Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Good Mom Vs. The Bad Mom

Since I've been raising kids for a whole three years now, I consider myself to be an expert on raising kids the WRONG way. I'll give you an example. Cameron has always been a terrible sleeper. At least I was blessed with one good sleeper...Ethan. Cameron gets up every single night and tries to sneak in bed with me. I got smart and started locking his door. This way I can hear him whining at the door, instead of waking up in the morning with him in my bed. In the last two or so weeks, Ethan's been quite a handful at night too (hopefully just a phase), taking about 45 minutes to get to sleep, and then waking up in the middle of the night too. Being a sleep deprived mother in my current state (well, let's face it, we are ALL sleep deprived ALL the time), I gave Cameron an ultimatum. Actually it was just a montrous load of consequences. So this is pretty much how the night panned out.

1. Put Cameron in bed, and talked to him about staying in bed.

2. Give him the consequences if he gets out of bed: take away his truck that Grandpa made, no playground tomorrow, no Home Depot kids' project tomorrow, and finally a spank.

3. He's up, take away his truck.

4. It's the middle of the night: put him back to bed, and tell him no playground or Home Depot.

5. It's morning and he didn't get up again, so I didn't have to follow through with the last consequence.

Okay, so what's wrong with this situation other than I gave him way too many consequences (remember, sleep deprived)? Maybe it's the fact that I just made the day horrible for me by not having any fun places for Cameron to spend his energy, maybe it's because he didn't seem bummed about losing any of these things, maybe it's because I LOVE going to the Home Depot with Cameron every month to "bond", or maybe it's all of them.

So, here's a tip from a mom who has two active boys, and a measley three years of experience (only 1 1/2 dealing with toddlers).

1. Give a consequence that is gonna make them sad (possibly something tangible...spankings don't really work on Cameron, and I use them as a last resort a lot of the time).

2. Follow through. Even though I told him that we aren't going to the Home Depot as his consequence for not staying in his bed, it's still tempting to forget about it because you just love them so darn much (remember Puss in Boots from Shrek with his big eyes that you just can't resist?)

3. Give them a consequence that you don't care about. So, one that will make him/her sad, but won't bother you in the slightest. I love going to the Home Depot, and it's a chance to spend quality time with Cameron, and I gave it up. Not a good idea.

4. REWARD and PRAISE them when they've done a good job, and haven't required the use of your consequences. I forget about this A LOT! Many times I will tell Cameron if he does a certain thing that he won't be able to play with the toy he currently has in his hands, or that I'll send him to the corner. But when he listens to me, and doesn't do that act or bad behavior, I often forget to reward him or praise him for it. So, do it!

Okay, that's all my insight. What do you have?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Quiet Toys-Crayon Roll

So, I've been in a really crafty mood lately. (Actually I'm in a crafty mood all the time). But I've been looking at A LOT of quiet toys/activities/books for church for my children as well as my brother's children. I'm working on some laminated picture books of The Savior, Temples, Missionaries, Families, etc. I'm also working on activity folders, as well as some soft books. I finished a crayon roll for Cameron, Gabi, and Alex.

I looked for tutorials and such online, but couldn't find one for what I wanted specifically. So, intead of making it at least somewhat easier on myself, I decided to just figure out the entire thing on my own. And since I did, I made three of them, so I was able to figure out a better way to do certain things here and there.

So, here's the question...would you like a tutorial for this? If so, I'd be happy to post one!

Here's a picture of all of them open. I did one for regular sized crayons, and two for the tall twisty ones.

I had a blast making these, and I learned why I made them the way I did. I decided to only make pockets for eight crayons, because if you add too many more, it's just going to get bulky and that's not really what you want in your purse or church bag. I also used a button and stretchy cord for the closure instead of long ribbons. I figured they would get in the way. On the other hand, eventually the loop will lose its elasticity like a hair tie. Overall, I really like these and I like the way I did them.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cute onsie!

My friend Vickie just had a baby girl. I love crafting, so I decided to make her an outfit. I found two tutorials on Crap I've Made, one for Freezer paper stenciling, and one for a Ruffle Butt on a onsie.

My friend is really into skulls and crossbones, so I decided her baby would totally look cute in one too! I used the freezer paper stenciling tutorial for the skull and crossbones, and appliqued a little bow on it. Then I used the Ruffle Butt tutorial and put the ruffle on. I did change it a little. When I made it the FIRST time, I did it the way she did, but I thought it was a little bunchy on the inside. So the second time (on her onsie) I just serged all sides of the ruffle and let both sides show on the onsie. Still super cute. I also made a cute little bow for her. I can't wait to see pictures of her baby in it, but I just couldn't wait to post this anymore. She finally got the package, so now it's okay to post it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Happy Anniversary?

Five years ago today Clint and I were married in the Washington D.C. LDS temple. It's been a hard but good time. We have two beautiful children, two crazy children, a complex about what to do with our crazy children, stretch marks to prove we have two crazy children, and the love we share that only gets better through our trials and experiences (cue sappy love song).

Anyway, there's only one problem with this day...where's my husband? Oh yeah, he's in Africa slaving away for the military. Actually, he enjoys his time there minus the no family part.
So the question here is what to do for my anniversary? Should I go get a manicure, pedicure, massage? Should I go buy some bead stuff? Should I go to the mall for a shopping spree? Because spending Clint's hard earned money is what I do best, right?

To bad I had to spend $92 to replace the battery in our car yesterday, and spent $230 to have our window replaced in the car two days ago. Oh well, maybe next year when I have a husband to get gift for me. Now I will subject you to some pictures of our marriage that I took off of Facebook. (I realized after I posted Cameron's birthday that I could have done that).

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The birthday boy!

I'd like to post pictures of Cameron from the past three years, but all our pictures are either on CD's in storage in Montana, or on a portable hard drive in Africa with Clint. So, birthday pictures will just have to do.

A birthday cake fit for a three year old. Unfortunately, when I finally got around to taking pictures of it, the frosting and candy all had started melting. Curse this hot weather!
Cameron trying to hold up three fingers. Ethan is better at holding up fingers than Cameron. He did eventually get three fingers up.
My mom always had a tradition that the birthday kid gets the first cut of his cake, and we've carried on that tradition in our own family.
Cameron with his stash.
For some reason this kid has a new found obsession with putting his fingers and hands in his mouth. I thought that was just a baby thing, but I've been proven wrong. He's never even sucked his thumb before!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Good News

I am NOT the worst blogger in the world.

In other...well, news (not good or bad), Clint has been in Africa for about 2 1/2 weeks now. We took him down to Virginia to the Naval Station in Norfolk where he flew from. I am now living with my parents while he is gone. It's been a big help already. My parents are wonderful, and I'm so grateful to have them. I miss Clint a lot already. Cameron misses him too. He asks for Dad all the time. Unfortunately, Ethan won't remember him when he gets back. So his deployment will be about 6 months. While he is over there, even though he is Air Force, he will be doing Army and Navy budget stuff. Here are some pictures before he left.

At Virginia Beach before he left.

Jumping the waves with Cameron.

With the boys at the Air Terminal.

And finally, a picture of our little family. It was hard to let him go. But we know, he'll come back to us soon.

So, if you are interested in a crazy story about Clint leaving, then read on.

The plan was that Clint's plane was to leave for Africa on Tuesday, June 22nd. So we decided to drive down to Virginia on Sunday. Get settled into the hotel on base and have all Monday to spend together, go to the beach, etc.

Problem 1: Clint lost his Permetherine (a bug repellant treatment for his uniforms). He had to have his Lieutenent in Montana overnight some more on Friday so he could treat his uniforms on Saturday, and we could leave on Sunday.

Problem 2: The package didn't come on Saturday. We couldn't leave until Monday late morning. But all is well, it's only a 5-6 hour drive. Still gives us time to go to the beach, right?

Problem 3: We got stuck in a three hour traffic jam. Need I say more? It took us 9 whole hours to get down to Norfolk. At 7:30pm, we finally got settled in to the hotel, a little late for the beach. No biggie, Clint doesn't have to be at the Air Terminal until 7pm. We got some things done on Tuesday morning and then off to the beach we went. And we had a fantastic time, except the part where a wave hit Cameron's head to my cheek bone and gave me a black eye.

Problem 4: Sand! Ahhh! @$#%! We already checked out of the hotel. Not by choice, we had to. It was on base and we didn't have a choice. We had to shower off and get Clint to the Airport clean and dry or he would be rubbed raw by the time he got to Africa. And by the time we got back to Pennsylvania we would be too. Okay, so all beaches have showers to rinse off the sand. Good. They are all broken you say? @$%! Thanks to my rockin awesome husband, we went back to the base and took showers at the gym. The lady at the front desk didn't understand why we weren't going to work out though.

Okay, so we made it to the Air Terminal. Any more problems? You wouldn't think so. Even a four hour delay wasn't all that bad. But could we really leave it at that? Of course not.

Problem 5: While we were waiting for Clint's plane to leave, I decided I was too tired to drive back to PA that night, so I booked a hotel stay online at the Comfort Inn about 20 miles away. I started driving, 20 miles on a freeway at 1am took an hour because of traffic. Traffic at 1am? @$@%! I know I know. Relax right? Well, I got to the hotel at 2am. Planned on getting up at 8am, eating the continental breakfast and then making the trip back to PA. (There are about a million problems in this next part). Well, I got a call at 6am from some weird number. It was Clint. His plane got turned around halfway over the Atlantic Ocean. Some light came on and they had to actually turn around and fix it. He said, come pick me up at the Air Terminal. I get up and get dressed, grab a quick bite to eat for Cameron and myself and head out the door. I get to my car and find glass all over the ground. Someone had broken the back passenger door window. Everything seemed to be going wrong. I was in tears. But, it actually gets a little better. Since I was only going to be in the hotel for about 6 hours (now only 4), I only took the kids and the diaper bag in with me. I left everything else in the car, including my computer, my $500 camera, my suitcase, all our DVD's, etc. EVERYTHING! Stupid, I know. Really stupid. I've learned my lesson. But, nothing was stolen. Not one single thing in the car was touched. NOTHING! What? How is that possible? Well, I had the hotel manager call the police. He came out and filed a police report. He told me, that about 8 other cars had been broken into that night on the same street. Now, I was not in a bad area or at a cheap motel, but all kinds of people are everywhere. I like our car, but it's 13 years old. Probably the oldest car in the parking lot. A good car to break into, probably one without an alarm. WRONG. We had an alarm on our car, and probably what saved all of our stuff. So incredibly blessed!

Problem 6: I know! There are even more problems. But it really does get better. So, if your sick of reading all of the awful stuff, just remember that there is good stuff in there too. The freeways in Virginia are crazy! If you get off an exit, you'd better know the area and how to get back on, because there are no on ramps in the same place. Well, I decided to head back the same way I came from. I wasn't sure what exit I was supposed to take, and I knew how the exits were, so I was pretty worried.

Side note: My mom loves getting lost. I hate it. It gives me so much anxiety, it's really hard to handle. So, I took the exit I thought was right. Just as I was on the exit, Clint called me on someone's phone and told me it was the wrong exit. Ahh! So, I went down the road a little bit and tried to turn around and see if I could get back on the freeway. No such luck. I turned around, but what I found was that I was headed towards a completely different freeway. I had no choice, but to get on the freeway and just choose which direction to go, East or West. I had no idea. I was completely turned around. So, I just picked a direction. Then outloud in my broken window car, I said "Heavenly Father! We've been promised that we won't be given trials that we can't handle. And I am telling you now, I cannot handle this anymore." I'm crazy, it's true. But, I decided to take the very next exit. While I was on the exit, some Navy guy had taken the curve too fast and spun his car around and crashed it. I thought, "Okay, at least I'm better off than that guy." I got off the exit, and I balled, literally. I was on the road right outside of the gate I needed to get on base and go to the air terminal. Now, you can't honestly say Heavenly Father doesn't answer our prayers.

So, I got to the gate, and I was actually shaking and my eyes were red from crying. To get onto this base, you have to have a pass for your car, not just a military ID. I had one from the day before, but it was only good for the day. The base cop said "What's the problem?" "Well, I just need to go pick up my husband from the air terminal and my pass is expired." (Voice quivering) "Why are you so nervous?" (Like I was up to something). I about flipped out. I got myself under control. "I am NOT nervous. I an UPSET, because someone just broke my window and my husband's plane just broke and got turned around." He looked at me like I was crazy. He said. "Okay, calm down. Go ahead." So, I went and picked Clint up, and I actually got to spend an extra day with him. We went out to lunch on the Navy's money, and then went out to a nice dinner. Clint put tarp over my window so I could make it back home. After we dropped Clint off for the second time, I decided I couldn't stay another night in Virginia, and I was going to drive home. But I needed to take a nap first. But where? I didn't even want to drive at all before I slept, I was THAT tired. And for good reason, considering everything that had happened. So I took a nap for about 1 1/2 hours in the parking lot of the Air Terminal. I just laid Ethan and Cameron down with me. When I woke up, I saw policemen towing a car behind me. They do that when you don't have a pass for your vehicle or it's EXPIRED. So I high-tailed it out of there and started driving. Halfway through I was getting really sleepy, so I stopped and bought a five hour energy. When I got home, I just pumped my milk and threw it away. But, I made it safely home, finally!

That, morning I got another call from Clint. He asked me if I was still in Virginia. I said no, and he explained that his plane got turned around again with the same problem. He and everyone else on the plane was pretty upset. That night, they brought in a new plane, and they made it to Africa.

That's it. Congrats if you actually made it to the end. Not sure I would have if I was reading it. So, long story short, we ran in to lots of crazy things on our way, but everything turned out fine. It felt like everything that went wrong had a distinct reason for happening. Everything was backwards, but it was right for the situation we were in. We can definitely see Heavenly Father's hand in our lives.

So, remind me to post about our trip to the beach, the playground, and the Fourth of July so I don't have anymore of this binge posting.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

WARNING-Poop in this Post!

I warned you. If you don't want to see poop, don't look.
Cameron won't tell us when he has so poop. It drives me crazy! He will pee in the potty all the time and rarely has pee accidents anymore. Put poop-well that's a whole other story. The only time I could ever get him to poop in the his potty seat or the toilet was when I saw him grabbing his butt.
Well, today we had run out of underwear. It was ALL dirty. I was not about to put a diaper on him because we all know where that leads...Regression! So, he got pants and only pants.
Then it happened.
  • I smelled something totally rank.
  • I asked him if he needed to poop.
  • He said "I need to go poop!" (a little late)
  • I looked down his pants-and there it was. A mudslide of poop all the way down his pants and on his sock.
  • I made him walk to the bathroom, cleaned him up, and put him in the tub.
  • I walked back to the room I was in, and right there on the floor was another surprise for me-a Racquetball sized turd right in the doorway. It had fallen out of his pants and onto the floor! Lucky for you I didn't take a picture of that.'s your picture of poop. Kid "blowouts" are way more disgusting than baby blowouts. Just in case your wondering, this isn't the first time I've found poop balls on my carpet, just the first time I decided to write about it!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Today is Cinco de Mayo. Many people are dancing and celebrating in beautiful weather.
Here in Montana, I decided to stay inside today. (We get snow in June) But it's okay, because I'm wearing something warm, and something special.
Clint and I recently went through the rest of my brother, David's, box of books and sweaters that my mom left here. It was hard to get rid of anything, and we kept a lot of his sweaters. (We actually haven't gotten rid of any of his sweaters yet, so if any of my siblings want some sweaters, let me know). David wore sweaters all the time, even in the summer. And today, I decided to wear one.
It makes me miss him so much.
We didn't wash them yet, so I take in his smell.

I know that it isn't his birthday, or the anniversary of his death, but I've been thinking about him lately, and I wanted to feel close to him. I love my brother and hope he is doing well where he is.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

In Memory of Tiger

You were a beloved member of our family.

Cameron took you EVERYWHERE, cried to you, peed on you, vomited on you (a couple of times), ripped your Ty tag off, but most of all, he loved you. We're very sorry we left you at the doctor's office. When we called back, they couldn't find you. I'm sure you have another new loving home with a child who will love you, but not as much as Cameron, because you probably gave that poor little kid Croupe. Cameron has been crying for you the past 5+ days. You are loved and will be missed.

No one could ever replace you, we know that. But if you loved Cameron as much as we do, I'm sure you would want him to be happy. He did in fact cuddle you every night since he was about six months old, and a lot during the day too! It must have been hard to breathe sometimes, but I bet you enjoyed your time with Cameron. To him you were Real. I'm sure some fairy has taken you and made you real, and even though you will miss Cameron and he will miss you, we are happy you are happy (see the Velveteen Rabbit). Don't worry, we told Cameron you went on a Safari. Because we don't want Cameron to miss you too much, we decided that your twin brother from Ebay would make him happy too. Isn't it weird that his name is Tiger too? Thank you for all the time you spent with our Cameron, and for loving him so much.

P.S. Sorry you have such a boring name. This family isn't really creative that way. Our children will likely grow up without nicknames. Someday someone will ask our kids what their nicknames are, and they will have to say "well, sometimes I was called stinker, monster, or crazy kid" Not really unique...oh well.

Friday, March 26, 2010

I've got a biter

(Picture from via google)

When it comes to my children, Cameron and Ethan are polar opposites in just about every category.

Cameron was never much of a biter, thank goodness. He only bit me a couple of times, and that was it.

Ethan on the other hand, bites all the time. I'm not sure why. Maybe he thinks it's comfortable. Seriously, he bites me and keeps his jaw clenched. Owww!

Since I know many of you have had this problem, I am asking for your help. What suggestions do you have to get him to stop biting me? Please help!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I just can't help myself.

I could nibble on these toes all day long!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What We've Been Up To...

Not much of anything. But we love to play!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


We just took a trip to Moses Lake, Washington last weekend to visit Clint's brother Cody and his wife Shauna. Clint and Lance, Cody's old mission companion (he's like a brother to Clint and Cody) spent literally all day helping Cody remodel part of his house, and the next day they all went Pheasant hunting. It was fun to see everyone, and I got some extra help with the kids--score!

Left to right: Lance, Cody, Cameron, Shauna, Ethan, Bekah, Clint

Cody, Lance, and Clint

A picture I took on the drive-I think this is Coeur d'alene, Idaho
While we were loading the car up for our trip, we were all outside, so we put Ethan in his snowsuit and he slept on the front porch. I felt so bad, but he was comfortable and it really was only a little chilly outside anyway.

The rest are just random pictures.

Monday, March 1, 2010

2 Months

Ethan turned two months a week ago, but after being in the hospital and having lots of needles poking him, we decided to wait a week for his well-check.

Here are his stats:
Weight: 12 lbs. 5 oz. (75th percentile!)
Height: 23.4 inches (also 75th percentile)
Head Circumference: 50th percentile

Our boy is growing fast! He is so stinking cute and smiles and laughs a lot. He loves loves loves his older brother. Cameron loves Ethan too. He is so protective of him, and loves to give him hugs and kisses. He hates to see Ethan cry and tells him it's okay and pats his cheeks.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Blessing Day

Clint blessed Ethan at church today. We were supposed to do it the first Sunday in February, but I ended up getting sick and just about everyone we asked to be in the circle had to work because of the base inspections going on the whole month. Oh well.

And just to show you my mad sewing skills...I made his outfit and booties myself.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Home From the Hospital

So, a few days ago, Ethan started getting a cold-so did Cameron and I. But then he started getting a fever, and let me tell you, I thought he was already fussy! We took him into the insta care on Saturday morning around 8am.

Side note: the night before, we took both kids to the movie theater with us and watched Avatar at 10:30pm. Cameron does really good in the movies now, and we figured he would just sleep anyway. NOT A CHANCE. He stayed awake during the whole movie! And we didn't get home until 2:30am. So getting him up at 7:30 the next morning, you can understand why he wouldn't stop throwing tantrums all day-which I felt really bad about because he had to go to the babysitter. Okay, that was a really long side note. Now, on to the rest.

They took Ethan's temperature and it was high, so they checked him out and couldn't find anything like an ear infection or things that you could see easily, so by 9:00 we were in the hospital, and Ethan was in one of those cages they call cribs. He'd gotten some tylenol by this point and was doing better, but still seemed like something was hurting him. They took some blood cultures, some fluid from his nose, and a urine test. They gave him some antibiotics, and then we waited and waited and waited. And then we waited some more. We waited for 2 days. In the meantime, every test came back negative, and so they gave him some more antibiotics to last another 48 hours. They sent us home on Monday around 11am. They said it was probably just viral infection ( I'm guessing from the cold he was getting).

All cozied up on Mommy. This is where he preferred to be, pretty much the entire time. And I don't blame him.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Race Car Display

Unfortunately we missed the Home Depot kid's project in January, which makes me sad because it was so stinking cute. But can you blame us with a two week old baby? Anyway, we made it back there this month. Cameron loved his new race car display. He loves cars and so this is perfect for him. Right now he is on a Cars (the movie) kick. He already has Lightning McQueen or Liking McQueen as he calls it, Doc Hudson, Dinoco aka. The King (we never saw the movie when we got this car for him and didn't know his name, so we just called him Dinoco, and it stuck), and a green Vitoline car that looks like one of the cars from the movie, so he calls it Vitoline.

Anyway...he went with his little friend and had a blast, then we got some apple pies from McDonalds on the way home. We had a great time.

P.S. We were having so much fun helping Cameron make his Display, that when it was time to leave I almost left Ethan in his car seat in a Home Depot Cart! Ahhh! I forgot for a second that I have 2 kids now.