Sunday, September 28, 2008


What are these magical objects that so enthrall our little ones? Their powers exceed that of food, drink, soft words, and motherly cuddling. The mere mention is enough to send a child into a fit of hysterics until it is produced or many minutes of distraction have passed. Both my sister and I have the rule for our 1 1/2 year olds that they only get it in bed or other places where they are supposed to sit quietly and/or be asleep (the carseat, stroller, sacrament meeting). Generally the babies are OK with this, and it is amazing how agreeable Willow is about going to bed when it means she gets a binky.

Anyway, the whole reason for this post is just to share a funny anecdote: Yesterday I got Willow up in the morning and, as usual, her binky had disappeared from her mouth sometime during the night. I didn't think about it, planning to scrounge under the bed for it later. As I was carrying her upstairs she started grabbing at her crotch and saying "bee-kee, bee-kee." I felt around her diaper, and sure enough, inside the body of her still-zipped up one piece pajamas was the binky she went to bed with. I don't know how she managed that one, especially since I have been putting her to bed with a one piece sleeper on and a shirt over the top of it so she won't unzip it, take it off, and freeze the night away. She can't zip them back up once they are unzipped. The funny duck. I love my babe.

The other binky funny--My nephew has his own vocal excaimation point that he adds on to things he is very emphatic about. If he is really excited or insistent on something, he will tack "da-da-da-da" on the end of it. It is really funny when he is anxiously insisting on a binky, or "bee-da" as he calls it. "Bee-da-da-da-da-da! Bee-da-da-da-da!" It was just today that his dad learned that he wasn't actually saying "Please Daddy" with that phrase. He was never able to give him what he wanted, because he only heard "please, please, please" but never please what.

I am a Good Mom

Tonight when I went to change Willow's second poopy diaper in half an hour, I noticed that she was even redder than the first time, begining to develop diaper rash. At the first touch of a wet wipe she started screaming and writhing in pain. So I stopped trying to wipe her off, stripped her down and ran a warm sinkful of water to let her sit in and clean her up instead of using wipes. She loved it.

No, there's no funny punch line tonight, I just needed to get credit for my extra effort that Willow won't remember and no one else knows about. Yay! Mommy Brownie Points for me!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Some random things and Willow

Willow has started occasionally using a potty. She doesn' tactually ask to use it when she needs to go, but she will sometimes go pee in it when I let her sit on it during a diaper change. I would also let her sit on it while I was going to the bathroom but discovered the other evening that that is a very bad idea. Although her body is capable of relieving itself, she is not yet disciplined enough not to play in it afterward. And when I am otherwise occupied, this causes big problems. So, from now on, she has to wait until I am done! Once, while I was washing my hands, she pulled the hand towel off the rack and started wiping herself with it. That one went into the laundry. Then there is the facination with toilet paper. She is having a hard time understanding that it is not a toy so you don't get it when you go pretend peepee. And she is very particular about where it goes after she uses it--her little potty, the big potty, or the garbage can (for when she gets some while she is dry). Each place is OK occasionally, but if it gets put in what she thinks is the wrong one for the occasion, she will try to fish it out. Oh, the joys.

Willow has almost all her teeth in, and she will show them to you here:

This is a picture Willow took of me. I had to be close enough to help her finger find the right button and press it hard enough, so I looks pretty much like a self-portrait.

The new baby is kicking and kicking, and I realized something about the arbitrary gender my mind assigns to the baby I am growing (as I'm sure happens in the mind of all other pregnant women who don't know what they are having). I did the same thing with Willow--although I know I don't know, when I am first pregnant, I just feel like it is a girl, and those are the gender pronouns that come out of my mouth when I am talking about it. But as soon as it starts kicking regularly, it becomes a boy, and without any conscious shift of thought, male pronouns entirely replace the female ones. Somehow Willow transformed back into a girl for the ultrasound and stayed that way until she was born. But for now, this new baby is a boy.
I am waffling between wanting to find out about this one and not. With Willow we didn't necessarily want to find out, but our reasoning was that if the technician who did the ultrasound knew, then we wanted to know. We didn't want someone else to know what our baby was and not us. However, if the technician wasn't 100% positive about the gender identification, then we didn't want to know their guess. It would be worse, I think, to think you know what it is and be wrong--Any imput on that thought, Travis and Heather? However, my sister is also pregnant, and definitely wants to find out what hers is, so I feel like I will be unduely swayed by feelings of not wanting to be left out of her club of pregnant women who know what they are having. But for myself, I really don't want to know. Usually I have such strong convictions and no problem sticking to them, but I am entirely at sea with this, and Kevin is entirely at sea in South America. There are some conversations it is just better to have in person, like constant whining and flipflopping about a decision that doesn't really make a huge difference about anything anyway. sigh.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


This is my first knitting project. It is a little loose and floppy, especially on Willow. I have since knitted Willow a hat of the same yarn, Kevin a hat (of different yarn), and one mitten for Willow. I was going to knit two mittens, but I put the first one on her and then on Sam and they were running around playing with it, and now I can't find it to make sure that the other one is made with the same measurements. I think, perhaps I will just knit two new mittens, and then if we find the old one we can just have three in the set in case she loses one....

Willow is official

This is my 18-month old girl. Do you know what that means? Willow goes to nursery (at church--the youngest children's class)! It is wonderful. Since I have had callings at church in the primary (3-11 year olds' classes) for most of her life, Kevin has had charge of her for the two class hours in general. However, since his being away, my sister has taken charge of her for those hours. In a stroke of luck, her little boy (a month older than my girl) started nursery just the week before Kevin left, so she didn't have to wrangle 2 toddlers and try to attend to class as well. But now that Willow is in nursery, we are both off the hook.

Willow would not sit up straight for this series of pictures for more than a few moments. Most of the pictures are of her laying down next to Eeyore or with Eeyore on top of her. I sure do love her.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Because Sometimes I Leave Out Important Things

So, someone commented and I realized maybe I never said--Kevin is out of the country right now. He is working off the coast of Trinidad/Tobego, which is an island northwest of Venesuela. He is on a trial run with a company that runs Remotely Operated (Submarine) Vehicles--ROV's. They are about the size of a loveseat and weight around 600 lbs. They are connected to the ship with a tethering cord which transfers power as well as the controlling and sensory information to/from the control room on the ship. It's like playing an enormous video game--only a lot more expensive if you lose.

Apparently everyone thinks Kevin is amazing (I could have told you that!), so it is looking really good that they will want to hire him fulltime after this job is through. "Full time" means that they will pay him a retainer and benefits all year round and he agrees to go out on jobs for them periodically, for which they will pay him lots and lots more. Seeing as the monthly retainer plus benefits is about equal to what he makes in a single month at his previous job, we didn't feel we had much to lose. The nice thing is that he is free to refuse any specific job, so he can be home for important events (like, oh, say, a baby being born).

He left on the 10th of August and is slated to be back the end of September. That is slated as in erasable--he could possibly be out 2-3 weeks longer. No one really knows at this point. There are too many variables including weather, equipment (mal)functioning, and budget, among others.

The work they are doing is inspecting oil rigs/platforms for BP. They are on a special boat that has water jets and fans build into the stem and stern that are hooked up to a GPS to keep them in exactly the same place constantly. This enables them to sit very close to, but not touching the rigs they are inspecting and also not drift to a degree that impairs the mobility of the ROV tethered to them. So there were big problems when one of the ROV's got wedged between the ocean floor and a pipe from the rig, and the ships positioning equipment started malfunctioning. They were trying to figure out whether they had time to get the ROV out or whether they needed to just cut the cord and get away before they drifted into the platform when the cord got caught on a submerged I-beam and snapped. Question answered. They had to leave the ROV there and head back to port for a week of waiting for repair parts. They are finally out again and in position to recover the ROV using the second one that they have, but have not yet had favorable enough currents in the area of the lost sub. At least they know it is still where they left it.

Kevin has had a good time using his various talents and skills to help with not just the job he was sent to do, but also random things around the ship. He has repaired a washer and drier and was called upon to help the chief engineer find out what was making the walk-in refridgerator in the galley suddenly start warming up. The temperature in the fridge was in the 50s when he stepped into it and guess what he found--the thermostat had been turned up to 60. The engineer felt pretty dumb about needing help on that one and he and Kevin had a good laugh togther. Kevin has also made himself useful adjusting lights, scraping and re-painting rusted bits of the deck, repairing air conditioners, setting up computer networking systems, and troubleshooting computer problems. He can't bear to be idle when he's on the clock, even when conditions completely out of his control have made it impossible to do the work they are there for. This is why everyone loves him, except maybe some of the others on his crew who feel shamed by his work ethic. But Kevin is entirely too genial to really dislike personally, even for them.

Pictures will have to wait until I talk to Kevin again and he can help me get them, but they will also come soon.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Time for a new post

I have to keep this up so I can maintain my button on Travis' blog. Maybe someday I'll get around to linking all my friends' blogs from here, too.

Anyway, life continues as usual (at least the usual of being Kevin-less for the time being). I've decided to learn to knit. Actually, re-learn to knit. I knitted a barbie scarf once when I was about 10. It was a barbie scarf because that was the only thing it was big enough to be at the point I decided I was done. Actually, I don' t think I even ever took it off the needles. So I decided to take up knitting again and actually learn how to make things a couple of weeks ago. I've crocheted for a long time and can do lots of things with it, but there are some things that are just better done with knitting needles (i.e. hats, socks, anything you want to be stretchy). I hadn't gotten around to looking for needles at a fabric store yet, however, when I went to a neighbor's garage sale and found a whole bag with 7 to 10 sets of knitting needles as well as some basic patterns, yarn, and even a few crochet hooks (Yes! you can never have enough of those!) the whole caboodle for about what I could buy one set of needles for. I snatched it up and have been knitting and purling away for a couple hours a day this week. I'll let you know when I have something.

This weekend we were supposed to go camping out on the Washington coast with a bunch of our family that is in the area. However, rain threatened and we quailed. It has been extremely wet this August. Usually August is our one dry month. So we ended up inviting everyone to camp out here in our house. We had about 20-ish people from Thursday to Saturday including a slew of little kids who camped in a tent in our living room and roasted marshmallows at the gas fireplace.

We went to the beach on Friday and the sun came out just long enough to get in the water. Willow loved it, even though the water was freezing and she got a scrape on the back of her leg from sitting on a barnacle. She would stand and let the waves crash into her legs and then all of a sudden be very very done and need to be picked up. But it didn't take long before she wanted to get down again and feel the water crash into her. That day she started saying "wadi" instead of "wa-wa" for water. This feels like a very significant linguistic advancement to me.
I love my Kevin. He keeps promising me pictures from Trinidad, but I haven't gotten any yet, so you get some pictures from when he was still home. Isn't he hot? In any case, he seems to be having a marvelous time, really enjoying his work. I am excited for him to have this opportunity and I am excited for him to be home when he gets home. He's pretty much the most amazing man I know. And he's also incredibly attractive. I'm pretty much the luckiest woman I know.

My sister just came downstairs and wanted the babies to come back up with her. She put both of her hands near her face and crooked her forefingers at them to say, "Come here." Willow must have thought she was waving at first because she put her hand right next to her face and did an overhand wave, but when she saw that Neoma's fingers were different, she closed all her fingers but her pointer and just waved with it instead. It was hilariously adorable. I tried to get a video of her doing it again, but she had her own new take on it this time. Before that in the video is her "happy dance." She does this spontaneously whenever she is really excited about something. Usually this is when I come to get her out of her crib or in between bites of an exceedingly delicious treat.

I pretty much love my family. And my life. And M & M's. (That is because a bag of them is sitting right next to me.)

I think I must be in love with Kevin. This is why: I write him letters. I can't send them to him, but I write them, and I will give them to him when he gets back. I also write him e-mails, which he can get, but for the first time in my life I feel compelled to write down what I think and feel to a person that I am not with with a real pen on real, pretty stationery. I have tried to be a good letter writer before, but have never been very successful at it. I have multiple letters that I wrote and never finished and so never sent, all the way back from when my older siblings were on missions. I was never compelled enough to do it and finish it, no matter how much I wanted to be. But now I am. It is very easy and I don't have to battle my own desires to write and write and finish the letters. I lay in bed at night and write to him instead of going to sleep. They are love letters. Some of them are mushy, but not all of them. And if this is Kevin reading, yes, this is what I was alluding to keeping me up at night.

The end for today.