So Jenny's wheat allergy is negligible. I've considered it so for a while anyway, so that's not real news.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
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
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Jenny has decided that having a time-out is an acceptable price to pay for certain misbehaviors.
Friday, December 4, 2009
"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.)
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Jenny is kicked in the face by a baby's foot.
Monday, November 30, 2009
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.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Jenny grabs my silk curtains with her grubby hands and twists them all around her.
Monday, November 2, 2009
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.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
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.
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 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.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Granny invited us over to her house a few weeks ago. Brent was out of town and I was trolling for something to do.
Monday, October 26, 2009
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:
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
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
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.
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
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
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
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.
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.)
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.
Monday, September 28, 2009
[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
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.
Jenny: And I can hold Daddy.
Jenny: Daddy come home and I can hold DADDY!
Monday, September 21, 2009
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.
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.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
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
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.
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.
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 and James."
"James and 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
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
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
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
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
Monday, August 17, 2009
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.