Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This girl.


She's 2. (Side note: Have you EVER seen a better picture? I'm still thinking about it, but I don't think I have. Side note over.)

Her birthday was on the 14th. That morning, we went to Jump Street, an indoor trampoline arena. Maddy loves trampolines. She was basically in heaven.


Then we had lunch at Chick-Fil-A, where she got her very own kids meal (they have a meal with 1 chicken strip. Odd, but perfect. Especially since she likes the fries the most. Which is understandable, since Chick-Fil-A fries are DA best. Okay, I'm done.)

Then she spent the afternoon with Grandma while I got things ready for her party. We just had a low-key party at our house, with pizza and cupcakes. Oh, and presents, of course.



It was a good day. But my favorite part came later.

Charly had fallen asleep in my arms, so I asked Maddy if she wanted to help me put the baby in bed. Of course, she did. We went into the nursery, I put Charly down, and had turned to leave when Maddy said "Chair." She pointed at the rocking chair - the one I used to rock her in every day - and held her arms up to me.

I picked up my baby and sat down to rock her. She wrapped her arms around my neck and rested her cheek on my shoulder. "Twinkle, twinkle," she said. So I tried to hold back my tears while I sang "Twinkle, twinkle" to her, happily starting over every time the song would end and she would demand "Again." I wouldn't have wanted to end that day any other way.


I am so, so lucky to be this girl's mom. She loves popcorn, dancing, Dr. Pepper, and the iPad. She can count to 10 (working on 15), and knows most of her letters. She likes cereal, macaroni and cheese, celery, carrots, pizza, pears, apples, Oreos, cheese, cottage cheese, pepperoni, pickles, Fruit by the Foots, and any kind of candy. She gets mad that I don't let her drive the car. She wants to run everywhere, rather than be carried or ride in her stroller. She can tell you her favorite rides at Disneyland. She likes to watch Dora, The Little Mermaid, Lady and the Tramp, Tangled, and Signing Time. She loves her baby sister, and thinks it's hilarious to make her smile and laugh. She loves Nursery at church, and she'll make sure Dallin and I are folding our arms when it's time to pray. She likes it when her Daddy chases her. When she gives kisses, she kisses both cheeks.


It's entirely possible that I couldn't love her more.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Highs and Lows of California


A few weekends ago, we went to a magical place called California. It was wonderful! It was our first getaway in a while and our first ever trip as a family of 4. Special!

This trip involved 2 of my very favoritest things: Disneyland and Sun Devil football. A full day at the happiest place on Earth followed by a football game that the Devils were sure to win? What could go wrong?

Well, as is the case with most vacations, a few things did go wrong. Let's talk about it real quick, shall we? I've always heard that talking about your problems makes...something...good....happen....


Okay, here we go.

The Lows of Our November 2011 California Trip

1. Pirates of the Caribbean and Small World being CLOSED at Disneyland. I guess they are revamping Pirates, and Small World was getting its annual holiday makeover, so both were closed. I LOVE Pirates, and Maddy LOVES Small World, so, sad.

2. The rain. I think Disneyland is great on rainy days. They don't shut the rides down and it keeps the crowds away. But the rain we experienced was a little much. Enough, in fact, to have us wait in a gift shop for 20 minutes or so before we decided to buy some ridiculously overpriced ponchos to cover ourselves and the stroller. It only lasted for maybe an hour or so, though, and then it cleared up.

3. The music NOT WORKING on California Screamin'. Seriously?! I'm still pissed about this. The music makes that ride.

4. Getting stuck on Splash Mountain. Splash Mountain is probably my favorite ride, but it was pretty cold that day, so I was hesitant to go on it. We decided to just go for it as the last ride of the night. And the ride stopped before the big drop, just before the music gets all minory. It was kinda cool, because we got to get out of our logs and walk along the side of the ride and see some backstage stuff as we walked out, but still - no big drop. Heartbreaking.

5. The game-which-shall-not-be-spoken-of. This is really the only one that counts. The low to top (bottom?) all lows. You know that feeling after you back into something with your car, or drop that glass whatever-you-were-carrying that shatters into a million pieces, or you knock over a cup of grape juice on your carpet? That feeling of "Man, if 'do over' chips existed in this life, I would cash them ALL IN just to go back to before that horrible thing happened?" Well, I had that feeling like, 12 times during the game-which-shall-not-be-spoken-of. It hurt. Bad.

Okay, so was that depressing enough for you? Well, fear not, because there were plenty of highs during our trip, too!

The Highs of Our November 2011 California Trip

1. The girls at Disneyland. Not only were they freaking adorable (as usual), but they were also very well behaved. Hardly any crying! And can I just say that Disneyland becomes a whole new place when you see your kids loving it? It's so true. Maddy had a blast, and I loved watching her have a blast! And Charly was angel baby. Seriously.

2. Main Street corn dogs at Disneyland
3. The baby centers at Disneyland/California Adventure (I love these places.)
4. Someone giving Maddy a free balloon at Disneyland (the girl loves balloons)
5. My awesome family helping out with the girls at Disneyland
6. Using the stand-by line on Indiana Jones. I never had before; it took us right up to where the stand-by line meets the Fast Pass line; aka Disneyland was NOT crowded at all
7. The 4 of us sleeping in one double bed. Awesome.
8. Maddy playing with Charly while we were waiting for our table at IHOP.
9. Our IHOP breakfast
10. Driving through Pasadena. Oh my gorgeous houses.
11. Finding 2 tickets for $5 at the game (which shall still not be spoken of)
12. Dallin finding my lost nursing cover after the game (against all odds). Okay, story - I held Charly in the Moby Wrap the whole game, and I brought the nursing cover in case she needed to eat during it (she didn't, thank GOODNESS. It was SO cold.) I just tucked the nursing cover into the folds of the wrap so it kind of draped over the front. Well, after the long walk back to our car (seriously, almost a mile, along no set path, weaving in between rows of cars parked mostly randomly on a huge golf course), I realized that my nursing cover was missing. I had no idea where I had dropped it. I was only sure I had had it when we left the stadium. So Dallin got to play knight in shining armor and go on basically a wild goose chase for my precious nursing cover. It should have been impossible. But I prayed about it, so we were good. He found it when he'd almost gotten all the way back to the stadium. A.Maze.Ing.
13. The drive home. Sleeping girls meant me and Dallin got some nice talk time in there. Until he fell asleep mid-conversation and then I got to listen to the "The Phantom of the Opera" soundtrack so that was fun.

So, overall, the highs outweighed the lows. Especially if you forget about the game-which-shall-not-be-spoken-of.

Which, believe me, I'm really trying to do.

And now, some pictures.



{The girls in their stroller. Don't they look so cozy? We were all jealous}



So there you go. A nice, long post about our trip to California. Sorry it was so long. If I had posted it closer to when we went I probably would have broken it up. But oh well. You win some, you lose some. Just like the Devils.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

My new baby must-haves

So I'm really not the type to be all "Uh, you HAVE to have this unless you want to fail at parenting," but I've made some discoveries with this second baby that I love so much that I just have to share. There are 3, so bear with me. And no, I don't think you'll fail as a parent without them - just thought I'd clarify.

1. Snoogle.

Remember Snoogle? The pregnancy pillow that I splurged on while I was, well, pregnant? To help out with back issues and such? Well, omg this pillow is wonderful.

While I can't honestly say that it was a miracle worker for my back, it did help me get comfortable at night while I was pregnant, and that, my friends, is a wonderful thing. It's great to sleep facing it, letting your belly rest on it and putting it between your knees; but it's equally wonderful to sleep with it behind you, supporting your back and kind of letting you lay on your back even though you're on your side because your baby will obviously suffocate or something if you lay on your back. Anyway, it's great to sleep with (and I still do!).

But I'm going to go ahead and say that my favorite use of this pillow is as a nursing pillow. See the end that is shaped like a Boppy (the tighter curve)? Well, I use that end to support the babe, and then I kind of swirl the other end up to support my back, and it's really the only pillow I need to nurse very comfortably. Since I needed like 4 pillows to do that with Maddy (not exaggerating), this is amazing.

It also comes with a little guide that shows you how to use it for post-partum/episiotomy/c-section relief, or even just as a nice support for reading or watching TV. So really, Snoogle rocks. Amen. (Oh and it costs like $10 more than a Boppy but is so.much.better.)

2. Dria nursing cover.

I saw this on Pinterest, but unlike other Pinterest things that I usually just pin and forget about, I seriously followed the trail on this one and bought one right away. And oh my, I'm so glad.

It's a poncho-style nursing cover, so it covers you everywhere, so oh my gosh I can nurse in public without having an entire nursing wardrobe. The fabric of it is also amazing. It's extremely lightweight (I was surprised when I first touched it) and very stretchy. So it doesn't get hot under there and it doesn't bother the baby even if it's touching her face. It's much more comfortable for me and her. I loves it. (It also works well as a car seat cover.)

3. Moby Wrap

I've tried a few different baby carriers now, and I like this one the best by far. It's not complicated to use, has a simple, not bulky design, and is very comfortable to wear (and, apparently, to ride in, since Charly almost always falls asleep when I put her in it). With a baby that loves to be held (and don't most babies?) this has been essential for getting things done (and keeping my sanity).

So there you have it - my new favorite baby products.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

3 Months

If you feel like my blog has become nothing but "35 Things" updates and monthly updates of Charlotte.... might be right.

I'll try to change that sometime. But for now, here's a picture of Charly girl at 3 months (WHA..?!). Along with some fun facts.

(Oh wait! Here's something! I'm doing a gratitude challenge with my sister Sarah. Check out the right sidebar, and join in if you want! 300 things you're grateful for in 30 days. Yeah, over there ----> )



Tuesday, November 1, 2011

35 Things: October Update

Oh my, oh my, where did October go?

Let's be honest though - I'm glad it's over. Halloween kind of annoys me. I mean, it's fun and all, but it requires so much thinking about your costume and buying things for your costume and pulling your costume together and redecorating your house and buying tons of candy and FOR WHAT PURPOSE, MAY I ASK? And wow, look at me being all Whiny Wendy about a holiday that I ultimately enjoyed this year.

Here we are in all our Halloween glory:

And now, let's get down to business with my 35 Things update for this month.

7. Create a meal plan (at least once a week every month).

9. Make homemade bread. Yeah, I made some pumpkin bread this month. It was good...except I was terrified of overcooking the stuff and kind of erred on the side of undercooking. The middle just never fully set, but the ends were perfect. And perfect pumpkin bread is...well, perfect.

11. Grow herbs. I now have basil, cilantro, oregano, and chives growing in my kitchen. I was probably a little too excited when these things actually sprouted; I guess I was convinced I had a black thumb and planting seeds in soil and providing them with water and sunlight somehow wouldn't work for me. Oh me of little faith!

12. Bake a new cookie every month. This month's treat: ginger spice cookies. These ones didn't flatten like they were supposed to, but they stayed soft, which is really all that matters. They were good!

25. Read 30 books. Gah! I am so far behind here. I just don't have the time/energy for reading that I used to. But there are several books that I really want to read, so I've got to read those this month. I finished two books in October:

-The Distant Hours by Kate Morton. This was our book club book for this month. I read it, but ended up not being able to go to the book club meeting. Go figure. This book was all right. The writing was over descriptive and pretty tedious in some parts. I've also read Morton before, and I knew what kind of twist to expect at the end, so nothing was super shocking. But you know, the story was pretty good. I'm going with 3 stars.

-Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey. I was bored by this one. It probably has to do with my complete lack of knowledge of the complex British royalty stuff. Lots of people love this one, but alas, I am not among them. 2 stars.

32. Watch 10 movies I've "always wanted to see." I watched"Rear Window" this month. Ah, Hitchcock. I really liked this one! 4.5 stars.

35. Complete an act of service every month.

And there you go. I still have quite a few things to do, but several are already in the works for November. I might not get them all done by the end of the year, but I'm going to try my hardest. It's been a great way to set goals for the year and I'm already thinking of things for next year's list!