Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Letters to Sylvie: 4 months

Dear Sylvie,

I can't believe how much you have grown in the last month. My little tiny baby is growing into the cutest, smiliest chunk I've ever seen.

You have the most adorable round chubby face and I'm constantly kissing your cute cheeks. Your legs have developed very healthy rolls and I love to dress you in your leg warmers to show them off. Your tiny hands have the cutest little dimples and your belly looks so Buddha, especially after you eat.

Your hair is definitely thinner than it was when you were born and a light peach fuzz layer of hair is growing in its place. It looks like you might be a blondie, but I guess it's still a bit early to tell. Your dad and I both expected you to keep your dark hair, but I guess you never know! So far your pretty blue eyes have stuck around and I think they're here to stay. I wouldn't be too disappointed if you kept your daddy's eyes. They sure are beautiful.

You also had your 4 month check-up at the doctor recently. Since your dad is home with you during the day I had him take you by himself. He did a great job taking care of you and made sure to give you some medicine afterwards to help you feel better. You were a bit cranky for the next few days, but we all survived. You've moved up from the 25th percentile in your length and weight to the 50th percentile. Delightfully average, I say. You're 13.6 pounds and 24" long!

You've gotten much more coordinated within the last month. You LOVE to suck on your hands. And if you're not sucking on your hands you're drooling. Your grip has gotten much better as well. You love to hold your rattle and shake it around and get upset when it falls. You also hold onto the leg of the elephant on your bouncy chair and grasp the toys on your jungle gym. Mommy's hair frequently gets tugged on too.

For the last few months you've been sleeping in me and daddy's bed, but the doctor said it was time to start teaching you how to sleep on your own. I was expecting the worst as you normally wouldn't even sleep in the co-sleeper connected to our bed, but after only a night or two of waking up every couple hours, you seem to be enjoying your new big bed in your very own room. I think the transition has been much harder on me than it was for you. I sure miss cuddling with you every night as you sleep next to me.

The week before Halloween you rolled onto your back for the first time. You still haven't figured out how to do it again, but I'm sure it'll happen again soon. You still love to take baths, though not as much as you did a couple months ago. Your favorite part is seeing the little naked baby in the bathroom mirror and you smile and smile at her. You also like to go for walks so I try to take you out everyday after I get home from work. We go to the park with the pond so you can listen to the ducks and walk by the big field full of cows. But, you don't require much to be happy. When your dad is around you're perfectly content to sit in the crook of his arm and watch tv. It's the cutest thing ever.

Every day that goes by I love you more and more. You're such a sweet little girl and everyone who sees you loves you. You've got such a calm, sunny disposition it's hard to be away from you for long. I'm so glad you're my little buggie.

Love, Mama

Friday, November 9, 2012

Perfection: The New Boring

This is the second installment in the backstories behind my 20 tidbits of knowledge.

I hesitate a little to write this post because it addresses a topic that I don't typically bring up: religion. My religious views have changed drastically over the last few years and while I know it's the right thing for me, it's not always easy on my family. When I don't know how to talk about something uncomfortable, I tend to not talk at all. Which is why you haven't heard me talk about religion up to this point. Thing is, a lot of the things I have learned going through this change in beliefs are the things that ended up on my all important list mentioned above. So it's sort of impossible not to talk about.

For the first 27 years of my life I was taught to strive for perfection. One of the base beliefs of my Mormon religion was to continually pursue perfection and use the repentance process for any mistakes I made.When the time came to meet my maker, if I'd done everything I could, Christ would make up the difference and I'd be on the train to heaven. Which sounds like a good plan, no?

Amongst all my striving to be good and doing all the things I was supposed to, there was always the thought that "you could still do more." There was always more I could do. I'd think I was doing a pretty good job and then come Sunday I'd be listening to a lesson about food storage or personal prayer or serving others and I'd always think... "man, I'm not doing any of this. I should do these things. I could do these things if I really wanted to." But I never seemed to be able to put them into action, at least at any level I thought I was capable of. I always felt a little guilty that in my spare time I did things like watch t.v. or go hiking or some other hobby instead of taking a bowl of chicken soup to the widow down the street. Every week I'd go home from church feeling horrible about myself. I was clearly not as good as the people sitting around me. I felt like a fraud.

During my transition out of the church, because of my new beliefs, I made a conscious choice to stop trying to be perfect. I no longer cared if I was perfect. I didn't really want to be perfect, truth be told. As soon as I made that decision, I suddenly felt free. I didn't have a mountain of guilt constantly weighing me down. I dumped all the things I'd always been told I should do and did what I wanted for once. And it was amazing.

Now instead of feeling guilty for taking some time for myself, I feel happy and recharged. When I do things for other people it's because I genuinely want to, not because I feel like I have to fill up some invisible bucket of "good deeds." I don't feel like I have to censor my personality anymore and my self-esteem has never been better.

What if we were all perfect? Nobody ever made a mistake. Nobody ever burnt a roast. Everybody would always agree because we'd all have the same perfect opinion about everything. We'd all have fit, trim, perfectly shaped bodies. We'd all be perfect at sports and singing and any other thing we tried to do. And we'd all be bored out of our minds.

The people that I've always found most interesting and fun to be around are those that are the most flawed. They swear or laugh at inappropriate things or dress a little crazy. It's when we break out of that perfect mold that we are at our most human. I don't want everybody to be the same. I want to be an individual. I want to be "perfectly" flawed.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hold Onto Your Hats!

Things have been pretty exciting around here lately so I thought I'd give a quick update. (Ok, maybe it's not exactly "exciting," just less normal stuff.)

On October 25th  we had our first big snowfall up in Davis County. It didn't snow all that much... just a few inches, but the snow was really wet and heavy. Unfortunately the ground got so soaked that one of our aspens in the front yard decided to fall over. I got home that day and saw this...

Seth hadn't mentioned anything about it at all so I figured he didn't know it had happened. Sure enough! It must have fallen over slowly because he didn't hear a thing and it didn't break the front window. One of our neighbors was nice enough to pull it off the house with his truck and Seth took the evening off of work to chop it up with the chainsaw. I have to say he didn't look too disappointed....

Those of you who know me know that I don't do crafts. I don't sew, I don't do hand-made decorations. So I know you'll be shocked to hear that I made Sylvie's Halloween costume! I just cut out a bunch of feathers from some felt, hot glued them together, and safety pinned them onto a little jacket we already had. I started the project more than a month ahead of time when the jacket was a bit big on her and was floored to see that the jacket was now a bit too small! Sylvie's little belly was hanging out underneath it, but she didn't seem to mind. Especially since she only wore it for about 5 minutes over the weekend.

Speaking of awesome babies, Sylvie hit a big milestone this last weekend and finally rolled over from her stomach to her back. She must have been waiting for our trip up to Grandma & Grandpa Hanson's house. Seth and I were both lucky enough to witness the event though we haven't been able to get her to do it again since! Looks like somebody is going to need more practice!

While we were up in Idaho we got to spend a lot of time with Seth's family doing lots of fun Halloween stuff. Probably my favorite part was going to the pumpkin patch to pick out pumpkins and the subsequent carving. It's always so fun to see what people come up with for their designs!

Tessa, Seth, Rachel, & Soren all at work!

Tessa and her cute pumpkin!

My pumpkin

Seth's pumpkin... I think it looks like these guys from Labyrinth:


Tessa's Pumpkin

Before we left on our weekend Halloween trip, Seth and I went and voted early. It was so much faster and easier than going on Election Day. We didn't have to wait through a huge snaking line and got to choose a day and time that worked best for us. If you haven't voted early, you should. You don't have to sign up ahead of time or anything, just go there and show I.D.! Also, I know most of my readers are of the Romney type so here's an incentive to get you to vote... we both voted for Obama!! HA! But really, these days there's no excuse not to vote. They make it so easy to be informed about the issues and people you'll be voting for that even I knew who I was putting down for each election! (Ok I had crib notes on my phone... but still.)

I got this bad boy for donating to the campaign! U mad bro? :D