Monday, November 14, 2011

Last night I:

  • woke up every hour since Anya started crying in her sleep
  • got up to feed her "sieyah" (cereal)
  • tried to convince her that she did not need a "Dia hane!" (diaper change) since I had JUST changed her
This morning I:

  • felt loved by my wonderful man
  • dispensed more "Sieyah"
  • had a helper actually help me put clothes away in the basket.
  • Smiled. I feel well today.

Thanks, Monkey Monkey. I love you.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Monkey Monkey

So...apparently teaching Anya animal sounds has not been the best idea we've ever had. We taught her how to make monkey sounds "oo oo oo" and she liked it SO much that she decided that people words were for losers and she only needed to use monkey words.

She thought this was a great idea, that is, until she realized that we have no monkey-speaking skills. After a week's worth of whining and throwing tantrums because we "weren't listening" to what she was telling us, she started using people words again! Unfortunately, all of her favorite words begin with a d-sound...or she puts the d-sound in front of every word. (Dad, dog, diaper, done, duck, cat, eat, lie down, etc.) For a few more days, we really had no idea what she was trying to tell us again, so the same cycle of tantrums and excessive whining happened again.

After I learned what her words mean again, she has started using more words and keeps pointing to different things and asking, "Wahis da?" (What is that?) When we tell her, she thinks about it, then says, "Eye suh." (I see.)

She also has a sweater with Elmo from Sesame Street on it, and she was wearing it when I took her with me to the Home Depot yesterday. She got my attention and asked, "Wahis da?" while pointing to her shirt.

"It's your Elmo sweater. La La La La, Elmo's world!"

"Oh. Eye suh. Ehmo! Ehmo!"

She then had me take off her sweater so she could give Elmo lots of kisses.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Diaper Disaster

Diaper DisasterDaniel and Anya have very similar personality traits. For example, when they start on something, they HAVE to finish it. It's a good trait and a sign of a good work ethic, however, last night was an extreme clash between my loves!

Daniel needed to change Anya's diaper and set his mind to do so. Anya wanted to play with my wallet (and I'm surprised my debit and credit card are missing...), then take a bath. Daniel put her on the changing table WITHOUT the wallet, not realizing she was very VERY busy with it. I was talking to a friend in the living room and listened as the situation deteriorated from bad to worse.

Evidently, Daniel was determined to put that diaper on. Anya, however, was determined to either play with the stupid wallet or take a bath. Either way, apparently both options required complete nudity. When I say that kid is strong, I mean it takes both of us using most of our body weight to hold her in place when necessary...such as the last time she had shots.

Anyway, after a few minutes of a screaming, defiant little toddler who refused to wear clothing and had, by this point, reached a tantrum level wherein absolutely nothing could make her stop except quiet time in the crib. (I use the word, "quiet" loosely.) Daniel called for help, and I came in to find both of them completely frustrated with one another. I picked up the kid to try to help her calm down, but every time she heard Daniel's voice or looked at him, she'd start her tantrum all over again!

Eventually they both got what they set out to do: Daniel got the diaper on, and Anya got to take a that order within 15 minutes of each event happening.

After her bath, I talked to Anya about what a nice Daddy she has to change her diapers and always get her ready for bed. Then I talked to her about how it wasn't nice to have a tantrum for Daddy. I told her that she needed to give Daddy a hug and a kiss to say sorry. In all of this, I do realize she's one, and most of this discussion was for our benefit as parents. I took her out into the living room where here Daddy now was, and she jumped into his arms and proceeded to give him lots of kisses and love-rubs. Daniel said he was sorry too, and after the fact we had to look back and laugh since with this personality trait they share, it was essentially Daniel vs. Daniel.

Sometimes I wonder why we're working on this foster/adoption thing as zealously as we are...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Temple Square, Pantsless Toddler, and A Hike Up A Hill

Today Anya and I had an adventure at Temple Square! Before I begin, I just want to say that the destination is beautiful and brilliantly gives a view of the work and dedication that the Mormon Pioneers put in to building this sacred place of worship.

We went with some friends to tour Temple Square. Daniel and I had planned on doing an endowment session, however since Women's Conference was taking place later this evening, ALL of the temples within 50 miles closed early. (Wow, that's weird to say...all? I must live in the Salt Lake Valley or something!) Instead, Anya and I went with our friends to tour Temple Square. Daniel opted to stay home since his darn flat feet make his legs tire out pretty easily. (Plus it's football season...)

I found free parking on the street outside an apartment complex (YAY!) but you get what you pay for and where I parked was 0.5 miles away from temple square and located on top of a pretty steep hill relative to the temple. (It was still worth it...) So I put Anya in the stroller and had a nice little stroll down the hill to our destination. Our friends had opted for metered parking right outside temple square, so naturally they got in LONG before we did. After some confusion in finding one another, we proceeded to take the kids to the South Visitors Center. This building contains information about the temple itself; displaying a model of the temple and what's inside. There are interactive photo galleries which explain the purpose of each room in the temple. The Salt Lake temple is unique in that it holds a conference room which, as I understand (seeing as how I was trying to keep a small person from leaping head-first out of her stroller at the time this was explained) is used for meetings of the first presidency of the church and the quorum of the twelve. I didn't know this room even existed until today! That goes to show you learn something new every day.

In trying to placate my poor bored toddler, I lifted her up to the large window surrounding the building. From where we stood, we had an unobstructed view of the temple. As Anya observed the people walking by, the trees and flowers, and finally the temple itself, I took the opportunity to tell her about the temple. I began by helping her identify what the temple is by pointing to the building and saying, "Anya, look. That's the temple! Anya, say 'temple!'" While she didn't say the word "temple," she did get the word association down and would look toward the temple whenever she heard someone say the word "temple."

Our little group then proceeded to the area where displays are shown of the 19th century tools, building materials, and plaques telling about each of these things. There's also a statue and video of Brigham Young receiving the revelation of where the Salt Lake temple would be built. Thinking of the dedication and faith these people had to make this idea of a temple into a reality is amazing to me.

We then moved to the North Visitor's Center, which is one of my favorite spots in Temple Square. Here is a circular building. On the main floor, the walls are covered with paintings depicting the birth, ministry, suffering in Gethsemane, death, and ressurection of Christ. Each picture is accompanied with a brief explaination written on a podium in front of the painting. In the center of the building is a model of Jerusalem as it would have appeared during the time of the Savior. The model gives descriptions of areas where Christ preached and taught. I took Anya to each picture and briefly told her about what was happening in each painting. I told her that the model was of Jerusalem where Jesus taught.

My favorite part of this visitors' center is the upward sloping spiral. As you walk up, the walls are painted with clouds, distant worlds, and the night sky. It's as if one is at first following the earthly life of our Lord, then we follow him as he symbolically ascends into Heaven. At the top, you are greeted by the Christus statue. To me, it's symbolic of how, after our mortal life is complete, we are given the opportunity to be greeted by our Redeemer in Heaven. The statue looks as if Jesus is greeting the visitors and tourists as he will for many people entering Heaven after this life.

We took a few minutes to sit in the seating provided in this room. Of course, Anya had absolutely no desire to just sit in the stroller while us grown-ups are being boring. I let her out to play on the floor. To my surprise, Anya stood up against the stroller and, while pushing it, used it to walk around the room. I must say, I was quite the proud parent right then. She also made a point of saying hi to everyone in the room. Thankfully most of the people were families with babies her age and sister missionaries. Oh yeah, and janitor polishing the the railing along the wall on the upward spiral. Anya made a point to "help" him before I intervened. I doubt the poor guy would have wanted my sticky, drooly child helping him polish anything. When I grabbed her and apologized, he said he has lots of grandkids who "help" him too, so he understood.

We went to another room which has pictures depicting stories from the Bible, such as Abraham and Sarah being promised a child in their old age, The boy-prophet, Samuel, being awoken by the voice of the Lord, Isaiah's vision of the birth of Christ, and a statue of Adam and Eve. Anya liked the picture of Noah preaching repentance before the flood the most. She also liked Adam and Eve. When I told her about Adam and Eve and how they are our first parents, she kept pointing to them saying, "Dad? Mama?" Also, pretty much any man in any picture who is not Jesus is apparently Daniel. For every picture she saw which included some guy in the multitude following Jesus, she would point to a man and squeal, "Dad!" Mama isn't in any pictures. Poor Mama...

We ended our adventure by attending a presentation about families. We believe that, through ordinances performed in the temple, that families can be sealed together forever, and not be permenantly seperated by death. During this presentation, I was chatting with a Sister Missionary and looked down to see my child frantically ripping her pants off before anyone could catch her. I sounded a bit crazy to this poor Fillipino sister who is still getting acquinted with English when I said, "I liked the part child has taken off her pants..." After a brief, "What the crap is this white lady talking about?!" moment, she looked down to see my pantsless child crawling away as fast as she could! Everyone in the room got a pretty good laugh about that.

After I got my pantsless child back in pants, it was time to go. Seeing as how my free parking spot was located outside an apartment complex and wasn't exactly meant for tourists, I knew that if I didn't get back to the car in the two hour limit the city allows on that street, I was going to get towed. Being towed was not high on my priority list, so Anya and I hurried out of Temple Square and up the steep hill. Going up the hill taught me two things: 1) Holy crap I'm out of shape! and 2) if it weren't for the fact that I could hold onto the stroller, I would have just sprawled out on the grass next to the sidewalk and given up. Anya was so tuckered out she fell asleep on the walk back to the car!

Once we got to the car, I was overjoyed to see that someone didn't know how to parallel park and had scraped the left side of my rear bumper. What cracked me up though was the fact that the driver had not moved the car to a different spot and remained behind my car. After my inital, "I hate people" response, I looked to see how bad the damage was, which wasn't much on my old Ford, and discovered that the other person had dented their front bumper and scraped the paint off. I figured since they didn't move their car, they must not have cared too much about their bumper, and since my bumper had only suffered a cosmetic crack, it wasn't a big deal. I loaded my sleepy child into her car seat, put the stroller in the trunk, and drove home.

I loved spending that quality time with my Anya. Even if she didn't get much out of it since she's so little, we really bonded and had fun together. She loved looking at the pictures and having me tell the stories. She loved the fact that she's getting better at walking. She loved the praise and positive, calm interactions we had together. I found a deeper love and appriciation for being her mom. She really is an amazing little person with her own personality and interests. I'm thankful I got to share with her some of what we believe, even if she's too little to understand most of what I said.

Where's Jake?

There is a family that we are pretty good friends with. The husband's name is Jake, and he and his wife have a little girl the same age as our little girl.

We went to play with them last night, and since Jake works nights, he wasn't there. Anya kept asking me, "Wha Jay?" I didn't know what she was talking about, so I kept asking her to show me. She looked at a picture of Jake, pointed and excitedly said, "JAY!" She then looked at me and again asked, "Wha Jay?"

To which I responded, "Where's Jake?" She smiled and said, "JAY! Wha Jay!"

"Oh, sweetie, Jake's at work, but I am SO proud of you for using your words!"

We then went around their house together, looking for all of the pictures of Jake. Apparently her little friend's daddy is as important as her own daddy.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Daniel ate a HUGE cheesecake for $100...right after eating 8 slices of pizza...Daniel threw up. Daniel has $100. Daniel has left me stunned and flabbergasted. He hasn't eaten that much food since he was in college...