Thursday, January 19, 2012

4 Months

Baby Nathan is 4 months old!! I really can't believe how fast it's gone. How could he be 4 months old already?


I have been horribly negligent in posting updates on our sweet little Nathan. He truly is a joy. He brings so much light and happiness into our home. He smiles, giggles, and laughs all the time. He loves patty-cake, peek-a-boo, and Primary songs. He loves to watch his older siblings play. Emma and Hyrum love to hold him, entertain him, and give him hugs and kisses.


Nathan is growing so super fast! At around 3.5 months, he started growing out of his 3-6 sleepers. Seriously. My 4 month old needs 6-9 month sleepers! He still wears 3-6 month onesies and such, but he needs the length of the larger sleepers. He's been in size 3 diapers for a month or so now. He's bigger at this age than his siblings were - even his 9 lb 12 oz birth-weight brother!


Maybe he has the random tall gene? [He comes from an exceptionally short family; I'm 4'11" and John is just under 5'5".] He's already got the random red hair gene, so who knows? And yes, he is still a redhead :D His eyelashes and eyebrows are red/strawberry blonde, so I think it's here to stay. I hope so. We love his red hair!


Nathan loves to eat. He smiles at me mid-feeding. He doesn't usually fuss about being hungry until I'm literally pulling his food out. He now gets distracted during feedings. Having 2 older siblings makes his meals interesting. Thankfully, he remembers that he's more hungry than he is interested in their antics and goes back to eating pretty easily.

He is now interested in our food. He watches us eat and it looks like he wants to try some, too. Ha! Not a chance! In a couple of months we'll let him try baby food...


Nathan rarely spits up. In fact, sometimes when he overeats and starts to spit up, he forces it back down. Funny baby. And he drools a lot.

He's a great sleeper! He typically goes to bed around 11 or 12 and stays asleep until like 7-8 ish, then eats and goes back to sleep until around 10. Awesome. The best thing? He pretty much sleep trained himself. I'm not even kidding. As long as his diaper is clean and his tummy is full, we can put him in his bed and he'll fall asleep all on his own without even fussing. All on his own. We didn't have to do anything. In all honesty, all my babies have been great sleepers. At least at night; Emma and Hyrum had to nurse to sleep for naps. And we had to help them learn to fall asleep in their own beds. But this self-sleep training Nathan does? Best thing ever.

Add to that the fact that the boys take coordinating naps 90% of the time, I am one incredibly blessed mommy!


Like his big siblings, Nathan hates tummy time. Once again, tummy time is referred to as "crying time" in our house. As such, I haven't given him enough tummy time, so he's not quite rolling over yet. Any day now. He has great head and neck control, though. Our kids seem to be born with that. And, believe it or not, he's almost sitting up. He can definitely sit supported. He can also rotate himself around on the floor.


But tummy time to help him roll over? Not so much. I try, but his cry is so sad when he's on his tummy that I just can't stand it for long. He's so sweet and sensitive. The tummy time cry is a "you're abandoning me! Please hold me!" cry. How could I resist that?

Overall, though, he hardly cries at all. He's generally content with life. He's more of a squirmer when he needs something. He squirms like crazy when he needs a diaper change - especially if it's poopy. But once it's changed, he's all smiles.


Nathan has no qualms about hanging out in his swing or on his playmat. Most of the time, anyway. Sometimes he really just wants to be held and snuggled - especially after his 2 favorite entertainers go to bed. He's such a sweet little boy. He loves being a part of everything with the whole family. He likes to look around at everything. I love when he looks right into my eyes and smiles.


Nathan loves to suck his thumb and fist. Looks like we've got a little thumb sucker! He hasn't used a pacifier in like 2 months; he prefers his thumb. We haven't offered a pacifier in awhile because he's just so content that he doesn't need it. He self-soothes with his thumb or fist instead. He's almost gagged himself a few times when sucking on his fingers, though.


Speaking of baby hands...Nathan likes to grab things. He'll grab toys, but mostly he loves to grab hair. I usually have mine pulled back during the day, so Emma is his primary hair-pulling victim. He loves to hold my hand while nursing. So sweet!

Nathan loves bathtime! He really enjoys being in the water. He's so smiley during baths. Sometimes he gets upset when we take him out, but it's mostly because of the temperature change.

Nathan now looks more and more like Emma did at this age. Except, of course, bigger, male, and with red hair. Check out the 3-kid comparisons:


[Poor Hyrum had really bad eczema at 4 months.]

Here's some fun size comparisons: at 4 months, Emma was 9 lbs 5 oz (yes, she was teeny tiny - and still is for her age). Nathan was 9 lbs 6 oz at 2 weeks...and Hyrum was 9 lbs 12 oz at birth. My boys are definitely much bigger than their sister!

And what baby update post is complete without lots of pics? Most are scattered throughout the post, but here are a few more for your cuteness-admiring pleasure.




We love our sweet little Nathan! We are so grateful he came into our lives when he did. Such a sweet, adorable, loving, happy baby!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A New Year: Recaps and Resolutions

2011 was full of ups and downs, challenges and successes, trials and triumphs. We saw a lot of illness, unexpected expenses, and the death of my grandma. We saw the challenges of toddler-hood, sibling rivalry, and a sooner-than-planned pregnancy.

Despite the difficulties (and believe me, they were hard), we had a great year overall. We bought a van, visited family, and celebrated birthdays. We found ways to serve those around us, however small the tasks performed. We did lots of fun family activities: road trip home, the zoo, swimming at the lake, water park fun, picnics, parades, fireworks, county fair, BBQs, straw maze, pumpkin patch, holiday celebrations, and even a fun camping trip in Yellowstone.

John got and completed his internship. The story behind that is miraculous in and of itself. He was stressing out about finding one when his internship boss contacted him. They met at a "meet the firms" event on campus beforehand and really connected. John loved his internship. He learned a lot and definitely thrived in that environment. I only wish he got paid. But the recommendation letter he got afterward? He could seriously land a job from that alone. It's that good - because John is that good.

But the very best thing about 2011 was baby Nathan joining our family in September. He is such a sweet baby. He is a huge blessing in our lives. We can't imagine life without him.

We spent New Year's Eve at home this year. We invited a few friends and family to hang out, eat snacks, and play games with us. It was so fun! It was a great way to ring in the new year. Of course, I happened to be feeding a baby when the ball dropped...hey, he needs his New Year's toast too, right? ;)

At the end of each year, I like to reflect on my goals for that year. I love looking back and seeing how far I've come and where I still need improvement. So here's a recap of last year's goals:

1. Save money. We really need to start saving more for future expenditures. We get better and better at managing our money, but we haven't been quite as good about saving as we'd like. We want to start putting a set amount or percentile into savings each pay check. In order to meet our semi-long term goals, we need to start putting more of what we get in savings. Which, of course, means better management of our income.
Status: Semi-fail. A sooner-than-planned pregnancy kind of blew that one out of the water. However, the main future expenditure I had in mind at the time was a minivan; we knew we'd need one before adding another child to our family. And we bought one with cash plus trade in. So, that was a success. But general saving overall? Not so hot.

2. Be healthier. Lose weight, exercise, eat healthier. I want to exercise every day except Sunday. I'll still eat some of the not-so-good-for-me foods, but I really need to be better at limiting my intake.
Status: Hahahaha. I did great - for a month. Then I got pregnant and all bets were off. I didn't have the energy to exercise and I didn't have the stomach to really eat healthy. I ended the year weighing 20 lbs more than I started it. But, I did just have a baby mid-September...

3. Read the scriptures everyday. If I can take a photo a day for a year, there's no reason why I can't do this, too! I know it makes a huge difference in my life; I hope I can read everyday. Have better prayers, too. Spiritual growth will come if I do.
Status: Success!! I only missed reading one day. I'm thrilled with that accomplishment. And I'm continuing to do this in 2012 (and hopefully forever) as well. Overall, I think I've grown a lot spiritually in 2011.

4. Be more patient. I need to stop reacting to things that don't matter. I need to be more patient, tolerant, and understanding - especially around my kids. I definitely need to yell at my kids less when they do something that frustrates me.
Status: Ooooh boy. I don't even want to touch this one. Let's just say pregnancy hormones really did a number on me in 2011. But once they were out of my system, I was much better. Not perfect, but better. Life with a toddler boy and daily sibling rivalry tries my patience. There's still tons of room for improvement. This...will probably be on my list every single year.

5. Be a better me. I want to be a better me tomorrow than I was today. I want the me of today to be better than yesterday. I want to continually strive to be better in every way.
Status: Overall, I'd say I was successful. I still have a long way to go, but I think I'm a better me than I was a year ago.

6. Be more loving and kind. I think this will help with goal number 4. I especially want to be nicer to those I love most.
Status: I think I was successful. I certainly wasn't perfect, but I've improved.

7. Be less judgmental. It's so easy to judge others; even random people on the street that I don't even know! I really want to work on judging less. It's not my place to begin with.
Status: I've definitely improved here as well. Again, I'm far from perfect, but I'm better at giving people the benefit of the doubt and not assuming they're "bad" because we don't see eye to eye.

8. Improve my home management. Now that I've figured out what works for me cleaning-wise and cooking-wise, I need to be better at implementing it.
Status: Minus the months I was too tired to do anything but survive? A success. I used my planner a ton for my To Do list and family activities. I did weekly meal plans. Keeping a home clean with small children is pretty much impossible, but I'm trying. A lot of times it's a triage cleaning; I clean the areas that demand the loudest (kitchen and living room) and neglect the less public areas of our home. Our bedroom especially gets neglected. It's currently a total it is on my To Do list for this week.'s been on my list for like the last 3'll see if it really happens. I tend to put more on my list than I can reasonably accomplish. What can I say? I'm ambitious. But I don't beat myself up over uncompleted tasks, either.

9. Project 365. I loved doing this in 2010! I'm totally doing it again in 2011. I still have 10 pages to scrap from last year. I'll catch up soon. I hope. I think I'll do 2 page spreads for each month this year. 52 pages (1 page per week) is pretty daunting. Plus, I don't even want to think about how much it'll cost to print my 2010 book. 24 pages (2 per month) sounds much more manageable! I also want to be better at posting the pics (and other things) on my blog. Maybe once a week?
Status: Well...I took the pictures...every day. But...I only scrapped January and I haven't posted P365 pics since fail in terms of reporting back, but success in the actual picture taking. I have a lot of catching up to do!

10. Be a better CT girl. I want to step up my scrapping...and actually post my pages in the galleries I'm supposed to. I'm great at posting them here and in the CT forum...but I tend to forget to upload them to the galleries. I think cutting back on my P365 pages will help me make time for my other scrapping projects. I still need to redo our wedding book and I haven't really even started on Hyrum's baby book yet - and he just turned one!
Status: Yeah...didn't do so hot here...but I did finish Hyrum's baby book! It's amazing how something like pregnancy exhaustion can throw resolutions out the window!

Ok, so...I kind of failed in several goals. But at least I mostly succeeded in the really important ones. Now onto this year's resolutions! And look, I scrapped them :D

Kit: Almost Midnight, geniaBeana Scraps

I've organized some of these goals already. I'm keeping track of what I eat and I'm exercising daily (minus Sundays). I filled out my planner with daily checklists throughout the year. Each day includes scripture reading (individual and couple - family scripture study is part of the kids' bedtime routine) and exercise. I plan to blog every Tuesday (but with how late I start posts, the post date will often be Wednesday) and scrap something on Thursday. I plan other tasks such as cleaning on a week to week basis. I love planners; they help keep me organized!

I also did some major brainstorming for at-home preschool lesson ideas and put together a schedule. I pretty much have topics for the whole year figured out! I'm going to fine-tune it more, but the basic structure is there. Once I'm satisfied, I'll share it with anyone who's interested :) I'm so excited! We had our first little lesson today on calendars and I think it went pretty well.

2012 will bring some other major changes to our life: graduation!!!! Oh my goodness am I excited. LOL, you'd think it was me graduating. Ha, I did my time. I finished college nearly 7 years ago. But this year, it's John's turn! 3 more months! Finally!! I can't wait! Grad school is his next step, so it's not like he'll be done with school forever yet, but it's definitely a huge step in that direction. Oh how I long for that day.

And...with graduation and grad school...we get to MOVE!! Away from here! No more butt-freezing winters! At least if I can help it there won't be. YAY! And a bigger place to live! No more tiny 2 bedroom apartment, no more sharing walls/floors/ceilings with several sets of neighbors, no more carpeted "dining" space. That's the hope, anyway. Along with a yard and more than one bathroom. And real storage space. And a pantry. Oh I could go on and on and on.

2011 was a great year, despite the many rough patches. We've truly been blessed beyond our expectations. 2012? Bring it!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2 Years

2 years ago, I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of my first son. I was definitely ready to not be pregnant anymore. He, like his big sister, decided to come on his due date. Hyrum John joined our family on January 4, 2010 at 5:18 AM. He weighed 9 lbs 12 oz and was 21" long. He surprised all of us by being so big! Look at those chubby little newborn cheeks! How could you not want to kiss them?
Jan 6

And now, that "little" baby boy is 2 years old!

It's hard to believe how much he's grown.

He's definitely hit the "terrible twos" stage. That boy gets into everything. He's incredibly skilled at foraging for food. He has this innate sense of where to find crackers, cookies, or candy. We have no fear of him starving!

He climbs on everything. Nothing is safe. He recently climbed over the baby gate and face-planted on the floor - good thing it was carpet! Once I even caught him standing on the 3' high windowsill! He loves to explore, learn, and discover.

He throws screaming fits when he doesn't get his way. This typically occurs when he wants a toy he sees Emma playing with or when she takes something away from him. Or when someone tries to do something he wants to do - even when it's something he doesn't really know how to do yet.

He is very much Mr. Independent. He wants to do everything himself, from getting dressed to turning lights on and off to TV and movie use. He is a very opinionated little boy! The words we hear him say the most are no, me, and mine.

Sometimes it drives me crazy.

But he is also the biggest little sweetheart. He absolutely adores his little brother. He constantly gives him hugs and kisses. He's usually the first to hear the baby crying. Hyrum even says baby Nathan is his best friend.

He's also very sweet with Emma, when they're not fighting over something.

Hyrum is a total Daddy's boy these days. He just loves his dad! He always wants Daddy to do everything for him. He gets SO mad when he learns that John is at work or school!

Hyrum is very much a little boy. He loves cars and trains. He is very active; he runs around and throws balls all day. He also loves to play with blocks. He currently has a scratch on his cheek from jumping on the bed with Legos in his hand...

He enjoys coloring, play food, Play Doh, and music toys. He loves watching kid movies and reading books.

He loves all things technology. We're constantly having to get him away from our computers. He moves the mouse around and everything. He loves to bring me my camera or my phone. Thank goodness he hasn't quite figured out how to unlock the phone. He loves to watch youtube videos (kid appropriate ones, of course).

Hyrum is such a comedian!! He cracks us up all the time. For example: a few days ago, I asked him if he wanted some banana bread at snack time. He shook his head and said, "No!" Then I told him, "I put chocolate chips in it." He gasped excitedly. I asked, "Now do you want some banana bread?" He nodded vigorously and said, "Nana bed?" He is such a funny kid!

He's been in a "I only want macaroni and cheese or junk food" phase for ages. Well, he'd eat some other foods, too, but he was extremely picky. This coming from the kid who used to eat everything! He's slowly getting better and trying more foods. He still won't touch meat or vegetables much, but we're getting there. He absolutely loved all the fudge and other goodies I made this Christmas season.

Hyrum is learning more and more words all the time. A lot of his words sound similar, so sometimes we can only understand them in context. I love the way he says Emma. He calls her "Memma." Soooo cute!

He's starting to put more words together. Last week or so, Emma told me, "We have a book about a polar bear. I think his mommy died." Hyrum then said, "Book. Mommy. Die." Not exactly sure how I feel about that combination...

We're working on teaching him colors. He calls most things blue. But he's starting to pick up on yellow and green, and maybe red too.

It always amazes me how aware and intelligent he is. Even though he doesn't speak in full sentences yet or always knows how to express himself, you can just see those gears spinning.

He still copies his big sister in pretty much everything. This can be good or bad...depending on what Emma is doing.

He understands that he's a boy and Emma is a girl. He's very big into possession these days. He correctly labels everyone's clothing, toys, or other belongings.

Hyrum is super loud and crazy at home, but he's incredibly shy in public. It's so funny to see how opposite he is when we're around other people!

He gets very clingy when he first wakes up. He's pretty grumpy when he's tired. Hyrum is very expressive of his emotions, even with his limited 2 year old vocabulary. Those same limitations make for some very unpleasant screaming fits when he can't express how he feels in words.

All in all, Hyrum is a very fun, hilarious, and sweet little boy. We love him so much! Happy birthday, Hyrum!