Monday, April 7, 2014

#28


28. Read a Jane Austen Novel




I've seen some of the movies and they're not really my thing, you know... The 
rules, the prissiness, all the fuss over tea and crumpets... So why would I add 
reading a Jane Austen novel to my 35 Things List?  Well, I was starting to feel 
like I couldn't call myself a woman, especially a Mormon woman living in Utah, 
if I hadn't read at least one of her books.  It might be a greater transgression than not 
having a homemade wreath you found on Pinterest hanging from your front door. 
(Oh, don't get offended.  You know you have one.)

I chose Pride and Prejudice, because I hadn't seen it on film or television and 
I didn't want my preconceived notions interfering with my reaction to the book.  
Plus, if I didn't read it soon, my friend Marianne wasn't going to let me come 
visit her in Montana anymore.  She's not Mormon, which piqued my curiousity even 
more, since apparently a love of Jane Austen is more than just a Utah stereotype.  

I got off to a slow start.  The book is a quick 292 pages and I started the darn 
thing back in November.  I re-read the first 30 pages three times and I never 
could get to that precipice of interest that causes you to keep turning pages 
even though you have a million things to do, a house that needs to be cleaned 
and kids that show no mercy in the morning.  I never gave up though... It was on 
the list, after all... And I'm glad I stuck with it.  Jane Austen's descriptions 
transport you right into the uncomfortable moments and with the subtle sarcasm, 
I could tell she thought that era was as silly as I do.  If I had lived back 
then, we could have been witty old maids together.  (Are you really being
judgmental if you are funny?)

I didn't fall in love with Mr. Darcy like I had been warned I would.  Don't get 
me wrong, I appreciate a man who can swallow his pride, admit when he's wrong, 
not give up on a girl and swoop in to save the day.... But I am far too American 
to fall in love with such a reserved character.  I had ancestors fleeing from 
Great Britain on the Mayflower.  I am not really a stuffed shirt kind of 
girl.... In fact, why wear a shirt at all.  Can we talk about Four from 
Divergent for a second... Hubba...  Hubba!  Sorry about that.  I promise I'm 
back on track.  You get the idea though.  Ever since I saw a shirtless Brad Pitt 
in Thelma and Louise, I've had exactly one type of fantasy man and a rule 
following Brit ain't it.  I still get a little irked about Mr. Darcy's initial proposal.  
Are you kidding me!  

Over all, I liked it and even though an I Heart Mr. Darcy shirt isn't on my 
Christmas list, I loved her characters, story and sense of humor.  The book was 
worth reading for Elizabeth's father's comments alone.  He had me laughing out 
loud and that's not easy in a book that takes place in a time period that has me 
shouting Votes For Women in my head.




Tuesday, February 18, 2014

#22


Despite all the evidence to the contrary, neglecting my blog was not one of my New Year's Resolutions.  I seem to get less motivated at the beginning of each new year.  With all the holidays and the four birthdays in a row, I need some recovery time in January.

Now about things that were on a list, I have not forgotten about the 35 Things To Do In My 35th Year.  Yes, I am technically in my 36th year now, but if I wanted exactness in my life, I'd have become an accountant and made a lot more money.

I've been spending so much time and effort trying to figure out how to accomplish the bigger things on my list, like getting a backyard for my boys, that not much was getting accomplished.  I decided to shift gears for a bit and cross off some of the smaller ones, starting with...

22. Dye my hair purple


I was 15 the first time I wanted to dye my hair purple.  I remember sitting in the commons at Central High School eating lunch and talking about it.  A guy named Ben at the table started cheering me on.  You should for sure do it!!!  It would be awesome!  But even with the enthusiastic encouragement, I always found practical reasons to talk myself out of it.  Practical reasons at 15... Come on NOW!!!  If you can't do it then, when can you do it?  Here is a list of some reasons that kept me from doing it throughout the last 20 (OMG... Has it really been that long!) years...

1. I was a diver and I worried that the combination of dye and chlorine would be too much for my hair.
2. I was broke. (Not all in your head, you're just bad with your money broke, but real, all I've eaten for two weeks is saltine crackers broke.)
3. My boss might not like it.
4. Can I have purple hair and a church calling?
5. My hair needs to match my head shot just in case I get an audition.
6. Is it going to fade too fast.
7. It will be expensive getting it back to a color I like afterwards.
8. There are more important things to spend money on.



You get the picture.  There will always be reasons not to do the things on your bucket list, but after 20 years I finally decided to hell with it.  Purple hair proved to definitely not be a passing whim and the things that bring you joy are worth it, even if they aren't practical.  Please note I said joy, not temporary delusional highs that are damaging to yourself and family.  There is a difference.

Now that I've done it, I can see how it might be addictive.  I go back and forth between feeling like a rock star and a whimsical fairy.  It is soooo fun!  My practical side will probably win out.  The color fades so fast.  I would have to touch it up every two weeks to keep a vibrant color and ain't nobody got time for that, but I am so glad I did it.  It was either now, or when I turned 50 and I figured it was just going to get more awkward at church the longer I waited.

Church wasn't bad.  The people in my ward are pretty laid back and everyone liked it, or was too polite to say anything.  I wasn't expecting it to be such a hit with the little girls.  Every one of River's friends came up to me separately to tell me they LOVED my purple hair.  If there is a bunch of purple-haired Mia Maids in 10 years, you can hate me later!





Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Twelve Big Ones




You know you're up too late doing a post when you stare at the world twelve for ten minutes wondering if it is a real word.  I am determined to do this post tonight, since I am leaving to KC tomorrow and I don't want to have unfinished business hanging over my head while I'm on vacay.  Twelve... almost like elve... but not quite.  Focus!

I'm in denial.  Baby Ash, my Ashy Pants, my sweet little Ashy Boy is one year old.  Twelve months have sped by.  It went by in a flash people.  I blinked and this happened...


NEVER BLINK!!!

So Ashy's 12 month photo is kind of funny, mostly because I didn't have a lot to choose from.  By the twelth photo shoot he was so over it and I got about five pictures taken, before this happened...



He ripped off the number and the photo shoot was no more.  It's okay, because I love the double chin and to be honest, I was over this photo shooting business too.  I need a class, a mentor, or a magician and then I'll be back in business.  Lest you should think it's only me he doesn't cooperate for, I offer you this gem for proof I am not alone...


He kills me.  Now without further adieu, I present Ash Phoenix Bear at 12 months...

We didn't have any walking, furniture cruising, or even pulling himself up to standing in his crib, but by golly, after a year of fussiness that I attributed to teething, we were not going to hit 12 months without some darn teeth.  His two bottoms cut through a week before he turned the big ONE!


We gave up figuring out his eye color and just call it Hazel.  It changes all the time, but Hazel is kind of a catch-all.

He is a master scoocher and of course the first time he didn't stay where I set him down, he scooched  right on over to the litterbox.

His favorite pass time right now is to try and put lids back on things... baby food jars, medicine, my make-up... If he sees you with a lid in your hand, he demands it and the world must stand stil while he painstakingly puts it back on.  I love the focus!

My favorite thing about Ash at this age is him dive-bombing my chest for snuggles.  He doesn't lean gently in.  He just crashes right in for some lovin'.  It is the best thing.  If you're not holding him, he will scooch over to you on the floor and dive-bomb his head down on your knee for a rester.  That's a pretty close second in cuteness to the snuggles.

He will wave to everyone.  We call it his Lane Frost wave.  If you've ever seen the movie 8 seconds, you know what we're talking about.

He STILL has to nurse to sleep at night, during the night and even for naps.  I had him over it, but sickness threw that out the window and my little love bug is a feisty pitbull when it comes to me trying to break that habit again.

He only takes one nap, but it is usually for 2-3 hours and he is trying to stay up later and later at night, but hopefully I can reel him in after the vacations are over.  A typical day starts at 8:30am, nap from 1-4 and then bed between 8:30-9:30 and then one to two wake-ups during the night.  It's not ideal, but we've come a long way.

Now that he can scooch, he's into everything.  He especially loves pulling clothes out of drawers, books off of shelves and anything he can get his hands on in my purse.  Plus, we've had to pull the ol' baby gate out to block the Christmas Tree and entertainment center.  Fun times.

When daddy is holding him, he can spend an hour pointing too objects on shelves and demanding them, so he can bring them to me.  He thinks he is helping me.  I call it his chores.

Unlike River at this age, he will sit still for a book or two.

The car seat wars have begun.  He is a planker.  He screams goes straight a aboard and holds himself rigid as can be.  Right in time for winter.. Joy to the world!

He likes to point to the picture of the Velveteen Rabbit and then bounce his body in my arms like he's hopping.

He is still the world's messiest eater.  He has to have a fork or a spoon and he will try and feed you.  It takes a Master's in Patience to feed him.  Just sayin'.

Speaking of patience, he has none and if I don't nurse him quickly enough, he just lifts up my shirt and goes for the goods.  Yes, in public.

He really plays with toys right now.  He does the sound affects for cars and he will go after his brother with his two teeth and sharp claws, if his toy gets taken away.

River has always loved Ashy's baby feet.  Touching them soothes and calms him down.  So of course, Fiesty McFussButt screams his head off now if River tries to touch his feet.  It has given me the opportunity to teach River about respecting boundaries.  A common phrase in my house right now is, "If he's screaming his head off, that means no."

He celebrated his first Halloween, first as Clark Kent and then as Timmy from Shaun The Sheep.  Obviously he has a favorite.




He went to the Oquirrh Mountain, Jordan River and Bountiful temples for the first time... in one day might I add.



He came with me to vote.



And had his first chance to play in the snow...


Ashy Boy has always hated being cold, so snow was not his fave.

I could go on all night, but there isn't actually much night left and I do need some sleep before my trip tomorrow.  The number one thing that stands out  about Ash right now is he hates feeling left out.  He wants to do what we're doing, or what the big kids are doing and he wants to do it in the very split second you are doing it, so don't even think about making him wait!  What he lacks in patience, he makes up for in sweet, lovable charm.  I can stare at his beautiful face all day... if he would ever give me a break.  Happy 12 months my Ash.  We love you!


Happy First Birthday to my darling Ash Phoenix. You didn't turn out to be my "easy" baby like I planned on, but you did teach me that every child is different and amazing and what they do, or don't do, at such an early age has very little with what I do, or don't do. As a bonus, I gained an appreciation for all the things I had "easy" with River that I never knew, until you came along. I thank God every night that he trusted me with such a vibrant spirit. Without the post partum depression and anxiety I experienced with your brother, I was able to enjoy "almost" every second of this record fast year and it has helped heal me in so many ways. You pull my hair, are a terrible sleeper most nights, poop at the most inconvenient of times and yet, a simple cuddle from you has the power to take away my breath and bring tears to my eyes. Be my sweet boy forever. Promise.

Here's a quick trip down memory lane because milestones make me nostalgic.



and this...


Good Night.



Friday, November 15, 2013

Eleven Eleven



At eleven months Ash communicates in a highly effective system of points and grunts.



He put weight on his legs for the very first time after seeing a baby at church do it.  He had an adorable and very accomplished grin from ear to ear and did it for an entire day.  Much like everything else, once he proved he could do it, he was over it and hasn't done it since that day. (I know I'm looking HOT, but this is such a rare feat, I didn't have any other photos to choose from.)



(Just thought I'd include a little picture of River almost standing at two months... yep... every baby is different.)

He tested positive for milk and peanut allergies.  Where is the double dislike button.  I'm not sure how bad these allergies will end up being.  We have to wait till he is older to do a food challenge, but in the meantime, we are doing our best to avoid them.



He might be smiling here, but just know it lasted for about point five seconds.  He still hates tummy time and isn't even close to crawling, but his spinning around on his bum is slowly turning into scooching.





He now cries every time I grab my camera.  Yes, yes Ashy Boy... I am the meanest mom ever, but you just looked so dapper in your church clothes.  How will you ever survive?



No teeth yet, but I swear he's been teething every day since he was three months old.  Check out his super studly amber teething necklace.  Maybe it will be the magic cure?  No?



He loves to lay his head down on his own legs for a little rest, essentially folding in half.

He will sign "more" and "all done" every now and then.

He loves kicking his feet under the sink faucet with the water running.  When he has gone nuclear, this is the only way to calm him down.

His diaper rash from hades is ever present, but isn't quite so fierce.

He wants whatever I am eating or drinking.



His eyes are mostly a green/goldish color, except when they are brown and blue?  Your guess is as good as mine people.

His favorite game has gone from peek-a-boo, to playing catch and by playing catch, I mostly mean he just likes to throw things.

He hates his diaper getting changed.  He never minded before, but I think it is a combination of the rash being uncomfortable and not wanting to hold still.



He  prefers to nurse while I am lying down.  This is super convenient by the way... ummm... not.  I gave him a bottle, just to try it out again (anything for a bit of freedom right) and he thought it was the most fun chew toy ever.  Maybe a few drops of milk rolled down his throat, but mostly it just ended up all over his face.

After being sick for awhile and going on vacation, he has somehow managed to get me to nurse him back to sleep after every wake-up and nurse him to sleep for his naps.  Since I am the only one who can put him down to bed again, my freedom is very limited.  While I love nursing and cuddling with him, I feel like all my hard work in July to get him to sleep better has come undone and I don't currently have the energy for a second round of sleep training.  The good news is, he isn't waking up quite as much as he did then.  Thank Heavens!

He went to his first pumpkin patch.  It was the same pumpkin patch that I took River to last year, when I was nine months pregnant with Ash.  Carrying him for hours in the baby carrier, while I followed River from Hay-slide, to Cow-train, back to Hay-slide across an epically huge field, sure brought back memories of doing the same thing while pregnant last year.  Neither version is easy, but at least you can set the non prego version down and rest your back for a second. (Sorry no pictures... I wasn't about to haul a camera around too.  The last half hour I was carrying both boys!!!)

He will only take one nap.  I am pretty sure he needs more daytime sleep, but he refuses, so I make the best of having more time for activities in the morning and try not to let my mommy guilt roll in.

He likes to chatter incoherently and enjoys his own jokes on occasion.

He's ticklish and has a laugh that will keep me warm all through winter.

He is ready to be a big kid and is happiest when included in his big brother's activities.



I think his little blonde mullet is to die for.  I'm not sure if his temper, or his charm will be my undoing first, but Ash at eleven months has me wrapped around his cute little pointing finger.



Here is my brown eyed River Boy at eleven months for comparison.  My goodness!  How do they ever stand up with their heads being so much bigger than the rest of their bodies?









Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ten Then


It finally happened.  Ash turned 11 months on October 19th and I still haven't blogged about his 10th month.  Most people can't remember what they had for breakfast and now I somehow need to remember what Ash was up to between August 19th and September 19th.  Ughh!  Here goes nothing.


Yep... it was that kind of month.  The poor boy was sick almost the entire month of September, so the day of our photo shoot, he was not a happy camper.  Between my photography skills that seem to be getting worse as I go along and him not feeling well, we didn't get any good smiling shots.  If he was smiling, he was out of focus and if he was magically in focus, he was sad, grumpy, exhausted, yucky, etc...




This one was okay.  He's so cute, but his eyes aren't sharp.  Can you tell he is low energy, even though he's trying to smile?





Poor Ashy.  We tried, but yucky coughs, runny nose and watery eyes won out.




In fact.... this is what he looked like the morning he turned 10 months, which is why we waited a few days to do the photo shoot.  We had to let him get a little better.



Enough jibber, jabber... In his 10th month Ashy revisited avocados and to my delight, gobbled them up.



He also decided he was perfectly capable of feeding himself, thank you very much and if you thought he was a messy eater before, you better run for cover now.  I usually feed him with two spoons.  One he grabs and the other I use to shovel food into his mouth while he is preoccupied painting the house with sweet potatoes... i.e. feeding himself.


He went on his longest road trip yet... 13 hours in the van... but it was worth it.  He was able to meet Grandma Susan and Grandpa Bud for the first time.




 We had lots of fun feeding the fish and visiting.  It was also the only day of our trip that Northern California wasn't hot as Hades.



Then it was off to meet Uncle Shannon and cousin Paden.



 Ashy and River got to four wheel for the first time.  It was super safe, I promise.



Look, see, a helmet and everything.  Granted the helmet was so heavy River couldn't walk straight with it on!  Ashy Boy liked it okay, but River could not get enough.  He kept telling me to go faster and when I didn't comply, he grabbed my hand and gassed it.



Then he got to meet his Great Aunt Shawnee.  He loved all the hugs and kisses.



He didn't mind the attention one single bit.



Then it was off to swim in Great Uncle Spike's swimming pool.  Thank goodness, because it was HOT!



Ash went swimming a lot this summer, but with two boys, it was almost impossible for me to get any pictures.  I was glad to have Bear with me on this occasion and get a couple shots of Ash in the water.  He likes playing in the water, but where River loved it and would jump right in, Ash likes you to hold him close while he gets used to it for a minute.

He loves the game peek-a-boo and anytime you put him down for a nap, he will grab his blanket and put it over his face and rip it away and smile.  I am pretty sure it is a stall tactic, but I don't have the strength to resist.

Last month he learned to wave and clap.  The claps have faded out, but Ash is a waving machine.  He gets really upset if I don't bring him out to say goodnight and wave to everyone before he sleeps.  River always waved with his wrist, like he was turning a door knob, but Ashy waves with his whole arm going up and down and he doesn't stop till the bedroom door closes.

Ashy still won't do tummy time and isn't close to crawling, but he spins in circles while he is sitting on his bum.  I have to keep rotating him back towards me whenever I try and feed him vegetables.

He still won't put weight on his legs and spends minimal time in the bouncer.  He truly is content to be carried everywhere, like the little prince that he is.

Speaking of that, he learned to point and does it with a vengeance.  You better get him what/where he wants fast.

No new words... just mama, dada and mom and dad.

He does all the car sound affects when he is playing with his toys and he always wants what River has and visa-versa... it truly is an unwritten law of childhood... Thou shalt steal thy siblings toys and make them cry.

He developed a diaper rash that will not go away.  The doctor described it as fierce.  I feel like we've tried everything.  It is itchy too, so changing diapers is a real trial, because he immediately scratches the area and gets you know what EVERYWHERE.  It really is a two person job.  If Bear's not home and I don't have anyone else to pin his arms down, it is very likely he will end up in the tub afterwards.

He was down to just one wake-up a night and had slept through the night once, or twice, but with the sickness and the vacation, he is back to multiple wake-ups at night.

He is a snuggler.  He loves to rest his head on your shoulder.

He is really starting to bounce to music.  Maybe if he would stand, I could call it dancing???

He likes to purse his lips "duck lip" style.  I've failed in my mission to get a picture of it, but it is hilarious the amount of attitude this child has.



He was so tired and sick, he passed out on my bed while I was changing him into his jammies.  He never does that.  What a sweetie pie.  I look at this picture and I never, ever want my kids to grow up.  I want to hug and snuggle with them forever and ever.  Who needs facial hair and too much cologne?  Stay little my boys.  I guess it is pretty good when you can feel that way after a whole month of sickness and sleep deprivation.  Parenthood is such an oxymoron.


Here is my little River at ten months for comparison.


Cutest pumpkin in the patch if you ask me.