Monday, March 31, 2008

My Girly Girl

Cami has inherited (from me) the inability to properly moisturize her hands. So, I took her to a nail salon this morning to get a professional to tell her how important it is to care for her skin. She loves getting her nails painted at home, but having a professional manicure was a completely new experience. I think she was a little awed, because she was pretty quiet.

I'm impressed with my girl: instead of requesting six different colors of polish, she picked out a tastefully pale, milky pink. But her favorite part is the little flower stickers that the manicurist added to the mix (thankfully, only one flower per hand). And now, if my objective is met, she'll actually do what I ask when I tell it's time for lotion.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The View

Perhaps it's because I don't often wear jewelry -- the only visible "conversation piece" I offer (not that it's my choice to offer it), is being nine months pregnant.

So, the things random people said to me today are as follows:

"You look ready to pop."

"It won't be long now, huh?"

"You're a very pretty pregnant lady."

Can you guess which one I like best?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Never, dear one, never

My younger sister is planning to go into the City tomorrow, following a brief visit at my house. Cami, of course, knows that the original plan was to meet Christel at the Statue of Liberty, but that plan had to change. But knowing that Christel is going to New York creates a different level of begging -- because the City is one of Cami's favorite places on the planet. And I'm not sure we've done any adventures there since I became pregnant. So, she's gone through her 9+ month withdrawal and needs a hit of New York High.

While Jason, Cami, and I were discussing reasons for going with Christel versus reasons for staying home, Cami posed an interesting question that Jason immediately suggested I share:

When does New York close?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sounds of Spring

Graham and I spent a couple of hours outside today. While he was playing with a neighbor's fishpond, I used a nearby telephone pole as a leaning post. I closed my eyes & just listened. It was weird, because I didn't initially realize I was listening to the world.

But a Saturday morning (Sabbath for many of our neighbors) has far less traffic on the street, far fewer trains running to New York, and far fewer planes on their way to Newark. And I was outside, so there weren't the noises that we create: the radio playing, the computer running, the bread machine stirring. And so I listened to two distinct bird calls. And paid attention to the the wind on my face, as I heard wind chimes ringing. And heard the sounds of Graham splashing. Not a bad way to get outside my head.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Dr. J

Last week Cami told Jason that he needed to become the kind of doctor that helped hurt & sick kids. His response was something like "I don't think I want to be in school for another ten years. And then after I was done being gone all the time at school, you'd never see me because I'd be gone all the time at work."

Well, that didn't stop my wonderful husband from becoming Dr. Jason Turner, Ph.D. Yea! The dissertation is defended & he is officially employable! Now his purpose in life is to write books & teach other people how not to be employed. . .ah, the good life.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cami Quotes

Jason's sister & her family were here the past two nights. Her munchkins are 11 months older & 11 months younger than Cami, which made for some funny Cami moments.

Cami showing her chess set to Theron (age 6) and Rebekah (age 4)
Theron: I don't know the rules to play chess.
Cami: My dad teached me . . . but I don't know either.

Cami to Theron, after passing through the second security screening at Liberty Island
Cami: I see them! I see the doors to the Statue of Liberty!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Did you hear that?

For reasons completely unrelated to the movie release of "Horton Hears a Who," my munchkins have been watching the original cartoon daily for the last few days. Cami fast forwards the parts that make her nervous (and there are quite a few of those), while Graham is content to watch it in its entirety.

Jason was playing with the kids on the sofa, while I ate a late-ish lunch today, when he called out, "Starr, did you hear that?"


"Graham just pointed to the flower on Cami's dress and said, 'It's a Who.'"

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Second Chances

On the "bonus features" of Jonah -- A VeggieTales Movie, there is a suggested family-building activity to create "Second Chance Cards." Cami has wanted to do this for weeks and I've kept it in the back of my mind for a future Family Home Evening activity. But her patience wore thin & yesterday she pulled out her art supplies.

She didn't quite get the original concept, which was when one messes up, to give the offended party your second chance card as a way of saying, "Please forgive me and give me a second chance." Instead, she colored pictures (and I did one, too), laminated them with packing tape, and gave them to everybody. She wants us to return them when we mess up with her.

Well, she gets mine. After putting effort into making today a pretty good day (took her & Graham to a farm, invited her friend over & baked cookies, let her play at the kids-next-door's house) she threw a bender. I didn't feel angry, but I wasn't loving when I let her know that I'd done a lot of stuff to make her happy & wasn't appreciative of the tantrum she was throwing.

We had a talk afterward and tried to apologize to each other. And I think she believes me, because when she was going to bed she asked me how my "love tank" was full. It's full because I know that even though I don't match my mental picture of who I should be I did well today at letting my kids be who they want to be.

Monday, March 10, 2008

That just spilled right out there, sir

My kids are having trouble with apple juice lately. Cami, who has been pouring out liquids for at least three years, insisted on pouring her own juice on Saturday. I don't think she could see how much she was pouring, though, because when the cup hit brimful, she just kept going. As a puddle spread across the floor, she uttered the first intentional "swear" word of her life, "SNAP!"

Graham's approach is slightly more deliberate. When he drinks his fill, he turns a cup over & empties it out onto the floor (which makes me grateful we have a carpet steamer -- which we keep in the dining room). Tonight, Cami's supper time juice wasn't taken to the kitchen when the meal was done, so he took it upon himself to empty it, both down his throat & onto the floor. All I could say was, "You can't even pretend that was an accident" when I heard his softly muttered, "Whoops!"

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Chocolate chip cookies for breakfast is a sure sign I'm depressed

For a really amazing reason, we didn't have Family Home Evening on Monday. It showed all week long. So, by Friday night, we were not a happy crew. Jason made pizza for supper which Cami declared "yucky" and which burned Graham's mouth. We all ended up crying or angry.

So, even though it was yet again past the kids' bedtime, we decided to have FHE right then. And I knew exactly what we needed to talk about: the Word of Wisdom. Cami knows all the "don't eat/drink that" rules and will comment when she knows that an adult is drinking a coffee. (I am both proud & embarrassed when then happens.) But we hadn't talked about the "these are the things to make the priority of your diet" items, at least not recently.

Nor had we been eating that way. I'd spent a chunk of Friday afternoon drowning my sorrows in Jelly Bellies. Graham was asking for "i ceam" for breakfast, snacks, and supper. And Cami was following suit, although she accepted that we'd eaten all the ice cream in the house & was demanding Sprite.

So, we had a five minute FHE lesson about how fruits & veggies are the best things for our bodies. About how they are the best snacks, along with breads and other grains. . .as long as they haven't been processed beyond recognition or loaded with "Nuke-a-tella" (I love it when Cami mispronounces that). And how meats help our bodies grow, but shouldn't be eaten exclusively.

I cut up some pears, apples, and carrots, which we munched on during the lesson & I could feel the positive effect of good food on myself & see it in the kids. We all went to bed feeling better about the world & each other. Early (for normal people -- late for us) Saturday morning we all went to the grocery store & when we left, Cami asked what good foods we had gotten. She's asking for fruits for snacks and hasn't even asked if I bought more ice cream when we were at the store.

Things aren't back to their mostly-happy status (I blame sleep deprivation), but they are on the upswing. Now I just have to figure out supper & get the kids to bed.

Friday, March 7, 2008

The clothes make the baby?

I realize I posted about thirty minutes ago, but that was because I promised myself this morning that I'd do a cute-kid post. Now it's time for me to get express the utter frustration I have going baby girl clothes shopping.

Other people relish the experience, I know. "Oh, look how cute this is!" "Look how tiny!" "See that sweet little outfit!" etc.

My problem, I realize is two-fold. Maybe it's a tri-fold. (My mother would get that joke.) Problem #1. I don't like really "bright" colors or busy patterns. I walked into Gymboree this morning and felt like I'd walked into Oz. Problem #2. I like boys clothes better than girls. Give me a soft blue over just about anything and I'm happy. Problem #3. (See, it is a tri-fold) The girls' clothes I find tasteful are really expensive. I have difficulty spending money on baby clothes that I know are going to be spit up on twenty seconds after they are put on and grown out of a month after birth. And since we're moving across the ocean to a different climate, I don't feel it's wise buy clothes for next winter (the tasteful items that are actually affordable) and then pay to transport them.

All of this leaves me with one choice: Nearly New. I found great stuff for Graham there & I can pray that their selection of baby girl clothes will match what I found in the boys' section two years ago. Now the trick is going there sans kids. Wish me luck.


Graham has hit the "talking on the phone" stage. He loves to say "Hi" to whomever, whenever the phone rings. But today he brought me the phone & told me to talk. So I pretended. After about a minute he asked who I was talking to.

"Grandma. Do you want to talk?"

"Huh," with a nod.

"OK. Say 'Hi' to Grandma."

"Hi, Grandma and Grandpa!"

Oh, life in the age of speaker phones.

Monday, March 3, 2008

I thought I was supposed to do that. . .

Cami is friends with a girl down the street named Kathryn. They love each other intensely. . .when they are apart. Lately, they've both shown a lot of possessiveness when it comes to sharing toys. While playing outside today, Kathryn showed a distinct preference for a toy that comes in pink -- which, of course, was the color Cami wanted. I didn't even try not to laugh when Cami exclaimed, "She's ruining my life!"