December 3, 2012

We're still here!

Just a quick note to say we're all still alive! Sometime soon there will be month posts for both of the girls (one who will be 2 this weekend and the other who will be 6 months Monday.) We've been very busy lately with life, fun times together, work, traveling and more fun. Hopefully I'll get a bunch of pictures posted soon of Thanksgiving with my grandparents in Washington, things from school, LOTS of the antics of my girls, house stuffs, more life stuffs...

In the meantime, if you're in need of a good dose of Sophie and Olivia, check out my youtube channel- we have been good recently about uploading our videos of them. :)

Here's a link to Sophie on Halloween. From there, you can see all of our videos. Enjoy :)

October 25, 2012

My 25th Birthday

Craig brought the girls and I
some happy flowers.
The flowers final hurrah-
on top of my birthday cake.
Holy cow, I'm 25. Isn't this like the magical "it will never come" age? I know it isn't really THAT old but when I was in junior high and even for a time in high school I always thought of 25 as this mystical "it" age. When I was asked at church or in my writing classes what my plans were for my mid 20's, I always saw myself married (check), graduated (check), being well-traveled (a work in progress), working (check) and possibly have a wee one (check +).  I didn't often write about my family goals in school because both my teachers and many of my fellow students really couldn't understand why I would want to be married and have a family before I was 30. In reality, life has been so much more than I could have possibly imagined at 13 or even 20. I'm married to my very best friend who also happens to be a great daddy, we have two wonderful little girls who I know without the faintest hint of a doubt, were meant to be ours, we have a lovely little home that has been so fun to make our own, steady employment, enough to eat, we can pay our bills (even if I do gripe about how expensive things are/can be) and by most standards, we really can't complain about life. We're very blessed and I hope we can spend the next many years helping others be as well taken care of as we have been. That is the point of life, right?

Speaking of being taken care of, Craig and the girls took extra good care of me on my birthday. Sophie and Olivia helped Craig make me a fun card, which they brought to me when I woke up. The girls did a great job. I had my second day of teaching on my birthday and you'd better believe I let my students know that it was my birthday and their gift to me could be their very best behavior. Instead, a few of the younger students asked if I was turning 40. It was actually rather amusing. Craig took the day off and stayed home with the girls to have some fun. They even came all the way to the school to see my classroom and help me get some things arranged and put together- it was great!

I'm hungry just looking at this!
Sophie and Olivia got to spend the evening with their granny and grandpa -Craig's mom and dad. His mom brought me a darling new Halloween decoration-with chalkboard!- and some delicious smelling soap. Sophie took it out of the wrapper for me and loves to smell it. Craig took me to get all-you-can-eat sushi at Wild Ginger for my birthday dinner. I really can't say enough good things about that place. All-you-can-eat doesn't really mean you should eat until you can't move EXCEPT in the case of sushi and boy, oh, boy did I eat! Craig will have to tell me later how many rolls I ate but I'm pretty sure it was something like 5. And we had soup. And two orders of gyoza. And an order of grilled mussels.

Craig wasn't a fan-I got to
eat three of them!
After consuming my (pregnant) weight in sushi etc., we hopped waddled on over to the home show at the new convention center in Provo. It's a very nice building. Sadly, it didn't look like many people were interested in going. Many of the presenters were hanging out around the Sams Club lounge area in front of a huge tv that had the BYU game playing. I thought it was amusing.

To top off the evening, we went home and had a delicious chocolate mousse Craig had made from scratch. He knows me so well. He even made the cookie crust out of thin mints. Great dessert. I knew marrying him would be a great choice!

Chocolate cake, raspberry filling and
homemade Hershey chocolate frosting. 
Then, on Sunday, we had a small birthday dinner (home made Cafe Rio style pork salads, rice, fixings and cake) with my brother, Bryan, my sister and her family. Erin wins. She gave me some new Gladware food containers and a cute zebra lunch bag for taking to school. It was awesome.
I had a lovely birthday and hope to have many more fun times to share, too!

Working Life

Several people have asked me recently how my days have changed since I started working. I really think that, with a few minor exceptions, it has changed for the better. We'll start with the exceptions: I don't have nap time to do dishes and laundry or tidy up now. Or blog. Not really a huge deal since those things can be done after bed time and a little bit in the morning - Sophie really likes helping load and unload the laundry. Oh, and finding crayon on the wall from time to time when I come home isn't really an "up." ;)

Other happy changes:

  • I feel like I value the time I'm home with my girls a whole lot more. The awake time is much more deliberately spent together now. 
  • I feel better. Getting out for a few hours every day is helping so much. 
  • I've found something I enjoy doing, I'm going to be able to use it at home, too, and, unlike some other things I could be doing, I'm at least making a little money instead of spending it. 
  • I've had multiple teachers at the school come and tell me how much their classes are enjoying music class and one teacher, the mom of one of my students, even came to tell me how happy her son was that I could actually control the class. I'm not really interested in posting here about the situation but let's just say that a particular student likes to think s/he runs the class and some teachers just let him/her. I did not. 
  • Somehow the schedule just works so well right now. I hope it stays this way! I leave around 10:45, Sophie has lunch at 11:00 and then is in her room for rest time and nap time until 2:30 or 3:00 (depending on how wild we played in the morning) and then I'm home around 3:30ish. Olivia's longest nap of the day is while I'm gone, too. 
  • Craig is getting to cook more often. He really enjoys cooking and making new recipes and I'm happy to let him do that! 

I'm still working on my classroom but here are a few pictures of where I spend about 18 hours each week: 

Messy, messy, messy. I do NOT like being in a cluttered mess!

A VERY cluttered classroom. Those cabinets...

A "Before." I'm keeping the main board the way it is for now.

Birthday Cards on my desk :) 

An early "after" picture. Instruments cut out,
laminated, cut out again and hung up. 

Solfege door. Great quick review when the kids
are lined up waiting for their teacher to come back. 

September 25, 2012

Perfect Timing

I got on last night looking for something that I can't even remember now and instead found myself  reading this written by President Monson a couple years ago-read it. It was one of those times when something I needed just happened to be right in front of me.

I've been feeling incredibly judged lately. Seemingly innocent comments and jokes from friends and family who don't understand what goes on in my little world. (No, not in the 'you don't understand me!' with a door slam sort of way.) I've struggled with depression for a long time and have done what I could to deal with it including medication (which I am all for, when it works for people), counseling, exercise/activity. After Sophie was born, it was so bad there were days I couldn't even make myself get out of bed to eat, much less do anything else. I'm a goal/task/project oriented kind of person and that was a huge change for me. That just fed the destructive thoughts that I couldn't seem to control. Add to that a huge increase in anxiety that often comes with depression. Have you ever been afraid to get in a car to the point that you have a complete panic attack? Been so terrified of light posts, other cars, curbs and yourself while driving that you have to talk to yourself out loud to just get from one point to another? It took time, trying many different medications and some great counseling to get back to being a sane person. Well, as sane as I've ever been. On top of that, I felt like I shouldn't talk about it or tell anyone other than Craig what was going on. Why am I sharing this now? Because when I was reading the talk last night I kept wondering how many people I have judged or ridiculed simply because I didn't have all of the facts. Who have I made feel worse or struggle more because I expected more or something different based on some silly artificial standard of what it means to be something? I hope I never do that again.

"Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun who worked among the poor in India most of her life, spoke this profound truth: “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”  The Savior has admonished, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”  I ask: can we love one another, as the Savior has commanded, if we judge each other? And I answer—with Mother Teresa: no, we cannot."

I also hope that others can be a little slower to judge, too. Just because I (or Craig, for that matter) am away from home doesn't mean I don't care about my family. I find it incredibly rude/hurtful when someone makes a comment about me not taking care of my family (example: "why aren't you home making dinner?") and that I'm "only thinking about" myself. When I'm home by myself without much in the way of adult interactions, those scary, nasty thoughts try to get to me. By getting out, I am able to avoid a whole lot of that, I'm a "fuller," happier, sane person and can often do more and be more for those around me, like my little family, because I have been able to take care of myself. 

"My dear sisters, each of you is unique. You are different from each other in many ways. There are those of you who are married. Some of you stay at home with your children, while others of you work outside your homes. Some of you are empty nesters. There are those of you who are married but do not have children. There are those who are divorced, those who are widowed. Many of you are single women. Some of you have college degrees; some of you do not. There are those who can afford the latest fashions and those who are lucky to have one appropriate Sunday outfit. Such differences are almost endless. Do these differences tempt us to judge one another?"

If someone wants to call me selfish for taking care of my individual needs, I suppose they can. Lucky for me, my needs and subsequent choices are between me and Heavenly Father. 

September 24, 2012

"Wedding? I love weddings! Drinks all around!"

Once upon a last month, I made a wedding cake. It was quite the adventure. Thanks for letting me be a part of your celebration, Collin & Charity! Here are some pictures of the shindig. 
There was a trampoline in the ground. Sophie
had a fun time playing on it with Charity's
youngest siblings. No, we won't ever have one.
Cute center pieces. Fish in bowls. Brent
named this one Nigiri. 
It was raining when I got there so
as much of the prep as could be was
done in the house. 
The final resting place: the cutest gazebo I've
ever seen in a persons yard. 
The final cake.

In case you can't tell, they had a
beach/coastal theme.

Sophie also found a friend and
"helped" put the lanterns up.


September 19, 2012

Have you ever had a series of really lousy days at home and thought you've made a huge mistake? The mistake of becoming a parent, that is. Apparently more people than are willing to admit it publicly have- just ask around.   That's how I'm feeling right now. I hate cleaning. I hate being pooped on.  Spit up on. Bit (that's a new one for Sophie- thanks, cats.) Cleaning up messes of all kinds. Being treated like a lesser person by people because I'm not "contributing to society" by working at least a true part-time job and then at the same time being treated by the others like a selfish brat because I teach guard 5 hours a week and have substituted once and plan to continue to do so. I hate crying babies. I'm also apparently "not mom enough" because I can't exclusively breast feed. Yes, CAN'T. I appreciate the kind advice I've received but oatmeal hasn't worked, I'm properly hydrated, the rose tea is gross and on and on. I'm so close to being done- as soon as she is on solids, I quit. I'm tired of nursing and then strapping myself to a pump another 10 times a day so I can get enough to almost be enough. And then have it spit up on me. I'm not a cow and I'm sure as hell not a cow who wants to work hard making milk to have it wasted.

So, once again, I'd like to tell the world to buzz off and have a nice evening.

September 10, 2012

Olivia- 3 Months Old!

Chatting with her new bug friends. 
Happy 3 months, Olivia!

3 whole months and only 3 months. I know I'm not the only one who feels that way about babies.

A few Olivia fun facts:
Olivia is good at helping
daddy nap on Sunday
  • As of Saturday night, she can roll from her back to her tummy. She doesn't know what to do once she gets there, but it's still fun rolling, nonetheless. 
  • She is VERY active! I need to get a video of it, but she is pretty entertaining to watch as she kicks/runs like mad when she's on her back. 
  • She has recently started batting at her mobile
  • Her favorite places to sleep are snuggled up in our bed and on daddy's tummy. She's napping next to me on the bed right now. 
  • She is quite the social little lady. Cooing, talking, the occasional giggle, big smiles, looking for Craig or I when she hears our voices...
  • She enjoys sitting up in her boppy and watching her big sister run around the family room. She tries to bring herself to a full sitting position but her muscles aren't quite there yet. 
  • She is quite the spitter. Her uncle Andrew could have won a gold medal in spitting up and I think Olivia is going to break his record. While the height and distance  she can get with  her projectile spitting is pretty impressive, it is frustrating for me. Nursing has 
    Sometimes the giant bibs
    are enough to catch the
    spit up. But not always.
      been easier with her than with Sophie but keeping up has been just as hard. Olivia will eat, burp and then return around half of what she has eaten. And then scream until we give her something else (aka formula) to eat. Pumping and bottle feeding seems to help a bit but let's just say I'm not going to be sad to switch to formula only in a few months (if we make it that long.) 
    • She is so little still that even though she is 3 months, she has just barely outgrown her newborn clothes. A few outfits still fit but we're happily using her 0-3s now. If she keeps this up, she'll be able to fit into Sophie's winter clothes perfectly this Fall despite having a 6 month/season swap with birth dates. As silly as it may sound, I am thrilled! 
    • Last night we're pretty sure she slept for about 7 hours. That or we were both too tired and didn't hear her cry. Which I guess is possible but her pack & play is right next to our bed. 
    Other things Olivia has been up to: 
    Resting in the shade with
    Uncle Bryan
    • Went to 7 Peaks a few times. Sitting on a floating tube, snuggled up with mommy in the wave pool is pretty comfy. 
    • Met Uncle Bryan. He's pretty cool to snuggle on, too! 
    • Went to her very first wedding reception- congrats Collin & Charity! 
    • Went on her first camping trip
    • Went to her first ever band camp (she pretty much slept right through it!)
    Band camp. "Go Guard!"
    At her 2 month appointment, Olivia was behind on most of her milestones. We were told not to worry, she was very likely to be caught up before she was 2 and that she would be on a premie growth chart for some time, as well. In the last month, she has caught up and is actually now doing things from the "some may be able to:" chart. I'm not concerned with her being an 'advanced' child or any silliness like that but I am very happy that despite being early, she is at the very least, right where she should be and then some. 

    Happy girl getting ready to go see
    daddy for a lunch date.

    September 6, 2012

    Yup. I'm one of those. Again.

    Our "perfect" children,
    perfectly put together in our
    perfectly clean room.
    Refused to nap and fell
    asleep in her high chair
    Does anyone else remember, prior to becoming a parent, saying "when I'm a mom/dad, I'll NEVER ____"fill in the blank. Now that you're a parent, do you find yourself doing X? I do. I still believe the only perfect parents are those without kids. You know, the ones who will NEVER: lose their temper, let their child go to the store with who knows what stuck in their hair, look the other way when the toddler puts her face on the cat, prop a bottle, think a not-so-stylish ponytail & gaucho pants are okay to be seen in at the park... All of those things. Did you also vow before #2 came along that you would get just as many pictures, write about them just as much and spend just as much time with them snuggling, playing, reading etc. as you did with the first?

    Yeah. I was smarter than to assume I'd have just as much time but I did grossly underestimate the time (and energy!) I would have to just snuggle with Olivia. Lucky for me, I was a massive hormonal mess for several months after Sophie was born so I don't think I'll have a problem keeping up with a similar level of picture-taking or writing about her. ;)

    I was busy feeding Olivia so she got her
    own snack. Good thing the
    grapes are washed and
    put in a convenient container.
    Oh, and good that grapes
     roll. Good toys for the cat. :/
    Found trying to eat her
    "LaLa" toothpaste out
    of the tube
    I do wish I could somehow magically make all of the laundry, dishes, car maintenance, bathrooms, grocery shopping etc. disappear so I could spend all of my time with the girls. Yes, I do make doing laundry a game with Sophie, she does like to help me clean (she's pretty good with the swiffer in the kitchen, getting trash to the trash can, putting her pillows on her bed and things like that) but by the time we've gone through our day, I'm quite tired. Sophie goes to bed between 7:00 and 8:00 and then Olivia is up for several feedings and will settle in around 10:00. On paper, it makes perfect sense to have that time set aside for one on one Olivia time. In real life, after a full day of everything, a couple days a week of guard* and such, I'm ready for bed by 8:00. Worse still, I actually enjoy spending time with Craig
    and I don't like being tired and occasionally grumpy when he gets home. I haven't quite figured things out yet but we'll find our balance and rhythm soon. For now, I think I'll start taking an iron supplement again. :)
    And there's Olivia. Well,
    she's pretty much perfect
    for now. It'd be nice if she'd
    sleep through the night but
    we'll get there. 

    *Before anyone oh-so politely suggests again that I drop color guard, I might suggest you not make that suggestion. I don't ever want to hear another person say 'you're a mom now, you don't need to do that anymore.' Why? Because yes, actually I do need it. Everyone needs SOMETHING and for me that is color guard. Thanks for asking :) 

    August 27, 2012

    Summer Camping Trip 2012

    Olivia was so excited to camp!
    Last weekend we went camping with our awesome friends, David & Jamie. We love spending time with them and don't get to be together nearly enough so when they asked early last week if we wanted to go, we were all over that! We love camping but weren't terribly inclined to do so on our own with me very pregnant earlier this summer and with a toddler and newborn on our own now. We did take Sophie camping several times last summer at a nice campground close to our house (about 15 minutes up the canyon) but she was so young that this time might as well have been her first. It was our first time at Strawberry reservoir- beautiful! As soon as we got there, everything was "wow!!" to Sophie. New things to see, new treats she's never tried before- thanks for the sour patch kids, guys!- and getting to spend undivided attention time with several adults. Oh, and there was also the fun climbing in and out of the tent over and over again. :)

    Other than it getting a bit colder than we planned, it was a great trip. Sophie had a blast, Olivia did well and we thoroughly enjoyed our little weekend vacation with friends. I'm hoping we can get one more camping trip in before it cools off too much. Maybe we'll be able to get some friends to join us at Whiting soon!

    Rock Canyon fire we saw about 4:00 when
    we were heading out after picking up
    Craig from work. 

    Snuggles & marshmallows

    Our campsite- very pretty view!

    As soon as the fire was lit, we told Sophie it was an "ow"
    and she needed to stay away from it. She also saw us roasting
    marshmallows, among other things, and wanted to join in.
    Her solution? She put one on a fork and roasted it on her own.
    It was probably the cutest/funniest thing she did all evening. 

    Roasted marshmallows, starbursts &
    reeses cups/s'mores. 

    Waiting for dinner to finish. We had ribs,
    cooler corn, biscuits & baked potatoes. 

    Sophie loved the screen on the tent- it's funny to push your
    face on-it feels funny. 

    Trying out Olivia's bed- the bed Sophie slept on last summer

    Deciding our bed was actually more comfortable.

    Crawdad hunting by the reservoir after dinner.
    Sophie kept gasping and saying "wow" whenever
    she heard a frog or splash or just about anything.

    Anyone remember this camping trick?
    Put your headlamp facing IN on a gallon of water
    and you have a great tent light. 

    It gives off more (and less blindingly harsh)
    light than the LED headlamp alone. 

    Happy 11 Weeks, Olivia!

    In honor of Olivia being 11 weeks old- holy cow- I am FINALLY going to share some pictures from her blessing day. It was absolutely fabulous to have so much family with us: almost Craig's entire immediate family and their families were able to join us, my mom & little brother were here from Connecticut, Erin & her family, great grandma & grandpa Peterson, Great grandpa Merrill and a bunch of our friends, too. We counted and at one point or another, we had 40 people in our house. I'm surprised our little town house didn't pop at the seams! It was a really wonderful day and we are so glad to have our newest little baby girl/baby sister!

    Sunday, 22 July 2012
    Blessed in the Mapleton 19th Ward
    Blessed by: Craig, Uncles Brent Peterson, Mark Lyon, 
    & Grant Robinson, Great Grandpa's Peterson & Merrill and Grandpa Peterson.

    Olivia's new bracelet made from one of my necklaces

    Tiny hands! 

    The dress she was blessed in was my blessing dress and Sophie's.
    My mom made it for me using fabric, lace & ribbon from her dad
    and grandfather's blessing outfits. At this point, that is 4 generations
    of use. Mom also crocheted the booties. 

    We had lunch after church since people had come from
    various distances. Sandwiches, fruit, vegetables, pasta salad,
    "nuts about berries" salad, chips, lemonade, chocolate chip cookies
    and a deelicious raspberry bread pudding. 

    We even got David & Jamie to come!
     (It took sooo much bribing ;) ) 

    Cousin Matthew, Aunts Becky, Jen & Jenny