Thursday, December 31, 2009

The favored one

Max informed me that he likes Aunt Rachel better than me.

(notice she is wearing a Toy Story sweatshirt and he is clutching his Buzz Lightyear, a gift from Uncle Scott. Another reason for the attatchment)

She spent Christmas with us and Max barely left her side, even sitting on her when she tried to take a nap. But when JB and I were leaving to go see "Sherlock Holmes" that evening, he was like "Wait a minute! I want YOU to put me to bed mommy!" Hmmm, now I'm the favorite again?

Rachel is lots of fun. I made these flowers for her hair, and then we made tons more together.

Max now wants to go to Provo more often because Aunt Rachel and Aunt Sarah are there and that means tons of fun.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Visions of trains, cars, tools and trucks danced in his head....
Good thing Max got a nap on my bed on Christmas Eve, because the next 3 days were quite full!

We spent some time at JB's parents' house on Christmas Eve night for our tradition of homemade pizzas and singing carols. Max and Benny got new pajamas from Aunt Sarah, and they haven't wanted to take them off since.

On Christmas morning cars, trains and cooking gadgets were a theme in our gifts to each other. Notice the BBQ spices sent from my sister in Kansas City for my chef.

We were back at the Richards at noon for more gifts and a dinner of smoked ribs (by JB. Yum.)

Benny is excited:

Max and his cousin Emily share a hug (the boots to the left belong to my little sister Rachel. She spent Christmas with us and my boys adore her).

The day after Christmas was Max and Benny's cousin Jane's first birthday party (details here, including pictures of my boys playing with all her new toys). Then that afternoon was the annual Patten white elephant gift exchange at my Grandma's house. I owe a big thank you to my second cousin's wife (I think) for pointing out a present Max would like! He unwrapped a toy canoe and man. Why am I thankful for this? Because another family member unwrapped bricks.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas crochet

There was definitely a theme to my Christmas gifts this year. I made hats for just about everybody, until I ran out of yarn, time and patience.

Below is the golf cap I crocheted for my brother James in Texas. JB is modeling it (I know he must secretly love it although he kept teasing me about it).

I made the hats and flowers below for my sisters-in-law, Collette, Suzanne and Sarah.

Each one is a different stitch and pattern.

Not pictured -- beanies (sans flowers) for my brother Joe in Texas, my brother Seth in the MTC, and one for my soon-to-be sister-in-law Emily (Scott's fiance). I also crocheted headbands (like the ones pictured in previous posts) for my sister Bekah in Kansas City and my little sister Rachel in Provo.

No such luck for the brother in Seattle and my 4 other siblings in Missouri, sorry guys. Again, I ran out of time, yarn and patience. But if you read this blog and want one, let me know.

To the rest of you, yes, I really have that many siblings.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Early Christmas couches

I received a new Christmas present during my nap time last week -- new couches!

Max looks thrilled to take another picture, but look how handsome they are in their white shirts and ties for church.

Friday, December 18, 2009


I miss my mother-in-law.

Pauline can do anything. Make anything, fix anything, etc. Look at this I Spy quilt she made for Benny's birthday.

(Can you spot Benny's little cafe-au-lait birthmark above his outie belly button?)

I miss her because she is in Phoenix visiting JB's little brother Jeff, and I really need her help to finish, oh, probably way too many projects I started for gifts this Christmas. Come back.....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Family Christmas Cheer

Family and friends far from here should be getting their Christmas card in the mail this week. I had all these thoughts of dressing fancy in a new sweater, maybe with one of my crafty flowers in my air, and having the boys match each other. But when we were at Temple Square 2 weeks ago we had such fun taking a family picture that we just knew we had to send one to everybody.

Here is a sampling of the experience:

As Deb says on Napoleon Dynamite, "That was the one. I think that's gonna come out really nice."

Our one we picked is close to this final one, just because it summed up the night. Max exasperated with the whole process, Benny in his own happy world, Mary and JB still smiling while saying through our teeth, "Sit up! Say ice cream!"

Monday, December 14, 2009

Busy Bee

Sorry I haven't called or talked to you in a while world. I've been busy making stuff.

I think JB's growing concerned. I bought a small glue gun for crying out loud. But I tell him not to worry; remember the time I read Lord of the Rings and watched all of the extended versions of the movie in a row? Then I watched every episode of The Office for 2 weeks. This too shall pass.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A shiner

Two nights ago before bed the boys were running around -- either chasing each other or going after the same toy, they crashed. Totally bonked heads. Loud Crack. Both were howling. I got Max an ice pack and soothed Benny and then put them to bed. JB called me early the next morning at work to say Benny had quite the black eye:

Poor boy! It has turned some interesting colors today. The next night in the tub I was washing Max's hair when he cried out. He had a huge goose egg above his ear from their collision. With two boys I'm pretty sure we will face worse as they grow up. I cringe for their teenage years.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A new Elder

My little brother Seth went into the Missionary Training Center yesterday. He's headed to Indiana at the end of December for a 2 year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We are so proud of him.

Here he is with our sister Rachel, saying goodbye at the curb at the MTC (they no longer have families come inside and watch the video with their Elder then say goodbye. Swine flu and other concerns I think).
(It's a cell phone picture. They really aren't that pasty white.)

Seth flew in from Missouri on Tuesday night in the middle of a snowstorm here and a snowstorm there. I'm glad he made it safely. And I'm glad Rachel now lives here too so we could both send him off.

On Wednesday morning we hunted for a proper black nice winter coat for him. We also went to visit our little brother's grave in the Provo Cemetery. Enoch passed away 3 years ago but Seth and Rachel moved out of the state with the rest of the family and never saw the headstone. We searched for up to 40 minutes through the snow in the wrong area (my bad), and finally after some tears and prayers, we called our other brothers on the phone. They told us to go 50 feet to the right to the OTHER tree. And there it was!
I brushed it off with my car windshield brush and we were able to, despite our frozen toes, stay there for a little while. Seth won't be reading this because blogs and such are now off-limits to him as a missionary, but I hope he knows how much I deeply appreciate his care of Enoch over the years.

Phew. Getting misty again.

on to the rest of the day. After saying goodbye to Seth at noon, Rachel and I went to the Brick Oven for lunch. Benny was with us while Max was in pre-school, and boy was Benny glad I got the Brown Cow rootbeer float freeze.

Very yummy. And for the record I took the leftover chicken artichoke pizza home to JB and Max so they would have a treat too. JB loved it; Max not so much.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Benny Boy

My Benny turned 2 years old this weekend. It snowed again, just like on the day of his birth. JB made pizza and I made a football cake and both turned out very nice.

Benny got a new shirt, quilt, and lots of toys with wheels. Here he is below sorting them at Nona and Papa's house while Max sneaks closer to see if he can have a turn.

My sweet Benny is just so much fun. He's all boy. He loves trucks, trains, cars, footballs, baseballs, basketballs, soccer balls -- you get the idea.

He'll throw himself on the ground and yell "Touchdown!" He'll hurl a ball at you, then he'll yell "catch" if he remembers. At night when I tell him it's bedtime, he will run and climb onto JB on the couch and say "Watch ballgame with daddy!"

He loves to play with Max but also will fight for something if he thinks it should be his. He still has kissable cheeks and I wish he would stay my baby even though it's fun to watch him grow up.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A gift of BBQ?

Here are JB and our friend Tim, holding their Thanksgiving creations. One deep-fried, one smoked bird. Very very good stuff. Max loved our dinner guests too.

I know it's a very late post for Thanksgiving but it brings me to my current thought -- should we give the gift of BBQ this year? We want to get our holiday neighbor gifts out soon, but can't decide what to give.

Here are the thoughts I had:

a) JB's homemade BBQ sauce or BBQ rub in a jar
b) Cookies
c) Homemade jam (courtesy of JB's mom)
d) Soap
e) Peppermint bark or other candy

I'm getting hungry thinking about it. Except for the soap.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Images of me

I was in the newspaper almost twice. Here's me below, covering the opening of a road that had been under construction for a while. I'm under the yellow arrow I added in Paint. I'm holding my work camera and microphone at the same time.

Then here I almost am, also in the Deseret News, at the bottom of the page, also under the yellow arrow. This is when Real Salt Lake came back from winning the MLS cup. It looks exactly like me -- and it looks like I'm holding Max or Benny in my arms, too!

I had to convince a friend that the woman in the picture isn't me. But she has my nose and everything. I should meet her someday.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Crochet madness

At the (victorious) (and cold) BYU game on Saturday I kept seeing these crocheted or knitted headbands everywhere. So I came home and made one for myself.

I made up the pattern, but I think I made it a row too wide. I found the flower pattern here. Kind of fun, but slightly bohemian I think. Oh well, it keeps my ears warm. It's different than the ones featured at ohsweetsadie, which are much wider in the front/top then narrow at the back:

In other news:

  • I covered the Black Friday crowds again this year. Cold and crazy!
  • Max has his new Mac truck and he and Benny are actually sharing pretty well most of the time.
  • JB smoked a turkey for Thanksgiving, and we have been loving the leftovers. I hope to post a picture of my chef with his creation soon.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Brrrr, it's cold in here

You Bring it On fans must now have that cheer in your heads, right?

So, what do you do when it's cold outside? We just bundle up. Two growing, active, healthy boys can get tired in a 2,000 square foot house.

Benny won't keep his gloves on though, then his hands get cold, then he cries and wants to go inside, but Max doesn't want to go inside, so I send Benny in but he sobs without me, then he tries to bring his "Night-Night" outside but I won't let him because the blanket will get dirty, then he sobs some more, then Max tugs on my shirt saying, "Are you coming back outside?" It all ends well though when I pull out the hot chocolate.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New hobby

Lately I've been feeling all crafty. We learned how to crochet beanies for a Young Women activity and I can't quit!

Then I learned how to make fabric flowers to go on headbands, barettes, pins, etc and I've made a bunch of those. It can be addicting and really fun, but I know me. I kind of get tired of things after a couple of weeks. So no Etsy shop or booth at the next Oh Sweet Sadie sale for me. But I did get the above red necklace at the last sale, and plenty of ideas for projects if this crafty streak keeps up.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

F is for Freezing and Football

My friend Cindy and I braved the cold yesterday for the BYU-Air Force football game.

(I think I was leaning forward to tell the man that it was the silver button. He didn't do a 1,2,3 count either. Oh well, not a bad picture)

I had two hats on, two pair of gloves, two pants, etc. I brought hand warmers but all they did was turn Cindy's hands black. We also had blankets. But it wasn't too bad, and BYU won! Now just one more win....(sorry Utah fans, including Cindy's husband and mine, but I think this is BYU's year).

We had season tickets together but this was actually only the second game we've been to together. She took her oldest son to one game and I took mine to another game, and we sold our tickets to the Utah State game because we both couldn't go. But she's hopefully rushing back from her Thanksgiving trip to see next week's game against Utah. We BYU grads have to stick together in this neighborhood full of Utes.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A reward that's just too good

In order to persuade Max to take his antibiotics morning and night for 10 days, we made up a reward chart like last time he had an ear infection and when he potty-trained. The above Mac toy from the "Cars" movie is perched on top of the fridge, waiting for him to fill his sticker chart.

It's helping Max but it's torturing Benny. "Momma look! Up high! Can't reach!" He doesn't get it. He wants it now! They LOVE the movie and would watch it every day. I may have to get him a prize too, though I was hoping to wait until his birthday around 2 weeks from now.

Good news is Max's ear doesn't hurt him any more. That first day of pain he would say "My brain hurts" or "My head hurts," and he would actually get mad at me when I referred to his ear. "No mom, it's my head!"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ode to calm

Yesterday I had a late day at work. I usually get home in the lunch hour but got home at naptime instead. JB was with the boys and our niece, sweet baby Jane, for the morning because of a baby-sitting pinch.

I walk in the door to see Jane-a-rooski perched in the middle of building blocks, trains, balls, and papers all over the living room floor, smiling and cooing.

JB was on the phone and laptop, trying to get some work done.

Benny had just gone to sleep in his crib.

Jane sped-crawled her way to me for some pick-me-up time.

Then Max came down the hallway, sobbing and clutching his ear, out of the room where he was doing his quiet time.

The next hour is a blur. It took a lot of soothing and holding my poor first-born as he dealt with what I knew must be a raging, throbbing ear infection. JB and I both had to make sure Jane didn't tear my purse apart or eat Max's rock collection (I forget what 11-month-olds like to do!) while I called the pediatrician's office and held the phone to my ear for the long holding time. At the same time I logged on to their website to see if that was a faster way to get an appointment.

I got in for 4 PM.

That meant more time soothing Max, who by now was practically hysterical, while hoping he didn't upset Jane or wake up Ben. Finally I coaxed some Tylenol into him and took him for a drive. He fell asleep on the drive so I carried him into the doctor's office. I'm sure that looked funny; his long legs draped down.

Sure enough, he has an ear infection. That meant more coaxing, bribing and cajoling to get him to take his first dose (of 10 days' worth) of the prescription antibiotics that night.

But through it all JB remained so calm -- like a rock. Like one of the rocks Jane kept trying to eat actually. He entertained Jane and cuddled Benny, who by the evening was getting tired of Mommy spending so much time with Max.

Now, in the nice quiet evening hours, it's calm again. Max is feeling better, Benny is over his sickness too, and both are sleeping soundly. JB is going to be home soon from a meeting, and I'm glad. It's going to be nice to spend time with him again.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A snowy anniversary

Six years ago today JB and I got married. Good thing it wasn't a snowy day like today! It was clear, sunny and probably around 50 degrees. Today, much different. But still fun.

Where did the time go? And where did these two boys come from that helped shovel the yard then brought their wet, snowy gear inside and needed some hot chocolate and cuddles?

I think I'll keep them.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


On Tuesday I read some tips about how to keep illness from spreading in your family. Things like the following:

* Keep the sick person away from others as much as possible.
* Ensure the sick person covers their coughs and washes their hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer - especially after coughing or sneezing.
* Have everyone in the household clean their hands often.
* Ask your healthcare provider if household contacts of the sick person - such as those with chronic conditions - should take antiviral medications to prevent flu.

I'm interested in these tips because Max has been coughing since Friday, even though his fever is now gone. But now Benny has a fever and is sad and sick. I'm sure JB and I are next. We all got our flu shots, and the boys have had their first swine flu shots but every other bug is out there. Just try calling your doctor's office. Mine barely answers the phone because they are so busy.

So how on earth can you keep siblings and parents from making each other ill? Those tips are fine, but honestly, in a small house with toddlers/preschoolers, you can't really quarantine a child in a room and expect him to stay quarantined. There's also only so much hand washing and wiping of toys you can reasonably do without OCD.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Christmas mood

Some of you may know that for a few months now I've also been doing on-air work for our sister station as well as my own. It's even more fun now that they are playing Christmas music!

I know, I know. Too soon and it's annoying. Same with the Christmas store displays. Don't forget Thanksgiving, people! But, I have such a fondness for Christmas music. I've started sneaking in some of the songs at night when I sing to the boys at bedtime. It's not fair to limit such great songs to only a couple weeks a year.

But getting into the holiday mood makes me nervous about gifts. My wedding anniversary is this week, then comes Benny's 2nd birthday, then Christmas. I think we'll get the boys more of the same -- balls, trains, cars, etc. Maybe JB would like the same for his gifts too?

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Look at that face. Doesn't it look like he's planning something devious? Muahahahaha.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A bug and Max sings

Weird that during a week on a cruise ship with thousands of passengers and crew I don't get sick. But I'm back in Utah for a couple days and I catch a bug. I threw up Monday night but was better by Wednesday mid-day. Now Max is a little funny feeling but hopefully after a good night's sleep he'll be better.

Speaking of Max, my little sister Rachel (who just moved to Utah, yippee!) took this video of him yesterday singing along with his favorite movie, "Cars."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Just a few pictures of the cruise in the Caribbean. We may have found our future home in either the US Virgin Islands (St Thomas and St John) or in the British Virgin Islands, like Tortola below:

There is one problem with our retirement plan. We are pale people, who must cover up or face sunburn -- or skin cancer some day.

We also went to Samana, Dominican Republic, where Rubio took us around in this contraption I guarantee won't pass inspection in the US.

Getting up the hills felt like una milagro (a miracle).