Thursday, September 1, 2011


We spent the morning at the library doing story time. We did one baby story time and two toddler story times - it took two for the girls to warm up to the songs and activities. The kids had a wonderful time and I loved getting to spend time with Stephanie - a fellow 'single mom'. We had to downsize the number of books we are taking home for the week twice with the girls (they both got to choose four - we ended up with nine - thank you V). Hudson missed his morning nap but was so sweet and happy. When we got home, I put him on the floor to play while I made lunch and maybe two minutes later this is what I found:

I guess when you are this tired you can sleep in any position!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Let them eat pie......

I finally attempted to make pie on my own - on my own meaning that my mom and mother-in-law both received somewhat frantic phone calls during the process. (Good thing they are always available when I get ideas like this..) My conclusion after the first try is that it is a good thing I didn't need to take my pie anywhere and that I wasn't the key to the first Thanksgiving dinner cause the Indians probably would have let the pioneers starve.....

I learned a lot though and I think I will attempt the pie thing one more time (I will need to do this like a hundred more times). In the mean time I appreciated Paul's enthusiasm about my first try and my girl's ability to love anything with raspberry's and ice cream.

You all have permission to laugh at this pie - don't worry I got a kick out of it to! :)

I think the worst part of this is the crust - I tried to do this beautiful edge
like my mom does - I have no explanation for what happened....

The hilariousness of this pie crust is lost in print. Some of the edges are
barely an inch high and it is like three times thicker than my mom's
crust I OBVIOUSLY need WAY MORE practice

Puppet Show

One of our favorite activities is making puppets. I love it because it can keep my girls busy and happy for a couple of hours and I love watching what they come up with. This week Vienna made a "beautiful girl" and Bristol made a "scary monster"

The great thing about making puppets is you can ALWAYS add more STUFF! The longer they worked on these puppets the crazier they got.

Bristol's Monster puppet finally finished - she loved
using the glue stick so she kept gluing on little pieces
of paper
Personally, I think V's "beautiful girl" turned into more of
a monster look the longer she worked on it. She was
really into glue dots this time thus the odd assortment
of eyes and "diamond" on the dress

All three!

Our go-to silly faces
I am still working on the concept of a puppet show with them. Right now all we do is bow and ask everyone to clap - so they adore the fanfare of idea anyway!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Kathleen Kelly

"What happens to me when I'm provoked is that I get tongue-tied and my mind goes blank. Then I spend all night tossing and turning trying to figure out what I should have said. What should I have said, for example, to a bottom dweller who recently belittled my existence? [stops and thinks] Nothing. Even now, days later, I can't figure it out."
I love this movie. I love Kathleen Kelly and Joe F-O-X and today I had a Kathleen Kelly moment - big time.

When we first moved in, a couple of our neighbors warned us about the guy who lives below us. Well, today I met our charming neighbor. Lucky me. I will spare your intelligence by not repeating the full extent of his comments and though his claims may have been centered on some aspect of truth, his amplifications and veiled threats did little to help his case.

My response? Nothing. I think there was a vague nod at one point and possibly an okay and next thing I know the rant is over, the neighbor is gone, and I have nothing left to do but shut the door. The worst part is that I spent the rest of the day rehashing what he said and thinking of all of the clever and scathing remarks that I should have said. I realize I was only belaboring my own negative feelings and regardless of the number of eloquent defenses I composed they were simply wasted on a sparkling clean kitchen floor and the laundry.

I wonder why I freeze when confronted and later know exactly what I should have done or said when the moment is past. Maybe Joe Fox is right:
"But then, on the other hand, I must warn you that when you finally have the pleasure of saying the thing you mean to say at the moment you mean to say it, remorse inevitably follows."
But then why am I feeling so bad for saying nothing?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Listening to Paul's orientation lectures about medical school was terrifying and overwhelming. The essence of the Dean's lecture was "These students are MINE (insert cruel laugh here) and they will not have time for any of you - ever" After hearing hundreds of people tell me thousands of times that I was going to be a "single mom" as soon as they heard the words 'medical school' the orientation did little to quiet my concerns.

Luckily, it has been an amazing experience to have Paul in school. He is really busy but he does an awesome job spending time with me and the kids. Having him gone most of the time means we do lots of fun things when he is home. He goes on one-on-one dates with the girls, reads an extra story every night, and even makes taking out the trash a fun thing to do with dad. Here are some pictures of a picnic we had with dad during his lunch break:

Big enough to climb up all by herself, sort of
She went down the slide backwards and thought she was the first person
EVER to think of doing that

More fun together

Friday, August 19, 2011


Now that Paul is gone all day, I find that getting anything done during the day, beyond keeping the house clean and kids fed and happy, is tricky. This is a big adjustment for me - I used to be able to pawn kids off on Paul and get lots of stuff done. My project time is now after bedtime while Paul studies, so what I normally could have done in one or two days, I finished in a week! I decided to just celebrate the fact that I finished them and I love them!




Tuesday, August 9, 2011

White Coat

It is official! Paul received his white coat and he is now a Student Doctor. This ceremony was actually a really big deal and there were all of these very important people there, myself included! The White Coat Ceremony was held in this awesome, old theater in Denver and they gave us cupcakes, so I took home three dirty (no surprise there) but very happy kids. Thankfully we took pictures PRE-cupcakes - although I could have gotten some great before and after shots!

I realized later that I didn't take a picture of Paul on his own
so this is a couple of days later. I kind of like the white
coat look!

Monday, August 8, 2011


Our apartment has a dishwasher - which is really exciting for me because I never had a dishwasher before - besides Paul. Of course, I realize that by the time you rinse all of the dishes, load them, and unload them, you could easily have washed them but still - it was like setting foot in the 21st century. UNTIL - the morning after the first time I used it. The dishwasher didn't get any water so when I open it in the morning to unload it, all the dishes are still dirty and sat there all night - so I washed them (not a great start to any morning) and called maintenance. I have since called maintenance 3 times and the dishwasher has only washed one load of dishes (in 2 1/2 weeks). It was a pretty great load, but I am starting to lose faith in the miracle of the dishwasher - and starting to really miss my old dishwasher!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Award for "Dirtiest Kid Ever!" goes to......

When you are in the hospital with your brand new baby you get to see all of these sweet newborn reflexes that are so fun to discover. One reflex they failed to mention, at least to me, was the dirty reflex. My girls have this amazing talent to become filthy in nothing flat. In fact, if you ever want to see my kids looking like they have a mom, you really need to catch them at 7:30 in the morning, after that - no guarantees.

Knowing this, it should come as no surprise, when I took my  children to our family reunion in the Big Horn Mountains that this was the result:

This is our cousin Alex who is NOT dirty compared to Bristol

Doubt me now?

Just getting started......

  My life holds few distinctions, but I think I may safely boast that I have two of the dirtiest children in the country!

Our reunion this year was so fun! Becky and Kara did a FABULOUS job arranging everything. We went up to the mountains on Wednesday and stayed through Saturday. We had amazing weather, incredible food, and plenty of dirt! (At least it wasn't mud.....)

Some of our incredible food was hot dogs? There were other, more incredible
meals but I only got a picture of this one. Vienna's hot dogs never did cook at
that height - she ate them kind of cold but she did it all by herself!
Bristol and Abby playing with the princesses

Bristol stole this pop from Grandpa during lunch. He set it down on the table
and she walked over, picked it up, tasted it, decided she liked it and took
it. So Grandpa reached over for his pop to find it missing and one
very happy grand daughter

Vienna - I am not sure whose pop she stole but she spilled it like
10 seconds after this picture

Bristol and Aubrey discovered this box underneath Grandma and Grandpa Henderson's
camper - full of leftover fruit snacks from our hike. What a great find!

One of our annual (Remember this is my family so the annual-ness of this event could easily end) events is a hike. Vienna hiked the entire way herself! She was really tired and by the end she kept asking to be held. We got the chance to talk about how she can do hard things and we sang Pioneer Children like million times. By the end she was so proud of herself and BONUS she went right to sleep that night!

All the cousins getting ready for the hike

Hudson's version of hiking

At the "top" (i.e. when parents are ready to stop carrying kids up a mountain) we had a picnic lunch.

On Friday the Wardell Family Reunion started and one of the activities is racing. Bristol won her race and Vienna, who suffered a huge blister earlier in the week, was wearing boots and lost but she didn't care after Grandma Henderson gave her a PINK sucker!

Unfortunately my camera died so I missed pictures of fishing, and the jelly bean spitting contest - yes you read that correctly. I am proud to say that I spit the furthest of any other girl, except Betsy who I think cheated...., so if anyone ever needs a jelly bean spit then I am your girl!!!! Maybe not the most useful talent.....

When asked later what their favorite part of the Mountains were, V and B both said the puppy. Aunt Judy's dog is the nicest, best behaved dog ever!! Every year this dog is mauled and she just sits there.

Bristol sharing Toffy's house

Vienna last year with the same puppy

We are so grateful to have such a fun, amazing family! We love this reunion and can't wait to get back next year. By then Hudson can compete in the dirtiest kid contest - I wonder if he can beat Bristol?