Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday Snapshot(s)

Nathaniel's art show entries- a snake and a rhyming poster.

At his school.

May 2011.

 It's a bittersweet feeling I get when I think that he will be in fourth grade next year.  I remember so clearly when he was a tiny little infant with giant 'alien eyes', and I would  effortlessly cradle him in my left arm while I cleaned the house with my right.  Rich and I called him our "little football", because he was exactly that size.  Those days as a new mother were some of the happiest I have ever known.

I think back on my life, how some events feel so close and others like a different lifetime, and I can't help but think how Jacob, and Nephi, and Lehi (from the Book of Mormon)  say when looking back on their lives, "...the time passed away with us, and also our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream..." (Jacob 7:26)

We are here for one moment at a time, we blink, and then it's gone.  I have got to keep making an effort to stay present, and take advantage of 'now'.  It's all I ever have.

Have a Sunday Snapshot you would like to share? Link up, and be sure visit any of my other friends who participate, too :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Homemade Oreos for Nadia


Read more about it at,1610,146190-251197,00.html
Content Copyright © 2011 - All rights reserved.
1 devil's food cake mix
1/2 c. shortening
2 eggs
Mix the above ingredients together. Roll the dough into dime-sized balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Cool cookies.
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 square butter
2 tsp. vanilla
2 to 4 c. powdered sugar
Mix all of frosting ingredients until smooth. Frost BACKS of cookies and place together to make sandwich cookie.
I love these cookies! Yum! I make these bigger (about quarter size),
and only bake for about 5 minutes...
they are great chewy.  As soon as all the tops are cracked, 
take them out of the oven.

I don't dig that frosting recipe so much.
I like to use this one:

1 cup butter- room temperature.
1cup powdered sugar
Food coloring
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 7-8 oz jar marshmallow creme

In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy.
Add the remaining powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
Add food coloring.
Add vanilla and stir in the marshmallow creme until well blended.

Enjoy some fantastic frosting!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Confessional

It has been a while! Here we go:

I confess:  
  • I have been so busy lately, it feels like a sin.  I need to take more time for myself to just relax and recharge.  I have been feeling frazzled; having a sick baby to add major constant screaming to the list of things to deal with hasn't helped either.  I am scheduling a "do nothing" (nothing more than I have to) day for myself next week.  I need to regroup.
  • I was going through my playlist features, and there was a setting to allow (or disallow) access to you computer's camera. Really? If I didn't have my settings properly adjusted,  could anyone watch me on my camera? I might be a bit paranoid, but it's time to cover that little peeping Tom eye with a piece of tape.  That freaks me out. (And, just because you're not paranoid, it doesn't mean they're not watching you, right?)
  • I love good friends.  My friends are really the greatest. In fact, a couple of my awesome girls inspired me to write this tonight.  I have been blessed to know great women who are giving, loving people, who are kind to me whether my back is turned or not (KWIM?)  Here's to the the few women that actually grow up and get past their 'middle-school mentalities'.  Life is not a competition, and when we put others down, it's only ourselves that have been lessened as people; when those around us succeed, it's our success as well.  We become that which we surround ourselves with, this is such a basic principle of living, why is it so foreign to most?  But to the few who understand this, you are the best to share life (or the occasional gno) with! Thank you!

Now what are you waiting for? Link up and confess!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Stairy Adventure (Sunday Snapshots)

 "All things entail rising and falling timing. You must be able to discern this.'
-Miyamoto Musashi 

Up he goes, like a speed demon, to the very top of the stairs. When he reaches the loft, Jack grins as though he has just conquered Mt. Everest, and enjoys the view from above, squawking and making happy little "mamama" and "dadadada" sounds.

I listen until they slowly turn to forlorn squealing sounds that mean, "Mommy, come get me!...  Woman, can't you hear that his Highness is done with this excursion!... Carry me downstairs already! Woman! Mommy! Slave!... I said come and get me!" 

This week he has progressed- he has a sudden interest in going down himself.  I watch him pace back and forth at the top of the steps, pacing back and forth like a lion, simultaneously making little chirping noises like a sparrow.  He wants that first step, but he's scared and he doesn't want it,  

but he wants it.

I have turned him around and shown him how to descend backwards dozens of times, and he knows the danger, the sting of a small fall at this point. I sit 5 steps down, out of reach, and ready to catch.  He turns himself around, backs his toes over the edge....and then changes his mind.

Back he goes to the pacing, crawling back and forth.

And how he wants it.

He pulls himself up and holds on to the rail with both hands, precariously stepping down with his left foot.  But that's as far as he can get; he is not quite advanced enough to bring the other foot down.  He is stuck for a moment, and then he pulls himself back up to the top.  The chirping and the pacing resume.

Another attempt- he centers himself sideways, lays on his stomach, and puts his right arm and leg on that first step, and goes down sideways.  "Yaaaay!" I cheer, "Good job, Jack!"  He crawls back and forth on that first step, but doesn't dare try again.  Up to the top again.  I turn him around and pull his legs down, going over the proper way to crawl downstairs for the umpteenth time.

He laughs at me, flashing his charming pearly white grin, and heads back to the summit.  

I look away for a moment, and hear a 'thump'.  I turn, just in time to see him flying through the air, arms and legs outstretched, mouth wide open in silent terror... and it's a glorious thing, this baby doing a front handspring, head over heels.  Oh, and the height he gets; it's so beautiful- a moving work of art.  I almost hesitate to end this amazing feat prematurely, but instead I hold my arms out and catch him, perfectly, in midair, and pull him safely to me.  His heart is pounding madly, and his little body melts like jelly in my arms as he realizes that he is saved, and he is fine.

"Mamamamama," he murmurs, and holds me tight as I console him.

His breathing slows, and he calms down. "Mmana-ma," ha says, which means, "It's a good thing for you I was wearing a diaper, Mom.  Maybe you should change it now." 

When he loses interest in holding on to me for dear life, and starts to wiggle I put him back on the steps, and show him how to back down.  Again.

It's been said that when your babies are so little, and changing, advancing so quickly, you should replace "goodnight" with "goodbye" as you tuck them in at night.  Every day your little one is a new baby.  Every day is different.  Soon we will have mastered the stairs, and moved on to the next thing.  

Freedom and new experiences are vital to brain growth in babies and young children.  Babies need room to crawl around; they need to explore.  I could just put a baby gate up, and tell him, "You're too little.  You can't do that."  It would certainly make my life easier in the short run.   But he has a desire to master the steps, and he has the ability; why should I stifle that?  The younger the age of the child, the easier it is for him to learn.  It excites me to think that my 9 month old can go up and down the steps by himself, and I'll be there for his safety until his skills are finely honed.

I have spent too much of my life saying "no". I can't do this, we can't, you can't.  I once read a quote by Oprah where she stated that instead of being around people who ask why she wants to do something, she associates with the ones who say, "Why not?".  That really struck me.  I started asking myself," Why not? ", and that simple act really opened my world to new possibilities.

More then anything, it's the fear of failure that holds me back.  I contstantly have to remind myself that failure truly is part of succeeding.  You fail your way to success. Just like Jack falling down the steps, failure is scary, but it's part of the process.  He is learning about the power of a good fall, and gaining respect for heights.  Without a tumble or two, ignorance of gravity could be a real source of danger.  I'm making a conscious effort to enjoy failure.  It's always going to be a part of my life, I need to accept that, stop resisting, and simply embrace it.  I want to be able to be grateful for failure.

It's so easy to become 'stuck' in the same routines, the same habits; it's difficult to push myself to do new things, do old things a different way, try something I thought I could never do.  But it's greatly rewarding.  And it's probably even more satisfying to teach my children that they are able to do so much more than they know.

'The days are long, but the years are short.' 

 I can't wait wait to see what fun comes next at our house.  Why not, right?

" Failure is not falling down, but refusing to get up."
- Chinese Proverb.