Wednesday, May 29, 2013

When my baby hurts, I hurt.

All you other mamas out there, can you agree with me when I say it is SO easy to get frustrated with a three-year-old?  Like, really easy.

My little girl is so independent and strong-willed and loud.  She has an opinion about everything.  She wants to see everything.  She wants to try everything.  She wants to do it now and she wants to do it herself

So.  With my child being this independent, I am learning that I am a bit of a control freak.  I want to do things now and I want to do it my way and I can do it so much faster and I have absolutely no patience.  {I can't imagine where Ayla gets it...}

In our house this equals a lot of yelling.  Not angry mean yelling, just your average Keene Family hollering.  It goes something like:

Ayla:  I want to do it all myself!

Me:  Let me help you.


Me:  That's not how you do it-just let me-oh my gosh, LET ME DO IT.


Me: Oh.  My.  Gosh.  Fine.  Do it yourself.

Ayla:  Hey mom, can you help me?

Me:  Ugh.  Seriously?

This sort of thing happens daily.  Just ask poor Kyle.  Ayla and I hollering and throwing tantrums all over the place.  I get so frustrated with her and it's so easy for me to instantly get impatient and angry and raise my voice.

You know what makes me feel terrible about this?  Not when Ayla yells back or screams back.  Not when things are awesome and I think back on our yelling.  Not when I catch someone unrelated to me looking at me like I'm a psycho for arguing with my child like I should be arguing with a sister.

No.  What makes me feel terrible is when my baby gets hurt.  When my little girl is in pain, I am in pain.  Literal physical pain.  My heart hurts, my head hurts, my throat hurts from holding back the lump because I want to cry.  I would give anything, absolutely anything, to take away the pain that my baby is feeling.

On Memorial Day my little girl got hurt.  We were having so much fun roasting mallows around the fire pit.  Ayla came walking over and tripped over her cousins foot and feel face-first onto the edge of the fire pit.  The concrete edge.  I saw it happen in what felt like slow motion.  Her face hit and I thought for sure that we would be heading to the hospital.  Kyle flew to her in record speed while I sat there feeling paralyzed and terrified.  I saw his hand and her hands fill up with blood, I saw blood running down her shirt and I thought the worst.  I thought her teeth were going to be gone, her nose would be broken, her face would be split open... I didn't even want to see it.  Blood doesn't bother me at all.  I could see pictures and videos of horrible wounds all day.  But when it is my child, I go weak in the knees.  My chest gets tight and I can't breathe.  I feel light-headed.  I am basically useless when my baby needs me the most.

I grabbed paper towels and started mopping up the blood.  My baby was screaming.  She had massive tears streaming down her cheeks.  She was shaking.  It was horrible.  She let us look at her enough to see that her two front teeth had gone through her upper lip.  Right through them.  She kept spreading her lip out and she'd start screaming all over again.  She would touch it and start screaming all over again.  We had her holding ice to it.  She was SO sad.

Kyle and I packed her up and put her in the car.  She sad quietly in the back seat holding her ice to her lip.  I said, "Baby, do you want to go home or do you want to stop at Macey's?"  {I was burned terribly and had planned on picking up some tea to give myself a tea bath}  She whimpered, "Macey's."  I knew she would.  Even in tears and in pain my girl wants to go to the store.  Always.

She rode around in one of their little cars attached to the carts.  She was so cute with her insanely swollen lip.  Talking to Kyle and I, being playful and sweet.  I love that she can still make us laugh when she is feeling so awful.

We took Ayla home and got her some ibuprofen and a new ice pack.  We dressed her in her sweet fleecy footy jammies and tucked her in our bed between us.  We watched Evan Almighty, which she loved.  She was calling Steve Carell "Michael Scott" through the whole movie, which made Kyle the proudest daddy ever.

Kyle and I kept looking at each other and saying, "She is so cute.  We have the sweetest baby.  I love her."

I looked at my tiny, tiny girl with her massive upper lip and her puffy red eyes and my heart hurt so bad.  I hated that she was hurting.  I hated that I couldn't take that pain away.  I hated that it had to happen.  I hated that her little voice sounded SO sad even though she had a {swollen} smile on her face.

It's these moments when I feel terrible for ever raising my voice at her.  For ever arguing with her or making her angry or sad or discouraged.  I only ever want my little girl to be healthy and happy and confident.  I love that she's strong-willed.  I love that she's independent.  I love that she is all of the things that make me SO frustrated because I know that she is going to grow up to be an amazing girl.  She's going to do amazing things.

In a way, it's times like that, the times when she is hurting and I am hurting, that I am thankful for.  They make me step back and see my little girl a little differently than I do on a daily basis.  Obviously, she is always awesome.  I know that.  But I am thankful for the opportunity to remember how sweet and delicate she is and to remind myself to think twice before raising my voice at a tiny girl who is trying so hard figure things out all by herself.  Luckily, she usually realizes that she still needs her mommy.

Ayla and I shared some herbal sleepy time vanilla tea.  It makes sad girls feel better.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The best weekend. {Part 2}

Sunday.  I will skim over Sunday before moving on to Memorial Day.  Sunday is family day and each Sunday is basically the same as the last.  I love it and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Grandma and Grandpa's house.  Dinner.  Chatting with family.  Catching up from the week before.  Planning out the week ahead.  Dessert.  Playing.  Laughing.  Naps.  Relaxing on the patio.

A dark picture of what goes on as the sun goes down.
I look forward to Sunday dinner every week.  I love the family that I married into.  I love that I've been let in to their lives and their traditions.  I couldn't imagine a better family to be a part of or a better family for my girl to be a part of.  {Other than my own, of course.}

This Sunday we stayed much later than usual.  We didn't have work or school the next day.  Andrea was visiting.  We stayed until the sun had gone down and until the little girl couldn't function anymore because it was past her bedtime.  We took pictures on Katelin's computer that distorted our faces and laughed and laughed.

It was a typical Sunday and I loved it.  {Have I mentioned how much I love the warm weather?  Everything gets a little better when the weather is warm.  Nights on the patio is one of the best things about warm weather.}

But Memorial Day... Oh Memorial Day.  It was a perfect day.

My sister-in-law found this genius idea on Pinterest.  Here is the original link to the awesome splash pad.  You tape two tarps together, tape a hose into it and there you have it.  An awesome water bed/slip-n-slide/splash pad!

By the time Kyle, Ayla, and I got to Rick and Debbie's the splash pad was up and running.  Cherry and Debbie were laying out on it so of course I joined in.  It was so cold at first, but once my body got used to it - heaven I tell ya.  If you close your eyes you could swear that you are laying on a floaty on a lake or a river or a pool or any other  body of water that isn't trapped in a plastic tarp in the middle of a backyard in Utah.  I could have laid there all day.  Chatting with Charity, Debbie, and the girls.  Sipping on Diet Coke with lime.  My skin burning to a crisp.  Perfect.

Cherry and I soaking up the sun.
I could have laid there all day - but I didn't.  We rolled off of our end of the splash pad and we turned that baby into a slip-n-slide!  It was crazy fun. 

This splash pad lasted all day.  It got lots of holes in the top of it, but that didn't matter at all.  It stayed inflated and full.  The kids were playing with it just about until it was put away after 7 o'clock.

Katelin and I snapchatting Andrea.

Throughout the day I can't even tell you how many times Cherry said, "I am so happy.  I love today.  Today is perfect."  And I would say, "I KNOW!"  Because it was.  Yesterday was perfect.  We were just laying around in the backyard all day.  On the splash pad, on the grass, in the patio chairs.  Watching the kids play, talking, having some great BBQ burgers, homemade root beer ice cream...  It was all perfect.  The sunshine, the breeze, the way we could be in our swimsuits all day but needed a sweatshirt/blanket when the sun started to go down.

Ayla and Grandpa.

It's funny how my idea of "perfection" has changed over the years.  Rather than going out and celebrating elsewhere, I would rather be in the backyard with family.  Doing nothing out of the ordinary.  Rather than going out to a loud club I prefer to sit with a friend over hot drinks in a cafe and discuss life.  Rather than running around doing THINGS, I would choose to be at home with my husband and our girl.  Watching a movie and snuggling in our own space in our jammies with our snacks.

BBQ.  Cute girls in Swimsuits.

There are so many things that make life seem complex.  So many things that weigh us down and steal our energy and attention.  So many things that distract us from the fact that really, life is simple.  The things that make me the happiest are so, so simple.  They are right in front of me.  My family.  My small group of friends.  My tiny home.  There are so many other things that I enjoy and that add to my happiness, but these simple things - these are the things that recharge me.

Family, Fire pit, S'mores.
I love you more than ever.

Yesterday was perfect.  I didn't want it to end.  The entire weekend was wonderful.  It was something that I have needed after the past couple months of my life.  {The past couple of months deserve a blog post all their own, but I am not ready to share with the world wide web just yet.}

Happy Memorial Day.  I hope that you got to spend the day with loved ones.  I hope that it was perfect.  I hope that you were able to remember the brave men and women who have lost their lives serving our country.

 Focus on the simple things that make you happy.  The simple things that recharge you.  Focus on them and be thankful.  I am trying to slow down and realize how blessed I am and I am trying to be truly thankful.

I am realizing how beautiful Utah is, in it's very own way.

The best weekend. {Part 1}

I really cannot remember a more perfect weekend than the weekend I just had.  And I am not talking extraordinary weekends, you know the ones where I was married or on a honeymoon or when my child was born... I mean just an ordinary weekend which turned out to be, in fact, and extraordinary weekend.

Kyle and I had plans for Saturday.  We were going to make homemade Chinese food.  I was going to clean.  We were going to go thrifting for some "white trash" outfits and attend a "white trash" birthday party.  Well, that didn't happen.  Around 11 PM on Friday night we decided that we were going to go to Lagoon with Katelin, Andrea, Brandon, Charity, and all the kids instead.  I got out of bed and frantically set out clothes, found sunscreen, packed lunches and snacks.  Ayla was awake well past midnight and I just knew that she was not going to have enough sleep to spend the day at Lagoon.

Morning came and we were up and out the door by 8:30.  I was so tired.  Ayla was so tired.  Kyle was so tired.  I was trying to not get stressed and not get grumpy.  It wasn't working.  My sweet husband stopped halfway to Lagoon and I got a giant Diet Coke.  That sure did the trick!  I perked right up!

Ayla as we pulled into the parking lot and she saw all of the rides.
We met up with the group and we wasted no time finding our first ride.  We decided to head to the back of the park and hit up the water rides before anyone else got to them.  The log ride was first.  Ayla was SO excited.  I thought she would be scared, but no.  She jumped right on and was giggling the entire time.  The giant splash that soaked us in the end wasn't her favorite, but once she realized her cousins had the same thing happened to them, she was giggling all over again!

Our family on the log ride!
Next we made our way to the Rattlesnake Rapids ride.  Oh, it was so fun!  I love swirling through the rapids, screaming, trying to avoid getting sprayed or going under the waterfall...  I was SOAKED.  However, Ayla mistook all of the screaming on this ride for fear.  She didn't understand that we were all screaming because it was thrilling and FUN.  So she cried and said that she didn't like that ride.

Here is where I made my big mistake of the day.  I had Ayla ride the Pirate Ship ride with us.  She didn't want to go on it.  The ride was big and she was barely tall enough for it.  She cried the entire time we were in line and then as we strapped in and Kyle and I put our arms around her.  It didn't help that the group of kids behind us were having a screaming contest with the group of kids in front of us.  Again, the screaming scared her.  She was shaking like a leaf and clinging to me the entire ride.  Poor Logan, her two-year-old cousin, was sitting across from us and he was terrified as well.  He was going, "No, no, no, no!"  Sydnie was straight across from me and she sneezed.  The ride swung and I went straight into her sneeze.  Then I heard the guy behind me go, "AHHHH! SICK!"  That's when I about died laughing.  I had a shaking, crying child attached to me, I was covered in Syd's sneeze, and so was the guy behind me who was freaking out.  Not the best ride of the day.

Once we got off of the Pirate Ship Ayla Ayla decided she was done with rides for the day.  Great.  Three rides in and she's done.  She wouldn't go on the kiddie rides.  She just wanted to watch.  I tricked her into going on the kids roller coaster with me.  I felt like a mean mommy, but I also wanted her to remember what a fun, not-scary ride was like.  She enjoyed it.  She even waved at her daddy!  unfortunately even after that she wanted to sit out.  We watched her cousins go on another ride or two and then we decided to eat lunch.

I was totally grumpy by this point.  I didn't want to bring Ayla.  I wanted to just go with Kyle and ride all of the big roller coasters and do all of the fun things that Ayla couldn't do.  And now here we were doing NOTHING.  We were watching everyone else have fun and I was miserable.  I was ready to just go home.  Thank goodness we didn't leave.

Kyle got Ayla to change her mind and get on the kiddie rides.  The entire day got better from here.

She rode a bunch of rides before we met back up with the fam.

When we caught back up with them we started going on the big rides.  All of Cherry's girls were big enough to go on {most} every ride.  Brandon was so awesome and he would sit with Ayla and Logan while the rest of us hit up the roller coasters and the Cliff Hanger and the Rocket Blaster, etc.  It was SO MUCH FUN.  When was the last time you rode a roller coaster?  The feeling that you have after you are strapped in and you are slowly climbing to the point from where you will be dropped is one of the best feelings ever.  I adopted Logan's terrified "No, no, no, no!" on my way up each drop.  And oh man, my throat was trashed because of my screaming.  On a roller coaster, or any other thrill ride, you have to scream.  It's a must.  Screaming is half of the fun.  On Wicked at one point we heard Charity screaming, "I!  CAN'T!  BREEEEATHE!"  That just made me laugh hysterically, which is hard to do when you are screaming and tears are streaming down your cheeks because of the wind.

And Sydnie.  I have to take a moment to talk about Sydnie.  My five-year-old fearless niece.  She is the coolest.  She jumped on each roller coaster with us and she had a blast.  Her face!  Her enormous eyes and her wide-open grin, were  just perfect.  I wish I could show you the mental pictures I have of Sydnie's faces on the roller coasters.  I adore that girl.

Really, all of the kids were so awesome that day.  Jaycee and Brynn were as fun as always.  Jaycee went on the Rocket Blast-Off with me, which I so loved.  It is my absolute favorite.  Sydnie must get her fearlessness from her big sister.  I even got to go on a ride with Brynn, which was so much better than I expected.  It was a dragon that spun in a circle.  It got faster and faster and faster.  We were screaming!  Then it stopped and it did the entire thing in reverse!  So.  Much.  Fun.

Brynn and I right as the ride was starting to go backwards.

The evening was starting to wind down.  It was close to 9 when we gathered near the entrance and we let the kids play in the water fountain and they played a game where they each got a little stuffed animal.  {Syd won the big one, lucky girl!}

Ayla took a little snooze.
Kate & Andrea.  Besties.  A staged photo of them pushing around their love child.
Ayla snuggling Kate.

The rest of the family headed home, but we decided to ride the ferris wheel.  I love ferris wheels.  At least I thought I did.  It turns out that I am terrified of them when I have my child with me.  I get light-headed, I grip anything I can, I get sweaty... I freak out.  It was beautiful though, and I'm so glad that we went on it as a family.

Can you see how excited she was? :)
Pretending I wasn't having a full-on panic attack.
They belong to me.  I am so lucky.
After the ferris wheel I figured we would head home.  But no.  Ayla turned to me and said, "Can I keep having fun, mommy?"  How do you say no to that?!  You don't.  You go find any rides that are still open and you let her keep having fun!  {Even if you do have blisters on your feet and a sunburned face/scalp, and have been there for 11 and 1/2 hours...}

 Experiencing things with Ayla is like experiencing them all over again.  I love her excitement and her energy.   I would love to see everything through a three-year-olds eyes.  Watching her I can almost remember how it feels to be small in such a big place full of so much noise, so many people, and such bright lights.

Finally, the park was closing down.  We were forced to go home.  We had been there since it opened and I can say with confidence, we made the most of our time at Lagoon.  I loved {almost} every bit of it and I can't wait to take my cute girl back!  Even better, I can't wait to go back during Frightmares with my husband.  I love when the park is decked out for Halloween and there are creepers everywhere.  I LOVE IT!

After 12 hours at an amusement park we ended our day with a Del Taco picnic in our living room.  Chicken soft tacos and bean burritos for everyone!

Can you imagine a better Saturday?  I can't.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

I remember.

Remember when I used to blog?

I still have a lot on my mind that I would like to share.

I think I'm going to do that again.

Yes, I will be back.  Let's catch up soon.