Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sharing is Caring

Sariah loves sharing with her cousin, Emerson. In this picture, you can see a few toys that Sariah lovingly gave to her younger counterpart in crime.

What you can't see in the picture are the stuffed giraffe, sippy cup, teething ring, toothbrush, extra diaper (clean, of course), and foam letters all stuffed down into the sides of the seat.

Now if we could only get her to be this generous with her future little brother...

Monday, March 30, 2009


Oh the things I am learning from this book!!

Your brain cells are like rubber bands. Some are large, and some are small. However, even the small rubber bands can be stretched to match the size of the large ones. You are born with brain cells that are, literally, large or small. The size of your brain cell determines how easily things come to you. For example, Einsteins "science" brain cell was HUGE. Those who are musically inclined have big "music" brain cells. As you exercise this brain cell (i.e. practicing), it grows. The more you use it, the bigger it gets.

This is very important to know! That means that our small brain cells, or the things that are very difficult for us to do, WILL BECOME EASIER as we "stretch" our brain cell. Practice really does make a difference. One of my "small rubber bands" is writing a paper. It is excruciatingly difficult for me to write a paper. But...there's good news. The more I write, the easier it becomes because those brain cells are being stretched to become bigger.

Our brain cells are the easiest to stretch when they are small. When our children are small, they should spend time doing things that are more difficult for them. This will make those brain cells bigger and make difficult things come easier.

One of her theories she calls her 80/20 Theory. She describes girls and boys as 80/20. Meaning: if you observe a group of boys, 80% of them are doing one thing, and 20% are doing another. Same goes for girls; if you observe girls, 80% are doing one thing, and 20% are doing another.

80% girls mostly do the following:
FINE MOTOR TASKS: painting, drawing, typing, zipping
AUDITORY TASKS: books on tape, rhyming, reading poems and stories aloud
SEQUENTIAL/DETAILED THINKING: hidden word puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, putting things in order, alphabetizing
CONNECTING WITH OTHERS: cooperative play, volunteer work
EXCELLING SUBJECTS: English, History, Writing, Creative Writing, Journalism

20% girls mostly do the following:
FINE MOTOR TASKS: skipping, riding a bike, climbing
SPATIAL TASKS: puzzles, tangrams, carpentry, orienteering
STRATEGY AND PROBLEM SOLVING: team games and sports, checkers
RISK TAKING: doing anything that takes a bit of courage on a particular girl's part
EXCELLING SUBJECTS: Math, Science, Auto Shop

This has been studied in a general sense, and there is variance all over the place. These, as Dr. Deak describes, are general trends. I know that I can see bits and pieces of both 80 and 20 girls in Sariah. For example - she zips and unzips anything she can. From dad's backpack to her own pj's, this girl can unzip anything! She also will climb anything I will let her, and is not afraid to take risks (which can be a little scary for mom sometimes!).

It will be fun to see where her strengths develop, and where she will need a little more help in. If she struggles in math early on, I now know that she won't grow into it...but will need help and practice to overcome that "small rubber band."

Girl's Brains

When I was teaching, I read all the latest and greatest books and articles that I could about science and how it affected our society today. Well, I am not teaching anymore. Because of that, sometimes I feel like my brain is going to mush or I feel that I am very out of the loop.

One area that I have decided to stay current on is brain research. How the brain works. More importantly, apply the brain research to raising my family. I have a 20 month old who's brain FASCINATES me, and I want to know what is going on. WHY she does the things she does.

Adolescent brains can be a little...scary. Nonetheless, they are incredible and I want to be able to steer my daughter in the right direction when she reaches that age. There are biological "tricks" to raising your daughters at any age, if you understand what their brain is going through.

My favorite brain-researcher-gone-psychologist is a woman named Dr. JoAnn Deak. She wrote this book:

In it, she talks about exactly what the title says - and how to do it effectively. The part I devour is WHY her advice works - it's because of the biological development behind a young woman's brain. She has combined her psychology background with her brain research background and created a magical hybrid of advice to help anyone listen, react, and guide their daughters.

As I learn, I will share with you!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sweet Makenzie Sue

I stole some pictures from Aunt Annie of Makenzie Sue! She sure is sweet, and I cannot wait to go back up there and see her.

(My recollection of her weight was correct - 7 pounds, 8 ounces.)

Doesn't this baby make you want more?!?! Well...those of you who are still thinking about more children, anyhow.

Monday, March 23, 2009

New Family Member!

We welcomed Makenzie Sue Porter to our family on Friday, March 20.

My little sister, Courtney, did an amazing job. After a long labor of frustration and heart-rate fluctuations, it was decided that a c-section would be best. They both sailed through it like a champ.

This is ONE CUTE baby girl!

7 lbs, 8 ounces (I think)
19.5 inches long
Looks like her daddy for the time being, but it will be fun to see how she changes.

As soon as I get some good pictures, I'll post a couple.

Welcome to the family, sweet little girl!

One of the funniest moments occurred AFTER the birth. It was about 9:30 pm, and there were a few people in the hall anxiously awaiting to see this little girl. The surgery happened about 6, and my sister had been in the recovery room. No one had seen her and the baby, except my mom, and we lined the hall outside her room. As the evening progressed, more and more of her husband's family showed up. In the end, there were 18 people standing in the hall!

What a crowd standing in the hall! I felt like we should have made an archway or something for her to enter her room with! Anyhow, the nurse came back down the hall and said, "Wow, there's more of you! You keep multiplying like rabbits!" My sister and I looked at each other, and with a smile, we both said, "Mormons."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Conserve Water: Bathe With a Friend

Or in this case, your two cousins.

Who are enjoying a bubble-bath "tea party."

In the picture below, Aiden is on the R and Parker is on the L.

Aiden: More tea sir?

Parker: Yes, sir, more tea please.

Sariah's thoughts: Let's make this water a little warmer - this is a good time to pee.

Love Grandma Wilkes' tub! What more fun could you have in a tub than a tea party?

We'll find out next time.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

24 Week Appointment

If you ask any nurse at my hospital who their favorite doctor is, they will without a doubt say Dr. Hutchision.

Dr. Hutchison is my doctor.

I treasure her. I look forward to my appointments with much enthusiasm because she makes me feel glorious about being pregnant.

My last appointment was abbreviated - she had to rush into a C-section.

You know what? If it was me in the hospital, I would want her to drop what she was doing to help in as well.

To make up for it, I had a list of about 15 questions for her! Some silly, but some received a response of "Wow, that is a great question that I wish more women would ask." Again, makes me feel gloriously pregnant.

All is well in my incubator!

Total weight gain: 7.9 pounds (which is good because I need to stay under 20 pounds).

Blood Pressure: 116/68 Perfect.

Baby's Heart Rate: I don't know, but it's sure going!

Movement: All over the place. Dr. Hutchison had to keep moving her Dopler because he would move. Houdini!

Measurement: Fundal height is 24.5 inches - exactly where it needs to be.

Not-So-Pleasant Symptoms: Braxton Hicks contractions (completely normal!), Sciatica (which will disappear after birth), and a few random hairs in a few random places

Pleasant Symptoms: Eating what I want!, James' movement, full luscious head of hair, clear skin, Sariah kissing my belly, sleeping with 3 pillows, pedicures galore (well...once in a deserved while), washing very small baby clothes and blankets, buying size 1 diapers, and the anticipation of adding another baby to our growing family.

Random Facts: I don't get a linea negra, my belly button doesn't pop out, I swell like you wouldn't believe the last few weeks (try only being able to fit into 1 pair of shoes for a month), and all I crave are carb-filled foods.

Nursing update: Many of you know that I wasn't able to nurse Sariah once my colostrum was gone. Guess what? Dr. H thinks that I don't have enough prolactin, which is the hormone that stimulates milk production. This can be a side affect of low progesterone levels (which is why I have such a hard time getting pregnant). When I go in for my glucose blood test, they will also check my prolactin levels. If they are low, BINGO! A shot after James is born to get it all going is all I'll need, and then I'll be able to nurse. I'll let you know the results!

Birth Plan update: The birthing tubs in the hospital's BRAND NEW labor and delivery wing are up and running!!! This makes me SO excited about having a natural birth. I have read that laboring in a warm tub makes the contractions more bearable. Does anyone have any advice on this subject?

Next appointment: 28 weeks with an ultrasound. I love ultrasounds!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


It's Saturday morning, and Sariah and I are at the grocery store.

She's clinging to Molly the Monkey, her fav partner in crime.

She's pulled out her pony-tail, so her hair is ALL OVER THE PLACE.

She's eating a complimentary chocolate-chip-cookie (bless those bakers), which has ended up all over her face...

...and jacket (which she won't let me take off, even though it's 75 degrees outside).

She's put on mamma's sun glasses...

...which are way too big for her face, so she's awkwardly tipped her head back to keep them on.

This, my friends, is Sariah on a glamorous day!

Need I say more?

NOTE: This picture was taken with my cell phone, so please forgive the lack of planning and quality. Sometimes you just have to capture the moment!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Elder's Quorum Party

I LOVE our neighborhood.

We have a park on our street, where our play group meets every week.

We have fantastic neighbors.

We have dear friends scattered throughout it as well.

On Saturday, our ward had an Elder's Quorum BBQ in our neighborhood park. We BBQ'd, we played, we drank lemonade, we chatted. It was wonderful!

Since it was so close, we walked up there (and donated our BBQ to be used for the main course).

Sariah wanted nothing more than to help. After telling her she couldn't carry the macaroni salad or my camera, we offered her the buns. She gladly accepted.

She played her little heart out. I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I should have! Here is one of her on the playground.

When it got chilly, we put her jacket on. For Sariah, you can't have a jacket on without the hood, or another hat to substitute. She ran around the rest of the night with her hood on her head (but she won't keep a bow in her hair for more than 15 minutes)!

A picture is worth 1000 words...

Jared got up with Sariah on Sunday morning so I could sleep in a little. Love my husband.

While they were doing...whatever it is they were doing, he took a few pictures.

Pretty much everything Sariah loves is in these 2 pictures:

Cutie Pie clementines
More importantly - peeling the stickers off the clementines
Mamma's giant drink
Oatmeal packets (which means she's having oatmeal for breakfast - her fav)
Molly the Monkey
Being in her pj's

And you wonder...

Why Sariah has a bedtime of 7pm.

After doing THIS all day, wouldn't you be tired, too?