Friday, June 19, 2009

My Daughter, Francine (Or the Lolly/Laurel Complex)

Sorry if this post is long, boring, and self-indulgent.

Many people, throughout my life, have been confused about my name and what they should call me. Should they call me Lolly or Laurel? And if it is Laurel, is it pronounced "LOR-EL" Or "LAWR-EL"? I get asked these questions frequently. Here are the facts:

My dad knew a girl name Lolly growing up. She was, apparently, a very nice girl and he really liked the name. My mom was wise, however, and thought that I might not want to be "Lolly" my whole life. Her doctor actually told her he knew someone name Lolly whose real name was Laurel. I suppose my parents thought it was an okay name so they went with it. Growing up, though, I was only called Lolly.

When Kindergarten came, I decided it was time for me to be sophisticated and shed childish things--like my name. I was going to be Laurel. Upon entering my classroom for the first time, though, I realized with horror that I had only practiced spelling "Lolly". So, because I couldn't spell "Laurel," I chickened out. By the time first grade and my ability to spell Laurel came around, I was already known as Lolly to all of my school friends. So, I went with it. Lolly I remained through all of elementary school.

When I went to junior high, I decided it was definitely Laurel-time. I was tired of having a weird name and I was more tired of hearing that stupid Lollipop song. So, in my melodramatic journal that first day of junior high--after having introduced myself as "Laurel" in all of my classes, I remember signing off with "Laurel: new name, new life!" Unfortunately, the confusion was only beginning. I started being asked how I pronounce "Laurel." The truth was that I, myself, didn't even know. I asked my mom and she said it was "LAWR-EL." (Since then though, I have been told that is a very Utah way to say it, but hey, I was born and raised in Utah, so whatever. Josh prefers "LOR-EL". Sorry, Mom. To be honest, I don't even notice the difference or care.) Anyway, because my family called me Lolly, and my old friends called me Lolly, and people who came close to my family called me Lolly, I had a little difficulty shedding the name Lolly.

We moved to Oregon when I was in high school, and I saw this as the perfect opportunity. I was yet again, determined to be Laurel. But, dang, my family could not get the hang of it. My mom would introduce me to people in the ward, "This is my daughter, Lol---Laurel." It looked like she didn't even know my name! It was just weird to hear them call me Laurel anyway. I didn't like it. I was their Lolly. So, yeah, the confusion continued.

Cut to me being a 30 year old. I am STILL in a ward with my parents, thus the Lolly/Laurel confusion persists. Lolly is kind of a weird name, but it's mine, and I love it. And the truth is, I don't really care what people call me (unless it's some rude, jerky name like Nast-kitten.) (Should I be ashamed that part of me actually kind of likes the name Nast-kitten, which I created? I am crazy.) Anyway, I have realized that the reason I don't have name preferences is because I come from a family that is HUGE into nicknames. The truth is, we rarely call each other real names anyway.

Case in point: Olivia. Anna couldn't say Olivia, so she called her Viva from the start. From there, Viva mutated into "Vive La France" which turned into "La France" which turned into "France" which turned into "Francy" which turned into "Francine." That is her current nickname. Francine. Now, no offense to the Francines out there, but Francine is definitely not my favorite name. Yet, I call her that in public frequently. Yes, people think my daughter's name is actually Francine. That kind of horrifies me, but not enough to change it.

You would think that after all that I've gone through with the hassle of my nickname, I would avoid such things with my children. Um, no. Sorry, Francine, but I, like my mom, will call you the name that comes to my heart. (And for the record, I do call Josh "Tony." But that's a story for a different post...)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Welcome, Felix!

Josh's Birthday:

I am happy to say that Josh is no longer the only male member of the Weed household. Josh turned 29 on May 12th. Yes, I did say 29. My child-groom has yet to join me in the 30s. It's getting lonely.

Anyway...I got him a parakeet for his birthday. He's mentioned that he wanted one a couple of times now. This truly is the gift that keeps on giving. Parakeets live for 10-20 years. Also, let's be honest, who is going to end up helping to take care of it? Me. So, I will re-live this birthday every time I clean out his cage or give him food. His name is Felix Menendez Weed. He's a pretty bird and we all love him. Viva especially loves it when we take him out of his cage.

Viva update:

Olivia is becoming quite skilled at getting around. She can pull herself to standing and she just learned how to climb stairs on Sunday. She can move fast too. I swear, it doesn't matter where in the house she is, if she hears the fridge open, she's right there in a matter of seconds.

Anna's 3rd Birthday:

Anna has been talking about her birthday for six months now. Seriously, it started back in December with her cousin Mazie's birthday. Since then, almost every day she has said "My birthday is in May. I'm going to Chuck E. Cheese and have a cake and blow out candles." I was a little nervous that her actual birthday would be disappointing to her, but I think she really loved it. We had a Mickey Mouse theme. She said she wanted cupcakes and not a cake, so I made Mickey Mouse cupcakes.

We went to Chuck E. Cheese's and she got to ride a lot of rides and have pizza. We made sure that Chuck E. himself stayed clear of her since she is scared of him.

She got a doll house, which she was fully expecting. That was part of her birthday monologue for weeks: "And I'll get presents...a dollhouse." She also got some clothes, some books, some dollhouse furniture, an apron, a mickey mouse chair, a jewelry box, and a necklace.

She had many guests in attendance: Mimi, Poppi, Chad, Memaw, Poppa, Katie, and her friend, Janey, and her family. I was so glad to have them all there. All in all, it was a great day! I think she had a fabulous 3rd birthday!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bus Stop Musings

I watch Jacob and Laura in the mornings before school. They're good kids and they're very good with Anna and Viva. They're also very creative. They're constantly building things, like houses and forts out of blankets. The other day they were building what appeared to be a tunnel. Anna was, of course, trying to destroy it. I told Anna to stop hurting Laura's tunnel. Then Laura informed me that it wasn't a tunnel it was an "MRI machine." I love the imaginations of little kids.

We walk to their bus stop every day, which is just under a mile round trip. I carry Viva in a front pack and I used to push Anna in a stroller. Lately, however, Anna has been wanting to walk. She's fine on the way there, but on the way home she gets really distracted. Her recent obsession is "counting" license plates. This involves her stopping at every single license plate we pass and her pointing at the letters and numbers while I call them out to her and she repeats them. After weeks of doing this, I am starting to get a little tired of it. I'm telling myself that it's like I'm doing flash cards with her. She can already sing her 'ABCs' but maybe she'll learn how to recognize the alphabet sooner! (Or at least that's what I tell myself after reading my 50th license plate of the day!)

I had to document this "counting" procedure. This is not our car though. It is, however, for sale and has been parked outside our house for a while now. Only $1100. Anyone interested?

Moving right along to another "walking home from the bus stop story"... I'm as much a hypochondriac as the next person with OCD, but I think the children of our neighborhood may have me beat. This morning we were walking through the park on our way home when I spotted about five signs hung randomly throughout the park.

"Stay clean! Stay healthy! Swine Desease
Do not go to Mexico or Seattle
Very Bad for you!"

I was highly amused. And scared of the Swine Flu. I think I'll take their advice, all except for the not going to Seattle part.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Viva's first Easter

I took Anna and Viva to the mall a couple of weeks ago while the Easter Bunny was there. Of course Anna wouldn't go sit on his lap or anything, but she did accept a pair of bunny ears from him. And now that he has stopped by our house and given her candy, she is a fan.

We dyed eggs and we also turned some of them into little animals using a kit that Mickelle and Scott gave us. This picture displays two bunnies, a chicken, an alligator, an elephant, and a pig. To be honest, I had way more fun putting together the animals than Anna did. And she liked doing it a lot, so that is saying something. (Mickelle and Scott, if you guys are reading this and wondering 'What kit?'...Do you remember when you gave us that stack of books from Scholastic before Anna was born? Well, that kit was in one of the books. I remember looking at that kit and thinking it would be years before she would even be able to use it. I can't believe the time is already here! She still loves many of those books, by the way. Her favorite is "Goldilocks has Chicken Pox." Thanks for the great present!)

La France also enjoyed her Easter basket full of Mum-Mums. I am so glad that Jocelyn mentioned them to me because Viva absolutely loves them!

And last of all, here are our Easter sugar cookies. I tried to get Anna to decorate them, but she was too interested in eating the decorations. I would put an eye on one of the ducks, turn around to help Viva, and the eye would be gone. I'm surprised any of them got decorated at all!

All in all, it was a great Easter!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What? She can crawl?!

Anna never crawled. She didn't roll or even move around at all, until she started walking. And she didn't walk until she was fifteen months old. To clarify, yes, that means that Anna just sat there, completely stationary, until she was fifteen months old. To this day I'm not quite sure how she made the transition from baby lump to full mobility.

Knowing this history of my first born, you can imagine how strange it is for me that Viva crawled for the first time today... at eight months old. I realize this is a very standard age to start crawling, and she's been mobile for several months now, rolling around. But it's weird for me to have a crawling baby. It's actually very nice. She also got her top two teeth this weekend. She's growing up so fast! They're both so dang sweet. I love them!

We went down to Portland this past weekend for general conference. We had a great time with Josh's family. We were heart broken, however, to discover that Costa Vida closed down. I came close to shedding tears.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Last week we went to Disneyland with my family. Scott, Mickelle, and Betsy couldn't make it, but everyone else was there. Anna loved being on vacation with her cousins. We had so much fun! I wish I could LIVE in Disneyland. Seriously. I've been fighting depression since we got back. I just love Disneyland!

Viva was totally amazing the entire trip! She loved being there, seeing all the people, soaking up the fun atmosphere. She practically had a smile on her face the entire time. Anna had a few freak out moments. The biggest was at a restaurant the first night we were in Anaheim. Ever since our move, she gets really scared of and overwhelmed by large groups, strangers, and loud laughter. That first night, when my family got together for the first time, of coures all of the above was taking place. One of the waitresses even won her a doll out of the claw maching to try and calm her down. It was very sweet. All in all, Anna loved the vacation. For days after we got home she kept listing off her favorite rides: teacups, rockets, train, and elephants (Dumbo).

In this picture, Viva is sporting one of her souvenirs from the vacation...a black eye. Lately, she's trying to crawl. She does this thing were she just rocks back and forth on her hands and knees and eventually lunges forward onto her stomach. Well, when we were at the airport coming home, she lunged forward, plunging her face into the metal leg of a chair. She cried for about 30 seconds and then got over it, but the bruise started forming instantly. It's almost been a week and it is still there.

Here is us on the carousel, which Anna loved. Apparently by the look on my face, I loved it too. I actually had more fun watching the girls than anything else. Anna was fascinated by the horses on the carousel. She particularly liked the fact that one of them was sticking its tongue out. She commented on it our entire trip.

Papa bought Mickey ears for all the grandkids and we had their names put on the back. We decided to put "Viva" on the back of Olivia's because that is what we always call her. The lady putting the names on the hats had a fit about it. She asked, "Is that her REAL name? Because we only put their formal first given name on the hats." Seriously? I could understand her saying something if we said her name was "La France" (which is another one of her nicknames) or "Poo-head" (NOT one of her nicknames)...but Viva? We had to have like three people go in and tell her to put "Viva" on it and even while she was doing it she was rolling her eyes. I think she was a very "un-Disney" employee.

One of my favorite parts of the vacation was when we went to the Tiki room. We ate Dole Whip Floats, which are AMAZING, before the show started. When we got in the room, both the girls loved it. Josh made Viva dance the entire show. It was adorable!

We also went to California Adventure. They have a live Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show that we took all the kids to see. Anna was jumping up and down and clapping and so excited. When it was over she asked, "Where's my Mickey?"

I have a list of "Goals for my Life" that I made when I was 16 years old. It has about 40 random things on it. I found it the other day and was pleased that I had already accomplished some of them. Some of the goals include having children (it specifies that I have to have at least three, so I'm not there yet), getting married in the temple (go me), bowling a 200 (hasn't happened yet), and other various things. One of the goals listed was to eat at the restaurant that is in the Pirates of the Carribean ride. I am happy to report that I marked that off my list this vacation. My family was wonderful enough to watch the girls while Josh and I went and had a date. I had a great time. The food was REALLY good. Might I suggest going for lunch and having the Montey Cristo Sandwich. Yum! I'm holding the cookie boat in the picture above. It was also incredibly delicious.

Fun random memories:
  • We had IN-N-Out burgers the last night. Yum!
  • We were in Disneyland on Saint Patrick's Day. It was fun to see all the people in green.
  • For two days of the trip the grand-kids all wore matching outfits. They were adorable.
  • We got to go to Disneyland before it opened one morning.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


1. Viva started making noises that sound like words today. She was saying "Da-da" all day today. That was Anna's first word too. Should I feel bad about this?

2. Anna got a tea set a few days ago that she absolutely loves. She's been having tea parties with the Mickey Mouse doll that I brought home from my mission. (One of the only souvenirs that I have from my mission. But, hey, what else am I going to bring home when I went to Orlando, Florida?)

3. Recently, Anna has told me that her "tongue is sad", her "arm-pip is sad", and her "stomach is crying." I'm hoping that the next body part that displays an emotion will have a happy one.

4. Anna is really into names lately. This is the conversation we have about five times a day:
Anna: "Mom, ask me my name."
Me: "What's your name?"
Anna: "Annalyn Kate Weed."
Me: "That's a beautiful name!"
Anna: "What's Viva's name?"
Me: "Olivia Michele Weed."
Anna: "Nice name!" (I love the way she says "Nice name!" She drags the "N" of nice out really long and says the rest of the phrase really fast. I have no idea where she got that from either.)
Anna again: "What's your name?"
Me: "Lolly Weed." (I tried "Laurel" the first time and she couldn't say it, so we're sticking with Lolly.)
Anna: "Nice name!"

5. Today I walked in on Anna singing "Follow the Prophet" and in her lap was a picture of President Monson. I loved that moment!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Chuck E. Cheese is for Lovers

You know how when you have young children and they are learning to pray, you whisper lines to them to help them say their prayers? Like, "Please bless Daddy to get home safe" and then they repeat it in their prayer. Well, apparently Anna feels like I am the one that needs assistance praying.

The the other night, we were having family prayer. I was in the middle of praying when Anna loudly whispers, "Mom! Say 'Chuck E. Cheese!'" I almost started laughing, but she was dead serious. So, I managed to work Mr. Cheese into our prayers that night.

Chuck E. has a special place in Anna's heart. She loves to go there and play. For Valentine's Day, Memaw gave Anna money and a token to go to Chuck E. Cheese. So, the afternoon of Valentine's Day, we took the girls there. Let me just say, who knew Chuck E. Cheese was the destination of choice for the day of love? It was packed! We would have had to wait in line for over a half an hour just to get in if we hadn't have had connections. (Let's just say it pays to have a sister who dates a guy who's brother works there!) We were escorted to the front of the line like little celebrities.

Anna had a great time at the Cheese. Josh, Memaw, and I picked up the stomach flu which we have been referring to as "Chuck E. Cheese disease." I will be honest. The past week has been miserable for us at the Weed house. Colds and the stomach flu have all come to visit. Yuck!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Viva is getting teeth!

Viva is officially teething. She woke up this morning with a runny nose and I could feel a bottom front tooth poking through. Why do kids get runny noses when they are teething, anyway? You can see her little red nose in this picture and how miserable she is feeling. Her little face is all red.

There are a couple of points of interest in this picture. 1. Notice what Anna is holding in her hand. Yes, that is a "booger sucker." Anna has been referring to it as "her ice cream cone" and has been carrying it around for several days now. 2. I am amused by Viva's face. It looks like she's trying to decide if the enthusiastic affection (read "scary love") that Anna is showing to her ice cream cone will soon be transferred to herself. Little Viva has been the recipient of a lot of enthusiastic affection from Anna. Today Anna climbed on Viva for a piggy back ride! Viva's a patient little one.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Diving In

My problem with journals and blogs is that I always feel like I have to "catch up" on everything I missed after having not written in them for a while. This discourages me from writing and then I become even more behind. A vicious cycle. So, I'm jumping in without catching up.

Disclaimer: I have read a few blogs here and there, many of which were cleverly written. I do not promise my blog will be the same. I apologize for lameness in advance. Basically I want a little "family journal." I was inspired by Ashley Schultz's blog book. It was so cute! I realized in order to have a blog book, I would actually have to write in my blog. Crazy me.

Disclaimer 2: Josh is the English person, not me. I take no responsibility for any grammar mistakes.

Here is my exciting news for the day: Viva (That's what we call Olivia because that is what Anna calls her and we like it) rode in a shopping cart for the first time yesterday! This is very liberating for me. Well, at least when we're at Costco. Don't you just love the double cart? I wish all the grocery stores had them.

Other news: Josh and I started P90X yesterday. Let me just say that my arms are killing me. I could barely carry the girls around today. Also, the 16 minute ab video is pretty hard. Yeah, 16 minutes, that's a long time for just abs. Wish us luck!