Monday, January 28, 2008

Teaching RS

In our ward, Ian and I each have three callings. I teach Relief Society on the 4th Sunday while Ian teaches Priesthood on the 2nd Sunday. We are both on the activities committee and are Sunday School teachers for the 15-16 year-olds. It keeps us very busy and sometimes we wish there were a Sunday we wouldn't have to teach something, but it works out.

This last Sunday was my last Sunday teaching RS in this ward. I am really going to miss that calling. I have felt very appreciated by the sisters and always get great compliments on my lessons, but more importantly I have gained a fervent testimony and excitement for the modern-day prophets, leaders and Lord's chosen. This last lesson was reviewing the talk "Mothers Who Know" by Sister Beck. If you have not read it lately, I would strongly suggest reading it again and trying to understand what she was trying to say, not what you might have heard during conference. I gained great insight to my own mom and how she came to be the selfless and charitable woman that she is to me and my family. I also learned some of my own strengths and found a thing or two that I can do better. I cannot express how this lesson has effected my outlook on motherhood. I now believe that mothers have just as much influence and power as fathers; we are to work as a joint unit to raise our children. I know Sister Beck didn't say anything jaw-dropping, but I really did gain a testimony of the sanctity of motherhood. I also realized how much I am going to miss this calling. In a way, it was filling a little of that hole that I feel from not teaching 6th grade anymore. This gave me that same excitement and love of learning and teaching others what I have learned! Now it's gone...but hopefully in my new ward, I can serve as a teacher of the YW or RS again.

Once again, a blog is not a real blog without pictures:

Our little reader and destructivator:

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Introducing our walker!

While we were at my parents' house after Christmas, Niev took her first steps, but only two. A couple days later, she repeated the two-step, but then we didn't see anything from her for a while.

Finally after having to listen to all of our friends brag about their children walking, Niev has finally gotten up the courage to begin taking steps on her own. Yesterday, I think she overheard my disappointed voice when the doctor asked if Niev was walking because as soon as she took her nap, she started experimenting with taking small steps on her own. She would pull herself up on the couch and then turn towards the middle of the room and began taking steps towards the opposite wall. She wasn't attempting to get a toy and reach some other destination and as soon as she would fall (about two steps) she would try it again. If Ian and I were trying to provoke her at all, she would go limp or slowly lower herself to the floor. She wanted to do it all by herself and at her own time. She definitely has her own thoughts and ideas about things. Very independent, which has its plus and minuses. It is kind of fun to watch her walk because her steps are very deliberate and cautious. She is prepared to fall at any moment.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Niev's year check-up

I just got back from the doctor for Niev's one-year check-up. I forgot to list our pediatrician under some of the things we are going to miss when we move. He has been so great and kind. He truly loves Niev and recognized us while shopping at Costco (even called us by name!). He has always been very complimentary of Niev's progress and our parenting skills which is nice to hear.

She weighed in at a whopping 23.5 pounds (I keep thinking that at her last appointment she weighed 25 pounds, but I was wrong) which is in the 93 percentile. Her head circumference is 47.5 cm which was 97% and her height was 31.25 inches which is off the chart. She is very tall for her age, but everything is very close in percentiles so the doctor was happy about that. She officially has eczema, but no surprise there because Ian and I both have it. She had only one shot this go around, but for the first time since she was a newborn, she cried! Normally, she will just grimace and then move on, but this time, she puckered her lip and let out a wail! She would only be comforted by me holding her and would not even look at the nurse. Every time the nurse talked, she would whimper. She is a funny girl.

But the best news is...that Niev can sit in her carseat face forward rather than rear-facing! She has been okay with facing backwards, but I know she will love the car so much more if she is facing us. It will make going in the car that much easier and more enjoyable.

When we got home, she got her bum changed and a bottle and within five minutes, this was her:
She was sound asleep, not even batting an eye when the flash was going off. Sweet baby girl!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Things we will miss!

A lot of people keep talking about how we must be so excited to be moving and we are (especially Ian!). We can't wait to have room to move, an entire yard to ourselves, and for Niev to have her own room, not a makeshift bed in the corner. We are also excited to be able to change anything about our house that we want. I have found that I am really getting excited about the potential in our house and what it could be...don't get me wrong. I love it the way that it is, but it will be nice to picture Ian and myself there. Right now, it looks a bit grandma.

While I am anxious, there are some things in Utah that I will miss dearly. We have a lot of great friends that are very close, especially my sister, Melissa. Any time that Ian is working a bit longer of a day, I pass the time by going to Melissa's house. We cook, clean, talk and watch our babies enjoy each other. It is something that I don't think I will ever find anywhere else. Melissa and I have become true sisters and best friends. We have always been close, but there is nothing like being at the same stage in life at the same time. We seem to help each other out in all aspects of our lives. I really do love her and her family. I see what a great mom she is and that inspires me to be a better mother. I recognize those weaknesses I need to correct by her example. She will be missed as well as all our other friends. We have finally found another couple that I get along with the wife and Ian gets along with the husband. Now that is a modern-day miracle. We will sincerely feel a loss when we move.

We will also miss our ward. They have been so kind and welcoming. Ian and I feel like we belong in this ward and it will be a transition that we will have to adjust to at first. Hopefully, our new ward will also feel like home.

I know Ian will say that I am being negative about our new house, but today I just started thinking about all the positives in my life and how some of those things will change because of our move. That is not to say I won't find other positives, but they will just be different. Count your blessings!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Unbiased parent of the cutest baby girl

I was talking to a friend of ours the other day, and he mentioned how he had decided that before his son was born, that he would be able to freely admit that his baby was ugly and looked like an alien. I totally related with this because I knew I could be honest and not have any bias towards my own daughter. When she was born, I really thought, "I am being totally subjective (is that the right word or is it objective--it's late and I am really getting confused here), but I really can say in all the world I have never laid eyes on a more beautiful baby! Angelina and Brad have nothing on us. Niev is way cuter than their puffy-lipped baby!"

Now I look back at Niev's baby pictures and I do realize that she was not as cute as I thought she don't get me wrong, she was beautiful, but not as adorable as she is now. Her adorable smile, squinty bright blue eyes and high-pitched squeal are my Achilles heel. She was sweet as a baby and now she is a real kicker. I can't think of anyone else besides Ian that I would want to spend an hour with. After we put her to bed at night, I am still relieved, but within an hour or two, I want to wake her up and have her play with us. She is really the happiest baby to be around. What a joy!

To think that a year of her life has already zipped by is kind of sobering. To think that I have spent over 365 days of my life with her and some of that time is spent with me watching TV and her playing by herself. Or even more frightening, me losing my patience with her because I didn't want to take ten minutes out of my day to hold her close/read/play and all she was doing was wanting attention. I understand I am human, but tonight I was thinking of her and how much she has grown and how fast she will continue to grow and it awakened me to the parent I WANT to become. Guilt is a positive if we change because of it! Just since July, she has changed so much. Observe:

Here are two pictures that were taken in July! That was only six months ago.

And here is a picture of her taken this week. She is no longer my chub monster. I can't waste another day of this precious time.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Niev is one!

So Niev turned one on Jan.17, Thursday. She is so big and I can't believe it was a year ago that I gave birth to her. What an incredible year it has been and she is the lead singer in our band. We often think about our life before our Niev-lette and our lives seemed so shallow and dead before she happened along.

She woke up and she seemed to look older to me. I couldn't believe it! She was very excited about her birthday hat and the balloons and streamers that Melissa helped me decorate with.

We invited several friends over so it was more a party for Ian and me than it was for Niev, but we had to brag about our beautiful one-year old! This is a picture of Niev with her buddy, Tyler, who gave her a Baby Einstein video. Can you tell she is way more interested in the wrapping (no matter what variety) than she is in the actual present.

We had cake and ice cream and she ate two big pieces with ice cream. She broke out today with a bit of a rash so I think we might of loaded her with a bit too much sugar, but she had a blast.

It truly is amazing to me that at only 12 months old, she can have such a strong personality. She is not walking, but she is jabbering away. I know she is saying something real and I want to know so bad what "gshkt sonnoga" means so if any of you know little guy language, let me know! She honestly said that over and over one morning looking at me with an expectant expression. I had no clue what she was wanting from me so I just nodded and encouraged her talking.

Now when I say she isn't walking, Ian does correct me. She has taken two steps two different times, but that was over two weeks ago. To me, that isn't considered walking, but her dad is quite protective and so proud of her tiny accomplishments. She is also working on her different facial expressions. She really thinks it is a matter of hilarity when her mother bulges her eyes out as much as she can (almost like raising your eyebrows, but more like raising your eyelids--give it a try!). I think she is experimenting herself. Here are some examples:

(above picture is truly a look--I didn't just catch her between blinks)

She truly is a baby with a million and one personalities. I love her dearly and couldn't imagine how sad my life would be without her in it! I love you, my love bug.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Rubber ducky, you make bathtime so much FUN!

While we were at my parents' house after Christmas, Melissa and Jeremy were there with Boston. Niev and Boston are only 3 weeks apart and they are so fun to see together. I get excited for Niev to have brothers and sisters just seeing how they interact and play together.

We decided to give Boston and Niev a bath together. Well since we don't have a real bathtub at our apartment (but luckily our new house does!) Niev is not used to so much space to move around in. I don't think Boston was used to someone in his zone while he was bathing so they were both finding this a new and interesting experience. Melissa only fills the bath a tiny bit because Boston will just lay on his back while the bath is being filled and then flail his arms and legs around as if he is trying to swim. It was very fun to see them together.

I missed filming it, but Niev loves to dunk her face in the water and blow bubbles. Well, Boston was on his stomach and he Niev bent down and "blew bubbles" on him bum. She also stuck her finger in Boston's crack and seemed to be investigating it. They loved watching each other in the bath. She would splash around and then Boston would think that was highly hilarious and then Niev would hear him laughing and start laughing. It was the loudest bath I think either of them has ever had!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Super sledders!

Ian and I have been wanting to go sledding for quite sometime so Ian went to the tire shop and asked for an inner tube for sledding. We started blowing up the tube and one side blew up much bigger than the other side. It was very awkward and hard to sit on, but we thought it might change if we were to just use it again.

Christmas Day we took Niev for her first sledding experience. It took us longer to get ready than we actually spent sledding, but we had a blast. We decked her out in her new rain boots (being waterproof is synonymous with snow gear, right?), pjs and jeans with her cute red coat and snow hat with gloves. Ian was still worried about her being warm enough!

I took Niev on a ride first, but because of the awkward tube, I had to practically row myself down the hill with Niev on my lap. Ian had me turn the tube around, but then the tube just popped out from under my bum. We had a great laugh during the entire 15 minute tubing trip.

Niev likes the taste of snow and so I decided to feed her some. I tossed a little bit at her face, but her dad didn't think that was very fun at all. Moms can have a little fun too can't they. Maybe I was being a little too mean...I'll let the video speak for itself and you be the judge.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Christmas time is over and we get a new house!

I have been very inattentive to my blog, but for good reason. Two days after Christmas, Ian and I got word that our loan had been pre-approved. We were very excited and Ian had been telling me that as soon as we got word of our loan, we would be on the road to look at houses. We received word about 4 p.m. on Thursday and we were on the road by 7:30. We went to look in Aberdeen, Washington, but the houses we found reflected the depressed state of the town. They had anything from rotting wood to black mold to leaking roofs. One house smelled so bad that none of us (our real estate agent included) didn't even want to step foot in the house. The smells seemed to continue to germinate in our noses for about 10 minutes after we had left the house! It was pretty scary so we scratched Aberdeen from our list of favorite places we want to live.

We found several houses in Kennewick, Washington that we were very excited about. One in particular that really made us feel at home. We made an offer and now we will be closing and moving to Washington on February 22. We visited the ward on Sunday and everyone was very friendly and welcoming. We are excited to be homeowners and can't hardly wait for February to come! The pictures are ones I took with my camera so they are not the best quality, but you get the idea. It is a 3-bedroom, 1.5 bath, 1680 square foot rambler that was built in 1963. It is definitely livable right now, but we have a list of projects big and small that CAN be done if we are wanting extra projects. Please disregard the old lady furniture.

The layout is not drawn to scale, but it gives you an idea of where things are:

The kitchen has a LOT of cupboard space--YEA!

The family room has tons of natural light. The window that Ian is standing at will become an outdoor access, but for now it is only a HUGE window.

The living room is just off the kitchen and is connected to the dining room.