Monday, July 25, 2011

My Heart Smiled

So, I've got this three year old, I love him very much, I've had him since he was a baby. Our relationship has evolved over the years. In the beginning he needed my help all the time, he couldn't even eat by himself. Today I hear "I do it myself" much more than I hear anything else. I like this, he is growing up, he is becoming a man, at least he thinks he is a man.

I wanted to share one thing I don't like about three year old behavior, and a couple of things I LOVE.

What I don't like, selfishness. My little J loves "Friends", he talks about them all the time, wants to play with them, but then when he does play with friends if they even LOOK at his toys he freaks out. He has been known to sit in front of our house, on one of his little push cars while holding onto the other one. Heaven FORBID he share his second car and have some fun with friends! Only HE can touch his cars. My favorite part of this selfishness is that he is perfectly willing to use other peoples toys. For example,on the 4th of July he discovered a big wheel outside a neighbors house, so of course he started to use it, that's what anyone would do when they saw a really cool vehicle sitting all by itself, right? Right! So for 5 or 10 min he rode this big wheel up and down the sidewalk, UNTIL our cute little 2 year old neighbor started to ride on one of HIS toys. He was off that borrowed big wheel in the blink of an eye, and unfortunately his next act was to push our neighbor off of his toy, pull the toy back to our house and start his protective stance, i.e. sitting on one toy while keeping a hand or leg on the other. Just sitting, not playing, just living in fear that someone will try to play with HIS toys!

Now, why don't I like this, for one thing pushing and fighting accompanies this selfish behavior. I don't shove him, and I try not to fight with him, so where did he learn this behavior and why is he displaying so openly?
We practice sharing several times a day, thanks to Baby B, who is now mobile and likes to touch toys. J does not want baby B to be anywhere near ANY toys, including B's own toys. So several times a day I talk about sharing, and unfortunately, after talking and modeling good behavior, I sometimes take toys away from J (right after I see him take something from his brother), then I ask "do you like that" and he says no....I am pretty sure this is not the best way to teach sharing. So, Selfishness, I don't like it.

What do I like. Imagination! J has got a wonderful imagination, and he uses it all the time. This makes my life very fun. Sometimes he dresses in costume but most of the time it's all in his mind.

I was feeding the baby one morning when J started to talk to me in a low voice, the lowest voice a little 3 year old could use. "Me Daddy" he said "Me Working" and then he did some work, he fixed things that I didn't even know where broken. He puts out fires around the house all the time, I am so glad he is here, because I didn't even know there were fires burning! The other day he asked to watch a "Wallace and Gromet" movie. He wanted to watch "The Wrong Trousers". After it was over J spent an hour or more imagining himself in Wallace's trousers, every time he would start walking he would make mechanical/robotic sounds as he walked with stiff legs.

Last Friday (when I started writing this post) J did something that made my heart smile. When he came out of his room he was holding "Griff" his Hippo toy. J informed me that Griff was a baby and that he needed to feed his baby. He put Griff into the highchair and gave him some Cheerios, he even talked to him, "Dows yummy Chewyo's? Yes, dows yummy!". But my favorite part was when I heard him say, as sweetly, tenderly and truthfully as a 3 year old could ever say anything "Baby, I love you, I love you so much" I can not even express how happy I was to hear him say that while he pretended to be a Daddy. I felt like Ken and I  must be doing okay as parents if our little J was such a loving parent to his pretend baby.

And finally, despite the moments of selfishness, my little 3 year old J loves his baby brother B. And B worships J. Now that B can crawl he will find J wherever he is in the house, he wants to do whatever J is doing, and for the most part J treats him pretty well. I do say "Please Don't......" a lot, but I think that is pretty typical. Please don't put your feet on your brothers....face or head.....Please don't feed your brother.... cheese... dirt... leaves.... Please don't sit on your brother. You know the typical things. Yesterday morning the boys took a bath together, it was a joyous occasion.

Now an update about B, he has his first tooth (not sure if I shared that) and he is crawling around like mad! But on Friday he did this for the first time-
Since the morning after he started crawling he has been crawling over to things, like the couch or boxes, or the side of the tub, and he has been trying to figure out how to push himself up to a standing position. Well on Friday he came over to the dishwasher and figured out how to stand. He was so amazingly proud of himself. He stood there for about 5 minutes and then got frustrated because he couldn't figure out how to get back down. So I helped him down and he immediately got back up. A little while later he followed J into the bathroom where he stood up next to the tub. It is now an addiction, if he is awake and near something he tries to use it to stand, I can see the wheels turning in his mind, he is trying to figure out how to cruise. He will be 1 year old in about a week and a half, he is bound and determined to be big like his brother. 

I've got a pretty great life.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Super Swing with some Super People

Have you ever been on a Super Swing? I have. I happen to know the secret location of one, here's a hint, Uncle Weldon designed it. That's all I am going to say. If you can divine it's location from that hint then you might be able to take a swing too! Uncle Weldon wanted to recreate the feeling of singing in the barn (I totally knew the name of the contraption when I was swinging, now all I can think of is Hay, and Barns and Lifts....sorry) anyway, this is quite the swing. See, I'm having fun!
Looking skinny too!
Ken took a turn, this picture shows pretty much the entire swing, the frame is pretty huge then there is a pretty long log suspended by ropes and chains, Weldon used a chain to swing one end of the log back and forth, the swing is suspended from the other end of the log and it can whip you around, pretty far, pretty fast. We both enjoyed it, but by the end of my ride I was feeling a little motion sick. You never took the same path twice. I would say, if you ever get the chance to Swing on a Super Swing, do it!
Here's Ken again, looking like Superman.
See how long that log/arm is! 
Here he is, the creator of the super swing, Uncle Weldon, working hard.
We even let J have a turn, he was pretty excited and so were all the women, there was a lot of loud speaking, not yelling, just loud speaking "Not So High" "Not So Fast" You know, all those things we women say.
Even though the picture is blurry, you can tell he was having the time of his life!
Ken got back on the swing so that J could go a little higher and a little faster, J had the biggest smile! He loved it.
After the swinging was over, J took some pictures, he is becoming quite the little artist. This one is a little blurry yes, but I think it tells a good story.
Here's Grandma Wheeler, I told Ken I thought this could have been a professionally taken picture, great shot for a 3 year old, don't you think?
Aunt Donna's portrait also turned out fabulous! What do you think? Do they look like Sisters? I think so.
And the little artist couldn't have a photo shoot without taking a self portrait. 
So that was last Friday, Dinner, Super Swing, Fun with Family that we love. 

Ordinary Miracles

So, if you read about the Freedom Run you will read about how I asked Heavenly Father to help me get to the race on time, and he did, and to me it felt like a miracle. Two days after the race I had my Training Show and started my career as a Premier Designs Jewelry Lady. I was both nervous and calm, it was an odd combination. But after it was all I felt like I had witnessed even more miracles, and as I said my prayers that night I remember thinking that God knew it was all going to work out well, that's why he blessed me with calmness. I still feel quite blessed. I like it. But anyway, back to my adventures as a Jewelry Lady.

My Mother graciously allowed me to host my show at her home. I have a friend in my neighborhood who will be hosting a show for me this summer and I didn't want to have too many shows, too close together on the same street. I invited quite a few people to my first show, but I really didn't have any firm RSVP's, this is why I was nervous. It wouldn't be much of a training experience if I was talking to an empty room. But something Miraculous happened, 10 people came! I've never had 10 people at the shows I hosted at my house. I think it was a pretty good show. 

I decided that I wanted to have some signage, and so I contacted my friend Paige Spaulding to see if her printing company could help me out. CPS Graphix did a great job for me, you can find them here- . The signs work miracles too, as we were setting up and putting the jewelry out, someone knocked on the door- My Mom's neighbor, she said she LOVES jewelry and came in to take a look. She came back for the party. Later in the evening another neighbor came by, because she saw the signs. Those signs pretty much paid for themselves that night. My J loves them too, as you can see in this picture.
So it has been a week since my training show and I have had another chance to play Jewelry Lady, thanks to my friend Jolene! I am learning lessons, someday I might be pretty good at this. I hope Jolene is pleased with her hostess benefits, getting a guiltless shopping spree can be pretty fun, in my opinion.

I have been having lots of fun learning how to wear my jewelry, how to combine different necklaces, how to wear 5 or more items at once!  Last night at Jolene's home show, I got a pretty big compliment, I had come up with what I thought was a pretty cute combo of two necklaces and a slide, and one of the guests came up to me, handed me a couple other pieces of jewelry and said "I want to get these, and I want those necklaces you are wearing too!" (yes, she was excited about them!) It wasn't until I got home that I realized what a compliment that truly was. So I may not be perfect, but I am doing pretty good. I can do hard things, and I can like it.

So, if you want to help me in my quest to be a Great Jewelry Lady, host a show for me! Seriously, you will be greatly rewarded.

2011 Freedom Run- a very important lesson

No pictures from the freedom run, I didn't bring the camera and even though I smiled and waved at the official photographers, they only seemed to take pictures of me when I was not looking really good. Seriously, I smiled, I waved!

So here is my story, and what I learned. I signed up for this 10k knowing that I actually needed to run 8 miles that day, so my plan was to run a little before the race, stretch, run the race, snack on a banana and have some water then finish the 8 miles. That was my plan. I have participated in 2 previous freedom runs, a 1 mile fun run in 2004 and a 5k in 2007, both times I was late. I was not going to be late this time because I was going to have my warm up run before the race. So I woke up at 5:20, I left on time at 6, the race started at 7. I was on the freeway about 2 freeway exits from home when I realized I didn't have my running watch, I decided it was VERY important for me to have that watch so I came home and got it. I didn't bring a house key, because anything I brought I had to run with, so I pounded on the door for a little while, sleepy Ken saved me, and by 6:30 I was back on the road, begging Heavenly Father to help me get to the race on time. And he did. I thought I knew where to park, but the road was closed so I just kind of followed traffic in the general direction of the race, eventually finding myself in the visitor's parking lot east of the Wilkinson Student Center. I was pretty sure that I was only a block away from the park so I started to run. I wasn't alone. There were probably 30 or more people all running towards the park, I could hear the national anthem being sung so I knew I hadn't missed the start. I ran about a quarter of a mile and lined up in the 10 minute mile section of the 10k start. Then I tried to stretch a little. Two minutes later I was running up a hill, then around a corner and down a hill, then I found myself on a parade route and I had a thigh cramp. I've never had a thigh cramp before, I didn't know quite how to fix it. I felt really drained, I wasn't keeping my normal pace, I hadn't even gone two miles and I was wondering why in the world I was running 6-8 miles the day after fasting! At the second water station I stopped and used the table to help me stretch a little, my thigh felt better and I kept going, still slower, but still going.

They severely underestimated the amount of cups they would need at the water stations, by the 3rd station at mile 4, they were letting people drink out of a hose. I walked a little up the last two hills but I made it through to the end of the race. I finished in 1 hour 12 min, about 11:40 min miles. My training pace was 10:30 on average so it wasn't my best time, BUT I also didn't train on hills, I think I hate hills. Anyway, I finished  up my 8 miles by running around the BYU campus. When I finished I was very tired.

So what did I learn? If you are going to ask your body to work hard ( really far, early in the morning, on a humid day...) then you should probably eat the day before. Yep. I ran 9 miles a week after the Freedom Run, the day before my 9 mile run we had spaghetti for dinner. My pace through 6 miles was 10:30! I slowed down a bit on the last 3 miles, finishing the 9 miles with an average pace of 10:58. I think I learned a good lesson from the 2011 Freedom Run. I hope I remember it for a long time.

The Fruits of our Labor

I was sitting at my kitchen table this morning and I saw something WONDERFUL! Strawberries! 
(Okay, so I really saw the strawberries last week, but I did write that sentence and take these pictures last week too. We had kind of a busy week last you may have already seen)
So the strawberries didn't look ready to pick, and I left them to ripen, I am amazed that I haven't been out there every day checking on their progress. I think we will pick them as a family. Maybe tonight, who knows!

Look, I made peas! They tasted god, I picked them immediately after getting photographic proof.
My "4th of July" tomato plant, that promised fruit by the 4th of July must be using a different calendar than I am. Because this was a few days after the 4th and....I guess there is fruit but I was kind of expecting red fruit. I am still excited for tomatoes! YEAH!
I got two kinds of squash, Yellow and Spaghetti, I don't remember which plant this is, but as you can see, it's flowering! I hope to eat some squash soon too. I love squash!
So, there you go, the fruits of our labor, This quite possibly could be our best garden if I could just remember to weed.