Thursday, August 30, 2012

Because Sometimes I Like To Write Random Stuff: the Moon

Last night I got into bed, early and exhausted, and was snuggled under the covers when I noticed there was light all over our room. I'd forgotten to draw the curtains and was pretty annoyed before I realized it was moonlight and then was so pleased, I slithered to the foot of our bed for a better view and fell asleep there (sorry, Dave). Today I've been contemplating what it is about the moon that pulls me in and makes me feel all calm and hopeful. I narrowed it down to a few things:
Google images: People playing with the moon
     First: it takes me back home. It was not a conscious routine while growing up, but now I realize that pretty much every night before I went to bed, I stopped at the front door to look at the moon shining on the mountains in front of our house. Man, that Virginia is a beautiful place. All year around, but for moon-gazing purposes, especially in the winter. I sure love me a frosty, shining moonscape! It's what I thought of when I was at BYU and getting out of late classes at the end of a semester. I would look up at the sky and think about how the moon was shining back home too, and I would see tiny lights blinking up there of planes and would start humming "I'm leaving on a jet plane." I feel certain I'm not the only sad little homesick college student who has done this.
    Second: Dave and I got engaged by a river, by moonlight. I remember when he pulled the ring out of his pocket to put on my finger, and the moonlight sparkled on the water and on my beautiful ring. It just wouldn't have been the same in broad daylight, which to me has less magic and romance. Maybe that is because I got engaged in the moonlight though...if he had proposed at noon in the parking lot of a taco bell, maybe that would suddenly be the most romantic setting...hmm.
    Third and finally, I think the moon is even more appealing because God designed it with the darkness right by its beautiful shining self. We appreciate it all the more and we don't focus on the dark, but the glorious light. Of course, we love stars too, and the sun, but the moon seems more intimate and personal to me. Perhaps because we've actually walked on it (mankind, that is. I just remembered that Neil Armstrong passed away this week. He sure was a cool guy - we should all go read HIS essay about the moon.) Anyway, the final point I was getting around to making was that God gave us the moon and a billion other things because he loves us and wants us to feel love and peace and hope. If only we paid more attention! I've been neglecting quiet moments like last night for a long time. I am challenging myself to stop and appreciate the divine more often. To pause and observe and think about the love He has for me. There isn't anyone that loves me or you more, and I think we all could do with a bit more love and closeness to Heavenly Father. I tell you, it's a heck of a lot more pleasant and worth-while than falling asleep writing a to-do list in your head!
Let tomorrow take care of itself and live in the moment that God gave you so it doesn't pass you by.
Preach, sister! Why, don't mind if I do!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Business As Usual: Hiking, Eating, Posing

This post is brought to you by, or rather despite, the tappings of a toddler on the key board.
Another week for the books! When you ask me what I did today, you usually get something like, "oh, went to the park and walked around and went to the library and the gym and took a nap and changed some diapers..." Not riveting stuff. So "the books" the week was for might be kind of the boring type, but they are mine, and I love them. 

Fuzzy cell-phone pictures:

Saturday hike up Battlecreek Canyon with some friends. This hike is good and short but steep enough to break a sweat. At least for me.
Riley looking at the wrong camera
Splashing in the cold melt-off.
Popsicle before and after. Or beginning and during (second picture you can see her pink nails. She loves them. Dave did them. I helped.)

 Pictures of Joe: added by conscious effort because he is usually upstaged by sister.
Mom: you asked if he was smiling yet and today I finally got a few toothless smiles for you to enjoy!

 What makes this guy smile? Senseless cooing, mostly. And food. Of course.  Unfortunately I am breastfeeding and to catch one of those smiles would be tricky as well as awkward for us all.

haha - a thousand words...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sibling Love

Riley is teething and CRAAANKY! At one point she was stomping around and growling (literally, growling) while ripping the scrabble instructions to bits. I pulled out the big guns and let her hold lil' Joe and it was instant flip mode - there is no bad mood bad enough to resist his charms.
 See - charming. And holding it together pretty well on the lap of a drooly toddler.
 And now she's holding my hand. Its all good, I'll just suck on my lip.
 Ok this chick is a crazy! MOM!
The dreaded lick-kiss. NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

Riley felt much better after only about a minute of cuddling with Joseph - that's how he works. He, on the other hand, needed a little mood therapy himself after this session. But I didn't take pictures of that - it was boring, he just cuddled in my arms.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Dang it Feels Good to be a Gangster

Today had a theme. Riley poked Joe in the eye, licked my face when I went in for a kiss, laughed at me when I was doing a workout video, and ripped into one of my books. I tried to get the kiss-lick for you on video, using Dave as bait, but what we got was even better:
Many eons ago I asked my high school seminary teacher if he was raising football players, as we watched his little boys tackle each other across the room. His response: "Nope. Thugs."
 I'm with you, Brother Schmelter. And thank you - your words are still inspiring me today :)
Riley's hat naturally slides to the side like that.
But then, she has also been blowing kisses (though points them to you instead of waves them - its adorable), and when she found a picture of her Zizi and Grandpa she carried it around chortling for about five minutes and then cried when I took it away. Little gangster really is a sweetie.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

How To Exhaust a Toddler

Take her hiking to the Y.
Help her make a brother sandwich, and let her kick rocks down the mountain.

Head to the splashpad to cool off.
"My milkshake  brings all the boys to the yard."
"Oh hi, friend, that's a nice belly button you got."

Visit a toy store with a scary mechanical horse.

Engage in some retail therapy after.

And there ya go - you have yourself a completely exhausted one-year-old.

*Disclaimer: end product might have a complete meltdown if not put down for a nap immediately following activities.

*Steps may likewise be applied to parents for similar, exhaustive results.

*Riley is wearing no shoes in any of these activities. I guess we likes to let our hair down on Saturdays. Speaking of which: notice her new haircut? I trimmed it while we were exploring our yard the other day, every time she squatted to inspect grass/bugs/twigs. Lets just say I'm glad she is too young to care.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Yum Yum Gimme Some

I tried to teach Riley how to make a chocolate pie yesterday. She stirred a little bit  but ultimately managed to thwart my attempts to keep the spoon out of her mouth, so I confiscated the bowl and finished making it myself.  Riley got to lick up delicious chocolate batter (egg-less, don't worry).

 Yesterday was our anniversary and Dave had to work so we planned on celebrating Saturday, but I wanted to be sneaky and surprise him by putting the babies to bed early and having a romantic candle-lit dinner of giant steaks, his favorite dessert, etc. Wouldn't you know it but the even sneakier hubs got off work early, arranged for a babysitter, showed up with a beautiful bouquet and said, "Put a shirt on - we're going out!" (I had just been sicked up on - I don't usually lounge around without a shirt). Then he took me to a fancy-pants restaurant, La Jolla Groves, in the Riverwoods, where we had weird but tasty food like salmon with cilantro butter and chicken in lemon sauce. I kept thinking of Master Chef. And how much I love Dave. Tonight, it's steak for dinner! 

*We taught Riley to say, "Yum, yum, gimme' some." Actually, she says, "Yu, yu geegeegee." Its cute.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Gushing, but its my anniversary so I can

      Dave and I got hitched two years ago today. I know this is blog-worthy and, not wanting to disappoint our blog fans (Mom...Grandma...Pohai...there might be someone else too), I wanted to say something uplifting or humorous about marriage, anniversaries, etc.  Lightning has yet to strike my brain. I struggle to even determine conclusively what it is we celebrate on anniversaries. The joining of two people, two futures? The beginning of a family? Love? And specifically, the second anniversary? Traditionally, second anniversaries are celebrated with gifts of cotton (thanks, Google). Will cue-tips do?
      I'm going to resist my tendency to over-analyze and stick to LOVE. Who doesn't love love? Being in love, feeling loved, having an answer to the hardest questions (its always love. Just go with me on this). I'm so glad love made me take the plunge two years ago with Dave, and that it led us to align our futures for eternity. Two years is nothing compared to forever, but I'm grateful to have had the sample of what I have to look forward to. I don't know that a day has gone by that Dave hasn't made me laugh and feel special. Even at my lowest, which, I would have to say was when I was morning sick with Riley and simultaneously sick with the flu and soooo so pitiful - a weeping, puking, sweating mess -  even then, I was perpetually aware of how much he loved me. He went out to find something, anything that a pregnant lady could take for relief and called everyone he knew who had kids for advice on how to treat morning sickness. He gave me a priesthood blessing. He rubbed my back till I fell asleep. He has always been in my corner, fighting for me when I needed fighting. He makes me feel valued, appreciated. He is committed to me and I am to him. The thought just about makes my heart burst. Thank goodness for anniversaries! Not just an excuse to party but to think back and be thankful - I don't remember my blessings near often enough.
     And now I must include one of my favorite love quotes. Movie junkie that I am, its from "Meet Joe Black."
I want you to get swept away out there. I want you to levitate. I want you to sing with rapture and dance like a dervish...Yeah. Be deliriously happy, or at least leave yourself open to be...
I know it's a cornball thing, but love is passion, obsession, someone you can't live without. I say, fall head over heels. Find someone you can love like crazy and who will love you the same way back...Stay open. Who knows? Lightning could strike.
 Check, check, and check. I love Dave more than chocolate, my Kindle, soccer, or boots. I love him thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis much (arms spread wide). He is always my something to look forward to. He is delightfully surprising and ridiculous and sweet and some days I think I couldn't love him any more and then he does/says something and my heart just opens up another chamber and I do. I guess I'll go make him a pie.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Picnics and Pizza. And other stuff.

Dinosaur onesie and truck shorts...I did not dress him. The blanket was made by a lady from church, who has made one for every new baby in the ward for years. There have been 16 babies born in the past few months. God bless her.
     Its hot and dry and feels like summer is wrapping up. Though it has been hot and dry for a long time now...maybe its all those back-to-school advertisements. Anywho, Thursday we went on a family picnic up Provo canyon. Joseph snoozed in the shade the whole time, like a sensible person, while the rest of us grilled bratwursts, threw around a frisbee, and kept Riley from pestering the wasps nest near by or jumping in the river or getting heat stroke from going a mile a minute all over the park.
      Also, the boys got to rescue an elderly lady who had had trouble navigating all the road work and pulled into the parking lot with one of those orange barrels stuck to her bumper. She whispered to Dave, "Maybe I should go a little slower." Her car had quite a few dents, so yes, maybe she should.
        That evening we went to the first game of the new softball season. Dave's team has lovely new jerseys - their numbers on the back are in camo, oh so classy.
Watermelon is Riley's Christmas and birthday rolled into one.
Stomping back and forth along the bleachers, waving at anyone that looks her way. Aren't these leggings fabulous? Wish they came in my size.

Yep, slept through the game as well.
Saturday we attended another great RFI event - a walkathon barbeque with family games, silent auction, raffle, and guest speaker, all to raise awareness of child sexual abuse and raise funds for the treatment of victims who might not otherwise be able to afford it. We are proud of our friend James Huntington for spearheading the worthy cause, and its extremely impressive how he and Megan have so far put together two educational, engaging events for a big crowd of people. Both times we were only able to stay for a few hours, but they were still going strong when we left.
Props to our inspirational friends for making the world a better place.

Won a raffle for the first time in my life!!! We won a shake from Purple Turtle. No big deal, you say? Tell yourself that while I'm slurping delicious free ice cream and you have to pay for it.

 What event is complete without miniature pony carriage rides?

We would also like to thank RFI for the best naps we have ever had. Following each event, the babies are asleep before we get home, we put them to bed, and then we crash too.  For THREE HOURS! It is a delightful phenomenon. 

When we woke up we went and ate giant slabs of pizza at The Slab. See what I did there? :)
 It was delicious.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Found this while sorting camera files. It makes me want to savor the moment. I know I have gushed plenty about that already but seriously, time goes tooooo freaky fast. That little baby is turning into a little lady/sometimes monster, and I just...really like her. Dave too. Monday will be our two year anniversary. Hows that for time flying?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

"Bringing Up Bebe" Applications

     I am reading this book on my handy dandy Kindle and really enjoying it (Bringing Up Bebe, in case you missed the title). Funny thing about parenting books - they all kind of diss the other parenting books, because of course, this particular book has the real answers and is here to dispel the fog of all the other conflicting theories out there.  I know that because I've read several, even though growing up we always made fun of my mom for reading them, mainly because she had eight kids of her own and could have written volumes on parenting.
      Anyways, this particular book has been helpful with both our kids. I have used the sleep training techniques on our newborn and am starting to see results. Turns out babies have like a two-hour sleep cycle and tend to wake up in between but will go back to sleep if you don't jump in immediately and wake them up fully (unless they are hungry or messy or need comforting, and then they will come fully awake themselves, but you have to learn the difference). Who knew?
Sweet baby Joseph, bravely sleeping on the couch where Riley can sometimes give him loving pats.
      As for Riley, I have been inspired by the accounts of french toddlers who are able to help assemble cakes and so have enlisted Riley's help with chores here and there. I expect to see results...eventually. Our first attempts were not effective, but Riley had fun and I'll continue to involve her so she can learn to do things properly and I will never have to do laundry again ;). Here are some pictures of our first attempts at chores.
Unloading the dishwasher - Riley decided the utensil drawer needed unloading too. Same with unloading the dryer/clean laundry basket. And folding apparently means twirling the clothes around your head like a helicopter and launching them at the toilet. I curtailed that chore pretty quick.
Thanks, Bringing Up Bebe, for some most entertaining moments.