So,... karate. There is a whole bunch of history about how my kids got interested in karate two years ago through community ed but we didn't have the money to pursue it, how the budget allows for it now but only to a certain $ amount, how I wanted to go to this one place but it cost too much and was too demanding, and how I signed this contract at another place and immediately regretted it and tried to get out of it but couldn't (they reduced the commitment by 6 months though), and how my kids have only been a couple of times but they love it and actually have several friends in their class too so I'm coming around and not regretting it so much... but it would take me forever to write all that.
They are stoked to be starting karate lessons. They are stoked to be doing it together. Enough said.
Have you ever noticed that sometimes things happen in your life that prepare you for an event to follow? Sometimes they are big, but more often than not they are small-- maybe so small that we don't really take time to recognize them. I had a small experience recently that resulted in a big impact for me.
Wednesday night we went to my cousin Christian's house in SLC. There we visited with him, his wife Jen, daughter Paris, and also with my sisters Emily (who was in town, with friend Spencer) and Coreen (who had brought boyfriend, Max). We had a nice time talking and enjoying yummy pie for several hours while we talked. The kids found plenty of fun running around and delving into Paris' toys. Among the things Jen and I talked about was how Asher is getting to the point where he isn't content to stay in his bouncy seat or rocker for very long. He is so interested in the world around him and wants me to hold him all the time-- maybe to be close to mom, and maybe for the variety of seeing new things and being in new places. Jen, who is currently taking an anthropology class mentioned that most cultures, especially historically, wear their babies close to them in slings and such while they go around their daily work. She suggested that it is probably part of a baby's innate desires/needs to be held, so they are happier that way. I agreed, it seemed logical.
Thursday was a crazy day for me. I was tired from getting home so late and Asher waking up more than usual. Also, Monday had been a holiday, and that combined with the fact that I've been feeling just a bit under the weather resulted in my house not being as clean as it should have been. I had quite the list of chores to do. Since we were hosting poker night that night for Em, Spencer, Coreen, and Max I really had to get my house clean. Then, I heard from my GS co-leader that she was sick and wouldn't be able to conduct our meeting that day, so I needed to come up with a lesson. I also had some errands to run.
I wondered how in the world I was going to do all this, especially with my needy Asher screaming from his seat. Then, I remembered my conversation with Jen and thought I'd give carrying Asher in the Baby Bjorn a shot while I did chores. I usually carry him in it for vacuuming, but not for other housework. Well, to my surprise, my little boy was content to ride on my front for an hour while I worked on my to-do list. After an hour I decided to reward him by getting him out and playing together for a while. It felt so good to get things done and then happily play with my baby. Though I did more work while Asher was sleeping, and Jared jumped in to help while I was gone at GS, I still didn't quite get through my list. However, most of it got done, and having a peaceful house while I was cleaning was soooo nice. I am so grateful for the conversation with my cousin the night before that helped my through my day.
Ahsha actually snapped this pic last month-- my kitchen looked worse than this!
When Jared worked for DHI one of the kids' favorite activities was going to visit him at work. They'd bounce balls in the racquetball court, get treats from the receptionist (and from Daddy's desk), have rolling desk chair races in the empty basement, and occasionally one of them would get to bring a lunch to eat-- just one kid and Dad.
Since Jared's new office is considerably further, we haven't been able to do such things. President's Day, however was a school holiday for the kids, but Jared still had to go to work, so we took the opportunity to go visit him for lunch. We had a great time!
First we visited the cafeteria-- it is huge! Pizza, salad bar, sandwich bar, burgers and fries, chicken parmesan and pasta, soups, desserts galore... the kids were pretty overwhelmed about what to choose. We finally managed to gather what everyone wanted and chose to eat at one of the comfy, cushy booths that lined the wall. Jared, take a picture! No, I'll do it.
After we were all filled Jared took us on a tour. Jared's floor is largely just one big room, filled with a sea of cubicles. There are so many that they actually put big 'ol numbers on each group like addresses so people can figure out where they are. That description makes it sound a little miserable, but it really isn't. Everything in new, clean, and modern looking with punches of color on the team meeting rooms. Plus, there are so many windows that the floor feels light and open.
Jared introduced us to a few of his co-workers, we admired Jared's Chinese New Year Androids, and raided his stash of peanut butter cups (did you know the Costco brand is even better than Reeses? True.) Quick, take a picture!
Then I noticed the huge support beams by the windows and took Ahsha over to climb on them. She enjoyed climbing up to see the excellent view (he's on the 4th floor), and then sitting down to slide down them again. It was pretty fun. Jared, take a picture!
He showed us the video conferencing rooms they have with all sorts of fancy gadgets. It was impressive even to me, who is not at all technologically inclined.
On our way back to Jared's desk we passed some maps. They showed all the missions of the church. And, being the Clark that I am, I was enthralled by them. Jared, take a picture! Hee hee.
You're welcome Clark family-- I knew you'd be interested too.
It was a fun outing. We look forward to the day when we will live closer so that visits to his work can be as frequent as they used to.
Our little Asher is 4 months old today. To celebrate we got out the 6-9 month clothing. :) At church on Sunday I had about 5 people comment about him to me. They all said "He's so big!", and that was all. Every single one of 'em. Just soes you know, he's cute too guys.
Grandma Uffenorde got Asher this cute outfit (3-6mo size), and it always looked so big to me. The first time I put it on him it was actually a little small. No worries, I thought, I'll just lengthen the overall straps. Come to find out they were already as long as they would go. Drat.
Grandma and Grandpa Uffenorde got Asher this mobile for Christmas. He loves it!
Other favorites: rolling from front to back (as long as his arms are in the right position-- needs some help with that still), drooling, standing on our laps, "talking" to me before/after feeding times, holding and chewing toys, grabbing anything he can reach while sitting on my lap (plates of food beware), watching the silly faces we make and sometimes trying to imitate them.
It is so fun to see him interacting more with his environment now. Still waiting on that sleeping-through-the-night thing, but he still does 7-8 hours (just not the same ones that I sleep).
I tell ya, our little Ahsha comes up with the funniest things. She is witty and charming, sometimes without even trying. A couple of our recent favorites:
I walked into the kitchen to see Ahsha holding a banana (she loves them). She looked up at me and said "I keep trying, but I can't make this banana into a phone!"
When we picked up Ahsha after church this past week her teacher told us that they had talked about how we feel warm inside when we feel the Holy Ghost. To which Ahsha replied "But, I'm cold when I'm naked." (That girl loves being naked)
Last week I came down to get the little girl some breakfast. She is not a big eater in the morning (or, well, ever), but it was after 10 o'clock, so I thought I should offer her something. When I suggested a couple of things I could make she said "I'm not hungry. I'll eat on Friday." "Ahsha, it is Friday." I replied. "Oh. Well, I'll eat on Monday."
Jared and I had our little Valentine's Day observed this past Saturday. A friend, Aynn, recently asked if I wanted to have a monthly baby-sitting swap so that we each could go out on a date with our husbands and not have to worry about paying a baby-sitter. I told her that since the last date I could recall Jared and I going on was before I was even pregnant with Asher, this would probably be a good idea. (I have actually remembered two more dates since. Seems like Jared and I get out about once every three months or so.) This baby-sitting swap is an especially good deal for us since Aynn only has 3 kids and the youngest is three :)
Anyway, I originally wanted to attend the Valentines Ball at the Provo Library. This is an annual event and I have always wanted to go, but for one reason or another we have never made it. Since this might just be our last Valentines Day in Provo, I was determined to go this year. Jared even agreed to go. Dancing isn't high on his list of activities he'd like to spend his free time engaged in, but he loves me, so he tried to be as excited as he could. He wanted me to feel good about dragging him there. In the end, I decided that I wanted him to enjoy our first-date-in-forever and opted instead for a dinner and improve comedy show at the Covey Center. Little did I know that it was musical improv. Musicals are just slightly lower than dancing on Jared's "I'd like to do this in my free time" list. Drat. No, really, we did end up having a very nice evening. I even knew one of the couples we sat with at our table (from Girl Scouts). We ate pot roast so tender that you had to scoop it with a spoon, laughed at the 50's flashback comedy, and perused the art work of the Covey Center galleries. It was nice to be with just each other and do something out of the ordinary.
Jared got me these pretties (white daisies are my faves) and Ahsha brought me the stunning little red carnation. .
Valentines day morning I tried to make cranberry orange scones (thank you Utah Deal Diva for the idea), but ended up accidentally turning off my alarm so I didn't have time to make them before Jared left. (I should have made the scones the night before-- they were actually better the next day!) I did manage to fry some eggs with melty smoked gouda on top before he headed out though, so at least he got a treat of sorts. The kids enjoyed the scones (especially the icing on top) and then I dropped them off for a day of love and candy at school.
Jared had cancelled mutual for Valentines day (all the leaders should be with their wives, no?) so our family had a nice night at home: Chinese take out, Wendy's kids meals, lemon cake, chocolate cheesecake, and valentines from family. We also took turns passing around a plate that said 'Sweet' on it, and each of us said something we loved about the person holding the plate.
Ahsha told every person that what she loved about them was that they played ponies with her. Every single one of us. Other things we love about each other include that Ahsha says funny things to make us laugh, Mommy makes us food, Asher smiles like crazy, Isaac has tons of energy and gets excited so easily-- it is contagious, Kyah is not only willing to help, but often seeks out ways to help us all, and Daddy is funny and fun.
The kids all said it was the best Valentines Day ever. Sweet.
Isaac likes money. He is always trying to figure out ways to get money because he knows that with it he can buy more of his favorite beyblades and bakugans. Jared and I offer him 25 cents per chore he does outside of his regularly assigned chores. A couple of times he has taken us up on this, but when he starts asking us to help him with the math and realizes that he will have to do 40 chores to get enough money for a beyblade, well... he doesn't quite see it as worth it.
A few days ago he started exploring the idea of selling his current toys to get money for some new ones. The problem is that he has such an attachment to them that he has a hard time parting with anything except small toys or ones that are missing pieces-- things that won't really get him any money.
Yesterday he realized that Ahsha has money. Quite a bit of money actually, because Ahsha doesn't care about new toys. She is perfectly happy playing with the ponies and dolls that we already have. What she needs is a friend to play those with her, and money can't buy her that.
Or can it....
Yesterday Isaac agreed to play ponies with Ahsha for about 15 minutes. He told her he'd play with her again another day too. In return, Ahsha agreed to buy him a new beyblade. So, after Isaac made good on the first segment of his promise Jared took Isaac and Ahsha to the toy store, and both kids came home with a smile. (Ahsha's might have had something to do with that fabulous lollipop too....)
We took a picture of our little family together when Kyah was just a baby-- all three of us laying on the floor. I decided to take the same type of picture with each of our subsequent children. Either we've lost the picture of us with Ahsha, or else I dropped the ball and never took one, but I did find one of her with her 'other' parents :)
Yeah, our girls are basically twins. And our boys are too :)