Monday, February 21, 2011

Look! I took pictures!

I have to start off by giving my husband props for coming through on Valentine's Day, especially after my earlier Valentine's Day post.  When I got up Monday morning, there were Valentine's plastered all over the kitchen and a game I have been wanting on the counter.  The were very nontraditional Valentine's.  (for example "When the zombie plague comes I will love you enough to put you out of your brain eating misery." and "If you ever get mauled by a bear with chainsaw hands, I hope he stays away from your face…because I think you are cute."  I just stood there laughing at all of them.  It was perfect.  Then on Saturday he installed a new stereo in my car (hooray, I now have an i pod connection!) Yeah, I am happy. 

We had a great week, full of lots of fun happenings.  Since September we have had a pass to the Discovery Gateway Children's Museum.  I have tried to get us there once a week.  Sometimes that happens, sometimes not.  We did make it this week and I even went with camera in hand.  We had fun, as usual.  Kaylinn's favorite is the grocery store.  Maddie has recently discovered blocks and balls.  Anytime she can get her hands on those she is entertained.

Thursday my cousin Erin came over and helped me start painting Logan's room.  I am so excited.  We are finishing out the space theme that I have started.  I am going to paint and hang up some curtains.  I think that will really bring the room together.  I will post pictures when we finish.  I use the term we very loosely: Erin is the real artist in this partnership.  I am totally lucky to have her help me with this project.

Friday night we went to a University of Utah Women's Gymnastics Meet.  It was a lot of fun.  I was surprised to find that it is very popular.  There were 14,000 people there that night.  We don't go to sports events very often, but I think we should start.  

Saturday Logan and I went with family (pictured here are Brad and Spencer Humphrey--my brothers) to a board game convention called SaltCon.  I know, kind of nerdy, but we had a lot of fun.  They had a huge game library that you could just check games out of and play.  Then when you got done with that one you could go get another.  I think I learned how to play 6 new games that day.  My brain was pretty well fried by the time we got home (at almost midnight!). We would go again next year.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Weeknight Sports

 Wednesday night is sports night for the Allen family.  Most times the gymnastics and the basketball overlap, and it turns into divide and conquor.  This week they didn't, so I left Mike home with the extra kids and grabbed my camera to take pics.  Up above Kaylinn has on her excited thinking face as the teacher just asked her what she is seeing in the class' imaginary trip to Disneyland.  Below is one of her favorites about gymnastics class:  the balance beam.  She has also started practicing cartwheels and forward rolls in her spare time at home.  She absolutely love gymnastics.

 Logan Basketball
 The team consists completely of 3rd graders in a 3rd and 4th grade age division.  So we don't exactly win a lot.  And, basketball isn't Logan's strong sport.  But, it gets him running around which is always a good thing especially in the winter with limited outside playing time.  Plus his team is full of his friends so that is fun for him.  Up above is a fight for the ball.  Below is Logan screening the other guy on one of their teams plays.  He excels in defense in all team sports that he plays.

Diet update:  I have officially lost 20 pounds!  Woohoo!

Maddie update: She can now get herself to a sitting position.  Ah, the endless possibilities...

Sunday, February 06, 2011

A week in the life...

This week we spent mostly at home.  Loki (the dog) is so young and had a tendency to get into trouble when left alone.  Plus it was so FRIGID outside.  Inside just seemed like the better option.

We did our normal things: 
Monday night: FHE (from Logan's scout book this week)
Tuesday: Logan karate, me piano lessons, Mike scouts (Tuesday is also at this point officially Biggest Loser night)
Wednesday: I spent the morning at the dry pack cannery with some ladies from my ward.  Actually my first time there, it was fun.  piano lessons, Logan basketball and Kaylinn gymnastics
Thursday: I taught joy school (a make up for last week when Maddie was sick) piano lessons, Bunco (I won, woohoo!)
Friday: taught art in Logan's class (pretty exciting actually, we were making action paintings Jackson Pollock style.  The kids flicked paint all over their paper). 
Saturday: We finally managed to get in our weekly trip to the Children's Museum.  Because Mike stayed home with the dog and the baby, I let the kids invite a friend each.

In other exciting news, I had clean out the freezer week this week.  Between the cold and the dog and did I mention we are all just passing around colds (go winter) and this week Mike and I have the sick, I didn't feel like grocery shopping.  So I just went through my freezer and pulled out bits of meat that are hiding in there and fixed something around them for dinner each night.  The best one was a bag of shredded beef I had left over from a crock pot roast I did a couple of months ago.  I sauteed up a bunch of bell peppers (thanks Costco) and some onion.  Then I added the beef and some salsa.  I served it with all the condiments (guac, sour cream, cheese, refried beans and corn) and we had it over rice.  It was sooo tasty.  Then, the next day I had the leftover of the leftover (oh yeah) in tortillas to make a fajita burrito.  Again so tasty.

Diet update: yeah, not so hot this week, better get back on the wagon and the exercise was nonexistent except what I did with the dog.
Maddie update: Her crawling has been very slow in coming.  She little by little has inched her way into getting around.  Finally this week she started crawling actually using her hands and feet and really getting somewhere.  The catch is (boy is she ever an emotional girl!) she mostly crawls far when I leave her alone and the whole time she is crying at me and looking so dejected like, "Why would you leave me alone over here?  I just want to be with you."  Silly girl.

 I have been working on a long project of monthly embroideries.  I have one frame that i have been switching out each month as I go along.  I started with December,that makes so far a total of 3 down with 8 to go. I just slowly complete one each month and I figure I will be done in a year.  With all the time at home I managed to finish February (only 4 days late, which actually beats the pants off of December which I finished 18 days late).  I love how it gets me excited about what is coming up the next month.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Houseguest and Valentine's Rantings

It's a dog...

...the cutest black lab.  He is really gentle with the kids and very obedient.  I just love watching dogs while people go on vacation.  It gives me a taste of having a dog, without the long term commitment.  Someday I will have a dog and it will be great, but for now I have three children that take up all of my time, energy, and patience.
This has been one fast January in my estimation.  Normally it drags by with nothing exciting to do, but between Disneyland and now having a dog around it has not only gone quickly, it has also been very pleasant.

Already tomorrow is February.  I have Valentine's Day on the brain.  It is a bit of a sticky subject around here.  I think it is awesome because it is the one day that I am guaranteed a bit of romance.  And who can blame me when it is all the talk out there?  You see pictures of flowers and candy in the aisles and cheesy Romantic sayings everywhere you look.  My husband doesn't find the opportunity so inviting.  To all those stick in the mud people who are convinced this holiday is only about businesses getting to sell flowers, cards, and candy, I say "so what?"  I think it is awesome to spend a bit of time thinking about love.  How is this any different than Thanksgiving being a holiday where we celebrate gratitude?  Why not celebrate the loves in your life:  spouse, children, parents, grandparents?  Besides I am good with any reason to celebrate.  Heck, I love St. Patricks Day and make a big deal out of that, too.

Well, at any rate our disagreement has gone through a number of incarnations.  I have forced him to take me out against his will and pouted when he didn't choose to celebrate.  I have tried to do all the planning myself and had all out discussions that failed to convince either of us.  This year I am have given up.  I keep telling him that I don't care if there is no romance on February 14 exactly, but there better be some at some point this year.  We will see if that pans out.  I am just going to focus elsewhere.  I will work on fun Valentine's Day surprises and crafts and baking with my kids instead.

So Happy February Everyone.

Monday, January 24, 2011


We had the most amazing week this last week.  We went on vacation to California.  This totally broke up the monotony of January and got us out of the freezing weather.  It was so much fun.

The details: We drove all day Saturday and arrived at the Newport Beach Marriot Condo.  After Sunday we spent Monday at the beach and the pool.  It was a kickin' water day. 

 Tuesday and Wednesday were Disneyland days.  Thursday we spent doing anything we wanted to (for me it was reading, talking pics of the sunset and letterboxing) and trying to recoup from the Disney days.  Friday was our last Disneyland day, and finally we drove home Saturday.

 Favorite Rides:  Mike - Tower of Terror, Me - Space Mountain, Logan - Matterhorn, and Kaylinn - Alice in Wonderland

Maddie was a real trouper, being totally content to just hang out no matter what we put her through (waiting to eat, lack of sleep, lots of noise, really long time in the car seat).  The kids were great and had tons of fun.  They were really well behaved.

Three days later we had pretty much gone on every ride twice and met every Disney character.
My absolutely favorite thing was the warm weather.  It was 75-80 degrees the whole time with hardly a cloud in the sky.  I tried my best to soak it all in.  While I may be burnt out on Disneyland after this week, I could have spent another month in the beautiful weather.

They had birds of paradise everywhere in full bloom!!

Now...if only my house was clean, and I didn't have a list of things to catch up on...

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Eating this January

Eating has been getting a lot of attention around here.  Maddie has been eating solid foods.  She loves cereal.  I have never had a child eat cereal like she does.  She will eat any fruit and vegetable, as long as it is mixed in with cereal.  I just started feeding her lunch and dinner, so 2 meals of solids a day.  She has a pretty quirky way of eating.  She sticks her 2 fingers in her mouth after each bite and sucks on the for a few seconds.  Then she pulls them out to let me know she is ready for another bite.  She ends up having a pretty gunky face and hand by the time she is done eating.  It gets even worse if she rubs it on the high chair or on her face.

I have been doing the January diet and exercise thing. Well, kind of.  I spent some of the fall starting the healthy lifestyle, took a bit of a break for the holidays and this week I am back on track.  I always feel so good when I eat right and work out, so why don't I do it more often?  Oh yeah, because of the stupid physical draw of being lazy and eating tasty junk until I am over full.  Well, at any rate I had an awesome week and hopefully I can keep it going.  My biggest goal was a salad for lunch everyday.  I have cut down my carbohydrates to one at breakfast, one at dinner, and a couple of pieces of fruit each day.

Kaylinn frustrates me with her eating habits.  She would eat Ramen three meals a day if I would let her, and when I push her to eat something else, she usually chooses bread or pasta.  I can usually get dairy down her, but fruits, veggies and proteins are nearly impossible.  I actually have eating fruit and vegetables on her chore list.  I find feeding that girl very emotionally frustrating.  Tell me that someday she will have better eating habits.

In other Maddie news: she has started doing the army crawl (you know: knees and forearms).  She is getting more mobile by the second it seems, which means I better start being better about cleaning the floors.  She finds every little thing that hasn't been vacuumed up, and straight into the mouth it goes.  She is actually my first baby that eats everything she sees.  Kaylinn and Logan never really did that.  She has also started sitting on her own. She has a few balance wobbles, so I have to stay close by when she is sitting, but she sure loves it. 

Kaylinn spent the week sick.  It ended up being an ear infection, but the first part of the week was a doozy (fever, chills, gunky cough, throwing up, ear ache).  Now that we have the awesome pink medicine going on (Amoxicillin) things are getting much better.  I just about went stir crazy, though.  I am not a stay at home person.  I like to be out and doing things.

We went to see the Carl Bloch Exhibit last night on a real, honest to goodness date. Between an hour in the car where we actually got to talk to each other, an awesome art exhibit, and dinner, it was so much fun I might do it again.  They had i-pads to rent, and that was so worth it.  It made a whole multimedia experience that was really interesting.  It took us about 2 hours to go through the exhibit which was rather small, but I think it would have been way faster without the i-pads.  After we drove through The Colony (where Mike and I met) and went out to eat at the Brick Oven (can we say carb overload for my body that is so not used to it at this point.)  This was my favorite paining at the exhibit (by the way this picture doesn't do it've gotta go see it!)
Carl Bloch:  Christ In Gethsemane - 1879

Before I go I have to leave you with my favorite new recipe this week:  Microwave Risotto
Seriously tastes just like you spent all that time stirring in liquid, but you really didn't.  It was a very fancy, but easy addition to a weeknight dinner. 

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Goodbye 2010, Hello 2011

It must be new year resolution time, because here I am actually blogging and so far I have been eating right.  If I start exercising tomorrow, it will be a trio of attempted good habits.  Well, here's to hoping all goes well.

I really do love the beginning of January.  I mean, I really don't like the January blahs, and I don't like the inversion and yucky weather.  Here comes another New Year's Resolution (hereafter referred to as NYR's as this is getting ridiculous).  I should spend at least 3 or 4 days up in the mountains this winter.  Get some beautiful sunshine and mountain air.  Where was I when I started this paragraph?  Oh yeah, the beginning of January.  I feel partied out.  The house is one big Christmas explosion.  I am so ready for a normal schedule and a clean house.  I like the relative calm of January once it gets here.  Of course pretty soon the shut in, non-social schedule gets old and I am so ready for the warm outside gardening of spring.  That, of course, is the beauty of the year,  Once I get tired of one thing, the next thing comes along.  The traditions always bind it together without things getting old.

Our week in review:
All about the family and the parties.  We spent so much time with family and it was wonderful.  It was Allen family heavy.  This is okay though, because in 2 weeks we will be going to Disney Land with the Humphrey clan.  MaryIrene and Jeff were here, so we were trying to get together with them as much as possible.  We saw Tron with them (liked it).  We had a dinner at Fuji with Mike's siblings and parents. For some of them it was the first time going to a Japanese grill so it was so fun to watch their reactions.  We played Band Hero/Guitar Hero with Jeff and MaryIrene.  We had a New Year's Eve party at Steve and Jen's (I made it to midnight).  We had a New Year's Day Party with the extended Allen family (with a giant bounce house and slide...the kids were in heaven).  In between it all, I did my first sewing project with my new sewing machine that I got for Christmas.  I embellished a shirt and I think it turned out really cute: so proud of myself.  We played with Logan's new Lego game, and with his new Lego sets.  Kaylinn got lots of cats for Christmas mostly.  She has been happily playing make believe with them. 

Madeline update:
She is so close to crawling.  Just in the last couple of days she started sitting almost completely by herself.  She just has a bobble occasionally that send her over.  But it won't be long until she can do it completely by herself.  She has started pushing herself up to her side so that she can check things out from a higher vantage point.  She can scoot herself quite a bit now to get at what she wants.  My baby is almost a crawler.  It also means she is finding less pleasure in just sitting and cuddling with me.  I find each of these milestones to be bittersweet.  I am so happy for the strides she is making.  I love that she is growing right, but then I think how sad I am to reach these milestones for the last time.

I guess I better add take more pictures of the family to my list of NYR's as I have no pictures to post right now.  I have been a very bad archivist this Holiday season.  Yea for resolutions and the chance to start fresh in a new year!