Wednesday, August 24, 2011

In 60 seconds or less...

First of all, THANK YOU!!! so much for everyone who left a comment on my last post. I sure have great friends, and family, and I sure love you guys! I also love that you read my ramblings and that you comment too. Thank you so much for the love and support!

Now in 60 seconds or less...
Bubs went on his first airplane ride yesterday! He did amazing. He only whined a little because he was exhausted and wouldn't sleep in our arms. 7 hours with a 30 minute nap in between for a 7 month old...I'd be tired and whiney too!
I forgot how dry it is here in Idaho! (and Utah) It's crazy weird. In a good way.
When we arrived in Twin Falls last night, I was actually cold when I stepped out of the car. Amazing how no humidity can allow temps to cool 20 degrees or more at night!

And now we're off for some more fun. Here's a picture to keep your attention and leave you wanting more!

Okay, so when did his cheeks all of the sudden get HUGE

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday Confessions

I taught my baby how to not bite me. Then 2 months later, when his teeth were razor sharp, he suddenly forgot. When he started biting again, and drawing blood and tears, I knew it was time.

We also have a big trip coming up. And I've started a new nanny job. Both me and Mister Man knew it was coming, but we kept delaying because we were not ready for days of screaming and crying.

I headed down to our local Walmart with baby in tow, and scoured the bottle aisle. Then I found these bad boys. A little strange, a little intriguing, and a little curious. Perhaps not meant for the colicky baby or for moms concerned about air bubbles. Later that day I tried giving the new bottle to Bubs. He played around with it for awhile, and then finally got real hungry and latched on super quick and chugged it down. Yay!

But, my problems didn't end.

A few nights later, when my sister was in town (thank goodness!), Bubs bite me so dang stinkin' hard he drew blood and lots of tears. I immediately left him home (with her) and drove to the grocery store. Crying. I knew two things:

1. I would not, could not, nurse a baby who bit me til I bled.
2. I am not as gifted as some people and I could pump and bottle feed all day long and still come up 6-8 ounces short. 

20 minutes later, I was back home and feeding my starving, exhausted, baby a bottle of formula.

On the way home from the store I cried. Bawled, in fact, on the phone with my dear sweet mother (since my hubby was studying). I knew I was doing the right thing, but it was so hard! I only know a couple people who have formula-fed their babies. Pretty much everyone I know, and certainly everyone around me, breast feeds. Which makes it a million times harder to give my baby formula...even if it's only 6-8 oz a day. I felt like people would judge me, criticize me, and tell me everything that's bad about formula and why I shouldn't use it. But sometimes there's not much of an option.

In reality I've spent the last 7 months nursing. And struggling. It wasn't easy from the start and certainly never got much easier. I also remember saying in the beginning that as soon as my baby has teeth, he's straight to a bottle. I went 2 1/2 months longer than that "promise." In the end, I know that breast milk is the absolute best for babies, but I also know that ultimately making sure my baby has enough milk and nutrients is the most important thing.

So I'm now supplementing with formula. I'm still pumping and giving him as much mommy milk as I can. We're still working on getting used to only bottles during the day and trying to nurse in the morning and sometimes at night, and he's doing pretty good! Some people may wonder why I don't just keep nursing, or perhaps even think it's selfish and maybe dumb that I'm not. But for me it's a huge stress relief. There's no more constant battle and frustration at meal time. No more tears, from me or my baby! I have felt a huge burden of stress lifted as we've made this decision.

It's still not easy. I still have to remind myself that formula is NOT bad. There are millions of babies who are born who just cannot have breast milk because of one thing or another. I think about the babies who have been adopted and there's not another option except formula. They still thrive and grow. Like I said before, breast milk is obviously the best, but formula is not a bad thing. As wonderful and trendy as it is to breast feed these days, I kinda wish there would be more reminders that it's not for all moms, and that some people just can't do it 100% of the time. I wish that I wouldn't have to feel nervous about feeding my baby formula in front of people. I wish that I wouldn't feel that pressure of "must nurse baby" and "formula is evil." Maybe that's why hospitals send you home with formula, companies mail you coupons, and Parents magazine has numerous ads about formula: because I'm not alone. Because there are more moms out there who feel the way I do and feel embarrassed about it. Or maybe it's because the formula companies aren't making as much money since breast feeding is so popular. Who knows. This world and society is so hypocritical. And I must admit, I'm definitely not exempt from having the "formula is bad" mentality. It took alot to overcome that and realize it was actually okay.

In any case, I know that what I'm doing is the best thing for me, for my baby, and for our family. And it's working for us. So here's to me getting this "formula is evil" complex out of my brain, and being confident in what I'm doing as a mom!

and aren't you glad I told ya? ;-)

Monday, August 15, 2011

3 years and counting!

Well my dear sweet husband beat me to the chase this time. I had NO idea he was going to write a post about me. It was quite a fun surprise when I opened up the blog and saw his post. And no, I did not pay him to write those things. :-)

I thought it would be fun to re cap our other two anniversary's we've had. Mostly for giggles. Mostly for the 2nd anniversary.

Year 1:

I awoke in the morning to a rose and a note on a pillow. Mister Man sent me on a scavenger hunt around Provo, UT where I collected more roses and notes. He took me to places that were significant to us. The first rose was white, then white with pink edges, then pink, then red. Symbolic of our love deepening (aww). He sent me to his old apartment complex, a bus stop by the temple, a Marriot hotel, and finally Kneaders to enjoy breakfast. So fun. That night we went to downtown SLC to enjoy some Sushi. I had my sweet sister decorate our room for a romantic evening later.

It was the sweetest, most romantic anniversary so far. 
(except I burnt the chocolate fondue. Ha!)
Year 2:

We spent a week at Grand Lake in OK with my dad's side of the family. We enjoyed boating, swimming, boating, wakeboarding while 4 months pregnant, and really really really hot weather. On our way back we stopped by the visit the Brett Family Singers and slept in their basement. Our anniversary evening was spent sleeping on an air mattress in a dance studio type room with my two sisters in the same room, and my brother on the couch. Not quite as romantic but we love looking back and giggling about it now. We went out to Cheesecake Factory in MO when we arrived home.

Year 3:

Mister Man surprised me with these lovely roses the night before, since our anniversary landed on a Sunday. It's been awhile since I've gotten flowers so it was a very pleasant surprise!! We went to church, came home and had lunch, read some Harry Potter 7, took a walk and ate dinner together. I made a yummy roast with leftover muffins and watermelon. My sister was in town visiting for the 2 weeks before, and my parents came out for the weekend, so I neglected planning anything spectacular. It was also tougher to plan and execute anything with a baby. Though I did completely surprise Mister Man by buying satin sheets. Definitely a good investment.

We didn't really go to a Card's game for our anniversary, but it was the most recent family picture I had. Just to show how things have changed in 3 years...we now have a baby! And he's 7 months old. Wow.

I have absolutely loved the past 3 years of my life! It was the best decision I've ever made to marry Mister Man. He is incredible and so wonderful. He is so patient with me, listens to my rants and raves, comforts me when I need it, lets me cry, hugs and kisses me, takes care of my needs, and swoops in to be Superman just at the moment I need it most. He makes me so unbelievably happy and I cannot imagine life without him! (nor do I want to) I can't believe how fast 3 years have flown by and I feel so blessed to know we'll have eternity together. I absolutely love him with all of my heart!!! And doesn't he just make the cutest daddy? I think so. I love you Scott!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

My Karissa

Blake and I love you Karissa!

Most of you don't know that tomorrow marks three years that I have been so lucky to be married to Karissa. I am the luckiest man on earth. I have been blessed in more ways than I could have ever imagined. When
I knew that Karissa was the one for me I was so excited. I had finally found the one, never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined to be as happy as I am now. People ask me sometimes what Karissa does for work, and I tell them proudly that she is a wife and a mother. She does everything for Blake and I. She has dedicated her life to us and making sure that we have what we need. I am so grateful for her and proud of her that she is willing to be so selfless. It amazes me to see how loving and patient she is with our child. I know that she was made to be a mother. Blake is the luckiest child in the world.

Karissa is everything that I would have hoped for in a wife, she is more than I would have ever wanted or needed. I am blown away by her desire to become a better person. Everyday she is wanting to improve her life in some way. She is constantly wanting to be more spiritual and has such a desire to learn more about the gospel. She is so inspiring to me.

A day in the life of Karissa means washing the dishes at least 3 times because our dishwasher is so small, doing the laundry at least once a day because Blake goes through 4 outfits a day, making 3 meals for us, making Blake's food instead of purchasing it from the store, feeding Blake (which can take a while), playing with Blake, changing a billion diapers, bathing Blake, putting Blake down for naps, working out with Jillian Michaels, reading her scriptures, writing in her journal, cleaning the house, and I am sure there are many more. I am not saying that she is the only mother to have to do all of these things, but I want her to know that she is special to me.

She is my everything, she makes everything worth it. I know that I don't show enough appreciation for what she does. In fact I am not sure that it is possible to show that much appreciation. I often ask myself how I got so lucky. Why was I able to get someone so amazing to be my companion. I am sure that it was the Lord's way of saying she was the only one that could handle me and bring me home to Him. I truly am so blessed to have her in my life. I love her so much.

Karissa I Love You!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cake Bites!

I am a food blogger. my head.

In reality I am not.
I am too impatient, simple minded, and forgetful to be a real food blogger.
But sometimes I make delicious things, and feel the need to blog about them. 
This is one of those times.
In the following post you will have the opportunity to see exactly why I am not a food blogger.

Here we go...
Cake Bites!
Deliciously evil little creatures.
This is how you I make them:

1. Bake a cake. Any cake will do. 

Because I like to keep things easy and simple I bought a chocolate cake mix and cooked it. In my head I think homemade texas fudge cake, red velvet or coconut buttercream would be delicious. In reality, I have two boys who want my attention.
(note that I only have a picture of the finished cake. A real food blogger would have a picture of every ingredient being added)

2. Grab some delicious frosting. One that will mesh well with the cake.
Once again, I like things simple: thus, the store bought frosting. I'm sure homemade buttercream or fudge frosting would be so much better.

3. Scoop out the baked cake into a large bowl. Scoop out the frosting and dump it on the cake in the bowl. Mix well. Very well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour up to overnight. 
(if you're chilling overnight, cover in plastic wrap and press the plastic onto the dough to help prevent drying out) 

4. Scoop out small amounts and roll into perfect, uniform, little balls. They must all be exactly the same size and shape. Let me know when you're done. I'll be halfway to Florida already...

Look! Picture #2!

I, obviously, have better things to do with my time than make perfect, uniform, little balls. 

Plug for my husband: Usually he is my "Goose" with cake bites. I whip them up, he rolls and shapes the balls, I dip them. We're a great team. This time he was at school and I was alone. I now realize why he always started out making good, cute, uniform, little balls and by the end they were more lopsided, large, and, well, not so cute. I will probably never tell him again "can you please make them smaller? They keep getting bigger and bigger!" because really you get sick of rolling all that dough, and your hands get covered in gooey chocolate, and it's just a trial of patience all the way around.

...except when you get to lick the chocolate off your hands.
....or sneak a few chunks bites of dough.
...or scrape the bowl with a spoon at the end
Not that I did any of those things.

moving on.

5. Chill the rolled dough balls in the freezer for an hour or so. 
6. Melt some chocolate. Almond Bark is by far the absolute best for melting and dipping.
We prefer the vanilla flavor.
7. Poke a poker, knife, tooth pick, or stick, into each ball and dip it in the chocolate. 

Remember my forgetfulness? I have no picture of the dipping stage. Or freezing stage. Or chilling stage. Or melting stage. Or beautiful display stage. 

This, in fact, is my last picture of this whole process. And as you can tell, this was way after I had finished making and serving these evil treats, because there are only 12 left. 
I may or may not have taken this picture at 10:30 pm...

Please be kind and share some with neighbors, friends, missionaries, and other people. Because if you don't, it's very possible to consume the entire batch single-handedly in one sitting.
And I wouldn't wish that for you.

In conclusion, I am not a food blogger. But, I just told you how to make cake bites. The simple way. If you want a more complex way to do it, jump on over to Bakerella and see how it's really done.

The end. Good day. I need to clean my house now.

1. Bake a box of cake mix.
2. Add a can of frosting. Mix well. Chill
3. Shape into balls. Freeze.
4. Dip into melted Almond Bark.
5. Enjoy.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Disturbing things...

Last week my dear sister and I went to a make up store to hit up a good sale. While in the store we were  approached several times by one of the workers asking if we needed help. We didn't. Then when I did have a question, I asked that same worker, who happened to be standing near by.

Upon closer examination of this particular person, I found him to be a her.

It was most definitely a man.
Who was a woman.
Who was originally a man.
But had changed into a woman.

It was very, very disturbing.

Facial hair, man shoes, man like features... yet make up, bleached hair, and womanly features.

I was completely creeped out.
And felt very uncomfortable making eye contact.

On the way home I rear ended somebody.
Luckily it was just a love tap and there wasn't even a scratch. On either car.

What a strange afternoon.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

DWC: The chair dance

Wednesday is my favorite day of the summer.
Why? do you ask.
Well, I'll tell you.
But first, here's a picture:

I promise we're not a bunch of cracked out strippers.

I love Wednesday's so much because I get to spend 2 hours of my life watching my favorite show:
So You Think You Can dance

I really love watching because it allows me to spend 2 hours vicariously living the glory days through someone else who is much stronger, skinnier, and more talented than me. 

P.S. I believe I'm strong, skinny-ish, and talented.
But in other areas of my life.
Like cooking, cleaning, and raising our kid.
7 years changes things.

Back to the picture.
In the good ol' days, I used to dance at DanceWorks Conservatory.
Best. Dance studio. Ever.
While I was there, I learned some things. 
Things like:
White leotards are actually kinda cool
Slicked hair looks good
How to count to 10 in French.

I also learned one of the most incredible chair dances I've ever done.
Not that I've done alot of chair dances.
It was for our performance of The Last Unicorn.
And boy was it amazing!!!
And intense.
We also used black capes in the same piece. 
I remember trying to get the cape to spin and float a certain way while I tried to leap a certain way. It was a little challenging. But I think it worked out in the end. Maybe not, but that's okay.
We jumped off our chairs, spun them around, and did knee slides.
We also raced across the floor with our chairs upside down and our butts barely off the ground.
I would try to describe it better, but I can't.
I think we were trying to be some kind of gangsta people in the town.
It might not sound that cool, but it really was.
I promise.
And I felt even cooler because it was a Jazz 5 piece.
That means it was the 2nd highest level of Jazz class offered.
Which really means you're a good dancer.
Which means the choreography was more intense.
And cool.

Right. So. This was a really awesome dance we did. With really awesome music and a really awesome choreographer. But I think a few people helped choreograph it. And since I've been pregnant and had a baby, I honestly cannot remember who it was. Dang. Can't even give credit where credit is due.
(Edit: It was Audrey! Amazing. And maybe Nicole, too?)
That's what I get for having a baby.
My brain is falling apart. Piece by piece.

Here's the picture again because I know you forgot.
We had fun with our hair and make up.
It was a good time in my life.
More DWC stories to come!
But for now, SYTYCD tonight.

p.s. I need some new words to replace awesome and cool

Monday, August 1, 2011

Faith vs. Fear

You know when you as a blogger writes posts that are more for yourself than for your readers? This is one of those posts.

I've been having some trials in my life lately. Some people know, most don't. But yesterday I received a very tender mercy and amazing testimony building experience from Heavenly Father.

Saturday night Mister Man and I had a long conversation about some things I've been feeling. I've been getting very anxious about things I cannot control lately. I've been really worried, anxious and stressed. It's been severely affecting my sleep. Which is causing me to be more anxious about my sleep, which is causing me to not sleep, which is causing me to have difficult days.

I guess the conversation actually started Friday night. I brought up some things I was thinking about concerning mind-body control. I mentioned that I was lacking in this area. It was affecting my diet, my exercise and my anxiety problems. So after some discussion we decided to do a 24 hour fast, for my issues and for someone close to us. I felt this to be impossible while breastfeeding. Turns out, it wasn't. It was actually the best thing I could've possibly done.

We started the fast on Saturday afternoon. I was worried. But we prayed sincerely for help and strength. And boy, I have never felt so strong fasting before! We had another conversation on Saturday night and Mister Man brought up some really good points. Things like: leave the worries of tomorrow for tomorrow, the worries of yesterday for yesterday, and focus on the present. Don't worry about things you can't control. Replace your fears with faith in the Lord. And some other things.

Well, Sunday morning we went to church. The last speaker in Sacrament Meeting was our bishop. He got up and said "today I'm going to be talking about replacing your fears with faith." Boom. He proceeded to give the most amazing talk that I felt was directed right at me. Some of the things he talked about included:

-a story about a man fixing a tape measure. He couldn't fix it, and almost gave up until he realized that someone had designed and made it and he just had to figure out how they designed it for it to work. Relate that to how Heavenly Father has designed our lives. If we seek to know His will and His design for us, we can make it work.
-Replace your fears with faith. Don't be concerned with things you can't control. Let the Lord be in control. Leave the things of tomorrow for tomorrow (same thing as hubby said!)
-Ether 12:27,  "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." Come unto the Lord in humility and let Him make your weaknesses become strengths. This one really hit home to me. I realized if I come to Heavenly Father and seek to make this weakness a strength, I am capable of incredible faith! Faith that allows me to know without a doubt in my mind that God lives. Faith that allows me to always know the Lord is in control and things that happen are His will. Faith that I can get through trials. But I have to work and seek the Lord's help in order to get that kind of faith.

As I studied this verse more in my scriptures last night, I changed "grace"  to "divine help and strength." When I read it that way, it struck me that God's grace, or divine help and strength, is sufficient (adequate, enough) for all men who humble themselves before God and have faith in Him. So, basically if I humble myself and come to God in faith, I qualify myself for incredible divine help and strength that will allow my weakness to become a great strength. In addition, I believe that I need to be humble enough to align my will with His, and seek to know His plan for me.

Bishop talked about some other things as well, but those were the things that really stood out to me. Also that Heavenly Father does not create fear. Fear comes from Satan. If we put our trust in God, we have no need to fear anything.

I feel very blessed to have such an inspired man as our bishop! I also feel even more blessed to have an inspired man as my husband. As we were talking later about the bishop's talk and everything else, he told me of a really great sports analogy:

When you're playing sports and you have a weakness in some area, like not being able to hit the ball from a certain serve in ping pong, and the other team figures out that weakness, what are they going to do? Try and serve that certain way so that you miss the ball every time. But if you suddenly decide to make that weakness your strength, and you work on it until you can hit that ball every time it's served that way, what happens to the other team? They can't score because you keep hitting the ball where they thought you couldn't hit it. Same applies in our lives. Satan isn't going to attack one of your strengths. He's going to attack your weaknesses. So if you make that weakness a strength, he can't get in and can't have power over you.

That really hit home for me as well. It was such an inspiring day and I feel grateful that I was able to listen and acknowledge the things Heavenly Father was trying to share with me. I feel like I have the power and strength to move forward and attack this trial of mine. I know that if I seek to make my weakness in faith become a great strength to me, I will overcome my fears and anxiety. I will also be able to look back on this experience and teach my kids about faith.

So all in all, yesterday was a really great day for me. It was the kind of day that I've been needing for awhile. And guess what? It worked. After I studied my scriptures and prayed last night, I laid in bed thinking about faith, Christ, and Heavenly Father, and I felt a great sense of peace and calmness. I was able to fall asleep quickly without the sleep anxiety I've felt before. It was so wonderful! I really do know that Heavenly Father hears our prayers and when we come to him in humility, seeking help, with faith, He will bless our lives. I've seen it many times before and I will see it again I know!