Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I'm so sick of cleaning up poop.

I knew that title would draw you in.  I'm sure you thought "Score!  I love reading about other people's kid's poop!"...right?

this morning we were all four in the car and I smelled poop.

Me: "Livi did you poop?"
Liv: "No Mama, no poop."
Me: "Are you sure?"
Liv: "No poop!"

a minute later Jack smelled it.

Jack: "Livi are you sure you didn't poop?"
Liv: "No! No poop!"
Jack: "Are you telling the truth?" (we've been learning about truth lately)
Me: "Sweetie, you can tell us if you pooped, Mama and Daddy will never get mad about you for poop or peepee."

She stared blankly at me.  After I ran into the store and got back in the car Jack said "I got her to admit she pooped.  I just kept asking her and she finally said yes."

We drove home.

Jack got Olivia out of her car seat.  "There's no poop!" he said.

I looked down at Berlin from where I was standing in her doorway.  She smiled.  I took off her blanket.  Poop everywhere.  Blown out on all sides.  It was my sweet, tiny baby making that smell!

I felt so bad.  We were like overzealous cops who had squeezed a wrongful confession out of an innocent person.

I gave Berlin a bath and put Liv down for a nap.

Two hours later, I went to wake Olivia up.

Poop.

I cleaned her up.

And washed her sheets.

 For the third time this week.

I'm sick of it.

Monday, October 28, 2013

American Fork Canyon

We took a drive up the canyon the other day and the weather and scenery were GORGEOUS.  I cannot express how much I love fall.  Especially because it contains my favorite holiday, HALLOWEEN!!

 I love living in Utah, I can't imagine us ever moving out of the state.
 Berlin looks like a little Ewok here :D







 I love this following photo because Jack is hidden in the picture. I zoomed in on it and Berlin had focused right on her daddy.  He is reflected in her eyes:


 Jack had to search a ways downstream to find a place where he could cross and get to this rock.  He loved it.  He told me that if we ever got in a fight and I couldn't find him, to go look on his "thinking rock."  I told him that if we were ever in a fight and he left for that long that he'd better take one of the girls with him and off my hands, otherwise I'd be so mad that I wouldn't want to look for him.



 Here's a story about our sweet little Liv:  While Jack was still across the stream (where his rock was) he said he was going to go find his way back across.  As he was walking down, he yelled "Help Livi!  I'm stuck over here!  I'll jump and you catch me!" Just teasing her.  He laughed and started to walk away, but she took him too seriously and thought he really needed her help and so, when he started walking away, she yelled for him and ran out into the water to try to "save" him.  She soaked her pants and shoes and her daddy ended up saving her by carrying her back up to the car.  I love what a tender little heart she has.  She is always wanting to help people and always concerned with our well-being.  I also love her tiny little bum crack in this photo, hehe (and the fact that she is wearing one of Berlin's leg-warmers on her arm). :)


Friday, October 18, 2013

too fast too soon

My tiny girl is 4 months old :( She is getting so tall.  In two short months she will be 6 months and it will be time for her to sleep in her own nursery.  She will have outgrown her bassinet at the foot of my bed (she already escapes even the tightest swaddle).  I'm so sad about it.  I love sleeping in the same room as my babies; I love sneaking in after Berlin has gone to sleep and slipping into bed quietly so as not wake her.  Laying in the dark and listening to the white noise of the sound machine and the barely audible sound of her tiny breaths.  Sometimes I can hear her make little sucking noises as she dreams of eating, or whimper softly in her sleep.  I like hearing her be alive.  I made her, and her body works perfectly.  I am so blessed to have my girls and I'm not ashamed to say that they are blessed to have us: a Mama and Daddy who love them sooooo much.

With Olivia I fumbled too much, and so I looked forward to the next milestone too often.  I've learned from those mistakes and now, with Berlin, I'm afraid of the time passing.  I'm already sad for the times when I won't be able to hold her small body tucked safely in my arms and breathe in her sweet breath and the baby smell that still lingers in her neck rolls.  Jack and I have said that four kids sounds like a good number for us, but that makes me realize that I'm already halfway done.  Only two more times seeing a fuzzy little body on an ultrasound screen and finding out a gender.  Two more times of meeting our next big love and getting to know each other in a cozy hospital room, separate from the rest of the world.  Two more times of first smiles, laughs, cries.

 I'm so sad, but also so thankful that I have the perspective to appreciate it right now while I have it.  I take every feeding session as an opportunity to stare at my baby, memorize the curve of her chubby cheek, hold her hand, and squeeze her little body.  I try to live in the now as much as possible.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Mom's Breadsticks

I was flipping through my recipe book for dinner tonight and came across my mom's breadstick recipe.  I had quickly scribbled it onto a card years ago, and had to call my mom tonight to clear up what some of my hurriedly written instructions meant, and then decided to make them for the first time ever myself.  The recipe looked weird to me because there's not much to it and I didn't know how they could possibly taste anything like what my mom used to make, but they actually turned out and were delicious!

I was taken back to Sunday dinners at my childhood home, before my parents got divorced. Sundays have always been my favorite day (thus the name of this blog). We'd get home from church starving and my mom would whip up something in the kitchen while we all changed.  Sometimes I'd help her and sometimes I'd read until dinner (or lunch if our church was in the 9am time slot).  She made these breadsticks often because (as I discovered tonight) they are so easy.  We'd all sit around the table in the dining room.  Chandler would be sulking in her room and someone would have to go tell her to come up 2 or 3 times before she'd make it to the table.  She usually ended up storming out of the room before the meal was over or throwing a tantrum.  My dad would go around the table and ask us what we had learned at church that day, Hunter would quietly and politely eat his meal, I would prob do something bossy or showoff-ish, Taylor was just happy to be there, my mom would bustle around the kitchen cleaning and getting things for us- only sitting down to eat when the rest of us were nearly finished.  My mom is the best cook I know and she taught me all of her best recipes.  I'm excited to make her breadsticks for my little brood at our own family dinners in the coming years.  And I'll be kind enough to share it with you:

Tina's Breadsticks

1 1/2 cup warm water
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp yeast
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
6 Tbsp butter

Stir sugar into warm water and then sprinkle yeast on top.  Let sit until yeast foams (about 5-10 minutes).  Pour the water/yeast/sugar mix into the flour/salt mixture and stir into a sticky dough (I use my Kitchenaid and dough hook).  Turn into a greased bowl, cover with saran wrap sprayed on the inside with Pam, and set in a warm place.  (In the winter I'll plug the sink, fill it with a couple inches of warm water, and set the bowl in it).  Let raise for 20-30 minutes.  While the dough is raising, preheat the oven to 400 and put 6 Tbsp of butter on a cookie sheet with sides.  Put the sheet in the oven to melt the butter.  Punch down and roll out on a floured surface.  Cut the dough with a pizza cutter into strips about an inch wide.  Roll each strip in the butter from the cookie sheet, fold in half and twist, and then lay onto the cookie sheet.  When all strips are laying on the sheet, sprinkle with garlic powder and parmesan.  Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes or until dark golden.

Potty Training and Dinner Battles

Potty Training:

Olivia is going through the classic regression stage where she all of a sudden is having accidents every day!  This potty training thing has been a lot harder than I thought it would be.  Before the regression she hadn't peed her pants for several weeks and now it's as if she has gotten a little too confident or lazy or something.  Or maybe I have gotten to be those things.  She doesn't stop playing to pee and then will suddenly scream as she realizes she is going in her underwear.  Or I'll ask her if she needs to go before we get in the car to go somewhere and she says no and then pees at the park.  I've gone back to basics a little bit and buckled down yesterday and made her go before we went anywhere and started asking her again every half hour or so if she needed to go.  No accidents yesterday.  Also, she won't take off her own pants!  If I'm not in the room and she needs to go, she will yell at me and I have to rush in and strip her down so she can go sit on her potty.  I think I prefer this though to her taking her pants off when I don't want her to.  Also, she is a champ at going in the big potty and will go in public places or at friend's houses.  It's so cute to see her tiny legs draped over the huge potty, her hands on the seat to keep her from falling in (I make sure to wash them doubly well afterward).  She is good at going potty before naps and bedtime and wakes up from naps dry, but still can't get through the night.  I peed the bed until I was embarrassingly old, so I can't fault her for that (I read that bed-wetting is genetic and am praying she doesn't get my genes in that regard) and we just put her in one of those diapers every night that you have to step into and pull up (so they feel a little more like underwear to her).  Also, she struggles with pooping in the potty and will wait until night to go, whether she is wearing a diaper or undies :/  I'm hoping she'll just get to the point where she can go in the potty.  It's certainly an ongoing, difficult process, but so nice not to have to change her diapers anymore.  And honestly she has been a champ about it.  I'm sure she isn't harder than any other child, I just didn't know what a huge task this would be.

Dinnertime:

Liv used to be such a good eater.  I made sure when she was a baby that she ate pureed veggies long before she tasted fruit so that she'd develop a taste for them and not want sweet things.  She never had candy before she was about 18 months.  Her first birthday cake wasn't even really a cake, it was a whole-wheat carrot applesauce cake with homemade whipped cream for frosting.  I was the health-nut mom who would pack veggie sticks and raisins on every outing and cover her eyes so she wouldn't see other kids pull out their bags of fruit snacks.  She loved food and ate well.  Fruit was like dessert to her and she could ingest her weight in watermelon or grapes.

And then I got pregnant.  I could only be out of bed for a couple of hours at a time, and the smell of food made me run for the bathroom.  I couldn't regulate her meals or snacks, and storebought became the norm.  I had made lots of healthy frozen meals for her, but we soon ran out of those and I had to keep her content with treats jwhile I laid around all day.  I couldn't make dinners so Jack had to get takeout a lot.  5 or 6 months into my pregnancy I wasn't sick and wasn't as exhausted anymore but the bad habits stayed, especially once Berlin was here and I had to take care of a newborn too.  It got to the point where Olivia would not eat meat, vegetables, or eggs, asked for a cookie or "peedow" (her word for candy) about a thousand times a day, and was having the same rotation of meals every single week.  PB&J, grilled cheese, homemade mac and cheese, and yogurt with fruit.  I even felt good when she was eating chicken nuggets because at least it meant she was getting protein.

I tried just being tough: putting good food in front of her for dinner and then letting her go to bed hungry when she didn't eat it.  This backfired and she stopped eating any meals and started to lose weight and then I'd give her what she wanted just so she would eat something!  I mixed things into sauces and smoothies.  The sauces worked but she no longer wanted smoothies.  Also, anything unwanted got chucked on the floor and some meals would end in tears (for both of us) especially when I had spent a lot of time making something that I hoped would tempt her and she wouldn't even touch it, or when I'd try to force something into her mouth and she'd act like I was abusing her. Finally I did something that is discouraged among all parenting experts.  I bribed her.  Olivia is a sucker for cookies ("toodies").  One night I spooned a small pile of corn onto her tray and told her that if she ate it all she could have a cookie.  She looked at me and started eating the corn.  I was incredulous.  Something worked.

Now there were some nights this wouldn't work, especially if there is something she really just does not like.  Sometimes we have to compromise and I'll come down on how many bites she has to take, but the point is, this is working for us.  As of last night we had gotten to the point where I put some carrot sticks in front of her and told her if she ate them she could have some fruit (I try to talk about fruit as a treat since it helps create better habits and she doesn't really care since she loves it and
it's still sweet).  She was hesitant, so I put some ranch on her tray so she could dip.  She ate the carrots (and a fish stick that I called chicken) and then was thrilled to have some pears.  Bribery may be frowned upon, but for us it has lead to success. :)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Christmas in September

Jack's sister, Amanda was called to serve an LDS mission for 18 months in Columbus, Ohio and left on Wednesday.  Jack's family is super close and always makes a big deal about holidays.Amanda is the the baby of the family and the fact that she was going to be missing two Christmases was a pretty hard fact to take when she put in her mission papers.  She mentioned this to their sister, Pam, and pam came up with a grand (secret) plan to throw Christmas for Amanda before she left to serve.  We all bought a small gift for each of our kids, to be from Amanda, bought a gift for Amanda (mostly stuff she will use on her mission), and two Saturdays ago her siblings got up before dawn and decorated her house (she lives with her mom between semesters) in full Christmas decor.  Tree, outdoor lights, and everything.  The spouses showed up with the kids at 8am and all of the kids ran into Amanda's room yelling "It's Christmas! It's Christmas!"  Amanda was so confused.  Probably mostly because she was suddenly being crushed by 15 of her nieces and nephews upon waking.  When she walked out and saw the stockings up, the tree, and all of the gifts, and heard Christmas music playing, she burst into tears.  It was really magical.  She was able to have Christmas with her entire family.  The traditions breakfast, games, and then dinner over at their Dad's.  It was really cool to see everyone come together and do this for their daughter/little sister whom we love so much.  And no one loves her family more than Amanda, so we were more than happy to make this little dream come true.
These first two photos are credited to my SIL Kanessa

Here's Liv opening her gift.  An Olivia Lego Friends set.
The Nativity at my father in law's house
As the youngest baby, Berlin was honored with the role of Jesus in the Nativity :)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Oakley Berlin-4 months






BerBer Baby turned 4 months last week.  I can't believe she is only 4 months old.  I feel like she has been with us much longer.  She fits right in with our family and, surprisingly, the transition from 1 child to 2 has not been as crazy as I thought it would be.  Maybe it's because she is such a content little thing.

Berlin:

Still has her thick dark hair, but it is now too long for a mohawk so I comb it to the side.  She has a crazy cowlick on her crown that gives her a little rooster comb and is getting bald spots from rubbing her head around when she lays down.  Her downy fluff just rubs right off!  It's also hard to keep a headband on her because her hair is so fine that they slip off easily.  It can hold clippies though!

Still has dark blue eyes.  They haven't lightened up at all like Olivia's did.  I hope they stay dark because they are so pretty with her hair.

Is the smiliest baby I've ever seen.  She always has one waiting for me or her dad and seems to love to make people feel good with her smiles.

Laughs occasionally, a little chuckle that almost sounds like a choke haha

Is in 6-month clothes and the occasional 9-month.  She is following in sister's footsteps by wearing twice the size of her age.  We love our chubby babies ;)

The past few days has started waking at 5am for a feeding.  She must be going through a growth spurt (like she needs it!)  So she goes to bed at 8:30, eats at 5 and goes back to sleep, wakes for the day at 8, naps from 9:15-11 and eats, naps from 12:15 to 2 and eats, naps from 3:15 to 4:15 and this is where things are up in the air a little.  I'm having to adjust her evening feedings to accommodate her new wake-time but we aren't quite there yet.  Either way, she still sleeps from 7:15-8, takes a bath, eats and goes to bed.  We are definitely a Babywise family :)

Is at the point where she doesn't even want me to rock her before a nap or take her binky to fall asleep! If I try to rock her, she just gets fussy. She'd rather just be swaddled and put straight into bed and then fall asleep on her own without the binky.  She's has learned so well how to self-soothe and fall asleep herself and therefore is hardly ever overtired and cranky (unless we are out doing something).

Loves to hold hands

Loves baths

Loves Olivia and will search for her when she can hear her, almost to the point of rolling from back to tummy

Hates her car seat

Startles easily

Loves to suck on her hands

Coos and makes lots of noises

Will let anyone hold her and smiles at them

Loves to be snuggled

Sits up in the Bumbo (Olivia hates this because she thinks it is hers, and will try to pull Berlin out).

I love my little Berlin so sooooo much.  I really feel so blessed that she is with us.  She makes me feel like I am a good mom, which may sound like a small statement but honestly has changed my life.  Also, there is something about having more than one child that makes you feel more like a family.  I feel more yoked to Jack than ever before and our house just feels so full of love and teamwork.  These are the days I will look back on and wish I could visit.  Both of my girls want to be held and sang to.  I get to kiss owies and teach them what is right and wrong.  This will all be over too fast.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Book Club

Lord of the Flies
by William Golding

Rating: 7 out of 10
Summary: A group of young boys is marooned on a deserted island and must learn to survive not only against the elements and provide for their physical needs, but against their baser natures as humans.

This book was craaaaazy.  It wasn't a page turner for me, and actually took me a while to get through because it wasn't one that kept me on the edge of my seat or was super entertaining for the first while.  The setting is the same throughout the whole book, so about halfway through I got a little bored and was tempted to not finish it (I'm the worst at not finishing books).  I kept going though and am so glad I did.  I don't want to say too much about the book or give anything away, but it really is a story about how, on our most fundamental level, there is good and evil to just about anyone, even at a very young age; and when you are stripped of all social convention and polite society there's no telling what will come out.  Also, the mob mentality in the book is really interesting.

I would have given it a higher score, but for the fact that it is pretty slow for a while.  It's a pretty dark book and really sad at parts so if that isn't your cup of tea, I wouldn't recommend it.  If you are intrigued by human nature and it's different mental states like I am, you will love it.


Next up: The Fault in our Stars

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