Tuesday, January 31, 2012

sdrawkcab day

today was backwards day at leah's school. 

it was pretty hilarious to watch. some of the kids were all for it. and some wanted nothing to do with it. leah sported a turned around cardigan and some inside out french braids. 

they did everything backward at school, like free time at the end of the day and snack and circle at the beginning. the welcome board with the kids' pictures and names was on the other side of the room {which surprisingly threw them off a lot!}...and it was upside down! her teacher, miss martin walked around backward looking into a mirror to see behind her. and to top it off, when i came to pick her up, she and all the other kids walked out to us backward.

*don't let the cuteness fool you, though. the facade only goes so far. you can read about how she felt about it here

Sunday, January 29, 2012

go big green

we made a spur-of-the-moment decision to join a group of "tuckies" at the dartmouth hockey game against brown. i know you've seen more posts about hockey in the last five months than you've seen in your entire life {and maybe more than you care to see at all?}, but hockey is HUGE here. so huge. 
 the dance boys and the laytons {missed you andrea!}

miss leah was the only tiny tuckie to last the entire game. she wasn't home and in bed until after 9:30. and she was a champ in the arena. 
 it was fun to watch a "real" game and see how fast-paced it really is. these guys can skate! only one major fight broke out - and my phone wasn't fast enough to catch the serious action - but it was hilarious. fighting really is a part of the game. i'll never understand...
dartmouth emerged triumphant 6-2 in the end. go big green!

Friday, January 27, 2012

all cookies should have sprinkles

leah's school was cancelled for the second time this year - unnecessarily. i thought for sure new hampshire would be hard core when it came to snow days, but i was sorely mistaken. this time it was for rain that they thought maybe, might, freeze. and it didn't. so, we took a walk in the slush around the block {in our rainboots} and decided to invite miss c over for a play date. they dressed up like princesses, had a dance party in leah's room and played a rousing game of hi hi cherry-o {which leah can play with her dice-rolling iPad app, thankyouverymuch}. 

in addition to the aforementioned excitement, cookies were again requested. i guess they were popular last time
only this time, sprinkles were included, because "all cookies should have sprinkles!," said miss c. miss ribbons readily agreed. slowly but surely i'm learning to see life through the eyes of a four year old. 

so, sprinkles it was. 

this is what two cute four year olds look like when covered in cookie dough and sprinkles. 

and this is what your table {and, let's be honest, your floor} looks like when covered in cookie dough and sprinkles. 

and this is what cookies look like when covered in sprinkles. 

i was nervous for the taste test, but the verdict? not too shabby. we might be seeing more sprinkle-clad cookies 'round these parts in the future.

Monday, January 23, 2012

a budding artist

tonight, after dinner, leah and ryan were reading stories on the iPad while i finished up some things on the computer for my role on the tuck partner board. it wasn't long before i got an email saying, "Here's a coloring page I made from my Disney Read-Along app" and attached was the following picture: 
isn't it beautiful!?
i kind of love technology. 

p.s. LCB stands for "leah chachi burrito." it's a long story.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

partner bowling

the tuck partners got out and about for a night on the town. we took our skills and headed to the bowling alley. it doesn't get much classier than a bowling alley in white river junction, vt, people. seriously. i won't go into any details, but i will say the concession stand was shared between the bowling alley and the business next door. and that business next door wasn't suitable for anyone under the age of 21. nice. 

it was fun to get together with friends and get to know some of the other partners a bit - without talking about business classes and internships {sorry, ry, it's true.}

sadly, my sweet score didn't reflect the potential i showed in my 2002 bowling class at byu, but i did get a few strikes and spares mixed in there with the gutter balls. i'm going to blame it on my body's shifting center of balance. yes, that's it. {in fact, you can see that shifting center of balance sticking out at the very top of the picture...and p.s. my bowling shoes were new. hip hip!}

can't wait for the next night out!
emily, liz and rebecca
 bartender {and organizer} lauren
team 2: katherine, lauren, shaelynn and me {with an invisible kelly who we all had fun bowling for in the strangest ways we could imagine. her score wasn't very good.}
the igoe mobile: me, andrea, emily and liz

Saturday, January 14, 2012


so leah got school pictures a few months back. they looked like this:
so we obviously opted for retakes. her preschool teacher has a rule that if a parent wants retakes, the parent accompanies the child to the session. i think that's a great rule. and i think i'll be accompanying leah to her first photo session next year. that'll save us some heartache. 

i so prefer smiling leah. 

don't you?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

12 in 2012 (on the 12th)

i'm going to start off by saying i'm all for goal making, but i've also got to say that i'm not all for new year's resolutions. i do love a new year, a fresh start, a clean slate. buuuuuuuuuuuut, i think goals and resolutions can {and should} be made at any point during the year. 

that being said, the beginning of a new year is a great time to look back and reflect on what has passed and what i would like to change and improve upon in the coming days, weeks and months. and there are a lot, believe you me. 

ryan and i follow his family's long-time tradition of writing predictions on new years eve each year and reading them the following new years eve. and we pride ourselves on getting lots of them right. these predictions aren't so much goals {they can be} but just guesses as to what kinds of things might happen in the coming 365/6 days. 

two years ago, when leah was in the depths of regression, we wrote our predictions per our usual routine and a year ago when we read them, we were borderline depressed. nearly every prediction having to do with leah did NOT happen and in most cases, was much worse than we could have ever guessed. it was no one's fault - we were simply optimistic parents and leah just had things happen that were completely out of her control. so, one year ago, when we wrote our new predictions for the coming year, we were a bit more careful. more conservative. more considerate of what might be in our control and what most definitely was not. we didn't just write fluff, but we made sure to not set ourselves up for failure. 

and you know what!? it was a great idea. because when we opened up those predictions just two weeks ago, we were thrilled with what had transpired in 2011. as rough of a year as it was, we went into it being hopeful and optimistic and realistic and came out happy campers. 

i decided i need to apply that same rule to my goal making. some things are in my charge, some things are not. and i can't do anything about it. so i'm not going to make unrealistic goals. one of my favorite new quotes is from russell m. nelson, a leader in my church. he said,  

Don't demand things that are unreasonable, 
but demand of yourself improvement.

and with that, i give you my goals for 2012. if nothing, this is simply for me to be able to look back in 12 months and see what i felt was important going into this year. 

1. have a baby 
{i'd love to say, "have a normally-developing baby" or "have a healthy baby", but i'm not writing anything in here about what this baby will look like, or how she will develop or what she will do, when/what she will eat, how she will sleep, who she will be or anything of the sort. it's just not in my control.}

2. sign up for a marathon
{i'm not crazy enough to run one this year. wowzers. but i would like to have one in mind. and possibly one for rett syndrome.}

3. run a half marathon
{definitely do-able. even in a new england winter. because i just purchased myself a pair of these...in red.}

4. go on 12 dates with ryan
{last year was hectic. and we didn't take the time for ourselves that we needed. and it's needed.}

5. see my family
{man oh man is the east coast far away. and this might not be the farthest the layton family ever gets. but in the meantime i'd like to see, in person, as many of their smiling faces as i can this year.}

6. read 6 books
{i know. this is ridiculous. especially for a reader like me. but i just haven't taken the time lately! i finished a book over christmas break and forgot how much i truly love to read. i'm halfway through my first for the year. i hope to completely surpass this measly number, but i'm simply demanding of myself improvement. i welcome any book suggestions so long as they aren't sci-fi.}

7. finish the new testament
{i made an unreasonable goal last year with a friend and am seriously amending it for this year. go me.}

8. try out one new recipe a month
{again, ridiculous, i know. but i'm so horrible at trying new things! rest assured i've pinned probably 14,000 new recipes, but i feel like i need to taste or see them first. however, i've already tried two this month and it's worked out splendidly! again, recommendations are welcomed.}

9. write something. and submit it somewhere. 
{nothing big. nothing fancy. nothing specific. just do it.}

10. work on my grandpa's history
{no excuses maren. not even having a baby is an excuse. life is only going to get busier. and you owe it to this amazing man.}

11. work on a blog book
{i'd like to say, "finish" or "publish" but again, that could very well be unreasonable. baby steps.}

12. slow down. make time. don't overextend myself. breathe. be still.
{self explanatory. and two weeks in, it's working wonders.}

happy new year!

Sunday, January 8, 2012


we went to boston...aka beantown...and it wasn't for anything medically related {gasp!}. and it was on this trip that i realized what a seriously cool city boston really is. we gallivanted around the city with bryan and catherine and barely scratched the surface during our 2 night 1.5 day stay, but we had a blast. 

we got to stay in legit MIT student housing in cambridge as catherine's brother is a business student there and they were out of town.

we spent our saturday walking from bunker hill to beacon street along the red brick {and red painted} freedom trail
the weather was AMAZING. it was a balmy 50-something degrees and we didn't even wear our coats for most of the day. on our two and a half mile walk, we saw the bunker hill monument, the skinny house {i've never seen bryan so giddy}, old north church {where paul revere's lanterns shone}, the site of the boston massacre, the old state house, granary burying ground {and a few other super cool cemeteries}, the massachusetts state house and boston common, among other things. 
{including this really stunning memorial for veterans of the wars in iraq and afghanistan.}
boston even had special garbage cans for chubby girls like me! so sweet.
we stopped to get lunch at quincy market and clam chowder has never tasted so good. especially when capped off by a pistachio cannoli from mike's pastry. if you've never been, go. just go.

we spent our nights relaxing and pretending to stay awake during movies and chats. only we aren't very good pretenders. leah flirted it up with bryan {she was actually superb on this trip...three cheers for leah!} 
we snuck into sacrament meeting at a student ward nearby on sunday {well, bryan, catherine and i did...ryan was in the hall with a seriously wiggly and giggly four year old}.

ryan's highlight of the trip? - eating eclaires and fresh new england clam chowder 
bryan's?: the skinny house. hands down. 
catherine's?: escaping the upper valley and being in civilization for a few hours
leah's?: wearing my gloves on our 2.5 mile walk back to the car. hilarious. 
and mine?: being asked if we knew "any backstreet boys songs" to help some teenagers out on a video scavenger hunt near boston common. i know this should make me feel ridiculously old because 1) they didn't know any bsb tunes and 2) they thought i looked old enough to have such information in my head. well, they were right. and it made my day. catherine and i jammed out to "i want it that way" on their video camera while they tried their best to sing along. i was humming it for the rest of the night. good times, good times. 

all in all, our quick jaunt to beantown was a seriously fun success. can't wait to do it again...no doctors involved. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

eight is great

being eight is great - especially in our church because it usually means baptism! living away from family during these occasions is not. my sweet and wonderful and beautiful and darling and loving and smart and kind and funny niece got baptized today. at eight years old, she had the opportunity to choose to become an official member of the church and be baptized by immersion, at which point, her "sins" are washed away and she is as clean and as perfect as she was they day she was born. 

i do remember the day she was born. i held her in my own two arms. and oh was she perfect. 

i wasn't able to be with my niece on her special day, but we were most definitely thinking about her from afar. i sent her what i hope she thinks is a beautiful white necklace to help her remember this day, her wonderful choices leading up to it and how clean and white she felt. 

we are so proud of her!
 three generations
father and daughter

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


yup. poop. this post is all about poop. so if you think you might not like it, you can stop here. 
buuuuuuuuuuuuut, i will say, it's also about this girl and her awesome skillz. with a z. 

you might remember this daddy daughter date from december 2010. ryan and miss ribbons had a grand old time at the oakland zoo as a reward for leah completing her third potty chart - all 40 boxes of it. well, we upped the ante a bit for chart #3 and increased the number of boxes to 64. and THIRTEEN months later, she completed it. she was so gung ho for awhile, and then wanted nothing to do with it. she ended up stickering more than half of it in just two months or so. the girl was on fire
so, just like last time, the ultimate reward was a date with dad. this time, with ryan being the excellent hockey player that he is, he decided he wanted to take leah ice skating. we figured she'd just sit down on the ice so he called around to see if there were any arenas that would allow strollers and we found one! they skated and strolled their hearts out for nearly two hours. i'm not sure who was more excited - ryan or leah!

i was invited to tag along ONLY as the official photographer. but i seriously loved watching the two of them out there on the ice. leah had a great time and we'll be practicing a little more on her roller skates so that next time we go, she can strap on the real things.

we're onto chart #4 now and the boxes have increased in number to a whopping 80. i'll have you know that in less than a month, she's more than a quarter through. our goal is to have it finished by her birthday and she is seriously on board. she's getting better at going when we put her on the toilet as well as telling us she needs to go when we don't - in her very own little leah way. i can't even begin to tell you how proud of her i am. she lacks the ability to control nearly everything in her life and to see her beginning to master this skill brings tears to my eyes. she works so hard and deserves to have control over something!

goooooooooooooooooooooooo leah!

Sunday, January 1, 2012


i have a ctr. 
i know. i don't believe it either.
she just won't stop growing!
to learn more about the ring hanging from her neck, click here.

auld lang syne

auld lang syne (ˈɔːld læŋ ˈsəɪn, ˈsaɪn, ˈzaɪn) , -n:
old times; 
times past, 
esp those remembered with affection or nostalgia

when i was younger, i thought the phrase auld lang syne was the strangest i'd ever heard. i didn't know how to say it or spell it and i definitely didn't know what it meant. but now that i'm older {and oh so much wiser}, i truly love this phrase. because there are so many moments to reflect back upon each year that i can remember with affection. some of those moments might take some effort to muster up even the slightest bit of nostalgia, and in some cases it just takes time, but i believe there is something to be grateful for in every situation. 

and in this particular situation, i'm so happy to have started 2012 off with such wonderful friends. to be honest, i'm grateful to have what i consider to be wonderful friends just a few short months after moving. it really has been kind of magical how everyone just kind of seems to fit here. some new, some not so new. but it feels like we've known each other for ages. 

this year's new year's eve party was a bit different than years past...but i have to think that it is probably the beginning of what is to come. kids are getting older - and are increasing in number - and no one could find babysitters! so we partied hardy with eight adults and eight kids either sleeping, trying to sleep, or not sleeping at all. it was a hoot. and if it weren't for some adult males insisting that we watch some ridiculous snomobile/bike jumping contest as the clock nearned midnight, it would have been a perfect night. i put my foot down and insisted we change the channel for the countdown, but we definitely spent our first few moments of 2012 watching a less-than-exciting event on television. next year i'll put both feet down. 

miss ribbons {and two other little ones} slept through the changing of the years, but we snapped a few pictures before she headed upstairs. the glasses were too large and heavy for her to keep on her sweet little face, and, although it's not the best picture, she cooperated exponentially better than in years past {2008, 2009, 2010, 2011}. i don't blame her for being nervous for what was to come in 2010 and 2011 after what she had dealt with. 

we got our family picture {all 3.5 of us - and why do i look like a giant in this picture?}, 

our group picture, 

our kissing picture {although the dances decided they'd rather kiss in all of the pictures}, 

and one of some of my favorite NH ladies. to the rest of my favorite NH ladies, rest assured, you were missed and are definitely invited next year. 

we also got a 20 week shot of my growing belly {kind of fun that the half way mark came right at the new year!}. can't wait 'til the bottom half outgrows the top half. yikes.

a great night. 
with great food {albeit way too much of it}. 
and great company. 
welcome, 2012.