26 February 2010

Power of Prayer


Sink Bathing...we are loving the double sink!
I am so blessed. I have a wonderful husband, deliciously cute kids, a warm and comfy home, awesome family and friends, and etc. My computer and hard drive caused extensive stress this past week. After Justin wiped the desktop computer clean my external drive where I backed up ALL my files stopped working. This morning I spent a couple hours on the phone with the hard drive company and data rescue companies. The sum of the two hours was not promising at all. Tech support basically said the only option I had was to wipe my back up and start over. While on the phone the tech person had me try any and every channel to get files off the drive. Nothing worked. The drive just kept cycling and dragging my computer speed to a snail's pace. He suggested I contact a couple data rescue companies and get an estimate. The cheapest price I could find was a starting fee of $565, with an average price of $800. At that time I was so disheartened that I knelt down to pray my frustrations out.

An hour later the drive suddenly started working. It worked long enough to get the vital files off! I could not help the tears streaming down my cheeks. What a small decisive miracle. Heavenly Father even cares about me and my love of photography!

**

Alison let me watch Ella for most of the day. Amelia and Ella were so funny. All the girls wanted to do was play in the rice. I started them off with water coloring. Amelia ended up painting Ella's socks with the dingy water. The funniest moment was watching them play with Amelia's little princess collection (sort of like Polly Pockets). Mia was near tantrum because Ella wanted to put a Belle dress on Jasmine, heaven forbid. I grabbed Snow White and asked Cinderella if she would wear my dress. Soon we had all the dresses mixed up and the dollies playing "nursery" and "Ring-a-Rosies."

Justin came home early from work today. It was heaven sent. He made a Walmart trip, got the car ready, and watched the kiddos while I taught piano and packed. Tomorrow we are off for a week of fun in Utah. I can't wait to show Phillip to my Mom and Justin's family. I stayed up way too late last night finishing a darling dress for Amelia. Ooooo la la!

Six Months Old






My little boy is six months old already! I cannot believe it. He is such a wonderful little guy. At his 6 month check-up Phillip weighed in at 14.12 lbs and measures 26 1/4 inches long. Percentage wise his weight is in the 6th percentile and 50th in height. Most likely his lack in weight is due to not eating solid foods yet. The Dr gave the okay to start feeding him solids. He is not sitting up yet, in fact he is not even rolling over on his own. I was going to give him some rice cereal yesterday but he came down with Strep during the afternoon. Both Mia and Phillip are doing better after 24 hours of antibiotics. This morning he sampled a biter biscuit. Oh my! He was so excited he kept losing the biscuit. This evening Amelia fed him some rice cereal. Not as exciting but still very delicious.

*can grasp objects quite quickly
*loves to play peek-a-boo, pat-a-cake, and bouncy games
*will spend 10-20 minutes in his jumperoo bouncing up a storm
*loves to follow Amelia and is delighted when she plays with him
*is super ticklish
*can babble ba-ba-ba, bo-bo-bo
*makes slobbery raspberries
*loves to suck/chew on his middle two fingers
*is nicknamed, Master the Blaster, due to his explod-o-poo
*laughs at stuffed animals
*giggles when his shirts are removed and his bum wiped
*really loves his mommy, favorite place is perched in the front pack carrier
*arches his back and tries to roll over, sometimes flips over and assumes the high-centered position (arms back with legs a kickin')
*has a really cute eyebrow waggle
*has more hair than Justin

23 February 2010

Sick and Alone Makes Me Crafty




Sorry about the lame title! My faculties are not quite stellar yet. Once again I am extremely grateful for modern medicine. I tend to forget the power of those large horse pills stuffed with anitbiotics. I would almost prefer childbirth over having strepp throat, headache, and fever! At least the pain is well-controlled and you get a baby afterwards. LOL. Just nine hours after taking my first dose I noticed the swelling going down. Gosh I am so grateful. I actually ate a banana today! It was delicious.

Mia loves to play in the snow. I love to follow her around and use my new camera. She had a stick to whack the snow off our front trees and make lines in the snow. Her little pink knitted hood just melted my heart.

While Justin was gone I revved up the crocheting and sewing factory again. I forgot to take pictures of three other hats I made, the other pictures are trapped on my external hard drive, which continues to pretend like it forgot how to communicate. You may get to see the other projects...one day. If not I may cry a river because a whole year of pictures and files are on that drive, the only other back up once Justin wiped the c:/ drive. Catherine showed me the cutest "trellis" hat while she was here. I only had a picture to go off of, but managed to replicate it with a few personal changes like brim size. I learned the stitch from a totally gay guy who has numerous crochet tutorials on youtube. I tried not to laugh while I followed him. I made myself another brown hat since the other one got washed and dryed causing major shrinkage. Phillip earned two new funky hats. Deb and Matt Haley inspired the helmet one...thanks for the idea. Nearly a month ago I stumbled across a sewn knit rose tutorial. Last week Amelia found a cute color tee at the Salvation Army, I ripped it apart and made the roses. My first attempt was amateur at best and mostly salvagable. I should have practiced first! Now I am in the process of cutting out several spring dresses and outfits for the kids. More cuteness in the future.

My house is in shambles. If you want to come visit me...please stay away for another couple days. LOL. It took me most of the day just to disinfect the house, sterilize binkies, and wash bedding, etc. Yuck. Sickies, PLEEEEASE stay away. Phillip is not sleeping well, so he must have some ache I can't identify. His gums are not swollen, his throat is not red, and his ears are clear. Poor kid cried for 2 hours last night because I was way too tired to get up.

***We are planning a trip to Utah on Saturday the 27th and leaving the 6th of March.

21 February 2010

Ickies and yuckies






We have a household of sickies! Amelia was the first one to get sick with a nasty cough and cold. Phillip contracted the runny nose which caused his eye to weep and get infected. Yesterday I contracted strepp throat, an ear infection, and a high fever of 103. We are so glad that Justin got home in time to take care of us all. Ironically, I was at the hospital with Phillip Saturday morning to get him some eye drops. At the time I felt a little weak in the knees but nothing too severe. Just an hour later I was in bed with the fever and sore throat!

Justin arrived back home from Winnepeg late Friday evening. He was loaded with gifts for us all! He gave me an authentic tuque from the Olympics and a red water bottle. Amelia was so happy daddy brought her a moose. Phillip got a cute little wolf. Both kids also got a cool water bottle. Amelia was so excited that Justin was home she stayed up to snuggle him.

Phillip loves to play peek-a-boo now. He will grab any close blanket and pull it over his eyes then laugh until I take the blanket away. Yesterday he also started to blow raspberries! Amelia was quite distressed over my sickness. At one point in time I woke up surrounded with scissors, unraveled thread, and crochet hooks. She wanted me to have fun with my "toys." I included some pictures of our play date with Ella and Parker. You can see they totally enjoyed playing with the rice.

Sidney received a ton of snow this weekend. I think this was the first snow storm without wind we've experienced. It was nice to enjoy the quiet snow drifting down. We probably received about 12 inches of snow this week. Amelia loves to use Daddy's blue snow shovel and help clear the walks.

Computer update: I backed up all our files on our external drive and then had Justin wipe the computer clean. Now we can't access the files on the external drive. I hope that it did not get corrupted. That would be super bad!

Here are recent videos:

Ella and Mia talk on the phone
Mia and Ella give hugs
Phillip plays ball
Amelia copies mom
Phillip in jumperoo
Amelia being silly
Phillip laughs at a toy
Amelia being a baby
5 months old
Amelia's paintings
Phillip on tummy
Mia plays piano
Phillip's toes
Phillip says bo-bo-bo
Amelia makes bread

18 February 2010

Valentine's Day

Justin left for Canada early Sunday morning. He carpooled with a couple other Cabela's employees to the airport. I have not heard much from him all week since my computer crashed and we can't really talk on the phone due to foreign country fees.

Catherine said that Kate woke up Sunday morning ruminating over if she was really awake or dreaming. The room the girls slept in is has no windows. She is a funny little character. Catherine and Jeff watched Phillip most of first and part of second hour while I was in Primary. That was really nice! We had a relaxing afternoon taking naps and such. Jeff made dinner for all the ladies. He made butternut squash ravioli's topped with a sage butter cream sauce, cranberries, and walnuts. Delish!

 (yes my SON wears tights...they are warm, stay on, and I have a ton from when Amelia was tiny)

After dinner we helped the girls make sugar cookies. They got a little messy! I was nearly laughing over Jeff's reaction to the girls getting flour everywhere. He had to leave the room. In the meantime I was enjoying the chaos taking tons of cute pictures. Fortunately he missed the messiest part of frosting the cookies and the infamous sprinkles. Just let it be noted that Kate and Amelia took a second bath in one day. My cousin requested my recipe for my frosting. Hummm, it is sooo good:

1 package of softened cream cheese
8 oz of ultra heavy whipping cream
1/2  to 1 cup powdered sugar (I used a sugar subsitute)
vanilla or your favorite flavoring

Whip the cream and half the sugar with cold beaters and bowl. Whip the cream cheese in a separate bowl, add to whipped cream. Add remaining sugar and extract. Dip your finger in the concoction several times until it tastes divine, then a couple more times to enjoy. You may need to add sugar. I tend to use more or less sugar depending on what the frosting will cover.

I finished crocheting a uber cute hat for Phillip and showed Catherine how to make a rolled fabric rose. We stayed up late chatting and enjoying the last moments of our visit. The next morning the Taylor's left by 9:30. All day Amelia wandered around asking for her "Kate Friend." It was super quiet without the Taylor's and Justin to liven up our home.

The rest of our week was low key. I accidentally downloaded an internet file that contained a nasty virus, Tuesday it completely shut down my computer, recycling me to the log-in page. Thanks to Nicole, from my ward, she helped me at least access my desktop. All my files are scattered and/or partially corrputed. Now comes the fun task of reinstalling all the programs we use and restoring digital order. In all honesty I was a little grateful for the forced hiatus. Now I feel behind on my journaling, photo editing, etc, but also refreshed.

Tuesday I had a fun little photoshoot with Gavin and Romaine. They are the boyz in the family I photographed a couple weeks ago with the gorgeous girls. While my computer was down I also crocheted a couple more hats, one for me and another for Phillip. Sewed a couple spring shirts for Mia. Tended three toddlers yesterday and today. Made more Montessori based activities. Et Cetera. I am planning a fun post soon with fun toddler activities using common household items.

16 February 2010

Chimney Rock, 4th Edition





We need to find a new place to show off when people come to visit us! Chimney Rock is close, church related, and mostly quick. Saturday everyone enjoyed a slow-paced morning. Kate is a couple months younger than Amelia. Amelia was so excited to have her "Kate friend" here from You-tah. Kate talks with a delightful lisp. She kept losing her way to "downstairs." Every so often she'd quip, "'scuse me, where is downstairs?" Malisia enjoyed using water colors most of the weekend. For breakfast I made yummy egg muffins, half plain with cheese and half with veggies. Amelia rode with the Taylor family, Justin drove our car, Phillip slept, and I crocheted two hats. It was heaven! Justin and I enjoyed talking on the drive over about finances and such. Hopefully soon we will invest in an electric wheat grinder. I am also planning a large vegetable garden this summer. I want to try seeds again; so far my seed starts have always died before they are even an inch tall.

The girls enjoyed playing at the Chimney Rock museum. It was a cold, blustery day, just the sort of day Christopher Robin endured. Phillip was so cute sporting a little mow hawk. We were so close to Scottsbluff that we had an early dinner at Wonderful House. I am not a fan of Chinese food, maybe the real Chinese food would taste better. Wonderful House actually has a delicious walnut shrimp dish that I can tolerate. We made a quick Walmart stop for drumsticks (for an actual drum), dinner ingredients, fabric, and er, ummmm, another camera. Yep, I just bought my 5th camera in 5 years. Last year Amelia dropped my little canon point and shoot from the top of the slide at the park. She snuck it out of my pocket. The poor little camera never did have clear pictures after that. The dust was imbedded on the sensor for over a year. My new trusty sidekick is a Canon Powershot Elph SD960 IS. It is compact and packed with options. Maybe too many options...mostly I just want a quick alternative for pictures and video.

Jeff set up RockBand for the adults to play once we arrived back home. Justin manned the mic, Catherine the drums, Jeff and I the guitars. I was so bad that my score didn't register. LOL. Catherine and I whipped up a bubble skirt for Kate in between reps.

Valentine's Day with Daddy





We celebrated our Valentine's Day on Friday due to Justin traveling to Canada. Last year we had a fun time visiting Justin at work then going to lunch. Repeating that visit made this a new tradition. Amelia and I made sugar cookies for his coworkers. I hate most frosting, so I decided to avoid powered sugar based frosting. Instead I made the same topping used on fruit pizza, a whipped cream, cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar confection; this time I added raspberry flavoring. It was delicious. I think we frosted our tongues as much as the cookies. Amelia had a delightful time getting messy and using her creative flair. She requested purple, pink, and orange frosting with heart sprinkles.

Poor Phillip was running a slight fever all day due to teething. You can see how happy he was! After Amelia passed out cookies to the ladies present we chilled at Daddy's "work house." Justin LOVES the twilight series (just kidding), my prank gift was a tin of candies supporting camp Jacob. We lunched at Pizza Hut's buffet. It was hard not to totally pig out on all the pizza. Justin came home with a potted yellow Mum plant. It will go in the yard once the weather warms up! In the meantime we are loving the bright yellow blooms.

My awesome friend, Catherine, her husband Jeff and two daughters, Malisia and Kate arrived late Friday night for a short visit. Catherine works long hours as a nurse so rarely has time off. I am so grateful they drove all the way out here for such a short visit.

10 February 2010

A Bonkity Bonk on the Head






This little cutie learned how to babble a syllable Monday morning! Justin placed Phillip next to me in bed after he got up. I was in a state of half-alertness. All of the sudden I realized Phillip was saying, "bo-bo-bo-bo-bo-bo." I cracked open one eye to see his eye right next to mine intently telling me a story about "Bo." I swiftly snuggled his little happy body and crooned back to him. He did not perform his new trick until this afternoon for the camera. We mostly see him babbling when he is holding a cool toy or his super interesting toes.

I am having so much fun playing with my new studio set-up. Course, the kids are my guinea pigs. Most of the kinks are worked out now! I had a cute little model come over Monday afternoon. She was at the perfect age for a vintage shabby look. Before the session I whipped up a fun little skirt out of cream organza with a tutu underneath that matched some stringed pearls. I am nearly done editing a whole batch of new photos. You can view one session here.

Last night in between piano lessons I made dinner. Amelia was helping Phillip bounce in his bouncer. I moved him up to the counter and removed her chair. As I got an ingredient out of the fridge she managed to bounce Phillip of the counter onto his head and left side of his face. He screamed for 5 minutes then went into a strange sleep in my arms. Goodness, my heart about stopped. Amelia hurt her arm in the process so I had to wailing kids wanting the same amount of comfort. I was sweating bullets watching Phillip's eye swell up and a long red stripe appear. He woke back up after 10 minutes. The swelling went down and his red stripe eventually faded by the time Justin got home. Phillip seems fine this morning.

My cousin Carla inspired me to start some Montisorri "work" with Amelia. Last week I colored dried pasta for her sort. This week we had some water transfer activities, shape sorting, and animal works. She really loves the attention and is excited when she learns a new task. I plan on having about 10-15 works ready to rotate through. I will gradually rotate these activities during nursing time and when I need to work on the computer. Yesterday she surprised me by speaking Spanish! We were going down stairs and she said, "Mommy, vamos abajo the stairs-o." Guess Dora does teach some Spanish! Another funny thing is she has a Nephite friend named Martin. He sings primary songs with her while she stand on a "library chair" (a bean bag), with a pretend microphone.


I am trying to keep afloat lately. Sort of going through a selfish "poor me" crisis. Not sure why I feel so crappy lately. I should be feeling awesome due to the healthy diet, increased exercise, etc. Nah, I am more tired than ever. Alison and Justin listened to my sob story last night. Have you ever felt like a collection of undeveloped talents? I feel like I can do a lot of small things but nothing really well. Probably my most accomplished talent right now is being the best mom I can be and crocheting certain hat patterns. My photography is getting better but I still lack the proper camera and tools to get the effects I want. There is so much to learn and do in this life! Do you ever feel that you just woke up then look at the clock and it is 11 pm? The next question is, what happened today?!

I am looking forward to a fun weekend with Catherine, Malisia, and Kate. They are our good friends and neighbors from our Utah days. Kate and Mia are very close in age so should have a great time. Nearly time for another Valentine's Day...maybe Justin and I can go on a date.

Amelia's New Haircut




Mia's hair was getting a little stringy and damaged on the ends. Monday we went to the Salon for some professional help. From the front her hair does not look much different, but the side and back view reveal some cute layers and framing. She cried the whole time, even while I got my hair trimmed. Apparently, I was getting hurt while the lady washed my hair. The strings of snot coming out of her nose were quite amazing. An hour after the ordeal Amelia declared that her new hair was just gorgeous. I agree! Since my studio was all set up we had a fun little photo session. She was giving me the funniest poses. I love her "Princess Aurora Smile."

04 February 2010

Mmmmm, toe-licious





I have very exciting news: Phillip finally discovered his toes! Monday morning he rolled over during a diaper change and clasped his toes. We've all tried to get him interested in holding his toes but until that moment he was not very interested. Now he is like a little wobble ball, all curled up with his toes. I LOVE this stage! He really reminds me of a bouncy baby boy. Amelia was already sitting up on her own by 5 months old. Phillip is a little slower, but totally on track. Now that he has toes to entertain him he lasts longer on the floor all by himself. This morning he discovered that his toes reach his mouth and that toes are fun to suck on. Amelia was very excited and tried to suck her toes too. She gave up after a couple tries because it was boring. Instead she crawled in Phillip's crib to take a nap and have "binky love". What a crazy little lady. Lately, she started posing for pictures. Most of her poses are totally hilarious and not natural. I need to post a couple examples one day.

Since Monday Mia has not slept well due to growing pains in her legs. Last night she was up for two hours in pain. I rubbed her little leggies with peppermint lotion then snuggled her until she fell asleep. I love that she put her warm hands on my cheek as a reassurance I was still there. Those little touches are so fleeting and wonderful. When I finally returned to my bed she muttered, "Thanks, mom you are so warm and cozy like my socks." Ahhhh, melt my heart.

Piano lessons are going well. So far I have 6 maybe 7 students split between Tuesdays and Thursdays. Mia took a voluntary nap three days this week. Since binky is confined to bedtime she often wants to go to bed for binky loves. Tuesday this turned out to be a disaster since she cried for nearly the whole hour I tried to teach. Once she gets through this growth spurt her mood "should" improve...I am so glad for an extra excuse to practice the piano.

I will leave you with a couple more pictures of rose flowers I made as photo props: