Wednesday, December 28, 2011

(4)Christmas(es)

Holidays are complicated with more than one family. You’d think it would simplify when the two families are in different states and you alternate years, but this year it seemed to make things more busy and last a lot longer. I guess its all the packing for vacation, loading, and organizing of gifts. We’ve had 4 Christmases so far, and our presents just for the four of us are still wrapped under the tree back in California. We’re in Utah and have been since Christmas Eve morning. My mom was in California for a few days and she took Garrett home with her. They flew home a couple days before Paul, Addie and I drove out. We left the evening of the 23rd, and we drove through the night. Paul took the first half and I took over at 11:30PM I didn’t sleep at all while he was driving but I did fine. We got to Bountiful at 4:30AM. Addie did awesome. We only got her out of her car seat once for a diaper change. She was awake some, slept a lot, and didn’t cry once the whole 11 hours. I hope she does as well on the drive home, but I’m not counting on it because Garrett will be with us.


#1. The weekend before Christmas we celebrated with the Whites. We had dinner and opened gifts. I won’t even try and remember all that our (spoiled) kids got at the 4 Christmases, but I went shopping yesterday for a storage bin, and a new cube shelf with canvas totes because I know it’ll take some organizing when we get home. I’m also planning on packing away a few unopened toys that I might re-gift to Garrett on his birthday next year when they are more age appropriate. He’ll never know! I got that cool red canvas wagon for the park and the beach. It’ll carry food, drinks, towels, toys, and babies. I love it. And Paul became and NFL owner. His dad bought him stock in the Greenbay Packers. He is beyond thrilled. (click on collages to make them bigger.)

#2. On Christmas Eve we had a turkey dinner with my family and my Aunt Barbara and Grandma and Grandpa Garrett. Then we did the nativity. It was a little rough this year. Garrett the shepherd was all over the place and baby Jesus (Addie) had the hiccups the whole time. But we made it through. Then we did aunt/uncle/great grandparent gifts. (And about the turkey dinner, I’d love to know if people think that the traditional Thanksgiving dinner should also be the traditional Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner. I kind of had to talk my mom into this meal, and I seem to be the only one who really thinks it should be the same.) Anyway, it was a yummy dinner, fun gifts, and good company.

#3. Christmas morning we did gifts with my parents and stockings for each other and went to church. Garrett did great at opening gifts, even though it took him a while. And Addie was all smiles, all day. She’s ‘real’ smiling now, and it’s so fun. Paul went slightly over budget. He does every year. I got a cute cover for my iphone, among other things, and he also made me a Bedtime Caddy out of a tote with a handle. I never make it to bed without several trips to the living room, so the tote is to help me remember vitamins, phone, monitors, chargers, burp clothes, and anything else I may need. He’s so thoughtful. But the best gift, I get today. We went to lunch and got pedicures, and I got tickets to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra tonight at the Energy Solutions Arena!!! I’m so excited!!! If you’ve never seen TSO live, you need to at least once. This is my 4th year seeing them and it never gets old. Someone asked me once if TSO is kind of like ‘The Forgotten Carols.’ Umm, no. Not even close. (There’s a reason those carols are forgotten.)

#4. Christmas afternoon was spent with my family and my Auntie and Uncle Jon. Yummy food, yummy pie, and some gifts. I love Christmas at Auntie’s. It’s a great way to spend the afternoon. Garrett loved exploring and playing. After his birthday he started understanding the concept of blowing out candles. But now he tries to blow out everything- flashlights, LED candles, and Christmas lights. The picture on the top right is him trying to blow out the Christmas tree. Both the kids zonked out as soon as we got in the car. It was a fun full day.

On Christmas night Paul and I went out to do our Christmas night tradition. Late dinner at Denny’s and a big tip for the server. This is 3 years in a row now and we love doing it. On the drive there and back we talked about what we hope to be able to do to help people more in the future, and how excited we are to get our kids involved in the tradition, and also how we want to think of new ways of gift giving primarily with our siblings. We’re all the type that if we want something we just go buy it, so there’s nothing any of us ever really need come Christmas. We’re working on some ideas to help others rather that giving unnecessary stuff to each other every year.

Anyway, we had fun. And I'm looking forward to the coming years as the kids get older and more excited about Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Cute Naked Babies

Paul asked me a couple days ago if I had any bath time pictures of Addie. I couldn't remember. But my thought was, compared to Garrett as a newborn, I don't really have ANY pictures of Addie. I didn't believe it when moms said you photograph #2 less. But it's oh so true. Too true. So here's Addie in the bath.And here's her older brother running around naked. And if you're wondering if he walked right over to my Christmas tress and stood there and peed all over them, the answer is yes.Speaking of Garrett running around. Both of my kids have exciting news this week! I mentioned that Garrett stopped even trying to walk once Addie was born. Before that, we had a few weeks of him walking only if we sat on the floor and encouraged him. But once the baby came, it was game over. He became Jell-o legs. My mom came to town last week for a few days and she was watching the kids one evening. She text me while Paul and I were out saying they had a surprise for us when we got home. When Paul and I walked in the door, Garrett came walking toward us laughing. It was so exciting! My mom said she wasn't even trying to get him to do it. She was on the couch with Addie and he was standing playing with a toy. He turned and smiled and walked to her. And then back and forth for about 20 minutes. By the time we got home he was all over the place. Picking things up along the way, going from the ground to his feet without holding on to anything, and the kid is fast! So from the time he first walked, until we could finally say walking is his mode of transportation of choice, it was almost 3 months. Phew! But I think the walking is here to stay this time.

And Addie's big news. (I'm less excited about this one because I don't know if it's as permanent.) She's had over a week of sleeping 6+ hours at night! Usually she wakes up between 6 and a half and 7 hours to eat and go back to sleep, but we've had 2 nights of 8 hours straight! It's amazing what a full night sleep can do for a mom. Garrett was this same way at this age and so many people told me to prepare for the exact opposite because I couldn't be so lucky to have 2 good sleepers, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Day time naps are a different story. Often, but short. Until yesterday. Garrett is in Utah for a couple days and yesterday was our first full day of just Addie and I at home, and she napped long and peacefully. So maybe the loud noise called Garrett is the problem...

Here's a couple videos. (The first is right when Paul and I got home and saw him, which is why I sound so excited.)

video video

Thursday, December 15, 2011

{Not} Feeling Christmasy

I told Paul we need to do some Christmas things because I'm just not feeling it this year. I'm not sad it's Christmas time, in fact, I'm pretty happy about Christmas, and I'm looking forward to the next couple weeks. It just doesn't feel like Christmas when you see more lit palm trees than pine trees, and you look for a shady spot at a Christmas parade.But so far all we've done is go to said parade, and go for one little drive to see a popular decorated house that wasn't decorated this year. But that's ok. We're staying plenty busy.

I told Paul several months ago that I'm not committing to anything this year and that it was going to be a low-key gift giving kind of year. So far, so good. But that doesn't mean I'm not busy! (besides the kids.) I made 11 dozen cupcakes in two days for work. I helped with food for a candle light service. I'm dipping 5 pounds of pretzels. I'm shopping for, and putting together a dozen or so gift baskets. I have a few more dozen cupcakes on the calendar in the next week. (all this for work.) AND, I'm getting gifts ready for Paul and the kids, and extended family, some I have to ship. Making holiday treats here and there for parties. Yesterday and today has been picture ordering day, (for gifts, grandparents love pics of their grandkids for Christmas), as well as Christmas and birth announcement designing, ordering, and addressing. Costco card templates won this year, nothing creative. But they'll all be in the mail by tonight! This weekend is wrapping gifts, finish up shopping, heading to the post office, family pictures with the White's, celebrating Christmas with the White's, a rehearsal dinner and wedding for some good friends. Sounds 'low-key' enough, right?

My baby is a month old today, A MONTH! We had some friends over a couple days ago and they said, what is she now, almost 2 weeks? Feels that way to me too! She's growing and doing well. I've talked to a couple friends in Utah the past few days who have asked what it's like having two. And my response is that I keep waiting for it to get hard, but so far it's been easier than I thought it would be. Sure I could use more sleep, I'm busy all the time, I clean up the same messes over and over all day, and I feel like adding one tiny persons wash has quadrupled my laundry. But it's not so bad. Going from one to two has been way easier for me than going from zero to one. I worry less. I don't second guess myself as much. And I really just focus on enjoying it. I have bad moments, and even bad days here and there. (Yesterday I text Paul and told him to hurry and remind me that it's a blessing to be a mom. And when my mother-in-law asked me last night what I did that day, I said, "tried to sell my kids on ebay.") But I love it. I won't be tired forever. And I won't have beautiful little kids who want to be with me every second forever. It's a blessing. Even when Addie spits up on my face at the same time that Garrett dumps a bowl of chicken noodle soup on his head... Little blessings... ;)

Paul was on Garrett duty. I know this looks staged, but I promise this is what I walked into both times.Garrett got his 6th haircut over the weekend. He's so shaggy.Sometimes I let Garrett lay in greasy pizza boxes and I just don't care.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Photo Dump

I've been meaning to blog for a few days now, but ya know, I just haven't. I have Christmas countdown blocks and every time I think to change them I'm behind at least two days, and I could swear I just changed them the day before. Time is flying by.

Both kids are asleep, well Garrett might not be, but he should be, so I'm pretending he is. So, I thought I'd put a few pictures up of the past couple weeks.

Playing at the park.Paul dressed Addie.I was rocking Addie and G came over and climbed up on my lap with a book. Sometimes he's fine when I hold her, other times he WILL NOT have it, unless I'm holding him too.I'll have to tell you sometime about how Garrett suddenly refuses to walk unassisted, now that Addie is here.I love when he's asleep and lets me hold him.I got my Christmas stuff up the day after Thanksgiving. I'm surprised, but Garrett has left it all alone for the most part. (The tags are on the stockings because they're new and I can't decide if I want them.) Paul dressed her again, headband and all. He loves those babylegs. She has about 20 pair, but he always picks those ones.Trying to entertain his sad sister.Bath time!Ready for the Company Christmas party.Twinners for the party.Garrett giving little sis a kiss.Sleeping baby.Garrett cleaning his highchair while I feed Addie.Things are going well. I got so sick one night I wanted to die. Cold sweats, dizzy, shaky. Paul slept in the guest room with Addie and Garrett's monitor and I had 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Amazing. Went to the doc the next day and I have mastitis. I'm on a 10 day antibiotic and am doing much better.

Addie is waking about every 3 hours at night and goes back to sleep after I feed her. Except last night, she was up A LOT and didn't want to go to sleep after eating. Hope it's not the start of something new.

Garrett is doing good. Sometimes a little emotional and has been fighting nap time, but it could be worse.

Paul and I have a Nature Sound app on our phone and ipad and Addie loves it! It's my favorite app at the moment, because it does good at drowning out Garrett's noise, and that's hard to do.

Well, I hear a baby...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Baby Stuff

I thought I had pretty much all I needed for baby #2. And I do. But here are a couple things that I need for her, that with G, I didn't need so much. And also, a couple "how did I live without this?" things.

A nursing cover. My sister-in-laws friend was a designer for Balboa Baby when I was pregnant with Garrett and she got me a sling and a nursing cover. Garrett hated the sling, and I haven't tried it with Addie yet. I also didn't need the cover for Garrett either, but I use it now and it's awesome. It's just about like any other nursing cover (I actually have two, a friend from church made me a cute one when Garrett was born.) But the things I love about the Balboa Baby cover are the strap adjuster. It's easy to adjust and it holds really well. The little pocket on the front, perfect for a burp cloth or bra pads, or a cell phone, or what ever. And the little pleats around the bottom. It stays closer to my body better, and also creates a nice little tent or bubble area for Addie to hang out under, and I'm hoping that it'll be harder for her to lift it up once she starts grabbing at things. I don't know if you can see all those things in the picture or not, but this is the one I have, and I love the fabric too. It's soft and cute.Medela Lanolin Cream. I don't remember what I used when I was pumping for Garrett, but it wasn't this, and I wish it would have been.A good pump. I rented a big heavy hospital grade pump for Garrett, and every time I pumped I felt like a cow in a barn hooked up to a milker machine. I hated every second of it. I'm not pumping a lot this time, mostly just if Addie has a sleepy feeding I'll pump a little after. But I love my new pump. It's light weight and easy to use/clean, and has a built-in lithium battery so I can pump in the car on road trips. It also came with a cut bag, a changing pad, and a little milk cooler. It's a Hygeia EnJoye.Born Free bottles. I don't know why I love them but I just do. Addie hasn't had many bottles, but if I pump, Paul feeds her the milk because he liked feeding Garrett and he misses it.Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets. They are breathable, but warm and cozy, and they stay swaddled really well. I had one of them for Garrett, Addie has 8. They are kinda pricey. I paid 60 bucks for a 4 pack at a specialty store before I learned that Target now carries them. They are a couple inches smaller, but a 4 pack is only 40 bucks. I bought a pack from Target too, the smaller size works fine. They're still really big, they are not like the worthless 30 X 40 inch ones that only work until your baby hits 8 pounds.Nap Nanny Chill. This is my all time favorite purchase of the century. I know, right? Addie naps in this, sleeps in it at night, hangs out in it when she's awake, and Garrett even climbs in it when it's not occupied, and he loves it too. It looks so comfortable. I told Paul before Addie was born that I thought this would be a good idea to have, but I didn't know the price. When my mom got to town we headed to Babies R Us to check it out. I thought it would be 50 bucks or so. It's was $130 (!!). I went back and forth and decided to get it with the 20% off coupon, then I learned that you can't use the coupon on this item, so we left. Then 2 days later I went back. My mom helped out and we bought it. It's awesome and worth every penny! I wish I'd bought it when Garrett was born, and even now I sometimes wish I had two! Last night Addie slept for 5 hours straight in it! (I know, that's too long for a newborn to not eat, but I didn't wake up when I usually do, so I hurried and woke her and fed her.) But I have to admit, the 5 hour stretch was nice. I give all the credit to the Nap Nanny. (And a really good swaddle.)
I'm still debating about a baby carrier. We have a little cheap-o one that I feel like the baby isn't secure in. Paul put Garrett in it a couple weeks ago, and it really is secure, it just looks flimsy and I don't like it. We also have the Balboa Baby sling, but I don't think I'm a huge sling fan. And I have a Moby Wrap. I really like it, but I haven't mastered loading a baby in it when I alone. I've heard Ergo's are the best. Are they? Do you have one? Or do you have something else that you love?

Monday, November 28, 2011

I'm thankful (I guess) ;)

I had a rough Thanksgiving. I think it was mostly rough for me because it was rough for both of my kids. I had also spent 2 weeks looking at thanksgiving as the almost end of my mom's visit to California. And the thought of taking care of both kids all day was a little too much for me to handle. I also missed my brothers and their wives who weren't here, and my aunt and uncle who were hosting in Utah this year. I was homesick and tired and had 2 tired, fussy kids all day. I didn't eat hardly anything, and I was just happy to see it end.

In the middle of the night that night when I was feeding Addison, I started to feel bad that my attitude ruined my day, and probably rubbed off on Paul and the kids. So I sat in bed holding my baby and thought about all I'm thankful for, and it's a lot.

I also let my mind wander a bit to this idea that I wish God would have had. Paul never hears me and Addie up at night, she's not loud and we have a good, quiet feeding routine. I sometimes get jealous as he sleeps peacefully. I had this awesome idea that dad's should grow boobs when the baby is born, and they should last for one year. That way the mom's body would not be in charge of EVERY DANG THING (boo hoo), and when a dead beat guy knocks up some girl and then denies it and disappears, 9 months later he'll grow boobs! There will be no way to hide it. I'm a genius.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I'm even pretty grateful for these big dang feeders.

I'm thankful for Garrett. He's becoming such a big boy. He's so smart. He's so happy. And he's so patient. I've had several people lately remind me to really enjoy this time because it goes by so fast. I realize how true that really is as each day goes by.

I'm thankful for Paul. Even though we've been at each other all day today. He's taking the rest of his paternity leave this week now that my mom is gone. I'm constantly reminding him as he claps for no reason, sings, bangs dishes, and rough houses with Garrett, that there's a baby sleeping. Today we reminisced (I made him) about the time he broke up with me before we were even dating. I was laughing about it and I think I was driving him crazy. By the end we were both laughing. He's my best friend, and it's so awesome to have that in a spouse.

I'm thankful for supportive family. Both sides are so in love with our kids and it's awesome. My mom keeps me grounded and always knows what I need to hear. She's also the practical gift giver. She's probably bought 2000 diapers in the past year and a half. And both kids come home in a new outfit just about every time they're with Grandma White.

I'm thankful for Addison. She's a good one. Tomorrow will be 2 weeks, and I have already (almost) forgotten how life was without her.

I'm thankful for Paul's job. And also Paul's dedication to his job. And even though I give him a hard time about knowing someone everywhere we go, and about being involved in so many organizations in the community, I grateful that he's so good at interacting with people and that people really like him. Last week at the Lion's club they announced Addie's birth. They then did the tradition of passing a hat to collect money to help us with baby expenses. The man in charge who gave Paul the money said he's never seen that much money given for a new baby. I know it's because Paul is such a people person, and the Lions really love him.

I'm thankful for the Lion's Club. :)

I'm thankful for technology. It's pretty amazing that I can send pictures to my mom in just seconds of what Garrett is up to. That's pretty awesome.

I'm thankful for good people. (In this case I'm referring to the Mormons.) We became friends with a Mormon couple here in California. (Maybe someday I'll write a post about how that all came about.) But they're good people. Tonight was the start of a week of dinners coming in from members of the Mormon church, most of whom we've never met.

I'm thankful for showers.

I'm thankful for naps.

I'm thankful for good friends.

I'm thankful for nice weather.

I'm thankful to finally see leaves changing colors!

I'm thankful for the holiday season.

I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving.