Thursday, July 31, 2014

Eli Thursday

22 weeks

I got here just in time to see Eli's eyes droop shut and his head fall into Dallin's hand. He always fights sleep, but apparently daddy's singing won in the end. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

On babies, blogging, and balance

Lately I've had a hard time finding a good balance on this blog. As much as I love posting about my little man cub, I don't want baby pictures to take over completely, although it is just a fact of life that there will be plenty of baby talk since that is my full-time job now, after all. However, there's a lot more I want to write about. I just don't seem to have the time. And when I do have a second to sit down and write (with both hands, a rare luxury lately), by the time I've gotten my thoughts collected enough to form a coherent sentence I need go change a diaper or nurse or keep Eli from chewing on certain items that shouldn't be chewed on. (Note to self: no more taking shoes off in the living room.)

I have so many unfinished drafts saved that I want to work on, and thoughts in my head I want to write down. You know, I didn't realize just how much good it does me to write frequently until I no longer had the opportunity to do it whenever I had something to write about. It's kind of a bummer. I think one of my problems is that I take too darn long to write posts and overthink it too much. I need to just write and post without worrying too much about whether I said things just right. Better a post that is 75% good than a post that never gets finished at all, right?

That being said, here are some non-baby related things I want to write about:

  • I got my first StitchFix today! Short review: I was excited to get it and not so excited to see the prices. Oy.
  • Dallin and I celebrated our birthdays at the end of May and the beginning of June (they are only a few days apart which is kinda fun). I always have a hard time finding presents for him but I totally nailed it this year. I want to share what I got for him because it really provides a lot of insight into the kind of person he is. Hahaha. ;)
  • Dry shampoo has changed my life. For realz. 
  • I'm about to start my first real furniture refinishing project using DIY chalk paint. I just need to wait for a Saturday when Dallin can keep an eye on Eli.
  • I have discovered the world of super cheap wholesale clothing on Amazon. One of my current favorite shirts cost about $4 with free shipping. I figure that kinda evens out the StichFix price tag... right? (I wish!)
  • I've always got plenty of thoughts about feminism but I might just keep them to myself. I will say this, though: I love being a Mormon and a woman. 
  • I've been trying to add a little more greenery to our yard and house. It's kind of hard because plants don't last long under my neglectful care. I think I found some that might survive my black-kiss-of-death thumb, however, and this makes me happy!
  • My clothing choices have been much more bold lately. I'm wearing colors and prints I never would have dreamed of wearing a few years ago, and I absolutely love it.

And here's a picture of purty flowers. 'Cause wildflowers make me happy and I can't write a post without including a picture.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Eli Thursday

21 weeks

This kid seriously loves glasses. You never know when those chubby little dimpled hands are going to reach up and swipe them! Stinker. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Eli Thursday

21 weeks

The past few weeks he has really been figuring out how to use his hands and has been grabbing everything in sight. And I mean everything... toys, books, watches, glasses, hair, my lunch... anything he can reach. It's so fun to see him learn new things!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Not a post about baby weight

In case you didn't know, I had a baby. I know I never ever EVER post a single picture of him so I thought I'd better refresh your memory (I kid, I kid!).

Having a baby is kind of a major, complicated process that really does a number on your body. I always knew that was true, but usually when people talk about that they are talking about weight gain. And while weight gain is a big part of pregnancy, there's a lot more to it than that. Sands shift. Muscles vanish into thin air. Skin, hair, eyes... they all change. After having Eli, I was left with a body that no longer felt like my own, and that took some getting used to. I want to write about postpartum body image some other day though. Today I want to write about what I've been doing to make some better habits so I won't feel so puny, weak, and squishy any longer.

Step one: Motivation

I'm not one of those girls that is super motivated to eat healthily and exercise. If you are one of those people, I admire you more than you will ever know. I enjoy being active, but "working out"? No thanks. I like fun exercise. I like playing ultimate frisbee, canyoneering, bike riding, swimming, all that good stuff, but I'm not going to just go run three miles or sit at some weight machine in a gym that smells like nasty. Another problem I have it how much I  like ice cream. And cookies. And good chocolate. Cutting back on treats and getting more exercise are both things that I struggle with making a priority.

Enter a wonderful thing my sister-in-law introduced me to called the Transformation Tribe.

I know, the name makes it sound a little weird, but it has helped me make good habits so I'll call it whatever you want me to. Basically, a lady my sister-in-law knows started a group challenge on facebook in which you pay ten dollars to participate in a health and fitness program. You get points for doing certain things every day like exercising, drinking water, eating fruits and veggies, and reaching goals you set for yourself. For example, one of my goals is flossing since I don't do it often enough, and another is reading my scriptures. You can get up to 25 points a day, plus 5 bonus points for completing a weekly challenge (one week was going without sugar for three days). Whoever has the most points when it ends (it's two months long and ends in 2.5 weeks) gets all the money in the pot, which I think is $120 or so, if I counted the participants right.

This might be the first thing I've found that has really helped me get motivated. Honestly, I think the most helpful thing for me is the tracker we fill out every day. I like lists and being able to quantify progress, so being able to check off each liter of water I drink or ten minutes of exercise I complete is highly rewarding for me. Even when it is over I think I will keep using the tracker to help myself keep the good habits I've made.

(P.S. If anyone would be interested in doing this, I would be happy to set one up! Let me know!)

Step 2: Exercise

I recently found this app and I love it a LOT. I like that I can do it in my own home, plus it has so many different classes in varying degrees of difficulty with different focuses like strength, flexibility, or relaxation. You can also get detailed instructions for each pose and it lets you know which you might want to avoid if you are pregnant. I honestly cannot say enough good things about this app. It is my favorite! This is the first yoga program I've found that I like. This makes it so much easier to get some exercise in every day.

Dallin and I have also been walking every evening, and sometimes I'll run on our treadmill, but not often 'cause I'm not really much of a runner... at all. I'm working on it though! Who knows, maybe I'll become one after all.

In addition, I try to do squats, lunges, burpees, crunches, and the like every day. I don't do as much as I should, but a little is better than nothing and I'm improving. For someone that never really "worked out" consistently, each squat is a victory for me!

Step 3: Better eating

I've been much better about getting lots of fruits and veggies in daily, partially because of the "Transformation Tribe" since you get one point for each serving, up to 5 points per day. I've also been consistently making healthy food such as whole wheat bread, granola, smoothies, yogurt, etc. I make sure to have healthy snacks that are easy to grab before I nurse Eli, which helps me resist junk food, and I got a nice big water bottle that I keep nearby all the time. Basically, my goals are more water, veggies, whole grains, and lean meat, and less processed or junky foods. I haven't eliminated Oreos or ice cream, but I think I've found a good balance. I'm a believer in treats in moderation, especially since making good food is something Dallin and I love to do together.

All these things have really helped me feel a lot better physically, mentally, and even spiritually. It's a really nice change to be stronger and more energetic. It feels good to feel good.

I just can't wait to do this ^^^ again. I know it won't be as frequent as it was pre-baby, but I hope to be able to do a canyon every now and then with Dallin (you know, without needing to be rescued). I had no idea just how much I would miss it!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Walk in the park

The days get a little warm around here this time of year, but the evenings are still beautiful. We try to take a walk every day to enjoy the weather and get a little exercise.

Sometimes I bring my camera along. This time I ended up pretty much just taking pictures of Eli. Shocking, I know. ;)

He's just the cutest thing I've ever seen though, so it is hard to resist. I mean, look at this little face.

And those big little hands of his.

I did take a few pictures of this tree, though. It was a bit windy out and I loved how it blew the hanging limbs of this weeping willow around.

Usually I'm not fan of wind, but this was a perfect breeze that made the rather humid (for AZ) air much more pleasant. I love monsoon season.

We took our walk, and he woke up towards the end. Generally he wakes up happy, but today he just gave Dallin and I the stink eye until we got home.

My, what a happy child! It must be rough to have someone carting you around the park on a beautiful summer's evening while you peacefully sleep. No wonder he was grouchy. ;)

Some days are easy, and some days are not, but most are a healthy mix of the two. I'm grateful for the simple little things like family walks in the park that keep me (a little more) sane. Lately I've been feeling a little on edge, and it helps me stay happy when I remember to soak up the peaceful moments  like these while they last. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Eli Thursday

Week 20

Eli is always so happy during his hour-long free time every day. He always kicks his little legs and rolls all around the room enjoying his freedom. I can't wait until he is old enough to just have to wear his brace for 12 hours a day instead of 23! 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Noche de Hogar

Have I mentioned how much I love being in our little Spanish branch?

When they first called Dallin to be in the branch presidency, I admit that I was a little bit dubious due to a certain minor detail... I don't speak Spanish. I mean, I've lived in Arizona my whole life so naturally I'd picked up a little bit, but not much beyond a few words and simple phrases. I'm always game for a good adventure though, and decided to really make an effort to participate as much as I could (even with the language barrier), and I'm so glad I did. The people are great and there is always lots of fun to be had. Plus, I've really picked up a lot of Spanish in the past year and (almost) a half, so I don't feel so lost most of the time like I used to. They will probably keep us here for a while, and I'm really glad about that!

We have Noche de Hogar (Family Home Evening) once a month as a branch, and last month we went to the park to have a BBQ and go ice blocking. Here are some pictures!

The holding hands thing worked out well the first time... but that was just luck, apparently. Usually it went more like this:

And since this is my blog you better believe I'm just going to post the pictures from the run in which I managed to stay upright. I'm not even sorry.

Our esteemed branch presidency went down together once. They are awesome.

Dallin couldn't just slide down on his behind like a normal person, of course. If you don't believe me, keep scrolling...

What a nut I married. And I love it. 

Of course, there were plenty of less-than-smooth landing, but thankfully no one got more than a couple bumps and bruises.

Totally worth it, in my opinion. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014


We had a great, laid back 4th of July!

I made Eli his 'Merica onesie, which was unfortunately a little too big. I think he still looks darn cute though! He looks so big in this picture, especially with those baby jeans, and I just can't even handle it.

I got to see Chelsey and Brynlee, which is always fun! Here we are this year...

...and here we are exactly three years before, before we both had our ginger husbands and ginger babies. Look how little we were!

It started dumping rain on us right before the fireworks were supposed to start, and after waiting an hour we started loading up to head home when all of a sudden the show began! 

And the boys slept through the whole thing. Goofs.

The pyro in me has always loved fireworks. We were only about a 150-200 yards from where they set them off, so we had a great view. Some of them were almost directly overhead, and we had pieces of fireworks falling on us too! There are probably still some in the bed of our truck. Some of the pieces were still burning, so my brothers kept running around stomping on them just to make sure they were out. 

I also had fun playing with the settings on my camera to get these shots of the fireworks. It was a little tricky without a tripod, but some of them turned out kind of cool, I think.

Happy birthday, America! I'm so thankful for this country and the freedoms I have because of the sacrifices made by countless people. I know I take it for granted too often.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Eli Thursday

19 weeks

It doesn't look very comfortable, but lately Eli has started sleeping like this, folded in half. And of course, he always has his hands over his head. Is there anything better than a peacefully sleeping baby?