big girl room

Sometimes I feel like this baby is forcing Jilly to grow up too fast.  But then every time I introduce something new she takes it like a champ.  Sleeping in a big bed? she sleeps better than she ever did in her crib.  Potty training?  this girl was totally potty trained and accident-free by day 3.  She puts her shoes on by herself (never on the right feet, but that doesn't really matter right?), sits at the table like a big girl, and helps with her few little chores. So I guess she really is becoming a big girl and not my baby anymore.

I've had a lot of fun making Jilly a big girl room.  It's not terribly different from her old room, but for some reason to me it seems like a dramatic change.  And, I love that this room screams Jilly.  It's pink as can be and full of her favorite things- dresses, books, blankies, and babies.  Bryan says the room glows pink, and I admit that it kind of does.  But, she'll only be two once, and I'm so glad that she has a fun bedroom that she loves.

left wall- bow holders, armoire, US map, rain gutter bookshelves, free ABC print that I cannot find anymore- bummer

under the window- baskets for dolls, dress-up, and stuffed animals (one night I'm going to sneak in and throw away half the animals in that basket.)
 My friend Megan made a similar heart garland for Valentine's Day.  I was sitting on the bed reading books with Jilly one night and suddenly realized she needed a heart garland for her headboard so I got to work.  Jilly and I have many a battle over the hearts- I think they should be evenly spread apart and she likes to squish them all together on one side.  Drives me bonkers (do I sound like a control freak or what?!)
Clearly big girl beds were made for jumping
Closeup of wall art-  Jillian Kate print made for us by a friend (find her work here), Idea for the LOVE print from here (took me about 10 minutes to make with my cricut and scrap paper), You are my Sunshine printable, and I am in desperate need of finding something square to put underneath the picture of Christ with the children- any ideas?
tent, closet. door


friday five

1. This week Jilly and I looked at her baby book.  It made me realize a. Jilly has grown up so much, b. I better get going on a baby book for #2, and c. I can't wait to have a teeny babe around!

2.  I downloaded this free printable this week and put it in my kitchen.  It makes me ridiculously happy.

3.  Jilly is in full preparation mode for becoming a big sister.  This week she went to her friend Kylie's house and loved playing with her baby sister, and today while we were watching another friend's baby Jilly was thrilled to help me and make him smile.  She now insists that we buckle her doll into the infant car seat and take her with us wherever we go.  

4.  If you're a mom, you must read this hilarious article.  I have spent hours and hours and hours of my life stressing about Jilly's sleep (or lack thereof) and I've finally come to the decision that some kids are great sleepers and some aren't and there isn't much you can do about it (despite what all the experts say.)

5. This is by far my favorite picture of the week.  Girlfriend is so proud that she can put her shoes on by herself, and she never complains about them being uncomfortable so I rarely fix them for her.   Sometimes having a mom who is 8+ months pregnant kind of stinks.  


more crockpot-ing

We've been trying some more crockpot recipes and found some really great ones.
Honey Sesame Chicken- This was so, so yummy.  Bryan doesn't like green onions and we forgot to put on sesame seeds, but it made no difference.  The chicken was super moist and had great flavor.
Lemon Chicken- It's been a few weeks since we made this and I don't remember it very well except that I thought it was good.  Overall review- clearly not very memorable, but we did enjoy it that night.
Crockpot Chicken Fajitas- So delicious and easy.  We only used 1 1/2 peppers and that was plenty for us.  We put the chicken in tortillas with tomatoes, cheese, sour cream and tapatio (for Bryan, not me.)  These were some of the best fajitas I've ever had- juicy and delicious.  


Take me out to the ball game

We're trying to cram lots of fun into these next few weeks before our life takes a slow turn.  One of the things on our list was going to a baseball game so we checked that off this weekend.  First stop- Squeeze Inn for cheese skirts.  We ate there about a year and a half ago and both agreed that we could wait another year and a half to go again.  Though delicious, the incredibly greasy burgers and fries are not something I'd like to make a habit.  

Next stop was the game.  The baseball stadium has a grassy berm that you can take blankets and sit on which is perfect for kids.  Our friends the Clements came with us and we seriously had the best time.  Some of the highlights-
- I showed Jilly a picture of the team mascot (the Rivercats) and she would cheer "Go Kitties!"
- Listening and dancing to "Sweet Caroline" in honor of Boston
- Jilly and Afton playing on the blanket
- Nachos (I was still too full to try any, but everyone else enjoyed)
- Fireworks at the end (always the best part)

As we were leaving Jilly kept saying "I like baseball."  I'm pretty sure she shares my love for the atmosphere more than the actual playing of the game, but that's fine by me.


five on friday

1.  Except for a few windy days, the weather has been perfect for the past few weeks.  Jilly's requests of "we go to park?" have been frequent and frequently satisfied.  We go almost every day, and Jilly can almost always convince us to go again after dinner.  Jilly has gotten lots of practice with her bike and pushing a stroller, and our arms are benefitting from hours of swing pushing.


2.  On Sunday we skyped with my family and Jilly counted to ten for them.  Joking, my dad said, "Okay now in Spanish" and he started her out with uno then she said, "dos, tres, cuatro, cinco!"  I was floored- never in my life have I practiced counting in Spanish with her; that knowledge is 100% from watching Dora.  Who says kids don't learn from tv?

3.  Last week I finished listening to Code Name Verity.  It was so, so good that I immediately started listening to it again.  It has a great twist at the end so it's fun to read again knowing the ending and being able to pick up on so much more.

4.  Have you tried a cherry limeade from Taco Bell yet?  They're only $1 from 2-5pm and I'm obsessed.  Please don't think less of me when I tell you I've had four in the past week.  We have a Taco Bell right by our house and I end up there all too often.

5.  We are exactly one month away from D-Day.  Sometimes I feel like I want this baby to come RIGHT NOW and other times I feel like I am not ready at all.  We have all the necessities, I'm just not sure I'm ready for our life to be turned upside down.  But, baby girl will be here before we know it, and we are so excited to have her join our family.


a dress for Jilly

I have finally accepted the fact that pants/shorts/anything that doesn't have good spin factor are no longer going to come near my daughter's body (without a huge fight, and at this point I have lost all the fight in me.)  So thus I have begun Operation: Summer Dresses.

I actually started this dress last fall.  I bought some jersey fabric to make a maxi skirt for me (side note: I made the waist a little too big so now it fits me perfectly and is my very favorite article of clothing as seen here.)  I decided to use the leftovers to make this dress, but it was already too late in the year so I made it for this spring.  Unfortunately I planned on Jilly growing about 3 sizes over the winter.  The dress is pretty big on her but that only adds to its spin appeal, and means she'll be able to wear it next year as well.  When I pulled the dress out last week all I had to do was attach the collar and hem the dress (which I did a terrible job on, but it's a play dress so we're calling it good.)  It is far from a masterpiece, but she likes it and I am thrilled to check something off my "Things to finish before baby" list.

Jilly is also modeling her new obsession- necklaces.  There are at least three around her neck at all times until I pry them off for her to go to sleep.  Never in my life have I met a child more girly than this one.



A few weeks ago we saw a flyer that Chick-fil-A was having a princess night.  There would be a princess, free ice cream, and chicken nuggets- basically our 3 favorite things.  On Saturday night we put on Jilly's pink princess dress and headed over to cfa.  She was completely star-struck when she saw Cinderella, but she also loved the princess cow.  She was constantly on the lookout for the cow and ran over to hug her at least 6 times.

On the way home Jilly chanted "chick-a-rella! chick-a-rella!" and I woke up this morning to a little girl standing next to my bed holding her princess dress and asking, "we go see cow again?"  So I'd say the night was a success.


friday five

1.  This week we did potty training boot camp  (I'd been putting it off long enough.)  Jilly's doing really well, in fact a little too well. Every morning I wake up at 5:30 to "Mommy! Hafta go potty!"  I cannot tell you how much I want to call back, "You're wearing a pull-up, just go in there!"  But instead I heave my (humongous) body out of bed and help her to the potty then start our day.

2. For Christmas Jilly and I both got rain boots.  Usually it rains a ton here in the winter, but this year that was not so.  This week we finally got to put on our boots and go puddle jumping and we had a blast.

3.  I was complaining to Bryan about my swelling feet and he told me, "Just stand up, you won't be able to see them anymore."  So helpful.

4.  For Easter I made Jilly a little pillow and blanket for her baby.  I love watching her put her baby to sleep with them.

5. It's been kind of a rough week around here and we are very, very happy to relax at home and watch General Conference this weekend.
 Come listen to living prophets


Books: First Quarter

Last year I wrote my book lists every 6 months.  But it was hard for me to remember every book after that long so I decided to make quarterly lists this year.  Next quarter should be very interesting; when Jilly was a newborn I read a lot but I have a feeling my quiet, baby snuggling time will look more like sideline refereeing this time around.

1. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain- This book was fascinating, and I could not stop talking about it during the few weeks it took me to read.  I feel like I now have a better understanding of both introverts and extroverts.
2. Bomb: The Race to Build-And Steal- the World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin- Another excellent nonfiction (have I turned into a complete nerd?)  Sheinkin made the story of the creation of the atomic bomb so interesting and so accessible; this is a fabulous book for both adults and children.
3. Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls- This is the story of Jeannette Walls' grandmother; a strong and determined woman who thrived in the desert.  I loved it.

4. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls- I had to read this again after reading Half Broke Horses (I originally read it in 2011.)  The dynamics of this family are just so fascinating to me.
5. In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson- This was very good, but my least favorite of his books I've read thus far (Thunderstruck was my favorite, with Devil in the White City second.)  I kind of felt like it read more like a textbook than his other books that read more like novels (yet are nonfiction.)  This book tells about the family of US Ambassador William Dodd who lived in pre-WWII Germany and had to deal with the rapid and shocking changes brought on by Hitler.
6. Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage- Mo LoBeau is a southern Flavia de Luce so naturally I adore her.  This was a cute murder mystery story, and I found the little southern quirks of the characters irresistible.

7. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate- A very sweet story, especially appealing for animal lovers.  I also found it fascinating that this was based on true events.
8. Mrs. Mike by Benedict Freeman- A beautiful story of love and struggle in the Canadian wilderness.  It kind of reminded me of a cold version of These is My Words.
9. Toilet Training in Less Than a Day by Nathan Azrin and Richard Foxx- Clearly not the most exciting book I've ever read, but it was very helpful and entertaining.

10. Reached by Ally Condie- This is a series that I thought started out great then went downhill.  By the time I got to this book (the third and last of the series) I was sick of the characters and barely cared about what happened in the end.  Am I being harsh or did anyone else think this?


Easter Weekend

On Saturday morning we let Jilly open her Easter presents from my parents.  She got an outfit for her bitty baby, which she loves, and this dress, which was a definite winner.  She immediately put it on and started dancing around the room telling us she was "Pincess Rella."  When Bryan suggested that she looked more like Princess Strawberry he was given a dirty look and an emphatic "No, Pincess Rella."  

We drove out to Bryan's parents' in the afternoon and our first stop was their ward Easter Egg hunt.  Up until this point all of our egg hunts had involved empty eggs so when Jilly realized there was candy in these eggs she was pretty thrilled.  So thrilled that she lost the gathering spirit and chose to just open the eggs and eat the contents.  

After the egg hunt we had a picnic.  It got kind of cold and breezy, but it didn't stop us from having fun.  Jilly loved getting to sit up in a high tree with her Uncle Jeff even if it made her mother nervous.

After church on Easter we had another egg hunt, a delicious dinner, and lots of fun playing in the backyard.  I got Jilly's dress at Target and it was a huge win for its spinning effect.