Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Visit and Vicarious Fun

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . pinching or pulling something in my upper back. It feels better now so I'm hopeful that it was a passing thing, but it sure wasn't fun while it lasted.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . visiting old friends at work, who thought it was cute when Daniel flipped every light switch in the office.

. . . sitting and chatting with my sweetheart this evening.

. . . Phillip smiling and saying "Yum!" when he found out we were having pancakes for dinner.

. . . seeing Daniel grin.

. . . watching my husband set up his train set. I love watching someone I love have fun.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Almost Shear Bliss

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . nicking poor Daniel's ear twice when a friend was teaching me how to cut his hair.

. . . smelling the telltale aroma of a brush fire this afternoon. Fortunately it was small, and the local firefighters quickly got it under control.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . rubbing Daniel's fuzzy, newly-sheared hair.

. . . making my friend's mom's granola recipe. When it was done I put it in a storage container, but didn't even bother putting on the lid - I just started eating it with a spoon. Yum.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sing Your Way Home

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . poor Daniel getting his hand closed in a front door again. At least there was no serious damage this time.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . watching my kids play hide and seek with Papa, Uncle Sean, Aunt Heather, and Aunt Stephanie. My favorite parts were when Daniel stood next to Papa as he counted, and when Sean hid behind Joy's chair when it was her turn to count (she didn't even see him when she left to start looking for everyone).

. . . singing with Joy to pass the time as we drove home.

. . . Joy sitting on my lap as we had family prayer tonight. Our family prayers aren't always peaceful and reverent, but the ones that are are sweet experiences.

And another thing . . .

. . . it's funny - some people can't get over how small my pregnant tummy is, and others can't resist commenting on how big it is getting.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Stroganoff and Smooches

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . my ankles swelling.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . taking turns playing copycat with the kids. It started out as a game of Simon Says, but since Daniel doesn't talk yet we just copied everything he did when it was his turn.

. . . cooking some tasty stroganoff in my solar oven.

. . . smooching my sweetheart.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Visits and a Party

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . Joy having a meltdown every few minutes at a party we went to this evening. Perhaps she was tired, and/or overwhelmed by all the kids running around. Our home tends to be pretty low-key. At any rate, I felt bad for her, and as the meltdowns became more frequent we decided it would be best for us to head home.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . when Joy and Pink Grandma were coloring a frog together, and Joy told Grandma, "I like the way you color. You're the goodest colorer."

. . . visiting teacher coming to visit. She never stays very long (I think she might be a bit shy), but it is always a pleasure to have her come.

. . . talking with friends at the party (between meltdowns).

Lighting, A Mountain, and a Paper Fan

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . waiting and waiting at the orthopedist's office for the doctor to come tell us that Daniel's fracture has essentially healed on its own, and the nail will, too. While the news is good, the wait wasn't.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . a friendly nurse showing my antsy kids how to make paper fans, and Daniel giggling as we played Row, Row, Row Your Boat while we waited for the doctor.

. . . Joy sitting in my lap and giving me a hug after lunch and a long morning. I needed a hug.

. . . playing "Lightning Trouble" with Joy. We only had a few minutes to play before nap time, so we each played with one gamepiece instead of four. Joy won.

. . . Phillip washing the mountain of dishes even though he has a lot of other things to do tonight. Bless him.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Groceries for a Hungry Bird

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . Joy pretending that she's a carnivorous bird. It's a little unsettling. She ate my right arm this morning, which has complicated typing considerably, but I shall carry on somehow.

. . . trying to plan dinners for the next few days, and drawing a total blank on recipes that won't heat up our apartment. I had hoped to create a grocery list in time to go shopping before lunch, but as noon approached I realized there was no way that would happen. It reminded me of college days when I had a paper due in ten hours, and I still had at least fifteen hours of typing to do on it.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Phillip telling me about how his research is progressing. He and his advisor are really excited about his progress.

. . . having a cool smoothie on a warm day.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Laughter and Tomato Powder

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . getting a call from the pediatrician saying that Daniel's thumb has a small fracture. Poor kid.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . watching Joy and Daniel have a blast running around with some neighbor girls.

. . . cooking some good solar cornbread, and salvaging a chili recipe. I thought that adding bouillon and tomato powder made an enormous improvement to the flavor and texture, but Phillip didn't notice any difference. Weird.

. . . hearing the kids laugh together in their room after we put them to bed.

. . . this evening as I got Daniel ready for bed, I commented to him that pregnancy sure can be hard on a mama back. Phillip must have heard me, because he gave me a wonderful back rub after the kids were in bed. Bless him.

And another thing . . .

. . . Joy has a dozen different ways to bug Daniel, but he does one thing that is always guaranteed to make her wail: he pulls her hair. He always lets go when I ask him to, and often grabs a clump of his own hair as if to say, "This is OK, right?"

. . . this afternoon I got to thinking that, although parenthood has probably made my life more complicated and stressful than it would otherwise have been, it has also blessed me with countless sweet moments and opportunities for growth. I wouldn't trade it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chemistry, X-rays, and Sweets

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . Daniel crying because he wants to open the car door all on his own, but he isn't quite strong enough. There's one little spot where I usually help him, but by golly, he didn't want help this afternoon.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . listening to my husband playing boisterous games with our giggling kids while I cooked dinner.

. . . going to Menchie's as a reward for filling up our Sweet Jar. I enjoyed my decadent dessert, but I’m not sure the Sweet Jar really accomplished what I hoped it would. I wanted it to encourage our family to be kinder, and help us all recognize the positive things the others do. However, I feel like most of the pom poms were put in by me, in recognition of things people would have done anyway.

And another thing . . .

. . . I took Daniel in to have his thumb x-rayed today (doctor's orders, just in case). Since I'm pregnant, they had me wait in the next room while they took the x-rays. Daniel took that in stride, and I was impressed that he didn’t mind some stranger holding his hand under a weird machine while his mother left the room.

. . . pancakes were on the menu tonight (I try to make something easy and kid-friendly on home evening night), and I usually make them using a homemade multigrain mix I keep in the fridge. I only had half the amount I needed, though, so I made up the difference with white flour, some baking powder, and hope. The result was OK, but the texture was a little gummy—yet another reminder that baking is equal parts art and chemistry.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sunday School and Tyrone

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . having a good laugh in the "Marriage & Family" Sunday school class. We learn some good principles, but there's always good humor, too.

. . . visiting extended family and learning some interesting things about the dads in the group. For example, my dad's first car was a Vega named "Tyrone."

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Feeding My Soul at the Spinning Guild

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . attending a spinning guild meeting. I always really enjoy seeing the creative things the other spinners are doing.

. . . talking with one of the spinners about her recent trip to Uruguay (her husband is from that country). I served my mission there, and it warms my heart to hear even distant echos of that land I grew to love.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

French Dip and a Stroll

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . my pregnant body complaining about walking a mere few blocks today. Who knows what shape I'll be in (aside from round) a couple months from now?

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . meeting Phillip at Union Station for an early Father's Day date. We tried out French dipped sandwiches at the original Philippe, an LA restaurant icon which has been open since 1908. Everything was good (and the mustard is indeed spicy). We then took a short stroll through Chinatown and a nearby park, then took the train home together. It was fun to try something different and just enjoy hanging out together.

And another thing . . .

. . . Joy always asks me to tell stories in the car, and though sometimes it's a little hard to think of one, I try to be accommodating. Plus, I know if I'm telling a story she won't pester her brother. She often requests "movie stories" (which basically means an anecdote from the handful of animated films she likes), and lately she's specifically asked for stories about Randall, the mean purple monster in Monsters, Inc. Today I asked why she always asks for stories about him, and she simply replied "I like purple monsters." I suspect he also has a certain bad-boy appeal for her, which I hope will not carry over into Joy's choice of dates a decade or so from now.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pom Poms and Lemon Tarts

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . accidentally bumping Daniel's cup of milk onto the carpet at lunchtime.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . playing hide and seek with the kids. Joy also decided to hide her new white bear, which she has dubbed Pom Pom.

. . . Joy and I making up games with the colorful pom poms waiting to be deposited in our Sweet Jar. We made star shapes, a rainbow, and pom pom pyramids. We even played "Follow the Pom Pom," in which one of us moved a pom pom around the table while the other moved a cereal square along behind it. I asked what would happen if I ate the cereal before the game ended, and Joy earnestly replied, "You don't DO that."

. . . celebrating a friend's birthday over dessert. It was fun to talk a while, and the lemon tart was good, too.

Medical Malaise

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . two visits to doctors' offices, still trying to figure out whether Daniel's thumb needs attention or is just really ugly these days.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . talking with Pink Grandma.

. . . Pink Grandma using a drinking straw to dub Joy a princess in the kingdom of Hendrickson. Daniel indicated that he wanted a similar honor bestowed upon him, so Grandma dubbed him a prince in the same kingdom.

. . . hugging my sweetheart.

And another thing . . .

. . . the new pediatric office we're trying has very nice doctors, but the office policies seem a little inefficient and heavy handed. For example, if you arrive more than five minutes late they cancel your appointment, but once you arrive you can expect to wait an hour before seeing a doctor. Most of that wait is in an examination room, where there is nothing for bored kids to do. You'd think they'd at least leave us out in the lobby where all the toys are. Sigh.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Extract of Vampire and Pink Highlights

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . Daniel getting pink paint in his hair.

. . . Daniel pouring apple juice on the couch.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . reading about a cool shirt painting idea on a friend's blog. I think Joy will love it.

And another thing . . .

. . . this evening the doctor called to say the infection in Daniel's thumb is a staph variety that is resistant to the medicine he's taking. Fortunately there is another medicine that can help. Unfortunately, Phillip was going to be gone with the car until late. Fortunately, the local train goes right past a pharmacy, so the kids and I took a little ride to pick up Daniel's new medicine. Apparently it's extract of vampire, because Daniel is supposed to avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight for the next ten days. Sigh.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Spoon and a Sweet Jar

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . stepping in something icky.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Daniel's thumb actually looking better, at long last.

. . . hugging my sweetheart.

. . . Daniel finally holding a spoon right side up, so the food ended up in his mouth not down his shirt. Talk about a red-letter-day in Momville.

And another thing . . .

. . . I bought some colorful little pom poms at the craft store, and at home evening tonight announced that we're going to start a family Sweet Jar. Every time we see someone in the family do something sweet (like share or help out), we comment about what they did and add a pom pom to the jar. Once the jar is full, we'll go somewhere sweet--Menchie's! Joy is so taken with the idea (and the ultimate reward) that she noticed a half dozen sweet things in the next twenty minutes. It's kind of nice to have the little things I do appreciated, even if there is an ulterior motive.

. . . I recently mentioned to Joy that I haven't learned to park our new car very well (it's a little wider than our last one, and I'm still getting a feel for where it starts and ends). This afternoon she noted that I still haven't figured out how to park it right, and she suggested I pray for help learning how. I decided that certainly couldn't hurt, and I wanted to reinforce my daughter's faith, so tonight when we prayed as a family I made sure to pray for help learning how to park. I'm sure I'll receive it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Bathroom Breaks and Circus Tents

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . Joy asking to use the bathroom in the middle of church, even though she'd gone at home half an hour before. I was reluctant to call her bluff for fear that she might truly need to go, but I felt that if I caved we would be making bathroom runs every Sunday for months. She was livid when I said we weren’t going to the restroom, but sure enough, she was fine through the meeting and didn’t even ask to visit the restroom on our way to Primary afterward.

. . . noticing that my A-line skirt is now an empire waist skirt hanging like a circus tent over my big tummy. Time to shop for a maternity skirt.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . changing Joy out of her dress and finding a goldfish cracker stuck to her tummy. Talk about random.

. . . finding out that Pink Grandma's knee is feeling better.

. . . having some quiet time to read.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Welcome Nap and Lonesome Dill

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . spending an hour cooking a nicer-than-usual dinner, only to learn that my poor husband felt too sick to eat it. Of course the kids weren't interested, either (Joy tried one bite of the chicken and spit it out). Sigh.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . finally getting some antibiotics into Daniel.

. . . watching my kids play happily at the park with their daddy.

. . . taking a nap.

And another thing . . .

. . . tonight's dinner drove home two culinary points for me. First, I really am not a fan of dill. Second, I should stop cooking recipes from the 101 Cookbooks blog. I love her vivid photos and her passion for good food, but whenever I cook one of her recipes I'm just not thrilled with it. Obviously many other people are, since every post gets well over 100 exuberant comments, but palates vary widely across the human race, and hers apparently does not jive with mine.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Doctor Quest and Pancakes

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . Daniel's thumb looking worse.

. . . my pediatrician randomly closing his office today, and not telling his paging service about it.

. . . trying to switch to a pediatric group several friends love, only to find that so many people love them that they're not accepting new patients.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . finally finding a pediatrician who another friend likes and who can see Daniel tomorrow morning.

. . . pancakes for dinner again. I don't know why we like them so much, but we do.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mostly Loveable

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Joy walking right over to me after her nap and giving me a great big hug.

. . . Daniel making his big, inside-joke grin right before he steps onto a chair so I can lift him to the changing table. For some reason, he gets the biggest kick out of that step-onto-the-chair-first routine.

And another thing . . .

. . . Joy was in a pesky mood all morning, then out of the blue at lunch time she reached for the last apple slice, then pulled her hand back and said she wanted to give it to Daniel (which he appreciated). Funny how a person can get into a behavioral rut, then suddenly shift gears.

Berry Bread and Whining Time

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . Daniel's thumb looking even worse today. A nurse friend says a doctor couldn't do much to help--it just has to heal on its own.

. . . discovering that the leftovers I planned to eat for lunch had gone bad. I hate wasting things.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . getting a lot done.

. . . making lots of strawberry bread with the extra berries my mom gave me yesterday.

. . . Joy and Daniel both being reverent while Daddy gave them priesthood blessings. Joy's cough sounded a lot better by bedtime. Hopefully Daniel's poor thumb will improve soon, too.

And another thing . . .

. . . this morning Joy started to say something, but was interrupted by a brief fit of coughing. Once it passed, she morosely observed, "I don't think this is a good time for talking. It's a good time for whining."

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tired But Ready To Jam

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . my kids waking up an hour early this morning (Joy's coughing woke Daniel, and soon everyone else was awake, too). Every time I tried to motivate myself to do something constructive, my body would interrupt and say, "Excuse me--please remind me--why am I awake this early? Who authorized that? I want to talk to their manager."

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Phillip holding down the fort after he was up and dressed so I could nap a little before he headed to campus. I was still tired when it was time for him to go, but at least I was functional.

. . . Joy being willing to help me out with something, even though she was busy coloring when I asked.

. . . making strawberry freezer jam with my mom and sister.

And another thing . . .

. . . hints that I'm entering the third trimester of this pregnancy:

1) I have less energy.
2) When I see myself in the mirror, I think, "Wow - that's a big tummy."
3) People no longer hesitate to ask if I'm expecting.
4) Bathroom breaks are becoming more frequent, and urgent.
5) I get kicked a lot from the inside.
6) It's getting harder to bend over.
7) I'm starting to waddle.

Coughing and Coloring

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . being awoken multiple times in the night by a daughter with a cough.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . hearing my kids laugh together.

. . . coloring pictures together for family home evening. It was Joy's turn to pick the activity, and since she likes to print pictures off the internet she decided we should each choose one to print and color. I colored one of a family, Phillip chose a mad scientist, and Joy chose a picture of sports cars. Daniel drew squiggles until he started throwing pencils, then Phillip and I took turns entertaining him in a different venue.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sea Dragons and Freaky Crabs

Sorry I slacked off this weekend. Here are the highlights (and lowlights) of the past few days:

This weekend's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . closing my son's finger in the front door. I felt bad; he felt worse.

. . . nearly jumping out of my skin when I startled some creature in the bushes. I was just sure something with fangs and talons was going to burst out of the foliage and take a piece out of my leg. It turned out just to be a young mourning dove.

This weekend's favorite moments included . . .

. . . finally finding a cheesecake recipe Phillip and I both like.

. . . meeting some friends at the Long Beach Aquarium. Daniel loved chasing the pigeons, Joy liked petting the bamboo sharks, and I thought the leafy sea dragon was pretty cool. The giant spider crabs are still among the freakiest things I've ever seen.

. . . watching Phillip play hide and seek with the kids. I tend to be rather unimaginative in my hiding spots, but Phillip really gets into the game. He loves to hide in one half of our apartment, then while the kids are searching for him he somehow sneaks past them to the half they've already checked.

. . . going on a popcorn picnic with my family. We popped a bunch of popcorn, then spread out a blanket at a nearby park and munched while we watched the trains come and go.

. . . hugging my husband.

And another thing . . .

. . . an elderly woman from church is in a coma, and unlikely to wake up. I went to see her last night, mainly because I knew the visit would lift her dear husband's spirits. And who knows? Though her body wasn't conscious, her spirit might have been aware that I'd come to wish her well on her journey home.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Pushy Puzzler

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . finally calming down a fussy toddler I was babysitting, just in time for Daniel to push the poor guy down or throw his cup of milk across the table. Choose the right, dude!

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . doing a puzzle with Daniel at the library. He had such a grin of satisfaction when he finished it.