Saturday, August 30, 2008

Happy Birthday John!

Today is my sweet husband's birthday. So if you see him, make sure to sing to him really loud. He loves that!

Friday, August 29, 2008

and then there were none

I went out through the garage today to take the trash out and I discovered that Samuel's beloved Toaddy had passed on to the next life. I can't help but feel relief for him. I am sure he is in a better place- anywhere but here is a better place! I am so glad that we are out of the pet market for a while, but how do I break the news to Sam???

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

random thoughts

moving stinks
I took the boys to the library near our new house for the first time today. We were there for a total of five minutes and then some cranky, nasty old guy started shushing my kids. They weren't being that loud, they were just talking, apparently making any noise at all is not ok for them though. Whatever. And then a librarian snapped at James because he was touching a cart with some books on it. Gove me a break! It made me really miss Sellers library! The staff there all knew me and the boys and the patrons at least thought my boys were cute even if they are kind of loud.

Grandma Hains
My last surviving grandparent passed away last week. She was my Dad's mom. I am sad that she is gone but I am also experiencing a wide range of other emotions. My feelings towards my Dad's side of the family are complicated since the divorce seemed to polarize the adults into two camps; camp A thought my mom was a horrible person and that everything was all her fault, camp B would be polite but strained with mom when no one else was watching. I haven't had much to do with them since then. The funeral is on Friday. I wish I could go and see my cousins, I miss them so much! But I am also glad that I can stay in Philadelphia and sort through my emotions on my own.

While walking through the mall on Monday Samuel noticed that Build-a-Bear now has...ZEBRAS!!! So of course after a day of trying to convince Daddy that he really needed yet another zebra, we took the boys to Build-a-Bear and got Sam that zebra. And since we can't get something like that for Sam and not for James, we let James pick out something too. James was not expecting anything for himself so when we told him he could pick something out too, he got an enormous smile on his face and picked out an adorable, squishy bunny. I will have to post pictures sometime soon. The boys are very excited about their animals and don't talk about anything else anymore.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Zack Noyce, you are my hero!!!

So after my previous post about cable TV frustrations, I received a helpful little tip from Zack. The advice he gave me paid off big time today!
I went to the park this morning with the boys. When I got home there was a Comcast (yes, Comcast) guy walking around my house. I was surprised to see him there because we had an appointment scheduled for tomorrow, but he said he thought he was stopping by just to check things out before the appointment. Ok, whatever. He was glad that I was home and wondered if I would be around for a while so he could call someone to help him out for a few minutes.

6 Comcast trucks, 2 contractors and a Supervisor later, they had replaced our outside lines, our family room cable and cable box, rechecked all of the connections inside the house, promised a refund on all previous service charges (yes, they actually did charge us $28.50 per visit even though they were trying to fix the original installation and none of them actually did the job anyway... but if you really want me to rant you can call me and listen away to your hearts' content) and credited our account because of the problems. They are also sending out a couple of guys to replace some cable lines inside the walls sometime next week - for free of course. Wow! What a turn around!

Comcast has gone from my least favorite company in the world to one that I am actually happy with, provided the cable continues to work of course. =)
Thanks Zack. You are the best!

Monday, August 25, 2008

homeward bound

We bought tickets to Utah this weekend! John and I promised Mom that since we didn't make it out this summer with everyone else (we were busy buying a house and all) that we would come out this winter. We were looking to go for about a week but ended up getting tickets to stay for two whole weeks! Woo-hoo!! I am so excited! Plus they were super cheap - only about $226 per person.
We will get into Vegas on Christmas Eve and then head back home to Philly on the 6th of January. In between Christmas and New Years we are looking at renting a cabin up at Brian Head for a couple of days to do some snow skiing. John is totally hooked!
I just can't wait to see everyone. And I can almost taste that yummy Cafe Rio. =)
If you are in St. George over the Holidays, come visit!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

well, that was quick

I regret to inform you that Froggy (James' little toad) passed away today. What was that, like two weeks? That must be some kind of record! I think Lisa's kids' pets lasted longer than that!! James and Sam were playing with their toads and I think James actually threw his toad (how do you explain fragile to a 3 year old when something isn't obviously breakable?) and then was confused when it didn't swim when he put it back in the water. Anyway, James was somewhat chagrined, but his three year old sensibilities were able to get over it pretty quickly. John buried the little toad in the trash can and now we are down to one toad again. Aww shucks.

Friday, August 22, 2008

stupid cable company!!!

Outrageously priced
Testing my patience

We switched to cable when we moved into our new house. Previously we had DirecTV which I LOVED. However, they didn't provide Internet so we were stuck with Verizon and we just couldn't take the slowness anymore, hence the switch.
Anyway, our cable was installed the day we moved in and has yet to work correctly. We have had 4 separate cable guys out to fix the problem and it still does not work well. The picture periodically goes gray, breaks up, and then we get a black screen for hours on end. Tell me please, why are we paying to watch a blank screen because I haven't figured that out yet! The Internet works well for the most part, but occasionally has its glitches too.
I am so frustrated because you would think that if you were going to run a business that you would run it well, keeping customer satisfaction in mind. But that is just me.
I am currently watching a black screen (a new Olympic event in our household), seething and trying to keep myself from calling this cable company. Because if I call now, they are going to hear what I really think of them and I am not supposed to use that kind of language around my kids.
Has anyone else had similar problems or are we just the lucky ones? Oh, wait, it just came back on. I better go enjoy my TV for the 5 minutes that it is going to work.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


The day we finished building the swing set John found a toad hopping through the yard. Samuel claimed it as his pet (naming it Toady Toad if you can believe it.) so we set up one of our small fish tanks with rocks and water and stuck our new pet in there to play. John has been catching crickets for its meals. The next day James found a baby toad in the back yard (He named his Froggy) so now he has a pet too. In order to play with their pets the boys take them out of the aquarium and put them in a big cardboard box with rocks and sand and a little water so they can reach in and pet them and pick them up and everything.
I have never been one for creapy crawlies or amphibious thingys. The boys only get to play with their toads when daddy is home to catch them if they get loose.
I feel so bad for these poor toads. My kids keep picking up their toads and dropping them, putting leaves on them, swinging them on the swings, setting them in the water to see if they'll swim, etc. As I said, I am not a big fan of amphibious thingys, but there can't be anything worse than being the pets of two, little, curious boys.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Operation Swing Set is complete!

It only took us 5 days (or 18 hours over the space of 5 days) and the swing set is officially done! The kids have been with us "helping" every step of the way. And by helping I mean, losing screws and tools and running over our toes with their wagon or firetruck and fighting each other with sticks. The project took on a new face on Wednesday when we realized in addition to putting the swing set together, we also needed to dig out some of the obnoxious bushes that are in our back yard to make room for it. That job fell to me since John is the power tool king. I have had years of yard work experience (thanks Mom!) so it was no big deal... until today. I think I hit the mother of all bushes. The one from which all the rest of the bushes in the yard must have sprung. Some of the roots of this thing were thicker than my arm and would not respond to any of my repeated attempts to dislodge them. Our neighbor, obviously curious about my not so quiet cursing of the bushes and my husband for giving me the job, brought over a pickax and ax for me to try out. I managed to chop through 3 of the monster roots until I had to surrender the ax to John because I just couldn't do it. I put in a good 45 min - hour trying to get that thing out of the ground. John put another hour into it and finally got the mutant bush out of the ground. There are still several more bushes to go but the ones closest to the swing set are out and we are exhausted - but very pleased. So anyone who has kids (or who just likes to swing) is welcome to come on over and try it out. The boys will be more than happy to share!

The only casualty in the whole process, besides the bushes that is, was my poor Samuel. One of the evenings we were outside working I forgot to put bug spray on him. The poor kid attracts mosquitoes like I do. He woke up the next morning with his legs covered in about 40 welts from all the bites he got. Yes, I deserve the worst mother of the year award! At least the calamine lotion helped!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

attack of the mosquitos

We promised the boys that when we moved into our new house we would get them one of those cool swing sets. Thanks to my awesome big sister, Keri, we found one online that we could actually afford (kind of. I mean, can anyone really afford to spend that much money on something just for fun???).

Anyway, the downfall of ordering something like this online is that now we have to put it together ourselves. Keri said it only took Tim two days to put it together. We figure that for the average brain, even one as bright as John's, it will take us a week or two.

The swing set arrived yesterday in 5 huge, very heavy boxes and John and I began the construction when he got home from work, around 6pm. At about 8:30pm we called it quits. We had put together 10 of the 60+ boards and I amassed dozens of mosquito bites in the process. Our yard is infested with mutant mosquitoes. I had put on 3 layers of Off and finally ended up running inside to put jeans and socks and sneakers on. Even then I think I still got some bites through the thick fabric of my jeans. I even got some on my ears!!! It is so not fair! John didn't get any. Why is it that some of us attract all of the mosquitoes while others are just used as a landing pad? Seriously, I would love to know.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

the wheels on the bus

I have found a new favorite mode of transportation: travelling by bus! At first the idea gave me flashbacks of high school choir and band trips. In actuality, it was so much better than that (minus the friends, of course). I took the Mega Bus ( to Boston for the weekend. It had the comfort of a charter bus, the convenience of a train, and no obnoxious airline security to go through, plus it was SUPER CHEAP. I spent $32 for my roundtrip ticket. I can't even fill up half my gas tank for that little, not to mention tolls, wear and tear on the car, and the fact that I didn't have to drive!!! The last point is key considering I can only make it about 20 minutes without falling asleep while driving these days.
Anyway, I had a very relaxing trip. I slept most of the way between Philly and NYC, spent my 2 hour layover (do you still call it a layover when you aren't flying???) in New York wandering around Broadway, then read and relaxed on the way to Boston. I was so comfortable in my own little world I didn't notice there was a storm raging on outside my window.
I highly recommend this mode of travel for anyone on the east coast. Mega Bus travels between NYC, Philly, DC, Baltimore, Boston and Toronto. All you westerners will just have to travel the old fashion way. (John would like you to let us know when automobiles replace the horse and buggy. (Isn't he a stinker?!))

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Top 10 take 2

Top 10 Favorite Things About our New House

10: Central Air (enough said)

9: Our BIG closets - the kids actually play in them and pretend that their closet is a little house.

8. My kitchen. It is the first time when we have actually had enough cupboard space to put food in the cupboards as well as dishes.

7. Having a living room and a family room. We spend most of our time hanging out in the family room (maybe because we don't really have furniture in the living room) so the living room stays nice and clean for when we have company.

6. Having an actual laundry room and on the first floor to boot!

5. The garage. Even though I can't actually put my van in it (believe me I tried and have the scraped bumper to prove it (although my attempt was during a torrential downpour/lightning storm)) it is very convenient to store our junk and a great way to get in and out of the house. Plus, the kids are fascinated by the automatic doors.

4. Having more than one bathroom. This is KEY when you have two little boys who always seem to need to go when someone else is already using the bathroom.

3. It is so pretty! It really is.

2. Our new neighbors. Gotta love them! We had one helping us trying to unstick the moving van, another who came over to trim the trees in our backyard because I mentioned that we wanted to do it at some point, and the neighbors next door with two little boys and a swing set that we are welcome to play on any time.

1. Location! Location! Location! We are much closer to John's work, his parent's house (a good thing, I promise) and all of the stores where we like to shop. Ironically we are further away from the stake center now that it is actually our building, than we were in our last house.

Monday, August 4, 2008


I finished Breaking Dawn last night. It took me longer than expected, in part because I was trying not to ignore my family (it drives John crazy when I do that) and in part because I had some issues with the book. I think I am going to have to reread it before I come to a final verdict but right now I have definite mixed feelings. Did anyone else feel the same way? I enjoyed the beginning, part of the middle and I was glad how it ended -although Stephenie sure took her time resolving every little issue.
I actually stayed up Friday night and went to a midnight party to pick up the book. I have to tell you, the Borders staff was pretty impressive. It only took about 40 minutes for me to get the book and I was at the end of the monstrous line, at least 500 fans. It was an interesting crowd, mostly teenage girls and their friends or mothers. There were several women about my age or older there on their own as well and even some men. I saw one guy there with his two kids (one probably only 3 yrs old) and I figured either he really loved the books or he really loves his wife. =)

I am dying to hear reactions to the book. Let me know how you all liked it!

Friday, August 1, 2008

too cute

Today I dropped the boys off with a friend. As I was walking away Samuel yelled after me, "Mom! The Force will be with you, always!"
He he he he he! Too cute.