Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Reflections of Ourselves

The other day a friend posted a video of her son frustrated - at the age of 3, it was absolutely adorable, but the description below the video made fun of the fact that kids are really just reflections of ourselves sometimes - eerily so, especially those of us who stay home with our kids all day.

So I got to thinking... and here's what I realized....

Jordan is exceptionally bossy.
Jordan has too much energy.
Jordan is quite loquacious.
Jordan likes to always be doing something, is easily distracted and focuses on things he loves.
Jordan over exaggerates his emotions, just for kicks (e.g. he will say he's really sad but it's almost a natural reaction rather than the truth).
Jordan is happy (outside of the emotional "I'm sad Mom" or "I'm sick Mom")
Jordan is silly.
Jordan tries to be funny and sometimes actually is.

Jordan is very much like his mom.

As for his talented side - the part where he's a pretty quick learner and athletic side - that's from his daddy.  And as for his disdain for sleeping and eating - yes, I actually remember quite vividly my parents forcing me to take another bite of this or that, of laying in bed listening to the sound of television outside at 9 PM (after we watched America's Funniest Home Videos and Simpsons on Sunday night... and I was sent to bed)... which in my later years would just be me reading at night while my parents slept ... until odd hours of the night to finish a book (not every night, but if I had a good book, then yes...) and how food eventually found its way to my heart and made a place for itself.  Things I liked... egg tarts and chicken feet at dim sum or chicken nuggets and spaghetti and cabbage or any greens for that matter - I ate a LOT of.  Everything else?  Not so much.

I wonder what Bubba will be like.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Life With Kids....

It's not always pretty or fun or even clean for that matter, but is always quite awesome.  We are having so many fun moments everyday and I am enjoying being a stay at home mom more and more everyday.  I am really lucky to have a part-time job that I can do from home and recognizing that more and more with each passing day.  There are some days when I really don't want to balance both work and being at home anymore - when I wish I was 100% working or 100% at home but overall those moments are far and few these days.  I really am enjoying being home with the boys and I love grabbing my camera to capture some of it.

It makes me think that having one child is great - but for my personality type (whatever that may be), it is so much better to have two.  To have two to be busy with, to play with, to be there for, and the more the merrier!!!  To see them interact (I know - it will be fighting one day...) is so amazing and really just tickles my heart.  To see them sit there and make sounds at each other and then laugh - it is hands down my favorite thing to observe.  I love that my sons love each other and I hope they always love each other, support each other, and are each other's best friends.

Monday, February 24, 2014

So This Is What It Feels Like!

I was quite nervous during my weekly call this morning.  Jordan's been potty training and though he's had success, it's been met with accidents as well.  He had pooped once in the potty but who knew if it was luck or not?!

I came out of the room in between calls and noticed he was already in the bathroom...on his own.  What?  Kristy, Andy's cousin who comes to help me out during my conference calls, was nowhere near.  I saw she was in the living room but wasn't sure why she wasn't in the bathroom with him.  I had given her explicit instructions to continually ask him if he needed to go pee pee or poo poo and advised Jordan that we do not pee pee or poo poo in our undies.  Maybe he was playing "pee pee" or "poo poo" (where he goes in and makes a sound like he is peeing but nothing comes out, takes some toilet paper, puts it into the toilet, and flushes).  I asked him if he was pee peeing and right as I did, I heard a tiny tinkle and then he said, "yeah, but I done" as he started to go for the toilet paper.  As I reached over to help him, I noticed some pretty big poop in the toilet!  How happy I was... not only had he PEED and POOPED, but he had gotten the initiative to go ALL ON HIS OWN.  I couldn't believe it.  I've never been so proud of my kid.  So I figured... if this is how poop feels like... I wonder what everything else feels like!  I'm hoping it's not the peak, but it sure felt good.

Of course, we're still having accidents - but the fact that I didn't have to clean up poop from the undies today makes it a great day.  I can't wait to see what it feels like when my kid accomplishes other milestones just as great and independent as peeing and pooping!

For the record, he has been potty training since Thursday, and has gotten 11 pee pee stickers and 2 poo poo stickers.  Way to go Jordan!  Keep it up because potty training while we travel is going to be quite interesting....

The scary thing is.. Andy and I got to talking and we discussed how you really just have to wait until the child is ready.  Our kid was clearly not ready the other 3 times because even after preparing and reading all the 3 day training guides and forums online, our child was simply not ready.  We aren't really doing anything differently, but he seems to get it now.

If that's the case... is that how the rest of child raising is going to be?  Will my child need some time to be ready to go to college and become financially independent and responsible?  How much can I prepare and help him and how much will it be just him deciding yes or no?  Kind of scary to think we are just a bit of an influence (we certainly kept talking to him about being a big boy and using the potty which is more than not talking about it at all right...?) - give 'em wings and let them fly... but fall they may and crash they might.  Yikes!  Parenthood is one scary feat and the learning curve sure is steep, but boy does it feel good to know they've accomplished something that you helped encourage.  

p.s. He decided to stop using that little potty (thank goodness!) and instead use the big boy potty with one of those lil seats that go on top - much easier to clean and the restroom has stopped smelling like a typical public mens' restroom (used a pretty solid combination of baking soda, lemon juice and vinegar to wipe down that bad boy), and when we're out without the seat, he likes to stand on the seat (though I've been afraid of his shoes falling in a couple of times).

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Apparently I'm a Symbol...

Sometimes I wonder if my mom gave my name much thought - but she actually just named me after a fellow co-worker she admired.  I was doing some volunteer work for the Power of Moms website and came across this on their "About Us" page.  HA!

What is the significance of the daisy on the Power of Moms logo?

Is a daisy a very “powerful” symbol?  Well, we did have that whole “flower power” thing going on in the 60′s…
Daisies are tough flowers. They don’t wimp out easily and they out-last just about any other flower in the vase. They don’t attract the most attention out of all the flowers at the stand, but they are consistently beautiful, bright, and happy. The daisy (named in the 17th century by Carolis Linnaeus) represents purity and innocence. Moms are the bearers of and leaders of the pure and the innocent.
American colonists treated cuts and bruises with a daisy lotion, and American books from the late 30s still refer to the daisy’s medical power for hearts. Daisies are described as durable, adaptable, and as a symbol for excellence. Mothers, like daisies, heal cuts, bruises, and hearts. They are tough, adaptable, and committed to excellence in all areas of their lives.
We love daisies.

I knew I loved the Power of Moms for a reason.  In a weird narcissitic way, probably because of their logo...! 

They're having a Utah County retreat in Highland soon and I'm helping out - excited to be a part of this amazing website again.  I hope some people I know end up going!  Everyone who really wants to go is probably too busy.  I know it's hard to find time .. but it is worth it.  I come back wanting to be a better mother every time and always have lots more ideas for how to do it. If you're in the Utah area, you should join me by getting more info here

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Things We Do For Our Kids...

At the ripe age of 31, I have been snowboarding once and skiing once in my entire long existence on this here earth.  My first attempt at any snow sport was at the young naive age of 20 with snowboarding.  The attempt was mild, ineffective, and I was a quite sore in the arms from pushing myself up for the entire hour (at most) that I was there.  I never quite learned how to "carve" the snow to stop myself, but instead fell to a halt every time.  Following that experience, there was no desire to return and no apparent reason to go back.  Seven years later, I'd have another go at a snow sport, this time with skiing.  The boots hurt, I hated coming off of the lift, and don't recall much more, except that I looked like a man in my snow gear.  It was pretty uneventful.  So when my husband, who has been skiing since he was a kid, told me he'd like to take me skiing with our boys while we're here in Utah for the next 4-5 years, I thought ignoring him would result in no such action.

This last weekend... he got really gung-ho, and we went to a consignment sporting goods store where I somehow let him convince me to buy a pair of ski boots.  We learned about an awesome deal with Utah Ski & Golf for Jordan's ski gear rental (boots and skis) so headed there right after.  And after the boys' naps, we headed to the Park City outlets for some Presidents' Day weekend sales and got some more snow gear.  I'm a little disappointed that I didn't get pink or purple pants since my jacket is black and white, but the colored pants were so expensive, even at the consignment sale, so I'll continue to look like a man while I ski.

I was still nervous.  I didn't have an awful experience the first two times, but not ones that I wanted to repeat or redo and plus, who wants to learn to ski at the age of 31?  Some things can just be avoided forever right?  Plus, I honestly had no interest in the sport at all.  I'd much rather prefer to go shopping, sit on my bum and watch Parks and Recreation, or play with photoshop or the Internet.  You know, the more productive things in life that mean something.  I know.. I'm simply fascinating like that.  But what eventually changed my mind about going was how excited Jordan got when he got home.  He kept putting his ski boots on, asking to put on his skis, and walking around the house.  He even tried to undo his own ski boots, ripped quite a bit of skin on a finger, and even that couldn't stop him.  He was so anxious to get onto the snow.  We watched some Olympics with ski jumps and he immediately asked to put on his skis again.  He just could not wait.  At night when I asked him if we were going skiing the next day, he said "yeah, and Sophie and Violet too" - his dear cousins who are in Angola and had already gone skiing this Winter (Jordan saw videos but hadn't gotten the chance to go with them yet).  I'm unsure if part of his excitement was knowing he was going to get to do what he had seen his cousins do at long last.  But he was definitely stoked.

I wanted to be there to witness Jordan's first time skiing.  What a milestone right?!  Andy's aunt and uncle, Jan and Ike, both experienced skiers, came along with us, and devoted their time to helping me learn.  There were many times when I would have given up had my son not been there to witness it.  Lead by example right?  Get up when you fall down son!  Don't be embarrassed by how utterly stupid you look when you can't figure out the tow rope, get your glove caught on the rope and end up getting dragged for oh say ten feet until you finally rip the glove off and fall with one ski still on into the middle of the tow rope.  Don't care about how stupid you look when your uncle is yelling "LET GO!" and you're trying to yell back that you can't while trying to focus on removing the caught glove trying to hold back your mortified hilariousness of the whole situation (a grown woman being dragged on her back and butt up the hill) while realizing you may very well die or get very very injured.  Don't mind that there are kids born while I was in my 20's who are more advanced and waiting for me to slowly maneuver the tow rope up and kindly allowing me the time to do so.  Don't be defeated when you finally get onto the tow rope and have no idea how to come off, only to fall and take forever and a day to get up again.  Just don't.

Jan and Ike took turns helping me while we were up there.  They kept yelling at me to "pizza!" my skis to carve the snow to a stop, taught me how to get up when I fell on my bum, tried to teach me to properly position myself on the snow to avoid slipping down the hill unintentionally, and encouraged me to keep at it.  I fell the whole way down the hill twice.  A lot of trying to get up and feeling absurdly old and feeble and wet snow seep up my back.  But then I somehow figured out the whole "pizza" thing just mean pressing my thighs inward so hard that it resulted in intense pain and then I would somehow come to a halt.  And two more trips down the hill without any falls!  Success was mine!

Oh and I went really really fast.  So insanely fast.  Faster than the speed of light.  Zooming down the hill.  Or so I thought.  I saw some videos afterwards... I was like a snail.  Creeping down the hill.  Barely moving at times.  HAHAHAHA.  Oh but how fast it felt though!

But I did it.  And I'll probably be back again.  When in Rome right?

I don't think I would have ever gone again had it not been for my kids.  The things we do for them.

Jordan?  He did AWESOME!  He absolutely loved it.  Kept asking to "do it again" and can't wait to go back.  He seemed to figure out his own balance, wasn't afraid of falling, and really got the hang of his pizza and plane arms.  He exceeded our expectations and was absolutely fearless.

A Moment of Spiritual Learning

Sometimes I have to work on Sundays.  It's normally because I have a deadline and my dumb self couldn't figure it out before then.  Every year, there are two large moments when I inevitably will hit a deadline that means me working on Sunday.  Quarterly, it's usually when financials are due, but annually, it's when our tax information is due.

A few Sundays ago.. I was feeling quite dreadful, knowing that there was so much to data input and then analyze, and that I'd have to figure out how to reconcile it without too big of a difference.  On Saturday night... late.. I had about a 60K difference, a small number from my days of auditing big companies where materiality was more, but a large number for me now.  I was dumbfounded.  Frustrated.  Defeated.  Sad.  Depressed.  And sick to top it off!

On Sunday morning... still coming off a rough cough and illness, I suggested to my husband that since I wasn't teaching that weekend, and since Jordan was still getting over a cold himself, that maybe we should stay home and rest.  Deep down, I had plans of reconciling the bum out of that spreadsheet....  I had some hesitation.  But really, I just kept thinking how great it would be to sit down and figure out the spreadsheet with three hours of church time.

I was lounging around in the morning with Jordan when he asked me where Daddy was.  I said, "Daddy is showering so he can go to Church."  Jordan then declared, "I want to go to Church too!"  That sort of kicked me in the butt a little.  I realized.... I was sick, but I had been sick, and had been doing a lot of things while sick.  If anything, I should go to Church, avoid working and renew myself spiritually, and hopefully the Lord would help me out with my huge reconciling difference.  I also realized that Jordan was his messenger for me that morning, reminding me that there really wasn't a good reason NOT to go to Church.  So I put the stress of a spreadsheet I still hadn't figured out aside, got my boys dressed, got dressed myself, and surprised Andy who thought we were staying home to recuperate.

Church was good.  Nothing life changing, but good nevertheless.  But what happened after really shocked me and continues to be yet another reason I know coincidences are just part of the Lord's way of showing us He's there and aware of us.  I got home.. we ate lunch... the boys went to sleep (all three of them) and then I sat down with the dreadful spreadsheet again.  For some reason, I had an inkling that the error was in the gross wages... so I started investigating that area.  I did some ticking and tying and the next thing I knew... I had my difference from 60K down to less than 1k.  It was indeed a miracle.  I was still sick.. but Jordan didn't have a fever anymore that day and both of us were on the road to recovery.

Sometimes... I think it's easy to be tempted to stay home... to do it on your own even if it means trying over and over again.  But other times... if we realize the Lord can help us more than we can ourselves... we save a lot of time and energy.  I truly believe the Lord consecrates our efforts... helps us where we can't.  I'm not saying don't try and just rely completely on the Lord to do everything, but that if we put in a bit of effort the Lord will make up for where we lack.  I do believe in that and humble testify to it happening in my life a few Sundays ago when staying home to work felt more appealing than going to Church.

But the real reason I am blogging at 12 AM is because we just came home from cleaning the Temple.  Now let me tell you something... cleaning the Temple at 10 PM on a weeknight?  I was not in good graces when my husband told me he had signed us up.  In fact, I was a bit irate.  Really?  Doesn't he know I work at night when everyone's asleep?  Plus, I had to make some changes to the very spreadsheet mentioned above and send it to my bossman tonight.  So that just meant I'd go to the Temple with Andy, come home and then work.  So off I went.  Very begrudgingly.  I vacuumed for a long time.  On a really clean carpet and squealed with joy every time I saw a piece of lint get sucked up.  I sweated.  I got bored.  I wondered if we were done yet.  My eyes got misty with fatigue and boredom but I kept at it.  And then we left to go home.  I started working on my spreadsheet almost immediately when we got home... and within 10 minutes, it was done.  WOW.

Pretty dang awesome if you ask me.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Our Sunday Best

Even though I'm already dreaming about ways to dress my future daughters and their bedrooms, Sundays have become a fun opportunity for me to dress up my boys.  As for the weekdays, Jordan isn't a huge fan of dressing up and prefers work out pants most since they give him ample room to run as fast as he can (without them falling since he's so skinny).  So I've slowly moved away from collared shirts and nice sweaters and have instead opted for long crew neck shirts and comfy pants.  He prefers PJs most, but of course - we can only get away with wearing those for so long... after having my 2 year old ask me where we were going and why we were getting dressed, I decided it was okay for me to lounge all day in comfy pants, but that I should make it a habit to dress my kids even if we are just staying home to avoid a long discussion and rebellion.  

So now Sunday bests are a fun chance for a photo-opp!