My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Woah, woah, woah. What a weekend! I tell ya, we seem to not know how to just have Christmas around here. Nope.

First of all, we decided to get married the day after Christmas. So I guess we never even had a chance for a normal Christmas right from the start. Yeah, I know. Ask our families, they loved it. ha! No really, I think they did. My family left the open house and took off for a week long vacation of a lifetime...without me. Boo. But I'm over it, almost. It was one of the best day's of my life though, and boy do we have some awesome stories.
THEN, we decide to have a baby two days before Christmas. Well, maybe we didn't exactly decide that very date, but we could have planned a little better, but we won't go into THAT. So, we spent Christmas day in the hospital eating our "Christmas Dinner" of rubber steak, rock hard mashed potatoes, something that I think was supposed to be a jello salad, and an awesome jawbreaker brownie for dessert.
And then there was the year where we decided to take all of the presents, our whole family, the dog and three gerbils on a 14 hour trip, in order to spend the holiday with family. After some road closures, a gerbil running loose in the car, some serious dog gas, and some LONG hours in the car, we made it, and it was great. Really.
I guess we are making memories, and boy do we have some great ones.

This year has been pretty nuts, and it isn't even Christmas yet. Amazing.
We did have a great weekend though. At this very moment, Ben is finishing up his LAST paper before he is done with his MBA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I decided that since the campus isn't here, so Ben doesn't get to walk across a stage, and listen to the boring grad. speeches and wear that rockin' awesome dress, tent, gown ,thing, we might as well have our own party. And we did. And it was great.

I send out the invites via email, got the RSVP's, and then planned accordingly. This was no simple task, given the number of people we invited, but it was worth it. We had a fun night with friends and family. It was an open house, so we kept it casual and fun...just like Ben.

The table all set up with goodies for the open house.

Gifts and cards for Ben.

We had a great night, and it was a good thing for us to see how far we have come since we moved here. We really do have some cool friends here and our ward is pretty cool as well. We are getting to know more people and make more friendships. We are beginning to plan some seeds.

The next day was Mary's Birthday party! Her Birthday is two days before Christmas, but we decided to party early, to keep it a little more seperate from the big holiday. She wanted a fairy party, so that's what we did.

It was an absolute riot! Oh my goodness, it was hilarious. 8 giggly girls, dressed up in fairy outfits, all talking at the same time. It was loud, it was about as girly as you can get, and it was bursting with emotion. Poor Ben, coming from a home with all boys, just about lost his mind, but he was a good fairy prince and scooped the ice cream, ran the video camera, and even joked around with the girls for a while.

Mary had a blast and so did her friends. They played pass the evil wand (hot potato), musical chairs, they painted nails (you should have heard the screams of excitement when we announced the nail was ear piercing, just ask prince Ben),

and they made their own ice cream sunday's, topped with fairy dust.

We ended with Mary opening presents and some games of fairy hide and seek and a fairy movie.
It was a great party! It was the most girly thing Mary has done in a while, but it was so cute and so funny. Mary felt special and loved, and that is all that matters to me. She is such a good kid and has a very sweet heart. I can't believe she will be 6 this week!

Leave it to Mary to want to put these teeth in the goodie bags. They were a hit.

To top it all off, we got a dog. Yup, the night before Ben's open house. We are so smart with timing! ;) Actually, if we didn't get him that night, he was going to the pound. Not much of a choice. He is the same mix as Chamonix was. lab/husky. Only this dog looks WAY more husky. He actually looks like a big wolf. He is yellow, brown, tan, black and white.

We had a pretty bad first night with him, and I actually put him back up for sale, but the next day, after he got some food in his tummy, he did GREAT. He has been good since. He is absolutely amazing with the kids. I have been around dogs my whole life, and I have never seen a dog that is so good with kids. He is very protective of them and he even sleeps by them. He is eager to please. He is also already house trained, neutered, up to date on shots, plays fetch and knows how to sit. He seems to be a good one for running, camping, hiking, ect. His name is Nico. Welcome Nico!

Sunday was the ward Christmas program. I played the piano for one of the musical numbers. It was a gorgeous piece and it went really well. The girl who sang had a great voice. There was some flute involved in it as well, and it made it so fun. The whole program was beautiful and we felt such a strong spirit of the real reason for the season..Jesus Christ. It was a wonderful Sunday. The kids also got to wear their new Christmas clothes. William already grew out of his, so he isn't in the pictures, but he looks cute just the way he is.

And there you have it. Another Christmas week...Maynard style. As crazy as it is, we wouldn't change it. The laughter, the love, the joy and the bonding that takes place, makes all of the time and planning worth it.

Coming up...Mary's Birthday, Mary's school spotlight, a visit from some family, Christmas Eve with some cool friends and neighbors, Christmas, our week long vacation with family, New Years and all of the other mind boggling, unexpected, crazy happenings that are bound to go along with it all!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Ski Night

Ben took Mary and Sam skiing yesterday evening, for the first time this season. Sam went once last year, but it wasn't the best experience, so we decided that this was his "official" first time skiing.

They went night skiing, and had a blast! It was late, and I was sooooooooo tired, so I stayed home with William, rented a few red boxes, bought some chocolate covered cinnamon bears, and hung out with my baby.

The kids had a great time! Mary picked up right where she left off last year, and didn't require any help from Ben. She was very excited to go, and Ben said she had a lot of fun. Ben brought a rope and wrapped it around Sam's waist. Sam went in front of Ben and Ben used the rope to control Sam's speed. Sam had a much better experience this time and is still talking about it today. He is very proud of himself. This morning when I asked him how skiing was he said, "It was so fun mom, but I had to pull daddy down the hill with a rope." I about died laughing.

(a picture on the chairlift)

I am so glad that the kids could have such a great time with their daddy. Sooner than later, we will all be able to go as a family each time, but for now, I think I like knowing that there is some daddy/kid bonding happening on the ski hill. I also quite enjoyed myself with my treats and movies. I smell a tradition in the making.

I was going to make a post about this in the Fall, but I never got around to it. We call this, "Pre' Season Practice." Hehehe

Thursday, December 9, 2010

During Family Scripture Time

Ben asked Sam, "Who is Jesus?"
Sam replied, "Good."

Ben asked Sam, "Who is Jesus Christ?"
Sam replied, "Jesus' friend."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Yes, the season is a busy one, and yes, this week in particular is NUTS, but in all honestly I LOVE this time of year and even the hustle and bustle it brings. It just adds to the excitement and magic. I am a busy body, and I love this time of year, so most of the time, I don't mind the madness and I almost welcome it. As long as I get some sleep at night, and some breaks here and there, I am good to go. I am sure that I must have been an elf in the past life...Ben agrees. ;)

We have had some fun family time these past few weeks, and I regretfully haven't posted anything about them. Here is a brief summary.

We went to our first movie as a family. We saw Despicable Me and laughed our heads off. It was great. The kids loved it and I loved watching them love it. Ben hung on as long as he could, but he was snoring by the end, with a sleeping William in his arms.

Before that we went to a huge animal adoption fair in Salt Lake. We really Really REALLY want a dog, but we are being very picky this time. No hole diggers, and it has to be "fixed" and house trained. We fell in love with an absolutely gorgeous dog, but they said that we would have to pay for her training classes on top of the adoption fee, which was a crazy amount of $$. They also said she was very hyper. It was a no-go, but it was so fun to look at all of the animals there. We will find our dog soon. I have my eye on a few already. ;)

We took the kids to the mall to see Santa on Monday after FHE. I love having kids that are old enough to believe and get all excited. It is great. I waited in line with William in the stroller and Ben took the kids to play on the toys until I got to the front of the line. I have been to see many a Santa, but I must say that this one was truly awesome! He made the kids feel so happy and excited and he even made Ben and I feel good. He took time with us and it made the HUGE wait well worth it.
On the way home in the car, Mary "saw" Santa's sleigh flying him back to the North Pole. She was giggling from excitement and had her face plastered to the window the whole way home. Priceless.

We decided to place an empty manger amidst our other decorations, and the kids are slowing filling it with one piece of straw at a time, when they do a good deed. The goal is to have the bed soft enough for Jesus to arrive in it Christmas morning. It has been a great way to keep the focus of the holiday where it should be.

We truly do find joy in being together as a family, and Ben and I have re-committed ourselves to make sure we do more fun outings and just hang out more as a family.

Oh, and speaking of fun, guess what I got done yesterday.

Yup, that mole under my left eye....GONE!
I thought I was going in for a consultation, and walked out the door with this big, nasty, bright orange, bandaid under my eye. And yes, the Relief Society Christmas Dinner was that night, and yes, I was in the musical number. Awesome. I think I only had to explain the bandaid about, oh, 500 times!
Aside from the needle going right under my eye, smelling the Dr. burning my skin around the mole, the awesome swelling today, my big orange bandaid, and the great stinging sensation, I am thrilled. NO MORE MOLE! Few.

p.s. I took the bandaid off last night, after the R.S. Dinner, to assess the damage, and there is hardly anything under it! It looks great! Too bad I didn't take it off before the dinner, but then I would not get the great experience of walking around with a big ugly bandaid under my eye, and I wouldn't be me without experiences like those.

Speaking of the dinner though, I actually made a food for a church activity that people went nuts over! I make a lot of food for church stuff, and it usually gets eaten, but I have never had people completely freak out over something. Cooking is not that fun to me, so I don't care if people don't go crazy over it. I made this killer pudding, berry, jello, whip cream, thingy and it was unbelievable. I made a gigantic bowl of it, thinking my family could have the leftovers, but it was gone..all gone. The women ranted and raved over it. It was pretty fun and a little embarrassing. I am not a fan of that much attention. My mom made it for Thanksgiving and it was the first thing gone there too. It is incredible. It is also a very pretty Christmas dish to serve. The layers make it look festive and fun. I will post the recipe soon. Sorry, no picture.

So there you have it. Another rambling post about the joys of the season. We are looking forward to Ben's MBA Graduation party (it is an open house...anyone is welcome) and Mary's 6th Birthday Party next week. Rock on!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Just Gotta Do It

This may not be the most interesting post to many of you, but this week is way too busy to let it go by without documenting it. It will be proof that I survived, if anything. Also, it is a great way for me to get it all down..again, and go over it all...again.

Visiting Teachers coming on Thursday.
Setting three visiting teaching appointments this week.
Teaching preschool at our house Tuesday and Thursday.
Making lesson plans for preschool, getting snacks and crafts ready to go.
Sending out Mary's Birthday party invites and planning party.
Getting Ben's MBA Graduation party evites out. (finding about 20 emails of people from here)
Activity Day on Wednesday...make treat to bring.
Teach piano Lessons..Wednesday
Parent Meeting for Mary's Gymnastics...Monday.
FHE lesson and then go to see Santa at mall...Monday
William's well baby check...Monday morning
Relief Society Christmas Dinner..Tuesday..bring salad and play piano for musical number
Practice piece for above musical number
Dr. Appt for me...Tuesday...trying to get that mole under my eye removed
Temple on Saturday..make appointment
Ward Christmas breakfast Saturday piano for musical number at this party too
Practice with people in ward party musical number
My turn for Mary's carpool this week...Mon. Wedn. and Friday
Get Ben' last Christmas gift
Tithing settlement..Sunday
Working out..every day that I can

Somehow I get to fit this all in between taking care of the kids, continuing Sam's eternal potty training, loads and loads of laundry, cooking dinner, attempting to clean the house, regulating play dates, Christmas shopping and planning, and all of the other mom stuff.

So far, I still have my sanity and I am just plowing through. We have had some awesome family outings that have kept the season fun and kept a good spirit in our home. Let's hope it continues.
Rock on.

And Here We Are!

William is 6 months old. Crazy huh. I remember when he was less than two weeks old, and he was crying and crying and crying. He was writhing in pain in my arms and I felt so helpless and desperate. He was throwing everything up, he smelled like acid, he hadn't pooped in almost 4 days, and we had tried numerous formulas. We had already been to the doctor four times. He had been crying for hours, with no end in sight. Ben and I were averaging 3-4 hours of sleep every night. (This was before we knew of his protein breakdown issue, his severe acid reflux, and before we received the "golden formula") I was pacing the floor back and forth, bouncing, swaddling, rocking, etc. I had been crying right along with Will. I was dreaming of the day that William would be 6 months old (six months has always been my favorite age for my babies), sleeping through the night, sitting up, and most importantly, not crying all the time. It seem like an eternity away.

Well, here we are, and how fast it came!

We just got back from William's well baby appointment, so I have the stats.

He is 20.3 pounds of luscious, white, sweet, soft, chunky, baby fat! We love every single roll on this boy.

He is 26.27 inches long, or short, depending on how you look at it.

He is OFF of the "golden formula!!!"

He is being weaned off the reflux meds, and is completely off one of them!

The doctor says he is doing great and that no permanent damage has occurred due to his protein intolerance. Sometimes it can really mess up the stomach of a baby if it isn't caught in time. We can even feed him baby food now!

I introduced him to baby food a few weeks ago and he absolutely went nuts.

If I didn't get the spoon back to his mouth fast enough, he would start waving his arms as fast as he could and begin crying. He tries to hold the spoon in his mouth, so I won't pull it away. (as seen in picture below) He absolutely loves eating! It is great. His favorite is the same as the other two. Sweet Potatoes. yummy.

He is sitting up all by himself now, and he can play with toys and reach without falling over.

This has been a VERY good thing for my back. Most babies that weigh as much as he does are crawling and almost walking, so the amount of time in mommy's arms isn't quite as much. For me, carrying him around all day, and at times, carrying him in the car seat, has really hurt my back. He is incredibly heavy. He has a great time sitting up and playing. It has been awesome.

He is in the phase of "mommy can't leave me." If I leave the room, it is over. He just starts sobbing in the most broken hearted way he can muster. I can't leave his sight at all, but I usually don't anyway. Luckily, if Ben is here, I can leave him with Ben and all is well.

He has a laugh that comes straight from the gut. It is the most adorable thing to hear. His whole body shakes. He thinks Mary and Sam are absolutely hilarious. When they make him laugh, it makes them laugh. It is very cute to see all three kids laughing.

William is the ultimate grabber. He reaches for and grabs EVERYTHING! If he is sitting in the bumbo, he will arch back as far as he can, with arm outstretched and fingers moving, to try to touch something. When I hold him, he is constantly leaning forward, back or sideways with arms flailing, to grab anything that we are walking past. He always has a handful of my hair when I hold him, or an earring. We call him Mr. Grabby. If he can't reach something, he will just stare at it and twitch his fingers. It is so funny.

We sure do love our big, chunky, happy, sweet eyed, drooling, food eating, sitting up, bundle of baby. Happy 6 months William!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Pictureless, Priceless Holiday, and a Miracle

We made the treck to Idaho for Thanksgiving. I still can't get over the shock when we leave our front door and walk into my parent's home in JUST THREE HOURS!! We are so used to traveling at least 11 hours. In fact, when we were getting into the car, Mary came out with three bags full of "stuff to do in the car." She is very used to traveling for hours on end to visit family. She was excited to learn that only one bag would be plenty...and it was.

We haven't taken a break since the move, and I didn't realize how much one was needed until it happened. Thanksgiving was wonderful! The best thing of all is that Ben let me sleep in every morning! I feel like my children pretty much run my schedule, including my precious sleep, so when I sleep in and wake up when I want to, it feels like a gift of gold. It makes me feel like I have some sort of control of what I do.

The holiday was full of delicious food, visiting tons of family, playing some seriously competitive card games, going to Harry Potter, Ben making a ski jump in my parents yard, being towed in behind my brother's truck, and doing a backflkip off of it, the kids playing with everyone, reading the last Hunger Games Book (horrible, sick, book), doing puzzles, getting a new cell phone, and so on. It was so fun though, that I forgot to take pictures. oops

I found myself stepping back and realizing how good it felt to just sit down. To just relax a little. To catch my breath. I was beyond exhausted when the trip began, and I was hanging on by a thread. It was a wonderful trip and it went by way too fast. Even if we did get snowed in Pocatello and get an extra day. ;)

We only had one mishap, and I still get sick to my stomach when I think about it. William was sitting up on my parents counter and I was holding on to him and talking to my mom. I turned to ask my sister a question and let go of him. At that same moment, he arched back. He fell backwards, approx. 3+ feet, and landed head first on my parents wood floor. Words cannot describe the horror I felt when I saw him lying on the floor. His head immediately swelled up to a scary size. I completely fell apart as we were getting ready to go to the E.R. The guilt was overwhelming, the fear was very real, and the realization of what the effects could be, were too much to handle. The swelling looked horrible and he was pale and lethargic. My dad and Ben gave him a blessing and we took off. I was so upset and so worried. So was Ben. By the time we got to the E.R., William was already looking better and the swelling was still very big, but going down. The doctor checked him out, decided against a CAT scan, and after asking a million questions, we left the E.R. and headed to the Thanksgiving Dinner with instructins to come back if he showed certain signs. (yes, this was Thanksgiving Day) I was positive that William would have a terrible lump and a very nasty bruise on his head. With that much swelling, that is just a given. Instead, there is absolutely no evidence that he fell that far or hit that hard. I consider it our Christmas miracle #2. In the blessing he received, he was blessed with a complete recovery, and he got it. There is no other way his head would have healed like that. I am so grateful that he is o.k. and I still hold him tightly every day and give him some extra snuggles, to try to ward off the terror that still resides in my heart. Thank goodness for answered prayers and the power of priesthood blessings.