Wednesday, February 27, 2008


As many of you know the 27th is a big day in our family. Here is why in case you don't know:

March 27 - my birthday
April 27 - our wedding anniversary
May 27- my folks' anniversary
August 27 - emmy's birthday
September 27 - my 1/2 birthday
December 27 - 2 of my SIL's (and BIL's, i guess!) anniversary

Which brings me to today. Today is special for 2 reasons:

My Wonderful and Beautiful Grandma Phyllis (also known as the "jelly bean" Grandma) turns 90 today! Wowzers. Happy Birthday Grandma! She is a very active 90 year-old. If it weren't for macular degeneration she'd be as healthy as a 60-year old and touring the world - oh wait, she still tours the world. She just got back yesterday from a cruise she took with her daughter and son-in-law. She's amazing and we all love her very, very much.

Also, today marks Emmy's 6-month mark. Yea! I'm not sure of her current "stats" since we don't go to the doctor's until a couple more weeks, but I do know a whole bunch of more important things than her weight and height. Like how she makes me Smile every single day. Like how much she Adores her brothers and how much they Adore her. Like how she doesn't stop moving when she's awake and how she so wants to start crawling. Like how she can sit-up for a few seconds and then falls over. Like how she much more prefers to fall over on my bed rather than our floor. Like how beautiful she is. Like how congested she is. Like how she squeals rather than cries at night. Like how she's getting more hair - even in her back bald spot. Like how she Loved eating rice cereal until she got her cold and now won't touch the stuff. Like how the last 6-months have been really and truly wonderful With Her. Like how I Love Her.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

What a Ride

So we took the whole family skiing in Telluride. Well the whole family went to Telluride but Miles and Jonas were the only ones who really got to do the skiing. Lucky. It was the first time for both of them. Telluride has a teeny, tiny hill with a "magic carpet" lift (think flat escalator) that kids can learn on for free. So we rented one pair of skis and boots (Miles and Jonas have pretty similar feet sizes) and the kiddos took turns:

To get from the parking space to the ski place you get to take a gondola. This was Miles' absolute favorite part of the entire day. He loved it. Before he'd even gone skiing he was asking if we could go back to the car - so he could ride the gondola. He was our Most-Improved Skier of the day. He started out fine and ended up pretty good. He really did enjoy it when going down and would giggle, etc. I thought the falling down would discourage him, but thankfully it didn't.

Jonas wasn't so sure of the gondolas, but sure enjoyed the skiing aspect. He was the Most Natural Skier of the day. I think in his 15 or so "runs" he fell twice. It was adorable to watch him go down the "mountain."


Here are a couple other pictures:

Emmy was such a trooper and did great. She fell asleep when she was tired, ate when hungry, and watched her brothers ski. We all got a little sun - Jonas the most. Emmy got a little color - but only on 1/2 her face since she was snuggled up to me on the other side. She's such a Cutie.

Here we are eating lunch. Brrrrrrrrrrrr. It was so fricking cold. As Ben says: "Telluride doesn't cater to us common folk." He's right. There was no where that we could go inside and eat our PB&Js. It was either eat in a pub or restaurant or sit outside. We sat outside. The sun went behind the clouds. I had to nurse Emmy. It was freezing.


Here are videos of the kiddos. Sorry for so many pictures and videos! But a "first" of anything has got to be well-documented, right? You might want to turn the volume off for 2 reasons: 1. There is a very annoying alarm going off the whole time. The "magic carpet" was off and I guess it sounds like that when off. 2. There is also a very annoying commentator who says things like, "Right on." (I think that was snow-induced.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Rice, Rice, Baby

So we started giving Emmy some rice cereal on Saturday night. I've been giving a small amount to her twice a day - "breakfast" and "dinner" time. She actually likes it and actually eats it. It's quite impressive. She made some good faces the first time, but still ate it up and has seem to be enjoying it since. She watches her brothers eat all the time and so I think she's more than ready for this fun stage of introducing food. We'll start some fun, color foods later this week, I think.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Quote of the Week

"Don't worry Jonas, we'll get it back."

Famous last words. So here's the story: everything I do with these kids (Miles in particular) is a battle. I know I am to choose my battles, and I do, and that still leaves me with everything I do is a battle. Anyhow, at meal or snack time I want the kids to eat. Go figure, I'm weird. The kids can and do play all day long and so I feel they should eat when it's meal or snack time. And if they don't, then I do things. Like I set a timer and whatever is not eaten when it goes off gets put away or thrown out. Or somtimes I'll threaten them that if they leave their chairs again I'll take their food away. Since I don't threaten that I'll take their food away for good, they usually get it back when they are back in their seats.


But. . . about 2 weeks ago they boys were driving me crazy. Ben was coming home late from work (it was his long day and so he was suppose to be home around 5:30, but wouldn't be home until later). The kids were, of course, driving me crazy by then. They were playing ring-around-the-rosy, run around the kitchen, run into the family room, etc. Sure some people might think that's cute. I didn't that day. So I told them if they got out of their seats one more time that I would take their dinner away.

They got out. I took away their dinner. Jonas screamed and whined. Then Miles calmly told Jonas, "Don't worry Jonas, we'll get it back."

Wrong thing to say to a cranky mom. Needless to say, they did not get their dinners back that nite.

Friday, February 15, 2008

A Sweet Valentine's Day

So our V-day turned out to be really, really good. I cheesed it to the max by having us all wear red - well all except Ben. I figured, why not?
Me trying to take a picture of Emmy, The Cute Valentine Babe, before she topples over. I caught her.
I took all the kids and went to a V-day party that some girl in our ward hosted. It was full of kiddos decorating cookies and eating and making huge messes - so it was a total success! (Thanks for the pic, Lezlee!)When Ben got home the boys got to open their Valentine's goodies from us. They pretty much acted exactly like I thought they would. Both excited about their chocolate dump-trucks in different way:Jonas by eating it.

And Miles by looking at it and playing with it because "it's a toy." (He keeps it in his little McQueen Box - I'm not sure when/if he'll eat it).

And Emmy enjoyed chewing on the wrapper:

Then after dinner we got the kids ready to go to our neighbors to be babysat. The couple is in our ward (their daughter is Miles' sunbeam's teacher - she should know better. . .) and came over last week and said, "Next Thursday is Valentine's Day and we are taking your kids." How nice is that? Miles declared early in the day that he wanted to walk over to the neighbor's house all by himself with no mommy or daddy and that he would hold Jonas' hand so that Jonas would not run out into the street. Okay. So Ben called the neighbors when the kids were ready and watched them walk over. How cute is this:

Ben and I had a fabulous date. We went running in the beautiful snow and we loved it. So fun and pretty and wonderful to talk to somebody on my run. Loved it. Then we went out for dessert (counter-productive?) and just had fun reminiscing about our courtshipin' days at the Y. Some fun, fun times - then and now.

We came home and got the kids. The report: fine. They said Emmy took a while falling asleep (my interpretation: she finally fell asleep like 5 minutes before we got there), but that all was well. Miles was pretty bummed that we came back because they were going to watch a long movie. Jonas was ready to have me back. By the time we got home and kids in bed it was about 9:30ish. It was a very, very good Valentine's -and exhausting.

But that's life these days - very, very good (although sometimes it's very, very not-so-good) and exhausting.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Why I Love You Ben

* you have actually used the Scandinavian Baking Book a lot * you bike to work * you do a good job of balancing family, work, and church * you look really good with a beard * you like to look at yourself a lot when you have a beard * you really like everything I cook * you love me * you wrestle with the boys * you think Emmy is so beautiful * you really do fit me * you always want to be better * you are very good at A LOT of things - from athletics to home-improvements/repairs * you love gardening * you always support me * you are funny - sometimes, kind of * you laugh with me while watching The Office * you have skinny legs (maybe this is more of Why I Envy You) * our V-date will be a fun run and then getting a yummy dessert * you help me * after bribing you with a back-rub or something you'll make phone-calls I should be making * you thought of ordering Gertrude Hawks chocolates for V-day * you can do things around the house like install ceiling fans (wahoo), fix broken pipes, etc. * you like to go shopping * you still think I look good three kids (and a lot of chocolate) later * you like the Dixie Chicks, too * you want a farmlet * you do school with Miles on days when you're off and I have to be somewhere else * you always rent the old, old movies (think 40s) from Blockbuster * you proposed to me on top of the mountain after a very long and ardous snowshoe hike not b/c you wanted it that way, but b/c you knew i would love it * you love our kids * you are my Chosen One (think song by Bread, "our" song)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


So I don't think I've ever been "tagged" before. This tag is appropriate for the upcoming holiday. :) So here it goes:

What is your hubby's name? Benjamin Miles

How long have you been together? We'll be married 6 years this April

How long did you date? We started "hanging out" in April/Mayish, emailed during my 6-week stay in Guatemala that summer, started dating that August, and married on April 27th - so about one-year

Who said I love you first? Ben. My response: "You do?" (how romantic am I?)

Who is taller? uh Ben. Who is not taller than me?

Who is smarter? This totally depends. Perhaps I have a history of being a "better student." But Ben is way smarter at looking at diagrams and being able to put things together, of understanding plumbing and electrical stuff in our house, of constructing things, etc.

Who does the laundry? Well if this question would have been asked 3 days ago, I would have replied that while Ben might, on occassion, put things into either the washer or dryer, I couldn't remember the last time he actually folded the laundry. But last nite he was folding some towels. But mainly I do the laundry.

Who does the dishes? mostly me.

Who sleeps on the right? me.

Who pays the bills? I do it all. Mostly all online. Ben always comments that if I were to die he would have no clue how to pay our bills. Very true.

Who mows the lawn? Mostly Ben, but I really do enjoy it. If we had a push-mower I think I would take over the task.

Who cooks dinner? me.

Who drives when you are together? If it's dark or going to be dark, then Ben. Around town, Ben. On long road trips we usually split. I realize driving is so much better than having to deal with the 3 kids in the back!

Who is more stubborn? me.

Who kissed who first? Ben asked if he could kiss me. Then we both kissed each other.

Who asked who out first? Ben asked me out - he rented a canoe and we took a little float trip down the Provo River. Then we had a picnic full of foods he knew I'd like: strawberries, jicama, and bagels.

Who proposed? Ben.

Who has more siblings? We have the same number - he has 2 sisters and 1 brother. I have 2 brothers and 1 sister.

Who wears the pants? Well Ben always coments to other people how I have taken over the role of "older sibling." Not that our relationship is sibling-like, we are just both the "youngest" in our family. So I guess I wear the pants. I think they fit pretty good.

So I am tagging: Megs, Lezlee, and Katrina

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Why I Love You Miles

* you are so very, very inquisitive * you love books * when asked what else you want for your b-day besides a track excavator (which you are not getting, sorry), you were completely speechless - and that doesn't happen often at all; you wanted my help in coming up with other ideas * you want a "Big" track excavator cake with 2 little front-end loader cakes to go with it for your b-day * you can name and correctly identify at least 25 trucks - from concrete crushers to graders * you love finding the letter "My M" everywhere - at our house, in books, road signs. etc. * you compliment people * you have wonderful energy * you surprise me daily by what you know and remember * after pooping you always have to come out of the bathroom, bend over, and ask me, "Is my bum clean?" * you always make up stories as to how certain things operate or are built - not to lie, but because you are creative * you adore your little sister and frequently tell me, "I like our baby Mommy" * you love "school" * when describing to me just exactly how strong you are, you told me that, "I can pick up everything in our whole wide house" * in your prayers lately you have said that you are "thankful we can live in our house forever," and "I am thankful for my family" * your prayers * you will always be My First

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Why I Love You Jonas

* your long, beautiful hair * your amazing eyes * because you ate the whole dollup of jam I gave you for your french toast - without the french toast * you "Grrrrr" * you tell me "I love you" * you tell emmy "I love you" * you really adore your little sister * you share a lot with your big brother * you love to play without toys: chase, wrestle, hide 'n seek, ring-around-the-rosy * you love being tickled * you have the best huffy voice ever, especially when laughing * you do things for the sole purpose of making others laugh * you are called a girl at least once a week * you tell me to "go away" when you want to do something by yourself * you so want to do everything by yourself * you are very flexible and gynmasty (word?) * you kept asking me today, "Why the fan falling, why?" (it wasn't) * you tell me to "have fun" when I head out the door on an errand or morning run * you ask to be held at least a couple of times every day * you are Wonderful You

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Why I Love You Emmy

* you have the cutest giggle * you are so darn sweet * you are My Girl * you bring joy and happiness to me * you are my calm during my Boy Storms * you are the most beautiful gal I have ever seen * you adore your brothers * you adore me * you adore your daddy * you flail your arms and legs when you're excited * you have chubby legs * you hardly ever spit up on me * you poop like every 4 days * you take good naps most of the time * you are always happy when you wake up * you sometimes burrow your head in my body when I hold you * you look so good in Pink * you so want to be Big like your brothers * you're in bed by 7pm, without a fuss * you have cute headbands * you always suck on your bunting when I am putting you down for your nap or bedtime * you like your music box that was mine as a little girl * you really want to make others happy * and at least another 1001 reasons

Valentine's Idea for the Little Men

We don't really buy each other gifts on V-Day (although I usually get flowers), but chocolate is something that is really nice - any time of the year, really. So to make it "extra" special this year Ben declared that we should buy Gertrude Hawks Chocolates. YUM. We fell in love with these while living out in NY. They are only located in 3 or so eastern states. So Ben and I checked out their website, and were a little disappointed. In their stores they offer a bunch of different flavors - our favs were white chocolate, raspberry, and mint. However, online we can't order these. So we just opted for the Chocolate Candy Bar Variety Pack that comes with one milk chocolate peanut butter meltaway bar, one milk chocolate krispy bar, one milk chocolate almond bar, one solid milk chocolate bar, & one solid dark chocolate bar. It will do and it will be fun reminiscing on those good ol' days there in NY. (Yes, the grass is always greener when on the other side of the continent. But, dang, the grass was greener there with all that rain.)

Okay, but the real reason for this post is that at Gertrude Hawks they offer these:

TWO of these will be arriving at my home for V-day.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Hodge Podge, Mod Podge, and Quote of the Week

Whew, that's a lot.

Well for the hodge podge part: I got a job. I'll be working for a home health agency here in town as a RN. Not that I think I'll be doing too many RN-specific/needed responsibilities, but I guess that will be okay. For this stage of life that I am in (the one that basically requires me to be within 3 hours of any given child at any given part of the day/nite), home health really caters to it. I'll just be working every other Thursday and will be given 5 patients each day to go in and assess, take vitals, educate - but mostly, I think, just to "visit." Huh. Interesting. As a RN on the med-surg floor, this whole "visiting with your patient" thing will be new. I think it'll be nice. Except for those patients (who fellow RNs know exactly whom I am talking about). But I'm excited to just have something different to do then what I have been doing for basically the past 1400 days.

The mod podge part:

I'm incredible lucky to have an extremely crafty and talented sister, as well as many other crafty and talented friends. One of those friends posted some great ideas recently on her blog for ValentiMe's gifts. I stole her first idea, but changed it slightly. I will be doing my kids' pictures later on when we arrange our house a bit differently so I know where I'll be putting it. But it's always fun to make something crafty - and always a bonus when it is so super cheap because then I can actually do it and not just think about it. So I bought some really nice stone tiles at Home Depot ($5.97/pack of 9 4x4 tiles), found some awesome pictures of flowers on the web, printed them out at home on photo paper, and mod podged them on. Fun. I'll be hanging them up in the bathroom. But question for all you crafty folk: how should I hang them? Ben and I have thought about placing ribbon on the back with a glue-gun and hanging them up that way? Hopefully the glue would be strong enough. Or finding some plate-hanger thingys (ya know what I am talking about???). Or what? Ideas would be helpful.

Finally, Quote of the Week:



He says it a lot of times at people when he doesn't like what they say or do. Examples: "Jonas, do not do that (that implying a whole assortment of activities)." "Grrrr." Or, "Jonas get your pajamas on." "Grrrrr." Or, Jonas will get a toy taken away by Miles or pushed down by Miles. "Grrrr." (Or, as just happened tonight: "Grrrrr Wilson." After Wilson the Dog ate the last few bites of Jonas' FHE Rice Krispie treat) I think you get it.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Flashback Friday

A little trip down memory lane again - this time memory lane is in New York. While only there a year, we have many fond (and many not-so-fond) memories. One of the things I loved best there were my runs (and, Kristen, don't even think I'm talking about IBS). Anyways, I absolutely had the best running route ever there. Beats running in Sandy, UT; Provo, UT; somewhere, CT; Grand Junction, CO, and especially Montrose, CO. They weren't easy runs, often quite frightening (I'll explain later), but always, always, always beautiful. Even the same run pretty much every day - always beautiful.

My run started from our driveway - immediately on a huge, steep incline (remember this is the East; it's hilly there). I think it was about 0.6 miles up to the top of our street, but it felt like 4. But during the incline I'd run past neat homes, thick forests (we lived in the "rural" part of the city), and horses. And whatever other animals that were around. I'd vary my run from here occassionally, but it was always just a great run - running in the woods (but really on a paved road - which was scarely driven on - in a neighborhood).

The frightening part of my runs were the "wildlife." In particular: the Wild Turkeys. They scared me. There was a whole flock (or whatever you call a group of Wild Turkeys) of them that lived in our area. They were Huge (please remeber, I am 4'10). And 9/10 times I ran by myself. I didn't grow up with Wild Turkeys and so I didn't know anything about them. Did they like me? Did they want to befriend me? Did they want to show me their home? Or did they just want to eat my head off? I was convinced the answer to the last questions was yes, indeed. For no good nor sensible reason. So whenever the Wild Turkeys were in my way (or I in their way?), I started "clucking." I don't know why. It just seemed, ummmm, the natural thing to do. And you know what, it worked. They scattered and left me alone. I swear that the reason my head is still attached to my body today is because of the "clucking."

Even weirder than my fear of these Wild Turkeys (oh how miss them now) was that we had reports often of A Bear in our neighborhood. And I was less afraid of Him then the Wild Turkeys. But I'm sure If I had seen A Bear on my run I would have definitely peed my pants. I smart enough to know that "clucking" probably wouldn't have scared Him away.

I didn't dare go running in the mornings before Ben left for work (I think I would have had to have left by about 5:45am and it was still dark, really dark. Really dark with Wild Turkeys.) Luckily I only had Miles and so we would go out in the mid-morning time and run together. I relished that - I got the best of two worlds then: running AND talking with my then only-child. It was good. And of course I ran during my pregnancy with Jonas. I would push Miles in my stroller and lug Jonas in my belly. Lovely. But it did get me a spot in some local magazine:

Here's the article:

For Emily Maxwell, a run with her son, Miles, along the hilly roads near her home "just makes me feel better. I have more energy. I just feel good getting outside, and physically I think it's definitely kept me in shape," Maxwell said.

Maxwell, a registered nurse, who works one day a week at Wilson Memorial Regoinal Medical Center in Johnson City, is five months pregnant with her second child. Her husband, Ben, 29, also a registered nurse, works in the Wilson Medical Center's OR.

Pushing Miles up a steep hill in the jogging stroller recently, Maxwell noted that "usually, when you work out, it gets easier and easier, but it's not - not at this stage. But it's OK. I go what I feel I can go, and I slow down when I need to. It feels good to get out - no matter how slow I go."

Every so often, Maxwell paused in her run to pick up a stone or a couple of sticks for Miles. "Right now, I'm just teaching him about getting out, about being outside," the mother said. "It's just me and him, and there's so much to see out here. I talk to him about the trees and the birds. It's just our time to explore, and he gets his supply of sticks," she said with a smile.

Once or twice a week, Ben joins Emily and Miles for a run, and the parents take turns pushing the stroller: "He gets the jogger on the uphills," Emily laughed.

Last June, the couple visited family in Utah, and while there they ran a 10K race while pushing Miles in the jogger. "It was fun," Ben Maxwell said.

(Ha. I love that eloquently stated quote from Ben: "It was fun." That's my man of many words.)

So these days as I run along the Bypass with the passing of semi-trucks and the driving of automobiles, I occassionally get a smell of Skunk and think fondly of my not-then-friends the Wild Turkeys.