Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Stroll

My husband is a good man, not all that skilled when using Google Maps, but a good man. He planned a nice walk for us on Memorial Day. We would walk approximately 2.5 miles, eat lunch in downtown Los Gatos, and walk back. We met up with his cousin, her husband and baby, and began our trek along the Los Gatos Creek Trail. It was great, lots of different trees, ducks, geese, and people. I really enjoyed catching up with his cousin and I'm glad our baby girls finally got to meet.

We'd been walking for a while when I asked Barry how much further we had. "Just a little bit. Downtown is right up there." he said, pointing ahead. We walked a while further and my legs started feeling like jello when I asked again. He gave me the exact same answer. Oh great.

Finally we made it, ate some Mexican food that was too expensive and only moderately yummy, then got up to make out way back. We began walking back and enjoyed a nice break while the girls chased geese. Then we wiped all the goose poo off of their shoes, pants, and hands, and continued our journey. I was tired by the time we got to our cars, but it was a good kind of tired.

Once we were at home we played around on Google Maps together and discovered that the route was actually 4.5 miles one way. I walked nine miles yesterday! I'm proud of myself.

As for Barry, his excuse is that he used to ride his bike on that trail all the time as a kid and it never seemed very long. My husband is a good man, just don't trust him when he tells you the approximate distance of a trail or length of time it takes to travel.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Orange Bee

I've been using this for a few months. I haven't noticed a huge difference in my skin, so I can't really recommend it as a cleanser. However, if you want to have the most mouth watering, delicious smelling, face washing experience of your life, buy this product. It smells so amazingly good that every time I wash my face I find myself desperately thirsty for orange juice. Mmm...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fifteen Months

I am TOTALLY ticked off right now. I originally wrote this on the 10th and saved it as a draft. I edited, added all the details from Em's doctor's visit, and published it on the 11th. Now, suddenly I find that it is gone from my blog and reverted back to the pre-edited draft. I'm too peeved to go through and fix it now, so sorry that this is not as witty, wonderful, or error free as it once was. What the crap happened? I know it posted on the 11th because a friend of mine saw it. Boo.

We're a quarter of the way through Emma's second year of life. Time is flying. At her doctor's appointment this morning she measured 2 feet 7 inches tall and is weighing in at 20 pounds 14 ounces. That is a jump from the 23rd to 73rd percentile for height and 8th to 20th percentile for weight! Growth Spurt!!!!

She is growing so much, learning so quickly, and running everywhere. She loves to be outside. She like putting on grown ups' shoes. Heck, she likes when you put her shoes on her feet because that means we're going outside. Right now she has mastered a few words and chooses to use them universally. Almost everything is "mama, dada, mommy," or "daddy." Since "num-num" worked so well to get food and water, anytime she wants anything she reaches out and says, "num-num." Her vocabulary is expanding, she just falls back on these words most of the time. With a little prompting she knows to say please when she wants something. She says "nana" for banana, and "nack" for snack, but she thinks all snacks are crackers. I think I taught her the word "cracker" yesterday, we'll see if it sticks around today. She says her own version of socks, clock, Jesus, kitty, dog, and bath. She says "baby" very well and has grown attached to the one pictured above. Her ability to repeat words is improving too. House, trees, leaves, street, are some of the words she is able to repeat fairly well. I'm so proud of her.

Her hair is getting so long that it's in her eyes, but I don't want to cut it. I don't want to put clips or bows in it either because that's just the way I am. Clips don't last too long with my child, anyway. She is becoming more and more dexterous, and it's fun to watch her fine motor skills improve. She really enjoys scribbling on paper with crayons but gets really mad when I take the crayons away. Sorry kid, you can't walk around my house with any kind of writing implement.

Right now she is going through a needy, fussy, cry-when-I-don't-get-my-way stage. It isn't a lot of fun. She's so darn curious and I have to stop her from her desired activities frequently, so we have many a crying fit followed by me hastily redirecting her to something new. I attribute these tantrums it in part to her age, and partially to teething. Poor kid. I knew her first molar was cutting through the gum, I didn't realize that she had three cooking at once. I'd be grouchy too.

In the past month or so she has been willing to give kisses and it is the greatest thing in the world. She doesn't really give a kiss, but if you ask her for one she'll lean in for a smooch. It melts our hearts.

Emma bo bemma, you make your Mommy and Daddy so happy.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Welcome to my second Mother's Day as a mom. I've got a lot on my mind.

I'm so grateful for the doctrine of motherhood that is taught by my church. We believe that motherhood is the highest, most noble service of mankind. That the feminine traits to nurture, love, and lead others have been divinely placed within women to do great good in the world. All women, whether mothers or not, have the special abilities to reach out to others, to love, and to heal. It is an amazing power.

It is a very long line of mothers nurturing children has gotten us to this point in history.

My great-grandmother, my mom's paternal grandmother, was an interesting woman. She nearly lived a century and saw so much from 1905 to 2004. She told stories about her childhood in the south and her family's move to Ohio by covered wagon. Every time we made a visit she gave a five dollar bill to each of the children. Bribery? Maybe. But it was something that made us feel special, something to look forward to. That, and the dish full of orange slice candies that were so delicious. She had one of these:
that was woven and sat on her mantle. I remember staring at it for a very, very long time before my eyes could look past the red shapes and see the white letters. I don't recall ever hearing about religion on my mother's side of the family, but here was my Savior's name in Nana Bea's living room. I know that she loved her son, my grandpa. I know that she loved my mother, father, brother, and me.

My maternal grandmother was always kind to me. She sold Avon, so I received many pieces of Avon jewelry over the years. My favorite gift from her as a little girl was special, kid-friendly dress-up makeup. Oh the joys of being a girl! Grandma Lois had cats, she smoked in the house, and I always got the impression that she was sassy. She raised four children, lived through a divorce, and lost her final fight to pancreatic cancer. She was a strong woman. My mom calls her "Mother," which sounds more respectful and old fashioned than "Mom." I like it. My mom dearly loved her mother, and I know my grandma deeply loved her children and grandchildren.

My paternal grandmother was the kind of woman who always wore nylons and lipstick when she left the house. She whispered whenever she gossiped, she put curlers in my hair for fun, and showed my what it meant to be a devoted wife. I never saw her lose her temper. Grandma Frances raised four boys, was Catholic (but not in an over the top kind of way), and always made me comfortable in her home. She lost her final fight to lung cancer after battling Alzheimer's. She, too, was a strong woman. My grandpa (my favorite person in the world) loved her more than anything. I know that love was reciprocated. I know she loved my family and me.

My own mother is... I'm at a loss for words. I honestly don't know what I would do or who I would be without her. She is who I call when I need reassurance, who I turn to for support in any endeavor. It is she who has taught me how to be a woman in today's world. She is strong in her own way, full of emotion, full of hopes, faith, and fears. She is my dearest friend and it has been amazing to watch our relationship evolve and strengthen through the years.

I think about my own daughter, about the example I want to be for her. I know she will grow to be a girl and then a woman. I hope she will become a mother herself. She learns so much, so quickly. If she sees something done once she will repeat it. The words she hears, the actions she sees all shape her world and her person. Am I doing enough to lead her in the right direction? I certainly hope so.

Being a mother is incredible. I first knew what it is to love like a mother when I was a child raising a kitten. I felt it more as a teacher guiding my students. I live it now as a mother to a little girl who shares my genes. I am so proud of my baby, so pleased to see the joy that she brings to everyone she meets. She literally spreads smiles and happiness. I've seen it in a smiling girl driving by as we took our walk, the man playing peek-a-boo in line at the post office, numerous people in other cars at stop lights who wave to say hello. It makes me feel radiant to know that the greatest source of my joy spreads it to others so easily. I hope she continues to do so as she grows and has influence on others. I pray that she embraces that gift and uses it to mother others.

What a beautiful thing, motherhood. It is a powerful strength that is found in the love of a woman's heart.

Happy Mother's Day.