Friday, April 29, 2011

pj day

today jack and i only left the house twice: once to go to swim lessons and once to get the mail. i didn't intend to be a recluse, but after swimming we were both cold (the pool was freezing AND it's like 40 degrees outside, of course -- thanks crazy bipolar utah spring!) so we put on our sweats and just never changed out of them.

so what did we do? just hung out, and it was glorious. jack's favorite activities these days include exploring my food storage closet, swinging doors open and shut over and over and over, trying to suck on the most disgusting objects in our home [shoes, mop, toilet brush, etc.], pulling himself up on the ottoman / couch / tv stand / dryer, and going through his toy basket one item at a time.

we shared apples and cheese, crawled around the house, read books, and talked to grammie on the phone. we watched regis and kelly, and folded laundry. he sucked on my nose a few times and has started saying "yeah!" when i ask him a question.

then i gave him a bath and put him to bed, and had a blissful solo dinner (+ dessert) while cleaning out my google reader. now i'm catching up on work and all my other random to dos and it's a great friday night.

definitely not the most exciting day of my life, but probably one of the most idyllic. i'm so lucky to have such a great little sidekick.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


it's official -- b is an MBA graduate. hooray!

feels like just yesterday we were packing up our LA life and heading for provo, and here we are -- one baby, two cars, one half marathon, one internship, two christmases and one graduate degree later. i'm SO proud of b and all the hard work he has put in.

graduation started at 8 a.m. -- we had to be there by 7 a.m. -- and this is how jack felt about that.

he actually did great during the 2+ hour ceremony, in which they read the names of all 1,100 business department grads. for some brilliant reason they like to include the 700 undergrad business kids with the masters students and that is just WAY too many.

b called me from his seat on the floor to tell me where he was sitting. he couldn't understand why i couldn't see him when THIS was what i was looking at:

finally it was over and we met our graduate outside! jack was utterly fascinated by b's tassel and wouldn't look at the camera for a million binkies:

my parents, b's parents & brother & grandma, and of course jack & i were all there to celebrate with him.

group shot w/ some of b's bffs from the program (thanks gretchen ;) :

here's b in front of the tanner building, where he's spent most of his waking hours over the past two years. (and, incidentally, home of the now-defunct marketplace cafe where i worked to put myself through college.)

a graduate, a Y, a baby:

we followed up the ceremony with a delish lunch at la jolla groves. my family is STILL raving about how much they loved this place. if you want to impress your parents, take them to la jolla groves.

what's next for my MBA? that's a great question. we've got some pretty exciting things in the works and hopefully i'll have a concrete answer for you in the next few weeks.

in the meantime, i'm going to quite enjoy having b around all the time as we enjoy this beautiful utah spring/summer. in college, i always bolted home to california as soon as winter finals were over, but spending spring in utah is something that always appealed to me. so we'll be hiking and taking walks and playing outside and crossing restaurants off our bucket list all spring long.

and now i'm going to bed because seriously? it's 1130 p.m.!!! one more for good measure: !. i never ever stay up this late while b is home but when he's traveling i get all sucked into working etc and stay up waaaay too late. i'm delirious. so goodbye.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

bedtime workout

moms, i need your help!

jack has always been pretty good about falling asleep on his own. i plop him in his crib when he starts looking sleepy, give him a kiss and walk out the door...usually he crawls around a little bit, and within 10 minutes he's asleep. (key word: usually.)

since he discovered his newfound acrobatic skills in pulling himself up onto things, though, life has changed. unless he's comPLETEly exhausted, i now plop him in the crib and he spends the next 20+ minutes doing this:

it's totally cute and i'm glad he's improving his little skills (except when he slips and faceplants and screams, and then we have to come get him & calm him down & do the whole process over again), but this is definitely impacting bedtime. typically i just leave him in there to play around, and after 20 minutes he realizes he's tired and just stand at the corner of his bed crying. i go in, lay him back down because apparently he forgot how, he screams for 30 seconds, and then he's out like a light.

i'm guessing this is just a phase, like every other funny little thing that happens to babies, but do you have any tips for shortening his playtime and/or helping him go to sleep quicker? [obviously i can't strap him to the bed to discourage climbing, though that would definitely simplify things.] or do i just wait it out?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

easter sunday

jack's first easter was a rousing success. the easter bunny visited, bringing a basket full of treats that mom will help him eat -- though i'll admit, after today's candy binge i'm feeling a little OD'ed on sugar and that hardly ever happens. so maybe we'll hold off on the chocolate bunnies for a few days.

as expected, jack's favorite part of the basket were the eggs because they make noise when you shake them. also the fake grass is fun.

after church, we had a yummy brunch with brandon's parents and then came home for naps. tonight, we joined all my cousins and grandparents and my mom & dad for a big easter dinner. i really love huge family gatherings and will miss them once we move.

here's jack with baby chloe, the cousin closest in age to him born just six weeks ago. obviously he found her fascinating:

he also met his cousin presley, from brandon's side, this morning at my in-laws. jack loves the ladies...or he's freaked by them. either way, it's funny:

pop pop, me & jackal. can i just take a moment to point out my HORRENDOUS post-partum second-bangs growing in?? ugh. no lie, i have two layers of bangs and one of them is exactly one inch long.

dinner was delish. but the highlight of the night came when, right in the middle of a delicious bite of funeral potatoes, i saw a falcon slam right into the window of the clubhouse where we were eating. it made an incredibly loud banging noise and scared us to death. the poor birdie broke it's neck and died right on the doorstep. [no photos, sadly, but my 5-year-old cousin took a fantastic documentary-style video of it and i'm sure you can ask him for footage.]

kind of a bummer intermission to our meal, but we tried to come up with a connection between christ's resurrection and the bird's untimely death and easter....yeah, didn't really work out.

[also, randomly, my friend paige's bird also died today -- sorry again, paige -- but does anyone else ever suspect a major natural disaster is on its way when animals start acting weird and committing suicide and stuff? no? just me? okay, time to lay off the disaster flicks i guess.]

anyway, after the bird incident, we launched into the annual easter egg hunt. my cousin kaylene and i were in charge this year and we filled some pretty kick-a eggs. hiding spots ranged from easy (right in the middle of the grass) to difficult (on top of walls, far beyond a four-year-old's line of vision) to SUPER difficult (when i tried to stick one in a bush but it fell through the branches and landed waaaay back in the back of the planter. yeah, no one's finding that one. enjoy the jelly bellies, squirrels!).

jack pretty much loved just sitting in the grass, throwing his egg from hand to hand. the very picture of easter bliss:

and that is what we call a successful easter sunday. hope yours was fun as well!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

easter weekend

whew! what a week. b graduated from MBA school (!), my parents are in town, i'm finally reading bossypants, jack can climb on chairs, and we've been partying it up all weekend. i'll catch up with photos and details next week, but for now i wanted to share a great easter video produced by my church.

just a nice little reminder of what easter is all about...and how much we have to be grateful for.

see you next week!

Monday, April 18, 2011

soooo big

jack turned nine months old last week and apparently he thinks that means he's a grown up. he's had quite the weekend of milestones around here and i better document them before he's walking and getting a mortgage and stuff.

exhibit a: TEETH! here i was, thinking he'd be toothless forever [he IS nine months after all, with absolutely no sign of teeth], and on friday i noticed two sharp little bumps on his bottom gum. hooray! he hasn't been particularly cranky so i guess he's handling it okay. exciting that they're finally growing in, but i am going to miss that gummy smile.

exhibit b: tummy up. he's been army crawling like a champ for over a month, but just last week he got up on his hands and knees and made a few steps forward. slithering along the floor is still his preferred method of travel, but i get so excited when he does the real crawl. he can also push himself to kneeling from being on his tummy. which leads to...

exhibit c: STANDING. what the...? yesterday, i went into his room to get him after his nap and found him like this:

i gasped so loud, b thought jack had fallen out of his crib. not expecting this one! guess we need to lower the mattress again.

exhibit d: grown up food. jack is starting to hate baby food [well, not fruit...still loves the fruit. but pretty much hates veggies & meat -- and who can blame him, the meat smells like cat food]. i usually feed him during our meal times when he's in his high chair at the table, and he gets SO mad when he sees us eating our food and he has to have baby food. we'd been giving him the easy finger foods (cheerios, tiny pieces of bread or fruit, etc.) but lately i've been branching out. i gave him some pizza on saturday and he went ca-razy, even carried the crust around with him for 10 minutes like it was his best friend. tonight we had a pasta thing and he ate everything we gave him -- noodles, red peppers, carrots, eggplant. am i allowed to just start giving him whatever i eat? dr appt next week and i intend to ask that very question.

exhibit e: swimming! today was our first mommy-and-me swim class and it couldn't have been cuter. he looked adorable in his swim trunks and rash guard, and even though he was unsure of the pool at first, he was splashing and happy by the end.

exhibit f: the cutest. his eyes are still super blue [the first thing every person comments on any time they see him] and his hair is thicker than ever. i have to spike it everyday or it gets in his eyes. he babbles all the time as long as i keep that binky out of his mouth. and he hates getting his diaper or clothes changed; we have to keep a full arsenal of distracting toys, songs and funny faces at the ready or he yells the whole time. silly monkey.

we love mr. jackal and can't wait for him to keep getting bigger.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


yesterday was my half marathon! I DID IT. the race was both better and worse than i'd anticipated.

better: adrenaline levels, course scenery, spectators, weather, piles of free food at the end.
worse: whoever decided to put a freaking GIANT hill straight up state street at the end of the course, and not stretching out enough post-race.

the race started at 7 a.m. so we woke up at 5 and drove to SLC. the starting line was at the university of utah and b dropped me off -- the sun was just barely coming up and it was cloudy/drizzling but surprisingly warm. it was so motivating to see all the other runners getting ready and to know that it was finally MY RACE DAY. i was excited!

i met up with aimee and we waited for the race to start. there were so. many. people -- 5,000+ runners, marathon & halfers included. once they blew the start whistle, it took us eight minutes just to get to the actual starting line. ha! i will never forget standing under the bridge surrounded by so many runners getting pumped up to go.

we started out slow to warm up, and my bff erica (who conveniently lives across the street from the starting line) showed up and ran a block with us. then aimee and i split up and i was on my own!

the first five miles totally breezed by. i even skipped the first water station because i was feeling so good. i loved people watching and checking out the course and running through residential neighborhoods and parks. there were people all along our course cheering, with kids giving us high fives and men banging cowbells and little old women holding up signs. b and jack stationed themselves at two different points along the route and i got SO excited to see them. jack was just sitting in his stroller staring at all the crazy people running by and it made me smile to see him.

then the adrenaline started wearing off a bit and i knew i still had a long way to go. i kept up my pace but made sure to grab water along the way. i walked as i drank (and then felt guilty throwing my empty cup on the ground but hey, all the other runners did it) but then started back up quickly. my rockin playlist kept me company and i charged forward.

after sugar house and liberty park and parts of downtown and the grand america, we ran up state street to temple square and holy crap was that a steep hill. i chose the slc marathon because it was mostly downhill and flat...this hill was a little surprise. i stopped for a potty break and then hauled A up the hill trying to get past it as quick as possible. by now my legs were feeling pretty tight but i knew i had less than three miles to go.

ran past temple square and straight down to the gateway and then around the gateway and to the finish line! b and my in laws were there cheering but i still had my earphones in so i didnt hear them :( lesson for next time. i got past the finish line feeling so happy i had done it! and then even more happy because someone handed me a medal and then other people started handing me free cookies and chocolate milk and bananas. yum!

i saw aimee cross the finish line and we celebrated together, and then i found b and went back to my little family (although jack burst into tears as soon as i got there, ha). the hardest part of my day was probably carrying my 21-pound baby back to the car because he only wanted ME. i sacrificed for you, jack.

anyway, here are my official stats:

race time: 2:06:39
rank: #2002 out of 4444
pace time: 9:40
age division: #199/501

since this was my first race, i wanted to take it easy and mostly just finish. my goal was to run it at a 10 minute mile (which would have gotten me done in 2 hours 11-ish minutes) so i beat that goal! i think if i had not taken the potty break and had paid better attention to my time (i didn't run with a watch) i could have beaten 2 hours. so i guess i'll just have to run another one and do better next time!

this morning i could barely move, my legs were killllling me. should have stretched better at the finish line but i was just so excited to see aimee and b. overall it was a fantastic experience and i loved it! hooray for running.

and i just have to give b a major shout out. he has been SO supportive of this whole thing, telling me i could do it when i got discouraged, watching jack while i trained, cheering for me along the course and being at the finish line. he also ordered jack a onesie to wear yesterday that said "my mom ran 13.1 miles, what did your mom do?" and booked me a surprise massage for last night [which of course was much needed]. he is the best and i am so lucky to have him.

then yesterday afternoon we went to the utah spring football game and THAT was a mistake. ugh. i was tired, jack was tired, b was grumpy and i learned you should really plan on doing absolutely nothing except sit on the couch after a half marathon. i'm glad b can take advantage of being there for his team for a little while longer while we're still in utah, but shoot. next time he can do it on his own. came home, got my massage and went to bed early -- race day was a success!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

schoooool's out for summer

spring is here! maybe! i'm sure just by me writing this, it will snow tonight -- but let's hope not. today the sun is out so i had b take a couple pictures of me and my boy outside, and i can't get over how green the grass looks. or how cute jackal is ;)

but anyway, back to spring. yesterday was b's last day of class -- forever! it blows my mind how quick the past two years have gone by. feels like just yesterday i was walking out of my office in downtown LA on my last day at golinharris...and now here i am, with a baby and an almost-MBA-grad husband and a freelance career. cuckoo.

jack and i snuck up to campus yesterday and decorated b's car:

with a secret little ute surprise, of course ;)

we're just a few finals and one ceremony away from having an official graduate. yay for b!

now if you'll excuse me, i need to go carb load. slc half marathon is only two days away! eep.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

fun at church

jack hangs out with a posse of other babies at church, all his same age. i think there were like 10 kiddos born in 2010 in our ward, and it's so fun to see them all together -- especially now that they're all mobile. they crawl after each other and share [/steal] toys and babble at each other. here's jack, clara and ethan having a pow wow during sunday school [jack is the one with the most hair]:

today, b took jack to sunday school on his own [while i ran home to get a snack...shh. i guess that's a perk of living 20 seconds away from church. hey, i'm nursing a baby...i get hungry!!] and apparently jack decided to play lord of the rings. he saw our friend michael's cane lying on the ground and scooted right over to it:

and then started waving it around, gandalf-style:

if jack could talk, i'm pretty sure he would have said "you shall not pass!" [that is the dorkiest joke i've made all week and i blame it on my 10th grade english teacher for making me read j.r.r. tolkien over summer vacation.]

we're still having kind of a tough time making it through all 3 hours of church since it means jack misses his morning nap, but overall he does pretty well. i haven't listened to one full lesson or talk in months though i try really hard to pay attention.

sometimes i let jack practice his crawling -- which is actually a super fast army crawl; he's really efficient so i don't think he sees much need for getting his tummy off the ground [should i be worried about that?]. in just the past week or so he's gotten SO good at it...he follows us from room to room, takes laps around our ottoman, explores the lair below our dining room table, etc. it's so fun to watch. but he still has some obstacles -- today at church, he got trapped below some chairs that had low backs, and couldn't figure out how to get past them without banging his head. haha. i had to rescue him and then he went right back to the row of chairs. i guess i definitely can't say church is ever boring with jacko in my life.

p.s. my second interview for the mormon women project is up -- i got to write about swarupa katuka, an awesome LDS woman from new delhi india. please check it out :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

welcome spring?

saturday was a glorious, balmy 70 degrees and we were loving every minute of it. in fact, on our way to sunflower market that day [with our short-sleeve shirts and windows rolled down] b and i discussed how nice the sunshine was and we agreed spring was here to stay...except, of course, for that random spring snowstorm utah seems to receive every year without fail.

then we woke up the next morning to this:

that's like 4 inches! wah wah. well played, utah. snow is so pretty but it does not belong in april. got that?

anyway, we had a fantastic busy weekend, full of family, friends and inspiration. got to have dinner with my old boss and his cute family, caught up with my bff, spent time with my grandparents & cousins over sunday lunch and had the in laws over for dinner last night. oh, and of course watched general conference, my favorite time of year.

i always like to find a common theme among conference talks and this year there were a few, but one topic that seemed to really stand out to me was FAITH. faith in dealing with trials, replacing fear with faith [obviously something i need to work on...see previous post], having faith in the future -- faith that god knows who you are and what you're dealing with and will strengthen you, and won't give you more than you can handle.

with all the unknowns we're dealing with in the wells household right now [graduation in 3 weeks and still no concrete plans, thanks for asking] it was such a good reminder to me to just hang in there, do my best and let my heavenly father guide our path just like he has done every day up till now. uncertain events that make me nervous and doubtful have ALWAYS been followed by peace, happiness and something better. that snow we had yesterday? already melted. today it's supposed to be 60 degrees. i just had to wait for it to come.