Saturday, October 27, 2012

Parenting 101

Being a parent means lots of things to different people.  But here are a few things I've learned about being a mom.

Being a parent means you see the world differently from your children.  Their frame of reference is a LOT different than yours.  And this means there is always something you can teach your kids.

Photo note:  Claire said she was going to call a friend, and when she picked up the handset, she started pushing as if you would buttons on a cell or cordless phone.  Because unlike me, who had a rotary dial phone in my house as a little kid, she has never actually seen such a phone and wouldn't know how to use one.

Being a parent means that you don't get time to yourself.  You could think that the kids would be happy playing with all their toys in a different room, but you would be wrong.  Playing right next to you, or better yet, on TOP of you, will ALWAYS be better.  This rule always applies when you have small children, regardless if you are cooking, showering, going to the bathroom, taking out the garbage, cleaning, etc, etc. 

Being a parent means that you think your kid is pretty much the greatest, most beautiful kid in the world, and watch out, because you will go into mama bear mode to protect that perfect specimen of childhood.

Being a parent means that even after they have been asleep for a few hours, you still go and check on them to make sure they are still breathing.  And also to admire how beautiful (and beautifully quiet) they are when they are asleep. 

  I mean, c'mon.  Look at those eyelashes!

And don't even get me started on him sleeping on his knees with his little bum in the air. 

Being a parent means you try your hardest to take a nice picture of your children, but it will never happen because they are unable to stand still for more than .25 seconds at a time.  So you try and try again, hoping for a different outcome, but finally want to throw the camera across the room because it just ain't happening.  

Photo note:  Adam asked Claire to stand still so he could take her picture, and last minute, she thought it would be a great idea to spin.  Because spinning ALWAYS makes a picture better.  So much for holding still...

Being a parent means you find every little thing your baby does adorable.  Like when they sleep as if they are lifting off, super hero-style.

Being a parent means boogies.  Lots of boogies.  

But even when covered with boogies, you know that as soon as you wipe them off, you wanna smooch that beautiful little face.

Being a parent also means that you relish the fact that your children are friends (even if it is just for this point in their lives).

Being a parent means that you frequently discover that you are not always as smart as you think you are.  Like when you think your baby is ready to give up his morning nap, but then crashes with exhaustion while you are preparing lunch for everyone.  (Also note that sleeve is covered in aforementioned boogies).

Being a parent also means that you get to discover the silly, quirky things your kids do.  The things that make them an individual and special.  And those things are awesome as you see their individual personalities develop.
Photo note:  Henry has just started to twist his pinkie and ring fingers on his right hand.  He does it pretty regularly.  It's kinda weird looking.  And I've never seen anyone else do it...have you?

And more often than not, those silly, quirky things give you a really good laugh.  

Photo note:  Adam was trying on some jeans at a department store last weekend, and Claire comes barreling out of the dressing room with his shoes on, and on the wrong feet, no less.   I wish I would've recorded video instead of just taking a picture, because her gait was so hilarious.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Slightly Scruffy

One of the tricky things with having a boy is the frequency in which they need to have a hair cut.  I've never been prepared for this.  We don't own clippers.  I wouldn't know how to operate clippers.  It would probably be safer for everyone involved if clippers stayed away from my hands.  

But poor Henry.  He was looking a bit scruffy around the edges.  

It was definitely time for him to get his first haircut.

Luckily, Adam was due for one as well, so he took Henry to his own barber.  Apparently, Henry did just fine.  

So did the barber.  We expected that an infant's haircut would be pretty cheap, but it was almost as much as Adam's haircut.  

 I guess there may be clippers in my future after all.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

One of the things we really hoped for in our search for a new home was a place to have a garden.  There were even a few houses that we saw that might have been a contender, but then I would throw out that little reminder, "but there's no place for a garden..."  It's actually kind of interesting to me that I would want such a thing.  It's not that I don't want to produce my own food.  It's just that I never have before.  My own mother would grow things in our back yard, but I'm pretty sure that at the mere mention of weeding, cultivating, fertilizing, etc, my siblings and I would hightail it out of earshot.  And yet, now I want a place to make things grow.  Well, due to the time of year in which we moved into our home and the state of the garden when we got there, it just wasn't going to happen this summer.  

But at least we had some inspiration for what could be.  It'll just have to wait until next summer.

But at least Claire got a taste for gardening.

She thought picking her own green beans was pretty much the coolest thing ever.

She felt right at home.  Not only was there food to be picked, but dirt everywhere.  What more could a 3 year old in clean clothing ask for?

My mother-in-law certainly had a lot to harvest.

Glenda even let Claire get in on some onion-pulling action.

And even cooler than Claire picking green beans?  We got to take home at least half of this!  We had awesome salads, yummy dinners made with fresh veggies, and the best green beans Adam has ever had (he really truly said that).  

Who needs to join a CSA when we have a grandma and the willing hands of a little girl to pick?

I'm already feeling inspired for next year!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Weekend in Idaho

In addition to meeting our new little nephew and cousin, we had some good times in Idaho.  First we headed to iJump.  Pretty much the best way ever to get your kids to burn off their excess energy.  Claire loved it.  

Claire has never been a jumpy kid.  As in, she doesn't like to jump off stuff (now jumping on the bed or couch...that's another story).  But jumping into a pit of foam blocks?  Who wouldn't want to do that?  

She loved being tossed around too.  Which of course Adam was only to happy to help out with.

Claire wasn't the only one having a good time.  She was enjoying herself right alongside her cousins.  (Living so far away from family means that "cousin" is a magical word.  She thought anything and everything those boys did was pretty much awesome).  

Mason had mad skills catching blocks mid-jump.

And Cooper (also known as Super around our home) wasted no time getting right into the middle of a dodgeball game, which was pretty impressive since he was the smallest one out there.  

And these kids enjoyed a good old-fashioned foot race.  

And what does one do when they have just burned off 5000 calories at a trampoline park?   They drive out to Archer to consume 5000 calories at Big Jud's, of course.  

The men-folk poured over the menu, deciding just how to simultaneously shorten their life span, ruin their cholesterol and expand their waistline.

The anticipation was so thick you could cut it with a knife...(okay, I'm pretty sure they weren't even remotely thinking about food here.  Just siblings having a chat.)

In case you're not familiar with Big Jud's, well, feast your eyes on this not so little lady.  Adam and I decided it would be in our best interest to share such a large monstrosity of a burger.  I had been to Big Jud's one time while I attended Rick's College a good 15 years ago, and I only got one of the smaller burgers way back then.  So this time, I wanted to make sure we went all-out in case I never made it back again.  You know, in case we all suffered heart attacks on the drive back to Idaho Falls.  

Trent and Katie splurged as well.  Everyone else played it a little safer and got something less belly busting.  But all joking aside, I had wanted to go there, so I'm glad other people were on board.  And now I'll be perfectly happy to wait another 15 years before going again.

Then, of course there was the main event:  Nels' baby blessing, which was beautiful and sweet.  After church the family all gathered at Adam's parents' home.  Henry loved hanging out with Andrew and his friend.

 And we had to make sure to get a 4-generation picture.  I have one with Claire, my mom, and her mother, and I love it.  So I wanted to make sure we got one of the guys too.

We had some good chatting time with Grandma and Grandpa Belnap.  

I love this picture of these two beautiful women laughing together.  

Glenda planned such a fun Olympic-themed activity for the kids outside.  

Claire especially loved running with her other cousins, McKenzie and Maylin.  She had so much fun playing with them.

Even after the post-blessing party the fun didn't end.  Claire painted rocks with her cousins ("painted" being a subjective word here).

They also bonded over a little iPad time.

And then, before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye. 

As always, we had a wonderful time and can't wait until we can go back!

Harper Turns 3!

We sure love this little girl, and we were excited to wish her a happy birthday.  But, of course, this little sassafrass decided to have so...