Sunday, November 15, 2015

Surviving on Their Own

As a parents I think a lot of us want to believe that we are what makes the difference in our kids life, that they are our sole responsibility. Maybe all of this true but today I am pretty sure my 4 year old, excuse me,  4 1/2 year old as well as my 3 year old could survive on their own. Here is a list of things that they can both do on their own:

Get dressed: Although rarely weather appropriate or matching, approximately 2-18 times a day this is proven to me. 

Find food and eat it: Once Avalin and Maeve figured out how to open doors, including the refrigerator door, there was no longer hope that any food would be safe from consumption. I caught on pretty quick and the bottom two drawers of the refrigerator are usually filled with fruits and vegetables, if they are lucky cheese sticks. This resourcefulness does not end at home. At a recent wedding my 3 year old had brought a purse that when I opened it later found handfuls of peanuts, M&M's and mints.

How to open packages: If my girls want something open they will stop at nothing to figure it out. Teeth, pulling, the recent learned skill of cutting with scissors have all helped in opening mail, magazines, food and candy. Who knows why they enjoy opening mail, maybe to clutter the floor or just to have something cut into confetti.

Talk to anybody: This may not seem like a survival skill but when you are willing to ask the sample lady for some food while your mom is two aisles over frantically looking for you or asking a stranger to give you the penny they just picked up in the parking lot it may help a 4 year old to get a little further ahead. They also love to see people smile at them and tell them how wonderful they are. This has caused compliments to be yelled from the cart or car as we run errands, or play at the park.

They both seem to have a lot of determination and self confidence. Maeve is sure that even when I say know that I said yes and she can do whatever she wants as long as she does not talk to me about it again or hurt another person. Avalin is sure that she knows just about everything and if she does not know it she has no problem asking the same question to 20 people until she figures it out. I feel pretty happy that they have so much of this world figured out. I love that they yell mom 5 times in a row only to tell me they love me.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Summer Girls and Caramel Dip

Recently the weather has turned cold. I love wearing sweaters, knit socks and sweats and snuggling up in a blanket. Two of my daughters are of a different opinion. They have started a club of sorts and walk around calling themselves the summer girls. They HAVE to wear short sleeves, its a rule or you're not a summer girl. They CAN NOT wear socks, or you can not sing the summer girl song. Skirts are also a required to be able to identify oneself as a summer girl. I am sure there are other rules, these are just the ones I break on a daily basis and am reminded that again today is not the day I will be allowed to join the club. My lack of desire to freeze, which results in no desire to be a part of a group that runs through the snow in flip flops, does not seem to effect their vigilance in getting me to join. When we are in public they point and wave at fellow 'summer girls' who mostly have no idea what is being yelled at them. Who knows how long summer will last around here, but I will continue to smile and enjoy my girls being friends. Here is a recipe for some delicious caramel dip that we love to eat in the fall, even the summer girls.

40 caramels unwrapped
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 stick of butter

Put all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and warm for 1 minute then stir. Continue to warm slowly and stirring after each time in the microwave. Once all the caramel is melted use a hand mixer to mix until all ingredients are combined and enjoy. This can be reheated and remixed. Make sure you have a crowd to share with because this makes more than one person can handle with out getting quite the stomach ache.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Pivotal Moments: Where did I grow up?

Pivotal Moments in my mind are moments that we may use to define ourselves or for some reason if we made a timeline of our life would end up being present. They are often insignificant or not remembered by others. They may be totally made up in our minds. Positive or negative we all seem to have times like this. This post includes one of those times for me. When I think of the relationships with my family I have now, and they are the best they have ever been, this is a time that defined me. I love my family and am grateful that they are mine and call me theirs. I am grateful that I can be open with them and they are open with me. Even though negative times seem to bother us thinking this over helped my to understand why I may have had some of the perceptions I have.

Where did I grow up?
When meeting a new person there are many questions that are considered acceptable to ask there are also some that are not welcomed by some people. Usually acceptable questions are easy to answer and may give a little information about a person but would hopefully lead to more conversation or deeper insight to that person. One common question, that may seem easy for people to answer is “where did you grow up?”. This question should not be hard to answer yet it makes me uncomfortable or like can not give a simple answer and be totally honest. The problem may lie in the question. The asker may be wondering where the majority of your childhood years were spent, where you spent your ‘formative’ teenage years, or even where you left home. All the different answers a person could be looking for cause me to be overwhelmed because I can not give a straight answer that is simple without explanation. My remembered childhood years are almost divided exactly in half. I spend early childhood until age 9 in Lawrence, Kansas. I then moved to Logan, Utah where I graduated high school and eventually that was the home I left from. Either answer would seem to suffice in multiple occasions. However when I think about the question ‘where did I grow up?’ I can not help but think the easiest way to find out where is to know when. This thought process has led me to believe neither of these is the correct answer.
The correct answer is Hyrum, Utah and here is why. I previously did not mention that I even lived in Hyrum but I did, for a few short months. These months were confusing for me. I remember coming to the realization that my parents were not perfect and in fact could really hurt each other emotionally. I saw and heard my grandparents act in ways that seemed out of character. I saw people act against what I saw as logical. Seeing the world in a more realistic and sometimes pessimistic way is part of growing up.
The way I interacted with my brothers and parents also changed. My parents both became distant and consumed in their own problems. I consistently felt protective of my brothers. There were things I did not want them to feel and in turn, I tried to hide things from them. I spent more time entertaining them then I had in the past. We would get up early in the morning and exercise in front of the TV, I do not even know where my parents were, before this time in my life I do not remember the lack of an adult. As a person matures relationships with those around them change by necessity and because of desire this was the case in Hyrum.
I went to school and Lincoln elementary for a short while in Hyrum and this also caused me to have new and different experiences contributing to the idea of Hyrum being where I grew up. Firstly my brother and I had to share a backpack. I remember my Dad giving me an old grey backpack and telling me and my brother we had to share because we were too poor to each have one. It was humiliating to me. I had never felt poor, or that I could not be like other kids but being told we could not afford something made me look at myself differently and made me act differently. I remember letting my brother wear the backpack to school and then I would drop him off at his class then take the backpack so other kids wouldn’t know that I did not have one of my own.
I believe a child is able to express who they are more realistically partially because they do not have problems with being different and they do not see the differences between themselves and others. This situation along with what would be changing in my home life totally made me feel like an outsider and if I wanted to fit in I had to show people something that did not feel truly me.
While at Lincoln, I made some friends who encouraged me to do things that were against the rules. My previous friends did not encourage to do something just because it was ‘bad’. There was a shed at Lincoln that kids would write their names on during recess. A teacher would try a and stand by it to discourage and catch kids when they would attempt. My ‘friends’ told me how impressive this feat would be, if I could accomplish it. For the first time in my memory I consciously chose to do something wrong. I also did not get caught. My peers ran and hid so when I finished there wasn’t even anyone to congratulate me. I went home waiting to get in trouble or a call from the school and nothing but my own guilt bothered me.
Hyrum, Utah will probably never be the answer to where I grew up when people ask, but emotional and psychologically there is a pretty good case for the loss of innocence and the beginning for a new understanding of life.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Find your Theme Song

I have wanted to get back to blogging for a while, so here I am. There are now three cute girls in our family and we love it! Avalin, Maeve and Hazel would make the perfect toddler girl band. We love music and as the weather turns cold it is a great way to get the wiggles out. Maeve has come with the grand idea of having a theme song. The importance of everyone having one has been a point of discussion. Here is a list of our family theme songs according to the girls.
Avalin: Any song she can make up or FROZEN
Maeve:Fight Song
Hazel: Shut up and Dance (No idea why on this one other than that Maeve thinks it is an excuse to say a disrespectful word)
Dannon: Pompeii
Me: The poll was inconclusive, I either do not have one or it is any boring song that I can dance weird to, at least I have fun.
If you start to go stir crazy in this breezy weather take a quick walk and then turn the music up, good music can change your day. It will make you feel and think. It can connect you to some one that is here or not. Last month I was driving through Logan canyon alone. I rarely am in the car by myself, I had an hour drive to think. Logan canyon was beautiful, the turning roads aided in the wandering of my mind. With lack of interruptions in thought my mind was able to travel where it wanted to go. A Bastille album was playing, at a level louder than I would be able to hear my cell phone. I could feel the music and, as I thought of my mother-in-law and her not so long ago passing, I could feel her. I could better understand our relationship, as my thoughts progressed and developed the importance of connecting with people became clearer to me. Urgency to make every interaction worthwhile and relationships positive and evolving at any pace or level that created deeper understanding of us, the human race, a collective group of people who are one, but seem to keep finding ways to make a unit that could be so powerful dis unified from with in. The purpose in connecting, for me, is to not become one in purpose but to create more understanding. Find your theme song for the day that will make you think and maybe even change.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Things learned from a weekend with boys

This past weekend we watched four of my cousins. It was a lot of fun but a lot different than just having one little one to watch and take care of. The youngest boy is only a few months older than Avalin. He is really cute but a lot bigger than her. I was hoping that Avalin would learn to walk from his example. She did take seven steps but that was only once and then she was done. Even though she didn't learn to walk she did learn some other tricks from the boys. She learned that balls could be thrown not just rolled. Also she learned how to do stairs. Luckily she goes backward so she does not scare me but it was a lot of fun to see her go up and down and up and down. Also she learned the importance of a new word, ME! Now she will just repeatedly say me me me me when she is not getting the attention she desires. Other than all of the fun things that Avalin learned over a fun weekend with the boys she also learned somewhere along to pick her nose. :(

Monday, January 23, 2012

Things I no longer need

Having a child causes more chores for a mom. There are however other chores that it may eliminated. Firstly I have no need to shred paper any longer. Any piece of paper that lands with in reach of my daughter can easily be ripped up and strewn about my apartment. Another chore that I don't have to do is feed the dog. Plenty of food is dropped on the ground throughout the kitchen and living room. There is also a bonus in that most of the time it is broken into small pieces. The only problem with this is we do not have a dog. Or any animal, so vacuuming has definitely gone up.
Over all the fun of having a baby who keeps growing up and developing out weighs any negatives. She is so great and even though she knows how to make a mess, she also knows how to make me smile.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Rain to Snow

It has been a long time but I am going to try and be more consistent in writing. So to catch up my baby is 1. It is so fun. She talks and cruises all over. She is so close to walking but is so strong willed not to that she hasn't yet. At least not with out chocolate and mom kneeling in front of her. On her first birthday she was so happy and pleasant, as she usually is. On top of that she had the perfect reaction when opening gifts. All of her grandparents and great grandparents loved her ooooos and ahhhs and the kisses she gave to all of her gifts. Dannon and I gave her mostly clothes and a pair of shoes which unsurprisingly were not as big of a hit as the balls, dolls and stuffed animal that she loves to tote around.

After the birthday fun ended it felt like Christmas was right upon us. We enjoyed Christmas a lot. We were able to spend time with both sides of our extended family. We went to my mom's for Christmas morning and it was fun. My brothers are so fun with A and she loves them. She gets so excited to play with them and enjoyed being tickled and wrestled and unwrapping presents Christmas morning.

Last weekend we went with Dannon's family to Bear Lake. Nik and Jen and Dannon's Parents all came. We had Christmas morning with them and exchanged gifts. I had been working on a cross stitch for Dannon's mom for months. I was worried that maybe she wouldn't like it. When she opened it she looked so thrilled and it made all the hours I had put into it totally worth it.

Today has been a crazy day weather wise. It rained all morning and is snowing all afternoon. I guess I won't complain because its January and snow should be covering the ground. Until next time I hope you find some love in your land.