Saturday, September 25, 2010

Walmart Babies NO MORE!

A good friend of mine and I have this little joke. Whenever we see kids who are in their pj's all day, red popsicle syrup all over their face, hair matted from the night's sleep, we nic-name them "Walmart Babies." I know, not very nice. But if you see the kind of people that frequent the Walmart by my house, you will understand.

Sariah and James were starting to look like those said children. Hair way too long for their mother's liking, an unruliness that needed to be controlled.


After, little man all spikey. Baby no more:

And beautiful Sariah, with her golden locks that drive her dad crazy.

And then something happened after her hair was layered - the curls sprung to life! Her hair is GORGEOUS! Takes a little Infusium 23, and a little gel, but boy are they pretty.

Don't you feel so fresh and beautiful after a good haircut?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Who Stole the Cookie From the Cookie Jar?

Just follow the evidence...

Yes, that is a bag of dog food James is eating from. Gross.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Someone my Size!

Yesterday, we had an extra little boy at our home. He is just a month younger than James. When he walked in, James' eyes lit up! It's as if he was saying, "Someone my size!"

"Here's what you do. You follow this path, sneak up behind them, and then steal the binkie!!"

"Check first to see if anyone is watching. If you have any suspicion that you're being tailed, get outta there!"

"Oh no! We've been spotted! RETREAT!!"

Needless to say, they had a blast together.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sariah's Point of View

I love it when I go to download pictures, and find these:

It is very eye-opening to see the world as Sariah sees it. Sometimes, there's very unflattering pictures of my bum, too. But I definitely won't be posting those!

Thanks for making me smile, best girl.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thoughts about my Disclaimer

In yesterday's post, I put this disclaimer:

DISCLAIMER: I am not a mom who will "hide" certain things. Sariah knows what girls have, and what boys have. I will not fluff up how a baby comes out, or divert any questions. I want Sariah to come to me with questions when she has them, and know that I will answer them honestly.

I would like to take a minute and explain this, for those of you who think I am absolutely crazy. Yes, I am. However, with several years of teaching middle school, I see what it is like when parents are not open with their children. Kids use their friends as sounding boards for certain topics. When they don't know the answer, what do they usually do? No...not ask their parents. They search the internet to find the answers. This is when they start to come across a lot of things that we don't want them to be exposed to so early. Of course, they will need to be taught about it so they can learn to arm themselves against it, but everything in due time.

Now back to Sariah. If Sariah came to me and ask me where babies come from, I would explain things so that her little 3 year old self could understand. No, I would not go into details about everything. But yes, I would answer her honestly and appropriately.

I honestly cringe when I hear parents say, "I'm not ready for this." One friend a while ago had her 9 year old son ask her about sex. She said "Go ask your father." You know what the father said? "Let's talk about this in a couple of years, when you're ready." He IS ready, that's why he's asking. For someone to divert questions, dodge them, or change the subject is inadvertently telling the child that they are not allowed to ask those questions. This life isn't about us, and being a parent isn't about us. It's about our children. So if our kids ask us what certain body parts are, how babies come out, or other things - suck it up, be an adult/parent, and lovingly respond in a way that they can understand. If parents could only hear what is being said in late elementary and middle school, they would start having these talks as soon as they could.

One of the most important things to me is to have my children be able to ask me anything. ANYTHING. And trust in the fact that they know I won't judge them, be upset with them, and explain the answer to them. I want to kiss my husband in front of my children, and show them that physical relationships are neat, fun, exciting, and important. I'm not going to be groping him in front of my kids, but I don't want my children to say "I've never seen my parents kiss, hold hands, etc." Because of that, I hope they will learn that physical intimacy is important, fun, wonderful, and worth the wait for marriage.

In these days, sex, pornography, cohabitation, and other experiences are everywhere for our children to see. According to, some recent statistics are: 9/10 teenage boys will seek out pornography (not just stumble across it, but seek it out). The average age children (mostly boys) are introduced to pornography is 8. 8!! So that 9 year old boy who asked his dad about sex already knows more than his parents think he knows.

With these two statistics in mind, I feel it is critical to be open with our children. Start the conversation earlier than we may feel comfortable doing because they need to know. They need to know what they are up against. The most important tool they will have is knowledge. If you are the one giving it to them, then hopefully they won't feel the need to seek it out. And if they do, hopefully you have the kind of relationship to where you can talk about it and help them figure out what they need to figure out.

This may be a serious topic for such a silly post and silly disclaimer. However, she's 3. She's asking questions. Not a lot of deep, detailed, and embarrassing questions. But her questions are there. If I can start now to answer her questions, then (I pray) she will continue to come to me.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Meet Barbie

She was introduced to our home by Aunt Kendall (my sister) this week. Aunt Kendall discovered her, her friends, her house, her horses, and a whole bunch of her things at a yard sale. And, Aunt Kendall decided that our house needed a new home.

It's a good thing she did because now Barbie has a loving mommy. Sariah is Barbie's new mommy. She bathes her, feeds her, plays with her, puts her to bed, and even sings to her.

Here is Sariah discovering her new toys the morning they were delivered:

Here is Barbie going to bed:

And here is Barbie watching a movie with Sariah and Emerson:

Included in the set was a pregnant Barbie. She has a magnetic stomach that you can take off, and a baby is all curled up inside there. It sounds totally weird - but it's really cool. It helps Sariah understand that when she sees a woman who is pregnant, there really is a baby in there. She's starting to understand, at least in her 3 year old way.

Sariah has been fascinated with the fact that Barbie wears underwear. She has textured plastic covering her necessities, instead of having a bare bum like before. She knows Barbie is a girl, but was frustrated with the fact that she couldn't tell what the gender of the baby was. One day, we had a conversation that went something like this:

Sariah: Mom, is the baby a boy or a girl?

Me: I don't know. Why don't you look?

DISCLAIMER: I am not a mom who will "hide" certain things. Sariah knows what girls have, and what boys have. I will not fluff up how a baby comes out, or divert any questions. I want Sariah to come to me with questions when she has them, and know that I will answer them honestly.

Sariah: I can't tell. There's nothing there!

Me: Is there any other way you can tell if the baby is a boy or a girl?

Sariah: I know! It's a baby girl!

Me: How do you know?

Sariah: Because she LOVES to talk a lot!!

What a funny conversation we had. I am glad that Sariah recognizes that girls like to talk a lot, but I still question where she picked it up. I love the way her mind thinks!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Boy at Almost 15 Months

What can I say? I have a mama's boy, and I love it. I relish in the fact that James loves his mother better than anyone else. It makes a mom feel good.

Alas, this sweet boy is growing up so fast. I love it. I hate it. How can I have conflicting feelings like that at the same time? I'm not quite sure, but I do.

I love quiet afternoons like this one, where Sariah is sleeping and James and I get some one-on-one time together. He is perfectly content to sit on my lap, and watch the birds out in the backyard. When I'm on the floor, he will run all around me and play with all of his toys. But every minute or so, he runs back at me with his arms wide open, and swoops in for a quick hug. It's almost as if he wants to make sure I am still there, and haven't gone anywhere. The reassurance of mothers is irreplaceable.

I love that I don't have to impress him. These pictures are my "just out of the shower with curls flopping all over the place." But he loves me, and them, regardless of how my curls are placed.

I love how James shares. He is so proud of things that he find, and thrusts his arm up to show you what he has found. This is especially funny when he has found something that he knows he is not supposed to have, such as a cell phone or his sister's blanket. He thinks he is so clever, and is radiant when he has defied a rule.

I love his quiet, solitary play. He loves to play by himself sometimes. I think it's because he can have whatever toys he wants and doesn't have to worry about sharing. He is very thoughtful - always deep in thought when looking at a book, watching the birds, or is trying to figure out his sister is doing. Very serious a lot of the time.

And, I love his silly faces. Mid-sentence pictures are always really funny.

Love you, best son! Excited to watch you grow and see what you choose to become. Just don't stop loving your Mama the way you do.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Earning Her Keep

Sariah. *Sigh* What to do with this child.

I was recently talking with a behavioral therapist about the energy Sariah has. Sometimes, I am at a complete loss when trying to teach, discipline, and direct her. The therapist was very encouraging, telling me that she's very bright. Bright beyond her 3 year old self. She's creative, and needs creative outlets - constantly.

The therapist also said that Sariah is bored. She isn't satisfied doing puzzles that she knows how to do. That bores her. She needs puzzles that are way beyond her capabilities because her brain will thrive in the challenge. (This is going to get her in trouble in school! She's going to need a fantastic Kinder and 1st grade teacher!) She needs kitchens, dolls, and other toys that will foster her creativity and let her imaginative play excel. We are now officially on the hunt for some new toys! Craiglist and yard sales here we come.

Anyhow, back to Sariah. One of the ways she feels very important and useful is when she helps me clean. We clean the house every other Friday, and she is in love with cleaning. Wiping. Scrubbing. I usually let her have a wet paper towel and she goes to town!

The funny thing is, she is calling herself "Cinderella" because she's cleaning just like Cinderella. Here she is, wiping out the sink and cleaning the kitchen table. In her fancy tutu dress. My Grandmother Vene (who Sariah is named after...Sariah Vene) would be thrilled to see her namesake cleaning in her fancies.

And here she is, cleaning the toilets with dad. (I personally believe that cleaning the house should be a family affair. Jared gets the bathrooms.) Again, she's in her fancy church dress, and her church shoes. "Clean in your pearls," as my Grandmother Vene would say!

I only hope that I can foster this child's creative imagination, direct her energy in the right way, and create a child that has a love of learning, the gospel, and her family. I need to be better about playing games with her, doing crafts with her, and instilling a strong sense of self.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

King of the Castle

We FINALLY cleaned out the toys. It was time to put the baby toys away, and break out the toddler toys for James. Sariah is also needing some new toys, so we switched out hers as well. But when I pulled out the bin of toys, James didn't want the toys.

He wanted the bin.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Monkey Swing

Remember that hunky husband I talked about yesterday? Here he is, swinging our firstborn around like she's a feather! It's called doing the "Monkey Swing." Sariah kicks up her legs, and Jared tosses her around.

The squeals of delight that come from both of them make me smile, make the neighbors nervous, and make his mother hide her eyes.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

He's No Cowboy

When I was a teenager, I made a list of all of the things I wanted in my future eternal companion. I think we all did! Some of the list included the following:

Returned missionary
Loves me
Honors his priesthood

Is tall, dark, and handsome
Makes me feel special

Makes me laugh

Makes me feel sexy
Has motivation

Wants to get a degree to support his family

As the list grew, I started to add more of these types of qualifiers:
Drives a truck
Wears cowboy boots

Plays the piano

Is a cowboy

You see, I grew up riding horses and being a cowgirl (without dressing like one!). I wanted a cowboy to match my cowgirl heart.

Let's face it - I couldn't have married someone further than a cowboy! He can't stand country music, he won't step foot in a truck unless he has to, he won't be caught dead in cowboy boots, the only thing he knows about a piano is that the "things" are black and white (keys), and carries a tune that would make anyone cringe.

But - I love him. He has all of the important qualities - all of the first part of the list I posted. He served an honorable mission, married me in the temple, loves me fiercely, loves his children more than he can contain, thinks I am sexy, and is tall, dark and handsome. My heart races when I look into his chocolate eyes, and my toes tingle when I kiss his luscious lips.

And really - who doesn't love a man doing manly work? Even if it is just mowing the lawn - it's hot.