Thursday, August 18, 2011

she makes me better

Sometimes, I can get into a rut. I can start thinking of how easy it was before I had a child. How I could run into the store, grab some necessity, and be back in my car before the song on the radio was over. Or I think about all of the things I could do if I didn't have a kid. I would go to Europe, or write that pesky elusive novel, or I could go camping every weekend. But it's silly, because the truth is that I didn't do those things before. And when you have kids, you find the time to do the things that are important to you.

And then God brings to mind another list. There are so many ways that having Cate has improved my life. It's astonishing really. See for yourself:

Things I wouldn't do if I didn't have kids:
- Jump on the trampoline at 8 am. (Actually, I wouldn't even have a trampoline.)
- Chase ducks at the park. (It's quite exhilarating.)
- Watch ants on the sidewalk. (Eli likes to watch them; Cate likes to stomp them.)
- Splash in a blow-up pool in the front yard with my husband.
- Weekly finger-paints that most certainly turn into whole-body paints.
- Catch all the humor in Toy Story. (Although, after watching it about 17,000 times, I think I've got it now.)
- I wouldn't say things like, "Don't lick the sidewalk!" or "Don't lick the hand rails!" (on the chairs at the airport), or "Don't lick the dog!" (Does anybody else feel me on this one?)
- I wouldn't be as friendly. One of my favorite things about being pregnant was that people at work I had never talked to, family members with whom I'd never done more than idle chatting, even strangers on the street were all of a sudden striking up conversations- and I had something to say! And it doesn't go away with kids. It's like you enter a whole mommy community and all of a sudden you have common ground with all kinds of people. It's awesome.
-I wouldn't have as many friends. I have met some really amazing moms and we keep in touch because of play dates.
-Backstory: I am afraid of flying, and have a very regimented routine to keep myself calm. I sit by the window, I stare down at the ground, and as long as I'm not rushing toward it, I feel ok. Not good, but ok. Last time we flew with Cate, she had to sit by the window (plane's rules) and she would NOT leave the window open (Cate's orneriness). So, I wouldn't have sat in the middle seat on a 3 hour flight with the window closed.
-I wouldn't have sat in the rocking chair at 3 am with her hands clutched around my neck thinking, Please, God let this never end.
She makes me a better, stronger, braver person.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

you win some, you lose some

Mimi: Did you have fun at church, Cate?
Cate: Go potty.
Mimi: Did you go tee tee in the potty?
Cate: Nooo.
Me: She had an accident right before we got there.
Mimi: Oh. That's okay.
Cate: I tee teed on my shoes.

Friday, August 12, 2011

tinkle, tinkle little star

If you don't like potty training stories, read no further. I promised myself that I wouldn't post anything on FB about potty training, and I've stuck to it so far unless provoked (Dani). But I can't help but write a little about it. I'd say I'm writing for all those moms who have yet to go through it and would like more info, or that it's for when I'm trying to tackle the same task with the next child and need some courage. Really, though, it's because it has struck such an emotional chord with me that the words are spilling out.

We had two false starts with potty training. The first time, I wasn't ready. The second time, she wasn't. She cried, begged for her diaper, and held it all in until she was about to pop. She was in break-down mode, which didn't seem like a good place to start to learn a life-changing skill. So I put everything potty related in a closet for a month where she couldn't see it. Then, when she started to show a little interest this week, I got it back out again.

Today marks day three of potty usage. She had two accidents today, but many more successes. We went to the park and spent several hours at the McEwen's house with no incidents. I was so impressed because there were so many little ones running and playing. It would have been completely understandable if she had an accident, but everytime she needed to go, she came running to tell me.

It will sound silly to all the non-parents, and maybe even to some parents, but I have never been so proud in my life. Seriously. The sweet sound of that little tinkle hitting the plastic potty inspires genuine smiles, shouts of joy, and dances. I always thought parents had to put on that show for the little ones, but it's not a show at all!

Who knew that it would be like this? That right now, there's nothing I'd rather hear than, "Mama! Teetee!"?

she doesn't ask for much

{in the car}
Cate: Moon is up!
Me: Yes, the moon is up. (If you don't repeat what she says back to her, she'll keep saying it over and over and over and over.)
Cate: I have it?
Me: (silence)
Cate: Peeeese?
Me: (stumped)
Cory: Yes, Cate you can have it. But we have to leave it up there in the sky. Is that ok?
Cate: Uh huh.

Nice one, Dad.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

two going on sixteen

Me: Do you want to go ride in the car?
Cate: Keys!
Me: I got 'em, let's go.
Cate: Cate drive.
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Cate has loved Elmo from the first moment she laid eyes on him, so we couldn't help but be relieved when she took an interest in Toy Story. She would watch bits of the movie, but her favorite parts were the songs. She would have us play the scene with "You've got a Friend in Me," over and over, ordering us to dance. Then we discovered that Toy Story 3 was on Netflix instant watch, and she fell in love. She likes Buzz and usually asks, "What Buzz doin?" She brought a Woody doll home from Grandma's house and carried it around constantly for days. The amazing thing was she actually kept up with his ill-fitting hat.
But all of that was before Jessie. When the red-headed cowgirl makes her grand entrance in the movie, Cate yells, "Here comes JESSIE!" She now insists that I braid her hair like Jessie everyday. (Which is fine by me, since up to this point it was a fight to get her to let me brush her hair at all.)
When she came home from Grandma's house last night, she had a Jessie doll with her. She ran from the car to the door to show her dad. Then she slept with it. Throughout the night we could hear, "Yodel-eh-hee-hoo" and lots of other cowgirl phrases coming through the monitor.
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Cate has recently become very interested in babies. She even asked to hold baby Haylah on one of our playdates. She was very sweet, hugging her and kissing her. After a few minutes, though, she said that she was "heaby" and had to let me hold her instead. She is also very fond of Emmalee. When I ask if she wants to go see Sam, she usually responds with a resounding, "YEAH! ...And Emmy too?"

And speaking of that beautiful little baby, we are so thrilled that she has helped Cate discover her future career choice!

Friday, August 05, 2011

bryan and micah- wedding edition

I don't think this wedding could have been more perfect. The weather was lovely; the beach, breath-taking; the bride, stunning; and the groom, debonair. Pluse, I kinda have a crush on the photographer. You will too, after you see these photos. the entire wedding party: I don't think I've mentioned that the picture on the header of my blog is also one of Cory's Playa pics. Georgeous, the lot of em, eh?

Thursday, August 04, 2011

let's talk about mexico

July was a month that I'd be fine with forgetting, save our family trip to Mexico. We stayed for a week, which was most certainly not long enough. The random beach shots were a little scarce this year because Cory was concentrating on wedding photos. These few were from my little camera.






This was Cate's second trip to Playa, and I think all in all, it was a little tougher traveling with a two-year-old rather than a one-year-old. She was a little harder to keep entertained, and she could open all the doors in the condo, which kept everyone on their toes. She was wonderful on the actual traveling days, when we went from car to plane to airport shuttle to plane and back to car. Her favorite part might have been chewing gum on the plane during take-off. She keeps asking to go back on an airplane, and I think it's mostly for the gum.

I have to say, though, that being the only ones with a small child on a huge family trip kind of stinks. We're up at 6:30 am everyday and by the time everyone else is finally making their way to the beach, we're heading up for a nap. I was wishing that Cody and Laura were there with August, because they'd probably be on the same schedule as us. Now that my brother's married, and Haley and Buck are engaged, I say it's time for everyone else to do their part. Start having babies!

Check back tomorrow for some wedding pics!