Friday, May 29, 2009

The fruits of our labor

We harvested this bad boy last night:

We aren't gardening failures! More are on the way! Along with tomatoes, and squash, and peppers.

Ah, zucchini! How I love to munch on thee.

Well, cooked, of course.

Lost in Bow-land

Surprisingly enough, I know squat about doing hair and fashion. Especially when it comes to little girls. Most especially when it comes to little girls with very little hair. This was today's attempt:

Does it look dumb? You can be honest. It's the only bow that has stayed in her hair longer than 1.5 seconds in months.

And also, do any of you have tips on how to do girls' hair? Like, what elastics do you use? Do you cut them out? Stuff like that. Assume I know nothing, and go from there.


A winter wreath. . .


What do you think?

Thursday, May 28, 2009


As if I didn't have enough reason to look forward to fall.

I read in the paper about this new show on Fox called Glee. It's about a high school glee club. Yeah, glee club. It sounds like a pretty dumb show, if you ask me. But this review was really good. And the pilot would be available online for a few weeks. That was the kicker, I'm always looking for things to watch online, since we don't get TV.

Watch we did. I started it while during naptime one day, and then I had to stop because I thought Clark would want to watch it with me. He came home, and expressed little desire to see it, so I continued watching alone. Except he was in the same room, so he listened in. And after a few minutes, he was sucked in, watching right alongside me.

Guys. This is quality programming. I can't even put my finger on what I like about it so much, it's just good. It's got some clever lines, it's funny. Maybe it's just that it's not dumb. And it's got music, so I can't complain about that. The one problem? They decided to run the pilot, and then not show any more episodes until the fall.

Oh, sweet September, you can't come too soon.

But for now, you should go watch it. It's on hulu. And because I really liked it, here's a song:

Excellent stuff. Here's another video. Let me just say that I am 100% confident that there is no way this could have been pulled off at my high school. No. Way. You just couldn't find that many people with that level of enthusiasm.

The Spohrs, Part III

Follow the links for Part I and Part II.

Last week we finally got the NICU parent kits put together and ready to roll. The delivery date was Wednesday. (Hey Melissa, as fate would have it, I got your package on THURSDAY. Of course, that just means that I'll have to do this again :)) I really enjoyed putting all these kits together, the shopping, the organizing, and the delivering, oh, the delivering. It just felt so good to know that someone would benefit from these bad boys. I guess the local NICU has a lot of babies in there right now (18, including 5 sets of twins), so I think the bags were appreciated. On to the photos:

Here they are, all lined up in a row. We did 5 bags, and I brought that stack of magazines in as well. They were from my neighbor. What a good idea, sending your parenting magazines along to new parents. I think I'm going to save mine for that purpose from now on.

Aren't the bags themselves cute? My friend Holly made them. You have no idea how glad I was when she volunteered to help, because she is one cute, crafty woman. The purple button is for Maddie (whose favorite color = purple). And now for some more details on the contents:

Included in this kit:
  • kleenex
  • water bottle
  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • lotion
  • hand sanitizer
  • wet wipes
  • gum
  • hair clip
  • journal
  • pen
  • crossword puzzle book
  • parenting magazine
  • disposable camera (so people can take pictures when you aren't there)
  • chapstick
  • granola bars
  • trail mix
  • chocolate
  • pink grapefruit tic tacs (don't those sound awesome?)
  • a light, zip-up jacket that could be used for kangaroo care.
Cute jacket, no?
I especially liked the hood. Gives it that extra class.

Aside: A) My pants are looking baggy. Apparently I need to go shopping. I hate shopping. Help. B) Julia couldn't stand it when I was taking these pictures. Here are these highly intriguing bags that have been sitting on the couch for a few days, just out of reach, and I'm opening them, and pulling all the contents out, and she STILL can't touch ANYTHING. Tears ensued.

I also made some oatmeal raisin cookies for the kits (that didn't look like cookies so much as large, extra-flat blobs. Apparently I need to work on my cookie making skills. By making lots of cookies. Lots and lots of cookies. OK, Clark?), and some treats for the nurses, in the form of mini-cherry cheesecakes. I only thought to take a picture when I was in the parking lot for the hospital, so here they are, covered in plastic wrap:
Here we are, all loaded up and ready to go:

This is my friend Holly, and her 2 boys, Jack and Noah.

Ah, it was such a great experience, and like I said, I can't wait to do it again. My heart aches for all NICU parents , and lately it's especially been aching for the Spohrs. So it was nice to do something, instead of having only great intentions. How about this, I didn't realize until about a week ago that my parents were NICU parents for a while, too. I mentioned this project to my mom, and she said that it was such a good idea, and that when you are in the NICU, you are just grateful to know that someone is thinking about you, that you are loved.

If any of you want to help with the next batch, just let me know!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Grandpa Hurst

I feel like I've got 5000 blog posts in my head, waiting to be written and published, but alas, I only have time for one. So it'll be the most important one. My Grandpa died this past weekend, at the ripe age of 87. He was such a good man, and left a beautiful legacy behind him. Here is his obituary. You know, my grandparents have 35 grandchildren, but they still managed to be at every dance recital, graduation, soccer game, etc. What incredible people! For them, family is life, and I can't tell you much I felt loved and cherished by my grandparents.

We're heading up north this afternoon so we can be at the funeral. I guess all other blogging will have to wait until we get back.

Weekly Quote 5/26/09

"A child, a day old child,
turns his head and seems to say,
a tiny nod, "I do know God
I left Him yesterday."

I'm not exactly sure who wrote this, but they were part of a song I sang in my recent Keynotes concert. Beautiful song, beautiful words. New quote up!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

And so it begins. . .

Last night at 11 we opened the windows so we could cool down the house. I sweated all night long, as did Julia I assume, thus very little sleeping took place. This morning our thermostat said it was 80° inside. Time to close the windows and turn on the AC: 7:30am.

And that is why I hate summer.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Amazing Talking Julia

Our daughter is a genius.

But you already knew that.

Julia has learning all sorts of new words lately. She not only knows a bunch of animal sounds (cow, sheep, duck, chick, dog, fish, horse), but she most definitely says, "No," "Daddy," "Doggie," "Isaac," (that's the name of the kid I babysit) "So cute," "Please," "This (or maybe it's yes, I'm not sure, all I know is she points to something, says it, and wants it)," "Blockburger," "Maybe," and sometimes, "Mama." (I love that I am an afterthought. Don't mind me, I'm just the one who feeds you and changes your diaper day after day, not to mention that whole pregnancy bit, and then the year of nursing. Whatever.)

Anyway. I'm sure you read that list and said, "Um, Blockburger? The kid says Blockburger? There's no way." Well here is the proof, ladies and gentlemen. Watch the video and know, our kid is a genius:

Amazing, no? She's also gotten very good at saying, "No," and waving her arms in front of her face. Especially when we want her to put on a show by displaying her verbal abilities. She knows we want her to do it, and there is no way she will be daddy's little monkey.

And because it's so dang cute, here we caught her saying, "Maybe."

Weekly Quote 5/18/09

"Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly."

Last week's quote is by Ambrose Bierce. We used a bunch of quotes in our Keynotes concert, and that was the one I said. New quote up!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mother's Day Adventures

This year for Mothers Day we were having a hard time thinking of what we could get our mothers, and then, genius dawned on us. All they want is to see Julia, right? So, why not let them see Julia? That's right, we headed up north and surprised them! We plotted and schemed with our fathers, and gave each of our mothers some quality time with sweet baby Julia. Oh, and I guess we were there, too. It was well worth the drive to see their faces when we showed up at each of their houses. So delightful! And we saw all the great-grandmas, too. And we finally got to see "Engaged Suzanne" and her ring. It was a great family weekend. Unfortunately, I didn't get pictures of Julia with her grandmas. Well, that isn't entirely true. I got a picture with one grandma (kind of):

Julia's first trip to the cemetery! It feels very wrong to have an exclamation point after that sentence. . . Anyway, I was glad that we made it to the cemetery on Mothers Day, and I only wish we had brought a flower or something. Oh well, maybe next time.

While we're talking of firsts, Grandpa Blockburger treated Julia to her first ice cream cone at McDonalds! Oh, she loved it. You wouldn't know it, though, from this picture:
While ice cream is tasty, it is also very cold.

She looks like Santa Claus. Here's a video:

In the end, she ate it up, cone and all, and then asked for "More!" So I guess she also learned her first of many sad life lessons: You don't get all the ice cream you want.

Monday, May 11, 2009


I have an announcement: The Keynotes will be performing their annual spring concert this Wednesday at the St George Tabernacle at 7pm. It's free. It should only be about an hour. And all the music is in honor of Mothers. Come one, come all.

Oh, did I mention that I sing with the Keynotes?

There probably won't be jazz hands, but I can't guarantee anything.

Weekly Quote 5/11/09

"I love you more than I have ever found a way to say to you."

Yeah, that was in honor of our anniversary, Ben Folds, The Luckiest. New quote up!

Friday, May 08, 2009

The Love of a Dad

The other day at Harmons we passed a man, his daughter, and an employee. The man's shirt was soaked, the employee was handing him paper towels, and the daughter was saying she was sorry. One can only assume that she was. . . sick. All over her dad. The awesome part was walking by just in time to hear the love in her dad's voice as he said, "Hey, it's OK, it's not your fault, don't worry about it." Aren't dads great?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

IFA For Mom Sale

I love looking at the ads, but this week I was especially blessed with the IFA ad. They are having a Mothers Day sale. Here's the front page:

For Mom Sale, how nice.

Trees and Flowers for Mom,

Lawn and Garden for Mom,

Outdoor Gifts for Mom,

Clothes and Gifts for Mom,

Horse Gifts for Mom (wait, what?),

Farm and Ranch for Mom (sounds like Mom does all the work),

but the last page, oh that last page, that's what had me laughing out loud:

Dog House for Dad.

For the Beauty of the Earth

I have never really gardened. Sure, we had some potted plants when we lived in Wymount, but that hardly counts. So I've been excited, and incredibly nervous, about our garden plot this spring. There were a few weeks there when things weren't looking so good (2 plants flat out died, but they were cucumbers, so I wasn't heartbroken), and I was worried the cold spells we kept having would kill everything off. But no! Our little garden is pulling through! Look, here's our tomato plant:

We've got flowers! That means we're thriving! Here's a look at the rest of our plants:

That zucchini is getting huge. And I am OK with that. We can have zucchini every day in the summer, I won't complain. We've also got some bell peppers (red and green), yellow squash, and a whole bunch of tomatoes. Once again, I wouldn't complain if we had bushels of tomatoes this summer. Speaking of summer, let me just remind you: "Summer" is here. I like "summer." 80-90° weather, lots of sunshine. "Inferno" starts in about a month, maybe 2. I hate "inferno."

On the side of our house I planted some cosmos (the seeds came free in the mail, so I figured I had nothing to loose). Here are the sprouts:

And in the front, our rosebush bloomed overnight, I swear:

And then we have the peach tree. There are peaches - real, growing peaches!

In fact, we're going to have to do some thinning pretty soon here, don't you think?

I can't tell you how excited I am about the prospect of having home-grown peaches, and fresh vegetables. And I'm thrilled that we haven't killed everything yet.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Peanut Butter Smacks

I fed Julia peanut butter for the first time the other day. I think she liked it, though I'm not sure it liked her. While we were eating the stuff, some red bumps appeared on her face. It really didn't look like hives or a rash, it was just 4 bumps, they looked kind of like bug bites, around her mouth. And then they disappeared. My neighbor mentioned that you are supposed to wait until the kid is 2 to feed them peanut butter (is that what you've heard? I didn't know, I swear!). In any event, I think we'll be waiting a little while before we feed it to her again (maybe the next time we give her some will be right before a regularly scheduled doctor's appointment, just in case). BUT, she did make some cute smacking noises when the sticky PB was in her mouth, and I got a video. Enjoy.

Keeping Records

Most people have an OB/GYN. I have an OB and a GYN. This week I went to see my GYN. I brought Julia. The nurse was taking my weight, looking over my chart, and she says, "Um, is she yours?"

I was a bit confused by this, and she said, "I just don't have a record of a pregnancy. . . did you adopt her?"

Uh, no, I gave birth, she's mine, I just switched doctors.

I'd also like to note that I actually had a blood test at the old doctor's office to confirm the pregnancy, and then I had an appointment where he did an ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy. Sure, I was only 6 weeks along, and then I transferred over to Dr. Fagnant, but still, they have no record of either of those things? Really?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


I won't feed these things to her, it's all Clark.

I met a man [at BYU], and he's wonderful and brilliant, and we [got] married!

Well, I already posted about our Anniversary Celebration, but I figured the actual day warrants an actual post. Hey, Clark: we made it 5 years. Does that mean the adjustment period is over? I love you!

Good heavens, we look young! (especially Clark)

Monday, May 04, 2009

Chicken Cordon Blegh

Last Thursday I put together what was supposed to be a Chicken Cordon Bleu casserole. Ham, chicken, swiss cheese, cream of chicken soup, milk. I thought it sounded like it would be pretty good. However, the recipe called for breading each bite size piece of chicken and then frying it, and I simply did not have the time. I decided to just put it all in a dish and slap it in the oven for an extra 15 minutes. Guess what? That did NOT work out very well. The chicken was most definitely NOT COOKED. It was at this point that Clark, in his husbandly wisdom, told me that sometimes dinner just doesn't work out, and it's no one's fault, and you just say, "Well, I guess we're going to Wendy's!" And we did just that. And I put the casserole in the fridge, to be cooked more thoroughly at a later day.

Yesterday was fast Sunday. And, it just so happens that Julia is now weaned. WEANED. I really wasn't sure when I'd give it up for good, but then we had our anniversary weekend, and, well, I haven't fed her since. So this means that for the first time in almost 2 years, I fasted! It wasn't nearly as taxing as I remember it being. Apparently being a mom has toughened me up? Anyway, so I decided to stick the ill fated casserole in the crockpot, thinking that surely it would cook through, and then we'd have a delightful dinner.

WRONG. Well, maybe half wrong. It certainly cooked through. It burned through. So it was not the main course of our delightful dinner. Instead we had hot dogs, because those are fast, and we had been fast-ing (see what I did there?).

I've decided that I will never make this casserole again. None of you should make it either. Unless you want to go to Wendy's for dinner.

Animal Noises

Julia got an animal puzzle from the Shaefers for her birthday, so we've been learning all the animal noises. So far she's got dog, cow, duck, and sheep (though the sheep is hit and miss, and sometimes he doesn't say, "Baa," he says, "Hi."), and I guess she's said "tweet" once or twice. Here's a video:

I'm amazed and how fast she can pick up on things. The other day Clark and I were getting ready for the day and Julia was playing with a blanket with "ducks" on it (they are really chicks, but let's not break the girl's heart). All of the sudden, she says, "Sooo, cute!" And we looked at each other like, "Did she really just say that, or was it just a noise?" But she kept saying it, and telling us it was so cute, so I think she meant it. It was. . . well, it was "So cute!"

The Anniversary Festivities

Our anniversary isn't until tomorrow, but we decided to take advantage of free babysitters when we could and celebrated last weekend. It's the big number 5 (5 years? How on earth did that happen?) so we decided to do a bit more than we have in the past, and we left Julia behind. My sister and her husband came down to watch the little tyke over night and we high tailed it to Zion.

We stayed Friday night at the Desert Thistle, this cute bed and breakfast in Rockville. I'd never done a B&B before, and I actually found the experience to be very enjoyable. It felt a lot like staying with family, they were so friendly and accommodating. The hostess kept apologizing that they couldn't upgrade us to the anniversary suite because someone had already booked it, and Clark and I had to keep telling her that we really didn't mind getting what we paid for and nothing more. And our room was quite nice. And breakfast in the morning was delicious - it kept us full for the whole day of hiking. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to stay close to Zion. It wasn't terribly expensive either, you see a huge drop in price when you look at Rockville as opposed to Springdale. Totally worth it.

Friday night we went to Oscar's for dinner and had their garlic burgers. Clark got the Murder Burger, and I got the regular Garlic Burger. Instead of regular fries they serve sweet potato fries - yum! Good eats, right there.

Saturday morning we headed up the canyon and decided to hike to Observation Point. You take the trail towards Weeping Rock, but instead of going to Weeping Rock you go to the right. And then at the next fork in the trail, you turn left (going right takes you to Hidden Canyon, which we've also done and enjoyed). And then you go up and up and up! You go through a slot canyon, and up a cliff, and then you go along the cliff for a while until you hit this amazing view of the canyon. It was seriously breathtaking. I'm really glad we didn't take Julia with us because a) it was long, and b) it was windy. Oh, and then on the way back down, the clouds rolled in and we got snowed on. Yeah, snow. SNOW. In Zion in April! But you know, it was actually really fun. Don't worry, this is Utah, it was sunny skies again by the time we got to the bottom.

And by the way, I'm thinking the gym is really paying off. We got to the top of the mountain, and I felt fine. I certainly didn't feel like I had just climbed a mountain. Of course, my legs were jello by the time we got to the bottom, but my lungs did just fine. Oh, and let me just say THANK YOU to Kim and Patrick for watching Julia. We had a nice night away, and I'm sure you had fun playing with your darling niece. Here are some pictures.

Weekly Quote 5/4/09

"Happy happy birthday Julia dear!
Happy days will come to you all year.
If I had one wish then it would be
A happy happy birthday to you from me!"

It's been a while, Weekly Quote. I guess I just wanted to wish Julia a happy birthday for longer than one week. New quote UP!

Friday, May 01, 2009

The Spohrs, Part II

OK, so remember my grand plan from last week to give to the local NICU in honor of Maddie Spohr? Well, to those of you who want to help, here are some specific ideas on how to do that.

1) You can donate money. Do you need instructions on that one? If you do, email me. Now, I recognize that most people who read this blog aren't raking in the dough, so. . .

2) You can donate products. I've put together a list of some good ideas. I'm thinking that I'll try to make at least 5 bags/kits, and a lot of these products are pretty inexpensive. Being a coupon clipper, I've been looking for coupons and deals on these things. Here's the list:
  • hand lotion (EXTREME CARE)
  • chap stick
  • Kleenex
  • antibacterial lotion
  • energy bars
  • gum, mints, mouth wash
  • tooth brush & toothpaste
  • hairbrush
  • wet wipes
  • oatmeal cookies (oatmeal is good for breast milk production)
  • a notebook & pen to be a journal of thoughts, treatments, etc
  • Comfortable clothes (those of you who have given birth know that nothing fits right after, so things like sweats or yoga pants would be so nice)
  • Button down shirts and hoodies for Kangaroo care
  • Disposable camera (so the nurses can take pictures while you are away)
  • Trail Mix
  • Nice bottle for water
  • Crossword puzzle
3) You can donate FOOD. As you might have noticed, oatmeal cookies, trail mix, and energy bars are on the list above, though I think any food would be welcome. And it's also been suggested to supply treats for the nurses, because really, they are the ones running the hospital. So there you go: food.

4) Time. This one is really only feasible for those who live in the area, but I'm thinking it would be fun to have someone to go shopping with, to help put the kits together (including figuring out how to cute-sify a plain looking bag), and to help me drop them off. Especially that last one. Did you know that I'm painfully shy? The prospect of showing up at the hospital and not knowing where to go or who to talk to terrifies me, even though I'm bearing gifts. So yeah, I would LOVE someone to help with that.

OK, so there you go, that's the plan. I'm thinking that it could be nice to get it over there for Mother's Day, but I don't know if I can get it together by them, so maybe right after. So if you want to do something, send it along by next Friday. Or, if it comes late, maybe I'll do another batch later. In any event, I'm really excited about this project, even if I do it all on my own.