Sunday, May 31, 2015

First Steps

Well it starts...

On Friday (the twenty-ninth) I was helping Maisie with cleaning up the girl's room when I was busy putting books away on the bookshelf. Ellie was cruising along the outside of her crib, happy as can be. After a few minutes of going back and forth along her crib, she came to the edge where I was only a foot or two away and she let go (she's been standing for short periods of time for about a week or so now) and I looked at her contemplating if she should step forward. In my head I thought "no way will she do it" but she boldly placed one foot in front of the other and then while attempting to place the other foot, fell into my arms. I couldn't believe it. My TEN month old (who face it, looks like a five or six month old) took her first steps! I know each kid goes at their own pace, but I always assumed Ellie would kind of follow Maisie's timeline. That couldn't be further from the truth though, but for some odd reason I am still surprised when Ellie does things differently than what her big sister had. For example, Maisie wasn't pulling her self up on things until around ten months and didn't take her first steps until she was fourteen months old, but Maisie was already a lot more chatty by this age.  

When Austin came home from work, we sat a few feet away from each other while Ellie practiced her new moves. Within a few minutes she was up to four steps while we all cheered her on. We are all so proud of her and can't wait to see where her sweet and mellow, yet adventurous spirit takes her.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Uno & Other Games

A few months ago we taught Maisie how to play the card game "Uno". She picked it up fast and really enjoys playing it. For a few weeks we couldn't go a day without playing a round or two (or six who am I kidding) before bed. One night after Maisie was already in bed and asleep, I snuck into her room to make sure she was tucked in nicely and to give her a kiss before I went to bed. She stirred for a second, shifting her head on her pillow, but still sound asleep. As I turned to walk out of the room Maisie in a groggy voice yelled "uno!" she must have been dreaming she was playing and was down to her final card. I covered my mouth to stifle my giggles and quickly left the room. The next morning Maisie and I had a good laugh talking about it. All day maisie would pretend she was sleeping and yell "uno!"

Teaching her how to play "Uno" has opened the doors to other fun games that Austin and I actually enjoy playing. I mean no offense to kid games like "Don't Break the Ice", "Go Fish" and "Sneaky Snacky Squirrel", but really there's only so much one can take. I'd prefer a quick paced round or two of "Uno" or a game of "Sorry" any day. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015





Maisie was riding her scooter out front when she decided to take a break by laying down on the sidewalk (silly girl can get comfortable just about anywhere). Then she started to pretend  to "ride" her scooter. She asked me if looked like she was actually riding it and when I stood up to check I was so surprised that it did actually look like she was, in fact, riding her scooter. So I had to snap a few pictures. And I love these pictures, they represent her current stage of childhood so well. She's becoming much more physically adventurous and yet still being the creative and imaginative girl she has always been.

Big hero 6 Party










Maisie's dream Big Hero 6 Party was a success! With the help from my lovely cousin Kerrin, Maisie's party went smoothly. I was bummed that we weren't able to utilize our backyard with fun activities and decorations, but the weather had other plans (come on SE Idaho... what is up with all this rain!?). We had Maisie's favorite food (Jimmy John's) and other treats that went along with the characters such as:

Freds visable "invisable" sandwiches.
Hiro's kung fu gummy bears
Baymax's healthcare chips.
GoGo's lemon cookie magnetic suspension discs
Wasabi ranch w/veggies

For favors we made movie watching treats, kettle corn with chocolate covered raisins, m&ms and mini marshmallow Baymax heads.

The main event was our robot fighting activity which turned out to me 100x more successful than I could have ever imagined. The room shook with laughter and screams as the mirco bristle bots buzzed around. We had intentions of making each kid one to take home, but we were only able to complete a few prior to the party. It actually turned out better because it would have been pure chaos with 10 robots running around.

Maisie was a lucky girl and got all of her items she asked for this year. Her picks this year... a Baymax stuffed animal from me and Austin, a sleeping bag from Grandma and Grandpa, a scooter from Nana and Papa,  roller skates from cousin Kerrin and Salt Water sandals and a yellow dress from Auntie Katie.

It was a really fun day. I am sad and yet relived it's over. Maisie is already talking about next years party... oh boy!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Maisie is 5!


It's hard to wrap my head around the fact that my little Maisie is now five years old. It seems like just yesterday that I first held her, but yet at the same time it seems like a century ago, like I have always known her. 

My heart swells with love for my Maisie. Austin and I have tried to come up with a word to describe her in the past and the word we always come back to is... sunshine. She is sunshine. She exudes light where ever she goes by being funny and happy nearly 100% of the time. She's quick to forgive and the first to give encouragement. She fills our lives with songs, laughter and love. And even though she has tried (and continues to try) every last inch of patience in my body, I am better because of her. 

Five years ago she flipped my life upside down, but Heaven knows I needed her to give me new perspective on life and for her and the incredible blessing she is to all those around her (especially to me, her daddy and sister), I am eternally grateful. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Ellie @ 9 months (& stats)

This month has been a rougher one. Ellie has taken a turn for the worse sleeping wise. She has come to the conclusion that she is only comfortable snuggling in mommy and daddy's bed and is back to hating her crib (oh joy). This is mostly my fault for bringing her into our bed to nurse and then just letting her stay because I was too tired to put her back in the crib. Oh well, as much as I adore sleep I will never regret baby snuggles.

Ellie had her 9 month appointment on Maisie's actually birthday (the only day our doctor was available) and it was another double appointment because Maisie was having some stomach issues that we wanted to get checked out (all is well there, she just has to take miralax every day haha). Ellie is still small, but still consistent in her weight/height percentiles. 
Here are her stats: 


 7 lbs 8 oz & 19 (?) inches

5 days:
7 lbs 9 oz & 19.5 inches

2 weeks:
7 lbs 14 oz & 20.5 inches

7 weeks:

10 lbs 8oz & 21.7 inches

9 weeks/ 2 months:

11 lbs 6oz & 22.3 inches

4.5 months:
14 lbs & 24.3 inches
33% in weight & 22% in height

6.5 months:
15.7 lbs & 26 inches
30% in weight & 33% in height

9.5 months:
16.7 lbs & 27.2 inches
20% in weight & 21% in height

Maisie was also pretty little as a baby, so I was comparing Maisie's and Ellie's stats and Maisie at her 9 month appointment was a whole pound and inch bigger than Ellie is. I guess Austin and I just make some petite children haha! I have a few theories on why Ellie may be smaller though...

She is much more active than Maisie was. Ellie is doing stuff now (cruising furniture, standing up by herself and climbing on things) that Maisie wasn't even doing until after she turned one. Maisie was never a climber though, still to this day she is very cautious and doesn't enjoy climbing up or down things. Ellie on the other hand is a little monkey- there's not much she can't do... Well except walk and run and... Well I guess there's a lot she can't do, but you know what I mean. The jist of it is that Ellie burns a lot of calories for a little 9 month old.

Also she still doesn't enjoy most solids. This month she has been doing so good in comparison to the months before, but compared to other 9 month babies (Maisie included) she's not eating much. But hey, it's improvement and I'll take it.

Another thing being that they are completely different individuals. I think I had it in my mind that Ellie would be so similar to Maisie (probably because that's all I have ever known) and other than their looks, they couldn't be more opposite than each other. Which I'm happy about because I feel like I have the best of both worlds between their personalities.

Ellie at 9 months:

Climbing up and onto the dishwasher door.
I have yet to take a picture of her sitting on the door mostly because I'm too worried she's going to fall and hurt herself, but this picture will have to do.

Pulling all of the magnets off the fridge.

Finding anything that she could possibly choke on and trying to eat it (I can't tell you how many times a day I have to do mouth checks/sweeps and vaccuum the house).

Playing with Maisie's Duplos (especially the people- The Little Mermaid's prince Eric is her favorite.
Not prince Eric, but another Duplo man that she likes.

Gram crackers (or any kind of cracker for that matter), strawberries, Annie's white cheddar mac and cheese shells, rice and bread.
Side note: it's hilarious to me that with Maisie I didn't give her anything except homemade fruit and vegetable purees. And now with Ellie I just give her anything (within reason and usually something we are eating already) and just hope she likes it. Trust me I have tried the fruits and veggies, but Ellie- she's a carboholic... 

Playing in the grass and rolling down our little hill.

Baths... Boy, does she like baths, especially when big sister is taking one at the same time.

Drinking through a straw.

 Hiking trip

Time going on a bike ride (she and Maisie sit in our bike trailer)

Sleeping in the same room as Maisie (more on that in a future post)

Time standing up without holding on to anything.

Her crib (again) as mentioned at the beginning of this post.

Most foods, but she's getting better!

When Maisie holds on to her clothes preventing her from moving about freely.

When Maisie takes her pluggie out of her mouth, or just any toy for that matter.

When I change Ellie's diaper I always say "Pew Ellie!" And I wave my hand in front of my puckered face. Ellie now copies me. Whenever we say pew now she shakes her head and waves her hands back and forth. It's so cute!

Sleeping in the most peculiar positions... 
Jelly bones.

Getting on top of the dishwasher door and proudly sitting on top while pulling Maisie's brightly colored cutlery out of the silverware compartments.

Crawling super fast when she knows she's not supposed to be doing something. It's a guilty crawl if I ever did see one.

If I sit on the floor she will always come crawl on my lap and cuddle. Today she had a cold so she was extra cuddly. She pulled herself into my lap 4 different times today and fell asleep in my arms. I was sitting in the middle of the kitchen with a sleeping baby on me. That's what motherhood is folks.
This was her today, right before her nap in my lap in the kitchen. Have you ever seen a more pathetic looking baby with a cold? Poor girl.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mother's Day 2015

lilacs from our backyard, a new little succulent from Austin and Maisie



This was the best Mother's Day yet! Austin's parents were still in town so it was nice to celebrate with them. Austin started the day by making crepes for the moms in the house and then we went to church -where maisie made that fill out sheet and colored the pictures (it made me teary and giggle at the same time. Gosh, I love that girl). We came home and relaxed while the men grilled steaks and made all the fixings, baked potatoes, corn on the cob and salad. We finished the night with strawberry shortcake and the best part was the no cleaning (the guys mostly took care of the clean up as well). 

Maisie is at such a fun age where she understands the importance of Mother's Day and loves to shower me with extra love and making me fun gifts, like painting a little clay flower pot and making me a special necklace (pictured above). Ellie is still so squishy and cuddly that I feel I have the best of both worlds with the both of them. I truly love being their mama.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Yellowstone Bear World




Do you see all those shadows around the swan? It's wild rainbow trout.

Baby bears the size of puppies!


Phone pictures:


A white elk. Only 1 in 6 million are white.


"Bye bears!"

While Austin's parents were in town we decided to go to Bear World. It's only 10 minutes down the highway from us and it turned out to be really fun. The first part is like a Wildlife Safari/drive thru zoo thing, but only with animals native to Yellowstone country- think bison/buffalo, deer, mountain goats, wolves and of course bears and lots of them! The driving part was a lot shorter than I thought it would be, but you can go around as many times as you want so that made up for it. After you driving part we went to the gift shop, petting zoo and even rode some fair rides. It was a really fun day and I am so glad we finally crossed going to Bear World off our "to do" list and that we were able to make some fun memories with Grams and Gramps.

Maisie's Special Birthday Surprise

Maisie's Grams and Gramps (Austin's parents) were planning on coming for Maisie's actual birthday, but with Andrew graduating law school that weekend, they decided to surprise her a little early. They drove alllll day Friday to get here around 10:30 that night. Maisie was already in bed, we tried to wake her up, but the poor little thing was exhausted and refused to open her eyes (I guess the first week of preschool will do that to you). So Austin's parents decided to set up camp and have Maisie stumble upon them in the morning. Maisie was so surprised! And so so happy! She was ready for adventures with her grandparents.

Maisie and "Grams" camping in the circus tent.

Trying hard to take a selfie haha this is the best one we could manage. Haha Ellie's head looks giant!

Ellie waiting in the car with me and Grandma while the men (and Maisie) exchanged something at Sam's Club before we went out for Maisie's birthday dinner in Idaho Falls.

Gramps- fire truck. Ellie- rocket. Maisie- bumble bee. Daddy- green VW. Mommy- blue star wand. Grams- pink star wand.
A picture from our traditional glow stick party where Maisie picks glow sticks out for each of us and then we run around outside like crazy people. Our last one was in November and it was freezing! Ellie was only 3 months old!

Hiking "R mountain"


Ok, it's really called the Menan Volcanic Butte, but around these parts it's called "R mountain" because of the massive R painted on its side. People pretend it stands for Rexburg, but seeing how its not even located in Rexburg, no one really knows.

Anyway, we have always wanted to hike to the top, but there was always a reason it wouldn't work out. Maisie, seeing how she is still so physically little, gets tired easily and we didn't want to get stuck having to carry her. So we wanted to make sure she could tough out the duration of the hike before we planned it out. 

Our friends called us a couple weeks ago and asked if we wanted to go with them and their kids that afternoon. We thought Maisie being with other kids who were also hiking would motivate her to keep up and distract her from getting too tired. and we were right! Maisie was a champ and only getting a little uneasy on the slippery parts or when she had to climb up or down the steeper parts. There were parts of the hike that were REALLY steep, like have to put your hands down and climb steep, but that was mostly because of the route we took -we unintentionally took a more difficult path to the top, but live and learn right?

Seeing how we live in the desert it's not entirely uncommon to see a rattle snake so we were all kind of freaking ourselves out with the chance of stumbling upon one, but then Maisie said "Don't worry guys! I know an ancient song the puts the rattle snakes to sleep." Haha where did she come from?

I am excited to go back and hike it again, but we need to wait until all of these evening thunderstorms end (good for the farmers and crops, but bad for any outdoor activities). 

(I didn't bring my camera because we didn't want to carry it, so all these pictures are from our phones.)