Stories from the lives of Jared, Stephanie, Aubrey, Hannah and Dani Or, Jare-phanie-brey-nah-ni

Friday, December 19, 2014

Ready As I'll Ever Be

I am within 2 weeks of my due date! Which is crazy! Time is going by so quickly and also taking forever!

Because I'm doing this naturally, I won't be induced unless ABSOLUTELY necessary. Which means Baby H will probably come in January, just to mess with my plans! I don't mind too much.

I have most everything figured out, at least as much as I can. I have 2 freezer meals all ready to be thawed and thrown into the oven. They are a 13x9 pan of white enchiladas (a recipe I got from my aunt Kirsten) and 11x7 of lasagna. They will both have leftovers and it's enough to feed all of us and my Mom, if we make them when she's out here. I'll also make a meal to take to the birthing center to eat and keep my energy up. But it's just a breakfast casserole and I can make it quickly in between early contractions!

Finally got someone to be on call for when I need someone to take Aubrey. I always feel weird asking people to babysit for me. And so asking someone to be ready night or day for a phone call to watch my toddler for an undetermined amount of time made me drag my feet. But I have my neighbor and a friend both willing to help.

Jared and I have been slowly stocking up on diapers and wipes. We don't have nearly enough to make it very far, but every little bit helps! Never know if there will be a big storm keeping us from getting out of the house, so it'll be nice having some on hand.

I saved most everything from when Aubrey was a baby, so we have clothes and blankets and so many cute things for this next baby! Had to get some long-sleeve outfits though. Aubrey was a Spring-time baby and didn't need long-sleeves while living in Georgia.

All the laundry is done as well. The clothes were washed in the right detergent and I have them all organized into cute bins.

I've also taken the classes required to use the birthing center and I've preregistered at the hospital (just in case).

The main thing I have left to do is wait! I have no idea how the contractions will feel and I don't know how I will respond to them. To normal pain, I get really quiet and I just have tears leaking out of my eyes. I'm not very vocal so we'll see if Jared can figure out my thoughts to find ways to help me!

Waiting is hard. I like having some sort of plan. Jared is trying to find ways to help induce me after Christmas and before New Years. So that means acupressure foot massages and eating out-of-the-ordinary foods. If he's willing to do that, I won't fight too hard!

Aubrey and I have lots of lazy days. She loves watching Christmas movies. Her favorites are Frosty the Snowman and Veggie Tales: The Little Drummer Boy. We're often in pajamas most of the day (because I'm lazy). But Aubrey has been really good. She doesn't mess too much with our Christmas tree. Sure, there are ornaments she likes to play with, but they are all ornaments that won't break, don't matter if they break, or are easily fixable.

Jared has been amazing with helping cleaning and dishes and watching Aubrey. He gets up with her every morning while I lay in bed and try to catch up on sleep I missed during the night. Aubrey loves the time with him!

Friday, November 7, 2014

A Quiet Book for Aubrey

I made a quiet book for Aubrey!

For some reason I just felt like being crafty. And Aubrey has a difficult time staying entertained and quiet at church. She's either entertained and loud, or bored and also loud. She is also loud here at home. So I thought I'd try making a quiet book!

I don't know why, but I always thought felt was more expensive than it really is. But I just got a few packets from Wal-Mart that had a variety of colors. Perfect!

Here is the book:

Nothing amazing. But in the pocket at the top right, I put the letters of her name.

Now we can work on her recognizing her name in print and she can learn a few important letters!

The "first page" is to help her count. She can move the bead across the pipe cleaner and it was the number next to it to help her make the connection. Aubrey already loves moving the beads back and forth.

I only did upper case for now. And I tried to make an apple, a banana, a clock and a door. Start with the first bunch of letters and eventually move on from there. If I get motivated, I'll cut out lower case letters too.

I did a few normal shapes and a few extras to learn. That way it's not just the same ones over and over. I also wrote the name of the shape inside it. I figured she'll have this book for a while so might as well make it a little difficult. That octagon really threw her off the first few times!

These pages are more interactive and fun. She can put apples on the tree, or pick them off and put them in the basket/pouch. And the flowers are a little bit harder for her. She has to button the little piece on to the big piece. Right now she is just matching colors and putting the piece on top. But I'll start showing her how to button them soon. 

Last of all are the Thanksgiving pages! She has to put the 3 long strips on the football, which is also a pouch for the turkey. She can put the feathers and feet on the turkey. I might make a little top hat and write T H A N K S on each feather. We'll see. 

Already been Aubrey-approved!

Anyways, that's my book! I'm really proud of it and I'm excited to keep adding to it. After Thanksgiving I'll do a Christmas page. And I'll keep adding holiday pages and some harder activities. 

It's been a lot of fun figuring it out as I went. I learned a lot and I have so many ideas to try to implement!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The last molar

Aubrey is finally getting her last molar. She has all the others and I figured out the pattern. The bottom teeth always came in pairs. Then one at a time on the top. 

A couple weeks ago she got all cranky and was driving me crazy. So I did some checking and found the sharp tip emerging from her gums. 

I let her crankiness slide because I know it's not really her, it's just the pain and uncomfortableness. 

Now that I'm in my third trimester, I'm not as easily forgiving as I was last time. I can't move as quickly and I can't do all the energetic things she wants me to do. 

When she starts to throw a tantrum because I can't read her mind, I just let her cry. She'll fling her arms all over and smack the floor. Once or twice she'll go back to hitting her head on the floor. But she has made great progress in her speaking, so if she wants something, she can tell me. 

I'm not going to get up out of my comfy seat and offer her everything in the kitchen when I THINK she MIGHT be hungry. I will make ONE meal that I know she has eaten regularly before. If she won't eat it, then she can have a slice of bread later and maybe some yogurt or a banana. 

I've even gone so far as to do the silly old wives tale of putting an egg in a sock over her door. These mood swings are exhausting and there isn't really much I can do. I figure, if the egg and sock doesn't work after a few days, I'll just use it in my next batch of cookies. Then at least the egg won't be a complete waste.

Jared is good with Aubrey. He's not home all day with her craziness. So after he's eaten and has a chance to unwind from work, he'll rough-house with her and keep her entertained for a while. 

I'm not excited at all to go through all of this again next year with a new baby. With Aubrey, I had NO IDEA she had teeth coming until I saw them pop out! At least now when I notice a mood change around 4 months with this next baby girl, I can go ahead and assume it's teeth. Once Aubrey gets this one out, she'll be done, which is awesome. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

2014 Halloween Season

October was such a fun month with so many things going on!

We went to a wedding in Ohio that I posted about a couple weeks ago, which was great! It's good for me to get out and about while I still can!

We took Aubrey to the same pumpkin patch we went to last year (Hilger Family Farm) the Saturday before Halloween. Last year she was so cute and helped us pick out pumpkins!
Found her pumpkin 2013
Helping Daddy buy the pumpkins 2013

Now she is so big! But she had as much fun as she did last year!

And we had to get another photo of us in the corn maze. Might make this a tradition!

Aubrey enjoyed a fresh honey crisp apple on the way home. Ate basically the whole thing herself!

The next week was pretty busy with all the crazy and fun things happening!

Jared and I carved our pumpkins. Nothing amazing. But we have a good time doing it together. Aubrey was having a rough night so she wasn't invited. Don't worry, she still had her chance to decorate her pumpkin later in the week.

I did Dracula - Jared made an awesome pumpkin face
My twin brother, his wife and their 4-month-old baby boy William came mid-week! This was our first time meeting baby William and we hadn't seen Chris and Alicia for quite a long time!

Aubrey did pretty darn well with a baby in the house! She wasn't bothered at all by the usual baby noises, fussing and crying! Which is a good sign for me, because she's getting a baby sister in 2 months! She wasn't quite sure what to do about Chris. He's pretty large and she wasn't used to people his size. But I think she warmed up to him, even if it was just a little bit!

And we had to get a little family picture on Halloween, the night before they left for a USA v New Zealand Rugby game.

This was our first Halloween in a house and we were so excited about getting trick or treaters! Aubrey would run to the door with us to hand out candy. I wanted to get a few pictures, but parents would probably be creeped out by that! It was cute seeing Aubrey hand out a few pieces of candy.

While we adults watched Hocus Pocus, I had Aubrey paint her pumpkin. She did a great job! Kept 98% of the paint on the pumpkin! Of course, there were a few bumps to the pumpkin with her elbow and the paint would drip on the paper, but that was to be expected!

It was such a great Halloween season!

Now that it's November, all Halloween specific decorations are down and packed away. There are still a few things up that relate to fall. Our next big adventure is Thanksgiving in Ohio. It's a family tradition that is easy to keep up, seeing as how we're just a few hours away!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sleepless Nights

I don't know what it is about this pregnancy, but I just can't seem to sleep. It just feels like I take naps during the night, which is essentially what I'm doing. 

I wake up every few hours. One time is because I'm hungry. A couple other times to use the bathroom. A time or two because Aubrey is up and crying. Sometimes this baby moves rather dramatically to a new position, elbowing and kicking and shoving my internal organs to reach her desired position. And my favorite reason to wake up, because it's uncomfortable flipping from side to side. 

Apparently I have a hard time rolling from side to side without having to basically sit up in bed and then move. I can't just roll over like a rolling pin (what I would love to do). So I basically have to twist my top half to get my bottom half to move too. There isn't a whole lot of space so I have to do it all in the same spot. It's just uncomfortable! Might be better for me just to sleep on the floor. Lots more space for me to move!

I don't think I have many weird dreams. I guess I don't remember them like other women do. So I know that's not a reason why I wake up. 

But this makes me wonder what will happen when the baby comes. Is my sleep ruined forever? I'll be nursing the baby so I know I'll be up every 2 hours (still), then what? When baby sleeps through the night, will I be able to?

Aubrey used to be sleeping well through the night. Then something happened and she's been waking up a couple times during the night. She'll even go so far as to get up out of bed and try to open the door while calling out for Mama and Da. That's pretty difficult to sleep through. I'm chalking it up to teething. I didn't give her teething tablets or tylenol before bed, so it's probably my fault. 

But that lucky duck can go back to sleep. Even when Jared wakes up from Aubrey's cries or my tossing/moving, he falls back to sleep relatively quickly. 

Yet here I am, watching Big Bang Theory Season 2. Figure I can watch a disc a night when I can't sleep. Once I get through this season and the third, we have a few The Office seasons. And then there are funny movies like Easy A or Baby Mama to get me through the night. 

Thank goodness Aubrey takes decent naps. When she naps, I can nap too! I'm trying to cut back on Dr Pepper, so having a midday nap helps with that. 

I'm ready for the next sleeping phase though! I've been through nursing a newborn before. I'm fine waking up every couple hours to feed my baby. At least during the 2 hour periods of sleep, I'd be able to sleep on my back or stomach! 

I'm quite done sleeping on my sides, constantly trying to keep myself from rolling on my back. There is no temptation to sleep on my stomach, it's rather impossible right now. But I find myself drifting onto my back during the night and I have to overcorrect myself to keep from doing it!

So anyways. That was my rant. I've been up for an hour, so maybe it's time to try sleeping again. At least for a couple hours until Aubrey starts crying, I have to use the bathroom, I get hungry, or it's just flat out uncomfortable laying in bed on my side with a energetic baby.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


So a few updates for our growing family!

Aubrey is doing awesome! She is talking so much more, which is great. Her back molars have been coming in, so that's not too pleasant, but we'll get through it! She used to sleep well through the night, but either something happened or her tooth really bothered her and she has recently been waking up a lot. To help, Jared had the great idea to get her a nightlight. He was able to find a TinkerBell one, which seems to be helping. The past few nights have been better than others. I take that as an improvement!

Jared is doing well and is liking his job. Which is great! 

My pregnancy has been going well. I've been truly blessed and I know not everyone has good pregnancies like I do. I keep waiting for my luck to run out and I'll end up really sick right before the baby comes. 

We're having another girl, which is so much fun! Aubrey still doesn't grasp the concept that there is a baby growing in my tummy. That's just fine. I'm starting my 7 month and I'm about 28 weeks right now. I have a baby belly, but most people just say it looks like I had a huge meal.

My brother, sister-in-law and nephew are coming in a couple weeks and I am so excited. I can get a quick glimpse at how Aubrey might respond to having a baby in the house. My nephew, William, is about 4 months (I think) and Aubrey has never had a baby stay with us. I've babysat other kids, but not a baby. We'll see how it goes!

Our house is lots of fun to decorate! I have lots of places to put my Halloween and fall decorations. Christmas will be awesome. We may even have enough space for all of Jared's nutcrackers. We somehow lost all his ornaments during all of our moves the past 4 years, but his contribution to Christmas are his nutcrackers.

We went to Jared's cousin's wedding in Ohio this past weekend. Aubrey was so great, considering how much time she has to spend in the car! She was good with all the strangers and being in new places. She got a little antsy during the ceremony and the reception. But once the dancing started, she had a great time! We have some really fun videos I'll try and post in the next few weeks. I'm tired a lot and like to be lazy, so I'm not going to commit to getting the videos up sooner than next month. 

Aubrey was amazing with the traveling. I can't believe she put up with all the hours in the car. I lucked out and when it was my turn to take care of her in the car, she took a nap! Poor Jared had to take care of her while I drove, but he was a good sport about it. 

We also have fun videos of Aubrey playing in the leaves! Again, I don't make any promises to have them uploaded any time soon. But I have a great picture of Aubrey in a pile of leaves! This is at Grandma and Grandpa Call's house. So many leaves to play in!!

That's the end of my update. I'm sure I left some things out that I can't think of. And I'm sure I could post more pictures. Maybe I'll put up a few pictures of the Halloween decorations so everyone can see. 

I'll also get lots of cute pictures of Aubrey at the Ward Halloween party and actual Halloween. She has several costume options and I'm excited to see what she picks.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Aubrey is learning how to count! I absolutely love it!

She'll come up to Jared and start counting his toes, because I count her toes all the time! I even got it on video one night!

Made key lime bread

I was looking through my recipe book and I found something for lemon bread. So I put "lemon" on my shopping list.

Then I realized I still had key limes in my fridge. A lightbulb went off above my head! Let's switch the lemon for lime!

I found a recipe on pinterest. The pinterest link went to THIS SITE. It's a recipe I'm going to try again!

The most fun was making the actual bread! Aubrey was so funny and wanted to help. I got some pictures as we went and even a fun video!

My little helper putting ingredients in.

She loved watching the mixer go.

Aubrey really enjoyed licking the lime. She would rub it across her lips like chapstick and then lick it off!

This video is just so cute to me.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Stranger Danger, Disney-style

I finally pieced two vital elements of Disney's Beauty and the Beast together. 

I used to think it was a story of a young man who was turned into a beast because he was rude and inconsiderate. He had to be saved by learning to love and earn someone's love in return. The end.

While listening to the song Be Our Guest, I realized I had missed an important part of the story. 

"Ten years we've been rusting/ Needing so much more than dusting."

So they had been enchanted objects for 10 years. Ok. That's fine. The Beast should be mid-twenties to about 30. 

But no! The Beast had to learn to love and earn someone's love before the last rose petal fell in his 21st year. 

The Beast was only 21! If they had been enchanted for 10 years, he was 11 when the enchantress came and tricked him.

How unfair! What 11-year-old would know love and let some strange woman into his home!

STRANGER DANGER!! I wouldn't want Aubrey opening the door to some strange old person wanting to come inside and giving her a flower as payment! Even if the person was a beautiful enchantress, I wouldn't want Aubrey letting her inside!

The motives of the enchantress are questionable, at best. She went to the castle, knowing full well it was inhabited by a spoiled prince without supervision from his parents. Her scheme to deceive him was premeditated.

Now I see the story as a boy who was punished for doing the right thing. Sure, he could have gone about rejecting the enchantress a better way, but what boy do you know is polite and professional in the art of rejection?

And furthermore, the poor kid had to go through puberty as a beast! No wonder his room was such a mess!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Catching up

So by now, most everyone knows I am pregnant. Jared put a silly photo on Facebook and most people got the clue. Here is the picture for anyone who missed it. 

The book is titled "Husband Coached Childbirth" written by the guy who started the Bradley Method of childbirth. 

Aubrey is doing really well. She's starting to say some words now, which is great! And I'm always around her, so I'm able to tell what word she is trying to say, even if it sounds like another one. For example, she says "bee" for the actual bug buzzing around. She also says "bee" for "baby." We're all about easy one syllables, and that's the one she chose to use!!

We've moved into our house! Hooray! I had a wonderful sister help clean the apartment so we are pretty much ready to be officially done with the apartment. Aubrey's room is an awesome purple. It's not finished yet, so I won't put pictures up. Our room is a work in progress, but it's not the priority. And there isn't much I can do with the nursery yet. We're waiting to find out the baby's gender so we can paint and such. 

Jared and I love our church callings. I teach the Valiant 11 Primary class. So I have the kids who are 11 turning 12. Jared is in Young Mens now. He teaches the deacons and is so excited to get back into Duty to God. Aubrey is great in nursery. She's always been happy to go. Sometimes I have to change her diaper halfway though and she doesn't understand she has to go back. But I have Sharing Time third hour, so I can walk around with her in the hallway or take her to primary with me. 

I think that pretty much catches us up on life. I'm sure I left stuff out, but I just can't remember what! 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Pestering Dead

I've come to the conclusion that carpenter bees are members of the zombie community. 

Yes, I am fully aware that sounds crazy and ridiculous, but hear me out. 

Last summer, there were so many carpenter bees buzzing around and digging into the top of our balcony. Aubrey loves being outside, but I wouldn't let her with all the mean bees. 

The pest control our apartment maintenance had come did absolutely NOTHING to help. A friend on Facebook gave me the advice to swat the bees myself with a racket. So I got out Jared's tennis racket (I didn't want to get bee guts all over MY racket) and started hitting away. 

It worked for a little bit. I got most of the males and some of the females. But I couldn't get all of them. It turned cold, they went away, I thought we were done. 

The long winter kept the bees away longer. I didn't see any until a couple weeks ago. 

And then the bees returned! I killed 3 in a week. Feeling pretty good about myself, I didn't keep up my vigilance in keeping an eye out. 

Another bee started burrowing in the balcony! Yesterday, Jared witnessed me killing it with my awesome skill now. I hit it at just the right angle so I smacked it onto the ground and then squished it (with his racket!). 

Once again, feeling confident, I let Aubrey play outside this morning. Even had the door wide open. As far as I knew, I had killed all the bees!

But I just saw ANOTHER ONE! I'm convinced it is the same several bees coming back. Including the bees from last summer I've killed about 10 bees. Either I have the only apartment being pestered by carpenter bees, or they keep coming "back to life."

I saw parts of an episode of Walking Dead before I got grossed up and queasy. From what I understood from Jared talking about the show, there are zombies that want to eat the live people. So the live people run away until they find a safe spot. And then they defended their safe spot from the zombies for a while. 

I've done my running. Every time a bee came by, I would retreat back inside the home and close (and lock) the door. But I've decided to defend my home! 

This zom-bee (get it? zombie + bee = zom-bee) has finally met its match! It will be destroyed and never have the option to pester me again!

Whenever Aubrey sees me by the door, she wants to go outside. Not wanting to risk her safety (the bees are fast and I sometimes have wild swings), I put on a movie to distract her. 

While she watched Veggie Tales, I waited by the door for the zom-bee to take a flying break. Every few minutes it would come out of the hole, buzz around and then go into another hole. Sometimes I would rush out and try to get it, but it quickly went into the hole. Sneaky zom-bee. 

But finally, my opportunity came! I rushed out there, swatted the zom-bee with that perfect angle to smack it into the concrete floor, and I squished it. But this time, I took an extra precaution. Since swatting, smacking and squishing doesn't do the trick, I decided to add another step. Splitting. 

Now, if I see another bee and it's in 2 parts, I know it's the zom-bee!

Wish I had done this last year. I've finally gotten rid of the bees and zom-bees just in time for us to move into our new house in a couple weeks. BUT, if this problem happens again, I know just what to do!

...I'm not crazy....

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My rant against Prince Charming

    I recently did a post about Gaston and how he's really not such a terrible guy. 

    Now, I would like to share my thoughts on Cinderella's Prince Charming. 

    In most Disney movies, there are great heroic acts of love. Prince Philip goes up against Maleficent to save Aurora. Prince Eric has to fight Ursula to save Ariel. Flynn Rider escapes from jail (with help) and cuts Rapunzel's hair to save her. Aladdin tricks Jafar into defeating himself to save Jasmine. 

    These are just a few examples of the heroic acts guys went though to get to the women they love.

    Sure, Cinderella wasn't about to die like the other Princesses were, but she needed to be saved from her step-mother and step-sisters. 

    What is Prince Charming's big heroic act? Nothing! 

    The King wants his son to find someone to marry. So HE throws a ball where all the girls are required to come. Prince Charming was even being a jerk and YAWNED during the ball! But then he sees Cinderella, falls in love with her beauty (because he really knows nothing else about her. Not even her name!) and they have a nice dance. They spend maybe a few hours together. Cinderella takes off because of curfew and he chases after her for a little bit. 

    But it's the Duke who tries to close the gates. The Duke sends the guys on horses to get the carriage. 

    Prince Charming said he would marry the girl who fits the glass slipper Cinderella left behind. The Duke was right; that shoe could fit any number of girls!

    And it was THE DUKE who went out to find Cinderella! He had to go to EVERY house to try the slipper on EVERY girl. The poor Duke had to stay up all night and deal with girls who would do anything to fit in the shoe. Luckily Cinderella gets out of her locked room and the movie ends happy. The Duke takes her to the palace and Cinderella marries her prince.

    The Prince should have gone after Cinderella himself!!!!

    He should have gotten on his horse and chased the carriage. He should have searched through the night for Cinderella! He knew what Cinderella looked like! Prince Charming would have arrived at the door of each house. If the girl was blonde, he could try the shoe on. But if he showed up and the girl had brown, red or black hair, that girl was CLEARLY not Cinderella and there would be no point in trying the shoe on. 

    Prince Philip fought a dragon to get to his Princess. Prince Eric fought a giant octopus lady. Flynn Rider had to escape an execution to rescue his princess. Aladdin went up against a powerful sorcerer who turned himself into a giant snake. 

    They proved their love by showing it. What does Prince Charming do? He sends the Duke out to find the girl he didn't even know. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Aubrey's birthday preparations!

    Aubrey is now a 2-year-old!

    It's crazy! And we had some fun making it a good birthday!

    While going through Target getting her presents, Aubrey was getting a little upset being stuck in the stroller. So Jared handed her a big bouncy ball. Best idea ever!! We got some pictures of her playing with the ball at home.

    Jared got her a basketball hoop. Aubrey is just barely too short. But that doesn't stop her!

    I got Aubrey an awesome tutu and a little wand to wave around. She's Princess for the day!

    We picked up some bubbles because I want to see if she'll run around popping them. And they will be fun for the summer!

    The big present from me is a big bag of legos! She loves playing with them in nursery, so I thought it would be fun to have some at home! But all I could find were those little ones that would be lost or swallowed. Luckily, I found the large ones!

    Because her birthday is close to Easter, I wanted to make a little Easter-inspired cake. 

It's funfetti cake, yellow frosting, purple peeps, and watermelon starburst jellybeans.

    She's not old enough to pick what she wants for her birthday dinner, so I picked my favorite! Her Nana (my Mom) is coming for the week (flying in Tuesday, leaving the following Tuesday). It'll be big night and I wanted a fun dinner to celebrate!

    I decorated with balloons and streamers Monday night while she slept. Wanted her to wake up to a surprise!

I'll do another post when Nana is here! It'll be full of fun with dinner, birthday cake and presents!

Friday, April 11, 2014

I'd pick Gaston

    Aubrey is all about Disney movies. We watch the same ones over and over. 

    Which is fine! But I get annoyed with some of them after a while. I've done a previous post about how I've found valid reasons to dislike the other movies. 

    But today, while watching Beauty and the Beast (for probably the hundredth time), I had a new thought. 

    Belle can have the beast and get more than the provincial life. That's fine. It's great she had her standards so high and wouldn't even consider settling. And it's awesome she learned to love the beast and change him for the better as well. 

    The new thought I had was that Gaston really isn't TOO terrible of a person. Sure, he's conceited  and can be mean and has no tolerance for what he doesn't understand. But he has some great qualities too! He'd be a great catch for other girls who are happy with their lives in that town! They don't think they are settling and they could have a happy life with Gaston, and vice versa. 

    I have several points that fit my thought. 

   1. Gaston is handsome. He's got the dark hair, blue eyes and rippling muscles. I'm not a fan of hair all over, but some girls are cool with that. He takes care of his body and eats a decent diet to keep him fit (4 dozen eggs or something as a kid and 5,000 eggs as an adult. Pretty impressive).

    2. Gaston had self-confidence. He knew he was a catch! He thought for sure that Belle would be interested in him. He was confident he could win her over. Never had a second thought (up until she  thoroughly embarrassed him by making him fall in mud). 

    3. Gaston is a family man. He wants kids! He said he wanted 6 or 7 boys. That's awesome! He would play with them and teach them what they need to be a man. Not everyone is lucky and can plan what kids they have, but I'm sure if he has 4 sons, he'll be OK with a daughter too. Girls can shoot and hunt too!

    4. Gaston is a good provider. Did you see all those antlers on the wall of the tavern? He didn't miss a shot in the beginning of the movie. He's the best hunter around! He can easily provide for his wife and future family! Plus, they would have plenty of decorations around the house.

    5. Gaston is hard-working and clever. Once he set his mind to trying to get Belle, he went all out! Tried to impress her with his hunting skills. He put thought into their future. Even had the wedding arranged as a surprise! And when those attempts didn't work, he thought of another way. Sure, it wasn't the best idea to blackmail her, but he knew what he wanted! And I don't really care about Maurice anyhow, so he can go to the loony bin. 

     6. Gaston is a leader. Everyone in the tavern loves him. Even when he beats them up! They follow with the plan that Maurice is crazy. And when Gaston finds out about the beast, he riles up the community to take action. Again, it's not the best plan, but he's a hunter! He sees an animal he doesn't understand and his instincts kick in.

     All I'm saying, is Gaston can be a lot more than just the villain! Almost every girls dream is a confident, handsome man who is a good provider and wants a family. Gaston fits that! He had some flaws, but with love, he could learn to change (like the beast did)!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Aubrey's Favorite Things

Aubrey will be 2 in 2 weeks. Crazy! So here are some of her favorite things:

Aubrey has 4 go-to movies that we watch several times a week, it seems. 

For months, Mulan is the one movie that calms her down from the very first minute. She comes running when she hears the music right when the movie starts. It's the first movie I put on when she's starting to throw an out-of-control fit. Hooray for it being on Netflix!

She loves Swan Princess now too. Good thing it's on Netflix too. I know it's a good movie when she assumes the movie watching position:
But the movie has tons of songs and she likes to get up and dance to them. 

Speaking of songs, Aubrey is really getting into Frozen.  When Jared starts singing along, she just turns and gives him a look until he stops and she can hear the movie better! It'll be fun when she starts understanding more and laughing at the jokes. 

Aubrey keeps picking Monsters Inc out of the pile when I ask her to get a movie. Even when I disorganize the movies on her shelf, she still finds Monsters Inc and brings it to me! But it doesn't hold her attention as well. 
She has a couple books that she always goes too, as well. 

She loves picking out the Lion King book. She'll even sit there and let me read most of each page to her. Mostly she looks at the pictures and will kiss grown-up Simba every time he's on a page. It's pretty cute!

And Aubrey loves the Brown Bear, Brown Bear books. She'll get the Brown Bear one and the Polar Bear book and have me go through each animal. 

Every day she pulls the My Beautiful Savior book into her bed. We leave it on the bench after reading it to her at night. When she gets up in the morning, I guess she finds the book and pulls it into bed with her. Every time I get her ready for her nap, I have to pull the book out of her bed or she would sleep on it!
She still gets picky about what she eats, but she's branching out now! If she can dip it in something, she will eat it. 

Every morning, Aubrey has yogurt. She runs to the fridge and tries to open it to get her yogurt. And now that she's big enough, she can reach up to where they are and pick the one she wants. It's pretty cute. Sometimes she'll have a banana an hour after eating the yogurt, but mostly she just has yogurt in the morning and whatever Jared is eating for breakfast. 

Her lunches vary each week, depending on what I get at the grocery store. Some days she has macaroni and cheese. That's always been a favorite of hers. I make a box and it feeds her for about half the week. Aubrey just shovels it into her mouth!

Some days I spread peanut butter on half a slice of bread and fold it over. She'll dip it into the quarter size amount of jelly on her plate. That was a fun discovery!

Sometimes she just has leftovers from dinner. Like spaghetti or ravioli. 

Dinners are where she's branching out. I gave up trying to give her waffles/pancakes because she would never eat them. But now she's all for them! If she can dip them in syrup or jam, of course. But the other night she ate her own little pancake and ate 3 of the 4 triangles of a waffle! 

Aubrey loves ravioli. I get the cans of mini ravioli, which are perfect for her to put whole into her mouth. 

I try and have sides to help her get veggies and fruits. She'll eat peas, corn, green beans, pear pieces and apple slices.
Favorite activities depend on her mood. Some days she likes doing her puzzles. But she's figured them out and they aren't as much fun. Another activity is pulling out all the books and movies. Then she gets mad that she slips on them and falls on her bum. 

Going outside on the balcony is her one true desire. She'll stand by the door trying to pull the handle open. It's finally warming up, so I leave the door open parts of the day. 

When she's in a good mood, she'll "sing" songs with me. She'll at least do the hand motions with me. We do Popcorn Popping, Itsy Bitsy Spider and Book of Mormon Stories. Currently I am teaching her The Wise Man Built His House Upon A Rock (is there a shorter title for that song?).
Words Aubrey will say: Shoe, Cool, Hi, Bye, No, Done, Gone, Pooh and More (sounds like MOE). Even though she won't say words, she understands a lot. I think she's just stubborn. 

So anyways. Those of some of Aubrey's favorite things! I can't believe she will be 2. She's growing up way too fast!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Potty Training Attempt

So it's Day 1 of my most recent potty training attempt.

My plan is simple. Today, she is still in a diaper. I get frustrated when she pees on the floor so we're just practicing today. 

I have the oven timer set for every 15 minutes. When it goes off, that means it's time to sit on the potty. To get Aubrey to sit on it longer than 5 seconds, I sing a couple songs like Itsy Bitsy Spider and Popcorn Popping. I'll also make sure to have movies on that catch her attention so she'll sit and watch the show.

Trying to train her that when the buzzer goes off, it's time to just sit on the potty. Once we get the habit down, I'll put more space in between. 

Once we get the timer habit as a routine, we'll transition to panties and go back to every 15 minutes. Aubrey has been pretty good about staying dry for at least an hour, but this is mostly about habit and getting her used to it. 

If she has an accident, that's fine. I'm hoping she'll catch on soon. 

We will try this for a week. If by Saturday she still refuses to willingly participate, I'll put the potty away and try again. 

There is no pressure. It's more of an experiment. If it works, awesome! If not, no harm done!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Quick Family Update

Here are the big highlights over the past couple months:

Jared is really enjoying working for Simplx! He's helped with the Web site and other marketing tools. He's also doing sales (and rocking it) and learning about installing the systems. 

I've been doing little projects. Lately I've been using soup/ravioli cans to help organize my counters. I have a can for wooden spoons, random silverware and scissors. I got tired of just looking at the silver cans. So I painted them! It adds color to the kitchen, which I love, and it was a fun little craft. 
I'm also turning a few old t-shirts into pillows. They can be used for throw pillows, added comfort on the couch, or Aubrey can jump into the pile. No matter what, it'll be fun to put my t-shirts to use! 

Jared was super sweet and bought me flowers this morning!
It was a fun surprise! Picked them up after seminary this morning! I love him. He loves me!

I'm becoming more daring in the kitchen. I see recipes on Pinterest, but I've never really thought about trying them. Well, the other day I realized I had a copycat Olive Garden breadsticks and alfredo sauce recipe! I could make my own Olive Garden food!
So I did! I got everything the recipes asked for, followed the directions exactly and it was a huge success! There are a few things I can tweak and make better next time. And the meal passed the microwave test! If foods aren't good microwaved the next day, then I won't make it again unless it can be eaten that night. Jared doesn't really care for alfredo sauce, but even he liked this recipe! This will be made again!

Aubrey and I will be working on potty training again. I have realistic expectations and if she doesn't want to do it, no harm done! I can just as easily put her little potty away. I got her cute little panties to help her get excited. We'll see how it goes!

Monday, March 10, 2014

My Baby is a Big Girl

Yesterday before church, Jared and I converted Aubrey's crib into a toddler bed. It'll give her a little more freedom and it was hard for me to lift her up and put her in her crib. 

The bed is a little high so I put some blankets on the floor to cushion the blow when she rolls over and falls off the bed. 

When we got home from church, Aubrey was so tired from the time change and playing for 2 hours in nursery. So we put her on her bed, sang some songs and hoped for the best! A few minutes later, I didn't hear any movement or sounds. This is what I walked in to see!

She did so well during her nap! No falling off or anything! And she came out on her own when she was ready.

The real test came at night. Jared put her down first. Sang lots of songs and did the routine like normal. But we left the door ajar. She came out once and it was so funny. All we heard was the door being opened and she slowly made her way down the hallway until we saw her!

I went and put her back in bed and sang another song. A few minutes later, she was back out in the hallway!

I went back again, got her resting and turned on her nightlight. I closed the door for good this time so she couldn't open it. (I turned on the nightlight so she could see her way back to the bed after climbing out of it.)

We could still hear her and knew she was trying to open the door, but she soon gave up and went to bed. She fell asleep in her bed! There were a couple sad moments when she rolled off, but she was fine and got back in bed.

Around 3, though, I woke up randomly and decided to check on Aubrey. Silly girl was sleeping on the floor! I can't even explain what might have happened. I think she climbed out, made her way to the door, but got tired halfway across the floor and fell asleep. I don't know.

Jared checked on her this morning and she was back in bed.

I consider it a huge success! She fell asleep in her bed and woke up in it too! Nap times will be interesting, but we'll get used to it!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Sleeping Specifics

I find it comical how different each member of our family sleeps. 

Aubrey HAS to sleep with her pacifier and her music playing. I'm fine with that. She only has her pacifier when she's in her crib or in VERY rough driving situations. We've been having the music in her room for a while now and it's been a huge help. It drowns out when I'm making noise around the apartment and she finds it comforting.
Even though I put a blanket over her, she ends up sleeping on top of the blankets anyhow. Some days she'll roll around and eventually end up under a blanket, whether she means to or not. But she has a heater in her room and she'll never get too cold.
Lights don't seem to bother her. During her naps I just pull the curtain over her window and close the blinds but it's not by any means dark. She sleeps just fine!
So to sum up, she has to have her pacifier and music, doesn't use blankets and is just fine with light.

I, on the other hand, have a very difficult time sleeping lately with any sort of noise. Most everyone has seen Peter Pan, so they know that Captain Hook has a problem with clocks ticking. (Something to do with a crocodile eating his hand and following Hook around and constantly ticking because he also ate an alarm clock.) 
Anyways, we have a little clock in our bedroom so Jared can see the time when he wakes up at random hours of the night. When I'm having a rough night, I turn into my own version of Captain Hook. I stick my head under the pillows, I put in earplugs, I hide under the blankets, I growl and toss and turn. It's not a pretty sight. Nights that I have migraines I even go so far and have the clock put in the bathroom. Then I close the bathroom door and also the closet door. 
Jared got me a face mask for when I sleep because light keeps me up too. I need complete darkness to sleep. Even the tiny bit of light that comes in from the window can keep me awake. We have glow in the dark bubble bath that my eyes gravitate towards when it's dark. I cannot sleep with any light. Thank goodness for the face mask to block all it out.
We used to have two blankets on our bed; a loose blanket and a comforter. It was good on cold nights, but the past few nights the loose blanket has driven me crazy! I'm a tosser and a roller. I don't stay in one position for very long. The loose blanket gets all wrapped around me and I get stuck and end up stealing all the blanket from Jared. So now, my half of the bed only has the comforter while Jared has both blankets.
So to sum up, I can only sleep with no sound, no light and just one blanket.

Jared is a good mix between Aubrey and me. He is fine with noise. Really, half the time Jared doesn't even hear the noises I hear. He even sleeps through me talking to him or if Aubrey fusses on the rare occasion.
And light doesn't seem to bother him. It needs to be dark for him to sleep, but he doesn't need the total darkness to sleep. That's cool I guess. 
Like I said before, he has both the loose blanket and the comforter. I wear lots of clothes to bed apparently so just the one blanket works for me. But he has both the loose blanket to wrap up in (now that I'm not stealing it) and we can still share the comforter in peace.
So to sum up for Jared, he is fine with the usual noise of night, likes the room to be dark, and he has two blankets.

I seem to be the crazy, high maintenance person. That's fine for me. I don't seem to sleep very well to begin with, so if I have to be picky and insane, I'll do it!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Migraine Monday

Here we are at another Monday. 

And I have another migraine.

They don't come so much as a shock anymore. I can't figure out what triggers them. With my luck, it's probably not just a single trigger, but lots of different ones, so there is no way to figure it out. 

Seeing a chiropractor has helped and feels good for a little bit. But then stress kicks in and messes up all the good work. 

The past few days have been pretty stressful, both physically and emotionally, so I should have expected this migraine. 

Jared started a new job and had to work some pretty long hours this week. There were days he didn't even see Aubrey because he got home way past her bedtime. And Sunday was my first day at church without him. It was just me and Aubrey. 

Today will most likely be lots of movies for Aubrey at a very low volume. I plan on staying in pajamas all day because I am not expecting anyone to come over. At least Jared will be home at a decent time so I'll get some help at the end of the day. Hopefully by then this ibuprofen will kick in and I can be back to my regular self. 

Right now, the goal is just to survive! I plan on taking it easy and being a little lazy when it comes to things like cleaning, folding laundry or doing dishes. It can all wait a day anyhow.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Little Pleasures

Big shout out to Ali Spagnolo!

What a rockstar. She probably won't ever read this, but that's OK!

I accidently had Jared get an extra gallon of milk for Aubrey. She doesn't drink it fast enough, so it would have gone bad before the expiration date. Ali responded to my Facebook post and we made plans to do a trade. 

So I gave her a gallon of milk, and she gave me a huge pick-me-up!

It's no secret I love diet Dr Pepper and chocolate. I even recently wrote a blog post about my intense relationship with chocolate.

Aubrey and I are feeling pretty under the weather. We're sharing a small cold. She still somehow has tons of energy that I just can't figure out. I would like to go into a small coma and sleep this off, but she'd rather run around the apartment and play ring-around-the-rosie. 

But it's her quiet time and I have a yummy, cold diet Dr Pepper and some amazing Ghirardelli chocolate to complement it!

I really appreciate Ali and her willingness to share little bits of happiness with me! :) Today wasn't going to be a terrible day or anything, but having this little pick-me-up during Aubrey's quiet time will help it become a great day!

Special dresses

When (Aubrey's Nana) found out Jared and I were having a baby girl, it was time to bring out the fun sentimental things.

On one of her trips to see us while we still lived in GA, she brought some old blankets I used as a baby that my grandmas, and I think great grandmas, made for me. Mom also brought the dress I was blessed in and a few little outfits she held on to for me.

The blessing dress is super cute and I love the style. It was a shorter one, not those kind of dresses where it goes a foot past the baby's toes. The blessing dress has been around for years. My Mom was blessed in the same dress!

So it showed a little age, but it was an easy fix. My Mom put a ribbon to hide the aged-ness. I used a cute little hair clip. Aubrey didn't have enough hair for the clips, so I had to use them for something! This was the cutest picture we could get!

Some of the outfits my Mom brought were cute and Aubrey wore them when she was still little.

But my Mom also brought some dresses that I wore as a toddler. My Mom's mom (Grandma Dixie) loved a certain style of dresses, and so she got me 3 dresses. The tags say they are 3T and 4T, but I am SO glad I tried them on Aubrey anyway!

It's so great having these special and sentimental dresses.

We had a little dress up day. I only put 2 of the 3 dresses on and she doesn't stay put for pictures. But she looks so darn cute!!

The third dress is the same style as the second dress. Only the sleeves are a darker pink.