Wednesday, March 21, 2012

An early spring is a good spring

Spring is here!  This has been such a mild winter.  When we first came and visited Iowa three years ago around this time it depressingly cold and brown still.  This year the trees are budded out, the grass is green, the flowers and weeds are all up.  Time to get to work!

Kate on the porch.

I ordered a new camera - a waterproof, shockproof Panasonic Lumix.  I am really pleased with it so far.  It doesn't take great pictures inside - the color balance isn't quite right.  I am not sure how to adjust that either.  But let's hope it is tough enough to last us a while, otherwise I am tempted to go back to a film camera.  We have had trouble with digital cameras breaking.  At work, my digital camera froze up after some dew dripped on it.  Ours at home have been broken after being dropped or frozen up after they got dirty.

Random pictures from the new camera:

Leila insisted on me buying new Sunday shoes.  

I have had the same broken pair from my mission and another pair I got out of the DI bin at BYU in 2000.  I lucked upon these babies on sale for 70% off.  The square long toe is an odd style to me still, but for that price I will gladly join in.

Colleen loves you THIS much. Kate just loves the computer.

Leila in pigtails.  You can see the bit of my finger there, the camera lens is near the side and is easily covered.  

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

More Gardunia's

As Leila has already announced on her sewing blog, things have been a whole lot of crazy at our house. We are expecting another child (A Bayesian would say a girl - updated prior probability of 4 girls out of 5), and Leila has been sick, very sick.  Add on top of that me leaving town for project reviews, etc.  The kids have been a big help.  Emily cooked dinner multiple times and the other kids have helped with chores, maybe with a little whining.  The Relief Society at church brought us a number of meals and helped watch the little kids, which released a lot of pressure on me.

I find that I can usually find the negative in just about any situation, and the thought of another baby fills me with visions of late nights, diapers, crying kids, and all the rest.  But, and this is a big but, there is nothing that I take more pride in than being a father.

When I was in high school, I remember thinking hard about the kind of man I wanted to become and I wanted so badly to be the opposite of my father.  I hadn't seen him for years and I could see how hard my mom was trying to hold our family together.  I swore to myself that things would be different for me.  I looked around and saw how Bishop Lindstrom and others were with there kids and families and I wanted that.  I didn't know what that was, but I wanted it.

When Emily was born, we struggled.  School was hard.  Emily didn't sleep and for a while wouldn't eat.  I would walk her at night and try to squeeze some formula or milk into her through a syringe and a thin tube I would hold on my finger, one ounce at a time.  Leila and I both struggled how to adapt to the demands of parenthood, lack of sleep, and still hold it together.  Through all of that, I wouldn't trade those nights for anything in the world.  Sometimes I would fall asleep with Emily lying on my chest as I rocked her asleep on the couch.  Sometimes she would throw herself back, completely trusting that we would catch her.  I still didn't know what it was that I had, but it was what I had wanted all along.

Each one of our kids has had their challenges.  Each one has liked me best (Don't tell Leila).  And each one has been my very favorite, and still is.  What could go wrong? (Don't ask me, I have a list.)

Postscript: Leila has an interesting commentary and discussion on her blog about current birth control debate.  You can tell she gets more readers than I do since she had 38 comments in a day.