Friday, January 31, 2014

Lately (Part II)

I have a feeling that there might be a lot of  these "Lately" posts. I seem to have lost all creativity and can only think to do post updates with big lists of things going on. Perhaps it's just a phase...whatever it is I'm sure it'll be fun to remember all these little things some day.

**One afternoon, Shae refusing to take his nap. I hear him playing and then all of a sudden screaming. I run up to check on him and the first thing I see when I open the door is blood on the crib railing. I found a nice puncture in his tongue so he must have just bitten himself but it sure did give me a nice scare.

**Changing Shae's dirty diaper in the morning I find a pebble-marble thing (one of those crafty things that people put at the bottom of vases for decoration) smack dab in the middle of the stinky. He had been playing with some of them with some little boys getting into things the previous day. I thought I had watched him well enough with them but apparently I hadn't. Poor digestive system. Explains why he woke up so many times during the night. 

**Had my friend from Costa Rica over with some other mama's so that she could teach us how to make Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding, or literally "Rice with Milk" and I mean MUCHO milk. Holy smokes. Regular milk, evaporated milk, sweeten condensed milk...No wonder mine never turned out very creamy before). It was delicious. We taught her how to make lemon bars which is one of my favorite desserts. Also delicious. 

**Branch party/farewell for a few missionaries at the Stake Presidents house. 

**Family Disney dance parties (Darin might deny this but he totally gets his modern dance on to some good ol' "Whole New World"). We're on a Disney kick as of late. Thank you Youtube for making this possible. Also, we haven't even seen Frozen yet but we are addicted to the soundtrack. So good. I mean, listen to this song and tell me that it doesn't make you want to jump up and start doing a dramatic contemporary number made up on the spot. 

**New recipes for the past two weeks: Kaitlyn's Savory Chicken Bites (She used to make these for Darin for his birthday because he liked them so much. It was finally time for me to make them too. This will definitely be a regular from now on. Yuuumy). Baby Banana Cookies, not bad, Shae liked them anyways. And then this Crock Pot Vegetable Ziti that I LOVED. These recipes were much more successful than the first two weeks recipes.

**Me thinking I was intense enough to try level 3 of Jillian Micheal's 30 day shred. I got R-O-C-K-E-D. Like, bad. Embarrassing. I was ashamed to look into Jillian's eyes again a few days later when I went back down to level 2. 

**Shae and I went to WISC (Williamsburg Indoor Sports Complex) for the first time last week with a friend. They have a day where the gym is open for toddlers so we thought we'd check it out. Shae isn't really a "toddler" yet and was one of the few that couldn't walk yet but he still seemed to love it.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Finished a baby quilt for my Molly. I kind of hated this quilt while I was doing it, I guess that's what happens when you try to be creative and make things up as you go. I liked it a little bit better when I finally added the red border (which looks so much better in person than in this picture). It's just a little too busy for me and the colors didn't mesh as well as I had hoped, oh well.

Now I just have to keep hoping that it gets there okay because apparently I put the wrong zip code on the package and it looks like it's in limbo. A 45 minute conversation later with the post office customer service and I'm still worried for it's life.

Finished another puzzle! This one was fun. I think it's the first puzzle that I really felt committed to and felt like I actually played a big part in its completion (usually Darin is so focused and works on it nonstop once he's started that I end up placing a handful of pieces).

We went on a little puzzle search to a few thrift stores a few weeks ago and this was one of the ones that we found that was used (surprisingly we've found quite a few unopened puzzles at thrift stores that are obviously a lot cheaper than buying new ones other places). We are always a little hesitant about buying the opened ones because it would be so easy for there to be missing pieces. But for a dollar, I convinced Darin that we should get it. Darin is OCD when it comes to puzzles and freaks out if a piece is missing so he made me (okay he ended up helping) count all 1000 pieces to make sure we had them all. When our total came to 1007 we assumed we were safe and thankfully we were. 

Apparently the snow was NOT finished. We were at the bottom of the northern snow storm last week and this week we were at the top of the southern snow storm. I don't mind it. I like looking out the window to see a beautiful white blanket of snow covering the ground. 

As is the case with most people around these parts, we don't have much in the way of snow gear (besides our handy dandy ice scraper/brush for the car). After all, why spend the money on sleds, snow shovels and baby snow gear when the chances of getting snow are so small. Well, we were able to round up some big pants and big boots that Shae was given for him to at least get a taste of the snow. He didn't seem to love it, especially after he flipped in our make-shift sled and face planted...sorry son.

(I almost died yesterday while listening to the radio. They were talking about the snow storm a coming and told us to "batten down the hatches." haha! Oh my gosh I am enjoying this snowy weather far too much).

Nursing my baby is also coming to an end. I've been debating whether we should keep going for awhile longer and we still might for certain feedings, but the end is in sight. I bought a little thing of whole milk this week to start giving him little bits to make sure that his tummy handles it okay.

It's strange because when I first started nursing him I HATED it. Like, loathed it. I probably would have given up if Darin hadn't been so supportive. He would sit by me and help try and position Shae, or he would stick a little syringe of sugar water in his mouth to try and get him to start sucking. He pushed me to try and get Shae to suck without the nipple shield (which I blame for making nursing so sucky at the start, one of the reasons anyways). Yeah, lets give Darin a little standing ovation for his consistent encouragement in this department. He deserves it.

I remember thinking, "I just want to make it to six months. Six months. We can do this." Over time things got ssssooo much easier and it just became a natural routine. One that I have been doing for almost a year now. I never thought I'd be the type of person to get sentimental about stopping but apparently even I can surprise myself. Of course most things I read about how sad women are when they wean their babies is because they love the special connection that they feel with their babies. Maybe deep down inside I feel something like that but on the outside I have a baby sticking his fingers up my nose or slapping at my chest or pulling my hair while he eats. It's hard to feel a "special connection" under those circumstances. I think for me it's just weird to think about not doing it because it's all I know with Shae. It's what we've done since the very first hour of his life. I guess it's also just another sign that he really is outgrowing babyhood. 

I mean look at him! Already working out with little 2 pound weights. Definitely outgrowing "baby."

And now this post is  FINISHED.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Let's see, what has been going on as of late:

  • Has a goal to try at least one new recipe every two weeks. So far we've tried: Slow Cooker Chicken ParmesanBacon-topped Sweet Potato and Ham Soup, and Pepperjack Soup (from the Food Nanny Cookbook). I didn't love the soups but the Chicken Parmesan was delish.
  • Has been working on a baby quilt while hooked on White Collar. 
  • Going out with the missionaries a few times a week. (So grateful that I have so many opportunities to go out with them. I love missionary work!)
  • Went to a doctors appointment with a lady from church to interpret. One of the few words that I didn't know how to say was "biopsy." I felt like a fool for throwing out "biopsia" because that was the best that I could come up with. Sure enough, it's "biopsia." Never hurts to take a guess in Spanish. (Of course there are plenty of times when I've guessed incorrectly...).
  • Working working working.
  • Studying for the GRE...drilling vocab words.
  • Working on papers with his mentor from BYU.
  • Getting up early twice a week to go running and play racquetball with his buddy Adam. 
  • Learning how cool the toilet is. (We found a sock in the toilet last week. Wouldn't be surprised if that happens again someday soon).
  • The only thing that he wants to play as of late is "hide-under-the-blanket-and-then-pop-out." He's not very happy unless we are playing it with him and gets extremely fussy the second we stop playing (see picture 2 below).

  • Built a fort with mommy in hopes that it would be similar enough to the hide-under-the-blankie game to keep him happy for at least a couple minutes. He did think it was pretty cool...for about 46 seconds.
  • Has started pushing away everything we give him to eat. Even crackers! Which he used to down in a second. Good thing we can always count on Chili to pull through for us. He looooves Chili. Too bad we don't loooove his Chili diapers.
  • Working on a new puzzle while watching new episodes of Downton Abbey, Sherlock and Parenthood.
  • Making fun of all the crazy people out here freaking out about the snow "storm" yesterday. But seriously, I went to Joann's last night for something that I needed to finish off my quilt and I could not believe that they were closed. What! This is what it looked like outside when I left:
    The snow wasn't even sticking to the sidewalks or road! It was definitely cold and the wind was strong, but, for real? I couldn't believe it. Growing up in MD, I knew this would happen but after so many years in UT I'm still in shock. All the schools are closed today, even William & Mary. I guess it's understandable since no one owns snow shovels or plows since this happens about once a year but it still seems so foreign to us. This is what it looked like outside this morning:
I can't stop laughing thinking about all the snow that our friends/family have experienced in Utah/Idaho and that THIS is such a big deal out here. So strange.

Shae did seem to enjoy watching the snow fall before going to bed last night.

That's all for now folks. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

11 Months

Let's try to ignore the awful lighting in this picture shall we?

The 11th month has been a good one. Can I tell you why? Please don't hate me friends whose babies don't sleep through the night yet (I always hated hearing what I'm about to say from others, but I'm going to say it anyways): Shae sleeps from 7pm to 7am (Give or take a little). Straight!  Whhhhaatt!? Not that that is the only thing that made last month great, but let's be honest, a baby that sleeps well makes for a happy family. And after about 9 straight months of crazy sleep habits, I'd say we deserve a few weeks of good sleep. 

Really, not that much has changed from 10 months to 11 months. Just little things like being able to stand longer, with more ease, trying to take a step before falling, etc. 

He did celebrate his first Christmas which was a lot of fun.

Thank you Sarah Luke for this great picture.

All of a sudden, over the last week, he has become obsessed with facial details. He always pulled on my hair and earrings before now but he can't seem to get enough of our eyes and nostrils. Gross, I know, but it's the coolest thing ever to him. The best part is this face that he makes while intently sticking his finger into my eyeball. The focus. 

He really seemed to catch on this month to taking bites out of bigger pieces of food, rather than always having things ripped into little pieces (or stuffing the entire thing in his mouth all at once).

He's been able to enjoy some great new Christmas clothes these last few weeks as well. Fashion show anyone?

The boys in their Christmas argyle. Shae got this sweater from Grandma Sharon last year for Christmas and it finally fits!

This is how Shae felt about me trying to get a picture of his cute jammies to show Grandma Sharon:

 His great-grandma Nancy found this adorable baseball shirt for him. It's a bit big still but we love it!

He also really enjoys brushing his teeth (aka: sucking on the tooth brush), face planting himself into his stuffed animals over and over again and reading to himself and being read to (What happens is, we start reading the book and half way through he pulls it away, moves slightly to the side of us and starts babbling as if he is reading to himself and we sit and listen while he reads to us. It's pretty cute).

Can you believe that it has almost been ONE year since this little man was born? Hard to believe.

Friday, January 10, 2014

A New Year Has Come

I have been nervous for this week since Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving because it's the beginning of the holiday season, because we get to decorate, and bake, and watch Christmas movies, and spend time with family, and go to Christmas parties and everything just seems better during the month of December.

I always struggle a little on the actual day of Christmas because it means that it is all over. The lights and Christmas decorations begin to come down, the Christmas music comes to an abrupt hault on the radio, the Christmas goodies disappear. 

No wonder I was nervous for this week, January is just a blah month which makes the first week of January a rough one. I was worried because I knew it would be hard being at home all alone with Shae again after almost two weeks up in Pennsylvania surrounded by people. Good news my friends, we made it through the first week of January. The first week after the holidays. The first week of the year. Phewwww. And although I always feel a little twinge of regret after Christmas for not watching more Christmas movies or doing more Christmas service or looking at more Christmas lights or reading more Christmas stories, the nice thing is that you can always count on Christmas to come again. 

Now lets upload the rest of our Christmas break pictures and get on with January shall we?

We originally planned to come back to Williamsburg a few days after Christmas but then decided that we just weren't ready for adult life again so quickly so we ended up staying up in PA until the day after New Years. Darin had two weeks off from work (perks of working at a University) so we were able to be flexible.

It was wonderful having so many other people to entertain Shae (and us, lets be honest). We even went on a date! First and only movie in the movie theater of 2013. Having a baby sure does change things. (We saw the Hobbit and LOVED it. At least the first two hours of it...started to get a little long for me after that. I am now OBSESSED with this song that they played during the credits. So. Good. ).

Shae had fun playing with the dogs and cats (aka: Chasing after them, playing in their water bowls, etc), as well as climbing the stairs.

Darin had fun working on puzzles. I've never seen the puzzle side of Darin before. It's pretty intense. He takes them pretty seriously and once he starts he doesn't stop. It was fun to occasionally jump in and help him.

I had fun playing games with my brothers. (Especially Wheel of Fortune on the Wii, I'm kind of addicted and kind of upset that Philip is impossible to beat). On New Years day Darin, A.J. and I played a nine hour games of risk. We ended up calling the game at 10pm because A.J. had school the next day and it just didn't seem to be going anywhere (LOTR's risk is way better than the original. Just saying).

The night before we left we went out with my dad and A.J. to see one of those cool light houses that is in sync with Christmas music. We thought that Shae would really like it but he seemed more awed by the cars passing us and all the fun buttons and levers around the car (I think he really just enjoyed being out of his car seat).

It was sad to say good-bye, as you can clearly see from the picture of Shae with A.J. below (we probably shouldn't wait till bed time to say good-bye and try and take pictures).


2013 has been such a great year for us. We're excited to see what 2014 has in store.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Winter Wonderland

Shae and I are just gonna stay inside today and try and avoid the cold temperatures of this Polar Vortex as much as possible. Coming from Utah, it's been kind of funny seeing everyone freak out about the cold temperatures. I'm not saying it's not cold, because it is, its just that people round these parts aren't used to it. And it's just weird to me because it lasts for two days and then disappears. It's supposed to be 69 degrees this weekend. What the heck?

Darin and I have both really been missing snow this winter. We always get really jealous as we see snow pics that friends post from Utah and Idaho. Lucky for us, we were able to experience a little  snow while up in Pennsylvania for Christmas. We actually had a white Christmas! Barely, but we'll take it.
Uncle A.J. trying to show Shae the snow through the window.

 We really didn't get much at all on Christmas day (the above pictures were from the day before Christmas) but we did get a good bit more the day after Christmas. It was Darin's day to wake up with Shae so he took him outside to try out the sled, meanwhile Grandpa was testing out the sled on the road-hill right next to the house. He's such a kid at heart. 

I guess we'll just wait and see if Williamsburg ends up getting any kind of snow this year. I can't imagine how people would react if they did.