Monday, December 10, 2012

i'm (not really) lovin' it

I am sitting alone at McDonald's, having bought a cookie because I feel an intense guilt for using wi-fi without paying a token fee.  We still don't have internet hooked up at our new home, because it just doesn't seem to be a priority at 9:00 a.m. when I can't find a decent pair of jeans that aren't covered in paint  (the benefits of DIY projects on a new home).  I spend my morning rummaging through boxes in the basement, finding salad spinners and a campstove, but no jeans.  By 2:00 in the afternoon, the internet is a major priority as scholarship deadlines loom and I need to work.  So, I head to McDonald's instead of school because I am still wearing paint-covered jeans.  I spread out hundreds of applications and flyers on scholarships, and try to focus my mind while blocking the announcements that Order 39 is now done.  And this is why I hope that we don't move again for a very, very long time.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Bring back those lazy, hazy, crazy days of Summer

I miss the summer.  When it was here, I complained daily about the heat.  Now that it's gone, I'm complaining about the cold and having to bundle the girls up in eskimo suits for the trek to the car.  In the last week, we've painted the top floor of our new house.  We're moving in tomorrow, but this morning, I am yearning for the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.                        

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I'm Lost (Really)

We closed on the house last Tuesday, and my mind stopped working.  Here's the best of many moments when I lost it, or was lost, as the case may be: 

~~~~~I went jogging towards Ben Lomond.  Suddenly I was out of neighborhoods and in a new development.  I tried to keep track of where I turned, but every road started to look the same.  The entire development is roads; a total of 5 houses in the 4-miles of cul-de-sacs, dead-ends, and sagebrush.  After going down one very long dead-end that I had to run back up, I called Scottie.  (Yes, I remembered to take my cell phone this time). 

"Come pick me up," I moaned, "I'm lost." 

I waited, and waited, and got a call back after 20 minutes.  

"Where are you?"   He lamented. 

He had gotten lost in the same neighborhood, driving the car to find me.  I won't be running there again.

~~~~~Driving home on the freeway one night, the car stopped.  I kept pressing the gas pedal, but it wouldn't work.  I made it to the sidelane before the car lurched to a stop.  Looking at the backseat, I breathed in relief:  both girls were sound asleep.  Looking outside, my chest tightened again:  semis seemed to be careening towards our little Honda Accord, then swerving to the left at the last moment.  My solution?  Call Scott.  

"The car stopped--I'm stuck on the freeway."  I started retelling the events, when he broke in. 

"Start the car."  He said, "Now, go get gas." 

Yup--the car started, I made it to a gas station, and we haven't had another problem.  It turns out that the line going below "empty" is more reliable than the neon green light that shouts "empty".  Who knew?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween!! (courtesy of two little flowers)

Yesterday, I was one year late; today, I am one day early.  Thanks to my friend Annie for taking such adorable pictures.  We love our little flowers! 



Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy Halloween!!

I usually do things after the fact, which is why I'm posting last year's Halloween pics.  I just barely found some costumes for this Halloween--and need to find a way to get pictures done this week--or at least before it snows again!

Here they are--my little bee and flower! 

(pictures taken by my amazing friend, Sierra of Sierra Rose Photography)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Good things come to those who wait

It finally came:  the call.  We are getting the house.  Our house

We're excited, nervous, and talking about the house every second we can.  We're discussing paint colors, furniture options, and the biggest change:  Scott and I finally get our own room.  Yes, that's right, we've been sharing a room with either Noel or Juliet for the past 2 1/2 years (due to sleep problems of our toddler--future blog coming on that lovely topic).  And as much as we love our little girls, we're excited to have our own space. 

We made the offer seven months ago.  Seven months!  Most of our belongings are in storage, and we only kept out summer clothes, thinking we would close by August, or September at the latest.  Last week, we had to unload half the storage unit to find warm pants and coats for our family.  And somewhere in that storage unit are two giraffe costumes the girls should be wearing on Halloween.  I packed them because I was sure we would be in the house for Halloween.   Obviously, I shouldn't have had a predetermined timeline about a shortsale. 

We close on Tuesday, and we'll be painting and getting the house ready to move in.  It's a great house, but the wallpaper in the bathroom needs changing...

Besides that, we love the house!  (I'm sure we'll be loving Lowe's as well!)

There are some amazing things about the house.  The house sits up on a bluff, and we'll never have anyone blocking our view to Antelope Island.  The back of the yard borders a park, and I already know we'll be spending many, many days there.  And for all those reasons--and a bunch more--we didn't give up on this short sale.  (If you are thinking about moving next summer, you may want to start looking at short sales now!)

(pictures of the house AFTER the paint jobs to be posted soon!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Tragedy of Batman

Scott tells a story every birthday that goes something like this:

When he was turning 10 years old and his sister was turning 2 years old, his mom asked him what sort of a cake he wanted.  His reply?  A Batman Cake.  Their birthdays are four days apart, and his mom didn't want to make two cakes, so she opted to make a Barbie Cake.  For the next 22 years, Scott has told this story on his birthday, and has refused to have cake.  Instead, he opts to have cookies and sherbet, and there is still a tone of resentment that a 2-year old got placed before him in terms of a birthday cake.

This year, his mom decided to put an end to this story, and bought him the Batman cake.  It was incredibly sweet, and Scott seemed ready to put the story to rest.  Until I stepped in.

The cake had been on the counter, and the girls kept asking for some during breakfast, lunch, and every time in between.  I got tired of saying no, so I just stashed the cake in the oven and didn't think about it again.  I started to cook dinner and turned on the oven.  Five minutes went by, ten minutes went by, and suddenly, the kitchen had an odd smell.  I couldn't place it-was trying to reach a casserole dish on the top level of the cabinet when suddenly it clicked.  Scott's birthday cake was being melted in the oven.  I jumped down from the counter, opened the door, and there was the previous cake, melted and morphed into an unrecognizable shape of black plastic and melted icing.  Batman was gone.

When Scott entered the kitchen, his face was void of emotion, but somewhere deep inside, I think his thoughts read like this:  I've waited 22 years for this Batman Cake, and you just destroyed it.  I will never have a Batman Cake for my birthday.

Next year, I'll make chocolate-chip cookies and buy lime sherbet, but I know what's coming.  Instead of the story about his mom, it will be the story about me, and how I destroyed the Batman Cake.  This story is going to live for at least another 30 years. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

This Week's Nemesis: Sticker Weeds

Last Saturday, I had a brief window without any responsibilites.  Scott and Juliet were napping, Noel was on an outting with Aunt Barbara, and I had a couple hours before the afternoon session of General Conference.  I grabbed a small water bottle, jumped on my bike, and started on the trail that connects North Ogden to Brigham City. The first five miles were wonderful--I got past the neighborhood, and was soon going past farms and irrigation ditches.  The path turned north around the mountain, and the breeze was just enough to make me think, this day is perfect

Somtime during the next few miles, I went through a patch of sticker weeds and my front tire was covered.  At this point, I made the colossal error.  The mistake that changed the bikeride to a hike in three seconds flat.  I got off my bike and pulled the sticker weeds out of my tire.  If I had been thinking logically, I would have realized they were acting as plugs, but I'm not much of a logical person.  And I'm definitely not logical when I'm out on a bikeride enjoying nature.  I'm most vulnerable at that moment, thinking that the world is perfect for me, and nothing will disrupt my own little utopia.  As if we can ever be that lucky...

I unplugged several sticker weeds, not connecting the dots until it was too late.  I also happened to be in a spot that was close to nothing, and had no options but to turn around and begin walking back.  Suddenly, that beautiful scenery that had whirled past while I had been on my bike was unbelievably boring on the walk home. 

For the next several hours, I alternated between walking and jogging with my bike.  I alternated between telling jokes inside my head and telling jokes out loud to myself.  I alternated between the pros of taking a bikeride alone (solitude), and the cons of taking a bikeride alone (extended solitude).  Several hours later, I finally arrived home.  Scott and Juliet were still asleep, Noel was still on her outting, and I walked into the house without anyone concerned for my safety.  Five minutes later--Juliet woke up, Noel arrived home--and I suddenly saw the benefits of extended solitude, albeit too late.   I'll have to be thankful for the sticker weeds next time I'm stuck in the middle of nowhere. 


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

We finally said goodbye...

to Noel's bottle.  We prepped her all day that it was coming to an end - time to move on to big girl cups, throw the bottle into the trash.  And tonight, we did it.

Of course, she is 2 1/2 years old so we really should have done this a long time ago, but there always seemed to be some reason not to give up the bottle.  The biggest  one was Juliet being born eight days after Noel turned 1, and we couldn't give a bottle to one child only.  (Alright, maybe if I was incredibly motivated with discipline issues I could, but you should know from my last points that I really am lost with many parenting skills). 

Tonight, some of the cousins were over, and they helped with the anti-bottle propaganda.  Chloe told Noel that bottles were gross, disgusting, and only for babies.  Owen clapped when Noel put the bottle into the trash.  The great thing?  Noel believed them and pronounced, "I'm big girl - bottle in the garbage!" 

Hopefully she remembers this tomorrow morning when the cousins are not here, and she begins searching for her morning bottle. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Confession: I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing

I'm not one of those moms that intuitively knows what to pack for a 3-hour outting, or what quiet games to play during church.  One Sunday, I kept feeding Juliet cheese sticks because it seemed to make her happy.  The problem came after she shoved the second stick into her mouth, tried to swallow it whole, and threw up all over me.  I whisked her out of the chapel, and left Scottie to clean up the mess.  Obviously, I have no idea what I'm doing.

I listen to other moms, and sometimes wonder, "What class did I miss out on in school?"  While I was studying Modern Literature and the Great War, my friends were majoring in Family Studies.  It turns out the joke is on me, because I'm scrambling to find answers now.  As luck would have it, my sister recently visited and watched me deal with one of my daughter's tantrums.

"Have you ever heard of the book How to Raise a Spirited Child?" She asked in a kind voice, obviously seeing my lack of skill.

No response from me.  I was trying to stop little legs from kicking me in the face.

"You might want to try it."  She commented. 

And I did.

I've been reading this book for the past few weeks, and it's helping me know that I am lost.  But it's also helped me realize that other parents are lost, too.  And we're lost because raising a spirited child is raising a kid that is simply more:  more intense, sensitive, perceptive, persistent, and energetic.  I am at least starting to find some answers, and I am applying little bits of what I am learning each day.  The days I read the book, I'm patient with Noel.  The days I don't read the book, she screams "WHY?" as I roll her off Juliet.  Her own version of steamroller. 

I'll keep reading Raising Your Spirited Child because it's the first time in Noel's short 2 1/2 year life that I'm understanding how to deal with tantrums, sleeptime, and every time in between.  And I'm trying other tactics for control besides cheese sticks. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Our first (and last?) camping trip

It seemed like a good idea in January - sitting by the river, making s'mores for the girls, sleeping in the family tent.  It did not seem like a good idea when we were actually doing any of those activities - most specifically, to little Juliet.  She loves all things soft, and she couldn't find anything soft at the campsite.  Her favorite place to be was inside the tent - which at least protected her from tree stumps, uneven ledges, and pine sap.  Noel did a little better, yelling at chipmunks to stay away from our food after they ate through the bag of bagels, hiking up the mountain on her own, and performing for us around the campfire. 

The trip was two weeks ago, but Scott and I are just starting to talk about it.  What we learned.  What we will do different next time.  The fact that we are talking about a next time is something of a miracle.  It wasn't that bad (now that we're home, clean, showered, and Juliet isn't falling down every five seconds), it's just that it was so different from what we thought it would be.  We were both imagining the lazy, relaxing camping trips that we had enjoyed pre-kids.  Once again, we were afforded a full revelation of how life has changed with kids.  Here's how:  no lazy card games at the picnic table, constant bruises and 'ows', jammed sleeping bag zippers, dirty toes, squeezing Juliet in the sleeping bag between Scottie and me, the hardest quarter-mile hike I've ever been on, and the greatest drive down the canyon at the end of the trip.  The girls threw their arms in the air, screaming and giggling and loving every turn of the drive.  And suddenly, the camping trip was a success for our little ones.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Loving Her

Somewhere along the way, I wondered where she came from.  Curly hair and smile like me, but where did she get that spirit?  That crazy attitude?  The moments of complete resistence to anything I say? 
I started bemoaning that I had such a spirited child.  Why can't she be more mellow?  I wondered. 

And then something happened.  I babysat one of my friend's little girls.  For an hour, she sat on the couch and did nothing.  Not a movement, a word, a flicker of a smile.  She was the exact opposite to my little Noel.  She was mellow beyond mellow, and when she went home, I was exhausted and relieved.

That day I realized I needed Noel.  I need her spunky attitude because it fits my own.  I need her energy because I want someone to dance to music I play while cooking breakfast.  I need someone that shouts "Horses!"  while we are driving to the store, because I want to be excited, too.  We seem to feed off each other's energy--my child that plays and laughs all day long.

People have repeatedly told me that God sent Noel to me because she needed me as a mom.  But the truth is, I need her.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Where did she learn this?

The other day, both girls showed their new skills:  Juliet takes her dirty diaper to the garbage, and Noel...well, she has a new skill as well...