fruit sizes and a new year

happy new year!!!!

i am so excited for 2011.

we are so excited for 2011.

especially june 18th, 2011.

because i have an orange in my tummy. i mean, i'm expecting a baby. our 4th baby. four. four. four. four. four. that number keeps rolling around in my head. apparently it's the size of an orange. i don't know why they always refer to fruit for fetus size, maybe because it's gender neutral? or more fun than vegetables? i mean, who would want to know their baby is the size of a brussel sprout? not that ours is, it's way bigger than a measly brussel sprout. we're talking orange here people. an orange! i hope it doesn't look like an orange, but that's its size. and why can't they think up fun fruit to relate to, like kumquats and persimmons. "why, yes, my baby is as long as a plantain. thank you for asking."

seeing as it takes me a long time to get a "bump" we thought it would be fun to tell the family on christmas.  but i wanted to give up the week before. "let's just tell everyone ty. i'm tired of trying to hide it" i would moan after nothing in my closet would disguise my new "thickness".  but we did it, and now i don't have to wear my mom's flannel shirts all day long and jeggings. oh how jeggings and flannel shirts have saved my life these past 3 months. so the word is out, and now i don't have to wear huge jackets to teach aerobics in. and i guess that means i have to blog about it. even though i don't want to. i don't want to jinx anything.

because so far everything has been off the charts amazing. no pukeage (just regular morning sickness, totally bearable). no cramping. nada. it's been wonderful. too wonderful. ty keeps telling me to stop complaining that things are going so well. but isn't that natural to worry that things are going too well? am i the only one that does that?

our ultrasound is on the 24th and i'll be relieved when that's over. we are praying for a healthy baby, but then i think, i have 3 healthy, beautiful kids, who am i  to ask for another one? either way, we are excited.

* i wasn't going to post this until saturday, but accidentally already did for two seconds. blasted google reader.  SURPRISE!


this christmas

found out phoebe likes dark chocolate

and flushing all the toilet paper down the toilet

went crazy and made cookie plates for neighbors- i still have 7 on my washer to deliver. woops!

gingerbread houses with grandma curtis and aunt sarah

tried to convince our 15 month old that walking IS worth her time. 

made sugar cookies christmas eve for santa

had the house cleaned, ready and in bed by 11:30 for christmas eve.  11:30!!! my best time ever.

slept in our "fort" christmas eve under the light of our wonderful pink furry tree.

the aftermath
we had a wonderful time with loads and loads of family. 
the girls feel loved from every side.

and now we all (almost all of us)  have the stomach flu... again.
despite that, it was a great holiday indeed. the girls get more fun to watch every year.


seen and heard

while watching the nutcracker:

"ooooooh! look at those girls" - abby

"those are the snowflakes abby"- lucy

"i was a snowflake too" - me

"you were, weren't you!"... "can i be a snowflake someday?" - lucy

"sure. just keep practicing" - me (but deep down i dread if they really want to get serious)

"i don't want to be a snowflake"- abby

"you don't? who would you like to be?" - me

"i am going to be HER!"- said while she stands up and points at the main girl Clara.

that's my girl.

that's my girl.


folly jolly

photo copyrighted: i bought it from a sweet fundraiser here

all week long the girls have been singing christmas tunes. i especially love abby's interpretations of the lyrics. our favorite is, "deck! the halls with folly jolly! falalalalalalalala!"

this season has been wonderful and hard all at the same time. maybe that's what christmas is always like for parents? or real adults? i'm still trying to figure it out. like how do you balance out the true meaning of christmas and all the other hubub? how do you teach your kids to care more about giving then receiving? currently we are reading a scripture from luke and singing a hymn every night, but it doesn't seem to really be sinking in. i can't really blame them though. that santa thing is one big enchilada to little kiddies. lucy is POSITIVE she hears sleigh bells at night all the time.

ty and i watched While You Were Sleeping last night while I wrapped presents. it is so cute to hear him chuckle for an hour and a half straight. some of our favorite quotes we use are from that film.

i'm almost done wrapping as i'm taking a proactive approach to christmas this year. i have the habit of waiting to do everything last minute, strange no? and it makes me one crazy lady on the holidays. like staying up till 2am wrapping christmas eve? no bueno. so i'm consolidating, presents first. baking next (this is all in hopes of consuming less calories) and my dream is that christmas eve we just enjoy family and go to bed. voila! sounds so simple.

but when i went to bed last night i felt so light knowing that all those presents were wrapped and pretty and ready (not that there is a lot, but i'm a pretty crappy wrapper and it takes me forever to make it look nice, and i still slap on tape everywhere).  and it was like the light bulb went off. "duh! annie, if you do this every year you won't be so stressed out!"

i hope it works.


you missed a spot

sunday morning started off bright and early with abby barfing all over her bed. hooray for stomach flu during the holidays!  so the day included doing the church "shuffle": you go to this meeting, i go to that meeting. lots of laundry and trying to have a nice sunday dinner together.

while making dinner i kept running into "sweeping sam." the girls' play broom. sweeping sam is a handy toy, supposedly encouraging helping and cleaning. but he's the most annoying toy in the kitchen. i kept tripping over him where he proceeds to declare, "YOU MISSED A SPOT!"

"ah! someone get that thing out of here before i break it!" i stated in a nice loud voice.

like always, everyone automatically disapeared instead of granting my request. after a succesful dinner, bedtime, and clean-up of all the dishes. ty and i were exhausted, and he was hungry.

i decided to be nice and make him his favorite shake. i was tired, and tried cutting a corner and ended up tilting the lid off and blowing peanut butter chocolate protein shake all over my kitchen.  granted, it was only 8 o'clock at night, but to me it felt like midnight.

"you've got to be kidding me!" i yelled in utter desperation. and then spent the next 10 minutes wiping down cupboards, shelves, baseboard, walls and floor. like i hadn't done that already this morning. but wiping off shake is easier than puke. hands down.

i may or may not have been muttering under my breath on my hands and knees scrubbing and ty asks, "do you need help?"

"no, why would i need help?" i sarcastically blurted out. i was a little angry. just a tad. i mean, c'mon, i already scrubbed everything down and was almost done. so he walks in, bends over and bumps into sweeping sam. my arch nemesis, remember? and that blasted toy has the nerve to shout out, "YOU MISSED A SPOT!"


plans for le weekend

  • wrap every present i currently have tonight while either a) watching The Holiday or b) listening to General Conference. i know i need to pick b). but ty has a scout campout tonight so i really want to pick a.).
  • make my holiday baking festival plans on paper. what, when and who i'm baking for. if your lucky you might be on my list so prepare yourself for a caloric overload.
  • rest, rest, rest. i've had a cold for almost a week now. blech.
  • not kill my children. we're at DEFCON 1 over here with their "room cleaning situation" and i'm ready to throw bodies out the window.
  • get some furniture in our living room. since we've moved in our living room has had boxes, boxes and boxes still in it. but not anymore! its' cleaned out and ready for some great handmedown furniture. if you would like to donate, oh, rugs, lamps, armchairs, umbrella stands, coffee books, etc. anything to make our home cozy, feel free to drop it on by!
  • adjust my master christmas card list with addresses. did you move this year and got a card last yer? or would like a card this year? leave me your address or email it to me at anniecleavitt@gmaildotcom. if you would like to send us one of yours (which we'd love) our address is:

PO BOX 1395
our beautiful tree this year. minus four casualty ornaments that bit the dust.


around the house

 dude, our cats our so weird... but in a cool way. i found willy and wonka napping together in the tree house.
and of course, our dog eddie. this is him patiently trying to sit.
ty calls him edward. i call him eduardo. the girls call him "eddie the dirty dog", from one of our favorite kids books.
he loves us like we are the greatest people on earth and acts like he is the happiest dog on earth. he romps around the property like he's the man. his favorite thing to do, that is hilarious to watch, is run up onto the hill, wait for us to be looking, and then run down as fast as possible with his floppy ears flying behind him. he loves it.
and even though he chewed up one of our phone recievers and then ate my cell phone. (ty says it's my fault because i left both on the porch.) we still love him too.
the willow trees behind us are changing colors just beautifully. i think i'll be sad when they lose all their leaves though. seems like they are few months behind  no? that's the desert for you.


my silent date

we had the rare opportunity of going out on a date to the big "city" this past weekend. when i say, "city" i mean the town of mesquite about a 30 minute drive away.  ty had an errand to run so we made a night of it. we puttered our way through town looking at all the restaurants trying to decide on one. we don't eat out much and wanted to make it last.

"what do you want to eat?" ty asked me.

"i don't know. mexican? but you don't like mexican." i replied.

"what about chinese?"- he asked again (he already had mentioned chinese about four times)

"ok, chinese it is." i acquiesced.

as we pulled into the dark parking lot and walked past the rather large fountain out front i sighed a little. this was the same chinese restaurant that we went to when we dated in high school. does that seem weird? it didn't to me. we walked in shivering off the cold (unfortunately, 40* feels cold to me now) and the waiter ushered us to a small booth.

the same small booth we ate at our first time there. it took us a few minutes to notice this. and we laughed about that date and how i spilled an entire glass of water down my shirt. and as we sat down and discussed the menu and what to order, what not to order, what is too spicy, what is good (we haven't eaten there for years)  i just kind of smiled inside a little. here we were, 12 years later. 7 years of marriage. 3 moves. 3 kids. 2 college degrees. different goals. different wants and needs. different people. a lot of things had changed.

and a lot of things have not.  after we order ty sits there silently, looking around, smiling at me, looking at his hands. the identical mannerisms he's had on every date we've ever had. most of the conversation always begins with, or carried along solely, by me. i ask questions. he answers short replies. i talk about hopes and dreams and he listens. we talk about the kids and we laugh together. then i get tired of talking and we sit there. quiet, still, just us.

the young me would look on as a third party and find something terribly wrong with this picture. they are just sitting there, not talking! i always visioned myself with a funny, talkative, gregarious man. and here i see myself sitting with the strong, silent type... literally. many times i've wondered what's wrong with me that ty doesn't like talking. do i talk to much? do i ask the wrong questions? don't get me wrong, he talks. about sports, and hobbies, and many things. but thoughts and feelings and emotions are far, far, far off of his radar.  and always has been.

but after 12 years he still sneaks smiles at me in public and laughs at my jokes and hugs me when he gets home. he's not very good at surprising me with presents or dates or witty conversations or holding my hand. but he pats me on the head when he passes by or i do something silly. which is often.  and he'll shoo me into the bedroom to rest for awhile away from the monkeys when he senses that i'm weary. and in the early hours of the morning i wake up to him caressing my face.

and when he does those small, little things, i know that he's talking to me.

and it makes all those silent dates worth it.



so yesterday morning i wasn't too excited about it being the holidays. so i had a solution. gluten! nothing makes my kids and husband and me as happy as warm bread. it does an awful number on my body though, and i paid for it all night. but it was the perfect fix for my bah humbug blah's. the girls had a blast and it made everything much more cheerful around here.

we used jandee's recipe from here. thanks jandee! it turned out a little heavy, but that almost always happens when the kids are handling the dough. or you forgot how much flour you put in so you added more. yeah, maybe that was the problem. but they still were delicious.

scalding the milk and soaking the yeast
 always keep baby close. and yes, she's snacking on chocolate chips.
 the girls love helping. aaaannnd posing.
 lucy wanted a picture in front of our village. we still need to put up the snow.

the girls and i all had a lot of fun making these. lucy was really good at forming the dough circles. we all used a pizza cutter to make 8 wedges from each circle ( i held their hands to guide the lines) and then the girls rolled them up. i realize now after looking at these last two photos that abby was playing with our big butcher knife. woops. 

i also feel like a new woman because i finally found the battery charger for the camera. i was so embarassed to tell ty where i finally found it (it's been missing for over a month). everyone in my family will understand when i say, "i put it in an important place". a classic line from our mom.


decorate for christmas, and everything else falls apart

i'm starting to think it might just be me that has hyper-sensitive children.  i've talked about them regressing with potty related stuff around the holidays, and although my oldest are way beyond that point, i might just have a pack of pull-ups in my closet just in case. (i like to plan for the worst, it always keeps me pleasantly surprised)

we decorated on monday. and lucy has been absolutely miserable ever since. she's upset at everything and everyone. abby doesn't decorate right. mom's never listening. i don't care. santa's never bringing her presents because she's always in trouble. phoebe's in the way. we don't have a tree up yet. yadayadayada.

abby doesn't want to do anything that's appropriate. draw on the walls? sure! cut up her bed railing? why not? hit mommy? sure, take a swing! brown swipes on the wall? mommy loves it when you decorate. really, truly, she does.

phoebe is still cranky, but her tummy problems are almost all resolved. and she wants to touch every delicate, fragile, irreplaceable thing in the house.

my mom always tells me to wait to decorate until a few days before christmas to keep sanity levels in check. which i just don't have the stomach to do, they go up after thanksgiving. period. so i guess i better suck it up and be happy that my kids are cranky and misbehaving.

don't you just love the holidays?
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