Monday, November 30, 2009

Ezra's Birthday Celebration

Here is the birthday boy! Ezra is such a happy little guy!
Cupcakes are so fun!
And here's Ezra's birthday cake with the family tradition happily being continued. For the 1st birthday its always chocolate cake, with chocolate frosting and m&ms. Ice cream is a part of the deal, too!

The Birthday Prince!

Getting ready to have cake and ice cream!

Party Hat!

Happy Birthday To You!
What's this? Is it all for me?!
Oh man, this is gooooood!
The party hat is ruining everything! Take it off!
Much Better!!!!

Big Brother Benny

Friend Paul

Friend Carter

Cousin Heidi

Cousin Caleb

Cousin Sam

It was a great birthday celebration. I just can't believe my little baby is already 1 year old!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I am SuperMom without the supernatural powers

I love taking care of my family. I love being the wife and mother. I honestly love doing the things that need to be done in order for our family's needs to be met.
  • cooking
  • cleaning
  • bathing kids
  • dishes
  • laundry-all steps
  • paying bills
  • diaper duties

Despite the happiness I find in these tasks 9and others not mentioned), I also wish that sometimes, just sometimes, I could snap my fingers, or wrinkle my nose or tap my feet AND IT WOULD ALL GET DONE in the blink of an eye.

I enjoy these things. I find them entertaining at times and definitely fulfilling. I can feel my love pouring out onto the things I do, because I know that this helps my family's needs. But I need a break sometimes. I guess its only human.

If it were possible, today would be filled with snaps, wrinkles or taps.


But alas! No Such Luck...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Where has this year gone?!

Our bathroom is on the second floor and we have a big window in the shower. The view, in my opinion is beautiful. All you see (if the window is open, because its a frosted window) are trees and leaves and sky. When I shower, I love to look out the window. Its almost as if I'm in the trees.

This morning as I was in the shower I was looking out the window and I noticed some "bunches" of something colored red. I was very curious what in the world it could be so I kept observing...

There are red leaves on the trees!

Can you believe that? Already!

This year has flown by thus far. Its been a great one, though. Full of many different experiences. I know next year will be even better! But for now, I will be enjoying the cooler, fresher weather and anticipating the beautiful colors of fall.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

my stuff

I've been thinking a lot about what life will be like when we live in our own place here in NJ. Will I miss my sister's house?
Ben and I went to the garage yesterday and reorganized it. We were able to move everything so that there was actually empty space in there for things that had been left outside (i.e. the lawn mower, bikes, etc.). We had to look through boxes, too, so we could get things out that we needed. We mostly got clothes and toys. I also found a big box full of brand new cleaners and also a plastic tub full of toilet paper. :-) Of course you know I paid barely anything for all of those things. When we finally got the garage the way we wanted it and brought everything inside that was coming in I looked through the things that we've been using and packed some of it up to take out to the garage. So I swapped some boxes, basically. But now we have a lot more things that we wanted to use.

As I stood outside on the lawn looking into the garage I realized how "poor" I felt. I dunno, its weird. It's just so bizarre knowing that most of what you own (including irreplaceable things) is right there, in front of you. That's all we own. Everything. We have some things inside, but the vast majority is right there. It just seemed like it should be more, I guess.
I thought about how we are living right now. We only have bare essentials. Most of those essentials belong to my sister, too; they're not even ours. Why? Because they're all still packed. lol
This experience has really taught me to live with less. Its ok to live with less. Its ok not to have a lot of things. Actually, its kinda nice. Its made me evaluate the things that truly make me happy. And stuff really isn't one of those things.

But I do have to say that it will be AWESOME to be able to use all my stuff again.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

::Insert witty title here::

I REALLY need to get pictures sorry people...I promise 'll get it done soon.

Its still a little surreal that we're living in Jersey. For me, anyway. We have adjusted really well, I think. We have our routines down and we have settled in fairly quickly. We have callings at church and we enjoy them. We like our ward, and we especially like how close the church is to our home. We've made some really great friends who seem to like us just as much as we like them (but that may be because they also had no friends before we got here. So we're lucky for that, because if they had more to choose from we probably wouldn't be their and Benny also has great new buddies to play with.

We're getting familiarized with the area-Ben much more than I, because he's good like that and I'm not. :-P We have preferences for what stores we shop and when we shop. This week we had some checks to deposit to the bank (guess what bank we bank with) and Ben didn't have time to do it before he left for work, so I thought I'd venture out with the boys to deposit them. I printed walking directions on google maps and even with that I got lost once. LOL And it was only like 6 blocks away. I went the wrong direction from the house, but I quickly realized it and turned around. We have a beautiful neighborhood. I really need to take pictures to show you all. I then went to the library, which is closer to the house than the bank. Its a cute little branch that mostly has children's books, which was cool. They have a baby story hour which every librarian in the place told me about and seemed excited that they would have another baby coming (as if I had signed a contract saying I would definitely be It was a great walk. I loved it. Benny slept most of the way, and Ezra slobbered all over his

I didn't think I would like it here (the town) as much as I do! I hope that we can find a house in our budget here(as soon as we no longer have the Lafayette mortgage). I think we will.

Patience and Faith...
Trials in these categories never seem to cease....hehehehe

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Aimless Post

Would you believe I looked up a synonym for "random?" I didn't want to use it again in my

The corner of my eye my tear duct, sorta. :-( Not cool.

Its hecka hot again today. Despite this fact, I still would like to go on another walk today. We'll see if that happens. I still have some laundry to finish.

I've been thinking a lot about church and about some changes that are coming. I'm excited to get to work on the nursery rooms, too!

We are having a family rent our house for a month. I hope that they can recommend it to someone else they know that might be going out there. Another little funny fact about them-the house that they are moving into (that won't be ready when they get there, hence our house being rented) is on the same street as my sister and brother-in-law, the Drakes.

I really enjoy getting mail. Even if its junk mail. teehee

I think that Maplewood is really snobby. To the point where its sometimes ridiculous how snooty these people are. But I secretly love it!!!

I have an awesome coupon for $15 off my next shopping order at the grocery store. We forgot to use it last week, so I'm excited to use it this week.

Even though we're trying not to buy junk food there is still junk food in the house. Paul really likes soda and REALLY LOVES oreos. Ugh...the temptation is so bad. We share all our food, so since I know its OK for me to have some, I do... How terrible! But I'm cutting back. And its helping with my self discipline.

We got a booklet in the mail yesterday for adult classes for our town and a neighboring town. Some of them sound so fun! There's a knitting class, a cooking class, fitness classes, painting classes, foreign languages, glass blowing, dancing classes....the list goes on. I would really like to take one. Some of them are really expensive (for my budget, anyway) others aren't so bad. I think it would be really fun to take one! We'll see...

I know we don't have any sort of prospect for moving out of my sister's house any time soon, but I've been thinking about what that will be like. Its exciting to think that "someday" I can use my own dishes, pots & pans, TVs, towels, picture frames, furniture, closets, fridge, etc. and its also exciting to think that I will be able to decorate my home (you all know that I live for that) and to get to do all these things that I'm sure all of you take for granted. :-) But I can't shake the feeling that I think it will be very sad to move out. We're a family now (I mean, we were family to begin with, but its different now). We have dinner together, we make plans together, we share times that were only shared when we would come to visit and we'd stay here. I hope that they feel glad that we're here. I know that for me, its very bitter sweet.

Enough rambling! I've got stuff to do! :-)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Shopping. Saving. Cutting. Money. Goals.

I am still shocked at how expensive things are here in Jersey. A lot of things are comparable, but a lot are also a lot more than they are in Indiana. I am still doing my couponing, which is saving us money every time we shop. But honestly, it's still not saving us as much money. Perhaps this expectation, of spending close to the same amount of money on groceries was naive of me. Perhaps I'm just crazy and thought we could be spending similarly, considering the fact that there are Walmarts and Targets here.
We only have a Walmart, no SuperWalmart. We also don't have any Super Targets. The prices at these two stores are pretty much the same as they are in Indiana, but they don't carry all of the things that we normally would buy there. Walmart is a little inconvenient to get to and its also kinda ghetto, so we only go there about once every 2 or 3 weeks. Only when we've run out of something that we can get there for a good price. Target is much closer and MUCH nicer. There is a new one that opened just a couple of miles away and we really enjoy shopping there.
As far as grocery stores go I shop the sales! (of course, right? lol) I have a couple of stores that I regularly keep track of their sales and they are close together, so we can stop at both during the same trip. Coupons are doubled up to 99cents, so that's a great deal! But coupons are worth less here. The paper will have a coupon for something like 20cents off a package of wipes, whereas in IN I know the coupon would be for 30 or maybe even 50cents off.
We're doing pretty well, though, with grocery shopping. We only go to the store once a week, as opposed to several trips per week to wallyworld when we lived in IN. We've started cutting out junk food (which is pretty expensive here) and getting more fruits and veggies. I was looking at some receipts and we've spent close to $50 on junk food for the last month (chips, cookies, candy) so we decided we need to cut those things out, because we really don't need them. They're kinda just sitting there in the cupboards. We also don't eat out at all. Ben has lost 5lbs.! We're maintaining about $100-$115 a week for groceries (including junk food). So imagine how much more we could be saving if we got rid of the junk! We can do it!
My goal is to cut out more off our grocery bill. Thus far, I have been saving between 40 to 50% off my total bill. I want to increase it and I think I can. I just need to familiarize myself a little bit more with stores and sales here. I also think we're gonna split a membership to Costco with my sister (she needs to renew hers).
What's your take on my shopping drama?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Don't cry over spilt milk

Benny has this fascination for spitting liquids out of his mouth. As it turns out, its usually milk. On good days it'll be water. There is a part of the dining room floor that I can assure you is always clean. Why? Because I clean it up practically every day and sometimes twice a day.

After he spits the milk onto his tray he then swishes it around with his hands and makes it splash all over the floor and sometimes even the wall. It usually lands on the coffee table in the living room, too.

After I finished my last post I went downstairs to get him out of his chair. I looked at him and was so pleased that he had finished his food and hadn't made a mess. He didn't even have milk dribble over his shirt! I was proud of him at that moment. I walked to the kitchen to get a washcloth to clean him up (he had had yogurt and that was a bit messy on his face). All I did was grab the washcloth, rinse it in warm water and walk back into the living room and there was milk EVERYWHERE!

I'm so frustrated with this. It happens so often. It even happens if we're in the room with him. He calls it spit-up...I think he might do it because he sees Ezra spit up his milk and we don't say anything to Ezra. I don't know, though. Maybe he's just a little
I don't know how to stop this behavior. We go over it time and time again. We explain that we don't spit and it just doesn't seem to work.

Today however, I tried something different. I immediately took him out of his chair and stood him in front of the stairs for a time-out while I cleaned up the milk. I then gave him the rag and told him to go clean up his mess (after I had done most of it). He sat there on the floor in just his diaper and scrubbed a few times. Poor little guy, I wanted to pick him up and tell him that I would always clean up his'm such a softy. But I didn't! I moved him over to the middle of the "mess" and told him to clean it up some more there, too. At that point he looked up at me and smiled; it seemed he was starting to enjoy it. lol So I ended it there, because this wasn't going to turn into a game.

I hope this tactic will work. Maybe if he participates in the consequences he won't want to do it anymore.

Any insights?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tender Mercy

Its interesting how bad things can strengthen one's faith and hope. This week thus far has been crazy and one of trials.

Benny was having a tantrum of sorts because he didn't want his diaper changed and was kicking his legs. I moved a bottle of milk that was on the "table" part of the changing table on to the TV right next to it and in that split second Benny fell off the changing table.
It was horrible! He had x-rays taken at Urgent Care and the doctor preliminarily determined that he had a fracture on his clavicle. We later took him the Pediatrician and she sent us to get a cat scan because she feared he had a fracture on his skull due to a little blood she found behind his eardrum. So off we went to the ER (it was after hours) and he had the scan. The radiologist said there was no fracture.
We were relieved that he only had a fracture on his collar bone-that was less scary than a fracture on his head! He slept pretty well with his sling on and seemed to be in better spirits. We prayed and thanked Heavenly Father for this trial, because it helped us strengthen our testimony of the Atonement, and it reminded us that we aren't alone.
The following day we got a phone call from the doctor that saw him at Urgent Care. She said that the Radiologist had finally looked at the x-rays taken of his clavicle and he determined that there were no fractures!
It was truly a miracle. It strengthened our testimonies even more. It was something awful, but we are grateful for Heavenly Father's tender mercies. It truly was a tender mercy.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

untitled blog post

Time has been short lately. I haven't had the time to do all that I want, but I have had the time to do all that I need, which is good. We're going to the Temple on Saturday. I'm very excited. Its been a while since we've gone-the last time we went to the Temple it was in October of last year and it was to the Manhattan Temple. Anyway, we really need this and I can't wait!

This trip to the Temple has made us think about the things that we can improve in our lives. We are beginning to evaluate what we watch on TV. There are so many things that we are just desensitized to that we don't realize we shouldn't allow such things in our home. I think about our kids and I just don't want them to think that certain things are normal, because they see it on TV, ya know? It doesn't seem like it will be too big of a deal to stop watching some shows, either. :-) I hope, anyway.

And to end this short and out of place blog, I've lost 5 pounds! Woot Woot!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

How does one know?

I'm feeling a little anxious. There are lots of little things going on in our lives right now while we wait for a couple of big things to come along. We're waiting to hear back from some jobs that Ben has applied to. What are the chances that he'll get called in for an interview? What are the odds that he'll get hired right away? There are so many questions...
I keep myself occupied with normal daily things. I clean the house, I do dishes, I make dinner, I play with Benny, bathe the boys, go to church, watch TV....I mean, the list goes on and on. The point is that I keep myself busy. But while I have this routine of mine I also think a lot about the things to come. When are we finally going to move? When will Ben be hired with a new job? Will be have a short period of time between when we know we're leaving and when we leave?
I worry about other things, too. Will we be able to sell this house? Will we at least be able to rent it? Will we be able to close on a house out there quickly enough so that we don't have to live in an apartment or with family?
I'm a little anxious, too, because I don't know how much longer we'll be here. I thought that by now we would have been gone, but we aren't. So I wonder how much longer we have. I'm happy that we're still here, though. My family means the world to me and it breaks my heart every time I think about leaving them here. I get sad to think about leaving my home. Our children were conceived in this house, Benny learned how to crawl and walk in this house. This was our first house. We also have very dear friends that I am very saddened to leave behind. I'm also very excited to be closer to my parents and to start fresh-with a different house, different ward, different friends, different job. We're excited!

All this being said, I have been having "feelings." I feel that things are going to change soon. March is going to be a determining month. I don't know what will happen in March. I am not sure if we will move in March or if we will simply know when we're moving. Perhaps Ben will get a job offer in March. I don't know. But I have a "feeling." I trust this and begin to agree that its the Spirit. But then I question myself and think that it's not. But then I go back and agree again that indeed it is the Spirit. Ben feels the same way I do about March, so that makes me think even more that perhaps it is the Spirit. How does one know, for sure? I'm afraid to have "hope" and then it all be just my desires. But still...its a "feeling," one that I can't shake.

Time will tell, I suppose...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Better day!!

Today has been a great day, thus far!! The sun is shining in through all the open blinds in the house. It looks so cheery outside, despite the fierce cold I know is out there. I woke up and did my regular routine-feeding the boys, changing diapers, cleaning up a bit from last night's living room messes, etc. No migraine today! I went downstairs and was determined to work out! Ezra was asleep and Benny was content to come downstairs with me. I worked out for a half hour and it was much easier than the last time. WooHoo!! I am determined to stay hydrated today, too. I know that lack of enough water gives me headaches, too.

I'm going to a "girls night" tonight. Beading and for me, some sewing. I am going to learn how to make the greatest towels ever! Homemade kids' towels with hoodies! I can't wait!! I have been wanting to sew something for a while, but just haven't been able due to time and kids, and stuff of that sort. So tonight I will take advantage and get my sew-on! lol I have many projects that I want to work on, but they are on hold until after we move, since all the materials are packed.

Anyway, its been a great day! I think the rest of the day will be, too! My attitude definitely plays a part in all this!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


It seems like will power plays a large part in my daily life. I can say I don't feel like doing this, or doing that, but wanting something badly enough can make that "laziness" dissipate into something doable.
I felt horrible today, having woken up this morning with a bad migraine. I felt like laying and doing nothing, but I persevered and had a productive day. I did some "yard work," cleaning off of our back deck and taking trash out to the curb along with heavy recycling bins. I also sorted through some stuff in a suitcase, picked up after Benny and even made dinner.
My head has been hurting throughout the day, but it did get better, too. I wasn't able to get all that I wanted to get done today, but I did something, and that's good enough, I suppose. I have to remember that one day won't kill me. Tomorrow will be a new day, full of other opportunities and other events.
Being healthy is definitely my #1 priority right now, so I need to make sure I don't over work myself and make myself feel worse. But I know I'm doing all I can and I know that if I have self discipline, my will power will come to save me! I made great choices today and despite not having a lot of things checked off on today's To Do List, I feel great!

Friday, February 13, 2009


OK! So we are officially starting to live healthier. We've been wanting to lose some weight, but have decided that the right way to do it was to change our habits, and not just diet. So we start on Monday. I'm nervous and excited all at once. Lets see how it goes!

Poor Benny has a terrible diaper rash. Its due to the antibiotics he's taking for his ear infections. Its quite an ordeal to change diapers right now. The nurse I spoke to told me that I have to soak his bum in warm water for 10 minutes with every diaper change and then let it air dry or dry it with a blow dryer. I have been using the blow dryer and when I first turn it on (with every diaper change) Benny freaks out and screams. Then I have to apply A&D ointment and then get him all dressed again. We have a cream/ointment that we have to put on him twice a day, too. Poor little guy. At least he doesn't seem bothered by the rash. He must also think Mommy has gone crazy because he's had so many "baths" in one day. He has LOVED it, though! So much fun! :-)

Ezra has been sleeping on his own for the past 3 nights. I hope it continues! Pumping has also been going well and he's been getting breast milk from a bottle once a day close to every day for the past week. Its been nice for Daddy to help feed Ezra!

One of the houses we've been looking at in Jersey went down another $5000. Maybe it will go down some more!

I have overdue library books! The library even called to remind me-whoops!

I have the new "The Fray" CD and its awesome!

I watched a neat half hour special on Gladys Knight and the Saints United Voices Choir on BYU TV. It made me think back to the time I met Gladys Knight. I was 15 or 16 and she came to church at my branch. She ended up coming to Young Women with us and she shared her conversion story. She was so sweet. She hugged all of us and kissed us. It was an amazing experience.

On Monday the 16th BYU TV is having a special on Janice Kapp Perry on a show called LDS Lives. We have the DVR ready to record it. It made me think of her visit to our stake not too long ago. Ben and I gave her and her husband a ride to church while they were here. They came to our branch to speak and it was just wonderful. It was an unforgettable experience. Benny was only a few months old and Sister Perry held him and kissed him a bunch. :-) She even autographed my "Children's Songbook."

Today has been a good day. A long one, but a good one!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My two little guys...

Ezra is now 2 months old and Benny is 20 months old. They are my world! Both emotionally and literally-Ben can attest to the latter. lol We badly need some Mommy&Daddy time. Hopefully a child-free date night wil arrive soon!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

We finally made it outside!

The weatherman said it was going to be 68 degrees today. Yesterday, I planned out this great adventure of going to the park and having a picnic. I made sure we had clean clothes ( I was doing like 8 loads of laundry since this morning) and made a yummy lunch consisting of PB&J sandwiches, grapes, goldfish crackers, capri sun and fruit snacks. I packed the lunch, dressed the kids and waited for Ben to get home from work (1pm-ish). We went to a local park, got out of the car and realized it was chillier than expected. As we got to the playground we saw signs that said it was for ages 5-12. We attempted, but very quickly realized Benny was just too young for the playground.

So off we went, back into the car to another park we knew would have what we wanted. Benny threw a fit of course, but we pulled through and arrived a few minutes later. We had fun on the swings and on the slide and even on a horsey that was on a huge spring. Benny seemed to have more fun just walking down the path of the park. I took my camera to take pictures, but was unsuccessful at taking the camera out and actually using it. More to follow on that.

We then walked to a picnic table under a shelter area and we sat down to have our late lunch. Ezra started crying some and Benny fussed, so he sat on Daddy's lap. We really enjoyed our lunch-it was delicious, but we ate very quickly. It was CHILLY! I don't think the weatherman's predictions came to be. It had to be a lot lower, plus it was windy. We made it to the car with pink, runny, and cold noses. The sun started to shine through the cloudy sky as we were making it to the car and I stopped to enjoy some sunlight on my face as I fought the shivers. I was sad at not having taken any pictures, but I was just too cold to get the camera out. The sky wasn't very pretty and our faces were red. The wind was blowing harder than we expected, too. But we needed to get out! We needed to feel like Winter hadn't taken over our lives. Today it was in the lower to mid 60's-tomorrow its supposed to be 59 and rainy. So I'm glad we took advantage of the "nicer" weather today.

It was worth it, though. I can't wait until Spring arrives. I need more sun, more warmth and more fun days at the park with my 3 favorite guys.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

this will be funny only if you read my previous "$30,000..." post

my parents are flying to mexico for a wedding in the next week or so. my mom told me that she bought a nice big box of cherry filled chocolates for my cousin Josue. She's going to tell him that they're from Benjamin. lol

I just had to share...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Habitual Behavior

I was just thinking this morning about the things that we do that are habitual. For example, I "roll" toilet paper onto my hand off of the roll in a particular way and I've been doing it that way since as long as I can remember. I sit at the computer desk a certain way, with my feet crossed and legs folded underneath my chair. I put my pants on one leg at a time, but I always start with my right leg. I button my buttons the same way every time. I even change diapers in a particular way and order-the same way since the very first diaper I changed on Benny. My dishes are washed the same way every time and even the way I wipe the table down is the same.
My point is not that I am a boring person and do things monotonously, because this is not so since I am talking about menial things, things that are done subconsciously. My point is that I am a creature of habit as I'm sure everyone else is, too. I will share one habit that is pretty unique to me, and hopefully you can share one of yours.

When I go to bed at night I take my socks off and put a fresh, clean pair on. In the morning when I wake up I take that pair off and put another fresh, clean one on and then I put my slippers on. I do this every day. Every single day. lol It just makes me feel clean, somehow.
What's your habit?

Before I end, though, I need to share my victory from last night! Ezra slept on his own in his bassinet for 4 hours last night! I finally got to sleep by myself (well, with Ben, but without a baby in my arms!!)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Little boy

I am amazed at the naughty things that Benny does that he is to innocent to realize that they are naughty. Its so cute and so annoying at the same time when you want to say "no-no" but you want to laugh, too. :-)
Last night, while Ben was on his way home from work, I sat on the couch nursing Ezra. Benny was playing in his room. At one point I heard something crash and fall and I thought "Oh no! Benny fell and got hurt!" But when he didn't cry and I heard him continue playing I just assumed a toy had fallen. I continue nursing and watching some TV and I hear this rustling sort of noise in his room. I worried, wondering what non-toy thing he had gotten his hands on and then realized I knew what he had. I assume he was playing with his new chair-its a bean bag filled comfy chair that's low to the ground. The rustling noise I was hearing sounded like the bean bag filling being tossed know, a "swish swish." That was all the noise I could hear from then noises from Benny and no music from other toys.
Ben then got home and I was finished nursing. I got up to take Ezra to the bedroom and walked past Benny's room and looked in to see what he was doing.
He was sitting in a sea of diapers! Diapers ALL OVER the floor in his room! He looked up at me with his eyes clearly saying "Uh-oh"
I tried not to laugh! He got up and handed me a diaper and then said to me "thank you." I then just HAD to laugh! The 'crash' I had heard earlier was the box of diapers falling off the little table and the rustling wasn't bean bag filling, but diapers being pushed around the floor and around him.

But I can't complain. I've taught him well. He knew he had done something wrong, even if it was really cute and when I started singing the clean up song he very quickly picked up the billion diapers on the floor and plopped them back into their box. :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

$30,000 - Immigration stopped us and I fainted!

My cousin (whom I call my aunt because she is much older than I) shared this story with my parents who of course, in turn shared it with us.

The phone rings at my "aunt's" house in Mexico-its 6pm. My cousin Josue (Josh) picks up the phone and listens to a man tell him something to the effect "What? You don't care to remember family anymore?" and Josue says, "Benjamin, is that you?" The man answers in the affirmative and asks who he's speaking to and my cousin says "its Josue" then the man asks how hes doing and asks "Is you mom there?" So Josue hands the phone over to my aunt and tells her its Ben (which they all call him Benjamin, not Ben-its a Spanish thing).

Aunt: Hi there Benjamin, son, how are you? Whats this that you're calling? Is everything OK?
Man: Of course Auntie, everything is fine. I'm calling to tell you that we're arriving tomorrow! But its a surprise! You can't tell anyone because its a huge surprise!
Aunt: (she gets extremely excited and can't wait to see us and the boys) Oh my goodness, so I can't even tell Gaby (her daughter)?
Man: No, not even Gaby... So what would you like me to bring you?
Aunt: Nothing,nothing! It will be enough to have you here in our presence. We can't wait to see you!
Man: Well, what about Josue? Ask him if he wants anything.

My aunt asks and Josue says he'd like some chocolates filled with sweets. She tells the man.

Man: Will you go pick me up at the airport tomorrow?
Aunt: Of course!! Of course!! So where are you staying?
Man: Well, we were hoping we'd be able to stay with you! You have such a hospitable house.
Aunt: Oh yes, of course you can stay with us! We wouldn't want it any other way!
Man: OK, Auntie, I will call you tomorrow with more details about our arrival and such. Don't forget its a surprise!

They hang up. Later that evening my aunt and my mom have a long telephone conversation and my aunt mentions nothing about this surprise. That same evening my aunt starts to stress out making sure the house is ready for us. She starts to clean massively (since obviously she wasn't expecting company!) and even starts rearranging furniture in the bedrooms. Beds get moved from one room to another so that we can stay in the nicest room and with the biggest bed, since we'll have the boys with us. Desserts get made and even plans for a fancy dinner for the next evening since we'll be there. She tells her husband to clean the car out because they are going to go to the airport the next day to pick someone up. He asks "who?" and she says "its a surprise! I can't tell you!"

The next morning her phone rings and its the man again.

Man: Auntie! I need your help! Immigration has stopped us! I have all these presents that I'm bringing for everyone and some money, too, and they've stopped me because of it. Listen, here's the lawyer that's helping us out. he'll tell you everything.

So the lawyer tells my aunt that we were stopped because we were trying to bring in $30,000 US Dollars and we hadn't declared it or something like that and that we had a bunch of gifts we were bringing for them-perfumes, jewelery, clothing, toys...

What the lawyer needed my aunt to do was deposit 32,000 Pesos (which is like $3200 US Dollars) into a bank account. He gave her the bank account number and said that it would cover the fine and Ben would be released. My aunt spoke to the Man again and tells him that she's going to have to make some calls to see if a friend can lend her the money. The man tells her that hes thankful and that it won't be a big deal because he'll pay her right back when he gets there since he has money (but its been confiscated and paying the fine would release him and his money and his gifts).

My aunt calls her daughter Gaby and tells her the story asking if she can offer any money. Gaby says "anything for Benjamin, of course!" This happens with another cousin of mine and then my Aunt takes money that is set aside for a huge wedding/anniversary party they are having next month and tells her husband, "OK! lets go to the bank right now...hurry up, lets go!" My cousin Josue isn't liking the smell of the situation and tells his mom that she needs to call my parents to make sure this isn't all a scam. My aunt tells him that she cant because Ben told her it was a surprise and she couldn't tell anyone! Of course he persists and she calls my parents house.

Aunt: Hi Will (my dad) where is Benjamin?
Dad: At home, at work. Why?
Aunt: Are you sure?
Dad: Yes, why?

She tells him the story and he's like, "Woman, call the cops! Its a scam!"
She asks my dad to please call me and make sure that Ben isn't in Mexico (lol)

My dad calls me and asks where Ben is and I tell him he's at work. He then tells me the story(which was not the whole story, because my aunt hadn't been very detailed with him) and I get creeped out. I call Ben and he gets creeped out, too. My dad calls my aunt back to let her know we're fine and at home. While he's on the phone with her, my aunt's cell phone rings. Its the Man (he had asked for her cell number). My aunt puts the phones on Speakerphone so my dad can hear whats going on.

Man: Auntie, why did you trick me? You said you would pay the money.
Aunt: Oh son, its just that the woman who was going to lend me the money didn't have it and I don't have the money so I can't pay it. I'm sorry. Why don't you just leave half the stuff-we don't need the presents anyway we just want you safe. Is your wife there with you?
Man: Yes, but she fainted! The stress is too much for her and she fainted!

My aunt then tells him again to leave half the stuff and that she will see him soon, when he's released.
My dad is laughing saying "That sounds nothing like Ben!"
She says she swears it sounded like him and my mom of course dad talks to us regularly, my aunt however does not! So of course, the excitement and nervousness blurred her judgement.

My mom gets home from work that afternoon and hears all about it. She then calls my aunt and gets the full story. My aunt reported it to like a scam hotline of some sort, where you can remain anonymous. She gave them the account number and they said they had already received scam reports for that account number.

Its bizarre. I feel somewhat guilty that "we" caused such grief and stress to my family. I feel bad that they had to make so many changes to the house and that they stressed over some major cleaning. I also feel embarrassed that she had to call around and pool the money needed to bail us out-even though it wasn't us at all!

This was yesterday. And even today I am still very grateful to my Heavenly Father that they didn't fall for the scam and that they aren't out of so much money! He hears our prayers when we ask him to bless our family wherever they may be, even if our family is a bit naive and gullible. lol

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sleep Patterns?

Why is it that when I go to bed late the kids stay asleep, nice and cozy no issues, no wake-ups in the middle of the night? And then, why is it that when I go to bed early they wake up and won't let me get back to sleep?

Is it a curse? Is it a blessing? Heaven only knows! :-)

I went to bed early tonight (or should I say last night?) since Ben has to get up at 3am (in a half hour from now) to get to work and Ezra would not stay asleep. At least Benny has not stirred.

Ezra is different from Benny. He loves to be cuddled all the time. If he isn't cuddled he won't sleep through the night. So unfortunately since I need sleep myself, he has been sleeping in bed with us. If not, he just cries and cries. Yeah, I know, it will be a hard habit to break. But I need sleep!! So for now it will do and I will deal with the consequences later, when I'm a bit more rested. hehehehe Wish me luck! I need it! Ezra will, however sleep great in his car seat when we're going out. We have tried putting him to sleep in his car seat at night and it worked for about a week and then he just bawled it out until we picked him up and laid him in bed with us. **sigh** Benny hated sleeping in bed with us. He still does!
At least when Ezra does get comfy and falls asleep he will sleep for at least 5 or 6 hours straight. That's been a blessing for me because I can get rest.

Ezra was sleeping in his cradle when he woke up. I'm thinking that might be why he woke up. Ezra does not like to be swaddled. He cries and grunts and complains. Benny on the other hand loved it! Swaddle him all day and even nice and tight and he was as happy as could be. I think that if Ezra would tolerate being swaddled he would sleep better on his own.

I just hope I can have the strength, in all aspects of the word, to get Ezra sleeping on his own soon. I'm tired of sleeping on just one side (since I'm holding/cradling him).

**yawn** He's asleep in his sling (which is around me at the moment) so I'm going to try and put him down and get some more sleep myself. :-)

Oh!!! And Benny started saying "night-night"!!!!!

Monday, January 5, 2009


We kept it a secret and now its official!

We moved out of the 4th Branch and into the 3rd Ward. Yesterday was our first Sunday. It was weird, I have to admit. All day it felt like we were just visiting. I guess its because visiting the 3rd Ward was something we were already used to. I had to keep telling myself "this is your ward." Everyone was really nice and really welcoming, though. I appreciated it very much.

Yesterday was also Benny's first Sunday in Nursery. He loved it!! As we were in line to drop him off he was getting so impatient and was making noise because he wanted to go in already. No patience, my little turkey! Anyway, he did really well we were told and I'm sure that next week will go just as well. He did cry, though when it was time to leave. Can you tell he's not social enough?! lol I guess thats what you get when you're the eldest child and you're still only 19 months. :-P

Today will be a busy day I think. We're going grocery shopping and hopefully we'll get some other errands done. Ben is on vacation starting Wednesday! WooHoo! I think we're going to try to relax a bit and also get some painting done in the basement.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

I can't believe its 2009 already! I'm so excited for this new year. I'm excited for all the new things we will encounter and for the new people and places we will meet.

My hopes for this year are many. Although my resolutions for the new year have not been established yet. I've heard that when you write your resolutions down and look at them frequently you are more likely to stick with them. I hope to get these written down this week. I do know of one "goal" I have for this year: No Soda! I want to try and not drink any soda except for special occasions (i.e. at parties). Soda put on the pounds, and of course like the many other million Americans, I too, have the goal of losing weight this year.

Another goal of mine this year is to read The Standard Works. It seems like it will be hard and overwhelming, but at least I can try-and something is better than nothing.

Things at The Queendom are going well. I have my off days when both boys seem like they're going to make me go crazy, but for the most part I am really enjoying being a mom of 2. I am also getting more accustomed to all that this new duty entails. Ezra is now 1 month old, over 9lbs and breastfeeding is going well. I couldn't ask for more! Well, maybe a little more sleep-but I'll survive. :-)

Well, I should go now. I'm surprised I even got a chance to blog anything, so I'm not gonna push my luck! I'm gonna get going on some other Internet things that need to get done and then off to feed Ezra!