Nap Time Poses


Levi seems to think that sleeping with his arms above his head is most comfortable... just like his mama. 

The Nursery


Now that Levi is almost two months old and finally sleeping longer stretches (well, sort of), he is ready to move into his own room.  (Or would it be more accurate to say that Mom and Dad are ready to have their space back?)  It makes me a little sad that my baby has grown so much.  The cradle has run its course; it's time to move onto bigger and better things, like Levi's very own nursery! 

I combed the internet looking for ideas for Levi's room when I was pregnant.  I finally settled on a nautical theme and chose navy blue (I have a thing for dark blue), yellow, and red for the colors.  Bron offered to help me paint the room, but I was too pregnant and exhausted to actually do it.  I think the room turned out well anyhow.  It feels clean, bright, and new! 

Let me show you around!

 Entrance to the Nursery!
 Changing table/dresser: Some little place in Vermont
How I know Bron loves his boys?  He bought a fuzzy cover for the changing mat to make it more comfortable.  Makes me smile.
Mirror: Wedding gift
Chair: Ikea
Metal Barn Stars: Porters
Room darkening curtains: Target

 Crib: Hand-me-down from family
Mobile: Bugs that Jed once adored
The window swag, crib sheet, and crib skirt were hand-crafted by one loving mother: me.  Don't look too closely at some of those seams!  I'm satisfied with how it all turned out though.  I can't get over those dark blue stripes.

 I looove pictures, especially of my babies.  I had to incorporate pictures of my boys somewhere.  I used frames I already had and picked up a few more cheap ones from the store to create a collage.  Painting these was definitely a learning experience!  The Better Homes and Gardens magazine lies.  Spray paint is not an easy solution for color.  It was a fiasco and another story all on its own.  I ended up painting each frame by hand with a simple bottle of acrylic paint.  And it worked.  Whew!

Vinyl Sailboat: Etsy
 Definitely one of my favorite details of the entire room.

 This is one of my favorite quotes from Mark Twain.  It was designed by yours truly in photoshop.  However, I plan on trying it again.  I'm not sure I like it.

Toybox: Michaels
 Doesn't this box look like it might hold some rope or a crab?

And no nursery is complete without its crowning occupant: a baby.
I hope you like your new room, Levi!

Here's to the beginnings of an infant bedtime routine and {hopefully} a good night's sleep!

The South Hills


Fall is the most beautiful time of year!  In my list of favorite seasons, it's a close second to summer.  So yesterday afternoon my friend Amy and I loaded the kids into the car and took off for the South Hills (aka Sawtooth National Forest) just a few miles from home to enjoy it.  The canyon was in full autumnal bloom!  The hillsides almost looked like they were ready to burst into flames; the aspens were so yellow.

Amy introduced me to one of her favorite sites: Ross Falls.  She stayed in the car with my sleeping boys while her two girls and I hiked a short half mile to a small waterfall.  It was a fun little hike!  I can't wait to come back and show Bron.  Then we drove further up the canyon and let the kids stomp around some campgrounds and climb rocks.  We had so much fun and we even made it home in time for dinner.  We're so lucky to live so close to the great outdoors! 

A New Mother of Two


What I've learned so far with two kids: NOTHING gets done.

It's been seven weeks since Levi was born and I became a mother of two and I just want to state here and now that I am tired.  No, exhausted is a better word.  This is hard.  It's been nearly two months since I've had a full nights sleep; more if I count those last weeks of pregnancy.  I'm not sure I even know how to sleep without waking up several times in the night anymore.  Levi is starting to sleep in slightly longer stretches, so there is a light at the end of this tunnel, but I still crave a nap.  I once complained to Bron, "I haven't gotten a nap all week!" and he laughed.  It sounded ridiculous, but I was serious!  And I bet any other mother would probably sympathize.  

Is it gross that my boys have only been getting a bath twice a week?  It's about all I can manage to fit in: when the baby's hair is starting to look greasy and Jed is looking pretty pathetic.  (Of course, a bath becomes top priority when there's poop or mud or both involved.)  And if my boys only get bathed twice a week, then it's okay if I only shower twice a week too, right?  Oh, I wish that were true!

When it comes to keeping the house clean I'm learning to keep my expectations low.  Apparently, they're not low enough!  My goal this week was to do the laundry, vacuum the popcorn kernels in the den, clean the bathrooms, and mostly keep up with the kitchen.  (I'm OCD about my kitchen if you didn't know already.)  Well, the laundry took three days to wash and fold and put away, the popcorn kernels are still sitting in the carpet, just one bathroom got cleaned, and the kitchen went unswept for three days--if you knew the messes Jed makes at meal times it might make you cringe--but it looks decent now.  And dinner?  Don't ask about my feeble attempts at meals.  I'm learning that some days are meant to be productive days: Jed is in a cooperative happy mood and both boys nap at the same time.  Other days, I'm learning to accept that playing outside, going for walks, and play dough are the only items on the agenda for the day because fighting it just makes everyone miserable.

Bron asked why we stay-at-home-moms stress out so much about a clean house.  Perhaps I should mellow out a bit, that's true.  But on the other hand, my sole job is to care for my babies, my husband, and our home.  Our home is my work space and it works best when it's clean and uncluttered.  It doesn't help that half of my job gets in the way of the other half!    

I don't think I would have survived these last weeks without my neighbor, Amy.  She's an angel friend.  Amy cleaned my kitchen and babysat Jed when I was just too plain tired or my arms were full with a newborn baby.  She also tells me it's okay that my boys were only bathed twice this week, that my hair is in a pony tail again, and that it looks like a tornado ran through my house.  Maybe we're a bad influence on each other?  Or maybe it's just a reality check: no mother has it all together all the time.  It's just nice to know that I'm not alone in my everyday struggles as a mother.

I have new admiration for mothers of multiple children.  Thanks, Mom!  How did you do it? 

Perhaps this is what motherhood is all about: learning selflessness and patience, learning to be flexible, learning balance, learning to find joy in the simple little things everyday.  I love my boys, I really do.  Nothing makes me happier than to see them happy.  I can't get enough of Jed's silliness and smiles.  If I could, I'd cuddle my baby all day and through the night.  

I think things will get better with time.  I hope so.  I think I'm still in survival mode.  Someday the daily schedules of play and work and eat and sleep will work themselves out on their own.  And someday I may get a handle on how to balance my new life.

Until then... wish me luck! 

P.S.  Perhaps I should have been doing something productive instead of writing all this out, but I needed to put my thoughts to "paper".  It helps. 

Thursday Night


Tonight, Bron did this:
He went to a tailgate party catered by Tucanos and actually got to go in to watch the BSU vs BYU football game.

Tonight, I did this:
I enjoyed pizza in the park with my friend Amy and our kids.  
(Bonus: Quality time with Jed!)

I'd say we both had a good day!!!

First Trip to the Zoo


Grandma Nelson showing Jed and Leah the monkeys
Annabelle (3mos) and Levi (6 weeks)
We hope these two will be close cousins too.  So far, they like the same stuff: their mamas, milk, and soothies.
The babies' first trip to the zoo!
Feeding goats!!!  Coolest. Thing. Ever.

I've been dying to take Jed to the zoo all summer long!  This week I finally got my chance when the boys and I spent two fun-filled days with my in-laws.  We hit up the Tautphaus Park Zoo in Idaho Falls with Momma Nelson and my sister-in-law Amber and her two little girls.  It's a small zoo, but has everything important for entertaining a pair of toddlers.  Jed and Leah went crazy running and laughing to and from each exhibit!  They got a monkey to chase them from one side of the glass wall to the other and even got the chance to feed some goats and pet a yak.  I had fun just watching them.  It was the perfect way to spend a late summer afternoon.

And just one more picture...
Jed and Leah entranced with the train going around and around the track at Grandma's house.
These two are close cousins.  They love playing together and love antagonizing each other too.  Oh, the screaming!

Sun Valley


I didn't take very many pictures.  I was too busy having fun.

What do we do when life starts getting us down?  Go for a hike!

Bron has been extremely busy and a little stressed with work these past few weeks.  And me?  Well, my house is a mess, I'm sleep deprived, and my two year old throws level 10 tantrums all day long.  Intuitively, I knew it was time for a little stress reliever; a little getaway for the two of us to relax and reconnect.  Plus, now that I'm not pregnant, I've been itching to get out in the fresh air, explore something new, and have ourselves a little mini adventure.  So Saturday morning we dropped Jed off with a neighbor and drove two hours north to Sun Valley, where all the celebrities hang out.  It is BEAUTIFUL there; I've never been before.  The mountains and trees were gorgeous and the weather absolutely perfect.  There is so much to do there too; we barely scratched the surface.

Well, we didn't rub shoulders with any celebrities, but we did get up close and personal with the mountain.  We strapped Levi into the front pack (it reminded me of THIS HIKE we did when Jed was about the same age) and started up Bald Mountain.  Bron and I spent four hours on the mountain hiking, holding hands, engaging in meaningless conversation, and talking about what we want for the future.  It was the perfect mind-clearing stress relieving activity.

After our hike, nothing sounded better than a juicy burger so we headed on over to a local restaurant named Lefty's.  The burgers and monkey (spicy) fries hit the spot!  And then, of course, we had to make a pit stop at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for a treat... and payment for our sweet neighbor who took care of Jed all day.  Who doesn't love a good slab of fudge?

Thanks Sun Valley for a beautiful day!  You betcha we'll be back for more.

 I enjoy holding my little companion close.  The constant rocking kept Levi asleep most of the afternoon.
I also love those smiles other women give me when they see such a tiny baby. 

Autumn is coming!

Snapshots of Life Lately


In no particular order, a photo purge.  Enjoy!

It's football season!  Bron is making sure our boys get an early education in the sport.//Chillaxin outside//Jed and cousin Leah playing in the fountain//I love holding my tiny baby//Levi 4 weeks//Precious sleeper//A little rough housing with Dad in the evening//"High!"//A post Sunday walk rainbow//Sunday afternoon nap//Watching cartoons on the iphone//Levi snoozing in the swing//Early morning entertainment from Jed//Big brother comforting his little brother with a pacifer//Brothers' first hangout//A smile!//The pose//My favorite picture of them all! 
 This is my life: Two Little Boys.
From the looks of it all, life has been treating us very well.

I am still in awe over this new tiny person that now lives with us.  I just can't seem to get enough of him.  Levi has been working on his smile and developing his voice.  It is so stinkin' cute!  He is becoming more alert and aware of his surroundings everyday.  He's growing right before my eyes.  I think I see one more little crease growing on his tiny thighs every time I change a diaper (which is more times than I can keep track of in a day).  Levi has been a perfect happy baby from day one... except in the evenings.  He tends to get quite fussy in the evenings.  I've surrendered my arms to him and leave the dinner dishes in the sink til morning.  But I don't love him any less.  In fact, it's my excuse to hold him and rock him until he falls asleep around 10PM.  The last few nights he's slept a solid four or five hour stretch!  I can't believe it.  I feel wonderful.  I thought the first night was a fluke; it's such a drastic change from getting up every 2.5 hours all night long and I'm grateful.  Levi, you will never know how much I love you.  I have every curve of your tiny face memorized.

Jed has been 2 parts drive me crazy and 1 part melt-my-heart cute.  I love that kid, I really do.  He makes me laugh and smile all day long, but he makes me want to pull my hair out too!  They say the terrible two's don't last forever.  I'm not sure I believe them right now.  However, Jed has started to take a genuine interest in Levi.  He likes to sit over Levi and play with his hand or shove a pacifer into his mouth.  Who knew love could be so rough?  Levi doesn't seem to care though.  He just looks at Jed with adoring eyes.  As their mother, I am enjoying what I see.  I hope they become good friends one day.

Other mothers warned me about how busy I'd be with two little ones.  They warned me about the hard days and crazy moments.  But they didn't warn me about how much I would actually enjoy this mothering gigue; how much pure JOY I would feel everyday.  Like today when I was feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.  I was carrying Levi in my arms while putting lunch on the table when he smiled up at me.  He really smiled!  Over and over again.  I stopped what I was doing and we had a little "conversation".  It made everything I'd been concerned about wash away.  These boys of mine know just when I need a good hug or a genuine smile to lift my spirits.  Kids are awesome.

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