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Friday, October 28, 2011

Clean up, clean up

Kessa is becoming quite the good little helper.  I mentioned in the giant update of death that I am a horrible mother and give Kessa chores.  Well, this is partially due to her love of helping me.  Most of the time she happily takes her diaper to the garbage and clears off her place at the table.  Sometimes she'll volunteer to start setting the table (though she needs assistance with that) or will come back for more dishes when she's done taking hers to the dishwasher.  More than once I've left the room while she's eating something only to come back to find her putting her plate in the dishwasher.  (Usually taking up as much room as possible.)

You know the clean up song?  "Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere?  Clean up, clean up, everybody do your share."  Kessa loves it.  It's not uncommon for her to just start cleaning something up then sing, "Keenup, Keenup, evybody, share!"  Or if I'll sing, I'll leave off the last word and let her sing it.  She's pretty darn good at it, too.

She has loved helping with the laundry for a long time now.  Back at our house she loved loading, transferring and unloading the washer and dryer.  It's harder to do here where they have a top-loading washer, but she still loves to sit on the dryer and put the clothes in the washer that I hand her, or pull clothes out of the dryer and put them into a hamper.  She's even been known to help me sort clothes when I'm putting them away by pulling all of hers out, or by shouting out the names of the owners as I hang up shirts ("Daddy shirt!  Mommy shirt!  Daddy shirt!  Kessa shirt!")

She went above and beyond the other day, though.  I found a pile of cleaning rags waiting to be folded on a chair, so I started to fold them.  Kessa immediately wanted to be involved.  I handed her one, expecting her to be more destructive than helpful, but ended up being quite surprised as she listened to my instructions and watched as I folded the towels, and soon was doing a surprisingly good job folding towels on her own.  She had folded probably 6-8 on her own before I pulled out the camera, which of course meant that she was about done.  She stumbled a little in the video, but I am still impressed at how well she did at the age of 2 1/3.

They say it happens in three's

October 13th was a rather … eventful… day.  It started out well enough.  Kessa and I played happily all morning.  She went down for a nap and I left her with Mama Homer while I headed down to Provo.  First I picked up my camera at a ropes course we attended a month prior.  Apparently having two cameras makes me not worry so much when I don't see my camera at all for a month.  Then I stopped by my friend, Bonnie's, house for a quick minute to say hi.  Then I went to Joanns and bought some yarn and crochet hooks to make my nephew an adorable football hat (that apparently I never took a picture of).  Then I headed off to Allred's Orchards to buy some apples to can some apple pie filling, because I was completely out.

And that's when it all started.

1.  I bought the apples and went to put them in the trunk of my mother-in-law's car.  (My car is still dead from the alien invasion, so I borrow their car whenever I need to run errands.)  I turned the key, without any extra pressure at all, when suddenly, the keyless entry portion was still in my hand while the key was still in the trunk.  I was dumbfounded.  I got the apples in the trunk, then called BJ, "I, uh… just broke your mom's car key."  To make matters even better, I couldn't start the car with just the key portion.  It took me awhile to figure out, but apparently both portions are needed to start the car.  So I had to put them back together and hold both halves while turning it.  Great fun indeed.  Needless to say, I skipped the rest of my errands and drove straight to Trav's to make apple pie filling.  My one consolation was that I remembered hearing a random conversation between Carol and John a week or so before where he was asking about some keys and if she knew they were cracked.  So I crossed my fingers that these were the same keys.

2.  Travis wasn't home yet, so I stuck on my apron, turned Harry Potter on my iPod and stuck it in the pocket, and started slicing apples.  After awhile I decided I needed to make the sauce to pour over top, so I bent over to grab a pot from the cupboard.  Immediately my iPod slid out of my apron pocket and hit the tile floor, face down.  I was immediately sick.  I didn't want to turn it over.  But I did anyway.  And saw my screen was shattered.  I went straight to the computer and chatted at BJ, almost disbelieving that I had broken two expensive items in the course of an hour.  Travis came home then, and up to that point I had been in control emotionally.  But when I actually saw another human face and held up my iPod, I burst into tears, sobbing, "I'm not crying!  I'm pregnant!"

3.  Well, I eventually calmed down, we turned on Harry Potter in Trav's office, then went back to canning.  I sat there peeling, coring and slicing apples, minding my own business while Travis went outside to pick some tomatoes.  (We were also canning spaghetti sauce.)  He walked in just in time for me to hold up my recently-sliced finger and ask, "So, do you have any bandaids?"  Turns out, that peeler/slicer/corer gadget is sharp!  

In good news, two days later the Homers had a new key (it had, in fact, been cracked.  So I was just the unlucky fool to be using it at the wrong time), the wonderful man at the Apple Store gave me a brand new iPod for free (after my sob story and telling him that I really didn't want to spend $150 fixing it when we wanted to upgrade to iPhones anyway in February when our T-Mobile contract expired) and my finger had healed enough to remove the bandaid.  So apparently bad things happen in 3's, but they can all become good things in 3's, too.

Temple Square

We had Regional Conference last Sunday and our stake was one of 20 invited to go to the Conference Center to watch it.  Kessa did fantastic with a collection of books, paper, crayons and dolls.  (She did just as fantastic during the Saturday evening session the night before.)  I am quite impressed with her ability to stay quiet during church meetings.  Her ability to stay still?  Not so much.  But quiet?  Yes.  For the most part.

Kessa was enamored by the waterfall outside the Conference Center.  Can I blame her?  Not really.  She's my daughter after all.  We decided to get a family picture in front of the waterfall.  Unfortunately we were staring directly into the sun, so our faces are a little shadowed and squinty.  Please forgive us.  (Baby 2.0 not pictured)

On our way back to the car, we walked through Temple Square.  While Papa and Mama Homer visited with some people they knew, we took pictures of Kessa in front of the temple.  I love the top one where she's peering off into who-knows-what and the bottom one has the most adorable smile.  

Also, notice that she actually has enough hair for pigtails now!  And she does a fantastic job of holding still (enough) while I put them in her hair.  She started the day with bows in her pigtails, too, but for some reason, she doesn't ever let those stay more than an hour or two.


Teresa and her friend Alexis raked up some leaves yesterday to let Kessa play in the pile.  She had a blast!  Here is their story, in pictures:

Kessa: Look Mommy!  I'm covered in leaves! 
 Teresa: Kessa!  Let's bury Alexis in leaves!
Alexis: Well, gee, Kessa, that was fun (sarcasm), why don't we do the same thing to Teresa?
 Kessa: Well, I do have this giant pile of leaves here [giggle]
Revenge!!!!  Bwahahaha


Kessa has figured out rings.  Mama Homer has about a billion of these balls, and many of them have loops where you can stick your finger through.  So I taught her to put them on her finger and wear them like rings.  Now anything she can put on her fingers she'll proudly display as a ring.

Mini (hahaha) update

Note: I wrote this weeks ago and never posted it because I wanted to add pictures, but just couldn't bring myself to find all the pictures.  So, sorry, but it's a text-only update.  Pictures to come in future posts.

Well, I keep getting into trouble for not blogging (I admit, I have been a slacker recently) so today I will give you a "mini"-update (as mini as I can get, anyway) on each of us and life in general.  Hopefully someday I'll actually catch up.

Life in general
Our house in Lehi is currently being built (post with pictures to come… someday) so we're living with BJ's wonderful family in Riverton.  Thanks to their generosity we're being able to save up for a good down payment and everything that we'll need to buy to get settled once we move in.  My car is still broken, thanks to the mustard aliens, but it's much, much easier to get by with one car while living here.  BJ and I are currently Sunbeams teachers.  We have anywhere from 1-3 kids (but usually 2) and it's really fun.  It's great to have a legit snack time and go on a walk around the church every week.

Kessa is now 2 years and 3.5 months old.  She can talk up a storm and her language skills are developing like crazy.  She's loving Nursery and is even excited when we wake her up early from her nap.  "Church!?  Nursery?!"  Here's to hoping that she'll always be that excited about going to church.

Kessa is obsessed with Asleep and Awake.  She'll put all her toys to sleep, then make them wake up.  Over and over and over again.  At nursery this past Sunday she got all the dolls out, laid them all down and covered them with a blanket, making sure their toes were covered, to put them to sleep.

She is a huge tease.  Especially to Jax (the Homer's dog).  Jax has a ball that he loves to chase.  She loves to get it and put it somewhere just out of his reach.  Often she'll run with it on her head to keep it out of his reach so she can get to somewhere to hide it.  (Which has led to a couple of instances of him stepping in front of her and her tripping over him.  Which is largely hilarious to me because she totally deserves it and we've warned her.)

She finally has hair!  It's blonde and curly.  And crazy all over the place.  But it's really nice to to just be able to get it wet, brush it, and scrunch it to make it look nice.  But her teasing nature has caused her problems with her hair.  Remember her holding Jax's ball on her head?  Well the other day BJ's cousin was visiting with her two kids and they had a car that would drive on it's own (just move a switch and the wheels turn on their own).  Well, Ashton (about a year older than Kessa) wanted to play with the car and Kessa had it, so Kessa put it on her head.  We now have a big chunk of hair in an envelope to remember how long her hair is.  And I'll be honest, I think it must have ripped out the longest chunk of hair she has, because I still can't fathom where it came from.  Her hair isn't that long.

She's still incredibly easy to put to bed.  (Though we've definitely had phases where it wasn't.  Usually when we're in transition between new bedrooms, though.)  And it's adorable now because her crib has a bunch of stuffed animals in it and she'll talk to them and put them all to sleep and sing.  And we can hear it all through the monitor (we sleep 2 floors below her right now).  And it's adorable.

She's also a really, really good eater.  She eats pretty much everything we put in front of her.  And if there's anything she doesn't want to try, Grandpa (Papa) just takes a bite and asks her if she'd like to eat it with him.  Which she always does.  Her favorite foods are olives and black beans and cherry tomatoes.  She's starting to really like broccoli, too.  Oh, and carrots.  Seriously, how did I get so lucky to have this child?  BJ may deserve her (he's never been picky) but I sure don't.  I was the pickiest eater as a child.  (Luckily I grew out of it.)  She does love her sweets, though.  "Ah cream" means both ice cream and whipped cream and she insists on one or the other every time she eats something sweet.  She thinks "snack" means "fruit snack" so I have to be really careful when asking her if she wants something to eat.  Because usually we don't have fruit snacks.  Though every once in awhile when I slip I can get her to eat dried cherries or apricots because they're fruit and they're gummy kind of like fruit snacks.  Hahaha.

She's on this kick lately where she'll go around and point to people's noses and tell them they have big noses.  It's hilarious and slightly embarrassing at the same time.

Her coordination is getting really good.  She can build towers out of blocks without any help.  She's got shape-sorters down pat.  She loves to grab onto anything taller than her and swing.  Or lean over a table or chair and "fly".  She'll climb on anything she can.  She loves to perch on the back of couches, which always makes me a bit nervous.  She loves to "Ruuuuuuuun!!!!!" and is much better about not falling flat on her face when she does so.

She responds well to bribery.  I often get her to do things by telling her what we'll get to do when we're done.  "You can have another scoop of peas if you finish your chicken first."  (Yes, I bribe my child with peas.)  If Kessa has a picky side, it's with meat.  She often needs a little bit of coaxing to eat it.  Though, we had tilapia last night and she scarfed it down and asked for more.  We also get diaper changes over with by bribing her with playing with a toy or daddy will pick her up and "fly" her or we can go outside for a walk after her diaper is changed.  She LOVES outside.  She'll do almost anything to go outside.  I definitely use this to my advantage.  I am not ashamed to bribe my child.  :D

Speaking of diapers, she's starting to show signs of potty training. I'm a little worried about this, mostly because I don't want to do it at someone else's house where there are three flights of stairs and 4 different bathrooms.  Especially when walking up one flight of stairs tires me out.  But she loves to go into the bathroom and sit on her potty (we have one downstairs).  And she'll (sometimes) tell me if her diaper is wet or stinky.  And I've convinced her that wet/stinky diapers hurt and new diapers feel all better.  So it's a very common thing during a diaper change for Kessa to point to her bum and say, "Hurt" then point to the new diaper and say, "Ahh bettah."  Cracks me up.

She can count to 12 on her own, but she often stumbles over 7.  She'll go from 6 straight to 9.  But if I remind her about 7, she'll get all of them.  And sometimes she'll get them all right.  We started counting the stairs as we climbed them several times a day.  There are 16.  She's great till 12, but the -teens get her.  So after 12 it's all "ah-teen".  Lately she's started vetoing the counting.  (Probably because it often happens on the way to bed and she's hoping that by disrupting routine she won't have to go to bed?)  So one time BJ was taking her upstairs and started counting and she protested, so being silly he started naming off fruit instead.  Now she insists that he does that every time.  He's started being creative.  Last time I heard him use a pluot.  Which cracked me up.  (Love those, btw.)

Kessa and I were walking up the stairs today. I had asked her if we should make a smoothie when we got upstairs and she said yes, so I wasn't surprised when halfway up the stairs she started saying, "Want food!"  Turns out, though, she wanted me to count fruit up the stairs. But I never caught on. So she gave up on me and the last few steps she said fruits. "Apple, orange, banana."

Her sneezes of late tend to end with a ppbpbpbpbpbpbpbpbpbpbpb, like she's blowing a raspberry.  I love it.

She can recognize most basic animals and say what sounds they make.  She knows the signs for many of them, though she's forgetting a lot of her ASL because we just don't watch as much TV around here as we did at home.  (Probably because I have more help here.)  So we've been practicing them more and she's picking them up quite quickly.  She knows her colors really well, too.

She LOVES to color.  She uses whatever she can find.  Crayons, colored pencils, gel pens, regular pens, coloring books, scrap paper, post it notes.  We're getting the idea across that she can only draw on paper.  Not tables, chairs, skin, etc.  It's slowly sinking in.  Today she was sitting on my lap drawing on post it notes with pen while I read emails and accidentally drew on the desk.  So I grabbed a wipe and she cleaned it up.  She later drew on my arm and she said, "Sorry, wash it."  Then she washed it off with the wipe.  And later again on the desk.  She's getting really good at saying sorry (she'll even say it to toys and furniture when she drops them or bonks them) and cleaning up messes.  Which is super nice.

Teresa (BJ's sister) is horrified because Kessa has chores.  Mostly it's just throwing away wet diapers, but I'll often have her wash her hands, face and table when she's done eating and here and there I'll remember to have her take her dish to the sink.  But Kessa is good at it and rarely complains, so I'll keep at it.  She's also great at helping with the laundry if she's around when I'm doing it.  (Though it's harder right now since the Homers have a top-loading washer, so Kessa can't move the clothes easily.)

Overall, the terrible-twos haven't really been all that terrible.  Oh, sure.  She's becoming independent and has to do everything herself.  "My turn!"  And sometimes she is just willful and won't do what we say.  But most of the time we let her do what she wants to do and find ways to distract/bribe her when she's being super stubborn.  I guess it was just a matter of learning to work with her change of attitude instead of working against it.  It helps to just remember that she's just a kid.  And that she should be allowed to be just a kid.  It helps me keep my cool when she's testing my limits.  :)

BJ is loving his new job at Instructure.  The work itself he likes about as much as he did at Mozy, but for different reasons.  And he loves working with his current co-workers a lot.  Apparently BJ is boring, because neither of us can add anything else to his update.  ;)

I'm now 21 weeks pregnant.  We had an ultrasound last week and found out we're having a girl!  (In case you missed the picture announcement.)  I'll admit, I'm a little surprised.  This pregnancy has been different I was convinced it would be a boy.  I haven't been nauseated hardly at all.  (I've only thrown up 12 times!  Yes, it's so odd that it was easy to keep count.)  Mostly I've just been really tired and sleeping easily 10-12 hours per day.  Sometimes more.  Luckily the last week or so I've done a lot better about waking up on my own around 7 or 8.  (That doesn't mean I get out of bed right away, but it's nice waking up on my own instead of being dragged out of bed because BJ is going to work and I have to watch Kessa.)

I've been working really hard on self-improvement (I get in these phases sometimes) and have started a scripture blog where I'm marking attributes of Christ and trying to compare the stereotypical OT and NT God.  If anyone wants to join with me, I appreciate feedback.  I post one chapter per day and am currently at the beginning of the Book of Mormon.

We've decided to name the new baby Katelyn Pearl Homer.  Well, we're pretty sure that's her name, anyway.  Pearl we're pretty set on (it's my mom's middle name) and Katelyn was chosen when I was pregnant with Kessa.  But the spelling is open for change.  And we reserve the right to change the name itself if we so decide.  But we're pretty sure that'll be her name.

We've been trying to help Kessa get used to the idea of having a new baby sister.  We point out babies everywhere we go.  We encourage her to rock her dolls.  If I ask her where Mommy's baby is, she'll point to my tummy.  If I ask her what the baby's name is, 3% of the time she'll say Kate, 7% of the time she won't respond and 90% of the time she'll say Cake.  Hmm… maybe she has more of a sweet tooth than I thought?  :)

Note: Since writing this, we're no longer 100% sure about the name Katelyn.  But the part about Kessa calling her Cake was too cute to take out.  We'll post an announcement when we know for sure, for sure what we're going to name her.  And then we'll probably change our minds again when she's born and we see her face.  ;)


Ok, friends.  I'm way behind in blogging.  Way behind.  But I'm too overwhelmed with it to go back and catch up.  So I'm going to start with a huge update that I wrote awhile ago (sorry, with no pictures.  It's too overwhelming to find them) and then just start from today and work backwards.  And who knows how many I'll post per day.  So… sorry for the deluge… or the drought… that is sure to come.  :D

Another house update

Well, our house is a month from being move-in ready.  1 month!  This is getting exciting.  And now, because I know that you've all been waiting on tenterhooks, just like we have (hahahaha… sure you have) I give you… pictures!

October 22, 2011
 They're starting the stucco!  

They've laid the vinyl in the kitchen, entry, and bathrooms! 

Oooh!  Texture on the ceiling!  But no paint yet. 

They've been mudding and sanding the walls, too! 

And they put in pillars on our front porch! 

Did I mention that our garage is super tall?  Because we've got the daylight basement, the garage covers most of the basement and the first floor.  We're talking about adding a floor above the garage door and using it for storage or a fort or something.  I mean, seriously.  Look at how much room there is over the garage door! 

October 26, 2011
I stopped by on my way home from a midwife appointment (baby looks great, btw!) and there were workers swarming EVERYWHERE (you can see one in the garage) so I didn't go inside.  But I was thrilled anyway because the stucco was on!  [squeal!]

October 27, 2011
There are shelves in the pantry and all the closets!  Also, they've painted all the walls and baseboards and installed all the doors!  (Well, apparently not all, because we found some in the basement, but by the time we realized that, we were in a hurry to leave (ok, I was in a hurry to leave.  I was hungry!) and didn't want to comb the house trying to figure out where there were missing doors.)  Also, to note (esp. for Jessa): the paint isn't that dark.  It's about that color, but not that dark.  The coloring in the picture is just off. 

They've painted the ceilings, too! 

Ok, so, did I mention that our front door is SO TALL?!  Didn't believe me from previous pictures?  Well, let's give you something to compare it to.  BJ is 6'1".  Doesn't he look like a little toy doll here?  IT'S SO TALL!  No stairs yet, though.
And the front!  Look!  There is rock on it now!  Doesn't it look so pretty?!  I'll be glad when the cement on the porch is covered in rock and there are stairs.  And a driveway.  And a garage door. And shutters.  But dude, I am so excited right now anyway.  It looks like a real house!  THIS IS EXCITING!

Monday, October 17, 2011


We've been teaching Kessa to say "please" lately. She's figured out what "can you ask nicely?" means, and she knows that if she says "please," she can sometimes get things she wouldn't otherwise get. Hooray!

Well, this last weekend we took a trip up to Idaho for our nephew's baby blessing. On the way up, Kessa had been snacking on goldfish crackers and potato chips, and we decided she'd had enough. Kessa asked for more, and we told her she was all done. She was NOT pleased with that, and started whining.


"No, Kessa. We're all done with crackers."


"No, Kessa. No crackers."

"<whine> Cahkers, pwease?"

"I'm sorry, Kessa. No more crackers until after your nap."

"<whine whine whine>"

"Kessa, no whining. I know you want crackers, but you can't whine."

"I want whine."

"No, Kessa. We don't whine."

" ... I want whine, pwease."

What do you say to that? Really, does life get any more adorable?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My day in a nutshell

My mother-in-law's keys, my iPod touch, my finger.

I think I'm going to bed now.