Monday, September 9, 2013

The Day Has Finally Come...

Sorry for posting so much lately. 
Homework tends to inspire me to blog. 
Funny how that works!

Anyway, if anyone is at all curious as to what I have spent my entire summer creating, I'm about to show you. Drum roll please (\./.....) I now present to you selections from the new School of Life textbook:

Front Cover

Table of Contents


Chapter 3

Chapter 3 Homework

Last Page/Sign Off Sheet

Well, I have officially left my mark on the world. I suppose I can die happy now. Oh and if anyone works with youth (church callings, school teaching, your own kids) this is a fantastic life skills program! (Would be a great personal progress project!) It talks about how we are our own "toughest opponent" and the ten A's of successful living. (Appreciation, Assist, Attitude, Aim, Associate, Align, Action, Avoid, Adapt, and Always) Contact me if you'd like a copy/copies of the book. I could probably get them to you for $5-$10 per book (printing and shipping), depending on where I have to ship it to. You can also go to the website to learn more about the School of Life Program and how you can donate or help bring it to your city:

(Watch the video on the news page)

One Toddler For Sale

Anyone?... Anyone?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Headless Chicken

In Relief Society today we had a lesson on talents. There was a lot of focus spent on finding new talents and not "hiding your light under a bushel." We read the parable of the talents... You know the one where one man is given five talents by the Lord and he returns to Him with ten, another man is given two and he comes back with four, and another is given only one and he wastes it so it's taken away.

Anyhow, everyone was talking about the guy with one talent. But I feel bad for the guy with five who is supposed to come back with more. I feel so overwhelmed sometimes doing things for others that are considered my "talents", I can't imagine trying to learn more! I mentioned that in Relief Society but no one seemed to get it. I'm not saying that I am so awesome or anything. I'm saying that there comes a point when you are taking on so much that when someone asks for a volunteer to design a poster in Relief Society, you keep your mouth shut! The problem is that I'm not very good at saying "no".... or keeping my mouth shut. And I tend to make the things I do look easy or I shrug things off as no big deal that really took me hours and hours to do for someone. I get a lot of, "Oh I love it... now could you just move this, change that, do it again next month?" This is usually when Joe tries to lunge across the room and cover my mouth before I can say, "No problem!"

Am I crazy and ungrateful? I really do appreciate the talents that I have been given... and I use them. Maybe I'm overusing them?! Maybe the talents that I'm supposed to develop now are time management, delegation, and self-preservation! I'm gonna go with that for now. That feels good. :)

(Anyhow, the rest of this post is just a journal entry on how busy life is... you can stop reading if you're bored.)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Man life got busy! I can now say that I understand why parents say kindergarten is so hard on your schedule. Jay's still in preschool (we held him back so he would be the oldest in his class--July birthday) but it's everyday for three hours. Then on top of that I have night class Tuesday/Thursday, two online classes, starting the 18th I will teach for a non-profit, after school program at one high school on Wednesdays and another on Thursdays (with barely enough time to make it to class that night!), and oh did I mention that I have kids? I also have been testing out of one class (4 one-hour tests) and designing a new workbook for School of Life (the non-profit, after-school program). I'm also training for another half marathon. I have to keep reminding myself that being busy is better than being bored.

The Good News:
  • The gym is at the same place as Jay's preschool and the kids think the gym daycare is like Disney Land. It also means that I can drop both kids off 30 minutes before Jay's preschool and the daycare then takes him right over to preschool so that Jay only spends 30 minutes there, I get a workout, and Ty gets a social life and a fenced in playground for an hour!
  • Ty will usually take a nap while Jay's at school which allows me to study and shower after working out. 
  • My abnormally strict, attendance-taking professor is magically okay with me walking in late every Thursday. (I'm thinking I will bring treats every week.)
  • The non-profit I work for miraculously got $30,000 in funding!... This also meant that my workload doubled (to 4 hours a week... not complaining too much there especially because it is so rewarding.) But I was super stressed about finding sitters for the boys during those hours. Again, miraculously Joe's cousin volunteered for one day and a girl in my ward for the other. AND the boys love both of them.
  • I got released from Young Women's... this is good and bad. I loved the girls and leaders but I was so overwhelmed and couldn't make it to the activities.
 I have felt the hand of the Lord this past month stretching me beyond my own capabilities. The workbook that I designed is hands down the biggest project I have EVER taken on (44 pages). At times it felt impossible to finish. My OCD brain kicked into overdrive and I thought I might never sleep again. But it's getting printed this week and we'll have it before class on the 18th. I could have never done that alone! And it's better than me... better than anything I have previously designed I mean. Truthfully, I know that it wasn't me. I know that it was so important that this got finished, so important to those kids, so important to the growth of this program, and I was just the instrument. I have a lot to be grateful for.

Friday, September 6, 2013

My Kid Is Cuter Than Yours

I was trying to think of a eye-catching title. I thought, "What kind of title would make me just have to read someone's blog post?" This is what I came up with. Because if I were to read this title in my blog feed, I'd be all, "No you didn't." (And I'd snap my fingers as if my life-long dream to wake up as a black person had really just come true... I'm not kidding.) Anyhow, after the snap I'd click on the link just to validate the fact that my kids are cuter. It's human nature. 

So now that I have your attention... here's why my kid really is cuter than yours. 
(See what I did there?)

Now guys, don't feel bad. I'm sure your kids have great personalities.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

School And Food Allergies

So many people ask me what precautions we take when sending Jay to school. The truth is that sending him anywhere is terrifying but I'm learning to relax a bit about preschool. This is what we do:
  • He wears his Epibelt, which has his EpiPens and benadryl inside. We got ours here. (They also sell medical ID bracelets for kids.) 
  • We pack his own snack in a lunch box and put it in the preschool's fridge. This is great because his preschool is from 11:30-2:30 and they don't feed them lunch. If he were left to what the other parents brought for snack, he'd be starving by the time he got home. I basically pack him a small lunch and I can put whatever fresh fruits or healthy stuff I want in it.
  • The teachers are trained on EpiPens. I bring a trainer EpiPen and demonstrate how to use it even if they have been "trained" before.
  • I make sure Jay is the most popular kid in Preschool. Every teacher knows his name and face. They also know that Jay is the kid that could die if they feed him. I like to freak them out a bit by telling them past ER stories. It helps build a healthy measure of paranoia.
  • Jay brings an allergy storybook to his first show and tell. This is the one we have:
    It's a story about a cow with milk allergies (strange but effective.) After this day, the kids start asking all sorts of questions about what things have milk in them... glue, water, etc. It's pretty cute.
  • I make posters. Here's this years version:

Those are the basics. It was really scary when I first sent Jay by himself into a classroom full of milk-consuming children. When your child has food allergies, you develop an unhealthy distrust of other people's kids. You start to view them as allergen-covered monsters with sticky hands and pockets full of anaphylaxis-inducing candy. Holidays become stressful, especially in the days following Halloween and Easter. You feel like the crazy lady when you have to read labels of art supplies and hand soap. And you learn to ask serious questions as casually as possible...
"So are you doing a counting activity with those marshmallows/M&Ms/squares of death?"

It's worth it though. For so much of Jay's life I have been his social life. I have been his teacher, his protector, his secret-keeper... his everything. Now he comes home talking about what Miss Mary-Ellen taught him, what his friend (and possible first crush), Brooklyn, told him, or what funny thing his buddy, Jake, did... It's adorable and I want to cry nearly everyday because I'm so happy. I'm happy that he's safe. I'm happy that he has friends. And I'm happy that, at least for a few hours, he's a normal 5 year-old boy.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Seriously Folks

I did it. 
I updated my blog.

And I mean updated... I just optimized a year's worth of photos for your viewing pleasure. A YEAR'S WORTH! Then I separated them out by month and blogged about each month I missed. Cuz I'm a good person. And I believe in personal record keeping.

Now get off my back.
(That was sarcastic. I love you all... if there is anyone still out there that reads this blog. "Hi Mom!")


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Catching Up On Jay Quotes

May 29th, 2012
Jay: "What does genius mean?"
Me: "It means really smart."
Jay: "Oh. That's why I'm smarter than you."

May 30th, 2012
About six times a day Jay tells me that I am "the loved of heaven." I'm not sure what that means but I take it as a great compliment!

May 30th, 2012
Jay: "My favorite colors are red and orange. And Ty's favorite colors are dark black and dark white."

June 7th, 2012
Jay: "I love burnt water! Not everybody does."


July 18th, 2012
-Coming home from the gym with the boys-
Me: "Okay Jay, at some point I'm going to need to take a shower..."
Jay: (interrupting) "At some point I'm going to need to watch T.V."

September 5th, 2012
Jay: "Mom, I need some eye for my wad."
(Ever since he learned that you can give people nicknames by shortening their real names he started shortening everything.)
Translation: "I need some ice for my water."

September 27, 2012
Jay: "Mom, I have a great idea of how to make our family bigger!"
Me: "Oh yeah?"
Jay: (So excited) "Yeah!...Have more babies!"

October 31st, 2012
Jay dressed as a fireman for Halloween. He says his fire extinguisher "shoots out barrels of hugs and kisses... even snuggles."

November 28th, 2012
Me: "Ugh... Our house is so trashed!"
Jay: "No it's not, Mom! It's loved."

December 13th, 2012
Jay: (just now standing by the living room window) "Mom, can we open these blinds since we're all dressed?"

December 15th, 2012
I've had Christmas music in my head all day. So I'm belting out the line, "Do you know what I know?" and Jay leans over to me and whispers, "Yes. I do."
January 16th, 2013
Ty is limping around the house refusing to put his left heel on the ground.

Me (to Jay): "Jay, why is Ty limping like that? Did he step on something?"
Jay (dryly): "I don't know Mom. Maybe he wanted to show you a trick."

August 2013

 August meant school started!

For Jay:

And for ME!!
Yup I'm back in school again... I took a two year maternity leave. ;) It's nice how college lets you do that. It would be nicer if they gave me some sort of honorary degree though.

July 2013

 I have decided that children are funny.

They sleep funny.

Make funny faces.

 Do naughty, funny things that I can't keep up with...

 Anyhow, we escaped the heat for a few days this month by heading to Park City. Joe's Uncle has a house in Midway that he wanted Joe to clean so he let us stay in his condo in Deer Valley for the weekend. It was a NICE place.

The tub was practically a swimming pool.

That and the satellite TV sold it for my boys.

This is from our drive home... It so perfectly illustrates my kids' personalities.

Also, I taught Jay how to play War. I called it high-low or something harmless but he renamed it Ten and now plays often with his "kids".

Later in the month, Joe took the boys to Jumping Jacks without me.
(I can't go in there... Ty got hurt the first time we went and I still have nightmares about it. We won't say whose fault it was because it makes Joe feel bad.)  

(I have a coordinated son and a verbal son... guess which one Jay is.)
Just kidding Jay! (I know he will eventually read this.)

Jay also turned 5 this month!

He specifically requested a Red Van Carpet Cleaning cake (Joe's company). Let's just say this was not easy.

June 2013

 Before it got too deep into summer, Joe decided to take Jay on a Dad and boy trip with Uncle Rick and Cousin Gage. They went to Las Vegas for a night!

Jay was in heaven, especially at the M&M factory where he got to buy a replacement mug for the one Ty broke.

Joe made sure Jay got to experience a lot of firsts: swimming with sharks (they were behind glass), eating teddy grahams with chop sticks, going to the Children's Museum, and what childhood would be complete without this experience:

That same week, Grandma and Grandpa Goostrey, Uncle Eric, and Cousins Kylie and Lainee came for a visit.

We took them out to see all that St. George had to offer...
And the Sinclair Brachiosaurus.

I had to pry Jay off of it.

The girls seemed to love it down here.

After my family left, June still had much in store for us...

Like a Home Depot run...

A visit from cousin Jake...
(Seriously Ty is so good with babies.)

And chasing strangers' dogs down at the splash park.

Ah summertime.

May 2013

Did I mention life with Ty is messy?

April 2013

 I should just title this "Life With Ty."

Life with Ty is messy.

Life with Ty means getting creative with restraints.

Life with Ty is precious.

Life with Ty keeps you on your toes.

Life with Ty is sometimes snuggly. (When the stars align.)

Life with Ty means getting excited about the little things.
(Facetime from the next room.)

Life with Ty means a sore back most days.

Life with Ty means getting big way too fast.

But mostly life with Ty is better than I could have ever imagined.

Except I shouldn't have taught him this:

March 2013

March was amazing because I got to check off something from my bucket list...


And it was a trail half marathon.
And it was beautiful.
And it was with my sister.
And it was so much fun!

I even took Joe and the boys on the part of the trail a week later to show them how hard it was.

(Where does Jay get these faces?)

We walked a long way and Jay was such a big boy about it.

My men on the trail...

And here's some bonus adorability for the month:

 Jay and I made a bird feeder... I think a squirrel got to it before any birds but Jay was just excited to see all the peanut butter eaten off a few days later.

Brothers... Jay's eye makes me laugh.

So does the rest of Jay.

And lastly, the Bike Rodeo at Preschool.