Sunday, September 13, 2009

OK, what's new for us?
-My mom left Friday morning, but before she left I got some fun pictures of her with the kids...



-My mom was a great help... Among other things, she made this outfit for Elia (I've started making another skirt for Elia with the same pattern), folded laundry, shredded a bag of chicken so I would have some in reserve for future meals, helped with the kids while I took breaks, watched the kids so Eric and I could play volleyball together, played Settler's of Catan games with us, had fun shopping for some new clothes for Elia for school, and took the kids to Chuck E Cheese. She also contributed to helping us break the cycle of locking the kids bedroom door at night. See, we locked the door when we first put them to bed because Ethan would be in and out like a yo-yo, but now we don't have to. She did it once while we were out at their bedtimes and now they stay in for us too. Sometimes you just need another person to shake things up. Thanks mom!
-I had a two-year-old photo session and the girl would not smile... and I mean she was straight faced almost the whole time! I tried everything!... including my monkey imitation that I only use when I'm desparate!,
-The magazine issue is almost done! Hooray! I'm excited to start over for the next issue... I know I haven't finished this one yet, but I'm excited to improve my process and be more organized for the next one.
-I had fun watching Ethan play in the rain. Notice the multi-functionality of his rainboots... he was making me a birthday cake.
I love watching Ethan at "work". He is so creative. I included a video demonstrating a typical scene in our house. video
He is always cooking something, going to work or carrying something in a bag. He is famous for saying "look at me" whenever he talks to us because he's figured out that we are paying more attention to him when we have to look at him, he also loves saying, "Closeyoureyes!" and then a half a second later, "Openthem"... "I have a present!" He says the first two so quickly that you might think they were one word.
Once Eric did this to Ethan and Ethan did it back. He was kind enough to repeat it for the video camera!
video
I like these types of blogs that share a little more about everyday life because I know it is the cute little things that the kids do that I'm going to want to remember. Thanks for checking in!Hope everyone has a great week!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Momnesia!... Happy Birthday Elia!

As I'm going through the week things happens... the kids do something or I have a thought that I think would be great to share on the blog... then Sunday comes and I don't have anything fun that I can think of to write about! I really think at times I've lost my mind altogether. Eric thinks that talking about being crazy makes me that way, but I did a little research about whether being pregnant and having a baby makes you more forgetful or not and it seems that official studies confirm that "momnesia" (not an official name mind you) is really real! Yeah! I feel somewhat justified.
My favorite story (that I can remember) goes as follows...
Eric was out in the garage and came in the door. He said, "What are you doing?"
"Nothing." I replied.
"You look like you've been doing something... You look guilty," he said.
"I haven't been doing anything," I said.
"What were you doing in the closet?" he asked.
"I wasn't in the closet."
"I heard the door close," he said.
"I promise! I wasn't in the closet. I was just standing here waiting for you to come in."
"I heard the door close," he insisted.
Once again I insisted I hadn't been in there, but then an image came into my mind of a box of food that we have as part of our food storage in the closet... Oh yeah, I remember that box. I was in the closet! ...
"Oh, I do remember opening the closet," I tell Eric... "Now what was I doing in there?"...
After a minute more of thought, I remember...
"Oh, yeah!" I tell him. "I put the mop away."
Keep in mind that I'd had the mop in my hand just three minutes previously! Incidences like these, which are very annoying, are frighteningly frequent around here. One expert I read gave me hope though and said that we (new or expecting moms) aren't getting dumber, but our brain is getting a workout... like a sleep-deprived medical resident. "You are learning a lot," she said. "Once your mommy brain gets readjusted, you get more efficient, and you become smarter and learn things faster, but it won't happen all at once."
Isn't that hopeful? I love the prospect of being more efficient and be able to learn things faster after the haze lifts... if only I can make it through my current state a while longer without totally putting my life in a mess. If anyone wants to read one of the articles I read you can find it at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2008-03-03-momnesia_N.htm.
Still, even if I have an excuse to be forgetful, I can't afford to be forgetful with the photography, magazine editing deadlines, preschool, playdates, and all of the other things I have and want to do. I have become addicted to my phone as a reminder and my day planner for planning (though I don't always remember to look at it). I put everything into the calendar on my phone and set an alarm including when I have to take my vitamins, when I have to go places, when I have photography work, when I need to do budgeting, etc. As I was writing this, I had the idea to put an alarm in my phone to check my day planner! Genius!
Anyway, enough about my deficient brain and this whirl of a week. A week ago Saturday, Eric and I went to the temple and Elia went to a birthday party. My mom came Sunday night (driving all the way from Yuma, AZ) to see the new baby and spend some time with us. It was such a blessing that she came when she did because Eric went out of town Monday morning through Wednesday night, we decided to sign Elia up for an official preschool and Sept. 1st was her first class, she had ballet on Friday morning and her birthday party on Saturday morning (more about these things later). My mom's timing couldn't have been better! Having my mom here for all of this transitioning (and party planning) has been super. She's always willing to stay with one or more of the kids while I go do something or even just take a break. I went to five stores one afternoon during the kids' naps to get supplies for the party and errands done. How nice that was to not have to pack the kids in and out of the car! I went to Sam's club and bought a berry shake and just enjoyed it all to myself! She leaves Friday and it will sure be hard.
Before my mom came Eric and I went to do some shopping with the kids. He had asked me a couple of days before if I was ever going to go shopping by myself (i.e. during the week while he was at work with the three kids). After we went shopping all together I think he understood why I wasn't jumping to go to the store by myself with the three kids!
So about our new schedule...
We signed Elia up mainly because she sometimes has a hard time leaving me or Ethan. Since Mom was here and could stay with the kids, I went one day to observe the class and see what she was doing in class so I could talk to her about it. It's a Lutheran preschool and they have a little devotional each day. She volunteered to say the prayer which I thought was great. I think in just the week she's been going she feels more comfortable with things. She didn't have much of a hard time going to school that first day. I stayed a little bit at first, but when I said goodbye, she was fine with it. It was nice that I didn't have the other two kids with me which would have made it crazier.
Ballet was on Friday. We started out the day by delivering 10 meals to some housebound local seniors with the Meals on Wheels program. We deliver meals every first and third Friday and this was my second time doing it and the first time on my own. Again... nice to have my mom. She put in the addresses in the GPS as I was delivering the meals. Elia decided after the first house to toss her cookies and lost her breakfast all over the backseat (thank goodness for leather!). I took her carseat out and hosed it off at a water spicket at one of the apartments. She seemed to be doing fine, so we took her to ballet (which she loved). Ethan peed in his shorts on the way home, so then I had the van to clean up and Ethan's car seat cover to wash! What a morning! Eric texted me at 10 and asked me to call him when I could. I called him at 1 because that was the first chance I had!
Friday afternoon we did all the preparations for Elia's party. Then on Saturday we had 12 little girls over all dressed in dresses. We painted jewelry boxes, made necklaces, played kiss the frog prince...ate mini-sandwhiches cut with cookie cutters, played on the playset between activities...took pictures in front of the castle mural (the art creation by my mom, Eric and I that took about 45 minutes to create ...... and 5 minutes to destroy...opened presents and had cake...and ice cream. The cake I have to say was a joint effort between Eric and I. On Friday night I frosted the dress and he put the frosting on the doll's top. It looks pretty cool, but Eric and I think it looks like it didn't take as much time as it did. It seems like it would be pretty simple. This Belle doll is Elia's first Barbie-type doll.
Everyone had a great time and though our house was pretty much a disaster, we were exhausted, and we realized why people only let their kids have parties with friends every other year (something that was a new idea to us, but that lots of people here seem to do), we had a great time planning and hosting the party. Our little baby is five now!
To top off the week, we blessed Kara in church today. It was fun to bless her on Elia's birthday. It seems every time I have a baby I have a renewed sense of urgency in regards to teaching the kids and raising them so they will know they are children of God. One of the guys today mentioned in his testimony the phrase, "God is my friend." I loved that because I think if we realized how true that really is, our lives would be so much easier because we would realize the eternal perspective of everything. Going back to Elia praying at school, it's nice to know that she's comfortable enough talking to God that she would pray in a new situation.
So I have four more days to get my mom's help with stuff before she goes back home. I feel so great today... probably because Kara didn't wake up to eat last night. Let's hope that continues! Have a great week!