Thursday, December 25, 2014

Eli Thursday (and Merry Christmas!)

43 weeks

I think his favorite part of his first Christmas was the piles of wrapping paper. Silly little dude!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Eli Thursday

42 weeks

Eli loves playing the piano, and it's even better on Daddy's lap. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I still can't believe there is less than a week left until Christmas. It always comes and goes too quickly! Although there are lots of traditions I probably won't get to this year, we did send out Christmas cards and ate all the cookies we were planning on giving away, so I'm calling it a success. 

Merry Christmas, all! 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sleep is a wonderful thing

Something miraculous happened last night. I went to bed at 10pm and didn't wake up until after 6:30am when Eli woke up hungry. As if that weren't amazing enough, he went back to sleep for a good hour and a half after that.

I can't tell you how wonderful this was. 

Eli hasn't always been a terrible sleeper. There were a couple months where he would at least give us a solid 5-6 hours straight, but lately he's been waking up more often than I really care to discuss. It's been lousy. I've been exhausted. My house has been suffering. And I've been feeling grouchy and overwhelmed. 

Until this morning. 

When I woke up this morning, birds and angels started singing when I realized it wasn't some unholy hour like usualy. I felt like a brand new woman! For the first time in a long time I woke up feeling motivated and ready to go. And this is what I did with all that energy:

  • Got dressed and ready for the day before Eli woke up
  • Ate breakfast
  • Did a load of dishes
  • Went to Home Depot for supplies for my Etsy shop, which has been keeping me very busy lately... yay!
  • Put Eli down for a nap
  • Sanded and prepped Etsy signs 
  • Replied to emails and messages 
  • Threw together a terrible lunch since I lost track of time... but hey, we ate something! Even though it may or may not have been leftover mashed potatoes, some frozen waffles, and blackberries. (Note: must go grocery shopping tomorrow.)
  • Mailed off most of our Christmas cards
  • Mailed off Etsy packages
  • Put Eli down for another nap
  • Stained a bunch of signs
  • Baked up some of the peanut butter kiss cookie dough that was left over from last night... YUM
  • Ate too many cookies and watched some episodes of The Mindy Project
  • Did not make dinner (see above) (hashtag: #noregrets)
  • Cleaned the almost all the carpets upstairs
  • Wrote this blog post 
I feel so accomplished. It's amazing what a difference it makes to be well-rested, because I'm pretty sure I got more done today than I did all last week. (Seriously though.) And now I am going to sleep and pray that Eli does too! (Pleasepleasepleasepleasepleeeeeaaaaase!)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Eli Thursday

41 weeks

He's always, always, always trying to "help" me type on my computer. His busy little hands are sure cute, but sometimes I really need to get some things done, you know? Today I had a stroke of genius and dug up Dallin's old, broken computer for him to play with. He was in heaven... And maybe a little confused when I didn't stop him from banging on the keys to his heart's delight.  

Also, he loves to pull off his socks, which means there isn't a corner of the house that isn't hiding stray little baby socks. Silly dude.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Santa Baby

Eli met Santa today. It went something like this:

First, curiosity...

...then rejection.

Apparently he's not a fan. 

At least we got some terrific pictures out of the experience, eh? And to be honest, I might love these even more than a picture-perfect smiling face. I'm such a great mom... heh heh. ;)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Quick takes

Eli isn't much of a cryer. Usually if he is crying it means he wants food, and he wants it 15 minutes ago, and if he has to wait one more second he is going to die of starvation. Instead, he hollers as loud as he can when he wants something. It's hilarious to hear him squawk at us from his crib. It's a little less funny when it's in public when I am mean enough to not let him play with my phone.

Often he makes the goofiest little duck face that is almost always accompanied with heavy nasal breathing. We always do it back to him and he giggles. It's our favorite game.

Actually, that's not true. Our favorite game is hide-and-seek. I'll crawl down the hall and hide behind a door or around a corner, and call for him to come find me, and he'll crawl down there to investigate. At first he'll crawl as fast as he can, giggling and squealing, but once he gets closer he is quiet and alert as he tries to figure out where I am. When he finds me, he grins and his eyes light up. It makes me so happy every time! We play this game a lot.

Few things make him happier than going outside. I've been working hard to exercise several times a week, so we've been going on walks pretty frequently. He loves it, and it always makes me feel better too... win-win.

Eli always comes to me when I squat down and hold out my arms. He'll come close enough to grab on to my hands and then wait for me to pick him up. Lately he has started snuggling and hugging me sometimes too, and it just melts my heart. He's such a little sweetheart.

Nursing is still his favorite thing ever, so thankfully I still love it too. He likes to pat me, poke his fingers into my eyes/nose/mouth, and play with my shirt while he eats. Silly goose.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Eli Thursday

40 weeks

I don't think I've ever been this excited for Christmas, and that's probably mostly because of how much fun it is to watch Eli take everything in. He especially loves touching the lights on the tree. It's so adorable. Also, I am really shocked that the presents under the tree haven't even been touched by him yet... but that's probably just a matter of time. ;)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Eli Thursday

39 weeks

This Thanksgiving I'm thankful for my sweet little turkey. He often falls asleep when he nurses, and I love soaking up as many snuggles as I can. I'm going to miss this!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Eli Thursday

38 weeks

We put up our Christmas tree yesterday, and he had lots of fun crawling underneath, trying to eat the ornaments, and getting into mischief in general. I hope he loves Christmas as much as his mama!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Eli Thursday

37 weeks

See that little face? That right there is what pure happiness looks like.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

On being a mother

Story #1

I don't even bother checking the time as I stumble, still mostly asleep, from my bed towards little Eli crying in his crib. All I know is that it is past midnight, since that is when I was up last, but since it is still pitch black outside I know the night is far from over. In some ways that is a relief. Maybe this is the last time I will get woken up tonight, and maybe I will get a few hours of undisturbed, blissful, much-needed sleep. Maybe. (Although I know in my heart that is only wishful thinking.)

When I pick him up I snuggle him close, kiss his warm, fuzzy head, and get comfortable on the bed in the nursery where I sit and nurse him during these night feedings. My eyes are heavy, and once he latches I can't keep them open any longer. I don't realize I've fallen asleep until my head jerks up when my chin bumps into my collarbone.

By this time, my little man-cub is peacefully snoozing on my lap after drinking himself back to sleep, so I gingerly move him to his crib. I can never resist kissing his silky-soft cheeks before I leave. When I bend down, I can smell his sweet baby skin, and even though I'm dead tired I can't help but pause for a minute to marvel at his perfect, tiny little self. Every day I'm filled with awe that he is mine.

I stumble back to bed, trying not to disturb my sleeping husband, and sink back into sleep.

Story #2:

I can hear laughter coming from the other room, so I peek around the corner to spy on Dallin and Eli, who are playing on the floor while I try to get some things done. Gleeful baby giggles (the best sound in the world, hands down) erupt every time Dallin pretends to eat him up, which makes Dallin laugh in return, and this sequence is repeated over again until Dallin picks Eli up, squeezes and kisses him, and says, "I love you so much, little guy. We're going to be best friends!" And then I swoon and melt into a puddle all at once because I just can't handle how much I love those two boys of mine.

Story #3:

After changing his diaper, I sit Eli on the floor while I grab a fresh outfit. He happily starts playing with one of his favorite toys – an empty water bottle that never made it to the trash – and I take advantage of his contentment to spend a few peaceful (and much needed!) minutes reading. A few minutes later I pause to look up at him. The goofball is cheerfully alternating between chewing on his water bottle and blowing very wet raspberries that dribble past his pursed lips, down his chin, and onto his round baby belly. I can't help but laugh at him, all covered in slobber, and just as happy as can be. He is so perfectly innocent. 

I can't help but remember the fact that this sweet naivetĂ© is only temporary. One day his world will include so much more than just playing, eating, sleeping, and seeing how big of a mess he can make when my back is turned. One day he will have to learn about the ugly and hard things the world holds. And while I take comfort in knowing that there will also be so much beauty to discover, and that our home can be a safe haven, I worry daily about how I will be a good enough mother. Often I wonder if I have it in me, but it makes me feel a little better when I remember that I don't have to do it alone. 


Ever since Eli was born I've had so many people ask me how it feels to be a mother. I usually opt for the short answer: "It's great, I love it!" And while that is true, it is so much more than that.

Motherhood is... gosh, how do I describe it? For me, it is a collection of extremes and paradoxes.

It is intense fatigue and equally intense joy.

It is difficult, and yet feels like second nature most of the time.

It is appreciating luxuries like undisturbed showers and solo bathroom trips more than I ever knew I would.

It is the hardest kind of work, both physically and mentally.

It is giving all I have and then realizing I still, miraculously, have more to give.

It is experiencing a kind of love I never knew existed.

It is beginning to understand how much Heavenly Father loves his children.

It is a thousand moments every day like the stories I mentioned above, a thousand heart-stretching moments of both struggle and bliss.

It's a wild ride, man. A ride I am thankful to experience.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Little snippets

Eli makes the funniest sounds when he eats. You know when he has found a stray Cheerio on the floor by the loud grunts and satisfied smacks. It cracks Dallin and me up every time we hear it.

Whenever I call my mom on facetime, Eli gets so, so, SO excited. Like hyperventilating, giggling, and bouncing up and down excited. I'm pretty sure it's mostly because he can see himself while it's ringing, the little narcissist, but don't tell my mom that. ;)

His feet and hands are always cold, even when they are in socks and his brace. I've startled him more than a few times by shrieking out in shock when his chilly fingers sneak themselves under my shirt. Stinker!

Eli has two kinds of laughs: a normal little giggle, and a goofy sound he makes by breathing in sharply. It's kind of like a mix between a gasp and a happy shriek. I love it. I keep forgetting to get a good video of it since it makes me laugh so hard.

We have a bunch of blocks in the living room where Eli and I spend the majority of our day. Lately he has been so funny when Dallin and I build towers. He used to knock them over pretty quickly, but now he will alllllmost touch it, and then pull his hand away, over and over and over again. I'm not sure whether to be happy that I get to knock all my towers over, or disappointed that I don't get to see him do it. 

One of Eli's favorite pastimes is gripping any visible strands of Dallin's hair tightly in his tiny fists. I have never been so thankful to not have chest hair in my life.

A cool day at the lake with my family. He loves to be outside.

If only he would have kept these on for more than 2.394 seconds. SO CUTE.

His tragically sad faces crack me up, so naturally I take lots of pictures of him in the depths of misery. (Mom of the year, that's me!)

Helping dad with the dishes. That cutting board was on the ground in minutes.

"It looks like a dead body." -Dallin


He's already too cool for me. 

Helping dad pack for a canyoneering trip. 

It makes me so nervous when he stands on the tile with his brace, but clearly he shares none of my concerns. That happy face is my favorite. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Eli Thursday

36 weeks

Bubbles are very serious bizness around these parts. Actually, with this little analytical man, pretty much everything is serious bizness. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Blankets and babies

I've been wanting a new comforter for our bed for a long time, and finally picked this duvet cover up at IKEA on a whim last week since I liked it well enough and it was cheap. I wasn't really in love with it, but after unsuccessfully searching over the past several months for something I loved that wasn't painfully overpriced I was so ready to just get something already. After I put it on our bed, our whole room instantly looked so much brighter and happier, and I actually really, really like it after all... yippee! I have been struggling to figure out what direction I want to go in with paint and decor, and now I've got lots of ideas spinning in my brain. I can't wait to really start working on this room in earnest... although I probably better finish some of the many other projects I'm in the middle of at the moment, like painting our hall/bathroom walls and trim, as well as staining cabinets, installing doors, replacing light fixtures, sewing curtains... the list goes on and on. I'm the queen of beginning projects... but finishing them is hard with a mobile, mischievous baby!

Like I said in this post, our mornings are usually pretty slow and lazy while I try to get as recharged as possible after a rough night, and it's so nice to have this room a little more cozy and cheery. The happy change (and morning light) inspired this little impromptu photo session. 

He loves hanging out on my bed, but is always crawling dangerously close to the edge, so I have to pick him up...

...and plop him down in the middle again. It's his new favorite game.

Here he is, trying to do it again...

...and laughing at me as I get ready to grab him. 

This time he actually laid down for a while, distracted by the window and his toes. They are still a bit of a novelty after wearing the brace all day for so long. 

Those eyes, man. He is always observing everything so intently and I just wish I knew what he is thinking.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Eli Thursday

35 weeks

I put him in our backpack so I could get some chores done, and when it had been a suspiciously long time since I had felt him yank on my bun I looked in a mirror and saw this.

Can't blame him. Doing the dishes bores me too. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Real life

Crazy hair
Yesterday's makeup
T-shirt + yoga pants
Eli is only dressed because he blew out all over his PJs
You can't see it but my room is a mess
(Actually my whole house is at the moment... shhh)


We tend to spend a lot of time in my bed in the morning. The morning sun makes it bright and cheery, and since a certain young man still isn't sleeping well at night it's nice to just stay under the covers as long as possible. I love that he is a morning person. He chats and giggles and tries to crawl off the bed to explore new territory and then giggles some more when I pull him back to me by his little ankles. 

I try to take a lot of pictures, but I don't think I take enough of the real, genuine, un-pinterest-worthy, but oh-so-happy snippets of our life. Those are my favorite moments though, when the house is is disarray, with toys all over the floor and dirty dishes left ignored in the sink, and yet everyone is happy. And that's what is most important, right?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Storytime: Our First Kiss

It was getting late and I knew I would need to head home before long. We were snuggled up on the couch watching a movie after making dinner together. That was (and still is!) one of our favorite things to do on our dates.

We had been dating long enough to know we really, really liked each other, but we still hadn't kissed. I honestly hadn't really even thought about it much. Looking back, it probably would have been wise to be prepared to avoid being taken off guard, because I was not expecting it to happen that night. No sirree. While we were snuggled up on the couch, I suddenly realized Dallin was quite close to me, and before I had time to realize what was happening he closed the (narrow) gap and kissed me. He kissed me reeeeal good, right on my unsuspecting (but certainly not unwilling) lips.

Just to warn you, this story is about to get really romantic.

I should probably also mention here that this was, in fact, my first kiss... something Dallin didn't even know. I'm sure this is partially why I suddenly became extremely nervous. The butterflies in my stomach started swarming, and when Dallin gave me a very, very, very tight squeeze with his arms directly around my midsection, I felt an overwhelming sensation come over me.

But it wasn't the romance. Ah, if only! Instead, it was my dinner churning in my stomach and venturing upwards into unwelcome territory. I couldn't believe it. I extricated myself as quickly as possible, and ran to the bathroom just in time to toss my cookies. I spent several minutes cuddling with the toilet while poor Dallin sat alone on the couch (unable to ignore the sounds of my barf session, no doubt) thinking, "Well, I guess this means she probably won't want to see me again."

See, I told you this would be one romantic story. It doesn't get much more steamy than this, does it? Oh baby.

Obviously I did want to see him again, and lucky for me that little incident wasn't enough to scare him off. Hallelujah! While it wasn't exactly the wildly romantic first kiss I was hoping for, at least it made for a great story that I can't wait to tell our kids someday.

(At Grand Falls a couple months after "the incident")

Annnnnd at least I still managed to keep him around, so he must really love me. ;)

Monday, October 27, 2014

A few snippets from the weekend

We went to the Phoenix Temple open house on Saturday. All these temples popping up in Arizona makes me so happy!

This one is pretty small, especially compared to the Gilbert Temple, and absolutely beautiful.

Eli sat on Dallin's shoulders during the tour. I know he won't remember it, but I loved watching him look all around and take everything in.

And even though it doesn't look like it in this picture, I think he had a pretty good time. :)

We also stopped by to see grandma Carmen, who is always so happy to see us, especially Eli.

I finally used this certificate I got for my birthday about... three, maybe four years ago. About time, right? I'm pretty sure butterscotch squares are what we will eat in heaven. SO GOOD. 

Eli met his doppelgänger at IKEA. He had some pretty mixed feelings about the experience.  

First, interest and curiosity. 

Then exuberant displays of affection. 

Things quickly turned south as deep feelings of jealousy began to develop, and the offending lookalike got a smack in the face...

...and an attempted arm amputation.

But then Eli realized this supposed "lookalike" was lacking his shiny bald head... the jealousy dissolved, all was forgiven, and they parted as friends. 

We finished off the day at Chick-fil-a where the cousins were finally able to hit each other in the face without doing harm. Possibly the best day of their short lives. 

Becca and I pretty much finished up painted the bathroom we started a couple weeks ago, when this picture was taken. We are awful at taking duck-faced mirror pictures (that's probably good thing). Next step: staining the cabinets! Wish us luck! Man, it feels so good to see real progress being made on our house.