Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy 11 Months Little bits

I cannot believe there is only one month to go and this kid turns one!
(It's always crazy to me thinking back where we were almost a year ago.)

December and the Holidays always seem to fly by anyway, but a little snapshot of this past month:

It was your first Christmas.
You're standing and balancing - sometimes for even 30 seconds.
You took your first steps this month.
You've weaned from your bottle - seriously, we haven't used one in a couple of weeks (and it has been a super easy transition.)
You play 'so big/squat low' like a champ.
You say 'Mamamama', which is adorable (obviously), but I was trying to teach you to say Dad first (especially for late night wake-up calls!)
You love to knock down building block towers (well, we think you like it. You never laugh after you knock them down... you just kind of give us this look like 'get that outta here!')

You're sleeping better - naps are getting pretty regular (at 11 mos, it's about time eh?) and sometimes even pure bliss...Nighttime bed routine is a sippy cup of mommy's milk, "Goodnight Moon" & "I love you Goodnight," prayers, and then 5 minutes of snuggles and you're out (most of the time - though there are always exceptions... like last night for instance).

You are a blessing, a joy and a wonder in our lives, Holden. Hope you enjoy the New Year and this great big planet... it's a much better place with you here.

Naptime Nostalgia* (forgive the copyright infringement Amy)

Rogers & Hammerstein may love raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, but Little Bits -- let me tell you what one of my favourite things in the entire universe goes something like this and it just happened five minutes ago:

I'm working in the kitchen, you're entertaining yourself; and then decide it's time to blow this popsicle stand and make your way out of said space. You crawl down the hall, moving your bottom with significant and sassy force (showing off your mobility I suppose?).

You're intrepid, and I am not as quick.

"Holden," I call. "Where are you? Mommy can't see you." There are four doors down the hall -- your nursery is the first on the right, a bathroom caddy-corner from your room, and just beyond lies the 'master' bedroom and a guest bedroom (with Daddy's closet) that you love to play in.


And I hear a muffled little squawk from your room, which actually surprises me because if you're going to get into mischief your room is never your first choice for juicy baby antics -- and you're usually very quiet.

But you're not being anything but a million varieties of adorable.

You've got one of your (three) lovies in hand and laying with your stomach and head on your mattress with your legs on the floor...

You look at me inquisitively, show me your lovey as if to say "Mom, is it time?"

And I respond appropriately: "You'd like to take a nap now?" Which make sense because it is almost naptime and you were up an hour earlier today. So I close your drape (ok, I close the sheet hung over a shower curtain rod -- ghetto I know), give you some milk, snuggle up and you're asleep before I even get comfortable.

It's not even 10 am and I feel perfection in the least for this moment.

PS. My friend Amy has this adorable blog, and she calls it Naptime Nostalgia... but they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas - 12 Days and Counting

Christmas Eve - my favorite part of the Christmas season actually. Everything feels warm and cozy - though that could just be the new silk PJs from Victoria's Secret Danny gave me... hope he enjoys his Santa thong (I am obviously kidding).

I just want to wish everyone Merry Christmas and tell you all I have joy in my heart. It's Holden's first Christmas; and though he doesn't really 'get' it, I know he's gets it: unconditional love, relationships... he may not understand why we celebrate Christmas (and I don't mean because of the Christianization of Winter Solstice), but I think he can feel that something is different. At least I hope he can.

Dang that kid looks cute in his new PJs. And I am also excited to give our family their presents tomorrow... I always get way more excited about the ones I make.

Better go track Santa - he was in Connecticut last I checked.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

11th Day of Christmas

Things I am feeling particularly good about -
  • Most of my Christmas cards are out (or at least they will be postmarked out before Christmas) ha!
  • My presents are mostly wrapped (ok I have one more to wrap for Danny's Grandma)
  • We gave a few friends 'green' gifts (one of those green canvas bags with oranges and clementines with a message about how 100 billion bags are thrown away every year, etc). It felt good to have a soapbox in the the season...
  • I made Holden a book for Christmas; and I am really excited for him to open it
  • Most of our presents for family this year are made (that always puts me more in the mood for Christmas)
  • I have really amazing friends
  • The Chipmunks are playing in the background on Kozy 106.5
  • I don't particularly care for Delilah*

*The other day I was listening to her and she said something about cuddling up all cozy-like at the fire place and then said 'You probably don't even have a fireplace. I've got three. I live in an old farm house and..." yada yada yada.. she starts going off about her three fireplaces? What a weirdo. I think I could do better.

Love songs with Delilah -- the other night she was talking about how she was divorced and marriage just didn;t work for her... is that weird to anyone else but me?

Back to the post at hand. I am also feeling good about:
  • How Holden will just cuddle and snuggle up to me for no apparent reason
  • Stoked that he appears to have completely weaned from the bottle (even at nighttime, we just fill a sippy cup with water if he needs something to wet his whistle)... it's been four days and four nights, so I think we're safe?!?!
  • And that he's standing by himself for a few seconds and even took a couple of steps (ok, a step and a half?) today
I am nervous for him to walk... he needs to wait until his first birthday so I can be done pumping. I've mentioned it before, but that's another thing I'm looking forward to... I'm really happy to have 'nursed' Holden this long, but I won;t wish being a dairy cow...

He turns 11 months on January 1st. That is insanity...

Monday, December 21, 2009

What day of Christmas is it? (I've lost track....)

And on top of that, apparently TODAY was winter solstice? I am not even worthy to blog....

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy Winter Solstice All! (9th Day of Christmas)

I love a solstice... don't really know why. But it sounds a heck of a lot cooler than Autumnal Equinox. (Actually Equinox, is a pretty cool word --isn't my CUV an equinox?)

But I still love Solstice. I'm sure if there were a car called Solstice it would be awesome.

So I just wanted to wish you a merry one -- it doesn't look so bleak outside today (although it's not even 2 pm yet.)

Holden's sleeping; Danny's leading singing time in the primary (such a good man)... the house is silent except for the rhythmic hum and dance from the water from the dishwasher. The sun is shining; and I've got chicken noodle soup on the stove with home made noodles drying on the counter top waiting for their big show.

Something about today just feels like perfection.


Wish I knew who to give the art credit to for the photo. But i found it here.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

8th Day of Christmas -- Food Co-Op

Oh hello, how are you today? You are probably not reading blogs today because you are at Costco, with what I can only suppose is the rest of the valley -- eeek!

I almost had to go there and then I remembered that would be absolutely horrible!

Anyway - on the 8th day of Christmas, the universe gave to me:

So here is the list of the take home for today:
-1 lb lean ground beef (what am I going to do with that?!?!?)
-2 lbs chicken thighs
-1 lb pork spare ribs
-2 8oz. top sirloin steaks
-5 bananas
-6 apples
-4 clementines (oh, so cute!)
-1 head romaine lettuce
-1 bunch cauliflower
-3 green peppers
-2 avacados
- 3 lb. bag of yellow onions

PLUS, an artisan loaf of Stone Ground's wheat bread and 16 oz. of black beans.

I know I've talked about it before; but we get loads of food for such a smokin' deal. I kid you not, we only paid $23 for all of that stuff. I dare you to try and get that much food anywhere else! You'd have to coupon clip, visit 10 different stores or even (gasp!)... shop at WalMart (*ew, ew and double ew).

I heart the food co-op.

*Also, Danny wanted me to make sure to let everone know that he doesn't hate WalMart - they made a generous donation to Discovery Gateway (the Children's Museum). So he has a soft spot for them in his heart - even though he doesn't shop there. I say, even the devil can use good to do his dirty work. I'm just sayin'.

Friday, December 18, 2009

My Letter to Santa - Seventh Day

I'm sending this USPS later today, what do you think? I don't want to be too demanding, but I want to make sure Mr. Kringle knows I mean business.


Dear Santa,

How have you been? As you know, I have been a very good girl this year (despite YOUR COMPLETE FAILURE at fulfilling my ONE and ONLY Christmas to be famous wish from last year.) But as you know I am a very forgiving individual and so instead of my request to be famous turning into the proverbial 'wish for a pony'... I've changed my tune.

This year - make me skinny.

There are many reasons to fulfill my grown up Christmas wish, but here are three key areas that make this a selfless request:

Skinny people are smaller and therefore use less resources. It won't take as much material to clothe me. Plus, I won't eat as much (because from what I can see, skinny people usually don't eat much).

No one wants a chubby mommy. I mean sure, I'm great to snuggle up with. But I'm pretty sure Holden wants a mom who is cute and cool and youthful. And no one can be cool that is destined to live life in sweat suits because nothing else fits.

Really I'm doing it for my husband and in the name of building a better family. If I'm skinny, I'm more likely to 'be in the mood.' And for some reason, that makes my husband really happy.

So are you going to deliver, or what?!?!

Please hurry and make it so, or all these chocolate chip cookies I made for you will be gone before you get here.

Yours truly,


PS. When I started this letter I was typing too fast for my fingers and accidentally wrote 'Dear Satan." Am I supposed to read anything into that?!?!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sixth Day of Christmas - A plea for liquid gold

So I almost thought we might get more than a couple of posts without talking about breast milk... alas, it is not so. But this is not about me. It's actually a call to action, like ARUP but for mommy's milk. (Sorry, those of you looking for something witty/funny etc. This post hits a little closer to home.)

Anyway, today I received this message on Facebook from "The Mothers Milk Club Of Utah." (MMCU)

Subject: We need milk!

Hi Moms! We are running low on milk. We are feeding several babies and we were hoping someone out there knows of any donors. We just have one mom right now who is feeding her twins plus 4 other babies all by herself! Let us know if you know of anyone!

Robin Mothers Milk club collector

Emphasis added, obviously! But seriously?!?!? One mom, feeding twins AND pumping to feed four other babies?!??! I thought I was a saint giving some of Holden's excess to his cousin. I have been humbled.

So I know this is kind of weird to a lot of you, but if you know anyone in SLC or surrounding area with a stockpile (or even just a few ounces) of breast milk to spare, please contact Robin (801.273.0636).

Utah doesn't have a milk bank, but this is the closest thing. The milk goes to babies with serious issues like brain/head injuries, those diagnosed with cancers/leukemia and a plethora of other diseases. Additionally, (like now) they help adopted babies; and there's even a baby who's mother just died and the Milk Club is supplying breast milk to the father for the little one.

If you aren't familiar with the benefits of breast milk, they are immeasurable.

And if you don't know anyone, or aren't in a position to donate, I just ask that you set and intention (or remember in your prayers) that along with all those in need at this time, that the MMCU will be able to find some mommies to help out soon, and that these sweet little babies will be helped.

Love and thanks,

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Drummer from Def Lepard on my Solstice Tree -OR- 5th Day of Christmas

Since Little Bits loves to get into things, I figured this would be a good year to 'make' some of the decorations for our tree. I tried Gingerbread Men this year (that way, if Holden decides to eat the ornaments it's organic sugar and molasses.)

I think they turned out pretty good....
But there was a casualty:
A bigger spatula could've saved this one...

Rest in peace little man. You died as a martyr -- a very delicious martyr.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

This is not a craft blog, but...

I decided that in the spirit of trying to have a more GREEN Christmas, I would re-purpose old magazines (most of which Holden has already ravage through) to wrap gifts.

Holden digs Elmo... or basically anything red. He doesn't watch Sesame Street, but he picked out that Elmo toilet seat AND the Earth's Best crackers with the red Muppet on the box.

So I figured he'd dig this:

Here's a sample of the library books we wrapped. We started a new Mangum Christmas tradition this year: 25 Christmas books in 25 days -- unwrap one each night (or two in one day if we miss a night for some reason or another.) I guess it's our advent calendar of sorts; but the 'gift a night' bit has been kind of like Hanukkah for Mormons. And since we don't have 25 Christmas books, we just borrowed a few from the grandparents and checked some out from the (government run, socialist neighborhood) Library. It's been fun. I even picked up 'The White Nights of Ramadan" to make sure we are appreciating other cultures. Now I just need to add one about Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, and of course: Hanukkah.

Tis the Season.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Third Day of Christmas - madness ensues

So our family has this tradition that all the babies get put in a wig from my late Grandma Beth. (Cicely, I want the link the Faye's picture...)

We tried it on Holden.. he was not amused.

Along with Grandma Beth's wig, in Saint George I also discovered my BLUE HAIR from my past life when I wanted to live out an alternate reality in SG as an Indie Riot Grrrrrl. Ahhh, Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney and the female revolution... too bad I was working for the man at the time.

But as far as the blue hair goes, I think it looks great on Holden too:

Yeah, he actually didn't enjoy that one either.
So I just put on my punk rocker hair for Danny and let him fantasize he wasn't married to a domesticated Mormon mom that cans applesauce, makes organic baby food and bakes apple pie....

Oi to the World!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

12 Days of Christmas - Day Deux

For your Holiday enjoyment (drum roll please.....) More Christmas Sweater Pics!!!!

Would you ever guess that this:

Came after this?

Or this?
Or this?!?!
Poor Danny... Holden decided he wanted to be down crawling (or somewhere else) every other time we tried to get pictures of the two of them together.

Favorite Holden moment of today:
Watching him rock-out to Sissel and the MoTab's Christmas Album.

Favorite Danny moment of the day:
Coming home from a church Messiah performance/fireside finding my husband had already parented Holden down for the night AND was making chocolate chip cookies with our nephew.

Life is Beautiful. . .

And to all a good night.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

12 Days of Christmas (Christmas Card Letter #1)

On the first day of Christmas...
And so it begins again (remember last year's 12 Days of Christmas.)

Well, I started working on our Christmas cards today -- Danny helped. He's such a saint. And since I am behind deadline on writing the "suite family Christmas letter" (been my job since I was 12), I opted to leave out an official update on our mangum-family cards and give the blog address instead. Which means THIS is where I am going to post OUR MANGUM FAMILY CHRISTMAS LETTER!!!!

But I haven't actually decided what type of letter to write. I tend to be quite loquacious, as you all know, but I love it when I get ones (cards that is) from friends that highlight their families with three to five bullet points for each family member...

So I figured that would be a good start, eh?

So here we go:


  • working at zions bank as a SENIOR credit analyst
  • fun & super helpful daddy
  • looks great in argyle (sweater & socks)
  • studying for the GMAT
  • took his awesome wife to Boston for her birthday because that's the kind of guy he is

  • 10 months old - though and old soul (it's in his eyes)
  • Six teeth, more on the way - but still hardly ever cries
  • Loves his big boy bed (twin mattress on the floor) and will crawl into it for nap and bed time!
  • Rocking the Baby Bjorn potty (we hardly ever clean poopy diapers - huzzah!)
  • Saying goodbye to the bottle - only uses it with water at nighttime
  • trying to be all domestic and stuff
  • trying to be a good mommy
  • trying to be a good wife
  • trying, trying, trying...
  • And HALLELUJAH -- Ditching 'the pump' in less than two months!!!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

(Christmas Card?) Sneak Peak

We're down in 'sunny' St. George for a mini vacay. And since the weather is typically much more pleasant in SG than SLC, we decided to get some family pics taken by Allison Davis. (Maybe we'll even get a Christmas Card out this year!) It rained yesterday and snowed last night in 'sunny' Saint George... but fortunately for us, Alison found some great spots and the lighting was all right...

She posted a few of the pics here; and once I get the CD from her, I'll post a few more and load them on facebook.

We ALL need tans (except "Little Bits" as he is, of course, perfection). And yes, I recognize my thighs are bigger than my husbands... thanks for pointing it out.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

About Rob...

My friend, and friend to many, Rob Adams passed away last night. I had the privilege of knowing Rob first in Junior High and then became much closer friends with him in Highschool. Although this is a tremendous loss for the world (he really was that kind of guy), I can't help but think about him and start smiling.

Really, it's impossible to think about the essence of Rob, and not smile - or laugh, out loud to yourself.

The Rob I remember the most vividly is from highschool. In my movie of life, the Rob Adams montage (with accompanying soundtrack) would definitely include senior year at SHS:

Making Betty Crocker Brownies from a mix every other night while my parents were in Europe.

Watching/listening to him sing Karaoke "Nothing Compares to You" with Kenny Barton and Troy Thompson in the great room at 1 am.

He'd ride my parents dorky little red scooter all over the Cove, taking it off of jumps and bringing it back with a few new details (ok, scratches).

He'd say hilarious things and then not laugh at himself, but just get a Mona Lisa smile as if he was making a joke personally for you. (It's been a long time since I've hung out with Rob - I wonder if he still did that later in his life? His wit and sense of humor seem to have carried him even in the most trying of times.)

My flashbacks also include a Christmas about 15 years ago. Rob and I were in the same ward (church) and as one of activities the youth were delivering cookies to the widows... and I, in my driving stupidity, plowed directly into Rob's shiny beautiful truck as I was backing up. HUGE dent - tons of damage. I felt horrible and of course had to tell him.

Funny thing about Rob, he's so generous... and so quick to forgive. I think about all he said was 'that sucks,' but he never got mad at me - he didn't freak out...(and this was at Skyline Highschool where it seemed our boys' favorite past included making girls feel crappy!) ... his comment was more like he was saying 'It sucks that something bad had to happen' than an indictment. He just put his arm around me, told me not to worry about it (drove around with a dented car until it got fixed) and just continued on with life... trying to cheer me up when I'm the one that screwed up his car!!!

And to me, that kind of illustrates his temperament, his character...a stand up guy.

Something terrible happens - and he has a moment of 'that sucks' -- and then smiles and gets back to work... or tries to cheer up his friends.

He brought so much joy into our lives.

Facebook has BLOWN UP with comments about care, concern and love for this tremendous individual.

Rob is a fighter.

Several years ago, Rob was in a terrible car accident that left him paralyzed. He shares details of the story on his blog.

Rob and I were great friends as teenagers... and then, as so often is the case, life happens. I left Utah for a while, pursued a career and lost touch with Rob. But I am so thankful to have reconnected with him in the past few years -- even if it's just been through email, blogging and facebook.

I know there are so many of you out there that were so close to Rob -- much closer than I ever was. But I also know that my life is richer because I got to reconnect with him.

I hope, before he passed, that he got a chance to understand that people really loved him - tremendously. That Rob was (and is) someone who made you feel good - he made you cherish the past, appreciate and deal with the present, and look towards the future.

For those of you that didn't know Rob, believe me when I say that the world is a better place because of him. In a small, and --in many cases -- great ways he affected so many lives. It's weird to think of the world with out him. He will be so missed.

I hope you will keep his family and those closest to him in your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy 10 months Holden! (A letter from Mommy)

I cannot believe he will be a year in just two short months (and I say short because we all know the Holidaze FLY by!)

I think I may have mentioned I started keeping a jar in my kitchen cupboard to jot down things going on with Holden as to not forget – and this past month has not disappointed. so with out further ado:

Mr. Holden,

My little guy, I can’t believe how much you’ve grown!

You’re such a healthy boy. Mommy got the flu (no, not little-piggy flu, just regular sickness) and was down for the better part of a week – but you came out of the deal unscathed. The same cannot be said for the rug burn on your right eye after thinking you could fly (along with the throw-pillows) off of the fireplace. Granted, they’re called ‘throw pillows’ for a reason… but if you’re actually going to take them up on their namesake, you ought to let go first.. or their fate will be yours. Experience is a great teacher – thus the chairs currently in front of said “mantle.”

Moving on…

The other day I was *parenting you down and it was taking a little longer for you to fall asleep than normal, and I started thinking about all the time I was spending making sure you’re asleep because of the no-crib thing… and I started thinking about all the other things I could do with that time, and then it hit me… ‘What a blessing to be able to snuggle up with you! To have you nuzzle in close and breathe your sweet breath on my face… to tickle your tummy, to touch your face… ‘ This time will soon be gone, and I’ll be wishing you’d want to be close and cuddle again. So I am grateful we X’d the crib and I get that extra time with you each day and night.


Just before I sat down to write this you were playing one of my favorite games. When I lay in my right side, you on your left; and I hug you in close to me and try to let go… but before I can, you place your sweet chubby fingers behind my head (ok, grabbing the hair at the base of my neck, actually, but still) and then you pull me in close… and do it again, and again, and again… and sometime, like today… you let go, and seem to drift into sleep straightaway. I love that game – let’s play it forever!

Oh, and the notes form the jar? Well, I’ll jot them down, and I can elaborate when you’re older:

  • I finally found a way to get you to eat carrots.
  • I find myself having moments when I look at you and think ‘hm, you’re no longer a baby. Like Pinocchio, you’re a real boy!
  • You’re an old soul. More than one person has commented on this
  • At your 9 month check up you were 21 lbs 8 oz (64%), 30 inches (91%) and your head circumference was 47 cm (87%). So you still legally fit in your car seat (we got the bigger one that hardly fits on airplanes), but one more inch and we’ve got to trade up for a different type of rear facing…
  • On November 6, I dimmed the lights in your room in preparation for naptime, and you crawled onto your bed – it was adorable.
  • Daddy and I also love how you just crawl out of your room when naptime’s over… no tears, you’re just done sleeping…
  • You enjoy feeding yourself – which often makes meal time very messy. (I heart your pumpkin eyebrows)
  • Besides crawling you love to utilize anything to push across the floor to ‘walk’

  • At one point you would lay down and not squirm in the real tub so I could rinse your hair. You LOVE bath time (in the real tub!), but are not so keen on laying down anymore…
  • You officially have six teeth.
  • You're still doing great with your pottying. Every 'catch' we consider AWESOME... and every 'miss', we just consider.
  • You’ve tried green beans and spinach (you liked spinach more), and love picking up Breakfast O’s and pieces of Rice Cakes… and anything I haven’t picked up off the floor.

*As a dog owner for many years, Danny thinks it’s best to refrain from phrases like ‘put you down’ or ‘put you to sleep.’

And if you haven't checked it out...I share Holden't birthstory (where we were, ten months ago today) here.