Friday, February 25, 2011

Life at our house lately...

Well life has been a bit busy lately and I haven't really had time to blog about it. Which is why I posted like 5 posts today. So here's some things to catch you up on us....

I started a blog boutique and have actually been selling bows, which is totally awesome!!! Check it out at

Rocco started a sleep chart to get him to stay in his bed all night long, and every time he earns ten stars (one star per night that he stays in his bed), he gets to pick out a fun new toy at the red store! It's working great!!! So far he has only earned one toy (a batman figure), but he is well on his way to a second one, and we are all sleeping better! Hallelujah!

I made my first chicken pot pie, and not bragging, it was so seriously delicious!!! You want the recipe let me know and I'll pass it on...

Rocco and ZeeZee are the very best of friends and spend all day everyday making huge messes and fighting with each other, and laughing with each other! Life is great!

Rocco started T-Ball and is SOOO good at it! Turns out he is ambidextrous and can use both hands really well. Which apparently is a good thing in baseball, so who knows?! Rocco might have a future there. (Hopefully no tho, cuz baseball is kind of boring to watch...)

Zeegan @ 10 months

Zeegan is 10 months now! I know I say this ALL the time! But time is seriously flying by! She's growing up too fast! Some things to remember about ZeeZee at this age:

*My Baby girl has 4 teeth now! She looks so grown up, it's sad! But no joke, she's got this Gap the size of the Grand Canyon between her two top front teeth! It's so goofy looking... I LOVE IT!!!

* ZeeZee's hair is so long now! It's at least a quarter of the way down her back. Half of it's naturally curly, and the other half is stick straight. So I tried putting curlers in it the other day. They didn't work, but she looked adorable with the curlers on her cute head!

*Zeegan is a Mommy's Girl!! Except for when Daddy's around...

*ZeeZee is seriously such a mischevious little lady! She does the most hilarious, and kind of awful, things! For example: The other day she made kissing noises at me and when I went to kiss her, she smacked me in the face and started laughing! And about a week ago one of her little friends was over and ZZ started yelling at her, and ZZ's friend started to cry and ZZ got this huge smile on her face! I'm in big trouble when she gets older... but for now, it's super funny and cute!

*Zeegan loves to laugh! and She laughs at her brother all the time! She thinks Rocco is the funniest thing in the world! Whenever I have to wash her face and hands (which she hates), or change her clothes (which she hates even more than being scrubbed), I make Rocco come in and run around, and then she just laughs the whole time. It's adorable!

*Zeegan has been standing on things for awhile now, and walking along things as much as possible, but on Grampa's birthday the other night, Zeegan walked by herself for the first time! She got so excited when everyone started clapping and stuff. I think she'll be running around in no time! but I hope I'm wrong about that.

*ZeeZee loves her finger foods! She gets so excited and starts clapping and yelling when she sees the yogurt melt bag or the star puffs container... and watching her put them in her mouth? I can't even describe how cute it is! But I could seriously watch her eat all day!

*Zeegan is the most wonderful Baby girl in all the world and we love her so much! I don't know what I did to deserve such incredible children, but I love them with all my heart and I'm so grateful to have ZZ as my baby girl!

Rocco's Valentine's Day Cookies

The Thursday before Valentine's Day, I had a photo shoot to do, so Grammy took Rocco for a couple hours. They went Valentine's shopping and he was such a sweetheart and got me a Giant DOVE CHOCOLATE heart! That boy knows his mama! They also got Valentine cookie mix and decorating stuff.
So Valentine weekend, when Daddy was home, we made cookies! It was so fun! Rocco was seriously bouncing off the walls! He stood next to Daddy the whole time he was mixing the dough, he strategically placed MMs on each cookie, he watched the cookies through the oven window the entire 8 minutes they were cooking, and then he carefully decorated his cookies. It was adorable! Then daddy put a Z on one of the cookies and asked Rocco what the Z stands for... he was looking for the answer "ZZ".... Rocco says "ZORRO!" then he ate his Zorro cookie (and about ten other cookies as well). Zeegan was so good through the whole cookie making process that we let her have a cookie as well :) a baby cookie that is.

Happy Valentines All Y'all!!!

The GREAT Park!

So a couple weeks back we went to the "Great Park" in Orange county, and it was great! (Pun intended). It's such a fun place for families! Everything was free and we had a fun time the entire day!
When we first got there we rode the carousel, then we rode it again, and again, and again, and again, and ... well you get the picture. Rocco loved it! ZeeZee and I rode a horse the first time around, but after that we just sat on the bench while Rocco went from one animal to another. So much fun! Then we went and got our hands stamped so we could be on standby to ride in the helium balloon (like a ot air balloon but full of helium...). While we waited for them to call our names to ride, Rocco got to play on their totally awesome playground, while Seth, ZZ, and I enjoyed to wonderful weather and the lawn!
Then, we rode in the balloon It was incredible! The view was totally awesome! Rocco loved that we could see the playground from way up in the sky, and I thought the playground looked pretty cool from the bird's eye view. If I'm completely honest though, I'll admit I was a little scared being up that high. But Rocco and ZZ were fearless! Rocco didn't want to get off when they brought us back down to the ground...
After our awesome balloon adventure we had a picnic on the lawn. Next to the picnic area they have a Porsche school, where they were time testing and racing Porsches. So while Rocco went crazy on the playground, and ZZ crawled all over the place, Seth and I drooled over the cool cars!
We finished the day by riding the carousel a couple more times and went home! We'll definitely be going back though! Apparently they are opening the largest indoor aviation museum there pretty soon, so that will make it even more awesome!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My life these days; in a nutshell...The real Juli Purcell.

I usually post a lot of pictures and a sentence or two, or a short story for my blog posts. But I like to stick with pictures usually, because a picture is worth a thousand words, and my pictures are better than a million of my words. Today will be a little different though...
I recently read an interesting article that made me stop and reflect and think for awhile, and then made me a little depressed (I'll tell you why once you read the article), and now the though of that article just makes me smile. Here is a part of that article:


At first glance, Naomi and Stacie and Stephanie and Liz appear to be members of the species known as the "Hipster Mommy Blogger," though perhaps a bit more cheerful and wholesome than most. They have bangs like Zooey Deschanel and closets full of cool vintage dresses. Their houses look like Anthropologie catalogs. Their kids look like Baby Gap models. Their husbands look like young graphic designers, all cute lumberjack shirts and square-framed glasses. They spend their days doing fun craft projects (vintage-y owl throw pillow! Recycled button earrings! Hand-stamped linen napkins!). They spend their weekends throwing big, whimsical dinner parties for their friends, all of whom have equally adorable kids and husbands.
But as you page through their blog archives, you notice certain "tells." They're super-young (like, four-kids-at-29 young). They mention relatives in Utah. They drink a suspicious amount of hot chocolate. Finally, you see it: a subtly placed widget with a picture of a temple, or a hyperlink on the word "faith" or "belief" or "Families are Forever." You click the link and up pops the official website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Yep, Naomi and Stacie and Stephanie and Liz are Mormons. They're members of a large, close-knit network of Mormon lifestyle bloggers -- young stay-at-home-moms who blog about home and hearth, Latter-day Saint-style. Mormon lifestyle bloggers occupy their very own corner of the blogosphere.
Their lives are nothing like mine -- I'm your standard-issue late-20-something childless overeducated atheist feminist -- yet I'm completely obsessed with their blogs. On an average day, I'll skim through a half-dozen Mormon blogs, looking at Polaroids of dogs in raincoats or kids in bow ties, reading gratitude lists, admiring sewing projects.
I'm not alone, either. Two of my closest friends -- both chronically overworked Ph.D. candidates -- procrastinate for hours poring over Mormon Mommy Blogs. A recent discussion about mormonism on a not-mormon-mommy blog, unleashed a waterfall of confessions in the comments section from other young non-religious women similarly riveted by the shiny, happy domestic lives of their Latter-day Saint sisters.
"They have lovely homes, picture-perfect kids, loving, super-attentive husbands, and things seem very normal and calm," writes a commenter named BrookeD, who admits to reading five Mormon blogs daily.
"I thought I was the only one!!" responds another commenter.
"THANK YOU," adds a third. "I'm another closet non-Mormon reader of Mormon mommy blogs."
So why, exactly, are these blogs so fascinating to women like us -- secular, childless women who may have never so much as baked a cupcake, let alone reupholstered our own ottomans with thrifted fabric and vintage grosgrain ribbon? It's not as though we're sniffing around the dark side of the faith, à la "Big Love." And it's not about religion. I certainly have no illusions about what life as a Mormon would be like, and I'm sure it's not for me, which makes my obsession with these blogs all the more startling.
Well, to use a word that makes me cringe, these blogs are weirdly "uplifting." To read Mormon lifestyle blogs is to peer into a strange and fascinating world where the most fraught issues of modern living -- marriage and child rearing -- appear completely unproblematic. This seems practically subversive to someone like me, weaned on an endless media parade of fretful stories about "work-life balance" and soaring divorce rates and the perils of marrying too young/too old/too whatever.
"It seems that a lot of popular culture wants to portray marriage and motherhood as demeaning, restrictive or simple, but in the LDS church, motherhood is a very important job, and it's treated with a lot of respect," says Natalie Holbrook, the New York-based author of the popular blog Nat the Fat Rat. "Most of my readers are non-LDS women in their late 20s and early 30s, college educated, many earning secondary degrees on the postgraduate level, and a comment I often get is, 'You are making me want kids, and I've never wanted kids!'"
Indeed, Mormon bloggers like Holbrook make marriage and motherhood seem, well, fun. Easy. Joyful. These women seem relaxed and untouched by cynicism. They throw elaborate astronaut-themed birthday parties for their kids and go on Sunday family drives to see the fall leaves change and get mani-pedis with their friends. They often have close, large extended families; moms and sisters are always dropping in to watch the kids or help out with cake decorating. Their lives seem adorable and old-fashioned and comforting.
Holbrook says. "It's important to acknowledge the hard parts -- and I think we all do -- but why not focus more on the lovely and the beautiful? That positive attitude is a very common theme throughout all aspects of the Mormon faith."
This focus on the positive is especially alluring when your own life seems anything but easy. As my friend G. says, of her fascination with Mormon lifestyle blogs, "I'm just jealous. I want to arrange flowers all day too!" She doesn't, really. She's just tired from long days spent in the lab, from a decade of living in a tiny apartment because she's too poor from student loans to buy a house, from constant negotiations about breadwinning status with her artist husband. It's not that she or I want to quit our jobs to bake brownies or sew kiddie Halloween costumes. It's just that for G., Mormon blogs are an escapist fantasy, a way to imagine a sweeter, simpler life.
There's been a lot of talk in recent years about "the New Domesticity" -- an increasing interest in old-fashioned, traditionally female tasks like sewing, crafts and jam making. Some pundits see this as a sign that young women yearn to return to some kind of 1950s Ozzie and Harriet existence, that feminism has "failed," that women are realizing they can't have it all, after all. That view is utterly nonsense, in my opinion, but I do think women of my generation are looking to the past in an effort to create fulfilling, happy domestic lives, since the modern world doesn't offer much of a road map.
Enter the Mormon bloggers, with their picture-perfect catalog lives. It is possible to be happy, they seem to whisper. We love our homes. We love our husbands.

Well the article continues on for a little while longer about women blogging as a way of journal keeping since the church encourages us to keep a record of our lives (which if I'm honest, I'll admit that my blog is the only journal writing I do these days...).
So, as I said, I had to stop and reflect for awhile after reading this article, wanna know why? Because I'm obsessed with Mormon-Mommy-Blogs too! There are a couple that I'd love to spend hours looking over! These women are amazing! Their homes really do look like a catalog for Anthropologie and then they say something like "Oh, look what I made in a spare 5 minutes I had earlier!" and show some incredible antiqued mirror or vintage-style throw or vintage flowery pillow, that would take me years to complete...
So why'd I get a smidgen depressed after reading this article? Because- I'm a Mormon, and I'm a Mommy, and I blog; but I am NOTHING like these amazing women whose lives I so adore reading about. The only things I have in common with these mommy's, is my Religion, and (I think) my kids could be GAP models. I don't have a cute haircut, My closet is far from being full of cool vintage style clothing (or cool clothing period), my house looks like a picture collage exploded in it because I have no decorating ability whatsoever so I just put pictures of my adorable kids up EVERYWHERE, and I'm cannot do crafty things unless someone walks me through steps, step-by-step, multiple times...

So how did I get OUT of this downcast melancholy state of mine? Well, after speaking with some friends, and crying to my husband about what a bad "Mormon-Mommy" I make; my shoulders I was cry ing on made me realize something: When I post about my life I only post the great stuff! I don't post about bad things that are happening, and it's doubtful that these other Mormon-Mommy's are posting about their ENTIRE life either. THey are most likely leaving out how many times a day their baby poops on them or how their three year clogs up the toilet with an entire roll of toilet paper. They probably don't mention the crayons they had to scrub for hours to get off their perfectly stenciled walls and their two hour craft pillows, or the 40 awful shots it took to get that one perfect family picture.... I know I sure don't mention that stuff! So that is why I now just smile when I think about that "Mormon-Mommy-Blog article"... Because we ARE all happy with our lives, we do all LOVE being Mommy's and Wife's; BUT our lives are FAR from perfect! And their lives may be cuter than mine (on the internet), but they are probably just as hard as mine sometimes is.

So, here's to all the stuff I don't mention:
My wonderful hottie husband made me an awesome bed, but, I hardly ever get to sleep in it because I spend my nights walking around with my adorable baby girl (who's 17.5 pounds feels more like 75 after an hour or two of pacing).
My Fabulous little boy has a great skill for coloring, but he tends to like to color on things that should be left alone- like walls, chairs, tables and couches.
Even though I spend hours cleaning my house and my children daily; without fail, EVERY time someone stops by- my house is a wreck and my children look like little orphans!
I look pretty okay when I do my hair and wear make-up, but 5 out of 7 days of the week, "make-up" is a word I don't understand, my hair is hidden under a hat or in a messy bun and I'm seriously lucky to get a daily shower in!
And family pictures? Well, like I said earlier "A picture's worth a thousand words". So here's my thousand word's worth of picture....

But, despite all the life craziness, and all my shortcomings, I've got to say:

I really truly DO Love my life! I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE my kids and I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE my wonderful husband more than anything in the world! and I wouldn't give up the life I live for ANYTHING in the world!!! Being a Mormon Mommy is fun! It is uplifting! And it IS a fulfilling experience. And I really really do LOVE it! even if I suck at it...