Friday, December 30, 2011

"this is war"

Some families watch festive movies on Christmas Eve, others go caroling.  My family used to make gingerbread houses, but have since graduated to a more serious tradition that reminds us to be thankful for our life and safety.  Hello, paint balling!  It's always sounded painful and not altogether appealing, but somehow this year I let Rachel convince me to put on seven layers of sweatshirts and join in.

Once I was huddled behind a tree in the freezing cold and hardly able to see far enough to spot the opposing team from my foggy face shield, I remembered why I decided to sit out in the past.  To add to my quickly increasing list of reasons playing was a bad choice, darling Rachel hit me twice on the inner thigh.  The inner thigh!  I still have huge black bruises, which are a very sexy addition to my white legs.

To be fair, I did get her back - in. the. face.  So take that, paint balling.  It didn't feel as satisfying as I'd hoped, but maybe I was just too cold to do cartwheels across the war zone.  Or maybe I was about to pee my pants in fear.  Okay, probably both.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Day

Christmas was a little different this year than it has been because there wasn't anyone that wanted to wake up early (last year that will happen for us).  Tyce made a german pancake breakfast, then after nine people battled over three bathrooms to get ready in one hour, we went to church and enjoyed a Christmas musical program.

When we got home I put Lincoln down for a nap, snuck a few cookies to hold me over until after presents, then spent time with my siblings while we waited for Mr. and Mrs. Claus to finish laying out stockings.  After presents we ate hor d'oeuvres, pulled wrapping paper out of Lincoln's mouth 64 times, visited with my grandparents when they stopped by, and then took Sunday naps.

After an amazing dinner, we sat around the fireplace talking and watching my little brother's lego motorized bulldozer drive around the floor, trying to avoid the topic of bedtime since it was our last night there.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Eve(ish)

Christmas Eve is my favorite, I love it more than Christmas day because of the anticipation and the family which always surrounds me.  This year my dad read us the Christmas story from the bible and explained it in greater detail, giving us historical references to help us understand what else was going on in the world at the time of Christ's birth.

I feel extremely blessed to have such a beautiful family, one who values their time together and makes efforts to be together as much as possible.  I am already home sick!  Our Christmas vacation was better than hoped, and having Lincoln to share it with made it that much better.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

salt lake city, we're back!

We're home and a little sad about it!  Christmas with my family is always better than hoped for, so we're missing everybody already.  After a 14 hour drive yesterday (thank you, stopped traffic to Las Vegas) we are napping and attempting to ease Lincoln back into a much smaller play space.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

home for the holiday

Being home for the holidays is the best!  We've been catching up on our sleep, taking advantage of all the babysitters and enjoying my mom's beautiful Christmas decorations, lights and warm fires.  One thing that is difficult about being home is knowing we have to leave and be so far from Lincoln's amazing grandparents.  Enjoy the last few days before Christmas, they are always my favorite!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

weekend links

We're beginning to fill our suitcases as I write this because tomorrow we're off to California!  I hope you enjoy the last Sunday before Christmas, December has flown by.  Kinda sad and exciting, at the same time.  Here's a few links for your day:

25 ideas to make your life easier.

Your husband would like this website (and you, too, if youre awesome).

Every year this family does a traditional Christmas video instead of a card.

A dolphin jetpack!?  I want one!

The most powerful images of 2011.

Why men and women can't be friends.

H&M use fake, computer generated bodies for their models (then paste different heads on later).

Kids' cereals that have more sugar than chocolate chip cookies.

Money origami.

Home Alone house for sale!

Friday, December 16, 2011

kids come with handbooks

A favorite saying amongst parents is that, "kids don't come with handbooks." My favorite response is my dad's, arguing there are so many educational tools to help, it is almost as if a handbook were provided (you just have to take the effort to find and read them).  While it is true no two children are the same, it is also true that there are many psychologists, professors of child development, and the advice of more educationally experienced all available within the pages of books or the screen of your computer, covering many personalities and offering insight to children's behavior.

When Lincoln was born, my mom drove from California to help us "learn the ropes."  My parents were beyond excited to become grandparents, and very supportive of us beginning a family.  They brought articles they had saved from their years of parenting and books that helped with a clearer understanding of how to emotionally care for a child.

As my baby begins the transition into toddlerhood, I am beginning to understand the importance of such education!  I've pulled down the binder filled with the articles my parents gifted us; from my readings this morning, one passage in particular stuck out to me about the importance of mother-child relationships.  From the article "Understanding emotions in early childhood helps overall health:"

One of the major factors in good emotional health in children came from a strong relationship with their mother. From a young age, a child's emotion often mirrors the expression on their mother's face. As they get older, words are added and through their vocabulary and language they are able to categorize and express emotion.

Studies showed that as mothers recognized and identified emotions, linking them with situations they were in, their children were more able to understand their emotions and act accordingly. As children understand their emotions, they are more able to understand themselves, develop morally and have a greater social understanding.

"The emotional and emotionate character of young children depends significantly on stress and support in their environments of care, especially their experience in close relationships," Dr. Thompson said. "Emotions can be confusing and sometimes overwhelming to young children. This is why what is said and how it is said is so important."

P.S. These long posts are a result of being home for too long cleaning!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

busy as a bee (on lunch break)

Today we're running around trying to finish our Christmas shopping and crossing the last things off our "to do" list before we head into the weekend (and to California).  In between errands we like to get silly and play on Photo Booth - it's better than a mirror, we think!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

on nursing and why I don't want to stop

The past few days I've been thinking a lot about breastfeeding and the sacrifices I have made to be able for it.  When I first found out I was pregnant, I thought that I only wanted to breastfeed for 6 months because I didn't want to be tied down and worried it might be limiting.  By the time I was in the delivery room eight months later, we had done enough research about the irreplaceable benefits of nursing that I was committed for a year...but it still sounded daunting.

After a little struggle with latching the first few days, a serious infection the next month, then dealing with Lincoln's acid reflux, breastfeeding seemed as difficult as I'd imagined.  But maybe that's why I stuck with it?  Somehow, I managed to wade through all of the problems and create this amazing bond with my baby (and eat almost whatever I wanted).  While I worried I'd feel trapped by breastfeeding, I instead felt comfort by the fact I was needed, loving being the one who could calm him.  All of the sacrifices (even you, dairy) are so worth it!

Nine months into our breastfeeding relationship, I have a hard time thinking it will be over in three months (maybe I'll choose to continue longer?).  It's become so apart of my routine, giving me little "timeouts" throughout the day to help me regain perspective and connect with my baby.  In the beginning I nursed because of the health benefits for Lincoln, but as we near the end, I can honestly say that there's just as many benefits for me.  Do I nurse for selfish reasons?  Maybe.  Okay, yes.  And I'm not sorry.

*picture from August, outside of a Starbucks in CA.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

oh christmas tree!

This year we were very committed to the idea of having our own Christmas tree, until we realized we are leaving for California in a week, and did we really want to come home to dead pine needles on our floor? And did we really want to purchase ornaments, a tree stand and lights, just for one week?  So in lieu of a real tree, I made one on our sliding doors with masking tape, a marshmallow garland, and a doily star.  Call me crafty!  And cheap!  Definitely not as good as the real deal, but for this year it will work for us.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

This gave me a little adrenaline rush!

Who needs caffeine when you have this?

Friday, December 9, 2011

weekend links

Somehow we have been pretty busy the past week, and I'm anxious for Tyce to take his finals so I can have him all to myself for a few days.  I'm feeling pretty selfish with Tyce's time lately, so I'm glad he gets a break soon (hear that, employment?  And you, education?  He's mine!).  I hope everyone has a festive weekend, Christmas is just around the corner!  Here's a few links I've had my eye on...

Modern perforated trees.

This website is hilarious!

Every song by The Beatles, played simultaneously.

What an awesome app!

I would love these knuckle tattoo gloves in my stocking :)

Adorable heart earbuds.

Cool idea for a Christmas tree in a too-small-for-a-Christmas-tree space (also found here).

Whoah!  That's some intense concealer!

Some interesting facts and figures about Christmas.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

just a little 'hawk for your day

Oh yes, that is Tyce.  He was pretty serious about his hair back in the day, at one point even growing it so long that when he cut it, it was long enough to donate to Locks of Love.  Before he had a full time job while going to school plus a wife and baby, he had more time to dedicate to his 'do, and lemme tell ya, he rocked a few good ones.  It's radical, no?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

what's making me smile (and laugh a little) today

1. My baby's naked bum.

2. How Lincoln reminds me of a 95 year old bald man with a walker when he pushes his "first steps" wheeled toy around.

3. That Tyce is at home and I can go kiss him whenever i want (even if he had to go through food poisoning yesterday).

4. Using Christmas songs as lullabies.

5. Molasses ginger snaps.

6. My moose head socks that Lincoln keeps smiling at whenever I walk by.

7. The new way our living room is arranged (leaving the drapes more accessible to play peek-a-boo).

8. My cupboard stalked with ground flaxseed, steel cut oats, and almonds (ready to be ground up and added to Lincoln's food).

9. Pomegranate in every meal (granola, salad, ice cream - what can't I put them on?).

10. Sharing grapes with Lincoln while we sit on the floor in front of the refrigerator.

Monday, December 5, 2011

late links

This weekend we've been rearranging our apartment to make room for a Christmas tree!  I think it was one of those projects we stood back and said, "yeah that would take an hour, tops," then five hours later we still weren't done (so we made "crownies," or brownies with cookies baked on top to give us the sugar shock we needed to finish).  I'm pleased to announce we now have room for a tree!
As for my usual weekend links...better late than never, right?  So here they are.

Before and after pictures of Redbook's cover girl

(and have you seen this video?  No wonder women's perception of beauty is distorted!)

How to choose the right red lipstick.

This guide is awesome for holiday gifts, recipes, and DIYs.

Ninja cookie cutters!

Cool way to wrap a gift card.

Construction plate and utensils!

Ridiculously adorable little French girl makes up a fairy tale.

5 best toys of all time.

Friday, December 2, 2011


I did it.  I finally went dark.  
I'm still surprised every time I look in the mirror, but I sort of love it!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

theories (on a second baby)

Last week we had dinner with two other couples who live across the street from us.  Not only was the food seriously delicious, but the hosting couple also had a little boy named Maddix that we were able to test some personal theories out on.  We've been debating the "when" of a second baby, wondering how many years to space them apart, and if we can afford it while Tyce is still in school.

 Any questions making us think twice about another baby sort of flew out the window when we saw Maddix and Lincoln together though.  Before this, we didn't have any kids with the appropriate age gap from Lincoln to compare our said theory to, but now, two year spacing seems perfect...I think my ovaries did little cartwheels?  And no Mom, I won't sign anything in blood, but it's made us baby hungry again!

By the's December!  Let the Christmas countdown begin!