Friday, July 31, 2015

3 Kids Plus Errands

My to-do list was getting backed up. I started the morning with 6 overdue tasks and another 8 that needed to be done today. I knew more would be added throughout the day. Luckily I also started day with Husband here to help. We didn't waste a minute and accomplished a lot of good things before he left. Unfortunately, he left and my list still needed a lot of work. 

It seems like I've been running errands with three kids lately. I told you about the library escapades last week. It was almost a repeat today. We traded a army crawling two year old with a two year old who needed to potty and thought wild screams were acceptable library etiquette. I wanted to go home after that, but we needed to go to Walmart, darn it. 

Advice. Do not go into Walmart with three kids and no shopping list. You will leave without something you needed. Guaranteed. 

By the time we got home, we were sweaty. I was frustrated about the things I forgot to grab. Lindi was hungry but was refusing to eat anything except grapes, peanut butter on a spoon, or fruit snacks. Hyrum was getting frustrated with Lindi and her awful behavior, which ended in tears all around. 

This blog is turning into a "let me rant about Lindi" outlet, but really! I might leave her with my parents and let them raise her until she can be reasonable.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Does anyone else struggle with their two year old sleeping? Mine threw her binkies in the trash and it has been ugly ever since. "It's not nap time! I don't want to sleep! I don't want to lay down! I'm not tired! I'm not grumpy! I will be happy!"

It's not just nap time, either. Bed time is the same exact way. It's awful. Sometimes it takes us 1-2 hours to get her to sleep. You can tell she's exhausted, she just doesn't want to sleep. Going to bed late doesn't result in sleeping in, either. She is not getting enough sleep. 

Today I decided to skip the nap. I wasn't up to a fight and she was pleasantly happy. Of course, she fell asleep in the car. We hadn't even left the Walmart parking lot. 

She didn't wake up when I moved her inside. This was at 5pm, people!! I really hope tonight isn't a nightmare. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Eternally Brown Farm Update

At the beginning of the year we built a square foot garden. I would say it turned into a respectable garden. We ate lots of yummy romaine lettuce, we're still harvesting tomatoes, we had a few handfuls of strawberries, and some other odds and ends. Oh! And you can't forget the compost squash that was very productive. It became something I really loved.

I am not that good at it, but I'm learning a ton. We had some friends come over to coach us. They have been Texas gardeners for a while and have learned by trail and error. It was fun to pick their brains and get some new resources big anything, they got me excited to start planting for the fall season. 

So, three cheers for new seeds and plants and yummy fresh produce to eat!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

My First Daughter

I saw something yesterday that fit my daughter perfectly.

Toddler (n.) an emotionally unstable, pint-sized dictator with the uncanny ability to know how far to push you towards utter insanity before reverting to a lovable cuddle monster

That. Is. My. Daughter. 

"Mom, I don't need to go potty!" is code word for "Mom! I really do need to go potty, but I don't want to take the time to go."  But, hey! She tells me!

She showed her extreme excitement for her new Frozen panties by not wearing one single pair for longer than an hour. 

She hates going to sleep. She needs sleep more than she needs anything, but going to sleep often consists of screaming and kicking and a lot of "I don't want to sleep!" And "I'm not crying!!!!!!!" And "Don't touch me!!" 

Just when I'm ready to pull my hair out, though, she suddenly stops crying and says "Do you wanna build a snowman? Elsa? Elsa? Go to sleep, Elsa." That's just too darn cute. 

Yesterday I was trying to leave the library. I was toting two heavy bags full of books and holding a baby who was screaming her head off. And there was Lindi. She had kicked off her shoes...again...and was lying on her belly, army crawling with a big ol' "I know you need me to cooperate and this doesn't qualify" grin on her face. I actually laughed out loud. It was that ridiculous. 

I got her as far as the lobby area when an old man offered to open the door. Thank you! Of course, Lindi wouldn't come so I said, "Ok. I'll come back for you." The man looked at me in shock and said "Are you sure?" Well, I'm pretty sure I can't physically grab her and carry her out to the car. I don't have eight arms like Hyrum insists I need. We were parked immediately in front of the entrance. No more than ten feet away. She can wait.

The cherry on top was when she bit my bottom.  She was a peach yesterday.

Her attitude is going to be good for her someday. She is going to use it to do a lot of good in life. I can't wait to see the young lady she will become! 

In the meantime...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

How We Learn

I've read more recreational non-fiction in the past year than I have in my entire life.  I remember hearing "non-fiction" as a kid and running for the hills.  Unfortunately, my feelings about non-fiction were misleading. I've picked up a few things this year that I have ended up really enjoying.  Here's the latest...

How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens by Benedict Carey.  This was another one I just happened to find on the "New" shelf at the library.  Now, I think I'm going to have to go buy a copy of my own!

Don't let the first chapter scare you.  It's a lot of brain science, but it's a basic foundation for the rest of the book.  You may not think you can read about research studies, but Carey is great at making them not only clear, but entertaining.  Besides, the "surprising truth" is really...surprising!  So, if you have any of the following beliefs, you need to read this book:

  1. Forgetting is failure
  2. Studying alone in a quiet room is the best way to study
  3. Studying the same thing everyday is the best way to retain information
  4. Highlighting, writing notes, and reviewing them is a great way to master a subject
  5. Pre-tests are a waste of time
  6. You should feel guilty if you get distracted while working on a project
  7. Facebook and Netflix are harmful to learning
  8. Interruptions must be eliminated for successful learning
  9. Repeated, focused practice is the best way to master a skill
  10. Your brain rests while you sleep
If you're looking for a fascinating read, pick this one up.  You won't be disappointed.  Plus, it's applicable for anyone--student, teacher, or mother of three!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Postpartum Weight Loss

I was lucky enough with my first two kiddos to not put on any extra weight.  I was right back into my pre-pregnancy jeans two weeks after they were born.  With baby number three...not so lucky.  Two weeks postpartum I felt large, I was still wearing maternity jeans, and regular jeans seemed a long ways away.  I knew I needed to do something.

Now, nearly 3 months postpartum, I have lost 12 pounds!  I am still a little heavier than I want to be, but I'm back in my jeans, I feel great, and I'm still headed the right direction.  I am by no means an expert when it comes to weight loss; some might even scoff at my attempts.  My rule is to be deliberate in my eating and exercising.  Being deliberate and aware, for me, is all it takes.  I have a few tools that I use.  I thought I might share...

First, MyFitnessPal:

I use this app on my phone to track my weight and, more importantly, my calories consumed vs. calories burned.  It is really easy to use.  You can scan UPC codes on food items, type them in and search, or create your own recipes.  Enter everything you eat in a given day and you'll know how many calories you've eaten.  Then, enter your exercise and you can see your balance at the end of the day.  Did you exercise enough?  Should you have said no to that brownie?  What can you do differently tomorrow?

Next, C25K:

I'll start off by saying that I'm not a runner.  I have never enjoyed running just to run.  But, I know that running is a great way to get active and moving and that's exactly what I needed after a somewhat inactive pregnancy.  I had heard about the "Couch to 5K" programs and downloaded this app and decided to give it a try.  And guess what?  I love it! It is a simple interval training program.  Press "Start" and you will be given cues for when to run and walk.  Each workout it approximately 30 minutes long, so it's completely doable.  When I started I scoffed at the intervals for week 1: 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking alternated for 20 minutes.  Sadly, it was challenging!  But, I have progressed to the point where I jogged for 8 minutes, walked 5, and jogged 8 this morning.  Unlike the first week, I looked at what I had to do this morning and thought there was no way I could do it.  It was tough.  I wanted to stop about halfway through the second jog, but I didn't.  I completed the run and felt really good.  The training program has been just the right for building my endurance and I burn calories while doing it!

These apps have been wonderful for me!  I run three days a week, do short workouts that target other muscle groups three days a week, and watch what I eat.  My need to cut dairy due to Ellie's sensitivity has been a struggle for me (I love milk and cheese...and cheesecake!), but it has also been a blessing.  I have found healthier, lower calorie options to replace the dairy that I would normally choose to eat.  I have been experimenting with different meals and have found some I really like (whole grain bread with hummus, guacamole, bacon, spinach, and flax seed--Yum!).  I found a fun book at the library called "The Best Homemade Kids' Lunches on the Planet" by Laura Fuentes.  I thought I was getting it for my kids, but I found that it really was for me.  It has some great recipes.  Check it out!

Everyone is different.  Different weight loss needs.  Different abilities.  The trick is to find what works for you, be deliberate, and hold yourself accountable.  

Friday, July 17, 2015

Ellie Texas Brown

I never have recorded Ellie's birth story.  I'm going to go the easy route and just share most of my journal entry from that day. [Any additions will be bracketed.]

"April 24, 2015:  I'm a momma again! Ellie Texas Brown was born this morning at 8:50am.  She was 7lb 8oz and 20 inches long. We slept well last night...nothing to make me think she was on her way. When Tony got up to go to the temple early, I was kind of crampy, but didn't want to tell him to stay home and have another false alarm. [The day previous, I had been crampy and had an achy back-- the same signs that preceded Lindi, so I had Tony come home from work just for everything to stop.]  I never really could go back to sleep, though, and then I started having contractions about the time he arrived at the temple. I took a hot shower and then started getting ready for the arrival of our baby. The contractions were pretty consistent and strong, so I started to get nervous. I had Grandpa head over to our house and told Tony to come home. But he couldn't come home until Patrick arrived to take over! Hyrum and Lindi woke up. I fed them each a yogurt and by then we needed to get to the hospital, so Grandpa helped me dress them and we loaded into the truck. Tony was going to have to meet us at the hospital.

So, I checked in and changed. It was 7:45. Tony arrived. I was dilated 7cm, so they moved me to my labor room. So far, my contractions were strong but manageable. I thought we were doing great. Dr. Potter arrived. She checked me and I was still at 7. That was disappointing. But, she broke my water and boy howdy!! Then the contractions really started happening. They lowered the foot of my bed and attached the squatting bar so that I could kind of lean over and let gravity work. It was awesome. Tony was right there beside me the whole time. Kristy, our labor nurse, did awesome at coaching me through each contraction. It was hard work, but I did my best to stay in control.

[With my first two pregnancies I had "half dose" epidurals. My labors were short, though, and I felt like Lindi's was so short that it was almost a waste. I was determined to skip it this time and I'm so glad I did. It was a completely different experience. It was empowering!]

Probably about 15 minutes after Dr. Potter checked me I felt like there was a baby coming and I kinda lost control a bit. Everyone came running in, but Dr. Potter just said “Deliver” to Kristy and out came our little girl. Tony was emotional. He sure loves his little babies. I just love her. She is beautiful in every way. Grandpa brought us lunch and the kids got to meet their sister. I think Hyrum was a little disappointed to have another sister, but he told me it was ok and could we have a brother next time. :) Lindi is just in love with the “babies.” They both were so interested in checking her out and holding her.


This little baby came a week early.
She's a beauty and we love her."

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Sleepy Princess

Lindi threw her binkies away. She said they were yucky. They probably were. She's been using them only to sleep, but I've been wanting to get rid of them for a while. I knew we were in for it, though. 

Sure enough, she has refused to take a nap the last two days. It doesn't matter I lay with her, if I put her in the crib...nothing works. 

So, this evening we turned on "Frozen" for movie night. She was enthralled. At least, she was, until her eyes began to droop. 

She fell over two seconds after I snapped this. Poor princess.

And no, I didn't let her sleep. I want her to go to sleep tonight!!

**post edit: I had three crying kiddos fifteen minutes ago. Two were screaming bloody murder, the other, high treason. It's not even "bedtime" yet. Needless to say, we aren't skipping our nap tomorrow and thank goodness for the "Frozen" soundtrack that hushed everyone. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Elder's Quorum President

Today was Tony's first full week of being Elder's Quorum President. (He is a leader for a group of men at church.) He started his morning with pre-church meetings. I am proud to say that I got myself and three kids to church on time!! After church he stayed for more meetings.

Needless to say, he deserved this:

We ended the day by having his two counselors and their families over for dinner. It was fun to visit and play (plus the men folk snuck in another meeting).

So grateful for this husband and his example of dedication to the Lord and His work.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

From my nursing chair

From my nursing chair,
I see little people.
Little people I love.
Little people who won't always be little.
From my nursing chair...

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Potty Training

We've been potty training.  Potty training is always an adventure. I don't think you can ever be totally prepared. I'm just grateful we make significant progress each day!!

One of the things I like best about training Lindi is that Hyrum has stepped up as her cheer squad. Each success is greeted with a "Woohoo!" and a fist pump.  He's such a good brother. 

The other fun thing about potty training a girl is that those long moments on the potty become great times for painting toe nails and doing hair-dos.

Happy 4th!!

Happy 4th of July from our family to yours!  We hope it was a good one, filled with family and fun. We are so grateful for the freedoms we enjoy! 

Hose 'em down

After a day full of fun and since they were dirty and in the backyard... 

It was fun. A little risqué, but adventurous. It felt like summer. 

Days like today

I love days like today. Days started with exercise. Days when you get lots of things done. Days when your kids still whine and gripe, but at least you got out of the house to do something fun. 

Today I took Hyrum on a date. We took both vehicles to the car wash. The Corolla needed it. Big time. After naps, I took all three kids to the Pipdilly Music Show hosted by the library. My kids crack me up. They just sat there and watch all the other kids sing and dance. They are people watchers. 

I also captured this wonderfully, happy moment this afternoon. 

We all need that much happiness in our lives. (And we all need to squirt our kids with a water hose to get back at them for all the whining. )