Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Bedtime Routine

Photo Dump

Some days Kennedy just seems especially cute and I take a lot of pictures of her.  This was back in February when it was warmer.  Since then (as you'll see in later pictures) we've had WAY TOO MUCH SNOW.

Eating her strawberry

I took a cake decorating class.  A cute friend from church named Alisa teaches and so my friend Amber and I decided to go.  It was super fun!  I'll have to go to another and learn more.  Here are the rosettes I made.  Not bad! 

the flower is cute...

Look at my pretty seashells!

And now I just really want Kennedy to have a Barbie cake so I can make a pretty skirt.

Holy cannoli!  From our trip to NYC.  I told Derek i had never had a cannoli and he decided to fix that.  You know what? Not that good!  Fine, but not that good.  But now Kennedy has had a cannoli too :)  It was a great trip though.  Lots of walking and lots of awesome things to see!  

Kids just loving the fancy seats in Amber and Renata's theater room

Just cute.

I can't get enough of how cute she is.  Like, I know.  It's a toilet picture.  But she's just so cute about it!  We're not really there yet.  But it's fun to practice and have it be a place she's not scared of :)

Run like the wind, Bullseye!

I love getting ready for church on Sunday. Kennedy always looks so beautiful, I get to try a little harder than usual, and Derek always looks handsome. 

The snow came.  It's hard to see, but our doors were covered in a couple feet of snow.


ON St. Patrick's day the library had Kurt Gallagher come and sing kid songs.  Ok. SO MUCH FUN.  I was obsessed.  Such a fun little concert.  

Renata and Thommas joined us.

Kennedy decided to wear a swim suit bottom on her head.  If it wasn't Sunday I might have let her wear it all day.  We changed to a dress after this.

Daniel Tiger is the best.  Also, she is just so cute.  I love her posture and her frame and anyway.  SHe's just really cute right now.

A few fun things:
Kennedy is obsessed with teh wheels on the bus.
Kennedy likes to do everything by herself.  It's pretty hilarious how upuset she can get from me opening a cupboard she wanted to open.  Honestly, I kind of love it.  I know I was fiercely independent as a kid and it's fun to see the resemblance.  Plus, we came to earth to get bodies and grow and become able to do things, so it's fun to see her learning so much
Kennedy is soooooo good at sharing.  I had a starburst the other day and gave her one, and she took the one I was about to eat.  I told her it was mine and that she had another one and she gave it back to me!  So nice.  Later that day, she was eating an orange and I asked for a piece and she gave me the one she almost had in her mouth (which I told her she should finish and that I'd take another.)  But she just gets to excited to share!  For now :)
When we say "scripture time!' she runs over to the bookshelf and grabs the scriptures.  (actually, usually the Spanish set and Jesus the Christ.  but still.)
Kennedy loves "feeding" her stuffed animals and even animals in books water from her sippy cup.  When she's inconsolable in the middle of the night this has helped her to calm down.
Kennedy loves to say "Oh boy!!" and "Bobbie" lately.  It's hilarious.


Despite the feet of snow outside, today the sunlight shone itself through the window and made a block of light on the floor.

I'd forgotten
How it feels
To have the sunshine
Touch your skin
Even a time so small
As two seconds
Can do so much.
You remember
That it used to feel like this
All the time
And you never fully
Appreciated it.
It touches you--
It is warm and it is good.
It sounds cheesy
But somehow it soothes your soul.
It helps you remember that
Everything will be okay.
It is happy. It is light.
It is hope...
Winter was too long.
I hadn't realized
How much I've missed
The Sunshine.

One of the reasons I love spring so much is that during winter you forget how the other seasons are.  I'll look at old pictures in disbelief--"there was no way the grass could have been that green!"  And you get so used to bracing yourself for cold every time you go outside.  But then spring comes and everything changes. And you're ready to appreciate it.  The trees beginning to grow leaves.  You see a flower.  You smell the dirt.  Everything is fully appreciated again and I just love it. Every little piece of springtime is so happy.

Money is so cool

I know, captivating title.

Kennedy is at the awesome age where  we don't have to worry as much about her eating non-food items.  (Obviously we're still careful, but I don't have to freak out if there's money laying around anymore.  Which is nice.) Because of this, we've started to let her play with the jar of spare change we keep.

The other day after her bath we sat on the bed and played with money.  I entertained myself by looking at the pictures and dates on the coins.  I had forgotten how neat they all are!  I think it's so cool that each coin has the face of someone on it--and the amount of effort that goes into making a simple penny.  I love it.  (Also, I had to look up who's faces were on the backs of the silver coins.  Call me pathetic but I couldn't remember.  Thomas Jefferson, FDR, and Washington fyi :)  Anyway, it had been a long time since I've taken the time to appreciate the beauty of simple coins.

Within the mix we had both a New Hampshire and Virginia state quarter.  I wish I looked at all my quarters this carefully!  I love the state quarters.  They're beautiful.  (I need to check with my mom to see if she's still collecting for us.  I bet I get a different set of quarters passed to me out East than she does in Utah.)

Finally, I was struck by how cool it is that money is passed around.  Some of the date on the pennies were from hundreds of years ago!  How many hands have touched those pennies, nickels, dimes?  What were their lives like?  What kind of work did they have to do to earn the money?  Where did they spend it?  I just think it's a cool thing to think about.  We're all sort of linked together through our exchanging of money.  

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Deliberate Eating

I've been thinking about the word "deliberate" a lot lately.  Deliberate parenting, deliberate living, deliberate eating--especially now that I'm done nursing what I eat makes a legitimate difference! (Which stinks, let's be honest. Growing older is dumb and I really wish metabolisms didn't slow down.)  I wish I was an expert on this already, but I'm totally not. But I do have thoughts about it so I'm writing them here.

To start: I'm one of those people that loves food. If I had to pick a category "eat to live," or "live to eat," I belong in the latter group. Because it's just such a happy part of life!  I'm so grateful God made our bodies so we would need to eat, and not just plug into the wall for energy.  I just love food.

Back when I was pregnant with Kennedy I had a realization:  there's really not a point to overeating.  Whenever I overate, I ended up feeling pretty sick afterwards and it was never worth it.  And even if the food tasted really good, I realized that this wouldn't be the last restaurant I'd ever go to.  Not my last trip to Cafe Rio. Not my last slice of pizza ever.  I realized that I'd have delicious food again and I didn't have to eat more to "make the most of it,"--packing the food in like an animal preparing for hibernation.  I could just stop, and then have good food again another time.  Because of this, I was I was so good at not overeating, and I could only imagine how great I would feel if I lived like that all the time. 

That was me when I was pregnant; but it's so much harder now!  Totally easier said than done.  These days, there are no immediate consequences when I eat more than I need to.  Over a few days I might feel a little "heavier" or tired, but even then, the consequences stack slowly and without much difference.  And it's so easy to sit down with a book and forget how many crackers you've had, or to eat when you're bored, or sad, or whatever.  It's just hard! And then all the sudden you get on the scale and you're five pounds heavier.  Oops.

But, trying to employ mindfulness into your eating helps.  Over the last couple years I've started to notice that I enjoy eating one piece of candy more than I enjoy a handful.  When you have an entire handful of candy, you don't really focus on each piece because if you miss the taste of one, you have other chances. And how often do I throw a handful of m&ms into my mouth and gulp them down, hardly enjoying them?  But when I only have one bite of chocolate or just one starburst, I'm mindful of the whole experience!  I pay attention to the taste the entire time and truly enjoy it.  Similarly, when it's Fast Sunday, sometimes I find myself wishing for just one bite of something.  A carrot...anything!  Imagine if we appreciated everyday food that much!

That was all about the "how much." And now for the "what."

I read something the other day where a lady talked about how she has decided that if she's going to eat a treat it's got to be a really good treat, not just a filler food.  I like that.  I like the idea of being deliberate about what you choose to eat, and being willing to say no. (I never used to think like this!  Joys of growing older I guess.)  I want to be better at meal planning, and at taking a few more minutes at lunchtime to prepare something for myself, taking it from "good" to "better." I don't know if I'm ready to go crazy on this, and be a religious vegetarian or anything.  But I do love to try new recipes, and I love trying to get in the right number of vegetables.  And we eat so much better as a family and save money when I take the time to plan.

And now, "why."

I want to take care of my body so that I can do what I love to do.  I want to be able to hike with Derek when we're old.  I want to be able to run farther and faster and to just feel good. I want to take care of my body so I can be a good mom.  So I can get on the ground and play and jump up to kick a ball around, and carry a sleeping child up the stairs.  I want to be a good example to my children and teach them to love healthy eating as well.  I'm not a drastic person--I don't think we have to be perfect at eating or be the skinniest.  I've always had a "normal" body type and I'm happy with that!   But mostly, I want to work on it because I want to prove to myself that I can use self control. That I can take care of the body Heavenly Father gave me, and that I can do hard things.

So here's to me making deliberate choices about what to eat, how much, really enjoying the experience, and stopping when I'm done.  Thank goodness life is long, because something like this is going to take a lifetime of mistakes and learning to master.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Great Dancers Eat Their Peas

I had a couple funny conversations with Kennedy today.  The first was when we were driving to the grocery store.  She really likes to say "no" lately so I started asking her questions.

"Are we going to buy a hippopotamus today?"
"Are we going to buy a house today?"
I went on to ask a million questions asking about galoshes, mustache removers, dishwashers, anything I could think of.  Every time she proudly said no.

On the way home from the store, I asked her,
"Did we buy a hippopotamus?"
"Did we buy a house?"
"...did we buy galoshes?"

So now I'm glad we have a house to keep our hippo in :)  Let's hope we don't need rainy days shoes...

As we were finishing up dinner, Kennedy was playing with the peas on the plate, but hadn't touched them yet.  I told her, "Peas are good to eat.  They make you a good dancer."  She promptly put a handful into her mouth and then started to dance.  It rocked.

And now a picture.  Because life is better with baby pictures.

She's going to need glasses someday from trying mine on. At least she's cute.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Responsible Things

I'll be honest, sometimes I'm a political yapper, but I don't usually act on what I say, you know?  But, this time I actually did something!  And it was actually so much easier than I expected.

I decided to write a letter to my local representative because of the executive order Trump did banning refugees.  Worthy cause I thought.  

  All you have to do is go to house.gov and then click "find my representative."  Enter your zip code, and then send an email!  That's it!  

I'm feeling pretty passionate about the issue, so if you'd like, here's the letter I wrote.  I wrote it pretty quickly.  So I could have said more.  But I can imagine our representatives are getting enough letters that a shorter one is appreciated.

Mr. Lance, 

First of all, thank you for your service and for representing the people of New Jersey!  What a huge time commitment and sacrifice.  I'm so grateful for people like you.

I am a 24 year old wife and mother and as one of your constituents I wanted to write to tell you that I do not support Trump's executive order to ban Muslim immigration.  America is a country of religious freedom and that executive order is targeting a specific religion--without legitimate cause. (And once we target one religion, it becomes a whole lot easier to target other specific religions.)  

America was settled by immigrants, and the country continues to be blessed as people from all over the world come. All of the Muslim people that I have met are faith-filled, good people who are good and hard working citizens.  There is a major difference between Muslims and Radical Islamic terrorists.  While we are indeed fighting the war on terror, we cannot punish the good families and refugees who are escaping their hostile living circumstances. 

 I am a Christian and I believe that we should do as Christ taught.

 "For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." 

What if the refugee's story were OUR story?  How would we want to be treated?  I know that if it were me, I would hope that America would welcome me. I would hope that America could remember the values it was built upon.  I hope that the Statue of Liberty can continue to be a symbol of welcome and hope.

This is an issue that shouldn't be divided between party lines.  I understand that President Trump is a member of your political party.  In fact, he is a member of my political party as well.  However, this is an issue that is more important that parties and politics.  This is the time for people of principle to stand up to President Trump and to do the right thing. 

Please do all you can to fight for religious freedom and overturn this executive order.  The lives of thousands depend on this.

Thank you,

Kaylie Paulson

And that's it!  Do it, and now you can say that you have contacted a representative.  And if you write about this, you could be helping to make a drastically huge difference for so many people.