Saturday, March 22, 2014

Kyle's Birthday Presents for the Mancave

For Kyle's birthday I bought five posters from our local comic book store to decorate in his upstairs "man cave."  I picked them out myself and tried really hard to find ones that he would like that weren't all Batman and were also pretty colorful.

Kyle with all his posters

Audrey played in her Exersaucer while we hung posters
After we hung the posters, this spurred in Kyle a desire to hang all of his other items.  So, for the most part, the upstairs is pretty much done.  We still have a bed frame to paint as well as organize his art area a little more, but we also have a recliner up here that Kyle likes to sit in at least for five minutes every day (he's currently napping in it).  Having an upstairs office, playroom, man cave WITH a refrigerator and WITH a TV and WITH a bathroom is actually pretty nice!  I'm so glad we decided to give the upstairs a makeover before Audrey was born.  I think if we waited, we wouldn't have had the energy to do it ourselves.  

As you can tell, we find the room to be quite comfortable:

Starting Cereal

Soon after Audrey's blessing, we began feeding her cereal.  We were so excited...I felt she was ready for about a week or so, but we were so busy the week before the blessing that we decided to put it off until right after.  We started with rice cereal, which she hated.  We did that for awhile, and she spit things out.  Even though she wanted to eat the food, she had a hard time not doing the sucking motions, so not very much of the food actually went in. 

A few days later we tried oatmeal, which was only marginally more tasty to her.  By this time, she was able to control the sucking reflex a little better, but still didn't like the bland cereal.  So, we decided to spice it up a little bit by adding some natural applesauce.  That was a game-changer!  Suddenly she couldn't get enough.  I didn't want to rush her to other types of food, so we kept her on just cereal for a little longer than some parents do.  This ended up being a good decision on our part because we make our own baby food, which causes it to be naturally thicker than store bought.  By having her on cereal for awhile, we had to gradually thicken the cereal to get her to continue eating it.  Then, when it was time to move to other foods, we didn't have to put a ton of milk in to thin out the food.  She transitioned so easily to the other foods.  

Now, if we can just get her to like carrots and peas....!  At this point, Audrey will eat sweet potato, squash, carrots (with cereal), bananas, applesauce, and peas (as long as they're mixed with bananas...ew).  Over spring break we're planning to try avocado and some other fun fruits!  My goal is to raise a kid who will eat just about anything...which is so unlike me it's not even funny.

Audrey's Baby Blessing

Audrey's baby blessing was on Sunday, January 26th.  A baby blessing is a special event (although a non-saving ordinance) performed during Sunday service in the LDS church.  It is NOT a baptism.  It is an opportunity for a child to formally receive the name he or she will be known by as well as a blessing given to him or her from Heavenly Father through a worthy priesthood holder giving the blessing (usually the baby's father).  For more information about baby blessings, please see here and here.

Kyle performed the blessing with our bishop as well as our friends Jared Shrack and Phil Call.  Jared's and Phil's families attended, as did Audrey's grandparents.  We were so thankful everyone could come, because it was snowing like crazy!  We thought we'd be able to have more of our family if we waited a little longer than usual to bless Audrey.  Babies are typically blessed in the church when they're a few weeks old, but we waited until January when we were scheduled to have 11:00 church instead of 9:00 so more people would be able to come.  I guess we were expecting mild winters like those we had the last two years!

Jared, Kyle, Phil, and Audrey

Jared; his wife, Melody; our family; Phil; his wife, Kim (and baby Nora); and their son, Pete

Audrey, her parents, and her grandparents

We were so glad that she stayed so happy in the dress!

The dress was made from my mom's wedding dress, so we made sure to get a special picture for that reason :)

Afterwards, we had a small get-together at our house.  We decided to get a cake and do a potato bar, and that was DELICIOUS!  By the time we got to cake, though, Audrey was fast asleep.  We didn't want to wake her because she'd had a big day and hadn't had a nap, so this picture of her with her cake had to suffice.

Overall, in spite of the weather, it was a wonderful day.  I was pretty stressed about keeping the house clean, being sure the driveway stayed shoveled, getting the food together, timing my pumping and Audrey's eating schedules just right, getting our clothes de-wrinkled, and (my biggest fear) ensuring Audrey wouldn't poop or spit up on her dress!  But everything worked out the way it was supposed to, of course.  Listening to Kyle give Audrey a blessing was an amazing experience and I felt so peaceful.  I'm so grateful to have a worthy priesthood holder in our home who can give us blessings when we need them.  

Everyone went home earlier than we'd originally planned, but it ended up being okay because the three of us were exhausted!  Plus the snow caused a missed school day the following day, but by that point, we'd deserved it!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Pillow Babies

I still have some Christmas pictures to find and upload (I know, I know...terrible.  I would probably just skip it for my 3 viewers' sake, but this is kind of like my family journal/photo album, so I would like to get them on here someday), but this is one of the things that I have on my camera now that I'd like to post about.  My mom made Audrey a pillow baby just like her mom made a pillow baby for me.  Obviously, my pillow baby is on the left in the below picture, and Audrey's is on the right.

Over the snow days I was transferring some things from cardboard storage boxes to plastic totes and found my pillow baby!  I don't know that I ever gave her a name, but she was awfully loved.  I slept with her all time time.  She was particularly useful in keeping me from touching the cold wall in the middle of the night.

She's falling can't really tell but her seams are all split.  She has several holes and the black on her shoes was an attempt to use felt to "stitch" her up.  Didn't work so well.  Audrey's baby is spectacularly new...I can't wait for her to play with her!

My favorite part of Audrey's pillow baby:

I even left my homemade ankle bracelet on my pillow baby!

Amazing how you can pull these things out of boxes and be able to recall so many good memories :)

Jess's Bridal Shower

My best friend from high school, Jessica, is getting married in late April.  We had a wonderful opportunity to see her at her bridal shower in early January.  She'd never met Audrey and I don't get to see or talk to Jess too often, so that was really fun.  I'm glad the snow wasn't too bad and we got to go!

Jess's mom Theresa holding Audrey and Megan, Jess's niece.

My sister Betsy and her best friend Cindy (Jess's cousin), both expecting!

Audrey and me with the bride to be!  Congrats!

Snow Days

Well, it certainly has been awhile!  At this point in time, we're keeping pretty busy with our extended school days (we get home at about 6 PM every day...meaning we're gone almost eleven and a half hours every day).  It's EXHAUSTING.  Needless to say, blogging really has been the last thing on my mind.  But since it's now SPRING BREAK, I might be able to do some catching up!

So we had a ton of snow days early in January.  Here are some pictures from our big snow at the beginning of the year:

These are all pictures documenting the first time we ever made snow ice cream!

1 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup sugar

Mix everything

Add snow to desired consistency

Snow ice cream!

It wasn't ice cream like I know it, but it did take care of my sugar craving for the day!  Can't say I loved the ice cream, but I think it'll be fun to do with Audrey as she gets older.  Here are some other random pictures from this day:

Not quite four months yet!

These pajamas no longer fit!

The cats were fascinated by the snow

Although I'm sad that we have to do the extended days and I don't want to go to school until June, the snow days were certainly welcome in January.  I didn't feel like I got to spend enough time with just Kyle and Audrey over Christmas break, so this helped to relieve that feeling.  I just count my blessings when I can!