Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Have it all. And sacrifice some too. But you can have it all. If you sacrifice some too.

Picture this:
You see her in the grocery store (this is an all natural foods store, she is very nutritionally minded of course) picking out some produce. She has twins in the shopping cart and is on her blackberry. She doesn’t look like she has ever had twins, in fact, she is a registered aerobics/zumba/kickboxing teacher and she can make you cry like a little baby only 15 minutes into her workout. But don’t get your hopes up; you notice this fitness guru’s gym bag has a well worn copy of Flaubert’s Madame Bovary stashed inside. She has a perfect French twist and is rocking a well tailored suit with black heels.

You overhear a bit of her conversation and realize she is going between two conversations, one about her daughter’s school project and the PTA bake sale; the other is about some legal documents that need to be faxed over in time to make a deadline. She is obviously in charge in both conversations.

According to cultural norms in the United States and most other westernized countries, this woman is an ideal image of the woman who “has it all.” She has attained a good education, good job, functioning family, good level of fitness, and material ease. So the question of the day is, does she really exist? And if she doesn’t, why does this ideal resonate so easily? Why can we picture her and label her the ideal without much mental strain?

I read an article this past week in Utah Valley BusinessQ that gave me pause to consider the subconscious and conscious dialogue taking place among women. It is a bit confusing and full of contradictions. Tell me what you can glean about how these women in business view themselves and what broader implications this has for women in general:


The article begins on pg. 34, “Roundtable: Women in Business.”

Friday, December 11, 2009

Charlie Brown: I guess you were right, Linus. I shouldn't have picked this little tree. Everything I do turns into a disaster. I guess I really don't know what Christmas is all about.
[shouting in desperation]
Charlie Brown: Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?
Linus Van Pelt: Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.
[moves toward the center of the stage]
Linus Van Pelt: Lights, please.
[a spotlight shines on Linus]
Linus Van Pelt: "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'"
[Linus picks up his blanket and walks back towards Charlie Brown]
Linus Van Pelt: That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

We're getting to that time of the month where we fear high expectations, low funds and inadequate preparation/time will make for a less than wonderful Christmas. That is why I am grateful that tonight we sat down and watched A Charlie Brown Christmas. It doesn't get given to you much more clearly than that. So tonight I am excited for Christmas because, if nothing else, it can remind me of the greatest gift ever given; one that despite the grandeur and majesty of it, is given to me and the rest of the world.
A very merry Christmas indeed.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

18 months and counting

18 months. How the time flies. I think I'll die when he turns 2.
Henry has been and continues to be the boss of the house but I like to think he is a benevolent little dictator. Thank goodness he is a pretty tidy one too. He is great about picking up his toys whenever I ask and even cleans up on his own sometimes. He went through a phase where he had to wipe his hand on a napkin during dinner any time they got any food on them at all. Mildly OCD? Yep. Thats how I know he is my son.
He loves dressing up. Mommy and Daddy's shoes, mommy's hair clips and bands, his halloween costume...pretty much anything he can get his hands on.
His talking is getting better and its so cute to hear him try to say new words. Sometimes he gets a little lazy though and when you ask him to say something he just rambles off some noise that sounds nothing like it and smiles. My favorite words are: turtle, "durdle" please, "teeease" thank you, "tank you", and I love you "I uhv ooo"
We went to his doctors appointment a few weeks ago and the poor baby had to get five shots (seasonal flu and H1N1 shots added to immunizations). He was not a happy camper for the next few days with flu symptoms and all. It was also a "perfect storm" because one of the first things the doctor asked me when he walked in was, "what are you feeding him?" Turns out he is still only around 20lbs and has moved down to 2nd percentile for his height to weight ratio. I swear I try to feed him but he sometimes just won't eat. He likes to pretend eat (gets out a bowl, spoon and sits at his little table pretending and saying yum yum but when I give him food..."NO NO NO!"). Well anyhow, the doctor told me to start giving him these instant breakfast shakes. I told him we tried that before but he consistently refused them. So he recommended a different brand and adding vanilla ice cream in it even for breakfast. Well, I started getting nervous about feeling like he isn't getting enough but with the flu symptoms he was not feeling like eating and it lead to many tears and "food fights." Well, fast forward a few weeks and he is eating a little better but still not well. He drinks tons of milk and some of the shake, but if anyone has any advice on getting this little guy to eat, I'd appreciate it. =)
Oh and as I look at all the pictures I realize he has his paci in all of them. We're working on him having it only at nap and bed time. He isn't too happy about it so far, but little by little I guess it'll be better.
Other than that Henry seems to be doing pretty good. Running around, dancing and playing like crazy. I sure hope he doesn't go nuts during winter here.
We sure do love having this funny, strong, sweet little boy in our family. Heres to Henry!

Halloween-better late than never

Oh, Halloween. Not a holiday I love but we tried to make it a good day. We made cookies, watched a Yo Gabba Gabba Halloween video, took Henry to the park and dropped off some cookies to friends.
Henry was a little turtle and continues to put the jacket part of the costume on pretty frequently and loves when you call him turtle or as he says, "durdle"
Happy Halloween.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thank you.

Sundays can be very difficult days. I think like a lot of parents I have had the thought, "why am I even at church." Henry acts up and then the stares and annoyed looks begin and don't end until the third hour ends and we're on our way home.
Now, I don't think Henry is particularly bad. He wants to walk around and he gets mad when he can't climb on the chairs etc. But we sit in the back and if a family looks annoyed by his walking by we move him away; we take him out if he screams loudly more than once. We are trying to keep him in as much as possible though because we don't want him to think church is just going and playing in the foyer and we want to hear our meetings as much as possible, thats just our parenting decision whether it seems good or bad to anyone else.
Well, on one Sunday after a particularly bad Sunday I was gearing up for the stares when a pleasant surprise came on the chair next to me.

"Whats your name?" Says the little girl named Makala in the drawing. She drew a line for Henry to write his name on. Then for the rest of sacrament meeting this sweet girl and her two brothers drew Henry pictures and passed them to him while playing with him and holding him. They were so sweet and I was so grateful to not be stared at for at least one hour while these adorable and kind children helped Henry get through sacrament meeting. But of course they didn't just help him as I'm sure you've guessed. Thank you dear, sweet kids.

Above: Henry and one of the little boys are killing a monster.

Above: Henry's house on Halloween.

Above: jumping on the trampoline

Playing basketball.

Just five of about 10 the kids drew for him including his own little "Henry book"
Too cute.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dear moms...

It seems winter is approaching ever so quickly in Provo, UT which has left me to ponder a very big question: What the heck are Henry and I going to do without being able to go outside?!
So, dear moms who have made it through a winter or two with toddles, what can we do to keep from going crazy? Thanks!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

No, no, NO, nooo

I took this video about a month ago while my mom was here visiting and Henry's favorite word was still, "no." Don't get me wrong, he still loves when he can say no to things but he's definitely mellowed with it. He likes to watch this video and mimic himself especially with the last question. I guess there are some things that even a lover of the word "no" cannot resist.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The BIG boo boo

With Henry's desire to climb, jump,stand on the edge of everything and ignore large objects in front of him, he is no stranger to boo boos. He has had his fair share of bruises, scrapes and so forth. But about three weeks ago he got his first 'this is freaking me out, should I take him to the emergency room' boo boo. I'm pretty sure had my mom not been here visiting, I would have been a teary eyed mess sitting in an emergency room for a ridiculously long time with a confused little boy. So what exactly happened? he came running into the kitchen, slipped and hit his head at a terrible angle on the corner of the wall. And then came the blood, the freaking out (mostly me), the reassuring (my mom) and then the frozen vegetables on the head (Henry). I can't believe how quickly Henry calmed down, it seemed like the worst part for him was having that bag of vegetables on his forehead. Poor guy.
I think what still drives me the most crazy is the fact that there are some accidents I will just never be able to prevent just like the one mentioned above. Then again, I guess there are always those crazy baby helmets, right Candace?
So without further adieu, here are some pictures of the damage:

*There was a family in my old homeward who has a "Boo Boo Scrapbook" where there were pictures of almost every injury a family member had. Is that weird? I think that might actually be kind of funny to have.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Henry and the real boy

Henry and the real boy:
For Johann's birthday I always try to have a pinata. The fact that Mexican Independence Day is the same date as Johann's birthday is helpful. This year the least beat up one left the morning of Johann's birthday was an Ernie from Sesame Street look alike. After pulling it down Henry got very indignant with the idea that I would have Ernie sitting in the cart and refused to be placated until he was riding in the seat of the cart next to him.
Once we got to the car, same story. Henry was horrified when I tried to put Ernie in the trunk, so he held him while in his car seat.
When we got home Henry took Ernie and climbed up on the couch and watched an episode of Super Y together. After the show was over Henry was dragging Ernie around and showing him his toys while I went into the kitchen to finish Johann's cake and then "AHHHHH" Henry screamed and ran up to me pointing in horror at a face planted Ernie. Once Ernie was upright again, all was fine.

During Henry's nap I (now in retrospect) stupidly hung Ernie up for Johann's party. Yeah, reaction when he got up from his nap-not so good. "Ermy down! Down! Down!" I guess I would be mortified to see my new best friend strung up too. So down he came and Johann obviously didn't bash him to smithereens ( can you imagine the horror?) to retrieve his mexican candy.

After two weeks the papers coming off of "Ermy" were starting to drive me nuts so I finally gave him the heave ho, don't worry, Henry seems to have adjusted fine. But now the question stands, if he is perfectly happy with a pinata brother, do I really need to have anymore kids? ;-)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Henry, Henry, Henry.

As you probably noticed from earlier, Henry has done a lot of growing over the past summer. I'm also happy to report that it looks like teeth 5,6, 7 and possibly 8 are on their way-hallelujah-maybe even a molar or two but I'll not get my hopes up. Poor kid has been trying to gum all his food for a very long time. He is a funny kid and currently loves: playing at the park (will now go down the slide by himself); sitting on chairs at the table like the adults; "reading" in his book box; going on walks; doggies; duckies; elephants; putting his clothes in the hamper and wrappers and paper in the trash can.
Though I miss being in school, staying home with Henry is the right thing for us right now and though challenging at times I am getting less uptight about toy messes and he is becoming quite a fun little guy.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

September Birthdays!

September and February are always busy months with back to back birthdays in the family. February Natalie (Johann's sister) and I celebrate our birthdays and in September Bryan (Natalie's husband) and Johann celebrate theirs.
First we celebrated Bryan's birthday on the 4th with pizza, presents, pass the pigs and cake.

"Party Central"

Henry giving Uncle Bryan some birthday love

Probably Bryan's favorite gift of the night: two tickets to see Blink 182 compliments of his great wife Natalie.

Birthday victory achieved.

Twelve days later we celebrated Johann's birthday with dinner, presents, green cake and Beatles Rock Band:

Johanns Birthday morning discovery

I told him to look surprised...I think he was mocking me.

After Johann got home from school we took some time to go play at the park.

Johann requested a green birthday cake and so I made one. He said it kind of looked like a goosebumps cake.

Bryan and Natalie at Red Robin for Johann's birthday dinner

Birthday boy and family

Henry is a regular Beatle huh?

Bryan got an Ethier shirt and Johann got a Pierre one so now they can be matchy matchy. Tender.

If the guitar was turned around he would have looked like he was rocking pretty hard.

Celebrating birthdays are great! Hopefully Bryan and Johann enjoyed them thoroughly, I know I am thoroughly glad to have been able to celebrate them together!

Since we've been in Utah

Before school started for Johann we decided to take Henry for his first trip to Temple Square:

Pioneer log cabin

Church History museum, Johann is napping in one of the beds from a boat that brought converts from England to America.

I don't know if this area has existed for long in the museum but they now have a childrens section. Henry LOVED it. Above he is in the nursery play area.

Having fun in the rocking chair

Touching a part of President Hinckley's walnut tree

Henry the Shepard. He really liked his robe and kept it on the majority of the time he was there.

Walking the straight and narrow path.

He really liked carrying around the "River of Filthy Water" sign...

Henry giving a conference talk

A display of all that President Hinckley has done.

Salt Lake Temple

Henry slapping me in the face while trying to take a picture in front of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building...motherhood is always so tender...haha.

Reflection pond

We've been enjoying morning walks, Henry is all ready to go!

Henry is ready to head to school

Really back at BYU and embracing it.