Tuesday, May 31, 2011

a conversation

I was in the bathroom, hoping not to be disturbed. Soon, I hear Kiddo calling for me, wondering where I have gone. I yell that I'm in the bathroom, and continue to hope she'll leave me alone (and not let Babs onto my location).

A moment or two later, there is a knock at my door.

"Yes?" I say.
"Mom," replies Kiddo
"What?" I ask.
"Mom," says Kiddo
"What?" I ask, less patiently.
"Mom," says Kiddo
"WHAT?" I ask.
"Mom," says Kiddo.

She opens the door and looks at me.
"Why are you knocking at the door?" I demand.
"Because you're talking to me" she innocently replied.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

feeding Babs

If you are ever responsible for feeding Babs, and she just won't eat anything, try chili. She'll always eat that. But be forewarned, there are consequences.

(By the way, this is a before picture. By the end the bib is ripped off, her tray is coated, her face is coated, her hands are coated, and there is always chili in her hair.)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

the sabbath day

Church was stake conference today, a broadcast from Salt Lake. It went from 10 -12. We met in another building, which meant we were actually in meetinghouse, with clean carpet, clean walls with no holes, good temperature control, and all the things our building lacks.

Since it was stake conference my husband and I were not running around the whole time with our various responsibilities. We were home by 1, and not exhausted. We spent the afternoon with our children. There was time to make a tent, make cookies. It was refreshing. It was, dare I say it?, a day of rest.

the most magical sound

Baby laughter is magic. It is sweet, pure, and full of joy. I loved it with Kiddo (whose laughter is still pretty magical); I love it with Babs.

But I've found an even more magical sound, it is that of your kids laughing together.

Kiddo was hiding under her "tent" (a sheet rigged up by her daddy). She would say peek-a-boo to Babs, then drop the sheet again, then lean in to Babs, who would lean into her. As their faces touched through the sheets they would both break into peals of laughter. They did it again, and again, and again.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

full name

After a full morning of errands, I was just trying to get the girls to the car. As usual, Kiddo was interested in everything, so we had stopped to play under a maple tree, observe another tree, investigate the ants, and did I mention I just wanted to get to the car?

"C'mon Kiddo" I sighed, hefting Babs to my other side, starting again to walk to the car.

A few steps later I turn around to check that she's following. She is not, in fact she is heading in the opposite direction, which happens to be in the direction of a fairly busy road.

"Kiddo!" I yell. "Come here!" She has stopped by now, looking at some weeds in the grass, continuing to commune with the tree, but certainly not coming. I yell her name a few more times.

"Kiddo Jones!" I yell, using her full name to underscore the importance of her listening to me NOW. She jumps up, gives me the look that tells me she now knows she has crossed the line of my patience, and starts running towards me.

"Mama Jones!" she yells back, "I'm coming!"

Mysteriously, my frustration evaporated, as I laughed our way back to the car.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

not that way

We took the girls to the "colorful park" this evening. They both enjoyed themselves immensely. Babs was finally getting enough upset that I decided to take her home. She cried/whined as I walked up the stairs and across the street. Finally I asked her, "Do you want to walk?" She replied by trying to jump out of my arms. I set her down, holding her hands (because she can't walk by herself yet). She determinedly turned herself around, and started back for the park. She was so adamant about what she wanted that I gave her a reprieve, and let her play for 10 more minutes.

early morning frustrations

We were in a hotel this last weekend for my cousin's wedding. One morning Babs woke up early, and wouldn't go back to sleep. We tried to comfort her, but there was only wailing on her part. Kiddo tried to sleep through it, but was unsuccessful. This became clear when she sat up in her bed, and yelled "Mom! Why is she crying?!" At that request I picked her up, and brought her to my parents room, where she slept peacefully for the next 45 minutes.

This morning she woke up with wet underwear at 6:30 am. [side note: she now sleeps with underwear, and is almost always dry. I'm very proud of her. She will tell you, I have a special pad on my bed, so now I can sleep in my underwear.] I was mentally preparing myself for a long morning, as we assessed her bed (hardly wet at all), took her to the potty, and changed her underwear. But as she was sitting on the potty she exclaimed "I want to be in my bed!" So we got her there as fast as we could, and left her there. Not only was it not an early morning for me, but she slept for three more hours.

It seems more and more true that Kiddo, just like her daddy, really likes her bed in the morning.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

tick tock

I think that once you've blogged for a while, it is hard to experience life as it is, and instead find yourself constantly thinking up snappy titles for your life (or what you wish were snappy titles), and composing your experiences as if to share them with others.

Currently, I feel as if my life is entitled: Move to nowhere.

But I can't think of anything clever or profound to say about it, because I'm terrified, and somewhat shell shocked. And maybe really tired and a little, okay a lot, frustrated. How else should I feel about moving back in with my parents, even though I have a husband and two kids? And although I am sure that my husband will find a job (the Spirit has assured me of this, and that we will be fine, more times than I deserve), but my husband hasn't found work yet, and that holds a little more concern than it used to, especially because our branch is filled with people who have been out of a job for months or even years? Why should we be different? 

My most consistent feelings are that I'm running out of time, to pack, to enjoy my friends, to finally share that missionary experience, and to be ready for what is coming next.

All these negative feelings are then judged, and found wanting. I should have more faith. I know we will be okay.

Do you have some time you could lend me?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

what she wants

Babs loves to read. She has about five or six favorite books, which she will find on the shelves, then drag to me or my husband, then hand to us. If we don't notice this effort on her part, she will squawk and fuss until you read to her.

Which is rather unsatisfying, as she usually wants to hear about two pages before she is ready for the next book. With Kiddo, my husband insisted she listen to the entire book. She rapidly developed the patience for long books. He's not so insistent with Babs. Second child, anyone?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

church for Kiddo

Although the official language of our branch is English, there are many other languages spoken by the members, which means that prayers are often offered in other languages. Such was the case in Sacrament Meeting. Kiddo looked at me as the prayer was said, communicating big questions with her eyes to me during the prayer. I whispered that she was speaking her language. (This women spends a decent amount of time with our family, never speaking English, so why this was a surprise to Kiddo is not clear to me.)

In Primary, Kiddo volunteered to pray. "I will pray in English," she announced, and then proceeded to speak jibberish for most of her prayer. She was so proud of her prayer in another language.


Our pianist was late in getting to church, so I was trying to find someone to lead so I could play. As this unfolded, Kiddo told me she wanted to lead. As I started to tell her no, my branch president jumped in the conversation and told her yes. My three-year old conducted the opening hymn of Sacrament Meeting. All it takes to serve in this place is a willing heart, and she definitely has that. (She gave up conducting by the third verse, but rallied for the final chorus. Not bad for her first official time.)


Kiddo's primary lesson was on CTR, or choose the right today. (I was her teacher.) With no prompting, she suggested ways she chooses the right:

*By standing in the corner
*By putting away her toys
*By putting her clothes in the hamper

And for this, we'd like to say thank you.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

crash and burn

Last night, our computer just stopped working. We eventually rebooted, except we didn't. It wouldn't boot.

I hope that our hard drive data is still intact. I pray I have not lost months of pictures, and other thoughts and work that I've been up to.

I am more grateful than ever for this blog, and at least some record of our comings and goings.

I also resolve to back-up better. Perhaps not quite as obsessively as when I wrote my dissertation, but better.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

mixed blessings

Our apartment manager was excited to tell us that we would get new carpet before we moved in. Given what the old carpet looks like (only the family room carpet was replaced), it was exciting. Except, our carpet is one step above indoor-outdoor carpet, so it's not very soft on the knees, hands, or anything.

But it turns out, that if you're used to crawling on rough carpet, then sidewalks are also no big deal.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

filling the measure of its creation

Kiddo and Daddy watch ocean documentaries on TV, it's something they can both enjoy. They find it very interesting. Something Kiddo especially loves is to watch dolphins leaping and swimming. Each time it comes on she starts cheering "Yay! Yay!" and clapping her hands. She is so overjoyed by the beauty of them doing what they do. It's a good example to me of allowing the beauty of the earth and God's creations truly move me, not just be.

tongue clicking

Babs clicks her tongue (we're told it's the "q" in the Xhosa (I think that's what our friend speaks, correct me if I'm wrong) language). She squishes up her face and clicks her tongue at us, and we click back as a game. Kiddo, always wanting to be a part of things, figured out that she couldn't click her tongue, and sadly reported so, telling us it was what babies did.

But a few days later, she came close, so I carefully instructed her how to push up with her tongue on the roof of her mouth, then pull away fast. And soon she clicked! She was so excited to be able to join this little family game. And I was so proud of her for trying, then succeeding.

Monday, May 2, 2011

fun in a box

Who needs toys (or clothes for that matter...)?