Monday, June 24, 2013

new perspective

this is a hearty post. lots of randomness. and pictures,, sorry ahead of time!

While living here in OR I have made some new mommy friends. I miss my other mommy friends terribly so it's been nice to have some women to talk to in person about parenthood struggles and such. One thing though about my friends here is that most of them are older and wiser :) I have learned so much from them and to be honest I want to be just like them!

A big thing that I have taken away from my friendship with these women is that they have the right kind of perspective. They don't spend tons of time on the computer blogging or updating their status updates or putting their entire lives on instagram. They use their very precious time doing things with their children and serving those around them. Of course I know they aren't perfect- but what amazing examples they are to me! I'll admit that I spend too much time consumed in the media world, and I'm constantly looking for ways to spend my time being more productive- but it's not always easy. The tv and internet are just so dang entertaining!

One thing that I love to do (outside the world of technology) is pick berries. It's seriously my favorite thing about these Oregon summers. Well it's officially berry picking season and we have enjoyed getting our own strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. One thing I really wanted to do this summer was learn how to make jam. I kinda missed the boat on making strawberry jam because we were out of town so much. But one of my new awesome friends Stacia and I got together to pick raspberries and make jam, and it was so much fun! We did cooked and freezer jams, both amazingly delicious though I think I prefer the freezer kind. I can't wait to make more flavors :D

That night I couldn't resist buying strawberries form the store and making a few batches of yummy strawberry jam, too. I know...they aren't *freshly picked* but it still turned out so good! We've also put our berries in pancakes and on top of cheesecake! yummo :D

Oh and also- whenever we go picking Talmage makes his way to the blueberries and goes to town. He eats and eats them, and then he has to tell me "THEY'RE SO JUICY!" ha ha.. funny kid. He has no interest in anything but those juicy blueberries.

And this is no secret- but the other thing I love to use as a retreat is sewing/crafting. Lately I've been doing more sewing than usual...I don't know why, but whenever we go to the craft store I can NOT get away from the fabric. I hoard the stuff and I don't even know what I'm gonna use it for. And when we went to the great big fabric warehouse in Portland it was like being a kid in a candy store. Usually I get little amounts like 1/4 yd of it doesn't end up being very expensive but then I have all these long scraps lying around. This last week I decided to finally do something with them! haha.

so here is what I've been working on, cause I know yall are so interested. ha ha. 

*bow-ties for my man* (Father's Day gift) Originally I was going to make ties, but I got overwhelmed and took the easier route :] They all have elastic to go around the neck.

more *bow-ties for my littler man* and for my BFF's nephew. these guys just have clips, so if the boy's head or neck grows they can still wear them!

*headbands for little miss* she pulls out bows and flowers but for some odd reaosn these don't bother her. yay!

*little coloring table* (got it from goodwill and painted it white)

It's great for rainy days (it rains here plenty- even in the summer) , or just somewhere to sit and eat a snack!

*fourth of july decorations* (I have very few but at least its something) I'm not the best at making paper pinwheels, so don't look too closely :]

when I'm not out picking, making food, or crafting some random thing I'm trying to find ways to get my kids out of the house. Especially Talmage because these days he has just been awful terrible insane toddler beast. But I know he gets cabin fever in the apartment. So last weekend Jonathan and I took him on a "Talmage date" to see his first big screen movie! We took him a few times as a baby but he was always sleeping (or nursing..that was fun. not!) in the theater.

When we were driving there he kept saying, "Oh no! Where's Charlotte?" He's rarely apart from his sister and he probably thought we were leaving her at home all by herself. I had to re-assure him several times that she was playing with the babysitters (two sweet young women in the ward). Eventually he calmed down and proceeded to ask when we were gonna get popcorn.

I got him a matching shirt and sunglasses, too. he rocked 'em!

He was grinning from ear to ear the whole time, though towards the end he got kinda sleepy and sat in our laps trying to find a comfortable napping position. lol. It was such a fun movie to go see with him- PERFECT for his age & liking. We can't wait to take him to Despicable Me 2 next month ;)

It was fun to spoil him a little. We rarely do things like this..usually it's just "put your shoes on and we'll go for a walk!" haha. Or- "k what show do you want to watch this time?"  or- "how about you go play in your room with a snack?" :D It was good for all of us to do something a little different.

and the best thing about it? Talmage went right back to being a sweet little charmer of a son...let's hope he stays this way for a while!

Monday, June 17, 2013

father's day was yesterday...

annnd I was a little consumed in other things that I forgot to post about it. whoops. well here it is!

"my daddy" according to Talmage.

What's daddy's name? 
d for dennett.
What does he do at work?
umm...he builds tracks for me.
What does he do for fun?
he plays with toys with me.
Can he catch a fish?
yes. one and two and three and four and TEN!
What does he like to eat?
mac and cheese!
Is he a grown-up or a kid?
a kid.
because...he's just so little?
Is he more like Spiderman or Hulk?
But the Hulk is mad- is daddy mad?
no he likes to HULK SMASH!
What does daddy help you with?
ummm he helps me smash.
Is he "really cool" or "super awesome"?
um. awesome.
Is he really smart?
yes, at work he is.
When he comes home what does he say?
he says he'll make me tracks.
...Does he just make tracks all day?
yeah, and...I don't know. I don't know what he does all day.
What's his favorite color?
red...or blue.
Who is daddy's favorite person?
Why do you love your daddy?

and there you have it :] the "tracks" he's referring to are the wooden train tracks from Ikea that he obsesses over. He gets very serious about building his tracks...and he has A LOT of them so he'll make a super long track at least once a day that may go from room to room. It's kinda funny that he thinks his dad loves them just as much as he does!

We sure do love daddy over here. I am so grateful to have him as my husband and as a father to our kiddos. There doesn't seem to be enough gifts in the world to portray how much he means to us, but we  each got him a little something. Matching superhero belts from Talmage (he LOVES heros these days), bow ties from Charlotte (because bows aren't just for little girls, hehe) and a fishing license from me (so that he can get away from me when needed. ha. jk)

He was skeptical about wearing a bow tie to church, mostly because "his buttons were showing". Is this even a bad thing? I have no clue about appropriate men's apparel so I told him "forget the buttons-embrace the new look!" I hope no one was offended by his buttons. I guess we'll have to get him a vest or something.

Of course, there are other fathers in my life that mean the world to me.

My father-in-law, who is a great big teddy bear with fantastic ghost stories to tell. On the day I met him we gathered for prayer around the table and he prayed that I would be comfortable in his home. Little did he know I would make myself VERY comfortable and become his daughter-in-law. haha. I love how passionate he is about growing beautiful things in his garden and keeping his loving wife happy no matter what.

And my own father, who gave me a love for canoeing & kayaking, photography, diy projects, Alfred Hitchcock films, and salty black licorice. I am realizing as I grow older that I am actually a lot like my dad--I am a perfectionist like him and need for things to be a certain way. If you want to call it control freak that's okay, cause that's what it is :D I am also passionate about the outdoors as he is- a trait that my husband tells me over & over drew him to me in the first place. Some other little things about my dad:
he always told me he liked me with short hair. and I totally agree.
he helped with most of my science fair projects, one of which got first place in my grade!
he taught me how to ride a bike on a pebbly street called Harmony Way.
as a teenager, when I was sad, he didn't pry or force me to tell him why. But he would sit by me, say sorry I was feeling bad, and be there for hugs if needed.
the first time I saw him bald I cried because I didn't recognize him (I was like 6).
he is extremely good at making things from scratch- be it wood strip canoes or a telescope or delicious artisan bread.
he was my bishop for 5 years and that was tough, but it made him a more humble and compassionate man.
he puts others before himself. every single day, every single time.
he is a sweetheart to my mom, and sometimes he shops for clothes for her.

I love my dad. I am kind of blown away sometimes at how amazing he is.

I hope yall had a fantastic Father's Day weekend :]

until next time!

Friday, June 14, 2013

not ready for sweet sixteen...but I'll take it in months!

Since our little Charly turns 16 months old the day after Father's Day (and I will probably put up something around then regarding Father's Day) I'm just gonna write all about her a few days early. It's gonna be long and possibly boring, so feel free to just look at the pictures :D

At 16 months, she is:

running, spinning, CLIMBING, talking, signing, CLIMBING, sassing, snuggling, and oh-- did I mention that she climbs? good grief it's like we're parenting a small monkey!

*running- she is super fast, probably because she's always getting chased by her brother. She also likes to run out the door when I'm not watching. About a week ago it was truly scary and we couldn't find her for a whole 7 minutes. It was the scariest 7 minutes of my life. We found her climbing some apartment stairs a few hundred feet away. gah!

*spinning- one day she randomly started spinning in circles. It was THE cutest thing ever. When T was about this age I actually taught him how to spin and we'd say "spin spin spin!" in a sing-songy voice. But I never showed her...she just figured it out! Now she spins all the time...when she's bored, or in the middle of a song, or perhaps just to get my attention (it works). I love it when she spins.

*climbing- I know, I know...most toddlers like to climb and my child is not unique. But wow, she climbs EVERYTHING. If there is way to get higher, she will find it. I'm amazed she hasn't figured out yet how to climb out of her crib, and then boy are we in for it! I am nowhere near transitioning her to a toddler bed yet.

*talking- if you ask, "what does the cow say?" she will say "mooooo" and I love it. I probably ask her what the cow says 56 times a day. I just can't get enough.
She also says "hi" "mama" "dada" "yay" "eyes" and "uh-oh"..and that's it. She's not much of a talker...she prefers screaming and mooing.

*signing- This is where her communication comes in clear since she doesn't talk much. So far she will sign "eat" "more" "please" "thank you" "drink" "milk" "all done" "stinky" and "sleepy". For some reason signing just comes natural to her (it took much longer for T to catch on), probably because she's good at mimicry. Last night she tried to mimic me sneezing for a whole 10 minutes. Jonathan and I were just staring at her and laughing then staring and laughing some more...there were even tears it was so funny! She also mimics Talmage when he gets upset and starts "huffing and puffing" and throwing a tantrum. It's great because when he sees her doing what he's doing he just laughs and his tantrum is short-lived (I KNEW we had two kids for a reason!..haha)

*sassing- ah yes. the sass. She has loads of it, and when she doesn't get her way she will pout her lip, plop down on the ground, and wave her arms around. But she never screams when she's upset...she only does that for fun :D

*snuggling- I don't know if it's a girl thing or what but this girl LOVES to snuggle. Multiple times a day for no reason she comes up to me with her arms out for me to pick her up. And then she wraps her chubby arms around my neck and squeezes....for a long time. She stays like that, just squeezing my neck. If there was a record for longest toddler hug I'm pretty sure she would beat it. And she does it with other people, too. When we were with family in Idaho she would do the squeeze hug several times to certain family members that she took a liking to. I can NOT get son never cuddled like that and I had to force him to stay on my lap for longer than a minute, but she is a cuddle bug by definition. I hope that never changes.

She still doesn't like vegetables with the exception of corn & peas & cherry tomatoes. I have given her just about every vegetable on the planet and she just throws it on the ground. I think the only reason she likes corn & peas is because we give her the sweet kind and she thinks its fruit. And she must like tomatoes because I am obsessed with them.

We also just found out she likes bacon. yuck. She must get that from her daddy.

speaking of obsessions, she has a few of those too.

1. Little Mermaid. the songs in the movie she will always dance to, and she doesn't dance often. She also picks out all the little mermaid toys that we have lying around and play with them nonstop. At the cabin we came across an Ariel barbie doll that she loves (and though I said no daughter of mine would never play with barbies, I don't have the heart to take it away...)

2. Cows. She loves to read about them, moo like them, pet them, stare at them, play with cow toys, and see them on the tv. I have no idea how this even happened.

3. Babies. It wasn't until a few week ago that I realized she loves babies. She doesn't see a lot of them, but when she does she will do everything in her power to get as close to that baby as she can. I taught her to "be soft" with them and rub their head--so that's what she does. She sits by them and rubs their head. As long as the baby is stationary so is she. She won't move until someone comes to pick up the baby. When I saw her act like this, a tiny little voice cried out "Aren't you SO ready to have another one so she can be a big sister?!" And for a second I was like "YES!" ..but that quickly faded. lol.

It also makes me kinda sad to see her sitting next to a little baby, watching over her. Because to me, she is that baby that needs watching over and she is still so little. When I see her acting all protective and enamored over a child that is smaller than her, I am reminded that she is the bigger child. I cannot believe that she is getting so big...okay, tears are a comin...I better stop writing. haha..

Happy 16 months Charlotte! We love you!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

on the road...AGAIN.

Wow, what a crazy couple of last weeks we've had. I'm happy to be home again and in the normal routine of things...even though I am CONSUMED with laundry!

The short story is- we went to Idaho for Memorial Day and had fun. then we came back to Oregon. then, a few days later, we got news of Grammy's passing away and headed BACK to Idaho just one week later. And we were there all last week. Now we are home AGAIN. for good. hopefully.

Before we left I made this blanket for baby Emelia, but I made the big mistake of not checking first how her name was I put an "a" on it for "Amelia". oops. Alison (her momma) didn't act like she minded but I felt really dumb. ha..
 also made this "lovey" with the extra minky scraps.

The night before we took off we also decided to try out the complex pool for the first time this summer. It was good to take a break from packing and other stresses...and it was super hot, so the pool was definitely a good idea.

Now, the drive from Salem to Parma is about 7 hours...with about an hour added on for rest stops aka diaper changes and/or minor toddler emergencies. Our kiddos are actually pretty content in our little car..they've got the double dvd players going, with snacks all around and a backpack full of books, electronic toys, coloring stuff and activity pages. But um..7 hours is a long time, regardless of how much awesome crap covers our backseat. And we did it four times within 3 proud as I am that we survived, I don't think we'll be taking any more road trips for a while.

However- I am so glad we went back. Grammy's funeral was so nice and we got to see ALL of Jonathan's family- including my sister-in-law that is one of my best friends! Megan and I grew up together in the south, then grew up and went to school in Idaho and married brothers. haha! I love her. It was so special seeing her, Daniel, and little Ryleigh. Ryleigh & Talmage were conjoined at the hip the entire time they were together. Unfortunately their family was only able to stay for about a day and a half, but we made good use of our time :D

Although we were all brought together for a funeral, it was also like a mini-vacation. The family rented a cabin in Garden Valley for the week and it was so beautiful there. The river's edge was just footsteps away and there was also a big pond next door.

My most favorite moments during our stay:
roasting marshmallows in the fire pit
canoeing & swimming around the pond with Jonathan
trying again & again to catch a fish..never got one, but Jonathan probably snagged like 30. haaa
Talmage & his dad fishing together for the first time
seeing T reel in a big 'un :D
cousins playing together and having such a good time!
being with Megs & Alison!
meeting & holding my brand new niece Emelia (just two weeks old!)
Farmer's Market in Crouch, where I scored an antique jar that I've been searching for.
hot tub. nuff said!

Now that we're home I'm looking forward to some sewing therapy, berry picking, and getting officially settled in Oregon (now that we know we're staying for good). Being absent from the internet so much these last few weeks has been really nice and its made me realize how much LESS of it I need in my life. So if I don't blog as much or update my FB status every day, that is why. haha. Summertime is prime time to be away from the computer and outside with the kids, who are literally growing like weeds before me!