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Eagle Mountain, Utah, United States
My name is Lauren, and I live in the bubble. I am wife to Marshall, the biggest BYU fan in the world; and mother to Carly, our big girl, and Wes, our wild man, and Calvin, our new addition. I graduated BYU with a degree in Social Work, and I went forth to serve at LDS Family Services. I like scrapbooking and going out to eat at nice restaurants. I am fascinated by new cleaning products at the grocery store, so I have to shop in wide circles around the perimeter to avoid the temptation to buy. I love chocolate.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Car update

After our wreck at Christmas, we got a rental and left our car in Nevada so the insurance adjuster could take a look and make a decision. Wouldn't you know, they decided it was a total loss. Apparently hammering out dents can get pretty expensive.

We negotiated back and forth on a fair price. The adjuster that went out apparently has no idea what he's doing, and we had a few conversations like this with our agent:

Us: "Umm, the car had leather seats."
Bear River Guy: "Oh, really? The adjuster wrote down cloth."
Us: "Yeah, and a towing hitch."
BRG: "Oh, he missed that too."
Us: "And a CD player, and power seats and windows, and power sliding doors, and seat warmers."
BRG: "....oops..."

Ultimately we got what we felt was a fair price.

While the car was in Nevada, we had a local mechanic look at it, and he said that the car looked great! All the fluids came out when it was on it's side, so he filled it back up, put it on a lift, and even drove it around a little. There was nothing mechanically wrong. So we offered to take the insurance company's money, and then offer to buy the car back. They sold it back to us for $600 dollars, the value of the scrap metal.

We drove back out to Nevada and picked up the car. One tire wasn't holding air very well. The front passenger door wouldn't open because the fender was dented. And the passenger mirror fell off. Other than that, all the damage was completely cosmetic.

Once back in town, I took the car to Cascade Collision Repair, where the fender was hammered out and a new mirror was put on for $118 dollars total. I took it to Big O Tires, and they determined that there was dirt in the tire beading, and they cleaned it out and called the tire good as new. For free!

Side note: This is the 3rd time in a row that I have taken a leaky tire to Big O in Springville, and they have repaired it for free. I've never given them a dime, even when I've tried. They've patched twice and rebeaded once... and won't take my money! So anyone in Utah county, take your tire business to Big O Tires in Springville. Seriously great guys!

So here's our car now.

Not incredibly pretty, but I'd say it's great for having gone on to its side. The only damage is cosmetic, and we didn't do any body work other than prying out the fender. The power doors all work- even the slider on the passenger side.

And we were able to take the money insurance gave us and pay off our other car and some other debts. Best crash ever! In all seriousness though, we have just been so fortunate throughout this whole experience.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

18 months

Wes turned 18 months back on the 8th. He has been sick, so I've had to wait to get some pictures to go with this post that weren't entirely booger-encrusted. Gross, right?

So this morning, I rubbed his face raw, and just took some pics before church. And now I can post.

At Wes' 18 month appointment, his stats were as follows:

Weight: 22lbs 2ozs - 7th percentile
Height: 31.2 inches - 20th percentile
Head circumference: 18.27 inches - 15th percentile
Diapers: Size 4
Clothes: 18-24 months

This was his first appointment with our new doctor in Provo. I had tried to get his records transferred before our appointment, but shockingly it wasn't as important to the pediatrician's office receptionists as it was to me. So no records going into our appointment. The doctor walked in, reviewing Wes' measurements from that day, and said "he's small, is that normal?"

You see, when determining if a baby is a healthy size, the actual numbers aren't as important as the growth curve. This is a plotting of his proportions since birth. If he'd been 90th percentile, and then dropped suddenly to 7th, that'd be concerning. But Wes has always had a "shallow curve," as I like to call it. So thanks a lot, other pediatrician, for making this appointment worthless without those records.

I assured the doc that Wes has always been small, and that his daddy was small growing up too (did I ever mention that Marshall wrestled at 112 lbs at one point in high school?).

Otherwise, Wes is ahead in every way!

- Wes doesn't just try to jump; the kid gets air! He can jump and get both feet completely off the ground. His favorite thing is to jump straight from standing to sitting. Ouch. He thinks it's hilarious.

- Wes now fake laughs. He watches social cues and loves to throw his head back and do a hearty "Ha Ha Ha!"

- Wes talks a ton! At first, I was wondering how he would possibly compare to Carly. She was super verbal. And a girl. And a first born. All of those things meant that she had a huge vocabulary for her age growing up. I mean, Carly had more than 300 words by 2 years old. So with Wes being a boy, and being a second born, I had no expectations that he'd be near that. But here he is at 18 months, and he has 130+ words. He is well on track to having more than 300 by 2. He speaks in 3 and 4 word sentences, such as "Carly, come on! Upstairs! Let's go!" Or "Look, it's a cup."

- Wes still has terrible skin. Poor kid lives in a constant state of rashy-ness. His new doctor didn't buy the milk allergy thing (again) and suggested I try a new regimen for eczema, and then add milk back in to see if it gets worse. Well, we did that, and now he is rashed from neck to toes. Fantastic.

- Wes now is in his own room, and is fighting to give up his naps. Not happening. But it is nice that if we are out an about, he can go without a nap a day here and there and make it just fine until bedtime.

- Wes likes to try to count. He says "1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11!" Sometimes he gets hung up around 7 and will do the "7, 8, 7, 8" thing for a while.

- Wes LOVES reading stories. He asks for books anytime we walk by a bookshelf.

- Wes is starting to point out letters, and loves to say random letter names while pointing at words, usually something like "O X E E O X!"

- Wes is incredibly social and loves everyone. He's never met a stranger, which makes the new arrangement of him going to a babysitter a couple days a week so great. He just walks right in and is like "see you, mom!"

- Wes feeds himself and uses and fork and spoon pretty well. Just today he ate a bowl of cereal using a spoon, and kept his shirt more clean that Carly ever does.

- Wes is really fighting me for that binkie. He can go the whole day and his naps without it. But I try to go a night without a couple in his bed, and I am up 2 or 3 times with him. So for now, he wins the binkie war at bedtime. That does mean that I continue to have kids who sleep from 8pm to 8:30am every night.

I just love him to death! Such a handsome little guy!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

That's my wuv

A couple weeks ago, I was driving the kids in the car. From the back seat I hear, "Mommy, my wuv is kisses; that's my wuv."

Oh, really?" I ask. "You're love is kisses?"

"Yep, I give kisses to show my wuv."

"Well then, what's Wes' love?" I ask her.

"Umm, Wessy's wuv is growling."

"So then what's my love?"

"Mommy, your wuv is hugs and saying 'I wuv you.'"

"Then what's Daddy's love?"

.....long pause.....

"Daddy's wuv is farting!"


"Yeah, he farts on Wessy's head because he wuvs him. Daddy gives us wuv farts."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Primary 2011

Carly and her 'picture of Jesus;' Jan 2nd, 2011

It's a new year, and both my kids had some big first days at church. Carly graduated nursery and is now a Sunbeam. Wes turned 18 months the first week of January, so he got to go to his first day of nursery that same day.

The kids with Marsh before church

Carly going into Sunbeams

Love the duckface!

Wes outside of his new nursery class

My kids are unusual. Instead of the normal anxiety and crying when dropped off with new people, my kids run into class and never look back. Not even a moment of tears or uneasiness when the door closes and they're all alone. Carly never had stranger anxiety as a baby. We thought it was probably just her unique personality. But Wes couldn't be more different in temperament, but he's the exact same in that aspect. Maybe even more so. When the new Relief Society presidency came by to introduce themselves, Wes was practically begging the new strange women to take him home with them. Sometimes I worry I've done something wrong. That there's something wrong with their attachment. They don't miss me! They don't prefer me to perfect strangers! But I know they're healthy kids and securely attached, so I guess it's just an anomaly both are that way. Probably the next will be uber-clingy.

Their first day in class, I of course, had to be the mom-arazzi. So I went back to check on them a few times and caught them with their classes.

Here's Carly in the hall with her class

Here's Wes moving rooms with his class. He doesn't quite get the purpose of the jumprope yet.

Speaking of Primary, anyone care to guess what my new calling is? I should have made a poll when we moved so people could guess ahead of time and get even more entertainment out of my pain. After my second Sunday, I even got a couple calls from friends and family asking if my streak was still going- had I been called yet to nursery/sunbeams? But yes, yes, it happened again. It's getting to be a rather old joke, but once again I am called as Sunbeam teacher within the first month in a new ward. I think the bishopric counselor that extended the call was a little scared when I began bawling in front of him.

You'd think that at some point my bad luck would stop. So it's either that there really is a conspiracy among wards to call the newest warm body to deal with shrieking toddlers, or these callings really are inspired...meaning that God dislikes me. Either way, for the fourth time in as many wards, I am spending my Sundays with the very age group that most tries my patience. Heaven help us all.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Last summer, Carly got her first real imaginary friend. She had previously had imaginary playmates, but none that stuck around for more than a few days. And none that had a name. She went to play at a friend's house for the afternoon, and when I picked her up, told me all about the adventures of her "new friend, Nuga!" ('new-gah')

Where did she get that?

I called my friend, sure that 'Nuga' was a derivative of the name of one of her child's toys, or a character in a book, or TV show at their house. But no, she had never heard of Nuga, or an imaginary horse (did I mention that Nuga is a horse?)

Imaginary horses weren't that far out of the norm for our girl. We have had imaginary ghosts, dinosaurs, and bunnies roaming our halls (Okay hall. Singular. Our apartment was very small.) But they never stayed long, and certainly never had a name. Our girl doesn't name things. Her adored stuffed animals are "my doggy," "my baby," and "my bear." When asked what any of their names are, she smiles and says "I don't know; you tell me." And the names we make up for them never stick long. She just has no interest in naming things. So "Nuga" having a name was very unusual.

And Nuga has stuck around. Carly has a close relationship with her horsey friend. Nuga is insistently included in many bedtime stories, and is usually close by when Carly can be found playing pretend.

For Christmas I wanted to bring Nuga to life.

I had seen some hobby horses at local boutiques, and thought that would be a great, age appropriate toy to aid in Carly's imaginary play. So I set out to get more specifics about Carly's best friend (next to daddy). I found that Nuga was pink, with pink hair. Hmmm, hadn't seen any hobby horses that were solid pink.

I got onto etsy, my trusty source for all things unique. I found many adorable hobby horse shops. One in particular was reasonably priced, and I liked the pattern that the designer used. But again, no solid pink.

According to Carly, Nuga wasn't blue with pink flowers
She wasn't pink with small pink flowers.
She wasn't cream with pink paisley.
She certainly wasn't purple.
She was pink. Just pink. And none of that wussy pale pink. Nuga is bright pink. I contacted the designer, and luckily she was able to make a custom pink horse for me.

Christmas came, and Nuga was wrapped like a present on a stick. Carly unwrapped the box, and opened it to see the pink horse head. She pulled it out, and I held my breath wondering if I'd have to give guided prompts to let her know this was supposed to be Nuga.

But without pausing even a second, she exclaimed "Oh! It's my friend NUGA!" And they rode off into the sunset, happily ever after. Or something like that.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Christmas in Rocklin- 2010

I join the ranks of the woefully late holiday-catchup bloggers.

Once we made it to California, we enjoyed a very merry holiday with Marshall's family.

First we chased chickens.

And then tried to convince the kids to get together for a picture.

Christmas Eve we walked the Disney Streets and enjoyed the lights.

Christmas morning we had some very excited kids opening presents.

Christmas afternoon we went to the Andrews family gathering.

My kids were sporting their beautiful Christmas outfits made by my mom.

The rest of the week we played, played, played. And took a break to read. And played some more.

What a great visit!

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