Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Inspiration from Dale, my former boss.

When I lived in Orem after graduating from college and before moving to Colorado to be with Andrew, I worked for a non-profit company called American Indian Services. It was there I had the privilege of working for a great man named Dale Tingey (uncle of Earl C. Tingey, the general authority). Dale was old, stubborn, and set in his ways. He absolutely refused to use a computer. But he loved writing letters to people. He was one of the most thoughtful people I've ever met. He was always thinking of people and wanting to write a quick note to them. How did he remember all these things he wanted to say? He carried around a tape recorder with him. Everywhere. I was the administrative assistant there, but for a little while I got to work as one of his transcribers (along with Irene Toelupe). He would give us the tapes (sometimes several times a day) and we would type out all his letters and notes and any other random thing he thought of and wanted to remember.
I was thinking about Dale today as I drove to fill up with gas. I was finally away from the kids (sick kids leaves me MUCH less time to myself) and had time to think about things I wanted to write down and blog about. But I didn't have a pen, and I was driving, so I just tried to remember everything I wanted to say. (That's why there are a couple short, random posts for today.) But I wish I was like Dale and just had a little tape recorder with me at all times. Then all my awesome thoughts would never be forgotten. Awesome thoughts like, "Homosexuality is even more of a mystery to me now that I have been checked by a doctor for hemmerhoids (or however you spell that word)." Or "I should add up how much of my day is spent dealing with poop, pee, snot, or spit-up." I hope I never forget my awesome thoughts like that. And I'm glad I could share them with you all - even without the help of a tape recorder.

Today I paid $3.05 a gallon for gas.

How did I get such an awesome price? Did I rob a gas station? No. I shop at Safeway! And over the past month, I accrued $.50 per gallon off for all the money I spent on groceries. If I wasn't loyal to Safeway before, now I DEFINITELY am. Great store and cheaper gas? You can't beat that.

Time for a (short) political discussion.

I am voting for McCain. But I'm not happy about it. I am a Republican, but I'm not proud of it. I am so incredibly disappointed in our options for the election, it makes me sick. Why can't this country find a good, honest, decent man to put in office? It just makes me sad that John McCain is the best the Republican party could come up with. Shame on us. Oh well...carry on.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ode to Target

Once upon a time, I was a carefree girl, engaged to the love of my life, and I had no more responsibility than to get my oil changed occasionally. I was so anxious for that time of my life to be over - I was sick of being engaged and just wanted to get married and get on with my life. My, how foolish I was. I should have savored every minute of that blissfully romantic, happy period in life. Because it's gone forever.

One Saturday, Andrew was occupied with some ridiculous Air Force Academy thing, so I had the day by myself. Which NEVER happened - we spent every single minute together. Rather than sit alone sulking in my smoky-smelling, ghetto apartment, I went to Target. God's gift to retail. And I spent almost 5 hours there. I wandered up and down every single aisle, stopping to look at anything and everything that interested me. I tried on clothes, I looked at magazines, I picked out shoes and nail polish and jewelry, I took mental notes of how to decorate my future home...I did whatever I wanted. And it was one of the funnest things I've ever done by myself. (Gosh, that probably reveals alot about my personality...) I loved every minute of it. I didn't get bored, I didn't look at the clock, and I didn't wish I could leave. It was amazing.

These thoughts were brought sharply to my mind today after a trip to Target. You know how much I ADORE that store. It is a gift from heaven, and the only thing stopping me from moving in there and devoting every penny of Andrew's paycheck to the abundance of merchandise in there is Andrew himself. So I don't know why he thought it would be a good idea to take me there today to look at curtain rods. After all, it's coming up on Halloween: the beginning of the holiday season. And if you know me, you know I am OBSESSED with the last couple months of the year that contain all these fun celebrations. I start listening to Christmas music in October (yes, I am one of those people...don't hate on me), I make fun crafts, I bake yummy food...I do it all. And I love it. And Target has everything I could want or need (mostly want) - especially for the holidays. The Halloween decorations, the fall stuff...it's to die for. Andrew told me after we left (in a hurry, because Eva started freaking out and it was lunch time) that he felt like he was chasing after three kids. Rude.

My Target time has gone from stress-free and relaxed to stressful and hurried. And since this is the first time we've lived anywhere near a Target since we got married, that makes me very sad. Maybe one day, when I'm in a walker and can't see anymore, I will once again be able to spend 5 full hours at Target with nobody telling me it's time to go. I can only hope that day will come.

8 years later

Today I have been thinking about my good friend Ali's post about getting a new driver's liscense, because I had to do the same thing today. Thanks to her warning, I was fully prepared to turn over me old Utah liscense, which was issued October 2000. That's right - I was 16 years old when this lovely picture was taken.

Now, rather than get a new liscense when it was time, I decided to just renew it. Hence the "Under 21" sticker remained in the upper right corner. Cute, I know. Additionally, I never got around to getting a new liscense after we got married. So on my Utah driver's liscense, I was a 16 year old Stephanie Andersen, under 21, 115 pounds, and happy to be a junior in high school.

My, how things have changed. Today, I am Stephanie Webb, age 24 (although it doesn't say my age on there, I thought I would tell you anyway), over 21, well over 115 pounds (and yes, I lied about my weight on my new liscense...please say you did too), and happy to not be a junior in high school anymore. And although one eyebrow is higher than the other (as it is in every single picture I have ever taken...I don't know why) and I look like I have goiters on my very round cheeks, at least I had a good hair day. And that's definitely more than I can say for my 16-year-old self. Watch for another update on my photogenic self in 2013, when this liscense expires. Oh, the landmarks of my life.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

No no.

Just a minute ago, while I was typing this blog post, Eva came up to me saying, "No no. No no. No no."

I looked down and saw her hands, covered in brown ink, holding the pad of what was once a brown ink pad.
She had completely detached the pad part from the plastic base and had rubbed it all over her hands, her face, and the carpet.

No no is right, you little punk.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I have a few things I need to admit.

1. I watched QVC today. This is embarassing to me. (In case you don't know what QVC is, it's like the home shopping network, only it's like the crafty channel instead of selling those knives that cut through pennies and stuff; they sell like overly-bright ink daubers and the like.) The reason I turned it on is because I got an e-mail from Creating Keepsakes that there would be some scrapbook thing featured on there - I can't even remember what. But I thought I would try it out. I sat Eva down with me and we watched it.
But the worst thing I have to admit is: I actually wanted to buy something. I know, embarassing. The main reason I didn't buy the thing I wanted to buy (which was, FYI, a 580 pack of chipboard letters - like I really need that much chipboard!) is because I didn't want to have to say that I have bought something off QVC.
Mainly because I picture the people that buy that stuff to be ultimate losers sitting at home on the phone trying desperately to buy all this junk that isn't even sold in stores. Maybe there's a reason: like the stores don't want to sell it because normal people won't buy it. I have a picture of a fat, older woman on an old, faded chair covered with a dirty afghan, late at night, eating Cheetos (the puffy kind that get your hands really messy and orange) and hanging onto every word these cheesy QVC people say. Terrible, rude, judgmental, and probably untrue, but that's what I think of. So anyway. Although I do have to admit that I actually watched it, I, thankfully, do NOT have to admit that I bought anything. Crisis averted.

2. I am a wimp. I couldn't cut it, and today I wilfully QUIT the South Beach diet and ate several handfuls of chocolate Teddy Grahams. Eva has been eating them for two days, and the temptation was just too strong. Plus, I hate being hungry because I'm too lazy to cook a healthy meal, when all I really want to do is have a bowl of cereal for breakfast. Or maybe a graham cracker or two. That's all. I don't like having to think about food all the time - the food that I CAN'T eat. The diet does work - don't get me wrong - but I just can't do it right now. I am WAY too into cooking and food (and sweets...guess I should include that since I'm being so brutally honest) to restrict myself like that. So here I am, 6 pounds thinner and a whole lot hungrier. I think I'm going to go watch "Biggest Loser" and have a (small) bowl of ice cream. Things are back to normal.

3. Eva is 18 months old today. Where did the time go? But honestly, I'm not one of those sweet, sentimental people who long for the baby days. I have to admit that I don't like newborns. It's not that I see other people's babies and think, "Eww, a newborn," but I just MUCH prefer age 6 months and older. I can't wait for Leighton to get older. I love him, of course, but he will be so much more fun at 6 months. So I wouldn't trade Eva's 18 months for anything else. I love her this age, and I'm so glad to be here. I don't ever want to do those baby days over again. Unfortunately for me, I do plan on having a few more kids. Thankfully, the newborn stage doesn't last forever. (Even though it feels like it...)

4. I am a nerd. I am starting a playgroup for the girls in the ward tomorrow, and for the first week we are meeting at my house. I feel the same way I felt the night before my first day of first grade. "What should I wear? What will they think of me? Will they like my quiche and blueberry muffins? Will they complement me on them? Will they think my house is cute? Will they want to be my friend?" I know. I even - and this is embarassing - got all excited and nervous calling them on the phone to tell them the time and place. Like, my heart was pounding, and when I got off and looked in the mirror, I saw that my cheeks were flushed. As if I was talking to a cute boy and I'm 14 years old. I know, I'm lame. But seriously, I really hope they like me...just don't tell them I admitted to acting all twitterpated over a bunch of mothers coming to my house for brunch with their children. How embarassing.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Baby Signing Time

This afternoon on the way home from the grocery store, I heard Eva in the back of the car yelling, "Go! Go!" I looked back and saw her emphatically doing the sign for "go" and yelling at the top of her lungs at heaven-knows-what. Someone out the window who she obviously thought needed to go. That got me thinking about how great baby sign language is. I know I have talked about this before, but seriously...I can't recommend it enough. If you know me, you know that I love Signing Time videos above all others. Well, guess what...I got a couple new ones in the mail the other day, and I LOVE them. They will be released in October, and they are Baby Signing Time Volumes 3 and 4. And I can't say it enough to all you mothers of young kids out there: BUY THESE VIDEOS. They will change your life.

I have used Signing Time videos for a while now, but this was my first taste of Baby Signing Time. And I am hooked. There are a couple of differences in these new ones that make them more appropriate for Eva's age (18 months).

1. There is a LOT more music. I love that - it makes the signs easier for her (and me!) to remember, for some reason. The songs are cute and entertaining, and repeat the same words alot to reinforce the sign they are teaching. (Click here and here to watch the preview videos and you'll see what I mean.)

2. There are some new signs on the baby ones that are not included in the normal ones: signs for different foods , such as "carrot" and "pear," and other things that come in handy during everyday life with a toddler, like "outside" and "wait."

3. These new ones are even better at explaning the signs and how to do them in a way that sticks in my mind and helps me remember them. For example, the sign for tree. She tells you that one arm is the ground and the other arm is the tree. Easy!

4. They are so entertaining for Eva to watch. I don't know exactly what it is - maybe the animation, the songs - but she is much more captivated by these videos than any other videos. She has fallen in love with them and asks to watch them several times a day.

If you are a parent who is not a big advocate of TV watching, let me tell you: neither was I. Until I was introduced to these videos. I think they are so educational, and the benefit of Eva watching one every day (or two if she begs) far outweighs any other negative effect they say comes from children watching TV. Here is a good Q&A about the benefits of signing with your child. I can't tell you what a difference it has made for us; signing has saved my sanity many times. Baby sign language is something every parent should use - even if it's just a few words like "please" and "more." If you don't already, try it. You'll be surprised how quickly children pick up on it, and how eager they are to communicate with you. And honestly, there is no more fun and informative way to learn a lot of great signs than to use these videos. They are seriously the best!

Random nothingness

I love having two blogs. But sometimes I want to write the same thing on both blogs, but I don't want to write it twice. But really, you have GOT to read this story. Please go here to read about this rather strange woman I met at the grocery store this morning.

Anyway. Today was SHOT DAY. We went into the clinic expecting just Leighton to get shots, but then found out that Eva could get hers as well. Leighton cried for a second and then he was fine. I was a little worried about Eva, considering I hadn't brought any comfort things, like pacifier or Henry, along with us. Due to the miracle of a DumDum sucker, she cried for all of about 5 seconds. Oh candy, how I love you.

Speaking of me loving food, I cannot express in words what I would give for a piece of French bread or a baked potato. It sounds foolish typing it now, but honestly, when I was grocery shopping today (twice) I thought I was going to die I wanted it so bad. Although I am so proud of myself for doing South Beach for the last 9 days, I am anxiously awaiting its end. Oh, and I have lost 6 pounds. Not as smashingly succesful as last time, but...I still have a couple days left.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Menu for the month

I've been working on a fun project all weekend. (At least, it was fun for me; some people might consider it very UN-fun.) I planned our family dinners through November 1st! I learned from Simple Mom how to plan menus using Google Calendar and Del.icio.us, and I think it's an awesome idea. So I'm doing it. In case any of you wanted to know what we're having for dinner, and possibly want the recipe, I'll post it on the sidebar. Some of the recipes are from my own cookbooks (and I'm happy to share the recipes if you ask me), but a lot are from the internet, and the website should be listed under the description. Anyway. I'm very excited about my new method and I'll let you know how it goes in a couple weeks. I just love getting organized...it feels SO good.
Edited: Never mind. I can't figure out how to post it and get the recipes to show up. Grr. If you have Google Calendar, I think you can still see it...I'll figure it out. In case anyone cares. :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Welcome home, Henry!

All day long I have been thinking about what to blog about. (Blogging is one of the highlights of my day and I look forward to it until I do it!) I was completely exhausted this morning and didn't feel like I could keep my eyes open. I cried when I tried on my pre-pregnancy jeans - again - and they were still too tight. I laid on the closet floor while Eva jumped on my back because I was too tired to stand up and do anything. But I didn't want to blog about something negative. So I thought about writing about how breathtakingly beautiful Eva looked this morning while sitting on the piano bench with the beautiful overcast light from the window right on her precious face. I thought about blogging about how Leighton's smile session this morning made me happier than I can say. (He is such a better smiler than Eva was! Or more frequent, I should say.)

But then...the best moment of the day happened. HENRY ARRIVED. You may recall Henry from previous posts. He is Eva's stuffed frog, and definitely a member of our family as much as any pet could ever be, albeit an inanimate pet. We accidentally left him in New Mexico, much to my dismay, when we were there all those weeks ago, and we have been waiting for him to be sent ever since. And today, he came. In a FedEx box on the porch, his arrival was announced with the first ever ring of our doorbell (except when we did the home inspection and tested it to be sure it worked). He certainly arrived in style.

I got so excited, and Eva was curiously watching me as I sqealed and open the package as quickly as I could. When I pulled him out and shouted, "It's Henry!" she figured out why I was so happy and started laughing and reaching out her arms for her long lost love. She gave him a huge hug for a long time, and then wouldn't let go of him. Henry sat in the crook of her arm while she ate lunch, and he got occasional samplings of her milk and cheese. (Apparently her hot dog and graham cracker were too good to share even with Henry.) He went to naptime with her and she snuggled him against her face just like old times.

I am so happy Henry is home at last.

P.S. The other best part of the package is my camera battery charger! That is the reason for no pictures recently - my camera died and I didn't have my charger. That almost killed me not to be able to take pictures. I'm back in action.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rage against the movers

I am in an absolute RAGE right now. Andrew isn't available to vent to, so the lucky recipient of my lividness is you, dear reader.

I am working on putting away my scrapbooking stuff. If you know me well, you know how important scrapbooking is to me. I have spent years collecting these things and I take great pride in my collection. I take good care of my things and expect them to last me a long time. Well, apparently the idiot movers don't think so. Oh man, I think there is steam coming out my ears. I am angry beyond words.

Apparently when this dimwit packed my stuff, he DUMPED my neatly organized drawers into a cardboard box. No stacking, no setting it in...nothing. All my cards that I spent hours making are bent. A large 11 x 14 wedding picture - irreplaceable - is completely crumpled. Entire pads of patterned paper are bent and ripped. My foam stamps have bends and creases in them and are good for nothing now.

Aside from the insult of the complete lack of respect for my things, I am TICKED that I have to spend money to replace these things. Next time, I'm packing my treasures myself. And never again will I trust some baboon of a mover to pack for me. AARGH! I can't even think of a good insulting word - that's how mad I am. That mover is lucky I don't live in Oklahoma anymore. Because if I did, I would go after him with all my wrath.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Top 5 Reasons Why I Blog

I have been thinking lately about my reasons for blogging. NieNie's experience has also caused me reflection on how blogging can be so impactful. In my conversations about blogging with non-bloggers, I have often heard the comment, "I don't blog because my life is boring. I have nothing to blog about." This comment, aside from being highly untrue, implies that I consider my life so exciting that I want everyone to read about it. And that is also highly untrue. So with that, here are the reasons I, Stephanie Webb, am such a devoted blogger, and why I believe I will continue to be for a very, very long time.
1. Blogging inspires a grateful heart. I know that's not exactly a phrase you would needlepoint and hang on your wall, but it is very true for me. I have always loved to write. I have always been a journal-keeper (although not a very consistent one). And I have found that the more I write, the more I have to write. The practice of blogging (almost) every day has gotten me into the habit of looking for things to blog about. The more I examine my life more closely and take time to appreciate what I have, the more grateful I feel for what I have. "Seek and ye shall find." Right? When I am looking for blog-worthy things, I end up seeing my life in a whole different light - a much more positive light. No, my life is not exciting, and I don't expect anyone to care enough to read it. (It continually flatters me when people leave comments!) But there are many, many things about my life that are worth writing about.
2. Blogging is a record of my life. Going along with my first reason, my blog is pretty much my journal. Probably a better journal than one not posted on the web, because knowing that I have a live audience forces me to think more carefully about what I write. But it's still my journal. In my patriarchal blessing I was told to keep a record of my life, and I feel that in blogging, I am following that wise counsel. I don't want to forget all the wonderful (as well as horrible) things that happen to me, and my blog is a perfect place to write it all down. CJane has an awesome quote on her blog that I LOVE. "We write to taste life twice, once in the moment and in retrospection." Anais Nin, you hit the nail on the head.
3. Blogging is a great way to stay in touch with people. As I am not very big on keeping in contact with old friends (if you are my old friend, you are probably nodding your head in agreement), but I do LOVE to hear what is going on with them. I'm not a phone person, and I'm not a tremendous letter-writer either. But reading my friends blogs (as well as people who are not my friends but I wish they were) helps me keep track of them, as well as make me feel like I know them in a different way. Hearing someone's thoughts and feelings on a regular basis is not something most people get in everyday friendships. Blogging makes that level of intimacy possible. Plus, you don't have to have any of the hassle of actually speaking in person or having a phone conversation, or even e-mailing. I sound like a real hermit, don't I? You know what I mean. You can just slink around the internet like a social outcast and read what they write. I love that.
4. Blogging makes me love my family more.
I love these guys. 'Nuff said.
5. Blogging is addicting. Like I said earlier, the more I write, the more I have to write. Not an hour goes by now that I don't think, "Ooh, I should write that down and blog about it tonight." I have a couple notebooks stashed around the house with several lists of things that I want to blog about (this being one of them, in fact; I wrote this down and have been thinking about it for a couple weeks now). But I think it's addicting in a good way. I might not say that on days where I look at the clock and realize I have been doing nothing but reading other people's blogs for two hours, but in general I think it's a great thing. It's a good community to belong to, as we have seen from Stephanie Neilson's experience. In short, I am proud to be a blogger.
So there are my top 5 reasons for being a blogger. Blogging rocks. I love it. And if you are reading this, I hope you will step back and look at your life a little differently. Nobody's life is boring; everyone has something to write about. Everyone has a story to tell. There are always little nuggets of beauty to be discovered everyday. Now go find them, and blog about it. :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

512th thing I love about my house, and now I get it.

Okay, I don't know for sure the exact number of things I love about my house. I love everything about it, so however many things there are, that's the number. Anyway, I love my central vac system. If you don't have this in your house, you should consider moving to a new house that has it. Just kidding, but it really is awesome.

Speaking of vacuuming, I was just doing that upstairs and it got me thinking. (Some of my clearest thoughts come while I am vacuuming or feeding Leighton. That makes me happy.) When I was younger, I would lie in bed and listen to my mom vacuuming. It seemed she always vacuumed (that is such an annoying word to type!) after we were in bed and supposed to be asleep. The older I got, I wondered why in the world she did it then. Wouldn't it wake us up when she had just gone to all the effort to get all 8 of us to sleep?

And then, there I was tonight, vacuuming upstairs right after I had put the kids down. I vacuumed right outside their doors, in fact. And in that moment, I came to understand my mom just a little bit more. (I have been doing that a LOT since I had baby #2!) It only makes sense to vacuum at night, when it can stay clean for more than 10 minutes. You try all day to have a clean house, but there is always something more to do. Vacuuming cannot easily be done when there are things lying around, and there are ALWAYS things lying around when Eva is awake. So of course I would do it at night! Plus, it's therapeutic. I am finding that putting my house to bed is almost as necessary as putting myself to bed. Waking up in the morning to find fresh vacuum lines on the carpet...could there be anything better? So Mom, sorry I thought you were strange all those years. I totally get it now.
(This picture is from August 30th, in Rexburg, ID at Porter Park while visiting my sister Lindsay.)

These two make me so happy.

I wrote here that I had already had the best moment of my day this morning. But I was wrong. There was actually a moment that topped that one, by a long shot. It was about 3pm and I was on the computer editing some pictures to send to Walmart to get developed. Want to see the pictures? Okay, here they are.

There were a couple more, but those ones go really well with this post, and I haven't put them on here yet, so I'm killing two birds with one stone. (Side note: That saying is so weird. Who wants to kill a bird, anyway? And if someone does want to kill one, wouldn't they just use a gun or something? I don't get it.) Anyway, that's what I was working on when I heard Leighton start to cry from the other room. I had been feeding him a bottle a few minutes earlier but put him down in the living room in his bouncer chair so I could quickly order the prints. I clicked away, trying to get done so I could get in and finish feeding him.

Then I heard him stop crying and start swallowing. What?? I couldn't understand. Had he found his thumb or something? I walked in the living room, and what I saw instantly brought tears to my eyes and make my heart so happy I thought I would burst. Eva knelt by Leighton's side, holding the bottle in his mouth. She had found the bottle and put it in there all by herself, with no direction from me. I could not believe the sweet, tender gesture from this new big sister. I would have taken a picture, but alas, my camera battery is dead and I can't find the charger. I did grab the video camera and film the happy scene. That is something I never want to forget. I am so proud of Eva for adapting so well to her big sisterness and figuring out what to do to help her baby brother stop crying. What a sweet little girl.

On another note, Eva has an obsession with her bellybutton. Last week, she wanted to see mine, and I made the mistake of showing it to her. Now, every time she lifts up her shirt, she wants me to do the same. She looks down at her fat little belly, looks at me, and says, "Mama?" Like, "Aren't you going to show me yours now?" It's pretty funny. This evening Andrew and I were cleaning up from dinner, and I left Eva sitting in her highchair at the table, eating SSSSSSS (ak.a. sunflower seeds). I came in to get her out and found her intently digging in her bellybutton. She saw me come up and said, "Whasat?" I said, for the millionth time today, "It's your bellybutton." She instantly replied, "Mama?" Nope, sorry Moo: no Mama's bellybutton today. See, aside from the fact that it's inconvenient to show her my bellybutton, it's also embarassing. I don't want to look at it. She could get her whole hand lost in there before she actually found my bellybutton 6 inches back from the surface of my postpartum stomach. Attractive, I know. I truly don't want to teach her that looking like that is acceptable. :)

Well, I'd better go get the kids in the bathtub. My treat to end the day is that I rented "Made of Honor" and I'm going to watch it. I have been wanting to see it FOREVER. I hope it doesn't disappoint. Andrew is disappointed I'm making him watch it. Oh well.

Small dream come true

I have always had this fantasy about living back in the earlier 1900s, like 30s or 40s. I think it looks like such a glamorous time to be alive. Everyone had good manners and dressed properly. Housewives wore adorable aprons and had nice hair and found joy in new-fangled contraptions like vaccums. (At least, I like to imagine that they did. Because even here in 2008, I love vacuuming.) One part of their charming world that I have always wanted to have is a milkman. Having milk delivered to the door in glass bottle...something about that has always just seemed so wonderful to me.

And now, my dream has come true. I have a milkman. I have an insulated box on my front porch where, every Saturday, I get 4 half-gallons of milk from a local family dairy farm. They come in paper cartons rather than glass bottles, but I still think it's charming. The milk tastes alot better than commisary milk (even though that's not too hard to beat!) or Safeway milk.

Just one more thing I love about living in Washington.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A unhappy realization, and the horrible word of the day.

I went to the doctor today. (Read more about my eventful trip here.) I went with the intention of getting the "counseling" about getting an IUD - more on that later. Maybe. Is birth control an appropriate topic for my blog? I guess if my boobs are included, then why not birth control? Let it all hang out in cyberspace, right? Obviously, I do. (By the way, does anyone have any input on IUDs? Anyone have one?)

ANYWAY. Let me preface this by saying that today was exhausting. It was Andrew's first real day since we moved here, and it was not pleasant. Being home alone with both kids...sheesh. I was trying desperately to clean up the house. I am REALLY trying harder to be a better housekeeper. But it is virtually impossible with these two! I don't know if it was me, or them, or what...but I couldn't seem to get anything done. I managed to do my grocery-shopping list, which is an accomplishment. (I am doing South Beach Phase 1 again so it takes a little more planning than usual. People, if you want to lose weight, SERIOUSLY, try South Beach. It's not like other diets. It really truly works. End of tangent.) But that's about it. I couldn't do all the laundry I planned because something was leaking water all over the laundry room. I also showered, and there's where it ended. Where did the day go?

My appointment was at 3pm. Sad to think of how little I accomplished before then. Such is the life of a mom, I guess. Anyway. My point is to tell you of the crowning moment of my day. I was sitting in the exam room waiting for the doctor, when I saw a BMI chart on the wall. You know where you put in your height and weight and it tells you your Body Mass Index. I traced the columns with my fingers to meet at the correct spot, and then looked to the colored box code on the left. And the word I saw next to my assigned number made my heart grow cold.


There is nothing like that word labeling you to make you feel like a piece of scum. I know, I know, I just had a baby. But seriously, I have no excuse. I eat like a pig. Hence my second go-around with South Beach. (That's the only thing motivating me to follow the strict 2-week plan - last time I lost about 15 pounds in the 2 weeks. Not lying.) So wish me and my overweight self good luck as we embark on better eating habits. I will be praying that next time I go, I will find myself under the "Healthy Weight" category. Like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Wish me luck. And don't mention sugar, for heaven's sake. Now I'm going to take my sugar-free Jello (my saving grace on South Beach) and watch a movie with my "Healthy Weight" husband. Bah.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Blasphemous, but pretty funny.

Just a few minutes ago, I sat in Leighton's bedroom feeding him his bottle before bed. All of a sudden, I heard a whispering voice come through the baby monitor.

"Stephanie. This is the Holy Ghost. I am telling you to come downstairs and give your husband a full body massage. Thank you."

I never knew the Holy Ghost was so technologically advanced that he uses baby monitors to communicate with me. Wow.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Swinging in the backyard - Farmington, NM - August 21

In Mammy's backyard, there is a wonderful little playground just for the grandkids. Eva fell in love with swinging and begged all day every day to go out and play. This particular morning, I took her outside before she was even dressed. She swung (or is it swang? I should totally know that...) for a LONG time. I taught her "Popcorn Popping," which she loved. And I took her picture, which she doesn't love so much anymore. One day she'll thank me. Or not...she will have about 38 million pictures of her childhood. Oh well.
This is what happened when I told her it was time to go inside:

Bikini Bottom Espresso

Have you ever heard of this? It's a coffee company, and it's located not too far from our house. I'm not sure if it's a chain, but this is definitely my first encounter with this type of establishment. See, it's a small wooden building - quite comparable to a snowcone shack - that has a drive-thru window where people can order and pick up their coffee. Not so amazing. The strange part is that the employees there are all girls...dressed in bikinis. Now, Washington is not exactly a balmy climate, so I doubt bikinis are very common here. Certainly not year-round. How would one such business come to be in the Northwest? I don't know. But it is something that has definitely attracted my attention.

Maybe admitting this publicly will make it less weird. Or more. We'll see. But I drive past that little shack almost everyday. And every single time, I find myself slightly slowing down, staring at the shack, trying to see if there really, truly are girls dressed in bikinis working in there. And I can confirm that there are; I have seen them 5 times. I don't know why this is so fascinating to me. It's not that I want to see the girls themselves - I'm not weird like that. I simply can't get over the fact that they stand there in a bikini all day long, serving coffee. In Washington.

Today, Andrew happened to be with me in the car while I was driving, and we passed the Bikini Bottom Espresso. As usual, I peered out the window, trying to catch a glimpse of the bikini girl. I saw her and immediately looked back at the road, but I had to hit the brakes as the car in front of me had slowed down. (Maybe he was looking at the girl too?) Andrew said, "One of these days you're going to get in a accident from trying to see a girl in a bikini."

Well, when you put it that way...what the heck am I doing?? That's when it hit me that what I was doing was weird, and that's what prompted me to blog about it. So somebody, please make me feel better. Wouldn't you look, too?

Webb Family Dinner at the park - Farmington, NM - August 21

I love my Buster Boonies!

Our family with Nanny - the great woman our Eva was named for.
All the sibling who were there, with spouses and kids.

Jamison loved holding Leighton.

All the grandkids, except the Johnsons!
Gotta love Pappy's face.

4-wheeling - Farmington, NM - August 20

Perry, Christi, Logan, and my Leighton
Mikael and me, blazing trails in the desert
No explanation, really. I guess I just felt so good flying across the dusty ground that I thought it appropriate to pose like this. America's Next Top 4-Wheeling Model.
Mikael and me, heating up the already-scorching desert
Don't worry - I know I look like a 12-year old in gym class because my sports bra is showing. It was all because I was trying my darndest to stop lactating. Forgive my exposing you to my underwear.
Leighton and Logan...for the first few minutes at least!
Andrew, pulling a Usain Bolt move :) Our favorite Olympic moment to laugh about!

Perry and Andrew
Me and my hottie patottie husband. And my sports bra, of course.


New blog - written a while ago, but just barely posted. Read it here, or scroll back to August 19th in the archives. One of the coolest days of my life...

A day at the park - Farmington, NM - August 18

First time down the slide by herself!

If a picture is worth a thousand words...

Then how many words are a thousand pictures worth? Because that's about how many pictures I have to post. So if you're not interested, skip this post, and the next, like...30 or so. Here they come: very few words, very many pictures. (Note: I did not have the time to edit these AT ALL, so they are straight-out-of-camera. Don't judge me. **Correction**I couldn't bring myself to post them as-is, so I did edit them. Yeah, and I just saw that the last time I posted pictures was AUGUST 14th. Almost a whole month. And I want them all posted because I print off my blog into a book as my journal. So...hold on, folks. There's about to be a LOT of pictures.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I'm back, and I'm home.

Home at last. I have never been happier. We are in our beautiful new house, and we are absolutely in love with it. We moved in last Monday and finally got internet today. (Hallelujah - you all know how attached I am to the internet!)

We also - miracle of miracles - got cable television! I always swore up and down I would never get cable, for so many reasons. But let's face it. Living in Altus wore me down. I got hooked on a couple shows (Food Network, Jon and Kate Plus 8, etc...), and apparently Andrew did too. Plus, it was a better deal to get cable, internet, and phone rather than just 2 seperately, strangely enough. We also bought a humongous, larger-than-life television (another thing I swore I would never have in my home) from Andrew brother Perry. And I hate to admit it, but I LOVE it. It's big, it's high-def, and it's awesome. Like Andrew said, "There is nothing like seeing an onion in high-def." (Referring to my excitement over finding out that Food Network is an HD channel.)

Anyway, enough about our media stuff. We just love it here in Washington. The weather is amazing. (I know, I know, all you downers - I know it's going to rain a lot soon. But shut up and let me enjoy the beautifulness while it lasts.) Our neighborhood is great. Our house - have I mentioned yet how much I love our house? Oh, man. I have never been such a good housekeeper in my life. I actually enjoy cleaning the kitchen. I know - words you never thought would come from my lips. But it's true. I'll post pictures soon. We're just about through unpacking. It's amazing how much space we have! Our closets are gargantuan, and we don't even know what to do with our bedroom. In the past it has always been an issue of how to fit our king-bed in our bedroom, but now...it seems small in there. Because it's the only thing in there!

Eva loves it here too. She plays in our backyard, goes up and down the stairs, and looks out her window in her adorable bedroom with the purple walls. (We painted a couple rooms before the movers came.)

Anyway, Andrew is waiting for me to watch a movie (in HD! I love it!), so I will end. Oh, and Leighton is 2 months old today! He is absolutely huge now and has chunkly little thighs and cheeks. A far cry from a month ago when he was a little skinny minny miller.

Sigh. I love my life.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Moving Day!

I think I might pass out, I'm so excited. No internet for a couple days. Oh man, I LOVE this day.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Eva's belly dance

Andrew and I are sitting on the hotel bed watching a football game. Well, Andrew is watching the game; I, obviously, am blogging and NOT watching the game. Football games on television bore me to tears, unfortunately. Anyway. Eva is in her Pack-n-Play and NOT going to sleep like she's supposed to. Granted (or granite, right Kim?!), it's probably hard to sleep with the TV on. So she's just playing away. We looked over at her just now and she keeps lifting up her shirt to play with her bellybutton. She has never really paid attention before. But the funniest is that we saw her flexing her stomach muscles so that her round little belly sucks in and poofs out, and back and forth. We were both trying so hard not to laugh so that she would keep going. I guess there's one benefit of sleeping all in the same room: we get to see all the hilarious things she does in her bed before falling asleep.

One more thing from today that made me happy: When we pulled into our garage this morning, Eva said, "House!" I think she loves it there as much as I do. Movers come in the morning...I couldn't be more excited.

Oh, and one more thing. Andrew gave in today and bought me some laundry room stuff: baskets and a hanging cart. My laundry room is complete and I am surprisingly VERY excited to do laundry.