Monday, February 25, 2008

Bedtime Battles

So Jane has started to have nightmares. Well, I'm sure she's had nightmares before, but now she is able to tell us about them, and let me tell you, they sure freak me out. The past couple of weeks we have been awakened many times by Jane screaming hysterically in her bedroom. Each time, she tells us about the Scary Blue Monkey that comes in her room. The freakiest Blue Monkey encounter was the time she said it came in and started eating her back. "It go like this.." and then she takes her hands and begins to frantically shovel handfuls of imaginary Jane flesh into her mouth, while making wolfing noises. Freaky huh? I googled Scary Blue Monkey and this is what I found. I would wake up screaming too, poor girl.

We have other bedtime battles as well. Jane has suddenly decided that she wants me and ONLY me to put her to bed at night. We're talking all out tantrums. Tonight, I told Jevan he had to put her to bed even if she put up a fight because I didn't want to give into her behavior. She yelled and cried through almost all of the bedtime routine - over 45 minutes. Yikes! What do we do? Anyone else run into this? Is this a phase and I just put her to bed for a while or do we stick to our guns? It's an every night battle and we want to pull our hair out! Crazy kid. I can tell it hurts Jevan's feelings too.

So, around here, we are doing battle with either a Blue Monkey or Child Screaming Until She is Blue in the Face. Given the choice, I pick.... Greenland.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Just Journaling...

So every now and then, I am going to add posts that just tell about what's gone on lately - nothing very exciting, clever or ponderous (not that I write that way anyway) but just so I get things written down. I think I'm kinda like my faithful little camera, sometimes needing to just download everything in my head onto the it away in cyberspace and know that it is there whenever I want to see it again. Okay, so maybe not EVERYTHING..that could get pretty head ain't the sanest of places. That said, for all of my 2 faithful readers, feel free to tune out until next time.

February has been a pretty fun month so far. It started with a get together/playgroup with some of my friends from high school. I think I was very lucky in high school to have had a large, yet close-knit group of friends that I adore to this day. Even though we are all over the country now, whenever we are able to get together, it seems like time has never passed. One of those friends has been with me since kindergarten. Did I mention I'm lucky? I feel truly blessed to have them in my life. I am blessed for all the friends I have gained since then as well. I would be so lost, lonely and completely uninteresting without them. My friends are cool. Thanks guys.....

So for this playgroup, we went to the Dinosaur Museum at Thanksgiving Point. Most of the kids were too little to truly grasp the idea that the huge things towering above them were skeletons of least Jane didn't. To her, T-Rex was but a humble "tower of blyocks." When I told her they were bones, and explained bones were under the skin, she assumed the dinosaur had an "owie" and asked if we should get him a bandaid. Yup, Jane, that will definitely help Mr. T-Rex - maybe if we kiss it too, then he will feel better and start playing again with his Mesozoic buddies. There was a room that recreated the world of the dinosaurs complete with a stream for the kids to play in and that, of course, was a big hit. As was the room full of sand you could dig for dinosaur bones, where there was as much sand throwing as there was digging. It was good times. It was mostly fun for me to catch up with my old friends.

We also went tubing up at Soldier Hollow with my family. If you have never done it, I highly recommend it. It is a giant tubing hill with at least five groomed sledding runs and a rope tow so you don't have to climb it each time. I was amazed at how fast you go, and even more amazed that it didn't completely freak Jane out. She went down 3 times before wanting to go in. Allison even got in on the action. She liked just hanging out in the tube and being pulled in circles.

On Valentines Day, we ventured down to Provo to decorate Valentines cookies with my friend (my wonderful and enduring friend from kindergarten) and her little girl and boy. Jane and Eliza look like they could be sisters - and Jane drove her crazy like a little sister. So here is a "Good Idea, Bad Idea" moment. Good idea: decorating valentine cookies. Bad idea: decorating valentine cookies with anyone under 4 (or probably 18 for that matter) when lots and lots of sprinkles, frosting, crushed candy canes..and did I mention bottles of sprinkles? were involved. My dear friend was the model of patience as we made a complete mess of her house. We lost many bottles of sprinkles over the side of the table and Allison had an especially good time eating everything that came her way and then crawling in it. It was a lot of fun though, and the girls fell into a blissful sleep on the way home, faces still covered in pink frosting.

That night we went to a movie (in a real theater! we never seem to go to movies anymore) with some friends in our ward. Bucket List was pretty funny and made me think of what I would put on my list to do before I die. I would like to meet Richard Simmons, just to see if he and his hair are really as obnoxious in person. Jevan was darling and sent me not one but TWO sets of flowers on Valentines and the day before. All I had for him was a freaky looking stuffed bug that had a box of candy hearts for a bum. Jane picked it out. All in all, a memorable day.

We have had many visitors this month too. My brother's kids came one weekend to stay with us, and Jevan's little brother, Thomas, came the next weekend. Jane was in heaven having other kids around 24/7 to play with. On a rare, warm sunday, she popped bubbles with her cousin, Mia, on the deck outside. Allison loved having Thomas around because he would let her pull all the hair out of his head.

Mia and Jane

Thomas and Allison

Finally, our friends from Canada came down with their 3 kids for the week and we were able to spend some time with them as well. We braved Discovery Gateway on a Friday and only lost a couple kids a few times. My friend was amazed that we didn't have more places like Discovery Gateway when there are so many kids in Utah. She said that in Canada they have lots of indoor playgrounds (with real playground equipment, not just big blowup bouncy stuff) and I realized there is a real market for that here. Anyone need a new business idea? 'Cause let's face it, our only other real options in the winter are McDonalds Playplaces and we all know what those are like. You're lucky if you kid doesn't climb through pee in the tunnel or find a syringe in all the colored balls at the bottom of the slide.

As you can see, it was really hard to get these guys to sit anywhere for very long.

Here is Jane, Brayden and Damon.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Need any cute mats or pictures?

Sadly, my wonderful mother-in-law has a business that is going out of business. For the past many years, she has owned and operated Twin Peaks Distribution which sells LDS focused greeting cards, matted pictures, and all sorts of other products. Many of these were created by her - she has an amazingly creative mind. She has been able to find a buyer for most of her greeting cards but she still has a TON of mats and matted pictures that are really cute and need good homes. There are Christmas mats, really cute nursery room mats and some other darling pictures to go in kid rooms. She is selling them super cheap and if you would need them for a school or ward/stake project, she may even talk about donating them for a tax write-off. She is having an open house this Friday and Saturday (Feb. 8-9) and if you can't make it, you can call her and talk about purchasing stuff at a different time. I have set up a blog with all relevant information and pictures of some of the things she is selling:

She also has a awesome line of greeting cards that she is just starting up and they are HILARIOUS! You can purchase these online. Take a look. You have to see them.

That's all. Just a plug.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Toliet Training and Tutus

Who knew that toliet training and tutus could go together? They can in our world. I FINALLY got up the courage last week to start training Jane and I have to admit, I wish kids were just a bit like cats. With cats, you show them where their litter is, take their paw and scratch around in the litter for a while with it, and then, you're done. From then on, they use the litter (as well as some of your houseplants). So why can't we do that with kids? Show them the toilet, let them flush it a few times (definitely not going to take their hand and swish it in the toilet water for a while) and then be done with it all? Sure would be nice. (Although, I wouldn't want to catch them going in the fica tree in the front room).

So far, it actually hasn't been that bad. I have had her in underpants around the house, and in pull-ups when we go out, and so far, today has been her only real accident (where she conveniently told me she needed to go AFTER she already went). It takes so much diligence, holy cow. Asking every 20 minutes, and then the process itself takes another 10 min...but it makes it all worth it to see how proud she is of herself. We have made such a big deal of it that she thinks she has won the Olympics every time and goes running and screaming through the house in a victory lap.

My favorite part is giving her the "treat" she gets when she goes. It consists of a couple of chocolate Whoppers...weak sauce huh? A lot of people I have talked to give out toys or prizes or all manner of such of things, but I take advantage of the fact that candy is still a novelty to her. I know, all those sugar conscious mothers out there are shaking their heads, but it is so easy and cheap and she thinks they are the bomb. Anyway, the best part is what she says when you ask her what she gets for going potty. She answers "SCHOCK-LATE!" in a deep, throaty voice that I can only describe as a maniacal pirate who has just found some serious booty. Or maybe a vampire that hasn't eaten in a while and finds a tasty neck - I have no idea how to describe it but it makes us laugh like crazy when she says it.

Enter in the tutu. The second day of training, I put her in underpants for the first time and she paraded around the house in them for a while. She then decided she wanted to dance in them, but who can dance without her tutu? (Her cute Aunt Stephy gave her one for Christmas). Out it comes from the closet and I try to convince her that you wear them around your tummy and not your chest, but with no luck. It was very entertaining.

Oh, potty training...I will get through this, right?

Saturday, February 02, 2008


To keep all the writings I do on the family together, I've decided to keep the family journal on the blog too. That way all my entries will be in here when I go to print the blog. I am hoping I don't have to publish these until I go to print it because I don't want EVERYTHING about out us out floating in cyberspace for everyone to read.

Family update: January shaped up to be a lot busier than I thought..and a lot snowier than I thought, too. We have had the most snow this year than in the past 12 - 15 years! The sad part about that is we haven't had the chance to go downhill skiing once!*sigh*

Diane's business of over 15 years, Twin Peaks Distribution, went under this month. Jevan is helping her move things out of her warehouse as we speak. She is now trying to find a 9-5 job that will meet all her bills. The whole family has been praying for her. She is in a tough spot and feeling a lot of stress. Hopefully, things will work out quickly for her. She has a side business selling funny/sarcastic greeting cards, "Any Horrible Occasion" and we are hoping that takes off soon as well.
My mom had surgery on her shoulder because her tendons were separating from the bone. She seems to be healing well and is finding that the hard part is not going crazy from having to be so sedentary.

Jevan was offered a position at another company called "Omniture" where his friend works. It is an offer that would make a big difference for us financially, and he would work in Provo, making my dream of living in Heber quite a bit more feasible. He is trying to decide whether to take it. He really likes the job he has now at McCann and he knows he is good at what he does. But the money is hard to turn away from and the job may offer better upward mobility in the long run. It is just a scary feeling for him to suddenly go back to learning a new job, not knowing what he is doing, and wondering if he will be any good at it. We'll know what he decides in a couple of weeks...could be life changing for us!

Jane has started the toilet training process (for real this time). I tried once when she was 20 months and again right after she turned 2. Both times, she didn't really seem ready...didn't really grasp the concept. She is now just a few months shy of 2 and a half, and doing great! We started yesterday, and today she has gone all morning and most of the afternoon with no accidents! She even is able to tell me when she needs to go which is wonderful. I know I shouldn't get my hopes up yet that this is going to be easy, but so far so good. I still put her in Pull-Up training pants whenever we go anywhere because I know she is apt to forget to tell us if something exciting is going on, and I forget to ask her every 30 mins. But, I am glad she has latched on to the concept as well as she has.
Here's the process:
She tells us or we tell her to go sit on the toliet. She sits for a while and reads her book. When she's done, we make a big deal of it all and she gets a "treat" which is a few chocolate Whoppers. She calls it "SCHOCK-LATE!"( which she pronounces in a voice which I can only think to describe as a mischievous pirate voice...if there is such a voice. I'll have to video record it.
I really hope we have a made a breakthrough and I now have one less child in diapers! It would be so nice not to have to empty the diaper genie what seems like every day.

Jane is also really getting into playing pretend. She likes us to call her different animals or people all the time. She likes to have dialog where she is someone else and I am her. It's really funny. Her use of vocabulary continues to amaze me - she is really advanced verbally. Her sentences get more and more complex all the time and she is starting to understand how to be clever and use humor. She likes to ask trick questions, and laughs meniacally when we pretend to get them wrong. It is so fascinating to watch her imagination develop. It is really taking off. For instance, yesterday we had an entire conversation about a giant that happened to be in our car with us. He would make the car "fall". I'm not sure what that means but Jane would yell, "Mom! The gi-yant in da car! He's in da car! The car is faw - ing (falling)." I would get very concerned about the giant that has seemed to have some effect on gravity and would commence to ask her all sorts of questions about her giant, what he's eating, his name, etc. It made for a really interesting drive. I must admit though, she talks NON-STOP in the car and after a while, it kinda drives me insane! As long as I direct the conversation to different topics, it's okay.

She is still relatively good natured and a really good minder for her age. I have only witnessed 2 true tantrums which make the "terrible twos" so famous. I hope that doesn't all change when she turns 3, like some of my friends tell me it does. She is very loving and affectionate and outgoing. However, she can be pretty naughty, especially with other kids around her age. Jane and Calvin are quite the duo, either fighting or doing mischievous things. Yesterday, when we were over at Grandma Diane's for dinner, she had to be put in time out twice for crawling up the back of her couch after we all told her not to.

I can also tell she is flexing her self-independence muscles because she is starting to try to change her routines, and asking to do all the things I would usually do. Like just now for instance, I just put her down for her nap and usually when we do naptime, we read 2 books and then sing a few songs. This time, she wanted to read the books to me (which I happily let her do) but then she didn't want me to sing any songs! I asked her many times as we rocked there in silence and each time she adamantly said "No!". It made me sad. I hope it isn't a permanent change in routine!

Allison just keeps getting cuter as she gets older. She has a darling face and darling smile. She still has her little forced, grunty laugh which cracks us up everytime. She is also getting more interactive with people, as long as it is on her terms. If she is in a good mood, she will go to anyone but if she is at all tired or out-of-sorts she will only have her mom. We are trying to teach her to say "Hi" and wave. So far she just squeals and flaps both her arms up and down like a strange sort of chicken greeting.

She still will NOT snuggle with me either. Or anyone for that matter. She only likes to pull hair and strip all the skin from your face. I try to hold her arms down when I nurse her or give her a bottle and she fights all she can. When I let go, she starts swinging her arm about wildly, like I have done her arm some injustice and I must pay. It's frustrating that she always wants me to hold her, but not snuggle her. Oh, and she also hates to be changed. You have to either be a gladiator to hold her down and get a diaper on, OR you have to be magician and always pulling out new tricks to entertain her and get her to hold still. Drives me nuts.

But don't let all this talk make you think that she isn't the cutest thing. She is really happy, smiley little girl, very curious and VERY strong. Even though she doesn't have a ton of interest in walking, she is incredibly steady on her feet, and I'm sure when she does decide she wants to walk, it won't take long at all. Now, at least, she will walk around holding onto our hands for a while. Before, she would collapse instantly onto her knees. When you are such a speedy crawler, who needs walking?