Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Swimming with Daddy

I got a wicked deal on Seven Peaks' "Pass of all Passes" and since both kids were still young enough to be free all summer, I thought we'd try it out and get a feel for Seven Peaks.  However, that's not the kind of place I want to bring my camera...

Today, it worked perfectly for Jay to take the kids swimming in the afternoon while I ran some errands and I thought to bring my camera so I could finally get some shots of them there.  However, I did only show up for the last 15 minutes or so (and thank GOODNESS, it was soooooooo HOT!) so I only got a couple.
Jay has really done a great job getting Peach to be more comfortable in the water. I took the kids alone a few times in June, and she wouldn't let me let go of her the whole time.
Daddy's much more fun in the pool than mommy.  He lets them knock him around. :)

Jay took the kids to the wave pool while I cooled down for a bit in the shade.  I was expecting them to be holding hands, jumping waves together in the shallow end...  I about had a heart attack when I saw how The Frog liked to swim ALONE in the deeper parts of the wave pool.  See that little head below?
That would be my not-yet-4-year old son.  I have horrific childhood memories of being in the wave pool by myself and feeling like I was going to drown from the commotion and those darn tubes clobbering me.
Sometimes he still does like to be held too :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Grandma Nedra

My last living grandparent died semi-unexpectedly the night of August 25th.  I say semi because if you had asked me a month ago, I would have had no idea, but we were warned about a week in advance that she would not recover from a recent procedure she had for some skin cancer.  It was hard news at first, but her memory and health had been in decline for the last year or so, and she was no longer able to do most of the things she always loved to do for fun anymore.
Gi-gi and The Frog
We all loved "grandma Nedra" and she was so good at making every one of her many grandchildren feel like they mattered to her and she wanted to be a part of their lives.  

She had an amazing skill to always know what to say in any situation- whether you needed advice, bolstering, or to escape an awkward moment.  She was so unexpectedly witty and quick to play along with a joke, which I never noticed until the last 5 years or so.  She is widely known for always keeping a perfectly ordered, spotless, and beautiful home and being well-dressed and nails always painted  (usually something fun, like pink!).  

I was always amazed at how well-rounded she seemed- knowing a bit about a variety of things and having many hobbies she kept up with.  She made the best rolls EVER (which I still can't replicate, despite a detailed training session).  She liked to watch the Jazz and could talk sports with anyone.  But the hobbies I think of most when I think of grandma are golf, bridge, and knitting.  She used to let us drive around her golf cart when we visited her in Arizona, and though I never did learn to play bridge, we always played cards with grandma on our yearly sleepover at her home.  She is the reason I learned to knit and I love that she thought of me when she could no longer see well enough to do it anymore, so I inherited her knitting needles, patterns, and yarn.  I love having those reminders of her in my craft room.  I treasure the afghan she knit me for my high school graduation (and every one of my cousins) and people at Brown always commented on the awesome scarf and hat she knit for me before I left for college.  I wore that every day and I think it probably kept me a bit warmer because I knew it was from her.  

I was also so impressed at her ability to embrace change and willingness to try new things and keep learning.  She was always reading a book and even took up piano lessons later in life.  I remembered being surprised when I heard that...  I'm not sure if I thought that because grandma just seems to be so wise, what could she possibly still have to learn, but this shows that she embraced that there is always more to learn and there's no time like the present to do it... even if you're 75!  She even tried to learn how to use the computer and attempted email for a time.  She wrote me letters out of the blue, every so often when I was in college far away (at Brown) and I still remember when she sent one on her cute stationery that she always used, but she had typed it up and printed it on- albeit with funny margins.  I just love that she would even try and not be embarrassed about not being perfect while learning.  

She is such a great example to me and I will always remember her as bright and sunny and laughing.  (and wearing pink :D)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday Peach!

I haven't been as good about keeping up with all the cute things I want to remember about Peach in her development, so I'll try to think about it now that she has just turned 2 yesterday!!

I had quite the time figuring out what kind of cake to make for her because she is so easy going and impartial.  I finally got her to say something about strawberries so I made her a yellow cake with strawberry buttercream frosting.  The Frog helped me make them during her nap and he was so excited that we were trying to surprise her-  he whispered the entire time we were working on them.  (if only he'd whisper at church...)

Can you guess who did the sprinkles and candles? ;)
One down, one to go.
After several failed attempts, she decided spitting might work.
Everyone else thought it was funny.  She was just being innovative! :)

The Frog loves asking what color his tongue is while he eats.
Peach has been speaking in complete sentences for months, which just blows me away!  She's a complete parrot and will copy e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. you say.  (so be careful...)  I think my favorite cute word she says right now is "neegah" for "finger", despite the racial slur it almost mimics...  Her vocabulary is much much too wide to attempt to document all of it.  She can't say her "r"s (like me when I was young :D) but has a pretty good ear and can pretty closely repeat anything you say, whether she knows what it is or not.  She will often repeat the last thing you said to her, but in the form of a question, and when you tell her, "yes, that's right," she'll say, "ohhhhh".
She sucks her thumb, like her big brother, and can usually be found cuddling either her "bankie", "lamby", or "baby".  (she sleeps with all 3, sometime 4 because The Frog has a baby too, that she often confiscates.)  She often walks around talking to her baby and asking it if it needs this or that...  "You need your milk?  Okay!"

loves to change her baby's "bide-eh" (diaper)
She loves looking at all the hair-clips I have hanging in the bathroom (and long to use) and often requests I put them in her hair, but as soon as I do, she has second thoughts about it and protests wildly until they're gone...  Isn't it so stinkin' cute though?!
She love love LOVES cats and dogs.  If there is a dog or cat anywhere, she must pet it.  If there is a book with a dog or a cat on the cover, she must read it.  If a dog or cat flits across a screen, she must stop to watch it.  Loves them.
As much as we were sad to see Iris go, the timing was actually really great because Peach learned how to climb out of her pack-n-play about a week before Iris left.  We tried to put Peach in the crib in The Frog's room, but he would climb in and torture her, so we opted to have her sleep in my closet all year.  Once the pack-n-play was no longer a prison, we had no choice but to move her back into The Frog's room.  Much to our surprise, this time around Peach was causing the ruckus, not The Frog.  She was so excited to sleep on a mattress that bounces, that she would just hang on to the side-rail and bounce to kingdom come and The Frog thought this was hilarious, which only encouraged the behavior.  After awhile he'd get in and jump with her and they'd play for hours (literally.  why could they never do this during the day when they have tons of toys and a lit room at their disposal?) and then wake up early the next day super cranky.  Rinse and repeat.  So by the time Iris left, we moved Peach RIGHT in (that's why the sheets are red.  The white ones are getting washed) to Iris's old room and never looked back.  Peach is very proud to now sleep in a "big girl bed" (and she always mentions it when naps come up in conversation), though the first night she didn't really do it:
Jay and my favorite nightly ritual, now, is to peak in the kids room and see how they're sleeping.  It's always different.
 Peach loves her bath (and so does The Frog) and even though it's tighter quarters having 2 in there, they usually get along fairly well.  (i.e. they play by themselves on their own side of the tub)  I'm sensing a pattern.  Maybe my kids would get a long better if I kept them in a box or some other tight space all day with more limited toys...
I can't believe I don't have any evidence shots yet, but Peach, for some reason, has a mild obsession with rocks.  I find them everywhere- in her bed, in the tub, in the washing machine, little piles in the kitchen, around the yard, covering arm rests...  She stops to pick them up everywhere we go- even tiny pebbles in parkinglots!  She often gives small collections of them to people who come to visit.  Perhaps we have a future geologist or archeologist in our midst?

She loves shoes!  Loves to wear anyone's shoes and is very particular about the shoes she wears for the day.  I bought her some new Sunday shoes a couple months ago (which she has already outgrown...) and she insisted on wearing them every day after that.  Unfortunately, she has really, really narrow feet and so it's really, really hard to find shoes that actually stay on.  I can't buy a size up to prolong their use, or else they won't stay on.

Her hair is still "baby hair" and very fine.  I'm not sure what she's doing to it, but even after combing it in the morning it will usually have a big ratty mess in the back by lunch time and if not by then, always after she wakes up from her nap.  I've tried to give her the best a-line bob I can to keep it shorter back there, and it kinda helps.

She is extremely expressive with her face and body language when she talks.  If she has something very important to say, she'll often talk right up in your face with big eyes and soft voice.  It's so stinkin' cute!

It was so fun to give her presents today because she acted like she felt so special to have been given something. "For meeee?!"  And she was so gracious to let The Frog dive in and look at her goods and play with them too.

 Peach loves to pretend talking on the phone (or calculator, or anything that even vaguely resembles a phone).  Sometimes when she wakes up from her nap, I'll hear her on the monitor saying, "hello?  hello?"  and find her talking into... you name it!  Peach was thrilled to see a pretend phone in her birthday doctor kit. :)
(everyone wanted to try out the doctor glasses)

She is so quick to forgive and loves to follow her brother around- doing whatever he's doing.  She loves playing with his cars (with sound effects) and I'm not sure if it's because she loves cars, or because The Frog does it so much.

She is sooo good at playing by herself, as long as she's not being tormented.  Life would have been soooo different for me if she had come first, but I'll take her anytime I can get her :D

She loves to jump off things.  At first it would be over line or off her "bankie" onto the ground.  Then off the bottom step or a curb... but lately she's becoming more bold and yesterday (her birthday) she jumped off The Frog's bed.  Despite what looked like a hard landing, she wanted to do it again and this time she landed wrong and cried pretty hard about her foot hurting.  It looked okay, and she wasn't limping, so I just made a mental note to keep an eye on it.  Later, she woke up during her nap, crying that her foot hurt and this morning woke up with a pretty good sized bruise on the top of her foot.  I took her into the doc and she has a tiny fracture (apparently the best type to have) and doesn't need a cast, but will need to stop jumping for a few weeks and has a "special sock" (as we call it.  she loves socks.  bandaids, not so much...) in case it hurts.

I never in a million years would have guessed that she would need an X-ray before her older brother.

She's very easy going in almost every way (don't get me wrong, her tantrums can be pretty dramatic...) but she likes to be held a LOT, and it can get tiring carrying one on the inside and one on the outside all the time.  She is very cuddly, but sometimes I wonder if she only likes it because it keeps her safe from you-know-who.

Sometimes I think she is the complete opposite of The Frog, yet she is also just the right personality to be good friends with him, and that is very comforting.  It makes me wonder what #3 will be like...

We feel soo soo lucky to get this little ray of sunshine in our family.  She is always making us laugh, and is so thoughtful and quick to help.  I got a bee sting on the palm of my hand last Tuesday that ended up being much more of a malady than I expected.  Every time she noticed me wince in pain, she would ask to kiss it better.

And it was :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Diaper Changing Kits

Peach's birthday is coming up and I thought she might like some additional accessories for her baby, with whom she is semi-obsessed.  However, it's always naked because she can take the clothes off, but can't put them back on, so I knew a new outfit would go unused for quite some time.

She often pretends to change its diaper with my diaper caddy so I decided to try and find a little diaper changing kit!  However, everything on Amazon was soooo extreme.  Too much stuff that would never get used, or included things we already have, which have to be put somewhere, etc. etc. and other scroogey things that show my true colors...

Then it hit me, why couldn't I just make one?  I found this little baby diaper making tutorial and whipped up 4 diapers in no time AND all out of scrap flannel I had lying around.  (see?  there are uses for scraps after all!)  Plus, I got to try out some fun decorative stitches on my new (to me) embroidery machine, so generously given to me by my mother-in-law.  (well, I traded her for my old sewing machine, but I hardly call that a fair trade...)

Now I just needed a mat.  I really winged it and had to trim things and resew a couple of times, and then wished I had trimmed something slightly less in the end... Honestly, it didn't turn out as well as I had envisioned, but I learned a lot and used more scrap fabric AND got to try out my embroidery machine again.

Sadly, it didn't turn out centered.  Still learning...

Once I finished that, I wondered why I didn't own something like this!  Certainly someone with one in diapers and one soon-to-be could use a travel diaper-changing kit-- especially since I lost my travel changing pad years ago on an airplane :(

So, what the heck!  I made one for myself too. :)  Although, I learned my lesson and decided to follow a pattern. :)  I found several different ones and combined a few things, but mostly I followed this.

I had hoped to go to Ross Dress for Less and find a super cute vinyl table cloth for $2 I could cut up, but they didn't have anything I remotely liked and I didn't have time to go check anywhere else.  (Another blog I found got one from Target, for those of you interested...).  So instead, I bought a clear, heavy shower-curtain liner ($4) to use as my vinyl covering for the inside.  (but it would have been really really nice to use a vinyl table cloth-- would have saved time and bulk.)

Other than the shower curtain, I used fabric, button and elastic I had lying around:

I liked this one because the diaper and wipes hang off the side of the changing table and you don't have to take them out to use the mat, like some other travel mats I saw.  Things I learned- perhaps I shouldn't have used home decor fabric because it was just soo bulky with the batting (I used fleece scraps) to turn inside out and then sew.  Next time, I think I would rather treat it like a quilt and sew a binding around the outside- less bulk and more finished looking.

It's hard to tell from my pictures, but I did some "quilting" to hold the layers together- just some diagonal lines between every-other row of polka-dots.  I would do this before the binding, were I to make it the other way.

I also added a little wrist strap- and idea inspired from a different pad.  Hers was cuter because she used a d-ring and clip, but I wanted to use only things I had on hand, so I just sewed it right in the seam.

I haven't had a chance to use it yet, because Jay changed Peach's diaper at church last Sunday, but he said it worked awesome.   Yay!

Total cost for both?  $4 + time (and I have loads of extra vinyl to make others. and I gained valuable experience)  not bad, eh?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Two Green Thumbs

I forgot to take pictures of our first harvest (beets, swiss chard, 4 cherry tomatoes and green beans), but there's plenty more where that came from...

I love that my kids always want to eat everything straight off the plant, raw.  (even the chard!)
Peach likes to open the string beans and  pick out the tiny beans inside to eat.  Funny-bun...

Manti Temple

My lovely mother agreed to watch the kids for a day last week, so Jay and I could go do a session in the Manti, UT temple.  I made sure to bring the tripod so we could get a pic- we have sooo few pictures of just he and I these days...
It was gorgeous and lovely to have a little day-trip to ourselves!  I'm usually so tired by the time we get to hang out together alone :)

Just a Sunday- getting ready for church

Sometimes it's the mundane, everyday I wish I remembered better...
The Frog putting on his socks

I just put on Peach's shoes