Monday, March 31, 2008

March was awful good to me...

I really liked March. It was great fun. I did not like how it would warm up for a few days, just enough to get your hopes up and your sandals and shorts pulled out, and then dump snow on your head the next day. I know I've said I like snow, but I like my winter weather to be consistent. None of this wishy-washy stuff. Be warm or cold. That's it. No more messin' with me. Roller coaster weather is lame.

That being said, I did benefit from our snowy weather in a most wonderful way. March is also my birthday month and this year, Jevan surprised me with ski tickets to Alta! Hooray! I have not been skiing in 3 years because I was always either pregnant or had a baby too young to leave all day. It has been brutal this winter to watch us get the best snow we've had in over 10 years, and just sit inside and stare at it. But, finally, my sweet husband gave me my chance! It was so fun to spend the day with him and since we are pretty much at the same level when it comes to skiing, we just followed each other down the slopes. It was such a happy day for me. I just wish it wasn't so crazy expensive!

Easter was a lot of fun too because Jane is starting to "get" holidays. We dyed easter eggs and had "Bunny Day" at my sister-in-law's house. ("Bunny Day" is an awesome concept thought up by my SIL. We hunt for eggs and Easter baskets filled with goodies the Saturday before Easter Sunday. That way, Easter Sunday and the Resurrection are separated from the Easter Bunny, hopefully helping the kids focus on what Easter is really about.) I had a good time putting together the girls' Easter baskets and learned some valuable lessons.
Lesson 1. Don't fool yourself into thinking you are putting the candy and chocolate bunnies in the basket for the kids when your kids are ages 1 and 2. They eat a few pieces and quickly forget about it. You know this. You then eat all the rest of it. And I sure did.
Lesson 2: Even though you know your 2 year old LOVES "chassick" (chapstick), don't buy the kind that comes in the little tin and they dip their finger in. You would think I would have figured this out instantly, but no, I had to learn by scrubbing the stuff off of Jane's entire face and hands. Nice, Em.
Lesson 3: Your 1 year old could care less about Cinderella socks. It's true. You think they're cute, and she doesn't care.

Nonetheless, it was dang fun to watch Jane's face light up when she found her basket.

This past week, Jevan announced he was taking Jane to work on Friday - his self-proclaimed "bring your kid to work" day. Was anyone else bringing their kids? I ask expectantly. Nope. He just felt like taking her because it would be a slow day and would keep her for the morning. Random. Love him, but he's random. But it was great because running errands with one child, especially one that can't walk yet, and hence can't pull things off the shelf (wait, i take that back. Just last week in the grocery store, while I was studying salad dressings, Allison managed to lunge from the cart and swipe 2 bottles of A1 Steak Sauce off the shelf, sending them crashing to floor, splattering everything and everyone with it's tangy goodness. Impressive, no?) is a lot easier than running errands with 2 kids. Jane had a great time writing on everyone's white boards and watching Tigger and Pooh on a co-worker's ipod. She really dug the headphones but Jevan said it made her yell when she talked.

And finally, to top off the month, my good friend invited me and a bunch of our old high school friends up to her parent's timeshare in Midway for an overnighter. A bunch of girls, completely kid-free, talking and laughing until 3 in the morning. We ate a yummy dinner, had brownie sundaes, and then had swedish pancakes in the morning. My favorite phrase of the night was my friend describing her experience at a guy's house one night as a "vortex of nothingness." It was so much fun. The house we stayed in was BEAUTIFUL, straight out of a Pottery Barn catalog, and when I finally climbed into bed that night, I sunk into the most luxurious mattress and bedding - you know the kind that just swallow you up in blankets and pillows and you wonder if you will have to dig yourself out in the morning? Yeah, that kind. Good times. Thank you, Emily! (her name is Emily too - I'm not thanking myself for the good time! :))

So as I said before, I like March. It was a good month.

Friday, March 28, 2008

By request...

My sister Stephanie requested that I post a video of Jane hamming it up for her, so here 'tis.

She's a ham, but she makes me smile.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Today Was a Gem

Wow. Two year olds are curious creatures, aren't they? Today was one of those days I wish I could save and replay again and again. I think last night, aliens broke into my house and stole Jane. Then they replaced her with an UNevil twin. Why they would do that and go against every rule in Hollywood, I have no idea, but they did.

Today was a gem. Jane was amazing. There was not a single power struggle all day. She didn't fight me on anything, giving in easily when I had to tell her no. She asked nicely for things (something I have been working so hard on recently), and actually got in her car seat the first time I asked (usually I have to find all kind of tricks to keep her from instantly climbing into the driver seat and messing with buttons when I am putting Allie in her seat). She didn't have a single accident (in her big girl underpants) even though we were away from the house most of the day. That's a big deal because we have had at least one accident a day since we started the whole potty training ordeal over 4 weeks ago. When she asked nicely for something and I would give it to her, she would say "thanks Mom!" and then give me a big hug and say "I love you, Mom!" Crazy or what? I have been completely dumbfounded. AND, when I was doing her hair this morning, I put it into braids on the sides of her head. First she said, "I'm going to show Calvin (her cousin) my braids. He say they cute!" I agreed with her, finished putting the elastic in place and gave her a hug. She then looked at me and said, "Mom?" "Yeah?" I said. "You're amazing." I just looked at her in disbelief and said "Who are you???" She then looked all puzzled and hurt and said, "I'm Jane!" Still not sure if I believe it. I didn't even know she knew the word 'amazing'.

Today was also a gem because we went to my sister-in-law's house and dyed easter eggs (thanks, Becca!). Holidays are so much more fun now that I have a child that "gets it" for the most part. She sat on my lap and happily plopped eggs into the all the different colored liquids. She did have a tough time restraining herself from grabbing the eggs out with her hands or stirring them a little too violently, sending colored water flying. All in all, it was super fun. Jane also played really well with Calvin, her cousin her same age, which was another crazy feat. Usually we are continually putting out fires between them as they fight over toys. Today they happily played outside in the warm sunshine and there was not a single incident involving tears.
Just such a wonderful day.

I am very curious to find out who I will find in Jane's bed tomorrow morning. I'm kinda hoping for the unevil twin again, I must say. I know today was probably an anomaly, so I had to soak it in for all it was worth. Hence why I had to blog about it. Don't think this is at all a normal day around our house.

Oh, and Calvin never did notice Jane's braids...or say they were cute. :)
Jane, my love, welcome to life with boys.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Pure Trouble

Does anyone else dread 5pm as much as I do? It gives me anxiety. It's that crazy time when you have to figure out what to make for dinner with the random assortment of food in the refrigerator, the kids are tired, cranky, bored or all of the above, and you realize you are out of tricks to keep them out of the kitchen. If I don't come up with any alternative, Allison will ultimately pull out every piece of tupperware and make a little city in the middle of the kitchen floor, and Jane either tries to "help" or cries out for fruit snacks until you think she will die from a coronary. Dinner time is rough for me. Half the time, I stick them both in Jane's room with the door closed and listen for large falling objects or frantic crying - otherwise they are on their own for entertainment. Sometimes, though, they sneak out. And here, dear friends, is what happens when one child sneaks out and I have my back turned while I work at the stove and talk to my husband on the phone.

Here is Allison making her own dinner. You can't really see the mountain of oatmeal in the cupboard, nor can you see the dog's water spilled nearby that mixes nicely with the flour to make a lovely paste-like coating for the floor. She was in the midst of making snowballs out of the flour. I think she is probably doing a better job of figuring out what to do with her ingredients then I was of mine at the time. I mean who doesn't love bean and oatmeal.....cake with couscous filling and a light dusting of powdered sugar. Mmm, mmm, tasty. Hee hee. It made me giggle - especially because she is such a cute little bit of trouble.

So there you have one of the many daily struggles in the Woolley household. That's what I get for trying to make dinner.....

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Allison!

Yesterday was Allison's 1st birthday. It is so hard to believe an entire year has passed. It sounds so cliche' but it is really true that the older you get, the faster time goes by. What is that about?

It was not so long ago that she was a squishy, soft, fuzzy-headed newborn sleeping on my shoulder. Nowadays, there isn't much squish left - she is a super strong soon-to-be toddler with places to go, people to see, cats, dogs and sisters to torment. Her dad insists she is going to be a linebacker one day.

I'm not so sure I am a big fan of Allison getting older. I think it should work like this: your first child grows up normally so you can experience their childhood to adulthood. The second child should be the one you get to keep small for as long as you like, just so you always have a baby to cuddle without having to have another kid. Then, when you're ready, they go from 5 years old to 21 in about 3 minutes. Skip junior high all together I say. They'll thank you for it.

Anyway, Allison is quickly growing....into a cute, funny one year old. We had a raging party last night for her and invited my parents and Jevan's family. Since we call her our "little monkey" (because she is literally always moving, squirming, climbing and grabbing), I decided to go with a monkey theme for the night. I got her a big purple mylar monkey balloon and even made a cake! I am always so proud when I actually pull off something that involves any kind of domestic prowess. I made a 3 layer chocolate cake (after getting some tips and tricks from my sister-in-law, Andrea, who happens to be a cake decoratoring genius. Let's just say, if there were ninja masters in cake decorating, she would be one...or even the supreme chancellor of all the ninja masters...or someone all-powerful like that). It worked out really well and wasn't nearly as hard as I imagined. Andrea also tutored me on how to decorate it and this is how it turned out. Hooray!

We had hawaiian haystacks for dinner (lots of little finger foods for Allison), opened presents (well, actually Jane and the cousins opened them while Allie attempted to pry the wrapping paper loose with a spoon), and had cake. Jane spent the entire day asking if she could "blow off" the candles from Allie's cake, so while the notes from the final "Happy Birthday to you" were still resonating Jane leaped across the table and blew them off. As is common with one year-old birthday parties, the cake turned messy at the end, with Allie's face and stomach covered in chocolate. Not to be outdone, Jane joined the fun, coating her hands in chocolate frosting and then obeying her aunts when they told her to be a gorilla and pound her chest or play peek-a-boo. The festivities ended with a great ol' celebratory bath. It was a fun night.

So, in honor of my little monkey, here are some fun little stats about Allison at age one that I want to remember:

Favorite food: mandarin oranges (she can eat an entire can in one sitting)

Favorite book: anything with pictures of other babies in it

Favorite toys: toliet water, anything jane is playing with, tupperware, telephones, dog bowls

Favorite activities: taking off her shoes and chewing on her socks, copycat games, bathtime, bouncing up and down, throwing food off her highchair, chasing cats (she would follow them to the ends of the earth...and so is definitely not deterred by a scratch or two), pulling mom's earrings out of her ears, following Jane around, eating crayons....

Things she hates: people not bringing her food fast enough, being overcuddled, shoes (like her dad), having her diaper or clothes changed, being left in the highchair too long, being sat upon by Jane, and currently, being too far away from mom.

Favorite noises: monkey, evil laugh

Funny things: when I'm cleaning, she always goes over to the vacuum and turns it on and then cries hysterically. I turn it off and she calms down, and then goes back and does it again 3 minutes later, again, crying hysterically. Honestly, child, where is that short term memory?

She can: walk with help, clap on command, wave (sort of), do animal noises (monkey, lion and dog sometimes), crawl at mach 5, and woo you with her smile.

Happy Birthday Allers. You are a sweet, funny little character with a smile that melts me every time. We love you!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Another source of "mommy guilt"

I don't know about you, but it seems to me that with motherhood comes a certain amount of "mommy guilt" - things you do or moments you have when you know your parenting skills aren't at their best. Things like using the TV to occupy your kids, counting fruit snacks as a fruit for the day, putting them to bed too late, putting them to bed too early (you do this to Jane and she will take turns pretending she is either Mary Lou Retton, doing floor routines in her crib, OR Shirley Temple in her best musical debut), telling them that noisy toy is "broken" or "lost" when you really just chucked it in the garbage, giving too much attention to one child because the other one is being a serious stinker, skipping whole pages in nightime story books because you are too tired and hoping they don't notice, college savings fund consisting of the change fallen behind the dresser, oh...the list just goes on....

Anyway, so here is my latest source of mommy guilt.....scrapbooking. Or the lack thereof. Allison's first birthday is in a week. So far my scrapbooking of her first year consists of...nothing. Haven't done a thing. Jane has a scrapbook for her first year because when she was 14 months old, Jev and I took a vacation alone in the middle of winter up to a condo and I sat and scrapbooked for 3 days straight...literally (I was pregnant with Allison and couldn't do much anyway). Past that, I have nothing else for Jane. And I am not going to have another scrapbooking vacation anytime soon (mostly because it isn't what I would choose to spend vacation time on). Looking ahead, knowing that I now have 2 kids to keep up on, and maybe adding others in the future, I have no idea how I am supposed to keep up on this scrapbooking monster.

So, I ask you, what do you do? Does anyone have any good insight on this? How do you find time to scrapbook or have you found another alternative? I know this blog is a good journal, but I have so many pictures and I figure as my kids get older, they will want some sort of picture book that is just about them. I do family photoalbums that I try to keep current, but they are just the basic brown books with slots for pictures and a little caption.

I have been thinking about doing the online photobooks, where you just drag and drop pictures into premade backgrounds, like the ones you can find on Shutterfly. I can't decide if it seems to impersonal. Plus, what do you do with all the little papers and "scraps" you aquire over the years, like their baby footprints from the hospital, blessing certificates, etc.?

I dunno, in the whole scheme of things, it isn't one of those pressing matters, but it is one that has just been bugging me lately so I thought I would send it out there to the Universe and see what comes back.