Five on Friday

1.  At H&M this week I got sunglasses for $7, black skinny jeans for $12, and a dress for Jilly for $5.  It goes without saying I love that store.

2.  I made poppyseed muffins this week and they were delicious.  So delicious that Bryan insists on calling them cupcakes.  But I still call them muffins since it is generally frowned upon to eat cupcakes for breakfast.

3.  Jilly's shoe fetish is cracking us up.

4.  I got my stitches out on Thursday and the doctor said my cut hadn't healed all the way yet.  He put some steri strips on it with strict instructions to keep it dry for 3-4 more days.  Oh, what a trial it is to not be able to do the dishes.

5.  There are 3 things I'm looking forward to this weekend- visiting Bryan's parents, General Conference, and finally seeing The Hunger Games!


the apple doesn't fall far

Jillian has unfortunately picked up on some of our bad habits.

Exhibit A- drinking from the milk carton; Jilly saw Bryan doing this and had to join in

Exhibit B- caught with our fingers in the cookie dough


a day in the life

A few weeks ago Janssen posted what a day in her life looks like.  I loved that little glimpse into her day and thought it would be fun to chronicle one of my own.  So, here is last Monday.

7:30 - I kind of wake up as Bryan gets ready and leaves for work; Jilly never sleeps past 7 so I'm enjoying this luxury instead of getting up with Bryan (wife of the year)

8:00 - Jilly wakes up and we eat frozen waffles for breakfast.  I check my email and make a grocery list while Jilly smashes banana all over her high chair.

8:40 - While Jilly plays in the bath I sit next to her and read The Happiness Project.  After she's dry and dressed I get in the shower.  As I get ready she plays with various toys and occasionally brings me a book to read (and by read I mean she flips the pages as I attempt to get a few words in.)  I may or may not let her chew on Bryan's toothbrush.

10:00 - Off to Walmart for a few groceries

10:45 - I put Jilly down for a nap and talk to my mom while I put the groceries away and make cookie dough

11:15 - Jilly is still crying in her bed.  Right then my sister calls so I decide to drive around and talk to my sister and let Jilly fall asleep in the car (this was not a model day for sleeping, things don't go well when we get off our usual routine)

11:45 - Jilly sleeps; I bake cookies, read scriptures, check blogs, unload the dishwasher, research staining wood furniture, and eat lunch.

1:45 - Jilly wakes up and I give her chicken nuggets and yogurt for lunch

2:15 - We drop the cookies off at the church for a funeral luncheon then play at a playground.  Jilly is ecstatic to be outside- we haven't played outside in 6 days because of rain.  On the way home we stop at Ace to get some wood stain.  (At home I realize that Jilly stole some glue and dropped it in my diaper bag, guess we'll be heading back tomorrow to return it.)

3:45 - We play with toys, read books, and dance to Pandora's Toddler Radio.  While Jilly is distracted I send a couple emails.

5:30 - Bryan gets home from work, we all go running around a nearby lake together

6:30 - We warm up leftover soup for dinner

7:00 - Bryan and Jilly build lego towers while I clean the kitchen

7:30 - We have a 5 minute Family Night using the nursery manual (tonight's lesson is "I can take care of my body," but perhaps a lesson on honesty would have been more appropriate.)  Bedtime routine- jammies, brush teeth, read a few books, clean Jilly's room, prayers, kiss goodnight, bed!

8:00 - I sand our new wood shelf while Bryan studies for his upcoming P.E. (professional engineering, not to be confused with physical education) exam. While sanding I listen to Crossed.

9:00 - We watch Alcatraz and eat cookies and milk

10:00 - We watch a few minutes of news, chat, get ready for bed, and go to sleep



On Tuesday afternoon I cut my thumb open when a glass cup I was washing broke.  I got 7 stitches, a huge bandage, and a splint to keep my thumb still for a week.

Here is what I have learned:

1. A box of Sesame Street bandaids is not an adequate first aid kit.

2. Opposable thumbs are an amazing thing.

3. I am extremely right handed; my left hand is basically worthless

4.  When emergencies happen, it's nice to know we have wonderful people around to help.  My friend Megan took Jilly on very short notice, and she fed, bathed, dressed, and entertained my girl.  Megan's daughters are two of Jilly's favorite people in the world, so she was in heaven (in fact, she probably wishes I would cut my hand more often.)  Our other friends Miranda and Tommy stopped by with ice cream- my favorite remedy for any ailment.

5. Reading The Happiness Project is a great distraction when you're being numbed (ouch!) and stitched up.  The doctor said he was going to recommend it to all his suture patients.


growing up

Over the weekend Jilly found her old playmat and wanted me to get it out.  It kept her entertained for approximately 3.75 seconds but luckily the camera was close by.

March 2012

March 2011



For us St. Patrick's Day is all about food.  On Friday night we went to Bryan's parents' and had corned beef and cabbage (my first time and it was delicious!)  Then on Saturday we had taco salad with green cilantro lime dressing.  

Don't worry, we also wore green-
(I didn't realize how crazy her hair was until after the picture was taken, oops!)



1. It has rained here for 4 days straight.  It's a little depressing since most of the country is having unusually beautiful weather, but I don't mind the rain too much.  I've never been more grateful for our garage though.

2.  Bryan's company was incorporated on St. Patrick's Day, so he gets the day off.  Since St. Pat's is Saturday this year, he's home with us today- hooray!

3.  When we went to the Zoo last week I was fascinated by the flamingos.  First, they're pink.  Second, I did not realize that their joints bend forward.  Crazy, right?

4.  We taught Jilly to blow on her food when it's hot.  She now insists on blowing on everything she eats.

5. The countdown is on- 22 days until my family gets here!


It should be a rule

that aunties aren't allowed to live more than 20 miles away.

Jillian adores her Aunt Katie.  She followed her around, forced her to read every book in the house, insisted on always sitting on Katie's lap and eating her food, and generally preferred her to Bryan and me.  Since Katie left this morning, Jilly has been forlornly wandering around the house looking for her friend.

One day we went to the Sacramento Zoo.  It was a beautiful day and Jilly is really starting to like animals, so we had a great time.

Another day we went to a Kings game

We also:

had a very successful shopping trip at the outlets (successful is subject to opinion- Bryan and Neal would possibly call the shopping unsuccessful)

ate at Crepeville (one of my very favorite Sacramento finds) and In N Out

got manicures

walked around the temple and the lake

made these

watched Footloose, Mama Mia, Never Say Never, and The Bachelor

Sisters shouldn't be allowed to live more than 20 miles away either!

To console our lonely hearts, we're celebrating Pi Day and eating our favorite cookie pie tonight.  


Five on Friday

1.  I bought Jilly some little pink crocs at Target this week.  I may die of the cuteness.

2.  I made my very first pie crust this week using this tutorial (but I used white flour instead of wheat, don't tell)  It turned out remarkably well for my first attempt, I'll definitely be making it again.

3.  Anybody else so over this season of The Bachelor?  The girls are so annoying, and if I ever had any respect for Ben it is gone.

4.  Katie and I accidentally switched straighteners at Christmas (we both have this one.)  This week we switched back and it's like a long lost friend has returned.  It's amazing how different the straighteners are even though they're the exact same.

5. Jilly's trick of the week is folding her arms.  The only problem is her arm-folding is very irreverent since she expects an applause every time.



Remember how all of my family lives a billion and a half miles away and it really stinks?  Yeah, I remember too.  But tonight that will all change, at least for a week.  My sister Katie is on her way here!  She'll be staying in our craft room/guest room/storage room/anything else you'd like to call it so  I decided to add a few little things to welcome her.

I got one of these flowers at Ikea last weekend and decided to make it a little vase.  First I painted an Izze bottle grey.  This was my inspiration for the polka dots, but I used paint tape instead of freezer paper.  I cut a few pieces of the tape and punched holes in them with a hole puncher.  I spread the tape around and painted the dots black.

(you use old diaper boxes when you're painting, right?)

It didn't work perfectly, so I used the wrong end of a foam brush to do touch-ups.  Voila!  A cheery little flower and vase waiting on the desk.

I made a welcome sign to go on the window using this free alphabet bunting.  

And, Jilly left a little present for her auntie- an extra toothbrush and toothpaste in case she forgot them and ear plugs- because Jilly isn't exactly known for her good sleeping habits.

We can't wait for Katie to arrive!


Tiger Mom

I really really loved Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.  For starters, it was read by Amy Chua, the author.  It was all the more engaging hearing the story in her own voice.

The book tells of Chua's experience with "Chinese parenting."  She demands success of her two daughters, which to her means nothing lower than an A in every class,  learning to speak Mandarin Chinese, and proficiency in music (Sophia plays the piano and Lulu the violin.)  At times Chua is very demanding and harsh.  The girls never have sleepovers or playdates and must practice their instruments for 90 minutes each day with her standing nearby offering critique.  As the ultimate authority figure, Chua demands her girls' submission and respect.  When the girls are 4 and 7 she rips up the hastily-made cards from her daughters and demands better ones.

I find it fascinating that despite many critics’ opinions that Chua is cruel and too hard on her children, the girls turned out remarkably well.  They are both very musically talented and very bright.  Chua includes in the book an essay her daughter wrote in high school.  I am not comfortable admitting how many words in that essay I had to look up (a lot.)  In response to all the negative publicity the book received, Sophia wrote a letter to her mom that was published in the New York Post.  The letter ended with, "If I died tomorrow, I would die feeling I've lived my whole life at 110 percent.  And for that, Tiger Mom, thank you."  Even the younger daughter, who rebels against her mother's suffocating parenting admits at the end of the book that she is grateful for her mother pushing her to excel.

Both Bryan and my mom were subject to daily reports on my thoughts about the book.  It really made me think about what kind of mom I want to be.  While I would never be a Tiger Mom, I do have high expectations for my children like doing well in school, helping with chores, and taking some kind of music lessons.  The big difference to me is giving my children time to also pursue interests of their choice and supporting rather than suffocating them.  I also think it's important to note that we all have a different definition of success.  To me, success is a kind, happy, and healthy child- not necessarily one who has extraordinary talents.

Jillian is just beginning to assert her own will and sometimes this clashes with my will (i.e. she thinks it's perfectly acceptable to splash applesauce all over the kitchen and I disagree.)  It's easy to plan for and imagine the kind of mom I want to be, but I'm sure it will get much more difficult as she asserts more of her agency and I expect more out of her.  In the end, I guess it's a good thing kids are forgiving.


Five on Friday

1.  This week I noticed vanilla cupcake flavored goldfish at the grocery store and into the cart they went.  Poor Jilly never even got to try any, Bryan and I ate them up too fast!

2.  Lisa came to visit last week and told me about the genius of a hip hugger belt.  Because she's amazing, a couple days later a package arrived from Lisa with one for me.  I'm a fan.

3.  The other morning I put on a shower cap so I could shower without washing my hair.  When Jilly saw me she laughed so hard she fell over.

4. This week we found out my car needed a new engine.  We dropped it off at the shop and the very next morning went outside to find that Bryan's car had a flat tire- double downer.  To make matters more exciting, the tool that lowers the spare tire was missing so it took a while to figure out how to proceed.  We were carless for a day and a half which turned out to be kind of nice- Bryan could get a ride to and from work and Jilly and I read lots of books, cleaned the house, and finally got around to some projects I had been planning.

5. When you ask Jilly where your nose is she sticks her little finger up your nostril as far is it will go.  So Bryan of course thinks it's hilarious to say "where is daddy's nose?" followed by "where is mommy's mouth?"  Thankfully she hasn't mastered the mouth yet.