Friday, September 21, 2012

Settle In...

Friday, September 21, 2012
It's going to be a long post.  Long on pictures, short on words.

Ben's first day of nursery, Luke's first Primary program.  He was too shy to do his (impeccably memorized) part but he sang his heart out.  I'm his teacher and sat next to him and Ben ran up and sat with us once or twice.

These are from going to Hanna and Tom's wedding at the Logan Temple.  You know how looking into the sun hurts your eyes?  I swear my eyes had to adjust to how adorable all the grand kids were in their outfits.  Almost too cute to stare at too long.
We got to go see the Abbott's new house.  Ben's favorite thing about it was the neighbor's goats.
 The wedding reception.  It was perfect- which means a lot of planning and prep went into it.  Great food, great company, great music, and it was great to celebrate Hanna and Tom.

One morning we woke up to see balloons being launched.  I was in a "go and do" mood (as opposed to my usual mood at JoJo's, which is "sit on the couch for 3 days straight") so we loaded up the kids in the car and got an up-close view.

Misc. pics.  So much fun to be had at JoJo's.  Meeting a new cousin, riding the horse, riding the power wheels, playing at the playground.  Heck, even the washing machine is pretty cool.

The day after the wedding we were kind of fried, but we decided to brave going to the Brigham City Temple Open House.  Luke was freaked out about putting on the plastic booties.  I told him some stories to try to calm him down but when those plastic booties went on he kicked so hard his shoe came off.  Luckily he calmed right down in the temple and we all had a good experience.  I know all temples are beautiful, but this one seemed especially so.

After the temple and naps (oh, how they needed naps) we went to Willard Beach and swam and dug in the sand and had a grand old time.

Whew!  I can't believe we fit all that in to a 3 day trip*.  That's all for now!

*Does not include driving time. Void where prohibited.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Let's just watch it...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012
I asked Luke what I should say about this video and he said "Let's just watch it". 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A New, Useful Word

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Remember that musical?  That song?  Well, we've been listening to it in the car on repeat for a while.  It taught Ben a new, useful word.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Summer's Travels

Saturday, August 04, 2012
Although our budget was modest this year, we were able to go to some really lovely places this summer.  First we stayed with the Poppers of 432 Proudfoot Ave.

Then we headed over to see some characters in Wonderland.

From there we spent some time in the Hundred Acre Woods.

Right now we spend our days at the Zuckerman's Farm...

...and by night we lodge at the Emerald City.

 I really would like one of these in our backyard so that we might remember our travels and the way back to those lovely places.

Since this is a reading post I just had to share the picture of Ben.  In the beat up truck.  In his camo jammies.  Reading Goethe.  That's my boy!

Look! It's a post!

Ben loves to tuck himself in with a book.

Wonder of wonders, miracles of miracles.  Luke is falling asleep in his own bed (which is a full two feet away from mine) and staying in it (most nights).  Sometimes he comes in with Mac at 5:30 or 6:00.  This is major progress.  He has also weaned, speaking of miracles.  Both of these events happened on the Fourth of July, which give new meaning to Independence Day.  The boys like to be near Mac in the morning when the whole house fan has all the cool air flowing through the window.  'Cause Mac is super hot.

At the Sacramento Zoo.

Ben's favorite part of the zoo was the carousel.  We went on it a few times and each time I had to pry him off of his animal.

Out at lunch with Mac.  I'm pretty incapable of keeping a straight face.

Trying to fix the truck.  It's pretty sweet watching all the boys climb under there together.

Ben loves the "ish" loves to say "hi" and then signs "eat".  This fish is going to get fat if Ben has anything to do with it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012
We just got back from Eden yesterday, and I think I'm ready for another trip. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Friends in the News

Sunday, May 27, 2012
Luke loves to read Friend magazines, especially the Friends in the News.  One day he wrote these for himself and his brother:

Luke Thomas Christensen, age 3 1/2, from Roseville California loves playing soccer, baseball, and pretending canoeing.  He wants to be like Jesus.  He loves coloring with all his markers.  He loves canoeing.  He loves building Lego houses.  He loves playing with his brother, Ben.  He loves throwing food in the water to ducks.

Ben Marvin Christensen, age 14 months, from Roseville California loves outside, nursing, and taking Luke's bat.  He can do lots of tricks.  He also loves ruining his brother Luke's things.

(Editor's note: Luke has never mentioned canoes before.  In Ben's defense, he ruins about as many things of Luke's as Luke ruins of mine.  Those markers he just mentioned?  Used them to draw on our kitchen chairs that very day, in fact.)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

We are mammals.

Saturday, May 12, 2012
Man, are people talking about the Time Magazine breastfeeding cover!  What do I think of it?  Thank you for asking, I'll tell you.

There is nothing wrong with nursing a baby, toddler, or child.  Zoologically speaking humans are still infants well past the age of one, and animals nurse their children through infancy.  In fact, researchers compared different primates and based on different factors such as birth weight relative to weaning weight, gestational period relative to weaning age and age at eruption of molars, humans would wean somewhere between 2.5 and 7 years if it weren't for cultural expectations.  Across cultures and throughout history weaning has most commonly taken place somewhere in early childhood (2, 3, 4, 5, 6).  At the extreme ends of weaning you have our culture, which weans relatively early and at the other end you have pre-Western influence Japan where there were incidences of kids nursing to adolescence.

Statements that breastfeeding (at any age) is "weird", or statements like "If they're old enough to ask for it, they're too old" are culturally-based, not evidence-based.  Somewhere we heard someone saying these things, and so we internalized them and passed them on without really giving it much thought.  These mentalities harken back to eras when the body was seen as crass or evil.  There is no evidence that there is anything wrong with extended nursing, psychologically speaking.  Anecdotally, I know several people that are now adults who nursed to the age of 3 or 4.  They are all totally normal (and awesome- I can quantify awesome if you'd like).

Breastfeeding is a good thing.  Evidence suggests that as time goes on it becomes less critical for health reasons, but there still are advantages to extended nursing such as higher IQ and decreased incidence of illness.  These benefits may not be significant enough for a major medical establishment to recommend it for the general population, but that doesn't mean that there are no benefits.  The AAP recommends nursing at least to age 1 and then beyond as mutually desired.  The WHO recommends at least 2 years, and then beyond as mutually desired.

If you find breastfeeding weird, ask yourself why.  I'll save you the introspection and tell you why.  Because you're not used to it.  Because in our culture we're only "supposed" to breastfeed in private, or covered up, or "discreetly" (whatever that means- discretion is relative).  Most people haven't seen a whole lot of breastfeeding, so they're not used to it.  So guess what?  Desensitize yourself to it.  Get over it.  Stop saying ignorant things about it so that breastfeeding can be seen as normal and women won't be afraid to do it.  It is in the best interest of our collective health for breastfeeding to not be stigmatized.

So, in conclusion, I prefer not to hear things like "breastfeeding is weird" or "he's too old to nurse" or "If they can ask for it, they're too old".  Please, can we stop saying that?  Pretty please?  I mean, unless you can back it up with some evidence.  Can we just de-stigmatize breastfeeding and extended breastfeeding? If not, why not?

Here's some articles I enjoyed reading on the same subject:

P.S.  Mac and I went to a little luncheon today and as I was primping I said to him "I really, really hope that no one brings up that Time magazine cover because I'm afraid I won't be able to shut my mouth about it."  We were sitting, eating and I was talking with a woman I've met several times and her husband, who I was meeting for the first time.  He brought it up and I blurted out "Oh no!" which got a hearty laugh because he assumed I thought it was weird/gross.  We then went on to have a very pleasant conversation about it in which I made basically the same points that I made here.  All his kids nursed to between 12 months and 18 months, so it was an easy sell.  A little bit later Ben toddled over to me and signed "milk" and I somewhat reluctantly obliged.  Reluctantly because I still feel the judgement of other people when I nurse a toddler in public, not for any other reason.  I did not confess to him that I'm still nursing my 3.5 year old as well because, well, I like this couple.  And I don't want people to just remember me for one parenting choice that defines neither me nor my child.
P.P.S.  This is a picture of us tandem nursing with all the mommy flesh cut out.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Things that happen...

Friday, May 04, 2012
When you dress your child...
you accidentally put both legs in the same hole.

 When you go outside...
you play baseball...

 ...or chill under your favorite tree.

When you plant snow pea seeds...
 you might actually get snow peas. 

When you go in the backyard...
you dig and water.

And when your mom vacuums... get (mostly) naked and jump on the trampoline.

This one is for you, Holly.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Favorite Singing Diva

Saturday, April 14, 2012
If you care to have a hope at understanding this post, you might want to watch this first:

I got an invitation to Mac's cousin Sara's Bridal Shower which read:
Come as your favorite singing Diva.

Uh, an excuse to dress up?  Yes please.  Just brainstorming was fun.  At one point I was considering going as Gene Simmons but my hair might not have cooperated.  Plus Mac reminded me that I was a weirdo.  Just paraphrasing, those weren't his exact words.

And so I went as Bjork, inspired by Kristen Wiig's impression.  Snarf!

Like the dress?  Recognize it?  So glad to finally have the perfect reason to wear it.

Next time you see me, just ask to see the impression.  I've been working on it.  As Mac, who is good enough to remind. me "Sometimes I'm not laughing with you, I'm laughing at you". 

When I got home Luke and Mac were having "buddy time" which today meant home improvement and a viewing of Star Wars.  This is the moment where Luke Skywalker blows up the Death Star.  Pretty cute to watch his face as he watches the movie.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Some Recent Photos

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Ben is One!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012