Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I heart Costco

Hey Miss T,

After hearing what you were eating at dinner, and already having a plan to visit Costco in the works, I decided to take your advice and get some orange raviolis. BIG DISAPPOINTMENT. I guess the Orem Costco doesn't believe in squash and ravioli? Lame. Or maybe everybody else just got there before I did. I'm going to hope it's that one.

But, I did get some pleasant Costco staples, while avoiding many of my favorites. I skipped the raisins this month, as well as the gyoza. Of course I didn't get any muffins, because those can't even be considered a staple, just a favorite. We passed on those delicious frozen pizzas, and I didn't get another favorite, the chocolate milk.

I did get lettuce, eggs, and carrots however so we can have more salad. YUM.

Any other Costco recommendations? I'd love to have them. What are your favorites?

Love, Aunty KK

Monday, January 30, 2012

I {heart} Angry Birds


Now, if you truly know me, you should be shocked by the title of this post: "I {heart} Angry Birds."  Why would I love a trendy ipad/computer game when I don't think very highly of computer and video games in general?  I honestly can find "better" things to waste my time with then playing digital games.  And I do worry about addictions to video games.  In fact I saw a PSA online warning parents about "technology addictions" with their teenagers. Terrifying!

After we got our ipad, I did not want to join the 'millions' by even downloading Angry Birds.  Alas, the free trial version ended up on our device.  Then in complete desperation to keep T Bear entertained during a horrendously long car ride, we let him play Angry Birds.   And like all other Americans, he was hooked.  T Bear later taught Big D how to play.

Since then, T Bear has infrequently played Angry Birds on our ipad, but he is always wanting and willing to play.  If we were lazy parents, T Bear would have a "technology addiction" by the age of 4.

Last week, we were at a friend's house and her little boys had an Angry Birds game - like a physical version of the game.  T Bear talked about how he wanted that game the whole way home.  In fact, he said to me, "Mommy, if I have that game, then when I ask to play Angry Birds on your ipad and you say no, I will say ok because I will have my own game of Angry Birds."  Very logical - right?

This weekend, we told him that if he wanted to use his money that he has been saving for almost a year, he could go buy this game.  Of course he wanted to buy the game.  Saturday morning was like Christmas morning, as he came bounding into our room, shouting with excitement that it was the day he was going to buy Angry Birds.

We found a local game shop that had the game.  T Bear handed over a bag of money (70% of the money was in coins).  Then he tucked the game under his arm and said, "Mommy, I am so proud," as we walked to the car.

At home, we played the game with T Bear for about an hour.  Then something amazing happened, T Bear continued playing the game for another 5 hours!!! He only stopped playing to eat lunch, dinner and use the bathroom.  He played by himself next to us, then up in his room.  He figured out how to build the towers by looking at the pictures on the cards.  He was using so many good skills: eye-hand coordination, spatial relationships, learning about balancing pieces, creating his own towers, learning instructions, and using brain power.  I don't think these same skills happen when you play Angry Birds on the ipad for 6 hours.

Finally, T Bear was mentally satisfied and exhausted.  He had to burn off some major physical energy, so he ran around the house a million times and jumped off the couch 5,000 times.  I am sure he went to bed dreaming about angry birds flying at the mean pigs.  Talk about sweet dreams!

Since Saturday, T Bear has still been in love with his Angry Birds game and has not once asked to play on my ipad.

And that is why.......

I {heart} Angry Birds!

-Miss T

Friday, January 27, 2012

InDesign fun

Dear Miss T,

I began a class called InDesign Foundations. Today we learned how to make and format a newspaper. Along with content they provided, I added some of my own.

I know it's hard to tell from the small picture size, but the quote of the day, and two of the pictures were inspired by a scene I came upon last evening.

Mr. P and I had arrived home late from the days' activities. We had both had Ramen noodles for dinner a few hours earlier, and of course I had eaten a brownie also. I went upstairs to put on my jammies and came down expecting to see Mr. P studying at the table.

I was in for a shock of the century. Mr. P was in the process of MAKING HIMSELF A SALAD BECAUSE HE WAS HUNGRY!

Miss T, this is coming from the long-time-veggie-hater who wouldn't even let lettuce be put on his Subway sandwiches. Can you believe the progress? It's amazing! I still am not sure I believe it.

In conclusion:
1. Mr. P eats salad! And he likes it! (HOORAY!)
2. If you need me to make you a newspaper, looks like I have some impressive skills, right? Ha ha.

Love, KK

Monday, January 23, 2012

Making Myself Feel Better


As you know, it was a pretty rough week for me last week.  It was Thursday night and at 7:02 pm, I plopped myself onto my bed and vowed not to move ever again.  I had just put the boys to bed even though they were not tired.  I didn't care, I was done doing the mother-job.  They would just have to talk and play by themselves until they fell asleep.

I was ready to have a pity party for myself that was going to last as long as possible - maybe a few hours or days.  The prayer in my heart was "Heavenly Father, I can't do this any more.  I just can't."  After a good cry and some venting to Big D,  my prayer started being answered and I started feeling better.  Here are the things that worked:

1. A dear friend sent me this article about Motherhood - (you must read it if you are a mother, especially with young children right now).
2.  After reading the article, I decided to write a quick note to my boys telling them that all though we had some rough days, I still loved them and all the amazing things they were learning and doing.  
3. Drank some hot chocolate
4. The next morning I exercised.  We had a great Stroller Strides class despite the weather.  (Stroller strides deal here).
5. I showered and put on make up -that always helps for awhile.
6. Big D came home, held me tight and then let me have some time to myself.
7. Hosted a baby shower where I got some good "girl chat" in.
8. Attended church
9. Drank more hot chocolate
10. Kissed my boys and let them kiss me.

By the end of the weekend, I was ready to have another go at the mothering thing.  Today has been lovely.  There are many times that I wished you lived closer to me, but God takes care of us through other people and in other ways.  I know I could have felt sorry for myself all weekend long.  Instead, I am trying to focus on all the good in my life and beauty on this earth.  I still don't think peeing all over a bathroom is beauty (that is for T Bear), but my precious little boys and "big boy" are beyond beautiful.

-Miss T

Friday, January 20, 2012

Again with the keys. Thank goodness for AAA

Dear Miss T,

I created a fiasco last night. Yes, it was again with the keys.

After 6 hours at work, I was leaving excitedly to head over to the basketball game with Mr. P. As I walk out to the parking lot and say goodbye to some other teachers I jokingly said, "Oh, I guess I better find my keys now, and my car!" (Frequently I totally forget where I park when I go to work). Little did I know, I would find my car long before I would find my keys, even though they were in the same place!

I got to Monica (my car) and was still digging around in my bag for keys. No luck. So reluctantly I head back inside to retrace my steps. Meanwhile I call Mr. P and find out our plans had changed. We were now going to wrap up in Provo and head up to the Utah Jazz game instead (thank you father-in-law for getting the tickets, and in that regard, thank you his work place, family history department).

With the change in plans, my urgency heightened. I tried to get back in the gates of the MTC, but what do you know? My ID card swipe has stopped working. So I get stopped by the security guard, am commanded to go in and get it fixed, and can't find anyone helpful inside because it's after 6pm and everyone is gone from work, as they should be.

I retrace jillions of steps, but to no avail. I called Mr. P back and he wisely said, "Have you looked in your bag really well? Or in Monica yet? Chances are you would have heard your keys if they fell out of your bag. I'm going to guess they are in one of those two places. So I go back out ot Monica (hesitantly because not I won't be able to get back in to the MTC if I don't find them, as my card swipe clearly isn't working). As I'm dumping out my bag again, nearly crying on the phone, and looking like a distressed mess, some more teachers came out and asked if I needed help (as a side note, I've never been offered so much help in my life than I was by other MTC teachers, that's kind of nice). They were the ones who pointed out to me "Are those your keys right there on the seat?" Why yes they are.

We tried a hanger, we tried the Provo Police (a very rude girl made me feel stupid on top of feeling stupid as she told me that Provo Police do not help with that kind of thing and I should call a locksmith), and we tried prayers and straight up physical force. Nothing good was coming of all that.

Fast forward half an hour later, after I walked in the freezing cold and balled my eyes out to Mom in embarrassment, shame, frustration, and anger, we arrive in Lehi hoping to get the spare key (thank you brother-in-law for the ride), only to realize that the keys and the garage opener for the house ARE IN MONICA!!! Can we compound this problem any more? Of course we can.

We leave, both still dressed up from work, me no food at all and moody from my period, to go to the Utah Jazz game in Salt Lake. This is when Jose comes to the rescue with AAA.

He went to my car, called them up, explained the situation, and they came and unlocked the thing. So I say thank you to AAA! And Jose has likely convinced me that I needd AAA in my life at some point in time, because likely this will happen again. As Father-in-law said good-humoredly, "Well, just get used to it because it'll happen 40 more times before you die." Ha! Unfortunately I'm pretty sure he's right!

Thank you AAA, Jose, brother-in-law, father-in-law, Mr. P, and all those who might have contributed to my rescue last night. I am no longer tired, hungry, distressed, cold, and frustrated. That in and of itself makes for a great day!

Keep track of your keys, better than me please!
Love Kk

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Snow Day in Seattle


After a excessive hype and talk, the much anticipated "Snowmagedon" arrived in Seattle.  Honestly, it was not that big of deal.  The folks at the news were predicting worse, but it turned out that Seattle got about 3 - 4 inches of snow.  It was south of Seattle that really got slammed.  Regardless, the whole city of Seattle shut down and had a snow day.  

For us it was more of a regular day, but we tried make it fun.  After breakfast, I was making a mental list of all the fun "snow day" activities we could do.  As I went to get the boys dressed in 4 layers of clothing, T Bear went to the bathroom.  When I went to see what was taking so long, I found pee all over the walls and floor of the bathroom.  It was horrible.  In case you are wondering, yes, he did it on purpose.   

Instead of playing in the snow first thing, T Bear had a very, very long time out, followed by ample time to make some "good" choices to prove that he was sorry and ready to have a fun day.  Meanwhile, in my anger and frustration, I started looking up books on obstinate children.  I swear that the age 3 is more difficult than any other age so far.

Finally around noon we ambled outside into the beautiful winter wonderland.  As we started walking around, the good ol' Idaho girl in me realized that I needed to shovel the driveway and sidewalks.  I looked around and realized that NONE of my neighbors had shoveled their driveways or sidewalks.  I wondered if Seattlites don't even own snow shovels.  I went into our garage, but came out empty handed.  Apparently we don't own one either.  

A few houses down, our sweet older neighbor was shoveling her driveway.  I dragged my boys down to her house and offered to shovel her sidewalk if she would let us use her snow shovel.  She happily agreed.  T Bear tried to help, while Cub sat in a stroller growing cold.  I finished her house and moved on down to ours.  

We spent different parts of the day out shoveling snow until we had to go inside to warm up.   T Bear wanted me to build him a slide so he could go sledding.  I attempted to build him one, and then realized we didn't own a sled either (what kind of people are we - Californians?).  Thinking quickly, I grabbed a baking sheet and gave it to T Bear to use.  It worked rather well and didn't go too quickly down my pathetic slide. 

The nicest part about have a snow day in Seattle, is that all of my busy working neighbors were home.  We got to say hello and chat with many of them throughout the day.  Our next-door neighbors even stopped by to say they were walking to the grocery store and offered to pick us up anything.  It was so pleasant to feel part of a neighborhood on a wonderful snowy day.  

We filled up the rest of the day with many cups of hot chocolate, macaroni and cheese, Diego shows, soy chocolate milk, pizza, cupcakes, making rain sticks, and reading books.  And despite our rough start of the day, I can honestly say it was a great snow day.  

Now hopefully the snow will leave us alone and bother you in Utah!

Miss T

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Knives

Hi Miss T,

So. We got new knives. I guess I've always been told that dull knives are more dangerous than sharp ones, but at this point in my life, my experience would cause me to disagree.

Our new knives are very very sharp. I have King and Queen Chatterton on my fingers to prove it.

I have been completely banned from the knives for 1 week with the possibility of a ban extension. We shall see.

Love, little cut fingers KK

PS: Originally we kept ourselves awake during Sunday school by drawing the little faces on my fingers. It's better to be awake and entertained than asleep, right?

It was Paul's clever idea to make them royalty later. Ha!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dear Miss T,

Last night Mr. P and I were up late doing homework. By 11:30 I was unable to stay awake any longer. So I said to Mr. P "I'm just going to sleep here on the couch. Wake me up to take me up to bed with you, ok?" He of course, kindly agreed.

About an hour later Mr. P tapped me gently, and asked "Should I get your medicine for you?"

A very sleepy me replied, "Yes please."

Mr. P said, "Ok, I'll be right back."

A very sleepy me, with a reportedly happy smile said, "Thank you Mom."

Are you laughing as much as I was when Paul told me this story? Disclaimer: I don't recall this event at all! But when I told this story to Mom I said, "Clearly Mom you are still the symbol of service in my subconscious." Her reply was, "Or I'm still the subconscious reminder of 'take-your-medicine-Kallene!'"

Either way, I'm grateful I have wonderful people to take care of me when I just become oh-so-sleepy. (This is not my Mom. This is Mr. P)

(This is my beautiful Mom!)

Love, now-awake Kk

Monday, January 9, 2012

Christmas is about Jesus and toys.... right?


We finally put away all of the Christmas decorations last Saturday and now I am finally downloading pictures from Christmas.  So here is my holiday blog to you.

Top 5 favorite holiday moments:

5. We did not spend Christmas with my parents, which was a first for me.  I was missing some of their traditions, such as the Christmas carols being played with chimes.  On Christmas Eve, Big D gave me my present early.  A set of chimes that he had made himself.  BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER! 

4. We realized that in our house "full of boys", we don't own a baby doll.  When we did a simple nativity on Christmas Eve with our friends, we needed a baby Jesus.  So we used a sock monkey that was swaddled tightly. I think it sufficed and wasn't too offensive, just humorous.  I think God has a sense of humor.

3. T Bear got to see all of his cousins: 12 cousins on Big D's side and 2 cousins on my side.  That meant we traveled in total about 3500 miles by plane and car over 8 days.  We drove to Portland, OR, Eagle Mountain, UT, Boise, ID and back to Seattle, WA.  Big D flew in between to go back and forth to work.  Was it worth it?  Well when you get to play a great game of dodge ball with your 12 cousins and 7 aunts and uncles, then wear matching pjs with your other 2 cousins - Definitely Worth It!

2. It was great being with you and Mr. P over New Year's.  My highlight was us begging Big D and Mr P to participate on the Wii Just Dance Game.  Big D and Mr P stood up there and only moved the hand that held the Wii remote.  They were as stiff as boards except for their wrists flicking back and forth.  In an effort to inspire them to dance, you and I jump and danced like crazy girls around them.  It didn't work, but it made for some great entertainment.

1.  We went to church on Christmas morning.  It theory I think it is very good and appropriate to go to church on a major Christian holiday such as Christmas, but when you have children under the age of 10 years, it is a terrible idea.  All the kids at church were dying to get home to their toys.  T Bear announced several times loudly what Santa had brought him to his friends several rows away.  Then he took a small toy and handed it to a little girl sitting behind us and said, "I'm trying to be like Jesus."

The mom said something like, "Oh yes, because you are sharing."

T Bear said, "No, I'm being like Jesus so that I can get more toys!"

Tears came to my eyes because I was laughing so hard.  Part of me was embarrassed that my child relates Christ-like behavior with receiving toys, but it was too funny.

So that is what Christmas is about at our house, Jesus and toys.... right?

-Miss T

*Most embarrassing holiday moment..... my brother recorded Big D and I 'full on' making-out after ringing in the New Year at midnight on his laptop.  Then he showed it to everyone.... embarrassing, but at least we have still got the "heat!"

Friday, January 6, 2012

Where's Monica?

Anyone up for a game of Where's Monica? Watch out...I'm pretty sure I'll win.

How many gold Mazda Proteges with Idaho license plates are there on BYU campus? And not just on BYU campus, but parked in the Marriott Center parking lot?! Story time:

Yesterday Mr. P dropped me off at class and told me he would park the car in the Marriott Center parking lot. "Remember that route by the stairs on the east side of the broadcasting building? You went with me one time. That's where I'll park her," Mr. P said to me. Of course I nodded vigorously in agreement. Yes. I knew the broadcasting building, I could picture stairs in my mind. It'd be a cinch to find Monica later when I was on my way to work. "Sure! I know where that is. I'll see you later, but remember I left my phone at home today so if you call that's why I won't answer," I replied.

Could there have been a more foolish day to forget my phone? Likely not.

I ended up in the Marriott Center parking lot, walking up and down aisles of cars looking for my dear little gold Mazda Protege with Idaho license plates. Everywhere I went, I just could not see her. How difficult could it be to spot my own car!? I realized I was going to be late for work, and the enormity of the parking lot demanded that I try something drastic.

Two people walked by me and I burst out "I know this is weird, but I can't find my car and I'm wondering if one of you could let me use a phone to call my husband and ask him where it is." Bless these two people's hearts. Not only did they let me use their phone, but they also put me in their car and drove me up and down rows of cars when Mr. P wasn't able to answer. We kept finding Mazda Proteges (must be a good cheap college car), and even gold ones!

I kept repeating, "But it has to have Idaho license plates!" And then. Glory be. There she was. Gold Mazda Protege with Idaho license plates. I screamed excitedly and thanked my kind benefactors graciously. Excitedly they said, "Well, go check and make sure it's yours before we leave you here."

"Oh, I'm sure it's mine" I assured them as I got out of the car. I walked to the car and saw an empty water bottle in the back seat. I turned and gave the people a thumbs up! This must be Monica. But then I tried to open the front door, and was rejected. Confused I tried again, and again. Then I looked inside and saw an i-pod cord that was definitely NOT mine. What??? But it's a gold Mazda Protege with Idaho license plates!

Nope. NOT Monica.

How many gold Mazda Proteges with Idaho license plates are there on BYU campus? Well, I guess I'm wrong when I think I'm special enough to have the only one.

Those two students just piled me back into their car with a laugh and asked "Where do you work?" and drove me there. What a morning!

So where was Monica? Turns out Mr. P told me he'd park it on the east side of the broadcasting building, and I was searching the west side. My bad! I did find her eventually. Hooray!

There she is. Monica. MY beautiful gold Mazda Protege with Idaho license plates.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Back to school in 2012!

Dear Miss T,

It was my first day back to school for the year 2012. Boo-ya. 2012 will be the year I graduate from college with a bachelor's degree. Need the first day of school in this year be any more symbolic than a pencil box filled with crayons (pronounced kranz), that may be old and broken, but are oh-so-useful. Oh the things that are in my mind! Oh, how they have been well used and loved, and then blended with many others.

Do you have any other good ideas to dress up a wardrobe for Winter 2012 semester? I'm all ears.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Thank you Big D!

Dear Big D,

The Most Thoughtful Christmas Present award goes to YOU this year.

You didn't have my name for the family gift exchange, so when Miss T said, "So I guess Big D got us a Christmas present," I felt excited (come on it's a present and there is still always a little kid in us who loves the present part of Christmas!), but also incredibly curious.

When you first told us to close our eyes, I gladly did so because I thought you were going to enjoy some more PDA time with your wife. Then to my happy surprise I saw this amazing thing:

Yes. You win. Thank you Big D. Sooo much!

Love, Kk