Saturday, December 31, 2011

35 Things 2012: Ideas

(see my general tips here)

So, as promised, here's a list of possible "things to do" next year. This is just the list I've been keeping on my phone, jotting down any and all ideas as they've come to me. I'll probably end up using some of these and will probably come up with some different ones.

Some of them are pretty general; you'll have to add in the specifics on your own to make it what you want. Hopefully this list helps - even if it just gets you thinking!

Grow (something)
Learn a new song on an instrument you play
Run (a certain distance)
Have (x) vegetarian meals a week/month
Have a vegetarian month
Never go to bed with a dirty kitchen for a (month)
Try a new exercise
Try a new food
Wear a different color
Wear a trend you love but didn't think you could pull off (e.g. skinny jeans, a scarf, red lipstick)
Learn the rules of (x sport)
Play (x sport)
Take a (x) class
Create something to display in your home
Spending freeze
Eating out freeze
Clean/organize/wash a closet/cabinet/shelf/room
Save up for (x)
Try a new restaurant
Dance/sing in public
Read (x) books
Read a specific book (if there's one you've always wanted to read)
Read (x #) of books over (x #) of pages
Create a (meal, cleaning, activity) calendar every month
Candy/soda fast
Give up a TV show
Get up or go to bed at a certain time for a month
Get a facial/mani/pedi
Get a haircut
Try a home remedy
Try no-shampoo or oil cleansing
Start taking vitamins
Save up to buy something you want
Day of pampering
Donate to (x)
Make your own dish washing detergent, laundry soap, cleaning solutions
Work at the temple or cannery
Find a name to take to the temple
Be diligent about date night for a month
Read every article in every ensign
Throw a party
Plan (and execute) your perfect date night at home
Find your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe
Make tortillas from scratch
Visit a family member/friend you haven't seen in a while
Have a missionary discussion in your home
Be completely punctual for a month
Memorize a hymn, scripture, or poem you love (or several)
Get a fun appliance/pan for your kitchen
do (x #) of things from pinterest
Facebook fast
Have a formal date night
One day a month with no internet
Play all the hymns in the hymn book
Go ice skating
Go mini golfing
Visit a temple out of state
Pay for someone's food at the drive thru
Clean the dishwasher
Redecorate (a room)

Friday, December 30, 2011

35 Things 2012: Tips

So I've had quite a few people tell me that they want to implement the idea of having a "35 Things To Do" list instead of New Year's Resolutions.

First of all, awesome! I'm fully convinced that this is the way to do it. This is a list that I've been working on all year long. I don't think I've ever worked at something for a whole year before. It feels goooood.

Second, I wanted to leave some tips and ideas to those of you who want to create your own list. So here are some tips that I just came up with in about a minute. Which means that if you don't like them, I'll only have a minute's worth of heartbreak. I can handle that.

1. Don't forget the little things.

"Little" things count. In fact, they're awesome. Has the porch light bulb been burned out for months? Put changing it on your list. Do you have a whole bag of clothes sitting in the garage waiting to be donated? That is a "thing to do." Don't think, "Well, that light bulb is going to get changed whether it's on the list or not, so I won't put it on there." Um, if it's been waiting to be done for weeks/months/whatever, you need a kick in the pants. If a "little" project comes to mind, put 'er down.

2. Limit recurring things

Don't get me wrong - some of my favorite things from this year's list have been things that I do every month (e.g. bake a new cookie every month). BUT one of the best parts about making this list is being able to cross things off of it, of course. And if you're limited to the number of things you can cross off because they are things you have to do every month, it could get a little sticky. At least, it would for me. If you want to make it a "list of things to do every month," more power to you. Also, RESIST the "every day" urge. In my experience, saying you're going to do something "every day" (unless you're already VERY close to doing it every day) is recipe for discouraging disaster.

3. Things to do, not things to be.

To me, this is THE big difference between having a list of things to do and making "resolutions." My resolutions always ended up being things like "Get better at x" or "Be a better y." Worthy goals, to be sure...but not SMART goals. What are SMART goals, you ask? Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Relevant. Time-bound. If you commit to be better at keeping your house clean, for example...well, what does that mean? Does that mean your home is spotless all the time? 4 out of 7 days of the week? And what is "clean," anyway? Is it mopped floors and sparkling bathroom mirrors? Or is stuff picked up off the floors good enough? How are you going to realize that you've become "better" at this?

If, on the other hand, you say that you're going to mop your floors at least twice a month, organize "that" hallway closet, and clean your ceiling fan blades for the first time since you moved in two and a half years ago, well, you've been "better" at cleaning your house.

So, in essence, you're becoming what you want to BE by DOING related things.

It makes perfect sense in my head.

So, if it makes perfect sense in your head, too, then I guess maybe you should start making your 35 Things for 2012 list. I know I'mma start mine.

***Side note: Correct spelling of "I'mma?" Anyone? Is the way I wrote it the English major's way? Should it just be imma?

I'mma/imma/i'mma/i'm-ma stop now. Side note over.***

Also, I have a list of possible ideas for your 35 things list. Anyone want it?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Better to give

You guys, I am so excited for Christmas this year.

Not that I'm not excited for it every year, because of course I am never not excited about a day that fails to never be filled with nothing that isn't joyful and triumphant. Except perhaps too many double negatives. I just wrote that first one and thought it would be fun to throw in three more. If you don't agree, don't worry - not finding humor in odd phrasing makes you a saner person than I am.

Where were we? Ah, Christmas.

I have a few things to say about Christmas this year. Three, actually.

1) I do not think I am going to have to shop (or wrap!) on Christmas Eve. Supremely awesome.

***Side note: Somebody PLEASE tell me that I'm not the only person in the world that doesn't really "get" wrapping presents! Seriously, I kind of wish we would all just keep everything hidden until we were ready to give it and then just "TA-DA!" pull it out. That is probably way too practical of me because of coure wrapping paper and bows are pretty and such...but my goodness, wrapping kind of gets on my nerves. Don't send me hate comments. It's Christmas, people. Side note over. ***

2) I learned (and several of you that listen to the same Christmas radio station I do probably learned this as well) that Xmas isn't actually taking the "Christ" out of "Christmas." Turns out that "X" is a historically legitimate abbreviation for "Christ." You guys, Wikipedia says so, so it must be true. Of course, I don't think this means you should say/type/paint on your store window "Merry Xmas!" because seriously, it's not that much harder to say/type/paint on your store window "Merry Christmas!" But I guess if you live in ye olden days and have the Plague or something and you only have enough ink, firelight, and strength to write "Merry Xmas!" on the last Christmas card you'll probably ever send to your estranged father, I won't hold your "Xmas" against you.

3) I'm kind of intensely stoked to give presents this year. In fact, I'm going to come right out and say that I am significantly more excited to give presents than to receive them this year. I really think I done good. Of course, don't make me a saint or anything; I'm still looking forward to having some of these coming my way. (Don't judge; I hear they're super comfy.) But seriously - I can't wait to GIVE. It's awesome.

But I really should wait. Because, if I didn't, I'd have to find new Christmas presents, which would mean shopping (and wrapping!) on Christmas Eve, not to mention only having time to write "Merry Xmas!" on all the gift tags.

And then I'd have to delete this post - which, seeing as how it is a fine example of my best sleep-deprived ramblings, would be a real shame.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Senorita Madelyn

I do not like Dora the Explorer .

And not just in a "I'm totally sick of this show and wish my two-year-old would develop a taste for Psych and Doris Day movies" kind of way, but in a true "This show makes me want to throw puppies at other puppies" kind of way.

And Maddy loves it. I'm crossing my fingers for a "phase." Except when I use them to make air quotes for the word "phase."

But anyway, Dora's saving grace is the fact that Maddy has actually learned some Spanish from the dang girl.

I first discovered this a few weeks ago, during a car ride in which my sister was in the car with us. Maddy was jabbering away happily in the backseat, and then she started counting (in English). I guess my sister thought it would be cool to teach her to count in Spanish, because she said, "Maddy, say 'uno.'"

Maddy replied, "dos."

I was seriously blown away. I had no idea she could do that.

And now she can *pretty much* count to 10. It sounds like this:

"Dos. Tres. Taco. Tsinco. Seis. Sete. Ocho.....Noobe.....Diez! Ocho, ocho ocho."

She doesn't say "uno." You have to say that to get her started. And it's likely that "ocho" will get thrown in there several times. Which is kinda funny, because when she was learning to count in English, she wouldn't say "one," and "eight" would get added in wherever. Hmm.

Oh, and yesterday she said "Abre" at her booster seat tray.

So, I guess it's a good thing we watch Dora, because I wouldn't have known what "Abre" meant otherwise.

Friday, December 2, 2011

35 Things: November Update

I got A LOT done this month, so instead of a big intro about how we are almost done with the year and November just flew by and blah, blah...let's just go!

7. Create a meal plan. And yes, the week of Thanksgiving is totally free game. Bwah-ha-ha!

12. Bake a new cookie every month. This month I made these Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk cookies, which were totally disappointing if you ask me (Dallin will probably continue to insist that they were fine), and also these Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies with a Maple Cream Cheese Glaze, which were good, although the glaze never set quite right.

17. Clean out bedside drawers. This took me all of about 45 minutes one morning. #whattookyousolong.

18. Go on a picnic. The Saturday after Thanksgiving, we got some Chick-Fil-A and ate it outside at the Gateway Airport. I really don't like eating outside, so it's kind of a big deal that I would choose to do so. Which is kinda why I made it a "thing to do" this year.

20. Go on a hike. Camelback. No, I didn't make it to the top, seeing as how you had to scale a freaking rock cliff to do so, and my non-exercising self was already hating my exercising self, and I really like it better when my selfs get along. But hey, it was still a good hike.

23. Create a grocery budget. I am so not a budgeter. This is probably because I kind of have a built-in budget system, which is the deep, dark fear I have of running out of money. I have always been afraid of this. Like, actually afraid. It even bothered me when my parents would make big purchases because I was sure it meant we would run out of money. But I digress. I made the budget, and I stuck to it. Only time will tell if I continue to use it.

25. Read 30 books. Maybe I'll do a separate post with specific feelings on these books, because I read FIVE this month! Go me! For now, here are just the ratings and a one word review.

-Crossed by Allie Condie: 3 stars. Boring.

-The Death Cure by James Dasher: 3.5 stars. Underwhelming.

-A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith: 5 stars. Moving.

-Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling: 3 stars. Entertaining.

-The Sherlockian by Graham Moore: 4 stars. Intriguing. Also, elementary.

32. Watch 10 movies I've "always wanted to see." This month, I watched Casablanca, which I was totally disappointed in, and also Breakfast at Tiffany's, which I found quite charming and would watch again, even if it didn't quite live up to the hype (which was probably impossible anyway).

33. Send 10 thank you cards for no real reason. What better time than Thanksgiving? I just wrote some cards to some people who deserved to be thanked for just being them. It made me all toasty inside.

35. Complete an act of service every month.

As you can see, I was quite the busy bee. And in case you didn't know it, I am also a poet. (B'dum-ch!)

I'm freaking out a little bit about making everything on my list happen. There are 6 or so things that I'm really just not sure about. But I guess that means it's time to stop whining and time to start doing! Bring it, December!

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!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why I have pink hair

If you've seen me over the past week, you may or may not have noticed that I have a pink streak in my hair.

I say "may or may not," because if you are like my father, you had to get within a foot of me to be able to see said pink streak. He's a little color blind, I believe.

But if you are not a little color blind, you probably noticed it.

(Yeah, I took that picture while sitting on the couch, holding a sleeping baby. I carefully thought out things like lighting and angles, obviously. I take my pictures seriously...)

Well, I'd just like to say that I am not, in fact, embracing the punk rocker that I never was.

In the ward (church congregation) that I was in during my adolescent years, there was this sweet family. And it was obvious that much of its sweetness (as is the case with most sweet families) came from its mother. She was my Sunday School teacher for a while. She had six kids and an awesome Spanish accent. She was a truly good person, beautiful from the inside out.

The whole ward (and everyone that knew her, really) was heartbroken when it came out that she had breast cancer. And I've yet to see so many people at a funeral.

I wasn't super close to their family or anything, but I guess I was close enough, because it still makes my heart ache a little to think of their story, and to see this lady's daughters grow up and get married and have babies of their own.

One of her daughters does hair now, and as part of her fundraising for the 3 Day walk, she is doing these pink extensions for the month of October. So me, my mom, and my sisters went and got them done last week.

It's obviously not a huge contribution or statement, but I plan on leaving it in all month. Call it a small show of support, or a reminder, or whatever you want really...but yeah, it's going to be there. So there you have it - why I have pink hair.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

35 Things: September Update

Another month, another update on my 35 Things to Do this year! Here's what I got done.

7. Create a meal plan (at least once a week every month). I did this this month, but found my plans frustrated (once again) by last minute things that would come up. Is meal planning not for me?

12. Bake a new cookie every month. This months yum-ness: Snickerdoodles, ala Picky Palate. Um, hi - these were SO GOOD. I made them twice this month and plan on making them again. Just make sure you don't overcook them, aight?

15. Finish the nursery. You'd better believe it. Separate post to come.

22. Start a savings account for Madelyn. Well, it's for both girls, now. We call it our "trust fund" account. Cool.

25. Read 30 books. Yes, I finally read a book this month! But alas, just one. I can't believe how much reading time I don't have these days. But I read:

-The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows: Yes, I finally read this one. And I loved it! The only thing I scrunched up my mouth at was the random romance. I didn't think it fit. But superb writing and lovely characters. 4.5 stars.

30. Use cloth diapers exclusively for one week. My biggest drawback to doing this was asking a babysitter to use the cloth diapers, since I know they aren't exactly crowd pleasers. My mom is our usual babysitter, so I did my cloth diaper challenge while she was in Utah for a week. It honestly wasn't too hard and made me want to use my cloth dipes more. Please note: I only used them on Madelyn. Cloth diapers on a newborn IS hard.

32. Watch 10 movies I've "always wanted to see." Can you believe it's taken me so long to even get started on this one? Well, despite that, I watched 3 movies this month, so I think I'm off to a good start. I watched "Funny Girl" (meh. 3 stars), "Driving Miss Daisy" (really liked it. 4 stars), and "Dirty Dancing" (haha. 2.5 stars).

34. Update my ipod. Took me like 20 minutes at my parents' house (because they have all the best music). I'm so lame sometimes (for taking forever to get this done...but that's why it was on my list).

35. Complete an act of service every month.

And there you have it. The sad thing is that I still have about half of my things left to do...and we're definitely more than halfway done with the year. Oh dear. But never fret, my friends. I shall prevail.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Oh, you're too kind.

The lovely Mrs. Katie Devey (I'm writing her full name like that because she's a newlywed and I'm pretty sure it will make her happy, because my new full name made me happy when I was a newlywed, and she and I are practically the same person, and this was a really long parenthesis statement) nominated me for a blog award or something - the Versatile Blogger Award.

Really? Me? Oh, thank you, thank you!

Ok, but really, I don't think this is an award where I'm going to get a trophy or a certificate or special blog button or anything...I'm pretty sure it's more like a "tell 7 random things about yourself and then nominate 7 people so they can tell 7 random things about themselves" kind of award.

But you know, cool.

So here's 7 random things about moi. I'm sure some of you know about some of these things, but I'm sure all of you don't know all of these things, so here we go!

1. My favorite TV shows of all time are (in no particular order): Gilmore Girls, 24, Boy Meets World, and Psych. Honorable mentions: Lost, So You Think You Can Dance, Monk.

2. I'm pretty sure my request for my last meal would be either (a) a bacon cheeseburger, french fries, and a Dr. Pepper, or (b) macaroni and cheese and a Dr. Pepper. I'd probably take 2 days to decide, and who knows if I'll have that long, so you'd better bring me the Dr. Pepper right away, just to be safe.

3. If you'd asked me this morning, I would have said my favorite color is pink. That's what it's been for several years. But just today, I realized it's not pink - it's purple. I'm so glad I could share this special day with y'all.

4. I don't have pierced ears. I wanted to get them pierced SO BADLY in my tweenage years, but my mom always told me to just wait and see if I still wanted it in x amount of time. I grew out of the desire, and now I'm so glad I don't have em. I'm 1000% sure I would never wear earrings.

5. I was on my high school's Academic Decathlon team. We won state and went to the national competition in Chicago. I got a gold medal in the essay competition and a bronze medal in the speech competition, and our team got second place overall. I really wasn't a huge asset to the team...but I was on it! Awesome!

6. I sing. Not like professionally or anything, but I really like to sing and am decent at it. You probably know this already if you've known me for a while, since I sang a lot in high school, but if you've just met me in recent years, you might not have known. Now you do.

7. I'm a nail-biter. It was a pretty serious problem when I was younger, and now it's kind of on and off. And even when it's on, it's usually only 1 or 2 nails, most often my middle finger and thumb on my left hand. Random, I know, but true. And this is a random list, after all.

Woo hoo! Wasn't that fun?! So now, unless I'm mistaken, I'm supposed to choose 7 people to nominate for this award. I hereby choose:

- Lacey, of Wulf Pack -
- Jenna, of Jenna Allen -
- Laura, of The Momart -
- Lisa, of The Griers -
- Lisa, of The Allens -
- Melanie, of Robbie, Mel, and Gracie Lou -
- Katie, of The Katie-Did -

Can't wait to learn more about you, friends!

Monday, September 19, 2011

One month

So Charly is technically 7 weeks old...but I haven't posted this because I was going to use my mom's computer to edit this picture of her and I just haven't found a good time to do it! So I'm just going to post the original before the girl is 2 months old.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Does anyone else ever look at their offspring and become completely overwhelmed by the sheer adorableness of said offspring?










Or is it just me?

I swear, my heart bursts at least 12 times a day.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

First trip to the grocery store

I went grocery shopping with both of the girls on Saturday.

Before you think too hard about what we've been eating for the past 6 weeks, you should know that I have been to the grocery store since Charlotte was born, but it's either been with only one of the girls or with another adult along for the ride. This trip was the first time I took both of them, by myself.

This is a big deal.

Right after Maddy was born, I was terrified of leaving the house. Seriously, I felt incapable of leaving. I didn't know how to handle her car seat with the shopping cart. I was terrified of her crying in public. What if she had a major blowout, or decided she wanted to eat 2 hours ahead of schedule? I honestly felt like I had forgotten how to go grocery shopping. It was awful.

I don't really remember getting a specific kick in the pants (other than the realization that I would have to leave the house sometime), but I do remember that it was very much a just-grit-your-teeth-and-do-it kind of thing. It had to happen. I had to do it. So I did it. Maddy and I became quick shopping buddies, and I was proud of myself for doing something I had been totally afraid of. Go, me!

And then Charly came.

I can't tell you guys how good I felt during our first few days home. Seriously. I felt much more in control than I did right after bringing Maddy home. She was a good baby. I'd done this before, and I felt like I could handle it (especially since I was done with school). I was in good spirits, even while running on little sleep and constantly sore from nursing issues. In general, I was recovering beautifully. Life was good.

And so it was, that when my mom mentioned that she was taking my little sister out shopping for school clothes, I asked if I could tag along. After all, I needed to get out of the house, and even though I was a bit nervous about doing so (DOUBLE STROLLER?!), I had learned from last time that I just needed to grit my teeth and do it. Right?

Well, my friends, I can tell you that from the second I walked through the doors at the mall, I knew I'd made a mistake. There were so many people. So much noise. And I swear, Charly shrunk to about half of her (already very small) size. She was so new! What the heck was I thinking, taking this brand new baby out shopping?!

I forced myself to stay for maybe an hour. I weaved the stroller through the crowds and half-heartedly browsed through the racks, feeling absolutely suffocated by even the music in the stores. Something was going to happen. Someone was going to steal my baby. Or touch my baby. Or steal my toddler. The pumped milk I had brought for Charly was going to spill and soak everything in the diaper bag. And then Charly would get hungry. And she would start screaming. And Maddy would get lost. And did I still have my wallet? And the MUSIC WOULD JUST KEEP POUNDING IN MY EARS - FOR GOODNESS' SAKE TURN OFF THE DANG MUSIC!

Yeah, pretty sure that was an anxiety attack right there.

I burst into tears the moment the car door shut. I spent the drive home feeling sorry for myself, convinced that I would never be able to leave the house again because I just couldn't handle it. Apparently I wasn't good/strong/smart/capable enough to go anywhere with two children. I felt totally defeated.

Sure, I bounced back - told myself that I just needed a little more time. So, I gave myself a little more time, and I tried again. And I ended up feeling defeated again. I tried again. Defeat. I kept trying, and I kept getting shot down. It wasn't good for my mood, I can tell you that. Especially when mixed with all those postpartum hormones that are so amazing.

You're probably expecting me to now share with you the "breakthrough" moment - that one day when I took the girls with me to run errands and realized that I could do this, that I am a perfectly capable mother of two. Sorry to disappoint you, but I don't have that story yet. Believe me, I wish I did.

What I do have is the story of my first trip to the grocery store with my two girls, a full 6 weeks into being a mother of two. It's the story of an essential trip to Walmart with no way around going by myself and taking both of them. Our list was all of 10 items long, which was good because with the baby in her carrier in the basket, there wasn't room for much else. I brought along a sandwich baggie full of marshmallows to bribe Maddy to sit in the shopping cart seat. We visited the fish tanks and Maddy counted them while I tried to not look at the nasty things. I didn't think about what else I might need; I just stuck to my list (I'm usually pretty bad at doing that). When the line at the deli counter was long, I just bought the packaged sliced cheese they had in the cooler, even though it was a little more expensive. I let Maddy help me swipe my debit card and let her push the green button after I entered my PIN. I forgot to price match my milk.

And I sang along to the radio on the way home. I see that as progress.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's that time of year

Yes, my friends. It is upon us once again - college football season.

While many wives bemoan this season and what it means for their TVs/Saturday nights/marriages, I am not among them. And while Dallin is pretty into football now, he wouldn't have said as much before we were married. Just sayin.

Anyways, I've been going to ASU football games for...a long time. Pretty much my whole life. And I love it. Seriously, the energy at a good game is just unbeatable.

While our season opener last week against UC Davis was great and all (a win is a win!), this week's game against Missouri was possibly one of the best home games I've ever been to. A huge, loud crowd, all decked out in black to celebrate the emergence of the Devils' new black uniforms. An important game against a ranked team. A decent chance at success without anything being guaranteed.

I tell you, it was intense. We made some stupid mistakes, got lucky a few times, and ended up in overtime. I hate overtime. It's too much for my little heart to handle. And I was sure we were done for. But oh my heck, we pulled it off. And I'm so, so glad. We just might have a good year this year.

And Maddy is quite the little Devils fan, too! She wasn't sure about the loudness of this black out game, but eventually got used to it and joined in with yells of "C'mon!" and "Go!" She also tried to make the little pitchfork sign with her hand (she failed miserably, but it was awesome to watch), and danced to the marching band music. It was a ton of fun.

Compare the crowds (game 1 to game 2):


Maddy enjoying the game:

Maddy and Mama at the black out (not shown: our black painted toenails)


Go Devils!


Well, here's to a new season! May it be better than the last...and the one before that.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Do yourself a favor

If you are a fan of happiness, and one of your definitions of happiness is the same as one of my definitions of happiness (aka chocolate+carmel+ice cream), then this is your lucky day. Behold:

Dove Chocolate Dulce de Leche ice cream

Sorry for the crappy picture, but I couldn't take my own decent picture of my carton of this stuff because it's long gone - scraped clean and in the trash.

You.guys. This stuff is BOMB. Listen to the description: "Rich, creamy chocolate ice cream paired with dulce de leche gelato and sensational salty caramel truffles. Ah, sweet, salty surrender."

Indeed. Let us point out the highlights: Chocolate. Ice cream. Dulce de leche. Gelato. Salty caramel. Truffles. And this description omits the fact that the whole thing is nestled beneath a layer of delectable chocolate ganache (as are all Dove ice creams).

If I have to tell you that it's incredible, you obviously can't read. Which, hello, makes no sense. So I obviously don't have to tell you that it's incredible.

The salty caramel truffles are the best part. Seriously. Amazetastic.

So, I guess the whole point of this post is to tell you that if you like chocolate, and caramel truffles, and dulce de leche, and ice cream, and smiling, this is the ice cream for you.

Thank you, that is all.

Wait, no it's not! Also, Phish Food is still completely wonderful. As is Dreyer's mint chocolate chip. Just wanted to make sure you knew that I'm not totally abandoning other ice creams. For some reason, that seemed really important just now.

Ok, that's all.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Deep questions

The following questions have initiated actual discussions in the Harris household lately:

How did Mother Gothel learn the song to sing to the magic flower?

Would Rapunzel have lived forever if Eugene hadn't cut her hair?

And will her hair ever grow again?

AND are the rest of her tears magic, or was that just a one time thing?

Do mermaids have gills..or lungs? Or...BOTH?!

Don't all the people that were on the wedding boat now know about the existence of mer-people?

Can you guess what movies Maddy has been loving lately? (That isn't one of the questions that we've talked's a question I'm asking you.)

She's also been into "Lady and the Tramp," but apparently that one is normal enough that the only question we've had about that one is what year it happens in. We decided early 1900s, which Wikipedia confirms. 1909.

Maybe we need to watch the news more.

Also, feel free to weigh in on any of the above questions. Any and all opinions are welcome.

Friday, September 2, 2011

35 Things: August Update

The month of August was largely devoted to making an attempt to accustomize myself to having two children. More on that later. That is, however, my excuse for only blogging twice during the whole month, as well as for once again having a fairly lame report on my 35 things. But hey, here's a quick update for ya.

7. Create a meal plan - at least once a week every month: I did this. We didn't follow the plan...but I made the plan and shopped for it. It's amazing though, how things can "come up" that ruin your dinner plans. Bother.

12. Bake a new cookie every month: This month's goodness - S'mores cookies. Recipe found here. I'd been seeing a lot of s'mores type things around, and it totally made me crave them. So I found this recipe, which is basically a yummy chocolate chip and marshmallow cookie baked on top of a graham cracker. And holy crap (pardon my French) they were yummy. But make sure you eat them all on the same day; the graham cracker gets soggy overnight.

35. Complete an act of service every month: I feel like I was served a lot more than I served this month, but I squeezed in a good deed for someone else. Yay me.

And that's it. No books. NO BOOKS, people! I finally started reading again towards the end of the month, but I didn't finish anything. And the nursery...ugh, if you only knew how close it was, you'd probably just tell me to count it as finished. But I won't. It must be 100% dunzo. I tried to make something to hang over the crib and it didn't work out. At all. So I'm blaming that on it not being done yet. But I promise you guys will get a post on that room when I finish.

Happy September! Here's to a month full of blog posts, eh, Pacha?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The birth story.

Here we go. The story to which you already know the ending, but for whatever reason, you still want to read, and I still want to write. Enjoy.

Getting there

So, you may or may not know that I'd been having contractions for a while. And I'm pretty sure you know that I was dilated to a 3 for a few weeks. That makes for some uncomfortable time in a preschool classroom, I can tell you. There were a few times when I timed contractions. This succeeded in freaking out my mentor teacher, who doesn't have any kids. I think she thinks that going into labor is like it is in the movies. Like "Holy crap I'm in labor I need to go to the hospital now or the baby's going to pop out on the floor! Somebody do something!" I tried to explain to her that I was pretty sure it wasn't going to be like that...but I don't think she believed me.

So anyway, contractions had been happening. And they continued to happen on Saturday, July 30. Maddy was with my mom up at my Grandma's cabin, so I was seriously taking advantage of the school-free, Maddy-free time to do some nesting and baby shopping. We bought our double stroller and hung stuff in the nursery. I went shopping and finally got the girls the matching dresses that I had had my eye on for a while. I cleaned the house, which was WONDERFUL. I was basically amazed at how much I got done.

And then, that evening we started timing contractions in earnest. And I had a few contractions that hurt just a little more than previous ones. And we decided to go for a walk. A storm was coming in, so it wasn't especially hot or anything, which was nice. We didn't walk for too long, because my mom had gotten back into town so we needed to go pick up Maddy. But we walked, and we timed. The contractions didn't stop after we got home and got in the car.

**Side note: Dallin grabbed the hospital bag before we left to pick up Maddy. I think he was really ready to have the baby that weekend. Side note over.***

And they continued at my parents' house. Pretty much everyone said we should go to the hospital. I resisted. It was still July! My baby wasn't due until August. Yes, it was only a week before her due date...but it still felt like a big difference. There was no way it could be time already, right?

Well, Dallin and I went for another walk and I gave in. Sure, we could go to the hospital. I wasn't afraid of getting sent home...I was afraid of them admitting me if it wasn't really time. And honestly, I still feel like I could have waited. I really do. But I didn't wait. I kissed Maddy goodbye, trying not to cry too much. And we left.

We got there about 9:30 at night, and sat down with a fairly cranky lady to give her all my info. Then we headed back to triage. A nurse with an Australian (?) accent gave me a gown to change into. Dallin had some issues tying the gown up for me and was still trying to figure it out when the nurse came back in. I must have looked pretty awful or something because she told him to not worry about it - I needed to get on that bed.

So I did, and when all was hooked up and examined and so on, it was determined that I was dilated to a 5. Aussie said that alone was pretty much an admission ticket, but they would monitor my contractions for 20 minutes or so to make sure they were regular before making anything official.

Dallin and I passed the time by talking about how our baby was going to be born on Harry Potter's birthday, as well as using Dallin's phone to listen to possible labor/birth songs. (**Side note: We didn't actually want/have any labor/birth songs. Side note over**) Dallin suggested "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy," but then decided "What Hurts the Most" was more appropriate. My man can make me laugh even when I'm in labor.

Being there

Well, needless to say, I was admitted. We were escorted to the labor and delivery room where we met our nurse for the evening. We did some more paperwork and got me hooked up to an IV. I hate IVs. Seriously, I think getting that thing was more painful than my contractions were.

Then the epidural man came in. He was a nurse anesthetist, rather than an anesthesiologist, which apparently freaked Dallin out, although I didn't find that out until later. I didn't really think much of it at the time. I asked him if I should wait until my contractions actually became painful to get the epidural, and he said there was no reason to.

And thus began the worst part of the evening.

I was freezing from the IV. I was anxious about getting the epidural (there was no way it could go as well as it did with Maddy). The combo of the two sent me into a full fit of the shivers, and for whatever reason, I couldn't have a blanket until the epidural was in. (Questionable?) So anyway, I was miserable.

I knew how the process was supposed to go. Small prick, weird numb feeling, lots of pressure. It seemed like last time, this all happened pretty quickly. This time, there was the small prick, but then we had to wait for that to take effect. And then, when he was giving the second shot, he told me to let him know if I felt any pain. Well, it didn't hurt, really, but I definitely felt the prick of the second needle. Which FREAKED me out because I was pretty sure I wasn't supposed to feel anything but that weird pressure.

Because of the freak-out-ness, the rest of the process was a bit of a blur. They might have stuck me again with more numbing medicine, or just waited longer for the first shot to take effect. I think they gave me more, but I honestly can't remember. I just remember shivering. And I remember the nurse having to get Dallin a chair, which he probably doesn't want me to tell you. But I want to tell you because for some reason, the thought of my sweet husband going pale with worry about me makes my eyes all watery.

Once the epidural nightmare was over, I got a warm blanket (seriously, that was all I wanted in the world at that point), and the nurse helped me roll on my side so I could get some sleep. I tried to get Dallin to go get some food, since he hadn't eaten that night, but he wouldn't. He just stayed with me and slept, too. The nurse came in to roll me over every hour, which makes for not the best sleep. My mom got to the hospital around 1:30 am, and I don't think she slept for the rest of the night. She's kind of awesome.

Well, by 6:30 or so in the morning, I hadn't progressed. I was maybe almost a 6. Lame. I had been given some pitocin and it hadn't helped. Super lame. But THEN, my doctor got there at about 7:15, and he broke my water. This is where it started to get exciting.

The main event

So the water was broken, and everyone figured this was going to get things moving. But I, for one, was definitely not ready for just how fast it would go. The very next contraction I felt felt much stronger. And yes, I could still feel my contractions through the epidural, which I thought was a good thing. The nurses kept saying I could up the medicine amount so I wouldn't feel them at all, but I really didn't want to do that. I liked that I could feel them happening without being in pain.

By 7:45. I knew this baby was coming.

My little sister wanted to be there when the baby was born, which I was cool with, so Dallin texted her. The room was prepped. I was checked again 10 minutes later, and the doctor said something like "This isn't going to take long at all."

Enter all the insecurities.

So, let's just say my sister didn't make it (sorry, Sarah). Three big pushes, a few little pushes, and whaddaya know, there was Charly. 8:05 am.

It really was a precious moment. Of course, her full head of hair was pointed out right away. I remember thinking it took her a little too long to cry, but of course it really didn't. I also remember thinking that she was so big. I had thought she would be bigger than Maddy, but not by a whole pound!

When she was wiped off and handed to me, I just looked at her and sobbed, and was so glad that I finally understood how I could possibly love another little girl so, so much.

The after party

First of all, and just FYI, our "friend" the cyst came out with the placenta, as planned. And let me just say - ew. Moving on...

Charly girl was weighed and measured and declared perfect. My sister and her husband got there. I was returned to a more comfortable position and allowed to hold my baby girl properly.

The next few hours were lovely, filled with visits from family and such. Maddy was pretty indifferent towards the baby, which I decided was better than automatic resentment. Dallin gave me the "2 peas in a pod" necklace I wanted. It's totally adorable - the necklace and his thoughtfulness.

We stayed in the hospital for just one night. We could have stayed another, I suppose, but I was ready to go home; I was going a little stir crazy in the hospital. So we were home Monday night. My mom stayed with us for the next few nights, staying up with the baby and only waking me up if Charly needed to eat. She also took Maddy during the day so I could rest. I mentioned that my mom is awesome, right?

Life, so far

So far, Charlotte is a great baby. She sleeps a lot, which makes those times when she's awake and looking around that much more precious. I'm pretty positive her eyes are going to be blue. It's taken some time for us to get used to nursing, and we've already had some (painful) issues in that department, but we are getting the hang of things and the past couple days have been especially promising.

Her hair is incredible. My sister's sister-in-law took some newborn pictures of her, and you can see the highlights in it (click here). Apparently, Dallin had hair like that as a newborn, too. I guess she's already a daddy's girl. She has such a pretty face - she almost doesn't look like a newborn. She likes to be held, but is also pretty content to lay on a blanket and chill.

Maddy's adjusting pretty well. She's a little more clingy than she used to be, but she's nice to the baby and likes to watch her sleep. She also seems like a giant. I change her diaper or even just look at her hands and am blown away by her big-ness. I think she'll be a good big sister.

The end

Hey, we made it! I tried to keep things to a minimum for you, but my minimum is higher than most, so good for you for making it to the end.

We ended up with a lovely, healthy baby girl and I feel so insanely blessed. Life is beautiful.

Monday, August 8, 2011

35 Things: July Update

Can I just say that July was a rough month? Seriously, towards the end of June, Dallin and I started to realize just what the month of July was going to be like, and it was almost enough to make us quit. Of course, the prospect of post-July ended up being enough to keep us going. And we closed out July with quite the bang, so it wasn't a completely awful month.

Here are the things I accomplished this month:

5. Attend a missionary discussion: Dallin is our ward's Ward Mission Leader, so I'm a little surprised it took me so long to get this one done. I didn't actually go to a discussion with the full-time missionaries, but Dallin and I went to give a new member discussion to a lady who recently started coming back to church. I'm really glad I went, even though it was kind of out of my comfort zone. Hopefully I'll get to go to another one sometime!

7. Create a meal plan (once a week every month): SO PROUD that I did this this month. Go me.

12. Bake a new cookie every month: I actually made 2 new cookies this month. One was crazy good (Peanut butter butterscotch chippers - Dallin especially loved these) and the other was aight (Chocolate chip and peanut butter truffle swirled cookies). {Click on the recipe titles to go to the recipes}

27. Graduate from grad school: Indeed, my pretties. This was the month in which I completed all my coursework, and now, I'm officially DONE. I will post later about how this feels. Rest assured, that post will include words like "glorious" and "freedom."

35. Complete an act of service every month: Been there, done that.

You may or may not have noticed one gaping hole in my accomplishments this month - no new books. Seriously, I didn't read a single book in the month of July. So awful. I look forward to getting back on track with that, though!

Also, the nursery is sooooo close. I just need something perfect to go over the crib. If I haven't found that something perfect by the end of this month, then I'm just going to call it good. I LOVE how it's turned out so far!

Also also, do you guys want a birth story post? I started writing one, and it was pretty long, and really, what do you need to know more than that I went into the hospital pregnant and came out with a baby? But I dunno, I like reading other people's birth stories (for whatever reason), so I might just write one no matter what. TBD.

Thanks for reading, friends. Happy August!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


These past nine months have been full of uncertainty for me. Observe:

"I'm sick, stressed, and exhausted. What if I lose this baby?"

"I think it's a boy. I want it to be a girl."

"I'm definitely fatter this time. Is it going to go away?"

"My student teaching starts when?!"

"Another ultrasound? What is this cyst thing?"

"My back hurts so bad I can't even walk, let alone exercise."

"It's so hot. What if I go into labor too early?"

"Seriously, though. I don't fit into anything."

"How is Maddy going to handle a baby in her house?"

"I'm going to love her as much as I love Maddy...right?"

"Breastfeeding? Again?"

And they didn't stop. If anything, they got worse. And before I knew it, the stirrups were coming out, and so was my baby girl. And if you can believe it, in those few seconds, a million new worries came over me.

"Have I been a good mom to Maddy while it was just me and her?"

"Can I really have two kids?"

"What if something goes wrong with the birth?"

"This went by so fast. I'm not ready."

"I'm not ready."

Seriously, you guys. That's what I was thinking. That I just was.not.ready. Pretty much my insecurity at its worst. Sad, but true.

Of course, less than 10 minutes later, I saw this little head of hair for the first time -

and I sobbed. I swear, I cried harder than I did when Madelyn was born.

Because I knew that I had been so, so wrong.

I was totally ready.

And so, without further ado, I present to you

Charlotte Harris

7.31.2011 - 8:05 am

8 lbs 9 oz

20.5 inches long

Pretty and pink and complete with natural highlights

She's lovely. We're home and doing great!

Friday, July 29, 2011


I swear this just happened. 2 minutes ago.

Dallin: So are you going to have a baby tonight?

Katie: Um...I don't know. It's possible!

D: Do we need to go for a walk or something?

K: (...)Would you like me to have the baby tonight?

D: Well, it's gotta be either tonight or Wednesday.

K: Wednesday?

D: Yeah, Monday and Tuesday are pretty busy.

***Side note: I'm pretty sure he was at least partially serious about this. Side note over.***

K: Oh. Well, what do you think?

D: Up to you!

K: You want me to decide whether or not we have a baby tonight?

D: Yeah, I guess. Are we going to eat?

K: Not if we're going to put me into labor.

D: Hm. Well, whatever!

You should know that I've been having fairly regular and frequent contractions for the past couple of days. You should also know that today was my last day of student teaching. Which means I'm done with (the hard part of) school. Hip hip freaking hooray.

So...I guess only time will tell if we decide to have our baby tonight. I'd probably rather have her decide on her own, but you know...whatever.

Love you, Dallin. Hurry home.

Friday, July 15, 2011

3 is a magic number

Yes, it is. It's a magic number.

A man and a woman had a little baby. Yes, they did. They had three-ee-ee in the family. And that's a magic number.

And then they decided that it wasn't magic enough so they got pregnant again so they could have another baby. Yes, they did.

Aaaaand my connection to Schoolhouse Rock is officially dead.

True, we are working on our family of 4, but currently, 3 is my magic number.

3 weeks + 3 days left. Dilated to a 3 (you know, in case you care about...that. I love giving people an uncomfortable amount of information). Also, 80% effaced, but my goodness, that has nothing to do with the number 3, so why bring it up?

Honestly, I'm not surprised that I'm dilated. I was at a 4 with Maddy for a few weeks. And I've been having contractions for a while now. They're just not regular or super uncomfortable (emphasis on super).

And you are now updated on the status of my pregnancy. Awesome!

Sing it with me now! "3, 6, 9...12, 15, 18...21, 24, 27...30" (best Schoolhouse Rock, btw)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Short hair days are here again

About 5 days ago, I decided I wanted to chop my hair off.

When I decide I want to cut my hair, I want to cut my hair RIGHT AWAY. It was very hard for me to not run out and stop at the first salon I saw and get a haircut. True story.

To avoid ridicule (not to mention a rash decision) I somehow held out for a few days. I debated cutting my hair, knowing (knowing) that I would want it long again before too long.

But the more I looked at pictures of cute, short hairstyles...
and the more I came to realize just how hot 115 degrees actually is...
and the more I thought about how much time I don't want to spend styling my hair every morning (first for student teaching and then with two kids)...
the more I realized...

I wanted short hair. Coveted it, really. And since coveting isn't healthy for anyone, well, I found a salon that had good reviews on Yelp (p.s. Do you use Yelp? Please start. Thanks.), found out they took walk-ins, and walked in before I could change my mind.

I'm so so glad I did.


It feels so good. It's amazing.

It's the shortest I've ever gone with my hair. I contemplated something even shorter for a while, but then decided I should see how I feel about "short" before committing to "super short."

I'm loving it for now! Hopefully it will be a while before I start longing for long, luscious locks. Maybe once the temperature drops below 100.

So you know, like, November.

My morning

It's pretty unusual for Madelyn to wake up before 9. And it's not unusual at all for her to sleep until 10:30 or 11.

So you can imagine my surprise at 5:50 this morning when she was done sleeping.

I'll admit, I was upset. I was super tired and getting up that early totally made me cranky. I let her lay in bed with me and watch Blue's Clues while I went in and out of sleep.

After maybe an hour of that, I decided my attitude needed to change. After all, I have a lot (a LOT) of things I need to do today, so what would be the harm in getting up early? Maddy and I could run errands this morning, she could take a nap this afternoon while I cleaned the house, and all would be fine and dandy.

So, armed with my new attitude, I let Maddy shower with me (our stairs make me too nervous to let her run around while I shower), got her dressed and ready, and then set her down so I could do my hair.

Since I didn't wash my hair, it took me about 15 minutes. I came downstairs and found Maddy fast asleep on the couch.

So I guess it's time to rearrange my day again.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Is it too much to ask?!

I never mastered the whole "nursing in public" thing with Maddy. In fact, I never even came close to mastering it.

It's not that I'm weirded out about BFing in public. I'm totally know, as long as you're pretty much covered up and stuff. There were plenty of times when I would have loved to just be able to whip out that cover and do my thing at a family party or in the mall or wherever. But I really don't think Maddy liked being under a cover very much. She would always, always fuss. And fussing, I think, automatically sets off this thing in new moms that is like "OHMYGOSH my baby is fussing and everyone is listening and they are all totally annoyed and they probably think I'm a terrible mom and..." you know. Plus, I didn't really have a nursing friendly wardrobe, and was pretty much too cheap and lazy to hunt down and buy cute nursing tops, so I was never really able to figure out the "mechanics" of nursing in public. And trying (which I did) ended up stressing me out.

And so it was that I began pumping. I got into this really groovy routine once Maddy girl was able to sleep without being fed in the middle of the night: I'd pump a bottle (or two, when she was still little and didn't eat so much at one time) right before bed, so I wouldn't *cough*leak*cough* all over my bed, and then we'd have a bottle to take with us on our travels the next day.

It worked really well, except:

1) I didn't really like the bottles (and Dallin really didn't like them)
2) I didn't really like the pump, especially after several months of use when its performance began to go downhill.

So now, faced once again with the prospect of pumping (I do plan on trying BFing under a cover again, but hey, who knows?), I am in the market for a new pump and new bottles.

And I don't think what I want exists.

What I want in a bottle:

-not made of a zillion parts (or, you know, more than...3? 4?)-
-doesn't have to be put together in a very specific way to avoid leakage-
-probably good for colic and stuff, just in case-
-options, in terms of milk flow, size, etc.-
-no nipple confusion-

What I want in a breast pump:

-not a million dollars-
-electric (single or double, doesn't matter)-
-works well (doesn't have to move mountains or anything...I just want it to work!)-

And then comes the truly tricky part...

I want to be able to pump right into the bottles so I'm not pouring milk back and forth, washing extra containers, etc.

This system does not exist. I'm fairly certain.

You cannot find a decent pump and decent bottles that were made for each other. WHY THE HECK NOT?

Medela makes good pumps, but they are crazy expensive, and their bottles don't get great reviews.

Lansinoh makes what looks like a great pump, but they have no feeding bottles - only storage bottles.

Evenflo and Playtex make good looking bottles, but no decent pumps.

Avent is what we used before.

So tell me - does this ideal of mine exist? Am I putting too much faith in online reviews (is something actually good even though most people don't like it)? Should I just get what I want from both categories even if they don't "work" together and just suck it up with the pouring and the washing and what not?

And could switching to Geico really save us 15% or more on car insurance?

These are the things that will keep me up tonight.