Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas!

What do I mean when I say "Merry Christmas"?

In those two words, I am really saying:

Let's rejoice together in the birth of our Savior. Let us rejoice that we are brothers and sisters, children of an involved, loving Heavenly Father. Let us remember that we celebrate the birth of Christ because what His death and resurrection means for us. Let us rejoice with gratitude for the peace that comes with accepting God's love in sending His Son and genuinely striving to do His will.


Friday, December 17, 2010

The Secret Powers of Time

One of my favorite secret past times is watching RSA Animate clips on YouTube.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus

Scroll down and pause the music at the right before you play this.

I love Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Grandma!!!

We love our amazing, wonderful, thoughtful, talented, supportive, loving mothers/grandmas who had birthdays in the past little while.

Keys, Candles, Snow, Snow and more Snow

Keys don't open closed doors from the inside. That's what Rody (Little Pedro) learned today.

He loves using keys to try to open doors. The kid will spend 10 minutes trying to open a door from the inside. Tonight he got so frustrated when the door didn't magically open when he put a key by the handle. While he uses the key, he wanted me to stand by the door, open it, wait for him to say "brrrrrrr" as the 4* cold seeped in, then shut it and repeat.  He could do this for an hour.

I'm hoping this kid decides to learn how to talk really soon. He gets so frustrated when he can't communicate what he wants. This morning he brought me a small birthday candle and grunt/squealed and nodded. I guessed at several meanings to the grunt/squeal and nod without success and with increased intensity in the squeal. Finally, I said, "Should we light it?" Suddenly he was pacified or just distracted (who knows) as I stuck it in a banana and lit the wick.  I let him try to blow it out a few times then he decided he was much more interested in the banana. Problem solved or at least adverted.

Does he really remember from his first birthday what a candle is and that it can have a flame?

And for a completely opposite topic, we got 20+ inches of snow yesterday. The city practically shut down since visibility was too low for plows. The roof of the Metrodome where the Vikings were supposed to play the Giants collapsed.

Church was cancelled. We got dressed in Sunday best anyway and held our own little family worship service with songs, prayers, scripture reading and a special guest speaker, Pres. Uchtdorf: "Of Things That Matter Most". We love the new website, especially how the conference talks page lets us access conference talks so much better.

We decided to follow his counsel to spend some time appreciating and pondering God's creations. We changed and added lots of clothes and braved the 6* coldness with a windchill at some number ridiculously below 0*. The snow was a little higher than a picnic bench. I know because we took advantage of a picnic bench on our walk so we wouldn't sink down as much. The snow was over Rody's head in some places from snow drifts. But, it didn't matter; he couldn't walk with all his snow gear on anyway. Pedro forged our path with him in his arms. Rody laughed heartily as he watched me make a snow angel.

Back home our pile of snow clothes made a pile much higher than the snow, and we enjoyed a traditional Sunday lunch of grilled cheese and tomato soup. Yum!

I am so grateful for a warm home, warm soup and warm hearts.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Rody (my newest favorite nickname for Lil' Pedro) is BILINGUAL! He can say Mama (Spanish: Mama), Dada (Spanish: Papa) and Turtle (Spanish: Tortuga). He says Mama or Papa upon request only, but the past two days he has wandered around repeating tor-tu-ga in that adorable little voice of his just for fun. I taught Rody "turtle" first, and he enjoyed saying it for a few hours until his dad came home and taught him "tortuga". Most kids' first words are cup or ball or something useful, so what does it mean that our kid only says "tortuga" and seems content to stick with his grunt/squeal/point to communicate? He is either brilliant or, uh, well, let's just stay with brilliant.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tickle Tickle Tickle

Lil' Pedro likes to play "tickle toes." Whenever he sees our toes (or his), he pretends to tickle by wiggling his fingers at them while saying his version of "tickle tickle tickle."

The other day we were playing at a toddler's gym, a parks and rec program where parents can bring kids to play with balls, hoola hoops and small indoor slides and teeter totters. Pedro was playing basketball when the purple penguin socks of a girl caught his eye. He toddled over, pointed at the penguins and started to play the tickle game. The girl, who was about three, wasn't so comfortable with a strange kid wiggling his fingers near her feet, but she smiled when I explained that he thought her socks were really neat. I quickly distracted him with a basketball.

This kid makes me laugh all the time. (For Grandmas and aunts who care: See his new molar on his bottom right side.)

Lil' P loves to draw/write with pens. Crayons won't do for this little man. Maybe because he loves taking pen lids off and putting them on again as much as he likes drawing. Today, we compromised with some newly-purchased washable markers. He let me know when he finished with his masterpiece by throwing all the markers on the floor. I've started asking him to clean up whatever he throws on the floor, which he is pretty good about doing. So, he got to pick up the markers and put them back in a cup. The second I turned my back for two seconds, he started to work on a new type of canvas: the floor. Gotta love those washable markers. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

a gratitude attitude

I am grateful for (in a purposefully random order). . . ready, take a deep breath . . .  here we go:

books    guitar   Devan    piano   my son   Sandra Boynton   indoor plants   my husband   balls   sports   good artists   carpet   toothbrushes   white lights   Christmas lights   my dehydrator    my husband    digital camera   socks   sandals   temple   measuring spoons   snow   summer    sandals   summer   thermometer   floss   pillow   my husband    fresh drinking water   heated shower    disposable diapers   my son    the Book of Mormon    stars    a sunrise    a sunrise hike    mountains    my mom and dad    cars    heated cars   bike    Brycen    good movies     chocolate    spinach    Brette    clothes     my sunbeams    long hair    the Doctrine and Covenants   laptop   email    shelves    bed    microwave    doctors   infant pain reliever/fever reducer    sidewalks    strollers    libraries    bananas    Kelsey    ear warmers    the New Testament    the American Flag    interviews    nice people     basketball     my husband   pockets    google maps     aluminum foil    my son    blueberries   a living prophet    waterfalls    literacy   Ghana    Alma and Blake   vanilla    Broadway music    visiting teachers    Disneyland    rivers    horses    Old Testament stories    green smoothies    clementines    Jordan and Rachel    high school friends     Excel    Darla    California    our Grandmas and Grandpas    trees    back massages    my husband    snacks    cellos     my eyes    Bolivia      missionary work     Sesame Street     a working can opener     yogurt     porch lights    big windows     crayons and markers     public servants in government      mint     drums     Dani and JR     Florida     friends     cell phones    YOU

Friday, November 19, 2010


Turning over couch cushions and bouncing up and down must be one of those innate abilities that surfaces once a kid is capable of bouncing. While this little boy imitates nearly everything we do, I promise he has never seen us turn over couch cushions and bounce on them (we wait 'till he's asleep - j.k.).

Something we have tried to teach him that he does very well is kneeling down and folding his arms when someone mentions the word "prayer". And, his proud parents are awed when he actually stays kneeling with his arms folded for the entire prayer.

He is getting better at the game "Where's your nose [eyes,ears, mouth]. But, he sometimes confuses the action for "Touch your nose" with "touchdown", which is more fun to do anyway.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


This is a test to see how it works. I really should go to sleep soon. My eyes are tired. I should also clean my house. Hmmmmmm.

wiggle bum slide, Tia Brette and apple sauce

A few weeks ago my sister, Brette, came to visit. It was so fun to share our little Rocket Man with an aunt who loves and appreciates him as much as we do. We all got a kick out of his method of getting down the slide. Do all kids do the wiggle bum dance at the top of a slide?

A rather long side note on "Rocket Man": I started calling Lil' Pedro "Rocket Man" when he was first born due to the shape of his head. Now that he can walk/run, the nickname fits for his style of escape. He has learned how to do the limp noodle to more easily slide out of my arms and jet to explore whatever caught his interest. Inside our apartment, he likes to keep watch on me to make sure I'm not more than 10 feet away, but once outside our apartment, he lacks that inclination completely. Rocket Man is an explorer, not afraid to wander to the other side of the park or all over Walmart without really caring if I am following or not.

In a previous post, I mentioned my latest nickname "Rocky" which fits since Pedro means "Rock", but it's actually just short for "Rocket Man".

Who needs a spoon? How is it that this usually obnoxious slurping sound is so endearing coming from a 15-month-old?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Glorious green beans

Little Pedro (Rocky, nickname this week) LOVES green beans straight out of a can. It's awesome because it's an easy way to get green veggies down his throat. I remember loving canned green beans when I was a kid, too. My mom called them green worms, and we pretended to be little birds as we ate.

Do your kids like canned green beans? I can just imagine the Jolly Green Giant marketing campaign if this is a commonality among toddlers.

Oh, and Rocky loves grapefruit, too. Who'da thought?

Friday, October 29, 2010

"Mom" of 6 for two days

I am the oldest of five. It never seemed like we had lots of kids around the house.

When I babysit five other kids for a couple of days, five seemed like 7 or 8. Two of those five kids were two-year-old twins. WHOA! Need I say more? If you have taken care of two-year-old twins, I don't need to describe the experience; you know what it is like. If you have never taken care of two-year-old twins, I just can't describe it well enough to give you an accurate idea. So, go offer to babysit twins. Their mom will be grateful.

Honestly though, the kids were pretty good (most of the time). The older kids were angels and lots of fun.

Monday, October 25, 2010

He's got rhythm!

My kid can dance! Sometimes it's a shoulder groovying thing; other times it's knee bounce. Pedroco (his newest nickname) changes rhythm when the song changes.

Yesterday, Pedro's cousin, Kyle, came to visit. Some other friends joined us for dinner. Afterward, Roco gave us a show when he started jamming out to his toy piano that plays pop songs. I wished I'd gotten it on video. It was SO cute!

Thanks for coming to visit us, Kyle!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Elf-guided Hike and Red Wing Arts Festival

Now you know what what Santa's helpers do in the off-season. They guide tours at a Minnesota state park. Unfortunately, our guide never showed. Christmas must be coming!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A boy, a ball and a bug

The Pedros love to play basketball.

We discovered Little Pedrodeo (my newest nickname for him) has a skin contact allergy to milk/yogurt, so we are working at being less messing at meal times and not smearing milk/yogurt across his face.

This is a bug. A big bug. A fast bug. A scary-looking bug.
We became such good friends after he spent the afternoon on my table under a vase that I dropped him out by the back fence that night instead of in the toilet.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Moments of Pedro T. I didn't capture on camera because I was living in the moment

  • PT begging for more tomatoes - do other kids like tomatoes???
  • PT sliding down the slide with an expression of pure, innocent glee
  • PT at the bottom of the slide looking up at the sky, his long hair straight out with static
  • PT signing "Thank You" without a reminder beforehand
  • PT trying to climb out of the bathtub with babybath lather all over his hair and body
  • PT blowing on everything coming at him on a fork - With his big trumpet lips he sucks in hard a couple times, then blows out like he was a Lamaze instructor. (Now that I've lived this moment, I hope I can get it on video sometime because it is too hilariously cute to miss.)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Magician Baby

Yesterday I lifted Pedro out of his crib after his nap. I carried him as I filled up my waterbottle, then we went back to his room to sit in the rocking chair. I looked down and saw a diaperless-baby. We quickly remedied the situation. Thankfully, I discovered it before I had to change my clothes.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sewing Motivation-Envy - like waves on the sand

I see the amazing, cute, uber-useful items, people make on blogs like "Make it and Love it" (link to the right), and a wave of motivation swells up inside me. Then I remember how few sewing projects I have ever completed and how many I have in line for my attention somewhere in my closet and how I don't really know how to sew anyway and how I get so impatient because it takes so long to measure and cut and how easy it is to write a run-on sentence when discussing my sewing inhibitions, and the wave of motivation crashes and rolls out like the tide leaving behind the residue of envy with the realization that I could change all that with enough motivation and time, uh, lots of time. Darn.

Well, at least I participated in a productive meeting tonight (see post below).

Notes: 1.This particular post is a direct result of to the 2-1 stroller/messenger bag idea on
2. I usually don't use the word uber. It's a little too trendy, and I'm not that hip. But, super just didn't seem to suffice in this situation.

I love meetings!

Most people I know express a general dislike for meetings. I am not one of those people. Even if I am subjected to an unorganized, inefficient meeting (they drive me crazy), I get a kick out of evaluating it and identifying how it could have been shorter or more effective. Weird, I know. I love agendas, too. Now that you know, go ahead and snicker in my general direction (northeast for most people reading this).

I've been involved as a member of the board of directors for our neighborhood cooperative for a little over a year now. I get a strange thrill of directing an efficient, interactive meeting regardless of the topic. Tonight we discussed a marketing plan, a pet policy, a grant funding option and reviewed our vision, mission and values to guide our strategic planning. It was awesome!

The members of our board are phenomenal. They are intelligent, considerate people from India, China, Jordan, Tanzania, Brazil and the USA. I love the dynamics as we analyze the options, play devil's advocate and learn from different points of view as we try to create or revise good policy for our community.

Some people like movies; I like meetings. Go figure.

Friday, September 17, 2010


My sweet husband stayed home to put the baby to bed last night. I joined 21 friends in taking up the last center row in the Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis to experience Wicked.

What a great show! Powerful music. Clever plot. Amazing costumes. Witty lines. So fun!

Someday I will be able to sing like that, just give me a couple millennia.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Brownie Chocolate Chip Cookies

I added frozen brownie chunks to my chocolate chip cookies. Two words: Super Yummy!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Kiss is to blame

I'd thought I'd prepared a great Sunbeam lesson complete with games, acting out stories from the scriptures, a craft and a snack. But, apparently my Sunbeams didn't care. Usually, they are lots of fun, but this Sunday, they weren't too interested in participating or listening. Maybe I just didn't have the same inspiration as I did last week with Tim McGraw. The band at the State Fair Saturday night was Kiss. The "music" blared through our closed windows (okay, I admit I sang along to the chorus of "I want to rock and roll all night"). I can blame a rough Sunbeam lesson on a loud, obnoxious band. That's fair, right?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tim McGraw - Live in concert - in my living room

Pedro and I are sitting on our couch preparing our primary lessons . . . while we listen to Tim McGraw sing "Live like you were dying" live in concert. How cool is that?!!!

No I'm serious! I'm listening to Tim McGraw live in concert. The sound quality could be a little better. Maybe I should open more windows or go outside. See, he is performing at the Minnesota State Fair which is practically in my back yard.

Anyone who says Tim McGraw isn't inspirational never prepared a primary lesson while listening to his song "Live like you were dying."

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Estate Sale: 10-cent items tell your life story

My first time. So many little things for sale (everything 50% off), each one with a story, regardless if anyone remembers it. A price tag marked nearly everything but the electrical outlets in the cute little house on the corner of Idaho Ave. Strangers like us picking through all the things they ever owned that their kids didn't want.

This couple were active Christians. Refrigerator magnets (5 cents) quoted Romans. Titles of books (30 cents) on the shelf contained words like prayer and faith. On her sturdy sewing machine ($25), a wedding gift, she sewed beautiful lace curtains (no price tag) that brightened every window, especially on dark winter evenings. Sitting in a wooden rocking chair ($35) by the little heater ($20), she would sing to her baby or just hold him while they listened to the radio ($4.50) waiting for her husband to come home. When he did, he would take off his winter coat, the really thick, heavy one he got while in the Navy ($20), give her a kiss and welcome the hot tea from the shiny kettle ($5) whistling on the stove.

When their boy was a few years older, he and his dad played with puzzles (10 cents) after dinner. He could pop the states in their spot so fast on the wooden United States puzzle. He liked to finger his parent's pin collection (2 cents each) and remember the summer road trips. On one to Colorado, the boy bought his mom the beautiful painted coaster (10 cents) from his allowance money. Though it was just a coaster, she put it next to the other pretty little figurines (50 cents) he'd given her and would give her over the years for Mother's Day or Christmas.

On Saturdays, the tools ($1) on his workbench stayed busy, except on the days they all went sledding in Como Park, just down the street. He had made the kids' sleds ($5) and sharpened the runners himself. When they got older, he helped wax their cross-country skis ($10). After a day on the icy hills, he helped tuck the kids into bed under homemade blankets ($2) then opened the door to three of his buddies (friends since the second grade) for a few games of poker ($1) or billiards on the pool table ($150) they'd saved up years to buy.

Sundays were special. She wore her nicest pink dress ($8) to church, dawned clip-on earrings (50 cents) and a dab of perfume from the little 2 oz. bottle (30 cents). Before church she practiced on a small organ ($15) at home then later she accompanied the congregation. Sunday afternoons she respectfully set aside the hymn book ($3), opened the sheet music ($1) of her favorite classical work and turned to her beloved piano (no price tag). He would sit in his favorite comfy chair ($25) listening to her play, flipping through his pictures of ducks (10 cents) and dozing off now and then. When the kids were asleep and all was still, he would quietly put on a favorite record (25 cents), gently guide her away from the dishes (50 cents) and dance a few songs in the kitchen. As they circled, she would glance at the wall hangings ($1) - adages about seeing miracles in the ordinary, and she would smile (no price tag).

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Playlist Sabotaged

My playlist said "How deep is your love?" by the Bee Gees, but the song I heard was a beautiful Latin aria - definitely not by the Bee Gees.

So, if, while perusing our blog, you hear a song with questionable lyrics or nonexistent melody, please understand - it was sabotage!

Hopefully, you'll luck out with a beautiful aria.

Drumming with Daddy

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I finally did it!

I went shopping for me (something I rarely do).
I tried on swimsuit (something I almost never do).
I bought a swimsuit (something I haven't done in years).
I wore my new swimsuit and board shorts (something I haven't done since before I was married, according to my husband).
I felt good in my swimsuit and board shorts (something that hasn't happened since, oh, maybe since I was 11)

We took little Pedro T. to a wading pool to splash around (something I plan to do a lot).

He loves walking while holding on my fingers and chasing a little ball around the pool. And, he really loves watching the other kids splash and play.

July is a great month!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day!!!

I love Independence Day!

I celebrated by going to church!

God Bless America!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

"Are you his nanny?"

Pedro and I like to walk, especially to the park. He gets excited when we see squirrels or rabbits, but he gets very excited when we he sees a dog. He LOVES dogs. (Side comment: To avoid any confusion, we are talking about little Pedro. His daddy loves dogs, too, but he doesn't wave his arms and kick his feet as much as little Pedro when he sees a dog.)

We stopped to talk with a lady who was walking her dog. She asked me, "So, are you his nanny?" A little surprised, I said, "Uh, no, he is my son." She said she thought I looked too young to be his mom. I guess I'll take it as a compliment.

Anyway, I'm glad I'm not his nanny. Lucky me - I get to be his full-time mom. We have so much fun together. I love my boy!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Happy Anniversary! Three Years and Counting!

Pre- Year One
The BIG day - Together ForeverYear OneYear Two Year Three

We like to spread the celebration out over a couple of days. Saturday, we got a babysitter then went to a "Back to the 50's" Street Rod Car Show. Very cool cars and fun people. Wednesday, we got a babysitter then went out to dinner at a nice restaurant in downtown St. Paul.

Hooray for being married to my best friend and love of my life! Thanks for three years of 99% bliss.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Frequently, after an interesting thought, observation or incident, I think, "That would make a great blog post when I get a chance to blog." But, then life happens and suddenly two weeks have past without a post. Sorry.

I have about 40 minutes of video and another 200 pictures I could post, and I don't have time to upload all that now, nor do I expect you have that time to see it.

So, here's a cute picture of my boys.