Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Vacation

Wow, the last week has been fun and it sure has been nice visiting family in Idaho. We closed on our house Tuesday afternoon and headed out to Idaho around 5. Luckily the roads were good and we made great time. We got to Marshall's parents around 10 pm. The next day I made sure to get a workout in as I knew how bad I was going to be with my eating the next few days. Marshall and I also made a trip into Walmart to pick up a few last minute things. We thought it would be crazy, but it really wasn't that bad. The rest of Christmas eve we spent with Marsh's family. We ate lots of great food, had wonderful company, played their Christmas chimes and read the Christmas story. Before bed, the boys opened their Christmas pajamas and they looked so cute. One of my favorite things about having two boys so close in age is having them match :) I don't think Rowan was too pleased with the choke hold that Chandler had on him.Santa was hard at work after the kids went to bed. We all got up at around 7:30 the next morning. Chandler got Squakers McCaw, the talking parrot and a few more tracks and trains for his Thomas set.
The bird was a big hit with everyone and Chandler loves to tote him around and hear him talk. They have quite the conversations. Rowan got a Leapfrog learning table and it's perfect for him. He loves to stand and is walking all over the place now....where did my baby go?

It's funny how you get so excited for your kids on Christmas and could care less what you get. I was pretty excited to open a new lap swimsuit from Marshall along with a new pair of goggles. I've been dying for some variation in my workouts, and it'll be nice to be able to swim laps now too.
We had the most delicious Christmas dinner and Marsh's mom did a great job with the food. I was more than stuffed when it was all said and done. Christmas afternoon we were supposed to head up to Island Park with my family. They had rented a cabin for the whole family. The weather was pretty crazy and has been for the past few days. It was snowing so hard they decided to wait a while. Marshall also had to go back home as he had to work on Friday and there was no way he could get out of it. I was a little nervous as the weather seemed to be turning worse. The boys and I headed up with my parents and two brothers around 5 or so. By the time we finally made it up to Island Park, we couldn't find the cabin. My mom finally thought she saw something and waded through snow that was thigh high. She found the cabin and nothing had been plowed out. We spent the next couple hours hauling in presents, food, and everything else in snow that was 2 1/2 feet deep. The snowmobiles were getting stuck, we all were freezing, and I couldn't believe it as the snow continued to fall. I kept calling Marshall and although he was driving in snow, with wind and drifting, he managed to make it home safely.

Friday I went out on the snowmobiles with my dad and two brothers. I like to snowmobile but I hadn't dressed as warm as I should have and a 2 hour ride turned into 5. I managed to tip my machine in some pretty deep powder and was exhausted by the time we got back. Chandler loved the snow and was in heaven as Uncle Jason pulled him around on the sled, built him a snow cave, and built a little hill for him to sled down.
Marshall made it up safely to the cabin on Friday night and we finally had "Christmas" with all of my family that was there.
Saturday was filled with tons of food, (of course), more snowmobiling, playing in the snow, watching home videos, sitting in the hot tub, and playing games. Chandler officially had a great Christmas and was exhausted. Saturday night he went to bed at 5:45 pm and slept until 8:30 am the next morning. We had such a great time and were so happy to be able to spend Christmas time with our families. (My dad took most of the pictures on here at the cabin. He's got a great camera and took some wonderful shots.)

And the fun doesn't end here. We are moving tomorrow. I hope it doesn't snow too much and that everything goes smoothly. Not sure when we will have the internet hooked up at our new place, but if I have anything to do with it, it won't take long ;)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Letter

Dear Family and Friends,

It’s that time of year again, and although many of you know the happenings of our family this year, I thought I would recap for this Christmas letter. (I usually send this with our Christmas cards but decided to post it online this year.)

January started off with our newest addition. Rowan Niels was born on January 17th, weighing in at 8 lbs 14 ounces and was 20 ½ inches long. He’s been such a loveable baby since day one and Chandler quickly warmed up to him.

We moved from Rexburg to Rigby about 6 weeks after Rowan was born to live with my (Tiffany’s) parents while Marshall finished school. Marsh graduated from BYU-Idaho in April with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, emphasizing in Advertising. He also had clusters in Graphic Design and Business. It was nice for our whole family to have him done. He flew to a few different places – and interviewed with quite a few companies. He really wanted to work for an advertising agency. June came along, and although he had interviewed with a lot of companies, no job offers. Marshall finally decided to put things in the Lord’s hands and really did some soul searching and praying about what he should do and what would be best for our family. He thought back to a company he toured with while on an internship expedition to Minneapolis, MN. He was impressed with the company, C.H. Robinson, and decided to apply. We drove down to the Salt Lake branch and the day after, he was offered a job! We moved down to Lehi, UT a few weeks later. Marsh works in Transportation, (logistics) and even though it isn’t advertising, it’s a great stable company that is treating him great. He’s really enjoys what he does and works so hard. At one point, we thought we might be moving to Detroit, MI to work for an advertising agency Marshall had interviewed with. Looking at how the economy is now and the salary he would have been making, I don’t know if he we would have been making it, and who knows if he would even have a job right now. We have been incredibly blessed to be here in Utah, and it’s nice that we are still close enough family to visit when we want to. Marsh has also been teaching Sunday School (Gospel Doctrine) at church and is a great teacher. I am amazed by how much he knows and teaches me each day.

Chandler hasn’t slowed down one bit. He is constantly on the go, and keeps his mommy running. He loves reading books, watching movies, playing outside, and of course playing with or maybe I should call it teasing his little brother. He just turned 3 last month and I wonder where the time went. He has us a little worried right after he turned 2 last year as he wasn’t really talking. He was only saying about 5 words and we got him in some speech therapy. (I’m not sure how much it actually helped. A girl just came to our house twice a month for 45 minutes and let him play with some of her toys. ) One day it seemed like something clicked and he started to parrot everything we said. Now he is talking up a storm and it’s so fun to see what new things he will say each day. He’s such a sweet boy, and not a day goes by without him giving us hugs and kisses along with an, “I love you.” Definitely makes all those hard days worth it.

Rowan is a happy little guy. He is a very mellow baby and is definitely a mamma’s boy. He whines for me everytime he sees me without fail. Being just a little guy, he’s had his fair share of health problems. He had a 2 ½ month stretch of terrible colds and was diagnosed with pediatric asthma. He’s doing much better and hopefully the asthma is something he will outgrow. He has yet to sleep through the night, but one of these days he’ll surprise me and sleep all night. Although he was just born this year, he has gone from rolling, to sitting, to crawling, and is now walking.

I am at home with the boys and can’t believe how much work it has been having 2 kids. It’s definitely worth it though. I started doing a trade at our local recreation center in the daycare for a family membership in August. I have been working out a lot, and going to a lot of classes to get back into shape. I am finally seeing some positive results after being very consistent for almost 4 months. I also launched an informational site and blog this year, which are slowly growing. I hope to be able to eventually open up an online botique. My informational site is about baby showers at, and my blog is reviewing baby and kid products at It’s been a lot of work, but I am starting to see some good traffic to both sites.

If we hadn’t already had a busy enough year, we made an offer on a townhome the end of October. We have a closing date of December 23rd. We were hoping to close and move before Christmas and even though that didn’t happen, we are happy to finally have a home.

It’s amazing to look back on this year and think that we’ve moved 3 times, added to our family, started a first job out of college, started a business, and bought a home. It’s been a crazy year, but we have been extremely blessed. We’ve seen many tender mercies from the Lord and are happy to have a warm home to come home to and to have food in our bellies and good health. Happy Holidays to you all!

The Snedakers

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


So $24,000 is a good chunk of money, isn't it?  At our stage in life - it's  A LOT.  But why is it relevant?  We didn't win it, although it would be nice.... this money is an amount we have spent over the last 4 1/2 years we have been married, in one particular category.
Can you guess?....

Keep Trying......

RENT.  Ugh.  $24,000 in rent.  That will no longer be the case at the end of this week!  We bought our first home!   We are moving out to Eagle Mountain which is about 15 minutes from where we are at now.  We bought a 3 bed, 2 bath townhome that is 1750 square feet.  I'm elated that it has a tiny back yard, we will finally have storage space, and a place to call home for more than a year or two.  It is a huge stepping stone for us, and a big investment, as it appraised for $15,000 more than what we got it for.  I guess not all bad things come from a rotten economy.  
We made an offer that last part of October and have had a nightmarish (is that a word?) time with our loan process.  We waited for interest rates to come down a little, and got locked in at a great rate.  But it's been a paper chase to the very end.  Marsh and I have been very stressed about the whole thing and I don't know how much I've complained to my family and couple friends about the whole process.  I don't think it's quite as simple to get a loan now as it was a few years ago.  I have been leery to post anything about it as I didn't want to tell everyone and then have something happen.  We started applying 5 weeks ago....yes 5 weeks - and finally heard from our mortgage man today that we have a close date.  So we will be closing on Thursday or Friday.  We will know for sure tomorrow.  So it looks like we will be moving right before Christmas.   And my Christmas tree will be the first thing to go up, right in the front window.  

Sunday, December 14, 2008


This year, Christmas seems like it will be different for Chandler. He's finally figured out who Santa is and has made the connection of Santa and toys. At our ward Christmas party this year, Santa came. Chandler was way excited, but the second he saw him he came to a halt like many other kids do. All of a sudden he didn't like Santa so much anymore. We finally got him to sit on his lap, but he acted all shy and sat and rubbed his eyes. Rowan on the other hand was like, "Who is this guy??" He was pretty funny and just kept cocking his head to the side to look at Santa.

Our Christmas party was at 9AM, thus why the boys are in their pajamas. We are headed up to Idaho for Christmas next week and will be up there almost a week. (With the exception that Marsh has to come home and work Friday, and then will come back to Idaho after he's done.) We are way excited to see everyone and can't wait. Although....we have yet to start our Christmas shopping. (We have like one thing for Rowan and that's it.) We were waiting for Marsh's Christmas bonus and so we basically had to wait. We will "try" to do it all tomorrow. That's right, we are going to map everything out and hope to be efficient about it, lol. (Normally I would have had everything done before December even hit, but the budget has been tight this year.) And that something exciting I blogged about last month? I will let you all in on a secret tomorrow or Tuesday.......

Friday, December 12, 2008


I'm beyond tired of having a baby who doesn't sleep.  And it's not just a few times a night.  It's gotten to the point that he wakes up every hour.  A few nights ago I found myself in tears in the middle of the night, almost pleading with my little guy to sleep, even though he doesn't understand me.  I know some of it is due to the fact that he is getting molars, but he's also too smart and knows when he cries mom will come nurse him.  I tried letting him cry for a while last night but he just kept going and going.  And I feel bad because the people that live below and above us both have kids.  I finally caved, went in his room and nursed him.  I have no will power.  Is it too much to ask for 4+ hours of straight sleep?  I can't even remember the last time.  I guess it could be worse.  I was talking to my sister the other day and her 7 year old still tries to come climb in bed with her.  She's resorted to locking her room at night, lol.  
Some days I find myself plugging in a movie for Chandler and laying on the couch because I am too tired to do anything.  I know I'm not alone, as my friend Lila just posted about the same things at the wee hours of the morning.  
Just looking for some encouragement....ok - I'm done with my pity party.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Party

Yesterday seemed like a whirlwind. We were going nonstop. We had a scavenger picture hunt to do for Marsh's Christmas party. I was really excited about doing it because the prizes were really good. As in: 2 days vacation for Marsh, a digital camera, a Wii, golf passes, and a year membership to a gym. This was no ordinary scavenger hunt. We had a list of items, places, people, etc that had different point values. We had to take pictures with as many points as we could and submit the best three. We ran all around trying to find different stuff for the pictures. I was running like a mad woman around Walmart and we were fighting crowds at the Dollar Store to try to get items for this hunt. (Much like chickens with their heads cut off.) Our apartment was a disaster when we left as our the pictures with the most items we took at home. Then it was time to get going and head to Salt Lake to check into our hotel. We were running an hour later than we wanted to, and the 2nd picture we took at a park in Salt Lake didn't end up turning out. Our third picture we took just minutes before we had to be down to dinner for the party. Marsh and I both felt a little bummed, like we probably wouldn't win anything since we were only submitting 2 pictures, and we'd worked so hard to try to get them to work, and spent so much time. Crazy stress just for a scavenger picture hunt!
The hotel was incredibly nice. His company paid for everything while we were there which was cool. We even got valet parking when we arrived!

Probably the nicest one I've ever stayed at, very mod. Here is Marshall & I just before we went down for dinner.
Dinner was great! We had crab cakes as appetizers, salads, yummy steak and potatoes for the entree, and some sort of cherry chocolate brownie mousse cake for dessert. Not to mention there was a huge table with sushi, fresh fruits and vegetables, shrimp, chocolate covered strawberries and more. The food was soooo good. After we'd been there a couple hours, they did the photo scavenger hunt prizes. It was hilarious seeing some of the pictures people took. And after it was all said and done, we ended up with 2nd place! Whoa! Our pictures were that good and Marsh and I were beyond excited. The lady who won first prize ended up taking the vacation days so we are the new proud owners of a Wii!!! It's the sports edition and we have yet to play it but we are SO super excited. They had a dance after that and it was so much fun too. It reminded me a little of my high school days when I loved and went crazy at high school dances. Marshall has some pretty sweet moves too, he's been holding out on me. We finally went up to our room at 11, since Avry & Maeli were up there with the boys. (Thank you thank you again Avry!!)
This morning we had vouchers for breakfast at the nice restaurant in the lobby. Then we headed home. I can't help but feel we are very blessed for the company Marshall is working with. He is treated really well, there is tons of room for growth, bonuses, and leadership opportunities, and he has some great co-workers.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, here are the 2 pictures we submitted for the photo scavenger hunt.....(totally random, I know.)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Little Black Dress

Marshall has his work Christmas party Saturday night.  It's at a way nice hotel in downtown Salt Lake, and we even get to stay overnight!  (Not entirely by ourselves....Avry is watching the boys for the evening and then she will bring them to the hotel after the party and they will stay the night with us.  I'm sure you are wondering why, and a big part of it is that Rowan is still nursing at night, and his lazy mommy has neglected to give him a bottle the last 5 months, so he won't take one.)  Anyway, I'm getting off subject.
So Marshall told me a few weeks ago it is a formal event.  And of course I don't have anything to wear, unless I wanted to wear just a skirt and top that I usually wear for church.  Marshall really wanted me to have something formal to wear so last week we went dress shopping, all 4 of us.  I tried on some here and there and didn't find much that I liked.  I certainly didn't like the price of anything. :(  
I decided to go by myself tonight for one last effort to find something.  Mall shopping, without two kids sure is heavenly :)  I found a great knee length black dress the first place I went.  I put it on hold and since it was 30% off decided to look for some cheap shoes and jewelry.  I was walking down the mall and got stopped 4 different times by men all with thick accents trying to get me to buy something...lotions, hair products, etc.  This makes me super annoyed.  Don't they realize if someone is avoiding eye contact and walks past them that they don't want a sales pitch?  One of my biggest pet peeves about the mall....
I wandered around a while more and ended up finding some cute 4" heels which officially make me as tall as Marshall :)  I decided to get them and figured they were a steal at $18.  When I got to the counter, they rang up for $12.  WAHOO!!  (I love a good deal.) I found a necklace and earrings as well and headed back to get my dress.
Normally $70, it was on sale for $49.  I went to pay for it and it rang up for $35!  Marshall and I talked about how much I could spend before I left.  I spent less than the agreed amount and ended up with new heels, a camisole, necklace, earrings, and of course the dress.  And it's a great little black dress, I can't wait to wear it :)  

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Notice the new Christmas song?  That'd be my super talented older brother - Clint :)  LOVE IT.  (Hope you don't mind Clint)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Holiday Dance

Send your own ElfYourself eCards


Rowan + Pots and Pans = One Happy Baby

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Puzzle Guru

Chan is really into puzzles right now. I knew that he could do the 12 piece puzzles, but he surprises me everyday. He got a big dino puzzle for his birthday and it's about 25 pieces. I usually have to help him put it together. When Marsh & I went out on Saturday night, my parents were down here so they watched the boys. They said Chandler was putting the big puzzle together by himself! Sure enough, he is doing it all by himself! (Oh and I must interject - it was SOOOO nice going on a date! Marsh even liked Twilight and I liked it just as much the 2nd time. It was heavenly to go out to dinner, eat my food while it was still hot and be able to have a good conversation without interruptions. Not to mention my date was pretty darn handsome :) ) Anyways...back to the puzzle thing.
I also found an animal puzzle in the dollar spot at Target a few months back. It's between 25-30 pieces. I decided to get it out and sure enough Chandler did it like it was nothing. Yesterday he did puzzles for over an hour straight. Loves the problem solving challenge, I guess. Pretty impressive!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Twilight Movie :)

I LOVED IT!  The casting was perfect, especially Edward :)  Just got home from the midnight showing and feeling a little wired.  My SIL ended up having an extra ticket, so I guess I am going again on Saturday with Marsh.  I can't wait.  It was so good.  If you get the chance to see it - go!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Just our luck

Since Marsh and I have been married we haven't had the best luck with electronics.  We bought our first tv right after we got married.  We paid a little more and got a Sony, thinking it was a great brand and would last.  We'd only had it just over a year when it started getting a mind of it's own.  It turned off whenever it wanted to making our viewing pleasure not so great.  Marsh would joke that it would turn off when we'd watched too much tv.  He was joking about this when it would do it every 10 seconds.  We finally tried to get it fixed and ended up having it in the shop for 6+ months.  The first month the tv was in the shop, it was in the dead of winter.  I was at home, with Chandler who was about 15 months at the time and no car.  Marshall was working and going to school full time so we didn't get out much.  I finally called the tv repair place and this is how the conversation went:
"I'm calling to find out when our tv will be fixed."

"Sure, what's your name?"

"Last name is Snedaker."


"I'm not really sure when your tv will be done, you'd have to contact the tv guy."

I'm mad at this point because our tv has been gone for a while already...

"Listen, I'm at home without a car, with a toddler running around, it's freezing outside, and I have no tv.  I'm tired of not knowing when our tv will be fixed and I've had it!"

He could sense how mad I was.

"We'd love to give you a loaner tv until yours is fixed."

End of conversation.  I was thrilled at the fact to have a tv and called to ask Marsh to pick it up on his way home.  Of course he walked in the house with a 19 inch tv that looked like it was from the 80's.  And come to find out the guy I chewed out over the phone was in our ward at church.  OF course.  It had flaps on the side you had to open to have sound and the color was horrible. We're talking everyone looked like green martians or like they were sunburnt. It didn't matter - it served it's purpose.
Many months later when our Sony was unfixable, we bought a big screen off Craigslist for $150.   Marshall and his brother and dad drove to Pocatello during a blizzard to get this ginormous tv that was extremely heavy. It worked ok, but started having issues too and since it was an older tv, you could only watch it if you were sitting straight on.  We sold that at my cousin's garage sale for $20.  When we moved down here to Lehi, we looked around for a new tv.  We wanted something that was going to last and ended up getting our 32" Samsung for just over $400.  (It was a store model, and we used some comcast mail in rebates and had a 15% off coupon.)  A steal of a deal, although we decided to put a 3 year warranty on it just in case.  Our Samsung has been kind so far, and I love having a tv mounted on the wall that neither of the boys can touch, and being able to watch shows in HD :)  My best friend.
It doesn't just stop with our tv either.  We recently bought our 4th dvd player.  Yes you read that right, 4th.  We've always bought cheap dvd players and they never seem to last.  Imagine that...
My mom gave us a portable dvd player last Christmas.  It lasted 7 months.
Next there's the ipod.  I bought Marsh an Ipod for Father's day 2 1/2 years ago.  About a year after that, Chandler decided to throw it in the toilet right before doesn't work anymore, but I really didn't need to tell you that, right?   And last year for Christmas, I got Marsh a shuffle since we didn't have our ipod anymore.  Yeah, so I lost it working out about a month ago.  Way to throw $60 out of the window, right?
And then there's our Sony camera that got stuck behind the couch at my parent's house.  The lcd screen got shattered.  It still works, but you can't see anything or change the settings.  Sadly, we have added to our electronic deaths this last week and it was my own fault.  I'm doing diaper reviews for my babes and kids sites and have been buying every diaper I could find in the last couple months.  (Note to the wise, Target brand diapers have gone downhill)  Chandler blew out of a diaper, halfway up his back.  I decided to take a picture with our newly acquired Canon camera we've had about 3 months.  (A picture of his back, mind you.)  Marshall was yelling at me from the other room not to take a picture, and I didn't listen.  It didn't really turn out anyway.  I put Chan in the tub and started running the water while I went to change out the laundry.  Then I heard it, "I take a pic!"  I darted into the bathroom to see Chan playing with our camera in the tub.  Ugh....
The camera has dried out and it still works for the most part, but I can't get the flash to work anymore and I don't think the quality of pictures is as good.  The Sony actually takes better pictures, I just can't see the end result until I've hooked it up to the computer.
I don't think we are meant to have good electronics, or nice things in general.  I'm sure it wouldn't have anything to do with two little boys roaming the apartment ;) (And their spacey mom forgetting to put things up out of their reach.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fun Facts - November


*Loves to color with markers and paint

*Wants to eat frozen gogurts all of the time

*Loves playing with his new Thomas toy grandma & grandpa Snedaker got him

*Likes to help cook and clean

*Last night we went on a drive by the temple.  Chandler has a pair of binoculars that he got as a freebie with a magazine that we subscribed to. He found them this last week and has been wanting to look at everything through his binoculars.  Last night as we passed the temple, he looked through them and said, "I see it!  I see the temple....whoa, so big!"  

*Officially 3 years old :)


*Likes to snuggle

*Tries to bite everyone and everything

*Has 6 teeth (4 on the bottom, two on top) and is working on 2 more on the top

*Is cruising along furniture and attempting to walk (He'll take 1-2 steps on his own, but I don't consider this walking yet ;) )

*Loves to eat almost anything you put in his mouth

*He is always trying to pull my hair and eat my necklaces if I have them on

*Is interested in anything Chandler is playing with

*Loves the bathtub

*10 months old....TODAY!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Tagged by Avry

 20 things I am grateful for

1.  Family

2.  The warm cuddle of a baby

3.  A place to lay my head at night

4.  Sweets

5.  Good health

6.  The gospel and my Savior

7.  Hot bubble baths

8.  Sweat pants

9.  Friends

10. Laughter

11.  The miracle of life

12.  Kisses and Hugs

13.  The captured moment of a picture

14.  A hardworking, priesthood holding, handsome, incredible husband

15.  Exercise

16.  To be a mother

17.  My boys

18.  My education

19.  The smell of rain

20.  To be able to love and be loved

I am tagging EVERYONE who follows my blog to write 20 things you are grateful for on your blog.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

One of those days

I think we've had more than our fair share of being sick the last few months. Especially Rowan and now Chan is getting up there too. My sister is telling me my kids are always sick and I tried to defend it at one point. I won't anymore. You're right Avry :( We've got a house full of sickies. It all started last night with Chandler coming into our room. I went to put him back to bed and he just stood by his bed. Then I stepped in it. Need anymore of a visual? ;) I got Marshall up to get Chan changed and proceeded to start working on his room. Half hour later, I was ready to put him back in bed. He kept looking at Marsh and saying, "Oh sad." I'd be sad too. Luckily we'd rented Kung Fu Panda and it was a great distraction at 4 am.
I finally got him back in bed only to have him throw up on everything 15 mins later. Into the tub he went. He sat in the tub for about a half hour and didn't want to get out. He finally stopped throwing up enough to fall asleep. Not 2 minutes after my head hit the pillow I heard Rowan crying. Why? Congested of course, (lucky boy has the little Nielson nasal passages so he gets congested extremely easily) and his asthma was flared up. He just finished up his 4th round of antibiotics and I bet he's working on another ear infection. I'm not going to be surprised if he ends up with tubes in his ears.
After almost 2 hours of being up, we all got some sleep. Chan woke up this morning, couldn't keep anything down, and had horrible diarrhea. Poor boy would start running around saying, "Oh no.....stop it! Oh no....!" everytime he got nauseated and threw up. Makes my heart ache. We stayed in our pajamas until it was evident that Chandler needed another bath (his 3rd in the last 12 hours.) Chan finally kept down some bread and powerade and both Chan and Rowan are finally napping and feeling a LITTLE better.
I thought I would start doing some deep disinfecting today, especially all the toys. It's been a few weeks since I'd gone through all of them and cleaned them well. I have been washing the small stuff in hot soapy water and wiping down the other stuff with disinfecting wipes. Lots of laundry today too, wiping down doors, handles, etc. Just wondering what kinds of disinfecting products you all are using and if there is some great product I need to be using? I have the lysol wipes and some Melaleuca botanical disinfectant. What else can I do? What do you do to help keep your home germ free? It seems hard to keep up with two little kids and I need some ideas. I don't want sick kids all winter.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Date Night

I just bought Twilight tickets for Marshall and I to go!!  I wish we were going opening night, but didn't get tickets in time and  don't want to sit on the front row, so we are going that Saturday it's coming out.  I'm SUPER excited and I'm sure Marshall will appreciate my choice of movie, lol. Maybe we'll do dinner beforehand. Another reason that I'm so excited about the whole thing?  It's been over 6 months since the two of us have been on a date together.   We are way past due.  Now to find a babysitter....

Friday, November 7, 2008

Rocket Soup

So any soup that we have is dubbed "rocket soup" by Chandler thanks to Little Einsteins. Today I had made hot and sour soup in the slow cooker to eat for lunch. When Marsh came home, we all sat down and asked Chandler if he wanted some rocket soup. Of course he was ecstatic about the whole thing.
He looked at his soup and started naming some of the ingredients in it:

"Oh chicken! Yummy..." He takes a bite and little does he know, it is really cubed tofu

"Oh a hotdog!" = carrots

"And noodles!" = bamboo shoots
He actually ate quite a bit of the soup. If we told him it really wasn't chicken and hot dogs, he wouldn't have eaten it. What's wrong with getting your kid to eat their food, right? You are probably thinking how disgusting it sounds, but it is actually one of our favorite soups. My sister Jer gave me a great slow cooker book a few years ago and I've loved it. (Fix it and Forget it Lightly)
Here's the recipe for those interested: (I've tweaked it a little to how I like it)

Hot & Sour Soup

4 cups chicken broth
8 oz can sliced bamboo shoots, drained
1 carrot, cubed
3 Tbsp. quick cooking tapioca
6 oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 ozs. firm tofu, drained and cubed
1 egg, beaten

1. Combine all ingredients, except tofu and egg in slow cooker.
2. Cover. Cook on low 9-11 hour or high 3-4 hours.
3. Add tofu
4. Cover. Cook 45-60 minutes
5. Pour egg into the soup in a thin stream. Stir the soup gently until the egg forms fine shreds instead of clumps.

And here is the sticky chicken recipe that Lila asked for:

Sticky Chicken


* 4 teaspoons salt
* 2 teaspoons paprika
* 1 teaspoon onion powder
* 1 teaspoon dried thyme
* 1 teaspoon white pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
* 2 onions, quartered
* 2 (4 pound) whole chickens

1) In a ziploc bag, mix together salt, paprika, onion powder, thyme, white pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. Remove and discard giblets from chicken. I buy a chicken without the giblets so I don't have to deal with it. Place foil down on a counter and place chickens on foil. Rub each chicken inside and out with spice mixture. Place 1 onion into the cavity of each chicken. Place chickens in a resealable bag or double wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight. It is so important you do it at least the night before, otherwise it is no where near as good.

2) Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).

3) Place chickens in a roasting pan. Bake uncovered for 5 hours, to a minimum internal temperature of 180 degrees F (85 degrees C). Start basting at 2 and a half hours every 30-60 minutes or so. Not mandatory, just makes the skin crispier and the meat moister. Let the chickens stand for 10 minutes before carving.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Today I.....

*got up early

*ran errands around town for something exciting coming up (more details to come)

*thought about exercising.... ;)

*went to a playdate at Sara's

*got a few clearanced things for the boys at GAP

*talked to my mom and both sisters on the phone

*made sticky chicken (which was marinated over night and slow cooked in the oven for 5 hours.  Delicious!)

*did laundry and cleaned

*comforted both my kids

*donated blood

I guess somedays I get more accomplished than I thought....

Monday, November 3, 2008

Check ups

We went in for well child check ups today. Row's 9 month and Chan's 3 year. Chan was 32 lbs and 38 inches, and Rowan was 19 lbs 1 oz and 29 1/4 inches. They are both tall and skinny. Rowan's weight is really evening out. He weighed 5 oz less today than he did 3 weeks ago. I think it's because of how active he is. Chan looks great and healthy, and I wish I could say the same for Rowan. He's sick and has another ear infection. When he gets a cold it makes his asthma flare up terribly and he sounds like a dragon. We are trying another albuterol that has a steroid in it to see if that helps better with the wheezing. It's been pretty bad at night and I'm up a lot doing breathing treatments and not getting as much sleep as I'd like. I just hope he grows out of this asthma when he gets older. (Chan's b-day and Halloween pictures in the posts below)

Chan's Birthday

Chan's birthday was a lot of fun. I don't know why but birthdays seem like a big deal to me. Maybe because they seemed like a big deal growing up. It should be extra special right? A whole day dedicated to just you. We told Chan Happy Birthday around 100 times throughout the day. We tried to think of what he would like to do on his special day, so we went to eat at one of his favorite restaurants, picked one of his favorite activities, and then invited his best friend to come along.
That night we went to Panda Express, aka Kung Fu Panda. Maybe that's why Chandler likes this place so much. After dinner we went swimming and he was so excited when Carson showed up. I wish I had gotten a good picture, but they hugged many times that night they were both so happy.

After swimming the Birch's came over to have cake and ice cream with us.
I was going to make just a normal sheet cake but decided to go out on a limb. Thanks to I made this cute crocodile cake. I'm pretty happy how it turned out considering I don't have much artistic ability, just don't look too close. Chandler LOVED it and that's what matters.

It was a great day, and I'm sure Chan would agree.


Halloween was fun as usual. We went to the trunk or treat at our church and were there about an hour. I handed out candy while Marsh took Chandler around. Chan really got Halloween this year and liked it a lot. Marsh changed out of his burrito costume and wore the blow up costume from last year while I wore the wolf costume.

This picture just looks funny...

After the trunk or treat we went to get dinner. So many of you thought that it was a cute idea that Marshall was a burrito for Halloween at work. Here's the real reason we dressed him up as a burrito - free burrito at Chipotle on Halloween if you are wearing tinfoil. So after the trunk or treat Marshall dressed back up while Chandler and I had foil wrapped around us as well. Worked like a charm - free dinner. Thanks Chipotle!

Bean Faced Rowan
Free Family Dinner (The workers loved Marsh's hat)

Chandler eating his burrito bowl

Saturday, November 1, 2008

3 Years

Wow. Where have the last 3 years gone? Challenging, hard, fun and rewarding all at the same time.  Life is definitely sweeter because of this little guy.
Happy Birthday to our Chan Man!
We love you!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Burrito Man

Here he is in all his glory.  Burrito man stands at 6'1".  He is made up of delicious refried beans (alas the brown face), lettuce, tortilla, and sprinkled with taco seasoning.   He is wrapped in foil to keep warm and looks pretty good to me :) 

Burrito man is now for hire.  He prefers large parties and special occasions.  $15 an hour.  Hire Burrito Man today. A delicious addition to any occasion.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Photo Tag

This is the tag from Shannon's blog....
Here are the rules: You have to post the 4th picture in the 4th folder in your pictures folder. Then give a brief description before you tag a few others.

Our computer is a mess right now because I've been working so much on my website. There are pictures all over the place and we don't really have a specified "picture folder" on our mac. So here is a picture I came across that had the number 4 in the file name. Close enough, right? Anyways, it's a picture from when Rowan was born :) Good memories.

I tag Natalie, Sara, Danielle, and Jer

Sunday, October 26, 2008


We've done all sorts of fun Halloween stuff this last week. On the 17th we went to Barnyard Boo at the farm at Thanksgiving Point. It was fun but we didn't stay very long. They had games for kids and we dressed the boys up in their costumes. Chandler is a dragon again this year. He didn't really have a preference so he is wearing the same costume as last year. If he really cared, we would have gotten him something different. Rowan is wearing Chan's costume from his first Halloween. A cute cubby lion :)

My mom came down this last Friday to spend the day with the boys and me. We went to an aerobics class in the morning, and then went to lunch and shopping. Chandler got to pick out his birthday present from Puppy & Grandpa Nielson and he picked a Little Einstein's Laptop. Thanks! That evening we went to Avry's for a birthday/Halloween party. It was my oldest brother Jason's birthday. Avry had all sorts of cute decorations and we had yummy homemade chili and rolls, salad, and cupcakes. Jason brought his own birthday cake, a chocolate cheesecake, which was incredible. (Happy Birthday Jason!) We went to the pumpkin walk in Syracuse and a little haunted house and then went back to carve pumpkins at Avry's. I forgot my camera, alas no pictures of this exciting night. Hopefully I can get Avry to e-mail me some so that I can post them.

Last night we went to the Halloween Carnival at the Lehi Legacy Center. They had games, trick or treating, a spook alley, movie, and dinner. It was pretty fun and best of all, it only cost $3 to get in. (We only had to pay for Chandler.) I think Rowan and Chandler were the only kids there not dressed up, oops. They did have cute little matching Halloween shirts though.

So we are a week out from Halloween and have already celebrated 3 times. Me - I've celebrated way more than 3 times. I keep buying Halloween candy and it keeps disappearing so I have to buy more. Imagine that......