Monday, December 8, 2014

It's been a good Year, 2014.

August 2014: Seersucker, whaaat?!?

Greetings Beautiful Souls,

Last year I hinted we'd try to get a little greener and put this year's Holiday Update online. So congratulations if you're reading this! You just singlehandedly increased my google metrics by 100%. 

We kicked off 2014 with a whole lot of awesomeness: a 7-night Disney Cruise to the Caribbean with the entire Steve & Annette Suite progeny. People think I'm a secret DisneyCruise travel agent because I seem to be able to convince anyone to pay the additional 125% mark-up for their accoutrements. Our biggest complaint was Holden loved the kids area so much, sometimes we'd have to beg him to hang out with our family. 

We had a great trip to California at the end of summer for Danny's sister Brooke's destination wedding (featured left). Holden thought it was a Legoland trip with a wedding we just happened to attend while away from home.

In other travel news, Danny and I just got back from another Caribbean cruise in November. Besides a plethora of sun and sightseeing, one of the trip's greatest highlights included Danny karaoke-ing "Tell Me What You Want" by the Spice Girls with a business colleague: did I mention it was technically a "work" trip for him? #bestplacestowork

Speaking of my better half and work: he's in his fifth year of working for Mountain West Small Business Finance, but the real kicker is that as of December 6th, he's graduated with a Masters of Organization Behavior (ie Human Resource Management) from The Utah State University. #GoAggies! (And Utes, of course, always Go Utes.)

People have made comments on more that one occasion about how excited I must be to "have my husband back." And I don't really know how to respond without making things seem awkward. I mean, it's not that I don't adore having him around -- running a "Man-to-Man" with the kids is ALWAYS preferable to a "Zone Defense." It's just that Danny's done an exceptional job balancing work, school, church and being home with us. The fact that it's an Executive Program helped, and his work has been amazingly supportive, but he's really done a fabulous job keeping his priorities in order. His time watching college football and the number of softball teams he's been able to participate in have suffered, but the rest of us just haven't really been inconvenienced that much.
#timemanagement #sorryimnotsorry #toomanyhashtagsyet?

So onto my babies. The biggest problem is that they're not really babies anymore. Zoë-bug turned three on December 7th, and has graduated from toddler to preschooler this year with ease. She's attending Elizabeth Academy Montessori School (like Holden) at her request. I wasn't quite ready to send my two year old off for morning pre-pre-school, but she's thriving and apparently is a lot less spicy with her teachers and classmates than she is with her Mama. She's talking a lot more -- much like her brother and Einstein, she figured the closer to three the better. Why waste words when you can just point?

Z is fearless in a swimming pool, which is terrifying. So she started private lessons this past year (like her brother).

Zoë loves being read to, baking, making (and drinking) beet juice, school, and anything to do with the Pink-Industrial-Complex. #girltoysareaconspiracy #blamingdisney #letitgoindeed

Our little Zoe-bug also had a few non-well-checkup visits to the doctor's office this year. One for slicing her finger down to (though fortunately not) the tendon. Making guacamole can be hard. And then we were back when her "Mon-mon-eeh" (Zoe-speak for "money") or in this particular case a quarter made its way into her stomach.  I guess she was really worried about saving her dollars (and cents) but we got her a piggy bank straightaway.

Holdencito requires his own volume entirely. For my facebook "friends" you know I try to keep track of these "from the mouths of babes" nuggets under the heading "Holdenisms" -- you can read the highlights here.

Our old-soul of a five year old is enjoying Kindergarten (also at Elizabeth Academy). His current passions include art, volcanoes, saber tooth tigers, mammoths, dinosaurs, tornados, space (specifically black holes), the Seattle Seahawks, Skylanders (eventhough he has plenty of the pieces we have no game console at our home to play them on), earth, nature and Uvengenols: a superhero video game he made up that is primarily played out in our art room via crayons and streams of non-recycled white paper.

And while he's learning to read, add, subtract (even multiply) and a bunch of other wonderful stuff, one of the highlights of this past year was when he wrote to Congressmen Matheson about saving our whales, and then made comic books to sell to neighbors, relatives and random strangers so he could adopt a whale. He raised $30 and currently helps protect an Orca named "Finn" through Washington State's Whale Museum. #proudmama

Holden is creative and inquisitive. He has a somewhat insatiable thirst to understand the world and the cosmos: "Mom, did Adam and Even come before or after the dinosaurs?" And since we have tried our hardest to be honest and "real" about things, it obviously leads to more questions. #praiseforwikipedia

This past year Holden also played soccer, started piano lessons and participated in his first piano recital, and completed his first triathlon (50 yard swim, 1 mile bike, 1/2 mile swim). He said the piano recital was much more scary. He's my buddy for attending all things artistic: plays and the ballet plus he's interested in architecture, composers and painters. He asked me about Seurat and pointillism this morning.

So if you're still reading, I suggest maybe taking a potty break, or getting a glass of water.... but for the last update I guess I'll mention that for me, life is pretty much motherhood with a bit of yoga and public relations mixed in. I'm still teaching at the studio (We Are Yoga SLC) and private lessons. And my primarily-from-home-public-relations/consulting-side-business is coming along: I've got a few clients and have been working as the Director of Public Affairs for Neumont University this past year. I have yet to finish my "great american novel" (i.e. Chick-lit for Mormon moms?), but I did manage to take on planning my 20-year High School Reunion, so any SHS 95-ers, I hope you're planning to attend August 2015.

It seems like as a family we spent a big portion of this year in limbo. My house was the cleanest it's ever been because we had it on the market for 6 months and I had to keep it organized for showings. But this also meant I didn't spend as much time cooking or gardening. But we purchased the home of Danny's youth from his parents and officially moved in this November. It's a beautiful house that is gradually beginning to feel like our own.

Plus the neighborhood is a dream. Holden has a friend he can walk to just two houses away, and Zoë refers to our new place of worship as "Yo-Yay's Chuch" (which obviously is Z-speak for Zoë's-church.)

All around, the Mangums are doing great. 2014 was a big year and now that we're (almost) settled I can finally get back to the things we've missed out on this year -- like composting, naturally.

Seasons Greetings and Namaste.
Sabrena for The Mangums

Friday, December 5, 2014

An Ode to Z, because You're (Almost) Three!

My sweet (and spicy) Zoë-bug, 

Remember where we were three years ago? Your miracle of a birth. 

We started celebrating your birthday this week. Your first "friend party." 

You have curls that attracts attention wherever you go. You didn't say much until a few weeks ago, but have always been able to communicate what you like, want, need or don't want to have anything to do with... Your eyes and lashes melt my heart and you have restored faith in my ability to nurse a child.

When you taste something you like you say: "Tastes like pink cake!"

You would watch "shows" for infinite hours if I let you.

You begged to go to school -- we obliged and you're thriving.

When you don't get your own way, you tell  the person they're "not nice." (We're working on it.)

You give the best hugs.

Here are some other things you love: 
Ice cream
Daniel tiger
Pink cake
Greeting your Dad when he comes home from work 
Lip gloss
Princess dresses
Tea parties
Icing for injuries (even if it's a stomach ache... A bag of ice even trumps band aids) 
Reminding us "Jesus died. Came back alive!" (Especially when you see pictures of Him at church.) 
Cutting -- your a whiz at scissors! 
Being read to 
Juicing: Beet juice is a fave of yours 

Things you don't like:
When the kitchen's closed
Turning off shows
Getting on lotion
Having your hair washed
Not getting your own way 
Trying on clothes (unless we intended to let you stay in them). 
Being told what to do 
Getting shots

This past year you swallowed a quarter (had to get X-rays), AND sliced your finger so bad you needed five stitches. You were a champ. The doctors and nurses at instacare couldn't believe you were only two because you were so brave and hardly cried... the promise of pink ice cream and red-dye sucker in your mouth were luxuries that made the difference, I suppose.

Our family is complete because of you. Thanks for the joy and spice you bring to our lives.

Pinkaliscous for Zoë

Zoë turns three officially on December 7th. Her birth experience was a miracle of miracles. You can read about it here; but first I'll just mention we had a couple of friends from her school class and cousins over to celebrate this week. She was very specific about the guest list and what she wanted included in her party: pink cake, Bah-bee cake (Barbie, ugh), a Mickey cake and duck-duck-goose. 

Not entirely set up, but the quiet of the night before all the action

Obligatory Twirling Before the Guests Arrive

Party Time! Hot chocolate, pink cupcakes and (fruit and veggie) accoutrements
Z had helped me bake the cakes earlier this week and then we let each of the kids decorate their own after a few rounds of duck-duck-goose. The guest of honor and her brother's creations are below.

Z's Barbie Cake and Holden's Seattle Seahawks Cake
We'll keep celebrating through the weekend!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Kids say the darndest things, eh? Well here's a collection of the highlights from Holdencito (or at least the ones I remembered to post on Facebook.) 

December 2:
“Mom, do you know what I wish they had? A Jesus video game for your iPod: so you could go through different Jesus stories and be in them telepathically.”

Nov 21
"I like regular plays better than ballet-plays because I don't speak 'actions.'"

Nov 19
"Prayers are like a mailbox for Jesus."

Oct 18
Finishes his first triathlon and when Danny asks him what the hardest part was, he replied:

"Did you know in races you have to litter?"
"I think what happened is... Well, you know when you get brain damage? Well I think I got brain damage from hitting heads with Dad and it just trickled down into my feet."

Me: What do you want for dinner Holden?
HDM: I’d be fine with crab legs.

August 18
HDM: Mom, will you tell Zoë the story about Satan tempting Jesus.
Me: You tell her; you tell it so good!
HDM: Well, it was a really bad day for Jesus....

June 4
Holdensim (a tale):

"Good news Mom!" He exuded, coming into my room after working on a project in his playroom. "We're not going to have to get a new Mom!"
Oh, I felt so relieved. He's realized how awesome I am and he's coming to tell me he was just tired.... maybe even apologize.
"We're just going to turn you into a robot mom, instead." He takes out a bunch of pictures (blueprints, I guess) showcasing the various stages of the solution he's come up with.
"You're turning me into a ROBOT?!?!" I ask.
"Yeah, because robots can just do whatever you tell them."
I ask him how he's going to do this. The plan includes setting my hair on fire, shaving my head and replacing my brain with a robot brain.
"OK," I say. "Where is this brain you're putting in me? I'm not doing any of this until I see the brain you're replacing mine with."
He pulls out a pictures of a red and black oval-like shape. "Here it is!"
I ask him how that's going to work. It's just a paper, I tell him.
"Well," he says, "we'll put ideas in it."

March 30th
A mother's night-time lament:

Holden woke up 30 minutes ago telling me his feet were "bubbling." I tried rubbing them (11:05pm), lotion (11:10pm), taking the lotion off and rubbing them with cool wet cloths (11:17pm), and then elevating them with a pillow (11:20ish?)
Shortly after (11:26), he requested "shields" for his feet... Which translated apparently to mean his gold sparkle TOMS because, according to him: 

11:31 he just told me he needed to "get the wiggles out" and proceeded to sing and dance to a couple of verses of the Hokey Pokey. 

St. Patty's Holdenism:
Me: Did anyone talk about leprechauns today?
Holden: Yes, but my teachers said they aren't real. I insist they're lying.

February 25
Holdenism 7:12am.  After laying out his breakfast he had some concerns about his roll with frosting:
"Mom, I don't want to eat the super truffle. If I eat it, I'll be too powerful. I don't want to be the most powerful person in the universe. I just want to be a normal kid."

Feb 18
As he's spray painting the sandbox we built today:
"Well it turns out I'm a fan of red dye."

Jan 28
(Backstory - we returned from a cruise in the Carribean to discover our home had been burglarized...this was Holden's lunch-time prayer, and plea:
"Bless that the guy will give us back our jewelry and our computer. Bless this food will strengthen us. And bless the President will not lead us to darkness."

Nov 12
Parent-Teacher Conferences tomorrow.
We received Holden's Progress Report electronically... it's 23 pages. While he got an "always" in the "makes friends" category, he received a "seldom" in the "works independently" column.