Monday, February 13, 2012

Kind of a Commando-Gorilla thing....

So Anabel is off and about everywhere now. She will move herself from one side of the house to the other within about 20 seconds flat, it's quite the fete! I will be doing something in one room and suddenly look down and say "where did Bel go?" and have to walk around looking for her. I have found her in practically every room of the house just playing with anything she can get a hold of. She looks up and me with a cheeky grin and I can't help but grab her and kiss her squelshy cheeks!

Vettoria was walking at nine months and Eadith at 11 months, but I have no doubt that Anabel will not walk until well after her first birthday. Even though she is holding on to furniture and pulling herself up in her bed, her little legs are still wobbly and she is not even attempting to take steps without someone holding both of her hands. But that's ok, it's good to be able to sit her down somewhere and know that she is not going to run off.

Meanwhile, her crawl is the weirdest I have ever seen! I thought it was a 'transitional' movement before she got better at 'normal' crawling, but this seems to be sticking and she has mastered it very well. How can I explain it? She doesn't actually use her knees to help herself along... she uses her foot and hands like of like a baby gorilla, and then the other leg kind of tucks under she uses her foot to drag that leg along. It's sooo funny. But although it looks completely unco, it works well for her and she doesn't look to be changing it any time soon. I tried to get some action shots but it was harder than it looks!

She is speaking more and more and proving to be quite the parrot. She has repeated her name, and says "more" in her cute little "mow" way, and even though she never says "mama"  on command, she whenever she wants my attention she definitely knows how to get it!

From around 5pm every night she begins looking towards the front door and raises her eyebrows and says, "Dada?" until around 6:45pm when he actually does walk in the door. And when she hears the key in that keyhole, nothing can contain her! If she is in my arms she practically jumps out onto the floor kicking and screaming with excitement. And if she is on the floor, she sits there going in circles on her bottom around and around laughing and screaming at the same time, while trying to crawl as fast as she can in his direction. It is soooo cute, and needless to say has become one of Juan's favorite things in the world. :-)

Her sleeping patterns dramatically vary from week to week -- no, make that night to night. At one point I thought she was at last sleeping through the night, only to have teething interrupt our near perfect schedule. And now I feel as though we are back to square one, with her waking up about three times a night between 11 and 5am and it is very quickly driving me bonkers! And not only is she waking up a lot more but sometimes she is not even going to sleep! She will lay down for like 20 minutes and then scream until I go and get her. The other night I just had to sit up with her until 1.30am as she tossed and turned in my arms. Mine! I'm usually the one she settles for, but not this night! It's horribly exhausting and I don't know what it has changed, but it has. She went down to only about three feeds of milk a day, and then all of a sudden she is back up to around six or so. I can't tell exactly what was the reason for the turn, or why she now has trouble settling herself even throughout the day, so I'm still trying to figure out how to make it all go back to 'near perfect'!!  Oh how I miss sleeping through the night...

Ho-hum, so is the life of a mother. And she lets me practically eat her every day with cuddles and squelshy kisses, so I'm sure we're even... hmm.. on second thought..... not!

...and shorter..!!!

I finally got my second pixie cut today and decided to go even shorter. I went to a different local hairdresser, and had to wait a week and a half to see her! She cut it slightly different than what I had previous; it is now shorter and more "choppier" looking which I am really liking. I am completely happy with it - and especially the price!! $30 instead of $100 for a trim? .. yes please!  I'll definitely be going back to both Denis and Tina throughout the year as they both do different styles and techniques, but I love them both. I have never said that about a hairdresser before! It's weird that I have found two hairdressers who I am happy to cut my hair this dramatically short, but anytime I got my long hair cut by a hairdresser I was completely disappointed almost every time... How does that work?? 

Anyway, totally loving being a pixie, and the shorter the better if you ask me!! I think I'll keep if for at least the year 2012. Maybe even forever...?? Na, I wouldn't do that to Juan! (not yet anyway) I think he still misses the long hair, even though he now likes to play with it at the back, which is great considering he didn't touch it for the first week after I got it done. lol, so funny! ;-)

We are still laughing!

Juan had this hilarious conversation to share after I woke up on Saturday morning:

‎*Tori finds some rocks in the DVD box*
Tori: Who put rocks in here?
Juan: I think Eadie put them there.
*Eadie runs over to DVD box*
Eadie: What's these rocks doing in here? Tori!!
Tori: They're not mine! I found them there because you put them in there!
Eadie: UGH! *shaking her head walking away* That's naughty!
Tori: Eadie, it wasn't my fault! 
Eadie: No, not you! Naughty is ME!

* * * 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

Six years has passed... Wow! The time sure flies.. and yet part of me feels as though we have been together for 12 years and is surprised when I realise it is only six... Needless to say they have been wonderful and we love our marriage and our family. 

I have reflected over who and what we were back when we met and as newly weds, compared to how we are now... I like to think we are still the same in most ways. Neither of us have up and changed our personalities or changed our minds on our life goals. We still have a lot in common and accept each other for who they are.  But at the same time, there have been some things that have changed in our relationship. We are more tolerant of each other. He now knows what not to say and when not to say it; and I now know what to say, and when to stop talking. He knows if I go to bed late, I will not want to get up in the morning. I know that when he says he wants to be there on time, what he really means is fifteen minutes early. He knows not to complain at the messiness of the kitchen when I am decorating a cake, and I know not to correct his out-of-tune singing with my own correct rendition of how it should go. I know not to ask him to repeat something more than three times, and he knows I don't understand half of what he says when I'm distracted by something.

To the passer-by, these things may not sound like dramatic life-changing lessons we have learned about each other, but to us, they have been life changing. Learning these things about the other, and applying them in our communication have made our relationship stronger. And for that, we really are better off and more in love than we were six years ago. Not because our love has changed, but because the effort we both put in to making 'us' work makes us appreciate each other more. 

Seriously, I've said it before: I am constantly in awe of my husband. When I was 23 I had a conversation with a stranger who didn't know me. But I felt that he was wise, honest, and almost as though he knew something I didn't. He told me that I was going to marry the 'cream of the crop' as he put it. I laughed at the time and nodded jokingly. But despite my flippant reaction to his words, I also knew that that was what I wanted, and that was who I wanted. I wanted the cream of the crop. I didn't want to settle for anything less. I didn't know who he would be, or where I would find him; I only knew that he was out there somewhere. 
And then I found him. I knew he was The One the night we both started singing the exact same song at the exact same moment while driving in the car even though there was no music playing. I then knew I was right when I heard him pray for the first time, and it was as if he was reading my heart and my mind word for word in what he said and how he said it. It was like we were the same person. He was the cream of my crop. :-)

But you know the weirdest part? The crazy thing is that I am HIS cream of the crop too! I had never imagined myself as that before.. It reminds me of that song, "Unforgettable" by Nat King Cole... 
Unforgettable, that's what you are...
Unforgettable, tho near or far.
That's why darlin', it's incredible
that someone so unforgettable,
thinks that I am unforgettable too. 
I love being someone's 'unforgettable', especially when I think they are the greatest person on the planet. For those who don't know Juan Antonio Montes, let me fill you in..

My husband does not talk ill about anyone. He never gossips; he doesn't even like hearing it. He serves unconditionally and without question. He reads his scriptures every day. He likes to be places fifteen minutes early because he doesn't want to be rude by walking in just before something starts. He never judges a person by their appearance. He would rather spend money on someone else rather than on himself. He is hilarious. Anyone who knows him well will agree (especially the guys). He is the humblest man I know, besides my own father; and, like my father, is the most giving of his time. He is wise. He gives me advice that is perfect for me. He understands people and appreciates their imperfections and frustrations. He knows me better than I know myself (this can actually be one of the annoying traits, too....) And anyway, I just can't go on enough about him. 

Don't get me wrong. We tick each other off no end... but you know what? We can live with that. It keeps us on our toes and makes us strive to do and be better. And that's what it's all about, right? 

We had a lovely anniversary and our family friend Jess watched all three of our kids for three and a half hours while we ate pizza on a cliff in the city and watched the lights below. It was the first time we had had all three kids babysat for longer than one hour, and it was such a relief and delight when we arrived home to sleeping babies and a happy babysitter! We had a great night. We walked and laughed, hugged and talked and held hands - something parents of three rarely get to do in public. We ate ice-cream and enjoyed each other's company. Oh, and did I mention he wrote me the most perfect, beautiful poem in the entire world?  He read it to me after I had just woken up and it set my mood for a perfect day and evening. Unfortunately he wont let me publish it on the blog, but I plan on putting it into our blog book which I'll be getting printed soon, so if you want to have a read of it you can come by.  (hehe.. don't tell him! ;-) 

Six years and looking forward to the next six and beyond.
Love you babe.. xxx

Just like a resort....

We recently bought an awesome item that I am super excited about. You will laugh when you read it, as it's quite embarrassing... but since it's the closest to the real thing we can have in our little rented backyard, it's the best we can do.... Brace yourself...

We got a pool! haha :-)

OK, it's a kiddies pool which stands about 35cm high and about 1.5m in diameter. But it's a perfect size for the kids, and it's even big enough for me to get in with Anabel so she can have a splash, which we both love.

Ever since my parents put a pool in their backyard just before I went on the mission, I knew I had to have one when I was older. Every night after work I would come home and swim. I just loved it. And even though we are not in our dream house with an awesome in-ground pool and the sound of splashing filling the summer air, I am close enough with my little kiddie pool as I watch my (usually stark naked) kids romp and play, and as I dip myself in on a hot summers day for a cool refreshing swim dip ...sit. 

And you know what? Even though all I do is sit and splash, just being able to hop out and then lay down wet on a dry towel beside my 'pool', and soak up the sun's rays in my backyard as the kids splash and have a great time... if this is the most we can do right now, then it's pretty close to perfection for me. :-) 

Where does the time go?

We now have in our family two students... Juan, the forever engineering student who, we are proud to say will be graduating at the end of this year *insert applause and sighs of relief here*, and now Vettoria, first year Kindergarten student at Calvary College C&K Kindergarten *insert applause and sighs of relief here*. 

How exciting! Not only has Vettoria been begging to go to 'big girl school' for at least a year, but I also have been looking forward to the break of one less child for five days a fortnight. So far is has been a great experience for all involved:
1) For Tori, who raves about her days and cannot wait to get back whenever she has a day off.
2) For Eadie, who loves the one on one attention from me, and
3) For Moi, who is just happy that I can now see the light at the end of the child-at-home tunnel, where one day, one day in the not toooo distant future, all of my kids will be at school and I will be able to do whatever I want for six hours, five days a week.. Oh, the thought of it gives me chills..... 

Despite my enthusiasm at being alone in my home for six hours five days a week one day, Tori's first day of kindy brought with it a mixed variety of emotions.. At first I didn't know what I felt. I woke up excited, but as we selected which shirt to put on and as I helped her with her shoes, did her hair and packed her lunchbox, something began to happen... although I was still excited, there was another emotion settling over me....

She was my baby... it was just her and I, day after day, learning and growing together, for two years before Eadith was born. It was Tori who taught me how to be a mother; how to change a nappy, how to sooth, comfort, excite, and make laugh. She was my first smile in the morning, the last at night, and all hours inbetween. She was the one who only needed me. I was her everything. She was my baby... and now she was leaving me to experience her first day in the real world. She was taking the first step away from me, and it was only going to get further and further.

I stood in her classroom with a smile on my face, but small tears in my eyes. As she waved goodbye to me, I saw the small tears in her own eyes and I knew she was feeling the exact thing I was. It was a mixture of excitement for the future, but melancholy for the present. After our long hug, she walked a couple of metres from me, and then turned back around. I waved, and blew her a kiss. She smiled and blew one back, and for a moment we just stood there not wanting to turn around and leave each other. So instead we just blew a few more kisses in between giggles. I then waved one last wave and she turned and ran through the classroom to the outdoor area to join the other kids. 

I was so happy for her. But it was almost like heartbreak watching her go. 
But when I picked her up and heard all about her big day from start to finish, my melancholy was replaced with more excitement at her happiness and it has been one joyous day after another for us all every since.

We pick her up and are greeted with hugs and artwork galore, so much in fact that the recycling bin is getting quite the workout.. (Aw, come on, what else am I supposed to do with it? ;-)  So now I'm back to just being super excited for Eadie to get out of the house next year, followed closely behind by Anabel...  And then the day will be mine!!  Mwah-ha-haaa!! All mine!!!! *insert evil laugh here*

Like one isn't enough.....

Even though she is only 11 months old, Anabel is already giving me a run for my money. You can imagine my horror as I lay on my bed reading and I suddenly hear a familiar sound.... I knew what it was straight away... Three years of living with Eadith have attuned my ears to that sound... a sound that only a mother of a rat-bag will fully appreciate..... 

Pencil on plasterboard!

I bolt up, and sure enough, there is Anabel scratching away on the perfectly white walls in my bedroom. I didn't even know she could hold a pencil, let alone draw with it! As I took the pencil from her and assessed the artwork, she looked up at me and smiled a smile that I know only too well. It's the smile only the mother of a ratbag will fully appreciate. 

All I can say is, thank goodness for magic wall erasers, which I now keep a supply of in my laundry cupboard. 

Gee, let me guess where she learned how to do that.... Ugh, I'm so in trouble....