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Eagle Mountain, Utah, United States
My name is Lauren, and I live in the bubble. I am wife to Marshall, the biggest BYU fan in the world; and mother to Carly, our big girl, and Wes, our wild man, and Calvin, our new addition. I graduated BYU with a degree in Social Work, and I went forth to serve at LDS Family Services. I like scrapbooking and going out to eat at nice restaurants. I am fascinated by new cleaning products at the grocery store, so I have to shop in wide circles around the perimeter to avoid the temptation to buy. I love chocolate.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Like Mother....

When I was a little kid (3? 4?) I put a rock up my nose. I told my parents that I had a rock up my nose, but they didn't really believe me. They had me blow my nose and nothing came out. But still, I insisted I had a rock up my nose. All through dinner, all through my evening bath. I don't remember what the catalyst was for them to finally believe me, perhaps a bunch of crying, but my parents finally took me to the ER where low and behold- there was a rock up my nose. In the sinus cavity. They had to use suction to get it out, and now it is glued inside my baby book.

Carly is sick right now. Lots and lots of snot. So blowing our noses has been a pretty regular occurrence in our house this week. Imagine my surprise when I asked her to blow, and then inspected the tissue for productivity, and found a popcorn kernel. Yep, at some point today she shoved a popcorn kernel up her nose. And she never mentioned it. And she looked at it, shrugged, and went on with her day as if that was entirely normal.

The difference between Carly and me is that she is apparently not bothered by foreign objects up the nose.

The difference between me and my mother is that I am not going to paste the kernel into Carly's baby book.

Monday, February 22, 2010

It's hard to find good help

Carly loves to tag along with me while I do chores. She just has to be in the middle of whatever I am doing. So I let her help me "fold" towels, and she gets to sort the clean silverware back into the drawer. When I vacuum, she runs away and screams, and later takes full credit for the job well done. She knows what pillows and 'gwankets' go on her bed. And she knows how to put a dirty diaper in the diaper genie. If left in her room and told she can't come out until it is clean, she will put all of the toys into the toy box.

The one chore I haven't let her do is to help me clean the bathroom. Too many chemicals. But last week, I made the mistake of letting her watch me while I scrubbed the toilet and scoured the floor. It was an immediate attraction. She HAD to help me. But I quickly locked up all of the bushes, bleaches, and chemicals and told her that she was too little.

Unfortunately she didn't get the memo, because all week she has had an unusual fascination with the bathroom. She is always in there. She and I have previously had disagreements over bathroom etiquette. I don't want the whole roll of toilet paper in the toilet. She does. She wants all of the towels to be on the ground. I don't. She wants to run the water and play with all of her toys in the sink. I don't think that's a good idea.

Well, now she 'cleans' the bathroom. With handsoap. Today I walked in and she had squirted half of the soap into the toilet and was elbows deep swirling the water. When she saw me in the doorway, she proudly told me that she had cleaned the potty. Yesterday it was the mirror, and then the floor.

I just hope she continues to enjoy cleaning the bathroom so much. I'll make sure she reads this post when she's 13 and no longer sees the joy in scrubbing the toilet.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Tender Mercies

2-year-olds are hard. Really hard. It definitely doesn't help that I completely lack patience.

What is trying about my 2-year-old? Well, let me tell you.

1)The word 'No.'

This drives me up the wall. Basically anything I ask gets this standard response. And it's not like a cute automatic response of a baby, barely learning to talk who picks a random word and sticks to it without grasping its meaning.

She has many ways of telling me no.

Q- "Carly, can you go put that in the trash?"
A- "No, you do it."

Q- "Carly, are you ready for bed?"
A- "Ummm, no. Not right now."
"Carly, go to bed!"
"No, I don't want to!"

Q- "Carly, can you please look at mommy when I talk to you?"
A- "No, you go away now."

Just charming, eh?

2) Willful disobedience

I can tell her 5,000 times a day to not do something...
don't sit on your brother
don't stand on the table
don't open the fridge
don't unravel all of the toilet paper into the toilet
don't drag your brother by his foot, or hand... or head
... and she'll still do it for the 5001st time. Gah!

And I really don't buy that she doesn't understand my expectations of her, or that she forgets 4999 times that it is wrong. She will run away and hide if I come up on her doing these things. She knows. She knows the consequence is timeout. She knows I'll tell her not to do it again. She just wants to do x, y, or z more than she cares that she is going to go sit in the corner after she does it.

3) Picky picky picky

My daughter is a picky eater. Not in the way that the pediatrician keeps assuming I mean. He keeps trying to give me tips and tricks to sneak veggies or protein into her diet. But it is not that she doesn't like those things. She does. She loves just about all vegetables, and even asks for them by name. In fact, there are not many foods Carly has met that she doesn't like.

So what's the problem right?

Well, she's strong willed and knows that meals are just one more arena where she can defeat me. No matter what I make, she doesn't want it. She can be begging me for "dinner" (her word for all meals), and I can ask her specifically what she wants to eat, and she can tell me exactly what she would like, and I can make the item to order, and she'll look at it and say "no, I don't want that anymore, now I want _____."

So let her go hungry right? Well, I've tried this. She loads up on water, and basically just doesn't eat. And then I'm talking to the pediatrician at the next well child check about how she only eats a real meal rarely, and we are back to his tips and tricks.

The other solution, which I usually resort to so I don't feel guilty for her losing 2 lbs when she only weighs 30, is to make multiple items a day and eventually we'll get to the random one she really wants.

Indecisive? Maybe
Evil Mastermind? More likely

So after a week like I've had, you know you are due for a tender mercy. I am a big believer that when we do our best, despite trying circumstances, and endure said trial well, we are due for a small miracle. I basically count on it, and so far I haven't been disappointed.

Well, last night I was in bed asleep. It was about 2am, and I woke up randomly. I was just turning over to get back to sleep, when something told me

Go tuck Carly in.

Whatever still, small voice! I have to get up in 4 hours!

Go tuck in Carly

So I pull off the covers and tiptoe down the hall. Carly was lying in her bed with no blankets. They were all on the floor. I picked them, cover her with them and start to head back to my bed. I make it to the doorway when I hear a small voice
'yes baby'
'thank you mommy'
'you're welcome sweetie, goodnight'
'I love you mommy'

She's back asleep, probably was never really awake. But I've received my tender mercy. And it's all worth it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Little sickies

My kids are whiney, sad little puddles of snot today. And I missed most of it.

I worked today, and when I got home, it was a sad, sad sight. Marshall hurried out the door to go to his work. And I was left with these pitiful monsters.

When I woke up this morning, my throat was a little rough. So I knew it was possible we'd be dealing with sick kids. When I got home, both were faucets of snot, and warm to the touch. Both were hungry, but not wanting to swallow anything. Both were exausted, but wanted to just cry and cry.

So liquid dinner, tylenol, and 1 hour later, my house is quiet. I put my kids to bed at 6:30pm. Never done that before. Almost feel like a mean mom, but they both went so willingly, they must have needed it. So I have a whole evening to myself! Wowwy!

But all I can do is think how cute my kids are and how much I miss the cute, non-sobbing monsters they normally are.

Here are some pictures from yesterday (before the sickly transformation):
I'll just look at pictures of my happy kids until they are returned to me!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Love is...

...Waking up this morning to scrambled eggs and sweet words.

He said, "I've been in a 'make-scrambled-eggs-for-you' kinda mood all week."

If that's not love, I don't know what is!
He even scrubbed out the pan afterward.

Hope everyone's Valentine's Day was full of love.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Conversations with Carly

- Watching a recent snow storm from the window, Carly called for me to watch with her. "It's beautiful! It's incredible! Mommy, come look. It's amazing!"

- Laying in bed with daddy the other day, she suddenly yelled "oh! Let's go in our cave!" She pulled the covers over her head and then whispered "there's a dragon flying around up there."
Marshall: "Up where?"
Carly: "Up in the sky!" She pulled the covers down an inch, shrieked, and pulled them back up. "He's still there!"
Marshall: "Oh no, what are we going to do?"
Carly: thought for a second and then announced "we have to catch him." She pulled the covers down, and waved her hands around in the air. Suddenly she grabbed onto the imaginary dragon. "I caught him!" she announced.
Marshall asked if she was going to keep him as her pet.
Carly: "Oh no! He got away!" while flinging her hands apart.
Marshall: "Uh oh, where did he go?"
Carly: "I don't know; he's all gone."
Life continues as normal until a few seconds later Carly announced ":::gasp::: The dragons back! We have to hide in our cave!" and pulled the covers up.

She could play all day like this. What an imagination!

- Yesterday, while reading a book about a kitten who gets stuck in the tree, Carly went to her window and looked out at the tree outside her bedroom. "Mommy, the kitten's stuck in my tree! It's terrible! We have to save him!"
Me: "How are you going to save him?"
Carly: "I'm going to fly." She paused, "But I don't have any wings!"
Me: "Oh no! Where are you going to get wings?"
Carly: "I'll get some!" She ran to her bookshelf, pulled off two books, and started flapping them behind her like wings. "Now I'll save the kitten!"

What a cute, creative little genius we have!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

7 months

So Wes is now 7 months old. Such a big guy!

- Still no teeth (where are they?) But he does have some bumps on the bottom front, so I think they should be making an appearance soon.

- We are weaned. Too soon, but the milk is gone. At least I made it 2 months longer than I did with Carly.

- Wes LOVES solid food. LOVES it! He has tried the following: butternut squash, sweet potato, peas, green beans, carrots, bananas, plums, zucchini. He actually hates zucchini and green beans, and prefers bananas heavily over anything else. And his favorite veggie by far is carrots.

- He is still a very clean eater. It's a miracle after dealing with Carly as a baby. He keeps his hands out of his mouth. It's great! The exception is when he eats a food he doesn't like. Then he spits it out, and blows it out, and wipes it out with his hands. It's quite funny that he'd rather wear green beans than eat it. Any location is better than his mouth for those. But foods he loves, he won't spill a drop. Can't waste the good stuff.

- Wes has been sleeping wonderfully at night. Lucky, lucky me. Once we started solids, I wasn't being terribly consistent with them because I figured they were just for practice. And so a couple days I didn't give him any at all. Coincidentally, those were also a couple days he would not sleep. Awake for hours fighting it and fussing. So one night I decided at about midnight to feed him some solids to see if it would help. He ate 12 ounces that sitting! And then he slept 12 hours. So now I load him up with a bunch of veggies in the evening, and his evening bottle is only 4 ounces or so, and he's out like a light!

- Most days, when he naps he can just be put into the crib awake and he knows what to do. Nights aren't usually this easy- he fights it at night for some reason. But during the day, if I can tell he's getting tired, I just place him in his crib with a blanket and he'll usually fall asleep on his own.

- Growling. He loves to shriek and scream. You can hear his high pitched trills throughout the apartment (its helps that it is a small apartment). He also growls now. He makes this loud, low pitched grunting noise that a normal person might make when frustrated. But he primarily does it when super super excited and all screamed out. So he goes from talking, to yelling, to screaming, to growling as the excitement grows.

- Babbling. Wes is now doing the identifiable babbles: gagagaga, dadadada, babababa. Yet to be seen is mamama, but I'm working on it. Marshall is working hard on the dadada. Let the games begin!

- Crawling progress. He can't crawl yet. He is on his tummy 80 percent of the day. Okay, not really. He sleeps a lot too, and loves his bouncer. But he spends probably the majority of his awake time on the ground scooting around the living room. And he spends a lot of that time on hands and knees rocking. He is also moving his hands and knees forward, but not in a coordinated fashion I'd refer to as crawling. He also loves to do planks, where he is in a push-up pose on his hands and toes. He can hold it an amazingly long time. I am sure we'll see full fledged crawling this month. He is so. dang. close.

- Wes is great at maneuvering while on his tummy. He doesn't do the army crawl (too busy up on his hands and knees to want to be on his belly). But he can spin in any direction at lightening speeds. He can do the 180 on his tummy so fast it kinda defies logic. You'd think the kid would have rug burn on his tummy.

- Wes has started taking baths in the big kid tub. So far just solo, since he still can't defend himself from Carly. But I'll put an inch or two of water in there, and put him in on his belly, and he's in heaven. He kicks and squeals, eventually growls, and splashes. It's a blast!

- Wes can now sit unassisted for a pretty decent period. He gets too excited though, and jerks backward and falls over. But he can sit upright, and doesn't have to support himself with his hands.

- He can hold his own bottle. Except when sleepy. Because he has to sleep with his hands over his eyes. Just like Marshall. The genetics run strong on this one. When sleepy, those hands fly over his eyes, and it just isn't possible to hold a bottle and have your hands on your eyes.

- When just laying back and chillin', he has his hands behind his head. Lounging like a grown man. It's the cutest.

- He also likes to keep his feet together. When standing or jumping, or doing his baby push-ups, or just laying down, he often has his feet crossed or on top of one another. Doesn't make for the sturdiest base.

- He plays rough. In the last month he has gotten more bold in his interactions with others. He now loves to find opportunities to pull Carly's hair. And when being held, he loves to explore his handler's face. With great force. He loves to gouge eyes, scratch noses, and hit and slap. All in good fun- he is just very excited. But you have to be on your guard with this one!

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