Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Adelicious

Our little imp turned 2 on Saturday. I can't believe she's already so old. And that I've survived the last 2 years. From the beginning, this girl has had incredible energy and incredible volume. I still remember her startling the doctor in the hospital when she let out a shriek. And last year, the theme of her party was "Loud." She continues to voice her opinions loudly and often, and lately in complete sentences. And with tons of cuteness.

We gave her most of her presents in the morning. Chloe volunteered to help her open them, but Addie had it under control.
She got some new (to her) books, some no spill bubbles (she'll find a way) and a movie.
Then we went outside and gave her a new (to her) car!

Chloe even pushed her around in it, while Addie read some of her books.
As I made breakfast, she snacked on sprinkles she had dumped on the counter. These were the remnants of the sprinkle container she had dumped out on Chloe's birthday. "Mom, I eating spinkles!" Because it was her birthday, I let her.

Fortunately I had some backup sprinkles, so there were still some for her cupcakes that night.

This picture reminds me of when I was younger, and all of us kids would dive for the candles as soon as they were blown out.
I asked Addie to smile for the camera for me, and I got this. She's pretty cute, if I do say so myself.
The next day, we had her grandparents and aunt and cousin over to celebrate. She went on her first birthday treasure hunt.
She had lots of help from Chloe and Syrus, whether she liked it or not.
It was all they could do to keep from opening the present for her.
She got a baby doll from Aunt Eden, and got right to work feeding it. She's been watching a lot of baby feedings lately, so the look on her face is just right.
I made a grown up dessert, peaches and cream cheesecake, not noticing I picked a dessert that matched her hair.
She didn't notice either. She was too busy diving into her gifts.

She was pretty excited about the Ariel doll from Grandma and Grandpa Mannion.
Me and my birthday girl. Still feeding her baby. She's obviously learned babies are always hungry. I sure love my Addie. She has an infectious zest for life, and I'm glad I get to share it with her.

Grinning, with evidence

I'm sure there will be better pictures to come, but here are a few of my smiling girl.
And her sister.
Love those grins.


Someone in our house has turned into quite the little camera hog lately.
Bet you can't guess who it is.She's got poses like you've never seen.
And fierceness--no question.
She works well with food.
And props.

She hates to miss an opportunity to get her picture taken, even if she's not the current subject of the photoshoot.
She'll make it about her.
If she can't get a solo shot, she'll gladly take a group shot.
And totally steal focus.
She can do action shots.
And not so active shots.

And I'm just not sure how much lovelier she could be.
Watch out America's Next Top Model Cycle 42.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ruth is Tired

This is a note of complaint. If you don't want to hear me complain, feel free to not read it. I just don't want to hear about it if you do.

Ruth is tired

  • of not being able to sleep at night, either because a baby won't sleep, or because of the shooting pains up her arms, or because she simply can't sleep.
  • of not being able to use her hands, of trying not to cry when she can't undo the snaps on a onesie, or bounce her daughter to sleep one more time, or do any project, or open a jar, or hold a book to read without pain.
  • of not being able to see the Orthopedist about fixing her hands because though she has a referral to see him, she needs a nerve conduction study done first, so she had to go see her General Practioner, then had to wait several days to get a referral to a Neurologist, who will need to evaluate her first, then set up another appointment to do the nerve conduction study, after which she will finally (hopefully) be able to see the Orthopedist, and who know how many appointments she will have with him before she has to stop living in fear that she will lose all strength in her hands and drop her baby on the floor.
  • of being afraid that all this won't be taken care of this calender year because we've already met our deductable for the year, and who knows what insurance coverage we'll have after that.
  • of worrying that another suprise bill, like the one for the hospital stay, may not be covered by said deductable.
  • of dealing with the continuing fallout from Bracken being laid off including loss of income, insurance hassles, starting a new career in a horrible market, and the general umbrella of rejection and frustration that hangs over our home.
  • of a new job that is not making ends meet, is a somewhat unpleasant work environment, and makes somewhat unreasonable demands on Bracken for somewhat less than fair compensation.
  • of wondering why an MBA doesn't come with actual job experience, because no one wants to hire an MBA without prior work experience, and the experience Bracken has is useless in this market.
  • of feeling the need to bring in additional income for her family, but not liking the options available to do it.
  • of trying to figure out why she got a degree in costume design instead of something useful, knowing that no faithful Mormon will get a theater job in this town anymore.
  • of pretty much all of her family being at least equally, if not more, slammed by this economy. And they are all better people than she is.
  • of learning again and again that being a good person does not exempt her from trials, but still thinking if she were a better person, maybe some of these problems would pass her by. And then feeling badly that she's not a better person. And then not caring. Lather, rinse, repeat.
  • of knowing it's not truly a sacrifice if it doesn't hurt a little, but still expecting immediate blessings.
  • of being constantly reminded just how far a small glass of milk can spread.
  • of not being able to find any bulb syringes or medicine dispensers because they have been magiced them away somewhere.
  • of needing to send children to time out.
  • of them touching each other.
  • looking at each other.
  • thinking about each other.
  • of tattlers.
  • of being a servant. And knowing she's supposed to be a servant. Jesus said so. But she doesn't always want to be a servant-slash-better person. See above.
  • of staring at the mess accumulating in her home, knowing no one is coming to take care of it for her. Because she is the servant.
  • of the food she wants to eat making her fat. And hearing that nursing helps you burn calories. As her behind spreads.
  • of not being grateful enough about her blessings to stop the constant worrying about her problems. It's just not that easy.
  • of wondering what that smell is, and where is it coming from.
  • of trying to hide the junk food that she's eating from her kids.
  • of stain removal.
  • of sweat.
  • of not being able to figure out when to ask for help and if she actually needs it or not, because lots of people can do it on their own, why can't she?
  • of herself, and this whining.
The End

For now.

And just so you know, anyone who posts that things will get better, or tries to cheer me up will immediately be added to the list. So there.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Seriously, No, Anymore!

I no sooner finished the last post about Addie when I experienced more than enough for a whole other post. This entry is influenced by The House That Jack Built, which we have been reading ad nauseum.

This is the toilet where Mom asked Addie if she needed to go to the bathroom, then forgot she'd asked and turned around to find Addie squatting on top of the closed lid in a puddle of pee.

This is the fishtank Addie dumped a half full can of fish food into. This is where three newly obese fish live. This is also the fishtank Mom had to completely empty and clean, that has an overtaxed filter that longer seems to be working. Both older daughters have done this exact same thing, and both of their lives were saved by the fact that company was over when they did it. This is the tank where Addie went fishing earlier this week, but unlike Chloe 2 years ago, she did not catch anything.

This is the eraser Addie shoved into Maggie's mouth while Mom was making dinner.

This is the corner where Addie has spent approximately 3,206,597 minutes of her life in 2 minute increments. After Mom fished the eraser out, Addie spent significantly longer than 2 minutes there.
After returning to cooking dinner, this is what Mom saw when she heard Addie repeating, "Time out. Time out!" Apparently, it's been a difficult day for everyone in the household. Then again, Chloe did name this doll Addie. To the right is the towel that lives on the floor under the water dispenser on the fridge that Addie likes to randomly press as she tromps by.

These are the books Mom and Addie read after Addie emerged from her room 45 minutes after she'd been put to bed, obviously too upset to sleep, worried that Mom didn't love her anymore. That will never, ever happen, no matter what she does because Mom desperately loves that little girl.

This is the sleeping terror, tucked in with her best bedtime buddy, Bunny, dreaming of plans for tomorrow.

And now that all the kids are sleeping, the dishes are done, the fishtank is cleaned and Dad is at a meeting,

This is how Mom will be spending her evening.

Monday, August 17, 2009

No, Anymore!

This is not a post about Addie dyeing herself blue, but it's a post about Addie being Addie, so I'm incuding the pic.

Addie is currently sitting about 2 feet from the TV, entranced by Finding Nemo, and I'm going to leave her there. For one thing, she's not climbing up on, pulling over, or getting into anything right now. She's also not screaming, "No, Anymore!" when being corrected for any of the above, or when asked to do anything she doesn't want to do. I'm hearing "No ANYMORE!" which translates to "Don't tell me no anymore," pretty much constantly right now. It's usually accompanied by the waving hand, and a furrowed brow scowl.

She used the same scowl as she shouted, "Hum here. Hum here!" to the little girl at the playground the other day. Little bossame doesn't know that's not the best way to make friends. And if you're confused about what she's saying, just remember all hard "c" sounds are "h" at the beginning of words. It took me a minute to process, "I hut your nails," until she started chasing me with nail clippers. Here she's eating stolen ice-heam hones

Addie loves to sing right now. And announce, "I tinging. I tinging!" Her favorite original song is, "And a Mommy and a Daddy and a Mommy and a Daddy!"which gets progressively louder at each repitition. And her voice carries. Another word which must be shouted at full volume is, Naken!" She kept repeating it the other night in her bed and I was just sure I was going to find a fully nude child when I checked on her.

Another favorite phrase is, "I wuvvy oo." Unfortunately, she's too busy yelling, "NO anymore," to tell me she loves me. Following the tradition of her sister Chloe, she mainly repeats this phrase while making her dolls kiss.

But I know deep down she does love me. She calls out for me all the time, "Mom? MOM?" It never gets annoying. Never. At the doctor's the other day, she was reading a book across the very full waiting room from me. She looked up, couldn't immediately spot me, noted all the other families there, and called out, "MY mom. MY mom!"

But now I better go clean up all the crayons and markers she just dumped all over the stove before I forget they're there and try to cook something. Obviously, Nemo's hold over her has ended. Maybe it's time for a nap. Maybe, like the other day, she'll scream, "No!" while still running for her bed.

A mom can dream.

Sweet Baby

I've been horrible about posting pictures of our baby girl. The thing is, she's really not in on most of the action right now, nor is she saying anything quote worthy. She is where ever we are most the time, just tucked in a sling, or a carseat, or a stroller. We are taking her picture, though, and I felt it was better to just devote a whole post to her cuteness.

Here's Miss Maggie's three day old self, the day we came home from the hospital.

A couple days later, the Mills came by to meet her. Parker was so excited to hold her.

Sweet Chloe and her baby sister.
Sleeping angel.
Maggie and Daddy, two weeks old.
She really has her own look. Part of me thinks we should have 5 more kids, just to see what kind of variety we continue to come up with. Someone tried to say to me, "Well, when the parents don't look very similar . . . " The thing is, Bracken's parents have about the same coloring as my parents, so we're really working out of a small pool here.
He is a great dad.
And Addie is an excited sister. I know she's super blurry in this pic, but she just looks to happy and full of energy through the fuzziness.
Bracken dancing with his girl
This is a 3 week old Maggie. She's looking significantly less fuzzy. She really was just a little peach when we brought her home. Kind of yellowy blushy and furry all over.
Here's the family the first Sunday we all made it to church. Several disclaimers. First and foremost--I really thought I looked better than this, or I would have changed the angle, sucked in harder, something. So if any of you have seen me at any time recently and thought my outfit unflattering or inappropriate, know that I was clueless. And I will take the advice of the movie Clueless and rely much more heavily on photographic evidence to determine the merit of various fashion choices.

Secondly, perhaps I would have been happier if we'd taken another picture. The first one looked like this. Yup, that's Addie flashing you.
And the second one looks like this. I don't think a third would have helped. It was better to just cut our losses and start nap time.
Sleeping Beauty.
Chloe was excited to celebrate Maggie's one month birthday.
So was Addie. She celebrated by not placing her hands in the middle of Maggie's belly before leaning in. If this child doesn't die of internal bleeding (she's already been trampled) or get her eye poked out by her first birthday, I will really feel like a good mother.
I know she's a little drooly faced here, but she's dang cute nonetheless. The baby acne fairy had come to visit by this point, but doesn't seem to have it out for this kid as much as she did the other ones.
Me and a snuggly baby.
Dad with the same little snuggler. Could she be cuter? Granted, she is a bit more bald, but all of my kids have shed their hair about this age and regrown it in the exact same color.
I do love this baby girl. I haven't yet captured the elusive smile yet, mainly because I'm too enraptured to interrupt her by getting up and retrieving the camera. Yesterday, though, we had a major smile session, and even the beginnings of laughter! She's started making other little sounds now, too. Sleep continues to be a bit of an issue, and we have a couple fussy periods everyday, but I'm hopeful. She's just getting sweeter all the time, so surely she'll start to be obliging soon.