Wednesday, August 15, 2012
It is currently 8:35 p.m. Esther has been asleep for the last hour and Nora fell asleep about 15 minutes ago. My day was full. Here it is in review.
Today I cuddled in bed with my girls; got myself and two other human beings dressed; dusted; did laundry (and our dryer is broken so I dried things the old fashion way); cleaned the kitchen multiple times; played blocks; colored; sang ridiculous songs about spiders, monkeys and crocodiles; had a tea party; read picture books; watched cartoons; had one of Esther's friends over to play; scared a pigeon out of its nest (which was on my balcony); changed 8 plus dirty diapers; helped Esther go to the bathroom x amount of times (have I mentioned she's potty trained...yay!); visited with a friend, teared up while peeking in on Esther "reading" her scriptures in her room by herself; cheered audibly when Esther pooped in the potty...twice; breastfed Nora a bajillion times; had meaningful conversations on the phone with 3 women I love; stared adoringly at my baby x amount of times; took 20 plus crappy quality pictures of my girls on my phone; gave my baby a bath; made breakfast, lunch and dinner with one hand; and felt grateful every (not every) minute of my day.
Does it get monotonous at times? Yes. But what job doesn't. And I am with my girls. I get to literally watch them grow, hear them coo, wipe their tears, teach them, praise them and love on the full time. Do you know how beautiful that is? Sometimes I have to remind myself but when I remember all of the tantrums, messes and stress filled days seem worth it.
The other night, as I was drifting off to sleep, my day played through my mind and I saw my girls' faces. I imagined Esther at Elinor's age and thought of how quickly we've come to potty training, full sentences and playing make believe and I realized that I don't want to miss a moment of it. I realize that this sounds like a romanticized version of motherhood, but aren't moments like these the ones that keep us going on the hard days?
I thank God (today, not every day) that I am able to stay at home with my babies. And I hope that I will always remember the meaning in what I do. How often when asked what one does do mothers' respond, "I'm just a stay at home mom," (actually I don't think I ever use the word just in my response) but tonight I say, "hells yes, I am a stay at home mom" and nothing could make me happier!
Sunday, June 24, 2012
- Before the crouching began I laid next to her as I sang her songs and she wrapped her arms around my neck and covered my face with her hair as she giggled and made sing song noises with me.
- A little before we went upstairs to go to sleep she brought me an assortment of fake food "din din" to eat and empty play cups filled with imaginary chocolate milk, juice and soda.
- When she tripped while playing at her little kitchen she immediately called for me and reached up to be comforted.
- I found her sitting on a very sweet Jimmy Jasper's back (Grandma and Pa's dog) holding onto his collar like she was riding a horse while he patiently looked up at me with eyes that said, "help...please, help."
- She jokingly said over and over that Sharekhan the tiger was nice and that Mogli was nasty, giggling and smiling each time she made the statement.
- While driving up to Salt Lake Valley from Spanish Fork this morning she sat in the back for the entire hour having her dinosaur toys talk back and forth to each other in the limited conversation vocabulary and known topics that she has readily available.
- As I walked her upstairs for her nap this afternoon she placed her head on my shoulder and tickled my back.
President Packer (an apostle and leader of the LDS faith) recently stated, "One of the great discoveries of parenthood is that we learn far more about what really matters from our children than we ever did from our parents. We come to recognize the truth in Isaiah's prophecy that 'a little child shall lead them'". Knowing how much I learned from my own parents, this is a bold statement, but your perspective of things becomes clearer with a child of your own. Things that your parents taught you seem to finally sink in as you watch and try and teach your child, and you become keenly more aware of the sacrifices and decisions of your own parents and how those things shaped your life and character.
Before I ramble any more, I'll end this by just saying I am so grateful to be a mother. And to be a mother of such a sweet beautiful girl. I am so excited to meet Little Nora and to be taught by her as well. I was happy before Jack and I had children. I knew what love was and life was good then too, but my understanding of love and joy have deepened so much since becoming a mother (clique, I know, but so true). And I'll always be grateful to God for giving me the chance to be a mother.
Saturday, January 28, 2012
The gales of change have begun to gust in our lives. We knew this year would be full of change, but until recently we weren’t sure as to what those changes would be. Although many of the transitions that are coming are not quite here yet, we are looking forward to all of them with enthusiasm. So, what are these changes I am talking about?
*Student teaching. Jack is currently student teaching at Copper Hills High School. He is mainly student teaching in English classes but has a period of Spanish as well. When he finishes up in about 6 weeks the last thing he’ll have in his way to graduation is an international trip to Nicaragua with his cohort in April. Really, he is getting school credit for that.
*After a long grueling process of interviews and online assessments Jack was accepted into Teach for America. It is an extremely competitive program and only 11% of their applicants are accepted. They assigned us to Denver! So, come May, we are packing up and relocating our little family.
*Jackie got a job! KIPP Collegiate High School, a school that often uses Teach for America teachers, contacted Jack at the beginning of this month. He had a phone interview and then was contacted about a week later to fly to Denver and do sample teaching with a Spanish and English class of theirs. They had initially told him that they would get back to him the following week but by the end of the day they had no doubt they wanted him in their school and offered him the job on the spot! These schools are all over the nation and are doing amazing things for low-income students.
*Last but certainly not least, we are expecting Baby #2. I’m 15 weeks and due mid-July. We are planning on having the baby in UT due to insurance reasons, which means that there is a possibility that Jack may not be here for the birth of #2. Not ideal, but it could definitely be worse.
Monday, October 10, 2011
We did what Fife's generally do in Oregon: visit a lot of extended family members, go to the beach, whale watching on the ocean, lots of salt water taffy and last but not least, go to the Tillamook cheese factory in Tillamook, OR. Esther had been relatively good on the way to the coast, which is saying something because it took us 3 days of travelling in the car for at least 5 hours a day, but it was exhausting to entertain her on the drive. Especially considering the fact that she wouldn't sleep in the car. Literally wouldn't sleep. So, on the way home I talked my sister into using her free flight benefits and flying home with her baby and mine and I drove her car home by myself. 15 hours makes for a long day of driving, but at least it wasn't 15 hours with a toddler.
Unless it is with Daddy...
*Lots of reading with Dad and Mom.
*Lots of hiking with Tif and baby Cole
*And a new obsession...Batman. Really Batman.
She sleeps with a Batman doll at night. She watches the opening credits of the old Adam West Batman show over and over. She picks up phones and acts like she is talking to Batman (she even uses a raspy voice when she says his name on the phone "Bat bat") It is pretty adorable. Her favorite Batman activity has to do with her grandparents' bed. She acts like it is the Batmobile.
Here she is playing with Grandpa...and then Grandma joined in the fun.
All in all we have had a really fun summer. Life is good. I love my little family and really feel blessed for the experiences we are having and the people who surround us.
Saturday, April 30, 2011
As probably all of you know I have many ties to the Chinese people. When I was 20 years old I taught English in Wuxi, China for a semester and later that year was called to the Taichung Taiwan mission (speaking of that mission, for any of you mission friends who don't have facebook, did you hear Alicia Watterson is going to Taichung on her mission?)
The next day after church Jack and I were off. We hopped in a taxi and headed to White Cloud Mountain 白云山。We took a tram to the top of it and attempted to see the view of Guangzhou through the smog. The smog was especially thick because the clouds were ready to burst. We made it half way down the mountain trails and through a beautiful Buddhist temple before they split at the seams and drenched us from head to toe. I can't say I minded. It reminded me of Taiwan and it is always fun to watch the Chinese people scramble to safety. They hate getting wet.
IKEA was also on the agenda for the day. I know, right? Who goes to China and visits IKEA? We do. It was one of the most bizarre places I have been in my life. There were so many people there. And what were they doing? Not shopping. They were sitting on furniture, using laptops, playing on their phones and napping. Seriously. Napping. I did not see one single bed that was still made because there were people laying in them. Bizarre I tell you. I guess the Chinese also love soft serve ice cream because there was a line that went half way down the block of individuals waiting for their IKEA frozen yogurt.
After spending quite some time finding a taxi and meeting up with Zach and Meredith for lunch, we headed back to their apartment and packed our backpacks for an excursion. Meredith, being 8 months pregnant, wisely decided to stay home while the rest of us caught a 12 hour train ride to Guilin 桂林. Trains are really a fabulous way to travel and it is sad to me that they aren't more heavily used in the US. We had soft sleepers, which means that there are four beds in a compartment. Two on the top bunk and two on the bottom. We bought tickets a little late and so Zach and Royal were on the top bunks in one compartment and Jack and I were on the top bunks in another compartment.
Mine and Jack's compartment buddies ended up being so sweet. They were a married couple from Guangzhou. The wife was 8 months pregnant and her husband was accompanying her to her parents' so that she could have her baby there. I sat and talked to them for a little over an hour the following morning before we arrived in Guilin. I have heard so many accounts of female infanticide in China, especially in my anthropology classes. One of the most refreshing things that I heard that morning was when they told me that they thought they were having a boy. But immediately after the husband said, "But we don't care one way or another. Boy or girl, they will be our child and we will love them." Then he stood up and placed both of his hands on his wife's stomach while crouching close to his baby inside of her. I loved it! On a side note, it was also refreshing to know that I could still carry on a conversation in Chinese without problem for over an hour. Jack did a great job at smiling and nodding.
Tuesday we woke early and headed to Long ji. Hands down the most beautiful place I have ever seen in my life. Mountainside after mountainside of terraced land. It is home to the Chinese Red Yao, known here as the Hmong, people. The women wear black skirts and bright red or pink tops. The women also only cut their hair once in their lives, around 16 or 17, and the hair cut is weaved back into their remaining hair. They wrap it around their heads and wear it in a large bun on the top of their foreheads. Another interesting thing that Jack was fascinated with is the way they build their homes. There is no metal at all. Rather than nails they use wooden pins.
That night we took another 12 hour train ride back to Guangzhou. For the next few days we didn't see much of Zach. He was working like 16 hour days. But it was really good to spend time with Meredith. She took us to some great restaurants and took me SHOPPING! Unfortunately they haven't found a good DVD provider, but I did buy some knock off purses.
This is Sausha again.
We spent our last day of our trip in Hong Kong. But not even the whole day. By the time we took a train and went through customs and took another train, we checked into our hotel at about 4 pm. We didn't have a lot of time so we were only able to hit Nathan Road, Hong Kong Park and Victoria's Peak. I cannot express how crowded this city was. Unbelievable. And there were so many people from all over the world. It really is an international hub.
It was nothing short of a miracle that we made our flights home. We were the last two listed on stand-by and I only saw one empty seat on the whole plane. But I must say, I was so happy to see the little face pictured below when we came home. What a trip?! Maybe I can convince my husband to move there one day.