Saturday, February 27, 2010

Gratitude

Well, this post would be a lot better if I could remember the thing that inspired me to write it, but I don't.  Remember it, that is.  I just know that I was at someone's house, and I saw something about being grateful, and so I stopped and thought about what I was grateful for, and it was a really good feeling, and I decided to write a blog post about it.  But then time went by and other things happened and I never did.  It was a really good, uplifting feeling though, and so I've decided to write this blog post anyway, even though this is the lamest introduction to a post I've ever written.

I know it's not Thanksgiving, but here are a few things that I am grateful for today: (please, don't read any deep meaning into the order, either.)

1. I am grateful for my health.  I know I complain a lot about being sick, and I often wish that my body were stronger without having to lift weights like Devin does, but all things considered, I am healthy, and I am strong enough to do the things I need to do.  (Although, exercising definitely wouldn't hurt me.)
2. I am grateful that my family is healthy.  Again, I know I whine a lot about them being sick all the time, but I need to stop doing that, because really a couple cases of pinkeye never did that much damage to anyone. (except my mom's goat, whose eyeball popped out of its socket because of the pressure.  But that's another story.)
3. I am grateful for people who know me really well and love me anyway.  AND people who know me well, and love me enough to tell me when to get over things, and when I need to chill out.
4. I am grateful for the time that we've lived here in Peoria.  I've learned a lot about myself (for a post another time), and I have grown a lot as a mother and a wife.  I am more comfortable with having that as a large, perhaps the main, part of my identity now.
5. I am grateful that winter is always followed by Spring.  My favorite days of, well, of ever, are the days on the tail end of winter when there is no bitterness in the wind, and your skin knows that soon you won't need a coat.  And that smell in the air that tells your nose that soon there will be flowers.
6. I am grateful that mistakes aren't (don't have to be) permanent - that we can live life on a learning curve, and that God is patient.
7. I am grateful for all the people who read my blog and leave comments, because sometimes when I am feeling a little trapped by the weather, and the toddler, and the newborn, and that we only have one car, reading your comments helps me feel connected to the big world out there.  So, I'm grateful to you, too.

(Assuming you leave a comment, that is.)

And that goes double for you Nicole.  I'll be checking.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Growin' Up

My big girl is growin' up.  She finally let me put a pony tail in her hair, to wanted to be "like Mommy".


And she had her two year checkup today.  She weighs 23 pounds, and 37 1/2 inches. (5% for weight and 10% for height.)  She's had a few growth spurts!


 and thanks for my cute sweater, Aunt Rachel!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Beast

(for Mimi)

To really understand my feelings about Valentine's Day, you would first have to understand my feelings about romance.  And that is a tricky thing to explain.  In high school I was lovingly?  jokingly? nicknamed "The Beast".  My friends decided that the song "Maneater" could be used as the theme for my life.  By the time I had gotten to college I had relaxed a little bit, and was slightly more comfortable with the whole idea that boys didn't actually have cooties.  I am quite certain that any male that ever tried to do something that would fall under the category of "romantic" received a swift jab to the stomach.  I'm sorry, but apparently hitting is my response mechanism to what would make most girls swoon.

This hitting comes from a good place though, it's not done out of malice or a desire to actually hurt the recipient.  I've just never been comfortable with gooshy smooshy smoochy woochy and so when anything starts to approach googly-eyed-ness I react violently.

This is why when Devin proposed to me, an event typically regarded as one of the most romantic of a woman's life, I did all sorts of things wrong.  I did not let him kneel.  I would not look him in the eye.  I would not let him give his little prepared speech.  And when he did finally manage to ask, I said, "Ok" and then I hit him in the stomach.  It's a reflex.

I am getting better though, this year he did bring home some chocolate for me and I said thank you.   One year he brought me flowers and I said thank you.  No hitting.

But I've never done anything for him.  Let's just say I don't know how.  For most of my life I don't think I really celebrated Valentine's Day at all.  I have been on two dates on Valentine's Day, one was to a basketball game, and one was to a hockey game. Good times.  Then one year a friend of mine suggested we make cards for our friends.  I desperately needed some girl time (Hallie had just been born and it was the middle of winter) so she came over and we spent the afternoon making cards.  I must have really needed the girl time, because that afternoon is one of my favorite memories, and so to sort of celebrate that I make cards for the girls in my life that I really love and (cough, cough) send them to them.

I do love my mister, and he is confident enough in that that he doesn't need me to go crazy over him on Valentine's Day. Which is good, because he would more likely end up with a bruised stomach than anything else if I did try.

Valentine's Day 2009 - Florida with my girls.

Devin stayed home with Hallie.

Now that's what I call Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Olympics, Valentine's Day, etc.

Well the Olympics is traditionally such a big deal in my life that I had spent a considerable amount of time in the weeks leading up to it trying to figure out what I was going to say and what pictures to take for my blog to adequately demonstrate my passion for it.  Alas, I could never come up with anything truly remarkable, and then the weekend of the opening ceremonies when I thought I would post my Olympics Extravaganza post, a lot of things happened.

It was also the weekend of Valentine's Day, and I thought I would write something about how Devin and I pretty much completely ignore Valentine's Day usually, and how instead of doing anything romantic for him I usually spend my time preceding that holiday by making cards for my close friends and family that I don't get to see all that often to tell them I love them.  (Which cards are still sitting on my desk, ready to be mailed, except that I am having trouble finding addresses... what I get for packing things waaaaay before we're actually moving.  You'll get your cards in the mail, I hope. And if not, please know that I really truly LOVE YOU.)  Anyway, I never got to do my anti-Valentine's Day post because that same weekend when that would have happened, a lot of other things happened instead.

Very important things.  Here are some pictures.

 My two favorite Hanna(h)'s:

Hannah's father recently passed away, and we were able to make it to his memorial service.  It meant a lot to me that we were able to go, because I wanted to be there to honor and pay tribute to the great influence he had been on my life, because I hadn't gotten to see Hannah since Hallie was born, and to introduce Hannah to Hanna.

The reason we were in the area to make it to the memorial service was because we had already been planning on visiting with my family one last time before our big move (2 weeks!).  I of course didn't get very many pictures at all, but I did get some pictures of our pool time fun:
 
Rachel and Emily.

 
GramB and Hallie

 
The Blue Eyes Family
(aka Mimi, Jill, Jeff)


 
 We are going to be such good friends.

 
Just hangin' with mom.
And of course, since I actually managed to get a picture with Rachel and Emily in it this trip, that means I didn't get one with Annibelle, Mindee, or Pete. I can't win. I love you guys too, though.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Celebrity



 Yeah, that's my girl.  You know she'll be a celebrity someday.  Check out the shades.  The attitude.  The baby.  She's got it all.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dr. Devin J. Rose

and why I may never eat microwave popcorn again.  (Or theatre popcorn, either.)  There are a lot of attributes that I love about the man I married.  One of the first qualities that I ever noticed about him is that he is smart.  Especially in his field of study, which is food chemistry.  He is always amazing me with the random factoids he knows about the food we eat, and at times it amazes me that he is still willing to eat foods given what he knows.  (Granted, there are a lot of foods that he won't eat... but that's a different story.)

To give you an example of what I mean, let me share with you a conversation we had tonight.  If you have a weak stomach with topics related to diapers or if you really love popcorn, please disregard this post.

Amy, "You know, I've decided that Hanna's dirty diapers smell a lot like microwave popcorn."

Devin, "Well, that's because one of the major scent compounds in buttered popcorn and dirty diapers is the same thing."

Amy, "What? Seriously.  What?"

Devin, "I am serious.  Butyric acid is a major scent component of baby poo and it is also in buttered popcorn.  Along with diacetyl, butyric acid gives the popcorn it's distinctive flavor."

He went into much more of an explanation, including the history of buttered theatre popcorn and what they use to flavor their popcorn with these days, than I am going to post here, but if you are interested, just let me know.   
This is the chemical structure of butyric acid.

Devin assures me it is just the smell that is the same, the taste would not be at all similar, because the flavor compounds are different in popcorn and baby poo.  Rest assured on that.  (Devin also wants me to mention that baby poo will probably make you sick.  Do not eat it.)

And, just out of curiosity, have any other mothers noticed this similarity in smell?  I think I only noticed it because I haven't had microwave popcorn in years but I recently enjoyed a bag.  So I of course, smelled it then.  I also haven't changed a newborn's diaper in years, but I am recently enduring that as well, and am definitely smelling it...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Toddler - Adult Miscommunications

 
Poor two year olds.  I guess I finally get why they throw temper tantrums.  Ear infections really are no picnic at all.  Not to mention they worked so hard for two years to master the art of speaking, and we still can't understand them.  Or is it just Hallie and I that struggle?
Hanna was born four weeks ago, tomorrow, and ever since Hallie first met her she has been talking a lot about "Hanna's fire".  Or sometimes, even more baffling, Hanna wil be crying, and Hallie will very calmly and apparently in an effort to help, say "fire".  I, of course, had no idea what she meant.  Part of the trouble stems from a lack of a use of prepositions and verbs.  Is she trying to tell me that Hanna is "on" fire?  Or that she "sees" a fire?  Or is she contemplating whether or not Hanna would "like" a fire?

I finally figured it out today.  (Perhaps most of you are more savvy than I and already know what she was talking about.)  Today they were both on my lap, Hallie on bottom holding Hanna on top.  Quite the feat to arrange that without hurting anyone tiny.  Hanna started fussing, and Hallie began very urgently suggesting "Hanna's fire!"  I could tell she wanted to go get "Hanna's fire", so I said ok, thinking I would finally unravel this mystery.  She was pointing to one of Hanna's blankets, and I tried to figure out how that could be a fire in the mind of a two year old, whom I know knows the word for blanket.  She ran over to the blanket, and from on top of it she picked up: Hanna's paciFIER.  Huh.  Well, I've got to hand it to her.  For a girl who uses the words "chicken" and "kitchen" interchangeably (and if you think about it, they are very similar, just the consonant clusters are switched) she did an excellent job saying part of the word "pacifier". 

Or is this whole miscommunication thing just the beginning of a long road of mother-daughter miscommunications?  Oh dear me, I hope not.

  Tummy Time.

When Hallie was a baby, she hated tummy time. She would scream and scream the whole way through, and Devin would get out a stopwatch and tell her she had to go at least another minute, and to "work through the pain" and all sorts of silly stuff like that.  Then when we felt we had tortured her sufficiently, we'd let her get off her tummy.  She truly hated it.  Hanna doesn't seem to mind, and of course, now that Hanna is doing tummy time, Hallie loves it too.  So does her baby doll.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Alright, Already.

Pictures.
 
 
  
  

And a few Hallie anecdotes: When we help her do something she says, "Thank you honey."

She has recently gotten really excited about going to church, and so this morning she demanded to put on a "pretty dress."  As soon as we got home from church however, she said, "No want, pretty dress."

And an update: We are going BACK to the doctor tomorrow (this woman is going to think I am obsessed with her) because now Hanna has pink eye, and my ear is worse than ever.  I am pretty much completely deaf in my left ear now.  Awesome.

And other than all of that, we are doing really well.  There are so many people here in Peoria who take such great care of us, and show  us so much love.  I'm not looking forward to leaving all the friends I've made here.  That house had better do a heck of a job cheering me up.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hoo Boy - Quarantine

Seriously, can you believe it? It's been three weeks since Hanna was born.  I thought the day she was born was a wild ride of a day, but when I look back over these past three weeks it's been non stop action.  And so, in case you're wondering why I have been neglecting all of you, friends and family, of late, let's review.

- Hallie got pink eye
- Devin's mom came to visit to help out (and her week long visit had so much craziness it deserves a list of its own.)
- My parents came to visit to help out (and their week long visit also had much craziness in it.)
- Our kitchen has been taken over by wild starch eating ants (we sweep after every meal, we mop the floor with bleach twice a week or so, and we have ant traps down.  WHAT MORE CAN WE DO?)
- I got a nasty cold.
- Then I got an ear infection
- Hallie got pink eye, again.
- Hanna lost too much weight her first few days home from the hospital, so we had to take her back to the hospital for more blood tests to be done. They took three vials (?) out of my tiny baby's body.
- Turns out she's just a heavy sleeper with little interest in eating.
- Cue setting an alarm to wake up throughout the night, and then spending ten minutes trying to wake up your sleeping baby.  In the cold dark house, while everyone else is snoring.
- Hallie isn't sure yet what she prefers: kissing and hugging Hanna, or using her as a personal punching bag.  (Just kidding on this one, although she does hit Hanna sometimes when Hallie wants me to hold her instead.)
- I put the names in that previous sentence because I originally had it with all pronouns and it was a lot of interchanging she's and her's.
- Hallie kept me up for the better half of the night last night with a fever of 102.  She finally fell asleep with me on the couch (we had previously tried her bed, my bed, and the rocking chair, all to no avail.  Even with a fever she thought it was party time. But the couch has magical powers to make people fall asleep, even if it did take half an hour still.)
- Well, perhaps that's all, but in my sleep deprived brain it has felt like a lot.
- Oh, and my eye is pink this morning: pink eye, anyone?

Thank you for all of the encouragement and support in the comments that you left on this post.  Today was my first full day by myself, and that's probably why I sound a little grouchy.  Things are good, my babies are healthy, and while I still can't hear out of my left ear, at least it doesn't feel like it is going to explode any minute and destroy all life on earth anymore.  (A scenario that I considered highly likely Monday night as I lay in bed feeling pity on all two year olds that ever had an ear infection.)

AND some pictures will be coming soon, I don't know if it is our computer, or our internet connection, or blogger but it takes too long to upload them and that's why I haven't put any of Hanna up in a while. She's cute though! For now, just take my word for it.