Sunday, August 31, 2008

Desperately Seeking Maternity Dresses Below The Knee

And if you are, too, good luck with that. Because I'm not having any. Geez.

Take, for example, Motherhood Maternity. Every single dress they have is either just above the knee or a couple of inches or more above it. I'm frustrated, because they're having a sale, and some of the dresses are really cute, but unless I want to forgo a certain article of clothing, they're just not going to work. And trust me, I tried on a bunch of them a couple of months ago, and they are all juuuuuuust a little bit too short.

I'm just looking for a couple of dresses that aren't too expensive that I can wear to church until the baby's born. I'm really running out of options, because I'm bigger this time, this being a second pregnancy and all, and the non-maternity dresses that have served me well are really no longer going to work. I barely fit into my old standby last week. Plus, let's face it, I'm really tired of wearing the same freaking dresses over and over! :) I found what I thought was a cute dress while I was out in Ohio, but then when I went to put it on last Sunday, I discovered that the sleeves are see-through, which was definitely not apparent until I was actually wearing it. And therefore it is relegated to my "cannot wear without a cardigan" pile, which means I can't wear it until the weather gets a little colder.

Does anyone have any ideas of where to look? I saw on Old Navy's website that they might have a couple of options, but I'm still looking elsewhere. Remember that I'm a cheapskate; these $148 price tags ain't gonna cut it. :)

The Sick

It's my first Sunday with my new calling as 2nd counselor in the Primary Presidency, and I'm sick. I was fine yesterday, but had a little bit of a sore throat as I went to bed which got progressively worse and spread to my ears. In the meantime, I kept waking up throughout the night, so I can't tell if my headache is from lack of sleep or another symptom. Fun times.

We're also supposed to watch a little boy (13 months old?) today so his parents can have some time to themselves, and now it's all on Braden, because I don't want to get either of the kiddos sick. Well, I should say that we're waiting to talk to our friends to see what they want to do; we've left 2 messages already, so I don't know how that's going to go.

I feel pretty bad about missing church; I really need to observe, since I don't know what I'm doing, just looks bad to miss your first Sunday in a new calling, IMHO. Especially since I guess the peep who was in the calling right before me was a slacker.

But what can you do? Not much, except rest up and drink plenty of fluids. Oh, and don't drink OJ. I didn't even think about it, until I took a swallow just now to finish up a half gallon that was taking up space in the fridge...and I was like, Ow. Did I mention that I'm just a little bit sleep deprived? Bedtime for Bonzo. :)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Are You A Food Segregationist?

Just so you know:

I can't stand either syrup or ketchup on eggs. I think it's nasty nasty. Also, I don't subscribe completely to food segregation, (gravy can mix with mashed potatoes and turkey, for example), but I do like most of my food separate. I throw up a little bit in my mouth when my husband dumps the leftover green beans on top on of the leftover pasta so we're only using one tupperware container. (Okay, not really, but I did think it was gross :-) )

And now for the real question:

Are you a Food Segregationist?

And now for the real real question of the day: What do you think of people who spit out their ice cream slowly and repeatedly to make it soft before eating it? Not that I know anyone who would ever do that (ahem...DAN.) And if you think it's gross, consider yourself lucky that you didn't have to sit across from them at the table every time they did it. Just sayin'. :)

Anyway, just a random post for the masses before I go make myself some breakfast. It makes for great breakfast, lunch or dinner conversation! :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fun In The Pool

Jenna and Grandma hanging out in the pool in Duck, NC during the G family reunion. Jenna did have a good time, although you can't tell from the expression on her face. :) Grandma was nice and watched her for a little bit while I tried to get my goggles to work (yeah, didn't happen). You can see various G relatives also in the pool. I do believe a keep-away game was being played on the far side of the pool, so whenever the ball ventured our way, we had to make a mad dash for safety to avoid being trampled by overzealous players. :)

Jenna And Kennedy At The Beach

These are of Jenna playing with her cousin Kennedy at the beach in North Carolina about a month ago. It's hard to see, but Jenna has a regular shirt on and a swim diaper (borrowed from Carolyn, and most certainly not given back). I went with my parents down to the beach for like a 1/2 hour and thought that Jenna would just play in the sand like she'd done the night before. Well, she saw everyone in the water and wanted to get in, too. The only thing is, she thought the ocean was the same as the kiddie pool, so she kept sitting down and waves would come and make the water level rise or splash her. After a couple times of this, she wanted nothing more to do with the ocean and kept wanting me to hold her. Keep in mind that I did not have a swimming suit on, either! I finally got her calmed down and she played with Kennedy in the sand until my best friend from high school showed up with her husband to visit. Hey, haven't seen you in like 6 years, what a great impression I'm making!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Braden: Say "I"...
Jenna: Hi!!
Braden: "Love..."
Jenna: "Pay.."
Braden: "You!"
Jenna: [giggles hysterically]
(She's having a little trouble with the letter "L"...)

Other words Jenna can now say:

More (Mah)
Ball (Bah)
Dog (Dah)
More, please (this is infrequent, and sounds like "Money" or "Mah nee")
Banana (Nana)
Kix (Kee!)
Katie (Kay-gie)
Daddy (Daddy)
Mommy (Mommy or sometimes Mama)
Bye Bye (Buh-bye)
Doll (Da...sounds a lot like Dog)
Hi (Hi)
Fan (Fuh)
Woof (Ffff)
Food (Foo or Fuh)
Honk Honk (Ag ag...this one sounds like All Gone and is soo cute)
All Gone (Ah Ga)
All Done (Ah Da)
Eye (Eye)
Ear (Ee)
Belly Button (Bee bee!! She always gets really excited when she sees mine)
Deer (Dee...there was one in our backyard yesterday, and she kept saying, Hi Dee! Hi Dee!)
Meow (Mao)
Pooh Bear (Puh Bay)
Milk (Mah)
Uh Oh (Uh Oh)
Thank you (Ba-dee or some such thing...not sure; this one changes and sounds nothing like the real thing!)
...and let's not forget Cracker (Cah-cah)

I'm sure there are some that I'm forgetting, but that's a pretty comprehensive list. Jenna keeps adding to it every day...she's learning and growing so fast!

Also, as I'm sure you've noticed, some words sound exactly alike, so it's all about the context, baby.

Flying Kites At The Beach

This is from late July near Kitty Hawk, NC (at dusk). Jenna was "helping" Grampa G. fly a kite on the beach. She didn't know what to think of the sand for a little while, so she wanted me to hold her at first.

You can see her holding onto the string! :)


"Remember, a good attitude produces good
results, a fair attitude fair results, a poor attitude poor results. We
each shape our own life, and the shape of it is determined largely by
our attitude."
--M. Russell Ballard, "Providing for Our Needs", Ensign May 1981, 85

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Recent Quotes

"I really can't fathom watching a whale all day, every day for years." - Ker, while watching snippets of a documentary on humpback whales and a scientist who has made studying them his life's work

After going through the Primary Presidency responsibilities in the handbook:
Braden: "So it's just an administrative calling. You don't really have to do anything." [joking]
Ker: "I should walk around the halls with an annoyed look on my face, so I look really busy."
Braden: "...with a clipboard. You can write funny stuff on it during Primary and see if anyone notices. [mimics writing] Poo-gas."
[Ker bursts out laughing at the thought of writing "Poo-gas" on a clipboard during Primary]

While feeding Jenna (she's got the "more" part down, but we're working on "please" and "thank you"):
Braden: "More, please? More, please?"
Jenna: "Mah? Mah?"
Braden: "More, please?"
Jenna: "Mmm..." [leans in for a kiss]
Ker: "She's already kissing men to distract them!"

Last Call for Drinks

We have had several responses to our Game Name, including several people that found the answer without hints and prompting.

Among the names that were guessed but were not correct:


Then in the "No. Just no." category came these guesses:


There are still several readers of our blog who have not submitted their guesses, so here is your chance if you have not already made your guess. Go check out the crossword puzzle and see if you can find the name.

And for those who have already worked on it, you can always go back and see if you can find some of these easter eggs that we hid deep in the bowels of the game:

Barack Hussein
Xena Warrior Princess (separated in two parts)
John McCain
Dino Rossi
Chase Bank

And then of course there are the words that just ended up there but prove to be kind of funny:


No, we are not going to name our daughter Warm Pee, although after considering the option, I have to admit that I was tempted. It has a certain je ne sais quoi.

And congratulations to the winners: David and Gina (my brother and sister-in-law) where the first to correctly guess the answer. Other winners include Mom G (Kerry's Mom), Mom and Dad E (with a little prodding), and probably another couple of people.

Some people needed a few clues and that's fine.

And of course, in the "I literally had to spell it out for them" category go Brian and Andrea (Braden's friends), who finally got the answer when I told them where the first letter could be found, what it was, and how many letters were in the word. Even then it took a minute. It's okay, Brian, it is really my fault for not including handicap access to the puzzle.

The answer will be posted here tomorrow for those too busy/lazy to search the puzzle. Those who know the answer please resist the temptation to post it in the comments.



"Service, to be acceptable to the Savior, must come from willing minds, ready hands, and pledged hearts."
--President Thomas S. Monson, Ensign, May 1994, 62

Monday, August 25, 2008

Lemon-y Goodness

I'm trying to clean up my documents folder and free up some space, so I've been going through old pictures and videos (mostly of Jenna, of course). I'm hoping that posting that I'm doing it will motivate me to keep doing it. :)

Anyway, here's a video of Jenna from the Olive Garden, where Braden kept trying to give her a lemon slice. Good times. This was, in fact, from the same day when we got the "candle on a plate" for Braden's birthday, which is funny, since the incident was just mentioned in a comment on a previous post. Jenna had just turned one.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Way To Put Me At Ease...

Ker: "Just so you know, I haven't been in Primary since I was 11, so I don't really know what I'm supposed to be doing..."

Primary President: "That's okay; me neither."

She was serious, folks.

Here's to hoping that the 1st counselor knows what she's doing!!!

Do Not Ever Sign Up For Bally Fitness

So last week Braden, Jenna and I went to take an ostensibly short tour of the Bally Fitness gym that's about 15 minutes from our place. We went solely because I wanted to have a place to swim, because it's low-impact, feels good on my big, luggy body and I can't start anything new exercise-wise (especially if it's strenuous) this late in pregnancy. But just going to do some light swimming or kicking would be beneficial, and I loved being in the pool the few times I got to go during our recent vacation in North Carolina. Anyway, I had called a couple of days prior to find out if they had a pool and what kind of prices they had for adult plans. The girl said that yes, they did have a pool and that the plans ranged from $22-26/mo plus $5/mo for unlimited childcare. I thought, well, that's not too bad, since another place I'd looked at was asking $51/mo and you still had to pay for childcare. So I thought I'd check it out, and we headed over. We got there at around 4:15pm and explained to the "manager" that Braden had to be across town for an appointment at 5. The guy, Caleb, I believe, looked at the clock and said, "Ok, so we've got 45 minutes." Well, no, Caleb. No, we don't. If teleportation were possible, then yes, yes we do. But Braden can't magically appear at his appointment. Anyway, so that garnered the first raised eyebrow of many more to come.

Then he proceeds to ask why we were there, and I explained, I thought rather clearly, how I was going to have a baby in 2 months, and I really just wanted to swim. He then asks Braden (keep in mind we hadn't even talked about this for Braden, so this was really just for me, which I didn't spell out, but any idiot could have understood that from what I had told him) about why he's there, and then proceeds to not-so-subtly berate Braden for not making the time to work out, because "we're all busy, and we just need to make the time, and we get the time back by feeling more refreshed, blah blah..." I loved this classic quote: "So, you're a've heard of REM sleep, right?" Le DUH. He just wasn't endearing himself to us from the get-go. Then he turns back to me and wants to know what my fitness goals are. I repeat what I said previously and say a little bit more, but not much. It's obvious to me that we're not communicating, because I realize that he's looking for me to say something else, but I don't know what it is, and I say as much to him. He then says, "Well, you want to use the pool, okay, but what about using the weights?", and I say, "well, sure, to get back into shape after I have the baby." His response to this is to sigh loudly (with an obviously frustrated look on his face), shake his head at me and say, "Well, let's just go take the tour." [Kerry's note: I explained what I wanted to do!!! I can't have an elaborate fitness plan in mind, because I don't know how the birth will go and what kind of a postpartum recovery I'll have!!) As we head out of the office, Braden and I exchange a "what the crap" look. But no, the fun is just beginning, my friends.

Keep in mind that I'm all about the pool, and I've said as much several times to this guy. The weights and machines are right outside the "manager's" office, so it does make sense to start there. However, given what he knows about us, it most definitely does not make sense to go from machine to machine and methodically explain them step by step. I think he went to 6 or 7 different machines and demonstrated each one. Less effective, my lowly managerial BFN. Also keep in mind that we have the entire gym to go through, and not a lot of time to do it, and you can see how frustrated we were getting. Like I'm going to remember or care how the lateral press exercises this muscle just so when all I'll be doing is swimming for a few months. He was a "weights" guy, and it was just so obvious that he had no idea how to tailor his sales pitch to the individual customer.

So he finally stops doing that, and we go throughout the rest of the gym, which was fine, and he was actually a lot less annoying during this, EXCEPT that he was really taking a long time. Once we got to some machines again, he started asking a lot of questions about what I'd be using. I just said the elliptical machine, but I was getting frustrated that he just didn't get the whole pregnancy thing, and that HELLO I'm not going to be running on the treadmill in my third trimester (he seemed to think that I'd be doing whole long workouts on these machines, despite what I'd already explained to him). At this point, whenever he'd ask a question, Braden would just be like, "Yes", in hopes of getting him to shut up and hurry up. I follow his lead, and we get to the pool last (of course).

The pool was okay, but not overly impressive, truth be told. From there, we head back to the office, and he proceeds to lay out some monthly prices, which are from $9-20 more per month than what I'd been told. When I tell him this, and that the phone conversation was only two days ago, he magically pulls up a lower price on his "computer" (we don't think he even did anything on the computer), but one that is still higher than what I was told. We also are told that we have to purchase from 2-6 personal trainer sessions in addition to the monthly price, and when I ask if we HAVE to (because we have zero interest in that), he says that FOR TWO DAYS ONLY they can give us a discounted price on the sessions (still over a hundred dollars for the lowest), and then THEY HAVE TO GO TO THE NEW PRICE PLAN!!! Uh huh. I've heard that one before. It doesn't faze me. Anyway, I take a closer look at the price sheet, along with the gibberish that he's writing out and not explaining to us, and I ask about another $150+ fee that I see along with the monthly and personal trainer fee. He replies in a "you're an idiot" tone that that's of course the one time up front fee to join. He had never pointed this out or explained it, but apparently I'm an idiot for asking about it?? Anyway, at this point, he goes in all out sales mode and wants to know which plan we're looking at. We tell him the most basic (Braden said he rolled his eyes at this, but I missed it), but we begin explaining that we are going to go home and discuss it with each other before committing to anything. His response is to get even more animated and explain over and over how this price is only good for the next two days (then a day and a half, then a day)....lather, rinse, repeat about 4 or 5 times. From his second refusal on, I start to think loudly in my mind, "SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP!!" It was so insulting, like he thought we just weren't "getting it." In the meantime, we are running super late, and finally, I bluntly tell him, "LOOK, we just wanted to check out the facilities, see what you guys had, and make a decision later." He finally takes no for an answer very frustratedly (again shaking his head), but not before one more, "it's only two days" under his breath, and then he says all right and basically kicks us out of his office more or less. He never says goodbye or thanks for coming, but as we stand up, Jenna says "Buh-bye!" and waves, and he can't help but smile and say goodbye to her because it's so cute when she does that. He does not walk us out or say anything to us after his last ditch effort. We walk ourselves to the door and out into the parking lot, where I say loudly, "WOW. WOW." To top it all off, Braden missed his appointment because the guy kept us so long, despite repeated reminders that we were running out of time. Thanks, dude, sure 'ppreciate ya.

I have never been so appalled at a salesman before, and he was so horrible at it!! It's a self-fulfilling prophecy! He made up his mind that we weren't going to come back and buy a membership, so he decided that we weren't worth his time or worth common courtesy, he let his emotions and true colors show, and that's exactly how it happened--we didn't go back. I will never go back to that gym and let him get his commission off of me. In fact, I'll never join a Bally's...but that's mostly because of this and this, information that I found out after taking the tour. Sure sounds like a scam operation to me, and I can't believe they're still in business if that's how they run their company.

I was so upset when we left the gym that I started crying (pregnancy hormones, peeps) and saying, "I just want to use a pool!! That's all I want!" And it is. I don't want to pay for all this other stuff that I won't use for at least 6 months. However, I can't find anywhere that will let me just use the pool.

The YMCA is sounding more and more appealing to me. We took a tour there a few months ago, and never once did I feel pressured into buying a membership. They were nice, friendly and answered all of our questions without trying to put one over on us. And that is how you get people to join your gym.

So Utah...

Go here.

Apparently We Smell... :)

Background: immediately after church in the gym. Braden sees a couple who have a son and a daughter Jenna's age.

Braden: So when are you guys coming over for dinner?

Husband: Depends on our schedules. They've got me doing a lot of [insert military shift acronym here]. [briefly explains that it's a 24 hour shift and includes x amount of responsibilities]

[wife leaves rather hurriedly with her daughter]

Braden: Yeah, my schedule's really varied, too. [Pulls out pocket PC to pull up said schedule]

Husband: [mumbles something about finding his wife and kids and abruptly leaves]

Does anyone else find this a little strange? I think this guy did the same thing to Braden a couple of months ago when he was trying to invite them over. I mean, maybe he didn't know Braden was going to look at his schedule, but the start of the conversation was about dinner... Also, the wife seems to generally be social, but her abrupt departure without really saying anything puzzled me, because it's not like she doesn't like us. She always talks about how cute Jenna is, and had just mentioned how big Jenna was getting, etc. Maybe they just aren't down with socializing outside of church. The whole thing was just bizarre.

Both of us took showers this morning, I promise!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008



"She's so pretty. She's going to be really beautiful when she grows
up." - A girl (maybe 8 or 9?) at the grocery store who was just
captivated by Jenna. I thought that was one of the sweetest things
I've heard anyone say about Jenna. What a sweet girl! She made my day.


"...and this is the best you could do?" - a man I was helping at CopyMax years ago, after I explained that I had just gotten my associate's degree. I was a bit taken aback...hello, you don't find the job you want right away all the time, especially in the graphic design field, and you certainly don't say that to people!

"Well, your portfolio wasn't the best of the candidates we've seen..." - my soon-to-be-boss at Marc's (my after CopyMax job), right before he offered me a low-paying job (for my field), obviously trying to bring down the hourly pay even more. Way to make me feel great about working there! Anyway, the other people were probably overqualified, and my portfolio was a bunch of school projects that had nothing to do with what I'd be doing at the job. This boss turned out to be someone who we avoided like the plague every time he came stalking out of his office, furious at something or someone.

"Did it again, huh?" - random woman outside the ER where Jenna and I were waiting for Braden to get off work. Said while patting the air next to my stomach. At least she didn't rub my tummy! Actually, I found this comment hilarious, and I burst out laughing and replied, "Yep, sure did!" And I should point out that she and her husband were actually very nice people, but it was a very white trash moment.

"Your post is dumb." - my loving husband (we were joking around and he's kidding, or else he can sleep out in the smelly raw-chicken-cooking-in-the-garbage-can of a garage tonight).

In Honor Of Grandma S...

...and also because it sounded dang good.

I made "Rabbit-In-A-Hole" for the first time today, and boy, was it yummy. The recipe I used calls it Egg-In-A-Hole, and then lists many different names for it, but Rabbit was not among them. But that's how I know it. Grandma used to make this every so often for us when we'd be visiting, and I loved it. I also loved me some "Leaven and Bologna", aka Lebanon Bologna for those who did not have the hearing problem I apparently had as a child. :) I thought it was Leaven and Bologna until I was an adult, saw it in a deli and was like, "Wait a second...."

Aaah, Pregnancy...

I am really quite forgetful lately, more so than usual. Or just weird. The other day, I do believe I almost put the milk in the cupboard, and I left a different jug of milk on the floor beside me for too long after I'd had my cereal. That is why I usually put the milk back after pouring some on my cereal, and then I go get more if I need it. I also thought that I'd put away all perishables from my grocery shopping last week, and then I discovered the guacamole in a bag going on 3 hours after I'd come home. It's still in the fridge now, just because I was mad that I didn't get to try it, but I'm too scared to eat it now, and it will be going in the garbage. I hate wasting!!!

Also, I get more and more winded carrying Jenna up the stairs (or just going up them by myself). You'd think I never exercised in my life! At least she's not older and thus heavier, but she's still a hefty 22-25 lbs. I mean, I guess she could be 40 lbs, like someone I know was when he was 2 (...Dan). So I'll count my blessings. :)

I took Jenna to the park yesterday, and it wiped me out, even though we were only there for probably half an hour. It was quite sunny, and I followed her around the crawly spaces and such. Of course, she kept going in the spaces meant for kids, and most obviously not meant for those who might happen to be big and prego. I did the best I could about keeping her where I could reach her, but at one point she started crawling down a very small, narrow space. After trying to get her to turn around (and failing), I noticed that there was about a 2 foot drop at the other end. AND BOY DID THIS PREGO WOMAN BOOK IT TO THE OTHER SIDE. :) No big deal, really, but I was quite winded after that, and we left just a few minutes later. Prior to that, she wanted to swing, so I pushed her for a while, and I couldn't believe how tired I was already. The sun was beating down on my back, and I was having to lean on a pole with one hand while pushing Jenna with the other.

It'll sure be nice to have some energy again, even though that won't be for awhile!


So this is the second time within the past few weeks that I look around, can't find Jenna, and start yelling her name...only to look to my left (or right) and find that she's standing right beside me. I've started letting her wander around, and she's fine doing so, for the most part. It's only if I look around and can't see her that I worry she might be trying to climb the stairs. She's actually pretty good about not doing that. I'm letting her have some more independence as she gets better about knowing what she should and should not be getting into. We're still working on some things, but she's a lot better than she used to be, and it's important for her to explore.

Anyway, back to my calling her name...she is sometimes so quiet in her movements that I really don't hear her move around to the other side of me, and then I feel like an idiot because I'm yelling for her, and she's like, "um, cah-cah, weirdo?"

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Baby Appointment

I'm writing an update on the baby, since I had an appointment on Monday. I hadn't been in almost two months, since I had an appt. scheduled a week after I was suddenly in Ohio, which I obviously didn't go to. Anyway, we had noticed some swellings in my legs from pictures taken while I was on vacation, but it seems to have gone down now, and could have been from being on my feet a lot, plus I guess plane flights sometimes cause that. The baby's heartbeat is nice and strong, and I'm measuring 30 centimeters, which is right on track. She is totally hanging out on my right side, just like Jenna did. Except that this baby is currently breech, and Jenna never was. midwife is hoping that she moves into position within the next month, or they'll have to start doing some stuff to try and get her to move, and I've heard that that isn't real pleasant, although I don't really know what they do. The baby is currently positioned on the right with her head near my ribs, and her butt on my bladder (and let me tell you, FREQUENT trips to the bathroom), with her legs stretching out to the left. Or something like that...much breechiness.

I took the glucose tolerance test while I was there, since I should have had it done like a month ago. Next time I think will go for the lemon-lime drink. It's funny, I remembered the orange drink not being that bad when I had it with Jenna, but this time it was not very pleasant. It wasn't death or anything, but I didn't have the same "Oh, this isn't bad" thought this time around. I think maybe I drank it too fast, too; they give you five minutes to drink it, and I always worry that I'll run out of time, so I chug it. In this case, I was done in two minutes, and I felt kind of sick. Blech. Lemon-lime next time, baby.

Yay!!! I just called for the test results, and it's normal!!! That's a relief.

Our Baby's Name

As indicated in the e-mail message that we sent out last night (our most sincere apologies to those who were not included on the e-mail list; it isn't because we don't love you. It is probably because we don't have your e-mail address in our database), we are set to announce the name of our baby who is due in October.

And those who know us well know that we are incapable of simply announcing the name. That would be too easy and far far too boring.

Therefore, we have painstakingly and lovingly crafted an entertainment extravaganza in the form of a terrific and inspired crossword puzzle of love and beauty. And stuff.

So without further ado, please go and visit Blakely's Real Name Game and see if you can correctly guess the name we have chosen, which is hidden somewhere in the puzzle. (the puzzle is in PDF format. If you cannot view PDF on your computer, please e-mail us and we will send you a Microsoft Word version of the file) To help you out, we will give you a little hint right off the bat: She will not be named any of the following: "John McCain", "Mommy", Chase Bank", or "Anehyyeeannr". If you find those words in the puzzle and think that you have unlocked the secret, you may find yourself mildly disappointed.

When you feel that you have the correct answer, please DO NOT LEAVE A COMMENT ON THE BLOG, but rather send an e-mail message to family at bkellis dot com and let us know what your guess is. The big prize will be awarded to the first person to first offer the correct answer.

The big prize includes a vacation to Florida with roundtrip airfare, a 2009 Chrysler Sedan, and a 45 foot luxury yacht. The second prize is several stale cheerios*.

So there you have it. On your marks, get set, Good luck!

* Some restrictions apply. Please see store for details. Offer not valid in the United States or any other country. Prizes are awarded only for submissions received prior to the publication of this contest. Airfare, taxes, license, shipping, actual cost of car and yacht, and hotel fees are considered the responsibility of the prize winner. Odds of winning: depends on how quickly Dan gets his hands on this crossword puzzle. Winner of second prize please e-mail in triplicate and include a notorized reciept with proof of purchase and $143.56 to cover shipping and handling and a wonderful dining experience for the exhausted parents. For full details and other legal restrictions and contractual obligations of winner, please visit whatever website you want to go see and then make up the rest. Vote for Batman in November.


"All of us face challenges in our daily lives. Yet in challenges lie
some of our greatest opportunities. As we recognize and act on our
opportunities, progress, happiness, and spiritual growth follows. We
need to be involved in moving the Lord’s work forward. The
opportunities available to us are endless."
--H David Burton, "A season of opportunity”", November 1998 Ensign pg. 9

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

3 Years, Baby

1. Where did you meet? If you ask Braden, he's likely to say a stripclub. But no, we met online on an LDS singles site.

2. Why were you too cheap to pay for a membership? Because the site had a loophole whereby you could send stupid one liner "flirts" to people online, and then if they had a membership, they could initiate a chat with you.

3. How did you sucker Braden into initiating a chat? With my charming, witty profile. He was intrigued, then hooked, and then I reeled him in.

4. How many people did you chat with before "meeting" Braden? Way, way too many. It got to the point where I just chatted because I was bored. Once I got into grad school, I didn't have much time to get serious, anyway.

5. How many people did you meet in person from online sites before Braden? Two. And they were and are very nice guys.

6. What was your very first impression of Braden? That he was skinnier than his pictures showed. And that he hugged me very tightly. He must have liked me. :)

7. What was your first date? Dick's Sporting Goods, at my hometown mall. He didn't want to go straight to my parents' house because it was nerve-wracking. I don't blame him. So we walked around Dick's and made fun of stuff. Ah, a match made in heaven!

8. When was your first kiss? I think about a week after he came out to visit me. It was to Garou, the French singer (he sounds like he perpetually has a frog in his throat). I have to say, I debated for a few songs about whether I really wanted to get into another relationship and all that would come with it. But ultimately, I decided what the heck! I remember thinking that his lips were very soft! ;) What a hottie.

9. When did you know he was the one? When I was visiting him in WA, and my flight to go home was delayed. We came back to his parents', where I was staying, and I finally said "I love you" to him on the couch in the living room. And to me, saying I love you was the same as saying "I'll marry you", because to me, that's essentially what I was saying. That's why I waited so long to say it. I'd been burned a few times before, and I was soooo commitment-shy. But he was patient, so that's how he got me! :)

10. Where did he propose? At the airport in the spot where we met. I'll let him tell the story about the IHOP waitress who ruined his surprise of where we were going. Then, he surprised me and proposed again in a little park in Kent once he actually had the real ring (I wore a cz ring for a few weeks before he flew out to Ohio again).

11. What do you love about him? Where to begin... He's such a good husband and father. He loves his little girl so much, and it just melts my heart to see him captivated by her. He's so kindhearted, and I love his little surprises. He has such a strong testimony that motivates me to learn and grow more in the gospel. And he's hilarious!! He makes me of the things that I love most is how he just adores making me laugh out loud....and that makes me laugh harder! He's a wonderful provider for our family, and he works so hard to make sure that we can live comfortably. I love how silly he gets when we're both overtired and should just go to sleep, and we just can't stop laughing. I love how he loves to cuddle and how he looks forward to our kids cuddling with us (Jenna's not quite there yet). And let's not forget his beautiful eyes and eyelashes. :)

I love you, Braden!! Happy 3rd Anniversary!

Makes It All Worth It

She's either about to pray or about to bust a move; I'm not sure. :)

Yet Another Quote

"I have always found that when we do the little things correctly, the
Lord gives us the strength to accomplish big things... You might not
always understand the reasons for some rules or commandments, but if
you will follow them even in the little things you will have more
strength to do big things... And you will have the great blessing of
knowing that you are on the Lord's side and that He is on yours."
--Donald L. Hallstrom, "Friend to Friend: On the Lord's Side," Friend, Sept. 2002, 8

Monday, August 18, 2008

I Found It!!

Song for the fifth child
by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

"Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth
empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
hang out the washing and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
and out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
but I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.


Found this on a friend's blog:

"Recently, I was diagnosed with C. A. A. D. D. -Child Activated
Attention Deficit Disorder. This is how it manifests: I decide to do
the laundry. As I start toward the laundry room, I notice that there
are cheerios all over the floor and my car keys are in the cereal bowl.
I decide to pick up the cheerios before I do the laundry. I lay my car
keys down on the counter, put the cheerios in the trash can under the
counter, and notice that the trash can is full. So, I decide to take
out the trash. But then I think, since I'm going to be near the
mailbox when I take out the trash I may as well pay the bills first. I
take my checkbook off the table, and see that there is only one check
left, my extra checks are in my desk in the office/playroom, so I go to
my desk where I find a sippy cup full of juice. I'm going to look for
my checks, but first I decide I should put the sippy cup in the
refrigerator to keep it cold. As I head toward the kitchen with the
sippy cup, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye --they need
to be watered. I set the sippy cup on the counter, and I discover baby
wipes that I've been searching for all morning. I decide I better put
them back in the bathroom, but first I'm going to water the flowers. I
set the wipes back down, fill a container with water and suddenly I
spot the TV remote, one of the kids left it on the kitchen table. I
realize that after school when they go to watch TV, I will be looking
for the remote as they fight over who lost it, but I won't remember
that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den
where belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.
I splash some water
on the flowers, but most of it spills on the floor. So, I set the
remote back down, get some paper towels and wipe up the spill. Then I
head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do. At the
end of the day: the laundry isn't washed, the bills aren't paid, there
is a warm cup of juice sitting on the counter, the flowers aren't
watered, there is still only one check in my checkbook, I can't find the
remote, I can't find the wipes, and I don' t remember what I did with
the car keys. Then when I try to figure out why nothing got done today,
I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I'm
really tired. I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get
some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail/blog. Don't laugh -- if this isn't you yet, your day is coming."

That's funny, I was like this before I had kids! :)

Cah-cah or Caca, Take Your Pick

So Jenna and I are currently in a cracker battle. As in, she only wants crackers and does not want to eat any baby food or any other kind of food, really. She was doubling and even tripling her intake of food while we were on vacation, but as soon as we came back, she went back to only eating one 4 oz container, IF I'm lucky. The past couple of days, she's only eating maybe a few bites and then won't eat any more, saying, "Cah-cah? Cah-cah?" FYI, "cracker" means anything like Cheerios, animal crackers, graham crackers, Kix, cereal of any kind, Ritz Bits, Baby Mum Mum, you name it. She even pointed to my Reeses Pieces on the bedstand this morning and called it a "cah-cah". And no, I didn't feed her Reeses, no worries. Even I have my limits. :)

So right now I'm trying to be less frustrated at the waste of food and just try to get her to eat some food before crackers and help her understand that crackers are a reward, and that if she doesn't eat some real food, she doesn't get them. It's an ongoing battle for now.

On a side note, she has finally learned to sort of lick her lips (she pulls in her bottom lip) to get rid of any excess food on them. For the longest time, she would slowly raise her hand to her mouth in a sort of "there's something on my mouth that wasn't there before, and what the heck do I do with it" gesture. I noticed her new method yesterday. Also, she will now say, "Mah?" for "more"...we're working on the please and thank you.

She's a good's just that I'm sure the return flight home where she had nothing but crackers all day didn't help this situation. And it's not like I didn't try to feed her regular food, but she would have NONE OF IT!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Blacksburg Fun

These are pics taken by my dad while we were visiting them in Virginia.

Blueberry Picking

My favorite--no, I didn't beat her up; that's a blackberry juice stain

Suzy and Jenna reading a book together

Saturday, August 16, 2008


I found out about a free crib a couple days ago, followed up on it and not only is it free, but the owner is delivering it to our place in a week and a half. Sweet!! I guess she'll be driving past this area then and offered to bring it up when I mentioned that we'd have to borrow a bigger vehicle to get it to our place. The only catch is that it doesn't have a mattress, since they are using the mattress for their son's new toddler bed. But it shouldn't be too difficult to find one, either on craigslist, or, if we must, we can buy one elsewhere. I'd rather go the craigslist route first, though. Spoken like a true relative of Dan. :)

Anyway, since we will soon have the crib, which is sooner than expected, this will motivate us to clean up the baby's room, which is currently the "stuff" room. It needs to be done anyway, and I'd rather get it done now than when I'm about to give birth, for sure.

I'm really grateful that we've been able to get so many things for our kid(s) either for free or for relatively cheap. It sure has saved us a lot of money. And there's nothing like having two girls to save money on clothes! (Except having three...anyone I know?)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Hotness

So for probably more than a month now, I have not worn socks. For those who know me well, this is momentous. I am normally always cold. Since I got home on Saturday night, I have begged for the fan to be on at night, and Braden has moaned every time, because he's not hot or he's a good temperature. BUT I DIE!!! I just told him that I think I need to move the fan over to my side, because pointing it at the end of the bed from his side ain't cuttin' it, yo. He replied that he thinks I got like this (temperature-wise) around this time during my pregnancy with Jenna, too. I don't remember that well enough to say either way, but one thing to also consider is that this is my first time going through the summer in the later stages of pregnancy, so that probably factors in as well.

Now that I have informed you all, I'm going upstairs to blast the fan while I read my book. Jenna was testing me a lot today, and I didn't really have the patience for it, since we had to get up at 6:30 to drive Braden to work so I could have the car for my appointment. Mama Bear needs her sleep to be able to put up with toddlers who stand up on the couch with big grins on their faces when they know they're not supposed to. Grrr.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


"No teaching is equal, more spiritually rewarding, or more exalting than that of a mother teaching her children."
--President Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Feb. 2000, 16

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I'm about to go take a nap while Jenna's down, but I wanted to let everyone know that Jenna and I made it back home in one piece. She was pretty good, but towards the end was getting cranky, and luckily I was able to get her to sleep for the last hour. More on the roundtrip flights when I get a chance, and also more on what we did while we were away.

I am thrilled to be home!! Jenna, too; she just romped and played when she first got up. She always, always wants food right away in the morning, but she was so happy to be home that she giggled and played for an hour or hour and a half.

And she missed her daddy, although she was a little bit shy at first. Now they're back to being pals. :)

A shoutout to my mama, who really went above and beyond to make sure Jenna and I were comfortable and had what we needed while we visited them. Jenna had a bunch of Grandma toys to play with and plenty of baby necessities. Thanks, Mom!!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I'm Comin' Home

Really quickly...we will shortly be on our way home. I have to do some last minute packing and then we head off for a drive, followed by about 8 hours of time in the airport. We don't get in unto late Seattle time, so it will be a very long day for both Jenna and I. Pray for us...especially that Jenna will handle it well! :)

I'm so excited to go home and see my hubbin and be in my own place!! (I did have a good time here, though)

Monday, August 4, 2008

haPpy bIrthdAy toO aN oLd, oLd maN.

My little brother David is officially an old man today, and deserves a happy birthday shoutout!

Happy Birthday!


PS - for those who are interested in such things, you will notice that not only does every word in the title have a capital letter, there is also a punctuation mark at the end of the sentence. Ever one for good grammar, I am.