Friday, May 28, 2010

The Treasure Box

My dad recently moved out of his apartment of nearly 20 years. During the move he found an old box of papers of mine from high school and college. Thankfully, he let me know, and didn't just throw it away. Along with my high school diploma, which I thought was lost forever, the box also had some of my papers and writing from back in the day. There were math papers that I couldn't make heads or tails of now, and diagrams of the brain and neurons, and reports on Shakespeare's Globe Theater and the WWII Auschwitz camp. But by far my favorites to find were the pieces of writing, from what seemed like forever ago. (Seriously, forever. They were written on a typewriter.) Some of these experiences I wrote about so long ago may have some significance for some of you too. Behold, the treasures of the forgotten box:

Airports

I'd loved airports. I'd always loved airports. Being able to just hop on a plane and go anywhere in the world was just a neat thought to me. I loved airports, until that Sunday...

I had been dreading it for weeks. I knew what was coming, but I didn't want to face it. I figured if I didn't think about it, it would just go awake, right? Wrong!

Still, I gathered up all of my courage on that sunday afternoon and decided to go to the airport. My ride came to pick me up and my friends and I were just all happy and cheerful. We all smiled and laughed and joked around like it was just another ride home from school. I joined in, but inside I was silently screaming at myself, "How can you be so happy? Don't you know what's about to happen?!" But I pushed those thoughts out of my head. I was still trying to ignore what was really happening.

When we got to the airport terminal, reality finally set in and and the tears started flowing. I hugged my friend for waht seemed like the last time. And as he turned and walked away, onto a plane and into a new life, I learned what the word goodbye really means: letting go.

I hate it when important things get taken away from you. I hate it when you're hurting and there's no way to make it better. And I hate airports. I may always hate airports.

I think I was a sophmore when I wrote that one. The experience happened while I was in ninth grade. I still don't love airports, but for entirely different reasons now. I'm scared to death to lose my kid in one and I get airsick. Still, I'd usually rather tough out a couple hours on a plane than spend a few days in a car getting carsick. Ugh.

This next one I wrote in my first year of college. It's funny, because I actually had a homework assignment not long ago for a class that I am taking, and it ended up a lot like this. It was funny, at the time, how it seemed to flow. Probably because I had already written quite a bit of it before, ten years ago.

A Memoir

I remember when I was younger. Every night my mom would have my sister and me each go pick out three books each for her to read to us before we went to bed. We had this huge bookshelf in the basement and it was just filled with books. It would take us forever to decide, and it seemed like three books was never enough! We would each have our favorite books that we would pick almost every night like "Goodnight Moon" and "Don't Forget the Oatmeal" with our good friends Ernie and bert, and we would also pick out some new ones each night. By the time we decided, our bare feet would be freezing from the basement concrete, so we would run up the stairs and jump into bed. Then my mom would read each book to us. We would usually fall asleep before she got through all of them.

As I grew older, I began to recognize the words, and I would read silently as my mom would read to us. It would always give me a sense of accomplishment when i would finish the words on a page before my mom did. Reading made me feel happy and smart and confident as a child. This confidence has helped me all through school, even now, and into my future as a reader.

As I continued to grow, so did my love for reading. I remember for abotu three years my favorite store in the mall was Deseret Book! I had every book in the Babysitter's Club series, which was about sixty of them, and I had read and reread them all. I would visit the library pretty much weekly, checking out about ten paperbacks at a time. I couldn't wait to get home and start reading my newfound treasures. I would stay up late into the night, with my little book light on, absolutely enthralled in the stories.

When I started junior high, my love for reading was kind of phased out. It was looked at as very nerdy to always be reading a book, or maybe I was just paranoid that that's what people thought. I remember one time in seventh grade I went to class early to finish a book that I had been reading. I believe it was "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." There I was, just reading away, waiting for the bell to ring, and someone walked in. I looked up to see who it was and you know that crowd that everyone wasnts to be a part of in junior high? Well it ws about six girls from that group, needing to talk to the teacher before class started. There I was, book in hand, epitome, of a book dork. Those disapproving and amused looks from those girls were enough to make me want to stop reading for a long time. So I stopped. I excelled in English, and enjoyed and cherished most of the books that were assigned to read, becasue I could actually read them and not be judged.

Throughout high school, reading was pushed down even farther on my priority list. I became very disinterested because I had many teachers who would teach that they was only one meaning to a reading and that the teacher's way of thinking was always the right way. That was until my senior year. I registered for Advanced Placement English, and the teacher was Ms. Heart. It was through her that my love for reading began to blossom again, and it came back even stronger. We would read a book as a class, and then the next class period, we would move our desks into a big circle and for the whole period, we would discuss the book. We could discuss whatever aspects we wanted. Ms. Heart didn't tell us how or what to think; she let us do it on our own. At first I wasn't used to this, because I had had so many teachers teach just the opposite, but after a while it became my favorite part of the whole class. Ms. Heart made us really think and analyze things about books and readings and most importantly, about ourselves. We would discuss how things related to our lives, and how things connected with us on a personal level. I will be eternally grateful to Ms. Heart for showing me my potential in reading, for making it enjoyable again, and for making me think.

For this reason, I am excited for this college course in reading. I am excited to increase my knowledge and wisdom of readng and myself and others. Reading is a wonderful thing, but only if you let it into you, let it into your soul, and let it affect you for the rest of your life.

Finding some of this writing was like finding a part of myself that I had forgotten. It's interesting how much life changes, but also how much it stays the same. I am still close with the friend from the first story. Ms. Heart wrote me a letter of recommendation that helped me get my teaching job that I have now. So many years later, I'm so glad that I captured my feelings about these events and people through writing.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Really, Do I Ask Too Much?

Tonight I told Jeremy that I was going to WalMart for groceries, and asked him to start me a list. A few minutes later, he came back with this:

*Swiffer mop solution
*potatoes
*stuff for lunches

Me: "What kind of stuff for lunches?"
Him: "You know, like burritos, hot pockets, easy stuff."
Me: (handing the list back) "Write it down please."

He hands the list back. On it is written "Please!!!"
Me: (handing the list back) "Try again."

Again he hands the list back. Now he's written "WTF."
Me: (shocked look and gasp)
Him: "That just stands for Work Time Fun. Because I'll have so much fun if you buy some good stuff for lunches."
Me: (small giggle)

One more time with the handing the list back. This time, he actually writes something edible. Except that he needed a little help: "Hey, Heather, what's that thing with the... In the box, with the sauce and chicken and the biscuits?" Me: "Chicken and Biscuits?" Him: "Yeah, that's it!"

Glad I could help you figure that out Jer. Now off to WalMart for some "good stuff."

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Zoo, the Zoo, Trip One and Trip Two!

Last May, we got an annual pass to the zoo. My thinking was, we just have to go four times during the next year, and it will have been a good deal. Fast forward to the beginning of May 2010. We'd been to the zoo twice. Guess where we've been the last two weekends?

Trip #1: Zuri the baby elephant was so cute and playful. The giraffes were a hit and so were the tiger statues. For Hayley at least. Jackson, not so much. The last picture is him pouting after the tiger episode.


Trip #2: I had told Hayley that we would go back and ride the train since the line was really long the week before. It had been rainy, and when we got there the train was closed due to inclement weather. We waited around and played at the playground. The train reopened, and I think Jackson loved it just as much as Hayley did. Plus, he didn't throw a fit when it was time to leave.


I think maybe I've had enough of wild animals for a while. The two I have at home will do just fine.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sucker for Shampoo

He's been crawling a little bit here and there for a while, but on Saturday he started really goin' at it in longer stretches, with some meaning and determination. Guess I just have to stack up a bunch of things that he's not supposed to have, and he'll come crawlin'!

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Don't know how long he'll be doing this for though, since he's already pulling up on furniture and cruising. Yikes! I mean, good job Jackson! Way to go!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The (Practice) Graduate

Thursday, May 20th was Hayley's preschool graduation/program with Miss Margene's Creative Classroom Preschool. Graduation for the kids who are going on to Kindergarten next year, and program for the kids like Hayley who still have another year of preschool. My favorite was hearing thirty four and five year olds say the Pledge of Allegiance. Oh, and this conversation, when Hayley got her certificate:

Miss Margene: "Hayley, what do you like best about preschool?"
Hayley: "Going outside."
(They don't really do this at preschool, they don't have a play yard. I think she meant when they went outside to see the fireman's fire truck the week before.)
Miss Margene: "But what do you like best about preschool?"
Hayley: "I love to sit down."
Really, Hayley? You must be holding out on us at home!



So fun to see her with her cute little friends that she talks about:



And to get this sweet "good morning" during the "The More We Get Together" song:

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And to hear the rest of songs that we've been hearing bits and pieces of for the last few months:

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(There was another one with all the letters of the alphabet, but it's like five minutes long, and wasn't uploading well. My favorite part was when the got to "O" and added, "The Octopus was optimistic. Optimistic, optimistic, everything will be okay!" along with the O.K. hand signal. So that's where she learned that word...)

Oh Hayley, when did you get so big? I could swear this was yesterday:



We sure love you Hayley Bug!
Congrats on your (practice) graduation!
P.S. You will also only be receiving practice money.
Just so we're clear.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Blogging By Proxy

So, now not only is Jeremy sending me pictures along with instructions to post them on the blog, he also is providing stories via text message. Before sharing the one he sent me today, here's a little background.

Last night I made Hayley some Good Girl Charts, and told her when she filled them up with stickers, she could earn a prize. I thought I explained that she needed to earn the stickers, but maybe I didn't make that clear enough...

Here's Jeremy's text:
"So here is one for your blog. I come downstairs after my shower and Hayley has two prizes out and both sticker charts are covered in stickers."Look!" she says, "I filled out two sticker charts and got two prizes!" She said Mom said she could fill a whole one out in one day. I told her she'd have to be really, really good to earn that many stickers, and do things like clean her room and be a big girl. She said, "But that's hard!" and had a fit when I took them away. So naughty, whining and crying. She followed me around the house for ten minutes with her arms folded giving me crusty looks."

I'd imagine those looks were something like this:



I thought about not event telling Jeremy that the Good Girl Charts were at the top of the fridge, and Hayley probably was standing on a bar stool in order to get them down...

Maybe Hayley's clear on all the Good Girl Chart rules now.
Either way, I got a good laugh today.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

No Way!

"Wow, Mom! I have to admit, I didn't know if you could pull it off. Good work convincing Dad to convert the current computer room into a playroom and move the computer downstairs to the newly finished basement. You're awesome!"

Thanks Jackson. I'm kind of proud of myself too.
(Pictures to come soon!)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wormy Goodness

Recently, Jeremy got a new phone that has all sorts of bells and whistles. Heaven forbid he actually read this blog, but now when he emails me pictures or video, he asks, "Did you get my email? Did you put it on the blog?" So, here's the lastest blog post, courtesy of Jeremy and his new phone. (I already told him, my job is only to upload. It's not part of my job to figure out how to flip a video so it's poised for optimal viewing.)

video

I promise, she really does know how to spell (and write in order) the letters in her name in the correct order. It must have been the wormy goodness that threw her off track. Really, I think she could be the poster child for gummy worms at the end. She made me want one. I was kind of sad when she told me she "already ate them all gone!"

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Look Who's Talking!

Apparently if I want Jackson to achieve a milestone, all I have to do is post on the blog that he is not yet achieving said milestone.

Case in point:

video

I think this counts...

I took this video the day after I posted that he wasn't interested in saying dada.

If he would have started on Mother's Day, there would have been trouble.

Just kidding.

Kind of.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Copycat

So, do you think I full-on copied this idea from some of you? I sure did! Remember, imitation is a form of flattery... :)



Favorite Color: Purple
Favorite Food: Cereal
Favorite Treat: Binky with candy on it (Ring Pop)
Favorite Friend: Jackson (Awww!)
Favorite Thing to Do Inside: Play with Jackson
Favorite Thing to Do Outside: Play on her Mickey Bike
Favorite Thing About Jackson: When he makes squeaky noises.
Least Favorite Thing to Do: Leaving anywhere where she is having fun playing.
Favorite Book: The Snail and the Cliffhanger (Thanks, Chick-Fil-A.)
Favorite Movie: Alice in Wonderland
Funny Things She Says: "Just because I look like a man doesn't mean I have to smell like one" (from Mulan) and "Mom, I'll be your girl for ever and ever."


Favorite Color (that Mom likes to put on him): Baby Blue
Favorite Food: Cubed carrots, applesauce, or crackers
Favorite Treat: Ice cream or pudding
Favorite Friend: I'm thinking Daddy...
Favorite Thing to do Inside: Pull up to stand against stuff, and then look around to see who was watching.
Favorite Thing to Do Outside: Touch the grass.
Favorite Thing about Hayley: When she talks to him and makes him smile.
Least Favorite Thing to Do: Get knocked over by Hayley when she gets too excited or plays too rough.
Favorite Book: Whatever Hayley has.
Favorite Movie: Any movie of himself, or any other baby.
Funny Things He Says: "Ba, ba, ba." among other chatter and babble. He says it all the time, not when he wants a bottle. And he's not interested in saying "Mama" or "Dada" at all.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Double Double Whammy!

Not only is May 5th Cinco De Mayo, it's also my Mom's birthday and Jeremy's birthday. We had celebrated with a family dinner last Sunday, but since I forgot the cards, they didn't get them until their actual birthday. And since I decided that they needed something to go with the cards, they each also got some chocolate strawberries. (Yes, I may have gotten them because I knew they would share. He he.)

After visiting with my mom on her birthday for a little while after work, I headed home and gave Jer his card and treat. Then after putting the kids to bed early, I asked Jeremy what he wanted to do for the rest of the evening on his birthday. His response, "I kind of just want to play my video game." Now, my feelings could have been hurt, but they weren't. I get it. He'd been home with the kids all day, both of whom can be a handful. I know full well that sometimes all you want after they're down for the night is a breather. So, Jeremy and I spent the evening in our newly finished basement, him playing his game (and occasionally cussing), and me catching up on (3 months of) Jackson's baby book. Together time, but with each of us doing something different. It was a pretty chill evening. And it was great. I'm sure we'll do a birthday date after Iron Man comes out.

On to the next, today is not only Mother's Day, but also Jeremy and my 7th Anniversary. On the one hand, it's amazing how time flies, but on the other, we've done a lot in seven years. Among my favorites are those two cute kids. Hayley had been pretty elusive about the marigold she brought home from preschool on Thursday, until today after Jeremy gave me flowers, when she said, "Oh, Mom! I forgot this is for you!" That part I was kind of expecting, but then she did these cute little actions while saying "I... love... you!" with the "you" part being a hug for me. Sometimes that kid melts my heart! However, with her sometimes enough is enough, because after singing Mother's Day songs in Sacrament Meeting (which was so cute), Hayley informed me that she needed my flower the ward was giving out because "You already have plenty at home! You're getting kind of spoiled, Mom!" Hey, can't I have one day out of the year?

I did let her have the flower, after she came home and gave me the cute pillow with her handprint that she made in her primary class. That wasn't really a surprise either, since my mom is her teacher. That's the other thing that I am so thankful for today. I didn't think I could love my mom any more than I did, and then I had kids. Watching how much she loves them makes me love her even more. It's a special thing that I have with my mom, because neither of my other sisters have any kids. I'm the only one who gets to have the mom-to-mom chats with her. I love it.

Anyway, lots going on. May is always a little bit of a madhouse for us, but truth be told, I kind of love it. It means I get to see family more than usual, and reflect on and tell them how much I love them. Yes, I know I shouldn't need a day, but lots of times the day makes for a nice reminder.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I Love Bedtime

Not just the part where I'm in bed asleep.
Or just the part when they are in bed asleep.
But all the things before that.

Like Bathtime...


And reading books...


video

And singing songs...

video

Really, that sounded like jibberish to you? Yeah, that's because it's in Dutch. Or rather it's Hayley's interpretation of my very basic Dutch. Here's the translation:

Clap your little hands,
Happy, happy, happy!
On your sweet head
Both of them!

Clap them up high,
Clap them down low,
Put them on your side!

And on Jackson's birthday
we'll all be happy!
Happy, happy, we'll all be happy!

Hmm. In translation it sounds really redundant, but it's cute when Hayley sings it, and Jackson loves it. And they're both cute, and I love them to pieces!

Help!

"I'm up and I can't get down!"


"Hey Dad! Stop taking pictures and help me!!"

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Jackson Update: Bitten and Sittin'

I knew with my trip to Disneyland and being away from Jackson that it may have been the beginning of the end for my nursing him. I was okay with that. I was pleasantly surprised when I got back and he returned to business as usual. We continued with our morning and night routine. Until I went out of town again the next weekend for a girls' weekend. Upon arriving home and trying to feed The Boy, he squirmed, looked at me like I was crazy, and proceeded to cry. Thinking maybe he was just cranky, I fed him a bottle and called it a night.

I gave it another try the next morning, when he is usually happy. Again with the squirming, crazy look, and crying. And then he bit me. Hard. Oh yeah, did I mention that he now has teeth on the bottom and the top? He does. Trust me.

So goodbye to the days of nursing. This Milk Shop is closed. Forever. Because our Baby Factory is also closed. Don't know yet whether I feel sad from being un-needed, excited that none of my body parts are on loan to any children, or just poor, considering the cost of formula. (Yikes!) Probably a little of all three.

(See the teeth?)

In other news, instead of crawling, Jackson has decided that a new trick will do him just as well. He can now fanagle himself from his tummy up to a sitting position amd back. It's pretty funny to watch him "triangulate his position" as Jeremy calls it, in order to end up facing the way he wants to, or being near the toy, binky, or whatever else he wants. He can pretty gracefully fall to his side, roll from his side to his tummy, and then wiggle up to sitting. You would think that crawling would be a whole lot easier. What can I say? He has his own little way of doing things.

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First Haircut

Jackson's hair was starting to look a bit like old man hair, especially over his ears. My mom suggested I just cut it, and if it looked bad just tell people that's the way it grew in. Since I learned my lesson by cutting Hayley's bangs WAY too short one time, I decided to take him on in to get his first haircut.

He did pretty well. He loved sitting in the little car, and was pretty happy until the stylist got out the buzzer. Then I got the look below, which I like to call, "What the heck is going on Mom?!" He proceeded to whimper and reach for me during the duration of his first haircut, thus no more pictures of the actual event.



He was fine once it was actually done.



Here's the "Before" pic:



And the "After" pics:





What a stud! I love, love, love having a boy!!

Boy Scout Motto

Even though the weather wasn't supposed to be optimal, my mom and I had been planning on taking the kids to the Tulip Festival last Friday. When we woke up to a fairly clear albeit cold day, I was excited. We were prepared: sweatshirts, winter coats, gloves, umbrellas, hat and blankets for Jackson, etc.



Or so I thought we were prepared...



Until my camera battery died three pictures in. :(



Note to self: If you would like the camera battery to charge, it's not enough to just put the battery in the charger. You have to actually PLUG IN THE CHARGER. Sheesh. Get it together Heather. :)

P.S. Thanksgiving Point has decided to extend the Tulip Festival for another week, since next weekend is supposedly going to be nice. So if you end up seeing more Tulip Festival pictures you'll know why...