Thursday, June 30, 2011



Jon and I were quickly dropping off a Redbox at 7-11 with the kids in the backseat when a guy pulled up next to us.

"Hey, you guys want some designer perfume and cologne?" he asked.

Since neither Jon nor I had ever purchased either of those items ever, we decided it was not a necessary 7-11 parking lot expenditure.

"No, that's not really our thing. Thanks," Jon commented while getting in the car.

"What about some samples?" he continued.

"Really," Jon countered, "we're good, thanks." He then shut the door of the car.

The guy threw his car in reverse and hit the gas while shouting, "What a douche!" and driving off.

I froze for a minute, then tried to act casual, hoping my children hadn't been paying too much attention.

It only took about 10 second before Scarlet asked, "Dad, are you really a juice?"

"A what?"

"A juice."

Rhode then chimed in, "Dad's a juice, dad's a juice!" as we sped down the road. The catchy tune later turned into all of the kinds of juice their dad really was. "Dad's an orange juice, dad's an apple juice!" and so on.

The song got old but it was SO MUCH better than the alternative.


"Your daughter had a rough time in Singing time today," my friend shared. (She recently got called to Primary, I LOVE having a spy in there!)

"She did?! She loves singing time?"

"Yeah, it got pretty heated there for a minute. She was arguing with Sis. Hilton and was almost in tears!"


About what?

Well, poor Sis. Hilton requested all of the primary children stand up and sing "If You're Happy and You Know It." My know-it-all sunbeam insisted that was definitely not a primary song and not only would she not be singing it but nobody else should be either. That was a song that was not allowed in church.


We had a good chat about who was in charge of Singing time and who was definitely NOT EVER in charge of singing time.


Scarlet has decided to refer to me as "mother". Everything she requests of me is now said in a sickly sweet, oozing with politeness tone, "Mother, can you please help me reach that snack?"

It mostly makes me laugh but when she does it in public I definitely get some strange looks. As her own father put it, "Now instead of just sounding bossy, she sounds really pretentious." If she upgrades daddy to "father", we might need to intervene... for her sake.


We got to spend Memorial day weekend up at a friend's cabin in Kolob with two other families. I was going to do a whole blog post on the weekend but I have yet to procure any pictures from the weekend and with my pregnant brain I can't actually remember anything we did. I am pretty sure we had fun...

But my kids now frequently ask if we can go back to Uncle Alan's cabin. Yeah, they don't have an Uncle Alan, their friends Blaze and Bennett do. They also don't have an Aunt Nini or a Grandma Nona or a Papa (that lives in Las Vegas). I am starting to think we need to attend less family gatherings at the Stouts. We have plenty of our own extended family to keep track of (I still don't know what my kids should call my cousins kids) and my kids are starting to get very confused.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dance Recital #2

Oh dance, such a large part of my life. It is almost too much trying to start the whole dance experience over again with Scarlet. I am afraid of studios, knowing too much about the whole process and being destined to be a horribly annoying parent with too many unwanted opinions about everything. The rec center seemed a safe alternative this year, my expectations would be low along with the price (it is easier to complain less when the price is right).

It turned out pretty well. Scarlet attended Miss Lori's class once a week for the entire school year. For their final semester, the classes ordered costumes and had their final recital at an outdoor theater so it felt a little more real. They took class pictures in their frilly pink outfits and we prepared for the final day.

I was definitely underwhelmed with Scarlet's dance. I love watching dance and I think my daughter is so fantastic I could watch her do just about anything and even I was a tad bit bored by the choreography. But, I just stacked that one under 'things I am being too picky about' and moved on.

There was also a little concern on my part as to how Scarlet was going to perform. She had rough go at the winter recital and had never actually tried a full on stage before. But, pre-show she didn't seem nervous. I was feeling pretty good about things after she hammed up her dance recital photo shoot.

Rhode was really feeling left out during most of the afternoon. Scarlet got to wear curlers, makeup, hairbows... Rhode is still convinced boys get the short end of the stick when it comes to allowed accessories. He really tried to get me to let him go dressed like this.

He was vetoed without too much drama though.

Sadly, the final recital was my last straw. There is only so much bad dance one person can stand. It was long and then somehow longer. I found myself dozing off... at my daughters dance recital! So not like me. Even pregnant me.

But anyway, Scarlet performed like a pro. No fear, eyes on the teacher, and even got a move or two going in the right direction.

It has been a great year for Scarlet. She has come into her own, discovered how brave she really is, and just goes after things. It has been so fun to watch.

But, needless to say, I am officially stepping away from rec center dance. We will be trying out a few studios this summer and then picking one for the fall. Let the tongue biting and comment swallowing begin!

And the final performances:

The Bloomin' Desert

With our recently landscaped front yard and our brand new garden beds, not to mention our decaying pile of compost growing ever ready in the back yard, we decided it was time to get a little Nielsen gardening action going on.

We were doubtful of any success. It is really hot here. Like really. But, what the heck?

Our first season of plants included two cherry tomato plants, two pear tomato plants, & zucchini, corn, cantaloupe, and cilantro seeds. Our other bed was filled with strawberry plants and some basil.

My only true goal of the garden was that my children would be able to go outside, pick something straight off the branch and munch it down. It just seemed like something that would be more readily denied them in our inhospitable surroundings.

We were incredibly proud of our first little sproutlings.

And then we just kept watering it. We traveled here and there, watered some more, and before we knew it...
things actually grew! The above picture was taken a few weeks ago when we picked our first home grown produce.
So awesome.

And I am not even that big of a zucchini fan.

And then the tomato plants decided the cages we purchased for them were ridiculously too small.

We are right in the middle of some serious tomato love. The kids go out a pick a cereal bowl worth every day. We stick them in the fridge and enjoy them for a snack or a dinner once they are cool and crisp.

We have even enjoyed a handful or two from our strawberry plants.

At our last play date, one of our friends finally noticed the crop, dashed over to the strawberries, grabbed one and shoved it in his mouth. My children were horrified. His mom apologized profusely, assuming my kids were upset because he had taken something of theres. Luckily, turns out my kids aren't that selfish, they are just garden snobs.

"It was still pink mom!" they both wailed to me. "It wasn't even ready yet. He didn't even eat it when it was really good!"

The plants have been so overwhelmingly large, the cilantro had no chance of survival. It was overshadowed almost immediately so we only got about one good serving of that. Our corn is tall and has a few ears on it but we are all a little doubtful anything edible will come from it. But we have picked about 8 zucchinis and there is an acorn squash just about ready to go (didn't plant those by the way, that is a compost pop up). We also have a full grown tomato growing out of the strawberries randomly. It kind of looks like the peach from James and the Giant Peach. One big tomato on a plant that keeps tilting slowly over from the weight of the thing.

Maybe Las Vegas isn't THAT bad.