Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Facebook Retarded

I have joined Facebook! YAY! But...I'm a little slow at understanding it.

In short - I DON'T GET IT.

I know many who are on facebook so if you see this post, give me a pointer. =)

Or, give me a quick tutorial.

I just don't get the layout of it! It's a little confusing to me, but that's not uncommon.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Severe Frustration

3 hours.

What do you think you can do with 3 hours?

Read a whole lot of scriptures!

Do 3 loads of laundry.

Take a monster nap.

Fix dinner, eat dinner, clean the kitchen, AND bathe the kids.

Go to a full block of church.

Watch 1 whole movie, maybe 2.

Clean your entire house.

What was I doing last night for 3 hours???

In-and-out. In-and-out. In-and-out. In-and-out. I spent 3 hours last night trying to get Sariah to stay in her bed.

I was SO FRUSTRATED that I almost broke down and cried.

It's been 1 week since we put her in her big girl bed, and this routine got a lot better! It was looking very promising! Then, all of a sudden, we took a huge step backwards last night.

Maybe it was because we had 11-2 church, so Sariah had an extremely late nap? I have no idea.

If you have any advice on how to teach your toddlers to stay in bed, please please please let me know.

Everything I have read says that for the most "spirited" kids, it can take upwards of 2 weeks for things to settle down.

2 weeks - SERIOUSLY?!?!?!

But all the experts had one thing in common - be consistent and don't give up. She will learn, and she will understand. She already understands, and that's why she's so determined to break us, instead of the other way around!

Anyone have a similar stories or experiences? Am I the only one???

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Just Too Tired

Sometimes, it's alright to eat dinner with your blankie.

But only when you're so tired that you can't even hold your head up to fill your tummy.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Huge Milestone

You know what's frustrating? Having a little girl figure out how to climb out of her crib. All of a sudden, a new world of independence is opened up for her. No longer can Mom and Dad confine her to her crib. No longer can Mom and Dad expect to put her down and have a quiet evening. Oh, no. She exercises her new-found independence by spending an hour on Day 1 climbing out of her crib everytime her Mom puts her down. Once she finally succumbs to sleep, she decides to try our patience again the following night. 90 minutes after the initial "drop," and about 62 ins-and-outs, her exhaustion takes over. The third night, it only took a couple ins-and-outs, and just a few minutes. She learned, and Mom and Dad didn't give up.

The technique we used has been seen on "Super Nanny" many times, when teaching children to stay in bed. Now...she uses it for kids whose parents SLEEP IN BED WITH THEM (I still don't understand that one), or allow the kids to SLEEP IN BED WITH THE PARENTS (again...not seeing the benefit of that). But still, it worked. For more details, see www.supernanny.com.

Not only did this change the night-time routine, it also changed mornings. Sariah usually awoke around 7:30. Well, once she learned her new skill, she was in our bedroom upwards of 5:45 am. NOT going to happen. Something needs to change.

What is a parent to do? Mom and Dad talked about it and decided that if we are going to have to teach this little girl that bedtime is bedtime, how about doing it once and for all - in a BIG GIRL bed?

We moved a twin bed into her room some time ago, knowing that she would eventually be transferred. James would take over her crib and the two will share a room. But, we didn't want the transfers to take place at the same time for fear of having Sariah think James was kicking her out. Sariah, smart as she is, settled the question of when to move her by letting us know it was time. Yesterday, I talked to Sariah ALL DAY about being a big girl and getting to sleep in her big girl bed. She was filled with glee when it was time for bed last night.

Last night was an improvement. It took her about 45 minutes to fall asleep. However, she only climbed out of her bed maybe 5 or 6 times, as opposed to every 30 seconds. Today for her nap - a glorious one in-and-out, and she was asleep in less than 10 minutes. Here's to a new turnaround, hopefully!!!

NOTE: She has a very special relationship with each of her animals. If one is missing, she will search the house until she finds it. Don't even think about taking them away!

Ammendment to Previous Post

I forgot to include my favorite part of Saturday's trip to Mesa!! Seeing the newest member of our family for the 2nd time - Makenzie Porter. I saw her a couple hours after she was born, and then I haven't seen her since. What a SWEET baby girl. So little, so snuggly, and so wonderful. When we left, Jared said, "It's a good thing we're having a baby because you were practically salivating over that one." I guess the Lord knew what he was doing when I became pregnant much sooner than anticipated. Oh...and it was nice seeing Courtney and Matt, too. =) Sorry guys - once you have kids, it's all about them!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Lesson Learned

"I Love To See the Temple" is my favorite primary song. It is dedicated to the most important physical place on earth, and describes the most important work we will ever do.

I love the temple, and I love attending the temple with my spouse. We go once a month, and do not take Sariah. We take the opportunity to have a day to ourselves, while our baby girl is with a competent babysitter. This accomplishes two goals of ours: spend time together without children, and be an example to our children of the importance of temple attendance. It also gives us a chance to do some shopping and recreational activities.

In April, we planned to go to the temple. We made arrangements to leave Friday night, and spend the night at my sister's house. I was SO excited to get to Mesa and do some shopping!!! The plan was to leave Friday evening, and make the last session of the day. Spend the night at my sister's, and do a whole day's worth of much-needed shopping on Saturday. Be home late afternoon on Saturday so our babysitter to go on her hot date.

We did not make the drive in our church clothes. I decided it would be too uncomfortable. This is unusual because we ALWAYS drive in our church clothes. I thought on the way, we could stop at some outlets, shop, change, and still make it.

We got to the outlets - but by the time we were done, it was too late to make the last session.
No problem. We'll shop tonight, and go to the temple tomorrow!!

The morning arrives - we don't have our shower things. I have packed some incorrect clothing to wear to the temple, and have dirtied my other temple-appropriate outfit.

How my heart sank when I told my spouse that we would not be able to attend the temple because I hadn't prepared properly to attend the temple on Saturday.

My lesson was learned. This is what I was missing:

"And faith, hope, charity, and love WITH AN EYE SINGLE TO THE GLORY OF GOD qualify him for the work." (D&C 4:5)

My focus was not on attending the temple. Rather, it was focused on doing the extracurricular activities such as shopping and going out to a nice dinner. Because I was not focused on the proper element of our mini-vaca, we missed the temple all together.

This month, very different. Still a mini-vaca, still a nice dinner, and still plenty of shopping. What changed? We went in our Sunday clothes, and went to the temple FIRST. How glorious was our experience! How I missed feeling that spirit last month, and learning what I learned. The answers to prayers received at the temple are like no other, and I am grateful for learning this lesson. My testimony of the temple was renewed, and my spirit soared as we left, hand-in-hand.

On a side note - on the way up, we saw the worst accident I have EVER seen. 30 emergency vehicles (police cars, fire trucks, ambulences). 2 flipped cars. Traffic that was completely stopped.

(DOES NOT do the scene justice - this is what we saw as we happened upon the scene. It spread for a mile.)

(The worse of the two cars - completely smashed.)

It was the kind of scene that you look at, and know in your heart that no one survived. It made my eyes tear up, knowing it was so tragic. While we were sitting in traffic, we witnessed 2 helicopters fly in, land, and fly out again moments later. Helicopters that were taking bodies clinging to life to the hospital. We found out later that it was a 2-car roll-over (all those blue and red lights for 2 cars!!). 4 people involved - 3 air-lifted to the hospital, and one died at the scene. Life is fragile. I clung to my husband's hand as we drove by, grateful for our safe journey.

Sneaky Sneaky!

Sariah found my stash.

My pregnancy stash.

Which consists of chocolate-covered pretzels, Cadbury eggs, and Sour Cream and Onion chips.

In her determination to retrieve these items, she promptly pushed the chair to the counter. Climbed up. Reached. Jackpot!!

Sneaky girl.

NOTE: My sweet spouse, in his attempt to let me sleep in on Saturday, took this picture while I slumbered away.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

29 Weeks - Yikes

How can I be 29 weeks along? I have nothing ready! Barely any clothes. No jammies. No cradle or bassinet to speak of. No blankets (I have fabric with the best of intentions to make some, though!).

What I do have: plenty of diapers. Plenty of wipes. Plenty of anticipation. Plenty of love.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


The Easter Bunny. The Resurrection. To me, those two things both bring back many wonderful memories of Easter. However, they don't seem to quite fit together. Personally, I want the focus of Easter to be on the Resurrection. I do still want the Bunny, though! Maybe just a smaller appearance?

Well...I didn't even do that this year. Sariah is still little - just 21 months. She doesn't know who the Easter Bunny is, what Easter is, or even what the Resurrection is. So, I was lazy and didn't do any Easter celebration this year. No candy, no eggs, nothing. Except attend a gorgeous Easter dinner with my family.

Next year? Easter, here we come! But with one small change - we are going to have the Bunny come to our house on Saturday morning. Then, we'll hunt for eggs on Sunday morning, with discussions of why Easter is important (appropriate for an almost 3 year old, of course).

Why hunt for eggs on Sunday, you ask? Eggs are a symbol of new life, purity, and repentance. Because of the Atonement and Resurrection, we can repent and have a new life. Be pure. Continually repent.

I have had professional pictures done of Sariah in her gorgeous Easter dress, and will post those soon. But for now, here are some pictures of dinner! We had dinner at my brother's house, which is a kid's DREAM. Huge backyard, slides, puppies, toys GALORE. And of course, cousins to keep you busy. With everyone bringing something to eat, dinner itself was wonderful.

NOTE: Don't you love Sariah's pony tail? She looks so big with it in! It's just barely long enough and I was so excited that she could wear one!

NOTE 2: I have no idea what is going on with our camera. It's got this funny fuzzy, almost romantic, look to the pictures. I am sure it's a setting of some kind, and I have to figure out quick what's wrong. Any ideas?

Note 3: I wish I had taken more pictures of what was going on. There was a GREAT whiffle ball game going on with Uncle Chris, Grandpa, and all the cousins. It was too cute! For more pictures, see Chris and Aubry's blog.

Next year, I am going to read THIS book, and celebrate Easter all week with my family. It is a book that starts the celebration of Easter on Palm Sunday (the week before) and incorporates activities for every day.

I also have a renewed love for my life at home, my handsome love, and my posterity (both the 21 month old who doesn't stop and the one growing in utero). Most of all, I have a deeper love for my older Brother to whom I am so indebted. He came into this world to take the burden of our sorrows, our sins, our shortcomings, and all our faults. I can obey, I can endure, and I can teach my children to do the same.

Monday, April 13, 2009

28 Week Sonogram

Last week, I had another sonogram to make sure James was still on the right track in terms of growth. Most women only get one sonogram done, at 20 weeks. Needless to say, I was ECSTATIC about getting to see this little boy again!

Not only is he on the right track, he's big - measuring 1 week ahead. How accurate is that really? Give or take a week, so there's no real way to tell. Regardless, he is healthy, happy, and such a little wiggle worm. Here are some pictures:
!!!LINDA!!! - if you click on the picture, a much bigger one will show up so you can see them in more detail. You may need to ask Steve for some help! =)

Picture of his sweet face (nose, mouth, chin, eyes are in the shadows):

Here is a very blurry picture of his hand. He does have all 5 fingers, but it is difficult to see.

For some reason, my favorite sonogram pictures are of the feet. Who can resist baby feet? Here are good pictures of his left foot, and right foot:

Here is one of his sweet face. You are looking directly at him. He already has cute chubby cheeks!

And, lastly, his profile.

When we got to the hospital, we had to wait almost an hour to be seen. This is unheard of for a sonogram. When we were finally called back, our sonographer had tear-stricken cheeks. She thanked us for waiting, and said it had been a tough morning. There had been one stillborn case, and one major heart defect case both discovered just before our arrival.

How thankful we are to have a healthy, growing little boy. It was wonderful to see him again, see him move, and see that all of his organs were performing their proper function. What a miracle it is to create a baby! I don't understand how some can watch a baby grow, and are convinced that there is no divine being guiding the process. I am grateful for my testimony of our Heavenly Father, who I know is teaching this little boy and preparing him for our family.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Fuzzy Balls

Sorry for the title of this post, but you'll soon be laughing (I hope) just as I was!

On Tuesdays, Parker (one that I tend) does not have preschool. So, we have our own fun!

Today, we pulled out the craft box. Parker has affectionately named it the "box of fun stuff."

In it, we have your traditional variety of toddler-esque fun. Finger paints. Foam pads. Foam letters and insects. Anything and everything to make paper plate masks, puppets, etc. Magic markers (that are clear but magically draw on special paper!). All kinds of scissors and glue and construction paper and anything you ever wanted! And of course, fuzzy balls.

Not 30 seconds into digging through this "box of fun stuff," the kids came across my bag of multi-colored fuzzy balls. You know - the kind you used to make the 3 buttons on your snowman when you were a kid. Parker gleefully exclaimed, "Aunt Amber! You have FUZZY BALLS!!!" If you don't know Parker, just imagine him waving his arms up in the air while dramatically exclaiming these words. I could not stop laughing. Of course, I was laughing at the fact that he proudly proclaimed that his female aunt had fuzzy balls. Please please please excuse the inuendo, but that's why it's SO funny! C'mon...you know you want to laugh.

Oh the FUN! They poured them out on the floor and commenced throwing, spinning, running on, hiding, and anything else they could think of with these fuzzy balls. At least they didn't stick them in their ears or nose...

After a little while, I made sure that they were all done. "Are you sure?" I would ask. "Yup," they would say. "Alright, then it's time to pick them all up!" The look of shock and horror that came across Parker's face as he realized the effort it was going to take him and Sariah to pick up all the fuzzy balls. The same drama that was witnessed during his excited exclamation was also seen here as he sadly, with tears, melted onto the floor and said, "Oh it's too much work for me to do! I'm too little!" Haha, right. If you're big enough to make the mess, you're big enough to clean it. We all sat on the floor and picked them up. Sariah helped a ton! And after about 10 minutes of picking them up, we moved on to painting...outside...and that's another post in itself.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

"I-self Mama"

Sariah's new favorite phrase is "I-self mama." This means, "Mom, out of the way because I'm doing this BY MYSELF."

A few examples of this little girl's independence.

First, golf balls. Sariah LOVES playing with Jared's golf balls. One morning, she had 3 that she was trying to get into an empty sippy cup. The problem was, she also wanted the lid on. She would get all 3 golf balls into the cup, and then bend over to pick up the lid. When she bent over, they would all fall out! She didn't get frustrated like I thought she would - she was determined to figure this out. 30 minutes later, she finally figured out how to do it.

Next, is Sariah drinking a Thirstbuster - one of my favorite prenatal treats. Caffine-free diet, of course. Not only did Sariah demand to sit on the counter top, she promptly asked for my drink.

And now for the ladder. Yes, this is Sariah standing on the top rung of a large step-stool/small ladder. She was watching Daddy put up a new curtain rod and had to try this for herself. She wasn't apprehensive in the least!

Eating - she insists on eating things "I-self." She wants to use a fork by herself, drink out of a cup by herself, and even eat her messy yogurt by herself. How else is she going to learn??

I am very grateful that I have an independent little girl. I hope she uses it well for when it comes time to make the big decisions, the hard decisions, and stand up for what is right.