Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Program and a Pill Bug

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

. . . searching the internet for Halloween dinner ideas.  I love the fun side of Halloween, but I don't love the grisly spin many people like to give it.  I'll take the pumpkins and whimsical ghosts, but pass on the gore and horror, thank you very much.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . attending Daniel's preschool Halloween program.  Actually, "program" is probably too grand a word for it--the kids filed onto a stage in their costumes, sang a song, posed for pictures, then filed back off.  Daniel sang nary a word of the song, but he was still glad I came, and I was, too.

And another thing . . .

. . . Joy ultimately decided against being a green piggy for Halloween, but she still doesn't want to go to school tomorrow as Darth Maul sans light saber.  So she has opted to be . . . a pill bug (she's kind of obsessed with those little guys lately).  Basically, she's going to dress in black, I'll paint her face black, and she'll wear black antennae.  I think Darth Maul would have been a lot cooler (and more easily identifiable) even without the light saber, but there's no denying that it will be much easier to paint her face one color tomorrow than to render DM's intricate facial markings before school starts in the morning.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Short Walk and a Big Baby

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . taking Daniel and Anna for a walk.  The actual walking portion was pretty uncomfortable for me, but it was worth it to see my kids have fun chasing each other around, clambering over tree roots, and doing puzzles at the library.

And another thing . . .

. . . Anna has finally learned to say her own name, but she still defaults to calling herself "Baby."

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Clean Grill and the Clutter Battle

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

. . .  fighting the clutter battle for months, only to look around tonight and realize that our house seems to have gotten messier in the past week than it was when I started.  Baby prep and a major holiday will do that to you, I guess.  Sigh.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . running errands with Anna this morning.  One-on-one time with her always means lots of cuddles, and I love Anna cuddles.

. . . Phillip doing a great job on a presentation he's worked hard on.

. . . asking Daniel to stop crashing into me, and having him actually stop doing it.

. . . Phillip agreeing to clean our electric grill if I washed the rest of the dishes.  I wanted to make burgers tonight, but I really, really did not want to scrub that grill.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Taffy and the Tummy Sling

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

. . .  Anna scoring a piece of taffy at the Trunk Or Treat, then somehow managing to chew it up and get it in her hair.

. . . arriving at the activity and realizing that the bags of candy I had bought weeks before to hand out were still at home.  Sigh.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . going to the temple and receiving needed inspiration.

. . . feeling grateful that a friend loaned me her maternity support belt (I call it the tummy sling), which has eased a lot of my aches.

. . . painting Joy's face to look like Darth Maul, and having it turn out really well (for a first-time, amateur job).

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Beds, Clothes, and a Visit

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Phillip getting the bunk beds set up for the big kids.

. . . hearing a profound insight from a neighbor I visit taught today.

. . . finally figuring out where the heck we stored Daniel's baby clothes.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Summer Triangle and Buried Treasure

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . finally auditing and organizing our pantry.  It was kind of like being on an archaeological expedition, discovering buried treasures ("Cool!  I didn't realize we had some of that!") and a few fossils ("Ick!  That expired in 2010.").

. . . spotting the Summer Triangle up in the sky tonight.  It's been a welcome, familiar sight to me ever since my dad showed me how to recognize it years ago when I was a child.  He also said that blue Vega, one of the stars in the triangle, is the most beautiful star in the heavens.

And another thing . . .

. . . have you ever finished a task, then written it on your to-do list just so you could cross it off?  Yeah--me, too.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Shouting and Chaos

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

. . .  sitting on a pew and reflecting, as Daniel bonked me with his head and Anna climbed on me so she could suck on my hair, that church is going to get exponentially crazier next month when we add a newborn to the mix.  I guess that's one way to tell that something's important to you: you do it even when it's really hard.

And another thing . . .

. . . at one point during sacrament meeting Phillip left our pew for a minute, probably to talk to a fellow choir member about the number they were going to perform later in the meeting.  When he returned, Daniel excitedly shouted, "DADDYYYYYY!!!!!" at the top of his lungs, just like he does every evening when Phillip gets home from work.  Now, you and I both know that it is wildly inappropriate to yell in the middle of church, but I couldn't help being touched that our son loves his daddy so much.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Moving In, a Garland, and a New Treat

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . reading bedtime stories to the big kids.  It's hard to say who gets into the story more--me or them.

. . . making a fall leaf garland for our front room (kind of like this, but with silk leaves).  Garlands in general make me happy (and this Halloween one made me laugh).

. . . finally finding a use for the Cocoa Almond Spread I bought at Trader Joe's a while back.  I originally thought it might be a tasty alternative to Nutella (which we like a lot), but while many people apparently like CAS better than Nutella, I'm just not one of them.  I prefer Nutella's flavor and texture on bread, in smoothies, eaten straight, you name it.  I decided to give CAS one more shot tonight, though, and I'm happy to report that it tastes pretty good on apple slices and it is absolutely awesome on graham crackers.  So awesome that we may need to buy more graham crackers after this weekend.  I think it would make good frosting, too, if I ever made cupcakes.

And another thing . . .

. . . I moved all our car stuff into the van today--umbrella stroller, first aid kit, tote bags, sunglasses, tire pressure gauge, etc.  It was kind of like moving into a small apartment.  It was tough to find a place for everything, and I'll probably forget where I put half of it, but the van really feels like it's ours now.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sherbet Sharing and a Big Van

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . going out for ice cream as a family.  Mmm, rainbow sherbet.

. . . watching a movie with my sweetie.

And another thing . . .

. . . Anna is learning lots of new words lately.  One of her new favorites is "share."   While she does love to give things to others (toys, food she isn't hungry for, etc.), I think the main appeal of the word is that when she says it, people will often give her something she wants. She said "share" multiple times tonight when she wanted a taste of someone's ice cream.

. . . we finalized the purchase of a used Honda minivan today.  It handles very nimbly, the kids love it, and I'm relieved to have a bigger vehicle before we become a family of six, but as I drove it this evening I just kept thinking, "Man, this thing is huge."

Friday, October 18, 2013

In Which Darth Maul is Upstaged by a Green Pig

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

. . .  doing dishes.  It's not my favorite job anyway, but on top of that it's starting to wear me out.  But then, everything is starting to wear me out.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . making paper strip pumpkin art with Daniel.  We attached his to his preschool calendar, and I think I'll give mine to one of the women I visit teach.

. . . cooking and eating stove-top kettle corn with the kids.  They like it so much that they even nibbled the tiny bits that were left at the bottom of the bowl.  It always makes me happy to cook something other people enjoy.

And another thing . . .

. . . Joy has been telling me for weeks that she wants to be Darth Maul for Halloween.  Today she announced that she wants to be one of the green pigs from Angry Birds instead.  I think the pig would be a lot easier (I wasn't looking forward to doing DM's complex face paint for the Trunk-or-Treat, Joy's school parade, and any other activity she goes to), but before I make any definite plans I think I'll wait a few days to see if the new idea sticks.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Taylor and Michael

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . our whole family saying, "Ow!" (Michael Jackson style) along with one of the Piano Guys as we listened to "Michael Meets Mozart" tonight.  The first time I heard the pianist do that I thought it was kind of a cheesy touch, but it has become one of our family's favorite parts of the Piano Guys' repertoire.  Even little Anna loves saying, "Ow!" when that song is on, though she usually does it a couple seconds late.

And another thing . . .

. . . I've lost count of the number of times I've turned suddenly and gently bopped Daniel in the head with my tummy.  I forget that it sticks out so far in front of me.

. . . Taylor Swift's song "Love Story" has been stuck in my head for the last couple days.  It has a catchy tune, but every time it cycles through my brain I think at least one of two things:

1) OK, so some guy doesn't call me for weeks, then he busts out a ring and I'm supposed to swoon?  What's so romantic about that?

2) What's the appeal of being like Romeo and Juliet?  Do you know how that story ends?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Dway and the Semiannual Gauntlet

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . hearing Phillip sing in two lovely, powerful  choir numbers.

. . . Anna finally learning to say Joy's name.  OK, technically she says "Dway" not "Joy," but that's much closer than "Deh," which she's been saying up to this point. It was fun to hear her happily call her big sister's name as the kids played "Hide and Seek" this evening.

. . . finally getting around to making the Bat Mobile--a mobile with black paper bats that I hung in our front room.  I made a similar one last year, but it needed a few tweaks.  I may keep this year's version so I don't have to make another one next year.

And another thing . . .

. . . you might be a Mormon parent of young children if you view the Saturday night adult-only session of stake conference* as a soul-feeding revelatory opportunity, and the Sunday morning general session (where the whole family attends a meeting nearly twice as long as our usual Sunday service) as a two-hour gauntlet to be run with a big bag of books, activities, and snacks (and a prayer that your kids won't be tired of every single one of them before the closing prayer).  When my toddler had a meltdown during the closing song, I just handed her my purse and let her rifle through it.  Wanna play with my iPhone? Sure!  Just don't delete anything, OK?

At this stage of life we get very little out of the morning session, and frankly our kids don't, either.  I go mainly to teach my kids (and remind myself) that church is important, and I trust that in future years we'll all get much more out of it if we establish the habit of attending now.

*Stake conference is a semiannual gathering of several congregations in the area to hear talks by local leaders and members, and occasionally visiting authorities.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Mobility, Taffy, and the Waddling Duo

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

. . .  vacuuming Daniel's preschool classroom.  It's fun to help out in his class and see what the kids are doing, but I was so tired by the end of the day.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . renting a little compact car for the weekend.  It is so, so nice to be mobile again, and not have to rely on friends to pick up my kids or drive me to the store.  I've been very grateful for their help, but I'm even more grateful to be self-reliant again.  Hopefully we'll wrap up the minivan search soon.  Who knew it could be so complicated to find a used van we can afford and trust not to break down on us?

. . . going out to dinner with my husband.  Blessings upon the friends who swap babysitting with us each week.

. . . walking into a candy store to get change for our parking meter, and discovering that they had a bulk taffy section.  I like taffy, and Phillip loves the stuff.  I think you can guess what we brought home for dessert.

And another thing . . .

. . . there are always two parent helpers in Daniel's preschool class, and today the second one was another pregnant mom, due about the same time I am.  I'm sure we made a comical pair, both doing the pregnant lady waddle around the room.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Apostles and a Long Walk

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

. . .  walking to the store for some milk, eggs, and orange juice this afternoon.  I do a lot of walking these days since we're still in the market for a new vehicle.  I'm sure the exercise is good for me, but the going is tough when you're nearly eight months prego.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . a General Conference speaker saying exactly what I needed to hear.

. . . listening to President Uchtdorf's talk.  He has a talent for always being entertaining yet profound, in a way that anyone can relate to.

. . . Daniel sitting at the piano, picking out the tune (more or less) of a song he's heard Joy play.  I'm glad my children occasionally play the piano just because they want to.

. . . seeing one of the kids in the choir yawn in the middle of a song during the afternoon Conference session.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Smoke, Roly Polies, and Peter

Over the past few days . . .

. . . my not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . .  our car shuddering, then emitting lots of smoke as we drove down the freeway on Sunday.

. . . the mechanic informing us that our transmission had blown holes in its casing, and replacing it would cost twice what our old car is worth.  We decided it was finally time to bid our sedan goodbye and look into buying a minivan.

. . . exploring multiple methods of affording said minivan, and having one after the other turn into a dead end.  We think we've finally figured something out, though.  Cross your fingers.

. . . my favorite moments included . . .

. . . Joy teaching a family home evening lesson about Peter walking toward Christ on the water, then starting to sink as he became distracted and afraid of the storm around him (Matthew 14:22-33).  Joy concluded her lesson by reminding us that we should always trust that Jesus can help us.  Phillip commented that her lesson was very timely as we try to figure out how to resolve our vehicular dilemma.

. . . accompanying Anna as she walked laps around our apartment building after the sibs left for school.  She thinks it's fun to explore our little world, over and over.  One time she was sidling past a crawl space when she lost her balance and toppled headfirst into the pile of leaves at the bottom of it.  She looked so funny there, upside down with her little, sandalled feet sticking up in the air.  I laughed as I hauled her out, then said, "Whoa!" to reassure her that it had all been a funny surprise, and nothing to fret about.

. . . carefully holding Joy's roly poly while she put on her back pack at school.  Joy recently discovered that it's fairly easy to spot roly polies in a certain planter, so every day when we pick her up she finds one and carries it along as we leave school.

And another thing . . .

. . . since we have had no car this week, Phillip has been giving the big kids rides to school on his motorcycle.  Joy had ridden before, but four-year-old Daniel never had.  I prayed about it and felt it would be safe to let him ride.  Still, my big boy looked so very small as he rode away holding on to his daddy that first morning.