Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Pear Muffins

I made some muffins this morning from Bob Greene's book ("The Best Life Diet"). They were really good and Parker actually loved them! I told Kimberly I would post the recipe, so here it is!

Makes 12 Muffins
  • Nonstick Cooking Spray
  • 1 1/4 cups nonfat milk
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups All-Bran cereal (Original, not Extra Fiber)
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large unpeeled pear, shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup shopped prunes (dried plums) with orange essence
  • 2 Tbsp toasted wheat germ

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and place the rack in the center of the oven. Lightly coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, mix the milk, maple syrup, oil, and egg. Stir in the All-Bran and let stand 5 minutes.

In another bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the bran mixture. Stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in the pear and dried plums.

Divide the batter equally among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of wheat germ over each muffin. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins feel springy when pressed gently. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the muffins to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing them from the pan. Serve warm or cool.

There it is...enjoy!

By the way, mom...I think you should post Grandma Johnson's Bran Muffin recipe...I want to make that sometime, too!

Love you all!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Our Trip to San Jorgito!

We got home yesterday from a GREAT trip to St. George. The weather was BEAUTIFUL and we had a blast. I was excited to get home to check everyone's blogs and to update mine! I was REALLY excited to see that my brother Michael decided to jump on the blog-wagon! Check his out...he's hilarious! ( Anyway, this blog will contain mostly pictures. I'm usually terrible at taking pictures, but since I started this thing, I want to take a picture of everything we do! Parker was SO cute and loved being outdoors so much, so I had a hard time deciding which pictures not to include.
While we were there, we went hiking, bike riding, swimming, etc. It was a blast! Our good friends, Colby and Kandis invited us to come stay with them. Kandis' parents and grandparents have some condos in St. George, so we stayed there.

It was so nice to have a place to get away to! It was really relaxing and perfect since we both have babies that are on similar schedules, so we played while the babies were awake and relaxed while the babies napped. I think Parker knew that as soon as he woke up something exciting would be happening, so he took the opportunity to take very short naps! Oh well!

The first morning we were there, we all went on a bike ride. Colby and Kandis have this cool bike trailer that Parker and Carter rode in...they loved it! We stopped at a park on the bike trail. Parker crawled all around! (Don't you love his superman hat?) Carter is 19 months old, so Parker followed him around EVERYWHERE! Once again I realized how big Parker is for his age, because they are almost the same size and Parker is only 10 1/2 months old!

Parker also enjoyed his first swimming experience. I was a paranoid mom making sure he had sunscreen on the whole time. I kind of understand now why my mom hated it so much when I got sunburned. You're so protective of your babies and small kids, but then they grow up and want to get tan and don't wear sunscreen at all! (Sorry mom!)

All in all, we had a great time. At first I was worried that it was going to be a "Joe and Colby bonding trip" while Kandis and I stayed with the babies, but it was great. Joe and Colby did have some fun, though. They went golfing and mountain biking and stayed up until all hours of the morning playing halo. Crazy boys!

Carter is really into exploring now, so he loved all the hikes. Parker would have loved to crawl around in the dirt, but we just carried him. Once we sat him down, though, he was super squirmy the rest of the time wanting to get out of our arms. I don't have a picture, but Kandis and I climbed through a little crack between two huge rocks that they called the "crack of St. George". We decided that we need to go back every year and if we still fit through the crack, we'll know that we haven't gained too much weight.

The funniest thing that happened (and this probably deserves it's own blog) was the last night at dinner. We went to Wingers. Joe and Colby decided to try one of the REALLY hot sauces on some popcorn. Colby went first, then Joe (the name of the sauce was "Bad Day in Baghdad" and had funny pictures of Sadam Hussein). All of a sudden Parker started crying really hard like he was choking on something. Apparently my husband hadn't been careful when removing the cap to the hot sauce and Parker had gotten a hold of it! I licked one of his fingers to see if it was on his hand and yep, it was! My poor baby! Anyway, he didn't cry for too long, so I don't think he'd gotten too much, but luckily it didn't get in his eye or anything. Joe and Colby felt really bad. We all survived. The trip definitely wore Parker out because he slept for 3 of the 4 hour drive home Sunday morning.

One more side-note to the trip...Kandis' birthday was on Saturday. Her mom drove to St. George Wednesday morning to surprise her since she wouldn't get to see her on her birthday. I thought that was really cute of her, but I was definitely a little bit jealous. I miss my mom! Someday we'll all have vacation condos right next door to each other...put it on the dream'll happen!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Meat Market Redefined...

We had an interesting weekend. It all started Friday afternoon...Joe came home for lunch to tell me that he had some GREAT news. He didn't seem totally sincere, so I was very curious. He proceeded to tell me that he had taken it upon himself to take care of some of our groceries for the next little while. Interesting... I walked out to the kitchen to see a big box on the table. Guess what it was full of...MEAT! Some salesman had come into Joe's office at work selling meat! Joe felt it was an absolutely essential purchase since we have the Big Green Egg (yes, the BBQ he won on the Price is Right). Of course once he mentioned to the salesguy that he has a Big Green Egg, the guy told him that he has one too. Joe's convinced he was telling the truth because he knew everything about the Big Green Egg. I'm not so sure. Anyway, it turns out that Joe bought ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY EIGHT DOLLARS ($188) worth of meat! Our freezer is full of boxes of meat! I understand the excitement, but come on...we wouldn't spend that much money on meat in a year! Oh least now I have some bargaining power! Actually, I got to go shopping (guilt free) afterwards for some new spring clothes...woo hoo! Friday night Joe had planned a "guys night out". He and a few friends were getting together to play Halo. He really never plays video games, so I guess I felt OK about him going. Before leaving, he came home from work and suggested that we have a steak dinner (I have a lot more of those to look forward to…) I didn’t think he had time since his friend Colby was coming to pick him up at 7. He assured me that he did, so he started to heat up the Big Green Egg. Well, by 7:00, the Egg wasn’t quite ready, so Joe gave me directions on how to cook the steak and left. I enjoyed a nice steak dinner by myself…woo hoo! It was good, though. Anyway, after eating and putting Parker to bed, I watched Just Like Heaven while walking on the treadmill, then took a bath in our jetted tub. I guess it hasn’t been used in a while (it was my first…it’s in the basement bathroom) because once I turned on the jets, it started shooting out dirt! I should have just gotten in the hot tub. It turned out to be an OK girly night anyway. I should have invited some friends over, though. Joe got home around 1:00 am and woke me up to tell me that he was going to eat his steak dinner…crazy guy! I guess I should be glad that he’s so excited to do the cooking from now on…steak every night. Come on over! Joe wasn't cooperating very well when I wanted to take his picture in front of his Big Green Egg, but oh he is!
Saturday night we went to Ottavio’s for dinner with our friends Jace and Rebekah. It’s a cute little Italian Restaurant in Provo (and also now in American Fork) where Joe proposed to me. We’ve decided to go there every year to celebrate getting engaged…it’s been three years (on March 11th). Jace and Rebekah have a little girl named Kate who’s a few weeks older than Parker. She’s TINY! Parker towered over her. I don’t realize how big he is until he’s next to another baby his same age or older than him that’s smaller. I don’t know where he got the tall genes, but definitely not from Joe or me! We’ll see if he keeps it up. Anyway, it was a good weekend…good food, new clothes, cute baby, what more could I ask for! We’re going to St. George tomorrow for the rest of the week with our friends Colby and Kandis (and their little boy Carter). I am SO looking forward to a vacation!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Bad Luck Stroller

I don't know what it is with me and the jogging stroller, but we have serious issues. It is SO NICE outside today, so I decided to take Parker for a little jog. When I left, I noticed that he seemed to be leaning to the right a bit, but he usually leans to one side, so no big deal. I ran to the Jordan River Parkway trail, then ran to 104th South. I'm sure this means nothing to most of you, but I was quite far from home. As soon as I stopped before turning around to come home, I noticed that the back right wheel was kind of wobbly. I got a bit nervous, but kept going. I decided to check the was flat. Luckily we have a pump in the bottom of the stroller, so I pumped up the tire hoping it would solve the problem. It didn't. I was kind of freaked out, especially since I wasn't even on a normal road where someone could come pick me up (not that I would get in a car with a stranger again--luckily I had my cell phone with me so I could call Joe at work). I made it to the normal road and just started praying that I would make it home. Luckily we made it home in one piece...sort of. Literally the second I turned into our driveway, the wheel fell off. No joke. My prayers were answered!!! I called Joe and asked him if he'd noticed anything wrong with the stroller last night when he took Parker running. He said "Well, the back right wheel looked a little wobbly..." That would have been nice to know beforehand! All's well that ends well, though, right?

Happy Birthday Uncle Michael!

This is a pretty old picture of Michael and Parker. It was probably taken sometime in November soon after moving into our house, but I think it's adorable. Michael's a really cute, fun uncle. His 22nd birthday is tomorrow (March 14th)...crazy! Michael got home from his mission to Honduras last August. It has been GREAT having him home. He's just grown up a lot and has really developed into a great, well-rounded guy. One thing we all are amazed at is his amazing memory. I don't know if it's because he was the youngest child in our family, so he observed a lot, but he remembers EVERYTHING. He remembers things about my life that I don't even remember! When we were driving to San Diego, different songs would come on and he would relate them to me and my friends. He would say things like remember when you borrowed this CD from Scott Glaysher forever? I totally didn't remember things like that until he said them. Pretty funny. I love having Michael close by. He's a very sentimental guy...he loves making memories. Him and Joe wanted to go in the hot tub late Saturday night. I really just wanted to go to bed, but Michael convinced me to go "for the memory". He calls my mom everyday, which she loves. What boy does that? Anyway, he'll make some girl really happy someday. He hates me giving him dating advice, though. He'll go out with whoever he wants! Anyway, feliz cumpleanos Miguelito! We love you!

Weekend of Weddings

I have to write a post about last was great in lots of ways! Joe's cousin, Vicki got married on Friday. I was planning on just staying outside the temple to watch Parker, but when we got there, my sister-in-law Rachelle offered to stay outside with the kids. It was great to be in the temple. After the wedding, I went to pick my mom up from the airport. She'd been in San Diego with my sister all week (not fair). It was funny because the wedding luncheon was at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building right after the wedding. Joe and Parker stayed there while I went to get my mom. I kept trying to call Joe when we got back so that he would just come outside, but he didn't answer...his ringer must have been turned off (even though he promised me he'd answer when I called...oh well). We decided to just go inside and my mom would watch Parker while I went in to the lunch. Well, when we got there, Sheri (Joe's aunt) saw my mom and kept telling her just to come in and eat because there was a TON of food. My mom felt like a wedding crasher coming for the food dressed in her jeans (she looked really cute, though!) It was fun having my mom to myself for a few hours afterwards. Once my dad got there that night, we were busy doing more wedding stuff, but my mom and I just got to hang out for a while.
Friday night was a wedding dinner for my cousin, Jeremy. It was at the Wight House in Bountiful. It was really nice. It was so cute to see Jeremy and Heather because they were SO in love and SO excited to get married. It made me think of our wedding day. Being engaged was hard, but so fun at the same time. There's just something so nice about being committed to someone and looking forward to starting your life together. Marriage is great, too, but once the honeymoon is over, you just get used to being married and it's easy to forget the excitement you felt before the wedding. Jeremy and Heather's sealing was beautiful. I loved being in the temple two days in a was a great reminder of the blessings we're promised if we keep our covenants.
I'm usually really uptight about Parker getting his naps and going to bed early, but I was somehow able to relax this weekend. Michael was shocked when I went out to lunch after the wedding instead of taking Parker home to go to sleep. I guess I needed to maximize my time with my parents since they were only here for two days! I think Parker getting no sleep for three days helped him adjust really well to the time change because he's been ready for bed super early since my parents left.
I LOVED having my parents here. My mom and I were talking about how distance has made our family even closer. I've lived away from my parents pretty much since I went to BYU in 1998 minus a few months here and there until we moved back to California in May 2005. Joe and I lived with my parents for a few months. For some people, this might be a nightmare, but for us it was great. Even when we moved out, we probably hung out with my parents more than anyone else. Of course they took care of us, fed us, etc., but we felt more like they were our good friends than our "parents". Now that we all live far away from each other again, it forces us to really appreciate every minute that we do get to spend together. I feel so blessed to have such a great family (on both sides!) Now we just have to figure out a way to get my parents and Kimberly and Devon to move to Utah...hee hee.
I couldn't end my blog without another picture of Parker and his AWESOME expressions! This was taken Saturday night at Thaiphoon (a Thai restaurant at the Gateway mall) where we celebrated my dad's and Michael's birthdays. It was WAY past Parker's bedtime, but he's our little social butterfly, so if people are around, he's pretty happy. Notice the rice scooper in his hand...he loves playing with wooden spoons, spatulas, etc. Watch out if you're close by...he waves his weapons around without regard for anyone or anything. We love our boy! I

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Running with Parker

Here's a picture of Parker in his "running clothes". Luckily it wasn't snowing the day this picture was taken....

Whatever Works...

Yesterday I was trying to get ready for the day and Parker was driving me nuts! He just wanted to be held and got mad if I put him on the floor, in his high chair, etc. Finally I decided to just set him in the bathroom sink since he would be closer to me. It worked! He just sat there banging our toothbrushes on the bathroom mirror while I did my makeup. I guess that new trick will only work until he figures out how to turn the water on, but it was a lifesaver!

Monday, March 5, 2007

Hot Tub

After reading my last blog, it probably seems like Joe and I are in denial that we live in Utah. We're supposed to stay inside during the snowy winter months, right? Well, we spend lots of time's a picture of us and my brother Michael (who jumped face down into the snow...crazy boy) in our new hot tub (thanks to Bob Barker). It's great, but isn't so fun running back through the snow into the house afterwards. One problem with our house (that we hope to remedy soon) is that there is no entrance to the backyard from inside. We have to go out the front door and around to the side of the house to get back there. Hello neighbors! Oh well....I do love the hot tub, but I definitely miss California-like weather!

Moments of Bad Parenting...

I promised my Grandma Hand that I would have an update today on my blog, so I thought I would write about a funny morning last week. It wasn't so funny at the time, but looking back I guess we can laugh. Joe likes to take Parker out jogging in his jogging stroller. I went with them one morning a few weeks ago when it was snowing outside. Parker usually does fine because we bundle him up in his snowsuit with a hat and gator (is that how you spell it?) on, so all that is exposed to the chilly air are his big blue eyes. He's usually perfectly content...he gets into a sort of daze where he's not really making any noise or any sort of expression, but we assume he's enjoying himself since he's not crying.

The last time we took him running in the snow, he actually fell asleep, so apparently the snow didn't bother him. This wasn't the case this time around. As soon as Joe and I started running, (I'm sure we looked ridiculous to begin with...taking a baby out in a snowstorm) I knew Parker might not do as well as he had before. The snow was coming down pretty hard and it was really windy. Parker got into his trance at first, so we decided to keep going. After about 5 minutes, though, he let out a few cries. I wiped the snow off his little cheeks and we kept going. A few minutes later he started crying again, so I told Joe that we needed to turn around.

Joe wanted to keep running, so I decided to turn around by myself with Parker. By this time, we were literally in a blizzard, and things were even worse going the other direction. We were running straight into the wind, so snow was getting all into Parker's eyes. (Of course I was only worried about him...not myself, although I only had on a thin long-sleeved t-shirt, gloves, and a headband over my ears). Anyway, I decided to take Parker out of the stroller and carry him. So here I was in the middle of a blizzard walking down a busy street carrying a baby and pushing a stroller. I tried to hide behind Parker because I was so embarrassed.

After a few minutes, a lady in a minivan stopped and asked if we were close to home or if we needed a ride. I said that we were close to home and kept walking...I should have gone with her. We WERE relatively close to home, but not close enough! A few minutes later an old man stopped across the street in his truck and asked if we needed a ride. I was feeling desperate by this point, so I said YES! Luckily he really was a nice man and took us home (which took less than a minute by car, but would have been atleast 5 minutes walking!) I got inside and started crying and felt like the worst parent EVER! I'd taken my baby out in a blizzard, got in a car with a stranger, held Parker on my lap while riding in the car, etc. We got into our car right afterwards and went to find Joe. He felt terrible that he'd left us when I told him what had happened. We all survived, but no more running with a baby in the snow! I can't wait for spring!

Friday, March 2, 2007


So I guess I'm excited about this new blog thing, so I have yet ANOTHER update for the day. PARKER'S CRAWLING! He's been slowly progressing over the last few weeks, but now it's official. Joe got him on video this morning going from one side of the living room to the next....yikes! He's so cute wiggling his little body across the floor.


The title for our blog (for now) is irreplaceable for a few reasons. First of all, there's a song by Beyonce called Irreplaceable that I love! It's funny because Kimberly tried to call me a while ago, but accidentally called my old California cell phone number. Anyway, the girl who now has my old number has that song playing instead of a normal phone ringer. Neither Kimberly nor I knew what song it was, so both of us just always sang to each other "to the left, to the left" thinking it was funny. (Of course I prank called the girl after Kimberly told me that to hear it). Anyway, while Michael and I were in San Diego, he started playing that song on his ipod. As soon as it started, Kimberly and I both started laughing because it was THAT SONG! So I made Michael listen to it over and over on the drive home. The message of the song is that her boyfriend is definitely NOT irreplaceable. My family, however, IS irreplaceable to me, so I like the name. To the left, to the left.....

Like Mother Like Son....

This is a picture of me and Parker on the beach in San Diego. I think it's hilarious because we both are super white and have the exact same look on our face. I definitely don't LOVE this picture of me, but I can't help but laugh everytime I see it.