Monday, July 12, 2010

The Petersons Lately: A Survey

Just a quick look at a few highlights of the last few months:

Back in April, during Neal's final vacation week of intern year, we took a spontaneous road trip down to Houston to visit Neal's sister Sarah, her husband Greg, and their adorable baby boy Luke. Neal's sister Bonnie was there, too. The car trip there was not fun (both kids were well-behaved but both were unable to sleep at night, so less than 2 hours from our destination we forked over $100 for a few hours of sleep and a big dose of sanity--totally worth it!), but the visit was. We enjoyed playing games, eating Sarah's good food, watching movies, talking, going to the temple (thanks, Bonnie, for babysitting!), and going to the park and beach.

Sally, Sarah, and I made glamorous jewelry out of some pop beads. I'm totally getting some when Sally is a little older (and if she doesn't play with them, I will!).

We loved the park and had fun feeding the ducks, playing Frisbee, and swinging.

Despite losing Sarah and following the wrong car (it was just like Sarah's!), we made it to the beach in Galveston. Sally loved it. Thanks, Sarah, for your patience!

Austin loved the beach a little less than Sally, but he didn't complain.

Back in KC, we checked out the free Clifford exhibit at Crown Center. Sally was so excited to meet Clifford! I thought she would be scared, but I guess she was expecting a big red dog, afterall.

The best family picture we could come up with.

Sally enjoyed dressing up as the mail carrier on Birdwell Island.

Austin outgrew his bassinet. After I took this picture, I couldn't in good conscience keep him in there at night. Unfortunately the crib in Sally's room is the only alternative. Having two kids in the same room has been a trial, but we are figuring it out, one night at a time. Things are getting better.

Sally decided to kick the pull-ups (more like I decided to be done with them). She loves her undies and has had very few accidents in the past few months. She also loves her dress-up shoes and pretend-talking on the phone.

Sally loves Austin, and Austin seems to like Sally, as well.

Both kids are looking at the camera!

While pre-heating the oven for these cupcakes:

I melted Sally's plate in the oven (I often use the oven as a drying rack, and I thought I had removed everything). Imagine my surprise when I opened up the oven to see flourescent green slime!

We had a fun time as a family swimming at the local swimming pool. We love it when Neal has a day off and can go out and about together. Austin napped in the shade while Neal and I took turns swimming with Sally in the big pool. We'll definitely go again.

Sally discovered that Austin can fit in her baby stroller (please pardon the purple crib bumper--it was temporary until the blue one arrived in the mail). And no, she didn't put him in there. I did at her request.

I discovered that Austin can fit in a baby swing (and LOVES IT!). Going to the park is so much nicer now!

Austin discovered his toes (quite a while ago, actually, but I couldn't resist including this picture).

We got to spend the 4th of July together (and the 3rd and the 5th, too!). We had a breakfast with friends on the 3rd, went to church and then to Jim and Cookie's house for a bbq on the 4th, and went to the Legends and had our own picnic bbq in our family room while watching Toy Story 2 on the 5th. I was so excited for Neal to have a 3 day weekend. It was so refreshing. Our post-church 4th pictures turned out okay.

A few happenings of the last few months that are also of note:

Neal and I both got new callings. Neal is the Deacon's Quorum advisor and assistant Scout master, and I am the 1st counselor in the RS presidency.

Neal completed his intern year in internal medicine and is now being trained as an anesthesiologist. It was worth the wait (at least from my perspective). He doesn't have to work on weekends unless he is on call (which he will be every 9 days), which means...WE CAN GO TO CHURCH TOGETHER AGAIN! Also, no more short call, night float, or discharge summaries after he gets home!

Austin can almost crawl. He gets up on his knees and rocks back and forth. He's been rolling around for over a month now and can move himself pretty well without crawling, but he's ready to move onto bigger and better things. I'm excited but scared.

Sally can jump. Sally is quite a smart and capable little girl, but for some reason she had a very hard time learning to jump. She can now get both feet off of the floor simultaneously.

Kind of random, but I guess that is my blogging style these days. Until next time!

P.S. In case you don't know where the title of the previous post came from, it is from Nacho Libre.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Down to the nitty gritties

I haven’t blogged in quite a while, and this is not the type of post that I’ve been meaning to write. For the past month or so I feel like I’ve been in a rut. I don’t feel like I’m doing very well at any aspect in my life (especially motherhood), and I keep feeling the urge to be things that I’m not. So I decided to take a quick look at who I really am and what makes me tick. Without trying to hide anything or apologize for anything, here’s a peek into the real me.

I love baking and could easily bake all day long if I had the time (and if I didn’t have to do all of the dishes). When I see a new recipe that I want to try I look for any possible opportunity to make it. Oftentimes when I’m having a hard time sleeping at night I’m thinking about baking.

I love cooking—not as much as baking, but I love it nonetheless. Putting a good meal on the table brings me great satisfaction.

I love grocery shopping. I’m so excited each week when the ads come in the mail and I can plan what stores I’ll go to and what dishes I’ll be able to make. I get especially excited about sales on produce.

I love getting new things to wear, but rarely do. While not wanting to spend money is part of it, a large factor is that I don’t like shopping with my children and feel guilty getting a babysitter to go out shopping on my own. And I don’t enjoy online shopping for clothing. I get much more excited about grocery shopping than clothing shopping (and my children enjoy grocery shopping so much more), and thus my wardrobe suffers.

Guilt is a feeling I feel frequently. It is mostly related to my children in some way. I daily feel the need to be a more patient and accepting mother and to be more creative with my children.

I love to read, but don’t get to much these days. If I had the time I’d read many of the classics that I read in high school but that I didn’t fully appreciate at the time. “A Tale of Two Cities” is high on my list to re-read.

I am a dreamer. I love to dream about the house I will have someday, vacations that Neal and I will go on, meals that I’d like to make, desserts I’d like to bake, parties I’d like to have, things I’d like to own, etc. After we got married it took a while for Neal to get used to my love of dreaming and stop worrying that I was going to go out and spend a lot of money on things. I fear that at the end of my life I’ll find that I’ve done more dreaming than doing. I’m still trying to figure this out, but I think that for the most part fear of the unknown, feeling like I don’t deserve things, and my inborn thriftiness keep me from doing.

I love to play the piano and am so excited whenever I get a chance to play in church. I love accompanying, especially for choirs. I also enjoy playing the organ. I enjoyed being a ward organist (except for the part about it being hard for my children) and feel very badly that I didn’t do a better job in that calling while I had it (it wasn’t my primary calling, so I didn’t devote a lot of time to practice—to be quite honest, barely any time once Sally was born). Most of the time I didn’t play the pedals, and I did hardly any exploration with the stops to get different sounds for different hymns.

I am easily annoyed by sounds that people make unintentionally or without the intent to annoy—such as pen-clicking, lip-smacking, knuckle-cracking, humming, whistling, etc.

I love having parties with friends and family. I am always looking for any excuse to have a party or other get-together. I love planning, preparing food, and seeing people gather and interact, and, of course, eating. I’m still trying to figure out how to be more involved in socializing during my parties while being a good hostess and not ignoring my children. While I love having parties, I also get stressed out and worn out as a result, but these minor problems are far outweighed by the enjoyment I get from the overall experience.

I love serving people, especially if it involves preparing food.

I want to own a bed and breakfast, or a sandwich shop and bakery, someday.

I get great satisfaction out of having a clean house. For the most part I enjoy cleaning, but there are certain areas that I really struggle with. I hate washing windows (especially since Sally is always touching them and they never stay clean), I detest dusting blinds (I think 4 years of living in BYU student housing with cleaning checks every months requiring blind cleaning burned me out), and for some reason I have a really hard time getting around to vacuuming (I don’t have a ton of carpet at my house, and when there is not a sleeping child in the house there are toys on the floor being played with).

I am a confident person in that I have confidence in my ability to do most things I’d like to do, but I often feel insecure around other people and worry about what they think of me. This is in large part because I often put my foot in my mouth and tend to be too loud. It doesn’t help that I was an awkward child (or at least felt like one because I was always too tall, too serious, and had coke bottle glasses), I am naturally clumsy, and I have vivid memories about being teased for these reasons and more.

I struggle with disciplining my 2.5 year old daughter, and know that I need to lighten up. I have really high expectations for myself, which I tend to pass long to Sally, poor thing. I get easily annoyed about things that aren’t that big a deal. Sometimes I forget that she is only 2.5, and I fear that I’m not enjoying her childhood enough.

I have always had a fear of not being loved, and although I have a great marriage and two sweet kids, that fear remains. I know that I’m not great with teenagers, and I fear that Sally won’t like me in her teenage years. Silly fear, but it is there nonetheless.

I wish I were better at blogging, sending birthday cards on time (I don’t forget birthdays, I just struggle with sending things on time), taking pictures, planning activities to engage my daughter, staying in touch with my family and friends, and exercising.

I love to sing and want to be in the Motab someday.

I love being outside but don’t go outside much because 1) I get eaten alive every time I set foot outdoors, 2) I’m not quite sure what to do with Austin, 3) Sally has a way of getting filthy in a matter of seconds. I need to find away around these difficulties so I can take better care of my yard and garden and clean out my car (I have no garage, so this is an outside activity).

I’ve enjoyed living in Kansas City, but I long to live closer to the bulk of my family. I wish I lived closer to at least one of my sisters. Being close to some of Neal’s family partly fills the void, but the void remains and is particularly large around holidays.

I love to laugh and enjoy watching old comedies with Neal, especially movies with Doris Day and Rock Hudson or Cary Grant. I have kind of a silly sense of humor. I think the movie Nacho Libre is absolutely hilarious, and I often find myself laughing at it out of the blue. I don’t laugh as much as I used to and I’m not sure why. The burdens of being a wife and mother? Probably. I need to lighten up.

I need to go to bed. NOW.