Tuesday, December 29, 2009


My mom raised us girls to be independent. Besides teaching me things like basic cooking, sewing, and the likes, every year I was gone from home for a month visiting my dad. At 18 I hopped on a train with all my belongings and went off to college by myself. I couldn't relate to the other girls in the dorms crying over homesickness, I thought they were silly to be honest. I've always lived far from family and it would sometimes make me sad, but now that I have kids it is much harder.

This last month we've been lucky enough to have constant visitors. Thanks Esme. My mom, sister, Brian's sister, his parents, and then my parents, one after the other. Eli loved it. People that love him come and play... Then they have to leave once he's attached. Sometimes he cried, other times he was just somber, but he always ran to the window to yell out as they got in their cars. After we closed the door behind our last visitor I cried. I feel terrible doing this to him. Now I know why our friends from around here choose to stay near family.
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There's No Place Like Home

That's what the kids and I say now that it's winter. The frigid, "fun" snow is not enticing at all. It's like pulling teeth to get Eli in his snow suit and out there with Brian. It's only happened twice since the first snow.

Esme never likes getting out, always ends up screaming no matter how well-fed and rested I get her before heading out. A couple weeks ago I thought she was screaming from gas, but I've realized she hates being awake more than an hour, so sticking put so I can get her to bed exactly when she needs it works best.

Luckily we love our condo, which now boasts a large outdoor freezer. Eli has enough space and too many toys to keep him busy. And for some reason all my hobbies revolve around the home. I enjoy cooking, need to clean before I can relax. If boredom ever set in I have sewing projects in mind, bread recipes to try, and fudge recipes calling my name.

If cabin fever does set in in a couple months we'll probably go somewhere warm-relatively speaking- like Moab.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2 New Christmas Traditions

Both of which came to me yesterday. And I don't mean I thought of them. Brian's sweet mom gave us THE most beautiful carved olive wood nativity. It's so lovely I can't even find more words to describe it. So I'll continue.

And my visiting teachee (that does more for me than I do for her) brought some treats, including my new obsession: chocolate-dipped, crushed-candy-cane sprinkled oreos. I'm not a zealous oreo or candy cane fan, but the combination is magical.


That's what we all call her, although she probably prefers Amanda. She grew up with Brian in Idaho and will be staying with us for a while. Luckily she loves kids and enjoys baking. (Brian has considered charging rent in loaves of bread and cinnamon rolls. Even luckier... she's a baby nurse at Primary Children's Hospital. Brian and I considered ourselves experts since Esme is our second baby. This morning I realized, the only thing we learned from Eli was why the baby was crying. Manders is teaching us how to solve the problem and stop the crying. I've finally learned the perfect swaddle, even one to keep the binki in the mouth, how to clean a tiny dry, stuffy nose, and that a hot pad on the belly works better than gas drops.

Hmm...we should have her guest post to answer questions...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Esme's Blessing Day

Esme didn't have a giant entourage like the customary Utah baby blessing, but she looked lovely and Brian was eloquent as usual. Brian's parents are here from Oregon and his grandma, aunt, and cousins were able to come as well as our friends Anna and Joe. Eli was thrilled to play while Esme was tired of the whole thing by the time we could take pictures. We were only at church for half an hour or so, but she screamed in vain for her necessary swaddling and dark, quiet room to fall asleep. Anna worked her magic and got Esme to calm down, so we got a few pictures of her without her head thrown back and screaming. It was really nice to be with family and show off our little angel.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

1st Suit

Frank, Brian's dad, has been proud of this suit for 25 years since he first bought it for Brian. He always brings up how expensive and classy it was. I think Eli agrees.
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Monday, December 7, 2009

Going Goofy

Eli has always been the more quiet, reserved kid among his little buddies. Quietly playing trains for hours and keeping his room clean. He's been known as being clingy, scared of anything loud, and very cautious. In the last few months he's proved to be surprisingly silly and even bossy with people he doesn't even know that well. He even likes the thrill of climbing the stairs from outside the banister. Most of his goofiness comes from imitating, and in these two pictures it was posing like Esme and eating Thanksgiving pie like a cat.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Super Dad

I should make him a cape with a big "D." He always argued the number of kids should be how many you can fit in a car (not minivan, not SUV, a car). It makes more sense to base it on the number of arms.

Maybe it should be super husband since he's always wanting to give me breaks and make sure I get naps. He finds it a treat to wake up and take Esme when crankiness can no longer be caused by hunger. Tonight he came home from work and made a fabulous dinner while watching two (awake) kids so I could shower (which I now consider a spa retreat). Then he did all the dishes. Right now the boys are going out for ice cream and once Eli's in bed it will be Esme's turn for endless oogling and kisses.

Gosh, I hope this doesn't make anyone jealous...he's mine.

1 Month

I feel like she was just born yesterday. We tell her all the time that she can't get any bigger. She seems to be listening, luckily we don't have a scale. And Brian introduced her to the binki last week, trying to decide if I love it or hate it. She is getting good at holding up that sweet little head and even cooed for the first time last night. It was directed at Eli, which is surprising since she usually cries when he comes close or touches her, even though he's as gentle as a 3 year old can be. Every day I feel so lucky to be with the two of them, especially during one on one time.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

11 Days

Man, am I glad its not two weeks ago. We were just getting to the hospital, and I was not a nice person.

I try to remember Esme's birthday every night around 7:45. Tonight it will be two weeks and I guess I'll have to start keeping track of her age in weeks, not days.

We've spent the last 14 days watching her sleep, trying to get some sleep, and trying to take her all in while making Eli feel important and loved. These are the moments we'll miss most when she gets big, so we have to take it all in. She doesn't cry much and makes lots of faces. I swear I've gotten a couple of smiles, and not just those falling-asleep-smiles that go along with fluttering eyes. Her most intimidating is when I'm nursing her and she scrunches up her nose, wrinkles her brow, and bites down as hard as she can with those little gums.

Right now she's sleeping peacefully in my arms while I type. Try not to be jealous of me. I will be in a few years. I am the luckiest person.

Conductor Hat

It's been over 3 weeks, but I'm still excited about my most recent sewing project. I've been okay with my straight lines for blankets and slings, and I haven't even considered sewing clothes that have to have pieces come together and fit just right. I was able to avoid my fear (since I hate projects that take too long-hence I will never be a quilter or scrap-booker or knitter- and must sit in an unfinished state for too long), but my theory that home-made, improvised Halloween costumes are best drove me to sew a hat for Eli last minute. Thanks to this tutorial, it went pretty well and Eli's head was just the right size for the directions. It took me 3 hours to make, and by the end it was my pride and joy. I'd like to think I was as excited for Eli to have Halloween fun as I was for him to wear my creation.

Next... a simple baby blessing dress.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bad Mom

I realized I've been bad about taking pictures when it was time to find some for the blog the other day.
I've been taking more, so here we go:

6 days old-Proud that this one actually looks like him

5 days old

6 days old-Loving the sponge bath

6 days old- What she looks like when the silly nurses haven't gotten to her hair

6 days- So tiny
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Becoming A Big Brother

Eli has been really good about a baby moving in. We tried to prepare him with books, a new crib in his room, and a doll for him to take care of. He's always been considerate and thoughtful. With my morning sickness he would come running to see if I was okay and give me toilet paper to wipe my mouth and look around for a drink to give me. A few days ago he saw me wincing once she latched on to nurse and he said "Mommy hurt?" "a little, but it's okay" to which he said "baby mean." He has gotten dramatic and needy a few times, but he loves holding her and understands when we need to leave and take care of her. Today I put "E-may" on his lap and he rocked her when she started crying. He got a proud grin when she grew quiet and fell asleep.

11/5 Meeting his sister for the first time-he was excited to show her his toys in the car.

11/5 Holding his sister for the first time-he likes to point out how small everything is on her.

11/10 We try and have her join in on his activities-storytime before bed.
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Another Labor Story

I listened to the doctor when she said #2 usually goes twice as fast. It was actually 5 times as fast, 4 hours.

Brian was home sick, sleeping, while Eli and I worked on a Lincoln Log cabin when the first contraction came. I didn't tell Brian for an hour since only two came, but then things picked up and it was time to figure out what to do with Eli. For an hour and a half between contractions I bossed Brian to do important things like pack my bag, clean the toilet for possible guests, and get Eli ready while I did crucial things like sterilizing bottles and nipples.

Eli went to his friend Curt's house to wait for his over-night babysitter (Amanda, a saint who drove from Farmington to spend the night with him) and we could finally leave. On the drive to LDS hospital I cursed the construction workers that left the freeway so bumpy and Brian for driving too fast, making dumb turns, and for trying to use his blackberry to find the way when I knew the address. I was also scared because I felt the NEED to push that my sister told me she had when her kids came really fast. Natural was not in my plans... 3 hours down.

I slowly made my way up to labor and delivery where there must've been 10 ladies standing around behind the counter. I was annoyed at their calmness when I asked if they were going to do the usual 1-hour watch before admitting me, "we have to make sure you're in labor." My nurse grew a little less chill when she checked me and declared "9." Is that labor enough for them? She started scrambling to get my doctor, a back-up doctor, and the anesthesiologist called. The last person being the most important to me.

I was not pleasant with Brian or the nurses, but they had tough skin, not exactly being sweet back. I also felt the constant need during bad contractions to let everyone know what I was feeling (the baby's head coming down), which we all know translates to "I have to poo!" Brian said the nurses would smirk at him. "Please No" came out more frequently and intensely after my water broke and he wasn't there yet. Luckily my contractions never get too close together and there was just enough time for the saint to work his magic. He gave me a big dose after my frantic plea "I just don't want to feel her head come out." My doctor arrived and after 10 minutes of pushing Esme arrived within one hour of getting to the hospital. I was overwhelmed with shock and joy when they placed her on my belly.

11/3 Just before going to the hospital

11/5 Getting home, a little thinner and a LOT happier

Friday, November 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Esme!

Esme Simone Corrales
6 lb. 2 oz.
Well, today was her due date, but she came 3 days early!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Eli!

Eli's been growing up so much the last few weeks. First with the potty training, then he wanted to sleep in his new bunk bed (on top!), he's talking so much more, even his new hair cut makes him look older. Despite all this change, he's still obsessed with trains, and it ended up being perfect that it was trick-or-treat day at the zoo on his birthday.

After a donut breakfast we headed to the zoo, train conductor costume in hand. We rode the little train at the zoo first thing with our miniature conductor. He loved the animals and pushing Percy all over the place. It was the perfect start to an Eli day.

The poor boy did have a nap, just to keep away crankiness and let Brian go shopping. But when he woke up it was presents (including more trains), dinner of noodles and shrimp, and my attempt at a Thomas birthday cake. He loved it, except that the train and animals were getting messy with frosting. He ate the tracks.

We did our best to show him how much we love him. It was pretty rewarding to see him so happy and excited all day.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Unplanned...Potty Training

As we know I don't really stress about Eli's development, like he should be saying this many words at this age, but we were at an impasse with potty training. A year ago I noticed that if he didn't wear a diaper (or anything, actually) he would use his potty on his own and I'd save money/laundry. The practice couldn't hurt either. Every few months I would pull out some underwear and they were either immediately wet or on the floor. His toddler potty books weren't changing his mind. Who cares if Caillou wears undies.

Before the baby sounds good too. It sure would reduce the bulk of my mom bag if I didn't have to bring one or two extra outfits for each kid. Besides that, the seasons have been changing and I've been worried that my little hippie might always be cold at home, so I checked out some how-to potty training books the last time we were at the library for story time. Obviously I was tantalized by "How to Potty Train In One Day" and began reading that first. I was worried we'd been at the same stage so long Eli would never take to change and assumed I should read several books before trying, I'd rather be an expert than someone frantically trouble-shooting. He must've read it before me, because all the steps just happened.

In the middle of this week I was only 1/3 done with the first book when he ran up and let me know that he needs a green train (Percy, whom he calls "green pee pees"), he has never done this. We just kind of combined everything I'd read with what I remember my sister doing and things just fell into place. A few days earlier the dollar section at Target had Sesame Street incentive/progress charts. He even used his favorite stuffed animal as a potty buddy (one of the suggestions in the book) that would also go and wash hands and get a sticker. It was a little daunting for him, but he finally understood: successful potty trips following all the steps give you a sticker, once you fill up the chart, you can have Percy. The first couple of days involved some impatient whining and moaning about "green pee pees" while he laid on the floor, but it's gotten better.

In these 4 days all his awake hours have been in undies and there has only been one accident while I browsed Ikea water-proof matress protectors (for the bunk bed he's getting today!!). I have been worried since I feel like I always have to ask him to go while we're gone from home rather than waiting for him to tell me.

Last night was the most exciting step forward. During a baby-sitting swap he was in a playland with his friend when he ran to Brian saying he needed to go and "hurry." Other parents smiled and got out of the way when they saw Brian and Eli running to the back of the restaurant. It was even the last sticker. One more hour until the toy store opens...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Late Pregnancy Perks

There are some benefits to being 8 months along. And I've been thinking long and hard. Here they are in the order they came to mind:

-My stomach is actually tight and firm, despite being a little rotund.

-Strangers are more polite, holding doors, giving up a spot in line, or insisting on carrying things for me.

-Food is no longer the enemy now that the nausea is gone.

-My husband is uber helpful, cheezy, and grateful (either that he doesn't have to do this, or that I am)

-Nesting has my house quite orderly.

-SHE will be here soon. It gets a little more real every day. I watch and feel her kicks from the outside too, triple proof.

-Realizing how close we are makes me cherish my one-on-one time with the boy more. I just want to spoil him with fun and love.

Don't judge the order, please.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

All By Myself

Coming from a mom, that is not a pitiful declaration. Brian has taken the boy fishing today and told me to do nothing productive. What does he think I am, a single college student on a reading day before finals?! That is no longer possible.

It was almost noon and I had spent all my time tidying, doing two loads of laundry and the dishes until I finally decided I could ignore my hungry belly and greasy hair any longer. So I've sat down for some caprese (heavy on the cheese) and dark chocolate and posting. Ah.. a quiet meal without nagging for each bite to go in a scrawny boy's mouth (although he will eat anything, for that I am grateful). Only a coke with lemon would make this perfect.

And now I must hurry and get outta here, the fishing didn't work out and they're on their way home. It's sad to say I almost got teary watching Eli out the window, climbing into the Jeep to leave me, but now I feel an urgency to leave before he sees me. Hope the outlets in Park City aren't too crazy and that my tiring body and achy hips don't mind my grandiose shopping plans.