Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Rock 'N Roll

Red Fish: "[New Fish] sometimes we've just gotta rock and roll." New Fish: "Ok [Redfish] let's dance!"

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tree Lighting

 For family night, we went to the city's Christmas tree lighting.  It was lame.  Very anti-climactic and the big man in red didn't even show up to sit in his throne. 
 Red Fish was delighted by the other characters who did make an appearance.  She kept chasing them down for another hug.  Who knew she loved characters so much?  After we left the park we decided to stop at the library and exchange our pile of books.  We happened to show up in time for a wild animal exhibition.  The girls got to pet a hedgehog, a red fox, two enormous rabbits and some tortoises.  They were thrilled. 
Unfortunately, New Fish turned out to be the wildest animal in the room.  As one woman put it "Displaying independence at a young age is a sign of intelligence.  She must be EXTREMELY smart." And yes, she is extremely smart.  Smart enough to drive me just short of totally bonkers.  Good thing she is so darn loveable.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


On Sundays during the month before Christmas, we spend an hour or so reading Christmas books.  We always do our Christmas bag story and then read whatever the looks interesting to the girls.
 Red Fish insisted that we needed to make hand-print ornaments again this year.  I made them at church with the kids in the nursery so she wasn't about to be left out of the fun.  I'm sure these are the first of many ornaments to be made in the next month.  I love that she is the driving force behind most of the art projects in our house.  Her appetite for creation is insatiable.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Decorating The Tree

 If my house were on fire, my Christmas ornaments would be one of the things I would grab on my way out the door.  They are one of my top five irreplaceable items.  I love collecting them and I love that they are from all different years and places. No designer trees for me. I insist on buying one (one for each of us that is) on every vacation.  I start collecting them in January.  It just about kills me if the tree doesn't go up the day after Thanksgiving and I hate taking it down.

My kids are starting to get in on the excitement.  It almost sends me into apocalyptic fits to allow them to help me put the ornaments on.  I am terrified they are going to ruin them. I also think it's important that they get to be a part of putting up the tree.  So I suffer with (mostly) silent seizures while we put the tree up.  The girls ooh and ahh over each trinket.  They dress up in Christmas jammies and try their very best to be careful.  So far, nothing has been permanently broken. I love my kids even more than my ornaments.

2011 Ornaments

 This is just a crazy one that I let the girls buy when we plundered a Christmas store that went out of business over the summer.  I figured a dollar ornament to distract them from the flying elbows and crazy shoppers was worth it.  Plus Red Fish thought they needed an ornament to represent their beloved dinosaur museum. 
My ornament from San Francisco and Red Fish's ornament to celebrate becoming a skier.
Our Cozumel ornaments
Our Zions National Park ornaments.  (They didn't photograph well- sorry.)

Grand Canyon North Rim ornaments
This is my favorite time of year.  I can't wait to finish putting up the tree!

Friday, November 25, 2011


Trying to get the three grandkids to cooperate for a picture.

Mimi playing with the girls between courses

The menfolk trying to master the secret potato recipe.

My family (minus me)

We have so much to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

More Turkey Week

It has been a fun week so far.  Plenty of family time.  A lot of talking about being thankful and what Thanksgiving means.
 The girls have been very into cooking lately.  Maybe because I've been cooking more or because I'm getting a little better at letting them "help." New Fish especially loves to be in charge of stirring.
 Two Fish took this picture as proof that the girls take after him and share his love of technology (and android.)  They are doing puzzles and mazes on his tablet and phone.  It's disturbing how well they can use all things electronic on their own.  We had to put a stop to Red Fish downloading her own apps.
We made turkeys out of foam shapes, feathers, colored sticks, sequins and a ball of salt dough.

The girls are pretty pleased with them.

What a lucky Mom and Wife I am. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mimi Fish

 When I was a little kid, Mimi always bought us fish.  Today she took the girls to get their own little fish.  My Mom had saved my fishbowl so we were all set.  Red Fish declared the fish section of the local pet store "practically a whole ocean!"
We ended up with two guppies.  These little fish have been watched over for hours.  Both girls have sat in front of them and "checked" on them repeatedly.  Red Fish named hers "Dora Diego" and New Fish named hers "Rella, Ariel, Belle, Froggy Princess, Buzz, Woody."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Red Fish's School Picture

Monday, November 21, 2011

Turkey Week

New Fish

Red Fish
 We attempted to make cornicopias out of salt dough today.  I think they turned out pretty great.  I made one along with the girls.  We may have to try some sculptures where they follow along with me in the future.  It worked out really well.  We rolled out big snakes and then coiled them up to make the cornicopia and then made little pieces of food to go inside.  Red Fish's has a popsicle, a squash, a loaf of bread, an apple, a banana, and an orange. 
I made these little felt turkies based on this.  The girls and I have been using them to play games, sing turkey songs and tell stories.  We spent an hour today making up stories about how the turkey got his rainbow feathers as we put them on and off.   The girls have come up with some pretty crazy adventures for our turkey friends.

Five Little Turkeys

Five little turkeys standing at the door,
One waddled off, and then there were four.

Four little turkeys sitting near a tree,
One waddled off, and then there were three.

Three little turkeys with nothing to do,
One waddled off, and then there were two.

Two little turkeys in the morning sun,
One waddled off, and then there was one.

One little turkey better run away,
For soon it will be Thanksgiving Day. 

Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater

Peter, Peter pumpkin eater,
Had a wife but couldn't keep her,
Put her in a pumpkin shell,
And there he kept her, very well.

I'm a Little Pumpkin

 tune of "I'm a Little Teapot"

I'm a little pumpkin
Orange and round.

Here is my stem,
I grew in the ground.

When I get all cut up,
Don't you shout!

Just open me up
And scoop me out!

Mr. Pumpkin

tune of "Where is Thumbkin"
Mr. Pumpkin,
Mr. Pumpkin,

Round and fat.
Round and fat.

Harvest time is coming.
Harvest time is coming.

Yum, yum, yum.
That is that!

Albuquerque Turkey

Tune of "Darling Clementine"
Albuquerque is a turkey
And he's feathered and he's fine
And he wobbles and he gobbles
and he's absolutely mine.

He's the best pet that you can get..
Better than a dog or cat.
He's my Albuquerque turkey
And I'm awfully proud of that.

He once told me, very frankly
He preferred to be my pet,
Not the main course at my dinner,
And I told him not to fret.

And my Albuquerque turkey
Is so happy in his bed,
'Cause for our Thanksgiving dinner...
We had egg foo yong instead.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

East Of Eden by John Steinbeck

To really love a book, I don't even have to like the story. I just have to really love the language and the writing style.  I can get entirely lost in that.  That is how I feel about this book.  I adored the descriptions of the countryside.  The small quotes about the inner workings of the characters. East of Eden is not the most interesting story I've ever read.  The parallels with the story of Cain and Able were a little too drawn out and I wasn't overly attached to any of the characters.  The language is so beautiful, the writing so rich that I don't care about any of those other things.  It is simply beautiful.  The story could have been about absolutely anything and I would have loved it.  It was my least favorite of Steinbeck's stories and my favorite of his books.  I loved reading it and would recommend it to anyone.  A fabulous book.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tradition & Motherhood

I've been feeling odd this week.  I tried to make a new list to replace my 30 before 30 list and I felt stuck. I had been excited to make it so being stuck shocked me.  I'm not sure who I am as an individual now that I'm in my thirties.  It was easy to make the goal list for the twenties.  Graduating from college, getting married, starting a family, starting a career, buy a house etc. The big goals and milestones were mapped out for years.  It suddenly occurred to me that I have the foggiest idea of what the big decisions of the thirties are supposed to be for me. I can think of traveling I want to do, things that would be fun but I feel lost as to what the big framework of my goals should be.  It has thrown me for a big of a loop and put me into a bit of a funk. No- I'm not upset by being thirty.  I'm not feeling old- I don't think life actually stops at thirty.  I don't need advice on how I'm still a youngster with my whole life ahead of me.  I get that.  I'm feeling temporarily lost though. I love having goals for myself as a mother but I also need to figure out some goals outside of motherhood.  I'm working on it.

Trying to separate myself from motherhood and the goals I have for my children is feeling impossible. 
 So I'll concentrating on what I do know for a bit.  I have a lot of small goals for the day to day motherhood. I have traditions I'm trying to create.  A life I'm trying to establish for my kids.  So many things I want to be for them.  So many things I want to create for my children.

My Mom and I often talk about how motherhood is a little bit different for every good mom.  There are just certain things that each Mom feels like they need to do for their kids to be a good mom.  Sometimes they are terribly inconvenient and make life a little more difficult, but it doesn't matter because doing them is what motherhood is about.  I think these special, above and beyond items vary with each mother's skill set.  For example, my Mom cooked up a real breakfast almost every school day.  She got up early to spend time with us before early morning seminary and school.  That was one of the many great things she did for us.
The current scene of choice at our house.  Hiding out someplace in a fort with a pile of library books.  I love it!

I think that because Two Fish and I had those extra years of wanting kids, but not quite getting them into our family, I have spent A LOT of time thinking about what is important to me as a parent. I asked all of the parents I loved most what they thought was the most important thing they had learned about parenthood.  I read parenting books.  I'm still always hitting the awesome Moms I know up for more advice.  In typical me fashion, I made lists of things made before I became a mother.  Obviously, my list is changing as I figure this whole mothering thing out.  As my kids change, my priorities change.  It's all a learning process.  I just hope that I'm headed in the right direction.

One of the things that I often ponder is how to bring traditions into my family.  Tradition seems like one of the most important long-term bonding tools of a family.  It has become one of my top priorities.  I'm not just talking about the Holiday traditions (which I think are very important) but the day to day routine traditions.  The little things that define our relationships and become memories that stick.

Reading.  My kids get read to every single day.  Usually we do most of our reading at night but lately we have been reading a lot during the day as well.  Our bedtime routine pretty much revolves around reading books, snuggling and singing songs.

The Outdoors- I want my kids to love the outdoors.  I want them to play outside and not sit in front of the tv.  I find peace and solace and strength in the outdoors.  We go camping several times a year.  We have spent a lot of time at my parent's cabin.  We spend our afternoons outside riding bikes and we've been to the park dozens of times this summer. We just spend a lot of time outside. Somehow swimming has become a huge part of our routine.  We swam at my parent's house all summer.  We go to swimming lessons every week now.  I'm kind of surprised (but happy) at what a big deal it has become for us.  My kids are fish.  They love the water.  I love the water, so it works.

Imagination and Playtime- I think playtime and imaginary play are so important for kids.  I've really loved seeing their imaginations develop in the past year.  Red Fish has especially become more imaginative recently.  She ropes New Fish into games all day long.  I have a difficult time keeping track of who they are on any given day.  They demand to be called by character.  They could be a rainbow dolphin, a cat, Go Diego Go,  my mom etc.  Giving them time to play together is an important part of our routine.

Family-  We go to a lot of family events. We talk to our family a lot.  I try to make sure the girls know that family is extremely important to us.  I try to make sure they get plenty of time with Two Fish, I and their grandparents.
One of the many coloful paintings Red Fish makes on a weekly basis.
Art-Three years ago, I made a goal to do art projects with Red Fish on a regular basis.  She loved doing small art projects and I really wanted to throw myself into the mess of it all and embrace it.  Thus far, I think it's going great.  Obviously, from my blog posts, doing art with my kids is something I am proud of as a Mom.  Doing art projects with my kids fits in well with my skill set.  It's the easy part of mothering for me.  There is something so therapeutic and great about being able to create with them.  In fact, I think that watching them do projects and taking the time to paint and draw with them has inspired me in my work as a graphic designer, immensely.  Staying inspired is always a struggle and I have have blasted through more work the last couple of years than I would have thought possibly, in a large part due to the creations the girls make.

Music- I debate the best way to bring music into my children's lives on a daily basis.  We've mostly been concentrating on developing a love of music.  We've been going to concerts on a regular basis.  We went to see Doo's jazz band this week and it was AWESOME.  We sing all day long.  We listen to nursery ryhmes and kids music in the car everyplace we go (even though it starts to drive me insane.)  I'm trying to find time to fit in more music time where we sit down and learn new songs.  I think I might unleash my lamination addiction on song props soon.

Gospel- We are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  The gospel shapes and informs our daily lives.  Trying to develop a rhythm and focus for teaching my kids about their Creator is something I am continually working on.  We've gotten pretty good at having a weekly gospel lesson on Monday nights.  (Family home evening) We read scriptures before bed.  We try and remember to pray often together. We go to church together on Sundays, even when it's hard.  It's the little day to day things that we are working on. I've been working like a mad woman to make a set of durable gospel lessons with laminated visual aids, games, etc.  Something I can use for a long time.  I have 85 lessons made.  It was a huge project I've been working on for two years.  I'm pretty pleased with them.  It might deserve it's own post later.

Educational- Our approach to educational stuff is pretty relaxed around here.  Red Fish developed a strong love for flashcards early on I think because of all of her speech practice.  She loves to be quizzed on new topics.  It kind of cracks me up.  She has been teaching herself to read recently.  We have a pile of like 50 file folder games.  My girls are ADDICTED to puzzles. I spent hours doing puzzles with them today and I swear they never get tired of them.  We also have a computer program called Rusty & Rosy that Red Fish plays.  She loves it and it has ton her a lot.   I don't feel a lot of pressure to formally educate them because I like to concentrate on developing their imaginations etc. but they are always pushing me to teach them more.

So right now life revolves around fitting these things into a daily routine.  A sense of tradition.

Frosty Paintings

New Fish

Red Fish
Things have been rather chilly around here so we did our first wintery project.  Oil pastel resists with blues, silver and white liquid watercolors.  Then we sprinkled salt on them to create snowflakes.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Monday, November 14, 2011


Smooching on her baby cousin
Birthday girls- One Fish, Red Fish & M.E.
I had a nice birthday.  Someone hacked my blog and Facebook and got people to write some really nice memories.  Pretty sneaky.  Two Fish and some friends took me to dinner and my family had a party for the November birthdays. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

One Fish

One Fish's blog has been hijacked.  She is 30 today.  Please leave a comment with your favorite memory with her or just write something you really like about her.  If you are just a random blogstalker- feel free to join in and comment anyway.

First Slumber Party

 I've decided to have friend birthday parties every other year for the girls.  Red Fish decided she wanted to have a slumber party with her cousin RiRi this year.  I was a little nervous since we have never done a sleepover before but it went perfectly.  The girls had an absolute blast and they slept just fine together snuggled up in Red Fish's bed.  We picked RiRi up yesterday afternoon and the girls chatted the whole way home in the car.  We had pizza and cookies for dinner.
 We painted the girls' finger nails in rainbows.
 They played dress up and house and had a tea party together.  They watched a couple of episodes of Red Fish's new favorite show Sean The Sheep (Thanks for the suggestions LovelyN.)  They were in bed by 9:30 and the whispering stopped just after 10:00pm.  Much better than I expected!
They had so much fun just spending time the three of them.  I loved watching how well they get a long and seeing how much they love eachother!  Cousins are the best.  We will definitely plan another slumber party in the future!