Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Just Like Mommy

A week or two ago I wanted to upload a picture to Facebook and this is the first picture that popped up on my computer screen. I laughed out loud, because it was hillarious AND because I saw in this picture of my son, a reflection of myself.

What do you think? We look alike, don't we? This is me when I was about 8 months pregnant with J.
J apparently had 3 blankets and and a stuffed animal in his footy pajamas. Such a sweet and happy boy we have.

The rest of the Month

All in all, February was a good month around our house. 

the boys played hard and slept hard.

We practiced exhaling under water

And we just plain had fun

My little baby wore underpants (over his diaper) and I learned that underpants make little babies seem way too old.
Baby B thought he hit the jackpot when he knocked over the recycling bin.....then he was sad when he realized the box of graham crackers was empty.

We got a little more handsome every day
Mom's car needed to be inspected and registered and so we got a new windshield- J was in heaven watching the nice man replace it. 

Little Baby B learned how to use spoons, and he did pretty well as long as he was eating very very thick things.

J took pictures of his Mom....

......and his Dad

J also thought it would be fun to paint his nails during quiet time, He is quite the artist.

And Baby B figured out how to blink right when the camera takes pictures.
That, in all it's glory, was our February.

Valentine Cookie Bouquet

I forgot to take a picture of the completed bouquet- but I think I did pretty good for a first attempt. All in all I made 8 cookies- 4 of which were usable. 6 would have been usable but when I was changing B's diaper J decided to pull the sticks out of 2 of the cookies. I forgave him.....and a few days later I ate those ruined cookies :)

So I am not to sure of myself when it comes to frosting things- and I only had once chance to get this bouquet right so I decided to try sticking skittles (which I had in the cupboard) into a frosting that would harden. IT worked out quite well.

This one looks just like my kids!
We delivered the bouquet to Ken's work. Ken had seen a message about dropping something off at his work, so I was trying to trick him into thinking that the boys and I visiting was his surprise. I asked the receptionist for his company to take the bouquet up to his desk at the same time that Ken was on his way down to the front desk to get his surprise. And my little plan worked a little too well. J escaped while I was talking to the receptionist and made his way into the office of Corporate Events. They asked him who his Daddy was and then they called Ken and let him know his child was in their office. We discovered this just in time and I screamed to the receptionist that Ken was already on his way down. And just in time she was able to get the bouquet whisked away, it's secret was safe. Ken found J (still in the Corporate Events Office)- who had a sign that said "Hug Me" and then B toddled up to him with a sign that said "Kiss Me" and I had a sign that said "Be Mine" One of the Corporate Events employees said she wished she had a wife- she was very impressed with our signs. She didn't see the Bouquet! So Now I need to practice making and frosting cookies for bouquets. I will post more pictures of my next creations.

J's Swim Lessons

Every Tuesday and Thursday in February J and I made our way down to the American Fork Fitness Center and J had his very first swim lessons. I put him in the lowest level possible, Pre Level 1. The explanation of each level said this was perfect for 3 year old children and as J doesn't turn 4 until next month AND because he seems to have fear of getting his hair wet, I figured this would be the most appropriate class for him. I am 100% sure now that I was right. Today was the last day of class and my little J passed, with flying colors. Basically, he learned that he can blow bubbles in the water if he exhales below water. He learned how to float on his stomach and his back- with assistance.

 He learned that we use are arms and our legs when we swim and practices kicking and several arm movements. He learned that it is fun to jump into the water when there is an adult there ready to catch you. AND he learned that you can hold on to the side of the pool and that lifeguards aren't scary.

So now he can move on to Pre Level 2! Next week Baby B and I have a Mommy and Me swim class. I am hoping that starting B early will help him avoid the fear of putting my head below water that J still seems to struggle with. I am also hoping that neither of the boys suffer from the inability to move their limbs in appropriate ways while in the water, but watching J try to mimic his teachers arm movements today kind of leads me to believe that flailing arms is a family trait. :) Well Done J! He told me today on his way to class that he wants to be a "Diver Guy" I told him that was a wonderful goal- but I didn't tell him that Diver Guys have to put their heads under the water. :)

a J and Daddy Date

Ken and J went on a Date back in December :) I know, I'm late at posting, but they had tons of fun. Sadly I can't remember the name of the place they went- but even more sadly that place closed last month :( 
But it was a basically a place where kids could go and have fun playing and bouncing and parents could take advantage of free wifi. Here are some of the Highlights!

Why Yes, I am the total package, I can bring home the bacon AND fry it up in the pan!

Prince Charming will be with you, just as soon as he figured out how to mount his horse......
(I love that there is a kid flying right out of the frame)

On the Big Slide

Lunch! If I remember correctly, J didn't eat much. Luckily Ken was there to make sure the food didn't go to waste.

 J truly believes he can drive- and check it out, he can almost reach the peddles.

In celebration of Leap Day- tomorrow- I am going to take J and B to a similar place here in Utah County. Kangaroo Zoo- They are not closed AND most importantly I have a coupon!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

12 Years ago last week....

It's been 12 years since I returned home from Croatia. I loved my time there, I love the people there, I hope to someday return and bring my family with me. I think this song expresses well some of my  feelings and memories of my mission. The feeling of belonging in Croatia, the feeling of having the people and the land creep into my heart and become a part of me. 

This is the Star in Karlovac. I lived in Karlovac for about 12 months of the 16 months that I lived in Croatia and for the majority of that time I lived in an apartment that was about a block away from this part of the city. I love this city. I want to walk around in the park that surrounds the star (it is sunken- pretty sure it used to be a moat). I want to take them into the little dessert shops and cafes. I want to walk with them down the streets where I left little bits of my heart.

Svacicev Trg (each of the c's in there is actually ch sound), I attended church meetings at Svacicev Trg 3/1 when I lived in Zagreb. I think I spent an hour or two total in the park across the street from the church. I would like to spend some time there with my family.

But more than visiting and showing my family the places that I remember, the places that I love. I want to meet the people, because I loved them most of all. Here are just a couple- Bobi and Biba Saric (sharich). I hope they- and everyone else that I had the blessing of knowing (really all of you) know how much I truly do love them, and miss them, and hope the best for them.

Someday, someday I will return and bring my Love and my Babies to meet you and love you too. And when we are all together again, we will SING!

Monday, February 13, 2012


At times and in certain seasons of my life, I've kind of felt like an ugly duckling. I think that is a pretty common way to feel and I bet there are a lot of people who could and would say the same about themselves. I've never had amazing control over my body. I walk into walls- I see it, I know I should move to the left or right to avoid it, but there are times that I just can't before I hit that wall. I have bruises all the time and 99% of them I have no recollection of how they got there- but I am willing to bet that 99% of the time I also said "Well, that's going to bruise" when it happened. It's all good, it's that kind of lack of control that makes me ME!

Over the past few years of my life I have proven to myself that I can do hard things. I had a baby and I did it with out anesthesia. I knew I couldn't do it on my own so I found help and I prepared myself and in the end I had a baby. I did that. I'm proud of that. I decided that I was going to take control of my health and my weight. I figured out how I was going to do it, running. I set goals. I met those goals. I ran two half marathons last year (actually 4- I ran 13.1 miles just for fun a couple of times). I did that! I am proud of that. I started my own little business last year. A direct sales business. And Wow, it's hard for me. But I've learned a lot about myself. I've learned that I am pretty good at speaking to groups of strangers and I am pretty creative when it comes to accessorizing. I hate making phone calls to people who I am not sure want to talk to me- BUT- I don't think anyone likes doing that. Anyway. I LOVE when I can make people happy- and I seem to be able to, whether it be by teaching them how they can make one necklace work 3 or 4 different ways or helping them to get a whole bunch of jewelry for a little bitty amount of cash. I really like that. I'm proud of that.

And over the past year I feel like I've blossomed. Physically. I've gone from a size 14 to a size 6. I still don't wear make up too often (because I haven't figured out how to wear it and not feel like a toddler painted my face) but I look at myself and I say- "Hey, that's me!" I mentioned once before that I see in the mirror now what I always thought I looked like in my head. I match my self image now- and that's pretty fun. I've blossomed! Who would have thought a woman in her mid 3o's could? I never did.

So, that was last year. This year I set myself some new goals. Spiritual Goals, Physical Goals, Work Goals, even house Cleaning/Chore Goals. My Spiritual Goals are going along quite nicely, I think I'm doing okay with my Cleaning/Chore Goals. My Work Goals are taking a while to build up steam, which is getting a little frustrating, but I'm keeping the faith. And my Physical Goals are not being met. I pushed it too hard at the end of last year and I hurt my knee. It is very sad. It still hurts and I don't want to push it and injure myself even more so I have not run in close to 6 weeks. My knee still hurts, and I am not completely sure why. I was impressed a couple of weeks ago to start swimming. "Swimming is great exercise", my mind told me, "and it won't hurt your knee anymore than it already is. It will be a great complimentary exercise to have in your routine." It made sense. I was excited to start. I have NO IDEA how to swim but I saw lots of people doing it at the pool during J's swim lessons. How hard could it be?

Well, today I had a swim lesson. It's hard. I swallowed a lot of air and breathed in some water. I have a lot to learn. I kind of wanted to cry when I realized that it is gong to be a little bit harder than I had expected. But then (tender mercy) I had a cluster of thoughts and memories. I remembered that I can do hard things. I remembered that last year I blossomed. I thought, that wasn't an easy thing to do, blossoming, sometimes it hurt, but I did it. And you know what? Just like those pretty little fruit trees, I realized, I am going to blossom again this year. It's not a one time only deal. God didn't intend for me to have one good year and say "Ta Da! Kate has come into her own!" He intended for me to continually try to be a little bit better, a little bit stronger. And as long as I am striving, as long as I am proving to myself that I can do that next hard thing, I will find that each year I will blossom a little bit more.

And so on Wednesday I am going back to the pool and I will keep going because eventually my body will understand what I am asking it to do, eventually I will make it all the way across that 25 meter lap pool, and I haven't set the time for this goal yet- BUT at some point this year I will be able to swim 1650 yards ( which is a mile....and I am not sure how many laps of that 25 meter pool it would be but I'm sure it will feel like a million) That's my Swimming goal for this year. I know it's going to be hard, but I know I can do it. (But, if you get a chance, and you remember, maybe add me to your prayers over the next few weeks. Because there is still a chance I could drown.....just a little one)

So, those are the thoughts in my head today. Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Everybody's Changing

Today has been quite a day. My J started swim lessons today. I forgot the camera! Pictures will come later.

There are 6 students in his class and the other 5 are girls. J hates to wash his hair and will not attempt or even think about laying down in the tub. I felt like swimming lessons now would be a good way to prepare him for fun at the pool this summer, but I was quite nervous that he would freak out at least once during his lesson. I was wrong to be nervous. My little boy is a Champ! He had the time of his life. I watched him, mostly from a distance as I wandered around the pool with his baby brother. Baby B seemed convinced that he should also be in the water AND that if he just walked around the pool for long enough I would get bored and stop paying attention and he would be able to slip into the pool- his favorite place to attempt diving into the pool- the 8 foot section. B will get his turn, he is signed up for Mommy and Me swim lessons next month. So, as I wandered around the pool, contemplating the need for someone to watch B while I take J to his swim lessons, I saw J learning how to kick, playing ring around the roses,  and floating on his back- WITH NO SCREAMING. He refused to shower after the class was over, and gave me a heart attach when he disappeared in the locker room. I eventually found, I heard laughing coming from a long locker. I will check lockers first next time.

I read a lot of blog posts today, from both family and friends, I read mostly about sick little babies in hospitals. It made me sad and grateful. Grateful that I can hold my children, grateful that whatever medical issues we've had, they have been quickly dealt with. I'm grateful that I know that God Lives and that he cares, he loves me- even with all my imperfections and he loves those practically perfect children too. On one of those blog posts I read  a quote from Neal A Maxwell- "Faith also includes Trust in God's Timing". Why do babies get sick? Why did the contractors that built my home not build it to code? Why did God tell us so clearly that this is where we needed to be? Why am I completely unable to keep my house clean? Why won't my knee stop hurting? I know that these questions have answers, I may or may not ever know the answers but I have faith, I know God is good and he is watching over us and I have peace in my heart over most of those things (I cry a lot when I think about sick babies still, I think that is pretty normal for a mother, even though I am not the sick babies mother, I think lots of people would agree with that).

So today I had fun with my boys, I experiences tiny moments of pure joy with them. Then we came home to our messy house and the anxiety started to get to me. But I've been trying to do my best to tell it to go away. So my house is messy- so are lots of other homes. I have have children who know I love them and one of them told me today that I was his Favorite Mommy- my heart grew 10 sizes. I also made 6 pizza crusts and 24 mini pizza crusts (for the big game). And I listened to this song, over and over and over again.

I like this song a lot. I think the part that is resonating with me today is this

You're aching, you're breaking
And I can see the pain in your eyes
Says everybody's changing
And I don't know why

So little time
Try to understand that I'm
Trying to make a move just to stay in the game
I try to stay awake and remember my name
But everybody's changing
And I don't feel the same

It is sad to me, to watch my neighbors struggle. We have major issues to be dealt with, and some people won't be able to deal with them and feel or even know that they will have to leave, possibly in financial ruin, others don't want to even try. I know God lead us here for a reason and he has made it possible for us to stay here and feel comfortable about our situation. We may end up living in an unsalable house for the rest of our lives, but if we do I hope that I can continue to have faith in his timing and purposes.

So, hopefully I will get mess tamed- tonight or tomorrow, or next week. Hopefully. Until then I will try to remember that I am doing my best, and I will revel in the little moments of joy.