Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sleepovers With Kalli

Last week the girls spent almost a week sleeping over with their cousin, Kalli. It started on Monday at Grandma's. They talked us into another sleepover on Tuesday, and spent the night at our house on Wednesday. The girls are like sisters and have so much fun together. Mean mom had to police the giggling so they could get a little much needed sleep! Thursday morning, I got the baby clothes out to wash. The girls loved going through all the clothes, and before long the entire family room floor was covered in outfits, complete with socks, shoes, hats, etc. The are quite the little fashion designers. I told Courtney that this little baby is going to be a real live barbie doll! I wonder how many times each day she'll get to change her clothes?
The girls spent the morning playing in their pajamas, and the afternoon in swimming suits playing in the sprinklers. Finally, Thursday afternoon all of the action caught up to the Wood girls. Kalli was still smiling, of course, but my girls were getting a little grumpy! We had to end the sleepover marathon, but the girls are already looking forward to another "Kalli sleepover"!

Good Times

Last week, a few of us from high school got together for a little reunion. Valerie was in town from Brooklyn and planned a little get together with Lisa, Kim, Jenny, & Tammie. It had been almost 10 years since I'd seen Kim! We had a great time & giggled for hours. Who would of guessed we were a bunch of old, married moms?

Bear Lake

We decided spur of the moment to head up to Bear Lake one weekend. We quickly loaded up the girls, swimsuits, and sunscreen and were on our way. We had hoped to go on a hike but couldn't find it, so we headed for the beach instead. Wouldn't you know, it was the Centennial Idaho Parks & Recreation Day, so we got free admission and a million other people to spend the day with! We had a great time anyway. The water was cold, of course. (It was Bear Lake!) But the girls didn't seem to mind.

On our way home, we stopped in Garden City for some pizza. The girls were amazed by the "Old Ephraim" size pizza. It was 28" and was HUGE! Old Ephraim was a giant bear that was trapped up Logan Canyon a long time ago. Of course, Courtney had to tell the story. . .again. . .and
again. . .and again! According to legend (actually it is true), Old Ephraim stood about 10 feet tall and once killed 23 sheep in one night. An annoying problem for sheep ranchers, Old Ephraim had eluded trappers for years. Finally, Frank Clark, an experienced old bear trapper (who was actually from right here in the Bear River Valley) finally hunted Old Ephraim down and succeeded in trapping him. According to Clark, Old Ephraim picked up the gigantic trap, still chained to a log, and roared into his camp. This is supposedly the first time Clark had been frightened by a bear! Wearing only his long johns, he grabbed for his gun and luckily had just enough ammunition to take Old Ephraim down once and for all. Whew! Evidently, Old Ephraim is buried up Logan Canyon, near Bear Lake, and his skull is on display at Utah State University. Maybe we'll have to "hunt" him down. Perhaps another adventure for another day. . .

Visit to the Golden Spike

A few weeks ago, the girls and I were feeling a little antsy to get out of the house, so we decided to make a trip out to Promontory, where the golden spike was driven to commemorate the meeting of the rails. Right here in Box Elder County! The girls hadn't been there before, and it had been since elementary school for me, so we headed out west to take a look.

We had a great time. The girls saw a film about the "race" to bring the rails from the west and the east and connect the country. We learned quite a bit of history! The highlight had to be seeing the engines move back to the engine house for the night. After being shown around a bit by the engineer, we stood on the platform to watch the engines depart. The whistle about knocked us down!
Kate had a whole grundle of questions for the ranger, and we were all glad she was brave enough to ask them. (We were all wondering many of the same things, but she is the one who gets things done!) The ranger loved Kate! The ranger had a fun accent, and when we were leaving, Kate asked her, "Where were you from before you came here?" The ranger responded that she was originally from Florida. Then she asked Kate, "Where were you from before you came here?" Kate told her from Tremonton. When the ranger asked her where she was from before she came to Tremonton, Kate looked a bit surprised, but then shrugged and said, "Heaven". Now it was the ranger who looked a bit taken back, but quickly recovered and laughed. "That's a pretty good answer," she said. It turned out to be a fun little outing.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Pregnant me!

Okay, after many requests, here we are! Everyone keeps asking why I never post pictures of me and my growing tummy, so I finally gave in. Baby Claire and I are doing just fine. We think it's Claire anyway! If not, I have no idea what this little gal will be named! Any ideas are welcome! Courtney has liked the name Claire almost since Emmy was born, and the girls and I love it too. So for now, she's little Claire! And boy, is she a mover and a shaker! It's been almost 4 years since I was last pregnant, so maybe I just don't remember, but this little one gets around! Courtney has been amazed the last few weeks at all of the commotion. I think reality is finally settling in!
I keep having funny dreams that she comes half grown into an adult. One night I dreamed that I had the baby, and within an hour he (it was a boy in this dream) already had teeth. Each hour after that, the baby had grown another foot or so. I remember being mortified and telling Courtney, "We had a Paul Bunyon baby!" Last night I had another dream that I had the baby (this time a girl). She was darling, but weighed about 20 lbs. at birth and was laughing and playing the first time I saw her! Hopefully these dreams are just my crazy hormones and not a premonition of a 10 lb. baby! (That's been known to happen in my family!)
The girls are absolutely giddy with excitement. Everytime I leave them anywhere, they kiss me goodbye and then kiss "Baby Claire" goodbye. No doubt, she'll be very loved! Everytime we go running errands, they beg to buy some little clothes. We'll have to have a little shopping trip soon.
It won't be long now. I think I appreciate the miracle of it all a little more this time. It's pretty amazing to think that soon this little life will be bridging the gap between us and heaven. We can't wait to meet her!

High Tea at the Playhouse

The girls and I had a wonderful tea party the other day. Ryenne and Emmy carefully transported the food in the little red wagon.
Before we began, Ryenne gave us a second rendition of her family home evening lesson, reminding us that we should only pretend about tea, because "strong drinks are not for the body". Our menu consisted of tea (water), cucumbers, flower shaped PB & J sandwiches, and "fancy cookies".
I was reminded that each menu item needed to be stacked on it's own individual plate. In case you weren't aware, that's how it's done at a real tea party.

We had a lovely time. Afterwards, I was praised for having done much better at this tea party than the last one. I felt very good for having improved my skills.
Hopefully there will be many tea parties yet to come.
As a side note, I had to add a funny conversation Kate & I had the other day about the playhouse. Daddy has worked really hard on the playhouse, but it's still a work in progress. The outside is almost complete with the exception of paint. However, the inside is still pretty bare. Hopefully we'll get to it before long. . .The other day Kate & I were tidying up the playhouse when she commented that it wasn't much like a real house because of all the cobwebs and it didn't have "real walls". I told her that hopefully soon Dad would get the real walls done, but for now it will be fun to use our imaginations. She replied, "I know. But it will sure be a lot nicer when he gets it done so we don't have to use our imaginations quite so much."
In the meantime, I think they're doing just fine in the imagination department!

Hard Day At the Office

I came into my bedroom the other evening to find Emmy crashed on our bed. It's hard work being three years old!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Keepin' Me Humble. . .

Courtney has been out of town the past two weeks, so we've had quite a bit of "girl time". Last week, Ryenne and I were working on some project when she asked me, "Mom, why does everyone like Dad more than you?" This took me off guard a bit. How do you answer a question like that? I thought for a minute, and then answered, "Well, maybe you should explain what you mean." To which she repeated her question, "I mean, why does everyone like Dad more than you?" Hmmmm. Who exactly is everyone? I realize this question has quite a bit of potential to help me learn a little more about myself and my own perception of my interpersonal relationships with others! You know how you sometimes wonder if you see yourself in the same way that others see you? Yip, this was one of those times.

With a bit more prompting for an explanation, such as "I guess I'm not sure who you mean by everyone," and "Maybe you could help me understand why you think 'everyone' likes Dad better than me", Ryenne offered a little help. "It's just that when Dad is here all the girls like to be on his team and sit by him and just seem to like him a little bit better." Ohhhh. I'm hoping 'all the girls' would mean all the girls in this house. And Courtney has since assured me that the reason they all want to be on 'his team' is that he is sort of a novelty when he's around because he's gone much of the time. I'll keep telling myself this is true. I'm trying to tell myself that I'm a fairly likeable enough gal, and in effort of self-improvement, perhaps even try to up my likeability a notch or two.

I received another boost to my self-esteem a few days later while in the store with the girls. I was pushing a shopping cart when Kate looked back at me and started giggling. Between giggles, she commented, "Look at your big tummy. It's sooo big it's touching the cart!" I laughed and tried to act shocked as I pointed to my very pregnant stomach. "What? I thought I was getting skinnier." To this, Kate quickly burst out "You call that skinny?" (She isn't known for mincing words. Pretty much calls it as she sees it!)

I've long ago come to the conclusion that one of Heavenly Fathers premier purposes for making us parents is to keep us humble. It's hard to get arrogant when you spend all of your time doing something that you know so little about. Seems to me that the longer I'm a parent, the more I realize how little I actually know about what I'm doing. It's all a bit of an experiment. And as my kids get older and are becoming more able to voice their own opinions about my abilities, my weaknesses are that much more apparent! So, I guess maybe I ought to sit down and write a list of those 'positive affirmation statements' I learned about in my college psych class. I can begin each day by looking in the mirror, and repeating such phrases as "I am likeable. . . When I make something yummy to eat, people want to be on my team. . .My fingers are skinny. . ." and so on. And, as far as measure for evaluation? The benefit of being a mom is that if I ever want that honest opinion about how others see me, I'm pretty sure I'll get that shortly after I walk out of my bedroom!