Monday, December 28, 2015

Kate and Jayne Meet Santa



Kate got to meet Santa at our church Christmas party. She was all business when she told him what she wanted for Christmas: a candy cane and presents. After she received her candy cane (which she remembered from last year), she left with us and then said, a few minutes later, "Santa forgot to give me presents!" We had to explain that the presents would come on Christmas. 


Jayne isn't a big fan of strangers, and I knew Santa would be no exception. I let Kate have some solo Santa time first, then I apologized in advance to Santa and the photographer and plunked Jaynie on his lap.



Jayne's feeling of betrayal was immediate and complete. She did not whimper. She did not well up with pouty tears. My little girl full-on screamed, body rigid and trembling. She looked back, once, at Santa's bearded face, then leaned as far away from him as she could.




I rescued her after about ten seconds and felt a moderate amount of guilt until I remembered I did the same thing to Kate. I decided it's just a rite of passage.



A week or so before Christmas, we went to a local Orchard and took a hay ride. We made a dinner out of hotdogs, chili, cider, and doughnuts and went into a barn to see Santa. 


This time, we spared Jayne the trauma of Santa's lap. Kate got her candy cane and informed Santa he forgot to bring her presents. We explained to Kate and the confused Santa that the gifts would be coming soon.



Jay asked me a couple days ago if I feel any guilt about telling the girls Santa brings their gifts when they believe us so implicitly. I don't. I love the magic and wonder of childhood--where Santa and microwave ovens and the change of seasons and any number of other things are equally mysterious and inexplicable. I love my girls, their excitement and their goodness, and that Kate feels our love in a host of ways, including through Santa, candy canes and presents.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Jaynie at 14 months

{Jayne at the cabin; October 2015}

At 14 months, Jaynie is full of spunk. 


Her first word, at 13 months, was "Mama," and she said it often, much to my delight. There is nothing sweeter than seeing her chubby little cheeks pooch out as she forms her sounds.




Her favorite thing is her little comfort object; a pink minky monkey. (Kate has one, a leopard, and she called this one "Jayne's wepard" for a long time.) She totes it all around the house, and one of her first words was monkey (buh-kee). She asks for it constantly.




Since being weaned at 12 months, she loves drinking water from her sippy cups. She frequently asks for a drink (doo). Sometimes I forget that her speech has meaning, and she'll sit in her highchair chanting "Doo!" with increasing urgency and volume until I realize what she wants and scramble to get it. 


When she uses a word to ask for something, like a drink or her monkey, and then sees someone get it and bring it to her, she gets so excited. She loves that she can communicate with us.




{December 2015}

For Halloween, Kate wanted to be Elsa. As much as I'd have loved dressing Jayne in the Little Red Riding Hood cape (used for the fourth year in a row), the idea of having her be Anna to Kate's Elsa (their hair! Their ages! They're sisters!) was too cute to pass up. We dressed them in their costumes for our church's trunk or treat and then briefly when my parents visited. On the day of Kate's preschool Halloween party, however, she wanted to be Snow White. And then on Halloween, she wanted to be Snow White again, not Elsa. So I dressed her in her blue and yellow dress and put Jayne to bed--because she was tired, and without the Frozen theme it just wasn't as cute... And the reason I'm going into all this detail is to explain why I didn't take pictures of my girls in their costumes on Halloween. But I dressed them up in December and they were super uncooperative, but we had fun anyway. It wasn't until the next day I realized I'd missed putting on a piece of Jayne's costume. Oh well.


{You could try and tell me you've seen something cuter than Jayne in pigtails, but I wouldn't believe you.}

Jayne started walking at 13 months, and she still staggers around with splayed legs like she hasn't quite committed to life as a biped. Her only pair of shoes are soft little leather moccasins, and she loves them. She'd only worn them a couple times when I set them on the counter by the garage door. The next few times we left the house, she'd see them and yell "Shee! Shee!" It took me a minute to realize what she was asking for. When I put them on her, she holds up her little feet and points her toes to aid in the process. It's adorable.




She also says Boo (buh), balloon (bah), Mommy, Daddy (datty), all done ("ah duh" while making the sign), backpack (ba puh), bye bye, up (ubbuh), hi, banana (nana)


She can identify her belly button and loves sticking her little finger in it. Sometimes she'll lift up one of our shirts so she can poke our belly buttons, too. She has the sweetest little mischievous laugh.




Jaynie got her two bottom teeth right on time when she was six months old. In the ensuing months, other than those two slowly elongating teeth, she remained edentulous. I was only half joking when I told Jay (several times) he should take an x-ray to make sure she had more teeth coming. She finally cut her top centrals at 12 months, and she's now working on her top laterals. Thanks to her Dad's instruction, she can identify and say "teeth" (tee).




We now have a backyard, and it's so fun to send the girls back there to play. Even when Jayne is fussy or tired from teething, she gets so excited to toddle around outside with Kate.


I'm not normally one to use nicknames, but I can't help it with Jayne. I started calling her Jayners when she was tiny (Kate used to get mad: "She's not Jayners! She's Jayne!"), and it eventually shortened to Jayner. Sometimes I called her Jaynerton. Now, I mostly call her Jaynie since Jay and Jayne sound so similar. Sometimes I'll call her "the Jayne" when talking to Jay (as in, "did you change the Jayne?" "Will you get the Jayne?").




We recently bought a house, and it has a lot of stairs, including small sets of 1-3 steps dividing some of the rooms. When we first moved in, Jayne, at 13 months old, was too scared to go up them. She would crawl up one step, put her hands at the top of the three stairs and cry to be picked up. She eventually figured out how to go up, but then couldn't get down. She luckily never fell down stairs at our house, but there was a lot of frustrated crying when she couldn't follow her sister. We taught her how to scoot down stairs backward, but she couldn't figure out how to get into position herself. She's finally got it down, and it's hilarious to watch her move four feet away from the top of the stairs, turn around, get on her tummy, and scoot backward until she hits the stairs. Sometimes her aim is off, her little feet run into a wall, and she has to recalibrate.




Jaynie's hair is red red red and her eyes are blue blue blue. I absolutely love it. Literally everywhere we go someone stops and comments on her hair. The only downside is her skin is so sensitive--she has a true redhead complexion. Any time the weather changes, her cheeks get red and chapped. We wage a constant battle against diaper rash. 




Kate and Jayne absolutely love each other and play together well. At least half the time, when I hear Jayne wake up in the morning or from a nap, I send Kate in there to play with her. Kate will climb into Jayne's bed and they'll play and laugh for as long as I let them. Once, I went into Jayne's room to find her bed filled with the contents of all the pull out totes in her dresser. I chastised Kate for dumping out all Jayne's clothes and diapers, and her reply was, "I didn't dump! I made a pile!" Jayne stood on top of the pile (luckily not buried beneath it) and thought it was the greatest thing ever.




Starting at around 8 months, Jaynie was the snuggliest little baby. Any time I put her down or got her up from her bed, she'd practically throw her little head on my shoulder and press her torso against mine. She'd just snuggle there, her body relaxed and heavy, for minutes at a time. I'd soak her in, my nose near her neck, my head on hers, swaying back and forth. Now that she's older, she doesn't do that as much, but sometimes I'll luck out when she's extra tired or shy. 




15 month update since I'm slow in getting this posted:

  • Says "ossuh" for outside
  • Drink is now "dookie"--still one of her most-used words
  • Book is "bookie"
  • She still loves saying "boo!"
  • Says baby, "see" for cereal, and "See-ee" for Sadie, my Dad's dog. 
  • Jaynie loves being tickled--she has the best little giggle.
  • Oftentimes when we're driving somewhere as a family, Jaynie will get in a "Mommy" loop (you know what I'm talking about: "Mommy...Mommy?...Mommy..."), and there's no getting her out of it since she can't really tell me what she wants. Just to make sure Jay doesn't feel left out, Kate will start on a "Daddy" loop. That's usually about the time that Jay and I make eye contact and wonder what on earth we got ourselves into with this whole parenting thing.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Flattery and Sales

"Life is pain, Highness! Anyone who says differently is selling something." - The Princess Bride

A few weeks ago, we went to a furniture store to look at couches. Our sales lady was nice and clearly wanted to close a deal, but we weren't in buying mode. Jay took the girls out to the car while I waited for a printout. 

"Your girls are so cute," she said as we stood there.

"Thanks," I smiled.

Then, as she handed me the paper and I moved to walk away, she said, "Your face structure is so beautiful. Have you done print work?"

I usually try to be gracious when someone offers me a compliment, but I was so caught off guard I let out a noise that was somewhere between a snort and a guffaw. 

"Thanks," I said, waving the paper at her and leaving.

I laughed to Jay later that if she'd really wanted to flatter me in an over the top attempt to win my business, she should have asked if my children were models, because heaven knows I can't imagine anything cuter than their little mugs plastered on cereal boxes. 

Needless to say, we didn't feel compelled to return and buy that particular couch.

--------------------

A couple years ago, I was shopping at Kohl's when a woman approached me. 

"I just had to come over and tell you how beautiful you are. Do you mind if I asked what skin care regimen you use?"

"Um, Dove soap and Curelle lotion?" I said. 

She gushed at me for a few more minutes before handing me her Mary Kay business card and a coupon for free product.

...which I did not redeem.

--------------------

Today the doorbell rang, and since it's that time of year when packages arrive in a steady flow, I answered it. 

Salesman: Hi, there; is one of your parents home?

Me, startled: ...No.

Salesman: Do you mind if I leave a couple pamphlets?

Me: That would be fine.

Salesman, riffling through pamplets, looks up: ...I didn't make a mistake, did I? Are you the homeowner?

Me: I am.

Salesman, flustered, mutters: I do that sometimes. I've made the mistake both ways. You look very young.

Me: Thanks.

He quickly gave me a description of his services, handed me the pamphlet, and practically ran off my stoop.

I almost felt bad for him, especially since most of the homeowners on my street really are about my parents' age, but I was so pleased to not be stuck talking to another salesman for a fruitless ten minutes that I was glad for his blunder.

It's probably the only time I've believed anything a salesperson told me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Things I Think are Gross or Otherwise Ick Me Out, Part IV

Just for fun, I made a list of 100 things that ick me out on some level. This is meant to be funny, so if you see your favorite food/activity/object/word on here, don't be offended--I'm sure there's something I eat/do/own/say that totally icks you out, too.

76.  Cottage cheese
77.  Blue cheese
78.  Cream cheese
79.  Velveeta "cheese" and "American" cheese (Kraft singles)
80.  Cloth diapers, reusable wipes, and the machines they're washed in
81.  Eye goop
82.  Spiders, earwigs, and cockroaches
83.  Liposuction
84.  Strapless clothing
85.  Touching arms with strangers (like on airplanes)
86.  Yogurt (and its tangy flavor thanks to its live cultures)
87.  My fingernails catching on anything
88.  The sound of anyone else's fingernails catching on anything, including during back scratches
89.  Raisins
90.  Dog slobber 
91.  Finding a worm while shucking corn
92.  The "stuf" in double stuf Oreo's (particularly when it's dyed)
93.  Meat that's cooked in the microwave
94.  Hair on shower walls 
95.  Leggings, particularly with loud prints, when worn as pants (instead of, say, under a dress or long shirt)
96.  When people swallow toothpaste
97.  The words "so" and "very" when used together (as in, "I love him so very much")
98.  Mold
99.  Shortening/trans fat
100.  Typos in professional publications

Okay, you've read 100 of mine. What are some of yours?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Things I Think are Gross or Otherwise Ick Me Out, Part III

Just for fun, I made a list of 100 things that ick me out on some level. This is meant to be funny, so if you see your favorite food/activity/object/word on here, don't be offended--I'm sure there's something I eat/do/own/say that totally icks you out, too.

51.  Almost any food that's overly processed and full of artificial anything (colors, flavors, sweeteners, fats) and is packed with chemicals and preservatives
52.  The word "snag"
53.  Mustaches
54.  Children's panoramic dental xrays that show baby teeth and developing permanent teeth 
55.  Raw meat
56.  Made up or horribly misspelled names
57.  Pumping (my own) breast milk 
58.  Gauze or cotton rolls in my mouth
59.  Sweetened condensed milk
60.  The "trash cans" in women's bathroom stalls
61.  Tanning beds
62.  Canned peas
63.  Chimpanzees
64.  When a guy marries a woman 15+ years his junior
65.  Thongs
66.  Casseroles 
67.  Marching bands
68.  "Automatic" flush toilets
69.  Liquid foundation makeup
70.  Almond flavoring
71.  Being numb from anesthetic
72.  Spit valves on brass instruments
73.  The word "loaf" when not used with the word "bread"
74.  Jersey cotton and/or polyester sheets
75.  Tattoos, gauged ears and face/body piercings

Monday, October 19, 2015

Things I Think are Gross or Otherwise Ick Me Out, Part II

Just for fun, I made a list of 100 things that ick me out on some level. This is meant to be funny, so if you see your favorite food/activity/object/word on here, don't be offended--I'm sure there's something I eat/do/own/say that totally icks you out, too.

26.  Socks, clean or dirty
27.  When Jay takes off his socks with his toes
28.  When seeds start to sprout inside of uncut tomatoes
29.  Seeing/hearing the popping of the distal knuckles, thumb knuckles, knees, and neck when the person grabs and cranks their own head
30.  Cooked carrots
31.  Country music
32.  Old, crusty rags
33.  The word "crusty"
34.  When people say "supposably" instead of "supposedly"
35.  Chunky, high contrast hair highlights
36.  Any form of "liquid" candy (Gushers, cherry cordial filled chocolates, cough drops with syrup in the middle)
37.  One-ply toilet paper
38.  Fast food
39.  Being shocked on trampolines
40.  Hair plugs
41.  Milk that's even a hint past its prime
42.  Bikinis
43.  Men's speedos
44.  Wrestling, boxing, and UFC
45.  Those nasty tomato plant caterpillars with the nasty red spike on their butts. Also, the creepy green inchworms that eat my basil plants
46.  Drinking fountains
47.  Other people's dryer lint
48.  Mayonnaise/Miracle Whip
49.  The rough feeling of old or cheap towels
50.  Petting greasy dogs

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Things I Think are Gross or Otherwise Ick Me Out, Part I

Just for fun, I made a list of 100 things that ick me out on some level. This is meant to be funny, so if you see your favorite food/activity/object/word on here, don't be offended--I'm sure there's something I eat/do/own/say that totally icks you out, too.
  1. Shoelaces
  2. The word "hubby"
  3. The feel of paper towels
  4. The strings on bananas
  5. Ratted hair
  6. When people call the bathroom "the little girls' room"
  7. Powdered milk
  8. When women change stinky diapers in the mothers' lounge
  9. Runny noses
  10. Weevils
  11. Sweaty handshakes
  12. When you can see cavities in people's teeth
  13. Aspartame, Splenda, Truvia, or any other artificial sweetener
  14. Being called "sweetie," "mama," or "honey," especially in doctors' offices
  15. Pigeons and other mangy looking birds
  16. Body waxing
  17. The word "luscious"
  18. Folding or wearing static-y clothes
  19. Ketchup
  20. Text speak (including the ubiquitous LOL)
  21. When cats scratch on things
  22. Breakfast sausage
  23. The doorknobs and sinks in public bathrooms
  24. The word "gobs"
  25. Seaweed

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Kate-isms

{Pictures from November 2014; Jayne age 3 months, Kate age 2 years 8 months}

Kate-isms, collected in February 2015, age three years.
  • Says "smoo-ey" for "smoothie." I hope we call them smooeys for the rest of time.
  • Breakfast is "bweksis"
  • Thanks and thank you are "Ganks" and "gank you"
  • Think is "gink." And she's been "ginking" a lot lately, as in, "I gink Jayne wants a toy."
  • Uses almost exclusively female pronouns. All boys (and inanimate objects) are "she" and "her." I get a kick out of it every time she refers to Jay as "she".
  • All three of her baby dolls are named Jayne. All three of them are always naked.
  • Is a total Daddy's girl. I'll say, "Come here, my Kate!" And she'll say, "No, Daddy is my Kate!" So, yes, she's dissing me, but she's so cute with her language that I just can't be sad about it. 
  • Move is "woove" and movie is "woovie"
  • When I put on her shirt, she says, "Where are me? There I are!" as I pull it down over her head
  • She likes to drape blankets over her head or across her shoulder and say, "I'm Jesus pwincess!" 
  • Jay often sings her songs and changes the words, like the theme song from New Girl: "Who's that girl? Who's that girl? It's Kate!" And Kate will change a few words of her own: "Who's dat goh? Who's dat goh? Kate's a pwincess!"
  • Upside down is up-sub-ide down
  • Frisbee is "kwisbee"
  • Tomato and potato are both "pimayo"
  • She randomly and frequently comes up to me and says, "I wuv you, Mom," with a sweet little smile on her face. This is often accompanied by a hug.
  • "The doctor feel me better."
  • If her nose is runny, she'll say, "I have a wunny wip." (runny lip)

Kate's stats at 2 yrs 9 months:
  • Height: 37.8 inches; 74th percentile
  • Weight: 33 lb 3 oz; 80th percentile

Jayne stats at 4 months:
  • Height: 24.8 inches; 63rd percentile
  • Weight: 14 lb 13 oz; 63rd percentile
  • Head circumference: 41.5 cm, 76th percentile

{Jayne started getting hungry during our photo shoot and chewed on her fingers, so of course Kate had to follow suit.}





Monday, September 21, 2015

Jayne's First Birthday


A few days before Jayne's first birthday, we went to Provo so Jay could go to a conference and I could spend time with my mom and sister.


We decided to have a little party for Jayne.


She opened presents,



Played with her new toys,



And had the opportunity to eat a cupcake.



To say she wasn't interested is an understatement--she wouldn't even touch it. Who is this child?



We tried again the next morning, giving her just a slice of one (Jay didn't see the point in letting a perfectly good cupcake go to waste).



She was slightly more interested this time, even poked at it a little, but she ultimately wanted nothing to do with it. She wouldn't even eat the raspberry on top, and she loves berries.



I fed her some pureed carrots, and I tried sneaking in a couple bites of cake on the spoon between mouthfuls of carrot, but Jayne raked the chocolate goodness off of her tongue with clawed fingers.


Happy birthday, you adorable little squirt. We love you.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Physics: 1, Lindsay: 0

Potty Training Tips: Free Printable Disney Frozen Potty Chart with Elsa and Anna #PUBigKid
{The potty chart we used for Kate. She filled it with stickers after a few days and then didn't need any more tangible reinforcers. Frozen potty chart for the win!}

Kate has been officially potty-trained for a few months now, which is awesome. All I really have to say about this is that, for us, waiting until she was three was the perfect choice. I have several friends who have potty trained their kids before they're two for various reasons, and while the kids generally do pretty well, some of them are only, like, 90% potty trained for the next year. Which means my friends are cleaning up a mess or two a week. Kate has had about four accidents total, and all pretty minor. I'd much rather deal with diapers than mop up mess, so the wait was worth it.

But back when Kate was still in diapers, anytime I changed a stinky one, I'd tie it up in a grocery bag and toss it out on the back porch. Then, when Jay or I took out the garbage, we'd gather up any baggies on the porch and put them in our dumpster. Which was fine.

Except for the fact that, in an attempt to be efficient, I would sometimes scoop up all the little bags with diapers in them into the same hand as the much larger kitchen garbage bag. This would enable me to hold open our dumpster lid with my free hand so I could toss all the various-sized bags of trash inside in one fluid motion. 

Except.

Except that I'm short and the trash bag was often heavy, so I'd give it a little swing to flip it up and over. This worked great for the large trash bag. But those smaller bags? The ones clutched in the same hand as the heavy one? The ones I unwittingly spun at the same velocity as the longer bag with more mass?

They smacked me in the face.

Now, it's embarrassing enough to admit I've smacked myself in the face with grocery bags full of poopy diapers. But it's even more embarrassing to admit that this was not a one-time occurrence. It wasn't even a two-time occurrence. 

You guys. This happened several times

Somehow, I forgot the laws of motion and physics and torque and rotation and whatever other laws God put into place that make sacks of poop spin faster than sacks of garbage, and I got a literal one-two to the face from squishy, poopy diaper filled bags. On multiple occasions.

So I guess you could say that Kate being potty trained was a win on more than one front for me. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Potty Humor

{Pictures taken in April; Kate 3 years 1 month, Jayne 7 months. Beautiful dresses from my Aunt Annette.}

Several months ago, the girls both had stinky diapers at the same time. Jay and I did the old divide-and-conquer, and I went over to retrieve the wet wipes.

Me: Jayne is poopy.
Kate: I'm pee pee.
Me: So Jayne's poopy and you're pee pee?
Kate: Yep.
Jay, to me: That makes sense--Kate is number one, and Jayne is number two.

Nothing like a little potty humor on a Sunday morning.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Timber


When my parents built their cabin, they positioned it in such a way to preserve as many aspen trees on the lot as possible. They envisioned dappled shade, dancing leaves, and the sound of wind shushing through the quakies. In a good breeze, the quaking leaves of aspen trees sound like a spring shower.

We love the feeling of being nestled in those trees up on the mountain. 


One of the trees nearest to the house, a giant with high-reaching branches, hasn't been faring well the past few years. Its trunk is slowly dying, and it's been leaning precariously in the direction of the cabin. It still had some life left in it, but with the crazy windstorms they sometimes have on the mountain, my parents decided it wasn't worth the risk to keep it.

My dad recruited Jay to help take it down. My dad climbed a ladder and tied a strap toward the top of the tree. He may not look all that far off the ground, but when you consider that Jay is 6'5", it adds a bit of perspective--he was about 30 feet up there.


They chained the other end of the strap to a pine tree across the driveway and winched it tight so the dying aspen would fall away from the cabin. 

At around this point, some of my parents' neighbors who also have land on the mountain happened to be driving by, and they stopped and lent a hand.


All of us wives watched from a safe distance in slightly worried and amused interest as Gil wielded the chainsaw and Jay, Kim, Randon, and my dad pulled on the straps and chains to guide the tree down in the right direction.

It landed with the crunch and snap of living wood as the weaker branches crumpled under the weight of the trunk.


The whole thing went off without a hitch, and after 30 minutes of chainsawing and moving sections of trunk and branches, the area was clear. Only a fresh stump and a few twigs with fluttering leaves scattered across the driveway bore witness to the noisy afternoon's events. 

I'm grateful for the capable men in my life who know how to work with their hands. And I'm glad to be the one taking the pictures.