Wednesday, April 27, 2011

4 going on 16

 A scary thing happened tonight.  A moment that stopped me dead in my tracks and nearly took my breath away.  Everyone said that life with two kids was harder than life with one was.  And I venture to say that our #2 is not quite as easy going as his sister was or maybe that's just hindsight talking (or four years of aging, who knows).  Thankfully, despite my concerns and the 4 1/2 years that Jillian spent as an only child, she has taken to big sisterhood with not apparent jealousy issues.


She is almost always willing to help out with her little brother.  She reads recites stories to him, sings him all kinds of original (made-up) songs, shooshes him when he's fussy, volunteers to feed him if ever there is a need, and even jumps at the opportunity to change his diapers.  But, she IS four and like her mother, appears to be in love with the sound of her own voice (and thinks everyone else should love it too).  It feels like she talks and asks questions incessantly (many of which she already knows the answer to) and with no concern whatsoever that her brother (or the dishes, or the laundry, or the grocery shopping) is also screaming vying for our attention.  Needless to say, this high level of over stimulation and a decent amount of sleep deprivation have been taking a pretty major toll on Kenton and I (probably more me than him as he was actually in attendance the day they taught patience in 'life school' and I was not).  Especially the last couple of weeks. 

It was a challenging moment like this tonight that reality took advantage of and slapped me right across the face.  Joshua was hungry and had been none to shy to let me know (as it should be.  He's only 8 weeks old for goodness sake).  As I sat on my bed, nursing my newborn son.  My 4 (going on 20) year old daughter who was talking up another annoying storm and was dressed like modern day popstar (as her father had pointed out earlier in the day).  She was staring out my bedroom window and something about the adhesive style earrings she had recently unearthed from her sticker box, the 'Daddy's Angel' t-shirt that's just a little bit too small & the baggy, hot pink fleece sweatpants that are 4 inches to long (not helped by how low they were sitting on her tilted hips in that moment) flashed my mind forward twelve years.  And for a moment, I saw her at 16 with attitude abounding and me wishing I was still looking into the eyes of my innocent, adorable, clever, spunky, energetic, beautiful 4-year old girl.


In that moment, I was convicted regarding the tone I too often take with her and the frustration that comes FAR too easily to my spirit these days when she is around.  I desperately want to treasure these moments with her more than I do because to the best I know, these moments DO NOT LAST.  I do not want to feel so pushed to the limit so often that all I do is curtly say her name with an ever apparent irkedness (like that?) in my voice.  I'm not sure how I'm going to get there but I'm sure it has to be one moment, one hour, one day at a time.  And hopefully, this brief glimpse into the future that I had tonight, will alter my perspective just enough to not snap at her the next time when all she wants in the world is my attention . . . and a new pet shop friend.  ;-)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


For those few (and faithful) readers of my blog, you probably already noticed that I did not do too well with the April blogging challenge I issued myself.  And really, unfortunately, I have no good excuse as to why I did not blog.  I suppose I was just a little over zealous or over ambitious.  I did have wonderful intentions (as usual) to write all kinds of posts and have them scheduled to post for every day in the month of April. Thus the random shower shots post. It was supposed to be amongst many other posts but alas, there were none, or atleast few.  That is not to say that there was nothing to write about however.  There were plenty of things I could have written about. Like the trip we took this month to the 'Big D' (and I DO mean Dallas, Oregon that is) so that Joshua could meet his Great Grandma Freisen or GG as we like to call her in our family.   Or the awkward spring torrential hail storm we had that threw Jilly into fits and giggles. Or our trip to Oregon to introduce Joshua to good friends there who had yet to meet him.  Or the impromptu trip we took to Ocean Shores the weekend before Easter.  And of course, there IS Easter.  All of these things I might still post about.  But tonight there is something else spurring me to post . . . .

Friday, April 15, 2011

Shower Shots

In the fall of 1997, me and three other young ladies rented a brand spankin' new duplex in North Ellensburg.  When we came over to sign our lease papers, construction had just finished and our new home still smelled of fresh drywall and paint.  As we reveled in the newness of it all, we enjoyed some taking some pictures around the place and thus, the shower shot was born.  From that point on, my best friend Tammi and I got into the habit of taking pictures in the shower for special occasions and it has become a wonderful tradition.  Here are a few of our shower shots, including the very first one. . . .

Tammi, Sandy, Emily & me

On my wedding day

At the Evening of Elegance

Mid-construction on my first house

Both of us pregnant, at Tammi's baby shower for Tori

Before the wedding of our friends, Nichole & Aaron

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Wild Pacific Northwest

Last spring we decided to splurge a little and purchase our family a joint membership to the Pt. Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and Northwest Trek.  For those of you who do not know what Northwest Trek is, it is a 725 acre park located northeast of Olympia in Eatonville.  The park consists of lakes, trails and more then 200 North American animals call it home.  They offer a free tram to tour the park.  While on the tram tour you are likely to see bighorn sheep, deer, Roosevelt elk, woodland caribou, mountain goats, bison and more.  
Our membership was set to expire at the end of last month and we still had not made it to NW Trek so we intentioned to do it atleast once before the membership ran out.  The day was perfect for the trip and we set out with sack lunches for the drive, picked Jillian up from preschool and headed out with (mostly) blue sky overhead.
By the time we arrived, there was a chill in the air but our excitement held the chill at bay.  The park is absolutely beautiful and extremely tranquil.  We boarded a 2:00 tram with our tour guide, George and headed out into the wild.  
The first animal we found, aside from some ducks that were swimming in the lake was a bison:

Then we moved on to Elk, Moose and Black tail dear

We also so Big horn sheep and Mountain goats on our journey:

The tour ended with a glimpse of the "bonus animal", a friendly, lake dwelling turtle:

After de-boarding the tram we headed on to the walking exhibits where we saw Eagles, Bears, Foxes, Bobcats, Lynx, Cougars, Racoons, Wolverines,  River Otters and Beavers:


We had a great time admiring all of the wildlife in the park and left at closing to head home. Jilly and I appeared to have had enough excitement for the day as we both promptly fell asleep on the trip back to Olympia.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Mandy A to Z

I saw someone else do this recently and thought it would be a great way to start out my 30-day blog post challenge.  So here's a bit about me . . . from A to Z.

A. Age: 33 until September

B. Bed size: King, a big bed for big people

C. Chore you dislike: most of them, but dusting is the one I do least

D. Dogs: unfortunately, no, atleast not yet!

E. Essential start to your day: a shower

F. Favorite color: Purple

G. Gold or silver: Silver

H. Height: 5' 7"ish

I. Instruments you play(ed): Piano when I was a kid and flute for 2 years in junior high

J. Job title: fiscal technician & technically, business owner of From Milestones to Memories

K. Kids: Two, Jillian 4 years and Joshua, 4 weeks

L. Live: Washington

M. Mom’s name: Patricia

N. Nicknames: So many to list . . . currently "Beautiful" is the most common as that is what hubby calls me.  In the past I've been known by Manderific, Mandy Sue (NOT my middle name so it qualifies), Baby Hugs, Mandofsky, Moogs, Moogymouse, Matt . . .  I'm sure there are more

O. Overnight hospital stays: None!

P. Pet peeves: Oh, there are so many . . . highest on my list at the moment is probably hubby not wiping off the counters or stove after he cooks.  I thank God that he cooks but he is MESSY!

Q. Quote from a movie: "
I'm exactly the way you made me: do it this way, do it that way, do it MY way - until I don't even know how to do it without you. "

S. Siblings: Oh goodness, where do I start. . . raised an only child.  Four 'step' siblings (two brothers, two sisters) one that I claim. Atleast 5 biological half-siblings, maybe more. Two sister-in-laws and one brother-in-law that I claim.

T. Time you wake up: It varies

U. Underwear: Yes

V. Vegetables you don’t like: Don't know that there are any

W. What makes you run late: Darn near everything unfortunately.

X. X-rays you’ve had: Teeth, pinky finger on my right hand.  I think that's it.

Y. Yummy food you make: Smoothies and omelets

Z. Zoo animal favorites: Koala bear