A few of my favorites

Last week Jacob turned five months old. There have been some scheduling issues with our pediatrician so I ended up seeing a new doctor locally. I appreciate some of the info she gave me about spitting up. It put me at ease and now I don’t worry about how many burp cloths we burn through in a day. (She calls it a “laundry issue,” not a medical issue. Made me laugh.)

J is just a big kid. At 90th percentile for height and 80th for weight, he feels more like nine months instead of five. We went to the park with a friend the other day. As we sat them next to each other, we realized J is the same size of her eight-month-old. I guess he knows how to eat.

So some of my favorite things about Jacob at this age are:
How much he laughs when Katelyn plays with him. No one can get him going like she can.

How much he is in love with his feet. Diaper changes are hard. Obsessed, I tell you.

He always has something in his mouth, usually fingers or toes.

So far he’s keeping his big smile.

He tries to squeal so loud that it’s actually silent. :)

He’s making attempts to roll onto his tummy, but isn’t there quite yet.

He’s developed a case of grabby hands. Grab it. Get it. Put in mouth.

He’s made major progress with sitting and is often happier when he can sit up.

Here are a few shots of him on the five-month mark.

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Disgusting parenting

It drives me nuts when I see parents doing stupid things. Stupid things like letting another adult hold their baby in the backseat while they drive along as if they are invincible.

My two stupid parents for this week:

The stupid driver — she drives along in a school zone, with a child in the back seat, and waves me to step in front of her and enter a crosswalk. Dare I? Nope! Instead I yell at her to get off her phone. She seems to be put off by my reaction to her gesture of kindness (for letting me cross). She rolls her eyes as her tires let out an audible screech as she speeds away.

The repulsive father — cries, screams and yells can be heard aisles away as I browse through Target. My shopping goals (and curiosity) bring me closer to
the situation. Then, I see it. An obviously sad, distraught three-ish year old boy who is having a hard time understanding why he can’t have a toy. The kicker is, his “father” is obviously entertained by this commotion as he continually says things to upset him all while taking a video. So I get it–things kids do can be funny and recording worthy. However, after more than 20 minutes of this, my blood was boiling. Where is the dad that picks up his little boy and says, “Son, I know you are tired. It’s late (9:45pm!) These are fun toys. Maybe we come look at them again soon.”

No wonder there are messed up kids making horrible decisions in the world. Step it up, parents.

Choosing to be a mom

Lately I’ve been addicted to reading
Cup of Jo during my down time. I enjoy the different perspectives she shares from guest writers and herself. Common topics are of the mothering type. She got me thinking about why I chose to become a mom.
Here is my experience in not so much of a nutshell:

As a child I loved babies. Cabbage Patch Kids were my toy of choice, probably for much longer than they should have been. (I still have most of them!) I remember holding many of my younger cousins when they were babies. While others were playing sardines, I was hanging out on the couch with the newest baby.

This wasn’t something that faded much as I aged. Is it weird to be jealous of your high school friends who were lucky enough to do that “parent for a week” project? You know, that one when you get to hold a life-like doll in your arms while taking a calculus exam?

Flash forward to my young adult years, I was destined to be a nursery leader as my first official calling in the real world.

Then, I got married. Three to five children was my idea of…I don’t know, a good time?

In all honesty, I was craving babies during the first year of married life. But Devin wisely talked me down from that ledge, several times. In hindsight, what was I thinking?! My back issues were boiling hot on the front burner and Devin and I were both naively in completely dead end “careers.” And that’s not to mention the years of school we had yet to secure under our belts.

So what’s in waiting? Sure, it’s definitely not for everyone. For us, I can’t even imagine what our children would be like had we jumped in earlier. The education. The life experiences. The…everything that can change you over four and a half years. At times it was a long, difficult wait. But the most difficult was the few months we waited when we decided to give it a go, as it were.

Early on in our trying, I realized something wasn’t right. Thanks to a conversation I had with a friend around a year prior, I knew the concept of BBT tracking. I took my concerns to a doctor who was surprised I was there without the old “try for a year” rule, until I showed him my logs. (Take that BYU doctors, ha!)

At that point, the outlook was good. However, I couldn’t help but second guess myself. Maybe I wasn’t meant to be a mom. (!) This caused a certain panic in me that made me re-evaluate my plans on education and career on nearly a minute by minute basis. After all, there isn’t much you can do with a Family Life degree besides be a mom. And if I couldn’t be a mom, well sheesh…back to the drawing board.

As luck would have it, only two months of a common fertility treatment was required before we found we were expecting our baby Katelyn.

So back to the question, why did I choose to become a mom?
It just made sense. I didn’t feel an obligation nor a burning desire but it was just something I would do. Circle of life, maybe. Instincts, maybe. Just wasn’t something I questioned.

Fast forward to today, I still choose to be a mom. Not everyone with children actually chooses to be a mom. (Listen to this Dr. Laura call to understand what I mean.)

I enjoy it. I wouldn’t change it.

In the end, we just gotta hope that our knowledge paired with our love will be enough for these precious little ones.

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Breaking through

Simply put, TK has been amazing for Katelyn. Every day I get a little more out of her about what she did at school. There seems to be progress in the social realm as she occasionally tells me about new friends she makes. One day I asked her to tell me something about her new friend Emma.

“I like her eyes.”

Ok then.

Her progress is spilling over into daily life as well. For the first time…EVER…she answered a cashier when he asked her how old she is.

It’s the small things.

Today she came home with a book and pencil in her backpack. She’s a little confused about the details on how she got it but I’m guessing she won a coloring contest. The prize was $5 to spend at the book fair.

That girl loves to color. She needs new crayons because she has used up some of her favorite colors. Have you ever used up a crayon from start to finish?!

And PS: her teacher got her to look at the camera and sorta smile. She deserves a raise.

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Go and do something today

I was recently reading the August Ensign when I came to the article called “Act Upon This Land as for Years.”

In this neck of the woods, folks like us don’t know what the plan is. Five year plan? “Yeah, I plan to stick it out in this lovely two bedroom apartment with my six kids” said no one ever. Instead we sit at the park in 75 degree weather for nine months of the year, dreaming about a house.

Someday…

Anyway, I like this article because it puts an emphasis on experiencing your life as it is. Not that you should just let life take its course, but that you can make the most and best of it no matter what’s going on.

We’ve been in California for about four years now and I don’t feel like I’ve experienced much.  We tend to do the same handful of things because predicability is easier with small kiddos. (Not to mention adventure is hard work with those kiddos…)

But Friday I decided to experience something. So, I loaded up the three munchkins and we went to Fremont Street Eats.  With their narrow food preferences and my current non-dairy diet (yes, again), dinner ended up being bubblegum ice cream and chips for the girls and a watering mouth for me.

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Doing it right

Knowing a little about a lot can get you places. Knowing more about something can get you even better results if you choose to use that knowledge.

Exhibit A: my sewing skills
I’ve never followed a pattern. I’ve never even tried. When my mom, an experienced and talented seamstress, says, “wait, uh, wait, uh….” while looking over a pattern package, I’m convinced not to even try. But that’s beside the point. My problem is with pins. Pinning things. Pinning fabric together. It’s not my thing. Maybe the occasional stepped on or sat on pin or needle turns me off to the idea.

Would it solve problems such as this?

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Or maybe that problem would be fixed if I hadn’t had a handsome four-month-old screaming at me to feed him.

So do it right or just get it done?
Sometimes getting it done is good enough.

Decorating challenged

I already know that I’m a bit challenged when it comes to interior decorating. Maybe because it’s been too long since I’ve had my own space that was bought and paid for. In our years of renting I’ve struggled with making things feel like home without putting too much money and effort into something just to move again in a few months.

But really folks, what am I supposed to do with this?

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Put something in it? A statue? A vase of flowers, maybe? A lamp?
No, not a lamp. (After all, it has it’s own light.).
Pretend it’s a bookshelf? A mirrored bookshelf….uh…

My latest thought is that I need a tapestry. I’ll cover that whole hole up.

Perfect.

These crazy old homes with serious design issues baffle me.