Thursday, September 29, 2016

Mattress Takes the Stairs

These babies, in what is amongst their more humorous hijinks, have taken to sliding down the stairs on Boy Howdy's old toddler mattress. They've been jumping on the mattress, climbing up and over and around the bed frame, but they've recently discovered the mattress can also be used as a medium for sliding. They were so entertained with going down, figuring a way to get it back up and then letting the other slide down. I love the relationship these two share. I hope they will always be friends. I hope they will always come up with fun and relatively harmless shenanigans. No more dumping out my expensive makeup please. I will gladly take this any day. Sadly for these two, the mattress and accompanying frame will be going to a new home tomorrow. 

Happy childhood my two cute faces.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Bye-Bye to Diaper Day

After coming home from our East Coast vacation, we had a month until preschool started so I was bound and determined to get Cheeks potty trained so she could start. It seemed to work for Boy Howdy, yeah, it didn't work for Cheeks. After two and a half days I was a broken woman and little girl and her passive-agressive bladder won. I tried random attempts over the next few weeks but to no avail. My mother insisted I keep at it but I was done cleaning urine out of my carpet so I halted all efforts except gentle and not so gentle coaxing.

A month or so after, I got the inspiration to just pick a day and make it a super big party day. So with a week in advance I marked a day on the calendar, made sure Cheeks knew what was going to happen and started planning. We made a banner, we made special BBTD Day cupcakes, bought balloons and juice and treats and snacks and party hats. We counted down the days and made it as exciting as possible.

The big day she was honestly and truly ready to go. She willingly said Bye Bye to her diapers and put on panties and gave potty training her honest effort. She did have two accidents that day but considering she went to the bathroom about a thousand times and she went of her need and desire I called it a rousing success.

Since then she's had a handful of accidents, thankfully all on the small portions of hard (read easy to clean) surfaces we have in the house. For a few days she was anti pooping in the toilet, but a week and half later has even seen the end to that! Hallelujah!! I know you aren't supposed to wait until a future event to be happy, but my stress levels have plummeted and my joy has skyrocketed since she decided that she was ready to be a big girl.

 Cheeks' self portrait

We totally wore party hats for a good chunk of the day

 We bought assorted-sized balloons that the kids wanted to draw faces on. Sure thing babies. I actually got a kick at their illustrations. And then they wanted me to join in the fun. I kind of like theirs way better.

Side note. A few days after Bye-Bye to Diaper Day, Cheeks had an accident. There was a big puddle of urine on the floor, and 3-year old that she is she couldn't resist jumping in it. Gross and funny and typical all at the same time. Sadly for her the floor was slippery when wet and she totally fell jumping in a puddle of her own urine.

Hooray for a diaper-free house! Hallelujah and thanks be to 3 months of fasting and praying for our daughter finally paying off!! Yay!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Cheeks' Photo Op

Today, Cheeks wanted a photo shoot. I may have asked for silly faces, or I may have just gotten them because that's just who she is. This girl. She is so odd. My sister, Melissa, mentioned that she often wants to categorize Cheeks' personality as partly me, or partly Matthew, but she can't; Cheeks is her own little person. Yep, she sure is.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Boy Howdy's Second First Day

Oh how I wanted Boy Howdy and Cheeks to be in preschool together this year. Partially for selfish reasons; I kind of want a few hours of alone time during the week. Partially because this is their only year to be in the same class together and I thought it would be fun. They will most likely still get that opportunity; but as of the first day of preschool, Boy Howdy went it alone because Cheeks has decided preschool is not enough motivation to give up her beloved diapers. Her persistence has been beyond maddening to me, but I know that eventually she'll get it and then, oh hallelujah, we will be a diaper free home. In the meantime, Boy Howdy had a great first day (though he wanted nothing to do with his name tag). No tears on either side. It felt more that he was coming back after winter vacation, no big deal. His second day didn't go as smoothly. He complained that preschool was too long and clung to me as I tried to leave. Poor boy. It makes me a little worried for going to all-day kindergarten next year, but I guess that it is a bridge we will cross when the time comes.

Wow, this is really stream of consciousness isn't it. As for Cheeks, that first day she was a conflicted panda. She so desperately wanted to be there and stay, but the pull of those dastardly diapers was just too strong. Thursday, though, she was all "see ya suckers, I'm going to a friend's house!" We'll see just how long she holds out.

Here's to a great last school year with both of my babies at home.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

My Path is Awesome

I have issues. Everyone has them, mine generally tend towards comparing myself to others. I will be 37 in a few months, and while it is not very old compared to some, it is too old to still harbor these feelings of inadequacy because others have "more" or "better" than me. Most recently I look at others who may be younger than or the same age as me, but whose children are much older than mine and I find myself thinking they must be wiser than me. That because Heavenly Father decided to wait to bless me with children I am somehow less. Now it may be true that I have less child-rearing wisdom than others who have older children, no matter their age in relation to mine, that doesn't mean I haven't gained in other areas.

I have known the joy of having a successful career. I've travelled for work, been respected by colleagues, and gained confidence that no matter what life may throw at me, I will be able to provide for myself and my family. I may have opted to forego that career in lieu of my family but it is a choice that I would happily make again and again despite the blow to my ego from time to time. I have gained understanding and compassion through volunteering at many points in my adult life because I had the time available to me. I have gained skills and hobbies and the joy of creation because I had the time to explore myself and what makes me happy outside of husband, children and work. I have known what it is to wait upon the Lord and His timing in a way that was perfect for me to witness the love of my Heavenly Father for me as an individual. I have been made better by many wonderful roommates. I have lived in fun cities and known the thrill of being able to start a life somewhere new on my own. I have spent quality time in the temple. I have spent money on myself completely guilt free.

I may have a different path than many of my peers who got married in college or directly after. I may have started my family after many of my friends and siblings were already done with theirs; but my path is just as beautiful and fulfilling and I am oh so thankful for the opportunity to remember why.

Another Gratitude List

Our Stake President has recently challenged us to start/stop doing something that will enable us to have the Holy Ghost as a more prevalent figure in our lives. As I pondered how I could meet this challenge, the thought that came to me was that I needed to have a more grateful heart. And since I haven't expressed my gratitude in list format in a while, I thought I would share a few things now.

  • My children. Boy Howdy and Cheeks still like to sit in my lap throughout the day and hugging them and rocking with my cheek in their hair does good things for my heart. Today, as I sat in church with Boy Howdy on my lap and then again tonight at bedtime with Cheeks I was overwhelmed with gratitude for this period in their lives when they want to be close to me and are still small enough to sit in my lap and let me rock them.
  • My husband. I am grateful for his work. The work he does outside the home that enables me to stay at home with my babies. The work he does in our home, like dishes and vacuuming and making the bed. The work he does at church as he honors his priesthood and loves the Lord with all his heart. The work he does to show me how much he loves me and truly is my helpmeet.
  • Service. My calling at church is Compassionate Service coordinator. And while my job is more to facilitate other's service, I am grateful that it's made me more service minded. I love that when I feel inspired to offer service, especially service I wouldn't ordinarily offer I feel confident the Lord will strengthen me and make me up to the task. And although I serve because I want to show love to others, I almost feel selfish by wanting to serve to feel the Lord's love as well. It is a win-win-win.
  • Motherhood. Every now and again I still feel pangs of disappointment that I will never feel life growing inside me. That I will never hold another infant of my own. But then I remember that I was miraculously blessed with my two and they are more than enough for my heart.
  • My Booren family. I am so grateful that I have such positive, and loving relationships with my siblings and their families and my own parents. I am also especially grateful to live in the same Stake as my sister Melissa and enjoy all the blessings that this close proximity allows.
  • I am grateful for the Holy Ghost. Three times I have spoken in church (a talk, a lesson to the Young Women, and bearing my testimony today) and three times the Bishop has gotten up directly after me with words of his own. I'll be honest, it made me insecure, as if I were saying things he felt he needed to correct. I was sitting in Sunday School today feeling emotional, about it when I felt prompted to find him. No sooner did I see him then he also felt prompted to lay aside his multitude of tasks and minister to the one. The peace and love he spoke to my heart was directly from our Heavenly Father and answered more than one prayer offered today. How grateful I am that the Holy Ghost is able to do such wonderful and miraculous things in all lives if we but let Him guide us.
Ok, I think I have cried at my computer for long enough this evening. Thanks for letting me share this with you.