Sunday, March 30, 2008

Walk for Hope

My sister's email was so good this year that I don't think I could even add to it! Read on:

It's that time of year again… The City of Hope's Walk for Hope 2008 is on Saturday, May 3 in San Diego. Before you assume I'm blatantly asking for a donation and delete this email, wait! This year, we are trying something different. In 2006, our team, Sandy's Hope, was the biggest fundraiser in San Diego, and in 2007, our team captain, my sister Megan, raised the most money of any individual person in San Diego. This year, I'm going to try something different than simply asking for donations. My husband, Jed, has designed our team shirt, and will be hand silk-screening a shirt for anyone who donates $35 or more to the Walk for Hope, and for anyone who walks with us. (See the attached images below. The hearts were drawn by my fifth grade students, and Jed did the rest.) As Jed is a rising star in the shirt-designing world, this is a rare opportunity! (
Fighting breast cancer is something we are very committed to in our family. We lost our mom, Sandy, almost two years ago to breast cancer. She received treatment at the City of Hope in 1995. After that treatment, her cancer went into remission for six years. We will always be grateful to the City of Hope for giving us those extra years with our amazing mom. The City of Hope is an innovative research facility, and also provides treatment and education to those with cancer. It has become a personal mission to raise as much money for them as we possibly can. No amount of money can ever define the value of those extra years with my mom, but we'd like to provide that miracle to as many other families as possible.

Here's how this will work: You can register to walk 3k or 5k with us this year at the Walk for Hope in San Diego, or you can simply donate to the City of Hope. The walk is at 9 am on the University of San Diego campus. Afterward, we are holding a picnic at Kate Sessions Park in San Diego. Anyone is welcome to join us at these events. To register, follow this link and click on "Join My Team":

If you are unable to walk, you can simply click on the same link to donate to our team, Sandy's Hope. With your donation, you can post a message on our team wall. This has been a great way to memorialize our mom, Sandy Carr. (The donations can also be anonymous.) As I stated earlier, we are giving away free custom-designed, hand-printed shirts to anyone who donates $35 or more. After you donate on our team's page, send an email to stating the following:

Shirt size: Men's Medium, Large, or Extra Large or Women's Medium, Large, or Extra Large
Color: White shirt with black printing or white shirt with dark pink printing (See images
Jed will be printing the shirts the week before the walk, and a second time one month after the walk. If you order before April 25, we will get you your shirt on or before the walk on May 3. If you order by June 1, you will get your shirts about two weeks later.

Reasons to donate to the City of Hope:

You want to help fund research for breast cancer treatments, and hopefully a cure.
You loved my mom, Sandy.
You love me.
You are a good person.
You want a cool shirt.

One final plug for money: Many companies offer donation matching services. Check with your supervisor and see if your company offers anything like that.

Please forward this on to anyone and everyone. We'd love to raise even more money than our personal record of $13,000.

Donate or register to walk:
Order shirt at:


OK I never do "tags" but I just got tagged for the 5th time on this one so I decided I'd better play along...

10 years ago.....
I was a sophomore in high school, in the middle of my first hard break-up, getting ready to take my drivers ed test, and on the swim team.

5 things on my to do list........
1. paint Emma's bedroom furniture
2. start marketing my hair bows again
3. set up play dates for Mckenna(yes Megan...Katie and Ken need to play!)
4. send a dress back to Down East Basics
5. call the builder to set up our 60 day walk through(a little late)

5 snacks that I enjoy.......
1. cake/cookies/brownies
2. oreos
3. string cheese and animal crackers
4. almonds and craisins
5. strawberries

What would I do if I was a billionaire
have more babies
adopt babies
build a custom home with lots of land
build big huge houses for all of our family on our lots of land :)
fund breast cancer research

5 jobs that I have had.............
swim instructor/lifeguard
Nordstrom salesgirl
Gap salesgirl
medical office assistant

5 things people don't know about me..........
I have a geographic tongue
I sleep with 4 pillows(two under my head, one between my legs, one over my head)
I like video games(but don't have time for them anymore)
When I grow up I want to be a massage therapist
When I grow up and am sick of rubbing people's backs I want to write a book

I'm not going to bother tagging'd be kind of hypocritical don't you think?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

There is something seriously wrong with Mckenna.

She has pteronarcophobia...a fear of flies.

A serious fear of flies.

It's out of control.

It's so bad that Ian and I are contemplating taking her in to some kind of doctor. I think it all began with this post. I'm not sure if that night was what triggered it, but regardless, we had no problem before that.

There have been two times since that night that she's come to me crying and shaking because there was a tiny bug on her. One time it was a gnat and the other time it was a bug so small that it took me a while to figure out that it was actually a bug and not a freckle.

So a few days ago Emma noticed that there was a fly in the house. I started to go look for the fly swatter and Mckenna started flipping out. I'm not kidding you. FLIPPING. OUT. Crying, shaking, hyperventilating...flipping out. I've never seen her so upset. She kept pulling at her clothes and scratching her skin - she totally had the heebie jeebies. I couldn't find the fly anymore and yet she still was flipping out. Finally I sent her to the playroom and told her to close the door while I killed the fly. I went in later and she was just sitting on the floor frantically squeezing the corner of a blanket and crying. I told her I had gotten the fly(does that count as a lie?) but I really couldn't find it anywhere. So she came out but still wouldn't calm down for another hour.

Here is the proof:

All through dinner she would just randomly start hyperventilating and crying. I tried my hardest to just distract her and by bedtime she was back to normal...only to wake up soaking wet covered in sweat an hour later, screaming and not able to make any sense. When she finally said coherent words it was, "I want Daviiiiiiiiid..." I told her to lie down on her pillow and I started to sing to her. She was asleep before I got through the first line of the song. She woke up 3 more times that night screaming and scratching her skin trying to get the "flies" off.
And that's how it's been for the past week. That same fly has been in just about every room of the house but he never seems to land and we haven't been able to kill it. So every time Emma sees it she tells everyone and the ordeal starts all over again. There are also plenty of times when Mckenna imagines that there are flies all over her. Or the one time that she told me they were crawling all over inside her skin and she wanted me to get them out.

But last night was the worst. We had a babysitter so that we could go to dinner and the temple(it was great!!) and when we got back she said that Mckenna had another fly episode but luckily was sleeping peacefully when we got home. I took the babysitter home and when I got back Ian was upstairs next to Mckenna's door trying to make out what she was screaming. We tried about 3 times to calm her down and finally went in and Ian gave her a blessing. When we put her back in bed I told her that Heavenly Father was going to help her and if she woke up and got scared again that she could say a prayer and she'd be able to go back to sleep.

So a couple of minutes later she was back to her screaming again but this time it was words. I crept next to her door only to hear the end of a prayer, "because I'm scared of bugs, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen." She was quiet for about 10 seconds and then began another prayer, this one excalating in volume and insanity with each word. It was so pitiful. I swear a tiny piece of my heart broke off right then.

After exhausting ourselves we gave up and brought her into our bed. She woke up twice during the night but I think she was just checking to make sure I was still next to her because she went right back to sleep.

It has now gone past the point where Ian and I can handle this on our own. I have NO idea what to do. Just keeping flies away from her doesn't do any good because then she just imagines them. And I can't keep her away from them forever. It started off as a really funny thing. Now it's just pitiful and I am totally feeling inadequate as a parent because I don't know what to do. Any ideas?


SO I said in my Finland post that y'all could post anonymous comments...I lied. I forgot to set it to allow anonymous comments. I've now changed it, post anonymously to your heart's content!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday Favorites

Today's favorite is:

Favorite (current)TV Shows

This one is hard for me... It's hard to limit it to 3. Of course, you all know my first pick:

American Idol - I've religiously watched every episode of every season, but the first. I started watching the first season about halfway through because my mom and sister came when Emma was born and they were addicted, so I became addicted. It's been a great relationship every since.

LOST - I actually don't like that this is a favorite. It's only a favorite because of the addictiveness(addictivity?) of it, not because I actually enjoy it. At this point, I just want to know what's going to happen, it doesn't entertain me anymore...but I have to watch it. OK it does entertain me some. I just loathe the episodes that don't reveal anything but more questions.

Can I choose Dancing with the Extreme Home Heroes of House? OK if I have to limit it, I'll say House, but that is only slightly above the others.

What are your Favorite TV Shows?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Apparently I have a Finnish friend. Someone who visits my blog fairly regularly is from Finland. I would absolutely LOVE to know who you are. Actually I would love to know everyone who visits my blog. So please - whether you know me personally or found my blog through someone else - leave a comment! It'll be a nice little "getting to know you" session. Even if you don't have a Google account, you can leave an annonymous comment(uh oh...I'm sure that opened the door to some interesting characters). Thanks, and welcome!

Idol Part Deux

OK here are my thoughts...
Michael Johns: Literally from the first note I knew the song would be good. I thought the combination of the songs was interesting, but it totally worked. So amazing.

David Cook: WOW. What an arrangement. It was artistic, beautiful, it was sung with meaning - awesome performance.

Brooke White: I agreed with both Randy and Simon, although not to the same extreme. I thought the beginning and the end of the song were spot on(I love that expression, but only if you say it with a British accent), but I found my attention drifting towards the middle because it was so like the original. I just love the soul in her voice, though.

Carly Smithson: I thought it was a good performance, but she's had much better.

Jason Castro: Here are my thoughts on this guy: American Idol is not for him. That doesn't mean I don't like his singing. I actually think he's an amazing musician and I would be one of the first to buy his album. He reminds me of Jack Johnson/Colbie Caillat. I love his style. But he is not a performer. If I close my eyes while he's singing and imagine I'm listening to the radio, I love him. He's just too goofy and uncharismatic for TV.

David Archuleta: Not a favorite performance. I agree with Simon - he said David should be singing at Disneyland with a bunch of animated characters jumping around behind him. I'd been thinking it sounded like some Christian rock concert. Very uplifting and sweet - but musically blah.

Chikezie: I definitely didn't enjoy his ballad as much as his more fun songs, but I thought it was better than his last ballad and I enjoyed it. I disagreed with the judges when they said it sounded too old fashioned - I've thought that about him before - but this time I thought it was nice.

Ramiele Malubay: Way off key. I thought it was a good song choice, but apparently her voice was having a bad day.

Syesha Mercado: She did well...but she's nothing new to me. Her voice sounds very familiar and unexciting.

Kristy Lee Cook: I totally disagreed with the judges. I thought her song choice was soooooooo lame. "God Bless the U.S.A?!" Was she trying to get the military vote or something? Lame song, with just an OK performance. Please send her home.


Favorite moment(s) from last night:

I couldn't I'm posting Michael Johns AND David Cook's performances.

If I have time later, I'll post more thoughts on the performances and judges' comments, but for now, I still want Kristy Lee Cook gone, but based on last night's performances I'd say it could be Chikeze, Ramiele, or Kristy.

Monday, March 24, 2008


So not only is my blog redo super simplified, but I'm hoping it will inspire me to simplify my life as well. We are finally getting a break from our continual onslaught of family and friends(OK so it actually was very very very nice and I absolutely love having visitors) so I can now focus on my family, my home, and my health. Because of our many visitors, our lives have become a bit crazy. My kids' sleep schedules are way out of whack, everyone is sick with some illness, I have a thousand to-do projects lying around(literally...there's a whole bedroom set of furniture that's been lying on the garage floor - half painted - for over a month), and I just feel like a truck has run me over and then dragged me by my ear for a mile. Here is my simplified to-do list in random order(kinda like my brain right now):

Do More:
furniture painting
scripture reading
hair bow making/selling
healthy eating
arranging play dates for Kenna
organizing(especially the area in the kitchen by the phone)
picture hanging/decorating
spending more time being active with my kids
meal planning

Do Less:
wasting time on the computer(no more than 30 minutes at a time)

I'm enjoying this simplification so much that I rewrote this list in order to simplify it a bit more...

Wish me luck!! Anyone else have any other ways to simplify your lives?

Thursday, March 20, 2008


All I have to say is...thank you Idol voters for getting it right.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Party in Tucson

Last night was one of those restaurant moments when you just want to crawl in a hole and not get out 'till everyone in the restaurant has gone home. We are in Tucson this week because Ian had some business down here, Emma's on Spring Break, and my aunt Pam and uncle George had some free time for us to visit with them down here.

We went out to dinner with Pam and George last night. They live in an active adult community that has a little restaurant inside, so we decided to go there for dinner. We didn't think about the fact that it was St. Patricks Day and the restaurant might be a bit crowded. Apparently the restaurant employees didn't think about that either. By the time we got there they were out of the corned beef and cabbage, the wait staff was way overworked and exhausted, and many people had been waiting an hour for their food. I thought everything would go just fine because Mckenna and David had napped and everyone seemed to be in good moods. In retrospect, all of my kids behaved very well. Because only seniors live in this community they don't see young kids very often, so my kids were the hit of the night. Well - them and the Italian singing Irish songs and playing the accordian. But I digress...

So Mckenna has been getting a cold for the past couple of days and her cough had been getting worse. Halfway through dinner Ian ran to the car to get her some cough medicine. Well the cough medicine didn't kick in for about an hour and her coughs just kept coming. She does this thing when her coughs get bad where she coughs and coughs and coughs and finally works up to this gagging/clearing her throat/nasty sound which she was doing a lot of. Because they were the only kids in the restaurant and we were pretty close to the dance floor and bar, people kept walking by to talk to the kids, pat them on the head, and tell us all about their own grandchildren...while Mckenna is coughing up a lung. Eventually she did cough up something: her entire dinner. And then some. It was disgusting. And it just happened to coincide with the moment the singing in the bar stopped and everyone started to come out. Can we say - mortified? Luckily we had plenty of warning and were able to catch it all in a dinner plate. OK I'm going to stop grossing you out.

One more story. Since our family of five are all staying in one hotel room it was a bit of an adventure last night trying to get everyone to go to sleep and stay asleep.

Mckenna was out before we got to the room and she pretty much stayed asleep.

Emma decided she wanted to sleep on the floor but would not stop singing the Fergie song, "Big Girls Don't Cry," of which she only knows the first line of the chorus, "I hope you know, I hope you know...that this has nothin' to do with you..." over and over and over...

David took maybe a half hour to fall asleep because he could see me. He then woke up a half hour later and we finally moved his crib over by the door. Ian also gave him some tylenol for his teething.

Emma woke up crying because I had taken a piece of candy from her in her dream.

I woke up to hear a big loud noise and Mckenna screaming...she had tried to go potty but couldn't get past David's crib. And somehow David slept through her crashing into it. I helped her go potty and gave her more medicine.

Mckenna woke up crying but went back to sleep.

And to top it all some point during the night Ian was whimpering. Yes...whimpering. When I told him about it this morning he said he remembered having a bad dream and he wanted to remember it so he could tell me - but he forgot.

We then all woke up at 7:15. What a great vacation...can we go home now?

More Mckenna-isms

I'm sure you all get tired of me posting the funny things that Mckenna says, but I just think she says the best things!

Today Emma got frustrated with how Mckenna was playing so she turned around and threw her Polly Pocket away from her and said, "I'm not going to play with you anymore." Well the Polly hit Mckenna square in the nose so we had a nice dramatic situation on our hands. Once Mckenna had calmed down and was snuggling on my lap she said, "Mommy I'm having a hard day because Emma threw the Polly on my nose and she's being mean to me...(pause)...Mommy can I not love her anymore because she was mean to me?"

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Mckenna just came up the stairs and said(in a very excited voice), "Mommy!! Winnie the Poop(yes, poop) rhymes to POOP!!!"

The other day Mckenna saw the Ensign with a picture of President Hinkley on the front. She picked it up and said, "Pwegwant Hinkwey!!! Mom, he's in heaven. We're going to go see him there soon."

Today in Junior Primary sharing time(sunday school for the 3-6 year olds) the Primary president was teaching a lesson and she said, "What are some things that Jesus doesn't want us to do?"

Kid #1: "Say bad things."

Kid #2: "Call people stupid."

Kid #3: "Flip people off."

Primary teacher: "Oh wow, yeah I don't think he would like that...What are some things Jesus wants us to do?"

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Friday Favorites

Yeah...totally forgot about this yesterday...

Today's favorite list is:

Favorite Vacations
San Felipe, B.C. Mexico - We used to go camp on the beach in Mexico 2 times a year: Mothers' Day, and Thanksgiving. It was always perfect weather and I have so many memories of fish tacos, quad expiditions, sunrise sand dollar hunts, banana boat rides, shopping in town, sunning on the beach, and listening to the men get philosophical late at night around the campfire.
4 Corner States - Summer of 1999 my family went on a road trip to the Grand Canyon, Zion, and a bunch of other places in Ut, Az, Co, and New Mexico(don't know the abbreviation for that one). We took two weeks and stayed wherever we could find a hotel, ate when we were hungry, and just had a great time as a family exploring.
Western Carribbean - Spring 2004 we went on a cruise with my mom, stepdad, sister, Ian, and Emma. I was 7 months pregnant so I didn't do a lot of walking or sightseeing, but it was so nice to be in a place full of such beauty. And it was fun!!!
What are some of your favorite vacations?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Prayers & Idol

Mckenna's prayers are many things - sweet, hilarious, monstrous(I'm serious...sometimes she tries to say them in a monster voice, and sometimes they are about monsters), long, short, odd, thoughtful, and sometimes tear-jerking. Today she decided to go with hilarious.

"Please bless me to not be falling apart."

The background on that is that she has very sensitive skin and a lot of times her sensitivity is accentuated by how tired she is. She also gets hangnails often. So on the days she hasn't gotten enough sleep she "falls apart." She will flip out all day about her hangnails, the tag on her shirt, the seam on her jacket cuff, the buttons on her pants, the dry skin on her arms, she scab on her knee. It drives me nuts and many times throughout the day I'll say something like, "Oh man you're just falling apart, aren't you?" Apparently she doesn't want to fall apart anymore.

The other night she prayed that her Primary School teacher wouldn't have monsters in her house.

A lot of times she looks around the room for inspiration on what to pray about: "Please bless David to stop crawling on Mom, please bless Emma's nightlight to work, please bless me to have a green shirt like Emma."

To sum it up, we are very entertained by her prayers.

And now, some thoughts on Idol.
As it often happens, Idol voters thoroughly screwed up. I think sometimes when the judges have bad things to say about a person, that person's fans go crazy and vote too much. At least Kristy Lee Smith isn't VoteForTheWorst's pick this year. Glad she'll be going home sometime in the near future.
Carrie, to answer your question, David Hernandez went home. I'm a little upset about it, only because I thought he deserved more airtime. He had a very Rascal Flatt's-ish voice and I think the kid could have gone far(even though he is a male stripper). Rumor is the producers wanted him off before it got down to the top ten because the top ten are the ones who go on tour. And they didn't want a stripper. Whatever - the guy could wail.
On a good note - they are singing more Lennon/McCartney songs next week which I think its awesome for most of the contestants. They just need to remember to pick songs that will show off their voice, not songs that they remember listening to as a kid. Can't wait to see how next week turns out!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Best Moment from last night:
I regret to inform you that my favorite moment was Chikezie's song. I say regret because if you remember...I have not been a fan of his. I've thought his singing style was too old fashioned and he was dull. Well, after last night's performance I am now eating my words. He was in no way old fashioned or dull. In fact, I'd even say it was completely the opposite. His arrangement and performance was genious. See for yourself:

Here's my run-down of the top 12 and their performances

Favorites(in no order)
Carly Smithson - last night's performace was almost tied with Chikezie's. It was amazing.
Michael Johns - I agree somewhat with the judges. Not his best, a bit dull, but very simple and not overdone. Still enjoyed it.
Brooke White - SO beautiful. I loved it - apparently a lot more than the judges.
Chikezie(read above)

OK Idols
David Archuletta - poor guy. He showed his age last night. He got a bit nervous on that great big stage and forgot the lyrics. I think he didn't really have a good enough ideo of the Lennon/McCartney songs because he could have chosen a MUCH better song.
Ramiele Malubay - She didn't use near the power she could have. Very boring, very pretty.
David Cook - I thought he did well, but not as well as the judges did. I really like him, though.

Not so good Idols
Amanda Overmyer - Still think she's ok. She won't win. All of her songs sound the same, she "dances" the same, holds her hands the same...blah.
David Hernandez - Poor song choice - 'nuff said.
Syesha Mercado - Forgetable performance...I already forgot it. ;)

Going Home Idol
Kristy Lee White - Wow. Her performance was so bad that Paula didn't have anything positive to say. Now that's really bad. I think the girl can sing but she has absolutely no charisma and made an absolutely AWFUL song arrangement. Poor girl. See ya!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Nix that...

So...remember the post where I thought my kids were amazing budding photographers? Yeah, I think I've changed my mind. Why is it that when I finally need Emma to take a good pic, she can't seem to? Actually I think part of it was that the lens was dirty.
Anyway, I got a new haircut and I asked Emma to take a pic for the blog. Here are some of the first ones - which she thought she did an amazing job:

I had to reinforce to her the fact that these pictures were to show my new haircut...not my nose. So then we ended up with this:

If you cover the right side of my face, the picture actually looks normal. If you cover the left side it looks like Will Smith in "Hitch" after he eats shellfish. I think the lens needed cleaning. Here's the back:

So, aside from the camera/cameragirl/technical difficulties...I love my new haircut!! She thinned it a TON and I love it!! I haven't tried to style it curly yet, so we'll see what happens when I do. But it's much faster to blow dry/straighten and I like the bangs. They're a little hard to get used to. I feel like Danny Noriega from AI - always swishing my hair out of my face.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Friday Favorites

Today's Favorite: Guilty(ish) Pleasures
I'm listing the few things in life that I should probably do without but just cannot give up!

Oreos - I can easily eat a whole row in one sitting, and I'm sure I've done it too many times.

Really long HOT showers -many times with the kids pounding on the shower door, or David emptying my bathroom cabinets.

Internet time wasters - spades, scrabble, blog-hopping, facebook, forums, finding new music on itunes, shopping, msn gossip, etc. I am really good at putting off what needs to be done for the lamest reasons.

So there are mine, but what are your Favorite Guilty(ish) Pleasures?

Thursday, March 6, 2008


I apologize.

I have totally been slacking on my idol posts this week. We've been so busy with Ian's family here! I was surprised at how many people enjoy reading my Idol blogs, thanks for humoring me. :) I will be back on next week and you can be sure I will have alot to say...

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Happy Birthday David!!!

David weighs 20.5lbs, is 31 inches long(tall), and is just about the happiest baby ever! He's so content, all the time, and has been since he was born. His favorite foods are string cheese, peas, applesauce, and milk. He's still crawling everywhere, but he does like to pull himself up and walk - as long as there is something to hold onto. He can say 8 words:

geez - cheese
da da da da - all done, pick me up
ba ba (or sometimes da da) - bottle
na na - ni-night
ya - I think it means yes. He says it when you ask him a question.
dis - book
boo - woof(like a dog)
NA! - it means he wants to nurse, which he only does about once a day - if he's lucky.

He loves playing How big is David?, Peekabo, splashing in the bath, giving hugs, crawling up the stairs or going outside before someone catches him, emptying all of the cupboards in my kitchen, and attacking my laptop. He does not like getting dressed, getting his face cleaned, getting in his carseat(although once he's buckled he's fine), and being hungry. I love this little boy so much and am excited for his next year! Happy 1st birthday, my love!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Newest Emma-ism

Em: Mom, some of the girls at school say that girls don't like boys.

Me: Oh...What do you think?

Em: I think they're wrong.

Me: Well did you tell them that?

Em: No.

Me: Why not?

Em: I didn't want them to be mad at me.

Me: Well do you like David? He's a boy. And do you like Dad? He's a boy.

Em: Yeah...

Me: Well next time they say that, you can say that you like your brother and you like your dad, and they're boys. I bet your friends at school like their dads and they might even like their brothers.

Em: OK! (As she skips away)

Monday, March 3, 2008

For Katie

My brother in law, James, posted a picture of his daughter, Katie, with marker all over her. Apparently that's just what happens when Dad's in charge for a couple of hours. Case in point: Mckenna 2 summers ago when I was gone on a girls' weekend:

Unfortunately for her, it was permanent marker. Ian looked online and found the removal solution: toothpaste. The watery red eyes are because the minty fumes were getting in her eyes. So don't worry, Katie, you're not alone. You and Mckenna can swap stories when you're older.