Wednesday, May 27, 2015

DAY 1363... Half a Year

The past 6 months have flown by. It's really not fair. People always told me growing up that time passed too fast, and I never believed them because every day seemed to drag on for me. But once you have kids, it's like warp speed. So not fair. 

So Benson is 6 months old now. He is amazing. When I say that it has been the best 6 months of my life, it's not saying that Aniston isn't great. Because everyday since she entered my life, has been so much better than the one before... For the most part that is. When I say that is has been the best 6 months of my life it's because everything just seems great. I have two kids who are obsessed with each other and who want to be with each other all the time. I love looking at them and knowing that I made that. Spencer and I created 2 beautiful children. It's pretty awesome. The days keep getting better and better.

Anyway Benson is awesome. he is huge. But awesomely huge. He is rolling over any which way, eating solid foods... favorites include sweet peas, sweet potatoes and squash. He is not sleeping through the night... super awesome. Benson is chewing on anything and everything, he laughs just looking at people, he is super smiley and just such a blessing. 

I really can't believe that I was ever worried that I wouldn't be able to not love Benson as much as I love Aniston. Really, I love them both insane amounts. I cannot even believe or understand how that is possible, but it really truly is. I'm sure that many Mom's have that fear and I just want to tell them all, don't even sweat about it. The love a parent has for a child is amazing. Sure, there are times when I like one of them better than the other, but the love is equal and awesome for both. 

I am so thankful that Benson is such a happy baby. I look at him and feel instantly blessed. I am so lucky to be a mom and to be a mom of such amazing little kids.


DAY 1360 - 1363... A Really Needed Fantastic Weekend

Honestly, I am exhausted. Benson isn't sleeping at night, we are getting new carpet in our apartment today, so basically we moved out last night, I haven't been feeling well and I am just tired. When I say tired, I mean head on the table, falling asleep during dinner tired. And before anyone assumes or issues judgement, yes, it's possible that I am still struggling with postpartum depression. I understand that and I know it. I don't have time for it, my husband doesn't have time for it, and our life just doesn't allow time for it, so I haven't really been able to deal with it properly yet. But it is what it is. I will get to it eventually. Right now, I'm just taking every day, one day at a time and really trying to enjoy the good in my life. I'm focusing on the blessings of my awesome family and my insanely beautiful children.

We were able to sneak down to Utah over the past weekend. It was really needed. It was a pretty great trip because we really didn't have anything planned so we were able to take it easy and relax and do whatever we wanted to do instead of being on a schedule and running from place to place.

Aniston calls this song her "lady" song. She loves it.

We had planned on going to Utah several weeks ago for the Payson Temple open house, but we all got crazy sick, so we passed. We thought we could squeeze in the open house this time around... not so lucky. We got down there, but because it was the last weekend, everyone and their Mom was also there. The wait was over a hour and a half and we just couldn't do that with kids, especially after being in the car so much that day already. So we took pictures in front of the temple as if we really did go in, and went and ate with my Aunt and cousins.

I did find an awesome piece of property that I should probably buy ASAP. You know I could live in a box on the property because I'm sure it's insanely expensive and would take the rest of my life to pay off so I wouldn't be able to afford a house, but at least the view would be amazing right?

My sister bought the kids these super cute matching outfits for Christmas and I was so excited that Benson is finally big enough to wear it. Gosh they are cute kids! Thanks Aunt Kim for the cute outfits!

I also kind of failed at life on Friday. I forgot my wallet in my Mom's car, so I didn't have it in Utah. I forgot the formula for Benson, so that was super pleasant. Aniston threw a fit in the restaurant and I brought church shoes that were at least 1 size too small. Seriously, they went into the trash shortly after the pictures we took at the temple. It was not my best day. I felt awful about myself and it was just awful.

When we go down to Utah we usually stay at my Uncle Bill and Aunt Julie's house. They are just about as awesome as people can possibly be. We love them a ton! We finally got to go out with them for breakfast on Saturday. It was insanely delicious, huge portions and so nice to sit down with them and talk and relax without crazy kids... minus Benson. Let me tell you... Black Bear Diner has, hands down, the BEST pancakes I have ever tasted in my life! In. My. Life.

Because we didn't get to go into the temple, and Aniston really wanted to do that, we took her to temple square to see, as she calls it, "The Big Jesus". We had a blast walking around and seeing the temple. She loved it and she learned that Jesus is her brother. She is pretty stoked to have 2 brothers. And let's be honest, I am totally fine walking where ever when people are stopping us every 2 seconds to tell us how cute our kids are. I just love that.

We also crossed the street and made it over to City Creek and hit up the Disney store. Aniston was lucky enough to pick out some new toys. We are HUGE lovers of Disney in this house. When I walk into the Disney store, anything bad just melts away. I just feel happy. Apparently I need to live closer to a Disney store. It's amazing therapy.

We wanted to go to a park, but it started pouring rain, so we hit up Scheels. We kind of love this store and I'm pretty sure we stop by every time we are in town. This time, Aniston was tall enough to go on the Ferris Wheel. She was pretty nervous at first, but she got over that fairly quickly. It's pretty cool that they have a full size Ferris Wheel in their store in the first place. It was a great time!

Spencer went out with his buddies Saturday night and Aniston, Benson and I hung out the with cousins outside. Thank goodness the rain stopped. Aniston preferred to hang out with the boys and play in the dirt and with rocks, while Benson played with the girls. My kids love the cousins. That's what we call them, the cousins. Technically they're my cousins, but they are more suitable for my children's age so "the cousins" it is. The cousins are AMAZING with my kids and they are just the sweetest kids around.

The oldest one was at school, several weeks ago, and noticed that one of her teachers had Facebook pulled up and I was on there. Turns out her teacher was my young women's leader like 14 or 15 years ago. So of course we stopped by the school and selfied it up with one of the coolest young women's leaders ever! She was the one who introduced me to Monty Python, so you know I'm serious when I say she was one of the coolest.

We headed back home on Sunday, but the weather was absolutely GORGEOUS so we stopped by a park for Spencer to get some disc golf in and for the kids to play before spending the next 3 1/2 hours in the car. Benson enjoyed the swings for the first time and Ani enjoyed the fake trees. Really though, I feel as thought my children aged on this trip. Benson in the swings and Aniston using the big swings. So not fair. They grow up too fast.

We were able to meet up with one of Spencer's best friends since birth. Literally, birth. They were born on the same day, in the same hospital and in rooms next to each other. They even grew up as next door neighbors. Kind of cool. Now they both have 2 kids and have grown up, Kind of fun.

The park stop was genius because both kids slept the entire way home. Winner winner chicken dinner.

Monday was another great day. The kids slept really well, back in their own beds, and that means Mom and Dad slept well. We headed over to my parents house for a BBQ and some outdoor fun. Thank you Idaho for a day of decent weather. We bought Aniston her first ball and bat and Spencer introduced my Dad to disc golf. Our goal is to get my Dad to enter a tournament before the end of the summer. He was, not so surprisingly, good. He is good at everything.

My parents also graciously named the pumpkin patch section of their garden, "Ani's Pumpkin Patch". Those of you who know me well, knows that it is my dream to open the most AMAZING pumpkin patch in the world. Someday I will show you my plans. It's a real thing. Ani loved showing me where the pumpkins would grow.

The kids and I wore our new shirts. I already wear my feelings and emotions on my sleeve, now I'm wearing them on my clothing. True story. Evolution of emotions.

It was a great relaxing weekend. I don't think we could have spent our time any better. Thank you to everyone who made our long weekend perfect!

Bonus Video:

Monday, May 18, 2015

Monday Munchies... Banana Bread

If you're anything like me, when shopping at the grocery store you have a sudden desire to eat healthier, either that or your two year old insists on you buying bananas. I ALWAYS buy bananas, but I rarely ever eat them before they turn brown. I feel so wasteful every time I end up throwing the bananas away. I hate it! I don't know if it's because I cannot stand the sound of someone eating bananas (gag) or if it's because strawberries and grapes just taste so much better, but I really do throw away a lot of bananas.

Growing up my Mom use to always make banana bread, I'm pretty sure she suffered from the same banana fate as I do. So I decided to use her recipe and try to not be so wasteful and make something from my old bananas that my 2 year old will eat and loves and that is easy for the hubby to grab in the morning to eat while he heads to class. Let's be honest... who doesn't love banana bread? It's easy and delicious and amazing.

Sugar - 1 cup
Butter - 1/3 cup
Eggs - 2
Water - 1/3 cup
Bananas - 3 whole
Flour - 1 2/3 cup
Baking Soda - 1 tsp.
Salt - 1/2 tsp.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Mix your sugar and your butter. I love my kitchen aid mixer! I can just leave it running and slowly add ingredients! BEST WEDDING PRESENT EVER!

Beat in your eggs.

Mash your bananas.

Add bananas and water to your sugar, butter and eggs. Mix for 30 seconds.

Stir in flour, baking soda and salt.

Mix well.

Sometimes, when I juice, I will actually take the leftovers from juicing, you know the stuff that doesn't juice, whatever it's called, and add it to the banana bread. It's a great way to get some extra fiber and even though it adds a little green coloring to your bread you can't taste a thing different! Could be a great option if you have stubborn children who don't like their veggies. They will never know the trickery of Mom or Dad in this case. My juicing leftover consist of kale, celery, cucumber, green apple, lemon and ginger.

Next I spray two bread pans (I learned that if I only use one pan it never really cooks in the middle because it's so thick) with my trusty Pam and split the batter between the two.

Bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean once stuck into the very center of the bread. 50 minutes is what works best for me, but every stove is different and every person is different so do what works for you and your family!


Friday, May 8, 2015

DAY 1346... Hello, My Name Is Mom

With Mother's Day headed our way this weekend, I really wanted to write down some of my thoughts about motherhood.

It is THE BEST blessing, and it is THE HARDEST blessing.

But I love it!

As a Mom, we struggle with so many emotions, most of the time they are completely uncontrollable! Super fun. We never get to have a vacation from being a Mom. Once you're a mom, you are always a mom. Whether or not your kids want to admit it, they will always need their mom. You are a mom when things are great, you are a mom when things suck, you are a mom when you don't feel well, you are a mom always even if your child is taken from this world, you are still a Mom. You don't get to pick and choose in what situations you want to be a mom. You are a mom when you're kid is screaming at the grocery store because you won't buy them candy. You are a mom when your kid is literally barfing into your hands in a completely full restaurant. You are a mom when you are feeling depressed and sad. You are a mom when you try to console your child after being hurt and they don't understand why they are hurting. You are a mom when you hold that baby for the very first time and you feel love that you never even knew existed. You are a mom when you tuck that little human into bed at night and before you turn the light off they say, "I love you mom." You are a mom in the best of times and the worst of times. That may be the most challenging thing about motherhood, but also the best. You never get to throw your hands up and walk away. And although there may be times that you want to do that, deep down you don't. There is absolutely nothing that you wouldn't do for your children. It's truly an amazing love.

Being a Mom means you don't own any white shirts. Seriously, I should probably change my clothes like 3 times a day at least, but there's no time for that much laundry and that many wardrobe changes. And although I really do long for a nice crisp white shirt, I treasure those chocolate covered hand hugs and macaroni mouth kisses more than a white shirt. Being a Mom means that you always put someone else in front of your own needs and wants. I seriously would rather buy my kids clothes and toys than anything for myself. This gets tricky sometimes because it's so important to find time for yourself. But Mom's really don't want to. Even when we are away from our kids they are all we really think about. Being a Mom means that you don't ever sleep. When your kids are coughing the night away, or want to go to the park during nap time, you just do it. You lay awake at night listening to them breathe, or in my case snore. You check on your child several times at night to make sure they are okay. You want your kids to be happy and their happiness is everything to you. I have really forgotten what it is to be well rested. Even when my parents take the kids for a night I don't sleep well. I'm up worrying about them and thinking about them and hoping that they are okay. Being a Mom means that you have every episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse memorized as well as numerous other children TV shows, and boy are there some weird ones. It means that you spend your free time watching Disney movies (which I'm totally okay with) because you forget to turn the TV off during nap time there's so much else that needs to be done.

It's sad, but I really come to appreciate my mom more and more the older I become and the more children I have. I only have 2 kids and I feel completely overwhelmed and scared at times, but she had 5 kids! And my sister and I are less than a year apart. That's insane! She is such a good mom too. I know there must have been times where she hated the world and didn't feel like being a mom, but that never stopped her. She was diligent in her mom duties at all times. I never felt like she didn't care. In fact I felt like she cared too much sometimes. now I know there is no such thing. But the older I become and the more kids I have, the more I realize how amazing she is. I am so lucky to have such an amazing example in my life.

Being a good mom doesn't mean your house is clean, the laundry is done, your kids are dressed to perfection as well as your self. It doesn't mean that you had time for a shower that day or that you can buy the most expensive clothes for your kids. Being a good mom doesn't mean every night you whip up some amazing Pinterest inspired dinner for your family or that you were able to sew your children matching outfits from your curtains. Being a good mom isn't dependent upon whether you use cloth diapers or whether you use disposable diapers. Being a good mom simply means that your kids are happy. And if that means that they are covered from head to toe in mud because that's what made them happy for that day, it is what it is.

My wish for this Mother's Day is that we stop judging one another and that we stop comparing ourselves to other Mom's. Every situation is different. What works for one Mom doesn't always work for another. Who are we to tell another Mom how they must do things? Every child is different and everyone lives a different life. Let's be a little more kind and a lot more loving this year. Let's uplift one another and learn to live our own lives the way that works for us. Let's remember that there are Mom's out there that physically do not have their children with them today. Let's remember that there are Mom's out there who are facing the trial of their lives in getting their children here in their arms. Let's be sensitive to the fact that being a mother is a HUGE blessing and that just because some of us have been blessed with children, that doesn't make us any better women than those who can't. It has always been my opinion that our Heavenly Father saves the toughest trials for the toughest of his children, and in my opinion, infertility issues have to be one of the hardest trials ever. Heavenly Father knew I am weak and couldn't handle such a trial, but I am blessed in my life to know and be surrounded by so many women who do face this trial. I feel lucky to be surrounded by some of our Heavenly Father's strongest. 

I know I am blessed and feel blessed every time I look at Aniston and Benson. They are part of me and make me want to be a better person every single day. I am so lucky to be their Mom!