Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy birthday, Fatticus Gordo!

That's his new nickname.

I completely forgot these pictures existed. They were on our low-quality waterproof camera and we just started using it again as a video camera because our Flip mysteriously disappeared.

And here's a snippet of late summer/birthday fun:

Birthday party at Aunt Linda's


Digging in

With Grammy and Poppy before they left

Texas Roadhouse for his birthday (the last time we went out to eat...)

Sweet potatoes and chicken
IKEA train set courtesy of Grammy/Poppy

Birthday soccer game! (I was so skinny, I didn't realize how much weight I've put on everywhere recently)

Tired guy


Recent studies have shown that the greatest indication of a child's success and love for reading stems from a reading father. Well, if anyone knows how much Tim reads (he is pretty much reading 90% of his waking hours, whether it be on his Kindle as they walk around outside or listening to books on tape as he cleans) we should assume that our kids too will share the love of reading. I didn't anticipate my two-year-old would develop the obsession so early in life. Not only does he love being read to, he's started to embark on reading on his own. So far, the only word he can sound out and recognize is "ball" (with the occasional "mom" and "dad"), and now he thinks that every word is "ball", but he is getting so impressive at sounding out letters. Thank you, Super Why! and Elmo's ABCs app. And lots of patient reading with us really awesome parents.

Here are some recent videos:

He thinks the "U" I wrote is a "V", I didn't realize that until Tim pointed it out to me today.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Part of me feels really guilty for not documenting this pregnancy here like I did with Theodore, but then I feel even guiltier because I forget a lot of times that I am actually pregnant. Especially during the day when I am going about my merry way, I feel pretty dang good and it's easy to not think about. At night with all her crazy ninja moves, I definitely remember then. She moves like crazy, way more than Theodore did in the womb. She is rolling and twisting and dancing for hours on end. I love it. Tim says he forgets I'm pregnant too, but I don't know how with all my "oh my aching back/hips/head" complaints when I wake up in the morning. Besides the tiniest box of baby girl clothes I got at a free clothing exchange and the bright orange car seat in the basement, there is little physical indication (you know, besides the large belly) that another baby is on the way. I do think I have already been nesting more than usual because my energy levels are way up, and I find myself wanting to clean up in preparation, and then remember everything is going to get very dirty again in the three months remaining. I'm officially in my third trimester. I think. I'm like 26-29 weeks now, depending on if you ask my midwife or or the Sprout pregnancy app on our iPad. We had another ultrasound last week to check out her brain because they couldn't get a good look at 20 weeks, and we verified she is very much a girl.

Speaking of prenatal appointments, I'm on an every 6-7 week schedule. Since everything is going dandy, I always have had healthy blood pressures, urine samples, and tons of fetal movement, I don't see the need to go monthly. Plus, it is quite the challenge to find a time to drive up to American Fork, and I prefer just popping in after work every so often for a little pee sample and blood pressure. I usually just see the midwife for about 5 minutes, even though I know I can spend as long as I want, but there isn't much to discuss when you are a very prepared birther and having a healthy pregnancy. I still have frequent Braxton-Hicks contractions [ahem, pressure sensations] but I was checked a few weeks back and am not dilated at all, so hopefully things will continue to be so. I started using my Hypnobabies tracks to work on relaxation and hypnosis for birthing. They are a little hokey, but I like her voice and they ARE relaxing. We'll see if I like her voice when I'm actually laboring...

Not much else to say about Clementine other than she is a stellar fetus and I hope she has red hair. But if not, we'll still love her. Heaven knows we are crazy about that Theo kid.

[oh: we don't know if her name will really be Clementine, everyone has been asking me that... we have a list but have not decided either which way]

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas in Pictures: Lights at Temple Square

We decided to brave the freeway on the 23rd of December. Bad plan. Theodore loved the lights... but probably loved riding the Trax even more.

Christmas in Pictures: Gingerbread House

In my first few posts in a long time, we'll look at some pictures from Christmas. First we will look at our construction of a gingerbread house. We bought a pre-baked one from Target, because we weren't up for baking our own gingerbread. Maybe we will when Theo will appreciate it more.

Theo loved putting on the candy pieces.

But mostly he just liked eating them.

Learning from the master decorator.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Britney Spears

Why, on EARTH, have grocery stores been playing so many Britney Spears songs lately?! I thought she was long gone and dead and over...

In other news, I think I've composed about 20 blog posts in my head over the past month and every time I find the time to sit down and blog I can't think of what any of them are. But I do have some thoughts on Christmas I would like to share:

Tim has convinced me that Santa Claus does not exist in our home. I am utterly flabbergasted as to what implications this will have in our future. I can totally see the reasoning, but at the same time, I definitely have very fond memories of Santa Claus and don't think I was emotionally harmed. He is a tad creepy though, and I hate the bribery and manipulation of "you have to be good or Santa won't come" and the fact that Santa obviously likes rich kids better than poor kids. I'm tempted by the babushka tradition instead. Still magical, but she comes to houses where she hears children laughing, not necessarily behaving and following their parents' commands. I read it in our Christmas book about different cultures. Don't know if it's actually practiced in Russia, but I still like the story, and how it relates to the Savior.

Also, he doesn't think we should give our kids presents. One, because he's worked at Target one too many holiday seasons and he hates nothing more than when parents come in and HAVE TO HAVE A CERTAIN COMMERCIALIZED TOY and it's ALL HIS FAULT Target does not have it. And all of a sudden their Christmas, along with their child's, is completely ruined because they didn't get that one dumb toy that would probably only be played with for a month and then thrown into the back of the closet and given to DI by the next Christmas. I completely agree with this. And have you seen the hot new toys of the year!? When Tim came home and told me people were looking for a game called "Doggie Doo" I thought he was surely joking. One way I've considered avoiding this is not allowing TV in our house. It's from commercials that kids think they want these things, right? Tim thinks they will still want them because other kids will want them, but then I reminded him our children's friends will be elitist hippies who also don't watch TV and play with wooden block sets and homemade finger paints.

Secondly, I love my mom. I really love my mom you guys. But she has this thing about buying so many unnecessary presents. And then I get all these things I didn't want in the first place, and then I have to deal with the guilt of returning everything and she just goes on this "you are SO ungrateful" tirade, and then I feel all bad about making her feel bad and then Christmas is forever tainted. This has actually vastly improved in years past, probably due to some combination of my maturing and not being so angsty and her getting better at not buying me a bazillion things I don't need. And this Christmas, it seems we may have reached our acceptedness in the non-presents department. We'll see how it pans out...

Next: spending Christmas at home with just our family. When I told my mom this yesterday, she said it made her sad for me. I don't know why she would be sad about it, when quite frankly, I am very excited to have our first Christmas as just our family. Rather than shopping and present-buying and gift-opening, we've been making batch after batch of delicious Christmas cookies, listening to delightful music, and reading lots of Christmas books. Honestly, the kid is not going to care either way if he gets to open presents on Christmas morning but he will love making a gingerbread house. Plus, I hate wrapping presents. I hate excess stuff. He doesn't even play with the toys he has (exceptions: his train set, play kitchen, and football). He'd rather draw on an empty car seat box with markers all afternoon or read library books. No need for fancy contraptions to keep this child occupied. Even though when we do go to Target, he does love to go down the aisle and press the buttons on all the electronic toys to create quite the cacophony and fake music and voices "A is for APPLE! B is for BALL!"

So, am I scrooge and ruining Christmas for everyone yet? Well, I do have a few good traditions I want to implement, not just shunning the old ones. I really like the idea of three gifts per person: something to read, something to wear, something to play with. And I'd like to buy all three locally/handmade. If not local, there are always a million darling handmade items on Etsy that I covet. If I'm going to spend money, I'd rather support a small business or individual rather than Wal-mart and Mattel. I'd rather spend the same amount of money on three really awesome quality items than 10 cheaply manufactured toys. It seems quantity is what most people shoot for, so their kids can have 20 presents to open on Christmas morning.Which is really fun, to be perfectly honest, but is it necessary?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

This week

Wow, what a week: finals, stomach virus, baby born, lactation class due, applications due, Christmas parties, etc. It's Friday and I'm still reeling for the events of this week. On Monday night we had Valerie Hudson's farewell/Christmas party. It was a bittersweet moment for all of us, to see the lives that she has changed here and to know the amazing things she will do in the future. We had a great time, and Tim and I WON. CHRONOLOGY. That is a really, really big deal.

Hello, Theodore! (this is the few of us that were left, there were A LOT of people there)

Then on Tuesday we received a phone call from Casey and Melissa that they were throwing up all night. Knowing that Theodore spent the morning with them while I was at work, I was incredibly nervous that night. Lo and behold, around 10 pm, I started throwing up. And throwing up. And throwing up. Bleh, bleh,  bleh. I didn't sleep all night and it was miserable. Stomach virus + pregnancy = MISERY. Finally, around 8 am I could not stand up because I was so weak, dehydrated, and tired so we headed over to UVRMC for some fluids and Zofran. It took the nurse multiple attempts to get an IV in because I was so dehydrated, when I usually have awesome veins and it's really easy. Four hours later, we were home and sleeping. The next day I was still so sore and miserable, but SO much better.

Back up to early Tuesday morning, circa 4 am. I was lying awake miserable when I heard a faint scream-like sound. I jumped up to investigate and grab my phone, because we have a scary alleyway next to our house and I thought someone was being abducted or mugged or something. I go to find my phone and look outside to find ambulances, fire truck, and multiple police cars (?!). I go on the front porch and realize a hoard of burly firefighters/paramedics are coming to my house... for a moment I'm confused and then DUH, it hits me. Baby being born, in the basement. Sure enough, I go back inside and hear additional screaming and about 15 minutes later, Jennifer is wheeled out on a stretcher with her new little girl. It was pretty nuts.

Fast forward to Thursday night: first, we had a Christmas party for PEIP, Theodore's speech therapy program. It was well-organized but there were a million people there. We mostly just let him play and do crafts, and stayed for about an hour before we headed to the Nielson home for dinner and Tim's oral final/discussion for is Political Science class. Theodore and I wandered the house and played with Rob, the Nielsons' adolescent son (who was so cool, and Theodore LOVED... he has grown up so much since he was the crazy 9-yr-old running around at ward activities four years ago...). He had some pretty intense Lego creations which were pretty awesome to a 2-yr-old boy.

Coloring at dinner at the PEIP party

Not excited to meet Santa

Sensory room

Theodore loves Rob

Browning men + Nielson men

Now, Tim is working. And I'm finishing my lactation course. Learning about NG tubes and kernicterus. Thinking about going to the Beehive Bazaar. Not sure if I want to take the kid to it though...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Being a mother, in my own way

You know those times in Sunday School where you just need to say something but then the moment passes and you don't say it so you have to come home and blog about it?

Maybe not, but I do.

Tim and I have been attending the "Marriage and Parenting" class at Church. Mistake numero uno. The only reason I went today is because the nursery is really close to it, and Theodore has been having a hard time the past few weeks when we leave, so I was nervous he would freak out, and we can hear the kids crying from our room so I would know and be able to go get him (I'm not really into letting him cry for silly reasons...) Anywho. If last week's lesson on fatherhood was frustrating ("how do we support our husbands as fathers?" "make sure the house is clean and SMELLS GOOD when they get home... even if you had a bad day, touch up your make-up and greet him with a smile, make him want to come home because he's been working SO HARD ALL DAY"), this week's lesson on motherhood was slightly upsetting. I love the teacher. She is actually a beautiful person, my best visiting teacher ever, and just as sweet and friendly as can be. And I actually agreed with a lot, partially. Mothers are irreplaceable and awesome and love their children unconditionally. But then came to the part about working.

Here's how it went: Some mothers have to work to support their families, and we feel awful for them and they do the best we can. But some moms also work so their families can live in big houses and drive fancy cars... and they really need to sort out their priorities and make sacrifices to stay at home with their children.

Uhhhh... what about the moms that love their jobs and work because they want to? Heaven forbid we should want to work outside the home, though, right? I certainly don't have to work, and I certainly don't work to have a big house and fancy car. I'm choosing to work because I genuinely enjoy it. I enjoy my kid too, but in a different way. I like my job a lot. And I feel a strong pull to go back to school and have prayed about it and it feels like the thing I'm really supposed to do. So, why not address that aspect?

Valerie Hudson gave her final lecture last Wednesday. She said something that really hit me. I've heard it before from her, but it never struck me in such a way. She told of how there were many nights when she fell to her knees and cried to God that she was done, she wanted to be home with her children (she had eight!) and not be a professor anymore. And each time, she received the same confirmation that God needed her in our classrooms at BYU. I know she has had so much influence for good at BYU, and her legacy and teachings will extend through the generations. She taught me what it was like to be a strong, independent woman and to speak my mind. That it's ok to be really smart. That women and mothers matter more than I realized (and that childbirth could be natural and breastfeeding a 2-yr-old is not as weird as our society makes it out to be...) She has influenced my ideas and helped me become the woman, wife, and mother I want to be. How grateful am I that she listened to God during those hard times when she was exhausted and over-stretched.... how grateful am I that her husband is supportive of her career and a wonderful father and husband. Her kids were not neglected in any way, they always had a loving and involved parent around. Just like my children will have. And maybe at some points it will be their dad, and maybe at some points it will be their mom. And they'll be ok.