Monday, December 20, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I headed to the post office this morning to mail off a few Christmas packages, dreading the long line of crabby people.
I walked in and sure enough the lines were long, but to my surprise, I saw happy people. They were helping each other and guiding one another and smiling. Even the postal worker was cheerful. I saw service instead of selfishness, kindness instead of coarseness, and gratitude instead of grumpiness. It was so refreshing in this busy, bustling city to have people displaying the real meaning of Christmas through their kindness to one another even though strangers.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sugar and Spice


I hear the toilet seat clatter. "Katie, what are you doing? Do you need help?"
No answer.
I start to get up to go check on her, but stop because I hear her talking.
"You went poo poo. Good Job."
She comes walking out with Elmo, patting him on the back.
"I'm so proud of you. You stayed clean and dry...next time you go pee pee too."

Friday, December 10, 2010

These Are the Days


Tonight, I took Katie with me grocery shopping. She wanted to ride in the cart that had the truck attached to it, so I pop her in and buckle her up. Little did I know that she is skinny enough to slide out of the buckles. So I'm picking out some pork chops and I hear, " You better tell your mommy. Is that your mommy?" I glance over to see Katie down the aisle telling some random lady that she needs to go pee pee. I go claim my daughter, and we head off to the restroom. Katie turns to the lady and waves very cheerily to her new friend and says "Good-bye, I have to go the bathroom now," as if this woman is her best friend.

Last night, I'm putting Katie to bed which means she keeps getting out of her bed so I'm staking out on her floor so she will finally go to sleep. I glance up to her bed and I see naked buns creeping down toward the foot of the bed. "Katie what happened to your pants and your underwear?"
"They're up there."
"Why are they up there?"
"I took them off. My bum hurts right here, here...and here. I need some cream."

Yesterday, Katie walks up to the garbage and says "Oh dear. Oh dear. This garbage is smelly, smelly, smelly." I guess that's a hint to take out the garbage.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

HELP!!!!

Katie refuses to take naps. I can tell she is getting sleep deprived, but I don't want to "force" her to take a nap. What do I do?
I put her down for a nap the same time every day and do the same routine every day. I don't know what else to do. Is she outgrowing her nap or is she just being a stubborn toddler asserting her independence?

Any suggestions?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Something to be Grateful For


'Tis the season to be grateful.
Grace is my little ray of sunshine. I can be having the worst day of my life, and all I have to do to brighten up is go in and see my little Grace. Her smiles and cooing melt my heart. I simply cannot get enough of her.

Smiles. My mom often says that the smiles make it all worth it. Amen.
My little Katie bug. Oh the fun and the adventure she brings into my life. Whether it's trying to ride her rocking horse on top of her bed or holding her hand on a walk to the park, there is never a dull moment with her. She adds so much fullness to my life. And my life will never be the same now that she wraps her little chubby arms around my neck and tells me "I love you so much."

My handsome husband. The best decision I ever made was to marry him. Everyday I think how very, very blessed I am to have him in my corner.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Rethinking Food

We are under going a food revolution in our family. Justin and I want to get back into shape and stay in shape so that we can do fun things when we're older like serve missions and visit grandchildren. I visited the cdc.gov website for ideas on how to lose weight and keep it off, and I found this super cool menu planner. It is awesome. You enter in your weight and height and your activity level (and it takes into account if you're pregnant or breastfeeding) and it figures out how many ounces, cups, etc of each food category you should be consuming each day. Then it has this cool menu planner where you can plan meals for the week and it charts if you've reached your quota of each food category or if you've gone over. It is so cool. Have I said that already? And the best part is......It's Free to use. Love it.
here's the link:
http://www.mypyramidtracker.gov/planner/launchPage.aspx

What are some low fat meals that you make for dinner? What are some ways you cut calories?

Okay, other food issues. Like most toddlers, Katie is a picky eater. I am tired of feeding her something different from what Justin and I are eating for dinner. Right now I am trying to just put a little of whatever we're eating on her plate and she has to take at least one bite. I don't know if this will help get her to expand her tastes. What do any of you do to encourage your children to not be picky eaters...or what did your parents do? Any suggestions?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

October



Wow oh wow, did October fly by! What a great month. I love October. It is such a pretty month.

3 Horrible things that happened this month:
1. We all had pink eye
2. Justin and I had food poisoning
3. I gave up pizza and ice cream
5 Great things that happened this month:
1. Grace's blessing
2. We got to visit Justin's grandma in St. George
3. Halloween Fun
4. Conference
5. Playing in the leaves

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Going Dairy Free

I have fussy babies. They don't sleep for more than twenty minutes unless being held and they puke lots and lots....and cry for long periods of time until they get so tired they finally crash and sleep for twenty minutes and then the cycle starts over. Fun right?

Well, when Katie was a baby I asked her pediatrician if this whole distress could be from a food intolerance since Justin had food issues when he was a baby. He said no, she just had reflux, elevate her mattress yatta yatta yatta. So I went home feeling like he only thought I was a first timer mom and didn't know how to take care of a baby. Well, Katie stayed fussy and high maintenance even with treating the reflux.

Now, I have Grace who is trying her hardest to be a happy baby. She was having "issues" as I call it, and so I decided to go off of dairy. It took two or three weeks and things got better. Rarely did she get gas pains and she stopped spitting up as much. And I didn't have to hold her for her to sleep. yay....so to make sure it was dairy, this weekend I ate a few things with cheese, milk, etc. and lo and behold I have an inconsolable baby again. So I guess for the next 9 1/2 months, I will be dairy free.

So the journey begins. I've embarked on the journey of reading all food labels and making a lot of things from scratch. I've discovered that Almond milk isn't that bad...not that I would just drink it, but it's okay baked in things. Also, I found out there are some things that don't have milk in them that I thought did. Like oreos and some frostings. And some things that I would never guess would have milk in them do...like taco seasoning and my favorite syrup. Go figure.

Anyone have some great dairy free recipes?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Blessing Day

Justin gave Grace a name and a blessing today. What a wonderful, special spirit she is. We love her so much and we are so grateful to have her. Thanks to all our family for coming and supporting our little family.

Four Generations on Justin's Mom's side


Four Generations on Justin's dad's side



Our wonderful family


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My 120 pound journey......

I found this really motivating.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Recipe Time

We have been trying to use up zucchini from the garden this week, and I have been craving muffins so I discovered this recipe on allrecipes.com. Love them. I've made several batches this week alone. You should double the recipe if you make them because they are so good they go way too fast with just a single batch.

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, combine the egg, oil, milk, lemon juice and vanilla; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in zucchini, chocolate chips and walnuts. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until muffins test done.
Alterations: I do half oil and half applesauce to cut down the fat. Also, I add more zucchini, probably 1/3 to 1/2 cup more. I don't add the nuts because I don't like them. I used regular chocolate chips and they were fine--I just used more. But mini chocolate chips would be easier to distribute evenly and would go further. And lastly and most importantly, I add a generous teaspoon of nutmeg.

Also, to cut the sugar, I didn't add chocolate chips one time and they were great without them. I did this for Katie's benenfit because she has huge sugar crashes, but for me and Justin, I add plenty of chocolate chips.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Rejoicing in Motherhood


April, my sister, takes lots of pictures. In fact I think she takes thousands each month, literally. I don't think I've taken 1000 pictures in my life time. But I also don't have six children and a really nice camera like she does. However, I've been trying to make an effort the last few days to at least catch Grace with her eyes open.
Anyway, Justin's been in California for several days so it's just been me and the girls. Lucky for me they both got sick just in time for Justin to leave. I was a little worried about being on my own for the whole weekend with a sick newborn and a sick toddler, especially about how nights would go, but the Lord has really blessed me. I've had enough energy to keep up with Katie and to care for Grace, and not only that, but to enjoy my extra one-on-one time with them.
It's so easy sometimes to get bogged down in the mundane tasks that come along with motherhood. Sometimes amidst the crying and the tantrums, the laundry and the dishes, I lose sight of eternity and think what I am doing this for?

Thankfully, I have a set of scriptures of my own that I get to read every day. I've come to learn in the last year or so that reading my scriptures is the very best way for me to connect eternity with my day to day duties as a mother. And when I read every day, it's so much easier to see that I'm not just picking up pieces of hot dog off the floor or putting the canned food back in the cupboard for the tenth time...I'm really raising another human being and helping a little spirit reach its eternal potential....one hot dog piece and one can of beans at a time.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'm a Survivor



In the last two weeks I have:

1. had a baby
2. got released from the hospital
3. packed up my apartment
4. cleaned my my apartment
5. moved out
6. traveled to Utah
7. unpacked our belongings
8. nursed a newborn
9. changed a bunch of diapers
10. tried to keep up with a busy toddler

I just want to say thank you to everyone who helped me and my family through these last few weeks. I don't think I've ever been in a position before where I absolutely couldn't do things on my own and had to depend on others. It's been a very humbling experience, and I've never been filled with so much gratitude. Words just cannot express how very, very grateful I am for all of you who have supported and helped us through this period of transition.

Justin started classes yesterday, and other than feeling a little bit overwhelmed, he's excited about school and likes it.

Katie is adjusting better than I thought she would. The first few days with Grace around were rough because she loved Grace too much and couldn't resist squeezing here. We had to do some barricading to keep grace from being loved to death literally. She's starting to get used to Grace being fragile and is doing much better about giving her space. She has had no problem accepting Grace as part of the family. We weren't even home from the hospital an hour when we were sitting down to dinner, and getting ready to say the blessing on the food. Before Justin could start the prayer, Katie yelled out "Hey, you, Grace. Fold your arms!"

She's still a little confused about the move (she thinks Utah is a burg cloth), but for the most part she seems to like it here. It helps that chickens live next door, and our new church is really old and has a ton of staircases. And luckily for us, our new apartment has a few stairs in the entry way and Katie practically lives on them. It's like she's claimed that for her own personal play area. It's helped her transition so I'm not complaining even though at first I worried about her always falling down them. (She fell down them the first half hour we were here).

Me....I'm doing well despite the lack of sleep. Fortunately, I have been blessed in having smooth deliveries so this moving thing right after having a baby was possible. It was still very hard and I definitely do not recommend to anyone to have a baby and move one week later, but I am grateful it wasn't worse. Like I said, I couldn't have done it without the help of family and friends.

I was so exhausted when we arrived in Salt Lake, all I could think about was laying down and sleeping or taking a billion pain killers. I found a corner of our apartment and sat on the floor and nursed Grace, while Justin and people from our new ward unpacked the moving truck and watched Katie. It was the first time in my life that I can remember just wanting to stay put and let everyone else do the work. It was so comforting to me, when I heard a voice from outside talking to Justin and saying "I'm from the Relief Society." In comes the Relief Society president from our new ward with food to fill our fridge. After she unloaded the food, she jumped to work unpacking my boxes holding all the kitchen stuff. We had never met her or any of the people helping to us to unpack the truck. They were just here ready to receive us with open arms and hearts. Thank you all so very much.

I wish I could thank everyone from our old ward and new ward and family by name, but there are just too many of you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Grace Kathleen Day

Here's more pictures of Grace. Shes doing great. She is pretty quiet, sleeps quite a bit, and is very cute. Katie loves her and is learning that she always needs to be gentle with her.




Thursday, August 12, 2010

She's Here!








At 6:51 PM today, we had a special delivery. She weighed 8 lbs, 7 oz. and measured 20 and 3/4 inches long. She is cute as a button and we are glad shes here. Katie likes her and we will probably be trying to keep her from smothering her with love for the next few months. Jill and baby are doing great. (this is justin by the way) more pictures and updates to come...
video

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Reason to Celebrate

I am so happy. These are the reasons why:

1. After Thursday, I won't be pregnant anymore.
2. Someone bought our apartment contract so we won't have to pay double rent until December.
3. We're buying a washer and dryer.
4. I'm almost done packing
5. I had cookies for breakfast
6. Justin's last day of his internship is tomorrow
7. My mom is coming to clean my oven
8. Our new manager pro-rated our apartment so we don't have to pay the whole month's rent
9. I get a snuggly little one on Thursday

Katie buckled herself into this car seat and then started calling for me /" Mom! I'm stuck. Help please! I'm stuck! Mom!"

This is a classic toddler picture, don't you think? Finger up the nose, one of Daddy's socks on, and his shoes, and no pants, just a diaper.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Apartment

We're getting desperate to sell our apartment contract. If anyone needs an apartment, tell them to rent ours! And pray for us that we'll be able to sell it.

Monday, August 2, 2010

July




My Favorite Parts of July:
1. Watching Katie put her hand over her heart as the Flag went by in the 4th of July parade.
2. Floating the river on the tubes we bought.
3. Justin's graduation
4. Getting an apartment in SLC
5. Having Emily and Bella come for a few days
6. Going to the fish hatchery
7. going to the Zoo
8. making flower bracelets for Katie


Parts of July I didn't enjoy:
1. stressing over housing
2. the heat down in Salt Lake
3. not being able to go camping more
4. getting a cold
5. not being able to play with Katie as I get bigger and bigger
6. my all time favorite irreplaceable flip flops breaking
7. starting to potty train Katie


This last picture I took the day of the fire out at the INL site. The smoke was so thick that it made the sky look as if it were night even though it wasn't even close to the sun setting. Pretty creepy.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hurricane Force Winds of Change

Well, I'm usually an all or nothing person, so I guess it's a good thing that we're moving to another state, potty-training Katie, graduating, starting graduate school, and having a baby all in one month's time.
video

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Montana Trip


Places We Went
1. Cabin just north of West Yellowstone (yes that is snow on the ground)
2. Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman
3. Wheat Montana in Three Forks, MT
4. a peek at the Jefferson River near Caldwell MT
5. Granny's house in Butte


Things we saw
1. lots of elk
2. one moose
3. lots of deer and antelope
4. dinosaur skeletons and Da Vinci inventions
5. beautiful scenery
6. a really small post office


Things we did
1. stayed in a rustic cabin
2. cooked bacon and pancakes in a sauce pan with no cooking spray
3. listened to a mouse run around the cabin while we tried to sleep
4. enjoyed a gorgeous drive
5. played at the museum
6. ate a yummy cinnamon roll at Wheat Montana
7. went to a wedding
8. ate KOA chicken and jo-jo's
9. got sick and puked at a gas station in Dillion (only I did that, not Justin or Katie)


Katie loved the cabin. She kept saying "this is great!" She was absolutely delighted with the old cook stove. I think she thought it was a play stove.
She keeps telling me about moose and deer so I think she liked that part too.
Her favorite part of the museum was the dinosaur eggs and the tank designed by Leonardo Da Vinci.
Katie got lots of time with Granny which she loved. She keeps asking to go back to Granny's house.
Granny cured her of her fear of swings and she will now go on them at the park...for a limited amount of time.
She could not get enough of Chubs the dog. She tried to feed him everything in sight even a rubber band. We'll never have a dog.
I got to see a friend get married. It was so great to see her so happy and so beautiful. I think Jessie is the friend I have known the longest. We met in kindergarten.
It was such a fun trip and I'm so glad we got to go. I want to road trip again soon.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Old Mac Donald's Farm

What we have been doing:

1. We went to a dairy farm. Reed's Dairy in Idaho Falls. You can walk in where the calves are and pet them. They have sheep, chickens, and goats, too. You can also watch the machines milk the cows... and they have a little restaurant with foods made from their dairy products. We got ice cream cones! Yum


2. Katie and I made wheat rolls and turtle bread. My mom used to make me a little loaf of bread in the shape of a turtle when I was a little girl. Katelyn loves turtles so I decided it was time I made her a turtle bread loaf. I let Katelyn play with a little bit of the dough while I was baking, and I turned around to find a piece in her hair. I think she was pretending it was a hair clip.
3. Went for a walk in the rain...we had no other choice since the library has been closed for a few weeks and the sun won't shine, we decided to go out anyway. When we got too cold, we came in and ate warm bread from Great Harvest.

4. Katie and I took a quick trip to MT for a funeral. We will miss our Aunt Cindy, but we're grateful she doesn't have to suffer anymore.

5. Justin took Katie and I on a day trip to Fox Creek near the Tetons. It was such a beautiful little place to play, and a beautiful drive. I forgot to take pictures.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

In the Merry Month of May

Happenings
1. Katie got her first black eye ( at the library of all places)
2. Jill turned 24 yrs old
3. The whole family got colds
4. Justin registered for fall classes at U of U
5. Jill and Justin redid a dresser

Five things about me:
1. I love shopping at thrift stores...too bad Rexburg only has one.
2. Pretty much anything with chocolate frosting and sprinkles, I just can't resist.
3. I can't whistle...
4. I think I've finally outgrown my fear of the dark, thanks to always having to get up at night to put the toddler back in bed.
5. I'm going to miss Fongs and Craigos horribly when I move to Utah.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Woman is not meant to be alone


I miss Justin. So I've been keeping busy. I'm catching up on sewing. In two days I have made two throw pillows, one dress, and a diaper bag. I like sewing, but I like my husband better. Hurry home Justin!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thankful Thursday



I haven't done ThankfulThursday in awhile and by the time I'm done posting it technically won't be Thursday anymore, but I don't want to go to my empty bed yet so I'm stalling, hoping Justin will call before he goes to bed (he's in Vegas visiting family).

1. I am thankful for Katelyn. What a little ray of sunshine.
2. I really like having a husband.
3. I really like having a husband who has three day weekends for the whole summer
4. I'm grateful to have another girl because I like sewing dresses and making hair bows, and other girly things.
5. I love my sewing machine.

To expound on the last one, I have developed quite a little passion for sewing. I love to make something and feel so proud of it. There's just something magical about taking a piece of fabric and turning it into something beautiful and useful. I also really like being frugal and using what I have. What a super good feeling it is to know that I saved money by cutting up an old shirt or pair of pants and making a pillow or clothes for Katelyn. I love it. I also really like being able to give things away that I made. Sometimes I get scared that my little projects might seem like "Aunt Eunice creations" to those that I give them to and they might be too nice to say "ew, what yucky taste," or "this looks homemade and tacky"......but mostly I like giving a part of myself in whatever I give as presents so I do it anyway.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Toddlerhood

Being the mother of a Toddler is so much fun. Most days are roller-coasters so life is never boring.

5 Things about Katie as a Toddler:
1. She is a daredevil. Justin's mom once put it this way "She's a Three ring circus in one little person." This week she put her rocking horse on her bed and tried to ride it..aka fell off and bumped her head and then proceeded to try, try again. This resulted in her rocking horse being confiscated for awhile.
2. She really likes to sing. She has a good little voice and can actually sing the melody to several songs. Her favorite songs to sing are Old MacDonald and the theme song from Elmo's world. She also really likes to make up songs...currently we are enjoying her original "Hi Jesus" and "Ahhhh, bubbles."
3. Big Helper. Katie is a doer. She will do a full load of laundry by herself. I set the laundry basket next to the washer, and she goes and gets her foot stool and puts the entire load in. Then I give her the detergent, she pours it in, and then she turns on the water and switches the water temperature. It's amazing. Other chores she loves to do include putting clothes in her drawer, setting the table, and putting the groceries away.
4. Obsessed with the potty/diaper changing. She loves to pretend that Elmo or her baby doll has a poopy diaper, and she likes to wipe them clean and put diapers on them.
5. So stinking cute and adorable. Her expanding vocab and growing sense of humor keep a smile on my lips and melt my heart. One of the greatest days of my life was when I heard her little voice say "I love you" for the first time.
video

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Sister For Katie


I told Justin when we were engaged that he would be a great dad for girls. I guess I was right because today we found out we're having another girl. We're pretty excited.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter


This year we did things a little differently and decided to do Spring Day on Saturday (Despite the blizzard) which included our baskets, eggs, and candy, and Easter Sunday has been spent watching conference, watching an Easter video, eating a yummy dinner, and opening eggs filled with pictures of the Savior and other related images and telling Katelyn about them. This has been a nice change for us, and I think we'll repeat the experience next year since Easter this year has been much more meaningful and satisfying to the soul ; ).

Justin did such a fun thing for my basket this year. Instead of filling it with lots of candy, he got me a little candy and then a strawberry plant! So we're going to grow strawberries. Yay! I think we'll make getting plants/seeds in our Easter baskets a tradition. What a good way to start a garden.

Katelyn really enjoyed conference. She got lots of treats she doesn't normally get so that she would stay busy and quiet while Justin and I tried to get things out of conference. Surprisingly, she's a pretty good listener while playing and snacking. She would hear "Jesus Christ" and immediately her head would pop up and she would say amen regardless of if it was said in a prayer or not ...or everytime she heard the word heart, she would start making her heart sound of "thump thump" Also she kept asking a billion gazillon times "Prophet, where'd he go? Prophet where'd he go?" She always catches me off guard by how attentive she is. During scripture study the other night, she was playing on the floor while I was reading aloud to her and Justin. I didn't think she ever actually listened along, but I read a verse that said "eyes" in it and her head popped up and she pointed to her eyes. A couple verses later I read "heart" and she started making her heart noise. It just goes to show that you never know what impression you're making.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

the engagement ring

Due to the requests for the story of my engagement ring, I have decided to finally post the horrible truth. My engagement ring got eaten by the garbage disposal. I'm not entirely sure how it ended up in there, but I feel absolutely awful for not being more careful with it. I of course shed many tears over the incident, but I have my band still, and the fact that my engagement ring is gone doesn't change the fact Justin and I are married and so very happy together. So I guess all is not lost.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

February



5 Great Things That Happened in February:
1. Justin got an internship
2. Valentine's Day Weekend
3. Katie finished cutting molars
4. Jill got to watch a few Olympics events on the internet
5. Jill made a blanket

5 Not So Great Things That Happened in February
1. Katie learned to open doors
2. Justin got sick again
3. Jill found what was left of her engagement ring
4. Katie started throwing fits about bedtime
5. Jill got massive bruises on her legs trying to take a shortcut

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Baby

My sister Emily (this is Justin writing by the way) gave Katie a doll for Christmas and she loves it. Many times when Katie wakes up from a nap or in the morning the first words out of her mouth are "baby?...baby?...baby?" and her eyes aren't even open yet. She will put her baby to bed and today she even put her in the corner where we put Katie for time out and she said "no no no". Its fun to watch her with it. Thanks Em.
video

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sewing Projects



My reading obsession slowed down this week, and I got invited to a baby shower so I decided to do a little sewing for the baby shower. This is what I came up with. The flower on the jean skirt is removable and you can put other little shapes like a heart or butterfly. Is that cheesy and should I just make the flower permanent?
?