Monday, April 30, 2012

my recommendation

If you were thinking of having two girls, I highly recommend it.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

temple trip

Friends from NJ came down to be sealed at the temple two weeks ago. My husband stayed outside with the kids while I attended the sealing. The girls really loved the temple. I was glad we could take them. We will probably take them again soon, but hopefully next time we can both be with them.

I love their smiles. They both perfectly represent these amazing girls that are mine. And because of the sealing covenant, they really are mine, forever. (Oh, and my husband's too!)

Friday, April 27, 2012

"what childhood should be"

As do all children, my kids love puddles. But I'm never sure that my husband approves of my decision of letting them play in them. After all, how sanitary could a puddle between two houses be? or one in the dirt driveway shared by our three neighbors?

But I let them play, and they laugh with glee. And then when I show my video clip to my husband, with Babs' squeals of joy, my husband says the words that let me know that I'm doing okay with this motherhood gig after all: This is what childhood should be.

(First picture last May, second picture, yesterday.)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

first talk

While Grandma was here, Kiddo had the opportunity to give her first talk (called a spiritual thought around here) in Primary. Not that this was her first crack at the microphone, no, Kiddo has done plenty of assigned readings, and prayers, but this was our first chance to prepare something together. But I could never get her to participate in putting some ideas down. Trust me, I thought about just writing it myself, but I know my child, and I knew she needed to be involved.

I was finally ready to force the issue on Thursday, when she announced she would write it with Grandma. Since Grandma is the primary expert of the family, I gladly gave up the assignment. But she wouldn't talk to Grandma about it either.

By Saturday I was desperate. We were in the car to help Kiddo get a present for Babs (another event that took more patience than I had) and Grandma had put together some ideas (which we talked to Kiddo about). We were trying to help her say the talk, but she wouldn't. I finally said (although not the first time) "What do you want to say?"

She then launched into a 10 minute talk about her day, and all we'd done. It started "I'd like to share my talk with you today..." and kept going from there. Kiddo is without guile. She reported her misdeeds (yelling and crying outside the store) and mine (telling her no, we couldn't stay at the aquarium) with equal, and brutal, honesty. I may have been most impressed by her correct use of tenses; knowing her talk would be given the next day, she constantly referred to all the activities as having occurred yesterday. I was also impressed at how much she has picked up from church. Most talks do start out with "I'd like to share..." And they certainly seem to talk a lot about whatever the person wants to tell, especially to a 4 year old's perspective.

I warmly praised her talk, then tried to gently point out that 1) it needed to be shorter, and 2) we should talk a little more of Christ. So we cut out a lot of the talk, then practiced it a few times. (She's also learned from Primary that mom's should help the kid's give their talks, which is a blessing for me.) But then she would practice no more. Absolutely no more.

Unfortunately, she thought she was speaking in Sacrament Meeting (the meeting with the entire congregation, adults and children), so she was a little disappointed about that. But when it was time for her talk in Primary she was ready. And I had no idea what she would say.

After the essential first line "I'd like to share my talk with you today" she started talking about the aquarium, the dolphin show, the macaw, the person dressed up like a puffin... (don't you wish I'd blogged about that too?). I could see this was not meeting either of my two original points, so I helped her out. I fed her a sentence about how grateful we are for God's creations (which to her defense she had already mentioned once, and then kept going), and then gave her the closing line of all talks and prayers.

I love that she has no fear, that she wants to share her thoughts, and that she is paying attention in church. She makes me so proud.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Happy Easter (a little late)

Since I love Easter (and my girls are so adorable in their Easter dresses) it seemed I shouldn't skip this post.

My husband and I put a fair amount of thought into what to put in their Easter baskets that would make them happy, but keep costs down and "stuff" to a minimum. (Unpacking all our belongings is a harsh lesson in stuff.) We did okay. For sure though, the biggest hit was their new umbrellas (which double as parasols, so they can be used rain or shine). Here they are marching around on our back porch.

For reasons I can't explain, I'm not so comfortable with the Easter bunny, but completely support Santa Claus. In Primary (Sunday School for kids) the leaders were asking why Easter was a special day. "The Easter Bunny comes!" yelled a 7-year old. Kiddo looked at me with excitement, and asked if the Easter bunny was coming to our house. She already had her Easter basket, so I was grateful I could just say "shh, let's listen." I'm sure by next year, she'll know who the Easter bunny is, so I've really just postponed the conversation, or given myself a year to embrace the Easter bunny too. (Perhaps while I'm at it, I'll embrace the Valentine's Cow, a favorite of one of my college roommates.)
We also did a requisite Easter egg hunt, which was held after church, after dinner. In typical 2 year old fashion, after finding one egg Babs was content. And Kiddo was carefully keeping the rules she had learned in preschool, only one egg of each color, so we had to convince her that ALL the small eggs were for her.

And, the closest thing we have to a posed shot. They are beautiful. I try to remember this every day.
Another great thing about this Easter was that my cousin and his fiancee came over for dinner. It was lots of fun, and they were wonderful with the kids. It is nice to live (sort of) close to family finally.

Of course the best thing about Easter was the opportunity to remind the girls (and ourselves) again and again about the importance of Christ's sacrifice, and especially the doctrine of resurrection, which is the purpose of the day. I'm glad that part of the day can be celebrated every day.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

For Babs' birthday weekend, we went to the aquarium. It was a big hit (not unlike last year). We met a macaw named Margaret. We saw a dolphin show which really impressed the girls (and the adults). And also wandered around a bit.

When I saw this fellow, I tried to steer my children away (having mothered Kiddo for 4 years now). But I forgot about Babs. She really wanted to meet him, and shake his hand. (People who aren't Mormon don't get the whole small child who shakes hands but doesn't give high-fives, but that's who we are.) This also gave Kiddo the courage to go meet him too. 
The other hit was the jellyfish. They really are fascinating creatures.
(Kiddo announced that she wanted to be a dolphin trainer after we visited here. Of all the things she wants to be, that one at least made sense to me, because it would take a fair amount of education.)

We're super grateful for visits from Grandma, so we can go to such a fun place!

look who's 2

Babs turned 2 this weekend. This is her super attractive cake for her birthday. Having learned over the years that kids do not do well with opening lots of presents at the same time, we spread them out over the day. Here she is with her first present, from her big sis, Kiddo. It's a play chalkboard.
After that though, Sunday is Sunday, so there was a lot of non-birthday things to do, like getting ready for church, church, and post-church naps. (For both girls, which meant that we were all up late that night.)

Kiddo was more than excited to help Babs blow out her candles. We insisted she needed Babs' permission, and every time she asked, Babs would solemnly nod yes. So here they are admiring the cake (or her big sis, depending on which child you're looking at.)
Another highlight of the day, actually the weekend, was that Grandma was here to celebrate with us. We spent Saturday at the aquarium (perhaps pictures to follow). Babs got to talk to Grammy and Grandpa, and Aunt M during the day. When she was talking to Aunt M, she announced "I eating cake and popcorn!" which was clearly the highlight of that moment.  
Is she not so adorable?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Whenever a mom (mine or my husband's) is coming to visit, I start counting down the days. I often find myself thinking: Just make it 'til [insert date of arrival]. (In this case, Thursday. I can do it!)

It's not like I'm particularly overwhelmed with life right now (as opposed to other times when one or the other has visited) so I was surprised by this reaction. Maybe it's just the idea of help, of someone who's excited to play with the kids all day long, of someone who will stay with my kids while my husband and I go out... those are just nice ideas. Really nice ideas.

So come quickly Grandma. I'm anxiously awaiting.

(I believe the kids the will enjoy your visit too...)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

prayer enforcer

Babs is way into prayers right now. We suspect it is because it gives her the opportunity to watch us all, and ensure that our eyes are appropriately closed. Many a prayer is interrupted by a small voice yelling "close eyes! close eyes!"

Primarily she yells at Kiddo, because she is the most likely to have her eyes open. But she'll call my husband or me on the problem too, if we should be caught trying to make sure she's not up to too much trouble.

Today, as we were leaving for church, she was not only telling Kiddo to "close eyes!" but also holding her hands over Kiddo's face to be double-ly sure she was blacked out.

I feel like such a real mormon parent now.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

thoughts on resurrection

While running errands today, we passed a graveyard.

"Mom! What's that?" yells Kiddo. (She always yells, it's her default volume.)

"A graveyard."

"What's a graveyard?"

"It's a place where we bury dead people. Or the bodies of people once they die. Remember how we talked about how when we die we leave our bodies and our spirits go back to heaven? Well, we dig holes in the ground and put the bodies in places like this."

"Yeah, and then after heaven, we come back, dig up our bodies, and put them back on!"

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

take a closer look

Obviously the first thing this picture makes you think is how much you want to scoop this little girl up and love and hug her to bits, because she's just that adorable. But her absolute cuteness is not the subject of this post (although clearly I could go on and on about that).

While discussing things with Kiddo's preschool teacher today, my girls were playing. My warning to slow down had no effect, and Babs did a face plant. But she's tired, so I assumed she had hurt feelings more than hurt self, I picked her up without a second glance, and she calmed quickly.

On the way home I turned around to look at her, and thought, what does she have on her tooth? Followed almost immediately by a double look, and the thought, WHERE IS HER TOOTH? or at least that little corner that used to be there, and is now clearly not.

I turned back to the road, and sighed "oh shoot." At the next light, hoping I was seeing things (or not seeing things as the case may be), I turned around and asked her to smile at me again. It's chipped.

We skipped the store, and came straight home so I could find us a dentist. (Nothing like a crisis to help you get things off the to-do list.) We're going in tomorrow. Since she's smiling and singing, she's at least not hurt. But that tooth...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

nap time

It's spring break, and Kiddo doesn't have preschool, nor does she really understand why she doesn't have preschool. So the time when she would typically be in preschool is a little hard for the two of us. On Monday we made jam. She was a significant help.

Today she wanted to go out in the front, so we went outside. Mostly she watched the comcast guys do some installation. Finally I told her that we needed to head inside, I needed a nap. She agreed that we would go inside in five minutes, then set up all her stuff on the driveway, lay down and started sucking her thumb.