Monday, July 28, 2008

On His Own Two Wheels

Jack is starting kindergarten next month. Growing up, leaving the nest. On two wheels.

Yesterday we went down to our local elementary school parking lot for a riding session. Steve, Grant & Olivia rode down, and Jack and I drove down with his bike. He's been riding his Razor scooter a lot lately, which has greatly helped with his balancing skills. It didn't take much help from Steve for Jack to get the hang of balancing and steering, and before we knew it, he was riding on his own. He screamed as he rode past me - I'm not sure if it was fear or excitement or pride, or maybe a little of all three!

I can't believe that's my baby did she get so grown up?

Grant loved the ride, and didn't want to take his helmet off!

I sense some evening rides the next few weeks - it was a great way to burn off some excess energy and get fresh air.  Makes for pleasant bedtimes too...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Grant as Mr. Potato Head

Nearly every year I was in school, there was that one kid who was always doing silly things, getting into trouble in one way or another. Not because they were actual trouble-makers, but simply because they couldn't help themselves. I fear that I may be raising one of those kids.

Grant came outside yesterday, wearing Mr. Potato Head glasses, and Olivia's 4-H hat. He came up with the ensemble completely on his own. Jack, Olivia and I were already outside. When Grant came out, he immediately started giggling at himself, pointing at his glasses and hat, saying "funny hat, funny gasses" (not a mis-spelling there, that's how he said it!).

I came across a quote a while back that said "Silly is you in a natural state. And serious is something you have to be until you can be silly again." I have three years before Grant goes to kindergarten - and hopefully he'll keep the silliness to a minimum when it's time to buckle down!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Gone, Baby, Gone

This past weekend, we sold our crib and dresser/changing table. I thought I would be sad. I thought that I would feel this huge sense of sadness at this stage of our lives being over. I thought I would think "Maybe we should keep it, just in case...".

It seems like yesterday that Steve and I were expecting Olivia and so excited as we shopped for the perfect nursery furniture. Nothing too ornate or elaborate. Something that would work for a girl or a boy. I remember Steve assembling the crib in our living room, only to figure out after it was all done that it wouldn't fit through the door into the bedroom. We laughed (well, I laughed. I think he muttered a couple of un-mentionables) as he dis-assembled it enough to fit through the door.

My mom and I sewed the first set of bumper pads, a bright cheery yellow. I remember putting Olivia in that crib after bringing her home from the hospital. She looked so tiny in that giant bed. Then Jack and Grant followed, and I continued to love the set. It was just what I wanted.

As I watched the couple drive away this past weekend, with the entire set crammed into the back of their Jeep, I was envious in some ways. Parenthood is just beginning for them and they have no idea of the challenges that lie ahead. The sleepless nights, the worries over whether you're doing it "right", the diapers, the crying, the realization that life as you know it is now over.

But while I'm envious of some aspects of new parenthood, I'm mostly happy that we've moved onto the next stage. Almost done with diapers. No more midnight feedings. No more leaking boobs. No more incessant crying for no apparent reason.
Communication is improving. Needs are becoming more manageable. And we're enjoying more activities as a family.

I will miss the newborns in the family. But I'm also perfectly content to be at this new stage. And amazingly enough, I didn't shed a single tear when that crib and dresser left our hearts and home to begin a new life with a new family.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Why I Love Sex & The City

I have been a fan of this show since I saw the entire "edited" version on TBS a few years back. I loved the characters, and looked forward to each and every episode. While I didn't necessarily approve of the morals and values portrayed, I looked beyond that to the relationships between the 4 main characters - Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte.

Last night, I saw the movie in the theater for the second time. And at the end, I cried. I cried...because the friendship between these 4 women stood the test of time. Through good times and bad, relationships and single-hood, they stuck together, no matter what.

It got me thinking about my friendships through the years. I had some great friends growing up, and I keep in contact with a few - mostly with Christmas cards and the occasional email or visit when I go to Oregon. I have some great friends now. And I know they would drop anything and come to my aid if I needed them. But I sometimes long for a friend with whom I've shared various stages of life.

A few years back, I read an amazing book, titled "Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons". I not only loved the title (who wouldn't?), but I loved the story - about a group of women who went through 3 decades of life together and the friendship that they shared.

I know that I am in a stable phase of life right now - no moves in the foreseeable future and no more babies demanding my time and body. I feel like I have a bit more to give to friends right now, and look forward to the years ahead, where I can develop the type of friendship that I've longed for and envied for some time.

While I don't see myself cruising the streets of Manhattan looking for love, I hope that 40 years from now, I can look back on my life and smile at the friendships that have stood the test of time.

Boys and Their Toys

This past weekend, we acquired yet another off-road vehicle to add to the fleet.  It was purchased under the guise of being for Jack & Olivia.  But I think I know who wanted it more...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Super Heroes in Disguise

After nearly 8 months in the works, the boys' room is finally complete.  It is darling, and they absolutely love it!

New bunk beds

Jack loves to just lounge on his bed - he has the top bunk 

and Grant has the bottom.

These little chairs from Pottery Barn Kids are the perfect place to sit and read.

This vinyl city scape gives a "Gotham" look to the wall!

Now if I can just get them to pick up their toys when they're done, they'll prove they really are super heroes!

Super Girl & The Supernumerary

Several months ago during a consultation with the orthodontist, it was discovered that Olivia had a "Supernumerary" - in other words, an extra tooth - in the roof of her mouth.  After a few months of monitoring it's growth, it was determined that it needed to come out, as it was beginning to put some pressure on the roots of some permanent teeth.  Because of the location of the tooth, her age, and the complexity of the procedure, it was decided that Olivia should be put to sleep for the extraction.

We arrived at 8am at the Oral Surgeon's office.  Olivia was so brave...and went right back on her own when her name was called.  I was left to sit and wait in the waiting room.

Forty-five minutes later, the assistant came out and told me that surgery was over, and Olivia was still sleeping.  She then told me that Olivia was the bravest, most polite patient she'd ever had - more so than most of the teenage patients they saw!  She didn't cry with the IV insertion, and said "please" and "thank you", and was completely cooperative.  I was a happy mommy.

About 30 minutes later, they told me she was ready to go home.  I pulled my car around, and walked through the back door.  There was my baby girl, sitting there all alone, with a piece of gauze hanging out of her mouth.  When she saw me, she started to cry for the first time all morning.  That of course, made me start to cry.  I'm a sap.

This was the culprit...isn't that crazy?

The tooth fairy made a special trip to our house last night, leaving $5.00 instead of the usual $1.00.  I guess she figured the additional pain and hassle was worth a few extra bucks.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Grandma Dearie

As I mentioned in the previous post, we spent the 4th of July weekend in Utah, in honor of my Grandma Mildred's 90th birthday!  She is a charming, classy woman who has lived a full life to this point.

The weekend was full of family gatherings, including a visit to the cemetery where my Grandpa Joe is buried in Salt Lake.  Looking at all the relatives, it was amazing to realize what 2 people had started!  

It was wonderful to see her, and have her meet Grant - although with over 30 great-grandchildren, I don't expect her to remember him!  

I hope that I am lucky enough to live as long as she has, with good health and a family who loves me.  There isn't much more to want in life.

5 Things I Love About Jack...

Last Saturday was Jack's 5th birthday.  We spent the weekend in Utah, with a lot of extended family.  It was probably the biggest party Jack will ever have...there were about 50 people there!

In honor of this milestone, here are 5 things I love about Jack:

1.  Whenever anyone asks how he is, he replies "Great"...even if he's not.  Case in point, he's had a massive ear infection and raging fever this week, yet when I ask how he's feeling, he says "Great!"

2.  He is so kind to his little brother.  Even when it's frustrating to have toys taken away, be pushed or shoved or yelled at, Jack treats Grant with complete gentleness and love.

3.  His laugh is contagious.  He giggles so easily, and at things that aren't necessarily funny.  And even if I'm angry, when he starts to laugh, I do too.

4.  His strong will...although it can be tough dealing with a strong-willed child, I know that his steadfastness will help him as he deals with challenges that lie ahead.  He makes us his mind and doesn't waver.

5.  His soft voice and tender heart...he does not like loud noises (he even covers his ears in Primary singing time sometimes!) or crowds.  He prefers calm and quiet...I think he got that from me!

I am so happy to be his mommy, and love another 5,000 things about him!