Saturday, May 29, 2010

Our Profane Little Kid

Our almost-2 year old, Preston, bless his heart, is such a good little talker. A complete chatterbox.

He is in love with vehicles. It doesn't matter if it is a car, truck, bus, train, or boat. He loves them all.

The problem is, he hasn't quite figured out how to say firetruck correctly yet. And as hard as we have tried to correct him, it still comes out wrong.

Embarrasingly wrong.

While we have to try to not laugh every time he says the word (not because it's funny, but because it's so astonishly correctly pronunciated every single time), we decided we needed to get a video of it.

I'm not sure it's something we should be proud to put on our blog, but you have been forwarned. The following video contains toddler profanity. Watch at your own risk.


video

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Done Teaching


(2008 Winter Recital)

It doesn't really feel real yet, but yesterday was my last day teaching for a while. And by a while, I mean probably a couple of years (with the exception of one student who I'm only keeping because she is my little prodigy student, but we won't start lessons again until October). It just feels like the end of a normal teaching week, and next week my students will come again.

But that is not the case.

I decided to stop teaching about 2 and 1/2 months before our baby is due so that I could have a little break beforehand. And also because most of my students are out of school in a couple of weeks anyway and I wanted to enjoy the summer with my family.

The extended hiatus from teaching is because I didn't know how I would be able to teach with both a newborn and a toddler. Right now, I have two 12 year old girls that alternate babysitting Preston at their homes on the days that I teach. I pay them each $5/hr. So for each week that they babysit for me, it ends up being the cost of about one piano lesson.

I did teach when Preston was a newborn, but I can't say that it was easy.

I had a girl come over and watch him in his bedroom while I taught, but being that she was only 13 years old and not very experienced with newborns, I had to intervene a lot during lessons. Not to mention, it's impossible to predict a newborn's feeding schedule. When they are hungry they cry. A lot. And Preston would never take a bottle, so I had no other choice than to go and fetch him during the middle of my lesson and feed him while my student was there. Which, was both inconvenient, and a little embarrassing for myself and the student.

I also remember how tired I was. Preston wasn't a very good night sleeper and so I was very sleep deprived myself. My brain was often scattered and I don't feel like I was the best music teacher during the time in our lives.

So with a new little one on the way, I've tried to imagine my current schedule of trying to manage naptimes in before piano lessons, hauling Preston to his sitter's house, being back in time to teach, and having energy to do so - but doing all of that with a newborn as well. It is a bit much to handle.

Teaching has been a blessing for us, as it's provided some additional income every month. It's been steady, and I've never been in want of students. I never advertised and yet had an overwhelming amount of parents contacting me on a regular basis asking if I had any openings. I originally only planned to have a small studio of 6 students so that I could keep my teaching down to only one day a week. But over the last 2 years I kept saying yes to more and more students and eventually ended up with 17 students, and taught 3 days per week (Tues, Wed, and Thurs).

By the time Fridays would come, I felt that it was my only chance to catch up on house cleaning and errands. Then the weekend came and we all spent some good family time together, and then Mondays were spent cleaning up the house after the weekend. I rarely had opportunities to work on composing unless I stayed up half the night, and I often felt like a bad mother because on my "free" days they were mostly spent cleaning and doing errands instead of spending quality time with Preston.

So because of all these various little details and reasons, I've really felt it is my time and season to stop teaching for a couple of years so that I can concentrate on being a better mother. One who is less stressed and busy that is for sure. I also want to time to work on composing which doesn't involve me having to do it from 10pm - 5am. Perhaps I can actually get some music projects done during the middle of the day once in a while.

So as of today, I am no longer teaching. I have the summer to finish out my 3rd trimester and then our little one is due sometime mid-August (the date is depending on if I either try for a VBAC or schedule a csection). In the meantime, I am composing the score for a short film that I have to get done by the end of July. And we have a family reunion in mid-June.

Other than that, I think I will get to have a little relaxation time and enjoy my last 2 & 1/2 months of being the mother of only one child.

Oh, here is a picture of the giant chocolate chip cookies that I made for my students this week. They were humungous. :)


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Yep, We're Still Here.

I just realized that we haven't blogged since the first half of May, and now it's almost June. Just wanted to say that we are still here. We haven't been taking all that many pictures lately, and have just been busy with, ya know, life!

Hope to do some blogging this week...if I can find something to blog about. ;)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Hero Among Us

This is an evening ritual...


Preston gets excited for Will to come home from work and watches out the window for him. He will repeatedly say "Papa? Papa?"


Will is such a hero to little Preston. Papa can do anything, fix anything, and not to mention he can make pretty cool make-shift car ramps.

Preston loves his Dad so much...



And all of the special moments they have together playing and horsing around...

They are so close that they even match sometimes.


(The funny thing about the above photo, is I had put Preston in that outfit that day not knowing that it was what Will wore to work as well. When he got home, I just had to laugh and take a picture.)

Will is also a hero to me. We've all been sick with the stomach flu for the past 24 hours, and even though Will has been sick himself, he has been taking care of both Preston and I. He rubbed my back and held my hair last night while I, uh, you know....And he took care of Preston while he lost his cookies as well. He has been strong and taking care of things even though he has been feeling really terrible as well.

Seriously...how did we get so lucky to have this guy in our lives?

We sure love you Will!

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Wonderful Mother's Day!

Well I had a really great Mother's Day weekend!

It involved spending time at the beach (on Saturday)...



One cute little (almost) 2 year old had fun driving his cars in the sand with Grandma.

I also got to have some personal time Saturday morning with my sister-in-law where we got to go to the temple (a beautiful place indeed) while Will babysat Preston and our neice Gwenevere.


My Mother's Day also involved one messy toddler...



And one funny husband...


And me shaking my head, just being grateful that it was not I who was going to have to clean that kid up.

Last year (2009) was my first official Mother's Day as a mom, even though I was pregnant on Mother's Day in 2008 and sort of considered myself an official mom that year as well.


Either way, I've always considered Mother's Day sort of "Womens Day", regardless if you are a mother or not. To me, it's a celebration of women everywhere who play the role of a comforter, friend, nurterer, and more. So in my own way, I always celebrated Mother's Day long before ever becoming a mother.


Though, I have to say, since having a child of my own, Mother's Day has taken on an entirely new meaning. And a special one at that.


My awesome husband, (whom as you may have noticed hijacked my Belly Diaries blog yesterday and freaked me out because all I saw was the blog title and had no idea that he had written a blog for me - the sweetie), made sure that I was free of any motherly duties yesterday.


- He got Preston ready for church - all dressed, shoes on, hair combed and styled, diaper bag packed and all.


- He made brownies all by himself - which I think may have been his first time. (I won't mention that he forgot to turn the oven off and our house was super hot when we got home from church from the oven being left on for so many hours).


- He took care of all the diaper changes throughout the day.


- He also took care of any meals for Preston - which got kind of comical for me to watch. I am the type of person who tries to keep Preston as clean as possible while he eats so it's not too big of a cleanup job afterwards. Will, on the other hand, takes Preston's shirt off and lets him make a huge mess (as seen above with the mac 'n cheese all over the face).


As fun as it is to let your child get this incredibly messy while eating - it usually leads to needing a bath afterwards because there is way too much to clean up with a cloth.


Which, in Will's case, he got unlucky and Preston decided to take a poo in the bathtub.


Seriously this never happens to me. But of course it would happen to Will on Mother's Day when he is charge - Haha. I would like to think that it would have never happened in the first place if he didn't let Preston get so messy because he wouldn't have needed a bath and would have then just pooped in his diaper instead. :)


But it's moments like that, where I appreciate the turn of events as it only makes husbands appreciate their wives even more.


- Will also took care of naptimes and bedtimes, which, um, didn't really happen. Preston wouldn't take a nap for him, and then later (at bedtime) after being in bed for several hours he decided to wake up around 11:30 and play with his trains. This is when I finally decided to take some pitty on my poor Will and help.


I got Preston back to sleep within 20 minutes with very little fight.

To top it all off, I got two very sweet homemade Mother's Day cards from my two gentlemen.

And I also got a giftcard to go get an hour-long foot massage - which WOW I was not expecting that! I'm saving that baby for when I really really need a good foot massage. I'm so excited.


The best part of Mother's Day was something very sweet and simple, which surprised even me...


Every year, our church makes Mother's Day very special for all the women. They make sure that none of the ladies have to teach classes that day or have any responsibilities so that they can just enjoy themselves. All of the talks are centered around mothers (and are always very sweet), and during the last hour of church, all the women go into the gym where they have tables set up and they feed us a very delicious brunch (which I might add, the guys made themselves).


While we are eating our yummy food, the primary aged children (4 yrs old - 11 yrs old) come out and sing to us. It is sooooo sweet and I always love it every year - regardless of whether or not I have kids in primary.


Yesterday, I was a bit sad knowing that I wouldn't get to see Preston singing to me because he is still in Nursery (ages 18 months - 3 yrs). When they opened up the curtain on the stage, I noticed that even the nursery aged kids were up there as well! I got SO excited and looked all over for my little Preston.


I finally found him, he was off on the lefthand side, holding a basketball of course, and looking right at me. He would see me, get all excited and then get distracted. A few minutes later he would find me in the crowd of women again and get all excited. I had tears in my eyes - it was so exciting for me. I don't know why, but just to see him up there with all the other kids. I just felt so loved, and really, it was the best part of my Mother's Day.


After the kids got done singing, they all came down from the stage and gave their moms hugs. Will helped Preston to find me, as it was kind of hard being he was one of the younger kids. But as soon as he found me, he came running over to me and climbed up on my lap. Ahhhhh my heart melted. I got a nice big hug and again, I just felt so happy to be his mother.


Once we got home from chuch, the only thing I did do yesterday was make a broccoli cheese quiche (for some weird reason I was craving quiche).


But other than that, I had a wonderful "day off" filled with lots of love, attention, and smiles.
I love my family. Thank you Will and Preston for making my Mother's Day so memorable. I love you.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Happy Mother's Day!!!!!
We LOVE YOU!!!!!!
Thanks for being the best Mom/Hot Wife in the World!!!
Preston, Baby Boy #2, & I are the luckiest Boys!


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Recent Conversations with Mr. Thomas

Me: "I am soooo tired today. I totally overdid it. I really wish that you and I could trade bodies just for one day."

Will: "If it means I would get to stay home and play with Preston all day instead of going to work, then I'm all for that!"

Me: "Well, you would have to be pregnant too."

Will: "Well that doesn't sound like a very fair trade. How about I just take Preston with me to work one day a week? He can just run around the office and play with office supplies."

Me: "No, because it means I'm still pregnant. You have to take care of Preston AND be pregnant. And do you really think all I do is stay home and play all day long?"

Will: "Uhhh...nope."

Me: "I'm going to get you one of those belly suits and you're going to wear it for 24 hours."

Will: "Noooooo, that would hurt so bad. That would not even be fair."

That is when I gave him the stink eye, and then later got a back massage.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Mother's Day Sale

I don't normally talk too much about my music on this blog, but I just wanted to let you know, since this is my "Mommy Blog", that I am honoring Mother's Day for the month of May and holding a sale of my Lullaby Album.






This album (released Fall of 2009) was a collaboration with my wonderful mother, after the birth of Preston. It is a celebration of parenthood, children, babies, and the music we all grow up with.


It's a 2-disc album that I normally sell for $16.99, but it's on sale for $9.99 through the end of May. Disc 1 is for adults - all beautiful lullabies that are with full orchestra. Disc 2 is for children/babies - completely solo piano editions of the songs. Very simple and soothing for bedtime.


It's received multiple great reviews, it was included in Kathy Parsons' "Top 20 of 2009" list (she is a well known music critic/cd reviewer of piano music), and it qualified for nominations on NAR for "Best Classical/Instrumental Album". Scott Iwasaki of the Deseret News said “To tell you all the truth, The Lullaby Album, is quite good...It reminds me of David Lanz's Skyline Firedance. It is definitely a keeper for me." The Album includes the talents of Grammy nominated producer Paul Speer, Emmy Award winning pianist/orchestrator Jace Vek, and vocalists Lori Cunningham and Jillian Goldin. And my mom and I, obvoiusly. We wrote, arranged, and performed all of the music.


You can purchase directly through my website.


Thanks so much for your support of my music. It is through the support of friends and fans that I am able to stay an independent artist, and a stay-at-home mom. :)