Seriously, pipe cleaners?

So, our sweet 4 year old has been having a hard time going to church. I feel his pain. Regardless of your religion (or any long meeting where your kids must sit quietly), holding still and being reverent for hours is a lot to ask of anyone, let alone our little people.

I've had great intentions to make a fun little travel/activity bag (a actually bought a pattern on Etsy), but you know I'd blog about it if it was done.

A few Sundays ago I was trying to find little things around the house to throw in the diaper bag to keep the boys happy (and yes, it was as we were running out the door... and no, we haven't heard the opening prayer for many moons--working on it.) and I came across some pipe cleaners. I threw them in the bag and didn't think about again until I noticed something had been keeping Ethan's attention during Sacrament meeting. HMMM.....

I glanced over and he was having the best time ever with (drum roll please) pipe cleaners!! He only had 3, but was loving them. So, if you need something to help with your littles (or maybe yourself:) fork out the $.99 and get some. Its the little things that make life so fun...right?

And if you need a few on these cute little finger puppets!

Darn those teeth

Sorry I haven't been very good about blogging lately! I've had a little set back with these teeth of mine...

To make a short story long:
Warning: This post contains some pretty gross and painful details!

For about 2 weeks I haven't been feeling that well. I've had an eye infection, sore throat, my lymph nodes were super swollen, and I was SUPER tired. (And that means a lot coming from me!:)

So what I thought was Mono, was actually symptoms of a severe infection in the root of one of my upper teeth. I had a root canal done in 2003, but it wasn't done correctly and so I've pretty much had an open wound festering in my root. (After the procedure the dentist said the infection was so deep and bad that I'd probably been fighting it for months if not years. Nice.)

The pain really started last week, and regardless of what pain killers I took the pain got worse and worse. Thus, me taking LOTS of pain meds, antibiotics, probiotics, blah blah and a nice 911 call last Thursday because I thought I was going pass out and I had Aidan crawling all over the place. (No, not my finest moment.)

Friday (Praise the Lord) in total pain & on 2 Percocet pain pills I got the darn thing worked on. After 4 shots I still felt dull pain and when he took that great gas off I started crying because the pain was so bad. It was worse then contractions...I'm not kidding.

The Endodontists then proceeded to tell me its "rare" that the infection gets that bad (eating away at my bone), that I'd probably been fighting this for months if not years, and that the whole time he was working on it puss and crap kept draining from my root. Gross. Gross. Gross. Then he made an incision on my cheek to help the drainage and more gunk came out. (Sorry this is really sick.)

This picture gives you an idea, but the infection was all the way up to my eye.
So, beside looking like a chipmunk (sorry, no pictures people) I had the worst weekend I've had in a long time (as far as pain goes). Needless to say, I'm doing MUCH better now (can't imagine being worse), and next time if they don't have a face epidural I want to be put under. Seriously.

Boo for pain caused by teeth & the money we pay for it. And I hope even my worst enemy never has to go through this. Well, okay...maybe my WORST enemy.:)

{Latest Picts}

{Aidan's Determination}
{Ethan's 1st goal}

{Aidan & Aunt Stooph at Ethan's game}
{Hangin' with Hollee}

{Joyschool Preschool Friends}

{Bracelet for Mom}

{Sweet Little Ezra}

"Bulk" Defined

As not to confuse any more people who are not familiar with Winco--heaven knows I cause enough confusion in the world on various topics-- here is a picture of the "bulk" foods I've been raving about:

They are actually bulk bins.:) I realized that when I said I was excited for the bulk foods at Winco, the next question for me would be, "Do you need a membership?" No, its not bulk like at Costco where you have to buy a million things...its where they buy bulk and then we get to buy as much or as little as we want of it.

So, there you have it. Also, if you'd like a step by step on how to buy food using the bulk bins here you go:
How to use the bulk bins at Winco. (I thought this was great and funny.:)

Makes me Smile

Aahh, to be 4 again. School was so much fun, friends were really your friends, and eating and sleeping were such a bother. Ethan is no exception, & I love what runs through that little mind of his...

#1 While playing outside in the sandbox with a friend the other day, the boys decided they needed some water to build a sand castle. I turned it on so a little trickle (which, of course, was confused with tickle...:) of steady water came out. This wasn't enough for them. Here's the dialogue that took place...

Ethan: "Mom!"
Me: "What?" (I was sitting inside with the screen door open.)
Ethan: "I have an idea, we can work together to get more water!"
Me thinking: "That's great that they are going to help eachother to get what they need to done. Maybe we are actually getting through to him..."
Ethan: "I just need you to go and turn the water on so more will come out and I can fill this bucket!"

#2 "Mom, will you put that hot dog on a sponge for me?" (Evidently sponge=bun)

#3 Last week Ethan randomly (or so I thought) asked me to take off my shoes. When I asked him why he simply stated, "I think its so feautiful (beautiful) when you paint your feet." I never realized the impact painting my toesnails would have anyone.

And he's not the only one...

Hopefully Tanya (or Trey) won't mind if I tell this story. Its too funny.

Everytime we go to Oregon we always leave something behind. Last week Tanya had started to collect all of our little things into a pile upstairs.

As Trey (Ethan's 4 year old cousin) was gettting ready for school he grabbed something from the pile and put it on. Evidently he had picked Aidan's PJ bottoms and put them on as boxer shorts. (It must have been a sight...since they were probably a little tight!:)

Tanya explained that they were Aidan's shorts & Trey then looked at the pile. He saw a pair of Ethan's underwear that had been left behind and said,

"Why do people leave their underwear at other people's houses?!" Then he grabbed a pair of Travis' exercise shorts and said, "I bet these are Bob's underwear too!"

I start to giggle everytime I think about it. He makes a good point...people really shouldn't leave their undewear at other people's houses.:) Gotta love 'em.

Welcome Winco!

Move over Reams, Smiths, & Albertsons...your worst enemy is here! Winco is coming to town! For those who have ever shopped at Winco, you know the joy that bulk bins and cheap quality food can bring to your face!:) (And last time I was there they even had a great selection of organic bulk stuff too!!)
Last week I noticed they were leveling the ground about 2 miles from my house and wondered what they would build. Today as I drove by I got giddy as I saw that WINCO was coming! As you can tell, I LOVE Winco.

I grew up grocery shopping there with my Mom. Winco has recieved a LARGE portion of my dad's paychecks over the years, and now we are to join in. The farthest East I've seen Winco is in Boise. But it looks like they are branching out from WA,OR,ID,CA, & NV to good old Utah! Yippee!!

IKEA, all we need is Trader Joe's and an ocean!:)

Simple Abundance

Lately I've been on a quest to enjoy the simple things of life. So when I'm folding clothes or on a jog (anytime when my thoughts can actually be my own) I tend to get inspired.

After I had Ethan I had some pretty serious postpardum depression. Adjusting to homelife with a sweet but colicly baby, giving up my career, and being out of shape took its toll on my mentally and physically. Fortunately my Aunt Diane (thanks again!) came to my rescue and recommened this great book. Its really helped me to step back and enjoy life one day at a time.

One of the things that the book emphasizes is to be your "authentic self". You know, the "true you" that was so easy to recognize as a child before all of the "outside" voices started to affect us so much. Lately I've had a myriad of inspirations, ideas, projects, to-do lists, beware. These next few weeks I may be a blogging maniac.

Thought #1: Happy Memories...If you don't take time to remember, then you may lose some of the sweetest memories of your life.

It was a sunny but cool day last week that brought me back about 20 years. I was on a jog & a neighbor had just mowed their lawn. The diagonal cut and "grassy" smell reminded me of my high school softball days. During May we would often have days of double headers to make up for all of games that got rained out...a frequent occurence during Oregon springs. On these game days the coaches and their assists would be out mowing and raking the fields...getting them ready for us to play on.

The anxious nerves and excitement of gameday made hours of sitting in class go by so much faster. Winning games meant the world to my team, especially when we were ranked in the top 10 in the state.

Nicole (or "Snakeface") was my softball pal, and our Senior year we were co-captains of the varsity team. We spend MANY hours traveling on buses together and eating Subway sandwiches after games.(Thanks Nancy and Roger!) I was lucky to have such a fun friend to enjoy great memories with!

Here's Nicole with her cute family now. I'm so glad we are still in touch.

Those great spring days I never want to forget. What experiences do you always want to remember? Send me a link if you decide to blog about them!!

Testing, testing...

Now you're in for it. For Mother's Day Bob suprised me with my dream camera. So here's a few picts I took know its only the beginning.

If Mother's Day is this good it almost makes me think about having another kid...well, I guess that's pushing it.:)

PS Thanks for your help Tan... aka Photoshop Tutor... aka Camera Mentor!!:)

My Mom

A few things I've learned from my mom:

- "No one makes you mad, you choose to be mad." I heard this often growing up...

- By example she taught me to: "Serve the Lord with all your heart, might, mind, and strength..." She is currently teaching early morning seminary to 14 and 15 year olds...enough said.;)

- Something I loved that my mom did was allow us to try to so many different activities when we were young, and then let us gravitate toward what WE had interests in.

Before I was 12 I had learn how to dance on toe shoes (ballet), had taken pottery and book making classes, been on a year round swim team, played a variety of sports teams (softball, basketball, volleyball), learned to play the violin and piano, learned to sing & performed in school plays, learned to get the picture. I'm so grateful that she took the time to expose me to so much so young-especially when she was doing the same thing with 5 other kids.

-Be supportive. I don't think she missed one game or concert of mine ever. I can't even imagine what dragging 5 kids around to sporting events must have been like. She loved watching and supporting us...and NEVER gave a critizing word if we didn't perform well.

My mom is one of the most generous and faithful people I know. I'm lucky to have her.

Last minute Mother's Day gift = Picture Magnet

Okay, so this one is coming a little late...and you now have a glance into how crazy my life has been lately. But I figured that even if your mom doesn't get one for Mother's Day, maybe she could get one for her birthday or maybe your dad or grandpa can get one for Father's Day.

Enough already. Let's get to this fun little treasure...its cute, cheap, and took me 5 minutes.

Picture Magnet

What you'll need:
-Clear magnetic picture frame (You know the just slip in a picture inbetween to clear pieces of plastic. I got mine at the dollar store its a 3 1/2X5. If you can't find one like this you could always put a magnet on the back of any frame.)
-An unused card with a design you like (optional)
-5 minutes

1) Here's the clear "frame" and picture. In the 2nd picture you can see the magnet on the back:

2) Trim your picture (if necessary) to fit inside the frame. Trim it a little smaller than the frame if you are going to use the card as a background (see next step to get an idea). Sorry, no picture of this one, but I think you can figure it out!:)

3) Take your card and cut it in half & then cut it the exact size of the frame: (Skip steps 3,4,& 5 if you don't want to use a card as a background.)

4) Write something special on it... ...and tape or glue it facing outward (so your someone special can read it when they turn it over) to the picture:

5) Optional: You can use the leftover card to cut a little design if you want. (As you can see from the picture it took me a few times to get something I liked:) Place it on the picture where you'd like it. You could also add something to the outside like a ribbon, sticker, or anything else that would be cute.

6) Put the finished photo in the frame. (not can do it!)

7) There you have it! What a nice addition to any fridge!:)
Happy Mother's Day!

Zbar correction=24 count!

I just got back from Costco and picked up a box of the Zbars & I stand corrected. They were 24 bars for $10.47. We broke open the box on the way home (even after my pizza and pop from the food court!:).

If you can't find them at your Costco (some Costcos have different products) you can always ask them to order them. An employee told me that they can order thing if people request them.

PS Stay Tuned! I have several fun little crafting/sewing ideas coming soon!

4 of Toads treasures

Gone are the days full of shopping, traveling to foreign lands, & staying up until the wee hours of the morning just for fun. (Many of you know exactly what I'm talking about!)

For now, I just need a few simple things to keep me going. And lately, these are a few "treasures" I've found that bring a smile to my face and maybe one to yours too!:)

Not just for windows!

I knew that vinegar was good for windows, but didn't realize it can be used as a sanitzer as well! I love it because its cheap (I just add 1/4 cups to a spray bottle full of water) and most importantly I have a great cleaner that isn't harmful to my kids. (If you haven't done any reading lately, many cleaners have so many harsh chemicals that are so bad for us to breath and be around...just walk down isle at the store that sells all the cleaning supplies and you'll know what I'm talking about!)

I use it on my windows, toilets (it eliminates smells...a must when you have little boys:), sinks, and floors. It smells like vinegar for a little while, but goes away quickly and isn't any worse smelling than a regular cleaner.

I found this great little website that has some great "Green" suggestions and recipes using vinegar, baking soda, other cleaning tips. It also says this:

"White distilled vinegar is a popular household cleanser, effective for killing most mold, bacteria, and germs, due to its level of acidity. Cleaning with white distilled vinegar is a smart way to avoid using harsh chemicals. You’ll also be glad to know that it is environmentally friendly and very economical."

So grab a spray bottle for a buck, get some vinegar, and go for it!

No Longer Cardboard
Remember when you took your 1st bite of a Clif bar and it tasted like cardboard? Gone are those days! My latest favorite little snack are these great Kids Organic Clif Zbars that I got at Costco. They are the perfect size (not too much to handle) and they taste so good!

My favorite is the brownie one. Ethan likes the chocolate chip. I picked them up at Costco. They were around $11 for 12 or 14. I've seen them online 6 for around $4.50.

I can't wait to take these to the pool this summer!

Lovin' Soft Hands & Bums
Our little family is plagued with rough, eczema ridden skin. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I have tried everything, and this Aveeno Baby Moisture Cream is so great. This is NOT to be confused with the Aveeno baby Lotion which doesn't even come close to the moisture the cream gives.

Its the only thing (beside prescription creams) I can find to keep my babes from itching like crazy...granted I think they hooked up our water line directly to the Great Salt Lake which doesn't help. So if you don't have water softener (or even if you do) this stuff if worth a try. I also keep it my by sink and use it as handcream. I love it.

You can pick it up pretty much anywhere--Target, Walmart, etc for about $4-5.

Turn Off Your Fan!

This little treasure is for those of you running those fans to drown out the sounds of your house so your little ones (or you) can sleep without interuption. Yes, we too have gasped as we got our power bill after running our fans what seems like 24/7.

I've gotten sound machines before, but they either drove me nuts (enough with the seagulls already) or I had to use batteries (total pain). If you can relate at all, let me introduce you to the DexBaby sound machine.

This little guy was on display at the Lactation Station (anyone who knows a little about me knows the time I've spent there) and it was love at first sight. It plugs in (and comes with the 9V cord you need to avoid batteries), you can choose single or multiple sounds (we love the ocean option...without a buoy or birds), it will run non-stop all night long (not just 60 minutes), & its only $24.95!

So there go you! If you have any friendly comments feel free to post...I'd also love to hear any "treasures" you may love!

Memories of Oregon April 2009

A few highlights of our trip...

One woman in the SLC airport commented, "My daughter would NEVER take her boys by herself on a trip like this!" When we arrived in Portland we must have been a sight hauling 2 carseats, 2 roller bags, one duffel bag, a diaper backpack, Ethan's mini roller bag, and the stroller...I also say this because Ethan asked me, "Why do people keep looking at me?" Granted, in Oregon there aren't as many little people in places like airports.
It was great when several onlookers cheered and gave Ethan a high five as he helped me get all our stuff through the circling door. We made it & I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
Crafting with Tanya:

This picture is self explanitory.

Fun at 5232:

Grandma & Grandpa Smith with all of their grandkids.(pre-Ezra)

The Beach:
And of course the beach. A trip to Oregon isn't a trip unless you go to the coast at least once.

One of my favorite things about being a "SAHM" -as Dr. Laura calls it- is seeing all of things that they boys get to experience for the first time. Watching Aidan experience the sand between his toes was so sweet. (PS Dr. Laura's new book is AWESOME. I'll do a post on it soon...its so great!)

Do you remember as a kid trying to get your kite to fly?! Ethan was so excited to do it by himself for the 1st time. Unfortunately the kite ripped...but who cares when you can run and play in the sand and water anyways!

When we first got to the beach Ethan asked me if he could take off his sweatshirt. I asked him why & he matter-of-factly told me he was going to go swimming. He called the ocean his swimming pool.

Ethan may be a cop when he grows up. He loves to enforce rules. When Lucy tried to run away to the water, Ethan did everything physically possible to keep her from getting wet. I took this pictures after Tan went with Aidan to ease the situation...:)

Back at the Bella beach house...

And I wonder why I always gain weight when I visit home. Tanya & I took turns making meals at the beach house...I devour anything that gal makes. It didn't help that Travis grilled up some of the best steaks I've ever had. (And no, staying up playing rock band until you are delirious does NOT burn extra calories. Neither does "swimming" with the kids in the hottub or shopping at the outlets.:)

And I finally got to put again in his swim gear! I can't get enough of that kid!

Thanks for a fun trip TNTT&L! Love you guys!

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