Sunday, November 23, 2008

Seven Things

The haircut is pending. I still haven't decided, but it looks like the votes are mostly for "a".

My cousin Andrea tagged me, so here goes--

7 things I can do:
1. Sew little girls' dresses like a champ. Dresses for grown women are much more hit-or-miss.
2. Run down the stairs, across the living room, and slide in my wool socks from one end of the dining room to the other. This never fails to impress my children.
3. Nurse a baby while blog-surfing.
4. Play the piano.
5. Make a week's worth of groceries stretch for two weeks. (Yes, I really hate grocery shopping that much.)
6. Sing all the words to "Happy Little Working Song" from Enchanted. :)
7. Survive three months in a row of John on call. (It's done, behind me, and I'll never have to do it again. . . knock on wood.)

7 things I can't do:
1. Sleep well when John is not home.
2. Remember to get the library videos back on time.
3. Stop talking about myself.
4. Go back and finish a project I got frustrated with and set aside.
5. Use Superglue without gluing all my fingers together
6. Follow a recipe without changing something.
7. Write un-punctuated and un-capitalized text messages on my cellphone.

7 things that attracted me to John:
1. His steadiness and ability to stay calm in a catastrophe
2. His eyes
3. His smile
4. His kindness
5. His steadfastness in the gospel
6. His desire to serve those in need
7. His sense of humor

7 things I often say:
1. Apparently. . .
2. Yes, it IS fair.
3. Do you think that was good choice?
4. Is that how we speak to our mom (or sister or friend)?
5. Try again, but use your cheerful voice.
6. Don't you tease me.
7. I'm done.

7 People I admire:
(This is the hardest question--how do you narrow it to 7?)
1. John (he really NEVER gets mad--how does he do it? And can you believe he stuck with me through my entire "World's Worst Girlfriend" and "World's Worst Fiance" stages?)
2. My mom
3. My dad
4. Brother Black (my high school seminary teacher)
5. My grandparents (all of them, because if I list them separately, I run out of slots)
6. The creative genius behind the idea of blogs
7. My brother Pete for making it out of the MHS class of 2006 alive

7 Favorite Foods:
1. Alfredo chicken pizza
2. Spinach and strawberry salad
3. Chocolate cookies with peanut butter chips
4. Twix
5. Spinach pie
6. Waffles with strawberries and whipped cream
7. Roasted asparagus or cauliflower

7 People I tag:
1. Amy DeWaal
2. Kelly Galbraith
3. Kellie Story
4. April Born
5. Nissan Alicia Lucio Garcia de la Rosa McCandlish
6. Martha Taylor
7. Bonnie Wheeler

(I've seen this tag around, and I hope I didn't tag someone who has already been tagged. Or not tag someone who would like to be tagged. This is more stressful than it should be.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Speaking of Hair

When I'm pregnant, my hair grows long and thick. I have way more hair than I usually have, and it grows so quickly that I never keep it short. However, there is a point postpartum, where all that hair betrays me and begins to fall out in enormous gobs while I am washing it. The good news is that this usually coincides with the same point where my newborn discovers the joy of pulling my long hair anytime her tight little fist is in the same general vicinity as my head. (Roughly speaking, about 90% of her waking hours.)
So, it's time for a haircut. I usually donate the 10 or so inches of extra to Locks of Love, so I'm going short--quite short. I want some input. Here is what I look like now. Do you have any idea how hard it is to take a good picture of yourself? Either you aim wrong. . .
. . . or your eyebrows raise involuntarily. . .
. . . or your tongue sticks in your cheek with the frustration of it all.
That was just a refresher, for all of you who haven't seen me in a while. (And who am I kidding. How often is my hair actually down? Once a week, on Sunday. Most of the time it's in a ponytail or a pen-bun. So the pictures above were taken on a good day--a good hair day. Ignore the crazy wrinkles and bulges of my shirt. Definitely not a good shirt day.)

Here are my options:
Isn't that a cute little pixie cut? But that girl, Jesse Kelly-Landes, whoever she may be, has such a cute little pixie face to pull it off. Could I pull it off?

(B) Ignore the stain on my magazine cutting, please. She doesn't really have an enormous dog-spot birthmark.
John calls this look the "disheveled vagrant", but it looks easy to do. So easy, in fact, that I might actually do it every morning.

Do I have this texture of hair? No. Do I have this color of hair? No. Do I have this incredibly fabulous sweater? No. Somehow, I still like the haircut. But it's probably not an option for me.

(D) What list of short cuts would be complete without Katie "I'm-from-Toledo, too" Holmes?
Really, this is probably the most realistic of the options (cut and color-wise, I mean. The whole stylist-on-call/personal shopper/crazy movie-star husband/rich-rich-rich thing is probably out of my league.) But I feel a little cliche taking a picture of Katie Holmes to a stylist and asking for "this look."

I have, if you can't tell from the wrinkles, been carrying this picture around in my folder of ideas for a while. I love this haircut. Doesn't she look cute?

Are all these cuts exactly the same? Pretty much. I could go with some sort of chin-length bob. (But I must admit to being TERRIBLE with a round brush. I've really never been able to learn that skill. There are some people out there--Lyndsay Peterson and Becca Larsen, I'm talking to you--who always have perfectly round-brushed bobs. How do you do it? Is it a skill you are born with or can it realistically be learned?) What do you think? Give me the haircut you vote for, and if you have any other ideas, please tell them to me. I need some help.

a) Tease ( a book about remaking t-shirts)
b) Glamour, October 2008
c) Knitpicks catalog, Fall 2008
d) Glamour, October 2008
e) Playtex Hip Hammock advertisement, circa 2005

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Tonight, as the girls were clearing their stuff out of the van (slowly but surely), Mimi said this:
"Don't worry, Liv. Dad says we're dinking around, but that's impossible. Just ignore him."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Beauty Shop

I love to have my hair brushed. Is there anything more wonderful than having someone play softly with your hair? I submit that there is not. So, since I am quite the thinker, I have been training my girls for quite some time to comb and brush my hair.
I admit this has one (un)fortunate side effect. They aren't really content simply to brush. They must also "decorate". So, I often look like this.Last night, after an especially delightful session of beauty shop, I was both incredibly beautiful. . .
. . .and missing quite a hunk of hair from the back of my head. Every girl has to learn the lesson about twisting and curling a comb in hair. I learned the lesson in my own hair when I was probably 7 or 8. And someone else (we won't mention names, but she looks a little sheepish in the picture above) learned the lesson in my own hair last night.

Was the loss of the hair worth the 30 minutes of brushing?


Three Months

Annabel is now three months old. (I do recognize that these monthly posts might be boring, but I want them in my blurb book when I get my blog printed, so ignore it, if you wish.)My pictures were terrible yesterday, to say the least. Bella kept trying to lean forward into the camera, and I was trying to push her back into place and take the picture without my hand. (And the overcastness of the day didn't help. I had to turn on that classy lamp in the background to get enough light.) She's wearing one of my old dresses. It's adorably smocked (just my mom's style), but it's sized 12-18 months. And it is barely long enough to cover her bum. I'm glad we've changed the fashion to make our babies more modest, even if we're letting everyone else show all the skin they want.
Here's the shot with Pedro the Bear. Apparently, my legs looked horrifying.
Luckily for me, I had a darling friend, Bonnie, who took much better pictures of Annabel this month. I love this one of the feet. It's fram-worthy. (Couldn't you just nibble those toes?)And obviously, I'm obsessed with this costume. I love having a baby pea. So stinkin' cute!And one in her blessing dress and bonnet. My mom got this bonnet in Italy for Olivia's blessing, and I love it. Unfortunately, it was very difficult to catch Bella smiling while she was wearing it.At three months, Annabel:
*knows how to laugh. She just learned last week, and it's my new favorite hobby trying to coax it out of her.
*will stick out her lower lip and whimper if she hears a sympathetic voice say "Oh. . . poor Bella."
*is still an absolutely delightful baby.
To compare her to her sisters, I have their pictures below.

Can you believe this is the only picture we have of Olivia at three months old? Crazy. (And she's the oldest. Bella will definitely be my best documented baby, probably mostly because of the blog.) Look at those cheekies! I miss that sober baby.
And this is one of three pictures we have of Naomi at three months old. She loved the binky, but couldn't figure out how to keep it in her mouth. This was John's solution one Saturday while we cleaned the apartment. Go ahead. Be shocked at our terrible parenting. But it worked!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The pukes

I do have a picture of myself, lounging (well, really less lounging and more collapsed) in bed next to the Puke Bowl, (Doesn't every family have a Puke Bowl, necessary to capitalize?) but I decided in one of my saner moments, NOT to publish it on the web. "The pukes," as we call them around here (choosing our favorite of all the synonyms of vomit--what's your favorite?), have whirlwinded through our family, leaving only John unscathed. Yuck!
However, this being November, and me needing to get my "attitude of gratitude" into gear, I would like to share the things I am grateful for, even about the pukes:
1. It was John's day off when I first succombed to kneeling before the porcelain throne, and he cheerfully spent the time bonding with Baby Bella.
2. Both of my older girls know to try to make it to the toilet or the Puke Bowl, thus minimizing the mess.
3. Annabel never got really dehydrated, so we pulled through without a trip to the doctor (I HATE going to the doctor--ironic, isn't it?).
4. It only takes one (fairly intense) morning work session to clean the mess my children can create when unsupervised for an entire day.
5. We were all stocked up on yogurt and Gatorade (Meijer is having a great sale on Yoplait this week), so I used the Gatorade and the girls ate nothing but yogurt all day yesterday. Neither of us could have been happier.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


My dad was retained (by a healthy margin, even if he did lose Moab--I spit on that town), and Prop 8 passed. I feel relieved.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Proposition 8

I am watching two elections especially closely today.
The first is the retention election of my dad in Utah. Some crazy woman is viciously campaigning against him. I hope people in the 7th district aren't deceived. That's all I have to say about that.
The second, and really the more important of the two, is Proposition 8 in California. I hadn't realized all the implications of redefining marriage until just recently. Our very religious freedom is at stake. I recognize my post is late, my audience is limited, and I live in the Midwest. However, I want to make my position known.
This woman wrote an article from the religious perspective of those who belong to the LDS Church. And here is a story about different Christian denominations working together to promote our shared beliefs. At the same blog, here is a demonstration of what the ultra-radical gay-rights wants to promote in the name of tolerance.
My friend Denise, who lives near San Diego, has a private blog, or I would link to many of the things she has said. She mentioned that if Prop 8 does not pass, the implications will be far beyond just that state. It will affect us all. If you know someone in California, please motivate them to vote. We all need Proposition 8 to pass.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween Extravaganza

I wanted to tell all my Halloween stories at once, so here we are. (This will be a long post--we did a lot for Halloween, and I'm not really known for my short-windedness.) The church's trunk-or-treat was Tuesday evening (as I have heretofore mentioned). John went as Bowler Hat Guy from Meet the Robinsons. (Seen here without the bowler hat--he has a curly moustache above that very un-Bowler Hat Guy smile). The "trunk" part of trunk-or-treat was omitted due to fears about snow, so we passed out candy in the cultural hall. (Unfounded fears, I should add. The weather was bee-yewtiful.)
I was the fairy godmother from Cinderella. Naomi was Nancy from Enchanted. (No, not Giselle, as you might expect, but Nancy--the other woman.)
Bella was the Pea. (Seen here in her post-flaming fit nap. I wasn't about to wake her to put her costume on.)
Some more friends (Halle as Aurora and Madison as a nice witch) on the cultural hall stage.
On Wednesday, Olivia decided she had a bee in her bonnet about making Halloween cookies for the neighbors. I decided that since John wouldn't be home until late, we could indulge this neighborly whim, and she and I went to town: making dough, cutting out spooky shapes, and baking all sorts of delicious cookies. Don't they look great?Well, maybe not, but the plan was to decorate them on Thursday after school and pass them out on pretty Halloween plates with friendly "From the Wells Family" tags. My visiting teachers (love them!) arrived after the baking was done, and I sat down to have a delightful chat. Olivia asked me if she could give some cookies to our friends, and I told her, "Of course!" She prepared a twist-tie bread bag of plain sugar cookies for each of my visiting teachers, and they were appropriately grateful. As we continued to chat, I heard the front door open and close, then open and close again, and again. I was curious as to who was going outside and what they were doing when Olivia ran back into the room, followed closely by Naomi, and declared, "I gave away all the piles of cookies!" I wondered what the neighbors (some of whom we had not yet met) had thought when answering the door to two little girls, dressed in spaghetti-strap fairy dresses and no shoes, delivering bread bags of plain sugar cookies. I decided to laugh rather than be embarrassed.
On Thursday, we had our Wives' Club Halloween party at Bonnie's house. We were supposed to bring Halloween treats, so the girls and I made spooky Oreo spiders.
They are very easy and fun to make, and I think the kids at the party loved them. (Who doesn't love Oreos, pretzels, and Reese's pieces?)When Olivia got home from school, we dressed up in our costumes again, and headed to the Fall Festival on Notre Dame campus. Where we ran into Clifton (the little boy in the middle) from Olivia's kindergarten class. He and his older brother were very fun, and a game of "run around the crowd" ensued. This was followed by fantastic face painting from the Notre Dame art students. (Olivia got a red sparkly heart on her cheek, and Naomi wanted a princess, but got just a crown instead.)We waited in line for both the bounce house and the haunted house, but the girls got sick of it just shy of it being our turn (both times!). They decided they were happy just to get a picture with this very spooky inflatable spider.As John was on call, we went to the hospital to eat with him, only to find him busy with an admission and unable to eat with us. So I braved the cafeteria as the only adult with three small children. Now that's scary! On the way out, the girls rolled down the wheelchair ramp in their beautiful princess dresses, as the refined and polite young ladies they are.
On Halloween day, I got both girls ready in their costumes first thing in the morning (this makes three days of dressing up--I think you can't ask for more than that, really). Naomi went with Kelly to trick-or-treat at the residency clinic--very fun! And Annabel and I went to Olivia's kindergarten class to put on the Halloween party. I learned these things:
*Pumpkin bowling is a huge hit. Everyone could play that again and again.
*There are moms who, when asked to bring a healthy snack to a class of 16 kids, are dumb enough to bring 12 cupcakes. Who does that?
*Kindergarten boys are at least 5 times as likely to cry over the outcome of a (non-competitive) game than kindergarten girls.
We came home and detoxed with a short nap, and then the girls and I made dinner. I found this recipe (if you can call it that) for mummy pizzas in Family Fun magazine. My girls are out on olives, so I just cut some pepperonis smaller for the eyes. Isn't it sad that the food never looks as good in real life as it does in a magazine-styled photograph? They were delicious, nonetheless. I would like to do an entire theme menu for next year's Halloween, a la my cousin Andrea. That looks fun!Then we went out trick-or-treating. It was fun to meet the neighbors the girls had taken the cookies to. We had three houses that had gotten a special treat just for my girls, to repay them for the "delicious cookies." I'm not saying that I'd have Liv head out to strangers' houses again all by herself, but it sure broke the ice.
One more time, with the princess dresses. Olivia's was made with the last of the bridal store fabric that I got last year when a woman in my ward in Toledo was selling her shop after 20-or-so years. I think it turned out delightful. I just had to buy the gold ribbon down the front and the zipper for the back. Practically free!So, that's it! Our Halloween adventures. It was a fun-filled, crazy-making week. I'm glad we did everything we did, and I'm glad it won't come around again until next October. Maybe I better start gearing up now.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Recruiting Season

I meant to blog today about Halloween and all the associated festivities, but John is currently at the Notre Dame football game with our camera (lucky boy!), and so that post will have to wait at least until tonight.
However, I have another small story I would like to share. It's recruiting season right now for residencies all over the country, and as the wives of residents we must do our part to make a good impression on the candidates (as we call applicants) and their wives (or husbands, as the case may be). We had Candace and Ryan Slater here last week (so much fun) from Toledo, so I was really excited when I remembered that Dusty and Cortnee Watson (also from Toledo) would be here this weekend.
Cortnee (for those who haven't met her) is a girl who is beautiful, stylish, and very kind. She and Dusty just got married last December, and every interaction I have ever had with her has been delightful. She is so complimentary about my girls and so nice to me and I shouldn't be intimidated at all. However, whenever I am trying to make a good impression, I get nervous. And whenever I get nervous, I talk faster and faster and think less and less clearly, and pretty soon it's just like verbal vomit, really. Sentences spewing forth faster than I can recall them.
So my conversation with Cortnee went something like this:
C.W.: So, do you like South Bend?
E.W.: I LOVE South Bend, I love everything . . . blah. . . blahdity blah. . . .
C.W.: (too polite to look bored) What made you pick to live here?
E.W.: Blah. . . blahdity blahdity blahdity. . . . faster faster faster
I think it was 99 words Emilee:1 word Cortnee. But really, I was doing okay. I think less than half of my sentences were completely nonsensical, and that's saying something for me when I'm trying to be impressive. But then this is how we ended the conversation:
E.W.: I love your sweater--so cute!
C.W.: (sweetly) Thanks!
E.W.: Where did you get it?
C.W.: T. J. Maxx.
E. W. : Oh, I love T. J. Maxx. Such a great store. Such a wonderful store, you can find so many great things. I'm so proud of you!!
I'm so proud of you?? What kind of adult says that to another adult? What did I mean? I'm so proud you can shop for yourself? I'm so proud you know how to find something cute? It's one of those stock phrases that I keep as a mom for those times when I don't really want to have to think what I'm saying to my kids, but I want them to be happy. And it slipped out when I really would have preferred it stay in.
She looked only mildly confused when I said it, and my backpedaling from that statement just got more and more incoherent, so I let it go. Thinking about it makes me turn red all over again. I think I should be officially off the recruitment roster.