Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My Two Babies

Olivia is adjusting really well to being a big sister.  She hugs Baby Axel, kisses Baby Axel, asks to hold Baby Axel and she has a hard time leaving him alone when he's napping on the couch (my bedroom, where Axel sleeps, is always really cold!  The venting in the apartment is a little goofy).

But not everything is perfect.  She loves Axel, but she's not so sure about sharing her parents.  Luckily she gets Dad's undivided attention most of the time he's around.  I can give her all my attention when Axel is sleeping, but that is quickly forgotten when he's awake and needs to be fed.  And he's a little fussy boy, so I end up holding him almost anytime he's awake.

That's how Olivia invented her new game: Two Babies.  I must have said that phrase at some point, and now she loves it.  When I'm holding Axel, Olivia will come up to me and ask "Do two babies?"  So I'll lift her up on my right leg (I always hold babies with my left arm.  Do you have a baby holding side?) and then she'll say "Rock 'em"  Which means rock back and forth and sing Rock-a-by Baby.

Its probably one of my favorite things.

Olivia kept smiling at me, instead of turning around and smiling at Dad.  This was the best we could get from her!
Linking up with Shannon @ The Scribble Pad's #littledays

Monday, February 25, 2013

February's Goal I

When I planned my goals for the year I failed to realize that my mom would be here to cook me dinner for the first week of February, so I'll fulfill my goal by cooking four meals this month. (When I put it that way, it doesn't sound like much!)

I'm lucky that dinner got made, taking pictures of it would have been possible but I wasn't concerned about making it look pretty so. . .  I didn't bother!  :) 

On Valentine's Day I made:
Fresh Green Beans
Mashed Potatoes

On February 19 I made:
Salmon and Pasta Dijonnaise (I used this marinade on two small pieces of salmon, baked the salmon in the marinade at 400 for 15 minutes and then shredded the salmon and used the cooked marinade as sauce on whole wheat pasta)
Fresh Broccoli 

I'll do another update when I've cooked my last two meals!  

Friday, February 22, 2013

Five Favorites on Friday: Chidren's Books

To welcome Baby Axel to our family, we got such a sweet gift from Shannon at The Scribble Pad, her son's favorite book, The Little Blue Truck.

We love it and we're excited to get more boy things in our life!  Of course Olivia loves the book and thinks it's hers, but we're also glad to introduce some sharing into our little girl's life!

So I wanted to share our five favorite children's books, mostly according to Olivia and what she requests before bed (and about 50 times all day long!)

Wheedle on the Needle
This was one of my favorite books as a kid and Adam's as well!  When I read it to Olivia I summarize because its kind of long for a toddler, but Adam has magic and can get her to sit through the whole thing!  She loves it and she asks for the Wheedle pretty frequently.

Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street
Olivia loves Elmo and we actually had to hide this book for awhile because we each had to read it four or five times.  When we brought it back out, I started leaving out words and letting Olivia fill them in, she knows it that well!

My Dad Loves Me!
I love hearing Adam read this book to Olivia.  They have the sweetest relationship, melt my heart!

Belly Button Book
This book is the reason Olivia refers to her belly button as a bee bo.  So silly!  But she loves it.

Five Little Lady Bugs
Adam's been reading her books before bed since she was three or four months old and this was the first book she started recognizing and bringing to us to read again and again.

What books do your kids like to read?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sheer Blonde Go Blonder for cheap

In high school I had loooong hair.  And it was blonde (of course).  So I decided to commemorate graduation and moving to BYU I would cut it all off and donate it.  I looked to Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail for inspiration.

This is the only picture I have of me with short hair on this computer. . . (Me with my cute grandparents at Macaroni Grill)

The problem was that I cut off all my blonde.  My hair naturally lightens in the summer and so my roots were a little bit darker and that's basically all that was left after cutting 13".  I've never been one to mess with my hair (no dye, no perms) and so I was hesitant to highlight it.  Until my mom found this awesome hair gel that would gradually lighten your hair.  I used it for a couple years and then it was no longer stocked at any of the stores I shopped with. (I believe you can still buy it online)  What was a girl to do?  I looked at the ingredients and figured peroxide was probably what did the trick.

And since then I've been highlighting my hair with peroxide.  I mix half peroxide half water in a spray bottle and I use it on my hair before bed probably once a month (more when I'm pregnant since my hair grows much faster).  Also, to start out you might need to use it more frequently, and then just occasionally for maintenance.  Recently John Frieda came out with a new product: Sheer Blonde Go Blonder.  I checked the ingredients on the bottle, and yep!  Peroxide.  So for about 97 cents you can make like ten bottles of this stuff, that usually sells for like $7 a bottle.  I'd say that's a good deal! 
Keep in mind that if you're a brunette this isn't really going to work.  You might get some pretty highlights, but you're not going to go blonde.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Our Story (III)

Adam and I continued to be friends, even when they took him off my committee and gave him a different responsibility.  Despite his email, Adam didn't ask me out, and things kept going pretty much as they always had.

One Saturday towards the end of October I got a phone call from Adam.  He asked why I was home on a Saturday night.  I told him I was just waiting for my date to pick me up.  He wanted to ask me out for that night!  I tried to sound cool, but my heart was breaking inside.  My one and only chance and I already had a date.  As soon as I got off the phone I called my dad.  He told me it was better that I was not available.  I hoped that was true.

The next week there was a dinner and a service project.  Lucky for Adam everyone who was supposed to help him had gone out of town.  It was . . . a bit of a disaster.  But men seem to have a way of staying calm, even when a large group of people is showing up for dinner and there isn't any dinner.  I offered to go and pick up some bread to go with the lasagna that was still in the oven cooking.  And the boy who had taken me out that weekend offered to drive me to the store.  Dang, he was cramping my flirting style!  I declined and my roommate and I ran quickly to the store.  Dinner actually went okay! (Men, things always work out for them!)  My roommate conveniently had to leave after dinner, leaving me with out a ride to the food bank and Adam agreed to let me ride with him. 

On the way to the food bank Taylor Swift came on the radio.  "Who's a country music fan?" Adam asked the car full of girls.  All of them.  Except me.  He bragged about his Carrie Underwood tickets and how he wanted to have a contest for all the girls to see which lucky girl he would be taking to the concert.  I pretended not to care.

A week or two later I attended a institute class (like an LDS Bible study) and despite there being a huge turn out, Adam and some friends ended up sitting right in front of me.  I invited him to a non-existent Halloween party, and so my roommate and I quickly planned a Halloween party.  He showed up at the last minute and as he left (at 2am!) he asked me out for the next weekend! (I wrote this story in greater detail here, if you care to read it)  If you ever meet Adam in real life, you'll have to have him show you what I did with my eyes when I said yes.  Its hilarious and I don't believe it at all.

On our first date I honestly thought to myself, "I can't date Adam!  My face cannot take all this laughing and smiling."  We had so much fun and he asked me out again at the end of the date.  That November 19th he took me to see Carrie Underwood in concert.
Our first picture together, taken by Adam's cell phone at the Carrie Underwood concert.

We've been together ever since.  We got married a year and two weeks after our first date, on November 21, 2009.

There are a lot of details I left out, to keep this from getting out of control.  Maybe they'll creep up here and there as different blog posts.  :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Songs for those you love

For Valentine's Day when we were first dating Adam dedicated a song to me on facebook.  Why can't I find that on my stupid timeline?  Oh well not important.  I think the song was Never Wanted Nothing More, by Kenny Chesney.  In turn I dedicated You're My Best Friend by Queen to him.  And even though its not our song, it's become my song for him (I even put it on our wedding video).

The day after we found out Olivia was a girl I was driving to work when Stevie Wonder's Isn't She Lovely came on the radio.  Its like it was meant to be and that has been my song for Olivia ever since.

I was remembering how organic Adam and Olivia's songs had come to me one day.  Maybe later that day, or a few days after I can't remember, I was driving to a doctor appointment because I was pregnant with Axel.  The DJ on the radio started talking about a song by Paul Simon, how it talked about the love between a mother and son.  And I knew it was my song for Axel. 

I worry I wont find songs for the rest of my kids as organically but I'm sure it will happen.

Do you have songs for your children or family members?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

So I post MWF, and since Valentine's Day is on Thursday I had to pick between posting a day early or a day late.  I chose a day early. :)

Look at these kids, so happy, so carefree.  This was the first Valentine's day that I actually had a Valentine!  We celebrated by chaperoning the Sweethearts Dance at Bingham High School.

I love this day, despite never having a Valentine until I met Adam.  I'm sure it's classical conditioning, like Pavolv's dog.  How can I not love a day associated with chocolate, good food, chick flicks and chocolate? 

Wanna know what I'm doing to make it a special day this year?  (We have a newborn, we can't go out, plus we decided not to go out on the actual day anymore)  I can tell you because Adam only reads my blog once a year or so. 

I'm making a love song mix CD for Adam and somehow I'm going to put it in his car so its ready to play when he goes to work Thursday morning.

For dinner I'm going to make steak, stuffed mushrooms, fresh green beans and mashed potatoes.  Hot fudge pie and vanilla ice cream for dessert.

I've found that Valentine's day is a lot like New Year's Eve.  Don't expect too much and just enjoy the day for what it is.  A little bit of specialness goes a long way.

What are your plans for Valentine's Day? 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Our Story (II)

Upon returning from my trip I was pretty much dating Jake.  He came over to my apartment every day after school and I made dinner.  On Wednesday nights I would go visiting people with my Fellowship Committee.  Jake was not a big fan of me driving around the city with Joe, Adam and Merrill.  Sometimes Valerie or Celeste would come, but most often I was the only girl.

Jake continued to get more and more possessive.  And that boy with the bleach blonde spiky hair?  His name was Adam and he continued to be a better and better friend to me.  I had never met a more sincere guy.  Hot girls, homely girls, everyone we went to visit, Adam was equally kind and excited to get know them.  We also talked about our lives.  We talked about my job as a Family and Consumer Science teacher (the new name for Home Ec) and the FCCLA (Family Career and Community Leaders of America, a student organization) adviser.  Adam was in FCCLA in high school and I now worked with some of the people who had been his advisers.  We talked about me dating Jake.  Adam was the only person who I was totally honest with, and he encouraged me to end it.

I was 25.  I shouldn't just go ending relationships.  I could work things out with Jake.  What if I didn't and I ended up single for the rest of my life?  (I have a tendency to be a bit dramatic sometimes, but who doesn't?) And then it hit me.  If I preferred the company of someone else more than my boyfriend I should end it.  Adam will probably never ask me out, but at least being friends with him has shown me the kind of guy I do want to be with and I deserve that.

I will spare you the details, but breaking up with Jake took three tries.  To quote Michael Scott: Yeah I went hunting once.  Shot a deer in the leg.  Had to kill it with a shovel.  Took about an hour.  Why do you ask?

When it was finally done, I quickly changed my facebook status to single.  On September 20, 2008 I got an facebook message from Adam:

Subject: Oh so sorry
Well i am sorry to hear about the breakup.... Well you know there is always me!!!!!

Friday, February 8, 2013

The lesson I missed in college

There are a lot of things I learned in college that have helped me to be a good mom.  First, I was a Family and Consumer Science major so I learned a lot about child development, cooking, sewing and decorating.  Even my non-major classes taught me things like hard work and staying focused that have helped me take care of a baby and toddler. 
A brand new BYU grad, not knowing that I missed the most important lesson of college.
But there is one thing most college students learned that I did not: How to live on little sleep. 

I was probably the only college student who was in bed by 10 or 11 every night and never pulled an all nighter.  I didn't even know that the library played music when it was time to close because I had never been at the library at closing time. 

In that way, being a mom is a huge shock to my system.  When ever I look at friends with two or more children and think, "If they can do it, so can I." I have to stop and remember, that while I was learning how to cook they were learning how to stay up all night.  And right now, with a two week old baby, that skill is more valuable than all the recipes and all the handmade clothing in all the world! 
I wonder how long mom can last on this crazy sleep schedule????

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Baby Axel and Big Sister

 This was not the first time Olivia met Axel, but it was the first time she "held" him.  She wanted to kiss him, but it looked more like she was trying to eat him!  So funny.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Our Story (I)

Every blogger does it.  Every blogger writes the story of how they fell in love.  And I guess I fight to be different and not do what every blogger does.  But when I read Bon's love story today, I realized how much I love reading other love stories.  And if I love it, surely someone else must love it too?  If no one else cares to read it, at least it will be documented for our children, and so for that reason (and others) here it is, finally, our love story:

*    *    *

What if?

The classic question that will freak you out if you ask it too often.

What if I never met Liz?  I would never have become a Family and Consumer Science teacher.  What if I never had a crush on that boy?  I would never have been so determined to live in Salt Lake after graduation.  What if I hadn't moved into those apartments?  I would never have. . . it goes on and on, and so its hard to know where to start our story.  Where does it really begin?  My favorite line from Dan in Real Life is: "So Dan, you were born?"  I could start at my birth, but we don't have that much time.  I'll start the summer after my first year of teaching.  I'll start when I turned 25, because that's when my mom wanted me to get married (or later, but not earlier)

*    *    *

25.  I secretly wondered if my mom was praying that I wouldn't meet the person I was going to marry until I was 25.  And so I wasn't surprised when three days after my 25th birthday a boy from church called and asked me out.  I thought he was really funny, after hearing him speak in church a few weeks earlier, and I had gotten to know him at choir practice (I was the director).  I was done dating jocks and so this slightly nerdy computer science major might be just the guy I was looking for.

We went out once and then he left to go home for a three week break from school.  A girlfriend of mine decided we should go down to St. George for a weekend of shopping, naturally we would stay with Jake at his house (names have been changed to protect the . . . annoying?)  I decided to plan the most epic trip of my life.  To this day, I think it's one of the best things I ever decided to do in life.

The day before I left on my trip I spoke in church.  They also were putting in a new Relief Society Presidency that day (Relief Society is the LDS women's organization, its where women spend their time during the third hour of church) I was asked to be the new secretary.  I was glad to not be choir director anymore.  But they forgot me!  The bishop (the leader of an LDS congregation) announced the new presidency, but stopped before he got to me.  And since speakers sit up in front I almost jumped up to the bishop to inform him of his mistake.  I didn't.  I decided to wait until the meetings were over. The bishop said it wasn't a mistake and asked me to see him after church.

So there I was in my bishop's office.  Instead of RS Secretary they wanted me to be the co-chair of the Fellowship Committee.  Fellowship Committee?  I felt like that was a made up thing.  But I agreed.

"And today," said the bishop, "we asked a young man to be on your committee.  Did you see him stand during sacrament meeting?  Here is his name and number.  Give him a call and let him know how he can help you."  I did see this boy stand up.  Bleach blonde spiky hair, shirt sleeves rolled to just below the elbow, he looked like one of those guys that only came to church to hit on girls in the hallway instead of going to class.  Plus, I didn't even know what I was doing!  How was I supposed to know what help I would need?  And, I informed the bishop of this, I don't call boys. 

The next day I left on my most epic trip ever!  I drove to San Diego to visit my friends Jenny, Shillawna and Lindsey.
Jenny and Shillawna, friends from high school.

Me and Lindsey, college roommate

From there I drove to Orange County to celebrate the 4th of July with my grandparents, cousins and my mom and sister.
Dallin and me.  Buy one cousin, get one free?

Cousin Kyle and me.

Then home to Lancaster for a few days.
Me and my "little" brother Kenny

Kellie, me, Kenny and Hannah.  All of these people tower over me now. 

Then on my way back to Salt Lake I picked up my girlfriend at the Las Vegas airport and we spent three days in St George shopping and eating out and swimming.  Oh and of course staying at Jake's house.  (Sorry no pictures of this part.  I deleted them all.)