Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday Randoms

And boy HOWDY, will it be random.  But lest you think that my constant fetus sickness (I borrowed that term from Carina) had deprived my child of any of the requisite holiday cheer, I will now show you otherwise.

1-  Nolan FINALLY put his mustache on for a photo.  For Tamera, of course. This was at her family Halloween party, which was so much fun.  They really went all out!

2- We also had our yearly caramel apple party, which was a bit scaled down this year, and didn't involve our usual pumpkin patch trip, mostly because it was snowing, which didn't inspire me to take a 3 year old out in a muddy field. . .  But he still enjoyed decorating his apple!

3- We spent our Thanksgiving week in AZ.  And I have to say, like going to Seattle when it's sunny, being in AZ in the winter makes me want to move.  It's a beautiful time of year to be there.  Especially when it's nasty and snowy in UT.

Nolan had a fantastic time playing with Tiff's girls, and the kids even ate their turkey (or in Nolan's case, just rolls) out on the back patio while the adults ate inside.  Have I mentioned how much I love having a child who is finally old enough to run around with his cousins without constant supervision?

4- So far, our Christmas preparations are going surprisingly well.  We even let Nolan help decorate the tree!  He had a lot of fun, and while I had to rearrange a few ornaments, he did a pretty good job.  And it was pretty exciting for him to get to put the star on top of the tree.  

And we WILL be getting Christmas cards mailed!  
That's right!  That was not an empty threat I made in my last post.  Cards are on their way!

5- And finally, last night at Ben's housing Christmas party, they had a visit from Santa.  Nolan was not interested in sitting on his lap, but he was willing to stand next to him and tell him that he wanted "Lego Hogwarts Castle".  He was very disturbed when Santa offered him a bag of candy, thinking that he was getting candy INSTEAD of the gift he asked for.  That was a pretty entertaining thing to try to explain. 

(and that sweet orange mustache can be attributed to the orange soda we gave him in order to bribe him into eating ONE MEASLY ROLL before running off to play.  I'm not even going to go into his eating issues right now, but let's just say they are extensive.)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I Have A Plan

I want to send out Christmas cards this year.

Don't laugh.  I'm serious.

TRUE, we've never sent a legitimate Christmas card in our married lives.

TRUE, we didn't even get around to a DIGITAL card last year.

And last year I wasn't pregnant and sick as a dog.

But we are DOING IT this year.  

So if you want to test my resolve, this is all you have to do 
(because heaven forbid I plan ahead and save last year's cards for addresses)

Send me an email with your mailing address. 
melaniewhess at gmail

We are taking a picture this weekend 
(thank heaven Nolan's nanny is also a photographer)

I am ordering cards.

I WILL mail them.

If you want to be on our list, I want you to be on our list.
Even if it's just to see if I'll actually follow through.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Give Back

 Design Mom had a fantastic post today on Giveback.org

PEOPLE, this is amazing.  AMAZING.

This is a site through which you set up a "foundation".  You can donate your own money directly through your foundation, or, OR you can follow links to merchants (places you ALREADY SHOP ONLINE!) and the merchant will donate a portion of your purchase to your foundation!  It's the most AMAZINGLY SIMPLE, but also TOTALLY BRILLIANT idea!  It will take you 30 seconds longer to get to Gap.com or BabiesRUs.com.. . but then the money you spend goes to a good cause!

I love it.  I will be using it for all of my holiday shopping.

The list of charities you can choose from to donate to is HUGE.  And why WOULDN'T YOU?

PLUS, they send you ONE RECEIPT, come tax time, to deduct your donations from your taxes.



My current choice of charities. . .  and if you know me OR my mom, you know why. . .

Migraine Research Foundation Inc.


Do it.  

It's free. You have NOTHING to lose.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It's a. . .

I have many many things to post relating to Nolan's birthday and a late Halloween party. . .  And I might get to those things, eventually.  If I can stop throwing up long enough to be productive for longer than an hour.  An hour which is inevitably filled with something like stupid WORK, and not blogging.. .

BUT, I had to return to post some news.

Yesterday, November 10th, we had a gender ultrasound for this newest Hess baby. . .  Mostly because mama couldn't take it any more and needed SOMETHING to get her through the next 22 weeks of pregnant "bliss" (this little one will be born via c-section about a week early, so I AM counting my blessings that I'll be pregnant 2 weeks LESS than I was with Nolan.  That's something, right?)

Anyway, the point is.. .


And I have to admit, I'm thrilled!  I have been secretly (or not so secretly) hoping that this one was a girl for weeks not.  It makes me feel a little bit better about how much WORSE this pregnancy is than the last. . .

And now I can start nesting and planning and filling my brain up with how the heck we're going to fit another being and her things into our already crowded space without killing each other.   And it's totally possible.  I just need a few more of those non-puking productive hours each day. . .  LUCKILY, we have a room already painted a beautiful shade of red that we will use for this new little one.  We'll have a little touching up to do, but no real PAINTING (Hooray!)  Just some decorating and shifting and storing. . .  And I'm a little bit excited about that part!

Wish us luck!

Thursday, November 04, 2010


Well, Halloween was SLIGHTLY more successful this year than last.  But only slightly.

Nolan LOVED his costume, and wore it constantly the week before Halloween.  But it went downhill from there.  I took him to get his Halloween photo taken on the 28th. . .  and while he let me put on the costume, he refused to wear the mustache.  (but aren't they cute anyway?  Ashley is a pretty amazing photographer)

Obviously, he chose to be Mario this year.  I looked and looked for a Harry Potter costume that would fit him, but they don't make them for his age group. 

The day of Halloween. . .  he wanted nothing to do with the costume either.  We got to Tamera's house for our trick or treating, and he let me put the costume on in the car.  Only to have it start pouring and HAILING on us 5 minutes later.  We went to 2 houses.  One of which required wading through giant puddles of water and hail.

In the end, our Halloween consisted of handing out candy to other brave kids. . . And I think we were both pretty OK with that.  We'll try again on the costume thing next year. . .

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pregnancy Sucks - part 2

I should state for the record that the first post I wrote on this subject was highly preemptive.  I WAS pregnant, but not very far along.  And I had no idea what was coming.  Nothing tragic.  I had a complication free pregnancy until the very end, but when I wrote my first post, I thought the morning sickness was going away. . .


It was just beginning.  

With Nolan, I only threw up once before the second trimester.  I then started throwing up about once a day or every other day for the rest of my pregnancy.  
By far, the pukiness of pregnancy is my LEAST favorite part.

This time around, I'm sicker.  I am throwing up pretty regularly, and once again. . .  trimester 2 is just bringing with it MORE sickness. . .  not less.  I just crossed over, mind you, so we'll see what happens.  I'm still praying it subsides. . .  but I'm not holding out a lot of hope.

Things that are true that i didn't know the first time:

1- every woman really DOES experience pregnancy differently.  Just because your mom or your sisters experienced things one way does NOT mean you will experience the same thing.

2- the swelling. . .  OH the swelling (especially in that last month)

3- no matter how much you hate pregnancy, babies are easier on the inside than the outside.  Sleep deprivation is NOTHING until you have to be up all night every night with a newborn.

I know that everything in life is a matter of perspective.  And I know that my attitude is a big part of my distaste for this process.  I spend too much time dwelling on how gross I feel and not marveling in the wonder of growing a child. . .

When it comes right down to it, it's worth it, but pregnancy still sucks.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Friday Randoms

1-  Nolan has a very funny way of saying "marshmallow".  We discovered this when my mom brought his a marshmallow gun when they had their grandma day a few weeks ago.  And then she found a way to MAKE marshmallow guns for all the kids. . .

I had to make a small video of his pronunciation, just in case he figures it out sometime soon.  It's tough to hear, so turn it up a bit, but it's pretty funny.

2- Still not feeling any better with the sickness. . .  thanks a lot little lime baby (Babycenter tells me how big my baby is every week in comparison to a food. . .  this week, it's the size of a lime)  I'm desperately hoping the need to throw up goes away very soon. . . 

3- Those of you that LOVE Halloween. . .  I appreciate that you feel that way, but I just don't get it.  Seriously.  Dressing up is not fun.  It's a pain.  You spend a lot of time and money on a holiday that is over in one night.

And beginning your decorating in September?  SERIOUSLY?!  It's not even a real holiday!

Too many years in the theatre?  Probably.  But you will never catch me dressing up for Halloween.  Much to Ben's chagrin, as he's a fan of group costumes. . .

I love fall.  LOVE fall.  Don't love Halloween.


4- Our friends Dallas & Helen have moved back to the big bad USA after several years in Australia.  (AZ, sadly, not UT, but we'll take what we can get)  And while I am certain Australia misses them, we are pretty darn pleased to have them back.  Ben & Dallas met on their mission in Seattle and were then roommates at BYU. . .  which is where I met Dallas. 

He married miss Helen several years later, and it's a little sad that even with the several months she spent living in Provo, I didn't REALLY get to know her until I started blog stalking her. . . 

Helen brought their sweet little 3 year old Isabel up to UT over last weekend, and we were lucky enough to meet up with them for a little Mexican food on their way out of town.  (unfortunately Dallas didn't join them, but he'll be back in January!)  And now we have one MORE reason to visit AZ!

Nolan and Isabel already like each other very much. . .

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Nolan Has An Announcement To Make

And that, my friends, is why you haven't seen much of me for the last 2 months.

This little state that I'm in is, to be totally honest, one of my least favorite things on the earth.  

I wrote a post here during my pregnancy with Nolan called "Pregnancy Sucks".  It has, by FAR, gotten more hits than any other post on my blog.  And by FAAARRR more comments (36) by random strangers than any other.  So I know I'm not alone.

I plan to write a sequel to that post, eventually, but this is not that post. 

This is to let the world at large, those that weren't already aware, that in April,
we will be welcoming a new wee little Hess to our home. 

Only ONE wee little Hess, despite my many fears and dreams that I was carrying twins. . . 
An ultrasound has confirmed that there is just one in there.

Nolan had, at first, stated that he wanted a sister, and that a sister was a boy.  
He has since managed to clear that one up in his head and has stated that he's going to have a brother.  

I think he's right.

Ben, and several others, think it's a girl.

We have many more weeks before we find out who's right.

But for now, we're just praying that I can stop throwing up
so we can get back to life a little bit.

Cross your fingers.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Wednesday Randoms

1-Have you seen these t-shirts?  Maybe we're just font people at our house. . . but I loved them when I saw them.  And then my awesome sister in law Emily decided to try out stenciling on t-shirts using freezer paper.  And I talked her into making one for Nolan.  He will now thank her:

2- Do your kids wear crocs?  Does it cause their feet to peel badly on the bottoms?  Or is it just my kid?  He doesn't seem to care.  In fact, I've asked if they hurt and he says no. So it's probably not a big deal.  but it looks pretty freaky.

3- My newest music acquisition. . .  Mindy Gledhill's Anchor.  Seriously.  Go get it from iTunes.  I promise you'll like it.

4- Ben was at work on Friday at lunch time, and Nolan and I decided to have a picnic in the back yard.  (I changed my schedule a bit last week, so I was working from home on Friday, which is why I'm just posting this blog NOW)

I thought I'd capture a little bit of crazy toddler stream of consciousness for you.  Because I'm sure you care. . .  I am fascinated by the vocabulary and the grammar he picks up every day.  And he's become a big fat copy cat.  Which is very scary.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Randoms

1- School is about to begin at BYU, and as such, I'm trying to avoid Provo as MUCH as possible.  I am amazed at how badly some people drive, how little the pay attention, and how often very old grandparents are dropping freshman off at school.  NOT a good combo.  I prefer to stay in Springville, thank you.

2- Nolan's song book has expanded lately to include some stellar choices.  ABC by the Jackson 5, Don't Speak by No Doubt, and his current favorite Black Horse and the Cherry Tree by KT Tunstall.  This video does not even REMOTELY do it justice . . .  but it's a little tease of what he does all day. . . wandering around the house singing at the top of his lungs. . .  getting SOME of the words right.

He also likes to boss me around. . .
For your reference, this is the song he's singing

3- Nolan feels strongly about protecting his head and eyes from the sun.  I'm afraid we've been a little hyper vigilant with him and his fair skin and eyes. . .

When we couldn't find his Cars sunglasses the other day, He freaked out.  

So, in an attempt to just GET OUT OF THE HOUSE,
(have you ever had a 2.75 year old?  then you know what I mean)
 I gave him these:

They were in the diaper bag.  I believe they were Aubrey's when she was much smaller.  
I have no idea why I had them.  
But they were good enough for him, and he wore them the whole time we were out, 
much to Ben's chagrin.

Anna compared him to Elton John.  

I believe that's fair.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Randoms

1- For my weekly movie suggestion.. .  go see "The Switch".  It's surprisingly good!  It got almost ZERO marketing, but it's actually well written.  The premise is ridiculous.  RIDICULOUS.  But it actually WORKS! 

A good movie, despite the fact that there's a scene of Will Swenson's butt.

2- Tamera made Nolan the most amazing present EVER this week.  He is in LOVE.

One side Batman.  One side Robin.

He saw a kid out in front of our house wearing one the other day, and was fully offended when we attempted to substitute with a dish towel.  We've had to tell him he's not allowed to sleep in it, but other than that. . .  wears it ALL the time.

3- SO ready for "summer" to be over.  This one has been Loooonnnngggg.  The fabulous addition of RA training at the end. . .  NOT a fan.  I'm ready for life to go back to normal.  NORMAL!!  Can you sense my frustration here?

That is all

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Randoms

1- Ben's show has closed!  Which means we get him back, finally!  It was a long summer. . .  with more than one night of me taking Nolan to dinner or shopping, just to escape from that dreaded dinner/pre-bedtime part of the day that is SO difficult for me to get through.  
 On this particular occasion, we were spending time with the rocking chairs at Cracker Barrel after dinner, getting ready for a rousing "game" of checkers.

2- When was the last time I sang the praises of the neti pot?  Because truly. . .  it's getting me through this darn summer cold when nothing else can.  SO simple, but such a miracle

3- This past weekend was spent with my sister's kids up in Layton, while my sister and her husband went to Michigan for a funeral.  I kept the older kids and Nolan, with the help of my dad and Ben, and determined that while it wasn't as hard as I expected it to be . . .  I am not cut out to be the mother of four.  Nolan had a FABULOUS time, trying so hard to be one of the big kids, and repeatedly yelling "wait for me, guys!"

My biggest observation. . .
Someone is ALWAYS talking.  And usually at LEAST 2 of them at once.  It was exhausting, and I have new respect for moms of lots of kids.  Especially those who stay home. . .  You people are super women!

4- Ben's car broke down yesterday.  Just died at a stop light.  Can I say how grateful I am that he didn't freak out?  He didn't.  He rolled it around the corner, and called the towing company, at which point Nolan and I met him and had an impromptu picnic on the lawn of the Provo Tabernacle. . .  I'm probably feeling good about how we handled the whole thing because we still haven't heard how much it's going to cost to fix.  THEN maybe we'll freak out. . .

5- Remember that picture I promised?  Here you go.
Will Swenson, Audra McDonald, Ben, & me
In case you needed proof that it actually happened.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Randoms

1- I have finally found it.  IN UTAH.  A cupcake shop that impresses the
cupcake snob in me...

(I borrowed this image from their blog to entice you)

If you live anywhere near Provo, GO.  It's in Brigham's Landing
(just down the way from Burgers' Supreme)  

And they have. . .  get this. . . NON-DRY chocolate!  It is literally the first time I have experienced that in a cupcake shop.  And if there's anything I hate, it's a dry cupcake.  Please go visit them.  I need them not to close and I can't support them all on my own.

2- We are making it through the summer one crazy day at a time.
Most days we have at least 15 conversations like this one:

Because independence requires opinions.
Strong opinions.
And right or wrong, stubbornness.

3- Ben's show has 10 more performances.  . .  if you haven't seen it, go see it.
If last night's performance was any indication, you could get more entertainment
than you bargained for. . .  which  kind of makes me want to go back again.
Because who doesn't like some drama?

4- Inception.


I predict now that it will win best picture.  And totally deserve it.

5- Ben and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary on Wednesday.
When did that happen?

And how do I get this hair back?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Loraine Came to Town

Our dear friend Loraine came to town this past week. . . 

And since she is the one who introduced us to the joy of the Sundance brunch, we had to make a trek up there.  And we had to take pictures. . .

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Randoms

Maybe I should start calling this "Every OTHER Friday Randoms".  sheesh. . .  
On to the interesting stuff:

1-Kevin and Vanessa welcomed their sweet little baby Olive into the world last Wednesday!  Finally, the much anticipated wee girl made her appearance several days late and after torturing her mother with many hours of pushing.  . . And was she not worth the wait?  LOOK AT HER!  (hopefully they don't mind me putting her face on my blog. . .)  

Nolan has already staked his claim on her, which I think is understandable. . .though I think he may have a fight on his hands.  I hear she already has many suitors.

2-  Because of dear little Olive's arrival, and the drawn out nature of it, Kevin, of course, decided to be at his wife's side in the hospital while she delivered, rather than singing with the broadway stars at the Hale on Wednesday night.  Which meant. . .  Ben got to go on as File that night!  AND, to add to the excitement, Nick, Cort & I were at the show!  It was a very last minute decision on Kevin's part, to say the least.  Ben was working on lines and running scenes with Audra all day, but the final decision was only made 10 minutes before curtain!  And I have to tell you. . . Kevin is GOOD in this part.  Ben was nervous in a COMPLETELY understandable way.  Big shoes to fill doesn't even begin to cover it. . .

But Ben was AMAZING.  Just wonderful.  & the thing I appreciated about it most was that he didn't try to mimic Kevin.  He put his own spin on it, and it worked out beautifully.  Will & Audra were beyond gracious and the rest of the cast showered him with well deserved compliments when it was done. . .  

What a great night.
 (If you want to read another account of this show, this one is pretty awesome,
from the fabulous Marvin Payne.)

A picture exists of us with Will & Audra after the show, but I need to get it from the resident photographer (Korianne), so I will have to add it later.

3-  To follow up that joy, I headed off to CA last Friday morning to hang with the girls from my mommy board for a crafty weekend.  We did the same thing last year, in St. Louis

but this year we picked a really cool crafting house in Southern California (Temecula, which is basically the middle of nowhere) to host the retreat.  And it was DIVINE.  So much relaxing and chatting and SO much productivity!  

I managed to finish 25 taggie blankets in one weekend!  Some of them already have babies to go to, as you can see by the initials. . .  I can't wait to see what we follow it up with next year, because this year was AWESOME. 

4- We celebrated Trish-mas this week on Trish's birthday, by visiting the cemetary and going to PF Changs.  I can't believe it has been a year already. . .  And we still miss her. . .  of course.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Friday Randoms

1- I'm going to drag Nolan with me to see Justin Hackworth's 30 strangers show tonight.  This is a pretty incredible event that Justin stages, and a pretty awesome opportunity he is offering for you to get a photo shoot and help those in need at the same time.  I went last year and LOVED itGot my picture taken by Justin and LOVED that too.

If you're anywhere near Provo tonight, come on down!  (I'll be the one trying to keep my 2 year old out of the cupcakes.  Or exiting quickly when I see that there are NO other children in the building)

2- Inspired by Kevin & his newsies shoot. . .  Tamera tried one of her own, and Nolan got to play again.

That gives you a pretty good idea of Nolan's skin tone next to other people, doesn't it? Poor fair skinned child.

3- You know you're boring and old (and also too busy) when the news that your boss is letting you out of work early on Friday inspires thoughts of stopping for groceries on the way home.  What is WRONG with me?

4- Last Sunday we joined Ben's family for a little picnic in Kim's back yard. . .  all of Ben's sisters were in town, which is always an event to celebrate.  It didn't last long enough.  I love to have other kids and a dog for Nolan to run around with in a nice safe back yard.  What could be better?

ps. Nolan learned his made hulahooping skills from watching me do Wii Fit.  Can you tell?

5-  I'm making birthday cupcakes for Audra McDonald tomorrow. . .  this is making me more nervous than I would have thought.  I'm making the same kinds I've made 100 times, but still. . .  it seems like they should be fancier.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Randoms

1- Ben's show opens on Monday (Monday?  Huh?  I don't know either).  They were featured in a Playbill article today. . .  Which pretty much makes them famous or something.  I can't wait to see it.  I'm a little giddy.

2- Nolan got his picture taken again last night.  My cousin Tami is an aspiring photographer, and I again volunteered my kid. . . are we sensing a pattern here?

Just a few of my favorites. . .  I'm sure I'll be posting more later.

3- This isn't a movie review post. . .  but Toy Story 3?  Go see it.  seriously.  I couldn't stop crying. . .

4- We came out of Chilis the other night to see Mario standing on the side of the road.  I think the kid in the big head was a little confused by me, but how could I NOT take Nolan over for a picture?

He didn't know what to do once we got there.  He sort of chickened out.  But the kid was nice and held his hand for a picture.

5- It is full on summer now, and Nolan has finally started to enjoy the sprinklers.  Seriously.  Does that not look fun?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Two a half

When you ask Nolan how old he is, he will hold up 2 fingers and say "Two a half!"  he leaves out the and, but really. . .  it's still adorable.

So, recently our good friend Kevin Goertzen lost his job.  WIth his wife nearing her due date with their first child, and law school on the horizon in the fall, finding another gig is going to be tricky, to say the least.  So Kevin is filling his time with something he's always loved, but never really had time to pursue fully before.  Photography.

He's done a lot of head shots for actor friends and acquaintances, but as he gets new equipment, he's decided he wants to branch out a bit and get more creative.  So I offered Nolan up as a subject for his creativity.  (I know, I'm generous, right?)

We tried for a "Newsies" sort of look.  Kevin got some pieces from the Hale and we dressed Nolan up.  And truly, I was not at ALL sure Nolan was going to go for this.  Not at ALL.  He loves Kevin.  & he was more than excited to go to his house.  But getting my kid to hold still for very long. . .  not easy.  But he did amazingly well, given a few chances to run in between sets.  Check it out!

And then, when we had exhausted those options (we tried some of Nolan sleeping on the papers, but in trying to make him pretend to sleep, he really just looked like he was crying)  I asked Kevin to snap a few of Nolan in an outfit I bought last fall for a photoshoot, that ended up being way too big at the time.  And it seemed a shame to waste a perfectly good (if now well worn) outfit. . .   So here you go:

I love these because Nolan was comfortable enough with Kevin that these pictures REALLY capture who my kid is right now.  Not to mention, they're awfully pretty.

Kevin is open to more guinea pigs, and has given me permission to pimp him out on my blog. . .  so let me know, and I'll get you his number.  He's got super reasonable rates because he's still building his portfolio. . .  and he needs more willing subjects to try out his creative ideas. 

Thanks, Kevin!