Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Adventures with a toddler in public

We have had our share of embarrassing moments with Olivia around strangers in public.  Spilled drinks, screaming, kicking, hitting, weird sounds and yelling... etc. A couple of incidents this week have have me in a sharing mood so I think I will.  Some of these are funny and some make me imagine a total stranger dying a slow and satisfying death.

A few months ago I thought Olivia had gained enough self control to go to story time at our public library.  I was very wrong.   All of the mothers were sitting on chairs in the back while their well-behaved children sat in a group on the floor.  In the front of the room was the librarian on a chair, reading a story.  I quietly found a spot on the floor with Olivia and gave her a snack to keep her from wandering.  She swallowed the contents of her raisin box in one gulp and then decided she couldn't see the pictures in the book the librarian was holding and felt that she should stand directly in front of the book so that none of the other kids could see.  I tried to discreetly persuade her to come sit back down and pulled gently on her shirt to avoid a scene, but she wouldn't budge.  The kids started to complain and the librarian announced loudly "It's okay kids, some children are just not ready to come to story time" and looked pointedly at me.  I could feel the eyes of the kids and their mothers boring in the the back of my head and my face turned bright red.  I picked Olivia up, she started kicking and screaming, smacked me across the face in front of the whole group, and I wrestled her out the door while everyone watched.

This story has just recently become funny instead of horrific: Last summer I took a weekend to potty train Olivia.  It was a rough weekend and by Monday I was ready to get out of the house.  Jack and I decided a short trip to Costco would be fine.  Olivia had been holding her pee for hours but I could not make her go for anything.  Finally we just loaded her in the car, thinking if she has held it this long, what is another half-hour?  We quickly did our shopping, put her in the cart, checked out, and got in line to leave (for those of you who don't shop at Costco, you have to have your receipt checked on your way out the door so a bit of a line forms when you are leaving).  The line was pretty closely packed and I guess Liv's little bladder just couldn't hold it anymore, because that's the moment she chose to let loose.  It was like a mini Niagara.  Somehow it ended up all over the shoes of a man next to us and there was a huge puddle on the floor.  The man was understandably grossed-out, Jack was understandably mortified, and I was conveniently a few feet away getting a soda and pretended I didn't know them.  Just kidding...sort of.

Yesterday Jack took both girls to McDonald's so Olivia could play on the play place and I could get some things done at home.  She had to go to the bathroom, but when Jack took her in, there was a man in the stall doing long-term business (seriously who does that at McDonald's?  GO HOME and poop!  You're a grown man!)  Olivia started throwing one of her high-pitched tantrums and the guy came out plugging his ears and giving Jack a dirty look.  Liv wouldn't go potty, kept screaming, and when Jack finally hauled both girls out of the bathroom tons of people out at the tables were looking their way and plugging their ears.  This story made me so mad.  Seriously people?  Do you all have perfect children who never scream?

This next story is the real zinger though..  Another Costco visit.  This was just last week.  We were walking in, Olivia ran ahead and in front of some middle-aged lady pushing her cart out.  This woman screamed at Olivia "Get out of my gosh darned way!"  ...except she didn't say gosh darned.  She screamed swear words at my kid.  Jack and a couple of other dads near him stared and the lady and I wanted to tear her limb-from-limb.  Yes, that really happened.  I had to tell myself that she was in a bad mood because her husband had just died and that she had never been able to have kids so she didn't know what it was like.  After telling myself this little story, I was able to stop Jack from going out to find her and give her a piece of his mind.

The other day we took the girls to Culver's for ice cream.  Jack carried Liv up to the register.  "I want ice cream." she said to the kid behind the counter, he smiled and told her okay and then Jack proceeded with the rest of the order.  Olivia leaned in closer, "ICE cream" she said, very slowly, as if he hadn't heard her the first time.  This happened about four more times, with Olivia speaking more and more loudly and clearly, like the kid was deaf and wasn't getting it.  It was pretty embarrassing and super funny.  I guess she thought he would hand it right over, and when he didn't she needed to keep reminding him.

Aaaaand today's story:  Olivia loves to play "Sharp Tooth" with her dad.  Sharp Tooth is the name of the T Rex on the Land Before Time.  She and Jack chase each other around, growling and snarling.  Berlin thinks this is the funniest game and always laughs as she watches them.  Today we were shopping at Walmart and Berlin had the biggest blow-out in history.  I'm sure people could smell it, because they kept looking at her as we wheeled past.  Berlin also started noticing people looking at her, and thought it was the perfect opportunity to start growling at them like Sharp Tooth.  She probably seemed like she was raised by wolves, this dirty little snarling baby.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Book Club

Title: The Rent Collector
Author: Camron Wright
Rating: 9.8 out of 10

We read The Rent Collector for my actual book club that has real people who meet and discuss books!  (McCall you have friends in Northern Utah?  Why, yes.  Yes I do).

It's a story about a family who live in Cambodia in a shack on the outskirts of the city dump.  They survive by collecting things from the dump to sell or recycle and then pay rent to a cranky older lady. It's very good, very gripping, and wonderfully written.  I gave it a 9.8 because it's almost all true.  The family really does exist (as do many other families who live this way), much of what is told about them and their son really happened, and there are photos of the people.  Wright's son visited these people in Cambodia and documented everything on his website, including videos....but not the whole story in the book is true (mostly the rent collector's story).  If I had gone into it knowing this I would have been fine, but finding out after finishing the book bugged me.  I think .2 points was a small price to pay though.

The best thing about this book though is the gratitude you feel for your own life while reading it.  Nothing can get you down when you compare yourself to these poor people.  All of my little hurst seemed so trivial.  I became embarrassed of the excess in which I live.  And that is a good place to be.  It also had some beautiful lessons and classic literature in.

A fantastic read.  I would recommend it to anyone.  Bonus: the author lives in Utah, and it's always nice to support locally.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Olivia's Easter

Before Jack and I took off for Park City, we took Olivia to our neighborhood's Easter egg hunt.  Our friend, Amy, collects eggs from everyone attending before Saturday and then hides them all at our neighborhood's beautiful private park and ropes off the area.  We explained to Liv that the Easter Bunny had come to our park and hidden eggs for all of the kids.  At 9:30am Saturday, everyone shows up and the kids divide into an older and younger group.  The younger group is "under 3", but even though Liv won't be 3 for another month, we decided it would be a little unfair to put her with the toddlers and she could hold her own with the big kids.  She waited so patiently behind the line and then ran forward when the whistle was blown.  We had a big fire between our wooded area and the lake last week, so there was a section of charred ground in the corner of the egg area.  There were eggs hidden there as well as the grass and trees and none of the kids seemed to want to go in the burned-out section, but Liv trudged right in (In her white, patent-leather booties :/)  and scored all of the eggs in that area.  She was pretty polite though, and when she thought she had enough eggs for her needs (about 10), she stopped looking.  She sat down, popped open an egg, and exclaimed that there was a peedow inside!  She quickly opened all of the other eggs and was so excited. As we were walking back home she turned and shouted "Thanks Easter Bunny!"

When we got home from Park City on Sunday we hid Liv and Berlin's Easter toys and let Olivia find them.  Liv got a bin of farm animals to match her jungle animals and some little dollies with dogs you can feed and put clothes on.  Berlin got a drum full of little musical instruments.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter Weekend

We had SUCH an amazing weekend spent in Park City with friends!  First of all, if you haven't seen the Easter video "Because of Him", you should.  It's pretty great.  Last week I brought my laptop to our Young Women's mutual activity and we watched it and then colored eggs.  We talked about the Savior's sacrifice for us and how Easter eggs represent the tomb Christ was placed in after his crucifixion and how, just like a chick being born, the egg represents new life and fresh starts because of the Atonement.  Apparently, the video reached 2.5 million views in only a couple of days!  Pretty amazing.  Also, all of the BecauseOfHim hastags and trends were so neat to see and participate in.  The reason for Easter was really apparent this year :)

Jack and I were able to get 4 suites at the Hotel Park City through our business, and our friends were somehow able to all drive up the same weekend!  It has been an especially busy past couple of weeks for Jack with work and I was ready for a break from the girls.  For the past few years, Jack and I have gone on our big yearly vacation in the spring (Remember Hawaii last year?!  2012 was San Francisco, 2011 was Cali, and 2010 was Europe).  This year we booked a trip to New York City and DC for the fall instead, so this weekend was a welcome little respite when we usually need it.  We picked Tasha and Jordan up from his sister's house Saturday morning and made the beautiful drive up to Park City.  We hit the outlets for a little while and then when Kassie and Eric were done snowboarding up there the 6 of us ate at Loco Lizard, a great little cantina we like by the outlets.  Clar and Tracy had eaten right off of their flight so they stayed at the outlets longer.  We did some more shopping, then went and checked into our rooms.  Remember, this is the same place we stayed for Jack's 31st birthday.  Each building has 4 suites in it, which meant that our group had a whole building to ourselves! We each took some time with our spouses in our separate rooms and then met back up before dinner.

Jack and I met up with Kassie and Eric and walked down the path to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse (the other 4 went to a thai place).  The food was aaaamazing!  Jack got the ribeye, which was the best steak I've ever had.  I didn't think there could be a better cut than the filet mignon, but I would definitely recommend the ribeye over the filet.  We also got calamari as an appetizer, and some great sides of cauliflower au gratin, mashed potatoes, hot bread, caesar salads, and then my favorite banana tart dessert.  Back at the rooms we took some more time as couples.  Jack and I read this talk together, by Brad Wilcox about the Atonement.  If you haven't read it, please do.  We then all got in one of the hot tubs together on the balcony.  We played games until late and ate tons of junk food.  Highlights of the game night include Tracy hiding up on the rafters of the living room and then throwing marshmallows at Jordan when he came in, Jack pretending a cotton ball was a marshmallow on a cookie and trying to feed it to Jordan (I'm not sure why Jord became the brunt of both jokes), and playing the sign game with everyone. If you haven't played the sign game with a funny group, you're missing out.  Everyone has their own sign and they have to pass and accept them from others around the circle and then one person in the middle tries to catch who has the sign at the moment.

On Sunday we slept in (!) and then dressed for church and packed up our things.  We attended a local ward for Easter Sunday and it was really neat to all be in church together.  On the way out we saw Elizabeth Smart in the foyer.  We had a great last lunch all together at Park City Pizza and Noodle where we all passed our meals around and took bites, then headed home.

 my haul from shopping
 Below are a few cute finds for Olivia.  Jack also got tons of new tees and shorts to accommodate his weight loss!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Family Photes

The amazing Heather Telford took our family pictures (for the second time, our first shoot with her was in 2011).  We love so many of them and she was soooo great with the girls!  Especially Olivia, who had a hard time smiling and just wanted to run and play in the park we were shooting in.  The weather ended up being perfect and I didn't have to alter the girls outfits much to keep them warm, just a long-sleeved onesie under Berlin's romper.

Best 100 Books

Amazon has partnered Goodreads (a social networking site where people can review books) to create a list of the 100 Books You Should Read In A Lifetime.  I thought it was a great list, and wanted to post it for you and for me to reference when I am looking for a good book to read.  

I have put a star next to the ones I have already read, and the fact that I agree they should be on the list makes it a legitimate list of must-reads....wellll, I agree with most of them. (Mockingjay? Really?)  

Goodreads 100 Books You Should Read in a Lifetime

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee*
  2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen*
  3. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank*
  4. 1984 by George Orwell*
  5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling*
  6. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  7. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  8. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White*
  9. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott*
  10. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  11. Fahrenheit 451: A Novel by Ray Bradbury*
  12. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  13. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell*
  14. Animal Farm by George Orwell*
  15. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  16. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  17. The Help by Kathryn Stockett*
  18. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  19. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis*
  20. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins*
  21. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak*
  22. Lord of the Flies by William Golding*
  23. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  24. Night by Elie Wiesel*
  25. Hamlet by William Shakespeare*
  26. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  27. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle*
  28. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  29. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens*
  30. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  31. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett*
  32. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare*
  33. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  34. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  35. The Little Prince by Antoine Saint-Exupery*
  36. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein*
  37. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte*
  38. The Giver by Lois Lowry*
  39. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery*
  40. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  41. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  42. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling*
  43. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  44. The Holy Bible: New King James Version by Thomas Nelson
  45. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  46. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas pere
  47. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green*
  48. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  49. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  50. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  51. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  52. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  53. The Stand by Stephen King
  54. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll*
  55. Watership Down by Richard Adams
  56. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  57. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  58. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  59. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier*
  60. Memoirs of a Geisha: A Novel by Arthur Golden
  61. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  62. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling*
  63. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway*
  64. Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire Book 1) by George R.R. Martin
  65. The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventureby William Goldman
  66. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl*
  67. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  68. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett*
  69. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  70. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne*
  71. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  72. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling*
  73. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games Book 2) by Suzanne Collins*
  74. Water for Elephants: A Novel by Sara Gruen*
  75. The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
  76. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  77. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  78. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  79. The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel by Barbara Kingslover*
  80. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
  81. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  82. The Odyssey by Homer
  83. Celebrating Silence: Excerpts From Five Years of Weekly Knowledge 1995-2000 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
  84. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
  85. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  86. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot*
  87. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
  88. The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls*
  89. Mockingjay (The Final Book of the Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins*
  90. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
  91. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  92. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
  93. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  94. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  95. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  96. Helen Keller: The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
  97. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster*
  98. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
  99. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn*
  100. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Thursday, April 17, 2014

I love having a baby in the house!

...In a way that I took for granted with Olivia.  I know now that these days are shorter than I realized and I will not be having an infinite amount of babies to enjoy! (Regrettably and thankfully ;)

I love the snuggles of a tiny body wanting to be held.

I love the whole family working hard for her little belly laughs.

I love the satiny-soft skin on squishy arm and leg rolls.

I love blowing on a poky tummy while changing diapers.

I love burying my face in her neck and inhaling sweet baby smell.

I love seeing my reflection in crystal-clear eyes.

I love watching for new milestones.

I love firsts.

I love fuzzy hair that blows in the breeze.

I love the peace of her sleeping in her room upstairs.

I love sweet milk breath.

I love wondering what she has seen and what she remembers from Heaven so short a time ago.

I love seeing parts of me and parts of Jack in one perfect little human.

I love seeing the joy on her face when I go into her room to get her in the morning or after a nap.

I love soothing tears and hurts.

I love chubby hands holding onto my clothes or hair.

I love nibbling toes so small that I can barely see toenails on the littlest one.

I love excitement over anything edible.

I love watching discovery and triumph over new things learned and accomplished.

I love drooly kisses.

I love gummy smiles.

I love packing her around everywhere I go.  A portable little buddy.

I love knowing I get to be her home for many more years.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bijou Outing

Every year a collection of artsy vendors get together and sell their wares at what is called the Bijou Market in Provo.  There is always the cutest array of stuff there.  Jack and I stopped by two years ago and have kind of made it a tradition (one I am kind of surprised he has wanted to carry on.)  This year we took the girls and I picked up a cute jersey headband for Berlin and some earrings for me.  I'm still having buyer's regret over not getting a gorgeous print I saw, but I have the sellers info for when we move into our new house and I have a craft room again to hang it in (Oh yeah... we are looking to build or buy in the next year or so! Pretty exciting.)  After the market, the four of us strolled down Center St in Provo, stopped by Jack's old stomping ground, Los Hermanos, for some chips, queso, and a beef quesadilla, and then went to the City Hall.  There is an amazing old tree there and lots of room to run for Olivia.  What a great afternoon, and honestly the first day of really warm weather this year.  I'm excited for summer, but haven't at all been eager for winter to be over.  It's crazy how much I have come to love Northern Utah winters.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Oakley Berlin- 10 months

Little Bay is ten months old!  Still not crawling, but getting closer!  She is such an observer and doesn't need to be a part of the action like Olivia, which is I think part of the reason she hasn't shown much interest.  Another reason is that Liv and I bring everything to her and she never feels a need to extent herself.  Spoiled :)  Still no teeth also.  She loves to play with toys and is now figuring how how some of them work.  She'll try to stick the Legos together, or send the Little People zoo animals down their slide.  Berlin loooooves to feed herself, and hates when anyone bothers her while she is eating (especially big sister). She has also learned to tattle; when Olivia takes a toy away from her or gets too rough she will yell for me and give me a look that says "do you she what she did?!"  She is still in 6-12 month clothes, 3-6 month shoes, and size 3 diapers.  She had her 9 month appt a few weeks late and is at 62% for height, but has dropped to 23% for weight.  Since this is the second appt she has dropped weight at, and she has gone clear from 50% to 23%, her pediatrician recommended supplementing breastmilk with one or two bottles of formula a day.  My supply has been dwindling.  I thought I could make up for it with nutritional baby food, but apparently it wasn't working.  With Olivia I was able to keep a steady supply and nurse until 16 months, so it has been really hard for me to give in and give Ber formula (I love nursing and am such an advocate for it), but she has taken it well and I think has put back on a little weight.  The past couple of weeks I have tried nursing her more often and upping my calories and water intake, but to no avail.  I can only produce enough to nurse her twice a day at this point.  It was surprising though to hear that she was only at 23% for weight, since she has such deliciously chubby cheeks and arms.  She still loves me best, but also loves to go to Dad when she isn't hungry or tired.  She also adapts well to babysitters, aunts, and grandmas.  She has started dancing, and starts moving whenever music comes on.  Still loves her binky and tries to share it with me.  Berlin smiles at any and everyone and is such a bright, happy, calm baby!

ps. we got our family pictures back and I'm excited to post them soon!
pss. speaking of chunky arms, remember Olivia at 10 months??!!....
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