Saturday, December 31, 2011

wrap up

2011 was a crazy year for us. We started it out dreaming of where we would be that fall, since my husband was already looking for a job, even though his post-doc lasted for another seven months. We didn't anticipate spending the last third of the year with my parents. Or some of it jobless. Or the toll that would take on our family. And leaving our friends with the move was harder than I had anticipated.

At the end of this unexpected year, my husband and I are apart. (And we don't do that lightly.) He's back on the East Coast, waiting to attend a house inspection and start his new job. I'm still in Texas, waiting for our closing date on the house, enjoying a final month with my parents.

A lot of family rhythms were disrupted with the move. And given the temporary nature of our stay with my parents, and the complications of mixing two families under one roof, (and my inability/unwillingness to give up the chance to talk to my mom every night!), many of those habits were shelved. Blogging was one of those.

I've missed a lot of events. I have pictures of many of them. I have various goals for my remaining time with my parents, and doing some catch up in my family history is one of them. (I've determined that instead of setting annual goals right now, I'll set January goals. Goals for 2012 can be set when I have a better sense of what my new life will bring me.)

Was it the second New Year's Eve that I spent with my husband that I finally admitted I liked to go to bed early this night, and start the New Year off well rested, with my goal sheet and an early morning? I do like to go to bed this night, and start the New Year off fresh. And it only makes more sense tonight, given 9 o'clock church tomorrow morning.

So watch in the next few weeks, as I catch up since June of last year. We went to the beach, there was a ballet recital, we moved, had preschool, visited family, and had some fun...

(All these posts will be backdated to today - 12/31/11. That just makes my life make more sense.)

2011 finally - han, han

One of the happiest things in Babs' life is when she can hold hands with another child. Kiddo is her favorite. She will go anywhere, as long as she can hold Kiddo's hand.

This picture is of them holding hands on the way home from the park when we were out visiting my sister in Colorado. Many times, when Babs wants up, I can defer her by offering to hold her hand. It is sweet, and reminds me how much I love her. She loves people, and I love watching her love others.

Our trip to my sister's was perfect. We were both tired from our thanksgiving family adventures, so we sat on the couch while our husbands worked and our children played. And magically, they seemed to entertain themselves. What a perfect vacation.

2011 finally - the Nutcracker

Per my request, my mom took me and my daughter to the Nutcracker ballet this year. She took me many times in Boston while I was growing up, it was a special thing for us to do together. We probably should have waited until Kiddo was older to attend such an event, but she loves dancing now.

We got all dressed up, and found our seats. It was a small theater, so we could see really well. Kiddo loved the dancing, but couldn't understand why she couldn't dance on the stage as well. She also had a lot of questions about the plot in the beginning party scene, then the subsequent fighting with the mice. (That night, she reiterated that she hadn't liked the mice. I told her I didn't like it either. I only liked the beautiful dancing part.) I'm not sure the people around us appreciated her four year old behavior, but she really did very well.

She spent the first half of intermission dancing in the aisles, because she had dancing to express, and I hadn't let her in during the ballet. (More than once I had to grab her and sit her back down because the dancing in her soul would not be stilled!) After the ballet, she had a fun experience. One of the dancers is in our ward, so Kiddo got to go backstage to meet her, and get a picture with her. (She is also the daughter of Kiddo's Sunbeam teacher.)

Kiddo has spent the last three weeks since then trying to figure out how to dance on her toes. I keep telling her she'll have to wait until she's older.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

song request

We sing Babs songs before putting her down to sleep. Recently, she's taken to making requests. I often refuse. I feel that "wheels on the bus" is not sufficiently calming for pre-bed. The tricky part to requests is that if I don't sing what she wants, she yells "No, No, No!" and perhaps tries to smack me.

There is one she has been requesting a lot recently, "caiaguh." Tonight as she asked for it, I recognized that she had asked this before, but still couldn't attach it to any song. I told her sadly that I didn't know what song that was. I took a deep breath and started to sing the primary song that popped into my head, "I am a child of God."

As I sang the words "...a child of God" I thought "Of course! she is saying 'child of God'." This was the song she was requesting. And after putting it together, I was impressed by how well she was saying the song she wanted.

I was humbled that I was prompted to sing the right song, and that allowed me to discover what she really wanted (because she requests it a lot). I felt blessed that I received this inspiration that helped me be a better mom to my sweet, albeit demanding, child. As I continued singing, I reflected on this moment of inspiration, and often struggled not to cry in relief of this obvious sign of my Heavenly Father's love for my daughter, and for me.

In addition, I am so grateful that the song Babs wants is the song that teaches her the most important lessons:

I am a child of God, and He has sent me here,
Has given me an earthly home, with parents kind and dear.
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me, help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do to live with him some day.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dear Santa,

Tonight Kiddo wrote a thank you note to Santa. (I guess all that practice from her birthday party paid off.) I quote (to the best of my memory):
"Dear Santa,
Thank you so much for the doll house and the furniture. I really love them. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I would like some dolls please. And an opener for the toilet. It doesn't open.
My cousins and I loved our presents.
I love you,

Her cousin then asked her what she was doing. She told him she was writing a thank you note to Santa. He said Santa wouldn't be able to read it (as she only scribbles). She did not believe him.

"Santa will love it," she insisted. "When he reads it, he will say 'I love this, Kiddo.'"


She, like her cousin, likes Santa best from afar. This is how she feels about him in person:

Saturday, December 17, 2011

looks who's 4!

Kiddo had her birthday this week. It was a fun filled day of preschool, friends coming over (for visiting teaching, not the party, which was a few days later), presents, cake, and lots of excitement.

She loved it all, the attention, the gifts, the cake, the cake making... Well, she didn't love sharing with her sister, but took it in stride (mostly).
Here she is with the scarf her dad knitted for her.
I haven't posted much about it, because this has been one of those weeks. And all of my pictures lack something (focus? non-red eye? centered subject matter?).

But what the day didn't lack was an excited little girl, ready for the next new year and adventure. Kiddo is so very good humored, and thrilled about life. She loves to anticipate events, and the enjoys them just as much as she thought she would.

I love her, and am grateful for the joy she brings into my life every day.

Friday, December 16, 2011


This is my house. Or the one that the bank will own in my name for the next 30 years, assuming everything goes smoothly from here.

Are you excited? because I am.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

her heart

Kiddo received a longhorn stuffed cow for her birthday from her grandpa. She spent some time tonight studying the box it came in, when I would have preferred she was getting ready for bed. She wondered why there was a picture of the bear with a heart being put inside of it. I told her it was so the cow could love her, and she could love it back.

As she was settling to go to sleep tonight, she informed me that her heart was different than the bear's. I assumed this comment stemmed from the fact that in the picture the heart is, well, heart-shaped, and Kiddo is a student of anatomy, and knows what a physical heart looks like. She explained it to me like this "My heart is different from the bear's. My heart is ... squeezy."

And that's true.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


There's this super game called MadGab, where you read a set of nonsensical words or phrases, and the people listening to you have to guess what you're really saying. For example, say "Had vend kale lender." What do you think that means?

Did you guess "advent calendar"? That's right. I love this game.

And it's a good thing, because starting Monday morning, Babs decided it was time to talk. She must have added 30 new words that day. And she keeps adding more each day, trying new words, and new sentences.

The tricky part is she's only 19 months old. So her pronunciation and inflection is often off. Her sentences and words sound mostly okay, but usually only after you've deciphered them.

Today she said "Ah nee a wahp." Yes, she wanted, or more precisely, needed a wet wipe, because she loves wipes.

Mad Gab, all day long. Part of the reason I love the game is because I'm good at it. I had no idea this talent would be so useful.