Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer Fun...

Our community has a concert in the park once a month.  Mr. Steady was not able to make it with us because of his back and he could hardly walk : (  I couldn't have made it out with my three kids without my friend Dena's help.  Ahh, the camaraderie of a sweet friend!

Bug was fascinated with this Marine's shoes.  She kept walking up to him and touching his shoes.  He was trying to dance with another little girl, but had to keep stopping because Bug kept getting in the way.  It was so funny!  Bug loves shoes, especially shinny ones.  The girl has a shoe fetish... I promise she didn't get it from me.  This mama wears flips almost everyday : )

A local photographer took a picture of Bug and Mama on the dance floor.  Clearly she is having fun, I on the other hand, am concentrating really hard on our cool moves.  Haha.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I'm going to miss this

My kids are growing up before my eyes.  It is hard to believe that 5 years ago I was getting to the uncomfortable stage of my pregnancy with H.  Or that Bug is already talking and in her best attempts nurturing her baby brother.  Or even that sweet Baby Bro is filling out, more alert and getting stronger...  all way too quickly.

So often my days run together with the busyness of taking care of the kids, the house, Mr. Steady and staying in touch with dear friends.  I am all too guilty of looking forward to the next time everyone will be sleeping (be it naps or bedtime) so that I can get stuff done.  Ugh, I want my heart to soak in each day and to enjoy it, not wish it away.

If you are a mama of little ones and have 5 minutes  to spare, please read this post by MckMama.  I was so encouraged by her words and challenged to strive each day to make the most of my time with my kids while they are still little!  It really does go by WAY to quickly.

So here is to embracing the noise, chaos, mess, lack of sleep and occasional fighting... because I will also get the laughter, games, smiles, memories, snuggles, stories, teachable moments, songs, nurturing, dancing and so much more.  Like I said about pregnancy... I am sure going to miss this!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

When do we really grow up?

I have been pondering that question a lot lately... when do we really grow up??

I feel like so much "growing up" actually happens as adults.  I think that it took turning 30 and having my 3 kids always with me to finally no longer picture myself as a 21 year old.  Seriously, I constantly thought of myself as if I was just finishing up college.  I desired to spend my time as if I still just had myself to worry about... wondering when I could escape to the coffee shop to chat with a friend or go on a date with Mr. Steady.  Not only have I grown up a little in my self perception, but hopefully in all other ways as well : )

As my friend Nic wrote about here that the house they owned when she had her first 3 kids is where she "grew up."  Isn't that so true, how much growing up happens for us as adults when we have kids.  Not saying to my faithful readers that are not yet parents that you are not a grown up... there is just so much that changes when these little people steal a piece of your heart and every second of your day.

Recently I was talking with one of my dear friends and she shared with me how much she was missing her dad.  He passed away 3 years ago.  She said that she just missed his influence over her life at this critical stage of growing up.  It is, for many of us mid 20's to mid 30's that we establish our families;  that we lay the ground work and start to raise our kids.  During this time we figure out who we really are. 

I have had many friends say that they loved being 30.  Because, for the first time in life they truly accepted who they are, who God created them to be, not hindered by what others think.  Ahh, that sounds so refreshing.  I would love to proclaim that I have arrived.  I mean I have been 30 now for a little more than 6 months : )  I am not there yet, but I do see huge growth in that direction.  For me I wouldn't say that it was just because I turned 30, but more from other influences at this time in my life.  Having 3 young kids that depend on me every day is stretching, but knowing that they are learning from my example is completely humbling!  But a bigger influence than that, has been God working in my heart, teaching me, stretching me and showing me that really I am NOTHING without Him.  Whew, how is that for some growing up?!?  Growing out of our self-reliance and self-focus and growing into humble reliance on our Creator and focusing on showing others love and grace.

Here is to growing up and becoming who we were created to be.  May we all be "growing up" more every day.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Super Hero H-man

H- practicing flying... aka jumping off of the stairs.... don't worry, he isn't allowed to go higher than the 4th stair, the pictures make it look more dramatic than it really was.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Above and Beyond

Have you ever had someone that constantly goes above and beyond in serving?

Two weeks ago Mr. Steady and I went out to Denver for one of my best friend's wedding.  We had considered bringing H and Bug out to the wedding with us, but after much debate we decided that it would be best to leave them at home.  But with who?  I told Mr. Steady, "If only we were still in Utah, I would totally have Kaitlyn watch the kids."  And my sweet hubby said, "well, what would it take to have her come here to watch the kids?"  I immediately text Kaitlyn (cause I am cool like that) to see if she would come.  She jumped on the opportunity, we worked out the details and 25,000 skymiles later, she was on her way.

I was ECSTATIC, and when I told H the next morning that KK (that is what he has always called Kaitlyn) was coming his excited far exceeded my expectations.  You see KK isn't just some babysitter.  She has been a huge part of H's life since he was a year old.  She has loved on and invested in my kids as if they were her own.  She is incredible, to say the least!

Not only does KK take excellent care of my kiddos, she understand me as a mom.  She embraces that I have a "high need to know," so she sends me text updates or fills me in on the details when I get home.  This time she even took notes daily on what the kids did, ate, even funny things they said.  

And as if that is not enough the house is always cleaned up when KK has been there.  I know, I know that is how all of us used to do it back in the day when we babysat; but unfortunately that is no longer the norm!  Kaitlyn is a servant in every possible way!  Man I miss having her as a part of our everyday life!

Quick plug, if you live in the Salt Lake area and are looking for one increcible gal to care for your little ones, let me know and I can get you in touch with Kaitlyn.  I will be jealous, but if we can't enjoy time with KK someone should : )

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

2 Months Old

Baby Bro turned 2 months old yesterday.  Such a sweet little man, I cannot get enough of him!

Baby Bro is still getting up 1-2 times a night and is a pretty consistant napper during the day!  He is a great eater and now that I have cut out dairy he is hardly spits-up.  I think all of his good eating and lack of spitting up greatly contributes to the fact that he is a little on the chubby side; at least for one of my kiddos!    It is all relative, right?!  At his 2 months check up he was over 11 pounds and is in the 45% for weight.  I don't think H was ever above the 20% for weight and Bug has never been above the 5%!  Yay, little man, I love your soft skin and cute rolls... please keep up the chubs : )

He is one content and easy-going dude!  Not much upsets him and he is very consolable, just pick him up and the fussing is done. 

BB started smiling a few days ago too; we have yet to capture his cute smile on camera, but soon!   He is also starting to coo, especially to his mobile.  He is changing every day, I am enjoying each new development but so wishing I could slow down these first few months.  I LOVE the newborn stage!

 It is hard to believe that it has already been 2 months!  All of the days somewhat blur together  : )

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

6 in 36

Yes, 6 does go into 36, 6 times
But multiplication is not the point of this post...

As a family we have been to 6 medial appointments in the last 36 hours... that means 6 trips to a medical office, 6 times signing in, 6 times filling out paperwork and 6 co-pays (well we did get one freebie in the mix).  We only have 5 members of our family and 2 of us have not even been seen (me and H).  So why so many visits... let me break it down...

1.  Baby Bro had his 2 month check-up and is doing Awesome!  Our first kiddo that is above the 25% for weight, our little chunkers : )  I will write another post with all his stats.
2.  Bug had what I thought was cavities on 2 of her teeth.  Two teeth that she has only had for 6 months.  I was having a mini freak out about them, wondering what kind of white-trash mom I was that my 21 month old already had cavities.  To my pleasant surprise it was just staining on her teeth.  The only mystery is that staining on kids teeth is usually caused by high doses of Iron or Antibiotics, Bug has had neither.  Strange!  This appointment was our freebie, thanks to an amazing dentist that sees patients under 30 months for free!  Bug had such a great first experiance at the dentist, after the initial lip quiver and almost tears, she cooperated really well and did AMAZING!
3.  Physical Therapy for Mr. Steady's back (Monday morning)
4.  Physical Therapy for Mr. Steady's back (Tuesday morning)
5.  This afternoon, emergency visit to the doctor for a nerve block for... you guessed it Mr. Steady's back.
6.  Tonight, last appointment of the day at an MRI facility for Mr. Steady.

Uggh, Mr. Steady's back has been far from STEADY.  He has a herniated disc in his back, which is now causing major sciatica pain.  He can hardly walk, just standing is extremely painful.  He can't pick up any of the kids, put on his own shoes, or any normal daily activities.  It is hard seeing him in this much pain.  It is hard knowing how to best help.  And I am not going to lie, it is hard carrying the load of taking care of the kids, meals, house... by my (sleep-deprived) self.

Please be praying that he feels much better soon.  And that when the doctor reviews the MRI tomorrow that it is clear what the treatment plan should be.  And if you think of me, pray that my house will magically clean itself, that the kids will obey perfectly, that Baby Bro will sleep through the night... oh wait, that is totally unrealistic... so please pray that I may have patience, endurance and a joyful attitude!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cloth Diapers- post 2

Baby Bro is now in cloth diapers too!  Wow, we are going to save a lot of money using cloth since we now have 2 kiddos in diapers.

I first wrote about cloth diapers in a different post, you can read about it here.

Just a few more thoughts / notes on our system...
I wash the diapers every 2 days.  I used to do 2 days of cloth diapers, 1 day in disposables while I washed the cloth.  I now have more diapers and 2 dry bags so I try to use cloth as much as possible. We are very flexible though.

When I take a dirty diaper off of Bug or Baby Bro, I re-fasten the Velcro straps, flip the top of the back of the diaper inside out to protect the Velcro tabs, then take the inserts out. (On the BumGenius).

I store dirty diapers in a dry bag.

Washing Routine:
1.  Unzip the dry bag
2.  Dump all diapers into the washer
3.  Add dry bag to the washer
4.  Wash on a short cold cycle
5.  Wash on a hot cycle, with detergent and an extra rinse
     (I just switched to Rock'n Green for my detergent and have been happy so far)
6.  Hang all covers
7.  Dry for a few minutes the liners (makes them softer)
8.  Hang all liners to complete drying process
9.  Re-stuff diapers so they are ready for Bug and Baby Bro to wear

It might sound tedious to some, but our little system works well for me and really doesn't take that much time.  I figure it is worth not having to spend $100 a month on diapers!

Okay and this is just totally my opinion... so take it for what it is worth...
I have personally grown to love my white cloth diapers and my blue ones.  White because they don't stand out.  If Bug is wearing a dress and her white cloth diaper shows it  does not draw attention, it looks like a normal diaper.  However, if all of the white ones are dirty and she is wearing Grasshopper green or Ribbit, it is like a neon sign flashing "look at me, and look at my crazy granola mom."
 BumGenius 3.0 One-Size Cloth Diaper-Ribbit
{I know, I am a bit granola and I should just embrace it... all the jokes in high school about being a granola girl might have left a little scar... and I digressed}  The blues I like because my kids wear jeans a lot and the blues just blend right in.  At least stay neutral with the colors you pick out... especially now that baby ended up being a boy, I am really glad that I only have 5 pink diapers... cause once Bug is potty trained they might not be getting very much use.  Just my thoughts for those of you getting ready to make the investment in cloth!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Alone Play Time

This by no means is an original thought of mine, just an idea that was shared in a book and that I was able to see other mom's carry out that I have to share...

In the mommy group that I went to this last Spring, once a month the speaker would ask some of the mom's "What in this stage of motherhood could they not live without."  Some said their mom or best friend, a good book... the most popular answer by far was iPhone.  I have been thinking about this question a lot in light of being a mommy of 3.  My new answer of what I could not live without at this stage is... Alone Play Time (APT).  Not for me, for my kids : )  Almost everyday my kids do alone play time.

Who is  it for?  All of my kids
What is it?  Just what it sounds like time for each kiddo to play all by them-self.
Where?  H in his room, Bug in her crib and Baby Bro in his crib.
When?  We do alone play time every day, usually mid morning.
Why?  For oh, so many reasons...  but my top 3 are:
1.  I need that time (now more than ever).  It is when I get ready, make lunches if we are headed out, pack up the car, make calls, do my quiet time, get setup for craft projects... whatever it is pressing for that day that is easier done alone.
2.  It is good for kids to learn to play all by themselves.  Too many kids in our society are constantly looking to others to entertain them. 
3.  I think that it helps improve their ability to concentrate.  I know at my house, if the kids are in the play room there are tons of toys to choose from, that they often move from one activity to the next without really focusing on one toy.  For APT, they only get 2-3 toys and 2-3 books.  This gives them time to focus on these toys and books without getting distracted.

How does it work?  It is different for kids of different ages.  But I would say start em' young.

With H we started APT when he was only a few months old.  It started out as time with his mobile in his crib.  Then when he could hold onto toys, I would give him a few toys to reach for, hold or bat at.  For H as an infant he would do APT for up to 20 minutes.  As they get a little older you can add a few minutes to that.  I am starting this with Baby Bro now; just this morning he had 10 minutes of mobile time.

For Bug, I made the HUGE mistake of not starting APT until she was 14 months old.  She hated it at first and would throw a huge fit protest for the first 10 minutes each time.  Now she loves it (most days) and is up to 30-45 minutes.  I always play a kids CD, give her a few toys and books.  The toys I give her are ones that are only for APT, and most of them are manipulative toys of some kind (box where shapes go in the holes, stacking cups, large legos...)  The true alluring factor for Bug about APT is that she gets to go back in her crib where her beloved binky and blanket are (the girl is truly addicted to her binky).

With H now, he gets full reign of his room.  I have special toys in his room that are just for APT or he can pick out something else if he would like.  H also gets a CD (of his choice) in his room to listen to as he plays.  He often ends up playing with something different that he started with, but that is really fine with me.

APT has been crucial for me in this transition.  I am hoping that when I am not sleep-deprived that I can get up before the kids to get ready and get a start on my day.  Once that is happening I want to stagger their APT so I make sure I am getting 1 on 1 time with each kiddo!

If you only have a baby, start now, you won't regret it!  If your little one is a toddler just know that it might come with some resistance, but give it a try.  Save their favorite toys for APT, start out with just 5 or 10 minutes, you can talk it up too, build it up in their mind about how this is a special time.  If you have a preschooler be sure to let them help pick the music and activity.  One other tip that I think helps is that I try to be on the floor playing with my kids in the time leading up to APT.  I want them to have time with me.  I think it helps them to know they are not going to APT because mommy doesn't want them around. 

So, that is one little tip that has worked wonders for me that I am so thankful someone passed my way... hopefully, it will encourage one of you out there : )

Thursday, August 12, 2010


"Be Careful..."
How many time do we say this to our little ones?  I personally say it all of the time... probably too much.  I recently realized that often I have not done a good job of explaining what "Be Careful" really means (or looks like).  There are so many things that this one statement can mean... don't drop that, walk slowly, stop and think, be cautious in what you are doing, don't spill, watch for cars...  With so many things "Be careful," can mean this is not an all-inclusive training, but a start on what it means to focus on the task and to have steady hands.

I created a mini obstacle course, maybe relay challenge is a better way to describe it.  We filled up a bunch of water balloons and put them in a bin, gave the kids a large spoon to scoop up the balloons and carry them over to the other side. (H could hold the spoon, but it was too hard for Bug, so Daddy took turns with H)
So I didn't get great pictures of the process... but the point was made.  It really helped H have a better understanding of what I mean by "be careful."  We will work on what being careful means in other areas... so much to teach and train our little ones : )

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

busy last few weeks....

Wow, can't believe how long it has been since I last posted!  Life has been busy but good!  One of the most exciting things in the last 2 weeks was that one of my best friends got married!!!  Mr. Steady and I went out to Denver to join in the wedding festivities.  It was such a joy to get to be a part of Jenn and Josh's big day!  One quick picture of the beautiful bride...

On the home-front

We brought this crazy kid on a Mommy & Daddy Date...
To watch the Red Sox beat the Angels!
We had one tired boy on the way home, but it was well worth keeping him up past 10pm for the game!
This might sound funny to some, but we have a created a "bucket list" of what we want to do in Cali and going to a Sox vs. Angels game was high on the list!  

 Regular posting will be resumed... so come back soon!


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