Friday, August 29, 2008

I do it Myself

About a week ago, I told you about the new game that we were playing. I call it "I do it Myself" because that is what I figure the baby would be saying if he could talk.As you can see, "I do it Myself" is fun to play with spoons- these pictures are from this morning when we were eating green beans. The babies aim is off just a little- this time hitting his nose first. I didn't realize there was so much food on the spoon until I saw it on his nose. Another fun time to play "I do it Myself" is when we are having a bottle. The baby has always reached up and grabbed our fingers while we fed him and within the past week he has started grabbing the bottle. When I want to know if he still wants to eat I put the bottle within reach. If he is still hungry, he grabs for it and tries to get it in his mouth.
He hasn't figured out the angle yet.And sometimes he doesn't quite find the right part of the bottle with his mouth. But still, he is quite happy to attempt to do it himself. And the most recent way to play "I do it Myself"-
Mouse Clicking!
He actually has right click down pretty well.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Rubber Ducky

In 3 weeks the baby will be old enough to start using his Ducky Tub! I love the Ducky Tub, because it is cute. I figured he could practice sitting in it while it is dry before its maiden voyage in the Big Tub.
I think the Baby likes it, don't you?

OK, So he didn't want to spend all day in it, but it was a new and interesting experience. As you may be able to tell, it is not completely inflated, it might actually take me 3 weeks to work up the lung capacity to completely blow up the tub.

Happy Bathing!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I talk a good game, or, Where are the Friendly Forest Creatures when you need them?

I can remember being pretty young and telling myself that someday I would be really good at keeping my room clean. It still hasn’t happened. I have really good Ideas for really fun parties, but they pretty much stay Ideas. So how do I change that, how do I go from talking a good game to playing a good game?


It just came to me, Like Magic.

Last week I made myself a chore chart; it lists one chore per day. I thought it was very sensible and easy to accomplish, after all I should be able to do at least one thing per day.

So as I sat here on Wednesday, thinking about how I am folding the laundry which should have been finished on Tuesday, because it was Tuesday’s chore, and how I really haven’t finished cleaning the kitchen- which was Monday’s chore, and how I am most likely not going to get the floors vacuumed, swept and mopped which is today’s chore, I was surprised by the thought that popped into my head.

“Did you expect to be perfect the first time?”

Why, Yes, I did. I answered the thought.

“Well it is going to take some time”

And with that I thought about all the times I have started a new job. I wasn’t just placed at a desk, or a check stand, and told, “OK, start working”, I was trained, and helped until I could do it by myself. Well, Mom worked very hard to train me, I was never the best trainee when it came to cleaning, and I guess now is my time to make up for all that.

So I am not going to give up because this week has not turned out as magically perfect as I expected it to. I guess somewhere deep inside me I still expect the birds and other cute little forest creatures to help me with all my household duties, I guess they haven’t quite figured out where I am, I should sing louder! Until they show up, I will practice and who knows, maybe I will actually get good at it.

As far as the Party Ideas go, I think that is why God gave me Ken- the Party King. I am going to start sharing those Ideas with him and see what happens.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

We all Work Together

Last Friday I worked at Alta View and Yesterday I worked up at LDS. It was enjoyable, but by the end of the workday yesterday, I missed my baby, and I was TIRED! I worked full time for years, and for much of that time I enjoyed it, granted there were also other times that I didn’t enjoy it that much. I think the arrangement I have now, working when needed, but never more than one day per week, is just about right for me.

I am enjoying my new full time Job very much; I have the best boss ever. He is kind, most of the time, sometimes he screams at me, but hey, he is very particular about the way his employees complete their tasks. What are my tasks? Love, Cuddle, Feed, Love, Cuddle, Bathe, Shower with Kisses, Diaper, Feed, Love, Cuddle, Dress, Love, Feed, Cuddle, Change, Feed, Love, Kisses, Entertain, Cuddle. Everyone has their favorite job, their dream job; some of us even get to do that job all the time. I have found mine. I am not very good at all of it yet. It is a pretty big job. But I love it. The Baby is a good Boss; Ken is an amazing Co-worker and We all Work Together Well!

Friday, August 22, 2008

An Extended 4th of July

I love the Olympics. The Olympic Love started for me back in 84. Yes, I did run away, and take my little sister with me, during the Olympics that year, but that is another story.

A few moments ago they showed the medal ceremony for the Men’s 400 meters, it had been an American sweep and so 3 American flags were raised as “the Star-Spangled Banner” played. I have loved hearing our National Anthem during these games and I have loved singing along, in my head mostly.

I also have found it interesting that when I think the words of this great song, I don’t think about the first verse, which is the verse we hear the most. I think about the third verse.

“Oh, thus be it ever, when free men shall stand between their loved homes and the war’s desolation! Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land praise the Pow’r that hath mad and preserved us a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, and this be our motto: “In God is our trust!” And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!"

I have had a hard time explaining why this is my favorite verse, but I want to attempt a try today.

I picture in my mind, my father, my husband, my brothers-in-law, putting themselves between those they love and the danger and desolation of war. (It is pretty easy for me to picture and feel this, because I saw my father leave for the first Gulf War a week or two before Christmas in 1990, that memory is strong when I sing this verse.) In my mind I then see these men joined by their wives as they protect their homes in the ongoing war with evil, the evil that would so easily enter our homes if we are not vigilant. At times, some of us will have to fight this battle alone, but the promise remains the same for all of us. As we give our all, We remember our Savior and all that he has done for us. We rely on the power found in his Atonement and in his Gospel that enables of to create fortresses that will protect our families from the storms as they arise. We trust in Him, we seek His will and know that we will conquer if we are true and faithful to His cause.

I always enjoy the 4th of July because we sing this song, and I think one of the reasons I have enjoyed the Olympics so much this year is because I have heard this song so many times over the past two weeks, it has been like an Extended 4th of July. I Love it!
I love it- almost as much as I love my two Very Patriotic Boys!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Things that make me Smile

Flowers! I love them, I especially love them in cute vases. As such, I was very very very happy to find some vases at Ikea that cost 10 cents a piece. They a squiggly and fit together. I bought 9!

Then there are the cute little polka dot vases that they were selling for 79 cents. I only bought 5 of them. They look great with the Mr Potato Head collection, don't they.

Now, another thing that makes me smile is Baby. We have already shared his joy in his new play center, he still loves the lizard. I see A LOT of these dance moves lately.

I must say, I am very glad that we didn't get the walker. Baby doesn't seem too sad that he is not able to move around quite yet. He is pretty happy just to be able to dance.

This is exactly what he looks like while dancing.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

5 Month Olds are Smart

5 Months ago our baby boy was born. This is what he looked like at two days old, the day we brought him home. He was so little and had sooooo much hair.

Now my boy is 5 months old. He has been rolling for 6 weeks and is very good at it. He is comfortable on his tummy and yesterday while rolling around on the floor, he planted his feet and lifted his bottom into the air. We think we should start baby proofing the house, because it won't be long until he is scooting and crawling.

Yesterday we bought a High Chair. Thanks to some great advice from Gina we decided to skip the padded comfortable looking chair and get the Ikea high chair. Baby likes it for its sleek European styling. I like it because it is very easy to clean and also because it comes apart and can be stored in a small space, but mostly I like it because it only cost $25. The baby looks very cute in it too.

So, My little 5 month old has started playing a couple of games that I wasn't expecting him to play for a while. The first is "I drop something and you pick it up", This has been going on for a few days, at home it is no problem and I really don't pick up what he drops- but he sure laughs when he sees and hears things hit the ground. Usually toys or empty plastic bowls. But yesterday at Ikea he kept dropping his toy lamb. I would hear the little laugh, look around to see where Lamby was and of course, give it back to baby, a few minutes later I would hear the little laugh again. At one point we lost Lamby, it took 10 minutes of backtracking through the store to find him again. Grandma T. told me I should put a string around the toys that are used in this game, that way if I don't notice that it has been thrown it won't be lost forever.

Another game he has started to play is- "I can feed myself"

He grabs at the spoon, making it very hard to feed him, I gave up for a while and took these pictures. At first he was amazed that I had let go of the spoon and he admired his prize. Then he started chewing on the spoon. I figure if he could talk, he would be saying,"See, I do it myself"

Something else that has surprised me about my 5 month old is that he is a lot less sleepy. For the past few months I have put him down for a nap within an hour and a half of him waking up from the previous nap. Most of the time he went to sleep easily and would sleep for at least 45 minutes but sometimes up to 3 hours. He has started to tell me No to these frequent naps and he is not cranky and tired so I figure he just doesn't need them. I am hoping that we have hit the period where we start the Morning, Noon and maybe Afternoon nap cycle, I just have to figure out when those optimum nap times are. Any Ideas?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I love you, I love you, I love you

The baby got a new toy this week- Thanks to the Wheeler Aunt and Uncles. He even got to help pick it out- This was actually his second choice right after the cherry red convertible. He will be mobile soon enough so instead of the walker we went for this stationary play center.

As you can see- there is a lizard puppet attached. The baby has fallen in love with this lizard. I looked over this morning and saw him "kissing" the lizard, he was actually chewing on it like he chews on everything these days, but because he happened to be chewing on the mouth of the puppet it looked like a kiss. By the time I got the picture taken he had stopped, but the picture does show his annoyance at my interference in his love affair.

"Gosh Mom, you are really cramping my style"

I kept the camera on, waiting for the moment he would go back to kissing the puppet, but all he would do after my first interruption was give the puppet a hug.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

All the Answers

Why? That is one of the main questions in my life. Why is life hard? Why do I have to wait for the blessings I want? Why do bad, horrible and tragic things happen to wonderful people? Why? Why pain, why anguish? Why is my baby so itchy? Why? My questions are very rarely answered immediately, but they are answered, to my surprise sometimes decades later.

One of the questions I have asked several times in my life is why are young people taken from this life before they figure out the important things and what happens to them when they die? (I guess it looks like two questions). I have hope, that someday I will be welcomed into the presence of loved ones and maybe even my Savior and my God. But what happens to people who never had that hope, or who lost that hope. What happens to people who die young and are still making lots of mistakes?

My Cousin died while I was on my mission. It shook me. I had questions. The answer I got to the majority questions came from the Book of Mormon. Alma 7:7,11-13. Jesus suffered every pain that we could suffer so that he could know and understand our pains. It answered my question in a very broad way; giving me hope that our Savior understood whatever pain my cousin felt in life and possibly would have to feel after death. It also helped me have faith that the Savior understood my pain too. I felt healing and hope.

When I was about 16 years old a young woman a few years older than me died. I didn’t know her very well but I knew enough to know that she had made some mistakes in her life. I was asked to sing at the memorial service. The song was “The Test”. I have not sung that song since, it does not bring back happy memories, it brings back the question- what happens to people who die when they are young and in the middle of making mistakes?

At church this Sunday there was a special musical number, “The Test”. I immediately thought of this girl from my youth and then to my surprise I realized that the night before Ken and I had been at the temple and this girls name had been on my mind while I was there. I began to cry as I realized that not only was I not questioning but also I was feeling the same peace I had felt while in the temple the night before. In Sunday school we were discussing the Resurrection as Alma taught it to his son Corianton. At a point in the lesson we discussed the spirit world and how there are two areas- one for those who have accepted the Savior and followed his teachings and another for those who have yet to learn about the Savior and His Gospel those people would be given the opportunity to accept the Savior after this life. A woman asked a question about her Grandfather, who had believed in Christ for the majority of his life but at the end had become an Atheist, as the teacher had just stated that only those who had not had the chance to accept Christ would get that chance after death, what did that mean for her grandfather? Her question was basically the same as mine, what happens to people who had the chance to know Christ but didn’t seem to take it? Quickly, very Quickly the teacher said “Bishop?” Our young Bishop gave the same answer that was in my heart.

What was that answer-

Basically, We can never know what is in another person’s heart. Only God can judge, only he knows if anyone of us has truly had the “Chance” to hear and understand and choose for ourselves. My heart felt peace like it never had before when faced with this question, my mind wrapped around it as it finally found something that made sense. These young people from my life, and this woman’s grandfather, they are not lost. In fact from the peace I feel I have a renewed hope that all is well with them, that they have found the same healing and hope that I have felt in my life, through our Savior.

I don’t have All the Answers, I know I never will, at least not while I live. But I do know that there is at least one person out there who does have all the answers, and Today, I am willing to wait as long as I need too for him to answer my questions.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Giant Fan

The hunt for little tiny San Francisco Giants apparel started about the same time that we found out we were having a boy. The only thing we were able to find was on-line and cost just a little too much for Ken and so our son was born and then spent the first 4 months of his life unable to show allegiance to the Giants.

It was with great surprise that Ken found some Giants fleece at Wal Mart, and so the Matching Giants blankets were born (although Ken's blanket does not have the silky edging like the babies). But wait, Santa came early for baby- or maybe for Ken. Grandma Wheeler and Aunt Emily found a 3 pack of Giants T-shirts that are just Babies size. As you can see by the picture below- these two guys were born to be Giants Fans.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Enjoying Nature

For the majority of the past two decades the Wheeler family has enjoyed spending time in the Mountains. The family cabin is located in High Sierra Park (formerly Odd Fellows Park) between Sierra Village and Long Barn, California. It is a beautiful place with a meadow and lake surrounded by huge pine trees. The baby has been to the gardens and to many backyards but this was his first experience with NATURE on the large scale. I think he liked it, at least the dry parts of it. Here are some pictures of our trip.33 People and 2 Bathrooms-
Dad Wheeler thought the math didn't work, so he called in some help.The Kids needed some outside time on Friday afternoon so we went down to the lake. The plan was to stay dry, the plan failed.We tried hard to keep the baby in the shade.On Saturday we had a service project, we picked up trash around the park.
The baby Helped.
Boys play interesting, long, drawn out games where they get to kill each other All the grandkids enjoyed DDR, I learned that you don't even need a mat to play as the two kids behind the ddr mats can testify

Our first time in the water at the Lake was on Saturday, it was pretty warm and the baby liked to look at the water as I walked through it, but he didn't really enjoy being placed in the water.

Sometimes you have to kiss alot of frogs (or Toads) before you find the right one, J is starting early.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Sister of the Month Club

Ken and I discovered a wonderful way to travel- Caravanning! For us this involved finding a brother and sister-in-law who were traveling in the same direction at roughly the same time that we were traveling. Then we would split up- this trip, Ken would ride with his brother and nieces and nephews in their van while I would drive with my sister-in-law and the baby in our car.

It was a blast! I had so much fun and learned a lot about my sisters while spending hours with them driving through California and Nevada. At one point we sisters even hijacked the lunch plans and forced everyone to go to the Circus Circus in Reno for the buffet (I was very hungry, much too hungry for KFC or McDonald's to handle).

After it was all over I realized that I have something most people never even come close to having- I have 11 sisters. My parents gave me 5 and when I married Ken, I married into 6 more. Someday Ken’s brother S will give me my 12th sister and then I will have a sister for every month of the year! This makes me Happy.

We have had a Wheeler family reunion two years in a row now. As I was traveling with my sister T, I said that we should have a sister-in-law retreat as part of the future reunions. It could be before, after or even better, during the reunions. I am not sure we could sell the men on the idea, but I think the most fun could be had if one night during the reunion we said good-bye to our husbands and children and had a sleepover at a nearby location (a spa or resort of some kind would work nicely). The fun I had talking with one sister while caravanning would be multiplied, Hilarity would ensue and we could all get to know each other and bond in our Wheeler Sisterhood that much more.

I think this could be fun to do with my Sisters here in Utah as well. In fact before my sister C got married I wanted to do something similar with my sisters, but I never quite figured out how to pull it all together, and so it didn’t happen. Who knows, the sister-in-law retreat may never happen either- but it is fun to dream and sometimes dreams do come true.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Pack it Tight- after all, it is you driving

Ken said that he wanted to leave by 7 am on Wednesday morning. We had done pretty well Tuesday night; everything that we wanted to take was near the front door. Ken just had one thing to do before we left, make sure that his “Out of Office” reply was set on his work email. Just one problem- there didn’t seem to be that option on his laptop. And so I took our luggage into my own hands and packed the car.

I did an amazing job, I thought. Everything fit. First there were the two large suitcases- one for Ken and I combined and the other for the Baby and all his toys, books, clothes, blankets and diapers, then the portable crib, the happy hippo gym, and the stroller. On top of all that there were the small bags that didn’t seem to fit anywhere else, the toiletry bag, the running shoes, the diaper bag that was packed so full of extra items that it could not be closed. After packing I took the car on a spin around the block and there didn’t seem to be any shifting or sliding as went up and down hills or turned. I was pleased with my work and let Ken know that we were ready to go just as soon as he was.

We actually hit the road about 8, just an hour behind schedule, not too bad for our first trip with baby. We stopped several times at rest stops and gas stations so that I could move from the front seat to the back seat and back again, depending on the needs of the baby. After 470 miles I was ready to drive and the baby needed to burp. We stopped at the rest stop at the I-80, US-95 split. Before long we were heading back to the Freeway, the rest stop was on the south side of I-80 and so we had to turn left, go under the freeway and then turn right onto the cloverleaf on ramp. As we made our way around the on ramp I wondered, out loud, about the noises I was hearing, it sounded to me like there might be something wrong with the car, that or the Semi that was parked along the side of the on ramp was really really loud.

I made sure all the windows were up and Ken asked if all the doors were closed tight. It was then that I noticed the little red line on the back of the diagram of the car in between the speedometer and tachometer. THE BACK GATE OF THE CAR WAS WIDE OPEN!

I pulled over as fast as I could, believing with all my heart that we had just lost the majority of our belongings. Ken jumped out and took a look, the happy hippo gym had fallen out right as I stopped but from what Ken could see everything was there. I couldn’t believe it. The plastic shopping bag full of toiletries that was just sitting on top of the portable crib was still there. The Ziploc bag full of the babies’ medications and creams that was lazily placed on the top of open diaper bag, STILL THERE! We were amazed.

Sometimes I do dumb things- like forgetting to close the back of the car, but out there, somewhere, were some guardian angels that worked very very hard to keep Ken and I from dodging cars on the freeway to retrieve our lost items. It took awhile for my heart to slow down and for my mind to wrap around the truth that everything was still right where I had placed it when I packed the car that morning. Ken was so proud of my packing job that at our last stop in Nevada he took this picture as proof.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

They're Back.......

We had a wonderful trip to Northern California. We left on Wednesday morning and stopped for the night in Eldorado Hills with the S&K Wheeler family. We had so much fun there, it was hard to leave, so hard in fact that we took their oldest son, J, with us. The rest of his family followed the next day. We spent Thursday to Sunday at the Wheeler Cabin with 33 out of the 37 members of the Wheeler family. Then Ken and I split up and traveled to Rocklin with the J&G Wheeler Family. Ken drove with his brother and I got to spend some time with a wonderful sister in law. We spent the night there in Rocklin and decided to do the same spilt up/caravan with the J&T Wheeler family. We knew this was going to delay us a bit- but we couldn't pass up the opportunity to extend our time with family and friends. Ken and I found ourselves together again in Winnemucca Nevada at 7PM on Monday night. We decided that we would be sensible, and if needed, we would stop and get a room at one of the many cheap hotels/casinos in Northern Nevada. We arrived home safely at 2 am on Tuesday morning- completely worth it! The baby woke up at 6:30 am on Tuesday, he was fed and put back into bed, he slept until almost 11! I slept until 10! AMAZING!

Here are some pictures. Stories from the trip will come later in the week- after I unpack.

To help the baby feel at home on our trip, we surrounded him with comforting items from home.

The baby helped Ken "Work!" while on Vacation. Silly Ken.

The baby spent plenty of time with Grandma Wheeler. Grandma Magic gave his parents a few nights of good sleep. "Grandma, what furry feet you have"The older boys found a Toad at the Lake.

We asked the baby if he wanted to go on another trip anytime soon-

this was his answer.