Friday, January 21, 2011

A Day at the Beach!


We love the beach so much that we took a spontaneous day trip to the beach while we were in California for Christmas. It took us 2 1/2 hours (that's CA traffic) to drive there from Micah's parents house near Victorville. We didn't even have our swimsuits, although we didn't really need them because the water was freezing. However, that didn't stop Zadok, who was running around in his underoos the whole time.

I miss you, beach! I miss your seaweed, and your crunchy sand-in-the-toes feeling. I miss your smelly smell of salt water, mixed with salt air, mixed with fish parts. I even miss making pee-pee sand balls and throwing them at people. (that one was for Sarah) But what I especially miss is that magical connection I feel from growing up in the ocean. The "I know you old friend" feeling I get when I manage to find my way back to her sandy shores and sparkly waters.
It was so thrilling just watching the boys play at the beach. Even if it wasn't my beach, it was a beach, and watching them play and explore made me want beach back in my life. (We're working on that one, by the way)

Zadok pretended he was a dog the whole time, digging in the sand. I thought he would get too cold after three hours of rolling in the water and fetching sticks, but not so. This is one tough dog! I think his name was Hammer.



And Odin busied himself finding treasures, and handing them to Mom. We found seashells, sand crabs, sea-weed bubbles, and sticks. Odin found a special red stick that he brought all the way home to Utah.

And seashells:

I love the beach so much that I would marry it. Except I already married Micah and I love him more. But I still love the beach.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Apron making


My first apron was constructed recently. After I finished it I felt like I should be inducted into the domestic arts hall of fame.
I made it because I wanted to try something new, and I also made it because I wanted to make something handmade for someone special for Christmas. I started by looking up patterns on the Tipnut "5o Free Apron Patterns you can Make." From there I found a few patterns I liked, then sort of put them together in my head. I had been to World Market that day and had seen some really cool, ethnic looking aprons made in India. One of them had a very long, adjustable strap that pulled from one side, around the neck, and then through to the other side. That way, you can just pull the one, long strap behind you and adjust to the tightness you want. And that was the start of apron inspiration. I ended up with a Polka dot, Hawaiian print, reversible, thigh length apron, with adjustable straps and reversible pockets. Oh, and a little ric rac because who doesn't love ric rac? It was really fun to make, and pretty easy. But don't look too close at the detail, it was my first apron.


I am starting another one for myself soon. It's going to be rainbowy.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gr8ful

I am grateful for exactly 8 things right now, and you get to hear them:
I am grateful:

1. For libraries and checking out free learning materials for our family to enjoy. I am really into trying out new music lately and love the CD selections. (Currently listening to Jamaican Playground and Songs to Grow On For Mother and Child by Woodie Guthrie)

2. For our Samoan neighbors downstairs. They laugh really loudly a lot, and smile really big and yell, "HI SALLY!" when I see them, and blast their music at all hours, and value their friendships and families. I miss the unconventional, outspokenness of the Polynesian culture, and am grateful that it's somewhat here at our apts right now.

3.That my husband isn't one of the 14,000,000 Americans that is out of work right now.

4. For finding La Leche League 5 years ago and how it has helped shape my mothering knowledge and experience in such a positive way.

5. For answers to prayers. For that gentle nudge you feel when you know you got the answer you need, then you go forward peacefully with what you need to do.

6. For Wendy and Sara, my two friends here in SLC. Last week we went out to lunch and had so much fun talking for literally hours. We don't hang out all the time, but knowing they are here and they are my friends, means more than they know.

7. For knowing that my family is more important than anything else, and for loving and embracing my role as a mother and a housewife. For knowing that I don't have to feel pressure or guilt for doing what I love the most. (I know the pressure is out there full force, but it's no interest of mine to be a part of it. I am happy right where I am and I'm grateful for that!)

8. That God gave me a sense of humor. I find a lot of things funny, things that really shouldn't be funny, are funny. I like to laugh a lot and I'm grateful for that.

That's 8 for being Gr8ful! Have a nice day!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

1,2,3......click!

Okay boys, I really, really want to take a cute, orderly Christmas picture with your matching jammies! Now stay still, and smile at the camera. Okay now Zadok, you need to move closer to Odin. Now Odin please sit up better so Jonah doesn't keep falling over. And put the toy down because it's distracting him. And look at the camera. Please Zadok will you sit up and stop making silly faces? And Odin keep your toungue in your mouth, and hurry before Jonah falls over...And smile.1, 2, 3 and...click:

Maybe next year.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Mei Tais Make Friends

Our little Zadok was just 3 months old when we first moved to Idaho in 2006. Micah and I had lived in Los Angeles, CA for the first 2 years of our marriage, and were now beyond ready to move on. I'm still not sure what possessed us to choose Idaho, as neither of us had any real connections to the place. Micah had an aunt and uncle in Sugar City that he worked for before his mission, and I had heard of Idaho, but had never been there before.
I remember driving all night to get there, leaving the bustling, polluted, city lights behind us. We arrived in Sugar City early in the morning, where we finally got out of the cramped car and dumped ourselves onto Micah's families front lawn. When we woke up the next morning, we were Idahoans.
I can still remember the feeling of complete liberation as I saw the beautiful scene around us; green meadows of grass and flowers, tall fields of wheat, a little creek passing through the yard, and the majestic Grand Teton mountains standing tall in the distance. I was so happy to be in the country again.

After renting an apartment in Rexburg for 3 months, we ended up buying a house in a small town called Rigby, population 3000, which was about 25 mins South of Rexburg. It was a small, cottage type house where we planted a huge garden and put in a wood stove. I put Zadok in his little pouch almost everyday and went walking around the neighborhood, breathing in the country air. I was happy there, but starting to really feel like I needed to find some friends that I connected with.

It was one Sunday at church that I finally saw another Mom wearing her baby in a sling. Our eyes caught immediately and I knew it was friendship at last.
This Mama introduced me to the Mei-tai babycarrier, which is, to this day, my most favorite baby sling in the world. She gave me my first Mei-tai as a gift, then taught me how to pick out the right fabrics and sew them, and then how to really enjoy babywearing as an integral part of my whole parenting experience.
I already knew that wearing your baby in a sling means more than buying a product; it's a powerful way to connect with your baby, and ease the challenges of parenting. However, owning a Mei-tai, made it all so much more enjoyable!
Micah and I have countless experiences of wearing our babies close to us to get through hard things, like teething, sickness, crankiness, owies, and fears. Especially Zadok, who is so shy, the Mei-tai really helped him feel secure. I can still remember the way he'd snuggle his head down into my chest when we entered a busy room.

It's no wonder my eyes perk up whenever I see another Mom with her baby in a sling, because there's always that possibility that she might feel the same way I do about babywearing. (Although, I realize It's not always that way, but the chances are high in my favor.) Finding friends is often difficult when you move to a new place, so having this commonality made it much easier for me. (And yes, I eventually made new friends who didn't wear their babies in slings, too.)

So although Idaho wasn't really where we wanted to stay forever and we've since moved on, that's where I first discovered that Mei-tais make friends.

This is our very first Mei-tai, gifted from our friend. In this photo, I hadn't learned how to use it correctly, yet. (Notice the bunched-up straps.)

Check out my "babywearing" label for more babywearing pix and info

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Zadikin


I told Zadok I thought he looked like Anikin Skywalker (you know, the young Darth Vader from the Star wars movies) and his reply was,"Yeah, except I can't make all that cool stuff like him." he he. Someday young Zadikin, someday. Then I asked Zadok if he was going to join the dark side, and he said very emphatically, "NEVER!"
I guess that's where the resemblance ends...thank goodness.
What do you think, do we have a match?

Pillowcase with Pocket

I sewed my husband a pillowcase with a pocket for Christmas. The idea is that he'll find random love notes and delicious treats as he lays down after a long, hard days work.

I am proud of my man. He just finished his Masters degree in Geo Science, in less than 6 months. He is the first to ever accomplish such a task at his online university. He will be walking at his graduation, (cap, and gown, and tassels and all!), February 12th. He also just got hired for his first real teaching job at a middle school here in SLC.

I love you deary. Thanks for not being a bum, even though you look like one sometimes.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Pile

My worst enemy,
my archrival,
my most infamous nemesis,
worse than Superman's krypronite,
more daunting than a dark, bleak wintry day,
my least favorite domestic chore:
The laundry pile!

Is it just me or does folding clean clothes and putting them away seem like the most tedious, annoying task ever? This is what happens when I try to ignore the laundry pile: it grows bigger.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Reupholstered Dinosuar Stools

I found these little stools at a thrift store for $5 each. I have never reupholstered a chair before, but thought I'd give it a try. All you need is some cute upholstery fabric and a heavy duty stapler. Here's the old look:

I had this plan to make my kitchen all matchy, with matching stools and a matching tablecloth and maybe even some matching potholders, but then realized that the kids would appreciate dinosaur stools so much more. Maybe someday when I'm 50 my house will be my own individual style. For now, it's all about kids, and that's okay too.
Here's how they turned out:

I hadn't planned on anyone else helping to cover the stools, but once I started, everyone looked over and wanted to be a part of this simple project. Odin and Zadok helped unscrew the screws, Micah helped staple and hold down the fabric, and I delegated jobs. ha ha. Spontaneous family project night.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Where's baby??

The other night I had dream that Odin was a baby again. I could see his little face next to mine, and we were cuddling in the bed. Then all of a sudden I woke up, picked up Jonah from next to me, and placed him on my chest. In my dreary state of middle-of-the-night disillusionment I thought baby Jonah was Odin, because of my dream. Then I looked over to where Jonah sleeps next to me and panicked because he was gone.
I checked to the right of me and he wasn't there. I checked to the left and he wasn't there. I started to check under the covers by my feet, on the floor next to the bed, up above my pillow. No baby Jonah, anywhere. I was in total panic mode.
I was about hysterical when I woke Micah up yelling,"The babies gone! Help me find the baby!"
Then all of a sudden the disillusioned blurriness disappeared and I realized that the baby on my chest was Jonah. And Odin was the giant child in the toddler bed next to me.

It was such a relief. I couldn't go back to sleep for quite a while because of how scared I had felt. I kept thinking back to that moment when I thought baby Jonah was really gone, and I couldn't shake the fear of it all. (Sorry for the wake up call, honey.) Glad to have all my children safe and well, and grateful each day that they are within hugging distance from me at all times!

Oh sweet baby Odin, you are almost 3 now, and how you have grown!
Here's alittle baby Odin waiting for some grub:

Here's a big Odin holding his favorite Pootie:

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Ice -Cream Parlor

When I first moved to Provo Utah in 2002, to attend college, I knew one person. It was a huge adjustment for me, moving to this new town and starting out brand new. The school was so big and so different from my small hometown college in Hawaii.
I found a place to live with 3 other girls whom I had nothing in common with and didn't feel compelled to hang out with. There were some lonely weeks walking to and from my classes, waiting to meet and make new friends. I tried to be social and smile at all the strangers I met, but it wasn't until months after I moved there that I finally found my social niche, and found the friends I really connected with. (friends that are still some of my besties today)

I remember one, cold, snowy night at the very beginning, my roommate came home and convinced me to go to a church social FHE, where all the single college students from our church got together once a week to do some fun activity or another. She really had to twist my arm to go, as I had been to one before, and it didn't really knock my socks off.
I finally concluded that I could use some social interaction, so I went. I figured it wouldn't hurt to make some new acquaintances, and maybe even a new friend.

This particular night about 25 students were car-pooling to an ice-cream parlor for shakes. I jumped in a car with a bunch of girls and guys I didn't know very well. We chit chatted and exchanged names. We ordered ice-cream and talked about school. After we finished our ice-cream shakes I excused myself and went to the restroom.
When I came out several minutes later everyone was gone. I couldn't believe it!
I had to walk about 2 miles back to my house in a downpour of snow! It was cold, dark, and scary. I knew in my heart of hearts they didn't leave me on purpose. I found out later that nobody knew me well enough to remember which car I came in, or which car I was riding home in, so they all just left me there.
That experience made me kind of bitter for awhile, but led me to laugh about it later on, when I finally found wonderful friends who cared about me.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Stuffed Animal Friends n' Favorite Toys

Odin dragged all his "friends" into his bed with him a couple weeks ago. After he plopped them all down he got the saddest look on his face and cried,"Now where am I going to sleep?"
He was so genuinely upset and concerned. I tried hard not to laugh. Micah came in and showed him how to line them all up so everyone could fit. Here's a happy Odin, sleeping with his animal friends:

There's a lot of new toys around here which has been really fun! (thanks friends and family and secret Santa!) We were all really looking forward to Christmas so we could get some cool, new things for the boys to play with. We don't buy a lot of toys very often because we've noticed that things start to recycle themselves after awhile. For instance, nobody touched the stuffed animals for about 6 months, now all of a sudden they've become the most coveted thing in the house this past month. They've been carrying them about, making up stories about them, using them as props, weapons, and even cuddling them in bed. It just came out of nowhere! I'm so glad I didn't throw them out!
I've noticed that even if we buy a cool, new toy it is only as fun as their imaginations allow it to be. Most of the toys we buy aren't really used the way you'd think they should be! Our toy broom is a magic wand or sword most of the time. The rubber animals make great booby traps in the hallway, and the doll house is a dinosaur lair. We just don't need a whole lot of toy turnaround because 6 months later they'll turn their old toys into something new.
We do have some favorite staples, however, that we love to play with regularly:
playdough
puzzles
costumes
stuffed animals
board games
action figures
Random toys we find at the thrift store
ropes, strings, blankets, and handkerchiefs (for whatever)
flashlights
puppets
modeling clay
giant Leggos or other building/stacking materials

But, the most important thing we need is to relax, have fun, and play together. We could buy every new toy in the world but it just wouldn't be fun if nobody sat down and played.