Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Since Ann tagged me over a month ago... I figured it was time to fess up. Here are 6 things that most people don't know about me.

1) I don't know how to do a hyperlink. It would have been cool to hyperlink Ann's name to lead all of you to her blog, but alas, don't know how. If someone would be kind enough to instruct me...

2) I actually love to eat Ramen noodles. I can afford to spend more than 20 cents on a meal, but sometimes, I just have to have the noodles.

3) I actually write letters/emails/make phone calls to companies to complain or comment on their products. I DON'T MAKE STUFF UP to get free products, I just tell them what I think or what happened, and they thank me and often send me great stuff :) One time I complained about a piece of plastic that I found in my Walmart brand wheat thins and they Fed-exed me a huge box of 20 different kinds of crackers and cookies. I donated them to the nursery... Anyway, Ben absolutely HATES that I do it--even when he is not involved in any way.

4) I have Restless Leg Syndrome. Its for real. I hate it, but its not bad enough that I need medicine. If I do a ton of leg-lifts, the symptoms usually go away.

5) I have a really hard time paying attention in church-mostly sacrament meeting. It has nothing to do with James. I have a hard time staying focused in meetings where I am not expected to be an active participant. My highest compliment to a particularly great speaker is, "I paid attention to the whole thing!" :)

6) I sleep with earplugs in and the sheet over my head. Ever since James was born, I've become a poor sleeper and hyper sensitive to everything when I'm trying to sleep. I get my best sleep after 5am. I also still love to sleep in, even though I'm a real adult. If I had my way, I'd sleep til 9am everyday.

Instead of me tagging 6 people, why don't you consider yourself tagged if you read all of this! That's right, I mean you!

Monday, December 17, 2007

What would you do if...

you got a wedding invitation that said, "Bride and Groom are registered at Wells Fargo"? Or maybe I should ask, What would you give? Yeah, I got one of those last week...

The twelve days of Christmas

My darling husband is doing the 12 days of Christmas for me. He said he tried to get each present to ryhme or go with the regular song. So on day three I got 3 bic pens and today I got 5 onion rings (and a Sonic gift card). He's a funny man. (Day one was "a book about a tree"= A Tree grows in Brooklyn, which I've been wanting to read; Day 2 was "2 games of scrabble, both English and Spanish(we get pretty competitive when we play any word games); and day 4 he put some of our stuffed animal birds around my cell phone for me to find. Ha!) I'll update if he gets any weirder.

Dear Joni and Sheryl,

Thank you for introducing me to the wonderful world of PF Changs. I love it, and you.

My recommendation:

Do NOT go see "I Am Legend". The end.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Some of the cousins looking at all the "Black Friday" ads

James attacking Chelsea.

Nieces and Nephews at Thanksgiving

Chyna entertaining us with the guitar and Chelsea entertaining us with her charms.

Aaron playing his guitar

My little neice Chelsea all grown up. SHE IS A SENIOR in High School! I was just feeding her a bottle when I was in high school! YIKES!

Kayce giving her seal of approval to the potatoes and rolls!

I just LOVE me!

Well, Whitney Houston said learning to love yourself was the greatest love of all. We've not been successful yet in helping James understand that he's the baby in the mirror.

Ducks a plenty!

James feeding the ducks in Lake Jackson on the day before Thanksgiving. Yep, in shorts and and sandals. We are glad that both parties got along well. You never know what a toddler could do to a duck... and vice versa.

Made this ducky cake for a baby shower. James LOVE 'gucks'. :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sunday Best

We bought this on clearance last year after Christmas (yeah, shocker for all of you who know me!) I'm just glad we guessed the right size for Holiday season this year!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

More photos!

Here are more of my favorites from the studio pics. I'll post some from Thanksgiving week later!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Christmas pics a little early...

We had these pics taken a couple of days ago and I think they turned out adorable!
Allright you naughty people, If you're going to gawk at my beautiful son, you better leave a comment! :p

Friday, November 09, 2007

Any suggestions out there?

Well, James is a pretty easy going, lovable kind of toddler. Most of the time it is a pleasure to be around him. However, he has had more than his fair share of sickness. He's been hospitalized twice for croup/bronchial issues and last winter season he had 6 ear infections (some double and some single). So the problem....

He's had to take soooo much medicine in his short little lifetime and now it is almost impossible to give him anything unless the flavor is so mild that we can hide it in milk/applesauce/etc. Most recently, a cold worked its way through our household and james ended up with his first ear infection of the season. The Dr. and pharmacist said the medicine would be less effective if we put it in food. Hm, ok. We gave it to james and he immediately vomited his whole dinner on me and himself. Then we made some really, really chocolate milk and put the medicine in. We thought he'd love the chocolate milk-he's never had it before. He took one drink and spit it out on the floor. Ben tasted it and pretty much gagged too. He refused the applesauce that we put it in. (By the way, he isn't watching us when we drug up his foods.) We called the Dr. and asked for her advice, again, and since his symptoms were actually pretty ok, she said to wait on the antibiotic. We are giving him echinacea in his milk and putting homeopathic drops in his ears at night.

Oh, how I wish they made antibiotic suppositories! Or maybe patches like those made with nicotine. Something. I seriously don't know how to get medicine in him. Its not like I can prevent him from vomiting. Anyway, does anyone have any ideas on how to get the medicine in? I'm desperate for some suggestions....!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Vicodin+Benedryl=Funny Carolyn

So, instead of boring you with what a dreadful week we had, I'll just tell you that I'm a hoot when I take Vicodin and Benedryl at the same time. (benedryl for my cold and vicodin for a random foot issue that I may or may not talk about later...) Anyway, I got into bed and rolled over and told Ben in my best smarmy voice, "I like you". He laughed and said something that I can't remember but it rhymed with "i like you". I told him that he had just rhymed and proceeded to laugh for a couple of minutes. I abruptly stopped laughing and asked him what was so funny. Then I fell asleep. Funny me. Oh yeah, earlier I tried to call Kara for her birthday and when I got her voicemail, I ended up saying all these random things about Bonnie's new baby. Loopy.

Yeah, so about the foot issue, I don't need to go into great detail, except to say that this random Dr. that I saw about the pain is DRUG HAPPY. While I was in his office, he gave me a shot of Tordal and then wrote the prescription for the Vicodin. He wanted me to follow up with him in three days to see how the pain was. Ok, so Friday afternoon to Monday afternoon is 72 hours, right? HE PRESCRIBED ME 90 VICODIN WITH 1 REFILL!!!! Good heavens! Does he think I'm running a side business down in Juarez? I mean, we could use the money, but REALLY.

On another wacky side note, I really love Albertson's. It's James' favorite store, too. All the employees there know his name and they all have to come and talk to him and tell him how adorable he is. I've been collecting those little stamps there for a while and let me tell you, I was really excited this week to get my fabulous new roasting pan. I'm not even kidding, it's pretty goofy what will excite me.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ciudad Juarez Temple

The Juarez temple is just a couple of miles over the border at El Paso. (So probably about an hour from Las Cruces in good traffic). I've been there a good handful of times (including when it was closed, sigh) but I've not attended a session there. Anyway, last Friday night I was FINALLY able to go to do a session with some friends in the ward. It was so great to be there and I really enjoyed myself. There were two things I found particularly interesting: They ask you to take your shoes off and leave them in a closet in the waiting room, and before they start the session, they take a vote. (No, it ain't survivor, they're not voting you out of the session :) They ask how many people would need headphones if the session were to be conducted in English and how many would need headphones if it were in Spanish. The session is conducted in the lanuguage that the majority speaks while the rest wear headphones. I was really (secretly) hoping that it would be in Spanish, and it was :) I find that I pay better attention to anything and everything if I have to think about it in Spanish. C'est la vie, right?

Hamburger vs. Beefburger

Have you ever tried to explain to anyone that a Hamburger doesn't really have ham in it? Yesterday in class I tried to explain to my Egyptian (Muslim practicing) student who speaks VERY LITTLE ENGLISH that a Hamburger is ok for him to eat. He kept saying, "I don't eat pork, I eat Beefburgers. I was trying (VERY UNSUCCESSFULLY) to help him understand that he needed to order a "Hamburger" when he went to restaurants here, and that they only one he would not want would be a "BACON Cheeseburger". This whole conversation involved a lot of drawing on the board and elaborate gestures, much to the amusement of my Hispanic students. (Just imagine your own drawings of cow, pig, buns, bacon, Germany, sesame seeds, the great wall of China, etc.)

Can someone tell me if in Great Britain Hamburgers are called Beefburgers? Because... I was recounting the whole comical ordeal to my mom on the phone last night and she told me that in Belize she ordered a hamburger, and was promptly served a bun with ham on it. Go figure!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

ESL strikes again

When class ends every student bids me farewell with normal greetings such as, "Have a good day" "Have a nice weekend" etc. I usually repond with "You too. Be good and don't get into trouble". After a few students said goodbye to me last Friday, one lady yelled out "No cocaine for you, Mrs. Swan". I was caught between the amusement of her suggestion and concern that the class had a VERY wrong opinion of me. I said, "Yolanda, what do you mean 'no cocaine for me"?

Yolanda: No cocaine for you. Your husband will do the cocaine.

Ok, this is still not good.

Me: Um, why will my husband 'do the cocaine'?

Yolanda: Your husband always do the cocaine. You very lucky.

At that point I realized that she was saying "COOKING".

I reminded her that 'cocaine' was an illegal narcotic and 'cooking' was an action verb. We all went home happy. (I was happy mostly because of my husband who does the 'cocaine' :)

I love James very much. I don't love 18 months very much. (except for the BLESS-ED nursery sent from heaven above! I now love the nursery mamas as much as my anesthesiologist.) I am trying to find the balance between 'pick your battles' and turning him into that little kid at Albertsons that we are oh-so-grateful doesn't belong to us. I am learning that the balance often produces this face on James, as seen above.

I can't cut his hair!!!!

Ben tells me everyday that we need to cut James' hair. "It's touching his collar" "It's too long" "It looks like girl hair" "He's gonna have a mullet" etc. etc. etc. I try to make sure he hears all the comments that EVERYONE else makes about how beautiful his curly hair is. I just don't know. I LOVE his hair and I feel like that once I cut it off, he's going to stop looking like a baby and turn into a "big boy". However, there are definitely moments when it is scraggly (sp?) and hanging over his ears and I wonder if I shoudn't just head off to the barber shop... Here are some photos so you can judge for yourselves.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Only a man...

I came home to find that Ben saved the food that James didn't eat. Ok, great, EXCEPT that generally peaches and vienna sausages in the same baggie = pretty darn disgusting. MMM, yummy...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Is it too much just to want to poop by myself?

I ask myself this question everyday. Is it really too much to go to the bathroom, alone, without someone crying, screaming, banging, whining, jiggling the doorknob, etc. on the other side of the door? (No, its not Ben). Yes, I understand that James does his business right there in the living room-but that really doesn't work out for me. Sometimes James will even come over and lean on us for support as he, well you know, but how do I convey to a 18 month old that while I love him, he needs to LEAVE ME ALONE while I'm in the bathroom. You know, the concept of "luxury" has morphed. Luxury used to mean nice vacation, fancy chocolates, expensive stuff, hot date, sleep til whenever. Now, luxury=getting a shower, no stains on my clothes, freshly vacuumed carpet and PEEING BY MYSELF!

On that same note, James is now wearing size 6 diapers. Yep, size 6. He's 18 months and from what I've read, most little boys don't get serious about potty training until well after their 2nd birthday. Sigh. I searched online and found Pampers in a size 7. What's after that, Depends? I mean, you've seen the pictures, right, he's cute as can be, but he's a giant! His head is still so big that we have a real problem getting a lot of pj tops on and off. The Bishop and his sons are calling him "Smackdown Swan". His size is also presenting an interesting problem regarding toddler behavior, tantrums, etc. He's not this petite little thing that you can swoop up and carry out of sacrament meeting and hold in your arms indefinitely. When he gets mad and is thrashing about, its all I can do to pick him up-- his 40lbs of flailing toddler angst are too much for my arms and back. Ben can wrangle him fairly well-but I can't call him home for James' toddler moments. I know, its not a big deal, especially when you see how stinkin adorable he is in his Hawaiian shirt...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

James is a dancing fool

This is his version of dancing. We don't have any idea where it came from--we only know that when music comes on, this is what he'll be doing:


Friday, September 28, 2007


I don't know that I've told many people that I'm teaching an ESL class at the local community college. It's just 8 hours a week, so while James happily terrorizes our 2 year old twin friends and their mom, I'm teaching again. Its been really interesting- and quite good for me to have to put on clothes at least twice weekly.

The overwhelming majority of my students are from Mexico-and then I have one from Egypt, one from Yemen, and one from China (about 30 total). I'm soooo glad for the 3 non-spanish speakers because I don't want the others trying to speak Spanish/trying to make me speak spanish. The age range of the students is from 17-69-but they all get along splendidly. They are really funny-and even though I HATE getting up and out of the house before 8am, I find myself cracking up at their comments (and questions) every time we meet.

A little while ago, the man from Egypt said to me: Why are you not black? I thought that maybe I had misunderstood him (which happens FREQUENTLY in an ESL classroom). I asked him to repeat his question and then explain it. He said, "You are from Texas, Texas is in the south, people in the south are black, why are you not black? (Seriously, it was just like the transitive property gone awry!) I laughed and had a little culture, geography, and social lesson right then and there.

Last week I was teaching "future tense" (I am going to eat, you are going to leave, they are going to play...) And we went on a 'class trip' to Miami. Each person had to talk about what they were "going to bring" "going to see" "going to buy" etc. One lady stood up and said, "I'm going to bring sex". I was startled and said, quite loudly, "What?" She repeated, "I'm going to bring sex". I was blushing, she was flustered and half the class was roaring. Suddenly she got this "OH MY GOSH" look on her face and started to point to her feet. "Sex, Mrs. Swan, Sex!" I finally understood and said above the laughter "SOCKS!!!! You're going to bring SOCKS!!!" I don't think we could go on for about 5 minutes. Later another guy stood up and said "I'm going to buy a new butt." Huh? He repeated and we went through this for a while (with the whole 'sex' misunderstanding fresh on our minds...) and then he drew a BOAT on the whiteboard. Oh, what a day.

Today we were doing role plays of going to the Dr's office. I encouraged them to make their mini-dramas as interesting as possible so that we wouldn't all be bored to tears. The 69 year old lady was playing a patient and when the "nurse" asked her to step onto the scale, she took a deep breath and then crossed herself (as if praying). Oh my gosh, it was the funniest thing I have seen forever!!!!! Then another group got up and when the 'patient' was diagnosed with pregnancy she said "This cannot be, I am a virgin, Doctor, its a miracle..." Seriously, I don't know where they come up with this stuff, but they are funny!!!

All in all, its a great experience and its stretching my brain to teach English instead of Spanish.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Just a couple of random pics

Sleeping with Tigger, Lovey and Cookie Monster in the pack n play.

Helping Granny sew.

These last two pics were intended to show that his favorite things are still the remote control and a beverage. However, now that I look at them I guess the point is to say that James doesn't look like his little baby pics at all!!!! He has changed sooo much!

Here are a couple of photos from the beach at Surfside. It was a very gray day.
He face planted on the beach. Notice the seashell right above his eye.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Um, can we say TODDLER?

When I looked at James today, I realized that he is full on toddler. What else could explain the busted lip, cheesy expressions, obsession with garbage, pj top, diaper, light up shoes, and harness? (He insisted on the shoes and harness though we are not successful with either of those in public. As a matter of fact, I bought the harness when I would be flying with him alone, and everytime I put it on him, he just plopped himself down on the airport floor and refused to go anywhere...).

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Let him eat cake!

I made cupcakes for the YW today and since he had been politely pointing at them and saying "bite" all day, I gave in and let him have a half. I think its the first time he's had cake. (He wouldn't eat his birthday cake...).
James came up to me chewing a piece of cardboard. I looked at him harshly, said "Yucky" and fished it out. Apparently is was a piece of this book:

The irony is not lost on me :)

Silly boy.
What do these things have in common?

Yep, they can all fit inside a VCR that already has a tape inside.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

My cute boys!

Here are Ben and James enjoying SpongeBob SquarePants. This seems to be the only TV program that James will pay attention to--that and every commercial :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I just finished this blanket for James. I started it when he was in utero. Oh well, I finished, right?