If you haven't gotten one in the mail, we just FINALLY mailed them today (3 days before Christmas), so they may not arrive in your mailbox until after Christmas, or here is a digital version if we forgot about you.
This morning it snowed a lot. It was the good kind of snow, too. Perfect for sledding and building snowmen. We invited ourselves over to our neighbor's house to sled down their PERFECT sledding hill. It was a blast! We had so much fun with them. They are the best neighbors and we really adore them. Benson especially loves playing with them. Here are their 3 cute kids:
Benson was not shy at all. He went up and down the hill all by himself a ton of times! Molly, on the other hand, was not so sure about all of her snow clothes. She couldn't really move, so most of the time she just sat in the snow, although once in a while she bummed a ride down the hill. Thanks for letting us come over, you guys! It was so much fun!
Casey is SUPER lucky!!!! Besides the fact that he's married to me, he is constantly winning prizes on the radio and such. Today he won an AMAZING prize from google. (Casey loves google. It pretty much runs his life). A while ago he applied to win a logitech review with google tv, worth $300. Wellp, today google gave away 10,000 of those babies to mostly current google web developers and a few android developers. And guess who was one of the few android developers to win? You bet it was Mr. Dalpias himself, the luckiest duck I've ever known. Good thing too, cause you know Casey would have had buy it eventually (since it's google).
Last year at this time, we were eagerly awaiting the arrival of this little girl.
In just 2 weeks, she will turn one. It is amazing to me that she is already one! When Benson turned one, it seemed like it was about time. But Molly seems like our baby still, although she is obviously getting bigger. The time has flown by! I can't believe it's almost been a year since she came to join our family.
Here are some things about Molly:
She is the happiest little girl ever. Really. It is very rare to see her without a big smile! She hardly ever cries, and usually when she does, it's because Benson is squishing her or I have left her.
She loves people. She will let anyone who will, hold her. She isn't afraid of strangers and she get really excited whenever anyone pays attention to her.
She is starting to be very curious. She's starting to get into things and make messes. She understands NO, though. So far she has yet to really touch our Christmas Tee. Benson can't keep his hands off of the ornaments, and although she's curious about the tree, if we say "no", Molly won't touch it.
Molly is VERY sensitive. If she ever gets in trouble, her face melts into a big frown. She hardly ever gets in trouble, but once in a while she will, and it's always a tradgedy.
She loves Benson. He is getting better not to squish her, but sometimes he'll try to wrestle with her, and even then, she still loves him.
She's got her Daddy wrapped around her finger. All she has to do is flash her sweet smile, and he'll do whatever she wants. It's REALLY cute!
We all really adore this sweet girl. I love her red hair, bigs mile, and sweet giggle. She is the most precious little girl, but even precious girls love to get MESSY!
I have been thinking lately about maybe looking into a minivan. I have ALWAYS said that I would never, ever, ever in my life drive a minivan. But the more I think about getting one, the more I think I would love one.
Right now we have our Tahoe and our Malibu (classic). I LOOOVE my Tahoe. It is super roomy, and can fit 3 car seats in the back easy. Plus a stroller, groceries, coats, blankets, etc. without any problem. It's a little big to drive around town, but I really don't mind it that much. I love the 4-wheel drive and that we can go to the cabin or pull a trailer anytime we want without having to borrow a truck. Basically, our Tahoe is like a truck. And it gets super bad gas mileage, which is why Casey mostly drives it to and from work while I drive our car. So the whole point of our "family vehicle" is thrown out the window because anytime we go anywhere, we either pay a fortune for gas, or we have to drive the car and there goes any roominess or comfort we ever thought we might have.
The car is fine, but it's so squishy. I hate to take it to the grocery store because if I have the stroller in the back, which I usually do, I cannot fit many groceries. It gets cluttered so easily because with 2 car seats in the back, even just putting your coat in the back seat feels like claustrophobia (never mind 4 coats). Plus if I ever have to get in the back to referee or give Molly a bottle or anything, there is no way I can fit between the car seats, let alone ever thinking of putting another car seat or child in there.
But a minivan? Seems so mom-ish. I guess I am a mom, though, so maybe that's why I feel like I would love it. I think I would love that we could have enough room for all of us (and for future children), but we wouldn't be spending our live savings on gas. I need to know what you other moms think. Do you have a minivan? Do you love it? Which minivan do you have? What should I be looking for in a minivan?
I love to sew. It is one of my favorite things to do. When we were first married, I made our tree skirt and stockings for Casey and I that match. Then, for Benson's first Christmas, I made his stocking. So now it is Molly's first Christmas, I made her a stocking too. Casey and my stockings match each other and the tree skirt, but the kids' are their very own. I loved making these stockings for our little family.
Don't tell Molly, but here is her birthday present. She is getting a doll for Christmas and then she'll get all of the things to go with it for her birthday. I sewed her a few burp cloths, a baby blanket, and a baby sleeping bag. It was really fun to make tiny doll things. Benson helped decide what to do, and he was WAY excited. I think he might end up playing with these things as much as Molly.
Oh, and notice behind Benson's head, there are about 75 boxes sitting in our living room. I've fallen completely in love with Amazon Prime, and have pretty much ordered almost all of our Christmas gifts and Molly's birthday gifts from there. Also, Casey has been building some computers for people, so we have seen a lot of FedEx and UPS. And, yes, the boxes just sit in our living room because if I don't open the boxes, then I don't have to hide Christmas gifts. The kids aren't too curious about brown boxes since we have a million of them.... And, there are more to come!
Have you ever heard of Amazon Mom? You can sign up here, but basically it's for all moms or dads or grandmas, etc. It doesn't cost a thing, but it provides its' members with free 2-day shipping for 3 months, and for every $25 you spend, you'll get an additional month of free shipping. Read all about it here. (Free shipping on anything, not just diapers and stuff).
Free shipping is pretty great, but the really awesome thing about Amazon Mom is that you can sign up for "subscribe and save". Which is where you sign up to have diapers or wipes or other such things sent to you automatically. I just signed up to have 2 boxes of diapers shipped to my house each month. The good thing about subscibe and save is that it saves you 30% on top of the already good amazon prices. And of course, you don't have to go to the store and all of that junk. My diapers (Huggies Little Movers, size 3, 76 count) cost 17 cents a piece, which isn't as great as an awesome coupon/sale deal, but it's much better than Costco's price of 25 cents a piece and Wal-mart's price of 27 cents a piece.
I just wanted to let all of you other moms know about this good deal on diapers, wipes, and other items you most likely fork over a ton of money for each month. No, Amazon did not compensate me for this post, but they should have.
When you get about half way through this (if you make it that far), you may be wondering if there is a point to all of this rambling. Please be assured that there is no point.
I have only seen my husband's chin, cleanly shaven, once in person. He could have a huge mole or wart on his chin, and I would not know it. The day he got home from his mission was the only time I've seen his bare chin (I'm sure his bare chin was the last thing on my mind). He was cleanly shaven after his mission for the amount of time that it took him to grow his goatee back, which is not long. I met him when I was 15, and even then, he had a big-ole goatee.
Casey was the kind of kid in high school (and Jr high) that could grow a beard faster than any of his teachers. His hairiness has grown on me (grown on me! ha ha ha). It's one of those things that I wasn't so sure about in the beginning, but now, I'm quite fond of it. Like Molly's red hair; at first I didn't know what to think about it. I didn't expect a red-headed child, and so when I got one, I had to get used to it. Now I freaking LOVE her red hair. It is so beautiful and unique, but it had to grow on me. And Benson's glasses; they have grown on me. Having a child with glasses seemed like a tragedy to me at first, but the more he wears them, the more I love them on him.
Maybe I love Molly's red hair and Benson's glasses because that's the duty of a mother. I'm sure my mother did not love everything about each of her seven children, but if she didn't love us, we didn't know it. Sometimes I think that I would love to turn into my mother. She is the sweetest lady I've ever known. When I hear myself saying something she would say or doing something she would do, I secretly thank my mother for teaching me the way to be a wonderful woman.
I'm turning out to be a lot like good ole Jan. When I was little she used to wash the dishes in boiling HOT water. I thought she was a nut! Who could stand water being so hot? Well, now I love HOT showers. Like almost to the point of scalding. I'm not sure why, it just feels so good. I don't care if my shower is long, but I do prefer it hot.
I also like me some good smellin' product in the shower. I love shampoo that smells like coconuts or soap that smells like raspberries. I do not, however, like to eat raspberries. I don't like to eat things with seeds. My sister in law made some really yummy pomegranate salad for Thanksgiving dinner, and even though it tasted so good, I couldn't eat it because I couldn't handle the pomegranate seeds. It was the highlight of Nick's Thanksgiving dinner, but I just couldn't do it, no matter how wonderful it tasted.
Everything is soooo super good on Thanksgiving, especially the potatoes. I always volunteer to bring the mashed potatoes to Thanksgiving dinner because I really love potatoes. I don't care how they're cooked, I just love potatoes. I like them baked, fried, mashed, whipped, scalloped, in soup, in salad, twice baked, and french fried.
I probably had more french fries by the time I was 20 than more people have in their whole lives. I started working at the Burger Bar when I was 14, and worked there off and on (mostly on) until I was 21. My favorite job to do there was fry (make the french fries and other fried food). I loved that job because it was the most complicated and hardest job of all. I used to love to push myself, and being in the middle of all the action was awesome. There were days when we'd be so busy I could hardly stop to think.
Where has all my ambition gone? Now I never volunteer to do the hardest jobs. I don't want to be caught up in all the action and business. I don't really want to ever have a real job again. I love being home with the kids and teaching them and helping them learn new things. I love when I see the kids grasp a new concept. Like Benson just figured out that there is a capital and a lowercase of each letter, and it has been really thrilling for me to see him recognize the differences. Joy school has been really fun for us because other moms teach 7 out of 8 times, and so Benson has been able to learn new things that I wouldn't have thought to teach him and then he gets to show me. Like today, he wanted to say the Pledge of Allegiance, so we started saying it and I went completely blank in the middle. But Benson just reminded me what came next.
Can you believe I forgot the Pledge of Allegiance. I know, right? You would think I'm completely un-American. I will assure you, however, that I am proud to be an American. In fact, the other day there was an awesome deal online where you could get a free pair of glasses, just pay shipping. So I ordered a pair of glasses for Benson and one for myself and they were called "Sarah Palin". So there, I'm pretty much as American as I could get.
Sarah Palin is an interesting character. Sometimes I think she says the dumbest things, yet, I still think she's just nice and sweet as can be. I'm not sure how I feel about her being the President or Vice President, but I don't mind seeing her sitting on the sidelines of Dancing With the Stars. Yes, I watch Dancing With the Stars. In fact, I really like Bristol Palin, I'm not sure why. She isn't that good of a dancer, but that's because she's NEVER danced, unlike miss cocky Jeniffer Grey who has been on a little show called "DIRTY DANCING", and complains every single week about being so old and having so many injuries. I really hope she doesn't win. Yeah, she's the best dancer, but Kyle is so funny and Bristol is so nice and pleasant. I'm pretty much addicted to that show. Casey doesn't mind it too much, he's just glad it's not the Bachelor, which starts in January. Let the train wreck begin.
Dancing With the Stars is on tonight. It's the final show of the season, so you can be assured that I will be here tonight, watching. It's not like I can go anywhere anyways. The weather people are predicting a HUGE BLIZZARD to come tonight, so we're not supposed to leave our house. It's supposed to be so bad that Casey got sent home a little early from work today so he could beat the storm home. They say to keep your porch lights on so they can tell where the power is out, and UDOT has already decided that they aren't going to be able to keep the roads clear, so we are not supposed to go anywhere. I cancelled my hair appointment tonight, and so here I'll be. I think I'll make some soup and hot chocolate and we'll wait out the storm while we boo Jennifer Grey. I'm really excited for the storm, so let's hope the weather people are right about it or my high hopes will be crushed.
Did you get anything out of this? Yeah, me neither.
Last week I noticed Benson was closing one eye a lot. He was doing it so often, that I even took a picture. I didn't think much of it because I thought he was "aiming" at things, like he usually does with a gun.
Then on Saturday, he started to cross his eyes a lot. Actually, just crossing one eye, his right. Then once he would cross it, he would sometimes close it right after. We kept getting after him for it, but a lot of the times he would say that he wasn't crossing his eyes... So we weren't sure if he was doing it on purpose or not. On Sunday, we decided to ignore it and see if he was doing it just for attention or not. Well, he kept doing it and he wasn't making a big deal out of it either, so we were pretty sure he wasn't doing it on purpose. Casey gave him a blessing. We decided that it would be best to have his eye seen. I called my pediatrician and they said to bring him in on Monday. So we went to see Dr. Zane, who confirmed that it wasn't something he was doing on purpose. He said that he thought he had something called strabismus. Basically his eyes were aligned most of the time, but every once in a while they would get out of alignment. So he sent us to the opthomologist on Tuesday. He confirmed that Benson did have strabismus, but we had caught it early enough that he didn't have to have surgery or wear an eye patch. Basically, the remedy would be for Benson to wear glasses. We aren't sure how long he will have to wear glasses, maybe for the rest of his life. Tuesday, we went and picked out some glasses, which were obviously too big for his face, so we switched them yesterday for some that fit him better. We will pick them up today and see how he does with them.
Here's how I feel about it. Since I know you are all dying for my opinion... I am so grateful that we caught it before it was a big deal. Wearing glasses is minimal compared to wearing a patch or having surgery. It will take some getting used to for me. Benson is such a cutie, that it kills me to see glasses on his face. Also, he has the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen (next to Molly), so I hate to cover them up with glasses. I do, however, think he still looks really cute with his glasses on and I know that once we all get used to them, they will be just fine. I also think that we have been really blessed to have found it this early and to have such good doctors who can take care of us. We are just going to be really positive with Benson. For now, he still thinks his glasses are pretty cool, and I hope it stays that way.
You may remember a few weeks ago when we thought we might have accidentally sold our house... Well, we did not. The people were very interested, but they couldn't get financing.
Since then, we have gone back and forth over and over again. Should we really sell it? Do we really want to move? Can we really afford a new house? Trust me, we've been totally gung-ho about selling it and then the next day we aren't so sure.
After a lot of discussion and praying, we have decided that we are going to pursue selling it. We aren't going to hire a realtor or go crazy trying to sell it, but we will show it and have it listed "for sale by owner" and if we get some interest in it, good. If not, then we will stay here for a while. So, if you or anyone you know is interested in buying a duplex, we are selling ours and we'd love to show it to anyone interested.
Introducing Princess Molly and Prince Charming Benson....
I made Benson's costume, from scratch-without a pattern, using this tutorial from Make it and Love it. And we borrowed Molly's costume from her cousin, Abby.
Sears is offering a free 8x10 collage, using this coupon (expires 10/31). So I took the kids in and got their pictures done, this one was my favorite, but the girl didn't show it to me, so I ordered a different one... Oh well.
I tried to snap some of the kids real fast and they did not turn out well... We'll have to try again when I have an assistant.
Here's something silly:
Whenever I take pictures of my kids, I get REALLY upset. I feel like Benson is old enough that he should be able to stand or sit still for 3 seconds and smile, or at least LOOK at the camera. And Molly, she is so so so smiley that I feel like I should get a great picture every time I point the camera her way, but nope.
Anyway, when I took these pictures of the kids, I was showing them to Benson and he said "where's the one of you yelling?" Guess I need to be less vocal next time.
Yes, I have been notified it is my wifely duty to participate in the deer hunt.
I have also been notified that I am, in fact, a "fun sponge".
Here is Casey with his deer. It's actually a really big 2-point (or so they tell me). You may remember last year, when Casey got this baby deer. Luckily this year it was a little bigger than that. We all laughed when they brought it back to the camp riding in the back of the rhino like this.
Oh, and I forgot to mention my other wifely duty: Hold the deer's head while the mighty hunter husband saws it's head off it's body. Then don't freak out when you're standing there holding a severed deer's head while blood and guts are dripping all over the garage floor. Apparently squealing is not attractive to the mighty hunter.
Just realized that my last post was a little rude to Casey. I am terribly sorry if I portrayed him as a helpless husband. He really is the best, you know. He is always so willing to do anything I need him to do. He is such a fun husband and dad. Sometimes I can't help wondering how such a crotchety old woman like me snagged such a sweetheart. He is a good man. He does so much for us. He even let's me put my cold feet in his knee-pits at night. If that's not love, I don't know what is.
Here is a video of sweet Molly walking. These aren't her first steps. She unexpectedly took her first steps at Casey's parents' house on Benson's birthday (Sept. 16, she wasn't even 9 months old!) while everybody was watching Benson open presents. But here she is the other day at my parents' house. For some reason, she will walk and walk and walk for Grandpa Wayne.
And here's another gem for you. My sister sent home a bunch of clothes for our little peach. Turns out the suitcase was pretty exciting! I love hearing both of them giggling at the same time. Usually it's more like this: Benson giggling cause he's squishing Molly, Molly screaming cause she's getting squished, and me yelling at the squisher.... where is Casey when all of this is happening?
Oh, that reminds me!
Remember how our poop and vomit scores were a little off-balance? With me leading by quite a ways. Well, now the scores are now even. Is there a story to go with this change of events, you ask... Why yes, I might be able to dig up a story for you.
You might remember 2 weeks ago, something hit our family hard. First Benson and Molly were sick, then I was sick, and Casey brought up the rear being sick. Well, on this particular day, it was Monday, I made Casey come home from work to take care of us because I felt terrible. He brought us Arctic Circle for lunch and took care of the kids for me while I moaned and groaned. Lucky for Casey, I was the only one sick that day...... But, sick or not, babies still poop, and we all know the score for changing diapers USED TO BE: Natalie: 15,834, Casey: 4.
So Molly pooped, and an itsty-bitsy bit leaked out of her diaper onto the carpet. We told Benson to watch out so he didn't step on the poop. Bad idea, cause as soon as Benson sees, smells, thinks about or hears of poop, he starts gagging, and in this instance, puking. So now we have Molly with a leaky poopy diaper, Benson puking, me trying to catch the puke in a bowl while gagging, and Casey sitting helpless and in shock.
Long story for me to say that Casey cleaned up Benson's puke. Of course I changed the messy diaper and bathed the poopy baby and the puking kid. But, none of that matters because CASEY CLEANED UP PUKE, my friends.
Every night I sit on the end of Benson's bed before he goes to sleep. I feed Molly and do the bedtime routine with Benson. It works out nicely because I get to cuddle with sweet Molly and I get to hear Benson's take on the day. Usually we'll talk for a bit and then I'll tell a story and sing a few songs by the time both of them have fallen asleep.
Tonight, after we talked about firemen and policemen and who we can trust in emergencies, (oh and of course some talk about who gets to have guns) Benson asked me to sing him some songs. I started singing some of my favorite primary songs. Benson fell asleep after the first line of the first song, and Molly was pretty much asleep instantly, enjoying her bottle. I secretly love singing out loud, even though I am no good at it, so I kept singing. Casey probably thought it was taking a long time to get the kids to sleep, but I wasn't singing for their souls anymore, I was singing for mine.
I started singing one of my all-time favorite songs, A Child's Prayer. As I sat there, in our dark and quiet home, I closed my eyes and really felt the spirit as I sang. "Heavenly Father, are you really there? And do you hear and answer every child's prayer?" Something stirred in my soul and I was reminded of the simple truth that I've known since my primary days. Heavenly Father is there, he does hear us, and he loves us.
Just in case you didn't think my blog had enough talk of vomit, here is some more.
Tonight we had a photobooth till really late in slc. So the kids stayed at my mom's and then I just slept here cause they were already sound asleep by the time I got back. Now it's 4:06 am and my poor parents who thought they were empty nesters have now opened their nest to a group of pukers.
Poor Molly got whatever Benson had and has been up puking. The sad thing is that she is still so happy. Between vomit attacks, she is just as peachy as a peach. She must get it from Jan because while I was freaking out a little bit, mom was hustling about changing the sheets and conjuring up some more PJ's for the peachy baby. Molly was so happy, in fact, and Jan was so bustly while I was freaky, that we almost missed the puking noises coming from the other room. So Jan just bustled some more to get Benson some new sheets and PJ's. Benson was just like Molly and seemed oddly happy after puking too.
Now I'm rocking the peach. Jan is doing more laundry. The boy went back to sleep like nothing happened (he got to have grandma lay by him for a while.). And poor grandpa Wayne is in his office working. He won't be able to go back to sleep. Oh, and Casey? He is having the best night's sleep at home with nobody puking to disturb him. I cannot believe how he has really avoided all of this vomit.
I'm sure this is not the end of the vomiting. I will keep you posted on when we have infected the empty nesters with our germs.
I was planning some good posts, so this sucks for you having to read about puke. You can look forward to hearing about how we might have accidentally sold our house coming up soon.
Oh and p.s. I love my mom for taking care of us. If I turn out to be any bit as good as Jan, we should all sing songs of rejoicing.
4:52 am: Not a creature was stirring, not even Molly Mouse.
4:53 am: (Benson) "Mom, I feel like throw up."
4:53 1/2: I grab Benson out of his bed as he starts throwing up. We trail puke from his bed to the bathroom.
4:55: Since there is puke on his sheets and I don't want to change them and wake up Molly, I told Benson he could stay in our bed. Casey is leaving for work in an hour anyway. Benson says "sweet!" and we all lay in our bed together.
5:02: (Benson) "I hear my daddy snoring"
5:08 am: (Benson) "I feel like throw up!"
5:43 am: (Benson) "I feel like throw up!"
6:09 am: Casey gets up and gets ready to go to work.
6:12 am: (Benson) "I feel like throw up!"
6:55 am: Casey leaves for work.
7:10 am: (Benson) "I feel like throw up!"
7:11 am: (Benson) "I want my DADDY!!!!"
Now I want Benson's daddy too, because when I was pregnant with Benson, Casey and I came to an agreement about puke. I promised to take care of every single wet, dirty, stinky diaper if Casey took care of the puke. So far our count is this:
Natalie- every puke so far
Makes me feel like throw up! (not literally)
Here is Benson with his puke bowl. When I gave him this bowl to puke in, he said: "That's the bowl we put the tomatoes from the garden in. I don't want to throw up in it!"
And it is the bowl we put our tomatoes in. But I am willing to sacrifice it.