Monday, October 5, 2015

Ring Around the Rosie

My miracles are best buddies about eighty percent of the time these days. I am crazy about these two. The level of cute is getting to be absurd, and the sweetness is impossible at times. I am humbled and grateful to be their mom. I thought about motherhood a lot this weekend as I tried to catch bits of General Conference. In between the chasing, moderating, feeding, fort-building, diaper changing, back-scratching, and cleaning miscellaneous items out of Brooklyn's mouth, I was able to absorb the many messages of motherhood the Lord wanted us to hear. I felt so grateful for the recharge and inspiration. I know my life was prolonged so I could be my babies' mother. I know I am exactly the mother they need, as long as I am giving them my best. 

PS... I haven't written on this blog in about seven months. Sammy's gotten big since our first post about her, which was actually my last post.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


After six years of having dog envy everywhere we go, we finally decided that there were no excuses good enough to keep us from finally getting our puppy. And we are excited!

We are so excited to bring our sweet Sammy (100% Peter's choice) home in a couple weeks. She is half yellow lab and half chocolate lab. Scott and I have been doing nonstop research, Peter has told everyone about Sammy ("She is not as big as a bear. She is just little, but she will get bigger. She had a purple string, so they called her Violet. She will live at my house. And I will throw a ball to my dog, and my dog will fetch the ball. And we will have lunch together. I will give her a bowl with some cereal, and I will have cereal, and then we will take a nap together. She will sleep on my ground, and I will sleep in my bed. When we wake up, we will play fetch in the backyard until my mommy calls us and says it's dinnertime."), and Brooklyn spontaneously calls "doggie!" in her carseat whenever we're on the go. We can't wait! I'd be lying if I didn't admit that this pup is a bit of a placeholder to make infertility a bit more bearable. But mostly, we just feel like she has been a long-awaited addition to this already crazy family of ours.  I can't wait to watch Sammy and Brooklyn battle it out for who gets to eat the food that gets dropped from the kitchen table. 

Both the kids did great when we went to look at the puppies. Peter climbed into the pen and let them climb all over him. Brookyn kept patting the dog, saying, "Hi doggie! Hi!" I can't wait to watch them grow to love Sammy once she's all settled in our own house!  

A Mess of Happiness About Yooooooou

Gosh, I love being a mom.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Before I Forget

It was the witching hour. The kids weren't particularly grouchy, but I was feeling run-down and exhausted. I kept checking the clock, only to see that time was just
c r a w l i n g.
I kept reasoning my way through the repercussions of putting my kids to bed at 5:30pm, but it just wasn't worth it. So at ten to six, with kids bathed and jammied, teeth brushed, books read, beds "unzipped," and prayers said, I decided to turn out the lights in Peter's room, close the door, lay both kids in the bed alongside me, and sing maybe thirty songs. It was actually one of the sweetest moments I've ever had with my kiddos. And they are generally pretty darn sweet. 

Brooklyn didn't last too long in the bed with us, but she wandered around the room, bringing me treasures. That was pretty cute. Peter kept his head on the pillow, forehead against mine, with his hand either on my cheek, twirling my earring, or playing with my ponytail. A few little gems from this exchange I want to remember:

"Mom, I'm touching your errearrings and being so soft and careful. They are so pretty. Yeah!" 

After singing, I Know That My Redeemer Lives, he sat right up and practically screamed, "Mom! That was soooooo beautiful. Girl songs are very pretty, Mama. But boy songs are not so cute." What are boy songs, Pete? "They are not so cute." Pete, I don't know if there are boy songs and girl songs. I think there are just songs and anyone can sing them. "No mom. That was a girl song. It was so beautiful." 

There were about a dozen, "I really love you mom." He says this to me at least twenty times a day. I melt. 

After about a half hour of snuggling and receiving treasures from Brooklyn, I told Peter that I was going to put Brooky down and go to bed. His lower lip quivered as he burst into genuine sobs. Peter? What's wrong? Are you sad? "Yes. sobs. I was sad cause sobs you said you were sob going for a nap. You sob don't want to stay with me sob sob." Oh, Pete, of course I want to stay with you! "And sing the wonderful songs?" Sure, bud. "Oh, I love the wonderful songs." How about we do two more songs, and then I'll go put your sister to bed. "Okay. That is what I decided."

I got a gooey kiss from my boy and went to tell my girl sweet dreams. I lay Brooklyn in her crib (in Scott's closet while we redo a few things in her bedroom). She was a little confused, but is such a trooper about sleeping that I didn't anticipate any issues. We went through our little tucking in routine, and then I snuck away to hear Brooklyn whimpering a couple seconds later. When I went back into snuggle her (I've never had to reenter her room after putting her down. Ever.), she looked at me with the most earnest little eyes and pleaded, "Unny." We had left her little gray bunny at grandma's house where she napped that afternoon (due to the work in her room). I felt terrible that I didn't haver her Unny. I was pretty pushoverly close to sticking the kids in the car (it had been an early bedtime, after all) and driving up to my mom's. I know if I called them, by the way, they would have been at my doorstep in a minute. They are pretty obsessively loving in all the best ways. I brought her downstairs to the playroom, where we searched for a replacement bunny for the night. She settled on on the Hudson Bay bunny from Gramma Lyne and fell asleep smiling.  

Even the witching hour can become absolutely darling.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


These kids are killer. The level of adorable in our house is reaching absurd proportions. Brooklyn has finally started opening her mouth, and the words coming out are absolutely darling. Peter is as sweet as ever, and he surprises me every day with the new things he is figuring out about life. 

A few details I want to be sure to remember. 

Brooklyn's words. Our sweet girl has her own little language, and it cracks us up. We are the only ones who understand her, but it's clear as a bell to us. Here are a few of her non-conventional words.
"Ah hoo! Ah hoo!" means "Up Please."
"Ma ma (with the sign for thank you)" is thank you. 
"Baba baba" is a fish, fish cracker, picture of a fish. This one is my favorite. She calls it a "Baba" because the fish makes the "bababababa" sound.
"Ah Nuh!" means "All done!"
"Dododo" means "tomato."
"Cheeese tia!" is a cheese quesadilla. Or any food in general that could resemble a tortilla. 
 Everything is said over and over and with absolute desperation. Generally speaking, Brooklyn never does anything halfway. In joy or pain, she commits.

Peter has been loving preschool. Loving. He loves having friends his age to play with (give his sister 6 months and we'll be gold), and he is having a blast learning more and more everyday. Last week was "Small World Day" at Peter's preschool, encouraging kids to dress representative of their country of origin or family heritage. Peter proudly sported his half Canadian pride. 

Peter asserted his opinion pretty firmly that he did NOT favor the Seahawks to win the Super Bowl this year. He did not like that bird with the "not nice eyes." He cracks me up. He is so sensitive. And he is so responsive to eyes. He has not yet figured out the concept of good guy/bad guy. So he calls them "not very nice guys." The Seahawk is not very nice. 

Both these kids are thrilled to be back to the life of cabin weekends. And we are too. Oh, they are cute. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tis the Season to Be Jolly!

Let's pretend for a minute that I didn't bribe my kids with marshmallows to get these pictures. Let's just pretend that they are perfectly obedient toddlers who shun sugar and always smile on cue. 

Or, let's not pretend that. I'd rather have wild, wiggly toddlers any day.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Peter and Brooklyn

There are just way too many cute pictures of these kids and their cousins at the Beach House last week.  I'll have to get them up on the blog soon, but in the meantime, I've been meaning to write down a few things Scott and I want to remember about these two favorite kids of ours right now. 


This boy is cracking me up. He is on an unbelievably cute kick lately. Everything that comes out of his mouth makes me feel that gushy obsessive love that comes when you feel like you possibly can't squeeze your child tightly enough. I'm pretty sure Peter is sick of his mom's gushing. But he's so gushable! 

He is in such an imaginative stage lately, which I love and encourage. Everything is a game, and everything is "pretend." Every day Peter takes journeys on a pretend ship, plane, balloon, space ship, mountain, or ocean. He fights fires and pirates; he dodges crocodiles and dragons. Yesterday Peter, Brooklyn, and I spent a good hour sitting on his bed pretending that we were on a pirate ship. In addition to the miracle that we were able to keep Brooklyn busy and content for that space of time in one single activity, we had a total blast. Peter amazes me with his creativity. I kind of look at him in shock as he comes up with all the major events of the game. Every crisis, every solution. The "croco-daddle is coming up onto our ship! Quick, mom! Let's get Tinker Bell and her pixie dust will fly us up into the air." I will never forget watching him scoop his imaginary Tinker Bell in his hands and sake his little fist over all of our heads. Once we were in the air, he pointed out the clouds and birds around us. "Look, mom! A bird! Let's go catch it for dinner! I'll get my net! Put the anchor down! Watch the ship! Yarrrrr! Oh no! The pixie dust got on the croco-daddle girl! He's flying too! Ahhh! Let's have jaguar cub scare him away. Rarr! Oh, jaguar cub is so tired from all of his growling. He will have a little rest. But here comes a croco-daddle girl again!" I forgot to mention all this time, that we are in full costume, complete with pirate hat and eye patch, superhero cape, cardboard frog head dress, elephant ears, and more. All the while, we were sailing our ship to Peter Pan's hideout, which happened to be the Fisher Price Little People zoo on the other side of his bedroom. I can't get enough of his imaginative play. 

Peter is so curious. Truthfully, I am so exhausted with all of the questions, but I love that he's asking, and I'm trying to remember to be patient. I don't know how he has time to draw breath because he is slinging these questions at an un-intervaled rate. I am catapulted with "Mom, mom, mom, mom" all day long. I'm grateful, really. "Mom" is my favorite word, and it is a blessing to be the recipient of so many reminders that I am lucky enough to be a mom. Lately, if I don't respond to his inquiry quickly enough or sufficiently for him to be satisfied, I get a stern reproach of, "Why? Mama? Why? Tell me whyyyy!" or "How? Mama? Tell me hoooooow! Tell me." It's equally adorable and exhausting. I always thought people were exaggerating when they spoke of the chain of why's that come from their kids. The why's are real, however, and they have settled in for a long vacation and not a quick trip. I'm still gearing up for the duration. But truly, I am so thrilled that he is such an eager learner! I love his little voice, and I wouldn't trade my even my most exhausting moments with my kids to be anywhere or doing anything else. 

Peter has an incredible vocabulary for such a little guy, and he's actually usually pretty open about using it. In nursery and preschool, he is extremely talkative, and the consistent feedback I receive from his teachers is that he has a fantastic vocabulary. He is always on task and follows directions when at school, which makes me happy to hear. He is just a sweetheart, plain and simple. He is pleasant and listens well. He is a fast learner, has an excellent memory, and puts concepts together well. At school he knew his numbers, letters, and shapes up into the five-year old range (according to their district standards). I am proud of how well he learns and loves school.  

Things Peter says lately that we don't want to correct or forget:
a "babe" is a bib
"rush-a-naught" for restaurant
"surf" for sir. "Sure thing, surf." or "Thanks for coming to my rushanaught, surf."
"Mom, remember, I can't go nai nais lots of times."
"Mom, is it okay I wake up? I already have had three sips of sleep, and I'm three!"
"Mom, remember the rule. You don't put covers over my friends because they have tails," (referring to his jaguar cub, Mikey, deer, and Sammy seal).
"chogg" is Peter's word for chalk

I would seriously have to record every sentence he says if I wanted to keep track of all the cute because it is ALL CUTE. I have seriously considered, more than once, the possibility of installing a go pro on Peter so we can capture his entire existence. He's just not going to believe us when we tell him how cute he was when he was little. 


Brooklyn is an absolute joy. She is also a determined little thing. It's actually a great balance. She knows what she wants, and she is eager to learn how to ask for it. She is copying everything we say and do lately. At church yesterday, she figured out that she could fold her arms for the prayers. She did it every time someone prayed. My favorite was in Relief Society when she walked right up to the person offering the prayer, stood inches from her, looked up, and folded her little arms. Every time there was a song, she mimicked the chorister and "led" the music. She is a crack up, and is extremely distracting at church. She is well aware of the fact that everyone is looking at her because she is just too-out-of-this-world-how-is-it-possible cute. Seriously. She is social and happy. She gives toys back to other kids if she's taken them. She waves, kisses, high-fives freely. She is just a happy girl, and we love her. She is accumulating words like crazy, and I need to be better about encouraging her to use the ones she knows more often. She and I are still figuring out our language. She does sign language/speaking combo for our everyday exchanges, but we have found ourselves head to head a couple times when I have been unsure of what she wanted. That never happened with Peter, so it's a new challenge for me. 

Brooklyn loves books. They keep her interest more than any other activity. She also loves balls and cars... courtesy of having a big brother and a plethora of balls and cars. She is starting to also love her bitty twin doll and calls her "ba ba" for baby. She is very fascinated with babies. Whenever she sees them at church or story time, she is so curious and interested. Storytime. I take Peter to preschool twice a week, and Brooklyn and I attend the library story time in the meantime. It is so fun to have a little activity that is just special time for the two of us, and Brooklyn is well aware that it is her special time. She loves it. We sit in a circle with other parents and kids, and she thinks it is the greatest thing ever. Such a social butterfly, Brooklyn walks around the circle waving, touching, smiling at all of our story time friends. If the library worker is doing a song with puppets, Brooklyn is front and center trying to give the puppets kisses. She is so curious and happy when she can just roam. Because of that, I've realized that the best activity for her at this stage is just an afternoon or morning at the park. She loves the freedom and just going wherever she wants and scrambling around. I am encouraged to think about all of our slot canyon adventures to come with both our climbing, scrambling kids. The park. Brooklyn is fearless. She loves the slide and will go down any slide no matter how tall. She is cautious, and always remembers to go backwards. I can't believe how big she's getting. It is crazy for me to think that in one month she will be the age of Peter when Brooklyn was born!

Brooklyn will put anything in her mouth. Anything. I think our family was a little shocked to see what we really meant by that statement. They were laughing all weekend as every other sentence was either, "Brooky, uh uh!" or "Brooky, don't eat that, " or "Brooky, that's yucky. Please bring that to Mama." She always does bring it when we ask, but when will this stage pass?! We have to be on our game 100% of the time with all the rocks, leaves, gravel, sea weed, toys, crumbs, and plants she tries to ingest. In addition to the non-identifiable and inedible objects, she also eats like crazy. Easily triple  what her brother eats. I bring snacks everywhere, and I can't keep up with the demand! She is a busy little think, moving constantly, so it's no wonder she needs to refuel so much, but it amazing me to see how much food she can put away at a meal. 

Brooklyn is so quick to love and smile, and we love her for that. She is such a bright spot in our home. She has been the easiest baby from day one, so it's actually throwing me a bit for a loop to see her personality start to take form in a more assertive way than I thought. I love her spunk, and I am so proud of the little girl she is and is becoming. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Um... Labor Day?

So, we have been so busy the last few months, and I have been awful of keeping track of it all! Before I catch us up, I wanted to be sure to post some pictures of our camping trip over Labor Day a couple months ago. We had so much fun camping as a family. We were shocked at how well the kids did. They both slept through the night all three nights, all in one tent together, and with thunderstorms! They were sweet and happy, and we had so much fun. I love this little family of mine. I am so grateful every day for the happy, simple life that we have. It's amazing. Everything we went through having Peter and adopting Brooklyn has brought us such a clear understanding of what really matters in life. It has helped us simplify and focus on our wonderful family. We are as happy as we've ever been, and we realize that it takes A LOT less to make us happy that we used to think. 

We spent our time at three different spots all along Lake Superior. It was so beautiful and pleasant! 

(Brooklyn was very popular with our camping neighbors!)