Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Boys vs Girls

Maybe it's just a difference in personality, but we sure have noticed a difference at Kyle and Claire, even in the early stages of life.

This is how Claire learned to crawl and walk: Claire was almost nine months old by the time she decided to try to crawl. Even once she learned how to it scared her and she literally would cry the whole time she was crawling. It was the same thing with walking. She just hated walking between two people by herself, she cried the whole time. If she was standing and holding onto something she would hold on for dear life and never let go. I still remember how my thumbs and fingers would ache from her holding on. When she was 14 months old she just stood up one day and started walking. That was that. No trial and error; she waited until she could do it. Claire is confident, calculated, and careful.

This is Kyle: At 6 1/2 months I went upstairs to grab some clothes for Kyle. I could hear him squealing with delight and hurried down the stairs to see him up on his hands and feet, rocking and laughing. The next day he learned to dive forward on his chest, get back up, and dive again. Even though he can crawl in the normal way, he still resorts to his dive/scoot. Then before he was even 8 months old he decided he can crawl up onto things (stairs, suitcase, large toys). And even worse he's decided that he can stand up and hold onto the couch, Claire's couch, the stairs, the exersaucer, the TV stand, and anything else he can crawl to. This would be fine except for the fact that once he's up he lets go and crashes. Sometimes he'll even just start to walk and let go. I spend most of my day chasing him and catching him at the last second. Why would a seven-month-old think that walking is the next step? Kyle is daring, dangerous, and determined.

So maybe it's a gender thing or a personality thing, but we sure like how different they are. Kyle certainly is a care-free little guy, where Claire thinks through everything before making a choice. It's fun to see so many great qualities developing in these little people.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Silent Night

Claire goes through a bedtime routine with her dolls during which they "request" songs. One of the dolls's favorites is Silent Night and here are the words:

Silent night, ho holy night
All it's gone, all it's bite
Round yon bird in mother in child
Holy in handsome tender so mild
sleep in heavenly peace
sleep in heavenly peace

She also sings I Need Thee Every Hour:

I need V every hour
in joy, in face
I come to V

On Father's Day

In honor of Father’s Day I decided to make a list of 50 things I love about Taylor. I could go on and on, but my kids only nap for so long :) Some of them are obvious things and some of them are things that you probably didn’t know about him. I followed it up with the answer to 25 questions about him.

1. He puts up with me
2. He never complains about anything I do or do not do (however I’m sure he has a list of complaints somewhere).
3. If he is around he changes the diapers. Always.
4. He is happy to leave Sacrament Meeting to take a kid out.
5. He lets me sleep in often.
6. He reads to me.
7. He edits the swearing when he reads to me.
8. He embellishes the, um, “love” scenes when he reads to me.
9. He starts the laundry a lot.
10. He starts the dishwasher and puts away the dishes.
11. He can fold clothes better than I can.
12. He does more than his fair share of putting Claire back in bed in the middle of the night.
13. He always dresses nicely when we leave the house.
14. He drives me everywhere.
15. He carries the car seat.
16. He buckles both kids in every time.
17. He’s at about 97% at putting the toilet seat down (you can understand how surprising the remaining 3% is as I usually realize that in the dark).
18. I usually only have to ask him one time to do anything. Usually.
19. He kept our sidewalk better shoveled than any of the neighbors this winter.
20. He’s willing to spend more time than I am to find just the right jeans for me.
21. He does the Hot Dog Dance with Claire.
22. He takes Claire on little adventures to ride the bus, buy cookies, and stop at the Doggie Store, so that I can get a break.
23. He’s our post-Church mac-n-cheese maker.
24. He’s always in charge of making rice.
25. He’s always in charge of making pasta.
26. I’ve taken over the tools and fix everything in the house. He’s okay with that.
27. He squashes all the spiders.
28. He’s made a couple valiant attempts to fix car problems.
29. On more than one occasion Taylor has left to buy me medicine in the middle of the night.
30. On many occasions Taylor has gone to the store to fulfill my pregnancy cravings.
31. He tucks me in every night.
32. He goes to the gym regularly. He says it’s to impress me. Though sometimes I think it is to get away from me.
33. He and Claire do about 80% of the grocery shopping lately.
34. He has finally learned how to use apostrophes correctly.
35. He gets about 70% of his commas in the correct place and can correctly identify most conjunctions.
36. I find lists all over the house. Usually they contain a few sports names or teams I recognize. I’m humored by his need to categorize things.
37. Taylor is actually a very talented artist.
38. He has perfect handwriting (especially with contrasted with my horrible handwriting).
39. His scriptures are very used and very marked.
40. He has insightful comments in Church.
41. He can name every prophet in order.
42. He can name all the general authorities.
43. He can even tell you their approximate ages are and a number of other life facts about them.
44. I married Taylor because he listens and retains information that is important to me.
45. I have a complete inability to remember to watch my favorite TV shows. Taylor makes sure to record our shows—and he even reminds me that Days of Our Lives is on if he is home at 2:00.
46. He brags about his new “sexy” haircut.
47. He makes sure I get my Sunday naps.
48. He pushes the stroller on our walks unless I feel particularly ambitious.
49. He lets me make most of our family decisions and goes along with my ideas.
50. He’s a wonderful father.

25 Things about my love
1. What is his name? Taylor Cameron Herrin
2. Who eats more? Usually Taylor. But if I’m pregnant or nursing 8 hours a day, and especially if we’re eating french toast, I can easily top him.
3. Who said I love you first? I did. His response? “That was brave, Jac.” He claims he was going to say it later that evening.
4. Who is taller? He is by a few inches.
5. Who is smarter? Definitely Taylor. Although for some reason he thinks the opposite.
6. Who is more sensitive? It’s a toss up. We’re quite equal in a lot of ways. Although I do expect him to read my mind and get upset when he doesn’t.
7. Who does the laundry? Taylor did it exclusively until we had Claire. Now it’s shared, but I should do more.
8. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? If we’re in bed he’s on the right. We both like to face the outside of the bed, and my eye problems made it so I could only be on my left side, so that’s how that happened.
9. Who pays the bills? I do. Taylor’s still a little confused by online bill pay.
10. Who cooks more? I cook meals, and Taylor cooks quick things that we tell ourselves are meals (things that come from bags).
11. What meals do you cook together? If we are making something that requires rice, Taylor is the man for the rice. If we are having pancakes or other breakfast foods, he’s the man for the eggs.
12. Who is more stubborn? I am. Enough said.
13. Who is the first to admit they're wrong? We actually agree on most things. If we don’t, we agree to disagree and that’s that.
14. Who is cleaner? I’ll admit I’m not a neat freak. I wish I was, but I can’t find it within myself. Taylor’s better at being tidy.
15. Who has more siblings? I do. I have two brothers and a sister. He has one sister.
16. Who wears the pants in the relationship? I do, but only because I’ve borrowed them with permission. Like I said before, I make the decisions, and he goes along with what I want. Unless it’s in ordering a drink to share. It’s always Coke though I like root beer.
17. What do you like to do together? We like to play frisbee, go on walks, watch our TV shows, read books, stay up late talking, drive, talk about the news and school, play with our kids, talk about how cute our kids are....lots of things.
18. Who eats more sweets? It depends, but if you’re going with portion size, he’s got me.
19. Guilty pleasures? American Idol. We wouldn’t miss an episode (that’s not true, we don’t watch the result shows). We go through root beer float stages where we have them every night for weeks.
20. How did you meet? Neither of us can remember actually meeting. Therefore Taylor makes up the story. He was just at his parent’s house while I was getting my fittings for Miss America during the summer of 2001. Our first date was in January 2002.
21. Who asked who out first? Taylor’s mom kind of got the whole thing rolling and convinced him to call me (But, this is after I received his family’s Christmas card, remembered how cute he is, and emailed his mom about going out with him.)
22. Who kissed who first? I waited THREE months of dating for him to get up the guts to kiss me (he claims that he was simply building the anticipation). By the time he did I already knew I wanted to marry him.
23. Who proposed? Well, there was an official proposal which he did perform. But about two months prior to it I basically told him he would marry me. He hasn’t complained about it yet.
24. His best features? Taylor is really easy going and level-headed. He’s a wonderful father. He has beautiful eyes. I love to hug him because he has such a broad chest and shoulders—it makes me feel small.
25. What is his greatest quality? Taylor is dedicated and motivated. His motivation is actually the #1 thing that attracted me to him when we were dating. Along with that he has a strong testimony of the gospel and actively seeks to improve both the depth and breadth of his gospel knowledge. When I married him I knew that we would always be spiritually secure and that he would live up to his temple covenants. I know he’ll never let me down.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Thought on repentance

Last week in Sunday School the teacher made an analogy that I wanted to pass on. We were talking about repentance and moving on past mistakes in life. She said that life is like driving. Sometimes we'll be driving along and get in an accident. We have to stop, make arrangements to cover the damages, then we get back on the road. However, if after leaving the site of the accident we continue to look at the accident in our rear view mirror we cannot make much forward progress. And if we constantly look back and dwell on the accident, we can cause a lot more accidents. Sure, we have to occasionally glance at what is behind us, but must decide to learn from our past mistakes and move on, looking forward and toward our destination. Going further with the analogy, it's easy to think of the Savior to be like car insurance. We cause an accident; we pay as much as we can, and he makes up for the rest of it.

Just wanted to share the thought.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The saga continues

So I saw my surgeon again today. We've decided to save money and not have any work done on the prosthetic until after my surgeries. I'm not very thrilled about it, but have learned to deal with they eye I have. Again, with the intent of not telling the story and drawing the picture a million times, here's the plan:
To explain what will happen I've included a little visual I cooked up. It's not too impressive, but will do. The picture on the left is a normal eye. Notice all the yellow squiggly stuff? That's fat. Apparently we all have a lot of fat surrounding our eyes and holding them in place. Because I had glaucoma that fat got squished because of my eye enlarging from pressure. The blood supply to the fat was also compromised during my 13 previous eye surgeries. This is not good for fat. This is why I have a hollowness next to my nose and a gap on the outside. This is shown in the upper right picture. The pink is the ball that now fills what is left of my eye, and the blue is the prosthetic. They sit deep in my eye because of the lack of fat volume. I'm told that a normal eye is 30cc's (whatever a cc is), and normal implants are 18 cc's, and mine is 20--the largest possible. It still however is not as big as it should be.

So the solution is to go in under the eyeball and socket and to add a few plastic pieces (shown in purple) to bump the eye up and a few plastic wedges to encourage it forward. Oh, and it doesn't just bump the eyeball, it bumps the eye tissue. It sounds painful. Then they inject something that will fill the upper part right next to the eyelid. They will also most likely tighten up my bottom lid. If all goes well about 8 weeks after that I'll have upper eyelid surgery.

So we scheduled the surgery for August 8. It takes about 2 hours. Right now my insurance won't cover my eye problems (stupid insurance). So we're trying to come up with creative ways to get immediate insurance that will. The best thing would be for Taylor to be employed by the state with DCFS or something for the last half of the summer. The state of Utah has great coverage that starts the day you start. If anyone else has suggestions for companies that have good insurance or any other insurance ideas, feel free to comment.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Long Day

Some days are longer than others. Some have really long parts. Today was a long day with a long part. One of the things I dreaded about having two children was going to the store with them and without another adult. Today I ventured to Walmart for a couple grocery items, Father's Day item, and other stuff. As I went to get Claire out of the car I stepped in gum. If that wasn't enough of a sign to just go back home, I should have turned around when the pharmacy line was literally to the doors. I just thought I was lucky to not need drugs today.

We needed WD4o. I consider myself a modern woman, and I'm not intimidated by tools or repairs of any kind. This should make me capable of finding WD40. Oh no. Of course it would be by screws and picture hangers. Then there were two Father's Day items that I was certain would be at Walmart. I looked and looked to no avail. Then I decided that I could ask for help---if only someone spoke English. I gave up after a valiant effort.

Next it was time for the groceries. I started getting the baby food when Claire announced she needed to use the potty. She went before we left home, so I wasn't too worried. We got a few more things and she mentioned it again. Then we couldn't find beef bullion cubes or frozen hamburger patties. Then she said she really needed to go, so I bypassed the produce and breads and headed straight to checkout. The lines were horrendous. I got in what I assumed was the smallest line, only to find half-way into it that the woman three people in front of me was so large that she blocked the view of her very full cart. Then there was a lady next to us who had very obvious birthmarks. Claire told me very loudly, "Oh look! That MAN got hurt on his neck." This was repeated a couple times before I could distract her. And she never got the gender correct.

Next thing I know Kyle goes from sitting pleasantly to red-faced screaming. As it was almost my turn to load my items I was unsure of what to do. I got them all loaded while trying to calm him. Then the nice lady behind me asks if she could hold him with an explanation that her grandkids live far away. This was either true, he was being much more annoying than I thought, or maybe she just wanted to hold our cute boy (who really does have a cute pathetic cry).

By this point we've been in line twenty minutes. Claire keeps pulling things off the conveyor belt and chewing on them. My head hurts. It's like 90 degrees, and the lady in front of me can't decide if she wants to buy pillows after finding out their price. All the while I'm waiting for Claire to announce that she's had an accident. Kyle, by the way, is quite happy and gaining an audience of well-wishers. I offered to take him back, but she wouldn't give him back. I wasn't too sure what to do. When I was paying for my stuff I couldn't get Claire far enough away from the credit card thing to stop pushing buttons. She messed it up twice. We spent well over 25 minutes in line. Not fun.

I finally got everything loaded in, expressed gratitude to the baby holder, put Kyle in his chair, and now Claire says she doesn't need to use the bathroom, she wants to go sit on the big toy machines (she still hasn't figured out that putting money in them makes them way more fun). So we sat on Tigger, Mickey, and the spaceship. After some coaxing we loaded everyone in the car, fortunately avoiding the gum this time around. We got home, and I went to get Kyle only to find that I had never strapped him in (I'm admitting this only because Shannon admitted to making the same error more than once).

So that was our fun, fun trip which I will not repeat any time soon. Oh, and during dinner Claire pushed her booster seat off her chair and it broke an outlet cover. Good thing bedtime is in an hour (if I'm lucky!).

Monday, June 2, 2008

Funny Claire

Last night just before bed Claire turned to Taylor and said, "So, where are you going tomorrow, Dad?" He replied that in the morning he'd go to the gym, then to class and be home a little after 11. Then he'd go to the family institute from about 2:30 to 7:30. Her reply, "Um, so what time are you going to the gym?" First of all, how did she even notice that he didn't give a time for that? And secondly, can she really have a concept of time at all? Sure, she can accurately count to 13, but she can't always accurately count objects, so I don't think she really understands numbers. Yet she has an obsession with time. She's always asking what time it is and what at what time she will be doing her regular activities. Maybe she needs a watch.

Also, Taylor's story about Claire's foot getting stuck in the shopping cart (see his previous post) reminded me about another incident. Last January Taylor was set apart to be a teacher in the Elder's Quorum. Kyle was all of a few weeks old, so I was holding him. Claire sneaked off and started playing with a chair---the plastic stacking kind found in most churches. I thought she'd be fine, so I kind of closed my eyes for the setting apart. Suddenly I hear, "Help! Help!" and I opened my eyes to see Claire stuck in the chair with her head and one arm through the hole in the back. She was backing up as crazily as a cat with a lampshade stuck on its head. I panicked a little about what to do with Kyle, ended up setting him on the ground and went to help Claire untangle herself---it was not easy. All the while there is a poor man trying to perform the blessing and everyone was trying not to look. It ended quickly, we're not sure what was even said, and everyone had a good laugh once I explained the situation. She's a little nutty, and that's all there is to it.