Friday, April 27, 2012

Late April snow day

This morning,
April 27th,
We woke up to snow. And more coming down.
So since the kids are still sick (Liam is feeling a lot better and Brielle is starting to get the bad cough), we decided to have a snow day and the kids watched some of Curious George while I cleaned the house. They cuddled in our chair (Liam calls it the "thinking chair") and held hands. I love that they adore and love each other so much.
this is the face I always get when I ask him to smile...I am going to write a whole post on this face later...
YAY!! A normal smile!
The little bruise on her check was from a crawling injury. She was playing with my brothers shoe and bonked her head 
"who me? Up to no good?" 
they held hands for about 30 straight minutes until I had to take Brielle to their room for a nap. So cute...

Nothing much today.
Just a normal day except today of all days, the kids took forever to take a nap. 
C'est la vie.
We are headed out on a short weekend trip up north to see family and for Richard to do a Jiu-Jitsu competition. I am afraid the kids won't sleep, but seeing family will make it worth it. Hope there is cooperation among the ranks.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The poison of bliss

I had an interesting experience the other day that I feel like I should write down and post. Here ya go.
Some history first.
When Richard and I were first married I found a quote in his mission binder. I love president Gordon B. Hinckley and so I pulled it out and put it on our wall. It has been on our wall in some way or another since then. 

"Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he's been robbed. The fact is that most putts don't drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just ordinary people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. . . .

(the rest of the awesome quote is at the bottom of the post)

Fast forward a while later.
We were driving on one of our many drives from ID to WA and drove through a town called "Bliss" in good old Idaho. I mentioned how cool it would be to live there. Richard quickly mentioned how much he hates that word. Taken aback I asked why. He mentioned that to him, bliss meant blind happiness. Unrealistic, blind happiness that wasn't real. Right then I started to re-evaluate my definition of "bliss". While the majority of the world see's it as a wonderful, supreme happiness, that meaning of the word for me has been challenged. 
Anyways, I diverge.

The other day I became utterly de-railed. I sat on the couch after the kids went to bed totally deflated. After spending literally every waking second of the day cleaning, cooking and picking up after kids, the house was an absolute wreck. In my deflated state, I started to talk to Richard about how frustrating it is to clean, clean, clean all day long to the point that you hurt, and it ends up just as messy. 
Some days it feels like I am in a hole trying to dig myself out, while dirt is being thrown back in. 
For those of you who don't have kids, I can't convey to you how time consuming it is to have kids.
For those of you who have 1 kid, I can't convey to you how time consuming it is to have 2+ kids.
For those of you who have 2+ kids, I can't coney to you how utterly time consuming it is to have 2 kids so close together.
And for those of you who have 2+ kids close together, I am sure you are nodding your head in agreement.
Anyways. In my self-pity party about how all the work I do seems for naught, Richard thankfully stopped my negative spiraling with these words:

"Sounds like you are suffering from the thought that bliss is normal"

Wait what?
It's not normal?
It's normal to have utter happiness, complete love and total satisfaction. But that does not come amid a perfect (like in the dictionary definition "entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings"), fault free life. 
Happiness, satisfaction and parts of "bliss" are normal and good.
But when you find yourself saying "why cant _______ happen? That's NORMAL!" you are suffering from the poison of the expectation of bliss. We all have this warped idea that bliss or a perfect life is normal.

While I can say, first hand, that I have utter happiness, satisfaction etc. my life is not perfect. No one's is without some kind of flaw or hardship. We were not created to have a perfect existence without some sort of trial or problem, because we would never grow.
So what is the poison of bliss?
It's expecting that everything is supposed to be perfect. Flawless. easy.
When we have expectations that aren't met, we have frustration. Frustration that our live aren't perfect.
Coming from a huge perfectionist, it is hard to come to grips with this fact. That life isn't supposed to be perfect and always clean and organized. That is my frustration and therefore an un-real expectation.
This can apply to anyone in every aspect of life. Not just as a mother who has a hard time when her house isn't perfect (something I strive to get rid of).

So in all of my rambling, I am trying to say this. Bliss in the sense of realistic normal and to be expected. Please seek it. But, I learned from my experience the other night, that bliss in the sense of the expectation of perfection is not healthy. It is a poison that will canker your heart and your life. When you expect utter perfection you will not see the beauty that comes when things aren't perfect (in the sense of flawless or without defects).

So as a perfectionist trying to reclaim my life, I have tried to let go of the thought of the unhealthy bliss that my husband was talking about all those years ago. And find my truly "perfect" as things in my life aren't as perfect as I want...
Like when I am cleaning the house for the 50th time that day
Or mopping the floor for the 3 time that week
Or up with one of the sick babies every hour during the night (they are both sick now...luckily Brielle not nearly as bad as Liam though)
Or when I have no free time for myself at all during the day
The quote that Gordon B. Hinckley gave in his talk sums it up the best:

"Life is like an old-time rail journey--delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed.
 The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride."

So today I am thanking my Heavenly Father for my beautiful children and a loving husband. 
Because with them, my life is "perfect"
Liam wanted Brielle in his bed today after they woke up from their naps and they
played together so cute for like 45 minutes. They love each other so much.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Last winter Liam and I got sick with everything under the sun. From the month I got pregnant in December until April, we were almost constantly sick. It was miserable (to put it lightly). But the doctor told me that since he was so young (he was less than 1 year old that whole time) it would help create a strong immune system, so while it was hard in the moment, it would pay off. And this winter it sure did! Liam only got sick maybe once and it wasn't even that bad. Literally just a couple days ago, I mentioned to Richard, in passing, how lucky we were that Liam hasn't gotten that sick this winter. Watch what you say...
This last weekend, I had a little cold, but nothing too bad. Liam woke up Monday morning acting sick and it got progressively worse as the day went on until he was coughing constantly, sneezing and was so miserable and sick he could hardly get off the couch. So we took him in to the doc on a whim. Turns out, the kid has full-blown RSV! So sad! He is so miserably sick. He has been laying on the couch watching Sesame street, Curious George or anything else I can get on Netflix, because that is all he has the energy to do! 
Him trying to "smile"...
funny story with this picture:
Right before this he was playing in his room as I was cleaning it and lasted about 20 minutes. Then he went into the living room, laid down and said "mom I am sick. I am sick so I need medicine though" (he loves the word "though" and uses it in the funniest, incorrect ways). He has found out that medicine is yummy and that if he says he is "sick" he can get "sugar medicine" (his new name for it). He was pretty upset when I told him he had to wait because he had just had some :)

Another sad attempt at smiling! Even though he is so sick, he has been so happy and cheerful! That's my little man! He is such a good boy, even when he is miserable.

One thing we are really afraid of, is Brielle getting it. I know she would be OK, but still, RSV can sometimes, in the worst cause scenario, require hospitalization in young babies. Luckily she is older than that, so that is most likely not a real concern. But still. In the 2+ years we have had kids, we have never had to go to the hospital for them, and I would like to keep it that way (another thing I was telling Richard just days ago I was thankful for...knock on wood). Just wondering if anyone reading this could pray, think happy thoughts or whatever for our baby girl and that she won't get sick. And if she does, then it won't require any hospitalization or other "scary" actions.
On a side note, are you as taken aback by the fact she is standing too?!
She is crawling all over the place and now has a new favorite pastime: standing against the couch or sliding glass door! WHERE DID MY BABY GO?!
I cannot believe she "turns" 8 months tomorrow!!

Anyways, because so many of our friends have brand-new babies (and RSV can be really dangerous for little babies), we have quarantined ourselves. And of course, this happens as soon as the weather turns beautiful! is hoping and praying this goes fast so we can return to social, normal life!

Until then, we need to find some other movies for Liam to watch cause boy, these ones we have are getting ooollllldddddddddd fast...

Monday, April 23, 2012

We're a legit fambily

So before you think I am crazy-- One of my siblings used to say "fambily" instead of "family" and ever since then, it has stuck and all of my siblings and my parents use that word. A little explanation for my post title :)
When Richard and I got married, we were a family but we felt like we were just playing house.
Then the kids came one right after another and while we felt more real, it still felt like we were playing house.
But yesterday, we became a real family. A legit fambily as my fam would say. 
We're the family with two car seats in our minivan.
Yep. That's right. We are a minivan family and proud of it. All the extra space we have makes the title worth it. It wasn't until I was driving that puppy around with my kiddos in the back seat and my hubby at my right hand side that I felt like we were a real, legit fambily
our new ride taken with my phone
And then compound the fact that I was driving said, new ride to Walmart to buy me a new planner so that I can feel more purposeful in my living (more on that later). One of those huge, honken planners that has a place for debit cards, drivers license, all your emergency contacts AND a way to plan out every detail of your lives. I can feel my time getting more valuable and our days getting more efficient already.

With my planner in hand and my minivan parked in the parking lot, I feel like we aren't planning house anymore.
I am one of "those" moms with a planner, minivan, snot nosed kids born too close together.
And rocking it. 
But more importantly, loving loving loving it.

P.S. I am sure most of you are laughing that I labeled this as a "Family landmark". But get over it, because it is.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Just me v. 3

Awhile back, I did 2 posts all about me. Just to change things up since I am always talking about my kids or hubby and hardly ever just me. Sounds selfish, but it helps me feel like there is more to me than just being a wife and mother (both of which I LOVE, but I also need my own identity). So I thought I would do this fun survey about myself while the kids are asleep for naps and I eat lunch.

A is for age: Turned 26 last month
B is for breakfast todayEggs
C is for currently craving: Perfectly ripe white nectarine 
D is for dinner tonight: Either chicken teriyaki or enchiladas. Both of which cook in the crock pot so I don't have to cook for long. We are planning to party today.
E is for favorite type of exercise: Zumba. Hands down.
F is for an irrational fear: My family dying (she is living my WORST nightmare. literally)
G is for gross food: I honestly don't dislike any food or ingredient! Only thing I can think of is kimchi. Never tried it, but the smell of it makes me want to puke on the spot. Which is why I haven't (and will never) tried it.
H is for hometown: I claim Laguna Beach, CA since I lived there for the longest period of my life (12 years in CA, 9 years in WA and now 5 in ID)
I is for something important: Giving those around you the benefit of the doubt. Because there is ALWAYS something going on in other peoples lives that you don't know about, and if it did, it would probably change the negative/judgmental thing you are thinking about them. Doing this will increase the quality of your life 100 fold. 
J is for current favorite jam: Smuckers low-sugar strawberry jam, blended so there are no chunks.
K is for kids: Currently 2 of the most beautiful kiddos call me mama, but we want probably around 6 eventually (but who knows...we love kids so much that once we get to 6 we might want more)
L is for current locationliving room at my computer desk
M is for the most recent way you spent moneyDiapers and wipes (wow I am boring)
N is for something you need: Love and approval from those around me
O is for occupationMamasita
P is for pet peeveBiggest pet peeve? O gosh... people who are unnecessarily judgmental, rude, unsupportive, caustic, petty, unkind or act like they are better than you. I really dislike being around people like that. 
Q is for a quote: "The more you love your decisions, the less you need others to love them" (I have been thinking about this a lot lately)
R is for random fact about you: I have minor scoliosis that is caused by one of my legs being just a little too short. It requires me to wear a lift in my shoes or my back will ache really bad when I lay down at night.
S is for favorite healthy snackStacy's baked Pita chips (especially these). I can eat an entire bag within one day
T is for favorite treat: Milky Way candy bar or Grasshopper ice cream from G's Diary in town (one of the things I will miss the MOST when we move)
U is for something that makes you unique: My eyelashes are so long that they touch the bottom of my eyebrows. I have been asked if I use anything to make them grow, but they are just all naturale! I don't cheat by using an eyelash curler or anything special...just normal mascara. Liam inherited my long eyelashes but I am jealous of his because they are really dark, unlike mine (downside of being blonde).
V is for favorite vegetable: Asparagus or Artichoke
W is for today’s workout: Chasing after kids
X is for X-rays you’ve had: Teeth and wrist (I broke a small bone in my wrist in a car accident)
Y is for yesterday’s highlight: Having game night with my sis, her hubby, my bro and his super fun and cute date (cute side fact: that was his first "date" since he got home from his mission 2 weeks ago). And eating peach cobbler that I made. It was heaven.
Z is for your time zonemountain

 Since every post needs a picture: evidence for the letter is a bad "eyelash" day though. Usually all of them reach the bottom of my eyebrows
Wow guess I can "smile" without showing teeth. Didn't think that was possible. This is a personal first

Friday, April 20, 2012

The beginning of the end and generations.

I have been thinking about this post all week. I have been writing it in my head, and meaning to post, but it's been really busy. A lot of big things have been going down at our house. Here is a glimpse.
It's been the beginning of several endings.
The beginning of the end of our time here at BYU-Idaho (Richard started his last semester on Tuesday)
The beginning of the end of Podiatry (shock! More on that later. I would give more details, but I know already this post is going to be ginormous...)
The beginning of the end of our time here in the city we have lived for 5 years (it feels so weird to come almost full circle in this chapter of our lives) 
The beginning of the end to living next door to our great, family-like friends (several of them are moving very soon...tear...)
The beginning of the end to nursing (after pretty much 8 months, Brielle refuses to nurse. So weaning has started)
The beginning of the end to our last winter in southeast Idaho (PRAISE!!!!)
The beginning of the end to spring cleaning (it has taken me so long because it's been so busy. I have the kitchen and storage left)
The beginning of the end to several of the kids bad habits
The beginning of the end to several of my bad habits (making time to exercise, take my vitamins etc)
The beginning of the end to several other big things.
A lot of wonderful change has been happening, and while it's hard to accept such big change (mostly #2), they have all only been for the good and just the right things for us happening at just the right time (ok except #4. That could never be good...) .

And in regards to the word "generations". My family was here visiting at the end of last week and left on Monday. It was wonderful. 5 perfect days. So fun. Lots of laughing, playing games, eating food, sleeping in (my parents watched the kids every morning so Richard and I would sleep in until 11...), babysitting (got in a temple trip and date with the hubs. perfection), attention for the kiddos (they absolutely adore my family), and love. While they were here, something really dawned on me. The importance of past generations. I watched my parents and siblings with my kids, and realized how vitally important their influence on my kids is. They teach them, love them and set examples for them that will impact them in more ways than any other person. It made me realize how important it is for my kids to have role models and influences from the generations before them. I think that is a large reason why Heavenly Father put us into families.
Brielle LOVED my Dad's zippers. She sucked on them for hours.
Liam and my 6 year old sister loved to "do the dishes" together after dinner. they play so well together and I think It's cool they are only 4 years apart :)
My pretty girl wrapped everyone around her little pinky. Papa included.
Liam and one of my bros who was so good with the kids! 
My sister who just turned 13 and Brielle. They were buddies :)
Liam has reverted to wanting bottles of milk when Brielle started drinking formula recently. We broke that habit yesterday.

My biggest regret of the whole vacation? 
Not taking more pictures, especially of the kids and their precious "nana" and all my other siblings (I am missing 4 of them in these pictures)

There ya go. Update from our lives in the last 10 days. Lots of changes that have kept us busy and a visit from my family. Life is good. Good in wonderful ways. More details coming soon on the big, life changing and huge change I listed as #2 above...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

the weekend of sugar overload, eggs and bunnies.

Other than blowing through our spring cleaning (Saturday we finished the kids room and it looks SO much better), Saturday through Monday was full of sugar overloads (which is sponsoring my current headache), eggs and bunnies. Easter was Sunday (duh) and we tried to do everything we could the past few days to celebrate it.
It all started on Saturday. That was a good day.
I slept in for 2 hours more than normal (I love spring break), then we got the kids ready for an Easter egg hunt and to see the Easter bunny at our grocery store. I was afraid that Liam would be afraid of the Easter bunny, but to my surprise, he loved it. After we left he kept running back to say hi and would yell "HI EASTER BUNNY!!!" from across the store. He was obsessed. Then they did an Easter egg hunt and Liam didn't really understand the whole "grab-as-many-as-you-can" concept and kept sharing them with other kids and stopped to see what was inside the egg. By the end he got it alittle more. Sugar overload #1.
A little unsure, and then he saw the candy...

Then while Liam napped, Brielle hung out with her favorite daddy while I did laundry
She held on to him for so long!

Then we took Liam on a little outing while Brielle slept and got all the stuff for our Easter the next day. Liam and Richard had a sword fight with light-sabers complete with Captain America masks. I was so sad my phone died so I couldn't take a picture. When we got home, we had our first real movie night and watched the new Muppets Movie. Sugar overload #2.

The next morning was Easter and we had their baskets sitting in the living room with eggs around the room for them (well mostly Liam) to collect. In Liam's bucket/basket he had a chocolate bunny, some eggs with candy and a light-saber (we secretly bought the one he was playing with in Walmart. He has been wanting one forever). Because he loved the light-saber so much, he didn't care about the eggs with candy and just played with his new toy. Brielle rolled around on the floor and went after all the eggs, sucking on them when she finally reached them. At least one of the kids enjoyed the egg hunt I set up. I made yummy treats for our friends and snacked on the candy that was supposed to be for Liam. I don't even know if he had lunch before we went to church... sugar overload #3
The boys watching a movie about Christ and the true meaning of Easter
I love her "I have been working hard to get to this egg. Don't touch it" face
We had my dear sister and her husband over for Easter dinner and had a great day at church. Even though I didn't get a chance to really listen to the talks and lessons because of the kiddos, I felt very spiritually edified. 

Monday our complex had an Easter egg hunt. It was planned for Saturday morning, but alas, thanks to the psycho Idaho weather, we woke up to about 4 inches of snow and more coming down fast (and of course it was about 70 degrees the night before. Talk about a surprise).
Liam was addddorable.
And because I think it was so cute, here is the video
fav parts:
when he put grass in his bucket at 1:02
telling his friend about his eggs at 3:35
when he shares his eggs with a friend at 5:06
When he sits down to sort his eggs in the middle of the hunt 5:20
Upon finding what was inside the egg, asking me to open it for him, waiting for me to open it and then eating it 5:35-6:05 (all time fav part)
and again at 8:00
The way he says "Thank you" at 8:16

...o gosh the whole thing.

Sister examining Liams findings. I love her serious face!
...sugar overload #4

All in all, it was a very fun Easter and it was fun to watch the kids enjoy the holiday and make memories!

Next year?
Way less sugar
Celebrate the "Easter bunny" part of Easter (baskets, Easter bunny, egg hunts, egg decorating etc) on Saturday and then Sunday focus entirely on Christ and the real meaning  of Easter without the other distractions.

And yes. Today I threw away all of the candy.
That took a lot of self control. But I won.

Friday, April 6, 2012

(Day 96) after lunch

Brielle has been having a hard time lately.
I think she is allergic to milk protein like Liam and so the little bits of formula I have been giving her is giving her some problems and keeping her up at night. So she has been really tired lately.
Because she has been up at night, obviously so have I and so to rest for part of her lunch I nursed her laying on my bed, for part of her lunch. After awhile I knew she had fallen asleep and I scooted away to watch her sleep.
Sleeping babies is one of my favorite things.
So precious and serene. 
Her little crossed hands and her sweet eyes lit in the light from the window nearby, made for such a sweet, beautiful moment. 
Luckily, after a trip to the doctor today, I am pretty sure we have figured everything out and she will be back to sleeping great at night. Here is to hoping our nights will be back to normal.
But until then, I hope she sleeps next to me again after lunch.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Coasting and the gems in my closet

we did it.
I want to shout it from the rooftops.
We survived.
One more horrid, awful, never-seeing-Richard, him working for 12+ hours on campus, single-mommyhood semester down. And (hopefully) no more to go.
And finally, after 2 years, we have entered coast mode.
After 2 years of treading water, we have entered the long coveted coast mode. You ask what coast mode is? Well, he has been accepted to his #1 Podiatry school, we have accepted, we have one more semester left here during which he only has to pass his classes. easy. No more MCAT to worry about, no more being gone for an entire month during the semester for interviews, and no more worrying about not getting into med school. Next semester should be bomb. Like him coming home at 5 bomb. I am so proud of my hardworking hubby and so excited for this coast mode we have entered! Just enjoying the last 3 months here in our home of 5 years (wow) together on a normal schedule. Almost too much to comprehend! 
As soon as the kids woke up from their nap, they played with Daddy. Their heaven.
Brielle's crazed mid-jump face

Anyways. Today was day two of my Spring Cleaning Naturally, but I have nothing on that front to report. I just tore apart our room, deep cleaning it for 3 hours, but it required no natural cleaners. We filled four 30-gallon black trash bags full of stuff for D.I...i love purging. But I did find some gems in the top of my closet.
--Like a huge stack of old CDs that included, and not limited to, Brittany Spears, Ace of Base, Mandy Moore, Jessica Simpson, No Doubt, Matchbox 20 and all other '90 and early 2000 wonders. Liam and I even had a Mandy Moore dance party to celebrate their findings.
--A stack of ultrasound pictures from my pregnancies with both kids (it was crazy to look at my 6 week ultrasound with Liam and then up to the 2 year old cuteness he is now. I made that?!?!)
--A couple frames from the dollar store that we had set up at our reception
--My tassel from graduating college
--An old bottle of lotion
--2 games of Risk, Settlers of Catan and Axes and Allies
--A huge accordion file full of all the special mementos from our dating, engagement and marriage. Brought back some wonderful memories.
...among so many other wonderfully random things. But my favorite find, that I spent about 10 minutes laughing at? My journal from the time I was 7-9 years old. Complete with sketches of hearts as I talked about my crushes, friends I had, confessions and the like. Here are some excerpts.
"1993: I love my family and my fariend's (friends)! I like Taylor. He likes me too! And I like cat's and hoes (I am assuming horses). I like Sanda Little. I love books"

"1994: I wnat (want) a dog! I can not whaet (wait) to! I love dog's so so so so much! Thay (they) are so fun! Thay (they) run and play with you! I think a cat are dumb. Dog's are man's dest (best) firend (friend)!"

"Nov 5 1995: I have a relly (really) good boy (??) his name is chris. his (he is) so cute. I fell like I want to merry (marry) him! And the other boy is andy. I relly (really) have a crash (crush) on them!"

"10/15/96:  I have a new boyfriend. His name is cory. Oh I'm in fifth grade. Well I am kind of sad cause he likes Jnea (i am assuming thats jenna)! A girl in fifth grade. I looked on his backpack and it said, I love Jena! Well I dont really care. I kind of like pat."

"10/16/1996: I play the villon (violin) and I love it. My goal is to, Play really good, make the boyfriends like me, and get good grades. I got alot of f's in math!"

...apparently all I thought about were animals (especially dogs, because apparently cats suck) and boys. I was boy crazy from age 7. And friends (I left all the lists of my friends and boyfriends out). Among other random things. What a walk down memory lane. Man I am grateful my spelling improved...
Many warnings of danger, caution, DO NOT READ, "for McKenna's eyes and Mckenna's eyes only", read at your own risk, DO NOT TOUCH.
Well, for the sake of your safety, I am glad you didn't see the inside. 
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