Meet The Nat Pack!

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The Nat Pack: The super fashionable, super mod, super hip family consisting of Nat, Pete, Jakob, Brock, Troy, and Ivy. Like The Rat Pack, only younger, cuter, and not as rich or famous.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Comments/If I Had a Million Dollars


I am now an official blogger. One thing we bloggers love are comments. Don’t worry, you don’t even have to personally know me to leave a comment, though if you’re some creepy pedophile, I’d rather you not. Here’s a quick lesson on leaving comments:

Below my extremely witty and eloquent posts, there is a thin line, under which is written “x comments”. If you feel like leaving a comment like, “Oh Nat, you are the most amazing mother I have ever known”, or “That reminds me of the time my son blah blah”, or something else totally random, then click on the comment link. It takes you to a page with a square in the upper right-hand corner where you can write comments. Then fill out the word identification part. If you are a fellow blogger then you have a google name and password; enter such into the appropriate spaces provided. If you don’t have a google account, then click on “Name/URL”, and just type the name you want to go by, like “Bubba”. Or if you’re going to write a comment like, “Your posts are awful and your kids are ugly”, I’d rather you click on the “anonymous” button, because I don’t like meany-heads. Then click “Publish Your Comment”. And voila! You just made my day.

Are we ready to practice leaving comments? Good.

The other day I was thinking, “What would I do if I had a million dollars?” My first thought was “I’d buy you a green dress, but not a real green dress that’s cruel” (thanks, Bare Naked Ladies!). My second thought was I’d pay off my house and other bills. But a million dollars is a lot of money; those would make just a small dent in the wad. Of course, I’d also hire a maid, a cook, and a gardener. But I’m the type of person I’d end up putting the rest in some kind of investment and just sit on it. So I’m going to ask you: What would YOU do if you had a million dollars? It’s tithing-free and tax-free. Comment away!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Lumbering



Last night we went to the store. And Pete said, "Nat, I mean this in the nicest way possible, but...you're kind of...lumbering."



I wish he meant: to log and saw trees as prepared for human use.



But it actually was: clumsy, awkward, gawky, graceless, heavy-handed, lubberly, lumpish, ungainly, unhandy, cumbersome, bulky, heavy, massive, clumping, floundering, pounding, scuffing, scuffling, shambling, shuffling, stamping, stomping, stumbling, stumping, tramping, tromping, dragging, flopping, hauling, laboring, plodding, trudging, careening, lurching, staggering, swaying, teetering, tottering, weaving, wobbling, struggling, wallowing, weltering, faltering, reeling, blundering, fumbling, muddling, waddling.

I don't take offense, because I am lumbering. And I will be lumbering for 13 more weeks. But I do still wish it was the piney foresty lumbering. *Sigh*

Monday, February 25, 2008

Because I Have Been Given Much


I've already admitted to being a blogger stalker. And it's pretty fun. But there's one blogger that lately has really gotten me to think. Her website is Musings and Misadventures. This woman is Mrs. Dub, and recently lost a baby girl due to complications with both her and the baby. And then I look at my own day, where Jakob just wants to show me his little game he just made up for the 30th time, and I still look and say, "Wow, Jakob", but there's no enthusiasm in it. Shame on me.


There's a lady in my ward, Sister M. She has two mentally handicapped children. Her son is 10, and she's trying to potty train him. And I complain that I'm going to have to start potty training Brock, my beautiful, fully-functioning son. How dare I?


Another lady I know had two miscarriages between her daughter and her son. My sister had a miscarriage last summer. And another girl in my ward had a miscarriage a few months ago. I've never had to deal with this. When I've gotten pregnant, it's resulted in a beautiful full-term baby every time. And I whine about restless legs and nausea.


So the next time you catch me bellyaching about my crappy day with my kids, do me a favor and remind me how lucky I am to have my little guys-and soon to be girl-in my life. Tell me to suck it up because these beautiful miracles have been given to me. Remind me I have everything to be grateful for and nothing to gripe about, that a messy toy-filled basement shows that I can afford toys for my children to enjoy. That a sticky kitchen floor means my children can feed themselves regular food and are learning coordination. That my aching tired hormonal body is healthy enough to bring life into this world without complications. And that I'm just so blessed.

Pizza Planet

On Saturday my Dad, my fam, and my sister's fam went to a pizza place called Leo's. It's very kid-friendly, with tons of arcade games and the like. They have a jungle gym area that my kids are totally afraid of entering, too. After stuffing our faces full of yummy pizza, we played games and rode in the little toys. They loved the car rides:




And an alligator game where you hit the heads to make them retreat:

And some kind of shooting arcade game:

And of course they had Dance Dance Revolution (we were too busy playing to take pictures). Tons of fun! Thanks, Dad, for taking time out of your crazy CPA world to spend time with us and the kiddies! P.S.-Please excuse the lack of quality on the pictures-my boys got hold of my camera and pushed all sorts of buttons, so now it captures movement and light really weird. I've gotta try to readjust it.

Friday, February 22, 2008

3 p.m., 3 a.m., 3 months


3 p.m.: Sunday was Troy's first time in nursery. The last couple of weeks my boys have ended up being sick on the weekends-Brock first with some kind of sinus thing, Jakob with the flu the following week, then this Sunday Troy woke up with a fever. But after some Tylenol love, the fever went away and he was acting normal, so it was off to church with all of us. None of my children have done all that well transitioning to nursery at first, so I was in there with him the first hour. But he seemed to be doing well, so I left for the second half. And I guess he cried. And cried. And cried. Pete's class shares a wall with Troy's nursery class; he heard Troy and got him. The teachers asked me what Troy liked when I went to pick up Brock, and I was a little flabbergasted. I looked like a bad mom because I didn't know the be-all, end-all dream toy for Troy to be enamored with and make him love nursery. I stammered, "Uh, pretty much what his brothers like, I guess, uh, cars...and books...and blocks." But I guess they asked Brock (who's in the same nursery-we have 5 of 'em in the ward) what his brother liked to do, and he said, "Cry." Better luck next week, Troy.

3 a.m.: I ended up getting sick early Monday morning, but it felt like the beginnings of kidney stones. I've had one stone before, October 2006, and it's gotta be the worst experience known to man. If you've never had a kidney stone, imagine someone stabbing you in the side with an ice pick about 4 times a second, and then times that pain by about 50. Kidney stone pain honestly makes you wish you were dead. You start begging people to hit you in the head with a baseball bat so you don't have to deal with the pain. If you've had a kidney stone, you know exactly what I'm talking about. No, it wasn't kidney stones (not yet, hopefully never), and I went to the doctor to check for a kidney infection, and it's not that either. But I was still sick, so maybe the pain was dehydration or some weird side effect of the flu-like sickness I went through earlier this week.


In the middle of this awesomeness, I've had trouble sleeping. I get restless legs when I'm pregnant, so Tuesday night I just sat in bed, rolling from one side to the other, wishing I could sleep on my stomach, and continuously stretching my legs. I finally got up and started surfing on the computer, played a little solitaire, and felt my baby having a party in my tummy. Because of course, even though Mom is miserable, it doesn't mean the baby has to hold still to try and help her discomfort, right? (Sorry, I'm not trying to be bitter. I just really love my sleep.) But it was nice to have complete silence, and to be alone for a bit. Luckily I've slept better the last couple of nights, and I feel better too. Here's hoping we're done with being sick at our house.





3 months: Today I'm officially three months from my due date, May 22. This isn't the best picture of me, but it was Jakob's first time with the camera, and I AM pregnant, so you get what you get. If it seems like I'm counting down the days a lot until I have this baby, it's because I am. Is it just me or are subsequent pregnancies harder? By the way, I'm not carrying a baby in the front and in the back, it's just junk in the trunk.

Ode to Jakob

You know what’s funny? When I said “Ode to Jakob” in my head, it sounded like “Eau de Jakob”, as in a cologne. Just as long as the essence isn’t taken from his morning breath, because dang, it would be unfortunate. I’ll have to warn his future wife. But on to the purpose of my post.
Have you ever loved someone so much, and you think, “This is as far as I go. This is as much as I can possibly love this person because I love them so much”? And then he does something so awesome that it makes you love him even more, or you look at him and realize that you love him even more just because he exists. In the last couple of days that has been my Jakob. He’s just so dang cute!

I love Jakob because he plays with his brothers really well, he’s really obedient, he’ll cuddle with me in the morning when I don’t want to get out of bed yet, and he’ll run errands for me (“Jake, will you get me a diaper for Troy?”). Yesterday he was bored, his brothers were asleep, and I was cleaning bathrooms and he wanted to help, so I had him wipe the tub. He did a decent job. He wrote his name for the first time a week ago, and I was so proud! He can color for hours. And he catches flies with his bare hands. What’s not to love? And he’s at the age (4 ½) that he says tons of funny things.
The aforementioned fly

“Jakob, your shoes are on the wrong feet.” “Mo-om, it will be okay!”
“Mom, are you crazy?” “Yep, are you?” “Uh, no.” (Duh, Mom!)
“Dinner’s ready!” “Is it yummy dinner or yucky dinner?”
“Brock hit Troy, so I hit Brock, because he shouldn’t hit.”
“Mom, I don’t think that baby in your tummy is very nice. She makes you sick.”
“I’m going to be a good big brother. I’m going to hold her and feed her.”
“Brock, look at my tasty bum!” (Now I have no idea where that one came from, but whatever floats his boat, I guess.)

He even figured out how to clone himself. He’s practically perfect!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Cute on Babies/Toddlers, Not So Much on Adults

FOOD ON YOUR FACE:


Troy's 1st birthday

EATING WHAT YOU SHOULDN'T:


Pumpkin rind


TOOTHLESS GRIN:


Baby Troy, 5 months old



THE TOOTHBRUSH MOUSTACHE:


Sand stuck on boogers


MINT GREEN CLOTHING:


CRAZY HAIR:




CANKLES:




CHUBBY BUM, THIGHS, ETC.:


Troy at 8 months old

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

100 Things...

...you may not know about me. I'm tagging: Kar, Beej, and Arin!

1. I love the Beatles, but not all their songs.
2. I love my oven; I hate my dishwasher.
3. I am a (skin) cancer survivor-Basal cell carcinoma; wear your sunscreen!
4. I love spring flowers like lilacs, tulips, and irises.
5. Sometimes I don’t like attending relief society, especially during 1:00 church.
6. I wish I had a water softener.
7. I wish I could do back handsprings.
8. I was really shy as a kid, really outgoing in high school/college, and reverted back to shyness after marriage.
9. I make my boys play with my hair because it feels really good.
10. I don’t like baths; I love showers.
11. I shave my legs, like, twice a month in the winter.
12. There are some really common foods I hate, like olives, tomatoes, mushrooms, and pineapple.
13. There are some foods that I like okay, but the mess isn’t worth it to me to eat them (Oreos, oranges, Cheetos).
14. I will probably die of cancer (the genes are against me).
15. I hope I don’t lose a child, physically or spiritually.
16. I love that my kids are so self-entertaining.
17. I worry I’m not hands-on enough with my kids.
18. I loved high school and college.
19. I want to be a Certified Financial Planner and work from home someday.
20. If I don’t do that, I want to be a professional organizer, like on Clean Sweep.
21. Coca-Cola and cranberry juice are my two favorite drinks.
22. I hate cleaning toilets.
23. I would have a maid, but I’m too cheap to afford one.
24. I hate shopping. With a passion.
25. I don’t pray often enough.
26. I don’t have any cavities, and I’m a little vain about it.
27. I used to hate my hair color when I was little, but now I love it.
28. I’ve never dyed/highlighted my hair.
29. The first time I wore a bikini was on my honeymoon.
30. I used to want to be tan, but now I don’t care.
31. I hate wearing lipstick and always worry it’s on my teeth when I do wear it.
32. I still get nervous playing the organ in church on Sundays.
33. At first I hoped I was having a boy, but now I’m excited that I’ll be having a girl.
34. I don’t think I would ever buy a sports car.
35. I’m too practical a gift-giver.
36. I wish I was more outgoing in my ward; I know hardly anyone.
37. I love budgeting. I readjust ours probably every month or so.
38. I love painting rooms.
39. I really don’t enjoy my back neighbors.
40. I like animals, but I don’t want to own any.
41. I love painting my toenails red.
42. I hate vanilla-scented stuff, like lotions or body washes.
43. I wish I had a pretty singing voice.
44. I won’t ever go bungee jumping.
45. I don’t ever want to own a gun or a snowmobile.
46. I love dancing.
47. I get choked up watching the Olympics, especially ice skaters.
48. I’m glad my kids are close in age.
49. I have never had a broken bone.
50. I’m a firm believer in timing.
51. By my 6-year anniversary (June 21), I will have been pregnant for ½ my marriage.
52. I love traveling.
53. I think I look awful without mascara.
54. My favorite job was at the Bank of Commerce.
55. My least favorite job was at USU Credit Union.
56. I wish I could draw.
57. I have never had an alcoholic drink or smoked.
58. I need to exercise more.
59. I love playing racquetball.
60. I go back and forth on whether to sell my grandma’s piano.
61. I used to be a packrat, now I’m a minimalist.
62. I hate politics.
63. I play pool and cartwheel left-handed.
64. I have super easy baby deliveries.
65. I hate getting my blood drawn.
66. I always get nervous before snowskiing or waterskiing.
67. I have a hard time spending money on myself.
68. I taught piano lessons when I was in high school.
69. I never want to live in a big city.
70. I cut my own hair.
71. I chew on my lips subconsciously, and I hate it!
72. I can never think of nursery rhymes or songs for my kids.
73. I’m a decent seamstress.
74. I was on the yearbook staff in junior high.
75. I was on the golf team my sophomore year; now I dislike golfing.
76. My favorite color is green, all sorts of shades.
77. Baby powder scents (like in deodorants) smell really weird on me.
78. I don’t wash my face at night.
79. I have a really hard time starting the lawn mower.
80. I hate running but I love walking.
81. I thought I was an awesome actress in high school drama, but took a class in college and realized how crappy I was.
82. I love Ding Dongs.
83. I hate nursing my babies.
84. I like roses, but will never own rose bushes because I hate the thorns.
85. I only like Gap jeans (maternity jeans are an exception).
86. I won a story contest and a poem contest when in elementary school-both regional.
87. We don’t have cable. At all.
88. We also don’t get the newspaper.
89. I hate weeding, but love seeing how nice it looks when I’m done.
90. Someday I’ll learn how to can veggies, etc.
91. I wish I had more food storage.
92. I wish I could clean my house and it would stay clean.
93. My favorite season is spring.
94. I never want to live in Utah. Okay, maybe Logan, or St. George, but none of the rest of it.
95. I’ve only kissed 4 guys, including my husband.
96. I almost always have socks on.
97. I hate scary movies.
98. I miss learning from college, but I don’t miss tests.
99. I want to learn a foreign language someday, and then visit the country/countries where it's spoken.

100. I love Sudoku.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Couch

How our favorite couch is supposed to look:


How our couch usually looks:
The Disassemble-the-Couch Bandit:

Now you know why we call him Mr. Mischief! Good thing he's so cute!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Supermom

Just so you know, this is a "toot my own horn" post. Being a mom with three little busy boys, I don't "get ahead" all that much, meaning I feed and clothe and change my boys, and myself occasionally, and that's about it. And usually I cook dinner, meaning I throw a few ingredients into a pot or pan, none of this "pull the skin back and brush the glaze onto the chicken" kind of cooking. Those kinds of recipes I throw out. If I ever attempt to get ahead, I usually discover a new mess from my children somewhere else. One day I decided to vacuum out my car (get ahead), and came in and found smeared poop all over the bathroom. No joke. But...
Yesterday I actually CAUGHT UP with my laundry, meaning there aren't even clothes waiting for me in a basket to be folded. AND I mopped my kitchen and bathroom floors. I had forgotten that linoleum is shiny. Whenever there's a sticky spot or 20 on the floor, I try to step on them multiple times, hoping that enough sock lint will stick and then I don't have to think about mopping all that often. But the sock lint trick had stopped working, so it had to be done. Last night I even cleaned the kitchen after dinner. And wiped off the table and counters. I was on a roll.

But here's the Supermom part of yesterday. Jakob got a Power Ranger costume for Christmas, and he was putting it in and taking it out of his Spiderman backpack all day. Word to the wise: don't ever buy a backpack that's around $7. Because even if you think a pre-schooler won't use it all that much, they find ways, and it just won't hold up. He zipped it up, and the zipper part came off completely. Hysterics ensued, but Mom came to the rescue. I had bought some fabric in a feeble attempt to organize our toy tornado back in November, but just hadn't actually gotten around to making the bags yet. So I looked super awesome and clever when I produced Power Ranger fabric out of my closet for my teary-eyed boy. We had to cut the Spiderman backpack open to get his stuff; au revoir, Spidey! And I made a bag for him. It pretty much looks like a purse, but I won't tell if you won't. He went to bed happy, and so did I.

Today I'm back to my alter-ego, Nat. And that's okay, because dang, cooking a bun in the oven is Supermom enough for me most days. (26 weeks along tomorrow!)

Braveheart

video
I know I'd never do it!
(P.S. This is a video)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Nearly-Headless Nick


Brock got this monkey from Santa. I think our nearly-headless Nick got caught in a battle between his owner and the owner's younger brother, who has become quite the toy swiper. Nick got some first aid, though, and will live to see other battles, I'm sure.

Nesting

Brock is a nester. He finds a little corner, like a supposed-to-be toy bin, or our blanket bin. (What did the world do before plastic?) He then piles toys and blankets all around him and lounges. Or sleeps. It's a rough life for a 2-year-old.

My Wedding Dress

I loved my wedding dress. It was so gorgeous. Wait, that's an understatement. In comparison, it made Cinderella's ball gown look like she was still in rags. When I tried it on I just stared at it and caressed it. I had never felt so beautiful in my life as I did on my wedding day.
BUT...it was time to let it go. It was sitting in my closet, its beauty being wasted. So I decided to sell it on craigslist. I got a call last week, and Kari found it for her sister Jocelyn. They came over on Saturday to see it and try it on. Jocelyn loved it as much as I did. SOLD! I'm utterly giddy. Now I just need to figure out what to spend the money on.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

VOOM Revisited

Yesterday started out to be one of THOSE days. Tears from my oldest about preschool. Running away from my youngest when I say "Come here". Dawdling from my #2. Grrr. And of course, we were in a hurry. It snowed AGAIN, and the people that plow our road just push a huge lump to the sides of the roads, meaning huge lump in front of our driveway. By the time I saw said lump, I was stuck in it. The plow guy was working on the other side of the street and saw me, and I scowled and said naughty words in my head about him. But he stopped, and my neighbor came out too and they pushed me out. Then I was on a quest for my own personal Voom, a.k.a. a snowblower.

And guess what? Apparently everyone else wants this brand of Voom, because EVERY store in our entire city is sold out. There's not one snowblower to be had. I said more naughty words in my head at the people I saw that already owned snowblowers and were making snow removal so easy for themselves. No off-roading, please let me make it to my garage praying, carrying my kids through the now three foot deep lump because there's no way to even enter my driveway experiences for them. More naughty words.

BUT...Voom came to me yesterday, in four different forms. #1: fudge. Okay, it doesn't remove snow, but it boosted my mood considerably. I've been craving a specific kind found at Sarah's Candy Cottage called Black Dutch chocolate fudge. Oh, mama. This is the best fudge to be found. I bought a pound of it, knowing it wouldn't last very long in my household of chocoholics. Okay, so I always cut the biggest slice for me, but the boys and Pete have helped to already deplete the supply.
#2: my neighbor Arin. She's so stinking cute! She and her kids came out and started shoveling the lump for me. I came out and said she didn't have to, and she said she "needed the exercise". Yeah, right, the skinny thing! Mostly she's just a good neighbor, and we're very lucky to live next door to her and her family. I don't know if they feel the same way about us, but I'm pretty sure they'll get sent straight to heaven with all the service they've performed for my family.
#3: Mom and her snowblower. She heard my sob story and came to the rescue with her machine. And even though she had a major surgery 4 weeks ago, she insisted on snowblowing my entire driveway while I tried to look like I was helping. I did provide ear muffs. But she got our driveway cleared to the ice layer. Thanks, Mom! I've realized that, even as an adult, you'll always need your parents, and I'm so lucky to have such amazing ones.
#4: Ice Melt. This stuff works pretty good. I sprinkled this salt-like stuff over our whole driveway after the snowblowing, and it lived up to its name and started melting the ice. Of course, it will take a lot more of it to get rid of our rink, but it made a slight dent. I was pleased as punch by yesterday afternoon.

Of course, today the snow has returned and drifted. But at least I've combatted the elements (with a lot of help) once; maybe doing it again today or tomorrow won't be so bad.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Shall We Dance?

If you've never tried it, you HAVE to find someone or someplace that has Dance Dance Revolution. It is so much fun! Brianna and Spencer own it for the Playstation 2 and brought it up this weekend. We all quickly became addicted. We had a tournament, and yours truly won! Yeah, baby! Again, I don't have many pictures from this activity, but check out Kar's blog under Dance Dance Revolution for more. Kar said that I'm "REALLY good at this game"; Friday night I did fine, but Saturday I was all sorts of off. If you want to see people that are really good, check out some videos at YouTube, especially the video titled DDR Freaks. Super awesome!
Here's Ben and Pete competing. Pete looks like he's really concentrating, and Ben looks so nonchalant.
Here's Mom grooving on down.
And Jakob our dance machine wanted to play too.

Sink or Swim

This weekend my cute sister Brianna and her hubby came up. We were too wussy for the cold, so decided to go swimming instead. The kids had a blast! Jakob would jump with a huge grin on his face, even underwater. Troy enjoyed the stairs, and Brock hung out with Grandpa.





I don't have any pictures of Brianna, but check out my sister's blog under Swimming at the Apple. My mom was the picture-taker, and had both cameras to juggle.

I Wish I had some VOOM


Last night we got about six inches of snow. Driving out this morning was fine, but when returning to my driveway I got stuck. Granted, six inches normally wouldn't make a minivan high center, but since both Pete and I have been shoveling slackers, we had about a foot of fresh snow on top of the foot of ice. So I had to shovel all around my minivan. YEE HAW! I tell you what, I'm ready for spring. Or Voom.

Have you ever read "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back"? The Cat had smaller cats in his hat, one of which had a thing called Voom inside his hat. The Voom made the snow sparkly white, and cleared their driveway and sidewalks so the kids didn't have to shovel. I definitely need some Voom. Or stronger arms for my shovel.