July 19, 2015

19 months on the 19th

Harriet Jillian Smith is 19 months old today. She is a ball of fire and energy and spunk and sass. She is smart and strong and fearless. She is also super sweet and kind and soft. I love her and am so grateful to be her mother. 












I love you, angel!! You keep me on my toes and keep me good. 

My talk today in Ray 2nd Ward

Freddie---
Collin is my dada
Nikki is my mama
I'm freddie and I'm 3.5, my sister, Hattie, is 1
We just moved into a new house. 
I love to look at the book of Mormon with my family. It makes me feel really happy. 
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.  

Me!!--
Thanks Freddie. He saw all those boys get up here last week and he thought it was so cool and wanted to get up and speak too, so thank you so much for your good example to my son.  Hi, I'm Nikki smith and We were asked to share our thoughts on Linda k Burton's talk from this past general conference called, We'll Ascend Together. After studying it I feel impressed to talk to you about Love. 

Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

We have a lot of relationships in this life. W Our families, ward members, coworkers, neighbors, classmates, people we talk to at the grocery store, park, library... We interact w people all day long.  
My family is among the most important relationships to me. I need them and they need me. We look to each other for support, for help, for answers to problems. 

Linda k Burtons says, "As covenant-keeping women and men, we need to lift each other and help each other become the people the Lord would have us become."

In our 6.5 years of marriage Collin and I have lived in 6 different places. We are very social people we love jumping right in and getting involved in the ward and community where we live. We love getting to know people and making good friends and going to activities and throwing parties. Sometimes it's been really hard and scary. But We have found that when we go out of our comfort zones and make the effort to get to know people, we are so blessed. Some of the people we have met over the years we have stayed in touch with, some not so much. Some we have crossed paths with again and some we will never see again in this life, but everyone we have met has touched our lives one way or another and have helped us grow and learn something. 

The church is amazing. No matter where we go, we have this support system and structure.  No matter how hard change and transition is, I know My kids are going to have primary, and my husband is going to go to elders quorum and have brotherhood and I'm going to go to relief society and have sisters. We are going to have a bishop who loves us. 
We don't ever have to be alone. I think God gives us this because he loves us.  I think it's up to us whether we take advantage of these things or not. 
In the short time we have been here in Ray 2nd Ward, we have seen 4-5 missionaries get their calls, give farewell talks, go through the temple or leave for their missions. We have met people who have touched our souls and even people who I completely trust and have asked for help. There is a lot of love in this ward. 

Thomas S Monson:

Brothers and sisters, some of our greatest opportunities to demonstrate our love will be within the walls of our own homes. Love should be the very heart of family life, and yet sometimes it is not. There can be too much impatience, too much arguing, too many fights, too many tears. Lamented President Gordon B. Hinckley: “Why is it that the [ones] we love [most] become so frequently the targets of our harsh words? Why is it that [we] sometimes speak as if with daggers that cut to the quick?”9 The answers to these questions may be different for each of us, and yet the bottom line is that the reasons do not matter. If we would keep the commandment to love one another, we must treat each other with kindness and respect.


Collin and I, are both opinionated loud people plus we are both oldest children who think we are right about everything. When we were about to get married one of our bishops counseled with us and told us we will probably butt heads a lot but that our opinions and passions could become strengths if we could learn to work together. 
He was totally right. 

Over the years we are learning to not be so competitive. We have  been humbled and have gone through trials that have brought us together. We are learning to work together and be less contentious. We have the desire to have peace in our home and raise our children in confidence and love. But we still mess up. 

Isaiah 63:9 speaks of Jesus Christ:
In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
-the motivation behind the atonement was love. Love makes it all possible. God asked us all to love each other as ourselves. To me that means that we should give others the benefit of the doubt that they are doing the best they can with what they have been given. 

The perfect love Jesus Christ has for us was again demonstrated when he was visiting the people on this continent after his resurrection....
3 Nephi 17
1 Behold, now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he looked round about again on the multitude, and he said unto them: Behold, my time is at hand.
2 I perceive that ye are weak, that ye cannot understand all my words which I am commanded of the Father to speak unto you at this time.
3 Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again.
4 But now I go unto the Father, and also to show myself unto the lost tribes of Israel, for they are not lost unto the Father, for he knoweth whither he hath taken them.
5 And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus spoken, he cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and beheld they were in tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them.
6 And he said unto them: Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you.....
he asked for all the sick to come forward and blessed them one by one.
Then he asked for all the little children to come forth and one at a time, he blessed them, prayed for them and spent time with them. 
11 And it came to pass that he commanded that their little children should be brought.

He had important work to do. He is a God. But he is also our older brother. The scripture doesn't say that they begged him to stay or that they even said anything at all...It says that he looked at them, observed what their needs were and he had compassion on them. He made time for them. This is how he showed his love for them.  

This reminds me of my mother. I have a 16 year old brother-he's the last one at home and he is super busy with school and sports and church responsibilities. And my mom and dad are super involved with everything he's involved in. This is how they were w all of us. 
My mom specifically is so busy and she's late a lot of times, she over schedules herself, she can't say no to anyone....it drives us a little crazy sometimes!!! but when my mom comes and visits us at our house, we're the most important people in the world. She always leaves my house later than she supposed to because she's finishing up reading books with her grandkids, or just talking or taking out the trash. And she's probably going to be late to her next appointment but she'll get there and then they will be the most important people in the world. She and my dad are very generous with their time. I love them.

Linda burton in her talk recalls the times of having small children and the difficulties from day to day that come with that and how she was so happy when her husband would come home every evening.  but she also shared that she regrets how she often focused on the long list of to-dos and what was on the schedule that night instead of focusing on having fun with her family and things that mattered most. I'm so grateful to read her words and feel the spirit touch my heart and remind me of what's most important and that I can change to be more focused on them. 

I challenge you all to listen to the spirit. If you have not yet felt the Holy Ghost today tell you something you can do or change, I encourage you to pray to Heavenly Father and ask him for guidance. I have a testimony that God hears and answers our prayers. 

Robert D Hales shared this proverb: 
“Thee lift me and I’ll lift thee, and we’ll ascend together.”

I know that relationships are so important. God made this earth for us to come get bodies and become like himself and our savior. And he also sent us here to find love, and to learn from each other. I know the relationships we make are eternal. 

I love my husband so much. He's my best friend and we are working at becoming better together, everyday. I love my babies and I love being a mother. It's the hardest and best thing I've ever done. I love my parents and family so much too and I'm thankful for everything they've taught me. I love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I know this gospel is true. 

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 




June 17, 2015

Garden

We have our very first garden and love it so much. It's has been lots of work and we enjoy the work. We enjoy looking out into our yard and being there. There's still much to do!!��












May 21, 2015

Speaking of awesome babes

Fred made me proud yesterday...
Hattie went to sleep not in our bed for the first time in her life and is sooo excited about her big girl floor bed!!
And dot has officially moved in as the queen of the house!



Reusable wipes!!!

Fred's skin is sensitive. When he was a babe he had bad diaper rash and I got some medicated cream and the doc advised us to switch to wipes sans alcohol. Whoa...didn't know there were wipes for baby bums WITH alcohol. But anyway, that was good enough! He didn't really have problems after that. 
Fast-forward to Hattie hat girl, double sensitive skin plus super dry skin like me. The non-alcohol "sensitive skin" wipes weren't cutting it...but it wasn't so bad. Poor girl had a rash, bumps, redness for the better part of over a year. I blame myself for not taking the time to explore other options. 
The last straw was when recently, the brand of wipes we buy suddenly had different packaging and ingredients Hattie would yell when I wiped her butt and when I went to wipe my own face it STUNG my skin. My lips went numb!!!!!
So that was it. I asked my friend, Nikki C, birth rally friend and all knowing about everything organic, non-chemical, all-natural. Seriously, this woman has researched so much about baby products and the ingredients therein. So I texted her and asked her if there are safe wipes out there. I also did a little research and read about some of what's out there.  She gave me a few products that are safer and better than most...but what she and her family use are reusable cloth wipes with this amazing wipes soap solution. It's called Baby Bits and has 100% Vegetarian Ingredients: coconut oil glycerin soap, organic plantain & chickweed herbs, virgin olive oil, pure essential oil of tea tree and lavender. Whoa. So I looked all the stuff she was recommending to me up on Amazon...Amazon prime baby....and with the soap (supposed to make enough for 1000 wipes and my friend said it lasts her about 1 year and they have two kids and use it for everything...) plus 15 flannel cloth wipes, and a wet+dry waterproof bag for on the go...$30 bucks!!!! I decided to try it and man. I LOVE IT. so so so much. 

This is three cups and 3 cubes worth of the soap solution. 
Here's one of the wipes w a few sprays of the soap. It's quite wet and absorbent. Hatties bum is clear and clean. No rash or redness! She doesn't cry! And I use them to wipe her face and hands and feet and Freddie and myself too! It's amazing. And easy!!!! And I throw the wipes in the wash. 

I need to get a little bottle for being out of the house. We still use our same disposable diapers but I'm all about these wipes!! They smell so good too!! Oh and I did get one of Nikki's recommended less-worse chemically wipes for poop diapers every few days. ��  

Here's a link to a description of the wipe solution....

http://www.kellyscloset.com/Baby-Bits-Try-Me-Bottle_p_5660.html

April 28, 2015

When Frederick was newborn I would nurse him at night and I would walk around and I can't now remember if it was really necessary or if I just thought it was. He's my first born and always will be. Everything we experience with him will be completely new to us. That's scary and wonderful all at once. With Hattie, we're more relaxed and confident. We know that if she hits someone, it'll be okay, she'll grow out of it. My kids are growing up!!!! Its' breath-taking.




I want to give my children a mother who says, "I am beautiful" and not "I need to lose weight." I want to point out the beauty in things and people, instead of criticizing. I want to be happy and comfortable with myself and my body and I want to take care of it so that I can always play. When Frederick is frustrated I want to drop everything and make him laugh. When Hattie is crying and flailing I want to drop everything and hold and comfort her.

I want to protect my nestlings.

This afternoon:
Driving somewhere again. It's always, "get in the car," with me. It's my go-to move when we're all bored or antsy or driving each other nuts. Solution is to get OUT. to the park to run errands, to a store. It always helps w my kids to change the scenery.

Drove around in circles over and over wih Frederick on my lap, steering, in the library parking lot.
"You'd better turn so you don't crash!"
"Left!"
"Mom, when are we going to crash?"
"Never, I hope!"
Back in his seat, all buckled in. Thanks, you good boy!!!!

We don't get into the library. It's supposed to be open, but it's not. We have to get our prizes for the spring reading program!!! We did it so we have to! Tomorrow's the last day. The last day!!! I'll pop over on our way to Emily's.

Anyway so onto Target. Tried on swimsuits. I love sticking to a budget. I love getting cash out and having limits. And staying within them. Popcorn, buckled into giant carts. Hattie is the hard one! It's funny to me!! Got what we needed and shopped for the kids and a friend having a baby. I tried stuff on the kids and they picked. They giggled and ran from me. Freddie helped me get hattie back.

We were so charming in the check out line but freddie still managed to lose one of Freddie's shoes!

With the lovely Valentina!

April 1, 2015

And just like that, my first child grew up.

Well of course this isn't 100% true...he's still just 3 and needs me in many ways. But he lets go little by little and than suddenly quickly at times! He weaned from breastfeeding and dresses himself (I have always had to fight him in getting him dressed. This is a huge help!!) and he also buckles himself into his car seat completely all the time, now in the past few days!!!! It's so wonderful and amazing, his being my first born forever and that he will always be the one that everything is exciting and nerve-wracking and emotional. Experiences w hattie are typically more laid back because we've  survived them and know it'll all work out for the most part. Plus she is just a more independent daring little kid. 
Speaking of doing things on her own, Hattie and i do our little routine before bed and I always say a little quick prayer w her...but the past few nights I just ask her to repeat me and she does!!!! It's so sweet!!!! She folds her arms by holding one wrist with a circled hand and repeats "fodder," "wucom(welcome, which is thank you for her)" "faye(freddie)" "daddy" "mama" "hattie (pronounces her name very well with hard Ts)" "pees" "gama" "papa" "you you (lulu)" "pops" "gegus christ aman"

Who that's crazy how I did that but it's so crazy cute. 

I love putting my kids to sleep. At times im tired and don't feel like taking the time it takes but I really love it usually and tonight I was especially appriciative of it. I held and kissed and rocked fred in the rocking chair and then stood and held him and sang him my favorite song (Have I Done Any Good in the World Today?) and then lay him down in his bed and he protests and I tell him he has to and then I sit and hold his hand or rub his back and he falls asleep within 10 minutes usually. It's so sweet. I listen and wait and can hear him breathing heavily. 




A little reflection pond dipping of the toes


Dying eggs

They aren't the prettiest but I love them.



Ready for summer 

March 20, 2015

BIRTHDAY MONTH!!!!

This is the month of all months!

I turned 31 on Friday the 13th!!!
Freddie's half birthday was yesterday, the 18th, making him 3.5 years old!!!!!! We made him a peanut butter crunch marshmallow treat w a candle and sang to him. He LOVED it. He's really really developing emotionally. He melts my heart daily. He...weaned. It's over. I want to cry about it. I'm so sad but know it's so right now. He's doing really well. He asks for it now and again...but it's not the same as before. It was desperate and stressed. But now it's just when he's kind of sleepy and out of it in the morning or after nap and he gets over it fast. I love him more than ever and we are bonding in other ways. It definitely feels like loss though and im so grateful to still be nursing Hattie. I have LOVED my breastfeeding relationship with Frederick over the past 3.5 years and will cherish it forever. Freddie is doing so so well in primary now!! He had a rough first few months but loves it now. He really loves singing time so much, and loves telling everyone that "he feels his Savior's love when he shares with his sister!" (And then gets to put a chocolate in another container or something!!)
Hattie turned 15 months today, the 19th!!!! Ah my babies are growing up so fast!! Hattie talks SO MUCH and is so physical and happy and smart and beautiful inside and out!!! I'm so proud of her and feel eternally lucky to be her mama. She is her OWN PERSON and let's us all know it. She walks around church in every meeting and says hi to everyone. I let her go free because she always comes back and is pretty well-behaved. I usually have to take her out of relief society 3rd hour because by then she'd had enough and wants to tell us ALL ABOUT IT! Everyone is so sweet and supportive of my family and me. I asked if a certain activity had a nursery or if kids could come and I was told I should ALWAYS feel comfortable bringing my kids to every activity and everyone gave me lots of encouragement and said my kids are cute hehe.
Little kitty Dot beautiful girl has a birthday on the 22nd! She will be 4!! We adore her so much and she is so so good to us. She comes on walks w us, sleeps in our family bed, (right on my chest!), and is a mama cat to the kids.
Collin!!!! My honey bug lover is turning 34 this month on the 26th!!! CANT WAIT! He will get his own post any day now. He is my partner and best friend and I couldn't live this life without him.

Gotta go to Costco! Bye!
I love spring!!!! In Arizona!!!