We had a lot going on this weekend, and while we ran from here to there, I was taken with thought. Many of the activities we participated in and attended, provoked some serious reflection and even stirred some raw emotion inside of me.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
It's been so long since we've been able to enjoy a Saturday together as a family. I used to really look forward to Saturdays (back when life was a little less complicated). Now our Saturdays are usually devoted entirely to cleaning, organizing, yard work, grocery shopping, and our church callings. In fact, it's rare that John has a Saturday void of some kind of church assignment. I'm not trying to complain, but I would be lying if I were to say that I didn't miss the good old, carefree, leisurely - and even action packed - Saturdays of times past. I had a small church assignment to take some pictures at the mesa temple last Saturday, but was home by 9:00, and surprisingly, John didn't have a single thing going on. We decided to take advantage of our open schedule and make a field day of it. First we went to breakfast and stuffed ourselves silly. Seriously, I was in some real pain as we walked through the parking lot and out to our car. I decided that it just wasn't right...eating that much.
Asher had a blast at the game...drinking mountain dew, digging his hands into our tray of cheesy nachos, eating his very own hot dog, socializing with the crowd...not to mention his complete infatuation with the sport and it's players. John and I laughed as we watched his head move from left to right, left to right...he was following the ball intently as a couple of the players were warming up along the sideline. And he made a game of stealing our hats from our heads and then putting them on his own. He was a true fan.
Ruby, on the other hand, was clearly not feeling it. The pictures tell it all. Poor girl had assured us that she felt up to going out, despite the fact that she was up half the night barking like a seal and gasping for air. She was not loving the baseball game like Asher was; and unlike her brother - who was seriously cheasin' it every time I lifted the camera, Ruby refused to smile for a single photo. And while Asher was soaking it all up and enthralled in every detail, Ruby was pretty incognizant of anything and everything going on around her.
Luckily, after getting a little rest on our drive home, Ruby was recharged and all geared up for our night at the drive-in. We made a bed in the back of our explorer, brought a ton of treats, and took a trip with Alice into the bizarre and fanciful world of Wonderland.
By the end of the day, we were exhausted, but also revitalized...if that makes any sense. Although it was busy and tiresome, It was a much needed day of family bonding and togetherness. And it felt so good to neglect the cleaning, the laundry, and the yard work...for something that will not only strengthen and build our familial ties, but that will, without a doubt, accord us sweet and lasting memories.
Posted by nicole at 9:01 PM
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Ruby: Here mom, I have some lovely flowers for you.
Me: Thank you Ruby, but I thought I asked you not to pick any more of our flowers.
Ruby: I didn't pick our flowers, mom! I got them from the the market. Yeah, I just walked to the market, and saw these most beautiful shiny flowers, and I asked the man if I could get them, and he said yes, and then he told me that they were made of glass, kind of like Cinderella's slippers. So I brought them home from the market just for you, mom.
Me: Wow, that's quite the story. You wouldn't lie to me now would you?
Ruby: No! I Promise.
What the girl lacks in integrity, she makes up for in imagination.
Posted by nicole at 1:45 PM
I don't know what it is with this kid, but he has this strange fixation with toothbrushes (and chap stick, and dog food...but today we'll just touch on the toothbrush theme). No matter how high I put them up, or how well I hide them...he always gets to them. There isn't a cabinet he can't scale...nor a surface he can't pull himself on top of. He'll go to great lengths for a chance to put his little paws (and teeth, and tongue, and lips) on our toothbrushes. He'll grab a handful of them and carry them all around the house with him, which totally grosses me out if I I overthink it...like sometimes I imagine him swirling them around in the toilet, or using them like a brush on the dog's hair. I have no idea where those things have been. I guess what I don't know won't ever hurt me (unless I end up with e. coli or hepatitis or some other nasty bacteria). In conjunction with this somewhat annoying obsession, however, he LOVES to have his teeth brushed. So I guess I'll take the bad with the good, and pray he moves on to bigger and better things real soon... well, except for knifes. Asher please stay away from the knives.
Posted by nicole at 9:59 AM
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Posted by nicole at 9:07 PM
I had big plans for our traditional St. Patrick's Day family photo shoot...but everything that could have gone wrong - did - and I ended up throwing in the towel.
Maybe I'll try again later. For now, we're off to take Ruby to dance...isn't she just cute and festive?
Posted by nicole at 9:42 AM
Saturday, March 13, 2010
I think one of the worst things that comes with being a parent, is having to watch your children suffer. Whether it be from a skinned up knee, a case of the 24 hour flu, or listening as they recount how their feelings were hurt earlier that day. As parents, we have an inherent desire to put our arms around our children and protect them...protect them from harm, protect them from danger, protect them from pain and discomfort...and of course, to protect them from ever getting their heart broken.
For as long as I can remember - starting when she was just months old, in fact - Ruby has suffered with respiratory problems...mainly croup. I can't even count the number of times we have awoken in the night to the familiar sound of a barking seal...followed by frantic gasps for air. This year alone, this infection has plagued her (us) 5 times. And last night was no less scary. In fact, in some ways, it was a lot more scary. We have a nebulizer, coupled with a year supply of little 3 ml vials of Albuterol Sulfate. We keep them in a container under our bed so that we can get to them easily and quickly if need be. It never ceases to amaze me how quick an attack can come on. Anyone whose child suffers with frequent bouts of croup will understand when I say that on many occasions, we have put Ruby to bed in great spirits - without so much as a runny nose - only to have her wake within 10 minutes...coughing...barking...crying...and gasping. As scary as it is, and as terrible as it always sounds, I know that we are well equipped with the supplies needed to provide quick relief, so I never worry too much. What made last night almost unbearable, however, was Ruby's own panic-stricken state. In between each convulsion for air, she would cry in trepidation I can't breathe! The more we tried to calm her down, the more frantic she became, contributing even more to the struggle for breath. We tried to explain to her between the yelling and flailing limbs, that if she would just calm down and take the breathing treatment - in a matter of seconds - it would become easier. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she struggled for air. That was the hardest part. We knew she would be OK. We knew that we had all the resources to make her feel better, but trying to get her to relax, to believe us and trust us...that was the hardest, saddest part of all. I don't know how it finally happened, but after what seemed an eternity, she finally relaxed long enough for the bronchodilator to work it's magic, and within minutes...she was fast asleep in John's arms. The struggle was finally over.
Posted by nicole at 7:49 PM
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Today we went to the zoo for Ruby's field trip. It was an absolute perfect day to visit the zoo. The weather was beautiful - a bit chilly - but still sunny and pleasant. The kids were well behaved. The animals were as bizarre, and amazing, and intriguing as usual. I exchanged heartfelt conversation with a dear friend. And the kids slept the entire way home - allowing me the opportunity to reflect...and contemplate...and take it all in.
Perfect I tell you. Just perfect.
Posted by nicole at 8:00 PM
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
The other day we stopped off at John's work to pick him up for lunch, and ended up waiting 30 minutes before he finally came out. While we were just sitting there, and to appease the doldrums of waiting, I snapped this picture of myself with my phone. I guess I wanted to see what my 'bored' face looked like.
After messing around with my phone for far too long, changing Asher's poopy diaper, and easing the kids' hunger pangs (by shoving candy in their mouths)...I surprisingly, still had time to do some pondering. While we waited, my wandering mind got to thinking about how much of my life is spent just waiting. Waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting on hold with the Dr's office...or the cell phone company...or whomever, waiting for John to get home from work, waiting for the weekend, waiting for test results, waiting for my children's obnoxious phases to end, waiting for summer to come, waiting for the next vacation, waiting for the sun to rise...waiting for this, waiting for that.
And then I really got to thinking about the world we live in...how fast-paced it has become, how instantly we need to be gratified, how restless and sometimes even annoyed we become when confronted with even the slightest delay. But isn't it good to have to wait for things? I think so. It teaches us patience. It teaches us self-restraint. It teaches us to really love and appreciate - all the more - that which we have waited for once it finally becomes ours. I think the most important thing to remember, is to not become stagnant while we wait. We should never stop going, and doing, and moving, and loving...we should never stop living.
I got a letter a couple of months back from a dear sweet sister in my ward. The same week our ward fasted for me, they also fasted for her. Her cancer had progressed to the point where she was bed-ridden and extremely ill. A few days after the fast, I received this letter from her, and would like to share just a portion of it which has had a profound impact on my life:
Being ill has taught me how precious living is; the greatest miracle of all, and is ours to enjoy every day.
A couple of weeks after I received this beautiful letter, dear sweet Jackie passed away. Even though I immediately wrote her back, I doubt she realized the lesson she taught me before she was taken from this earth. While she lay in bed, possibly 'waiting' to die, she mustered up every ounce of energy she possessed to write me a note, admonishing the enjoyment and amplification of life. Imagine that...serving to the very end. She reminded me, indirectly, of something I have always known but seem to forget on a daily basis...it's that amidst the delays, it's important to keep on living, and loving, and serving; and that before we know it, the vexatious waiting will be over. The last thing I want to do is wish and wait my life away.
So while I 'wait' for John to get home from work, rather than killing time on the internet, taking pointless self-portraits of myself, or mindlessly watching as the second hand circles it's way around the clock; I think I'll grab my kids...we have some laughing, loving, and living to do.
Posted by nicole at 1:30 PM
Sunday, March 7, 2010
So maybe I'm not really loving Ruby's artwork after all. Tonight she handed me this, and in her own words said, it's a picture of you, mommy, with a beautiful mustache...a Hitler mustache no less.
Ruby, grow up.
Posted by nicole at 9:04 PM
Thursday, March 4, 2010
I just love Ruby's artwork. I think I'll be sad the day she actually starts drawing bodies. I kind of like how, from her perspective, everybody's arms and legs protrude from their heads. Actually, I just noticed that some of us don't even have arms at all, but at least we have ears and beautiful earrings...
Ruby, please don't ever grow up.
Posted by nicole at 11:00 AM
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Posted by nicole at 4:20 PM
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
I tell you, this little sweetheart can make you feel like a million bucks. Tonight she overheard me complaining to John (like I do quite often) about how large I feel. He (like he always does) assured me that I'm not, and Ruby said it's ok mom, I still love you. It's good to know that even if I was as large as our house, Ruby would still love me.
An hour or two later, I was going through the whole bed time routine with her. She told me that she hated her new bed and only liked mom and dad's bed. I told her that she was breaking my heart because her daddy and I put a lot into that bed, setting it up and making it real special just for her. Then she said mommy, even though I sometimes break your heart...I still love you.
Guess where she's sleeping tonight?
Am I the world's biggest softy or what?
Posted by nicole at 8:56 PM