Thursday, August 31, 2006

5 Quirks

This is kind of like Kiki's 6 Weird Things post(s), except I totally don't think I'm weird. At all. But there are a few things about me that maybe others would consider, well, quirky.

1. I really want to learn how to yodel. Seriously, do you know how much vocal talent and control it takes to yodel? I love to sing and I think learning to yodel would improve my singing abilities by a ton. Plus, how fun would it be to do at family reunions?

2. I love french fries and milkshakes...together. Don't knock it 'til you've tried it. Think of it as a Fun Dip where the fries are the candy stick and the milkshake is the fruity, candy powder. It's the perfect balance of opposites; sweet, salty; solid, liquid; hot, cold; crunchy, smooth; unhealthy, even more's really good. My favorite combo is Wendy's fries and a chocolate Frosty. Go try it today and see if it isn't just awesome.

3. I kind of like the smell of skunk. Now I'm not saying I wish Glade would put it in their line of fragrances, but every once in a while, driving down the country hiways, I'll get a whiff and mildly enjoy it. (Okay, you can call me "weird" for that one.)

4. I am terrified of overpasses. Well, maybe I'm not afraid of the overpasses themselves, but the traffic on the overpass as I'm driving below. If the vehicle on the overpass is larger than mine I get a heavy feeling in my chest and short of breath. I just know that the overpass is going to collapse under the weight of the vehicle and I will be crushed by the rubble. Usually I am able to avoid it by slowing down or speeding up, but when I don't, I sometimes wish I carried around clean underwear, ya know? (Maybe I exaggerated that last little bit.)

5. Seafood is gross. You'll notice I didn't say, "I don't like seafood." This one is not about me. It's a statement, and it's true. And I'm telling all of you who eat it that I find that beyond quirky, it's just. plain. weird. Why would anyone like something so gross? My husband and I argue about this quite often. He doesn't like asparagus and I don't like seafood. How weird is he?

So now I want to know your 5 quirks. And I promise I won't call you weird, unless of course you post that you like seafood.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Do Toddlers Get PMS?

Isaac sure has been moody lately. He's really acting out of character. The boy who is usually a joy to have around is copping an attitude and testing every boundary in this household. I'm not aware of any change that would have made such an impact on him as to make him act out, so I'm really at a loss for how to handle him.

He's not been really bad, but like I said, he's just not himself. He's usually a good sleeper and he's been waking up in the middle of the night - usually screaming hysterically about the same thing he was talking about right before he fell asleep. He doesn't eat much and I'm sure that has something to do with it but how do I get food into him if he won't slow down to eat? And he's been very disagreeable, that too is uncharacteristic.

Also, he seems to not care about any consequences. When he's doing something he knows he's not supposed to do and I start to reprimand him he immediately places his hands over his bottom. He knows that what is doing will probably warrant a swat across the behind, which I am sad to admit I have administered liberally in the last week. He's been sent to his room, put in time-out, and I've even tried to just ignore him. He always tells me that he's sorry after his punishment, and he can tell me what he is sorry for without me leading him to it, so I know he knows what he's doing is not okay.

Like I said, he's not been really bad. I know he's just testing me, but when do I get the pass/fail mark? How long should I expect this phase of boundary-pushing to continue?

An example of his mood swings.

This morning: You're my best girl in the whole world!

This evening: I never want to see you again!

Is it something I've done?

Question of the Day

Would you rather be good at many things or be the best at 1 thing?


Monday, August 28, 2006

Money Matters

Jeremiah has started to let Isaac have the spare change in his pockets when he gets home from work. Isaac loves to put the money in his piggy bank and almost has the whole thing full. We keep the piggy bank on the top of a bookshelf so that it doesn't get broken or played with.

The other night as Jeremiah was in Isaac's room, Isaac looked up and saw the piggy bank. He blurted, "I want some money." Then he turned to Jeremiah, looked at him for a minute and tried to sound real casual as he asked, "What's in your pockets?"

***** ***** *****
This afternoon Jeremiah came home from his teaching job long enough to change his clothes and head off for his car-washing job. Isaac asked him to sit and play the computer with him for "just five minutes." Jeremiah agreed and added that after that he had to go to work. Isaac was disappointed and said, "But you don't want to go to work."
"I have to go to work so that I can bring home money," Jeremiah informed him.
"Money? Oh...okay."

The Saddest Line Ever Written

"No one was with her when she died."

Do you know the book in which it is written? I'll give you a hint: It's a children's book.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

First Words

So I may not have chronicled Kenley's first steps as quickly as I should have. But I hope to make up for it by posting about her first words, post-haste! (Forgive the cheesy pun.)

Well, what are they, you ask?... No, really. Ask. Ask nicely or I won't tell you. Okay, okay! Quit nagging!

"Bah-bye" she says with the ever-so-cute, palm-toward-herself gimmie-wave.
"Up" complete with single finger pointed up and head tilted back.

This morning she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror across from my bed and repeated "bah-bye" and waved til her little hands fell off. (Okay, so they didn't fall off, but they did get quite a workout.)

Do Not Mix

1 clingy, teething baby
1 attention-starved, fever-ridden toddler
1 busy mother serving the "crimson wave"
1 overworked, home-long-enough-to-change-his-clothes father

This combination creates a volatile mixture. Contents may explode under pressure.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


We'll never grow out of it.

As was evidenced in my previous post, my baby is growing up. Kenley is so busy, she never sits still. She has begun to climb and apparently is not afraid of anything. Gone are the days when I could hold her in my arms and cuddle with her. Now the only way to get her to snuggle up is to walk her to her crib at nap or bed time. She knows that I'm far more likely to continue holding her if she places her sweet, fuzzy head on my shoulder and reaches her hand around the back of my neck to stroke at my hair. I love it when she does this.

The other night as I put her to bed in this manner I savored the moment. With one arm tucked under her bottom and another patting her tiny back, leaning my head on hers, we just seemed to fit. I marveled at this little spirit in my arms, in my care. I felt sad to think that before I know it she will not longer fit in my arms. I held on a little longer before placing her gently in her crib.

Then I started to get Isaac ready for bed. After being with the baby I noticed just how big Isaac was getting. He no longer needs me to put on his pajamas for him. He can "do it by myself." I helped him brush his teeth and then I sat on his bed. When he came in he climbed up in my lap and turned around to give me a great big hug. He placed his head on my shoulder, arms around my neck and legs around my waist. It struck me: he still fits! He was born smaller than Kenley has ever been and yet, 3 years later, he still fits. I held him until he pulled away and asked for his night time story. I read a longer story than usual and sang more than one song before finally turning off his light and kissing him goodnight.

I got myself ready for bed. I stayed up reading to myself until Jeremiah got home. When he finally came in to bed for the night we snuggled up. And you know what? We fit too.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Forgot to Mention...

Somehow I failed to inform the internet that Kenley is walking. She took her first steps in July under the direction of Uncle Dennis. Jeremiah and I weren't necessarily encouraging those steps to multiply, because chasing a three year old and a crawling baby was fine with us for a little while longer, but the inevitable happened and now she's walking. She's getting better everyday. In fact, she's almost completely out of that "Frankenstein Phase." She's walking faster over longer distances and I daresay it will not be long before she is running all over the place. Kenley really enjoys her new accomplishment - it helps her maintain a visual as she approaches those willing to share food!

50 Things

periwinkle queen sheets
Doctrine and Covenants video guidebook
purple gingham baby bib
M&L Technologies mug
a single, pink, baby jelly shoe
3 diapers (unused!)
3 unopened packages dinosaur fruit snacks
April 1985 General Conference audiotapes
Aaronic Priesthood manual
pink baby washcloth
3 plastic grocery bags
Isaac's jacket
a pair of Isaac's socks
2 pair of Isaac's pants
Isaac's sandals
Isaac's shirt
Isaac's shorts
1 pair of Isaac's tighty-whitey underwear
1 bag full of yarn and unfinished practice project
black Sharpie marker
Jacob's Ladder from Mexico
blue hairclip
purple and green sippy cup
Subway card
foam baseball from local ballpark
dust cover for children's book
my scripture case
recent photos of our family printed by our friend Andrew
Jeremiah's History Honor Society Sash from graduation
our digital camera
2 CDRs
box of Kleenex
8 children's books
1 children's book carrying case
1 bobby pin

Are these:
a) 50 things I sold at our yard sale?
b) 50 things I am embarrassed to admit I recently cleaned out of my car?
c) 50 things I am willing to discard if it means more space in my office?
d) 50 things I carry in my daiper bag?

Answer: B.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

No Passport Required

Ladies and Gentlemen! I present to you Morocco (as recently experienced at Destinations Inn.)

Yes, for Jeremiah's graduation I booked us a night away from kids, school, work, home and responsibility. A night much deserved and long overdue. We had not had an overnight experience since before Isaac was born.

The pictures can't quite do the room justice, but it was beautiful! When we arrived there was a bottle of chilled sparkling cider and cheesecake in the fridge. The room had everything! Microwave, mini-fridge, fireplace, mood lighting, water fountain, aromatherapy steam shower, chromotherapy champagne bubbler bathtub and projection television. Not to mention the 6 remotes that worked everything. (You can always tell it's a really nice place when they have 6 remotes in your room!)

It was really the nicest place I have ever stayed in, and it was the first time I stayed in a 5 Star establishment. So, um, I won't go into details about what all we did (you're welcome..*wink* *wink*) but I'll suffice it to say that we really
had a good time. And one of the funnest parts was that Jeremiah was COMPLETELY SURPRISED! I actually kept an exciting secret from him long enough to let him see the surprise, instead of telling him about it.

The only downside to the whole thing (aside from having to leave such a fun room) was that after having spent so much time with Jeremiah, things had to back to normal. He had to go back to work and I had to go back to being with the kids. And now we don't see each other much. But we really did have a good time and at least we have some fun memories to draw on when I get to missin' him.

This Boy Ain't "Soup"id

There are some words that I don't allow my boy to say. A lot of them he hasn't even learned yet, and I'd really like to keep it that way. One of the words we try really hard not to say is "stupid." It's not a bad word, per se, and though it often applies, I'd like to raise a nice boy who never calls anyone stupid.

Sometimes, though, he lets it slip. I hear it most often when two of his super hero action figures are fighting. All I have to do is look at Isaac sternly after the offending word escapes and he usually replies, "Oops, sorry." What a good boy, huh? But he's getting smarter.

The other day he said "stupid" in a similar scenario and then looked at me and grinned. I reminded him that we don't say that word. Without a pause he replied, "I didn't. I said 'soup'."

I think I may have a future politician on my hands.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Graduation Day

Jeremiah graduated Friday, August 4. It was a really nice graduation. After spending five years at the university he walked at commencement and is now the proud owner of a diploma cover. (Actual diploma ETA: October.)

The ceremony was wonderfully short nice. It lasted only about and hour and that was great. There were only a couple of speakers and they promoted the university and its merits and, of course, dropped many solicitations to join the Alumni Club so that we could continue to pay them money...only this time it would be a donation. Good luck with that guys! Like we're really going to spend another dime on your campus! They held graduation in the 17 million dollar Performing Arts Center that Jeremiah's tuition helped pay for. This was the first time, and most likely the last, he saw the inside.

And yes, Jeremiah does look a bit like a peacock. While he was ordering his cap and gown he asked if he wanted to "look like a decorated idiot" for graduation. I may have answered, "Um, duh!" Each one of those decorations is an accomplishment! They are symbolic of all the time, effort, and sacrifice, both on his part and the part of the family, that went into his education. In fact, as Jeremiah shook hands with the president of the university (see above photo) the president said, "Good luck, it looks like you did a helluva job." And I have to say, of all the undergraduates, he was by far the most decorated.

His GPA was .05 short of graduating "With Honors," and I consider that a great accomplishment considering he worked almost full time all through school, not to mention the fact that he has a wife and two kids and has had various callings in the church that take up time as well. In short, I am SO PROUD OF HIM! (Here ends my bragging wife segment.)

Here he is with a fellow Education graduate.

And here we all are on graduation day. What a handsome family, I must say. And we really must thank all of those who have helped us get Jeremiah through school. All those who have offered support, helped with research and been resources themselves. Not to put aside Jeremiah's individual effort, but it really took all of you to get him through it. Thanks to you and to Jeremiah, well done.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Just Peachy

I left my kids in the front room, unattended - Bad Mom Award, I know - while I went to talk with Jeremiah in another room. Isaac came in to find us and asked Jeremiah to get him a drink. They both left the room and soon after Jeremiah calls, "Gwen, come look at your daughter." I wondered what exactly it was that she was doing that would cause Jeremiah to speak as though I were the only person involved in her conception. I came in to the front room to find her very enthusiastically enjoying a peach. Kenley has only two teeth - on the bottom front - yet she sat there holding a peach the size of a baseball to her mouth devouring its sweet flesh. I had left a gift basket which contained the peaches on the floor and Kenley, being magnetized to food, apparently wasted no time in finding it and helping herself to the goodies found therein. I had only been absent from the room for about 2 minutes, but that was long enough for Kenley to have zealously consumed over half the peach.

I have to give Jeremiah credit for snapping this priceless picture.

Isaac saw that there was another peach left in the basket and decided to join in too. What is gone off of his peach in the picture is all he ate. Evidently he is not threatened by the fact that his ten-month-old sister can "out-eat" him.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

This Is Not What I Ordered!

We sat down as a family last night to watch Hoodwinked. It was a totally cute movie that I think I will buy...or if anyone was looking for a good Christmas or birthday gift idea for me...yes I know that's still 5 months can never be too prepared...

Anyway, we popped some popcorn for a snack while we watched the movie. Kenley loves popcorn. Well, she loves food, but she has really taken a shine to popcorn. We bite off all the parts that still have some of the "skin" on them and feed her just the fluffy white stuff. Isaac sat between Jeremiah and I and his feet reached out about as far as our hands did as we handed Kenley each installment of her popcorn. Apparently Jeremiah and I did not do a very good job of keeping her in good supply of the salty snack so she went to Isaac looking to see if he would feed her. She mistook his toes for his hands - and we both looked down just in time to see it - before we knew it she had a mouthful of Isaac's big toe. Kenley didn't taste it for very long but pulled away smacking her lips, which turned down at the edges, and then looked at Jeremiah and I as if we had pulled a nasty trick on her. We, of course, laughed and laughed. In the end, I guess Kenley's the one who got hoodwinked.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Quote of the Day

Isaac (from out of nowhere as I scratched his back and watched TV with him): I can't believe my parents!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Growin' Up

Our family went for a walk around the river the other night. As we did so we also walked past the temple. Isaac said, "Look at the castle!" We told him it was the temple and some of the things we do there. He then insisted that he wanted to go to the temple. Jeremiah and I said that we hoped he really did want to go to the temple and that when he grew to be a big boy we would take him there.

We came home and put him to bed. He's potty trained, but we still put him in a diaper at night just in case. When he got up the next morning his diaper was dry! I was so excited and proclaimed my praise by saying, "Wow, Isaac! You had dry pants all night! You're such a big boy!"

His face lit up with excitement. I thought he was proud of his accomplishment until he uttered the reason for the glow, "Now I can go to the temple!"

I sure hope we're able to help him keep that goal and that excitement!