Friday, April 23, 2010

"When you are in Love you can't fall asleep because reality is better than your dreams." Dr Seuss

How do you say I love you? When I first talked with Amy on the phone I think we talked for three hours- and can I just say, falling in love with her, were some of the happiest moments of my life. So I don’t know about any of you, but somedays are not as easy as others; some weeks are not as easy as others. One thing I have learned being married to my wife is that I am one lucky guy.

I Say I love you to Amy all the time: when I am leaving for work, it’s the last think I say as I roll over to go to sleep each night. Yet somehow I never get tired of telling her these three little words. Most of the time they seem to get the point across, but every now and then I just don’t feel they really express what it is that I feel in my heart.

I love this amazing person, who some how is willing to put up with all the craziness that is me! I found someone that can make me laugh, someone I can share my fears with, someone to share my tears with. I know there are times when Amy is tired of all the sharing that Larkin and I expect from her, and yet somehow she finds something more to give us. I wish I had words to truly express how grateful I am to have such a wonderful woman to share my life with.

They say that a dream is a wish your heart makes, well if that is true, then Amy is the dream that I thought would never come true. And yet some how this dream has come true. Now like most dreams, not everything is roses, but I tell you what- I would rather suffer through all the yuckiness of the day to day with this woman at my side then to spend a minute with out her.

She does so much for me that I could fill pages if I started to write them down.

I was watching Larkin for maybe 20 minutes this afternoon, and let me just say...being a full time caregiver to this little 14 month ball of pure energy is HARD WORK!!! So just a shout out to all the Moms out there- I don’t know how you do it everyday.

I decided to make lunch, Larkin was crying and signing for "more" which she uses to mean "more food", "more water" or "more what ever it is that she wants". So I'm thinking ok so she is hungry, I am a chef I can handle this one.... ok so I know your smiling already but here goes, pull the stuff out of the fridge, close the door which only makes for more crying, pick up crying child, crying stops, set child down, return of crying... find snack for crying kid, it works as long as there are snacks in her bowl...ok kid is distracted and I think “you know what, I can do this”, make lunch, clean up my mess, speaking of mess why not empty the dish washer so I can put in the dirty dishes. I mean I come home every day and the whirl-wind (aka Larkin) is clean, happy, and in her pj's waiting for a story so I can put her in bed. So the kid is happy clean and full, the house is well… perfect I mean, Better Homes and Garden could come do a photo shoot, yet somehow in the five minutes that I have been watching Larkin books, pillows, toys are everywhere...she is crying and I feel like crying in the middle of grating cheese Larkin want to help me unload the dishwasher. She is happily playing with the once clean dishes...but I could care less, I mean all I have to do is put them back in the dishwasher. So I have maybe 4 minutes to put lunch together, load the top shelf of the dishwasher (out of Larkin's reach), run into the living room and put books, pillows, and toys back in their home, run back into the kitchen, check lunch on the stove, pick up the child who thinks it is taking entirely to long for her lunch to be ready and has let me know she is ready by holding onto my leg and you guessed it, more crying...If I hold her she is happy (how do you moms get anything done with just one hand?) ok finish lunch, put it on a plate and let it cool.... more crying...put her in her chair finally and she inhales the food.

Now let me just say I LOVE to watch Larkin she is so happy. She smiles and talks and once her tank is full again she is so much fun. While she is eating I am running around picking up the mess in the kitchen loading and closing the dishwasher, back to the living room for one final check...I am beat and so happy when Amy walks into the room. Being a MOM is hard work and after 20 minutes at it alone.... my hat is off to my lovely wife, who makes it all look so easy, who knows what Larkin needs before Larkin starts crying, who somehow has a clean house (I mean really how does she do it???) I love Larkin and had a blast tonight playing with her. She is so happy and is SO much fun to be with but I spent an hour cleaning the house up after she went to bed! So Amy, I hope you had a fun night out with the girls. I did my best to pick things up and somewhere between wiping the table for the 5th time today and restacking the same books for the 200th time today- I learned one more think to add to my list of things I love about you. You truly amaze me! Thanks for all you do- I love you


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Raindrops on Roses & Wiskers on Kittens

These are a few of Larkin's favorite things right now:

Climbing up and down stairs
Singing songs that have hand movements. All time favs: "The Wheels on the Bus", and "Slippery Fish"
Carrying around highlighters
Lip gloss (she doesn't wear it, but she pretends to put it on all day long!)
Soaking in the hot tub
Spinning in circles
Talking! Words she says all the time: "hi", "dad", "no", "yeah", "baby", "that", "doing", "yum"
Finding objects that mom hides all over the room
Pulling all the clothes out of the dresser and carrying them around the house
Helping to sweep and vacuum
Her pink blanket
Reading any papers we leave laying around
Talking on the phone
Pretending to cry :)
Yogurt and honey, strawberries, and pb&j
Sliding down slides
Helping to put on her lotion after baths

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Learning and Labels

Larkin's all about pointing to pictures of Scot and announcing proudly, "Dad!" This is one of her favorite new skills. She points to everyone in pictures and in person: boys, girls, mom, Jesus, grandparents, strangers, and labels them with a very satisfied, "Dad!" I try to praise her when she gets it right and give a new label for all the other people in her life even though I know she'll get it in time.

... so I'm standing in the kitchen holding Larkin while I put together a snack for her when she points to the fridge and says, "je-huh". I turn to see what she wants me to include on her plate and see that she is pointing to our fridge magnet with a picture of Jesus. I literally squealed with excitement! I could not believe my ears. Did my daughter just point to Jesus and say His name? For real!?! I tried and tried to get her to say it again, but I think my freak-out freaked her out. Then at church she walks over to a very large painting of the Savior hanging in one of the halls and points straight up at it. I picked her up and asked, "who is that Larkin?" Her reply ... "Je-dad!"

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Easter Came and Went

Easter was a little strange at our house this year. Larkin had no idea what all the fuss was about, but we headed to the park for a ward Easter egg hunt the weekend before Easter. She never figured out that there were little candy treasures inside each egg, but had a blast wondering around shaking her two little eggs.

We decorated a few eggs at our house. It was a fun little adventure until Larkin pulled the paper under the cups of dye and spilled blue dye all over the table. She is at that stage where she can really wreak havoc, but doesn't understand redirection. Fun.

Here is a photo of Scot and Larkin watching General Conference on our laptop on the Saturday before Easter. They are listening to the prophet. Larkin LOVES the "mo-tab"! She sings along with them every time the organ starts to play. She gets so excited!

We donned our bunny ears and did a little dancing before Scot headed off to work.

Once Scot was done with work we drove over to Petaluma to have dinner with family. It was such a fun evening and Easter!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

You Are What You Eat!

I sat down and watched the documentary: "Food, Inc." yesterday afternoon. The dvd has been laying around my house for two or so weeks and needed to be returned to it's owner. So my cinematic adventure began out of duty more than desire as I curled up during Larkin's nap time and prepared myself for a little information absorption.

I was shocked and disgusted and inspired all at the same time. I was shocked by some of the information that was presented. I am a bit of a germ-phobe, so most of the information regarding bacteria and contamination was old news for me, but the images of the animals and the workers being so mistreated in an attempt to fill the pockets of a few major food distributors was disgusting to me! A picture really is worth a thousand words!

A point that was mentioned in the film was that every time we purchase an item and slide it past the scanner at the grocery store we are casting a vote. We vote for convenience and chemical "upgrades", or for wholesome quality products. Money is always a factor in eating foods that are more pure. But with 1 in 3 children born after 2000 having to fight a battle with diabetes it seems like the price is worth it in the long run.

Having a chef as a husband makes the line between good food and food that is good for you a little blurry at times. It is going to be a tricky mission to eat low salt, low sugar, low fat, and organic in our home.

Truth: There is a part of me that really wants to be a hippy (not the love-in kind of hippy, but the organic, no makeup, crazy hair, free spirited kind of hippy). Maybe hippy is the wrong word, but hopefully you get the idea. I always get caught up in a "keeping up with the Jones' " mentality, but the problem is you can never keep up. You are always a step behind. I want to be free of this constant need to consume. I want to fill my days with family and friends and moments that have nothing to do with what I'm wearing, what I'm eating, or how my house is decorated ... I want to go backwards instead of always feeling like I have to keep up. I am going back to my roots, back to all the simple things that make me happy, back to food and music and pastimes that fill me up and make me feel better for having allowed myself to pause and enjoy them. I digress ...

Moral of the story ... I am on a mission. As far as food goes, I may only be able to take baby steps to get to my goal, but if we are what we eat, then I am terrified that I don't even know who I have become. I am going to take it one meal at a time and make a major effort to keep my family healthy. Wish me luck!

FYI: If you feel a need to watch the documentary "Food, Inc.", I recommend watching it away from any little kids. There are some very graphic scenes of animal cruelty which are not appropriate for tiny viewers!