April 27, 2014

Date nights!!

Sometimes we go a while without a date night. We have lots and lots of family dates and lots if fun, but you know, life gets crazy busy. (It really is nuts how much more busy I feel with two kids!!) But we could feel each other slipping far away. We just weren't connecting on all the important levels. Let's face it, we were so tired at night after a long day at work/w the kids, dinner, bedtime, tidying up.....we were dead tired each day. And though we talk lots throughout the day, we don't get to just sit and have a real conversation. 
So we remembered we hadn't had a date in forever and we decided to go on one! Of course, Hattie came too, but she's a newborn still and can't be w out me and really doesn't get in the way much at all. She nurses, sleeps, laughs, poops, and cries a little. (And man she sleeps so well. She's pretty much consistently been getting super tired and going to sleep at 7pm and sleeping till 8 or 9 with just a few times of nursing if she isn't woken up by her stinker cutie brother..."I want to see Hattie!!")
So it worked out perfectly that Fred went to my moms for the night (he loves getting his monkey bag packed) and we went out for dinner and a treat. We ended up having some really important talks, getting on the same page about some really good stuff, and talking about future goals and expectations. It was really a good night. We decided to start getting a babysitter and having a date together at least every other week if not every week. We also got soooo much sleep. Fred usually wakes between 4-6 and we got to sleep in until 9!!!!!!!!!!! It was glorious. I love you, CS. 
The date was followed by the most peaceful relaxing fun Saturday too!!! More to come on that!

April 23, 2014

Spring has sprung!!!

Spring is in full force in Phoenix and you know what that means...it's 99 degrees!!!! Ahhhh!!! The pool water is getting warmer, the heat is getting closer, and I'm getting sweatier by the day.

We are loving the warm/cool breezy evenings and still cool mornings. But apparently the heat is record breaking for this time of year. Oh man, we have already started planning our mini summer trips that will get us as far from the heat as possible almost every weekend! 

Getting outside and even riding public transit as much as possible before it gets too hot to even step outside. Seriously. You can disintegrate. Below, Hattie's first bus ride. She alept most if the time. She loved it. Fred loves the bus sooooo much. I forgot to let him press the button to open the back doors and he was soooooooooooo sad. But don't worry--he got to press it on the way back.

Easter 2014

Holidays are fun with a toddler. It's funny to explain to him what it is and why it's a special day. He's often like...another holiday??? Haha and you know we love to celebrate anything and everything. It's interesting as Freddie gets older to figure out which traditions we will focus on and which we will ignore as a family! We also aren't tied down to any specific things though. If we don't get to something...who cares! The most important thing for us on Easter was to consistently talk about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and what it means to us individually and as a family.

This year we went to the Easter pageant at the Mesa Temple, dyed eggs, and attended church together Sunday morning. That morning the kids got Easter outfits (that was fun for me!!) and got cards and little gifts from grandparents. And I made some delicious Easter cookies. Recipe here: http://cookiesandcups.com/cookie-sticks/#_a5y_p=1312222

After church we had a 3 hour family nap (we were OUT. I haven't slept that well in a while!!!) and then had our favorite meal, Chicken Tikka Massala by Mrs Harding cooks, here: http://mrshardingcooks.blogspot.com/2010/05/chicken-tikka-masala.html?m=1

I was REALLY wanting to be around family or friends that evening. My family was out of town and we were missing them and Collins fam like crazy. So we went over to a friends house with a few other families and had dessert. We got there and only had an hour before everyone was leaving but we had a great time talking with other adults. We are grateful for good and welcoming friends in our ward family. Heavenly Father really takes care of his children. It was a beautiful special family day. Love my so husband and children and kittens so very much. So thankful for the Atonement  and Resurrection of the Savior and for my sweet Mia Maid class. They have strong testimonies and teach me so much. 

I'm SO OBSESSED with these pictures and this happy boy!!!!!!!! He loves life!!!

April 20, 2014

Beastie or bestie?

Okay so when Hattie was born, Fred was probably thrown for a loop. He seemed to really like her or know he was supposed to but he had very little patience for this little being that was interfering greatly with the world as he knew it. She got to nurse all the time and be in mamas arms and he was supposed to be gentle w her when all he wanted was to see what happened if he poked her eyes really hard. He would sit on her, grab her, do the eye poking thing, wake her. There was a night or two under very stressful circumstances (definitely my fault for not giving him adequate attention and playtime) where he scratched up her face and made her bleed in 6-7 places....night of the Gilbert temple open house. It was horrific. She was weeks old. I slapped his hand and yelled at him. :( :( We would try time outs and talking about it and ignoring it and completely separating and helicopter parenting and letting him go to see if he'd back off. I was completely stressed out, worried, questioning everything, had read everything I could but it was so hard every day and I didn't know what to do. I felt regretful and guilty all the time. And even worse for feeling those things. It was like a crazy conundrum where i felt I had no choice but to neglect both of my kids. I wanted to get out of the house for my sanity and to give Fred lots of playtime exercise and interaction w people. Hattie needed to nurse and be held all day and it was so hard on her to be in the car seat so much so young or out at the loud park etc where it was uncomfortable to nurse when I knew she wanted to be in bed nursing and sleeping on my breast all day. But when we stayed home and did that, Fred would get bored and end up watching tons of tv---which I felt horrible about. I know everyone says it's normal and you have to do it etc but I feel so guilty having him watch tv. He's the type of kid that is so active and needs to be outside running and playing every day. So I felt like I couldn't find a balance between mothering a toddler and a newborn.  I was super emotional. And felt like such a failure. 
I had a friend tell me to give it 3-6 months before things got, "better." I didn't get it before but I do now. We have come a long way in the past 4 months (she turned 4 months yesterday, the 19th). He is so much more patient and gentle. He knows she's here to stay. He probably can't remember life without her. She also has grown and is stronger and able to handle more from him.  She is more patient. (Btw, She rolls over constantly and loves being on her tummy mostly till she's sick of it and then really wants for someone to come save her and hold her! So cute hehe.) While Fred still gets hyper and rolls over her and gets in her face a little and is still obsessed w her eyes, he doesn't poke them so hard, he loves her and tries to comfort her, helps me gently burp her, tells her "it's okay, Hattie." He (with my help) picks her up and lays her down slowly and carefully. He is mindful of her many times and tries to listen to me when I ask him to be careful w her.  And she totally adores him. She gets the biggest grin on her face when she catches any glimpse of him. 

Tonight was a little gigantic reward for us as parents. We were all in their floor bed, Hattie asleep, Fred getting ready to lay down himself, (they don't sleep together all night. We have her sleep in his bed--and check on her often--till we are ready to go to sleep and then grab her and bring her in bed w us). We were saying good night and trying to keep her asleep, when Fred announced that he wanted to "see Hattie," as he often does while she is sleeping!! I was hesitant but quickly repented. He quietly bent down and hugged her so softly and whispered to her, "you're my best friend." ((I'm getting teary just writing this!!)) Collin and I silently gasped and looked at each other, then back at them. He repeated himself a couple of times before he went over to his own side (diagonal from her on the bed) and laid down. Look, I'm not niave; I know this was a sweet moment and there will be many more accompanied by many many more crazy hard ones, but tonight this was just a sweet little Easter Eve gift, and it melted me into a sweet little bunny soup. 

Have you seen the Because of Him video on Mormon.org? Well go there and watch it. #Becauseofhim my family will be eternal forever. 

April 16, 2014

What a beautiful face

People are getting cancer and dealing with infertility issues and out of a job for two years and life is real and hard and each moment a gift.
Just wanted to remind myself. 

April 14, 2014

Right now

Tonight my two children and I lay in their room, on the bed. Right now we have a queen sized mattress on the floor and we put Freddie to bed and lay with him till he falls asleep and Hattie sleeps in there too until we go to bed and we bring her in with us.
So tonight I'm the middle of a Freddie and Hattie sandwich; they've snuggled me in tightly (which hardly ever happens with Fred anymore) and I'm in total bliss because he said, "you can scratch my head" !!!!!!! Seriously, he nurses still but will NOT let me baby him in any other way. Will not hold my hand or let me do anything for him. It's "all by myself" always, which is wonderful but I'm just so excited that he is letting me snuggle him a little tonight. So then I'm thinking about how hard it was to be pregnant and have a toddler and then to have a newborn and toddler but how much easier it's gotten in (almost) 4 months and how even though before I said I was done now I think as long as I can mentally prepare myself for those hard months and that they don't last...I think I could have more kid(s)...(surprise, Collin!) 
I lay here thinking and thinking and the thought comes that I'll remember this moment, laying with them in the quiet house in the dark peace, forever. But I realize that I probably won't. I hardly remember Fred's early days at all. My stomach drops because I know I won't remember this and the tears come and come and come because that really makes me so sad. So I'll sit here for a while and just look at these two, asleep, side by side, so little, so innocent, all mine for now. I'll pray and pray with gratitude that I somehow have them. I'll pray for patience everyday that matches my love for them and how I'm feeling right now.

Happy sunday

Some times you get frustrated and nervous and stressed and anxious and embarrassed but then that person and those people, so familiar and dear, who know you-everything about you, inside and out, just have to give you a look--a certain type of look that let's you off the hook and tells you you aren't alone and that we can get outta here right now and ride away together and never look back.
Happy sunday. Everything turns out. 

April 13, 2014

Sports class


We loved sports class!!! I want to get Fred into classes and organized sports to get out energy, socialize him, and have him learn to follow instructions from a leader/coach. He did great and LOVED his coach, Josh. 

April 9, 2014

Freddie said....

Fred: (Listening to Diana Ross and the supremes): "that's a good song!!!"

Watching general conference-
Fred: (crayons in hand) What (one) do you want?
Grandpa: green. I'm going to eat it. 
Fred: no! It's yucky!
Gpa: how do you know?
Fred: I are one in nursery. It was yucky.

Me: did you make that toast yourself?
Fred: I push it down...I lift it up (Complete with hand motions)! that's how you make toast!!

Me: That's the prophet!
Fred: that's not his name! He's a mouse!.....I'm just kidding...... 

Fred: (praying on Easter) "thank you for the father,
Thank you for all my stuff.
In the name of Jesus Christ amen."

Fred: (after I put on my Easter skirt) *gasp!* "Mom you're beautiful!!!"

Fred: (brushing my hair in the morning) "I love your crazy hair." (He's just full ofcompliments lately!!)

Fred: (in a cabinet under our bathroom sink he likes to frequent) "mom you wanna get in w me? I'll scoot."

Fred: (after a very loud swing music concert) "it was too loud. But I liked it!"

Fred: "Stop!! I'm pickin' my yellow nose!"

April 8, 2014

arcosanti in March

The month of March is birthday month in our house! We traveled just a little ways out of town to Arcosanti to celebrate. Freddie went to his grandmas for the night so that we could have time alone and a little more time with just Hattie. We did have fun together but missed Fred so much. We decided that family trips feel empty without him and plan to go back again in the summer with all of us. 

Harriet Jillian...

...Is growing up so quickly! At 3 months, she's just under 14lbs, between 24 & 25 inches, and has the best little personality.
She has found her feet and loves to hold them and suck on her own toes. 
She loves her brother so much and every time he even looks at her, she cracks up laughing. 
She talks and talks and talks all day. We are going to have the best conversations. 
She loves to nurse and sleep. She seems to really know the night from the day. I love cuddling her little warm body every night. 
She and I have formed a strong bond. She loves being with me, close to me, in my arms, or worn on me all day. I love it too. She definitely knows me though; she's had a little bit of separation anxiety already as I try to work out at the gym. I can't go for more than 30 minutes and sometimes only 15-20 before she starts crying, hard. Screaming. And so I think it's too soon. I want her to grow confident and assured that I will be there for her always and answer to her honest infant cries right now. I will still work out but will do more at home and outside with these two. When she's a little older I will try the gym more. I love her so much. As soon as I hold her to me and speak to her, she stops crying and calms down. Her tears are big, eyes red, forehead sweaty, hands shaky, let's stuff and then she relaxes, calms, whimpers, falls asleep in my arms or nursing. 
I think she may be teething or may just know that sucking is comforting because she always wants something in her mouth!! I'll think she's showing hunger cues and will try to feed her more and she will refuse but keep pulling toys, her own clothes, stuffed animals etc into her mouth to suck on!! Freddie never liked those teething rings so we got rid of them all but I think I might have to try one for Harriet. 
I love having a daughter and love her happy ticklish body, her smiles and laughs and how she wakes and falls asleep. I love her chunky thighs and bold blue eyes and gums and fingers that grabs everything.
Tandem nursing can be challenging but is definitely a blessing that I love and that we all want and need. I also love the many times little Hattie Hat and I nurse just the two of us. She's so sweet and small. I love her and those other 2 and the kitties. I am getting the hang of mother to many more and more.

Gotta go!!!

Hattie eating ball from Nikki smith on Vimeo.

April 5, 2014

Babes in toy land

I've been behind in blogging lately. I'm still working on posts from the last few weeks. But this morning we are about to watch General Conference (lds.org) and I'm pretty happy and grateful feeling. I love this family of mine. I love our strange, sweet life together, our too small for us apartment, trying to keep up with dishes and laundry, getting outside as much as possible before the heat, making food, breastfeeding all day, two kids, adventures in being married to Collin, happiest baby Hattie smiles, trotro, kitties, babywearing, cosleeping, three oldest children living in one house head butting, my darling special son who radiates light to everyone he comes in contact with. I could go on. I'm feeling so blessed and positive. Yes we have our problems. But I will focus on the blessings. Happy general conference! (And here's to lots of projects around the apt today in between!)

Freddie loves me taking pictures of him with hattie!!!