Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tender Mercy

You know, sometimes the things we need may seem small and trivial, but when we're blessed with them, they really are tender mercies.

We've been out of hot water for a little while. Maybe small and trivial in the long run, but possible mountains of work to get it fixed. Today I said a very earnest prayer that it would come back on by itself and not need any help from the maintenance people.

I just checked and it's back! A huge smile lit up my face as I felt the hot water on my hands. I felt this was Heavenly Father's direct way of telling me He does love me and is looking out for me.

I'm so glad it's back. No hot water makes for a discouraged hubby.

Thanks, Heavenly Father.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Looking Back....

Now that the heat of battle is over, I can look back with a little more clarity. :)

I've learned a few things. Our current "terrible two" situation is rough but it's not that horrible. What makes it unbearable is not getting a break. With Jeff working crazy hours and still being new in this area and therefore not having many friends, I don't have many opportunities to get away by myself these days. But I've learned that it is really important to find ways to recharge, even if I have to go outside my comfort zone and ask someone for help. That's really hard for me, but that day of the camel back post is evidence of how important it is.

Jeffy's in the throes of the terrible twos or whatever, but all he really needs is attention and love. That won't guarantee that he won't act out, but in the end, him knowing he's loved is the only thing that matters. I know that now and I knew it then, but my well was dry-- I had nothing left to give. Now that I've gotten a little break, I can come back and give him the things he needs. I'm capable of remembering what works with the little guy and can do it without losing my mind!
Today he and I made cookies together for the first time. He had a blast rolling the cookies into balls and we giggled together when we snuck little bites into our mouths. :) I had a great time too.

Thanks everyone for your kind words. I really needed to hear what you said, and it made my load lighter. Thank you.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

This Camel's Back is Broken

You know that camel whose back was broken by that last straw?

I feel like that camel. That one last straw finally did me in and I'm broken. Except I have to keep going ... with a broken back.

"The work of a mother is hard." That's the first line in the video at the end of this post. This video's been floating around facebook for a few weeks, but I didn't watch it till today. As soon as Elder Holland said those first words, the tears started. But not for the first time today, mind you.

It is hard. It's been really, really hard. And I feel like it shouldn't be this hard. Good grief-- I'm home with two little people all day. I shouldn't feel this emotionally, physically, mentally drained. But I guess it is this hard.

I really have reached my breaking point. But that doesn't matter. I have to keep going.

Today Jeffy has dumped flour all over the carpet, smeared toothpaste all over the walls, smashed a dozen eggs on the carpet, given me a fat lip, and bit/scratched/hit/kicked/punched Katelyn more than any human being should ever have to endure.

And this has been happening everyday for 2 weeks. The worst part is the hurting. He does it on purpose. I have tried so hard to be patient, loving, and to do the things that I thought would help me be a better mom. Maybe all those things helped and I can't see it yet, but the constancy of Jeffy's horrible behavior hasn't improved at all.

I'm so worn down little things seem insurmountable. Dumping a box of lasagna noodles on the floor isn't that big a deal, but at this point it seems like the end of the world.

I've cried so many times the last few days.

I'm at the point where I know that if I don't get some kind of rejuvenating break soon I'm going to have a break-down. I can feel it coming.

Jeff is taking Jeffy to some safari zoo thing tomorrow and I really hope that can bring me some relief from the seemingly never-ending trials that have been my life recently. And next weekend we're going to visit my parents and I hope my mom can give me some much-needed advice as to how to survive (and thrive) through this.

I'm not alone in this, right?


Monday, August 16, 2010

Goodbye Netflix

A few nights ago I was saying my evening prayer and I asked Heavenly Father to help me figure out how to be a better mom. (careful what you ask for! :)) Almost immediately I got the distinct direction to cancel netflix. I knew that this would be a beneficial thing for my family, but I also knew it would be hard!

When the kids are going crazy or I'm trying to get something done, I put on a netflix show for them. I figured it was better than tv because there are no nasty commercials, and I have exact choice about what they watch. But lately it's been on a lot during the day. So having it gone will definitely get me to interact and "be there" with my kids more. A very good thing.

But I love netflix! When Jeff's working his crazy hours and I dread going to bed by myself again, I watch a movie. And when I need a laugh, I watch an episode of 30 Rock! :) I was surprised at how hard this was to do. Cancelling netflix is easy, but getting myself to do it was a chore! It's been a few days and I just barely canceled it now. Better late than never, I guess. I kept trying to rationalize it-- "maybe I can get a limited plan so we can't go overboard! maybe I can just get enough will power to leave it off!" etc, etc, etc.

But I knew what Heavenly Father told me-- to cancel it completely. So I did. I'm glad that I did, but also a little nervous about the next time the kids are going crazy.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Breakfast Picnic

This morning we went on a breakfast picnic! We grabbed some McDonalds on the way out and went to the sprinkler park (sans sprinklers). We enjoyed a yummy breakfast and played on the swings and playground. Here are some pictures. For some reason, it wouldn't let me rearrange them, so they're backwards. Oh well.

On the way home. Dirty little bums = good time. :)
Jeffy giving Katelyn a kiss.
Playing in the dirt!
Breakfast everywhere!
Jeffy was a little nervous about this.
Jeffy giving Daddy a kiss. What a sweetheart.
Daddy and Katelyn
Big smile!
Higher, higher!
Fun times.
Mommy wouldn't get on, so she took pictures.
This was funny. Katelyn dropped her biscuit and a squirrel ran up and stole it. Jeffy didn't like that one bit! He chased that squirrel, trying to get that biscuit back! I was kind of surprised that he wasn't afraid of it. Unfortunately, the little squirrel got away. :)

This is the kids on the swings. They both love swings.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Profile of A Baby: Katelyn at 11 Months

This isn't the greatest picture of her, but I had fun editing it today, so it's posted. :)

Katelyn is a doll. She's almost 22 pounds and about 30 inches tall. She has beautiful brown eyes and finally enough hair to hold a bow! She loves to smile and laugh and imitate words to us. She can say "mama," "dada," and lots of other babbles. If you tell her to say "bye bye" she'll wave her little hands at you.

This little one is an eater! She may not look it, but lately she's been eating more than Jeffy! She loves big people food and won't eat that nasty baby food ever again. She never did really like that stuff. She's really good at chewing (7 teeth already probably help with that) and she's only choked a few times. I can give her whole things to eat, and she'll just take bites off them like a big person. She especially loves popsicles. Mmmm. I think she likes holding the stick. It's really fun to watch her eat, especially since she just started using a fork too.

Whenever we leave our apartment and go into the hall she starts "talking" to hear her echo. She goes "bah bah bah" louder and louder until she's almost yelling. The echo really fascinates her. It's pretty cute, but early in the morning, I worry that she's waking up the neighbors.

She's always interested in whatever Jeffy is playing with. And sometimes he'll share and sometimes he won't. And if he won't, she definitely has something to say about it. She'll throw back her head and howl. But she's also known to give a round of applause to someone who does omething she appreciates. It's fun to get a standing ovation from Katelyn.

Lately she's been doing what my mother-in-law calls the snoofy face, where she crinkles up her nose and huffs and puffs with a big smile on her face. Jeffy used to do that too. It's funny.

One of my favorite things that she does is play dress up. She loves to take whatever article of clothing or fabric she can find and drape it either over her head or across her shoulders. She looks so cute in her dress ups! For a long time, she had a favorite large bead necklace that she wore constantly. She would put it on herself and take it off herself, but if anyone else tried to take it off, she wouldn't have it. I love that my little girl is such a girl. :)

And as recent posts will attest, she is walking! It's her new favorite hobby! As of right now, she will just take off from whatever she's standing against and go as far as she can, until she's distracted by something on the floor, or she loses her balance, usually about 12 steps. And she walks with her arms straight up in the air, then plops down as soon as she's reached her destination. She giggles and laughs the whole way, and just loves being able to walk! She even does a little side step sometimes which really makes me giggle. :)

It's amazing how your heart expands to love multiple children so deeply. I never had to worry about whether I would be able to love another child as much as my first. From the moment she was born, she filled a place in my heart that hadn't even existed before. It's like it was created just to love her, which I do, so much. She is my little love.

Look Who's Walking!

Sunday, August 8, 2010


A few weeks I was introduced to picnik.com. Great find! It's a photo editing site, similar to photoshop, but most of it is free! I saw what other people had created on the site, but hadn't gotten around to trying it for myself.

Today I did! I followed some tutorials step for step to get the hang of things, then I went crazy. I even upgraded to their premium subscription, which is still substantially less than photoshop. And look what I made: this is a picture of me today. No makeup, hair back, taking care of sick kids. I love how perfect I can make my skin look.

Sorry, I wish I could make them bigger. Anyways, take a close look at my face. That's where the magic is. :) I also edited out some junk in the background. I hope you can see the difference. (Click on the picture to get a closer look.)

Probably not for everyday pictures, but it sure was fun to play around with!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Profile of a Little Boy: Jeffy At 31 Months

He is such a little man. He weighs 36 pounds and is about 37/38 inches tall. He's got a full mouth of teeth, and thick hair which gets long very fast if I don't cut it often. He has the same bright blue eyes he was born with. At times he seems like such a big kid, then I see him around other kids and I realize how much growing he still has left to do.

He gives me real kisses these days and I love it. Whenever I say "give mama a kiss," he runs over, puckers up, and gives me a kiss. And he's never stingy. He'll give me as many kisses as I want! So sweet.

His vocabulary is increasing a ton right now. Every day he learns new words. It's so fun to work with him and see his progress. He's been going to Speech Therapy with Ms. Becky twice a week, and I think it's been helping a lot. He really likes playtime with her. Last week he had so much fun with some plastic fruits and veggies, that we went to WalMart on the way home and got a pack just for him. He carries the apple and the pear all around the house with him. Those are his definite favorites.

And as anyone who's been around him during the last few weeks will attest, his absolute most favorite phrase in the whole world right now is "what's that?" He will ask it nonstop until I answer him. Doesn't matter if he knows what it is or not, he'll ask. Sometimes he'll ask, then without pausing for breath, he'll tell me what it is. Sometimes he'll get mad if I can't tell what he's asking about and tell him the wrong thing. And sometimes it can be embarrassing when he points to an overweight lady in the grocery store and says "what's that? big mama." Still makes me giggle a bit though.

He still loves any kind of ball and he plays catch with Daddy or me every day. Sometimes it's with a baseball, sometimes with a football, and sometimes with a small plastic ball. And catch has a few different versions too. Of course there's the standard throw back and forth one. Then sometimes it's more like playing with a puppy-- I throw the ball, Jeffy runs and gets it and brings it back to me, then I throw it again. Yesterday we played this for like 45 minutes. :) Then there's also the one where he throws the ball to me, then runs over and I hand it to him, then he runs back to his spot and throws it to me, then comes, and get it, and goes back to his spot, then throws it to me again.... He also likes to play basketball and soccer. He just loves any kind of sport that involves a ball. And Daddy loves this too.

He's scared of a few things--water in large quantities, bugs, when the trees are moving and he can't figure out why, and any part of a movie that looks or sounds scary, etc. He does this little face and gesture combo when something scares him, where he makes a scared face, brings his hands up to his face, and does this little "ehh" sound. Sounds weird when I write it out, but I can't think of any better way to describe it. And just like with his "what's that?," he'll keep doing it until you answer him. Example: we were reading a story a few days ago, and on the page is a pirate ship with a couple skull flags on it. He pointed to each skull, did his "ehh" scared face, and wouldn't stop until I said "is that scary?" He'd say yes, then move on to the skull, repeating the process till all the skulls were accounted for and I had acknowledged that each of them was in fact scary.

He does the same thing when he gets hurt. If he bumps his head on something or falls down, he looks at me, rubs whatever part of him is hurt and says "what's that" until I ask if he's ok. He says yes, then runs off to play. But if I try to ignore him, he'll either just keep doing it, or move right into my face to make sure he has my attention. Silly little man. :)

I was just thinking today about how much fun both kids are right now, and I wanted to make a mental picture to remember forever. He will always be my first-born, the little one who gave me the opportunity to learn what it feels like to have a mother's love in my heart. He is so special to me and I'm so grateful for everyday I get to spend with him. If he weren't asleep right now, I'd have him give me a big kiss!!