Thursday, April 30, 2009

Introducing Alexander L. Wilson

Hip hooray! My sister FINALLY had her baby boy on Tuesday, April 28th.
He wasn't overdue--we were just impatient to get him here!

And we are thinking that he may actually look like a Murdock! Not that the Wilson's aren't super cute--we're just surprised to see the triumph of our weak genes shine through!

Congratulations Maureen and family! See her blog for more info and pics.
(Yes, she's been home for only a couple hours and she's already blogging.)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sound Investment

We are going to buy stock in Pepperidge Farm.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Biggest Loser For the Mathematically Challenged

For my sake, I decided to simplify things with the Bliss Complete Biggest Loser competition and determine the winner simply based on who loses the most weight.

I don't think it will change things too much, and it's more fun to see how much people are really losing. That's harder to gauge with the percentages.

So, if there are no objections, we'll keep things easy. This week's results are in. BTW, together we've already lost 10.3 lbs! FIERCE!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tess' Wild Day

Tess had a wild day today. She started the day with a game of chase at exercise class this morning. She's had a lot two-finger walking practice, and she's pretty fast now--if I can keep up with her. We played chase with Grace, Taryn and Sophie--Tess was "it." She loved running after the squealing big girls. Grace kept asking me to "chase her with Tess." Tess also has a new "crawling" partner at exercise class: Danielle. They both have filthy knees by the time class is over.

After exercise class, we had smoothie time. Smoothie Time is one of our daily rituals, and it is my favorite time of the day. She curls up on my lap under a blanket, we share a smoothie and watch Sesame Street--usually Elmo's World. This is the only time she lets me get any snuggles in. She stays on my lap and tolerates the snuggles just long enough for her smoothie to run out, then she squirms off my lap and is on her way.

This afternoon we visited my friend Stephanie and she has--KITTIES! Two very sweet, patient, longsuffering kitties. Tess had great fun pestering them. Tess would try and tickle Bingley's paw (can you tell that Stephanie is a Jane Austen fan?) and Bingley would swat her hand away, to Tess' giggling delight.

Dad came home early tonight, and after dinner we had strawberries and whipped cream for dessert. Now that was a good time:

This picture is quintessentially Tessie.
She's trying to make us laugh with her "goofball" face.

We squeezed in a little more walking practice outside before bedtime. Tess is loving the warm weather we've been having. She loves being outside and spends most of her indoor time trying to convince me to take her outside. She has made friends with some of the neighborhood kids. I was surprised when a first grader showed up at our door this evening to ask if Tess could come out and play.

Tess actually managed to work up a sweat outside, and I had to take a picture of her wild, damp curls. Summer humidity should be a lot of fun.

Even after dark, she waited longingly by the door for another outdoor romp. Check out her new ballet moves--I think she was actually trying to lift her leg over the door so she could get out. But who knows? Maybe she was just improving her balance.

A few more snuggles, and she was ready for bed. She was so tired, she didn't even protest! Gotta rest up for another wild day tomorrow!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Moseying Along

Not a whole lot going on here. I'm just excited that it's Friday and it's supposed to be a BEAUTIFUL weekend! Finally! Saturday--high of 80 degrees! I think we may take on yard work and plant some flowers.

It's nice today so I let Tess out with her walker. She won't move anywhere with it. She only walks when firmly attached to my fingers, so some afternoon finger walks are likely in store for us.

I picked up Tess' Easter photos yesterday. They're pretty cute, considering how stonefaced she becomes during studio photo shoots. I love that dress on her and I love her sweet little piggies sticking out the bottom. Her toes and her fingers are always moving--I love how you can see her curling toes in the picture.

This video is pretty random, but Tess was being so goofy at dinner the other night. She eats the same stuff for dinner that we do, but she was reaching for something on my plate. When I finally handed my plate over to her, she swiped an enormous piece of cauliflower and consumed it with gusto.

She kept making all these silly faces, rolling her eyes back in her head like she was in heaven. I guess she doesn't like it when I cut her food up for her anymore. This video is three gigantic pieces of cauliflower and a helping of peas later, so the veggie glut had slowed down a little. I have to make extra veggies for dinner now, or else I don't get any!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Trash Talkin'

I don't know why I can't have a normal, supportive family that doesn't have to turn everything into a contest. But I don't--so I'm officially announcing the Bliss Complete Biggest Loser Competition!

Here's how it goes: each contestant puts $15 in the pot and starts losing weight! I'll post weekly weigh-in results every Monday, based on percentage of body weight lost. Whoever has the greatest total percentage of body weight lost by October 1, 2009 wins the pot and some serious bragging rights!

So far my brother-in-law Brian and my mom (Dipsy) have signed up. I'm not sure they know what they've gotten themselves into. After having already lost 42 lbs., I'm an old pro at this! Come October, I'll feel sort of guilty taking their money from them--kind of like taking candy from a baby. But if they want to challenge me, I say GAME ON!

I know most of my readers are already sickeningly svelte, but if anyone else wants in on the action, you're welcome to join! I'd be happy to take your money, too!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter (Hold the Sugar, Please)

We had a wonderful Easter Sunday. The Easter Bunny came to our house and left Tess a new train set and lots of eggs to find. Ry got a basketload of sugar (which he wisely took to work with him this morning) and I got a new iPod (that Easter Bunny is full of surprises!).

Tess pretty much got the idea of the egg hunt...more or less. She did not appreciate being force-fed sugary marshmallows first thing in the morning, though. The kid loves peas, broccoli, asparagus and green beans, but try and give her a marshmallow and you'd think we tried to poison her! She's getting lima beans in her eggs from now on!

We went to church with Nana & Papa, had dinner and spent the afternoon with them. Tess loves it at their house. So many things to explore, so many "babies" to chat with, and she relishes the undivided attention of her adoring grandparents.

It would have made for a perfectly relaxing day, except Tess has been positively EXHAUSTING lately. Something happened to my happy, go-lucky baby in the past 4 days and I want her back!

She really wants to be walking now--but she can only do it while holding on to someone's fingers.
Last week when it was nice out, we spent an hour walking up and down the sidewalk like that. She has very strong opinions about where she wants to be going, and she loves stairs. This means walking up the sidewalk, turning and walking up the neighbor's stairs, walking back down, walking up the sidewalk to the next house, turning and walking up the neighbor's stairs, walking back down, and repeat, repeat, repeat again. When I finally took her inside, she had a total meltdown.

Same situation during our Saturday outing to the Art Museum this weekend. We spent the majority of the time walking her up and down the marble staircase. When it was time to leave, her shrieks echoed throughout the gallery and shook the Calderian mobile hanging above.

Her Papa thinks she's cute no matter what she does.

Yesterday at church it was no different. She made it through 15 mins. of Sacrament Mtg. and spent the rest of the time screaming in the foyer because she couldn't walk into the gym, the 7-yr old's Primary class, or the men's restroom.

Does the fact that she's going through the terrible two's 6 months early mean that she's precocious? I can't tell if things are going to get better or worse once she can walk on her own. Let's hope that this is a phase that passes soon! All I know is that I need a nap!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Temptation in the Garden of Egg-Eaten

Easter Eggs

So, Wendy comes up with this truly evil plan to make chocolate-covered peanut butter Easter eggs. I didn't know how evil it was until I tasted one--TO DIE FOR!

They were really easy and the turned out SO CUTE! Wendy & I had a lot of fun sinning together. In all honesty, I made myself a teeny-tiny egg and I savored all two bites of it! It was my afternoon snack. Come on--peanut butter is protein-packed!

My tiny egg. Alas, it is no more!

The rest are going as Easter presents--but only to people I really like! Wendy wasn't all that evil either--at least while I was around!

I am just so Martha.
You can call me "Miriam Stewart."


Just in case you think that only one of my inlaws is wicked (how did I marry into this family?!), Keith wanted me to post this irreverent photo from our most recent Conference viewing experience. I claim no responsibility for this photo!

When we turned on the TV, the speaker looked just fine and then all of a sudden, his head would slowly start growing and growing until the cone finally went off screen. We knew we shouldn't be laughing, but it was really hysterical. I'm surprised we weren't all immediately struck by lightning. Needless to say, we didn't get much out of Conference and we'll all be looking to repent when the Conference issue of the Ensign comes out.

Goose Egg

In other egg news, Tessie suffered a traumatic injury in the grocery store parking lot today. She was being a pill in the store, but I got us out of there, loaded the groceries in the car and was putting her in her carseat when the grocery cart--which contained my purse--started rolling towards an expensive-looking car.

When I dived for the cart, Tessie took the opportunity to dive head-first out of her carseat, which I had not yet buckled her into. I don't know how I managed to catch her before she hit the asphalt, but she did knock her head pretty hard on the car. It was a sickening experience to watch her limp little body fall like that--it's an image I can't get out of my head. She was pretty shaken up (I was too!), but I think she's OK.

A penny for Christmas and a goose egg for Easter--I think I'm done with holidays for now.

Resurrection Rolls

A friend told me about this fun idea for Easter breakfast. I got this version online.

I won't be making them--after all, I am making chocolate-covered peanut butter Easter eggs today. But if you make them, let me know how they turn out!

Resurrection Rolls

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 pkg. Crescent rolls
Melted butter
Large marshmallows
Cinnamon Sugar

Start by reading Matthew 27:57-61.

Give each child a triangle of crescent roll.
The crescent roll represents the linen that Jesus was wrapped in.

Give each child a marshmallow.
This represents the body of Jesus.

Have the child dip the marshmallow in melted butter.
This represents the oils of embalming.

Then dip the buttered marshmallow in the cinnamon and sugar.
This represents the spices used to anoint the body.

Then wrap up the coated marshmallow TIGHTLY in the crescent roll (not like a typical crescent roll-up, but bring the sides up & seal the marshmallow inside). Seal all edges so the marshmallow does not ooze out during cooking.
This represents the wrapping of Jesus' body after death.

Place in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 mins.
The oven represents the tomb. Pretend like it was three days!

While cooking, the marshmallow will puff up the crescent roll and then melt away.

When the rolls have cooled slightly, the children can open their rolls (cloth) and discover that Jesus is no longer there, HE IS RISEN! The crescent roll is puffed up, but empty.

Read Matthew 28:5-8

Thursday, April 9, 2009


A few pics from today because Tess makes me smile. She found one of my old purses, figured out how to wear it and decided it would go well with her bus.

I'm never going to be able to use a purse that small again!

And the second way to spend the day: emptying the CD tower.

I think at this point the only reason we keep CD's around is because they keep Tess occupied. At least I've convinced her to empty the CD's into a bag instead of all over the floor. Now she just needs to learn how to reload the CD tower. We're working on it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Missing Our Dip...Once Again

It's time once again for our semi-annual "Missing Our Dip" post. We always have so much fun when my mom comes to visit. Her stay was a short one this year, but we managed to pack it full of fun things:
  • outlet shopping;
  • baby shopping (for Tess & Reen's newbie who should arrive any day now!);
  • taking in my old skirts so they fit again;
  • a dog-eat-dog dominoes show down;
  • dinner & Conference with the Higginbotham's & the coneheads;
  • getting Tess' Easter portrait taken;
  • 3--count them--3 Chick-fil-a lunches (with each lunch becoming progressively higher in calories and saturated fat); and
  • several brisk, chilly, blustery and sometimes drizzly spring walks with the stroller and Tess pointing out every puppy along the way.

Mainly, Tess just had a blast spending time with Dip. During car trips, Dipsy would always sit in the back with Tess and they would play games and sing songs.

Tess learned "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," "There Was a Little House," "Itsy, Bitsy Spider," and "5 Little Speckled Frogs." We have added these to our roadtrip repetoire, which also includes "Clickety-clack," "5 Little Ducks," and "No-no-no Monkeys Jumping on the Bed."

I sometimes get strange looks from other drivers as I steer with one had and do "Itsy, Bitsy Spider" with the other one. I think one driver was offended when I motioned that the 4th little monkey had bumped his head.

"Where's the kitty, Tess?" Oh, would you look at that?
It's right here on my tummy! Now isn't that convenient?

Tess talks all the time now--I mean all the time. Most of the time, I have no idea what she's saying. But she loved having some good chats with Dipsy. Alas, Dipsy was unsuccessful in teaching Tess how to walk. She agrees that Tess is just not ready yet. She did teach Tess several new words, including "Dipsy," "stinkerpot" and "goofball." Tess dubbed Dipsy with a nickname of her own choosing: "my stinkerpot." It really must have been meant for you, mom, because she hasn't said it since you left.

Tess looks so lovely in her Easter dress.
I teared up the first time I tried it on her!

At the portrait studio--and yes, she kept the bow in her hair!

After our few days of high living, mom and I made a pact on the way to the airport to each lose at least 20 lbs. by her next visit 6 mos. from now (how's that for death-bed repentance?). Our goal is one lb. each per week--and the clencher? Our weight loss results will be published on my blog! Gulp.

So with renewed commitment and the looming threat of public humiliation, I girded up my loins for the coming week. I was doing just fine until Wendy called with what she described as an "evil, evil plan" to use a gourmet recipe to make chocolate fondant Easter eggs. Hmmm--I think I may have to start posting Wendy's weight loss on my blog too!