Wednesday, August 31, 2011

preschool (at last)

Today was the first day of "Mommy and me" preschool. The first day was supposed to be Monday, but the teacher got sick, so today was the big day. Kiddo has a new backpack, and a pencil case, and crayons, and is basically set to go to school.

There are five little girls, and reports are that they had a marvelous time. Going to preschool taught us that Kiddo's favorite food is hot dogs, so we're all learning here. (She has never eaten a hot dog.)

Next week it is at our house, so that will be exciting, for all of us. Luckily, I only have to teach one day because of Labor Day. Or unluckily, because then Kiddo only gets one day of fun.

She is so ready for this.

Three Little Rigs

We went to the library this week to check out the offerings. I was disappointed to see that while the building is nice, the children's section is possibly smaller than that in our old town. It's definitely more cramped, and well, I just didn't think that was possible.

We still checked out books, and Kiddo still loves to look at as many as possible. One book we came home with was "The three little rigs," obviously a take on the three little pigs. As you can imagine, three little rigs head out to build their own garages, the first with lumber, the second with bricks, and the third with steel. Instead of a big bad wolf, their is the big bad wrecking ball.

That evening Kiddo asked me to read her books to her. As we read of the first rig's encounter with the big, bad wrecking ball, Kiddo suddenly turned to me and insisted "No mom, don't read the mean parts, only the friendly parts!" I suggested getting another book, but she wanted this one, so I attempted to describe the pictures in a friendly way, when most of them had a malicious looking wrecking ball either leering into a garage or showed a garage being knocked down. We muddled through.

Yesterday I noticed her sitting, reading the book to herself. Each time the garages were destroyed I heard her say "then the garage got knocked down, but everyone was o-kay," just as I had, nice and friendly.

The resolution of the book was the hardest. It was clear from the picture of the wrecking ball and his two wicked sidekicks in a vat molten metal that things did not end well for them. How to make that friendly? "Then, they all took a bath."

Thursday, August 25, 2011

long time coming

When I was expecting Babs, often people would ask Kiddo if she was excited that she would have a little sister she could play with. She was, but then, it turned out that her little sister could not only not play with her, but also took up a ton of her parents attention in addition.

But Kiddo is an excellent older sister, and put up with the intrusion in her life, and now doesn't remember life before Babs. And their relationship has changed over the last few months. Now that Babs walks, and communicates (some signs, some words, and lots of personality), they do play. And they play a lot. And they really enjoy each other, most of the time.

The other day Kiddo insisted on holding Babs' hand (much to Babs' dismay), insisting that "holding hands is what best friends do." I don't suppose the road will always be smooth, but I hope by the time they're grown up, they can still be best friends.

(Hey, did you notice the milk cup in Babs' hand? Yeah, I abruptly weaned her 2 1/2 weeks ago. She woke up in the middle of the night again, and I said: you're done. With serious support from my husband, she never nursed again. After 48 hours, she actually seemed relieved that we'd put our foot down... Kind of like making her sleep through the night. I'm loving it.)

family birthday

My husband and I celebrated seven years of marriage recently. Yay!

I tried to involve my kids, by making a family birthday cake with Kiddo (okay, it was my idea, but my mom actually made the cake). Kiddo was sure it needed to be chocolate. And it needed seven candles, which miraculously my mom had.

Ending the day with chocolate cake? That's a good celebration in my world.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

twinkle, twinkle

Babs was singing to herself this morning, with my husband and me.

I swear she was singing the tune of "twinkle, twinkle little star."

I am more sure that I am not being delusional, because my husband joined in for the last line.

He heard it too.

touch your ear, and listen

Kiddo loves saying prayers right now, but they tend to be repetitive. But every once in a while, she actually goes off her script, and says some beautiful things.

We've been really trying to help her feel at home at my parents. We've changed the room she's sleeping in, and will change it a little more to help her feel completely comfortable there. We're trying to give her ownership of her space so she feels less lost.

Tonight, among many other things, she was grateful for "the paddle that we're going to move" (it makes her nervous), for her "own little room", and that "we can call grammy's house our own home." It's what she has really wanted and needed, a place to call her own, and now she has it. I'm grateful we've taught her to pray, so we can know the hopes and gratitudes of her heart.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

future planning

Kiddo knows that my husband and I were married in the temple, and that we expect she will be too. This leads to the question of who will she marry, which she's asked a number of times. We've finally settled that daddy is off limits, as I already married him.

As both my husband and I and my parents recently visited the temple, the question came up again last night. While Kiddo and I were hanging out in the pool (her quite literally, on the side) she asked me, again, who she would marry. I told her honestly I didn't know.

She informed me she would marry D. And that next time she visited him, she would ask him to marry her "after he grows up to be a daddy, and I'm grown up into a mommy." (Clearly, her sense of order is still developing.)

This lead to a sad discussion for me about how moving means not only changing houses, but also not seeing our friends again. And my heart broke again that my kid cannot visit her one friend, that Babs cannot see her friend, and I cannot visit mine (although I had more than one).

Here they are at the beginning of their budding relationship: He's adorable, so if he'll just accept our religion I'm all about their marriage. And the food we'll have at their reception!On the plus side: we have not spent the last month dying of heat, but instead enjoying the central A/C of my parents. And next week, Kiddo starts a small co-op preschool that will provide her friends, little girls who I'm sure she'll love. And she loves church. And I'm being welcomed warmly into my new ward. And Babs loves Grammy (as do the rest of us, but this is special).

words, words, and more words

Babs is a talking machine.

She says often: up (up, up, up), mama, please (pease), more (moh), up, no (yno, yno, yno!), up, hi, bye, ball, all done, milk

She says sometimes: thank you (tane to), mine, dada, bock (as in what a chicken says), meow, and fish noises, and woof

She has said: monkey, her sister's name, welcome

She signs: more, all done, eat, milk. And while it's not the official sign, she does a really good "want"

All this at not quite 16 months. I thought her sister was talkative.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

thoughts from Kiddo

Kiddo is always good to share, even if it's one of her three remaining bites of her family cake (another story for another day). This is a cookie back at our old place.

On the way to the zoo (while visiting Grandma) she told me that she had lost her pretend suitcase. I asked her where it went. She told me that it fell out the window of the car. I wondered if it was necessary/appropriate to lecture one's child about responsibility for one's belongings, if that belonging is pretend? (It has since been recovered.)

Yesterday my mom said on the phone, "I know, I have tons on my forehead." "Mom," Kiddo announced, "Grammy has tongues on her forehead!" Surprising news indeed.

Primary has been nothing but a learning experience for Kiddo. She's only been two weeks, but knows so much more. Two weeks ago, she told us all week about having a spirit body while being with Heavenly Father and then getting a human body when we come to earth. That is good doctrine.

Last week the lesson was on forgiveness, which means they learned the Bible story of Joseph being sold into slavery in Egypt by his brothers, but he forgave them. Kiddo informed her class that when she was a baby, she had been sold to the circus. By her dad. But she forgave him. So we're all happy now.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

becoming me

My parents have lived in this town, in this house, since I graduated from high school (a few years shy of 20). The longest stretch I lived here was about a year after my mission. But I also spent many of my college summers here. And I've obviously visited quite a few times. So the oldtimers in my parents' church congregation know me, and have watched me grow up as an adult. I'm easily recognizable as their kid, who now shows up with my kids in tow.

Except now we live here. It's temporary, but what does temporary mean any how? We have no idea how long we'll be here, or how short we'll be here. So we're balancing the actions of settling in, and hoping to leave again very soon.

The settling in is for the kids. They need stability, and to know what to expect. So I'm joining a preschool group for Kiddo, and probably signing her up for dance classes. I'm trying to find friends. We're attempting to get to know people.

This is truly a "bloom where you're planted" experience. This is where we are, so this is where we live. But that means somehow convincing the people at church that I have an identity past that of my parents' child.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Kiddo has what can be politely described as a solid distrust of all males, including those she is related to, but don't see very often.

Babs must be our ambassador to make up for that. Uncles are her favorites.