Thursday, December 31, 2009

For Hannah: Justification 101 Class Is In Session

My dear friend Hannah is in Africa on a way-to-long-extended three month trip. I've know Hannah since she was born and, as one of her babysitters, had a front row seat watching her and her three crazy brothers grow up. And now she watches my kids for me.

Hannah isn't just my kids babysitter though. She has become one of my friends. And as someone 14 years her senior I have taken it upon myself to impart tidbits of wisdom into her life. (I know. I'm just all kinds of generous.) She has been a fine student. Always attentive and eager to learn.

The main topic I started teaching her this last summer is justifications. The good kind. To me. I'll give you an example.

I got up one morning and exercised before going to a chiropractor appointment where I had physical therapy and was forced instructed to do these awful butt-lift crunches. I was pretty proud of myself just for getting up and exercising and, of course, was planning to reward myself with some ice cream that evening (justification #1). But after those crunches from hell I was totally okay with having an extra scoop of ice cream (justification #2). Plus it was half the fat ice cream which made it totally okay to have a smidgen more (justification #3). Like Pooh's smidgen. Not Rabbits.

So, to sum up, three justifications in one story. Ice cream for exercising. Extra ice cream for the extra exercise and more extra ice cream for eating half the fat ice cream. You got it? Okay.

So, I went to buy some groceries for making my Christmas goodies and found the next justification lesson just waiting to be taught. Since Hannah is in Africa I figured I could write to her here and you all could eavesdrop on our conversation.

So, Hannah, we've made plans to make those Cappuccino cookies I told you about when you get home and I think you'll really like them. I like them but want to leave the cinnamon out this time. I really don't like cinnamon with chocolate. Anyways, when I bought the chocolate chip (Nestle of course) I was pleased with what I saw on the label. Let me show you.

Do you see it? Here's a close up.

That's right! ALL NATURAL! You know what that means? It means that it's totally okay to have another cookie or two when you use these chocolate chips because they are good for you! Genius, right? I know. So, now you just have to hurry up and come home so we can start the baking.

We miss you, girly, and know you are right where you are supposed to be. But we still want you to come home. And now I leave you with pictures of my adorable children to help entice you all the more.

(Abiah's "homeschooler" look. Oh, and notice the color of the walls? New paint!)

(Hazel. Yes. Those are her training pants outside her clothes. She got into the laundry. Clean laundry.)

(Amelia's favorite past time. Freaking mommy out. She thinks it's pretty funny. I think she's pretty cute.)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Smack Down In Costco

Ok. It wasn't a smack down. Just an opportunity for one. That I passed up of course.

I'm not much of a shopper but I love shopping at Christmas time. I enjoy the hustle and bustle. The lights and decorations. The sounds and the smells. Before children I would enjoy browsing the stores with a latte in hand taking in all the people and the excitement of the season.

Since children have entered the picture I don't get that opportunity much at all. I just realized last week how much I miss it. Especially this time of year. My shopping trips now are a mixture of cruising the aisles, keeping our budget in mind and keeping three children happy and relatively quiet until we get to the car.

So last week (Yes, I went shopping last week. For presents. Can we say, "Behind schedule!") I planned a shopping trip. I ask one cousin to keep Abiah and Hazel and the other to come along with me and Amelia. I tried to make an organized plan for the day and felt like it would be a successful day. And it was in most ways. But in all other ways I felt scattered and lost.

I couldn't remember a single present idea that I had planned. I felt like I wandered around aimlessly. I enjoyed my cousin but the shopping was a disappointment. And then we went to Costco.

The scattered feeling was irritating me. Then I misunderstood something about pictures I was having printed. After standing in the line for 15 minutes and paying they told me I needed a release form from the photographers. It was my mistake but I was frustrated. More with myself than anything. But anyways. The point.

As I'm walking away from the photo counter line to stand in the check out line I hear a woman behind me say, "Look at all these damn people!" I admit, this made my blood pressure rise. I wanted to turn around and say, "Lady, you're one of 'em!"

Seriously, people! Everyone knows there are crowds during the holidays. Everyone! And if you don't want to deal with it stay home! And please, if you do go out acknowledge that fact that you are part of the insanity. In fact, embrace it. It is more fun that way.

I'm glad I didn't start a fight in Costco. But I did need to vent. And you seem like a good audience. I now I bow and curtsy. I'm done.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Coincidence or Conspiracy

As I hold Amelia and try to calm her down and get her back to sleep (for the fourth time) my mind races back and forth between the thoughts that flood it:

Is she sick?

Is it her teeth?

Is she still adjusting to not having a binkie?

It's been two weeks now but she seems so mad at me...

Or, am I imagining it?

She's been pretty good. They both have.

Yes. They did see their cousin today and she had her binkie.

And, no, they didn't gang up on her, rip it from her mouth and then wrestle over who got first dibs.

But they both do seem a bit more emotional.

Every time I get Amelia to sleep Hazel starts crying and asking me to hold her.

Which of course wakes Amelia up.

And then I have to rock her back to sleep.

Wait. This...isn't on...purpose. Do you think? No. It can't be.

And then from behind me I hear Hazel say, "Pchu, pchu. Mommy....I thoot you."

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thuth Free

As part of my Six Month Do Over I have decided to wean my girls from their binkies. Or as Hazel calls it, thuth (which means friend). I have been vacillating between feelings of dread and eagerness. Dreading the fight and yet eager to get it over with.

I know they can do it. Hazel is the hardest because she remembers. Millie is hard because she's still in that smooshy baby stage. But they are both doing a good job at being big girls.

Yesterday was day one. We had a small ceremony in the morning. The girls were each given their small pile of binkies and they took turns throwing them in the garbage. I kept some hidden away for keepsakes. They don't need to know that though. And neither does their daddy. Softy.

Pile 'o binkies

For old times sake

Hazel's turn

On second thought....

Amelia's turn

Binkie free!

Yesterday they napped well and went to bed just fine. They only woke up once during the night and then slept in until 9!

Today at nap they only slept for a half hour but they did fine the rest of the day. I am trying not to get my heart set on it being this easy everyday because I know it can change in a heart beat. But I am glad that we've taken that step and are sticking with it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Finally!!! Hunting Pictures

So I've promised some pictures and I thought it was about time that I made good on that promise. First, we will go back to September for pictures from our hunting trip.

Abiah in his hunting getup. He had about three layers of shirts on and every shirt was camo.

Abiah and his cousin. I can't tell if they are posing or hunting.

Abiah and his two cousins taking a rest from hunting.

Hazel and Amelia getting ready for bed.

Nathan with his elk. What an amazing hunting guy!

My FIL with his elk.

We had an great trip and you can read about the lessons I learned this year here. I'll be back with more pics from Hazel and Nathan's birthday parties. I promise it will be soon!

Fun Giveaways

I love blog stalking and today it's paid off! I found a couple of giveaways and want to share them with you. Not just because I get an extra entry for doing so, but also so you can join in on the fun. But maybe mostly cause of the extra entry. You can find them here:

Three to One

Fresh Oil Today

The Secret Life of An American Wife and Mom

The other perk about blog stalking is finding more encouraging and fun blogs to follow. I'm thinking about doing a giveaway. What do ya'll think? Should I? It sounds like fun to me.