Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! we are going to Grantsville to eat, as this is Dick and Kathy's last Thanksgiving before they go to New Zealand for their LDS mission on Jan 1st. I'm excited for the Mouritsen craziness- there will be about 40 people in one house and hardly any room to move your chair- but it will be exciting. I was tasked with making rolls. AND IT IS STRESSFUL. I bought 108 Rhodes rolls- which will all have to rise and then bake in my 1 oven. I will be using a lot of pans. I won't have time before the 1pm meal to raise and bake one set of rolls and reuse the pan for a 2nd set- so I'll just have to let them all raise together. Then, I'm anxious because I'm making them in Orem, and then they will have to survive the hour transit to Grantsville- so they won't be fresh  out of the oven which makes me bummed, they are always best then!

Ah, we will see if I should've just bought the bags of pre made rolls from Costco.

I can only imagine making the entire meal. Kathy is a goddess.

The above photo is when we went to Los Angeles for a friends wedding and took lil Ella! (but not baby Lucy) It was a really amazing trip. I love the palm trees. I love the west coast beach with its cliffs right by the water. Ella adored the plane ride and the sand and really was a pleasure to take with us. And, I used to hate Brent's mustache but I think I've come around.

It looks alright in the photo, and even a bit better in person.

Eleanor was asking me to take a picture of her- and then she struck several Michael Jackson- esque poses which of course was hilarious. You can see Ashley the bride and her bridesmaids in the background.
The wedding reception was held at a relative's home- the backyard was so beautiful and even had a pomegranate and lime tree with fruit literally hanging off the branches. It was like the freaking Garden of Eden.
Lucy is growing and growing. She is a stubborn little tease. She likes to hold a pen and try and write on things she knows she shouldn't. And I know she knows because she looks me in the eye with a grin and writes on her clothes and feet and then laughs and tries to run away. Also she puts up a real fight when I take away the pen. She'll lean in for a kiss when I ask and now will shake her head no if I ask her to do something she doesn't want to. She also mimics Ella- which of course Ella both loves and hates depending on the situation.

Parenting is hard. I question my decisions endlessly which is tiring. Eleanor was asking why she's a girl the other day- and I thought to myself, yikes. kinda deep, Ella. At first I said, "God made you a girl, and that's how you were born." But then I thought, shoot, what about people that struggle with gender identity- should Ella feel forced to be a girl? Ahh! But then I was like, calm down, she's 3. That is a good enough answer for now. Also, Ella is such a sensitive little bird. She gets upset when she has to share Grandma with Lucy. I'm not sure how to toughen her up and I'm not sure if I should? 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Halloween 2017

Hey.
For some reason, Lucy had just pushed Ella, hence the sad face...


We had two Minnie Mouses this Halloween. Eleanor had been wearing her Minnie dress almost nonstop for the last few months so it hardly felt like she was dressed up! Ella was telling a few people that her little sister was going to be a little Minnie Mouse. So.. I made it happen.

We went to our church Halloween party the saturday before. It was pretty good. All the kids "trick or treated" to all the rooms. You'll be proud to hear I decorated a door for the cause- not a normal thing for me, but I think my kids are helping me get into the spooky spirit. I spent at least $50 on the decor- for better or worse.

Unfortunately though, I had, like, a 2-day bug or something because I felt SICK. It was lucky that I even went to the party. I had thrown up in the check out line at Target just a few hours before. An awkward situation for all involved. The cashier girl was like, whoa.

Thankfully it went in Lucy's snack bag and not all over the floor. But, sorry Lucy, about your snacks...

Then on Halloween day Ella caught it. She threw up too! Poor thing. She handled it really well. She's never thrown up before- and it is scary! She didn't trick or treat. she said, "I don't want to. the candy will hurt my sore throat." it was so cute and pitiful. She did enjoy handing out candy though. So did Lucy- who tried to escape as fast as possible with every trick or treater out the door. (PS Lucy caught the bug that night too. Puking babies are NO JOKE. they cannot aim and it is a bummer)

We did a few other fall activities as well. There are an astonishing number of pumpkin patches around here. For some reason, I felt a lot of inner pressure to do a lot of Halloween activities. Why? Probably because all those damn Instagram photos of moms and their kids carving pumpkins! Ah well.

Ella was posing for pictures in front of this jack'o'lantern!! I love her and her diva ways. Also, Lucy was dutifully trying to climb up and copy her. It is so sweet how she tries to copy everything Ella does but it also makes a lot more work for me- forcing kids to share is like the bane of my existence. Pretty soon I'm just gonna have to tell them to fight it out because I can't do. it. anymore. kind of joking?
Lucy's toothy grin!

PS Ella has worn pants to school two times now and IT IS A MIRACLE. at her preschool they play outside every day and it is getting too cold for her to wear her beloved dresses! she cries when she puts them on before school but her teachers say she isn't bothered at all during class. As soon as I pick her up she's like, Can I eat Capn Crunch when we get home? And can I take off my pants?!?!?

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Berry Picking, Fair, and Mom Issues

 We went raspberry picking a few days ago at a place a little south of Orem, Around Mapleton I think? anyway- the weather was SO nice and the raspberries- though we had to forage a bit for them- tasted heavenly.
 There was a bit of a snaffeau with poison ivy... I was holding Lucy as we were walking through an overgrown path and I saw the ivy- and i thought NOOOOOO. So I wiped down the girls with baby wipes on the drive home and prayed.

Thankfully, only Eleanor has had a few spots- and they have hardly been itchy. Thank you thank you thank you. Can you imagine a toddler and a baby with poison ivy? yiiikes.
 The raspberries were lovely, but I don't know if I"ll ever go back.
 Sham and Joel invited us to the state Fair. It was pretty nice- I especially liked all the cows and sheep- though I didn't take any pictures of those... you know what they look like.
Sometimes I struggle between the spectrums of motherhood. I feel internal pressure to be a "playful mom" and a "living in the present soaking up every moment with my kids mom." But I also don't want to be a helicopter parent (for both selfish and non selfish reasons) and not let them have free time where they have to think of their own stuff to do. I read stuff online about kids not being bored enough now with tv and phones. Like an empty mind allows space for creativity and independence. Also, I don't want to play prince and princess, and the bed is a boat, and store every hour. Get away from me, kids. Let me do my thing. It's a struggle.

Sometimes when Ella comes home from preschool and I'm peppering her with questions, she'll say something like, I don't want to talk any more about school. I'm at home now. Or I'll ask her what sound an A makes- cause that's what she's learning- and she's like, No, I already did that with Ms Brit. Ha! Alright threenager.

Hopefully you can see this video- Lucy is getting better and better every day with walking. She's eating a coconut almond protein bar if you're curious... I'm not sure if I should be embarrassed by that. I don't think so? lots of protein...
Also, lately, I've had Ella "Practice" wearing pants. She hates them- something about the fabric between her legs bugs her. Ever since potty training back in March- ONLY DRESSES. which is fabulous. but now that its starting to get cold- and her preschool will go on nature walks even in the snow- I need to get her sensitive little legs prepped so I don't feel like the worst mom in school when Ella walks around in a dress and bare legs in the snow. We're up to about an hour of wearage and she's like, can i take off my pants now?????

Friday, September 1, 2017

Lucy's First Steps

My sweet little Lucy just took 2 consecutive teeny baby steps yesterday. She is 11 months old as of August 26th. So exciting! My little girls are growing and its just wonderful.
Little sweet newborn Lucille! And just look at Ella's adoring expression.
My balloon face. And little Lucy's newly born red cheeks.And I die at Eleanor's pig tails and her little face. I would get a nutrigrain bar from the hospital cafeteria every time so I could give it to her when she visited me- she had taken to them. Birth is crazy.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Summer and Pre-School

Eleanor likes playing with the hose, but does NOT like her dress getting wet. Therefore, a lot of nakedness happens outside. and well, inside as well, but I don't have too much a reason for that.

I had to set the rule that she doesn't have to wear clothes in our backyard, but she must wear underwear.

This summer has been nice. We went and got snow cones yesterday- it just felt so... summertime. and it makes me feel like im giving my kids a good childhood when I see Ella eating her red (always red) snow cone at the picnic table with the sun going behind the clouds. And, its not the end of summer yet- itll be hot for a while yet- but I am excited for next summer when Lucy will be almost 2- Im hoping I'll go the pool more as Lucy won't be as much of a baby. ? Maybe.


Today was the first day of Ella's preschool- well really it was a practice day as me and the other moms stayed the whole time. it's Called Wasatch Nature School. It's run out of a neighbors home. 8 kids. Miss Brit has a bunny, tarantula, and lizard. Ella loves this. It went really well and I was so pleased. Ella's little meltdown at her first dance class made me a little nervous. But she did so well. Its exciting to see her grow into her own person. The class requires fanny packs instead of backpacks (ha!) so that when the class goes on their daily walks they can collect rocks and other stuff toddlers like to pick up. But Ella insisted on carrying hers like a purse- the lady. i said fine as long as you hold it and not me. and she did.
This was her response to, "Give me your ready-for-school face." She looks ready.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Late Night Ramble

It is 1am. I have stayed up painting my garage - be it noted that painting white paint over white primer feels like the most redundant and worthless task ever- washing my 6786474 dishes and watching the trashy reality television series Bachelor in Paradise. I will regret this, I'm sure.

Ella started her first dance class today. It was darling. Until she fell down and started crying uncontrollably, the sweet sensitive little doll. I had to take her out (thankfully it was right near the end) and it took a long time for her to calm down, maybe 45 min, poor thing. Emotionally charged event I guess? First ballet class at a new place? I dunno.
This is a horrible photo behind the shaded window, but there you go. It was funny to see how she reacted to the teachers- she's never been in a formal class setting before. Sometimes the teacher would tell her to do something and I could see she would kinda talk back to the teacher in what I assume was a made up reason not to do what she was being asked (she does that to me. saying like, "but my tiger doesn't want me to put my shoes on. she's scared and wants me to stay with her." adorable, but, eye roll.) But then, after a few min, she would do it.

Also, I've been wearing my glasses, no contacts at all, since Friday. It's been rough. Lucy thinks shes so hilarious when she pulls em off all the time and does a little giggle. Anyway, I'm having an eye assessment done on Wednesday to see if I can get lasik. !!! the lasik surgery scares me, but waking up to clear vision?!? sounds like a crystal clear dream. Brent had it done about 2 years ago and I've been jealous.

also i have a cavity being filled tomorrow. bummer.
I haven't taken a photo of these girls together for a while. Lately, they've been acting more like sisters- Lucy will giggle endlessly at Ella's bath time splashing, and it really is so heart warming.
My dad so sweetly took us out on this fishing boat he's fixing up for a neighbor. I posted some of these on instagram so I'm sorry if this is repeat... but it was funny to me Eleanor requested no waves and no spashing and don't go fast! Grandpa and I were happy to oblige. And you can see her haircut that she gave herself. It's a bit crazy.
um, how cute are they! ps i didn't realize how big of a soft spot my dad has for kids and babies- it is precious. Also, if something is broken at our house Eleanor always says, Papa can fix it. She knows.

She always calls him papa, which is sweet because I always have, and still do, call him Grandpa, never papa, so she came up with that on her own- not that its real original- but it is for her! ha.

I saw this cool girls hiking trip in alaska online. how cool would that be?! I always think that's something I would love... but when actually hiking... would I love it? I don't know.

I am really excited for Brent and my Hawaii vacation in November.
xo

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Flashback: Ella

Can you believe this was Ella at 6 months old?! She looks quite a bit like Lucy- which makes me just think that all babies must look the same because Ella and Lucy look so different! I think Eleanor has such delicate and small features. My dad described Lucy as regal looking- which I think fits? 

PS I woke up at 545am like a crazy person this morning. I've ordered some really big art from Jenny's Print Shop to spruce up my house. Though it would probably be more spruced if I kept it clean.

Anyway, I went to bed early. I tried to go to bed early because lately I've been crashing in the middle of the day and that is a bummer. But now I've woken up early I've probably cancelled out going to bed early...

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Vacation Bliss: Lake Powell

We got back from Lake Powell this weekend, and it was so beautiful. Brent was telling me it used to be a huge canyon, like the Grand Canyon kinda, and then it was filled with water, so the rocks just come straight up on the sides for a lot of the lake and they are red and look like modern art.
Some more photos n stuff--

Monday, July 3, 2017

Parenting differences, Lake-ing

Brent and I are an amazing couple, obviously. ;) We were friends for ages before dating, and when we did date, we got along wonderfully. Yet, we fought a lot when we were engaged, somehow. I think its because he had a big family, and I wanted a smaller wedding, and those things just can't go together while making everyone feel included.

I don't think we ever fought the first 2 years of marriage. People say the first year of marriage is hard, but it wasn't at all. It was awesome.

But after having kids? ...

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Eleanor's 3rd Birthday, Chicago Girls Weekend

Ella turned 3 on May 19th. I was pretty nervous for the party because Ella kept mentioning how she was excited for her party and her red birthday cake (which I'm happy to say was a success- not that I made it- I bought it, but still). A lot of pressure to live up to! Which is dumb, because she's 3, so it doesn't really matter. Anyhow, It was really sweet to have our family come down that evening for cake cutting. In the morning, I invited Ella's friends (mostly from her nursery at church) to The Bounce House- a kids heaven with blow up slides and foam pits and a balloon cage where a few high powered fans blow balloons every which way and you can dance around in them. Even I like it.

It was quite fun. I didn't have to worry too much about being a host or entertaining anyone- the Bounce House did that beautifully. I was on the fence about paying for the guests... but it got a little complicated when everyone arrived, so I didn't. (faux pas?) But I did give all the kids a Trolls Pez dispenser, which seemed like a hit. We had just got Phoebe's birthday card and gift the day before in the mail, perfect timing! so Ella opened that on her birthday. She was quite pleased at the family picture inside. We hung that on the wall at her eye level and she would point out the people in it for the next few days. Thank you Granny and Thellie.

Eleanor seemed to have a great day- so success! Though she keeps saying she wants to be 2. Ah well. Don't we all.
Sweet Brent planned a girls weekend for me in Chicago, with my best friend, Kelly! We roomed together for a few years in college. It was so nice. To walk around late at night, sans babies. To eat wherever and whenever we pleased, and to navigate ourselves around the city without our husbands getting bothered and taking over when we accidentally take a wrong turn.
We waited an hour to have deep dish pizza at Giordano's. Which was quite good- though we took a lot of leftovers home and the leftover pizza was better! The cheese had, like, time to set, or something. The restaurant was super touristy. didn't love that.
 I really loved the architecture boat tour on First Lady Cruises. It was about an hour and half, the boat going up and down the 'Y' shape river and the tour guide giving us all the details. The tall buildings were beautiful and it was nice with the wind in our hair! Chicago really lived up to its name as the windy city. It's nice to have a river in a city. I liked it a lot in San Antonio too (when we went there for my brother John's wedding). Like a bit of nature to soften up all the concrete.
These are just apartment buildings, I was surprised to find out. I thought they would be some important offices. Something real design-y and pretty to have 2 copy cat buildings right by each other. I remember getting a brochure in high school for the University of Chicago, and it having a picture of the skyline with these beauties on it. I wasn't at all interested in the school, but the picture hung up in my room for a long time. It was fun to see them in person.

Also, I got my hair cut around shoulder length in Chicago. I regret it. :( I remind myself of this 90's boy band, all the rage when I was in 5th grade, the Hanson Brothers. Bummer.
Image result for hanson brothers

But still, I had such a lovely time.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Thursday, April 20, 2017

6 Month Look, A Nap Miracle, Dress obsessions

Here are my girls at 6 months. Ella on the left and Lucy (from when we were in England!!) on the right. They are beautiful girls. I think Lucy is about 2 lbs heavier -almost 16 lbs and Ella was around 14) though she doesn't look too much bigger I don't think...

Being a mom is my identity, and sometimes that is fulfilling enough and sometimes it feels embarrassing and makes me feel incompetent and talentless. My identity used to be ballet in high school, and I'm sad that season has ended. Whatever.

The other day I decided to skip Eleanor's nap. While I was exercising (surprisingly. Lately Brent and I've been doing Insanity Max 30. Its hard. Brent is legit at it). Anyway, while I was exercising, she laid her head on the counter and WENT TO SLEEP. what? It was around 4pm. Naps are always a process, so this was so surprising and sweet. Needless to say, she went to bed at 10:30pm.
I would like to discuss potty training for a minute. Not the actual training, because there is too much to discuss there (though I do highly highly highly recommend this book which i used after my first 2 failed attempts at potty training and it helped a lot). But, now, she refuses to wear pants. ONLY DRESSES. Though I must say, she does wear her underwear and sometimes little bloomers over her underwear- so its not like its a real problem and we have a naked banshee on our hands. but anyway, I mean, ONLY DRESSES. she was wearing pajama pants at night, but now she prefers her "pajama dress." does the underwear feel weird with pants? does she like the breeze? the twirl? does she feel more like a princess? jut a stubborn toddler girl thing? I don't know. but its a thing.

PS granny phoebe I hope you're feeling better soon. love you

And, I think I have a shopping addiction. I look at Roolee Boutique's Website almost daily... it doesn't help that their models make EVERYTHING look so cute all the time. I just bought 2 dresses.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Lately

Lucy is SUCH a dear. She is generous with her smiles and is so snuggly. She goes to sleep easily. She belly laughed the other night when Brent was reading a book and doing funny voices, and it was the highlight of my week. I feel like, as my second baby, I appreciate her darling baby-ness so much more. Her sweet cheeks and chubby thighs and fuzzy hair. I just know what she turns into- a toddler- which is great, but just... more difficult.

We took a weekend trip to Logan 2 weeks ago (snowing and so so cold, it's almost in Idaho) to see the Grantsville high school womens basketball team in the state tournament and to eat half baked cookie dough with ice cream at Firehouse Pizzeria. Both girls slept so good in the hotel, it was beautiful.
Actually, ever since the Logan trip, Ella has been such a good kid! maybe a change of pace? Here we are doing "cheers", at Eleanor's request, with our lollipops.

Currently, Brent just got home from playing church basketball, and we are watching the Bachelor on television. excellent tv, trash tv, but excellent tv. We had waffles tonight, and they were wonderful. We beat the egg whites separately before we put them in the batter, and the result is just delightful- so fluffy. I like mine with strawberry jam and whip cream. Brent's preference is homemade syrup (mapleine, sugar,water).

Thursday, January 12, 2017

To do.

 Hello. I am very anxious about potty training Ella. I keep thinking about it and I keep putting it off like the slacker I am. Its such a commitment and a lot of work- always reminding her to go to the bathroom, cleaning up all the messes when she doesn't, taking extra clothes during outings in case of accidents, getting a mattress protector so night time issues won't soak and ruin her lil bed, holding her over other people's potties when we're out so her tiny little bum doesn't fall in- because her bum is tiny and it will. Pull ups or just diapers? How will she poo without her feet on the ground? These are my questions. I don't have answers.
 Lucy is such a good baby- her smiles bring me so much joy and they are often. She doesn't sleep through the night, but other than that, she's just excellent. I'm so pumped for when the girls can play together. Then Ella won't be asking me "Do you want to play with me?" 15x a day (whenever she asks its just so sweet and almost heartbreaking because her voice sounds like I haven't paid her any attention for hours- which is NOT THE CASE)
Christmas was good. Too many presents, but still good. I'm so annoyed that all my presents weren't winners- Ella maybe plays really with half of them. Bummer. The one that has gotten the most use I think is this sweet princess book.

Brent and I have started a 40 day diet.  We paid $50 for this Clean Simple Eats plan that maps out every meal and every snack and gives you a weekly grocery list and daily workouts. It's going pretty well. the food is pretty good so far (pineapple chicken and coconut rice for dinner tonight, Broccoli and turkey bacon pasta for dinner tomorrow), though the portions are quite smaller than what I would usually eat of course. It's SO nice and easier to have Brent do it along with me. I just bought a food scale online... so we're into it now. The recipes call for oz and grams of things sometimes, so it'll make it easier hopefully to portion correctly.