Saturday, September 29, 2012

there's something about june.

this little lady just turned 14 months old and deserves a post all her own.  


teeth:  4, working on two more top teeth

words:  mom, dad, hi, up, cracker, thank you, night-night, ba-ba, bath, uh-oh, woof, quack, go, no, yes, okay, leah, soft, and she does the signs for more, all done, drink, milk, stop and go, bath, baby, help

favorite songs:  popcorn popping, "we are young" by fun, "home" by phillip phillips, the little einsteins theme song, twinkle twinkle, old macdonald

talents:  wave bye bye, blow kisses, give an awesome high five, clap, and randomly whistle.  yes you read that right, whistle.

favorite animals:  dogs, monkeys and elephants

sleeps:  about a 2 hour nap in the day, in bed by 7:30 and sleeps 12 hours...most nights.

loves:  her blankies, baby einstein shows, baths, climbing on anything she can, her stuffed elephant, being held, playing peek-a-boo and this little piggy, and rolling around on the pillows on our bed and being tickled, and getting into any of her big sister's "treasures" that are usually kept out of her reach, and being outdoors.

does not love:  coming in from being outdoors, having her diaper changed, being pulled out of the bath, being told no when she really really wants to climb up on the treadmill.   

there is just something about her, about her nature.  she is so sweet and so snuggly.  and just....soft in almost everything she does.  in the way she picks up tiny pieces of food, or plays with my hair, or turns pages in books and stretches out her chubby fingers to point out a dog and softly say, "woof! woof!" she's a thinker and observer and quietly moves from one area of the house to another, picking things up and figuring them out.  

don't get me wrong, she has definitely found her voice and her opinion.  she sticks up for herself when she goes toe-to-toe with her big sister and when she's knocked over by her.  after she's done being comforted by me she'll return to the scene of the crime and let leah know exactly how she felt about it by yelling at her in baby jabber, adding in several NO! NO! NO!'s

she's also loud whenever she's being chased by one of us, she'll scream her head off in excitement.  {see video at the bottom of this post}

but i love that for the most part, she is just content.

i've been asked a lot who i think she looks more like, caleb or leah.  so here's a comparison picture of each of them at around the same age.

and i say caleb for sure, though june has her own look.  honestly i feel like she looks more like me than either of my other kids.

her skin tone and body type is more like caleb's too, though she definitely has more girth than he did.  to me, she is the perfect baby size, with just enough chub to give her thick little legs a tough time when trying to squeeze into a pair of jeans.  this girl has some thighs!  and i love them.  

she has been relatively healthy, only needing to go to the doctor twice in her first year for a sick visit--both times with an ear infection while teething.  and also {knock on wood} seems to have a stronger gag reflex than my other two.  seriously, having one kid who is not prone to barfing would be nice.

june loves music, loves to sing, loves to play hide & go seek, loves to read, and loves to follow me wherever i go.  she gives the best hugs, wrapping her hands, arms, legs and feet around as she lays her head on my shoulder and doesn't let go for several minutes.  

she also really really loves her dad.

when she's tired, she'll toddle into her bedroom and grab one of her blankies from her crib, and wrap it around her and she walks.  it's hilarious to watch, ben and i joke that she looks like yoda.  

  i've written before about how she has been such a 
heart-healer for me as a mother and she continues to be.

i am a better, softer, calmer version of myself because of her.

we absolutely love little miss june
and are so grateful she's in our family.

and now, here is her favorite thing to do with caleb when he comes home from school...
this particular day the round and round lasted 20 minutes.  

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

life through a phone.

holy smokes, the days seem to be whipping by faster than i can handle it.  and october is going to be overflowing, starting with family coming into town for ben's Master's Degree celebration.  {he earned it technically last year, but decided to make it official this year}  then i fly to kentucky the next weekend for a work expo, and from there will fly to meet ben & the kids in st. george to attend his mother's wedding....which we are SO excited for!!  after that, it will almost be halloween.  

whew!  i get excitedslashtired just thinking about it.  our lives are full and we are scrambling to keep up, but are grateful for all that's going on.

but what else is new?  i feel like i'm on repeat, typing the same words over and over again.  blah blah blah, i have no time to myself.  boo hoo.  let's face it, i haven't had much time to myself since june was born and i started working.  when i do take the time to sit and write it eats into something else i need to be doing and i pay the price. and that's okay, it's just how it is.  

since joining instagram, i've been sort of lazy about taking pictures with our real camera but realized that all of these snapshots of moments aren't going to be recorded into our blog book.  yes they're grainy and blurry, but it's so handy to be able to take a picture without having to haul a big camera around.

so now, a phone photo dump, with minimal explanation of the pictures:

how she finishes her cereal.

a belated birthday gift from andrea, les miserables with she and eleen.

leah starts preschool.  
she loves it so much, and wears her backpack all morning on preschool days.
it's only for 2 days a week for 3 hours each time,
but holy smokes i had forgotten how simple life was with only one child.

june's favorite toys.  she loves carrying them & throwing them all over the house.
or handing them to anyone who drops by.  it's fun.

a rainy day.

my serious face, and a side braid.
the answer to my unshowered-hair days.

caleb's mustache face.

date night with pre-doctor strader,
splitting a sandwich then enjoying a rootbeer float ice cream cone.

a double wedding.

dressing up with friends.

ben's dream therapist couch.

another date night,
we've been lucky enough to join a baby-sitting swap with
3 other families from the ward.
1 saturday night for 3 hours we baby-sit about 13 kids,
then the next 3 saturday nights we get dates.

regular dates!!  
a thing we have not had the joy of experiencing...
oh, ever since becoming parents.

a hug from my favorite 3 year old.

potty training at its finest.  
she has done soooo awesome, i am amazed.  
48 hours in and we were virtually accident-free.
night time potty trained as well, without even working on it.
i know it's not for everyone, but honestly, i'm so glad i waited this long.

sister time.

leah's bed.
my little hoarder in the making.

dodge ball with friends.

waiting to grow up.

sick time.

this is the weird stage of baby hair...
wanting to grow it out, but trying to prevent the mullet look.
anyone remember the babelet with leah??

exercise time.

fort time.

art time.

lotion time.

the day i officially became a butterfly.

and that's a wrap!

Monday, September 24, 2012

rested and ready.

I really, really like the Avett Brothers and have for a few years, ever since I saw them perform live with Mumford & Sons and Bob Dylan at the Grammys.  Ben and I went to their concert last year when June was only a couple of months old.  I don't leave my newborns for much, but those few hours of sitting on the soft grass listening to music that's good for my soul brought me back to life in a way.  I'm not one for a big show with crazy dancers and costumes.  Give me pure, raw talent, meaningful lyrics with live music and you've got a very satisfied lady.

This song of theirs, "Februrary Seven" spoke to me, to a version of myself a couple of years ago.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


{found here, soon to be sitting in my home}

i've started about 5 different blog posts, and they sit

unfinished, unpublished.  

some are deep, some are not-so-deep; ranging from the first time i heard the voice of God speak to me and how it changed the course of my life to potty training and how i hate it but this time it hasn't been as bad as i perceived it would be.  {and i have to say, i know many friends potty train early, but i'm going to put my vote in for later is better.  for me anyway....and so far, for my kids.}

i don't know what i will do with those unfinished posts, most of them hanging in limbo {due to a serious lack of time to myself, and my new and improved early bedtime}.  they may resurface and they may not.

the past couple of weeks i have been working on slowing down and just enjoying my life.  i have a lot of time with my kids and with the beginning of school along with ben's new full-time job along with school, i felt the days slipping away.  so focused on routine, schedule, order, organization.  clockwork.

i realized i was kissing my kids good night at 7:30 p.m. with no memory of connection with them.  and right now is what i have been given, and it is a gift.  there will be no other time they will be 13 months, 3 1/2 and 7.  

so the focus has been switched to planning activities together, rushing through the have-to's {like homework} to get to the want-to's {like backyard baseball and board games and just hanging out on mom & dad's bed laughing}.  we've been focusing a lot on kindess toward each other, searching for ways to serve each other.  

and amazingly, it's working.

the last two weeks have been a reminder for me.  so many moments of thinking,


are these really my kids?  these beautiful, happy little people?  who just ooze joy from the inside out?  

during times of self-doubt, they are what bring me back to reality.  they are happy not just because they are, but also because they are the product of a lot of hard work and determination from two people to provide safety, stability, and unconditional love.

yesterday i couldn't help but take multiple pictures and videos as we played, trying to capture their every expression, their laughter. i want them to remember these minutes and seconds the way i do. the color of their eyes and sun in their hair and the way they crack themselves up with their goofy faces.

as hard as i try, i know i am not perfect. but i feel so much peace knowing that these little ones are content, and they are living a happy childhood.  

and i am with them for every moment.