Saturday, October 31, 2009

What are you going to be on Halloween Night?

OK, so we love Halloween at our house. (I think I already SAID that :) Anyway, I'm ALL about the homemade costumes, although I usually bite off more than I can chew (more on that later). I just think they turn out so much better and last longer if you make them yourself. What you can buy at the store is nothing but junk anymore. Case in point: Tyler's spiderman costume this year already had seams ripping out of it.

But I digress... Joey was a pirate again this year. I spent so much time making it the first year (probably 5 years ago) and it turned out so good, he just keeps adding to it every year. One year he got a sword, the next a cool old looking gun. He's added keys and this year it was a talking parrot. I'm really proud of this costume, but I haven't got a lot of good pictures of it over the years. So I made sure to get some this year. As much as I like making our own costumes, this year we went for convenience. Tyler wanted to be spiderman. We didn't want to fight with him, so he got the $12 walmart special. Kelley's is actually one of my sister's old dance costumes. I think it's SO cute and so actually suggested it to her last year. She wanted to be a fairy princess, but this year agreed Red would be fun. So here's the pictures from the day. There are a lot of them...just to warn ya!

Kelley and Tyler, ready for the trunk or treat.

A pirate's wench.
The winning trunk at the ward trunk or treat. Joe does an AWESOME job playing his pirate part. Kids came back several times to tease him or get teased by him. He also put together a great Halloween soundtrack that we blasted through the stereo. It was SO fantastic that the battery in our car died. We almost thought we'd be stuck there all night!

I love that I got this picture at this moment. Kelley was "trick or treating" her dad. This is such a fun age...
My spiderman boy. He was kind of funny about stuff tonight and we had a hard time getting a good picture of him, but he looked just like every other Walmart Spiderman out there. It was funny because I was all worried about him being warm enough and ran and bought him sweats to wear under his costume this morning. Turns out we were trick or treating in 60 degree weather most of the afternoon and he really didn't need them for warmth, but they kind of bulked him up and made him look a little like he had muscles :)
Joe was messing around tonight after we got home and came in saying he was going to be a "sexy" pirate next year. I called him my "pretty boy pirate". After thinking about it though I realized he reminded me a bit of Porthos on the Three Musketeers. One thing I love about him is that he makes me laugh in all types of random moments :)

No one's going to bother THIS little Red Riding Hood.

Mom and Kelley. I also made this costume for myself at the same time I made Joe's. BUT this is such a classic example of me. I got the shirt done, but the skirt is still unfinished. It still has the elastic sticking out of the waistband waiting to be actually sewn up, instead of just safety pinned. AND it still needs the fancy beading I have for the bottom of it, which is as of yet unhemmed. I also have yet to make a proper sash/girdle for it. Twice when I've worn it I was pregnant and so I had that excuse that it wouldn't work anyway. But that leaves 2 or 3 other years I could have actually finished it before wearing it...ha ha!

33 weeks preggo. When I look down at myself I think "oh I'm not THAT big". When I look at pictures like's feels like ALL belly :)

Random conversation in the car tonight while driving out to Grandma and Grandpa's:

Kelley: Tyler, that's what Halloween's all about: darkness
Tyler: Kelley, I don't know about darkness
Kelley: (in a half mutter) Whatever....

Friday, October 30, 2009

Carving Pumpkins

We love Halloween around here. Not so much all the ghoulish, scary stuff, but the kind of fun silly stuff. Normally we get the house all decked out and everything. This year, the house has been neglected due to my inability to do much more than make it halfway presentable after daycare and Joe being very busy at work and with the bishopric. By the time we got around to the point of thinking about doing it, Halloween was nearly here and so we decided to focus our efforts on winning the trunk or treat trunk contest instead. That will happen tomorrow night so stay tuned for pictures of the scary results.

Anywho, for FHE this week we carved pumpkins. I don't really love carving pumpkins. I am not very artistic and it's just a big mess. The kids and Joey love it and so I let them do it for the family, helping out when needed. This year I was super impressed with Kelley as she did almost her whole pumpkin herself, including coming up with her own design.

Tyler had a great time watching dad carve his.

For me, it's just fun hanging out with the kiddos and hubs and watch everyone enjoy themselves so much.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Carmen Sandiego

Did any of you ever watch this as a kid?  I loved it and my little sister liked it because her name is Karmin.  So the other day she sent me a ring tone with the jingle.  How fun is that?  Well Tyler is now obssessed with the song and keeps asking me to play it for him.  I got tired of the short version on my phone so found it on youtube.  We are now listening to it for about the 50th time this morning and Tyler is singing along.  It's really cute...  He's figuring out most of the words, along with the be bops and um-bops, except no matter how many times I tell him it's "Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?" he asks for "In the world, in the world is Carmen Sandiego".  Funny kid.  He's been a lot of fun the last few weeks....maybe it's because there's less stress at my house right now, or because he's almost grown out of the difficult 3 year old stage...but I'm really loving hanging out with him lately!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

If you ever want a vacation...

...just say the words..."swine flu".  So last week actually ended up quite nice.  Kelley tested positive for Influenza A (could possibly have been the swine flu, but they didn't send on for that test) and Strep on Monday.  We started her on the Tamiflu and antibiotics that night.  Tuesday I felt like a total train wreck.  I was exhausted, starting to get a little cough and congestion and a slight fever (101).  So I ran in to get tested.  It came back as negative for Influenza, but they put me on the Tamiflu anyway.  I had the same thing happen to a friend if Richfield, so I get the sense that they aren't really messing around with pregnant women with this.  My pediatrician was also kind enough to prescribe it for Tyler as well, without a test.  He'd been pretty exposed to Kelley and had started running a slight fever (didn't even get up to 100), but he has his history of lung problems and so is considered high risk.  So all three of us had started the Tamiflu by Tuesday night.  Wednesday and Thursday I didn't have any daycare kids and we actually all felt great.  We took the rest of the week to just relax and get some stuff done at home.  We had a few kids here on Friday, but most people were steering really clear of our house.

I felt kind of guilty and started to wonder if we were really sick in the first place, but I think the combination of rest and the quick start of the Tamiflu must have done wonders because the kids that were here on Tuesday ended up with H1N1 for sure (their doc did send out for that test) about 2-3 days after they were here.  So I guess I can take my "sick" vacation guilt free and with gratitude.  Joe still thinks that we all sick in reaction to the flu shot we had received the week before we got sick.  He's very skeptical about those things...

So the question now is do I and Tyler go get the H1N1 vaccine?  We probably had it, but enough to develop immunity?  Really neither of us were sick for a full 24 hours because I got so paranoid after Kelley tested positive and didn't let it get bad before we ran in and got drugs for us too.  Should I try to get Kelley the vaccine too even though she's not high risk?  Plus she actually probably had it last week...  I don't know what to DO!  What do you think?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Add to the list...

So speaking of the last post and really how grateful I am to have health insurance and that this information only cost me $20....

Illnesses that my kids have had this year. To recap:

RSV and Strep...together (Tyler, cause of his hospital stay in January)
(You get the point...)
Tonsils out...

Influenza A and Strep...together. Kelley has both. Influenza A is the one that could be swine flu, but they aren't really testing for it anymore. We did catch it within the window of opportunity (she started getting sick yesterday) so she'll be taking Tamiflu, which is supposed to help. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous though about the Flu....if it is swine flu that is really scary for pregnant women. And guess who's been taking care of the little sickling...

I've been really lucky and haven't really caught any of their illnesses so far this year. Let's hope MY irish luck holds out, even if theirs hasn't. We could probably use all your prayers too...


OK, not sure how to address this here, because honestly I haven't payed THAT much attention to the issue and I'm not as educated as I'd like to be.  Why?  Because we have good health care coverage.  Yes, I am worried about the cost of this health care reform bill and the cost to our children, but I guess I didn't figure it would really affect me that directly, right away.  But I scanned an article today that talks about concerns that premiums for all health insurance plans could rise by THOUSANDS of dollars each year.  Thousands of dollars a year translates to hundreds of dollars a month.  Right now Joey's employer (SUU) covers most of our health care premiums.  HOWEVER, I have seen a steady rise over the past 8 years that he and I have been working for people that provide good insurance in our costs.  For example...when I started working for the State of Utah almost 8 years ago I don't think my insurance cost me anything.  If it did it was less that $10 a month.  Kelley's OB care and delivery cost us NOTHING.  Two years later Tyler cost us about $250 I think (same insurance, coverage amounts had changed).  When I quit working for them two years ago my premiums were less than $40 a month still.  Currently we pay I think about $100 a month (which I am not complaining...I know that's better than what a lot of people have...).  BUT...Tyler's overnight stay in the hospital earlier this year cost us out of pocket almost $700!  When I had Kelley I was there for 3 days and it cost us...yeah...nothing!  

The problem is that I know that Utah is not going to be have the ability/willingness to pay for the type of increase in premiums they are discussing.  I went without a pay raise from them for 2 or 3 years because they didn't have/wouldn't find the funds for that.  Joey didn't get a pay raise this year and probably will not for the foreseeable future.  I am charging the same for daycare now as I was paying 6 years ago, so basically no pay raise for me unless I want to go from working 60 hours a week to 80 or something insane.  In this economy that's just how the cookie crumbles.  For the most part it's fine, as long as our insurance doesn't go up $200 a month!

But what are employers going to do about it?  I certainly can't afford to offer coverage to my one employee.  I couldn't afford it for myself if Joey didn't have it.  Imagine the cost to any employer, especially one that employs as many as the state of Utah.  One article I found said they employ 23,000 people.  The article on insurance premiums rise said that it could be $1700 a year for families by 2013.  That is a potential of nearly $40 million dollars a year cost of increase, in health insurance premiums alone.  This year the state is already facing a shortfall of $850 million.  So who do you think is going to have to pay the brunt of that increase?  Probably those of us "lucky" enough to have health care coverage.  That's not the end of it.  By 2019 cost increase is estimated at $4000 more than it would otherwise be.

Somebody please help me with the answer!  Believe me I am GRATEFUL we have the coverage that we do, but oh it's frustrating that I have to pay $750 for my kids to get their flipping tonsils out.  I'm quite nervous about how much THIS baby will cost us.  There's got to be a better way...somehow...anyone have a brilliant plan?  I'd vote for you if you can come up with something!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Disney Movies

Don't get me wrong, I love Disney and we own MANY of their movies, especially the princess ones...but hear me out here...have you ever noticed that most Disney movies are really not that healthy of examples for kids?  Primo example:  The Little Mermaid...

First of all, hardly any of these gals have mothers (including Ariel).  If they do they are step mothers and they are evil.  What's so wrong with a loving mother in the picture?  OK, moving on...
When it comes down to it Ariel is really nothing but a spoiled little brat.  She defies her father and puts her family and whole community at risk by doing just exactly what she wants to do (following a guy to the ends of the earth that she has never even really met).  And it all works out so NICELY.  I mean...come one.  Really, who wants your own child acting like that???!!!???

Love is always at first sight (or close to it) and so easily maintained and perfect.  It really is a ridiculous example.  I'm sure it's not just Disney, but they are the easiest to pick on I suppose.  It just goes to show how we as mothers have to be SO careful about our children and the influences they have in their lives.  I watched Disney growing up and I was able to go on to have happy healthy relationships, but can you see how a little girls' view of things might get totally screwed up if we weren't careful?  If they didn't have other good examples in their lives?  If they didn't have parents who talked to them about good decision making and relationships and other such things?

I do love Pixar and think that they have infinetly improved Disney's movie library.  The stories seem to be a little bit more "healthy", as well as entertaining for adults also.  But I have issues there too.  Have you ever noticed in "Cars" that they swear?  (I'm in Hillbilly H***!)  Thank goodness my kids haven't picked up on that, but I can see how easily they could.  Golly, you can't even trust Disney to be clean...oh and don't get me started on the little shows like Suite Life of Zach and Cody (Disney Channel)...I remember seeing a snippet of a show a few years ago and just being disgusted.  They had those two little boys on there who at the time were like 12 years old or something totally dating and chasing girls.  And who is their target audience?  Little kids I'm assuming.  Our kids really don't need to grow up that fast...really!  

On that note too...can I just say I really hate it when adults encourage that whole little boyfriend/girlfriend thing starting when kids are like two.  I know people think it's cute "oh Kelley's 'so and so's' little girlfriend"...but really I don't.  I think they will come to that soon enough without any encouragement from adults.  I mean a mother how can you expect me to encourage it when she's 5 or 6 and then turn it off when she's 12 or 13 and have it suddenly be against the rules?  

OK, well back to bed with me...hopefully I can catch a few more minutes of rest before I have to be really up for the day.  I really hate it when I try to be healthy and go to bed at a decent hour and then I wake up at 4:30 AM unable to sleep!  Arggg....

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

45 lbs of produce for $15

Hello all - I copied the following post from I am SO excited about this. Right now they are coming only every other week, so the next drop off is October 17. Hope someone benefits from this!

Hello! This post is for everyone living in Cedar City (and anyone else who might be interested!!)

Bountiful Baskets finally has enough people to start a "stop" here in Cedar City. Bountiful Baskets is a food co-op where they buy produce in bulk so it is cheaper for the rest of us!

Every other week, they come to Cedar City to the drop-off location and you get a box/laundry basket FULL of produce for $15.

This is what I got this week!

And here's the breakdown:

8 Granny Smith Apples
8 Red Plums (So delicious!)
4 Artichokes
2 heads of Romaine Lettuce
3 heads of broccoli
4 tomatoes
1 bag of Seedless Red Grapes (the best I've ever had!)
2 cantaloupes
10 lbs. of potatoes
2 bunches of bananas
4 pears
(and a partridge in a pear tree! j/k)

Overall, this was 45 LBS OF PRODUCE!!

Also, each week they do this you can "opt in" for different things too. For example, this week there was an option for a 40 lbs case of pears for $12 extra. (Not a bad deal!!)

They also have options for breads (5 loaves for $10!) and some "Asian packs" with different kinds of "Asian" vegetables to make stir-fry, etc.

I am SOOOO excited about this (if you can't already tell!)

Also, the MORE people they get to do this in Cedar City, the MORE stuff you get in your basket. For example, this week had there been more than 14 people in Cedar that signed up they would have added cucumbers and raspberries!!

So, here is my shameless plug for Bountiful Baskets! To sign up, go to their website: . Each week they do this there is a deadline. If you go get on their mailing list, they will email you each week ( I think...this is the first week I've done it...) and let you know what the "offerings" are for that week.


For those not in Cedar, there are other location in Arizona (tons in AZ) and a lot in N. Utah as well as a brand new stop in Malad City, Idaho (Brittney?). Let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to answer them. (or find out from the coordinator here in Cedar!)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The changing of the seasons...

I LOVE fall. For many people this is their favorite season. I do love it, but it's not my "favorite" per say...I finally decided a few years ago what my favorite is. I love the CHANGING of the seasons. That suits my personality. In college I changed my major 7 times (in four years...yes that's another post). I get obsessed with stuff, never to return to or finish my pursuits I once was so excited about. And I think that's why I love it when the seasons change. There's nothing better than a long hot summer coming to close by the air suddenly turning a little crisp in the morning. The beautiful green trees suddenly lighting up with color. Harvest time in the air...but that gets old after a while. The leaves get brown and dry and the cold air is less fun after a few months. Even the lovely boxes and bags of fruit taking up your whole kitchen get old ;) But add a little snow and let the games begin! The first snowfall is so fun! I love it when it just dumps and you can't hardly do anything but stay tucked up in the house, set up your Christmas stuff and drink hot chocolate by the fire. Oh, but the snow gets muddy and hard eventually and then the first signs of spring are such a welcome sight...and on it goes. I'm sure I would love living someplace like Hawaii that was a little less temperamental that Utah, but I think that might get boring after a while. I'll take my seasons and all their "mood swings". So for today...happy fall!