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MEMORIAL DAY // A-FRAME HAUS

May 30, 2017

We wanted to get out of the house for Memorial Day weekend this year, but we didn't want to fight any crowds. I had seen this a-frame cabin on instagram, loved it, and felt like Stefan would really like it, too. I wanted to surprise him with it someday, but then it seemed like a perfect fit for this past weekend so I showed it to him and we jumped on Airbnb to book it right away! It's just on the other side of the valley from us - about a thirty minute drive. I barely have any pictures of people, but we invited some of our good friends to come with us, so we had a full house! We made really good food - homemade pizza, Belgian waffles (like, straight from the streets of Belgium. these Dutch/Belgium RM's know how to do it.) BLTs, and Mexican. We played corn hole and the ever popular Wikipedia trivia game and I schoooooled two of the boys at poker. Stefan literally taught me how to play last week. Guys I seriously won soooo many Cheez-Its. We talked and napped and walked down to the little river. I would say it was a relaxing weekend, but we did have Peter with us so I'll just say it was a fun weekend. This little cabin is so cute, and maybe it wasn't the most baby-friendly (at least for our baby) but maybe that means we just need to book a babysitter and go back.

peter is all about the camera these days - in that he would like to be the one holding it, please

 they had the same train we have at home! i loved that they had stocked up on some kids toys and lots of movies

 i'm always on board to invite the friends who bring the hammocks

 hahaha these pictures crack me up - i think he was going for an itch

 melted into a puddle when i realized peter was carrying around the "p" block

i love this picture mckenna got of taylor! he has been stefan's best friend forever so i guess if only one person outside of our family makes the post, it's okay that it's him

I love what one of my cousins posted about Memorial Day - she talked about how her kids had fun playing outside all day without a care in the world, and it wasn't lost on her that they were able to do that because of the freedom this country provides. We are so grateful for all those who have fought to protect that freedom - especially those who gave their lives in the fight. Happy Memorial Day from my handsome handsome handsome boys and me.

SECOND MOTHER'S DAY

May 18, 2017

RECAP: The day before Mother's Day, Stefan took me to buy everything we needed to plant flowers! We stopped at three stores before we found exactly what we wanted, and Peter was not cooperating in the least so the whole outing was a real labor of love - and I loved it.

On Sunday morning Stefan made me cinnamon toast - 9:00AM church with a one year old isn't an ideal set up for an extravagant breakfast, plus let's be honest I love cinnamon toast - and after church he made me a smoothie and a bagel for lunch. #Sundaytradition We went for a family walk and played outside, and then Stefan and I planted the flowers while Peter napped. All day I ate a million of my favorite treats and later that night we sat outside and read our books and the whole day was exactly what I asked for. Also, I got my hair cut on Saturday afternoon and then didn't wash it on Sunday so it still smelled like the salon products all day and that was my best Mother's Day hack yet. 

FEELINGS: Last year I wrote about what it meant for me to be a brand new mom. Life - and my role as a mama - has changed a lot in one year, so I want to write what it means for me to be Peter's mom right now. It means my heart bursts every time his little voice says "maMA." It means I feel proud when he uses his baby signs to communicate with me. It means I get to wrestle him into his high chair, his car seat, his stroller, his diapers, his clothes.. and he is strong. It means I have to keep doors locked because if I don't he can open them quickly and quietly. It means I spend a lot of time looking at all the rocks and pinecones and sticks he wants to show me. It means I am struggling to keep us all happy and sane during church each week. It means I love any chance I get to go somewhere alone, and it means I hate going anywhere without him because he gets so sad when I do. It means I say, "you're so cute I want to eat you!" a dozen times every day. It means I get to watch his little brain work and grow and learn, and literally be amazed at how fast it's all happening. It means I am constantly thinking of ways I can trick his wiggly little body into slowing down and snuggling me. It means I am slowly introducing him to my favorite shows and characters and he is catching on quickly. It means every day I am so torn between gushing over how little or how big he is. Really what it all means in the end is I am hands down the luckiest, happiest person I know.

These days it feels like I constantly have thoughts about motherhood and womanhood circling through my head. But somehow, for how much I think about it all, it's awfully hard to put into words what it means to me. Here are a couple bits and pieces that I hope convey how I feel.

Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity.

The errand of angels is given to women;
And this is a gift that, as sisters, we claim:
To do whatsoever is gentle and human,
To cheer and to bless in humanity's name.
How vast is our purpose, how broad is our mission,
If we but fulfill it in spirit and deed.
Oh, naught but the Spirit's divinest tuition
Can give us the wisdom to truly succeed.

I hope I can be all those things and do all those things because I'm pretty sure if I can, I'll be an okay mom. And if you read all that and thought to yourself, "that's so Mormon" - well, I am, so there's that.

A LITTLE PETER UPDATE

May 16, 2017

Peter seems so big lately. He is tall and smart and fast and funny. Big kid stuff.

He can open doors. Help us all, he can open doors! I can keep the door to the garage and the front door locked, so those are usually okay. But I need to baby proof the door to the bathroom and the door to our hall closet with all our shoes. We have handles on all our doors - rather than knobs - and baby proofing stuff is harder to find for handles.

He outgrew his first car seat! He has a brand new, fancy, big kid car seat (still facing backwards, lower your weapons!) and so far he hates it.. I have no idea why. 

Last week was a doozy for him. Bad naps, waking up a lot at night, he even had his first big bonk at the playground. But Friday night was the worst of it all. He kept waking up and nothing could console him. He didn't seem like he was in pain, wasn't hungry, had a fresh diaper.. but he would yell and cry and wouldn't sleep. (At first I thought it might be teething because his huge molars are coming in, but then Stefan looked into it more and based on his age we think it could have been night terrors!?) I finally got him to sleep in my arms and tried to put him back in his crib, but he woke up.. got him to sleep again and tried to climb into our bed with him, but he woke up.. finally I got him to sleep and just sat down on the floor of his room. Then laid down with him on my chest. We stayed like that for a while. After who knows how long, he rolled off onto the floor so I seized the opportunity and went to use the bathroom. I thought about crawling into my bed and leaving him on the floor, but it didn't feel right so I grabbed my pillow and a blanket and went back to his room. He woke up a couple hours later and we ended up with him sleeping on top of me again. It was a long night and my back was wrecked the next day (and I had just had a fancy massage the day before lol eyeroll) but it was pretty sweet too. It reminded me so much of those newborn days. And while I don't miss those much at all, it was nice to get all those snuggles just for one night. The next night he must have known it was Mother's Day Eve because he slept like a little angel baby all night long!

Peter still L O V E S to be outside. He asks to go outside constantly. Actually lately he just goes ahead and opens the door.. He seriously could walk around outside for hours, looking at everything, picking up everything (and putting it in his mouth - when does that phase end?), watching animals, pointing at cars and plants and literally everything.

He has some new words! All together he says: sock, shoe, choo choo, maMA (his inflection goes up at the end almost every time), dada, more, yeah, no (all the time with the no's) and for any animal he says, "MAA" hahaha we have no idea why. He still signs a lot, too: more, please, help, all done, milk, outside, Jesus - we're pretty sure he thinks any picture on the wall or in a frame is Jesus.. but we're working on it. He has a picture of Jesus in his room now and loves to point to Him and talk about Him every time we go to put him in or get him out of his crib.

Stefan says Peter gets this one from him and it's true - they both hate to sit down and eat. Peter's high chair is enemy number one. He hates to be put in it and never lasts long. He'll sign "all done," I'll get him out, and then he asks for more food. So, just all done with the high chair, got it.

Mostly in an effort to get him to snuggle us or just slow down for a few minutes, we've been slowly introducing Peter to some shows and characters. Really just Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh. We love both of them, he met both of them last time we were at Disneyland, and now he has stuffed animals of each. And let me tell you, this boy loves his stuffed animals. He has so many already! And I don't even care. We're keeping all of them. I love it. He will always pick one up, hug it tightly, and rock it back and forth while he looks at us and waits for us to say, "awww, so sweet!"

A couple days before we went in for Peter's most recent doctor's visit he started getting lots of goopy junk in his eyes. So there we were at the pediatrician ready to get four vaccines and the doctor confirmed he had pink eye. Talk about a rough day, and he was feeling it. But he also got two dum dum suckers (stickystickystickystickysticky) so I think he felt okay in the end. He also got another sucker during his hair cut (sticky and hair cut don't mix, in case you couldn't have guessed that..) and let me tell you, this boy hates hair cuts.

Basically Peter is our best friend and every day Stefan and I tell each other we could not have dreamed up a more perfect little boy for us.

stefan sent me this picture he took on his fancy new pixel phone, and i think it is hilarious.