Friday, September 24, 2010

Things They Do

Jenny often wants to wear my diamond ring. When I refuse she gets a small hair elastic and wears it on her finger and calls it her wedding ring.

Jenny likes to pick out her own outfits

James likes to feel the skin at the edge of clothing. He often fingers my arm just underneath my cuff or the skin at my neckline as we cuddle during his lullaby. He also does it to himself whenever I lay him down for bed or a diaper change.

Delicious. I could just eat this kid.
Jenny grabs the camera whenever she sees it. She can operate it pretty well. She turns it on, looks through the viewfinder, and then tells me to move a little bit this way or a little bit that way and then orders me to "say cheese". She has taken many many many exceedingly unflattering pictures of me. And several of the floor and her legs and her toys.
Jenny's still life photography

James shrieks. Loudly. All the time. Jenny shrieks back. Then they scream at each other at precisely the same pitch and with the same timbre with a blend only siblings can create. At times I can't tell them apart.
"Look Mommy! We're in a bathtub!"

Jenny enjoys drinking straight lemon juice. She also likes to taste salt and pepper. She shakes it into her palm and then licks it. Over and over until I stop her. She also likes to eat butter. She dips her finger in it, just like I did as a child. She'd eat spoonfuls of it if I'd let her.
Jenny tried to apply mascara

James crawls down the stairs halfway, then pauses, then comes back up. Then back down. Then back up. Then he swings the baby gate back and forth. Shrieking in delight and pride all the while.
Playing together instead of screaming at each other. A rare and delightful thing.

Jenny cries out every night for me. Her scared little voice sobbing in the darkness for her mama. I go in. We snuggle. I tell her I love her. She goes back to sleep.
Bear Lake 2010

James giggles when I kiss him on the chest. He also likes it on the neck. Kissing him on the belly doesn't do much for him. He also likes it when I nibble his toes.

Still hanging on. No walking yet.
Jenny wraps towels and blankets around her body and then says "Look Mom, I a princess!"

Bear Lake 2010
James generally won't let me take pictures of him. He immediately makes a beeline for the camera and grabs it from me or screams if I don't give it to him.

Can you resist that smile? I didn't think so.
James likes to put his hands in my or Brent's shoes and then crawl around, pushing them along in front of him.
Super Rainbow Girl

Jenny likes to put on my stilettos and sling-backs and walk around, heels clacking loudly on the tile. Often she's wearing nothing else.
I remember doing this as a kid. Only the shoes of my choice were my mother's cream colored open toed pumps.

Neither of my children will let me shower or bathe alone. If they hear water running, they find me and scream until they are in the water with me.
The most fun they ever have together. 

Both of them like to mow the lawn with Daddy. At the same time.

A favorite Saturday morning activity
I love my kids.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Another Prayer

Dear Heavy Fadder,

Fank you for Shelley to come over.
Fank you for Benjamin to play . . . wif me.
Fank you for to help Jenny not be whiny.
Bless us to sleep good.

In de name of Jesus Christ,


Are we seeing a theme already?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Jenny Prays All By Herself

Dear Heavenly Fadder,

Fank you for Noelle to play wif me.
Fank you for us to sleep good tonight.
Please bless Mommy to be patient.
Please bless James to be not scream and whiny.
Please bless Jenny to sleep well.

In the name of Jesus Christ,


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Rite of Passage (for both mother and daughter)

It's official. I'm a total failure.

I've failed at a lot of things in my life. Not one to brag here, but I've got some pretty good failures on my curriculum vitae. I wouldn't call myself a champion or professional failure, but I've definitely walked the road of defeat.

Today I failed in the capacity as a mother. That's right. I'm a bad, bad, bad mom.

Today was my first-born child's first day of school. And not just the first day of the year. The first day of school in her whole life. In her entire 3.5 years of living she has never been to school until now. And can you believe it? I didn't take a picture of her in all her first-day glory before dropping her off.

No picture for the blog, for her scrapbook, for her memories. I failed her.

A successful mother would have planned ahead. A dedicated mother would have remembered last night that a certain little girl had smudged the lens of the camera with her grubby little fingertips and would have had the forethought to do a load of laundry so a clean microfiber cloth would have been handy to clean said lens.

A competent mother would have imbued such a sense of excitement in her daughter about her first day of school that the daughter would not have had an emotional breakdown right as it was time to get in the car, thus making the mother late.

A proper mother would have found some way to more effectively stem the tide of tears that ensued after explaining that it was against the rules to take any toys to preschool as she heartlessly removed them from the Hello Kitty backpack.

A decent mother would have made sure to capture the moment of departure appropriately, as is its due as a rite of passage, and immortalized it for all time on a pink and green paisley matted scrapbook page.

Alas, one more thing to add to my list of personal failings.

On the up side, I DID make the time and had the patience to paint my daughter's fingernails and toenails the colors of her choice while dressing her.
I DID remember the teacher's instructions to put the daughter's bathing suit under her clothes and pack a towel.
I DID remember to pay tuition on the first class of the month, thus qualifying for the $5 early-pay discount.
I DID remember to put the baby in the car before we left, rather than leaving him alone in his crib for the 20 minutes it would take me to return.
I even succeeded in sufficiently distracting my alternately writhing/screaming and wiggling/giggling daughter during the drive over with talk about farm animals so that her socks and shoes remained on her feet until arrival.


Maybe I can do this after all.

Does a picture after-the-fact still count? Even if it's blurry with finger smudges?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Good For Me

When Brent and I were dating, I told him that I was anti-social, and would infinitely prefer staying home with a book to going out to any social event, especially LDS ward parties.

He agreed with me wholeheartedly. He said that he too preferred to stay home and hated socializing and having to "be on" when he was tired after a long week working away from home. (Back then, he traveled for work something like 48 weeks out of the year. Yes. Insane. Glad he doesn't have that job any more.) He said he loved to read and hated to party.

Ah, that response was music to my ears. I thought that truly I had found my soulmate. Someone who would want to be home with me and wouldn't want to leave me to hang out with the guys.

You know what?

He lied.

He didn't mean to. He thought he was speaking the truth. When I said "any social event" and he said "me too" what he really meant was "singles ward events". And really, can you blame him? Anyone who has been a member of a LDS singles ward for more than a couple of years can understand that one. Ugh.

As it turns out my husband is quite the social butterfly. Not only does he like to attend all ward parties, block parties, charity events, holiday activities, and other engagements that we're invited to, but he actually prefers to host parties.

Usually about once a month Brent asks me if I'd like to have so-and-so and so-and-so to dinner. He's not really asking. He knows what my answer will be. He's just telling me. So I smile and put on my happy face and start thinking about all the cleaning that has to be done before we have 30 people over for dinner. Again. Didn't we just do that?

So I grumble to myself and get a migraine at the thought of entertaining that many people and having them in my house, my sanctuary, my safe and private space. I clean and hurt my back and gag on the smell of smoking and carcinogenic flesh that permeates my house.

And then the guests arrive.

And you know what?

I always have a good time. And I'm always glad that Brent made me do it.

I would NEVER invite people over (unless my children share a bloodline with you). It just doesn't occur to me.

And so I'm glad. I'm glad I have a husband that led me astray during our courtship. Because of his dinner parties, I meet and converse with people who are genuinely wonderful. Because of his friendliness, I have friends.

And who doesn't need more friends?

So thank you, Mr. Jensen, for once again nudging me out of my comfort zone. You knew I'd enjoy it. And I did.