Saturday, March 29, 2008

Word of the day

Bilocation:  a term used to describe the ability/instances in which an individual or object is said to be, or appear to be, located in two distinct places at the same instant in time.
(i.e. me with one foot in Cleveland and one in Rochester, me when I'm into a really good book, me when I'm daydreaming and don't see/hear the chaos my kids are causing all around me)

I know

It's about time I got around to this post:  Easter

At the last minute I realized that my kids are probably old enough to decorate eggs.  So on Saturday morning I tackled that project with the kids...alone.  That was my first mistake.  My second mistake was having them at the table while I was still trying to get set up - the result was me running back and forth from the kitchen to the dining room while the kids started without me - which resulted mostly in fighting, crying, and much spilled dye.  Mistake #3 was thinking that my 2-year old was ready for this project.  Let's just call it a learning experience.

Needless to say, the eggs were nothing fancy.
The funniest part was that as soon as the last egg had been dipped in dye (and I literally mean the second after) Noah and Alex started cracking all their pretty eggs and eating them.  So much for enjoying their handiwork - or mine

And the only thing those egg-dippers came in handy for was egg-eating.
At least this project fulfilled one role - it was both breakfast and lunch for my kids.

Sunday morning we woke the kids early enough to do an egg-hunt before church. 
Noah was so into it - really excited about everything.
He was even "helping" and "sharing" with Alex...
until she got the hang of it.  Alex is so funny because half the time she doesn't know what's going on she just follows her big brother around and does what he does.  Same story with the easter egg hunt.  She was really excited about running around with her basket but it took her a little while to figure out what it was she was supposed to be doing or be excited about.
Then one of her eggs popped open...and the secret was out.  
The eggs were full of candy!!!
So this is what Alex looked like for the rest of the morning
Look at that face!  She gave us major attitude when we tried to get her to collect eggs rather than eat candy. 
All in all, it was a success.  We were even EARLY for church.  Unbelievable.  After church we let the kids open their presents.  They got Toy Story from mom and dad (because we lost it ages ago).  From Grandma and Grandpa Hunt Alex got a set of Disney Princess dolls that you can dress up and Noah got a bag full of plastic ocean creatures.  Both were a huge hit!  They've been playing with them non-stop and even taking them with us when we go places.  For example...Monday we headed to Target to let the kids spend the $ that Grandma and Grandpa Gunn sent them for Easter.  Alex brought "mermaid" (of course) and Noah refused to leave the house until he'd packed up his entire bag of sea creatures.  The kids had no trouble spending the money from Grandma and Grandpa or deciding which toy to get.  They both got a set of Disney characters:  Alex picked the Cinderella ones and Noah's set was a mix of Incredibles and Monsters Inc.  The easter toys are all we've played with since.  Noah's characters/sea creatures are usually trying to "get" Alex's princesses while she tries to save them.  Amazing how long this can keep them occupied...
The other day Alex picked up one of her Cinderella's, gave her a hug an a kiss, and said, "Mommy, she's my favorite friend!"  Noah has gotten into the weird habit of requesting baths at odd hours of the day, so he can play with his sea creatures in the water.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, way to go Grandmas and Grandpas.  The gifts were a huge success.

I've totally digressed from Easter Sunday, but it was pretty low-key.  Paul had to be in to work at 4pm so we had an early dinner and let daddy relax and get ready for his all-night shift.  It was a good day - hope yours was too : )

P.S.  I have seriously forgotten that out west Easter is a spring holiday.  To me, here in Cleveland, March is still the dead of winter.  Even in past years, when Easter has been in April it's been cold and/or snowy.  So we've never done an outside easter egg hunt.  And I didn't bother to get the kids a "spring" outfit for church.  We dressed in our usual winter wear and were nice and cozy : )

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

One foot in Cleveland...

and one foot in Rochester, MN.  That's what it feels like anyway.  My friend, whose family is a few years ahead of us in medical training, told me this would happen after match day.  I didn't know how true it would be!!!  The past 5 days have been a whirlwind of phone calls, emails, and internet research on everything from mortgage lenders, real estate agents, housing, neighborhoods, wards, elementary schools, preschools, etc.  You get the general idea.  I'm happy to say that we've made significant progress.  I've got Noah registered for preschool and we have an appointment with our real estate agent in Rochester in 2 weeks!  2 weeks from today I will be driving (with 2 screaming kids I'm sure) to the place we will soon call home.  I can't wait.  

I know there are many of you out there who can't understand why we would be excited to move to a smallish (approx 100,000 people) town in freezing cold Minnesota.  Other than the obvious (great medical training) here are a few of those reasons: clean, safe neighborhoods, lots of young families, affordable homes, great schools, great wards, lots of LDS residents.  And one thing that has me especially excited (you clevelanders will appreciate this)...EVERYTHING IS CLOSE!  No more 20-30 minute drives to Target, the grocery store, the library, church.  Everything is 10 minutes away or less.  For someone with 2 kids who HATE the car this might be paradise : )  

Everyone we've talked to loves it there.  I'm starting to think that Rochester might be the exact opposite of Cleveland (see above mentioned reasons).  Someone told us the other day, "The longer you're here the more you love it."  Paul and I had to laugh - definitely the opposite of Cleveland.  

Thursday, March 20, 2008

And there you have it...


Rochester, Minnesota here we come!!!

The Mayo Clinic was our #1 choice and we couldn't be more excited.  It's going to be a great place for our family for the next 4-5 years.

WWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tomorrow

In 24 hours we will know where we are going for residency.  It doesn't seem real.  We've been waiting for this day for so long, and now it is almost here.  It's strange that we've matched.  It's already done - the information is out there somewhere - we just don't have it yet.  I don't feel as anxious as I thought I would feel - in fact I'd say I feel pretty calm.  This is not because I know what that letter is going to say tomorrow - I don't.  What I do know is that whatever it says is the right place for us right now.  I KNOW THAT.  I know that there is a right place for us.  A couple of months ago, I wasn't so sure.  So, today I am grateful for answers to prayers.  I am grateful for personal revelation.  I am grateful for the scriptures and how they can be likened to our lives today.  And I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows me and my family and has a hand in every aspect of our lives.  

I also have to say right now (even though Paul hates this) that I am so grateful for Paul.  I am so proud of him and so impressed by all he has accomplished over the last 4 years.  He has worked so hard for our family.  More importantly, he hasn't complained.  He always has a positive outlook on life and remembers to count our blessings and be grateful, even when times are hard.  He is a better person than me and I am lucky to have him as my husband, friend, partner, companion, and father of my children.  Once again...I couldn't be happier

I love you honey...and congratulations!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Drama Queen

video

Alex gets really mad (obviously) when it's time to turn the bath water off.  She gets really mad about a lot of things these days...I love that when she doesn't get what she wants from me she cries for her daddy.

Sometimes I really don't know how I will survive the terrible two's.  And I think, "Do I really have to go through this with every kid we have?"  But then there are other moments that melt my heart...moments that I wont always have with her, and just the thought breaks my heart and brings tears to my eyes.  

I love the way Alex always says, "I love you, mommy.  I love you too."  

And right now my all-time favorite thing is singing songs with Alex when I get her tucked in to bed.  She stares up at me from her pillow all "wrapped up" in her blankies and belts out in her sweet little voice "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" "I Am Like A Star Shining Brightly" and "Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam"  Life doesn't get any better than this - that is what I think as she sings with me every night...my heart could not be more full of love than it is at this moment. 


Then, last night as we were getting Noah ready for bed he got a bloody nose.  He gets these a lot - partly because he is ALWAYS picking his nose.  He gets them pretty bad too.  He usually freaks out about it and wont let us plug his nose but last night he did pretty good.  I was still annoyed though, because he'd been picking, and now I had blood on my couch, bathroom rugs, clothes.  Anyways, we got it stopped, for the most part, and I finished reading him books and getting him ready for bed.  After he brushed his teeth I gave him some tissue to take to bed with him.  Here's how our conversation went:

Me:  Noah I want you to take this tissue to bed with you in case you need it.  If your nose is bothering you don't pick it, use this tissue, ok?

Noah (with a sweet smile and arms opened wide for a hug):  Mom, you always know just what I need.


I couldn't be happier 

Monday, March 17, 2008

Preschool Fieldtrip

Last Friday (yes, the day after the St. Patrick's Day Party) Noah's preschool class (and moms and younger siblings) took a fieldtrip to the County Hospital.  

While waiting for our tour of the Life Flight Helicopter Noah and his buddies (with Alex not far behind) ran the halls checking out the pictures on the wall of said helicopter.  
Alex was, once again, SUPER excited to be included in the preschool festivities.
We ended up touring the ambulance first.  Alex thought she wanted to get in but immediately changed her mind and started crying for mommy.
Noah was hysterical.  You will notice that he has the same expression on his face in every single picture: serious face, wide eyes, hands in his pockets.  This is always his reaction to a new experience - but if you ask him if he's having fun the answer is always yes.  Here he is in the ambulance, checking things out.  
I love the look he gave the EMT when he tried to help him out 
This is a perfect shot of "the look"
Noah the pilot.  He was very nervous about sitting in the helicopter and tried to jump out!
I thought he would love seeing the helicopter, since he's obsessed with aviation.  And like I said, he said he loved it.  But look at this face!
I think Noah and Alex's favorite part was eating chicken fingers, sprite, and m&ms in the cafeteria after the tour : )

I swear these kids lives are one big party!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Kid Stuff

Last week when church was canceled, because of the snow storm, I asked Noah what we should do to keep the sabbath day holy.  He chose to read some stories from "The Friend."  I read him 2 stories and when we were done he said, "Mom, that was long.  But that was holy."

Every night when Noah brushes his teeth he thinks it's really funny to swallow the water (and the toothpaste in his mouth) rather than rinse and spit.  It drives me crazy - so the other night when he did it again I snapped at him. 
Me:  Noah, we don't swallow the toothpaste, that's gross!"
Noah:  But mom, it has great flavor.
He said this in a contrite little voice, as if he were really very sorry but he just couldn't help himself.  I about died laughing, even though I'd been really mad 5 seconds earlier.  That's the great thing about kids - you can't stay mad at them for too long.  And they always forgive me instantly : )

Today Noah and I were having a conversation about the treadmill being broken  - it's been broken for months but every few weeks he forgets and wants to know why he can't exercise on it.  So, after explaining once more that it was broken Noah said, "That's a bummer." Pause "That's what Grandma Hunt says.  She always says that, huh mom?"

Alex is our little drama queen.  She's always saying with a pouty face, "I'n sad."  We ask her why and she always responds with, "De-tuss" (translation: because).  She says this for a million and one different reasons: if she doesn't get what she wants, if it's time to go to bed, if Noah is mean to her, if Noah goes to preschool, for some attention and cuddles from mom and dad, and sometimes, it seems, for no reason at all.  I'm starting to wonder if she needs zoloft.  I can't help but laugh and give her loves everytime she says it though : )   

Friday, March 14, 2008

St. Patrick's Day Party

I had 8 little leprechauns running through my house yesterday for Noah's preschool St. Patrick's Day Party
And, yes, my house was trashed afterwards which of course I'd been expecting - but to be honest I'd really underestimated them this time.  Of course, it's less about the kids and more about what kind of activities I plan.  I always think, "Oh, this will be so fun for them and so cute" and I forget to think about the chaos it will cause.  I try to keep things under control but soon realize I'm losing that battle and just let them go nuts.  It's worth it, the kids had a great time!
The party activities were as follows: shamrock necklaces decorated with glitter (see what I mean about my choice of activities?) dancing to celtic music, a few St. Patrick's Day storybooks, pin the shamrock on the leprechaun, lunch (shamrock pb&j's, green shamrock jello jigglers, and VERY green sprite) cookie decorating (shamrock sugar cookies with green frosting and shamrock sprinkles) and to top it all off a search for the "pot of gold" (my big black cooking pot filled with goody bags which included gold chocolate coins, St Patrick's Day stickers, and eatable grass - the eatable grass was probably my worst idea yet).  
Noah and his best buddy Austin enjoying the jello jigglers, or as Noah put it the "jeddo jiggwers"
I let Alex stick around for the party - she's been more excited about it than Noah! She was a total ham as usual - that girl is a wild woman.  Such a party animal - should I be worried about the high school years yet?!?
Noah teaching Austin how to do a "Cheers!" (he loves this)
All Alex ate was jello, cookies, and sprite, of course
We're missing one kid in both of these pictures, but I tried.  Alex is cracking me up with her hat!

GOODY BAGS!!!

Paul got home just after the party ended and the last kid left and about fell over when he saw the state of the house.  Every room of the house.  It took us 2 hours to clean up, it was hilarious!  Thanks goodness for that new vacuum...

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

It's like Christmas

Do you know what that is?!?  Lines in my carpet (and yes, it's pink carpet - what can I say, we're renters).  Those lines were caused by...a new vacuum!!!
Maybe I need to replace all of our cleaning supplies?  It would be worth it if the kids would get this excited about cleaning.  And no, Paul and I do not typically vacuum with our shirts off.
So, it's out with the old...
and in with the new!
You know you're old and boring when a vacuum is this exciting.  Does it also make me a boring mom or mean that my kids are deprived if they are as excited as I am?  

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Snowed In

And I do mean that literally!
This is the view from my dining room window - it's looked like this since noon on Friday.
Paul played basketball at the church early this morning, like he does every saturday and the roads were horrible.  He took the van, because his car, which was parked out on the street, was buried and iced over.  He and his friends made it safely to and from the church but coming home the van got stuck in our driveway - too much snow.  So he spent over 1 hour shoveling it this morning.
We needed a few things from the store today (we were completely out of baby wipes) and Paul decided to brave the elements - he'd made it out ok that morning and now the driveway was shoveled, so he didn't think it would be too bad.  Wrong.  Paul only made it to the end of the street until he was completely stuck - in the middle of the road.  Within 30 seconds a teenage kid comes running up to the van, waving his arms like crazy.  His car was on fire about 30 feet in front of Paul!  Paul called 911.  Our stuck-in-the-snow van was in the way of the fire truck...so they pushed it into someone's plowed driveway.  Paul watched the car burn with some new neighbors, who invited Paul to join them on their covered porch.  After the fire was out Paul knocked on the door of the house whose driveway our van was now sitting in.  It was a nice older couple who donned their snowgear and attempted to help Paul get the van back down the street to our house.  No way was it gonna happen...but they managed, after much back-breaking labor, to get it off to the side of the road.  This nice couple, who have grandchildren, then sent Paul walking home with some baby wipes (thank goodness)  On his way down the street Paul stopped to help another stuck car.  Here is the view from our frontyard. 
And here's our backyard - notice the almost completely buried garbage can.
And here is Paul, the exhausted, frozen (almost) conquering hero.  He may not have made it to the store, but he did get the much needed baby wipes and met a few nice neighbors in the process : )  His ordeal took him several hours.
The pictures just don't do it justice.  I got Noah bundled up in his boots and coat and tried to get him out there for a picture, to give the white blur a little perspective...but the minute he stepped out into the single digit temperatures and blowing snow he refused to go any further.  Our neighborhood is a disaster and we are completely snowed in.  Who knows for how long because the snow hasn't stopped and our street RARELY gets plowed.  I'm not exaggerating.  We already knew it would be impossible for us to make it to church tomorrow (we found out later it's been cancelled) and Paul is worried about making it to the hospital on Monday.  THIS IS CRAZY!!! 

Friday, March 07, 2008

Loves

Alex loves the "David" books.  There is a whole series, all about a toddler named David who is constantly getting into trouble and being scolded - but his mommy still loves him.  It's obvious why Alex identifies with this character.  I love how she "reads" the books - pointed finger and stern face as she yells out the different scoldings - and then bursts out laughing.


Noah loves the "Planet Earth" DVDs.  His absolute favorite is "deep oceans" with "caves" coming in at a close second.  This is what Noah wants to watch whenever it's his turn to pick a movie.  Alex doesn't get into them as much but Noah was trying to convince her the other day saying, "Come on Alex, I need to teach you all about deep oceans."  It really is amazing what he's learned.  I think he can quote the whole thing.  This week Paul and I have watched one with him every night, after Alex goes to bed.  He loves to snuggle on the couch with us and tell us exactly what's going to happen and why.  These DVDs really are fascinating.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

I didn't get around to posting this on Monday - but what a great day!  The weather was gorgeous!  Who knew that 50 degree weather could be called gorgeous and warm?  Not me - in California that's winter, but in Cleveland it's a different story.  I even got to go running!  For the first time in almost 3 months!  I was worried I'd be too out of shape to make my regular route around the lake (just short of 3 miles) but I did it!  Granted, it's 2 days later and I can hardly walk I'm so sore - but still, I did it!  And it felt great - at the time.  When I got back I was holding Alex - she'd had a bath that morning which makes her hair really curly and cute (you know, before she sleeps on it or gets food in it).  This was our conversation:

Me:  Alex, your hair is so pretty!

Alex (running her fingers through my ponytailed, sweaty hair):  Yours is not.  

She said this with a smile, in her sweetest little voice, it was so funny.

Later that day, Paul and I took the kids out to play.  Noah rode his bike around the block while Alex rode in the stroller and then we took another trip around the block, the kids running wild.  They loved it!  It was so funny because they were shouting things out like, "Tree!" "Squirrel!" "Bird!" "Puddle!"  as if they'd never seen anything like it before.  It's definitely been a long winter - and unfortunately it's not over.  As was made clear the very next day by the terrible ice storm.  And then today I woke up to about a foot of snow.  Ok, so I haven't actually been outside today but it looks like a foot of snow from my second-story window.  So it's back to making forts, pretend play, reading books, and me trying not to let the tv entertain the kids all day.

Sidenote:  I had planned on making banana bread today.  I was told that you can freeze brown bananas and I had finally accumulated enough to make bread - so last night I took the bananas out of the freezer to thaw and...they liquefied.  What the heck?  Obviously I threw them away but I'd like to know, for future reference, can you really freeze brown bananas?  If so, what did I do wrong?  We're all really dissapointed there'll be no banana bread today.  On a day like today you really need something to look forward to, a little pick-me-up.  I'm currently fighting the temptation to make a big batch of cookies.  

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Vote Obama Today

Let's end Hillary's candidacy today by winning Ohio for Obama



Monday, March 03, 2008

Scripture Power

Last night before bed Noah grabbed my scriptures and said he wanted to read scriptures to us that night.  He opened them up to a random page and said, "Sharks, squid, lava, blast-off, get baptized.  The end."  

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Kid Quotes

Noah learned about money at preschool last week.  He still hasn't totally figured out all of the different coin denominations.  The other day he listed them off as, "Quarters, dimes, pickles, and pennies!"  Pretty close.

Noah has recently started picking up on the lyrics of the music I listen to.  It's pretty funny to hear him walking around the house singing random lines to himself as he plays.  One day Noah and Alex were going somewhere with Daddy.  Alex was crying and Noah said to her, "Big girls don't cry Alex.  That's what the song says."  Whenever he hears that song now he says, "Mom this is Alex's song!"  

I was cooking in the kitchen the other day when Noah randomly blurted out, "Mom, white is my favorite color - because we are white."  Ummm, racist?!?

Alex HATES diaper changes - she always struggles, cries, and locks her legs together (you wouldn't believe how strong she is).  The last few times she's done a little better though.  After I changed her diaper yesterday she said to me, "It's not that bad mommy.  There's nothing to cry about!  I not crying.  You not crying.  You a good girl mommy."  Quoting her just doesn't do it justice - it's less what she says and more just that I love her sweet, funny little voice right now!