30 April 2012

Sammy So-Sad

On Sunday, Sammy got hit AND pushed down by another kid at Nursery.
Now, it is a fact of life that "toddlers be hittin'". It wasn't the first time Sammy's been smacked by another kid, and it probably won't be the last. But it was the first time that he acted genuinely sad about it, as opposed to just outraged. He sounded so sad when he told us that this other kid had hit him, and he still brings it up, more than a day later. Part of me feels heartbroken that another child made him feel so bad. Another part of me, however, feels amazed and happy that my son is growing in emotional maturity. Parenting is such a trip, ain't it?

28 April 2012

Zoo Swag

We took the kiddos to the zoo last weekend. It was Benjy's first time! Not that he knew where he was, but still... it was exciting. We didn't know until we arrived that it was a swag day at the zoo- we got free food!  Always a good time.
Sam got a milk mustache sticker and a cheese stick from a local dairy

Trying to decide if he wanted to hug the giant cow

Favorite seat on the carousel

Proof that Benjy was there

The obligatory photo with the giraffes

27 April 2012

Thief in the Night

I ordered a book for Ryan for Father's Day. It was supposed to come in the mail on Wednesday, and as I hadn't received any packages today, I checked the tracking info to see when it would arrive. To my dismay, the package had been delivered on Wednesday, at 11:36am, while I was out doing my visiting teaching.
We had a stroller stolen off our porch last summer, which is what I immediately assumed happened to the package. I was incensed, and then very sad that the cool present I got for Ryan was now gone. Dejected, I trudged into the living to tell Ryan about the gift, which he now would not be receiving, but maybe could still at least appreciate the idea of. He sympathized with me, and I headed back to my computer to see if Amazon provided some kind of restitution for packages not received, though delivered. I also thought maybe I would type up a nasty note to the package thief to tape to my door in case he/she came back. Not my finest moment, admittedly.
A closer look at the tracking information on Amazon showed me that the package had been delivered through USPS... and I had a brainwave. Sometimes, I forget to check my mail, and this book would be small enough to fit in our mailbox... I rushed outside, keys in hand.
Result!! The book was sitting pretty in my mailbox, along with a hospital bill and two days' worth of junk mail. I was so excited, and then immediately depressed that once again, Ryan will know what he's getting for a gift from me (like Christmas 2010). Oh well. At least I have my book!

26 April 2012

Poem in Your Pocket Day

It's Poem in Your Pocket Day! If you didn't know that before reading this, it's not too late to find a poem and put it- where else? In your pocket!
I chose "you being in love" by e.e. cummings, whose poetry delights me. This is one of my favorites of his.

you being in love

will tell who softly asks in love,

am i separated from your body smile brain hands merely

to become the jumping puppets of a dream? oh i mean:

entirely having in my careful how

careful arms created this at length

inexcusable, this inexplicable pleasure-you go from several

persons: believe me that strangers arrive

when i have kissed you into a memory

slowly, oh seriously

-that since and if you disappear



ask "life, the question how do i drink dream smile

and how do i prefer this face to another and

why do i weep eat sleep-what does the whole intend"

they wonder. oh and they cry "to be, being, that i am alive

this absurd fraction in its lowest terms

with everything cancelled

but shadows
-what does it all come down to? love? Love

if you like and i like, for the reason that i

hate people and lean out of this window is love,love

and the reason that i laugh and breathe is oh love and the reason

that i do not fall into this street is love."

25 April 2012

I love Visiting Teaching

My visiting teaching companion and I are taking care of business this week. Kicking "butt" and taking names, as some may say. The visiting teaching message for this month is actually about being an effective visiting teacher, and reading over it caused me to reflect on the years I've spent as a visiting teacher.
I remember when I first joined the church as a freshman in college, and my roommate and I were assigned to be VT companions. We had absolutely no idea what we were doing, but I think the girls we visited could tell that we truly cared about them, even if we weren't as smooth as we might have been. With a little more experience I got better at sussing out the needs of the girls with whom I visited, and tried to meet those needs. I remember praying that one girl would get married soon, and telling another to quit pretending she had a testimony of the Gospel and actually try to get one. I've made dinners, and watched children, and meditated on how to help the women I'm assigned to visit. Through going out and doing my visiting teaching, I know that Heavenly Father instituted this program to bless lives.
My life has certainly been blessed by visiting teaching. With my current calling as the Visiting Teaching Leader (and this ain't my first rodeo- er, assignment) I get to work with our Relief Society president on a monthly basis to create assignments that will bless the women of our ward. Working so closely with her has taught me to be more forgiving and less quick to judge others, as we discuss the various trials our girls are experiencing. Trust me, that's a personality lesson I desperately need. I also am blessed because I have visiting teachers. When I was pregnant with Sam- you know, deathly ill and in the first semester of my master's program, my visiting teachers did not visit me. I didn't even know who they were. And I was alone, and sick, and scared. Looking back, I know it would have lifted my spirits immensely to know that there were two women assigned to look after me. When I was pregnant with Benjy, my VTs brought dinner to us, helped organize people to watch Sam so I could take a break, and faithfully visited me (even when I was spitting into a bucket during their visits because my mouth overproduced saliva like crazy). It was so wonderful to know that they cared.
I love visiting teaching. I love the concept, and I love the dirty work. It changes lives. It is a plan straight from God. If you haven't seen your sisters this month, get out there!

Oh, and I am aware that many of you may not know what visiting teaching is. Find out!

23 April 2012

Things My Kids Will Never Have to Do

The world is vastly different (technology-wise) now than it was when we were kids. I wonder if our parents, typing out their high school essays on a typewriter, ever imagined that we would be able to edit our papers without having to start them all over. Or that someday they would be able to say hi to their grandchildren and watch them play thanks to the internet. In the same vein, I can't imagine what kinds of new technology will be around when my kids are adults. So many things will be different for them as they grow up. They will never have to carefully choose what to take pictures of on vacation so that they don't run out of film. They will never have to buy a whole CD just so they can listen to one song. They might not even learn how to read a map!
It's hard to imagine what technology will come next. I wonder what it would be like to be the innovators who design and create the next big jump in technology. As for me, I'm hoping it's a teleport.

21 April 2012

Letters to my things

Dear Nasal Spray,
I don't know why I resisted using you for so long, but you are marvelous. You help me breathe at night, and unstuff Benjy's nose, too. Thank you for being so effective.

Dear Crochet Hook,
Why are you only nice to me when we're doing single crochets? I thought you were better than that. I thought you were magic. Why did you have to spoil the illusion when we moved on to the half double crochet? You will regret it when you spend the rest of your life making very boring scarves.

Dear Socks,
I'm glad it's summer already and I don't have to wear you anymore. No offense, but I hate you. Have a nice life in my drawer for the next 5 or 6 months. Try not to get too dusty.

Dear Sammy's clothes,
Really? You just jumped off the shelves of your own free will? I don't believe you. Did Sammy put you up to this lie? I knew it.

20 April 2012

I Give Up

Do you ever get to Friday thinking, "If it were any day but Friday, I would go stark raving mad"? Like you can't believe how long the week has been, and if it were even one day longer, you might strangle someone. Sammy and I have been grumpy with each other all week- I've been dealing with Benjy's stuffy nose, he's been testing every single boundary he can. Today I decided to make peace and do something nice for him. He begs to go to the McDonalds playplace every time we drive by, so I took him there for lunch.
Things started off well. I told Sam that he had to eat lunch before he went to play, and he happily consented to eat some french fries, all of his apple slices, and 4 bites of chicken nugget. Then I took off his shoes and let him loose.
Sam loves playing with other kids, but not when there are a lot of them and they are noisy. The playplace, unfortunately, was pretty full. He was too scared to climb very far up any of the equipment, but seemed to have a ball jumping off the little steps he was willing to climb. After about 20 minutes of that, he flopped down on the floor. As he was blocking the other kids, and he hadn't been playing, anyway, I picked him up and said in my most cheerful mom voice, "Time to go, bud!"
Toddler meltdown! He kicked, screamed, and beat on the table as I put his shoes back on. It was embarrassing, and frustrating that after trying to be extra nice to him, I was now going to have to discipline him. The price to pay for throwing a fit is to spend the afternoon in his room, so that's where he is. And I am ready to be done with this week.

18 April 2012

How to Lose the Baby Weight

Since giving birth to Benjy about six weeks ago, I hear a lot of "You look great! I can't believe you just had a baby!" and "Wow! You got back into your jeans fast!" and "What's your secret to losing the baby weight?"
I know the people who ask this don't actually want to know how I lost the "baby weight", but if they did, I would tell them this:

1. Give birth (it tends to take away the majority of that weight)
2. Breastfeed
3. Lose ten pounds the first trimester of pregnancy from throwing up
4. Be a skinny person

No one wants to hear that, because #1 is sarcastic, #2 is obvious, #3 is too self-pitying, and #4 is out of anyone's control. I happen to be a skinny person, and I can take no pride in it because it is not the product of anything that I do (as my husband will attest, I have an addiction to junk food). I just am that way, just like some people happen to put on weight more easily than others. And since no one actually wants to hear how I lost weight, I don't have anything to say except nervous laughter (which, written out, looks like "heh heh heh"). Sorry I don't have any magical dieting secrets to give away, but I do have a good joke that I read in a joke book I had in elementary school:
Want to lose ten pounds of ugly fat?
Cut off your head!

heh heh heh

17 April 2012

The Walk

Our health insurance provider offers incentives for adopting a healthy lifestyle change every two months. For January/February it focused on healthy eating, and for March/April the goal was to get 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week. Having a baby one week into the challenge meant that my exercise abilities were going to be limited, so we decided on taking a 30 minute walk after dinner. We have loved our family walks, and I hope we keep them up even after the challenge is over.

Starting off!

We do the same loop every time, and after we turn the second corner, Sam starts protesting. "No go home Mommy!" he says, OVER AND OVER again. It's always at the same place on our walk.

This is where the litany starts; you can see I'm tired of hearing "No go home Mommy"

We distract Sam from his chant by pointing out pretty things in the nice little condo complex we walk through. A lot of our friends live here, so Sammy knows it pretty well.

See? Pretty trees!

Sam always insists on deviating from the sidewalk to go "monster truck" up the steps.

And Ryan is almost always happy to oblige. Benjy tolerates the bouncing around very well.

The last five minutes of our walk is a cut through the park. As we passed the softball fields on our walk yesterday, we slowed down so we could watch the games going on. A woman jogged up to us and asked if I would help her out. Apparently the 9th member of their team was running late, and they would have to forfeit their game. She wanted me to put on the glove and stand in the outfield until the last girl showed up so that they could play. I was wearing jeans and clogs, not exactly softball attire, plus I had my glasses on. AND, as Ryan told the lady, I just had a baby and am not really in any kind of physical shape to play softball. But I did feel bad that they would have to forfeit, so... I said yes. They shoved a glove into my hand, and I trotted out to right field. After the first half inning, the last player showed up, and I was released, though many of the girls asked if I wanted to stay and play. I kept saying "No, I just had a baby, I shouldn't be playing softball," when what I really wanted to say was "I would like to finish the nice walk with my family that you interrupted, and I am WEARING CLOGS." But I am a nice person, at least on the outside, so I kept my inner snark to myself.

After my triumphant stand on the field. Do I look like I'm ready to play softball to you?

I just had my six-week postpartum check today, and I got the all clear to participate in physical activities that are more strenuous than walking. I can also lift more than 20 pounds now (shh, Sammy, don't tell anyone I've been carrying you around for a month). I think I might take up jogging. I hate to run, but I do have a really nice jogging stroller, so... I'm thinking about it. Plus, Brigadoon is going to have some good dancing in it, and the 30 seconds we learned at the audition wiped me out. I need to get my endurance back.

16 April 2012

I'll Go Home With Bonnie Jean

I'm doing another musical this summer- this time it's Brigadoon, which may be the funniest title of a musical, ever. It's fun to say, at least. I will be singing and dancing in the ensemble, and our first rehearsal is Tuesday!
Don't know what it's about? Check out the Wikipedia page.
In other news, I once again feel lame for not blogging very frequently, and am going to set a goal to post five times a week. Which, let's face it, will probably last all of one week. Then I'll have to find a new goal.
Last night, Sammy fell asleep in his high chair during dinner. I LOVE when that happens, because he looks really funny, but I also hate when that happens because he wakes up really cranky ten seconds after we get him in bed.
Isn't he funny? He drank the smoothie, but couldn't stay awake for the Nutella toast or the cheese!

Sammy is so jealous that Benjy gets to sit in the swing

13 April 2012


Benjy seems to feel that after sleeping in his bed all night, he is entitled to be held the rest of the day. He is so tired that he falls asleep as soon as I pick him up, but as soon as I lay him down next to me, he wakes up and cries. Silly baby.
Sammy has had one consistent discipline problem for almost 2 years: he destroys books. He rips them up, sometimes just a page or two, sometimes the entire book. It's been driving me crazy, but I haven't found a way to get him to stop. Last night he ripped up another book after we put him to bed, and it drove me over the edge. I took away all his books, and told him he would be confined to his room this morning. So it's been nice and quiet over here so far today. I just haven't done anything because Benjy won't let me!
We had a little Easter egg hunt for Sammy last Saturday. Holidays are so much more fun once your kids get old enough to be excited about them!
Can you spot the eggs?

Just hanging out in the stroller while big brother runs around

And that's all I have for today.