Thursday, August 30, 2012

Purple bubbles and Slurpees

When it's over 100 degrees outside, there isn't anything else to do except to go swimming.  Luckily, our apartment's pool was completely deserted, so Lincoln and his Aunt Ray had the entire pool to themselves (until I got there with the camera, of course).

It was the perfect chance to experiment with Crayola's colored bubbles I'd bought a few months ago, but was too nervous to open because of the huge "warning!" sign on the side, listing all of the things these "fun" bubbles could potentially damage.  Rachel said were the worst (stained clothes/very messy) and best (fun to watch colors float in water/kept Lincoln's attention) invention ever.  

After a few minutes, we were all overheating, so Tyce brought us Slurpees on his way home from work.  The timing of that guy is always so perfect!  I truly believed I could've died there, Sahara Desert-style.  It was that hot.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pet Area

When we take any car trip over 45 minutes, we look for gas stations with "Pet Area's."  They are surprisingly clean and have a big enough space to get a baby's wiggles out without running in front of a semi truck.  

Kinda funny how much people cater to animals.  Our friends would sometimes compare their miniature dog to our infant son...which I could only take for so long!  One night, while we were all at dinner (and I was entering and leaving the conversation every 5 minutes to chase Lincoln), they made another ridiculous comparison, and I started laughing and said, "you act like your dog is a baby!  Try having - or even taking care of - a baby first before you compare your dog to our child."  I regret how rudely it came across (especially since they were hosting the dinner party), but c'mon.  

So, gas stations - how about some stir-crazy, "Child Area's?"  You can even keep the pail there, since we threw Lincoln's dirty diaper in it!  Take that.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Maintaining a playful attitude in life

A parenting class Tyce and I took while attending BYU's Education Week, was by Andrew S. Brimhall, called "The Power of Play."  Pablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”  Many artists have quoted similar beliefs, expressing that we are all born with creativity, and we are "educated," or grown out of, as we age.

A great resource that was mentioned was a website (found here) where lectures from Ken Robinson can be accessed.  Robinson speaks about a child's creativity, stating "if you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original."  Robinson believes this is one of the major problems with adult creativity - they have experienced embarrassment or feeling like a "failure," and so they stop their unique flow of creativity, in fear of being "wrong."

Especially in today's competitive society where children are enrolled in music, swimming, and gymnastic classes at an extremely young age, the time to find their own motivation for creativity is smothered (most times, to death).  When we over-organize our child's time, in Stuart Brown's words, "we may be depriving them of access to an inner motivation for an activity that will later blossom into a motive force for life."

The message that really hit us was to do what a child would want to do - think about how fun it would be to play, rather than "the mess."  This would not only enable our children to be more creative, it would also allow us to enjoy the messy, curious, exciting part of life again.  Easier said than done, perhaps, but I think it helped motivate us to bring more art into our home and create opportunities where Lincoln has time to play and create whatever it is he wants!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

T'was the night before a reunion, and all through the house... one was sleeping, not even a mouse.  

The night before Tyce's family reunion, Lincoln decided to boycott sleep.  When he finally did fall asleep (it was more like his body shut down rather than "fell asleep"), it was sprawled out in our bed.  Then randomly Tyce got really sick, waking up our little anti-REM-cycler again.  It was like a party for everyone (up until 4:30 a.m. and then sick...sounds sorta similar, right?)!

Since Tyce was still sick the next morning and I was not about to leave the house without some major under eye concealer, Tyce's parents (bless them) took our energetic toddler with them to watch Pocatello's Pioneer Day Parade.

That gave us an hour to finish getting ready (my job), lie on the couch in agony (Tyce's job), stare at the wall (combination effort), and pull ourselves together for a family reunion.  I thought we would be insanely exhausted/sick all day, but Tyce started feeling better and my energy level upped after we joined the living, outside.

All that vitamin D and watching the entire family dote on our baby was a serious mood-boost!  Lincoln's power to command multiple rounds of applause kept him very entertained, and the fact he kept his sunglasses on made us especially proud, so the day ended up as a surprisingly pleasant success.

Even though the previous night's sleep was a miserable fail, seeing Tyce's family laugh with Lincoln, eating perfectly ripe watermelon with fried chicken, and leaving with one happy little boy made the short trip all worthwhile.  I'd do it again in a heartbeat.  There are times that saying goodbye is difficult, but I think those are the best kind: you know you'll be missed, and they'll know you wish you could stay longer.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

26.5 year throw back

I was the first baby out of six (read: the best and most pictures taken of me out of six others), so my parent's expressions of extreme enthusiasm and adoration was totally, 100% real.  I had them wrapped around my little finger!

When they were bringing my brother, McKay, home from the hospital, I was so mad I now had to share their attention, I demanded my dad pull the car over, and said (or yelled), "Mommy - out!  Baby too!"  Perhaps I should've been a little more serious, since they still added four more after that incidence.
It's fun to see how similar to Lincoln I look in these pictures (although I have more hair at three months old than he does now), but really, I love seeing how my parents look - how young and excited they were.  Everything was new, every chubby baby cheek was theirs, every wobbly attempt I took to stand was incredible, and they probably thought I was so smart when I learned my name.

Like we did with Lincoln, and every parent does with their first baby.  They remind me of an emotional place similar to where we are now, and just were, and I love it.  Love.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Date Night Chatter (plus some!)

This is the face of one happy dude, finally done with summer midterms.  And yes sir, this is one late post, but "late" is technically better than "never" (it's in the Declaration of Independence somewhere), so hey!  I have my reasons.  Just rewind yo' mind (about a month), and here we go!

While Rachel visited, not only did she let us sneak out every night after Lincoln was asleep to talk (not whisper) about the day, we also got a much-needed, post-summer-school-midterms celebratory date!  A date where we didn't see a movie or go to dinner, but camped out at a local coffee shop to talk, share a cookie, and talk a little more while strolling our old Sugarhouse neighborhood.

And then we thought, "what's a good date without a few horribly grainy pictures taken with our trusty point-and-shoot, pocket sized camera?"  We were right, weren't we?  

P.S. I re-sized these pictures with the help of a calculator that was just rubbed in a naked Lincoln's little "puddle" he left (luckily on the tile, yet not so lucky for the nearby calculator he enlisted to help him clean up with) while I ran to the bathroom for 2.34 milliseconds, thinking, "I'm such a cool mom to let my child have a few minutes of beloved naked time - I really need to relax more often."  Yeah...

I could've used my computer's built-in, slow-as-all hizz-ell "calculator"...but what else are Clorox wipes for (that was a ridiculous question, but catch my drift)?  Once I told Tyce, he bought me a brand new, grandpa-sized, pink one ($1.50 at your local Walgreens, c'mon down!).  Win-win, if you ask me (but perhaps not for the calculator in the trash, who's screen is now fogged up, since a Clorox wipe isn't that magical).  I thought you'd appreciate those details.  You can thank me later.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

We (were) so hip, we (were) so cool, we (may have been) so high...

My sister, Rachel, had just finished finals and came to visit us on her way back home to California.  Tyce surprised us with tickets to go see one of my favorite bands, Band of Horses, and sent Rach and I out for our own little "date night."

Before the show, we stopped for a cinnamon roll and a to-go bag of cookies - we had to get high from something before going to a super hipster-hyped concert, so it might as well be from sugar (although I'm pretty sure we went home feeling more "high" than from sugar...the entire night I kept looking for the person smoking weed next to me because the smell was so overwhelming)!

*side note: the purse Rach is wearing I now consider a family heirloom.  I bought it when I was 16 and it's been passed throughout all the girls in my family.  It gets put away every few years, but then, bam, being hippy is cool again, returning it to life.  Someday, my granddaughter's cousin's daughter-in-law will wear it with pride as well.  Plan on it.
Also, that isn't a bottle of Coor's Light in the first few pictures.  I think they're called Izzy Pop?  Just to clarify, and all that stuff.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Good Guilt, Bad Guilt - No Guilt?

While attending Education Week at BYU, there was a specific class that resonated with me as a mother.  The class was focused on overcoming negative emotions, called: "Living After the Manner of Happiness," by psychotherapist Steven Eastmond.

The class was about the most commonly labeled negative emotion - "guilt."  Eastmond spoke of his many patients that said they felt "guilty" for not being able to raise their children the way they planned, or felt "guilty" they forgot a special occasion and hurt a loved one, or "guilty" for acting against their personal beliefs and moral compass.  Of course, guilt is an understandable emotion when someone has acted against their value system, but, many times, we are driven to feelings of guilt because of mistakes.

Since everyone makes mistakes, Eastmond suggested to ask yourself, "have I done something that should produce guilt?"  As parents (especially as mothers), our choices affect our children, and personally, there are many nights I lie awake in bed, unable to sleep from feelings of guilt for my mistakes: things I should be doing better or more of, and frustrations I struggle with.

Eastmond then suggested that instead of using this overused (and abused) emotional label, we replace the word "guilt" with another word (such as sadness, regret, disappointed, etc), enabling us to deal with that emotion (get some sleep), and then, let it go.  Studies have shown that inducing self-related negative emotions have such profounds effects on individuals that they can even produce negative health conditions!

If we can remember to not compare ourselves to others (everyone has weaknesses/problems, some are just more visible than others), if we are doing the best we can and doing everything possible to rectify the mistake or problem, then we need to learn to let go of the guilt.  Instead of dwelling on a self-deprecating past, look at your potential and who you can become.  This produces a happier individual, a healthier view of yourself and of life, and gives us the motivation to better ourselves.

To wake up unburdened, excited for a messy breakfast with a happy baby that can't wait to spend any day with you.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sorta obsessing with...

 belly buttons.

What are these things, anyways?

And what's more confusing is when he can't find his own
(maybe because his full tummy is in the way?)
making it much more tempting to pull someone else's shirt up
and try to find theirs.  
And our entertainment continues!

This is why we don't have cable.
All we have to do is visit the grocery store or park
and we've got front row seats to the show
"Real Life: How Dumb a Toddler Can Make You Feel."

Should I feel bad laughing at other people's embarrassment
because of my child's curiosity?  Yes.
Do I?  ...uhm... (no).

Thursday, August 16, 2012

M.I.A. (thanks, B.Y.U.)

The entire last week we've spent in Provo, UT, with my family, attending BYU's Education Week.  They have classes ranging from Nutrition to Scripture Study, and I've got an entire notebook to prove it!

Tyce and I have mainly focused on Parenting classes (so we continue to learn to become better for the little boy that makes our world go 'round), to help us remember that little things like this...

and like this....

really do count!
That being a parent is one of the 
most difficult/wonderful/intimidating jobs in the world,
and that we are going to do everything in our power 
to do the best we can as parents.

We've also focused on
Marriage classes because [with a one year old]
it's important to find time to spend,
just with each other.

Perhaps on Monday I will find my way back to the internetsphere, but for now, I'm busy with classes taught by some of the most inspirational people I've ever had the honor to listen to, filling page after page with things that will help me become a better individual, and talking late into the night with Tyce about our reflections.

Now if you'll excuse me...

Monday, August 6, 2012

A little swagger for yo' Monday

Am I right, or am I right?
"I am a toddler, therefore I am in charge here!"
And I'm not about to cross this toddler, so here's the car keys and debit card, sir!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday mornings usually go a lil' somethin' like this...

When Tyce is off work and at home in the morning
(his first day being Sunday),
Lincoln runs over to our bed
to help him wake up.
And those cuddles usually turn into this...

which usually turn into this...

that is only fun
(or physically/emotionally possible)
with his Dad.

that gives me the opportunity
to watch my baby and my lover,
to fall in love all over again.