is it february yet?

this past week was the week of weeks. it stunk. i was sick all the way up until thursday when i woke up and called ty at work just to shout, "i can breathe!".  it really did feel so good i had to tell someone. but as i woke up out of my sickie fog i looked around and shuddered at the state of the house and my kids.

highlights of the week:
  1. finally being able to breathe through my nose
  2. only waking up in the night to have to go to the bathroom-not to help sick kids
  3. going to church all together as a family
  4. healthy baby ultrasound-yay!
  5. new trees and roses planted- double yay!
  6. awesome zumba class on thursday!
  7. more than halfway through the pregnancy
  8. abby showing my mom ballet positions, "first magician...second magician...third magician!" 
  9. girls night out on friday. oh! it was heaven, heaven, heaven. just perfect. 
  10. getting a scrumptious dinner dropped off from a friend (thank you!)
lowpoints of the week:
  1. the amount of television and movies my children watched. shudder.
  2. the state of the house. double shudder.
  3. putting the dvd into the microwave instead of the dvd player.
  4. forgetting to get a lot of things done.
  5. horrible zumba class on tuesday- trying to teach while sick is hard.
  6. taking a video tape into the ultrasound tech only to have her squish her face and say, "i think there is only one place in the city that still has a vcr."  actually, it was kind of funny, but sad too.
  7. finding out our dog eddie has become the local vagrant. people must think we beat him and starve him.
 i accidentally put the 4 year old's pajamas on a 1 year old
 phoebe testing her semi-walking skills outside
 rose bed- in the process
 rose bed- finished! we want to add in two more on the ends.
ty snapped a picture of the girls
 the tree swing


a plentiful day

while the rest of the country is in the middle of winter, our little desert climate is getting ready for spring. january is the time to plant trees, fruit trees, fertilize your lawn and even plant rose bushes.
yesterday ty took sick old me (really quite miserable still) into town to get a gander at our baby via the routine ultrasound. we left my mom with all three kids, two of whom are sick also. (thanks again mom) we sat there once again, gratefully looking at the miracle of life on a computer screen. the baby looked perfectly healthy and wiggled like a crazy person. halfway through the ultrasound he/she decided to hide behind my pelvic bone as he/she was done with the show.

we then did the required costco trip, so tiring. but hit up our favorite nursery to purchase rose bushes and some trees for our yard (thank you tax returns!).  i finally feel like we are putting our stamp on our little place. we read the directions over and over on how to "plant" a tree, (i know we're young) and then went to it. well, ty did and i happily watched.

 baby leavitt #4

19 1/2 week baby bump photo. i'm really sticking it out for all of you guys. don't mind eddie.
 what an eventful day with new life growing all around and in me. i'm very grateful for all that i have.


hold the phone

i cannot believe what happened today. i got ty to eat lettuce. and not just any type of lettuce, KALE. the mother of all healthy leafy green vegetables.  ty is not a very picky eater but lettuce is a big no no. not as a garnish, not in tacos, not in anything. NADA.  Ok, he does love steamed spinach. a lot. so i should give him props for that.  and i might not have told him it was kale, but spinach in this soup. he he he.

but i had this new recipe to try out, with kale in it. i was a little timid, but being so sick i was desperate for a crock pot recipe and just in case it bombed we had ice cream in the freezer for emergency back up.

so anyways, we served it up, and i watched ty out of the corner of my eye holding my breath. he took a bite, he took  another bite and said, "mmm, this is good." the girls took note and started merrily slurping theirs up. it was a huge SUCCESS!  ty even had SECONDS. abby was eating hers a little slowly (i didn't slice the kale up small enough) but she finished up soon enough when she saw the ice cream on the counter. 

so without further ado, a recipe to try out if you dare: (it felt really good on my sore throat, i might add)


3 T olive oil
3 onions, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 bunch kale, trimmed and sliced
1 lb cannellini beans, soaked overnight (i use white beans)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3 cans chicken brother
1/4 cup tomato sauce
salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrot, and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent. Add kale and cook till wilted, about 3 minutes.
In a crock pot, place the soaked beans, red pepper flakes and the contents of the skillet. Cover with broth. Cook on high 8 hours or until beans are tender (mine finished earlier). Once beans are tender, add the tomato sauce and salt and pepper to taste.

*if you want, i bet that cooked and sliced up italian sausage would go really well in this soup.

*not my image*

recipe from here, i should let you know this book changed my life. i've used it for 6 years now.
it taught me how to plan out a menu and actually use all the food. not have the veggies rot in the drawer.
all the recipes use seasonal vegetables and fruit, whole grains and minimal ingredients.
i've never had a crappy recipe from here. honestly.

if you don't like to cook (i.e. you don't know how) buy this one to go along with it.
i'd like to try her recipes in this one too.


eating my words

i don't have time to sit and blog right now- i finally have a little bit of energy after having the sicklies for almost three days. usually a cold doesn't stop me, but this one was the ugly-stepmother of colds with body aches and all.

it's just that i had all these thoughts swimming around in my tiny brain and had to get them out:

1. don't EVER brag about being happy and having a great life. because immediately therafter a tsunami of depression and trials will crash down upon you. this always happens with me. if i say, "oh, i never have a problem with that," presto! that problem will appear.  case in point: i was on the phone with a friend the other day and we were laughing about how phoebe finally found the toilet & toilet paper in the bathrooms and how all our kids do that. she explained how her boys clogged the toilets by flushing the toilet paper down. i replied with a "i have girls and that never happens over here" tidbit and we hung up laughing. two seconds, nay, one second later i hear a "flush, flush, flush" repeating sound and walk in to see phoebe flushing down an entire roll of toilet paper. yes.  i don't know if that relates to me bragging about things only to have them get worse, but it did to me.

2. i just read this article  recommended by a friend about the importance of holding your baby immediately after birth. what do you think about it? . 

3. january is a hard month for me. what about you?

4. our ultrasound is on monday. i'm trying to rely on my faith and not be afraid that something is wrong with the baby. but i always have that feeling until we know everything is ok.

5. i HAVE to put christmas away today. HAVE TO. it's just sad that i haven't. granted, it's all taken down and just laying on top of the boxes. so i just need to pack the boxes and have ty take them away. oh,  and i'm also tossing around the idea of cutting up my christmas cards and using our family picture to just mail to people with a newsletter. is that lame or what?


dreams of late

feel free to interpret these for me, because i have no clue:

foiling a mass murderer

losing 2 rental cars

eating rotten bananas


forgetting to make the funeral potatoes on time
(only a mormon would dream of this)


actually, i am happy

my cousing steph posted this article on facebook about Mormon house-wife blogs. a very interesting read, but funny timing to me.

the timing is funny because while sitting in church yesterday, and looked over at ty holding phoebe on his lap, the girls trying very hard to sit still and be quiet- and a warm feeling washed over me: i love my life and i am happy. truly, sincerely, happy. perfect? no. happy, yes. the girls hair was not done fancy, besides the fact they haven't washed it in days. they were not wearing matching dresses, and every single one was a hand me down. phoebe's has a small rip on her back seam that i haven't fixed and is getting larger. abby's cardigan and flower and dress didn't match each other at all. lucy's dress is beautiful, but not one i would ever buy for my kids (i.e. i'm not really into glitter and flounces). phoebe had just wiped some gunk of a mess on ty's pants that wasn't evaporating and i had lost my temper with the girls multiple times on the way into and out of the car.

see, i am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a.ka. "mormon",  a house-wife and I blog.  and...i like my life. i don't easily feel the effects of social pressure in my religion or community for the choices i've made in my life (aside from adolescence, who doesn't feel it then?). i married tyson because i loved him. we started a family because we wanted to. we've had more than one child because we love having kids. i've definitely been dealt the lucky card as far as that goes. we find great joy in the raising of our family. really, we do. i'm not making this stuff up.

i've never felt an extreme pressure to fit in, and act a certain way to feel like a belong (again...aside from adolescence). but i've also had an easy time just being me, and not caring what other people think about it.  i'm loud and opinionated and bossy. i over analyze every single thing i say or do in social settings (it drives ty nuts).  i'm judgemental (shocker) annnnnnd a procrastinator.  i love to give advice whether you've asked for it or not (but i love getting advice, so it's probably why i do it). i'm not an intellectual in any sort of the term, but i like to learn new things. i'm always amazed at what a small little bubble i live in, and i strive for ways to teach my kids about all different world cultures and views (unsuccessfully, but i'm trying).  i've questioned almost every point of my religion at times and studied it out on my own to find if i really believe it to be true.

is it all easy? no. do we have hard time? absolutely. do i blog to make my life look perfect? um...if you have to ask that you must not know me in person. but do i talk about our trials a lot on here? no. why? because some things are just tacky to talk about in person, let alone on the world wide web.  obviously, we don't have trials that are very apparent. my husband is employed, we own a home, our children are healthy and considered "normal" (might i add i hate the word normal? there really is no normal you know) because they don't have special needs. neither of our parents are divorced, or siblings. we have large and loving extended families (that have just as many problems as any other family). we both have close friends from our childhoods that we are still best friends with.

but difficulties we do have. and obstacles we do face. usually when we are experiencing a lot of really good times, something horrible is happening at the same time. my life has always had the need to balance itself out.  i mean, i STILL haven't mailed my christmas cards. it's getting pretty ridiculous. hahaha. all kidding aside- we do have legitimate problems. don't worry. but i'm not one to stew over them. i have my close friends, sisters, and mom that i spill my guts out to on a daily basis. things i'm not comfortable spewing out onto the internet. and in the long run, time heals all wounds, quarrels are resolved, bills get paid, kids are resilient and families forgive you.

but right now, in my life, i've never felt like i'm doing exactly what i should be doing at exactly the right time more. this pregnancy has lifted my spirits more than any other. i love my husband even though he'll never change into the person i want him to be (he still currently has no interest in organic gardening or world travel), and he loves me even though i keep changing all the time from the person i used to be (i no longer have any interest in NOFX or cliff diving).  i love my children even though they all have different personalities that i'm learning how to react to and teach. i'm learning to forgive myself for all the parenting mistakes i've made (and will make). and i've been lucky to have great friends everywhere i've lived, and love getting to know all the new ones here.

so in a nutshell, i'm a wife, a mother, a mormon, i blog, i have problems and i'm happy.

*i'm sure i could have worked on this post longer so it makes sense. but i just wanted to get it off my mind. but let's face it, i am always the one who scoffed at "drafts" and just pushed post instead.


things i love today...

my heating blanket (that i'm borrowing from my mother-but she'll probably never get back). i can't wait to get into a warm bed at night, but unfortunately, can't get OUT of a warm bed in the morning.

our BOB stroller. we love it so much we have a single (6 yrs old) and a double (4 yrs old). it can get us anywhere we want to go (ok, not so hot in stores but luckily i don't frequent the mall very often. read: hardly ever.) on our dirt roads i can walk through mud, rocks, over bushes, whatever. in utah it got us through even the snowiest trails. really, it takes you anywhere you want to go. ANYWHERE.

my washer and dryer.

my dish disposal.

my dishwasher.

our two heaters that are finally working without problems (fingers crossed)

good causes. my sweet friend jennie is a 'make a wish' girl and there is a great fund raiser coming up. live near las vegas? come join us! go to: runforawish.org and sign up for team Moapa Valley and I'll see you there, Saturday Febrary 5th! just look for the crazy lady with a bright red double stroller!


this time it will be different

my sister-in-law melanie were talking on the phone last week- i have to call her on my home phone because i don't have a cell phone. which i actually enjoy not having, but i just ordered my free one in the mail. whoah, tangent.

so we were talking about pregnancies and eating. ooh, yes i just went there. i was telling her how once i told everyone we were expecting all my motivation to eat healthy went out the window. or should i say flew out the window? it was gone. over. kaput. and giving that it was the holidays i just might have eaten my body weight in muddy buddies and chocolate. yikes.  we both agreed that with every pregnancy our resolve to be "healthy" is very strong in the beginning, and wanes to almost non-existent by the end. why is that? i don't know.  my eating habits were excellent this time around, mostly in hopes to have a healthier pregnancy (success!). protein every SINGLE morning even when i didn't feel like it. big fatty green salad every SINGLE afternoon, even if i didn't feel like it and a sensible dinner and only healthy snacking at night.

now, well, i am tired of salad. and tired of eggs in the morning. i'm tired of crunching on carrots. now i want comfy fatty soup and pizza. that's it. i probably could eat pizza all day long. i said to myself i wouldn't blog about this pregnancy, and here i am doing it. but honestly, do other people experience this? i see mom's who control their cravings the entire time (or so it looks). that is so not me.

i mean, i'm almost halfway- i've got to keep it together right? i'm going to give myself credit though, because i haven't made muddy buddies since christmas ON PURPOSE because i know exactly where they will go.

**** i have to add that i don't eat healthy to "stay in shape" or "be thin". i eat healthy to be healthy and because it's part of my religious beliefs to take care of my body. it's just that my hormonal self is telling me that it doesn't really matter anymore.

in other news, i'm out of good lunch ideas. do you have any? for you and your kids?

i have a few requirements ( i know right?)
-and has to have vegetables in it or on the side (i'm so tired of carrots and celery)

*jandee* if you are reading this, i've been craving your homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese lunch for months. months! sigh.


abby leigh

january 11th, 2007
jan 10th, 2011

you've come a long way baby.
it was so fun watching you last night at your party. you loved your cake. you loved your presents. you loved having "guests" that you had "bited" there just for you. 
you pranced around (like always) dancing and talking and laughing and having a grand time. it was a perfect night for you.

today you wanted pancakes for breakfast and to watch your new movie.
we'll open presents with daddy tonight
and have a pizza party just for you.
here's to you abby, our fun and spunky little girl. 
happy birthday!


seen and heard

"mom! come quick! the frogs are attacking each other!" lucy yells while running into our bedroom.

"what do you mean?" ty asks.

"they are attacking each other! and i tried to poke them apart but they're stuck!"- she exclaims while jumping up and down to try and express the urgency of the dilemma.

this is the part where i start chuckling. "they, hehe, are stuck together?" - i asked.

"YES! come quick!" - she runs out of the room.

"alright, i'm coming lucy" ty says laughing under his breath.

we go to investigate and find out that, indeed, the frogs are "attacking each other" and are "stuck".

"that's weird." i whispered to ty. (the frogs were given to us over 2 years ago and we have never witnessed any sort of exhibition like this- and i watched them all during phoebe's pregnancy- they are kind of entertaining)

"yeah, i didn't even know one of them was a female." ty whispered back.

"i don't think it is" i said.

maybe two years stuck in a small bowl with pink plastic rocks finally gets to an african dwarf frog.

*post edit* we now think we maybe do have one male and one female. fingers crossed for baby dwarf frogs!


a post without pictures

i still have 75 christmas cards left to mail. 75! and don't think i've mailed a ton already. i haven't. i just haven't mailed any. at. all.

i'm thinking about maybe taking my christmas decorations down someday.

abby's birthday is next week and i always get emotional at it (which is big for a non-emotional type of gal)

i wish i could have seen all of my siblings at christmas (and at the same time). maybe i could ask santa for that next year.

i hate property taxes.

my husband is one stand-up, amazing hunk of heroic man. don't believe me? read these two articles about him in our local newspaper, here and here. oh...and here.

i wish i could snuggle up with a book all day today and have a pot of delicious soup magically appear on stove.

i checked out a really good book from the library that i was excited to read. only it got lost somewhere from the car to the house. darn kids.

i may, or may not, have just washed the halloween costumes to get put away into storage.

i miss all the fun get togethers the holiday presented, but am happpy to be back on a schedule too.

ty and i can't stay awake past 9pm.

today feels like a monday.

i'm tired of posting random thoughts.


a fresh new start

we had an awesome new years eve and new years day spent with family.
so awesome that i'm still recovering.
and instead of blogging about everything we did, i'm going to take a nap and play with my kids (but not at the same time)

i love starting out a new year. and i'm going to start it right now.
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