Sunday, October 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mo!

This week has been… eventful. Ahem. Adam is still depressed about the BYU game, so for my sake, don’t ask him about it. But that sorrow has been tempered slightly by our successful second canning experience of the season: applesauce! Adam worked hard to talk me into this one, but he finally managed, and at 11:30 PM on Tuesday night, we had almost 40 bottles of applesauce. In some ways it was easier than the peaches (the actual process was faster), but we were cleaning up until nearly 1:00 AM, so it’s a good thing we didn’t spread this one over two nights. Ah, the joys of mopping a kitchen floor at 12:30 at night. *sigh* And no, we didn’t take a picture this time. Just go back to the entry about peaches weeks ago and imagine the bottles are whitish yellow instead of orange. :)

Mariah’s birthday was also this week, and here’s a video and a few pictures of the event.

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Mariah loved her cupcake, and especially loved the gummy bears.

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She received a lot of books, some shirts, a spinning top (from Anna), her very own backpack (from Grandma Sherri), and…

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her favorite present of all, the vacuum cleaner. She runs around the house with it, banging into walls with joyful abandon. Anna likes it, too, and is really struggling with the idea that something in our house is NOT HERS. We all get opportunities to grow up.

Anna went to her first play this week. Molbak’s nursery in Woodinville puts on an annual harvest play, and this year it was Hansel and Gretel. We went to the first showing, and it was packed, but Anna still had fun. She loves when I tell her stories, but seeing people act one out is ten times better. I thought the actors did a really good job, especially considering a distinct lack of props, and they even managed to entertain parents with some adult cleverness (for instance, Stepmother put a magic spell on Daddy Woodsman that went something like “Omino ducani urbanus condominate,” which convinced Dad that he wanted to move to the city, get a job with CarrierPigeon.com, buy a Vespa, and purchase a one bedroom condo downtown for an outrageous price). We met Kayleigh’s family there, but we also got to see a lot of old friends from previous wards, and it was great to catch up for a bit. My favorite moment was when Rachel, a friend from Redmond two years ago, said, “Wow, you guys have two kids now. You’re, like, all grown up!” And while it’s true that we’re entering into the more “average American family” phase, sometimes I still feel like we are very young (I stick my tongue out anyone who just said, “Of course you’re still young!”—I don’t want to hear it).

But life certainly does conspire to bring experience. Yesterday afternoon Adam opened our water bill and almost set the tree above him on fire with the smoke coming out his ears. We spent the evening discussing ways to reduce water consumption, but after more investigations in the after the girls went to bed (since, as you may know, sometimes bills are hard to really understand), we realized that we couldn’t possibly have used as much water as the meter said, and we all know what that means – a leak. We followed the water company’s instructions and discovered that there’s a water pipe leak somewhere between the meter at the curb and the house, which our landlord confirmed this morning. After a day of investigations, Adam thinks it’s under the driveway, which is going to be SUPER FUN to have fixed, but I keep being grateful that at least we don’t have to pay the plumbing bill this time. Water leaks seem to be our destiny (see blog entries from last fall). So, we’ll see how that goes.

Sometimes life throws curveballs, as was illustrated by some dizziness and nausea from me this evening (shut up—I’m not pregnant) that led to us cancelling a dinner with Jason, Jen, & Co., but I was thinking tonight about how grateful I am for how generally good our lives are. Adam made dinner, for which I am ever grateful. I was munching on one of his rolls (he gets better every week), watching Anna sucking the “broccoli juice” (the water the broccoli cooked in) out of each piece with relish, and laughing at Mariah’s enraptured, passionate expression at the sight of a bag of fruit snacks coming toward her, and I was suddenly overwhelmed with how beautiful life can be in its simplicity. My cynical side immediately revolts against my contentment, assuring me that something will soon go disastrously wrong, but I’m trying to ignore it and just enjoy a sense that life is wondrous. I hope we can all find something to be joyful about today. Like a new pink headband.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Finger-painting

The last two weeks have been mostly very… normal. Not to say boring, but there was nothing momentous, so here’s a few pictures of various activities that have filled our time.

Anna’s dress is finally almost done (minus a few sequins), so we started working on a crown. We’ve been to every store in a 20-mile radius, and nothing I’ve found there has been good enough for either of us. Everything Anna likes is either topped by The Little Mermaid or doesn’t fit, and everything I like is given a thumbs down before it can come off the display. So we finally compromised on a pipe cleaner crown, and this is a photo of one of our practice crowns. I haven’t made the real one yet, mostly because I know it will be destroyed within the first 24 hours of its life, but Anna sure loved this one.

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Another of our activities was saved for Mariah’s naptime for obvious reasons. I’ve painted Anna’s toenails before, but that day we had a little pedicure session and did both of us. Anna wouldn’t wear socks for a week afterward because she loved her red toes.

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And here’s a movie of my most adventurous activity in a long time: finger painting. It was a gloomy, rainy day, we’d been inside all afternoon, and Mariah had decided not to take an afternoon nap, so I was desperate to fill the time. It took up about an hour, which sounds impressive to you mommies out there, but it’s less impressive when I explain that it took 15 minutes to set up, ten minutes to paint, and 35 minutes to take a bath afterward. :) But those ten minutes of fun were golden. Here are also a few other shots of them that were just too cute not to post.

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A few more cute stories from the week:

Last night was mine and Adam’s first real date night in months. We haven’t had Mariah babysat very often because she has never been very friendly about it, but we finally got up our nerve and had Josh, Melissa, and Kayleigh watch the girls while we went to dinner. It all went very well, and Mariah even had a good time, for which I give all the credit to J,M, and K for making her comfortable and keeping her busy. Anna, as usual, had a wonderful time. Adam and I also enjoyed our freedom, although our less-than-stellar meal took the wind out of the evening. We ate at Buca di Beppo, which I’ve heard good things about, but we were disappointed. It’s got a fun atmosphere, and the menu was comfortable, so that was nice. Unfortunately, we were consigned to the smallest room (eight tables) in which six tables were holding a wedding party. The people were loud and high-priority, which meant they took up more than their fair share of space and attention. When we finally got our food, it was okay, but I think it contained a month’s supply of garlic. Even the broccoli was drenched in a garlic sauce with garlic chunks the size of peas. I like garlic, but really. Yes, I know – it’s all a matter of taste. Anyway, then we ran over to Toys ‘R US for Mariah’s birthday present. And so that you all know, toy shopping is a really good marriage workshop--lots of opportunities for learning to discuss different points of view, compromise WITHOUT guilt, practice forgiveness, etc. *wink*

Another recent development is that Adam is learning how to make bread. And yes, that partly means yummy dinner breads (Conference Sunday yielded a very tasty ciabatta), but it mostly means a practical, dependable, and pleasant sandwich bread, which is sometimes even harder to create. He’s already good enough that we’ve stopped buying bread at the store, but different experimental batches produce varying degrees of dryness/moistness, stickiness/crumbliness, and sweetness/blandness. I’m very proud of his efforts and his success, but I’m proud even more for another reason. I am not ashamed to say that despite wanting to be a “good Mormon wife,” I choose not to care about making bread. I don’t care, and I’m not currently feeling any pressure to make myself. But homemade bread is important to Adam, and instead of being annoyed at me for not making it, he’s stepping up and making it himself. So now he’s learning a new skill that he’s finding very rewarding, and his family is enjoying the fruits of his labor. It works out for everybody.

That’s about all I’ve got. Mariah’s birthday is this week, so we are gearing up for celebrating. It’ll probably just be the four of us, since like most one-year-olds, she’d probably rather spend her birthday eating cake and playing with her new toys than having too many people in her house after Mommy has spent all day cleaning. But we did buy some snazzy birthday hats to wear, which I’m sure you’ll all see pictures of next week.

Here’s one more cute picture of the girls from last week. Anna is holding Maggie (her beloved kitty) and Tess (Mariah’s beloved bunny/dog/creature). Yes, Mariah has an animal named Tess. She also has an elephant named Joe. Anyone who realizes why that’s cute and clever gets a gold star. :) Adios!

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