First Day Jitters

August 24, 2009 at 8:28 am (Family)

Such a serious student!

Such a serious student!

Of course, I’m talking about me. Samuel wasn’t worried at all. He got right on the bus, no problem there. I do think however, that  there’s something wrong with making a five year old catch the bus before the sun comes up!

I put on a dress and everything!

I put on a dress and everything!

I was up late last night making sure that everything was ready so that my first born could have a hot breakfast on his first day of kindergarten (this annoyed Doug a little since I don’t usually worry about him having a hot breakfast!). I also wanted to make sure that I looked presentable for the other parents at the bus stop and the bus driver. I know this isn’t my day, but I don’t want people judging Samuel based on his mother showing up at the bus stop in her pajamas! I am drawing the line at attending the parents breakfast this morning. Hopefully they don’t parade the kids around the cafeteria saying things like, “Don’t worry Samuel, I’m sure your mommy loves you …. even if she couldn’t be bothered to show up for her free donut.”

Waiting for the bus with daddy.

Waiting for the bus with daddy.

The bus drove up, the doors opened, and my first born climbed the steps. There wasn’t even a hint of missing his dear mother! I know he’s ready for school, now I just have to resign myself to allow someone else’s influence on my son for 7 hours a day. Does that seem too long to you, because it sure seems too long to me. What to do now? Oh right, there are still three more at home!

He didn't even look back!

He didn't even look back!

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Birthday Giveaway

August 21, 2009 at 2:11 pm (Fun Stuff, Giveaway)

Congratulations Aimee!

I’m pretty sure I’ve got your address, but if it’s some random Aimee that I don’t know, send me your info at: lovelydainty(at)gmail.com!

I think this went pretty well, maybe I’ll do it again some time!

This year my family has been extremely blessed. It has been overwhelming at times and just plain fun at times. In the middle of one of the more difficult times I was telling my sister-in-law how I wouldn’t ever be able to repay her for what she did for us, and she told me that I would have my opportunity to help someone the way that she helped me. Well, I don’t think that’s exactly what I’m doing today. I’m more giving into fun karma. This week Doug and I both won contests. I won a little something something over at DesignMom and Doug won something at his work’s United Way kickoff. I can’t keep on basking in my good fortune if I don’t give something back.

So, today I am hosting my first ever

Sarah’s Favorite Things Giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This could all be yours!

This could all be yours!

 

 

 

 

 

Now I’m no Oprah. I’m not even Pioneer Woman, but I do have a few favorite things that I just love, and I would like to share those things with one lucky reader. These might seem like quite the mishmash, but that’s my life!

So, here’s what will arrive in the mail if you win:

We R Memory Keepers mini album

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (it truly is magical!)

M&M’s Premiums Triple Chocolate

Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Spray in Baby Blossom

Burt’s Bees Lip Balm

Pampered Chef Cake Tester (I don’t even think they make these any more, but I stockpiled them because I love them so much!)

Safety 1st Baby Nail Clippers (By far the best ones out there)

Heather Bailey FreshCut Quilting Squares

Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste

I might even place a few more things in there before Monday.

Here are the details:

To enter leave a comment on this blog. One entry per person. Contest closes Sunday at 5:00pm. Winner will be randomly selected and announced Monday Morning. I’m so excited to use random.org for something official! 

So, for all of you who never make a commentthiscould be your moment of glory!

 

 

Good Luck!

 

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Were You There?

August 18, 2009 at 11:40 am (Food, Fun Stuff) ()

 

Part of the invite

Part of the invite

I don’t want to over-hype my coolness, but the place to be a couple of weeks ago was Dixie’s shower! I can do no bragging, because everyone was super helpful. Even though this was, by far, the biggest shower I’ve ever thrown, it was also the easiest.

Dixie and her Mom (I mader her wear the boa and crown!)

Dixie and her Mom (I mader her wear the boa and crown!)

The nicest thing about the guest of honor being the Relief Society President is that everybody wants to help. The nice thing about all the craziness that’s happened to us this year is that I now have no problem accepting help! I think I’ve done away with the notion of having to do everything myself. For example, the invitations came from a wonderful little Etsy shop Lil’ Sprout Greetings. This girl did a great job, very reasonably priced, and super quick service. She also came up with the design. I just gave her the basic concept and she ran with it.

Guests

Guests

more guests

more guests

My other big revelation was to use the neighborhood clubhouse instead of my house. My usual big stress is cleaning the house, but using the clubhouse was wonderful. A big empty space with a lot of parking and lots of chairs and tables. I also didn’t have to worry about my kids running around or cooling off my living room for 30 people in the one hundred degree heat.

Diane and Anna hanging the lanterns and flower balls

Diane and Anna hanging the lanterns and flower balls

So, what do you do for a woman who is about to have her fourth boy? I went back and forth between many ideas, but the winner actually came from Dixie’s mother. Queen Dixie seemed like a very appropriate theme!

My Co-host Anna

My Co-host Anna

We also went very simple on the food: cookies, cupcakes, fruit trays and veggie trays. This is another place where we had a lot of help. Anna and I worked on the sweets, and then took other people up on their offers of help for the other things. I ran out of time to organize the game, but I don’t really think anyone noticed that.

Cupcakes

Cupcakes

 

Baby lemon pound cakes

Baby lemon pound cakes

Crown and onesie cookies

Crown and onesie cookies

 

A couple of weeks before the shower I was reading a BHG article that featured a company called Bake it Pretty, and they were the source for the super cute cupcake liners and cookie cutters, edible glitter and candy buttons. This is a wonderful source and they are very reasonable.

Bake it Pretty's pretty packaging!

Bake it Pretty's pretty packaging!

I was also very proud of the party favors: little packages of blue gummy bears. You can buy bulk gummy bears from many places, but the best place I found after much searching was Amazon. There price for 10 lbs. of blue bummy bears was half as much as anywhere else, and the shipping was only 99 cents for two day. A deal at twice the price!Dixie and her family have been calling the baby a gummy bear since the very beginning, so even if no one else got the joke, I know that appreciated it!

Sewing on paper was another time saver!

Sewing on paper was another time saver!

I don’t know if there’s really any more to report about this shower. I think it was a great time, and hopefully Dixie does too! The moral of this story it; don’t make things more difficult than they need to be!

The gift table

The gift table

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Helping Hands: Part III

August 17, 2009 at 1:42 pm (Family, Things I love) ()

Part of the banner Christina made

Part of the banner Christina made

At this point you’re probably asking yourself, how much help did these people get? Well, let me tell you, a lot! This one will be out of order, but that’s okay.

 

After Christina's hard work!

After Christina's hard work!

While my dad was here, he flew my sister and her kids to Texas from Washington. This is how I know my sister loves me. She flew across the country with her three kids, and left her husband at home for almost a week. The only thing that maks me sad is that the timing didn’t work out for her to be here when the baby was born. She was my own personal doula when I had Samuel!

Working hard in the 100 degree heat!

Working hard in the 100 degree heat!

If you don’t know my sister, you should check out her blog here. The girl has got crazy energy. She did not want her trip to be a waste in any way. She and my dad were always going. I’m pretty sure that Christina and my dad did all my nesting for me.

Cousins!

Cousins!

There were trips to Goodwill and the fabric store. There were cupcakes made for a visit from her sister-in-law. There were stories, and not very much t.v. to distract the children. There was Dancing with the Stars on the Wii in the hopes of inducing labor! There was a wonderful visit with Grandma Ellen. Then there were the projects…

The dresser and the doll that Christina made

The dresser and the doll that Christina made

My sister likes projects, and I have benefitted greatly from that. We learned to love the spray paint (thanks for the idea, Anna!), and used it on many, many things! Christina refinished the rocking chair (which I have been talking about doing for 6 years), made curtains for the nursery, refinished the dresser/ changing table (this a joint project with my father), we framed fun stuff, then there was the magnet board, and she made bread, and green smoothies. She also went shopping for Doug’s birthday present with me. There was even a trip to the pool with 6 kids under 6!

A fabric covered magnet board with homemade magnets

A fabric covered magnet board with homemade magnets

It was a jam packed week, and I was sad when she had to leave. She called from the airport becaue her flights got a little out of joint, and I almost drove right back to get her. Would her husband really mind if she never came home?! When Doug and I were first married, we lived in Salt Lake and Christina and Jason were in Provo. We would hang out once a week and get lunch, or get out hair cut. Now, we see each other a couple of times a year, and it’s kind of sad. Unfortunately, I don’t see us moving to an island any time soon, and I don’t know that she loves all the Texas heat!

The curtains she made

The curtains she made

After she got home, she made us even more stuff. There was a banner a homemade doll, and two of the most adorable onesies you’ve ever seen. The nursery exists because of my sister! One day I might even move Benjamin out and Afton in! Everyone should be as blessed to have a little sister like I have.

Christina and Eliza

Christina and Eliza

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2 New Citizens in 2 Days

August 17, 2009 at 12:07 am (Things I love)

The All American Family!

The All American Family!

On May 22 we welcomed Miss Afton Rose into the world. The day before, on May 21, I became a United States citizen. The timing was a little scary for me because you cannot mess around with the immigration people. The last thing I wanted was to go into labor on the 20th and have to miss my swearing in ceremony! Thankfully, Afton cooperated, and all went well (unless you don’t like waiting around an auditorium for hours on end!).

I was very lucky to have my father there and also some very patriotic friends who wanted to show their support. We even had a little barbeque after so that we could celebrate. If you’ve never been to one of these ceremonies before, there are many, many people. On the day of my swearing in I think there were over 400 new citizens from over 80 countries. They call each country and have everyone from that country stand. I;m pretty sure that I was the only one from Canada, but my cheering section was very large!

My cheering section!

My cheering section!

So, just in case you’re wondering, here’s why I became a citizen:

I am Canadian by birth, and I love Canada. It is where I came from and what shaped me. I liked growing up in Canada. I liked the education, and I really liked the food. I was pretty certain that I was going to marry a Canadian and spend all my days in Canada.

I had no idea that I would marry an American, and not just any American, a southerner. It was one of the things that worried me a little bit when we were dating. Would my northern sensibilities mesh well with his southern charm?! It didn’t really occur to me right away to get citizenship. The process of getting a work permit and traveling papers and a green card is somewhat arduous,  and I didn’t really relish the idea of more paper work and more cashiers checks made out to the USCIS. 

Then I started having children … American children. There’s somehing nice about everyone in the family having passports from the same country. There’s something very nice about not being grilled by the customs agent every time I cross the border. There will also be something very nice about voting in my first election.

I like to consider myself pretty well versed in what’s going on around the world, and it was extremely frustrating not being able to have more than an opinion. I wanted a say. Now I have it. There is also a responsibilibty, though. For those of you who haven’t ever looked at the oath, you should check it out here.

My Welcome to America Gift Basket

My Welcome to America Gift Basket

The ceremony was fairly emotional for me. I’m sure part of it was the hormones associated with being nine months pregnant, but part of me felt like I was leaving a part of who I am behind. At the same time though, I have felt very welcomed here. I am loving being American and being able to say what I think and having it count for something. It was very nice to be able to accompany my little sister into the back customs office at the airport and not be afraid of having the guy not let me into the country!

So, although I still say, “zed” and “chesterfield,” I am feeling very at home here. I love this country, and I love what it stands for.

But, if you want to know where I came from, check this out:

 

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Before and After: the Car Seat

August 8, 2009 at 5:45 pm (before and after, Dougisms, Makes me Smile)

A seat fit for three boys!

A seat fit for three boys!

 

To Whom it May Concern,

                                                      Apparently you didn’t appreciate my husband’s sense of reduce, re-use, recycle. Or maybe you just knew that I had asked my husband for a new car seat because I thought 3 kids per car seat was enough. You knew my husband’s response was something along the lines of, “Plastic doesn’t go bad.” Or maybe you thought that the blue circus theme wasn’t appropriate for our new little girl.

                                                       Whatever your reasons, I was very pleasantly surprised to arrive home from a date with my husband to see this on the front step:

seat02 

                                                        We asked the babysitter if she saw who dropped it off, but she said whoever it was ran really, really fast. Doug wondered what was inside (appearances can be deceiving!). Then he wondered who would do such a thing. Who thought our car seat wasn’t good enough?! His first thought was my dad, but I told him that my dad hadn’t commented on the car seat, so I was pretty sure it wasn’t him. I asked around on Facebook, and someone suggested that it might have been Greg, but that didn’t ring true either! I thought it was a particular friend. Doug decided to do some detective work the next day at church. Who would look at us funny for not bringing the new car seat with us (it was very late, and church starts very early)?!

                                       When we got to church Doug agreed with my original hypothesis. All I can say is, thank you so much for being so thoughtful. We love the new seat, and even though I know plastic doesn’t go bad, I think the baby is all the safer for being in the new seat.

Love,

Me

Afton's new ride!

Afton's new ride!

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