Thursday, January 31, 2013

Desert Commuter PSA

There are some things in life you never expect to happen to you. For good or for bad, we will spend most of our lives experiencing the unexpected. Sometimes preventible, sometimes not. One of those situations happened to us last week--but it's something everyone could experience so PSA alert!

 Jon has been working a couple days a week at a different clinic in Hatch. It's about a 45 minute drive from our house, so it adds to the commute quite a bit. Last week he worked a day there, and when I heard him get home Theo and I desperately met him outside in the garage, as it was a Friday and Fridays after 5:30 can be THE WORST. Jon was crouched in front of the car, which was backed into the garage. Things didn't seem normal and when we got to the front Jon was trying to assemble various parts of the grill, which was missing. Jon was drowsy on the ride home--so drowsy that he ate a bag of skittles against his will and was forcing himself to stay awake. The last 10 minutes to our house is a very desolate route with a few houses sprinkled here and there, and the best we could figure was that he was so relieved to have made it home that he relaxed and took a long blink. That long blink led him to drive off the road literally in front of our house, smashing a prickly pear cactus and some big spiny bush thing in the process. It's obviously one of those stories that get funnier with time, but it was a little scary. Lesson learned: You can fall asleep at the wheel, even if you think you can't or won't. So let's all take a breather next time we are sleepy and save our spouses buckets of stress. The more you know, right?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Santa Fe and other things

All blogs need a picture so here's one.

My parent's just left after a weekend visit--which makes me sad because nothing makes me miss people like when I realize I am surrounded by no (adult) people. Especially people that rent minivans and make dinner. And entertain children while you do silly things like research straw sippy cups for over two hours. We actually made a little side trip to Santa Fe. I liked Santa Fe, it felt like Park City, adobe style. Lots of older couples dressed in cowboy hats and shearling coats down to their ankles. I didn't take too many pictures though. We saw this miraculous staircase, then I read this website that made it sound not so miraculous. Theo was obsessed with the old basilica bells that rang every 15 minutes. Also, it was cold there. I have not felt cold since last June in Portland. It was weird.

After we came back to T or C, my parents offered to baby sit while we visited some hot spring mineral baths in town that are T or C's claim to fame. Besides feeling like I was going to pass out a lot, it was something I would do again.

Theo is amazing at potty training while traveling. I'm not really sure why, but he had no accidents during the trip. (Well, one 15 minutes away from home. So close!) I also read an entire new book on potty training and have completely changed my philosophy on the subject. Sometimes I forget that I have no younger siblings, and disliked babysitting growing up, so my practical mom knowledge is sparse. I research online for days about most topics, usually about actual items that have Amazon reviews and medical ailments, (see sippy cups above, still don't know what to buy) but vast parenting ones like sleeping and potty training leave me overwhelmed so I usually pick one of the first things I read and go for it. This almost always leaves me changing course halfway when I encounter problems and actually find the method that works better for us. Like Oprah says, when you know better, you do better. I knew this book was the one for me as it was almost 300 pages, tackles every aspect of the subject, and even answers the biggest question I had after all my research--when is your child actually considered "potty trained?" Three days seemed too good to be true (it is.). Plus she swears a lot, which I find funny and appropriate. Our biggest change was no more rewards for expected behavior, which has gone really well. I should have known never to write anything about potty training in the first place, knowing I would read the posts later and think, "Aack! I was so dumb." (Because I become Cathy when thinking about parenting woes--lots of sweat beads included.)  It was a big reason for not writing about Theo's sleep, plus I was in no mood to hear opinions on the subject when I was getting four hours of it, 45 minutes at a time. So now you can read it, and laugh at my feeble attempts to know what I'm doing. Poor first children. I guess the conception that they are favored comes from parents constantly being on the brink of screwing them up for life, then making up for it with guilt and cars when they turn sixteen.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

My love of matching has no bounds.

The drive back from Arizona gets harder each time. Theo loves being with his grandparents and cousins so much.

I'm a little proud to say she crawled out of here all by herself.

Our last Arizona trip was short, but great. My niece got baptized, and got my hair done. I finally dyed it to the shade of blonde I imagine I am, even though a lot of time has passed since I was actually that shade. It's fun to feel different, even though Theo and Margot are going to be the ones seeing it most of the time. I'm feeling this sort of Madonna-esque shift in my life happening--for the first time in a while most of my clothes in my closet are being ignored, plastic kitchenware discarded, and I've been searching for things that, you know, real adults would use and wear. I still get giddy every time I use some of my new, not-crappy kitchen tools. Especially my measuring cups and my fine mesh sieve. Which makes me the most un-Madonna like person in the world.

Theo is progressing pretty well in the potty training world. This past week there was a day that I screamed into a pillow and cried, but then today he was doing a lot himself and did a particular something in his potty that might have earned him a new Percy train. Lesson learned--don't skimp on the rewards. I just thought of the Percy thing after he was following me around with a brochure asking me for him over and over. Next thing you know, 20 minutes later I have a turd sitting in the potty, all done while I was feeding Margot some sweet potato (her favorite, and I fear she won't eat anything else). Thus, a miracle born from a little green train with low self esteem and a dependence on his best friend Thomas. Just my opinion. I lost my respect for Percy after reading "Day of the Diesels," where he gets jealous that Thomas gets a new friend and ignores him, to the point where he joins with the diesels and causes a coup d'etat where the diesels take over the Steamworks and make Thomas their prisoner. Not that this interests you, but I felt like my political science degree became slightly relevant for a second. That and being obsessive over apostles speaking in passive voice during conference. Why? Why?!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The day I thought would never come, then did--then I was over it.

Potty training. Two words that bring with it anticipation and excitement. After you actually start doing it, other words associated become dread, frustration, and regret. Regret that somehow you were so done with changing old toddler poopy diapers that you have now subjected yourself to changing them in much more random, dirtier places. It's a lot like being pregnant. You've been hanging with this baby for 40 weeks and forever--just get them out! Then labor starts and you change your mind. You were joking; this baby can hang out as long as they want. We did the three day method with Theo, and maybe because of his slightly advanced age it took him about five days to get the idea. I followed him around like a shadow. It forced me to spend the majority of my time playing with him, which made me really appreciate all he knows and the new ways he plays now. I just like not having to stay in a two-foot radius at all times. I went to church (I made Jon stay home with Theo, he was not ready for a public outing yet) and it was the first time I had stepped foot outside the house in 5 days. Which actually isn't that unusual for me, but this time it felt like a month. We seem to be over the worst of it, unless you count poop the worst of it--then we still have some work to do.

I'm pretty proud of him. He's also so cute in his little undies.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Margot 7 months

Pretty sure Theo took this picture.

I think he took this one too.

I already can't believe Margot is downhill to one year old, and I also can't believe all the new stuff she is doing lately. A few days ago she started eating bananas, so solid food is a go. I hope this helps with her sleeping better, she has been consistently nursing two or three times a night lately. Still no teeth, but she has become a babbling machine. Her army crawl is about perfected at this point. She can almost pull herself up to a sitting position--she's about two thirds the way there. Margot is hitting the peak of her mega cling stage, and doesn't like to be held by anyone but me or Jon right now. Which is hard but I also love it. Me and Margot, best buds.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy 2013

I was all set to try and send out Christmas cards. Then New Years cards. But I didn't, and today is the first full day of potty training for Theo--so, I figure a blog post is more than sufficient in my life. Plus, anyone I would send a card to probably reads this blog anyway. Happy Holidays late! And thanks for stopping by. Next year, I'll send you each a personal note.

The Halls

Photos by Lindsey Bennett Photography

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Civilization awaits

This is a picture of Margot on the hardest day of her life so far. Being over tired, over stimulated, teething or something else caused a seven hour nursing strike that at its worst point caused me to be just as hysterical as she was. Jon was out getting baby ibuprofen, and while usually being the main and only Margot-soother, I only intensified her freak out. Jon came back to two crying ladies and took care of them both. Then, emotionally exhausted, we ate a whole pint of chocolate-vanilla-cookie dough-peanut butter ice cream and went to bed. Oh, and we were supposed to be having a nice night away from the toddler in a condo in Scottsdale. Something about that condo always causes chaos and disaster, like the first time we stayed there and filled the place with smoke after a "romantic" fire in the fireplace.

This happened in 2012, a year filled with extreme highs and lows that I don't even want to list. Just know, the highs were high and the lows were low. Most of the year was highs. Except when there was lows. I have really really really really really high expectations for 2013. Like really high. So high I don't even want to list them for fear of the lows that inevitably lurk near the highest of goals. I'm staying optimistic--this year it will just be a long hike to the top of a large (western, precipitation-filled (fingers crossed!! Or something else equally great)) hope mountain.

But beyond all my big hopes that I have less control over than I would wish, I have just a few goals for this year.

Be a good friend. Be a good mom. Be a good wife.

And if I fail at achieving these things, at least I can do is try to use less parenthetical emphases in my blog posts.