five on friday

1. Because a trip to Urgent Care wasn't enough drama for the week, we also got in a little fender bender.  A lady came over into my lane and hit the front passenger side of my car.  Luckily, the damage is minimal, insurance is being great, and we're all just fine.  

2. Mattie didn't eat solid food very much last week when she was sick.  Now that she's back to eating her philosophy is "I'll have what you're having thank you very much."  I'm really not that sad that baby food is on the outs.

3.  We recently discovered this chocolate chip cookie recipe and are in love.  We rolled the dough into big cookies, froze them, and have been pulling them out to bake when we need a little piece of heaven.  These are seriously perfect cookies- crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside, and triple the size of a regular cookie.

4.  Jilly has really started to love riding her bike (finally!) and she's getting pretty good at it.  Only problem is she has absolutely no clue how to steer and runs into everything. 

5. In the very near future (!!!) the girls and I are headed east for a visit.  I'm no stranger to flying, however, the last time I flew with both girls by myself Mattie was less than 2 months old and just slept on my lap the whole time.  And, that's not gonna happen this time.  So, any tips, tricks, or good thoughts you can send my way would be much appreciated.  Thanks!!



In the middle of the night on Sunday I woke up to find Jilly lying on the floor in her room sobbing.  I assumed she had fallen out of bed and was scared so I tucked her back in and rubbed her back until she fell back asleep.

In the morning she kept saying that her tummy hurt.  When I asked her where it hurt she pointed to her chest (except for one time when she pointed at her armpit ??)  So I was worried that she had gotten hurt when she fell out of bed.  I couldn't see any bruises, she was breathing just fine, but she'd cry every time she moved.  And walking down the stairs hurt her so badly she was in hysterics.  I called her pediatrician and talked to a nurse who asked lots of questions then finally said we should go to Urgent Care because it sounded like she may need an x-ray.

At Urgent Care the first thing they wanted was a urine sample.  When I took her into the bathroom she started sobbing because she hurt so badly and it finally clicked - she had a bladder infection.  All this time I was so focused on her falling out of bed, but she had probably just gotten up to go to the bathroom and fallen down because she hurt so badly.  She hadn't gone to the bathroom all that morning, and I hadn't noticed her little fever.  I was pretty sure that I was right, but we still had to wait 2+ hours to see a doctor and finally get a prescription.

She's doing much better now - her medicine seriously tastes like candy and she begs all day long for more, and she found a Cinderella band-aid that she stuck right on her tummy and we all know Cinderella band-aids fix everything.  Moral of the Story - diagnosing a three-year-old can be tricky business.

Meanwhile, Mattie has a different prescription for her ear infection from last week so every night we line up the girls to pass out their drugs.  Can winter please end?

I promise Mattie isn't my favorite, she's just much easier to take pictures of :)


feeling groovy

Many people warned me that it can be kind of boring to have a baby.  You're often stuck at home and limited by a baby's routine and their many many needs (that you love to fulfill!)  As usual, I thought this wouldn't apply to me, but as usual, I was wrong.  There is nothing more exciting, sweet, and peaceful than a sweet baby, but they definitely come with dramatic life changes that aren't always your ideal.  My first few months with Jillian were quiet and dear but also boring and so so lonely.  My first few months with Mattie were much better; I had a funny Jilly to keep me company and I had built up a support system of other mom friends.  But still, she came with big changes and a much slower schedule (that I sometimes love and sometimes loathe.)

Just last week I realized that the girls and I have really found our groove.  Mattie's on a set-but-not-too-terribly-rigid nap schedule, and she's becoming more independent every day- she plays with toys on her own, can sit in the high chair and feed herself little snacks, and can get around the house on her own two hands and two knees.  Jilly has finally adjusted to a nap-less existence, is a whirlwind of energy and activity, and for the most part she's happy and helpful and never stops talking/singing.  Our days are full of preschool, errands, gymnastics, visits to the library, playdates, laundry, reading books, cleaning, and lots of playing.  I've realized that this time of our lives is nearly perfect- we're busy enough that I don't go stir-crazy, but we're not yet in the gogogo that I'm sure our life will one day become with school and all its related activities.  I'm really, really enjoying this fun little stage with my girls.


friday five

1.  This week I finally got up the nerve to cut Mattie's hair.  I only made a few snips- cutting off some long pieces in front, and it was finally time to say adios to the rat tail.  Bryan is in mourning. 

2. On Sunday my old roommates Lisa and Britney came to visit.  It was so fun to spend the afternoon catching up; I was so lucky to find those girls at BYU and somehow con them into being my friends.  Blake and Jilly loved playing together, and while we were walking around the temple (our favorite sunny Sunday activity) they posed just like this without any coercion.  I think our plans for this couple are coming along quite nicely.

3.  Mattie has had a sick week.  Jilly was never ever sick her entire first year of life so I'm not so comfortable with a sick baby situation and was a bit panicked.  Poor Mattie had a fever, cough and runny nose, and she threw up a couple times (all over me, naturally.)  As sad as I was for her, I did enjoy that her favorite thing to do was cuddle on my lap and hug her baby.

4. Due to Mattie's sickness I was a little sleep deprived this week.  One day while Mattie was napping I laid on the floor and played Memory with Jilly.  I know we finished the game (she beat me- half because I was exhausted and half because she is really, really good at the game.)  The next thing I knew I was waking up from a little nap right there on the floor.  Jilly didn't seem to mind, she had taken some toys behind our recliner in her favorite hiding spot and was sucking on one of Mattie's pacifiers (even though she gave hers up months ago she still likes to sneak a little hit when she can.)

5.  I posted every day this week- must be some sort of record for me.  I blame the Olympics and all the time I've spent sitting on my duff watching.  Happy Weekend!!


A pouf and an apron

I mentioned over a year ago that I wanted to make a little pouf for Jilly.  I finally got around to making one for Valentine's Day.  This tutorial is awesome, and it was actually super duper easy.  The hardest part was filling it- I decided I wanted beans (like a bean bag chair) instead of just batting.  There were some on amazon, but they were expensive.  Walmart had some online that was a good deal but wouldn't be shipped until the end of February.  I looked at JoAnns and Hobby Lobby with no luck.  I checked at Walmart and a woman said to look at Michael's.  I went to Michael's and the woman there said to look at Walmart.   I was feeling very defeated and frustrated so I just ordered these from Walmart hoping for the best.  I got lucky- the beans arrived just a few days before Valentine's Day.  And, even better, the box is huge so I have enough beans to make at least one more pouf, and probably two more.  And, Jilly loves it.  A raging success.

When I was worried about the pouf not being done in time I decided to whip up (ha! like any sewing project is that easy for me) an apron for Jilly.  I made an apron to go with her kitchen a couple years ago for Christmas and she's been using that one for painting and helping me in the kitchen, but it was getting small and we needed another for when we have friends over.  Jilly loves this new apron and I had a lot of fun making it, so another raging success.

Jilly enjoying all her Valentine's presents- apron (I couldn't convince her to wear some other clothes as well), pouf, and The Little Mermaid (from my parents) - a very happy girl


Valentine's Day

We had our preschool party on Thursday so on Valentine's Day we had a fun, relaxing day with our little family.  I was so excited the night before setting up some gifts and our festive breakfast.

I made a little trail of hearts for Jilly down the stairs.  She had been asking every morning "Is it Valentine's Day yet?" so I thought this would show her that today was the day!  She loved it.

French toast and heart strawberries

Jilly made a card for Bryan.  I helped her with all the writing, but she did the rest herself.  Bryan's favorite part is the little green rhino she glued on.

We packed up a picnic lunch (more heart sandwiches) and the girls and I had lunch with Bryan then we went to ColdStone for ice cream.  Bryan had some beautiful roses for us (one for Jilly and a dozen minus one for me.)
Bryan made dinner that night.  He made Chicken Bryan, which is our favorite meal from Carrabba's and what we ate the night he proposed exactly 7 years before.  I got out our china and lit a candle, and we had a fun and fancy dinner.  Jilly thought it was thoughtful of me to put a "blanket" (cloth napkin) at her place.  We're not really used to fine dining around here.  Unfortunately I forgot to take any pictures!  After the girls went to bed Bryan and I ate these, but I did something wrong (perhaps cooked them too long?) because they were sub-par.  I'll have to try again sometime soon.  Even with the dessert disaster it was a perfect day with the people I love.


a little Valentine's Party

When we met to make our preschool schedule for this year I employed a little bit of strategy to assure that I was teaching the week of Valentine's Day.  I couldn't pass up an opportunity to have a party for my favorite holiday.  I tried to make it somewhat educational, and I went pretty simple to save myself from strife, but it was a lot of fun.

We made these heart leis.  I gave Clark (our only boy) the option to make a crown, but he wanted a necklace.  One of the girls heard me mention a crown and that's what she wanted and of course her little sister (who I had invited for the party) needed a crown as well.

Next we did some activities with Sweetheart candies.  We did graphing, patterns, and made towers.  

 For snack we had heart shaped pb&j sandwiches and strawberries.  Heart sandwiches have been Jilly's lunch request all month, and the other kids seemed excited about them too.

Then we played games.  I had cut out some big hearts and wrote numbers 1-10 on the back and laminated them.  I played music (the Frozen soundtrack) and the kids played "musical hearts."  When the music stopped, they turned over their heart to tell me what number it was.  Then we picked an action (I had put actions like spin, jumping jacks, etc. on strips of paper for them to draw out of a bag) and they each did the action the number of times their heart said.  Then we did the limbo with a heart garland.  Hysterical.

Lastly I gave them each a sugar cookie to decorate.  I spread the frosting and put out lots of sprinkle options.  They had fun decorating, but especially loved eating their cookies.  And then I sent the sticky, happy kids home.



Snow Day

Every year since moving here we've spent President's Day visiting the snow.  We weren't sure it would happen this year- up until last week there wasn't really any snow.  But the stars aligned and it snowed this week so we could keep our tradition.  

Our method is simple- we drive down the freeway til we see snow, get off at the next exit, and find a place to park by a nice little hill.  This year our hill was behind a little convenience store that provided us with M&Ms and drinks for the ride home.  We didn't stay very long- the girls are recovering from colds and Mattie was not quite sure about the snow (and would have nothing to do with her mittens.)  But we had a great time; I love little family traditions like this.


Mattie: nine months

She's a baby lover (the play kind and the real kind)
She claps, waves, says "mamama" and "dadada," and can stand for 16 seconds all by herself
She gets an A for naps and a B- for nighttime sleep
She loves veggie straws, applesauce, and ice cream (bad, bad mom)
She got her third tooth this week and #4 is working its way down
She's sweet as ever and we love her to pieces


sending love

Happy Valentine's Day!


Crayon Hearts

Tomorrow we're having a Preschool Valentine's Party and I wanted Jilly to have valentines to give to her friends.  After some pinterest searching I realized I had everything necessary to make heart crayons: a silicone heart mold, lot of broken crayons, and an oven.  

I separated my crayons by color, unwrapped them all (worst part of the whole process) and broke them into pieces .

I wanted my crayons to be two-toned, so I chose two colors to put in each mold.  

When I was looking at different sites I found lots of variation in cooking times and temps.  Baking them at 200 for 15 minutes is what worked best for me.  Here they are right out of the oven:

 I let mine cool overnight before popping them out, but I'm sure they'd be ready after 30 minutes or so.

 Jilly sure thought they were fun- she couldn't keep her hands off of them!

 Then I put them in ziploc bags and printed off this cute label.  

I thought this was a perfect time for Jilly to practice writing her name and she blew me away (she does have a pretty easy name to write though.)

Word to the wise- After melting wax in them you won't be able to use your silicone molds for anything else again.  I scrubbed and scrubbed mine but they are not coming clean.  So... I'll be scouring Target for some more molds in the near future.


It's Raining, It's Pouring

This weekend we finally got the big rainstorm California needed so badly.  On Friday afternoon while Mattie was sleeping Jilly and I dusted off our rain boots and went outside to play.  We splashed until Jilly's teeth started chattering then went in for dry clothes and hot cocoa.  We are loving this rain and hope it stays a while, if only to hear Jilly say "chimbrella" a few more times.


friday five

This post could also be titled "Reasons why Rachel is an unfit mother."

Bryan is almost always home for dinner (spoiled, I know) but this Wednesday he had meetings and was gone all night.  And it was kind of a disaster.  I was making dinner and I heard a bump.  I'm not sure exactly what happened but somehow Jilly hit her chin which made her bite her lip really hard.  Lots and lots of blood and tears.  I got her all cleaned up then went back to the kitchen to find that Mattie (who was sitting in her high chair) had grabbed a stick of butter off the counter.  The smooth, cool butter must have felt wonderful on her sore gums (teeth coming in) so I did what any desperate mom would do- let her have at it.  After Jilly had calmed down and Mattie had eaten a few tablespoons of butter we ate dinner then headed to McDonalds because it's the only place I could think of that sold ice cream in a drive thru.  Bryan will never ever ever miss dinner again.
On Sunday I substituted in Primary doing Singing Time.  After church I asked Jilly how it was and all she said was, "You didn't ever pick me."  (In my defense we pick the names out of a jar so I didn't choose to not pick her.)
 Jillian is an early riser (always up by 6, usually closer to 5) and Bryan and I are not always ready to be very parental at that hour so sometimes we'll let her sit in our room with the Kindle while we try to get a little more sleep.  This has worked well until this week when Jilly figured out how to purchase movies.  On Thursday morning by the time Bryan and I were coherent enough to put together a complete sentence Jilly had spent $95 on tv shows.  Not the nicest way to start the morning.  I didn't think I could love Amazon any more, but one quick and easy phone call later all the charges were refunded.  And, in case you're wondering, our Kindle is now pin protected.  
 TOTW- Mattie has been pulling herself up for a while, and is expert at holding on with one hand, but now she thinks she can let go and stand unassisted.  She only lasts a few seconds before grabbing onto something but seriously?!  Slow down baby girl!  And Jilly started gymnastics this week so every 3.75 seconds I hear "Mom, look at this trick!" and then watch some kind of roll, spin, or jump.  I've created a monster.
Jillian has pretty much completely given up naps which means she is exhausted at night.  The late afternoons/evenings can be loooooong but having both girls in bed at 7pm is quite delightful.