Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

This May or May Not Be Happening...

Scott and I were talking a few months ago about all the careers when Scott said to me, "I think the worst job for me would be... something where I have to deal with poop."

I know, in his mind, he was reminiscing about the night years ago when we were up at my parents' house when the world's most fearless plumber braved (bare-handed) the most disgusting plumbing emergency we've ever seen. Scott followed that man around, noting everything he touched with those hands, and did a thorough, thorough cleaning.

But I had to laugh when I heard him say this. I stared him down for about five seconds... it didn't take him long to realize the irony of what he just said. His worst job would be something dealing with poop. My job is all about it. I wonder where we'd be in the count if I ever kept track. I know that we had to pack about 80 diapers for our week-long trip to the beach last summer. I know most days I change 6 diapers by 9am. My kids do very well in the dirty diaper department. They keep me in business. 

Today we took steps (hopefully) toward that curve tapering off just a bit.

I am not harboring any kind of fantasy that Peter is going to be potty-trained with the snap of a finger. I am a firm believer in the concept that our kids will tell us what they need if we're listening. I've always been very in tune with my kids, especially Peter. He has been the one to guide when he's been ready to start solid food, change his napping schedule, move to a big boy bed, ride a bike, and ski (I might have been the brains behind that one... but he took to it happily!). So in December, Peter started showing interest in the little frog potty we had in his bathroom, and he was doing really great with it! I didn't do any research on the fool-proof method for potty training. Everyone swears by a different theory. We just went with what was happening. And he was interested, but I could tell he was still not quite ready. Then Christmas happened. Then we moved. A lot of adjustment. 

So today we were at Target, and I asked Peter if we should go get some big boy pants. He said yes and was so excited to pick some Lightning McQueen "home boy" pants. Why does he call them that? I love it. So we got his pants and a Lightning McQueen potty. I thought I'd have tonight to do some research, make a sticker chart, get some kind of an incentive system going... blah blah blah. But we walked through the door, and Peter told me he wanted to use his potty. Then he told me he wanted to wear big boy pants. Okay. 

We had a symbolic "giving of the diapers to baby Brooklyn," and now we're diaper-free (pull-ups at night). No accidents in four hours with three successful trips to the potty. 

Who knows. Tomorrow he might change his mind. He might have accidents galore. Or he might be ready. I guess we'll see! 

I was worried about Peter moving to a big boy bed right after his 2nd birthday. I had this big plan to make themed bedding and drum it up to be a really big deal with a new book about big boy beds and all kinds of hype. But when I finished building it, he saw it and wanted to sleep in it. I scrounged up some bedding, and he was good. That was the end of it. 

I'm really hoping potty training goes the same way. I doubt it will. But I hope!

Here's to one (extremely adorable) kid in diapers. And one (especially sweet) kid in undies. 

Please, oh please.

One of Those Posts

This is one of those posts where I dump a random bunch of pictures into the uploader, and then I don't even check to see if I want all the pictures I just selected. Here's to our family journal!

We have been having a lot of fun around here! We have spent three weekends in Minneapolis (is that all?!), and we have tried to do something fun to explore our new city as a family every weekend since we are usually housebound during the week due to subzero temps. It's actually been warming up, so the kids and I have been able to get out a little more on quick bike rides and errands around our neighborhood. For the most part, though, we do a lot of painting, coloring, reading, rolling around in our tunnel, playing legos, and splashing in the tub.

The first weekend here was freezing. We had been packing and unpacking for the last two months, with the flu somewhere in between. We needed to do something random and fun that would get the kids wiggling. Knowing nothing about Minneapolis, we saw the Water Park of America on the side of the freeway... and we went for it. We are not theme-park people. The crowds and craziness is not really our favorite, but we had a good time and so did the kids. It was nice to be in a swimsuit when it was -30 degrees outside! But our kids are still little, and they enjoy splashing in the bathtub just as much as they did the park... so it was probably a one-time deal. 

Our second weekend here, we went to a local indoor park where they had a huge treehouse/climbing structure. The kids loved it! Peter loved climbing to the lookouts and going down slides. Brooklyn loved squirming around the toddler area. Scott and I loved getting down on our knees and really playing with our kids. It was so much fun. No pictures from either of these activities.

Our third weekend here, we were going to take the kids skiing, but we have a hard time paying money to ski the equivalent of the Alta tow-rope. So we decided to visit the Como Zoo instead. It was so much fun! It was the perfect blend of indoor/outdoor enclosures. And it was free! We are big fans of free. We're excited to visit the zoo in the warmer weather, but we were really impressed with this zoo in the winter. There were gorgeous gardens and greenhouses. Scott told me he smelled California the instant we entered one of the greenhouses. We were surrounded by orange trees and avocado trees, so he was kind of right!

We don't have big exploration plans for this weekend... yet. My parents are coming to visit, so that will be an exciting weekend! I am so excited to see them, and I am especially excited for the kids to see their Jamma and Papa who they miss very much! 

I want to include a quick note about Peter and nursery. He is doing so great in his new nursery class, which is so comforting for us! He loves nursery. He's very talkative, sings the songs, makes friends, shares, colors, and loves to tell us all about it. I am so grateful for the smooth transition. I was very anxious about how that would go for him. He loved his old nursery so much and looked forward to all the familiar faces. His excitement and comfort with his new nursery class is a huge blessing. 

Brooklyn is doing great as well! If only she could go to nursery. This social butterfly would LOVE it! She is the happiest girl, especially at church. She jabbers and chats with everyone she sees and smiles her HUGE, cheesy grin at anyone who'll look at her. The man teaching the lesson last week said, "Pretend for a minute that I'm your dad." Brooklyn heard the word, "dad," and went nuts. "DA-DA-DA-DA-DA-DA-DA-DA-DA!" Everyone started laughing while Brooklyn searched for her dad. 

Brooklyn loves her dad. LOVES her dad. LOVES. I can get the occasional "Mama" out of her, but it's usually Dada. She also loves her "Papa" and will always say, "Pa-pa-pa-pa" when we facetime with my dad. She calls my sister "Kik-kik-kik," asks for "na-na-na-na" when she is hungry and wants a "ba-ba-ba-ba-ba" when she's thirsty. I love this baby stage, and I am having a blast with my adorable baby girl!  

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

White Cheese with Worms

These two are cracking me up. Being their mom is the most fun.

A few of my favorites lately,

They are really into their play tunnel and tent lately. Brooklyn crawls through the tunnel, Peter waits for her on the other side, and then they both burst into laughter when Peter pops out and says, "BOO Bookie!!" It makes me so happy to see them play together. I know the years ahead of us will be the most special, and I'm thrilled they have each other. Adorable. Simply put. 

The kids were in the tub last night. I washed Brooklyn's hair, and it started immediately curling up (it's always super tight after tub-time). Peter says, "Is dat Bookwin's hair, Mama? I touch it pwease?"
"Sure bud, you can touch it. Be soft." He softly patted the top of her hair, barely touching her bouncy little curls, and he looked up at me with the sweetest smile. "It's so soft! It's dewishes (delicious)!"

Peter asked for a snack this morning. I asked him if he wanted some orange cheese or some white cheese. He looked at me with his most excited, circle-eyed smile and said, "White cheese with worms!!" I was confused and got him a white string cheese. "In a bowl? With worms?" he asked. "Worms pwease!" I finally realized that he wanted me to shred his string cheese to make "worms." Ha!

One of Brooklyn's words is "Na-na-na-na!" She asks for "Na-na" whenever she is hungry or sees me preparing food. Peter heard her asking for "Na-na-na," and was a man on a mission. I didn't know what he was looking for, but he came back a minute later with a banana from his play kitchen. "I get Bookwin na-na mama!"

Brooklyn is hillarious. She is so social and talkative. She knows when she is being funny and waits to see your reaction before she cracks herself up. When I'm feeding her, for example, she'll stretch her arms above her hands to do, "Soooo big!" Then she'll just stay like that until I notice and smile. Then she cracks up in laughter. She looks at me and laughs any time she passes gas. That one is my favorite. She loves to pull her socks off during naptime. And when she hears me open the door to get her at the end of her nap, she'll scramble to find her socks so she can show me. Then she laughs. She laughs and laughs and laughs. All the time. What a joy.

I love my littles.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sweet Pete

I am going to be so sad if I let any more time go by without recording some of the things Peter says and does daily. And it's perfect, because Peter is 2 1/2 today! That's about as close to milestone-specific posts I've ever gotten. I don't know how people manage their monthly photo shoots with a sign and a decorative backdrop.

Peter is such a smart, creative, and talkative kid, and we have a blast together. He truly is my best friend, and I enjoy my conversations with him so much. He is a crack up. He has the sweetest little voice with the most darling inflections. He is so sensitive to how people are feeling, especially his sister. He always hears her fuss or cry before any one else does. Peter brightens our days with his big, expressive eyes, and his energetic laugh. A few of our most recent favorites:

When he sings the ABC's. It is adorable. He is doing really well with his letters. When he gets to "L--M-N-O-P," though, he pauses a bit and mutters "1-2-3-4-P." It is my favorite.

He can count to 20. But he knows larger numbers exist because any time he measures something with his measuring tape, the height/length is "terty-seben."

He pronounces "helicopter" like, "hucka-ta-cott-ter." He calls the living room the "little room." He calls the elevator the "alligator."

He sings "Twinkle Star Song" to his sister whenever she is sad. It is especially cute in the car. He'll do it fast, slow, loud, soft, and dramatically with his head shaking and his mouth wide WIDE open. Brooklyn loves it and stops fussing or crying immediately when she hears it. It's been like that from the day we brought her home from the hospital. They are good little buddies, and Peter takes good care of his sister.

Peter will also respond to Brooklyn waking up from a nap or fussing in her crib by going in her room, bringing her a toy and saying, "Hi sweetheart. I'm here. I'm here. Hi sweetheart. I'm here." I can't handle how adorable it is.

His best bud is his Papa. He loves his Papa, and has from his earliest days. He went though a stage right before his first birthday where no one could hold him at any family event except for his Papa. He's just always had a thing for my dad! I can't blame him. My dad is pretty awesome and makes showing his love for our family his top priority. I can't name a single thing in life he ranks above showing love to us. One day my dad stopped by on his way home from the airport (we have been lucky enough to be his first stop off the plane or home from work many times. It's one of the things we miss most now that we're further away). He brought with him a little stuffed deer for Brooklyn and a fox for Peter. Peter switched them, and has been obsessed with his deer ever since. He says "Is special. Papa gave me my deer." He sleeps with it every night, clutching it so tightly that the poor deer's neck is skinny and sweaty all the time. Before we made our way to MN, my dad got each of the kids a special new friend for the plane. Peter got a dog and named him "Mikey" (Uncle Mike was visiting at the moment Peter received his friend!), and Brooklyn got a lamb that Peter named for her, "Lamby." Every night Peter makes sure he has three things to sleep. His deer from Papa, his dog from Papa, and his "Roar" (The little tiger he's slept with since he was a baby. He named it "Roar" when he was about 15 months old).

Peter is really into pretend-play lately. He creates conflict in his train-playing. "Oh no, Mama! The track is broken! The bridge is still falling! Pwease fix it pwease! Thomas is helping." He loves to make "launch (lunch)" for us in his "chicken (kitchen)." He wears his apron, gives us each a "Nackom (napkin)," and serves us our specific dishes. He narrates e v e r y t h i n g. I love that. I love following his long sentences and putting all the pieces together. He has a huge vocabulary for such a little guy. I love it!

He always says, "Still falling." "Mama! My mok is stiiiiillll fawlling!" "Mama! Bookwin's spoon is stiiiiill fawlling!"

He hears EVERYTHING. Whether it's a conversation Scott and I have in the front of the car, or whether we are talking in the kitchen while Peter is in the playroom, Peter repeats or comments on what we're saying. It is adorable... but we have to be so careful about what we say!

"Peter, should we go upstairs and have a tubby?" "Oh yes. Dat would be great!"

This sweet dialogue is a regular occurrence. While snuggling, I give Peter a kiss on his head or a hug. "Gankoo, Mama. Gankoo for kisses on my head. Gankoo very much!" or "Gankoo for da hug, Mama. Gankoo very much!"

He always says things like, "Oh yes. It's dewishes (delicious)." "Oh! Gankoo! Gankoo very much!" He is a champion at please and thank you. He is simply the sweetest.

Peter loves Daniel Tiger. The songs stick with him, and we totally use them in every day life. "It's almost time to stop, so pick one more thing to do." He does his one more thing and says, "That was fun, but now it's done!" And he's done. It's amazing. He's amazing.

I have a picture of my grandma in Brooklyn's bedroom. She passed away days after Brooklyn was born, and Brooklyn Rose is named for her. We call her Grandma Pete (and have since I was born). Peter knows exactly who she is and calls her "Gramma Peep."

Peter loves nursery and is a champ. He is the most laid-back nursery goer and loves playing with his friends. We were worried about making the change to our new ward in Minneapolis, but Peter did great and was so excited!

I love his little bedtime routine. He is committed to the order and sequence of his nightly ritual. He reads his books by himself about half the time. I love it. He loves to read, and I love when he wants to do it by himself. He is so inquisitive and asks fantastic questions about the pictures as we read. He is so smart, and it is so rewarding to see him learn so fast and so well. My decision to be home with my kids is in large-part founded in my desire to see the attributes and characteristics I impart onto them contribute to their growth and personality. Peter brings me so much joy and satisfaction. I am so proud of the little person that he is.

He dances. Oh, how he dances. He... I can't... there is no... it's... words fail me. His dance moves are inexplicable. And he dances all the time. There's a dance for every occasion. From the "all better dance" to the yummy food dance... to the daddy's home dance... to the music at the restaurant dance, he has skill and personality. Thanks to Uncle Doug and Uncle Johnny for the awkward lurpy dance gene.

Peter is very musical in general. He has excellent intonation for such a little guy. He remembers songs. He makes up his own. I will never forget his cute little voice doing his "Away away a-WAAAAAYYY" song.

Peter looks like his dad. More and more, everyday. I am stunned sometimes at the similarity, stopped in my tracks. Peter is his daddy's twin. Who wouldn't love that?

Peter does this little sequence with me that turns me limp every time:
"I love you, Peter."
"I love you too, Mama."
"Oh, thank you, Peter. You're the best."
"You're the best too, Mama."
"Oh, thank you, Peter. You are a sweetheart."
"You a sweetheart too, Mama."

It goes on and on. Unless you tell him he's awesome:
"You're awesome, Peter."
"No. I not awesome. I'm boy. Peter. And Bookwin are a grill."

I love his questions and narration while we're in the car and he's pointing out all he sees out the window.

He is really into art lately. He loves his easel, and he loves to draw with his "colors." I love to see his creations. We love to have art time while Brooke is sleeping.

Peter is excellent with puzzles. He knows all his shapes. He knows all his colors. He is a fast learner and a quick thinker. Sometimes he pulls a fast one on me. I think I'm striking a good bargain with the boy, and without realizing it I've been suckered into a Peter negotiation that gets him an extra treat or a later bedtime. How does he do that? I don't know whether to be frustrated or proud at him for the sneak-attack.

The word "sneak." Peter LOVES to sneak on anyone. He approaches them, slowly, saying the word, "sneak" over and over again to the tune of the pink panther. I know he got this from me. It's hilarious that it has rubbed off on him.

He is just so funny, and I need to be better about recording the goofy things he does (by the way, he uses the word 'doofy' all the time." He also likes to tell me I'm "silly and nuts").

I could gush all day. I'm so beyond grateful to be a mom. Being present for these little moments with Peter and with Brooklyn is the most fulfilling blessing.

Monday, March 3, 2014


I adore this girl, and I am grateful every day to be her mom. 

I love watching her beam when she knows she is doing something big. Brooklyn can play patty-cake, do "soooo big" with her arms above her head, high five, do "splash splash" and "kick kick kick" in the tub, and is working on three signs: "more," "please," and "thank you." She calls me "mama" or "baba." She calls Scott "dada" and "gaga." And she calls Peter, "tuh tuh." She asks for "Na na na na" when she wants something to eat. She is learning so much so fast, and I am having so much fun as we learn how to communicate with each other more and more. 

Of all the things she's learned in the last two weeks, I think giving kisses is my favorite. I'll take these kisses any day! She is such a joy.

Little House on the Prairie

Scott and I have never purchased toilet paper.

How's that for the first sentence this blog has seen since December. The first sentence of a new year (three months in). Toilet paper.

But it's a fact either which way. We have never bought toilet paper. Grandpa George gave us a huge Costco pack of TP each Christmas for the first two years we were married. Somehow we made those last five years. One day we ran out upstairs, so I asked Scott to grab a couple rolls from our storage in the basement. When Scott came upstairs, empty-handed, I couldn't believe that the day had finally come. We were out of toilet paper. Officially.

"That's it," I said. "It's time to move."

So we moved to Minneapolis.

That's the story. We knew when the toilet paper ran out that it was the end of an era and that we were ready for the next step in our family's life. Moving half-way across the country, 18 driving-hours away from the home and life we'd built together was the only reasonable solution to our TP poverty.

We could have gone to Costco and gotten more... but that would be such a big commitment. All that toilet paper.

So now we're here in Minnesota. I said it. Minnesota (all glory to my dear friend Cassi who hails from this brave new world of ours). And while the toilet paper shortage was a pretty significant event for our little family, I guess there were other reasons for the move. I guess it wasn't all about the toilet paper (I don't think I've used the word "toilet" this many times in any previous post to date).

Scott has a new job. And we are excited. We're not sure exactly where this job and the upcoming years will take us. We have our plan, but we are sure the Lord has come up with something better. He has a pretty good track record when it comes to outdoing our short-sighted plans. Thank goodness, too. We know His plan is in motion, because Minnesota certainly wasn't our idea.

It's kind of fun to be along for the ride. It's hard, too.

That's all I'll say about that for now.

We're getting settled, navigating our new little world, and getting down our new routine. Right now that routine involves a lot of cuddles with my kids. Salt Lake or Minnesota, those cuddles turn my heart to mush. They are the same.

Our little house on Hubbard is affectionately known in our family as our Hubbard Cupboard. It is a cute little cupboard that participated in the healing and sacred moments our family experienced from the birth of Peter, PTSD, healing, growing, adopting Brooklyn, and watching our family grow in all the most fulfilling ways. It is the house that sheltered us while we learned what life was all about. We can't wait to see it again.

But for now, we have loaned our cupboard to another family, and we are setting up shop in our new "Little House on the Prairie." Credit to Scott for the name of our new little space, as it is a townhouse located in Eden Prairie (right outside Minneapolis). I'm excited to see what this next step is all about.

But please, oh please, let it include lots of visits to where my heart is home.