Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Love is not something you say, it's something you do.
You can fake that you care but you can't fake being there.

To send a message of love to your children you must show up.
Love is not a spectator sport.
Our kids need to have love expressed to them daily.
With the little ones its pretty simple.
We need to hug them often.
We need to get down on the floor with them and play with toys.
We need to sit down and read with them on a regular basis.
We need to go in and lie down with them occasionally at naptime.
We must not allow ourselves to be too busy to spend time with them-lots of it.

I need to live by this more often...

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Okay, well one day of Fall!

Brian was gone at a class on Saturday and Sunday so it was just Garrett and I all day. I loved having some one-on-one time with my little guy. We went to the What Women Want Expo on Saturday morning with some good friends. The girls looked at vendors and got free goodies. The boys hung out in the strollers and checked out the scenery. One of the vendors had alpacas and a huge "sheep" dog. The boys sure did like that. In the afternoon I had to run into work so Garrett got to come with me.

This morning Garrett was driving me up a wall and into everything (imagine breaking my hairspray, pulling all of the parchment paper out of the box, taking off with the end of the toilet paper through the bathroom...) Brian's mom sent me a quote saying "s two-year-old is kind of like having a blender, but you don't have the top for it." That was our morning, So I loaded him in the car and we went in search of amusement.
Here are the pictures of our day:

Trains at Barnes and Noble. I am guessing a set will be in out future.

After Barnes and Noble we went to the toy store to find a gift. I made a totally rookie parenting move and left Garrett out of the stroller to play with all the interactive displays. He went bananas, pulling toys off the shelf and going "what's that?!?!?!" and "ohhhh!!!". Needless to say I had to pull him out of the toy store screaming and put him back in the stroller. We did make it back in to actually purchase a gift, but he cried off and on through the whole thing. I partly blame that it was lunch time and he was hungry...right??

Playing at the park on the way to get the mail after lunch and nap.

Brian came home early so we had a yummy dinner and then decided to do pumpkins:

Getting started on pumpkins

Scooping out the pumpkins with Dad

Helping Mom with the drill

And Dad with the knife! (Obviously, we are very safe and responsible parents. We let our kid that close to a big knife AND use the drill in one night! What you don't see is right before this when Garrett tried to crawl in Brian's lap while Brian held onto the 6 inch blade...)

And, the ongoing battle of trying to get a toddler to sit and look at the camera for a picture. Oh, and our pretty pumpkins!

Garrett is such a fun and frustrating toddler. He can point out most of the basic body parts and knows some animal sounds. He is ALWAYS asking "what's that" and saying a lot of things that I don't understand (which is frustrating for him.) He understand enough to know what we are asking him to do but rarely obeys without follow through (frustrating for us!) He has taken to yelling "NOOO!!" back at you when you ask him not to do something (and sometimes running away.) We are enjoying his new communication skills but trying to navigate what to write off as the "stage" and not give attention to, and what things to not let slide. I feel like it is a fine line between teaching manners/acceptable behavior and overreacting/micro-managing...I guess only time will tell!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Home Sick

I am home with a sweet sick baby. He woke up at 8:00, had a banana and glass of juice on the couch, watched some sesame street, snuggled up with me and passed back out at 9:15. He is still asleep on the couch. Poor kid.

Brian is coming home at 12:30 to switch with me. Why do I do this? Of course all I want to do is stay home and take care of Garrett. Why couldn't I just tell work that he was sick and I would be gone all day? I guess I feel bad making others cover for me all day.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ring Around the Rosie

Please don't make fun of my annoying voice, or my fingers flying in front of the camera!

I love watching those little feet turn in circles! I do not think that the fall at the end was on purpose, we are still working on that part.

He makes my heart go pitter-patter!

Monday, September 5, 2011

There Are No Words

to describe the state of my house, so I will show you pictures. Because who wouldn't want to see pictures of a house that has exploded from me working 50 hours last week and us taking off on a camping trip, and coming home so exhausted I don't even care!

As you might notice the dishes are done. Brian, he is amazing.

Notice the can of tomatoes on the coffee table? Garrett always gets into the lazy susan. It had snacks in it which was a mess when he was in there, so we switched the cans and the snacks. I don't have raisins and crackers dumped all over the floor but now I have cans of tomatoes in the livingroom...

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Garrett has been so close to walking for so long. Tonight I was holding on to the back of his shirt while he was walking toward Brian to give dad0 a rock. I let go of his shirt and he took about 20 steps right to Brian without even blinking or stumbling and falling. I cried! I was so proud of him for actually doing it and sad that we just passed a major milestone and can never go back. I was also relieved, of course in the back of my mind I was afraid something was wrong with him! We continued to play the same "game" and he walked every time. Like he had been doing it forever!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I Am Going to be That Crazy Lady!

I don't know what it is but ever since I have had a baby I have fallen absolutely in love with ALL babies. The little boy that is trying to wiggle out of his grandma's arms, the little girl facing outward in the Bjorn with so many rolls on her little arms you just want to squeeze her, and the little girl in her stroller sucking on her paci and looking up at you... All of them are utterly irresistible!

I have always like babies and kids, but now that I have my own, I am even more in love with them. And I think that is it. Having a baby has taught me how wonderful and special every child is. Now every time I see one I just want to love on them like every wonderful child deserves to be loved on. They are such a bag of mysteries, so perfect, curious and new.

I know that at some point we will have another one and I can't wait to have a squishy little baby to love on (not that the one I have isn't sufficient enough for now.) But what happens when I have no more squishy wonderful babies to love on? I already look at everyone else's babies like I want to eat them up, what will happen when I know that we are done...I will be that crazy lady who won't leave other people's children alone. Just warning you.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Smell of Smoke Takes Me Back...

The end of August has come around, which in Montana means hot days and windy afternoons. The hot days and windy afternoons kick up smoke from the forest fires and cover the mountains in a blanket of haze. Right now Brian and I are sitting in bed and the house is full of the smell of smoke from fires 200 miles away.

Brian and I really started hanging out in late August, he was fighting fires in Paradise Valley and I was working in a boutique and saddle shop in Gardiner. He would come wandering in after a long day of work with a coffee from the coffee shop next door, just to say "hi" since he was in the area. He later admitted that the coffee shop was a cover for seeing me (cause that wasn't obvious!) And he would be in his uniform from the day, a Gallatin National Forest tee shirt, that was bleached out from sweat and hard work, and those green Nomex pants...Oh man did those pants look good on him! (I still tell him he should have kept a pair, you know, to keep a girl happy!) Anyway... as the summer wore to an end the fires in Paradise Valley got worse. He always found an excuse to come back to Gardiner for the night. Those were the days when we would stay up till 2 and get up to go to work at 6. How we did that I still don't know!

To this day I see the hazy mountains and smell the smoke and all I can think about is that first summer and the way that Brian and I couldn't get enough of each other. I love you baby, and can't wait for years of smelling the August smoke and thinking of those first years, you know, before the house and baby that popped our beautiful little bubble!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Baby Food: A Journey

I decided early on that I would try making my own baby food and just see how it goes. I wasn't totally hard core, I didn't make my own baby cereal and teething biscuits and all that fun stuff.
What I liked:
  • Being able to completely control the texture and ingredients of the food I was feeding Garrett.
  • Being able to do everything in bulk and having a large selection of things to choose from.

What was hard:

  • The time it took to make enough food to have a good selection and enough for us and daycare. Between cooking, pureeing, freezing and storing sometimes it would take a total of three days to get everything completely finished, and that was if I stayed on top of it.
  • The planning and time it took to make sure that we had a good selection, so that Garrett wasn't eating the same things.
  • Traveling. It is hard to take frozen baby food on a longer trip... You either waste it because it is defrosted but not eaten or have to count on having a microwave to warm it up.

I will definitely make baby food again hands down. Being able to control the consistency and ingredients was well worth it. A couple of things that I learned was that if something isn't pureeing very well add lots of extra liquid. We had a small food processor and a big one. Honestly, I thought that both were necessary. The big one I used in the beginning when I was making bulk of a lot of different things. The small one we used A LOT for the in between stage when he could eat what we were eating but it had to be pureed. I often put a whole meal in the thing and whipped her right up. Now he is eating mostly table food and I hardly puree anything. I still freeze stuff though, so that he has a meal when we are eating something that he can't really have, like steak.

I would freeze lentils and cous cous for a starch, and then freeze ground pureed turkey, steak and pork and lots of veggies. For a meal I would pull out a cube of each and mix them together, that way we could mix up flavors so he didn't get the same thing all the time.

It has been hard trying to find something to feed him while we are dieting. Yesterday evening I actually took the time to cook him a spinach and butternut squash lasagna. SO GOOD...and he seemed to like it. I cut the 9x9 lasagna into 16 pieces and now they are in the freezer. Hopefully that will help with the "I don't have anything to feed him that is halfway healthy and not processed" 5:30 panic. I think the challenge now is find a variety of "big boy" foods that are easy to prepare/throw together and aren't supper processed.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Depirvation Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

So, Brian and I are trying to knock off a couple of pounds. For me I am a little heavier than I was before I had Garrett, and I was heavy for me when I got pregnant. I want to loose 15-20 lbs and get down where I fit into my OLD clothes, and feel good about myself. And before I have another baby I want to be at a weight that I am comfortable with (not that we are close to having another baby or anything, don't get all excited or nothing!)

We started on Monday and so far it has been going really good (besides the coffee I got on the way home, because you know what, I made it all week without cheating AND had a really busy week at work, AND I deserved it!). We have started to diet a couple of times in the past year and not even made it a couple of days. But this time, I am not messing around. I just want to do it and be done with it. I am also working out to try and tone a little bit too. Mama's legs are in a very sad state right now! And I figure the weight loss will only benefit from the working out, right?

So, I have not had much cooking inspiration in the last two months. We have been gone a lot of weekends and there is to much going on to sit on the computer and spend time looking at cooking blogs and dreaming of yummy things to challenge myself with. Now that we are dieting...all I wanna do is make casseroles and pastries and yummy grilled goodness and try new cocktails and freeze ice cream and try making homemade pasta and...well you get the point. I guess I will have to store all the inspiration up for when we get done, cause none of the above is on the diet!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Where Have I Been?

I have had a lot of people lately asking why I am not blogging anymore, and such. Thanks for all the questions, it makes me feel like people ACTUALLY read this!

I have been wondering why I stopped blogging as well. I think that I ran out of inspiration. I used to spend quite a bit of time, esp. at work, online reading other blogs and finding things to talk about.

I feel like my life has narrowed into Family and Work. I am having a hard enough time managing both of those and feel like I don't have anything creative left to give.
I also think that a lot of the time I want to use this blog as a work release, but I can't because there are people that I work with that read this blog. Which is fine but it limits the work talk, since I want to avoid putting myself in a bad situation. There are people though who blog and don't talk about work at all. If they can do it I can do it!

So I am not promising that I am going to be going crazy or anything but I do think I will be trying to blog more, cause, well, I miss it!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Two Great Weekends!

This weekend was Mother's Day and last weekend two weekends ago was Easter! Both were great weekends and here are some pics to prove it!

Easter weekend started out with swimming lessons:

And then a hair cut:




And helping dad lower the crib ALL the way:

hmm...this doesn't look quite right...!! (hehe!)

And Easter, of course!!

I didn't get any outside pictures. Sadly, it was too cold!

And last but not least, Mother's Day!

Waiting for lunch at Mark's In-n -Out on Saturday and brunch at Chico with Grandma!

Being Daddy's big helper again by helping to install cabinet locks, because someone FINALLY figured out how to get those cabinet's open.

Friday, May 6, 2011

About Me

So I have a million posts in my head about my monster sweet baby, but I figured I would talk about myself instead. I have been busy! We have been busy!

I feel like I am getting a hold of things at work, which is a good feeling. I am starting to establish myself as supervisor and only look like a fool half the time instead of all the time. I am also building relationships with the supervisory staff, which is replacing some of the relationships I lost when I became supervisor. It is nice to have people at work to relate to again.

Home is crazy but Brian and I have gotten into a good routine. Him working only three days a week has made a night and day difference in our household. I feel really good about having Garrett in daycare three days a week and home four days a week. There is a lot less guilt there. He is also getting bigger and more interactive and dependent (kinda).

I want to achieve something for myself this summer. I feel like I pour everything in to work, family and home. With longer days (aka more time and energy) and warmer weather I want to do something for just me. I have decided lately that I want to train my body to run...weird I know. I am considering C25K (Couch to 5 K) training, and have talked to Brian about doing it with me, possibly. I mean we REALLY do need to knock off some baby weight (both of us). The idea of getting up in the morning and enjoy the brisk summer air makes me want to put on shoes and run right now! Maybe if I can loose the 20lbs I want to I will reward myself with a great purse or a shopping trip.

I also want to learn to garden. I sometimes have to remember that we own this house and can do whatever we want with it, like paint, and make a garden in the backyard! I just have no CLUE where to start. I want pretty flowers and shrubs that wont die in 2 weeks... maybe some herbs and a tomato plant. Who knows!

Other things going on: Garrett is turning one in a short month! I am diving into party planning to avoid the fact that he will be ONE.ONE.ONE!! Oh My! I can't wait for his party, I am a dork and have a whole balloon theme and color scheme planned out. Including balloon sugar cookie favors and homemade fondant, because I am too cheap to buy some to decorate the cake which, by the way, I have never done (decorate a cake with fondant that is). I will hate myself for doing so much and stressing out over it later. Oh.Well. We have family and good friends traveling out. We will also baptise him on the same day, which is very exciting. Brian's parents will be out for that whole week. I am hoping to sneak out of work for some of that week and enjoy family and the beginning of summer.

If I decided to do the C25K I will also start dieting and tracking my weight. I will post here about it (or at least try!) so you can all hold me accountable. I am excited at the thought (okay not really excited about posting my weight, but whatever!)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mom's the funniest person I know!

He often cracks up at random stuff I do. Makes me feel good to know I have such a good fan!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Why Buy a Sophie when you can Steal One!

The title pretty much says it all. A couple of weeks ago I was at Chico Hot Springs with my mom. I had packed Sophie to come with us because we were staying the night at my mom's and you never leave Sophie behind! So I have Garrett, the diaper bag, the swim bag, and and holding my niece's had as we walk-in. We set everything down and all the sudden my mom is like "oh, did you drop Sophie?" I thought I had because I knew I packed her and I just assumed that I had put her in the diaper bag. Sophie happened to be lying in on the floor in between two moms with girls just a little older than Garrett that where getting their babies dressed. of course was like "oh, must have fallen out of the diaper bag!" Well, to make a long story short we ended up with two of them. Sophie was a $20 dollar chew toy and is one of Garrett's favorites toy's. I know she is pretty popular with a lot of kids. I feel bad that we ended up with someone else's! The funniest part, I can actually tell which on is ours and which one is the "acquired one." The one that we got at Chico is actually more worn, loved and her squeak is a higher pitch!

Friday, March 25, 2011

That Newton Guy was a Genius!

Where my son discovers the awesomeness of letting go and gravity!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Garrett Quirks

As Garrett's personality comes through there are funny little things that see:
  1. He cries/fusses/gets sad when he knocks down a block tower. We think it is because he gets frustrated that the blocks don't stay in together when they fall down. The longer you keep stacking them the more upset he gets. It is kind of funny, cause we are mean like that.
  2. He is TERRIFIED of dogs. I found this out when he and I were at my mom's last weekend. I mean shrieking and shaking and clinging everytime the dog came into the room or moved.
  3. The only time he is even remotely snuggly is after a bottle right before the crib, if he isn't already passed out.
  4. His tongue is always sticking out.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I am Horribly Jealous of my Husband...

Here is the skinny... Due to the long awaited addition of a staff member on Brian's fire department, Brian's schedule is changing to 12 hr shifts on Monday and Tuesday and a 16 hr shift on Wednesday. Which are some really long days, but this means that he has Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday off. Like off, off, not on call, not well I am kind but not really off, not I am off but I have meetings. We are both so excited about him being home more (less night meetings etc), and best of all we get to pull Garrett out of daycare on Thursdays and Fridays and he gets to stay home with Daddy.

Until I was faced with the reality of it I was just excited and then today all of the sudden this schedule starts tomorrow and WHAM I am so jealous that I want to cry. I mean, I want to stay home with Garrett. I want to work only three days and enjoy the bliss of my baby for four days a week. I want to be relaxed and refreshed and renewed after four days off with my little guy, every week. UGH...I am a horrible person for not being able to just be excited about what this means for our family and that Brian has worked really hard, will continue to work hard and deserves this.
Because I mean, who doesn't want to stay home with this:

And I mean that is what it comes down to isn't it? I want to be at home so bad, not working in a job that does nothing but stress me out. I am thankful for it and the way that it challenges me, but nothing compares to what it would mean to spend all my time with Garrett.

Monday, March 7, 2011

If This Isn't True Love...

He did the dishes and now is bathing and putting Garrett to bed so I can watch the Bachelor. If that isn't love, I don't know what is...

My brain is overloading most of the time these days. I had a funny cooking post all stored away in my mind on Friday, and it is pretty much gone, but here is a mix of that and other craziness.
  • I love cooking and drinking wine, it is good for the soul.

  • I need a wok.

  • Why is it so hard to get portions right? On Thursday I made spaghetti knowing that the noodle/sauce ratio would be way off (and I had 1.5 lbs of meat that needed to be cooked and only 3/4 of a jar of sauce.) It came out perfect. On Friday I made fried rice and we had so much left over that Brian filled up 2/3 of one of our largest tupperware, not that I am complaining about leftovers or anything...

  • Garrett is turning 9 months on Thursday (that can't actually be possible...) and is getting his two top the same time. He is surprisingly chipper.

  • I made this...This being a cream cheese and apple braided danish. It was amazing, and hard. I was really proud of myself.

  • I can't wait for summer and camping and hiking and warm weather and sun...I think that having last summer off is going to make this summer even harder.

Monday, February 21, 2011


We had a great time in California. Here are a couple of pictures of our trip!

First time on the airplane!

Long Beach!

Toes in the sand!

Loving the sharks at the Aquarium of the Pacific!

Okay, I just have to say, how can you not love this!!! We were getting ready to go swimming, and he was sooo cute in his swimming outfit!

Here is a little video of the swimming pool. The pool was heated but it was still a little cold for Garrett so we moved to the hot tub. He was much happier in the warmer water!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Baby Of Mine

I am starting to feel the pull of the loss of Garrett's babyness, or babyhood. I know all you moms of older children are probably laughing. However, with eight months looming over our heads I am starting to feel the pull of all the things to come between now and one year, and then beyond. Feeding him meat, and progressing onto finger foods, crawling and mobility, the socialness he has developed, babbling and talking, and even at some point weaning off of the bottle.

He already looks so much like a little boy, with all his hair and his facial features. As I rock him to sleep at night, with his legs wrapped around me, because his body is to long to fit straight anymore, all I see is the little boy he is becoming, the baby is quickly disappearing.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Yes, We Are Still Alive

So...I have so many things to say and the actual will to blog, I don't even know where to start.

I read this post today and thought that I could copy it word for word. I am weary, I find that most days I barely get a lunch in or complete a project before I am running home to a house and a family. A house a and a family where projects never feel complete and no ones needs ever feel completely cared for and filled with the joy and love that should be there. I want to have the laundry done and put away, the toys and kitchen cleaned every night, return giggles and smiles to a cute boy that aren't laden with fatigue and longing for when he is in bed so I can just have a few moments before I crash into bed exhausted, to wake up the next morning to a list a mile of long of things work and home related that I just wish could be finished in a manor that left me feeling fulfilled and accomplished. I also read this today and it also expressed just how I am feeling and the mindset that I am trying to achieve "lots of time in your life will be spent 'doing something you don't want to do'...and that it might be years and years before you see the rewards of that."
So that is how we are right now. I am working everyday to appreciate all of the wonderful things in this phase of life, because we are blessed, and our life is so full!

So here is random list of updates!

  1. Garrett is a champion eater! Jinny at the daycare always compliments on the amount of food he eats, three meals a day, filled with vegetables, fruits, and dairy!

  2. We are going to California the second week of February! I have a conference but Brian and Garrett are going to come down so Garrett can meet his great grandparents.

  3. We are getting more and more involved in our church and loving every minute of it.

  4. Garrett is sleeping through the night, turns out he was ready, and we were just getting suckered into feeding him every night. We are such amateurs!

  5. No crawling, but we did finally buy cabinet locks and plug plugs (? riiiiight...I don't remember what they are actually called!)

  6. Christmas in Wisconsin was totally worth the drive, which says a lot considering the long drive and the brevity of our stay!

And a little Garrett love: