Monday, April 3, 2017

30 Before 30

Well folks, I just had a birthday. I'm officially a quarter of a century old. Halfway to fifty. Able to rent a car. I have a single white hair on my right eyebrow as a testament of my increased age and wisdom. Haha!

I had a good birthday week, complete with: a kid-free night out with my man, finally watching Fantastic Beasts, the arrival of my new double stroller (which resulted in several long walks over to the nearest park with the kiddos), watching plenty of General Conference, birthday dinner at the in-laws, and breaking my 2-month chocolate fast. I requested brownies and ice cream for my birthday dessert; brownies have never tasted so good, folks! Oh chocolate, how I have missed you!

Now that I'm halfway through my 20s, it seems like an opportune time to make a bucket list to work on over the next 5 years. Soooooo here are 30 things that I want to do before I turn 30 years old:

1) Add a fur baby to our family. Okay, let's be specific... a cat. I want a cat.

2) Travel outside of the continental US.

3) Master at least 5 classic piano pieces (first on the list: Fantasie Impromptu by Chopin. I used to have it completely memorized, but never got it completely up to speed. Time to work on it again!)

4) Take our kids camping.

5) Get a bike, along with a bike trailer to put the kids in, and go on family bike rides.

6) Learn to love running and set a new personal best mile time.

7) Become flexible enough to do the splits.

8) Visit the ice castles in Midway.

9) Go on a cruise.

10) Take the kids horseback riding.

11) Take the kids ice skating.

12) Get professional family pictures taken. (We've never done this, aside from a small wedding shoot.)

13) Read the entire Little House series to Nicole, just like my mom read them to me.

14) Find the joy in yard work and get our yards looking picture perfect.

15) Take the kiddos to Disneyland.

16) Get the courage to finally dye my hair.

17) See either Brian Regan or John Mayer live. Both would be nice.

18) Have my home cohesively decorated. This means I'll have to learn some interior design tricks because my eye for balancing home d├ęcor and picking out the perfect pieces for a space (as well as how to arrange those pieces) is nonexistent.

19) Participate in a fundraising walk.

20) Get a manicure or pedicure. (I've never had a professional one!)

21) Start the tradition of an annual Galentine's Day party.

22) Visit Doug's grandmother in Arizona.

23) Home reno project: add doors in our kitchen leading out onto a new backyard deck.

24) Read Jesus the Christ in its entirety.

25) Finish decluttering the house. (I've been stuck at about 3/4ths of the way done for a while now.)

26) Stay in one of the rooms at the Anniversary Inn.

27) Go on a Girls Trip. With what girls? I don't know (Carissa, ya with me?) but the point is, go on a multi-day trip with no kids or men.

28) Learn basic coding and programming. (Good news... I live with an expert!)

29) Master a go-to, fancy 5-course meal that I can use when company is over.

30) Become a certified Zumba instructor.

Bonus items: see a musical/play on broadway, go on a family vacation to Yellowstone, maybe even go to my 10 year high school reunion. :P It looks like a perfectly manageable list to me! Time is ticking... ready, set, go!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Austin // 5 Months

^^^Let's take a moment to appreciate the fat rolls on those arms, not to mention those screw-on-wrists. And that glorious double chin. Not to brag or anything, but I get to kiss those cheeks aaaaall day!

As the pictures show, Austin has started to "tripod" (sit using his hands to prop himself) and holds a personal record of a whole minute. I can't believe how big he looks sitting up by himself. That's the only major physical milestone to report; he's still content to lie in one place instead of roll around. He's an extremely chill baby; not even favorite toys or people motivate him to move. During tummy time, he prefers to be propped up over the nursing pillow so he can look around with ease and not tire as quickly. He is a carbon copy of Nicole, I'm not even kidding. She was the same way about rolling and moving.

He loves gumming on Sophie the Giraffe, and his bottom gums are starting to look a little white so he might be preparing to cut teeth. I hope he's an easy teether.

When it comes to naps, this kid thrives on structure and predictability. If we have one "off day" with naps (*cough*cough*every*single*Sunday) it throws him off and I have to work for a day or two to get him napping well again. And of course, bad naps affect how well he sleeps at night.

We have started him on solids. As of today, he has sampled banana, apple, butternut squash, avocado, carrots, and pears. He was not a huge fan of avocado, but I think the texture was to blame for that. I've also let him suck on a slice of apple for a couple seconds, and he was very mad at me when I took it away. He then attempted (rather unsuccessfully, considering he's still a long way from perfecting his motor skills) to grab every single slice I ate, complaining loudly when I didn't let him have more.

He tolerates the bumbo now! Hooray! During bath time he chills in the bathtub and just grins up at me while I wash him off. No splashing, just chilling. He still shares his smiles freely, and I can get him to laugh SO hard. I love that sound! He also still wakes up several times a night to nurse. *Sigh. At least he's a pro at putting himself to sleep.

Austin loves to lie on the ground by the piano and listen to me play. LOVES it. On more than one occasion, I've accidentally kept him up 15 minutes or more past his nap time because he's so content listening to the music that he doesn't even complain about being tired. Time flies while I'm sitting at the piano; I don't even realize how long I've been sitting there!

Oh, and he loves to shriek. Loudly. Man, he has a strong set of lungs.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Mommy Daughter Date // Mall Edition

Nicole needed new shoes for the warmer weather, so on Friday evening we journeyed over to the mall and I decided to turn the outing into an impromptu mommy-daughter date. It's been a while since I've spent time with just her outside the house, aside from an occasional short walk. I want to always make sure to spend one-on-one time with each of my kids as they get older, even if it is something as simple and unplanned as this:

We listened to a playlist of Nicole's favorite songs in the car. We sang unashamedly at the top of our lungs to pop artists like Justin Timberlake and Chainsmokers, as well as Disney hits like "Part of Your World" and "Let it Go".

We got the shoe shopping out of the way first, since Nicole finds it unpleasant to have her feet messed with, and then we went and explored the Disney Store! After pulling out every stuffed character she recognized (Minnie! Mickey! Sulley! Nemo! Moana!) Nicole finally found an Elsa doll. She held that Elsa doll in the tightest embrace until it was time to leave the store. Homegirl is obsessed with Elsa.

Next we sat on the ledge of the outdoor fountain pool and watched the colorful water dance to the beat of "Thriller". Nicole was mesmerized. We finished up the night splitting some treats over at Sweet Tooth Fairy. She wanted cookies instead of cupcakes, so we got two sugar cookies--one with lemon frosting, the other with strawberry--and shared them while sitting at a little table and talking about her favorite things she saw in the Disney store.

Then we both got thirsty; the store doesn't offer water cups and silly mom forgot to bring the water bottles, so back home we drove, singing all the way while Nicole intermittently commented on how dark it was outside.

The poor girl fell asleep almost as soon as she hit the pillow. Being up 1 1/2 hours past your bedtime will do that to a girl, ya know? I love my little Nicki. It was good to spend some time with her without Austin in tow. Oh man, I'm SO excited to go on mommy-son dates with him once he gets old enough!