Tuesday, February 26, 2008

52 Blessings, week 8

Week 8: The Raising of Kids

"Raising kids is like planting seeds from a packet with no pictures on it. You have to throw out any ideas about what is going to grow and just tend to the garden the best you can."

I'm sure this blessing is questionable on some days and some weeks, but for the most part, raising kids is a blessing. Luckily phases come and go and are quickly forgotten.

The blessing of it all is that we are entrusted with these amazing little spirits and have the massive responsibility to rear them well and make them into decent human beings who will do what is right. And that's quite a scary prospect in today's world, but I have no doubt we have help from above, if we ask.

I love the quote above because it's so true and as I contemplate the new personality that will come into our home next month, I can't even fathom how the dynamics of our family will change. You just never know what you are going to get and they are indeed their own person and, although moldable in some areas, they will be what they want to be. I just look at my two girls in amazement that they have been raised the same way and yet are so different. You just love them for their quirky differences and "tend the garden the best you can."

For my memories sake and maybe some amusement for whoever is reading this, here are a few quotables from my crazies:

London: "my shirt batteries are broken" - explaining why she can take her pants off but not her shirt.

Savannah: "I can't look at a water bottle or see people drink or I'll have to go to the bathroom"

If you don't personally know my children, these quotes and pictures speak volumes about how different they are! But I love them both equally and anxiously anticipate the next personality awaiting her grand entrance.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sneak-Preview and My Favorite Things

Here's a little sneak preview of the baby room I'll be working hard to create in the next few weeks. The ideas all came from the latest Pottery Barn kids magazine, but the only thing I could afford were the sheets so I'm just building the room off those and copying some of their fabulous ideas. Plus, I didn't want to have to repaint my cute yellow dresser and this is all so girly and cute. The wooden bird silhouettes and white board underneath it all are for a crafty project and the plain white crib ruffle will be renovated. And there will be a couple other crafts, but you'll just have to wait and see. I hope it turns out because, as I've said many times before, I'm NOT very crafty, but luckily I have Amy to help with everything -- she always has the best ideas.
Wish me luck!

a close up

This is for JoDee because I know she'll appreciate it. I found these darling maroon patent-leather shoes on clearance at BabiesRUs on Monday and had to get them. Then I got home and realized they perfectly match the little dress she got for my baby last time she was here -- how fortuitous! I am getting VERY excited to dress this little girly!

Another random note about pregnancy. Tonight our ward had an Enrichment called "My Favorite Things." You're supposed to wear your favorite outfit and bring some of your favorite things. I have NO favorite outfits that fit my current body and since I can't go in my underclothes, I just threw on some jeans and a maternity shirt -- not exactly posh, but it at least covered my body.

As for my favorite things, these are currently my favs -- and you can tell that I am pregnant just by these things. Actually, the lotion is fabulous so pick some up next time you're out. It makes your skin super soft and isn't oily and has a nice soft scent I love. My belly loves it too. The others have become daily essentials as of a week ago and probably until a month from now.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

For Megan . . . the joys of weeding

These are the two corners of my yard right now.

Wouldn't you feel good about weeding after this?
It really is ridiculous how quickly these suckers sprouted up out of nowhere after all the rains we've had. The ground is soft from the rains, though, and the massive roots come up easily and it thrills me. Plus, our weather is absolutely divine right now and I don't mind sitting on the ground (on my foam gardening pad - no more all-fours for this girl) while the girlies run around and play and occasionally help me.

Savy is actually quite good at weeding although I don't understand how every weed is "cute."

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Word of the Week: inimically

inimically: /adv./ acting unfriendly, hostile. injurious or harmful in effect. hurtfully. unfavorably. perniciously. detrimentally.

This word was a hard one for me this week (or maybe my brain is just fried right now), but here it goes . . .

inimically: /adv./ 1. Help me! I can't stop myself and I'm afraid I have behaved inimically toward my body today. I am on a kick of "accomplishing" things and that is not good for someone like me who can get obsessive (especially when pregnant, it's magnified by 10). Obsessed with getting this English class done quickly, the ever-sprouting weeds in my yard, and having a spotless house has worn me out. Today I weeded for a half an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening and I know I'll be feeling it in my 35-week pregnant body tomorrow! But I got a lot done and the back yard is looking more presentable. Then I hung out at Amy's house and did homework as I fought off the tiredness of the afternoon while she cleaned her house and our children played fabulously together. Cleaning and laundry on top of all that has officially worn me out. Every time I sit down, my mind tries to convince my body that it can do just one more thing . . . wiping down the bathroom isn't that much energy, is it??? At this point, my body is about to rebel if I let my mind win over it much more.

inimically: /adv./ 2. I felt very inimical toward life yesterday as I failed to satisfy the only food craving I have had this pregnancy. To me, cravings seem a pregnancy myth because I have never experienced one . . . until yesterday. Saturday I ate cinnamon hearts at my sister-in-law's house and had craved them all through the Sabbath. So Monday I determined to get my hands on a bag. My patient mother drove me from store to store - five in all - on this quest until I finally gave up and we went back to her house empty-handed.

inimically: /adv./ 3. I hope that the inimical weather of Iowa doesn't kill Nate! Megan called me today and said that a storm is coming in that will bring the low down into the negative 20's. I can't even fathom how cold that must be! I'll have to warm up Nate when he gets home...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

52 Blessings

Week 7: Nathan

My blessing for this week is actually my blessing for everyday. It's Nate. Tomorrow he leaves for a couple days to Des Moines, Iowa where I hope he doesn't freeze to death! Why would anyone go to Iowa during this time of year when the high is 12 degrees and the low is in the negatives you might ask? (no offense to my family who live there - Megan and Staci and their families.)

I'll tell you why -- because Nate's a superstar! He works so hard for our family and it pays off. He's going to Iowa for his company to receive an award for his good work and it's not the first time he has flown out there. I am just proud of him because it's not everyone who can just decide to do an insurance/retirement planning commission-only job with a family to support and actually succeed. But Nate does. Many of his co-workers are shocked to hear that I stay at home and am having my third child. Like I said, he's a stud. He is the most success-oriented person I have ever met and owns the most business and success books of anyone I have ever met also. He is confident and knows his worth which is good for me to be around as he teaches me to have more confidence in myself.

Besides all his awesome work, he's a great dad who has two adoring daughters who call him "little buddy." Today I crashed after Stake Conference while he made a frozen pizza for he and the girls and then they snuggled and watched the end of an old John Wayne movie. They love being with their dad. And as for being a husband, he is all that I would ever want and has helped me through some of the hardest times of my life.

Oh, and I figured out this weekend why we have begun that horrible habit of eschewing the telephone: because of his work. His phone rings off the hook! And it's not just in the "normal business hours." We have had calls as early as 6:30 in the morning from clients! Then Friday night, a client called two times in a row at 9:30 and Nate finally picked it up the second time only to be asked a simple billing question -- hello! I think that justifies us eschewing the telephone.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Storybook Romance

Happy Valentine's Day!

Cards are made. These ones went to Grandma Cyndee while the others (not shown) went to Grandma Norma and Papa Pat. The girls had a blast making their own cards and I controlled myself and let them decorate however they wanted and with whatever colors.

Cookies were made for family night on Monday. We also made some Sunday morning for Nate's family dinner that night. Those ones I should have photographed because I actually piped them and made them cute, but these ones are the family ones. Once again, I am proud of myself for holding back and letting them decorate however they wanted -- the point is that they taste delicious so who cares how they look, right?

Now for a romantic thought for this love day. . .

Ruth Wright Faust, the widow of President James E. Faust died last Sunday morning. Her death comes exactly six months after her husband died.

“Surely his almost storybook romance is among the sweetest in the annals of the church,” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, said at President Faust’s funeral.

“Ruth Faust adored James E. Faust—everything he did and said, every act or deed or gesture melted her. He felt the same way about her, and they were ‘melted.’

I love that . . . they were 'melted'

Are you 'melted' with your Valentine?

I know I am and I could never function without my Nate by my side.

p.s. this Valentine's Day will be simple and involve lots of my favorite fruit - strawberries!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Word of the Week: eschew

eschew /vt./ avoid and stay away from deliberately; to avoid or shun. abstain. forego. renounce. evade. refrain. duck.

eschew /vt./ 1. I eschew anything having to do with politics because the whole thing has (as I said last week) lost it's piquancy for me.

eschew /vt./ 2. I can no longer eschew my school work. I am feeling heaps of guilt over it and have now begun to work on my current class once again which is pathetic because I enrolled in September. BUT the past is the past and I have a plan to finish before the baby is born . . . or at least before my one year is up at the end of next August -- just kidding! I think once I get into some history classes then I'll be more excited to study. English 315 just is not that thrilling to me (why oh why did I not take it when I first got to BYU?????).

eschew /vt./ 3. Nate and I have developed a horrible horrible habit. Amy can attest to this fact because I'm sure it annoys the heck out of her at times. We eschew answering the phone in the evenings and Sundays sometimes too. It just rings constantly and more than half the time it's a telemarketer and besides, we like being alone and undisturbed during our evenings - is that bad? Plus, we really need to just buy another phone because it's rather pathetic to have only one phone in our house and I always end up running up and down the stairs because it's never where I am when it rings. Curse that phone! I eschew it! BUT if we do happen to have it by us and we know the phone number, we don't ignore it. So if you've called in the evening and we didn't answer, we did not screen your call - we were just too darn lazy to get up and get the phone! Sorry. We do try to return calls though. . .

Monday, February 11, 2008

52 Blessings

Week 6: modern washer and dryer
I never complain about laundry. Well, hardly ever but today as I started to complain in my head about it I remembered why I told myself almost ten years ago that I would never complain about laundry. I think the following pictures describe it better than any words I could come up with. . .
Hermana Klein and I doing our weekly laundry on p-day. In the first picture you can see her filling the "washing machine" up with water for the cycle. Then in the next one I'm wringing out the clothes as best as I can to put into that silver cylinder which spun the clothes and discarded the water into the white bowl. Mind you, it was freezing cold that day and my hands almost froze wringing out those clothes! Lovely process, don't you think?

Then, if you're lucky and it's a sunny day and one in which the neighbors have not decided to burn their trash then your clothes will dry nicely hanging outside. Otherwise, we would string them up all over inside to dry (burned trash never smells good on your clothing).

If you had done laundry for a year and a half this way, then maybe you would also have told yourself you would never complain again. I was glad of this reminder today because I often forget about the little conveniences that we have to make our lives easier and yet we still don't appreciate them unless they are taken away from us.

So for all of you who have never done laundry "the Chilean way" -- just be grateful that you have a washer and dryer. And remember -- it IS a blessing!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Word of the Week: piquancy

piquancy /n./ agreeably pungent or stimulating to the taste; exciting, agreeably interesting or attractive; an interestingly provocative or lively character. punch. spice. allure. charisma.

piquancy /n./ 1. I am sick and tired of politics. It's lost all it's piquancy for me since all I dreamt about last night were names, percentages and states -- going round and round in my head. That's what I get for having CNN going from 6-11 while I cut out FHE packets for April (more on that later).

piquancy /n./ 2. On the other hand, I can't get enough of the piquancy of my children's conversation. I have overhead some funny and interesting things lately that I need to record.

London: "Is the baby dancing on your bladder? Why does she do that? Does she think your bladder is a toy?" Perhaps I've complained one too many times on my way to the bathroom. . .perhaps.

London: Asking Savannah questions about a b-day party she'd just returned from: "Did Tey (the b-day boy) think you were a princess and want to marry you?"

Savannah: When we were doing a shapes puzzle and she picks up the diamond shape and says: "Diamond. I love diamonds. I wish Aidan would buy me a diamond." I had no idea she knew about that kind of diamond.

Savannah: "I want to be a chef when I grow up. I don't want to be a mom because mom's have cramps." Once again, perhaps I've complained too much about those lower stomach cramps/painful baby movements in the last few weeks.

2 weeks later: "I just want to be a big sister and stay at home with mom."

Yesterday: Amy and her boys were over for lunch and Amy informed Savannah that chefs and big sisters have cramps also -- all girls get cramps to which Savannah vehemently declared: "I'm going to tear myself out and be a boy!" Okay. I tried to explain how wonderful it was to be a girl, but then had to reign it in because Aidan was looking confused and worried about being a boy so we left it at that. Is there any winning with children?

piquancy /n./ 3. Finally, I crave the piquancy of Carrabba's lately and will be needing to go soon. What'll be on the menu? Bread/olive oil combo, salad, calamari and pollo rosa maria. My favorite meal at any restuarant.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

52 Blessings

Week 5: Freedom to vote, thanks to our amazing forefathers.

Are you ready to
(if you haven't already)

Today is the big day and I went and did my duty and vote.
I am grateful for the blessing of living in a free country that allows us to vote and that was created upon firm and smart ideals. We had amazing forefathers who wrote amazing documents in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and formed a nation based upon a belief and a trust in God. They lived and died for our country and I love reading about their lives. I feel the least I can do to be patriotic in my own little life is to vote (even if politics is frustrating and riles me up a bit too much). Oh, and if you want an amazing book to read about the Constitution and our forefathers, pick up "The Five Thousand Year Leap" by W. Cleon Skousen.

Monday, February 4, 2008

How to Make a Name Board

Since a bunch of people on my last post asked about how to make the name boards, I thought it's be much easier to just post the steps although I wish I had pictures of each step, but you'll get the idea.

1. Wal-mart's craft section has the wooden boards in 5x7 as well as 8x10. With Savy's long name, I went with the smaller of the two which was only $1 or $2, I think. While you're there, get some Modge Podge and a brush.
2. Pick out cute paper at a scrapbook store and some ribbon.
3. Sand the edges of the wood plaques and paint the edges to match whatever paper you chose.

4. Modge Podge paper onto the board and let dry.

5. Order vinyl letters from someone (that's the rage here in Arizona so it's really easy to know someone who does this and it's incredibly cheap -- I think my letters were like $7 or something) and put them on the dried Modge Podged boards.

6. Liquid nail the ribbons on the back and then for good measure put thumb tacks in to make sure they're stable before hanging.

Like I said -- cute, easy and cheap, but also, like I said, I can't take credit since Angie Ras is the one who I stole the idea from -- thanks to Angie.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Girls' Room

I tried to have the girls' room completed before Nate's family came for Thanksgiving, but that didn't happen. I did, however, get the curtains made. I just bought cheap white ones and then added cute ribbons to the top and bottom to add a little color. With the busy lime green color of the room, I wanted the curtains to be simple.
Then I set the goal for Christmas when my family was coming and it didn't happen. My cute name plaques didn't even get up although they were basically done.

Now I am happy to say that the room is pretty much done except a few blank wall spaces that I could fill if I find anything cute, but for the most part it's finished. Oh, and the only other thing I'm lacking is some type of cork board or something by their blue table to display art work - any ideas? Savannah always tells me she's an "artist" (only you have to say it with a British accent b/c that's how she says it).

So here are some pictures:
This is my favorite part of the room: I stole this idea from Amy's friend, Ras, and it was incredibly easy and cheap compared to buying them in a store. The girls love it because they recognize their names and it's actually helped London with writing hers as well.
I just love these little picture frames I bought at Target a year or two ago and now the girls are excited to have pictures of themselves when they were younger in their rooms -- children are so narcissistic sometimes, but I'd rather have that than to have girls with low self-esteem so I'm not complaining.

On another note, today is my nephew, Davyn's, birthday. 3 years old and cute as can be. I'll post more about this after his party tonight because I know there'll be an amazing Mickey Mouse Clubhouse cake to photograph and the cutest chubby-cheeked birthday boy to go alongside it.