Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Today has been such a fun day. It is super cold here (oh no, 55 degrees!), and the girls and I have been inside most of the day. We had bagels for breakfast, made oatmeal cookies together for lunch, and are still contemplating dinner after a snack of cinnamon toast and Gatorade. I got caught up doing Mom things like vacuuming, wiping things, loads of laundry and dusting, when Grace pops the question: "So what are we gonna do today, huh Mom?"

I was taken aback since it was already 2:30 p.m. Like, hm, didn't all that tickling and playing monster and me yelling at you guys to stop fighting count as "things we are doing today"? I guess not... so I decided we'd put the crib up. Can you tell I'm SO EXCITED for this new baby? I honestly can't wait to bundle that little bug of a baby tightly in a blanket, nuzzle her head and lay her warm, sleeping, newborn baby body into her crib. CAN'T WAIT. Anyway, the girls 'helped' me put together the crib. I gave them the task of wiping down the wood of all the milk Ruby spilled on it every night for the last couple of years. They held their work attention span fairly well.

Then came time to "grab a couple of things to put in the crib for the new baby". I swear, I could put everything in quotes today because what I said was NOT what I got! They had almost their entire room full of toys up for possible donation to the new baby. Ruby ran around for the first few minutes of the undertaking, with no direction, throwing blankets around like a total nut. After some organization by Grace and some himming and hawing, they decided only a few choice pieces made the cut: an Easter Bunny Rabbit, a Koala bear, and a ball that is painted with Sponge Bob's Face. The ball, I was told by Grace, "Is for when like, the baby, wants to like maybe (she gets into the crib to demonstrate), throw the ball as fast as she can to see how far it will go". I could definitely picture the soft-spined, wobbly-headed little newborn doing just that.

As I write this, I just heard Grace downstairs slightly disgusted with the disarray that is Ruby's life, and of course never doing what she's told by her older sister. As a last effort to control her, Grace desperately quotes a line from a Nickelodeon cartoon, "Ruby, Ruby! What's gonna work??? TEAMWORK!!"

Sunday, February 24, 2008

It's Almost Monday Again

I took a NAP!!!!!!!!! today for the first time in awhile. Jake gallantly went downstairs to herd the herd while I slept and my new baby grew a bit. When I arose, I ate a few handfuls of M&Ms (stored under my bathroom sink. Shhhh don't tell Gracie), and headed downstairs. Jake began into a few tales of dozing on the couch while Grace "slapped" him, which word doesn't need quotations because she really does SLAP him on the face when he's napping.

Because what's a girl supposed to do on Sunday when her parents are asleep? Pee on the carpet? Check. Scream at Ruby so loudly you'd think Ruby was shaving Gracie's head against her will? Check. Play silently with her thousands of toys outside on the patio in the 75-degree sunshiney day? Check. But not quite enough. Must. Slap. Daddy. What in the world...?

So Grace and I had a talk about how that wasn't really very nice, during which she stared at the wall. When chastizing my girls, the biggest battle is making them actually MAKE EYE CONTACT with me in my ranting. I suspect little boys may not play this recoiling game, but my girls? They have found the most subtle and annoying ways to shun during a lecture. I'm still figuring that one out.

The rest of the evening consisted of a little bike ride past the lake and a little bit of swimming in the clubhouse pool in street clothing. I had nothing to do with this, it was all Jake's fault. My pregnant self was sitting on a lounge chair the whole time, after having walked almost a mile, and I was told the main purpose in the beginning was to "wash Ruby's feet off".

But what I want to emphasize this evening is how a loud orchestra movement of a day can come to a close so silently. It's dark outside. The girls are in their beds, asleep. I steal in their room for a few minutes after they are asleep every night for a little peace-filled nuzzling. These are the times I can barely describe without tears. Snuggled into their pillows, their bodies and minds have worked so hard throughout the day that seeing them still brings an extra spectrum of silence to my heart.

The past day flies by in my head in flashes- A dumped-out toy bin, a few peeled apples, clothes thrown on the floor, some screaming, Grace's voice, Ruby's profile, the smell of their hair, the bathroom practically flooded after their bath... so many things. All coming to a brief end for the night. And they look like they did when they were babies, their eyelashes resting on their cheeks, smelling like shampoo and baby sweat. Another night of growing bigger and smarter, only to wake in the morning with energy pulsing in their veins. Sometimes I just can't handle how old they already are. And it's almost Monday again...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Names Again

We have never been so indecisive about names! Tell me what you think about these..
Here are the ones still managing to hang in there on the main list:


Here are some recent add-ons:

Emerald (would never work with Ruby, but it's a cute name)
Helena (Hel-en-a)

I know our taste in names is a little funky, but there are also my own picky things about words: I don't like names that start with a soft vowel, like Emma. However, I think the name Emma is pretty, but way too common. I also don't like words or names that end in "tt" (or "l"). People never pronounce them, they just end the vowel a little stronger, get what I'm saying? Like instead of Scarlett, it's "Scarleh". Odessa is my Great Grandma's name and I still love the name so much.. but we have no idea! Maybe I should just have our girl and then it'll come to me.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008

Photos are a bit blurry, there wasn't quiet enough light, but these are my little friends on Valentine's Day. We baked red velvet cupcakes and proceeded to eat them for two meals yesterday and three meals today.
Jake and I put our Valentine's Day photos from our little project into albums and wrote little notes about each one. I swear, for all the attitude he was throwing out, he was going to really slack on this one. BUT, his book was WAY better than mine: heartfelt, and completely made me cry. When I had tears brimming on one picture about me loving salads and the outdoors, he looked at me with a triumphant smile that reminded me of the ONE present on Christmas that always makes mom cry. And if you're the giver of that gift, it's the ultimate honor. The perfect concoction of sensitivity and thought. He deserved a trophy, even though he had the pregnancy hormones on his side...
Good one, Jake. You made this V-Day one of the best of my life.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

V Day

Jake and I usually go out to breakfast on Valentine's Day. As the years have gone on, we have been forced to do other things since he's usually working and I don't want to get up at 6a.m. to eat breakfast. Not super romantic, since my eyes wouldn't even be open all the way. Well this year I got a great idea from a website I look at. We are each going to use a disposable camera to take pictures of "reasons why we love eachother". I'll develop them tomorrow morning and hand Jake his envelope without looking at it. Then we will make a list of reasons and explain the pictures, and then we'll give them to eachother! Sweet, right? Let's hear a big huge "awwww". Thanks guys. Happy Valentine's Day!
p.s. when I was single, especially in High School, I hated Valentine's Day. So if you're single (Jared, etc.) then I'm truly sorry I even brought this up and please don't be nauseous.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Let's Pretend This Never Happened

It was 2 p.m. on Sunday. Church was over, lunch was over, Jake had settled in for a long winter's nap. I was tired, but there are always fun things to do besides take a nap, so I got on the computer upstairs. I thought I would do something churchy like... mm... read blogs. After a few minutes, a pleasant sound wafted up the stairs toward me. Laughter, giggling, unlike the usual. It hit me then. There can be peace in the world, there can be peace in my home, and my girls DO get along. I pictured them in a few years sharing secrets behind their closed bedroom door, me just an outsider to their tight sister bond. What a reward as a parent!

By this time, I'm on the family website, tinkering, I hear more laughter. This can't get any better!! I don't even have a movie on for them! They're getting along so well. Something happened in the back of my brain just then which I didn't recognize at the time, but I do now. Some kind of warning. But if they were making some kind of mess, I'm sure it is just with water or washable markers, and my girls having fun together is surely worth the clean-up I would have to do (or make them do).

Now I've moved onto watching a video of my neice in Utah who I miss so much. She's saying "Banana". So cute! The laughter from downstairs becomes louder and clearer as I hear the girls running back and forth along the carpeted hallway, onto the tile entry, and into the basket that holds our shoes. I can literally hear the wicker basket make that crunching sound every time they run into it. What could they possibly be doing? Ah well, onto perusing online for a maternity swimsuit (oh, the joy!).

I swing my head around to the landing just in time to see both girls charging up the stairs with HUGE giggly smiles all over their faces. They are both naked. No specific thoughts at this point. They run into their room where Jake had fallen asleep in Gracie's bed. They start telling sleeping Daddy that "Ruby... Ruby... (both of them laughing hysterically)... Ruby peed on the carpet and I..... DID....... TOOOO"! Wait, What? NO. NO.

I fly downstairs in a vortex that carries the girls right down with me. First thing, a shiny puddle with foot and body prints in it.. sitting on the tile next to the shoe basket. And for the first time, my mind catches up with the past sounds. Running, sliding, into the basket. They were sliding on Ruby's urine on the tile and having a grand time running into the basket. What Sunday fun! Before I even knew what took control of my body, both girls sort of flew through the air and onto the couch. My socks were now soaking wet from walking across the peed-on carpet, across the living area, and to the couch. I am beyond a grossed-out-livid-mean-monsterous-beast. Grace is sullen. Ruby is still trying to tell me about how funny it was, studdering something about "and then, and then, I slipped, and then it was so funny, it was funny, huh Gracie?!"

Seriously. My girls. Peeing, running, sliding.. Ruby has always been surprisingly mischevious. But Gracie? Who hasn't wet her bed in almost two years? Give me mud in their clothes, give me syrup on the couch cushion, give me milk on a pantleg, but when there's urine involved, watch me freak out.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

20 weeks

Courtesy of

"This Week's Activity:
Treat yourself to something nice. You've made it to the halfway mark in your pregnancy, so celebrate with a little indulgence. Need some ideas?
• For your comfort, try scented soaps or candles, new pajamas, or a prenatal massage.
• For a keepsake, splurge on a piece of jewelry with your baby's birthstone, professional pictures of your pregnant self, or a frame for your ultrasound pictures.
• To share with your baby, consider a favorite book from your childhood, a calming CD that you can listen to together, or something special for the nursery.
• To feel like a hot momma, buy yourself a piece of clothing that makes you feel really sexy or get a free makeover at a department store."

Riiiiiiiiiiiiight. Mm, Chh, Hello? I would opt for a greasy pony tail and sweats any day over "a piece of clothing that makes you feel really sexy". I mean, that's what got me into this mess in the first place, right? No need to encourage anyone...

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A Picnic in the Back

Time seems to be carried on a freight train and headed top speed out from under and away from me!! I'm never quite caught up... These are my two best friends. Every minute, day, and week, and that's how it's been since March 13, 2003. Just a mom, doin' my thing. We went swimming today and they were VERY upset when we had to leave the pool and come back home. They wailed together, shoulder to shoulder, walking through the doorway, like they were headed to a prison camp. Until I suggested that they sit on the couch with blankies, eat crackers and cheese, drink milk, and watch Goofy cartoons. They were so elated, you'd think they both got accepted to Stanford. I guess I'm really good at suggestions. Life is so great for these two, I wish I could be a little girl again.. and really appeciate the singleness of thought.. such as: "Today I'm going to walk out on the pavement barefoot to see how warm it is and then probably scream in fear if I see an ant. That's all".

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Sarasota Beach with the Smylie Family

I am a complete loonie. I started crying in the bank drive-thru. Something went through my mind about the mean manager lady and other people in Florida "who just don't understand". I mean I just moved here, right? And now people are telling me that because my Bank of America account is still new, that they can put paychecks on random holds for 7 days at a time and blah blah blah. Then without thinking that it would be better to just deposit the check and move on, I asked for the check back.. not knowing what I would do. Maybe cash it somewhere else and bring the cash back to the bank?

Like, seriously people. These hormones are like a shot of something pulsing through my brain in a huge, fat vessel and there's nothing I can do. The only thing that came to mind is- keep crying, drive off, and call Jake. That went over well when he DIDN'T ANSWER, and then the tears were all about "who really cares about me if he doesn't??"... I mean, what's he so busy with that he can't answer? What? Working for a living? Working to support us (not to mention me eating like 6 meals a day)?

Then Ruby hurt her head on something in the car (I had unbuckled her in the driveway), and at one point, there were almost three of us crying and there could have been four, the poor innocent new baby was probably crying in fear of the emotional mess she will be born into.

Then I hear something muffled, some voice coming from the black periferie somewhere (oh, the back of the car), and it's Grace asking "Mommy, why are you crying?" Then I got embarrassed. Number one, I had no real answer to that question, I really didn't know why I was crying. Number two, I realized that this time around, there are WITNESSES. Grace isn't 18 months old and I'm pregnant. She's almost 5. She remembers things like this. And she'll tell on me. To someone. That person would most likely be someone in Jake's family, who I'm sure wouldn't be that surprised, because having a loonie sister-in-law is as common as having a purse. So I thought I'd save her the trouble and tell on myself.