Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day 2013

I have been so blessed when it comes to the men in my family.  Not only my dad, but both of my grandfathers are still alive and well.

My dad has always been such an incredible example to me.  When I was a kid, I always wanted to be just like him when I grew up.  He is so hardworking, thoughtful, intelligent, humble, loving and generous.  And really that's just the beginning of it.  I remember him coming home from long (and when I say long, I mean REALLY long) days at work and just playing with us kids until it was time for bed.  Now that I'm a parent, I realize just how incredible that was.  My dad may have worked long hours, but my siblings and I NEVER felt like he did because when he was home, he genuinely LOVED spending time with us doing whatever it was that we wanted to do.  I could seriously tell you a myriad of stories about how incredible he is, but in the interest of time, I will just say that I still hope to be like him when I grow up.  :)

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My Grandpa Collyer reminds me of my dad in so many ways.  Or maybe I should say my dad reminds me of my Grandpa Collyer. :)  He is like this quiet strength in the corner of my life.  He doesn't talk a lot, but I know he loves me.  And if you get him talking about his grand kids or his garden, he just lights up.  I love him, and am so proud to be his granddaughter.  
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Just thinking about my Grandpa Timms makes me smile.  He is always up for a good time, and loves to tell you stories from the good old days, and listening to him makes me want to experience the good old days too!  He also just got a little dog and oh my gosh, seeing how much he loves that tiny thing just melts my heart.  I love him so much.

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Today my sister-in-law reminded me that this week it will have been five years since Zeke passed away.  I couldn't believe it had been so long.  So much has happened since then.  So many things I wish we could have shared with him in this life.  Every time I remember that only one of my kids even got to meet him, it makes me want to cry a little.  But we find so much comfort knowing that we will see him again.  We love and miss you Zeke. 

My brother is so sweet and happy and caring and generous.  I swear that kid would give you the shirt off his back if you asked him.  And then he'd go smiling shirtless down the street, happy that he could help you out.  I sure miss having him live so close.  One day he is going to be such a great dad.

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And my brothers in law, seriously, they are just awesome. I've said it before, but I really lucked out when it comes to in-laws.  I just love being around them.  They are so fun and thoughtful.  I really don't know how I got so lucky.  Any time we get together we have such a blast.  I love it.

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And seriously I really could go on and on. I have some incredible uncles (both blood and through marriage) that probably deserve a post in and of themselves, but I'll leave it at that for now.

Finally, I cannot tell you how grateful I am that I get to be married to this guy.  (I'm pretty sure he's going to kill me for posting this picture of him).  Te he he.  He seriously is the greatest though.  I love him so much.  I love him for his faith. I love him for his loyalty. I love him for his sense of humor. I love him for how much he loves me and our girls.  I love him for his passion and enthusiasm.  I love him because he makes me laugh.  I love him SOOOO much.  I'm so glad he's mine.  :)
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And here's a little video the girls and I made for Bart for Father's Day. 

I hope all you dads out there had the best day ever!

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

I Can Tell This is NOT Going to be Easy.

Potty Training the Twins

I hate potty training.  Like seriously hate it.  I know moms who really push their kids to be potty trained the second they learn the word popo, and I TOTALLY understand the appeal.  No more changing dirty diapers...yes please!  Not to mention the cost savings from not having to buy diapers every two weeks.  Ahh, so nice.

The problem is they don't go from diapers to toilet just like that.  It takes work...a lot of work.  And I'm going to let you in on a little is GROSS work.  Poop/pee on the ground, in panties, smeared on the toilet.  Yuck

That is why I really try to hold off on potty training my kids for as long as possible.  And thus far it's worked out pretty well.  Addison was completely potty trained within three days.  Hannah pretty much potty trained herself.   With a few nasty exceptions, I don't really have a big reason to hate potty training.  My kids have been pretty easy.  Well, thus far at least.

Unfortunately, I think the twins are starting to really be ready to potty train.  And the thought of potty training twins TERRIFIES me!  Thus far I have, VERY hesitantly, let the twins sit on the toilet for a while.  They even actually peed in the big toilet two days after Hannah's birthday last week.  (We have a little training potty, but they don't like it very much). 

I have purposefully held off on letting them use the toilet until summer.  With Bart home, in theory, having two adults to potty train two kids should be easier right?  Well, technically it's summer, but Bart has a few collaboration meetings so I have an excuse to, once again, hold off. 

Unfortunately, today the Twins decided they were tired of holding off.  And I got a taste of what I suspect is to come.

I told them they were going to take a shower this morning after we were done eating.  Lilly got done eating well before Maya.  The second she climbed down from her high chair, she bolted for the bathroom.  I said, "Lilly!  We're not taking a shower until Maya's done."  Disappointed she came back into the kitchen.  About 30 minutes later, Maya said, "All done," (she's a slow eater) and once again, Lilly took off for the bathroom.

This time I wasn't able to stop her until she had stripped down to her diaper.  I told her I also had to get clothes for them to change into after the shower, so Lilly ran downstairs, got some clothes, and headed to the shower while I was cleaning up Maya and putting all the dishes away.

A few minutes later, Lilly ran out into the kitchen stark naked, with a very concerned look on her face and yelled, "I have to go peepee!"

At which point Maya yelled, "I have to go poopoo!" 

Maya was still dressed, so I told her, "Go poopoo in your diaper!" and I ran to put Lilly on the toilet.

Maya followed close behind and said, "No! I want to go poopoo in the big toilet."  Unfortunately at this point, Lilly was on the big toilet, so I said, "Fine, just go in the little toilet." 

She said, "No, it's okay, I can get the stool."  And she grabbed the bathroom stool and ran to the master bathroom before I could stop her.  Although Lilly doesn't like the little toilet, she's still a little afraid of the big toilet if you don't help hold her there, so I was holding her and couldn't exactly let her go to stop Maya.  So I just prayed Maya would actually get on the toilet by herself before she had an accident (if she was even going to actually go potty at all).  After a while, Lilly changed her mind and said, "I don't need to go peepee."  And tried to get down.

I had seen the distressed look on her face and knew that she did, in fact, need to go potty so I tried to talk her into trying for a little longer.  She wasn't having it.  So I tried talking her into putting her diaper back on for a little while.  Not a chance mom.  So I let her down, grabbed the little potty and followed her to the Master Bathroom where Maya had actually made it up on the toilet all by herself.  I set the little toilet down figuring worst case scenario I could grab Lilly and force her on the little toilet if she started to have an accident.

I asked Maya if she was all done and, with a grunt, she said, "No."  So I waited.

Lilly kept saying, "I want to take a shower, I want to take a shower!"  The older girls were downstairs taking a shower and I knew that if Maya was on the toilet for a long time, and I let Lilly in the shower now we'd most likely run out of hot water before Maya and I even got into the shower.  But Lilly was doing the potty dance and refused to sit on the little toilet (or put her diaper on) so I figured it'd be easier to clean if she went pee in the shower than all over my bathroom rug, so I turned on the water and let her in, praying that Maya would finish soon.

She didn't.  (Apparently eating isn't the only thing she does slowly). 

After a while I decided I would at least get Lilly cleaned, so I reached into the shower and helped her wash and condition her hair and wash her body.  At this point Maya had actually gone potty.  So I went over to help her wipe, all the time telling her, "Good Job Maya, That's great!  I bet it makes you really happy that you went poopoo in the big toilet.  Good girl."  (etc.)

And as I finish wiping Maya, Lilly yells, "I have to go poopoo!!!"

Cleaning pee out of my shower is one thing, but cleaning poo is a whole nother thing!  So I grabbed her and put her on the little toilet, which did not sit well with her, so after much fussing I convince Maya to get down and put Lilly on the big toilet.

The water had pretty much gone cold by now, so I assumed Lilly wouldn't want to get back in and turned off the water.  Apparently I was wrong because she started crying and yelling, "I want to take a shower!  I don't have to go poopoo any more, I want to take a shower."  Meanwhile, Maya is doing the Naked Dance in the background swinging towels around her.  I'm not too nervous because she did actually go potty, but I try to avoid letting bare-bummed babies dance around my house, so I somehow convince Lilly to stay on the toilet while I put Maya's diaper back on.  Once the diaper's on, she takes off.

I turn back to Lilly and somehow convince her that she would rather get dressed and put lotion on than get back in the tub.  So I get her dressed, and put some lotion on her.  Maya must have heard me say lotion because she comes back ready to get dressed and put lotion on too, so once Lilly's done, I let her run off and get Maya dressed.  We can't take a shower now anyway.  As soon as the lotion's on, she bolts out the door again, and I'm left looking at my bathroom.

The floor is covered in water from washing Lilly and then dragging her wet body out of the tub to the little toilet, then from the little toilet to the big toilet.  There are towels everywhere from Maya's little dance.  The little toilet somehow got tipped over.  Fortunately nothing was in it...except water from when Lilly was sitting on there wet...I hope it's just water anyway.  It's almost 11:00 and I still haven't been able to take a shower, let alone get ready for the day.    Then Lilly walks in and informs me that she has a poopy diaper.

It's then that I finally realize that with twins, I don't think it matters how long I wait.  This whole potty training thing is NOT going to be easy.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Beautiful Ugly

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This month's blog circle theme is Beautiful Ugly.  Most months I don't even start thinking about what to do until at least half way into the month, but this month within the first week of May, I knew EXACTLY what I was going to write about. 

Bart and I LOVE to garden.  Last year we even started some tomato and pepper plants from seed indoors.  They worked out so well we did it again this year.  We had about 12 Tomato plants growing under grow lights when we went to California to visit my parents for Easter.  While we were there, we went to Tomatomania  for the first time.  I was excited to go and see what kind of tomatoes they had, but I knew it was still to early to plant tomatoes in Utah.

Since the house we moved into didn't have a vegetable garden plot, Bart and I decided we were going to build our own raised beds for our garden this year.  One of our good friends in Spanish Fork had always started her tomatoes and peppers really early and protected them from the cold with a cover made out of plastic and PVC pipe.  I thought if we decided to get two or three plants to try out, we could build a similar cover and see if we could really start the plants a month early, and if it didn't work out it wouldn't be so bad because we had so many plants inside.  Well, while we were at Tomatomania, Bart caught the mania.  I think if I had let him he would have purchased every single one of the hundred-and-some-odd different varieties of tomatoes they had there.  In the end we came home with TWELVE more tomato plants!

We rapidly built our bed and cover and planted them within days of coming home.  We anxiously checked our phones every night to see if there would be a hard freeze.  There was one week where it was going to get down to 25.  Thus far they had survived a 30 degree dip in the covers, but 25 made us nervous, so we bought a little space heater to put in the beds that night.  It worked like a charm.  By the end of April, our plants had been in the ground for nearly a month and were really thriving.

The last week in April, the weather had been amazing.  It was getting into the 60s and even 70s during the day, and only getting down to the 40s at night, it was great.  On the night of April 30, I checked the weather app on my phone and saw that it was going to get down to 37.  We had put all but 5 of our inside tomatoes out there to harden off a few days earlier, but with the covers 37 was plenty high, we wouldn't need the heater that night.

I listened to the wind howling all night and was very grateful for my cozy bed.  The next morning was really busy, and it was nearly noon before I had a chance to head out to the garden.  I hurried out, worrying that the sun might be baking the plants since I didn't come out to open up the plastic earlier (it was literally that hot).  When I pulled the plastic back, I couldn't believe my eyes.  All but two of our tomato plants had frozen.  The leaves were all completely black and limp.  I nearly broke into tears.  The temperature hadn't got to freezing, but the wind was so cold it froze all of our tomatoes.

The next few days were really depressing at our house.  Our daily excursion to the garden that had previously brought us so much joy and excitement was replaced by consciously avoiding the garden because we didn't want to be reminded of our foolish mistake that crushed our best-tomato-garden-in-the-neighborhood hopes.  About four days after the frost I finally worked up enough will power to go out and check on the two plants that had survived.  To my surprise, several of the frozen plants had new growth at the bases.  I couldn't believe it.  Over the next week, every single one of the plants that had frozen had sent up new shoots.

We still lost the seedlings that were hardening off outside, but every single one of our Tomatomania plants came completely back!  And let me tell you, when I saw those beautiful green sprouts at the base of those ugly limp plants, I knew exactly what my post this month would be on.

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I am happy to report that all of our Tomatomania plants are not only bigger than they were at the end of April, but they also have blooms on them.  We have planted the few plants that were still indoors and purchased replacements for the ones we lost.  We are once again excited about our tomato garden.  I think it's going to be a great summer!  :)

Our Garden

Now head over to Stacey's blog to see her beautiful Ugly.