January 29, 2010

Monkey moments

My little redheaded monkey is 18 months old, now! Bring on the trouble, bring on the tantrums (he already has)! I took him to the Dr. yesterday and this is how he measured up...
Weight: 23 lb. 6 oz. 18th %
Height: 32.8 in. 62nd %
Big Head-edness: 47.6 cm. 44th %
Not very evenly proportioned, is he? I am hopeful that he will be tall like his Daddy, though. The Webber genetics's do NOT make for very tall boys, so it would be nice for him to have missed those! The funny thing is that he LOOKS like he has the Webber build... long torso, short legs and stocky. His measurements seem to say otherwise, though.

His hair is in need of a cut... I have been putting it off because I don't want to do it. Is it worth it to take him somewhere to have it done? Would he even let them? Probably not, so I'm sure I will do what must be done. I'm going to leave the top a little longer this time, though.
There are those moments when he is such an angel I just want to cry. Today for instance, he woke up from his nap to find the table covered with yummy Sweet 'n' Salty Chex Mix that Mommy was making for Jasper's class. He tried to tell me several times that he wanted some by saying "Bite" but I didn't understand him. Finally, he came and grabbed my hand to take me to the table and show me he wanted a bite to eat. He could have reached up and just gotten some of it himself, but he asked first. I was amazed.

He certainly knows his own mind, and has just started to realize that he can communicate his desires to us. This involves a lot of babble with 1 or 2 recognizable words and much hand pulling. If he doesn't get what he wants, though... tantrums ensue. Ah, the joys of toddlers. :D

I am so grateful to have him. He brings so much joy and fun into my day. He keeps me busy and I live for those little hugs and kisses he gives.
Now, if these two would get along more... I would be REALLY grateful!
Is this asking for too much?
Yeah, I thought so.

Jasper thought she was very stylish wearing her Dad's hat...
Aram thought she should take it off!

The battles are endless between these two.
They include;
her hiding toys from him out of selfishness, him hitting her just to hear her squeal, some hair pulling, pushing, tattling, more squealing and whining and MUCH crying. Will I miss these days? Probably,.. but some days it doesn't feel like it.

If only this guy was around more... or if he was AWAKE more, really. It is hard having him home during the day, but sleeping. I try to leave him alone, really I do! Unfortunately, his sleep gets interrupted quite often. This is his last week on the night shift for 2 months, so life is going to get better. (That is my mantra!) :)

Okay, only one more set of pictures and a funny story to go with it...
Aram has just recently figured out he can climb on things. Swift has been a climber for months. Grammie has a stand alone High Chair at her house now.
Here's the story...
The first little monkey climbed into the high chair and sat down. The second little monkey thought "that looks fun" and climbed up, too. There wasn't enough room for two monkeys, so the second monkey had to sit on the first monkey. The first monkey wasn't sure he liked this.

Then the big monkey siblings come over to check it out (that is Teryk's hand next to Jasper's). Life was all fun and games, until...

The first monkey got mad, and we had to remove both monkeys. "No more monkeys, climbing on the chair".

January 23, 2010

Snow Ice Cream

For those of you who have never made/ate Snow Ice cream...
Get a metal kitchen bowl, nestle it in the snow.
3 cups fresh snow
2 TBS milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla, adjust to taste
Stir and eat!
Try adding Cinnamon, Nestle Chocolate Milk powder or any other flavoring you dream up.

January 22, 2010

What do you do when it snows and Snows and SNOWS??

Do you eventually get very tired of the kids fighting and wrestling all over you and each other...

Send them outside to play! Bundling up is a problem when you are only 18 months old. For one thing, Mommy thought she could get away with not buying Snow boots yet... Then there is the fact that Snow THIS deep and heavy is hard to walk in... VERY hard!

Despite being poorly outfitted, it is still a lot of fun!

Mommy watches from the sliding glass door...

But when the makeshift Boots come off for the 2nd time... It is time to come in!

(Playing with the boot instead of wearing it!)

She gets to stay outside. She is bigger and older. This is not a well liked idea by her Brother. So off he goes to take a nap!

While we make and eat yummy Snow Ice cream!

January 20, 2010

It seems to be about time for status updates. So,.. whats new? We have been hit with some pretty big storms bringing us an accumulation of 15 inches of snow... too bad it is mostly melting off in the afternoons. Jasper had some fun building a darling little snowman out of what was left, though.

She was so excited for school to start again after Christmas break. The crazy girl doesn't even want a Snow Day to keep her at home... Should I be worried? Does she not like us anymore? Really, I think she just has a lot of fun at school.
She has been great about getting her work done on time, lately. She is usually much too spacey and social during seat work time. Today I was looking at a Storybook she wrote about Bears and was pleased to see that all her spelling, punctuation, and grammar were perfect and was SHOCKED that her handwriting looked great. She has always had a hard time writing neatly. I am not sure if it is laziness or still some difficulty with her fine motor skills. Either way, it looked lovely and I was very happy about it.
She has been on a Veggie-strike lately. This is the child who as a baby would not touch the pureed fruits, but LOVED the pureed vegetables. Even as a toddler she ate broccoli, green beans, and peas without complaint. It is much too difficult to convince her to even TRY any veggie these days. I get really frustrated with her because she thinks SHE is in control of what I make for Dinner each night. Her favorites are Indian/Thai food and Chinese food. If we are having anything else,.. she complains!
On a good note, she is still absolutely sweet and cuddly to her Mom and Dad. The day she doesn't climb on my lap or come and give me a random hug or an 'I love you' will be a sad day, indeed. I hope it never comes. (Like I can just wish away those teenage years, right?)

Aram found a new way to play with the really cool Dump Truck that Grandpa Ed sent him for Christmas... You RIDE it! It is motorized, so when you push the button it makes noises like an engine starting while jumping around and then it zooms forward for a few seconds. NOT while a 23 lb. kid is on it, though... He doesn't understand this.

He loves all things "Trackers" (tractors) and Trucks right now, so I thought he would be overjoyed when Papa started up the big Tractor to plow our driveway. He was very stoic about the whole thing, though. He wouldn't even sit in it for long. Maybe if it had been going at the time...

THIS kids eating problem extends not only to vegetables... He won't eat ANYTHING some days. He only wants to drink juice (which I severely water down) and "Chocs" (chocolate) and "Cooks" (cookies) are frequently his requested food. It is helping me to improve on my patience, right?

He can say almost everything these days, but most people don't know he talks because he won't have anything to do with socializing outside of his family. Stinker!

There is not a day goes by that he doesn't have some new bump or bruise. Wild Thing!! He has gotten to be a lot sweeter lately, though. He FINALLY started calling me Mama more often. Unless you ask him to say it, then it is "Brooke". He gives "tisses" (kisses, for which he makes the cutest smacking noise) and hugs on a regular basis now and pats us on the back or shoulder as he is doing it. I was worried that he would be sad when his Sis had to go back to school, but he seemed to be overjoyed at the prospect of having free reign of the house again. She tends to holler at him for getting into things more than Mommy does! ;)

Well, these are the memories we make each day. Now,.. hopefully I will remember them.

January 15, 2010

Thoughts of the end...

I have been thinking a lot about 'Family Expansion' lately, well not so much expansion as the END of the expansion. When do you REALLY know you are done having kids? When is your family unit complete?

I feel that all of my married years have been centered around trying to expand my family. This is normal, right? Well, for me it has felt like such a roller coaster that I seriously am thinking about getting off the ride, putting an end to possibility of expansion. I want a definitive ending, not a 'wait and see'. Is that selfish? Is that unreasonable? I know that there are many women out there who can choose when to be pregnant and when to be done... I am not one of those women.

We tried for 3+ years with each pregnancy. We did adoption paperwork and screening. We went through countless medications and Dr's appointments. We waited and tried and struggled. The whole time it felt unfair and painful when someone commented on my childless state (someone actually told me I couldn't be a Mormon because I didn't have enough kids) or talked about their own pregnancies. I tried to tamp down the ugly feelings of bitterness and resentment. It was very hard to do.

I remember promising the Lord in my prayers that I would endure ANYTHING if I could just get pregnant... and finally I did! I should have been ecstatic, right? Well, I was of course but pregnancy was neither easy nor fun and I complained the WHOLE time! I was incredibly grateful to be pregnant, but I couldn't help but just want to have the baby already. Then my daughter came 2 1/2 months early. She was too early, too small (1 lb. 10 oz.) and it was a LONG road to getting her healthy and out of the hospital. I remember feeling like I had somehow brought this on and I thought 'That is NOT what I meant'. I didn't want to just skip over most of the pregnancy, I just wanted it to go quicker. Classic case of "Be careful what you wish for". :)

I promised myself that I would just enjoy it if I ever got pregnant again and wouldn't complain. More trying, more failing. Jasper started asking us for a sibling. I felt broken. Why could my body not do it's 'Divine purpose'?
When I finally got pregnant with my son I found out I have a clotting disorder. I would need to give myself Heparin injections twice a day to combat this. I did NOT want to endure that. I was scared. It hurt.

I did it though (and I'm sure I complained a lot). I think it is just human nature to complain. I wish I had better control over that tendency. It is somewhat laughable that I eventually got what I asked for but there was still something to complain about.

I think the crux of my problem is my inability to control things. My own body, my feelings, the situations, or other people's tongues.

I always wanted several children. So, do I continue to TRY for more, or do I accept the fact that I was lucky to get 2 beautiful children and move on? I've decided to move on. Then I ask myself "Does moving on mean I have to take the necessary precautions to NOT have anymore children?", "Do I leave it in the Lord's hands and just be happy if I do get pregnant again... even if it's another 5 years down the road?"

I have never gotten pregnant without using fertility drugs. I have never had normal cycles. I have pain associated with my reproductive system that has for some reason gotten worse lately. My Mom having Ovarian Cancer last year makes me think twice about just leaving things as they are. My Grandmother having Breast Cancer also makes me wary of this. All of this factors into my decision to put an end to it and have a Hysterectomy. Yet, I still ask myself, "Am I doing the right thing?". I HAVE prayed about it. I want to know for SURE. I want... to really have a choice, I guess. Not to be acting out of my limitations. I've made the decision. I will have to live with it. But, will I ever be sure of it?

I remind myself each day to be grateful for what I have. The Lord gives us what we need, not necessarily what we want. I needed the experiences I had, for some reason. I hope I learned something from them. I feel like what I've learned most is to accept the things that I can not change... and TRY not to complain so much! :)

January 7, 2010

I stole this idea from a friends blog (Thanks, Michelle) and because I am not introspective often enough, I decided to fill it out for my own benefit. Then, after wasting an hour answering questions just to delete it afterwards, I decided to post it! So, feel free to skip over this!
1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before? Got really into cooking/baking… and blogging! Finally started blogging!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I never make firm resolutions, my thought processes just never take it that far. I think about it, but don’t settle on anything. Bad, I know!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? My Sister and Sister-in-law both had beautiful, healthy Baby Girls this year. It has been fun to have babies to hold as mine is a baby, no longer!

4. Did anyone close to you die? No, thankfully. I'm not sure I could handle that!

5. What countries did you visit? Ha, ha… right! Didn’t happen. The furthest away we got was Flagstaff, Az. Sad, I know!

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009? More freedom. Life is sometimes difficult with a baby/toddler and I want to be more MYSELF this coming year. I would also like to have more time with my Hubby, but that might be asking too much because that would mean also having more money! Needy, aren't I?

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Hmmm, how about June 21st… Aram started walking, Aric turned 33. That is the only date I have purposefully tried to etch into memory. My memory is not what it once was, so I try not to overtax it! :)

8. What was your biggest personal achievement of the year? Wow! I am not much of an achiever, I guess, because... I’ve got nada! I survived. For me, that is an accomplishment. I didn't sink into a depression, I didn't end up in the Loony Bin, I was (for the most part) a good Mother and Wife... and to me, that seems to be a big achievement.

9. What was your biggest failure? Letting myself 'go' to the point of being the heaviest (weight) I’ve ever been! Gotta take care of that one.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? The kids got the Swine Flu this year! That wasn't very much fun!

11. What was the best thing you bought? P90X program… now if only I could stick with it! Oh, yeah... and a new Washing Machine!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My Husband's, of course. He works so hard (sometimes 6-10 days straight) (12 hour shifts) and he rarely complains about it. Not only that, but he always helps clean house or do things for the kids when he is home. He is my hero.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Probably my own! I need to get my temper reigned in again, and fix those hormones!

14. Where did most of your money go? Bills, bills, and bills. Well, we spend more money than we should on other things, but they are minor and not worth mentioning.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? COOKING! (Ironic that it is the opposite of the thing I should have been excited about [exercising!] ) It just makes me happy to be able to find a recipe that is difficult or involved and use all these raw ingredients and make something really yummy… and then eat… too much of it!

16. What song will always remind you of 2009? 'Single ladies/Put a ring on it' by Beyonce. My children love this song . They sing and dance to it. It is just catchy, I guess.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? I would say happier. My Mom finished Chemo and became more herself! Aram got older and stopped spitting up EVERYTHING! Jasper took of like a rocket with her Educational Achievements. Those things make me happy!

b) thinner or fatter? Fatter, OH, so much fatter!
c) richer or poorer? That is so hard to say. Probably richer, but it doesn’t feel like it! I try not to dwell too much on the material, because it only depresses me! I just try to be disciplined and live within my means... it doesn't usually work!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? I wish I had exercised more, and ate healthier. (but where's the fun in that?) :D

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Sitting around, spending useless hours on the computer and READING. I love it, but it is not conducive to an active lifestyle.

20. Did you fall in love in 2009? I fall in love with my Husband and 2 fabulous children on a daily basis! The kids will be driving me nutso some days, but then I will look at them asleep in their beds and my cup (and eyes) runneth over. I always offer up a Prayer of gratitude, right then and there, for them in my life.

21. What was your favorite TV program? We don’t have cable/satellite TV, but we like to get the DVDs from Netflix if there is something we are interested in seeing. This year we liked ‘Castle’ ‘Blood Ties’ and my favorite ‘Moonlight’ which are all actually from the previous year, once they come out on DVD.

22. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I try not to 'HATE' anyone, but there was someone last year whom I very much despised... However, this year I was amazed that this person (whom we had not been in contact with after a nasty incident) emailed my husband, apologizing for many hurtful things and saying that he was getting his life together. It was then that I re-evaluated my feelings for him, and what once was very close to hate is now nothing but regret over the course of events. I am pleased to say that I feel no ill will at all.

23. What was the best book you read? Probably the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Love it. Very fun.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery? Hmmm, I taught my daughter to play ‘Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater’ on the Piano, and months later she still remembers it! I need to get the girl some lessons.

25. What did you want and get? I wanted a new iPod, once mine died (I listen to audio books with it and music in the car). I got it! My Hubby is the best!

26. What did you want and not get? I always want ‘to get away from it all‘, but luckily I never do (I would miss it)!

27. What was your favorite film of this year? I really liked the 6th Harry Potter, loved Avatar, enjoyed Star Trek and New Moon was much better than Twilight which made it enjoyable.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I will be 28 for 9 more days… and last year I spent the night with my parents (Mom had just had a Chemo treatment, and I was “trying“ to help out). We went to dinner and they got me a new Camera, which is why I am able to post all the darling pictures of my kids on this blog!

29. What’s one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Spending more time with Aric. There is never enough of that. I find myself alone, too often after I have put the kids to bed. The refrigerator is my only companion! :D

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? Non-existent. Anything that fits as I have outgrown most of my clothes… (Do you see a trend developing here? Maybe these 'reflections' are trying to point something out to me!)

31. What kept you sane? My husband! He is my anchor and keeps me from going off the deep end, actually I guess it should be my 'buoy', as the point of an anchor IS to go off the deep end. :D At any rate, he keeps me sane when I lose perspective. The Gospel of Jesus Christ also gives me an Eternal perspective and lets me move past the rough spots in life with the Faith that this is only a small moment in time and better things are to come. I am so grateful for that knowledge.