Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thanksgiving Madness

This year, Thanksgiving was at my house. We had an early lunch feast and ate ourselves silly. Thats what people so on Thanksgiving,right? This is the turkey that died so that we could celebrate Thanksgiving. Thanks Turkey. Gobble Gobble.

The boys came out from Cali to join us for Turkey Day. Ben, Eric, Johnny, Paul.

Ready, set, eat!!!

My mom and her "friend". Ya right.

The fam on Thanksgiving. Thats SaraJane in the mirror. Mad picture taking skills, right there. Haha.

Look what Paige got into...

Paige is all girl, thats for sure. She also knows exactly where mommy keeps all her makeup! Dont grow up too fast baby.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Late but great Halloween pics

Like a good little blogging mommy I realized I needed to post the pics from Halloween of my chillins. This year was especially fun since Paige is now sorta understanding all the wierd holiday traditions that we parents subject our children to ie, costumes and trickortreating, santa, gorging on Thanksgiving, you get what I mean. It was also a little weird because this year it was actually really nice weather for Halloween. I cant remember a Halloween in Utah that I wasnt freezing my booty off while trying to participate in outdoor activities. So I actually took them out instead of making my husband go without me.

Braiden is apparently getting too old to dress up as the cartoon or movie characters that we usually do. Last year he was Yoda. This year he told me he wanted to be something "gross and bloody". This coming from my child who almost passed out when he accidentally witnessed the bloody scene at the end of Greys Anatomy last week. (You know you watch that show) So anyway, with the help of his stepmom he created this "Run over skater" costume. Pretty creative, I thought, and he liked it. I told him thats the closest he will ever come to having real tattoos so he should enjoy it while it lasts.

Paige was a lady bug and a very cute one at that. She wanted to wear that costume all week and I let her since I paid 25 bucks for it. She may as well wear it as long as possible. She was a little timid at the Trick or Treating thing but after a couple houses and seeing all the other kids on the street, she got the hang of it. She was so sweet and could not believe that people were just GIVING her all these "treats". We hit our entire street and she wanted to just keep going.

Cameron (our little punkin) hung at home with dad and handed out candy. Later my sister Bonnie came over with her 2 little "ghouls". Hehe. Abby is a fairy who had just finished a very blue sucker and Baylee was a lobster. We had a rough time getting them to all cooperate for this pic but you get the idea.
Isnt is amazing how quickly candy just disappears when mom isnt looking? Hmmm. Thats ok cause little do they know that mom was making it disappear even faster. Haha.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Today, for the very first time, I had the pleasure of attending the BYU/ UTAH game that is a much awaited Thanksgiving week event for football fans in Utah. Eric won season tickets at his work party (thanks ExtraSpace) but unfortunately we havent attended many of the games since Cameron was born the day after the first home game. I personally did not attend either school but I guess just because I lived in Provo for a long time and my husband is a die-hard Cougar fan, I rute for Blue by default. I am proud of it though. Braiden has also been learning the ways of a Cougar fan fom his dad and what it means to be a good sportsman. For instance to not yell "the Utes suck" while walking through a crowded store and spotting someone wearing red. Yes, that has happened. Luckily the guy was really cool. So today Braiden also got a strong taste of diehard fandom and witnessed the ever-amazing phenomenon they call "RIVALRY".
Eric and I bought matching beanies for the occasion so that we would fit in with the crowd. We were a little late so we literally had to climb over some mildly annoyed people while I prayed that nothing happened on the field to create any sudden movement in the stands so we didnt go flying. Finally we made it to our seats, glad that we had already made our bathroom visits because there was no way were getting out unless it was a life/death emergency.

Our seats were on the South end of the stadium so we sat in the shade which had its pros and cons. Pro: no squinting into the sun or getting sunburnt. Con: It was a less than comfortable 30 something degrees and slightly windy. We had to huddle to keep warm. Trust me, that was not a problem since people are squished like sardines onto those bleachers. You are likely to get pretty friendly with your neighbor.

I looked out across the sea of ant size specks of Blue and white and a few red here and there. Good thing I didnt wear my hot pink coat. The game was pretty intense but my fascination stayed mostly with listening to the ranting and yelling of fans behind me and to the side of me. I never get why they think that the refs or the players on the field can actually hear them. Pretty entertaining actually. There were no touchdowns by either team until the second half of the game. Utes first. At which point I witnessed my husbands cougar testimony waver. He hung his head is sadness and shame until BYU brought it back with a TD with 40 something seconds left in the game which took winning score to 17/10. See scoreboard photo. It was so cool when the game ended to see hundred or maybe thousands of people "rush the field". People were just pouring off the stands on to the field to gather around their team. This win earned them the Mountain West Championship and it was the second year in a row to beat the Utes at such a close game so the celebration was pretty massive.
So we had a good day. On the bus ride back to our car I sat next to a girl who was wearing a Utah sweatshirt and I overheard her on the phone asking her husband if he was going to be okay, apparently he was pretty shaken by the Utes loss. I know my husband is a happy man today. My biggest question is this: Will there be football in heaven and if so who will God rute for? Hmmm.

Erickson Elves!!

Click here to Watch the Erickson Elves! Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A daring adventure...

Ok so this is kinda lame but I thought hey, what the heck. Its Thanksgiving morning and I just finished preparing my attempt at a Turkey in preparation for the many people coming to my house in 4 hours and here I sit at my computer searching for ads and trying to decide if its worth it to even leave my house tomorrow, so appropriately called "Black Friday". Thus far I havent found a deal thats worth risking my life for (I am remembering the lady that got trampled at WalMart last year. I wonder if it was worth it to her). I actually know a girl that makes it a tradition with her mom and sisters to go out at 4 in the morning "just for the fun of it". She doesnt even care if she buys anything. "Its all for the thrill." She says. Hmmmm. You have to wonder. So, anyway, I came across this little time-waster. My journey to the Target 2day sale. You play this game on the Target Ad Website. You can win a $25 gift card. I will do anything for a buck. Ok, almost anything. I thought it was kind cute, kinda lame, you know. Whatever. Ha. Happy Thanksgiving and good luck Black Friday.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sappy Mom Stuff

A good friend of mine sent this to me and described that it came to her at a perfect moment when she was a milimeter away from running away and never coming back. I know I have had those days although I can easily say that I am blessed with awesome children. Sometimes the responsibilities of life, motherhood, being a wife, an employee, a sister, a daughter, etc can be overwhelming and tiresome but after reading this I realized that life is way too short and if I did not have those responsibilities that I belly-ache about, what would I be doing? Probably longing for them.

Sometimes I am not sure what I am really more worried about in the whole parenting game- messing it up, or missing it when its over...

"All My Babies Are Gone Now"
By Anna Quindlen , Newsweek columnist and author

All my babies are gone now. I say this not in sorrow, but in disbelief. I take great satisfaction in what I have today: three almost-adults, two taller than I am, one closing in fast. Three people who read the same books I do and have learned not to be afraid of disagreeing with me in their opinion of them, who sometimes tell vulgar jokes that make me laugh until I choke and cry, who need razor blades and shower gel and privacy, who want to keep their doors closed more than I like. Who, miraculously, go to the bathroom, zip up their jackets and move food from plate to mouth all by themselves. Like the trick soap I bought for the bathroom with a rubber ducky at its center, the baby is buried deep within each, barely discernible except through the unreliable haze of the past.

Everything in all the books I once pored over is finished for me now. Penelope Leach, T. Berry Brazelton, Dr. Spock. The ones on sibling rivalry and sleeping through the night and early-childhood education--all grown obsolete. Along with Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things Are, they are battered, spotted, well used. But I suspect that if you flipped the pages dust would rise like memories. What those books taught me, finally, and what the women on the playground taught me, and the well-meaning relations -- what they taught me, was that they couldn't really teach me very much at all.

Raising children is presented at first as a true-false test, then becomes multiple choice, until finally, far along, you realize that it is an endless essay. No one knows anything. One child responds well to positive reinforcement, another can be managed only with a stern voice and a timeout. One child is toilet trained at 3, his sibling at 2.

When my first child was born, parents were told to put baby to bed on his belly so that he would not choke on his own spit-up. By the time my last arrived, babies were put down on their backs because of research on sudden infant death syndrome. To a new parent this ever-shifting certainty is terrifying, and then soothing. Eventually you must learn to trust yourself. Eventually the research will follow. I remember 15 years ago poring over one of Dr. Brazelton's wonderful books on childdevelopment, in which he describes three different sorts of infants:average, quiet, and active. I was looking for a sub-quiet codicil for an18-month old who did not walk. Was there something wrong with his fatlittle legs? Was there something wrong with his tiny little mind? Was hedevelopmentally delayed, physically challenged? Was I insane? Last yearhe went to China . Next year he goes to college. He can talk just fine. He can walk, too.

Every part of raising children is humbling. Believe me, mistakes weremade. They have all been enshrined in the "Remember-When-Mom-Did" Hall of Fame. The outbursts, the temper tantrums, the bad language -- mine, not theirs. The times the baby fell off the bed. The times I arrived late for preschool pickup. The nightmare sleep-over. The horrible summer camp. The day when the youngest came barreling out of the classroom with a 98 on her geography test, and I responded, "What did you get wrong?"(She insisted I include that here.) The time I ordered food at the McDonald's drive-through speaker and then drove away without picking it up from the window. (They all insisted I include that.) I did not allow them to watch the Simpsons for the first two seasons. What was I thinking?

But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them, sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.

Even today I'm not sure what worked and what didn't, what was me and what was simply life. When they were very small, I suppose I thought someday they would become who they were because of what I'd done. Now I suspect they simply grew into their true selves because they demanded in a thousand ways that I back off and let them be. The books said to be relaxed and I was often tense, matter-of-fact and I was sometimes over the top. And look how it all turned out. I wound up with the three people I like best in the world, who have done more than anyone to excavate my essential humanity. That's what the books never told me. I was bound and determined to learn from the experts. It just took me a while to figure out who the experts were.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E!!!

On October 27th we had the great opportunity, or should I say we took the daring chance, to take all three kids on a trip to California. I have a riddle for you: What to you get when you cross an impatient 8 year old, a restless 2 year old, a tired 6 week old all packed into a 5 seater 4Runner? You will probably be able to draw your own conclusion on that one. I think a good answer would be: 2 parents with ulcers and mid-vacation remorse. All I can say is thank goodness for the electronic babysitter: the portable DVD player. (By the way, the first DVD player broke by Fillmore so you can bet that we used some emergency funds to replace it in St George. The trip was way too long to not have it.) We stopped at my grandparents house in St George which i affectionately call the Lundberg Hotel. They always "leave the lights on for us" and are happy to let us use their facilities and borrow a bowl of cereal. The kids love it there. I am so lucky to still have my granparents with me and I am so lucky that my kids can have a little taste of what Grandmas house was like for me as a child.
Next stop...dads house in southern california. This one called the Watson hotel. The Watson Hotel is crowded nowadays but nonetheless available and comfortable. We say "the more, the merrier". And boy is my family ever merry. Final Destination: Disneyland!!! We were all very excited to see the "Disneyland left" sign on higway 57 in Anaheim. Eric and I have taken the kids there 4 times now and will keep on doing it over and over. We both love it and have fond memories of visiting as kids with our families since we are both native Californians. This time of year Disneyland was all decked out for Halloween as you can see in these pics. Paige learned without a doubt what candy corn is and calls pumpkins "punkin patch". "Look at the punkin patch mommy!"

First Stop: Bugs Life Land where Paige could actually ride all the rides. She had a great time on this one where the lady bug spins around and around. Ick. Notice I am not on this ride. Happy to stay off and watch from the sidelines. But boy did they ever enjoy it. There is something awesome about hearing your kids shreik with excitement while being spun around endlessly. Luckily there were no barfing incidents. Whew!

Braiden, being an old pro at the Disneyland thing, was happy to show Paige the ropes. Paige was not too fond of the Jungle Cruise. The animals were just a little too close for comfort for her. Cameron liked this one though. He slept right through the entire ride. (surprise, surprise). We made our way to all the faves: Indiana Jones, The Haunted House, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Toon Town, and The Finding Nemo Adventure (very fun, by the way). Sadly, Small World and Alice in Wonderland rides were closed.

The first day we were there, we watched the fireworks show from behind the Sleeping Beauty Castle where they had closed off all the areas surrounding the Peter Pan ride and Snow White ride for danger of falling ashes. We waited right there and when the show was over and they opened the area we walked right on to Peter Pan and then Snow White. That was awesome considering the Peter Pan seems to always have a 45 minute wait.

In Toon Town we went to Mickeys House and waited to get pictures with Mickey. This was especially exciting for Paige since she is a die-hard fan of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She can name all the Disney Characters. Thats pretty good for a 2 year old. When she saw Mickey, she was in awe. He bent down and kissed her on the head and that was the best moment of her life thus far. She walked out saying "Kissy on the head" and holding her hand on her head. If you ask her even now she will tell you "Micky kissy on the head". She is so cute.
We watched the Parade of Dreams on the second night and Braiden and Paige got some awesome seats. It pays to have a huge stroller and a scary face. Heh! They watched the parade intently and yelled for all their favorite characters to come say hello to them. They had some close encounters with Goofey, the blue fairy, Peter Pan and others.
At the end of the second night, we were all very tired and ready to go but sad, nonetheless to leave the happiest place on earth. The trip home was a ling drive filled with bribery and empty threats but we made it home and everyone was still alive and well. To answer my riddle from the beginning: You get a memorable family vacation that will hopefully be smiled upon years from now at some family reunion.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Cute Christmas fun Website for All

I found a really cute website called There are all kinds of fun things to do on it like create a personalized storybook or send a letter to santa plus tons of great Christmas recipes. Check it out here.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Yeah for stinky animals...

A couple weeks ago I took the kids to the zoo as I had been promising them for weeks that I would do it when I felt up to it. Well, I decided that I will never really feel up to it so I just sucked it up (after a night of only 3 hours sleep, thank you Cameron) and took them with a big smile on my face. Well, to my surprise, we had a great time. The kids were in awe and amazement at all the stinky animals as if this wasnt the 5th time they had been which I love to see. They are so fun. Braiden helped me push our monstrous double stroller all over the hills of Hogle Zoo.

Paige especially loved the monkeys and Braiden loved the big fake elephant that squirts water (because he loved pushing his sister in front of the water in true big brother form). They have this great little park where they can climb all over big animal statues.

All in all, the day was a hit with the kiddies and I felt like a super mom. Hip, hip, hooray...