30 November 2008

I Like My Children

Sometimes I feel like when I'm talking about having kids with other people, that I am expected to complain about them (in general and specific). Although sometimes I need to unload about having a rough day, I really do just enjoy being with my Dude and Sita. They are wonderful!

Some things I love about them today:

The Dude:

...wants to understand things. He asked about what "on purpose" meant. He wanted to know why Mars was about war and Venus was about love.
...recognizes classical music. He can tell all of Holst's Planets apart (hence the discussion above).
...can determine which instruments are being played in a piece of music. "There are the double basses! And the trumpets! And the timpanis!"
...likes to write out math problems for himself. He wrote 3 math problems in his notebook: 9+1=10, 10+1=11, 10-1=9 AND when someone asked him what 5 plus -3 was, he knew it was 2.
...is a good big brother. He makes up games for he and the Sita to play and they have a great time together. He had them pretending to be slithery snakes on the polished gym floor.
...can be quiet for a long time. He let us take naps while he entertained himself with his Thomas storybook and a phonics workbook.
...is reasonable. When I explain why I can't do something at the moment, he accepts it and sometimes even offers to help me.
...is trustworthy. During choir practice, I don't have to worry about him because I know he'll stay out of trouble.
...wants to be good. When we were walking to church and he made the Sita fall because he was being a bit boyish, he accepted the responsibility and said he was sorry.

The Sita:

...loves wearing her dancing dresses, and then dancing (spinning around in circles until she's thoroughly dizzy).
...loves to sing! She sang the "Glooooooooria een exshellsees djeo" to Angels We Have Heard on High all day.
...isn't afraid to talk to people. Her favorite topics are "The Chicken Nugget Story" "The Nerds" "Cataloguing the Owies" and "Getting Treats for Going Poo in the Potty" (which she has yet to do).
...eats fruit. Having a pear for breakfast is just delightful. Having craisins for snack is grand.
...memorizes books and then "reads" them back to you. She's got Pinkalicious totally down (even the silly voices).
...tries new foods. She ate a couple bites of a new soup tonight without complaint.
...keeps track of who gives her what. Right now Auntie C is in her good books because she gave her a new dancing dress!
...is so charming! She has claimed the lap of her nursery leader for storytime - all the other children must crowd around.
...is excited about having a new sister. She tells everyone about her new baby sister and that someday after she gets baptized and married in the temple, she will have a baby in her tummy, too.
...can interpret my drawings. She got angel and baby Jesus and Jesus getting baptized correct (even though the Spozo said John looked like a scary octopus monster).

I love my kids. They are truly a great source of delight and laughter and love and I'm glad they're mine.

Not what I wanted

With all that Thanksgiving action, I completely forgot that the Dude was supposed to give a talk in Primary today. If I had only remembered 10 minutes earlier, I could've written something out for him to read. But no - I didn't remember until they asked the child who was giving the prayer to come forward. Our only prep time was while the other little boy (or, more accurately, his mother) was reciting the scripture.

So we settled for the Dude reading his favorite verse of I Am a Child of God and talking a bit about it. It looked a lot like a traditional Primary talk - the parent whispers something to the child, they speak into the microphone, the parent whispers something more, the child whispers something back, the parent nods their head, and the child again speaks into the microphone. Our dialogue went a bit like this:

I'm going to read my favorite verse of I Am a Child of God.

I'm going to read my favorite verse in I Am a Child of God. I am a child of God, Rich blessings are in store. If I but learn to do His will, I'll live with Him once more.

Ok. What are some of your blessings? (pointing to rich blessings.)

Rich blessings. The world.

What else?

I don't know mommy.

How about living with Heavenly Father?

Living with Heavenly Father.

What are you doing to learn His will?

I'm learning to choose the right.

How about being kind?

Being kind. And nice. And sharing.

I am glad I am a child of God.

I am glad I am a child of God.

In the name...

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I didn't think about this until just now, but I never had to prompt him when to speak into the microphone - he knew when was a time to speak into the microphone and when not to. Counting our small blessings. A dear sister that was in Primary came up after church to compliment us on his talk. I looked at her a bit incredulously and laughed, explaining that we had completely winged the whole thing. She said she had guessed that, but that what was impressive was that we did that well just improvising. That made me feel a bit better about completely forgetting to prepare something, but I still think I'd like a re-do.

28 November 2008

Thanksgiving Lessons

We learned several important things from having Thanksgiving at our house this year:

It is a LOT of work.
Having no counterspace means making several things at once is extremely difficult.
Mashed potatoes taste best when there is lots of butter, cream, and sour cream and they are whipped with beaters.
If you want the Sita to eat anything besides olives at Thanksgiving dinner, you should let her eat them more often.
Trader Joe's turkeys prepared the Martha Stewart way makes THE BEST turkey.
Tenting the turkey really does work!
The Dude will eat mashed potatoes, corn, turkey, and pumpkin pie with enthusiasm (but not much else).
Leftovers are ginormous when you're by yourselves.
Having a dinner party the night before is good because your house is already fairly clean.
Having a dinner party the night before is bad because you're already tired of slaving away in the kitchen.
Pumpkin pecan streusel pie is five times more scrumptious than traditional pumpkin pie.
It is a slight disadvantage to have Black Friday be the day after Thanksgiving when you have a gadget-obsessed husband.
It is a huge blessing to have a competent cook for a husband.
You will always, no matter what, forget to take a picture of the turkey no matter how beautiful it is!

We missed having Thanksgiving with family this year, but we're glad we have family to miss. We're also very glad we have friends to share it with!

21 November 2008

A Harmonious Day

The highlight of my day today was having the Sita singing the Peter theme from Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf at random times - at Target, while playing, and in her bath. Not exactly note perfect, but she had the rhythms!

I even loved her more when she told me (very emphatically bordering on screamingly) that I was NOT allowed to sing along with her.

Another highlight was piano practice with the Dude. We had such fun doing forte and piano and high and low notes (and high and low voices - his low elephant voice is adorable). He very seriously explained to me that he can't make such low notes because his vocal chords are smaller than mine.

I am so proud that when he plays one of his little songs, it sounds like a song! (My current favorite is the Magic Tree House song). He's already better at looking at the music rather than the keys than I am and when he lifts his hand to move it on the keyboard, he does it so gracefully. We're still working on the graceful curving of the fingers.....

11 November 2008

Tagged! Crazy 8s

(At least I think I was!) by the darling Sierra.

8 things I'm obsessed with right now:
1. Finding order
2. Thinking up Christmas gifts
3. Reading my friends' blogs
4. Planning the Dude's party
5. Justifying getting new things for another baby girl
6. Stopping the Sita's tantrums
7. Taking beautiful pictures
8. Deciding if kindergarten is the best thing for the Dude

8 words or phrases I use daily:
1. "Did you want to ASK me for something?"
2. "Sita que bonita!"
3. "Girlawog!"
4. "Screamacita"
5. "Dude-a-lude"
6. "What a nice big brother!"
7. "Are you listening to your body?"
8. "You're right!"

8 T.V. shows I love to watch:
1. We don't own a TV.
2. But we do get Netflix.
3. So I do watch some "TV."
4. Monk
5. Star Trek (in general)
6. Project Runway (when they're not swearing!)
7. And that's about
8. It.

8 Things I did yesterday:
1. Tried on Maternity clothes at Old Navy
2. Had lunch at IKEA
3. Put a bandaid on a profusely bleeding wound
4. Carried a sleeping Sita from the car to her bed
5. Laundered the "warm" colors and the "cool" colors
6. Read "Pigeon wants a Puppy" 3 times in a row
7. Went to Target and found pants (on sale!) for the now 4T Dude
8. Played the Scripture game in the November Friend for FHE

8 of my favorite places to eat:
1. Barney's
2. Cheeseboard Bakery
3. Bistro Jeanty in Yountville
4. Chez Souvan in Campbell
5. My Mom's house
6. Teacake Bakery
7. Macaroni Grill
8. In-and-Out Burger

8 Things I'm looking forward to:
1. Thanksgiving!
2. Concerts with the Spozo!
3. My birthday
4. Christmas!
5. Singing Psalm 91 in church
6. Teaching a lesson on Moroni
7. New baby girl!
8. The Spozo being off his nasty diet

8 Things on my wish list:
1. The Princess Bride (the book)
2. Enamel Dutch Oven
3. Camera carrier
4. Really cute pregnancy dress
5. Naptime everyday
6. Full-time maid
7. Quickish labor
8. Healthy baby

8 People I tag:
1. the Romgi
2. Roni
3. Lady Steed
4. Tristen
5. Cindy
6. FoxyJ
7. Ramblings
8. the Spozo (even though he swears he won't do it)

04 November 2008

Wise Words from a Wise Man

(with bolding added for emphasis)

"We are forgetting God, whose commandments we have neglected and in some cases forgotten, and which we seem reluctant - or too undisciplined - to obey. In too many ways, we have substituted human sophistry for the wisdom of the Almighty.

"America is still strong, but destructive forces have been and are at work. There is a serious unsteadiness in our country's stance in terms of morality, ehtics, principles, and behavior. We as a people and a nation have increasingly neglected and abandoned time-honored virtues that have been proven through the centuries to keep human beings individually, and therefore collectively, strong.

"These problems are only symptomatic of many other problems we have as a people. During recent years, polls and circumstances have suggested that an unprecedented majority of Americans believe that the private lives of public official need not be considered as a factor in their eligibility for public office, and that private morality has no connection with public behavior and credibility. I am more deeply concerned about the growing moral deficit than I am about monetary deficit.

"For a good while, there has been going on in this nation a process that I have termed the secularization of America. The single most substantial factor in the degeneration of the values and morals of our society is that we as a nation are forsaking the Almighty, and I fear that He will begin to forsake us. We are shutting the door against the God whose sons and daughters we are."

"Marriage was once generally regarded as a sacred sacrament, but, for the populace as a whole, it is becoming an increasingly secular ceremony. ... We are losing something that speaks of accountability, not only to one another but to God who is our Father and who will stand in judgement upon us."

"If we are to continue to have the freedoms that evolved within the structure that was the inspiration of the Almighty to our Founding Fathers, we must return to the God who is their true Author. ... If we would individually and collectively resolve to stand for something, to lift our voices for truth and goodness and offer our supplications to our Eternal Father, those supplications would be heard, and the result would be remarkable.

"Does this compromise the separation of church and state? Of course not. Such a provision does not preclude a constant petition to the Almighty for wisdom and guidance as we walk through perilous times."

"There is something reassuring about standing for something, and knowing what we stand for. ... Those who are committed to, and have patterned their lives after, a Higher Power need not rely on public opinion, which is often blatantly skewed."

"Here is the answer to the conflicts that beset us. ... Here is the answer to tawdry politics that place selfish interests and pursuits about the common good."

"... Let us look inward and adjust our priorities and standards, recommitting ourselves to time-honored virtues that embrace right and shun wrong. ... Let us work tirelessly to defend and strengthen the family, which is the fundamental unit of society.

"Notwithstanding the trouble, notwithstanding the argument, notwithstanding the increasingly heavy hand of government, notwithstanding the spirit of arrogance we so often display, notwithstanding the growing tide of pornography and permissiveness, notwithstanding the corruption in public office and betrayal of sacred trust - I marvel at the miracle of America, the land which the God of Heaven long ago declared to be a choice land above all other lands, and at the people He has designated to inhabit this nation.

"This is a good land, a great land with a glorious past and a bright future - if we treat and cure the sickness spreading throughout our society."

All quotes taken from Gordon B. Hinckley's Introduction to Standing for Something: 10 neglected virtues that will heal our hearts and homes.