Wednesday, February 16, 2011

More than a Moment

I feel like this post needs a little bit of background information.

In the days following our move to Texas, I lost my grandmother. A few short weeks later, Charles lost his grandfather. Because of the move, and my pregnancy, we weren't able to attend either funeral. It is a strange thing to lose someone you love, and not be able to go and celebrate their life. It almost doesn't seem real. We have talked a lot about them since they've passed, but there is something about being at the memorial service that brings closure. We missed that with both grandparents. Now, months later, I feel like we have it. I can only speak for myself though.

Ellie's middle name is from my grandmother, Ila Mae. When we blessed her, in January, and Charles said her full name, Ellie Mae Himmer... I felt that closure. I felt Grandma there, and I saw in a very real sense, the legacy she left behind. Encircled with worthy Priesthood holders, Ellie was given a special blessing. I couldn't help but realize what a vital role my grandmother had in that event. From the way she raised my dad, to the way he raised us. It was just a moment, just a blessing. For me, it was a much needed chance to reflect on the life of a wonderful woman that I was lucky enough to have in my life for so long.

I had another similar experience two nights ago.

For Valentine's day, Abigail got her Daddy a little airplane that he had been eyeing on our last trip to Hobby Lobby (he's a trooper). When he opened it up, he put it together and he and Abigail hit the back yard to test it out. I watched him with her. I watched him wind up the propeller, and show Abigail just how it would work. He took her hand and helped her throw it on its Maiden Voyage. For a second, I felt like I was watching two different people, many years ago. I could see Frank Seal, kneeling with his grandson, teaching him about planes, something that would remain an interest for the rest of Charles' life. I took a moment to reflect on so many attributes of Charles that he undeniably inherited, or learned, from his grandfather. I am so thankful for the influence he had on Charles. I know he played a valuable roll in making him the man he is today, the man that I love. Again, it was just a moment in our busy lives, but I again was reminded in a very real way of the impact of one life on another, and on generations to follow.

What legacy are you building?

Two peas in a pod

Life is really hard.

Especially when you have perfect curls, dimples, and personality coming out of your ears.

I'm just glad that Abigail has found someone who can understand the burden she has to bear.

Happy Valentine's Day

My Valentine's day was fill with methodically dipping strawberries in chocolate. My intention was to surprise Charles with a few tasty treats for after the girls got to bed. One thing led to another, and soon enough, we had about 30 chocolate covered strawberries covering our counters.

Who knew dipping strawberries would be so therapeutic? I dipped and drizzled to my heart's content while Ellie slept and Abi "slept."

Abigail eventually came down, mid-dipping. It was hilarious to watch her stand on a chair next to me with a non-stop bounce of excitement. I can't tell you how many times I said, don't touch them, Abi.

She was the first to indulge. Instead of a surprise for after the girls went to bed, we had a surprise of driving around and delivering strawberries to a few families.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A day in the life...

First off, you have to know... Charles' new job is plush. They have massage therapists come to the office frequently for free massages. They have a leisure room, 2 fully stocked kitchens, catered lunch multiple times a week, a ping pong table... you get the idea, he has it rough.

Well, today Charles texted me from his palace (work) and asked how my day was going. I think he was expected a one or two work response. Instead, he got this email.

Captain's log: 2/10/11
Prior to 6 am... Don't even go there.

6:45 AM- Finally give in, Ellie wins, time to feed.

6:50-7:00 AM- falls asleep while feeding, put her back down, wakes up, and is up for the day.

8:00 AM - take her diaper off to change it, and she wets everywhere

8:05- Ellie takes a bath

8:15- She is ready to have a nap. Falls asleep rocking with Mom

8:30- Put her down in her bed.

8:45- Abigail gets up. Goes poop and pee on her own, decides to empty her potty into the toilet... empties said contents onto our white carpet. Takes it one step further by trying to clean it up by herself too. By the time I got up to her room to see why she was still up there, I found the carpet soaked, poop on the floor, and Abigail sitting down with a wipe, trying to clean her feet.

8: 50- Ellie is screaming again

8:55- Abigail hits the bath tub, understandably. Bath time is uneventful. She plays while I juggle back and forth between trying to get Ellie back to sleep and trying to get Abigail cleaned up.

9:30 Ellie still crying with intermittent pauses of hope. Abigail is "HONGY." Feed Abigail some breakfast and let her watch Peter Rabbit.

9:45 Still crying and parked in front of netflix (that refers to Ellie and Abi... not me, surprisingly)

10:00 All is quiet on the Himmer front. Ellie is sleeping. Dishes are done. I am playing with Abigail and her blasted bird puppet.

10:08- Realization.... OH CRAP, I had a visiting teaching appointment at 10.

10:10- scrambling to get stuff together to run to the appt.

10:15- realize it is hopeless. call and cancel. But I can still make it to the 11:30 appointment, right??

10:30- quickest makeup application on the planet.

10:45- Get Ellie up, dressed, and fed. ready to walk out the door just on time.

11:10- Que the spit up of a lifetime.

11:15- new clothes for mom and ellie.

11:20- out the door.

What a morning... things have settled down though. I can breath now.

So... who has the harder job here?? Did you have catered lunch and a massage today?? Don't pull a muscle playing ping pong.

End of Email...

I can't help but think of the times that someone has said, "Oh, you just stay at home with your kids? What do you do all day?"

Next time, I think I'll ask... What do you do at "work?" 9-5 can be so demanding, right??

I had to write this just for the sheer comedy of my morning. Things got better after noon... although there was another incident during Abi's "nap" involving feces. We won't go there.

Highlight of my day... we just got back from a date night. The first in far too long. I forgot how much I like Charles. It was nice to spend some time with him.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A little bribe goes a LONG way...

Lately naps have lost their luster for Abigail.

They will never, EVER lose it for me.

Quiet time worked for a while, but lately, nap time has been more of a dress up time than anything. It usually comes to an end with multiple trips to the potty, or, the last couple of days, with Abigail screaming for help because she is trapped in one of the many shirts she has layered on herself. Today I went up to find her all but bound by the third shirt she was trying to squeeze into.
That's when it happened... I got desperate. I put her back down in her bed, tucked her in sweetly, gave her a kiss... and then gave her a big, fat bribe.

It is true. I promised her a big sucker after her nap if she stayed in bed and took a nap. At first I was a little ashamed of my desperation. But by the end of her three hour nap, I was asking myself, Why didn't I think of this sooner???

During her nap, I had the chance to relax and read some blogs (great to do while feeding a baby). I read the latest from my dear friend, and talented photographer, Emily. She did a post about how she had been focusing on finding the perfect light for her photos. Obviously, that is ideal, but it made me realize, how often I focus on other things to try to get a good photo, and let the lighting take a back seat.

After Abigail woke up, I decided to take advantage of the afternoon lighting, and take some pictures. I knew once I busted out the sucker, I was sure to get some natural smiles that are normally hard to get once she sees the camera.

Here is her initial reaction when I showed her the sucker.

Prepare yourself for sucker-mania.

Oh the beauty of actually having natural light to take pictures in.
Thank you, Texas, for your sunshine.

Arctic BLAST

In Austin, when it gets below freezing... we call it an Arctic Blast.
I read that in the weather this morning and thought to myself...
ok, now isn't that a little dramatic? It is what it is though, and we have been very cold.
No time like winter time, when it is 15 degrees outside, for your heater to go out, right? Oh the joys of renting. We don't have to pay for it... but we do have to wait for all kinds of approval before they will actually do the repair. You'd think they had to get the OK from the president himself. Hopefully today we will be nice and warm again. Meanwhile, we are bundling up and even had some fun playing in the snow.

Here is our Ellie... but you can call her Cheeks.

It doesn't seem to phase Abigail... she still wants to run around in her nothin's. Ellie on the other hand... we have had lots of snuggle time trying to stay warm.
I must say... I love a good, Texas snow storm. Everything shuts down, and everyone is ecstatic. The dead grass is still sticking up through the white snow. It's gone by noon.
And then it might be 70 degrees the next day.

In fact... here is a glimpse of what we were doing Monday night at our house.
The snow came Friday morning, just 4 days after Abigail was running through the sprinklers.
The Lonestar State can be a little moody. Then again... so can I, so who am I to judge??

God Bless Texas, right??