July 30, 2008

Setting Ourselves up for Failure

We are getting ready to leave for Utah today to visit family and attend the 'Johnson Family Reunion'. Ben and I are extremely nervous about the trip. Here's a rundown of what we'll be doing:

  • Wednesday - 5 hour plane ride to Utah, drive another hour to Heber, sleep.
  • Thursday - 5 hour car ride to Idaho to attend family reunion at a girl scout camp. It's in the 90's during the day and in the 50's at night. Sadie doesn't know what 50 degrees feels like - we'll see what happens.
  • Friday - play all day, have a big fire, eat smores, enjoy family.
  • Saturday - 5 hour car ride back to Heber, go to rodeo at night.
  • Sunday - go to cousin Logan's baby blessing, celebrate after church, play with Joe and Julie in the evening.
  • Monday - meet roommates in Provo for lunch, to go Lehi to see Kurt & Desiree, have fun at Vilella cousin family reunion at night.
  • Tuesday - get up at 7 to leave for our 5 hour flight home to Florida.
So, Ben and I are concerned because Sadie isn't exactly the most cooperative child in the world. We have to say a prayer she'll behave when we do a one hour car ride to my parents. If my math is right I believe we'll be in a car or plane 28 hours in the next week! What were we thinking? I envision a lot of crying, kicking, and dirty looks. But it's worth the chaos to see the family. Hopefully, we'll be invited back next year.

July 28, 2008

Sadie's Half-Year Celebration

Sadie hit the 6 month mark this past week. It feels like more of an accomplishment for Ben and me! With each month's passing we always say, "Yeah, we survived another one". Anyways, we celebrated the day by shopping and eating ice cream (it's possible those are my favorite activities, but I think Sadie enjoyed it too).

Ben and I can hardly believe she's this old. It really seems like she was born last week (and yet, it feels like she's been a part of our lives forever). Someone told me that the days as a mom are so long but the months are so short. I think that describes things pretty accurately. I was reading through my journal about how hard those first few months were. I'm amazed at how all the memories of pain, exhaustion, emotional stress, and frustrations fade. Contrary to the vow we made at her two month mark - we probably will have more children. Thank goodness for selective memories! She just seems like a cute, fun baby now. Life is still way more complicated but it's also a lot more interesting and meaningful.

Below is some video I took of Sadie on her big day. If you ignore my high-pitched, rather annoying voice in the background the footage it quite cute.

July 23, 2008

Mommy Baby Play Group

I never imagined I'd get to the point in life where I would be part of a mommy-baby playgroup but it's happened. The ironic part is I really look forward to it each week. There are four to six moms at church that meet every Wednesday at different parks in the area to socialize and let the kids run off some energy. Now that it's summer and sweltering we've been going to the pool every week. These past few weeks Sadie has LOVED the water. I'm not sure she totally understands what's going on - she knows something is different, but isn't quite sure what. Even when she gets splashed she doesn't seem unhappy. And there's a little one year old boy that Sadie adores. She starts 'flapping her wings' (as we call it) when she sees him. I keep telling her she has to play at least a little hard to get but she's not taking my advice.

We've taken her in the ocean twice, also. I think the loud sound of the waves scared her a little but once we got in she seemed content. As long as she's being held she's happy. Although next summer will be fun (she'll actually understand what's going on) - Ben and I are loving the fact she's immobile and we don't have to chase her yet. We'll see how long that lasts for.

July 12, 2008

My New Childhood Home

My parents recently renovated the downstairs of their house - the house they bought when I was three years old. I tried to convince them to sell the house and buy a new one, but my dad says it would be horrible to sell because they would have to pay so much more in homeowners insurance every year. They decided to renovate what they have and so far it's turned out pretty good. The cabinet guy got in trouble with the government for not paying his taxes and they locked up his shop. So, pretty much the whole house is done except there are no doors or hardware in the cabinet boxes. Hopefully that problem will resolve itself soon!

Here's how it looked a month ago:

Here's how it looks now:

The 'new' house is really fun but I miss the beach condo they've been staying at for the past three months. It was FANTASTIC to take a walk on the beach after dinner or go out for a swim in the ocean while Sadie took her afternoon nap. Even though the house is only a 5 minute drive to the beach it feels so far now!

July 11, 2008

I'm officially old

Up until this time I have never cared about turning a year older. However, yesterday I turned 24. For some reason, that I can't seem to understand, 24 sounds so much older than 23! Perhaps I'm struggling because I feel like the past year has been unproductive which is really ironic because I feel like having a child is the hardest thing I've ever done and the most important thing I'll ever do. Also, I had several goals that I had wanted to accomplish by my birthday and I've failed at ALL of them. They are as follows:

  • Be 10 lbs. lighter than I currently am
  • Have obtained a part-time stay-at-home teaching job - I've had three interviews and three rejection letters. Ouch!
  • Kept the house very clean for a month straight - Why does housework suddenly become so overwhelming when you become a mom?

What I have learned from all this?

  • Eating oreos and peanut butter after every meal is NOT a good diet plan.
  • Don't set your birthday as a deadline, because it becomes something you dread!
  • When you fail - try, try again.

So, even though on my 24th Birthday I felt plump, poor, and clueless about parenthood - I figure, I have a practically perfect husband, really cute baby, supportive family, loving friends, adorable house and I just thoroughly enjoy life. I'll count the year as a success and get to work doing good things to celebrate next year.

July 03, 2008

Bored? Fun family ideas!

Thought I'd share this. Melanie Smith generated this long list (12 pages to be exact) of fun things you can do with your kids this summer. Many of them are also fun date night ideas.

Some of my favorites include:
  • Who's got the best...? Search for the best weekend breakfast in town. Make homemade survey sheets rating the pancakes, hot chocolate, and restaurant-provided amusements at every diner within driving distance. You can decide on the best ice cream or pizza. Or go with something non-edible, like the best echo in the area (under bridges or overpasses and in pedestrian tunnels), coolest playground, or fastest slide in your town.

  • Make face paint and use it one each other's face. To make the face paint, mix together 1 tsp. cornstarch, 1/2 tsp. cold cream or Crisco, and 1/2 tsp. water. Use either a paint brush or cotton swab to put it on.

  • Have a taffy pull. Make it together and then stretch it as far as you can.

  • Have your own drive-in movie. On a clear, dry night, bring the television set outdoors and let the kids watch a movie on blankets under the stars. For added fun, invite the neighborhood kids to drive-in on their bicycles to enjoy the movie, too. Don’t forget the popcorn!

  • 5-Minute Make-Your-Own- Ice Cream. In a quart ziplock bag, put in a cup of milk, a teaspoon of vanilla and 2 tbls sugar. In a gallon ziplock bag, fill the bag ¾ of the way full with ice cubes and add rock salt. Place the smaller bag inside the larger bag, and shake for 5 minutes. It works well to wrap in an old towel and roll. Open and serve!

Here's the link: http://alicia.ben.googlepages.com/home. Let me know if you have more ideas and I'll add to it. Hope you enjoy!

July 01, 2008

Happy Baby!

After many months of hoping, dreaming, and praying for a happy baby - Sadie is finally starting to cooperate. In fact, she's even starting to let family members hold her! She's always been a cute baby, but now she's pleasant, too. I was worried her hospital experience had totally ruined her social skills, but as Dr. Mike Jordan (her pediatrician) told us - the memory would slowly fade and the personality would return. We are so grateful!


Who you may ask is Christy Larsgard? That is my soon to be sister. Yup, Christy and Troy got engaged last night (June 30th). He popped the question while they were taking a romantic stroll on the beach, and reading their book of the month - Treasure Island. He put a 'treasure' on her hand. They are the giddiest two love birds I've ever come across.

A little about Troy....he's 29 in one month (yes, Christy is only 20), he majored in Pyschology at BYU and he's now working on his masters degree in public administration. He grew up in Minnesota but his family has relocated to Sandy, UT. He enjoys reading, running, and connect four. Most importantly, though, he makes Christy very happy.

The happy couple will be 'sealing' the deal in a Utah temple and they are not yet sure when (either August or April, I'm told). We're hoping for April as we will be out there the beginning of August for the Johnson family reunion and it would be rather challenging to go back out two weeks later.