Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Piper - 13.5 months

Actually, Piper is more like 13.75 months, so I may as well wait until 14 months, but I can't bring myself to skip a month.

Piper is walking, running, climbing (we found her on top of the desk, playing with the keyboard!), moving furniture to get what she wants (we have a kids table and chairs and she moved the little chair to the kitchen counter so she could reach something...too smart!).

She is constantly getting into the kitchen cupboards and rearranging my canned goods, so I've completely given up on organizing them. She is particularly fond of tomato paste (must be the smaller size she likes) and carries it around sometimes. But her favorite drawer in the kitchen is the silverware drawer, which she can't reach, but will dangerously lunge for while she is being held.

She absolutely must have a spoon or fork in her hand to eat anything, even crackers or bread, or things that don't require utensils. She actually is pretty good at using spoons, too. She can pretty much eat a bowl of cereal by herself, though she needs some supervision when it comes time to lift the bowl and drink the milk. She's ended up with a lapful of milk many times.

She can say: dad, mom, stop, uh-oh, dog, cat.

She can sign "dog" (which is done by patting your hand on your leg, as if you're calling a dog) but she usually pats her stomach. Actually, when I first taught her that sign, she would pat MY leg to sign it. She sometimes signs "more."

She still nurses anywhere from 2-5 times per day. I'm telling you, nursing is the best tantrum-tamer ever.

She gets manhandled by Libby on a daily basis, so I guarantee that even without older brothers, she's going to grow up to be a tough girl.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Libby on nitrous oxide

Libby had to have 2 cavities filled a couple of weeks ago. I was far more nervous than she was about this visit to the dentist because I was afraid she was going to be terrified. This dentist prefers to have the parents wait in the waiting room because the kids usually cooperate better that way, but Libby is so wary of strangers I thought she would just shriek if they took her back without me. It knocked my socks off when they called her name and she waltzed down the hallway without looking back at me. They said she did great and she told me herself that she wasn't scared and that the dentist was really nice.

The dentist said that they switch the nitrous oxide to oxygen for the last few minutes so that the kids are back to normal by the time they are done. But Libby was so funny. Maybe it wasn't the nitrous...maybe she was just feeling weird from her entire mouth being numb (she had cavities on both sides) but she just had this dazed look on her face and wouldn't close her mouth. Saliva would pool up until it dribbled down her chin. Her shirt was soaked by the time we got home.

I tried to get her to talk so I could capture a video...Jared really wanted to hear how she sounded with her mouth numb, but she refused to talk. Smart girl.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pumpkin Patch

A couple of weeks ago, we went to one of those pumpkin patches that has activities for the kids: corn bin, petting zoo, corn maze, etc. We were there on a beautiful fall day (unlike today - we got our first snow!) and the kids had a great time.

One of the activities was a human sized "hamster wheel." It was pretty hard to push actually, because it was slightly uphill. 

I think goats are so fun. One day, my dream is to have a backyard goat. Must find a city that allows that. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Piper - 1 year old

My sweet, smiling, one-year-old Piper baby,

I cannot get over how much you smile. And it's not just any smile. You truly smile with your whole face. Your mouth opens so wide I can see all 9 teeth, the last of which just came in a week ago. (Your first molar...ouch.) Your smiles usually coincide with an adorable ha-ha-ha forced laughter, but we get plenty of genuine giggles and squeals as well.

Lately, a sure-fire way to get you to giggle is to read you your favorite library book: Corduroy's Party. You love flipping through the pages of plenty of other books as well, but this one is special because you will bring it to Mom or Dad, place it in our hands, climb on our lap, and SIT STILL for the whole 6 pages. I've even seen you kiss the characters in the book. I'm so happy you are learning to love reading.

You're now officially a walker, which makes you seem so much older. You can climb pretty well, too. I've caught you on top of the kids table and I've witnessed you climb onto the cedar chest so you could look out the window (you were looking for the neighbor's dog). You can climb down off the bed and the couch, too. And at playgrounds, you're pretty brave with the slides, not caring so much whether you go down forward or backward, head-first or feet-first.

You still have the same gorgeous blue eyes that you did when you were born. I can't imagine how you could possibly be any cuter.

A few other things I don't ever want to forget about you, at 1 year old:
the way you crawl into my lap and lean your head back on my chest.
the way you give kiss after kiss with a wet, open mouth.
the way you always walk with your left foot leading and your body turned at a 45 degree angle to the direction you are going.
the way you point at things you're excited to see (dogs especially!)
how amazingly you can communicate your desires by pointing, grunting, babbling, and shaking your head 'no.'

I can't imagine our family without you!

You got this pink rocking horse for your birthday and Libby loves it as much as you do.

Eating your blueberry birthday cake.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Family Vacation in Utah

In early September, we went to Utah to visit Jared's parents and sister. We were able to see a few friends as well, though there is never enough time to see everyone we wish we could see! We keep saying that our next trip to Utah needs to be a full 2 weeks because there is so much we always want to do.

We spent several days in Idaho at Jared's parents' house there. Libby loved feeding the horses next door and wading in the irrigated apple orchard. This was our last visit to their Idaho home, as they are selling the house in a few months, so we were glad Libby was old enough to enjoy some of these things this time. We also went to the Eastern Idaho State Fair, which Jared's grandpa used to manage.

In Utah, we visited with Sherry at Thanksgiving Point and our kids were finally able to meet each other!
We were lucky to be in town for our twin nieces' exciting birthday party, complete with a giant bubble machine.

Piper was crazy about Rachel's dog, Harley. Libby was crazy about playing with older kids. 

We also went down to Provo to see Leighana, who's a freshman at BYU now, and to visit campus. It had been 5 years since I'd been to Provo (seriously, where has the time gone?) and I was super excited to relive the glory days. We walked around campus, browsed the bookstore for dorky alumni paraphernalia, ate at J-Dawgs (albeit, the one in Orem), said hi to my old boss at Cougar Creations, and ate Creamery ice cream. And chocolate milk! It was also fun to see the new Heritage Halls, where Leighana lives. It was definitely nicer than anywhere I ever lived as a student.

And, I got to catch up with these girls and meet Lauren's husband and Renae's second baby. The last time the 3 of us were together was at my wedding!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Libby Speak - September 2013

Libby's starting to catch onto the idea of time, though all she really understands is that it has something to do with numbers.
Jared (to me): What time is it? Libby (deadpan): 6:40.

The next day...
Libby: What time is it? Is it 14 yet?

It's 9:22!

Libby loves for me to tell her the story of her birth and of Piper's birth. Sometimes she helps tell the story. 
Piper popped out of my tummy and into your tummy and popped out of your tummy!

Grocery shopping one day, I told Libby we needed to buy jam. She fixated on this word and repeated it the entire time we were in the store. Only, her j sounds like a d, so...
Dam. Dam. Daaaaaaaaaam. Dam, dam, dam.

Is it nice to be together forever?

I can't remember the context of this quote. I think I had something on my face and when Libby asked what it was, I told her it was a mustache.
Don't have a mustache. It makes you so annoying.

Libby sings all the time, often making up her own words and melodies. This song was hilarious.
When you make a mess, you clean it up. You just let your mommy clean it up.

Did you know if you're ever scared, you can always say a prayer to "Heavenly God" and Jesus Christ?

I found her eating butter with a knife in her playroom:
Mommy, I won't lick the butter again. I was just being silly.

Completely out of nowhere:
You have udders.

Can you please wash the dishes for me?

Besides making up songs, my other most favorite thing Libby does is quote books. This quote is a hodge podge of 2 different "Miss Nelson" books.
"Holy smokes, it's the swamp!" "That's right, and I'm here to 'wipe' this class into shape! Get back to your desk, on the double!"

I'm pretending to be Super Why and I am saving the day!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Piper - 11 months

Piper is at one of my favorite stages of babyhood. She is increasingly mobile (not quite walking yet, though she did take 7 steps in a row last week) and exploratory. I've been diligent about teaching her how to climb down steps and raised surfaces and it's paid off. She can climb all the way up and down the stairs on her own. (She did fall down a few stairs at Rachel's house in Utah last week, which incidentally is where Libby first fell down the stairs, too. But she does awesome at home.) If she wants to get off the couch, she knows to turn around backwards, hang her feet over the edge, and slide off on her tummy. It's so fun seeing her become more physically independent.

She's learned to clap and does it often. She also points at things she's interested in and flaps her arms up and down when she's excited. She is such a happy baby. Her mouth is nearly always wide open in a smile. She gives big, wet, open-mouthed kisses. I loooove her kisses and I loooove 11 month old Piper.

P.S. Have I ever mentioned how thrilled I am to have 2 girls? I love it. Libby often requests that she and Piper wear matching clothes (see below). They are playing better together every day. They follow each other's lead in so many things. They can make nearly identical high pitched squeals, and Libby has taken up grunting and babbling when she is excited about something. And if I ever want Libby to do something (wash her hands, go upstairs, etc), all I have to do is tell her that Piper is going to do it first ("no, me first!").

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Week of Firsts

Not only did my little Libby turn 3 this week - she also had a pretty big week of firsts.

First dentist appointment...

First haircut (by someone other than me)...

First time sleeping in a bed by herself...

Sunday, September 1, 2013


To Libby, on your third birthday,

Today, I told you the story of your birth - I talked about how my water broke in the middle of the night, and in the morning I woke Daddy up and we went for a walk. Then I took a shower, tried to watch TV, then took another shower. I told you that we went to the hospital and I took a really long bath and then I got on the bed and pushed really hard and a tiny little baby came out and we named her Libby Claire.

You have no idea how happy it made me to hear you repeat this story back to me: "I'm going to tell a story. Once upon a time, I was a wittle tiny baby. And we went to the ho-pital and I took a shower and a bath with you. And I was inside your tummy. (And then you popped out of my tummy.) And then you popped out of my tummy!"

Now I have a few more things I'd like to tell you about the person you are today, 3 years later.

You are capable and independent. You can take your clothes off by yourself and can sometimes put them on, too if there aren't any buttons. You love to butter your own toast, which you eat nearly every morning for breakfast.

You're a great helper. You love to help cook and you even know how to measure flour properly. You have surprised me by picking up clothes and toys without being asked and then declaring "we have a nice, clean house."

At home, you are almost constantly asking to read books. You love the Berenstain Bears fiercely. You've started picking out your own books at the library. You take at least 1, but usually more like 3-4 books to bed with you every night and every naptime. In the morning, we often quietly open your door to see if you're awake yet and find you happily reading to yourself.

Outside, you love to swing in our backyard swing, look for cicadas, ride your bike, and go for walks.

You love to sing and be sung to. Your favorite songs right now are: ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, I Love to See the Temple (you call it "the temple song"), Families Can Be Together Forever (you call it "I have a family"), Princess Pat, Weenie Man, and Follow the Prophet (Daniel is your favorite verse). You like to flip through the Children's Songbook and choose songs for me to sing, saying "oh, this looks like a great one."

While you're quiet around new people, you also have a great desire to befriend others. You wave at people we pass on our walks and you love to play with other kids at the sandbox. You refer to any and all children as "my friend."

You are a loving big sister and have great concern for Piper. If you see her heading toward the stairs, you block her way and shout "no Piper! Don't fall down the stairs!"

You are a priceless addition to our family. Every day, you ask me "do you know we can be together forever?" When I respond yes, you say "does that make you so happy?" Yes, it does Libby. So happy.


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Iowa Initiation

It's official - we are Iowans. We were invited to our first driveway party. I have no idea why, but people congregate in their driveways here. Everyone brings a lawn chair and they all sit in a circle. Some church friends invited us over this weekend and lo and behold, it was a driveway party. As soon as we rounded the corner and saw their house, I said, "oh, so we're doing this Iowa style?"

I've been trying to explore our neck of the woods recently so that when winter rolls around and I am whining about how much I hate Iowa, I can (faintly) remember that it's not so bad in summertime. We've had a remarkably cool summer (we've made it to the 90s like twice?) and while it's kind of a bummer if you want to go to the pool, it's pretty awesome for hiking.

Jared and I did a 3.5 mile mud and obstacle run at a nearby park that I previously did not even know existed. On our run, we came across wild blackberries and stopped for a snack. The next week, I took Libby and Piper back to the park to look for the berries again, but couldn't find them. I had to get Jared to come back with us (for the 3rd time in a week, if you're counting) and we easily picked a few pints worth of blackberries.

I also found a great trail for walking and riding bikes. (I say that like I discovered it myself - it's actually a very prominent greenway that I pass all the time in the car but had never hiked on.) Libby is getting really good at her balance bike and this trail is a great place to practice. Mostly shaded, and it's exactly 1 mile from the parking lot to a playground. And, to top it off, there are mulberry trees on the route. I'd never had mulberries before, but they are delicious!

There is a minor league baseball team here (they're called the Kernels and their mascot is an ear of corn. Be afraid.) and we've been to 2 games. We might go once more this season. Libby really enjoyed it, especially when we sat on the lawn.

And of course, we've been going to the park as much as possible. I feel like a terrible mom that it took me all summer to finally go buy a $1 shovel and pail for Libby. Every time we went to the sandbox, she would sweetly and pathetically say "I don't have any toys." I'd usually tell her to dig with my flip flop. Now, she has a proper bucket and shovel and life is good.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Piper - 10 months

At 10 months, Piper
  • crawls well...and quickly
  • stands as much as possible
  • does "nursing gymnastics" every time I feed her (last week, I was lying down to feed her and she ended up upside down, on top of my face AND managed to take my earring out with her toes)
  • has 8 teeth (she's had these for a while)
  • can climb up stairs 
  • can slide down the stairs on her tummy (no falls yet!)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Park Date

We went on a family date to feed geese at the park. It was pretty cool to see the huge field of geese. As soon as Jared threw the first piece of cracker, they all started converging on us.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Piper - 9 months

I feel like the best way to describe Piper at 9 months old is to compare her a koala bear. She certainly has the ability to be mobile - she's crawling well, standing, walking along furniture, climbing the stairs - but much of the time, she's either riding on my back or hanging desperately to my neck, shirt, legs, etc. By the end of the day, the neckline of my shirt is always stretched and baggy from her refusing to let go when I need to put her down or change her diaper.

But as much as she likes to be held, I wouldn't describe her as a needy baby. She is happy and calm and nearly always smiling.

The other way I'd describe Piper is "awesome." And that's exactly how the nursery worker at my gym described her when I was picking up the kids on Monday after my workout. She said Piper is awesome - just happy to explore and watch Libby. And that is so true. Libby is usually playing in the ballpit when I pick them up and Piper is sitting just outside of the play structure (as close as she can get without getting trampled by the kids climbing in and out), staring and laughing her head off at Libby. It's just the cutest thing ever.

Birth: 7 lbs 12 oz, 20 inches long
2 Weeks: 8 lbs 5 oz, 21 inches long
2  Months: 11 lbs 5 oz, 24 inches long
4 Months: 14 lbs 6.5 oz, 26 inches long
6 Months: 17 lbs, 27 inches long
9 Months: 18 lbs 11 oz, 29.25 inches long

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Libby speak - summer 2013 edition

I've had a piece of paper sitting on my kitchen counter for about the past month that I use to jot down funny things Libby says. My paper is getting full, so it's time to transfer them here.

Some are funny, some are quirky, and some are just so typical-Libby that I have to record them.

In response to telling her that something is broken/not working/out of batteries: But you will fix it! (I love her unconditional confidence in me.)

In response to telling her that we don't have something: But we will get some more at the store!

After I told her I got a bug bite: No bug will come and bite you again, ok?

During a conversation about marriage, Libby said she wanted to marry Grandpa. I told her he was already taken. She said she wanted to marry Daddy. I told her he was taken, too. Pointing to the man across the street mowing his lawn, I want to marry that boy so he can mow for me.

Can you do this? (holding up middle finger) We hear this one about 20 times a day, though the gesture/action is usually a bit milder. Sometimes it's standing on one foot, or crossing her legs a certain way, or intertwining her fingers. Sometimes it's hard to figure out what she is even referring to and she gets really upset when we can't copy her exactly.

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ at 3 am, while stroking Dad's whiskers. We were sleeping in the basement for a few weeks before we got a new A/C and Libby shared an air mattress with Jared. She doesn't normally wake up in the middle of the night, but something about sharing a bed with Dad was just too darn exciting. She would wake up almost every night and sing the ABCs over and over and over.

I won't do it again, heard after she gets in trouble for hitting/biting/knocking over/sitting on Piper.

I'm a scary robot!

I'm a happy monster!

In response to me using my tablet after she put it down, You not being really nice! I was using that!

In response to someone saying "I'm sorry," You fine or You are fine. 

When I told her it was time for Piper to take a nap: Uh, actually, I have to play with her.

During a potty training conversation: Libby, what do you do when you need to poop? I have to tell Mommy to take me to the ice cream place. 

Indepence Day in Nauvoo

My little sister, Leighana, had a youth conference trip to Nauvoo last week. And my mom was a chaperone. So, with Nauvoo being only 2 hours away from us, we had to make the trip down to see them.
It was a fun day. We went on July 4 and had beautiful weather. We spent the day visiting the "Old Nauvoo Village" and ended the day by seeing a show called "Sunset on the Mississippi." We considered going to the fireworks show in nearby Keokuk, but the kids were tired and it was out of our way, so we had to make do with the sporadic fireworks we saw on our drive home. I think this is 4 years in a row that I've missed seeing fireworks, which is usually my very favorite part of the holiday. (You know, other than having a free country.) Next year!
Oops! Somehow I didn't get any pictures of Leighana on my camera. I'm a bit child-centric when it comes to taking photos.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Piper - 8 months

 At 8 months, Piper:

-has 8 teeth
-eats sweet potatoes, apple sauce, yogurt, oatmeal, rice, bread, tortillas, mashed beans, bananas, and popsicles. (This girl loves popsicles and will use both hands to grab one away from anyone who has one.)

-crawls with her tummy off the floor, but only for a few steps at a time
-can push herself up to sitting
-can pull up to her knees
-can pull up to standing (she shocked me when she did this for the first time!)

-naps twice a day
-wakes a few times a night and is really good at convincing me she neeeeds to nurse and neeeeeeds to sleep in my bed
-loves to take baths, especially with Libby

I walked out of the room for a minute this morning, and when I came back, I found that Libby had taken over feeding Piper. She did an awesome job!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


On this trip to Texas, we did some much needed shopping at Ikea, went to the Dallas temple (first time back since we were married there 4 years ago!), visited the Perot Museum, had lunch at El Fenix (their chips are SO good), and hung out with family. It was very refreshing.

Love my grandpa's face in this picture.
Checking out my grandparents' garden

Four generations (although this is my dad's mom, not my mom's)

Picking blackberries

Good thing Grandma is limber! Piper enjoyed going for a ride.

Hanging out with Grandpa   
I love this picture. Libby got the gator stuck around her neck. Sad, but funny. And Piper is sitting in a box. :)