Thursday, June 19, 2014


Berlin loves to feel like a big girl and do what Olivia is doing.  This morning she watched Liv go get a bag of bunny crackers out of box on the floor of the pantry then bring them to me to open.  Bay followed suit, crawled over and got a bag, dragged it over and held it up to me.  I put both girls at Liv's table to eat crackers and drink water and Berlin grinned the whole time.  In the past I have had a hard time with mornings.  Waking up so early with them, wrestling them into clothes, facing the same thing day after day, trying to shower and get ready with small hands banging on the door, trying to send emails and get my own things done... After a great spiritual experience though and some time pondering on my cranky attitude I thought about the short time I will have these girls home in the mornings.  Before I know it they will be rushing off to school for the day and I won't see them for hours.  Then comes activities and friends.  It was a sobering thought that I won't have time with them soon.  And these same girls who are climbing on me and asking me to play soon won't want to spend time with me!   Also, I am so spoiled and blessed to be able to spend every day at home as their caretaker instead of having to work.  It would be really hard for me to have to wake up early to leave them instead of waking to spend time with them!

I have really slowed down and relaxed about things.  Instead of trying to check off my own lists in the morning, I just enjoy being lazy and doing what the girls want to do.  I save my to-do's for later in the day when they are sleeping, busy, or when Jack comes down to play.  As a result I have been having so much fun having lazy, relaxing mornings with these two.  We make breakfast, get cleaned up, get dressed, play toys.. they are learning to share with each other and play with each other.  The older Berlin gets, the smaller the two-year age gap seems to get and they are able to do more and more with the other.  Liv is so good with her and never gets mean or aggressive.  She does need to share better, but she is always concerned with Ber's well-being.  When Berlin goes down for her 9am nap I'm able to spend some concentrated time with Olivia learning letters and drawing, jumping on the trampoline, reading books, or sometimes I take Berlin's monitor in to Jack's office while he works and Liv and I go run errands or get doughnuts.  I'm so excited to experience every stage with my kids, and am excited to add more to our family.  When deciding how many children would be right for us, I think about going to their sports games, seeing them off to girls camp, having after-school snacks, helping them get ready for dances, and having a brood sitting around the table at Thanksgiving.  I would love to have a house filled with kids, and then in-laws and grandkids.  When people ask how many kids we want we always say "we will stop when we feel done."  I'm definitely not done, but sure am enjoying these moments with our family of four and these two sweet girls!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Our Summer Trail List

Jack and I have decided to try some cool hiking trails this summer!  I posted a query on FB and had some good recommendations and other people who were interested so I thought I'd post my list on here and then when we check on off, I can post about the trail and what we liked and didn't!  Here are the ones that are close to our house, sometimes Jack wants a break from the computer so it would be nice to go on a quick, 2-hour jaunt and get out into nature and get some exercise. Click on each hike listed below for more info:

-Battle Creek Falls in Pleasant Grove

-Timpooneke Trail in AF canyon

Once we finish these I'm sure we'll venture out further from our house and I can post a list of those!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Oakley Berlin- 1 year

Berlin celebrated her first birthday exactly one week after Olivia had her third.  We didn't exactly plan on having these two this close, but I wanted to be pregnant around the same time of year.  I just didn't think we would be able to get pregnant as quickly the second time as we did the first; my cycle had been kind of crazy, and Olivia was born 3 weeks early. . But I did get pregnant as easily, and Berlin was born a week and a half early herself so there you go.  Birthdays a week apart.  I was interested in seeing how they would handle it (well, how Olivia would handle it this year.  Berlin didn't know what was going on).  I thought that maybe since Liv had already had her special day it would be easier for her to pass on the crown and would be fun for her to celebrate someone else.  Nope.  She must have enjoyed her birthday because she was ready for round 2 of Olivia day.  We explained that it was Berlin's day now, which led to tantrums, whining, and hitting all day.  She ripped Berlin's gifts open herself and wouldn't let Ber hold or play with her new toys.  Mid-morning after Berlin was down for her nap I asked Olivia if she would like to go pick out a gift for Berlin that she herself could give to her and Berlin would be so happy.  We had a great time at the store and Liv was so fun and got excited, she picked out some Ariel bubbles for her sister.  Later when I had her give Berlin the bubbles, Liv took them outside and dumped them all on the ground.  So that was nice.  Hopefully the two girls can get used to having close birthdays and even have fun with it!  We had a pool party for the two of them on Saturday with family and it was a BLAST!

Berlin was such a sweet little birthday girl.  She loved her new clip-clop castle and princesses, her soft stuffed bunny, book, and dolly I made her to match the one I made Liv when she was a baby.  We went to see the animals at Thanksgiving Point in between her naps and she got to ride the horses multiple times.  We played all afternoon and I made her favorite food for dinner- scrambled eggs.  I'm pretty strict about my kids' diets, and am a big fan of clean eating.  Olivia didn't have sugar until she turned 1.  I've been a little more lax with Bay, but I knew I didn't want her smashing into a fake, sugary piece of cake on her birthday.  I found this recipe on my friend's site (a fantastic place for healthy, kid-friendly recipes), and made it for Berlin's birthday cake.  It uses whole wheat flour (we rarely use white), and pureed fruit instead of sugar!  I topped it with fresh, homemade whipped cream, and I felt so good when Berlin scarfed it right down.  We finished off her special day with a warm bottle, snuggling on the couch, and reading her new book.

Here are Berlin's one-year stats:

- 47% for height and 51% for weight.  At her 9-month appt she had dropped to 23% in weight (it was the second appt she had dropped at), and her pediatrician suggested supplementing with formula to get her weight up to the 50% it had formerly been at because it wasn't healthy for her to be falling down her weight curve.  I was able to maintain my milk supply with Olivia and nurse her until she was 16 months old (and I got pregnant and super sick), but for some reason my supply had dropped early with Berlin.  I tried different teas, upping my water intake (which helped a bit), and increasing my calories, but my supply was still low, and worse yet- me letdown was slow.  So when Berlin didn't get the immediate milk from nursing that she got with her supplement bottles, she decided to stop breastfeeding altogether.  I tried for weeks but it was a big battle, and the less she would nurse, the lower my supply got  until it stopped.  It was really hard for me not to be able to feed her breastmilk because I'm such an advocate, but these things happen.  I made sure I still held her for all of her bottle-feedings so we would still have that bonding time, but I know it affected her.  She has been sick a couple of times since she stopped nursing and I can't help but  think she'd be healthier if she'd had the antibodies and immunities that come along with breast milk.
-wears size 12 months clothes, size 3 diapers, and size 6-12 months shoes (size 2)
-speed-crawls everywhere, can pull herself up, walk with help, and stand by herself for a few seconds
-eats everything
-still doesn't have teeth!!! If she reaches 15 months without a tooth coming in, we will have to go see a pediatric dentist to get an x-ray
-can say "Mama", "Dada", "book", "duck", "Uh, oh", and "all gone."  She will also shake her head for "no" and nod it and say "ya" for yes.
-communicates very well non-verbally and lets us know what she wants
-has a hard time putting up with Olivia, her car seat, and getting her diaper changed
-can clap, wave, and loves to dance
-loves animals, especially dogs and horses
-has had half a dozen hair cuts already to even out her dark little mop
-gives hugs, kisses, high fives, and head bonks
-likes to organize her toys and put them in containers
-takes her binky at naptime and bedtime
-communicates very well non-verbally and lets us know what she wants

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Olivia Kimber- 3 years old

Miss Olivia turned 3 last Wednesday, the 28th.  We had such a blast with the birthday girl.  She woke up to presents and balloons and had french toast for breakfast with a lit candle.  She is always making people "birthday cakes" out of different things and telling them to blow out their candles so I wanted to give her a couple of opportunities throughout the day to blow out her own legitimate birthday candles. She was so cute opening her presents.  When she lifted the lid on the box to her Elsa dress she gasped and exclaimed "Oh, my!!"

 While Berlin took her morning nap Olivia and I colored all over the driveway with her new chalk and played doctor with her new kit.  I learned to beware of the fake syringe, because she actually does try to stab you quite hard with that blunt end.  She also tries to use the ear thing to look in your eyes, which can also be quite painful (notice I used the correct medical terminology of "ear thing." Try to keep up).  When Berlin woke up, Jack took a couple of hours away from his office upstairs and we went for a birthday outing.  I thought for sure Olivia would choose to go see the animals at Farm Country, but she surprised me by wanting to go to the Museum of Natural Curiosity instead.  We have been there a few times and always have a blast!  Lunch was the deli at Thanksgiving Point where the birthday girl had dinosaur nuggets and fries (a real treat, since I hardly ever let her have fries), and pink ice cream for dessert.  After such an eventful morning, Liv crashed hard during her nap.

 That evening we took her to build-a-bear in the mall to pick something out.  As soon as we walked in Jack pulled the display of the stuffed horse into it's bin, hoping our equestrian-obsessed girl wouldn't see it and would instead choose to deck out a less expensive animal.  While we were showing off the ugly bears and dogs like they were royalty, some guy put the horse back up on display and Olivia sensed his presence right away.  So we got her the horse.  Much to our glee she didn't want to put any clothes or shoes on him, so we ended up with more of a bargain than we had planned on with even the ratty low-end puppies.  She did want to "bathe" him in the airbath for about half-an-hour though.  And then demanded that Berlin vacate the stroller so she could push horsey around the mall, ramming the wheels into the poor ankles of unsuspecting strangers since she couldn't see over or around the big stroller.

We had homemade mac & cheese for dinner and she blew out her candles and had a big slice of pink and white birthday cake with our favorite homemade frosting, found here.

Here are some 3-year-old facts:

-Olivia's favorite foods right now are waffles and peanut butter and honey on toast.  Her favorite treat is ice cream.
-favorite things to do are jump on our trampoline or see the animals at Thxgiving Pt.
-her best friends are her her cousins, especially Natalie.
-favorite song is Let it Go from Frozen, she belts it out upon waking most mornings
-favorite TV shows are Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Henry Hugglemonster
-wears size 5t clothes (soo tall!)
-is now fully potty trained (2 weeks without a #2 accident!)
-loves us to sing a Child's Prayer when she is hurt or sad, and will sing it to Berlin when Berlin is crying
-is super agile and can climb up anything
-is an expert at snatching anything Berlin is holding.  Berlin could be playing with a paper bag and Olivia will leave her stack of toys to go take it. She is still learning to share toys.
-her eczema has been sooo much better since her appt and we are managing it quite well.  She no longer scratches as long as we are mindful.
-she has an underbite!  It is affecting her speech, but she tries hard and is doing fine.  We aren't able to correct it until she is 6, so we are hoping she grows out of it and it rights itself, which I guess it pretty common.

The other day we had spent all morning at Farm Country at Thanksgiving Point and went past lunch time.  When we were done Olivia was starving and cranky.  We went to a sandwich shop and I got lunch to go.  I loaded the girls back in to the car and Liv said "Mama, I'm so so hungry!  Where's my sandwich?"  I unwrapped her grilled cheese for her and then asked if I could break off a small piece for Berlin.  "No" she said, which was understandable because she was so hungry.  But then she finished her sentence with "break of a BIG piece for Bay."  It was the sweetest little thing. Olivia knew that Berlin must be hungry like she was, and she wanted to share a big piece of her sandwich with her.

Another sharing incident:  Olivia has had some trouble going #2 in the potty up until recently, and with several weeks of failures I had started to try something new that was working.  On only her second success in a while, she made it to the potty and was so excited.  I was clapping and cheering for her and rewarded her with an Oreo cookie.  Olivia immediately twisted the two halves apart and handed one of the halves to Berlin.  Ber was overjoyed and the two girls sat on the kitchen floor and enjoyed their cookie.  Liv had tried so hard to have that potty success, and she was so willing to share her spoils with her little sister!

I popped back to look at her one-year-old post here and her second birthday post here.  I can't believe what a chunker she was!  It is always so fun to see how much she has grown.  We love our Olivia so much, she is such a great teacher to me, on her good days and especially on her bad ones.  Happy 3 years old, sweet girl!
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