Sunday, September 28, 2008

Let’s Be Grateful for Washable Slippers

Here are the only two cute pictures I took this week.  This is the first time in months that Anna has asked me to do her hair, so I captured the moment.  Plus, this hairdo lasted longer than any of her others have – at least four hours – before she got annoyed with it and pulled it out.  I can always hope that Mariah will like having pretty hair, but since she won’t even keep a hat on for more than five seconds, I may just be kidding myself. 

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We’ve all been a little under-the-weather this week, although I have been the worst.  My cold got out of control, and the couple of you I talked to this week can testify that my voice was pretty much gone from Sunday through Wednesday.  I finally started feeling better on Thursday, but Anna woke up that day with a runny nose, so I knew it was only the beginning.  She’s all stuffed up now and a little emotionally unstable (even more than normal two-year-old stuff).  We decided not to send her to nursery today just so she didn’t get any worse or get anyone else sick.  Then last night, Mariah started getting crabby and walking with a wobble, so we figured she might be getting sick, too. 

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This morning, her nose turned into a faucet, her eyes got all watery, she can barely walk without toppling over, and she let me hold her in my lap and rock her for fifteen minutes.  She hasn’t wanted me to hold her like that since she was about three months old.  We decided to keep her home from church because she was so miserable, and it turned out to be a good thing.  I got her ready for her morning nap, gave her a bottle, and held for a few minutes, and just as I went to lay her down, I heard the pre-throw-up burp-of-doom.  Sure enough, up came everything she’s eaten this morning.  Let’s all be thankful for my washable slippers.  She has a fever now on top of everything else, and of course, my Mommy Worry Mode has kicked in, but we’ll just hope it’ll all blow over by tomorrow.  Cross your fingers for us. 

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The other main part of my week has been working on Anna’s Halloween costume.  This is a picture of my progress, and I’d say the results are impressive considering my lack of recent experience.  I haven’t really used a sewing machine since I was fifteen or sixteen, and although we bought my current machine in February, I had to put it away almost immediately because we were staging our house for selling (no one would be impressed with a sewing table in the master bedroom instead of a nightstand).  Then we had all the unpacking and some nighttime adjustments, so I’m finally in a place now where I have some time and interest again.  And by the way, for all you ladies at my mom’s work who reportedly laughed at me for making my first project a satin and chiffon princess dress, I thumb my nose at you.  With all the love in the world, of course.  :)  I wouldn’t say it has been easy, and I wouldn’t want anyone to examine it too minutely, but I figure I may as well start with the hardest first.  After this, ANYTHING will be easier.   And besides, it’s only a Halloween costume.  *wink*

Adam’s main news from the week is that he’ll be biking to and from work even more often now.  This week was the first of a change in the bus route, which he has known about for weeks, but the ridiculousness of it didn’t become fully apparent until the first day of the actual change.  One of the main reasons we moved to this area was that there was a bus running straight to work in only 30 or 35 minutes.  Now, because of the change, the trip takes almost an hour.  That’s worse than where we lived before.  So, since he can still bike in less than 45 minutes, that will probably become his best way home.  Usually he doesn’t mind, but very few people love to bike in a downpour.  All I can say is that he’s a good man. 

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Singing Time

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Here’s a picture of one of this week’s fun activities: Play-Doh with Kayleigh. These are two adorably silly girls. You can also see on the table my version of our two families. Yes, I love to play Play-Doh, too. Kayleigh came to play with us twice this week, and Anna loved it.

In other news, Mariah is walking in a serious way. It’s amazing how quickly it happens—we’ve watched her go from a few tentative steps (not that she does “tentative”—my nickname for her is The Bulldozer) to walking all the way across the room carrying Daddy’s scripture case. Or a couch pillow. Or a box full of play-dishes. She loves to carry things. Here’s a video of her in action.

And in case anyone wonders, yes, I was talking with my mouth full, and yes, we did have to Spot Shot the carpet. Nothing stains quite like licorice rope.

Here’s another movie that I’m uploading just because I thought it was funny. It’s nice to have some lazy moments every now and then.

Mariah moment: On Tuesday night at bedtime, Mariah was very wound up. I had fed her and read to her, so I turned off her lights and held her for a few minutes. She seemed like she needed to burp, so I was patting her on the back while she rested her head on my shoulder. Then, out of nowhere, she reached her hand around to my back and started patting my shoulder. I thought she was just trying to keep herself awake, so I laughed and stopped burping her. She stopped patting me. Then I started patting her again. She patted me again. When I stopped she stopped, when I started she started, and by the last few times, she was patting me in the same rhythm I patted her. I got the giggles because it was just so cute, which completely wound her up again, but it’s still one of my favorite moments of the week. If you pat my back, I’ll pat yours. :)

Anna moment: On Wednesday, I went to playgroup, and one of the mom’s was telling me that she conducts singing time for the nursery kids. She said that she loves to sing with Anna because she’s so enthusiastic. Well, during nursery today, I watched Anna during singing time. I know she loves to sing at home, but now she sings in public, too, and BOY does she sing. She was the loudest and the most excited and the happiest of all the kids. She knew every word to every song, as well as all the actions, and she was even annoyed at the other kids for not singing (isn’t she just her mother’s daughter??). And that brings me to my…

Adam moment: which is actually a memory from when we first started our pre-dating hanging out. This may surprise some of you, so be prepared to learn something new about Adam. The first time I really knew I could date Adam was the night we played pool at his house, just the two of us, while we waited for another friend to come over for a movie night. I’m no longer sure how it started, but we ended up spending an hour or more in a conversation made up almost entirely of snippets of songs that led to other songs and other songs. We sang everything from Disney (“Let’s get down to business… to defeat… the Huns!”) to Third Eye Blind (“And there’s a demon in my brain that starts to overwhelm…”) and loved every minute of it. And even now, at least half of the conversations held in our home dissolve into lyrics of one sort or another. We also enjoy making up our own lyrics to beloved songs – one of Anna’s favorite’s is the Mommy version of the Ben Folds song “The Luckiest.” The real lyrics say, “That I am… I am… I am… the luckiest.” Our version goes “’Cuz Anna is… Anna is… Anna is…” and is completed with an appropriate phrase such as “the naked-est” (for bathtime), “the messiest” (for mealtime), or *blush* “the poopiest” (for diaper changing time). Don’t let that ruin the song for anyone – it’s one of our favorites, and we even put it on our wedding video. Anyway, I like to think that Anna’s musical interest is somewhat owing to us, although that may just be part of her personality.

Sarah moment: This morning I got called to the nursery at church. I’ve known it was coming for a while, I think, although I tried to pretend I might get called to something else. There’s a hundred reasons while this is a good calling for me to have right now, and I had fun with the kids today, but I have already made my first sacrifice for my calling. I sacrificed my fingers today by spending 45 MINUTES winding up a travel-size version of the magnetic fish catching game where the fish rotate around and open and close their mouths. It was the tiniest winding mechanism I’ve ever seen, and I gave myself blisters on two fingers from turning it so often. It was worth it because I got to know a lot of the kids, but my fingers are killing me, and next time SOMEONE ELSE can play the fishy game. They said they try to keep nursery workers in for about six months, but I’m going to do my best not to keep a mental count-down calendar. I’m just gonna have fun.

To end today, I’m posting another comparison: Mariah at 11 months and Anna at 11 months. I think the difference is pretty obvious, but maybe I’m wrong. And yes, they ARE wearing the same shirt. So sue me.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Thomas the Tank Engine rolling along... duh duh duh duh... duh duh duh duh...

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These are some late-blooming roses on the side of our house this afternoon. They were just so gorgeous, I had to take a picture. Who'd have thought pink would look so nice against a bright blue house? Maybe I'll suggest to the owners that they should repaint the dark blue trim on the house pink. Mmmhmm. And no, we don't live in a forest (for anyone who is confused) -- those towering pines you see in the background are in our backyard. About 10 feet from the house. No, really. Living in Utah, I loved pine trees because they reminded me of mountains. But here, they are EVERYWHERE, and I'm SICK TO DEATH of them. I'd give anything to see an aspen. Or a maple. Or a...

Here's a mishmash of interesting things from the last few weeks.

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This is our homemade version of Thomas the Tank Engine from earlier this week. Anna loved him so much that she really wanted us to go buy blue paint and paint him. Luckily, I talked her into just pretending to paint. On Tuesday night, she wanted all four of us to eat dinner inside him, but I put the lid on that idea pretty quickly.

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I was feeling adventurous this week, so here's a picture of Mariah's first blueberry experience: blueberry pancakes. Needless to say, she's a big fan. Oh, and next time she's eating them naked. *sigh* She also had her first experiences this week with chocolate, strawberries, and ice cream, and she's handled them all quite happily. I figure that she's eleven months old, which rounds up to a year, so she's ready. I'm spending the next week or so switching her over to cow's milk, and two days ago, I officially finished nursing. *hum the Hallelujah Chorus to yourself*

The girls and I went to the zoo this week with Anna's friend Kayleigh and her mommy, and since my hands were so full, I didn't take any pictures, but here's a movie from our zoo trip a few weeks ago, just so this story doesn't feel left out.

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The girls had a lovely time -- Anna loves doing anything with Kayleigh. The best picture, had I taken it, would have been one of Anna and Kayleigh walking down the path ahead of the strollers and running from exhibit to exhibit holding hands and giggling. They were so cute and silly--they could have been two 12-year-olds whispering about boys.

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This is our darling little garden. We planted the herbs on the left-hand side in the mid-summer, but a few weeks ago, it got cool enough to plant the autumn things. In this tiny, 5x3 ft. section of the flower beds, we've planted cilantro, oregano, parsley, swiss chard, mesclun (spring mix lettuces), broccoli, leeks, romaine lettuce, and butterleaf lettuce. As you can tell, we don't have very much of anything, but since this is sort of a gardening practice run, we figured we'd try a variety of things and see how they do. Most things are doing really well, and we're very proud.

This week's Anna moment: brownies. She asked me on Thursday afternoon whether she could help me make something, and when I asked her what she wanted to make, she said, "Brownies!" We made a pan of fudge brownies with chocolate chips on top, and she helped me stir the chocolate in the pan, add all the ingredients, and even crack the eggs. We had the brownies after dinner, and she took about two bites before she lost interest (she's not a big dessert lover), but now every time I'm in the kitchen, she asks whether she can help me. It is both a delight and a burden. :)

This week's Mariah moment: the backpack. Anna has an Elmo backpack that she uses to haul things around the house, and Mariah has fallen desperately in love with it. She pushes it to me, sort of half-crawling, half-walking, and wants me to put the straps on her. Then she walks around the house hanging onto my hands (since having it on her back completely overbalances her) and beaming like she's winning an Olympic medal. When she gets tired of walking, she tries to sit down, but since the bag is almost as big as she is, she can't straighten up. She gets so angry, and she rips the straps off her shoulders, but twenty seconds later, she wants them back on again. We go through this cycle several times a day, with her growing more and more frustrated each time, so yesterday morning, I put the thing up on a shelf where she can't reach it and can't see it. I feel bad because it makes her so happy, but I'm not willing to deal with the post-thrill frustration.

This week's Adam moment: BYU football. Every year I dread fall. It happens for many reasons, but one is because I have to share my husband with the BYU football team. I knew going to the game last week would set him off, but you people really have no idea what it's like. Soon I'm going to take his phone away because I'm tired of walking into a room where I think he's playing with the girls or reading or sleeping to instead find him reading ESPN articles where they once again unfairly favor the PAC-10 over the MWC. Okay, so it's not QUITE as bad as I claim, but really. Does anyone else know my pain?

This week's Sarah moment: wakeboarding. Or the lack thereof. Friday evening, we went boating with Jason and Jen again, which was great, but they convinced me to try wakeboarding. Needless to say, I was a dismal failure, but the worst part was that I didn't even get to enjoy any pizza because my stomach was so full of lake water that I wasn't hungry. Yeah -- my second attempt was especially disastrous. So, it may take me some time to regain the courage to try again, and until then, I'll just enjoy the wind blowing my hair back and the spray coming up as the boat speeds over the waves.

Sorry if this post is a little long -- I never know how much I have to say until I get going. But then, most of you who are reading this know that about me already. :) Have a great week!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Out on the Lake

We had a couple of fun things happen this week.  On Tuesday night, our friends Jason, Jen, Dallin, and Thatcher invited us to go boating on Lake Sammamish.  It was the first time on a small boat for both our girls, and they loved it.  I wish I'd gotten a picture of Mariah's face with her peach-fuzz blowing in the wind and her mouth hanging wide open with delight.  Anna was more sedate, but she loved watching Daddy out on the wakeboard.  I actually think her favorite part was riding in the prow with Daddy and Dallin on the way back to shore.  She had more confidence in the boat by then, and she loved being in front while it was going so fast. 

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Mariah loved crawling around the boat (even while it was moving, which was a little scary). 

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Here are Anna and Mommy.  Isn't one of us so cute?  I'm sure you can tell which one I mean.

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This one's a little fuzzy, but it's our best proof that Adam was a totally awesome wakeboarder.  He had a great time, as he does with most outdoor sports.  I didn't get in the water because it was freezing, but had I gotten out there, I would have been excellent also.  *wink wink*

Also this week, Adam got to go to the BYU football game in Seattle.  It was a close game, and a little painful, but you can tell what a good time he had when you listen to him speak--his voice is still scratchy today.  Too much screaming.  :)  It's been over five years since he's been to a BYU football game, so we were very excited to have them come to and WIN in Seattle.

Big events this week for Anna and Mariah were slim.  We went to the park on Thursday because it was so gorgeous (the weather here lately has been anything BUT gorgeous), and we discovered a farmer's market near our house.  The girls were happy about that because they sell those dried fruit logs rolled in coconut, and both girls adore them.  We've been on walks.  We've gone to the grocery store,  to the library twice, and to an Elders Quorum activity (at the park).  We've made 150 pretend pizzas, dozens of pretend hot dogs, had several pretend picnics in various rooms of the house, and watched our current favorite Barney movie once every day.  It's been a mostly quiet and mostly serene week. 

My favorite moment of the week, however, was this.  On Tuesday afternoon, as I was pulling together all our gear to go boating, I got distracted and realized that I hadn't seen Anna for a few minutes.  When I stopped to listen for her, I heard clinking in the kitchen and water running, which is definitely a danger sign.  I hurried in, and I couldn't help but grin when I saw that she had filled the sink (with cold water), poured in way too much dish soap, and then put all the dirty lunch dishes in the sink.  She was scrubbing away at them and singing.   When she saw me, she got a big grin and said, "Mommy!  I'm doing the dishes for you!"  It was so cute, and she was so proud.  I let her finish then quietly put them all into the dishwasher while she went to get her shoes--her scrubbing was slightly unskilled.  Anyway, it was the sweetest thing.  I was very proud of her independence. 

In celebration of Sunday, here's one more cute picture from last Sunday afternoon.  I hope everyone else's Sunday was so peaceful.  :)

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