Thursday, December 30, 2010

Update

Leaving the house was a success today. Wesley was a total angel and charmer at the doctor's office. So much so that my midwife said he was "so well-behaved. It's amazing!" Now I understand why moms would always counter my compliments about their sweet children with "Yeah well, you should see him/her.... etc." But yes, today, he was amazing.

In other news, any tips on how to stop hating your husband's job? Advice from anyone who has been there will be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Leave the house? Why?

Today Wesley and I left the house for the first time in about 3 days. I had 3 errands to run and as usual, had it mapped out for optimum timing and effectiveness. Wesley whined the whole way through the first store, squirmed and whined through the second store and at the third store? Well that was when he wouldn't let me hold him, ran around with me chasing him and threw a full-blown tantrum. All the while, Mrs. Snooty Old-Ladyton hurried to get in front of me in line so that I had extra long to wait while holding my purchases, other bag, purse, squirmy/screamy toddler, and belly. (I wasn't actually holding my belly, I just needed you to get the visual of my burden). Thanks Snooty.

On top of this, Wesley managed to offend all 3 cashiers (one per store) by scowling at them when they tried to say hello. Seriously. With a face that cute, he should be making friends left and right. Not this kid. He likes to scowl at people who offer friendship.

And did I mention the bribery needed to get him buckled into his seat 3 different times? Each time he was all screamy about getting into the car.

This is why I only leave the house every 3 days. Unfortunately, I have something scheduled for tomorrow so I will be forced to leave 2 days in a row. It's during Wesley's daily meltdown hour no less. Wish me luck!

I should mention that Wesley was exceptionally crabby today. Like most toddlers, I'm sure, he has days where he is the sweetest angel and others where he loses all communication ability and only knows how to scream and flail. I should also mention that I really don't mind not leaving the house. I quite like it here. :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

So the doctor said I wouldn't have so many nosebleeds if I could just keep my finger outta there!

(For those that aren't either my siblings or huge Simpsons geeks, the title is a quote from Ralph on the Simpsons)

Last Saturday night, Wesley woke up crying at around 5ish am.  That's not completely out of the ordinary, it still happens sometimes. Usually he won't go back to sleep in his own bed afterwards and I'm forced to bring him into our bed. Normally I don't mind, but this was actually the only night that Eric and I had to share a bed for quite some time and neither of us sleep quite as well with Mr. Squirmy in there too.

Well, I tried, but he wasn't going back to sleep so I brought him in with us. Around 7:30 he stirred/woke up  and I noticed blood ALL over his face! It totally freaked me out! I jumped out of bed and grabbed a warm wet wash cloth to clean him up. I figured out he must have had a bloody nose and that's what caused the wake up/freak out in the wee hours. I went into his room and saw this:



It seriously looked like a scene from a horror movie with the bloody handprints on the crib... eww. I don't do blood. I procrastinated cleaning it up for a few days but thanks to the miraculous combo of Shout + Oxy-Clean it came out in just one wash!

Here's the little nose picker with crusty blood on his face. Again, my mom instinct pounced too fast before I thought to get a picture of the whole bloody face. It's probably for the best. I don't need to remember that image.

He got another spontaneous nosebleed at church later that morning. We've since started putting Aquaphor in his nose at night and that has actually drastically cut down the nose-picking! Thank goodness. Funny thing is, he loves it when we put the Aquaphor in his nose. He even requests it. :) Hopefully that means no more nosebleeds!

Oh baby!

The other day I was all bugged because I was so dang uncomfortable and feeling huge. I kept thinking I wasn't far along enough in my pregnancy to be feeling like this, and then it dawned on me: At some point without noticing, I have entered the THIRD TRIMESTER!

This led to all sorts of other epiphanies and minor freak-outs.

1) I have just over 10 weeks to get ready for this little girl. This caused me to make a list of my top 10 sewing projects that I hope to get done before baby comes. (And other goals... but mostly sewing projects).

2) I only have 10 weeks left of just one kid!! I really am freaking out quite a bit about this. I can meet the needs of one child rather adequately while also taking care of myself and the household, but can I do 2? I mean, it is the little logistics like: what do I do with the tiny one while I'm taking 15 minutes to rock the big one to sleep? Will I ever shower again? How am I supposed to run errands with a car seat and a tantrum-y toddler that may or may not sit in the cart when asked?

3) I still haven't found a pediatrician I like and I don't like my baby doctor place either. I only get to birth this baby once and I really want it to go well. I wish I could have my Utah or Vegas baby people here in Connecticut. Why are all the other birth hippies in the west?

4) I need a bigger freezer so the meals I make now won't go bad and I can take a break from thinking about food when I'm adjusting to life with 2 babies.

5) I need a bigger budget so I can get all the things I need/want and worry less about paying stupid east coast doctor/hospital bills.

And so on, and so on. I'm such a worryer. It's in my genes. I wish I could trade in some worries for excitement. I am excited to hold and snuggle a little baby girl. I've been watching older videos of little Wesley and getting really excited for another little tiny. One thing I remember from my BYU (or high school) science class is that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. I feel like right now for every excited feeling about this baby, there is an equal and opposite anxious feeling.

So basically, I need some advice and reassurance. People all over the world have more than 1 kid and survive it and usually even thrive. I know it can be done... So please let me know your secrets! Any tips for letting go of the fear and anxiety?

And to end on a high note, here's a super adorable picture of two of my most favorite people.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Car. Vrrom!

I titled this post what Wesley would have called it. He loves to say that little phrase. Cute.

Eric's job requires him to travel quite a bit, as you probably have figured out by now. :) With the move to Connecticut, about half of the traveling he does is driving all over the state. After polling pretty much everyone we met that knows more than us about Connecticut, we decided that his little front-wheel drive pickup was not going to cut it through the winter. That and the fact that the clutch and tires were up for replacement, we lost the shell in the move, and it only seats 2ish people. We crammed all 3 of us in there and the more pregnant I got, the less fun that was. Anyway, Eric began the hunt for an acceptable replacement given our criteria and budget and we found one! We bought a Ford Escape to replace his truck. It was the same year as his truck, far fewer miles, 4WD, and actually has a back seat. All pros.

This makes the 7th car that Eric and I have shared in the 3 years we've been married. I think we have a problem. No but really, there is a good explanation behind every car change. That's another story for another day.

So we get our little Escape and it has a tough time starting at the dealership. Hmmm. That hadn't happened when we had test-driven it. I thought maybe it was just a fluke since it was a colder day than before or who knows what. Anyway, it turned out not to be a fluke. Every time we tried to start it, she struggled. And it got worse each time. Worse and worse until the check engine light came on and it nearly died at stoplights. That's when we called the local Ford dealership to get it looked at. We made an appointment for Monday morning, but when the time came, the ol' car wouldn't start at all. We tried jumping it with our other car. We tried giving it snuggles and loves and lots of gas and nothing worked. Crap.

Here's where the miracles start: So I start praying lots. We really can't afford to put money into the car, which is why we traded the truck in in the first place. I don't want to pay to have it towed to the shop but the thing won't start. We feel a little stuck and not sure what to do. Later that day I went to magnet something to the side of my fridge where I saw the first answer to my prayer. The phone number for Geico and our policy number... Oh yeah! We have roadside assistance with Geico! A phone call later, they towed the car for free off to the repair shop.

Naturally, the people at the repair shop assumed we were idiots and let us know the battery was dead and that's why it didn't start. We knew that... we killed it by trying to start the car all day. Well they soon figured out we weren't idiots when they thought they fixed the problem only to have the car break down on their post-fix test drive and ended up pushing it back to their shop.

Well after a battery charge, a new coil for the 3rd piston in the engine (or something like that), a new fuel pump and $1000 later, she's as good as new! But yeah. It was a thousand dollars. I'm convinced cars will never break down for less than a grand. I hope to someday be proven wrong.

So I stressed about that a lot. We haggled down the price quite a bit to make me comfortable with buying it in the first place and we felt like we got a really good deal. Until we ended up paying $1000 more than we expected. I was trying to come to terms with that and accept the fact that 1000 hard earned dollars were disappearing from savings and going toward something totally unexpected and then...

Naturally we had been in contact with our salesman through this whole process and kept him informed of what was happening. Fortunately, the dealership is one that Eric works with and this guy really liked us. However, he was not returning our phone calls or emails lately and we were getting a bit nervous. Today we got a hold of him and found out that he got approval to reimburse the entire amount of the repair! WOW!!! They'll be sending us a check this week. That is the answer I was hoping for in all my praying.

Let me just say, ask and ye shall receive. Pay your tithing and have faith. Never give up hope because the Lord knows you and your needs and just what you can handle. We would have been happy with much less-- but that's just the way the Lord works. He will bless you more than you expect if you let him.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A dear family friend died today.

There is never a good time for a family to lose a mommy/wife/best friend, but as I listened to Christmas music today, I couldn't help but imagine how hard it would be right now. My heart aches for those kids and poor Jared and especially on Christmas morning without this amazing woman.

For some reason, I just can't stop crying for them right now. I do take comfort knowing she is in a much better place and her cancer battle is finally over. She was so blessed to have as much time as she did in the face of terminal brain cancer, but knowing all that hasn't helped me handle it better. I don't really handle death well. Does anyone?

Anyway, I just needed to write this. Pray for Jared, Jacob and Emma.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I get excited about good deals. :)

On Veteran's Day, Saver's was having a 50% off sale. Naturally, I went, along with the rest of Connecticut. MAN that store was packed. Even still, I found some really cute stuff. I promised myself I would not go too crazy and get a zillion things I had good intentions for. Here's what I scored:

Top left: 2 king size pillowcases in an adorable print that will be made into baby clothes for baby girl. ($1ea)
Top center: Short sleeve chunky knit sweater for me ($2) 
Top right: Super cute church shirt for Wesley ($2.50)
Middle left: 2 long sleeve tees for Wes (.49 each)
Middle center: THE CUTEST little boy church shoes from BabyGap, BARELY worn ($2)
Middle right: Super soft corduroys and Old Navy Painter jeans for Wes, both barely worn ($1 ea)
Bottom: Never worn zip-up hoodie ($2)

Seriously?!?! I was so excited. I love thrift shopping for kids clothes in New England! It's a bunch of high quality, barely worn stuff that doesn't even get picked over because there aren't a gazillion college student moms around trying to outfit their kiddos! (in other words, I could never find anything good in the kid's section of thrift stores in Utah). Yay for savings!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Woo hoo!! He's so big!

Next Sunday Wesley will be 18 months old. We've been counting down Sundays to this blissful day when he could start going to Nursery and we could actually enjoy church again! For the last 2 Sundays, we've been taking him into the nursery and staying with him to get him used to the new routine. Today when we took him in, the awesome nursery leaders said that since he's been doing so well we could just leave him today a week early.  YES!!!! He did so well-- he was having such a great time I don't think he really even noticed we weren't there. It was so wonderful to go to the rest of church and get to listen to the lessons without chasing Wesley around, stuffing crackers in his mouth to keep him quiet and occupied, the whole 9 yards. SO exciting!

I think I would probably be sad that my little baby was growing up if I didn't have another little baby growing up inside me right now. For now, I'm extremely relieved that he's big enough to take the stairs by himself, drink from a real cup, and play with other kids. That gives me faith that I really can be a mother of 2!

In other news, tonight for the first time I baked a batch of chocolate chips cookies that didn't turn out terribly. Victory!

And to celebrate finally finding all of our camera accessories, here's a video we took tonight. Wesley loves to watch Eric's wedding ring spin on the floor. He likes to barely touch it and then get his fingertip "owie" kissed. Also, anytime he sees the camera he has to blink all weird because that's what you do for the camera. In the background you'll hear the oven beeping for my perfect cookies. :) Enjoy!

video

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sugar and spice and everything nice!

See that tiny sweet little fist on her tiny little head? Oh it's so cute!
We're having a girl! I wasn't at all surprised, I definitely knew it was a girl. I just know these things. I'm so excited! I've decided that from now on I will only be pregnant with girls because it has been lots easier. Don't get me wrong, I will gladly have another boy just as long as I can only be pregnant with girls. What do you mean it doesn't work that way? Anyway, I'm thrilled and excited but a little nervous too. Girls are a whole different ball game! I'm a little intimidated by the world of hairbows, tights, and tiny bracelets. And hopefully she'll be as fun and spunky as little Wesley who gets cuter by the day.

She's flexy like mommy-- doing a little womb yoga

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Just as I suspected

I worried that after five and a half months of living in other people's homes with no real responsibility, tasks, or duties to speak of (other than playing with my kid), that I would forget how to function and run my own home.

Tonight as I was attempting to make dinner, I decided this was true. Either that, or I never knew how in the first place. Or no one can ever get anything done with a toddler. Seriously-- how does anyone do anything with a 17 month old for whom you are their only entertainment? Wesley has gotten all too used to mommy-time play-time ALL-the-time that it makes simple tasks like making dinner much more insurmountable.

Tonight I was finishing the dinner that I actually started last night because last night I abandoned it and drove thru Taco Bell. All I was making was this delicious salad but I felt like it took an eternity. Mostly because I was constantly interrupted by my little monkey.

Last night I recorded what Wesley did in the time it took me to wash the mud off of, kill the caterpillars living in, and chop the head of Napa cabbage that recently came to me from a Massachusetts farm.
  • Got into a forbidden cupboard and pulled out as many sandwich baggies as he could before I could catch him 4 separate times.
  • Sat in time out for this after the 3rd time
  • After the 4th time, I knew the message wasn't coming through so I escorted him to the toy chest in his room and closed the door behind me. :) That bought me maybe 3 minutes
  • He then tried to use his set of play keys to open the shut door, then just knocked and yelled until I came to the rescue.
  • Got into 3 different boxes of cereal and sampled bits of each.
  • Helped me push the button on the salad spinner over and over and over
  • Dumped half a bag of cereal ALL over the floor. At least he kept eating it once it was spilled...
How am I supposed to get anything done in all that ruckus? I know that's nothing compared to lots of crazy-kid-terror stories I've heard, but it still makes me feel unproductive at best.

So as I worked on dinner tonight it was pretty much the same story as last night. This time it was a cup of water he poured on the floor instead of cereal. At one point he was playing in his room when he started making his distressed cry. I rushed in to find that he had managed to climb into the 2nd drawer of his dresser but couldn't figure out how to get out. I'm very very glad that dresser didn't tip or break like it should have... yikes. (I wanted to take a picture, but the mothering instinct kicked in too fast here. It was really quite a feat).

All of this is really just to say, I know there are people who accomplish lots and lots with toddlers... How on earth do they do it?

Take for instance, my awesome sister-in-law who has 2 little boys, currently in law school and completing a demanding internship for a judge. She manages to cook fantastic, organic, gourmet deliciousness for her family on a regular basis using muddy, buggy, fresh produce as well. To me, that is quite a feat in and of itself. On top of that, she teaches Sunday School every week and takes her boys to do awesome fun things and goes on dates with my cute brother (her cute hubby). Sigh. I don't think I'll ever be that cool.

Or look at my friend Stephanie who is soon to have her 4th kiddo and already has 3 busy little boys. She is my idol of domesticity. She runs an awesome, adorable and inspirational blog, knits the sweetest tiny sweaters for all the new babies around her, makes practically everything from scratch including 8 loaves of bread a week, and always posts new and wonderful recipes on her blog so I know she also manages to feed her family every night.

Then there's my sister Lana who I will never be as cool as, no matter how hard I try. That's just what happens to little sisters... She's in the Relief Society presidency, runs carpool no less than 46 times a day or something, cooks AWESOME food including BREAKFAST! (this has always impressed me since I rarely never eat anything but cold cereal for breakfast), has a successful home business, and I'm pretty sure she even showers everyday. Not just that, but she actually does her hair and makeup too. And wears cute clothes. You should be impressed. Or maybe normal people just do that stuff....

I could go on and on and on about people I know that are doing amazing things while I struggle to wipe the dirt from a cabbage leaf and turn it into a salad. These 3 women were the first that came to mind tonight as I mused about my non-skillage. So I hope someday to hone my skills and become the Domestic Betty in my mind, with perfectly coifed hair, wearing pearls and a dress I just finished sewing while I pull out my perfectly cooked roast from the oven and have all the side dishes already arranged, all served piping hot and at the same time. Why is it that I struggle with dinners so much, dangit?

Anyway, in the meantime, if the 3 of you toddler mamas read this post, just know that I think you are each wonderful Domestic Betty's and I hope I can be like each of you. Thanks for being role models.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Our cross country trek

So much to blog, so little time! I'll try to catch up, but no guarantees. :)

I feel like our cross-country drive to move from Nevada to Connecticut was pretty epic. We passed through 12 states and 3 time zones in 4 days.

Day 1 (Friday): First 3 states; Nevada, Arizona, Utah. We left Las Vegas around noon and drove up to Provo where we enjoyed dinner at India Palace (so good. I seriously miss that place) and met up with some friends. Then on up to Tooele to spend the night with Brittany and fam! We had so much fun hanging out and playing with them again. We took Saturday off from driving to get in some quality family time since we don't know when we'll get to see them again. :(

Day 2 (Sunday): Next 2 states; Wyoming, Nebraska. We left around 10 am, not sure how far we would be able to make it. Turns out, Wesley is a Road Trip Warrior! He was amazing. We'd let him play around in the morning before strapping him down, then he'd fall asleep briefly or just play in his car seat until lunch time. We'd stop and eat, let him run around and play more, then hit the road again. He usually takes a nap right after lunch so this was perfect to him. He'd sleep for a few hours and play in his seat or demand snacks once he woke up until we'd stop for dinner. Pretty much same story with lunch here. Back in the seat for a DVD and usually some whining until he'd fall asleep and stay asleep until we decided we had to park it for the night.

This was our first hard-core, all-day, drive-til-you-drop day and we went somewhere in the neighborhood of 900 miles. Woo hoo! We were originally thinking we would take 5 days to do the trip, but seeing Wesley's awesome-ness on the road we decided to push hard and see if we could make it sooner.

As for the drive itself, we are really going to miss Utah. The beautiful mountains and trees... it's just a very familiar landscape that has felt like home for a long time.

We are very glad we don't live in Wyoming. No offense to those that do, all 600 of you, but that place seems rough! Untamed wilderness... and COLD. It doesn't help that it was gray and stormy as we passed through but it seemed like such a lone and dreary kinda place.

Nebraska was much better than I thought it would be. I'd never thought much about Nebraska... just one of those northern-midwesty types of places full of prairie and cornfields. I know, the stereotyping!! But truly it was very beautiful. This was the first place where we saw pretty fall colors. And driving through made me wanna yell GO CORNHUSKERS!! That place has some serious school pride and I love it!

Day 3 (Monday): Next 4 states; Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio. After our night at the hotel in Lincoln, NE, we hit the road again, left the home of the Cornhuskers and headed into Iowa. My earliest memory of Iowa was as a kid, I was playing a geography trivia game with my brother Clark. He was 8 years older and about 30 years smarter and I had no chance against him. I was losing pathetically and I got the question: Which state has more pigs than people? Exasperated, I said, "I dunno. Iowa?" And I got it right. For some reason, that's the only thing I've ever remembered about Iowa. Then in college I met someone from Iowa (2 people actually!) and was really surprised that they were normal. (Hi Preston! hehe) Here I go again with my state stereotyping... On that note, I was expecting Iowa to be more like Wyoming. But it was really pretty! Just very serene and natural. I liked it. For the first few hours. And then I got very very bored. Sorry Iowa, but now I just think you have a lot of pigs and you are boring.

It was quite a relief to get to Illinois just for a change of pace. We pulled off in Princeton, IL which claimed to be the birthplace of Ronald Reagan even though it is 30 miles away... maybe they couldn't come up with anything else to claim... I mean, "We have a Wendy's" isn't a really impressive subtitle for your "Welcome to Princeton" sign I guess, although it would have been more accurate. Anyway, when we finished our dinner break and carried on, we got stuck in a construction traffic jam for about 2 hours and made amazing progress of 10 miles in that time. Wesley watched the entire Bee Movie as we creeped along going nowhere. Thanks Illinois. We were making great progress.

And now a brief rant about road construction. Along our roughly 2800 miles, we passed probably around 100 construction workers. Of those 100, probably 6 were doing any actual work. The rest seemed to be observing the intricate swirls that the cream made in their coffee. Thank you government, for wasting my money so efficiently.

Anyway, we finally made it out of Illinois and into Indiana. Most of Indiana passed us by in the dark, so unfortunatey, I don't have any pleasant words about how the scenery was, though I'm sure it was lovely. The thing that will make Indiana live in infamy in the memory of these 3 Avarells forever: TOLLBOOTH. We were planning to stop somewhere near Cleveland, OH for the night. At first this seemed like a very doable task. Then our 2 hour delay in Illinois made us rethink. We decided to stop in Toledo. Even with that, we were going to get in later than we wanted to. We were getting tired and just ready to get to the hotel. Things were looking promising when it was time to cross the Indiana-Ohio border. We pull up to a giant toll plaza that has about 8 lanes for FastPass people that no one is using. Then there are 2 lanes open for everybody else. Both lines are absurdly long. We sat there for-I kid you not- 20 minutes waiting to PAY to LEAVE the state we didn't want to be in in the first place!! Each minute we sat there wondering what the devil was taking so long was a giant test of self-control not to throw a raging fit. We even saw one person get out of their car and go stomping up to the booth to see what the dang hold up was. I'm not sure what they discovered, because when we finally got up there, there was just a machine ready to take your toll ticket and credit card. No person. Just that stupid machine. If you've ever seen most people at the self-checkout lane of a grocery store, then you can assume what the hold-up was. Frustrating, that's what it was. Maybe the circumstance would have been different if we hadn't spent all day in a car, if we weren't already exhausted, if the stopping hadn't awakened our peacefully sleeping baby and turned him into a very whiny and irritated baby... even still... Indiana: If you are reading this blog, fix that stupid toll booth! You only need 2 fastpass lanes and you need people working the cash lanes! I saw lots of construction workers that needed something to do, you can get them to do it.

Day 4 (Tuesday): Last 3 states; Pennsylvania, New York, and CONNECTICUT!! We decided to forgive the road and get back on it just because we were so close. We drove the rest of the way through Ohio and loved the scenery. The fall colors were in full swing and it was beautiful.

Also, this was our first day of illegal driving. We had bought a new car in Vegas and the temp plate was only good through October 11 and this was the 12th. Not to mention we have black limo tint on all the windows which is legal and necessary in Vegas and illegal and sketchy almost everywhere else. Some hotel maintenance guy was eager to tell us that while our tint was awesome, it is illegal here in Ohio. Thanks. So anyway, we were holding our breath and praying that we would be able to fly under the radar the rest of the way. At one point, we were cruisin along and passed a cop parked at an emergency turn-around spot. We weren't speeding (we weren't about to push our luck) but the cop whipped around and pulled out just as we passed. Dangit. Both Eric and I let out an Ahhhh man! and I pull the proof of insurance from the glove box. But then he just cruises along behind us. Never turns on his lights, just checks us out for a while. What the heck? We thought he must have pulled out to chase the guy that sped by us, but then he followed us...? is was very weird and uncomfortable. We were planning to pull off for gas soon anyway, so after being tailed by the cop for a mile or two, we pulled off at a gas station fully expecting him to pull in with us. He didn't though, just kept on cruisin. Weird. Eric started filling up the car and I was getting Wesley up and some trucker came up and started talking to us. "Oh you musta been so scared! I said I bet he's pullin off to go pee! I noticed you got real dark tint on there and it's a new car but I could see yous was white. I thought he was goin after that blue car cuz they were muslim!" We responded with a few, "Yeah that was weird, huh, yep, oh"s but mostly I was thinking that truckers must get so bored. That was probably the most exciting thing he'd seen in a few hours.

Anyway, we made it through Ohio without getting pulled over and came into Pennsylvania. I'd heard that it was a beautiful state, but oh MY! It was definitely the most beautiful state we drove through! The colors were INCREDIBLE! There would be huge patches of bright red, orange, yellow, green, and gold trees and then it would open into a section of rolling hills and grass. There were gorgeous rock faces with trees growing at impossible angles... I can't even describe it. We'll definitely be going back to Pennsylvania. And because we are HUGE fans of The Office, we stopped for dinner in Scranton. :) What a funny place. Mostly funny because we have all sorts of Office associations with it, but it is sorta the perfect setting for the show. Very industrial and acting like it's nicer/cooler than it really is. We had no clue where to eat and we were sick of fast food, so we figured there would be restaurants by the mall. Wellll there weren't. If we had more time I'm sure we could have found something, but we were starving so we just ate at the food court of the SteamTown Mall. hehhehe. Which I must say was terribly unimpressive. It was a fun stop nonetheless.

Back on the road I called to make a reservation at the hotel near our place that we were planning to stay at only to find it was all booked. As were all of the surrounding hotels. Dangit. I whipped out Eric's laptop and starting looking on Hotels.com as we passed into New York. We were getting so close! We were 10 miles from the Connecticut border, Wesley is fast asleep in the back, and I was searching for a hotel room within 20 miles of our new home. Then Eric says, "Oh no." That's never good. What? Then I see the lights in our rearview mirror. For REAL? We got pulled over by a stealth cop.

I honestly had to laugh. We had gone over 2600 miles and had only about 60 to go and we get pulled over. And our story has to sound so ridiculous. We hand the New York cop our Utah driver licenses, Nevada car insurance, on our way to Connecticut. "So we moved from Utah and were temporarily living in Nevada where we bought the car and now we are moving to Connecticut. We couldn't register it in Nevada because we were leaving the state and we couldn't register it in Connecticut because we weren't there yet." The confused cop was gone for a while (too long, it started to make us think he was actually gonna find some way to ticket us) when he came back and said he had been trying to verify the VIN number (basically he was hoping we'd stolen the car) and then just said that we needed to get it registered. 10-4 good buddy. Silly New York. We stopped for gas shortly after that and I went to the bathroom in the most disgusting bathroom of the drive. Ewwwwww. I thought I was going to die of bad smells.

And then finally, CONNECTICUT!! We made it! We actually stayed in a hotel about a mile away from our apartment. When we woke up and went outside in the daylight, we were so happy. It is BEAUTIFUL here! Fall is in full bloom and the colors are gorgeous. I love our apartment and our town. It already feels like home. Honestly though, I don't know how anyone moves and adjusts to a new place without being a member of the church. Wednesday night the Elder's Quorum came and unloaded our entire POD into our apartment in 45 minutes. A member of the Relief Society presidency came and gave me the run down on all the upcoming activities. On Friday I found our church building and met a ton of awesome ladies. Saturday a new friend brought us cookies. Sunday we were invited to dinner. Wednesday I took Wesley to a preschooly type playgroup thing. Friday we went to a birthday party. This place is amazing. Everyone has been so friendly so far and it has been easy to make friends and get to know people. We picked our own apples and took Wesley to a pumpkin patch and corn maze. We've been here less than 2 weeks but it feels like home. This is our place!

*If you made it through all of this, you are either my mom or a real trooper!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

25 Things I've Done in 25 Years

So I'm 25 today. About 6 months ago I started thinking about turning 25 and I worried that I hadn't really done anything in my 25 years. Then I realized I've sorta done a lot. Sorta. So mostly for me, here's my list.

1. Learned to drive
2. Graduated high school
3. Graduated from college
4. Married my BFF
5. Had a baby
6. Worked as a cleaning lady
7. Worked as a waitress
8. Tried to sell diamonds
9. Worked in a prison
10. Worked full-time 8 to 5 for a university
11. Lived in a foreign country
12. Hiked to Stonehenge
13. Mastered tandem biking
14. Ran a 10k
15. Became a yoga instructor
16. Turned into a hippie
17. Learned to sew
18. Ate escargot
19. Took an all night bus ride from Glasgow Scotland to London England
20. Learned to cook
21. Went snowboarding
22. Learned how to read music
23. Been to 21 of the 50 states
24. Moved 10 times (soon to be 11)
25. I'll do something cool for my 25th year... like live in Connecticut and have another baby. :) And probably something else.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

So guess what?

Wesley just turned 16 months and I can officially say he is finally weaned! Breastfeeding was a really wonderful experience that I'm glad we could share for the last year+. My original goal was to nurse him until he was somewhere between 15 and 18 months. So that worked out! In truth, I had a little change of heart toward breastfeeding toward the end simply because...

One baby is enough to support with my body and one time. Yep, this is an announcement about baby Avarell the 2nd more than a weaning post. :) I heard that tiny little heartbeat yesterday and it made my own heart flutter and sing so I figured it was time to spread the news. And if you want the details, I'm about 15 weeks along due March 12.

So we're moving to Connecticut and there we will become a family of four. We're thrilled for our new exciting adventures and the way our lives are changing!

and P.S. Happy 60th Birthday to my mom!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Wesley's 1st big boo-boo!



Wesley got his first bloody lip today. Poor little guy. He was playing a fun game with Mom and Dad and while running at full speed into the kitchen, lost his balance and ate tile. It was quite painful to watch. One of those things where you see it happening and just can't get there fast enough to stop it. Luckily it was just a busted lip and not a chipped tooth or broken nose or something. As it was I nearly passed out from the blood. I don't do those things very well. Although, I will say, my mom instinct did give me some grace under pressure. :)
So thankfully I had just made some smoothie popsicles the other day that helped numb the pain and made Wesley happy. He's such a tough guy and really is a trooper.
And by the way, he made that face in the 2nd picture on purpose.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Wesley is so big!

I've been meaning to do a post about Wesley for a while. He's so big and does so many things on his own. He's not very baby anymore-- mostly just big boy. Well this morning he ate a bowl of milk and cereal all by himself (with a regular spoon too) so I figured it was time to post.

Here is a picture of him getting a mom-haircut. Unfortunately, it turned out so bad I couldn't stand to look at him. Of course everyone else said it was fine, but he looked so white trash I couldn't handle it.
In this video you can see the fix. The Dad-haircut actually. This time we pulled out the buzzers and guard and did it the way I actually know how to cut hair. Eric was a champ and did the cutting while my mom and I did the distracting and hold-stilling.

video
Also in the video you can see his latest trick-- blinking. It's pretty darn cute.

He has lots of tricks now.

He signs: bird, dog, monkey, banana, milk, water, more, airplane, please, sorry, thank you, cold (he made his own sign for cold), tired,

He says: car, done/gone, hi, mommy, daddy, shoe,

He also: blinks, dances, RUNS, does yoga (he has a mean downward dog), climbs on EVERYTHING, throws things in the trash, throws quite accurately actually, eats with a fork and spoon, takes the stairs like a man (holding the handrail and walking up), and loves to explore

I really can't believe how grown up and independent he is. He climbs on and off the couch by himself. He climbs onto the kitchen chairs and sits at the table by himself. And does it all left handed. Did I mention he's a lefty? I just think that's funny since Eric and I are both very right handed. Anyway, we just love this little boy and his big personality. He's so much fun and definitely allll boy.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Happy Anniversary! and other exciting adventures...

Eric and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary on August 30! Well, we didn't really celebrate so much on that day because he was in Vermont and I was in Vegas. Knowing that we would be apart, we've had various celebrations all summer long to commemorate the event. :)

The first was in June which was the 3 year anniversary of our engagement. We took a quick weekend getaway to San Francisco and left Wesley with MomMom and PopPop.

The actual weekend of our anniversary, we went out to lunch at Macaroni Grill and ice cream at Baskin Robbins. We took Wesley along and had a fun family date. It seems like we just can't get enough of those these days.

Eric gave me such a sweet and romantic gift. When we went on our honeymoon cruise, I found and fell in love with a new perfume by Donna Karan. Of course it was too expensive, but I've always loved it. Welllll Eric went off and got it for me! Isn't that adorable and thoughtful! And I got him a case of Izze sodas. I guess girls really are a lot more maintenance...

This past weekend I guess you could say we finished off the anniversary celebrations when we headed out to Connecticut and left Wesley with Grandlady and Grandpa for 3 whole days! However, that was more of a business trip than an anniversary celebration. We were out looking for housing and planning our cross country move. The first day was really depressing, the second day was a mix of depressing and very hopeful, and the last day we found the place that makes our hearts sing and where all of our wildest dreams will come true! Ok, maybe that's a bit much, but it has a GARAGE and double sinks in the master bathroom and a walk in closet and an indoor heated pool! What more could a girl ask for? Wanna see it?

Beyond just finding the perfect place amid a sea of dodgy rentals, the weekend was a complete success because Eric and I pretty much giggled all weekend. Since this is a post about our anniversary, allow me to ramble on about how Eric is the cutest prince in all the land:

1) He always makes me laugh. Seriously. Always.

2) He knows exactly the right thing to say to reassure me or cheer me up when my weeks of hard work have amounted to a mess of pottage. Or in any circumstance, really.

3) He has the best smile and the sweetest face.

4) He's such a great daddy and Wesley loves him so much.

5) He's such a hard worker and so dedicated.

I just love Eric and think he's the best. After 3 years I feel the same if not more crazy about him than when we got married. :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

August 2010

August-- At the end of July, I woke Wesley up at what was to him the middle of the night and we hopped on a red-eye to Boston. FYI, those aren't that fun with toddlers. However, Boston was gobs of fun with a toddler! Wesley got SO much cousin lovin and loved going on all kinds of new adventures. We saw the Mayflower and Plymouth Rock, walked all over Boston (Wesley fell asleep in his stroller. That might be the only time that has ever happened. There was that much walking). We went to a pick-your-own farm where Wesley ate his weight in blueberries straight off the bushes. He was in heaven. It was like the biggest buffet he'd ever seen. After picking berries, we went to the area where they have their farm animals. Wesley fed grass to the goats and thought it was the coolest thing in the whole world. Now he tries to feed grass to any other animals he encounters. Unfortunately, ducks are unimpressed. We also picked tomatoes and raspberries at another farm. Pretty much Wesley would do nothing but pick berries for hours and hours and be the happiest little boy in the world. Other than farming, we took a day trip up to Maine and ate lobster, looked at lighthouses and played in the ocean. We swam in Walden Pond, picnicked and climbed trees at Concord, went to see the Red Sox play at Fenway, and played played played! We had so much fun.
Now we are back in sunny Vegas. Surprisingly, it's actually cooler here in August than it was in July. Thank goodness, otherwise I would have... Well I can't think of what I could have done. Complained I guess.


Now we just get to sit back and twiddle our thumbs waiting to find out where we get to move and spend the next two years of adventures.

July 2010


July-- Wes and I met up with Clark and fam (my bro) on their San Diego vacation and had more beach time and more cousin lovin. Then we picked up Eric from his company deep-sea fishing retreat and made a LATE night trek from San Diego to Phoenix so we could catch a flight the next morning to Durango, CO. We went for the wedding of a good friend of Eric's and got to stay with Eric's bro Cameron and fam. Such a fun (and way too short) trip. On Sunday we flew back to Phoenix, hung out with Lana/fam for one day, then drove up to Vegas. Wesley and I spent all of July in Vegas at my parents. Erlynne and fam and Dallin visited too and we had oodles of fun with them.

June 2010

June-- Wes and I bid farewell to AZ and headed on up to CA where we got to stay with Eric's parents for a month. It was amazing-- seriously, I felt like I was staying at a mommy-resort! My wonderful mother-in-law took Wesley for walks and feed him breakfast every morning when he would wake up at 6 am so I could sleep in. They even kept Wesley for the weekend so Eric and I could have a weekend to ourselves in San Francisco! We saw Wicked and enjoyed really good food in the city. It was so fun and Wesley was much better than I expected he would be. Especially considering he was cutting molars and running a fever when I left him. Why is it always that way? Anyway, Marilyn, Wesley and I took a trip down to the beach at the end of the month and Wesley ate lots of sand and giggled at the waves. Unfortunately, the photos of this month are on my camera which is dead and the charger is M.I.A. Someday when I'm unpacked and not living out of suitcases I'll get around to posting those.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Summer Lovin

I've been so absent from blogging this summer. It's one of the things that falls by the wayside when your computer and camera charger are packed in storage...

Right now I'm clock-watching waiting for the moment I can leave to pick up Eric from the airport-- our Friday night ritual. What better to waste time with than blogging, eh? Yeah, that's how I really feel. :) I'm definitely a moody blogger. Me and blogging are on a break right now. But for lack of anything productive to do, here's a quick recap of the summer so far:

May-- Threw our life in a UHaul, then a garage in Vegas. Eric drove off to CA for the start of his career. I cried. Then Wesley and I packed up and drove to AZ. We spent an amazing and fun month with Lana's family and Ashton's family. (My sis, Eric's bro). So much swimming, shopping, and COUSIN LOVIN! Wesley was in heaven having constant play buddies.
Pictures Lana took after Wesley's 1st haircut-- right before his 1st bday

Friday, May 21, 2010

HAPPY 1st BIRTHDAY!!!

My baby is ONE!! Hooray! Naturally, I don't have any pictures, but here's a little taste of Wesley right now:




  • LOVES remotes. Can't get enough of them. He'll cart them all over the house and then deposit them wherever he feels most appropriate.

  • Still hates vegetables. Except corn. He'll eat corn kernels that I cut off the cob, but does that even count as a vegetable?

  • Finally cutting 2 more teeth. He cut the first 6 when he was 7 months old and he's just now getting in two more bottom ones. Cute. :) And crabby...

  • Drinks out of a cup like a champ.

  • LOVES to dance! He will bust-a-move to anything with a hot beat

  • He's started mimicking which is the cutest thing in the world. He holds my cell phone up to his ear (or usually the back of his neck) and pretends to talk. We went to IKEA and he was playing in the teeny play kitchen they had in the kids play area and pretended to wash his hands in the sink. Now how adorable is that?

  • His face is SO expressive. He's learned how to squinch up his nose and furrow his brow to express displeasure. He has the silliest little squiggly smile (it's gotten more pronounced Sarah!). Sometimes he'll close half his mouth and coo out the other half. It's funny.

  • He's discovered that it makes an awesome sound when he flips his tongue back and forth across his top lip while yelling. That's his favorite thing to do at restaurants.

  • He's still so little! People often comment that he seems to small to be able to walk as well as he does. 12 months shorts fall off his teeny waist. I swear I feed him! He actually eats lots...

  • As for eating, he lives on fruit, grain, and dairy. Ever since he's learned how to spit stuff out, he feels no need to tolerate meat or vegetables. He'll get there.

  • He loves to give hugs. Mostly to other babies and kids that have something he would like to steal.

  • And yes, he's quite the klepto. He will come up and hug your leg all sweet to catch you off guard. As you are leaning to pat him on the back, he'll grab your keys from your hand and make a break for it. He loves himself some keys. :)

  • He loves playing outside and exploring new places. It's almost impossible to keep track of him-- the second you set him down, he's off to see new horizons, bite new books/toys, and unplug new electronics.

  • He loves to bonk heads and play peekaboo and get tossed around and wrestle on the bed.

I couldn't be happier with this little kid. I feel so blessed. He's such a little angel with so much spunk and personality. He keeps me on my toes and even more so, he keeps me laughing and smiling all day long. So happy birthday Mr. Wesley. Don't get another day older! I love you just how you are.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Homeless and stuff

So much to say, so little time... so few pictures...

Since I last posted, Eric GRADUATED!!! Woo hoo!! It was such a blast to have Eric's family and my parents in town to help us celebrate. I made Wesley a little cap and gown to match Eric-- it was so dang adorable I couldn't even help myself! I did take pictures of the cuteness, however, my camera cord is packed in some box in my parents garage so I won't be able to upload anything for a while. boo.

After graduation, we spent a final week in Provo spending time with friends and trying to do all the stuff we wanted to do before we left Utah. We DID go to the Salt Lake temple which was totally wonderful and an awesome experience. We did NOT get to go camping or hike the Y thanks to the snow. Oh well. Maybe someday.

We packed up all of our stuff into a UHaul and headed on down to Vegas. Eric started work in California and I ran off to Arizona to visit Lana, my sis. Basically, we are homeless for about the next four months while Eric goes through training at his job. Thank goodness for family! (otherwise we'd be bored and homeless).

So that's where we are and what we're doing. I promise to post pictures sometime.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

11 Months!

Wesley is 11 months old today! I can't believe it. The last time we'll celebrate a month milestone without a "1-year-and-" in front of it. Ooh he's such a cutie.

  • He's a full time walker now and has been for about 3 weeks. His poor forehead always has at least one bruise on it these days from taking unsteady steps.
  • He loves mommy and daddy best of anyone and he hates being babysat.
  • He doesn't really like other babies because that probably means I'm babysitting which means he'll have to compete with them for my attention. So if another baby kid is around, he'll go ahead and give them the stink-eye and get real clingy just so they know he's not planning to share me.
  • He shakes his head no, but just for fun. It's really sweet
  • He plays peekaboo!
  • He LOVES cell phones and keys
  • He does not like to sit down in his car seat or high chair. Once he is in, all is well, but he'll put up a fight before he gets there.
  • He LOVES to play outside. He would never come in if I didn't make him.
  • He LOVES to bite. Pretty much everything we have (that he has ever seen) has met his teeth.
  • He does not like vegetables. He's still a really picky eater, but he is doing much better with eating generally.
  • He still wakes up several times a night, but he is getting better and more consistent with sleeping. It's a long process...
  • He does not like getting his diaper changed.
  • He LOVES to play! He is so much fun and we LOVE to play with him! He is just the cutest, sweetest little thing our lives have ever known.

Happy almost 1 baby boy!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Namaste

Tonight I taught my last yoga class at Ruby Shoes Studio. I'm so sad to be leaving that place-- it has been wonderful! I've taught yoga twice a week for the last two and a half years and loved it. Now I don't know when the next time will be that I can regularly teach again. Hopefully I can find another place as amazing as Ruby Shoes, but I doubt it. That was perfect and I'll miss it terribly.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Employed!

Eric got a job! We are so thrilled. The company seems top-notch and like a really good fit for our family. He starts May 3rd! For the first 4 months, he'll be in a different city every week for training. That means Wesley and I will be traveling around to visit family all summer. It should be an exciting adventure! After training we'll be assigned to a territory where we will spend at least the next 2 years. We are excited for this next big step. Now we are going to be REAL adults!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Follow up

After my frustrated after-lunch post, Wesley received some positive energy and good karma from you. THANK YOU!! Here his is with his FINISHED jar of apples and blueberries. Well done little trooper. He also ate some shredded mozzarella cheese, a spaghetti noodle, and tried (but spit out) some ground turkey. All steps in the right direction.

And maybe he's a one-meal-a-day kinda guy. And you are right: he's energetic and happy so he's probably not starving, even if he is slim and still comfortable in 6 month PJ's.

Thanks for the positive energy. Wesley and I needed it.

And just a reminder

to myself that he doesn't always make me crazy...

video

This is a video of me stacking cheerios on his tray-- you can't really see that part. What you can see is Wesley laughing so hard that he subsequently gave himself hiccups.

My favorite part is at about 20 seconds. Also 27 seconds. Good luck keeping a straight face.

10 months. A little young for anorexia?

My baby won't eat anything but breastmilk or paper. (Not that I'm trying to feed him paper, but when he gets his hands on some he has no qualms about putting it in his mouth).

I snapped these pictures today at lunch because Wesley and I were caught in a grudge match and needed something to break the tension. He loves the camera, so he couldn't help by give his signature, impish, closed mouth, melt-your-heart smile-- but notice he won't open his mouth. Oh no. I might sneak some delicious tortellini in there.
Since we first introduced solids at 6 months, he's never been a good eater. There were periods where he didn't hate it as much, but I would never say it was his thing. I tried everything. Homemade baby food, store-bought jars, bits of what we were having for dinner, pure steamed veggies, chunks of fruit, pasta, you name it. He WILL NOT eat vegetables. I always try and sometimes I can sneak a bite or two in.

However, lately, he seems to have embarked on a total hunger strike. Even foods he previously enjoyed he will not eat now. What you see smeared about his face in the picture used to be his absolute fave-- BeechNut Apples and Blueberries. Today: won't do it.

Aside from being really frustrating and annoying, I'm starting to get worried about his no-eating habit. The truth is-- he's lost weight in the past month! At his 9 month check up he was only 18 lbs 7 oz (the 19th%) and when we weighed him on our friend's scale on his 10 month bday, he was down to 18 lbs 4 oz. Geeeeeeeeez. I'm getting nervous! Keep in mind he started life in the 70th% for weight.
It's not that I'm not trying! Today I have given him oatmeal, yogurt, banana, graham crackers, club crackers, chicken, rice, tortellini, apples and blueberries, and probably a gallon of breastmilk. I count myself lucky if he eats two bites in a row of anything. We play games and sing songs while eating. We've tried distraction free eating-- nothing but us and the food. We've tried both high-chair eating and letting him crawl around and following him with a spoon.
I don't think you can understand my dilemma until you try to feed him or unless you have an anorexic baby yourself. At this point, it isn't WHAT I'm feeding him; it's eating in general. I'm starting to wonder if I should seek medical attention. Did he develop some weird intenstinal problem that makes him fear food? I haven't noticed weird poop or rashes... I'm really trying to make mealtime not associated with torture, but I don't know how to help him grow without a little force feeding at this point.
I'm open to suggestions here. If you have a chubby baby that eats like a dream with little or no effort from you, please don't gloat. I see enough chubby babies already. However, if you share my pain and your baby wants to be emo-skinny like mine, please share tips on how you got him to open his stinkin' piehole and enjoy some delicious nourishment.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

This has been my favorite holiday for 6 years now. It all started my senior year of high school. March 2004 had started as Marches almost always start-- with a string of gloomy rainy days. Then, as is almost always the case, St. Patrick's Day came and with it sunshine, lollipops and rainbows! Well, at least sunshine. My choir ensemble class had just finished with a performance and had some downtime, so we all went outside for a some sort of kickball meets softball game. I am pretty sure it was that moment that my love of St. Patty's began.

When I tell people this is my favorite holiday, they are often confused. They think I must be some closet alcoholic or that I'm a die hard Irishwoman or I LIVE for corned beef. None of these are the case. In fact, the corned beef and cabbage I made for dinner tonight was not as good as I remembered it being. (Pretty sure that had something to do with the difference between point-cut and flat-cut. NOT a minor difference. Note for next year: Buy FLAT-cut).

Anyway, the point is: I love St. Patrick's Day for the following reasons:

1. Everyone everywhere decides to match. It's like we are all let in on this big secret that on March 17th, we'll all wear green. It's so much fun.

2. It is almost always beautifully sunny outside. I think I've spent more time outside the past 3 days than I have the entire past 3 months. It's lovely. And I really think it's always that way on St. Pat's for me.

3. It just so happens to coincide closely with the first day of spring. What a better time to wear green-- we encourage the grass to return to its true color and suggest the leaves return to the trees. It's time for the world to turn GREEN again!

4. I've decided green is probably my favorite color so that definitely helps things.

To sum up, I'm sure it's all weather related. St. Patty's signifies the end of the short, cold, gloomy, winter white days and welcomes longer, sunnier, greener ones.

It has nothing to do with leprechauns or pinching, both of which are creepy.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Does syrup have sugar in it? Then YES!

I have always had a wicked and insatiable sweet tooth. Nothing is too sweet for me. I love donuts. Really love. Can't go wrong with cookies, cheesecake, ice cream, chocolate... It's bad. It's a good thing I inherited 1/10th of my mom's light speed metabolism, otherwise I would have turned into The Blob long ago.

Recently I decided it had gotten out of hand-- the constant sugar cravings, longing for desserts, and eating oodles and oodles of empty calories. It was time for me to take my health to the next level and cut out the sugar.

Monday March 1 was the start date. It was a new month and the end of winter-- time for a fresh start. I put sweets behind me and I was feelin' great! I felt energized, light and healthy. By the time Friday came around though, I was definitely Jonesin'.

Saturday I was attending a baby shower for which I was to make delicious chocolate truffles. Friday night as I was making them I ended up sampling some. Well how could I not, they were all over my hands. Then the floodgates opened. Saturday I had so many sweets: sugar cookies, chocolate cupcakes and about a million donut holes. Seriously though, I probably ate at least 20 donut holes. Then, we went over to a friend's house Saturday night to play games and enjoyed lots of chocolate fondue. Oh. my. goodness.

And here's where it turns into a cautionary tale: Immediately following the final binge on chocolate fondue, I got the worst stomach ache! I haven't had a tummy ache that bad in YEARS probably. I felt like that poor little girl that threw up in church the day after Halloween because she had too much candy.

Now if I even so much as look at those dang donut holes or the leftover truffles, my stomach starts to turn. So now I'm back on the wagon, cutting out sweets. This time however it isn't a struggle-- I really don't want them! I think when I do start wanting them again, I'll have something small. For me, total denial apparently only leads to miserable bingeing. Lesson learned.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A quick glimpse of daily life

video

More proof that he is a puppy








He loves to crawl around with toys in his mouth. He does this with most every toy and item he can find (blocks, water bottles, plastic lids, etc.) but "Spiderman Ball" is definitely the favorite.

FETCH!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cuddle Quilt

My latest project has been to go through my closet and drawers and make better use of all the things that I never wear. I feel like all women (and maybe men too, I don't know) have stacks of "unwearable" clothing. My poor husband can never understand when I say, "I have nothing to wear!" All he can see is an overflowing drawer and a closet where my half is more like my 90%. So I've decided to do something about it. If I never wear it, then I'm trying to diagnose why I never wear it, then remedy that problem. If it's beyond remedy, I see if the fabric is worth salvaging for another project. If even that won't do, then it's into the donation pile.

Here was a project I made out of an old pair of pajama pants and some t-shirts, all of which I acquired in middle school. Geeez, why do I hang on to stuff so long? Anyway, the old stuff was turned into a super comfy quilt for Wesley backed with soft cream fleece leftover from another project. It's very warm and cozy and it was super easy to make!

He loves to bite it, naturally.



Want to make one?

1. I just cut 8x8 inch squares out of my old clothes, discarding the seams and waistband and sleeves and stuff.

2. Next, lay them all out on the floor to find the pattern you like best.

3. Sew the squares into rows and then sew the rows together. I didn't even pin anything until I sewed the backing on. I didn't care if it was super tidy since it was just a cuddle quilt.

4. Pin the backing on, right sides together, and sew around the edges, leaving a spot open for turning.

5. Turn it right side out. Iron and topstitch the edges.

6. Since my quilt was all squares, I sewed straight lines right down the middle of the squares(forming a grid pattern) to keep the backing and quilt together.

7. Give it to your baby and enjoy hours of cuddly fun!


It made for a quick and fun project with some great sentimentality! Wesley and I love how it turned out.

Wait, was it a baby or a puppy?



I'm confused these days. I was pretty sure I had an 8 ½ month old baby person, not a puppy. Lately I find myself hiding all of our shoes so they don't get chewed and Eric has come very close to using the excuse, "The baby ate my homework" multiple times. The knees of my pants are constantly spit-soaked and my shoulders have tiny bruises from being bitten. Wesley nearly bit a hole in Eric's slacks this morning! It was only today that I was lamenting to my sister about my "puppy" and then as Eric and I were getting dinner together tonight, this happened:

Yep. Those are little bite marks on our kitchen chair. The only nice, matching furniture set we own, of course. Ok, the only thing NOT from IKEA. I tried to scold him, which he thought was hilarious. Here's the puppy in action.



He has SIX teeth now and he is DEFINITELY learning how to use them. Who could resist that sweet face? (Even if he's the bitey-est).

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sonnet

Tonight Eric needed some help with homework for his civilization class. The assignment was to come up with a sonnet ala Shakespeare about a Book of Mormon story. This was my first attempt. He didn't want to turn this one in for some reason... I think it's brilliant.

Nephi needed to get the plates
From the wicked Laban
He went up to the city gates
So that he could take them

Laban said “No Way!
Not without some money.”
Nephi did not want to pay
He said, “You’re a dummy!”

Anyway, he grabbed his cash,
Hauled it to the castle
Laban greedily took the stash
And kicked Nephi out on his tassels.

So Nephi axed the king,
Took the plates—bada bing.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

T-shirt Refashion and Sheet Skirt!

So excited to share this.

I've been quite the little productive sewer lately. I recently discovered that I really enjoy sewing. My mom had a sewing machine sitting up in her closet for years and years that no one ever used or cared about. Ambitiously, I decided to ask for it and since I was the only one that cared to ask, she handed it over. It sat around taking up valuable space in my apartment for a long time. I didn't have the slightest clue as to what all the knobs and buttons were for-- I certainly didn't know how to wind a bobbin or string the thread for that matter. It only got used when Mom came in town and sewed curtains for me. The longer it sat taking up space, the more I wanted to get rid of it. My mom told me not to sell it, that it was more valuable than the money I would be able to get for it. Well, neither of my sisters wanted it and I couldn't find anyone to indefinitely loan it to. So I was stuck with it. I might as well use it.

Well, after a few months and lots of trial and error, internet tutorials, phone calls to Mom, and evenings with the owner's manual, I now know what the knobs do. I feel confident with my presser foot and bobbin! I'm SO glad I didn't give in to the decluttering urge to sell it! And my mom was right after all: It's way more valuable to me now than the $20 I could have gotten for on Craigslist.

That being said, I now get to share with you my creations!


First off: The Sheet Skirt. I found this fantastic vintage sheet at Saver's and it was too adorable to let it slip away. Using the existing hemline, I gathered it up and sewed it into a high waistband skirt.

Next, my fave: The T-shirt Refashion! This bad boy started it's life as a Banana Republic XL Men's Tee. Somehow it found itself at Saver's where I snagged it for a cool 99 cents. I highly recommend this refashion for tired old t-shirts. Here's the how-to:
1. Flip the old shirt inside out. Take your best fitting favorite tee and flip that inside out too. Lay the favorite tee on the old one, lining up the necklines and trace the side seams and arm holes.

2. Cut off the sides. Sew the new sides up, leaving armholes open.

3. Next, trace your fave tee sleeves onto the old tee sleeves and cut them out.

4. Pin them to your new shirt and sew them on. (This was tricky to figure out. I consulted this tutorial by Homemade by Jill).

5. Using the excess shirt you cut off the sides, cut strips and gather them into ruffles! (I learned how from this tutorial by Dana Made It).
6. Pin the ruffles where you want them on your shirt and sew them on.

Presto chango! A tired old shirt is now a fun, feminine blouse and a definite conversation starter.

Love it! I wear this shirt all the time now. Because I traced my best fitting tee, this one fits like a dream. Because it was pre-loved, its already soft and comfy. This won't be the last ruffly tee I make!

Stay tuned for Wesley's cuddle quilt made from my old pjs. :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

7 months, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and 8 months!!

My goodness dear blog, it's been a while. Here are the things that have happened since I last wrote:

We packed up and made a 12 hour drive out to Fresno California to surprise Mom Mom and Pop Pop for Christmas! They had NO idea we were coming. It was the surprise of the year. :) We had sooo much fun. While we were there Wesley turned 7 months old!




Christmas Eve we left California and headed to Las Vegas for a beautiful Christmas celebration. Wesley LOVED Christmas. Opening presents is the BEST! He got spoiled by Grandlady and Grandpa Schteve for sure. He had TONS of fun when his BFF Crew showed up from Arizona. They had fun sharing toys, poking each other in the eyes, crawling around together, and teething! Crew was cutting some teeth and Wesley didn't want to be left out, so he got his first 2 bottom teeth.


After a rockin' New Year's dance party thrown by Tatum (sweet invites, by the way!) we rolled out back up to our Wintery Wonderland in Provo. Actually, it's been a VERY mild winter this year. I actually find myself missing the snow!

We just passed Wesley's 8 month birthday. I can't believe it. Since coming home after our Christmas travels, our little buddy has cut 3 more teeth for a total of 5 (wow! and we're nearly out of baby tylenol now), pulls up to standing on everything, learned that it hurts to fall so he better bend his knees when he needs to get down, and finally started crawling on his hands and knees instead of elbows and knees. He still isn't a fan of eating unless it's Cheerios or graham crackers or peaches. He's still the smiliest, giggliest, flirtiest, sweetest little baby and just a bundle of fun.

So there's your update! Stay tuned for pictures of my thrift store finds, the skirt I made out of a sheet, and my first ever t-shirt refashion! I'm so excited!