Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Way You Do the Things you Do (at 18 months)

Happy 18 months Holden!

Tomorrow makes it official: you are One-and-a-half. Here are some of the highlights of your current life.

Your Love Of...
Well, Dogs are easily your favorite animal - you can say 'woof woof' also like to say 'doodle-doodle-do' when we ask you what a rooster says. You are also good at picking out giraffes.

You L-O-V-E books. We go to the library at least once a week for Book Baby, and you love to be read to. Especially, on the potty
  • From the Library: Sheep Out to Eat, The Turnip Tale, I Like Trains
  • From Your Collection: A is for Ark, Your Counting Book
  • From My Collection:Stephen Colbert's "I Am America and So Can You," Kate Spade's "Manners" & "Style" and Andy Warhols "Flowers, Flowers, Flowers." (You are such a young little hipster)
You love spending time with your cousins -- and often favor your Aunt Cassandra, Mama Suite AND Grandma to me. I try to not let it upset me.
You love ALL music. It's funny when I change it to KRCL and Reggae is playing... you dig the rasta.

Picking the petals off of roses... oddly enough you also like picking tomatoes that aren't ripe and our peppers from the salsa garden that are few and far between. The lettuce has also been a little blitzed under your tutelage.

You love pulling out the beets and carrying them in a bunch to the kitchen. I find this to be seven varieties of adorableness.


We just recently moved to one nap a day (yes, Mommy is part of this process.). It's one less bed-time snuggle we get during the day, but we seem to make up cuddle time with book reading.

You've been sleeping in your own bed for a while now (a twin mattress on the floor of the nursery... so much for all the co-sleeping non-believers who said "You'll never get that kid out of your bed!") Though I'll often join you in your room for an extra hour or two of shut eye in the mornings since you enjoy a cup of milk to top-off the morning.

Now you're also doing this thing where you wake up and don't even come into our room to get into bed with us. You just walk into the kitchen and stand by the fridge until we join you either making an odd whinning-fake-crying noise or yessling "Maaaam. Maaam." (Daddy says we should just start putting milk-on-ice in your room.)

That Whole EC/Potty Thing
You are doing awesome with your Potty Learning. I can't believe we've been at it for a year now. Just giving you 'pottytunities.' Your mornings are pretty much clockwork. There's still plenty of 'misses' but it's been so low key, and it just seems a part of the communication process we have.
You are really good at telling us when you're wet, AND you've even made it to the potty by yourself when you're having diaper free time. I don't think it will be long before we make the full transition out of diapers and training pants. This "experiment" has been a nice gentle-parenting technique for us to try. I feel like it gives us a love of face-to-face time; not to mention their are days it has been one comedy or errors after another.

Signing Time with... Just Us
You can 'sign' the following words: please, finished, milk, more, shoes (looks like milk) and occasionally you'll throw out a 'potty' and 'bird' or 'cat.' We haven't been real committed to the signing thing, but the please and finished signals have been exceptionally helpful.

Things You're Working Out

You try to do the actions to Itsy-Bitsy (Eensy-Weensy?) Spider.

You throw things... a lot of things (especially food -- I am trying to figure out what to do with about this). You think EVERYTHING IS A BASEBALL....I blame your father.

You try to sing Darth Vader's March from Star Wars with your cousins: Duh-duh-duh duh-da-dun, duh-da-dun.

You like sprinklers but the randomness of slash-pads (like at Gateway) kind of doesn't thrill you at all.

Our Little Foodie
Food-wise you're still a pretty good eater though outside of dairy and cheese you're not really into eating animal: meat, chicken, fish, eggs -- you really don't like it (I am reading this as a reverence for creation and the environmental concerns associated with mass consumption of animals... but that could be my own bias.)

Your favorite food right now is watermelon. You have developed an aversion for all things citrus - which is odd since you used to eat a bucket of tangelos/cutie oranges a week.

You like to bite cherry tomatoes and chocolate chips and then spit them out as soon as they're in your mouth.

You like to help me cook. As soon as I start baking or cooking anything you'll go into the dining room and try and push a chair into the kitchen to help me. I know it's just going to keep getting easier for you to help me. I really enjoy this time together. I hope you continue to love to cook with me - it is something that will help you and your family throughout your life.

Just Some Other Stuff
I think you're pretty good at following directions.

You think if we put on shoes it means you get to go outside (which is usually true).

It's easiest to dress you in front of our 9 x 4 foot mirror. You like to check yourself out from all angles after.

You're a climber.

You make the sound when the garage door comes up - you love to wave to people in trucks.

Your blonder than blond, and have eyes that are bluer than blue, and we love you Mr Holden. Thanks for joining our team.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Just wanted to throw out there that tonight I made stuffed peppers for dinner and the Chile sauce included an Anaheim chili from our garden.

We also pulled beets from the garden, roasted the roots and cooked the beet greens like Swiss chard. I felt kind of cool....

And just to keep the yin in this yang, etc etc...

I ought to confess I have managed to gain back a bit of the weight I lost earlier this year. I blame summer's obligatory home made ice cream; and I keep making that damn keylime pie (I keep trying to perfect a graham cracker crust from scratch), oh and I continue my love affair with chocolate chip cookies (there's probably a few other things I ought to mention too.)

You'd think I'd be looking 'fit' as I'm training for a marathon and all, but apparently I'm not at the point where I get to eat whatever I want... I feel like that guy from Biggest Loser that gained two pounds training for the marathon last season. Jillian would be going all psychoanalysis on me trying to figure out what happened to make me hold onto this resentment (aka fat cells), and such like...

Maybe I can blame it on my father. :)

Last word - Speaking of my father...

Maybe I shared this before, but the other day my Dad told me he got online to look at my blog and thought 'Why would anyone be interested in this?'

That's a question you'll have to answer for yourself.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

THIS body did WHAT?!?!?

Ran 13 miles.

No seriously, I did...last weekend. In just under 2 and half hours: I recognize the timing is not something to brag about). Still, it's the longest I've ever plodded (um, did you see my facebook status?)

I've mentioned it to a few of you, but I might as well throw it out there for the universe to help me actualize my goal:

St. George Marathon in October 2010

It's been on the radar for a while now, but I haven't really wanted to go public with it because last time I signed up for this race I ended up with a seriously painful bone spur in my heel, cortisone shots and orthotics... and needless to say, I dropped out of the race before I even got close to a starting line.

So this time we are working a different route: running barefoot. (Or nearly barefoot).

My training has been pretty much exclusively barefoot and Vibrams (you know those silly 'toe shoes' that are supposed to mimic the feeling of barefoot without having to be overly apprehensive about glass shards. You can still feel the glass shards, pebbles, etc... they just don't leave your feet bloody. Nice trade off.)

Anyway, observations from Saturday morning's run:
  • Gatorade IS thirst aid (and seriously, I am not normally a fan 'performance enhancing energy/sports crap' but at mile 6 it gave me a new jolt of energy)
  • 13 miles is A LOT different for my body than 10
  • I do run faster with music
  • My feet really started getting tired at mile 10... I was yearning for soft dewy grass instead of rock chip -- yowsers!
  • There was a point (after mile 10 and I started heel striking from lazy form) I thought 'hmmm, padded shoes would be nice.'
And while I'm in the list making mode, some goals for the marathon:
  • Finish
  • Enjoy myself (as much as is possible whilst running 26.2 miles)
  • Sub 5 hr (this may take more than one marathon to do, but I'm optimistic)
Oh, and those of you still wondering or skeptical about my love affair with barefoot running (my vibrams), NPR had a great story earlier this week.

For me, yes I love the freedom of barefoot running; but more than anything it's about form for me. I have wretched running form in shoes - heel striking, running heavy, bad posture... running in the Vibrams or barefoot changes that. As soon as I get lazy in my foot falls, my heel will let me know immediately if I'm running heavy. :)

Some people just run injury free with good form... I get by with a little help from my friends (aka my feet.) And I'll do it all again on Saturday!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Happy Anniversary In-Loves

My Grandma used to call her daughters-in-law her 'daughters-in-love.' I have adopted a similar philosophy with my in-laws...In-Loves I mean.

I know it's kind of cache to complain about your in-laws and all, but mine are pretty incredible.

Stevie & Dave at our Wedding Reception
(doesn't my mother-in-love have a striking resemblance to Princess Di?)

First of all, you have to know they're patient because the put up with me (e.g. crazy SkyWest work addiction, transferred to crazy Bridezilla obsessions, to hypno-birthing and pregnancy madness, not to mention the breastmilk & pumping insanity... then the overall attachment parenting craze complete with made from scratch organic baby food, infant pottying, cloth diapering and living green...and now we're at barefoot running and organic gardening.)

You see what I'm getting at? The patience of Job. (From the Bible, not so much that character from Arrested Development... though he is a laugh a minute.)

They're awesome grandparents to Holden.

They tend for us all the time; which is such a blessing because pretty much I only leave Holden alone with family.

They are two of the most generous people in the world.

They're fun.

They're funny.

They LOVE attention!**

They have treated me as if I were their own form the beginning.

And they raised a pretty dang incredible son.

I am fortunate to be a part of their family, and to be a recipient of their love and generosity first hand.

Today, they celebrate 30 years of wedded bliss. Here's to time and eternity.

Happy Anniversary you two.

**Just kidding, they don't love attention. They're super humble people... so being featured on a blog may make them a little uneasy.... I probably should've just written them a note and sent flowers.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pita You Can Eat-ah.

I'm in a recipe club. (I know, so domestic of me - right?)

It's a standing meeting. One particular Thursday each month is blocked off of my schedule for a GNO with delicious treats and even better company.

The host picks the theme.
We each bring something.
Then we're supposed to post it on the intranet.
(We have a blog... yeah, so 21st century.)

For June's soiree I made Hummus and Pita (the carrots are not grown from my garden. Sorry, I'm not that impressive.)

I'm excited to make the pita bread with Holden when he gets a little older (currently I make the dough before I go to bed, and cook the dough during his nap time the next day.)

But the flatbread 'puffs up' in the oven in less than 2 minutes; so it's like making German Puff Pancakes on steroids (and with out all the butter, sugar and eggs.)

You can find the recipes at FAT THURSDAYS.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A pretty Great Day (yesterday) -OR- Before i forget Part 2

So I got so carried away talking about the stupid tooth brushing (how can I think that is interesting for anyone?), that I failed to mention the other parts of Tuesday that made it seem extraordinary in a spectacularly ordinary day. (This is not a picture of Tuesday, it's just an example of Holden and his 'friends." It was his first time meeting Oliver, but they bonded pretty quick).

Holding hands with Oliver McBride at Blue Lemon downtown

So again, for Holden... these things I just don't want to take for granted.
  • How you waited for the 13-month old Athena (who we had never met) to walk up the sidewalk, and then proceeded to smile, wave and then give her a hug (thankfully, she did not think you were attacking her)
  • How at Book Baby you decided the 3 speckled frogs you had brought from last night's bath time were a gracious offer for Athena and proceeded to take them over to her one by one. (She played with the yellow one for nearly the entire time)
  • How you tried to share the big green frog with the kid who wasn't sure what to make of you... (I knew your heart was pure)
  • How you danced and moved and seemed near ecstasy when the bubbles from the machine came on at the end of story time. (You were much braver this time, got a good spot and held your ground so you could actually enjoy them this time.)
I can't believe you'll be 18 months in just a couple of weeks...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Before I forget

Before I forget to tell you Holden, you were a delight today:

We went to Book Baby at the library (basically story time for the diaper crowd,) and I never want to forget how you acted. Not because it was anything over the top (amazing or the opposite), but because it was filled with simple little moments of joy that I don't ever want to take for granted.

Take, for example, this morning before we left the house. I had an Alice Cullen moment, foreseeing another power struggle about brushing your teeth. Sure, I get it that they're all going to fall out anyway; but coming from someone who had WAAAAY too many baby-teeth cavities & fillings as a youngster, you're better off just taking care of the ones you have... Besides, now is the time to form habits.

So we got you dressed (soft star shoes, a pair of khakish shorts and a light blue and white striped golf shirt that makes your eyes look like they've been photo-shopped into blueness.) Have I mentioned you are much more easily persuaded into the task (of dressing) if we do it in front of the nine foot tall mirror in our living room?

Your sun-bleached curly blond locks were like a halo around your cherubic toddler face. (I'm having you grow surfer hair for the summer.) You dressed in excitment; as if you know that shoes on means ADVENTURE!

Though yu moaned and fitted a bit about your teeth, and so I explained that I was happy and excited to go to Baby Book, but we're not going until you brush your teeth.

You countered a little bit more (this time taking said tooth brush from me and then throwing onto the floor next to the pile of Baby Einstein books you were perusing.

"Well, I'm almost ready; but wecan't go until you brush your teeth. It's going to be really sad if we don't get to go because you won't brush your teeth."

I wandered back into the hall -- gathering a few things for the diaper bag and threw on some lipstick. I opened our front door, leaving only the stormdoor to stand between you and freedom, and then made one last attempt.

You were on the floor, perfectly content... reading. (Maybe you did get some of my genes?)

"I'm ready to go," I began. "We just need to brush teeth, and then we can go."

I picked up the toothbrush from the floor (10 second rule, give or take 8 minutes) and held it towards your mouth expecting a reaction.

What I got, was certainly not what I expected.

You opened your mouth, let me brush your teeth. Said "ahhhhhhhh" a few times. I got to scrub the fronts and backs (the pediatrician says with or without toothpaste is fine at this point. As long as we're fluoride free.) I was so proud of you.

"Good choice!" I said, and the commendations would not cease. And then we were out the door.

How is it that something as small and insignificant as my child letting me brush their teeth, could feel like such an accomplishment?

(I think that's enough for today.. I'll post part two tomorrow).

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mary Mary Quite Contrary, How Does YOUR Garden Grow?

Perhaps I've mentioned Danny's story about when we were first engaged and he told himself (silly man) that he was getting the whole package if only he could wean me from my love of $500 designer hand bags? So I'm pretty much over the Burberry, but I've traded out passions for organic seeds and garden soil. (I am sooooo good at spending money, if only I could get paid to do it!)

So yes, we've been working on making our gardens grow here at the Mangum-Suite-Mangum household. And I will be the first to admit, I cannot believe it is actually working!

A few weeks ago, I took the following pictures:

Our tomato plants have more than doubled in size and are even bigger today!

The lavender garden is working out splendidly.
I shall have my own collection to use for fancy spa cookies!

Here's a closeup Martha Stewart style.

Beet Row.
And please notice the mint in our lawn. I refuse to let Danny 'treat' it;
because I love how it smells when he mows the lawn, it's the one part of our lawn that stays green through the entire summer AND it's a great to have on hand for my spa cookies. :)

Do you know what I love about growing your own lettuce?

When you eat it, it actually tastes like (wait for it....)

I know I shouldn't be surprised, but I just couldn't get over the fact that I actually grew something that was edible (not just wheat grass!)

Here's a closeup you could put some ranch dressing on... actually, it's too good for ranch.

The roses deserve a post all unto themselves... but I will say it's been heavenly cutting fresh flowers for the house. They are not my doing -- credit goes to my Grandma for the success and hardiness of the roses.

My little sister planted strawberries when they were living here. I added to her collection, but only one of my plants took. Like I said, I took these pictures a few weeks ago, so now those little green berries have long since turned to red and been devoured by the birds. Holden and I finally got to taste one today (so generous of the birds to let us indulge). Delicious!

More updates to come!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Goin' for Gold! (Or silver).

A couple of weekends ago, I tweeted (excuse me) about playing in the Utah Summer Games (Volleyball Rec League).

Before I go on, or go off, about what a great time it was, let me start off by confessing the following:
  • I am still intense (even Cassandra got a little frightened by 'assertiveness'...and if you know my sister, that's really sayin' something.)
  • As far as sheer talent is concerned, we should've taken the gold (we also should've been playing in the "OPEN" division. But that's beside the point.)
  • I wish I looked better in 'biker shorts'
  • I 'ROOFED' their Middle Blocker in the Final Game. I did not try to contain my excitment about it.
A few pictures:
Holden flashes my Medal, showcasing that all that glitters in the Summer Games is not Gold. (The team we lost to in the championship -- our ONLY loss, I might add -- we beat handily in pool play 2 sets to nothing the day before... heavy sigh. I am kind of a crappy loser.)

A couple of shots of me and my sisters... literally (Cassandra, the oldest #21 and Celeste 'the middle child' and my junior #8). We're just missing Cicely.

This second one I had to photo-shot crop because the angle made it more apparent than ever that I am the chubbiest of my sisters. Cassandra has the body of a 14 year old, and Celeste has legs from here to South Beach. But I've got a lot of personality....

  • Erin Webb Grayson - Played Highschool ball with Cicely, and then played at BYU and Utah State (Middle). It would be a lie if I didn't mention how fun it is to set this woman.
  • Me (Seetter at UVU and then Indiana Wesleyan University)
  • Natalie Nielsen. My Middle from Skyline (State Champs!) One helluva a nurse and owns a Great Harvest Bread Co
  • Cassandra (My volleyball mentor growing up; played right side and Lebaro).. we have her to thank for putting our team together
  • Celeste (Played at Embry-Riddle, Outside Hitter) little sis, as I've mentioned. Danny said next to Erin, her 'hits hurt the most to dig.' Though he might've used the word 'bump.'
  • Stacey Nielsen G. Outside Hitter from our Skyline Team; Natalie's little sister and one of the funniest people you will ever meet in your life
  • Stacey "Rubby" Reber J. -- Played Jr high and Highschool ball with Cassandra, Me & the Neilsen Sisters. We also played a year together at UVU and then she transferred to BYU for her last two years of college (Outside hitter)
  • Also, not pictured is Melissa Marriott F. (our other middle) who helped up with the Rec League this spring; and Deja... our right side who joined us for day one, but had a wedding on Saturday. I give her our most outstanding all around player. We love you D and are thnking about you!