Thursday, December 30, 2010

Our House Exploded

Other than having a huge storm system hit Utah at just about the same time we were supposed to take off to head home yesterday the trip home was nothing to comment on. We were de-iced twice and sat on the ground for around 2 hours. We did managed to still make our connection in Denver, which was also delayed, but only because we carried both children and went our fastest. They were boarding when we were landing. We finally made it to St. Louis at around 1:30AM.

Then we got home and collapsed.

This morning our kids did let us sleep in. Our cat did not.

We did manage to unpack all our 5 pieces of luggage, but we did not manage to find places for all of it. The kids are in toy and book heaven. We are just managing to get around the piles of things until we can get a few orginizational items later this evening.

Hope the winter travel isn't too bad for everyone else.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I'm leaving it up

If you didn't know that last post was my sister's, meant for her blog. I think it's funny so I'm keeping it up there. Hahahaha.

Tomorrow we go home so today I'm sorting through all our stuff trying to fit it all in the bags. I think it will all fit and that my friends, it what you call a Christmas Miracle.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Recap

How was your holiday?

Mine has been awesome. This year the ear doctor and I loaded up the truck and headed over over the rivers and through the snow to my grandmother's house in Utah. I just love being at her house...it always feels like home the minute I step through the door.

This year there were I few things that happened that I was exceptionally proud of:

1) We frosted gingerbread boys with my two nieces and didn't get any red frosting on my grandma's light colored carpet
2) We went bowling at the BYU campus lanes and even though I saw all 4 of Nie Nie's adorable kids with their dad I didn't act like a total fool and run over to gush over the cuteness of that little red-headed Jane
3) I got the ear doctor the perfect presents for his workshop (little circular saw and leather covered pneumatic stool) and only managed to forget to buy 1 battery...
4) I totally let my little nieces have the first couple of turns playing my new Disney karaoke game on the Wii instead of taking the microphone and belting out songs all by myself
5) I've limited myself to only a single can of diet coke a day


All in all, a pretty successful Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

"Where Did You Get Those?"

Even though Dan left all the presents he bought just before leaving it wasn't a real loss. Firstly, he has the receipts so he can easily return them once we get home. Secondly, our plan (read: Dan's plan) was to wait until we got to Utah to do most of the Christmas shopping. Pretty good plan once he finally convinced me to stop stressing about not having everything done already.

Yesterday, Dan told me that he would just do the shopping and let me be free to take the kids to Tangled and other Christmas activities. I wrote down a list of people that we needed to get presents for and a few suggestions and then let him do his magic. He's an amazing present shopper. He did one marathon shopping trip with the ear doctor, our brother-in-law and was done just before dinner. He took things downstairs to keep in our bedroom while I took one at a time to wrap them. Well, it was a pretty busy night so I didn't get them all wrapped and I forgot about them completely right before bed.

We took both the kids into our bedroom to get them dressed in their Christmas pajamas. Charlotte climbed on the bed and pointed to the few presents that Dan, I mean Santa, had purchased for both the kids pointed and said, "Hey! Where did you get those presents?" We told her we'd talk about it in the morning and rushed her off to bed.

That explains our 9 PM shopping trip to Borders and Walmart last night. We were out trying to restore a little Christmas magic for our kids. Luckily we had about $30 in Borders gift cards to spend so it looks like Santa will visit this little family after all.

And also she forgot to ask about the presents this morning. Few!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

This Will Surprise Nobody

For as smart and put together as he is, Dan sometimes forgets pretty basic things. That is why his family will not be surprised at all to hear that he forgot to pack the bag he put his nice clothing in and all the Christmas presents he bought the Saturday before we left for Christmas. He also thought he forgot to pack any shirts whatsoever, but on closer inspection, by me, three shirts were found.

We all have our moments right?

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Excitement is Building

Today we leave for great grandma's house. I can tell that the excitement is building for Christmas. We are finally healthy (enough) and even though we have a long day of packing, cleaning, and traveling we are all very excited.

Everyone cross your fingers that we have a good flying experience.

Friday, December 17, 2010

It Will Never End

Every year when we go to my side of the family someone gets sick. I remember the year I was pregnant with Charlotte and everyone got sick and I thought I might just die from all the puking. This year it wont be us! I can tell you this with complete confidence because we've been sick for the past month. This sickness has climaxed this past week with vomiting and diarrhea. We are getting it out of our system now so that it wont be our turn over the Christmas break. Also I plan on bringing hanitizer (Charlotte's word, not mine) and Clorox wipes with us on the airplane. I may be crazy, but at least I wont be sick.

In spite of all this horribleness, I would like to leave you with something I realized while drifting off to sleep last night. My husband makes me laugh out loud every single day. I think it may be a goal of his. He is truly a very funny person.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Stats

I know it's boring but Greg's well child check was this week. His stats are as follows:

Height: 33 1/2 inches (Somewhere between 50-75%)
Weight: 25 pounds (Just under 50%)

Did you notice that he actually lost a pound between the last check up and now? Well, he did and nobody's worried about that because he's finally starting to be proportionate.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Trend Continues

We woke up to 3 inches of snow this morning.

Dan woke up to rain in North Carolina.

For our enitre marriage Dan, the one that loves the snow, has missed most of it.

Friday, December 10, 2010

An Update From Last Night

The Benadryl didn't work. Turns out that it doesn't really help when your daughter has a fever. Then she'll wake up 5 times in a night and ask and ask for more medicine. And its very hard to tell her that you've already given her all the Tylenol and Motrin that she can have. At least she made it through the night without puking, even if we did all start the day at 6 after being up 5 times the night before.

So we got up and put the kids in the tub. The one was perky and happy from a good night's sleep the other one was looking like oatmeal with purple circles around her eyes. I took the little guy out and then went to work washing the hair of the sick one. I turned around when I heard, "uh oh." He had pooped on the step stool and then walked through it. Awesome. After breakfast I sat her down on the sofa and went up to take my shower.

My little buddy went up with me. Mid shower he slipped and I heard a pretty solid thunk on the side of the tub. I opened the curtain and both hands were covered in blood. So there I was naked and wet trying to figure out where the blood was coming from. Turns out he hit his chin.

I didn't want to take him to the ER along with another sick child if I didn't have to so I called up any friends I could think of whose husbands were still home at that time of the morning. Our friend Rich was home. I bundled the sick one and the bleeding one and brought them over to our friend's house and he said it wasn't deep enough to need stitches but that gluing it shut was a good idea. So I held Greg tight while Rich glued it shut.

We're home now and it's 10 AM and I hope we're done with drama for the day.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Introducing:

My Aunt.

She's super funny and just what I needed to read tonight.

Dan's gone again on another interview. This time on three actually. He's driving from St. Louis to Columbus, OH then to Wake Forrest, then up to Hershey Pennsylvania, then back home on Tuesday. I'm hoping that he doesn't hit any bad weather, but just in case I made him pack a loaf of home made bread (with a mixer that doesn't really like making home made bread) and a blanket. If he is stranded in a snow bank at least he can live off of that for, what, an hour?

He left me at home with two sick kids. Charlotte is right now barking out her cough from her bed. I just keep hoping that the Benadryl kicks in and she sleeps through the vomit inducing cough. If not, it'll be a long night for all of us.

But at least my aunt is funny and made me chuckle.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

All Is Calm

Today I steam cleaned our cat pee rug and also the upstairs bedroom we are currently fixing. I also did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, vacuumed the upstairs landing, made snacks for the kids, cleaned the kitchen, did more laundry, cleaned the kitchen, read books, played scatterpillar scramble, made lunch, helped start creative recipe playtime, really cleaned the kitchen, more laundry, played three shell monty, lost playing candy land, made dinner, helped the little guy wake up happy by cuddling, finished dinner and cleaned the kitchen again.

Tonight I'm beat. Dan took the kids on his trip to the Home Depot to get more quarter round for the room we're fixing. Perhaps it was selfish of me, but it was super fun to sit here and listen to him try to get the two aimless wanderers out the door. He'd get one squared away and turn around to see shoes on the wrong feet on the other and by the time that was fixed the mittens on #1 were off. The other one may or may not have a complex about being left behind and thus spent most of the time hyperventilating about that possibility. It's funny to hear the same things come out of his mouth that come out of mine when trying to get them out the door.

See? It isn't just me.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Almost 4

Have I yet mentioned that having an almost 4 year old in the house is pretty much delightful? She is so smart and yet still mispronounces enough to make life really funny. My most recent favorite is that she can't remember what her humidifier is called so she decided that pacifier is close enough.

Also Dan's favorite is what she says when referring to mixing up frozen concentrate of orange juice. When she does that she has to "chunk the junk."

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Tis The Season

Tonight Dan is on his way home from Nebraska. He interviewed there today. So I sit in this drafty old house, feeling the cold wind rush through the front door (something we'll get around to fixing one of these days) and think about interview season. That is what our lives revolve around right now. We are in interview season and everything else seems to have, well not taken a back seat really, but changed somehow, to accommodate. Christmas seems to be tucked in between Penn State and The University of Washington.

My husband is so smart and capable. I have no doubt in my mind about his ability to accomplish his goals. The Lord has truly blessed him with his skills and also an understanding of the lifestyle commitments that will come along with being a good doctor. It is something that takes a special type of service. I am only coming to realize how perfectly he will fit into his career as our lives unfold. What I am learning about him, he already knows.

That peace and confidence seems to pervade him through this whole process and I so admire it. He finds joy in the successes of his fellow classmates, even when he experiences set backs. That humility and faith, to me, has been the most precious lesson of this season in our lives.

Has this experience been quite so emotional and humbling for anyone else? I feel that questions enter my head that create conflicting desires on an almost daily basis. What if he gets an interview there? What if he doesn't? What if we end up living there? How can I help to support him and prepare our family for what is completely unknown to me? Part of me can't wait to unfurl the sails and speed into the next phase and the other wants to drop anchor and stay in this beautiful moment in our lives.

I have also learned of my own areas that require improvement. I keep desiring for the faith to let the Lord direct our lives. I suppose faith or no He's doing the directing anyway. My faith must then be that if we do our part He will bring to pass what will be for our good. On top of that I must have the humility to stop worrying about anyone else. There are so very many good things that can happen for us no matter where we end up.

What a very wonderful and rich season of our lives.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Something to Laugh About


Here's the best Halloween picture we could get of the two kids this year.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Dancer and Prancer

For your viewing pleasure. I thought you'd all like this.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Tree Day!


My mom invented Tree Day. It's the day after Thanksgiving. You put up the tree and all Christmas decorations. In her version of tree day all those who help "celebrate" the day also receive periodic presents, or what I like to refer to as bribes. Charlotte and Greg were over the moon just to be able to help put the decorations up so there were no "presents" needed. In the above photo there was no possible way I was going to get Charlotte to actually look happy and serious so I just took the photo when Greg looked good.


The favorite decoration that was put up was either rosie the reindeer if you ask Charlotte or the snap-on van Christmas lights that were hung on their mirror. This year we found out that we really need a whole lot more trucks and cars associated with the holiday. He loves the Polar Express because there are lots of trains and a picture of a truck in it. Charlotte and Greg both love the scratch n sniff book as well.
Greg's Christmas sweater vest that my mom bought last year still fits him. When I had him try it on to see if it would still fit he wanted to immediately take it off until I pointed out to him that there was a truck and a Christmas tree on the front. Then he made us let him wear it for the rest of the day.
Charlotte has decided that her role in life is to be our Christmas dj. She set up all the cd's on the secretary and periodically changes them on an as needed basis. She also adds Christmas cheer by dancing to the songs she puts on. I can already tell this Christmas is going to be so much more fun than we've had yet.

Friday, November 26, 2010

More To Remember

Yesterday as I was getting out of the shower I overheard Daddy explain to Charlotte, "I don't think you're going to get to see a cadaver, even when you're old enough for kindergarten."

Also this week Greg has decided that he's too big for a high chair, but not at breakfast. He sits in it at breakfast, but then on two text books on a regular chair for all other meals.

Also, he says, "sa-la" for Charlotte. And "da-doh" for Daniel. And "done."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Little Known Fact

Daniel LOVES Christmas music.

So does Charlotte.

My favorite is riding in the car listening to my husband and then half a second later my daughter sing about the most wonderful time of the year.

They make it really easy to believe that song.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Letter of Thanksgiving

Did I remember to tell you how much I love you? And not only that, how much I deeply appreciate all the love you have given me?

If I didn't, I do.

Did I remember to thank you for all your sleepless nights-listening to me cry, cough, or puke too many times to count?

If I didn't, thank you.

Did I remember to let you know how much it means to me that you were there to answer the funny, tough, and constant questions of my youth?

If I didn't, it counts.

Did I remember to tell you that I see your sacrifices for me? Even those that you make today?

If I didn't, I do.

Did I remember to tell you thank you for fighting the uphill fight in laundry, dishes, and cleaning that could have dragged us all down?

If I didn't, thank you.

Did I remember to show you how proud I am that you are my mom?

If I didn't, I am.


Mom, you are so precious to me. I love you as my mentor, my friend and my mom. I hope that I can be for my children what you already are for me. Thank you.

All my love,
Me

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cool Kid Stuff

My son is talking now. A sampling of his words:
  • Ni-ni for night night
  • lion
  • Dan
  • bow for bowl
  • hel for help which happens about a billion times a day

It's pretty awesome. He also answers our questions appropriately. Are you hungry? Do you want food? Are you cold? The only one he doesn't answer reliably is are you poopy? Then he just runs away from you. Every time.

Charlotte is also doing some pretty awesome stuff. She "reads" books to her little brother. She also is figuring out the rules of life. The other day she saw someone run a red light and she says, "They can't do that! That's illegal!" To which I had to laugh because I had no idea that she knew the word illegal much less the meaning. Having an almost four year old is so much fun.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's A Good Thing They've Got Two Of Us

Today was a pretty selfish day.

I was feeling pretty guilty while making dinner tonight because I was realizing how little time I actually spent connecting with my kids today. It wouldn't have been so bad if there were a good reason. Like if Charlotte had been at joy school and Greg and I had run tons of errands.

But no. Today was not that day.

It started out promising with a trip to the zoo, but then unravelled somewhere around lunchtime. Today was a no name do nothing day. Sometimes those are good days. But not today.

Charlotte was sassy at dinner. I think because she didn't get enough love and attention today.

After dinner I left Dan downstairs with Charlotte to do dishes while I took Greg to put clean sheets on the beds and put folded laundry away. I listened to Dan talking to Charlotte. She had found her reading lesson book that I had shelved and stopped doing a while back. She asked him to help her with it when he was done.

When Charlotte's bed was made I started in on ours and listened to him help her with the sounds of the letters that built words. The sounds she had learned before and then forgotten in my lack of follow through. Greg had drifted down to see what the action was and he was helping her and letting him climb on him.

Everyday its great they have a daddy, but especially today. Today he gave the kids exactly what they needed. Then I read them stories until it was time to read scriptures, put on jammies, brush teeth and tuck them into bed. This was the calmest bedtime we've had in this house for a long time. It was all because of Dad.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Default Mode

The weekend before last we had a family movie night. We moved the coffee table and blew up the air matress and rented Toy Story 3 from redbox. Charlotte was enraptured. This was really her first introduction to the land of Toy Story and she loved it. I'm thinking it was perhaps ill timed to show her a movie about the evils of throwing away old toys right before the anual get rid of excess toys before Christmas comes. Can't do anything about that now.

Remember the part where Buzz is re-programed to his factory default settings? My son has factory default settings. They are as follows: Wake up time should be sometime between 5:30 and 6:30 but absolutely no latter than that! Nap time should last no longer than an hour and a half. There will be mandatory cuddle time after naptime for at least an hour. If these are not met, there will be hell to pay.

We worked and we worked and we worked to get him to sleep in a little later in the mornings. I have no problem with waking up between 6:45 and 7. But when my alarm starts at 5:30 I'm not even happy until 7:30. Also, if he's waking up from his nap still tired he clearly needs to go back to sleep.

Last summer we finally had him sleeping until 7 and taking a good 2 hour nap. It was awesome. Then we went on a two month vacation. I decided to do anything and everything I could to survive and not wake all our guests up in whatever place we were in. Do you know what that did? That reprogrammed him to his factory settings. Now it doesn't matter what I do he sleeps when he will sleep and I can't possibly tell him any different.

We've been home for almost a month now and he's still on default mode.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

When Gratitude Backfires

On Saturday afternoon I made cream of carrot soup with sandwiches for lunch. I love the soup, but it's not really one of Charlotte's favorites. We ended up getting her to eat it by putting many goldfish crackers in the soup. While eating the crackers she ate the soup.

At dinner we had Chili. It was Charlotte's turn to pray. Before she started we reminded her include the things she's thankful for. (To go along with our month long celebration.) This is how part of the prayer went:

"Dear Heavenly Father, thank you that there is no carrots in the soup for dinner."

Well, at least she's grateful for something right?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Not A Baby Anymore

I woke up about 10 minutes before the kids a few days ago. I lay there in bed and enjoyed the stillness. The soft yellow light of the rising sun was coming in filtered by the blind. I heard the garbage truck going down our alley, the two wonderful dogs that belong to our neighbors, and even a few birds ready for the day. Then through all that I heard the shuffle-shuffle of bare feet on the carpet in the kids' room. Soon there was a little body snuggled next to mine.

We got to cuddle.

I felt her warmth as she molded herself to fit as snugly as possible. The tickle of her curly hair that had escaped the braid as she slept was across my cheeks. The droopy eyelids of the still waking little girl were there too. We listened to the start of the day. Then we blinked and winked at each other. Our own little game to play while we were waiting for the boys to wake up. That moment was wonderful.

It lasted about five minutes.

Then I heard the "Mama!" coming from his crib. I got up and went to my baby. I brought him back to bed with us. All four of us squeezed into the queen sized bed. We snuggled and wiggled until Daddy woke up and Charlotte had to pee and Greg wanted to find a book to read. They all left me alone in the bed. Then my two kids came back into the room. They don't start the day without Mama if they can help it.

For a moment my two little babies stood in the doorway and it hit me. They're not babies anymore. There are no traces of baby even left in Charlotte. And only a few hints of them in Greg. I have no baby right now. I have a preschooler and a toddler.

I love them more today than I have ever before.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Thankful Game

You guys this was probably the most successful game ever. I got the idea from the Disney Family Fun magazine and I thought it would never work, but it totally did. Here's how to play
  1. Get a large-ish dish towel for everyone playing.
  2. Chose a person to be "it"
  3. All others must roam the house to find a pretend present for the "it" person
  4. Pretend wrap the present with the dish towel
  5. Give it to the "it" person
  6. That person unwraps pretend present and must say: "Thank you." and also something that they love about that present.
  7. Repeat with another "it" person.

This was successful because:

  • Charlotte loves pretend
  • Charlotte loves to get and give presents
  • Mommy and Daddy have fun giving things that are totally wrong for each other just to see the "thankful" reaction.

Everyone should play this game. It was great.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Being Thankful

I didn't do anything for Thanksgiving last night. In fact I forgot even about the Thanksgiving bowl. Dan stayed late at school to attend a special meeting all about interviewing techniques for residency positions. So instead of the fish dinner I had planned for the evening we had Charlotte's choice. Waffles.

After the waffles I took the kids upstairs for a bath. I let them bathe for over half an hour before I got them out. After everyone was cleaned and teeth brushed and jammies on the three of us went into what used to be my bedroom, but is currently a completely empty room. We're fixing that room next so we had to clear it out.

What is so magical about an empty room? I'm not sure why it has such appeal, but my kids and I have loved it. They have run and run and run in that room and Dan and I have sat and watched and laughed and clapped. Last night I laid on the floor of the empty room and the kids laid on top of me and around me and next to me. We did nothing but cuddle, touch and tumble for a good 20 minutes.

That was perfection. I feel so much love for my kids. They are what I'm grateful for. I sat and listened to their thoughts and ideas and just loved them.
My dearest little Gregory. You are so sweet and smart. I love how even tempered you are. Even though you are certainly a rambuncous little boy you seldom get really truly angry. I love how you climb and tumble and crawl all over me. I also love the funny faces you make just to be funny. You are a joy to my life and I love sharing my time with you.

My darling Charlotte I love you. I love that you always want to cuddle me because you are so much fun to cuddle. I know someday you wont want to do that with me anymore, but I hope that day doesn't come for a long time. You are so grown up and it shows. Last night you made me laugh because you wanted to. It was the first time you have specifically done something to make me laugh that perfectly tickled my funny bone. Last night was fun.


Last night was what motherhood is all about.

In other news here are the photos of the Thanksgiving celebrations.

Voting:

And the video wrap up after voting:

And here are the turkey pictures we colored as a family. Would you call this a flock of turkeys?

Also Dan currently has 8 interview invitations now.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

A Swing and A Miss

Yesterday's Thanksgiving activity was actually not all that Thanksgiving-y. I sat the kids down and talked about how thankful I am to be living on our country and about the opportunities we get to have because we live where we do. Then I talked about one way of showing our thanks is to vote for our leaders. And then we went down to vote.

Yep day two was voting.

I thought that they had gotten the idea pretty well so I ventured to take a video of Charlotte after the thing was over. Turns out that she's way more grateful for the evergreen tree that was behind her in the video than she is about our country and voting. Oh well. At least I voted, the kids got to receive stickers and look at the little birds that were the pets at our polling place (a nursing home). Perhaps today will be all about making Thanksgiving decorations? This is a bit trickier than I thought it would be.



In other news. In case you wanted to know Dan now has five interview invites, which is very promising.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

BINGO

Things never go quite like what I plan as a mother. I had planned that we would all sit down and I tell my kids about gratitude and then they say, "Oh mother! Now we understand how truly blessed we are and we wont take anything we have or anything you do for us for granted."

HA!

But, all things considered our kick off night went fairly well. Dan said it was a good idea and supported the month long celebration whole heartedly, which is always a great help. I took no photos during the lesson and games, but here are a few snapshots of the bingo cards.
As you can tell, I draw stick figures.

Also here's a shot of our Thanksgiving bowl. The four or five little glass tokens in there will soon be joined by others throughout the month.

So happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Gratitude

Somewhere along the line my daughter has picked up a pretty bad case of wanting everything she sees. I'm thinking it is a combination of age, inability to see through advertising and spending two months with family where she gets to have more things than she normally does. Either way I was laying awake in bed last night mulling this problem over. I hear several times a day about how she wants this or that. Today we were at the grocery store and she was whining for candy. She was wanting candy the day after Halloween! and just two days after we went trunk or treating. She's up to her eyeballs in candy at home but she wants more at the store.

So here's my new plan: I've decided that we need to celebrate Thanksgiving the whole month. People do things to celebrate Christmas for the whole month so we're going to do that for Thanksgiving. The only problem now is finding activities that cultivate gratitude and are fun for everyone.

We're kicking things off tonight at family night with Thanksgiving bingo. Charlotte loves bingo so I'm going to find or make bingo cards with pictures of things our family is grateful for. Things like family, trucks (you know for Greg), the gospel, our kids stuffed dogs, being healthy and other things. I haven't thought of all of them yet as you can see.

Also, I've decided to try to bring thankfulness to dinner. Each night we are going to take turns to say things we are grateful for during that day. With each thing we are grateful for we are going to take a glass bead I bought at the dollar store and fill up a glass bowl that my friend Natalie gave me. I figure at this rate the bowl should be full by the time Thanksgiving comes. Hopefully it turns out. I'll let you know.

Now comes your turn. Are there any activities that your family does or ideas that you want your family to do to celebrate Thanksgiving and gratitude? All help and ideas are welcome. And for all the help you give me I want to thank you, in advance.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Real Estate

Before I talk about Dan's latest obsession I just wanted to tell you all a little story. The whole family briefly went to Target on Saturday while trying to kill some time. We naturally went to the toy aisle where I frequently let the kids wander and look. I tell them its like the library. We just enjoy the toys while they're there and then we leave them there for other kids to enjoy. Charlotte went through every single box of Disney toys and Barbies. Every box. Because maybe that box three back contains something different and she needs to make sure that she sees it all. The zhu zhu pets were on an end cap and I was pointing them out to Dan. Charlotte walks up and says, "What are these?" Not even a week after I finally admit that she loves them she's forgotten. Perhaps next time I want her to stop doing something I just need to blog about it.

Anyway, Dan's new focus is on wait for it, wait for it, you're going to be shocked.......residency locations. Specifically about real estate in each location. Every time a hint of a viable interview invite comes in I could bet money he'll be on the computer later checking about what kinds of houses are on the market in that city and how close or far we'd be from the hospital.

It is daunting and overwhelming. Some places we could get so much home for the money. And other places, well......maybe we should just get rid of half our stuff now. Did you want a kid anyone? Mine apparently take up too much space. We might only have room for one.

And why is it that this move seems to be so much a bigger deal than the last one? I knew nothing about St. Louis before we moved here and now I love it. I could like Siberia right? What about the Wasatch front? It's got perks right?

In the mean time we've got a house to finish working on.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

New Obsessions

I got My Big Truck Book from a couple of friends at my baby shower with Greg. It's a big board book with photos of different trucks and each photo is labeled. I put it on the shelf and did nothing with it. That is until yesterday when Greg happened upon it. Since then I swear I have read it 42 times. Since yesterday. He carries that thing around with him in the hopes that someone will read it to him at any moment.

Also, when all the mail that we had a hold on was delivered yesterday the Hanna Anderson catalog also came. My mother in law always buys pajamas from them for Halloween and Christmas and we are always looking forward to those jammies. We also look forward to "window shopping" the catalog every time it comes. I swear there isn't a page in that thing that I don't like. Right now I'm loving the pilot cap and mittens and also pretty much every single sweater romper for little boys. If you don't get this catalog you are seriously missing out on looking at cute stuff.

And finally Charlotte is now thorougly obsessed with Dinsey. I would say Disney princess, but they also have Tinkerbell and though not really a princess she is a favorite at our house. All day long I hear about her being Snow White for Halloween and how next Halloween she wants to be any one of the other princesses or Tinkerbell. They're all on rotation.

Also, Charlotte saw a commercial for Zhu zhu pets sometime last summer and has not let up about wanting one for Christmas. When she first saw them I thought the desire would fade in a week. It has not. I can not for the life of me figure out why she would want a zhu zhu pet, but she does. She points them out at the stores, she brings them up in conversation. Is it something about being three that makes you a little more prone to obsessions? I'm just shocked is all.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Nothing But The Best

We've now been at my brother-in-law's house for about a week now and my children are in cousin heaven. I don't think I could over state this enough. My children think they are rock stars. Highlights of the week include:
  • The teen-ager picking up Greg and tossing him on the sofa while Greg is hysterically laughing. Over and over and over.
  • My kids waving to the elementary school kids as they wait for the bus and Greg yelling out Bubba! Bubba! Bubba! over and over hoping that would make him decide to stay home and play with him all day long
  • Charlotte's never ending pretend games with her new best friend. They have played puppies, princesses, spider family, and a whole slew of other games.
  • Greg's eyes lighting up every time he sees his uncle.

There have been so very many small miracles this past week, but they are too hard to write down. What wonderful memories.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Comparisons

This has been such a wonderful trip so far. Unfortunately I feel a little under the weather. I really don't want to make my grandparents solely watch their grandchildren, but they have seemed up to the task. Tonight I talked to Dan a little early because he got off work early and I just decided that I missed him too much and needed to see him. I packed the kids into the car at 6 and headed up to SLC. It took us an hour through pretty heavy traffic, but was totally worth it for the reaction the two of them had when I turned the last corner and they saw their father. He is so wonderful and we miss him so much.

We spent an hour with him. He took us up to the children's hospital where he's been working the past two weeks. He ate dinner and we decided to spill two cups of hot chocolate all over the table. This little adventure was sort of a wake up call for me because I realized that even with having to parent two children and living out of suit cases and this horrible cold that will not go away like I want it too, I've still got it better than he does. He, of course, would never complain, but I could tell how bone tired he was. And tonight he's sleeping in his car because his housing for this trip seems to be one disaster after another. Don't worry, he's got a place to stay post call on Saturday. He still has two weeks left to impress people there and I'm not sure how he's going to get the reserves to do it. He is an amazingly hard worker and I admire him so very much.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Every Time

What is it about Denver that gets my kids sick? Since we're on vacation I'm spending much more time with my face inches from theirs too so of course I'm also sick. It's only a small cold, but it is annoying.

Other than that Denver was awesome. On Saturday Garrett and I took the kids up the canyon to see Tiny Town. A very strange sort of attraction for people to go see, but my kids loved it. Charlotte loves doll houses so this was right up her alley.

On Monday Katie took my kids to the Children's Museum, even though she had a stomach ache. She's that kind of Aunt. Awesome. I stayed home drinking fluids to make me pee and then dreading the actual peeing. But by the end of Monday I was feeling much better.

On Tuesday Greg fell asleep on the sofa at 9 AM and I knew the day would be rocky. I ended up taking the kids on a death march to the park only to play for about 15 minutes so we would have enough time to walk back. What sort of mother consciously decides to NOT take a stroller on said walk? Me apparently. After that the day perked up somewhat because we went up to Uncle Garrett's work where he did brain wave testing on the kids. They did their small part to help children with difficult to help hearing loss. And also they got a slinky and a bouncy ball. What part of that could be bad?

Like I said before my days are sort of blurring together. Here it isn't even one week later and Wednesday-Friday are a bit of a jumble. During those days we went to the botanical gardens. They have a new kids garden on the roof of their parking garage that is awesome. Greg loved digging in the digging area and Charlotte loved wading in the stream. Then Katie and I got to push them around the rest of the gardens in the stroller. We also had a blast rolling down this big grassy hill area they built and wrestling on the grass. I got pretty burnt there. We also went to the zoo which was totally fun. Just before we left we each got a frozen treat. The kids got ice cream cones, Katie got a root beer float and I got a shaved ice. By the end of our frozen treat time both kids had their shirts off and all four of us were covered in frozen treat. I'm also forgetting something that we did during this time, but I'm blaming it on the sinus pressure building in my skull.

On Saturday we watched the morning session of conference and then ate lunch so that we could be ready for the circus. The circus was pretty much amazing. The only unfortunate part of the whole experience was that Charlotte was already sick at that point so she was a bit whiny. Then she decided to take about a 40 minute nap on my lap. Oh well, at least I wasn't holding the squirming one (sorry Garrett).

Now we are in Utah visiting the great grandparents. They seem pretty tickled with the kids. I can't get over how healthy my grandparents are. All I can remember of the one great grandparent that survived long enough for me to remember is that she sat in her chair and by the end of the day the shoes she had put on in the morning no longer fit her feet. These great grandparents roll around on the floor and pick them up and tickle and do ever so many things. My kids are so very blessed to have them around.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Lost Track of Time

Spending most of my days self planned and being flexible to my kids needs I tend to lose track of time. Not only that sometimes I lose track of what day of the week it is. I think that's fairly common. I battle this with structuring my days and weeks so that things come at predictable times. Again, fairly common.

These vacations however are gloriously unstructured. They are filled with things that we want to do and few things that we don't. The off shoot of that is that I have completely lost track of the time I'm spending here. Not only do I not know what time of day it is, I usually can't remember what day of the week. Then today I couldn't even remember what month we are in. Which makes it really hard to figure out how many months old my child is.

I just wish he were old enough for nursery.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Blazing Good Time

Nothing says super fun vacation like a bladder infection that wakes you up at 4 AM.

Katie: Can't you just drink some cranberry juice?

Me: No.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Vacation Again

So we are now in Denver. We're visiting my sister and then visiting family all around northern Utah for the next month while Dan does a rotation in Salt Lake. I hope it goes well. I hope it goes as well as our vacation seems to be going at Aunt Katie and Uncle Garrett's house. They are ever so gracious hosts.

The big news for me so far is that I drove from St. Louis to Denver. Half of Kansas was driving rain and we had to go 40 mph and it was scary. Also we were driving until 2:30 or 3:30 if you count from our original time zone. Considering everything we did really well.

Here's hoping that this month of living out of our bags goes as well as last month.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Must Love Books

What do you think it says about me that I can rattle off my library card number at the drop of a hat and yet, for the life of me, can not seem to manage to correctly remember my checking account number? I have to look it up every time I go to the bank.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I Fall To Pieces

We flew home. Was it just yesterday? Yes, I think it was. And you know the most wonderful thing happened on the flight....nothing. It wasn't amazingly good, but it sure wasn't amazingly bad. And also my son has a super-power. He makes old men happy. Ridiculously happy. Happy enough that they stopped us to tell us goodbye when we passed them on our way to get the our bags. Multiple men. It was funny.

So there are the three of us. I'm the Sherpa carrying bags and stuffed dogs and a buffalo that turns into a blanket and pushing the stroller. Charlotte spies the restaurants and says we should really stop for dinner because she's "so so so so so so hungry," and Greg is wanting to get out and run his little self around and my answer to everything is, "Just wait until we get to Daddy." I keep telling myself I just need to hold it together until then. My mental outlook was much like what I had on the way to the hospital giving birth to Charlotte. Just get to the end point and then you can relax, knowing things are taken care of. (Oh how naive I was then.)

We were wandering around baggage claim and I couldn't even find where our bags were supposed to be coming out at and I looked around for familiar faces and I couldn't see the people who were on our flight and I'm tired. And then, in an instant, things changed. Daddy was standing in front of us. And I had butterflies in my stomach because I'm reminded of the times I flew to see him while we were engaged. And I ran and hugged him. Then Charlotte tore out of the stroller and ran and hugged him. Greg was a bit concerned about being left alone buckled into the stroller until he saw Daddy. He started attempting to tear the straps and buckles apart to get to Daddy.

It was like when Dan took all the pieces of luggage I was trying to carry and hold together I also let go of all the little emotional pieces that were being held together by my last energies as a mother. He makes our family whole and we're blessed to have him with us.

Daniel spent the rest of the night carrying both children who would not let go of him. It just made my heart happy to see how much they love him and how they missed him. Greg just cuddled himself right onto Dan's shoulder and stayed there as long as he could. We are sure happy to have him home.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Hard Hitting News

I desperately wanted to post a photo or two but managed to forget my all the necessary tools needed to transfer photos from my camera to the computer. So you'll have to use your imagination.

Our vacation is going well. We've had a lot of time to relax. But one point that didn't go well was my very first trip to the ER with my child. Greg fell in Nordstrom and hit his head on the tile floor. It had an amazing amount of blood that came gushing from the wound and all I could think was we need to get him to the doctor. So I started saying (my mom says I was yelling) we need to leave now. That was the only thing I could think to say. My mom told me to take him to the bathroom. I managed to carry him across the floor to the bathroom and not get any blood on my white pants or new jacket. I had him pretty calmed down while my shaking hands were holding paper towels to his head. I was just thinking wait for help which I was sure my mother would bring. To my surprise Nordstrom has a medical response unit which arrived in less than a minute. The lady came in and started to get his head to stop bleeding.

At that point, knowing someone else was helping him, I sort of lost it and started to hyperventilate maybe because the lady told me I had to go sit on the sofa in the lounge. That helped me, but freaked Greggie out. He started to kick and scream as hard as possible. Knowing we'd have to take him somewhere to be fixed I called my father in law (a surgeon) and asked him what to do. He called ahead to the urgent care and told me to take him there.

We ended up taking him from urgent care to the pediatric ER in a nearby hospital. He was amazingly good and sat very still while everyone inspected his wound. Then they gave him a topical anesthetic and conscious sedation and then he got really loopy and everything he did was hilarious. He was fine until they had to drape the wound with a sterile cloth. That he hated and also the anesthetic they injected into the site. He started to get mad. The funny part was when the male medical assistant came in to give the doctor something, Greg calmed somewhat to his voice. They made the guy stay in the room and told him to talk. He didn't know what to say so they had him sing a song. The only song the guy knew was the theme song to the Love Boat. So there we are Greg getting his wound irrigated and they guy singing the Love Boat, until that failed to work anymore and they let the guy leave.

Four hours after the initial injury Greg emerged from the pediatric ER with one stitch below the skin and six stitches across the top.

You'd think that would slow him down and make him a little more cautious.

And you'd be wrong.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Best Self Photo Ever


Charlotte it turning into quite the photographer. Here's her self portrait. And here's the little beuaty she took of me the other day. Is this really what I look like to my children?
Oh well, I thought it was funny.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Stories to Tell Dan (When I see him again)

Two days ago Charlotte picked out a cute little shirt that her Aunt Rachael gave to her. It's a white button up shirt with thin purple stripes. She put it on all by herself and was very proud of the outfit she was wearing. She turned to me and said, "I look like Daddy!" And I suppose she did.

Yesterday as we were in the car Charlotte asked me, "Why does Daddy sleep at the hospital now?" I thought that was funny.

Monday, August 09, 2010

The Destroyer

My son makes messes faster than I can clean them up. Not little messes either. Messes like pooping on the floor and walking through it. Messes like emptying an entire sippy cup of juice on my comforter. And messes like destroying his crib.

I'm sure you're wondering what I'm talking about when I say he is destroying his crib. I mean he's eating it. You know how a lot of kids chew on the top bar of their crib when they're teething? My son started when he was getting his first teeth, and hasnt' stopped. He has literally chewed pieces off the top of his crib. It sort of blows my mind that he is eating his crib. Clearly we're going to have to sand the rail down and restain it for the next child, but what do I do in the meantime?

Sunday, August 08, 2010

A Very Very Very Fine House

I was waiting to post photos of all our work until it was done and everything was clean. What a joke. I decided to stop waiting and just post them.

First the best before photo I could find:

As you can see the walls were peach with dark green above the chair rail. The wood was partially stripped. What you can't see is that the wall was in despirate need of resurfacing. I also didn't have a very good before photo of the bench, which was beautiful, but also partially stripped. Here's the new view as you come in the front door.


We repainted the wall a much better green. The first green we painted was beautiful, but matched nothing else in our house. This looks much better. We also stripped, stained, painted, and put down a carpet runner on the stairs.



We also installed this new hall light. Previously this hall had a gross pull string light. Now it has this little beauty that we got on clearance at Lowe's. I enjoy the area so very much now. All that is left are the details and decorating it. I hope you enjoyed the update. I sure did.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Feeling Bad For Him

Yesterday Dan woke up at 4 AM, ate breakfast by 4:30 and was out of the house by 4:45.

He was in the OR most of the day. He didn't make it home until 6:30 PM. At which point he ate dinner, his second meal for the day. He was so wiped out that he just laid on the floor at the top of the landing until it was time to put the kids to bed. I assumed he'd be going to bed at the same time.

He probably thought so too.

At 8 PM one of the women in our ward called us frantically searching for people to help her husband move them from their current apartment into their new place. They had to be out of the place that night and nobody had shown up to help.

Dan wasn't home until 10 PM.

He said he needed some water so he sat in the kitchen while I did dishes and talked his head right off. He is so patient and loving and hard working.

He's superman.

As a little pick-me-up I showed him the video of Greg dancing at the concert we went to a few weeks ago. I can't figure out how to flip the video so you'll have to tilt your head.

I think he's got some pretty awesome moves.

Patience

For the past two months or so James 1:2-4 has been circling my brain.




"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."



I guess it comes as no real surprise that I've been trying to work on having patience this time as well. I've been getting so upset at the crying, screaming, lonely days I've been living with the toddlers of the house and just wishing I had the self control to not be so frustrated. Because I do love what I'm doing. I love this wonderful life I have and my amazing kids. There isn't a day that passes where I'm not amazed at their lovely beings. Over and over to myself I've been thinking what is it that I'm missing? what am I not seeing here that is preventing me from being more patient with my kids, myself, my husband, and my situation? What part of my faith is being worked on?



On Sunday I was particularly focused (or shall I say nervous) about the upcoming three moths where Dan will, for all intents and purposes, be gone from our family. I was worried about trying to be on top of everything all on my own and how I don't really think I can do that. Then that scripture came again to my mind. Only this time I realized something. I don't know if it really connects to this verse, but it whispered peace to me.



I realized that patience is such a Godly trait. He has so much patience with me. These months he has not been trying to tell me to be patient with my progress, with what I'm doing, but to be patient with my children. Something, my very wonderful sister-in-law said to me while they were here on spring break in April came to me as well. She said, in essence, its hard for moms to not think of their first child as a little adult. How often I have thought of my children as little adults, getting frustrated with how much they blow things out of proportion. Of course the color of the Popsicle is important to you. Of course you care if you get to wear that shirt backwards. What the Lord wants for me is to see that. And to settle into it.



It came to me that in order for me to be where I want to be, to be patient and to have a loving home I needed to sacrifice something. I need to be able to stand back and sacrifice my control of the daily situations. In order for me to lead my family the way I want them to be led I need to focus more on serving my family and taking the time to listen to them. Because when I do I am blown away by the things that I learn from them. What a wonderful blessing it is to be a mom.



Monday, August 02, 2010

Mean Girls

My daughter has figured out the power of words. Specifically mean words. It's so disheartening to hear her say calculated things to get a reaction out of her friends. After one loooong week of trying "discipline" her about it I finally just sat down and talked with her about it on Saturday. At church on Sunday I asked the nursery leaders to keep their ears open and notify me if anything was said and then again at playgroup today and they said she was great. Hopefully that little streak was broken. It just makes me sad for the time, which I know will happen, when she's the recipient of that sort of behavior. Hopefully that isn't any time too soon.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Turning Around

Maybe I'm getting old (which compared to the 3 and 1 year olds I spend my day with isn't that far off). Maybe it's the passing of a good friend whom I really should have kept in touch with better. Confession: I thought seriously about calling her the week before she passed not even knowing her health was failing and then blew it off. Maybe it was hearing another good friend from high school is pursuing a career that I think is perfectly suited to her. I don't know what it is, but lately I've been feeling like I really want to gather all my old friends around me. Not just to check up on their facebook status or the random email here and there, but really truly talk to them face to face. And I'm not longing for a high school reunion because honestly besides a handful of very wonderful people I don't really care about much of what happened to the graduating class of 2002. But there are a whole lot of people from the town I grew up in that I'd love to see again. To meet their spouse and children if they have them and to see what they're up to. I want to see them all having success and being wildly happy. I have in my mind that they all are, but honestly who knows?

And it isn't just from my home town. I would love to see how some of the people I went to college with are doing. I would love to go to lunch with them and ask them about the things they are passionate about. The things that keep them going.

Probably I'm being overly romantic about things and logistically insane but wouldn't it be nice if you could gather those people up together and just get a chance to see what they're up to? To say the things you perhaps should have, and the things you hope they are doing, and wish them the success you hope they are having.

Anyway that's what I've been thinking about on this very rainy St. Louis day.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Warning

I just thought I'd tell everyone that just for today, I hate medical school. And also I hate the green color we painted the front room. It's putting me in a bad mood. So it would probably be best if you just stayed away.

Tomorrow things will be different. I promise.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I'm not Dead

It's just that our computer is. Our laptop screen got broken so we took it in to get it fixed. I took it in July 1st and we still don't have it back. They ordered a new screen and when it arrived it was cracked. So then they told me they were waiting for a new one. I called them yesterday and they said the company they ordered the first one from is being obstinate about sending them another one so it looks like they'll just have to eat the cost of that one. Translation to me: there isn't even another screen on the way right now. I'm just about ready to screem. On the plus side we do have our old laptop, but it is really unreliable so I'm not even sure this will post. In fact I've tried to post a small explination three times since July first and my laptop hates me. So hopefully you will all be able to read this.

On the other bright side Dan and I have nearly killed ourselves trying to resurface the walls of our entryway, hallway, stairwell, and upstairs landing all in one week. I can honestly say that I have put my blood sweat and tears into this project. Tonight we finally got to start painting. I'm getting pretty excited for the results. Photos to come. Well, maybe photos to come. We'll have to see.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Did you celebrate Father's Day in your house? We did in ours and this is what we did:

  • Ate a nice hot breakfast consisting of oatmeal, with goodies added for those who like that kind of thing, courtesy of Dan.
  • Did the breakfast dishes while Dan sanded the stairs and other woodwork.
  • Played with the kids while Dan did more sanding.
  • Got ready for church while Dan sanded.
  • Let Dan get Greg ready for church because who doesn't love trying to get a sleepy baby ready for church?
  • Let Dan have Greg for the thrid hour of church because who doesn't love trying to entertain a sleepy hungry baby while in public?
  • Made chicken salad for dinner and let Dan accompany that with grilled pineapple (yum!) and baked beans. Thanks Dan.

We just like to make sure he knows how important he is around here. Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My Boy

How you've grown! I know it's not a birthday or anything big like that, but I looked at you today and just burst out with love for you so I thought I'd let you know. Which I did in the moment with hugs, kisses, tickles and laughs. And which I will do now so you can read later.

Once you started walking you also decided it was high time you let us know what you were thinking as well. My favorite is whenever you see a ball you run to it pick it up and yell, "tatch!" then you throw it impossibly low so that nobody will be able to catch it. Sometimes there's nobody even around to catch the ball. You just love the ball.

I also love how you stick out your bottom lip. Mostly when you don't want to eat something (which is quite often right now). And that you raise your eyebrows and point your chin at whomever you wish to be talking to.

You are also learning the names for everything these days. You are always pointing and asking, "as dat" which means what's that. Though you can't yet form the words for everything, I'm sure you're learning them very quickly.

Also, you tell jokes. You sister used to do this too. You sit in your car seat and babble and then laugh and laugh like that was the funniest thing you've ever heard. You are such an amazingly great kid and I love you so much.

I feel so blessed to be your mother. There are so many things you want to be doing these days and so many things you are doing. You have taught me that I can love and love and love and there is no limit to it. You are my big boy now. Off to see the world and I'm lucky that I get to be along for the ride. Drive on little guy.

Love,
Momma

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Please Support

Hey Everyone,
I know I don't have the largest following out there, but I wanted to direct everyone's attention to my friend Dana. She is an interior designer and has started a group around these parts where we get together once a month and re-design a room or part of a room in a member's house. It was my turn this last month and we decorated my living room. I thought there wasn't anything that could really be done, but boy was I wrong. I love the way it looks. I'm not posting photos quite yet because I decided to do a little more painting of my coffee table. Then I'll post photos.

Back to Dana, she's trying to get onto OWN and she needs votes. So please go over there and vote for her.

Thanks.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Falling To Pieces

Things that have broken in our house since Mother's Day:
  • digital camera-with some help from a three year old.
  • portable DVD player- good thing it was still under warranty.
  • Vacuum cleaner- well really it just got clogged for the 4th time in 2 years and I was fed up with taking it in and spending $30-40 each time to get it fixed. We traded in for a very good used one. (And now it sounds like I went car shopping.)
  • laptop screen- This feels like icing on the cake. Aren't things supposed to come in threes? This would be number four!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Dancing

Last weekend we started in on probably the most exciting project we have on our house. This project was the reason we bought the house. This was Dan's dream project. And we have taken a long time to get here. In case you were wondering we started to sand the woodwork on the stairs and built-in bench in our foyer. It is looking beautiful! Very yellow at the moment, but that will change soon. I'm so excited. And so is Dan.

The excitement level reached such heights on Saturday that we ended up having a dance party in our living room. Dan turned on Sierra Hull and we all danced around the room. We, of course, took videos of it, but there's no way Dan would be OK with me posting his dancing on here. All I want is for all of you to know that he does dance!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Wishes

This morning Charlotte woke up a little before 7 (which is just about as perfect a time as you can get in my opinion). She came into our bedroom and snuggled up to me.

We were both awake. Just laying there together. Nothing was being said. We were both enjoying the quiet of the morning.

Then I wondered if she's old enough to remember this. This perfect moment of snuggled in bliss.

She is three now.

Remember this. Please remember this wonderful feeling. You are my joy. You are sunbursts and rainbows and stars in the sky. You are why I start my day. I love you so very much.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

One Last Hurrah-Sort Of

Last week we decided to celebrate the ending of our Magic House membership by going twice in one week. We stayed as long as we could before tears started and saw just about everything my children's ages would permit us. It was so much fun now that Greg could walk! I didn't have to take a stroller. Here are the photos of our last hurrah:
Charlotte climbed down the three story beanstalk-and didn't get stuck! That was a first.
Greg loved this ball toy. Put the balls in at the top and they ring some bells while falling to the bottom.
Charlotte loved to see these balls floating in the air from the jets below. Her hair is crazy in this photo because she had just been through the machine that makes your hair stand up with static electricity. (My science teachers are all cringing right now because I can't think of the name of that thing.)
Greg spent a lot of time at this wall of bubble mirrors. He thought it was very funny.

The sand table was really fun for both children. Bonus that Greg could reach it!
A great time was had by all and I was getting a little sad when we left the last time. Then yesterday I got a renewal email from the Magic House. What a wonderful gift! Thanks Grandma and Grandpa! We will love it all over again! When I told Charlotte about our membership she squealed and asked if we could go and I told her not until we get the new card.
We are very interested in the mail these days.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

First of June

The first questions out of Charlotte's mouth today:

"It's June now?"

"Are Grandma and Grandpa here yet?"

She is clearly excited for any visits from familly.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Tidbits to Remember

I have a few stories I want to blog about, but after putting in a new garden today I just don't have the patience to upload the photos to the computer, then to blogger, then to write a story about them. It will come later.

What I want to do now is write down a few tidbits about how my children are now so I don't forget.

First Charlotte:

  • We didn't (haven't) taken down the Happy Birthday banner from Greg's birthday. Last week she looked up at it from eating her breakfast and asked why we still have it up. I told her because I just haven't gotten to it yet. Then I asked her if she knew what it said wherein she told me, "Green H, White A, Red P, Blue P, Gold Y." I was very impressed.
  • At her three year check-up she was 37 1/2" tall (25%) and weighed 33 1/2 lb (75%). What a cute little shortie.
  • Charlotte makes up all sorts of pretend friends that hang around our house. This reminds me a lot of her cousin Travis and I love it.
  • Charlotte is currently taking music classes at the Folk School of St. Louis for the summer. She loves them. She especially likes Sally the camel. And the egg shaker songs and games.
  • Two weeks ago in the car she asks me, "Mom what does pitter patter mean?" This came out of nowhere so I gave it my best shot by saying, "It is the sound of little feet running along." Silence from the back seat, then, "Umm Mom? I think maybe it's the sound of rain maybe?" First reaction if you knew the answer then why did you ask the question? Then I realized one of the egg shaker games is the rain game where they match the volume and tempo of the teacher's guitar with their egg shakers while singing "pitter patter" until the teacher reaches the thunder and lightening.
  • She loves the egg shaker games.

And now for Greg:

  • At Greg's one year check-up he was 29 1/4" tall (25%) and weighed 22lb 3 oz (50%). Which means he gained about one pound from the time he was 4 months to the time he was a year. Sounds a lot like his daddy.
  • When Greg walks he holds his hands above his head. Usually he is also opening and closing one of the hands.
  • Greg plays with his hair. All the time. I used to think it was his ear, but now that his hair is a little thicker and longer he is always playing with it.
  • One of the spindles from the banister broke a while back. It wasn't a big deal until Friday when Greg realized he could see Suzie below him through the hole and then I had to catch him by the leg before he fell. That opening is now tethered off until a more permanent solution can be found.
  • Greg says, "Mama!" "DA!" "uh-oh" "Baa" (Ball) and his approximation of cracker, kitty cat, and dog.
  • Tonight he also figured how to say "Mana" which is Mindy (aka his favorite person in the whole world right now).

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

7:25 AM

After a few weeks of having the ability to walk with zero motivation to try it Greg decided to join the world of bi-peds yesterday. It happened while I was doing my hair at 7:25 AM. He still falls down on his bum a lot, but walking is surely his favorite at the moment. You can see in his face that he's totally excited about the new trick he can do. Dan and I tried all day yesterday to get a video of it, but were totally unseccessful. Then this morning at the park...

We went to the park at 8:30 and by the time we left an hour later it was already 80 degrees!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Pool That Daddy Bought

When it got hot here in March I wanted to buy a new pool for the kids. Dan wouldn't let me because the pools I was looking at were the small blow up kind. He said that Suzie, the cat, would pop them and we would just be wasting our money. He had a point. So I didn't buy one. We made do with storage bins with water in them as water tables. Then it got cold and it wasn't an issue.



We kept our eyes open and my friend told me they had the kind we were looking for at Walmart. We headed out and bought just exactly the pool Dan wanted. I was sure glad we had it on Saturday. Summer officially hit St. Louis with and 83 degree sunny and humid day. We spent the day out in our little pool.

Yes, the little pool has a slide! The water started out clean and clear, but there was so much re-applying of sunscreen it ended the day hazy. We emptied it.Greg kept trying to climb the slide and then slipping and face planting into the water. It didn't bother him enough to stop trying. I had to get into the pool to keep him from drowning.


Saturday was one of those magical times with my kids where life is good and you remember what it felt like to have summer last forever.





Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Oh The Worries

Last week I hurt my neck. Just like I hurt my neck at my cousin's wedding right after Charlotte was born. Turns out I hold my babies exactly the same way every time I pick them up and over time my neck gets hurt. That, and I tend to tense my muscles more than necessary. So when this happened I dug through the medicine shelf and found the muscle relaxer my OBGYN gave me last time this happened. After consulting my physician (Dan) I took one. It was supposed to last 6 hours.

It didn't.

I was out of it for a good 24 hours. It was rough. Try as I might my body was moving in slow motion. Not something I want to do again soon. Then again I don't want my neck to go into muscle spasms anytime soon either.

After the 24 hours was over though I realized that I felt Great. All my muscles were relaxed and my body suddenly wasn't revolting on me causing me pain. And that's when it hit me.

I'm a worrier and those worries have been building up for a while. What's funny is that mostly I don't really feel worried. It was only when I was forced to take a step back from the day to day grind that I realized I need to start doing something about it.

So my solution, instead of living on muscle relaxers which sounds a bit like torture to me, is to figure out my worries and stresses and find constructive ways to deal with them. As it turns out though, being a mom means you have worries and stresses. They come with the job title. I watched a Gerber commercial a few days after this incident that perfectly shows the messages moms receive every day. It talked about how what kids eat from birth to five changes their bodies for their entire life. Oh great! Let your kid eat a cookie now and they'll never live a long, healthy life. You better watch all their bites or you may ruin them! Now if that's not stress I don't know what is. Trivial, and yet not.

Oh! And add on top of the stresses and worries of motherhood the stresses and worries of being poor which we are. And you know what? There are some perks to being poor (hi WIC and Medicaid), but that doesn't take away all the stresses there are as well (hi WIC and Medicaid). Plus, our particular brand of poor (medical school) has it's own healthy serving of worry.

When I was in high school I would literally be unable to sleep because I was too stressed and worried about things. I'm fairly certain my parents seriously considered sending me to therapy. Though it never came to that. Now I think to myself, what on earth did I have to be worried about?

Please don't misunderstand me. This isn't complaining. I love my stresses, and my reasons to worry. I love my family and kids, I love my husband's efforts to an excellent career, and in a way, I also love being poor. It has ripped from me so very much of the pride I never knew I had. I am amazed at the things I will do because I love my kids. I just need to also allow myself to face the fact that these choices we've made, these things we are trying to do and accomplish, they're hard. If I don't I might just end up a cripple in need of a very long nap.

I also would like to acknowledge that many, many beautiful and wonderful women and mothers are much more able to handle their stress and worries, which are so very unique to each person. So the question I have is, what do you do with your stress? How do you identify it and manage it? One solution I am trying to implement is a spiritual one. I am trying to remember the importance of Alma 37:36-37

"Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
"Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God"

I think that, along with drinking more water and eating less crap are good first steps.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It's a Miracle

In light of me not taking the little things for granted I chose to see my son making it to his first birthday as a miracle! He didn't kill himself! Or cause himself to be killed! Anyway, we're so happy he's in our family. In honor of his first birthday we had the pancake cake and he opened presents. Mostly that means that Charlotte opened his presents. But both were excited about the things inside.


Also as an afternoon treat (and instead of cake or cupcakes) I gave him a jello pudding cup. I did this for Charlotte too and liked it. That's about as much effort as I think a 1 year old needs.


Happy Birthday Little Guy!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Quick Quote

As heard coming from upstairs.

Dan: You need to get dressed.

Charlotte: I am.

Dan: Right, but you're just wearing panties. You need to wear something over them.

Up Before the Birds

The birds start chirping at 5:18 AM around our place. How about yours? Would you like to know how I know? Greg wakes up before them most days. Most days he starts making noise around 5 AM. Today he woke up with a scream at 4:45 AM. I can't even blame this on Dan because it's before he gets up for the day. I want this to stop, but I'm not sure how. Any ideas?

Here's what I've already done:
  • He goes to bed at 7:30. I'm not willing to make it any later because I already pushed it back from 6:30 and that didn't change this issue.
  • He has a room darkening shade. It isn't a blackout shade, but it does keep the room dark enough for nap time during the day.
  • He's off pacifiers so it isn't that he's losing it because he doesn't use them.
  • He takes great naps.
  • He sleeps solidly from 7:30 until 5.
  • We feed him a second dinner right before bed so he's not hungry. Plus, this morning I refused to nurse him right when he got up just to see if it was that and he calmed down without it.

Anyway, all advice is welcome, even if we don't use it.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

History Lesson via Daddy's Quilt

Remember the NFL quilt that sneaked it's way onto our bed? Well, once it was on there it never really left. Except for in the summer when we only need one quilt on the bed. To which Dan replies that I'm crazy for wanting the AC on during the day and yet sleeping with a quilt on at night. I know I am, but at least I haven't turned on the AC right Dan? Right?

The other day Charlotte and I were cuddling in bed and she kept pointing to the pictures asking me about them. Some were easy, but others weren't. Call me crazy, but the logos have changed since before I was born. Plus, it looked like there were three different kind of pirates on that thing and I'm pretty sure there aren't three different NFL teams with pirate mascots. So I told her to just ask Daddy since it's his quilt anyway.

Sunday I'm in the bathroom doing my hair and Charlotte asks Daddy about the quilt. They spent a half hour talking about the quilt. Turns out that there's a lot of American history tied up in that quilt. All about the patriots, and the red skins (and how we don't call them that anymore). There was more, but I was only half listening. I learned that there are indeed two teams with basically pirates so at least I wasn't too far out of it.

Amazing what a quilt can do.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Just Because

Because it's Friday, and because every time I see this photo on my screen saver, and because I think it's so funny I thought I'd share it with all of you today.



When people say they worry about giving young girls Barbies because then the girls might think they want to be Barbie, I'm not sure this is what they have in mind.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thoughts From Today

One way to know if you grew up in the pacific northwest is some of the thoughts that may enter your head on a day like today. If driving your car anywhere on a day that is 70 degrees and sunny gives you the uneasy feeling that you just might be killing baby seals somewhere then you know. Also, if your daughter is playing in the bathroom sink and you tell her to turn it off because she's "wasting resources" (like she even knows what resources are!) then you know.

Both of these thoughts sort of made me chuckle when they passed through my head today. Apparently growing up on the rainy side of the state did sway me a little.



Also, on a completely unrelated note I can not wait for Greg to start walking. This urgency isn't brought on by the fact that it's sort of average for babies to walk around now (and by the way, he is standing all on his own for a good minute at a time). Nor is it that he would be much happier if he could get around on two feet rather than crawl. It isn't even because all the clothing that is getting ruined by having him crawl through everything. I want him to walk so I can stinking stop having to carry the kid everywhere. He is heavy. My knees hurt, my hips hurt, my back hurts.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

More Science

Because I can't stop bragging about my kids:

Yesterday Greg go a hold of my cell phone, that or I may have given it to him so he could be entertained while I did something else. You chose which one to believe. He opened it up and pushed buttons. Then he held it up to my face over my nose. Then he held it up to his face and started to make noises into it. Then he held it up to my face so I pretended to talk into it. Then he yelled out a belly laugh. It was so funny and fun to see him connect some everyday type things.

Also,

Last night Dan gave Charlotte a bath. Which means that she got to have lots of bath toys. I don't really let her have them because the length of bath time extends exponentially with every additional toy. Anyway, this is what I hear from the other room:

Charlotte: This ducky is floating, and this ducky is floating, and this ducky is floating, but this ducky isn't floating.

Dan: Yup.

Charlotte: Why do you think this ducky isn't floating?

Dan: Well, what do you think?

Charlotte: Well...maybe it has water in it maybe? (She really likes the word maybe)

Dan: I think you're right. How about you try getting the water out of it.

Silence

Charlotte: Now the ducky is floating!


If that isn't physics I don't know what is!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Messing Up A Science Experiment

About a month ago a mommy pigeon built a nest in our rain gutter. You could see it from my bedroom window upstairs. At first I wanted Dan to get it down. Then I decided that, although I loathe the pigeons in St. Louis, this one was a mommy and was going to hatch an egg and have a baby. This might be a good thing for Charlotte to experience. From behind the glass window. So I let the mommy and daddy build the nest.

Then the mommy pigeon sat. She sat and sat and sat. Charlotte would come check on her every day, multiple times a day.

Then one day the mommy pigeon was gone. She was gone and she'd left her egg. There it was, alone, abandoned. How do I explain this to Charlotte? What's worse is that she's read the book, "Are you my Mother?" about the dopey baby bird that hatches while his mommy is gone. So then she went to the window every morning to check on the egg. The poor little egg just laying there. She was so excited that she might get to see it hatch.

Great. Just great.

The good news was that in the last storm we had enough water in the rain gutter to float the little egg down the spout. Now it's gone. And she's convinced that the bird hatched and is now finding it's mommy. And I don't have the heart to try to tell her otherwise.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tomatoes

Yesterday was our first tornado warning of the season. When the sirens went off we dutifully went downstairs to the basement, spread out a blanket, located the 72 hour kit, and waited for it to pass. Luckily we only had to stay down there for about 20 minutes. A few things I realized, we have to re stock the 72 hour kit. There's nothing in there for Greg. And also granola bars get eaten pretty quickly when you're just trying to get your kids to think you're having fun.

After a few minutes of listening to the weather radio Charlotte got really scared. I thought I'd done a pretty good job of being nonchalant about the whole thing, but I guess I failed miserably. When I asked her what the problem was she said, "I'm just scared of the tomato."

I ended up in the basement with both kids on my lap and Suzie, the cat, came and cuddled up right next to us.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Desitin isn't water soluble

This week is my week to host Charlotte's pre-school. I was actually looking forward to it because we do a lot of crafts when its my turn. After three years of teaching arts and crafts to 3-5 year olds that's my comfort zone. We had a good time.

After it was over we had one of her little friends stay over for lunch while her mom was at the doctor's office. I made lunch while the two of them played "sick person" upstairs. I thought to myself how awesome it is that my daughter is finally getting old enough that she plays with her friends. When lunch was ready I went upstairs to tell them to come down and found both of them putting on "lotion" which was actually desitin. A half tube of desitin was slathered over their two little bodies. Luckily that was the only thing they smeared it on.

Lesson learned: Never forget that there is always a consequence for a quiet stress free moment of getting something done by yourself.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Photos I Love

A few weeks ago I had the kids photos taken and I love them! Maren Johnson is a great photographer, especially with kids. She was great at getting Charlotte to relax (I'm sure it helps that she has kids about the same age). I would recommend her to everyone. Now I just have to decide which ones to get for our wall. Here are a few that I liked a lot.






Cheerleader

Today Dan left for Texas where he will be presenting a research study he did with the head of the ortho dept at his school. It will happen on Friday. Until then he gets to listen to all the other studies, and gets dinners and a hotel room and I'm sure is having a good time. It's almost like he's a real doctor. Wont that be great? When he's a real doctor? In like 7 years. Yeah, that'll be awesome.

In the mean time, I'm so proud of all that he is accomplishing along the way. Go Doctor Dan!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bursting

I've had a hard time thinking of things to relate to anyone lately, even myself. I feel just a tiny bit like I've just got to put my head down and endure to the end of this school year. I was realizing the other day how I haven't really been noticing all the wonderful things I've got lately, but rather looking ahead, behind, and away to see great things. I really do love what I'm doing right now so I thought I'd take a note of a few things that bring me happiness.

A few nights ago I couldn't sleep. You know how sometimes you're exhausted, but your mind keeps going when your body says stop? That's what was happening, so I got up and went downstairs. Around midnight I heard Charlotte wake up and go into our room and ask for me. I heard nothing more after that so I figured Dan must have taken her back to bed. We never sleep with her in the bed. There is very little sleeping on every one's part when she's in there. After a while I realized that hearing nothing after that probably doesn't mean that Dan got up so I went upstairs to check things out. She had decided to just crawl into my side of the bed and since she wasn't bothering Dan he didn't even fully wake up. I decided to just snuggle on in with her. I lay there in the quiet of the night with my little girl cuddled up next to me and my husband sleeping heavily on the other side of the bed. At that moment I was bursting with the love I have for each of them. It calmed me completely down and as soon as I put her back to bed I was ready to fall asleep.

The second story is about how I start my day each day. It starts with Greg crying. I wish it didn't and it didn't used to and I'm sure it wont when he's adjusted to the no pacifier, but for now, it starts with tears. But after I go get him I bring him into bed with me to nurse him. He happily snuggles right up to me and we sleep and cuddle and wake up together. While I'm doing that usually Charlotte comes into the bed with us. Then comes the golden time of the day. Both children are awake and happy and I have the ability to relax and just play with them. Greg crawls all over us and the bed and Charlotte makes up stories about what we're pretending to do. The sun is golden, the moment is golden, my life is golden.