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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Called to Serve

My sister, Amanda, opened her mission call on Sunday and found out she will be serving the Lord in Paraguay! She has been called to the Paraguay Asuncion North mission and is reporting to the MTC Sept. 23rd where she will be for 9 weeks before getting sent to South America!

I didn't get to be there in person, but I was on our house speakerphone, my grandparents were on my dad's cell speakerphone and Amanda's roommate was on her cell speakerphone, plus 20 or so people at the house, ALL of us SO excited to find out where she would get the chance to serve for the next 18 months! As she proudly read her call outloud my heart was just bursting with excitement and love for my sweet little sister that has so unselfishly given up the next year and half of her life to serve and bless people in a country that will truly be able to learn and grow from her spirit and testimony. I stand in awe of the woman she has become and am so grateful that I am able to call her my sister! I love you Amanda!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Our 5th Anniversary!

*Warning: the longest post I've ever written*

So I should be writing my Relief Society lesson for Sun. but I thought, oh I'll just peruse some blogs first and here I am an hour later still blogging. Why is it so addicting? I decided that if I had already wasted an hour blogging I might as well go ahead and get a little caught up myself. I'm a procrastinator what can I say. I was going through the pictures we've taken over the last month and realized I have SO much to post about, not to mention like 200+ pictures so here goes from oldest to most recent..

We just passed our 5th anniversary on July 24. We spent the actual day helping someone move/clean their apartment and then went to a BBQ at Lundstrum Park later that night with some Aggie Village friends (pictures to come :)) since we celebrated our anniversary almost a month ago (I can't believe it's already been a month-July has been CRAZY busy!) in Las Vegas! I can't even begin to tell you how incredibly awesome it was to spend 3 1/2 days totally and completely alone (okay and everybody else on the strip) with my husband! Even if the end turned out to be a disaster, the beginning was so worth it that I-now looking back-don't mind the downer part of it. I'll start from the beginning.

As I've mentioned before, Bobby is AMAZING, but bless his heart he doesn't have but one romantic bone in his body, like in his pinky toe. And we have never, ever, ever done anything to celebrate an anniversary (okay we usually go out to dinner but let's be honest, that's not really that unusual) so for our 5th one I really wanted to do something fun, but knew if I didn't take charge we would spend it sitting on the couch watching TV. Not that that's not great, know. So I threw together a little surprise. We had already been planning on spending the last week in June/first part of July in St. George but what we had planned to do with the family fell through. Since Bobby had already taken those days off work we decided we would just go ahead and go down anyway. I thought that it would be a perfect chance, even though it would be about a month early, to celebrate our anniversary; and when I saw that my friend Beckie had a coupon for the Bellagio, I jumped on it and planned a vacation for just the 2 of us.

We left Mon. morning, June 29, to drive to St. George where the kids would be spending the week with my family. I was a little nervous to leave them since this would be the first time-since Tyler's been born-that we've left him, or Kylee, with anyone overnight. (with the one exception of when Kylee was born, but that's not exactly a vacation-am I right ladies?) But my family loves Tyler and it's an understatement to say that Tyler LOVES them so I knew they would be just fine. We stayed the night at my parents Mon. night and then took off for Vegas on Tues.

We stayed at the Bellagio (thanks for the coupon Beckie!!!) which I would reccommend to anyone. The room was gorgeous!!

and were lucky enough to get a room with a view of the fountains (although this picture was obviously taken from the street)

And the "Eiffel Tower"

Not wanting to waste anytime, we checked in, dropped off our lugage and went out. It was so weird not to have to be "home" to put kids to bed, or go grab dinner at 9:00 at night just because we could, but we got over it pretty quick. The first night we basically just explored the hotels (mind blowingly beautiful-most of them) and ventured through the strip (this was my first time in Vegas so everything was exciting to me!).

We grabbed dinner at this restaurant right outside Cesar's Palace. I wish I would have taken a picture of the inside because it looked like a Dr.Seuss book exploded. It was SO cute and the food was delicious, not to mention the portions were enormous!

Bobby has this weird obsession with midgets...

Every night these guys stand outside of one of the hotels and make these incredible posters out of spray paint. I was mesmerized by them and how fast they could complete a picture-like in 5 min. or less!

They make these just from spray paint, a paint scrapper and can lids!


The volcano in front of the Mirage

Pretty fountain in front of Cesars Palace

Bobby is always making this pose when he takes pictures, so when Bobby saw the statue of Cesar it was love at first sight.

The next morning we slept in till like 9:30 which was Glorious and we headed downstairs to check out the garden area in the Bellagio.

We ate lunch at Margaritaville which was a really fun restaurant with loud music, fun decorations, and delicious food for a reasonable price (hard to find on the strip).

Our table was the front of a "boat"

Bobby ordered the nachos (and this was on the menu as an appetizer)

So you can get the full affect we put it next to my lunch (the panini sandwich). It's even taller than his glass of water!

How you doin' there Bobby?

He couldn't quite finish all of it. What a wimp.

Fat-I mean Full-and happy!

*And yes, I most definitely went off the whole 'no dairy' thing for the week. If I didn't have to breastfeed there was no WAY I was going to be holding back. But don't worry I paid for it. Not only in the 3 lbs I gained in the week I was there, but after not eating dairy for so long and then gorging myself for a week, let's just stomach was not so happy with me. It took me until just this last week to lose those 3 pounds from a month ago! ha ha! (But I am happy to say I reached that second goal weight I set way back when...if you care you can go back and find it, but I think I'm through posting how much I weigh on this blog. I've recently found out there are lot more people reading my blog than I thought and it's kind of intimidating! ha ha!!!)

As we headed over to the Venetian we went past the wax museum. It was more money than we wanted to pay to go inside, but we did get to meet Whoopi Goldberg and Michael Jackson.

I love that MJ is lookin' at Bobby like he's a creepo for touching him.

This restaurant in The Venetian had the coolest entrance!

Bathtubs with water, flowers and floating candles!

I really wanted to get inside one but thought that might be frowned upon so opted for a picture instead.

Some other random pics from our 2nd day...

It looks like I'm yawning, but I was most definitely trying to make a "I'm so shocked" face.

A weirdo acrobat girl

I'm sorry...bodies are just not meant to bend that way. It's just not natural.

Our last full day, Thur., was meant to be our relaxation day since we did all the sight seeing, Vegas experience stuff the first 2 1/2 days. We didn't wake up till late morning and then went down to the Bellagio's buffet for lunch where I stuffed myself sick. Literally sick. I've heard of people doing that but never experienced it myself. I could barely walk and the only thing that kept the food from coming back up were all the people standing around us. Instead of heading out to the pool as planned we went back up to the room and napped for almost 3 hours. Around 4:00 we went out to the pool and laid in the sun for a couple hours just enjoying our full day of gluttony.
This was just one of the side pools we laid at, next to the actual ginormous pool.

Around 6:30 we headed back upstairs to change and get ready to drive out to the Las Vegas Outlet malls. We made it to the mall at about 8:00, just an hour before they were closing, but found some great deals at the Puma and Children's Place (my fav kids store!)outlet so I was a happy camper. We were on our way back to our hotel where we were just going to get a BIG bowl of ice-cream (up to this point I hadn't had any yet and I really wanted to have some before I came back to my reality of no dairy) and relax for the evening.

We decided last minute to check out something I had heard was kind of cool just north of the strip-Freemont street-before we went home. (It was about 10:00 at this point) As we were driving around trying to find somewhere to park our car started to shut down. First the headlights shut out, then the a.c., then the radio and amid our, "Oh no, oh no, oh no, please don't die car" cries, the car shut off. Just died right there in the middle of the street. At night, in a NOT good part of town. We jump out and try to push the car off to the side of the road but it's so dead it won't even shift into neutral so finally this guy comes over and helps Bobby get it out of the middle of the lane. I was somewhat okay, not really, but at least holding it together until two-not sober-guys walk by and say, "Oh, 'yall from Utah! This aint a good place for you to be broked down. Ha ha!" Bobby yelled at me to get back in the car, which was kind of an obvious idea, but we said a quick-like 3 second-prayer and tried to start the car again. It miraculously started and we took off flying down the street, knowing that it was going to die again soon we just wanted to get as close to the strip-and safety-as possible. We made it about 4 blocks further when it died again, but at least this time we were driving close to the sidewalk and Bobby threw it into Neutral before it died so it'd be easier to push. This time we were close to a bar parking lot so we (yes me too) pushed the car into the parking lot and there were a couple guys standing around talking that ran over and helped Bobby push it into a parking spot. We felt a little more safe now because there were somewhat normal people around but we knew we couldn't leave it in the parking lot over night because they would tow it. As we were standing there trying to figure out what we were going to do Bobby saw a Firestone (car place) down a block. We really didn't think the car was going to start again, and even if it did didn't think we could probably get it there without getting stuck in the middle of the intersection (it was on the opposite side of the street) which would be bad, but we didn't really have a choice but to try. We made it there without a problem. It was still a sketchy part of town, but we felt better about leaving it at a car shop than a bar. Not that anyone could have stolen it and made it very far, we just didn't want to have any broken windows. By this point it was about 11:00 and I was tired, scared, and dirty. And we were FAR away from our hotel. Good thing I had on walking shoes. I was proud of myself for holding it together as long as I did, and only cried once when we had just dropped off the car and a-I presume-drunk man started walking behind us and, very loudly, said, "D** that girl is SO fine!" I gripped Bobby's hand and just cried because I hated that we were in a situation I couldn't control or get away from. Not that my man couldn't have totally dropped kicked the 300 lb black, drunk man, but I was nervous all the same.

About 2 blocks away from where we had dropped off the car was a 7-11 so we decided to grab some slurpee's to make ourselves feel better. Outside there was a homeless man who asked if we had some spare change we could give him. I said, "You know we just spent $1000 to get our car fixed less than a month ago. It just broke down again tonight and we're going to have to spend who knows how much more to fix it, so no I don't have any "extra" spare change." He said, " Yea well I don't even have a car." "You win," I said and handed him the 2 bucks I had in my pocket.

We didn't get home till close to midnight, but you better believe we stopped at the Ghirardelli shop and got me a big fat ice-cream cone on the way.

The next morning Bobby woke up at 7:00 to take a bus back to where we had left the car to see if they had any way of helping him fix it. They wanted to charge him $500 to change the alternator! I don't think so! I'm so glad my husband is a car genius because he ended up saving us $350! VERY long story short, he managed to get the car over to an Auto Zone, bought the part for $150, borrowed some tools, and 8 hours, tons of cuts, bruises and one bad sunburn later, he had it fixed. This was the day we were supposed to check out, so I spent the morning packing our stuff and hanging out in our room till check out time(12:00) and then spen the next 4 hours in the hotel lobby. BORING.

Yep...this is me being bored playing with the settings, but then I got tired of people looking at me weird for taking pictures of myself.

I couldn't even walk around and explore the hotel, eat, shop, whatever because I had all of our stuff. But I can't complain because I would have rather done that all day than do what Bobby had to go through. (And then the next day was the whole firework escapade that I posted about awhile ago so it was a pretty rough weekend for him-to say the least) He was pretty grumpy when he picked me up so he didn't want his picture taken, but I wish you could have seen his poor arms and neck. He said next time he'll just pay the $500. Apparently our cars alternator was in a really weird spot.

We made it back to St. George Fri. night without any problems and spent a little time swimming to try and relax from the crazy day and went to bed early! We spent the 4th with my family (post coming-believe it or not we actually did do other stuff besides start a fire) and then drove back home on Sun. We are SOOOO thankful to my family for babysitting our hoodlums for most of the week, we really appreciate it and all the help you give us!!

Basically we've just decided vacations are not in the cards for us (also including my fun bday trip to Bear Lake in this category) and from here on out are just going to call our outings adventures!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Happy Birthday to me!

So yesterday was my birthday and since last year I spent the day throwing up I really wanted to have a good day this year. I was lucky that my bday fell on a Tues. this year so Bobby already had the day off work and we decided awhile ago that we would spend the day up at Bear Lake. Overall it was a great day but I learned a couple things:

1. Tyler gets carsick... BAD
And this picture doesn't even do it justice-not that you'd want to see the picture that does-it was completely soaked into his carseat which then dripped onto the actual seat and seeped into the seat of the car. I gag just thinking about it.

We had to pull over, strip him down and wash out his bathing suit.

Thankfully on our way up to the lake we stopped at a grocery store and bought a case of bottled water-which is what we used to wash out his suit, the carseat, and the car. We used more than half the case!

It took us close to an hour to get everything cleaned up and Tyler had to ride the rest of the way there on the plastic seat since the cover was soaking wet!

You can imagine how wonderful the car smelled the rest of the way there and how even better it smelled on the way home after it'd been baking in the HOT sun for 6 hours! Anyway, moving on...

2. I need to keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in the car at ALL times
This is just self-explanatory.

3. Kylee LOVES sitting in the sand letting the water hit her legs

Giggling because the water was hitting her toes

4. Instant self-tanner with an SPF of 8 should NOT be used in the place of sunscreen
No picture of this, but trust me I hurt.

5. I have GREAT friends/family
Every person in my family called that wasn't at "home" and then those that were at home called and sang me happy birthday. It's my favorite thing ever and I look forward to it every year! Then several fun girls stopped by my house last night with birthday wishes and stayed and chatted with me. I LOVE having such great friends here that make me laugh SO much! One of them even took the time to make me cookies that didn't have any dairy so I could have a treat on my bday. It was so sweet and they were delicious!!

6. Bobby WILL pull through, even if it is at 11:00 at night.
Obviously Bobby is busy, but I won't lie and say that when 10:30 rolled around and all my friends had left and Bobby didn't have any sort of birthday treat for me I wasn't slightly dissapointed. Okay really dissapointed. I know, I'm totally a snot! So I sulked for a little bit and then gave up and jumped in the shower. To my surprise when I got out, Bobby had gone and come home with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, some non-dairy ice-cream, and some salt and cracked pepper chips (my current favorite). He said he had been planning to do that all along, but I have a sneaking suspicion it was the silent treatment I gave him for the 15 min. after my friends left that guilted him into it. Ha Ha, I'm so thankful he still loves me! It was the perfect ending to a great day!

7. Being 26 is FABULOUS
'Nuff said.

8. I love my small family more than ANYTHING in this world. Like really. They are the best thing that ever happened to me. I just wanted them to know that.

*Sorry no pictures of me on my special day (I know you're all devastated) due to the camera battery dying less than an hour after we'd been there.

Thanks to all those that called, sent cards/facebook messages, texted me, and/or came over and visited. You made it such a special birthday for me. It's so nice to be remembered and appreciated! I love you all!!

It's NOT time...

Well my dear friends potty training has come to an end. One day of pee-pee cleaning, naked boy running, patience wearing, soaked underwear was enough for me, but I learned a lot. Basically that I went about the whole process the WRONG way. Thanks to your comments, advice, suggestions, and my 1 day potty training experience, I have made a list of HOW TO potty train your child the right way and will be trying all this again in a month or so.

1. Child has to be ready
Obviously the first step is that the child has to be ready. Signs indicated that he was (saying he wanted a big boy potty, telling me when he pooped that he wanted to poop in the potty like daddy,etc.) and I still think he is, so ready or not here we a month.

2.BOTH parents must be on the same page.
Since we-mostly I-started this whole process on a whim, Bobby and I had not sat down and come up with a game plan about how we wanted to go about this. Some couples are capable of one spouse making the decisions and the other spouse just going along with it. We are not that couple. Bobby wants to be fully involved in any and every decision that is made for our children, this being one of them. Let's just say we had differing opinions about which method should be used and Tyler was just confused most of the day about what was going on.

3. Be prepared
I didn't think about any of the things we had going on in the coming weeks (my birthday which was to be spent all day at bear lake, Bobby's mom coming to visit, going back to St. George for court-thank you blessed firework, etc.) and just figured if he's ready, I've gotta start. Wrong! It's true that the child has to be the one that's ready, but I think it's equally as important that the parents are ready. Some of you, actually probably all of you, can just flip some sort of switch in your heads and you become super mom, ready for anything. Not me. Anything of this magnitude (okay I guess P.T. isn't a HUGE life changing event, but it is BIG for me) I have to have planned out in my head so that when it comes I can be physically and emotionally prepared for it. Isn't this why women go trough a "nesting phase" when they're about to have a baby? Anyway, if you remember, I did the same thing when I was about to take the pacifier away from Tyler and when we changed him from a crib to a toddler bed. I set a date (a couple weeks in the future) that I was just going to do it and I did, and everything turned out fine because I had time to let my mind adjust to the change that was about to happen. I don't know why I thought I could do P.T. any different.

4. Have a method...and then a back-up method...and then another back-up method.
But don't use them all in the same day. I hadn't read any books, looked up any ideas, or sought out any advice until after I had already started P.T.-too late! I didn't have any one method in mind and tried out 3 different ones in the same day. Poor Tyler, no wonder he didn't know what he was supposed to do, I didn't know what I wanted him to do!

5. There has to be an official "start".
Last Thur. I decided now was as good a time as any to begin P.T. so after Tyler's nap we went to the store and Tyler picked out a potty, big boy underwear, and some rewards. We went home and had him sit on it a little that night, and after his bath but he wore a diaper to bed. I really like the idea of "kicking off" potty training by Tyler physically giving his diapers away, as a present, to a baby and making a big deal out of him NOT wearing diapers anymore because they're just for babies! And then once you start, being committed to no more diapers. And it sounds like, from the advice from most of you, that this includes bed time!

6. Rewards/No punishment
I have to say, even though it was frustrating cleaning pee off the floor after he sat on the toilet for an HOUR (his choice BTW not mine), chasing him around all day telling him it was time to go sit back on the potty, and not having him "go" even once in the toilet, I was really patient with him and never yelled, got angry or punished him for "going" on the floor. I really like the advice someone gave me to try your best to have fun with it. They said that if you get angry it only makes them want to use the potty less, but if you get overly excited about them even trying than they want to use it more. As for rewards, since I didn't have time to come up with anything really creative we just bought him dum-dums at the store (his choice) and they sat in a jar next to his potty. We are definitely going to have to do something more than/along with that (I'm thinking maybe a sticker chart or something because he LOVES stickers) because the dum-dums did NOT do it! I don't want to do too much though because then it becomes less about seriously just getting the potty training done and more about having a party in the bathroom.

Before we left to buy his potty I asked him what he thought about getting a big boy potty and he said, "Awesome!"

Setting up his potty in the bathroom

Checking out his new dinasour underwear in the mirror

So we'll try this all over again pretty soon. He was really excited about it and asked all the next day where his potty was. I figured it was better that I cut it off after one day of trying than going for 3 or 4 days, putting him in a diaper for a day, trying again for a week or so then Bobby's mom being here and putting him in a diaper when we travel to do things, etc. And it's so warm outside that Tyler wants to be outside EVERY day-can't really blame him. So who knows what will be going on in our lives a month from now, but we shall see...