Monday, August 27, 2012

Basic People Skills

When a baby comes into your life they know nothing. Literally nothing.

So you spend all of your time teaching them to survive. Eat. Sleep. Breath.

Then (if you're me) you have another baby and suddenly your "baby" is very capable and very smart and hardly needs you for anything except a ride to the store where he chooses what to buy and flirts with the cashier.

But every now and then you realize that you are still (supposed to be) teaching them everything they need to know.

Like basic BASIC people skills.

"We do not lick people's eyes."

"We do not smother our brothers with blankets. Or our hands. Or our belly buttons."

"We do not fling our poop anywhere. ever. at all. Not even outside."

"We do not wipe boogers on our faces."

"We say please and thank you."

"We say no thanks instead of screaming like a banshee and running away."

"We never never NEVER run over people with fire trucks."

"We sometimes offer to let our guests choose the show instead of forcing them to watch Blue's Clues all the time."

This parenting business, it's not easy.

*In other people skills news: we do not show potential renters our home if it contains something disgusting. Got it?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Walking With a Man-Child

Dear Aundrea,

Remember that time just after I had Tommy when you told me that one day Tommy and I would go for a walk and he would need to touch every stick and every rock but that it would be OK because we could walk as slow as he wanted? Remember how I thought the day would never come that he didn't want to just ride in the stroller? 

Sunday we all went for a walk and Tommy refused to walk on the pavement. He's not ascareda voles or snakes or toads or nuthin'. He's just ascareda walking on the path.

Little John is scareda teeth. That's why he keeps pushing them back in.

After we walked around the block for no less than 45 minutes, we returned to our neighborhood to find the sprinklers on. Irresistible. Even on the Sabbath. Shhh...don't tell my mom.

And when we got home, one of us was "soggiest EVuh, in da WEST!" so we (Tommy) got naked and ate popsicles outside.

This poor rose bush gets attacked by my boy daily. I can't decide if it's romantic that he lines our sidewalk with rose petals or straight up destructive.

After finishing his popsicle and killing all the flowers, Tommy grabbed the tabs on his diaper and yelled "I'mmmmmmm NAKED!" while he tore it off. I quickly chased him up the stairs.

Here's the thing, I thought he'd never want to walk on his own because we had such a good thing going with our daily walks through that field. 

I thought he'd never be the boss of how I spend my Sunday afternoons (because I'm a little tightly wound). 

I thought he'd never be big enough to pull his own weight, wear those 3T clothes someone gave us at his baby shower and see over the top of my bed. 

It's hard to imagine my biggest baby is filling his pockets with rocks then taking off his shorts because "they're too heavy" and yours is wearing a suit in a strange city far away from home.

But here we are. Decidedly not blinking. 

Love to big and little boys and at least as much to you,

Friday, August 17, 2012

Showing, Seeing, Selling, Renting

And that's why you haven't seen me in however many days.

Because I've been trying to make my house look enormous and beautiful and filled with storage space so that someone will walk through the front doors and refuse to leave without giving me a check for an exorbitant amount of money.

So I packed a buncha boxes to fill up a storage unit.....

the first of the boxes packed. labeled thing like: "clothes we never ever ever wear" and "decorations I don't love" Why not label them all "D. I. ?" I don't know. Because I'm a hoarder.

and then found more things to pack and needed more boxes, so I went to Kaysville to pick them up....

but on the way .....

flashing lights of death and destruction

how I feel about a 50mph speed limit on a major road

So I stuck my foot on the break but only a little and continued onward.

But when I got there, I remembered I have two children and I drive a little mom car which is not box-shaped or box-sized. And because I'm a woman my car is not filled with tie-downs and twine.

So I improvised.....

trunk tied closed with a corded headset. I am woman - hear me roar.

After two days of scrubbing and cleaning and packing and calling in all kinds of favors from the best of friends and letting Tommy be in charge......

benefits of child-rearing: slave labor

popsicles on the top shelf = tommy on the top shelf. duh.

we had a showing with a lovely woman and her son. The son would have given me 100 million dollars for the place right then and there. (Because "mom! lookit! this is where me and Hunter will go swimming when we live here! Remember that one squirt gun? MOM! Look!!!" and "Mom! Look! When I wake up in the morning I can just walk with my eyes closed straight into the bathroom and not run into anything!" and "Mom! Lookit all these weeds! Me and Hunter can build a fort over here!") But he's not the one making all the money, or the decisions. And I suppose that Mom realizes that Proximity To Hunter might not be the first priority when choosing a home. So we're waiting. And waiting. And showing more people next week. And hoping and praying that someone lovely wants to buy our house - stat. Do you know anyone? Send them my way!

In the meantime, at least once a day a neighbor says or does something so nice I cry - the ugly cry. And I tell Josh that we're not moving. Not ever in a million years. And he pets my head and dutifully says "OK" because he's a liar. But I love him anyway. And then we look at places to rent far far away from these lovely people I can't live without.

So I suppose now you know what you've been missing around our house. Lots of ugly cry. Lots of cleaning. Jealous much?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Genetic Hilarity

Josh and I met when we were both attending EFY and wound up in the same group. Since you already know the end of the story (we get married and live happily ever after - obviously) I want to tell you the beginning. The very VERY beginning.

I was there with a friend of mine (Hi Platt!) and Josh was there all on his own. Because he was soooo mature! and dreamy! He drove his OWN car! (like this) Because HE WAS MATURE. 

Our very first group activity took place at the top of a grassy knoll on BYU Idaho campus back when it was still Ricks. All 36 of us (24 girls, 12 guys) stood in a circle and put on our blindfolds as instructed by our leaders. Spoiler alert: nobody was murdered! Then our leaders (looking back they were children themselves really...) came around the circle and whispered an animal name into each of our ears. Our instructions were to make the animal sound and while blindfolded find "animals" like us.

I was assigned to be a pig.


Being the ever-obedient girl that I am, I began snorting and listening for other snorters. When I finally ran into (literally - blindfolded remember?) someone like me, I must have turned 15 shades of red because she was this beautiful dainty little dancer girl who was walking around saying the word "oink oink" while I was my big awkward and uncomfortable self snorting like an ACTUAL PIG.

At some point Josh heard my snorting and immediately fell in love with me. But he was hissing like a snake and nobody could hear him because snakes are quiet and sneaky and hissy. And he was the only one. So the leaders finally put him out of his misery and told him he could take off his blindfold and just pick a group. He picked my group. Because of my extraordinarily appealing snorting and not at all because of the beautiful dainty and lovely dancer girls I'm sure.

Anyway, we fell in love at that EFY and the rest is history. (Ha! That's not true at all, he went on a mission - we only wrote a time or two - and dated somebody else when he came home. It took me kicking his butt at a card game before he realized he loved me. Somehow the snorting didn't seal the deal.)

Lookit us? What were our parents thinking letting us go off to fall in love? We were just babies.
Also, I know it's totally vain, but I love this picture of us. LOVE it.

And as we know, life goes in cycles.

Apparently Tommy inherited my snorting abilities and John inherited Josh's strange affinity for pig sounds.

It's only 28 seconds, just go back and listen to the hysteria and snorting. Come it.

The two played this game for the better part of an hour, and now you know why I let Tommy jump on the sofa.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


We do plenty of real camping, so I don't feel too bad about putting this "camping" in quotation marks.

And I definitely don't feel about how much fun it was!

This year's addition to my parents ridiculously perfect backyard is the fire pit.

So after setting up camp

And forcing my baby to sleep

We started the fire and ate s'mores.

Then rigged up a projector to watchee show. After dark (aka sleep deprived). ON A SUGAR HIGH.

Let me tell you, there is no better way to watch The Muppets.

Camping in the backyard was definitely one of my favorite nights.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Slip N Slide

There are just some things worth bragging about. My parents' slip n slide is one of them.

Would you think I was immature if I asked my mom to throw me a slip n slide birthday party next year? Yes? More importantly, would you come?

Josh Got a Job In Real Life

Josh got a job.

As an RN.
Full time.
With benefits.
Working during the day.
Since he has zero experience in nursing those were exactly the things he was looking for. Someday when he grows up he'll have more specific demands about his jobs. But for now he is thrilled to be starting in the right field.
He'll be working at a rehab facility in Orem, mainly working with joint replacements. Which is code for old people pain management. But he is excited for the opportunity. He is excited to learn new things and use his new skills.

In Real Life he's over the moon to be done with Redbox. That has been a fantastic job, and they've been SO good to bend over backward to work around his schedule. But he is burned. Out. He's been there for 6.5 years now, and he's so done.

In Real Life I'm excited for a real work schedule. One that doesn't always end with "unless someone breaks something".

In Real Life I'm excited to be moving to a new house. Because we are simply bursting at these seams and I'm secretly hoping we find a place with a yard.

In Real Life my heart breaks every time I look out my window and see a neighbor walk down the street. Josh and I have lived here for 5 years. It's our home and it's the only home our babies have ever known. This is the first place we were grown ups in our ward and this is the first place that was really ours. This is where most of our life has been and I am seriously sad about leaving it.

In Real Life I'm terrified for what's coming. Where will we live? What will we do with our house here? What about the boys? Will we make new friends? (not like these ones, guaranteed.) Will our neighbors love us? Will we be there very long?

In Real Life I hate packing. I like the organizing and I like the decluttering and I really should like packing but I don't. It's sad and lonely work. It's hair-raising when the kids are around. It makes my house a mess because nothing will be where it belongs from now until we have a new home. Also boxes. I loathe cardboard. Nails on a chalkboard to me. I might die a slow and miserable death.

In Real Life I am scared to leave the security and stability of Redbox.

In Real Life I look forward to living in Utah County again. People here aren't typically big fans of the Orem area, but I am excited to be going back there. And shopping at Macey's!

In Real Life I am oddly excited about finding a new everything. New running and biking routes, new library with new programs, new ward and new callings, new parks, pools and grocery stores. New Dr. office and new lunch favorites. I ordinarily hate change, but a fresh start is sounding lovely this morning.

In Real Life I'm equal parts nervous and excited for Josh's short-week schedule. Three 12 hour days means he'll be home for 4 days every week. FOUR. WHOLE. DAYS. He's been gone a lot over the past few years and I've built a life and a routine without him, I hope we can adjust to being together so much quickly and easily. And I am OVER THE MOON at the thought of him joining us at the park in the middle of the day. Or having a lazy pajama morning with us. Just think, I could potentially go grocery shopping BY MYSELF in the middle of the day. We might eat lunch together! Hard to even imagine isn't it? I can hardly wait.

In Real Life Josh will be working both the new job and the Redbox job for another month. Since that means we'll see next to nothing of each other for 4 weeks I plan to ramp up for our days together.

*As a side note, if you have any good moving boxes, we want them. Sigh.*

Monday, August 6, 2012

Wasatch Wellness

My sister, Sarah had to do some promotion for a race benefiting Wasatch Wellness so miraculously almost my entire family signed up to run. Miraculous because most of our family gatherings involve sitting around eating delicious (and not healthy) food. I love that Sarah got us all excited about running it.

I also love it when I can get Josh to run with me, and push the boys.

Lookit what fun we are! Don't you want to run a little 5k with us?
Sarah is missing in this picture because she already started her 10k. She's hardcore. Tommy is in this picture because every time we got him anywhere near the stroller he let out a piercing scream that likely woke the dead in China. Embarrassed much? 
I love that Katy ran the 5k (way faster than me) just a month after having a baby.

I love that Tommy only stayed in the stroller because we told him Lucy would be at the end. Thanks goodness it was true.

But I love the most that both of my parents placed in their age division! Because they're awesome like that.

Family Pictures

Well, we did our little family pictures which was fun.

Then we did Josh's big family pictures. Which was fun.

Then we did my big family pictures. Which was fun.

But you know that smile at the end of a wedding day? The one that says "are we still smiling? are we done yet? how about now? my cheeks are really sore!" I think that's where we are now and we may not ever smile again. Any of us.

Except Little John, and Josh. Because they're always smiling.

Of course some people would rather play dead than take one more picture.

Eventually she woke up and got her regular personality back though.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

He's Big

We walk to go get our vegetables from our local produce co-op once a week. Park of the co-op is taking home empty boxes to throw away so on person doesn't have an overfilled garbage bin and this week the giant man-child who used to be my baby wanted to drag his own box home.

He stopped every step or two to adjust and get a better grip on the box and I must have asked him at least a thousand times if he needed any help. Each time he told me "um. No thanks. I'm fine." and each time I giggled and told him to just let me know if he wanted help.

Often Tommy will look at Little John crawling around on the floor, then look up at me and say "Mommy? I hode John pwease?" and I (naturally) oblige.

John loves it for roughly 2 seconds but Tommy would likely do this all day long.

I love it when my boys love each other.

Right on Cue

Josh started whisteling the Christmas music a couple weeks ago (July) just like every year.

And now we're rocking out to I Saw Three Ships.

And Tommy has no idea there's a problem with that.

Then again we heard Mary Did You Know ON THE RADIO this morning. And both our jaws dropped.

So, Merry Christmas, Happy Fall, and by the way it was July.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chunka Monka

My baby was a baby for a very long time, and then he suddenly got huge. Part of that has to do with my sister having her baby. And when Ian is around Little John looks large enough to have eaten him for breakfast.

Who knew my sweet Little John was such a chunk?

Read = Success!

July's goal was to read 2 good books. Not trash books to be exact.

At the end of June I was still reading the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants. Decidedly trash. And a thoroughly enjoyed it.

So I hurried to finish that before my loan from the library expired.

Book 1: trash.

Then the next book I had on hold at the library became available. Hidden Places by Lynn Austin. The thing about reading books you've heard nothing about on your kindle is that you can't judge them by their covers OR by what you've heard about them.

So I dived right in and loved the book. I was enthralled and mostly convinced to live in an apple orchard. But then the crazy neighbor started preaching. And it turned into a Christian novel. Trash. Doesn't count.

So I called my mom. Obviously. Because she is a librarian and solves everybody's book related problems.

I knew I'd be reading Crossing Stones, a gift from my librarian mom. And an amazing book. Beautifully written. I mean BEAUTIFULLY. Go get it. And read it. But first read about how it's written so you can properly appreciate the form. It's short and easy, so if you hate it you won't be out anything. But you won't hate it. Just do it. Go. Now. Hurry.

Then I dove into the Kindle library with my mom's list of other books I really need to read. A Monster Calls was the next available and it did not disappoint. It was a fabulous story which had me in tears for most of our San Diego vacation. It was eye opening and beautiful.

After completing my challenge I was excited to start Heaven Is Here (another gift from my mom) and haven't yet finished it (though I'm loving it) or the next in the Bayern series which I'm currently reading. I also listened a few Dean Hughes books I've already read, with Josh while we drove across the country.

I love to read, but I don't usually feel like I have enough time.

What I learned this month was that I can neglect my children more than we ever realized. And that I don't really need to sleep before midnight (or 1 or 2). And that when I don't cook dinner my day expands by roughly 3 hours. And that I sortof hate doing things that aren't about me on the couch with a blanket and a bowl of popcorn lost in a really great story.

I hope I demand more reading time for me, but the truth is that reading as much as I want to means I'm a much more selfish, dramatic demanding person. I get annoyed by all of the people who interrupt me (my children, my husband, my phone, my eating and driving requirements, my job, you real life).

So I won't likely read so much this month, but I sure would enjoy it if I could without neglecting so many (more important) things.

Little John: 9 Months

While he rarely goes by Little John these days, I can't help but love his little-ness.

He eats most solids - and while I'd like to pretend his cousin Lucy's birthday cake & ice cream were excluded from "most" they weren't. The child is a social eater. It doesn't matter if he just ate, he wants what we're having. And he usually gets it.

All that eating might be the reason his toes are just as chunky as they can be. Go ahead and try to tell me you wouldn't kiss those toes every chance you got.

He pulls himself up on every piece of furniture he can find and rarely stays still for longer than 2 seconds when you set him down.

He giggles like nobody's business. He has my mom wrapped around his little finger and she will give the kid horsie rides until her limbs fall off if he'll keep giggling. (and he will)

He is in the vacuum cleaner stage. As in he picks up and eats everything he can find.

John Boy probably doesn't love it, but he has been recruited as Tommy's wrestle-buddy.

But the funniest thing (to me) about John is how social he is. He loves people and he is so SO sad when he gets left behind (often). He hates to go to sleep if nobody else is in the room. At bedtime we typically let John eat his bottle while we finish bathing and dressing Tommy. Then John falls asleep while we read a gazillion stories with Tommy before bed. So the poor boy doesn't know what to do with himself if nobody is in the room while he's getting ready to sleep. His eyes light up when he sees people and the the smile on his face would melt even the ice queen's heart. When you add in the flailing legs and uncontrollable clapping there's not a person on the planet who doesn't fall in love with him immediately.

He charms little old ladies at restaurants and cousins he's never met. He flirts with EVERYBODY he sees at church and makes grown men giggle like school girls. This boy is more charming than anybody else I know.

And I'm glad he's my perma-date.

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