Thursday, December 30, 2010

From Stevie's camera

I'm glad that people who more frequently have two free hands are willing to share their pictures. Ever wish you had a camera implanted in the corner of your eyeball and you could take photos just by saying CLICK.... that would make capturing happy moments so much easier for this mom with her arms full... So until that's invented, I'm relying on others with their cameras. I got these from my eldest and most flatulent brother Steven. I wish I got a picture of us out running one night... around 6pm Steve said to me, "hey I'm going running, you wanna come?" I replied incredulously that it was dark and snowing hard. He said "yeah, so?"... and I quickly got my gear on, secured the babies with B, and ran out before anyone could try and stop us. It was the most fun 4.5 miles I've done in a really long time. At one point there was a car coming towards us and one coming from behind, so we had to quickly jump off into the 3 feet deep snow pile on the far side. We talked about what we would do if one of the tigers and lions from Cat Tales escaped and attacked us, since we were running right behind the zoo.
Anywaaaayyyssss... here are a few pics Stevie took:
Top left: my little nephew Nathan is so flippin cute and funny. He and Brianna were the closest in age at the house, so they played together nonstop and had a blast. When she couldn't find him, she'd go around the house asking, "where's my friend?"
Bottom right (and below): SLEDDING. Probably my favorite thing we do here at my parents' home. Their driveaway and street are super long and steep - so perfect for sledding. Dad drives the four wheeler down and up beacause walking back to the top takes 11 long minutes.

Top left: the view from their balcony and back windows is absolutely gorgeous. It's fun living up on a big hill (though I'd never ever want to live on a hill myself, personally - so annoying having to drive so far to get anywhere, and having to do a major hill at the end of all my runs!)
Bottom left: Lindsay and Cougar and Cougar's Dad Kardon. It was really great having them all here. Brian and Kardon spent a lot of time chatting and had some man-movie-dates.
Bottom right: my sweet neice Annalee and her brand new American Doll. That's all she wanted from Santa and she got it! Santa rocks.  I'm extremely flattered at what she chose to name her most special doll:  CHELSEA!  Not lying. She seriously named her doll after me. Love that girl.
Top right:  This lovely Smith family is moving to Texas soon for Steve's new job!
We didn't actually get to be there at the house for the fun Christmas morning festivities, but I loved the pictures so I'd thought I'd include what we missed. Being here with family and beautiful Christmasy decorations just gives me major warm fuzzies. I hope we get to come here next year for Christmas! (which would mean getting on an airplane with two 16 month olds and a 3 yr old.  Scary.)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

From Connor's camera

My cute nearly-12yrold nephew Connor received a nice new camera from Santa (whom he wisely asserts IS REAL, for he knows that children who don't believe in Santa do not receive any gifts from him).  I borrowed his camera card right before he returned to CA so I could partake of his photog skillz and upload his masterpieces to bloggy world.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

ERAC Christmas party, McKell hosted.

I remember several years ago attending Christmas parties hosted by Brian's managers. My favorite was the very first one we went to, where Brian's Area Manager invited everyone up to his large, gorgeous home in Lehi and we had a HILARIOUS white elephant exchange, followed by a spectacular appetizer buffet. But we haven't been to an ERAC holiday party in awhile, because last year Brian only had one employee, so we just gave her a gift, and the year before that we were all the way out in Vernal. So this year, now that Brian has four employees, we decided it would be fun to invite them and their spouses over for a little party at our house. And by WE, I mean BRIAN, because I try to stay true to my vow to keep life simple for me and not take on anything extra. But it ended up being really fun and totally worth all the work I had to put into it.
Brian has some really nice employees and I enjoyed getting to know them better. Our white elephant exchange was pretty entertaining and we did a twist on a game - "Two Truths and a Lie" - that had everyone laughing. Taste of Hawaii catered the meal, so we just had to provide the bubbly. We gave Great Harvest gift cards out. Brianna loved all the attention she got, and the twins (maybe?) enjoyed that too.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Silent night, safe night

Mary, Joseph and their crew though it best to hide from the wild children:
Though now I have to explain to Brianna that Jesus was not born on top of the manger.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

Quick recap before I upload pictures:
We had a lovely Christmas this year.
The Eve was spent at home in Cedar. I did some frantic last-minute shopping (which I vow to NEVER do again... I will stay HOME on Christmas Eve forever more), while Brian stayed home and enjoyed the afternoon off. His office closes at noon on Christmas Eve (though he still ended up working until 2:30, helping out all his procrastinating customers). I felt a little pressure this year to think of some Christmas traditions to start for our family. This is the first year that Brianna can do more than just rip apart wrapping paper. So I wanted to do something special and help her understand the meaning of Christmas. It's so hard to balance the Jesus-Santa thing. I don't want to be a pious stiff and skip the Santa part... but my main responsibility is to teach her that Christmas is so much more than presents and pretty lights. I don't know how I'm going to do that. But the plan so far is that Christmas Eve will be spiritually centered, and Christmas morning will start with a prayer and finish with a pile of wrapping paper and new toys.
We did a "Jesus dinner." We turned off the lights, lit a candle, made a table on the floor, and ate the foods our Savior would've eaten over 2,000 years ago. Fish, figs, flatbread (we used pita), grape juice, and honey. Maybe I'll get more creative and authentic in future years of Jesus dinners. But this seemed to really work well for us. Brianna had a sweet little spirit about her. I think she could sense that this was a very special night. The babies even cooperated and were content the whole time. We read from Luke 2 after we ate. Then she went to bed while Brian and I got everything ready for the morning. When she woke up we had family prayer then went for the tree. Brian passed out the gifts one by one and Brianna helped everyone open their gifts. Courtney and Bennett received some baby toys (Brianna didn't seem to recognize that they were her old toys), I gave Brian a new camera, waffle/grill/sandwich maker combo, croc flops, some frames with our new fam pics, Brianna got an easel with a magnetic letterboard and chalk board, a Thomas the train ride-on toy, an oversized My Little Pony, some books, trailmix snack bags, and a few other things. We didn't get her much, because we knew both sets of grandparents would be loading her up with presents. But Brianna would've been thoroughly content with her stash as it was! We had a tough time pulling her away from it! We had to hurry though, because we wanted to arrive in Spanish Fork by noon for lunch and presents with Brian's parents. We packed everything up, cleaned the house, and headed off for a foggy Christmas drive. No white Christmas for us until we arrived in Spokane at 6pm. It was a crazy day of traveling! But our Christmas miracle was that everything went great. The babies cooperated very well with the huge change in their scenery and routines. They wore adorable matching candy-cane type outfits and got a lot of attention. They got the outfits from Barbara. She was very generous with her gifts. We got a lot of cute clothes, toys, and I got a TASER! I hope I get a chance to zap someone while I'm out running! :) 
We left at 3 for our drive to SLC to catch our flight. We were quite the circus scene. I think some people were even clapping for us in the airport. I had one baby in the Moby wrap, the other on one hip, and Brianna's hand in mine. Brian had 4 suitcases and a backpack. We didn't bring any ID for the kids and had a little scare by TSA for it. But they let us through (whew!) and we had a half-empty smooth plane ride that arrived thirty minutes early! It was such a huge relief to finally arrive in Spokane. I lovelovelove being here. All of Steve and Meg's family is here, plus Linds & Coug & Kardon, Meredith and Lily, and Sammy. Mom had the house decorated so cute for the holidays. And of course she made awesome food. I'm bound to gain back the weight I've worked hard to lose. Brian loves relaxing here and watching movies in their theater room - now a blu-ray theater. Mom and Dad were extremely generous with their gifts, as always. Their big gift was an Emergency Preparedness gift card to Harbor Freight.  Honestly, I hope we never have to use it! That scares me. But it's nice to know we're prepared with water, a generator, heat, etc. We did the annual coin-grab from Dad's jar - Brianna scored $1.44. She's ecstatic about the Melissa & Doug toys Nonny spoiled her with. Brian got new work clothes, which make him ridiculously happy...  ok, I won't go on and on listing presents we got and gave. Although that actually is very fun for me. I get a big kick out of gifts. Big and small. I loving giving and I love receiving. I'm really grateful for those three wise men, 2K + yrs ago, who gave gifts to baby Jesus so that we can all give gifts to each other. And for our Savior's ultimate gift to us - his life and atonement. I will think of him each time I use my new taser.  
yAy ChRiStMaS!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

baby C vs. baby B

I've heard other twin moms often say things like, "I want to treat my children as individuals" or "I don't want to compare them, I want to celebrate their uniqueness."
As much as I agree with that.... the fact is, they were born on the same day from the same parents. They have infinitely more in common than they have different.
But even at this sweet little age of 4.5 months, we're already seeing some consistent differences between Courtney and Bennett.
For example:
-Courtney was the first to roll over, but Bennett does it more often now.
-Bennett usually takes a pacifier for naps. Courtney gags and spits them back out (and we've tried every kind available).
-Bennett smiles and laughs more readily than Courtney. But Courtney laughs loudest when she's in the mood.
-Bennett's more gassy. Stinky gassy.
-Courtney eats smaller amounts and more frequently.
-Bennett takes longer day naps, Courtney sleeps better at night.
-Bennett's hair is growing faster and it is more blond. Courtney's hair is almost a dark brown.
-Bennett does a serious zero-to-sixty freak-out cry. Courtney can get loud too, but it's more gradual.
-Courtney hates when I play monkey-mom and pick junk out of her eyes/ears/nose. But Bennett tolerates it and sometimes even laughs at me.
-Bennett= blue eyes. Courtney = green eyes.
-Bennett seems to be a little more into watching Brianna.
-Courtney seems to like toys more.

Just watch - now that I've made these statements they're totally going to switch it up and prove me wrong on everything.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Every night while I'm up for the billionth time, I compose blog posts in my mind about the torturous sleep deprivation I'm going through. I think about sharing my thoughts on sleep strategies, and begging the universe for advice on what the heck to do when one baby keeps waking up every thirty minutes and I have to keep him quiet or one of his sisters will wake up too.... or some similarly tricky sleep situation that I don't have the answer for. I always vow to spend the day re-reading my Mothering Multiples book, or Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Twins. 
But then daylight finally comes. We get going with our day. And miracle of all miracles... I usually feel fine. Despite not getting more than 60 minutes of consecutive shut-eye.... I'm doing ok.        I usually get my workout in. I do as much housework as I can. I blog.  I play with my kids.  I feed everybody. We have fun.  Day after day, for the past 4.5 months.... I've done everything I HAVE to do, and a few things I LIKE to do. It's such a blessing that I'm not a zombie with bags under my eyes.
Because I should be.
I get a ridiculously little amount of sleep every.single.night. In the morning, I tell Brian whether it was an AWFUL night, or an OKAY night. I've only had a GOOD night like twice, a couple months ago, when they miraculously slept 6-7 hours straight at the same time. It was a fluke. And of course I wasted most of that time worrying if they were breathing or not. Brian is amazing - he can sleep through anything. He only gets up when I ask him to. He's totally willing to do his part and doesn't complain... but he has to be really on top of his game for his 11 hour workdays. So I try to let him get as much rest as possible.
 I also feel like I should do a post like this, in case I'm giving the wrong impression of what my life is really like. It's not all rosy and full of cute happy babies and funny quotes from Brianna. It's so hard sometimes I want to cry. I do cry. I do get headaches. After the really awful nights, my eyes hurt in bright lights and I get dizzy if I stand or sit too fast. Eating healthy, exercising, and keeping a positive attitude help... but nothing completely makes up for lack of sleep. I often joke "sleep is totally over-rated. Meh. Who needs it."  But I'm LYYYYIIINNNGG. I like sleep. I miss it.
So what's the solution?
I'm not into conventional sleep training methods. It just doesn't feel right to me. Imposing adult sleep habits on tiny creatures sounds so extremely wrong. Allowing a tiny child to lay in the dark, screaming out with the only communication tool they have, being punished for their natural desire to be held close by the only source of comfort and security they know... I just can't handle that. It may work for some families, but not for mine. I have a veryvery limited amount of time and attention, and I want to spend it all just soaking up these sweet moments with my babies, not watching the clock and analyzing every move. I won't feel guilty about bringing my babies into bed with me for night feedings. I enjoy those precious moments with them so so much. I don't care if that's supposedly teaching them some "bad habits." I'd rather look back on this short period in life and smile at all the great memories, than know that I TRAINED my babies, ignoring any potential psychological consequences such trainings may involve.  

But I do believe there's a time and place for everything. If it's still this bad when they're older I think I know what to do. Just like with Brianna - who was a horrible sleeper the first year, but is a great sleeper now... I know there's a light at the end of the tunnel. 

But at this moment... lights hurt my eyes.

Monday, December 20, 2010

From Brianna's mouth lately:

- "Put Courtney away. I want to hold you!"
- "Bennett I keep you safe from the dinosaurs"
- "How bout we call him Larry?" [referring to Bennett]
- "Mommy, Courtney needs your boob."
- "Mommy, Bennett's freaking out."
- "I can do whatever I want to do!"   [oh dear.]
- "HEEEY BUUUDDDYYY!"  [to Bennett]
- "I want to tell your ear a secret."
- "Courtney I'll tell you secrets to your ear." [whispers nonsense sounds in Courtney's ear. Courtney's eyes widen.]
- "Bennett is so proud of me."
- "Mommy, you be Courtney. I be Bennett. WAAAH! WAAAH!  Now your turn cry."
- "You be Nonny, I be Papa."  I ask, "what does Papa say?" She thinks for a few seconds...  "ALLL ABOARD!"
- "Bennett you are pizza. I gonna eat you."
- "We gotta hide presents under the tree so daddy can't get them."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas cardS

I'm ridiculous.
I made two different Christmas cards.

I couldn't decide whether to do loads of pictures in one of my typical collage-style cards, or just one simple one. Simple sounded so boring and loaded collage seemed so busy.
I couldn't possibly just meet somewhere in the middle and do two or three pictures. All or nothing.
So I did both:

(Notice these cards say Happy New Year instead of Merry Christmas... not being nonreligious, just giving myself leeway in case I don't get these out soon enough!)

Want one? Send me your address! We printed out lots. Family members received one whether they wanted it or not, and those who sent us a card also received one. But never fear - if you don't fall into one of those categories, we have more I want to get rid of!  (I enabled comment moderation, so you can leave your addy on here and I won't publish it)
And if YOU made a Christmas card and did NOT send me one.... WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?!?!
Don't delay, send today.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sister tub time

Brianna doesn't fight us about taking baths anymore now that she gets to do it with her little sister!
She loves putting bubbles on them, sharing toys (but only the ones SHE chooses), washing their hair, and making them laugh.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

More Roger

Who blogs about Roger Whittaker twice?!
Odd, I know. But when you listen to someone 10 hours a day..... 
I just love his Christmas album. His voice is whimsical. It makes all of us dance.  Well, except Brian.... it just makes him shake his head and make some comment like, "whatever makes you happy..."
I thought my favorite Roger Whittaker Christmas song was his rousing "And we sing Halle... halle, halle... HALLELUJAH!" But then this evening, in the last hour before Brian gets home (always the toughest - all the kids up and often fussy), the babies made it quite certain that they would just DIE if I didn't hold them both. Therefore I had no free hands to do anything else. So we just danced. To Roger, of course (it's on repeat all day long. Not joking. Never get tired of it. Brian does, of course, but I assure him there's only about 2 weeks left til Roger and Josh both go away for the next 11 months). The lyris to one of Roger's songs got me all teary:
Tiny angels - Christmas angels try to sleep.
Don't let Santa hear the sounds of little feet.
Now its time to close your eyes and drift away,
until you wake tomorrow and its Christmas day.
Tiny angels - I have heard you every night.
Whispering with bright eyes shining in the light.
Daddy, when is it Christmas - will it soon be here?
Well my darlings, it’s very, very near.
As near as you my angels - since you came to me.
Now Christmas day and every day is the same to me.
The only gifts that I could want are you, my darlings.
Tiny angels - Christmas angels sleeping tight.
May Santa bring you all the gifts you want tonight?
And some day when you have tiny angels too,
I hope you find the JOY I found in you.

You changed the world, my angels - when you came to me.
Now Christmas day and every day is the same to me.
The only gifts that I could want are you.
Tiny angels - Christmas angels try to sleep.
Don’t let Santa hear the sounds of little feet.
Now its time to close your eyes and drift away,
until you wake tomorrow and its Christmas day.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Courtney in walker with toys

Don't call CPS on me... it's not an actual walker. We took the wheels off, so it's stationary.
I know the walkers with wheels are outlawed. But seriously... shouldn't the parents who allowed their babies to be in wheeled walkers at the top of staircases be the ones in trouble, not the baby gear companies?! C'mon...whatever happened to accountability, personal responsibility, attentiveness... *sigh* 

Then again, Bennett rolled himself off the couch and bumped his head yesterday when I was changing Courtney's diaper ten feet away from him.
So maybe CPS should be called.
My children will be lucky to survive into adulthood - seriously.
I try to make up for my inattentive parenting with toys. Notice Courtney with her new pals - Winnie the Pooh in a leopard suit, a purple My Little Pony, and a blue bunny. Her and Bennyboy are just now starting to enjoy baby toys. It's fun to hand them various objects and see them study and investigate it.
The end.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Foggy Finger Painting -or- Baking & Buns

I couldn't decide which title to give this post.  Therefore you got both of them.

So... in our tiny little kitchen, it gets pretty foggy (or froggy, as mom says) on the windows when I use the oven and it's cold outside. One of you physics buffs explain to me exactly how that occurs.   Brianna loves it, because I let her do "window finger painting" and she thinks it's pretty fun. And of course I love anything that keeps her busy doing something non-destructive.

Apparently it's even more fun to do it pant-less. Cute buns, eh?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's absolutely not Christmas without...

This album rivals Josh Groban's as THE BEST Christmas music on the planet.
I just put my CD in today and danced with my babies until they begged me to stop   (I'm a horrible dancer).
When Roger starts singing his "Mama, mama Mary..." my heart fills with joy. Not joking.

Christmas Day will find me
With the miles behind me;
I'll make it home on time.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Annoyed with me?

I attempted to dress the babes up in their matching miss/mister pop shirts and take pictures...

Their expressions show how much fun they thought this was.

Friday, December 10, 2010


I'm totally obsessed with The Biggest Loser. I watch it every week religiously on Wednesdays (since we don't have TV - thank goodness for Hulu). It usually takes me all day to watch the episode, because I have to press pause so often. I watch it while I feed my babies so I'm burning calories right along with the contestants. Brian's always so surprised when he comes home on lunch breaks and after work and sees me parked in front of the screen, asking him to please refrain from unnecessary conversation. He doesn't understand - IT'S MY SHOW! It's as real to me as the idiot neighbors behind us who leave their doors wide open 24/7 hoping their cigarette smoke won't damage their childrens' lungs. If I met the contestants, I'd totally feel like I already knew them and I'd start giving them game-playing tips. I often fantasize about becoming obese just so I can join that show and do all the fun challenges. And win them. All of them. And the whole show with the quarter-million prize. I would dominate. I really want to join a biggest loser competition specifically for post-natal bfing moms with 10-20 pounds to lose. There's lotsa others out there, right?  Predictions for the *finaleeee* this week:
-Patrick will be THE biggest loser. His wife will cry. He will cry too. Lots of criers.
-Rick will win the at-home $100 G. Think about it - he was really short and excessively obese. Odds are on his side.
-Elizabeth will still be fat but think she's skinny and act really stupid, blowing kisses to her non-supportive boyfriend who's just using her to be famous too.
-Alli will be wearing a really weird non flattering outfit.
-Bob will come out of the closet.
-Frado will look super duper skinny and his wife super duper hot. He's already loaded so he won't care that he came in a close 2nd.
-Burgandy will be dressed modestly. Because she's a Zionite and knows modest is hottest. She will be an inspiration to all the overweight mormon moms out there. 
-Brendan's ex-wife will take him back.
-Lisa will look goooooorrrrgeous.
-Jesse and Jessica will hook up.
-The show will tie in their "paying it forward" theme in some extremely heartwarming way.
-I will not be answering my phone Tuesday night because I know my sister Lindsay is going to try to ruin the surprise for me since she gets to watch the finale live.
-Lindsay and I will spend Wednesday night on the phone, analyzing the entire show and talking smack about everyone we don't like.
-My babies might get a little fatter because I will just sit and feed them for 2 hours straight so I don't have to press pause.
-I will mourn the loss of my weekly guilty pleasure - and the only television show on the planet worth sacrificing my limited time and energy for - until season 11 begins.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I like myself. I'm pretty happy with who I am, most of the time...
But if I could be more like any one else, it would be my friend Arianne.
We've only hung out a few times, but I just recently found her blog. Reading it was like a breath of fresh air. She's able to express things so beautifully, simply, eloquently....
She's an amazing mother and person. One to emulate.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Surprise card from Grandpa B

A few days ago I received a message on my phone from Aunt Brenda, telling us how cute and sweet Grandpa's (her dad) Christmas card was with the picture of our babies.
I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about. 
I figured that I'd understand more when I checked our mail - maybe we received a card too. Nope. And none the next day either. I was about to call Brenda and ask her to scan and email whatever photo Grandpa sent her of our kids, when finally our card arrived.
click on photo for a close up
And it was a very pleasant surprise! I didn't even know they had taken a picture of our babies! So we feel pretty honored that all of Darrell and Carol's (the newlyweds) friends and family will be receiving a picture of our little babies.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Love list

For some odd reason I think about babies a lot lately.
This is really a singular time in my life right now. The majority of my years on earth will NOT be spent around babies/small children. But I get this little window of time where I get to be with babies constantly. They're such amazing little creatures. 
Here are a few thoughts. Nothing profound. I don't do deep - just simple and honest.
I'll probably add more as time goes on. Maybe edit some.
But just off the top of my head...

What I love about babies:
-Their smell after being bathed
-Swaddling them into burritos
-Their complete innocence and lack of accountability. They can't do anything wrong, so I can never get mad at them. It teaches me patience.
-A great burp after a full feeding
-Cottage-cheesy little BUMS!
-Seeing the man I love doing baby talk to them
-Their amazingly soft, clear skin - what I wouldn't give to have that right now!
-How they constantly follow me with their eyes
-Watching their drowsy eyes slowly close and go into deep sleep
-Playing Super Baby (airplane)
-Bathtime! Their wildly kicking appendages are so funny. 

What I don't love about babies:
-They can't talk and tell me what's bothering them
-They have no control over their bodily functions
-The zero-to-sixty freak-out cry
-Spit up
-Driving with them in the car. I have to pray they fall asleep and/or sit there contentedly, or pull over 100 times to check diapers and replace pacifiers.
-When they're overtired and JUST WON'T FALL ASLEEP.
-Dealing with car seat buckles/straps.

What I love about having twins:
-Always a baby to hold when I feel like it!
-Four little eyes staring at me during tandem feedings
-Tandem feedings period. It's honestly a really amazing experience to breastfeed two at the same time. 
-Coordinating outfits
-Seeing them suck on each other - it's so funny. 
-Knowing they'll always have a playmate
-The funny-awkward comments people make to us
-Time savings (in the long term)
- Money savings (long term)
-The joy of snuggling two sweet babies at once
-The awesome twin-mom friends I've made by joining the exclusive club.

What I don't love about having twins;
-Always a baby to hold even when I don't feel like it!
-Having to choose one to make wait when they both need attention at the same time
-Plans for coordinating outfits ruined by bodily fluid leakage
-Short term high costs
-Staying home most of the time because it's so hard to go out
-The awkward comments people make to us
-The intensely frustrating noise of two babies crying at once
-When I'm happily cuddling one baby in the perfect sweet cuddling mood, but have to put him/her down because other baby is freaking out and needs me. Happy baby gives me this sad look like, "why did you stop our cuddle sesh? I'm being so nice!"   Heartbreaking.
-It's even harder to fit in my workouts because I have to get two babies settled instead of just one.
-My twin-skin belly

What should I add to my lists??

Monday, December 6, 2010


Last Saturday we did a St. Geezy trip. First a Costco run (it's so annoying how much we end up spending there everytime. Always well over $100. Love/hate Costco) then the temple. Brian thought his best bet was to hang out in the visitors' center and watch the films while I went in. I said a silent prayer for his survival as I left him.
I enjoyed my time away from the noise and chaos of the world very much. The temple helps me remember to stop sweating the small stuff, and to focus on what's most important - my relationship with my Savior, and with my family. I'm so grateful to know my children are with me for all eternity.

photo credit: flickr

 I returned 45 minutes later and found Brian quite flustered, running after Brianna as she was climbing all over the beautiful large nativity and touching/grabbing everything in sight. Two sister missionaries were each holding one of our babies and laughing at Brian's attempts to help Brianna be calm and respectful. Too bad she couldn't read the sign:


Sunday, December 5, 2010


Cousins: Brianna, Alli, Sarah, Kandalyn

About a month ago, Brian's sister in Richfield called him to invite us to Thanksgiving at her house. I was in the other room during the call, but could hear enough to know what was going on. At that moment I was feeding one baby, changing the other's diaper with one hand, and trying to block out Brianna's tantrum over me taking away the pack of gum I found in her hands. I was half dressed and surrounded by a mess. So when Brian walked out and started to say something involving leaving the house, I just shook my head. No. Way. We have a "just stay home" motto in our lives right now. Short trips are the hardest. I reallyreally didn't want to even attempt 3 hours of driving on a holiday on snowy roads.
 But.... Brian's sneaky. He knew exactly how to change my mind. He had Melissa call me personally and talk me into it. Melissa is one of the most genuinely sweet people you'll ever meet. I couldn't say no. So on the afternoon of turkey day we loaded our entourage in the minivan and headed off.  Thirty minutes later than planned, of course. Punctuality is a thing of the past in our lives right now.

Overall, I'm really glad we went.  Brian really enjoys spending time with his extended family. Brianna loves her little cousins. Brian's dad seemed to genuinely enjoy interacting with the babies and getting them to smile. It's always great to see Grandpa McKell - he's in his 93rd year and still kickin'! The food was delicious - especially Brandi's homemade pumpkin pie. I spent a lot of the time in the back room feeding the babies and/or getting them to nap. It's so tricky when we're out of our environment. At home, I know how to get them to sleep relatively easily. Dark room, ocean noises, swaddled tight, bassinet, done. But when we leave, I just draw a blank. I'm not very good at improvising. We made it through unscathed though. Brianna talked about her cousins for the next several days. And we enjoyed leftover turkey sandwiches the next day. The end.

Oh wait, I'm supposed to post a list of what I'm grateful for, right? Not a bonafide Thanksgiving blog post without it. Well, in this order:  God, spouse, children, church, extended fam, friends, Josh Groban's Christmas album.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Courtney in a hat.

I'm getting really creative with the post titles, eh?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

4 months *coughcough*

One of the aspects of our medical system I loathe is that it's so difficult (if not impossible) to actually SPEAK TO the DOCTOR. I don't want to discuss medical issues with the receptionist. Or even a nurse. I want to ask my questions to the guy with the degree. And it's really annoying that they always want me to make an appointment and fork out a big co-pay just to do that. I understand that's the only way the doc can make his big bucks, but when it's just one simple little issue... you'd think he could benevolently sacrific a couple minutes.
But I found a way around this problem... just call the Pediatrician office at 2am! An operator answers, then transfers ya right to the doctor! Unfortunately, Dr. Burrows was a little groggy... but he kindly and patiently talked to me for about 15 minutes and helped me figure out why Bennett was making weird noises. He also agreed to come in to the office early so we could be the first ones in. Before hanging up he said, "I don't even know what time it is. But I'll see ya when the sun comes up." Swell guy.
So we brought the whole crew in and Bennett got treatment for croup. I'm so grateful it wasn't RSV or anything else more serious. His little croup case was pretty mild. But I get paranoid every time my kids sneeze that they'll end up on ventilators in the hospital.
Courtney hasn't been sick at all, and neither has Brianna nor I. So the finger of blame is pointed at the man who shakes hands and shares pens and steering wheels with diseased customers all day. He tried to redeem himself by taking a few hours off to help me with this Pediatrician visit and get the kids settled at home. I think it's painful for him to take time off. Brian seriously loves working! I'm not resentful at all - I know it's better than the opposite!
 Brianna was also very helpful at the clinic. She rubbbed Courtney's head and said, "you're ok. It's alright" after she had the ever-traumatic and painful scheduled immunizations. Brianna's very geniunely sweet and loving to her little siblings at times. I hate those darn shots. I almost always get teary eyed while holding my babies as they get poked. I sometimes wish I was one of those anti-immunization hippies, banking on herd immunity to keep my kids healthy.
But I'm not. I'm a [ahem] Master of Public Health (ha!) So we get immunized, breastfeed forever, wash our hands, exercise, and drink our chlorinated water with joy. But I still cry when my babies hurt.
I didn't even mean for this to be their official 4 month checkup. But while we were there getting Bennett some help... I just asked the doc if this could count. He hesitated (perhaps realizing a lost visit means a slightly lower paycheck?) but said ok. So the babies were weighed. Bennett is 12 lb, 13 oz  (14th percentile). Courtney is a few ounces less than him.  We didn't do their lengths (heights?) or the silly head circumference thing. I just wanted to get outta there.
Brianna was quite thrilled with the whole trip though. She loves the fish tank and toys and books at the clinic.
And I think she really enjoys anytime our whole family is together somewhere.  I do too.  Even in these circumstances.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I loveloveLOVE how Courtney will just lean against me and relax her full little body weight on my side.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Good Morning Beautifuls

Our mornings are pretty lazy around here. Even if Brian didn't leave before the sun came up, I doubt I'd have the energy to get my workout in anytime before noon. It's like I'm more tired in the morning after a long night of childcare than I am in the middle of the day. So the four of us just hang out in our jammies and make faces at each other.
My three buddies
Eventually I do get around to cleaning up the mess you see in the background of the photo... but then it just gets messy again. So what's the point? Like right now... it's 9pm, everyone is asleep, so I should go to bed... but they're all just going to start taking turns waking up soon. So what's the point of me even going to sleep?!
24 hour pajama party here.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

From Brianna's mouth lately...

- "Daddy, turn the light ON! You can turn light on, or go to TIME OUT! It's your choice."
- "Mommy, you my mother. Daddy is my sister."
- "Bennett, you're not my sister anymore!"
- "Mommy go in your cage."
-"C'mon puppy - let's go to the Promised Land!"
- "I ready to go on airplane and see Nonny now!"
-[pointing to junk food in a vending machine] "I think that not good food for you. I think it not make your body move."
- "Bennett, you would like some bird seed?"
-"Hey Bennett dude give me knuckles"
-"Waaah! Waaah! I need a binky right NOW!"
- "My tummy hurts from food."
- "I changed my mind!"  [not said in the correct context - just randomly exclaimed]
- "Mommy, you been a good girl. You get treat."
- "Oh Courtney, don't cry. You can be happy. Just TRY! Give me a smile, will you please?"
- Me- "Brianna will you please hold my hand?"  Brianna- "No thankyou. I will hold my own hand."

Friday, November 26, 2010

"Daddy sit and rub my back!"

Brianna commands, Brian obeys.
Even if it means he has to sit and watch Leapfrog AGAIN with her.
If she had said, "Daddy, go swim through shark infested waters to bring me a seashell!" he would have done that too.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Courtney wore a dress to church for the first time!  Bennett was still in his jammies. But I decided that I had enough time to at least get Courtney dressed up. Actually, I'm lying... Brian got her dressed! I was working on Brianna, and I asked him to go get Courtney ready. He responded, "she's ready - I have a blanket and diaper for her." Then I told him no, she needs a dress. Brian's face looked blank for a second - like it hadn't occurred to him that our new daughter would ever wear anything but jammies all day every day. These little milestones we're hitting with our babies are fun. But very few and far between. It seems like it's that way for infants - their new accomplishments are more spread out. But as they get older, they start making more progress and changing daily. Like Brianna - she's learning new things every day. Every hour, sometimes. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't laugh (or frown) at something new she tries or says or does. But manymany days go by where Courtney and Bennett do the exact.same.things. they did the day before and the day before. Am I making sense?   Anyways..
This photo was taken in the mother's lounge at church. I fed Courtney, then laid her on my lap for pictures. It was my excuse to stay in there longer, because I really didn't want to go back out and deal with crazy Brianna anymore. She hasn't learned to whisper very well, so she often yells out some pretty funny/embarrassing things during sacrament meeting. I still just shake my head every time I try to imagine what it's going to be like in a couple years when I'm trying to corral two 2 yr olds and a 4 yr old during worship services...
Maybe I'll just set up camp in the mother's lounge the whole time.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


It would be a lot easier to take decent pictures of my children if they all were NOT CONSTANTLY MOVING.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I never finished cleaning the bathroom

I just collapsed in exhaustion on the couch.... but then decided to drag myself over to the laptop to attempt to record the last few hours of typical-morning pandemonium I just survived. In case someday I wonder, "how in the world did I make it through those early days?!"  or "what did I DO all day?!" this post might help jog my memory.
So... here goes.
Starting at the beginning.... I "woke up" at 8:15am. I put those words in quotes because I had been up 5 times during the night. Three times to feed Bennett (with one poo diaper change in there), one feeding for Courtney, and once to respond to Brianna's "HELP ME MOMMY GO POTTY! HEEEELLPPP!"  Brian left around 7 or 7:30, but amazingly his departure didn't wake me. He's good at being veryvery quiet. Or maybe my body subconsciously knows that I don't have to wake up for ANYTHING other than childrens' noises. Brianna came bounding into bed with me at 8:15, asked to cuddle with me (which of course I gladly obliged), but 30 seconds later started the chorus of begging for breakfast. A chorus, because her noise woke Courtney who also wanted breakfast. I grabbed the baby, held her while I quickly got food out for Brianna, fed the baby, changed the baby, other baby woke up, fed and changed him, realized I was starving and fed myself, then realized this was my CHANCE - everyone was content, so I got on the treadmill. But of course as soon as I started, Bennett started his fussy-TIRED cry, so I had to put him to sleep. Then Brianna for some reason decided to take off all her clothes then complain she was cold. Got her dressed. Then finally...I ran while watching Toy Story, Brianna watched with me, and Courtney hung out in her bouncer chair staring at her mommy attempt to get a good workout. I did 40 minutes, 30 of them at 8mph, which I was really proud of. My standards are low these days. When I got off, dripping in sweat, I wanted to jump in the shower but Courtney was squirming. I checked - yep, a yellow LAKE in her diaper. So I grabbed a towel to go under her while cleaning her up. Bennett woke up  (probably because the movie/treadmill loud noises stopped), and Brianna tried to go get him out of his bassinet. So I had to stop mid-change with Courtney, help Brianna gently get Bennett out of bed, put Bennett in his chair so I could finish with Courtney. She started her fussy-tired cry, so I had to get her to bed. I also had to change her outfit because it got a little messy, so I started it in the laundry along with the rest of the overflowing dirty laundry basket. Keep in mind here, I'm still dripping in sweat and reallyreallyreally wanting a shower. Bad. I'm also half naked, thus horrified when the doorbell rings. I grab Brianna as she starts her excited sprint to the door. I tell her we can't go answer it because mommy's not dressed. She's extremely put out. I prayed the door was locked in case it was a friend/neighbor (because most of them know they're free to just walk in anytime). Courtney got to sleep, Bennett was hungry. Brianna was bored and starting into her 'give me something to do or I'll start making messes' mode. So I put on another movie for her (and felt guilty about it), fed Bennett and he got a weird look on his face. Probably because his milk tasted a little salty. I told him - sorry bud, but if I showered first then I'd have to listen to your hungry-cry, which always makes me sad and slightly panicked. Finally, I put him in his chair in the bathroom (so I could protect him in case Brianna decided to attack him with too-rough tickles and smothering kisses) and showered. My bathroom was embarrassingly dirty. So as soon as I was done and the bathroom was steamy, I got out the Lysol and did the fastest bathroom clean I could manage. Brianna saw the squirt bottle and insisted she had to help clean. I took Bennett OUT, so he wouldn't inhale the cleaning stuff, or get sprayed by Brianna's "helping." The phone rang. I would ignore it, but it's Brian's phone he accidentally left at home. Finish call, back to bathroom. Cleaning efforts thwarted by my "helper," who of course just makes things harder, but I still have to let her help because I can't bare to burst her bubble. Courtney wakes up. She's hungry. The bathroom is half done. I can't leave Brianna alone in their with the Lysol. So I quickly thank her for her fabulous help, put the cleaning stuff away, get Courtney, feed her while sitting next to Bennett tickling him (because his new-found belly laugh is just the most awesome thing ever and I love seeing/hearing it). Fortunately Courtney only eats for 5-10 minutes, because I really needed to get dressed. Our house dropped to 60 degrees because I turned the heater off before working out. Halfway dressed, Brianna starts asking for food again. I throw on the same pajamas I wore the night before and take her into the kitchen. Our gourmet lunch? Canned soup. With extra veggies chopped up and thrown in. Brianna helped chopped everything with her plastic knife. We listened to talk radio while doing this. The babies just sat around. I felt bad about that - I feel like I should constantly be playing with them so they don't feel ignored/neglected. But Brianna and myself must be fed. Bennett did his hungry cry. I go to the couch to feed him. Rush Limbaugh comes on. He annoys me. I endure listening to him because I don't want to try to walk around while feeding Bennett - it makes him pull off, then get sprayed and we have a mess. TMI, TMI. Whatever. But if you're reading this far, you're probably one of the people who have very low standards for the "TMI" label, and can handle reading just about anything I'm willing to write. Finally... both babies are tired, I swaddle them both tight, turn on the ocean noises, and then fall asleep with minimal crying. Brianna eats and goes back to her movie and falls asleep watching the Wiggles (which means she's REALLY tired, or REALLY bored, because she usually dances along with that movie).  And me... like I said before. Collapsed on the couch. Now typing this. And I think I hear a baby waking up.  

Sunday, November 21, 2010


This giant spider at the grocery store during Halloween made Brianna cry.
And since I'm such a good mom, I laughed at her and took a picture before comforting her.
Then I handed her sone plastic shovels from the clearance shelf and told her to kill the spider.