Being a Sunbeam is Hard.

We’ve spent the past year complaining a little sad that John would have to spend another year in nursery. His birthday is January 1, which means that since Sunday School is organized by calendar year, he’s always going to be the oldest in his class. And he has to wait all the way until his birthday before he gets to move on. I mean, nursery’s great and all—but he’s been one of the oldest kids in there, and all his friends (some of whom are just a few weeks older than he is) get to move on to Primary.

Well, not anymore! For all our complaining, our neighbor finally checked the handbook. A Primary kid gets to leave nursery and join the Sunbeams class when he’s 3. And they determine the age on January 1. As in, if he is 3 on January 1, he gets to go to Sunbeams. He made it by 1 day.

We’re so excited! John gets to go to Primary with his friends. (And John now gets confused and thinks he’s 4, since I kept telling him he got to go to Primary when he was 4. Explaining that Mom can be wrong is harder than I thought it would be.)

So we went to Primary with John yesterday. First he was sad that he wasn’t going to nursery. He loves nursery. Then he was rattled that he had new teachers. He loves his nursery teachers. And then he had to sit. still. in a row. with about 8 other kids. All of whom were also new to this experience. At one point I looked down the row to see one of the kids lying tummy-down on the floor, hands to his sides, with a glazed look on his poor, tired, chubby face. Sitting still is really boring when you’re used to snacks and toys.

Then, since John had a birthday recently, they did a spotlight and talked about him. His favorite color is (apparently) yellow, and he likes strawberry yogurt. And (since they asked me to tell them exactly how he answered the questions,) he knows he’s a child of God because his bike is big, and when he wants to help someone, he shouts, “Help! I’m lost!”

John, of course, was uneasy and cried through most of this. They gave him a birthday pencil, though, which helped. It’s nice to be appreciated. About halfway through Sharing Time, the teacher asked John to pick an object out of a bag. It was an object lesson, of course, but John found a lemon in there and wanted to eat it. Then he started asking for various foods, and we realized that since church starts at 11 this year, we were trying all these new experiences smack-dab in the middle of a lunch that John wasn’t eating. The poor kid acted like he was going to starve to death.

In class, his teachers asked him what things he was grateful for. “What do you like, John?”

(Sniff.) “I like…” (more sniffles.) “I like… a peanut butter and jelly sandwich…” (that shuddering, half-crying sniffle) “…and some veggie straws?” his voice went up toward the end, because he had started crying again at the thought of food he wasn’t eating.

So yeah. We have some progress to make here. We ended up spending most of Primary out in the hall, eating veggie straws we kaifed from the snack closet. And then we came home and he ate an entire bratwurst. I promise we feed the kid.

He’ll get better at it. And I don’t really have any obligations during Primary hour, so if he needs back-up, I can come in. And we discovered today at the doctor’s office that his Primary birthday pencil changes colors when you rub it—which was cool enough to get us happily through a doctor’s appointment—so if we really emphasize how great that pencil is, maybe the word “Primary” can still be a positive thing for the rest of the week. ♥


A Quick Review

So apparently, I haven’t posted on here since July. I have a perfectly reasonable explanation:

I’m lazy.

Well, now that’s off my chest, let’s review a few things that have happened in the past 3 months:

  • My baby boy is almost 2 years old. He is obsessed with Snoopy (“Doopy”) and socks. Also jumping.
  • We decided to buy a house – and then realized how much a house costs. We are now accepting donations. Joking. Kind of.
  • We bought Jonathan some new shoes. He loves them so much he’s started doing more athletic things. Also more jumping.
  • I watched a round sausage of a wiener dog come barreling across the street toward me, belly almost hitting the ground, while its owner stood on the porch and shouted, “Stop! Come back! You’re making a fool out of yourself!”
  • A bunch of my family members had babies! Yay for babies! They are all cute, of course. But not as cute as mine. Sorry.
  • Everyone went back to school except for me. Muah ha ha.
  • I signed up for a cooking class with a neighbor! Which means I now know how to make delicious pumpkin curry soup and rosemary shortbread (which is actually pretty delicious.)
  • I discovered that adult-sized onesies are apparently a thing now. This is not okay, America.
  • I also discovered the most delicious pot-stickers in Provo. CupBop. 3 dumplings for $2. Easily the best I’ve ever had.
  • Ethan got rejected for a management job because he didn’t have managing experience. When he asked how to get managing experience if nobody will hire him as a manager, the interviewer shrugged and said, “You’re stuck!”
  • Ethan got promoted to Assistant Manager.
  • Jonathan decided that “bean doup” (bean soup… aka warm beans in water) was not for him, despite having begged for them. Cold beans, however, are totally fine. Just not the soup.
  • I discovered I’m not half bad at making bread.
  • We watched the LDS General Conference, loved it, and heard almost half of it over the sound of a two-year-old playing with plastic cups.
  • Ethan set a goal to read the whole Book of Mormon this month, inspired by said conference. I set a goal to exercise and study something – because apparently that’s what I’m most motivated to do when I’m really inspired.
  • We also set goals for spooky Halloween reading. Ethan’s reading Dracula and Frankenstein, while I read Something Wicked This Way Comes, Macbeth, and a few short story collections. Ethan is rocking it. I am falling rather far behind.
  • I taught John to jump on crunchy leaves.
  • John fell off of two picnic benches (on different days), and landed on his head. No permanent damage.
  • We discovered tikka masala potato chips. Which led to our discovering tikka masala recipes. Indian food is so freaking delicious.
  • I cut my own hair. It took me about two hours, and it looks good enough to go out in public. Not good enough to escape mockery from a hairdresser friend, however. So…. 6/10. ♦

What is Thanksgiving?

Have you ever tried to explain Thanksgiving to a baby?

It’s pretty easy to dilute it for older kids: Pilgrims wanted to survive. Native Americans helped them. Some of them got along well enough to let each other live, and they all ate food together. We eat food, to celebrate that we get along well enough to let each other live.

Try explaining this to a baby. “You’ll love Thanksgiving, John! It’s when we all get together and eat all your favorite foods: we eat mashed potatoes, turkey, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie! … And then we say thank you! … for the food we just ate. And also thank you for our mommies and daddies. And sweet potatoes.”

Yeah, I think there’s a reason I don’t write board books. ♦

Oh, Curly Fries – You Understand Me

Yesterday, I went in for a surgery of a rather personal nature. Having never undergone surgery before, I was rather nervous. I’ve never experienced general anesthesia, and I expected something like a near-death-experience.

But this post isn’t about surgery. It’s about Arby’s sauce.

To psych myself out for surgery, I decided to employ a reward tactic.

Sunday night, as I fell asleep, I asked my husband, “After surgery, can we get curly fries?”

He laughed. “Yes,” he said.

“And roast beef sandwiches?”

“Beef and cheddar,” he said.

I was starting to get excited. “And Arby’s sauce??”

“Irresponsible amounts of Arby’s sauce.”

“Oh, good,” I said, and settled down to sleep.

On the way home from the hospital yesterday, we stopped at Arby’s and got a couple beef and cheddar sandwiches, two large orders of curly fries, and Arby’s sauce. Irresponsible amounts of Arby’s sauce. In the drive-thru, Ethan asked the cashier how much Arby’s sauce she was allowed to give us.

She held up as much as she could hold in two hands. “Is this good?”

We agreed emphatically, and she handed us a small paper bag loaded with the packets. We probably have about two whole bottles’ worth of Arby’s sauce in the fridge right now, in small serving sizes. Irresponsible amounts of Arby’s sauce. I’m so excited, my toes are wiggling. I will never have a boring sandwich again. ♦

Growth Spurt?!

My 3-month-old hasn’t figured out the whole “darkness means sleep” thing. Last week I got a cold because I didn’t sleep enough. Saturday night, Little John was up until 2am, squeaking and chirping and eating and being generally pleasant (as long as we didn’t put him down). At least he’s cute about it.

Sunday, we kept him up as much as we could during the day in hopes he’d go to sleep at night. Around 2am again, though, we were starting to think things were not working out that way. He was still up, just a little less cheerful. Same with us.

Eventually, he fell asleep. Yesterday was Ethan’s day off, so we went and did responsible, grown-up things. Picked up his check. Went to a thrift shop and bought some clothes (and books!) Went back to Pioneer Book and bought the fountain pen I’ve been looking at (and books!) We had a pretty good time just spending time together, actually, while John just slept in his carseat. Of course he did. He’d been up all night.

While we were driving around, we were brainstorming ways to get him onto a more normal sleep schedule. We’d already tried most of it, and we ended up deciding to feed him as much as possible just before bed, and then plan on me staying up all night and sleeping all day. Ethan has a job, so he can’t stay up all night. I can catnap during the day when the baby sleeps. And if I’m actually planning on staying up all night, it’s not nearly as irritating when I do.

Armed with newfound resolve, we faced the coming night. We were fairly confident that feeding him more would solve the problem, to be honest. He often falls asleep while eating. Last night, however, Little John experienced an 8-hour growth spurt that probably added at least 2 inches to his height. And by that, I mean he ate everything he could see. His hands. My arms. All the milk in my body. About 11 ounces of breast milk from the freezer. Sometime around 2am, when he had eaten twice and was still visibly chomping, we decided he was old enough for solid foods, and gave him some pureed oatmeal. He was the happiest kid in the world. He ate at least a dozen spoonfuls, then drank some more milk.

By this time, we had decided if we were up, we might as well be up and doing. We cleaned the entire baby’s room, organized the desk, washed some dishes, made food for ourselves (twice), cooked rice for Ethan’s lunches, organized most of the bedroom, and filed taxes. I told Ethan to go to bed. There was no point in the whole family staying up, and he had work in the morning.

John and I stayed up and played and ate and catnapped and woke up and ate and ate and fussed and played and made little squeaky noises and read books and ate some more. Sometime just a little before 6 in the morning, he finally conked out for good, and I could transfer him to his crib without waking him up. I climbed into bed and slept until Ethan woke up late for work.

John’s awake again, just lying on the floor behind me, contemplating his hands. I’ve turned around a few times to see him raising one fist triumphantly, just staring at it (or me). I’m actually alright with all this today. I’ll sleep when he does. In the meantime… I made a human. And he’s growing like nobody’s business. He’ll figure out that whole circadian rhythm in a while. In the meantime, I’ll do some free online classes and maybe do some writing. Or read all the books we have. I don’t know. I’ll find something. ♦

The Foody Blues

I have a love-hate relationship with food. Before pregnancy, it was love. Shortly after pregnancy, it became bitter and tainted, and food and I began arguing. We had a few (very) nasty break-ups. But now, I think I’ve moved on from the post-break-up bitterness to complete apathy.

I’m done with food. Ready to move on with my life. Find something new and exciting, better than that old relationship.

Except that food is necessary for survival. Small detail.

It’s not that I hate food. It’s just that, for the past few days, I have absolutely no desire to eat it. Oh, what’s that? Food? Oh, that’s nice. Occasionally, I’ll have a sudden need for pizza, or a taco, but aside from random cravings, I’m pretty much eating when I think I should, not when I actually want to.

Except for Halloween candy. Man, if I had realized how good a KitKat can be just out of the freezer, I would’ve left food for candy a long time ago. ♦

A NY Slice with General Washington

Ethan and I were running errands the other day when we got hangry. (It’s the kind of anger that strikes when you’re hungry.) We drove into the parking lot of Panda Express in Orem, because it was the closest purchasable food – and we were just too hangry to go home and make it ourselves. First-world problems.

Anyways, while we were parking the car, Ethan spotted a restaurant that claimed to be serving New York pizza. I scoffed, as often I do. I lived in New Jersey for a year and a half, and while I still enjoy a cheap slice of Little Caesar’s from time to time, I have yet to find a “New York” slice that actually tasted anything like the east coast. (Not that I’ve ever taken a bite out of the east coast, mind you. Just the pizza.) Anyways – we decided to go in, ask for a menu, and see what the price was like. Worst-case scenario: too expensive, and we end up at Panda anyways.

We walked into Lucy’s Pizza, and the waiter graciously gave us a menu, pointing out that the $3 slice was the best value. Now, in Jersey, a “slice” means something about the size of your face. It’s huge. And it’s usually $1-3, depending on the sketchiness of the pizza joint you’re at. And it’s addictively delicious. In Utah, a “slice” is a piece of pizza. As in, you order a whole pizza, and a “slice” is the piece you’re eating. You don’t order a “slice.” And a slice of pizza is usually about half the size here as it is in Jersey. So I was hesitant – Lucy’s sold slices, which was a good sign, and they were quite affordable, which was another good sign, but they might be tiny. We asked the waiter about the size of the slices. He held out his hands and indicated a good, face-sized slice. Alright then. We decided to stay.

We couldn’t decide which toppings to get, so we got one of each (there were only 3 options). And while we waited, the waiter brought us some pickles and marinated olives to snack on, as well as describing for us the $4 Italian meatball we found on the menu. (It’s a 10 oz. meatball. We’re totally going to make this some kind of birthday tradition.) And when the pizza came, it was delicious. I’m sure it’s still better in Hoboken – but this was good pie. And 3 slices was too much of it for the 2 of us to eat. And – to top it off – when we were leaving, the waiter brought us a take-out box that had a picture of George Washington, wearing a “No. 1 Dad” apron, tossing pizza crust. It’s a work of art.

Basically, I’ve found my favorite restaurant of all time. At very least, it’s the best I’ve ever found in Utah. Buffalo chicken pizza, 10 oz. meatballs, marinated olives, and the Father of our Country to pack it all up in. It was a fantastic dining experience. ♥