Roving, Babbling, Plotting, Etc...

*A disclaimer: I only compare my kids to each other for reference, I find their differences really interesting since they come from the same gene pool and yet are so very different*
I have failed to post much about Brynlee since her birth, mostly because she hadn't really been doing much besides eating, sleeping, messing and lying on the floor. But I have fun news. Brynlee is growing up! I really should upload some video's but I don't have the patience to do it at the moment. It is so fun to hear Bryn's little/BIG voice! Kalea didn't babble like this until she was a little older, so it's been great. Brynlee likes to make all sorts of shapes with her mouth, these days, my favorite is her "O" face, which turns into her trying to blow raspberries and it is just too cute. She tries to blow so hard and most of the time it doesn't work, but her cheeks puff up so big! So basically, she can say the word "wow" because of this- smart baby! She had me laughing so hard on my birthday I was crying- Kalea was very concerned until she realized I was crying happy laughter tears, then she tried copying me. Another fun thing Brynlee's doing is sucking on her bottom lip as hard as she possibly can until she makes that weird croaking/frog noise. It is hilarious, the first time she did it she scared herself into a fit, but now she loves it. I love that she is constantly making noise- what a weird thing to say, but sometimes it's really nice to just have some background noise to my day. What else is new with Brynlee? She rolls all over the place now, I went to put something in the kitchen a few days ago and left her in the middle of the living room and when I got back a minute later she had rolled under Kalea's highchair in our eating nook- impressive. Kalea was not a roller baby, she did it a handful of times and then decided to crawl. Please don't comment about how her brain may not be fully functioning because she didn't roll enough, she is too smart for her own good most days :) Brynlee is well on her way to the crawling thing too, so I expect we'll be a lot busier in the coming months. We are also noticing how Brynlee is very interested in people, she's an observer. She laps up everything around her and it's fun to see the little wheels turning. She's much more cautious about things than her big sister- which leads us to believe that she'll also get fooled into doing a lot of things she wouldn't otherwise do. Someone made the comment to me that it'll probably be Brynlee that ends up with all the broken bones because Kalea will be the one bossing her into doing things. I am 100% expecting this to be the case, but hey, at least my expectations are realistic! I think whatever "trouble" they get into together will only help their bond, and I'm looking forward to witnessing how their little minds work together.
These girls are both so much fun, I couldn't have asked for two better little people to have in my home. Some days are not so glamorous or perfect and I wonder what the heck I was thinking, but these kids are teaching me so much about myself, I can't help but love them and be grateful.


Birthdays: Love/Hate

So it's that time of the year again, and I'm feeling somewhat apprehensive about this birthday on Saturday. I have no idea why, maybe because it's technically my last year of being in my "mid-twenties"? I don't generally have issues with birthdays... Maybe it's because Steve's away for it this year, so I don't get my usual full day off from chores/kids/responsibility? LOL I do get a mani/pedi in the morning, so I get at least half a day to myself. I think that's good enough for this year. I always look forward to birthdays though, I get ridiculously excited. I go to bed the night before completely giddy for the next day, and I think maybe this year the fact that I don't have a date to look forward to is kinda bumming me out. Waaaah I know, it's not that big a deal. So since I don't get to look forward to that, I do get to look forward to my mom making dinner and getting me a yummy cake. Yay!
I'm also in the market for a new camera this year- I've made my request to the birthday fairies(aka parents) for going in on one with Steve, but I don't know which one. So I need some help, I am sick sick sick of my point and shoot Nikon that I've had, literally forever ie. Christmas 2001. It doesn't let me have enough control over what the finish product becomes and I hate having to edit EVERY picture to make it look half decent. What have you all graduated up to? Loves/hates about your cameras? Shopping tips? Throw your ideas my way, I am open to anything, unless the cost is going to put us in the poor house :)


It's Been A ______ Day

*You fill in the blank, I'll tell the story and try to make it sound as minimally depressing as humanly possible.*
Steve left early this morning to go back to Ft. McMurray for work- BUMMER! I hate saying goodbye and knowing I won't see him face to face for another 10-14-who knows how many days? I hate that everytime he leaves Kalea and I both have a meltdown, only she's more easily distracted than I am, so hers passes much quicker than mine. I think I just dislike playing the dual parent role, it's hard to be a bit of everything everyday, so these 4 day visits are a welcomed break from that.
While Steve and I were saying goodbye, Brynlee decided to roll multiple times around us- cute! Later in the day, Kalea occupied herself coloring for around 45mins- this is a huge development since her attention span for coloring is usually only about 5mins!
Later still, Brynlee decided to fall asleep with me- this never happens anymore- I felt so lucky! I love sleeping babies, they're so warm and look so divine.
When Brynlee and I woke up, I decided Kalea must be done napping- she plays when she wakes up now. So up the stairs I start to go see, only my nose smells the rancid odor of, well, you know, "feces" at about step #2. I knew it was going to be bad. I did not know it was going to be that bad. I hear Kalea talking to herself, so I throw open the door and step into a pile of... FECES! If anyone knows me though, sometimes when I'm taken off-guard I start to laugh. So that's what I did, I laughed and cursed under my breath as I discovered that there were FOUR little piles of human waste in a little trail from a few feet in front of her door to her favorite play place in the closet =) It was just a wonderful bonding experience for the two of us. While I picked up piles of her shtuff Kalea gave me hugs and patted my back and laughed right along with me. I especially love how cooperative she was when we found her completely dry/clean diaper in the closet next to one of the infamous piles =) Seriously, she jibber-jabbered at me, grabbed the diaper, lay down and basically put it on by herself, impressive no? Lovely really.
I guess this is just one of those uber glamorous mom days that I'll look back at and maybe miss... or not... I got puked on today too, so probably won't miss it, but we'll laugh about it, yes we will!


Who Am I, Where Am I From, Why Am I Here and Where Am I Going?

I added a widget to our blog today, "The Mormon Channel". I don't think I'm ever overly in anyone's face about what I believe, nor do I want to be. But I know a lot of my friends wonder and have asked questions, I have too. The content is set up like any other online radio station, it streams content on various topics, or you can click on different sections. What I'm loving right now is the section called "Music With A Message". You can click on whatever topic you want like, Faith, Repentance, Peace and Service. It mixes some spoken word with "faith promoting" music, not just hymns.
I haven't ever really taken advantage of all of the things our Church has set up for us to use on a regular basis- but this website is gold. I started looking at it more closely as I prepared my lesson for last Sunday and it's set a completely different tone in our house since, especially this afternoon as I've cleaned. I have to admit the section Family,Home,Children has made me shed a few tears- but not in a bad way. "If I Only Had Today" by Hilary Weeks is probably the one that does it every time, but it's so true. This sounds like a plug, but it's not, I'm just really appreciating that I belong to something that is so far reaching and answers every question I've ever had. I'm so grateful that this gospel isn't just a Sunday thing for us, even though some weeks it seems like it is. I'm also grateful for how music can speak to my spirit, and help things sink deeper and affect me more- for the better, everytime.


Sometimes I Am Just Too Much Woman to Handle

Don't worry, I wouldn't blog about this if it didn't turn out completely hilarious.

So after weeks of letting everything pile up, today I decided to do the laundry! I know the excitement is just too much isn't it? I did 2.5 loads of bedding/towels/blankies/spit rags and I was so ready for a break, but then I decided nope, my work is not nearly done, so on I trekked. I did a load of darks/colors of the girls' clothing- oh how I wish they made clothes like theirs for big people. Then I did a load of whites and as I neared the bottom of the hamper there were some of Steve's t-shirts, etc... so I load everything in and then I realize there's one more thing in the hamper. So I grab it and pull it out... panties...PANTIES??? WHAT THE H?!?!?!?! Yeah you don't even want to know what was going through my head. And not even cute panties, like cheap Wal-Mart brand- penman's kinda granny looking panties. My mind wandered through, like, a million horrible scenarios. Really REALLY horrible scenarios. And then in my anger and freaking out I thought it'd be brilliant to call Steve and accuse him of all the horrible things that my head was thinking. I don't want to make it sound like he was down-playing the situation, or completely insensitive to my "feelings", but he LAUGHED AT ME. Then he told me he'd call me back- clearly, because he's in the middle of installing an alarm system in someone's house in Ft. Mac and he is kind've embarrassed by my emotional outburst that everyone on that end can hear- through the cellphone. So he calls me back when he's done, by which point I have calmed slightly. Because in the back of my mind I'm starting to maybe recognize those cheap, ugly panties. Here is the convo:
Steve: Alli, I haven't been in our house for 5wks.
Allison(crying): But they aren't MY PANTIES! (see how calm)
Steve(laughing): Do you hear what you are saying? Somehow I magically telleported cheap panties into the bottom of our laundry basket?
Allison: This is not funny. How did someone else's panties get into MY LAUNDRY?!?!?!
Steve: Describe the panties to me.
Allison: WHAT?!?!?!
Steve: Well maybe you just don't remember that they're yours, describe them to me and I'll let you know.
Allison: You are crazy. Any panties I have ever owned since I was old enough to buy them myself are from actual underwear stores. I have much better taste than this disgusting person. Just tell me whose they are, it's okay, you don't have to lie to me about it.
Steve: They're yours. How could they possibly be anyone else's?
Allison: I don't know... Ugh! This is so retarded, no other female to my knowledge has been in our bedroom, let alone leaving panties in the laundry basket.
Steve: Alli, seriously, if you've been having girls over you can let me know. But if they're leaving ugly, cheap panties around, I think you can do better (chuckling)
Allison: Not funny(my mind is starting to remember something)
Steve: Hilarious. We did the laundry right before I left TOGETHER, and we loaded the laundry basket together, so I dunno what's been happening since I left! They're yours, they couldn't be anyone else's.
Allison: Okay, I guess we'll just leave them a mystery until you get back. Whatever. (mature right?)
Then we talked about his day, and our children/life, etc... said our goodbyes- he professed his love for me, etc... and got his car stuck in two feet of slushy snow :) Karma for mocking me.
FFWD to after the convo. I go up to my room and sit on my bed holding these awful panties and then I have this flicker of light go off in my head. I have a tupperware full of old underwear that obviously doesn't fit anymore, along with other unmentionables, etc... sitting beside my nightstand. I started to go through it the other day and tossed stuff around my room, unloaded and reloaded the laundry hampers into whites/darks, all that fun stuff. I also remembered that when I started tanning before/after we got married I discovered that my lotion was staining my G's, so I bought some super cheap, nasty Wal-Mart panties to wear when I went tanning so as not to destroy all my other stuff. Um, I think you know where this is going...
Great story right? Yeah. Worst Wife Ever Award Goes To: Allison, for suspecting her husband of being another Tiger or Jesse James, when clearly he is nothing but a Hard Working Prince Charming, who at least has a sense of humor about his crazy wife :) I am SO GLAD that he can put up with me cuz quite frankly I am lacking patience with myself!

My Dad and brother found this to be an awesome anecdote at the dinner table tonight. So much so that my Dad took off to go fishing as soon as he could after. I sure hope I didn't stress him out too much, he must be so proud :P


Easter, Oh How I Love Easter

For many reasons other than bunnies and candy.
I love reflecting on the life and ministry of our Savior, and the love that our Heavenly Father must have for us, to want so badly for us to have a way back home to Him. I loved that General Conference fell on this weekend and that we were able to gather as family to hear inspired messages of our Savior and His teachings that are just as relevant to us now as they were to the people He ministered to then.
I had a teaching moment with Kalea this weekend that was so tender, and reaffirmed to me that she knows exactly WHO she is, but more importantly WHOSE she is, even at her tender age. She hasn't forgotten and I am so grateful. Kalea was drawn to Oma's porcelain statue of Christ holding two children on his lap. I watched her for a minute as she carefully picked the statue up off the side table and cradled it in her tiny arms and smothered Jesus in slobbers. It was one of those sweet moments that I might've easily destroyed by running into the room and tearing Oma's "special thing" out of her hands, but I am so glad that I didn't.
Kalea actually motioned for me to sit down on the floor with her while she studied the statue and I had a minute where I could sit and explain to her who this was a statue of and how much He loves her. Then we put "Him" back on the side table and got back to playing with the toys she's allowed to handle and slobber all over :) I'm looking forward to more of these moments as she grows up.
Another reason that I loved this weekend was that we got to see Steve! Oh how I love that man and oh the joy from his girls when he surprised them in bed on Friday morning! Kalea was just wiping her eyes of their sleepy dust when Steve came bouncing into the room and she could not stop smiling or giving him hugs. It was so so sweet. And Brynlee, well she was pretty excited, tongue wagging, limbs flailing- she's pretty expressive from her head down to her toes. It was fun to see the three of them reunited, and I enjoyed every minute of rest/freedom! I even got a few really good naps in and boy was I needing those! I didn't grab a pic of the three of them this weekend- how ridiculous of me, just imagine Brynlee photoshopped into the right side of this pic!

We also got to visit Grandma McMurray, and it really wasn't long enough- it never is. I wish she had a bigger place so Kalea could "roam" better and not get into every last thing! But oh well, it was still a wonderful visit and if there is any woman on Earth who exemplifies following the Savior, it's my Grandma. She was so patient with Kalea getting into all of her things, and was thoughtful enough to even have a new Bible story book for Kalea to be entertained by.

For family who I know are reading and wondering, Grandma is moving lots better since the last visit we had- in February I think it was? She's recovering well and is being really diligent with her exercises- they're even taped up on her wall next to her bed :) It was a positive and really happy visit and she radiated happiness the whole time we were there- until we had to leave, and well, the two of us don't do well with parting so you can imagine how fun that was :(
I know all of our fasting and prayers as a family on her behalf are being answered and she had a great energy to her this time around. It sounds like she's getting lots of visits from friends at church and she's soliciting them to help her with her resistance exercises when they pop in! You know things are working when Grandma's not too shy to ask for help! Anyways, she's looking forward to her next visit with the surgeon in May and hopefully by then she'll be done with the walker and other mobility aides- she really dislikes having to use them, but I don't blame her!
All in all it was a great weekend. Lots of family and visiting, and lucky us Oma's cooking! She says she likes to show her love for her family by cooking and I think she must love us the most cuz we ate non-stop for 3 days! We love having the opportunity to spend time with our family and especially for the girls to be able to enjoy their Great's while they're still around. It's a beautiful thing to know that while they may not be around for the major milestones in their lives, our girls will be able to hear stories and see pictures of themselves with their Great's and know that they were loved by them.