Wednesday, May 21, 2014

George's well visits: 2, 4, and 6 months!

Obviously since I have been terrible at blogging, I've missed putting all of George's stats up on the blog. So here we are: the results of his well visits from 2, 4, and 6 months old!!

8 week appointment: 
Weight: 13lbs 11oz (94%). Height: 24.25" (93%). Head circumference: 16.25" (86%).
Finally out of the newborn sleep-all-the-time stage and just getting out of a two week hardly-sleep-ever stage. A champion eater and growing fatty.  Unlike Henry, hardly spits up, and generally super chill.
 
i know this picture isn't that flattering, but i still love it because FATNESS!!

4 month appointment:
Weight: 16lbs (73%). Height: 27" (97%). Head circumference: 17.25 (87%). 
Still a champ eater. Co-slept with us which was cute to wake up to but annoying the rest of the time ;).  SUCH a happy, smiley, chill baby.


pinchable! #amiright

6 month appointment:
Weight: 18.05 lbs (65%). Height: 28.5" (97%). Head circumference: 17.75 (84%).
Still loves to nurse, but refuses to eat baby food. Also will not sleep unless attached to me (holding or nursing). I asked the doctor about starting cry-it-out because I was nearing my wits end (he agreed it was a good idea). I brought up the fact that he hated baby food, and the Dr recommended to stop trying baby food for a few weeks and starting it again (I'll post more about that later).

sitting up on his own and everything. such a stud.

George has such a delightful, chill, happy personality. He is seriously such a joy to be around, and can always be counted on for a huge smile. He loves music and playing games like patty cake. He loves being in the Ergo and will almost always fall asleep in it [in a matter of minutes]. Henry and George love each other and are so sweet with each other, and my favorite thing is when they do something silly that makes them both crack up. I love my sweet boys!! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

recipe: the perfect (and easy!) oatmeal raisin cookie

A few months ago I started craving oatmeal cookies. Particularly oatmeal chocolate chip, but I won't say no to raisins when I'm in the mood (plus, Josh likes the raisin ones better anyways). In my search for an EASY recipe without a billion ingredients, I found this one from Baker Bettie. Her recipe only has 6 ingredients, with additional options to add in if you feel like it. I tried it, and the cookies were pretty decent, but not perfect. But I saw promise... So I made a few tweaks and a couple batches later I had my PERFECT AND EASY oatmeal raisin/oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe. I make these all the time, and bring them to parties so I can impress my friends and trick them into thinking I am an amazing baker. Because seriously, they are that good!! And because I am the nicest person ever, I will share the recipe with you:

The Perfect Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Yield: ~18 cookies (depending on size, obvi)

Ingredients:
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 stick butter, softened (1/2 cup)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla (I just fill the cap and use that amount)
1 tsp baking powder
~1 tsp cinnamon (I just use a few generous shakes from the cinnamon shaker)
1 overflowing cup of half white/half wheat flour (if you want to be specific 1 cup + 2 TBSP flour)
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup raisins or chocolate chips (or M&Ms, I use seasonal colored ones when I make these for holiday parties)

[NOTE: these ingredients are pretty flexible, this is just how I make mine. But if you aren't into dark brown sugar, change it to light brown or white. If you aren't into wheat flour, just use white. The original recipe says that the vanilla, baking powder, and cinnamon are optional. So if you don't have them, skip it!]

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a bowl, combine brown sugar and stick of butter until smooth and delicious. Feel free to sample said mixture, and realize it's your kryptonite.  (Oh, just me? Oops...!)
3. Add in egg, vanilla, baking powder, and cinnamon. Stir. Do not sample after this step, because...you know...salmonella (boo, hissss).
4. Add flour and stir. Add oats and stir. Add raisins or chocolate chips or M&Ms and stir. Once again, resist urge to sample... 
7. Form balls of dough and place onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat (because I'm all about easy cleanup and no sticking cookies!). Gently flatten each ball.
8. Cook in the oven for ~18 minutes (note: the original recipe calls for something crazy like 9 minutes. At 9 minutes my cookies are still raw as a live cow. But it could just be my oven, so you may want to keep an eye on these the first time you make them! Check at about 10 mins).
9. STUFF YO FACE!!


You're welcome
Let me know if you make these, I'd love to know how you like them! :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

PSA: anchor your furniture

So, it was kind of hard for me to write this post. Probably mostly because of the fear of *parental judgement*. Dun dun dunnnnnn! But I'm getting over that and posting this, because there may be other parents out there who have either been putting this off, or didn't know about it. [Sorry this is kind of a Debbie Downer post, but I just don't want any other parents to go through this!]. Phew, here goes:

We had an incident earlier this year that really shook me up. Henry was in his room for his afternoon nap, and was just playing by himself before he fell asleep. Josh and I were downstairs and we suddenly heard a HUGE crash, followed by a cry of terror. My heart felt like it jumped in my throat, and Josh and I instantly ran up the stairs. I'm not sure if either of us have ever moved that fast in our lives. We threw open his door (thankfully he hadn't locked it like he sometimes does) and Josh lifted up the dresser. Henry was tucked halfway into the bottom drawer, and Josh couldn't see him so he was screaming "where is he?!". I pulled him out of the drawers and held him close. I didn't see any blood, even though the top drawer of the dresser had been bashed in by his head. Henry was still scream-crying, I was shaking and crying, and Josh was shaking... I looked Henry all over and tried to touch all his major bones to make sure everything was still intact. Miraculously, he seemed completely fine physically, and was just shaken up.

In my life so far, I don't think I have ever been more scared than in this incident. I also felt TERRIBLE, because this whole thing could have been prevented with a relatively simple fix. And it wasn't even a "fix" we didn't know about, we had heard about a similar instance happening a couple years ago. We just never thought it would happen to us: Henry hadn't ever climbed up any dressers or shelves before... he had messed with his drawers a couple times to pull all his clothes out, and we had gotten after him and clearly told him not to play with his dresser. And anchoring furniture requires holes in the wall, and we're in a rental. With all these justified-seeming excuses, we'd [obviously] never done anything about it. And that reason alone is why I am posting about it. Because YOU NEVER THINK IT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU! But if it's something like this that is 100% preventable, just PREVENT IT! (Sorry for all the caps lock...it just happened..)


We moved Henry's dresser out into the hallway until I could get something to anchor it to the wall. I looked at Walmart and Home Depot but neither place had any sort of kit like what I had in mind. So I called Ace Hardware and asked if they had anything, and they said yes! They are called an Anti Tip Kit, and I believe they were about $10/each (I bought two, for the two larger pieces of furniture we own that could possibly tip and cause harm). They are rated to hold up to 400 pounds. The only tools you need to install it are a stud finder and a drill. Besides having Josh help me move the dresser back in the room, I anchored the dresser by myself. It took probably about five minutes, and that's including finding the power cord for the drill and charging it ;) What I'm trying to say is that the process of anchoring this dresser was EASY.

So if you haven't heard about doing this, or have been putting it off for whatever reason, please do it. Now. It could literally save your childs life. I am beyond grateful that Henry did not get hurt, and also that Josh was home when this happened (he lifted that dresser up like it was a pillow!). I know the outcome could have been much different :(



FYI, I found the product I bought on Amazon, here is the link if you are interested.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

mothers day, as a mother who isn't perfect

Mothers Day isn't actually about me. It's not a day for me to sleep in and be pampered. It's not a day for me to pat myself on the back and say I'm an amazing mom. I'm not amazing. I usually try to be the best I can, but that's all I can ever ask for, no matter what day of the year it is. And to be honest, there are many days where "the best I can be" translates to just making sure everyone is fed and isn't sitting in poop [which can be made harder by the fact that I can't smell ;)]. I've been thinking how today is really about my loves: my husband and my children. Josh is my support, my co-captain, my first mate, my therapist, my life coach, my sugar daddy, my everything. I love him with all my heart, and I'm so grateful that he puts up with all the nonsense that comes along with work so that I can be spoiled with my children. My two miracle children... I never knew that I could love tiny human beings so much. And now that they are in my life, I realize that I take it for granted. I always told myself I would never take having kids for granted, but it just happened. You sort of slip into your role and before you realize it, you become complacent..

I've known too many people who have lost children these past few years, and it absolutely wrecks my heart. But in every instance, I find myself thinking that those sweet children had lived such amazing and full lives, even in their painfully-short existence. This makes me reflect on the lives my kids are currently living.. Are they having joyful lives? Am I doing enough? Am I focusing on the wrong things? As I've reflected on this tonight, I think I do need to shift my focus...

These past couple weeks I've found myself being harder on Henry. He's so smart and talking so much more that I forget he's just a two year old. That's practically a baby, really. But I have all these expectations of how he should behave, and therefore find it easier to get pushed to my limit. When really I just need to check myself and forget about all the extra stupid stuff that's going on, and just focus on what he needs. Obviously there is a balance that needs to be maintained so that I'm not neglecting myself or anything like that. But I don't think that's what's happening here.. I find myself raising my voice more than I used to, and more than I like. I worry more about squashing all his "bad behavior", and less about nurturing all his good qualities. [I'm sure my recent attempts to be healthier and eat less sugar may be adding to my shorter fuse, but I don't want to attribute my short-comings to that]. I need to have more patience and understanding, and try to understand the world through my children's eyes.


This Mother's Day, I have come to a realization that I need to reconnect with my inner child, and stop worrying so much about trying to be a perfect mom. Or having perfect children. The pressure associated with all that is far too much for my liking. My boys are babies--precious babies that at one point I didn't know I'd ever have. I need to stop taking their existence for granted, and make more out of this amazing experience that is being their mom. Play more, play on their level, and nurture their talents and interests. [Yes, babies can have talents/interests... have you ever seen how talented George is at smiling?!? That kid could light up a room! ;)]. I have an inkling that worrying less about being an amazing mother might actually make me a better mother. And I'm definitely open to that. ♥

And as far as Josh goes? I'm already a perfect wife, so that's one less pressure off of me ;P

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Flashback: Christmas in Arizona!

Since we stayed in Utah for Thanksgiving, we went to stay with my parents in Arizona for Christmas. It was SO NICE! Utah gets pretty cold in the winter, so we hadn't even played outside in what seemed like forever. Then we get to Arizona and it felt like paradise in comparison. Occasionally we needed light jackets while outside. Henry was in complete heaven!! He loves being outside, so to be able to roam free without layers and gloves and hats and all that nonsense was perfection.

Now, for some pictures :)

hello, cutie

someone partied too hard on Christmas...

you know, just doing some important construction work

Grandpa and Henry had a blast playing with trucks

Christmas PJs. Sometimes this is the best picture you can get...

Obviously Christmas isn't just about presents, but oh my goodness it's cute to see reactions to presents :) Henry got seriously spoiled (thanks grandparents!) and LOVED all his new trucks and toys.

"present?"
George, always the happy camper, was content to just hang out. But don't worry, he was spoiled too!

baby George playing patty cake with monkey George
As fun and amazing as Christmas celebrations can be, it can really tire a person out. And someone (I'm not naming names...) may have had a little too much fun...

too! much! CHRISTMAS!
One of the highlights for Henry on the trip was the neighbors house. They are an older couple that is obsessed with Christmas. I've never seen anything like it. The lady even said that on her Christmas list she had asked for blue Christmas lights. That's dedication. They had lights everywhere, and played Christmas music outside from speakers. Their long driveway was paved with different light-up Christmas decor, just one after the other. Henry was amazed, and to be honest I was pretty impressed too. Henry kept yelling "lights! lights!" and pointing at each new thing. While we were looking at everything outside, the couple saw us and came out to say hi. Then they invited us inside to see the rest of their Christmas collection. So...I thought outside was intense. Every inch of their entryway, dining area, and living room was COVERED in Christmas. [[I took a ton of pictures, but lost them when I broke my phone a couple months ago :'( ]]. I think they had every sort of dancing/singing Christmas characters ever made... and they played every single one for Henry (they were so sweet to him!). There was even a life size Santa that sang, as well as a life size snowman that sang and danced (Henry was kind of scared of that one haha). Anyways, that was the Christmas house, and it was awesome. And yes, we visited more than once on our trip ;)

large mouth bass!
Of course my parents had to get into all sorts of shenanigans while we were there. They said they were going to play with Henry outside, and next thing I know I get this picture sent to my phone:

riding in style
When I went out to see where they were, I found them a couple houses away looking at horses. Yup, best trip ever!

sweet brothers
We had such a great time, and it was nice to get away to the warmer weather. I might just have to go live there for a few months every winter!! The summer there kills me, but I could definitely get used to the winter weather. Thank you so much Mom and Dad for letting us stay with you! It was a fabulous time, and made for some fun memories ♥

Saturday, April 5, 2014

#purplehairdontcare

I have wanted purple hair for years. A couple years ago I did purple ends, but it wasn't the same as all purple hair. I hadn't ever done it because purple is so high maintenance. It fades like crazy, and dyes everything purple. But after Miss Emily used photoshop to give me purple hair in a family photo, I made up my mind. I'm not getting any younger, so I was all in: PURPLE HAIR IT IS!!

I told my friend Natalie (who is a hairdresser) my grand plans, and asked her to help me. She graciously agreed (yay!). We bleached my hair, which took a lot of work since I had dyed my hair dark after George was born. Then we used a purple dye that we thought would work really well. And......it didn't :( It turned my hair back to black with a blue sheen. We knew all of this was an experiment, so we just considered it a little setback and did some more research. I stripped my hair, we bleached it again (also a lot of work, to get the black/blue out...eeks...). Thankfully Natalie knows what she's doing and my hair was not fried!! And because we knew Manic Panic worked, that's what we used. VOILA, PURPLE HAIR!!! This was all just before Christmas, so I've had purple hair for about 3.5 months now. Here are some of the pics that were taken back in December of my new purple hair :)

VICTORY!! [don't mind me pretending i'm a model...]

Josh braided my hair.

This pic has a filter so it almost looks blue, but I still like it
For anyone who is considering going purple, I will tell you what I've found out along the way... Manic Panic fades like CRAZYYYY! Without even washing it, it would fade more with each passing day. I had Natalie re-dye it a few times, but felt like I was almost always walking around with faded hair. Finally we did some more research (who knew purple hair could make you research so much?! haha) and saw a lot of vibrant purple hair online that was dyed with Pravana. Of course, that dye isn't sold in my town. But Natalie picked some up for me when she went to Saint George, and we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best.

When I first washed out the Pravana I got really nervous because it looked like it went pretty dark. Compared to my faded Manic Panic hair, it was dark. But boy was it VIBRANT!! It's so perfect, and I'm in love with it. I've had the Pravana in for about a month, and haven't had to redye it yet!  I do mix in a little bit of dye with my conditioner, which seems to help keep the vibrancy up a bit between washes.

light coming through the blinds

this quote is from a kids book and I find it appropriate ;)

at the zoo a couple weeks ago
Even though everything is purple now (my pillowcase, my neck, my hands after I straighten my hair, the backs of my shirts, etc), it's totally worth it. I love my purple hair and I'm so glad I have awesome friends like Natalie who help all my hair dreams come true!! ;) It's pretty funny because now purple hair seems completely normal to me, and I often forget that it isn't actually super common. Or I just completely forget that my hair is purple. And then I get some really odd looks/stares in public and I'm like "What the heck are they looking at?? Is there chocolate on my face? Ohhh...right..". My favorite reactions are always from kids, who get really excited and intrigued. There have been several instances where kids will yell out to their parents "Mom [and/or Dad]! Look! She has purple hair!!!" It's pretty adorable.

I love the quote that I have in that selfie above, and I think it also applies to the fact that my hair is purple. So I'll write it out, because it's awesome:

I may be called a silly nut,
or crazy cuckoo bird-so what?
I'm having too much fun, you see,
for anything to bother me!
-"I Like Myself" by Karen Beaumont

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Flashback: Henry turned TWO!

On December 15th, my little baby turned two years old. WHAT THE HECK!?! I just can hardly believe that he is already two. I love Henry to pieces, and although we try each others' patience sometimes, I am completely obsessed with him. He still loves Elmo, so I decided to throw an Elmo themed party. And at the time, his favorite foods were zzaa-zzaa (pizza) and ah-kee's (cookies).


the invitation :)
I checked out the Dollar Store to look for Elmo balloons, and I completely lucked out. They didn't have any hanging on their display wall so I got a little nervous, but then I asked someone and they found a whole stash. I got ten. (Which, funny enough, was the same price I could have paid to get ONE Elmo balloon at Sesame Street Live!).

they were a big hit
I made Henry a Happy Birthday banner. And wow...that took forever. It seems so simple, yet took SO LONG! I'm keeping it and totally plan on using it for future birthdays. Because for real, it was pretty labor intensive haha.


I got Sesame Street stickers and decorated party hats because I couldn't find a store that sold Elmo party supplies... Doesn't Walmart know that Elmo is still huge, and parents don't want to do anything?! Get with the program, peeps!!

he didn't like the hats so much...
Mimi and Bear came to town for the weekend to celebrate. We loved having them here, and they got him a big Hug Me Elmo. It talks, sings, and gives hugs. Which means it's inherently a little bit creepy, but Henry loved it ;)
see the fear in George's eyes? toys that talk on their own are totally freaky ;)
Some of our friends were able to make it to the party as well, and Henry got spoiled with toys. IN FACT, I think I've decided I'm never buying Henry a birthday present ever again. He got SO MANY toys that it was kind of insane. I think Josh's head might have exploded from the OCD-induced panic that comes along with a house overrun with toys. (Totally joking...sort of...). Henry was having so much fun playing with all his new toys that we decided just to give him a couple small presents from us, and keep the bigger ones for Christmas. He didn't even notice the difference.

New shopping cart. New vacuum. Ready to go!

We had to force him to open each new toy, since he was still busy playing with the last one. #toddlerproblems
Overall, the party was a really fun time. We had pizza (obviously), lots of cookies, and a cookie birthday cake. Because it was Bear's birthday weekend too, we also had a second birthday cookie cake for him too :) We really like our cookies around here!

birthday collage!
His birthday party was a great time, and Henry had an absolute blast! Thanks to everyone who helped make it so awesome! And a big thanks to my mom who came up and visited the weekend before, since she couldn't come for his birthday weekend. :)

On December 17 we went to the pediatrician for Henry's two year appointment. Here are his stats:
Weight: 28.4 lbs -- 56%
Height: 35.5" -- 79%

bff's
We love you so much Henry! It is so fun to see you grow up and learn and explore. Happy second birthday!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Flashback: Christmas preparations

In early December we had a church Christmas party that we attended. Santa was also in attendance. Last year Henry did not do well with Santa, so we were interested to see how he'd do this year. We tried to hype him up a bit and mentally prepare him ;) Unfortunately, that didn't really work...


Poor Santa ;)

George is so chill and happy that he was just looking around. Compared to Henry's experience, it was a cake walk for Santa. He almost seems bored in the pic...


I had to work on convincing Josh that we needed to put up Christmas decorations. Which is funny because it used to be the opposite: I was scrooge and Josh would have to talk me into doing anything Christmas-related. I think it comes along with the territory of having kids: now I want to have memory-making stuff for the kids, and Josh doesn't want to deal with the mess that comes with combining kids and decorations. In the end, we put up the tree and decorations! The ornaments on the tree almost made me lose my mind... because Henry thought it was the coolest thing ever to take the ornaments off and throw them on the ground. I'm just glad the tree didn't fall over. But man those ornaments were practically the death of me. By the end of the month Henry had gotten much better about leaving them alone, thank goodness.

the cutest present ever

kitteh?
Because Henry's birthday is December 15, the presents under the tree were both for Christmas and his birthday. Surprisingly Henry mostly left the presents alone. Every once in a while he would get curious, but we'd just ask him to put them back and he did a good job. Such a stud :)