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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I want something that I want

Well, we haven't done much with the garden this week as I had hoped.  It's been cold and very windy.  And we decided to go to Oregon on Thursday for my niece's baptism!  So the only thing I managed to get done was to move the pile of compost from my neighbor's yard over to my own and that with sunglasses on to keep dirt from flying into my eyes as I shoveled.  So windy!  But this week is supposed to be nice, so watch out, yard, here I come!

We're not sure what to do about the playground any more.  My next door neighbors, the ones Kessa plays with the most, just got one very similar to the one we were looking at.  Is it lame to have the same playset as the neighbors?  Is it worth spending so much money on something that won't be as exciting for friends to play on because they have the same thing at home?  Ugh.  I just don't know what to do…

What new book am I reading?  It's the Percy Jackson series.  Speaking of which, now that I'm home again, I should probably start reading that again.  It's a cute series, and after Wheel of Time, it's nice to have something far more light-hearted.

Most of my week can be summed up with our Oregon trip.  We left Thursday afternoon and drove a little past Boise.  We stayed at my great aunt Alta's house, which was surprisingly fun.  I don't know her very well, so I was a little nervous staying there, but she was just so welcoming and friendly that I couldn't help feel like I was doing her a favor by staying there.  And really, she's probably lonely, living there all by herself, so perhaps I was.  Kessa loved her.  When we went to bed that night she insisted on going back upstairs to show Aunt Alta her jammies and "to ask her I love her."  Awwww.  Then Friday morning we got up and drove the rest of the way to Jalin's.

While there we had an Angry Birds bday party for Kristen (the one who got baptized).  Jalin is really awesome about birthday parties.  She did a life-sized Angry Birds game (BJ helped set it up) where they used a giant slingshot to shoot a wiffle ball into a stack of cardboard boxes.  She also made a cupcake stand out of 2"x4"s to look like a building the pigs would be in, then put cupcakes in it with Angry Birds cupcake toppers.  So cute!

We also did a Settlers of Catan party for my nephew, Cody.  His 12th birthday was in March, but he wanted to save his party for when Grandma was there.  They first half of the party was spent playing board games of various sorts, then the second half was playing a giant Settlers game Jalin built.  The hexes were cut from carpet, the roads were Uno Jenga blocks.  Settlements were blocks; cities were dowels with pictures colored on top.  She found giant foam dice and we used a cup for the robber.  It was awesome.  We adults played the night before to figure out the flaws and turns out, it's really fun to be juvenile.  :D  I passed the dice to Jalin almost every turn by throwing them at her.  It must have worked, too, because I won.  haha.  The cupcakes for Cody's party had colored frosting and she displayed them as if they were a Catan board.

I'm telling you, she's awesome.

Kristen's baptism was Saturday night.  Kessa gave her first talk there.  (She was supposed to give this talk in Primary, but we ended up going out of town, so she gave it at the baptism instead and she'll give a different talk in Primary this Sunday.)  It went something like this:

Joseph Smith didn't know how to get baptized, so he went to a grove of trees and prayed to Heavenly Father and asked him.  Heavenly Father and Jesus came down and told Joseph not to join any of the churches, and taught him how to prepare to get baptized in God's church.

She's adorable, right?  Right.

Kristen was practically glowing the whole time.  She was so happy and you could tell she was feeling the Spirit.  So, of course, Satan had to do his best to distract her.  Sadly, half of that distraction came in the form of our own sweet Kessa.  She was walking all over the place.  She kept going up to the podium and playing with pencils sitting on top.  She ran through the halls and screamed when I tried to get her to stop.  [sigh]

The other half was humorous in hindsight.  While we waited for Kristen to get dressed after the baptism, we watched a little show.  If you can watch it, you should.  I think you'd like it.  They played it during the Young Women's broadcast.  You can watch it here.  It's 5:30 minutes (ish) and you basically watch as a girl gets ready to go do baptisms at the temple, but you also watch her progress from her blessing day, to looking forward to mission, marriage, and family.  It's really well done.  Anyway, we hooked my parents' computer up to a TV and speakers to watch it while we waited for Kristen to get dressed.  Then they confirmed her.  Unfortunately, they didn't think to close the computer after the movie was over.  Halfway through the confirmation, my aunt Donna tried to Skype my parents, and it loudly alerted us through the speakers.  Hahaha.  I was so confused.  I couldn't figure out what the noise was.  It almost sounded like it should be followed with, "This is a test of the emergency broadcast system" or something.  They had to stop mid-prayer, figure out what was wrong, shut things down, then continue the prayer.  This is when we hope God has a sense of humor.  :)  It was good, though, because it gave the bishop the opportunity to talk to Kristen about how Satan often tries to distract us at key spiritual moments.

Kessa just struggled with a bad attitude, though.  During the sacrament the next morning, she got distracted by a sticker that had gotten folded in half and was trying to unfold it and completely ignored me as I tried to get her to take a piece of bread.  I tried a couple of times and finally passed it on.  She saw it a few minutes later as it left our row and she had a melt down.  That was fun.  Sitting near the front in the middle as my really tall 3-year old screamed, "I want the bread!" while writhing in my arms as I tried to get her to calm down.  And yes, I do mean screamed.  The bishop had to try really hard to keep a straight face.  So she missed the water, too, while Uncle Damian took her outside to calm down.  During the water portion, Abby decided to throw a fit, too, so I had to take her out.  My mom looked at me and whispered, "What are you doing to these children?!"  Thanks mom.  :D

Luckily, they both calmed down and did pretty well on the drive home, which is good because we drove straight through.  9 hours in a car, with only two stops: one for a meal and one rest stop.  Thank goodness for the built-in DVD player.  Abby even took two long naps and Kessa took one. That's rare for my kids to sleep in a car.  Hooray!

The most eventful part of the trip home was at the rest stop.  Kessa insisted on going in the stall by herself. She took off her dress (yes, completely off) and sat on the potty. Well, she's so small that the automatic flusher didn't recognize her still there. So while she was still on the potty, it flushed. And it was one that is loud and splashes a little.

Blood-curdling scream. Loud and long. BJ heard it out in the foyer area.

Luckily she didn't lock the door, so I was able to get in and help her get dressed and calm her down. And then I was careful to walk her through the automatic sinks and hand dryer.

It's one of those moments that you feel guilty for thinking it hilarious.

Abby is still adorable.  She's very ticklish on her neck and has the cutest grin and laugh when we tickle her there.  Or on her arms, legs or belly.  Anywhere, really.  She's still obsessed with socks.  She loves bananas.  It's the one sign she knows (though I think she thinks it just means food) and she eats at least one per day.  She still won't drink milk, though we did get her to take a couple of swallows last week that she didn't even spit out like she usually does.  But she wouldn't drink any more.

So now that I've, very lengthily, caught you up on my week, here's our cute Kessa-isms.

  • In a sing-song voice, "Now that I have my fi-irst kiss, now give me a ki-i-iss."
  • We watched Kung Fu Panda in the car. Kessa fell asleep during the end of it. When she woke up, she said that the movie was scary. It was so scary that it made her angry and sleepy, and so she fell asleep.
  • We watched Tangled on our way to Oregon. That night in her prayers Kessa prayed, “Please help that I want something that I want.” (It's from the song that plays during the credits.)
  • Kessa: Wanna play a game with me?
    Me: I thought we were going to the store.
    Kessa: We can play it at the store, too.
    Me: What game is it?
    Kessa: It's called Don't Trust People.
  • Kessa just asked me if she could try to drive the car.

And a guest appearance by BJ:

  • On the way to Oregon BJ said, “Tianna, I have a problem. I have this great way to explain imaginary numbers, and no one to teach it to! By the time our kids are old enough, I'll have had to wait 10 years!” Don't worry, he found a willing, eager even, audience in my nephews.

And, some random pictures:

Just because they're cute.
I just love how Abby is leaning into Kessa here.

One thing southern Idaho does right: windmills.  Lots of them.
I love windmills.

Monday, April 22, 2013

In which I go picture and word heavy, despite needing to be asleep

Let's see… what'd we do last week…

Our yard.  That'd really the big thing.  We got concrete curbing around all our flower and garden beds.  We brought in 6 cubic yards of compost (or, in other words, a LOT) for the flower beds and around the garden boxes.  We built redwood garden boxes that are nicer, sturdier, and much prettier.  Kessa "helped" us build them.
We built an insane drip system (but I think I told you about that last week?).  We filled the boxes with a really fancy soil that is really, really good (which I brought home, bagged, in my car.  Luckily Kessa was at a friend's house, because I wouldn't have had room for her.  I attached a picture taken from Kessa's open door.  You can kind of see Abby hiding behind all of those bags.  And I'll have you know, I carried every single one of those bags to my backyard.  I carried over 91.5 cubic feet that day.  [pride]  And somehow after that and all the garden stuff… I'm not sore.  Weird.)  So basically my garden is going to be golden this year and the talk of the neighborhood.  Except that both of my neighbors want fences… which brings me to my conversation with BJ tonight:

Me: I know why we shouldn't get a fence! What's the point of having a really pretty back yard if no one will ever see it?!
BJ: That's why we have Google Maps, m'dear.

bahahahaha.  Here's a picture of it almost to the current point.  I took it early because I was trying to manage it between rain storms.

To come: flagstones in the walkways, surrounded by moss (like the space by the benches out front at your parents') and plants!  Oh, and I got a composter to put where the potato tower was last year.  So that's fun.  I'm considering getting a play set with swings, slide, rock wall, rope ladder, telescope, tic tac toe board, and a punching bag.  (Umm… kids' toys come with punching bags now-a-days?)  Kessa is thrilled at the prospect.  She's also one sticker away from earning her scooter.  She's probably going to get a bike with pedals (and no training wheels!) for her birthday.  And she keeps praying for a blue wagon that is all her own, except she'll share with Abby.  I'm still confused by this.  And I'm starting to feel like she's spoiled rotten...

I don't know what to write, exactly.  Today has been rough.  Kessa spent the day being disobedient and stubbornly willful.  It was cold and windy so I couldn't go play in the garden.  And there was the bombings at the Boston Marathon that has left me feeling a little melancholy.  (I assume you heard about that?)  I just don't understand how people can do something like that.  But I was encouraged by watching the people in live videos running into the smoke immediately after the bombing to help the wounded.  There are many more good people in the world than bad.  They're just quieter.

We get to move back to the church down the street from us, which is exciting!  And 9 am.  I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the time, but I guess I'm just trading losing Abby's afternoon nap for morning, so it's worth it to get the closer building.  I can walk to church again!

Abby loves to listen to us sing together.  She likes one person singing, but when multiple people sing, she will stop the most heartbreaking cry and look at us and smile.  It's adorable.  Sometimes when she's sad in the car, we'll all sing songs together, just to cheer her up.  She is excessively mobile and likes to get into everything.  Turns out, she can fit more than 6 marbles in her mouth at a time.  And she likes to put things on her head.

Kessa has discovered, with the neighbor girls, that sidewalk chalk dipped in water makes sidewalk paint.  So our driveway and bottom of our stairs almost always look like a graffiti festival.  She's also learned to recognize the phrase "and it came to pass" in our scripture studies.  Adorable.  And here's a picture of her making a pouty face that Resa taught her in order to get more pastry after I already told her she'd had more than enough sugar.  She got another bite, needless to say.

I guess I'll just get to the real point of the email… cute things Kessa says!

  • Kessa: I may have apple juice, I suppose.
  • During her breakfast prayer: And please help us to eat.
  • When Mommy and Daddy are sad, we're in trouble. Because we don't have a Resa blanket to hold onto.
  • Kessa, singing, “I'm a little corn dog. I'm a little corn dog.”
  • Mommy: Kessa, I love you.
    Kessa: I love you, too!
    Daddy: You know what, Kessa?
    Kessa: What?
    Daddy: I love you a lot.
    Kessa, wide-eyed and looking at me: Holy cow!
  • Kessa told me today that Jessa is older than Damian. When I corrected her she said, “Nuh-uh! Jessa is 100 years old!” 
  • On the way home, Kessa told me that I needed to beat home… everyone in the whole world.
  • Kessa: I want a blah blah. That's a shoe made out of slides. I saw it at IKEA. [Turns out, the play place at IKEA has a slide that is shaped like a shoe.]

Oh!  Another super exciting thing happened!  Our flowering tree bloomed!!!!!  It's the first one on our street and it makes me soooooo happy!!!!  Hooray!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

In which I ramble for posterity's sake

Hmm… what's happened this week…  There was General Conference.  Kessa did pretty well during all the sessions, though she really just wanted to go play with friends.  Abby slept through most of the sessions.

It was Spring Break this week, so Kessa didn't have preschool.  We've spent a bunch of it playing with friends, and a bunch cooped up in the house because of the torrential rain and wind.  Welcome to Spring, right?  :)

The drip system, pre-burial
Friday Travis came out and spent the day building me a drip system on steroids for my garden.  I'm so happy!!!  We've got it all built and the PVC base of it buried in my garden.  Now there are just heads popping up for me to attach drip hoses to.  I need to go out and level the ground, then build new boxes (we're getting nicer wood that'll last longer, not give so many slivers, and look better), fill them with new dirt, then get planting!  Hooray!  Hopefully with nice dirt and an irrigation system that is hooked up to my sprinkler system (so it waters automatically), I will get a much better yield this year.  If not, I will cry.  Because I'm putting an awful lot of money into this.  Haha.  Yay for tax returns!  :D

Some of our friends, Mitchell and Melanie (I've probably told you about them.  Kessa loves their daughter, Audrey, and they have twin baby boys who are 5 months younger than Abby, but are bigger than her) now have her sister, Eileen, living with them.  And she goes to bed right after the kids do.  Which is fantastic, because that means they can leave the house after bedtime and not have to put someone else out to babysit.  So we had them over on Tuesday to play Leaders, our new 7 Wonders expansion.  BJ really likes it.  I think I'd need to play it another time or two to really get a feel and opinion for it.

Abby is practically running now.  Or, at least, walking super fast.  Now that she's got a good feel for it, she definitely prefers walking to crawling.  I accidentally upended a box of Kix all over my kitchen floor today.  Abby spotted it while in the family room (I was by the pantry) and she got the biggest grin on her face and booked it on over to come clean it up for me.  haha.  Oh!  And she has shoes now for when we leave the house.  Except I always forget to put them on her…  But they're cute.

I've been enforcing the rule of no friends until Kessa makes her bed, cleans her room, and picks up her toys in the Loft and Family Room.  It's been hard to enforce, but good.  And it's getting easier.  But it's so funny to watch her make her bed.  She'll put down the blankets (usually with help) and then pile half (or more) of her stuffed animals onto her bed.  I have to laugh, because I totally did the same thing as a kid.

Kessa is absolutely loving playing with Abby.  To the point of overwhelming her half the time to the point of tears.  It's kind of funny to me that half of my reprimands to Kessa are things like, "Ok Kessa, time to stop hugging Abby.  She doesn't like it anymore."  She's rarely ever mean to her, but she sure can love her to a fault.  But she often plays with her and insists on Abby being involved.  I attached a picture of them riding the rocking horse together.  Kessa sat behind the saddle and insisted I put Abby in front of her.  It was so adorable and they both loved it.

That's not to say that Kessa is always looking out for Abby, though…  BJ has this ball that can be squished flat and held flat with suction cups.  But the cups are dying a little and it only stays flat for maybe a second or two, then it pops back open.  Kessa loves playing with it.  The other day we had it outside with her, Izzy, and another neighbor, Jason.  They would all stand around it, pushing it down, then counting, because they were certain that the longer they held it down, the higher it would bounce when it popped open.  It was adorable.  But somehow Abby has developed an irrational fear of this ball being squished.  She's just fine if the ball is just a ball, but the second Kessa squishes it, she bursts into tears and has a look of pure terror on her face.  Her eyes will lock on the ball and she'll stare it down, sobbing, until Kessa stops.  Usually it's when Abby is in her high chair, facing the kitchen, and Kessa is in the family room behind her.  Somehow she hears it start to be squished and will whip around, then cry.  It's hilariously heartbreaking.  The kind of thing YouTube videos are made of.  The best I can figure is that she must have gotten her fingers pinched in it sometime or something.  I don't know.

I'm getting ideas for decorating Kessa's room.  I'm pretty positive I'll do it all in pink and purple.  She already has purple curtains, a pink laundry hamper, and her blankets have a lot of pink to them.  Plus, they're her favorite colors.  It seems appropriate.  I'm thinking I want to take off her closet doors and hang up curtains.  I just hate those doors so much, because the center is never, ever accessible.  So I'm thinking about curtains, then getting a low dresser (only about 3 drawers) and putting it in the center of her closet and getting a lower rod to hang up in her closet so she can reach her shirts.   I'm considering getting a kid-sized wardrobe with pink doors on it (from IKEA) to hang up dress up clothes.  She just loves to dress up so much.  It's been fun getting real ideas of what to do.

And… that's all I can think of.  So I'll end with our Kessa-isms:

Our old garden boxes with Kessa inside.
We're building newer, better ones.

  • Look! I made a wand! Ta da! I made toilet paper!
  • Kessa is walking around saying “argue, argue, bicker, bicker” from her new Berenstain Bears book.
  • BJ (at bedtime): Ok, Kessa.  I want you to stay in your room and not come downstairs."  Kessa: "But daddy!  What if I get stuck in my wall?!"
  • Monday we had an FHE about praying and talked about how we should say new things in our prayers so we actually think about what we're saying in our prayers.  She then said the closing prayer for FHE and her bedtime prayers.  Both included, "And please help me get a blue wagon I really want."  I have no idea where this came from.  She's never said anything about a blue wagon outside of her prayers.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Oh no! Abby is being eaten by an alligator!

The other day Kessa had a full on sobbing tantrum because she wanted Jessa to be here.  She didn't want to wait a long, long time to see her again.  It was adorable and heartbreaking at the same time.  Only 17.5 more months, Kessa...

Abby is full on walking now.  She can cross a room before she topples over sometimes.  Sometimes she only makes it a few steps.  But she is gaining confidence like crazy.

I can't think of anything else, really, to say, so I'll leave you with your Kessa-isms of the week.  I've done better about writing down things as they happen.  She is getting such a huge imagination.  I love it.

  • Kessa just informed me, “I need to go to Izzy's house or Izzy needs to come here. Those are your two choices.” (Izzy is her friend that lives next door.)
  • Kessa: When Heavenly Father comes, I want to say a prayer to him, because I don't think he heard one of mine.
    Me: Why do you think he didn't hear one of yours?
    Kessa: Because he's in the sky!
  • Me: Kessa, where are your shoes?
    Kessa: I put them upstairs to kill bugs in the bathtub.
  • Kessa: I'm the witch. I don't like anybody. And I sleep at morning.
  • Speaking of the resurrection Kessa said:
    • what if we need to go potty when we have no body?
    • what if we have our bums and need to go potty?
  • Adorable overheard: “Daddy, did you miss me at work?” Kessa is just too cute.
  • Playing with her toys I overheard Kessa yell, “If you do that I'm going to have to take you to the doctor! I don't want to go to the doctor, so please don't do that!”
  • Kessa just walked out of my room and as she was closing the door she waved and said, “See ya next time!”

Kessa has the best imagination right now.  I love it.  The other day she helped Abby sit in a laundry basket, turned to me, then exclaimed, "Oh no! Abby is being eaten by an alligator! And now she has pokies!"(Pokies are her word for anything sharp and, well, poky.  Generally it means thistles, but apparently it applies to alligator teeth as well.)

Easter Sunday Kessa insisted that she have hair as straight as Izzy's.  Luckily, I have a mini straightener.  Ehhh… it wasn't fantastic.  Her hair is too thin and frizzy still for straight hair to look great on her.  But we did our best.  Maybe when she grows more hair this will work better.  But she liked it well enough (though she was sad that I still pulled it back), so I guess that's what was important, right?

Abby is walking! And other highlights.

Don't you just love Kessa's fashion sense?
Abby is starting to walk.  She teased me all weekend by taking 1 or maybe 2 steps for everyone but me.  My parents, BJ, Kessa… but not me.  BJ described them as sumo wrestling steps.  She'd have her legs spread wide, then move one leg up and forward, then stop.  We tried and tried to get videos, but of course, as per Murphy's Law of Children, she'd stop as soon as we pulled out a camera.  But then she decided to make my wait worth it and yesterday we were outside in the grass playing and I set her down and next thing I knew, she took off after Kessa and probably took 8 steps before she fell down.  And then, of course, wouldn't do it again as I had my camera out.  But BJ helped me when he got home and we got a video of her taking about 6 steps or so*.  CRAZY!  She started walking 4 months earlier than Kessa did.  That still puts her at 14 months, so it's not like she's an early walker or anything, but let's be honest… I'm 100% ok with my kids walking later.  :)

What else… Ok, here is a funny thing I journaled about Kessa:
  • Kessa on a toy phone: Hey! May I have one of your toys? Do you have a shirt or pants or skirt? Or panties. A skirt? Great. Do you have a princess one? You do? Great. See ya!
She seriously cracks me up so much.  I'll try better to write things like that down so you can get a good chuckle every blog.  She informed me the other day that she doesn't want to have any more accidents, and since then, she hasn't!  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this one lasts.  I've even started looking at scooters for her.  [Note: she's filling up a sticker chart to earn a two-wheeled scooter.]
So happy to be eating an apple!
Oh, and Abby can crawl down stairs like a pro now!  It's like she suddenly got a bunch of physical skills all this last week!  She also has a runny nose and HATES it being wiped.  I'm sure you care.  :)  She also proved to us that she can eat an apple.  Kessa found one, took a couple of bites, then handed it to Abby.  Abby then ate probably 2/3 of it or more.  Just scraping off pieces with her teeth.  Guess that's a lesson to me.  She's already capable of doing more than I give her credit for.  Who knows what she'll surprise me with next! 

*I tried to put a video of her walking in here, but it won't load.  Sorry, folks.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

New tactic

BJ's sister, Jessa, is on her mission in Cambodia!  (Well, she's currently in the MTC.  But you get the point.)  I've been taking her family emails and posting them on her blog for her.  Then every Monday night I've been writing her an email about all of the happenings in our lives, pictures included.  It occurred to me today that I could put in a tiny bit more effort and turn those emails into blog posts as well.  And do a lot better about keeping up on my blog.  I'm only two weeks behind, so I'll post those now and hope that I can make it a habit for the next 18 months.  [crosses fingers]