This is my famous little sister Hannah. I was walking through Layton Hills Mall today with the kids to see Santa(that is another story, another post!) when Emma and Claire at the same time screamed, "Aunt Hannah! Aunt Hannah!" I had totally forgotten that Hannah was chosen to be the rep. for the LDS interior design program because she is the BEST student! The girls were so excited and couldn't believe that Aunt Hannah was so big!:) If you are at Layton Hills Mall check her out. I think she will totally kill me over this post but I am so proud of all her achievements and successes I couldn't help it! Well done Hann!
Tonight I had a moment of realization of how lucky I feel to be a musician. More to the fact how much I love to play the Nutcracker! For those of you who aren't musicians you must know that a lot of professionals hate the Nutcracker. Year after year they trudge to the pit to play yet another 2 hour ballet that they have been playing since they were 15! Me...well I have a different view point. I LOVE it! My story of the Nutcracker begins when I was probably 8 years old and my cousin Jordan took me to see it at Capitol Theater. I was hooked. More importantly I wanted to be on the stage. I was not a great dancer...in fact I did get on stage but I was a soldier. The epitome of non-graceful dancer. I was a red soldier in 6th grade and the riffle-man in 7th. I didn't care. Those were some of my most memorable Christmas's as a kid.
Fast forward to 2003-Christmas. I had just moved back to the states after a 5 year stint in Prague and London. Music school had pounded into my head that you always said "yes" to every job that came and figured out how to do it after. So that is what I did when the principal harpist at Ballet West called me to play "one or two" performances. I said "yes. I know it!" The truth was that I had learned the harp solo but had not ever seen the rest of the part. She then continued to tell me that there was only one rehearsal for the orchestra and she was already doing that so I would just jump in on the 2 dates. OK...I was panicked! To say the least. Talk about baptism of fire!!! I had never played a ballet let alone the Nutcracker! I just figured though that I would practice hard and make it work!
I made it through thanks to my former teacher ShruDe who loaned me her old music and listened to me play the part. She also gave me the sound advice of getting to the pit 45 min ahead of time so I could be alone in the pit. After the longest 2 hours of my life (I don't think I breathed at all!) I made it. More importantly I made it through the performance without anyone noticing that I had never done that before. The other thing they taught us at the Academy was to act like you knew what was going on all the time rather than ask someone a question. I think the motto was JUST FIGURE IT OUT! By the end of that run I got to do 4 performances.
I have played every year with the exception of 2006 (Claire was born) and it has only been this past year that I have found to really enjoy the part. In fact, I love it! It is so much fun to have something that challenges me and that I honestly don't get sick of listening to every time I play it.
I wonder if Tchaikovsky knew when he wrote this ballet that it would become iconic. I dare say the most famous ballet!
He probably didn't but I for one and so grateful he wrote it. It doesn't feel like it is Christmas to me without a little Sugar Plum Fairy and a little Waltz of the Flowers.
This is what happened today when I turned my back on the girls. They decided to play "beauty shop" in the bathroom. They got out all the Q-tips and started to apply the lotion...at least what they thought was lotion. I heard a panicked Emma yelling, "Mom! Can you help me? I can't seem to get this lotion off my hands!" I ran to the bathroom to find that both Emma and Claire decided to put "lotion" on otherwise known at diaper rash medicine. Of course it doesn't come off with water! It is meant to repel water! Lucky for them I started laughing rather than yelling. At least I had the sense to grab my camera!:)
This past week Kent was out of town and you would have thought I would be a reasonable parent and stay home with my 4 kids 4 and under. Not me! I had too many things on my list to do and being the only person who can put shoes on, coats on, clothes on and everything else it takes to get out of the house did not stop me. Man am I glad it didn't! On Thursday we went to the Festival of Trees with my mom and sisters. I love this little tradition that we have going and the girls love getting their nails painted. It is the only time of the year they get that to happen with my blessings. Claire also had a great time calling Santa's elves. I hope he brings her a baby doll with a bottle! Then that night I had to play the Nutcracker. Liz and Glen had 2 free tickets and since they couldn't use them I took them off their hands. Emma had her first Nutcracker experience with our great friend and former babysitter Chrislyn. She met us before the show for some dinner and then they went to the show while I played in the pit. Oh my gosh! I had no idea how delighted Emma would be. It was general admission and so she got to sit right on the front row and the entire show she would stand and watch between the pit and the stage. At the very end she yelled into the pit "Good job mom!" and gave me a thumbs up. That made me laugh and a bit of a celeb with the other musicians. They were really quite jealous that they didn't have a fan club!:) Then on Friday my studio combined with 4 other harp teachers had a recital at the Farmington Community Center. It was so much fun and a lot of work but well worth it. Emma performed along with 55 other young harpists from the northern Utah area. They all did a beautiful job and I am so proud of them. Well done everyone!!! Then today we had Claire's 3rd birthday party. She doesn't officially turn 3 until Wednesday, but she wanted to have a "gymnastics" party and they only do them on Saturdays. It was a blast and Claire was in heaven with all her cousins. Thanks everyone for coming and supporting her! I can't believe she is going to be 3!!! After all that Kent got in last night and made it to the birthday party and I am grateful for that! It was a lot of fun this week and I would totally do it all over again but I do realize once again how much easier it is when you have at least one more set of hands to help get 8 feet,and 4 bodies dressed and out the door!
I have 2 free tickets to the Nutcracker is Salt Lake for tonight if anyone wants to use them. I can't and would love to not see them go to waste. The show starts at 7pm and it is opening night. Kids can go as Emma went last night and it is so much fun. So if you want them let me know by noon today or something like that. I have to leave for a harp recital by 1:30 so you would probably need to come and pick them up.
We had a fantastic Thanksgiving and a lot of firsts in our family.
We started off the day with the 1st ever Turkey Leg 5K in Farmington. Kent's brother Darrell put it on and it was SO MUCH FUN! Kent and I ran the 5K with all the kids. (I had never ran with a jogging stroller so that was fun) and the girls ran the kids 1K. Well...Emma ran and did great and Claire ran half of it with Kent. It was the most amazing thing and I swear I was holding back tears as she ran across the finish line. She kept saying to Kent "Dad. I'm running Dad, I'm running!" I can't tell you how happy it made me feel to think a year ago she wasn't even walking and now she is running! (I am kind of tearing up now as I think about it!) Then we went onto my mom's house for dinner. My brother Pete introduced the first ever Pie bake off. (I was not very smart and didn't take my camera but if you want to see all the entries check out Peter and Dree's blog on the side.) The rule was that each adult in the family could enter a pie. I took this to heart and made 2! Apple and banana cream.
Not many people in our family had ever baked pies including me and it was really fun to try and compete. I was lucky to have Kent's family secrets and sisters. His family used to own a pie shop back in Pocatello and they had all the secrets. I am proud to say the Heather's recipe for Banana Cream Pie won! Thanks to her I made the crust, filling and whip cream all from scratch! No one was more surprised than me. To be honest though I am not sure the votes were really accurate as there were 2 banana cream pies and everyone who voted were not really sure which one was which. :) I will take the win though and hope that I can compete again next year.
I just want to say one more time how thankful I am for a loving husband and fantastic children. I feel totally blessed and know that I am extremely lucky to have what I have!!! Now onto Christmas!
Where has the time gone? I can't believe it has been over a month since I last posted but a lot has been going on! Here are the two newest pets in our family. Let me explain. About 2 months ago Kent and I decided that it was time to let Go Motor's go so to speak and as of October 1st Kent joined the ranks of unemployed. To say the least it was a bit stressful. Kent told the girls that when he got a new job they could get fish. So here are the two newest members of the Phippen clan. Claire named her fish Bobby and Emma named hers Ally. Don't ask me why but they are good names and I am so happy that Kent found a job. His new job is with Ragnar events. They are the guys that organize and put on the Wasatch Back relay race every summer. This is an amazing road race that requires teams of 12 runners to run different legs of a 200 mile course from Logan to Park City. They start on a Friday morning, run through the night and end on Saturday. It is a crazy experience but one people tend to do over and over again because they have such a great time! Kent will now officially be in charge of their Washington D.C. race that is held every September. It does require some traveling and since we have never had a job that requires that I am a bit nervous. We feel like this is such a blessing in this economy and time of our lives that we will be helped along the way. He started today and like I said before we are sooooo excited for him to be part of such a great company and experience. Thanks Ragnar!!!!
Besides that the boys are now 7months old, Claire started at Shriner's hospital, and Emma now can officially hit 5 balls over the net both forehand and back hand. Let alone Halloween. Hannah made the M & M costumes. She had no pattern and had to make something that Claire could wear to hippotherapy. I had no idea that she was so AMAZING at sewing and I want to thank her once again for making my kids so happy. Especially Claire. Her "lellow n&M" costume was perfect!!!!
I can't believe they are all ready 6 months old. Where has the time gone? These guys are the cutest boys in my life (next to Kent of course:) and I can't believe how lucky I am to have them. Mack is 15 lbs and is such a sweet little guy. He is still on heart meds as well as thyroid meds but we are going to start to ween him off the heart meds these next 6 months. Yeah! He is the cool, calm, collected one of the boys and is so smiley that it just makes me grin. What can I say...he is a cutie. Morgan is 14 lbs. and is our live wire! He is going to be the outgoing one who will put me through my paces and keep me on my toes. He is the one who rolled right over Mack while in the same crib making me realize that it was time to separate them. He will be my feisty boy as well as the heart breaker! He is soooooo cute that I can't stand it and will probably give him everything he wants!
So there you have it. It is funny how the longer I am a mom the sooner I realize personalities in my children. I just want to say how grateful I am that these two decided to come down together and be in our family. I truly am blessed to have the experience of twins with these two. They will be the best of friends and are lucky to have each others backs!
This is where I will be for the next three weeks. I will not be viewing the show but will be underneath the stage in the pit. It is NOT a family friendly show so kids under 18 don't go but the music is fantastic! I can't help but smile when the number "One" comes on...that is if I could stop counting all the bars!:)
Playing until October 10th at Pioneer Memorial Theater, U of U, Salt Lake. Opens tomorrow night. If you need anything...ask Kent. He is the man in charge of our chorus line at home!:)
So I just visited my friend Circe's blog and realized that Halloween is coming. Crazy I know but in seriously a couple of weeks I will need to figure out all the kids costumes. I need help! I am putting it out in the blogosphere for help with the costumes. Claire has decided she wants to be Scooby Dooby Doo. Honestly I have no idea where that idea came from but she has stuck with the idea for awhile now so I think it is set. The boys are going to be M & M's. Any color I think. I haven't decided.:) I know, not that creative but I haven't been able to find a pattern or baby costumes that would work. Emma...well she hasn't decided yet but I am sure it will involve some fairy wings or princess something or other. I have never made my kids costumes so the buying or borrowing variety works best for us. There it is. The problem out in the air and hopefully some ideas or solutions. Thanks everyone!
The past weekend was our last weekend before school started for our little family so Kent and I decided to take the girls to Thanksgiving Point. The girls had a pony ride. I know we have our own little guy to ride but for some reason it is much more fun when you don't have to brush and tack up your own horse.:) Kent and the girls went on a wagon ride while I waited with the boys. Seriously, if you live near Salt Lake I suggest you go visit the Farm Country at Thanksgiving Point. So much fun!!!
On the same day we decided to start the boys on their first taste of solids. They were not sure at first until we added pears to the cereal. Of course like all my kids the slightest hint of sweet taste and they are all over it!:) Mack tried it first and loved it...after awhile.
Then Morgan had a go. At first he was not convinced but after a few tries he decided it was OK. Last but not least Emma started her first day of preschool this morning. She told me after meeting her teacher on Wednesday morning "that was the happiest moment of my life!" So happy to accommodate!
Today I found some stray snips of hair. I say snips because I guess she didn't learn her lesson from cutting Claire's hair the other week. When I asked her if she had cut her hair she paused for a moment, looked at both Kent and me and then decided to tell the truth. I guess she figured if I was asking I knew the truth. Smart girl!
Today we went to the zoo with Grandma and Grandpa Phippen as well as cousins Grace and Gabe. Emma doesn't get to play with these cousins very often as Grace lives in California and Gabe...well he lives in Salt Lake and we have not one good excuse as to why we don't play more. We need to work on that! I have never seen such happy 4yr olds who just thouroughly enjoyed every aspect of the zoo. When asked what her favorite thing was Emma responded "the baby Giraffe!". Thanks Grandma and Grandpa P for giving my girls such great memories!
This is what the boys did while we were at the zoo. Thanks Danielle! (I know I post a lot of pictures of them sleeping but honestly, it is so adorable how they fit together like puzzle pieces!)
I am sorry to keep posting about these kittens but you will never guess what happened now. I was doing some dishes tonight and looked out my kitchen window to see the mom cat with 2 MORE KITTENS! She was wearing this smug look that seemed to be telling me that she had not left and that she was in charge...not me. VERY CRAZY! So now our offer still stands. Until Monday morning when I call animal control to reunite the family we have 2 little black kittens if anyone wants them. We also have a mom cat so you can choose!:)
OK, I feel really bad! I called animal control and they came out and picked the little guys up. Why do I feel so bad? I HATE cats and yet the girls loved playing with them last night. I also saw the mom this morning but she ran off. I guess I just feel sad for the mom who just lost her babies and the girls who didn't get to say "good bye." I can't explain it... I hope no one wanted them. They were cute. If you do want them they are at the animal shelter in Fruit Heights!
Tonight the girls were playing in the backyard when 5 little kittens came out to see what the noise was. Yes...I said 5! 3 are solid black and 2 are black with white paws. One is very interested in the girls and let them pick him up and pet him and everything. Kent and I are NOT animal people in the dog/cat sense. We are however new parents and have a soft spot in our hearts when it comes to babies of any living thing. So...does anyone want a kitten? They are adorable and the girls have been playing with them for the past hour. Like I said before, we are not dog/cat people so we are not keeping them. As far as we can tell we can't find a mom so if I don't have any takers I will be calling animal control. Let me know if you are interested or know of anyone who would like one.
Claire had no fear even when the goats were ready to eat her fingers! Emma liked only the smaller animals No Fair is complete without a go on a dodgy ride!
Today we went to the Davis County Fair. Lucky for us it is literally 2 minuets away from our house. The kids and I had such a great time and wouldn't have been able to do it without the help of Danielle...our most amazing babysitter. I am able to go to Costco and Target by myself with all four kids but two strollers and live animals you can pet and feed is a whole 'nother thing!:) Thanks as well to Aunt Hannah and Grandma Watkins who joined us to see the world's largest pig named Harvey and the smallest pony named Dolly.
This is what good test results look like! Yes...today we had more tests done on Mack and they came back much better than last week. We are not 100% back to normal but we are getting there. What a blessing!!!
Just a quick note. I found out that the results from yesterday's blood work were not good. His thyroid numbers have gone up even more and now they think he just has a non working thyroid. The Dr's seem to believe that the heart meds just sped things up for us to find out about his thyroid but that he has always had the problem. His liver has also started to not work so great which just adds to everything else. Now we are onto more specialists, more meds and more prayers. What more can you do?
Thanks everyone for your sweet comments. I will keep you updated. love, mewp
Dear Mack, As our 3rd child by 30 seconds, you must feel the squeeze being between Claire and Mo because you are currently our biggest problem as of right now. You have been on heart meds since you were born. For the past four months you were on this medicine called amioderone and it basically controlled your heart. It did it really well as you had not had any heart episodes since you came home from the hospital. AWESOME!! Well, at the first cardiology visit they told us that the medicine has some pretty strong side effects such as liver failure, thyroid issues, blindness etc. but not to worry as they are usually common in adults who take the medicine over years of time. I repeat...YEARS of time. Well, since you are only 4 months old this awesome medication has completely stopped your thyroid from working, (we found out Thursday), helped you get thrush in your mouth (killed all the good bacteria) so you have stopped taking feeds daily for the past couple of weeks, and made you so blocked up that you have not had a messy diaper in at least a week. (OK, I know that last part is too much info but honestly, as a parent you just get used to talking about all these much needed functions on a daily basis with anyone and everyone. The grocery store clerk, the random receptionist at the Dr.'s office, your neighbors, really...everyone!) So now here we are on a new heart medicine to control the heart (3 x's a day) and medicine for your thrush (4 x's a day). Plus with our stethoscope we are supposed to listen to your heart at least 3 times a day. The cardiologist told us that basically if we can't count the number of beats then we just need to take you into the ER. I just don't know if I can handle this! This is what I have come up with and correct me if I am wrong. Kids are hard! There is no easy way around it. I didn't realize how hard and how many Dr's I would be going to but with all these crazy moments, and I mean crazy, I don't really think I would trade it at all. Sure, I wouldn't mind having less time in the hospitals but what can you do about that? As much trouble as you, my 3rd born is giving me lately and many sleepless nights as I have had recently I would not trade you in. Nope. You are stuck with us so just get over it and give me a break OK! Please let your thyroid start working and just take a break from exciting news at every visit. I would appreciate it greatly!!!
I guess when I go upstairs to pump and feed the boys I need to make myself very clear. I told the girls no fighting, treats, Popsicles, whining etc. I didn't say no cutting your sisters hair with the kitchen scissors. Honestly! What was I thinking?! When asked why Emma cut her sisters hair her response was "I just didn't like Claire's bangs anymore!" What do you say to that?
Kent and I got married in 2002 after meeting in our soph. english class at DHS. We have been living in Utah for the past 9 years and 8 are back in Davis County! You can leave and explore but will always end up back in Farmington!:)
Kent works in the running event industry. He worked for Ragnar Events for 3 years and just this past September started working for The Color Run. He loves the challenge of putting on races for thousands of people trying to just have fun and run. :) He is awesome at it and I am grateful for his hard work to support our family!
We have 4 kids. Emma who is 7 and is such a diva. She is so funny and articulate and a joy to have in the family. Claire is 6 and is a very special spirit in our home. She has her own trials which in turn has taught us so many life lessons. We have our twin boys Mack and Morgan who are 3 and so much fun! We are expecting #5, a boy in June and hope we survive. :)
I am a full time mom and full time harpist. I teach 28 students a week out of our home and somehow try and juggle to joys of being a mom a freelance musician and the joys of being a teacher. I don't do it well but love it all!
We are always up for an adventure and love to travel!