August 16th, 2013

post #210

I spend a lot of time blogging about the kidlets–as you know–so I wanted to take a break from their cuteness and share a little about myself.

A few really honest things about me:

1. Hate me if you want to, but I’m not really fond of animals.

2. I’m lazy. I’ve been trying to deny it and pretend otherwise my whole life, but I’m lazy. I can hear some of your eyes rolling, but this is about me being honest, and if I’m honest, I’m lazy. Not the sit-on-the-couch-all-day lazy (okay, maybe some days), more the I’m-always-looking-for-a-shortcut lazy.

3. I’m motivated by results, so when I do things I like to do A LOT of things all at once. Thus, I seem like a really productive, non-lazy person. Fooled ya.

4. I’m vain. Another thing I’ve been trying to pretend I’m not. If there’s a reflective surface, you better believe I’ve already looked at myself in it. I wear make up to take out the trash.

5. I’m a really bad dancer. BAD. I’ve been told many times that I dance like Elaine from Seinfeld. Not growing up watching the show, I didn’t understand the reference, and then I watched it on YouTube. People aren’t wrong.

6. Today was the first time I showered since Sunday. It’s currently Friday (reference #2 for more information). I promise I wasn’t too gross.

7. I hate crying, going to the bathroom, and the smell of raw fish.

8. Every night before I go to sleep I always think about my kids.

9. I make up random, nonsensical songs, pet names and expletives.

10. I would still play with Barbies if it were socially acceptable. Yes, I’m counting down the days until Lilly is old enough to play with the two hidden in my craft stuff.

August 14th, 2013

a day in the life on a monday

6:40am Wake up to smoke detector beeping and listen to it for 15 minutes before finally getting tired of it and going downstairs and finding a new battery

7:00 Snuggle back in bed and read emails (all junk ads) and the news

7:35 Joined by David for more snuggles. Wake up Lilly and go downstairs. Unload dishes, eat breakfast, make lunch for Matt, send Matt off, get kids dressed, start some laundry

9:00 Clean kitchen and load dishes, watch the kids play in an old box, write a blog post, write emails, pay bills (yuck), switch laundry

11:30 Snack time and bubbles

12:00 Put Lilly down for a nap

1:10 Lunch with David (PB&J and fresh fruit & yogurt parfaits)

1:40 Start a movie for David, fold two loads of laundry (no matter how many times I watch the YouTube videos I can’t fold a fitted sheet to save my life), vacuum the carpet, clean the bedrooms, read a book, browse Pinterest

3:00 Play trains with David, post a picture on Facebook, eat homemade popsicles on front step, catch a grasshopper, let grasshopper hop away (David calls them “grass POPPERS” because they “pop” out of the grass), feed Lilly lunch/snack

trains

4:20 Take kids to a park to walk explore (David finds a walking stick to whack things with–ouch), pick up some milk, ice cream and special surprises for anniversary next week

6:30 Eat dinner, have family night, play games, clean up toys

7:30 Bedtime routine, put kids in bed (Hallelujah chorus)

8:00 Start an episode of Doctor Who with Matt

8:45 David gets up, Matt goes to be the parent and I load the dishes

9:15 Finish Doctor Who and talk to Matt about life, houses, kids

10:35(ish) Go upstairs to get ready for bed

August 12th, 2013

say cheese!

Clear back in April (I know, I know forever ago, sigh) I was trying to unpack after we moved, and David was getting into everything and driving me nuts. I found an old camera, popped some batteries in, and told him to take pictures of his favorite things. He took a lot of pictures of his fingers, but he also took some cute ones. It’s fun to see things from his perspective.

David's pics

August 8th, 2013

dinosaur sickness

A few months ago I checked out a special take-home dinosaur theme bag from the library. David loves dinosaurs, and we were so excited to enjoy all the dinosaur goodness. The bag had a T-Rex puppet and a dinosaur book called T is for Terrible. And it was terrible. From the time we opened the bag until I took it back to the library, all we knew was sickness.

terrible no good sickness bag

First of all, the book really was awful. The basic plot was the T-Rex saying that he couldn’t help it if it was terrible because that’s just the way he was because he was a dinosaur–not a positive message for kids at all.

As soon as a hand went into the little dinosaur puppet, sickness fell. The first night David got up at 2 or 3 in the morning with the stomach flu, which lasted a few days. Then Matt got sick with a stomach/digestive combination for a few days. About the time it looked like all that was over, Lilly woke up with large welts/bumps/pox/bites on her arms. I took her to the doctor after they were there a few days, and he had no information for us whatsoever. We still don’t know what they were for sure.

bumps

One thing is sure though, we aren’t checking out any more specialty theme bags.

August 3rd, 2013

road trippin

In June we drove all the way to Seattle and visited our favorite friends the Davises, and then continued up to Whidbey Island for Matt’s family reunion to celebrate his grandma’s 90th birthday. We had the most wonderful time (okay, except Lilly who was teething and hating being around strangers). I could bore you with lots of words describing everything we did, or I could just share some of our pictures.

together time

July 31st, 2013

5 things that make my mommy life easier

Sometimes being a “grown up” can be a little crazy, especially when you start adding little people that need your [constant] attention. I haven’t been a mom for super long, but 2 years and nine months is long enough to figure out some shortcuts that make my life a little less crazy in a pinch.

my loves

1 Dry Shampoo is my product soulmate. I love love LOVE it. And then a little more love. I discovered it sometime after David was born and it changed my life forever. Seriously, it’s a big deal. Do I really need to explain what this does? Oily, yucky I’m-a-mom hair is gone. I have tried all the options under $10 and Suave makes the best drug store variety (it’s also the cheapest I’ve found). The Suave Keratin Infusion (gold can, they also have a variety in a silver can that’s so/so) is the BEST. It doesn’t leave a bunch of residue, makes my hair shiny and fresh (it doesn’t smell nasty like some of them). I snap on a shower cap and shower, but don’t have to worry about drying and restyling my hair every day.

2 Shark Cordless Vacuum/Sweeper This thing is so dang handy. I don’t know if my kids are just ultra messy or what, but our floors get littered with crumbs constantly. I sweep constantly. I vacuum constantly. Or at least I did until we got a Shark. It goes on hard floors and carpet, and sweeps up all the little crumbs. It isn’t as good as a vacuum, obviously, but it sure is nice to have for a quick pick up between vacuuming, and it’s just plain fantastic for the kitchen floor; quick and easy cleanup.

3 iPhone I ask myself constantly how mothers survive without smartphones. Aside from emails, calls, texts, calendars, camera, books, news, and weather right to my pocket, wherever I am, it also contains the answer to all questions in an instant. What time is it? When is David’s next appointment? What lesson am I teaching on Sunday? How do I pick the best cantaloupe? How am I going to get this stain out? What was that recipe, again? And on and on and on. Plus, access to great kid apps for when I REALLY need them distracted. Honestly, it’s the reason I maintained any sanity while breastfeeding David (every two hours, for an hour, for 8 months).

4 Roku I’ll openly admit that this was something Matt really wanted to get for a while before I finally said, “whatever” and let him buy it. I didn’t understand what the big deal was. Now I do. I stinkin’ love this little black box. It streams Netflix and loads of other “channels”–Pandora, PBS kids, Hulu Plus, Mormon Channel, BYUTV, PBS (hello, Downton Abbey), and more–in a click of a button. I can control it with an app on my phone from anywhere in our house. We don’t pay for cable or satellite, and we don’t need it. It also helps that Matt won our current Roku in a contest, so it was completely free (with a year of free Netflix, too).

5 Netflix Like my phone, I don’t know what I would do without Netflix. Instant TV, when I choose. It’s great for movie nights, discovering new shows (we have fallen in love with several BBC shows we found on Netflix), enjoying old favorites, down time for David, etc. They have SO many shows and movies now, including several Disney options. We also have Netflix apps on our phones and the iPad. My favorite thing is that we choose when and what we watch, we don’t have to pay any attention to TV schedules.

 

July 31st, 2013

being one

Our little Lilly turned ONE!

 birthday girl

We were lucky enough to be at a family reunion on Whidbey Island up by Seattle, so Lilly celebrated her birthday surrounded by family and the ocean.

Poor Lilly  was going through a particularly rough patch while we were there, so we mostly listened to Lilly cry (she got FOUR new teeth and was surrounded by strangers in a new place–not a good combo). I’m happy to say that after a few weeks of teeth, strangers, shots, bug bites we finally have happy Lilly again!

What one looks like on Lilly:

  • She says “Mom,” “Dad,” “Night Night,” and “Boo!” And she has her own grunt language so we always know exactly what she wants.
  • Lilly is VERY expressive. Between the grunts and the look on her face, we know how she feels.
  • She is all GIRL. She likes animals, cuddles, soft blankets, shoes, sparkly things, princesses, music, playing with my makeup, her hair getting done, and eating chocolate.
  • She has a fierceness to her. An intensity. She is bold and brave and opinionated. An adventurer.
  • Lilly has started to really blossom into a toddler; throwing her own diapers away, getting a cup out when she’s thirsty, going into the kitchen and standing by her chair for meals, putting her shoes on and standing by the front door, etc.
  • Shortly after her birthday, Lilly started WALKING. It’s seriously one of my favorite baby milestones. 
  • Even if he tortures her, she LOVES David. She goes after him everywhere he goes and always looks for him first when she wakes up. I love it!

photo (10)

June 3rd, 2013

perspective

We recently moved, requiring me to purge and pour over old papers at the bottom of boxes and stuffed in ratty folders. Papers that I don’t even recognize when I read, even though I wrote them. Papers that gave me goosebumps and made my heart pitter-patter with author pride. Man, I used to be good. Writing is an art, and I was an artist. And the reading. I used to READ. When I was done reading, I had thoughtful, insightful, colorful things to say. Write.

I have a disgusting number of ‘friends’ (as Facebook defines them) participating in big, important aspirations. They splash Facebook and Instagram with pictures and updates about grad schools, prestigious programs, important jobs, and worldly travels. Many are working toward fancy degrees at even fancier schools. They’ve earned big awards and got promoted in big jobs. They’ve literally traveled the world and shared photographs from places that might as well be fictional to me. They’re involved in world-changing research, writing at my “fantasy” job, and just signatures away from being doctors, lawyers, and Pulitzer Prize winners. Not to mention most of them are fit, tan, and effortlessly stylish.

Some days the most exciting part is when I find some chocolate I forgot about in the cupboard, my two year old goes potty in the toilet without me being in the bathroom, or Matt simply comes home. Yesterday (or it may have even been today) I ate some crackers that were so stale David wouldn’t eat them–and he eats crayons. Instead of fancy accessories I usually wear spit-up on my shirt and applesauce in my hair. I sweep the floor 42 times a day (only a mild exaggeration) and know all the words to the Thomas the Train opening song. My vocabulary now includes frequent uses of “let’s go potty,” “that’s not a hat,”  and “is that poop?”

But you know what else?

Most of my ambitious, successful friends aren’t married, and none of them have kids. They think they’re celebrating their youth and traveling to heaven on earth.

I’ve been to heaven on earth, it’s in the next room. Heaven on earth cuddles with a new stuffed bunny while he snores and coos in her sleep. Heaven on earth gives tiny hugs and big smiles. It smells like baby breath in my face at 3 am and feels like drooly kisses on my nose. Heaven on earth is being loved despite the mom-jeans and spit-up and getting long kisses goodnight. It’s pillow talk at midnight and makes me laugh until I cry. It’s having someone to make and share a lifetime of memories with. The 4,152 pictures and videos on my phone capturing giggles, songs, smiles and first steps trump any collection of pictures taken around the world, no matter how breathtaking or historical.

While I won’t be receiving any prestigious awards or getting promoted any time soon, I can cook dinner, talk on the phone, set the table, unload the dishwasher and put a kid on the toilet one-handed while bouncing a baby. I’m a master negotiator and gourmet chef. I can carry a toddler, baby in a baby carrier, and at least two bags of groceries up a flight of stairs without blinking an eye. Motherhood has given me the opportunity to discover new talents and skills. It’s forced me to stretch and grow in ways never possible sitting at a desk somewhere exotic writing incredible thoughts. I can say with confidence that I’ve learned more about life, death, and everything in between from my little corner than they have in all corners of the earth.

We live in a society that practically dismisses motherhood altogether; at the very least patronizes it. Even in conservative Indiana I get comments like, “So…what do you do all day?” Like, I couldn’t possibly have anything to occupy my time with. Or comments about how much I must miss “working.” I can’t deny that I like the taste of success and the sound of praise (that’s why I have a narcissistic blog I brag on). It makes me sad that my own writing and thinking is a little lack-luster compared to my pre-mom days. But what I’m doing is important, and very literally contributes to society.

Don’t get me wrong, what my friends are doing is important. And good. And noble. I hope for their success in everything they work toward. My friend who’s working on research on the cure for colds and cancer and other horrible diseases, I really hope she’s successful. I recognize that there is merit in traveling and learning about the world, and I hope to join them. Just not yet.

I’m not writing this to try and elevate myself above my friends making their way in the world, or as a statement of “moms work hard.” I’m not saying that I can’t be a good writer and a mom, I can if I prioritized it higher.

I’m writing to say this: What I do is important too, and brings me joy. And no one is *just* a mom.

“To be a mother is a woman’s greatest vocation in life. She is a partner with God. No being has a position of such power and influence. She holds in her hands the destiny of nations, for to her comes the responsibility and opportunity of molding the nations’ citizens.”

Spencer W. Kimball

I’m changing the world, just in a quieter way.

 us

And those baby carriers are a lot heavier than they look.


May 21st, 2013

for the love

 together

I know it’s almost cliche, but they grow up too fast!

Miss Lilly

Five things I’m loving about Lilly:

  1. She’s *almost* walking! She stands up and takes several steps a day, any day now she’ll just keep going and we’ll have another TODDLER.
  2. How she’s growing and blossoming all at once. Lilly interacts with us in a whole new way now; grabbing our hands to make us do something, raising cups to my lips to make me drink, holding my phone by my head and using the buttons, etc. If her hairbow falls out of her hair, she picks it up and tries to put it back in her hair. When she wants a kiss, she moves my face to give me one. Lilly makes the most hilarious facial expressions; we always know how she feels.
  3. The way she plays with my hair and wraps her arm around my neck when she eats. Lilly is so cuddly! She loves to rub soft blankets next to her face and give be hugs to stuffed animals. She likes to pull the throw pillows off the couch and lays on them on the floor.
  4. When she initiates a game of “peek-a-boo” with me. It’s so stinking cute!
  5. The way she gets excited to see David after a long separation (like an hour long nap). A few nights ago, Lilly crawled over to David and leaned in and gave him a big wet kiss. Pretty much the sweetest moment to ever happen.

 Mr D

Five things I’m loving about David:

  1. His talking! Seriously, he’s off the charts with his vocabulary, problem solving, memory, etc. It’s just nuts. I love that I can just talk to him–so much so that I often have to remind myself that he’s still only two and not much older. A couple weeks ago I found a ceramic decorative bird at TJ Maxx. David quickly adopted it, named it “Hypothesis,” and carried it around with him for the following week.
  2. David has been singing like crazy lately. And dancing. And drumming. And making instruments (he lined up some colored pencils and pretended they made a xylophone). His favorite songs are the alphabet, Twinkle Twinkle, I Am a Child of God, and “Dinosaur Train” (really, just the words Dinosaur and train sung over and over again while he bounces his foot like a mini Elvis).
  3. His sweetness. David is the sweetest kid there ever was. Since he was born, it’s usually the first or second thing people say about him–that he’s sweet (and then a comment on his blue eyes). Today while Lilly was napping, David and I just cuddled under a blanket and giggled and played.
  4. He goes to the bathroom completely on his own! He won’t even tell me he needs to go or make me come with him, he just gets up and goes into the bathroom. It’s SO nice to have him be independent. We still have to remind him sometimes, but for a majority of the day he goes all on his own.
  5. David is so helpful! He’ll bring me diapers for Lilly, throw things away, get his shoes, etc. By the end of the summer, I’m hoping he does shoes and the buckles on his car seat all on his own. We’re almost there with shoes already (or we were until I got him new ones).
March 3rd, 2013

ten things going on now

one Lilly is pulling herself up to stand pretty much everywhere these days. Her favorite perch is the toilet.

 

two I’ve been hoarding pictures on my phone. I NEED to post some. I have over 1,000 pictures on my phone and 55 videos. Lots of cute things happen, are photographed and that’s all the farther I get. Shame on me.

 

three Lilly is growing her first TWO teeth. I’m so excited about it! No really, I am. For a while I was starting to wonder if she’d still be toothless at her senior prom.

 

four David is a talking MACHINE. It’s constant. His funny thing this week: There is a baby Elmo illustration on the diaper box we recently got. David keeps telling me that it’s a “mammal wearing glasses.” I get such a kick out of it. Oh, and a week or so ago I was telling him about something I was working on, and he walks over to me and puts his hands on my cheeks and says, “Mommy, what are you talking about?”

 

five Up until this week, I’ve been a sewing machine. I need to post about my projects. I estimate that I completed over 20 projects in 2012, and I’m well on my way to surpassing that for 2013 (8 completed, and many more I’m eager to do).

 

six David is our junior paleontologist. He is obsessed with dinosaurs. He knows their names, what they eat, etc. As a result, I’ve been learning a lot too.

 

seven Lilly will lean on empty boxes and the legs of her high chair to walk for short periods of time.

 

eight David sings the alphabet all the way through all by himself. I’m not even going to beat around the bush: I’m super proud.

 

nine Going on right this second: Lilly really needs a nap.

 

ten Things developed kind of quickly and unexpectedly, but we find ourselves moving to a townhouse April 5. That’s 33 days away (I asked the internet). We’re really excited and I’ll write much more on it later.

I’ll leave you with one of the pictures I’ve been hoarding. Okay, two.