Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mommy thoughts

Yesterday, the boys and I took Brooke to her checkup. We found out that she is a big baby for a one month old. She’s 90 above the percentile for height, and 50 above for weight. It’s official, she’s taking after Shaun’s six foot two genes. I’m so excited! She’s going to be a tall, gorgeous woman. So Shaun, Ethan and Brooke will be giants, and Kevin and I will be hobbits, us shorties. It was neat to find that out. She’s doing great, and growing well.

Today, I’ve been feeling especially grateful to be a mom. I don’t know why, nothing major has happened this week to make me feel this way, but I’m just glad to be a mom.

I love playing games and doing books with Ethan during quiet time. I love dropping to the floor anywhere in the home to hold Kevin when he’s having one of his emotional breakdowns. (Happens quite often, my sensitive son:)

I’m really trying to listen to the boys better, and respond back with questions. I think it helps them see that I’m trying not to always be the boss, but to understand them better. It’s a new way of talking and thinking, because it makes you slow down your talking and speak on a really, really, basic level. Now, I wish I was like this every day, but some days have been rough and there’s no patience in me left, but I’m trying.

Brooke is an angel, and such a gift from above. Every time I see her smile at me, it’s a small window to our heavenly home that we came from. I love her.

I’ve started reading another great Mommy blog, that I found through a friend. I love it. I try to limit my ‘mommy blogs’ to a small amount, to not get overwhelmed. I do my best to keep up with the lovely friend and family blogs on the right side that you see. This one is Clover Lane, and it’s just wonderful, but you must read this short article that she wrote HERE. It was so uplifting to read today. When you get time, read that post. It will help you remember why it’s so great to be a parent:)

It feels like the days are flying by, and I sometimes wonder if I’m doing enough to raise these kids right. I’m in the bathroom, and I’ll take a 30 second break (about how long it takes for the boys to come in and find me, with the dogs following and all cramming in. It’s over then:) to read something uplifting from my bookshelf in there. A church thought, a mother passage, or something, and I try to keep going and enjoy the moments. Yes, we’re still in survival mode with learning how to balance three kids, and eventually, things will get a tad smoother. I just love being home with them, making the food, tucking them in, and having pillow fights. That’s my rambling for today.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving weekend

The house is so quiet. The boys and Brooke are asleep. It’s break time. I love tucking the boys in, and reading to them. I love that they have a bunk bed to share, warm blankets and down comforters. Love being the mom, and taking care of them.

Thanksgiving came and went so fast, and tomorrow is back to work for Shaun and long days with the kiddos and me, but it was a great weekend. The turkey turned out amazing. The brining was easy, and definitely made a huge difference. Very moist. I felt so cool cooking an amazing turkey, and having it turn out stellar. Growing up, I knew that the grown ups made the turkey for the family dinner. Well, now I’m the grown up, even though I don’t always feel so grown up. I sometimes wonder “How did these kids get here? Wasn’t I going to school at Ricks yesterday, and going to single adult parties on the beach in Santa Barbara?” Time sure flies by:)

Here’s the boys stirring the brine around with all the ice and the turkey. We then put the bucket in the garage for 24 hours. I still can’t believe how easy it was. I’ll post the recipe with a bunch more soon.



It was great to stay in pajamas, and just lounge. Somehow, I made all the dinner items mostly by myself with some help from the boys. This happened for a few days, making one item at a time. Green bean casserole, cranberry jello salad, mashed potatoes, and the heavenly pumpkin cheesecake, scream! My favorite.

It really didn’t feel like Thanksgiving, just another day, but we had a great meal with our little family and said what we were grateful for at the table. The boys rode their bikes to their hearts content. Cheese cake for breakfast. Trying not to think about the fitness/diet plans until January. Eat more crap, and love every bite of it. That was the weekend:)

I have so much to be thankful for, more than I can write. I’m so thankful for this home, and for warm beds for everyone. For running water and power. For photo sessions, and the fun that comes with that. For a running car, and for hugs from the boys. For little Brooke, and the happy squeaks she has been making. For my darling husband, who I love to laugh with and share this adventure with. So thankful for it all.

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with their families! Here comes Christmas!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Family visit

Can I say I’m so excited for Friday! This Friday is our Thanksgiving dinner day. Shaun’s off work, and we’re planning on  just chilling and eating, and being home. Well, except for me escaping with no kids to shop for clothes in the morning, which is my momma treat for me. The past weekends have been busy with Shaun staying with the kids, while I run off to the mountains to do photograph mini sessions, coming home to help with dinner, fussy kids during chaos hour, and putting them to bed. So, this Friday is exciting.

Way cute outfit on darling Brooke, who still is my easiest baby ever. She’s so content, and only cries when she’s tired or having tummy gas pains. She slept from 9-4:30 last night, which is why I’m able to be up this early and blog.



Brooke has been a trooper with my active men. She’s had her head stepped on, slapped, poked at, and she’s taken it very well. The boys love her, and come running to me saying “Brooke’s crying” which helps since I don’t always here her with the dogs playing and boys running all over the place.


Every now and then, I’m blessed to have a little visit with my extended fam, Kevin, Jacquie, and Brian, when they travel through town. This was it for our Thanksgiving family visit. They always bring goodies for my boys, and its so kind. Jacquie made me the most beautiful purple baby blanket ever. It’s luxury, and beats any store bought blanket. It smelled heavenly of downy fabric softener, and was SO soft. Needless to say, I promptly put Downy on my shopping list for this week, because I want all the blankets in the house to be that amazing. I wrapped Brooke in it, and smelled and touched the blanket to my face all day long. Love it.


I still think we’re in survival mode, because the days are flying by, and I feel that I’m not being as productive with the boys as I’d like. I’m constantly helping Brooke, trying my best to spend time with the boys as she naps, scratch my head and wonder what exactly I did that day. I get up as early as my body will let me, work on finishing photo sessions for clients, (which I am so thankful to have had some work this season!) read scriptures and talks on my phone in bed, (love doing that!) and try to teach the boys to get me when the alarm goes off. Some days, the get up a wee bit early.

We’re also trying to get Shaun applied to school to start next year. Trying to start school for us has been the equivalent of taking the ring to Mordor. Something always seems to happen, and push us back, but it’s going to happen, dang it! It’s too awesome of a dream to not happen! So, we’re just keep chugging.

I hope everyone has a lovely Thanksgiving this week! I’m going to brine a turkey for the first time, because I’m insane, and because I’m all about flavor in my food. I got my 5 gallon bucket, and I’m ready to go. We’ll see how it goes. Truly, I’m just stoked for my pumpkin cheesecake. Discovered that last year, and life has never been the same. It’s wonderful!

Enough ramblingSmile

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Brooke’s blessing day

This last weekend was a busy and fun one! Shaun took off work Saturday so I could do more photo mini sessions. We love any day that Daddy is home, it’s wonderful. Shaun’s buddy Kyle and his family came in to town for Brooke’s baby blessing at church, along with sweet Aunt Sandy. She brought down this lovely baby blessing dress, with a little bonnet. She looked like an angel pioneer. Don’t you find that great weekends go by in a blink?

Here’s a few pictures from this week. Ah, Brooke is so cute!! Her headband was made by my crafty cousin Mel. You can see more of her wonderful creations at her etsy shop HERE:)



Crazy Ethan:D100_0595

Getting Brooke dressed in her blessing dress. It’s so fun to play dress up with her.100_0597

Aunt Sandy and us. Isn’t Brooke adorable??100_0599100_0601

Here’s our humble little group that came out for Brooke. One family member along with an adopted family of friends. How grateful I am for all of them. It was such a nice Sunday.100_0604

Shaun and his goofy friend Kyle. The boys absolutely love “Uncle Kyle”100_0606100_0607

My sweet mommy and photog friend, Jessica. We get together with our kids at the park, and it’s great fun.100_0612100_0613100_0619

And then, it was time for everyone to drive back to their homes. Thanks for coming, guys!

Brooke is starting to come alive. She’s staying awake a little more in the daytime, and she’s started to smile at me. I’ll talk sweet to her, and she gives me the cutest smile, and it melts my heart. When that happens, I remember better how lucky I am to be a mom and have kids, these little gifts from above.

Yesterday for our Family Home Evening activity, we took the boys to get bike helmets. They were incredibly excited. We jumped into Bed Bath and Beyond to get some flannel sheets for them. I loved seeing the cotton flannel and down comforters in there, and remembering Mom. She was big on her cotton sheets and comforters, and I guess I’m carrying on the tradition with my family. Can’t live without them!

I just love having a home and warm beds for the kids, and being able to take care of all their little needs and enjoyments. We may be pretty pooped at bedtime from their energy, but at least we can have another day with them.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Olympic event: shopping with kids!

Yesterday, I braved shopping at Smiths and Costco with all three kiddos. I made it! Brooke slept the whole time in her carseat. I stuffed Kevin with a bagel from the bakery, and he sat contently in the shopping cart while I piled food around him. I had him help me put the food in, and he enjoyed that. I kept a constant watch on Ethan, herding him close, as he gets distracted a ton. All the while, trying to look over the carseat to see what’s in front me and not ram into other carts. It’s really a financial blessing to take all the kids to Costco, because I could not browse through the heavenly book section and be tempted to buy something. I came home, unloaded the car while Brooke kept sleeping and the boys played in the driveway with their bikes. Olympic event!

Lately, all the boys want to hear is Adele’s “Rolling in the deep” song. I played it once in the car, and they loved it. I’ve tried playing other songs on her CD, but Ethan informs me “That’s not Adele!” Funny. We all crowd around my phone and watch the music video on youtube, and then the Jon Schmidt/Steven Sharp Nelson version. We put the phone on the piano, play the Jon Schmidt video, and I play along with it. The boys love it. Thanks, Mel, for sharing Adele with us! Smile

Brooke is doing wonderful. She’s such a sweet and content baby. Only cries when she’s hungry or has gas. I nurse her, and sometimes have the boys on top of me, Kevin shoving his face into hers to say hi, and Ethan sitting on my right shoulder. The couch is more than 6 feet long, but yet we all seem to smash together in the corner of it while I nurse. My life now, ha ha!

Today, I’m going to try to not stress over stupid stuff the boys do. It uses too much vital energy that is needed for positive outlook. There’s already so much to discipline and teach these kids. Why am I adding to it with things that don’t matter?  It’s ridiculous, and yet I find that its an easy trap to fall into. So today, the goal is to chill the heck out!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fun with our bikes

Oh, the strider bikes, how fun they are! We got these bikes off ebay. When it’s tough to load up kids and shop at stores, I love online shopping where its dropped at my doorstep, and has free shipping. Love.

The boys went nuts when I opened the door in the morning, and found the big box. (Not sure why UPS always comes at night around here)

Here’s our week in pictures, random snippets of our crazy and fun life with three kiddos.

First, here’s our darling girl!


Very excited boys.


So far, its been easy to load up all the kids and take them to the park. Brooke’s asleep all the time.  Boys loved bringing their bikes, and rode them all around.


Kevin being darling. Ethan was off chasing the pigeons, of courseSmile



Isn’t this the coolest park??


We visited Daddy at work. Love it when he works an event where he just sits around, and we can come see him. This was a horse event, so it was fun for the boys.


Brooke’s first day at church!


This is what I do with Ethan when Kevin and Brooke nap during quiet time. We do some school/play fun. He loves this alphabet train puzzle! They are so fun. He’s also learning to write letters on our big dry erase board. Fun stuff.



Just relaxing with daddy home. Love those days.


Popcorn always makes us happy.


I’m hanging in there. Some days are easy, and some days like yesterday afternoon are exhausting! It seemed like I was pulled in every direction to help someone or do something, and I just couldn’t seem to do it all. You’ve had those days, I’m sure. Nevertheless, the kids went to bed peacefully. I fed Brooke at 8:30, expecting her to wake at midnight, and she slept till 3:30. Thank you!!!!!

Dog gone time change is tough with young kids. Sunday night, it seemed to take forever to get to bedtime. Shaun and I were ready to pass out, while the kids were bouncing all over the house.

Yet, life is wonderful, the weather is cooler, and I want to make pumpkin pie!! This weekend is Brooke’s baby blessing at church. That will be wonderful. Gotta go take care of her now.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Little smiles

Brooke is now one month old. Boy, did that fly by fast! She is such a good baby. So content, as others have mentioned. I’m finding life to be much easier than I expected with three kids. Well, probably right now at least, since she sleeps all the time. The last part of the day leading up to dinner is still chaos. I think that’s the universal hard time for moms and kids, 4-7pm for us. Yet, I’m surviving, yea!

Wonderful thing: Brooke started smiling back at me this week. I was holding her, and talking to her all sweet, and she gave me the biggest smile. My heart just melted, and I was hit with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for this little angel sent to our home.


Small window of awake timeSmile I forgot about how important it is to not miss the ‘window’, the chance to put babies to sleep before they get overtired. One night this week, we missed it, and kept her up too long. It took us 2 hours to get her to fall asleep. The next night, I got her up at 6pm to feed her, put her down at 6:30, and she went to sleep without a peep. SO much easier. Last night, fed her at 9pm, 12:30 am, and then she slept till 5. Thank you, Brooke!! I’ll take 4 hours of sleep, bliss for a newborn night.

We didn’t quite make it for Halloween this year. We took the boys to the church Trunk or Treat, but dinner was served first, and that took a bit of time. We waited for the trunk or treating to begin, but Ethan fell asleep in Shaun’s lap. They both were too pooped. So, there’s always next year:)


My little darlings:)

I practiced a lot before my mini sessions started last week. I love these pictures. I mainly opened my aperture way huge, 1. 4, which makes the background super blurry. I love it!! I wanted to nail it before I did that with my clients. Last weekend, Shaun stayed home with the boys, and I did some families up in the lovely meadows of Calico Basin. Oh, after taking a little camera break, it was so wonderful to take pictures again. I had so much fun. I always get a little nervous before a shoot, and say a prayer that I can take the best pictures possible. I think He helped me last weekend. Round 2 starts this weekend. I try really hard to schedule certain time for computer/picture work. Basically 6am, and 2pm. Family definitely comes first.

I just love these shots of my men.

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I’m just glad I can take care of these guys, read books to them, take them to the park to play in this blessed cooler weather. We’re waiting for some really cool bikes coming in the mail for the boys. It’s a Strider bike. No pedals, just balancing, and pedaling along with their feet. They push along, lift their legs and glide, learning how to balance first before pedaling. I saw these on a homeschool blog, and then saw a kid on one at the park. I was sold. As soon as they get here, we’ll be outside a  lot more!