Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Things We Never Thought We'd Do

There are things in all of our lives that we swore we'd never do.  Things we experienced growing up, that we promised ourselves we would not repeat with our own kids.  Some are big things.  Some not so big.  But we all have them.

When I was growing up, money was tight.  We didn't have lots of new, stylish clothes.  And it wasn't uncommon to have hand me downs from friends.  When something got a hole in it, my mom would carefully figure out a way to patch it up.  Cute little appliques were applied to cover holes or stains.  This worked well when I was small.  But as I got older, I began to notice that other kids didn't have butterfly patches on their knees.  And I promised myself that when I had kids of my own, I would never patch their clothes.  I would throw them out and buy them something new.

That mindset changed recently.  Jack is at a stage in his boyhood where he is rough on his clothes.  He likes to run, then drop to his knees and slide.  He kneels outside on the gravel and plays in the rocks and dirt.  He scoots around, falls, trips, skateboards, plays basketball, does all the things a healthy, growing boy should do...and should be ABLE to do.  This behavior does have its consequences however.  One of which is wearing through the knees of his pants far before he outgrows them.  In the past month, holes have formed in 3 of his 4 pair of jeans. Jeans that are only a couple of months old, and still have lots of wear left in them. So, I asked Jack if he minded having patches on his knees.  I even offered to buy some cute "boyish" fabric to patch them with.  He didn't care.  And he didn't want the fun fabric, just plain blue.

So today, I spent an hour patching his jeans.  Three pair, with 5 holes between them.  I didn't bother trying to make the patches into cute shapes.  And honestly, I suddenly didn't care so much about what someone else might think seeing my son in patched up jeans.   He'll outgrow them soon enough.  And with each patch I sew, comes a reminder that he is a healthy, vibrant, growing boy.  The patches are just the battle scars that prove it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Week in The Life...

Sometimes I try and remember what life was like pre-kids. What did Steve and I do in the evenings and on weekends? What did we talk about?

Life is ultra busy now, and there's not enough time for all we want to do, let alone need to do. I haven't taken the time to post as things have taken place, so here's a brief recap of what's happened in the past 14 days around the Whitaker Household:

  • 15 Wizard of Oz performances, attended by many friends and family. The end was bittersweet - it's been a wonderful experience in so many ways, but I think our entire family is a bit relieved that it's over.  No more late nights, braids, wig caps, make-up, costumes and the like to deal with!
Olivia & the "Lion" after the final performance
  • Revolving door for house guests - between both sets of my parents, Steve's mom, and friends, I've changed the sheets on the guest bed more than in the past year combined!  I'm not complaining though, I love having company, and the kids have enjoyed all the extra attention.
  • Quick trip to Utah for a friend's wedding (no kids or hubby, just me!).  Caught up with old friends, visited with my 90+ year old grandma and favorite aunt.
Tiffany (the bride), Jenni and I all served our missions together in the Canary Islands many years ago.  Even though we don't see each other often, when we get together, it's like not a moment has passed since all those years ago!
    It was such a treat to visit with my Aunt Catharine - who now feels more like a dear friend than an aunt.  We went together to visit my Grandma, who was so surprised to see me!

  • Put together a memory book for Jack's kindergarten teacher's 60th birthday - "60 things we love about you", which ended up being a bigger project than originally anticipated.  But it's finished and ready to give tomorrow!
  • Attended HNTB holiday party with Steve at The City Club in San Francisco.  A beautiful evening, and a wonderful night out with my sweet husband.

It was so fun to get all dressed up and have a night out on the town!

While I sometimes miss aspects of those child-free days of years ago, I love the life I'm living.  And I know soon enough, the kids will be grown and gone, and Steve and I will look at each other and laugh as we remember the crazy days that we now call life.  

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Our Very Own Cornholio...

Remember back in the 90's, when the MTV show "Beavis & Butthead" was all the rage?  It was one of the shows that I hated.  I didn't like the language, the topics, the characters, anything about it.  But there was one part, where one of the characters "transformed" into this Cornholio character that always made me laugh.  If he had caffeine or too much sugar, he would lift his shirt up onto his head and run around like a wild maniac.  

Today at the donut store, after downing a chocolate glazed donut and a pint of chocolate milk, Grant went through the transformation.  

I swear, he did this completely on his own. We're in big trouble.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz!

For the last 3 months, Olivia has been rehearsing for her roles in the StarStruck Theatre production of The Wizard of Oz.  

Last night was opening night.  My dad flew in from Oregon for the occasion.  The play was amazing, the actors were so talented and the special effects were spectacular!  Olivia is in 2 scenes, as a munchkin and a poppy.  Watching her on stage made the months of craziness all worthwhile.  She was beautiful and I was proud!  Even my dad, who is not a big "Broadway" fan, let alone youth theatre, actually enjoyed the show and was smiling and laughing throughout.

Grandpa Kurt & Jack (along with class mascot Al, home with us for the weekend) waiting for the show to start.

Olivia, with 2 of her munchkin friends after the show 
(Liv's the one with the red hair!)

Grandpa Kurt with his girl

My little munchkin...all grown up!

After we dropped off Grandpa & Jack, Olivia and I headed out to La Pinata for the Opening Night cast party.  I would have just as soon gone straight to bed (it was 10:30, after all...), but Olivia was so enthusiastic and excited that I just couldn't say no.  So, I ate a basket of chips and salsa and watched her laugh with her friends, and realized that the small sacrifices we make (like not enough sleep) are building memories that will last her a lifetime.

She has 10 more shows over the next 2 weeks, and I'm sure we'll all be glad when it's over.  In the meantime, I'm becoming a pro at applying stage make up.  And Olivia is already planning next year's audition, so I have a feeling I'll be applying much more makeup and having many more sleep deprived nights in the years to come.  And I couldn't be happier.

Advertising note:  If you live in the area and would like to get tickets, don't delay...they're nearly sold out!  Visit the StarStruck Box Office to purchase online!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Flushed Away...

Kids and toilets are not exactly a match made in heaven. Potty training aside, there is all sorts of trouble to be made in the bathroom. I have never been one to completely baby-proof the house. I just put dangerous things up out of reach. I've never been a fan of the toilet locks. I want to be able to use the toilet when I need to, without having to figure out how to open it up. Especially in the middle of the night. And before Grant came along, toilets were never a big attention-grabber.

In the past several months, we've had numerous toilet cloggings. Grant dumping the bathroom garbage in and flushing. Grant shoving an entire roll of toilet paper in and flushing. Toothbrushes & hairbrushes have gone for a dip. We've repeatedly scolded him and lectured him on the consequences of flushing things away.

On Thursday, the toilet paper holder mysteriously went missing. I didn't think much of it, until last night when Steve came down saying the toilet was really clogged, and was there a possibility that something was in there that didn't belong. Bingo! A light went on and all of a sudden, I knew where the paper holder was.

When Steve asked Grant if he had put anything in the toilet, he calmly said "Yes", like it was no big deal! After an hour of dis-assembling, unclogging and re-assembling, the kids' toilet was in working condition once again. Maybe those toilet locks aren't such a bad idea after all...

A couple of weeks back, in a heated conversation with Grant about his "naughty" behaviors, he adamantly insisted "I'm not naughty. I'm not naughty...I'm just wild." Truer words have never been spoken.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Just a few minutes a day!

Here's my second layout from the class - the assignment was to convert a photo to black & white and use a "quick page" to create a finished scrapbook page. It only took about 10 minutes to complete, which leads me to believe that I could potentially complete a couple of pages a day...I'm on my way!

In Between

I'm taking another online class through Jessica Sprague's website - titled "Up & Running with Photoshop". It's a digi-scrapping class, my new favorite hobby! Much of what I know is self-taught through much trial and error, and I decided that it was time I actually learned the right way to do things (not to mention the more efficient way!).

Here's the layout created in my first lesson:

I want to do a better job of documenting the ages and stages of our kids - not just specific events. This layout does just that for Olivia. I'm looking forward to new skills, new perspectives, and a whole lot more productivity (a step towards meeting my resolution to get caught up!).

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ringing In The New....

It's a new year!  And with that comes a clean slate for tackling the personal improvements I strive for.

Last night, after devouring Chinese take-out, we sat down with the kids to recap our year, as well as set some goals for this new year.  Here they are:

Biggest accomplishment:  Going poop in the potty (that's a biggie for me too!!!  Almost done with diapers in this house!)
Best memory:  Riding in the dune buggy with daddy.  "I be scared!" (to quote Grant exactly)
To do in 2009:  Watch Jack be Nemo (Don't ask where this came from.  I think he was referring to watching Jack swim?)

Biggest accomplishment:  Learning how to read!  Also learning how to ride the quad and being nice to his brother and sister.
Best memory:  When Niav came over to play (his girlfriend from Kindergarten) and going to LegoLand & the San Diego Wild Animal Park.
To do in 2009:  Go to LegoLand for 4 weeks.  Also, stop sucking finger and join swim team.

Biggest accomplishment:  Learning how to drive the quad by herself.  Also singing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" alone in front of more than 200 people at our ward Christmas party.
Best memory:  Starting 4th grade.
To do in 2009:  Get all "A's" in school.

Biggest accomplishment:  Being Mr. Mom while I trained for multiple races this year.
Best memory: Camping with the kids, watching Jack start Kindergarten, watching Jack do gymnastics and Olivia do swim team.
To do in 2009:  Finish the house (remaining windows, carpet, master bathroom)

Biggest accomplishment:  Completing 1 sprint and 2 Olympic distance triathlons, as well as 1 1/2 marathon.
Best memory:  Celebrating 11th anniversary with Steve in Yosemite.  Also being mom to 3 amazing kids and watching them grow into such capable people.
To do in 2009:
  1. Maintain better order in the house on a daily basis.
  2. Get down to 145 - it has to be possible!
  3. Read 15 books - not all fiction.
  4. Get caught up with our family scrapbook (that is a daunting task!)
  5. Spend time daily strengthening my spirit.
As a family, we set a couple of goals as well:
  1. Go to LegoLand this summer (but not for 4 weeks - maybe 4 days.  Can you tell this was a favorite event this year?)
  2. Watch less TV, read more books.
I always love starting the new year.  Even if I didn't achieve all my goals for the prior year, I feel like I can start anew.  And with the encouragement and love of one another, I know anything is possible!