Reluctant Smasher

November 17, 2012

Watching a child try to make sense of their first birthday cake is one of the greatest things, especially if it’s their first time eating frosting! It was so revelatory to Mara, she couldn’t get over the buttercream and didn’t even bother with the cake underneath. “Mom, why have you been holding out on me?!” And Mara had been wanting a stroller for some time (she told me) so thank you Lola and Lolo (grandma and grandpa)!

1 Year Old Mara

November 16, 2012

Today is the one-year mark for Mara! No longer bogged down by the conventional label of baby (as she’s been working really hard at masquerading as a big kid for some time!) Mara is now officially a toddler. I couldn’t decide if I should post a timeline of pictures that tracked her growth from newborn to 1 year, but I’ve captured so much of her silly personality on camera the past month, I can’t help sharing these pictures and some developmental stuff instead.

Mara’s current favorite words: da-da, mmmMMM!, poop, uh-oh, and hey guys (more like “hey-dies!”). Lately, she’s taken to bending over to peer between her legs to view everything upside down. I love how she does this randomly, as well as how she laughs at inopportune moments like Doctor Hibbert on The Simpsons. The boys can get really offended by this. “Mooomm! Mara’s laughing at meeee!” Speaking of the boys getting offended, Mara loves to sneak up behind us, lift up our shirts, and tickle our backs. There is a direct correlation between the size of one’s reaction and the frequency she does this, which explains why she targets the boys most often.

Some of Mara’s oldie but goodies include dancing, stomping her feet, snuggling and squealing with her stuffed animals and blankets (in all my years of parenting, I’ve never seen so much snuggling), throwing her head back and sighing “Ehhhhhh!”, kissing us, playing peek-a-boo, and head-bonking us. I’m sure I’ve missed plenty of other things, but in a nutshell this is the delightful stuff that makes up Mara, and we feel so lucky to have her in our family. Happy birthday to our little girl!

Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2012

Hope you have a happy Halloween! It’ll be our chilliest trick-or-treating experience ever, but we’re glad for the good fortune of even getting out tonight. Much like Irene of last year, Sandy didn’t reach inland NC. So be of calm heart my California friends that sent concerned texts and phone calls! Our thoughts go out those recovering from devastation and loss and also to all aid and rescue workers.

And this little Olivia…a very cute, albeit unlikely companion to my two ninjas don’t you think? As my kids have always been of the headstrong sort, I figured this would be the one year to foist my Halloween vision of a costume onto Mara. The oppression! I commissioned the talented Miranda to make an infant version of her popular Olivia the Pig costume. If you’re already thinking ahead to 2013, Miranda booked up pretty quickly around September and October FYI.

It’s the great pumpkin patch!

October 21, 2012

“Gurrrrl…I’ve got this pumpkin.”

A weekend of fall activities and camping was exactly what our family needed this weekend. It felt so good to break out from my usual stay-at-home routine of, well, staying home all the time. Lately I’ve been getting so hung up in the insignificant details of parenthood and somewhere along the line I’ve become a mixed bag of boring and stress (never know what you’re gonna get!). But the kids’ excitement over corn mazes, pumpkins and anything Halloween has been so infectious and uncontainable, there has been plenty of enthusiasm (to put it lightly) to go around. Speaking of excitement, the boys deviated from conventional orange and picked out white pumpkins this year. Rebels.


Update: Congrats to Erin and Kelli for winning the Tad Carpenter giveaway!

Where you go, I will too

October 7, 2012

If you follow other Mormon bloggers, you may have caught an obligatory post or tweet that something called General Conference happened this weekend. I’m going to mention the same (smiley face) only because a wonderful change in church policy had been announced in which the age females could serve a mission is now 19, lowered from 21. Church leaders had previously said that the 21-years-of-age requirement was an effort to keep the number of women serving missions down. I personally found this limiting to women in the church, not to mention troubling since there is much emphasis on marrying off young. But upon hearing the announcement, I felt tears in my eyes because this means Mara has the choice to serve a mission sooner, just as her brothers may choose. It also means that church leaders finally realize that a larger female representation in the mission field is of importance and value. My hope is that the church is listening. Change is slow, but it’s happening.