Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I wore deodorant for no reason

Is it too personal to share that I rarely wear deodorant? I honestly am just not a real stinky sweaty girl. A stick of deodorant will last me three or four years unless a small child decides to bite chunks out of it or decorate the shower door. The application of deodorant is saved for special occasions like giving a talk at church, hosting Thanksgiving dinner, childbirth, or buying a new vehicle.

As I wrote earlier, in seven weeks we will have outgrown our mini-van when our next little girl arrives. We had always kind of assumed that we would carry on the Ditto tradition and purchase a gas-guzzling Suburban. Birch has long dreamed of the day he would own his own Suburban and drive the scouts and kids on camping trips. Last Thursday he temporarily said "good bye" to that dream. After careful and relentless calculations of gas, insurance, and vehicle costs we both realized that buying a Suburban at this time just isn't a practical decision. The other alternative had been buying a Toyota Sienna. We have several friends who have this van and all RAVE about its convenience, size, and family-friendliness. Birch was SHOCKED after I showed exact measurements of the cargo space in a Sienna compared to a Suburban (in case you are wondering the Suburban only has an extra 2 cubic feet of storage); or that in the Sienna you actually get an extra seven inches of hip room in the third row; or that the middle three seats are each completely separate from each other and are all full size seats.

I spent the following week comparing every Sienna within a 200 mile radius of our house. We finally settled on a dealership just north of Seattle. Birch and I spent hours compiling our "folder" that we read was crucial to have in order to prove to the dealership that we had done our research and could not be tricked over their vehicle pricing. My sister who is taking a negotiations class coached me on ways to not only negotiate the price but also resolve any conflicts that we might have.

So yesterday morning I deemed that it might be a day worthy of the application of deodorant. I made sure to fully cover my armpit just in case the intensity of the negotiating were to bring on profuse sweat. The kids all said "goodbye" to our current mini-van and left for school. We took Nate and Coop to a compassionate friend who knew that the round-trip five-hour drive and afternoon at the dealership wouldn't be that fun for them. Then Birch and I hit the road. We reviewed our spreadsheet, made bullet notes of all important factors, and buoyed up each other with how we would not back down.

After arriving at the Toyota dealership we met with our salesman and spent the next three hours grilling him on things we had gleaned from all our car-buying research. We threw numbers and statistics out that we were sure would start a war of bargaining. Three hours later we found ourselves driving home in our SAME mini-van trying to convince ourselves that we had made the right choice in not backing down and that the trip had all been worth it.

The kids were all so disappointed as we picked them up in the same car and explained that we had no idea when we were going to purchase our new vehicle. So the search, sleepless nights, and money-saving continue. We have a buyer interested in our current van which is a good sign.

In hindsight I should have scraped off that deodorant and saved it for the birth of our upcoming baby!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Just about as cute as they come

Hard not to love this kid!! He is the constant source of me bending over my large belly to wipe up toothpaste; clean up shredded toilet paper; put pots and pans back in the cupboard; use the magic eraser to get pen off of the wood floor, walls, desk; put away baseballs. He paints his hair in lotion, peanut butter, and yogurt. He stands up in the grocery cart and squirms out of my arms when I am trying to carry him in public places.

He says "Mommy" in the cutest voice. Daddy can't turn him down when he looks up at him and says "Come" just as Daddy is leaving for Scouts. He prays so cute. His hugs and juicy kisses are prolific. We just can't get enough of him!

Coop - 23 months old

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mom and Dad's Spring Fling

Birch and I were able to escape the litter (aka. children) for a few days to Utah during Spring Break. We are so super grateful to our friends and family that watched the kids so this trip was possible for us to go on. The kids had a great time playing with their friends and cousins. For the time being we have decided to not allow the kids to go or have sleepovers so spending the night at their friend's house was even extra special.

Our trip to Utah was celebrating several wonderful occasions in my family. My sister Laura is serving her mission in Switzerland (she comes home in two and half months--YEAH!!!). We all really missed her but at the same time we couldn't be prouder of her selfless service at this time. With that said, hurry home Laura--we all can't wait to see you!!!

Each day in Utah was filled to the max. Here are some of my favorite highlights:

Kissing my Lover on the lawn of the Salt Lake Temple.
Hanging out with my nephew Isaac and niece Lucy. Since we don't get to spend much time with Ike and Lulu it took them a few minutes to warm up. As you can see, I won Issac over with these cool ski goggles.
Spending an endless amount of time with my siblings and their fantastic spouses! In the picture above, Caroline (Seth's wife) is filling in for Laura. Our first night in Utah, Birch and I drove to Provo and spent the afternoon and night with Leah, Geoff and their kids. Leah made us the most yummy dinner. Leah and Geoff always make us feel so at home when stay with them.
Partying it up on our own. Each of us also had fun doing something we don't get to do very often--Birch skied all day at Solitude Ski Resort with my brothers and dad; and I shopped all morning at the Park City Outlets with the girls. It is a RARE time that I get to shop for hours without the kids. I'm not really a die-hard shopper but I do LOVE a good deal--and that I found!!! If I had a picture of myself it would have been me smiling, holding several shopping bags of kids clothes.
General Conference at the Conference Center at Temple Square. Saturday morning Birch and I had the treat of caring for our nephew Tommy so Seth and Caroline could go to conference. We loved bonding with him and hanging out with Matt, Jessica, and baby Sofia. Sunday afternoon Birch and I got to go to the Conference Center for the afternoon session of conference. It was a real treat! My Grandma and her husband live right next to the conference center so we were feeling very spoiled the whole weekend. (Note: Birch has an AWESOME ski goggle burn line. We all had fun making fun of his new look.)Celebrating my Grandma's Temple Sealing and first time to the temple!! This is what actually initiated the trip to Utah. My Grandma is an AMAZING, ENERGETIC, LOVING woman!!! She was married to her husband Rudy a little over a year ago and then shortly following their marriage my Grandma was baptized in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Rudy was baptized just months prior to my Grandma. The past year has been so fun to watch my Grandma in love--she has always been in-love with life but these additions have made her even happier. Grandma and Rudy hosted a delicious dinner at the Joseph Smith Building celebrating their sealing. It was a night I will not forget!
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My brother Luke, what more can I say. He is an "ORIG." He also went through the temple for the first time in preparation for his May departure to Paris, France for his mission. It was fun to feel of his love for life and catch up since we haven't seen each other much in the past couple of years.
Meeting Sofia Grace Sherry. Though Sofia has only been part of our family for six weeks we have all felt so blessed by her spirit being added to our family. Matt and Jessica are such wonderful, loving, and caring parents. What can I say...adoption is a wonderful blessing!!! Sunday night we were able to be apart of a dinner in her honor (and Matt's birthday).
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Sister Time. What can I say...sisters are wonderful! Emily didn't even get mad at me when I borrowed this dress from her : ) We've all grown up!
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Sharing Pregnancy With My Sister Emily. There is something to treasure about being pregnant with your sister. Maybe it is because we haven't had many births on the Sherry side of the family or maybe it is because it is nice to have someone that truly understands your pregnancy woes and joys. Emily and I are four weeks apart in delivering. While in Utah we were able to have a baby shower for Emily. It is so fun to be apart of this part of her life. After looking at these photos from Leah's photo shoot I am feeling a bit like a short fat round cow with bad posture, while Emily seems to be sportin' the new look with such cuteness. Maybe the competition never goes away between siblings (did I mention that I did measure three inches smaller than Emily around our tummies--at least I won something)
Spending time with Birch. We celebrated every minute of being child free. We made a QUICK trip to IKEA, Birch played basketball with our brother-in-law at BYU, we visited Birch's aunt and grandparents in Centerville, UT, we laid around if we wanted to, we snuggled on the couch with no interruptions, etc...

Gotta love family!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Flying High On Spring Break

It's Spring Break at our house and the Ditto Kids are flying high! As much as they all love school who doesn't love a little vacation once-in-awhile. This week is particularly fun for the kids because they get to spend lots of time with our friend's the Cox's. Tyler is participating in a Track Camp for three mornings this week and Alex is enrolled in a Baseball Camp. They both came home tuckered out from all the physical activity yesterday. Alysee is enjoying sleeping in a bit in the morning and playing with Nate all day long. Nate and Coop are happy to have some extra bodies around to play with during the day. Now if we could just keep the sun shining it would be perfect!!!
Tyler
Alysee
Alex

Nate turns FOUR

Okay, so Nate turned four almost three weeks ago but I would be sad to not throw in a picture or two for memory sake. I'm not sure what we would do without Nate...he is FULL of energy, love for his siblings, a bit of a mean streak that keeps us all on our toes, and a HUGE love for his dad.
Nate gobbled up his yummy candle-ladened push-up pop; unfortunately everyone except Birch got a terrible stomach bug and the following night Birch and I saw everyone's push-up pop again. Not so tasty looking when scraping it off the carpet. (I know...that was more information than you wanted to know.) Nate and his birthday loot