Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Just checkin'.....

Sometimes, just sometimes, you get a glimpse of that little tender heart that resides in every child's heart. It's those little times that make your crazy mom life worth it.

This morning, as I waited outside of Jane's little dance class, desperately trying to entertain Allie with books on my lap, Jane suddenly burst through the door, ran over to me and put her hand on my shoulder. She looked at me with this loving yet concerned look on her face, and said in her little pixie voice, "Mom? Are you okay out here?" I was stunned. I stammered, "Um...yeah, Jane. I'm just fine....are you?" "Yup!" she exclaimed and went dancing back through the door. The teacher looked out at me, just as surprised as I was. I just shrugged and got up and closed the door again.

What the? Could she suddenly sense how difficult it was to keep Allie entertained, to keep her from pulling every book from the shelf, or knocking on the door, trying to bust into the dance class, or trying on every pair of shoes she could possible find (she is so obsessed with shoes - if she doesn't get some weird foot disease, I'll be surprised..)? Perhaps she could sense my slow progression towards insanity caused by days upon days of listening to "The Greatest Hits of Dragon Tales" in the car? Or, could she just have wanted to make sure I was happy and not feeling left out while she got to dance with balloons and hula hoops, and having her own little shape mat to sit on? Whatever it was, it completely made my day. Sometimes it seems that as a mom, you spend all your days making sure you've met all the needs of your kids, making sure they are happy and secure. How wonderful to know that I have someone watching out for me too - making sure I'm okay out here. Love you, Jane.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Family Update

Wow. I just realized I haven't done a family journal post since January. What a lazy bum I am. I figured it was about time, now that Jane has turned 3 and Allie is 18 months. A lot has happened since the beginning of the year! Fortunately, most of it I have already blogged, but I haven't covered the smaller family details and the development of the kids the past year.

Let's start with overall family stuff. We have really big news we have yet to really share with anyone (except my mom and my best friend, Sarah). We are having another baby! No at all expected (it seems to work that way with us - either we just don't get it or Heavenly Father knows we would never work up the nerve to get pregnant if we could chose when it happened....). Anyway, after a few long deep breaths, I think we are both starting to get excited. I go in for my first doctor appointment in a few days. I hope all is okay. We don't know whether we want a boy (because it would be fun to have a mixed family...and Jevan wouldn't be so outnumbered...and would have someone to really wrestle) or a girl (because we can do girls - we actually, sort-of get them...at least, it's not as itimidating to me...) We don't find out the gender for a few more months though.

So that's the big news. It really is big because we actually turn into truly a FAMILY. One where the parents are finally outnumbered. It almost seems to feel like it will send us into a totally new phase in life. It DOES send us out to buy a new car. And maybe a new house, depending on what happens with Jevan's job. He has a couple of opportunities right now and each one sends us somewhere different. His current employer, McCann Erickson, has a possible opening in Seattle that he has told his boss he is interested in. We just don't know if and when it would actually happen, but both of us are excited about that prospect. If we can handle the rain. But change is always exciting to me. The other opportunity is with the company that has been courting him off and on for over a year now. They have come to him again with another job, a good paying one but maybe not as exciting to start out with. He hopes if he takes the job, he can eventually move into something more suited for him. The fun thing about that job is that it is in Orem, which gives us a shot at being able to live in Heber. I have always wanted to live there. Houses are super cheap right now because the country is in financial crisis. Good ol' George Bush has really outdone himself now. The housing market has plummeted, sending homeowners, mortgage brokers, banks and now practically all of Wall Street into bankruptcy. It's nuts. Everyone is very worried. In November, we vote for a new president; either Barak Obama or John McCain. Jevan says if John McCain wins, we can go live in Canada. I like that idea and secretly hope he does. Okay, not really. That would be a huge disaster. Go Obama!

Let's see....oh and in July, I was called into Young Womens again, as first counselor...which has been fun but a heck of a lot of time. The president is also young with a toddler, about Allie's age, and we both feel like we fly by the seat of our pants most of the time. Jevan hasn't been released from Activities Committee Chair (and I think, neither have I) so we both work at that too. Sometimes it gets a bit overwhelming and I complain a lot, but mostly it is workable. I just wish this ward had more responsible people so those that really try to do our jobs aren't stretched so thin. We also think our bishop is headed for the nuthouse, but that is an entirely different story indeed.

So let's talk kids. Allison is a total crack-up. She is getting funnier, cuter, and more lovey by the day. She has started to go to most people more readily( for a while there, she was a complete momma's girl), and has definitely found her favorites - Aunt Andrea and my mom. She gives a lot more loves that she used to and giggles all the time now, especially when everyone around her is laughing - she doesn't want to be left out of the fun. She is growing taller and leaner and just cuter every day. She has finally started to keep clippies in her hair - for months she has looked like a complete wild child because she would take them out almost immediately. It has been so frustrating, especially because she looks so cute with her hair done!

She is so much happier these days, for the most part, but she definitely throws her fair share of fits, mostly because she has very few words and a very independent personality. That combination is sure to blow up from time to time. She was really tough a few months ago, but I think (I hope) we are getting out of that stage. When she does get upset, she just lays flat on her face on the floor and wails. It's kinda funny. At least she doesn't scream and kick. We have only had one incident of a major breakdown. It was when, in desperation to save her clothes because she will NEVER keep a bib on, we tried to put one of those full shirt bibs on her. We thought she was going to pop blood vessels in her head she screamed so long and loud. She screamed through almost of all of dinner time. We had never seen her like that, and haven't tried the bib since. Sheesh.

She is still super tough, hardly ever crying when she falls down or hurts herself. She has more words now that include: thank you - "dank yooo", all through - "all trooo", bathtime - "baaaa tie", shoe - "sheew", jasper "daaah dehr" and of course, Mama and Daddy. Sometimes we think she says other words too, but none of those are consistent yet. She is still the messier eater this side of the mississippi but at least she isn't picky when it comes to food, and we'll take that over being messy any day of the week.

She is also very interested in reading books now. It's her second favorite pasttime. She tries to get you to read her as many bedtime stories as she possibly can, and most of the time, I am persuaded to read her far too many. She still won't snuggle until she falls asleep but at least she will keep still for a little bit while I sing to her. I love that.

**(I am writing this while the kids nap. Jane just got up and came down to the computer room. She loves to type her name on the computer because she can spell it now. Pretty cool. Here she goes.


Thanks Jane. Okay, back to Allie. Allie's very favorite thing in the world right now (besides her binky, I suppose) are shoes. She is OBSESSED with shoes. When she gets up in the morning, the first thing she wants to do is put on her shoes. She usually has tried on at least 7 pairs (and not always her own shoes) by 10am. When you change her diaper, she always wants to be holding a shoe. When we go to Jane's dance class, she wants to try all the little girl shoes left by the door. It is hillarious. She loves to get her own shoes out of the drawer and has a total fit if she can't find or reach the pair she wants. She loves to bring shoes to everyone, even strangers that show up at the door. You're selling a coupon book today? Oh, well, here, have my mom's shoes. I wonder if this will be a life long obsession....

After shoes and books, I have to say Allie's other love of her life is water. She loves to play in water. She loves bathtime and will almost completely submerge herself, while most kids her age hate getting water on their face or hair. I honestly think there is more water outside the tub than in it by the time bathtime is over. She is an all out crazy woman at the swimming pool. She has no idea that she can't swim on her own and will jump in at any second. She wants to swim so badly, she tries to peel your hands off her body. A couple times I have let her sink under when she has done that, but when I bring her up, she just looks a little dazed and then starts right back in flailing and flapping in the water, trying to get away. Jevan's favorite pool trick is tossing her to me, chucking her up 30 feet in the air, so high you can hear an audible, fearful, "oooohhh" from everyone around us at the pool. Allie loves it and gets mad when we finally stop. I tell you what, though, it sure makes me glad we don't have a pool - I'm not sure how long Allie would survive with how unfearful and crazy she is around water.

Allie is just so much fun. She is a true daredevil, afraid of practically nothing. She gives the best "loves" and is becoming such a snuggler - I can't tell you how much I love that. She is smart, independent thinker and we are just waiting for her to start spitting out more words. I absolutely live for her little giggle - she is just darling.

Jane is just getting so darn big! Where did my little baby go? I can't believe I have a 3 year old. Jane is just constant entertainment. She continues to be an amazing little talker - she sounds like all the little 5 and 6 year olds I know....except, she is still thinking on a 3 year old level. She loves people, especially little girls her age. Whenever we go to the park and she sees ANY little kid playing there, regardless of whether we know them or not, she instantly yells, "Look, Mom! My friend is here!" She immediately goes right up to them and starts talking and playing. She makes friends everywhere she goes, regardless of age.

Jane even has a couple of imaginary friends. They are named Jane (creativity might not be her strong point) and Vallie...or maybe Valley? I have no idea, but that's her name. She always needs to know where Vallie is at all times. Vallie comes everywhere with us, to the store, to dance class, to church. Vallie even has to be strapped in the middle seat belt whenever we go anywhere in the car. She also has to sit on Jane's lap when we read books. Jane talks to Vallie a lot. The other "Jane" just makes a cameo appearance from time to time, I guess when Vallie isn't around. It really makes me laugh. I love to watch her interact with her imaginary friend - especially because it so reminds me of me when I was little. I loved imaginary friends, although, unlike Jane, I think I made mine up because I was so shy and needed kids to talk to.

Jane has now added movies to her list of obsessions, second only to books. She always wants to watch movies and I have to really be firm in how much I let her watch them. She got Dumbo for her birthday and will watch it over and over. Books are still her favorite - we read to her at naps and bedtime, and if we're still in bed when she gets up in the morning, she will bring in a huge stack for us to read to her in our bed. This is usually Janey and Daddy time because I try to be out exercising before Jevan leaves for work.

Jane has also always wanted a bike and finally got one for her 3rd birthday. She loves to ride her bike too. We are still working on helping her to learn how to brake; any kind of hill completely freaks her out - she doesn't want to go too fast. But she's learning, and with a little practice, she'll be great. She is a pretty determined little thing and doesn't give up too easily. She mastered how to pump herself on a swing the other day, all by herself. She is really good at it now. I thought that was something kids didn't get until they were 5 or 6!!

Jane is a tender, loving little soul too. She is always telling me she loves me, (and Allie and Daddy) at random times throughout the day. It melts my heart. She is also always concerned for mine and other's well being. In fact, I have a good case in point that happened today. This morning, while I was waiting for her to be done with dance class, she suddenly opened the door and came out (halfway through dance class), put her hand on my shoulder, looked at me tenderly and said in her little pixie voice, "Mom? Are you okay out here?" I was stunned. "Um..yeah, Jane. I'm just fine...are you?" "Yup!" She said, and danced back into class. What the? The teacher looked out at me, just as surprised as I was that Jane had to suddenly leave class to check on her mom. Maybe she thinks I am going crazy and has to check on me every once in a while...I would too if I were her and had a mom like me!! Anyway, it was really sweet...and random. I think I am going to have to post that story, come to think of it.

Here are the other things Jane loves: all her cousins and spending time with them, making up her own little songs about the most random things, macaroni and cheese, strawberry milk (she wants pink milk at least 3 times a day), her teddy bear, helping me with the credit card machine at the store check out, CARS (she loves to put the keys in and pretend to drive, loves to push all the buttons, turn on all the overhead lights, put on the flashers and windshield wipers; she already knows how old she has to be to drive and will tell everyone, "I get to drive when I get to be big and sixteen!" She keeps hoping they will change the age to something more reasonable, like eight.), going to the park, going to nursery, and just being with people in general. She is just so social.

I love my girls...my little family! Jevan and I feel very content right now, I think! That's all I can think of for now....

Sunday, September 21, 2008

You know the party was a success when...

So Jane turned 3 last week. It was while Jevan was in Italy so we decided not to tell her it was her birthday until we were able to have him home and have a party. However, a sneaky nursery leader at my ward foiled all our plans and told Jane she already had her birthday. She was a little confused but ran out to meet me at the end of class yelling "Mom, Mom, I already HAD my birthday! I'm three and big enough! It was my birthday last night!" (for Jane, anything in the past was "last night." Lunch 3 hours ago was "last night".) How dare the nursery leader be honest and not let me deceive my own child!

So, anyway, we celebrated Jane's 3rd birthday with a bike parade at a nearby park. Despite my reservations, I think it turned out really fun. Here's why I think it was a success:

1. There were no bandaids used at any point and only a few tears shed over random decoration issues. No one was physically or psychologically damaged as far as I know. This is always good when it comes to toddler parties, no?

2. You had family and friends come from far and wide with their little ones. Our crazy friend Jim actually biked to the party with his kids. Mind you, he lives in Sugarhouse, over 70 blocks away. With a few stops, it took him 2 hours! We gave him one of the parade medals because he was so tough. I say they should start a Tour De Disneyland because I would enter Jim and he would win - with Lainey on her trailer bike. Sadly, we forgot to get a picture of them....

3. Gale force winds always make for good party. Gusts kept coming, sending everything and everyone flying. I think there were a couple incidents of people's pizza being picked up and blown into their face. We had to sing Jane's birthday song at light speed in hopes the little candles would stay lit for a mere second. Didn't happen. I also think there were more decorations spread across the park than on the bikes. Several people told Jevan they were disappointed that his wife would throw such an environmentally un-friendly party. I hung my head in shame, but on the bright side the birds will get to decorate their nest with lots of sparkly streamers...sometimes birds need a little bling, I always say...
4. The ever-amazing Andrea made the cake. Isn't it darling? Jevan's mom made the little biker Jane - the real Jane was actually wearing the exact outfit with her hair in pigtails! We had to keep watch over it during the party to protect it from little pokey fingers and fly by bits of the party blowing everywhere. Everyone liked eating it, but no one quite as much as Allie. NO ONE likes eating cake as much as Allie. In fact, if running the country involved lots of messy eating, I'd vote her in for president. She would be all about change - we could all run around wild with shaggy hair and eat 'till our tummies became little basketballs. Her foreign policy would involve everyone sharing their shoes and binkies with everyone else at all times. It would be a happy world. And maybe, just maybe, she too would be able to see Russia from her back yard.

5. A gaggle of kids on bikes playing kazoos. It cracked me up.

6. There were many times when Jane giggled in absolute pure joy. That definitely made the party for me.

(My sister-in-law, Beeca, made this for Jane..so cute!)

7. That night as we are brushing out her hair and getting ready for bed, Jane turns to me and says. "Mom, now I'm three. Someday I'll be ten and then I get to be a cow!" Wow. Keep those aspirations coming babe, even if they do involve bovine. A few minutes later she says again..."Mom, now I'm three....AFTER ALL!" said with an air of exasperation, like she is finally 3 after all she has had to put up with being 2 - like being 2 involved lots more than just learning sentences, potty training, and realizing that your little sister can be bribed if necessary - like it was the hardest year she has yet to go through. You did good, Jane. You made it through.

Jane rode her bike home from the party and as I walking behind her, I had one of those surreal moments when you can't believe this is your life, and the little girl, who is so big now, riding her first bike, is actually yours. Life is good to me and I am so lucky to have her.

Happy Birthday Janers! You are a clever, darling little thing that I absolutely adore.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I don't care who you are voting for...

but this is funny:

Tina Fey sounds exactly like Sarah Palin. I giggled, and boys aren't supposed to giggle.

From Italy, with love

I just got back from a little trip to Italy I did with Em's brother and some of his friends, and I started a blog as a way to help family members back home know what was going on and see some pictures of the places we'd been. In case anyone wants to take a peek, the url is http://geriatricgiro.blogspot.com.

In other news, Em is glad to have a husband home. I can't imagine why, I was only gone for 10 days. She's a complete and total rock-star and I'm incredibly lucky to have a wife that gives me the green light to go on a trip like this. I love you babe!

Yes, Em is a rock star. Now if only I could get her to wear this outfit...