March 16, 2018

My baby, my best friend, my Peter boy is TWO!

CLICK HERE to watch a video of the past year with him.

Some of my favorite things about Peter right now: 

He is still scared of the "bacuum," but loves to pretend to be one.. he crawls around with his head down on the floor growling. He also likes to pretend other things like straws, a bike pump, really any toy, is a vacuum. Last week he vacuumed the whole park with a PVC pipe he found.

He is always telling me "Mama turn ___ (whatever he wants me to do)" One of the best ones lately is "Mama turn get in crib." He loves when I climb in his crib to play. And he climbed/fell out of his crib last week! All the sudden one morning he was at my bedroom door crying. He wasn't hurt, but I think it spooked him because he hasn't tried it again.

Still obsessed with trucks and "truck show" on YouTube - basically any terrible video about bulldozers, excavators ("digger trucks"), garbage trucks, etc set to awful music. I tried showing him Cars and Bob the Builder, but he loves the weird YouTube videos the most.

Playing outside, always, even in the snow. He loves to put on his big, blue snowsuit, but can't ever keep his mittens ("glubs") on for long.

He loves nursery! This is a big one for me - it has made my Sundays happy again. Sometimes when I go to drop him off he says, "Mama, go bye bye." Got it, you're with your friends, I'll just go..

One thousand percent in love with his cousin Lydia. She can do know wrong in his eyes, and his entire body lights up when he sees her. 

Books! He really could read books all day. Right now we're getting into longer, non-board books. He loves Goldilocks and the Three Bears (the copy we have belonged to my grandma and my heart bursts every time we read it), Ferdinand, and Tiki Tiki Tembo. He also loves listening to Stefan tell him stories like The Three Little Pigs. He knows just when to say, "chinny chin chin!"

Honestly I think his communication is insanely impressive. Stefan and I can probably take a tiny bit of credit, but most of it really is due to Peter wanting to learn and get words right and express himself and understand. He is so smart and I tell him all the time - to the point that he has started telling me right back. "Peter really 'mart."

He loves to tell our Amazon Echo, "Lexa! Round a round!" So then I have to say, "Alexa, play Wheels on the Bus" so it actually knows what to do..

He loves to have "party dancing" aka dance parties, and he has got some moves. He loves when we spin him around, and we also do a lot of "rin da po" ... Ring Around the Rosy. He has mastered "the trick" - basically the start of a somersault, with his hands, head, and one foot on the ground, then the other foot up in the air. A couple times he has actually been going fast enough to push himself over and do the somersault!

He thinks it is so funny to say that he is Daddy or Mama or an animal because he knows he isn't really. His imagination grows all the time and he is really starting to understand how to pretend.

When we need to clean up he sings the little song they learn in nursery - "clean up, clean up, e'r-body.."

He loves to run fast, take bubble baths, and play with his Cozy Coupe, trucks, and Duplos.

He loves macaroni and cheese, fruit snacks, and milk. He loves guacamole too, and when he tries to say it, it comes out some combination of "guacamole," "macaroni," and "broccoli." Guacalamoni or something.

He likes to snuggle up to his space heater or with a big blanket and say, "nish a warm."

Actually he says the sound "s" more like "sh" for a lot of words - when he's having a treat or some food he loves he'll do this awesome laugh and go, "showww yummy!"

I could go on and on and on and on, I love him so much! Happy Birthday, Peter.

February 09, 2018

Today feels like spring. Today feels so good.

Last month I almost lost my mind. Stefan was gone a lot, I was sick, Peter was needy, there was really nothing going on but you know how sometimes that makes things worse? I felt so lonely and just.. bad. I felt bad. Which was sad because January has so much potential to be a really feel good, start fresh kind of month. 

I was desperate to make something happen. I needed to make time for myself, I wanted to feel more fulfilled in some way - feel like I was contributing to my family and to the world - I needed to be a better mom. 

It had been a couple months since I started trying to substitute teach. I really liked doing it, but it was hard to make it happen with Peter. Who wants to watch my kid for eight hours straight? I tried to find days Stefan was working from home so someone else could watch him in the morning and then bring him back home to Stefan for an afternoon nap. It sounded simple, but always ended up feeling like a little too much work on everyone else's part to make it worth it. Then my sister heard about an elementary school that needed more reading aids to come work with students for a few hours each week. I met with the principal and it all seemed really doable and just what I needed and today I finished my first week! 

Honestly it feels like a miracle. I'm at the school for an hour and a half max, four days a week. And I'm convinced I was paired with the sweetest third graders ever - I am not a kid person so this is big. So far finding a place for Peter to play for a couple hours in the morning has basically been done for me, thanks to people who have straight up volunteered to have him over? He has so much fun playing with cousins and friends - we've moved on from the crying when I leave phase - and he RUNS to me with the biggest smile when I come to pick him up! So we've entered the me crying when I come to pick him up phase.. I love him so much! Having a short break from each other where we both get to go socialize and be our own person has been so, so good for both of us.

Not surprisingly, Stefan saw this problem coming years before it did. I remember him asking me when we were still in school if I was sure I didn't want to work after graduation. I was so sure. And I don't even think this was a situation where I was refusing to recognize something about myself - which happens embarrassingly often.. - I really think I was convinced I would be fine staying home with our kids full time. And I still think someday I could be! But lately I've been learning to recognize phases for what they are and to be okay with them. In this phase of my life our new set-up feels right. I don't expect it to last forever, but man am I grateful for it right now. 

Needing my own space and time for myself is a big part of my personality. I don't want to work full time and be away from Peter all day, but I also don't feel guilty about this very part-time job. Someday I think I'd love to have a similar schedule where I take the time for myself to work on art more regularly. Someday.

But today, today felt good. The weather was so nice after I picked Peter up from our neighbor's house that we played outside for over an hour. And I was excited to do it! And I really played with him! And at one point he told me, "Mama turn! Fast!" (Mama's turn to run fast) So I ran fast ahead of him and looked back to see him running fast behind me and we were both laughing and it makes my heart hurt to think about how happy I was in that moment.

2018 GOAL

January 06, 2018

Last year my resolution was to develop my talents, and if I'm being honest I feel so good about what I was able to accomplish. I learned a lot about digital art and using Illustrator and getting things printed. I made a bunch more family videos. I ran a ton and actually started running faster and ran a marathon. I started teaching myself piano. I wasn't sure I would accomplish anything solid because my goal wasn't very solid. But in the end I felt really, really good about last year - at least in that specific area.

This year my resolution is even more vague. I guess my goal is to be intentional. I want to focus better on the things I actually care a lot about. I care about continuing to grow in all those areas I did last year. I care about my family. I care about my Savior and my faith and my church and my service there. I care about my home and my neighbors and my friends. So maybe my resolution is to not waste time and just do the things I always have on my to-do list. To put my money where my mouth is. 

Six days into the year and I'm doing really well, even though I almost hate to admit the reason why.. I haven't looked at instagram this week and I've looked at facebook a lot less than I normally do. It has helped me to not waste time, and it has also helped me to feel better about myself. Hopefully I can find a good balance because I don't want to go without social media forever. For right now this feels really good. I've been so productive and I think I've connected better with at least a couple people. I feel.. lighter? Does that sound so dumb? Why would instagram make me feel.. heavy? I think it just feels like one more thing to do - I need to check it all the time and I need to keep up with what I see everyone else doing when I check it. Instead I'm trying to check in with myself more and make sure I'm doing what I want to be doing.

I also get that this might sound dumb to some people who don't have the same struggle. But for whatever reason - my generation, my personality, a mix of several different factors I'm sure - this feels like it's going to be a big deal for me in a really good, healthy way.