Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Nolan at 2

Sitting in a firetruck
I've been meaning to write an update on Nolan since he turned two. He has been developing so much lately that I want to capture him as a toddler before he becomes a little boy. that he's just shy of 27 months, he really has developed a lot even since turning 2 three months ago. But, better late than never, I suppose!

Nolan continues to be a super social little guy! He loves playing with his friends and going to nursery. He would ALWAYS rather play with someone than do anything on his own. While having a social kid makes a lot of transitions easier, it also makes life hard in some respects. Its so hard for me to get anything done at home because he follows me around asking things like: "What a doin', Mom??" "Will you play with me?" "Come play in bedroom!". I know this will only become harder when I have a second little one around... One thing that has changed though is that he has gained a little bit of shyness around new people. It takes him just a little bit to warm up to someone new and he'll even tell me: "I be shy". At first I thought he was just doing it for attention and thats why he was telling me, but I actually just think he is aware of his feelings and able to verbalize them.
Nolan's Birthday Party

Which leads me to feelings. Nolan has been learning/talking about feelings a lot lately. He has a book that talks about feelings and he watches a show Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood where they focus a lot on feelings. He is always asking. "Are you happy? Are you sad?" etc. and will tell me what he is feeling. So I've started using feelings a lot with him to. I taught him about frustration and when I get upset with him about things he'll ask me "Are you fus-tated, mom?" ..which is almost enough to make me start laughing and forget he was being naughty. :)
Doing his chore of putting away the clean silverware

As you can probably tell from the above quotes, his language as boomed over the past 6 months. Even at barely 2 he was already saying 3-4 word sentences and speaking very clearly. Its so nice to be able to communicate with him! Although I will say it gets a little old sometimes with all of the whys and why nots being thown around. :) He is also learning some of his letters and numbers. He can count to at 12 without any help and sometimes even higher. He is great at memorizing books. We go to the library once every 1-2 weeks and by the end of the week he can usually "read" some of the shorter ones to us.

Other milestones: Nolan is officially weaned of his binky. We talked to him a lot about turning 2 and becoming a big boy. Then we talked about all the things big boys get to do: have a birthday party, sleep in a big boy bed, use the toilet, stop using a binky, etc. and we are slowly making our way through that list this year.
The day after he turned two, we cut the nipple off his binky and let him find it. He showed it to me and asked me to "fix it". I told him we couldn't fix it and it needs to go in the trash. He threw it out himself never asked about all the others that we took away. For at least a week he would ask me about the binky and we'd talk about how it broke and we threw it away. After that first week he only brought it up once every few days and he hasn't talked about it in over a month now. So glad to be free of that!
About a month ago, we took the side off of his crib and installed a crib safety rail for him. Honestly its been a a really good transition. He loves that he can get on his bed to play during the day and he has only ever come out of his room when he was supposed to be sleeping once. When I heard him open the door, I just said his name in a warning tone and I heard him slam the door shut and run back to his bed. And that was that. Some days he'll get up in the morning and come into our room to wake us up, but a lot of the time he still just calls for us to come get him. I look forward to the day he will get out of bed and play with his toys for an hour before waking us up! (A girl can dream!)

"Errybody sleepin mom!"

Our next step will be potty training! a few months ago, Nolan was begging us to "have a turn" on the toilet. I definitely wasn't ready to potty train him - I was in my first trimester and SO SICK and we hadn't been planning to potty train until after the baby is born. I decided I needed to wrap my mind around the idea if he was ready. Once I began to feel a little better, we went and picked out a little potty for him and we've been talking about using it a lot. we haven't officially started though because I realized that while he thinks he wants to use it, he just wasn't ready. He's not interested in dressing himself and therefore has never even tried to pull down or pull up his own pants, he went through a pretty contrary phrase of hating to have his diaper or clothes changed, and I wasn't sure if he knew the difference between urine/stool and has words for them. So we've been just talking about it. and letting him sit on the toilet (clothed) when he feels like it. At this point, it'll be at least 2 more months before we attempt potty training because we're talking a month long trip to Utah in a couple weeks.
Puzzle time! He can put all the pieces in himself - I just have to show him where they go

Anyway, this is getting super long, but I just wanted to take down a little snap shot of what life looks like with Nolan right now. He is such a sweet boy and we love him so much. He can be crazy and rambuctious at times. He loves to wrestle with dad, do role playing games (pretend to be dinosaurs/lions/monkeys/kangaroos/etc.), throw things (everything!), do puzzles, go swimming, and so much more! I'm going to miss having so much one-on-one time together, but I know he will love having a sibling to play with!
Love this floaty! It lets Nolan swim on his own!

Monday, January 06, 2014

happy new year! - and a resolution: 14 books in 2014

Happy New Year! I'm always so excited about the tabula rasa that each new year brings. I can't believe it is already 2014, but I'm feeling especially motivated to make this year great! We had a great time over Christmas visiting family and friends in Utah. Scott had to return to AZ a couple days after Christmas, but Nolan and I ended up sticking around until the 31st. While I usually spend the end of the year thinking about my resolutions and planning for the upcoming festivities, we really dragged out Christmas this year by celebrating again on New Years day with just our little family. (Mainly so we wouldn't have to take all of our gifts to Utah, just to bring them back home).

After our second Christmas morning, I've finally been able to take a little time to reflect and to organize myself for the New Year. I'm excited to take some of my goals from last year and refocus them with sub-goals and to add a few new ones into the mix.

14 Books in 2014

Since having Nolan, my desire to read has come and gone. Sometimes I spend weeks devouring books left and right and then I"ll go months without even the desire to pick one up. This has a lot to do with the stage of development Nolan is in (i.e. how needy he is), but also is a reflection on how much technology has creeped into our lives, slowly edging out reading, playing board games, and spending time outdoors. This year I'm on a mission to bring the love of books back into my life! I spend a few hours researching and choosing some books I'm really excited about reading this year. I opted to pick 7 fiction and 7 non-fiction (this includes biographies, autobiographies, self help books, parenting books, etc.). Some of my picks line up with a couple of virtual book clubs I'm participating in and others are books that have been on my to-read list for a while. I even left a slot open and asked Scott to choose one of his favorite for me to read. Last, but not least, I'm going to read a fictional book in Spanish to help me keep up on my language skills that I haven't practiced since quitting my job when Nolan was born! Another one of my goals is to keep this blog updated! So, I will be writing a little more about each of these books as read them.

Without further ado, my 2014 book list:

*The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
Deliberate Motherhood by Power of Moms
The Fall of Five (Lorien Legacies #4) by Pittacus Lore
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
*The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Steadman
Cien aƱos de soledad by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Name of the Wind By Patrick Rothfuss (Scott's pick)
Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham
*Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
*My Story by Elizabeth Smart

While this is my preferred order, I may have to change it around a bit depending on whether I can get books in from my library on time. I just put the first three on hold and I'm number 43 on the hold list for The Husband's Secret. 

*These books will be read as part of a book club.
These books are non-fiction

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

18 things about nolan at 18 months

 So, I meant to write this post over two months ago. You know, when Nolan was actually 18 months. But, I haven't really felt motivated to write here and somehow the time just got away from me. Although I didn't get to the actual writing of the post, I did scribble some ideas down a couple months ago and I'm glad I did! It is crazy how quickly toddlers grow and change. It's crazy to look back on this list even now and see how much he's changed already! 

Without further ado...

1. Do you know that song "Peanut Butter, Jelly Time"? If not, google it. But, somehow we started singing "Peanut Butter, Nolan Time" to that tune and every time we do, Nolan starts dancing like crazy! It is the most hilarious thing!

2. Nolan LOVES the show Little Einsteins and has even started learning to say the names of the characters on the show. He asks me daily if he can watch "wiw eitie". His favorite character is June ("ju") and he was asking me for Ju forever and I couldn't figure out what he wanted. He was getting so frustrated until he finally found the DVD and brought it to me!

3. Nolan loves to say "nooooooo..." and he will purposefully throw things off the bed, table, etc, just so he can say it.

4. Nolan has grown super attached to me and although he has been going to nursery for 2 months already and LOVES it, he started crying lately when we drop him off. He also tries to stick his hand down my shirt whenever I'm sitting with him. I've noticed this among other toddler boys and their moms as well. Is this a boy thing??

5. Although he is super attached to me, Nolan LOVES is grandpa. He calls him Papa and asks to facetime him every day. Luckily when Papa can't be reached, photos will usually suffice.

6. Nolan has been teething for months...he is just getting his first set of molars - all 4 at once!

7. As I mentioned before, Nolan started nursery at 16 months because I was called into the Primary Presidency and Scott teaches Sunday School. So, with both of us teaching at the same time most weeks, we opted to put him in a couple weeks early. Nolan is super social (although he does get shy at times) and loves people. He loves going to nursery and playing with all of his friends their. I think his favorite part is singing time.

8. Nolan loves to play outside. He especially loves to collect rocks and smell all the flowers he can see.

9. We went to San Diego in September and Nolan met the ocean for the first time. He loved the water and the sand, but wasn't super fond of when the sand would stick to his hands.

10. We went to Sea World while we were in SD and Nolan finally decided he likes water creatures (fish, dolphins, whales, etc.).

11. Oranges are Nolans new favorite fruit. He calls them "ohngees".

12. He LOVES to go swimming and we probably go about once a week. I bough a floaty for him called a Puddle Jumper and it is the best thing ever! With a little practice Nolan has learned to float and swim around in it without any help from me. Of course, I do stay right by him the whole time, but its nice to not have to always be holding him.

13. We finally turned Nolan's carseat around so that he is forward facing. His legs have been squashed up against the seat for a few months and he's always angrily kicking at it. He likes being turned around, but gets more angry when we aren't listening to him (now that he can see us!).

14. Nolan loves cars and, now that he's turned around, is constantly pointing at all the cars saying: "le cah!". We think he might be taking french lessons?

15. He has also started throwing things....everything. It is making meal time especially messy. This is probably our biggest behavioral issue. Although its a pain, I have to say Nolan is really very well behaved otherwise.

16. Nolan is saying many new words! (I wish I'd made a list, because I honestly can't remember what he was saying now!)

17. Nolan has also grown attached to his binky all of the sudden. I'm definitely regretting not taking it away at 14/15 months when he stopped using it all of the time. Well, now I know for next time!

18. Nolan gives the sweetest kisses! Whenever Dad gets up with him (6:30 wake up!), they come in when Scott needs to shower and Nolan gives me kisses to wake me up! It is so sweet! He makes this high pitched, really drawn out mmmwwaahh! sound and there is never any lip smack at the end. Some day he'll get that part down. :)

Nolan is the sweetest little guy and I love him to pieces! Some days I'm sad he's getting so big and I get baby crazy for the next one, but other days I love him so much I think he's all I'll ever need!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

resolutions: july, august, september

It's been awhile since I've updated the blog. There are so many summer adventures I want to be sure to include, but I want to start by writing about the resolutions I've made this summer. 

Nolan has always been very attached to me when it comes to nursing. He was a frequent and slow nurser. After he turned one, I started trying to cut down on feelings do that I could eventually wean him. But we discovered his milk allergy right away which meant I had to hold off weaning until I could find an alternative milk source. We eventually started him on almond milk, but then Nolan got sick for a week....probably the worse illness he'd ever had. There was lots of diarrhea, some vomiting, refusals to eat or drink, and he had no energy. The only thing Nolan would do was nurse and sleep. So I gave up weaning for a little while. Then, we took a couple of trips to Utah in may and June. During each trip, we were much busier than we normally are at home and I noticed Nolan wouldn't ask to nurse nearly as much. So, by the time we came home from Utah at the end of June, I had cut down his nursing to twice a day and made it my resolution for July to really make the effort to finish the job. I started right away by cutting out the evening feeding and eventually the morning as well. The surprising thing is it only took about a week and Nolan never even asked to nurse again. I guess he was just ready! 
As a side note, I really don't think there is a problem with nursing to 18 months or even 2 years, but it was really important for me to wean once I found out about Nolan's milk allergy. Basically I wasn't willing to make the giant lifestyle change of cutting out all dairy when it wasn't really necessary for me to continue nursing him. Since weaning, Nolan's eczema is completely gone and only shows up once in awhile if he accidentally eats something with dairy in it. (He also gets little hives on his face and a diaper rash when it eventually passes through his system).

I actually started my August resolution in mid July when I finished weaning Nolan. I've really been struggling to lose the last 10-15 lbs of baby weight and I gain weight really easily right now. I actually gained another 5 when I was in Utah in June. So I decided it was time to start exercising regularly again. We have a gym in our apartment complex and its actually just across the street from us, so I really have no excuse not to! I started going 3 times a week and doing a mile on the treadmill or 15 minutes on the stair master and then 3 reps of 10 on all the arm and leg machines. I know it's not a ton, but its definitely a stat. I haven't really lost any weight, but I can definitely tell a difference in my overall fitness and my arms a lot more defined. I did really awesome with this goal until we took our trip to San Diego. I really need to get back at it!

Sorry, but this month i'm also working on weight loss. I've decided to follow a diet from a book I've been reading to hopefully change my eating habits for the better (and healthier). I've never really gone on a diet before so this is new to me! The diet starts out with a 2 day cleanse and then three weeks of cutting out all of your problem foods. After that you can basically start reintroducing all the foods you like, in moderation. Following these guidelines, you should be able to lose half the weight you want to in about 3 months. I'm hoping to lose about 10 lbs in that time. I just began my cleanse today, so I'll have to update you as I really get into it.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

15 things nolan loves at 15 months

1. Eating fruit: he LOVES fruit. I don't think he's ever tried one he doesn't like. Some of his favorites include strawberries, bananas, and peaches.

2. Face timing with Grandma and Grandpa B who he calls "bapa" and "bama". 

3. Naps. Nolan will gladly go take a nap when he gets too tired to function. He MUST have his binky, blanket, and stuffed dog with him. He has become super attached to them lately. I think it might be a result of all the traveling we've been doing.

4. Playing games on the iPod touch.

5. Reading stories

6. Wrestling with dad

7. Animals and animal sounds. He loves looking at animals in real life, on tv, in books, or in apps. He loves hearing their sounds and he can imitate an impressive number of them. He does the dog, cat, elephant, lion/tiger/bear, snake, duck, cow, rhino, giraffe, and probably more that I can't think of right now.

8. Eating pasta. Pasta with a tomato based sauce is probably his favorite food. Serve it with broccoli and he is the happiest camper!

9. Playing in the kitchen. Nolan loves nothing more than to rummage through everything in the cupboards, play with the utensils, throw things in the trash, etc.

10. Water activities: this includes swimming, running around at the splash pad, taking baths, and even just washing his hands.

11. Talking: lately Nolan has started saying so many words...or at least things I recognize as words! He doesn't consistently use them, but when he's in the right mood he'll repeat a lot of them. He says ball, balloon, mama, dad, grandpa, grandma, water, cracker, strawberry, all done, thanks, please, car, and a few more on a regular basis. He also babbles nonstop.

12. People. Nolan loves to meet new people, play with them, and talk to them. Although he does get shy sometimes, he's very outgoing. He hates saying goodbye and will often start crying when it's time to go home or for someone else to leave. He is often found hugging strangers. 

This is seconds after hugging this little dude at the children's museum.

13. Music and dancing. Nolan loves all kinds of music. He loves to dance and has recently added a new dance move to his repertoire where he stomps one foot dramatically. I love to watch him dance! He also likes to sing a long at church, and waves his arm with the chorister.

14. Accessories. Nolan loves to wear accessories. He is always bringing me his winter hats or moccasins to put on him. He also tries to wear my jewelry whenever it's within his reach. 
15. And finally, Nolan loves his mama! He is in a very clingy stage where he only wants mama when he goes to bed, gets hurt, wakes up at night, etc. It can get a little tiring, but I'm loving all the hugs, kisses, and cuddles. Nolan is such a sweet, affectionate, little guy! I love him to pieces!

In other news, I finally weaned Nolan off the last feeding this week (at 15.5 months) and I'm surprisingly sad about it. I've definitely had a love hate relationship with breast feeding and I never thought I'd have such a hard time giving it up! Nolan is doing just fine without it though and hasn't asked to nurse once!

Sunday, June 09, 2013

april, may, and june resolutions

I haven't been very good about updating my new years resolutions lately. But, I have been better about actually doing them!

April: MIND

For April, I wanted to do something that would allow me to exercise my mind more. I decided to work on reading more. I read a lot of books right after Nolan was born, but since he has gotten bigger and more demanding and I've started working again, I haven't really had the time or desire to read. I decided it was time to make reading more of a priority in my life. I checked out a bunch of books from our library. They were pretty much all fiction, youth novels that I knew I could read fairly quickly. I'm still not really in a place where I want to delve into a heavy book right now. I just don't have the time or patience to get through them. Anyway, I definitely accomplished my goal by reading seven books that month! I'll have to do another post on some of my favorites, but I am loving the I am Number Four series!


In May I decided it was time to work on my physical health again. I've really had a hard time getting back into exercising since having Nolan. I get so discouraged when I see some of my friends with babies 5 of 6 months old running marathons or even 5ks. My pregnancy and birth were really hard on my body. I was anemic for half my pregnancy, I was nauseous for the first 6 months which made it hard to do anything more than going to work every day (which ended in me gaining a little more than I wanted to), I broke my tail bone, and I've had hip and lower back pain from about half way through my pregnancy. I'm STILL suffering from pain in my tail bone and hip/back!

SO, I decided I needed to work on strengthening my lower back and hips to try to alleviate some of this pain so I can get back to where I want to be physically. I started doing some yoga at home. I'm doing a specific workout for back pain and it is really helping! The first time I did it, I was sore in spots on my back that I didn't even know existed! I don't get quite as sore anymore, but it is still a great work out and it has helped relieve some of my pain. My goal was to do some form of exercise three days a week. I did accomplish this for the most part, but not the week I spent in Utah for my aunt's funeral.


Life lately has been a little bit tough for me for a few different reasons. First, it has been hard for me to juggle my time between a toddler who doesn't like to play by himself; my job; and my responsibilities as wife, chef, and housekeeper. When I waste some of my time or don't have enough time to accomplish everything, the first thing to go is usually the tidiness of our house. And this leads to a downward spiral. I am less happy when everything is messy which makes Nolan less happy which means I accomplish less and become more stressed. So, no matter how many commitments I have and deadlines I have to reach, I've been working on keeping everything relatively neat. My goal for this month has been to make daily goals for myself and to organize my time well enough that I can accomplish everything I need to. Even if this means less time for things I want to do. So far things are going well and I've actually felt like I have more time! I mean look, here I am blogging for the first time in almost 3 months! :)

easter 2013

Easter this year landed about a week before Nolan's birthday (on my mom's birthday!). This was so awesome because it meant that Nolan got to celebrate two Easters before turning one!

The night before, Scott and I were up late and didn't have time to do all of the Easter bunny work, so our baskets didn't arrive until after church. Actually, Scott and I haven't ever done baskets for each other before, but we decided to do it this year. Having a toddler just makes celebrating every holiday seem necessary and much more fun! :)

Scott and I mostly got Easter candy, a DVD, and a new book each. I also got Scott an HDMI cable that he has been wanting for his Xbox and I picked out a pair of swim shorts for myself. :)

Nolan got a new book, a DVD with some kids cartoons, some rubber duckies, and some snacks! He loved his Easter basket and all of the colorful eggs and surprises!

My aunt and uncle who live about 40 minutes from us were kind enough to invite us over for Easter dinner. We had a great time and were glad to have some family to celebrate with!

After we came home from dinner, we skyped with my mom to wish her a happy birthday!