Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Growing up

After reading the entire basket of books that we got at the library yesterday, Tyler and I just sat on the couch together and talked. Talked, for like 15 minutes straight. I just sat there in awe that we could just have a conversation for so long, me and my little boy.
I can't believe how fast he is growing up. I am so lucky to be there and witness every new stage. I think it just keeps getting better and better. I love watching him learn and grow, because it's a first for both of us. We get to go through each new stage together because he is our oldest. He understands so much and is starting to ask the funniest questions! He makes me so happy.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Weekend and Glasses

Saturday was pretty normal. Lots of cleaning, working out, and playing. Kenny took Ty swimming again, and he loves it so much. Saturday night the missionaries came over for dinner again, (they called and asked us if they could come over this time) and brought Regi (short for Regina) with them. She's a girl that goes to SIUE and we're close to the same age. She's been investigating the church and has come to church the last few weeks so I've gotten to know her and we're like friends now. So she came with them and it was so fun. For dessert I made a fancy, chocolate layered cake from the Lion House Cookbook and it was super yummy.

Sunday was great too. Except Tyler peed all over himself in nursery, which has never happened before. I told Kenny to take him to the bathroom after sacrament meeting because I knew that Tyler had drank two cups of juice already that morning. Kenny didn't know that, so when he took him and Tyler said "I don't have to go", he believed him. I wouldn't have, but I know better haha. So he didn't put a diaper on him either, and off he went to nursery. Not too long into Sunday School (not that I was in there anyways thanks to Brynlee) they brought Ty out to Kenny, who found me. I took the kids home (Kenny had to continue teaching) and changed Ty's clothes. We drove back in time for the last 15 minutes of church (we live 20 minutes away, remember). Next time, I think I'll be in charge of taking Ty to the potty.

That evening we had two couples from our ward, the Hasquins and the Harts over for dinner. We had a really great time getting to know them all better. Jason and Brooke Hasquin have a 2 year old boy who's in nursery with Tyler, so they had fun playing together too. I just love people. I could sit and talk non-stop...maybe it comes with being female, maybe it's just me. But either way, I love talking to people.

I forgot to mention before that Kenny and I both got new glasses. We went in on the 31st of December--the last day we could use the money towards new glasses on our insurance. Talk about procrastination! We got them just in time. Kenny looks so very GQ in his.

Tyler and Brynlee have been sporting around some glasses too!

These kids think sunglasses are just the best. Ty says "I'm a rockin' cool dude." and Brynlee just laughs. I Love these kids.

Monday, January 25, 2010

And just like that...I'm free!

In T minus 7 days (at probably about this time) I will be bidding farewell to my beautiful children, kissing their sweet cheeks, and heading out the door, leaving them to the care of my trustworthy parents. We will then drive to Galveston to embark on a cruise (destination: Mexico) for the next 5 days. It will be glorious. But I have been having a lot of anxiety over it too, up until this weekend.

A few weeks ago I started cutting out feedings to wean Brynlee. We were down to just when she woke up, and before going to sleep at night. But I knew that in order to leave her for a week she needed to be completely done. The first time I warmed up some soy milk and put it in a bottle for her. She wanted nothing to do with it. I tried it cold. Nothing. I tried a sippy cup (since she had been taking one of those for quite a while and wasn't used to the bottle at all). But she wouldn't do it to go to sleep, only just to drink throughout the day.

I had come to the decision that it might just be easiest to have the final break be when I'm gone. After all, she wouldn't have a choice. I figured it would be easier if I, the source, wasn't there. But a few days ago I felt inspired to try the bottle again, with the milk warmed up. And do you know what? She took it!! She loved it. I was so thrilled. So the next morning I replaced that feeding with a bottle. I gave her the bottle for both naps too. She did great. That night I said, "Enjoy this one Bryn. It's going to be our last time." The next day I did not feed her AT ALL. That was Friday. Today is Monday and we have not even thought about going back. She is done with me, and she is fine with that. Hallelujah! Really, this was an answer to prayers.

Saturday night I tucked the kids in bed; Tyler with his sippy cup and Brynlee with her bottle. I sang them a song, kissed them good night, and walked out of the room. No crying, no protests, they just slipped off to sleep. I looked at Kenny and said, "I think we've arrived."
For the first time in a long time, my body is all mine. I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts :).

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Little Advice

snuggling up to daddy's freshly shaven face (also totally irrelevant to this post)

To those of you who have one child, with the second on the way, or two children with the third on the way, or whatever the case may be--this is for you.

I would HIGHLY suggest getting another bedroom in your home. Somehow.

When we first moved here Brynlee was only 2 months old. I looked at this cute house that had 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom and thought, this will work just great! We don't need anything more, we'll just make it work. The next 9 months were spent with one of the children in our room. Mostly Bryn. But when it was HIGH time she go to sleep on her own, (and that we get our own room back to ourselves) we put Tyler in our room so she could just cry it out. And she did. She figured it out pretty quickly. So finally around the time she turned 11 months old, we had both of the kids in the same room, going to bed at the same time and sleeping ALL night long. There is beauty all around... when your kids sleep at night. Seriously--it was heavenly.

I should have known it was too good to be true. After all, this is Brynlee we're talking about. (It's always something, remember?)

It lasted about a week and a half, maybe 2 weeks. For some reason, Bryn is back to waking up multiple times a night. She's not very quiet, for those of you that don't know her. So obviously she wakes up Tyler every single time. In fact, the doors of our rooms form an angle like an "L" so they are RIGHT next to each other, so we all wake up. And it's hard to know what to do each time. I have no problems with letting her cry it out, except if that means that none of us sleep in the mean time--you never know how stubborn she's going to be.

Also, their naps are interesting also. Tyler will often wake Brynlee up because he wants to play with her and thinks it's funny. To me? Not so funny. And unless he's in a deep sleep, she will wake him up too by jumping in her crib and talking.

I am not trying to just complain to everyone because I know that we are blessed to have what we do have. A lot of people have a lot more kids, in a lot less space. I just wonder if they were all as frustrated and sleep-deprived as I am. SO. My advice to you would be, give the youngest child their own room so that the rest of your family can sleep. Unless you don't believe in that, then good luck figuring out another way, and please let me know what you're doing :).

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesday Thoughts

On Monday I went running outside with the kids, just like the good ol' days (3+ months ago). I couldn't believe it. It was only about 40 degrees, cloudy gray skies, and wet from rain, but I loved it. The whole time I just kept thinking about how it's amazing that there isn't (aren't?) layers and layers and many inches of ice and snow covering the ground. (I know I'm over-killing these Rexburg winter experiences but they really drove me crazy!) I am so grateful that we get 4 seasons here, and none are very extreme. At least they weren't this year.

Last night I went to recipe exchange/book club (combined) for Relief Society. It was so much fun. The book we read is called The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Long name, but SUPER good book. Check it out here. I highly recommend it to anyone that wants a good, light, read. And the recipe theme was appetizers. This is the dip I made-I loved it. And I had to learn how to make roasted peppers for the dip so that was helpful too. There were only 6 of us there but I had such a great time getting to know those women better and discussing such a good book over yummy food.

I have a gigantic bruise on my knee and I have no idea where it came from.

I finally made my blog into books for the past 2 years. The first one (year 2008) came in the mail today and I love having it! I think it's a perfect family record. If Kenny would blog once in a while it would be an even more accurate family record hah, but that's okay.

Tyler keeps pretending to call (on a fake cell phone) his cousin, and one of his best buddies, Josh. He loves playing with him and I wish we could just run over to his house like we could for the first 2 years of their lives. He also said the other day, "Mom, can we go on a looooong car ride to go to Grandma's house?" No matter which Grandma he wanted to see, it's a very long car ride for both of them. It makes me so sad sometimes. Don't get me wrong, we love living here and being our own family unit, and having our own great experiences. BUT. We happen to have the greatest families ever and it's hard to be so far from both. (Of course if we did decide to finally settle down by family, which one and where? Texas, Utah, or Idaho?) We also feel like having relationships with extended family is super important, and helps give children a good roots system. These are some issues that, as a couple and a family, I'm not sure we'll ever fully resolve.

Other books I've read this month: The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease, and The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. Both good books. Although don't read that last one unless you're ready to make some life changes for the way you and your family eat. It causes a lot of thought and inner turmoil haha. Today I started Glenn Beck's An Inconvenient Book.
Brynlee took like 4 or 5 steps the other day! Kenny and I try to have her walk back and forth between us every evening. She's getting better every day. She's still pretty cautious though, and doesn't trust herself.
Movie quote for any fellow Runaway Bride lovers: "Ya just gotta get the rest of your ducks in a row!"

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Events of Our Week

Monday we had the missionaries over for dinner. Good guys; always makes me miss my missionary brother, Jeff. I hope that there are good people feeding him every once in a while.
Tuesday-Thursday...kind of a boring week.

Friday: My three closest friends here, Heather, Terra, and Rochelle, came over with their kids! All of the kids had a wonderful time playing together, and we had a wonderful time chatting and eating. (2 of my most favorite things.) I was thinking about how lucky I am to know these women. I have been so influenced by each of them, and I'm glad we've had the chance to live here so that I can know them. One is the Young Women's Pres., another the Primary President, and another in the Relief Society Presidency. I, (in my non-presidential state) feel so honored that they let me be their friend :). I learn so much from them.

Friday night I also had piano lessons for my 2nd time. It was really great. I am so glad I get a second chance at this. Sometimes it's hard to practice because whenever I get on, the kids just want to sit up with me and pound away, and Tyler requests that I play "Aristocats" (I guess he likes scales and stuff haha). But I always sneak some time in while they're eating, or sleeping too.

Saturday: Kenny had a Primary Pancake Breakfast, with teacher inservice afterwards that he enjoyed. Then he ran some errands for me since he was already in town. Later on he took Tyler to the gym and took him swimming, which Ty of course loves. I put Bryn down for a nap and was able to play the piano and cook. I really relish times like those. Kenny and Ty came home and immediately set to building a snowman. Ty talks about doing it all the time (I think he saw it on Caillou or something) and the snow is melting quickly. It was fairly warm outside, and they ended up doing our whole family represented with snowmen!! Notice how Kenny even made mine and his "holding hands" haha.

She's trying to pull her hat off in this one.

Sunday: slept in a little and had to race to get ready and to church on time. Wonderful talks/lessons today. Kenny's got home teaching this afternoon. Later on the agenda is budget review/planning session, reading, games, treats and resting. Happy Sabbath to all of you.

Friday, January 15, 2010

His and Hers, but mostly his

Remember that one time when I mentioned that Kenny and I bought ourselves an ipod touch for Christmas? Well my parents had the same great idea, and gave everyone an ipod touch. SO now we have two, and we love them. One for me, and one for Kenny...BUT this little boy likes to play with them more than anyone. He can navigate his way around this thing probably better than me. He always asks to play with it, and we've uploaded a bunch of free apps that he enjoys, just different games. It is so funny to me! He's not even 3 yet and he's figuring out technology. I guess that's the world we live in.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Snow Days

This is Brynlee, Tyler, Ryan and Laura. The last two are our next-door neighbors whom we got to babysit on Thursday and Friday. It was an interesting change of pace for me. Their ages are 3, 2, 1 1/2, and 11 months. I figure when it's not even physically possible to bring them into the world that quickly, then you know you're in trouble.
What I love about this picture is that they are looking out the window watching the snow fall. That very same position, looking over the back of a couch is exactly how I would watch the snow come down in my Grandpa and Grandma Backus' house growing up. We would come up to Utah from Texas (or wherever we were living) for Christmas sometimes. I just thought snow was the most magical thing. Obviously we didn't have it in Texas, so I thought it was so neat and I would watch it forever. Sometimes snow loses it's magic for me because I just worry about keeping my kids warm. But seeing it through my children's eyes brought back some of that "wow" factor. A fresh layer of snow really is beautiful.
Apparently it hasn't been this cold here since the 90's. That's what our neighbor told us, and he would know--he grew up here. It made a lot more sense why everyone is cancelling everything and shutting down their lives because of the weather. Having survived Rexburg, Kenny and I think they're all a bunch of wusses :).

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Grinding Wheat

Yesterday we ran out of bread. It's a bad idea to run out of bread around here, because it's pretty much one of 3 things Tyler will eat.

Not only were we out of bread, we were out of wheat flour. So I went digging under our bed for the wheat, and out to the garage for our wheat grinder. This was the first time I'd done it by myself (normally Kenny does it for us). I called him on the phone to make sure there were no tricks to it. "You're going to do it inside?", he asked. "Well", I replied, "I'm sure not going to do it out in the freezing butt-cold weather outside!" Then he said, "It's gonna be messy."

After a couple minutes into it, I realized how right he was. It's like on the movie, You've Got Mail where they talk about every night a bunch of flour gets pumped into bins or something underground and it never seems to settle. Well that's exactly how this was. The sun was shining through our kitchen window, making it easy to see all the flour just hanging in the air. (maybe I was doing it wrong?) After a while it finally did settle, leaving a nice layer over everything. It was so fun to clean it up! (not.)
Not only was it messy, but it is LOUD. I felt like I was running really heavy machinery when it was on, and landing an airplane each time I turned it off.

Are you in the market for a wheat grinder? I wish I could say, "in my professional opinion...get this one." But the truth is I am no professional, and this is the only one I've ever used. BUT I really like it. Nutrimills can grind a lot of flour at once, and they have lifetime warranties. I also love that I can adjust the setting from coarser to finer, flour.
But, there's something you should know about wheat flour. I just learned this yesterday, and it boggles my mind. I read this online here: "...the vitamins and minerals dissipate quickly once the wheat has been ground into flour. IN fact, within the first 24 hours the flour has lost 45% of it's nutrients and by the time 72 hours has passed it has lost a whopping 90%! 90% of nutritional value of the wholesome grain that does not make it in to your family's bodies."
I can't believe it! Did you know this? If you did, why didn't you share it with me? What other important information are you withholding from me? And WHY, may I ask, is that the case? Where the does the nutrition go? Does it just evaporate into thin air? It doesn't make sense. Anyone have answers?
I was glad that I used it within the hour to make bread, and then that night I made thin-crust, whole-wheat pizza too. YUM. Looks like I will have to be making big messes a lot more often.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Thank you, come again

Is it bad that it's only January 5th and I'm already tired of winter? I am more than ready for it to be spring, or even summer. I am just not cut out for winters, I'm such a wuss. We need to be able to go outside and play. We need to go on walks, throw rocks in the lake, go swimming in the backyard, go on bike rides and runs pulling/pushing the kids in the trailor, etc. etc. Staying cooped up inside drives me crazy. At least the sun is shining though! Otherwise I'd really be having a hard time. It's a good thing that we're on a pre-cruise diet, otherwise I would just bake treats and eat all day. (I have a tendency to bake when we run out of things to do.) I just want to say to the winter season, thank you for fulfilling our "opposition in all things"...come again next year!

On another note: I am excited for tonight. I'm going to work out later than usual so I can watch the season 9 premier of Biggest Loser. Hooray!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My Protector

Flexing his big muscles; halfway in, and halfway out, of his pj's for some reason

I discovered something about my sweet Tyler today--he is extremely protective of me!! Kenny was tickling me on the living room floor today and had me pinned down. I was squealing and laughing and screaming, and Tyler freaked out. He got all red in the face and ran over and tried to knock Kenny off and starting punching him in the face and yelling at him!! It was hilarious! We had to explain that we were just playing around and that daddy would never hurt me.

Later on, we were acting out the story of Abinadi and King Noah for FHE lesson. Tyler was sitting on a "throne" acting as King Noah. Kenny was Abinadi and I was the guard bringing him in. I was going to take him away to kill him, and in trying to convey the message that nobody was allowed to touch him until he had delivered his message, I pretended that I was shocked or something, and dramatically threw myself back. Tyler thought that Kenny had thrown me back or something, because he jumped off his throne and ran at Kenny again throwing punches to protect me! hahah. The poor kid kept misinterpreting things.

(The "play" we were putting on didn't end up being a good idea anyway, because Tyler took it too seriously and started to cry when we told him that King Noah was going to get burned at the end, haha.)

I just though it was so cute how Tyler instinctively reacts to help me out of any danger he thinks I'm in. :) I've got my own little protector here with me all day. He's awesome.

Today has been the most wonderful day. We have church at 9:00 now instead of 11:30 and I cannot even explain how nice that is. It makes a huge difference in the whole day. Naps are reinstated and it is awesome. Only bad part of the day was this little babe got hurt.

We were all playing legos together and then we started playing peek-a-boo with Bryn, because she loves it. I stopped playing with her, but she kept putting the blanket back over her head. I had got up and walked into the kitchen and she had the blanket over her head, then fell over and bit her bottom lip really bad. It was bleeding a lot and swelled up, too. I felt so bad for her. She looks like a little abused child. She's got scratches all over her face from always falling and stuff, and now she's got a fat lip to go with it. Poor thing.
We have loved having Kenny home with us the past few days. Too bad tomorrow brings work again. But that's life, right?

Fresh Start

I love setting goals, and making lists of goals. I get such a buzz from it haha. Our family theme this year is "Prepare every needful thing". We've got one (or two on some months) family nights each month dedicated to getting more prepared.
Here's some of our family/couple goals for this year:

- Don’t miss more than one day a month of scripture reading.
- Family prayers every night
- Go on a date at least once every two months
- Attend temple once a month
- FHE every Monday
- Stick to budget
- Review budget together every two weeks
- Save a minimum of $X (we'll keep that private)
- Go on a fun family vacation

Here's some of my goals for this year:

· Read (or listen to) scriptures or a conference talk every day
· Prayers AM and PM
· Pre-school with Ty when he turns 3
· Read and sing more to Bryn
· No more than 30 min. a day on computer
· Take piano lessons- practice every day at least 15 min.
· Work out a minimum of 4 times a week
· Stay on top of cleaning and organizing
· Serve more!! Find someone at least once a month to serve
· Don’t miss a month of visiting teaching

Friday, January 1, 2010


There's something very cool about that date. I can't believe it's 2010! HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Last night we had our own little party. Kenny and I made sweet and sour chicken (Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook p. 384--try it, it's yummy). We put the kids to bed at 8, like normal and hung out and watched a movie and waited for midnight. At 12:01 we realized we had missed the countdown and pulled out our apple juice, mixed it with some sprite and toasted in the new year! At 12:05 we went to bed, haha. I know we're lame, but Brynlee still wakes up sometimes at night and the kids don't really sleep in, so we don't either. Anyway, it was fun. We were reflecting on what a wonderful year 2009 was! We are so very blessed and happy, and I'd be surprised if this year could top it. Now for a few updates on my kiddos:
Brynlee is 10 1/2 months and ALL over the place. She loves to chew on celery. I love it too, because it keeps her occupied for a really long time. Her blond hair is kind of curly and she has the most beautiful blue eyes you've ever seen. I can't get enough of her deep growl and fake laugh. She loves to drink her own bath water, chew on anything she sees (including yucky shoes), and pound away on the piano. Still not walking, but she can stand up by herself for quite a while. Ever since we went to my parents' house for Christmas, she's mastered going up stairs, and now tries to climb up anything she can reach. She is quite mischievous and persistent. She pulls the vents out of the floor, sticks everything in her mouth, pulls the curtains off the rod, pulls all the books off shelves, etc. etc. I really can't turn my back on her for a second. I am weaning her this month, and she has taken very well to soy milk! Hopefully she'll be good to go for our cruise in Feb. when she stays with my parents for a week.
Tyler will be 3 in February. He has learned how to pee standing up thanks to his little friend, Elijah, and that has been very helpful haha. Still a picky eater. Loves to play ball and color. He repeats everything you say and is very quick to correct you if you say something that's not allowed (like stupid). He's also into swords, guns, cars, and of course animals. Basically he's your typical boy. Still hasn't grown out of his flapping thing, but hopefully someday soon :). He never stops talking or singing and has gotten into the stage of WHY? Every single thing I say, he follows it with a question of, "why?" I remember when I used to think it was cute when other kids did it. It sure gets old, quickly. But he makes me laugh every day, and is good at giving hugs and kisses. He memorizes quickly and can quote many movies, and recite the Pledge of Allegiance (it's really cute), count to 20, and recite many nursery rhymes.
I love my kids so much and still can't believe I'm lucky enough to be their mom. Happy New Year everyone, and Happy Birthday Cami!!