Tuesday, January 27, 2009

On a Lighter Note

I've been whining a lot lately. This morning was kinda cruddy, too, but I'm better now. And I'm getting situated on my new hard drive. I forget how much work it is to redo all the toolbar buttons on my browser and re-enter all my passwords for login sites. And installing all my programs. Ugh. Still no word on recovering my stuff.

I had another notebook in OneNote where I dragged and dropped things that I liked from websites -- mostly home decorating websites and blogs. Yes, I think about how I want my house to look someday.

I wanted to show you a photo from a cute little blog called Small Space Style that I dragged over right before my digital world had its apocalypse. I'd love to see what the whole kitchen looked like, but I have no idea where she got this photo from.

I LOVE this.
I love the cabinets.
I love the windows.
I love the floor.
I love all the glass bowls and pedestals with cute things in them. (Although they probably won't last long with children in the house.)
I love the contrast of fancy and rustic.
I love the candelabra and the wall sconce.
I love the table.
The stools are growing on me.

Most of all I love that chandelier. I never thought to put one in the kitchen. I'm doing it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Good News Bad News

Good News: Things have been going smoother at home. I've found I have a lot more patience with Sophie when I have a little quiet time to myself everyday, and when I don't expect too much out of her. I need to remember that she's not even two yet.

Bad News: Steve had to go to Utah this weekend (Army stuff). He was supposed to leave Friday night, but his flight got canceled. He thought he might not have to go because he'd be flying back tonight regardless of when he left. They still wanted him, so he left last night. Right now he's probably on the plane coming home from his 24 hour trip.

Good News: I managed pretty well while he was gone. Evenings are the hardest with the girls because they both get cranky. I've managed two nights of bath times by myself, and I streamlined it so I bathe them basically at the same time. Sometimes I amaze myself.

Bad News: I've had an icky hacking cough for the past few days and I sound like a frog.

Good News: The girls here threw me a little surprise baby shower. (Thanks ladies -- it was fun!)

Bad News: I still have some of the gift bags sitting in the living room. I ran upstairs this afternoon to check on something and left Sophie by herself for about 90 seconds. I came back down to see her with an open bottle of Baby Magic and two huge spots on the couch the size of dinner plates. Have you ever tried to clean up soap from upholstery? I scrubbed. It foamed. I scrubbed some more. It foamed some more. I got it really wet, then scrubbed again. By then the original dirty spot had increased in size by about 10, and it foamed even more. I didn't know what to do, so I put a towel over it and hoped it would dry quickly. Unfortunately it's in the spot where we sit the most, and now it makes a squishy foaming sound like you're sitting on bubbles. We may have to rent the carpet cleaner again.

Good News: We had planned to get tickets to see Wicked in San Francisco next month. The school was selling tickets to the students at a crazy price. We had arranged for Steve's mom to come stay with the girls because we wouldn't get home before midnight.

Bad News: Apparently a lot of other people had the same plans. The tickets sold out an hour before they were supposed to go on sale. LAME! It was suppsed to be awesome. Steve and I haven't gone out by ourselves that much.

There's nothing worse than when your computer is over. Very yes.

Potentially the Worst News So Far: The hard drive on my laptop died. It was making weird clacking noises one night, then the next morning the noises were even louder. Instead of booting up, I got a black screen that said it couldn't find my hard drive. I know my way pretty well around a computer, but when it did that, I immediately went to Steve and started whimpering. He may be able to get the data off of it with one more trick up his sleeve, but he hasn't tried yet. I'm using Steve's old hard drive for now, and we're trying to figure out if he can save my stuff before I start loading photos again.

Luckily (very luckily), Steve moved the most recent photos and movies of the girls last week to an external hard drive where we store everything. We do that periodically because it won't fit on my hard drive. None of that will be lost. PHEW. The rest of the data isn't so lucky....

Potential casualties:
1. My OneNote Recipe file. This contains HUNDREDS of recipes. Basically everything that's posted to my recipe blog plus around a hundred or so more that are on my "I want to try this" list. This isn't as bad as it seems because I emailed this file to a friend a few months ago, so I can pull an older version from my Gmail. I'll lose all the stuff I added in the last couple of months, but it won't be the end of the world.

2. My BookSmart file. Because I don't scrapbook, I consider my blog sort of a scrapbook/unprivate journal. There's a free program called BookSmart that "slurps" your blog, then you can drag and drop photos and posts into a book format. Then you can have the book printed. I'd spent hours and HOURS laying out the first two years of my blog into this file. We're talking over 150 pages of stuff. I may lose this. ALL of it. No "luckily's" on this one. I might cry.

3. My Food Photos. Pretty much ALL of the photos I've taken for my food blog will be toast. Luckily (sort of) I don't have a backlog of things to post, but the ones on the blog are shrunken files from the originals. (This is bad if I plan on printing out my recipe blog because I need the originals for this.)

There are other things, too, but not as devestating.

I'll let you know if Steve recovers this stuff so you won't have to feel sorry for me.

I got my hair cut yesterday. That makes me feel a teensy bit better.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I read a few blogs that talked about being "real" in their blogs. These women don't always paint a rosy picture of their lives and give you the impression that they have angelic children and a spotless home all the time. I like that because it makes me realize that motherhood is a struggle for everyone -- not just me . . . which brings me to my next point.

I had a lousy week last week, and I noticed in the blogosphere that I wasn't alone. I won't go into details, but it mostly has to do with Sophie. I get so frustrated with her lately. Most of my frustration isn't directed towards her, though, but towards myself. I hate how fast I lose my patience with her when she acts up. Not just acting up, though, but acting up with a defiant little attitude. And doing the same things over and over (like smacking Ivy in the face with wooden objects). In the heat of the moment, I really want to smack her across the face, and it takes all the self-control I have to resist. I never thought I would ever feel that way, and a few minutes later when the moment has passed and she's back to her sweet and innocent self, I wonder how I could ever hurt her.

Thursday was a particularly trying day. My nerves were shot, and I had a little breakdown when Steve came home from school. I had a visiting teaching appointment that night, and I almost backed out because I really wasn't in the right frame of mind. I went anyway. I'm sure the spiritual thought I shared was anything but spiritual, but throughout the chats we had, I was the one who went away uplifted. I knew what I needed to do at home. I love how visiting teaching works like that sometimes -- everyone is uplifted, not just the one who's being visited.

Things have gotten better. I've re-prioritized what really needs to get done around the house so I can give her more attention, and I try to make Sophie's naptimes more productive. We decided that our nighttime routine of spending an hour plus in Sophie's room trying to get her to sleep every night was probably unnecessary right now, so we turned her bed around so she can't get out by herself anymore. She's basically back to a crib. Sophie put up a big fight, but luckily it was short-lived.

I think the root of Sophie's behavior is pretty simple: she's got competition now. Some of the best advice I got from a friend (thanks Missy) was to take care of the newborn's basic needs, but really focus on the older child. I try to give Sophie all the one-on-one time I can and involve her in Ivy's care, but Sophie wants all of me. I can't give her that anymore. I guess we'll just have to remember "this too shall pass", and wait for the day when they'll be able to play together. Sophie might still be hitting her in the face with wooden letters, but at least Ivy will be able to defend herself.

I'm sharing this with all of you because I think that, with all of us networked so tightly in the blogging world, we're in a perfect position to help and lift each other. I'm not into airing dirty laundry or sharing private things on the internet, but there's a lot we can learn from each other's day-to-day experiences. I already have by reading many of yours.

Thank you :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Wedding Bells Once Again

Sunday we went to Sacramento for Steve's brother's open house. This was the third wedding in less than 18 months between our two families. That means lots of family, lots of yummy food, and more photos.

Speaking of food . . . there was lots of fruit. And Sophie was happy.

Clockwise from Steve: Steve & I, Rick & Judi, Grandma Perry, Matt, Jennifer & little Nathan, Aunt Jeannie, Michael & Amanda, Kimi & Sophie. (Yes, Amanda's dress is lilac. For some reason she didn't bring her wedding dress.)

This was taken right before we left to go home. We'd been there for a few hours, which is why we look a little sleepy. That's how I always look nowadays -- sleepy and disheveled.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Big Girl Stuff

I always heard that your first child seems much bigger and older when you bring a newborn home. It's true, but Sophie did have a growth spurt last fall and she's been going through some changes of her own -- aside from becoming a big sister.

Sophie started going to nursery. (Nursery is where the kids 18 mo-3 go during the last two hours of church.) She hated it. She screamed. She wailed. Then last Sunday she pointed at the door like she wanted to go in. "Yeah, right," I thought. I took her in. Stayed about two minutes until she started playing, then left. She was perfectly fine the whole two hours. It's like she woke up that morning and decided that nursery wasn't torture afterall.

We fed her lunch right after church. She still has her dress on because we had to haul it to Sacramento real fast. (More on the later.) I wonder if she stayed in nursery so well because she was drugged. :) She's never fallen asleep in her chair before. Ya, I think she's getting to big for this chair, but it keeps her (and her food) contained during dinner. We're working on that.

Moving her to the couch didn't wake her up.

To further prove my point . . . this is what happens after I stand up for 10 seconds to get a picture of my amaryllis. She thinks she's so sneaky. (By the way, I'm a big fan of these plants. They grow faster than I'm able to kill them. We planted this one at the beginning of December.)

Sophie sleeps in a big girl bed. Although Sophie loves being able to get in and out of her bed now, I think taking the rail off her crib may have been a bit hasty. She usually stays in all night, but going to bed initially is a struggle. Not always, though. There have been a couple nights where she went upstairs around 7ish, and when we went to check on her, she was fast asleep in her bed. I wish she did that every night. There's not going back now, though. I can only imagine the wrath she would unleash if we turned her bed back into a crib.

My favorite time of day.

No, she's not asleep. She's putting her baby to sleep. One trick I use to get her to go to sleep at night is to sit on the floor, rest my head on her bed and pretend I'm asleep. This accomplishes two things -- blocking the side where she can get out and boring her to sleep because my eyes are closed. I wonder if her baby is bored yet?

Sophie walks up and down the stairs. Freaks me out, but she hasn't fallen down more than a couple stairs yet.

Sophie isn't the "baby" at play dates. Hallie came and played this morning and Sophie didn't look like the fragile young one anymore. And there was no crying, which is a huge improvement. :)

I'm so glad we got her that little table. They look so cute sitting together.

Sophie and Ivy play well together. At least, while Ivy is still immobile. It doesn't look like she minds having wooden food stacked on top of her.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Miss Ivy

I finally took Ivy in this week for a check-up. Here are the stats:

Weight: 8.5 lbs (20th percentile)
Length: 21.5 in (50th percentile)

She's still a tiny little thing, but when you consider that she's gained 50% of her body weight in six weeks, I'd say she's chunking up quite fast.

It's been interesting getting to know another newborn. I compare her a lot to Sophie because that's the only other experience I have. Although she looks kind of like Sophie, her personality and mannerisms are quite different. For example . . .

Ivy loves to be cuddled facing inward. I LOVE THIS. Sophie always had to be facing out and hated being on her stomach. Ivy also likes to sleep on her stomach. She'll fall asleep on my chest, then wake up soon after I put her down on her back. Occasionally I put her on her stomach (gasp!) and she stays asleep for hours.

Ivy is a messy eater. She latches on, then falls off, then latches on, then falls off, and when she does stay on longer than 15 seconds, I swear she has a hole in her lip because milk goes everywhere. And when she's finished, she'll let go and instead of swallowing the milk she has left in her mouth, she'll just let it run out. It gets all over her face and all over me. And I don't even want to go into how much comes out later. (Yes, she's still spitting up a lot. I think it might be more than just chocolate because I've been really good lately. Honest.) I probably smell like rotten milk no matter what time of day it is, so don't get too close to me.

During the day she sleeps a lot sitting up, propped up between couch cushions. It keeps her from spitting up too much. And she likes it, I guess . . .

Thursday, January 01, 2009

A Very Perry Christmas

This year was the first year of our marriage that we were able to stay home for both Christmas and New Years. For the most part, we hung out in our jammies at home and watched movies, ate a lot of popcorn and just enjoyed being together. I have to admit, though, that Christmas Day didn't feel like Christmas to us. I think it was because we weren't used to being at home without either of our families around and because Sophie didn't understand what was going on and was really moody. There's not supposed to be whining on Christmas. Anyway . . .

On Christmas Eve we stayed home and popped popcorn (big surprise).

Wow, she packs it in by handfuls. Just like a Phillips.

Here's a little clip of Sophie's first look at what Santa brought her. My mom sent her that polka dot chair and we got her the wooden table and chairs -- fabulous deal at IKEA ($40 for the set). That thing she's pushing around is also from IKEA. She latched onto one in the store, so we snuck one out without her noticing.

Pretty girl in a pretty chair. :)

Opening presents with Mom.

It's never too early to get your child a stainless steel cookware set.

Ivy and Dad crashed on the couch.

Sophie & Ivy on the couch. (We spent a lot of time on the couch last week.)

Sophie sure loves her sister. Oh, and she keeps grabbing her diaper because Steve had just asked her if she was wet.

Because I liked this one.

On Friday we headed to Sacramento to be with Steve's family for the weekend. Steve's parents were thrilled to have all of their grandbabies there.

Steve's parents (Rick & Judi) with my girls and their cousin, Nathan (5 mo).

Aw, Ivy's first cousin photo. She was thrilled to be there.

On New Year's Eve we went to a party with some friends. I thought it might be nice to actually put clothes on the kids (and on myself).

Ivy looks like a little ninja in this one. This pic is weird because it doesn't look like her in person.

Our three-week vacation is almost over, and Steve goes back to school on Monday. Ugh. With all of the organizing and de-junking we did during the break, I think I'll be able to keep things under control here.

Resolutions? I haven't really thought about it -- besides losing weight. (By the way I still managed to lose four pounds in December with all the insane munching I've been doing. Gotta love nursing.) I tend to make shorter-term goals. Like monthly or weekly ones. Or just getting the bathroom cleaned and the kitchen mopped in one day. I feel like a champ when I do that.

I'm off to the shower now. It's almost bedtime, and I . . . um . . . haven't had one yet today. Gross.