Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bath-time Gone Wrong. Very Wrong.

We've had some problems with Katie in the bath recently, so really I shouldn't have been surprised.  I even considered not putting Katie in until after the other girls had finished, but Bryan's been out of town the past couple of days and in favor of keeping things moving steadily towards bedtime I decided to be optimistic and put all three of them in together.

It didn't take long for things to go downhill.  The big girls were just starting to pour water back and forth using the fun tea set Grandma sent for Amber's birthday when I looked down at Katie and saw a brown cloud literally swelling around her in the water.

After so many recent accidents, the whole thing has become rather obnoxiously routine.  More annoyed than panicked I decided to evacuate Robyn and Amber first since Katie looked like she  might still be working on something.  In a matter of moments the big girls were hefted out of the tub, the toy dishes were confiscated, and two wet naked toddlers were shooed to the shower in our bathroom where I promised I would come help them as soon as I took care of Katie.

I then turned my head back to Katie...just in time to see her put SOMETHING THAT WAS NOT A TOOTSIE ROLL between her lips.

Gag. Gag. Double-gag.  Gagging again just writing this.

I suppose it could be worse though.  I mean, at least it was fresh and recently rinsed...right?

Katie, our resident mischievous monkey, pulling out nearly all 80 diaper wipes from a  brand new package last night.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Living Victoriously (or A Sunday Without A Nuk)

Remember the ebay commercials a few years ago?  The ones that encouraged you to "shop victoriously"?  Well, thanks very much to Katie, I feel like we "church-ed victoriously" today.  There are definitely Sundays when we church...mundanely--maybe even occasionally defeatedly--in terms of wiggly little bodies, so I figure we might as well celebrate the victories when we can get them.  And so begins what will probably be the incredibly uninteresting story of (dun dun dunnnnnn) A Sunday Without A Nuk...

We have generally worked on getting the girls off of their pacifiers ("nuks") between 12 and 18 months (being done with it by nursery-age at church has kind of been the final deadline.)  Katie, meanwhile, is a mere 11 months old and madly in love with her little plug.  She fingers it, pops it in her mouth, mulls over it seriously, yanks it out, waves it in the air, sucks on it desperately, spits it out, holds it up to her eye for a close examination, licks it, droopily sucks on it as she drifts in and out of sleep, etc. etc. etc.  It is her accessory of choice as well as our silence (and sanity) preserver at church. 

And then today came along.  This is just Week 2 of Bryan really being busy in the ward bishopric.  With Bryan up and out of the house early for bishopric meeting today it was a little bit of a scramble getting everyone ready and out the door in time for Ward Council and THAT is when it happened: I somehow dropped the pacifier in the middle of the kitchen floor on our way out the door.

Now, forgetting a nuk at church would be cause for panic on a normal day.  But this was no normal day: this was a marathon church day.  And Katie did great.  She played happily under the table between me and Bryan at Ward Council.  She held it together all through sacrament meeting even though it was only our second time doing the whole no-Bryan-on-the-bench thing and the visiting high councilor ran long.  (There may have been several bottles and graham crackers involved in that little victory as well.)  Our music leader in Primary had a rough morning and didn't make it until senior Primary, but Katie provided ample entertainment for the kids by sitting on my hip and waving her arms through an impromptu music time.  Katie was even considerate enough to save her nasty blown-out diaper for when someone else (a very nice someone else) was holding her while I did sharing time (thanks Darice...sorry about the clothes... )  And then she cheerfully nibbled on a roll sitting on Daddy's lap through the whole Ward Primary Leadership Training Meeting after church.

And now after six hours of church sans nuk, I think it's time for the reunion of the year.  Hopefully being back with the best little piece of plastic on the planet will result in something else wonderful: being able to say tomorrow that we "slept victoriously."

"Reunited and it feels so good..." 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

You're Only Three Once!

In honor of Amber's big day I thought it would be fun to record some of her "favorite things" and share them, followed by pictures of the big birthday bash.  While "brown paper packages tied up with string" didn't make the list, there were still at least a couple of answers that were good for making a mommy smile...

Favorite food: cupcakes
Favorite colors: pink and purple  (surprise, surprise)
Favorite song: The ABC's
Favorite animal: A pig.  And a sheep.  And a penguin.
Favorite place to go: Grandma's house
I help Mommy by: cleaning up
I am happy when I: have a piece of paper (oh the simple joys! :)
For Christmas I want: a present with a notebook inside (hmm...starting to sense a theme...)
I am sad when: my blankie gets lost (a certain yellow blankie might be in the wash today: oh the humanity!)
My best friend is: Katie
For breakfast I really like to eat: Cheerios
For lunch I really like to eat: "cheesy rolls" (burritos)
For dinner I really like to eat: hot dogs
When I grow up I want to be: a ballerina and a mommy  (ahhh.... :)

Despite her official answer, chicken pillows are actually one of Amber's favorite dinners, so we'll put having these on her birthday down as a "good idea."  On the other hand, sticking a wax candle in a super hot chicken pillow?  THAT can go in the "bad idea" category.  There wasn't even enough solid candle left to pull it out--just rivers of molten green goo all over the chicken filling.  Yuck.
The flower children.  Mom sent these great headbands which immediately were put to good use as "party hats."
Ever since Robyn's birthday Amber has said she wanted a flower cake for her birthday, and I kept thinking to myself what a...ahem...piece of cake...that was going to be.  Then suddenly a couple weeks ago she decided she desperately wanted a ballerina cake and the next thing you know we're spending hours trying to make goofy fondant figurines.  I think they turned out kind of cute in the end, at least as far as chubby little frosting people go.
Finally!  Her very own sparkly shoes!
Paging through the storybook Grandma and Dah-Dee-Doh sent. 
Posing with all the loot.
Messy, eh?  Of course, the cake mess was positively yummy compared to the mess she made in the bathtub while we were trying to clean off the first mess.  Sigh. 

Happy Birthday, Amber Carrilynn!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Today I’m Feeling…

A little giggly that now Bryan will get to push the button that adjusts the microphone height for different speakers at church.  Oh the temptations…

A little nervous about not getting to sit by my sweetheart any more during sacrament meeting.  I think we may start trying to grab a bench near one of the doors.  Or see if we can find a pattern for beautiful, matching, lace-edged toddler-sized straight jackets…

A little surprised—it feels like we should still just be kids going to mutual activities or playing pranks on Sunday school teachers: surely no one would mistake us for actual grown-ups…

A little reassured: this is the right thing at the right time...

A little excited for all the new things to learn up ahead.

Bryan's folks were able to make a last-minute trip to visit this weekend so Gordon could ordain Bryan a high priest.  We're so glad they could come!!

Today Bryan was sustained and set apart as the first counselor in our ward bishopric.  (Congregations in the church are called wards; each ward is lead by a bishop who has two helpers known as counselors.)  With his graduation from Cornell coming up in just a few weeks, we’ve had a feeling for a while that there would be something new for Bryan to do around the corner, that he wouldn’t just be sitting around twiddling his thumbs wondering how to use his sudden windfall of free time.  Of course, of all the things we thought might help fill the eagerly anticipated void, it never even crossed our minds that he would be called into the bishopric.

We’re still trying to sort out what adjustments we might need to make so Bryan can do the things he’ll need to to help support the bishop, but mostly we’re just grateful for the opportunities there will be for Bryan to serve and for us as a family to learn and grow too.  Bryan will do such a great job!  I’m particularly excited that he will have responsibilities related to the Primary (the children’s program at church).  I may be slightly biased (just a little :), but the Primary is such a special organization I’m really glad Bryan will have a chance to be more involved with it.

Speaking of Primary, this is the time of year when the Primary children especially enjoy singing the song “Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree.”  As I’m typing this, I keep getting distracted by the view out the front window.  Spring has finally come to Central New York.  Tall magenta tulips are sunbathing in the neighbor’s garden across the street and the petite daffodils in our own yard are nodding slightly under the disproportionate weight of their own blooms.  Of all the signs of spring, though, the tree in front of our house catches my eye in particular.  Over just the past couple of days it has suddenly burst into blossoms and all at once it seems literally covered by thousands of tiny pink flowers, like so much candied popcorn clinging to each branch.

I suppose it won’t be long, though, until the petals from our popcorn tree are piled on the grass, replaced by summer’s leaves.  And not long after that that we’ll be raking the front lawn, searching the air for the smell of burnt leaves as we plan Halloween costumes and start putting together Christmas lists.

But that will all come later: for now the season is just beginning.  And while we don’t know what it will bring, we’re anxious to find out and confident it will be an adventure.