Sunday, December 16, 2012


This weekend, Ryan, Jaylinne, and I stayed at The Cliffs Lodge up at Brighton Ski Resort with some of our friends. Two of our friends couldn't come up with us, and I found myself wishing they were there with us. However, upon our arrival home, I realized they had been hard at work while we were away! Jaylinne came home to this waiting for her:

For a couple years now, I have been hearing about a Christmas tradition called, "Elf on a shelf." I had no idea what the concept was, I just kept seeing pictures of a stuffed elf hidden in crazy places around the house. Well, in a nutshell, Santa sends his "helpers" to watch over the little boys and girls when they are at home, and then report back to The Boss each night while the children are in bed. Then every morning, they are in a new place within the house, to do it all over again. Each child names their elf, and it's a fun incentive to help them to remember to be good! Just one rule: don't touch the elf, otherwise they lose their power.

Jaylinne wasn't familiar with the concept either, so the first thing we did was read the note, then the book. When it came time to name the elf, I was excited. My mom's cat, who's named Runt, Jaylinne lovingly refers to as: Serafina Angelina Renae Fluffy-pie. She didn't get that extravagant this time though, and she decided on the name Chippie. Well, once she found where Chippie was hiding, it wasn't even a half hour before she came and told us she broke the cardinal rule! She touched him! Naturally, this sent her into a frenzy. The tears were flowing because she made her elf lose its power, and worst of all: she had been bad. If she knows one thing at all, she knew Santa would not be happy with her. She told us to return her presents, cause Santa wasn't going to bring her any either. Once we got her to settle down a little bit, we explained to her that Chippie seemed like he was a reasonable enough guy, and if she apologized to him and asked for another chance, he would more than likely oblige :)

Of course Chippie was going to be back the next day, but bless her little heart she was worried! I wanted to make sure she knew she was forgiven and was not a member of the naughty club, so this is what we came up with:

The poem says:

Dear Jaylinne, 

I know you were afraid
I thought you were bad
I don't want you to worry
So please don't be sad!

You said you were sorry
Then a picture you drew
Was all that I needed
To come back to you!

You'll still see me each day
I'll watch what you do
Santa says if you're good
He'll bring presents to you!

Love, Chippie

Thank you Jen and Brandy! This is going to be fun :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Thank Goodness for Uncle Joel!

When I was a little girl, my parents sure had me fooled! To squash my curiosity about "grown-up drinks" (coffee, beer, soda, etc..) they would tell me that if I drank it, I would get hair on my chest. Naturally, I didn't believe them. However, being the clever little buggers they were, they were 2 steps ahead of me at all times, and executed their next move flawlessly! Whenever I would question getting a hairy dad would simply pull up his shirt.

GASP! Look at all that hair!?! I saw my Dad drink those drinks all the time, and low and behold, they DID cause hair growth! And my Mom, bless her heart, deserves a damn Academy Award! She, on occasion, would squeal that it was even putting hair on his belly! NOOOO! That was all she wrote. It worked, and I was defeated.

I never knew how clever that little trick would be until I had my own curious little one. Ryan and I found ourselves using that very same tactic to thwart Jaylinne's curiosity. One night about a year ago, maybe even longer, our friends Joel and Meggi came over to hang out. Joel heard Ryan tell Jaylinne about the growing of hair in unsightly places, in the event that she consumes a beverage that wasn't "kid friendly." Well, Joel took it and ran with it! She questioned him and he, without missing a beat, responded that it would put hair on her bottom! I never saw what true fear looked like until that day. She was a believer!

Well, tonight being Ryan's first night gone for his trip to London, we went down to my parents' house for dinner. Jaylinne had a little cup of Pepsi with her dinner, and we carried on about our business. After we finished dinner, we headed home. Jaylinne ran into her bedroom, changed into her pajamas and headed in to use the bathroom. After a few minutes, after not being able to hear so much as a peep out of her, I asked if everything was ok.

"Yes, mom!" she replied. So I waited for another couple minutes, and finally I hear: "Mom, I have something I need you to look at." I walked into the bathroom, and saw her sitting on the toilet, stone faced. I asked her what was wrong, and at this point she was almost in tears. She was able to choke out the words, "Was it the Pepsi?" And just then I realized what she was talking about! She had some dryer lint that apparently got stuck to her skin from her panties....and she just KNEW it was the Pepsi's fault and she was growing hair on her bottom! I couldn't help but laugh! We both had tears streaming down our cheeks, but they were caused by very, very different reasons! Bless her heart, she was scared to death! And she was none too pleased that I got such a kick out of it ;) At least now we know that everything Uncle Joel tells her is as good as gospel!

Diabolical! He'll never see it coming...

Today Ryan left for his trip to England to play a show. Him, Joel and Rob were asked by their friend, Sky, to be substitutes for his usual band members that couldn't make the trip with him. The band they are playing with is called Oh No Not Stereo, and they are also playing as Joel Pack and The Pops while they are there. Since Jaylinne was a little nervous about her daddy being gone for 10 days, last night she hatched a plan to get him to stay. If this isn't the most clever plan ever dreamed up, I don't know what is! :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Heavy Hearts...

  I feel like every time I read the news, I am left feeling...well, genuinely sad 
about the world we live in. Everyday, there are nothing but endless stories 
filled with pain and sorrow. I, for one, am tired of it. It's truly a sad day 
when you are ashamed to be a part of society. When did this happen? How did this 
happen? And more importantly, have we been on a steady downward spiral for God 
knows how long and I've been too blind to notice? 
 Here is a picture of yours truly at the ripe old age of 14. When I look at this 
picture, I recall my years as a leopard at Lakeridge Junior High School. A time 
when my biggest concern in life was forgetting my gym shoes and having to wear 
mismatched, size 9 beauties that called the lost and found home. I had my whole 
life ahead of me (and God willing, I still do!) Did I get made fun of? Sure! I 
mean, look at that hair! ;) Everyone, at one point or another, has been made fun 
of. Was I teased? You betcha. However...was I bullied? No. I am lucky enough to 
say that I wasn't. And for this I am grateful. I never experienced being afraid 
to go to school. I never experienced being torn down by my peers to the point 
that I actually started to believe the horrible things that were said about me. 

 Just as I believe that nearly everyone has been on the receiving end of teasing 
at some point in their lives, I also believe the majority of us have also taken 
part in doing the teasing as well. I will be the first to admit that I did my 
share of cracking jokes at others' expense, and making fun of my peers. But I 
don't feel as though I ever bullied. And for that I am also grateful. However, 
who's to say that in someone else's eyes I wasn't a "bully?" Who's to say that 
when I was laughing about something as trivial as someone's shoes, they weren't 
taking it to heart?  It starts with shoes, but could very well escalate to 
attacking their character. It's all about perception. Who was I to laugh at a 
pair of shoes?! I wore high tops that were older than I was, and about 6 sizes 
too big for crying out loud! My point being, that as innocent as it may be, 
teasing and poking fun can do more damage than we can ever dream.

 Having a child growing up in this day and age scares the hell out of me. Kids 
are cruel, to say the least. I just can't decide if kids really are just getting 
more mean and more hateful with every passing year, or if it's just thrown into 
the public eye more via social media outlets. Either way, it haunts me to my 
very core.  Naturally, I want to protect my daughter from...well, everything. 
However, realistically, I know that's not something I am going to be able to do. 
In reality, the only thing I'm able to do is teach her love, respect, and 
acceptance. How do I do that you ask? That's a great question! The answer is: To 
lead her by example. 

Bullies become bullies for a reason. We aren't always aware of the situation 
these kids are exposed to at home, therefore we cannot continue to think they 
just came into this world as rotten little people.  It is my opinion that if we  
exude nothing but love and acceptance to our children, they will do the same.  
Monkey see monkey do, if you will. 

It has been a sad weekend in Utah. The reason behind this rant is a 14 year old 
boy named David Phan. Like many other kids, David was bullied at school. The 
taunting and teasing became too much for him, and tragically, he chose to take 
his own life. Could David's family prevent the bullying from taking place? No, I 
don't think they could have. However, I firmly believe that if David's family was 
aware of the trouble he was experiencing, they could've changed his opinion of 
himself. To value his own self worth. I am experiencing so much sorrow for this 
family, and for so many other families that have had this happen to them.

 It is time for a change. It is time for us, society as a whole, to step up and 
do what is right. There can't be a change until we make that change. Tonight, I 
started doing something with Jaylinne that I am going to continue to do. I sat 
her in front of a mirror (actually, it was my iPhone camera with the lens facing 
us) and named 5 things I love about her. In turn, I also asked her to name 5 
things she loves and values about herself. Consequently, my five year old now 
thinks her mom is completely nuts :) I can't change the way other people view 
her, but I can change the way she views herself. I hope she never feels in her 
heart the sorrow and pain that so many other kids feel each day. 

To those kids I say: It gets better! School is such a small, insignificant part 
of your life. You ARE loved, and you ARE valued. Don't let anyone ever make you 
feel like you are anything less than amazing.  Please talk to someone! There ARE 
people who care about you, and you don't have to go through this alone.

                                                            Photo Credit: Salt Lake Tribune                                               Rest in peace, David. I hope that you have found the peace in your heart you were searching for. I am devastated for your family, and am so sorry for their loss. May your death not be in vain, and this tragic event open the eyes of people all around the world. You will be missed.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Jaylinne at Ballet

Second from left
Second from left
Second from left

Today's The Day!

Jaylinne has made friends with a little girl in her class named Brooke. In October, it was Brooke's birthday and she invited Jaylinne to her birthday party. Since then, they have become quite the best of friends! Each day when I drop Jaylinne off for school, after a few minutes I hear nothing but squeals and shrieks as Jaylinne and Brooke see eachother. From the way they carried on, you'd think they hadn't seen each other in years!

The week before Thanksgiving, the girls had their first playdate over at Brooke's house. Jaylinne had a blast! Ever since, she has been begging for Brooke to come to our house to play. After coordinating schedules with Brooke's Momma, we decided today was the day! Jaylinne was so excited she could hardly stand it!

I picked the girls up from school and brought them home, and after a quick snack, it was time to let the games begin! Crackers and cheese: the meal of champions!

After they were gassed up and had full tummies, the next order of business was: Operation Dress Up! Jaylinne was Rapunzel at her wedding, and Brooke was Merida from Brave. What a couple of cutie pies!

I was worried they would be bored when they got here, as we don't have a ton of extra space. Then, I remembered being at a friend's house when I was about 6 or 7 (I'd guess), her name was Kim Gardner. Her mom let us "design" our own t-shirts with puffy fabric paint. PUFFY FABRIC PAINT?! Kim's mother was a genius! As I look back on my childhood, not a whole lot of playdates stand out, but I'll tell you one thing: you can bet your bottom I will always remember the puffy paint! So I picked up a few aprons for kids at the craft store, along with some paint so they could spruce them up a little :)


Jaylinne sure had a blast and I am so glad she found such a cute girl to be friends with!They had a good time, and ended up with a cute apron each :) Brooke's is on the left and Jaylinne's is on the right. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Long Lost Videos from Disneyland

In June, we took Jaylinne and my nephew, Dylan, to Disneyland for her fifth birthday. Grandma and Grandpa also came, and it was a party! We took quite a few videos when we were there, and we are just now getting around to posting them! We left early in the morning on the 17th and drove there, so on her birthday, which is the 18th, Jaylinne was a little bit grumpy ;)

*HaPpY HaLLoWeEn*

Jaylinne finally dressed up as Alice! I am not sure why, but ever since she was born I have wanted her to be Alice for Halloween! I figured since she finally understands it is "Alice in Wonderland" and not "Allison Wonderland" this would be her year. Her costume turned out to be a lot cuter than I was expecting!

Rather than wear tights, we opted for the knee socks option. It was 72 degrees outside, so we figured why not! Her shoes even had little heels on them! HEELS?! FANCY! I'm thinking that's what swayed her decision to dress up as Alice in the first place ;)

Before Ryan and I met, he wasn't into dressing up. However, he has come a looong way! He knows that Halloween is my favorite holiday, so he goes out of his way to make it a big deal for Jaylinne and I :) I have to say, I am rather proud this year! Usually, I just pick out his costume and he wears it. This year, he put together almost the whole costume himself! Well done, Ryan, well done! Johnny Depp: take notes.

I asked for his best "Mad Hatter Poses" and this is what I got!

I don't have a leg to stand on though, because in my head, these poses scream, "Queen of hearts!!"

As soon as J woke up, she was ready for Halloween! I was no longer "Mom," I was, "Queen of Hearts." At her school, they were doing a parade through all the classrooms, and a party in her own classroom afterwards. Her teacher was asking for volunteers to come in and help. A party?! On Halloween?! Count me in, teach! Jaylinne didn't know I was going to dress up for the party, so she was pretty excited when she saw the Queen of Hearts at her very own school! Brandy was able to get a picture of the look on her face when she saw me :)

This is one of her friends from school named Aliyah. What a couple of cuties! :)
At the party, we were in charge of bowling. The pins were just liter bottles of water with glow sticks in them. What a cute idea! It was more work than i was expecting, so I was very thankful for Kyler's mom and Brandy there to help out too!

After the festivities at school, and dinner at home, it was time for trick or treating! Our first stop was Grandpa Milt and Grandma Kathleen's house. Jaylinne was so excited to go see them! They said it was a slow night for them, and that they only had about 25 trick or treaters so far. That made me laugh, because at my mom and dad's house, they get maybe one....on a busy night ;)

Then it was time for the whole family to get together! Here is my mom (Raggedy Ann), and dad (creepy skeleton), with the grand kids.

The Wildberries!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Last Friday was Jaylinne's first class field trip, and I was lucky enough to be able to go along! Being that it was almost Halloween, the class got to go to Pumpkinland, which is just down the road from her school. Growing up just down the street from Pumpkinland, I was very familiar with it. I used to LOVE it when I was a kid! Let's be honest, I still do ;) Every month out of the year besides October, Pumpkinland is known as the Vineyard Garden Center. It's a greenhouse that has been WELL taken care of over the years. However, when October rolls around each year, it turns into a hotspot of halloween activities! Having known about the field trip for what seems like an eternity, Jaylinne was more than ready to go Friday afternoon!

 Once we got to school, I was assigned my group: Jaylinne, Kyler, and Aiden. I won't lie, I was a little intimidated, as I only have one child. Having to be responsible for 3 children was...well...three times as hard! However, I was familiar with all of the kids in her class, and I knew they are all very well behaved, so the nervousness disappeared fairly quickly!

Kyler, Jaylinne, and Aiden
 Because Pumpkinland was so close to the school, everyone was just walking there. You have to cross Geneva Road, therefore we were all holding hands. Kyler seemed to be the shy one of the group. He turned a bright shade of red when he learned he had to hold my hand. The horror! Aiden made it very clear he didn't want to hold Kyler's hand, or my hand...however, he had no qualms with scooping up Jaylinne's hand ;) So off we went...

L to R: Jaylinne, Andy, Aiden, Aliyah, Ashlyn, Lupita, Andrea, Brooke, Ryan, Mason, Sylvia, Kyler, Emma, Keisel, Landon, Marley, and Fabian.

L to R: Ryan, Brooke, Mason, Andy, Emma, Aiden, Jaylinne, Victoria, Lupita, Sylvia, Andrea, Ashlyn, Marley, Aliyah, Kyler, Fabian, Keisel, Landon
Upon Arrival, Ms. Rougeau had the kids get in a group for a couple of class pictures. I was so glad she did this! I was worrying how in the world I was going to get all these kids in the same place, at the same time, long enough to take a picture! They turned out pretty great!

After we snapped a few pictures, we separated into our groups and headed for the corn maze. It started off really well! Aiden even forgot that just minutes prior, he all but refused to hold Kyler's hand. So far so good for Mrs. Sanders! Along the way, Aiden loved finding ears of corn that had fallen from the stalk. He even found one he dubbed cool enough to bring home with him! I think he might have the "photography bug," he kept pointing out things he wanted me to take pictures of, then got a kick out of being able to look at them :)

Aiden showing off his corn. "My mom is going to cook this for me!!"

One of Aiden's requests :) This kid loves him some corn!

I decided it was Kyler's turn to take the lead, so we all followed him for a few minutes. As he was walking, I noticed he was singing ever-so-quietly. I let him continue, as I was trying to figure out what song he was singing, but I couldn't tell. After a few minutes I told him he was a good singer...and he blushed like I've never seen anyone blush before! I asked him who his favorite singer was, and his response was, "...Me." Priceless. Perfect answer! I hope that remains his answer throughout his lifetime :)

Kyler leading the way and singing his little heart out
Even though it was October, it was pretty hot outside. This corn maze was giving us a run for our money! Although it was lots of fun at the beginning, the kids were done. We each took turns leading the way, but every way we went seemed to be another dead end! Right about that time, I began to panic. This is my first field trip! I simply cannot get lost in this corn maze! I am ill-prepared, I don't have nearly enough supplies for a venture such as this! Oh my goodness, I'm going to have to send up smoke signals for Search and Rescue! But somehow, by the grace of God, we made it through the corn maze in one piece :)

After the corn maze, there is a place for taking pictures. Yes please! It was hot outside, the kids were dusty, and they just wanted to get to the playground. They were good sports and humored me :)

Finally, we made it to the playground. There was even a petting zoo with goats and bunnies! There were also ducks, peacocks, and chickens there, but apparently they don't like to be touched ;) There was a goat standing on platform, looking down at all the kids. Both Aiden and Kyler climbed on top of the playground, proclaiming to be "King of the mountain..."

This guy WAS NOT impressed. The kids just kept playing and looking at the animals... 

What I am dying to know is: Which one is Jimbo, which one is Jambo, and for the love of God, which one is Jon?!

I asked Tipsy, but her lips were sealed ;)    
At one point, Andy got his knee stuck between the wooden slats on the playground. His mom was there to help him out of that pickle with only minimal tears shed.

With all the running around the kids did, it was time for a snack!  All in all, I'd have to go out on a limb and say that besides a few hiccups, our first field trip was a success! And it only cost me one pinched nerve in my back :)