Tuesday, May 31, 2011

100 things to be grateful for: #51-80

51. Church. I am so grateful for the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ
52. Sacrament. I need that covenant renewal so badly every week.
53. nursery. Gwen needs this play time with her friends
54. "Jesus magnets". The best gift I could have imagined for my lil toddler-- she LOVES them!
55. sitting with Camilla in Sunday School. I've missed her.
56. sitting with Heather C. in Relief Society. I'm going to miss her.
57. amazing home teaching visit. Brought the spirit and challenges me to be better.
58. all the phone calls being finished early-- we enjoyed a relaxing and quiet (er) evening than typical
59. reentering my calling: I'm scheduled to teach again!
60. being of service to my dear friend and neighbor by editing her paper

61. sacrifice of others to give us the freedoms we enjoy
62. freedom
63. holidays when the family can be together for something fun during the day!
64. Hocking Hills, especially gorgeous and refreshing waterfalls
65. 1 sleeping baby on the drive down (which offset the whining of the other one: 'I wanna get out my seat")
66. 1 sleeping toddler on the drive back home (which offset the crying of the other one for who knows what reason)
67. great friends with whom we managed to meet up and hike around together
68. the "old man" of the cave, whom Gwen liked more than Santa Claus
69. amazing location for enduring the grueling workout of stairs
70. feeling like I earned my dinner of burgers, homemade onion rings, and blackberry-cheesecake shakes
71. NOT eating the ant I found in my cereal
72. ibuprofen for the headache that follows sore neck and shoulder muscles from hiking wearing a baby
73. Donald in Math Magic Land to entertain Gwen so I could rest til #72 kicked in.
74. FINALLY capturing that elusive Caroline grin on camera!
75. libraries with all their educational entertainment
76. a baby who miraculously fell asleep on the floor and slept protected under a chair for the duration of big sis's play time at said library
77. chatting with Sabrina, particularly grateful for her willingness to drive to meet me there so we could hang out.
78. Gwen actually obeyed me and didn't fight me about having to hold my hand in the parking lot
79. planning to make kimchee with Emi: I'm so excited!
80. long showers

Photos: Hocking Hills on Memorial Day

Emi invited anyone interested to join them at Hocking Hills for Memorial Day. We jumped at the chance since the only other time we've been was 3 years ago when I was pregnant with Gwen. It was August, excruciatingly hot, and the waterfalls were all dried up. It wasn't the best it could have been, so we vowed to return earlier in the year. Well this was our chance. and it was AWESOME! (Btw, I got an excruciating workout this time as well. Maybe it is just me...)
the whole group: Gwen, Eric, Jes, Brad, Sakura, Trevor and Emi
(Caroline and I are behind the camera)

the fam

fam plus Emi and Sakura

Gwen LOVED touching this waterfall after I 'helped' her do it the first time

Daddy carrying more than his fair share of the weight

Proving that I was there

Eric thought this sequence of photos was hilarious since he captured this poor girl biffing it. I was using her as an example: "see Gwen, this is why mommy has to hold your hand. the rocks are very slippery and you don't want to fall and get ow-ies like her"

the very Harley Davidson-esque tattooed "old man" of Old Man's Cave. Gwen liked him more than Santa Claus. As we were leaving she said, "at first he was a bad guy, but now he's nice"

Gwen posing. She said, "my turn daddy!"

beginning to get wet

Gwen enjoying the water. even though she was shivering all over, she didn't want to come out.

Eric takes the waterfall plunge

all wet

scenic view, and more evidence that I was there

the rest are just pretty landscape shots

Photos: Zoo with Daddy & Asian Festival

Saturday, May 28, 2011

100 things to be grateful for: #51-60

51. ward breakfast
52. playing at the park with friends
53. when other people hold Caroline so I can eat, take care of Gwen, or whatever
54. inspiring gals like my friend C, who ran a 5k this morning in her 3rd trimester of pregnancy and then showed up for the breakfast (rather than going home to a soothing bubble bath or massage)
55. Asian Festival! totally free parking and entrance and performances!
56. a healthy walk to and from the event
57. when a Korean lady offered me a job as a youth pastor teaching Sunday School at her Korean church
58. Gwen LOVIN the lil hut with the tea set and wooden sushi roll that you could 'cut'
59. amazing weather for the event! sunny, but not excruciatingly hot
60. Emi chasing Gwen down for me again and again since I was wearing Caroline.

Friday, May 27, 2011

100 things to be grateful for: #41-50

41. trains. Gwen loves them and that makes me love them!
42. chocolate covered strawberries (I was good-- I only had 1)
43. fitting into jeans without the aid of a rubberband (granted they are not my pre-prego jeans, but I'll celebrate my wins)
44. Fridays
45. library free movie 'rentals'. Looking forward to the original Tron tonight! Gotta see it before we indulge in the new one...
46. Microsoft Excel: how else could I create a handy and tidy spreadsheet to track our competition in like 10 minutes?
47. a much anticipated full diaper from Caroline (I know you're wondering 'how is a huge poop something to be grateful for?' well, folks, she has been savin this one. I am glad she is finally comfortable!)
48. bonus: though she completely blew out of her clothes, the carseat miraculously is unaffected!
49. Logan. Gwen's friend came over to play today. He calls her "Dwen", and they totally boss each other around but don't seem to be bothered by it. I am amazed at the physical things she will try because she is inspired by him.
50. My favorite thing she said today: when Logan handed her her favorite turtle, she said, "Oooh, DANK you my Logan!" and hugged it to her. "MY" Logan?!?! LOL!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

100 things to be grateful for: #31-40

31. healthy new niece! born yesterday 8 lb 9 oz, 21 in long She is adorable and I can't wait to meet her!
32. healthy sister. always glad to hear post-delivery recovery is going smoothly.
33. considering her description of this labor and delivery, my gratitude for the quick speed of my own with Caroline is renewed.
34. swings at the park
35. Gwen giggles: purely contagious!
36. inspiration that told me to head to the car NOW... because not 10 seconds after I got the kids loaded in, rain came down in torrential SHEETS
37. Gwen eating all her dinner, including about 15 green beans without a huge fuss! (granted, they were in exchange for about 30 slices of strawberry, but a mom celebrates the wins)
38. girl time
39. Eric putting Gwen to bed at night. She LOVES her special time with him.
40. and guess what? tonight she was actually ASLEEP in her bed when I got home! No toys, blankets still on, she must have actually been tired!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

100 things to be grateful for: #21-30

21. Mission calls: my BIL Bryce just got called to Des Moines, Iowa!
22. homemade cookies from my MIL--doesn't get much better than that!
23. winning the mission guessing game. Well, Caroline won, actually, but I never win anything, so vicarious wins are still a big deal!
24. BIL Collin. He had a birthday.
25. homemade bread that actually rises!
26. that said, I am grateful to my MIL for sharing her expertise in a 1-on-1 baking tutelage session in which I gained all the tips and skills that allowed number 25 to happen
27. competition-- it brings out the best in me because I am so naturally competitive and it drives me to accomplish more than I would otherwise. Eric and I are embarking on a friendly competition, inspired by the Biggest Loser, only with a twist since Eric has to gain weight and I have to lose it. Going off of percentages, with weekly points and a grand prize for reaching team and personal goals! I'm stoked to begin! (and I should add that Eric is taking the competition really seriously. He lifted weights last night for 1/2 and hour and got up early this morning to power walk 3 miles before going in to the lab)
28. Gwen's compliments. She praises me for my clothes, my hair, my jewelry, etc. I love to hear her say in her sweet voice, "I like your necklace Mom" or "oh, your hair is so beautiful". Makes my day!
29. FHE. Gwen has been struggling with showing affection to Eric, for who knows what reason. She wouldn't sit on his lap, give him hugs or kisses, and would run the other direction screaming "no-no-no-no" if Eric tried to give her a hug. I felt bad for him. So I planned a lesson about Daddy, focusing it around the Primary song "I'm so Glad when Daddy comes Home"... and it is working! Yesterday she greeted Eric and giggled the whole time while she sang along with me and performed all the actions. What an inspired way for family to grow together and to provide a forum for teaching and learning.
30. To go along with #29, I'm grateful for how music can get Gwen to do just about anything. :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

100 things to be grateful for: #11-20

11. a zoo membership-- having a place to take Gwen is wonderful!
12. Shane Smith-- he is Gwen's best friend, and I gotta tell ya, he is so conscientious of her and tries so hard to make her happy. I LOVE seeing how happy she is to chase him, be chased by him, have him help her up on benches too high for her to get up on her own, or even try to put her shoe back on when he discovered her distress at it falling off her foot. I LOVE that Gwen has such a wonderful friend in her life!
13. leftovers. nuf said.
14. a baby that LOVES to nurse! What a huge blessing that is, in so many ways!
15. Biggest Loser-- I've been watching this season on Hulu when I nurse. Never watched it before now, but I am really motivated by the contestants to make smart choices with my nutrition. I'm proud that today I was strong enough to opt out of fresh bread and blackberry jam and chose raw, plain cauliflower as my snack.
16. baby Caroline grins!!!
17. ATMs that don't require me to get out--let the sleeping children sleep, ya know? :)
18. Eric and Gwen daddy-daughter walks (and my quiet time with Caroline)
19. corn on the cob
20. fresh raspberries

Monday, May 23, 2011

100 things to be grateful for: #1-10

inspired by my good friend, Jordan. 10 'gratefuls' for 10 days, no repeats. my list will not be ranked in order of importance to my life or eternity, just things especially pertinent to the day. Begin:
  1. my sister and her family are safe after a dangerous tornado last night in Arkansas that took 100 lives
  2. ditto to the safety of my parents and brother, also in Arkansas, but not as close to the tornado
  3. when Caroline's naptime and Gwen's quiet time magically coincide!
  4. rain- don't have to water the garden
  5. a lul in the rain for enjoying outside with the kids
  6. 5 transplanted tomato plants from my good friend Emi because she heard all our starts bit the dust
  7. a baby who slept 7 hours straight last night!
  8. a great, uninterrupted scripture study
  9. air conditioning-- because up until a week ago ours was broken and it was sweltering.
  10. my wonderful friends here... contemplating how many have already moved and those who will leave soon, it just makes me realize even more how much I love them and will miss our close proximity.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Caroline 1 Month

Caroline is 1 month now, and a few days (I'm already behind, are you surprised?). Photos taken when she was 1 month and 2 days old.

10 lbs (75th percentile)
21 inches (50th percentile)
31.5 cm head (70th percentile)

She is still a champion eater, chunking up so her face has changed quite a bit, and doing well with sleeping too. Most delightful developments are the small upturned corners of her mouth that peek out every now and then and have each of us convinced that we got her to smile at us first!

Grandma Sugar and the Girls

Grandma Sugar, aka, my mom, was able to come for a couple of weeks to spend time with the girls. Caroline got in some good shoulder naps, but Gwen was really the greatest beneficiary of the visit.
She LOVED playing with "Grandma's jeweleries" and put them on herself, her animals, her babies, her tree house, etc, etc. She would ask for them constantly...if she wasn't asking for "Grandma's brushes". Which are makeup brushes. She loved to empty the bag and dust the soft brushes on the appropriate place whether eyes, cheeks, nose, or chin. She'd then look at herself in the hand mirror and say something about how pretty she looked. Now, I've never let her play with my makeup... but now she is asking for my bag when she sees me putting on my makeup... Hopefully out of sight out of mind?

And for your viewing pleasure, some great pics of Caroline and Gwen. I love the one of them together because Gwen looks so content and Caroline looks like she is trying to squirm away.

Thanks for everything, Mommy, and thanks for the great visit! We love you!