First Tooth

This morning while feeding Finn his breakfast, I noticed that the corner of his first little tooth just popped through! Such a fun milestone (especially now that this explains the fevers and diarrhea!)

Superstar Parents!

I was talking to my sister-in-law the other day and she was saying that she feels like blogs usually end up feeling like a big showcase for parents to brag about how wonderful they are by showing all the great things they do with and for their kids.

Just to contradict that theory, I wanted to tell you about mine and Jeramy's parenting week, last week. Let's start with me. In the course of five days, while under my care, Finn had three little mishaps. Number one - he rolled off the bed. Well, he actually launched himself forward and slid down, landing on his feet then pouncing forward ending up on his hands and knees. I do have a good defense to that one, which I won't bore you with. Number two - he fell down three stairs before I caught him. No defense at all! Number three - he somehow pulled the baby monitor out of the plug and put the cord in his mouth giving him a little zap. No defense - I was three feet away from him the entire time. (I made Jeramy stick it in his mouth and he said the current wasn't very strong)

Now, Jeramy's bad parenting moment. He only has one, which almost shouldn't count since he stuck a cord with a live current in his mouth to make sure his baby didn't fry his little brain!. We were at Nordstrom Rack last week getting Jeramy a few new clothes. We had gone out to dinner with the kids and Ella had behaved horrible. Then we had a few other errands we had run, so by the time we were at the Rack she had really worn Jeramy down. She went with him into the dressing room and was crawling under all the stalls and was completely ignoring anything he said. They came out of the dressing room to show me some clothes and Ella started tormenting Finn, who was already having a meltdown. It was too much for Jeramy and he let a naughty word slip (very quietly, I didn't even hear). No sooner was it out of Jeramy's mouth, Ella let out a big gasp and as loud as she could says "Mom, daddy said @#&$!" So completely mortifying!

So there you have it! No superstar parents here. As you can see we have moments when we are the worst parents. Such as yesterday when we had a crazy-busy day (school, soccer, ballet, pictures, young womens, playdate - husband in London) and Ella had two fast food meals and for a bed time snack - an hour past her bedtime - a pink iced cookie and a mini chocolate donut. Not my finest or proudest parenting moments, but you know, they happen so why pretend otherwise! Being a parent to little kids, I'm learning you just can't take things too seriously. There's actually a lot of humor and fun to be found amidst the chaos!

Now, partially to make me feel better, partially for pure entertainment and humor - I want some bad parenting stories! Post a comment with your best ones and we can all bond via our bad parent confessions.


Remembering 9/11

For the past few days I have had a small cloud overhead as I thought about today - the six year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks - an event that has truly changed all of our lives. Since I am so terrible at keeping a journal, I'm certain that I have never recorded my life that day. Each year as September 11th approaches, I think to myself that I really need to write down my thoughts and feelings about that day, and each year September 11th comes and goes with no written record. So, this is the year. This was such a significant day in our lives. Our children and grandchildren will learn about it and ask us to tell them about it and I'm not putting a lot of faith in my memory!

In September 2001, I was working for a small start-up company, CopiersNow, that sold and serviced office equipment. A friend from BYU, and Ernst & Young, left E&Y to work there and ended up recruiting me there. Not a hard sell, considering I was just finishing up my 3rd busy season at E&Y and had been pulling 100+hour weeks! (BTW - 120 was my record and yes, there are that many hours in a week!)

After a few months of doing really boring stuff in Accounting, they had a need for an IT Project manager and asked if I would want to make the change. I happily changed roles and was really enjoying the challenge of something entirely new.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I drove the ten minute drive to work in silence. For some reason the radio was turned off, which was extremely rare - I ALWAYS had music on, and I was so preoccupied with thoughts of work, I didn't even notice that I was driving in silence. I remember arriving at work, shortly before 8:00am, completely oblivious to the unfathomable events that had already occurred that morning. As soon as I opened the door to the office, I knew something was going on. The few people that were already there were huddled around a small tv. I remember watching and listening with unbelief, but it was nothing compared to watching the first tower collapse just a few moments later. Then seeing the second one crumble a short time later and just watching it be replayed over and over again on the news. It was all so surreal - I kind of felt numb. Most of us stayed around the tv for the majority of the work day. A few times I left to try and get some work done but couldn't think of anything else but the attacks. They should have just sent us all home because no one got any work done. I remember feeling so small and vulnerable and afraid . It was the first time in my life I have ever even thought about feeling safe within the borders of my country - Canada or US.

When I got home, Jeramy was already home because his company shut down early and sent every one home to be with their families. We just sat in front of the tv the rest of the afternoon and evening trying to take it all in - the sadness and grief for those whose lives, or loved ones, were taken; the fear of feeling, for the first time, the effects of terrorism; the anger and disbelief that people could plan and execute such atrocities; the joy and pride for the many, many heroes who emerged in the midst of the worst of circumstances and the patriotism felt by a country uniting to stand strong.

As time has passed, it has also dulled many of the emotions and has hopefully helped to heal so many of the wounds inflicted that day. For me, remembering 9/11 is not just about what was lost but what has been gained. To me, 9/11 represents faith, freedom, patriotism, perseverance, service and love. I have gained a greater appreciation of what a blessing it is to live in this country (and Canada), for the freedoms we are afforded and the people we are united with.



Ella started soccer this week. A few months ago she told me she really wanted to play. I'm not sure if she even knew what it was, or why she was interested, but she kept asking so I signed her up. She had her first practice last Wednesday, which was so hilarious. There were nine little four year-old girls running all over the place, bumping into each other, kicking their balls, and when that wasn't working so well, they would just pick them up to get them where they wanted. Pure chaos!
Down the field, at practice

A goal!

Then yesterday was her first game. Her team is called the "Unicorns" - very appropriate sounding team name for 4-year old girls. Coincidentally, the team they played were also the "Unicorns." So for the game they play four girls from each team, obviously not playing positions, and no goalie. Pretty much the whole game there were eight girls crowded around the ball trying to get it going the right direction. Ella was cracking us up! Seeing how she doesn't have older siblings and really hasn't been that exposed to soccer, I'm not sure she completely understood her role on the field. She was just trotting around the field with a big goofy smile on her face. She got some good kicks in and almost scored a goal but mostly kind of stood back a little and waited for the ball to roll her way.

Warming up before the game. Nice kick, Ella!

Game on! (Although if I'm not mistaken, I think
you're supposed to kick the ball, not carry it!)

Ready to start the game! What fierce looking Unicorns!

This is pretty much how every picture from the
game looked - the ball, surrounded by eight little girls

After the game we went to lunch and Jeramy and I were telling her how great she did and were telling her that when you play soccer you're supposed to run really hard after the ball and try and steal the ball away from the other team. Her response "Am I allowed to do that?" Clearly, we had a bit of a communication breakdown somewhere. :)

Regardless if soccer will be her thing, or not, she said she had a great time (besides "getting too hot") and is excited to be playing soccer. She has a great coach and I think it's really good for her to play on a team. Let's hope we all feel the same way at the end of the season!


Labor Day

This morning when I went to get Finn out of his crib, I opened the door to find him holding on to the front rail, standing up! It's the first time he's pulled himself up. He looked so big but little at the same time. It was so cute I had to grab my camera. Wow, just the past week he hardly seems like a little baby anymore! I wish he would stop trying to grow up so quickly!

The majority of the day was spent "laboring" in the yard. We've been gone so much this summer that our yard has been a little neglected. We mowed, trimmed shrubs, weeded and shoveled rock. Not very fun, but the yard looks so much better.

We then decided that the poor kids needed a little fun so I loaded up Finn in the Burley (in his car seat) and attached it to my bike and Jeramy walked with Ella while she rode her bike and we went over to the park for a while. Finn had a great time in the swings, laughing and giggling. Do you love Finn's crazy faux-hawk? Just like his daddy's, but his hair's a little long.

This picture of Finn reminded me so much of one of Ella's first times in the swing. I went through some old pictures and found one of Ella at exactly 7 months old. It's kind of fun to compare the pictures of the kids - on the exact same swing and the same age, almost to the day. Such cutie pies!
While Finn was swinging away, Ella had a great time riding her bike around the park and then kicking the soccer ball around on the soccer field. She starts soccer this week and was excited for a little practice session.

Not our most fun, memorable Labor Day, but it was a productive day and fun to be together as a family.


Before I Was Your Mother.....

The other night I was talking to my sister-in-law, Lisa, about doing some photo books. She was telling me about a really cute template through Heritage Makers called "Before I Was Your Mother". It reminded me of when I used to scrapbook, I had always wanted to do a scrapbook about me. I have a ton of programs and tickets, notes, etc. saved from high school and college that need an organized home, but I mostly wanted to document that part of my life so my kids would someday know that I'm more than just a mom - I'm a person who has hobbies and interests and have done and enjoyed a lot in my life

Then today, on the drive home from church Ella somehow started talking about what she wanted to be when she grew up. She was talking away, rattling off a big list of potential careers - a cowgirl, dentist, vet, dancer, roofer (we're in the middle of getting a new roof). I guess she wasn't sure what she wanted to be the most because she asked me and Jeramy - "Can I be anything I want?" We told her "Anything!" Suddenly she was quiet then goes "Mom, you aren't ANYTHING!"

Even thought it was really funny (and kind of sad) and I explained that I used to be "something" but now I get to be "nothing" so I can be her mom all the time, it did get me to thinking. What would I tell me kids about myself before I was their mother? Off the top of my head here a few specifics (besides sister, daughter, etc.)

So Ella, before I was your mother....

1) I was a student. I went to school at Ricks and BYU and graduated with a Bachelor's and Master's in Accountancy.

2) I was a cheerleader. In junior high I was a cheerleader for football but by high school I decided cheering outside in below zero temperatures was nothing to cheer about! In high school I cheered for the basketball team and our cheer squad won provincials all three of my high school years.

3) I went to lots of concerts! I have always loved music and when daddy and I moved to Denver there were a lot of opportunities to see some great bands! Some fun concerts I've been to: Barenaked Ladies, Depeche Mode, U2, No Doubt, Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, Coldplay, Sarah McLachlan, The Killers, The Fray, Gwen Stefani.

4) I had a "career". A week after graduating from BYU I sat for the CPA exam and somehow managed to pass all four parts! (must have been a low curve that time) A few months later I started working for Ernst & Young, one of the "Big Four" accounting firms, as an external auditor. I also worked at a little startup (that went belly-up after a year) called CopiersNow as an accountant and IT project manager and then at First Data Corp in Coporate accounting.

5) I was a piano student and teacher. I started taking piano lessons when I was 8 until I was 16. During that time I did the Royal Conservatory of Music program complete with theory (yuck!) and exams. For a few years in high school I also taught lessons to a few students.

As you can see, Ella, before I was your mother I was "something"! I did have a job, even a career, I guess. But I knew it wasn't the "something" I wanted to do forever. When I became your mother I happily gave up "something" for "nothing" and have never looked back! Today, I told you when you grown up, you can be anything you want! I hope you find that "something" you are passionate about and want to be, but more than that I hope someday you get to experience how wonderful being "nothing" is.