Thursday, May 29, 2008

"Grandpa, why are you wearing a dress?"

Yesterday, my dad had knee-replacement surgery, so when we went to visit tonight, and Grandpa stood up to walk out of the hospital room (make sure you walk in front of grandpa, kids), Kenzie said,
"Grandpa why are you wearing a dress?" She was so shocked. And I think a little pleased.
We had to answer lots of "why" questions on the way home. "Why did Grandpa need a new knee?" "Why is he in the hospital?" "Why was Grandma staying with him?" "My knee hurts too. And my arm." "When my knee is really really really old, will I get a new one?"

Today was Kenzie's last day of Joyschool. I am so sad. Now what am I supposed to do? Count the days down until next fall, when Joyschool begins again. I hate to admit it, because I feel like a bad mom, but I love Kenzie-free time. I love Kenzie-full time, in small doses, with regularly scheduled breaks.
It was a fun year though, and it was really good for Kenzie to "learn".
"Kenz, what did you learn today?"
"We ate a snack. I learned how to be nice. We played with the toys. I ate a snack." Every week, that's what she learned. She should have the being nice part down by now.
I also enjoyed teaching once every seven weeks, and getting to know the kids. They were all so funny in their own little way. I'm looking forward to our graduation party, which will be more for the adults than for the kids. :) The picture above is at the Roy fire station Joyschool trip. If you want to read a funny post about that, see Kristen's blog. (Although it's private, so sorry if you can't get in.)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hannah's first tooth!

I was waiting for the perfect picture to capture Hannah's first tooth (yes she is 13 months old), and I posted this one for another post and noticed I already had the perfect picture. I swear this tooth came two months ago. I heard it clicking with my spoon, but it didn't really poke through until this last week. It's the top front tooth. Her other front top tooth is starting to look like it might be next. Hannah will have two front teeth, and before Christmas even. :)
As Shirley said, "It's not often a kid gets their first tooth and learns to walk at the same time." Lucky Hannah. She does quite well without teeth, eating everything, including apples and oreos. (mmmm, Oreos.)

Refinish a Piano in 3 easy steps

If by chance someone gives you an old piano, that looks slightly more than the oh-so-fashionable distressed look, and you think, "Hey, I'll just refinish it. Presto! Viola! Beautiful!" Try thinking a little bit harder.
This is exactly what happened to us. I was so thrilled when Mike's old home teachee bought himself a baby grand and donated his old very distressed upright to us. Mike was not so thrilled when he had to move it up the stairs. We are now indebted forever to5 muscular men (including Mike). Mike has said that the piano is never, ever moving again. Not even when we move.
Well, I got it into my head that I would refinish the piano. Presto! Viola! Beautiful!
One year after starting, and after inhaling toxic paint stripper fumes, and thinking of many funny jokes about how we own lots of "stripper(s)" , I have reached the sanding phase, and I am thinking, "Presto! Viola! Stupid Piano. Stupid Stephanie."
Here is my progress after 2 hours of sanding during nap time the other day. This is going to take me forever. For-ev-er (Sandlot style).
In case you too, are thinking of refinishing your old upright here are some steps to make it easier:
1. Throw away all sanity.
2. Give your piano away to a carpenter that does things like refinishing for a living in his large shop out back.
3. Spend your tax rebate on a new piano, that someone else has finished and that your husband will agree to move with you when you move.

Presto! Viola! Beautiful!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Laundry Discoveries

I used to be okay with laundry. We weren't exactly pals, but we weren't worst enemies either. I sorted clothes, I washed them, I dried them (removing them immediately from the dryer to avoid ironing), I folded them, and I put them away. Now I'm afraid that laundry is crossing the faintly drawn line of truce. It has become difficult.
With two small children, I now not only have to sort, wash, dry and fold clothes, I have to stain stick them (in unusual places, like the back of knees, and the hems of long sleeves), and then wash them again, and stain stick them one more time, because I'd hate to throw away this cute little shirt that Aunt Soandso gave us when Hannah was born. And then I have to sigh because I can still see the chocolate/grape juice/grass/dirt stain. In addition to this much detested step of stain sticking (or spraying), sometimes I even have to iron, because I can't get to the dryer right away. Heaven help us. To me ironing is like wearing make-up-- I only do it because if I don't I'm afraid someone will think I'm a slob, and sometimes I just don't care enough about what other people supposedly think to do it. Seriously, our society should get over wrinkles or move to completely wrinkle-free clothes.
Anyway, this wasn't supposed to turn into some rant against the ills of society, what I meant to do was talk about our week in a cute laundry-related way. My hatred of laundry got in the way, as well as a bad experience at the doctor's today. Speaking of hatred, I hate doctor visits more than anything, even ironing. I will not go into details about the doctor visit because a. it was humiliating enough at the doctors and b.I would really start to rant then.
So my week in stains and laundry:
On Hannah's pajamas I successfully stain-sticked a strawberry stain right at the belly level of her shirt. This week was full of delicious strawberries! Mmm.
On my new shorts I unsuccessfully tried to get out a crayon stain at the knee. This stain was from Hannah testing out her drawing and eating skills with crayons. Washable my foot.
On Kenzie's pink shirt (they are all pink, and if they were once white, they are now pink), I successfully removed a grape juice stain from Sunday dinner at Chambers. I love that grape juice, but I sure hate that my kids can't seem to keep it off their clothes.
From a large stinky bag, I finally removed our Sat. Ogden Marathon Relay running clothes and successfully washed them. These clothes cannot be dried because you're not supposed to use fabric softener on them. Talk about dumb. How do you remove static if you can't use dryer sheets?This is my favorite picture because it makes me laugh. Look carefully, that is not Hannah's finger.
Anyway, we ran the relay with Matt and Cristina and we had a great time!We did it in 3:10. We were 7th overall in the race, and 4th in our category. And Cristina is pregnant. She is amazing! We had tons of fun and we're going to do it again next year, we just want 4-6 more people to form another team with us, so we have someone to hang out with at the exchanges. Let me know if you're interested. :)
Well, good luck everyone with your laundry. May the stain-stick be with you.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

She did the mash-the monster mash

I love baby walks with the stiff legs and abrupt sitting. Those diapers add some good cushioning.

Hannah has taken steps a few times, but she was reluctant to let go of my hand, or the wall, or the couch. She was spider-baby, working her way around a seemingly impossible room, finding handholds that didn't exist. The other day she just let go and started walking around. Sigh. I remember the day Kenzie decided she could walk all by herself. For months she refused to let go of my hand, clinging to it like it was a lifeline (which in a way it was). We were at the Gallivan Center, with some friends from my old SLC writing group, and they had a cool water feature. Kenzie just let go and walked towards it, so pleased. I was so happy. And so sad. I guess sad is the wrong word. It was just one of those mom moments, where you cheer for your kids, but sigh for yourself because that part of you isn't needed anymore.

Hannah wasn't really motivated by one thing, but everything. Everyone else was walking, why shouldn't she? So now she toddles around and still loves to have a hand, but if you're not going where she wants to, she will let go and walk. She often walks up to me, looks up at me, and claps for herself, like, "Hey mom, look what I did. Why aren't you clapping too?"

Such a sweetie.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Awesome moms

Happy Mother's Day! Three women that I love in my life and hope to inherit qualities from:
1. I love my mom and I am so grateful for all she has sacrificed. I hope that I can be as patient as she is, as forgiving, and as willing to give of myself as she is. Thanks mom! I love you.
2. My Grandma Bette. I love her sense of humor and how she makes me feel as if I am her favorite grandchild. (I think she makes all of us feel that way.) I hope that I can be as fun-loving and adventurous as she is. I love you Grandma, in beautiful downtown K-town.
3. My Mother-in-law, Shirley. Talk about patient and kind. I can only hope to be a fraction as kind as she is. Her patience is legendary. Thanks so much Shirley, for everything. I love you.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Code of Motherhood

I have always wished for some guidelines for motherhood, because really it seems like anything goes. This is one of the reasons being a mom is so powerful and so humbling. So, in honor of mother's day, I'm writing my own "code" (which is really more of just a guideline).

What being a mom (of young children) means to me:
1. I will read my children stories at bedtime and naptime always, and on other requested occasions. As long as they don't request those stupid Disney movie books that I hate. In fact, I'm throwing those books away.

2. I will feed my children three meals a day and provide snacks. These meals will include a vegetable or a fruit. These meals might not always be home made. They might be breakfast for dinner, or chicken nuggets, or cold cereal, but they will have something to eat.

3. I will provide my children with clothes. I will teach them to change their underwear daily. When they are young, I will dress them at least once a day. If their clothes get messy, I might change them, but only if it's yucky messy like poop or something. Otherwise I will be doing laundry all day every day. Once they are old enough to dress themselves, they probably won't match. Matching clothes is not a battle I am willing to fight, but they will be dressed every day. I will also make them wear a coat while in sight in the cold, and we will never leave the house without shoes. (I've already tried this and ended up taking a shoeless Mckenzie to use a public restroom. Yuck.)

4. I will brush my children's teeth and teach them to brush their teeth. This is a battle I will fight. Dentist bills are payable by me, therefore I will control the toothbrushing.
5. I will comb my children's hair at least once a day. I might even put cute ribbons or clips in it, but only if it requires minimum fussing. After that, I give up. I can only fight this battle once a day.

6. I will bathe my children often. Mike is in charge of bedtime baths, so I just make sure it happens regularly.
7. I will wash my children's hands and faces whenever they get messy, but sometimes this isn't the most important thing and I might not have a wipe, so they might look messy.

8. I will hold my children at least once a day, while they still let me.
9. I will play with my children, even if it is a stupid game that I have already played 6,000 times.

10. I will teach my children about Heavenly Father and Jesus and the goodness of the gospel through family home evening and church and every day teaching opportunities.
11. I will clean the house (at least once a week).
12. I will take care of myself. Right now this means I will shower and comb my hair and brush my teeth, and wear deodorant. I am on the verge of giving up make-up all together, but that is another subject for another time.
13. I will take time away from my children so that I appreciate them when I come back.
14. I will love Mike with all my heart and show him I love him.
15. I will pray like it all depends on the Lord and work like it all depends on me.

This code will probably change over the years, or in the course of a day, but for now it gives me a good definition of when I'm doing okay. So I'm totally curious. What's your definition of a good mother?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Facts about me

A)Four places I go over and over:
1. On Runs (no not the runs, on runs)
2. Into Kenzie's room (at 2:00 a.m. to clean up throw up, or give her a kiss, or say through gritted teeth, "Go back to bed honey. There's nothing to be scared of.")
3. The Library, for quiet and to wish I were the one in charge of children's story time
4. To bed

B)Four people who email me the most:
1. The Standard-Examiner sports editor, about stories
2. My grandma
3. Mike
4. Children's book of the month club

C)Four of my favorite foods:
1. Chocolate
2. Chocolate
3. Chocolate with caramel
4. Chocolate with peanut butter

D)Four Places in which I would rather be right now:
1. I like being here right now, at home. But I have some trips planned I am super excited about, so I'll just list them.
2. The Wave in Southern Utah for our anniversary
3. Backpacking with Jared and Shaelynn
4. Bear Lake

E)Four people I'm tagging:
1. Kristin
2. Kellie
3. Alisha (who won't do it, because she never updates)
4. Val (is your computer working yet?)

F)Four movies I would watch over and over:
1. I kind of don't like to watch movies over and over. I think once is generally enough. Movies I do watch over and over, against my will:
2. The Heffalump Movie
3. The Aristocats
4. Little Mermaid

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Blog Roll

We are Family

Alisha and Dustin
Hollie and Brent
Jared and Pam
Marcie and Sean

Blogging Friends

Alyssa and Dave
Amber and Tyson (private)
Brittany and Cris
CarolAnne and Ryan
Caroline and Mitch
Cassie and Todd (private)
Cecilee and Jeff
Christina and Gage
Cristina and Matt
Emily and Jonny
Emily and Kyle
Heidi and Matt (private)
Holly and John
Jared and Pam
Jennie and Mike (private)
Jenny and James
Jeremy and Kristi
Kandice and Spencer (private)
Kathryn and Trevor
Katie and Eric (private)
Kellie and Charlie (private)
Kristen and Mark (private)
Kristi and Nate
Kristyn and Adam
Leah and Brian
Lisa and Abe
Liz and Trevor (private)
Melisa and Kevin
Melissa and Brice
Monica and Scott
Natalie and Brian
Robyn and Kevin
Robynn and Rex
Sherrie and Doug
Stacie and Justin (private)
Stef and Corbin
Summer and Will
TK and Army Man
Tori and Dan (private)
Val and Dan

Around the Ward

Melissa and Brice
Jenn and Bryce
Lisa and Brian
Michelle and Nate
Kristyn and Adam

Village People

Amy and Jon
Annie and Matt
Bree and Tyler
Carly and Kyle
Chrysi and Rick
Debbie and Wade
Elena and Andrew
Elizabeth and Brad
Holly and Jimmy
Julie and Jef
Kim and Pavel
Lorette and Caleb
Maria and Geoff (private)
Marly and Ryan
Regi and Dylan
Shawnee and Brady
Tennille and Eric
Wynona Robison Photography

Bliends(Funny, friendly people I know only by blog)

Crazy Bloggin' Canuck
Daring Young Mom
Mary Had a Little Blog
Navel Gazing
Pulsipher Predilictions
Rage Against the Minivan
The Lawsons Did Dallas
The Smiling Infidel
The Chocolate Chip Waffle
Trapped Between a Scream and a Hug
Write Stuff

Terrific Sites

Mormon Mommy Blogs
Marathon Mommies
Nanny Goat (Kathryn's craft blog)
Purple Haze (private)
Heidi Cooks!
Alisha's Photography
Mormon Mommy Wars

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Duct tape: A man's best friend

Last night, Mike cleaned up dinner (he does this all the time, isn't he nice?). This is what I was greeted with this morning in the fridge. Duct tape is truly a man's best friend.

Last night we also took advantage of the last free day of the Frontrunner train and took the girls on a ride after dinner. We planned to visit the museums at Union Station but they close at 5:00 p.m. Yes, 5:00. Ogden is a happening place you know.

Kenzie was absolutely delighted with the train and stared out the window the entire time, smiling.
Hannah just chilled in her stroller, not impressed. It was standing room only. I wonder if it will be like that when it is not free?

Mike is excited to ride it to school in the fall, if students get a discount. The price for a round-trip ticket to SL is $11.00. It's cheaper to drive right now, and the bus is free for U students. I guess we will see.