car with my screaming baby trapped inside.

She is bundled in the only winter coat I have for her the hood is on her head. I know that she is sweating to death as the tears are pouring down her cheeks and her legs are frantically kicking. She is hungry (it's been 4 hours). My heart breaks as I feel totally helpless. Minutes pass and I eventually see a police car pulling in to the parking lot. A short manly-looking woman pops out and I am not relieved. She informs me that she has no tools, but someone is coming. She says that had it been summer she would have busted my window. Really? As if in (112 degree) Phoenix weather I wouldn't have? She checks all the doors and I am totally annoyed. We stand in silence. Then here it comes....

Yes, the fire department in a big red truck. Four huge guys jump out. One is carrying a case that he pops open. In my sad situation I almost laugh. If it weren't for my screaming baby in the car I would have. It's hilarious and I don't know what to do so I put my umbrella over his head. At one point I swear I saw him hold out his hand and say "Scalpel." After trying to hit the unlock button and pull at the handle, another guy gets a wire and grabs my keys off the seat. He pulls them up and wedges them out the forced opening. I swear that my window is going to shatter. The door pops open as I shove my way to unlock the back and rescue my baby. She is sopping with sweat, hungry, and has a nasty diaper. She shudders and I kiss her all over.

Of course the fireman can't leave it at that. I can't just have a happy reunion. I get a lecture. A huge one about how I need to run right to the hardware store, get a copy of my key, and a magnetic box to put it in. Again, about how if it were summer there would have not been much time. I know that he is required to give me a talk so I just nod my head.

Before taking off, I change and feed the baby. When I come to a stoplight water pours in from above and can see the sky through the seal of my door...great.


The Merriest Place on Earth

We had such a great time at Disneyland this past week with my parents and brother Jeremy's family.

Naturally, Blondie was scared to death of Mickey. I mean, what's so scary about a giant mouse trying to hug you?

Pure LA fashion.

Just two fly girls in a rocket.



My girl is two today.

She started out a little chubbier and a little more serious.

At one year, she blossomed into a toddler full of smiles and giggles.

Now at two, she is so fun. Everyday she cracks me up with a new talent or vocabulary word, but she is still the same little girl with her bright white hair and contagious laughter. She finds amazment in the simplest of things like strings, rocks, and chapstick. She is so interested in learning about the world around her and where she fits into it. The other day I stubbed my toe and she rubbed my back while I gritted my teeth in frustration and pain. "Okay, Mommy?" She would ask with the sweetest expression, totally concerned and sympathetic. I can't resist her at these moments and kiss her to death.


Grand Parenting

We are on grandparent overload. Afer spending all of yesterday at Disneyland with G and G Lewis and all today with G Kent she is going to have serious withdrawls.


Sunday's are so hard!

I left The Man with the kids for an hour today. Now I know what they do when I'm not around.


Bumbo Baby

I know this is a little gross, but isn't it a great?


On a Serious Note

I'm not cautious person. I never have been. Things like exhaust fumes have never bothered me. I used to throw plastic into the campfire. I grew up never locking doors and usually leaving windows open. I have always trusted people and human decency. I have just gone with the flow of things allowing opinions and theories to roll off my shoulders. I have always tried to see both sides of an argument.

Then I became a wife and a mother. I no longer live for myself and have found myself becoming aware that the world isn't always so trusting. I have taken different "stands" for myself and my family. I am not so tolerant and I think that it is okay.

So, here is the latest stand: Baby Bottles

I have recently learned studies proving the dangers of plastics leeching chemicals. Especially in baby products.

The Man and I have decided to throw out the latex pacifiers, plastic bottles, (I used Avent and they are the worst) and unsafe teethers. We have decided not to go crazy with it, but if we can do a few little things that may prove to be more healthy for her in the long run, I am all about it. Until Mae isn't putting everything into her mouth we are going to give her wooden or stuffed toys, safe teethers, silicone binkies, and classic glass bottles.

If you would like a copy of the articles I have read I would love to email them to you.


Haunted Halloween Day

We had a great Halloween and I still can't get enough candy. I have such a sweet tooth. I think it comes from Saturdays growing up when my brothers and I would ride our bikes to Skip's Mini Market, buy all the sugar we could with all the money we could scrounge up, and sit on the trampoline to devour it in one sitting.

Halloween Day we went to Easy E's office to trick-or-treat. Blondie was wide eyed and took a minute to warm up to all the new faces. When she did warm up she couldn't get enough candy. We had to dump her bucket for her to fit more in.

E was Cousin Eddy from Christmas Vacation. He was able to wear the suit (comfortably) after I took the seam in his pants out.


Costume Contest

A witchy Witch...


Some things are better left unsaid...

6 random facts about yours truly:

1. I showed pigs in 4-h for 8 years. I made a lot of money and have a lot of interesting stories to tell. Most of them involve death or poo.

2. I used to dance, but haven't put on a pair of dance shoes in 7 years.

3. In 2002 I was serenaded by Beck at a show in SLC.

4. In 1998 I was Prom Queen.

5. I was in a boxing Match in High School. My grandpa trained me along with my cousin John and my brother Matt.

6. My hair was pretty random for a lot of years.

Tag: Alisha P, Monica R, Tiffany H, Mandy R, Annie H, Rachel W


She looks really sweet but...

...this girl has been driving us crazy lately!

She will be 2 in 1 month and I am getting pretty scared. She won't clean up, she won't nap or go to bed without a fight, she won't eat, and she has to get herself into and out of the car (which takes about 20min). She strings her toys from one end of the house to the other, she changes back into her pajamas at least 2x a day, and she comes into our room before 6 every morning.

I feel totally guilty today though:

She won't take a nap and I put her back into her bed at least 15x, so I put the baby gate across her door. She whines and whines, "Mommy, no nigh-night. Mommy nigh-night." She wants me to lay down with her, but I know that If I do that she will not sleep. I just pray that she'll not wake up Mae. So I sit at the computer where she can't see me and ignore her. Then, it's silent. So I wait a few minutes. Yep, still silent. I walk toward to her room and she has thrown a diaper, wipes, shoes, and pants into the hall. Great. I know that there is a huge mess in her room, but she is just sleeping on the floor with a new pair of pants on. Surprisingly, she has them on right. As I approach her I notice the all too familiar smell of a poopy diaper. Yes, she had pooped and was trying to get my attention to come change her before going to bed. Why didn't she just say, "Mommy...poopoo.?" That would be too easy and I probably wouldn't have believed her. Yep, that's me...guilty!

I consider just leaving her, but cannot bear the feeling of being the unfit mother who punishes her daughter for not going to sleep by not changing her diaper. So wake her up, change her, and put her in bed. Now, I can enjoy (hopefully at least 1 hour) of quiet. Yes!


Camping with 2 Under 2

The best thing about camping is you get to be really, really dirty. No one cares. Except maybe my mom. I must say though, that she dealt with it rather well. My favorite thing to do was gather rocks and draw in the dirt with sticks. I also liked playing with the flashlight and climbing in and out of the tent. -Blondie

These are the faces I usually get when I have the camera. Confused and annoyed, but they tolerate it. -The Mrs.

Camping with The Mrs is like being with a hyper little kid. I was trying to relax around the fire and she was running around with the hatchet chopping down the forest. -Easy E

Blondie woke us all up before 5am. She was screaming because Dad put a blanket over her head. He was pretty obsessive about keeping her warm. I slept great and was a little sweaty in the 30 degree temp. I was in the sleeping bag with Mom. It was too cold for Blondie so we all got in the car. The parents drove as Big Sis and I slept. -Mae

Before heading home we hiked down into Tonto Natural Bridge. Easy loves this sort of thing and in order to get the full effect he has to get the history about it. I just enjoy the scenery and being with my 3 favorite people. The bridge was beautiful. It is the largest natural bridge in the world and has only been open to the public for 20 years. You are allowed to climb over and through the travertine to the other side. E went about halfway. -The Mrs


My Mae

My little MaeMae is 12 weeks today and as smiley as ever. Does 12 weeks = 3 months? Or, is she three months on the actual day she was born?


Just One is Not Enough

Blondie becomes very impatient with sitting on the potty. The other day I kept her there by placing every clip in her hair. She loved looking at her "pree hair" in the mirror before becoming frantic and tearing them all out.

Lately she has added "way" to the end of every "no" that she utters. I ask it she wants to eat and it's, "no way." If she wants to turn off the tv, "no way." If she wants to go get a diaper, (very matter-of-factly) "no way mommy."


My First "Tag"

Sorry Ashley, I've been thinking about my lists all day and I'm only going to pull off "Crazy 4's." (You'd think that with my first tag I'd be more ambitious.)

8 (or in my case 4) things that I am passionate about:
  1. The Man
  2. Trying to be a good Mom
  3. Being a nurse...someday
  4. Family History type stuff

4 things I want to do before I die:

  1. Have lots of Grandchildren
  2. Go to Europe again...and really soak it in
  3. Have matching scooters with Easy E
  4. Buy a really nice California King bed

4 things I say often:

  1. "Do not go PeePee in your Big Girl Panties." (In my best mommy voice which I'm still trying to perfect.)
  2. "When are you going to be home?"
  3. "No more milk. You can have water." (If you don't know Blondie I say this about 4x a day)
  4. "Hi Sissy!" (To Mae)

4 things I have read lately:

  1. Eclipse
  2. Ensign
  3. The manual to my new camera
  4. Blogs

4 songs I could listen to over and over:

  1. Just What I Needed, The Cars
  2. True Affection, The Blow
  3. TimeBomb, Beck
  4. Dare, Gorillaz

4 things that attract me to my best friends:

  1. We think we are so funny.
  2. They are honest. Especially with the little things like spinach in your teeth.
  3. They get over it when I screw up, like it never happened...right?
  4. We can always pick up right where we left off. Even if it's been years.

4 things I have learned this year:

  1. How to Blog
  2. How to juggle a screaming infant and stubborn toddler
  3. How to be more girl-y, thanks to my girl
  4. That when I'm really sick of apartment life and desperately wanting a house The Man is usually right about waiting.

4 people who should do crazy 8's:

  1. Aly
  2. Kiersten
  3. Shelly
  4. Traci
  5. and how could i forget...MOnica



Stupid Questions

You know how every mom ask those stupid questions? For instance: Do you want to go to time out? Are you deaf? Why are you licking your hands and wiping them all over the sliding glass door?

Here is my stupid question for the day:

Me: Hey, what are you doing?
Blondie: Caur, Caur
Me: Do you want your chair to be purple?
Blondie: Okay mommy, puple! (as she is running to get another crayon)
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