Sunday, July 31, 2011

10 things from July

1.  Mint Chocolate Bath and Body Works hand soap.
I want to drink it. Smells so good. When I wake up in the middle of the night and have to use the bathroom, it's so fun to use this and go back to bed smelling so delicious.

2. Homemade popcorn.
Put 1/4 cup popcorn kernels in a brown paper bag and cook in the microwave. Add little drizzle of butter and some salt.  The perfect snack.

3. Sewing.
I sew at night after Nicholas is in bed while Kent plays his computer game with his friends. We get to be in the same room but each doing our own thing. I feel like I've accomplished a lot so far, considering all the started-but-not-finished projects I've had over the years.  I've made a nursing cover, a blanket, some burpcloths, and I'm working on the curtains for our bedroom. (Using curtain panels I bought from IKEA-cutting them up and making them fit better.)

4. Yogurtzone.
We've gone a couple times more since our family night trip. The manager now recognizes us.  He doesn't know our names yet, though, so I think that means we need to go more often.

5. Swimming.
At least once a week we enjoy the benefits of having friends with neighborhood/complex pools.
Nicholas was terrified at first, not wanting to get in the water at all, but now he loves it! He talks about it all the time-he shows us "swimming" waving his arms in the air in front of him and tells us how he likes to splash Jayden (his swimming friend).

6. Lemon.
I've been craving lemony foods.  I made some lemon poppyseed cupcakes this week but I'm still drooling over thoughts of lemon cookies, berry lemonades, lemon-something pies.

7. Cleaning.
The nesting instincts have hit me hard this time.
I've been a cleaning madwoman--so far I've organized every single closet in my house, sorted all of Nicholas's old baby clothes and other baby stuff, organized all the cupboards and drawers in the kitchen (with the exception of Kent's "tool drawer"-that's a nightmare I'll need his help to deal with), dusted and vacuumed baseboards, scrubbed floors and mirrors and windows, cleaned out the garage...

and then there's the 15 times a day I go through the house and just pick up all the things that Nicholas displaces.

8. Skirts.
I do not like maternity clothes, especially pants.  Not only are they ridiculously expensive, but they just don't fit right. Ever.  So this summer I've been all about the skirts.

9. A wiggly baby.
I'm 26 weeks now, and this little girl is crazy.
She is always moving.  All through the day and all through the night.
Just watch, we're going to be that family with the most mild, quiet little boy and this wild child little girl.
I'm more than a little anxious to find out what she's going to be like.  Will she ever sleep?

10. Ruffle-bum pants
and other baby girl clothes.
Yesterday Kent asked me if she's going to have anything to wear that doesn't have ruffles on it.
Now really, I haven't bought that many things with ruffles.   But when I think about her sweet little bum with ruffles on it, well, I just can't resist.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

a year later: Nicholas edition

I told him to "look cute" for the camera.
Nicholas will be two in less than a month. 
A year ago this was him.

Now, he talks, he learns, he goes to nursery, he makes up songs, he plays with friends.  He's a real little person. 
There's so much I could say about him-I'm going to have to break it up into smaller peices.

I'll start with the talking.  He says everything now.  It still surprises me sometimes when I hear him jabbering and then realize that he's actually saying real words in a real sentence.  I just can't believe that my little guy can talk like that already.
But these past few weeks have been so much fun.
I feel like I have a little buddy around all day long, and I love it!

He's creative, curious, and silly.  He plays really well by himself, but he loves it when I play with him too.  And really, I love to play with my little talking guy.
His sentences are so awesome. 
Some examples:
"I hug a mommy" means "pick me up and carry me where I want to go."
"I watch a counter lunch" means "let me sit on the counter and watch you make my lunch."
"I coming a mommy!" means "I'm coming to where you are"

I love that he uses the word "a" in all the wrong places.

Playing Angry Birds on the "Game Crap"
He loves to sing-he makes up songs, and they always have the same lyrics:  "no my no.  No my no.  No my no." 
He also likes to sing If You're Happy and You Know It, but from him,
the word "clap" comes out as "crap."
And it's very enthusiastic.
"No my no. Crap! Crap!  No my no. Crap!"
And if I'm not singing:  "Sing a mommy!  Crap! Sing!"
It's seriously hilarious, but I have to try to hide it because I don't exactly want him to know that this word can be so funny.
There's a video of this song on an app on Kent's Xoom.  So Nicholas calls the Xoom "Game Crap."

He loves to count "2, 4, 6!"  and he loves to label colors "yewow green!"  He will usually correctly name the colors orange and black, but everything else is yellow green. 
When we correct him, he gives this little chuckle and says "oh yeah, sorry!  Blue."  or "oh yeah, sorry!  Red." 

My little buddy with me at the store.
He says "sorry" all the time.  The other day we were at La Cantera (an outdoor mall) shopping for some baby clothes.  He was stopped in the middle of the path, dancing his little heart out.  I called him and told him it was time to walk this way, and he comes running with his shoulders shrugged and his hands up, saying "Sorry! Music. Dance.  Sorry!"  like "so sorry--there was music and I just couldn't resist dancing." 
And then he stopped, turned back to the path where he'd been dancing and shouted "bye!"  It was super awesome.

It's so nice that he's old enough for us to reason with him a little bit-we can usually avert a tantrum simply by telling him what is going on and explaining that he can do that after we do this, etc.  He'll sniffle a bit, say "okay," and then he's ready to enjoy whatever activity we are about to do.

He answers every question we ask him with a simple  "Yep!"  or a nonchalant "Yeah."

He thinks of things on his own, and tells us all about them
The other day he just kept telling me about some "baby elephant" and then he'd laugh like it was the funniest joke he's ever thought up.
He likes to remember people he knows.  Sometimes I'll hear him in the back seat while we're driving simply reciting people's names. "Mommy. Daddy. Nikas.  Gramma.  Jonah.  Mason. Sarah.  Papa. Grammer.  Jayden.  Pax.  Allison."  and of course, "Baby Aubrey!"

You see, Baby Aubrey (our friends' little girl) is Nicholas's favorite person.  He talks about her all.the.time. 
He seriously mentions her name at least 10 times a day.

In fact, a few nights ago, Kent was playing "get you!" (chase and tickle) with Nicholas, and they stopped for a minute.  Kent said "Nicholas, I love you."
Nicholas looked at him, furrowed his brow, and shouted "No!  I love Baby Aubrey!"

So if he can only love one person at a time, Baby Aubrey's going to win out.
Let's just hope he loves little baby sister just as much.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

a wizard in the bathroom

 I woke up on Thursday morning full of energy (Nicholas slept through the night-progress finally!) and nesting motivation.
I was going to deep clean my kitchen.
I cleaned and cleaned and stacked all the trash bags next to the front door so I could take them out later,
you know, when I was wearing something other than my pajamas.

So later, 
the very moment I opened the door to take out the trash,
a little lizard scurried inside, across the entryway, and into the bathroom.
In my head I thought:
grab a bowl and trap it quick!
but the lizard moved much quicker than my quick could happen, 
and then the lizard was beneath our vanity.  

I called Kent to ask for advice.
His response:  laughter and "have a good day!"

I called my Mom.  She was very sympathetic-due to a similar run in with a snake when I was a baby.
Her advice:  call Kent and make him come home from work to get rid of it. 

Also, don't let the lizard bite me.

Well judging from Kent's reaction to my phone call, I was pretty sure he wasn't coming home, and I really wasn't planning on getting close enough for the creature to bite me.

So I grabbed the bathroom rug, shut the door, and wedged the rug tightly under the door.

Nicholas was completely delighted.  The night before this we had pointed out a lizard on the outside of our living room window-
now we had an actual "wizard!" in the bathroom. What luck!  
He spent the morning sitting on the rug, reading books to the wizard, and asking me if he could feed it some toast.
And I spent the day really enjoying the awesomeness that little boys are.  We decided to name the lizard "Warry" as in "Larry the Lizard."  
"Warry the Wizard."

When Kent got home from work it was time to set Warry free.
Our first lizard-catching attempt, however, ended up with the lizard back safe and snug beneath the vanity where nothing we had could get to him.

So I re-stuffed the rug under the door and went to my Relief Society activity.

After Nicholas was in bed, the lizard had moved back over to the wall by the toilet, and we began our second attempt by making sure that little guy couldn't scurry his way back beneath the vanity.

Children's books:  education AND functional.
I couldn't get pictures during the actual process:  
imagine two adults with plastic cups,
a yardstick, and a square of cardstock,
trying to lure/startle the lizard out into the open a bit more-
but trying not to startle the lizard so much that he came any closer to us than we wanted.

Eventually, Kent swooped in and snagged the little guy in his cup and took him safely outside.

What was left, however,
made me squeal and both of us laugh so loud that we woke Nicholas up and had to go help him get back to sleep.

The poor Wizard's tail, still wiggling on the wall.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

fhe photo shoot

Anyone ever tried to have your husband take a good picture of your family home evening activity
at yogurtzone's grand opening
with a somewhat sleepy/grumpy almost-two-year-old?
Forgot to tell Kent it was on Manual. Oops.

He ate all the m&m's-not happy that they're gone.

Good timing, Daddy.

As good as we're going to get.
We ended up loving the place so much that we went back again-
for dinner-
on Wednesday night.  
Because sometimes, in the summer, ice cream sounds better than real food.

Monday, July 11, 2011

a year later: master bathroom

Let me first say, 
it didn't take a whole year to do this bathroom.
But it certainly has been a little-by-little project.

So, a year ago, our bathroom looked something like this:

White white walls, 80's style light fixture that made everything look yellow,
teeny tiny vanity, gray linoleum,
and of course, that wallpaper.

As of yesterday, we finally hung up the last picture frame
(it had been sitting on the back of the toilet, waiting to join the rest of them,
for probably a month and a half.  Like I said, 
and now,
our bathroom looks like this:

Castle pictures taken by Sam and Heidi on our France trip 3 years ago.

Kent let me splurge and get Anthropologie knobs for the vanity.
We have lots of counterspace, a curved shower rod that makes our thin-person tub feel way more roomy, track lighting to help lighten the long narrow room, 
and enough decorations to make it feel soothing but not cluttered.

Every single time I take a shower,
I look up at where the wall meets the ceiling, and I breathe a sigh of relief.
No more wallpaper.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

a year later: me edition

 Me from last July,
and this July.

I think I've finally reached the point where people can tell that I'm actually pregnant--not just the "she might be..." stage.

A few weeks ago I was wondering when that second trimester energy was going to come.
I guess it just isn't the same when you spend all your time with two-year-old.

But I've been feeling really great the past two weeks or so; definitley nesting-I have this intense desire to get every closet, drawer, box, and corner of my house in perfect order before the baby gets here. 
I know that it isn't really important to have it all done, but it feels like it is.

I get intense and very specific cravings, usually in the evenings. 
A few times a week I find myself really wanting a tuna fish sandwich around 9:30 at night.
Kent tells me that is strange, but it doesn't seem like it to me. 
I mean, it's what I want.
I can't be the only person who likes to eat tuna before bed, right?

A day or two ago I was just sitting in the living room and suddenly I needed a snickerdoodle. 
And last night, I was tearing up my iceberg lettuce for my salad, and at that moment, I realized that the thing I wanted most in the whole world was to eat the spaghetti I had in the cafeteria of Snow College one summer when I was at youth conference.

That one was a little weird, I admit.

And then there's the excitement of my shrinking pregnant brain.  Inability to communicate without fumbling my words, inability to remember things I said or did only moments earlier, that sort of stuff.
Did you know that they've actually done studies and proven that a woman's brain literally shrinks when she's pregnant? 
Don't ask me who "they" are, but I believe them!

And the dreams.  I have awesome pregnant dreams.  Happily, I'm past the nightmares stage of the first trimester, and now I have dreams about really cool things.
Like Josh Groban helping me set up my Christmas tree and serenading us,
swimming with dolphins in a Church pageant,
and being in the cast of the waterworld show at Universal Studios.

Things are going really well.  I keep forgetting that I'm pregnant, actually. 
I guess Nicholas keeps me too busy thinking about other things.
But then I happen to walk past a mirror and
oh yeah!  We're having a baby girl!

It's pretty exciting to remember that.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

a year later, yard and garden edition

I was looking through my book of pictures of the day from last year, and I realized how very, very different this summer is from last. 
I thought it might be fun to review a few of the differences.

For example, here's our backyard on a day late last June:

And now, here's our backyard as of yesterday:

Last summer, I was enjoying these fresh from the garden:
This summer I gave up.  When I watered the garden every day the plants started turning yellow from too much water.  But when I missed even a single day, they withered up from the heat. 
So this year, here's my tomato plants:
Pitiful.  I know.  Hopefully I'll still feel up to gardening again once September comes around and we can start the second planting season.
And for our final yard and garden example, here's my flower garden from last July:
And this July:
I actually purchased flowers a few months ago, but they all promptly died.  I decided not to spend any more money on a lost cause.

I don't know if it is possible to have seasonal depression from summertime, but I'm certainly craving some cloudy days, rainstorms, and cool winds.  

It rained for maybe 90 seconds one day last week, and I actually ran outside and cheered.

I think Nicholas is tired of it too.  Every time we step outside to get in the car he puts his hands over his eyes and says
"Too hot!  Head hot!"  And then he looks at me like: why do we live here, Mommy?
I don't know. (Okay, okay, it's the job. I know.)

 I sent him out a few days ago to play in the wading pool, and a few minutes later he was sweating and begging me to let him come back inside, have some milk, and watch a show.  It's too hot here even to play in the pool.

Can it be winter yet?

Friday, July 1, 2011

why I'm doing it again

Me and Nicholas-one day old
 I've been thinking a lot this week.
On Tuesday I read an articleThe No-Baby Boom.  According to the article, there are 58.4 million married couples in America, and 26.9 million of them are childless.
The article states that, in essence, "children have gone from being an economic asset to an economic liability."

It continues:
"But for the child-free, the benefits go beyond dollars and cents. There's less guilt, less worry, less responsibility, more sleep, more free time, more disposable income, no awkward conversations about Teen Mom, no forced relationships with people just because your kids like their kids, no chauffeuring other people's kids in your minivan to soccer games you find less appealing than televised chess."

And you know, these things are all true.
But they are missing the most important part.

I do sleep less than I would without children.
But to miss the sweetness of those middle of the night milk-drunk smiles, when a dribble of milk falls down their chin as their head rolls back and they're sound asleep again? Or the chubby dimpled hand that curls around my neck in the darkness? I wouldn't.

I do have less (if any) free time.  I can't even use the bathroom with the door closed. 
But I can't bear to think about not being the person who gets to have Nicholas as my constant little bud.  And to miss his excited/astonished "Wook at dat!"  when he discovers something new, or his delighted "Hi Mommy!" when he follows me around the house?  I couldn't!

I do worry more. About everything from the value of organic food to the structure of a proper time-out to the strange rash that shows up suddenly.  I wake up in the middle of the night and get up and make sure all the windows are locked.  I check my sleeping boy's temperature so often that I regret it-he wakes up sometimes. 

But I'd rather worry about all of those things and all the things to come than spend all my time thinking about myself.  

Parenthood is hard work. Hard hard hard. It makes me cry. It makes me want to pull my hair out (and sometimes I even do!). It makes me want to give up. 

I will not say that it isn't hard.  But that is precisely why it is so wonderful. 
I am happier now than I have ever been. 
You see, being a mother is helping me to reach my divine potential.  More than anything I have experienced before, the love and sacrifice I give for my child(ren) is teaching me about God's love. 

And that is why, in around 18 weeks, I am going to be delighting in that special smell of a just-born baby. 
I am going to be holding her on my chest, kissing her neck, sniffing her hair. 
I am going to be sitting in that hospital bed, tired and sore, marveling in the miracle that Heavenly Father has sent me yet another one of his precious children. 

I wouldn't give that up for anything.  Anything.