December 29, 2009

Need to burn off some of those Holiday pounds?

Do we have some answers for you!

Take out all your aggression on some foam furniture. It's cheap, easy, and won't scratch your walls!

By the way- those are "happy" screams from Toby. He really was having a good time!

OR...would you rather beat those bulges running a few laps with "the pusher?" All it takes is a few minutes a day, running back and forth until you are utterly exhausted and you'll be shedding those pounds in no time!

December 28, 2009

It's the simple things...

...that make Christmas special. I am so glad Toby is at the age where he could really care less about what under the tree. I also love that he cheers for every gift opened - even if its as boring as Tupperware or a Crock pot (those were some of my gifts I let him open). I was just as happy to see them as he was. Well, maybe a little more. I really do love my new stack-able Rubbermaid containers!

But all it took to make Toby's Christmas was a few toy cars, an $8 snow shovel, and some snazzy, rotating kitchen magnets from Grandma Sibert. Here's a couple clips of him with his new toys:

Don't you love the car noises he makes? So adorable.

So he got a few more things like clothes, books, and a singing vacuum (that sometimes drives me up the wall...leave it to the grandparents to give toys like that), but mostly the toys I mentioned above were his favorites.

My top 3 favorite gifts: slippers, Tupperware, AND.....a gift certificate to a spa! YEESSSSS! Can't WAIT to try that one out.

Nicks favorite gift: a brand new laptop that includes a camera so we can skype with my bro Tim and his family. OK so I worded that weird - he didn't get the laptop for the camera, that's just an added perk for me. Blah. I'm so done with writing for the night.

I will say that Christmas was so much fun in our new house with our own little family. I even got the Christmas butterflies the night before. Yes, still a kid at heart I suppose. :)

December 22, 2009

The best christmas present ever

So Toby decided to give me his Christmas present early this year. What could a 21-month-old actually give to his mom you say? Well, to be honest Toby has no clue that what he gave me has me a little cheerier and more pleasant to be around. OK I'll stop beating around the bush.....Toby gave me the priceless and highly underrated gift of.....SLEEP!

Since he started sleeping through the night (which was around 11 months of age) Toby would wake up at 5:30 every morning without fail - even though he was definitely NOT done sleeping and would be super cranky until his nap. I read dozens of articles online on how to get him to sleep longer and gleaned every mom I knew for their advice. It was all in vain though because NOTHING would coax him back to sleep. Most people would just tell me to go to bed earlier so that I wouldn't be so tired waking up that early. True, that was the most logical fix for the situation. But its really hard going to be at 9:30 every night when a) your husband doesn't get home until 10:00 and b) you are a night owl. I absolutely love staying up late reading, writing, watching the news. Not to mention being able to tell Nick about all the happenings of my day (those are usually the days I haven't seen him for 14 hours and I've been cooped up in the house without any adult conversation).

Well, all it took was one simple suggestion from my brother Tim,and the problem was fixed. I was complaining about Toby's sleep issues because of the wretched daylight savings (he was waking up at 4:30) and Tim suggested that either me or Nick lay down next to the crib to see if he would go back to sleep. At first I was like, "Oh no, Toby will never go for that. If anything that will make him start waking up all through the night again." But I was desperate and honestly, what did I have to lose? The next morning we tried it. I sent Nick in there and within minutes Toby went back to sleep until 7:00. This went on for about a week until Toby finally woke up at 7:30 all on his own without Nicks assistance. And to this day he is still sleeping wonderfully and I am getting an extra two hours of sleep! Woo-hoo!!!!

Another added bonus is that Toby's now sleeping better when we travel to places. We spent this past weekend with Nicks parents and sister up in Hyrum, Utah. Although I loved for Toby to spend time with his grandparents and cousins, I absolutely dreaded the nights because he would wake up 5 - 6 times a night and sometimes not go back to sleep for hours. He was that way even as a little baby. For some reason he had to be in his own bed and in his own room. He never liked sleeping next to us or in some pack n' play. But, all anxiety was put to rest because he slept all night both nights we were at Nick's parents. I was absolutely elated - and shocked! This was the one trip Nick and I actually enjoyed ourselves and weren't snapping at each other because of how tired we were.

Ahh...bless you Toby. Sleep is definitely the gift that keeps on giving. :)

December 12, 2009

Diez Cosas

Thank you Kristina for the idea to do this post.

Alright, 10 things about me:

1 - I am very shy when I am in a group of people where I don't know anyone. I prefer to be one on one. This is why I never liked going on group dates unless I knew everyone in the group.

2 - I attended a Spanish Immersion Elementary School. Everything was taught in Spanish and I was probably considered fluent until I got into High School and hardly ever spoke it. Now, I'm embarrassingly rusty. I can understand most of what I hear, I just don't speak all that well. Which reminds me of a funny story: two of my guy friends had returned home from serving missions in South America. Every time they wanted to say something that they didn't want the rest of the group to know about, they would slip into speaking Spanish to each other. I played along, acting oblivious like everyone else in the room (but secretly loved the fact I could eavesdrop without them knowing). When their discussion turned to farting and they seemed to enjoy just a little too much that no one in the room understood what they were saying, I couldn't resist breaking into their conversation and asking: "So, which one of you farted?" Their mouths dropped, faces turned bright red, and they didn't speak Spanish the rest of the night. :)

3 - So this one might sound kind of odd. For some reason, I almost always have people come talk to me in public places and tell me intimate details about their life (people that I don't know). I have no idea why this is. It's like I have this vibe I send out when people look at me that says, "Come talk to me. I want to hear your life story." For example, a little while ago Nick and my brother Terry went out to eat together and the server kept looking at me and telling me all about her bad day. Every time she returned to fill our drinks or check on us she went further and further into detail about how hard her day had been. By the time she gave us our bill she was showing me pictures of her son and her boyfriend from her cell phone. Both Nick and Terry when we were leaving were like "what the heck was that all about?" I don't really mind it though. I find it more amusing than anything.

4 - I am probably the least assertive person in the world. A classic conflict avoider too. But then when I am by myself I imagine all these really good come-backs or ways of putting people in their place who have made me mad.

5 - I love food. No, I mean I really LOVE food. You know how when you were little and it was a really big deal to go out to eat with your parents and you'd get all excited? I still feel like that every time I go out to eat. And I haven't found a type of food that I don't enjoy....yet. My top choices are: Mexican, Thai, Sushi, and pizza from Moose's Tooth (an Alaskan pub/pizzeria).

6 - I think every person either looks like a famous person or some type of animal. I get this weird way of thinking from my family. We have a hay day in public places picking out people in crowds: "Lady over by the window - anteater. The guy with the green shirt - Sean Penn. Guy ordering his food - possum."

7 - I have only two celeb crushes: Simon Baker and Mark Wahlberg. For some reason I find both these guys really attractive.

8 - My favorite feature about myself are my greenish-blue eyes. They change colors depending on what I am wearing.

9 - I can do a cougar roar, a horse whinny, and a raptor call.

10 - Of one thing I am absolutely positive: I am unconditionally and irrevocably in love husband! Take that you crazy Twi-Moms! Have you heard about these nuts? The most recent story I heard was about a Twi-mom running out of a Hot Topic with a cardboard cut-out of Jacob - the werewolf. She barely made it to the mall entrance before being tackled by security. Unbelievable. I will admit, I like Twilight. Its interesting and the books are fun to read. I even enjoyed seeing New Moon. BUT I am proud to say that when I leave the theater, I leave the story there too. I go home, kiss my husband, and still get the butterflies from seeing HIM with a scruffy face, lounging around in his PJ's. What a bunch of crazies.

December 8, 2009

One man's junk is another man's...

...Christmas decorations! Actually, my mom's old ornaments and decor is anything but junk. She gave me some good stuff. Thanks to her our house looks so Christmas-y and festive. Take a gander...

Our REAL Christmas tree. :)

Ha! So this is a display of my fantastic needlework skills from the 7th grade! I'm sad to say it probably wouldn't look much different if I made it today.

I tried out the "night" vision on our camera and it didn't work too well.

Much better (and I planned for it to be snowing too).

This was the only place these looked good.

*So just a random tid bit of weather info: we've received about 5 - 6 inches the past couple of days and Nick is LOVING IT. Every conversation I have with him he asks: "is it snowing at home? how many inches do you think we have right now?"

Oh I love my weather man.

December 3, 2009

Toby the entertainer

A couple fun videos of the Tobester. The first one is him dancing - can he get any cuter? BTW - in case you're wondering those are my head bands around his neck. He LOVES wearing them around the house.

The video below epitomizes Toby. Well, its actually pretty mellow compared to what some of his other antics. He's been really scaring me with his bravery: jumping off our bed, jumping off the top of the couch, and using the bathtub as his own personal slip-n-slide.
Yes, he is all boy.

December 1, 2009

Making Christmas...Making Christmas

This year is our first Christmas in our new home. I have loved decorating! My mom kindly donated a bunch of of her old Christmas decorations to us so the only thing we need to buy is Christmas lights (and dang they can get spendy!) and a Christmas tree. I made the suggestion to Nick that we could possibly use my parents old artificial tree and wow, I have never been rebuked so passionately: "Deb, I will never have a fake tree! I grew up with real Christmas trees and that is what we are going to have every year!"

It's funny how in a marriage we each bring our own little traditions and tendencies.

The only mandate for me as far as Christmas goes is that somewhere amidst all the partying and get-togethers we have sparkling cider, beef stick, cheese, and crackers. Mmmmm....this is a must!

So I went scrounging around for some pics of me on my first Christmas and I found a really terrible copy...but its all I could find. I wanted to compare it to Toby's first Christmas picture. What do you think...are we blood? :)

Me (13 months)

Toby (10 months)

And a big thanks for all of the kind words on my last post. You guys really made my day. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

November 26, 2009

"Off" button

Do you ever wish you had one of these in your head? Sometimes I do. Ok well a lot of the time I do. Sometimes I wish I had an "off" button for the moments that I know I am just emotionally eating (mostly when I am missing Nick) and I down 5 pieces of pizza, 3 bread sticks and big bowl of ice cream with out even flinching. Sometimes I wish I had an "off" button when at night I am trying to fall asleep and I just keep tossing and turning because my mind won't shut down. I'm either replaying the days events over and over in my head or I'm thinking about the next day and how I should have gone to bed earlier because Toby is about to wake up in 5 hours. But most of all, I wish I had an "off" button for the mommy guilt. I swear it plagues us all. Its that little voice in your head that says, "You are not doing a good job. You handled that badly. Other people are think you are making lots of mistakes."

I know this is a weird post for Thanksgiving. I should be writing about all the things I am grateful for - and that would be a HUGE list, I tell you what. But I will save that one for tomorrow I think. Right now I need to get what is weighing on me completely off my chest and send it out in the cyberworld.

So let me recap: Thanksgiving was wonderful. We had both sets of parents over at my house, as well as Nick's sister and family. We had a classic Thanksgiving experience: we savagely stuffed ourselves with all kinds of delectable, buttery foods for the entire day and then sat around and talked and played the Wii. It was a great time. The only thing that kept nagging at me the entire day was feeling like I was being judged for how Toby behaved - or didn't behave I should say. You see, most of the time during the week its just me and the Tobester. We have occasional play dates but he's very accustomed to us being the dynamic duo day in and day out. I should also mention that Toby is teething, thus he is not sleeping or eating well at all, thus he is much more cranky. So when we suddenly had 10 extra bodies in the house, I had a feeling my emotional little guy would have something to say about it. More like something to scream about. He screamed when he was excited. He screamed when it was too noisy. He screamed when he wasn't getting enough attention - or got too much. He screamed when some of the boys were playing with his basketball. He screamed when someone asked him a question he didn't like. He screamed over everything. And these weren't your average toddler meltdown screams...these were ear-piercing-make-the-entire-room-go-silent screams. I was so embarrassed, frustrated, and I hate to admit it, but angry. So a few times I just snapped at Toby and said "ENOUGH! We do not act that way!" (completely contradicting myself). Later, Nick told me how embarrassed he was because of the way I lashed out at Toby in front of everyone. I tearfully apologized and simply said I was just at my wits end. Between the over crowded house and over stimulated little boy I felt well, overwhelmed. Not only that but I felt like everyone was judging me for Toby's constant screams. I hastily concluded that they must all think he is the way he is because of my bad parenting.

No sooner had we said our goodbyes and shut the front door - bam! All the guilt consumed me: "I'm such a bad mom. Every thinks I am a short tempered crazy person who doesn't know how to control her son.. I am such a bad mom" And then another part of me was like: "If only they had read my Mirena post on my blog, then they would understand"(FYI - I originally decided to keep Mirena until the Holidays were over but am now second guessing myself). yeah the mommy guilt really hit hard tonight. I just really feel like all I do or don't do is directly reflected in Toby's behavior. And from what people witnessed earlier today, that means I am doing a terrible, terrible job.

But every so often during my sulking I get this soft impression that is trying so hard to sink in. This "feeling" keeps reminding me that Toby, just like every other person on the planet, has something that I can't control. Not even with all the good parenting in the world: his agency. I can be the most patient, kind, long suffering mother ever but Toby is still Toby. Basically: I can't control his actions - but I can control mine. This tiny little thought has made me feel just a little bit better. I'm trying with everything inside of me to believe it and just brush today's events behind me and start fresh tomorrow. Its so hard though. Mommy guilt is not easily cured.

So I'm sorry about the grim Thanksgiving post. But I do feel a bit better. Tomorrow (or Saturday or Sunday) I promise to deliver something more upbeat.

By the way....I still wish I had an "off" button. :)

November 18, 2009

Of all the days to be sick

*Warning: the images that may be conjured up by reading this post may not be suitable for those with weak tummy's.

I am so sick. I was up most of the night sitting on the toilet with a barf bowl in my hands (sorry about the mental image but I did warn you). Today I am doing just a tad better. No barf bowl, but the other end of me is still a bit dysfunctional - if you know what I mean. Plus, I am shaky and achy all over. I caught the stomach bug from Nick and Toby. Toby was throwing up all day Sunday and then Nick got it yesterday morning. But I must admit I'm shocked at how hard this has been on my body. Both Nick and Toby recovered less than 10 hours and normally I am the one that usually somehow dodges getting sick when both Nick and Toby have become infested with some bug. I'm a mom, I don't have time to be sick. I know some of you might be thinking: "Really Debbie, you are blogging about the stomach flu?" Well just to inform you most of the time I just deal with sickness as it comes-I don' even bother Nick when I am sick. And normally I don't waste my time whining about it on my blog, but today I felt my whining was blog worthy. See today is my birthday. Nick and I had SO much fun stuff planned that I've looking forward to all week. My mom graciously offered to watch Toby this afternoon so we could catch a matinee and then she would return later tonight after Toby was in bed so that we could go to Tucanos (I have a free meal there since its my birthday). Plus Nick took the ENTIRE day off and I was so looking forward to spending it with him. I've really missed my husband since he has been juggling both work and school.

Well right now instead of seeing the movie we were so anticipating seeing, Nick is taking a Biology test and I've been struggling in vain to catch some Z's because my body won't stop aching and shivering.

BUT...I've decided instead of whining about what I can't change I am going to just see the positives in the day. 1) Even though I wish I wasn't running back and forth to the bathroom on my day of birth, I am so appreciative that Nick was able to take the day off to help relieve me from the Tobeman. I can't imagine feeling this terrible and having to chase around my little tornado all day. 2) Nick surprised me with such awesome gifts. I came downstairs all emotional and sad about my bummer birthday (no pun intended) and then saw a bag full of goodies for me which included: The Nightmare Before Christmas movie (I don't know why its taken so long for us to buy this fantastic flick), the brand spankin' new John Mayer album that came out yesterday, and a Norah Jones album. Plus he wrote such a sweet card - the kind that catch you off guard because of its mushiness. After that I was like, "psh...I am such a baby. Look at what an awesome husband I have."

By they way, in case you were wondering I am now 27 years old. How did I get so close to 30? I swear I was 20 just yesterday... :)

November 5, 2009

Papa Rarick

It was my dad's 62nd birthday yesterday. I still can't believe it. For some reason my parents in my mind have been stuck at 45 years old for the past 10 years. So whenever they have a birthday I'm like, "Pshh. You're not that old!"

But my dad's birthday this year was a little more emotional for me. Something inside of me said: "Who knows how many more birthdays he's going to be around for." You see, he is diabetic and has always battled his health. The past 8 months or so have probably been the most emotionally and physically draining for him. He has almost lost his foot numerous times, has undergone several surgeries, and has been admitted to the ER more times that I would like to remember. It's been so hard to see my usual witty and energetic dad slowly fade into a more tired, put-on-a-good-face dad. Whenever I reach to give him a hug before our weekly Sunday dinner, he greets me with his usual smile but I can see the strain and sadness in eyes from having a body that isn't completely whole.

I hate seeing him that way. I hate thinking about him someday not being around. Because in my mind, its not suppose to be that way. He's suppose to be here to to see all the new additions in our home. He's suppose to be here to see them grow up and get baptized and go on missions and get married. He's suppose to to be around to tell him the same jokes he's been cracking us up with since we were little. But most of all, he's suppose to be here so that they will know and love their Grandpa Rarick, not just the stories about him. They need to know the great man that I know. But as with most things in life, I know its out of my control and I'm trying to find a good way to deal with that reality. The best way to come to grips with it all and help comfort me is, of course, those Sunday School answers. But part of me is in denial, and wants to just carry on as if my dad is still 45 and in great health and spirits.

There's a John Mayer song that describes my feelings perfectly (I know, I'm obsessed with John Mayer. I'm not in denial about that). It goes like this:

Don't know how else to say it
Don't want to see my parents go
One generation's length away
From fighting life out on my own

Stop this train
I wanna get off
And go home again
I can't take the speed it's moving in
I know I can't
But honestly, won't someone stop this train?

So scared of getting older
I'm only good at being young
So I play the numbers game
To find a way to say that life has just begun

Had a talk with my old man
Said "help me understand"
He said "turn sixty-eight
You renegotiate"

"Don't stop this train
Don't for a minute change the place you're in
And don't think I couldn't ever understand
I tried my hand
John, honestly we'll never stop this train"

November 4, 2009

Halloween and Randoms

Halloween was quite reminiscent of last year, except this year Toby could actually partake and enjoy the most wonderful part of this holiday - CANDY!!!! And whatever was left over, Nick and I happily scarfed down - and are still scarfing down. I love candy.

I decided on tiger costumes this year mostly because they were cheap, but realized later it was a perfect choice because Toby LOVED being a tiger and delighted in ROARING whenever someone asked "And what are YOU for Halloween?". He is my little cat in training. Maybe someday I will teach him how to do my cougar roar. Wait.....what? Debbie you can do a cougar roar? Yes I can. It's a weird hidden talent that not many people know about.

Yes, those are my stretchy work-out pants underneath my costume. I was a little embarrassed wearing them but they kept me warm and non-scandalous. Plus I laughed every time I looked at them because this line from Nacho Libre would pop into my head: "Chancho, when you are a man, sometimes you wear stretchy pants in your room. It's for fun."

Also- don't you love how it looks like Winston is biting my butt? He's actually just barking because he is overly excited by all the Halloween commotion. He really is a sweetheart of a dog.

Yeah, he got a bit warm in that costume.

We hung out at my parents house for most of the evening. And when I say "we hung out" I mean Nick was downstairs watching his Oregon Ducks thump USC and Toby and I were helping my mom with the trick or treaters. I didn't mind though. Nick really deserved the break after a hectic work and school schedule.

And quite honestly, I am glad we weren't home giving out candy because word on the street is we got around 700 (yes, SEVEN HUNDRED!) trick or treaters trafficking our area (and I am not exaggerating the slightest bit). The reason why we are swarmed with so many kids is because my neighborhood does this a "Harry Potter" theme trick or treating. One house is decorated like "Azkaban" another was "Hogwarts Castle." I wish I could've taken pictures because when I drove by earlier in the day it was quite the sight to see! I was really impressed. I'm a bit biased but I have to say Halloween in Utah rocks. I love that so many people are bursting with Halloween spirit and try to make it memorable and fun for both kids and adults.

My mom is one of those Utahns that really goes all out to make it special for the kids in the neighborhood. Not only does she pass out donuts and hot cocoa, but she gives away BIG candy bars tagged with little notes that say things like "You are wonderful" and "Remember who you are" Yeah, my mom is awesome.

"Hmm I could get use to this free candy thing..."



The rest of these pics are just random ones that I like and didn't want to put on a separate post.

Whoa! Mom's got crazy eyes.

Love that hamster smile. :) We keep wondering when he's going to get more bottom teeth in.

Toby and his Uncle Terry- two peas in a pod. They really are a lot alike in so many ways, its crazy.

We got a little carried away with the soup this evening and decided to use it as styling gel. :)

November 3, 2009

It's a dirty job

Toby loves to help me clean. I have a feeling he's inherited the neat-freak gene from his daddy (which isn't a bad thing at all it - just means less mess for me to clean! ha!).-

One more thing: I am still unsure what "gock!" means. He says it quite frequently and I have my suspicions that it either means sock or dog.

OK really, just one more thing: Does anyone else think he looks kind of muscly or filled out for a 20-month-old? Maybe its just the overly proud mom coming out in me. Probably. Though Toby really has proven to be quite the little athlete so far. OK I'm done.

October 27, 2009

The First Snowfall

I have deemed this song as "the first snowfall song." It seemed the most appropriate since its a good mixture of Halloween AND Christmas.

There is just something about seeing the first snowflakes dust the treetops and blanket the mountains that makes me want to sit next to a fireplace with a warm, fuzzy blanket, sip hot cocoa and listen to Christmas music. Ahhhh...I love it!

October 17, 2009

Fall pics and Pumpkinland

Over the weekend I had my mom snap some fall photos for us. We didn't feel like trekking all the way to Sundance just to capture the beauty of Utah's fall colors, so we went somewhere a little closer to home - our front yard. We've got some gorgeous autumn trees just outside our window, so we decided to take advantage of their vibrant orange and red colors while we still can.

We also visited Pumpkinland in Orem with my mom and dad. It was our first visit there but I can tell it will probably become a yearly fall tradition. We had a great time!

My mom snapped this one just as I stepped in a pile of mud. Nice.

There is that ticked-off look from Nick again...

My little adventurer

My dad is still recovering from foot surgery-hence the crutches.

"Please stop taking my picture..."

I love this picture because we all have completely different facial expressions.

Winter is definitely just around the corner.

I managed to get a pic of old St. Nick in the off-season. Ha! ;)