Sunday, May 11, 2008

My Mother

Happy Mother's Day! Some of you know my mom and some of you don't. For those of you who don't, let me tell you a little bit about her. I have always believed that one of my greatest blessings in this life is my mother. In my eyes, she is near perfect. To follow suit with my last two blog entries I will tell you a few of my favorite things about my mother.
She always knows the right thing to say and when to say it. When I was studying for a huge final at BYU and stressing about it, I remember my mother said, "Karen, what will this test matter 10 years from now?" It hasn't even been 10 years and I can't even tell you what that final was about, but I can remember my mother's words. I think about them often in my life. What truly is important? She is the first one I call when I need advice.
She has a wonderful sense of humor. My mother made my lunch everyday for school. On April fools day I remember finding Saran wrap in the middle of my peanut butter and jelly sandwich. When my teenage brother wouldn't stop passing gas I distinctly remember her sitting on him and putting a make shift cloth diaper on him and making him wear it for several hours.
She is selfless and always serving others. Do I need to say more than the fact that she raised 9 children! When I asked her if she would do it all over again, she told me she would have had 10 more if she could have. When I think of her I remember all the things I saw her do for others. She was always helping neighbors, church friends, anyone who needed her. She made mittens to sell, but I only remember seeing her give them away to someone who needed them.
She knows how to do everything. She helped me grow the winning sunflower contest, taught me how to quilt, made my high school dance dresses, and deboned the best chicken man for science class.
She goes above and beyond to make me happy. When I was in high school my dad wanted me to ride the bus to school. To me this meant utter embarrassment. My mother understood that. I don't know how many times she purposely helped me miss that bus so I could either get a ride to school or drive myself. When I was 16 or so I was pulling the van out of the garage and in order to try to stay on the shoveled part of the driveway I turned the van too sharp and took off the front left bumper. My dad was out of town when it happened. He came home and saw it when I had a group of friends over. I distinctly remember her telling my dad it was her that did it so he wouldn't get upset with me in front of my friends. I remember him telling her to leave the cars in the driveway from now on and let him pull them in and out. She agreed with him completely. Needless to say, I told my dad the truth the next day in the middle of church.
She trusted me. She was the kind of parent who taught me what was right and what was wrong and then let me make my own choices. Because of her trust I never wanted to disappoint her. I still find myself trying to please her.
She always supported me and protected me. I did cross country and track during high school. I can still hear my mother yelling, "Run Karen Run." I don't remember my mother ever missing a race. I was awful at cross country, but she never seemed to care. I had a weekly babysitting job about a mile away from my school. I was expected to walk to the home after school. My mother didn't like the fact that I had to cross a busy street to get there. She picked me up from school and dropped me off behind the house so the family I babysat for wouldn't see. She drove the car slowly behind me when I went running to make sure I was okay. She met me at work at the end of the night so I wouldn't have to walk to the car in the dark alone.
She taught me how to work and the value work brings to life. Every Saturday morning I would wake up to find my to do list for the day.
I was attached to my mother's hip. Maybe that is where Ben and Kate get it from. I couldn't last the night at a sleepover without missing my mom and having to have her come get me (even when Ruth was there). I couldn't go to sleep until she tucked me in.
I never understood all my mother did for me or how much she loved me until I had kids of my own. I probably still don't comprehend it yet. I love my mom. More than she will ever know. I wish everyone could have her for a mother. I hope to grow up to be just like her someday.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

My baby girl Kate!

I had so much fun writing about Ben that I decided to do the same for Kate. Even though she is only 9 months old she definitely has quite the personality and she is expressing it more and more every day. I am including a baby picture of David since most people that knew David as a baby claim Kate is a definite David baby. I would like to take sole credit for her cuteness, but even I must agree she looks like her daddy. It must be those chubby cheeks! :)

My 10 favorite things about Kate!

1. Kate still can not sit up for long periods of time by herself but she can do one good army crawl and does real push ups all day long. David says she must want to rival Rob when he returns from Iraq. She must have that competitive spirit David and I both share. I have attached a picture of her doing a push up today. She is very quick. Today I walked to my bedroom to put some clothes away. I heard Kate squawking and returned to find her stuck behind the couch under the drapes in a matter of seconds.
2. Whenever Kate wakes up in the morning or from a nap and I go into her room she gets SOOOO excited. She kicks her little legs and practically jumps out of your arms. You seriously have to be prepared or it would be very easy to drop her. She does it all over again when we round the corner of the hallway and she sees David or Ben.

3. I love Kate's big blue eyes and blonde hair. Everyone always asks where her blue eyes come from. The answer lies with both of her grandpas. We have been asked so many times that Ben now responds when people ask, "from Grandpa Gillett and Boo." The blonde hair comes from David. He was a toe head. If you look really close you will also notice that she inherited David's widow's peek hairline. Hopefully hers won't start to recede in her late 20's!

4. I can lay her down in her crib when she is ready for a nap or bed and 95% of the time she will happily just go to sleep all on her own. I love this about her. I like to sneak in later and see what position she ended up sleeping in.
5. I love Kate's chubby cheeks. Everyone always says how big Kate is. They think she is a chubby baby. In reality she is only in the 10th percentile. It all lies within her cheeks! I love it when they get rosy!

6. She is a wiggle worm! She is so busy all the time. It is getting very difficult to dress her and change her diaper. Most of the time I have to hold her down with my legs to get the job done. She loves to play on the floor.

7. She sucks in her cheeks and smacks her lips like a kiss when she is done eating. She will not allow any food in her mouth without her approval. She is beginning to want to feed herself. She hates to wear a bib and is capable of taking it off herself now. She loves vegetables and meat!

8. Out of the blue a couple of weeks ago Kate made "Ben's face." For those of you who remember when Ben was little he use to make a face where he tightened the muscles in his neck and squeezed his fists. It was so funny. Well his little sister has taken over. I am not sure where she learned this from, (maybe Ben when I wasn't looking or maybe its in the genes) but she has learned that it usually creates a response so she does it frequently for us now. She can also wave and say "Mama" and "Dada."

9. She is not interested in baby toys. Her favorite things to play with are sippy cups, diapers, lotion, balloons, remote controls, basically anything that was not created to play with. And of course she has started to always want what Ben is playing with. Ben is quickly learning what it is like to have a little sister. She gets very vocal and lets you know you have hurt her feelings if she doesn't get what she wants or it gets taken away.

10. She too is a definite Mama's girl. I can not walk in the room and exit without her letting me know she is not happy about me leaving. I have a feeling she too will become my shadow. I left her for an entire Saturday a few weeks ago (with David). She protested by not eating or sleeping the entire day. When she is tired and she knows I am going to nurse her she says, "Mum" over and over again until she starts to eat. For some reason this makes all the difficult parts about breastfeeding worth it.

Kate is such a sweet and content baby. We love her and as Ben says, "Nobody can take her."

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Our Pink Sweater

At Christmas time we were able to visit my parents in Utah. While we were there my mom gave me a little pink sweater one of her friends had made for me when I was a baby. I got it out for Kate the other day and took some pictures to send to my mom's friend. Then I dug up some old pictures of me wearing the same sweater and scanned them into the computer. Any resemblances? One thing is for sure, Kate is much cuter (now and then)!