Thursday, April 30, 2009

.today i saw.
...
.an old lady.
.walking across the street.
.in her left hand.
.she carried a cane.
.in her right hand.
.she carried.
.a victoria's secret bag.
...
.i admire that.
...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

the big apple circus

yesterday was the zoo and today was the circus. it's been a busy week. even though circus folk always kind of give me the heebie geebies, it was incredible. i can't believe all the crazy flying trapeez, twisty, turny, tight rope walking hullabaloo they do. atticus was mesmorized. he loved it. much more than this picture indicates.


franklin park zoo

atticus and i went to the zoo yesterday with some friends. it was a lovely day. really hot. over 90 degrees but i was loving it. i maybe even got a hint of a hint of a smidgen of a tan. i had, however, practically drown atticus in sunblock, poor kid. he loved the zoo though, just running around, sometimes noticing the animals, sometimes not, but all the time loving it.

he spent most of the day pointing, making sure i was seeing all of the wonders of the world that he was seeing.

i only had my small camera with me so nothing fancy about the pictures, especially the blurriness but i still had to get the little guy riding the little cow.


and petting the...um...goat? can goats have brown spots? what is that thing?


little boys and their intense need to climb anything and everything. i thought it was funny that both these little guys were in the process of lifting up their right foot to try to climb closer to the mystery animal. such boys.


so much for getting a picture together. this was even our second attempt, but atticus could not tear his eyes away from the pony to take a silly little picture. and he had to keep pointing at the pony, couldn't figure out why i wasn't staring at it.


sadly we weren't able to ride the carosel before we had to leave but that didn't stop atticus from running to it every chance he could break away from me.


.ta.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

*be good to your soul*


i had a little heart to heart chat with a very inspired friend of mine last week and she recommended i listen to an education week talk from a few years ago. it's entitled "Body and Soul: Feel Fit and Fabulous About Your Physical, Spiritual, Emotional and Mental Life" by Connie Sokol. Here's the link, it's the first talk listed. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

the "mommy brain"

I attended our Stake Women's Conference today, and it was great. One of the workshops was entitled "Reclaiming the 'Mommy' Brain: Debunking Myths and Getting Smarter." I loved it. Remember before you were a mom and your brain did really helpful things like remembering things? Yeah, that was nice. I really miss those days. But do not fear, because although it IS true that your brain shrinks 5% during pregnancy, as all your nutrition is going elsewhere to incubate your babe, it is also true that not only does your brain regain that 5% but it is also pushed to new levels of functioning when you become a mom. Good news, right?

Michael Merzenich from University of California at San Francisco did some research on the subject and claims, "From a neurological viewpoint, it's a revolution for the brain when you have a child. Is it life-changing in the sense that you are presented with physical, mental, mechanical challenges - forty-nine disasters to take care of at once. It's an epoch of learning and brain-induced changes, because everything matters so much...I don't think there are a lot of better things you can do for your brain than to have a child."

I know it doesn't feel like it but apparently having kids actually makes you smarter! The research debunks the "my brain has turned to mush" beliefs, although let's be honest - sleep deprivation can turn any Einstein into dumbo faster than you can say antidisestablishmentarianism, but the good news is that in the long run the challenges of parenthood increase your:

*perception*

*efficiency*

*resiliency*

*motivation*

and

*emotional intelligence*

That makes me real happy. There is actually a book called "The Mommy Brain" that supports all these outrageous claims, so you don't have to take my word for it. The speaker giving the workshop gave a handout with strategies to help us be smarter. I'll list them here for your brain enhancement.

1. Be confident in our brilliant "Mommy Brains." Remind ourselves that mothering is actually improving our brains and making us smarter all around.

2. Take care of ourselves. Eat healthfully, live the Word of Wisdom, get enough rest, exercise. All these things contribute to our brains (and sanity)

***The women had an interesting discussion about this one, namely the guilt many moms feel when they take time to take care of themselves. However, a really a good point that was made, that I hadn't really thought of before, was that we will never be able to teach our children confidence if we don't have confidence in ourselves and our confidence is greatly enhanced when we do a good job taking care of ourselves. I like that!

3. See mothering as a learning opportunity, not a burden. As we reframs the was we see mothering, we can focus more on learning and teaching, and less on wishing for our own private beach.

4. Cultivate our gifts and interests. "Find some time for yourself to cultivate your gifts and interests. Pick one or two things that you would like to learn or do that will enrich your life, and make time for them. Water cannot be drawn from an empty well, and if you are not setting aside a little time for what replenishes you, you will have less and less to give to others, even to your children." ~Elder M. Russell Ballard

5. Choose the "best part." Take a cue from Mary (when she chose to listen to the teachings of Christ instead of preparing the meal) and learn to prioritize. Multitasking is great, but to maintain sanity, it helps to realize that we can't do everything and that's OK.

6. Seek learning by study and by faith. Take an active approach to learning. Read good books. Study the scriptures. Take classes. Stay informed on current events and news.

7. Invite the spirit into our lives. Pray daily with specific questions. Welcome the Spirit of Truth into our lives as part of our quest for learning.

8. Magnify our callings. Accept callings as learning and growth opportunities.

9. Learn wisdom from others. Associate with individuals, young and seasoned, to stay connected, gain perspective and share our experiences.

10. Trust in the Lord. Live the gospel and know that, as we do, the Lord will help us become as He is: confident, wise, abounding in good works and intelligent. (D&C 121:45)

And finally a quote from President Hinckley to bring it all together:

"You have a mandate from the Lord to educate your MINDS and your HEARTS and your HANDS...He wants you to train your minds and hands to become an influence for good as you go forward with your lives. And as you do so and as you perform honorably and with excellence, you will bring honor to the Church, for you will be regarded as a...woman of integrity and ability and conscientious workmanship. Be smart."

So that's your dose of good news for the day. Despite all the sleep deprivation and the unshowered days and the spit-up stained clothes and the poorly punctuated blog posting and the forgetting to eat lunch because you ate your toddler's leftovers...perhaps even off the floor...it's all making you smarter!

Happy brain enhancing!

.ta.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

i.forgot.what.i.was.going.to.blog.about.today.

i think i thought i had something clever and witty to blog about today but alas, like most thoughts i think, it slipped right out of my head. good bye clever thought. i seem to be having kind of a self-defeating week. you know what i mean? like when you're tired so you stay up longer, or bored and lonely and you silence your phone, or your real full so you keep eating? in all my years of psycho-babble training i still find myself falling into self-defeating behaviors. does this happen to you? it's real frustrating. if i were sitting in my therapist chair and a client in front of me was describing these patterns to me i would talk to them about the DBT skill of doing "opposite to emotion." that means exactly what it sounds like it means. if you feel lazy and you don't want to get out of bed, you should do just the opposite, get out of bed and do something active. if you feel isolated and want to avoid other people you should call someone and set up a lunch date. if you're getting stuck in the blog-reading trap then you should turn your computer off and never look back! so i guess those are my answers today - go running, call someone and turn off the computer. i suppose i should follow my own advice. enjoy your day!
.ta.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

*have a green day*


i felt sad and blue about yesterday's rain yesterday but i felt grateful and happy about yesterday's rain today! it made the world so green and beautiful for our morning run. everything smelled fresh and clean. i love spring time. it's such a time of new beginnings. deep breaths and moving forward.
.
plus did you know that today is earth day? what a lucky day for mother earth to be looking so beautiful. so in honor of earth day i'm going to share the "helpful household hints" off the back of this morning's cereal box. i know, could i get more random? but nevertheless, good morning america told me this morning that we could all help out mother earth with her declining health if we used more natural cleaning products in our homes, so a big thank you to stop & shop's honey crunchin' oats for listing these handy dandy ways to make our homes clean with handy dandy natural items. here goes:
.
freshen a garbage disposal
sprinkle baking soda and a few drops of dishwashing liquid in the disposal. scrub with a brush, getting under the rubber gasket and all around the inside. rinse thoroughly with water. for citrus smell (this is my favorite to do), run some cut up lemons or limes through the disposal afterwards.
.
mildew on laundry
you can remove mildew from clothes by rubbing the affected area with half of lemon that has been dipped in salt. then wash clothing as usual (a run the lemon through the garbage disposal afterwards)
.
make your own glass cleaner
fill a spray bottle with vinegar, spray window, then wipe clean with newspaper. i think that good morning america said today to mix the vinegar with water and baking soda also for cleaning glass.
.
remove ink from clothing
try dabbing rubbing alcohol on the stain to lift it right out. hair spray can also be helpful in taking ink out of your clothing (i did this last sunday to get purple ink out of att's sunday sweater, worked like a charm). soaking garments in milk is also another way to get rid of ink.
.
remove candle wax from a tablecloth
simply place two pieces of paper towels on each side of the stain. then use a warm iron to run over the paper, which should absorb the melted wax from the tablecloth.
.
take crayon off the walls and wallpaper
spray wallpaper with a multipurpose lubricating oil and wipe gently, using a paper towel or clean white cloth. if the mark is not being removed with the lubricating oil, sprinkle a little baking soda on a damp songe and gently rub in a circular motion.
...
~Happy Earth Day~

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

the right to bare arms

we busted out our pasty appendages today in celebration of the 70 degree weather.
the warmest day since last november.
h.e.a.v.e.n.


atticus and i ran along the bike path from our house to downtown this morning and then met up with darek and the coxes in the common. we just sat on the grass for a few hours and chatted while atticus ran around like crazy. the poor kid has been inside and cold for half of his life. he's in for a real treat this summer when he realizes that there is this thing called the sun and it's real big and pretty and shiney and will make you tan.

we even needed the sunblock today. it smelled like the beach. i think i shed a tear for california.
this is what happens when sunblock is applied to att's hair. some serious body.

i hope you all enjoyed the blessed weather today because come tomorrow - RAIN.
that's new england for you!
.~sweet~dreams~.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

*good morning*
~
lounging in mom and dad's bed
watching nacho libre
on dad's blackberry
have a good day!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

my trip to utah

i had the best quick little weekend trip to utah a couple weeks ago all by myself. it was so great but so quick and so tiring too. i'll tell you all about it, but only the fun stuff. i won't tell you about how i flew to new york on thursday night and due to the fog landed late and missed my connecting flight to salt lake even though i booked it through the airport like i've never booked it before, throwing old ladies out of the way, hurdling young children busy at play, trying to make it to my connecting flight only to arrive at the gate just as the woman pulled the door shut and turned to me with that scrunched up "i'm so sorry" look on her face and in fact saying, "i'm so sorry, the plane just pulled away" and being stuck in new york for the night because my only other options were to fly to canada and back and still get to SLC three days later and it was a real nightmare. yeah, i won't tell you that part because that's not the fun part. however, the fun part started with calling mehrsa to tell her that i was in NYC for the night and can i please sleep at hotel bybaran and then getting to chat with mehrsa and jared all night and being able to celebrate mehrsa's birthday with her the next day before making it to utah safe and sound 24 hours later. in the end, it was great. seeing mehrs was for sure an unexpected treat of my trip! thanks mehrs for saving my life. i'm pretty sure that's not the first time you've saved my life in the city. remember that one time you found me wandering around queens (was it queens?)because i missed my subway stop? classic.

so anyway - i finally made it to utah and had the happiest reunion with the fam. we chatted all night. i was much too beat to run the half marathon the next morning but not, however, too beat to go boarding with packer at sundance. it seriously felt like ten years melted away and not a day had passed since we would buy season passes every year and snowbaord everyday and never go to class. i miss those days. and there was perfect snow and beautiful sun, the perfect combo. the only thing missing was brinegar. we missed you. and we forgot to take a frozen snickers bar to share on the chair lift like we always used to. oh well, next time. packer and i chatted like we hadn't seen each other in the decade. it was great.

that night we met up with jen, leah and amy in park city and stayed over night in a condo. we played and chatted all night long. literally. i went to bed at 4am. sadly i woke up at 7am. i was still on boston time. so needless to say = tired. it was so great hanging out with the girls. though. we laughed so hard all night. we were for sure the funniest girls to ever grace p-town with our presence.


on sunday i met up with my in-laws and garlan and sharla at my parents' house for lunch. again, so much chatting and so much laughing. i love that my parents and darek's partents are total besties. it makes it so fun to hang out all together. the mccoy clan went to the afternoon session of conference after lunch. it was so great even though i was fighting the sleepies. oh yeah, and except for the part when i accidentally blared green day from my phone just as everyone in the conference center stood up to watch the prophet walk in. can you believe it? so much for reverence. it's rare that i ever get real embarrassed...but i was real embarrassed.
i spent sunday evening with my parents, siblings and nieces and nephews. it was so great to just hang out and laugh all night long. i really miss living close to the family. it kind of breaks my heart. but it's always so fun when we get together. monday i went to lunch with mom, kirst, and brandon. again we chatted for a long time and decided that we were going to come up with some kind of health challenge for us to do for the next few months until our family reunion. so after i got back to boston i plotted and planned and came up with a point system for different healthy habits and we started our little challenge just a couple days ago. it's going so well so far. i already feel more productive and balanced. i hope it lasts for the next 3+ months.
then it was goodbye time. always a sad time. but at least we'll be together again in july. plus i missed atticus so badly the whole time i was gone i thought my heart had fallen out of my chest. darek was so great to take care of him while i was gone like the champion dad that he is. i missed both my boys so much and will be real glad to have them along with me on my next trip.
i wish i had taken more pictures but alas, when you're partying like it's 1999 who has time to stop and take pictures? thanks everyone for the great weekend. i can't wait to see you again!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

.it's.tradition.


did you know that darek and i ate cadbury eggs the night we got engaged? at our hidden park in provo. cadbury eggs have been an integral part of our lives together. and even though the older i get the grosser they seem to taste we eat them every year. because it's tradition.

the night we said goodbye before darek's mission,
we ate cadbury eggs
the night we saw each other for the first time three years later after my mission,
we ate cadbury eggs
the night we got engaged,
we ate cadbury eggs
and tonight
we'll eat cadbury eggs

my favorite was the time i was driving to utah, only one week home from italy, to see darek and i stopped to buy us cadbury eggs. they melted in my car so i put them in the fridge at my hotel. then i went to darek's apartment. it was a happy reunion. and before we left that night, he went to his frigde. he had also gotten us cadbury eggs. his had also melted. he had also put them in the fridge. it's no wonder we married each other.

if you are ever lucky enough to find our hidden park in provo look under the big sliver slide. once upon a time there was a cadbury egg wrapper taped under there. because who can get engaged without eating cadbury eggs?

thanks cadbury

~*~ Happy Easter ~*~

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

together again
i'm so glad to be back with my boys
i missed them
i'll blog about my trip soon
~sweet dreams~

Friday, April 03, 2009

While Mom is Away, the Boys will PLAY!

So I guess with Amber on a weekend retreat to UT, I'll pick up the blogging duties (along w/ dinner making, laundry folding, house cleaning, grocery shopping, and 'Cus diaper changing). Sheesh, Amber sure does a lot as a mom...whole new appreciation coming on here! Anyway, if me and Atticus are gonna have a Man Weekend then let's start things off right with 'Cus sleeping in until 9:15am...he's a true McCoy Boy. The other essentials to a successful Man Weekend is a trip to the grocery store for some "groceries" consisting of: Frozen Pizza, Fish Sticks/Tarter Sauce (my FAV), cookies (AND cookie dough), donuts (Entenmann's "Choco Lover's Variety Pack"! Are you kidding me!? That's a no-brainer), Hint O' Lime chips w/ Salsa con Queso, and to swig it all down: Guaran
รก and Dew...mmmm...sweet nectars of the gods.

Atticus has been ballin' it up on his new basketball hoop we just got him. He's drilling 'em from the other room already...he's a natural sharp-shooter. I was trying to explain to him how to dunk it and he took the ball and goes, "Dad please, I've been doing these on my Nerf hoop in my room since I was 6 months old." Then he dribbles it across the living room and two-handed reverse windmill dunks it. I wish so bad I got it on video...but I got these instead...

Here's A saying "apple"...





And a couple of his slamma jammas...







Hi Mom, we miss you!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

i should be sleeping

i admit, i usually sleep until atticus wakes me up and as you know, that can be as late at 9:30 or 10:00. so why am i up so "early" you ask? that is a good question. i'm sure it has something to do with being excited to fly to utah this afternoon and feeling like i have a lot to do before i go. but mostly i just have to paint my nails and buy some Gu. not too life and death.

hm, it appears that my renewed commitment to blogging this week all came to naught. oh well, i'll have more fun things to blog about when i get back from my trip. namely running a half marathon in a blizzard. as if living through this boston winter hasn't been torture enough, utah has taken on blizzard-like tendencies this week. i had planned on packing only spring clothing. my dreams were shattered although i'm still taking my flip flops, just to demonstrate my optimism.

i went shopping with jhordan - aka yord - earlier this week to buy some springtime fun. atticus came along and was the hyper little dude we all know and love. he pretty much just ran around the store trying to climb all the displays and finding things on wheels that he could push around. at one point JH took over the atticus-chasing so i could try on the duds. eventally atticus realized it was a different blond woman following him around than his mom and he started looking around for me. JH said that he'd look around a little then just stop and stare up at her, sending her "where is my mother?" ESP signals. eventually his face crumpled up a bit to show that he meant business so she came and found me. she took these cute pictures of him as he was in his wondrous stupor.



i don't know how darek can stand going out of town for work and be away from atticus for days at a time. i'm so excited to go to UT but hate the idea of leaving atticus for 5 days. i mean i miss the kid during his naps for crying out loud! i'll miss this little face.

we finally made it to atticus 15 month checkup yesterday, a month late since i like to forget important appointments. he measured 33 1/2 inches long and 24 lbs. 1 oz. tall and skinny and growing up so quickly. he charmed the good doctor with all his latest tricks and bragged to her about his two molars he's been working on. he kept this a secret from me. i've only caught glimpses of his bottom molar but he strategically hid the top one from me. i had no idea. clueless as always.


alright, this sad little post will have to do for now. i suppose i should take advantage of being up before atticus and try to get something done around here. have a fabulous weekend. enjoy conference!
.ta.