Saturday, March 31, 2012

Oy veh. Terral and I stayed up reading Fabelhaven. And now that I realized what time it is, I'm very tired.   Not much to report about the day anyway. We listened to General Conference, which was really great. I felt like I got some personal instruction. We spent some time outside enjoying the sun. The wind really picked up today, though, and is bringing in a storm. This evening, while Terral was attending the Priesthood Session, I went out of my comfort zone and took Ethan to a gathering of young mothers, a couple of which I'd met before. The friend who invited me couldn't go because her daughter got sick, but she encouraged me to go anyway. It took me quite a while to feel comfortable, but all of the ladies were really nice. (It sounds a little weird to say ladies. What do I call female people my age? Women? Girls? Moms?)  Ethan loved watching the other kids and playing with the new toys.  That kid is such a people person.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Spring Sun

The weather today was absolutely fabulous! We soaked it in as much as we could. I watched M today for a couple hours again, and we pretty much spent the whole time out of doors. I failed to grab a diaper for Ethan and ended up needing to use one of M's. It was weird to see Ethan in a disposable. He didn't seem to mind except when the wood chips stuck to it.

I'm not feeling particularly "chatty" tonight, so I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking. :)






Thursday, March 29, 2012

Rollercoaster Trip

No, we didn't go to an amusement park. I'm talking about our recent trip to SLC.

It was kind of a strange trip because it was really nice moments all mixed up with really stressful ones. A lot of the stress came from the fact that Ethan had been sick ornery, Terral was still very sick, and we were all sleep deprived. Normally, when we get ready for a trip Terral and I just kind of naturally divide the prep work, but since he was out of commission, it fell on my shoulders. What with one thing and another, we were already leaving later than I'd hoped, and then Terral couldn't find his wallet. After searching for about 15-20 minutes, we gave up and decided to just leave. This meant I had to drive the whole way, which also meant I couldn't work on the crochet project I brought along. Terral usually does the driving when we're together, but because he was sick I expected to drive most or all of the way up, but hoped he could drive back. He was planning on taking turns because of the broken driver's seat. Yeah, that's another thing I haven't mentioned yet. The driver's seat in our car recently broke and now assumes only the reclining position. We tried bolstering my back with pillows, but that didn't work out too great. I tried to sit up straight some of the time, but because of the way the car is built my head touches the ceiling and my line of sight is reduced.

Whoa. Sorry about that little rant. Just so you know, Terral temporarily fixed it by shoving Ethan's hiking backpack that was in the trunk behind the seat so the back is in a semi-normal position. The drive home was consequently a lot easier on my back.

Now for the good stuff.

We spent the night at my sister Sarah's house, and Ethan had fun playing with his cousin H. Sometimes Ethan reminds us of H, so it was fun for me to see them interact.

Here's Ethan wearing H's sunglasses. He thought they were pretty cool since they actually fit his head.

And here he is squeezing H's cat. They both are big stuffed animal fans.
 All three cousins drawing. Ethan kept trying to use crayons on the chalkboard.

And then we spent quite a bit of time outside. The boys had tons of fun with these cars.
 H posed for me on the slide. I was surprised that Ethan didn't seem too interested in it. Apparently things with wheels eclipse slides.
 Yeah, this kind of stuff. I pulled them around a long time. H deigned to sing a few Primary songs with me, which made it a little more fun from my perspective. :)

Later, Sarah and Kyle fed us a very yummy Cafe Rio style dinner, and then it was time for us to go on our date. (Which was really just a way for me to earn re-certification points for my teaching license turned into something better.) I was nervous about finding a place to park, and my back was still sore from the long drive, so when Sarah suggested we take Trax, we decided to go for it. It sounded like a good way to avoid more stress.  Until we got there and the ticket machine would not work. We tried it for about 20 minutes until a line started piling up behind us. Then we traipsed around to the other side and got our tickets without further incident.

Riding the trax was kind of fun because it reminded me a lot of my mission. We talked about the different kinds of transportation we rode in Russia, and the many interesting people too. We saw some of those on this trip too. :)

Our stop was right in front of the concert hall which was really nice. We got to meet one of the violin players on our way in. She was an older lady with a leopard print capelet, and she was really nice.

The next day, I went to church with my friends Erika and Brennen, while Terral stayed at the house with Ethan to get some more rest. He felt pretty awful. Thankfully, that afternoon was the turning point and he's been recovering since. I picked up Terral and Ethan after church, and we had lunch with our friends and a good time visiting. Erika lent me the Fablehaven series to read, and I'm currently on book 3. Good stuff.

After a few hours there, we left so we could spend the rest of the afternoon at my sister Rachel's house to celebrate her birthday. We had a really good time there too. It's been quite a long time since I've been with Rachel on her birthday, and it's been a long time since she had a party, too. She usually just wants to spent the day quietly with her family, but decided to have a little gathering since we were going to be up there. I was so glad she did! We had fun seeing some of my siblings and their families. The only blemish on the evening was that as I was showing Ethan his cousins hamster, he stuck his finger in the cage and got his first animal bite. Poor little guy screamed and I pulled him close to comfort him. I didn't notice the blood at first because of the way I was holding him. He bled quite a lot out of that little finger before we got him all fixed up. After the first hour or so, he did really well and it has healed up quite nicely.

We left later than we were intending from my sister's house, but it wasn't terribly late when we got home. Aside from my tiredness, the drive was actually rather nice. Ethan slept most of the way, with only a couple wakings. The seat situation was greatly improved. And Terral and I had a really good conversation about things other than Ethan, the business, health choices, or immediate plans for the future. I hadn't realized how long it had been since we had a conversation like that. It felt really good to reconnect on a deeper level.

So there you have it. A good amount of highs, some lows, and some in-betweens.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Summer Longing

Lately the weather has been doing its Spring Thang, flipping back and forth in a bi-polar way between almost summer and chilly/wintry. I decided to go on a walk with Ethan yesterday in spite of the leanings toward chilly. Ethan loves being outside no matter the weather. I love being outside too, but I love it even more when it's warm and sunny.

It did my heart good to see the buds on the bushes and trees. Some are already putting forth leaves and flowers. I am eager for summer, so any sign that it is really on its way is welcome.

While we were out, we stopped by my visiting teaching partner's house to pick up our new assignment. She told me that she and a couple other young mothers had signed up for a Mom and Tot swim class and invited Ethan and me to join them. I just might because Ethan absolutely loves playing in the water, and I'm rather curious about the new aquatic center. But then again, is it worth the money? I'm leaning toward doing it because we're hoping to go to Lake Powell in August, and anything he and I learn would be helpful.

Ethan and I also stopped and played near some pine trees on our walk. I just love how sticks, pinecones, and rocks can be so entertaining. I'm excited to take our little guy camping now that he can participate a little more in our outdoor explorations.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ten O'Clock Thoughts

Well, my plan for tonight was to fill in some details from our trip, but I'm not sure where the camera is stashed and I don't want to go looking for it since it could very well be in Ethan's room. I sat and stared at the computer screen trying to come up with something, but couldn't settle. My mind was full of thoughts and seemingly blank all at the same time. So I'm trying the "just type and something will come out" method.

I'm had some special reminders of my mission lately. It brings out some interesting (mostly good) emotions and instills a desire in me to do more. I have a certain letter that I really really need to write. I feel the need to study my scriptures more in depth. I want to make myself more available to serve others. But truth be told, I haven't acted very much on those desires yet. So far, I've just had some really good conversations and done some pondering.

I'm really looking forward to General Conference this weekend. That's another link back to my mission, because although I have long valued the time we have to listen to living prophets, my appreciation and wonder increased greatly on my mission.

I have been enjoying motherhood even more than usual the past couple days. Today especially. Ethan has recovered completely. The whininess is gone. Well, except for the usual evening fusses. But we really had so much fun today and I just could not believe how good and cute he is. I wonder how I'll be able to love our other, future children as much, but I know I will. I remember Terral expressing that kind of wonder shortly after Ethan was born, but I didn't feel the same way. As odd as it might sound, I went into next baby mode pretty darn quick after giving birth. When we called my parents to let them know another grandchild had been born, my dad asked me if I'd do it again tomorrow. I said maybe not so soon, but secretly I was thinking I would. Part of me wanted to do it again before I forgot what it was all like and was again used to a body that didn't hurt. But now more than enough time has passed for that to happen, and my love for our son has just grown and grown. And it's a little difficult to imagine what it will be like to have another baby. But I am looking forward to it whenever the time comes. It's just another example of the multitude of reasons I am grateful my life is in the hands of One who knows so much better than I.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Explanation

So the reason I didn't post Saturday is that we were out of town. We had tickets to the Utah Symphony that we had purchased a couple months ago as a way for me to earn some recertification points for my teaching license. While we were up there, we got to spend some time with family and friends, which was really quite nice. It was also kind of a stressful trip, but the good definitely outweighed the bad. I've got pictures and more detail to share, but today has kind of been a recovery day, and I don't want to stay up late. Illness is a pretty good reminder that we need more sleep.

Speaking of illness, Terral is on the mend. Hooray! We both got a little extra sleep today by taking turns with Ethan in the morning, and that helped a lot. I can't help but think if it were warm and sunny outside, that would help even more. Oh yes, the summer bug has bit me. It can't come soon enough!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sorry about not posting last night. Sheesh, that's twice in one week. Don't worry, I won't make a habit out of it. We were out of town, but just got home a bit ago. I'll report later. А терер, спать. . .

Friday, March 23, 2012

Aaannnd. . . it continues. . .

Today was a pretty good day, all things considered. Especially when you consider that "all things considered" in this case includes Terral being sick with what Ethan had (we think). Ugh. It is not the norm around here to be sick so often. I think our immune systems have just not had enough time to get back to full strength. I'm really hoping I don't get it and we don't pass it to anyone else. Please let the cycle stop.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

We Like to Move It

Ethan is definitely better. It was astounding this morning to watch him with all his energy and think of how lethargic he was the previous morning. It kind of created a catch twenty-two for me, though. Since he was doing so much better and I was supposed to start a new student today, I decided to go ahead with lessons, which meant I had some cleaning to do. Ethan was quite happy when I was playing with him, but oh my gosh was he whiny when I tried to do anything else. And my patience, or rather the lack thereof, clearly showed I was lacking in sleep. So, we both have a bit of recovering to do still. ;)

In spite of the dishes that were begging me to clean them by threatening to drive me insane, when Terral got home from work we decided to enjoy what was left of the sunny day and get some much needed exercise together. Dishes can wait. The weather in Cedar is not so considerate, especially in Spring. So we loaded Ethan in the stroller and headed to the nearby track. Holy cow, am I out of shape. I did keep a decent pace, though. Ethan had fun "chasing" me in the stroller. He didn't start to get restless until the last lap, but breaking out the cheerios worked like a charm.

After a cool down lap for me, Ethan and I played in the grass and sand while Terral ran around the whole school for a change in pace. He's not much for running around in circles.



video

When Terral joined us again, we played around some more, and then Ethan decided he wanted to run on the track too. It was pretty cute. And so nice to see him happy. I think we all just needed to get out and move! I am so looking forward to summer!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fever Fight

Not sure anyone noticed, but I didn't blog yesterday.  The day started out pretty well.  The morning was nice, and then Ethan and I took a nap together. When we woke up, I realized that he was feeling quite warm. Sure enough, a thermometer confirmed a high fever. As afternoon turned into evening, he got worse and required all my attention. Our normally full-of-personality boy just lay there, like it was all he could do to look at us. Terral's dad came over to help give him a priesthood blessing. The blessing was very comforting, but we still worried about our miserable-looking son and what we could do to help him. We had given him some essential oils, but wondered if there was something else we should do. We debated taking him to the emergency room since everything else was closed. In the end, we decided to wait until morning.

In the morning, Terral called our doctor (a naturopath), and although he had a full schedule, they fit us in at 1:30. Ethan seemed marginally better, but still needed to be held all the time and wouldn't eat or drink anything besides breastmilk. I was so glad that we are still nursing and I could know he was getting some nutrition and antibodies to help his little body fight. I gave him some baths, lots of snuggles, and some more essential oils. I cancelled my violin lessons, and Terral went to work for a little while to fix the sewing machine. Ethan was so sad when he left! He wasn't gone long, though, because he had decided to take time off to help at home. What a blessing that he can do that, and do it so willingly!

A couple hours passed and Ethan seemed a little better. We went outside for a walk in the stroller, and he actually jabbered a bit because he enjoyed it, but you could tell he was still struggling.

When we went to our appointment, the doctor talked with us about what we had tried already and gave some suggestions for other things we could do at home. Then he recommended hydrotherapy, which we did, and also suggested an herbal throat spray. He was really nice and helpful. And even though they had to squeeze us in, he didn't charge us for the office visit. So nice!

When we got home, we tried the method he told us to help the fever do it's job, applied some more oils, and continued with the cuddles. This evening Ethan was doing so much better! It started with a little more animation, and by the end of the night he was jabbering, walking around (albeit a little wobbly still), and playing! He even ate and asked to go to the potty! What a relief to have our little man back! His fever has gone down, and he's sleeping now. We are so grateful for everything (and everyone!) that is helping him to get better.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Beneath the Surface

Today, on the surface it seemed like hardly anything at all happened, but really so much did. It was a day of learning and relearning. A day of shrinking and expanding. A day of hurt and healing. A day of help and love. That's what I must remember.

My body and my spirit need time to process it all. Sleep will be a boon.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Stake Conference, Shawarma, & and Screwdrivers

We had Stake Conference this morning. Heavenly Father blessed me with the ability to sing well with the choir. Ever since I lost my voice, I've had a bit of a tough time with one of the songs, but today I didn't have a problem, which was wonderful! Even so, I decided not to go to stake choir practice this evening because my voice was just a bit gravelly afterward and I either have allergies or a sinus infection.

I really enjoyed Stake Conference. The talks last night were really good too, and Terral and I found a number of things applicable to us and our current situation.

When we got home we all took a much needed nap. It ended up being longer than we anticipated, so we (actually pretty much just Terral since I was busy tackling our mountain of dishes and watching Ethan) got to work on dinner right away. It was a fabulous dinner! It was venison shawarma with practically everything home-made, including the pita bread and tahini. (In case you didn't know, Terral is pretty much the pita bread king.) We decided it was too good of a meal to not share, so Terral invited his sister Erin over.

After dinner Terral brought out Erin's snowboard to switch the bindings back so she could take it home. Ethan was so fascinated with what Terral was doing, and he of course wanted to try out the screwdriver himself. It was a philips, and I was impressed that he actually got it in the screw heads! It entertained him for quite a while. He is one persistent little dude sometimes.



He loves having company over, and he was giving Erin lots of loves. They were having lots of fun with hair. :) I have a cute video of them playing, but blogger is apparently anti-video tonight.

Oh, and the other really great thing about today was that I got to have a nice long chat with my mission bud Erika, who has the best кишки in the world! ;) We went camping together last fall and had a blast (still need to backlog about that. . . ) and we are hoping to go again sometime this summer.

So if you can't tell, we had a really nice day. I like nice days, don't you? ;)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Family Bandwagon

We took advantage of my sister's plans today, and went down to St. George for a temple trip. Mom and Dad were going down to watch Diane's kids and then they planned to meet up with my brother Matt and his girlfriend who were down there for spring break. Mom offered to watch Ethan for us too, and we thought that it was all to good to pass up. Then Dad sweetened the deal and offered to pick us up on the way so we didn't even have to drive. My parents are so nice. :)

We met the Downwards at a dinosaur place since that's where the kids were going to hang out. Since we got there before them, I got to take a few pictures before we headed to the temple.

There was a fun little sand pile just outside that Ethan and grandma played in.

 I made sure to get a picture of my parents since I was so lax last time we were with them. Aren't they a cute couple?
 And here they are with their charges for the morning.
 I gave mom my camera and asked her to take some pictures while we were gone.
 Apparently the sand pile was pretty memorable. That was the first thing Ryan told his mom that they did. :)

 They also went to a park. Ethan really loves playing in parks. :) This picture makes me laugh because of the way Lucas is flying through the air.

We had a really time at the temple. It was the first time in a long time that Terral and I had done a session, since it usually works out better for us to do sealings for one reason or another. It was a BIG session. So many people! It was neat to see them all dressed in white, mingling in the Celestial Room.

When we got out, everyone was pretty hungry. We picked up Matt and Karalee and then met Mom and Dad and the kids at the Mongolian Barbecue. I think everyone enjoyed their lunch except Dad. He didn't care for it at all. The waitress kept asking us what the big occasion was for us all to get together. It did seem like a pretty big party in that little restaurant. ;) I think it's fun that we find opportunities to get together without a "reason".

After lunch, Dad drove us back to Cedar and he and Mom spent some time helping us out. We really enjoyed having the extra time to visit with them. Thank you, Mom and Dad! And thank you, Downwards for letting us jump on your bandwagon!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Toothpaste Update

Just a little follow-up on our move to homemade toothpaste. . .

We are now on round two of homemade toothpaste, and it's working better for us this time. We liked the first stuff, but since coconut oil is solid at room temp., it was rather difficult to get on the brush, which resulted in us using it up rather quickly.

When I made the second batch, I added some vegetable glycerin, which softened it up and made it easier to use. As a bonus, glycerin can be used to treat gum disease because it kills the associated bacteria. A word of caution though, I have read that glycerin can form a film on teeth which hampers remineralization, and I haven't gotten to the bottom of the question of whether it's good or bad. The raw honey I used this time had not yet crystalized, so it mixed in better. And finally, I added peppermint essential oil instead of tea tree. We like it, but I'll add a few drops more next time. Overall, we have definitely been enjoying this batch.

Ethan likes it too. He's never tasted commercial toothpaste because before I made my own, we just used water.

 Ethan makes a cute little green caterpillar, no?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Politics

Oi! Did I really just start a post entitled "Politics"? Yes, I really did. You see, we went to caucus tonight, and it's on my mind. Don't worry though, I'm not going to rant or rave.

Although I must say that as I study and learn about certain subjects, I can get pretty passionate. I usually reserve my outbursts of passion for my husband, though. ;) However, it is possible that I will at some point share some of my opinions on specific issues here. For tonight I'll keep it pretty broad.

I have long felt the importance of participating in my civic duties, but politics can be so darn daunting and confusing that I didn't really know how to dive in. I still often feel like a fish out of water, but I understand  more now. But the really exciting thing is that this year I see so much potential for positive change. In the past I have kind of felt like I have to choose the very most important thing to me and vote that way—you know, the whole lesser of two evils stance. But this year I have seen candidates that I agree with on the vast majority of issues, and that makes me really hopeful. I have gotten a little more involved with things, and I plan to continue to do so.

Tonight was my first caucus meeting. I'm told that there was a much better turnout this year, which is pretty cool. I think/hope that more people are paying attention to what's going on and want to do something about it. I know that's where I am. Maybe that's where you are too.

Here's to standing up for what you believe in.


*edit* I came across this verse in our scripture study tonight, and although I know in context it has a different meaning, as my eyes fell on it, it just seemed to go along with the things Terral and I have talked about regarding the political realm, so I wanted to record it here.
For the law made nothing perfect, 
but the bringing in of a better hope did;
 by the which we draw nigh unto God.
Hebrews 7:19

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Helping

Ethan loves to help me clean. Sometimes he likes it a little too much (dishes tantrum, anyone?), but today we really had fun together. (Please excuse the low quality pics and video from my phone.)

video

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Surprise Wedding

Today, Ethan attended his first wedding. His Uncle McKade and (now) Aunt Maycie were joined in marriage this afternoon. They were planning on getting married in June (and will still have a ceremony and reception then), but some circumstances in her family prompted a decision to speed up the process. It was rather a whirlwind affair. They went to Parowan today to buy a marriage license, and were told the judge had a 5:00 spot open, and they decided to take it. In spite of the short notice, all of McKade's immediate family were able to be there—even Heather, who lives in St. George!

Terral and I took it upon ourselves to document the occasion.

I was really liked the judge. She was very kind and thoughtful. She emphasized the sacred nature of marriage, and said some really beautiful things.


I enjoyed watching McKade look at Maycie. It was really sweet. :)


Ethan wanted to greet the bride and groom afterward.

Congratulations, you two! Welcome to the family, Maycie!







Monday, March 12, 2012

Snowboarding for Two

One of the things that Terral has enjoyed about Unshoes is that he has gotten to know some pretty cool people through emails. One of our customers (we'll call him R) lives in Southern Utah, and he and Terral have become good friends. Well, a week or two ago, Terral got a letter from R with new tracings. The letter also contained a couple of Brian Head (he does ski patrol there) lift tickets and a note that said, "Please take a day off and take Mary snowboarding or skiing. . ." We were blown away by his kindness and generosity.

Well, Terral doesn't have school this week because it's Spring Break, and we decided it would be a good time to use them. Erin was kind enough to let me borrow her snowboard, and Natalie let me use Jaymon's goggles. We left Ethan with his grandma at about 12:30 and took off for our date! To be honest, I was a little bit scared out of my mind. I went snowboarding when I was a freshman, and although I didn't get hurt or anything, the main thing I remember is that terrifying feeling of speeding down the mountain with nothing to hold onto and rock hard snow beneath you. Naturally, that time I spent a lot of time on my behind.
This time I had someone with me who I knew would be patient with me and could teach me the ropes. He used to go snowboarding a lot. And thankfully, the sun had softened the snow enough to make me more comfortable, but not too much to make it slushy.

Here we are at the top of our first run.



I did spend some time on my rear going down the first time, but hardly any after that. At one point on our first run, I tried going straight, but I kept low to the ground. Terral convinced me that it would be easier standing up, so I gave up on that practice fairly quickly. He taught me to start out "heel side", keeping the board mostly perpendicular to my line of motion. I could gently move the board to the right or left as needed. I spent most of my time doing this, but as I got more comfortable, I could speed it up and angle the board more.

 You can see my board angled a little more as my confidence grew.


And here's one of me going straight. On my last run I actually got going fast enough to have a genuine crash. I was rather proud of myself. :)


Terral was so happy to finally have a snuggle buddy for the cold lift rides.


Goggles are not conducive to kissing. ;)


I wanted to get a picture of Terral snowboarding, so he posed for me just before he left for a couple solo runs on more difficult terrain.

It felt good to get out and do something physical. I've been much too sedentary lately. And it was really nice to have a few hours to just spend time and reconnect with my honey. We felt so blessed to have R, Erin, and Natalie so willing to help us take a little time off! Thank you! We had a really good time.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Three Accomplishments

7:30 came way too early this morning. Daylight Saving Time was so not my friend as I dragged myself out of bed. I didn't sleep great last night. I woke up sometime after 4 and had a hard time getting back to sleep, which is doubly unfortunate because Ethan slept AWESOME last night!

I try not to talk about our sleep issues too much. 1) I don't want to complain. Things have gotten much better, and as I improve my own sleep patterns I'm getting a better amount of sleep. 2) Sleep is one of those mommy-judging issues, as much as we may not want it to be. 3) I've read a ton of information, gotten a fair amount of advice, and tried several techniques, but sleeping through the night continually eludes us. We have had improvement though, as I said before, and that is nothing to sneeze at. 4)  I know some would disagree with the way we do things, and of course I don't want to get into disagreements. I'm still not 100% sure what I really believe is "best" for kids as far as sleep goes, but really, I think each child is just so different, and you have to rely on your instincts as a mother/parent and simply do your best.

First off, for you to realize just how monumental this was, you must know that although Ethan has technically slept through the night a number of times (meaning at least 5 hours in a row), I think he has done what most people think of as sleeping through the night maybe once before—and yes, he is 14 months old. There are a number of possible reasons for this (teething is definitely a culprit from time to time), but that really doesn't have much to do with what I really want to tell you, so I won't go into speculation.

Normally, I nurse Ethan to sleep and put him in his crib. He wakes up at least once, and will often finish the night with us in bed. Last night, I nursed him as usual, but he didn't go to sleep. He was just awake. So I put him in his crib. And he started crying right away. I stayed nearby, stroked his head, and talked to him. He continued crying. I could tell he felt a little abandoned even though I was right there, so I lowered the side of the crib. He leaned up against the side, I put my arm around him and sang to him, and he calmed right down. And that is how he fell asleep. So I propped some pillows around him and covered him with a blanket. And he didn't wake up once. It was absolutely amazing.

Ethan's other big accomplishment today was—skip this paragraph if you don't want to read about potty training—pooping in the toilet. But wait, you say, didn't he already do that? Well, yes, but the other times we caught it part-way through, so there was still poop in the diaper. This time he did it all in the toilet! And there was much rejoicing. :) He thought he was pretty hot stuff. I thought so too.

Ethan wasn't the only one accomplishing things today, though. I did something I've been wanting to do for a long time. I made cheese! Oh, how I love cheese! And after it was done, we used it to make delicious mediterranean pizzas on Terral's homemade pita bread. It was lovely.

And you are too. Lovely, I mean. Thanks for reading. And commenting occasionally. I appreciate the time you take to reach out.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sand, Sun, and... Boy Scouts

Hello everyone! This is a "guest post" by Terral. I'm giving Mary a break from her daily blogging.

I am the Deacon's Quorum adviser/Scoutmater/2nd counsellor of the Young Men's program in our ward. We have a pretty small group of young men so we don't split up for activities. Today we met at the church at 6:30 am and headed south for a day of hiking and exploring in Snow Canyon State Park. If you have never been there it is worth the trip. The park is located just north west of St. George. It costs something like $5 a vehicle to enter so make a day out of it. There are a lot of family friendly hikes as well as some more advanced hiking. You can explore caves, hike trails, scramble around on the petrified sand dunes, or go play around in the non-petrified dunes!

When we got there we decided to do a trail called Three Ponds. I was skeptical that there would actually be ponds but I was proven wrong.
Brother Bishop standing at the bottom where the trail meet the ponds. 
The trail was only 3.5 miles so we had plenty of time to explore and play along the way. We had a shot put throwing contest with boulders.
I picked up a large rock and started carrying it along the trail. Why? I guess because on a scale of 1 to 10 (one being a skeleton and 10 being the incredible hulk) my arms are somewhere about 1.5! I thought I could get a good arm workout that was more functional than just sitting and doing the same thing over and over. It also was a good workout for other parts of my body and became a good balance builder! Eventually the rock thing became a competition between myself and one of the older boys. He won because I threw my rock into the water. I couldn't help it!

We found a sandy hill and we began jumping over bushes.





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When we were done with the hike we went to the picnic area and ate lunch. After lunch we decided to head over to the sand dunes to play and explore. We thought that we would go find some caves if we had enough time but we ended up at the dunes until it was time to come home. A few of the older boys hiked out further into the dunes with me to find good places to jump. We ran and jumped over and over and over. We did tricks, jumped over each other and did flips. Eventually we went back for water and the rest of the scouts joined us. Even the less adventures boys were joining in with the fun. We probably jumped around at the dunes for two or more hours. Finally we were all pretty much pooped! One boy mentioned that he wouldn't need to go to the gym on Monday. Another boy said that with all the running in the sand barefoot he was getting an exfoliating foot treatment. We concluded that playing in the dunes replaces the gym, the spa, and the tanning beds.

After the fun we staggered back to the cars, brushed as much of the sand off as we could (sorry Sis. Bishiop!) and headed back to town. I'll admit that we didn't teach any knots, we didn't earn any merit badges, and we didn't do any service projects but we did have some good teaching moments along the way. I hope that the boys learned that physical fitness can come in different shapes and sizes. That exercise can be fun. We learned a lot about interacting with nature and we learned about interacting with each other. It was a good day!

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Night at the Opera

Let's not dwell on the fact that most of my day was spent making a meal plan, making a grocery list, and then of course grocery shopping. Ugh. So not my favorite thing. Hopefully, once I get the hang of this software I'm trying out (that is offering free membership for life this month btw) and the whole meal planning thing, it will decrease my stress rather than increase it.

On a much happier note, Terral and I went on an actual out-of-the-house date tonight! We went to see some of my SUU friends in their opera production. They did two one-acts, and the house was packed—apparently there were a couple high school groups. They even had to bring an extra chair for me.

We both really enjoyed the first act, which was The Old Maid and the Thief. It was fun for me to finally see the whole thing, because I've heard arias and scenes from it ever since I was a freshman. They did a really good job with the singing and acting. 

The second act was not so enjoyable, however. I thought everyone did well with their characters, and it was fun to hear the vocal improvements some of them had made, but the opera itself was just awful. It's called The Proposal, and basically the whole things is a woman arguing with her alter egos about whether or not she should accept John's proposal of marriage. Kind of an interesting idea, but so not entertaining in practice. 

When we got out, we looked at the clock and realized it was later than we had anticipated, and we got a little worried that Ethan had been a handful for his grandparents. We found him happy and well, though, which was a very nice surprise! We were so glad they had fun while we were gone.

All in all, it was a very good evening. I will certainly not be sorry if I never see The Proposal again, but we still got enjoy each other's company. And I was very happy that the fist act was enjoyable for both of us. Believe it or not, not everyone enjoys opera the way I do. ;)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Nothin' Much

I have received a few questions from other moms about cloth diapering, so I have a post about that in the works.

Tonight is one of those times where I can't think of anything to write about. Well, except cloth diapers, but that's too involved of a post to do in one sitting. My brain needs a rest, so Imma call this good for the night.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Visual Record

A couple weeks ago, we received a fun package in the mail. It was a growth chart from Paper Coterie. Normally I wouldn't buy something like this because I could make my own version for quite a bit cheaper, but they were giving customers a $30 credit, so I only had to pay the shipping. I always intended to make a growth chart because I loved looking at the one we had growing up, but who knows when I would have gotten around to making one. So when I saw this deal, I decided to go for it.

We finally put it up today. (See? If it took me two weeks to just put one up, how long would it have taken me to make one? I probably wouldn't have even bothered until we had our own home.)

It's printed on a canvas-like cloth, and the back has an adhesive that is supposed to allow you to remove and re-stick the chart wherever and whenever. I thought that was pretty cool.

Ethan thought the chart was pretty cool too. He had fun pointing at the various pictures and making noise on the canvas with his fingernails. This will be a good tool for learning/practicing letters.


The website said to put a picture of your child at the top and his/her name above that, but we wanted to use it for all our future kids as well, so we put in the picture of a fox that Terral made for the crib set and wrote "Little Foxes" at the top. (Sorry for the blurry picture. I didn't realize it turned out that way, or I would have retaken it.)

It's one thing to have your children's height recorded from well-checks, but it's another to have them all in a place you can see the difference.  I always thought it was so interesting to compare my height with my siblings' when they were my age.

What about you? Did you have a growth chart when you were growing up? Was it part of your birthday celebration? Is it something you plan to (or already) incorporate in your own family?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Freak Outs and Cookies

Today was a very windy day. I felt like the wind sucked away all my mind power and motivation. It was not my best mommy day. Add to that last night's beast of a post that just would. not. work. . . and I didn't get a whole lot done today. So forgive me if I don't bother with pictures today. (I did finally get the post done this afternoon, though.)

On Sunday, I signed up to bring a meal to a family that just added a little babe to their numbers. Yesterday, one of the compassionate service leaders called and asked if I could do it today, and she paired me up with another lady. Part of me was glad for the pairing because that should just make it easier, right? But another part of me was stressed out by it. I was kind of paralyzed by the teaming up, as odd as that might sound. I have this quirk about me that sometimes everyday things that most people just take in stride just kind of freak me out. The first times I went grocery shopping and bought gas by myself were really rather ridiculous, and yes, I felt like crying. If I'm being totally honest, I just may have actually done so. Phone calls are occasionally the same way, but that didn't start until my mission.

Well, this wasn't nearly that bad, but it still was difficult for me. I was supposed to call the other lady to coordinate. Somehow I felt like it would be so much easier if she called me. What difference that would make to the conversation, I don't know. It's not a logical thing. I know her, so that made the idea of it a little bit easier, but even so, there was this part in my chest that just felt stuck. I guess I felt like I had to have a plan in place, or something. I don't know. It seems like such a silly thing, but it was so hard for me to actually pick up the phone and call because I didn't know what to say.

Well, when I finally did, (at about 2, so only 3-4 hours before we were to have the dinner ready) it was just fine. No big deal. Of course. She dropped off her part at my house a little early since her daughter had a soccer game, and then I took it over to the family.

I ended up making a quinoa tabbouleh and oatmeal spice cookies. Quinoa and oats are both purported to help in breastmilk production. After I had Ethan, I just wanted to eat light meals for a while. That makes it easier when your body is done with the food, if you know what I mean. And snacks became kind of a necessity. You just need more calories when you are nursing. I found this recipe, and it quickly became a favorite at our house. Well, the cookies I made based on it did anyway. I tweaked the recipe, since I'm not a fan of some of the ingredients. Here's my version:


Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups rolled oats

Optional goodies:nutmeg, ginger, flax seeds, chia seeds, slivered almonds, any another nut

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cream together the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Mix in baking soda, spices, and salt. Slowly add flour. Stir in the oats and whatever "goodies" you have on hand. Make dough into one inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until light and golden. Do not overbake. Let them cool for 2 minutes before removing from cookie sheets to cool completely. Store in airtight container. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Good Saturday

We had such a good day on Saturday. We started it out with a family trip to the temple. My midwife was awesome enough to watch Ethan for us. We haven't really seen her since he was born, so it was nice to visit for a bit. Ethan just loves people and hasn't ever had stranger anxiety, so he didn't have any problem staying with her.

When we got to the temple, we did some sealings. It was really nice. It has been a very long time since we were all able to go together, so it was very special.


After the temple, which was our main reason for the trip, we grabbed some lunch and headed back to Heather and Chris' house to change. Then we decided to head off to a nearby dog park. I liked it because the dogs could happily roam in their fenced-in area, and the picnic tables and play area were for people only. Ethan had fun playing on the little playground. He went down the slide all by himself. Stuff like this just really brings it to my attention that my little buddy is growing up so fast. As cliche as that may sound, it is so very true.
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We played for a while in this little park, but then we decided we wanted to go somewhere we could be more active.

So we went to a big kids' park.

Our timing wasn't the best because there had just been a wedding, and the place was crawling with kids. We had a hard time getting a turn on the equipment. I know, I know. Pathetic adults whining about the kids at the playground not sharing. Seriously, though, some of those kids would "steal" a turn right from under you. We still manged to have fun, though. ;)

This was the first thing we tried out. Terral and I had different ideas for using it.
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Ethan had a lot of fun too. He spent most of the time hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa.

Remember how Ethan was all huggy on M the other day? He has been very generous with his hugs since then. He found plenty of people to hug at church, and he's even hugged the vacuum. It's so stinkin' cute when he does it, too. He even makes a little "aw!" sound. So sweet!

I was a little surprised when I got home and started going through pictures to find this one of him hugging a random girl. Hmm. We're going to have to work on boundaries.


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Days like this most definitely merit repeating. :)