Monday, November 17, 2008

Maybe Next Time

It's just barely getting chilly. Texas winter is a beautiful thing, my friends.

One night we were headed out to feed the ducks at one of the neighborhood ponds. So I retreived our coats from the attic. I felt possessed for some reason to take pictures.

That never turns out well.

Here are the results of this year's second posed photo shoot:

"Say cheese!"

Claire is waiting for the chunk of cheddar she believes must be coming from my pocket.

"Claire, cheese means smile, Claire. You're not smiling, Claire! You need to smile!"

"Here, Claire, like this. Smile like this, Claire. See?"

"Okay, Mom. You can take the picture now. CHEESE!"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tired. Again. Always.

So I've been joking about sleep disorders and me and Grace having them.

Well guess what. We really do.

At least, according to the world's source of all knowledge, we do.

SYMPTOMS: Restless Legs Syndrome: Check. Sleepwalking: Check. Sleeptalking: Check. Excessive tiredness [does falling asleep during a twenty minute drive home from work count? I'm gonna say yes.]: Check. RMBD: Check. Falling asleep at inappropriate times: Check. [okay, so that last one is borderline. We're not narcoleptic.]

The good news is that Grace is catching on to her tendency to fall asleep in weird places. She has begun pre-empting the sleepy madness. The other night she groggily dragged herself from the dinner table, sleepily pulled on her pajamas, and collapsed onto her bed.

Beats waking up like this:


Last week, a friend of mine spoke about her newish, just-under-a-year-old daughter. She remarked how much she was so enjoying her girl--this girl who sits, quiet, self-entertained. So different from her oldest, a boy, who is rowdy, loud, and doesn't sit still.

"Girls are so delightfully quiet and well-behaved," she sighed.


Then where did my girls come from??

My mom likes to say, "Those girls have ants in their pants." And I can't think of a better way to say it. My daughters fidget, climb and squirm. All the time.

Grace likes to run the length of the bench during sacrament meeting begging to go to nursery. If we manage to snag her onto a seat or in our laps, she pushes against the bench in front of us. Or stands on my lap, grabbing my neck. Or hangs off the bench, blood rushing to her head.

I envy mothers whose children sit on the cushioned bench for an hour each week, drawing, or reading, or--is it even possible?--listening.

You should have seen us a month ago--on the fourth row in the chapel on the Sunday that Elder Nelson came to our stake. I don't remember anything he said. I spent part of the meeting trying to keep my children still and quiet, and the other part leaving in shame-faced, cowering embarrassment.

Might have been the worst Sunday of my life.

And, I apparently, am alone here. Since all other girls are "delightfully quiet."

Would one of you mind explaining to me what I am doing wrong?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Taking it Back

I'm sure you've been sitting on the edge of your seat for the last few days to see how our experiment has been going. Okay, so you don't really care. I'm gonna tell you anyway.

We've been for a walk around the pond where the ducks came to eat Claire's coat and Grace's fingers. 

Brad brought Claire to lunch at work where we watched her walk and trip and try to run.

We hung out on the porch teaching Grace to jump rope. We didn't have a rope, so we used one of Grandma's extension cords. [Don't tell.] And we discovered that our man, Daddy/Brad, is pretty good at jumping tricks. 

And today we met at a park on my way home from work.

It's going well.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

All Hallow's Eve

Grace has always had some trouble saying her full name. So far, she hasn't been able to pull it off quite right. It comes out something like "Grace Uhn-a-ville." I guess it's really not a big deal. But whenever she says it, people look at me like, "I didn't quite catch that...." So, we've been working on it. 

Friday night, a few neighbors stopped by trick-or-treating. We started talking. And after fifteen minutes of chatting, I finally asked their four-year-old what her name was. I couldn't decipher anything. Well, except for what I assumed was an attempt at her last name. It sounded a lot more like an obscenity. So much so that I was afraid to ask her to repeat it. Her parents translated: "Trinity Funk."

I don't care anymore. "Uhn-a-ville" is no big deal.

Our Halloween this year was a thrown together, last minute affair. It's not my favorite holiday. In fact, I would say I get more excited about Lamb Day in Fountain Green Utah. 

Like, way more excited. 

So, without any costume planning, I slid Grace into one of Karlee's old ballet tutus, and added wings from another of her costumes. She became Tinkerbell. We only went to the ward's trunk-or-treat on Wednesday (we didn't do any candy-hunting on actual Halloween), and so I wasn't going to dress Claire up at all. My Mom, though, (ultimate hater of the goulish holiday) surprisingly found this unjust, and felt the necessity to give Claire pigtails and freckles as Pippy-Longstocking.

I think she ends up looking more like a cowgirl.

Judge for yourself.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Carpe Diem

I've always been a saver. Conservative in pretty much every way. I'm a plan ahead, take no risk kind of person to the extreme.

I remember when Brad used to come home from work and say, "Let's go out to eat." 

I would respond, "We don't have the money." 

And he would contest, "Are we ever going to have the money? Are we ever going to go out?" 

I didn't get it.

I do now.

I'm working at a job, which is fine; it's a job. I like my coworkers, I like the company, it pays the bills, it grants us benefits. But I come home, spend--at most--three precious hours with my children, maybe one more with Brad, and fall asleep. Anywhere.

Weekends are blurs of cleaning and errand running and scheduling.

Um, I'm sort of new to this lifestyle, so please excuse my naivite, but...

...when does the living happen?

When does life beyond just catching up and getting bills paid and completing all the tasks necessary for basic survival happen?

When do we stop planning and start enjoying?

Are we meant to save our living time for two one-week vacations per year?

I can't deal with that. I am going insane.

So we're trying some new rules. Call me crazy, but we're desperate: no TV during together time. Outdoor family time at least once a week. And dates every weekend. No matter what.

Do you have any strategies for living beyond just trying to make if from day to day?