August 30, 2012

These Girls...

 What would I do without them?

The Time We Almost Took Ellie's Binky Away

This week BJ and I seriously debated if we should take Ellie's binky away. She is getting so attached to it, she  manages to find them everywhere, it's messing up her teeth, we are scared that taking it away is just going to get harder the older she gets, and we're just trying to look out for her best interest! 
 Monday was supposed to be her last day with the binky, and then I was going to gather them up Monday night, get rid of them all, and be done with them. Fight it out. Cold turkey. Done. Kaput. Until I was sitting at the table on Monday after lunch and Ellie spotted a binky up high, far across the room, and reached for it. I gave it to her with the sympathetic thought that she should enjoy it while she could, and then it happened.
She put that binky in her mouth and I heard it, that sound that has melted my heart since the day I brought her home from the hospital. That sound I have heard next to me morning, noon, and night. I LOVE the sound I hear when Ellie sucks her binky. A binky is quintessentially "baby" to me. It looks so cute and sounds so sweet, I can hardly stand it. I started crying. Hard. I was SO NOT ready to see my baby's babyhood stripped from her. I called BJ and told him how I was feeling. We weighed the pros and cons, and then Ellie woke up the next morning, was in a horrific mood, and that's when our idea to "pull the plug" got bumped to the back to our "to do" parenting list. Maybe January will be a good time...
I am loving Ellie's hair so much lately ( look how well it's coming in!) that the bowless look has me melting. I love that straw- blonde hair.


My siblings and I met up at my parent's home last month to spend a few weeks together with all the grandkids, and to enjoy the homeland that still holds our hearts. We all live away, (some of us further than others, Katie) but we all still are Utahans deep down. My parent's house is our homebase. It has come to mean so much to each one of us over the years, and now our nostalgic feelings multiply as we watch our own children enjoy it just like we do.
I realized once I moved to California what a unique piece of land my parents have. Their lot extends way back, down a hill below their house, and they tend it and keep it up themselves. They add little things to the yard each each year, and when we come together for few weeks of summer like we did this July, it's where we spend a large portion of our time. We slip n slide down the hill, we have cook outs and smores at the fire pit, we sit on the back deck at night after the kids have gone to bed to talk, we rock on the chairs in the afternoon while the kids play, this summer the kids even slept outside in a tent one night, and somehow the winter sleds ended up entertaining us all one evening while we sat around.
I asked BJ's siblings sitting around the dinner table this Sunday what is the one thing they would want if they had a lot of money. They laughed, and thought my question was peculiar, but I didn't. I know what I want. I want land. I want grass, and space to grow a garden. I never realized how much I loved my parent's backyard until I moved to Orange County and realized that having a backyard like my parents is not a very realistic expectation. I love that yard. I can't wait to sled for real down it this Christmas.
And... looking at these pictures REALLY makes me miss my family.

August 29, 2012

Lake Powell 2012

BJ and I were able to go to Lake Powell this year with his family, baby-free. This year was our third time going out of the five years we've been together. (The first year being the day after we got engaged.) It was wonderful to be there together without a worry of Ellie's sleep schedules, safety, and sun burns. It was a nice romance refresher, and Ellie had a blast at home with my mom, dad, sisters, brothers-in-law, brother, nieces and nephews. They were even featured in the Daily Herald newspaper while we were away! 
The greatest benefits of the trip, besides a sun-tan, vacation time with family, the ever-gorgeous Lake Powell scenery, and the valuable alone time spent with my husband, were a couple subtle, yet strong confirmations I had that I, indeed, have grown to become very comfortable, secure, and confident in my role as mother.
Here's a few photos from our trip...

August 27, 2012

Where Credit Is Due

I forgot to mention a thank you to my sweet sister-in-law, Dani Bree, for all the photos from my last 3 posts. I have been so lazy about my camera lately and wouldn't have any photos if it weren't for her. Thanks Dani!

Our California Home

BJ, Ellie, and I have now lived in California for just over a year. I agree with the insight I once heard that it takes about a year of living somewhere before it starts to feel like home. I am happy here. We love Yorba Linda. BJ always said he would love to raise his family in Yorba Linda if he could, and now as chance would have it, we are doing just that.
After a year I:
-can drive comfortably on the 91, 5, 15, 90, 210, 241, 55, 73, 1, and 10 freeways.
-have established which grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, shopping centers, and movie theaters are "mine."
-have spoken in church, taught the Relief Society how to cook, taught a couple Relief Society lessons, choreographed a dance for the young women, sung in the choir, arranged activities for the young married couples in the ward, fed the missionaries, won the ward chili cook off, and contributed a great deal of smashed crackers to the carpet of our church.
-decided I'd like to teach at a dance studio again, and found a job at a studio 7 minutes away from my home.
-have memorized the hills, pathways, and "do not enter" 
areas in a 3-mile radius of the house.
-have damaged and/or broken several items inside and outside my in-law's home.
-fell in love with cooking like never before.
-joined a book club and read like a crazy woman.
-have witnessed the beheading of a rattlesnake in our backyard.
-have fallen in love with year-round sandal wearing and morning walks.
-have seen my daughter showered with attention from strangers who don't get to see babies wearing bows every day.
-have remembered how it feels to live in the "mission field" and fallen in love with it again.
-have taught dance lessons in the dining room, the movie theater room, and the garage.
-have lived through several earthquakes without a scratch.
-have realized how complaining about the expense of real estate doesn't make it any cheaper.
-paid $500 to get my car registered.
-agree with my husband that I would love to raise my family in Yorba Linda.

If You Give a Girl a Hose...

she'll smile again,
and again,
and again.
And then she'll want more,
and more,
and more.
And she'll just look so darn cute to you, and she'll be squealing with so much delight that you'll give in every time.
Every time.
Every time.
At least that's been my experience with the hose.
The end.

Ellie and Papa

We are lucky we live with BJ's parents for so many reasons. One of the most important reasons for Ellie is that her Sweetheart and Papa live here...
and Papa is really good at sharing his fudgesicles,
 and tossing kids high in the air.
And that makes living at Sweetheart and Papa's really fun.