Sunday, January 31, 2010

Welcome to the Family

Yesterday, while Benjamin, Peter and I were doing this:
Paul was looking at a whole lot of this:
and feeling very grateful he got home safely in this:

My sister and her family just got transferred to Scotland, so we bought their Honda Odyssey from them for a great deal. Paul was nice enough to fly down to Houston and drive what was supposed to be a 13 hour trip back home. It turned out to be more like a 17 1/2 hour trip when he got stuck in Arkansas, inching through ice along with hundreds of semi's. I was very relieved when he finally came in around 3:30 a.m.!

We're all thrilled with this new addition, but perhaps not as fervently as Benjamin. As we were taking our first drive together in it as a family this afternoon, he said, "I love this car SO so SO so SO much!" Little boys and cars...He also informed me this morning that the baby has permission to be born now since we have enough room for three boys. Good to know.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Out of the Haze

It's interesting when you realize how little energy you've been operating on for the past couple months when it finally comes back. I'm enjoying my second trimester so far!

A few weeks ago, I dug out my old maternity clothes. Since I block out most memories of my pregnancies, it was like rediscovering a bunch of clothes I never knew I had. And since they're mostly hand-me-downs, it wasn't that exciting. So I thought of a few items that I knew I'd like to add to my maternity wardrobe, and decided to try and alter what I already had.

I bought some eyelet trim and turned this formerly long sleeve shirt into a lighter short sleeve one. For some reason, I can't stand wearing long sleeve cotton shirts. I'd much rather layer. I think it will be cute when it actually fits!
This isn't a maternity cardigan, but I've never loved it. It was an awkward length and was baggy at the bottom. The bottom now has a hole and a small stain, so it was pretty much worthless. I decided to crop the length and add some layers of tiny ruffle lace. I think this one will work during pregnancy and afterwards.
I'm kind of motivated now to make all of my maternity clothes work for me. It's kind of a thrill.

Also this week, I got to go to what was formerly known as Enrichment to learn how to decorate cupcakes. It was a lot of fun, and made me want to go get a basic cake decorating kit. Here are my attempts.
I'm also happy to say I finished reading "Rebekah" (by Orson Scott Card) this week, which I loved. I haven't been very good about finding and reading good books lately, so this was big for me. Usually I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction, but it's been fun going back and reading those familiar stories with new questions and insights.

I guess I'm not operating at full capacity though. Benjamin was sick the other night, and I took care of him a little bit before I fell asleep, assuming the medicine I gave him worked. Paul let me know the next morning that my assumption had been wrong, but also that he didn't mind taking care of his sick child (and pregnant wife). Benjamin told me in the morning shortly after Paul left for work, "Mommy, maybe you should go to work and Daddy can stay home with me and Peter and he can take care of me when I'm sick." Sweet...for Daddy I mean.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Proud Mama

I just had a "proud parent" day today. Benjamin has always observed the world cautiously, and only contributes when he feels totally comfortable. We recognized this early on. As a baby, he was pretty clingy and preferred to just study things and people from a distance. His first birthday was classic; he was in tears during his entire birthday song from being the center of attention, and he needed lots of consoling from me (and ignoring from everyone else) before he would be talked into demolishing his cake. His nursery teachers always assumed he knew how to talk, but had never heard a word out of his mouth. I remember the nursery leader's excitement the first time she heard him speak, when he asked her, "Can I please have my paper?" It was if she knew she had made it onto his list of VIPs or something.
Well today, Benjamin gave the scripture during Primary, and recited the first Article of Faith all by himself. In front of the entire Primary. Confidently and flawlessly. We've come a long way, ladies and gentlemen!

videoHere's his practice round with us. I'm proud of my big boy!

So I felt the baby move for the first time yesterday morning! This pregnancy thing is sort of beginning to feel real. I'm well into the awkward in-between phase where my normal clothes don't fit and I just feel slightly poochy, but maternity clothes look absolutely ridiculous on me. Ah, well. Much better than the last few months when I'll be feeling huge. I have my ultrasound appointment set up for February 23, and I'm CROSSING MY FINGERS that we'll find out the gender a little before week 36 this time! But we already know it's another boy. :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

...and done.

I finally finished my first commissioned painting! I think it's my first...anyways, it was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. I was sent a pretty pixelated photo to work from, so it was kind of hard for me to get into it. That and it's different trying to make something good enough for someone else instead of just me. I think I would have taken this in a different stylistic direction if it had been my own. Anyhow, it was nice to have an excuse to have painting time! I don't make that a habit like I should. I'm way out of practice.

Thai Chicken Pasta, photo courtesy of Recipe Shoebox
Oh, and I had to share what we ate for dinner tonight. I love trying new recipes (especially from this particular blog), and this one was a hit (except with Benjamin, who thinks everything is too "spicy" these days...but Peter had seconds and thirds if that says anything). I wasn't sure even while I was making it if it would be good or not because of the unusual combination of ingredients but it was delicious! Plus, it was really easy. I think I'll be adding it to our regulars!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Peter: 15 Months

As a disclaimer, this post is mainly for Grandparents and personal nostalgia, since I don't want to forget some of the funny things Peter does these days. He is a busy, and very stealth little boy. He likes to push these little chairs over to the drawers and empty the silverware and cooking utensils all over the floor. He's also been known to climb up on the kitchen chairs and onto the table before getting caught. He likes to "smell" the spices. Bay leaves are pretty harmless, right? :) (Oh, so do you like our "insulation" over the kitchen door? It's an old quilt we hung to keep the cold air from streaming in. Nice, huh?)
He also loves mixing things. We first noticed this quirky behavior over the Christmas break at a Chili's restaurant. We got him macaroni and cheese and black beans, which he wanted to mix together before eating. At dinner time when we're not looking, he'll start dumping his water into the cup compartment of his tray and adding pieces of food. He gravitates toward sand and water at playgrounds and discovery centers.
I remember being able to let Benjamin finger paint at this age, but Peter just mixes and eats the paint. So we're waiting a little longer before we try that again.
The best is when he empties our bathroom garbage into the toilet. Somehow, he's gotten away with that gross little habit several times this week!

video
Peter is getting very good at communicating with us these days. His words now include: Dada, Mama, Buggabuh (Benjamin), Tek uh (thank you), Uh oh, Bye bye, Nuh nuh (No no), Book, Park, Cup, Juice, Bath, Tah (hot), Puh (up), Pass (Pacifier), Buh buh (Button/Bubble), Duck, Dog, Cuck (truck), and Bus.

He also likes to make animal, truck and drum noises. His tiger growl is one of my favorites! He and Benjamin may look quite a bit alike, but Peter is most definitely growing into his own little person. We love him!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Heat Wave

Nothing like a few weeks of sub-zero temperatures to make you appreciate anything above freezing! We've had a lovely week with temperatures even reaching into the 40's, so of course we had to take advantage. I took Benjamin and Peter to the Zoo on Friday, and we had a good time in the Reptile and Ape Houses before heading over to the Discovery Room.

Peter was fascinated with this snake, and stayed here for a long time, saying "Ssss!"
Benjamin especially enjoyed the monkeys.
And the boys were friends here for about 3.2 seconds before Peter pulled away. I thought it was a cute moment. Peter loved the Moon Sand tables in the Discovery Room!
Benjamin did too. He also loved the conductor's hat he found among the dress ups.
On Saturday, it was warm enough for a little time the playground, so we all headed out. Benjamin had a good time climbing.
Peter had fun on the slides.
And everyone was happy to get some fresh air!


On an unrelated note, I gave my first Sharing Time lesson today in Primary. Secretaries usually get out of that kind of stuff, but the system has been revamped this year, so I'll be giving a lesson every month now. Even though I stress out way more than I should about this kind of thing (like losing sleep over it for several nights in a row), it was good. I'm really glad to have the opportunity to teach again. I think I've needed it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Growing Up

Benjamin was supposed to start preschool last week, but he didn't get to go until this Monday because of the snow. He was sure excited! Here he is in the "first day of school" clothes he picked out for himself, ready to head out the door. I wasn't sure how he'd like it. It's a Montessori preschool, so it's mostly quiet, focused, individual activities with some play time at the end. But he loves it! The highlight this week was when he got to make orange juice.
I've noticed a real change in him at home too. He's more compliant and is starting to have better control over his emotions. He's even better at taking turns and playing imaginatively on his own. I'm loving Preschool Ben.
He and I have also been working on sight words together this week, which has been good. He can read and, the, at, a and is. We try to add a new one every day and review old ones by finding them in his stories.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hockey Game

Working for Corporate America definitely has its perks. Paul's boss' boss gave him four tickets to a Blues Hockey game this week, and so we had ourselves a little double date with some friends.
The only other time I'd been to a hockey game was up at Utah State my freshman year. I just remember a guy, sitting about 20 feet away from me being carted out by an ambulance, bleeding all over the place after a hockey puck flew out of the rink and hit him in the face. I don't mind so much the action on the ice, as long as it stays on the rink. I was shocked at how nice the seats were. Not only were they comfortable (and at a safe distance from any stray pucks) but we had our own servers and menus. Not too shabby! I could really get into watching sports like that. Paul's gotten tickets to a bunch of other games, but this was the first time he took me.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Snow Day

We got a few inches of snow yesterday, which meant that Paul worked from home, and we all got to play together a little bit. Benjamin was so excited to finally get to build a snowman! He wanted to peel his carrot and bring a bag of chocolate chips out for the eyes and buttons. We got outside, and basically finished shoveling the driveway before deciding it was way too cold to be out. And the snow was much too powdery for packing, so the snowman was a no go. Maybe next time.
Peter (on account that he has no snow clothes) went out in his duck costume, a coat, and some plastic bags over his shoes. After his third face plant into the snow, we decided to enjoy it from inside the front door. He was just content eating handfuls of snow.

And I finally broke down and called a plumber to thaw our frozen pipes. Luckily nothing had burst. We've been blowing space heaters and blow dryers on them all week, leaving everything open, and still nothing. I think our house has some serious insulation issues.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Cold.

You know it's cold outside when the cold water pipe in the kitchen doesn't turn on because it's frozen. And you know it's REALLY cold outside when the hot water pipe is frozen too. At least that's how you know at our house.
It's been about a week since we've had cold water out of our kitchen faucet, which isn't a big deal at all. We just keep a pitcher of cold water in the fridge. But no hot water means no dishwasher, and that's not cool. We woke up yesterday to find the kitchen faucet completely useless (and I suspect it will be that way for about a week, which is when the temperature is supposedly going to jump above freezing).
Yeah, just had to vent. I will say however, how glad I am that the rest of the plumbing in the house is unaffected by the cold. I'd MUCH rather have hot showers and clean clothes than an immaculate kitchen. I'm also very grateful for indoor heat! Actually, my situation seems downright cushy when I think about how most of the world functions. So I have to carry hot water from the bathroom to the kitchen sink to wash my dishes for a week, big deal. I'd take my problems any day. I'm just really hoping the pipes don't decide to burst...

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Twenty Ten

Another year, another decade. I have to say, I'm glad that the years seem to be getting shorter the older I get. I think back to the year 2000, which started at an awkward Oakton Stake Dance New Year's Party. I was 16, still in braces, and dying to be done with high school. Perhaps it's because I love where I'm at right now that time seems to fly by. Or maybe because it's because one year is a continuously smaller fraction of my ever increasing life span. Either way, I'm glad it's 2010. And for your enjoyment I thought I'd show you a graph my nerdy husband made that shows how much one year is "worth" compared to your age. It's obvious that when you're 2 one year is half of your life and consequently seems like an eternity. But it's surprising to see that after about age 20 a year just isn't what it used to be.
Benjamin is now a Sunbeam! He certainly had no regrets leaving Nursery behind. He's also excited to be starting PRESCHOOL on Tuesday. That's right. I've gone back on all my philosophies on parenting, yada, yada. Not really. It's just time. That and we're getting a MINIVAN (i.e. second car) at the end of the month, which will make preschool a lot easier on all of us (since I'll never have to drive Paul to work again when we need the car). We're pretty excited about that! Here, here to a new year!