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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Silver Lake in Summer

Since it's been so hot, I wanted to take the family up to the mountains for fresh and cooler air. According to Aspen, this was the WORST part of her day.You know what is the worst part of MY day? ASPEN HATING EVERYTHING.

Kev had Monday off so we drove up Big Cottonwood to Silver Lake. We hadn't been again since last fall, and that feels like a lifetime ago. Kev and I joked that it was back when we had a different, sleepy little infant. And now we have the giant baby who ate that baby.

Linc was way into it, obviously.

Despite Aspen's constant complaining, I'm glad we went. The trail is so easy to walk with kids and a stroller and there's lots of shade and places to explore.

We had a nice picnic and then stopped for a snack halfway around the lake.Since it was a weekday it wasn't too crowded, but we did get to see people canoeing and fishing. Aspen said she'd like to fish someday, which is surprising.

I told Kev we need to do more nature outings so Aspen will learn to like them more, but he said her complaining is reason enough to avoid it. Not sure who's going to win this battle... us or her. She'll be so grateful someday that we dragged her along on stuff like this (isn't that what parents say?).

I don't care if I have to go by myself in the fall; I'm going to enjoy the colors changing no matter what!

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Over the weekend

First thing Sunday morning, Aspen came into my room and said she needed to throw up. Kev was already on it and took her to the bathroom. She barfed, and then was fine the rest of the day. No fever, no more barf, no coughing, huge appetite... So weird. I kept her home from church just in case, especially since Kev was working swing and I didn't want to end up at church by myself with one sick kid and one baby-missing-a-nap.

Seth came over for dinner and we spent some time in the backyard with sparklers. Aspen saw them at the grocery store check out last week and wanted to get them for Father's Day. She's never used them before and I anticipated she'd be freaked out the first time we gave her one.

Eventually she warmed up to it and got brave enough to hold a few. She's really looking forward to using them in the dark so she can see them better. I love summer nights when we can relax her bedtime and let her sleep in most mornings! Maybe she'll actually see fireworks for the first time this year!

Seth stuffed Linc into Aspen's hippo and pushed/pulled him around the patio for a while. Eventually he got smart and used a mechanical arm to scoot the hippo around. Linc was content and happy to chase the dogs around while they chased a ball.

I'm really glad Aspen wasn't really sick and that we were able to spend our evening in the backyard with Seth. He is letting us borrow a window AC unit so I find it easier to endure the heat when I know I can lock myself in my freezing cold room at the end of the day to finally cool down the furnace that rages inside me after having two kids. Once Seth helped me put both kids to bed, we actually hung out in my room for a while to beat the heat. It's so great having a brother who's one of my best friends.

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Plus One

Kevin had to work swing over the weekend, so I didn't plan anything for our ninth anniversary. Also, with it being Father's Day, I just made sure I had a gift for him, and Aspen did too. Then we were set for both causes.

When he got home in the wee sma' hours of what was technically our anniversary, he surprised me with three big bouquets of wildflowers. He had picked them, in the dark, after work in Park City. And while I was sleeping, he trimmed them and arranged them and cleaned up the kitchen counter so I wouldn't see clutter... I would instead just see these beautiful bouquets.

I've always loved getting flowers. And over the years I've allowed myself to splurge on them. Whether they're cut flowers, or planted blooms in my yard, I'm smitten. Hopefully I can continue to nourish our vegetation at home so I can supply my vases with home-grown filler.

Thanks, Kev, for traipsing around the wilderness for me. You know me well.

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day Questionnaire

Last year I did this little Q&A with Aspen, as well as the year before that, so I pulled it up again to see how her answers have changed. This is so hilarious to me. I can't wait until Linc can do it too.

Me: What is your Dad's name?
Aspen: Kevin!

M: How old is your Dad?
A: Is he 45?

M: How tall is your Dad?
A: Humungous.

M: How much does Daddy weigh?
A: 100.

M: What's Daddy's favorite food to eat?
A: Pineapple and cheese.

M: What makes your Daddy happy?
A: When I say that he's my dad, instead of that his real name is Kevin.

M: What is your favorite thing to do with Dad?
A: I like that he plays with me.

M: What makes your Dad mad?
A: When I don't listen to him.

M: What's your Dad's favorite thing to do?
A: Stay home and play with me.

M: What is your Dad good at?
A: Juggling. 

M: What does your Daddy always tell you?
A: That he loves me.

M: Why does Daddy love you, Aspen?
A: Because I love him.

M: Anything else you want to say to your Daddy?
A: Oh. I love him. Can I type that I love him? i  love               him.

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Monday, June 15, 2015

MotherBoy 2015

Since we joke endlessly that Linc is a little MotherBoy, I decided to be really sarcastic and host an Arrested Development-inspired first birthday party for him. Many of the guests are familiar with the show, so hopefully it didn't go over everyone's heads...

I designed his onesie after the MotherBoy logo from the show (and Aspen made one, too!!) and made sure the clothes I wore to the party coordinated. Kev said he'd vote for us to win. Yes, we are insane.

I entertained the thought of making seal-shaped cookies for the party, but that sounded like too much work. Boo. Then one day while scrolling IG and nursing Linc, I saw GnomeSweetGnome's feed pop up. I love the drink stirrers and candle holders Olivia makes, so I went over to her Etsy and saw that she has a seal!! I told her I was so excited to order one for Linc's birthday, but she graciously just sent me one for free. IG friends are awesome like that. I've actually been a blog-reader of hers for years, and we both have boys named Linc... so we're destined to be online buds :).

Kev pulled this bow off one of Aspen's hair clips, and he colored it yellow in homage to the loose seal on Arrested Development. It was the perfect, simple, addition to the party decor.

I had lots of juice boxes too, because unlimited juice equals an off-the-hook party! My mom was also able to send me my Grandma Fluf's cake stand in time for me to use at the party, and I'm so happy to have it. I've wanted to purchase one, but have always held off. It's so much better to have one from my Grandma, anyway.

All the guests were so kind as to contribute to the food and, obviously, the fun. I think Linc (and Aspen) had a great time.

As usual, Peter had to make an appearance to keep kids entertained at the shindig. I love that horse, and it's perfect for all the big-kids.

It was so fun and such a nice day for a BBQ. I just hope Linc doesn't look back and think we don't love him because we were kind of poking fun... 

At least our coordinating outfits aren't too embarrassing. But really, what's the point of having kids if you can't find something to laugh about after a year of extreme sleep-deprivation?

Just like Aspen when she was 1, Linc almost touched the candle on his cupcake. Aspen was trying unsuccessfully to help him blow it out but some grown ups had to swoop in and extinguish the flames just in time. That's my Linc, always living on the edge

Present time was absolute chaos with all the big kids "helping" little Linc. He received a lot of bouncy balls, and his Uncle Seth may or may not have purchased him some squeaky dog-toy tennis balls. He loves them, so we don't care!

We really do love this little MotherBoy, and someday I'll forgive him for nearly killing me in his first year of life. 

Many thanks to all our loved ones, both in attendance and not, who sent well-wishes and love to the birthday boy this month. I appreciate the words of encouragement and support, the babysitting that has been offered to both my kids, and all the listening ears who have let me vent about how exhausting this little love of mine has been. And thank you for all the delicious foods and gifts that were brought to Linc's little party. It was a great night celebrating our resilience! I promise his next party will be a little less centered on ME and a little more centered on Linc.

Aspen's first birthday can be found HERE (she's so small in that booster seat compared to him!!). And just for fun, another photo of Aspen from her party. She was so itty bitty!.

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Friday, June 12, 2015

It is your birthday.

First thing Thursday morning, Linc received his presents. We got him this ball track and a little car with a soft top (so he can chuck it across the room). Both he and Aspen really enjoyed his gifts. It's nice getting things for a 1-year-old because they don't care. No stress!

The ball tower came with three rattle balls and he clutched two of them on the drive to This Is The Place Heritage Park. My work was eligible for the free admission day, so I took a deep breath and braved the outing by myself with both kids.

The weather was beautiful, with lots of cloud cover to keep us from absolutely dying from heat. I slathered the kids up with sunscreen and stuffed them in the double stroller and survived three hours at the park with them.

Unfortunately, a few minutes into our train ride around the village, Aspen opened her sandwich container and the bottom tumbled off the train and she screamed bloody murder. She was so pissed about it the entire ride. It was not an awesome way to start our visit.

But I knew when we got off the train, I'd be an amazing mom and we'd walk down the road and find that stupid container and then she'd be fine.

What I didn't realize is that we'd be walking to the middle of nowhere and we'd have to wait for the train to pick us up again because I was NOT going to push both kids in the stroller up a giant hill (again). But Aspen was so thrilled to retrieve her container that she didn't mind waiting. And I managed to get the stroller and both kids onto the train for the ride back to civilization. I swear, these little things make me feel like a super hero.

There were free pony rides, but when we finally got to the stable and I saw the line, I had to apologize to Aspen for changing my mind. I'd much rather pay a few dollars for her to ride the pony at Gardner Village where the line isn't over 30 minutes long. Also, I saw a sign for donuts so... we did that instead.

In a hand-made onesie Aspen created for Linc's birthday.

I don't think I've ever been to This Is The Place before, and I'd definitely go back again if I could get Kev to come with us. It'd be fun to explore more and go in the cabins and see the exhibits. It's a beautiful piece of history and there was so much we didn't get to see before leaving.

It was a great visit, though, and we headed back to the car just as the huge storm clouds rolled in. Such perfect timing, again, I'm so amazing. But really, I so rarely leave the house for big adventures with both kids (Linc's poor sleep habits have scarred me for LIFE) that I'm extremely proud I did something fun for his birthday. Especially since he won't remember it. Good thing I went the extra mile and even hauled my camera around with me. I CAN'T HANDLE HOW AWESOME I AM.

Next up, I have to get brave enough to take both kids to the pool by myself so Aspen will stop asking me every day if we can go.

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Letters to Lincoln, month 12



What a year this has been, Lincoln. I have never been so tired in my entire life. I have never felt so defeated and overwhelmed and helpless as I have in the last year. But you are worth it, and I'm able to say this because you started leaning in for open-mouthed kisses in the last month.

Also, you're sleeping a helluva lot better than I could have hoped for at this point. I was mentally prepping myself to endure another year of tough sleep from you, but since Daddy was in the hospital (and you got over a sicky bug) you've begun sleeping about 8-9 hours straight at night, and then going back to bed for a couple of hours some mornings. Yes, there are still nights I spend up to 4 hours rocking, bouncing, nursing, holding and otherwise trying desperately to help you sleep... but those nights are no longer the norm.

Other developments this month include you crawling for real. You don't just scoot around on the wood floor on your tummy anymore, which is kind of sad because that was really cute. I've also been giving you a spoon so you can give yourself bites of food without my help. You still prefer to play with toys on your tray while I shovel food in, but it's all good. Another change is that you don't just jump in place now when someone holds your hands while standing; you'll actually kick your legs out and try walking (mostly with your right foot, while the left kinda draaaags behind). Usually it's toward a ball on the floor. Balls are your favorite. We always have one in the car, one in your crib, and about eleventy-billion on the floor of the house. You like to push them through the baby gate at the top of the stairs and see them accumulate in front of the door on the landing. When a toy goes out of sight, you do your best to ask, "Where'd it go?" and it's SO CUTE. You also like to put things into other things, like my shoes into the bottom drawer of Daddy's dresser. Or anything you can get your hands on will go out the doggy door onto the deck (HAHAHAHAHA!).

You get into everything, which is so different from when Aspen was your age. She just sat in one place and scooted in circles. She toddled behind her walker toys and loved reading books and watching "Signing Time." You, however, can be found in any number of inappropriate places. When I happen upon you in Aspen's room, digging through her toys, you usually look at me and say, 'Uh-oh." IT'S SO HILARIOUS. Aspen doesn't like it, but oh well.

Bird sounds are your specialty, and you will call back to the morning doves when you hear them. You also "caw-caw" to the birds, and try to bark like the dogs in our neighborhood. 

When Daddy got back from the hospital and was told he couldn't hold you for another month, it was then you decided that you kind of like him. So he'll sit on the floor and let you sit in his lap and we wish he could pick you up and do more with you... but we're all just so glad he didn't leave us that I'll take what we can get. I'm glad you're more into Daddy now. I think you've finally forgiven him for cutting the umbilical cord and separating us FOREVER.

Speaking of Daddy and the hospital- your Aunt Tiff came to town for a week to rescue me. I was so worn down and stressed out from your Dad being sick, and Tiff flew from Florida and worked hard to make you like her. She went to you in the night and rocked you back to sleep. She fed you, she played ball with you, she took you on walks and on outings with Aspen. She gave me a much-needed break so I could be a better mom. It was so great to see her spending time with you and Aspen and, obviously, you finally warmed up to her the day before she left. I'm so glad you kids are well-cared for by so many different family members and friends. We're pretty lucky. You've also really developed a love for your Uncle Seth, and when we visited him a couple of weeks ago, you got mad when I tried to take you from him and bring you home. Being that you're such a MOTHERBOY, this is such a joy and relief to me.

It's been a tricky transition Lincoln, but I think we're getting there... to that place when I feel like a person again and not just a sleep-deprived wreck who can't remember whether or not the dog has been fed or if I've gone to the bathroom recently.

You're an adorable little guy, Linc, and it's very nice to have you in our family. I'm sorry we've had such a rough year, but hey, you won't remember a thing. You'll just know you were constantly held and doted upon like no second-born child ever was before you. You'll know you have the most dedicated big sister on the planet, who announced during her preschool graduation that you are her hero because you're the bestest baby brother ever. You'll know you have a daddy who adores your big blue eyes, and who thinks you have a mighty good throwing arm. You'll know you have a dog who loves sharing food with you, and who makes sure visitors don't snatch up either one of her babies. You'll know you have aunties who spent late nights holding you, and who bounced you on that insufferable exercise ball so much their arms were sore in the days following. You'll know we have friends who stepped up to the plate and watched you even though their hands were full with their own children. You are loved, Linc. No matter how hard it is for me to be a mom, you and your sister are loved.

Happy Birthday, you crazy little baby man.


See Aspen's monthly letter HERE.

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