Thursday, April 30, 2009

Another Hard Decision

Since moving to our new house and returning to work, I get to travel on the longest escalator in the western hemisphere four times a week (twice down, twice up).  I take great pride in the fact that only twice have I not walked up the moving staircase at the end of my work day.   The first time I stood (instead of trekking the approximate 100 steps) was the second day back to work after Rhett's birth.  I was exhausted: mentally, physically, and emotionally.  The second time I was sick.

But now I'm plagued by the following dilemma.  The station has three escalators. When one breaks down, it is either taken completely out of commission and no one can use it at all, or it's simply turned off so people can continue to walk on it. For the past couple of what-has-seemed-like eons, one escalator has been completely unusable, the second has been stopped, and the third been running upwards. This was fine because I could walk down the second, and trek up the third. But this morning the second escalator was made unusable (unusable!). This means that the third is now stopped. Just so it's clear: my trek up 100 moving stairs is increased to nearly 170 steps.

Let's be honest.  I'm in fairly good shape.  I run regularly and eat, uh, food.  But when I get to the top of my 100-step climb, I'm tired.  My breathing is quickened and I'm ready to be done.   What's this proud girl to do?  Do I attempt the 170 stairs or fight the entire rush-hour train to use the (only) elevator?  Please hurry: I have only 7.5 hours until I make this decision.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Ding! Ding! Ding!

And the correct answer is awarded to...Gretchen!  She could see the row of books on a shelf.  (Can you see it now?)  And yes, this will become our new library tote.  Much better than carrying a baby in one arm and seven little board books in the other.  Try opening a car door with that load!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Made for Saturday: What Am I?

After a recent trip I decided I needed to make me a bag.  Obviously it's a bag, but what is the design I have pieced on it? (Before you guess, no, it's not a histogram.  Try again.)  No fair looking at comments first; try and guess. Honestly, I love this bag so much that I don't care if anyone else can figure it out. And Emily, no fair commenting.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Another All-New Friendly Friend Question

Because I have nothing else to blog about, I'll talk about me.  (Seriously though, it's the truth.  Nothing is going on.  Church has calmed down.  We're not doing any renovations on the house--well, until Monday.  We're not taking any trips.  And no holidays since Easter.  No celebrity sitings like Rachael.  I haven't even been sewing.  Nothing.)

So here goes.  Question: If I could live anywhere in the United States (assuming I had enough money to do so), where would it be?  (Cue Jeopardy music...)

Answer: Southern California. A few years ago, Chuck and I were fortunate to be able to use a condo near Santa Barbara that my aunt and uncle own. Not only is where they're located gorgeous, but everywhere we went was gorgeous too. It remains one of the happiest-trip memories that we have (second only to Puerto Rico).

In my year tenure as a mother, I've come to realize that my sphere of life is quite small.  Places I visit on a regular basis include the grocery store, the library, church, and the park.  I'm pretty sure they have those things in SoCal.  Check.

But if I had my preference, I'd be outside all year long.  Sure, I can go outside here in January.  But when it's 20 degrees with 80% humidity, it's just not fun.  Okay, then, why would I not go back to Utah where winters are actually enjoyable?  Because with kids, winters are hard.  I don't like being cooped in my house.  I can barely afford to ski, let alone pay for my kids to ski.  I like the idea of having year-round sports for my kids.  I like to not wear jackets!

While this move wouldn't cause result in next-door neighborhood with family (except for my very cool aunt and uncle), my parents and sister would be reachable by car.  It would be a short (well, relatively so) trip to meet my parents in St. George and my sister is just up the road in Colorado. And seeing as though none of Chuck's siblings live anywhere close to each other, it doesn't matter where we go.

Also, SoCal has mountains; sure they might not be as grand as those in Utah or Colorado, but they're there.  And when is the next time I am going to be able to take a four-day backpacking trip anyway?  Let's be honest: I think the most I can hope for over the next 15 or so years is a three-mile hike on one day.  SoCal can give that to me.

Why not, say, Florida then?  One word: humidity.  It's my enemy.  It's the one thing I can say that I loathe. SoCal has only a vague idea of what that word means.

Besides, it just smells good there.

P.S. Check out my fun (and now famous) dad here. He is the un-mentioned man in green on the right. Way to go Dad!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Will It Ever End?

Soon after Chuck and I got married, we wondered at what point in our marriage we'd stop holding hands everywhere we went. As we didn't see many long-time-married couples doing this, we figured the hand holding would likely cease at some point. And it did. (Although I can't tell you at what point.)

Now I'm dealing with another experience that I wonder will also see its demise: overwhelming, heart-filling, tear-enducing love for my son. Every night as Chuck and I are going to bed, Chuck goes into Rhett's room for one last goodnight look. I don't do it very often because I just can't handle the emotion. When I see the little man in his crib sleeping, I am brought to tears (every time) with the love that I have for this baby. And it's not just at night. Even as I write this, I'm close to crying. I'm just amazed that this little person I've only known for one year can do this to me. We can be playing in the playroom and I'll start thinking about it and...tears. Talking to Chuck about the funny things he did that day and...tears.  Laughing at the huge snot bubble created by a sneeze that stunned him to stillness and...tears.

But at some point this has to stop, right?  I don't remember my parents looking at me that way, although maybe they did and I just didn't see it.  I'm sure they love me (this parenting experience has certainly taught me that), but who can love a 13-year-old-who-is-demanding-Guess-jeans to tears?  Is it just easier to be moved this way when they're so little and pure and perfect, and not as easy once they're older and possibly sassy?  Those of you with older kids, what say ye?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Lightning Strikes!

Sometimes really great ideas just come to me. I had one on Sunday and was so excited about it I nearly peed my pants.

Early Sunday afternoon, I was checking my blogs and saw these adorable pictures of my sister's kids celebrating Easter. It made me so sad to think that it will be a very rare occurrence for me to see these events live. Not only will I miss Easter egg hunts, but all the other holiday celebrations as well. I don't like that one bit.

But what to do??? Well let me tell you! At those special times when we do get together, we're going to celebrate all those holidays at that time. That's right: we'll have Easter eggs hunts, birthday parties, make Valentine's day cookies, eat Thanksgiving dinner, open Christmas presents, go trick-or-treating, and light fireworks. We'll choose a holiday and do some fun event from that holiday, one holiday per day . It won't be a huge deal, as that would simply be exhausting. Besides, I can't pack enough crap to carry all the necessary props for this. But how hard would it be to make paper plate masks and have the kids go trick-or-treating at each door in my parents' house?! Doing this would give great photo opportunities, as well as give us something to do.

We're visiting Emily's house in July and I can't wait to catch up on all the holiday celebrations. And if you come to visit my house and I don't see you very often, don't be surprised if we dye eggs in August or have turkey in April.

P.S. If you haven't already, please start watching "Better Off Ted" on TV. It's hysterical and critically-acclaimed, which is why it will likely soon be killed.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

More Advice, Please (Who Knew I Was So Bad at this Mom Thing?)

After two afternoon naps that didn't take at all (baby hung out in the crib and babbled for over an hour before we felt like horrible parents for leaving him there like that), we're starting to wonder if Rhett's now ready to transition to one nap.  This one nap is usually longer than those he has when he takes two, and usually doesn't happen until after lunch, leaving a very long time in the morning to spend with him.  Great, right?  Wrong.

This is been one of the
hardest things for me as a mom: what in the world am I supposed to do to keep him busy for six hours in a row? He's only one year-old so doing things like going to the zoo or the aquarium aren't yet exciting. He can't walk very well, but gets frustrated when he's in the stroller or car too long. I get bored when we're hanging out in the play room all morning. Am I supposed to be doing art projects? Play acting? Creative writing? I just have no idea. Please please please tell me what you do (or did) when you only had one baby.  I am scared to death of this one nap thing, and I need you to tell me it will be okay.  Even if it's not.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Another Task Completed

Don't you love it when you can cross off things from your "to do" list? I do. Sometimes I make lists that include things I've already accomplished just so I can cross them off the list. This weekend I was able to cross off another big YW event. I learned a lot about how to run a fund-raising garage sale, as well as how not to do one. Mostly I'm glad that it's over. (If anyone has to do one of these, I'd be glad to impart the things that I learned. Just ask.)

After spending two days with other people's
crap stuff, I am pretty proud that I only took home two objects. The first is a set of sundae glasses that were just too cute to let go, and the other was this pair of perfectly lovely shoes. Don't you think they complement my newly-pedicured (it was definitely a well-deserved pedicure) feet very well? I mean, who else would fit in these shoes, other than an 8-year-old?!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Do You Ever Wish You Could Go Back in Time?

And I don't mean that in an Uncle-Rico-"I-would-take-State" way.

It's been a hard week.  My church calling has been extremely taxing, and I'm exhausted.  Often when I feel like this because of my calling or because of my job as a Mom, it'll cause days of "I wish my life wasn't my life."  Ya know?  Like, some days it's just too hard to be me.  Or, it's just too hard to be me at this time.

For example, when I'm having days (or weeks) like this, I often wish I could go back to the spring of 2007.  I think it was the best time of our marriage to date.  Chuck and I were doing speed development training.  I loved running with him.  I love challenging ourselves and being able to share it.  ("How were
your 13 miles?")  Also, we went to Puerto Rico for spring break that year.  It was a fantastic trip.  We were thinking about starting a family, but knew it was still a couple months away.  It was just a great time.

And now?  I still love my husband, and I really love my baby (oh my do I love that boy).  But he's hard.  And church is hard.  And sometimes you just don't want to do anything except have three skinny cows for dinner and call it a day.

Please tell me I'm not the only one has these days. And, if you want, tell me into which "version of you" you turn.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Fruits of Our Labors

We did it! Not only did we have another successful no-TV Monday night, but we finished our Facebook quiz: "What Font Are You?" After spending nearly three hours on it last Monday, we were just ready for it to be over. So the questions might not seem like they're related to whichever font you are, but that's just because, well, they're not (shhhhhh). But take it anyway because we were super witty in writing the final outcomes.

Then YOU write a FB quiz. It's fun and easy! I promise I'll take it.

If you're my FB friend, you should be able to find the quiz fairly easily. But if you can't find it, let me know. I tell you, it's going to take FB by storm! Everyone's doing it.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Cherry Blossom Debacle

We decided we could and would do it.  When Saturday showed that Sunday's forecast was for perfect (sunny with temps in the low 70s), we thought, "Hey, we get up at 6 a.m.  Why don't we go as soon as Rhett wakes us up and for sure we'll get a parking space close to the trees?  Who else would be at the Tidal Basin at 7 a.m. on a Sunday?"  Great plan, right?!  Wrong.

Problem # 1.  Rhett let us sleep in until 6:30 a.m.  (Yes, you lucky childless folk, 6:30 a.m. is sleeping in.)  This was great except that we had planned to be long gone by this time.  Remember
Home Alone where they are frantically trying to leave the house?  Yep, that was us.  We were out of the house at 6:45 a.m.

Problem # 2.  We decided to take the GW Parkway to Memorial Bridge.  We got there at 7:31 a.m., one minute after the bridge was closed.  One minute.  And this was really closed, not just kinda closed. I'm talking barricades and police. Why? Oh yeah, this small race called the "Cherry Blossom 10-miler."

Problem # 3.  This race is actually one of the largest running races in the country.  In fact, yesterday they had a record 14,000+ runners finish (finish, not just start) the race.  So not only was our bridge closed, but once we figured out how to get into the city (man, I hate driving in Virginia!), it was packed.  All those runners had to be parked somewhere, and they were right where we wanted to be.  We couldn't even get out of the car.  (Chuck's mom was with us and considering the pain she's in, we couldn't park close enough for her.  But that's okay.)

Once we decided to abandon seeing Tidal Basin blossoms, we thought we'd take a drive through the Kenwood subdivision in Maryland where the blossoms are stunning.  So we at least got pretty close to some.

So how were these pictures taken if we never left the car?  We walked seven houses down from ours and snapped them.  Maybe we should have done that in the first place.  But the really good news was that we got to eat Monkey Bread when we came home.  Omy.  Soooo good.

Anyone notice my squished left eye?  Isn't it weird?  I don't think I have palsy.

Friday, April 3, 2009

You Know It's Bad Mexican Food When... feel the need to eat Taco Bell just to redeem last night's dinner.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Need More Advice

I have a testimony of naps.  When Rhett gets his naps (he's still taking two), he's a happier baby. When he's a happier baby, I'm a happier mama.  And when he doesn't get his naps, well, ain't nobody happy.

But this devotion to napping is quite time-restrictive.  During wake time #1, we run.  During wake time #2, we do errands, and during wake time #3, we play with dad and do dinner.  The longest period of awake is only about three hours, which doesn't leave much time to do "big" things.  And since that one is right during rush-hour, well, we don't leave the house much.

So how do all of you people doing "big" things do it?  All I want to do is go see the Cherry Blossoms. That's it.  But if you know DC, going downtown from suburban Maryland isn't a three-hour tour (or is it???).  Do you hope the little ones sleep in strollers?  Do you forgo naps and just hope they don't have serious breakdowns?  Any advice would be appreciated.  Please.  Pretty please.