Friday, January 30, 2009

Above and Beyond

Being the second oldest of 10, you would think I had enough baby-sitting to last a lifetime, but I still remember how excited I was to get my first "real" baby-sitting job (it must have been the lure of $2/hr that got me excited). We had an amazing baby-sitter while growing up, Tiffany Taylor. We would play "restraunt" with her and serve canned peaches then run all around the house playing hide-and-seek. Our favorite thing, though, was when we woke up in the morning she always left a little treat for us. The bar was set high. I had big shoes to fill. I spent the years before in preparation, reading every single book in the "Baby-sitters Club" series, getting CPR certified and I even made this whole baby-sitting kit filled with puppets, coloring books, games, flannel board stories, etc. I spent the next several years working hard for my $2/hour--chasing wild boys, pacing the floor with colicky babies, playing countless games of Candy Land, digging play-doh out of carpet, washing all the dishes and cleaning the house after putting the kids to bed and staying up scared and alone in a quiet house just waiting to hear the sound of the garage open while replaying every scary scene I had ever seen in a movie. It's not that I was an exceptional baby-sitter, it was just the way I was taught and that was what was expected. It was the norm. So fast forward ahead to when the roles are reversed and I am the one leaving my kids in the hands of the baby-sitter. I had just assumed that the world of baby-sitting hadn't changed much, but I have been surprised. It's not that we've had horrible baby-sitters, but it's hard coming home to a house that is completely trashed and the kids are still awake. The last thing you want to do at 10:00 at night is clean the house and put kids to bed, especially when you just paid someone $30 to do it and instead they sat the kids in front of the TV all evening. (The best was the time when the baby-sitter wouldn't let Kylie go to sleep because they had watched ET and the baby-sitter was too scared to be alone). I had just come to the sad conclusion that baby-sitting had changed. Then our little neighbor girl turned 12 and all my faith had been renewed. Her mom enrolled her in baby-sitting courses along with CPR and first aid classes before she turned 12. She even made these cute little business cards to pass out to the neighbors. The first time she came, she showed up with a baby-sitting kit. I almost shed a tear. She only charges $5/hr and the best part is...she even left presents for the kids when they woke up the next morning. She was Tiffany Taylor reincarnated. She was so great, the kids loved her and we even came home to a clean house with sleeping kids and this official report:
It just made me realize what a difference it makes when people go above and beyond what is expected. I've also realized what things are important to teach Kylie once she is old enough to baby-sit. When speaking of above and beyond there's no way I could forget to mention Kylie's primary teacher. I've never had a teacher that is so amazing. We missed church this past Sunday since we were out of town and so her teacher came to the house to give Kylie a little mini-lesson and bring her the homemade soap that she had made for each of the kids as part of the hand-out. She does this with every single child that misses each week. She does so much for her class and really makes each child feel special. I just feel like with my calling I coast along and do the bare minimum, and she has made me realize what a difference it makes to go the extra mile.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Boys Trip

It's that time again...annual boys snowboarding trip. This time we didn't get completely ditched while he had fun in Utah. Jason got a great deal on tickets flying out of Vegas, so it was cheaper for us to just drive to Vegas and have him fly out from there. I asked him how his trip was and he said it was "awesome", but the only way I could get the real dirt was by eavesdropping when he was talking on the phone to his friends on the way home. There were six of them that went this time and it sounds like they hit the slopes hard, ate lots, laughed lots and slept very little. I sent the camera with him with instructions to take lots of pictures. He comes back with three pictures. All of the same pose. Typical guy. Meanwhile, back in Vegas the kids had fun hanging out with their cousins. Jason's brother went with them (can you guess which one he is in the picture? I'll give you a hint: he's one out of the two chinamen wearing goggles with his mouth open. You would never guess they were brothers) and his wife had an overnight RS retreat thing so I volunteered to stay at their house and watch their kids. I did have my moments when I wondered why the heck I decided to drive 5 hours with a screaming baby just to baby-sit kids, but for the most part it was fun. After the boys got back, my sister-in-law and I snuck away to a late night movie, "Marley and Me" (so cute) and it was nice getting out of the house and spending time with her. We also went to dim sum with Jason's dad (happy Chinese New Year!) where our little nephew totally put down when it came to the chicken feet, it was awesome (and a little nauseating to watch). We squeezed in a couple visists with friends and called it a trip. Even though it took me two days to pack and get ready and two days to unpack, clean the car and do was still nice to get away and especially fun for the kids to play with their cousins.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Three Months
My oh my, just check out the boy on those cheeks! Mmmmm....scrumptious. The biggest highlight for this month is that for the past several weeks he has consistantly been sleeping 9-12 hourse straight at night, yay! We're still working on the cat nap issue, but that's a minor detail in comparison. He's starting to "talk" to me and is on the verge of giggling. Because it's so cute, I guess I'm okay with him getting older. Other than that, he's healthy, happy and as cute as ever!

(pardon me while I sneeze)

Bald Is Beautiful

(look at those lips--is that not the saddest face ever?)

I finally did it. It was sad to see all that silky soft downy hair falling to the ground, but atleast he doesn't look like an old man any more. Why is it that babies come out so beautiful and perfect, then comes the baby acne. Then comes the cradle cap. Then comes the hair falling out. And in Jayden's case we had the clogged tear ducts and exzema to add to the beauty. It's a cruel world. He actually didn't mind the hair cut, it was the pictures afterwards that he wanted to no part of. Here is a much balder and much happier version:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Behold the Sting Rays

I don't know if I've ever seen anything as cute as these little pee-wee T-ball players. Not only are their little uniforms killing me, it is hilarious to watch them play. They hit the ball then just take off running in any direction except 1st base, or else when they're standing on base they run off to chase the ball hit by their own teammate. They get so excited when they manage to hit the ball without knocking over the tee, or if they get the ball (even if they wrestled their own teammates to get it). Jayden absolutely loves it and takes it very serious. It's so adorable to watch and is probably the only thing that can get me out of bed and to the park by 8 AM on a Saturday!

Friday, January 09, 2009

I Hate Paint

How can anyone pick a paint color off of a 2 square inch piece of paper? I still have yet to see a room turn out the way I had pictured it in my mind. Even if it's a paint color I had seen in someone else's house, it never looks the same when it's in my own. For Christmas I told Kylie that we could re-decorate her room. After spending hours at Home Depot comparing paint chips, we finally picked one. On the way home I almost started crying as it looked brown instead of green in the sunlight. As we started painting it, I would love it one second and absolutely hate it the next. Now that it's done, it changes colors throughout the day. I love the way it looks in this picture, but if you look at it between the hours of 10-4pm then it ranges anywhere from too yellow or too brown or too puke. There's gotta be a better way.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

You Know You're a Mom If....(part II)

So two years and another kid later, I've got plenty more to add to my original list (scroll down the the Nov. 16th post). Here's to the more glamourous side of motherhood....

You know you're a mom if....
*you've ever found yourself subconsciously rocking back and forth, even when you're not holding a baby (this may also happen on occasion while holding small animals)
*you've ever pulled off the public toilet squat while balancing a baby and zipping and buttoning your jeans one handed
*complete strangers have ever cornered you and given you advice on nursing, intimacy after delivery, or anything to do with raising your child
*you don't think twice about digging nasty boogers out of your baby's nose (you do think twice once they get older, though)
*you've ever graciously taken candy offered to you by your child, only to find out later that those same hands that gave you the candy are the same unwashed hands that collected worms moments earlier
*you're able to recognize your child's cry in the hallway while sitting behind a closed door at church
*you've ever smiled as your child insists on pointing out every blemish on your front of other people
*you've ever calmed your child's fears as they look in horror at your dry, cracked feet and worry that your skin will fall off and you'll become a skeleton
*you've ever caught a frog, lizard, grasshopper or any other thing that gives you the heebie jeebies just because you know it will make your kids happy
*you've ever worried that your baby will never fall asleep while you're letting them "cry it out", then once they finally fall asleep you worry that they've stopped breathing so you go check on them, only to wake them up and start the cycle all over
*the real reasons you're still breastfeeding are so that your period won't start and so that you have a good excuse to get out of fasting on fast sundays (just keeping it real)
*you've ever worn a hairdo, makeover or manicure done by your child out in public
*you've ever been busted by your kids for forcing them to eat a certain vegetable, meat, etc. when you won't eat it yourself
*you've ever treated a doll or stuffed animal as a real member of the family
*you've spent 1/3 of your life inside Chuck E Cheese or Peter Piper's Pizza
*you've ever lied to your kids and told them that "Astroglide" was hair gel, or that a condom was a balloon (and then made up an excuse when they ask you to blow it up)
*you've ever found yourself repeating (for your sake more than theirs), "accidents happen, accidents happen..." while cleaning up an entire pot of chili that is splattered across every square inch of the kitchen
*you've ever been tempted to lie about your kid's age to sneak them into nursery early while visiting another ward
*you think you're doing a good job monitoring what they watch on TV by allowing them to only watch shows you've recorded on DVR, only to walk in and see them deeply enthralled in an episode of "Desperate Housewives" that you've recorded
*you've ever lied and told your kid that you have no idea where the McDonald's toy is when you know darn well that it's sitting in the bottom of last weeks trash
*you've ever cleaned poop off of floors, walls, fingers, shopping carts, bathtubs, carseats, beds, and yourself
*sometimes they drive you crazy when you're with them, but you always miss them like crazy when you're without them!

Monday, January 05, 2009

The Fourth Stooge

Yeah, it's probably not a good thing when your baby starts looking more and more like Larry from the three stooges (Jason thinks he looks more like a Chinese monk). Kylie and Jayden were both so bald, so I was so excited when this little guy came out with a head full of dark beautiful locks. He's had a bad case of cradle cap and now all his hair is falling out, it's so sad! My friend is trying to convince me to just shave it all off, but I don't know if I have it in me. It's a good thing he looks so darn cute in a hat, it may be a permanent accessory for the next several months.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

The kids were so excited when I told them that they could stay up until midnight to ring in the New Year. We made wild plans to eat theseand play board games all night. Our friends, the Larsons, called to see if we had plans and I told them they were more than welcome to come over as long as they didn't mind a Chutes and Ladders marathon. It was a fun night and I was surprised that they all (except for Ava) stayed up until midnight. Kylie slept in until noon the next day and I got a little glimpse of what her sleeping habits will be like when she's a teenager. As for the resolutions....I'm going cliche with the whole exercise thing, but these last 10 pounds have definately worn out their welcome! I chucked the last of the Christmas goodies and renewed my gym membership. Yee-haw. I've also devised a little plan to organize my house and get to those annoying chores I always put off. I made a list of all those things (like dust blinds, clean drawers, closets, baseboards, etc.) and if I just spend like 15 minutes a day doing one of those things then I should be done in, say....June. Oh well, I just love checking things off a list, it's very gratifying.