Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What's the cutest thing you've ever seen...

...that I'm avoiding like the plague?

Thumb sucking.  She figured it out.  And she loves it.  

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Name and a Blessing

While out in Utah, we took advantage of having(almost) all of my siblings together to formally bless Elizabeth.  She was given a name and a blessing by Dave.  My dad, brothers Eric and Tyler, brother-in-law Ben, and Bishop Perry helped with the blessing, as well.  

Though this blessing is not considered a saving ordinance, it meant a lot to me to have family there to be a part of this experience for E.  She wore the same blessing gown that my sisters and I wore when we were infants.  She was officially named -- Elizabeth Venice -- and given a sweet blessing.  

As I think about the names Lizzy bears, I am reminded of the many, many people -- here on the earth, as well as beyond the veil -- who love her and will do anything to help her be happy and succeed in this life.  Lizzy comes from a long line of Elizabeths; good, strong, stalwart, even funny women who had faith in God, worked hard, and led purposeful lives.  Lizzy also bears the name of Venice, named after my dad's mother.  She is a woman of virtue, sincerity and discipline.  She is educated, cultured and thoughtful.  Not to mention, she can always find a deal and has lovely long toes.  Lizzy inherited her toes; I hope she inherits the other qualities, as well.   

We love you, Lizzy.  

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mountain Air: Park City 2011

Did you know there really is such a thing?  Mountain air:  crisp, rejuvenating, even cleansing.  I never realized how much I took those mountainous surroundings for granted until we went back to Utah a couple weeks ago.  Aside from the sheer beauty of it, there's something in the air that just brings me back to life.  I love it.  Mountain air?  Yes, I'm a believer.

The first weekend we arrived in Utah, we headed up to Park City.  Since this trip to Utah was essentially our summer vacation, we wanted to actually have some vacation time (before the wedding madness began).

Growing up in Utah, I never really "vacationed" to Park City.  It never really seemed like a long enough distance away to really be a vacation.  So my summer experience with PC was minimal.  But after spending a few days there, I was certainly not let down.  It is beautiful.  Green.  Cool with a warm sun.  Tons of activities.  Not too many people.  And the summer deals weren't too shabby, either.

We stayed at Deer Valley and took advantage of the mountain.  We rode the lifts up, hiked around, had a delicious lunch outside, and managed to wear Winston out enough that he fell asleep on the lift back down...and slept for three hours after that!

We rode the Alpine Slide, Alpine Coaster and little airplanes, rode mountain bikes, walked Main Street, ate delicious meals -- all outside -- and  treated ourselves to caramel apples.  And just before we had to go, we were able to meet up with dear friends we don't get to see often enough.

It was the perfect little vacation.  I'm so glad we made our mountain escape.


{Arranged marriages:  Olive -- 27 mos; Lizzy -- 4 mos; Major -- 8 mos; Winst -- 29 mos}

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Looked like this

Just got back from a special trip.
Looked something like this.
More details soon.

Monday, August 8, 2011

W update

{Dr. Rees}
{Affectionately called Blue Bike; how creative.}
{Who teaches this kid this stuff?}
{Dress up}
{We traced W on paper one afternoon; I felt like I was back at the Little Red School House.} 

I haven't forgotten about this little boy of mine.  He's 2 years and 4 months-ish.  He starts a Kids Day Out program in the Fall.  He's growing up, this boy of mine.  
  • Talk, talk, talk!  New words come out of nowhere everyday.  It's amazing what he picks up on now.  
  • "Bye, bye Mommy!  See you!"
  • Potty training.  Not so much on the fun side.  And there's a lot of nakedness around here.
  • "Blue bike" was his reward for filling up his potty chart.  The balance bike is pretty awesome, and he's rather gifted at it, too.  He zips around the house all day.
  • Eating like a horse, which is a miracle
  • Doesn't stop moving for about 12 hours every day
  • "Ohhh, cuuuute baby."  He says this about everything smaller than him.  
  • Has become rather polite, saying, "Yes, please," "Thanks!" and "Peas (please)."  
  • "!"
  • Loves Buzz and Woody (Toy Story) and Vrooom (Cars) movies.  
  • Despite his spirited nature, he can sit and focus on a book.  What a relief.  
  • It's taken 2 1/4 years, but he actually gets sad when I leave him now.  Leaving him at nursery at church, with a babysitter or at the gym means automatic meltdown.  I'm talking, sobbing/screaming meltdown.  
  • Calls Lizzy, "Sissy" or "blue eyes."  
  • Likes to get her "pass" (pacifier) and let's me know when she cries. 
  • He's also teaching her how to roll over.  Anytime I roll Lizzy over, W insists on showing her how to do it, too.
  • When I burp Lizzy, W will often pat himself on the back and pretend to burp himself, sound effects and all.  
  • Does the fist pump to the Scripture Power primary song.  
  • Teaches us how to pray:  "Eyes (pointing) cwoze."  Folds his arms.  Then bows his head very dramatically.
  • Says his own prayers at night by repeating what we say.  
  • Any time D says he's going to mow the lawn, W asks if he can blow.  Meaning, he'd like to use the blower.  Yes, W knows how to use the blower.  And he knows you use the blower after mowing the lawn.  Future landscaper?  
  • Can count one to ten (mostly) and really improving on the ABC's.  
  • LOVES to have friends around.
  • Knows that he can avoid naptime a little longer if he says he has to go potty. 
  • Pretends to play the drums, guitar, violin and piano.  He assigns parts to us in the car.  We each "play" an instrument for the song.  He can even listen to something and pick out which instrument it is.  I'm kind of bragging.  
  • Swims with a lifejacket with no problem.  Still jumps off the side and diving board with no fear.  And would prefer to swim without any assistance at all times.  
  • Asks why relentlessly.  The only way to stop a series of whys is to ask him, "Why not?"  Then he  says, "because, ummmm,"and then stops.  
  • Says "ewww" a lot
  • If he falls, runs into something or somehow injures himself, he always says, "Ouchie, Mommy, my knee," even if his knee has nothing to do with his injury.  Somehow, though, that knee is always hurt.  
  • Three words:  shoot, ball, hoop.  Say that quickly three times.
  • If he misses the basket while playing "shoot ball hoop," he always exclaims, "Close!" regardless of how close or not you came to making a basket.
  • Perhaps we watch too many Cardinals games, but W perfectly performs the correct stance and swing of a baseball bat.  
Winston is the best.  He is such a busy boy.  Such a smart boy.  Such a funny boy.  He is growing like a weed and having a great ol' time doing it.  Each night when he finally goes to bed, I feel exhausted, but also so, so proud of him and so thankful to have him in my life.  He's teaching me a lot.  Particularly in the patience category.  But he is sweet.  He has a zest for life most would envy and his curiosity is unquenchable.  As the doctor put it the other day, with that amount of energy, you hope he will always put it to good use.  What amazing things he'll be able to do.  

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Lizzy rolled off the chair the other day.
Shame on me for propping her up there!
I just had to vacuum underneath her.
And then vacuum the whole rest of the kitchen....while I was on a roll.
Shame on me!
When I finally did turn off the vacuum to check on her, she wasn't there.
That's when my heart stopped.
It's a sickening feeling.
The sight of her wedged between the ottoman and chair.
Her head inches, no, centimeters away from the brick fireplace.
I snatched her up.  So fast.
Seeing her breathing.
No blood.
Not even tears.
Just a little scared (thinking, what in the world just happened to me?!  where is that lady?!).
The first words to come out:  Thank you!
Thank you for keeping her safe.
Thank you!
Thank you for protecting her.
Thank you!
It made me a little choked up.
I am grateful.

I don't think there's such a thing as single parenthood.

EVR: Four months

July 31, 2011

Four months old and have you ever seen a cuter face?  Lizzy is smiling like crazy.  She even giggles here and there, and flails her arms about as her excitement bubbles over.  She is such a happy baby, despite the two teeth that have already sprouted along her lower gums.  Poor girl!  The doctor says she's a four-month-old in a six-month-old's body.  She can do it all, except sit up on her own.  Her stats show just how above average this little girl really is.  

Height:  26 inches (96%)
Weight:  16lb 8oz (95%)

  • Lizzy and Sissy nicknames seem to be sticking around.  
  • Also affectionately called Love Bug.
  • Two teeth.  Two teeth!  I'm thinking the same thing you are.  
  • First rice cereal, per doctor's request, at 4 months and 2 days.
  • Loves to swim in the pool.
  • Loves to lie in the bathtub.  Especially with her brother.  She outgrew the Puj tub, so now she lies on the Puj in the regular bathtub.  
  • Still sleeps with her left arm out of her swaddling blanket, and manages to pull out her other arm and kick her legs free.  Houdini?  
  • So, so close to rolling over.
  • Manages to kick around her crib and end up in different positions and locations.
  • Grabs and holds on to her toes.
  • Intently focuses on her hands.
  • Blonde hair coming in.
  • A few really long strands, too.
  • Oh, those blue eyes.  
  • Chub.  Big time chub.
  • Requests to be held for as many hours a day as possible.  
  • Coos and chatters all the time.  I love it.  
  • Still loves a song.
  • Everything goes in her mouth.  And Papa is a favorite because he'll always let her chew on his finger.
  • Stands up as much as possible.
  • Loves to snuggle in bed with me in the morning (a big difference from her older brother).
  • Prefers to hold a blanket up to her face when she sleeps (just like her brother).

Oh Elizabeth, I love you so.  I love you more and more all the time.  You fit in so perfectly into our family.  It's like you were here all along.  

Love you, baby girl.  

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

You've had a baby? Laugh it off

You know when an athlete falls, gets hit, or somehow injures herself and the coach instructs her to "walk it off?"

Well, it's nearly three o'clock in the afternoon and I just got out of the shower.  I had the best of intentions of going to the library today, running some errands and preparing a decent meal for dinner.  Those intentions lasted about 10 seconds, which was the amount of time between Lizzy opening her eyes for the day and W screaming from his room.

This is the life I live nowadays.'s good.  It's a fleeting time, they tell me, these days when I sometimes feel like all I do is wipe bottoms, wash yellow fecal matter from clothing (mine and, that is), empty the potty into the big potty over and over again, pick up toys, read the same books.  Eat, nap, change, rinse and repeat.  They tell me I'll look back on these days fondly and wish I could relive them.

Sometimes I wonder who "they" are.

Sometimes I wonder if "they" ever had children.

Or do "they" just sit back and laugh at the awkwardness and hilarity of teaching small people the facts of life?

I mean, you've got to laugh when you hear, "Don't touch your bottom.  Do you need to poop?  Well stop touching your bottom!" repeated 7,000 times a day.  Or watch a lady walk around the house all day with spit up on her shoulder and a half-naked boy following her.  Thank goodness she didn't leave the house.

It is funny, isn't it?  I have to laugh at it all sometimes.  After the second blowout (on me), the dog failing to make it outside, and the boy on a seek-and-destroy-everything-I-touch mission, I just have to laugh it off.  

Or I just might cry.