Wednesday, August 25, 2010

♫♪ I've Got Rhythm ...♫

For the last 3 days I found my rhythm and have been able to swim the length pool 16 or more times without stopping. Yes, I'm swimming without the noodle and in many ways I feel more at home in the water finally. At first I wasn't sure if it was for real ... a good day could just be a fluke, but when I did it 3 days in a row I was positive. So in my state of euphoria, I hopped online to see how long the swim was for the sprint triathlon I'm interested in. Only 800m .... oh, so only 400 more to go! ;0) Baby step, right?! Slowly but surely. Incidentally, does anyone know of a good bike and being the recycling freak I've become, is it a bad idea to buy a bike used?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Split Personalities?

Sometimes I think having children has created multiple personalities in me. For example, a few months back I began considering signing Isaac up at a preschool. He knows his uppercase and lowercase letters, sounds for many letters, loves to rhyme words and knows his numbers 1-12 and sometimes up to 20. He's a bright kid, VERY active and bounces off the walls unless occupied with something interesting. At that time I had an overriding anxiety to just get him out of my hair ... keeping him occupied while caring for Keila and the home was going to be the death of me. So "off to preschool" it was! Based on a friend's recommendation, we found a great one that would allow watch Keila while I volunteer in Isaac's classroom once a week. I was elated, relieved and content.

But these last few days I've grown rather melancholy and 'mommy-guilt' is setting in. "... you don't appreciate this little time you have with him ... he's growing up too fast and putting him into preschool doesn't help..." I try and reason with myself - usually in my head, but occasionally out loud (more evidence that I'm going crazy?!) - this will be good for him socially, he needs an outlet and the challenge of making new friends, etc. But the moments I see him sitting quietly or napping I see clearly that the little baby boy has disappeared and I wish badly I could turn back time.

Then something happens and I'm back to the 'Boy-Will-I-Be-Glad-When-THIS-Stage-is-Over' mood. Seriously - either I'm having major mood swings or split personalities. I have a sinking feeling that I might be this way the rest of my life! Is this just me?!

The truth is though that Isaac has grow a great deal though. His doctor's appointment had his way above average in height and at 40 inches tall and average in weight at 36lbs. He shows his growing maturity in how he helps out with Keila and , does his 'chores' (putting away the clean utensils) while telling me he's "working hard". He continues to be bright and imaginative. The following is a picture of him working on a giant cake for Keila's birthday in the form of pillows and blankets. He even made up his own birthday song for her.

He longs in so many ways to grow up and be like his Baba. He talks about going to school and to work with a great deal of pride. But as the days shorten to when he'll really be in school, I'm sensing as much apprehension from him as I'm experiencing. Maybe he's inherited a split personality from me too!

First Steps

Keila the cutie buggaboo is much like a lump in comparison to other children her age. She has no desire to move if there is an abundance of 'snuddle-love' around (holding, hugs, kisses) If you've been following our blog you'll know that it took the first taste of sugar in the form of a Popsicle to get her crawling. That was only 2 months ago. In fear that walking would only occur once she became of school age, Kent decided to 'practice' daily with her. It only took a day or two for her confidence to grow and now she is the wiggle worm that all toddlers her age are. Our only problem is that we don't have the energy - or the backside- to keep holding her hands and helping her to walk!

Her recent doctor's visit put her at 30 inches in height and just under 20 lbs - average for her height and a skinny peanut for her weight. She eats like a horse though and we've decided she's a carb queen with a sweet tooth. Can you tell by the way she's sucking down that juice ... "There's more than water out there?!"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Trying Harder

Growing up my parents were diligent in having us read scriptures as a family as well as having Family Home Evening lesson. It's something I appreciate more now as I have children. It's amazing how much of a deterrent it is to do it when you have fidgety kids, much less grouchy, unhappy, tantrum throwing screaming children. But we all know that NEVER happens... right? Up till now we do brief lessons on Monday night and read a scripture together before bed. It's always a little haphazard, we flip to one we know and read it and talk about it. Kids being as bright as they are, particularly Isaac, seem to sense this and his response has been just as piecemeal as our efforts. Feeling a little frustrated, I read through some sources and drew upon my wisdom from my teaching years and came up with a weekly plan.

We disposed of a desk that Kent's dad had made years ago, but before doing so, we took off one of the doors and I made it into a cork board and hung it on Isaac's wall. We then took a scriptural figure from the gospel art kit (specifically Noah - for this week) and tacked it up in his room. Family Home Evening on Monday night was reading through the Old Testament reader the story of Noah with the picture as a focal point. The following nights scripture thoughts are all based on the story of Noah with different objectives. For instance we talk about covenants (like the one that God made with Noah and symbolized in the rainbow), families (male and female), obedience and the blessing associate with it, etc. So each evening we simply look at the 'lesson plan' read the scripture and focus comment on it.

It seems to be better for all of us. We're a little more prepared and honestly speaking, getting to know our scriptures and past prophets better. Isaac likes having the picture up in his room and knowing that we change it out makes it fun. I hope that since we talk about this prophet for a week that he comes to see a more 'rounded' view of God working in our lives, not just the God of justice vs. the God of love.

So if any of you have any other helpful ideas or websites to draw from, please let me know. It's so hard to keep a toddler interested and attentive. I must admit that I'm amazed at the things that Isaac can grasp as young as he is especially when I think nothing is getting through. I know that there will still be the tantrum throwing fits and many, many, MANY times where I swear I'm talking to a wall, but the hopes that consistently doing this will give my children the opportunity to feel of the spirit and gain a testimony of their own that God does work in their lives. Time will tell.

Isaac's so proud of his decorated room! We do pictures of our own to go with the lesson and put them into the Ikea frames.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Little Here, A Little There

In our early years of marriage, with pharmacy school loans looming over our heads, Kent and I opted to by a cheap table from Target to meet our basic needs. Through our many moves, it's hung on fairly well with the exception of the veneer chipping off the top and edges resulting in the odd sliver in the hands and thighs should you be careless enough rub against it. Since going through a painting craze, I thought I'd paint the whole thing, legs and all, but wondered when I'd ever get around to it. After one sliver too many, I decided I had enough time in the morning to sand the top, prime it and paint it.



So the thinking was I'd do just a little here and a little there. I'm planning on putting some shellac stuff on the top to take off the tacky feeling. I'm kinda like just the top black ....I might do the seats black too, but then again I might not. Am I just being lazy or practical? ;0)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sugar and Spice!

Keila is officially 1 years old and I can't hardly believe how quickly she's grown. As usual of birthdays I took a moment last night to review old posts and pictures over the year and amid sentimental sighs and giggles, I realized what an amazing thing it is to watch a child change over a year. Enormous growth takes place physically, mentally and emotionally as they take in an overwhelmingly large world around them. No wonder they need 3 naps a day! (might I claim that same privilege too! The overwhelmed and needing nap part...) So here's to a little girl who enjoyed her first year of life to the fullest!

She's an affectionate soul - truly. I have never known a child so cuddly and loving. Her famous duck under your chin hugs, the 'kisses' (which consist of a wet open mouth plant) delivered on an available part of body complete with giggles, her honest distress when big brother is upset and her need to comfort with an awkward pat on the head and then a lean into hug. There is something do heartwarming and winsome as genuine physical affection and we love that we are the blessed recipients of it.

She has grown to have such definite likes and dislikes over this last year. She loves food in all it's many forms - a Montierth family theme.

Her first taste of ice cream!

She loves shoes and clothes and anything that sparkles and can spend a great deal of time looking over them. I'm sure this girly girl will need great patience with her rather dull practical mother.

These were some PJ's that were given by some much older cousins that Isaac was positive they were princess clothes. Keila LOVED them and especially the ruffled edges of her sleeves and the purse.

She also loves animals. Much to our relief (and Sunshine's) she shows the greatest of tenderness to the rabbit and Sunshine in turn seeks her out on and off for the awkward little rub. I've even seen her plop down next to Keila in contentment. We thought for a time it was just our rabbit, but when we went to Cabela's (a sporting/hunting store) Keila was enthralled with all the stuffed animals and kept pointing and babbling at the elk, deer, etc. with great enthusiasm. Kent's only worry is that one day she'll figure out that they're dead and freak out over it. ;0)

She has such a strong personality that you almost wouldn't expect in one so cuddly. If she feels she's in the right, she'll be sure to 'tell' you and isn't easily placated. When she wants something, she won't let anyone get in her way, in particular her brother. I can already see that Isaac and her will be the best of playmates and the worst of enemies! The tenderness in her seems to balance it out though and I'm sure I'll be particularly grateful for these traits as she gets older. (watch out boys, this little girl can take care of herself!)

Before having Keila I always hated the 'princess' phrase, perhaps because it came from egocentric, narcissistic teens. Lately though Isaac's been the one pretending he's the knight to rescue his princess sister and I find my heart warming to the title as she grows. There is something of the divine in her loving innocent soul. Happy Birthday my sweet princess girl. We love you!

It's suppose to be a caterpillar ....

Guess who enjoyed himself too?!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Little Friends

Our neighbors went out of town for a while and gave us the loan of their pets, namely a Sugar glider named Sugar and 2 turtles. Isaac was enamored with the turtles until they began to stink and then quickly lost interest. The Sugar glider was fascinating though, her tiny little body can put our a large barking noise that really had me thinking it was a new dog in the neighborhood. Unfortunately she did this at 2 am complaining of the food (apparently she doesn't like grapes) and the lack of attention. Since then we feed her what she wants (melons) and pet her a little everyday. It's cute to hear Isaac say,"Sugar, Sugar needs love!"

While it's been fun, I don't personally recommend them as pets. My brief experience has shown me that they're as fussy as children and not half as cuddly!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Giggle Till You Can't Stop

Nothing gets my son giggling better than a good book. Our favorite lately are books by Mo Willems - Knuffle Bunny, Elephant and Piggie books and of course the Pigeon. There's a little truth in each book that's sure to get you laughing.