Monday, June 29, 2009


Monday: a fun family night on one of the many nature trails that run through Madison County. I guess there's like 85 miles worth of bike/walking trails that all connect somehow. I really need to get a bike and carrier to get more use out of them. We just brought the stroller and Kenny and I took turns running to get a little workout in. Then Ty played on the park and had lots of fun!

Tuesday: I got to get away for a little while and go to a Relief Society Jane Austen dinner/movie night. It was great to be able to get to know some of those awesome ladies better. I didn't stay for the movie because I didn't bring Brynlee with me. It's amazing what even a 2 hour break from both kids will do for me. On the way home I saw a couple deer a few feet from my car. They were bounding through this field and the sun was setting and it was so beautiful. Kenny's a great dad and had tyler already bathed and in bed when I got home, and he was giving Brynle a bath too! I think that's the first one he's ever given her. What a guy! :)

Wednesday: Heather and her 2 cute kids came over and hung out for a few hours. We swam in the little pool in the backyard, played toys, and just enjoyed having company over. and it was her birthday! Happy B-day Heather! She's been such a great friend to me from the first time I met her. We really appreciate the Porters.
Also, Wednesday night was the night I saved Kenny's life. Or at least that's the way I like to think of it :). We went on a family walk down to the lake just like always, to let Ty throw rocks and sticks in the water. Kenny had been rustling through some bushes/trees to get some more sticks for Ty. I stayed back on the grass to keep Bryn in the shade, and thankfully tyler had just come back for a second to stand by me. (Only like 10-15 ft. from Kenny) Well Kenny got some sticks and then turned around to walk back down the dock, and tyler started to walk down after him when all of the sudden I realized there was a HUGE SNAKE slithering right after Kenny on the dock! I SCREAMED "Kenny! Kenny! There's a snake!" He jumped up so high as he looked back. the snake slithered off the dock and into the water as he was jumping up. (this all happened very fast by the way). And Tyler had turned and bolted back over to me. OH my gosh it was so scary. I have no idea what kind of snake it was, or if it was poisonous. I didn't really get a chance to sit and stare at it. I just reacted, and I'm so glad I was behind him so that I could see that. Normally we're all down there on the dock together so it was a miracle. Tyler was so scared, he turned around and told us itw as time to go home right then haha. I think I gave poor Kenny a heart attack by screaming like that haha. Stupid snake ruined that place for us. We used to go there almost on a daily basis. I've always loved going there because there's something so calming about water for me. But snakes are anything but peaceful and calming. Anyways, that was quite the family walk :)

Thursday: the kids had their first doctor's appt. with their new pediatrician. It went very well. Tyler is in the 97th percentile for height and weight. She said he was the perfect weight for his height and that made me feel better. She gave me a lot of tips on how to help him eat better. But unfortunately it wasn't anything I hadn't heard and tried before, so we'll just press forward and keep trying every day to help him eat healthier. Brynlee is a little over 50% for height, and 70 something for weight. :) that's my girl haha. I love that I have chunky babies. We also ran a lot of errands. Tyler got a new hat, it's Cars (with Lightning McQueen--he's really into that right now) and he likes to put it on backwards and it's so cute. Oh and the doctor told me to go ahead and give Bryn a second "meal" during the day. The week before I had started giving her a bowl of cereal at night before she went to bed. But now she has baby food for a lunch, then another meal at dinner. She LOVES it and eats it like a champ, usually opening her mouth for the spoon and everything. She was definitely ready for it.

Friday: Kenny got to go to the temple. He left from work and went straight there, and didn't get home until a little after 10, so he didn't even see Tyler at all the day. But we were both glad he got a turn to go. I also finished reading Wuthering Heights. I loved it. Next is her sister's work, Jane Eyre. I know I can't believe I've gone my whole life without ever reading these classics too, that's why I'm repenting now :). I got those two books and Little Women at a Yard Sale, all 3 hardback and great condition for $1.50!! Oh, and I made the best dang carrot cake you'll ever taste.

Saturday: After mowing the lawn and cutting Kenny's hair, we all got ready and headed out to Fairview Heights to go shopping. We all got some new clothes and used the gift cards we had and it was a great day. I hadn't been shopping in SO long, and I love my new clothes. What could make a girl feel better but a new outfit? After the clothes shopping we got some groceries and finally made it home. I went running, then Kenny went running, we bathed the kids and put them to bed and watched our Redbox movie, "Inkheart". It was alright, a good kid show I would say. Kenny made some delicious blueberry milkshakes for the movie. I was glad to spend some time with just him.

Sunday: I made some waffles with a yummy strawberry sauce and whip cream. The good thing about having church at 11:30 (even though it totally screws up nap time for Tyler) is we get to take our time getting ready and have a nice big breakfast and the boys get to sleep in. Church was wonderful. Brynlee was hard all day, and she had slept horribly the night before, waking up a ton. I gave her some tylenol and just couldn't figure out why she was so cranky and being such a horrible sleeper. Anytime we laid her down she would wake up crying. Then it dawned on me--an ear infection. So I called my friend Terra from my ward (because I knew a mother would be able to help) and she told me where the closest InstaCare was and we took Brynlee in. Sure enough, she has an ear infection in her right ear. So we got the antibiotic prescription filled right after and then headed home. Poor little girl. I hate when she's not feeling well. It made me SO grateful for people that work on Sundays, 24 hr. pharmacies, and modern medicine. Especially after reading Wuthering Heights, which was in a time when everyone would catch a cold and die, I felt so grateful for the time we lived in. not the best note to end on, but it was a great week. We are so excited for this week, we're going down to Houston for the 4th of July weekend. Can't wait to see my family again!! Tyler is SO excited to see Papa, bama and everyone else.

Friday, June 26, 2009

I'll take a scoop shovel.

For as long as I can remember (or ever since my mouth was big enough) I have used a BIG spoon to eat my cold cereal with. I use a regular sized spoon for everything else, but I love to have a big spoon for breakfast cereal. Maybe it's to get a good amount of milk to balance out the cereal...I really don't know why. I've just always done it. But I've also been embarrassed about it, and don't really do it at other people's houses. First of all, I don't have a very big mouth so it probably looks funny as I eat. Second, ladies are supposed to take small bites anyway, right?

One time at Kenny's house I got myself a big spoon for breakfast and my sweet mother-in-law came in the kitchen and handed me a small spoon and said, "Oh we've got a better size here, you don't have to use that huge one." She didn't know that I obviously saw the little ones sitting right next to the big spoons in the utensil drawer, but I deliberately grabbed a big one. But I didn't say anything except thanks, and switched for a small spoon to finish off my bowl.

Fast forward to a few months ago when I was staying with my Grandpa and Grandma Joyce. One morning as Joyce was getting out some dishes and food for breakfast, she casually asked me if I wanted a spoon, or a scoop shovel. (I assumed she meant the larger spoons.) I smiled and said a spoon, not wanting to show my true colors. She then told me that my grandpa always uses the big spoons. I was so glad to hear that. Later that evening when we were having ice cream for dessert, I was helping get it all out and I asked if I should get a big spoon for my grandpa to use. "Oh no," she said, "he only uses the scoop shovel for cereal. He likes the smaller ones for everything else." I just about died. Unbeknownst to her, she just solved that problem for me forever. I never knew that about my grandpa, but I all of the sudden felt so happy that I got that little quirk from my grandpa--one of my most favorite people in the world. I think it's so bizarre that we have that in common. Can you seriously blame that on genetics? Couldn't have been nurture, I didn't grow up around him. It doesn't matter though. I now feel pride, not shame at this weird spoon thing I have. So the next time she asks if I would like a spoon or a scoop shovel, I'll proudly take the scoop shovel.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Father's Day

This man. My husband, and father of our two beautiful children, most certainly deserves at least one day to celebrate what a fantastic father he is. I couldn't imagine raising children with anyone else. He is everything to them, and everything to me. Love you, Kenny.

These 3 comprise my whole world.

Wouldn't be a father's day post if I didn't mention my own father. I'm positive he's one of the greatest men to have lived. I am so glad that he helped to raise me, and I love that I am a part of him. Even little things I inherited from him. Like the way I make sandwiches--not very quickly, but spread evenly and perfectly. Or my ability to sweat profusely when exercising. Kenny endearingly calls it "The Dean Factor"...attractive I know. Also my love of basketball, and how my tongue naturally slips out and I lick my lips when I'm concentrating hard. These things help make up who I am, and they are from him. I love you so much dad!
We had a great day. It was relaxing and happy, except for my cinnamon roll saga. Won't get into it, but it was frustrating. Not sure why food is such a big deal to me, or why I feel like 60% of what makes up a good day (especially meaningful days/holidays) is the food we eat, but that's just how I am. I just love good food, especially when I was the one that made it. Kenny loves my food, and I love him for loving it. Got it? Anyway, Kenny grilled some steaks and pineapple for our big lunch/dinner!!
We had fun playing games together that evening with our traditional bowl of popcorn. We got great deals on the games Scrabble and Rummikub at our big yard sale day a while back so those are the two we play most lately. We're big gamers. Kenny doesn't like scrabble very much, but because it's one of my favorite games he plays anyway. But this time he made up "Go-Fish Scrabble" haha. It was hilarious. He cracks me up with the things he comes up with. It was another great day. I love that lately, when we're together as a family playing games, or hanging out outside, or doing whatever, Tyler will always say "happy family!" It makes me so glad that he feels the spirit when we're all together and he feels happy. You're right Tyler, we are a happy family.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Grilling in the rain

Yep, that's what he's doing. We bought our first BBQ grill today and couldn't wait to try it out. So even though we could hear the thunder rumbling, and see the clouds blowing in we wanted to try and beat the storm. Obviously, it didn't work, but Kenny's so awesome he just got the umbrella and finished making some excellent burgers! We had a delicious dinner with the burgers Kenny made and a bowl of colorful, fresh fruit. Can't forget about dessert--homemade fresh apple pie and ice cream. Okay, so the pie was fresh-fresh 2 days ago when I made it. Tonight it was leftover-fresh if that works. Anyway as I was putting some food back in the fridge, I had to rearrange things in the fridge to make it all fit and I just all of the sudden felt so grateful that I had to be moving food around to accommodate everything! I swear that never happened the entire time we were in college. We never ever had enough food in our fridge that I ever had to move stuff around. We had plenty of room to spare haha. I told Kenny that I feel so rich because we have good food to eat every day. And while I know we're not really rich, I just feel so blessed. It's been a great day. I love Saturdays. We got a lot of yard work done this morning and it's really coming along. Dreaming of rose bushes in the corner of our front yard for next year. Got a couple of really tired kids here...better run.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I love that I still get some one-on-one time with each of my kids at different times of the day. During Bryn's morning nap the other day, we got to play in the rain (because it pretty much never stops raining here). Ty asked for his boots and umbrella, so without even changing out of his pajamas first, he ventured outside! Afterwards we made some big butterflies. We taped them to the ceiling fan so we could turn it on low and watch them fly! Needless to say, Ty loved it and did his chicken dance repeatedly for long periods of time haha.

At night, after Ty goes to bed, Kenny and I get to hang out with the cutest girl ever. I LOVE her smiles.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

main events of our week

Brynlee turned 4 months on the 9th! She is getting so chunky I LOVE it!! She has the most adorable smile. This is her favorite toy--her feet. As soon as she lays down, she immediately pulls up her legs and grabs her toes. Oh and she can roll from her tummy to her back.

Monday, we baked banana bread and brought it to our friends, the Porter's. Their little girl is Tyler's new love. He gets SO upset whenever we have to leave her. She's the cutest little redhead and Ty is just in love with her. We used up a lot of our letter B activities even though I didn't do it this week. I'm switching "curriculum" to something more sophisticated and legit, not me making up random things. Thanks Steph, for showing me that by the way.

Tuesday we went to reading time at the library and finally got a library card. We'll probably do that every week. It's good for Ty to get to hang out with other kids, and I cannot believe how much he loves reading books.

We finally have curtains hung up in the living room and dining room. I got a lot of weeding and pruning done in the front yard, AND some family pics hung up on the wall. Yeah...we're a little slow.

Tyler and I surprised Kenny on Friday when he came home from work. We filled up water balloons and when Kenny stepped out of his car, we attacked! It was lots of fun. They weren't meant to be water balloons so they didn't pop as easily cuz they're thicker or something. And they got so big! Ty loved it! I think he liked the anticipation of it more than the actual water-balloon war. He kept repeating over and over how we were going to "throw the balloons at daddy and get him all wet!" Here we are preparing the ammo.

Saturday a.m. I got to go to the St. Louis Temple. I hadn't done a session in like 6 months so I was really dying to go. Kenny was great and put up with the kids from 6 (when I left) until almost 11 when I got back. It's an hour away, but I had the most wonderful experience so I was very grateful I got to go. I would have really loved to go with Kenny, but I'm sort of scared of leaving the kids with anyone. I'm not very comfortable with this next stage of babysitting life we've found ourselves in. You know, when you go from switching off babysitting for free for each other in college, to paying the Young Women in the ward...who have never had children. Brynlee's still such an unpredictable handful, and I'm just not comfortable with making anyone take care of her yet. Plus she likes me alot more than bottles. Anyways. Hopefully she'll get better in the next couple months and we can go together once again.

Also on Sat., Ty was standing on his little stool "helping" me make him some mac and cheese for his lunch. It's something he does all the time cuz he loves to be involved and help me out. We've never had a problem before, but this time he decided to reach out and touch the stove top, right as I looked over and screamed, "Don't touch that!" Too late. The next few hours were tough. He is a really tough kid, but he was just screaming and crying. I felt awful. Kenny kept his hand under really cold water for 15-20 min. immediately after it happened, and we had burn stuff (that we called peanut butter becuase it's close to the same color) and we kept that on his hand afterward. He was pretty good about resting his hand on a bag of ice too so it's doing a lot better. He has hardly complained about it at all today, thankfully. It's hard to watch your child go through so much pain. I hate it. Check out these 2nd degree burn blisters.

Saturday night while I was reading bedtime books to Tyler (and Bryn), Kenny comes in with a jar full of lightning bugs and turns off the light. It was just like magic watching them light up and glow! A fun little way to end the day and week.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


On Friday, Kenny didn't have work so we decided to go to the St. Louis Zoo because I was lacking in letter "A" activities, and we knew Ty would love the Animals. So the kids got up pretty early which was great because the zoo opened at 8 and we got there around 8:30. The admission to the zoo itself is free (unless you count the $11 of parking), but you have to pay for a lot of things once you get in there. When you go between 8 and 9, the Children's zoo is free so that's what we did first. There was a fun playground, lots of animals to pet and fun stuff to look at. Ty loved it!

The view of downtown St. Louis as we drove across the Mississippi River.

kenny and I thought this was the coolest part of the whole zoo. There were HUGE hippos in this big tank and they were like fighting and letting fish eat out of their mouths right in front of the glass. It was amazing! Ty was kind of scared of them hah, he kept saying they were going to bite him. By the way, I don't normally squat like this when I'm standing, i was just in the process of sitting down ha. It's just a good one of the hippo.

For some reason it was like a weird animal day for us. We've been to a few different zoos, but there were just random things. Like how the chimpanzees would lay right in front of the glass, like inches from us. And the one that had his butt pressed up against the glass. Boy did the kids at the zoo love that one. Also, the huge african lion was way up in this tall tree and you could only see his feet. He wouldn't come down. I have never seen a lion at the zoo hiding in the trees ha.
On the way home we stopped at the Hamel Farmer's market that's only a few minutes from our house. YUM! I'm going to be going there all the time. It's closer than any grocery store, and way better, and sometimes cheaper.
We got a lot of yard work done that afternoon. I weeded a lot and Kenny mowed the lawn and got on the roof to clean out our rain gutters.
Saturday was the annual Holiday Shores YARD SALE! It is huge, and I've never seen anything like it. Everyone in Holiday Shores participates and it's awesome. Everybody does a yard sale, and it starts early in the morning and goes into the afternoon. People just walk/drive/bike around the neighborhood and get as much stuff as they want. It rocks. We walked around in the morning with our next door neighbors who are so nice. We had to come back to drop off the stuff adn feed Brynlee. But then we went back out in our car. We got some pretty cool stuff. board games, clothes and shoes for Ty and Bryn, a little kitchen set, some nice and cute dishes (real ones, not for the play kitchen set ha) and some other fun stuff. We loved it. We also went to this awesome flea market and wanted to just walk around for hours and look at all the cool stuff. Kids don't make that very possible, so we'll just have to go back some other time. Anyway. We've had a lot of fun this weekend.

Letter of the Week: A

This last week I decided to do a letter of the week to help Tyler learn his letters better. At the end of each week, I'm going to write what we did for that week.
Letter A

I drew an upper-case and a lower-case A on a sheet of paper and he colored them. Then we cut them out and had them displayed on the fridge all week. All week Tyler would say they were "Big A, little a".

For a snack we ate Apples (with peanut butter)

One day we colored paper, wrote the letter A all over them, then I made paper Airplanes. He liked to stand on the couch to fly them.

Another day we drew (and colored of course) big Arrows
We sang the song, the Ants go marching...
We went to the St. Louis Zoo to see all the Animals

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I'm realizing more and more each day that progress, not perfection, is what life is all about. Boy I wish I would have understood that concept years ago. We're all making little progressions around here.
Brynlee not only figured out how to blow raspberries, but she also was awake in the car for like 15 minutes without crying!! Possibly a record for her so far.
Tyler took a bite of a carrot yesterday, and swallowed it. It took over half an hour, and it was his fifth bite that he didn't gag on and spit out, but he did it. I think that makes the first taste of a vegetable in almost a year. Way to go, buddy.
Kenny and I are losing weight! I even got to wear a skirt this last sunday that I haven't been able to zip up since before I had Bryn. Woohoo! I guess my early morning workouts are finally starting to pay off.
All this progress must be contagious because our plants in and around our house are actually growing! (Some of them). It rains so much here, I was sure that a lot of them were drowned out because it flooded not long after we planted. The one pictured above happens to be sweet basil, and that one's in our dining room window. (Now all you superstitious folk better knock on wood for me before everything dies!)
Even baby steps help you move forward.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Little Spotlights

I just wanted to record a few things about my adorable kids.


Nicknames: Brynners, Baby B, Chunkers, Sweet Pea, Princess, Pretty Girl, Bryn

Favorite food: milk, milk, and more milk. Don't be fooled by the fact that she spits it all up, she really does like it.

She gets in these talkative moods and she'll just jabber on and on and I love it! My favorite is when I'm nursing her and she always just stares up at me with her big blue eyes then stops to give me her big goofy grin when I look at her. Sometimes she'll pull up and start jabbering, then go back to eating like she just wanted to tell me something.

She absolutely LOVES her brother Tyler and is so entertained by him. Aren't we all.

She's not a fan of church, and has yet to let me get through one entire meeting (hour) without stepping out.
Has an absolute HATRED for her car seat. She still screams her head off anytime we go anywhere. I wonder if she'll ever get over it.
She can't roll over yet, but she squirms and twists around so much and never stays on her blanket.
She can hit her toys that hang above her head.
She LAUGHS! She just started a couple weeks ago, and she doesn't do it for very long at all, but I still love to hear it.
I get so much attention and comments on her when we're out in public. Everybody loves a baby, but Brynlee seems to especially draw crowds.
She is very alert and always has been. She opens her blue eyes up really wide and just watches so closely to whatever is going on. Because of that people always say how big her eyes are. To me, they're just normal size she just opens them up wider sometimes.
I love to chew on her rolls and she is ticklish so it makes it even funner.
She has such a big, happy, beautiful smile and flashes it for me all the time! I love my baby girl.

Nicknames: Ty, Ty man, Mr. T, Crazy kid

He is obsessed with animals! He's got a big bin of them and is always playing with them. He lines them up all over the house, plays with them in the bath tub, and the swimming pool. Even reading his little-kid bible and Book of Mormon, if the story doesn't have a picture of an animal in it, he's not interested. That's why Noah's Ark and Jesus' birth (because of the stable) are his favorite stories. Oh, and David and Goliath because he likes to throw rocks, just like David :).

I already mentioned how he lines up his animals, but really he has quirks about lining everything up. whatever toys he's playing with, they get lined up. It's so funny. Then when they're just right, he does his little chicken dance where he flaps his arms up and down and jumps (unless he's sitting) and like hyper-ventilates.

He remembers everything! He has memorized so many songs and books so easily.

His favorite song right now is "Hakuna Matata" and it is by far the cutest thing you'll ever see. He even does a little dance with it.

He makes me read to him all the time! I love it, though. Some of his current favorites are: Where the Wild Things Are, Snug House, Bug House, Green Eggs and Ham, Lion King, Cars....the list goes on.

this boy flatters me by how much of my bread he eats. He loves it so much he asks for it for 3 meals a day. Breakfast he wants toast. Sometimes with butter and jam, or butter and honey. But this morning was "No jam, jus' budder". Lunch he mixes it up with peanut butter and honey or jam, and for dinner he just wants toast again. Really this is one of our biggest challenges with him is trying to get him to eat. He refuses to try anything, and gags and like makes himself throw up when we make him try things. It is SO frustrating. He does love pizza, macaroni & cheese (which he calls roni and cheese), yogurt, apples w/ peanut butter, sometimes bananas, and sometimes chicken nuggets.

He has SO much energy and just runs around all the time. He loves to be outside and play in water. Our new little inflatable pool is a big hit.

He loves soccer, basketball, rolling the football under his legs, and t-ball, which he's actually getting pretty good at.

He's probably the best big brother in the world. he is so gentle with Bryn and loves her so much. Always gives her hugs and kisses and wants to hold her. He's pretty protective and almost territorial about her. The other day in the grocery store another little girl saw brynlee and said, "ooh a baby!" and Tyler yelled back in his growly, lion voice: "No dat MY baby Binyee"

He always acts like a lion. Sometimes it's concerning because he only wants to be a "bad lion" hah

I suppose I could go on and on about Ty because there is so much to this boy. But I just love him to pieces!