Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This could save your life

Ever heard of it? I hadn't until my mother-in-law recommended it. It seriously works miracles on Brynlee. It has all organic ingredients including Ginger and Fennel, which is why it works so well to soothe their little tummies. Gripe Water is the reason I can consider having more children. Just kidding...kind of.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Easter Outfits

I really wanted a picture of the two of them together...

But they had already had enough. Maybe next year?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Airplane got me thinking

I am so glad to be back home and have both of my kids with me. But I still hate having Kenny gone. He's moving into our new house today and I'm so jealous! I hope he paints our bedroom and does some yard work before we get there! I know, I know, a girl can dream, right? :) I think Tyler did miss me after all. He keeps handing me his blanket and saying "Ty hold you". which means he wants me to hold him. He also likes being back in his own bed I think, because he's going on 3 hours for his nap.

It has been raining all day and will not let up. I really need to go to the store, but it's very difficult to do it in the pouring rain! Even if it was just a light drizzle I wouldn't mind. But it's really coming down. I might just do it anyway. I can't make anything to eat because of a lack of food, and I can't pack any more because I used up all the tape.

The trip home went so well. Brynlee was an absolute angel and slept through BOTH plane rides. I fed her on the way to the airport, then in between flights during the layover, then after we got off. Unfortunately she's been not so great ever since we got home. But that's ok.

I liked being able to travel with just Brynlee because it helped me realize some things. First of all, capability grows with experience. For example the first time I flew by myself on an airplane with Ty when he was 6 wks. old, it was the most stressful thing in the world at that time. And right after Bryn was born I just thought I would never go out in public with the two of them without help. But now it's no big deal (most of the time, ha). What I'm trying to say is that we adapt to what we have to. Our capacities increase as we are faced with new situations or trials. The other day I was talking to my sister, Steph. She amazes me because her husband is gone like a third of the month--every month. So she's got two little kids almost 16 months apart and she handles it all like a champ. We were on the phone talking about how it's hard when people say to "know your limits" because your limits are constantly changing. You don't know what you can handle until you're faced with it and you have to figure it all out, and Heavenly Father gives you added strength, as needed. So whenever people say, "oh I could never do that" about whatever it is, I just want to say YES YOU CAN! You've just never had to before.

Second thought: For the most part, people are good, especially on an individual level. So many people kept offering to help at the airport. Lots of kind older gentleman offered to carry a bag, or asked if I needed any help, etc. One old man that sat next to me took my cookies that they passed out on the plane and opened them for me. Then he picked up all my trash on my tray without me asking him to do either. Even the homosexual flight attendant on one of the flights just loved Bryn and couldn't help but comment on her matching red with white polka dot dress and shoes that was "just faaabulouss" :). He even gave her a "First Flight Certificate"; did you know they had those? I sure didn't. It reminded me of the first time I flew with Tyler and a lady kneeled down and tied my shoes for me after I went through security. It was kind of embarrassing, but SO sweet of her. It made me want to be more aware of those around me and help out where I can.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Calm Before the Storm

Even though I will sometimes get frustrated and complain about not having anything to do, I am trying to let myself enjoy it because the next few weeks are going to be quite the whirlwind. This week I've been able to do things I NEVER get to do, and I should be totally loving it. I bought a book at Target, Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos, and it was really good except for the swear words she'd throw in there. I go swimming and sit in the hot tub while reading my book, with Brynlee sleeping soundly in her car seat on the side of the pool. I get to have Kenny (almost) all to myself after work and we go out to eat too! I never have to cook or clean; heck I haven't even made the bed once! thank you room service. I get a yummy continental breakfast every morning, and I get to take a nap every day if I so desire. I can watch TV, do online shopping or rather, browsing. I get to just sit there as long as I want to with Brynlee, just soaking up her presence. This is sort of embarrassing, but this morning I was just holding her, and talking to her, and she was just so interactive and smiley, and then I started to cry. I just felt so much of heaven, and peace, and joy and everything good was just shining right through her eyes and it really touched me. I love this little girl so much, and it's been nice to have time to just sit and enjoy only her, like I was able to do with Tyler when he was a baby. So this is the calm week.

Allow me to forecast the storm: Tomorrow I fly home and pick up Tyler as fast as I can drive there. Oh it will be so good to see him and scoop him up in my arms again. Then I will spend the next week packing like crazy. Kenny will fly home Friday night after work. Saturday we will load up a U-Haul with all of our stuff and leave that night. We're going to try and drive through the night so that it's easier on the kids, but really I don't know how much of a difference it will make. We'll have to stop every time I need to feed her since we'll both be driving...hopefully it will go smoothly. I spend the next few days un-packing as quickly as possible because on Wednesday after Kenny gets off work, we begin the 20 hour drive to Utah. Again, driving through the night. My brother Jeff goes through the temple Thursday a.m., Kim's wedding reception is that night, and her wedding Friday morning. Kenny will fly back to Illinois for the next week of work. I will drive myself wherever I please, with the children for that week. Probably visiting Rexburg, Rockland, and other friends/family in Utah. Kenny will fly back Thursday night, or Friday morning in time for his sister's wedding at 12:45 on Fri. We'll go to their open house that night. Saturday we start the drive back to Illinois where we will finish unpacking, getting settled, and trying to adjust to our new lives there. Whew! I'm already sick of travelling just thinking about it! How nice that everything just hit us all in a matter of 2 weeks :).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Celebrate Diversity

In some minor, not eternally significant ways, Kenny and I are very different. You know how people use the expression, "think outside the box"? Well I'm not very good at that. I'm so deep in the box, it's hard to see even the edge of it. But to Kenny, there is no box. It's almost like he doesn't know how to think "inside the box". This manifests in various ways. I was reminded of it last night when I was changing Brynlee's diaper and turned around to find Kenny ironing (gasp!) on the bed. Yes, ON the bed. I asked him if he wanted me to get the ironing board out, for that was the purpose of its invention. It goes with the iron, believe it or not. He replied that this was how he always did it. I was confused by that, since I haven't seen him iron ever, not even once, in our 3 years of marriage. (Apparently, it's just when he goes to a hotel by himself and needs his work or church clothes straightened up a bit.) But I just had to laugh because again, he was doing something I had never seen done before.

To me, a pen was made for writing, a hammer was made for hammering, and a chair was made for sitting. Do you get what I'm saying? Everything has its purpose, and certain functions to fulfill. Things are supposed to be done a certain way, and there's no reason to vary from that. That's not how Kenny thinks. He finds a hundred different purposes for every item, and can't stand do things in a conventional way. He is always outsmarting the system, making things better, more efficient, faster, etc. He continually surprises me in that way, and I love it.

When we go out to eat at restaurants, I always get the same thing. It's comfortable for me, and I know I'm going to like it, so why not? Kenny always gets something different and will try anything you ask him to. The other day I surprised him by snatching a piece of breaded shrimp right off his plate and popping it in my mouth. I knew he would be delighted, and he was. He couldn't believe it. I told him it was because he wasn't pressuring me to do it :). Just for the record, I liked it. he told me to think of it like a fish stick, so I did and it wasn't so bad. A few years ago when I tried shrimp, I almost gagged on it. I'm not a fan of seafood. But now I'm getting sidetracked.

Cooking with him occasionally drives me crazy. I am a devoted recipe-follower. Very rarely do I waiver. Lately I have gotten more comfortable with leaving things out, or adding something else, or tweaking the recipe ever so slightly. But only because Kenny's habits are rubbing off on me. For example, he adds syrup to hamburger meat, rinses noodles off with hot water, puts giant slobs of cookie dough on the cookie sheet (apparently normal sized cookies are boring), and thinks peanut butter goes with anything and everything! He NEVER uses recipes. He is much more content with making things up as he goes. He just opens up our fridge, freezer, and/or pantry and starts throwing things together. And as much as this hurts my pride to say it, it almost always tastes good. It used to bother me so much, though. I would deny his offers to help in the kitchen because he never did things the right way. And when he did insist on making a meal, he would kick me out of the kitchen--or I would kick myself out--so that I wouldn't care how he was making his concoctions. Anytime he would help with dinner, or even make dinner himself, he would wait until I had already taken a bite and tasted it. Then he'd say, "do you like it? Notice anything different about it?" He got so much pleasure out of me not knowing what he did differently to the food, and that I even liked it!

Now I have not only accepted it, but it's become something I love about him. His creativity and originality in everything he does makes life so much more interesting. I now feel bad for him, that he has to put up with my boring, unchanging ways. I didn't, in fact, realize how truly boring I must be until I was writing this. hmm... Point is, I like that we are different enough to keep things interesting.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Now What?

It's been so nice to be here with Kenny. The trip here wasn't so bad, pretty miraculous really (I'll save stories for another post). I was so happy to see Kenny standing there as far as he was allowed to come in the airport, ready to pick me and Brynlee up. That night we drove over to the oil refinery where he works and he showed me what little he could since it was all closed. Pretty crazy though. He has to wear a hard hat, goggles, steel-toed boots, and jeans (I think he looks so hot in all his gear) to work every day because he is working "on site", even though he's not doing any manual labor. He's a cost analyst and scheduler.

Saturday we went to Wal-mart and got a few things to eat, just to have around for snack time, microwavable meals (to avoid so much eating out) and stuff for sandwiches. For dinner we went out to eat at Applebee's, and warmed up our leftovers for last night's Easter dinner. :) It was a most unusual Easter, and I longed to be with Tyler. But he does sound so happy on the phone. We will just re-do our family Easter celebration in a couple weeks when we are all reunited.

We've been doing a lot of driving around the different towns, getting to know the area and check out where we'd like to live. Kenny drives, while I stay ready and alert with a notebook and pen in hand, writing down every phone number, address, etc. of apartment complexes, townhomes, duplexes, or just homes for rent. We've been getting quite a list, and already had a few favorites. This morning I took Kenny to work at 6:30 and spent the morning calling around and setting up appointments to walk through and see homes, apartments, etc. After the first showing, Kenny calls me and tells me he just found another house for rent on Craig's List, and that the man would be there until noon to show it to me. So I got the address, plugged it into my GPS and drove and drove. It was such a beautiful drive, it's clear out in what seemed like the middle of nowhere, called Holiday Shores. It's just down the street from a lake, too. I pulled up to the cutest little house with blue siding, and a 2 car garage--something we've never had the luxury of yet. Not only that, but it had a YARD! A back yard, and room on the side too--perfect for Tyler to run around and play. I knocked on the door and met Ralph, the owner. He is a really nice man who works (and now lives) in Chicago. I step inside onto beautiful hardwood floors (which is really appealing since we don't do well with carpet)and look around. A fireplace, a big open living area, a super-nice kitchen, a section for our dining room table next to a beautiful and open window...and then it happened. I could see us living there! As he showed me around the house, it just fit. Our stuff would work great in that house. There's also a sun room that could be turned into a 3rd bedroom. The price was unbeatable, and everything was perfect. It's not a very big town, but the families that are there are pretty young. He was pointing out all the houses with young kids, and the rest of the homes are retired folk :). He's also leaving the washer and dryer there, which is great! Once again, we can put off buying those. Point is, I fell in love with it. I called Kenny as I was driving away and told him I loved it. We talked about it for a while, wondering if we were rushing into it, should we look around and risk losing it? See, there's another family coming tonight to see it for the 2nd time, and they're very interested so we knew we had to act fast. But we both felt good about it, and really felt good about the price (less than what we're paying now, but getting so much more) so we decided to jump on it. We're going back tonight to give him our deposit, and so Kenny can see it :). I am so excited and I can't stop dreaming about that home. I am so excited to move in! It will be quite the change not being right next to any stores or anything, but they're not more than 10 or 15 minutes away still. I love the lake by our house too.

I'm not supposed to fly out till Friday. I was going to spend the rest of the week looking for a place to live. So now what? Not much to do in a hotel room. I'll figure that out later. But for now, I'm going to get some laundry done. Turns out I came just in time to take care of Kenny's dirty clothes so he doesn't have to walk around in the nude :). I am so happy!

Friday, April 10, 2009

By the end of the day...

I will be with my Kenny again, but I won't be with my Ty man. We decided that it would be best if I came up for a while to look for a place to live, because Kenny doesn't get off work till 5:30 (at the earliest) and most places are closed by then. Plus Kenny can't stand to be without me hehe. :) Just kidding, I miss him too. I know, we're wusses. Ty's going to stay with my parents, and I hate to admit this because I am his mother, but I don't think he'll even notice I'm gone. He has so much fun over there! I sure will miss him though. But it'll be fun to have a little time with Kenny, and I'm so glad that I get a say in where we live. It's not that I don't trust Kenny to pick a good place, it's just that I spend A LOT more time at home than he does so it's more important for me to love it. I hope Brynlee does well on the airplane. If not, I suppose it'll only be a few hours and then it'll be over. She's 2 weeks older than Ty when he went on his first plane ride. By the way, she had her 2 month appt. yesterday. She's 11.7 pounds, 22 1/4 inches long which are both between 50-75 %. She looks great! She got a couple shots though, so she was having a hard time until I finally smartened up and gave her some tylenol! the rest of the day was great.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Carpet Stains

I think our carpet used to be white. We've only been in this apartment for 3 months, but from the looks of the carpet you'd think we have lived here for years. With 2 dogs, 3 cats and 5 toddlers. But no, it's just us 4.

Everyone's got different talents. Like my sister-in-law, Shariane, one of her talents is just knowing homemaking tricks. Like the one time I went over to her house and she was putting brown paper bags on her floor and ironing over them. Why? Because she had spilled hot candle wax. Who just knows to do that? She gets it from her mom, my mother-in-law. When she was here she proved her skills over and over again. Like when Tyler's cut started bleeding again and he got it on his white, church shirt. Without hesitating, she pulled out a baby wipe and got rid of any trace of blood. And when we were dying easter eggs, and the dye started to stain our counter tops, she simply got out the baking soda and sprinkled it around. She dabbed her finger in water, rubbed that bs around and poof! Counter tops back to normal again. I admire people like that. Where was I? Oh yes, carpet stains.

I put in our 30 day notice for our apt. yesterday. That means we have to be out by May 8th! I am getting more stressed about our carpet stains as it gets nearer to our closing date. We bought some 409, but really it hasn't made any sort of a difference. I just know they'll use our deposit money to have the carpets cleaned...or replaced. Never again will we have so much carpet, especially white carpet.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Day 4 and Blessing

Saturday, April 4th: This was quite the eventful day. It started off like a regular Saturday. I made bread, I cut Kenny and Tyler's hair, I made choc. chip cookies, and we were watching/listening to conference online. Then Tyler tripped and fell, hitting the coffee table and bit through his bottom lip. Kenny and Scott took him to the ER because it looked bad and was bleeding a lot, and I didn't feel good about just sticking a bandaid on it. They put that skin glue stuff on it, gave him a couple popsicles and stickers, and sent him home. I gave him some motrin for the pain, and put him down for a nice long nap. Poor kid is so tough!

We spent the afternoon decorating easter eggs (since Kenny will be gone for Easter), helping Kenny pack and get ready to go, and watching conference.

At 6:40 we met at the church (20 min. before the priesthood session of conference) for Brynlee's blessing. It was sort of a last minute thing since we just found out we're moving, and so Kenny won't be here for any more Sundays, so we just called the bishopric and set it up. It worked out nicely though, since that's what Kenny's parents wanted to come for originally. It was done in the Bishop's office and it was so beautiful. The spirit was strong and I felt so grateful for my wonderful husband, and my dad, and his dad, and how all of these men are such worthy priesthood holders. The dress I made for her, and it was still a little big for her. But she was beautiful anyway.

A few minutes after the blessing, we had to say good-bye to Kenny. Who knows next time I'll see him. Possibly, a whole month. I miss him terribly already. I feel so Kenny-deprived. He was gone to New Mexico, then his parents were here the whole time (which means Tyler slept in between us, so all 4 of us in one big happy room) and now he's gone for a few weeks. His phone doesn't have reception there either (we will be switching phone plans soon) so I have to wait till he's back at his hotel after work. I think I depend on him too much, and I'm so used to being able to call him at any time of his work day, and most of the time he can answer. So anyway, it'll be a tough few weeks, but we'll be fine. It will be a growing experience, that's for sure. Now on to packing up everything in our house...

Day 3 With the In-laws

Friday, April 3rd: I finally got my hair cut (it was so long over-due) in the morning and it turned out great! Then we loaded up the car, tying the stroller to the top of the car with rope again cuz there wasn't enough room in the car, and drove out to Galveston! First we went to the Aquarium and Imax Theatre. Unfortunately, Moody Gardens was closed.

At the Imax movie he was so funny. He kept sticking his hands out to try and touch, what he thought, was right in front of him. Andif the sharks were too "close", he would take off his glasses cuz it scared him.

Tyler loved all the fish, sharks, sea lions, penguins, etc. He kept doing that thing he does when he's really excited. You know, jumping up and down while flapping his hands and hyperventilating. Sometimes it gets quite embarrassing :). But he was doing that practically the entire time we were there, so that's how I know he thought it was way cool.

Brynlee, on the other hand, was not so impressed. Ironic that her shirt says, "bee happy".

Next we stopped at Galveston Beach. It was so windy, and we already have enough struggles with Bryn's colic that we didn't even take her out of the car so that the wind wouldn't make it worse. Tyler just spent the whole time picking up rocks/sea shells and throwing them in the water. What a boy. (Again, I didn't take any of these pics, just edited them.)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Texas Wildflowers

This is one reason I love Texas. Oh it was so beautiful.

Day 2 With the In-laws

Thursday, April 2nd: We decided to head out to the Blue Bell Ice Cream factory in Brenham, Texas. It was fun to go on the tour and the best part, of course, was introducing Scott and Carolyn to the best ice cream in the United States of America!

Brynlee did great, too!

We also went to Katy Mills Mall later that day and showed them how big and fun it is. It turned out to be a successful trip. I found Easter outfits for the kids, and Carolyn found a "mother of the bride" dress for her daughter's wedding in May.

Day 1 With the In-laws

Kenny's parents got here on Tuesday in the early afternoon, but we didn't do a whole lot that night. So the real fun began the next morning.

Wednesday April 1st: We took them to the Houston Zoo. It also happened to be Field Trip day for Kindergarteners from all around. How lucky for us! So with no time to edit, here are a bunch of pictures.

After we left, we grabbed some lunch and headed over to the Chase Tower. Kenny did his internship for Merrell Lynch there, and worked on the 2nd to the top floor. We couldn't go that high, but we did get to the 60th floor and looked out over Houston. It was quite the sight.