Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Some moms get chocolate for Mother's Day...

...others have kids who get tatoos and a husband who makes filet mignon.

Thanks, Nate!

Family Bonding

I was going to write the whole story, but I don't think I need to...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day, Judy!

I feel sorry for just about everyone in the world because they don't get to have Judy as a mother-in-law.

Here are my favorite things about Judy:

1. Judy raised Nate (and didn't kill him). I'm glad about this for 2 reasons: it means I got to marry Nate and I have a veteran who I can go to for advice as Asher starts exhibiting more Nate traits.

2. Judy is a worker. Both of my in-laws see a task to be done, and do it--even if it's uncomfortable, boring, or completely foreign. She gets the job done.

3. Judy loves to learn. If she's interested in something, she'll learn all about it and excel at it. Examples: gardening (which I reap the rewards of quite frequently), poetry, organ, Native American flutes, religious subject matter.

4. Judy loves to spend time with her grandkids. Judy is so happy when she has all of her grandkids around. In the weeks before the out-of-towners come, she makes all sorts of great plans.

5. Even though I'm not the mom Judy is (I like this analogy: Judy is Waldorf environment while I'm more of a inner-city public school), I never get even a hint of judgement. I realized when I moved to Phoenix that she wasn't going to see the Emily she had known for a while (it's easy to not yell at your husband, keep the house clean, and look put together when you only see someone for a total of 2 weeks every year). She doesn't care that I'm not perfect. Well, she probably already knew that before I moved here.

6. Judy is my friend. I can talk to her about my issues with the Church, my husband, my kids. She always listens.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Top Ten Things I'm glad I got from my mom:

1. a love of work My mom can grade 20 papers, write a Sunday School lesson, and host a dinner for her kids in on any given day.

2. a deep spirituality We may not have had FHE every Monday or scripture study every night, but she instilled a great love of God and sense of morality by her example.

3. the desire to write I wish I had more of her ability to write.

4. appreciating delicious food (my mom and I like to cook, but only as a means to an end) My mom's and my ideal vacation involves a lot of sleeping and eating and a few Broadway shows.
5. her legs Really, have you seen them? They're hot!

6. perserverance When the going gets rough, I go get my mom. She has the ability to be with people in their deepest, darkest times. She'd make a good chaplain :)

7. an awareness of others' needs and the energy to help them (I wish I had more of that, too) After Mom is done grading papers, teaching Gospel Doctrine and cleaning up from dinner, she'll call a friend or family member to make sure they're doing ok.

8. important housekeeping lessons Mom worries that she didn't teach us anything about keeping a house, but I think the lessons are so ingrained (bleach the kitchen sink, use Ajax for the bathtub, pretreat stains), we just do them.

9. a love of teaching My mom is a great teacher; when I get to be in her Sunday School class, I wish I could teach as well as she does.

10. her advice, e.g. "Why don't you date that Nate Curtis? He seems like a nice guy." The advice I've tried to implement all the time since becoming a mom, "Well, let's not worry about that until it happens."

Sunday, May 4, 2008

There's a reason why he's called Tio Tomas...

My youngest brother got his mission call yesterday (drum roll, please)...

Tom is going to the Oakland, California Spanish speaking mission.

I'm super excited to have a Spanish speaker in the family, and I think a state-side Spanish speaking mission has got to be one of the most useful missions for a person to serve.

And here, Nate and I thought we'd already made a big enough sacrifice by letting Tom go to BYU!

I'm afraid this video will make me cry on August 7th!

Happy Birthday, Aunt Sarah!

So, we're about a month late, but I didn't want to let a good reason to write a post about Aunt Sarah go by.

The whole family benefits from Aunt Sarah living 5 minutes away from us. We all love her, but Asher and Luke really LOVE her.

Luke is particularly fond of her. As soon as she walks in through the door, he wants her to pick him up. Then, he'll rest his head on her shoulder and stay there for an inordinantly long time for a newly mobile 1 year old. Sarah lived with us for 6 months soon after Luke was born; I think they formed a special bond then.

Asher loves "Aunt Sawah," too. Sarah takes him to parks and on long walks. She blows bubbles for him, reads him books, builds him trains--whatever Asher wants, Aunt Sarah will do it. So, he was happy to reciprocate all that by "helping" her open her birthday presents (see picture).

I love that Sarah is always ready and eager to help. Sometimes, she'll call up out of the blue to ask what she can do to help. She's always up for an emergency babysitting job--if her full social calendar allows it (darn singles ward and their activities!).

Sarah is as good as they get! I love her and not just because I'm counting on her to let me into the Celestial Kingdom through the backdoor.

She's the best!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Super Nanny Kind of Day

When I first became a mom, my friend, Aimee, told me something I've never forgotten. She said, "Sometimes, I like to watch Supernanny just so I can see that I am doing a few things right."

I love Supernanny for this very reason.

When the pre-Supernannified parents have children hitting and yelling at them, I rather sanctimoniously know that I am the better parent. My well-behaved cherubs know who the boss is; they would never be so obnoxious, and I would never be so out-of-control.

However, at 10 am this morning, I wasn't so sure. The boys and I were still in my pajamas, and I think our only notable accomplishment was breakfast.

Asher had been in time-out 6 (6!) times in 1 hour for hitting/pushing Brother Luke and/or biting me and/or throwing a tantrum about TV and/or throwing a tantrum about picking up the diapers he had emptied from the Costco box of diapers (the box of diapers I bought on Tuesday).

I finally had to lock him in his room for the forseeable future for the safety of all of us (Asher, in particular). Then, I realized...I am one of those pre-Supernannified parents. Sigh...

The picture is from my favorite magnet maker.