Saturday, March 28, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

Rainy Day Entertainment

A few weeks ago when Steve was putting in long hours at school and taking the car most days because it was rainy (and I was losing my mind), I needed to get more creative about entertaining Sophie at home.

One day while we were in Target I glanced through their little $1-2 section in the front of the store. I've found some gems there (like Dwight Schrute post-its), so I look every time I go. That day they had these little jelly window cling things for $1. I hid them from Sophie for a rainy day -- which happened to be the next day.

I think that's the only day she played with them on the window. Since then, they've been on the fridge, the dishwasher, the floor, the walls, on Ivy, behind the couch, and in her mouth. Now they're in the trash.

Another day I got brave and brought out the paints. (Yes, washable.) I bought them last year so I could do hand/footprint cards for all the grandparents, and forgot I had them until a few weeks ago. Steve's parents were coming to visit for his dad's birthday, so I had Sophie paint him a card after her afternoon nap.

Right after her nap. She still had blanket-face.

I was impressed at how neat she was. She didn't get any on herself or the table.

Friday, March 20, 2009

You Knew This Was Coming

Dear Mom,

Happy Birthday! This one's rather important, isn't it? I hope the jump into the next decade of your life is a happy one. You'll always be "29" to me. :) (That's kind of odd to think about since I'll be 29 this year....) Since I did a birthday post for Dad, I've been thinking about what I wanted to say for yours. Let me tell you . . . finding a time to write this when both girls are asleep, and I don't need to be anywhere immediately afterward was tricky. The last thing I need is mascara running down my sad, sleep-deprived face when I run out the door. I hope you don't need to go anywhere either because we both know what's going to happen. :)

. . . and it doesn't matter how important the day or how photogenic we need to be. It's going to happen. Oh why did the photographer tell us to look at each other?!

I've been thinking about all of the things you've taught me over the years, and a million things come to mind. How can anyone list what their mother, the most influential person in a child's life, has taught them? I can only try.

I have you (and grandma, which is where you got it) to thank for my love of food and cooking. You made us dinner almost every night, but more importantly, you made us eat together as a family. That time together was really important to our family, and it's something that I'll continue to do with my own.

Ah yes. . . those infamous orange curtains. I wonder if this picture was taken before or after Dev spilled chocolate milk all over them?

You taught me how to clean. You wouldn't let me quit piano lessons (thanks again by the way). You let me do things that I know were really hard on you -- like go to Russia. I still remember the look on your face when I told you where it was I wanted to go. You'll always be my favorite shopping buddy, too . . . though not for reasons you might think. :)

I tend to give inanimate objects names and personalities. ("Ruby", my Kitchen-Aid mixer, is the diva of my kitchen.) I totally get that from you. You're also the only one who has convinced me so far to love an animal like a younger sibling.

I like that we think alike, and that I can always make you laugh, even if I'm not really that funny. I'm glad that you listen, too. And that you encourage me to make my own decisions (although I know on the inside you're rooting for one side). I don't usually call up people just to chat, but you're one of maybe three who I call for no reason.

I should have trusted you more when I was dating, and I'm also glad you weren't outspoken about who you didn't like. (Would I have listened? Probably not.) I appreciate that you just wanted me to be happy, no matter who I ended up with. As I look back on the guys I dated, and I think of who I sensed you didn't care for, you were totally right. What the heck was I thinking? Aren't we relieved I ended up with a good one?

. . . to help give you guys gorgeous grandchildren? :)

I love that I get compliments on you. I've been told by a lot of people that I have a beautiful, young, & spunky mom. It's true. I do. I've always been proud to have you around. And you look amazing for your age. Honest.

You taught me that I should never say no when offered a church calling nor asked to be released, but to serve my best for as long as I'm needed. You taught me to turn to the Lord when I have problems, and that if I just trust Him, everything works out the way it should. And it has so far.

I'm sure I'm missing a whole lot of things, but one of the most important things you taught me was to be a good mom. We had our rough spots (sorry...), but I never doubted that you loved me. I've always thought it was a shame that kids don't realize how hard it is being a parent until they're parents themselves. I guess that's the way it's supposed to be. One by one, things you told me growing up that I'd understand when I'm a mom are starting to make sense. And it serves me right that I have a little girl with an attitude. Maybe Karma does exist.

Now that I'm nice and weepy, I better stop. I hope you have a great birthday, and that you didn't mind me "putting this in the newspaper". Haha . . . Dad cracks us up, doesn't he? I wish I could give you a hug. Mostly I wish I could get a hug from you. I don't think I'll ever get too old to love hugs from my mom.

Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you!

Your sassy little firstborn

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Field Trip

Before I tell you about the excursion we took on Monday, I want to show you this:

There's only two reasons why she would ever fall asleep on the couch -- if I drugged her, or if she was sick. Unfortunately all of us woke up with a cold yesterday, and Sophie has gotten worse and had a slight fever this morning. Stress could be partly to blame for all of us getting sick together. These past few weeks have been rough because Steve has been preparing to take his first set of board exams (which he took last weekend) and he has his finals this week on top of that. Needless to say we haven't seen much of him. Monday was only the second day since February 15 that we've had him all to ourselves. (Yes, he was at school on the weekends, too. I've been having trouble remembering what day it is for the past month.) On the bright side, this quarter marks our halfway point through chiropractic school!

We all needed to go out and have some fun together so we went to San Francisco and visited the California Academy of Sciences. It's a huge natural history museum-type place with a planetarium, an aquarium, and an indoor rainforest thing. We only saw the aquarium out of those three because there were a million kids there (yes, it was Monday, but it was also the beginning of spring break). Luckily we decided to get a year-pass (since it wasn't much more than our tickets), so we can go back and see the rest. Sophie loved it. Especially the fish.

This bottom picture is sorta weird. Maybe Sophie's communicating with the fish.

She got a little batty toward the end and kept wanting to run around and jump on everything. Time to go.

Ivy woke up toward the end and wondered why she'd been strapped in her carseat all day.

The museum is located in Golden Gate Park (like the Central Park of San Francisco), so we walked around for a bit after we got out to the museum. We stopped by the Botanical Gardens, and saw this sign.

Bettah watch yo'self.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

We Like Free Stuff

Several weeks ago we took the girls in for a free photo shoot at Little Bean Photography. (For you locals, it's the lady who did the Chilton's boys.) Tracy, the photographer, was so great (and patient) with both of them -- even after Ivy peed on her couch, and then a few minutes later on the fuzzy black blanket I was holding her in. I guess there are risks involved in naked baby photos.

She gave us a free 8x10, but since I had such a hard time deciding, I ordered another one. I might have ordered more, but she wants us to come back in six months when she does the promo again. Lucky us! She still has our proofs on her website if you want to see the rest of them. Click Here

Here are the ones we picked, which have found a nice home on the living room wall. (Sorry, I don't have them in digital format.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Little Flyweights

The question I get asked the most about Ivy is, "how much does she weigh?" I took her in on Monday for a check up, and I finally have an answer that's accurate.

Here are her stats at 3 1/2 months:

Length: 23.75 in (50th percentile)
Weight: 10 lbs 13 oz (10th percentile)

The fact that she's in the 10th percentile for weight doesn't surprise (or worry) me much. Sophie's been in that percentile her whole life. I guess we just make dainty girls around here.

I like this picture. Sophie has to point out her eyes about 12 times a day. At least now she's not poking them.

I like this one, too. :)

Friday, March 06, 2009

I Love to See the Temple

Going to the park alone creeps me out. (There are always a couple of shady guys hanging around. Without kids. Lunch break, maybe?) Sometimes when I get in the mood to go somewhere, I want to go right then, which is why I didn't try to find someone to go with me. So, we packed some snacks and ventured off to the Oakland Temple grounds. It's quiet, peaceful, free of shady loiterers, and there's even music playing. Just the thing to quiet my frazzled nerves.

When we drove up, Sophie saw the temple and her face instantly lit up. She put her thumbs and index fingers together to form a triangle, which is what the younger kids do at church when they sing, "I Love to See the Temple".

It's been really rainy here, and we've been cooped up inside too long. I needed out. So did Sophie. And off she went. Sometimes she came back, and sometimes she didn't.

The flowers were beautiful and blooming all over the place. I saw these fuchsia flowers and had to snap some shots. They were gorgeous. I don't know what they were (some help from my horticulture guru friends...?), but they looked like a cross between a tulip and a lily - two of my favorites. I didn't notice until we got home that they were the same color as Sophie's jacket.

Ivy slept the entire time, which is good because I had to chase Sophie all over the grounds. Sophie was exhausted and zonked out in the car on the way home. . . and for three hours after that. This little trip was good for all of us. I love to see the temple, too. :)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Enjoying the Moment

I read this quote on a friend's blog, and I've been meaning to post it for a few days. It was a good reminder for me. I always need reminding.

“The biggest mistake I made as a parent is the one that most of us make. … I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of my three children sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.(As quoted by Elder M. Russell Ballard in his talk, "Daughters of God.")

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

A Bunch of Things

I have a bunch of things to tell you and not very many minutes before I fall asleep in my chair. Here goes . . .

I finally got a double stroller! I found it from a lady on Craigslist who only used it a few times. It looks brand-new. Like this. I love it. And I love that it was under $100.

Thanks to the lady I bought the stroller from, I now know what kind of bush is growing by my porch. When we moved in it was just green, and I waited for a whole year to see if it would bloom. No blooms until about a month ago. Weird because they were underneath the bush, not on top. Anyway, when I went to pick up the stroller, this woman had an identical bush in her yard only it was taller than her fence. It's an azalea bush. After a year and a half, I finally know that I have an azalea bush by my porch.

Steve has been putting in a lot of hours at school this quarter (while I slowly go crazy at home). His first set of national board exams is in about ten days, to be exact. The following week he has his finals, then he has a week off before the next quarter starts. What are his plans for the break? Jury duty.

With all of the rainy days we've had and Steve taking the car more often than his scooter, I've been cooped up at home a lot with the girls. Some days are good. Some days aren't, but I weigh ten pounds less than I did at the beginning of the year. That seems to make up for it.

Ivy is growing like a little weed. Like a drooly, wide-eyed weed that must be held when it's awake.

Sophie has been talking more, and it seems she's been picking up more than we are intentionally teaching her. One day in the car she was getting frustrated because she took off her shoe, and she couldn't get it back on. She kept saying, "Drap!" I realized quickly that she was trying to say a four letter word that rhymes with "drap". I better watch my tongue.

Here's a clip (about 4 min) of a few more things she says. She loves Cinnamon Life cereal. I love hearing her say "Life" with the accompanying head bob. I also love the interlude in the middle of the clip as she runs around in circles. Sometimes I wonder where she came from.