Friday, May 30, 2008

Flashback Friday: Ode to Brothers

Whew! Flashback Friday is back with a vengeance! Took me long enough, didn't it? And this is a particularly special FF for me. My big brother is getting married today! He's my most special sibling because he's the only one that I grew up with. I am the youngest of 5 and he is the only one within a decade of me. In fact, he's only 16 months older. So everyone give it up for Garrett, and his lovely new wife Heather.

August 1983. I'm 2 weeks old.

December 1983. Classic. 80s. Pose.

March 2007. He really isn't that big and scary. OK, well maybe he isn't that scary. Big, he definitely is.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Music Snobs Anonymous: Junior Edition

I guess you can't be a music snob without imposing your beliefs on your children. There's no easy way to say this, so I'll just blurt it out: I hate most "kid" music. It's annoying and gets stuck in my head and is usually more worthless than worthwhile. That said, I do try to incorporate music into Zoe's day. I usually stick to basic songs - "Do as I'm Doing," "The Itsy Bitsy Spider," and various other tunes that we make up throughout the day. When it comes to listening to music for pleasure, we expect Zoe to listen to whatever we like. Whether I have the stereo blasting while fixing dinner or on a road trip, we don't pander.

Which is just one more reason to love the show Yo Gabba Gabba. In case you missed it, Friday's episode featured The Shins on the Super Music Friends Show.

James and I love The Shins and have been meaning to feature them on MSA for some time now. I love that there is a kids show out there that isn't afraid to use good music. Sure, the lyrics are simple, but it's better than anything I've ever heard on Dora, Barney, Backyardigans, or any other show of that nature. What would you expect from a show created by members of the Aquabats?

In other Jr. Snob related business, I just wanted to show you all the coolest set of CD's ever. This company - Rockabye Baby - takes rock music and turns it into lullabies. Now, to be honest, most of this music I would just play outright for my kids, but I love this concept. They have country CD's as well, but I'm not so much into that genre, although one volume is all older music- Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylen Jennings, etc - and I totally dig that.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Sights and Smells of Payson

On Sunday we went for a little walk around our neighborhood. I was a bit too full from dinner to attempt the bikes. Here is a little tour of our surrounding area.

First we have the Payson cold storage. Who needs a refrigerator when this is a 5-minute walk away?

Then we go around the corner and there is this lovely view.

Something smells a little off, though. Wait, what does that sign in the left corner of the picture say? Let's get a closer look.

Here's a random belly shot (have I mentioned that I just ate a REALLY big dinner? And I've recently decided not to wear horizontal stripes EVER!)

Then we round another corner and come across the canal. I spy with my little eye.....

Then it's back through some houses.

Whew! Gotta take a water break.

A quick stop at the park.

And we're home again.

Have we mentioned that we LOVE it here?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

You're Invited!

If you're having problems with the picture, here's the info: Gillice Family BBQ, Saturday May 24 at 5:00 pm, contact us (or leave a comment) if you need the address. We're keeping things pretty casual and simple - just hot dogs, chips and drinks. Hope to see you all there! Also, please feel free to spread the word. I am aware that not everyone reads our blog (but they should!).

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Driving Ms. Zoe

We have a fun new family activity that is turning into quite the tradition. Riding bikes on Sunday evening. We got a little bike trailer for James to haul Zoe in and our amazingly generous friends the Wrights gave me a bike when we moved. So we are all set for family fun out of doors. Zoe absolutely loves it and begs to "ride da bikes" each time she sees them (which is every time she looks or goes outside). She also knows which bike is Mommy's, Daddy's, and Zoe's. To look at her in the trailer you'd think she hated it and only tolerated it to appease us. But the second we stop riding - at an intersection or when we've reached our destination - we hear her sweet voice telling us to "ride da bike!" When we are home and done for the evening her little world comes crashing down on her and she loses it as we put everything away for the night.

Tonight we drove to our neighborhood nature preserve, complete with a small playground. It is finally starting to look decent as the trees are filling in and the river is flowing at a pretty good clip. We had a great time together.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


...if you have a house, then you probably have these as well. Our weekends have been filled with small, fun home improvement activities ever since we moved in. Here a are a few photos of what we have been up to.

(This is James by the way. I had noticed that we haven't had any pictures on here for a while. Hopefully this will get us back on track.)

Just this morning I installed this beautiful hand towel rack in our downstairs bathroom. It already had a towel rack but we decided to move the old one upstairs so that our upstairs bathroom would have two matching towel racks.


This is our storage under the stairs. A few weeks ago, I put up those white shelves at the back of the closet. We still need to get some storage bins for all of that loose stuff but at least it is up, out of the way, and easy to get to. The wooden shelves on the right side were here when we moved in. They hold our DVDs and CDs nicely.


On the floor of that storage closet is a secret door (shhhh!) that leads down to our crawlspace.

I put some shelves and a cardboard floor down there. This will now be our food, water and whatever else storage. It's pretty dang sweet down there. It's also a great place to put Zoe when she has one of her "moods". You can barely hear her screams!

We thought it would be nice to have a shelf, coat rack and key hooks right by our front door. So here they are!


This is the beginnings of our excuse for a garden. Desta has been working on this during the day. We are by no means "gardeners" (yet) but there's no reason we can't become such, right?


This is probably the most work intensive project we have done. This corner of our back yard was filled with wood chips and was pretty useless, wasted space. So we dug them all out, as well as all of the rocks that were underneath them. The old owners had left a stack of landscaping blocks, so we leveled the ground and made good use of them. The blocks did not cover the entire area so we filled the rest in with the rocks we dug up. Doesn't look to shabby. We now have a permanent home for our grill.


This is out latest project that we haven't started yet. We finally got the bench seat for our table that we have wanted ever since we bought the table over 3 years ago. You can't really tell in the picture but the bench is unfinished. We are going to finish it to match the rest of the set. Wish us luck.


So, that's what we've been up to. What fun projects have you guys been working on lately?

Friday, May 16, 2008


Because several people have asked, James Owen Gillice III will be known as "Owen"...thus avoiding confusion, of course.

"Zoe and Owen" has a certain ring to it, no?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

It's A . . .


That's right, everyone. For anyone who guessed we were having a mini-James (although Zoe could also be considered a mini-James in several ways) you were right! We had the ultrasound this morning and James Owen III is officially on his way with an ETA of October 3. We just can't wait for him. I guess I'll have to take down the bright pink curtains in Zoe's room. Oh well, more sewing projects for me!

James Owen Gillice III

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Two Reasons to Head to Payson

Reason #1:
Friday, May 16th at 7:00 pm. Girl's Night Out! Sorry boys, this one's for the ladies. It will be a Body Shop party so we'll get to try out their fun products. And I know, I'm usually not into hosting those "come and buy stuff" parties, so please know that I'm not trying to get you to spend money, I just want to see everyone. Please come! (And let me know if you are coming so I can get a rough headcount!)

Reason #2
Saturday, May 24th at 5:00. We're firing up the grill. We've pretty much got the house the way we want it so that means we want you all to come over and hang out with us. Hopefully the weather will cooperate. We'll be having hotdogs, drinks and chips. Drop us a line ( and we'll send you our address and directions.

So come to one, or both. Just come and see us! Come on, people, I'm begging!

While I'm on here I'd like to wish all my fellow moms out there a Happy Mother's Day. I plan on spending my afternoon doing absolutely nothing and then topping it off by watching 3 hours of Survivor. Isn't life grand?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Just One of THOSE Days

I guess this story would begin with some friends visiting from Sweden. We decided to get together in Provo, where they were staying with family, to have a nice dinner. "Having a nice dinner" for me meant I had to start cooking around 3:00 so I could be in the car around 4:30 to get gas, pick James up from work and then meet our friends in South Provo. All was going fairly well and we were only mildly behind schedule when Zoe started getting restless in her carseat. She had been in it for a while and despite our assurances that we were almost there, she would not relax. About a block away from our destination, Mount Zoe blew her top, spewing forth it's contents (which of late included strawberry milk, toast, cottage cheese, and a vast amount of Goldfish crackers).

What great timing she has. I ran our contribution to dinner into the house and got some plastic bags and paper towels in return. We cleaned Zoe up as best as we could by removing every article of clothing (in the rain, poor kid) and wiping her face off, then proceeded to enjoy our dinner as best as we could. Fortunately for us, our friends were staying with family that happened to live about 1 block from our good friends the Namanny's. After dinner we carted our pukey kid -and car- there and did a surface clean on the carseat and borrowed a towel so Zoe didn't have to sit in her own filth. At home she went straight into the bath and then I literally hosed down her clothing and carseat before throwing everything in the washing machine. I am so thankful we bought a hose last week! At one point in our evening, I actually thought of googling "the best way to clean vomit off a carseat". It made me feel like a mom.

The next day brought no relief. Zoe only puked the one time (I think she was car sick) but I still had the aftermath to deal with. Scrubbing the carseat and straps, spraying anything that still remotely smelled putrid, etc. Before I knew it, it was time to fix dinner again. No biggie, right?

Within about 20 minutes I had to juggle 2 phone calls (a record since we moved), making lasagna, a toddler begging for toast, convincing said toddler to have yogurt while the toast was cooking, said toddler flinging said yogurt onto walls and windows, and melting a plastic cutting board onto a burner. Then I looked at the clock and realized James wouldn't be home for nearly an hour. Then I gritted my teeth and pressed on.

As soon as Zoe was finished eating/making a yogurt mural on her tray, I kicked her outside. After I was finished salvaging dinner, ridding our house of smoke, and discarding the ruins of our cutting board, I joined her outside. There I found that she had transferred a good amount of soil from one of our flower boxes to her doll stroller and also buried her Minnie Mouse PLUSH doll in the flower box itself. And she had a poopy diaper. Then I heard James drive up and I shoved the whole happy mess onto him. It kinda brings a whole new meaning to the song "I'm So Glad When Daddy Comes Home."

There is only one more incident to round out these two days. Zoe was finally in bed, the kitchen was clean and James and I were sitting down to watch Survivor. With ice cream no less. As I finished my ice cream and went to set the bowl down, I noticed that I had a few ice cream drippings on the back of my hand. Being who I am, I licked it off, only to instantly realize that it wasn't ice cream but dish soap. The super-concentrated, foamy kind that in very dim light looks like ice cream dippings but, unfortunately for my taste buds, still tastes like dish soap. I gagged, ran to the bathroom and did my best to dispel the awful taste from my mouth. I have no words to describe the crappiness that has been my life for the past two days. Yet at the same time, my bad luck/timing has been so concentrated that it is actually laughable. So here I am, yukking it up, hoping you all will join with me.

Monday, May 5, 2008

I Bought a Shovel - and Other Exciting Stories

What can I say? Our lives have been utterly boring lately. But in a way that makes me feel completely fulfilled and content. It's nice to feel settled and have some downtime before any Summer chaos breaks out, which is inevitably inevitable. The only happenings that are slightly noteworthy are our recent yard work. The previous owners did a great job with the landscaping, but we are tweaking (and shoveling and raking) things to fit our needs. Plus I finally bought some gardening gear so I am starting on that project this week. Today was demolition - taking out the old stuff. Then I will get to experience nourishing life outside my body. Wish me luck! I'm starting with actual plants (as opposed to seeds) so I might have half a chance of seeing fruits (well, actually vegetables and herbs) of my labors.

Other exciting acquirements include a patio set, a hose, and a weed whacker. Like I said, boring, but in a way that makes me happy.

Ok, so I guess there's one un-boring thing we've been up to - I got my mother's day present a week early and have been enjoying the heck out it. What might it be? Mario Kart, of course. What every busy mom needs. It is seriously tons of fun. As another early mother's day present, Zoe has developed the habit of entertaining herself for anywhere between 30 minutes to over an hour in the mornings. It makes getting ready so much easier. She still needs most of my attention in the afternoon so I am trying to shift my day around so I can maximize AM productivity. Gee, how did I get back to boring stuff? Anyway, here are some of Zoe's methods of keeping busy all by herself. She actually isn't asleep in the second one, sometimes she just likes to play with her toys while laying on the floor.