"In our day the spirit of giving gifts plays a large role in commemorating the Christmas season. I wonder if we might profit by asking ourselves, What gifts would the Lord have me give to Him or to others at this precious season of the year?" Pres. Monson This quote from Pres. Monson's First Presidency Message for this month inspired me. I decided that my Christmas gift to my children would be to try harder at being "present" in their lives. This requires: 1. really listening to them and looking at whatever it is they are showing me. not just an "uh huh" or an "I see..." 2. less time on the computer or with my nose stuck in a book or day dreaming about projects I want to get to. 3. getting down on their level and PLAYING with them in an activity of their choice. sometimes this requires imaginative skills I don't have, but they are willing to work with me. They tell me everything I should make Aurora say or what i should make the puppy do. 4. Sitting down and eating with them for lunch and breakfast (we always eat dinner as a family when Justin gets home from work). MOst of the time I hover around getting drinks, doing dishes, straightening this or that, returning an email, or now nursing a baby. BUt this week, I have tried to just sit down and eat with them even if I have to multi-task and nurse AMelia at the table. It's been good for us. Last night I was trying to teach them the words to "Up on the Housetop" and I was explaining why the song says click, click, click. ANd as I told them about why reindeer's tendons click, I remembered I have a picture of me with a reindeer. When I told them I had a picture with a real reindeer, they didn't believe me, so I had to pull out the proof. THey really liked that and had a billion questions. So far I am enjoying my present to them just as much as they are enjoying it.
Once upon a time, while I was in college getting ready for the day, my roommate remarked to me "Can you believe it's already Nov. 1?"
"Yes," I said excitedly. "And I've switched to the Turkey."
Several of my roommates thought was very funny. They had no clue what I was talking about so I guess it sounded pretty odd. What I meant was that I had a seasonal decoration, and already I hade switched out the jack-o-lantern for the turkey. For a long time they teased me about "switching to the turkey."
Anyway, I love November. I love reflecting back on the year and the blessings that came our way. And this year we were so very, very blessed.
I am fine if the baby waits until her due date or a LITTLE after, but today I found myself thinking about all the things that I will enjoy doing when baby gets here...
1. By far I am most excited to get back to normal playing with my girls. I miss being able to go down the slide at the park with them or crawling around and under and over things. And poor Gracie is not very happy that mom's lap doesn't have room for her to sit on it.
2. laying on my tummy.
3. packing away the maternity clothes...I am so sick of maternity clothes.
4. being able to sit in a chair for twenty minutes before my feet swell grotesquely.
5. be able to reach my toes or bend over and pick something up without getting out of breath.
6. being able to walk normally and not waddling.
With that being said, this really has been the easiest pregnancy. It's a lot easier to be pregnant when your husband is NOT in school, you're not potty training anyone, and not moving to another state. I can't complain too much. I haven't had much back or hip pain, and emotionally, I am so much more stable this go around. We'll see if my tune changes in two weeks.....
I am excited for you to come, but you must wait until your due date or after to make your appearance. (BUt not too long after please.)
1. I am not ready for sleepless nights yet.
2. I want to enjoy the Halloween festivities with your older sisters.
3. Katie's birthday is on the 9th and desperately wants a friend party. I really don't want to deny her that since this move has been hard on her, but I can't have a houseful of germy little kids over when I have a newborn.
4. I still have sewing projects to get done before you're here. If you want bibs and such, you better wait for me to sew them.
5. I'm not quite ready to nurse around the clock yet.
6. Several closets need reorganizing before you get here.
A list of conference activities that we're going to attempt this year:
Reverence Tents (maybe, I am thinking y kids aren't old enough for this, but love the idea.)
Color ties or dresses to match the speaker.
Topic Block Tower
Conference picnic (we eat outside on a blanket to get out of the house for a little while in between sessions. SOmetimes we go for a walk too.)
Gospel Matching cards
I can't believe how FAST summer went by. What? THe leaves are changing colors and it's getting cooler? I LOVE fall, but man it came up fast.
Gracie had a tape measure the other day and was measuring me.
Me: How big am I?
Gracie: THis big (showing me the tape measure)
Me: ARe you big?
Gracie: I little.
Me: Oh, and I am big.
Gracie: No. Mommy little. Daddy big.
I guess even our kids notice the ginormous height difference between Justin and me.
Awhile back I made some chore charts for the girls. Each girl has three chores in the morning. \
make her bed
help with laundry
pick up toys and books
help with laundry
pick up toys and books
help unload the dishwasher
They also have to do things like get dressed, brush their teeth, etc. But I don't consider those chores. That's getting ready. After breakfast every morning, we start in on chores. At first they complain and try to get out of it, but secretly they love it. I can tell. Katie has a lot of pride for her made bed every morning, especially when she makes it by herself.
I love this new system. Not only do I get laundry done every day, but the toy and book mess are kept under control. Also, I don't feel like a slave or have to come up with activities to keep them busy while I clean. Much happier momma. Much happier family.
Gracie's first pig tails. She's not very happy about me taking a picture.
I asked Gracie if she wanted monkeys or turtles for her cake this year, and she said monkeys. (she loves both). SO monkeys it was. Katie helped decorate them which was so fun. We ended up with a few Picasso type monkeys. It was a fun, low-key day. Katie can hardly wait until her own birthday.