Friday, February 29, 2008

Out of the mouths of babes--February

Have you ever seen a bigger
chalk drawing than this?
At least one made by a 6 and a 3 year old?
(BTW, that's a friend next to Brandon.
Whit hasn't changed that much!)

2/3--Brandon and Andrew were out in the backyard this afternoon and a couple of neighbor boys came over to play. In the midst of their typical rough-housing, B used a word that he shouldn't have used. Not a cuss word, but a slang word that is definitely not appropriate. Andrew said something along the lines of, "Brandon, I hope that's not the way you talk in front of your friends to try to look tough."
Brandon's reply: "Dad, there's so much about my life that you don't understand."
Wait a second--how old are you, B?

2/3--After eating a REALLY big lunch today I said, "Whit, you must've been starving!"
W: What's "starving?"
Me: It means being really hungry.
W: I think EVERYONE'S starving.
B: Everyone in the world? No way. There are some people who sit on the couch and watch TV and eat Cheetos all day.

2/5--Whitney is really into telling me ALL the things she wants to be when she grows up. Right now she's up to five: a ballerina, a dentist, a cooker, a music leader, and a cheerleader. We talk about this regularly and she'll hold up all five fingers and try to remember all the five things that she has decided.

LOTS of things on her to-do list

2/7--I love asking my kids about their dreams from the previous night. Whitney's been going through this phase, though, where she forgot what a dream was. She watched a Hello Kitty movie where it showed dreams as clouds that came into Kitty's room, so Whit has said, "Yea, I saw my dreams in my room last night," for the past few weeks, but has no other words to describe them. Well, this morning they both remembered and here's what they told me.

B: I dreamed I was playing Guitar Hero on Expert and I only had one song left--Through the Fire and Flames. Right as I was getting ready to play it, my alarm went off and I thought, "Hey, that's not the right song!" But it was really my alarm.

Not only does he ROCK on Guitar Hero,
now he's dreaming about it.

W: I had a dream about a chick. And it hatched out of an egg and made a mess. And it was in a barn. And the barn had a couch and chairs, just like our house.

2/10--Whitney added a sixth aspiration to her list. Tonight we were watching a DVD that her Aunt Celeste sent from her latest scuba diving trip to the Philippines. Whit was apparently entranced because now she wants to be a scuba diver when she grows up, too.

2/13--I walk B out to the bus stop every morning. Usually I just slip on a pair of jogging pants and we go. Today I had time to actually get dressed in normal clothes before we left. B is very perceptive and when I came down the stairs the first thing he said was, "Mom, you look nice today!" Wasn't that sweet?

2/16--Not only is B perceptive about what I wear, he has also started noticing armpit hair in men. It's so interesting to me. I don't think I noticed it until I was in high school and some of my friends starting getting it. He saw a picture of a pro b-ball player on the cover of a magazine and the way the photo was shot, it looked like the man didn't have any armpit hair. Brandon was disgusted. "Mom, Troy from High School Musical has hair in his armpits and this man in the NBA doesn't! Can you believe that?"

When will I get my armpit hair?

2/18--W remembered her dream again today: "I was a real Cinderella. I lost my jewelry. I pulled up my sleeve and there was an earring on my arm."

Me: Was it a good dream?

W: No. It was a SCARY dream.

2/20--B was looking through a book that had paintings from several famous artists. One of them was this one by Mark Rothko:

Yellow, Red, on Orange

This was B's commentary: Why would you spend hours making this? I could do this. Why would someone pay twenty thousand dollars for that?
I guess he's like his parents. We don't "get" abstract art either.

2/22--This one came out of nowhere.
B: Mom, do you know the bad thing about being fat and playing basketball?
Me: (not sure if I want to hear this) What?
B: When you jump, your fat might jiggle and they might call a foul on you.
I guess that's a good reason for me to avoid the b-ball court at all costs right now.

2/26--Deep thoughts from the backseat of the minivan...
W: Dad is a worker. He works every day.
Me: What's mom?
W: A teacher.
That pretty well sums it up, huh?

2/27--Today was one of the days my kids look forward to with great anticipation every six months--visits to the dentist! (I'm not even being facetious, people.) The dentist was quizzing Whit and asked her how often she brushes her teeth. With all her confidence, she boldly answered, "Twice a year!" The dentist and hygienist both got a kick out of that one.

It's a miracle! I brush twice a year
and still no cavities!
[Yes, her shoes are on the wrong feet.
She sometimes prefers it that way.]

2/27--W is reaching the super-inquisitive phase and today asked, "Mom, have you ever heard of a person with fifty hundred heads?"

2/29--After hearing a DJ talk about it on the radio, Whit said, "Mom, is it Leap Day today?"
Me: "Yes, honey. It IS Leap Day."
W: "Well, we better start leaping....[long pause]....What IS Leap Day?"

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

State Farm + Turbo Tax = Save Money

Wanna save a few of these? Read on.

Have I mentioned that I LOVE doing taxes? During December I run to the mailbox to check for Christmas cards and during January I continue the afternoon sprint to the mailbox to find tax forms. It's thrilling for me. Yes, I know I am a big nerd and I'm completely OK with it. I think it has something to do with me not bringing any income into our family. (Back to the GDP!) But when I do our taxes, it's one time that I feel like I'm actually contributing to the bottom line. Also when I find something valuable around the house to sell on eBay or Craig's list. Oh, but wait, then I usually just horde that money to spend on fun stuff so I don't know if that counts.

Well, this year I have to give a BIG thanks to my friend Megan who informed me that State Farm customers can get Turbo Tax for free this year if you register on-line with State Farm. It was a fairly fast and painless process and it saved me the sixty or more bucks I was going to pay to use Turbo Tax anyway. Score!

If you have State Farm and want to use Turbo Tax free, click here. I had actually already started my return when I heard about this and it still saved all my info and didn't charge me for anything at the end. I think that saved $60 should go straight into the "Andi's fun money fund," don't you?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Book Review: Bound on Earth

I have been so excited about the release of this book that I have already told many of you about it. But I wanted to wait until I had actually read it and could recommend it before I blogged about it.

Andrew's sister has been published!
"Bound on Earth" by Angela Hallstrom
came out earlier this month.
(If you go to her website and click
"Bound on Earth" and scroll down
a bit, you can read an excerpt.)

We ordered our copy from Amazon as soon as it was available and both Andrew and I were thrilled with it. It is about a fictional Mormon family, the Palmers. It is unique from other novels I've read because each chapter is written from a different family member's perspective. And not only does it alternate between characters, it doesn't flow chronologically. As Andrew put it, it has flash forwards and flashbacks, just like LOST. Loved that. Although when I was about three-fourths of the way through the book, I found myself thinking, "I don't see how there can be any resolution to this book. How can this end well?" But Angie pulled it off. The last chapter has a great sense of bringing everything together.

I also loved the characters in the book. (Or at least most of them. There are, of course, a couple of villains.) I felt as if they were new friends or long-lost cousins and I got acquainted with them as I read. I found that I didn't want to put it down because I wanted to get to know them better and better.

I highly recommend this book and actually have an extra copy for my local friends if you want to borrow it. And I'm not the only one giving it rave reviews. If you click on the Amazon link, you can read what some real critics are saying about it. So far, everyone has given it five stars. Impressive.

By the way, isn't the cover art beautiful? Going along with the talent in that gene pool, Andrew's brother, Anthony, did the artwork. I guess Andrew's in charge of bringing the fame and fortune to our family. I gave it a try when I auditioned for American Idol. My plan failed... Your turn, honey!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

B-train update

We've reached the end of another basketball season. This year had ups and downs--lots of downs, actually, but a few good ups. Andrew put together this great little highlight video. Brandon's usually in the black jersey #4, but they had to reverse them to red during his last game. Props to Andrew for being the official family videographer. If it were up to me, we'd only have still shots, but there's something about live action.

It is so fun to watch your child ENJOYING a sport. It was a completely different experience then trying to shove Whitney out on the soccer field against her will. Brandon loves playing b-ball and even though his team had a lot of growing to do, he worked hard and had fun.

B is super competitive, but
doesn't take himself too seriously.
Here he was doing a little pre-game jig.
Or maybe he was playing air Guitar Hero.

He's not the only teammate playing around
during warm-ups, as you can see.
Here he was wiggling his very first loose tooth.

He plays some intense defense

Our friend, Carissa, is in charge of the
cheerleaders and let Whit borrow some
pom-poms so she could cheer for her
brother. Go Fireballs!

Here he is trying to take it to the hole.

I'm open! I'm open!

The excitement continued that evening.
Here's Brandon when he had 22 teeth.
Then he asked his Dad to yank the
loose one for him because he couldn't
get it. (Brave kid!)
After a few tries, here is our new
toothless wonder. He's still getting
used to having that little gap. I catch
him sticking his tongue in there a lot.

After it came out, we could see why B-train was having
such a hard time with it. Can you see how much root is
left on that thing???? His permanent tooth is pretty far
behind where the primary tooth was, so only the back
of the root was dissolving. Ouch, buddy, that must've
hurt! But he kept on smiling.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

VDay Wrap up

We had the best Valentine's Day. First, we woke up to snow. The kids were only supposed to have a half day of school, but it got canceled all together, so we had yet another snow day. Woo hoo!

This time there was enough of the white stuff
for Whit to make a snow angel.
She was SO excited about this.
Then the kids worked really hard.
They had to put their heads together and
made this cute little snow man.
(Slightly bigger than the one we made last snow storm.)

Since the kids were scheduled for a half day,
I talked Andrew into taking the afternoon
off and we went down to the zoo.
This is our new family tradition, I guess, spending
the real Valentine's Day all together and then
getting out on our romantic date later.
We saw flamingos

poisonous frogs that looked like they were toys
until you actually saw them move,

and (my personal favorite for this trip) the lions.
They were really active today.
It was so cool to see them walking all around
as a pack and marking their territory.
I kept thinking the male was going to roar for
us, but no such luck. He just kept psyching me out.

Afterwards we went out to dinner.
B-train and me

Whit and her daddio

On Friday night, we got a babysitter and had
the funnest date. We went to a place called
the Mad Platter.
It's a paint-your-own pottery studio.
We both picked out big ol' mugs to.
(I'm envisioning unhealthy amounts of
ice cream being consumed from them.) cream

Friday night is their "date night", so Andrew wasn't
even the only guy in the studio.
He made an awesome-looking Lakers mug.

We were each happy with the way our works
of art turned out. The studio puts them in the
kiln for us and we'll get them back sometime
next week. We had a good time and I
was happy to try something new.

Afterward, I surprised Andrew with a visit
to a Brazilian steakhouse. Neither of us
knew it existed until this weekend.
It is called Leblon and it's one of those
places where the waiters walk around
with skewers of meat and pile them on
your plate until you are visibly bloated and/or
threaten to gouge them with your fork.
Meat-deprived Andrew was in heaven.
AND, as an added bonus they have a great
salad bar that included salmon, rice, and beans.
I was a happy camper, too.

Very, very fun weekend.

Sidenote: Andrew just wrote what might be his funniest post ever. If you're looking for a laugh, take a look at his blog.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Our love story

Once upon a time, there were two cute kids.

A boy from West Valley City, Utah

and a girl from Winslow, Arizona.

In 1996, their worlds collided when they met in Provo, Utah. Their lives have never been the same. Here's how it happened.

The five "W's" of the first time we met

When it was: Fall of 1996. Andrew was starting his first semester at BYU after serving a mission in Chile for two years. I was starting my sophomore year there.

Where we were: We lived in the same apartment building(the good ol' Glenwood!) and went to church together, but we didn't actually meet until we played on the same co-ed intramural volleyball team. Let me tell ya, that's the way to meet your soul mate. It was such a turn-on to watch him slam the ball down on the other team. He loved seeing me take control of the court and volunteer to be the setter.

Who was there: All of our volleyball teammates, most of which we lost contact with years ago. I think the only friends we've kept who went through the dating/courting/engagement process with us are Christian and Mandi.

Why we were there: Because we both love sports. Duh. If we won our volleyball games, Andrew would ask me out for Victory Slurpees at 7-11. I've never been so motivated to win! By the end of the season we had gotten close enough that he would ask me out for consolation slurpees of we lost. (My teammates were relieved because I could stop yelling at them when they messed up.) :)

What we were doing: Checking each other out. Flirting. Having a lot of fun. Laughing together. Falling in love.

What happened next

Andrew and I just clicked. It was so much fun to get to know him. We had some very important things in common:

1. We were both HUGE Lakers fans. Sports can bring such a strong bond into a relationship.
2. We both wanted to be dentists. This was a short lived similarity. I soon changed to hygiene and he to business, but it was a fun while it lasted.
3. We had almost the same name--Andrew and Andi. It just sounded so good together, like it was meant to be.

We started dating in November. He asked me out twice, but both times I was busy and had to say no. He thought I was just trying to brush him off. (Are you kidding me? A hottie like him?) One of his roommates told me he wasn't going to ask me out again for fear of another rejection, so I had to take matters into my own hands. I asked him out. I don't know what I was thinking, but I volunteered to make dinner at my apartment. If you think I'm a bad cook now, you should've seen me THEN! He could follow the trail of smoke from burnt breadsticks down the hall. He was a sweetheart, though, and told me he liked them that way. Then we watched Happy Gilmore together. And held hands. Oh, yea. Things were off to a great start.

First kiss

Since we were both science majors, we ended up in the same Anatomy class. Sure, there were about 400 other students in there with us, but we managed to sit together in the lecture hall a couple of times. Andrew is very smart in many, many ways, but science is not his strong point. But, as an excuse to spend more time with him, we'd study Anatomy together. (wink, wink) I knew he wasn't going to be much help when I saw in his workbook that he had labeled one of the hemostats in a black and white photo as one of the major blood vessels. Uh oh.

(In his defense, the photos in our lab book
were black and white. A hemostat looked
pretty similar to some of the vessels.)

The studying paid off when one night in his apartment, he leaned in over the workbook and we had our first kiss. He claims it was all my doing because I was giving him "the look." I admit I was more than ready, but he's the one who took action.


Things moved pretty quickly. (Not compared to Tony and Cindy, but compared to most of the rest of the world.) We got engaged in March of 1997, after about four months of dating. He took me out to eat at Carver's Steakhouse. In retrospect that cracks me up. I don't even eat steak! I ordered salmon. I guess it was just the nicest place he could think of to take me. It wasn't really a surprise because we had already picked out my engagement ring together.

After dinner he drove me to Rock Canyon Park in Provo.
It is a beautiful place and held a lot of memories for us.
He got down on his knee and proposed.
I think it was the first time I saw him nervous.

I said YES, but apparently I was either
nervous, too, or verklempt because I remember
he didn't hear my response. After a minute
he said, "Are you going to answer?"
Oops. I felt bad I had kept him in suspense.

The Wedding

We were married in June in the Logan Utah LDS Temple.
The wedding day is all kind of a blur. I remember Andrew was a little late to the temple and for the first time I started to think maybe this was too good to be true. I was relieved when he made it. We had a reception in West Valley that night. I loved it. It was a blast to share that special day with so many friends and relatives.

The Honeymoon

We took a road trip to Southern California for our honeymoon. We didn't take any pictures. The scrapbooker in me could kick myself over that, but it didn't seem important at the time. It was pretty eventful with car problems and a trip to urgent care, but we still managed to have a wonderful time.

The married life

Hard to believe that was over ten years ago. Since then, Andrew finished his bachelor's in business. I graduated from hygiene school. We had Brandon and moved to AZ. Andrew finished his MBA. We moved to NC. Andrew started working for Avery. We had Whitney. We sold our first house and moved to our current one. And now we're expecting Caroline. Phew--we've managed to get a lot done!
Random photos

Dressed as Greg and Marsha Brady
Halloween 1998

Christmas at Disneyland

First visit to Carolina Beach
July 2003

Valentine's Day 2004

Summer 2004

After Andrew performed Jeremy and Erika's wedding
July 2006

Christmas 2006

Tenth Anniversary Caribbean Cruise
June 2007

Other random thoughts on our relationship
Three of your spouse's traits that made you fall madly in love

I said:
1. Made me feel so comfortable around him
2. Always made me laugh
3. SOOO dang good-looking

He said:
1. Happy nature
2. Friendliness
3. Intellect

Something you gave up or put aside when you fell in love:
I said: flirting
He said: carbonated beverages and eating in the bathroom

A piece of wisdom your spouse taught you that you will never forget:
I said: Together we can do anything.
He said: You can choose to be happy in life regardless of circumstances

There you have it, the story of our love. I am so blessed to have such an amazing husband to share the ups and downs of life with. And it just keeps getting better as time goes on.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Weekend Update

Here's what we've been up to.

Brandon invited me to the Valentine's Dance at his school. Ooo la la. We had a great time.

They even had a classic dance photo op.

We threw it down to such classics as YMCA,
Macarena, Chicken Dance, and Electric Slide.
B picked up on the line dances quickly.
He's such a cutie.
When we weren't doing line dances,
B was just running around in circles with
his friends while I talked with their moms.
Fun for both of us!

Sometimes it got a little out of control,
but there were no major injuries.

Whitney had a very important first on Friday. She let me blow-dry her hair. I had done mine for the dance, so she decided she wanted hers done, too. She apparently loves playing beauty shop because she sat so still the whole time. I was very impressed.
Doesn't it look good?

Wannabe super models

Andrew has been strengthening his core.
Or at least that's what his chiropractor told
him this exercise ball would do for him.
(Did anyone see that episode of The Office
with Dwight on one of these? I couldn't
stop laughing when Andrew first sat on his!)

His back is getting stronger and his doc cleared him to play basketball with the church team for the first time on Friday. He was so excited. It was at the same time as my date with B-train, so I missed his highly anticipated come back! But the team won, so I'm guessing Drew did pretty well.

I hit the 24 week mark in my pregnancy. Sweet.
Guess who my photographer was for this pic. :)
Hint: It wasn't Andrew.
I'm still feeling really well overall, with
the occasional aches and pains just starting.

Caroline is apparently enrolled in some sort of karate or rex kwan do class in the womb because her kicks are becoming downright violent. If I remember correctly, they only get harder from here on out. Yikes.