29 February 2008

Breakfast in bed

I woke up this morning and heard Elizabeth walking toward me. I was on my side, facing away from the door, nursing Amelia. My first thought was that James must already be at work. I looked at the clock...7:22...nope; he must be in the shower.

Then a little hand reaches over my head with a little plate and spoon.

It turns out that James was still in bed (he'd gone to her when she'd woken up in the middle of the night) and Elizabeth had gotten up and was cheerfully bringing me breakfast in bed!

AND I have another cheerful sleep story (very unusual for Elizabeth). Yesterday she insisted on napping in her bed. Ok, yes, I want her to sleep in her bed, but we'd been getting great 3+ hour naps this week by having the three of us lie down together and that works better in a king than a double. Not tomention that my Doctor’s Choice mattress is so comfy.

I got her down quickly and took Amelia to my bed. An hour later I heard Elizabeth waking up, crying. This is very normal for her and the reason we all nap together because then I can reach over and comfort her and the nap doesn't end too early. But this time she's in the other room and Amelia is going to cry if I get up right then, so I wait for her to come in wailing at the betrayal (going into the other room with Amelia).

Suddenly I hear a very sweet "Night, night!" and, then...nothing. No crying, no getting up!?

This is what I found once Amelia settled enough for me to get up. Elizabeth may actually have a "lovie" and it is a pink hippo that giggles like a maniac when you squeeze its foot.

A very special anniversary

Four years ago today was a very rare occurance...a 5th Sunday in February. I really don't remember all that much about that day except that I ended up browsing on LDS Planet. I'd been on there about 6 weeks and hadn't really found anyone I was impressed with enough to persue. But it was always fun to look.
That night I felt impressed to change one thing in my search criteria and came across an intriguing profile. He was funny (started off with a joke), ambitious (a pilot and a PhD student), and somehow seemed quite approachable. His screen name was Blairbear1.
I had no idea my life was about to change forever. I just thought it would be a good step forward for me to have the guts to answer his intro questions. I certainly didn't hold my breath waiting for a response. I have my journal entries to prove it. I was thinking more about the fact that I was getting a new nephew the next day (and I thought Sabina should have planned the C-section for Leap Day!).
That Wednesday I was surprised by a response that was even lengthier than mine and life would never be the same.
I can't believe it's been 4 years. I can't believe it's been longer than I had been in Texas at that time. I can't believe all we've through in that time. I can't believe I have my wonderful Blairbear1 and my two beautiful daughters.
How did I get so lucky?

27 February 2008

Taking your child to the doctor?

Get $5 from Lysol when buy 2 products and take your kid in for a checkup. Have to print out form and send in reciepts. Doesn't expire until Mar 2009. Thanks to my brother-in-law, Darren, for the heads up.

Happy 1st birthday, Callie!

Here's the first pic I ever saw of you.
Can't wait to finally meet you in person this summer!

26 February 2008

Amelia and the water bottle (starring Elizabeth)

Click Here

Did Daddy teach her this?

I've heard stories about James teaching Bryan (his not-much-younger brother) to climb into the dryer. Here's what I walked in on the other day.


A green-eye monster lives here

Not only is she in Amelia's exersaucer, but she's managed to put her 0-3m sleeper on as well!


Daddy Time

We are very fortunate in that James gets to come home for lunch most days. Elizabeth lives for this, especially as most of the morning is spent with Mommy trying to keep Amelia asleep when Elizabeth wants her to wake up and play.
Today we were out on the porch waiting when he came home. Elizabeth had grabbed my hand and pulled me to the door; sure enough, he pulled up within a couple of minutes. I asked James to take her out for a bit of precious "outside time" before lunch. We don't have anywhere safe enough for her to play without someone able to grab her when she runs out into the street, so I'm leary of taking her outside on my own.
So 20-30 minutes later I realize they are still out there and James needs to eat lunch. I open the front door and what do I see?

"Outside time" has turned into "sit in the car and listen to music time"! James insists that it was all Elizabeth's idea, and I do believe him, but the idea was for her to get some fresh air and run around! Oh, and this picture shows her bangs that I cut too short...her very first hair cut. Oh well, they'll be perfect by Easter!

Pumping Iron

My mother-in-law rocks!

When I tell people about FamilySearch Indexing I usually emphasize how easy it is by telling them that even my mother-in-law can do it, and it once took James 45 minutes by phone to walk her through checking her e-mail. She is not tech-savvy, to say the least.
But she certainly can handle FamilySearch Indexing! I was impressed when she indexed 2,000 names just in the month of January. But then I talked to her the other day and was SHOCKED to find out that her total for the year is now over 8,000! Wow! And she loves it. It's like a mission she can do in her spare time. I just hope the cats aren't feeling too neglected ;)

25 February 2008

Happy Birthday, Katie!

Um, you're probably in bed by now! I kept meaning to do this all day!

20 February 2008

7 months old today

Can you believe it?
We'll get her current weight when she gets her Synagis shot tomorrow.
Of course Elizabeth had to get in on the action.
Mommy and Daddy kiss her toes, so why doesn't Sissy want to?

Lots of catching up to do

We're pretty simple folk who do best on a pretty predictable schedule. Especially these days when Amelia is still very "attached" to Momma and Elizabeth very much needs her Daddy. Things get crazy real quick when we are trying to do more than just get everyone fed, dressed, and rested with Daddy on a normal schedule (work 8-12, home for lunch 12-1, work 1-5).

Here's what the past week has looked like:

Tuesday: Transport, which means James leaves at 5:30am and doesn't get any of his own work done on the dorm. Also means Elizabeth is up by 6am because she has an internal sensor that doesn't let her sleep long once Daddy has left the house.
Wednesday: BYU Ballroom Dance activity, which means James leaves early in the evening and doesn't come back until late (it's an hour plus drive)
Thursday: Elizabeth is up early, which I'll post more about later. Branch activity that night which means I forgo cleaning in favor of making a casserole and Rice Crispie treats (one batch with strawberry marshmallows, one with cinnamon candies). Also means we're out all evening, which turns out to be a good thing because an inmate made it over the fence and work (all hands on deck) only called James at home, not his cell. But a late night.
Friday: James ends up spending most of the day in the hospital in Odessa with a youth having surgery for a broken jaw. Supposed to go into surgery at 2pm, ends up being 6pm. Got home very late, like midnight.
Saturday: Back up at the hospital early, see Tuesday for effect on Elizabeth. Home around 1pm and everyone took a 3 hour nap. Spent the evening (again, out late) at Wal-Mart in Odessa because the girls need diapers and we need groceries. Find out no early meetings for James this Sunday. (Yay!)
Sunday: No early meetings, but Elizabeth has gotten into the habit of waking up early. So we're up at 6am and all fall asleep in the living room about an hour later, waking up late and barely making it to church on time. Only take one vehicle, which means we have to wait for James to do tithing afterwards. That evening James gets a call from work and has to go to the hospital again, this time in Monahans. Home about midnight.
Monday: Presidents' Day! Maybe we can still salvage part of what was supposed to be a 3 day weekend! Fun morning, even took a family walk to the playground. But at lunchtime work calls AGAIN. James has to go back to the hospital from midnight to 8am...grrrrrr! The girls and I get a nap, but James is too stressed about needing to sleep. So the rest of the day is spent trying to keep the girls happy and quiet on my own while James tries (in vain) to sleep.
Tuesday: Up early again, but I figure it's ok because we're going to pick James up at 8am in Monahans and leave his car at the church because I don't want him driving home after working all night. Except that his relief never comes. And the girls are so tired they go down (note that I have to be with them or they wake up) for a nap an hour before their ECI appointment. Except that she's running ahead of schedule and comes a half hour early! Starts the appt with Amelia and Elizabeth wakes up and joins us, thinking that she's had her nap for the day. I'm not feeling so great and soon have to run to the bathroom several times. James sends a text that they are transporting the youth back to the facility and he'll be leaving his car and coming with, since that requires 2 staff. Elizabeth dismantles the screen door while watching for him. He doesn't come. Later I get an e-mail that a co-worker's mother had a heart attack and he has to finish up some of her work. Finally gets home at 5pm, having worked all night and then a regular day without a lunchbreak.

Of coure there's Mutual again tonight (and we'll have to drive him there so he can get his car), but other than that we're hoping for a "normal" day. Sigh.

14 February 2008

BYU Ballroom Dance Company/ Mormon Battalion

The BYU Ballroom Dance Company was in Midland last night, and our branch took the youths to the performance for the combined activity. The theme of the performance was the Mormon Battalion, with the main focus being on how the wives handled the absence of their husbands while they were in Winter Quarters and making the trek to Utah. It was an excellent performance; aside from some technical difficulties with the sound equipment (they didn't have the best sound techie with them, possibly, but the equipment itself probably didn't help), it was obvious that a lot of skill, talent, and practice went into the performance. More importanly, the brouht to life the extreme hardships and sorrows that these sisters faced with little or no resources and without the help of their husbands. It is hard to say who had to endure the worst trials during this time, the men of the battalion or their wives, though I dare say the wives certainly weren't complaining about trivial matters by a longshot. Maybe I'm just getting old, but I almost cried during a few of the stories brought to life by the talented performers.

They did mention some of the Battalion's accomplishments as well, which brought to mind an interesting fact I read just a few days before. During the Mexican-American War, all of the states were asked to provide volunteer military units for the war. In fact, the majority of the American military forces involved in the war were volunteers. Texas provided the most (the equivalent of over 8 regiments), while other states contributed various amounts as seen on the table here. Look at the amount Iowa contributed. Only one battalion, the 1st Iowa Battalion. Of course, most people know them instead as the Mormon Battalion. Considering that all of the states around Iowa sent approximately 5 regiments each (a regiment is usually comprised of 3-4 battalions for comparison purposes), it strikes me as odd that Iowa managed to only send one battalion, and the battalion they sent was comprised of people they didn't want in the state anyway. Only New Jersey and Florida sent similar or lesser amounts of volunteers.

Happy Birthday, Lindsey!

13 February 2008

Free Flat Earth Crisps

Can print twice per computer. We prefer the veggie ones over the fruit ones.

12 February 2008

Too many posts without cute pictures!

So I'll make up for it in this one!

Amelia likes Elizabeth's new dishes, but big sis isn't quite ready to share yet.

Yes, I belong to the "grab-the-camera-and-take-care-of-the-child-later" school of thought. Actually, I left Amelia there as long as she would sleep, and yes, I know Bumbos aren't supposed to be used up high. The washer is in the kitchen and I was washing dishes right beside her. As you can she in Elizabeth's picture, I also put it on the table.

Breast milk contains stem cells

Here's another article for you, Katie, you lactivist, you ;)

Didn't Heavenly Father do a good job providing for us?!

Worldwide Leadership Training

Did you attend this? All adults in the Church were invited to attend, not just those in "leadership" positions at the moment. I almost didn't go. A 99 year old sister in our branch died and her funeral was that day. Elizabeth fell asleep on the way home and was still asleep 15 minutes before we had to leave. I told James to go on his own, but then Elizabeth woke up and was determined to go with Daddy. (Yes, she has him wrapped around her little finger!) At the last second I realized that there was certainly no reason for me to stay home if Elizabeth was going!

One of the benefits to living in a small branch is that people are understanding when we drag the kids along. We showed up a few minutes late, babies and Sonic in tow, and the District President quickly set up a TV in another room just for us. (I'd thought they would be watching the broadcast in the chapel and we'd pipe the sound into the nursery, like we did at the funeral.) Anyway, it's scheduled to be available on the Broadcast page sometime today.

I'd felt impressed that this would be something I needed. Guess what?! The Spirit was right! The subject matter was The Family: A Proclamation to the World and was so relevant to where I am in my life at the moment. My favorite part was when a story was related of a mother with 4 kids under 6 who said she was trying for 10 minutes of scripture study, but it usually involved tears. The response was that 2 minutes was probably more appropriate for her audience! Then the suggestion was given to use a picture. Duh! I KNEW that, but I sure needed the reminder.

So last night we had FHE and the lesson consisted of introducing the first picture in the Gospel Art Picture Kit. I read the scripture on the back and we talked about the animals. Each night we will bring it out again (I put it in a sheet protecter) for our scripture study and next week we'll introduce the next one in FHE. So our FHEs and family scripture study are pretty much set for the next couple of years (or longer, just depending on when we feel our family needs something different)!

There were a lot on interesting moments, from instruction on adapting to local needs (especially small branches like ours), to very clear counsel as to the relationship between men amd women and how (regardless of local culture) THIS is how men amd women in the Church counsel together. It was apparent from the fact that President Packer was introduced as the Acting President of the Quorem of the Twelve Apostles that it was recorded previous to President Hinckley's death.. But at the end, an update was added and President Monson spoke to the Church. Cool bonus feature!

09 February 2008

Lovin' this blog!

A couple of days ago I'd read everything Google Reader had gathered for me from my favorite blogs (besides the family ones that I check several times a day myself) and I used the "Discover" button to find other things I might like to read. That's how I found Mormon Momma. It all started with the one about ways General Authorities eat a Reeses that I have in my sidebar now. From there I perused the indexed archives for longer than I care to admit. I showed James one about whether or not women can give the opening prayer in Sacrament Meeting (the only one I've seen so far where the discussion got a bit heated) and he got hooked as well. We finally had to stop and leave it for another day because there's just so much worth reading there.
This morning I found a post that sealed the deal for me. It's about Sister Beck's talk and is an answer to everyone complaining on that blog Ashley mentioned. I love it! You can read it here.

08 February 2008

A trip down memory lane

A while back I discovered the fun of looking at the satelilte view of where we live on Google Earth. I've always loved looking at maps and they really help me find my way around. I get to know an area so much better if I've seen it on a map. Well, this takes it a step further.
Yesterday it all started when I got an email from Ancestry announcing the addition of CA Voter Records. I did a bit of searching and found a few times when Grandpa (Parkins) was listed. Then I took the addresses and looked them up, just for fun. Next, I looked up my parents' house. That led to lots of fun looking at not only the entire town of Blythe, but also the fields (where I used to work) and the two parks along the river. I'm sure this'll be something I go back to time and time again as I remember other things I want to take a look at.
Of course I spent a lot of time looking around the old E Ave B neighborhood where I grew up. Then I happened upon the street where we lived when I was little and saw the canal where Bobby was playing when he was lost. So I wondered...could I find where we lived in between those two houses?
I couldn't find Grandview because I didn't know it was Grand View. Besides, I don't know where those houses where other than one was on the Snake River and the second was on a big road (probably a highway). So I found Mountain Home and from there found Bruneau (since I can never get the spelling right).
Sure enough, I'm pretty sure I found the Mecham's house! I walked to school, so that gave me landmarks to look for. It's so incredible to take a bird's eye look at a place I last knew as an almost 7 year old. Now there are so many other places I want to check out now (everywhere I ever lived and many places I've visited). What would YOU like to take a peek at?

06 February 2008

Amelia means it!

Solid foods now! She wasn't entirely happy at first...
... then she tried her first bite.She didn't spit it back out or anything, so Mommy gave her a few more bites.
She liked it so much she started lunging for the spoon. Mommy couldn't bring the spoon fast enough. The bowl was soon empty, and Amelia asked for more! Another satisfied customer!

Amelia's new hang out


Amelia loves playing in it, at least as long as her big sister doesn't climb in and try to help her by showing her how all the toys work.

Even Cinderella (another birthday present) tries to crowd her out.But that's ok. Amelia is a morning person, and Elizabeth isn't. So Amelia gets an hour or so in the morning before her sister wakes up to do what she wants, like try to get the height adjusted correctly on her exercsaucer. We're trying towels now and they seem to work better.

Elizabeth's 2nd Birthday

Christie, Elizabeth and Amelia got home middle to late afternoon on the 4th. After taking a few minutes to get the essentials out of the van and stretch, we got right to business: Elizabeth's birthday!She found the presents on the table and started opening them. Sometimes that consisted of throwing them to Mommy or Daddy (she learned to throw while out in Blythe) and having us open them for her. In this picture you can see the the new pair of shoes she insisted on wearing immediately even though they were a size too big.Her favorite present was actually an impulse buy from Mommy when she found lots of other good deals. You can see her serving some of her other new toys.Another favorite present was the bag of gummi bears from Daddy. A few seconds after this picture, Elizabeth realized that her two most favorite presents could go together and she put a handful of gummi bears into one of the princess bowls.

Then it was time for cake and ice cream. Mommy had gotten some samples of Warm Delights mini desserts, which Daddy figured were just the right size for the occasion (instead of making a regular sized cake and then having the leftovers calling to dieting tummies all night long). Topped with some Blue Bell ice cream and a candle, and you get a toddler sized birthday cake. Elizabeth hasn't learned to blow out candles yet, so Daddy helped. Then Elizabeth ate her cake and ice cream! Yummy! Mommy and Daddy also had their own servings of cake and ice cream, too.Amelia grabbed a princess bowl and asked for her share. She reminded Mommy that she's old enough to start solid foods, and now would be a good time to start.