Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 A look back with Photos



Lucy's Blessing


Valentines Party


Olivia started her first dance class

Olivia turned 3 and had a fantastic party


Easter-- I still can't get over their expressions in this photo

A visit to the Hill Air Force Base Museum

Eduardo worked in Reno for three weeks.  When he returned we took the train to Ogden.

And went bowling

We saw the Pony Express Rider come through the city

Olivia had her first dance recital

Camping with friends and the first time Olivia went fishing


Eduardo was working in Gillett, Wy for three weeks so we drove 12 1/2 hours to see him.  We stopped at Martin's Cove.

Saw Devil's Tower and Mount Rushmore

The girls started Kindermusik class


Lucy's first Birthday party


A trip to the Zoo

And a first snow


Many days counting down to Christmas.  Taking Olivia to her first concert is still one of my favorites.

To many more adventures in 2011!

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Visit from Jack Frost

We have had a lot of fog lately and with that came a visit from Jack Frost today.

Sleep-- the Endless Battle

Last week my doctor prescribed some sleep medication.  I have no problems falling asleep at night, considering how exhausted I am, my problem is staying asleep once I get woken up.  I wake up a lot at night between my restless leg syndrome and Lucy.  By morning I get to start my day with little sleep.  Some days I function fairly well but most days I am moody and wanting nothing more than a nap.

So I started to take the medication.  The first night I slept straight through to 5am before I woke to the bedroom light being on.  I asked Eduardo if he turned it on, which he didn't, and went back to sleep.  Thinking it was kind of odd I checked the information sheet that came with the medication.  One side effect is, "getting out of while bed not fully awake and do an activity that you do not know you are doing."  Great! Was my thought, this could be rather interesting.  The next day I felt well rested but drowsy, another side effect.

The second and third nights were uneventful although I still woke up multiple times.  The following days were a nightmare for me.  Horrible mood swings and being irritated the whole day; another side effect of the medication.   I am giving it up and will move onto the next phase of my sleep therapy.  I simply can't handle being angry all day for no reason.

Lucy went through another lovely period of sleeping through the night and now when I really need it she is back to getting up multiple times each night.  I am at a breaking point with this.  I've tried to let her cry it out but she gets herself into hysterics and will not sleep until I comfort her.  I've thought about going cold-turkey with nursing but I'm afraid of the side effects on my part.

All I want is for myself and everyone in this house to sleep through the night.  I want it to be a blue moon to get up in the night.  I want to fully function every day and feel good.  I want to be productive again!

Christmas Day

Olivia with her new toys
Christmas Day started off to a really bad start.  Poor Olivia was up at least 5 times vomiting in the night.  My first thought that perhaps she was extra excited for Santa's visit or it was all the sugar she had the day before.  But since Lucy was up sick in the night just a few nights before so I knew that it was a virus.

In the morning Olivia was very excited to open her gifts and even more excited that Santa brought her exactly what she asked for, a pink mermaid with a dolphin.  Santa brought Lucy a blue mermaid since we hit the stage early where whatever one child has the other wants.  I honestly thought I had a few years until I had to play this game.  The girls received some very nice gifts including beautiful baby dolls.  

Lucy and her new toys
In the afternoon we went to Abuelos house to enjoy traditional food.  I was extremely tired and sick to my stomach the entire day that I couldn't enjoy myself they way I should have.  Olivia and Lucy naturally had a fantastic time playing with their new toys, spending time with family and eating.  Eduardo always looks forward to the food and this year playing Rock Band with his brothers.  The girls are always spoiled while we're there.  I actually like this for the mere fact that I didn't have grandparents to love and spoil me.  I love that my children have this.

Once home, we were all ready for a super early bedtime.  

At Abuelos with her new vacuum

Lucy refused to eat anything unless she could eat with a spoon.  She wants to be a big girl like her sister.

Olivia singing while Eduardo plays Rock Band

Everyone hanging out 

Every year we end with a family picture.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

We have had such a nice Christmas Eve.  Our day started out rather typical with cleaning the house.  Santa doesn't like to visit dirty houses so first thing was to make sure that everything was in order.

Throughout the day we've been tracking Santa at Norad tracks Santa.  They follow Santa as he makes his deliveries all over the world.  Not only do we go to our large wall map to see where he's at but we also get to see him fly!

In the afternoon, following Lucy's nap we sat down and watched a movie together.  We rented Disney's "A Christmas Carol"  and rather enjoyed it.  There were a few times that Olivia got scared and would just shake. Poor thing!  We had to explain that it was all pretend.

Olivia getting ready to watch the movie.  The big bowl of popcorn was for everything to share.

At times Lucy would watch the movie too, although most of the time she was busy playing with the toys.

Following the movie it was time to get the table set for our Christmas Eve dinner.  It turned out rather pretty and we had time to sing Christmas carols and watch the girls danced.

We decide to do something a little different this year instead of our traditional turkey or ham.  We had a pot roast that cooked all day in the slow cooker.  It is always so tender and juicy this way.  We had yummy rolls, rice and sparkling cider to go with it.  For desert we had a turtle cake and homemade wassail.

Lucy enjoying the cake

Every year we like to take a family photo in front of our Christmas tree.  Naturally the girls put on their new Christmas dresses (why don't I buy a new Christmas dress for myself?!) and try to get at least one shot with everyone looking at the camera.  Always a difficult task!

A tradition from my childhood is to open one gift on Christmas Eve and it's always a new pair of pajamas.

Olivia was super excited to receive a rob with her pajamas!

Finally it was time for bed so we watched Luke 2.  After we put Olivia down I realized that we forgot to put out cookies for Santa and feed the reindeer!  At this point Olivia had been in bed for about 5 minutes so I decided it would be fine to get her up.

At Candlelight Christmas we put together reindeer food which was basically oats with sugar.  I've also seen people make it with oats and glitter so the reindeer can see it as they fly over.

We've been asking Olivia what she wanted to leave out for Santa and her reply has been toast and macaroni & cheese.   Since we nearly forgot leave a treat at all for Santa he gets left over gingerbread cookies.  The reindeer get candy at our house instead of a carrot (Olivia's request).  We'll see if it makes a difference!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

This Christmastide

This has been one of my most favorite Christmas Songs this year and I absolutely love how Jessye Norman sings it!

This Christmastide (Jessye's Carol)

Green and silver, red and gold
And a story born of old.

Truth and love and hope abide,
This Christmastide, this Christmastide.

Holly, ivy, mistletoe
And the gently falling snow.

From a simple ox’s stall
Came the greatest gift of all.

Children sing of peace and joy
At the birth of one small boy.

Let the bells ring loud and clear,
Ring out now for all to hear.

Trumpets sound and voices raise
In an endless stream of praise.

Green and silver, red and gold
And a story born of old.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Letters From Santa

The girls received letters from Santa earlier this month and I want to share what they said.

Dear Olivia,
Merry Christmas from the North Pole! I just finished feeding the reindeer and decided to write a few of the children on my good list while I have a nice cup of hot cocoa. You have been a very good girl this year and I wanted to let you know that I've noticed. I'll be flying in my magic sleigh straight to your home in Eagle Mountain on Christmas Eve to leave you a very special gift! 

The elves and I have been busy getting toys ready to deliver all over the world. The Christmas countdown clock is ticking in the middle of Santa's toy shop and we have toy making elves and wrapping elves working hard to prepare gifts for good children. To make things extra special we play Christmas music throughout the workshop and take hot cocoa breaks often. (The elves like to mix their hot cocoa with a candy cane to add a little peppermint flavor.) We have been thinking a lot about what you might like this year. I received your letter and it said that you’d like a pink mermaid with a dolphin.  I'll see what I can do.

Thank you for your great effort to be the best girl you could be! Santa notices when good children try hard to become better and better every year. It's been fun to watch you grow up. Be sure to keep up the good work. My special elves, like Mr. Peeps, are always watching.  Just keep obeying your mom and helping Lucy like you have been and I'll visit you soon.

Oh, I almost forgot - will you please tell Hannah hello for me? I try to write boys and girls every year but I don't get to every single one and I want Hannah to remember to be good too! Also, will you please tell Chase what the true meaning of Christmas is? It is so fun to deliver gifts all over the world but the real gift of Christmas was our Savior Jesus Christ. He came to earth and led a perfect life and set the example for all of us to follow - even me, Santa! I like to help families celebrate Christmas but even Mrs. Claus and I take time to remember the little babe born in a manger who did so much for me. As you go enjoy the month of December, please remember to do a few good things for others. I hope you will have time to serve someone, be kind and loving, and thankful for all of the blessings that you have.

I need to go have dinner now. Mrs. Claus fixed a great feast with all of my favorite trimmings. She even made that red Jell-O stuff with marshmallows - mmmm. I love marshmallows. Don't forget to feed Sam, Dafny and Missi on Christmas Eve. Hungry pets don't like it when they hear me eat those yummy cookies after I'm finished leaving gifts. Have a wonderful Christmas season and be sure to get to bed early on Christmas Eve. You can check out where I am on Christmas Eve by visiting

Merry Christmas,


Dear Lucy,

Merry Christmas!  One year old!  What a big girl you are.  It’s almost Christmas and everyone here at the North Pole is very busy.  The elves are putting the finishing touches on the toys and Rudolf is polishing his nose.

I was so proud of you when you helped pick up toys.  That was great! 

I’ve checked my list twice and see that you have been a very good girl.  That is important to try to do better every day.  I received your letter and you said that you wanted a blue mermaid.  I’ll see what I can do.

Your parents have been doing a wonderful job at teaching you about Jesus.  Listen very carefully to what they tell you.  Jesus is very important and he is the reason that we celebrate Christmas!

Don’t forget to go to bed early on Christmas Eve and to sleep all night.  I can only come and visit your house in Eagle Mountain if you are asleep. 

Mrs. Claus, the elves and reindeer would like to wish you a Merry Christmas too!



Christmas Cookies

I can't say that I love to cook/bake or that I do it every year for Christmas.  I don't mind baking and cooking occasionally but it's not something that I really love doing.  I want to change that so every once in a while I branch out and make something.

The simple joy that my children get from decorating cookies is a reason why I choose to do a little baking.  I made two different kinds of cookies to take to our neighbors and friends.  For those not from here, traditionally this time of year people will take small gifts or plates of goodies to neighbors.  I live in an area where practically everyone gives you things.  There was one night this month where we came home to 5 different plates of goodies on our door step.  So in return I baked up some sugar cookies and some gingerbread cookies that we will deliver this week.

Olivia decorated a few that we saved for our little family to eat.  

Sugar cookies all decked out.

Gingerbread cookies all ready to go out.  I decided to keep the frosting minimal because I love the taste of these cookies so much!

I still haven't found a good sugar cookie recipe that I love so I won't share the one that I used.  You can find the gingerbread recipe from this post last year.

Test Results and sick baby

I received a phone call yesterday evening from my doctor's office saying that my test results were in and they wanted me to come in to discus them.  Okay, this made me a little nervous.  In the past, doctors will tell me over the phone that everything is normal.  I kind of associate a visit with equaling bad news.

I slept horrible last night but that would be expected with a baby who vomited at least 5 times in the night.  Poor Lucy couldn't keep anything down.  It got to a point where she didn't want to nurse but simply be rocked and held close.  A few times she would reach for my hand and place it on her head signalling me to message her head.  She is a very touchy child.

When I was expected to have my children dressed, fed and out the door at 9am for my appointment I wasn't too sure if it would happen.  I ended up waking both girls at 8:30a.  Once at the clinic I waited for over an hour (with my sick baby) to get my results.  Everything came back normal.  Which is a relief that I'm still healthy and that I don't have sleep apnea.  The doctor wanted to discus the next options with my fatigue.

He asked more questions and came up with a plan.  I told him that I just want to function every day.  No more feeling tired or nervous to drive because I might fall sleep at the wheel. Sounds horrible but I haven't done well on long distance trips for while.  I also want to think again.  The best way to describe how I think is that it is surface thinking.  I can't handle any deep thoughts, reading anything complicated or even light as a matter of fact, my memory is shot and I can't plan things.  See I just want to function!

So we're going to try a sleeping aid for a while to see if that helps.  Then on to a medication for restless leg syndrome which I've had since I was pregnant with Olivia.   That could cause me to wake up too many times and thus not getting the sleep that I need.  After that if nothing has helped I will be sent in for a sleep study.  This does not sound like a good night sleep when you're hooked up to wires and monitors with a camera watching you while you try to sleep.  Yes they would give you something to help you sleep, but not a nice thought.  I hope that something will work before that.  We're talking about trying a new mattress and maybe change something in my room to help.  Whatever it takes for a good night of sleep!

Winter Birds

I love feeding the birds, especially in the winter.  I have a tree outside of my kitchen window that is filled with at least a hundred birds, if not more waiting for their turn at the feeder.  Lucy loves to watch the birds and will repeat "bird, bird, bird" over and over.

I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December
A magical thing
And sweet to remember:
"We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,"
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Snow Art

I would love to properly learn to use my camera.  When Ed was taking a photography class at the university, we invested in a very nice and expensive camera.  I've played around with a few settings in hopes of figuring things out.  I am hoping in the future that I can take a class.  Until then, occasionally I like to go out and try to take some artistic photos.  Here are today's results.