first day of school: photo edition

mom, the sun is way too bright!

sister picture before getting on le bus.

holy cow! she survived the bus ride and is still smiling.
 walking with cousin ari to the kindergarten yard
adria, lucy and landon.  lucy and landon are 10 days apart. we have the best picture of these two at about 1 1/2 weeks old, respectively. i can't believe they are in kindergarten now.

why not take all of me?

the weekend was a success in every sense of the word.

did we paint the hallway? why yes, yes we did.
did i look like a complete goob posing for the camera? yes, yes, yes.
 did we go all out and order pizza and then laugh at how they spelled annie? right again.
i love the dot dot dot dot,  Anie?
did i go here with the messer cousins?

to listen to this man sing?  righty-o!
oh man, aus was right. his voice is like honey butter on hot out of the oven bread. mmmmm.
feelin the love
moi-dawg, mads-dawg, aus-dawg
did abby play with all of the marbles for 3 hours sunday morning?  correct.

did we have a back to school dinner for lucy? of course!
the menu: butterfly noodles with white sauce, carrots and homemade apple pie.
she was very proud to get the red plate.
was phoebe a complete stink at church and then act like this when home afterwards? absolutamente.

and for all of you ladies that missed the michael buble concert, please be advised: it was probably for your own good. as of now i'm ready to pack up and leave my life to bear all of his crooning children.

yes, he's THAT GOOD.

still don't believe me? read more about it here.


on a weekend

 tada! here is the new blog design. what do you think? is it me? lauren at designblogs was so awesome and patient, i am so indecisive i can't even choose a good metaphor for how indecisive i am. so do you like? not like? obviously i did this for all of you.

we really limit the girls' tv and internet time. and i mean really. what? you didn't know i was the natzi mom? well then get down and give me 20.  honestly though, the only website they know about is this one. but just in case they wander (because we know they'll figure it out someday) we installed this filter. does anyone else have security programs on their computer? apparently it can turn off the computer after too much internet time. i would love to cut ty's ebay searches of "jose conseco rookie card" down to 5 minutes. bwahahahahahaha.

we received lucy's bus schedule in the mail this week. no one is sad about her going to kindergarten this year. we are ALL very excited about this fact. i figured it would be just like preschool right? 2 hrs, bahdabing badahboom. but then i realized she'll be gone 5 hours every morning with the commute. what??  ok, now i might be a little sad. but maybe not, she's been bugging me all morning. probably because i'm on the computer.

recently i had a wonderful dream visiting an old friend who has passed on. it was very special. i hope i can articulate it into words as to share it with all of you soon.

i have grand plans for scrubbing the bathrooms and floors today, followed with a trip to the elementary school, again, for lucy.

my mom handed me down some FABULOUS alligator pumps from my grandma. they are getting repaired and picked up today. expect great photos to follow.

a halloween costume catalog arrived in the mail yesterday. i might just be a teensy bit excited for fall. just a smidge. he he.

here's to an awesome weekend!


and then she was 11 months

if i run into you you're going to have to listen to me yack about how phoebe is 11 months old already. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? i pretty much talk to everyone about it. ty, the girls, family, friends, the UPS man, strangers in the store. "how old is your baby?" they ask. to which i reply, "11 months old. can you believe it?" and even the UPS man feels badly for me that i don't have a baby anymore. i can't shop in the target section of "Just One Year" anymore either. not that i buy clothes for phoebe in the first place, but really? who thought up that campaign? i'm pretty sure it's sent millions of mother into a depression with just the title.

whenever i have asked this question over the years "can you believe ____ is ____old already?", ty always responds in the same way, "yes." that's it. no empathy. no gasps of bewilderment. i always act like i've been robbed, "when did she get so old?!"  "did you know next MONTH is her BIRTHDAY?"  "what happened to this year?" and i wander around the house feeling sorry for myself because my baby is growing up without my permission at all.

but grow up they do, and will, for forever.  as of late, phoebe is crawling. real, legitimate, tummyofftheground crawling.  she was in an annoying "i can crawl but i'll whine so you pick me up phase" for a few weeks. which i gladly obliged to.  but the other day i was tired and told her, "you can do it, just move!" and left the room.  and much to my surprise, i hear a splashing sound 2 seconds later. she had crawled across the room to get elbow deep into dirty mop water. perfect.

with this newfound independence we are realizing a few things, 1. our house is not babyproofed. 2. we cannot leave construction materials around the ground, 3. i need to sweep and mop 2,000sq feet of tile EVERY DAY.  4. she wants to follow the girls everywhere and yells for them to slow down. it's hilarious.

*bill, are you noticing the right cheek wedgie action? man, that gene is strong.


we're kind of a big deal

i had been putting off reading all together this summer. i felt i was "too busy...too stressed...too hot" blah blah blah. all excuses. so i asked a good friend for help. "i need a good book pronto!" she handed me this one. it was fabulous and got me right back onto the reading train.

with a renewed vigor of reading, i figured august is a perfect month to read about this valley that is our home.  so i finally picked up our copy of this book that i have been meaning to read, for, oh, forever. i was not prepared for what i read.  i felt completely ashamed at my wailing and gnashing of teeth over this land. this sand. this heat.

this is what i needed to read. nothing endears you to a place or person as much as knowing them, knowing what they've been through. knowing their hard times and their good. a familiarity if you will. the early mormon missionary families sent here dealt with all the heat and sand and wind that i am, but had no homes, no shade, no water, and indians kifing all their stuff at night. one of my favorite parts of the book was a wife, writing home to her sister in Provo, Utah where they had just left:
"I expect you want to know what I think of this thorny country. There is the mesquite tree that we burn with briars sticking out in every direction; the bascrew, the flowers and seed of which are like a bench screw and they scratch; then the muscratch, if you get any of that on you, it sticks; then the devil's pin...The houses have little red ants so thick that they eat up the bedbugs...There are no fruit trees...there are no good houses here. I like the folks here though. They stay and make the best of it because they are sent...I expect the Lord will bless the land for our sakes. The folks in Provo don't know what hard work it is to live down here. When anybody works and you can see anything they have accomplished, it is encouraging....Respectfully yours, Martha Mills." (56)
and i knew before, but i guess i didn't really know, that the Muddy, Nevada Stake (now the Logandale, Nevada stake) was the first Stake established for our church west of Utah. like, ever.  it encompassed the virgin valley, moapa valley, las vegas valley, and other outlying areas. the families' stories of trials and endurance and faith from this stake are humbling to say in the least. and i'm very grateful for the heritage that is running through my children. and i'm proud that they will call this land their home. and i'm grateful for air conditioning, running water and modern day plumbing.

the end.


blogging at night is a dangerous thing

  1. abby stood in a piss ant pile this afternoon. while i soothed her quadzillion bites with running water in the bathroom sink she looked over at her pink princess toothpaste tube and sighed, "those princesses don't have ants on them. just pretty dresses and castles."  "i know, i know" i said.  her first comparison of her to princesses- that's a guaranteed lose/win scenario.
  2. we are at a loss for the girls' room. i have never succesfully taught my children how to clean. i might as well just give up now with all parenting techniques because i'm a failure. ty and i are ready to take ALL the toys away and have them work their way towards a new one every  week if they can keep the room clean.
  3. i have made some really great new recipes that i need to post on here. easy, tasty, healthy and the kids LOVE them. win, win, win, win.
  4. i'm hesitant to write about my life here in a small town. i'm worried i'll offend. i worry i'll exclude someone. so i'll just say this: i really like my new neighbors and ward. a lot a lot a lot.
  5. i forgot my nephew's birthday. completely. and c'mon, i have like 20 nephews and nieces but still, total space cadet over here.
  6. and last but not least, i have offically signed up to become a ZUMBA TEACHER on september 11th.  if you don't know what zumba is then crawl out from under your rock and look at this. yeah, that's right, i am so wearing a thong leotard with leggings and legwarmers. all i need is some LA Gear's with little push buttons on the tongue. swahheeetness. i've always wanted to teach group aerobics (seriously, remember that monkey aerobics teacher with the braid billy?). and teaching ballet classes right now doesn't jive with my motherhood job i've got going on over here. plus- you only get a minimal workout teaching ballet. so here i am! i feel funny "certifying" to teach it because i've taught ballet for years-and that's in french with pointe shoes. so i surely can shake my tushy to a little latin action right? right. i might just make a complete fool out of myself after all.  

so spread the word- Women's Zumba Classes (i probably can't legally say *women only* but really? i know those dudes aren't there for a workout.):

Thursday nights 8-9pm

email me if you want more info: anniecleavittatgmaildotcom


like water through my hands

and all of a sudden my baby is clapping and singing 
and obsessed with looking at herself just like her sisters.
you'd think we were the osmonds or something.


a few photos of august

ty fixed the sprinklers, and even in august-we have some GREEN. and i don't feel guilty about using water one tiny bit.

phoebe turns one next month. whaaaaaat?

the girls walking up the hill to great grandma's- all by themselves. sniff. sniff.

the girls were in charge of cleaning their room all by themselves for a week. this is the result. nice.

when i was little i used to dress up my cats. poor kitties, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. and yes, Pickles has on a dress AND a bib.


a tupperware virgin

after 4 years of higher education at a private university that starts with a B and ends with a U, i learned  a very important fact.
"you don't know what you don't know."
and yes, i know dad, you're reading this thinking, "i always told you that!" and i listened, but it took all those years of classes to let it sink in: "holy crap! i never knew how much i didn't know!" and i never will. seriously, wrap your head around that for a second. you DON'T know what you DON'T KNOW. take a minute for your head to stop spinning so you can read on.

so college has been over for 6 years. i have kids. i have a house i attempt to run like a CEO, CFO, concierge, cleaning lady, chauffeur, secretary, and whatever other people that sound important. and i KNOW that i'm not a born organizer. cleaning and keeping things straight does not come naturally to me. throwing a party for 100 people or making up silly songs with impromptu lyrical dance moves? sign me up!  but storing things in containers and organizing the lids? can you say rocket science?

so my friend/relative/neighbor jessica (is that what we call each other jess?) invited me to a tupperware party.  mainly i just went because 1. i've never been invited to a tupperware party before. lia sophia. check. modbe? check.  scentsy candles? double check. but tupperware? hooboy! 2. i wanted to meet some new friends. yes, even in a small town i'd like to get to meet new people. so i threw on a little makeup, did NOT do my hair, (that's what sunglasses are for-my summer headband) and ran out the door. i yelled to ty on my way out, i am SO june cleaver!

i arrive at the party-where i talked incessantly and embarrassed jessica for ever inviting me to something with people other than family. but i learned that i have NEVER OWNED A PIECE OF TUPPERWARE. did i know this before? NO! i thought what i had was "tupperware". holy biscuits was i wrong. i leaned over to jessica and lauren and said, "I think i'm a tupperware virgin!" lauren said, "I know! me too!"  who knew? it's really just shocking. i've owned rubbermaids, and cool whip containers, and my mom's hand me downs with lids that don't lock and these awesome snapwares that my sister in law meg bought me for last christmas, or two christmas' ago? i can't remember. but they have been my best ones yet. but get this? they break if you drop them from high heights. i know right? what the crap is up with that?

so this real legit TUPPERWARE stuff? lifetime guarantee. yes, you heard me right. LIFETIME GUARANTEE. i almost peed my pants in excitement. sure, it's pricier than anything else, but lifetime guarantee people!  can you say SO EXCITED? holy cow, i think i'm turning into dooce with my overuse of caps. i realized that i never knew what TUPPERWARE is and what it does. keep you food fresh? check. break if dropped from high heights? homey don't play that. it was like tupperware was meant for clutzy women like me trying to turn into organized housewifes.

sososososo- i'm excited to purchase some real tupperware and try those suckers out. i mean, i've finally arrived in housewifery. real tupperware. what's next? a hose holder that looks like an urn? yes please!

*this was not intended for sarcasm. i seriously want to get my hands on this stuff.  and how.


seen and heard

these are from our abigal:

"i am a child not of God!" "i am a Child of God not!"  sing songing in her room.

whilst bouncing in phoebe's crib with her:  "NUCLEAR WASTE! NUCLEAR WASTE! NUHUHUHUHUHUCLEAR WAAAASTE!" 

"uh, this is SO boooring" and rolled her eyes. congratulations!  you've just won a 3 min trip to time out!

"mom! i am just SO tarving! (starving)

"dad! those straws are from when mom got us spicy ice cream!" (slurpees)


top 10 reasons it stinks when your child can read

10. you can't spell out secrets to the husband anymore.
9. they can read your emails while you are writing them. not always a good idea.
8. they finish the library books in 2 days, instead of 2 weeks. ensue boredom whines.
7. they become back street drivers "mom, that said SLOW!"
6. when their friends come over they read outloud on their bed instead of playing. welcome to nerdville.
5. they read sayings on shirts outloud at the grocery store. not such a great idea in a small town.
4. they read greeting cards outloud at the grocery store. again, not such a great idea...ever.
3. they realize when you skip words, or entire paragraphs, in books.
2. they think they are know it alls- well, even more so then before.

and the first, and top reason it stinks when your child can read
(especially billboards in las vegas, nv): "mom, what's an adult superstore?"
i explained that it's where there are only mom books with no pictures. oh how i wish that were the truth.


pit pit pat...BOOM!

since we moved into our home ty and i have had a little running joke about the rain.  every once in a while i'll tell the girls, "once upon a time there was a magical land where it never rained...THE END." hahahaha. and then they get these confused looks on their faces and say "my mother is crazy!" and walk away.

but seriously, no rain. when i drove ty home from the airport is was raining and thundering and oh so smoldering romanticky ( i just made that word up). it was flooding in moapa, and sprinkling deliciously in bunkerville, so we thought "let's hurry home and enjoy the rain."  nope! nada. it didn't rain ONE DROP.

but it has made up for it these last two days.  saturday night it thundered and lightninged like a champ. it was shaking the entire house with its gusts of wind and buckets of rain when i was up with phoebe.   luckily, we have late afternoon church on sunday so the girls just ate up the chance to wear their rain boots. and wear them they did.

puddle jumper

lucy pointing to her mud pies
daddy and phoebe. this is her new scrunchie smile and old man combover hairdo.

i loved that our boots actually served their purpose today. good job boots!
when it rains here- i don't know how to explain it. it is unlike any rain i've ever seen. sometimes the clouds are dark and bulky and oh so ominous looking- but they part in the middle- glide right over our little valley- reunite and proceed to dump on the desert behind us. and if it DOES rain here, well look out.

hark! are those pitter pats of rain you think? you walk outside to the sound.you reach your hand past the eaves of the roof, and yes! it's rain! wet arm hairs, wet arm, wet hand! wait a minute...golf ball sized hail! ouch! ouch! reach in hand just to witness a clap of thunder paired with a cloud burst. and i mean burst. like, KAPOWIE! the same effect as having your water broke by an all too eager ob. just...GUSH all over the place. all, all, all over. and 5 minutes later- clear skies and sunshine. the ground is demolished by the water. puddles all over and broken tree limbs and leaves stuck against the windows from the horizontal rain. yes, horizontal rain. but even with all the carnage these summer storms leave behind- the smell makes up for it threefold. no, tenfold. ok, onehundredfold.  sweet, sweet sagey, rustic, rain smell.


seen and heard the first week of august

{during abby's timeout}:  i DON'T LIKE YOU!!! i'm going to go live at another house for forever!

lucy: mom, can i have an otter pop?
me: no, not right now
lucy: well, then can i have something else that's sugary right now?

"t" -light
"kkkkkk" - kitty

she has a stellar vocabulary already.

me: i don't care what we watch, you can pick something out and put it in.
ty: i don't care either, you can pick.
me: no, just put something in.
ty: i told you i don't care. go ahead.
ty gets up and puts in a movie
me: now was that so hard?
ty gives me a stink eye. we only watch 15 minutes of the movie and go to bed early. awesome.

lucy: mom, it's going to be so nice to live here when it's not so hot outside.
me: mmmhmmm.


my better half

ty is finally back from the northwest territories in canada.  apparently, it's not normal to be stuck in airports from monday to friday unable to get home. but we survived, and it made the reunion that much more sweet.  he had a beautiful sightseeing, hunting trip and i keep kicking him for not taking MORE pictures of that place. from the amount of planes and planes and planes they had to take to get there, it truly was in the middle of nowhere.
here's one from the plane
rod and his horse

momma grizzly and her twins

look! it's rudolph!

attn: peta members: don't look below. really, don't.

ty and his dad with their sheep.
and yes, i'm wondering when people first took pictures with their dead animal carcass' also.

i learned more than a few things about his recent trip:

1. 17 days is a looooong time to be away from each other. our record so far but i know it's chump change to some couples.

2. i am more independent than i ever thought i was before. kind of like men at work song,
"Nobody's gonna slow me down...Oh no, I've got to keep on moving". we just did and did and did and never looked back. then all of a sudden he was home, and i immediately felt exhausted. EXHAUSTED.  guess who slept in sunday morning while the kids were fed and entertained? moi!

3. the girls and i are the 4 musketeers. we really get along well, and it's fun to see them learn and try new things.  like petting baby rainbow trout. and eating 4 smores in a row (abby) and then staying up till midnight with a sore tummy.

4. i need a vacation now with my sisters. we've talked a lot about brazil. or panama. or both. i mean, isn't that legit? ty gets a mancation so i should get one too? oh, i wish life truly were that fair.
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