Tuesday, March 29, 2011

For the Grandmas 3/29/11

You know, this is called "For the Grandmas," but I'm not convinced that the grandmas check this blog regularly. Which is fine, because I don't post regularly! But maybe I'll try to get some pictures up at least once a week, just to see if anyone notices. . .

The girls are growing up fast. So very fast. Especially Ella. I swear she's still a newborn, but no, she's a crawling, standing, cruising 8 month old who even communicates! Not much, mind you, she can only sign "more." And I think she might have signed "milk" today, but I'm not sure. The point is, she is learning how to ask for what she needs, and I couldn't be happier about it. She learned how to give "5" on Sunday, and yesterday she learned how to find Mom's nose. She also "combs" my hair (swipes a comb near my face), but not her own. How fitting, as she has none. She'll give you a kiss if you ask nicely, and she'll give you a hug if she's in a cuddly mood (Julia never had cuddly moods, so this is delightfully new to us).

Just look at this face. This is what I get to see every day.

Jealous yet?

How about now? Doesn't that smile just brighten your day?

Her favorite position is standing, preferably next to Julia. The one problem with this is she doesn't know how to get back down, so she has to whine for help or fall. Though, I did see her get down gracefully yesterday, so maybe we're learning. I had forgotten how much abuse their poor little heads get from all this learning to crawl, stand, and walk business. It's pretty sad, actually. Here's a little video.

Julia is growing up, too. She answers "why" questions with real answers now. Before it was, "Why did you do that?" "Because I did." That sort of thing. I'm thinking I'll have to use this against her when she starts asking the tough "Why" questions. Anyway. She is also learning a lot about the world around her and how things work together. She's always telling me about things she has learned, like "Milk comes from cows, and eggs come from chickens." We can sit and have the funniest little conversations, and I love it. She's becoming more like a kid than a toddler.

And, of course, she's obsessed with potty humor. "Bum" makes it into an astounding percentage of our conversations.
She's also quite excited about her birthday. She has a list of what she wants, she's agonizing over the big cake decision, and we're trying to decide if we want a friends party or just family. (I'm leaning towards just family. Because it's easier. Is that bad?) I can't believe she's almost 3. Where did the time go?!

And, of course, a little video. An interview gone wrong. (I got a better "interview" with her afterward, but it's almost 4 minutes long, which is too long for the blog. If you really want it, I'll send it to you.)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Weekly Quote 3/28/10

"I've made a huge mistake."

Arrested Development, how I love you. New quote up!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

30 by 30, #7: Keep a journal for at least 30 days in a row.

In case you aren't familiar with the 30 by 30 Project, here is the original post, with the big fat list.

I have never been good at writing in my journal. Seriously, never. A few years ago I found an old journal from when I was like 7, and just about every entry starts, "Sorry I haven't written in a long time." In fact, I think one time that was the whole entry. "Sorry I haven't written in a long time." I obviously had an awesome life. I'll often think that I'm going to change that and start writing more regularly, only to quit after about 2 days. Or, I'll think that I need to write in my journal, and then realize that it's been months, and I've got so much catching up to do that it will take forever, and so I don't even bother.

But 30 by 30 waits for no man, and so the time had come to buckle down and be a journaler. Journalist? Oh, that made me sound a lot cooler than I am. Journaler.

I decided to just start from now and not worry about catching up. That's why I have an entry from a month ago saying, "We live in Michigan now. I don't want to spend the time catching up. Just know that we moved. That is all." And we moved on from there. It actually made it a lot easier to write short entries, which made me more likely to write every day.

I figured that if I wrote for 30 days in a row, that would establish the habit, and I'd be good for. . .well, for the rest of my life, why not! So that was the goal: write in my journal every day for 30 days in a row. That in a row part is very important. If I missed a day, I'd have to start over. I won't lie, there were some days that I really didn't want to write in my journal; I was already in bed, and I had nothing of note to say anyway. But no, I had made this goal, and I was going to see it through to the end.

On day 31, I didn't write in my journal. So much for that!

But on day 32, I wrote in it again. And I'll write again tonight. I think it's kind of fun. And it's a good way to look back at the day and see what happened, what went well, and what I want to improve on. And it's a great way to write down the funny things that the kids say and do. I also thought it would be a good way to notice the hand of God in my life every day, like President Eyring suggested we do a couple of years ago. Which was a great idea, but I found the actual task to be challenging. Perhaps God is more involved in President Eyring's life than mine (maybe), because there were some days where I couldn't see much. And most of the experiences involved me once again praying for patience with my children, and finding some inner strength to keep myself from flopping down on the floor and giving up. My life is less than glamorous, didn't you know? But even when nothing of note happened that day, I still wrote something down, maybe something I'd been thinking about lately. And I think that is perhaps more important than the details of day to day life.

10 down, 20 to go. 20 to go?! This thing might come down to the wire.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

30 by 30, #27: Host a Pie Party.

In case you aren't familiar with the 30 by 30 Project, here is the original post, with the big fat list.

Do you know about my love of pie? My love of pie is great. It is vast. If it was an ocean, it would be the Pacific. I love pie like Clark loves Jimmer. We are talking seriously love of pie here.

I heard about the idea of a Pie Party around Thanksgiving time, which also happened to be when I was creating the 30 by 30 list. Inspiration, if you ask me. Anyway, some people invited their friends over every year for a post-Thanksgiving shin-dig, wherein they could bring their leftover pie to share and start the holidays right. Kind of an early Christmas party. I thought it was brilliant. But there was no way I was waiting for next Thanksgiving to enjoy a plethora of pies. I quickly decided that Pi Day (3/14) was the day, the absolute best day, to host a Pie Party. You get to celebrate that Queen of Baked Goods, The Pie, and simultaneously bring joy to the math nerd of your home (does every home have one of those? Or is it just me?).

And so the day came. We invited some friends over, and being a Monday night, we had a Pi(e) themed FHE. Lots of scripture references of 3:14, fun pi facts, and, of course, we partook of many pies. Many, many pies.

Our friends brought an Oreo pie and a Razzleberry pie (notice the pi shape in the Razzleberry!). I made Pumpkin, Cherry Cheese (Allen's Favorite Cherry, for those who are familiar with the recipe), and Apple Cheddar pies. The Apple Cheddar pie recipe was courtesy of the Pie Lab (Why do I know about the Pie Lab in Greensboro, AL, you ask? Because I love pie, remember.), and it was OUTSTANDING. Seriously good pie. The cheddar cheese is in the crust, which makes it not overly cheesy. Just the right amount of salt to balance out the sweet of the apples. And to make things even better, it's not terribly difficult to make. I highly recommend it.

I also wanted to attempt making some Pie Pops. Unfortunately, I never made it to the craft store to purchase the sticks. Do they even sell lollipop sticks at craft stores? I have a hard time doing anything but the basics with my kids. But that is another post for another day. Anyway, I opted to make "Mini-Pies" instead. Julia still called them Pie Pops, though :)

I thought they were pretty cute, and really quite easy. And, of course, delicious. That is the most important quality, really.

All in all, I felt like the Pie Party was a success. People had fun, we all ate pie, and then I had leftover pie for the rest of the week. Did you know a slice of pie makes a delicious breakfast? Also, a snack. And dessert. I'm thinking that this will have to be an annual event. Actually, bi-annual, we'll do it at Thanksgiving too. Maybe it should be tri-annual, so we can take advantage of all the fresh fruit in the summer. Don't you think?

Mmmmmm. . . . pie. . . .

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Weekly Quote 3/10/11

It's not a Monday. It's been much longer than a week. But who cares, I'm changing the quote!

"It's not that bad, people get shot all the time."

"No they don't, they get . . . paper cuts."

". . .I mostly get shot."

This winner was from the movie Red, which is fabulously funny. Kind of like Bandits, if you've ever seen that. I recommend it.

New quote up!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

For the Grandmas: 3/1/11

It has been far too long since I posted pictures of the girls. Like, a month. A short month, but still, a month. This might be a long post.

Let's start with Julia. Winter can be hard on a kid, and Julia is no exception. While we've handled it pretty well I think, she is still very excited for spring. She wants to go to the park, she wants to play outside, and I can't blame her. I want to get out and go walking, feel the sunshine, go hiking (flat hikes are still hikes, right?), and maybe even eat on our balcony. Doesn't that sound delightful? Take a couple of chairs out on the patio and enjoy the warm weather. But, it's still winter. So we've had to get creative.

The other day we played The Clip Game. This was entirely of Julia's invention. She got these little clips from her cousin Lauren (I quietly rue the day we got these clips, or as I call them, choking hazards), and she carries them around with her in a little baggie everywhere she goes. She loves them. So The Clip Game is when you take all the clips and put them in her hair.

We also did some pudding fingerpainting. Holy smokes, I had no idea this would go over so well. We minimized the mess by putting her in the highchair, and putting plastic wrap over the highchair tray, and she wore a smock. But it was so much fun I think we'll do it again.
And finally, Julia started checking out books the other day. Do we have another librarian in the family?

Then there is Ella. In the past month Ella has cut a tooth, learned to crawl, and been to the doctor twice. It's been an eventful month. I realized that I never posted on here about her crawling, just on Facebook, and now I feel bad. I always felt that my blog was the REAL way I posted information about our family, and here I've sold out. Well, no more. Blogging is back, baby! So, here is the video of Ella beginning to crawl.

While she can get up on her hands and knees and move, she's still not coordinated enough to be fast about it. She much prefers her army crawl, which is usually performed with a toy in one arm. Ella is a girl on the move. She wants to get into EVERYTHING. Well, everything except for toys. Toys are lame. Paper, crayons, books, shoes, THESE are the things she really wants.

Also, she wants to put EVERYTHING in her mouth. Well, everything except for food. We'll have none of that garbage. I really want to know how she knows what is food and what is not. We even gave her one of those fresh food feeders, thinking that it certainly doesn't look like food, but that was a big no. A look of disgust was all she'd grace us with. Then she went to try and reach the electrical cords. Winner.

("See, Mom, this is a fake strawberry. I'll gladly eat that. None of this real food business.")
(This is after giving her water on a spoon. She was none to happy about that one. IT WAS WATER.)

In fact, her hatred of food got so bad that a couple of weeks ago she decided not to nurse either, her only source of nutrition up to this point. I fed her at 5am, and then she refused to partake all day. She's 7 months old. This is not good. So I called the doctor, just to see what they thought. She had no other symptoms, wasn't even fussy really, just wouldn't eat. Of course, this happened on a Friday. So when I talked to the doctor's office, it was 4pm. The nurse was mostly concerned that she could be dehydrated, and with a baby that young you'd just hate to miss something like that. So off to the Urgent Care center we went! What a joy! 2 hours later we saw a doctor. She really didn't know what to tell me, but did discover that Ella had a low grade fever, so she tested for a UTI, just in case. Holding down your baby while they catheterize her is great fun, let me tell you. Anyway, she set her up on an antibiotic and sent the culture off to the lab. Monday morning they called to say it came back negative, but we needed to follow up with our regular pediatrician. The follow up was last Friday. He was a little concerned about her weight gain, so we're going back in a couple of weeks to make sure she's eating enough. In the mean time, I'm to push solid foods. At least try to feed them to her 3 times a day. The thought of all that mess for zero bites makes me weary.

I feel that I should mention that the past couple of days, Ella has decided that solid foods aren't that bad, and has actually eaten them 3 out of the last 5 times I've offered them. Maybe we're finally over our food aversion.

But in general, she is a pretty cute kid.

And last but not least, a couple of random pictures. Because everyone wants to see Clark in a fairy headband!

And I know you are all dying to know how we deal with our lack of counterspace.

Oh yeah, and Clark had a birthday. Read more here. (I don't write about these things on my own blog, I write on HIS blog.)