Thursday, December 30, 2010

The End is Nigh!

Today marks 37 weeks, and I am happy to be home from our Christmas trip to El Paso, undelivered. Now that I'm home and a safe twenty minutes from the hospital, bring it. This baby and I are not too happy with the tight compartments and the fight for space can't last too much longer. In honor of Q's imminent arrival, we are going to play

"Predict the Pounds!"

Rules: Guess baby's weight closest and you win!
Rewards: A sense of pride in your psychic skills AND one pound of Sees Candy. We'll send you the gift certificate if you have a Sees nearby, if you don't, we'll mail the box of candy straight to you.

Some clues to get your guessing juice going:
  • Marielle weighed 8 lbs 12 oz and Jenna weighed 8 lbs 11 oz.
  • No gestational diabetes with this pregnancy
  • I was overdue three days with Marielle, one week early with Jenna
If you want to really show your psychic abilities you can guess the birth date too, but know that if you guess anywhere past January 20th you are automatically eliminated. This mama does NOT want to go overdue. Happy Guessing!



Sunday, December 12, 2010


I'm pretty sure we've posted in past years about Marielle's fear of Santa. For the last two years we haven't even tried getting Marielle anywhere near Santa. We thought Jenna might be different.


And although Jenna's still a little skeptical of the red hat, here's a Santa she can really cuddle up to. :)
From our ward party to yours, Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

An Unknown Carol

If your house is anything like our house, you would start listening to Christmas carols sometime around Oct 1. Except your wife is a staunch Christmas-doesn't-start-until-after-Thanksgiving-ist. So come Black Friday, when other (crazy) people are standing in 4 hour lines at [insert favorite store here]*, you are breaking out the favorite movies and songs you only get to listen to for a few short weeks each year. You solicit carol recommendations on Google Buzz. You sing at the top of your lungs as you leave your office, and even as you go mountain biking with the scouts on Saturday morning. You host a Christmas carol sing-along and all your friends are impressed** you know all the actions to The 12 Days of Christmas.

And then, come Dec. 7, you find that you've OD'd on Christmas spirit. Just a little bit. I mean, you're still excited for the Big Day. But you just need a 3 minute and 19 second break. Something ... fresh. Well, that my friends, is why we have this sweet video:

*except Wal-mart. Please tell me you don't go to Wal-mart. I think 4 hours in Wal-mart is long enough for the fluorescent lighting to leach into your soul.
** you were impressed, right?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Black Pete Day!

For those of you that aren't Dutch, Black Pete is Sinterklaas' helper who comes in advance of Christmas to leave presents inside children's wooden shoes. (Check out this awesome pic and more of the back story.) And for those of you that aren't Mullens, Black Pete started giving books as presents during the Great Toy Drought of '95, when the only toys available were Mighty Morphin' Power Ranger action figures -- even less cool than books to a bunch of teenagers. The ACLU got involved after a few years, on behalf of the United Toy Workers, and secured a court order for Black Pete to integrate non-book gifts into his distribution again. Since the North Pole exists outside all legal jurisdictions, Black Pete's compliance was completely voluntary. I think our home is one of the last literary hold-outs on his route, and thankfully our girls get excited. Marielle and Jenna immediately knew which books were whose and clamored onto the couch to get a closer look.

Hope it's a happy holiday for all y'all!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Promise of the Fridge

Have you ever noticed that often couples look just like each other? When I was single my roommates and I coined the phrase "the promise of the fridge." It came from one particular wedding announcement posted on the fridge where the bride and groom to-be looked like twins. And moreover, they were both so, so, how do I say this, nerdy. Scholarly? (is that better?) They were a perfect match. So as single young ladies looking for Mr. Right, we held this couple up as our standard that there really was a guy out there just perfect for each of us.
Now to the present, this morning I was checking a friends blog and saw a post that made me think back to that promise of the fridge.

Meet Jared, Marielle's buddy from Sunbeams and preschool.

And though this picture is a bit dated, you can see these two have something substantial in common. What do you think? Match made in heaven? Marielle is (and will be for the next 18 years) way to young to make any marriage decisions , but I think this guy holds promise. :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Statement of Retraction

A Mullen: 4 Corners story about a missing package of bite size Oreos was based on suspicions that appear to have been unfounded, the reporter and editor responsible for the story said Monday.

Reporter Mary Karlee and her managing editor Ryan Mullen, hereby issue a statement of retraction. "We apologize for the misinformation and any undue stress this caused nursery parents and/or leaders," said the statement, signed by the writers and staff of Mullen: 4 Corners. This statement comes after a nursery leader promptly reported passing out the aforementioned Oreos as a hypo-allergenic treat at the end of nursery. The blog took withering criticism for the Oreo article, which appeared on Sunday evening. "It appears that what I took to be flecks of dirt on Jenna's cheek were in fact genuine Oreo crumbs," Ryan admitted Monday evening. "While I can't speak for the lab that examined our findings, I think the analysis was complicated since Jenna's known to eat food off the ground."

"When I initially interrogated the main witness, 18 month-old Jenna," Mary Karlee recalled, "she refused to answer any questions, except with the occasional 'baby' or 'bird'. Nothing that sounded like 'Oreo'. She wouldn't even tell me how old she was. I had to go on circumstantial evidence."

"As nursery parents ourselves, we express our gratitude for those who watch and teach our toddler every Sunday. Based on our grandparent policy, we affirm the autonomy of whoever is watching our kids to dispense or withhold whatever food they feel is appropriate," the Mullens said in what must have been rehearsed simultaneity.

Christmas is Here!

MK & I retrieved all our Christmas decorations over the weekend. After Church, Marielle begged me to wait until her quiet time was over so she could help decorate. Jenna woke up by that time, too, so it was a full family affair. Here are my favorite moments:
  • The nativities. We have 3, all kid-friendly. MK overheard this storyline night from Marielle, "Oh no! Oh no! Mary is going to marry one of the wisemen. Oh no! Here comes Joseph. We need to stall that wedding!" Then the sheep and camels rushed in. We obviously need to work on the Christmas story.

  • Jenna stomped and twirled spontaneously as Frosty the Snowman played on Pandora.
  • My musical tie went off as I said the closing prayer in sacrament meeting yesterday.
  • As I pulled out and tested Christmas lights, Marielle ran over. I told her, "We had these lights in Houston and put them up on our house." M.e., "Isn't it fun to see all the things I don't remember?"
  • M.e.: "We should have a Christmas dinner!"
    Mom: "What do you eat at a Christmas dinner?"
    Me: "Christmas food."
    Mom: "Like chicken, mac n cheese and biscuits?" (The already planned dinner)
    Me: "Yeah!"
    Both kids polished off their Christmas food with relish.
  • Since we live in an apartment with no outdoor electrical outlets, I decided to put our colored lights inside our living room. After the first string, MK confessed she felt a little like Kramer living across from the Kenny Roger's Roasters neon sign. I believe her exact words were, "Well, it's not soothing." But I persisted, and after the girls' reaction this morning MK decided it was worth it. Jenna turned a full circle reaching up for the lights while saying "Oooooooooooooooh!" and Marielle danced and jumped around the room to Christmas music.

  • We couldn't help but feel the Christmas glow this morning when Marielle said in her breakfast prayer, "And I like eating on Christmas plates. And I loved eating with my Christmas spoon last night. And I love Christmas, it is the best holiday of all."


For those of you out of the acronym loop, the title stands for "What Would Spencer W. Kimball Do?" And for those of you out of the Spencer W. Kimball loop, we defer to his discerning judgment since he was quite the prankster in his pre-apostle days.

We were asked to bring snack to Nursery. Since we've been recent frequenters ourselves, due to Jenna's nursery initiation, we know how snack goes down. The kids must eat "something healthy" to get the token graham or animal cracker as a reward. Sadly Jenna is not really a fan of fruit and veggies (read: she won't touch the stuff and spits out anything even remotely resembling organic or non-processed). So you see, Jenna doesn't get much to eat.

I jokingly suggested sending Oreo's in non-compliance with the very nice note the nursery leaders sent describing appropriate snack suggestions. Ryan thought this idea was too good to be a joke and insisted we do it. After all, why send food we know our child won't eat? As you can see from the picture, we compromised: tangerines AND Oreos.

Exhibit A, Nursery Snack Basket and instructions.
After Nursery we inspected Jenna's mouth for the tell-tale signs of Oreo crumbs and found none. Plus, I checked in on Jenna during snack time: tangerines were out in force, but no snacksters on the napkins. The Oreos were not consumed, YET, not returned. And I want to know, who is eating those little gems? Should we demand our cookies or hope that they are resting in the closet until the day snack is forgotten and the leaders are desperate to stave off a 3 year-old led mutiny?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Jenna é dezoito meses hoje!

This li'l cutie is now ready for nursery!

But is nursery ready for Jenna?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Trip to China Town

This weekend Ryan and I went to a wedding in Oakland. It was a mini family get-together since Ryan's brother and parents attended as well. In between wedding and reception we had some time to kill, so we hit up China Town in Downtown SF. We ate delicious Chinese food (what else?) and rode the trolley car. We shopped a bit too.

I'm sure you'll agree that even though our girls did not make the trip with us, they were the real China Town winners.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sleeping Beauty's Entourage

Marielle dictated costumes this year. She named what she and everyone else was to be. I'm pretty sure she won't get complete costume control in future years, but actually it was pretty fun to do a whole family theme.

Marielle's Princess Aurora dress was amazing. Ryan's mom actually sewed the dress and it is gorgeous. Marielle loved wearing it and most importantly, twirling in it.
Ryan was her Prince Philip. And while his costume was much more "homespun", he danced with her and made her feel like a real princess. (I'm so glad he's my prince too.) Jenna and I got to be two of the three good fairies. I knew long ago that regardless of what Jenna's costume might be, she would be wearing a tutu. The fairy costume worked out splendidly with my tutu vision. And so the Mullen family lived happily ever after this Halloween.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


When Jenna woke up this morning, she headed straight for the kitchen and pulled a chair up to the counter so she could reach...

...the cookies.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween!

from Ryan,

from MK,

from Marielle,

from Jenna,

and from Q!

What do you think: does that last face belong to a boy or a girl?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Marielle's Very Fairy Party

Twas the night before Marielle's party and all through the house...

We constructed a fairy tent for our celebration the next day. Although I felt perhaps such an elaborate decoration might set a precedent for future birthday's I'm not sure I can keep up, it was awfully fun to make and a bit magical to create while our little fairy was sleeping.
Dad had another important job that night in assembling Marielle's bike. This was the present she really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really wanted. Thankfully for this four year old, her parents did not disappoint.

We had such a fun time at the party. Although it was a "family only" year, it turned out to be way more fun than a friends party since everyone there adores Marielle and it showed. She won every game and had choruses of cheers each time she figured out the next clue on the fairy hunt. I was pleased with the cake, beautiful on the outside and yummy on the inside. Marielle had very specific instructions: chocolate cake with a "moma-dada cake on the bottom and a sweetie cake on the top." And of course it needed to be pink.
I'm not sure who enjoyed the day more, Marielle or her parents. I loved watching her delight and excitement during each part of her party and I know Ryan did too. It is awesome to be a parent. I get to relive the magic of childhood but this time I get to be in charge.

If you want to see all the pictures from the party (there are a lot!) you can see them here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday Morning Playtime

We start our week out right with Jenna's toddler class each Monday morning. Although the class is geared to 12-18 months, Marielle enjoys it just as much if not more than Jenna. The class is filled with playtime, snacks, songs, stories, and parachute time.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


My baby has disappeared. Jenna is an outright, no denying, almost time for nursery, toddler! I think I might be baby hungry...good thing I'm due in 3 months.