Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Having a Sibling

Enjoying her first lolly pop ever...

Enter brother.... 

The other day Eli did something to make Esme cry, like he does several times a day, and I picked her up for a hug and said "I'm sorry, sometimes it's hard having a big brother."  Eli chimed in from his time out corner in the other room "and it's hard having a baby."

I never thought about it from his perspective.  Now at least once a day he tells me why it's hard having a baby around the house.  She makes messes, breaks things, doesn't share.

Yesterday we had a breakthrough.  Sharing is one of his struggles and he painfully handed a toy that he liked over to Esme, without getting mad.  When it was time for her to give it back he patiently held out his hand and asked for it. At first she yelled, then she pretended to give it to him a few times, and finally she gave it back.  No force, no tears, no grabbing.  Now we talk about how he can help me teach his little sister.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

Relief Society Birthday

I hope the ladies had a nice time last night.  It's hard to tell when you're running around like a maniac.  Luckily my two favorite things seemed to be everyone else's too. The centerpieces and the cake.  In all my planning and blog surfing, I always end up on wedding blogs for ideas.  This has to be the cheapest centerpiece ever.

 Glass pie dishes, a little potting soil, food storage wheat sprouted, and 2 bunches of daisies, $4 each.  Now what to do with all this wheat grass on my coffee table.

 The day before the event the bishop's wife, a saintly lady with the same name as me, and I spent all day working on this cake.  It was huge.  16 inch bottom layer and 12 on top. I made chocolate with chocolate mousse between the layers and ganache over the top.  She made white cake with peaches and whipped cream between layers and white ganache over the top.  I got the emblem printed at the bakery, edible ink on edible paper.

We kept running into legal issues. After trying to get around it, I found it's surprisingly easy to get a copyright release from the church. Like they're going to sue a bakery for a Relief Society cake! Anyway.  The other Helena wanted the state/relief society flower, the sego lily, on the cake. Some wild bulb that won't bloom if you try to plant and whose flower is illegal to pick.  She made some out of marshmallow. They worked better than the ones I spent many hours on.  Tracing with royal icing.

So let me know if you need sego lilies or wheat grass.  I've got them coming out my ears.  Along with table cloths that need to be laundered.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Family History Bug

Brian and I have got it.  I think we were pretty much set up for it.  Our mothers both gave us some amazing records, Brian works for (a new assignments is to actually research genealogy a few hours a month on the clock so he understands the needs of those using his programs), and his calling at church is to teach the family history consultants, who in turn teach the people in the ward how to research their own family history.

Brian got excited when he found records to go back another generation thanks to a 1920 New Mexico census.  I'm currently thrilled because I asked my sister in Switzerland, who in turn asked an uncle for family pictures. This morning's email was full of amazing black and white pictures of people I've never seen, but are obviously relatives.  I would love to find some stories behind them.  Still trying to figure out who they all are.  I'm sure it only matters to my sisters and me, but I'll include some.

 My grandpa Max who died 10 years before I was born.

And his father Balthasar sitting in the middle with a mustache. I like how the only things on the menu behind are wurst and beer.

And  his mother Berta, she looks so sweet.  My favorite thing is the little boy in the eidelweiss suspenders.

It's amazing how easy computers are making this research.  Not long before Esme was born I waddled my way downtown to the family history library, the best one on the earth and had a traumatizingly fruitless day.  Hours hunched over a microfiche machine, getting dizzy, trying to read records in strange hand-writing and figure out 1800's Swiss abbreviations.  I searched the possible church records and stopped when the lady said next was a census, taken door-to-door.  No alphabetical order, just a guy walking down a street, stopping at each house to find their information.  I walked away knowing only that "Jh." was short for Johann and that this must be why it's usually only old people that do this, they have time and, aparently, much more patience.  The volunteers helping me were experts, I'm grateful for that.

Not to daunt anyone. Luckily many American records are online and keyword searchable thanks to all the indexing volunteers that read records and type them (which is done twice and checked a third time for accuracy) so census' and such are easily searched.  That's how Brian found a new generation of great-great grandparents in a matter of minutes sitting on the couch.  I wonder if it's more fulfilling to find information that way or the hard way.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Eli's New Smile

I don't think I ever mentioned it here last winter, probably out of embarrassment, but Eli had cavities. The worst on his two front teeth from me not flossing them. I almost fell on the floor when Brian came home and told me "9". Shut up! That's what happens to kids that eat candy all day and go to sleep with bottles of soda.  After going from disbelief, to anger at the "money gauger" dentist and then anger at myself, we got his teeth fixed all at once.  It confused me because I always brush his teeth, never drank soda/juice, but he does have the same deep molars as I do. In the front teeth the cavities were pretty deep, but the dentist was able to save them with lots of work.  I beat myself up, but at least they're just baby teeth.  His front teeth were fixed and molars sealed while he snoozed away, never learning to fear dentists.  In fact, he's excited to go.

Six months ago his teeth checked out fine.  But two weeks ago I noticed that one was a little loose, just in time for his next appointment, but didn't worry since he didn't complain about pain.  Apparently the nerve had died, there was infection, and his tooth was not longer connected to the root.  To prevent the infection from spreading to other teeth he had to go on antibiotics and .... lose his front tooth.  So, for the next two or three years, this will be his smile.

He carries his little tooth around like it's a toy and shows it to friends when he can. When we tried to prepare him by telling him his tooth had to come out he asked "Why? Me no brush my teeth, it turned black?"  I try and scare him with the consequences, like my mom did to me, so he is happy to brush his teeth. I told a little white lie and said that he's getting bigger and that big kids lose their baby teeth.