Monday, September 14, 2009

An experiment

I'm going to try something new this week.

It's going to be a challenge.

I'm interested to see how things go.

I'm going to attempt to stop COMPLAINING, both out loud and in my head...

...about the never-ending, labor-intensive, exhausting, mundane aspects of being a full-time mother.

This post isn't so much about how taxing it is to be a mom ('cause, come on, duh!), or a tirade against my husband ('cause he's as good as they get), it's more an awakening inside of me, a shift in perspective, a change of attitude. From the very beginning, I expected Taber to share the burden and blessing of having twins. But, it feels like I've been fighting these past three years to make sure the work load has been fair and to make sure I'm not doing more of it than I should be. How exhausting it has been to keep score. I'm done.

I think I'm finally coming to terms with giving my whole self over to being a mother - cleaning up the same mess multiple times a day (and not complaining about it), losing precious sleep to soothe a crying child (and not complaining about it), performing the bedtime rituals for two three year olds solo (and not complaining about it) - get the idea? And not just not complaining about it, but also not punishing others with my own self-pity. I'm going to do all that I can for anyone I can for as long as I am physically able. And I'm going to be cheerful and happy to do it. I'm going to give 100% and stop worrying about how much everyone else is giving. How liberating! I feel my heart expanding as I write this.


"I promise you that what appears today to be a sacrifice will prove instead to be the greatest investment that you will ever make."
president gordon b hinckley

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

On being an adult

I submitted my first auto insurance claim today. It made me feel like an adult.

Can I just say, being an adult sucks!?!

As an unrelated sidenote, if you find yourself standing in Blockbuster in the near future and you can't find a SINGLE movie that looks good (happens to me too often), meander over to the "B" section and pick up the movie "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas." You won't regret it.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

JDER Smith Family Reunion 2009

Love you all. Even the crazy ones. You know who you are.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Family time

We're off. For a week and a half. To reconnect with family.

It's going to be great.

Eliza holding her one-month old cousin, Annabelle. She is even cuter in real life than she is in these pictures. The thing the girls were looking forward to the most on our trip to Tennessee?
Getting to hold this little doll.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Shades of meaning

What do you think the difference is between these two phrases?

I love you.

I'm in love with you.

What if you were the one saying them? What if you were the one hearing them?

Thoughts? Just curious.

Today's excitement

I'm sure you're all dying to know what adventure was on the agenda for today.

Car trouble.

Let's just say, by the time the day usually begins, I was already tired.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Since the 4th...

And I thought the first four days were eventful.

-Monday night/morning, at 3am, I was awake (thanks to my darling insomniac of a daughter) and heard a curious noise outside. It sounded like a junker car trying to start. I wondered who would be heading out at 3am. This is a pretty quiet neighborhood. Not only that, but no one in the cul-de-sac has an old car. I looked out of our bedroom window, saw nothing. I got back into bed. Not a minute later, I heard the same noise, but this time the car started. I looked out of the window again, and surprisingly, the car was driving out of our driveway. It spooked me so bad. What were they doing in our driveway, how long had they been there, who were they, etc.? I begged Taber to go check things out. He said nothing was missing and fortunately we had secured the house before going to bed, but he noticed tire tracks in our backyard. It looked like the mystery men had driven into the development from an open gate, driven through our yard and then out our driveway. Fine, maybe they were drunk, maybe they were running from the cops, but then why did they have to stop in our driveway? It still gives me the creeps just thinking about it. Taber and I have been busy coming up with theories, but I guess we'll never really know. All I know is that they robbed me of a couple hours of precious sleep. It took me over an hour to get back to sleep.

-Tuesday night, Isabelle woke up with a scary cough. It was making it difficult for her to breathe. We called the on-call nurse and she advised us to bring Izzy into the ER. Taber loaded her up and took off. They didn't get back home until 2:15am. It ended up being croup. She came home covered in stickers, with a sort of goody bag with coloring book pages and crayons. Nice. I wonder if the girls will start devising ways to make midnight runs to the ER to score the free goody bags.

-And the latest excitement for this month deserves just one word.


I decided this week would be potty training boot camp. I'm happy to report the girls are in their beds right now, diaper free. I'm dreaming of all the fun things our obscene, obsolete diaper budget can now buy instead. Of course, there are the occasional accidents, but overall they're doing a fabulous job. They take naps and sleep in panties and almost all of the time (it's only been a few days so far), they wake up dry. We can take them out in public in panties and almost all of the time, they are accident-free. It is so liberating to be unchained from diapers. I've traded diaper changes in for other chores (cleaning up accidents, enduring multiple potty breaks in one shopping trip, etc), but it's a trade I was ready to make. I am so proud of my not-so-little girls!!! They've turned from babies to big girls with this one milestone.

I'm pretty sure this month will go down in Wilson family history.

Friday, June 5, 2009

What's better than chocolate? Free chocolate.

Check out this website every Friday to get your coupon for free chocolate. You can collect up to 4.

You're welcome.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

And it's only the 4th

June has been a busy month. Already. It feels like a month's worth of excitement and drama have been wrapped up in the past four days. Normally, this first week of June is busy anyway because it's birthday week: my mother-in-law, my husband, and my mother all celebrate birthdays this week. But to make things more interesting, let's throw another birthday, a few trips to the doctor, and a few cops to the mix...

On the first day of June...
-our 3rd niece/girl cousin was born. Her fine parents named her Annabelle Marie. Isn't that a beautiful name? Now we have an Isabelle and an Annabelle. We were joking the other day that we'll have to change Eliza's name to Elizabelle just so she won't feel left out.
-Momma Bonnie celebrated her birthday. Far, far away, in Utahland. Agenda for next June 1st? Sky diving, I've heard. Wild and crazy? I think so.

On the second day of June...
-the last of the Smiths went out of town, leaving us here in this huge house all by ourselves. My biggest challenge in the next 2 weeks? Keep myself from "accidentally" killing Jack-dog.

On the third day of June...
-we celebrated Daddy's birthday. Oh, the girls had a ball with this. We met Taber at school and took him out to lunch, his choice of restaurant. Arby's it was. Then we dropped him back at school and headed out to do some birthday shopping. On the list? Laces for some of Taber's boots. How hard could it be to find stinkin' shoelaces? 4 stores later, a gazillion buckling/unbucklings of car seats, all afternoon spent, 2 huge blisters on mommy's feet and still no laces. Don't worry, I'm still working on it. I found a shop in NORTH CAROLINA that sells the right size/type laces. Seriously?!? They better be woven with gold thread. Moving on...We had a delicious home-cooked dinner of steak (Taber's favorite), mashed potatoes and gravy, and pasta salad, followed by a smashing party, complete with cake, strawberry ice cream (Taber's favorite), and presents. I learned a few things from this party.
***One, the extra money you spend at a party store for helium balloons is worth it. Notice the drooping, mini balloon in the picture below. This was only a few hours after we got them blown Wal-Mart. (Wal-Mart is not to be confused with a party store. Sure, they have low prices and everything, but their helium balloons suck.) They were all to the floor this morning when we woke up. In my mind, a birthday party is not a birthday party without helium balloons.
***Two, we're reaching the limit on the number of candles (27!) we can (safely) fit and light on a birthday cake. I have read about a billion old fogie birthday cards joking about this very thing, but the humor is just now revealing itself to me, now that it's personal. Maybe we'll just have to enlarge the cake. Yeah, that sounds like the best solution. :) It was extremely difficult lighting all 27 candles by myself, carrying the cake over to Taber, singing Happy Birthday and snapping a single picture of him before the candles had completely disappeared into the cake. Next year - Texas sheet cake and roman candles.

As a side note, the girls sang Happy Birthday to Taber about 4 times yesterday. They were so cute about it.

On the fourth day of June...

-Eliza had a doctor's appointment to get her ears checked. She had an ear infection earlier this spring and the doctor had us come back a few weeks later to check to make sure the fluid in her ear had all drained out. It hadn't. At that appointment, I also mentioned I was concerned with her hearing. (She says 'huh?' every other sentence. Sometimes she reminds me of an 80 year old man. Sad.) The doctor said the fluid could be muffling sounds, making it hard for her to hear. She asked us to come back so she could check the fluid for a second time. We went today and the doctor said her ears looked beautiful. That's not what I wanted to hear. It seems like fluid would be one of the easiest things to fix. Now I get to wonder what could be causing her hearing problems. The pediatrician referred us to an audiologist who is better equipped to perform in-depth testing. I'll report the findings in a few weeks. Stay tuned.

WARNING: Slightly graphic injury photos following. (Dude, you should have seen it before the doctor got to her. I thought I was going to pass out!)
-Familiar with the story "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed?" Let's just say we reenacted this book today, but instead of their being five little monkeys, there were two.

Two little monkeys, jumping on the bed,

Eliza fell off and bumped her head,

Momma called the doctor, and the doctor said,

"Bring her in right away."

The girls were jumping on a big king bed that is sitting in the middle of their room before they took their afternoon nap. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Isabelle push Eliza off the bed. This happens often, but unfortunately this time, Eliza's head smacked into the dresser. She started crying and so I went over to console her. She was holding her forehead in her hands. I saw blood seeping through her fingers. Oh crap. Then I peeked under her hands. Oh crap, crap, crap. What do I do? Her forehead had a huge gash in it. It was about an inch long, but worse than the length was the depth. I could see layers I never wanted to see. After consulting with our family's EMT (Taber), I decided to call the doctor. They asked me how far away we lived and then told me to bring her right in. I cleaned it up as well as I could and clumsily bandaged it. I rushed out to the van and sped off to the doctor's office. As I was pulling out of the driveway, I thought to myself, "Wouldn't that be funny if I got pulled over for speeding?" Yep, the joke was on me. About 2 minutes from the doctor's office, there he was. Sitting on the other side of the hill. He saw me, I saw him, I knew exactly what was coming. He walked up to the car, asked for my license, after which I proceeded to tell him my daughter gashed her head and I was rushing her to the hospital. (I may have been dramatic for effect...) My ramshackle bandage came in handy then, because he looked in the car back to her seat where he saw this gauze pad folded over, held to her head with a finger bandage. He said he clocked me at 49 in a 35, but that he'd just ask me a few questions, give me a written warning and let me go on my way. He asked me if I worked (what is the point of that question?) and what year my car was. He came back a few minutes later, handed me my slip, and let me get on my way. Now this incident on its own is nothing...but I got another written warning last Saturday when I was waiting for my mom in a fire lane at Hobby Lobby. The car was still running, I was in the drivers seat, but the cop still wrote me up. Lame. A real Owasso policeman patrolling the parking lots at the mall??? Don't you have some meth lab to go bust or something? He told me the ticket for this offense was $119. Ouch. Lucky me, I guess he was feeling generous to just give me a warning. Ever since Saturday, I've been feeling kind of nervous - I feel like I have a target on my car now and the tiniest slip-up would nail me. I'm "in the system" now. So I guess I was doubly lucky he didn't stick it to me today. And thus continues my 11 year ticketless driving career. It's something I'm very proud of. Not just that I've never gotten a ticket, but that I've been pulled over countless times (probably at least 10 times) and always gotten off.

Enough bragging. Back to the story. We got to the doctor's office and the nurse and doctor took a look at the gash and they both agreed it looked pretty serious. I felt justified by their reaction and that I wasn't over exaggerating how bad it was. The doctor said it would definitely need stitches. In my mind I thought, "Good. Now the stitch score will be even. Isabelle, 1; Eliza, 1." Everything must be equal in twindom. The doctor left to get the materials for the stitches ready, but when she came back she said this type of scar was actually a prime candidate for dermabond, a type of super glue for the body. So basically she just glued Eliza's head back together. No needles, no stitches, no drugs. We were in and out in less than 15 minutes. Poor girl.

I wonder what excitement the next 26 days have in store. Or do I?

Just a random picture of the girls showing off their big booties. I let them go swimming in the kiddie pool in the backyard with normal diapers and this is what happened. Oh man, it was hilarious. Some serious junk in their trunks.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

For Uncle Hyrum

For some reason, this picture made me think of you.

Friday, May 8, 2009

This is getting old

Number of months we've lived in Oklahoma: 4
Number of job applications Taber has submitted: 25
Number of job applications Kim has submitted: 5
Number of jobs Taber and/or Kim have been offered: 0
Number of weeks before Kim and/or Taber go crazy: ?

This is getting really old.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Another couple of projects

Here is another project I did. Below are the flexible hoses that my class attached pipe fittings to. It sure was a tough project. Not that it was very mentally demanding, but it took some muscle. I really had to force the fittings on there. The second photo shows a close-up of what we put on the end of the flexible hose (both the gold and black parts).

This second set of photos was the result of yet another project. I took a straight piece of aluminum tubing, put fittings on it, then bent it according to the specifications the teacher gave us. After I did that, the teacher damaged the pipe, so I had to repair it. That is why you see the black part on the lower end of the tube on the first picture. As for the second photo, the flared end of the tube was also done by me. I used a special tube flaring tool to do it. The third picture is the tube being pressure tested. It had to hold 1500psi for at least on minute. The tray of hydraulic fluid was used to lubricate the flexible hoses and to prep the hydraulic line. My line passed.

A Little of What I do

For the past four months, I've been busy training to become an airplane mechanic (the PC term is Aviation Maintenance Technician, stupid PC). Usually all I get to do is sit in class and work on worksheets, or view powerpoints about various items. However, once in a while I also get to do some really fun, hands on things. The hands on things are generally called projects. One project I did started with these two items above. The first picture is a piece of Steel Rod Stock, and the second picture is a piece of aluminum bar stock. We cut the bar stock to size, heat treated it (heated it up to a high temp and then put it in cool water) and practiced anodizing it (anodizing is a corrosion resistant coating that turns the aluminum a gold color). My class then put the metal aside so that we could practice our drafting skills. We ended up drawing up the plansfor our individual blocks. Each of us had to follow precise instructions. My blue prints ended up looking like this:

Once I finished the blueprints, I had to manufacture the block according to the dimensions and layout on the blueprints. That included drilling holes in specific places, doing a countersink (so a countersunk screw or rivet could sit flush with the surface), counterbore one hole, thread two holes, ream two holes to a specific size, then put a helicoil in one of the holes that I already threaded. The block itself had to be within certain dimensions, so I hand filed the block until it was in those dimensions and was square. The corners also had to be rounded so that they were at a certain dimension and radius. The rod stock also had to be cut to a certain size, the head of the bolt filed so that it was square and a 5/16 wrench could fit on it. On the bottom of the rod stock, I had to cut threads in it until it fit into one of the holes I threaded on the piece of aluminum and it was flush with the end of the block when threaded. This is how the finished product looked.

As part of the finished product, we had to polish the block. I had a pretty good time making this. I used everything from jewlers files to drill presses. Most of the time we worked in the shop with a cessna 172. It was great.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter weekend

We woke up Sunday morning to a gray, cloudy, rain-filled sky.
We were relieved that we had done all the traditional Easter festivities on Saturday, when the weather was much more Spring-like.
The Easter bunny strikes
(who else loves those movies? some of our childhood favorites)
Isabelle, showing off her basket
Eliza, mid-hunt
Isabelle, being taught how to properly eat a chocolate Easter bunny

Eliza, enjoying her Easter spoils

Isabelle: 2.5 years old, going on 27 (wearing mommy's high heels and carrying mommy's purse)

She came down later that evening, informing me she was going to Prom. She had my purse again, had gotten her Sunday shoes on, and was ready to leave. She came and gave me a kiss goodbye. I played along, opening the door for her, telling her I expected her home before 11:30pm. She got as far as the front sidewalk before I made her come back. It was raining. The girls have been in love with the idea of prom ever since Aunt Amanda went a few weekends ago.

I'll admit it. I bribed the girls with candy. All I wanted was one good picture of them in their Easter dresses, looking at the camera and smiling. I know I was asking a lot for the smiles. This was the best smile I could get from Eliza. And it was only because I starting speaking to her in jibberish out of desperation. She was probably secretly thinking, "My mom is a nutjob." In her defense, she and Isabelle have not been feeling well lately. The girls and I had to come home early from church. They were so disappointed they couldn't go to nursery.

This is what I got when I asked them to put their arms around each other. That's what you would call a literal interpretation.

Finally. A good one.

Isabelle's hair, complete with handmade hair accessories

Monday, March 30, 2009

A month's worth of highlights

A brief, illustrated look into our lives over the past few months.

Valentine's Day. Nothing really worked out like it was supposed to, but we still had a great time! (The restaurant I wanted to take Taber to, Texas Roadhouse, had a 2 1/2 hour wait - I couldn't believe people would actually waste that much time just waiting to eat. We ended up at Logan's Steakhouse after checking at two other steakhouses on the same road, both with horrendous waits. The meal was delicious and we had a fraction of the wait. I also wanted to take Taber ice skating, but again, it was packed and they were turning people away.)

Daddy/daughter date. The girls had a ball. Ever since they went on their date, the girls have been asking to go to another "dance party." They now equate the stake center with F-U-N. We went to stake conference a couple of weeks ago and the girls thought we were taking them to a dance party.

Circus time! We took the girls to their (and my) very first circus. It was kind of painful because once you got in the door, everything required cash - the elephant rides, the pony rides, the cotton candy and popcorn, the face painting, the light-up gadgets. You name it, it cost cash money. Getting in was just the beginning. So, there we were, early, without dinner, trying to get the girls to understand why they couldn't ride the ponies while all the other little kids around them were. I don't know, we just don't carry cash on us. Lesson learned. My favorite part of the show was the amazing acrobatics. The girls' favorite part? The blow-up Dora doll daddy found at a vendor that actually accepted debit cards. Isabelle's least favorite part? CLOWNS!
My mom, sister and I threw a baby shower for my sister-in-law, Melissa. She has two boys and is so excited for the arrival of her first daughter, Annabelle. It was hard not to get excited about it all, too. The whole affair was pink - all the guests dressed in pink, there were pink balloons, pink streamers, pink candles, pink roses, pink candy, pink lemonade, and pink onesies hanging on a clothesline. The walls were just a bonus. It was so girly and oh-so-fun!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Spring Break
We had a really hard time trying to decide where we would go for Spring Break. This has not been a dilemma we have had to face for many years (BYU doesn't offer its students a Spring Break). Taber had a week off of school and with no job (yet), we didn't have any strings keeping us here. We dreamt of driving out to visit family in Idaho to help celebrate a graduation and we also dreamt of driving to Florida to visit family and play in the ocean and lay on the beach. And then we came back down, out of the clouds. Realizing we should probably be as frugal as possible given our current circumstances, we opted for closer to home, like really close. Like Oklahoma City. Surprisingly, there was a lot to do and see and we ended up having a fabulous time. We spent one day at the zoo (along with rest of the state of Oklahoma - it was incredibly crowded) and a science museum. The next day we toured downtown OKC - my little family indulged me and agreed to go to the botanical gardens with me. Loved it! We also went to the national memorial. Very touching. We got to ride around town in a trolley and eat lunch at an actual eat-in Sonic (Sonic's headquarters are in OKC). We strolled along the river in Bricktown. We swam in our hotel's pool every night to satisfy the girls' aquatic cravings. We visited the largest Wal-Mart in all of Oklahoma, a fact the hotel receptionist seemed proud to pass on. It seemed like a mini-town inside, reminding me of the movie/book "Where the Heart Is." We drove by the temple to show the girls that they really do exist outside of Utah. We ate dinner in our hotel room to save a couple of bucks, introducing the girls to the fine dining experience of Kid Cuisine. We had an awesome time and it left us wanting to go back again, to rent bikes to ride along the river, to take a river cruise, to enjoy all that our new state has to offer. It's fun being a tourist in your own backyard.
Eating our picnic in our hotel
The Wal-Mart city block
At the zoo
At the botanical gardens......In Bricktown

At the Oklahoma City Memorial