Tuesday, September 29, 2015


{Pictures from November 2014; Jayne age 3 months, Kate age 2 years 8 months}

Kate-isms, collected in February 2015, age three years.
  • Says "smoo-ey" for "smoothie." I hope we call them smooeys for the rest of time.
  • Breakfast is "bweksis"
  • Thanks and thank you are "Ganks" and "gank you"
  • Think is "gink." And she's been "ginking" a lot lately, as in, "I gink Jayne wants a toy."
  • Uses almost exclusively female pronouns. All boys (and inanimate objects) are "she" and "her." I get a kick out of it every time she refers to Jay as "she".
  • All three of her baby dolls are named Jayne. All three of them are always naked.
  • Is a total Daddy's girl. I'll say, "Come here, my Kate!" And she'll say, "No, Daddy is my Kate!" So, yes, she's dissing me, but she's so cute with her language that I just can't be sad about it. 
  • Move is "woove" and movie is "woovie"
  • When I put on her shirt, she says, "Where are me? There I are!" as I pull it down over her head
  • She likes to drape blankets over her head or across her shoulder and say, "I'm Jesus pwincess!" 
  • Jay often sings her songs and changes the words, like the theme song from New Girl: "Who's that girl? Who's that girl? It's Kate!" And Kate will change a few words of her own: "Who's dat goh? Who's dat goh? Kate's a pwincess!"
  • Upside down is up-sub-ide down
  • Frisbee is "kwisbee"
  • Tomato and potato are both "pimayo"
  • She randomly and frequently comes up to me and says, "I wuv you, Mom," with a sweet little smile on her face. This is often accompanied by a hug.
  • "The doctor feel me better."
  • If her nose is runny, she'll say, "I have a wunny wip." (runny lip)

Kate's stats at 2 yrs 9 months:
  • Height: 37.8 inches; 74th percentile
  • Weight: 33 lb 3 oz; 80th percentile

Jayne stats at 4 months:
  • Height: 24.8 inches; 63rd percentile
  • Weight: 14 lb 13 oz; 63rd percentile
  • Head circumference: 41.5 cm, 76th percentile

{Jayne started getting hungry during our photo shoot and chewed on her fingers, so of course Kate had to follow suit.}

Monday, September 21, 2015

Jayne's First Birthday

A few days before Jayne's first birthday, we went to Provo so Jay could go to a conference and I could spend time with my mom and sister.

We decided to have a little party for Jayne.

She opened presents,

Played with her new toys,

And had the opportunity to eat a cupcake.

To say she wasn't interested is an understatement--she wouldn't even touch it. Who is this child?

We tried again the next morning, giving her just a slice of one (Jay didn't see the point in letting a perfectly good cupcake go to waste).

She was slightly more interested this time, even poked at it a little, but she ultimately wanted nothing to do with it. She wouldn't even eat the raspberry on top, and she loves berries.

I fed her some pureed carrots, and I tried sneaking in a couple bites of cake on the spoon between mouthfuls of carrot, but Jayne raked the chocolate goodness off of her tongue with clawed fingers.

Happy birthday, you adorable little squirt. We love you.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Physics: 1, Lindsay: 0

Potty Training Tips: Free Printable Disney Frozen Potty Chart with Elsa and Anna #PUBigKid
{The potty chart we used for Kate. She filled it with stickers after a few days and then didn't need any more tangible reinforcers. Frozen potty chart for the win!}

Kate has been officially potty-trained for a few months now, which is awesome. All I really have to say about this is that, for us, waiting until she was three was the perfect choice. I have several friends who have potty trained their kids before they're two for various reasons, and while the kids generally do pretty well, some of them are only, like, 90% potty trained for the next year. Which means my friends are cleaning up a mess or two a week. Kate has had about four accidents total, and all pretty minor. I'd much rather deal with diapers than mop up mess, so the wait was worth it.

But back when Kate was still in diapers, anytime I changed a stinky one, I'd tie it up in a grocery bag and toss it out on the back porch. Then, when Jay or I took out the garbage, we'd gather up any baggies on the porch and put them in our dumpster. Which was fine.

Except for the fact that, in an attempt to be efficient, I would sometimes scoop up all the little bags with diapers in them into the same hand as the much larger kitchen garbage bag. This would enable me to hold open our dumpster lid with my free hand so I could toss all the various-sized bags of trash inside in one fluid motion. 


Except that I'm short and the trash bag was often heavy, so I'd give it a little swing to flip it up and over. This worked great for the large trash bag. But those smaller bags? The ones clutched in the same hand as the heavy one? The ones I unwittingly spun at the same velocity as the longer bag with more mass?

They smacked me in the face.

Now, it's embarrassing enough to admit I've smacked myself in the face with grocery bags full of poopy diapers. But it's even more embarrassing to admit that this was not a one-time occurrence. It wasn't even a two-time occurrence. 

You guys. This happened several times

Somehow, I forgot the laws of motion and physics and torque and rotation and whatever other laws God put into place that make sacks of poop spin faster than sacks of garbage, and I got a literal one-two to the face from squishy, poopy diaper filled bags. On multiple occasions.

So I guess you could say that Kate being potty trained was a win on more than one front for me. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Potty Humor

{Pictures taken in April; Kate 3 years 1 month, Jayne 7 months. Beautiful dresses from my Aunt Annette.}

Several months ago, the girls both had stinky diapers at the same time. Jay and I did the old divide-and-conquer, and I went over to retrieve the wet wipes.

Me: Jayne is poopy.
Kate: I'm pee pee.
Me: So Jayne's poopy and you're pee pee?
Kate: Yep.
Jay, to me: That makes sense--Kate is number one, and Jayne is number two.

Nothing like a little potty humor on a Sunday morning.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


When my parents built their cabin, they positioned it in such a way to preserve as many aspen trees on the lot as possible. They envisioned dappled shade, dancing leaves, and the sound of wind shushing through the quakies. In a good breeze, the quaking leaves of aspen trees sound like a spring shower.

We love the feeling of being nestled in those trees up on the mountain. 

One of the trees nearest to the house, a giant with high-reaching branches, hasn't been faring well the past few years. Its trunk is slowly dying, and it's been leaning precariously in the direction of the cabin. It still had some life left in it, but with the crazy windstorms they sometimes have on the mountain, my parents decided it wasn't worth the risk to keep it.

My dad recruited Jay to help take it down. My dad climbed a ladder and tied a strap toward the top of the tree. He may not look all that far off the ground, but when you consider that Jay is 6'5", it adds a bit of perspective--he was about 30 feet up there.

They chained the other end of the strap to a pine tree across the driveway and winched it tight so the dying aspen would fall away from the cabin. 

At around this point, some of my parents' neighbors who also have land on the mountain happened to be driving by, and they stopped and lent a hand.

All of us wives watched from a safe distance in slightly worried and amused interest as Gil wielded the chainsaw and Jay, Kim, Randon, and my dad pulled on the straps and chains to guide the tree down in the right direction.

It landed with the crunch and snap of living wood as the weaker branches crumpled under the weight of the trunk.

The whole thing went off without a hitch, and after 30 minutes of chainsawing and moving sections of trunk and branches, the area was clear. Only a fresh stump and a few twigs with fluttering leaves scattered across the driveway bore witness to the noisy afternoon's events. 

I'm grateful for the capable men in my life who know how to work with their hands. And I'm glad to be the one taking the pictures.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Conquering Summer Affective Disorder

{At the Brian Head cabin over fourth of July weekend. The weather was stormy and glorious.}

Other than my three and a half winters in Provo, UT during university, I haven't lived in a place with "cold." And other than my two winters in Portland, OR, I haven't lived in a place with "wet." But after my ten summers in St. George, UT, five summers in San Antonio, and three summers in Las Vegas, I've had some experience with "hot." And believe me when I say that heat can cramp your style every bit as much as cold can. 

{Kate and Grandpa pulling stickery weeds}

Every year, around mid-May, little tentacles of anxiety and depression slink out of the crate they've been hibernating in since the previous September. They reek of mothballs and get agitated when the temperature climbs. Summer brings soaring electricity bills, blazing sunshine, and heat that radiates off the concrete even at midnight. The children's car seats get hot enough to burn, and I avoid the oven like the furnace that it is. 

One year in Texas, I got so homesick for fall and cooler temperatures that I wept. Summer in San Antonio was hot and sticky, the air so thick I choked when I breathed. I loved Texas, but I felt claustrophobic sometimes. There was nowhere to go to escape the summer temperatures, no mountains to drive to that offered relief. In fact, summer exacerbated the Texas claustrophobia that always lurked just beneath my contentment: we couldn't get a break from Texas, even if we wanted to. We lived six hours or more from even the borders of neighboring states. I felt like Texas had swallowed me whole, and I didn't much like being digested. 

But then we moved to Las Vegas, where the sun bakes the acres of asphalt and kills all but the ugliest of plants. I still don't think it's pretty here, and maybe I never will, but there is beauty in the lives we live, regardless of where we are. And Las Vegas, for all its faults, has proximity to mountains, my parents, and my parents' mountain cabins. 

So, despite the staggering three-digit temperatures, Las Vegas summers have been bearable (if not always enjoyable). A quick weekend to the mountains, where the flora is green and the temperatures are 30-40 degrees lower, breaks up the cumulative despair of the scorch of summer.

Even without our frequent summer trips, though, this summer has felt mild. May was positively beautiful and even brought chilly mornings. June and July were hot, but the sunny days were peppered with an abnormally high number of desert thunderstorms. August has roasted us, but the knowledge that summer only loses steam from this point on has always made me patient in my wait for late September. 

I think the secret to endurance is taking a break. I'm well aware of the irony in that statement, but it's true. Fleeing to the mountains once or twice a month keeps my self-diagnosed seasonal affective disorder at bay until the joy of crisp fall hammers the last few nails into my cratefuls of heat anxiety.

It's been a beautiful summer.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Kate's Husband

{Kate at Kolob, age 3 1/2}

A conversation I had with Kate a couple weeks ago: 

Kate: Winder is mad at me.

Me: Who?

Kate: Winder. He's the oldest boy I never seen.

Me: Who is he?

Kate: He's my husband. He's my baby doll's daddy. 

Me: Tell me more about him.

Kate: He's a friend and a cousin, and he's actually a boy, and he likes to eat people--he likes to not share my food. He likes to eat it all gone. My lunch and my breakfast and my dinner. All my food. And my snacks and my fruit. And he eats it all gone. And he won't share.


I'm not sure where Kate developed these ideas about husbands, but I sure hope there's time for us to reeducate her before she gets married.

Jay, it would probably help our cause if you stopped eating all our food.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Kate's First Day of Preschool

In the three months since we registered for Ms. Shannon's preschool, Kate has said at least weekly, "I am going to preschool in September!" 

And when the long-awaited day finally arrived last Tuesday, I was surprised at how excited and how sad I felt. It's only two hours twice a week, and it's at her best bud's house, and it's taught by my dear friend, but it's really the first time she's set out by herself and had an agenda of her own instead of occupying mine.

Kate's preschool "homework" assignments have been great for us already--her sticker chart helps me remember to read to her, and Ms. Shannon's suggestions for activities give us good ideas for how we can implement learning at home. If only all Kate's homework in the future will be as useful and practical as these small projects are. 

{Kate and her teacher, Ms. Shannon}

Kate fell and fractured her wrist two days before school started, so she went to school with a splint on last week. She got her cast (bright pink, of course) last Friday. Luckily, her wrist doesn't hurt her, and she doesn't let her cast slow her down.

It can be a bit paradoxical to feel old compared to her baby sister but small compared to her parents, and Kate often says, "I'm big AND widdwe, Mom," when I call her my big girl.

She's little enough I can still carry her in my arms, but big enough to go to school and have a few small responsibilities of her own. 

We love our big little (and little big) girl.