Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Summer in Review Part I: Turning 30

As summer fizzles out (well, technically fizzled, as it's now officially autumn), I'm reminded that I've yet to post a blog update since summer began. And so, in a few paragraphs I'm forced to review a summer that has seemed, to the untrained eye, fairly uneventful. But, not so, my friends. I shall begin with some reflections on crossing over into the realm of maturity, and never looking back.

On June 8 I turned 30. That's right. I can hardly believe it myself. I'm not going to lie to you here. I was traumatized by the whole ordeal. When you're in your twenties, you're young and carefree. Once you turn 30, you hit the inevitable maturity marker, wherein any shortcomings on your part are not blamed on your youth, but rather on your stupidity. My birthday itself was rather uneventful. We spent the evening with my family. We had dinner, we opened presents. We ate cake and icecream and had a good time. It felt like any other birthday. But, as it was my 30th, I was forced to look back through my life to see what I have accomplished.

Sure, there are things that I regret in my past. Most of those things have to do with old friends or aquantances, that through silly youthful shortcomings, I might have hurt or insulted. I'm not proud of these moments, but I think I'm not fooling myself when I say that the majority of us have these little bouts of judgement callapses. However, when I look back, I mostly see that I have been truley blessed these 30 years.

I managed to get through grade school without seriously injuring myself or anyone else. I went to college, and although it wasn't my parents first choice of educational vocation, I graduated at the head of my class with a Bachelors of Fine Arts. Along the way, I met good friends who taught me a lot about who I am and what I want to be. I had my own solo art exhibit. I've traveled the world, and learned about people and culture, the Church, and history. I got married, and learned not only how to love, but how to be loved. I've had callings in the church, and felt inadiquate for each one. I started a career, and although it didn't make me rich, it was interesting, and I felt good at it. I became a homeowner, and realized that once you have a home, you never have money. You just have a lot of projects. I became a mother, and learned that no other career could be more rewarding than being able to raise your children, to teach them, to laugh with them, to watch them grow right before your eyes. In my 30 years, I've also been through a lot of trials. Some have been harder to deal with than others. But with the help of family, friends and not least of all my faith, I've been able to get through those trials.

So fine. I'm old. But 30 is the new 20, right? I may be getting laugh lines and crows feet. Maybe my knees hurt when there's a change in the weather. But I've accomplished a lot in these last 30 years. And I just pray that my next 30 will be as good as my last.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Staycation and other Tidbits

My brothers and sister and their families decided to go to Florida on vacation this month. Because Jeremy just got a new job, we thought it best if we didn't go. So, my parents had the awesome idea of doing an overnight "staycation". They booked us hotel rooms in downtown Salt Lake. We had a great time, and Tyler loved spending all that time with Grandma and Grandpa! On Friday night we met in SL and went to The Gateway. We had dinner at a Brazilian restaurant that brings different kinds of meats to your table. Jeremy was literally in Hog Heaven! He hadn't eaten that much meat in a long, long time! We walked around the Gateway and Tyler got to throw pennies in the water fountain. The downside to that was that then he thought that he should get to go retrieve the pennies so he could throw them again. Needless to say, he was quite upset that he didn't get to go for a swim that day. Grandpa did buy him a blue sucker, which he loved (see pictures). The next day we went to the zoo. It couldn't have been nicer whether. Tyler's favorite part was the bird show and the big park. We had a really good time. After the zoo Tyler fell asleep and wasn't going to wake up for anything. So we went and saw the new Star Trek movie, which ended up being better than I had expected. We had a great time. Thanks mom and dad!!

In other news, we decided to go ahead and pour an extended driveway and new concrete steps this week. It's something that we really can't afford, but you have to do your part to stimulate the economy, right? So once we get some plants in, our front yard won't look too bad at all! I'll have to see if I hapen to have any before pictures and post pictures of afterward. A lot of elbow grease and a bucket full of money later, I hope you'll be able to see a difference! Then, it's on to the back yard I suppose. There's always something, right?

One last thing... So I decided in an effort to save money, I'd start cutting Tyler's hair. I decided, however, to do it without the appropriate cutting supplies. I used Jeremy's beard trimmer. It had an attachment for hair, but it was one that you could adjust to the different lengths. So I'm trimming away, and so far, so good. And then I go to do the top, and put it on the longest cut. Only the attachment slipped down to the lowest size as I was trimming, so it took a big chunk of his hair out! I decided to trim the rest with scissors and cut the rest of it longer in an effort to hide the chunk I took out. Oh, and then I put on another attachment, because it didn't adjust and it said "5" on it. Apparently it was a beard size 5, which is different from a hair size five, because I also put a little bald spot on the back of his head. Nice. From far away it looks really cute, but up close, it's embarrassing. So I guess I'm investing in some hair cutting tools that are more appropriate for the job. Did I mention in another post that Tyler's walking everywhere now too and is learning new words on a seemingly daily basis? Well, it's true, and he's so cute!

The following are pictures from our staycation:



Motherhood: Lessons learned- Year One

So it's better late than never... I planned to do this post for mother's day. Maybe an honerable mention here should be that I've learned that nothing gets done when I think they will!! So without further ado, the top ten things I've learned from being a mother (year one).

1. Childbirth is WAY worse than you think it's going to be. BUT, it's amazing how quickly the pain goes away when it's done. I'm sure finally seeing your cute little bundle has a lot to do with that.

2. I've learned how much I could love a person. I think God gave mothers the ability to love this deeply, because no matter how many diapers you change or how many times you have to get up in the middle of the night, you still can't get enough hugs and kisses from that little person.

3. I've learned and was surprised by just how much my parents love me.
4. I'm able to survive with less sleep than I thought possible.

5. One word: Guilt. I didn't think it possible to have guilt over a little boy just over a year old, but I feel guilt over not knowing how to get him to eat, if I let him watch a movie so I can get something done in the house, that I don't have him involved in more activities with other children... I can go on here, but you get the idea...

6. The sillier, the better. Your kid can't get enough of your crazy dances, silly faces and made up songs. All adult reservations are thrown out the window.

7. There's nothing more fun than a mess. I remember when I brought Tyler to the park this spring. He wanted sit in the dirt and throw wood chips everywhere. At first I wasn't going to let him, afraid of the mess he was inevitably going to make (not to mention all the icky things lerking in the woodchip pile). And then I remembered that he was a kid. And being a kid, he needed to make a mess. I still have to remind myself of that when he wants to play in the mud puddle or squish applesauce in with his spaghetti.

8. Sometimes you're going to have to resort to bribery. I'll admit that I will sometimes carry a sucker in my purse, just in case we're at the store and I can see a melt down coming on. It's amazing what a little sugar will do.

9. You can spend all the money you want on the coolest toys, but sometimes the best toy is an empty peanut butter jar and a lid.

10. All parents think that their kid is the cutest, most brilliant and gifted kid ever. Of course, mine really is...

And finally I'll end with things that I've said that I never thought I would:
"Please don't lick that toilet plunger!"
"My kid doesn't like chocolate."
"Tyler, the doggy doesn't like it when you pet him there."

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ah Poop.

There comes a time when you have to take a moment to reflect on your life, where you've been, and how in the world you ever got into this mess. Such a moment happened to me this morning as I was scraping poop off of Tyler's crib slats this morning. That's right. A lesson learned: If your son wakes up in the morning and wines a little bit, followed by suspicious sounds and laughing, don't stay in bed hoping he'll go back to sleep for a half hour. Go in and check on him, because he may be smearing Poop Art (ha! My pun kills me!) all over his bed. I know that this happens to mothers all over the world, and I also know that those same mothers are proud to add another title to thier long resume- Poop Scraper. Ahh. For more of these and other mother lessons, tune in next time for a special Mother's Day edition of "Motherhood: Lessons learned". But for now, I'll move on to a less messy topic, Texas.

Jeremy's been training in Texas for the last few days. Therefore, I decided to fill my evenings with an episode or two of various scary shows and/or the thriller novel I'm currently reading about some serial killer who kills couples and dumps their bodies in the woods. This has inevitably lead to nights of staring up at the cieling and listening to every creek of the house or swish of the water heater. My imagination went wild with thoughts of somebody coming into my house and stealing us away, and then plans were made that involved the metal bat that's in our closet and swift blows to certain sensitive areas. It's good to be prepared. Needless to say, I'm glad that Jeremy's now home, if for nothing else but his bulging bicepts.

In other news, we're currently looking at refinancing our home to try to save a couple bucks every month. It's depressing to think about how much value our house has lost in this economy, and how cheaply people are buying houses for now. Sigh. I just can't think about that kind of thing, because you never really know what's going to happen to the housing market. What I do know is that trying to refinance is a pain, but hopefully in the end we'll save some money.

One last little thing I wanted to add. My twin brother Jeff and Jeremy's sister Melissa graduated from college last weekend! I just wanted to say congrats to them both!! It's been a long time coming for Jeff, but I'm proud of his stick-to-itiveness. Going to the graduation made me feel really super old. Because I remembered that I graduated from college 7 years ago. How did I ever get so OLD!? I don't know, but all I can say is, I make old look GOOD. Right? RIGHT?! ... -crickets chirping in the distance-...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

An Easter Story

So this is a little late, I know. Our computer has been "out of order" for the last week, and thanks to Jeff, it's fixed again! Hooray! It's sad how much we missed this thing. I can't buy anything without researching it online now, and Jeremy gets his sports fix every evening. We heart computers, I guess. It's sad but true.

Now, I was going to fill you in on Easter weekend. Friday we went and got my mom and dad and headed on up to Logan. What's in Logan besides cheese and cows? Well, there's baby cows. And as it turns out, lots of other kinds of baby animals. Since Tyler's vocabulary is almost entirely made up of animal noises, we took him to Baby Animal Days at Wheeler Farm. Jeremy and I have been before when we lived up there. The place is packed with kids and frazzled parents with cameras in hand. They have this early in the year to ensure that the mud (and stuff) is up to your ankles so that you get the full farm effect. Needless to say, Tyler had a blast. Tyler got to see and touch the following animals (because I'm sure you're interested): A full sized ox, goats, chickens, bunnies, ducks, cows, pigs, horses, sheep and even a little turtle. At one point he got so overwhelmed with everything that was going on that we took him off to the side where there wasn't any people. He stood by the little coraled pony and gathered his little thoughts until he was fine again. It was sensory overload for the poor little guy. The animals were great fun and he loved to touch all of them. He got to quack at the duck and the chickens, moo at the cow, and baa at the seep. His favorite thing by far, though, was the guy dressed up like a big, smiling, somewhat scary-looking bunny. We were standing in line to see him and Tyler was waving to him the whole time. When it was finally our turn he was so excited. We set him on the bunny-man's lap and he just sat there with a little shy grin. When I felt like we were done, I held out my hands to get him and he didn't want to leave the bunny. He sat there, not doing or saying anything, but just wanting to stay there. The bunny-man must have thought it was cute because he gave him a big squeeze and a pat on the head. I picked Tyler up and he immediately started crying and blowing the bunny-man kisses through the tears. It was then that we realized that we'd have to purchase a gigantic bunny suit.

Anyway, that was fun. Tyler wouldn't even try the cotton candy, though. Seriously, that kid is missing out. He also doesn't eat chocolate chip cookies. Or cake. He doesn't get these oddities from my side of the family. Also, I mentioned before that he mostly says barn yard animal words... That got me thinking that maybe, for future reference, I ought to list the other words he now says while it's still short. Here it goes in no particular order: Quack, Moo, Arff, Meow, Baa, shoe, more, wha?, ball, car, church, Mom, Da, nana (banana), boo(k), no, yes. Sometimes we think he says other things, but they haven't been repeated more than once or twice, so we don't know for sure. Tyler also loved hunting for eggs and finding little surprises in them. In fact, he probably enjoyed opening and closing the easter eggs and gasping every time at the prize than the prize itself.

In other news, Jermey's liking his job. He's been training with all the other departments so far, and so hasn't really done any of his own job. But he likes his boss and the employees that he's met thus far. It seems that most people who work there stay there for a long time. That says something about the work environment. Anyway, I won't go into detail, but we're just so happy he has this job. Jeremy comes home happy from work every day, I'm happy when he comes home. I think it will be a while before you hear him lamenting, "I have to go to work tomorrow". We count work as a blessing!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

A face like this can only mean one thing: Jeremy got a job!!!!

So here's the low down: Thursday morning Jeremy had the interview with the HR Director as mentioned in the prior post. He was told at the end of the interview that he'd get a call from them "later that week or on Monday". We were completely bummed because we just wanted to KNOW, and we didn't want to have to stress it all weekend long. I had just begun to make french toast for dinner (I know, fancy huh?!) when Jeremy got the call. The GM offered Jeremy the job. He'll be the HR Representative for G&K in Utah. As soon as Jeremy hung up the phone we were both crying. Tyler was laughing at us because he didn't know what was going on. We then got on our knees and thanked the Lord for helping us through our trials. We cried some more, and then started calling family and friends. I can't describe what it feels like to finally have that stress gone. It's amazing that we could physically feel it being lifted off of our shoulders. Suddenly life is brighter and we're just happy little clams. Jeremy's a little nervous to get back into the workforce, but I know he'll be great. I think the hardest part will be leaving little Tyler. The light in all of this is that Jeremy has been able to spend so much time with Tyler. Tyler couldn't love his daddy more, and I know that it will be a hard adjustment for both of them. Jeremy starts his new job this upcoming Monday. It's just so exciting, and a huge relief! I just can't believe that we've made it this long without him working. We've truly been blessed!!

One downside of Jeremy getting a job: I think I've gained three pounds this weekend. What do you do when you celebrate? That's right. Eat. And we've eaten a lot. My parents, along with Emily, Brent & Becca came that night to celebrate with us. We ate at Porters because Jeremy wanted a steak. Unfortunately Tyler's teeth were hurting him so badly that he screamed the whole time we were there, so we had to take turns holding him in the car. His medicine kicked in right before it was time to leave. Our good friends Kelly and Melanie Summers (who we suspect are the only ones who read this blog... Hi guys!) also dropped by that night and brought Jeremy balloons and root beer floats. Mmmm... Then we spent the weekend with my twin brother Jeff and his wife Alicia and ate. Then, we ate more. Finally, we ate again, until my stomach could take no more. Needless to say, I'm on a diet for the next 10 weeks to make up for that one weekend.

And now, a story: Friday morning Jeremy remembered that it was garbage day and that he had to get the garbage can out within the next 2 minutes or we'd be forced to live another week holding our noses while we pass the big black can. He went outside in his garment top and pajama pants and neglected to put on his shoes. Unfortunately, it was snowing and there was mushy blanket of slush covering our driveway. Now, any of you who have been to our house know about our dreaded driveway. It's pitched at a 45 degree angle up to our house, and in the winter, it's a nightmare. Anyhoo, Jeremy comes back inside after taking the garbage can out and he has a sad look on his face. He begins to whimper to get my attention. I asked him what was wrong. Apparently, he was taking out the garbage and slipped on the slush. Down he went, along with the garbage can, sliding all the way down on his bum. He stopped at the end of the driveway, but the garbage can kept going into the street. Garbage was everywhere. Looking back, I wish I had taken a picture of his wet bum when he came back in. "Did anybody see you?" I wondered. Because I'm pretty sure they were laughing if they did. "I think Becky Anderson did!" He replied. I'll have to ask her about it next time at church. I'm sure we'll have a good chuckle about it.

One more thing of note (I know, it's getting to be like a novel)... I was going to take Tyler out to the park today, so I got him all ready and then was putting on my socks and shoes. Somehow Tyler fell and hit his mouth on my dresser. Again, there was blood everywhere. He cut his little lip. This is his first little accident that involved any blood, and I wondered how I was supposed to clean a cut on a mouth. Because he just wanted to suck on it. Then I started wondering how I knew if he needed stitches or not. So I ended up calling one of the experts: My mom. She suggested letting him suck on ice. I had something better: A frozen "Gogurt". It ended up being a brilliant idea because it stopped the crying AND the bleeding. Thanks, mom.

I'll end with a picture or two I took of Tyler's haircut. Before:

After (I took these today. I didn't do his hair, but you get the idea):


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Night in Review

So a couple interesting things of note happened last night.

Story #1: I woke up sometime in the middle of the night last night because Jeremy was getting out of bed. I look over, and he's looking at the things on the top of our high dresser. "What are you doing?" I wonder.
"Where's the baby?!" He says with an alarmed voice.
"He's asleep," I answer, annoyed that I'm awake for this little sleep walking drama.
Jeremy then starts picking stuff up off the dresser. I don't have much up there, but what I do have happens to be breakable: A potted plant, a vase and a statue my sister gave me. "Where is he?" He says again.
"He's asleep in his room."
"Here, hold this." He hands me the potted plant. I reach out, because I know that he may drop it if I don't.
"Jeremy, wake up. Put all that stuff back." He has the statue and the wedding picture in his hand. "Wake up!"
He stands there confused. Then he fumbles around with the picture, trying to stand it back up. It takes a while. Then he just stands there. "Here, take this plant from me. I want to go back to sleep." So he does, and then climbs back into bed, snoring away.

Story #2: This morning Jeremy went to go get Tyler out of bed and found that there was blood everywhere. At first, there's shock, then concern. But immediately he deduced from the caked blood all over his face that it had come from his "dot". Tyler has had a little red dot that sticks out on his cheek for a couple months. The doctor said it was either a red mole or a hemangioma. So we were going to wait it out and see if it went away on it's own. Well, apparently he rubbed that thing off his face sometime during the night. The result was blood and more blood. It looked like a bloody crime scene in there. So I spent the morning stain treating and washing all the bed linens and blankets, along with the bed slats. It's times like these when you're always reminded of CSI. And I could see them coming into my home to investigate a crime (that I obviously didn't commit) and shining those little blue lights everywhere. They'd shine it on the crib. "Something obviously happened in here. They tried to clean it up. They always think that they can fool us." And then Grissom will tell a inappropriate-for-a-grizzly-murder-scene-joke, after which the theme song will start playing. I'm pleased to report, however, that Tyler is fine and it apparently didn't hurt him at all because he didn't wake up in the night crying.

In other news, we think Jeremy has a chance at getting this job at G&K. He's had five interviews with them thus far, for a total time of about 9 hours talking with them. They were supposed to give an answer today, but they called last night and asked him to talk to the HR Director that is in Alabama. So that's tomorrow morning, and then the GM said he'd call him later that evening. So we're hoping all of this is a formality. If it's not and Jeremy doesn't get the job, then they're really bad decision makers (who's ever heard of 6 interviews?!) and he wouldn't want to work there anyway. But, we're crossing our fingers that this long and grueling trial will be over within the next couple of days.

Tyler is also finally cutting his upper teeth. He's getting four of them at once. He never had a problem with teething with his two lower teeth, so I wasn't too worried about this round of newcomers. I was dead wrong about that, though. He's been an ornery little boy the past couple of days on and off and we don't really know what to do for him. He doesn't like to chew on things like other babies do, so I just give him his Binky and try to distract him. When it seems like he's really hurting I'll give him a little Tylenol and that seems to help. Poor little guy.

One other thing, we've decided to have this be a private blog. So, any of you who would like to have access to our blog, please give me your email address and I'll give you access.