Monday, February 29, 2016


Christian has been almost walking for weeks now.
He could walk across the living room, even pivot on one foot and turn around and come back,
wiggling his fingers and twisting his hands and laughing with excitement,
but when he fell, he'd get MAD,
and roll around on the floor until we stood him up again.

Last week, he almost didn't walk at all, didn't even want to try.
But a few days ago, he spent the entire day pushing our toy shopping cart around, back and forth across the house, hour after hour.

And on Friday he'd practice pushing the cart out a few feet in front of him, then walking to it.

On Saturday, we were out in the living room, and all of the sudden, here comes my baby, walking down the hall, all on his own. 

And that was that.
I always feel completely in denial the first day my babies walk. 
I keep thinking, "Okay, this is fun, but you'll crawl again tomorrow, I'm certain!"
Even though I know I'm wrong. 
I just ache to see them walk. Babyhood is over, and it just never lasts long enough.

But this silly, loud, enthusiastic boy has places to go and a big brother and sister to keep up with.

Not to mention lightsabers that are impossible to carry when you crawl, 
so walking just makes sense.

As hard as it is for me to see him get bigger,
watching his silly, happy, loving personality get bigger too is oh so fun.

And after chasing him all around Church today,
I have a feeling I'm going to be seeing a lot more of this busy boy's back from now on. 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

the episode of the tooth

See this kid?
He's pretty awesome. 
He's kind and sweet and thoughtful,
he's helpful and generous with his little brother and sister,
he's quick to obey and loves to snuggle,
and he leaves notes on my pillow almost every night.

"To Mom
Frum Nick
I *heart* you."
Surrounded by smiley faces and hearts.

He's super fun to have around.

Most of the time.

But because he's six, sometimes he's really not easy-going, and really not sweet. 
It's rough, I know. I actually remember being six. I remember I spent a lot of time crying. Thinking about how unfair the world was and how if everyone could just do things the way I was telling them to, life would be awesome.

Turns out, Nick's basically a repeat version of myself.
And you'd think that would make raising him easier, but no. I'm terrible at raising my clone. I'm so grateful I wasn't my own parent, and gosh I hope I don't ruin this boy!

Anyway, on Thursday we went on a walk. 
Nick started throwing a bit of a fit on the way home. He wanted to ride in the stroller where Christian and Ellie were riding. 
Ellie's a peacemaker and a pleaser, so she got out of the stroller for him, but her little legs were tired, so I (logically) suggested they take turns. 
No bueno.

Okay, so I'm sure you can imagine the rest of our walk (especially if you've ever had a six-year-old.)
When we got home, he was still carrying on. And on. And on. 
At one point, he was sitting next to our fireplace while I was working on finally making my own lunch after feeding everyone else, and he was moaning and groaning. With both hands on the sides of his head, he tossed his head back, shouted 
"What on EARTH?!" (His typical phrase when he thinks I'm being unreasonable and ridiculous.)
and threw his head forward.

The crack of his tooth on the corner of the fireplace hearth was so loud I felt it in my bones.
His tooth, the baby tooth just to the right of his front middle grown-up teeth, was pushed backwards and turned to the side and down far enough that he could no longer close his mouth. And there was blood.

Now those of you that know Nick can imagine how the next three hours of our life played out. 
For those of you that don't, I'll just tell you this: One time, he tried to insist he couldn't go to school because he had a papercut. And "Bleeding means DYING, Mom!"

So. I finally handed him the tablet so he could play Agar I/O for a bit and just.stop.screaming.

Once he was calm, and with some incredibly intense "Calm down" pep talks (for both of us), I managed to pull out his tooth. 

And my boy? He didn't even cry. 
(And I didn't pass out, which is almost a bigger achievement. Teeth seriously gross me out.)
(Also, the tooth fairy didn't forget to visit, which is also something to be proud of.)
The end.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

notes to himself.

My little kindergartener loves oatmeal.
He's loved it for years now,
even asked Santa to bring it to him for Christmas two years ago.

I've always used quick oats, cooking them on the stove,
then adding an ice cube to their bowls to cool it off faster,
and serving it with brown sugar, and 
sometimes sprinkles.

But lately Nick has been very eager to gain independence. He wants to go places on his own (he tried to run away from home last week because I'm 'the worst mom in the world,' of course,) he wants to purchase things, order his own food at restaurants, dish his own plates at dinner, and make all his own choices.

So I thought I'd help him out by bringing home some instant microwave oatmeal and teaching him how to make it himself.

As I taught him the steps, he dashed away quick and came back with a paper and pencil, so he could take notes.
I almost died at the cuteness.

He was so observant, writing down how much water to add (2/3 c) and what buttons to press on the microwave (2 0 0) 

I love his steaming bowls of oatmeal drawn in each corner,
the hearts all around his name,
as well as the added notes of 
"I am 6" and "I am love."

But as you can see in the half-erased words over there on the right,
his final thoughts about the instant oatmeal were 

Guess there's at least one thing I'll get to keep doing for him a little while longer.


Valentine's weekend was so great this year.
With the long weekend, my parents and brothers and sister came down to stay with us,
and having them stay here filled our house with such comfortable,
happy "this is home" feelings.

 Nick looking through his loot after school on Friday.
And bless his teacher for having the class make Valentine's bags at school,
instead of bringing Valentine's boxes.

 He got this calendar for New Year's, and we've only had about 37 freak outs centered around his obsession with first drawing a circle, then an X, in every single date. Every single day.
With the black marker.
And only that black marker.

When he got the calendar, though,
he cheered and said,
"Penguins!? Penguins are my favorite animal!"
This boy. What a cutie.

Valentine's Eve my mom and I set out a little Valentine's morning surprise for everyone. My mom brought the cutest gifts and tags.
And those beautiful lilies in the background?
Kent had them sent for me. With the most thoughtful little love note, which may have made me tear up just a little.
 One of the gifts my mom brought was a dinosaur and a volcano for each of the kids.
"You're Dino-mite, Valentine."
The kids got to squirt water into the volcanoes and it fizzed and bubbled
and I don't think they've ever had so much fun so early on a Sunday morning.

We had a lovely dinner with everyone here, then we played Reverse Charades and ate chocolate lava cakes.

 On Monday morning Kent woke up sick, poor guy, but the rest of us went to the Provo City Center Temple open house.
It was CROWDED, but we only had to wait about half an hour
(the standby line was up to four hours long by the time we left!)
and goodness, that temple is beautiful.
By far the most beautiful I've seen. Incredible.

We ended the morning with a visit to Rockwell Ice Cream in Provo,
and if you're nearby, you really must try it. It's our new favorite dessert place.
And the perfect way to finish up a really lovely weekend of love.


January started out with us packing up all our suitcases, totes, Christmas presents, and heading back to our rented condo to wait the last few weeks before our house was finished. 

Packing up suitcases was getting pretty old at this point.
We were so grateful to have found this nice, clean, beautiful condo so close to our new home, but it really wasn't the most baby-friendly place. 
Christian made the best of it, though, trapping himself under the dining chairs several times a day.

We read Bartholomew and the Oobleck one afternoon, and then Sarah, the kids, and I made our own oobleck to play with. 

Nicholas made Ellie "lunch" one afternoon, and he was SO proud of himself. He even washed and sliced the strawberries. 

We spent plenty of time visiting the new house, checking on the progress, and wishing we could just stay there!


On moving day, the kids were so helpful.....
(But notice the little packs of kleenex? Nick got those out and handed one to every person in the house, leaving one on the windowsill for Kent and I.)
Nick also arranged the canned food in the pantry for me, even writing on a post-it note "Nick did this," so I'd know who to thank. 

January had so much snow. And fog. And more snow. And more fog.
There were too many days in a row that I couldn't see anything but white outside our windows.

Nick was thrilled to ride the bus for the first time.
He walks to the bus stop with our sweet little neighbor girl, who is also in his class at school. 

I'd heard about apple cider vinegar and how good it is for you, 
this last month I've given it a try.
I'm not sure if it's doing much for me, but the taste has grown on me--I put a tablespoon or so into a glass of juice each morning, and I love it!
Found matching shirts for my boys. 

One of my favorite parts of January? 
Sending the kids out to play in our new HUGE yard. They went sledding almost every day out here, and if there was no other reason that we moved, having space for them to play outside is worth it all.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


 Mornings here are magical.
The light hits the peaks of those mountains first, 
and then slowly creeps into the sky.

There's so much white. 

 We wake slowly, 
snuggling together in front of the fire for a while before eating breakfast.

 Nicholas rides the bus now (super hooray!) so I get to stay warm and pajama-clad here with Ellie and my baby.

These mornings have been so quiet, so dreamy,
I've been having so much fun hanging paintings and mirrors and decorating, then redecorating (gotta get things in the right place!), organizing drawers and closets,
and unpacking boxes,
it's been lovely.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

scrunchy face

 Oh man, this tiny boy of mine.
He's mischievous, silly, sweet, loud, and 
I seriously cannot get enough of him. 

Why, why can't I freeze time?  
 When I catch him doing something dangerous/odd/silly I say,
"Christiiiaaan!" and he turns to me

 and first one eye squints, then the next, 
then his perfect little nose scrunches up, 
and then he grins. 

I'm in so much trouble with this one, guys.
I'm in for it. He's going to be trouble.
And I just can't believe how lucky I am to have him.

Christian is almost 11 months old, and he really isn't a fan of real food.
He'd much rather be playing, or sticking his foot up on his tray.
He still breastfeeds about 4-5 times a day and 3 or 4 times through the night.
The only food I can be certain he'll always eat is avocados. He devours them. He'll eat an entire avocado in one sitting.
He also loves to drink smoothies from a straw. 
And eat almost anything that was supposed to be mine. But if it was meant for him? He's not interested.

I mentioned this before, but he seriously loves turning on the bathtub in my bathroom. All day long I'll catch him sliding down the hall on his belly as fast as he can, heading for the master bathroom so he can stand next to it and turn the water on, off
on off on off
over and over again.

My sister, Sarah, taught him to throw his hands in the air when we say "Hooray!" last week, 
and it's been a week of him sticking his arms up and expecting us to shout.
I was working out a few days ago, doing jumping jacks,
and Christian thought I was trying to get him to sign "hooray," so he joined in,
and then I had to shout "Hooray!" at the top of each jumping jack. 
Between that and his attempts to climb up my legs while I do lunges, he's the best little workout buddy.

He's constantly getting himself stuck under chairs, in the baby gate on the stairs, in boxes, under the table, and in the dishwasher. I have to rescue him several times every hour. He crawls off and a few minutes later I hear him start to shriek, 
"AHHHH!" in his tiny little squeaky voice, 
which means I need to drop what I'm doing (again) and save my little toad.

He's THIS close to walking. Today he let go all on his own and toddled across the room. More than once. 
I told him he couldn't walk until we were in the new house, 
because the condo had all tile and was incredibly not baby-friendly,
but now we're here, 
and he's forcing me to keep my promise.
 Once he learns to stop giving himself applause while he walks, 
he'll be off.  
Clapping and walking is a little tricky, but he just gets so excited, he can't help it!

I predict that by the end of the week he'll be walking.
I knew he'd be an early walker, so it's not really unexpected,
but I'm sure going to miss the way his toes squeak on the laminate floor as he army crawls, or the way sometimes he army crawls with his fists in the air, ala Superman-in-flight, cheering as he glides,
or the way he's been learning to crawl like a normal baby on hands and knees, and the adorable slap slap slap of his hands as he comes to find me. 

Babyhood isn't long enough. 

Today he had his first taste of chocolate.
It went well.
Nicholas and Ellie laughed and laughed as he clambered out of my arms, 
reaching and reaching for the rest of the chocolates. 
Goodness, he's perfection.