Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fun with Food Allergies

So Jenny's wheat allergy is negligible. I've considered it so for a while anyway, so that's not real news.


Jenny's egg allergy is somewhat improved. We can try giving her eggs and see if she tolerates it. Just need to keep the epi-pen handy in case she can't.

Peanut allergy is worse. No definitive news yet, but she'll likely have this allergy for the rest of her life.

No tree nut allergies. Yea! She can have almond butter and almond milk now. And I don't have to keep her away from the pistachios either.

Her milk allergy is also worse. However, she may tolerate milk cooked into things and cooked cheese. We'll only know if we try it. A little scary, but potentially worth while.

Good times.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Jenny Needs

"Mommy? Mommy? Mommy? Mommy? Mommy?"


"Yes, Jenny?"

"I need . . . I need . . . I need . . . I need . . . I need . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I need caaaake."

A Thank You Note

Dear Santa,

Thank you for visiting our home recently.

James would like to thank you for the rattle and teething ring. He slept through Christmas morning, but Jenny was more than happy to assist opening his gifts. Now that he has discovered he has hands, he is always looking for something to hold. Those little gifts fit perfectly in his tiny fingers and they taste good too.

Jenny would like to thank you for the beautiful butterfly bicycle and Dora the Explorer helmet. She is still learning how to push forward with her feet, rather than back, thus activating the braking system. She can get on and off the bike by herself, and loves to ride it up and down the hallway. Come Spring she will be a pro and will love the extra space she'll get riding it outside.

Brent would like to thank you for the backgammon attache. It suits him perfectly and he has spent hours stroking its fine leather and admiring the inlaid pips. The custom dice holder is a nice touch, and the dice cups are just right. He is glad he now has a board worthy of his brass doubling cube, which he has put in a satin pouch and put with the board. He hopes that you won't be offended that he has replaced the doubling cube you gave him. He has also traded out the balanced dice you gave him with some of his own that are personalized with his initials. He chose dice that coordinate with the colour of the pips. The whole thing looks custom done and is of such high quality that he is so excited! Now he really does need to participate in the backgammon tournament in Vegas next year.

I would like to thank you for my new MacBook. (Thank you, thank you!) It was very unexpected, as I understand your budget doesn't usually allow for such extravagant gifts. It was fun to get such a surprise. Perhaps I will use it to write the next best-selling teen pulp fiction novel and we can make it a tax write off.

We had a wonderful Christmas. We spent time with loving family, and that is always the best part. That and the food. The food was really good.

Hope your Christmas was just as delightful and filled with joy.

Love,

Maren

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Tree

This is our tree.


This is Big Ben
that Jenny hung on our tree.

This is the snowman
that is next to Big Ben
that Jenny hung on our tree.

Here is Pinocchio
who swings next to the snowman
that is next to Big Ben
that Jenny hung on our tree.

Here are some balls
that hang near Pinocchio
who swings next to the snowman
that is next to Big Ben
that Jenny hung on our tree.


If you couldn't tell, Jenny is a fan of the "cluster method" when it comes to decorating.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

More Christmas Fun

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monkey See Monkey Do

Jenny watches me teach piano lessons and has observed me writing notes in my students' books. Jenny copies this behavior, and I have to be careful that I don't leave any music I care about on the piano. Every time she sits at the piano she requests a writing implement.

Today she handed me one of Brent's laminated score cards that she had scribbled all over in wet-erase marker. She said "Look, Mommy, I made a lesson!"

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hallelujah!

Someday I hope to see this number done at my Ward Christmas Party.


Who says that being worshipful always has to be solemn?


You're welcome.

Thank you Annie, for this delightful addition to my day.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Bargaining

Jenny has decided that having a time-out is an acceptable price to pay for certain misbehaviors.


She'll offer to have a time-out in exchange for permission to be naughty.

Today's offer was this:

"Please can I hit the kitty and have a time out?"

I thought I'd teach her about the difference between asking permission and asking forgiveness, but I don't want her in on that little secret quite yet.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Things She Says

"I want to eat pretzels and sit on the couch with Mommy and watch Gilmore Girls." (Said in a desperate attempt to put off bedtime.)


"Is [the moon] shining just for me?" (Walking to the car after the Festival of Trees.)

"I want to be a little bit not soft." (She said this one when admonished for being too rough with the baby.)

My House is Haunted

That's right.


I have a poltergeist.

I might think that the poltergeist is responsible for opening drawers and cupboards, but I'm pretty sure that's just my husband leaving them open.

Right now my poltergeist is playing with Jenny's Leapfrog learning table.

The table will be quiet for days. Weeks. Sometimes months. Then suddenly and inexplicably it will start to sing. Right now it's singing the alphabet song. Over and over.

Maybe my poltergeist is a toddler.

My toddler, however, is sleeping sweetly.

Ah, I love nap time.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Favourite Books of the Year

I have read 98 books so far this year. Granted, most of them were YA, so they go really fast. For those of you who like to read (especially YA) here is a quick list of my favourites of the year.

The list is in the descending order that I read them, and in no way indicates a ranking or preference. Nor do I group them by genre as I probably should. Here you go:

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
A post-apocalyptic setting wherein Katniss, a teenage girl, competes in a fight-to-the-death televised competition in order to save her little sister's life. The main character's actions during the competition spark feelings of revolution in the oppressed people of the nation. A great springboard for discussion on reality television, government, rebellion, family, and the confusion of teenage love.

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Sequel to Hunger Games as the rebellion spreads and Katniss unwittingly becomes the poster child for revolution.

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini (Actually a series of Eragon, Eldest, and Brisingr)
Teenage boy meets baby dragon and together they experience adventure and tragedy as they are thrown into war. Eragon must take up the mantle of the Dragon Riders and battle to save Alagaesia from tyranny.

Forest Born by Shannon Hale (4th of her Bayern books)
Rin has lived in the Forest all her life with her large extended family. She has buried her frighteningly powerful abilities as she's grown up as the quiet and steady cook, maid, and nanny for her family. She leaves her family to go to the city with her brother, Razo (of the previous Bayern books), and gets swept up in an adventure wherein her dormant abilities come bursting forth. She's frightened by what she can do, fearing the her raw power will overcome and destroy her. It's a story about self-discovery, self-mastery, and self-confidence. A wonderful book for a young, insecure teenage girl.

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The first time Clare meets Henry she is five years old and he's middle aged. The first time Henry meets Clare he is his twenties, and so is she. The convoluted story of their relationship and marriage as they try to live normal lives despite the genetic anomaly that results in his regularly disappearing from the present to travel into the past or future, an ability over which he has no control.

The Invisible Wall by Harry Bernstein
Autobiographical story of growing up on a street during WWI where the inhabitants of one side of the street were Jewish and the other Christian, and the events that transpired, breaking the barrier between the two.

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
The story of a young teenager, raised in a polygamist community, who is "chosen" to marry one of the apostles of her community. This apostle happens to be her middle-aged uncle. She fights the calling and as a result puts her whole family in very real danger from the leaders of her people. She battles between saving herself and saving her family from unspeakable horrors. A well-researched, well-written, and frightening book. Not for the sensitive heart.

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
Autobiographical story of fighting on the front lines in the German army during WWI. It does a wonderful job of expressing the psychological damage that soldiers suffer, and how if affects them for the rest of their lives.

No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Precious Ramotswe is the first female detective in Botswana. She is "traditionally built" and adheres to traditional thought and morality. A gentle mystery with wonderful characters. The first in a delightful series.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Santiago, a shepherd boy, travels far to follow the advice of a prophet in the hopes of finding an unimaginable treasure. A story of listening to your heart, overcoming the challenges that face you, and following your dreams.

About Alice by Calvin Trillin
Columnist Calvin Trilling writes about his wife, who left him to cancer. She wasn't perfect, but she was beautiful and smart and sassy, and he loved her. Tender and sweet.

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
Kendra and her brother Seth go to spend the summer at the estate where their grandparents are caretakers. While there they follow a series of clues to discover the truth about the mysterious estate: that it is in fact a sanctuary for mythological creatures that are in actuality not mythological after all. They unleash an evil force and fight to save the sanctuary and protect the world from the creatures it holds. So fun. So imaginative.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Newberry winner and an absolute delight. Gaiman takes his inspiration from Kipling's The Jungle Book, telling the story of a boy whose family is killed when he is an infant. Instead of being raised in the jungle by animals, the boy is raised in a graveyard by ghosts. He nears manhood and needs to reenter the mortal world and discover the secrets behind his family's murder.

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
A thief is released from prison in order to help the king steal a precious treasure from a neighboring country. Full of plot-twists and surprises. An extremely enjoyable and fun read. The first in a delightful series.

A must-read for any woman desiring a natural birth. Despite Ina May's rather far-out hippie lifestyle, her writing is still very accessible. Ina May remains an incredible resource and advocate for natural birth. She is a true pioneer in the return of midwifery. She convincingly teaches the reader that childbirth is a healthy and natural process, not one to be feared, but to be embraced. She describes labor not as painful, but as the most intense sensation that requires ALL of your attention. That perspective was invaluable to me and was in large measure responsible for the incredible birth experience I had with my son. If you're interested in natural birth, you can read my birth story here.

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Ever wonder exactly why and how Hook lost his hand to the crocodile? Ever wonder what made Peter and Hook such mortal enemies and how they met in the first place? Read this book to find out. The first in a series.

Family Man by Calvin Trillin
Trillin writes about family life, fatherhood, and the delight of his children. An honest, sweet, and tender glimpse of the most important part of his life.

Private school shenanigans. Frankie is frustrated that her boyfriend won't share with her the truth about his membership in the most exclusive secret society on campus. She succeeds in uncovering their secrets, duping the entire group, and anonymously taking charge of their activities. What happens when a girl controls the most popular boys in school? What happens when she is discovered?
The title says it all. A simple story about the innocent adventures of children.

I felt understood and somewhat vindicated just by reading this book. Glad I'm not the only one who feels that etiquette and manners are important. Laugh out loud funny.

My Life and Hard Times by James Thurber
A brief look at his childhood in Ohio. Humorous and full of wit, Thurber writes about the eccentricities of his family and the foibles of human nature. Would that more writers could accomplish what Thurber does in such brief sketches.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What She's Been Up To Lately

Jenny is kicked in the face by a baby's foot.


Jenny begs to watch herself in the camera.


Jenny wakes up with a rat's nest.


Jenny models the "crazy eyes" she stole from Shelley's house.


Jenny wants to be a baby too.

Jenny sings and dances and shows off her "crown" and "dress".

Goodbye Again

Recently my sister Emma and her family moved to Arizona. She came back for Thanksgiving and stayed at my house for three weeks. I loved having her here.


Here is a video of her boy and my boy.

She's back in Arizona now. I miss her already.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Help!!

I don't take NEAR the amount of photos that a lot of people do, and I am already overwhelmed with the organization needed to keep things in order.


How do you organize your digital photos? I want to use dates, but without a descriptive title how will I ever find what I'm looking for?

What's your method? Any tips?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

More of Jenny

[Jenny pushes several buttons on the phone then holds it to her ear]


Hello? Hello? Is Jenny there? Hi! Um. . . is anybody in there?

a few hours later . . .

[Jenny throws herself upon the floor]

No, I NOT contrary!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Laughter

Friday, November 6, 2009

Favourite Uncle

Jenny: I want more fruit snacks

Mommy: No. You've already have fruit snacks. You can have more after you eat dinner.

Jenny: Waaaaaaaaaaaa! *sniffle sniffle* I want Roane come over and help me cry better.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Peek-a-Boo

Jenny grabs my silk curtains with her grubby hands and twists them all around her.


We play peek-a-boo for a minute because I know it's completely futile asking her to not touch them.

After a minute I get sick of the game and fail to respond. Then I hear her plaintive little voice say (muffled within the fabric) "Where am me? Where am me, Mommy?"

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Sweetest Thing

Yesterday was a hard day at Church. Fussy baby and resistant primary children. My daughter threw a tantrum at the end of church because she didn't want to go home. Husband was dawdling talking to someone and I decided to leave without him. My feet hurt because none of my shoes fit post pregnancy. I was pushing the stroller with a crying baby in it, trying to get the toddler to walk instead of sit down in the middle of the street and play with rocks.


I finally motivated her into moving by chasing her down the sidewalk. Once we got close to our house I passed her and headed down the driveway. Then she had her final meltdown.

Sitting in the dirt, screaming "NO!! You chase ME mommy!" She was not happy with my passing her.

James was still crying in the stroller and I was in a hurry to get inside and nurse him. I couldn't leave Jenny out in the street unattended, and I was trying to coax her inside.

I offered letting her push her shopping cart. I offered candy. I offered bath time. Nothing worked.

Suddenly James stopped crying. I felt my stress level instantly drop a notch.

At the same time I saw Brent striding towards us at the end of the street. He looked so handsome and tall walking toward me carrying his leather bag and wearing his dark suit. I have one sexy husband!

I pointed him out to Jenny and encouraged her to go run to him. It took her a minute to figure out where I was pointing and to see him. When she saw him she instantly stopped whining, stood up, and ran to him.

In that moment I felt such joy. Yes I had been having a hard day. However, seeing my adorable child totter down the street with her arms out happily shrieking "Daddy!" and giggling as she ran, and watching the love of my life walk briskly toward her and call out her name, filled my heart to the brim.

I love these people. They are my life.

It was the sweetest, most perfect moment, watching those two run to each other.

I am confident my life will be filled with many more such wonderful moments, but how can such joy be surpassed?

This is what it's all about.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Portrait of Jenny

My dear friend Jenn is a professional artist and she has done the most beautiful portrait of her son. It inspired me to ask her to do one of Jenny. She came over and took some pictures of Jenny to gather inspiration for the portrait. She did a couple sketches for me to help me decide what I'd like.


I'd like all of you to weigh in on this for me. You all know me and know Jenny. What do you think would be best? Please vote in the poll in the sidebar.

Option #1: Mother and Daughter. I love the way this captures the relationship, and think it would make a beautiful painting. However, I do already have some photographs of me like this with her, though admittedly most of them are when she was an infant and not a toddler. It would show more detail of her face than the next one.

Option #2: Jenny and Bear. I think this one shows her personality a little more, and I love her posture and the way she drags that bear around. This one would be more of her profile, which I have to admit I love.


What do you think?

It is a Truth Universally Acknowledged That . . .

Autumn Colours

The vibrancy and crispness of the outdoors during Autumn always thrills me. Who doesn't love it? And crunching leaves beneath my feet? Delightful!


I think it's somehow God's gift to us to make up for the dreariness that is soon to follow. We know that soon everything will be brown, grey, cold, and nasty. For months. And then a couple more months.

Could God possibly be saying "I know you all suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. So sorry about that, but natural laws must be obeyed and whatnot. Perhaps one last bash before the grey settles over your life, hmm?"

Yesterday it snowed. The decline and fall of beauty has begun. I wished to hold on to the colour just a little while longer, but alas, natural laws must be obeyed. The earth must rotate. The seasons must change. The gloom is inevitable.

Memories of Fall colours and hopes of Spring life serve to sustain me during the winter. True, I have the holidays to look forward to, but those last only through the first couple months of winter. It's January - March that make you want to abandon your life and responsibilities and run away to Belize.

Anyone want to come along? Let's leave January 2nd.

The Apple and the Tree Part II

I have heard reports from my mother that as a child I screamed in my sleep. I only recall two specific epithets being described to me.


Get down, Jip! (Jip was our beloved yet counter-jumping dog who loved to steal forbidden food.)

and

I hate you! (With the occasional variation of I hate you, Davy!)

Apparently tantrums weren't enough of a release, and so I had to purge myself during unconscious hours too.

Jenny does the same.

Usually her exclamations are something like No! NO! NOOOO! or I WANT it! or STOP IT!

She wakes me up usually twice a night, sometimes more, with her screaming. I used to go in her room to see what the problem was. Then I realized she was asleep. Now I try to ignore it. But it's hard. It wrenches a mother's heart.

My poor overemotional girl. Just like a true toddler.

Just like a true girl.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Fun Project

Granny invited us over to her house a few weeks ago. Brent was out of town and I was trolling for something to do.


Grandpa was also out of town, and so JaeReg and her kiddos were babysitting Granny. As the evening's activity, Granny had baked and frosted cookies to paint.

Here are some of my and Jenny's creations.



Jenny never ate a whole cookie. She enjoyed gouging the frosting and nibbling the edges, though.

Thanks again, Granny, for the fun night!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Apple and the Tree

I believe all mothers have feelings of inadequacy. We wonder if we're doing everything the best way we can for our kids. We are riddled with doubt and fear. Here are a few questions I've been asking myself lately:


Am I handling my child's tantrums appropriately?

How best should I discipline my child?

What can I do to get my child to eat more vegetables?

What can I do to get my child to eat more of anything other than candy?

What can I do to get my child to eat anything at all?

Am I providing enough of a stimulating environment?

How can I give more one-on-one time and still get the dishes done?

How can I suppress the desire to yell "Shut up!" at my kids?

How can I balance my attention-giving so each child has his/her needs met?

Am I permanently scarring my child by the way I'm (fill in the blank)?

Oi.

What children don't realize is that parents don't have all the answers. We are not the sum of all wisdom. We're not sure how to handle most situations. We just do the best we can.

When I was a kid I thought that my parents' word was law. I thought they knew what they were doing, and when it didn't happen to suit me (for instance, when my screaming reached such a pitch that I was ordered to go to my room) I felt that they were making me suffer on purpose. This belief urged me to scream louder to punish my mother for punishing me.

My mother says that I was a sweet and happy baby. I never made an unhappy sound. Then she says when I turned two I started screaming and never stopped.

I now know how she feels. I have a two year old who has started screaming.

As a child I strongly identified with Beverly Cleary's character Ramona Quimby. Ramona was the little sister. Ramona suffered many injustices in the world, at least in her eyes. Ramona was always making great big noisy fusses. I learned from her how to make my noisy fusses great and big. She taught me, for instance, that when exiled to one's bedroom, the tantrum need not end. In fact, it must escalate in order to serve its purpose. However, a tantrum taking place in a closed room is much more easily ignored by the supervising adult. So the effort channeled into the tantrum must increase.

Ramona's greatest teaching moment for me in this regard is when she put on her Sunday shoes (because they had that hard heel) and laid on her bed sideways so that she could kick the wall. The heel not only make a louder sound against the wall than if she kicked it with tennis shoes or stockinged feet, but they also made rather satisfying black scuff marks as well.

I know I followed Ramona's example on more than one occasion. I don't know if it served it's purpose in making my mother suffer as I was suffering, but now that I'm a mother suffering at the hand of my toddler, I assume it did. Mom never mentioned the wall-kicking though. She probably didn't want to draw attention to it. That gave me permission to keep doing it. And I did. Until my mother kept ignoring it so long that it felt futile. What was the point of destruction if it didn't get me anywhere?

I feel empathy for my daughter. I remember what it was like to be so full of dissatisfaction, frustration, and unmet needs and desires that I was always on emotional overload. It doesn't feel good, and I needed an outlet. My daughter clearly does too.

Jenny screams and whines at the slightest provocation. She never behaves this way in front of extended family. No auntie or grandparent privy to her whining has ever heard what those little lungs can really do.

When Jenny throws a tantrum there is much screaming and mucous flowing. As I remain unmoved by her histrionics, she elevates them. Her screaming becomes strained and forced, to the point that I know she's hurting her throat.

"Good!" She probably thinks. "That'll show mom!"

Ah, poor girl. If only I could explain in toddlerese that these tactics will not prove fruitful. They will only upset her and me both, resulting in neither one of us getting what we want.

Someday I will be the grandparent. She will be the mother with the hysterical toddler. She'll get hers, poor kid.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Positive Reinforcement


Jenny: I want that.

Brent: No, Jenny, I need to use it.

Jenny: I want it!

Brent: In a minute. Right now I need it.

Jenny: I WANT IT!

Brent: Right now it's Daddy's turn. When I'm done you can have a turn.

Jenny: Aaaahhhh!!!! I . . . WANT . . . IT!!!!

[Brent finishes what he's doing]

Brent: Okay, Jenny, I'm all done. It's your turn now.

Jenny: I drawing

[Jenny draws]

Jenny: I writing

[Jenny writes]

Jenny: Good sharing, Daddy!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Substitution

I've been reflecting on the things I need to change in my life and things I need to give up.

I need to give up Halloween candy.

I need to give up some of the time I spend online.

I need to give up complaining.

I need to give up the idea that I am the way I am and am incapable of change.

Once I give up those things I need to replace them with positive things.

Eliminating negative things/thoughts/behaviors from our lives isn't good enough. They need to be supplanted. In their place we need to substitute positive things, positive thoughts, and positive behaviors.

If every time I went to grab a piece of Halloween candy I did 50 jumping jacks instead and drank a glass of water, not only would I avoid the extra calories from the candy, but I'd rev up my metabolism to burn a few more than I would have otherwise.

If I gave up some of the time I spend online and spent it instead on reading the scriptures or in personal prayer, I would have an added measure of the Spirit to guide me and sustain me throughout my day, helping me avoid temptation and encouraging me to do good.

If every time I found the need to complain about something I chose to find something to be grateful for instead, I would have a greater measure of happiness in my life.

If I give up the idea that I'm incapable of change and instead truly believe that change is possible then I am facilitating my own change. If I truly believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ, and his redeeming atonement, then I must believe in the power and possibility of change. If we couldn't change, then His sacrifice would have been meaningless. Having faith in Him means having faith in my own ability to change, for it is through His power that I can be changed.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Positive Reinforcement


Jenny is watching Super Why!, a PBS Kids show that she loves. This show is completely responsible for teaching her the alphabet. It was effective enough that she could identify all 26 letters at 18 months old.

From the television I heard Wonder Red, who has WORD POWER ask "What letter makes the errr sound?"

I responded "R!"

Jenny followed up with "Good job, Mommy!"

Later on I heard Super Why with the POWER TO READ ask "What would help Spider not frighten Miss Muffet away? Bark at, smile at, or yell at?"

I shouted "smile at!"

Super Why said "Let's try smile at."

Jenny said "Good job, Mommy!"

I felt so good. It's a nice feeling to get encouragement and positive reinforcement from someone you love, even if it comes from a two year old.

Sappy Mama

My son has the sweetest smile I've ever seen. It takes up half his face. It bursts forth like a ray of light and happiness. It makes my heart just melt!

Now I know that sounds totally cliche, but it's true! Whenever he smiles I literally have this sensation in my chest like my innards are turning to jelly. He bowls me over every time. I love that kid.

Yesterday my daughter told me "I love you, Mama." for the first time without prompting. She'll tell me she loves me if I ask her to, but this was of her own volition. :) It was a sweet thing to hear.

Friday, October 9, 2009

YEA!!!

Brent come homes tonight.

There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It Just Isn't Right

After Jenny was born I began to notice my first grey hairs. They seemed to grow in patches. One patch was on the top of my head, right where I part it. Another patch was behind my right ear.

After James was born I noticed even more. Now they are lightly sprinkled throughout. I notice them more because I haven't had my hair done for nearly four months, and my roots are a couple of inches long. Yes, when babies are born mothers tend to neglect their previously lustrous and gorgeous hair. (Except for my mom. I believe she got her hair done when my baby sister was only a few days old.)

I can accept my greying hair. It happens. Colour in a bottle is a happy thing, and I am certainly not too proud to use it.

However, it just does not seem right that I have grey hair at the same time I have acne. Middle-age symptoms and adolescent symptoms should not exist simultaneously in the same body.

I'm 30 years old. Shouldn't I be done with zits by now?

Where's the justice?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Makes Me Thankful . . .

for Loki. Suddenly he doesn't seem quite so annoying.



A Few Personal Letters



Dear Emma: Thank you for your wit and humour. Thanks for feeling like you can vent to me. I'm glad we're sisters. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Dear Jenn: Thanks for being my friend. I'm glad we've started walking together (assuming the weather will allow us to go again). I need someone to motivate me to get off my lazy rear end and kick me into gear. I love your creativity and goodness.

Dear Loki: Please stop meowing so loudly. It's really irritating. Why don't you just curl upon my lap and purr?

Dear Jenny: Please stop kicking the wall and just go to sleep.

Dear James: Thank you for sleeping through the night. You are the best baby ever.


Dear Cottonwood Title: Thanks for the money.

Dear Bono: Thank you for much comfort and inspiration over many years.

Dear neighborhood: I'm glad you're safe and full of people I like.

Dear Brent: Please come home and cook dinner. I love you. And you're dead sexy. Especially when you're cooking dinner.

Dear House: Why can't you just learn to clean yourself?

Dear Laundry: ditto

Dear Rocky Mountains: how I love you. I love your fall colours. I'm not sure why I love the colour of decay, but in Autumn it is just gorgeous. Let's get together soon. How about a leisurely walk in your loveliness this weekend?

Dear Mom: I love your cooking. I love your company. I love your house. I love you.

Dear Jess: I wish I was more like you. I know you aren't perfect and have your own struggles, but you inspire me to improve myself. You have a spirit about you that is calming and nurturing. Thank you for being in my life.

Dear NPR: Thank you for keeping me sane and preventing me from slipping so deeply into mommydom that I forget who I am. Also I thank you for giving me something to talk about with other adults other than the most recent developmental milestone achieved by my children.

Dear Blogger: Why do you insist on adding more spaces between paragraphs than I want? I don't know how to fix it because I am html ignorant. Please stop trying to be smarter than me (like Microsoft Word) and just do what I ask without additional formatting that I do not ask for.

Dear Father in Heaven: Thank you for my life. I know I complain a lot, but I am awfully grateful for my endless blessings.

Happy Birthday Jenny

Not this Jenny:



That Jenny is actually a namesake for this Jenny:




Today is Jennifer Alicia Neddo's 31st birthday. At least, it would be if she hadn't been killed by a drunk driver 14 years ago. (Deseret News coverage of the accident here.)

14 years.

I can't believe it's been that long.

Jenny was my best friend. She was kind, good, loving, creative, and fun. And she had amazing hair. She was like a sister to me, and when I lost her it was like losing half myself. The bulk of my childhood memories are of things I did or imagined with her. She was a good example to me and I believe I was and am a better person than I would have been without her in my life.


We are 13 years old in this picture, taken after coming in from playing in the rain.

There are lots of stories I could tell you about her. Suffice it to say that I loved her. Still do, in fact.

Happy birthday Jen, Jenn, Jenny, Jennie (she liked to rotate her name spelling), also known as Bob.
It's been 14 years since I've seen you, and I still miss you.

Monday, September 28, 2009

More Jenny Conversation

[We drive away from the Homestead and wave to Grandpa, who is standing in the front yard.]

Jenny: That was a Grandpa. I love him.

Mama: I love him too.

Jenny: I love him too.

Mama: And I love him too.

Jenny: I love him too. I love him too. I love him too.

Mama: Do you love him too?

Jenny: Yes. [pause] I want a treat.

Friday, September 25, 2009

We Miss Brent

Brent's been out of town again this week. He gets home tonight around 2130-2200, but since that's after Jenny's bedtime I told her he's coming home tomorrow.

This morning when I got her up the very first words out of her mouth were "Daddy go?"

Here was our conversation:

Jenny: Daddy go?

Mama: He's in Connecticut. He'll be home tomorrow.

Jenny: And I can hold him.

Mama: Yes

Jenny: And I can hold Daddy.

Mama: Yes

Jenny: Daddy come home and I can hold DADDY!




We miss our man.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Delightful


I've been watching Cranford on DVD today. It's a British mini-series with an all-star cast, made in 2007.

It's simple and simply delightful. The acting is wonderful and the writing excellent.

It's about a small English town (that has more than its fair share of single ladies of ascending age) and the goings-on of the townsfolk. Such gentle catastrophes are depicted as to make me smile frequently, occasionally laugh out loud, and even weep once in a while.

It's about people. People who are foolish, selfish, kind, giving, and loving. It's about longing, loving, friendship, and family. It is just wonderful.

Here are two of my favourite lines from one of my favourite characters, a Mrs. Pole (one of the single ladies of ascending age).

"This is no time for sport! There is lace at stake!"

"Men. They're all the same. My father was a man, so I think I understand the sex."

If you like English things and/or tasteful and extremely well written comedy that is simultaneously sweet, check it out. You'll be glad you did. And if you don't like it, then it's because you don't get it and you shouldn't take recommendations from me because clearly we don't have the same taste.

Where'd the Consideration Go?

Public Rant.

I have these wonderful neighbors across the street. I really like them. I do not, however, like it when they throw big parties because inevitably someone parks in front of our driveway.

We have had to ring the doorbell and request the Offending Party to remove their vehicle on more than one occasion.

My neighbor later apologizes and says something like "Ah, if it ever happens again, just call the cops and have them towed."

I'd love to, but first of all that would take too long, and secondly, despite what my neighbor says, I think that might end badly and I don't want to jeopardize my relationship with them.

So the last time this happened Brent had the Offending Party move their car. Many apologies followed. What was he supposed to say? "Oh, that's all right. Feel free. I don't mind."?

After she moved her car she asked him if she could go back and park there again. He said no, that he was leaving again in a half hour and would be in and out all evening.

She asked "Then where can I park?"

Umm. Gee. Let's think about that now. How about ANYWHERE ON THE STREET THAT ISN'T IN FRONT OF MY DRIVEWAY? So sorry if it mean you'll have to walk an extra 20 yards.

Later that night when we came home the parking lot in front of our house was gone. Apparently the party was over. However, it had left its mark.

Our mailbox was no longer in the erect position it had been a couple of hours before.

Grr.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Oi With the Poodles Already

Tuesday I woke up to my whole body aching like I had worked out the day before. It took me a while to realize that it was the result of holding children all day Monday. Getting out of bed was tough! Then Brent left for Connecticut. It made me cry of course, and the crying gave me a headache.

Then James decided to be more fussy than usual, rather than being his normal happy adorable self. He had his two month visit with the pediatrician, and merely getting out the door with two kids was a huge ordeal. Both were crying. What does a mother do when both kids are crying and you need to go to an appointment? Well, you just let them cry, unfortunately.

Walking from the car to the door was another ordeal. Jenny wanted me to hold her, but I couldn't because I was carrying an infant in a heavy car seat. So she walked, but grudgingly and slowly. Did I mention that the car seat was heavy? And that Jenny was taking her dear sweet time as I was holding said heavy car seat? And that my arms were already sore from the workout they got the day before from holding the children ALL DAY LONG? Sometimes the smallest things can be tough.

Checking in was fine, but as soon as we were in the exam room it started up again.

We waited for 45 minutes and I was spending a rather large amount of energy the whole time bouncing the baby. Jenny was mercifully quiet, though not content. She wanted me to hold her, but I was able to distract her by talking about the jungle mural on the walls.

When the doctor finally came in our visit went well. I was able to reduce the vigorous bouncing down to an easy rocking motion without too much trouble. James is growing and developing normally. It's odd for me to have a kid in the 75th percentile after having Jenny the Runt.

Then it was time for the shots. I had been dreading these all morning. Both kids needed them.
I told Jenny she was going to get a poke and that it would hurt, but it would be over really fast and then she'd get a sucker. She kept saying "No Amy poke me." (Amy is the nurse.) "No Amy poke. Just a sucker."

I was glad I was able to prepare her, and it wasn't that bad. James, however, had to get three pokes. He actually settled down quicker than Jenny did, but it put him in a bad mood for the rest of the day. Well, I guess he was already in a bad mood. This just did nothing to help.

Here's a video of Jenny talking about our doctor visit. Notice how rapidly her facial expression changes from on of tragedy to happiness as she goes from talking about her shot to remembering the sucker. (It was a tangerine flavoured Dum-Dum. It smelled really good, but she wouldn't share with me.)

The day followed in much the same way. It was just a parade of delightful events involving more puke, diarrhea (in the bed, in the clothes, down the leg, smeared on the arm, on the floor), crying, whining, and thankfully a little sleeping.

I was looking forward all day to Brent calling me in the evening. When he did I was unable to enjoy my conversation with him because of the kids continuing their challenging behavior. I recall telling Brent to hold on and dropping the phone on at least two occasions, one because, yep, you guessed it, more puke.

Well, I'd better go get the diarrhea load out of the washing machine now and load up the latest vomitous one.

After this lengthy and complaining post (if you've made it this far) I must restate that which I began with:

Oi with the poodles already!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day

Yesterday was Labor Day.

Brent spent the whole day laboring. He had a small home repair to do that should have taken an hour. Instead it took nine hours and five trips to the hardware store.

I spent the day holding children. I was either holding a fussing or nursing infant, or I was holding a sick and whiny toddler. The very few minutes I wasn't holding a child was spent cleaning up puke.

Round about 1800 Brent finished his project (successfully, I might add) and we decided we had to get out of the house. We went to Farm Country at Thanksgiving Point. As soon as we parked and got out of the car, Jenny threw up again. Instead of all over me, it was all over Brent. I think that's a positive thing, since he hasn't had a puking-on in a good long while. I'm usually the lucky one.

Farm country was fun. Here are a few photos for your viewing pleasure.










A Blessing Day



James was blessed this past Sunday. We had tons of family there and it was nice to share the day with all the people I love.

Jenny was sick and lethargic, hence the not so happy girl in the photo.

James was perfect and beautiful. During the blessing Grandpa Rasmussen was on bico duty to keep James happy and fuss-free. (Bico is what we call a binky in my family.) Then James slept the rest of the day.
Thanks to all who came.

A Hard Day

Brent left this morning for Connecticut. It's only for four days. It's really not so bad. However, the knowledge that he'll return on Friday did nothing to prevent me from crying when he left.

You'd think that four years of occasional business trips would prepare me for future business trips. But I always cry. In fact, I think it's getting worse.

The longer I'm with him, the more I love him. The more I love him, the more I hate it when he leaves.

I'm blessed to be so happily married. Not every marriage is a happy one. I'm lucky.

Just Now

Jenny is sitting on my lap and we were just looking at my sister Emma's blog. Emma's most recent post has a bunch of pictures of her son Benjamin and my son James. There are also a couple of pictures of me and Jenny as well.

As I scrolled down the page, Jenny narrated each picture.

"Benjamin."

"Benjamin and James."

"James and Benjamin."

"James."

"Benjamin."

The last picture was a picture of the two babies lying on a blanket, me lying half on the blanket, half on the grass, and Jenny lying on top of me in preparation for our flying game where she rides on my legs.

She narrated it: "A Family!"

Yes. We are a family. Thanks be to God.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bedroom Declutter

It is time, once again, to purge.

Today I spent 30 minutes in my bedroom clearing out my closet and dresser.

I threw out/gave away

  • 4 wire hangers (at least there weren't any clothing on them getting stretched out at the shoulders)
  • 8 pairs of shoes (ugly, old, scuffed, don't fit anymore, still cute but never did fit well enough, hurt my feet, always make me trip, etc.)
  • a bunch of clothes (mostly shirts that look nasty on me, but that I've hung onto anyway just in case I magically drop 3 cup sizes)
  • 1 old digital camera (probably could be fixed but I'm not smart enough to do it and we have a new one anyway)
  • 2 pairs of sunglasses (bent and crooked, was cute 5 years ago)
  • 1 purse (sort of cute, but not cute enough Kate Spade knock-off)
  • 1 nasty old pillow (the best pillow I've ever had and now that it's worn out I can't sleep very well at night and my neck and shoulders always hurt when I wake up. I've tried to find an adequate replacement 3 times, but haven't yet found one as good.)
  • Assorted trash that just seems to accumulate on flat surfaces and in drawers

I also put away most of my maternity clothing. I kept the pants out. I still can't fit into my regular pants, and I refuse to buy a size bigger than my current fat-pants, so until I can fit into them, maternity pants or stretchy pants it is.

I feel so virtuous. I love getting rid of stuff.

Tomorrow I'll do the bathroom.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Last Night's Dirty Dishes

I stumble back to bed after the 0600 feeding. I'm hoping to get just one more hour of sleep so that my cumulative total will allow me to function today without depression.

Life with a newborn has taught me that I can survive on 6 hours of total sleep, fragmented though it may be. If I get at least 6 hours I can function. I can deal with my toddler without wanting to scream and pull my hair out. I may not be happy, but at least I'm not crying.

If I get less than 6 hours I am a bear. I feel out of sorts, depressed, angry, tired, and become just an all-around unmotivated grump.

If I get more than 6 hours, I feel like myself. I'm in total control. I'm happy and content.

Fortunately I get 6 hours most of the time and slightly more than 6 occasionally.

Unfortunately (for both me and my children) I get less than 6 hours occasionally as well.

This has been one of those nights. One of those Zzz<6.>

The clock reads 0630. My husband is just getting back from his morning run. Please don't wake up the baby; I try to send him my message through ESP.

Of course the "one more hour, just one more hour, please oh please, just one more hour" I try to get doesn't happen. The husband has to get ready for work and is moving around the bathroom and kitchen. How come the baby can sleep through that and I can't? I doze. I lie there with my eyes closed and whimper.

0730. Husband is still rattling around. Baby is crying. I drag myself out of bed, grumbling all the way across the room and down the hall. I carry crying baby to the diaper changing station I've set up on my bed.

I change diaper.

Baby squeals and grunts.

Baby smiles.

Mommy melts.

We coo at each other for a minute.

Suddenly everything feels good. It's okay that I didn't get enough sleep because I have the most gorgeous, smart, amazing, and perfect baby in the world. Have you seen those dimples?

Baby is lying happily on the bed for a few minutes, so I figure I can go get a bite to eat before the toddler wakes up.

That's when it happens (like it happens almost every morning).

I walk into the kitchen and am confronted with Last Night's Dirty Dishes.

Depression instantly sets in. I'm back to grumbling.

Why is it that I am incapable of cleaning the kitchen up the night before? Yes, I'm tired. That's always my excuse. But it's so much WORSE to clean up a dirty kitchen when I'm tired in the morning than when I'm tired at night.

I should think I would have learned my lesson by now, but there's ample evidence sitting on the counters proving otherwise.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Toddler Fashionista

My mother taught me that the only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.

And when you think about it, you realize that truly it is the accessories that make the outfit. Plain black pants and black top. Boring. Add a long necklace, some dangly earrings and some red shoes and BAM you look fantastic.

I'm teaching Jenny this subtle art and she has taken to it with aplomb.

Here we have Her Darlingness simply dressed in a hot pink top. She has chosen to set herself apart from the crowd of other two year old girls with a simple turquoise ball cap. This one is unique with its shimmering texture and bold graphic of Jenny's favourite Disney princess. Simple. Tasteful. An ideal accessory for dressing up any casual toddler outfit.



Next Jenny models the new trend in sporty eyewear. Not only do these goggles function to hold your hair back and make everything look a very exciting shade of blue, but they just prove that you can find fashionable statements anywhere, even in your father's gym bag. Paired with a simple white onesie, this girl looks ready for adventure and looks good doing it.




Here our charming girl reveals the truth that fashion trends tend to reemerge every 20 years. The 80's provide inspiration for this style. Pink is the dominant hue here, with other neon colours accented in the t-shirt and sippy cup. A pink bow starts the look off right at the top of her head, and she finishes nicely with a pair of leg warmers in lieu of pants. A comfortable style that allows for ease of movement, yet hints at those timeless lyrics "Let's get physical, physical. I wanna get physical."



Last up Jenny shows us the latest fads in grunge style: skulls. This pirate themed look turns soft and sassy when the black do-rag is softened by the butterfly and heart t-shirt. Of course no outfit is complete without an exotic seashell necklace, which can be found in the grass at a park near you.


Well there you have it. Let's give a round of applause for our gorgeous model who has so well shown us that you can take a boring, frumpy outfit, and turn it into a head-turning trend, just by adding one or two carefully selected accessories. Big fashion on a small budget.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I Hate Exercise

My first failure at an attempt to exercise came in high school.

My friend Aimee and I decided to go walking in the mornings before school. We started out great. It was helpful to have someone outside in the wee sma's of the morning to motivate me to get my sorry arse out of bed. I didn't want to stand her up.

Well, I'm not sure who stood up whom first, but I guess it was inevitable. We started missing more often than we would have liked, and after a while it got cold and we stopped doing it altogether.

The following 13-14 years have followed the same pattern. I commit myself to exercising. I make goals. I take baseline measurements. I make a log. I exercise.

Then I remember I hate exercising.

Then I stop exercising.

I don't think I've ever reached any of my exercising goals. Ever.

Part of my problem is that with my chronic health problems, I have overactive pain receptors in my brain. Basically that means that when I stub my toe it hurts me more and longer than when you stub your toe. My brain doesn't shut down the pain signal.

What that means for exercise is that it doesn't get easier. It continues to hurt. I do it for a few weeks, thinking that it'll get easier as I get in shape and my muscles get used to the new activity.

Well, that's never happened yet. I'm sure part of the problem is that I don't stick with it long enough. Don't get me wrong. I get stronger. I build endurance. I get more fit (marginally). But it doesn't get easier. I don't learn to like it.

And what's with the "endorphin rush" I've heard about? All I feel is dread, pain, and exhaustion when I work out. I don't feel any high when I'm done. I think all runners are masochistic. How can running possibly feel good, people?

When I'm done exercising I feel a grim sort of satisfaction. I feel like a martyr. I sacrificed my comfort to the gods of fitness, and there is a slim sort of achievement in that. But I never learn to look forward to my workouts.

Now that I'm about 7 weeks postpartum, I'm feeling the urge to get this baby fat off my jiggly tummy. So it begins again.

I've made goals. I've even started working on them.

If history repeats itself I'll fail miserably in about 3-4 weeks. Finding the time to exercise is likely going to be an excuse for why I stop since my children won't let me work out unless they are both asleep. They are rarely asleep at the same time.

I have a whole list of (what to me are valid) excuses.

This very blog post is of course showing my defeated mental state and has doomed me to failure before I've hardly begun.

So how do I change this about myself? Is it even possible? People change so infrequently, and when they do it is quite gradual.

The scriptures teach us that God gives us weaknesses on purpose that we may come to Him and overcome them. We are taught that our weaknesses may become our strengths. Hmm. It must be possible.

So here we go again.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Four Happy Years

The proposal (reenactment)

The engagement



The wedding



Four years later we are a happy family of four



I love you. Happy anniversary.


P.S.
to the Noel's for setting us up on that blind date!

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Importance of Syntax: an Example

Have you ever been in a room full of people when something totally funny yet not intended to be funny happens and no one gets it but you and your spouse? Well some things just can't be scripted.

Things like that seem to happen with regularity at activities held by my church. My congregation holds a monthly activity. Dinners, talent shows, picnics, roller skating, golf tournaments, etc. Usually it's for the entire family, but occasionally it's just for adults.

At the big dinners there's often some kind of entertainment which is what you might expect from a bunch of Mormons who aren't Osmonds or otherwise trained in the entertainment business. It often includes acts that range from mildly amusing, legitimately funny, to downright inappropriate. (I am reminded of the time that in an effort to be humorous someone on stage defamed an ordained minister beloved by millions of children by implying that he was a pedophile.)

Well the activity for this month is being billed as the "Adult Themed Dinner".

?

We were rather surprised at this theme as it seems a little more, ahem, tolerant than the church typically is. Last year the adults of the congregation were assigned to dinner groups. Each group picked a different locale and dressed and served food accordingly. For example, there could be a table decorated in Mexican paraphernalia, at which the people would wear ponchos and eat tacos. I guess the idea was you could walk around and exclaim at the creativity of the other tables and just enjoy a rip roarin' good time with the irreverence it would seemingly foster.

Well this year the theme seems much more irreverent than usual. The Adult Themed Dinner will no doubt inspire much giggling, a few snide comments, a handful of blushes, a smattering of smirks, and many wide eyes.

Brent and I have decided to go as Submission and Dominatrix. Anyone have some fuzzy handcuffs we can borrow? Hmm . . . perhaps we should book a confession meeting with the Bishop in advance.

What's that you say?

Oh. You mean it's a Themed Dinner for Adults? Oh, I see. Silly me. I understand now. My mistake.

I guess I'll have to return that whip and blindfold to the novelty store now.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sunbeam

Brent: What should we name your horsey?
Jenny: Ummm.
Brent: Should we name it Silverado?
Jenny: No.
Brent: Should we name it Desperado?
Jenny: No.
Brent: Should we name it Stanley?
Jenny: No. Umm . . . how 'bout Sunbeam?
Brent: Okay, Sunbeam. That's a wonderful name for a horsey.
Jenny: Or . . . Child of God!
Thanks to Ethan for rescuing Sunbeam for Jenny. She loves it.

Friday, August 7, 2009

James is 1 month old today!

If you're not James' auntie or grandparent you probably won't get much out of this post. Sorry. This is for James and baby lovers only.

This is a little video of James, 10 hours after birth, and opening his eyes for the first time. Then it's him at 1 month old doing nothing but looking at the camera and being adorable.

What a difference one month makes! I already miss my little newborn.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

If You're a Child of the '80s . . .

then you'll love this video.

Total Eclipse of the Heart music video, literal version.

It is a delightful mocking tribute to the ridiculous music videos that were created in the early days of MTV.

Click here.

Friday, July 31, 2009

I can't get her to keep her hands out of the potty


Equal Opposition

A couple of days ago I spent my entire morning in one of three situations.

1. I was holding James and Jenny was crying/whining.
2. I was holding Jenny and James was screaming.
3. I was holding both Jenny and James and they were both screaming.

It wasn't very fun.

However, I suppose I needed the experience to balance the universe out from the morning I had the day before which was total bliss.

I was sitting in the basement watching Lion King with Jenny. I had one arm wrapped around her as she sat on my left leg. James was on my right leg and in my right arm nursing. He was happy. Jenny was happy. I was happy.

Jenny kept giggling and kissing James' toes and giving me hugs. She was so delightful and having the greatest time. I felt so incredibly grateful to be the mother of these two amazing kids.

I am so blessed to be surrounded by loved ones.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Adventures in Motherhood

I have a childhood memory that involves waking up in the middle of the night and puking. I remember my mother rousing my older sister to strip my bed to wash the bedding. She then put me in the bathtub. As she vigorously washed my hair I recall her muttering "I'm going to KILL David when he gets home."

Years later when I shared this recollection with my mom she said that she remembered the incident. Apparently half the house was sick, there was a young baby, and my dad had abandoned my mother to go camping or hunting or something.

This memory came back vividly today as I had my own mommy challenge to cope with.

It began with James' explosive diaper leaking all over my bed, soaking through the sheets and mattress pad. No biggie. That happens.

Then Jenny discovered how to crawl up onto the counter and got into some peanut butter. Heretofore things on the counter top have been safe from her, but alas no longer. Jenny comes into the living room where I'm nursing James to show me her prize, and being a toddler, promptly begins to rub it in her eyes.

Jenny happens to be allergic to peanuts, so immediately I whip into action. I have to put down the nursing baby, which of course makes him scream. "Sorry James!" I tell him, but in this moment a screaming baby is less of a problem than the potential of anaphylactic shock in my toddler.

I'm trying to clean Jenny up, but she continues to rub the peanut butter into her eyes. I'm washing her hands and face, and she's crying the whole while because her face has erupted into a bad rash, and I know it's hurting her.

She refuses to take any Benadryl, and so we have a power struggle about that. All the while I'm listening closely to her breathing to make sure her airway isn't swelling shut. She finally calms down and takes her medicine, and though her face is red and puffy, her breathing is fine and she seems to be okay. Into the bathtub we go.

By now James has quieted down and only whimpers occasionally. I decide not to disturb him and he drifts off to sleep in his swing, thank heavens, as I bathe Jenny. Soon she tells me her tummy hurts.

"That's because you're hungry sweetheart" I tell her, assuming it's hunger since she's hardly eaten anything in days. "Do you want some food?"

"No. All done bath."

I get her out and she proceeds to puke all over herself, me, the floor, the clean towels, and pretty much the entire bathroom, except for the toilet that I'm holding her over.

Of course that is very upsetting to her and she's crying and has bile in her mouth and nose that she can't get rid of. She allows me to wipe her up and put her back in the bathtub. More crying and needing to be held. At least the puffy face has gone away and I'm no longer worried about her allergies.

Meanwhile I'm praying that James will stay asleep.

I finally got Jenny cleaned and calmed, but by now I'm in more than a little pain from the 3rd degree laceration on my perineum. Alas, I cannot sit down because now begins the vomit and baby poop cleanup.

Thankfully Jenny is at this point happily watching Aladdin, though she refuses to put on clothes. Hopefully she won't tear off her diaper and pee on the floor next.

Then my mom and sister show up with lunch. All is restored to peace and happiness.

Fun times. My mother survived it, and I guess I will too.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Family Photos

Thanks to Shelley for making us look better than we do in real life!


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