Friday, March 28, 2014

silly chicken

We were having a train-building marathon tonight on the living room floor and I told Miss Maia that she was a "silly goose." Didn't everyone's mom used to say that to them?

She didn't miss a beat and responded "No, Mama, I a silly chicken. You a silly goose."

Where do they come up with this stuff?!? You can't make it up, I absolutely love this talking stage we're in. Toddlers are hilarious.

One of these days when I have spare time (ha) I am going to make them baby books and I will want to write that in it. So there it is, permanently on my list of things not to forget (blog).

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Getting out of the way

Beaches are the best in the winter in CA - plenty warm enough and deserted compared to the summers filled with tourists. So yesterday we went to one of the best beaches for toddlers because there is a half mile of sand before water (i.e. I can catch them easily if they run off, LONG before they get anywhere near the water). I attempted to be on "kid time" and just let them set the speed for the morning, which is why we spent two full hours on the pier. I was done by about 1.5 hours into the pier adventure and my "kid time" idea was over and it took me another 30 minutes to herd them back toward the car. :-)

Fist extended stop: Watching the volleyball players and surfers. Mama really enjoyed watching the volleyball players as well (if you are female and have seen the men who play beach volleyball, you know what I mean). :-)

 Second extended stop? The store with all these windmill things. The kids were OBSESSED. And then of course the reward for the long walk out, ice cream at Ruby's. :-)

Inspired by my newest parenting book read:
"...Even as toddlers and preschoolers, children need to feel as if they own their experiences. Tey need to be let out in the yard to discover worms and flowers, to pick up a snail, and yes, to eat dirt...They need to be free to make their own discoveries....We have to be there for our kids. At the same time, we have to get the hell out of the way."

-Gabrielle Reece, "My Foot is Too Big for the Glass Slipper"

*Side note: My kids take the best naps the day AFTER a big outing. So I am reaping HUGE rewards today while they are sleeping very soundly. :-)

Monday, December 30, 2013


Sometimes Maia will not stop talking. Here is an example of what comes out of her mouth, and yes, it is often in random order and only halfway decipherable but I will leave out the jibberish parts.

"Mama! Big hug mama. I ride horse! Wif Dora! You ride camel like Diego. Go fast, really fast. OH NO! There a wolf coming. I gonna get you, I gonna get you wolf....tickle tickle tickle! I want raisins. I do myself. JD NO! NO! JD! NO! Where Debbi? I go in Mama's car. I drive. I sit Mama's side. JD what you doing?

Where Gretchen? Leah? Jamma Baby? Jasmine? (*Note: her treasured babies) No, I do myself.

I want go see Shamu. I want take bath. Mama, me watch Dora? Watch show? Dora! One wif horse. I wook out window and what I see, popcorn....Where my horse? No, purple horse. I have ice. Mama may I milk pease? JD NO! NO! JD! JD NO! I talk grandma on puter. I talk Papa puter. I go airplane with Kay-Kay. I see dog. Mama ride el-phant wif me. I go upstairs Mama, I take nap. Mama take nap wif me. Where Gretchen? Leah? Jasmine? WHERE MY HORSE? Guess what? Mama what you doing?"

New hilarious material every day. Love it.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Little LMMer

I've been active this year on a Facebook group of about 70 other parents of lipomyelomeningocele children. They abbreviate the condition LMM. Through this group I have learned that there are families all over the world dealing with the unknowns of this condition; that there are a lot of toddlers needing significant help/intervention to learn how to walk (Maia has had zero problems with this);  and that the traumatic experience of her diagnosis and her two surgeries (one untethering, one to clean out a bad infection) are not uncommon and many other parents have almost identical experiences. It's been really great to connect with other parents and hear their stories.

We just had our annual checkup with her neurosurgeon. She looks great! She is doing incredibly well. Hopefully now that she is talking more and more, she will be able to communicate symptoms that she is experiencing and alert us to a need for another surgery before there are any irreversible problems (like loss of bladder control). Some kids need additional surgeries to prevent further problems, some don't, and her doctor said there is really no way to predict which is which. Living with that unknown has made me realize that none of us really know when something will happen that will irreversibly change us, and the practical realities of living by faith day to day. Maia might have health problems from her condition, she might not. As I watch parents with their kids at CHOC when we are at these appointments, I realize that any of us may be in their shoes someday - I'm just more aware of that vulnerability because my daughter has a diagnosed condition.

She got the green light to work on potty training (just bought what is hopefully my last box of diapers!), jumping on the trampoline, running, jumping, and being a normal kid. She was talking about Papa's boat during her appointment and it turns out her neurosurgeon is a fan of sailing so she especially got the green light to enjoy the ocean. :) With a life jacket of course.

Monday, December 9, 2013

thanksgiving, friends, four naps, five books, and a little bit of winter. 2013 has been one of those years that didn't kill me, so I must be stronger (right?), so it was nice to spend a week away from it all. And let's face it, there's nothing that will make you feel more thankful than spending an entire week having your mom take care of you and your two darling toddlers. :-)


 Drinking hot chocolate and watching the lights come on for the first time this season at Temple Square. The kids loved it while their attention span lasted.

 Watching the nativity with Grandpa

 I have so many memories as a kid at the excited to share snowy winter wonderland with the twinners. They weren't thrilled about the snow when we were there last January but liked it a lot better this time, mostly thanks to the new gloves Grandma bought. :-) There wasn't a ton of snow but we're from CA now so even a few inches is fun.

 My Thanksgiving turkey. Don't worry, we didn't eat this one.

 How lucky am I that one of my best friends flew down and met me in UT for Thanksgiving? We had a great time and the only downside was I missed her more than ever when she left to go back home. :-(

 JD trying to pull me in the sled with a little help from Grandpa. :-) He is so dang strong, give him a few years and he'll really be pulling me all by himself.

Gorgeous. My family has been coming up here since the 1950s. No cell reception, no land line, no internet, no city lights...there are not many places in the world like this anymore.  

 A boy and his sled. "I do myself, Mama." And he did.....

Having fun with Grandpa

Saturday, November 9, 2013


So I don't forget how cute my 2.5 year old is....

1. I was walking down the stairs today in our home next to Maia, who was carrying her two baby dolls oh-so-carefully. "Maia, you take such good care of your babies," I told her. She is so dang cute - carrying them around, putting them in their strollers, feeding them at meals. She looked up at me and matter-of-factly responded "It's not hard, Mama." LOL

2. While visiting Grammy, in the evening, before going home: Grammy had already changed JD's diaper and put him in PJs. He was downstairs. Maia was upstairs in the play room. Grammy went up to check on Maia and asked her, "Maia, would you like to put on your pajamas?" Maia said "yes" while continuing to play with the dolls in the doll house. Grammy told her "Your pajamas are downstairs." Maia looked and Grammy as if the answer was obvious and said "Bring them up here."

3. I was doing alphabet flashcards with Maia, more to see what she already knew than anything else. She'd identify A and I'd say "A is for apple." etc etc. When she identified the M, I said "M is for Mama." Next was N. I asked her what starts with N. She thought for a second and said "N is for Nai-Nai." Hilarious and true. She calls herself Nai-Nai, which is how JD started saying her name over a year ago. So she thinks her name starts with an N. I call her that half the time too, since it's cute, so I guess her name really does start with an N.

4. Maia has taken an interest in where people live, I think in connection with her realizing that Papa lives at a  different house than we do. So when we talk about various family members, I'll say "Grammy lives at Grammy's house." or "Our cousin Max lives at his house with Aunt Jen and Uncle Josh." or "Aunt Alli and Uncle Ammon live in Illinois." Grandma left on a plane to go back to Utah on Thursday. That evening we were talking about Grandma going to the airport, and I asked them where Grandma lives. Maia thought for a second and said "Grandma live on 'puter." Interpretation: Grandma lives on the computer. :-) hahahahaha Smart girl. We Skype with Grandma on the computer, so yes, that is where she lives.

Friday, November 8, 2013

"I don't WANT to"

This is JD's new favorite phrase. He sounds incredibly cute when he says it and it is hard not to smile...."I don't WANT to!"

He says this in response to anything I say that is not "Let's play with your trains." Eating, sleeping, napping, watching Dora, going for a bike ride - I tried it all tonight. "I don't WANT to" was my answer.

Followed by "Mama play wif JD trains?"

Dear Santa, we need a few more train tracks at our house!