Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in review

my favorite photo of 2010

time for my annual year-in-review [see 2008 and 2009 and decide for yourself where 2010 fits in the coolness scale]. 2010 was a good year but i feel like i just got used to writing the correct date, so hopefully i'll adjust more quickly to 2011.

here's what went down in 2010:
i think what i'll always remember most about 2010 is that it was the year i became a mom. i've spent most of the past five-and-a-half months stressing out about jack, wondering if i'm doing this whole mothering thing right, worrying about sleep patterns and poop schedules and pumping and eating and growth spurts and everything else -- but also falling head over heels in love with my cute little boy and delighting at every smile, milestone, burp, sneeze and squawk. i used to think that if i just worked hard enough, read enough, tried hard enough i could be a perfect mom with a perfect baby on a perfect schedule...but i learned really quickly that this is not realistic and if i kept it up i'd only give myself a nervous breakdown. 2010 taught me to go with the flow, try to be flexible [one of my bigger struggles, ha], say my prayers and just do my best -- and guess what? things still worked out. jack survived, i survived, and we're still moving forward. so, thanks to this year -- i reached a pretty good milestone of my own.

happy new year friends! here's to a great 2011.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

jack's christmas presents

we got jack exactly three [3] presents this year. for one thing, the grandparents' spoiling had him pretty well covered, and for another he doesn't exactly know what's going on. besides, this year, i read design mom's philosophy on gift-giving -- in which she stated each of her children get three gifts: something to read, something to wear and something to play with -- and i loved it; i think this will be the wells family christmas motto from here on out. what more does a kid really need than that?

[plus, let's be serious. jack gets a "present" every time we go to target because i can't leave the store without perusing the baby clothes section. that better stop soon.]

so here are his three gifts:

1. something to read

i am working on creating a classic children's book library for j, so this was an easy item to fulfill as i have a list a mile long of books i want to get him. i went shopping for goodnight moon but it was $10 more expensive at borders [where i had a coupon] than on amazon, so we'll hold off on that one. instead i got him the little engine that could, one of my favorite classic stories with such great illustrations AND a lovely inspirational message.

2. something to wear

i was foaming at the mouth for weeks to get to bijou market and grab a pair of these baby moccasins from freshly picked [because i'm too cheap to pay for shipping but you can order them online too]. loooove them. they stay on so well and they're really adorable. handmade, real leather, tiny fringe. love.

3. something to play with

a stacker from green toys, purchased via amazon. i was really excited about this present. the stacker is made from 100% recycled milk jugs right here in the usa so there's absolutely no bad plastic, chemicals, made-in-china stickers, etc. there's no center post for gouging baby's eye out and no radioactive paint chemicals [i like the mellow, lighter colors]. j isn't quiiiite ready to stack them on his own yet, but for now he absolutely loves to knock them down and chew on them. like, L-O-V-E-S it. a toy hasn't captured his attention this well since i let him suck on my turquoise necklace that one time in church.

there you have it. what were your best gift purchases and/or receivings this year? i'm all ears for new ideas...for babies OR moms :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

a really excited christmas

pretty sure i have like seven blog posts floating around in my head, but also pretty sure i'm never going to have time to write them down. ha. we'll work on that. also, my previous post was #500 for the one-eyed wonder blog. that is pretty cool.

anyway, christmas was fabulous! with the exception of one thing, which i'll get to shortly. jack's first christmas was a rousing success, as you can see:

i laugh every time i see that picture. his christmas jammies were adorable and he was really excited. apparently.

jack loved opening presents. or mostly just loved chewing on packaging.

see the little dog in this picture with jack, grammie and pop pop?

that's roxy, my parents' dog [previously mentioned many times on this blog...she is treated like a little human princess, as in my empty-nester mother acts like roxy is a beloved additional child]. everything was fine and dandy when this picture was taken and continued that way until about five hours later when we realized someone had let roxy out to go potty but never let her back IN...the dumb dog ran away.

so on christmas day, we spent half the afternoon driving / walking around the neighborhood, leaving no stone unturned looking for the little dog...but to no avail. let's just say christmas dinner was definitely lacking its usual cheer because my parents looked like they were going to burst into tears at any moment. we put up signs all around the hood, my mom knocked on doors, etc etc. to make a long story short, we got a call during church on sunday from a family in whittier who had picked roxy up and babysat her for 24 hours. they brought her back that afternoon and all was well, unless you count roxy's temper tantrum upon her return because apparently she was mad we hadn't come to rescue her. silly dog-person.

more on christmas cheer later...i'm up WAY past my regular bedtime.

Friday, December 24, 2010

merry christmas 2010

[b makes me edit personal info for the blog :) ]

[for more info on our christmas card, click here]

a sick christmas

woo! it's christmas eve! i celebrate by currently eating one of my mom's delicious homemade cinnamon rolls and will follow that up by stuffing my face at our favorite chinese restaurant. yes, the definition of christmas for the payzant household includes lots of eating. mmm.

so remember my last post, wherein i stated jack has taken up a lovely new whine + sleep issues? they continued throughout the week [except for one night when we doped him up on tylenol and he slept for 7 hours] and i kept vacillating between wanting to pull my hair out and feeling so bad that i couldn't help the poor kid out.

then, on wednesday morning, i got him up from his nap and noticed his ear was wet. hmmm. he had been tugging on that ear a few times in the two days before, but i just thought he was tired or something -- although i also knew that could be a sign of an ear infection, something j had not yet experienced. i called my pediatrician and the nurse told me to definitely get him checked out asap [she and i are BFF since i had literally been on the phone with her an hour earlier to discuss the fussiness i thought was related to teething issues].

so we took baby jack to urgent care [of course my insurance doesn't fully cover us out of state, yay]. turns out his left ear drum ruptured due to an ear infection, and he has another slight infection in the other ear -- PLUS the obvious painful teething signs he's had for a few weeks now. poor little guy! i must say, his level of crankiness during all this still ranks somewhere between mellow and happy, which is super impressive since he was obviously so sick and we didn't even KNOW. what a champ.

now he's hopped up on twice-daily doses of amoxicillin, which usually end up all down his chin & shirt instead of in his mouth, plus more tylenol and he seems to be doing better. and mom feels validated that there really WAS something wrong with the kid instead of just weird whining, and that we can get it fixed. antibiotics are our christmas miracle this year and hooray for that. merry christmas to all!

Monday, December 20, 2010

rain rain go away

so we arrived in california on friday night and it hasn't stopped raining since. i realize rain isn't really a big deal in many other places ["it rains nine months out of the year in seattle!" - sleepless in seattle] but having been born & raised in a place with a notorious shortage of "weather", i can NOT get over this. i keep saying "wow, i can't believe it's still raining!" and everyone else says "we KNOW." haha.

anyway, aside from the unusual weather, we've been having a great trip. not sure if jack is as in love with so cal as i'd hoped he'd be, but i'm chalking that up to either teething or settling into a new place. since we arrived, he's a.) developed a SUPER annoying new whiney sound that he likes to use on average of an hour a day and b.) decided to wake up at least three times a night. it's so, so much fun.

BUT, he also is c.) constantly smiley when he's awake and un-tired [once he gets tired, it's another story] and d.) really really interested in checking out his new surroundings, especially the christmas tree, my parents' dog, all the mirrors in the house and the pictures that hang on the wall in my brother's room [where jack is sleeping for the trip]. we have lots of fun plans for the week, culminating in jack's first christmas which is going to be awesome in and of itself. so i guess i should stop my own whining about how tired i am and just get in the christmas spirit.

[but feel free to leave a comment telling me this stage will end and he'll get back to my normal, happy, great-sleeping baby soon because sometimes i think i'm going to lose it.]

here's a pic of jack and his latest girlfriend, emmy. emmy is the adorable little baby girl of my friends karly & chris, who jack met over the weekend and as you can see they're already enamored with each other. [b says jack's pulling the "stop short" move from seinfeld, if you know what i'm talking about.] don't mind the drool, that's a constant around here:

nothing i love better than spending christmas break fabricating imaginary girlfriends for my boy. :) yay for christmas break!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

wet nose

lately j has been getting sort of cranky in the evenings, which i'm pretty sure is a by-product of his teething. he just whines nonSTOP and sometimes it makes me crazy, so we usually just go out and run errands so i don't have to sit there trying to entertain him. one night last week b was at school late so it was just me and the kiddo and we were hanging out on the couch -- and guess what ended up curing jack of his whiny-ness? he grabbed my face with both of his tiny little hands and sucked on my nose. no more whining, no crying, nothing. he just froze, stared into my eyes and sucked on my nose like a guppy.

possibly the grossest AND cutest thing to ever happen to me. i was totally repulsed at first [i am, after all, the girl who hates to be touched, and you definitely better NEVER touch me with anything wet] but he was just so frozen and happy about it that i let him go for it. babies are funny. and life as a mommy is pretty funny too.

in other news, yay! it's christmas time! i hosted a little holiday brunch for my grandparents this morning and it got me thinking -- why the crap don't we do brunch parties more often? they are super fun and much more novel than having people over for dinner. plus, any excuse for rhodes cinnamon rolls is all right by me.

most of my presents are wrapped, the disaster that was my dining room after my craft supplies exploded all over it has been mostly cleaned up, laundry is in the washing machine as we speak. i'm feeling pretty good about this holiday season despite the fact that we don't have a christmas tree this year :( [long story...but we'll have one in california! yay!]. hooray for christmas.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

scary santa

our ward hosted a christmas breakfast on saturday and it included a little surprise visit from santa himself. this was way cheaper than paying $20 to see him at the mall. score! unfortunately, jack didn't really think it was a score when mom put him on some scary man's lap and made him take a picture.

checking each other out...

not sure why his arms are sticking straight out but maybe he thought he could fly away:

thinking this is starting to suck...

even santa's thinking this visit is over:

annnnd ready for mom to rescue him. that's a wrap:

poor j. we just had to get that obligatory santa's lap photo for 2010. those few moments of terror were worth it, right buddy?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

payzant advent calendar

when i was little, my mom made this advent calendar out of felt. it hung on our wall evvvvery year growing up and me & the sibs took turns updating it each day. i strategically managed the daily order so that i would be the one to put baby jesus up on the 24th each year -- since i'm the oldest [and smartest ;) ], rachel & grant never suspected why i was so nice to let them go first and yet i ALWAYS got baby jesus, year after year. suckers.

anyway, the advent calendar had kind of taken a hiatus with no more kids living at home, but last year when i was pregnant with jack my mom gave me the advent calendar with instructions to keep the tradition alive with my new little family. i put it up this week and have loved putting up each character each day -- though i really do miss my little sibs and doing this with them every morning.

BUT. as i'm putting up each little guy, i'm seriously amazed at the work my mom put into this thing -- the details are amazing. sequined turbans for the wise men? puff ball camels? pipe cleaner shepherd staffs? adorable. nice work, mom. this thing is a masterpiece.

p.s. i really REALLY miss my little bro today because it is his 20th birthday. feliz cumpleanos, little mexican missionary! we love you.

grant & the closest he's been to meeting jack:

love my brosef.

Friday, December 10, 2010

xmas card photo

here's the winning shot that made it into the christmas card this year:

i liked this one too [j's little smile behind his hand is so cute] but ultimately decided to go with the one where we all looked decent.

we took them right before church one day and i was so proud that we were dressed up, ready to go with our picture taken and on time to church -- and then as soon as we finished the photo shoot [thanks leandra!] jack barfed all over himself and required a wardrobe change... and we were late to church anyway. oh well. at least he held it in for his modeling gig :)

i decided not to include a letter in our cards this year. the card doubled as j's birth announcement, so i figured that was pretty, not much else has changed with us this year. we're still in utah, b is still in school, etc. etc. hopefully next year we'll have lots more to share, and my return address will be somewhere a lot cooler than orem UT.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

rim shot

oh, and one more thing. this was the highlight of my night. jack and i were going outside to get the mail [yay christmas cards!] and i talked b into walking with us. the mailbox is just across the parking lot from our complex dumpster, so he brought the latest diaper genie offering to throw it away. diaper genie trash looks a lot like a long, giant cocoon, if you haven't seen it before.

we walked to the mailbox and b stopped 15 feet away from the dumpster and said "think i can make it?" he flung the bag at the dumpster...where it hit the rim of the bin, broke in half and spilled jack's poopy diapers all over the parking lot. it was so classic.

thanks, jack -- before you, i never would have had such an opportunity to laugh my guts out. plus you're cute. even with your drool.

christmas cheer

jack and i have had a very festive 24 hours. last night, b had to chaperone a youth trip up to temple square to see the world-famous light display. it was a warm night [never thought i'd say 38 degrees was warm, ha], i had a free ride and i'd been wanting to take jacko up there anyway so it was a perfect opportunity. ["what's that called when everything comes together perfectly?" "the bermuda triangle." - sleepless in seattle]

since we had j in the back seat, that meant there were only two open seats for kids. one of the teenage boys b teaches decided to come with us...and bring his girlfriend. they spent the ride up cracking jokes and quarreling about kids at school. we joined everyones else for the walk-around-temple-square thing, then bailed early to get home and put jack to bed. that meant the little couple tagged along with us to starbucks and then home. it's super fun to double date with 16-year-olds. especially when they ask you to drop the girlfriend off at home and the guy gets out to hug & kiss the girl right next to your window for two minutes straight and your baby is crying in the back seat.

but anyway. we had fun. jack liked looking at all the lights and people but wanted out of the stroller after about 15 minutes -- way to much to see, he couldn't handle the limited view. we got a few cute family pictures...

as if that's not enough holiday cheer for you, this morning jack and i went to a cookie exchange! it was my first daytime activity with MBA wives' association and it was a liiiiitle & j aren't used to quite so many running, screaming kids. but i made out like a bandit with a ginormous tray of cookies to bring home. the thought did cross my mind that with that many different homes providing that many cookies, there's bound to be some germ sharing going on...but who am i kidding, i've already eaten a ton. mmm.

PLUS, all my christmas cards have officially gone out and i'm just three handmade gifts away from being completely done with presents. woot. stress? what stress? i'm kicking this december's trash.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


allison's husband ted has the funniest way of saying the word "rude," in this deep and petulant voice. in fact, hearing it said is one of the things we miss most about the syphus-riries, besides their biting wit and fantastic desserts of course. anyway, b and i have taken to saying it at appropriate times and always laugh about it. but this week i used it a bit more than usual.

first of all, i sent an email to a fellow stationery blogger who shall not be named, because i was doing this feature about crane & co stationery on my paper blog and wanted to publicize it a bit. [you already know this if you subscribe to my stationery blog, which if you don't -- seriously, why don't you? i have some sweet giveaways coming up, you better pay attention.] she is definitely a more successful blogger than i am with a way bigger following, but we virtually know each other and i thought maybe she'd post about it to toss me a couple new viewers. you know, because the internet is free and it would take her like five seconds to do, and besides it's not like she's design sponge or something. she wrote back -- four days later -- and said something to the effect of "thanks for your note! i don't write about giveaways on my blog, so i won't post this. but i do love crane, especially after i toured their factory last year." wow, thank you. not only did you reject my request -- four days later! -- you insulted me and reminded me that you're a waaay bigger blogger than me who gets to tour stationery studios. rude.

next, yesterday i ran to the grocery store to get a few things. in the checkout line, the checker eyed me and then instructed, with a look of disdain, me on where to place my little basket -- so i guess i got on her bad side early [since leaving your basket at the front of the line is such a horrible sin]. then, i had a postcard-sized coupon for a free bag of fstg chips [which i'd signed up for online & gotten in the mail] so i handed it to her after she'd finished ringing up my stuff. she looked at the coupon, looked at me, sighed, ripped the tiny coupon off one corner of the postcard and said "next time....can you please CLIP the coupon before you hand it in." uh, i've worked retail before sweetheart [holla at the BYU bookstore, among other places] and in all my experience it has never mattered if the coupon was a certain size or shape -- they just wanted to know that you'd gotten it before they tallied it up. so you and your little "faith" wrist tattoo and blue eye shadow can just calm down and stop giving me attitude in the checkout line. rude.

and while i'm commentating on funny things in my life, here's another one for you. our apartment complex has become the projects or something because just about EVERY night [despite the freezing temperatures and frequent snow] there is a group of 2 - 5 hoodlums out smoking on the corner entrance to our community. i see them every time i go to the gym in their hoodies and pajama pants, puffing away like they're really hiding out from the world right there on the highly-trafficked corner. a month ago b and i took jack for a walk in his stroller and passed by them; b had brought along a box of crackers to eat as a snack while we walked. when we passed the smokers, one of them said "hey man! are those chicken in a biskit?!? awesome!" we nodded and kept walking and thought it was so funny that the hoodlums gave us a shout out over some free crackers leftover from one of b's school activities. so, chicken in a biskit fans, we salute you and your snack fetishes. and i'm pretty sure i know why you have the munchies...just sayin.

and now, to end the post on a high note, here's a recent pic of the boy because there haven't been nearly enough of these lately on the blog. he went to bed tonight at 6 p.m. because he was completely wiped out after church, and i'm terrified he's going to wake up at 11 p.m. and think it's morning or something.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

a change of heart

so i've always hated snow. or, rather, i hate being cold, and i usually hate winter. but today as i was driving to target i decided maybe i DON'T hate it. it's snowed a few times in the past week so everything is all sparkly and white still [get back to me in february when everything is gray, frozen and dead] and it really is so pretty. the mountains are gorgeous, the air is clear and i don't even mind the cold temperatures -- impressive, right? as a native southern californian i think this is a big deal.

granted, i'm pretty sure my newfound snow appreciation has something to do with a.) not having to get up before the sun and scrape my car to drive to work each morning, b.) spending more time in my warm apartment everyday with jack and c.) some cute new jackets and hats that i can wear during the winter, but i'll take it as a win.

sure, i'm still counting down the days till we head to california for the holidays, and i still miss living in LA with my whole heart. but i'm pretty sure i can differentiate my california love -- on one hand, you have awesome people and fun things to do, but on the other you have the traffic, expensive housing, screwed up politics and everything else that's annoying about my home state. maybe i am finally growing up and realizing that california ISN'T the absolute best and only ideal place to live on the planet. not that i want to stay in utah or anything [i definitely do not] but maybe i could handle another state, even one where it snows.

b's post-graduation job hunt includes companies in denver, phoenix, seattle, portland and of course california, and i'll admit i'd be okay with any of those. becoming a mom has done all sorts of things for me -- i catch barf in my bare hands, survive on minimal sleep and can appreciate new parts of the country. look at me, so mature.