Sunday, August 25, 2013

bouncing and {almost} barfing

This morning we had one pure hour of awesome fun-ness. We celebrated Talmage going diaper/pull-up free by going to the Super Bounce! It was great- they loved it! I felt like such a good mom for spoiling them with this crazy idea of a morning.

And then the hour was over.

We got home, and Jonathan immediately went to the couch to lay down. He has been sick since yesterday morning but felt okay enough to go to the bouncy place. His okay-health didn't last long and within minutes his temp shot up.

The children, still hyper but tired from our morning adventure, decided to wreck the apartment. I gave them lunch and put them right down for their naps. J & I watched a redbox- Jack the Giant Slayer and it was really good. They slept solid for a few hours which was wonderful...but then they woke up.

It was hell from there. Jonathan got so sick he could hardly stay awake or move from the bed. He kept saying he was gonna barf but he never did, poor guy. As a woman who has been preggo twice, I can verify that throwing up makes you feel soooo much better (even if for a little bit). The kiddos decided that once again the place was way too clean for them and wrecked it once more. This time I had their mess plus household chores plus making dinner plus helping my sweetie feel better all at once. I got overwhelmed and went into ultra-cleaning mode- which totally wore me out. Now, I am not complaining...this is just how tonight went, and to add to it I am on the worst most painful day of my period. I didn't sleep much last night on account of J's snoring and waking up to take T to the potty twice, and I couldn't get much of nap to make up for it (I dozed off for a few minutes on the couch but was startled over & over by my children's screams and punches...ahh)

After getting the kids in bed for the night I escaped to Burger King for a mocha frappe (I'm not even sure if it's okay for me to have it...but its delicious and it cures my hormonal aches). Picked up more red-boxes, too...since I'm pretty sure we won't be going to church tomorrow.

So now here I am. It's nearly 1 am and my brain is in denial. It won't go to sleep because it doesn't believe that it will stay asleep. I decided to re-design my blog (yep.again.) because I felt it was too cute-sy but I think I made it even cutesier than before. haha...oh boy.

I'm going to bed.

Monday, August 19, 2013

a day at the zoo

I ask people all the time what kinds of fun things there are to do around here. About 80% of the time I get this response:

"Have you been to the zoo in Portland?"

And my answer is always "nope". Reasons why I've been avoiding the zoo:

1. It's not exactly cheap.
2. I have been to many zoos...and I'm always underwhelmed.
3. Zoos are crowded and smell like B.O.

But I pushed all my reservations away so that we could create some good family memories. It was really hot but still so fun!

It was so busy though that the zoo parking was full, so we had to take a "shuttle" to the entrance. The shuttle was actually a school bus, and needless to say Talmage was thrilled to ride one for the first time (he is obsessed with school buses- they drive by our window all the time).
on the bus! 
We were hoping that Charlotte would get a little nap in on the drive but she stayed awake, up until the last 5 minutes of course. So she really got NO nap the whole day- a first for her. I was surprised that she stayed happy and alert regardless--the zoo was just that exciting I guess!

One nice thing about this zoo is that its tucked into the woods and there are green trees and ferns everywhere. The trails are so pretty and shaded. And even though it was hot and in the middle of the day, pretty much all of the animals were out and about (many of them napping or eating but at least we could see them) :]


One big attraction at the zoo right now is the new baby elephant. This little guy was so stinking cute, and I got a video of him kicking his soccer ball around. But let me just warn you...there are some pretty eh...weird noises coming from the girl behind me. Talk about obnoxious...and awkward. haha..

There were all these cute little play areas for the kids along the walking trails. I loved this feature.

making the "monkey face" as they watch the orangutan swing above them!

I didn't expect to enjoy the bears as much as I did. They are so majestic and beautiful...but I wouldn't want to get too close to one.  
Talmage kept saying "I wanna see the mangoes!" It took me a while to figure out he was saying "flamingoes" :] 

The sea otter was so funny. Talmage got a real riot out of him (but I still think the river otters are the cuuuuuutest)!

We watched the exotic bird show and while it was going on I had to take C into the restroom to change her diaper. When we came out and we were walking back down to the arena, a big hawk that was part of the show flew toward us and swooped right over my head. Charlotte looked up and said "ooh" and I just stood there in shock. haha. Jonathan said he could see the whole thing and it made him laugh.

It got to a point where we were all so darn hot and sweaty, so we gave in to sno cones. 

We concluded our awesome day by stopping at the gift shop and getting these cute little animals- a river otter and a flamingo [whom we named Oliver & Francine}. Talmage now takes his little otter everywhere...and for some reason these animals taste good, too, apparently...

Overall we were glad that we decided to go and our kids sure loved it, too! Talmage is still talking about his ride on the bus. silly kid. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

18 months

18 months ago...

I held a chubby, pink little baby in my arms and didn't want to let go.

We learned that having a daughter was sweeter than we imagined.

We didn't know what our future would hold--where we would move after Jonathan graduated in May, or what it would be like to have a newborn in the midst of moving to who knows where...

18 months ago,

We didn't care.

Somehow having a newborn baby puts things into perspective- makes you think a little less about what isn't perfect in life and a lot more about what is. Baby Charlotte put life in perspective for us and gave us a new wave of joy that we so desperately needed. We still had our other stresses, but witnessing the beauty of our new babe and the sweet, sweet gift that she was helped us to see that the Lord has many blessings to give.

Now 18 months later, she still brings so much light and happiness to our world! Talmage totally loves her, too.. and they've become best friends :) I cannot imagine having one without the other. They are two peas in a pod. When teething and tantrums are amidst, one cheers the other one up.

18 months old means nursery. Thankfully she's okay with it, and has made some new friends in there. I asked that she and Talmage be put in separate nurseries, and that must have sounded weird since most parents would want their kids together. But I know they would only cling to each other! This way C can socialize with kids closer to her age and have her own play space for a few hours each week.

Some other developements:

*can say: no, ball, baby, please (peeease), thankyou (taank-oo), apple (bapple), yeah, yay, uh-uh, banana (na-na), momma, dadda, shoe, boo, hi, bye-bye, night-night, up, okay, eww, uh-oh...I'm sure I'm forgetting some, it's like a word a day now.

*continues to sign, and I'm so glad she does. I wouldn't know what she was trying to say most of the time otherwise!

*uses fork and spoon, and gets food on there about 30% of the time ;)

*puts toys and books away when asked. it is so nice.

*points to nose, eyes, ears, mouth, hair, and bellybutton!

*walks over to her highchair and hands me her bib when she's hungry. shakes her head no at food she doesn't want to eat (that one is frustrating haha..)

*goes and gets her shoes when I tell her we're going "bye-bye", then plops on the ground so I can put them on her feet.

*lays tummy-down in the bath tub and gurgles the water. as the water gets higher she sits up and drinks it from the spout, then spits it at her brother's face :D

*continues to climb everything in sight. thankfully not out of the crib yet, but she did fall out of it once with Talmage's "help"...

*LOVES her naps. seriously, she practically leads the way when 11:30 rolls around. I give her a binkie and her favorite stuffed animals and she is OUT. this girl never misses her nap.

*has to hold my hand as we walk out the front door. but a few steps further and she's fine with letting go :(

*hates: when I catch her with my phone and take it away, the noise of the vacuum and food chopper, small creatures that aren't dogs, wearing her bathing suit, most vegetables, and water in her face.

*new likes: sliding down the end of the tub, stealing fruit or cookies from the table, standing on the windowsill and giving me a heart attack, dancing {finally}, and picking out her own outfits.

I still love to dress her up, love to do her hair and feel her little curls through my fingers, love to take loads of pictures of her big blue eyes and sweet toothy grin. I adore this girly more than I can express!

Friday, August 16, 2013

DONE. but not really.

I'm gonna switch gears a little and bring up something that has been really hard for me lately....let me re-phrase...really terrible....actually really really depressing. Pretty much everyone that reads my blog that I know of has small children, and so I'm sure most of you can relate. My intention is not to complain, but after reading this article I just had to laugh and then cry because it struck so many familiar chords. This post is mainly just a good way for me to get some thoughts out. Whether or not I decide to "publish" it...well, I don't know yet.

I've been having a very difficult time with my children these last few weeks months. Between tantrums, teething, and what I assume is normal 3 year old behavior, I'm just DONE. Except unlike any other job, I can't just quit and go do something else. I am a mom forever.

Not to mention, I have a ton of personal issues too. But I won't go into all that right now.
Yesterday was one of those "please just let this day be over already"... I was roaming around Target with the kids while Jonathan ran an errand down the street. My goal was to find some fall/winter clothes for the kids because they have like none and the summer is going by so fast. Since I don't have a car at home, I never get out to the store or anywhere else. I rarely have time to look for kids clothes and I am super picky about what I like so it takes me a while to shop. The whole time I browsed through clothes, T was yelling "I wanna play with the toys!" Oh yeah, I said in my head, let's go do the thing you NEVER get to do at home...and I'll just spend my precious time watching you make a mess in the store so I can clean it up when you've decided to stop- which will be never, so when I pry you away as you scream that I'm the worst mom ever. Then Charlotte starts to grab every article of clothing she can get her chubby little hands on, clearing the entire shelf and making a huge pile on the ground in front of our cart. This continued for the next 20 minutes or so. I nearly lost it until finally Jonathan met up with me there and took them to the car while I checked out.

Now..let me just say that these kinds of scenarios happen ALL the time and this was nothing out of the norm, but I was already tired-already stressed-already fed up and I wanted to just go home and shut the door behind me. When I got to the check out, I dug through my wallet to find my Target card that saves us 5% on every purchase. I couldn't find it, so of course I grumbled out loud "Those darn kids go through my wallet all the time...they probably took it out and used it as a chew toy or something..." The cashier just stood there, all pristine and judge-y (you know what I'm talking about...) but I didn't really care what she though of me. I told her I couldn't find the card so could she please just look me up with my phone number or something?

"Um, no. I'm sorry. We can't do that." she said as she beamed a smile.
", that's fine..."
"But if you bring it back within 10 days we can give you that discount at customer service."
 "If I bring back the receipt or the card?"
"The card."
"Oh..okay, so if I miraculously find the card that my kids stole out of my wallet, I can get the discount?"
"Yes." still smiling. "I'm sorry."
I bet.

"Ok. Thanks...." then as she proceeds to scan my items I say, kind of jokingly,
"Don't ever have children, if you don't already." I sort of chuckle and she looks at me, suddenly very serious and says,

"Actually, I have an almost 2 year old whom I love very much. You're telling me not to have another child?"

I didn't know what to say, so I just tried to smile and thanked her, then left. I could hear her and the other young, snobby cashier behind her talking about me. As I walked to the car I thought, Oh? You has a wee little toddler?Whoop de frickin do...just wait about 6 months and your life will be hell. And if you do have another, and I hope you do, you better humble up. Parenthood won't be peaches for long.

I got into the car consumed in my secret loathing and sarcasm, and the kids yelled at each other the whole way home. Nights like this have become normal for me. And I hate it.

I hate the looks that I get in public from couples that don't have children. I can just imagine their thoughts: "That will never be us..we will never be crazy parents who yell at their kids..we will never give our kids fast food..we will never let them watch that much tv..we will never use bribery to get our kids to leave the toy section happily..we will never let our kids leave the house half-naked and dirty.." the list goes on.

Honestly- I never thought I would be that mom, either. But everything changes when you become a parent. EVERY. SINGLE. THING.

It could just be me, thinking that they are judging- but I kind of doubt it. I can tell when I'm being looked at and talked about, and it seems to be happening a lot these days.

For example, our apartment complex has a pool. The rule is to shower before you swim. One night when we went I decided to just get in the water without getting my hair wet because, let's face's hard enough to get one shower in per day when you're a mom. If I showered then I would have to shower AGAIN when I got home, and that's THREE showers. Ain't no one got time for that. As I'm getting in, this little girl says in her bossy voice- "Did you shower? You need to shower before you get in. That's the rule!" I said, "K, thanks..." and ignored her. It turns out that her mom was the manager and was sitting right there watching the whole thing, then the mom turned to her friend and said out loud so I could hear "She obviously knows the rule, she just doesn't care." And then, no joke, she glared at me the entire time. anyway... this isn't really parenting related but its just another case of being judged by someone that has NO idea what, or who, they're talking about.

Why can't people just get over themselves? Do they really have nothing better to do than mock those mothers that are trying their very best not to lose their minds and strangle their children? It takes every ounce of patience I have sometimes to ignore my kids screams and whines and just get them to their beds safe and sound and under the impression that I am not the least bit angry, because I hate sending them to bed without hearing "I love you" and feeling that they are loved. Even if I am fuming on the inside, I try really hard not to explode until after I shut their bedroom door. I know I have parenting issues and I try to work them out but it doesn't help at all when I feel put down by "better-than-thou's".

When my son was 16-18 months old I remember thinking, "Wow this is so easy...I can totally do this. I can't wait to have another!" And then reality soon set in. The demands got bigger, my energies depleted, and the safety net that was Rexburg disappeared into the distance.

As I write this, I realize that I can't easily recall in detail the events of the last few weeks...I think that this is how I keep going. Somehow, after my world turns upside down and my eyes are dry from crying, I forget why I was upset in the first place. There's usually some little, wonderful event that happens and helps me forget. Charlotte's hand on my foot as she's watching a movie, or Talmage's excitement after he draws a picture of a "smiley face pig". Sometimes it's an article about the struggles of parenthood and how none of us moms are alone. Sometimes it's a prayer. And often, it's the love and empathy that I feel from Heavenly Father as I hug my child and plead for their forgiveness.

I love them....I love them more than my own life. I sometimes stay up all night in tears for how much I love them and how blessed I feel to be their mom. So why am I also so annoyed by them???? Did I actually consider sending my son home with my mother-in-law last week when she was here? Why yes, yes I did.

I don't know what else to say...except that I need to stop being a hypocrite and judging others for judging me. So many times I've had thoughts such as,

Wow, you've been a parent for an entire 6 months? You must be an expert!
You're so pretty and all-together...I can't wait till you have kids and get fat.
Go on and enjoy this newlywed stage. It will die as soon as you get pregnant. 

I's bad. I'm not any better for judging them, so I really should just stop. If anyone has suggestions on how to be more humble...or how to control silently judging others...send them my way, please.

I'm going to try my hardest to love my children the way they deserve, but I know the difficulties won't stop. There will still be dark days...lonely days. There will still be judge-y looks from people at church, and in the store, and at the freaking pool. But since there's nothing I can do about that, I'm just gonna try to control my own thoughts and feelings. Here we go...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

more beach- plus peaches, nursery, slides, and a circus tent!

This past weekend we were thrilled to have Jonathan's mom and sister come up from Idaho to visit us! It gets kinda lonely around here sometimes, and family members make the best visitors!

Our first little outing together was picking peaches while Jonathan worked on Friday. This was my first time picking, but I was determined to learn how to can. My MIL is a pro at canning peaches...she has a peach tree at home and probably cans a hundred or more jars each year. It was kind of perfect that she came to visit just as the peaches were ripe enough!

We picked about 40 lbs, not a ton but enough to get started and learn the canning process. Surprisingly all 20 of my jars sealed. I was ecstatic! I think it will be overwhelming to do it again, without her help...but my pear order is coming in soon so I'll just try to bear through it (when the kids are asleep and husband is home).
Cressa had one request: that we go to the beach! Even though we were just there last weekend, there were no complaints! We LOVE the Oregon coast and any excuse to go is good enough for us ;)

In the morning we drove to a place called Devil's Punch Bowl- a big rock formation in the shape of a bowl where waves come in and out. It was a bit chilly but not bad. At the top of the hill where we were, there was this little shack called Mo's. I had never heard of it but J's mom was like, "Oh yeah! They have 'world famous' clam chowder here!" So of course we had to try it. Jonathan said my crawfish chowder was much better...and I have to agree. haha :) But it was perfect for the occasion and warmed us up!

And then back to the beach we went! This time we picked a different shore and we were a little skeptical that it would be nice because:
1. there was a 30% chance of rain that day--the only day in the week without complete sun.
2. all the tide pool beaches were further away, so to save some drive time we picked one nearer to us that didn't have a lot going on.

But actually, it turned out perfect with NO rain (even a little bit of sunshine), warm sand, loud and exciting waves, absolutely no wind at all, and some rocks in the distance that were fun to explore. Sadly, no starfish this time...but the beach itself was beautiful. We set up our tent on a sandy hill close to the waves, surrounded by warm dark sand. Michelle (my MIL),Charlotte, and I mostly stayed on the hill and buried toys in the sand for C to find. Talmage, Jonathan, and Cressa played in the waves and ran up and down the shoreline, digging for critters and seashells.

While in Lincoln City, we picked up some saltwater taffy. I tried this stuff for the first time last summer in LC and was amazed that I actually liked it. I'm not a huge taffy person...but this freshly made, Oregon coast taffy is superb.

As if our day couldn't get any better, we stopped at the Spirit Mountain Casino in Grande Ronde on the way home. J's parents always talk about going to the casino buffets and getting all-you-can-eat crab, and as glorious as that sounds we just can't ever justify spending that much on ourselves and going the distance to get there. But Michelle was so nice to treat us to dinner and it really was amazing! They also had chinese food and sushi and glorious desserts....mmm mmm mmm.

Needless to say, our kids were totally worn out that night. They each got a few naps here and there during travel time but they weren't used to so much excitement! It's the best feeling ever to drive home from a fun day and see the kids fall peacefully asleep in the backseat. They seem to fall asleep in the car a lot these days ;) They also stay up a lot later than normal because they now share a room and it doesn't get dark until quite late...summertime is the best :]

Sunday was eventful. 1. I was released from my Primary calling as teacher, and it was bittersweet. I haven't been to Relief Society in a year and a half and I was nervous to go for some reason, but glad to have a change of pace. Reluctantly, I went to sunday school with Jonathan and it felt really odd...all the old people had ipads...
and 2. Charlotte's first time in nursery. I admit that I skipped Relief Society and sat in the hallway...occasionally peeking into the windows to make sure she was okay. She's been attending nursery for the last month with Jonathan, but then they told me she actually belonged in the OTHER nursery (we have two) with leaders she didn't know. Thankfully Talmage is in there, so at least she's around one familiar face. She did great and didn't fuss at all, and I was so proud to see her sitting with the bigger kids and behaving just as good as they were. I forgot to get a picture...but I will this next Sunday for sure!

After church, we drove to Vancouver to see Michelle's sister and Jonathan's aunt Mandy. Mandy and her husband Larry cooked us dinner and then we went up to the park to play. I was a little shocked/ scared/ proud/cautious that Charlotte would go down the slide head first just like Talmage. And then backwards, and then with her feet up in the air, and then on her gosh. Aren't little girls supposed to be lady-like and proper? hehe...

We loved having Cressa & Michelle come! Hopefully we can see them again really soon.

On another note, I've been in a weird mood lately where I've just wanted to re-arrange things. I think that I am craving change, and since we haven't found anywhere to move yet I have to settle with moving furniture around and organizing stuff. (Yes, we want to move into something with more bedrooms but it's proving to be difficult to find something in our price range. For now we are content with where we are...kinda. ha) I took the changing table down, moved the dresser, and then moved T's bedto make room for a new play tent from Ikea that they LOVE. I got the idea from my friend Jayme who recently got this same tent.

Charlotte's side of the room I like much better with the dresser (which is now where changing table used to be). It seems girlier or something, I dunno. Ignore the brown marks on the dresser...still need to paint those white. There were "child locks" right there but of course my kids ripped them off, taking the paint with it.

I love spoiling them with little things like this (and its gonna have to be little things for a long time...) I'm thankful that they are so easy to please.