Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Stuff and Things

Today I downloaded 144 pictures from my camera. Granted probably over 100 of them were of Andy and other random objects around the house taken by Caleb. He likes to take my camera when he thinks Andy is being cute and do photo shoots. Anyway, even 44 pictures is a lot for me because I am really bad at getting the camera out. What it tells me is that I haven't blogged about a lot of events. So this entry will be random "stuff and things". I know I really should do periodic small posts, but it is so hard for me to sit down and get it done. Tonight Josh is in SLC with the Young Men and I have a few guilt free minutes as the kids went to bed surprisingly well.

Thanksgiving this year was awesome! My entire family, some of my moms sisters Mary, Merle, and Vickie and my cousin Emily and her family were all at my parents house. The weather was amazing. We all had a wonderful time. There were as many horse and four wheeler rides as the kids could handle. Grandpa Neil also took the kids to feed cattle and they all enjoyed the farm adventures. Of course I didn't take any pictures, but I have stolen a few from Cathie and Emily's blogs.

There was a house full of cute babies, and my mom got them all matching outfits. Andy (mine) is the oldest at 14 months, Danny (Cody's) is four months younger than Andy, then my cousin Emily's baby Alex is four months younger than Danny at 6 months, and Cathie's baby Dax is within days of being one year younger than Andy at 2 months. (Ironically each four months apart.)

The meal was fantastic. The only picture I have is this one of Andy scavenging food. He would go from table to table stealing anything that had a sufficient amount of sugar. The kids were happy to share their feast.

It is so fun when Cathie comes with her kids. There is something special about cousins. Cara and Corbin have started being really good friends. Corbin is about 10 months younger than Cara.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving we took our little family to see the lights on Temple Square. The highlight for the kids is always the train ride. We took the front runner in from Ogden and then Trax around the city. The kids love it although it makes the trip much longer. We expected tons of people, but I have never seen Temple Square with such a small crowd at Christmas time. (It was also the BYU/U of U Football game.) It was awesome. Caleb hates movies and darkness so the other visitors centers aren't ideal for him, but the I am A Child of God Display at the Church History Museum is awesome.

Here Andy is trying to throw the bean bag into the Celestial Kingdom.

Cara enjoyed the stained glass window puzzle.

And Caleb was into coloring.


Andy is 14 months. It is hard to get a good picture of him because he always has "something to say" aka grunting and babbling when I am trying to take pictures of him. He can stand from the middle of the floor and balance for a long time, but he is terrified to take a step. He cruises, but he prefers crawling. He loves the toilets and the bathrooms in general. I try to keep them very clean, but mostly I try to keep the doors closed. Everything he touches is a ball and he LOVES it when one of us will take time to play catch with him. He also likes cars. He strangely likes to crawl around with shoes on his hands (as pictured). Anyones shoes will due, but he always picks a matching set. Andy has now been bottle free for about two weeks. He didn't take it as well as Caleb, who had his binkie for comfort and a sleeping cue or Cara who was old enough to pack up her own bottles and give them away to a "baby". Andy would really like a nice comforting bottle, but I figure we take it away now or it will be another year. He has three months to forget that he even wants one. Finally, he has two words that I think he is using in context "go" and "yah". It is fun to watch him make progress. He only need 48 more words to be on track at 18 months (three months away.)


Caleb lost his first tooth a couple of months ago at the age of 5.5. It was very exciting to have the tooth fairy come. He has another one that is really loose. He talks about eating hard food or pulling it out, but when it comes right down to it, it will have to fall out on its own. Caleb is really brave when it is ALL TALK.


Lately I have been finding Caleb and Cara asleep on the floor in Caleb's room when I go to check on them before going to bed myself. They just love being together. Tonight while we were reading Cara leaned over and gave Caleb a big kiss on the neck. He wasn't thrilled with it and I had to tell her "no more kisses" but it is sweet to see how much they love each other and take care of each other.

I made the mistake the first Friday in December of allowing Caleb and Cara to sleep under the tree. This year we don't have funds for many gifts and certainly not for expensive things so we are really focusing on creating happy (free) memories for the kids. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to let them have a slumber party each Friday night in December by the tree. THEY LOVED IT, and they want to sleep by the tree every night. Last night at 4:00 Caleb came into my room to say that he had a bad dream. He asked if he could sleep under the tree so that he could think about happy things. In my sleep I agreed. The next thing I knew I could hear foot steps running back and forth down the hall. Apparently he woke Cara to tell her the good news, that he had permission to sleep under the tree. By the time I got out there they had all of the cushions off of the couch to sleep on and blankets and pillows all set up. They were getting some granola and some water. They wanted to know what the presents on the counter were. Someone is doing the twelve days of Christmas for us. It is amazingly fun, and we have no idea who it could be. Anyway, it was the 2nd day of Christmas gifts that came after the kids were in bed so at 4:30 this morning I let the kids open them. One bag had a plush stuffed Cat to go with the story "When You Give a Cat and Cupcake" and the other was a stuffed Moose that goes with the story "When You Give a Moose a Muffin." The books are classics and we don't have either of them. Needless to say, the kids slept (or didn't sleep) with their new stuffed animals while I went back to bed to lay there for two more hours getting my guts kicked endlessly. The excitement of Christmas around here is apparently more that one 5 year old, one 3 year old, and one fetus can take.

Musical Nativity

Last night we hosted the Joy School Christmas Program. (Joy School is the program that we use for our coop preschool.) This year I was responsible for the program, and I felt inspired when I added primary songs to the script of the Nativity. All of the children at the program participated including the brothers and sisters. They picked parts and got into costume as they arrived and then sat with their family until their part in the script. We sang the primary songs that went along with the script. I am excited to do it again on Sunday for sharing/singing time. I wanted to add a link to the script and songs just in case you want to put a twist to the traditional Nativity this year. It took about 25 minutes to do the entire thing singing just the first verse of most of the songs. I did give copes of the songs/music to the adults. Everyone seemed to enjoy. I wish I had better pictures. It really was darling.

If you are interested in a copy of the Nativity and Music you can click here.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Newsletter

Following is the link to our Annual Christmas Newsletter. Enjoy and Merry Christmas.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Christmas Pictures

I couldn't wait for the annual Christmas card to share some of the Christmas pictures of the kids. I sure love this little crew!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Four Times

I had to be pregnant four times to figure out the following:
1. If I take Zofran in the day and Phenergan at night I get a full nights sleep and don’t get woken up (to throw up) at four or five when my stomach gets really empty. (You wouldn’t think this is rocket science because the major side affect of Phenergan, and the reason why I have always resisted using it for nausea, is drowsiness. It works awesome for me.)
2. If I go to the chiropractor on a regular basis back pain can be minimized. Why did I live with sciatica during my last pregnancy when I could have at least tried chiropractics. When I starting having a problem at about 17 weeks this pregnancy I thought “I can’t live with this” and I went straight to the chiropractor. I haven’t had to live with it, at least yet.
3. If I wait to have my ultrasound until the new-year I won’t have to pay the $400 out of pocket since my deductable hasn’t been reached for the current year. Our deductable is sure to be reached next year. Even if I was anxious to know the gender I could do that for $75. My doctor said that the ultrasound helps them to anticipate problems that may present themselves at birth, but it doesn’t really matter if I have it at 20 weeks or 30 weeks.
4. If I don’t wear make-up for twenty weeks or so my life is simplified and my friends still like me. I have never been confident enough to go without makeup, but when I was throwing up allot it really simplified my life to not deal with mascara. Now that I am feeling better the make-up is back on.

With all of these great discoveries I wonder what else I will discover in the next 16 weeks. (I really have 18 weeks, but 16 sounds so much better.) I am sure to discover yet another way to get labor induced, which is why I am planning on 16 weeks. Hopefully I can figure out a way to sleep at 36+ weeks. I guess this finally figuring a few things out is just one of the many benefits of having lots of babies.

BTW I am using the bead idea to help Caleb and Cara balance their “service.” (See the prior post.) When Cara does something nice for Caleb she gets to put a pink bead in the “service jar” when Caleb does something nice for Cara he gets to put a blue bead in the jar. The goal is to keep it almost even. They only get to put beads in if I tell them they can. Caleb is much more aware. It is really helping the problem from the prior entry.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Caleb's Personal Assistant

At the age of five Caleb has scored a personal assistant. He has been asking Cara for her services for years, but it is getting really out of control. Every time Caleb needs something done that is not "fun" for him he asks his assistant, Cara. The three kids shower together most nights, and Cara comes running out of the bathroom at least once and usually twice or more to get a toy or something for her brother. On Halloween every time Cara got a piece of candy that Caleb liked he would simply ask her if he could have it and her sweet reply is always "sure" as she would pass it over. (Every once in a while I tell him no way.) When he drops his pencil on the floor while doing homework he always asks Cara to pick it up for him. Yesterday he refused to clean out the dishwasher and asked Cara to do it for him. She got right to work. When I told him the only people that would get candy would be those who did their chores he asked Cara to get two pieces. She never refuses. They don't fight. If she ever resists his never ending demands he says, "fine, I wont let you in my room." She instantly complies. If I had a dollar for every time Cara has come to me to say "my brother needs help." I would be a millionaire. When he is in a pinch he just sends Cara for help.

If you have any ideas how I can deal with this please help me. I don't want to discourage Cara from serving her brother but really enough is enough! Maybe it is fine, but maybe they are getting ruined. Caleb is going to spend his life bossing people around fully expecting them to comply, and Cara is going to continue to serve the bossy and ungrateful. Help!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


I tend to be a "bah-humbug" when it comes to Halloween, but my kids have been SO SO SO excited. We had to make a calendar at the first of the month for Caleb to count down because otherwise he was asking me ten times a day "how many days until Halloween?" (Of course the calendar was good to help him with his numbers too which he is working hard on at school.)

The day finally arrived and the kids had a great time. There was a school carnival on Friday night. Caleb came home from school and told Cara that the principal had told them to bring their brothers and sisters. Cara sounded concerned as I heard her say "but my sister isn't here yet." I assured her that she could go even without a sister.

Caleb dressed up as Captan Jack Sparrow on Friday night and as a Storm Trooper on Saturday.

Cara was an adorable little witch. It was so fun to hear her say Trick-or-Treat and Happy Halloween to people. I may have been the only one that could understand Happy Halloween, but her speech is improving.

Andy was a bumble bee. He was so cute crawling around and scavenging the floor for dropped candy and begging for candy from Caleb and Cara. Without words, he sure knows how to beg.

I had to also post some pictures of carving pumpkins. Carving Pumpkins, like coloring Easter Eggs, is a tradition I could live without, although this year it really was quite painless. I just have to post pictures to prove to my family that I do it even though I don't like to.

Andy enjoyed snacking in Caleb's Jack-o-Lantern lid while the rest of us were carving.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

When I grow up . . .

Caleb doesn’t just mention what he wants to be when he grows up, he obsesses over it and talks about it constantly. At the beginning of the school year he wanted to be “an army guy that flies in an airplane because the guys in the airplanes don’t die as much.” I was ready to send him to boot camp. For just a few days he changed his mind and decided he wanted to be a “secret agent” so that he could jump from airplanes. Then one day he came home from the library and had decided he wanted to be a racecar driver. He asked me if I would “stand up for him” if he died in the race. He dreamed about what car he will drive and asked his dad to make a car with him “out of all the junk in the world.” Today he had a fireman come and talk to him at school and now he wants to become a fireman. He is busy making our house fire safe and he promises “when our house starts on fire he will get it out.” I wonder what dangerous career he will want to take on next week.

The ironic part about all of these career ambitions is that Caleb is one of the most cautious kids I know. He is terrified of snow skiing although he talks like he is the best skier around. He was dying to be a hockey player so we took him skating and he cried the whole time although he insists that he loves skating too. Maybe by the time he really picks a career he will be as brave as he thinks he is.

My Pet

Cara was so appropriately named Sweet Caroline. I just can’t get over how caring and maternal she is. (Although she does like a good wrestling match and she hasn’t noticed that Caleb is bigger than her.) She and Caleb would both really like to have a pet. (Maybe I am depriving them of life experiences, but those of you who know me well know that I am a neat freak, maybe to a fault. I just can’t stand the idea of sharing my home with something hairy or stinky, besides Josh.) Anyway, back to Cara, today she brought me the blue cup in the picture with her “pet in it.” Her pet is an almost dead box elder bug. The bug was on its back and I told her it was almost dead. She said “it is just sleeping” and she put it on “this nice comfy pillow for a nap.” Luckily this time of year her pet can easily be replaced.

Cara is so excited to have “my baby sister.” I am only 18 weeks and we do not know what we are having, but she is excited. (We are going to wait to have our ultrasound until January so that it goes on next years deductable so we wont know what we are having for a while.) I am considering not finding out because I know she will love the baby either way, but she won’t like getting the news that it is a boy. She is adorable. She often loving pats and strokes my tummy and kisses it daily. When she hears my tummy growl she gets so excited. She says, “my baby sister is talking to me.” She doesn’t mind putting away the cloths that are too small for her because they are for her sister. (I am really trying not to egg her on. She doesn’t need any encouragement or ideas from me.) The only thing that upsets her about this experience is that she would really like to have her own baby.

Connie's Mission Call

My baby sister Connie got her mission call. I can’t believe she is old enough to go on a mission. She is going to the Ohio Cleveland Mission and the Historic Kirtland Visitors' Center. She will leave on January 6. We are excited for her! I hope it is hard enough to humble her! I have a hard time not being just a little jealous that it is such a seemingly easy call, but I guess she could be jealous that I went international. We love Connie! She is my children’s “other mother” and we will really miss her.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Pears and Cottage Cheese

Unless you really love me you may not be that interested in this post, but I feel compelled to write about my current, bazar obsession with pears and cottage cheese. Before September of 2009 I had probably only eaten pears and cottage cheese a hand full of times. I thought it was good, but not something that called to me. About a month ago I started eating pears and cottage cheese, and I haven't stopped. I eat it for at least two "meals" a day. When I am preggo I make my food selections based on how it will taste coming back up. Amazingly pears and cottage cheese treat my stomach well and stay down for the most part. I go to the fridge thinking I will eat this or that and it always comes back to "I guess I will just have some pears and cottage cheese." This morning I had one of my "favorite" foods from my other pregnancies, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, (cinnamon is supposed to be a natural remedy for settling the stomach.) I think I have thrown it up just a few to many times. I could barley choke it down. I just wished I was eating pears and cottage cheese.

There are lots of weird things that happen when one is pregnant, but food cravings, or in this case obsessions, has got to be somewhere in the top 10. When I was expecting Andy I was even more sick than this time. In my first 13 weeks I lost 10 pounds and could hold down almost nothing. One of the very few things I could eat was Macaroni and Cheese, a food I haven't eaten sense that time and before becoming pregnant with Andy I probably hadn't eaten it in 10 years. With Cara it was home canned peaches, but I had to pace myself on that one because there was a limited supply creating a natural end. With Caleb I didn't hold anything down until I learned about the miracle drug Zofran. I had lots of making up to do for the weight lost in the first 20 weeks and my food of choice was french fries, and every day after work I had a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Although I have experienced "craving" or food that I wanted to eat every day in my other pregnancies, I have never experienced wanting to eat the same food for every meal. So much for the balanced diet. That being said, I think I will go have some pears and cottage cheese.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The stats are in

Andy turned one on the 23rd. Once again I wonder how time could go so fast. Andy has been such a joy for our family. I think I have taken more time to enjoy him than my other kids. Being sick the past few months I have laid on the couch, and he has been my entertainment. I have watch him go from rolling to get where he wanted, to learning to sit himself up, and just two weeks before he turned one he finally began to crawl. He has such an easygoing personality. He is just happy waiting for his brother or sister to get him something to play with. Caleb and Cara love him so much. They would do anything for him.

Today was his one-year well child visit. He weighed in at 24 lb. 9 oz putting him in the 75% for weight. His height was 31 inches putting him in the 85%. He is healthy happy and strong.

My family stepped up to the plate to give him a happy birthday party. It is fun to watch him with his cousin Daniel who is four months younger than Andy.

Grandma Iva provided a really fun ball toy

and of course a chocolate zucchini cake.

This picture was just as he burned his finger on the candle. (Note to self, blow the candle out right away.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Calm as a Cat

Tonight I went to get Primary Election results for city council at the city office building. I felt calm as a cat. I felt like I couldn't loose either way. The results came in very slowly, and I didn't feel nervous or excited. I just know that whatever happened would be for the best. Three of the seven candidates were eliminated and I came in fifth, making me the winningest looser. I received a respectable number of votes, but not enough to get past the primary elections. I am totally satisfied because I believe I put my best foot forward. There are two things that bug me a little, but I am sure I will get over them quickly. The first thing is that people gave me money to help me get past primaries. I believe that I spent the money wisely, but I don't like the feeling that I "owe" them. The second thing that bugs me is that I received only 35 votes in my home precinct. The number is very comparable to the other candidates, but I think it is unfortunate that more of my friends from the ward didn't get out and vote. I think that people don't think that primary elections are important. The fact that only 13% of the registered voters in Providence (which equals 604 voters) got out to vote proves that people don't find it that important. With such small numbers every vote really did count. Thanks to all of you who did get out and vote. I am not looking forward to condolences, so please no condolences necessary. It's all good.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Call Me Crazy . . .

I am running for Providence City Council. I am really quite excited about it. I am trying not to get too attached to the idea until after primaries next Tuesday where three of the seven candidates will be eliminated, but I think it is a position I would really enjoy. The most important thing for making it through primaries will be for the people who know me to make an extra effort to get out and vote and to help me spread the word that I would be a good choice. I am the only one of the seven that is not a retiree. I think that being in my 30's I represent a large portion of the population of Providence that is not often represented in City Politics. I was intimidated by the experience of the other candidates, but after meet the candidate night last week I really feel like I have a decent chance of getting on the council if I can get through primaries. It will be fun to give it a shot.

My family gives me a hard time for putting too much text on my blog so if you aren't into Providence politics go ahead and skip the rest, but I wanted to include the text from my flier from meet the candidate night just incase anyone is interested in my positions or qualifications.

I AM A YOUNG, CLEAR THINKER. I see Providence as a thriving community. I love Providence. I would like to see Providence continue to be charming and beautiful. Providence is a great place to live. I believe in responsible, well-planned development.
I AM NON-BIASED. I will look at each issue as it arises and vote in a manner that I believe will meet the best interest of the common good. I am willing to listen to both sides of every issue. I am not running with a personal agenda.
I AM AVALIABLE. I am a full-time homemaker. Without a day job I am available to take calls, study issues and to be involved in the community.
I AM A CHRISTIAN. I live by a high set of moral standards. I will vote with integrity. I believe in following and keeping the law.
I AM A MOM. I have an invested interest in making Providence a safe, healthy environment for the children and for all of us. I will vote in the best interest of children and families.

Interesting Facts about CARRIE KIRK:
My husband, Josh, and I have made Providence our home for the past four years. We have been married for seven years, and I am the 32-year-old mother of three: Caleb, 5, is in kindergarten at Providence Elementary, Caroline, 3; and Andrew, 1.
I have a Masters Degree in Instructional Technology from Utah State University, and a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education also from USU.
Before becoming a mother I taught Junior High in Preston and also worked for USU training substitute teachers all over the country on classroom management and teaching strategies.
My husband and I are entrepreneurs at heart. Together we have started several businesses including a Mortgage Offi ce (Investment Lending), a Graphic Design Business (Evidence Media), among others.
I was born and raised on a Dairy Farm in Preston, Idaho, where I gained a strong work ethic.
I served a Russian-speaking, 18-month mission to the Baltics serving in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
I love tropical vacations, reading, eating out, and sleeping when occasion permits.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Officially announcing . . .

Number four is in his or her way. I am 11 weeks pregnant (well, I will be tomorrow) and it is time for me to let everyone know. Being pregnant is such a crazy thing for me. I look forward to it, I plan for it, and then when it happens I feel like I would rather be dead. It has taken three prior pregnancies for me to figure a few things out.

I have always thought that if I didn’t put make-up on, get dressed, and go on at least one outing every day I would get totally depressed. FINALLY I have learned that throwing up without make-up on makes the whole process much less frustrating. My friends don’t care if I am wearing make-up and I am more confident if I don’t have black all over my face. There is no point in getting dressed in anything that I would not wear as pajamas if I am going to spend all day on the couch anyway. And outings only make me sicker so why bother. So this pregnancy I have only put make-up on a handful of times, and I only get dressed and go out when I have to. I have found that I am throwing up much less as a result. Just as an example, I have had one full day in the last month. I went to Caleb’s Kindergarten orientation in the morning, met some friends for lunch in the afternoon, and went on a date that evening. After my big day I threw-up five times in the night and 6-8 times the next day. Even with medication it took me 4-5 days to recover. Why do that to myself!? So I have basically turned into a couch dwelling hermit, and the amazing thing is that I don’t mind. Of course I would like it if the house was clean, but oh well.

Like my other pregnancies I am taking Zofran and it really is the miracle drug for me. With my new lifestyle and steady Zofran I am really doing better this pregnancy than I have before with keeping food down. (This is the first pregnancy that I haven’t felt like I needed to go in to hydrate with and IV.) Even though I haven’t been as sick this pregnancy I have been really tired. (Is that because I am getting old?) I am so thankful to know that this feeling doesn’t last forever. I am really looking forward to getting some more energy in a month or two. I am thankful I can stay on Zofran through the end and that it is no longer the $45 a pill that it was with Caleb and Cara.

We are really looking forward to having this baby. It will not be our last, but I felt a great sense of urgency with this one. I know that this spirit is very anxious to come to earth and to our family. There will be about 18 months between this one and Andy, but the timing has been awesome. Andy is not yet mobile so I watch him roll around from the couch, and Caleb and Cara are great about taking care of themselves. I have to constantly remind myself this is what I want. It really is!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A New Phase

This week we officially entered the phase of having a child in school. Yes, my baby Caleb took the big plunge into Kindergarten last Thursday. It was a proud moment for his mom. I have heard that moms often struggle with their kids starting school, but I was so excited. Caleb is such a bold and independent child that I am not a bit worried about him. He will take care of himself.

On Thursday instead of regular class they took half of the class at a time and did a parent/child orientation for an hour. Most of the children were quit and nervous, but not Caleb. He had a comment about everything his teacher said. She has her work cut out for her, but he wants to be good so I am sure with some coaching he will get the hand raising and turn taking thing down.

We live far enough away from the school that Caleb gets to ride the bus. They only bus Kindergarten in the morning this year, so he has morning class. I thought it would kill him (us) because he has always been one to sleep in, but so far so good. He pops out of bed in the morning, gets dressed himself and can hardly stand to eat breakfast because he is so excited to get out to the bus stop. He has only been waking up at 7:45 for three days, and this morning he was up and dressed before Josh woke him. I hope this is the trend for the next 13 years of school.

Cara also has school every day this year. She still has two years before Kindergarten, but she will be going to Joy School on Tuesdays and Thursdays and she has speech class on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. She is going to be one busy three year old. She is so excited. Something she has started doing in the last month or two is making her bed every morning. It has a cute bed spread, but she refuses to get under it because she doesn’t want to mess it up. She does sleep with every other blanket she can find. And then she lays them all out flat on her bed in the mornings, and she also keeps her room really clean. If I can hope Caleb will jump out of bed for school for the next 13 years, here’s hoping that Cara will continue to make her bed and clean her room without being asked.

Andy is 11 months and still not crawling. He is just so content that he hasn’t really found a desire big enough to motivate him to get moving. He does roll from place to place, and he is quite good at the backwards scoot. Unfortunately it doesn’t get him where he wants and he sometimes finds himself in a bad spot. He is the sweetest baby I have ever, ever seen.

New Carpet – A story that must be told.

Now that the trauma of the new carpet has worn off I have to tell the story. The story need to be passed down from generation to generation so no man ever makes the same mistake of surprising his wife with new carpet.

Early in the summer I mentioned to Josh a few times that our carpet was bugging me. There were places that were bubbling and needed to be stretched and it needed to be cleaned. What I was saying is that I hoped we could come up with a few hundred dollars to get it cleaned (which we do regularly because the carpet was not family friendly and showed every little drip) and stretched.

Early in July Josh was visiting with his friend, the carpet sales man, who ironically sold us the beautiful top of the line carpet we had just three and a half years ago when we built our home. Josh told him the carpet was bubbling and dirty and asked him what he should do about it. Of course, the sales guy didn’t recommend stretching or cleaning it he recommended NEW CARPET. Yes, he know that our current carpet was only three years old and it was top of the line carpet. (Having nice carpet is important to me and we splurged on that portion of our building budget.) When the sales man mentioned that he would give Josh the very special deal “just because they were friends” of no interest and no payments for one year Josh was sold.

Josh was totally convinced that he was going to surprise me with the best gift ever. It was our 7th anniversary while we were in California for Christina’s wedding and so he decided to have the carpet laid as an anniversary gift while we were gone. The only person he told was his dad (who warned him that it was a bad idea), and the Kirks did a ton of work to move out all of our furniture (and move it back in after it was laid) to support us.

The carpet was laid at the beginning of the trip and Josh didn’t breath a word of it to me. He was just excited for me to see this wonderful gift when I got home. The thought didn’t occur to him until the night before we got home that the gift was non-returnable, non refundable, and I may not like it. (He had a nightmare the night before we got home.) The concept that you should never buy your wife a non refundable, non returnable gift on credit that she will have to live with for at least 10 probably 20 years should be up there in at least the top ten things never to do in marriage.

As we headed up the hill to our house Josh mentioned that he had a surprise for me and that he really hoped I liked it. We had been driving for the entire day and I WAS EXAUSTED. Quite honestly I was really scared because at this point we are not in a situation to be spending money on anything nonessential. I walked in the house and my heart dropped to my toes. I couldn’t breath. Josh was so excited. He said something like don’t think about it just hug me. Catching my breath I asked, “How much did you do” as my eyes welled up with tears. I was hoping he had just replaced the great room and left the bedrooms. He smiled and said the whole thing. I was in some state beyond shock. I tried to keep my composure as we put the kids to bed, but I couldn’t hold it in and cried and cried and cried – all night long. I couldn’t believe that he would pick out and install new carpet (that we couldn’t afford) without even consulting me.

Josh felt like the biggest idiot in the world. He thought that this was a total “slam dunk.” That he couldn’t miss because it was such a wonderful gift. I am lucky to be married to a man that wants to make me happy so badly, but I couldn’t pretend to be happy about such a spontaneous and expensive decision.

I grew up in a world that carpet was to be replaced every 20 years and only that if you are really lucky. Somehow it felt like a death or something dear to me was lost. People ask me, about the new carpet, “So do you like it?” My response is, “it’s okay.” It is probably the most popular carpet around because it is affordable and really family friendly. I do like that I don’t feel like I need to vacuum it every day like I did my old carpet, but I don’t feel like it matches the look and feel of my house like the old carpet did. It is not what I would have picked, and I certainly would have upgraded the pad. The thought of matching or more family friendly basement carpet that I did pick never crossed his mind. The bottom line is that I didn’t want new carpet I just wanted my old carpet. Somehow I feel like it is unrighteous and dishonest because we can’t afford it.

I refuse to hold a grudge about it or let it be a canker in our marriage, as I know Josh was just trying to do something nice for me. The night that we spent crying Josh said that he had a feeling that someday we would look back at this and laugh and we can already laugh about it, which is why I am sharing the story. I think that someday, when the carpet is paid for, and we are over this difficult economic time we will really be able to laugh about it, which is why I wanted to preserve the details. So next time you are at a wedding wondering what advice to give the groom you may want to share, “never replace the carpet without consulting your wife” or at least her mother or her best friend both of whom know Josh was in the dog house when they found out about it – too late to do anything.

New Carpet Above
Old Carpet Below

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

California Fun

By getting married in San Diego on July 11, Josh’s sister, Christina, gave us the excuse we needed to take our kids to Disney Land, something we have really been wanting to do. Josh and I both LOVE amusement parks, especially Disney. We have been to Disney Land twice and Disney World twice in our seven years of marriage. (We celebrated our 7th anniversary while at Disney Land on the 6th.) We have always left the kids at home with the mindset that Disney Land is not the happiest place on earth for a toddler who needs a nap. It was so much fun to see the magic from the eyes of Caleb and Cara. (Thankfully my mom took Andy for the Disney portion of the vacation and then he flew to the wedding and home again with the Kirks.)

The trip started on July 4th with a drive to Las Vegas. The best part of Vegas was the swimming pool. Everything else we did we could have skipped.

We spent Monday – Wednesday at Disney Land. I will let the pictures do the talking. It really was magical.

Cara’s favorite rides were the Tea Cups and Dumbo. We arrived before the park opened every morning so we hit those rides before there were any lines each day. Five minutes – done!

Caleb loved Pirates, Star Tours, Space Mountain and Autopia (the car driving one). We were concerned about Caleb being brave enough to go on the rides but he did awesome. He even went on Indiana Jones and the California Screamer. He was so scaird on the Tower of Terror that in the first room he wet his pants, but he did it. Here he is riding "no hands."

Caleb’s goal for the vacation was to do Jedi Training and to fight Darth Vader. He was so excited! He would really like to use the force now, but I have to remind him he is not yet a Jedi. His training has just begun. In fact, as he got up to fight Darth Vader, Vader said, "The force is strong with you, but you are not a Jedi yet."

Cara’s dream came true too. We had decided we would not wait the 1.5 hours required to meet the princesses. It was our last day and we happened upon a show in California Adventure that ended with Cinderella, Mickey, and Woody. Everyone was invited to follow them into the building. People hesitated, but Cara went running up to Cinderella. Cinderella took Cara by the hand and walked with her into the building. Cinderella knelled down and put Cara on her lap and continued to talk with her. It as so so so fun for me to watch. Who says that dreams don’t really come true.

We saw a lot of wonderful characters. With virtually no line for any of them. (Going early in the morning is the only way to have such a great experience.)

Cara was great about falling asleep in her stroller when she got tired. Here we sat her up to try to wake her for a parade. When the parade came she perked up, but she was dead to the world.

I can’t make this post without telling about the great deals that I got. I had never used Priceline for hotels before. We scored the Anaheim Crown Plaza for just $59 a night and in San Diego we stayed in the 4-star Hyatt Winchester down town for just $69 a night. I hooked up with another family using the KSL online classifieds and split a six-day flex pass for Disney. They took three days and we took three days and paid just $20 per person per day. We also went to Sea World. We got our tickets off of Craig’s List San Diego. They were 30-day pass, including parking, for just $35 per person. I know! AWESOME! I love getting a deal.

We spent Thursday afternoon and Friday morning at Sea World with the whole Kirk gang. We all really enjoyed the shows even though we were totally exhausted. I guess Andy was the exception. It was so scary to him any time the crowed cheered or a dolphin or whale jumped he shouted out in fear. I was especially impressed with the night shows. Unfortunately there were not many picture opportunities. We did get these of the kids riding a ride with Grandma and Grandpa Kirk.

We will be getting awesome pictures from the wedding from Christina's photographer, but here are a few from the beach front wedding dinner. Even after eight days of travel the kids were ready to party and dance all night.

A word to the wise, don't let your baby get an orio cookie while sitting on white sheets. He may love it, but it can be a huge mess for house keeping. At least it was for house keeping and not for me - the usual "house keeping".

The kids were so awesome! The were great on the drive and through every part of the trip. I really couldn't ask for better sports - even when they had to do a little waiting. The are best friends and I love them so much!