five on friday

1. A new Chick fil A opened nearby us this week.  Jilly and I may or may not have gone there for lunch and dinner on Opening Day. 

2. While on a walk this week we ran into a neighbor we don't know very well.  She said, "You're pregnant?  Either that or you have a large tumor."  For a minute I was speechless at this awkward statement then I pulled myself together and assured her that I am pregnant and not carrying around a 15 lb tumor on my abdomen.  

3. Over Christmas the top button on my phone got stuck and stopped working.  At first it drove me crazy then I just got used to it.  This week I finally took it in to an Apple store and 15 minutes later I left with a free brand new phone.  How lovely.

4. We've had lots of fun getting ready for Easter this week.  We made and decorated yummy sugar cookies, made a bunny mask similar to this one, printed and played this matching game, and have had many, many egg hunts.  If Jilly were to have any egg hunting competition she would dominate, but instead she'll enjoy her last year hunting solo.

5. I've been reading Toilet Training in Less Than a Day and the illustrations circa 1972 have been quite entertaining.


Jilly girl

Jilly has been perfectly pleasant for the past few days.  She's been happy, obedient, funny, helpful, and overall delightful.  (I know now that I've said this we'll have a day full of tantrums tomorrow, but come what may.)  Here are some of our favorite Jilly-isms from the past few days-

I got Jilly a snack one day and asked her where she wanted to eat it.  She replied "in my mouth."

Bryan has a bag that holds his tools and Jilly saw it in the garage and told me "That's Daddy's purse."

One morning I woke up to a voice calling from the other room, "Mommy, Mommy! I want to paint my nails!" (even though she can easily get out of her bed she almost always still calls for me when she wakes up.) When I got in Jilly's room she said, "sparkey (sparkly) pink nails!"

Every morning Jilly asks to wear a dress.  Once it's on she does a little spin in front of the mirror and if the skirt doesn't flare out to her expectations she tells me "it's not working" and asks for another.

Jillian's favorite breakfast is a "faffel in a cup"- a waffle cut up and put in a cup.  I'm not sure how she came up with this but I'm usually happy to oblige.

Every night when we read books I hope for some variation but without fail we must first read "Pincess Yaya" (Aurora) and "Pincess Rella" (Cinderella.)

Whenever Jilly can't find something she says "I miss it."

Anytime Jilly or someone else gets an owie, she quickly says "I'll kiss it. Mwah. That's better."  


Resurrection Eggs

When I was young we had this activity and did it every year as our Easter Family Night to learn about the Resurrection.  When I saw it on pinterest, I was excited to make one for us.  Then once I got going I decided to make some for the families I visit teach. 

Basically you have 12 plastic eggs, each filled with a scripture and an object to represent an event from the week before Christ's resurrection.  This year we'll hide the eggs and let Jilly find them, then go through the objects and talk about the different events so she understands them (or as much as a two-year-old can understand things like the crucifixion.)  We'll also use lots of pictures to help.  But as she gets older we'll be able to spend more time reading the actual scriptures.

To put it all together, you label some plastic eggs 1-12.  Then put the appropriate numbered statement and item in the egg.  I mostly used the ideas from the link, but changed a few things.  Here is what went in my 12 eggs-
1. When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the people waved branches because that's what people used to do when a king walked by. Mark 11:8-9 (a plastic leaf)
2. Later, Jesus had a special dinner with his friends.  A woman came and poured perfume on his head.  This showed that she knew that he was the Christ and she knew that he would die soon.  Mark 14:3-8 (a cloth with perfume on it)
3. The next day, Jesus had another special meal with his friends.  We call this The Last Supper.  Jesus said that people who followed Him should have bread and wine or water to help them remember Him. Luke 22:19-20 (a sacrament cup, you can also use a piece of cracker, but I like the cup because it's easy to make the connection to our sacrament.)
4. Jesus went to a garden to pray.  Luke 22:39-44 (a flower, but this one I'll definitely use a picture and talk more about the atonement as Jilly gets older)
5. Judas was supposed to be one of Jesus' disciples, but instead he helped other men arrest Jesus.  He did this because those men paid him money.  Mark 14:10-11 (3 dimes)
6. After Jesus was arrested, the soldiers were really mean to Him and made fun of Him.  One thing that they did was to put a purple robe on Him.  Only kings wore purple robes.  They didn't realize that He really was a King, they were just teasing Him because people thought He was a king! Mark 15:16-20 (piece of purple cloth)
7. The governor's name was Pilate.  He didn't think that Jesus had done anything wrong, but the people wouldn't listen to him.  Pilate washed his hands and said, "I am innocent of the blood of this just person."  Matthew 27:22-24 (a piece of soap)
8. Jesus was crucified.  Mark 15:25 (a nail)
9. Another thing the soldiers did to make fun of Jesus was to put a sign on the cross that said "THE KING OF THE JEWS."  Again, they thought they were making fun of Him, they didn't realize that He really was the King of the Jews!  Mark 15:26 (small piece of paper that says THE KING OF THE JEWS)
10. After Jesus died, His friends put His body in a tomb.  Later, some of the women who followed Him came to the tomb to put spices on His body and wrap Him in white cloth.  Mark 16:1 (white cloth and/or whole cloves)
11. The tomb had a rock that could roll over the opening to seal it.  While the women were walking to the tomb, they wondered how they would get the stone out of the way.  Mark 16:3-4 (a small round stone)
12. When they got to the tomb, they were amazed to find that the stone had been rolled out of the way- and Jesus' body was gone!  Then an angel came and told them, "He is risen; He is not here."  This egg is empty because Jesus' tomb was empty.  Jesus' tomb was empty because He was resurrected!  Mark 16:6

I put the finished eggs in an empty egg carton and tied a note and bow around it.  Happy Easter!



As per usual, I'm avoiding unpacking from my trip by blogging about it.  Priorities people.  I'm so glad we took this little babymoon.  It was wonderful to get to see Trevor, Kristen, and Kirra, and so fun to take one last trip with just our Jilly.

Bryan had to go to a work conference in the morning so we left around 2pm.  The negative side was that we didn't get to AZ until 3am, but the positive side was that Jilly slept from 8:00 on.

The girls both woke up early so excited to see each other.  Trevor and Bryan went on a bike ride while Jilly and Kirra played and Kristen and I chatted.  When the bikers were done we headed to the pool.  I couldn't believe how hot it was (in March!)
Jilly was exhausted from the swimming and playing and crashed on the couch while watching Brave.  If Jilly is anything like her mother, this is how she'll watch most movies for the rest of her life.
That night we went to Freestone Park and let Jilly and Kirra ride the carousel and the train and feed the ducks.  They were in heaven.

 Jilly would throw her bread then yell at the ducks to come eat it

We had yummy hot dogs (complete with J Dawg sauce) for dinner then I think the others watched a movie but I went to bed.

We had a relaxing morning- ate breakfast, got ready for church, took the girls on a little walk, and then left for church.  Last Summer my grandma gave me some fabric from her stash, and I couldn't resist making the girls matchy St. Patrick's Day skirts from this green polka dot fabric (someone is going to have to restrain me when I have two girls of my own to match all.the.time.)

After church Kristen and Trevor made us a proper St. Patty's dinner of corned beef and cabbage then we went to see the Mesa Temple.
That night Jilly got her first haircut from Auntie Kristen.  Again, the other adults probably watched a movie that night but I quickly fell asleep on the couch.

Bryan and Trevor went for another bike ride.  Kristen and I braved Target with the girls then met up with them for a yummy lunch at a Thai restaurant.  Then we told the boys it was their turn to be responsible parents (but later realized it was totally unfair since the girls slept almost the whole time the boys had them.)  Kristen and I enjoyed our child-free afternoon at a couple of malls.

We met up with Bryan's uncle and family that night and got Sushi for dinner then went back to their house for dessert.  It had been 3 years since we had seen them and it was so fun to catch up.  Jilly loved playing with cute Shayna (Kirra likes her too, just didn't want to sit for a picture.)
I won't say how many pieces of chocolate it took to get the girls to take a picture with Uncle Doug
And we got a family picture with a saguaro in their yard.
This night I know we watched Wreck-It Ralph. I made it through about 45 minutes before falling asleep (are you noticing a trend?)

We woke up early and let the girls play while packing up the car then it was time to say goodbye.  
The twelve-hour drive home felt very, very long but we watched lots of Dora, sang about a million verses of The Wheels on the Bus, stopped at Chick fil A for a long break, and took a few naps (Jilly and I, not Bryan.)  Our fun trip was definitely worth it.  Thanks Trev, Kristen, and Kirra!!  


friday five

Bryan took this picture and I can't stop staring at that cheesy grin

1.  The other day I had to run to the grocery store and I told Jilly that we could see the animals at the pet store next door when we were done.  Then she fell asleep on my shoulder while we were in the grocery store so we headed home.  When she woke up 3 1/2 hours later (a blessedly long nap after a lousy night of sleep) the very first thing she said was "We see animals?"  We all went to see the animals together after dinner that night.

2.  This week I got an excellent surprise in the mail.  My friend Cate from my middle/high school days (who is also having her second girl in May) sent me a super cute nursing cover.  She sells them in her etsy shop (mine is the gray and yellow one.)  Thanks Cate!!

3.  We went to Chipotle last week because Bryan had heard about the quesarito and had to try it.  The verdict: pretty darn good, but it takes forever for them to make it.

4. Perhaps you are sick of baby updates (sorry!) but we are now down to single digit weeks left- hooray!!!

5.  We're taking our last trip as a family of three this weekend.  We're heading down to Mesa to see Bryan's brother and family.  Jilly is so, so excited to play with her best (and only) cousin "Tiwwa" (Kirra.)



Happy Pi Day!  We're having the usual- cookie pie- because it's easy and yummy.


Bedtime Stories

For almost two years putting Jilly to bed at night was dreamy.  We'd go through our routine, tuck her in her crib, say goodnight, and wouldn't hear another peep.  Staying asleep is completely a different story (my two year old still wakes up in the night almost every single night.)  In December she figured out how to get out of her crib and did it a couple times, but then seemed to forget during our vacation.

Suddenly one night about three weeks ago Jilly remembered how to get out of her crib and we said adios to our easy bedtime routine.  As soon as we'd close the door she'd be out of her crib.  For the first few nights I would lay down next to her and rub her back til she fell asleep then move her back to her crib. That got old pretty quick.  My next solution was to set up a little bed on the floor every night when I put her down to sleep.  She would inevitably climb out of her crib, but when she opened the door I would be sitting in the hall and tell her she needed to stay in her room.  She would play for a little bit but eventually lay down on the bed I had made and fall asleep.  She'd also wake up in the middle of the night and climb out of her crib almost every night.

We knew we wanted to get her a real bed, but didn't expect to need it so quick.  We intensified our search and luckily found a cute dresser/bed combo for a steal on craigslist.  We didn't set up the bed in her room til after we painted last weekend.  On Sunday night I had a meeting so Bryan put Jilly to bed.  I was shocked when he told me that she was asleep in her bed.  I had been planning on keeping her in the crib for a few more nights and getting her excited about the bed, but she told him she wanted the bed.  And, she had gone right to sleep without getting up at all.  That first night she slept completely through the night and I was 100% sold on the whole bed thing.

She's been in her bed for about 10 days now.  After that first magical night there were some rough nights. She'd wake up and have a really hard time going back to sleep.  I spent a few nights laying in bed with her to get her back to sleep (one night she head butted me in the middle of the night and I remember it being very painful, but didn't realize how bad it was until I woke up with a blood blister on my lip!)  But, the past few nights have been really good.  If she does wake up, she usually just needs her paci, blankie, baby, or Minnie Mouse (the girl has an extensive list of bedtime needs) then she goes right back to sleep.  And, thanks to daylight savings (never thought I'd say those four words) she has been sleeping all the way until 6:30 or 7:00!

Naptime has been a little bit of a struggle since it's so easy to get out of bed and play with toys.  But if she can't fall asleep in her bed all I have to do is put her in the car and drive for 2 minutes down the road and she's out.  Then I just carry her up to bed.

If there is anything I've learned in the past 2.5 years it's that no child is the same.  But, here are some things that I believe helped us with this transition.

- Just a couple days before we set up Jilly's bed, we played at our friend's house.  Jilly got to see Kylie's new big girl bed and had fun jumping on it.

- Deciding what color to paint Jillian's room was a no-brainer.  Of course her room is pink and every once in a while she'll rub the walls and say, "look, they're pink!"  Her new bedding is also very pink and she's told me many times, "It's my nice bed."

- I thought she would have a hard time losing her crib (we kept it in her room for a few days but it's now in the baby's room.)  But she calls it the "baby's bed" and she loves to put her baby dolls to sleep in there.

- For those first few days while the crib was still there we always gave her the choice of where she wanted to sleep.  She liked getting to make the decision herself (but she never chose the crib.)

- We play on the bed all the time- reading books, having picnics, wrestling with daddy, etc.  All the time she says, "we sit on my bed" and she'll pick a spot for me to sit and pat the spot until I come sit.

Now if only potty training could be this easy...


crockpot recipes

This year our church starts at 1pm and ends at 4pm.  Besides completely ruining Jillian's nap, this time also kills dinner prep because by the time we get home at 4:30 we want dinner immediately.  And thus the crockpot has become my best friend.  (side note: I'm a little bit of a fast-talker and the first time I said "crockpot" Bryan thought I said "crack pot" and so now Bryan will often ask what I'm cooking in my crack pot.)

Thanks to pinterest, there is an abundance of crockpot recipes to be found.  The trick is to find the good ones.  Here is what we have tried in the past few weeks:

Crockpot Enchilada Soup- We loved this soup.  I will say, however, that it made a lot and we got tired of the leftovers before being able to finish them all.  So next time I would either halve it, or invite someone over to eat with us.

Crockpot Cheese Tortellini- The description on Pinterest says it's "THE BEST crockpot meal I've tried yet."  I'm not quite ready to call it the very best, but it was amazing.  And, the leftovers tasted even better to me than it did on the first day.  I only used 1/2 pound of sausage and saved the other 1/2 for pizza night on Friday.

Creamy Country Chicken with Vegetables- This was only so-so.  Granted, I accidentally only bought one package of the gravy mix instead of two, so we were lacking in flavor.  And, it may have been user error and not recipe error since our biggest complaint was super mushy vegetables and dry chicken.  But, I don't think we'll be trying it again anytime soon.

EASY crockpot chicken and stuffing- This was very basic and good.  Some of the stuffing burned so I would probably add more than just 1/4 cup water next time.  

We've also had Creamy Crockpot Chicken, a recipe given to us by our good friend Suzie when we got married.  We have had this easy, yummy recipe many, many, many times in the past 5.5 years.
4 chicken breasts
8 oz cream cheese
1 packet of Good Seasons Italian dressing (powder)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
garlic to taste
egg noodles

Put everything but the egg noodles into the crock pot and let simmer for 4 hours.  Serve over cooked egg noodles.

What crockpot gems have you found?


a day in the life

About a year ago I posted what a day in my life looked like and I thought it would be fun to do again. So this is last Tuesday.

6:30am We hear noises coming from Jillian's room.  Bryan the Good and Brave gets her out of bed and takes her downstairs to play.  I promptly fall back asleep.

7am My alarm goes off.  I go downstairs and to see Bry and Jilly and switch the laundry (that I started the night before.)  I come back upstairs with Jilly, the computer, gogurt, milk, and graham crackers.  Jilly sits on my bed and watches Dora while eating her breakfast.  I get ready for the day and then get Jilly dressed and do her hair as well.

7:50am We're out the door.  I take Jilly over to a friend's house and then I head to the doctor for my glucose test (the test for gestational diabetes; you have to fast for 12 hours then drink this super yucky sugary drink then wait an hour and they take a blood sample.)  It's generally one of the more unpleasant parts of pregnancy, but I really didn't think it was too bad.  I quite enjoyed having time to sit and read sans Jilly.  I read a few articles from the Ensign then Mrs. Mike.

10:15am I leave the office and luckily see a McDonalds on the way home- I am starving.  I go to get Jilly and end up letting her play longer and chatting for a while.

11:15 We leave our friends.  We missed Story Time but still head to the library to return some books, check out new ones, and play on the computers.

12pm Jilly would never let me leave the library without a walk across the parking lot to play at the park and look for "doodle do's."  Jilly swings, slides, and chases after many roosters.

1pm We visit Bryan during his lunch.  The plan was to get Jamba's since they have a deal this month that some flavors are only $2.  But, this Jamba isn't participating in the deal so we go to Plan B- icee's at the gas station.  Jilly also has a banana and some crackers I brought with us in the car.

1:30 Jilly falls asleep as we drive home.  I carry her to bed then straighten up the house since we left in such a rush this morning.  After switching the laundry, loading the dishwasher, and taking out a bag of trash I make a sandwich and read blogs while enjoying my lunch.  My sandwich is so delicious that I make a second and eat it.

2:00 I turn on The Bachelor to watch the first hour that I missed last night and fold laundry.  Then I start to gather and put away my Valentine's decorations.

3:00 Jilly wakes up, and I give her string cheese and some leftover shredded chicken (she often ends up having a snack before naptime and a snack afterward instead of a real lunch, does this happen to anyone else?) I fold one more load of laundry while Jilly plays with the pile of Valentine's decorations and takes some excellent selfy shots with my phone.  I turn on a Disney station on Pandora which naturally leads to Jilly bringing me a "sparkey pincess dress" to wear while she dances.  I finish putting the decorations away, make my bed, and change into some pants (I had been wearing a skirt) and running shoes.

4:00 We drive to a nearby trail and walk to the duck pond, stop to watch for a while, then walk back to the car.

5:15 We get back home, I start making dinner (tacos), and Bryan gets home from work.
5:45 We have dinner then each eat a Girl Scout cookie.

6:00 Bryan and Jilly play while I clean the kitchen (Can we talk about the fact that the actual eating took 15 minutes while the prep and cleaning took altogether an hour? Annoying.)

6:30 We watch Jeopardy (because apparently we're 80 years old) and I fold the last load of laundry then read our new books from the library with Jilly.

7:15 Bath time for Jilly.  Bryan sits with her while I put away the laundry.

7:40 Out of the bath, jammies, more books, brush teeth, prayers, kisses, bed.

8:15 Bryan and I eat a few more cookies (poor little girl doesn't know what she's missing.) I do all the ironing while Bryan works on some stuff on the computer (he's in charge of the website for the local ASCE Group.)

9:00 Done with work for the day!  I read emails and some blogs and start writing this post.

9:30 I get in the shower (One of my Secrets to Happiness I have discovered in the past year is showering at night.  My hair dries overnight and I don't waste 40 minutes blowdrying it anymore, hallelujah!)

10:00 I read Mrs. Mike for a while then we chat, read scriptures, get ready for bed, and go to sleep.


friday five

1.  After our week of confinement from being sick, we went wild this week.  We met up with friends every single day and have been to 5 different parks.  It's been a great week!

2.  At my doctor's appointment this week I hadn't gained any weight since my last appointment.  I had gone on a long walk the day before and hadn't eaten a huge lunch that day so I'm sure it was just a fluke (one look at me and you can tell I clearly have no trouble gaining weight.)  However, I do plan on taking my doctor's instructions to eat more cookies very seriously.

3.  This week Bryan's grandparents celebrated their 60th Anniversary and we got to go to a nice family dinner in their honor.  On the drive Bry and I were talking about how impressive and rare a 60 year marriage is; we only have 55 years to go!

4.  I tried my first Indian recipe for dinner this week.  I made Indian Butter Chicken and I thought it was delicious.  When I asked Bryan (who was kindly doing the dishes) what he thought he said, "I decided a while ago that no matter how it tastes I don't like any meal that uses every dish in the kitchen."  Guess I'll be doing the dishes next time we have this recipe!

5.  Bryan's parents have been wanting to have Jilly for a sleepover so she's going out there tonight.  Bryan and I are going to have a very romantic weekend- painting!  We're painting both girls' rooms and I'm so, so excited!