Monday, June 5, 2017

Happy Hiking and Cute Kids

We enjoyed a nice visit from Nathan, Valerie, Meryl, and Camille. I love how clean the house gets when you're expecting company. I organized the garage, pantry, kid's closets. My house looked amazing! Well, relatively.... compared to how it usually looked. I was so busy tidying random areas that they wouldn't see I forgot basic hospitality things, like clean towels and extra toilet paper in the bathrooms. Realized it after they left. Sorry guys :( I'll do better next time you visit!
They had dinner with us, played with the kids, and then we played our favorite board game, Splendor. The next morning I took them to McDowell Creek Falls. I had been there for the first time last Monday when Michael took me there on a date.
It was a great hike! A little cold and I didn't dress the kids warmly enough, but everyone survived. Quin walked for about half of the hike! I think it might have been that he was afraid to get back in the carrier on Nathan's back.

Quin was confused by my dad's identical twin brother and his wife, who could pass as my mom's twin. He was really nervous around them at first. During dinner Quin leaned over to me and whispered "is that grandma?" After they left he referred to them as "grandpa and Valerie."

Here's the latest in Cuteville: 
Ammon loves being outside. If I take him out when he's grumpy it quickly cheers him up. Despite his love of the outdoors, he hates hats. He can whip one off his head .5 seconds after I've carefully laid it there. He also removes the hats and glasses other people are wearing if they let him get close enough to their face.
It makes him really excited to see dogs and he will crawl towards them to try to pet.
He loves doors and often pushes them back and forth. He also really likes driving cars around. He "drives" everything around actually; books, helicopters, space ships, burp rags... He pushes everything across the floor as if it was a car. He likes to push scooters around outside. It's pretty funny to watch his one-knee crawl as he zooms across the patio.
He likes to dance. Even if the only music is Quin playing the drums, he bends his knees in a springy, bouncy dance.

A new favorite trick he learned is holding a phone up to his ear and babbling. It's so cute and I want to take a video but he usually does it with my phone, which is where the camera is. He also sometimes uses other non-phone toys as phones, such as toy cutlery.
He came up with the funniest pose. He holds his arm outstretched in front of him with his fingers closed together (if his hand is empty or it's even funnier when he's holding a toy) as if to say "BEHOLD!" But what he usually says is "mgab." He does this several times a day!
I'm pretty sure he said his first word on Friday. He reached up and gave me a big hug, patted me on the shoulder, and said "mama."

Quin really wanted Ammon to snuggle with and sleep next to him tonight. He was so disappointed when we said "no." Pretty soon they'll share a room but right now they enjoy each other's company so much I don't think they would ever sleep.
When Quin wants to play with us he hands out a monster truck to each person in the room. Our current favorite movie is Moana and favorite song is "You're Welcome" (as I'm sure is true with many households). Quin likes to do a haka imitation. It's more like an aggressive patty cake dance, but he really gets into it and chants made up Hawaiian sounding words.

A Glimpse into Clinical Depression/Worst Birthday out of 25

I wasn't sure if I should make this public, but I think it's important to share the sad with the happy. Since this blog is sort of like a journal, I am including an entry about my birthday. It was a really rough day, after a rough week, after a rough year. I feel like this is the worst part of my life. I want to talk to someone about it but don't want to call because I don't want to ruin someone's day by whining about my life. Also, when I'm depressed I'm irrational and I don't think anyone would care to hear about my dumb life. Even if they said they wanted to before. It's easier to write about it anyway. So I'll just put it out there and communicate my feelings this way. If you care and want to hear, then here it is!

Despite many kind wishes of happy birthday, it was one of my saddest days so far. I don't think I've ever had suicidal thoughts on my birthday before, so it seemed ironic to celebrate my life when I felt like I wanted to die. (Do not panic, counseling and psychiatrist appointments are scheduled). It wasn't all bad. There were definitely highs and lows.
Friday I took the boys to the junior strawberry festival parade, intending to walk in it with our church. However, Quin was too slow and too upset to walk, so we watched the parade instead. Ammon was really impressed by the marching band. He flailed his arms and legs excitedly when they passed.

Saturday we went out for sushi and then to the Strawberry Festival carnival. Ammon really likes sushi apparently! He made an enormous mess.

Quin was so cute at the restaurant. After Michael and I both said "water for me" Quin chimed in "water for me". When she brought the food we both said thank you and then Quin gave an enthusiastic "thanks!" The kids were both really well behaved at the restaurant. I was so proud of them!
The carnival was crowded, noisy, and expensive. The stroller didn't roll well on the gravel and kept getting stuck. We ended up carrying both kids and pushing the diaper bag in the stroller. Michael and I both got to ride on a carnival ride with Quin. Michael and Quin waited in line for about half an hour to get one one ride that lasted 5 minutes. Quin wanted a balloon sword that was $5 and would pop within a few hours of abuse at home. So we left the carnival in full tantrum mode and I silently resolved never to go to Disneyland (I've never been, never will go). We calmed Quin down by offering to stop at the dollar store to look for a sword. We found a spiderman glow stick that did the trick and then went to grocery outlet and saved so much money! And spent so much money! We got important yard-related items like a shovel and pruning sheers.

On Sunday Quin went to church as "Steve Rogers" with his Captain America suit under his church clothes. I butchered it on the organ and it was hard not to burst into tears up there on the bench. However, after church I was happy because I felt like I had done a really good job of teaching the 7 year olds. I asked them how old they thought I was turning today and got really hilarious answers: 39, 1, 19 no 20! then finally I got 26 and said close enough! 
Michael came home and was super tired from going to bishopric meeting at 6:30 AM. I felt really frustrated with his over-tired parenting and the false illusion of "help" that having him home was offering and finally just told him to go to bed because he was driving me crazy. And then I had to change the second diaper blow out of the day and take care of unhappy, needy kids while I was tired. Then I recalled how badly I played on the organ at church, and I started to feel really depressed and worthless again. Eventually Michael came down and it seemed like he was trying to "mourn with those who mourn" to help me feel comforted but it just stressed me out that he was taking my depressed mood so personally. He asked me a few times "what's wrong?" Even though I know he's sincerely trying to help, I hate that question. I don't really know how to answer it. What's wrong? There's nothing actually wrong on the outside other than tiny everyday grievances that I over-react to. What's wrong is my brain is broken. It's ruining my life from the inside. This past week it has felt like there is a fountain of sad inside that keeps springing up.

He offered to make me a cake but I told him I didn't want one anymore, then went upstairs and cried until I fell asleep. When I woke up I felt better and asked him to make the cake after all. He made cake and waffles, during which time I played with the boys outside as Ammon got increasingly crabby. I did find little purple pansies touched with yellow gold growing in one corner of the garden old and they cheered me up. It reminded me how much I loved flowers when I was a little girl. I identified and picked them everywhere I went. Even the neighbors gardens, much to my mom's chagrin.
And my garden is thriving! My thumb isn't so black after all. I always feel so grateful to my plants for growing in spite of me as the gardener.  I was delighted to find some volunteer tomatoes from our previous tenant's gardening.

I went for a walk by myself after the kids were in bed and found a beautiful pink envelop in the mailbox. My parent's birthday card arrived at the exact perfect moment!
On my walk I saw the most beautiful rose that really cheered me up.

And look at this blooming blackberry bush by the path behind my house!
When I got home I was feeling much better. Michael and I talked and he got me to laugh. We are looking forward to going on more dates when my parents move here. Then Mike packed up and left for Portland. He'll be gone on a business trip for a week.