Friday, May 30, 2008

Lost in Lost

As I was watching the season Finale of LOST last night an eerie familiar feeling crept over my body. I spent a moment trying to pinpoint it.

Ah Ha!

It was the same feeling I got at BYU's testing center during finals week.

I've never been a good test taker. I'm smart (a conclusion that has actually taken me years to discover) but I have difficultly retaining large amounts of information and spitting it out in multiple choice form. This is probably the reason I got placed in the "dumb kids" math class in sixth grade or why it took me several tries to get into BYU.

But I digress. I was totally stressed out while watching LOST because my brain was SUPERSATURATED with that blasted island and all its little quirks. There are so many characters, island beasts, tattoos, flashbacks, and flash forwards to remember and so little Bethany. Ahhhh..... my brain is leaking!

The thing that stressed me out the most was baby Aaron. Who is feeding that poor child??? Maybe Sun? Pregnant women can lactate if they really put their mind to it, can't they?

Nonetheless, I love that show! It's pure genius!

Even if I'm not.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

No Place Like Colorado!

The mountains, the hiking, the shopping. How I love Colorado! But the real magic of Colorado happens right under the Robinson roof. Last week Kiana and I got to visit the Robinsons in Colorado and it was wonderful.

We met the newest edition Kimball, helped throw a baby shower for my friend Katie, played lots of Nerts, ate lots of food, and a pedicure even happened. Thanks Mommy and Daddy for going halfsies on the plane ticket! We are so glad!

Kiana and Kimball got to meet each other for the first time!

Here's their bums.

My fam (minus a few very important members)

The siblings.

Adie and the cub!

The ladies looking very colorful for church.

Grandpa and Kianuey Hana

Me and a very cute mystery baby.

Oh! It's Kimball!

They are not really sad. They are just pretending.

I thought this outfit was noteworthy.

Tic's baby shower. Isn't she sooo cute! Jamie is also pregnant with a boy. I love my high school bffs!

Grandpa in "Grandpa Land."

Oh how I love my sister Kristy!

Baby Love!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lesson Prep

My head was bobbling, my eyes staring into space, a smidgen of drool trickled down my chin. I was tired… real tired. But I had procrastinated preparing my Relief Society lesson until Saturday afternoon and heaven knows I wouldn’t be able to work on it Sunday morning… the cubs wouldn’t stand for it.

I looked at Ryan (aka errand boy). He nodded understandingly and pulled his car keys from his pocket. Minutes later, he was back with an extra large Cherry Coke from Sonic. And I drank it. And…

Zip Zip Zip!

I was good to go.

So now you know. I was on stimulants at the time I prepared my lesson.

And I am pretty sure, that even though I was on drugs, I still prepared with the spirit... although it could have been a sugar rush... feels similar.

Coincidentally, earlier that day I had decided to go off soda altogether. I would prefer to eat my calories. After the Cherry Coke, however, I amended my goal to include one soda a week (or more as needed).

This girl loves her coke.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My Faith in Humanity Restored

The way I’ve always seen it is that there are two types of people in the world:

a. Those who return their shopping cart to the “Return Carts Here” spot in the parking lot.

b. Those who leave the cart next to their car and drive away quickly before anyone notices.

Yesterday, the cubs and I were grocery shopping at Walmart. Unbeknownst to us, a rainstorm was brewing outside. After the groceries were bagged and loaded into the cart, we walked to the front of the store and saw what we were in for: raindrops the size of quarters hitting the cowering pavement with unprecedented force.

I sighed and strategized how to get the cubs and groceries to the Rav-4 (which was parked at the back of the parking lot, of course) as quickly and tear-free as possible.

I gave Doug a high five and told him we were going to play in the water. Then I covered Kiana’s head the best I could (she was snuggled against me in the Baby Bjorn) and we made a dash to the car. Doug yelped with delight and Kiana flinched as pellets of water ricocheted off her bald little head and on to the ground.

When we reached the car, I left Doug in the cart beside the trunk (in the pounding rain) and quickly lifted Kiana into her car seat. Even though her face was splotchy red and dripping wet, she threw me a love smile that melted me into a soupy puddle of mommy.

After Kiana was buckled in, I turned to grab Douglas. I gasped to see that a gigantic black man had appeared out of nowhere and was hovering over my little boy... with an umbrella.

“I tried to get to you guys sooner,” he explained “but I just couldn’t make it in time.” He looked like Gordon from Sesame Street, with a thick black mustache, bald head, and gentle eyes.

He held the umbrella over our heads as I lifted Doug into his car seat and fastened him in, the stranger himself completely exposed to the elements.

“Thanks so much,” I excused him, not wanting to impose longer than necessary.

“I’ll stay here until you get the groceries in the car,” he said kindly.

“You don’t have to,” I said. “I don’t think I can get any wetter than I already am.”

“Don’t want you to catch a cold. That won’t do anyone any good.”

So I loaded the groceries in the car while he held the umbrella and told me about his grandbabies. I shut the trunk door and thanked him again.

“I’ll take care of your cart for you. You just get on your way with those sweet babies,” he said after he walked me to my car door. He ran the cart the allotted spot and waved goodbye.

My insides clenched with tenderness for this stranger who got wet (soaked) so we wouldn’t have to. He seemed well-practiced at kindness—like he’d been doing it for years and it had become a second-nature to him. What touched me the most, however, was that he had stayed until the job was done—till the last bag was loaded and the cart was put where it belonged.

I felt inspired after being on the receiving end of this small, but large, act of compassion. How I long to be the person with the umbrella, thinking less of myself then those in need, seeing what needs to be done and doing it…until the job is finished.

I do consider myself the type of person to walk my grocery cart to the designated spot. It’s rude to leave it in the middle of the parking lot to create problems for other customers and make more work for the cart collectors. But perhaps there’s one more type of person in this world.

c. One who puts their cart where it belongs, but grabs the other stray carts along the way.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bethanyisms (And the Bummer)

He was one-half of an identical twin unit and rather interchangeable with his brother. They had the same major, the same bald head, and no obvious distinguishing characteristics. Instead of referring to them by their individual names, everyone just called them the “The Twins.”

And I can’t remember for the life of me which twin it was that I was dating (by "dating" I mean we had gone on three dates with no physical manifestations as to why).

Rumor had it that neither of the twins had taken a girl on more than three dates. Being that this evening would be our third date, and being that I was in love with him (or his brother... can't be sure) I felt determined to break the trend. I spent an extra half an hour getting ready for our date that night. I flat-ironed my hair, glossed my lips, and wore my extra-favorite extra-lucky pair of jeans.

It was a group date—heaven forbid the twins should be separated for more than an hour—and we went to dinner, hot-tubbing, and out for hot chocolate afterword. The night seemed to have gone without a hitch. We said goodnight and I shut the door behind me, feeling confident that a fourth date was in the bag.

Until I felt a draft.

I ran to the mirror and inspected my backside. GREAT CAESAR’S GHOST!

Here’s what had happened:

At some point after the hot tub, my lucky jeans decided that they were no longer lucky, and literally split open at the back pocket without me noticing! Normally this would not have been a problem. I had my swimsuit on underneath, right?

But my swimsuit was a one-piece that never fit quite right. I was always picking it out of places that it didn’t belong (namely my butt-crack). And, as usual, my swimsuit had migrated to its favorite cozy spot that night—leaving my right butt cheek vulnerable and exposed.

And not just a little exposed. We’re talking 65% of my butt cheek flapping in the wind exposed.

And I hadn’t even noticed.

My first emotion was sheer horror. I stared in the mirror and examined the atrocity from every angle possible—each angle looking more horrific than the previous. There’s no way he (or his twin) could’ve missed it.

You know when something horribly embarrassing happens, the only way to make your self feel better is to quickly tell as many people about it as possible? Like somehow the more people who hear about it from your mouth, and not someone else's, the less embarrassing it is?

At least that’s how I handle embarrassment.

So I ran down stairs to show my friend, Tori, the exposed cheek. She gasped. And then burst into laughter.

Then, I too was caught by the hilarity of the situation. It knocked me off my feet. I rolled around on the floor in violent uncontrollable laughter.

I knew that a fourth date was no longer an option.

But that’s okay. I’d never be able to look him in the eye again, anyway.

Maybe bums aren't so great.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Is it Rude to Wish Yourself a Happy Mother's Day?

You know you are a mom if...

1. You vacuumed an hour ago and there are already new shrunken dried cheerios stuck to your carpet.
2. There is a pint of spit-up dripping down your arm and you have failed to notice.

3. You call and tell everyone you know when your tot sits on the potty and yells "come ooooout! come ooooout!" over and over to his bum.

4. Tater-tots are the best vegetable.

5. The best parts of the day are when your child wakes up and when they go to bed!

Thanks to these little cubs for making me a mom... and a good one at that (if you don't mind me saying).

And thanks to Ryan for making me sleep in till ten and then making me pot roast! Oh happy day!

And thank you to my mommy who taught me how to do this whole mommying gig. I would probably suck at it if it wasn't for you. Thanks for your wonderful example and patience and love!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mommy's Very Busy Day

Yesterday, I had a bow-athon... and have second degree hot-glue-gun burns all over my body to prove it. It was so much fun making all these accessories for my little fuzz head! I think she likes (tolerates) them, too.

I didn't make the last bow, but thought the picture was noteworthy nonetheless.

Kiana was a very gracious model, enduring multiple costume changes and countless trips to "hair and makeup."
Which bow is your favorite?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Double Your Pleasure. Double Your Fun.

There is nothing as wonderful, in a toddler’s eyes, as gum. Gum is the best. It is chewy. Doug loves gum.

Before you judge my parenting skills I would like to clarify that, no, I don’t give Doug gum. One hardly has to give Doug anything. He helps himself.

All he has to do is wait till I am nursing Kiana and am completely without defences. Then he maneuvers some piece of furniture (usually the large ottoman) across the house. He stands on the furniture and fiddles with the “child-proof” drawer until it finally budges open a notch. Then he reaches in the gap and moves his little feelers around until he locates the smooth pack of gum.

I am still nursing Kiana. While suspicious that something shady is happening in the other room—Doug is all too quiet, and let face it, is always doing something a teensy bit shady—I am stuck. I just keep my fingers crossed that he is not playing with matches or licking my razor… again (now would be the appropriate time to judge my parenting skills).

Soon, Doug comes out of the bedroom. His mouth is obviously full of something. There is a little drool draining out the corner.

“Douglas, come here,” I say sternly, asserting the authority I pretend to have over my two-year-old.

Surprisingly, Doug obeys me. He walks right up to me and looks at me with those gigantic innocent-looking eyes. I will not be fooled.

“Open your mouth,” I say.

Doug looks at me like I am speaking French, which annoys me. I know he can understand me.

I repeat myself louder and slower. I stand up, making myself look as large and intimidating as possible.

Doug opens his mouth. It’s gum. Two pieces. They have been gnawed upon but still hold their basic original structure. Doug has not completely mastered the art of gum chewing yet.

I place my cupped hand under his mouth and tell him to spit. He does.

All of the drool in his mouth, which is a substantial amount, slowly dribbles off of his tongue and into my hands. None of the gum does.

At this point in my life, kid spit does not faze me. I accept, no embrace, it. I wipe the minty fluid on my jeans and begin digging the soggy gum out of his mouth. I go to the bathroom to throw the gum away and noticed a dozen little foil wrappers scattered across the room. And there is a stack of naked gum rectangles next to the toilet.

And all I can do is laugh, because toddlers like gum. It is the best. It is chewy. It is forbidden.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cookie Time

There comes a time in every woman's life when she believes she has finally achieved the world's best chocolate chip cookie.

My time has come.

There's no secret ingredient. It is just the perfect quantities of the tried and true ingredients mixed to perfection to make a crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside, delicious cookie.

And because I like you, and am selfless that way, I would like you to have the recipe so you too can achieve the world's best chocolate chip cookie.

Without further delay:

Chocolate Chunk Cookie

2 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 sticks (1 c.) butter--softened

1 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. brown sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

1 egg + 1 egg white

1 1/2 bag of chocolate chips or chocolate chunks

chopped nuts as/if desired

Preheat oven to 350.

In mixer, beat butter and both sugars for three minutes (med to high speed).

Add other wet ingredients.

In another bowl , sift together flour, baking soda and salt.

Add dry ingredients to mixer until blended.

Fold chocolate chips into the cookie dough.

Ball up dough and arrange on cookie sheets.

Bake about 9 minutes until slightly browned on outside.


P.S. After you've tried this recipe and STILL think yours is better, send me your recipe and I'll give it a go.

P.S.S. This recipe is not mine, but Martha Stewart's. Defer credit to me if you wish.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Little Fingers and Little Toes

Four months is a magic age. I wish I could bottle it up and keep it for always… occasionally unscrewing the lid and breathing it in.

I can’t lie. The first three months were difficult. The newborn fussies left me exhausted and frustrated. Kiana was a fickle sleeper. The only way to keep her happy was to hold her. But holding her wasn’t enough. I also had to be looking at her. And smiling. And if I wasn’t looking at her there would be tears. Not angry tears, but “Why doesn’t anybody love me?” tears. I sometimes felt manipulated. I realize how silly that sounds, but a woman who wakes up to feed her baby three two seven times a night for three months is too tired to be rational.

There were many wonderful moments of course. She gave her first honest-to-goodness social smile at three and a half weeks. When she was happy, she was really happy, emitting heavenly smile spasms that could shake the world.

She was so tiny, swimming in her newborn nightgowns and fitting like a ball into two hands cupped tightly together.

The tenderness a mother could feel toward her newborn daughter actually blew me away. It felt like silky rose petals fresh out of the dryer. It tasted like caramelized strawberries swirled in sweet cream. It sounded like a velvet piano disguised as a whisper.

But that love multiplied as Kiana passed over the three month bump. A whole new baby emerged; one who recognized her limbs as her own, one who could be content on a blanket to explore the world by herself, one whose tears were limited to hunger pangs and onesies being pulled over her head.

But four months, four months is the most amazing age yet. Still a princess, Kiana carries the expectation of be looked at and admired at all times. But I feel appreciated rather than used now. Like the sun rises and sets with me. Like I am chocolate milk.

She is only 11 ibs, barely grazing the 8th percentile in height and weight. Her newborn body was preserved for me to enjoy for just a few extra minutes, but I get all the tricks of a four month baby. She rolls her way across the room. She wears a permanent display of frothy bubbles on her lips and kicks and giggles in the tub. She coughs to get my attention. She uses the word “goink.”

One of my favorite parts of this age is watching her explore with her hands and feet. She holds my hand as she nurses. She finds toys and crinkles them with her tiny fingers. She pulls her daddy’s arm hairs as he holds her in his lap.

Her toes are a wonder. She can open them, close them, stretch them out wide, and wiggle them individually. I’ve never seen anything like it (except in my husband, but he wears socks). Kiana is enamored with her feet. While in her car seat, she’ll lift one foot up in the air and examine it till we arrive at our next destination. When I put her on the blanket, she spends most of her time hanging onto her toes or playing footsies with the nearest stuffed animal.

And she snuggles. As I rock her back and forth she allows her body to dissolve into mine. She squishes her cheek against my face. I walk her to the mirror and we stare at our reflections. My face is weathered by the sun and blemishes; hers’ is seamless and perfect. We look beautiful together.

She is my daughter.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Doug Nooooooo!

Don't you love it when you go to check on your child and he is LITERALLY playing with one of these?

It's called a jumping spider.

I made Ryan come home from work to "take care of it."