Sunday, January 29, 2012

Phone Pictures

I'm terrible at uploading the pictures from my phone!  Fortunately, there weren't a ton of them this time around, so it makes it a little easier for me.

These two must have be a few months old, at least!  But, the little guy is just too cute to leave out.

 Before Christmas, Kristoffer and I went on a date to Temple Square.  They decorate the trees and have quite a few different life sized nativity scenes from all over the world there, and brrrrrr, it was freezing!!!
 I can only imagine this *might* be what the Tree of Life would have looked like...minus the bone chilling temperature.
 I sure do love that hubby of mine, and I'm so glad, that after all these years (!!), he still kind of likes me, too.
 I love this picture, the temple shining through the sparkly tree, a beacon to all nations!
 In the morning, I pull this little guy or 'Mr. Happy', out of his crib and into bed with me so I can feed him, and I caught a *super* cute grin from him one morning.  This boy melts my heart like nothing else.  I sent Kristoffer this picture with the caption: "I'm in bed with another man, I hope you don't mind ;)".  I don't think he did.
 Ok, the picture quality with this last one is about the worst I've seen, but I can't NOT post it.  Kristoffer's aunt Mette and her husband Jonathan from Sweden were in town for about a week-ish, and we had a little family party together.  It was so much fun!  My hubby had fun teaching my how to play pool....I may have played it's fun having your hubby teach you to play pool, right?  ;)  BUT, we were so glad to see family and have the kids meet more of the *other* side of the family.

And, as a side note...Owen practiced giving mommy kisses today, and it was the sweetest thing ever.  A big, wet, open, slobbery, baby mouth planted firmly on my cheek...again, and again, and again....I just couldn't push him away!  He is such a mama's boy, and I love the way my little boy loves me.  The things I need to write so I'll never forget them!

Attachment Not Included

For Christmas, I bought Kristoffer an i-stubble shaving kit.  It's kind of like regular clippers, but the head stays in place and to adjust it, you press a button and it micro-adjusts for the perfect length of stubble.  I really like Kris with a bit of facial hair, his face is just suited for it.  I tell you this because the box actually came with an attachment that was not included....Marin. 

She loves buttons (what 3 year old doesn't?!) and since this was relatively safe, Kris handed over the reins and away she went!

 Chin up, daddy!

I remember helping to shave my dad's face.  It was something I was sooo interested in as a little girl, for some reason, and my dad let me use the real deal razor, although, Kristoffer has tried to tell me otherwise.   It's always the small and simple things that add up to such fun memories!

Monday, January 23, 2012

More Capacity

I was incredibly touched by a Relief Society lesson we had on Sunday, and I feel I need to write it down so I don't forget what I learned.  Lately, I've kind of been struggling with....just...keeping up.  And feeling like I'm keeping on top of life.  I've felt incredibly imbalanced, and while I'm sure some of that is due to weaning and crazy hormones, some of it is due to a concept I've been pondering about. 

 I know I have a loving Heavenly Father, and I know He lives and wants me to be happy, but I've had such a hard time thinking that my Heavenly Father, and my Saviour Jesus Christ, could actually know what it's like to be a wife and mom.  Since, they've never actually been a wife or mom.  I understand they know our feeling and thoughts, but it was so challenging for me to think that they could understand my frustrations as a wife and mother.  I'm sure this sounds ridiculously silly.  I know our Heavenly Father is omnipotent and all knowing.  I know He sees all.  I know Christ suffered for our sins, for our pain.  But, at the end of the day...they are still, not women.  How can this knowledge and understanding extend to things that are felt, by women, in a womanly way? 

The truth is, I'm still kind of grappling with this.  I know that feelings are not exclusive to women, I get that, but can a man, even our loving Father, understand a womanly circumstance in it's true form?  At the very least, I have evolved to reminding myself that our Heavenly Father has a wife, our Heavenly Mother, and for some reason, this gives me so much comfort.  I often forget that I have a Heavenly Mother who loves me, and who really *has* been in my shoes, and has been there and knows and understands.  Perhaps this is why we can't make it to Celestial Glory without an eternal marriage?  It must take a man and woman to make a perfect knowledge of understanding of all things. 

So, these ponderings and maybe the winter weather and weaning and running on the metaphorical hamster wheel all kind of weighed me down.  They made me wonder how I was supposed to flourish, when I felt like I was barely keeping my head above water.  How I was expected to give and be more, when I felt like I barely had enough to give to my husband and my kids (I know I'm not alone in this!).  So, on Sunday, part of the lesson touched on this subject, and made my eyes well with tears, just knowing that I'm not the only one who struggle with being enough.  And, after the teacher highlighted all of what I was struggling with, she said that the answer was to pray for...capacity.  Capacity to do all that we need to do and to be able to serve more.  Capacity to be open to receiving the Lord's strength and be filled with more and know that we can do more.  Capacity to allow ourselves to breathe and know that our satchels will not be overloaded and we only need to pray for more room....more, capacity.  This really touched me that Sunday morning.  The Sunday morning we were late to church and had a dead battery in one car, and needed to shovel icy snow off of our other car just to make it to church.  The Sunday I almost took a very sleepy baby boy home for a nap.  I was so glad I found some strength that Sunday.  And, I hope that maybe in 20ish years or so, my daughter can read this and be strengthened as well.

Finger Painting!

Saturday was, at least weather-wise, kind of a bust.  It rained *all* day, and then turned into slushy, icy, Kristoffer needed to study for a few hours.  So, essentially, it was just another day for me!

I struggled with what to do to keep children stimulated, happy and myself...sane.  Saturday is a day to share joint responsibility with the hubs, so when he's studying, I seem to lack motivation to do it alone.  BUT, I remembered we had some finger paints hiding on a shelf, so I bolstered my courage and pulled the box out.  It actually wasn't as messy as I was thinking it was going to be, yay!  The box included a plastic smock, so I was one happy mama!  Marin needed some coaching, we don't really finger paint much, and she likes to keep herself clean, but she got into it and had a great time.

 Marin really had fun mixing the colors on her paper to see what NEW color she could make.  It was a pretty fun teaching tool.  She finally mixed them all up, hoping I'm sure, to make a new magnificent color, but ended up with...yup, brown!
 And, yes...I actually helped Owen finger paint as well, and it was super cute.  Obviously I don't have pictures of it, but this is his painting.  I spooned some paint onto his fingers, and he just giggled!  It was so cute to watch his tactile/sensory motors working as he squished the paint in his fist.  I initially tried to do a handprint with his hand, but it was impossible to open his tight little fist, so we just went with it!

 Look at that cute girl!

 Boy, two sideways pictures in one post!  Strikeout for mom!

Marin has been astounding me with her progress on her ABC's.  She will ask me during the day what letter a certain word starts with.  So I will sound it out for her and help her figure it out.  She's comprehending so much!  Today we spelled letters on her magna doodle, and she is recognizing almost all letters and their sounds.  She likes to play with (Owen's) foam letters in the bathtub and is always asking and confirming which letter's she's holding.  Such a smart girl!

Owen is a cruising maniac!  He has been getting braver with taking steps on his own, and yesterday, went from coffee table to couch on his feet!  It was only one big step all by himself, but since he's been kind of a wimp when it comes to walking, it was a big step for him.  The little boy weighs a solid 22 pounds as of 2 days ago and continues to eat, eat, eat.  He enjoys feeding himself, and is moving on to mama's homemade baby 'casserole's'.  He has been pushing through two teeth on the top on either side of his front teeth, but they haven't quite popped out yet.  Owen's poor little gums are actually bruised right where his teeth are coming in, poor buddy.  I had no idea gums actually bruised, I've never seen that before! 

My little boy's first birthday is coming up, I can't believe it!!  I have a few ideas for cake and decorations, but I'm most excited that my daddy is coming out!!  He's going to be here for 5 days to help us celebrate Owen's first birthday.  Marin is very excited about this, she loves hanging out with grandpa and I know grandpa is just as excited, too.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Big Sis, Little Bro

These two...sometimes they are so funny together.  Owen mostly tolerates it at this stage in the game, but he sure does think his big sister is something special.  She does like to clobber him from time to time, so mommy has to referee, but mostly, they're just good long as Owen isn't getting into 'her' stuff.

Here's a 'clobber' moment.

 She really does love her little bro.  She loves to give him kisses and snuggle with him, it's so cute and it makes my heart melt.
 Crazy kids.
 Awwww, look at those faces.  Sorry it's such terrible quality!

I do love my babies so much.  It is really hard to be a mom.  No one ever really tells you this before you have kids!  There are day's when I think it's just too much and I feel like a terrible mother and I just can't WAIT to toss my children into bed.  And there are day's when I see beyond the physical and emotional strains and recognize the sweet, loving spirit's that they are.  Being a mom is all about the long haul, the marathon, the million mile emotional run.  I chose to become a mother, so I *must* choose to make it work, and to make it a choice *everyday*.  Every day, is a new day!

Family Saturday

So what's a family to do when you need to get out of the house?  Head to the LDS visitors center!  It really was a great thing to do together as a family.  We were able to show Marin some really BIG pictures of Christ and tell her the story behind them.  Plus, it was FREE!  I can't tell you how happy I was that we were able to take the kids.

The room had a succession of pictures, starting with Christ's birth and ending with his ascension to heaven.

Learning about baptism!

 Happy boy!
 Daddy and Owen
 I love this picture, Owen reaching for Christ.  This part of the visitors center is so beautiful, and has a large white statue of Christ.  Painted all around the walls and ceiling are a gorgeous rendition of the cosmos and is completely awe inspiring.  It really makes you think beyond this world.
 Part of the ceiling, so so so beautiful.
 Family picture 1 of 2.  Kristoffer has his eyes closed in this one....
 And Owen has his head turned in this one.
 Our loving Savior, Jesus Christ.
 Taking a little walk with daddy.
 A kiss.
 We had to stop by the fountain on the way out, Marin was clamoring to see some water, funny girl.

After the visitors center, we rushed home and then went to drop the kids off at my friends house so Kristoffer and I could drive *back to the temple to do a session.  It had been a while since we have done a session together, and it was so nice to be inside the quiet walls and reverent peace of the temple.  Truly, a suave to an achy soul. 

Sunday after church we drove to Wyoming to visit grand-dad and Sallie.  It was fantastic to breath in such clean, crisp Wyoming air.  We had a super yummy Sunday dinner together and just spent time chatting and hanging out.  It was so nice to just be an hour and a half away from home!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I have TOTALLY been into all things Valentine's Day lately (thanks to Pinterest!), and so Marin and I made some cookies and put pink frosting on them tonight.  She always loves to help in the kitchen, so here we are making the frosting!

 Helping mama frost the cookies.  She is so cute, I love watching how focused she was.
 She did such a great job!
 Daddy took Marin sledding on Saturday while Owen took his nap.  She got to try out her new green sled that Santa brought for her.
 We went a little overboard with the snow gear for only about 2 inches of snow, but she stayed warm!
 Little little boy is just about the cutest thing.  When it's bathtime and he hears the water running, he's OFF for the tub!  And this is the face I see when he comes around the corner, laughing and squealing.
 Awwww, my little cheekers!  He has the cutest little cheekers to goose, such a cute boy!
This weekend went FAR too fast, as they always do.  And...I survived my root canal!  It was an unpleasant experience, it's just the nature of the beast, but I was numb, numb, numb for all of it.  And my dentist this time around was just as nice as the last, very conscientious of asking me if I was in pain.  It was tough having my mouth cranked open for 90 minutes, and my dead tooth was my very *last* molar, so it was aaaallllll the way in the back and I had an entire fist in my mouth just about the entire time (are you loving the visual?).  I have two more visits to do a fitting for the crown and then for the crown placement, but the worst is over, thankfully!  And thanks for all of your prayers and happy thoughts!

Cool Foodie Mama: Sausage, Snow Pea and Tomato with Shells

Cool Foodie Mama: Sausage, Snow Pea and Tomato with Shells: We had this dish today for Sunday lunch and it was fantastic! With a new year, we have refocused our strategies for healthy food and are tr...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Tooth-monger

Tomorrow, I have an appointment for my first root canal.  And I'm silently a little terrified!  I'm trying so diligently to keep my wits about me, and put on the brave this-is-nothing face, but there is something so menacing about the thought of having a root.....canal.  It does NOT sound like anything pleasant, or even ho-hum.  It sounds really vicious!  The little girl in me is cringing as I think about dental pain.  That searing, up the side of your face pain....oooh, it makes me shiver to recall and imagine.  I feel a bit like a lamb being led to the slaughterhouse. 

The need for my root canal is due, in part to the Tooth-monger.  You may be more familiar with his wonderful, happy cousin, the Tooth Fairy.  The Tooth-monger is a terrible creature that seeks out the weak and sick among our teeth and sucks the remaining life out of them, leaving a cold, empty shell of sad enamel.  He evidently made a very silent visit to one of my very back molars at some point over the past year or so.  Let me tell you my sad little tooth story:

Last week, the day after Christmas, I had some mild pain on my upper right jaw.  I knew it was a tooth, but I didn't know which kind of radiated, so it was hard to pinpoint.  Throughout the day, the pain became pretty intense and I bought some Orajel and Motrin to start self-medicating (we nurses, we're all alike).  I was silently hoping and praying everything would go away...Kristoffer's internship, while a great opportunity, yields no benefits.  No such luck the next day, so I looked up any discount dental programs I could find.  I chose a dental school with attached discounted dental services office in Orem.  I went in the next day and the dentist broke me the bad news.  After gently tapping my teeth and looking at the X-rays, he told me that I had a dead tooth.  What?!  I was a little bemused and slightly embarrassed!  I felt like such an irresponsible tooth owner!!  A sick tooth, a filling, a's all normal right?  But, a dead tooth?!  I'll admit, I did feel a little ashamed.  So he went on to explain that I had a fairly large filling in that tooth (it must have been quite some time ago, the last filling I had was when I was in high school), and that my tooth had not fully recovered from having such a large filling.  I had no idea that teeth...recovered, who knew?  He said it looked as though it had been brewing for a year and half or two, but the only option to save the tooth was to do a root canal. 

There it was.  The lump in my throat and worried crease in my brow were, I'm sure, very noticeable.  My throat was lumping and brow was furrowing for the added expense and of course the trepidation of the procedure.  Curse that Tooth-monger!!  My one solace was that the entire office staff was superbly nice and my dentist was SUPER nice...if he thought less of me for having a dead tooth, he certainly didn't let it show.

So the hubs and I chatted that evening as we came to grips with our forced ownership of a brand new bundle of dental bills.  And, as we chatted, he shed a little more light on my dead-tooth conundrum.  He works with a fellow, and he and his wife have six children.  This fellow told my husband that his wife has had to have a root canal after just about every baby.  !!!  Imagine!  Obviously, in their journey, they must have questioned their dentist about this root-canal mystery of their own...and what information did they glean?  Pregnancy and breastfeeding.  This fellow told my husband that pregnancy and subsequent breastfeeding absolutely SUCK the calcium from your wife's body, and that my teeth...are first on the menu.  So he told Kristoffer to make sure I was taking an extra calcium supplement to hopefully prevent this in the future.

It all made sense now.  Everything was coming into focus.  I kid you not when I tell you that my fillings are all from high school, at the latest.  And since that was 10 years ago (!), and I've had no issues until now, and my tooth has only died recently, it must have been due in part to my pregnancies, and my current total of 22 months of nursing....and that horrible Tooth-monger.  I should have known about that calcium thing!!  So, to all you women out there having and nursing babies, take your prenatals AND an extra calcium supplement!!

If I've learned anything from this experience so far, it's THAT.  So send me some happy thoughts for tomorrow.  I'll be sitting in that dentist chair at 9am, clutching my i-Pod and shivering (the dentist's office is always cold) and trying to ward off my stealthy imagination from conjuring up images of axe wielding psychotic zombie-dentists.  If I'm lucky, he'll find that wretched Tooth-monger and clean his clock.