Friday, February 18, 2011

Ayla Grace

I am starting a new tradition with my kids. To watch them grow (and because it is fun) we will have an annual birthday survey. I stole the idea from a friend and so far I am loving it.

My little one turned three yesterday. Hard to believe I know...and even harder to believe that I have become one of those that says “they grow so fast!” but I have. They do! Three years old, wow. And I know it will only get weirder the older they get! 


What is your name? Ayla 

How old are you? (this took some time. First she insisted on holding up one finger. When I finally asked her to tell me she finally answered with a very annoyed “mom, are you daft” look on her face) Free

When is your birthday? Somebody (she was dead serious about this answer)

What is your mommy's name? Sarah

What is your daddy’s name? Um....eeee....Ryan
What does your mommy do all day? Works on the wall, putting pictures in my clock (huh?)

What does daddy do all day? Works at work

What do you like to play with mommy? Games. Kid games.

What do you like to play with daddy? Play a game too

What is your favorite color? Purple
What do you want to be when you grow up? A bumblebee. A sting bumblebee!
Where do you want to live when you grow up? Outside like a bumblebee (duh!)

What is your favorite food? Chicken nuggets

What is your least favorite food? Sauce

Do you know what church is? For my birthday!?! (that is all I could get)
What is your favorite thing to eat at a restaurant? Chicken nuggests (again with the “didn't we already say this?” look)
What is your Sisters name? Sissy

What do you like to play with Taylor? Playing chasing!

Do you have any friends? Who are they? I have my friend Lonny at school (I have never heard of this child) and my friend Jack and Molly and Mia and church.

What is your favorite thing to wear? Clothes

Where do babies come from? Cradles

What is your favorite show? Curious George movie with bubbles

What is your favorite toy? I like my elephant

What is your favorite thing to help Mommy do? Make a list

What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play in the sandbox. Pepsi not poop in the sandbox. I like to play in the sandbox with my imaginary friend Matthew.

Where do you like to go in the car? Go to Molly's house

Where do you live? In our house! (silly mom!)

What do you like about being three? Have lots and lots of birthdays! Play in my sandbox

What new things can you do now that you are three? I can make a sign! I don't know how to make a sign, I need help!

I am so excited for my big three year old. At the moment you are very much discovering that you are your own personality. It has become the new favorite thing to always disagree with mom. If you think I am trying to get you to pick something, you always pick the other. VERY independent, I hear “I do it myself” a lot. You have started telling Taylor “You're not the boss of me!” which of course can turn your sister instantly to tears, I am afraid you find this power very interesting and use it whenever you think you can get away with it. 

But with all this growing up you still like lots of mom cuddles. You rarely sleep all the way through the night and usually come into my room at least once. But luckily all you do now is come into my bed, cuddle for a few minutes and as soon as I ask it you go back to your own bed and back to sleep. You just can't make it that long without hugs!

I believe you have set a record in this family with ER visits and calls to poison control. Always the adventurer. I joke that you are like a cat. You need to be as high up as you possibly can. This is an impulse that drives you and is very hard for you to control. But you are learning! You and your sister will play for hours outside in the yard climbing the elephant, running, digging, watering plants and each other. Crying when mom says it is time to come inside because you are having so much fun! It makes me happy.


 I see a lot of myself in Ayla. The one that always has to be first to face the danger. The one that always has to prove to everybody and nobody that she can keep up with the wildest of boys. I am so happy to have you everyday! You make my world a little more adventurous even if I have become old and boring. I love you so much Little One and can't wait for another year of growing together.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Mischief (Official recipe)

Take :1 wicked grin, 2 glimmering eyes and 1 dozen rascally inklings.

Let stew for a minute. Remove from flame and add a dash of joyous snickering - making sure to glance from side to side in a suspicious manner. Stir until concoction piques. When piqued your mischief is ready to serve.
Warning: Side effects of mischief have been known to cause running ahead of parents, getting stuck in mud, practical jokes, making of messes. Proceed at your own risk!
This recipe lies in my recipe book along with all your normal fair (soups, stews, breads, desserts and the like) It makes me smile every time I see it. As most of you know I tire of recipes fairly quickly - this is no new thing. I asked everyone at my wedding shower to give me their favorites. Some of those have become staples in my kitchen and I still will go back and make something new from that collection occasionally. Oh, and a silly tidbit – I pray for whom-evers name is on the card as I make the food. My little way of remembering.

My dear friend Rachel - who cannot of course follow the rules entirely, gave me the above recipe - and it never ceases to amuse me!

I am feeling deliciously mischievous today. I believe the cause is Valentines day. For the past week or two I have felt the build up of expectations. As always, I really look on all this as a social experiment of my own. I start to pay closer attention. The attitudes of those around me coming out so strong as Feb. 14th approaches fascinates me. Perhaps it is because I cannot remember celebrating VD once as a child. Wait, no, once we each got a little box of candy after lunch. At least I only remember it happening once. I guess I kind of just assumed that once I was connected I would do something. Then when I was connected the expectation placed on my significant other bothered me. Why was he expected to do something for me today? Not that I was complaining mind you...but I felt as if I was somehow missing something. Sure, it was nice to receive something. But the fact that is was expected made it stale. I want him to give me something because he wants too. Not because the calendar says he has too. Yesterday as girls were resting I had taken a moment to sit and read. Goodness I have had to stop writing three times now to go and get something to eat so I don't get sick all over my keyboard. When does this sickness end again?!? I was sitting and reading on the couch he asks me randomly “would you like a cup of tea?” And completely out of the blue stops what he is doing, gets up and makes me a cup of my favorite tea, exactly how I like it with a small chocolate on the side. Now, I am not saying this to brag on my wonderful husband – though a little bragging never hurt anyone. But this is my example of romance. A surprise cup of tea is WAY more romantic to me then a box of chocolates or a bouquet of wilted flowers on a particular date. THAT is my romance. And you know what? That happens for me way more then once a year! And you know what else? I will go out of my way to do the same for him.

In one of my classes in college. I believe it was Interpersonal Comm. We were assigned books to read as a group and of course had to present them together as well. I remember very little about the book I was given and remember nothing about the 2-3 other groups...but one. I remember one group. I don't remember the people, the name of the book or what it was about beyond that it marked the path of a couple in love and their journey together. This was senior year, I was engaged at the time and perhaps that is why I paid more attention. The part I remember most was a small snippet as the couple explained the depth of their love. They loved each other and wanted to be there for one another so much, that they considered the act of asking for a cup of water in the middle of the night, just as much a sacrifice of love as the act of getting out of a warm bed and retrieving the cup of water. Does that make sense? Think of it this way: When a small child is scared and needs a hug. Is it not an act of love to reach out to a beloved parent for that love and reassurance – just as much as it is love to provide that? Love is not just DOING for our spouse. It is knowing that I can ask anything, and he will do it for me. And it is not just what I do for him. It is his knowledge that regardless of what I am doing or where I am. I WILL drop everything for him. Not because he is my boss, not because I fear the reaction if I don't. (and I admit I don't always want too, and I may even complain sometimes – but I am working past that.) Not because I feel it is my duty as a wife. But because I want to. I relish him asking because it means I get to show him I love him! Isn't that exciting!?! He is opening his arms and asking me to love him in this way. And I am so happy too.

So back to our most humorous of holidays. There seems to be very distinct rules of thought that I have observed in people regarding Valentines Day. Would you like to hear them?

  1. You love it for being an excuse to show love to those around you. This goes beyond romantic love - though if you are in a relationship that is entirely included. But mostly involves just friends, family, etc. Take a moment to "share the love" or what-not in your life. I see this the most of course in having a child in pre-K.  The rules are far stricter then I had ever imagined.  WE MUST BUY CARDS FOR FRIENDS!!!! Of course, she enjoys this so who am I to say no.  She picked them out herself, wrote all her friends names all on her own and dutifully attached stickers. There were a few "some of my friends are giving candy AND cards...." comments wistfully made. But I think the child knows better. Cards are enough. However she asked so very nicely to give some flowers to her teachers. And while I am not a huge fan of passing out ridiculously overpriced pieces of cardboard....I knew flowers to the teachers would make them smile for real. So to that I am 100 on board and so proud of her for thinking of them! This seems the safest school of thought. Those that don't really have an opinion either way, or those that have greatly enjoyed the holiday in the past seem to hold this notion very dear. Cookies, cakes, candy, cards and games. Let's just have fun today!
  1. This is actually a sentiment I see more often - mostly on facebook. If you have a "valentine" great. But if you don't and you plan to spend this day alone? YOU MUST TELL EVERYONE! Alright, I apologize, I am writing in caps way too much today. I think it is part of the mischief mentioned above. Don't say you weren't warned! I almost counted, but decided that would not be a good idea...the posts I read today stating things such as "happy singles awareness day" or, my favorite: "happy Independence day!" Heehee, Perhaps the mischief is truly rearing it's pickled head. And yes, pickled mischief is the worse of the lot. You see it has had a long time to come up with ideas. Anyway – all of these really make me laugh! Please, I am not trying to be insensitive. Perhaps unattached I would feel the same. But am I really the only one that finds this all funny? I know so many – married or no – that claim it is a “stupid holiday put on by the hallmark” Well, that may be true. I heard today on the news that the average person is spending $150 today on a VD gift. REALLY?!? Are any of you really spending that much? And that is AVERAGE. So that means there are a good many people spending far more. One of my acquaintances on fb had 5 separate statuses today that bitterly marked today as an evil day. And I'm not sure this person is even 20 yet....Now, some people will find something to be bitter and angry about no matter what. But a day of the year seems a funny target to me.
  2. Oh, and then finally, there is the luvy duvy couple that declares their love for the world to see. Putting the rest of us “average” couples to shame. You know you know them. And you shake your head not sure if you should be embarrassed for them or congratulate them. And you have heard the comments too: “Did you SEE that jewelry she got? How much did he spend!?! And the weekend away at the beach? Didn't they just do that a few weeks ago? How about what he said to her. Oh I wish my husband/boyfriend would say that sort of thing to me! (Or, 'I would never want my husband/boyfriend to say that in public about me!') Maybe if I slip what they said to one another into conversation, somehow he will get a clue and start showering me with all the goodies everyone else seems to take for granted!” I am usually happy for these couples. Well, that and I laugh. I am truly easily amused today. But even more so I LOVE reading the comments made by vocal adoring husbands to their wives and then read the comments after. Some as simple as “awwww” and others as brash as “get a room!”
Ok. So maybe I need to stop. Remember, these are basically blown out of proportion examples of what I see; jotted down for my own amusement. I am not against anyone who loves to shower their significant other with public affection and gifts. I am very entertained by it actually. And I know that in many relationships that is probably a very positive thing.
So a day given to celebrating love. A good thing right? So long as we keep it to celebrating love and not celebrating gifts and food and chocolate. Yes, gifts and chocolate are different things and I will hear no arguments on the matter!
What am I doing for my beloved Valentine you ask? Well, nothing today. Nothing I feel like sharing on here anyhow! Tomorrow we will go out to dinner on our weekly date night. Possibly do a little birthday shopping for my soon to be 3 year old. And then perhaps later, he shall bring me a cup of tea.