Sunday, June 29, 2008

Gratitude, Attitude and Three Busy Days

For the past two weeks I have developed a somewhat unhealthy addiction to reading two strangers' blogs who are dealing with the death of a child. Nate cannot understand why on earth I would ever want to read such a thing and make myself so sad (crying myself to sleep more than once.) But it has really helped me in a lot of ways. First and foremost it has made me SO grateful for my kids. It sounds cliche, but I am truly cherishing the moments and taking time to stop and enjoy them more. When they drive me crazy I think, I would miss this if something happened to them. It's just put things into a whole new perspective, which was greatly needed. I had been going through a phase of not loving motherhood because I was being selfish and at times (I cringe to admit) resentful of how my kids were "cramping my style." Now I remember how much I wanted to be a mom my whole life. This was my ultimate dream/goal. I am striving to do a better job at it and focus on the positive. I have had a huge attitude adjustment. It's amazing to me that these women, who I don't even know are teaching me and strengthening me in their time of need.

I also have to give a huge thank you to Nate, who makes being a mom much easier when he's around. He has had the kids almost all to himself for the last three days and he's so good at it. I dare say, better than me. (Although when telling him what to feed them while I was gone he claimed he didn't know how to make oatmeal or PBJ.)

Why has Nate been playing Mr. Mom, you wonder?

Thursday night I drove 2 1/2 hours up into the gorgeous Colorado mountains (to 11,000 feet altitude) for the last night of Girl's Camp. As always, it was a wonderful experience. The girls were having so much fun, definitely bonded with each other and made new friends in the stake and had their testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ strengthened (which is the whole point). I was privileged to be there for the testimony meeting, which is always the best part. I loved hearing their testimonies and having an opportunity to share mine with them.
The world's most amazing Camp Director (Colleen Cowden), our amazing girls, and me (looking as grody as I felt!)
I was very pleasantly surprised how well I slept. I hadn't camped in a tent in 7 years and I generally don't sleep well in new situations (even nice hotels, let alone on the ground in 30 degree weather). Thanks to everyone who lent me proper equipment to keep me warm, I was quite comfy, other than my face, which was freezing. Once I thought of this idea, I was able to fall asleep. I couldn't believe I was able to sleep with that thing on my face, but I did. It also shielded the morning light, so I didn't wake up at the crack of dawn like I have when camping in the past. I think the other thing that helped me sleep was that I didn't drink any water once dinner was over (I usually spend the entire night when camping trying to talk myself out of needing to venture out into the scary dark to go potty!) Anyway, it was so great to see the kids and Nate Friday afternoon, but then I was off again.

A friend called to tell me it was our ward's night at the cannery and invite me to go with her. I must admit, this didn't sound like the funnest way to spend my Friday night. But I am SO glad I went. I have been thinking more about food storage lately and had actually gone to the cannery for the first time in April. After these two trips, I feel like we are finally on the road to preparedness. Once we get a 55 gallon drum for water storage I'll feel even better. Then we will at least be ready for a "Katrina" like situation (although, thinking about it, there are still lots of other things we need to do! - It's so overwhelming!) And we're definitely still working on the year supply concept. Baby steps. I do have to say after going to the cannery once alone and once with a friend, I highly recommend going with a friend.

So last night was the wedding of my mom's college roommate's daughter, who lives here in town and has taken us under her wing since we got here. I figured I wouldn't really know anyone at the wedding besides their family, so I may as well go to help out. Cindy had made the most adorable aprons for all of the helpers and she wasn't sure if there would be enough for me. Trying to ease her stress I told her not to worry about it, that I didn't need an apron. Well, I must admit once I was there and saw everyone in their aprons, I REALLY wanted one. I was so happy that it worked out that there were enough and that I got one!
Julia (sister of the bride and my fun friend) and me. See why I wanted the apron so bad?
Julia and I showing off our purple details. I LOVE matching (grew up in the 80's and never got over it). Weddings are the best because everything is matchy matchy!
I had a lot of fun getting to know her other friends that were helping. At one point a precocious little boy came in and said, "Why aren't you guys working?" As I was drying the 189th fork I said, "We are." He said, "No, you're dancing." I guess you're not supposed to have any fun while you work! Gloria had picked purple for her wedding color and it was absolutely GORG! I was having small pangs of regret as I remembered considering doing purple at our wedding because it's Nate's favorite color. This morning I am at peace with my decision to do pink because I remembered how fun it was to tell everyone (with my best southern accent), "My colors are blush and bashful. I have chosen two shades of pink and one is much deeper than the other." We'll do purple at our 50th Wedding Anniversary Party.

Here are some of my fam at the wedding.

Harrison doesn't love getting his picture taken!
Nathan is getting better at doing Elizabeth's hair. This was one of his best attempts yet!

If you've made it to the end of this entry, I'm very impressed. I tend to ramble and this blog is mostly for me. It's as close to journaling as I'm going to get. The bottom line is, I LOVE my life, I LOVE being a Mom, I LOVE my husband and kids, and I've had a fun and productive last three days.

Monday, June 23, 2008

7 Years (well, actually 14) and Counting!


Here's a little walk down memory lane with one picture from each summer since we got married!

This is us on our honeymoon in Hawaii in 2001. We thought it was so funny that we saw this Watabe Wedding store just a few days after our wedding!
Here we are at my sister's high school graduation in Bangkok, Thailand in 2002. Love those highlights, honey!
This is us in upstate New York (where Nate served his mission) in 2003.
This is the morning I went to get induced for Harrison. It's so funny because I remember thinking that I never got huge in my pregnancy! HA! So almost exactly 3 years after getting married, we had our first child in 2004.
I had to throw in another from 2004, to show the new addition to our family. This was Harrison's Blessing Day.

July 4, 2005

Summer of 2006. Our teeth look blue because we had eaten our friend's 40th birthday cake with black frosting.

The day before our anniversary in 2007, we went to Sea World. Harrison was too mesmerized with Shamu to cooperate for the picture!
2008 and still going strong!

In my walk down memory lane, I got a little carried away and decided to go back to the very beginning. It all started in 1994 when Nate moved to Japan where I was living. Here we are at Youth Conference. There was a cake decorating class and it was Nate's birthday, so my friend and I decorated cakes for him. I have to say, nice jeans (me), nice hat placement (him), and thank goodness he caught up to my height eventually. (When you're 14 girls are usually a little farther along in their growing than boys!)

So, a few months after getting there, he went to live in Utah. Then he came back for our senior year and here we are at Homecoming in 1996.

Who would have thought those high school sweethearts would be married with two kids?

Nathan, I've loved you for a long time, and the longer we're together, the more I know how right we are for each other. Thank you for being such a great husband, father and friend!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Entertaining Elizabeth

Other than being absolutely adorable in almost all ways, Elizabeth has two specific things that are especially entertaining right now. The first is that she does not appreciate singing. Especially my singing. This is very disconcerting to me, considering my other two potential fans (Nate and Harrison), don't really appreciate it either. Nate's famous line is, "Who sings that song?" (Meaning, Carrie Underwood or whoever, not you). Harrison likes when I sing songs for him, but if I'm singing my songs he often says, "Mom, you're being like donkey." (Remember in Shrek, when Donkey won't stop singing and it's getting on Shrek's nerves?) So, I was very sad when Elizabeth joined the crowd. Every time I sing, she yells, "BAH!" in a commanding tone. It's her way of saying, "Stop!" Harrison thinks it's hilarious, so they've made a game of him singing, "When somebody loves me. . ." (that's the song he picks every time, cute huh?) and then she screams, "Bah!" In my mind, creating someone who recognizes that I have a decent voice is just one more reason to have another kid!

So, the other funny thing Elizabeth does is stuff things down her shirt. It started about a month ago at my mom's when she found a tray of little colored chalk pieces. When I unbuttoned her onesie, it sounded like a hail storm as chalk chunks fell onto the floor. Then when I undid her diaper, I found several more pieces of chalk. Lots of the things stuffed down her shirt end up in her diaper. Other things I have found in her onesie/diaper are: raisins, fruit loops, blocks, her boppies (pacifiers), a battery, matchbox cars, blocks (see pictures), rubber gloves, a coupon, and rocks. What a funny girl!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Hilarious Harrison

When my youngest sister was little, my mom started writing all the funny things she said down in a file called "Cute Katy." She keeps encouraging me to do the same, because she knows otherwise I will forget. So here is installment #1 of "Hilarious Harrison." I will also do "Entertaining Elizabeth," but she doesn't talk much yet, so we'll see how that goes.

So here are some of the great lines from the recent past.

First of all, his top three greatest insults right now are, "You're fired!" (Sometimes I think, that wouldn't be so bad, find me a replacement- mostly kidding). "You're slurry junk food!" (no idea what slurry means) and "You're a toy!" He obtained this arsenal of insults from various shows --Incredibles, Caption Carlos, and Toy Story, in that order.

After spending way too much money one day Nate told Harrison, "Mommy's going to kill me." Well, kill is a word that always catches Harrison's attention, and we've told him it's not a nice thing to say. So, for days after he kept asking me why I was going to kill Daddy. Needless to say, I was not thrilled when I heard the story. Some might say, I wanted to kill Nate.

So, the other day when my friend watched the kids, I asked her if Harrison had said anything crazy, like Mommy wants to kill Daddy. She said he did say that Daddy said kill, but he was just joking and that Daddy also said not to pass gas at other people's houses. Good advice, Dad.

Yesterday, when a different friend came over Harrison ran up to her in just his shirt and announced, "I just did the grossest poop ever!" I must admit, both of his parents have been known to give commentary on their achievements in the bathroom from time to time, just usually not as a greeting to visitors! (Although, his mother just admitted that to all of blogworld, which is probably worse!)

Last week, I was lost and kept having to turn around. Harrison asked, "Mommy, why you keep switching around?" I said I was lost. "Well, don't give up Mommy." What a sweet, encouraging son I have. When I finally found it and stopped, he wanted to know why I was giving up. Then he was happy for me when I explained that I wasn't giving up, I finally found it.

When a friend's little girl came over wearing her "Sleeping Cutie" costume, I told Harrison to get her a toy. He looked her up and down and then said, "But I don't have any beautiful toys." He's been very into gender issues lately, what's for girls and what's for boys. Pink/blue, etc. When shopping for a Mother's Day gift for my mom, we went into the Brighton Store (a VERY girly accessories store for those of you who don't know) Harrison walked in, did a 180 and walked right out. When I told him to come back in the store he said, "But I hate cute things!" Later when I asked if he wanted to see what I got Grandma he asked, "Is is beautiful or is it cool?" (Apparently, cool is for boys.)

At preschool graduation when 17 other children were nicely singing "Today's the day we graduate. . " My child put his hands over his ears (see picture!) and then ran toward me screaming, "This song is UGLY!" Quite embarrassing!

I know there are lots more, that aren't coming to mind right now, but I'll keep them coming as I remember.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Father's Day

The older the kids get, the more fun Father's Day is. It started Thursday when we went to get Nate the "brown tie with power stripes" that he requested. (I love that he made it so easy to know just what to get him!). I told Harrison not to tell Daddy that we got him a present. Well, the minute Nate pulled in from work and got out of the car Harrison yelled, "Daddy, we got you a present. It's a tie!" (I guess it really wasn't a surprise anyway, but still). So for the card, I stole and idea from my sister-in-law, and asked Harrison a bunch of questions about Daddy. It was a huge hit. Nate really loved it and was shocked that Harrison had come up with all of the answers on his own and knew his Dad so well.

Harrison’s Interview About Daddy for Father’s Day 2008

Q; What is Daddy’s favorite color?
A: Purple. Ow, my leg is hurting.

Q: What does Daddy like to do?
A: Works

Q: What does Daddy think is fun?
A: Basketball

Q: What do you like to do with Daddy?
A: I like him to shoot hoops with me.

Q: What is special about Daddy?
A: He’s special that he loves you.
OK, talk about that I love Sissie.

Q: How do you know that Daddy loves you?
A: Daddy loves me that I’m giving him hugs and kisses.
I love him playing video games with him.

Q: What does Daddy do that makes you laugh?
A: He says, What the heck to me, and I say,
What the heck to him. I like that. That makes me funny.

Q: Is Daddy handsome?
A: He’s kind of yucky and kind of handsome.

Q: What do you do that makes Daddy happy?
A: Help him with dishes, help him clean up, and help me listen to him.

Q: What makes Daddy upset?
A: When I hit Sissie.

Q: What is Daddy really good at?
A: Listening to me, taking my temperature when I’m sick,
helping me go potty, and cleaning up the kitchen.

Q: What is Daddy’s favorite thing to eat?
A: He loves to eat Japanese things.

Q: What does Daddy like to watch on TV?
A: Basketball, Football, Baseball

Q: What makes you look like Daddy?
A: I have spiky hair.

Q: How does Daddy feel about Heavenly Father and Jesus?
A: He loves them.

As you can tell, that was all word for word. So, later on Nate and Harrison matched for church with blue shirts and brown striped ties. Elizabeth wore purple in honor of Daddy's favorite color.

We ended the day with one of Nate's favorite dinners (Korean BBQ) and a giant tie-shaped rice krispy. (Also, supposed to be a surprise, but the as soon as Nate walked in from Sunday morning meetings Harrison said, "Dad, we made you ricepy krispies.")

We really are so lucky to have a fun, hands-on Dad who is very helpful and loving!