Friday, March 26, 2010

au revoir.

so how about on Wednesday night Chris played church ball and royally messed up his ankle. like, he-is-currently-using-crutches messed up his ankle. and his thesis was due today. and Carly and I are getting on a plane and leaving him tomorrow. poor guy. thank goodness some friends let him borrow their crutches (they have had church ball injuries of their own) so the hopping has stopped. i kept telling carly that her daddy was the easter bunny "because he hops, hops, hops around." pretty sure there will be a wife-imposed ban on church ball.
my child crawls . . . backwards. she went backward from that book to her location in this picture. it was highly entertaining. you can see how proud she is of herself. she is delicious. every day i tell her I'm going to eat her for lunch.

speaking of delicious, Carly liked this apple more than a friend. i can tell she is getting frustrated with baby food because it smells eerily similar to baby poo. she looks at our food like "hey, that actually smells good!" shortly after we let her suck on this apple, i fed her pureed green beans. she was definitely not pleased with the switch.

oh, yeah, we are leaving tomorrow. can't really tell you how excited i am (minus the leaving Chris part and flying alone with an ultra-energetic baby part). that last few days i've done a billion loads of laundry trying to catch up and cleaned the house what feels like 10 times. and packed 3 times. did you know i'm a chronic over-packer? i am. i pack way too much, then unpack and try to weed stuff out. today i had to have chris intervene and help me. i have serious issues, and its only worse now that carly is aboard.
but we are leaving tomorrow.
exactly 24 hours from now i'll be in the car with my daddy driving to pocatello.
(minus the no-chris thing, don't forget).
au revoir.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

up in the air.

Its been a bit of a hectic week or so in the C house. After being told by many a Michigan folk that a program graduate was getting a job (good sign) and selling her little house, we decided to contact her. After several long emails back and forth, lots of pictures (such a cute house; all redone inside.) we started contemplating actually buying this house and actually trying to be in contract by April 30 to qualify for the first time homebuyers tax credit. Oh, so naive were we. We had calculated how much we pay in rent as being how much we could pay in a mortgage payment, which makes sense for us but apparently not for a mortgage lender. Lenders assume you have credit card debt and student loans and car payments, etc, so they only allow your payment to be a certain percentage of your income. And if you don't have ANY debt or ANY payments to make because all your furniture is hand-me-down and you live on a tight budget? Too bad, the rules still apply. And since our income is, ummm, low, we would only qualify for a too small loan to buy a house that is actually worth the trouble of buying. So at this point our living situation is up in the air. Too up in the air for my taste. The door is still open to buy, but at this point it is likely just not worth it. Was I crushed? Only very, and only for like a few days. I'm starting to remind myself of the perks of renting and we have found some cute townhouse-type things to look into instead of hard-core apartment living. I'm praying we are done with that. My dad reminded me that with me being a stay-at-home mom and Chris a full-time student, its pretty amazing we were able to even consider buying a home. So true. Here's to buying a house! . . . . in four years.

what might have been.

our living room. 3:00 this afternoon. the hangers prove i actually tried to put the laundry away.

poor child wouldn't go down for her morning nap. so she was REALLY ready for her afternoon one. i ran to the restroom and came back to find she had tapped out.hey look I made Carly a blanket. the stitches are a mess and are everywhere. turns out sewing in a straight line is not as easy as assumed. she will have 10 of these blankets before i figure it out. thats ok, though, because they are my favorite blankets ever. On St Patrick's Day morn I got a call from my dad asking if Carly and I would like to come out very soon, as Chris is in a rather intense segment of his thesis. Sounded like a good plan to me, so we are headed West this Saturday. I really am so excited. I feel like I could use a little "getting away from it all". And Carly has grown up so much since Christmas and I'm excited my family gets to see her an extra time before May (when we are going to see my brother off to his mission). And I love going home. Carly has become a bit of a golden ticket in that regard. But I will miss my main man dearly. I'm not sure what he is going to do with himself, as he won't have to make me dinner, clean up all my dirty dishes, and stay up all night listening to me freak out about being homeless in Michigan. But when we get back his thesis will be *done* (except revisions), and he will defend a few days later. Big days in the C House. I was 15 when I first stepped foot on an airplane, and 19 for my second flight. Carly will be heading up in the air for her second time at just 7 1/2 months, and for her third at 9 1/2 months. She is quite the golden ticket.

the golden ticket in her new umbrella stroller. i figured we ought to get one for our frequent flying.

Friday, March 19, 2010


yesterday marked one year since we walked into the ultrasound room and found out a Carly was on her way. I remember counting forward and realizing that one year from then, our baby would be 7 months old. At the time, I couldn’t even imagine having a 7-month-old. Now here we are.
I was shocked she was a girl. I was convinced we were having a boy. I was happy either way, of course. Convinced we were having a boy; kind of wishing for a girl. And then she was a girl. Suddenly I was looking at life through pink-colored glasses.The prospect of having a girl was not too daunting at the time. I thought so much about having a baby girl--all the bows and clothes--that I didn’t think about Carly growing up. These past few weeks I’ve been thinking about how fast she is growing, how she won’t stop even though we have asked her nicely too. I’ve been thinking constantly about teenage Carly.
I work in the Young Women organization at Church. I look at what these girls deal with every day, at school, with friends, with boys. I look at how much more they have to stand up against than even I did, and I wasn’t in high school all that long ago. There is some seriously scary stuff in the world today, and it will change so much in the next 15 years. What kind of world will teenage Carly call home? What kinds of things will be on TV, what gadgets will be popular, what fashions acceptable? How do I make Carly strong enough to not just survive it all, but to thrive despite it all? How do I make her see the bigger picture, to understand the importance of modesty, prayers, virtue, temples, scriptures, kindness, service, and all of the things that lead to happiness? Its so hard to see that when you’re 16.
A few weeks ago I was putting my make-up on and Carly was sitting in her bumbo watching me. She stared at my blush brush, so I ran the empty brush across her cheeks and said, “There, now Carly is pretty!” As soon as I said it, my heart sank. Carly is the most beautiful thing on this planet. And no blush, or lack thereof, can make her more or less beautiful. I vowed to never say something like that to her again, and to never talk about myself that way in front of her either. I don’t want her thinking make-up and clothes are what makes her beautiful. We can tell already she is a fun girl with loads or personality to go around. Its my job to make sure she knows that, too. Its my job to be an example to her, in word and deed. I’m beginning to realize that motherhood is even scarier than anticipated.
I consider my mother one of my best friends. She is my example, the kind of woman, wife, and mother I want to be. Home was always a safe place, and my mother was always there with open ears and a bowl of dark chocolate covered almonds. Because of that, I always knew where to go when I needed help or a pick-me-up. I pray that Chris and I can create that kind of home for Carly and crew. I pray she will love me as much as I love my mom, and as much as I love her. And I pray she will come to me, she will open up, she will learn from the few tiny pieces of wisdom I have to offer. And I pray she will know who she is and love who she is and be grateful for who she is. Because she is awesome.
And to think, I thought having a girl was all bows and dresses.

Monday, March 15, 2010

the ides of march.

Guess what the ides of March brought me?

Want me to sew you something?

Because I totally will.

As soon is I figure out how to get the string around the round thing and through the pointy thing.

Thanks, mom and dad.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

her hair is bronze.

We often get asked what color Carly's hair is.
And by "asked" I mean the people are right there looking at her.
"Is she a redhead?" they ask.
Its hard to tell.
Her hair is a perfect combination of red, blond, and brown.
I like to call it bronze.
Carly is strong.
She is pulling herself up on things.
Its getting hard to hold her down to change her or get her dressed.
You can feel her ripped little muscles in her arms and legs.
Chris calls her the warrior princess.
Here are a million bajillion pictures of our bronze-haired warrior princess.
The thrice-daily meal battle.
(yes, she is wearing my t-shirt. i got sick of washing her clothes out
and changing her outfit 3 times a day.

"Nap time is over, mom!"

So this week before the rains began, Carly and I went to the park. I took our jogger instead of our regular stroller. I put Carly in the front like a big girl (for the first time). I was feeling pretty good so I thought, "why not jog?" So I started jogging.

Carly did not like that one bit. I jogged, she screamed. I stopped, she was fine. I jogged, she screamed. The speed terrified her. And by the time we got across the park, she had had enough.

She required me to carry her. No more stroller; it was too scary. Remember how I said we were on the far side of the park from the parking lot? So I carried and rocked Carly with two arms, and pushed the stroller with the third arm [?]. Somehow we made it back, though I looked crazy carrying my whining baby and pushing an empty stroller.

And of course she fell asleep 25 yards away from the car. She traveled the final stretch in peace. Good times.

We call her The Carly Bat.

We call her the Carmaid.
I put her pants on while Chris held her up, and about 15 minutes later noticed she was moving strangely. Ooops.

"Ok, I'm on my hands and knees! Now what?"

"I'm gonna crawl . . . I'm gonna crawl . . ."

"Maybe I'll stop to suck my thumb . . ."

"Yeah, I'll just hang out and suck my thumb."
The Climber.
She loves to climb on mommy and daddy.
[excuse my work-out clothes].
But she recently discovered the coffee table.
And I recently discovered the fear of her bashing her head on the coffee table.
warrior princess.

Can you tell she is our pride and joy?

Because she is.

Friday, March 12, 2010

keeping calm and carrying on.

I can't even tell you how much I love this poster.
I think its classic and stylish and you can't beat the message.
Then I read the history behind it and I love it even more.
[I'm a history buff and a royalty buff. Nerd alert.]
It was a symbol of calm and assurance in the chaos of WWII Britain.
It said that even if everything is crumbling around you, keep calm and carry on.
Because sometimes that is all you can do.
I must have this in my house. Soon.
And I would love a similar frame, as well.
Its been one of those weeks in the C house. One of those weeks where you are like "Aww, man, but we were doing so good!" One of those weeks where you can't help but feel a little gloomy. And the non-stop clouds and rain didn't help
Our Tuesday surprise was a financial one. One that requires us to crunch a few numbers and tighten our belts and consider bidding farewell to the hopes of a summer beach vacation for three. But do you know what? There are a lot of problems we can face in life. And I would take financial concerns over every single one of them. We are healthy, we are safe, we are sealed, we have Carly, we have wonderful families. We are blessed.
That doesn't mean there was no panicking on my part. You know when a big stupid thing happens so all the little annoying things that happen every day seem way worse? Last night shortly after dinner my stomach felt the all-too-familiar chopped-up-by-an-ax feeling. Somehow some wheat sneaked in with my taco salad. I was not happy. In between my restroom visits, I decided I should wax my eyebrows, as they were becoming jungle-like. I've used these wax strips multiple times, they work great, and I HATE plucking. But last night? Last night they took a layer of skin while simultaneously depositing a layer of wax and leaving all the hairs. Really? With everything else going on, maybe, just maybe, my eyebrow wax strips could work. But it was not to be. My jungle eyebrows remain.
But I think we are reaching a calm after the storm.
We are waiting on one last phone call,
and I'm hoping the lady has good news for me.
But if she doesn't? It will be all right.
We have a plan.
Keep praying for those whose burdens are much greater than ours.
Keep paying tithing.
Keep clinging to each other.
And carry on.
Now I must go. The Young Women are having an auction of baked goods tonight at the Ward Talent show. I'm making Butterfinger Cake and Rocky Road brownies. Neither of which I can eat so it won't be hard to let them go. But I will say, I got a gluten-free yellow cake mix so I can make some of the Butterfinger Cake for myself. It looks fabulous.
Happy Weekend.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

seven months old.

Something about having this girl makes the months fly by.
She brings us so much joy.
I can't even get over her.
Carly, at seven months old you . . .

*are sleeping 10-12 hours a night. I'm enjoying it, though I don't expect it to last. Something will come up, I'm sure.

*have 2 teeth. The second came in the day after the first. You now have your two bottom front teeth. With the teeth has come the return of the out-of-control drool.

*are officially weaned . . . as of today. We made a remarkable recovery following your strike, but then the teeth showed up and the biting commenced. Now we are done.

*get three meals a day of solids. You have for more than a month now and we still struggle at every meal. You just couldn't care less about the food and turn your head away and purse your lips together. I'm at a loss, but we will keep going because we don't really have another choice.

*have been getting on your hands and knees and thinking about what the next step is. You have also started pulling yourself up on our legs and even on the coffee table. We are bracing for full mobility.

*are making more and more sounds. They are getting louder and there are a greater variety. Sometimes you make a sound and your daddy and I look at each other and say "What was that?!".

*like reading books and singing songs, though you like turning pages more than listening to the story.

*study toys rather than play with them. You study the little balls in your rattles and stare at the springy part of your doorway jumper. Its funny how often we find you carefully studying a toy and trying to figure it out rather than "playing" with it. You are obviously brilliant.

*have a big snuggly pet: daddy. We joke that you think of mommy as the parent and daddy as the pet because he plays with you and you grab his face and pet his beard and climb on him.

*make me smile when I'm down, make sense in a chaotic world, and complete our lives and our family (for now). We love you more than words.

Happy seven months, Car. We're glad you joined us.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

a cool new concept.

I don't watch Oprah much. Its a long story that someday I will tell, but I try not to watch her. But occasionally I will take a peek. And today's show was about a cool new concept that is suddenly hot in Hollywood: genealogy! Have you ever heard of doing your family history? What an original idea.
There is a new show on NBC called Who Do You think You Are? It takes famous people and follows them as they research their family history. The people who do it have fantastic and touching experiences. It shows just how powerful genealogy really can be. I might have to be a watcher. But its funny to see these people talk about genealogy and what an amazing thing it is. I love when the world catches up to the Church. I think it is a blessing for missionary work. People will see this show and remember it when the missionaries knock on their door and teach them about family history and temple work.
It was pretty interesting to hear Oprah and Emmitt Smith practically bearing their testimonies about genealogy. Oprah showed clips showing Emmitt trace his lineage back several generations. He had slave ancestors, and it was really cool to see how finding his history really touched him. It was interesting because he said that when he found his "lost ancestors" that he felt like they were happy. That they were at peace now that they were found/remembered. Emmitt said that he feels like he understands himself better now, that he knows who he is and where he is going. Here was living proof of the Lord turning the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers (see here). . . on Oprah. The way he spoke is the way I feel after attending the temple. The person who's work I just did is at peace, grateful for the blessings they just received. Grateful they were remembered.
I'm no genealogist. I would really love to, but I'm one of those people who has other family members who are hard core, so I feel a bit like there is nothing left for me to find (excuses, excuses). But I know how important it is. I've been to the temple, so I know. Joseph Smith said, "The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead." I just found it fascinating that these superstars could feel the Spirit, feel the righteousness, and feel the miracle in doing their genealogy.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

s is for state.

As in Michigan State.

Ever been to Michigan?

I have . . . once.

On our 1st anniversary we went to a little lake town.

It was beautiful.Well, guess what?

I get to go back.

In fact, I get to live there.
Yes, we're moving to Michigan this summer.

Chris will be attending Michigan State for the next 4 years.

Carly and I will drink lots of hot chocolate.

Our decision was an interesting one. When we were deciding on where to go for a masters degree, no place really stuck out. Chris got into 3 similar and great programs. We were clueless, and went to the temple looking for answers. While in the temple, we both got an overwhelming feeling that Tennessee was the place. This time around? We've felt really good about Michigan the whole time. No big confirmation. It has just always felt right, so here we go. Its funny how God talks to us in different ways.
Its a bittersweet blessing for me. The prospect of moving to Utah, so close to my parents and siblings, was a tasty one. I can't wait to go back west, especially now that we have Carly. But it is not to be, not yet at least. (I'm hoping for a job in the west when our Michigan time is done.). We know we will be greatly blessed in Michigan, as we have been greatly blessed here.
I'm getting very excited. And very restless. I like looking at houses and thinking of plans. Chris has about 7 million things he has to do before he can start worrying about it. I could pick up and leave tomorrow. This move is also a bit scarier for Chris than for me. My job stays the same, and I only get more fun things to worry about (paint colors, anyone?). I have learned how to live in a strange place and enjoy being with Carly all day every day. Chris? Chris has 4 years of very difficult schooling and a dissertation to face.
Its weird to think ahead, to think of what our Michigan years will bring. Like how Carly will be nearly FIVE when we are done. How hopefully she will be a big sister. How Chris and I will both be old. How we will have a house we've lived in for years (we've never lived in the same place for over a year in our entire marriage). How Chris will be a doctor. It will be a fabulous 4 years.
Chris went to Michigan in November for an all-expenses paid visit (that was a good sign to his chances of getting in). He took some pictures of campus.
Beautiful, don't you think?
Wish us luck.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

i love saturdays.

i love when the sun comes out.
i love when the sun feels warm in early spring.
i love our park.
i love long walks with this guy.
i love potato salad.
i love fresh cut tomatoes on my burgers.
i love cream corn.
i love yummy lunches.
i love our girl.
i love how she smiles.
i love how she plays.
i love her even when she acts like a diva (today).
i love how she loves us.

i love new shirts courtesy of tjmaxx.

i love watching movies after the babe goes to sleep.

i love having chris home.

i love my little family.

i love saturdays.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

big news.

So how about Carly and I have dressed the same the last 3 days, and I didn't realize it until today. Monday was dark boyish hoodies, yesterday was a casual T with a dressy cardigan over top, and today was yellow and white stripes. I was putting Carly in the babybjorn at Hobby Lobby today and . . . realized we had the exact same outfit on. Awesome. Obviously we have the same personal dresser.
On to the big news.
Guess who got a tooth today?

I think it was today, anyway. I honestly don't know. But Chris got home this evening and was holding her and I looked at her and all the sudden she had a tooth. I had been looking at her all day long and didn't ever notice. Do they just pop up like that? Weird. Anyway, I suppose we are lucky because she hasn't been cranky or anything. Hopefully that luck keeps up.

I have mixed feelings about the tooth.

a) I still nurse. Is this going to be an issue?

b) I can't believe she is old enough to have a tooth.

But I was so proud of her when I saw it. (Is that weird?)

So obviously, it was a big day in the C house.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

an inside day.

Today we woke up to this.
What? Its March. One of the greatest perks about K-ville is the fabulous weather. But this week the weather has gone from cold to all-out lousy. I wondered this morning if it would be an inside-all-day day.
I don't like inside-all-day days. I start to get cabin fever and get a headache around 1 or 2. So all morning I was determined that, despite the weather, it would not be an inside-all-day day.
I was in hyperdrive. Feed-bath-nap-shower-ready-feed-eat . . . sometimes it feels impossible to get out. Like there is always something else to do. I started to get frustrated. Then Carly was completely not participating at lunch, and cried because she was hungry but refused to nurse. As my impatience built, a question popped very loudly into my head. "Why is it so very important that you get out this afternoon? Important enough that you get impatient with your perfect daughter?"
So we had a change of plans.
New plan?
Play-jump-read books-sing songs-large warm bottle of mama milk.
All the things Carly loves most.
Some days I need to remember to take a chill pill.

I need to remember she grows too fast.

I need to remember to cherish this.


As fate would have it, after Carly's bottle she fell asleep and we made it out after all.
We ran to Walmart to get a few groceries, and had fun picking out some cute $1/yd fabric and chatting it up with the really nice fabric lady.
And when we got home there was a package from Carly's Queen Mum waiting for us.
We love packages from the Queen Mum.

And best of all . . . Daddy came home early today. Carly was a big fan.

It was a good day.