Monday, October 18, 2010

blurb book deal

I've recently learned about this cool website:

It's like groupon, but for online retail. I've never actually purchased anything from it...until today! I thought my fellow bloggers might also be interested in this deal. It's about time I get my blog in hard copy--even if the posts have been infrequent lately--and I'm sure many of you feel the same way. But it only lasts until noon eastern time tomorrow (but the credit doesn't expire until Feb 18, 2011).

What little feedback I've heard about blurb books has been good. Any thoughts?

P.S. I just realized you can do me a favor by signing up through this link and I get referral credit. Thanks!!

Also, for an even better deal, go to this site for a $5 coupon code for jasmere:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

out of mommy experiences

So, my last post was showcasing some of my crafts and things I like to do "in an attempt to act like I have a life beyond my cute kids." Another thing I do as a distraction from the daily hum-drum is run. I decided to refer to these extra-curricular activities as my "out of mommy experiences." You know, things to break up the "mom-otony" (monotony) and go beyond the "mini-mom" (minimum) requirements. Ok, I'll stop. I know, I'm way too entertained by a good play on words.

Anyway, back to the running. Most of you already know this, but I love it. It feels so good to me. It's actually surprising to me how much I love it. I'll start walking to warm up and my body feels all stiff and strained. So I'll start jogging (counter-intuitive, right?) and my whole body just relaxes and I feel like a total relief as I settle in to my autopilot pace. I feel so comfortable, mind and body, and like I've slipped slightly out of this dimension and into my own happy place. I know it sounds crazy, but I'm not complaining because it is an excellent "out of mommy experience" and when I'm done I always feel more capable of taking care of my kids.

Two weekends ago I did my first 10k race. It was called Run for Courage and it was a great race for an incredible cause. I'd never raced that distance before. I had to leave my happy autopilot pace and pick it up to make my time goal, but I did it. I finished in 45:46 (that's 7:33 each mile) and was second in my division and the 3rd girl overall. I'm not typically a competitive runner, but that was fun!

Now I'm all registered and in the thick of training for the California International Marathon in early December. I look forward to seeing this again:
My fans watching from the sidelines!
I knew Brad would be at the finish line with the kids and it totally motivated me to run faster so I could see them sooner! They are so supportive and always want to run and race all over the place! But enough about me, I promise my next post will be devoted to the stars of this blog :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

you've got to pick a project or two

(that title is supposed to be a play on words to an Oliver! reference)

In an attempt to act like I have a life beyond my cute kids, I like to experiment with all kinds of crafts. Sure, crayons and glue sticks are for kid crafts during the day, but these projects I definitely do while the helpful little hands are asleep! In the past month or two I've done a project in all kinds of categories. I'd like to show you:

Home decor:
I picked up these dinner plates (about 13") at Ikea and decorated them with silhouettes of my kids. Sorry the picture isn't so good/detailed, but they are being displayed on top of my kitchen cabinets and I didn't feel like pulling them down for a picture and putting them back up. They look better in person!


These car seat canopies are for my friend and her friend. She picked out the fabric and gave it to me to sew. They turned out really well, but I'd like to expand my sewing skills beyond (relatively) straight lines. Someday I'll take a class....

These ghost cupcakes use cake balls and marshmallow fondant, which is so easy to make and super fun to use. It's like finally play-doh you can actually eat!

(Doll)house wallpapering:
After! This dollhouse hangs out in our front room and I got tired of looking at those ugly yellow walls. Nothing a little scrapbook paper and mod podge can't fix!

Jewelry making:
I admired all those mother's necklaces on etsy for so long and was going to order one until Brad suggested I just make it. So I got some tools and supplies, watched an online demo, and then started hammering away! I love it and wear it almost everyday. The kids like to play with it and find their name. I've got some more pieces in the works including coordinating necklaces for each kid, a runner ID bracelet for me, and a Mimi necklace for Brad's mom (don't worry, Robin, I haven't forgotten). :)

See, (I tell myself) I'm good at more than just diaper duty!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ryken roll

A few days after turning 4 months Ryken started to roll! He is growing as fast as he can to catch up to his siblings. At his 4 month check-up he was about: 10% for weight, 90% for height, 10% for head size and I suspect if there were a measure for it, he'd be 90% for ear size! He is so cute and so sweet and I love him to pieces. When he got all his shots he just let out a little wimper and then blew raspberries at the nurse--so brave! In honor of my brave little boy I thought I'd take a short walk down memory lane with some pictures that never got posted. It's easily apparent how precious he is!
The first official roll on September 8.
Swinging at 4 months.
Lounging at 3 months.
Smiling at 2 1/2 months.
Also 2 1/2 months.
Smiling for Mammaw at 2 months.
Almost 2 months.
So serious at 1 month!
Sweet little sleep smile at 1 month.

Please don't get any bigger. Stay my little baby forever.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

little G hits the big K

Galla started kindergarten on Aug 9th! On the first day the kids got to bring a small stuffy so, of course, Galla brought her beloved monkey (see him hanging out of her backpack). She is so funny and had to accessorize Munk for the big day with one of her bracelets fashioned on him as a necklace. She is all about the bling!
This is outside of her classroom. There are cute kids painted all along the wall. (She made a new friend, but her personality is a little flat. Ha, ha...not funny but I couldn't resist.)
This is her "Day 2" outfit. She loves her Skechers "twinkle toes." She is doing really well at school, but having a little bit of a hard time with having to go everyday. As I was walking her up the other day she was saying how she didn't want to go everyday and that it's "boring, boring, boring!" But when I picked her up she had changed her chant to "kindergarten is awesome!" I have all of those bitter-sweet feelings that come with kindergarten, but I'm really proud of my little lady.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

hey doll face...

Your crib or mine?

Little Ryken is such a good boy! He is growing up as fast as he can.

This is (one of) Paisley's "babeeeyas." Paisley's little voice and vocabulary is so cute. She adds an "uh" to the end of many words. This is what I hear all day: "mommeeeya, mommeeeya, mommeeeya...."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Paisley turned 2 on June 13. At her 2 year check-up she was below average height and weight (I can't remember the numbers now and don't feel like digging them up) and top of the charts for head size. Add to that over-sized head some long wavy/curly out-of-control hair and those numbers quantify my belief that she resembles a bobble-head...but I mean that in the most adorable way possible! It's no wonder she's always complaining "I bonka head." She pronounces her name "pLaisley" and it is totally appropriate because she is extremely playful. Paisley also LOVES to color (especially circles--check out that original art above) and her favorite color is purple. She prefers a blank paper to a coloring page so all of our coloring books have her art work on the inside of the front and back covers that were blank. Brad brings home all of his scrap paper from the office and Paisley reuses them by coloring on the back. What else to say about Paisley? She is sassy to the extreme and really demands my attention. Whenever I pick her up from the gym play center or church nursery (at both places the teachers absolutely adore her) she wants to tell me all about what she did and if I'm not looking at her she will grab my face with her little hands and turn my head to look her straight in the eyes. She gets excited about everything and is always gasping and widening her eyes. Her little voice is as cute as it gets and Brad and I both enjoy impersonating it. She can talk up a storm and carry a tune--she always sings along when I sing her sleep-time lullaby. Whenever we say a prayer she wants to say one first and it pretty much always goes: "Heavenly Father. Thank you. Christ. Amen." Then she says: "Go ahead daddy/mama/Galla/Finn." She loves shoes and will wear everyone's (including Brad's) and when it's time to go somewhere she will go get everyone's shoes and bring them to them saying: "here ya go!" She gives the sweetest hugs and kisses and is the most cuddly of my kids. Paisley is completely packed with personality and I love her to pieces.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

galla graduates [May 28]

Galla had a great year of preschool. She learned a lot and grew up a ton! As her teachers were handing out the "diplomas" they would tell everyone how that child had responded to the question of what they wanted to be when they grew up. Any guesses as to Galla's response? It's pretty predictable...she straight up wants to be a princess when she grows up. Good job, Gal. Maybe now is the time for a little vocabulary's term: "gold-digger."

Monday, June 28, 2010

what a blessing

On May 23, Ryken was blessed by his dad. We did it in Turlock at church but on our own time with the Relief Society room full of family and close friends. Having your baby blessed is such an indescribably amazing and special experience. Ryken is an extraordinary little guy and we are so grateful to have him in our family. I love knowing that my children are born in the covenant of mine and Brad's eternal marriage and that we get to be a family forever!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ryken time!

Ryken Mann was born on 5.5.2010 at 6:09 pm! He weighed 6 lbs 10 oz and was 19 1/2". Labor and delivery were *good* and we are just so happy to be home with our healthy baby boy and the rest of our super kids. I didn't have ANY tearing/episiotomy, which is a total miracle for me, and recovery is coming along amazingly well. Needless to say, things have been busy around here, but we are loving our little family and we are all happy. Time to give Ryken a bath!

And in case you were wondering, I made it to Galla's preschool Mother's Day fashion show and it was awesome.

(More pics are posted on Facebook if you can't get enough here--and if we're not "friends" yet, feel free to send me a request)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

luck be a baby tonight

The past few months I've been on a lucky streak and I like to think it's on account of my little guy in utero. I have won $50 at American Eagle, $100 at Victoria's Secret (I know, what do you do with that at 8 months pregnant?) and a free month of dues at the gym we attend! And Brad won tickets to a jazz concert that we went to last month. I don't think I'll be buying any lotto tickets to press my luck, but I hope the good karma continues after he is out. I told Brad we are going to win with my Spin ID on "Wheel of Fortune."

You can rub my belly for good luck if you want!

But hopefully he won't be in there much longer...7 days 'til my due date! I've painted my toes for the occasion and crossed [most] everything off my to-do list so we are all ready to go. And I just found out this morning that Galla's preschool class is doing a "Fashion Show" for their moms next Friday, May 7, in honor of Mother's Day. They are all going to dress up and do a show and then have punch and cookies. Hello!! That is straight up Galla's alley and I know it will just crush her if I'm not there. I CANNOT be in the hospital at 11:30 am on May 7 (2 days after my due date)!

Come on Baby Boy, mama needs you to come soon!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Lest I slip back into my slacker ways...

I'd better keep posting like I'm s'posta!
Don't be fooled by her cute hair--this little girl is a wild one and she loves to dig in the dirt!
I know this is not the most flattering shot of her face, but Galla has a style all of her own that needs to be showcased! She is very adament about dressing herself and changing a dozen or so times a day. Here she is sporting her 4 pm look: several shirts layered over a dress (that is not just a skirt) with Hello Kitty tights, rainbow socks and her diamond Crocs. And don't forget the excessive accessories! (She actually has those toned down in this picture.)
Here they are playing "cowboy" in the backyard.
Finn also has a unique style that doesn't stray far from shorts. Every day. Rain or shine. Thank goodness it's really starting to warm up. He also likes to throw a Boston accent on things. He would say they are playing in the "backyawd." And when we go somewhere we get in the "ka." I don't know how to spell it the way he says it, but can you hear it? Who knows where he got that?
Here's a classic Easter morning shot. Chocolate bunny--breakfast of champions!

Paisley looks like she's thinking: "Are you sure this is ok, mom?"
Easter afternoon. I love my cute little family and can't wait to add another little boy! Due date countdown: 17 days!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hit the Highlights

Wow, back to Halloween? Really? I guess I slipped pretty far behind on the posting. In my mind it's still, like, January so it's hard for me to accept it being April tomorrow and I'm 35 weeks prego! But it's time to kick it into gear and get ready for Baby Boy's arrival. But in an attempt to prevent this from becoming too much of a "blah-blah-blog," I'm just going to hit the highlights in photos and keep the narrative to a minimum. Here we go, the past 5 months in a nutshell:Paisley was some sort of improvised pink fairy for Halloween, but I forgot her tutu and she was more interested in holding that cookie than her wand.Galla insisted on the standard 4-year-old girl costume: Cinderella.I got a sweet deal on a brand new Buzz costume off Craigslist and Finn loved it! He's a huge Buzz/Woody fan and we are really looking forward to Toy Story 3 coming out.Such a fun Fall day. Who can resist lying in a huge leaf pile?My girlies are so cute and love to be cozy!Thanksgiving cheers at Nanny's.A quick family shot on the couch after a delicious dinner.Finn's 3rd birthday! He loved his blue lightsaber cake I made complete with glow sticks. I could show a more detailed pic, but I think you get the idea. Also, I love this picture with Anakin on the TV in the background because I think he and Finn look similar with the hair-do and all. Finn was so cute on his birthday soaking up all the attention. He is such a good boy!Picking out our Christmas tree.A Christmas Eve horsey ride with cousin Conner.Christmas Eve cousins picture. Look how adorable baby Addison is on Galla's lap. She was born Nov 12 and we are just loving her--she is so sweet!Can we open our presents yet?!A nice "blue steel" look from Finn on his new bike Christmas morning.Paisley loves her new scooter (even if the handle bars are a little high) and was happy to pose and give me a "cheeeeese!"You go Galla! Sweet ride!Go ahead and keep playing your Wii...I'll be over here with the quiche!Fast forward to March (we did do things in Jan and Feb, but we'll skip it for now) and Galla's 5th birthday--The Princess and the Frog! These little princesses were all so sweet and spent the whole time twirling and telling each other how beautiful they looked.Of course I had to make a frog cake--pucker up!And these were the cupcakes she took to preschool.This picture is from an 80's party Brad and I went to a couple weeks ago. In case you didn't guess, Brad is "Brand" from The Goonies. I think my eyeshadow looked pretty amazing, but the crimp job ended up looking more "poodle" than "posh." I just thought I'd share the awesomeness with you!

And that about brings us up to speed. Now let's hope time slows down a little bit because I've got a list to accomplish (blankets to sew, a dresser to refinish...) before giving birth. And don't even think about coming early...cinco de mayo, please!