Monday, February 24, 2014

When Your Toddler Struggles With the New Baby

Today I am featured as a guest blogger over at, speaking on the topic of transitioning from one to two children (focused especially on when it doesn't go smoothly). Through Clouded Glass is the blog of my sweet blogger friend Callie. I love her and her blog, so feel free to read around while you're over there. :)

Link below:

From One to Two - Becoming a Big Sibling

Friday, February 21, 2014

Moments and Quotes with Krew (and Grey) 2.21.14

The latest from Krew:


"I'm going to put Greyden's heart sticker on my motorcycle to tell him he loves me."


Krew: "I like to play with some babies. But not all babies."
Me: "Do you like to play with Greyden?"
Krew: Long pause. "Kind of. Not really. I don't know but I think so."


On Wednesday Krew sat in his room working on puzzles and belting out this song for at least 20 minutes. I have no idea what song it is, and in fact he may have made it up considering it includes the word "bestest." In any case, it's about Jesus and it melts my heart. He's really quiet for the first minute, and then he ramps it up for the last 30 seconds. He says it's rock n roll.


On a final note, on separate occasions, both of my children have now pointed to the below image in Target and declared that it was their daddy. Apparently Dave has made quite the fashion impression on them. :)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Snoke Snow Adventure

Last Wednesday was quite the adventure.

I had an appointment at noon.  Despite forecasts of snow coming, there wasn't a flake in the sky, so I dropped my kids off at a friend's house and went on to my appointment.

The flakes started falling at about 12:20pm and I watched out the window as the snow piled up. By the time I went to my car at 1pm, my car was covered in snow and I couldn't see the ground.

The following is the story of our Snoke Snow Adventure:

First I called Dave and asked him to pick up the boys from our friends' house on his way home from work, since he was going by there and it was out of my way. (He was headed home from work due to the snow.)

I then had a ten minute wait to get out of the parking lot due to already forming traffic jams.

And then approximately a 35 minute wait to go one mile down the street.

For a total of an hour to go the four miles home. On very, VERY slick roads with cars stopped left and right for hitting the curb or each other.

Once I got home, Dave and the kids were still in our rear-wheel SUV five miles away, going nowhere due to car wrecks everywhere and ice-covered streets.

This was Dave's view on the way home.

About 30 minutes later, after moving maybe a quarter mile and sliding several times, the last of which was into the lane of oncoming traffic, Dave decided to hang it up.  He parked the SUV, bundled the kids up, and started trekking through the snow storm with one in each arm, headed toward our friends' house that was about three miles away.

Fortunately, our friend Sion ran out to meet Dave with a double stroller and helped him get the kids to their house.

Thanks Sion! :)

Meanwhile, I decided that I wasn't about to sit at home by myself all night in a snowstorm while my family was all at our friends' house having a sleepover.  So I packed a backback, covered myself in snow gear, asked our neighbors to feed our dogs, and headed out.

My sweet neighbor friend Sarah joined me for half of the hike.  We went through the nearby park and it was actually really pretty with all the snow.

This was the state of the four-lane crazy-busy road about a mile from our house. It seems that most people had given up on driving by this point.

Without any difficulties, I made it to our friends' house in about 30 minutes.

Fortunately for all of us, our friends had enough food to make us dinner, the power didn't go out at all, and our kids had a fun time having a sleepover together.

After a good night's sleep, the next morning we ate breakfast and headed off to walk back home.

Which unfortunately didn't go very well, because the snow had been covered by a sheet of ice and made it nearly impossible to push the stroller through the snow.  It was no longer light and fluffy - now it was like trying to jam the stroller wheels through a wall with every step. We made it through the neighborhood by going down the middle of the street, but we were really struggling once we made it out to the main road because casually walking down the center of the lane was no longer an option. The roads were still not in great shape, but there were also enough people driving on them to make walking down the middle of them less than safe as well.

Fortunately some kind strangers drove by and took heart and strongly encouraged us to accept a ride home from them.  So we ended our adventure by hitch hiking.  Because that's what you do when you get stranded by a snow storm.

The end.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Greyden: 18 months!

Dearest Greyden Roy,

You hit your 18-month mile mark on January 28th, and I feel like I should have written an update between 15 months and now because you have changed in so, so many ways!

At one week short of 16 months, you finally decided to walk on your own. I can’t even express to you how excited I was. At first you were wobbly and slow, like any new walker is, but you’ve gained steadiness and speed incredibly quickly and are now very close to being able to run. You’ve even attempted to jump on a couple occasions, which always impresses your daddy and me. You’re still a climber, but have stopped performing quite as many daring climbing acts since learning to walk (thank goodness). You want to walk everywhere when I’d rather hold you, and you want to be carried when I’d rather you walk. Whenever I try to pick you up and you’d rather walk, you twist your hips away from me so that I can’t get you placed on my hip and you throw your arms straight up so that I can’t grip you well under the armpits. There’s been more than one occasion when I’ve walked into a store carrying you facing out on the front of me, my arms wrapped around you at your armpits, with you whining and crying with your arms up, feet kicking, belly hanging out in the cold. At those moments, though, more often than feeling frustrated, I feel so, so thankful that you CAN walk on your own and want to!!

You’ve become a very picky eater and it’s often a challenge to make sure you’re getting a healthy variety of foods. You eat massive quantities of food - more than me at some meals! - but not a large variety. You would prefer to live on bread, tortillas, cheese, and yogurt. Sometimes you’ll eat meat. The only fruits you will eat are bananas, apples, and whole pears (where you get to bit off the pieces yourself). You don’t like any other fruit that I’ve found. You’ll even willingly put pieces of fruit in your mouth to taste test them, but you always spit them out. For vegetables, you’ll occasionally go through a one- or two-day phase where you will eat gobs and gobs of green beans or peas. I haven’t found another vegetable that you’ll eat otherwise (same thing happens as with fruit), and sometimes you’ll even refuse green beans and peas. So...we still feed you a lot of “fruit packs” (puree fruit/veggie pouches) as fillers. It’s the only way we can make sure you’re getting fruits and veggies in your body, so it’s worth it to me.

There are times when I wonder if you might end up being left-handed. You prefer to use your left hand for a lot of things, including eating with a spoon or fork. But then you usually reach for things with your right hand. So I can’t figure it out.

You talk SO MUCH and it absolutely blows me away. I would guess you say between 50 and 60 words. You will try to repeat almost any word we ask you to. Just in the past week you’ve started saying “Yes” incredibly clearly and I think it’s so cute - prior to that point you always said, “Uh huh!” Some of your other words include bubbles, Krew (Coo), daddy, mommy, ready, water (wawa), tortilla (pitty), book (bup), milk (guck), Fresh Beats (beats!), Elmo (emmo), no, up, light, doggie, Moo Moo, duck, fish (feesh), roar! (with hands out, claws bared), please (peez), uh oh, mess (when you spill something you proclaim, “A mess!”), help (hup), apple, banana (nana), tree, stuck (you frequently announce, “I shtuck!”), yay, cereal, and many others. We are able to communicate about pretty much everything, which is awesome, and you follow commands (when you actually decide to obey) such as “Go put your toothbrush in the sink!” In general, you speak and cry and scream much more loudly than I ever remember Krew doing, which can be slightly embarrassing when we’re in public and you decide to either jabber a lot or throw a fit. In both cases, I find your voicing carrying and echoing through the building and I start attempting nearly anything I can to get you to quiet down. I definitely think your favorite word is “no (neauh).” “No” combined with a shake of your head is your reply to almost everything we say unless we are offering you food or an electronic device.

Speaking of electronic devices, despite our attempts to really limit your time with them, you are obsessed and it drives me slightly batty. You will sneak away when we’re not looking and find the iPad or the iPod touch and start them up and turn on your favorite cartoon. You are constantly bringing us the tv or Roku remotes in an attempt to get us to turn on the tv. We do our best to hide everything (out of sight, out of mind), but we still face daily meltdowns when we refuse to turn on the tv or iPad for you.

On the flip side, you also love books. I don’t ever remember your older brother loving them so much, and it’s fun how often you’ll bring me a book to read to you. I’ll even find you in your room by yourself, sitting in the middle of a pile of books, flipping through them on your own. Lately when I lay you in bed at night, your last request has been “Bup?”, because you want something to look at as you fall asleep.

You’ve recently become pretty adept at toddler puzzles, so we’ve been doing a lot of those lately. You also love the fishing game we have, where the fish go around and open and close their mouths and you try to catch them with a fishing pole. I’m pretty amazed that you can catch the fish, but you do, and will try over and over and over until you get one. You also prefer to play it with another person, and will bring an extra fishing pole to me, your daddy, or another adult and ask, “Pay??” (Play?)

You have the same love for singing and dancing as your brother, and we now get to experience frequent dance shows that you and Krew put on for us together. It melts my heart. You and Krew have really been into watching Fresh Beat Band lately (we limit it to one or two shows on the Roku per day, but you’d rather it be MUCH more!), and you both dance your way through the whole show, trying to match the moves on the screen. You’re even now singing the songs from the show (“Uh oh oh no watcha say…”). You also love to sing “Down by the Bay” and “Jesus Loves Me,” which are both super cute.

You love to follow Krew around and copy nearly everything he does. If you suddenly realize he’s not in sight, you’ll look at me and ask, “Coo?” It’s so precious. You also are very good at picking on him. You take things from him, smack him, and scream at him often, all usually with a big grin plastered across your face. He basically hates it and breaks down into whiny complaints every time. I kinda feel bad for the kid. :)

Your way of soothing yourself is to suck your thumbs. Yes, that’s right, thumbs. You switch between them, depending on which one is most easily available. I haven’t noticed any damage to your teeth yet, so that’s a relief, although I’ll keep my eyes open in case anything starts shifting like it did with Krew. As of now you have all four front top teeth, all four molars, and all four of your bottom front teeth (with two of them still growing in).

At your 18-month checkup you were 32.25 inches tall (47th percentile), 25 lbs 5.5 oz (42nd percentile), and your head was 19 inches around (63rd percentile). When I just looked back to Krew’s 18-month checkup stats, he was almost EXACTLY the same size (except weighing a little less - which is funny because you look skinnier than he did)! It will be really interesting to see if you slow down in growth as much as he did and end up being a shorty as well. For his sake, it may not be such a bad thing if that’s the case, since you already pick on him more than he picks on you. In contrast to Krew, (who was wearing size 5 or 6 shoes at this point), you are still wearing size 4s. You are also still in size 3 diapers. You wear some 12-month shirts, but mostly 18-month shirts and pants. Your hair became incredibly blonde in the summer, but now that we’re not outside a lot and I’ve cut it several times, it looks more dark blonde, almost brown. I’ll be curious to see what happens this coming summer, if it lightens back up. Your eyes are a light brown, sometimes appearing hazel-ish. (To see Krew’s 18/19 month update, read here:

I feel like I could write about you all day (I always feel like that when I’m writing about you boys), but alas I must get back to my daily life. So we will end this update here. :)

Love you little man!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Organizing Me

Lately, in an attempt to curb some of my anxiety, I’ve been trying to develop some sort of a schedule for keeping track of my to-dos, cleaning, meal planning, errands, etc. I’ve found that the longer my to-do list and the more cluttered the house, the more I start freaking out inside. These things are by no means the only cause of my anxiety, but they do lead to a great deal of tension and frustration. I know that if I could get these items into some sort of order, either in my head or on paper or in an app, at least one source of my anxieties would be relieved.

The flip side of this issue is my tendency to go to the other extreme, where I become a perfectionist and freak out if things aren’t done in absolutely the best way. I have a hard time finding a balance, where things are done and organized but they aren’t perfect and I’m still ok with that.

I recently read a book that my friend gave me for Christmas, and the author did a great job of hitting on this issue. She emphasized having your house in “C+” order. She stated that “C+” is “good enough”, and during the incredibly busy and overwhelming time of motherhood, we should aim to be at a “C+” level and be ok stopping there. Our efforts that would be required to get the house at an “A” or “A+” level should be instead going into our husband, our children, our friends and family, and our spiritual growth.

The book is “Organizing You” by Shannon Upton. I highly recommend it for any overwhelmed mommas in need of organizing your life, setting up a chore schedule, and learning to clear the clutter of your mind so you can focus on the more important issues of your relationships with your Savior and others. I've adapted her suggested methods involving a binder and paper to instead use apps on my phone and Google docs, because electronics work better for me than a giant binder, but I still learned a lot of great ideas from her. I also think the book would be great for women who are not married or who do not have children - I think you could gloss over the sections that refer to life with a husband and children, or even learn to apply the lessons to other areas of your life.


I’m also in the process of reading some books by Sandra Felton, who is one of my favorite authors of books for clutter and housework self-help. She’s great at getting to the core of the issue, which is usually centered around my mindset and thought processes rather than the house or to-do list itself.

So I’m wondering, does anyone have any recommended books or blogs that have really helped you in managing your household and to-do list? What are your methods? Am I the only one who gets overwhelmed?