Saturday, September 29, 2012


And once again, I am a year older. I had a great birthday this year. It started out with breakfast with my favorite little guy. I made us green smoothies and apple streusel muffins. 

Owen and I spent the day together. How could I not enjoy my day with this face???

During the day I had visits from three different friends who brought me gifts and cards to wish me a happy birthday. I felt very loved. Miles came home a bit early from work and his parents came over to bring by some gifts before heading off to a BYU football game.

Owen helped me to open all of my presents. This is me not knowing what to think about the fact that Miles got me a gift certificate to go paragliding. (Something I had mentioned I wanted to do. But actually doing is different that thinking of doing.)

Two very happy faces for Miles buying me the watch I had been eyeing in Park City on our babymoon last month.

After presents, we went to dinner. We took Owen with us and met up with Jess and Emi at India Palace (my choice of restaurant for my last birthday as well!) Sadly, I didn't get a picture of us at dinner. After a delicious Indian cuisine, we took Owen home to a babysitter and Miles and I headed out to meet our friends Jeremy and Amanda at Color Me Mine.

We chose our pieces and got to work. I decided to make a large piggy bank for Owen. Miles made a cute little dragon for his desk at work. Jeremy made a superhero, and Amanda made a mug.

Amanda and I are due just one day apart from each other, and are both having girls.

It took quite a while longer to paint them than I thought it would. Our poor babysitter fell asleep waiting for us. But I had a great time and a lot of fun. This has been a wonderful year and I am so excited to see what the next year holds for me!

And now that it's been so long since I originally started this post, I can show pictures of our finished products:

The pottery:

And the babies (Elsie and Charlotte born 8 days apart):

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Oh Baby! (38 weeks)

I didn't get a chance to write this up before the baby came, but I wanted to make a note of the appointment for my records. When Dr. Savage checked me, I was about 90% effaced and 1 cm dilated. Not much progress, but a tiny bit. However, the most significant thing was that she told me I needed to have the baby by my due date. I asked her why and she said she was going to be out of town for fall break for a week starting the day after my due date. I was shocked. When I was pregnant with Owen, she had told me she would be around because it was the school year and she has six kids in school. I figured it would be the same with Elsie. Who's heard of fall break?! What is this nonsense?! She told me that if I didn't have the baby by 39 weeks, we could strip my membranes and if nothing happened within a few days, she would be willing to induce me a day or two early. I wasn't really excited about this option. I kind of wanted to let my body do it's own thing so that I could proceed with a natural delivery without pushing my body into it. I decided I would consider stripping my membranes, but I would definitely forgo induction. It kind of made me sad, but I decided I wouldn't worry about it and if she wasn't available, I was ok with the other doctor in the office and happy that I had been to a couple of appointments with her. I guess all of my thoughts about baby girl coming early in addition to Dr. Savage's ultimatum paid off, as she arrived 10 days early! It's funny because when I was in labor with Owen, I knew that Dr. Savage had her daughter's recital to attend and I didn't want her to miss it. My body kicked into gear and delivered him early enough for her to still make it. This time, I went into labor before she left on vacation. I guess she's destined to deliver my babies. :)

Silly Goose

Owen is a very silly goose - hence his nickname of "Goose." Here are some of his recent silly antics...

A couple weeks ago, Daddy started this new game with Owen. Each of them have a monkey that they jump around while making monkey sounds. We'll call it "Monkeying Around"...

The other day I found Owen had shimmied his way into two cereal boxes meant for recycling...

And tonight, before bedtime Owen and I had some fun with bad lighting and self-photography...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Lemi Shine

I've had two friends do posts about Lemi Shine. I thought about trying it out after the first one, but never got around to it. Then after reading a second recommendation I couldn't stop myself from going to the store to buy it.

Ever since they took out the phosphates from dishwashing detergent, I have had trouble getting my dishes clean. Slowly, over time, there has been a grimy, cloudy build up on my dishes. I had heard to put vinegar in it for the rinse, but it never seemed to help (or at least not much). I hated feeling like my dishes never looked or felt clean, even though they were.

Enter Lemi Shine. I followed their directions and ran it through the dishwasher first to clear out build-up. Then I did my first cycle with it.

Here are the results...


Before on right, after on left:

Before on left, after on right:

It might be hard to tell from the pictures, but I think it's pretty obvious. I am SO happy. I still get a little powder on the top shelf items, but nothing that can't be wiped away easily. I have since run all my dishes through with it to clean them up. I seriously need Costco to sell this stuff so I can buy it in bulk. I am SOLD!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Paci Fairy

It has been almost two weeks since the Paci Fairy came to our home. I figure we've got a pretty good handle on things at this point so I can give a more accurate assessment of the experience. I asked my doctor back in June when I should get rid of Owen's pacifier. She said she gets rid of them by 18 mo. While I was ok with the fact that Owen has had it for over two years, I figured I should try and get rid of it before baby girl comes. I didn't want him to have to transition to her, and then later find out that she gets to keep a pacifier, but he doesn't. Illnesses, long road trips, and just plain convenience kept me from doing it for a while. Finally I decided my due date was coming too soon and it needed to happen. Not to mention, Owen was getting a little out of hand. If ever he was on his changing table and had access to his pacifiers, he would grab as many as he could and would shove them all in his mouth. He would do the same if he found multiple in his crib in the morning.

He also started sneaking them during the day. He used to reach into his drawer and stand on his tippy toes to get them, so I moved them farther back in the drawer. Then when he couldn't find/reach them, he moved his chair over to be taller and have better access. What a smart, little, stinker! Then I started hiding them under his socks or inside his hats in the drawer. So I'd walk in to discover that he had emptied the whole contents of the drawer, throwing them on his bedroom floor, trying to find them. That's when I realized I had an addict on my hands. was time for the Paci Fiary. And super-smart-me, thought the last night Miles was home before leaving on a four-day trip was a good time as well. (Not sure what I was thinking).

I had been talking about the Paci Fairy in the days leading up to this. Although I'm sure he didn't really understand it. So one night I told him we had to go around the house and find all his pacies to put in a bag for the Paci Fairy. (Usually they're all in his drawer, but I put them throughout the house so he could go on a hunt for them.) He had fun collecting them all and putting them in the bag. Then I told him we would write a letter to the Paci Fairy and he could color on it.

Here is the letter I wrote for him. It says, "Dear Paci Fairy, Here are my pacies for you to give to another baby. I'm all done with them. Please leave me a car for the pacies. Thank you, Owen." I told him what it said and helped him sign his name. He asked me to draw a Paci Fairy at the top, so that was my lame attempt at that. 

Here is the bag with his pacies that we left on the changing table:

Owen was very excited about the idea of getting a present in the morning from the Paci Fairy...

...until it came to bed time. He kept asking for his paci and I had to remind him that the Paci Fairy was going to come get them and leave him a present. I left and he started to cry. Over the next 30 min, Miles and I each went in a couple times trying to see if we could soothe/appease him. Eventually it turned to hard crying/screaming and when I went in he asked for me to sing to him (he had opted out of that part of his routine when I initially put him to bed). I sang about 3 or 4 songs to him and he seemed to be ok. He was quiet for about 20-30 min, and then yelled for me. I went in and he said he wanted to go I let him. But after laying him back down, he started to cry and call, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!" After about 2 hours of ups and downs, he went to sleep around 10:30 PM...and woke up around 7 AM. UGH!

The next morning, I came in and told Owen that the Paci Fairy had left a present! 

He was very excited to open it...

 ...and even more excited to find a car! 

And since he'd had such a rough night, I made him some German Pancakes for breakfast. (A favorite of both mine and Owen's. Therefore, a well-deserved treat for both of us!)

After that nightmarish experience, the next night went pretty smooth. He went down without a peep. I heard him doing jumping jacks in his crib about an hour after I put him to bed, but there was no crying. However, naps for the next few days were either non-existent, or a total of 45 min. This had me worried since I've gotten used to a minimum of a 2-hour nap, if not three or four hours! Night number three was miserable again, but four was fine. Since then, most nights have been pretty good. He occassionally will ask for his paci, but I ask him where they are. Then he says, "Paci Fairy," and will ask for his "blue car." I think he's made the connection at least that she took them, and left behind his car. Miles said one night when he put him to bed, Owen had a scowl on his face when he mentioned the Paci Fairy. And I don't blame him one bit if he hates her! Naps, have gratefully gotten better (longer and without much struggle) but we still have an occasional day where he has cried/fought his nap for a good long time. Generally, it is going well at this point. But sadly, I think our days of sleeping in are gone. Amazingly, there have only been maybe two times he's woken up in the night (and all I have to do is hug him, lay him down and cover him up) and usually he just sleeps right through. But his morning wake-up time is pretty consistently between 7 and 7:30 AM. It's not the worst thing in the world, but I do miss sleeping until 8, 9 or even 10!

I hated myself a lot those first few tough nights and nap times, but I think it's good we did it now rather than later, and I'm glad Owen seems to be adjusting ok.

Parade of Homes

Last month, Miles, Owen, and I went to the Salt Lake County Parade of Homes. This month, we've been doing our own "parade through homes." But more on that later. 

First, on to the actual Parade of Homes. While we were waiting for a friend to arrive, we walked over to the Draper Temple. Unfortunately the grounds were closed so we couldn't walk around inside the gates. But Owen found something even more exciting - TRACTORS!

Ok...time to post pictures of the ridiculous 20k+ square foot mansion that was in the Parade of Homes. Apparently the home belongs to the entertainment industry promoter and manager of Justin Bieber, Usher, and Lionel Richie. It has 8 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, 2 large kitchens, an arcade room, and a theater room with 6 different screens.

You can't quite see the whole house in either of these pictures, but here is is from the front:

Entryway/foyer (with a butler, of course):
 Formal dining room:

One of the 1/2 baths that they had on either side of the stairs:

Entrance to the theater room. While it's not really practical or useful, I thought it was a fun idea. 

Theater room:


These next three shots are all of the ballroom:

One of their young daughter's private bathrooms...bigger than our current bedroom. :)

Another daughter's bed and walk-in closet:

Master bedroom:

Master bath, complete with massage table. Give me a regular masseuse and I'm all over that!

Master walk-in closet. This is one half of it. The other half was identical and behind me. It doesn't do it justice as to how big it was...seriously - big enough to be a bedroom.

Upstairs kitchen:

Upstairs family room:


Downstairs kitchen and informal dining:

Downstairs living/family room:

Craft room with me in it...because I'm obviously going to have one that looks like this someday. :)

Downstairs laundry room (don't worry, there was one upstairs that had TWO washers and TWO dryers):

Play room?
 Arcade room:

And that was about it. It was a huge home, and had a lot of incredible features, but all in all I wasn't really that impressed. I thought it felt generally pretty cold. It was pretty modern with stark lines and it didn't feel very homey. I also couldn't stand the fact that there were no balconies off the upstairs rooms. Why on earth wouldn't you put a balcony there so you could walk out or sit on it and enjoy your view? It had doors that would just open to a railing. Lame. And while it was pretty, I really thought this house being built next door is more beautiful form the outside. And I love the huge arched driveway that goes through the house to the back.

And there were these crazy men walking along the top of the house doing their work. I would not want that job! 

We went to some other homes another day that although they were smaller, I like a lot better. They actually gave a "home" appeal and were somewhere I could imagine living.

Speaking of imagining places to live. We have been working our tails off trying to find a new home. Our condo only has two bedrooms, and I am really not excited about dealing with the transition of kids sharing a room. Can it be done? Yes. Do I want do it? No. Baby girl will probably sleep in our room for at least the first 3-4 months (and maybe longer if we don't move before then). I'd really like to find a place and move sooner rather than later so we don't have to worry about all of that. So we've spent a lot of time looking on the Utah real estate MLS site. And we've talked to numerous builders. We go out "parading through homes," looking at models, looking at lot locations and sizes, etc. at least three to four times a week. It's a frustrating, long process though, and Miles and I do not seem to agree on what is or is not important to have in a home. Often I like a home and would consider moving on it, and he says, "Meh. I'm not in love with it." Boo! Last year was so much easier when after looking at one of the only homes we saw, we both decided we liked it and wanted to buy it. Too bad it had structural problems.... Anyway, I hope we are getting closer - narrowing down pros and cons about locations, home size, features, yard space, etc. I just feel anxious since I know life will get crazy and harder once we have baby #2. But regardless, it is exciting and fun to consider our different options and think where our future will take us. Hopefully it will be somewhere we can call "HOME."