Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Who's that kid with the Oreo cookie?

This picture pretty much sums up how I feel about Oreo cookies. They are almost Ode-worthy, but they are a little messy. I am glad I can share their black-teeth (or in Hannah's case, gums) messiness with Hannah. Shaelynn taught me the coolest way to eat Oreos. You take a fork (a small one works best), stab the white filling so the Oreo is firmly on the fork tines, then dunk for about 20 seconds. Mmm, hmmm. I will have to teach Hannah that method so perhaps she can be less messy.

This week has been eventful, but not really.
Mike gave himself a summer haircut
(isn't he handsome?),
and we planted some bushes and some flowers and a tree in our front yard (hopefully they will grow and prosper in spite of my brown thumb), and Kenzie practiced trying my patience.

I think I am going to have to try reading some books on good parenting, because my methods are not succeeding. Any good suggestions out there? I have read "Positive Discipline" and liked it a lot, but I guess I need a refresher, or some new techniques, because everything is a fight. I even caught myself saying, in a not patient tone, "Get your bum over here, right now." (At least I said "bum," right?)

These are our beautiful bushes and flowers in the front yard. We are so excited to see if they grow. Mike has already started digging a new sprinkler line to water them and is planning a total revamp of the entire system. Nothing makes him happier than diagramming and calculating and then digging and getting dirty. :) We have lots of plans for the house and yard this summer, but we will be proud if these just grow. They look tons better than the black tarp and random rocks theme we had going before.

Now that the weather is somewhat nice I suppose I should repent of my Spring-hatred. Many things in spring are marvelous. Let's see. . . I love Easter (Peeps are my personal absolute favorite, but I love Easter for the resurrection aspect). Tulips are pretty. Daffodils, too. Ummm. . . the heating bill and gas bill lowering is a pretty good one (thanks Kristen), and rain puddles are marvelous. So there you see, I suppose it's all in the attitude, but I still despise wind.

This is how Kenzie has insisted on dressing the last three days. She comes out in the morning all dressed. . . like this. I wouldn't let her go outside until she changed, but every morning it was the same cute outfit. I had to hide the fabulous swimsuit. She looks so cute and innocent. Don't let her fool you. She's plotting her next crying attack. Someone please tell me how to get my happy child (and my patience) back.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Bah Humbug!

I hate spring. None of this fluffy bunnies, beautiful flowers crap for me. To me Spring means mud, wind and ugly trees. It means that snot production is up 100%. It means my nose is raw, it means my hair is tangled, it means my lips are dry. It means it looks nice outside but it is really freezing. It means my car is really hot to drive in, but when I get out I wish I had my jacket. It means allergies and sneezing! It means when I kneel down on the grass my pants get really wet. It means spiders invade my house. It means mosquitos.
Bah Humbug!
(Kenzie has croup too with a nasty cough attached. This is not adding to my love of Spring, and I only hope we didn't spread it around when we thought it was just a "clear your throat" problem, and we let her play with everyone at our Saturday bbq at the Haws'. Sorry everybody.)

Friday, April 18, 2008

This is your brain. . . this is your brain on motherhood

Here are a few snippets from what my brain processed yesterday:

With Mike when he got home from school: "And the flash memory was working! I took a wave file and we were sampling at a rate of 2 per second. . ."

During Joyschool: "I gots to tell you something! I gots to tell you something!" "Cough, cough! Teacher, Tayson gave me his cough." "Mom, I just want to be alone."

Before a run with Kenzie and Hannah in the *&%$^# double jogger: "Kenzie, it's cold outside, here's your jacket." "No, Mom! It won't be cold." "Fine. It's really going to be cold though. Let's put your jacket on." "No." "Fine." (I grab her jacket, just in case)

During the run: "Mom! I want to go home! Where are we going? I'm soooo cold. No blanket! It's in my eyes!" Kenzie grabs Hannah's blanket.
"Kenz, if you don't give that back to Hannah, I'm going to take your blanket away. One. . . Two . . .Three . . . Kenz! I'm stopping now. Give me the pink blanket. Here's your pink jacket."
"I don't want my pink jacket! I want my pink blankie."
"Kenzie, here is your pink jacket. It will help you to not be cold. You cannot have your pink blankie. I told you I would take it away. " (Of course I am very calm during this exchange. The only reason I am huffing is because I am out of breath.)
"Nooooooooo! I WANT MY PINK BLANKIE!" (Amazingly, Hannah is quiet. She has reached the "stroller daze" state of mind, where she calmly stares at everything.)
"I'm not stopping again. If you don't want to be cold, put your jacket on right now. One. . . two. . . three. . . Okay I'm going again."
"I want my pink blankie. I want my pink blankie!" (accompanied by heart-rending, screaming sobs)

I am surprised at how mean I can be sometimes. I did not give in. I stuck firmly to my no pink blankie policy, although I did stop after 6 minutes (yes I timed it) of incessant choking sobs to make her put her jacket on and give her some goldfish crackers. Hannah fell asleep.
Here is our conversation after the goldfish. (Amazingly the crying stopped.)

"Mom, you forgot to close the sack." (It was a ziploc bag) I have started running again, only slightly annoyed that I can't run for more than 6 minutes continuously.
"No Kenzie, if I close the sack, you can't get it open."
"Yes I can mom. Like the the the the. . . "
"The Little Engine that could?"
"Yeah, and the little girl." That morning we had our joyschool lesson on trying new things, and of course we read "The Little Engine that Could." I also told a story about a little girl trying the diving board for the first time.
She listened! I was amazed. I had to stop and close the sack. Every week I ask her what she learned at Joyschool and she says, "We had a snack." or "We played with toys " or, my favorite, "About being good." I know that the other moms are giving these awesome lessons, so her answers are just funny. She was so pleased when she managed to open it, and it gave her something to concentrate on.

The end of the run: (finally) "Mom. It's windy. You should put a sweater on." (I am not inappropriately dressed. I have capris and a tshirt on.) "I'm HUFF not really HUFF cold." "Why mom? Why? Why? Why aren't you cold?"
"Because HUFF when we run HUFF HUFF, we get warm."
When we got home, Kenzie promptly ran to her room and put a tank top on. When I told her we couldn't wear just a tank top, she told me it was because she was warm, from going on a run.

Whoever said that "twos" were terrible, hadn't gone through "threes" yet. Does anyone else have a supremely sad and bossy little person? Actually I guess she is more bipolar than just sad. She is so happy one moment, but one wrong move, the wrong cup for water or the wrong way of putting her in the car, and she explodes into inconsolable tears. Sometimes she yells at me that she wants to be alone, then she clings to me and wants me to hold her. She is mercurial!

Kenzie is also very tenderhearted. She is sometimes overwhelmed by loud noises and lots of people, and will put herself in time out at JoySchool, or try to hide from everyone during free playtime. One day she brought me a poetry book that had a picture of a baby in her diaper sitting there alone. She had tears in her eyes. "This baby wants his mommy." She was so sad! We had to give the baby a blanket and a kiss. Today, we were watching the Heffalump Movie (oh boy! This movie only gets better with each showing). At the end, Roo and Lumpy are reunited with their moms after being lost together for a little bit. Kenzie was sitting on my lap and at this point in the movie she burst into tears and wrapped her little arms around my neck.
"Kenzie, why are you crying?"
"I'm not mom. I'm happy." Sweet Kenzie. We'll make it through threes together.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Hannah's birthday! A post that will be boring to everyone but me.

Hold on to those moments--
rock them,
Gently. Those quiet moments when the
creak of a rocking chair and the dark lashes of your
baby closing on her cheeks are the only things you hear.
Gently, gently.
Cradle those moments

Hannah is 1 year old! She had her year check up on Monday and she is 29.5" long, 21.3 pounds, and her head, which is quite large (this is because Mike used to make fun of babies with large heads), is 47 cm (in the 95%).

Sweet Hannah! She thinks she can walk now, and gets very upset when she falls on her little bum instead. She has taken a step or two, but is very unstable. Walking is a kamikaze adventure for her, she just kind of leans, closes her eyes, reaches and hopes for the best. She eats like a pro, at least a pro without any teeth. She still has no teeth! That precious squinchy smile is still toothless. Without teeth she still manages to eat whatever we give her (broken up into bite size pieces of course). She has become very demanding, and gets really upset when I take away what she thinks is rightfully hers (usually a piece of garbage or some small object she is about to injest). She loves suckers (yes, I know, suckers are bad in more ways than one. It's not my fault though. Kenzie introduced her to the joys of suckers by sharing one. Okay, it is my fault.) She also loves dogs and cats, and signs the words, "dog" "bird" "more" and "eat". She babbles a lot and says, "mamamama" (which I'm sure is mom) and "kitty" and "uh-oh" and "m-ow" (for what a kitty says).
Her birthday was on conference so we went to my parent's first where my mom and I decorated a cake for her. Then we headed over to Chambers for the second session of conference, where Elder Ballard's talk made me cry. I loved that talk about mothers. It was exactly what I needed to hear. Then we had strawberry shortcake for both Hannah's and Mike's birthday.

On Monday night we had some friends over for cake and ice cream, and Kenzie practiced for being a teenager, by being bossy and emotional and locking Rusti out of, or into, depending on the situation, her bedroom. Hmmmm. Three is worse than two. It was fun times though and Mike "took care of" his Xbox with Dunk and Eli.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The last breakfast

I am done nursing. Today, one day before Hannah's first birthday, I b-fed her for the last time. I am ever so grateful for breastfeeding, but here are 10 reasons why I am celebrating the end of b-feeding Hannah.
Wait! The end of a long year of b-feeding Hannah makes me think there are actually reasons to celebrate and reasons to be a little sad, so here are 6 reasons to celebrate and 6 reasons to mourn:

First, the reasons to celebrate:
1. I can buy a new bra
2. My stomach will now be flat (right? right? That's why that roll of fat has been sticking around, isn't it?)
3. I can put the Boppy pillow in a closet, instead of resting it on the couch or somewhere near it.
4. No more pinching of arms and other sensitive body parts
5. I can wake up early and go running before I feed Hannah (and I'm going to, really, I am waking up early)
6. I can fast again

Reasons to mourn:
1. My baby is growing up
2. It's awfully hard to put on deodorant when your breasts migrate to your armpits.
3. I have to buy a new bra (I think I have to start wearing my g's under my bra too. Bleck. Is it sacrilegious to say that I kind of hate that?)
4. Hannah hardly sits still for anything anymore, and now I will lose one more moment of stillness with her.
5. Milk is expensive these days
6. I have to fast again

I guess I could become one of those people that b-feed forever, not weaning their children until they are 4 or 5, but the thought actually horrifies me. Talk about scarring the kids for life.

I am glad to own my body again, even if it's just for a little while until the next baby. (No this is not an announcement) So hooray for this milestone in my and Hannah's life.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Happy Birthday Mike!

Today Mike is as old as I am (and look at how buff he is). For two months of the year, he is younger and less wise than I am, but today he caught up, and now he will continue to be the wiser of us. :)

Mike is a fabulous person, and he is the best husband and dad. Always kind and patient, he loves playing with the girls, and supports me in all my crazy ideas.

He works hard every day of the week and I love how he talks like an engineer.

A few of my favorite engineering quotes:
Our garage door opens earlier from one side than the other, and Mike was contemplating the science of it all: "I wonder if it has something to do with the Doppler effect?" (He later informed me that that was not a smart engineering thing to say, it had nothing to do with the Doppler effect. I was glad he clarified that, because I was worried about that old Doppler.)
Here's another: "Steph, I have calculated the angles for perfect sound optimization." Mike has drawn multiple diagrams of the soon-to-be-built tv room in my parent's basement and performed trigonometry and calculus equations on where the couch and the speakers should go.
I love how excited he gets about engineering and programming, and I try to pretend that I understand, but look at his homework:
Seriously, he is one smart cookie. Not only is he smart, he is the kindest person I know, always willing to help other out and, AND- he puts up with me. What a nice guy.

Mckenzie adores him, every morning that he has to leave early she will wake up and ask, "Where is Daddy?" And when he is home in the morning she is all smiles and happiness.

Hannah loves when he comes home and will kick her little legs in excitement whenever she hears his voice.

Happy Birthday Sweetie!
We love you!