Thursday, August 27, 2009

Precious Moments

Last night Ben took Audra out to mow the lawn so I got some time with Claire. Here is what we did:
Not very flattering pics of me, I know, but look at how high her head is! We stared at each other like this for about 5 minutes, and those are moments I never want to forget. What a precious, precious girl!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Give Up!

Though some of you (mom) disagree, I have given up on potty training (see post below). A friend of mine reminded me that I needed to trust my instincts, and my instincts are telling me to wait a little while longer. This was brought about after I had her sit on the potty for over a half hour while watching video of herself and NOT going potty, then as soon as I bring her over to the table for a snack going potty in her pants. Plus, she didn't mind having wet pants- so that didn't help. We will try again in a month or two- but for now, back to diapers!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

On To Fun Stuff

Feel free to continue commenting on the post below, but I promised an update on the two cutest girls, so here goes.

I am attempting to potty train Audra and that is not going well. I started yesterday and almost quit but my mom insisted I needed to persevere. The thing is, I don't want this to be a battle. She is still young and I don't want to rush her- I want this to be her accomplishment, not mine. But, she had been showing an interest- making her bears go potty and such- so I thought I would give it a try. But yesterday she started crying about sitting on the potty and she didn't want to wear her underwear. Today did not go any better- 5 accidents, no successes. I'll try again tomorrow, but if it doesn't go better then I think I will put her back in diapers and wait a couple more months. Any thoughts from more experienced moms?
In other news, we got a huge box filled with Build-a-Bears from a friend of a friend, and Audra has just been in Heaven playing with them.

Then last week one of my best friends came into town for the week to help with the girls. It was so wonderful to have her here!!! I, and the girls, miss her- come back, Adina! One day I took her to see Garden of the Gods, and Audra had a fantastic time- and looked so cute!She kept going and climbing on the rocks and then coming over and saying, "more rocks please. More rocks."

Claire is still doing great. She LOVES the Moby Wrap, but the only problem is that she pretty much needs to be in the Moby Wrap or held to sleep- this includes at night. We had a similar situation with Audra. Basically, Claire sleeps on my stomach at night and I hope that I don't roll over on top of her. But, I actually feel quite rested despite this. I don't ever actually "get up" with Claire because she is right there, so that is nice, and she falls right back to sleep- whereas Audra would wake up and refuse to fall back asleep so I would be up for hours at a time with her. One other thing about the wrap is that I really do feel incredibly bonded with Claire- despite not having as much one-on-one time with her as I did with Audra. It's really cool. I'll post more pictures of her soon- I need to take a lot more!!!

One last thing. Some of you have been worried about Ben's job upon hearing Lockheed was laying off several hundred employees. While we are very sorry to those who are losing their jobs, we are also grateful that we are not affected. These lay-offs are occurring in the Space program area of Lockheed, and that is not what Ben does. So at least for now Ben continues to have a job- thank goodness for the blessings of tithing.

Stop The Ignorance!!!

This was on the Political Moms site and I thought I would put it here as well because it is so frustrating! (Plus, some of you like to listen to my political rants, and if you don't, you just don't have to read it:))

I am not necessarily a Barney Frank fan. I don't know much about him, don't really care to- BUT, after seeing this, he has jumped sky high on my likeability meter.

I know some of you don't like Obama- in fact, probably most of you reading this are not fans. That's fine- in America, we can choose sides, and that's a wonderful thing about America. But, to call him Hitler and people who like him Nazi's is the most repugnant and ignorant statement you**

can make, so I am thrilled that Barney Frank finally stood up to this nonsense!

You all know I didn't like Bush. But I never said he was Hitler. I am not a fan of John McCain, but I never said he was a Nazi. I can't stand Sarah Palin, but I never compared her to the Gestapo. Why have I never done that? BECAUSE THERE IS NO COMPARISON. Neither of these people ever mass murdered their own people. None of them ever pulled anybody's brain out of their nostrils while they were still breathing. None of them ever killed a child in front of their parents- or worse, made the mom decide which child of hers would live and which would die. And guess what. OBAMA HASN'T DONE ANY OF THOSE THINGS EITHER- AND NEITHER HAVE HIS SUPPORTERS!

Our society tosses around the term "Nazi" as if we are capable of understanding how horrible they were and what they really did. From the Soup-Nazi on Seinfeld to students calling their strict teachers Nazis, it is a repulsive trend that needs to end. What a disgrace to the memory of those who were tortured under that heinous regime to compare our country and our circumstances to theirs. I love what Barney Frank said at the end, "talking to you is like talking to a dining room table, and I won't do it." Good for you, Barney Frank!

We can have disagreements and respectful arguements. But don't show off your ignorance by putting Hitler and Obama in the same sentence just because it sounds cool. When you do that, you are showing that you have no understanding of the topic whatsoever and do not deserve the courtesy of being heard.

**By "you", I am referring to the woman on this video and those who do compare Obama to Hitler. Most people reading this do not make such statements, so "you" is simply a general term- not meant to be YOU specifically.

(Back to the cutest girls later today- some exasperating potty training attempts to come- but this really made me mad so I wanted to post)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Good Job!

No trickery here- everybody got it right! Audra is baby #1, and Claire is baby #2.

We think there are definite similarities and they look like siblings, but that they also have distinct differencts. The bridge on Claire's nose is more pronounced and her nose is pointed a little farther down then Audra's was. Also, Claire has a rounder face. But, thier mouths are the same. A lot of people have said Claire looks like me- I don't know if that is true because I can't tell.

In the pictures, Claire was a little older then Audra was, so that is why she looks so much bigger. But, Claire also IS bigger then Audra was- she is a much better eater and is filling out wonderfully.

Today Claire is 6 weeks old- the height of fussiness in babies- and she is still a dream baby!! This makes me SO INCREDIBLY HAPPY- I can't even tell you guys!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Guess Who?

Last Sunday we took the exact same picture of Claire in the exact same outfit as Audra when Audra was a baby. Can you guess who is who?

Baby #1:

Baby #2:

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Pick Me Up

Thanks, Jenny, for posting this on your blog! I thought all you moms out there would like this- I know I did!

The Invisible Mother ……

"It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously not.

No one can see that I'm on the phone, or cooking, or vacuuming the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The Invisible Mom.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Can you pick me up at 5:30?'

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.'

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe.

I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:

'To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, 4 life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

1. No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.

2. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.

3. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

4. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beamthat will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, nocupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile about. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life.

It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.

The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my daughter to tell the friend she's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want her to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to her friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot see if we're doing it right.And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

One Month

On Sunday Claire turned one month old. I don't know how much she weighs, but I am guessing somewhere around 10 1/2 pounds. She is eating very well (thank goodness!) and is still a sweeet little baby. She has a bit of a stuffy nose and that has caused her to not sleep well- hence, the previous post. Last night was better!
What we have learned about Claire so far:
1) She is very strong- just like Audra, she has been lifting her head since about 1 week. Also, when I burp her she will push back to lie down again to nurse- that's when I can really feel just how strong she is.
2) She is social- again, this is just like Audra. She wants to look at everyone and everything, not be snuggled up close to mommy
3) She continues to be a very happy baby- very little fussing
4) She LOVES her big sister Audra (thank goodness!)- Audra always gets Claire's biggest smiles.
We love you so much, Claire! What a joy you are to have in our family!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

If Life Were A Musical...

...This would be my song:

Who needs sleep? Yeah, you're never gonna get it.
Who needs sleep? Tell me, what's that for.

Theres so much joy in life,
So many pleasures all around
But the pleasure of insomnia
Is one Ive never found
With all life has to offer,
Theres so much to be enjoyed
But the pleasures of insomnia
Are ones I cant avoid

Perhaps tonight will be better.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Belleview Park

Yesterday we took the girls to Belleview Park, and Audra LOVED it- in particular the train. She just wanted to go on that all day long. It was fun to see her so excited about it. We are realizing that she really is a little person now and is able to go on fun adventures and enjoy it. She is starting to have likes and dislikes and take pleasure in various activities, and it is really a fun stage. Of course, we have taken her to a million places before, but it is fun because it now seems like she is really grasping what we are doing and finding joy in our activities (am I making any sense in what I am saying? Claire and I had a horrible night last night and I am going off very little sleep, so I apologize if this doesn't make any sense). At any rate, we had a great time!!!!
They also have a petting zoo. Ben took her in while I stayed out with Claire. Ben said they had a great time until the pig kicked dirt up at them and in Audra's face.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Claire's Blessing

Sometimes Ben and I are a little unorthodox- and that suits us just fine. For Claire's blessing, we decided to do things differently than most, and it was the absolute best!!! In our church, rather then getting baptized as a baby, the baby is given a name and a blessing (the blessing is given as a protectant against Satan- I just learned that and I think that is so cool!!!!). Normally this is done at church, but we decided we wanted to keep it small and intimate and so we did the blessing at our house instead. It was wonderful! My parents, Ben's parents, and my cousins and their familes who live in the area were there, and it was perfect. I am so glad we decided to keep it small because it made it really special somehow. Of course, it is special anyway- it's just that this way suited Ben and me perfectly. Anyway, Claire looked gorgeous (duh!) and it was a very spiritual experience.

Is that a smile on Claire's face? Of course!

A note about Claire's dress: It's the same dress Audra wore, and Audra was so mad that Claire was going to wear it! When she saw me grab it, she started yelling, "no mine!". Then she grabbed it and ran into her bedroom and slammed the door. My mom and I bribed her with fruit snacks to get her out of the bedroom and hand over the dress.

My dad, Ben, and Brother Olsen who is in our bishopric blessed her. It was a small group of men, but it was perfect for us!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Weekly Update

My mom has been in town the past week and has been such a HUGE help! I keep telling her she can't go back home. Here is what we have been up to:

Audra pushing Claire in the swing- she LOVED it when Claire came up and would "kick" her:

Claire's Monkey Pose- my all time favorite! She is such a cutie!!!

Fun at the park #1:

OK, this picture isn't too exciting, but I think Ben looks way super HOT, so I put it on:

Monkey Buisness- where Audra got shoved in the face TWICE and I had to yell at a kid to defent my little girl (she had a great time anyway!):

Audra takes care of Dolly:

We went to the Littleton Historical Museum:

Park Day #2:

What a great week!