Friday, December 21, 2007

Ward Christmas Party


This year, as usual, Jake had to study while I took the kids to the ward Christmas party. After enduring the unusually crazy Halloween party where the kids just played in the nursery the entire time so either Jake or I had to sit in there the whole time, I was a bit apprehensive. The party was supposed to be low-key, basically a catered dinner and a visit from Santa. SO...we decided to attempt it. The dinner was REALLY good (honey baked ham--even the kids ate a ton!) and I got to visit with a few friends, but ultimately the kids migrated to the nursery and the toys so we left before Santa came. I did manage to get this picture of Sydney standing in the nursery though. She doesn't look like she's having too much fun...but I LOVE this outfit (compliments of Aunt Connie) and it's another shot of her great boots! She is such a sweet little thing. She's going to be a great big sister!

Happy Birthday to Me!





Last Friday we celebrated my (ahem) 31st birthday. Notice how nice my husband was to buy number candles that say "29" so I guess you could call this my second anniversary of my 29th birthday!

Though it was in the middle of his finals week, Jake worked really hard to make it a really special day for me. He made me this beautiful, YUMMY cake and took me out for coconut shrimp at Red Lobster in Times Square. My friend April watched our kids so we could have a dinner to ourselves and afterwards, we went Christmas shopping at Toys R Us. I felt guilty being there without the kids...it was really fun though. We'll have to take them over the holidays...it's such a fun toy store.

Jackson helped me blow out the candles and open my presents. He's getting to be such a big helper! He went to his friend's birthday party a month ago and helped with her candles too...and presents...and when I wouldn't let him help unwrap the presents he stood by and cheered her on! It was so funny...her dad commented that they needed Jackson at all birthday parties because he made a pair of socks seem exciting. He's a good cheerleader.

Merry Christmas!!!


Just another Merry Christmas from our family! I can't wait to watch my kids this Christmas. They're so excited by everything...it's going to be so fun! They really love playing with the nativity scene my mom sent and we read the Nativity lift-the-flap book, but let's face it, they're mostly excited about the growing mound of presents under the tree. I can't blame them!

PS--I'm editing this post a bit. I just thought it was funny after looking at this post to see that I said the kids were so excited about everything and yet they look so UNexcited in this picture! The fact is, they were terrified of the santa, as I mentioned earlier, but they loved every other Christmas thing we saw that day. Oh yes...and in retrospect, when Jackson sees this picture he talks about how he loves Santa! Right.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Funny Jackson

Some new funny comments from Jackson:

After Jake yelled at Sydney to lay down and go to sleep..."If Jacob yells at my best friend Sissy again, I SPANK!"

Tonight while spinning around in circles..."I'm getting BUSY!"

Friday, December 14, 2007

Elfed!

We had to jump on the "elfin" bandwagon too...so here it is!

http://www.elfyourself.com/?id=1395875188

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Lazy Snowy Day

It's snowing here today. It's not the soft, light, pillowy snow, but the wet, hard, sleety snow. So I quarantined us to the house today. The kids are trying to get over colds and I don't really have the proper shoes for this wet weather.

So the funny part about this day is that we've been playing hide-and-seek for 30 minutes now...which would be fun except our apartment is only 900 sq feet. You can imagine that there are only so many hiding places. To make it even more fun...Jackson ALWAYS hides in the same place and I can always hear Sydney giggling the moment I say "where are Jackson and Sydney?" I'm glad their entertained by so little.

Actually though, I can top that. I took the kids with me to the dr's a couple weeks ago and Jackson wanted me to "find him" while he was in his stroller underneath a blanket. Perhaps he's confusing hide-and-seek and peek-a-boo.

In the cold, snowy weather I have got a lot of projects done...including my mom's Christmas present (which I won't describe in detail in case she reads this) and reading "Twilight." I really enjoyed the book, though I pretty much ignored my kids for a whole day to finish it. It's one of those books. I'm anxious to read the next one, but I think I'll wait till after Jake finishes finals so I'm not abandoning my kids again.

I'm thinking today might be an "order a pizza for dinner" day...though I feel bad making the pizza guy deliver in this. But maybe not that bad.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Missing Summer



The cold has settled in and unfortunately so have I. I feel like we've just been grounded and won't be allowed to leave our apartment for another 3 months. It's not that I hate the cold, though I do not really LOVE it, I just hate that living here I have to not only tolerate it but embrace it to get anything done. In most places, you endure the cold to get from your house to your car, then await the warmth of the heater and the Christmas tunes on the radio. Not so here. We have to bundle up and walk in the cold, snow and ice just to get food...not to mention laundry, attending church, and going to do anything fun. The city is so beautiful at Christmastime, but I sure miss the warmth of Spring and Summer and the kids are missing the hours on the playground. Here are a couple of my favorite photos from this summer...in honor of "Flashback Friday."

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Santaland at Macy's


After living here for 2 Christmases, we finally decided to bite the bullet and head to the Santaland at Macy's. I've always heard that it's wonderful, but you have to wait forever. With Thanksgiving coming so early this year, Santa came early too. So we beat the rush and went on Friday. It was so fun! The kids loved Santaland, but were terrified of Santa. I really don't blame them...he is kind of a weird looking character, but I will continue to encourage them to sit on a strange, fat man's lap every year at Christmas just to get that one perfect picture! OH, and btw, the elves that guide you through Santaland are creepy and weird. The one lady who directed us to Santa kept getting in Sydney's face and asking her name and how old she was. I told the elf that Sydney didn't talk, but she kept persisting in her creepy little voice. Sydney dug her nails in tighter and tighter. All I could think of was..."HO...HO...HO"... a la Christmas Story.
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COLD!!!!

SOS. It's Saturday afternoon, we live in a 900 sq. ft. apartment, and it's 36 degrees outside. Jackson is going crazy with energy and I have no idea what to do for him. We bundled up warm and went to the park but that only lasted about 20 minutes because both kids wouldn't keep their mittens on and their hands were too cold to play. So we walked to the grocery store for a few essentials and now we're back home...right where we started...Jackson + energy = crazy mom! We've colored, we've played tag and hide and go seek, we've played Diego games on the computer and watched Curious George. I'm not sure what else to do. I'm sure all you amazing moms I look up to have a full repertoire of fabulous indoor activities...so HELP!!! It's only going to get colder and I'm already at a loss!

Oh yeah...AND I have a MONSTER cold and I'm pregnant. Any sure fire remedies besides Sudafed and a hot shower (for the cold, not the pregnancy)? I can't breathe. That's really helping my patience with Jackson.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tagged again! But...


This one is about my hubby Jacob (and I don't know why I referred to him as my hubby...I never call him that!)
What is his name? Jacob Paul Skousen
How long have you been married? 5.5 years
How long did you date? About a year....but we were friends for awhile before that while he was dating my roommate. He took me on a couple "friend" dates during that time.
How old is he? 30....31 in January (I just copied and pasted this "tag" from Kendra and I didn't even have to change this answer...)
Who eats more? Usually Jake
Who said I love you first? Me...he didn't follow up for a couple weeks, but at least I knew he meant it then
Who is taller? Jake
Who sings better? Me...though I think Jake has great potential if he had a little training.
Who is smarter? I would have to say Jake. There are definitely issues that I know more about, but he's a "student of life" and loves to research everything. I used to be smart...I hope I get to go back to school someday...for something.
Whose temper is worse? I tend to fly off the handle more often and he has that slow-burn temper. But once it reaches the surface, I think he takes the cake.
Who does the laundry? Primarily me.
Who does the dishes? Primarily me.
Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? If you're standing, facing the bed....it's Jake
Who pays the bills? Me
Who mows the lawn? What lawn? The most we have to speak of is a balcony covered with tile. Makes for easy mowing.
Who cooks dinner? Primarily me...unless I'm sick or otherwise incapacitated. (See earlier entry where Jake makes dinner with the kids)
Who drives when you are together? Drive? Jake usually pushes the stroller when we're together, but that's because I push it the other 90% of the time he's not there.
Who is more stubborn? Jake
Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? I would have to consult Jake on this one because I think it's me because I hate fighting, but he might think it's him
Whose parents do you see the most? Mine
Who proposed? Jake
Who has more friends? Me...not because Jake's not friendly, he just doesn't have much time for a social life.
Who has more siblings? Jake for sure...NINE!
Who wears the pants in the family? Sydney

I tag Heidi, Brittany, Tricia, Pam & Krysta

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Yes, I realize it was last week. But I'm just now getting around to downloading the pics. We had Joe, Heidi, Kayla & Isaiah come join us in NYC in our tiny apartment this year. It was so worth the cramped quarters...we had such a great time! The kids had so much fun together and it was nice to have some one-on-one time with Joe & Heidi. I don't think we've ever had a chance to spend a few days with them without the entire family there too. We tried to show them the city while making it a relaxing trip at the same time. I think we accomplished a lot. I have oodles and oodles of pictures, but here are a few highlights. We made it to Times Square for lunch at John's Pizzeria, Bryant Park for the holiday shops, Staten Island Ferry for the free view of the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Promenade, & Rockefeller Center. We also took the kids to Build A Bear to make Christmas presents, but that's for another entry. We heart NYC!

Me love Uggs!

You've all seen them and maybe some of you have them. They're those uber-popular sherpa-esque boots you see all the celebs wearing in the middle of the summer with their short shorts. The first time I saw them I thought for sure they got that name because they were UGly! Well, they've grown on me. I still can't afford a pair myself, but my neighbor gave Sydney a pair this year, a hand-me-down from her daughter, and they're just the cutest! They're a little big on her, but that thick shearling lining seems to be enough to keep them on.

Finally...the announcement

Hooray, hooray...baby #3 is on the way! We waited a really long time to tell the family about this baby. But finally, we spilled the beans last week. Monday we found out at our really cool, 3-D ultrasound that we're having a seemingly healthy baby girl. (I'm hesitant to say that because it was one of those...well, I don't see anything so it's a girl!) We wanted to think of a fun way to tell the family and knew that everyone would be gathering for Thanksgiving. So after going through several ideas, finally we decided to make some pink sugar cookies to send. We thought we were going cheap, but it ended up being more expensive than we expected, so we didn't even send all the packages we wanted. Inside the box were pink sugar cookies and a sign that said "Sugar and spice and everything nice...that's what our new little girl is made of! Coming March 2008"

I'm hesitant to show these pictures of our cookies because this was our first time with the pour over frosting. I don't think we had the consistency quite right, but they set up ok and tasted great. We had limited counter space so we were trying to speed-dry the cookies with the hair dryer! Jake is such a good little elf!

So there you have it. Baby GIRL Skousen is on her way. I'm 21 weeks along, making me due April 6. Because of my diabetes, the dr's in the past have induced me at exactly 38 weeks to optimize the situation....getting baby out before she's too big but letting her stay in long enough for the lungs to be completely developed. If we follow the pattern of Jackson and Sydney, which is likely, the baby will be here around March 23. (my nephew Brian's birthday!) Maybe we'll push for the day before, a Saturday, and let Brian keep his day all to himself.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Flashback

I thought this was a fun idea so I'll share some flashback pictures since my blog is so new.

This first picture is Jackson's first Halloween in 2005...fat, chubby skunk.

The second picture is Sydney's first Halloween in 2006...a fat, happy cheetah.

Notice a pattern? Our babies tend to be chubby...and I love it!

The last picture is Jackson singing to Sydney last fall. I just love how sweet Jackson has always been to Sydney. He's just now starting to get a bit more rough with her, but she's also getting big enough to take it. He's still such a great big brother!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tagged

I was just looking at my blog and noticing that there is VERY LITTLE about me...mostly just about my kids. I have to say that right now in my life, my kids ARE the most interesting, dynamic thing about me. BUT...someone, some day may want to see something about me. So here goes. Kendra tagged me...

5 things I was doing 10 years ago (1997)
1. at byu living with some really "interesting" roommates (i still don't know why we waited till our last year at byu to live together again k...at least you had fun roommates!)
2. getting ready to fly to albuquerque for thanksgiving with the fam
3. i think this year i was majoring in math education...that was until i did poorly in honors calc 3
4. getting ready to go to ireland for 10 days over the christmas break with cara to visit seton
5. though i don't QUITE remember, i was probably dating random guys from my ward and still dodging phone calls from a crazy old boyfriend from high school

5 things on my to-do list today
1. playgroup at the church with the kids--this is a great activity, especially in the winter time when it's too cold to go to the park and the kids are sick of the house (and it was raining today)
2. mail jackson's shoes back to zappos (too big)
3. sydney's dr's appointment (see previous post for details)
4. clean the house (that one's in sharpie)
5. make menu for thanksgiving (incorporating yummy stuff i ate last night at the relief society dinner)

5 foods i enjoy
1. Brooklyn pizza--Lucali's is yummy, Nino's WAS yummy
2. shack burger from the shake shack
3. i'm with kendra on this one--uncooked baked goods (doughs, batters, struessels, crumbles...)
4. coconut shrimp from red lobster (only because they have the yummy pina colada dipping sauce--and the refillable diet cokes you get when eating there)
5. chocolate covered mint oreos

5 bad habits
1. letting the kids veg in front of the tv in the morning while i come up to speed (and often sitting there with them watching some cartoon)
2. letting piles of stuff develop around the house
3. diet coke (though i'm still convinced this isn't bad...i just wish i had the same love for water that i have for diet coke)
4. spending spare moments on the computer instead of cleaning
5. getting really excited about a new diet or exercise routine and not sticking with it

5 of my favorite toys
1. my jawbone (it's my bluetooth device for my phone--it's so useful when i have to push the stroller all the time and still try to catch my phone calls)
2. my computer--i love checking my email and wandering around on the web looking at websites and blogs
3. my dustbuster--it makes my life so wonderful & so much easier
4. my stroller--again, it makes my life so wonderful & so much easier
5. my kids--i love playing with them and dressing them up!

5 people i tag--i don't think there are even 5 people who read my blog, but i'll think of some anyway!
1. heidi
2. brittany
3. tricia
4. krysta
5. heather

Halloween everyday



Sydney had her 16 month check-up today. She's 31.5 inches and 21 lbs. which puts her in the 70th percentile for height and 19th percentile for weight. I guess if she can keep that up that will make for a tall, skinny babe! Meanwhile, our little troublemaker prefers to wear her Tinkerbell costume over every outfit, every day. I finally took a pic today. She's such a girl...already loves to play dress up!

What a fun dad!





Last night was a Relief Society Thanksgiving dinner. Jake usually gets home too late for me to attend but last night he came home early so I could go. Not only that...he made dinner for himself and the kids...and they made cookies too! The best part is he let the kids help cook! (Though I still think this is why he was having chest pains and problems breathing by the end of the night.) They got started early enough that I got some pix of the process. Sydney is trying to help, but she's really making a mess of that pancake!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk

Today I did it...I literally spilled the milk...everywhere. Every time I open the fridge the kids come running...Jackson grabbing for the cheese or chocolate syrup and Sydney grabbing for the Capri Suns. I was attempting to make my strawberry pretzel salad today and had the huge concoction on a shelf in the fridge setting up. I was trying to keep the kids away from the fridge because I knew it would get bumped and splash everywhere. Jackson asked me for some chocolate milk so I opened the door very carefully and took out the milk and chocolate syrup. Both kids made a b-line for the refrigerator door. I quickly shut it and asked them to leave. Then as I attempted to put the milk back, again they ran so I tried to slip the milk in an almost closed door. I dropped it. The plastic gallon split down the side and milk spewed everywhere. Then, backing away from the "explosion" I hit the freshly poured glass of milk and it went all over the counter. I was so mad! I immediately screamed for the kids to LEAVE THE KITCHEN! I was so flustered with all the milk everywhere that I just wanted to cry. I started slamming cupboard doors and mumbling to myself. Sydney was crying and wanted to be held because I had yelled at her. Meanwhile, Jackson stood at the edge of the kitchen and said, "Mom, you just need to talk more softly...you need to just CALM DOWN. It's just a mess and you can just clean it up." (He uses the word "just" a lot.) He later came back and asked me how the kitchen was coming. He's such a funny kid and it was so funny to hear him use my words on me. I'm glad he was able to keep a cool head. What I'm really scared about is that there is milk still hiding in some crevasse of my kitchen that will smell in a couple days. Ugh...then it will bring back all those wonderful memories of the spilled milk.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Jackson's Playdate with Violet Affleck

It may be "uncouth" for me to walk up to a celebrity and invade their privacy while they're trying to have a normal life, but when my kid is playing with their kid it's not completely inappropriate. Today at the Children's Museum, Jennifer Garner walked in with her daughter, Violet. I was completely enamored--watching her out of the corner of my eye everywhere she went. It's not like a "girl crush" thing, I just get giddy when I have these celebrity sightings. This was my biggest one yet and she was standing right by my friends and I for an hour! We watched our kids playing and Jackson was playing near Violet and suddenly, they were alone on their side of the sand table. They exchanged a few looks and toys, finally Jackson grabbed a toy from her. Oh the horror! At least it didn't haul off and hit her with the metal watering can. A few minutes later Sydney was crawling in the middle of the area and I picked her up. Jennifer asked me how old Sydney was and I told her, then she commented that Sydney was cute and continued talking to her sister. I said thank you and thought it would be a little weird if I talked to her about Violet since if it were anyone else and I suddenly knew their child's name and approx. age it would be weird. Anyway, I wish Jackson would've attempted to make friends...then there would've been an opportunity to chat. What in the world would I chat with her about?? Later I saw her on her cell phone...was she talking to Ben?!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Trick or Treating


So here are the official Trick or Treating pictures. It's very different here in Brooklyn than anywhere else I've ever been. People sit out on their steps with bowls of candy so you don't knock on any doors, you just stop at their stoop. Also, there is a constant flow of kids. There were so many people out...and this was at 4:30pm! Some of the pictures are a little fuzzy because the camera setting was off, but you get the idea. The kids had so much fun, despite a rocky start on Jackson's end. He fell asleep at 3:00 and was NOT ready to wake up and leave at 4. By the time we were out though, he really got into it. Sydney walked for the first few houses, then a random dog scared her so I had to carry her. There were several other Tinkerbells on the street, but Sydney was by far the cutest. Jackson was a one-of-a-kind Super Jackson.
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Monday, October 29, 2007

Halloween Cards from Grandma






Gramma & Grampa Grampa Jorgensen sent some Halloween cards for the kids. The kids were excited to get mail and excited about the $5! I promised to take them to McDonald's for Happy Meals on Wednesday. I also included a couple other cute pics...I just loved Sydney's tights and thought they warranted a picture. One of the perks of having a girl! Jackson was equally cute sitting on the couch playing with his "bee boo" (belly button) but that was because of him and not what he was wearing.

By the way...you may have noticed and even criticized Sydney's unruly, wispy coif. Yes, she has funny hair. It's messy all the time and is like corn silk. It's getting thicker, but very slowly. I'm absolutely sure it will be years before I can sic my hairstyling skills on her...dang the luck!

Costume Trial Run






The kids got dressed up for the ward Halloween party...Jake and I wimped out. We discussed all being super heroes since that's what Jackson was, but when I started thinking of costumes, I decided none of them would be very forgiving. So we spent our energy on the kids' costumes. Sydney was Tinkerbell, courtesy of Ben & Britt...Katrina was a very cute Tinkerbell last year. Unfortunately the wings didn't survive the year so Jake had to make some. They were perfect! Jackson was "Super Jackson" and I just made the logo for the shirt and cape by modifying the Incredibles logo. He was perfect for the part. He ran the whole way to the church (3/4 mi.) periodically stating, "Super Jackson to the rescue!" He loved his cape so much he wore it to church the next day. Jackson's best friend at church, Brooklynn, was Wonder Woman...very fitting. Maybe someday they'll be the Incredibles!

The kids will get another try at the costumes on Wednesday. Halloween is so fun around here...I'm excited to take them Trick or Treating. I don't know if you're familiar with the children's singer Dan Zanes (you may have seen his "Neighborhood Party" on Disney Channel--he has really crazy, messy grayish hair) but he lives in our neighborhood and leads a Halloween Parade in a park down the street every year. We'll do that then walk around the neighborhood collecting candy from people sitting on their stoops.

Chili cook-off update

Just another reassurance that I'm not the great cook I think I am sometimes. I made chili and a pie for the ward party last night. Neither landed in the top 3 spots among 20+ different pies and 20+ different chilis. Oh well...I just need to keep trying. I think I just need to be more creative. I tend to make the old stand-bys. I'll keep watching the Food Network.

Pumpkin carving

Jackson and Jacob carved a pumpkin together...well, Jake carved and Jackson stabbed the pumpkin with the pokers and cutters. He did a great job cleaning out the pumpkin though...once Jake convinced him the goo in the middle would not "get him." Jake told Jackson that the image they carved in the pumpkin was Jackson with horns. Jackson then took that to believe that HE has horns. He told G'ma and G'pa that he had horns and they did too.

My kids have attitude!




At a mere 15 months old, Sydney is starting to demonstrate some extreme preferences. She knows what she wants and she will yell to get it. She's a great kid, but she's got attitude. This picture just captures it so well...I had to share. And yes, she is wearing boy's pjs. They were Jackson's.

I also had to include a couple other cute shots. Jackson's favorite thing to do after getting out of the bathtub is to run into the living room to whomever his audience may be and chant "naked boy, naked boy." He especially loved doing that when Grandma & Grandpa were here.