Sunday, January 30, 2011


Happy girl with a big smile!

Amy vs. Avocado (before we got a high chair)

Amy vs. Carrots

Amy playing with the balloon at Grammy's

Amy's first experience with the snow (obviously not a happy camper, poor thing)

Oh, no.

If I didn't think it was obnoxious, I would fill a few lines with frown-y faces.

I totally spaced and forgot to update this last week. Well, lesson learned, keep on the ball.

Amy has been eating so well! We actually started her on solids...two weeks ago? I was planning on waiting til she was actually six months, but seemed so mesmerized every time she watched us eat, she was grabbing for the, I decided to bite the bullet and give it a shot.

She LOVES it! After a minor disagreement with an avocado, she has really picked up on the mechanics of eating to the point where she not only opens her mouth (somewhat greedily, in my opinion) but also will grab the spoon and shove it in her mouth. It's so cute! I'm hoping that with her getting additional food (as this is a supplement and not a replacement for nursing her yet) that she'll start putting some weight on. I know she's thin, but I would really like for her to start gaining more. Plus, then she'll fit better in her clothes. The poor kid is STILL wearing (some) newborn and 0-3 month clothes. And she'll be six months old on Thursday.

It's so hard to believe that it's been six months already! The time really does fly by. I love being a mom, and I'm glad there's a decent learning curve! I haven't done anything awful yet, so that's definitely a good thing.

I'll post another update this week, and I'm going to make a post with pictures.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Busy week!

It has been a fun and busy week. My goodness!

We had a joint birthday party for Brett and my best friend Sue this past weekend. It was so much fun! It was us, Sue and Justin, and Liz and Dustin. We had delicious food--stuffed bacon-wrapped chicken, homemade mashed potatoes, and salad. And for dessert: red velvet cake. I still need to get the pictures off my camera, since I didn't realize the card wasn't in the camera when I took the pictures. So I'll post those when I have time to pull them from the camera.

The cake was so delicious! It turned out really well. The color was uniform (minus a couple of spots that still looked a little on the brown side). It tasted amazing. It went together well. The only issue I had was with the frosting. It called for a cooked flour paste, which I've never done before. I was using flour from the cannery, which is I think is why I had trouble with the frosting. I beat it with the mixer FOREVER and it still had little lumps in it. :( I used it anyway, and ended up having to make a second batch to decorate the cake with. I thought maybe the first batch was lumpy because I cooked the flour paste for too long, so I cooked the second batch for less time. Well, THAT batch turned out super runny! Fortunately, I had powedered sugar on hand, so I added a bunch and it stiffened up. Since it was just to do a little decorating with, it didn't alter the taste of the cake. But wow, that was frustrating. Overall, though, it was a good experience. My new tools made it so easy! I think my favorites so far are my turntable and my icing...contraption....from Pampered Chef. Fabulous.

I've been going down to Mom's quite a bit lately to help her and Heather out. I love spending so much time with them! It really is a bright spot in my day. Granted, we don't do anything earthshaking or fabulous, but just sitting and hanging out with each other really makes me happy. I took Chandra to the airport a few days ago (her first time flying!), so Brett, Amy, and I are spending the night at Grammy's Saturday so I'm on hand to help get Heather ready for church on Sunday. And we're celebrating Brett's birthday (round 2!). I'm really excited. I'm actually making another cake for this weekend: German Chocolate. Yum. So I'm actually ahead of my goal!

Speaking of goals, I'm really doing well keeping my goals so far. My exercise is right on track. I've completed all my writing assignments associated with my novel on time. Blogging is on track (as of this post). And I'm doing well getting to know other people!

I attended our Relief Society meeting on Wednesday. It was actually a lot of fun! We're making sleeping mats for the homeless by crocheting them out of plastic bags. It ends up being a great insulator, and since you crochet these really loosely, it's also cushy. I wish I could say we came up with the idea, but we're actually joining several other churches throughout the country who are doing this. A couple of the sisters taught me the basic crochet...stitch? I can actually crochet one. It's going well so far, but it's surprisingly tiring for my hands.

I also spent some time at the Burns Recovered Support Group office on Wednesday. (Wed. was way busy!) I was there for....2 1/2 hours labeling, stuffing, and sealing envelopes for upcoming fundraisers. It wasn't bad, and Amy was so well-behaved! I used a new carry with my woven wrap, so she was high up on my back and could see everything. She stayed awake for 45 minutes to an hour, and then laid her little head down on my back and went to sleep. It was precious.

Tonight I'm going to a "Girls' Night In" at one of the RS sister's houses. It sounds like it'll be fun, so I'm really looking forward to it. I'll post another update soon! (And I promise I'll post some pictures, too!)

Monday, January 10, 2011

I hate being sick.

Well, yay. I've gotten to have my first experience of being sick as a mom. Not fun. At all.

I'd had a bit of a cough for a while, but unfortunately all hell broke loose over the New Year. The three of us traveled up to Ohio for the holiday to visit with Brett's parents, his brother Bodie and his family, and Brett's uncle David, aunt Gina, and cousin Bradley. It was so much fun!.....Except for the whole sick part.

So, in addition to my hacking cough, I also had extreme chest congestion, head congestion, and runny nose. I had a low-grade fever for a brief amount of time. I started feeling a bit better on Wednesday evening into Thursday morning. Then Thursday afternoon, I started having pain in my ears. It started out pretty mild, but within a couple of hours was excruciating. Once Brett got home from some errands he'd been running with Amy, we decided to go to an urgent care center. Good thing we did, because in addition to an upper respiratory infection, I'd managed to get an ear infection. I'm on antibiotics now, and feel a thousand times better.

Amy has also had a touch of a cough and a runny nose, but she has fortunately avoided any worse symptoms. Brett has gotten it now, and despite feeling poorly for several days, doesn't seem to be getting any worse. I'm looking forward to all of us feeling better.

Unfortunately, I also seem to have passed my illness to Bodie's family. I hope they don't suffer from it for long. I still feel bad about that, although of course, that was never my intention. I wasn't really sick when we left, but my condition deteriorated rather quickly. Ha, that sounds so medical of me.

Anyway, it seems like we're all on the upswing, which is a very good thing! This mom does not like being sick, especially since I have an infant to care for now.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Goals for the new year

I've always had a hard time setting tangible goals. I'm a really vague sort of person when it comes to goal setting, probably because that's so much easier than figuring out exactly what I want. So, in an effort to end that particular habit of mine, I entered a contest on the writing website I belong to. For the contest I had to write a letter to myself, stating my goals for the coming year. Part of the requirement is that the goals have to be both believable and feasible. I'm posting the letter here in order to hold myself more accountable. The more public I make my goals, the more likely I am to keep them. I hope.

Dear Me:

You have had quite the year. While not spending a large amount of time online, you've brainstormed, you've helped your husband work on his novels, and you've made some progress on your autobiography. You had a baby, and you're learning how to be a great mom. Good work! There is a lot of work to be done this year, though, so pay attention.

First, you need to lose the baby weight. You have the means to work out, but you definitely slack in that department. I know how much you hate to get sweaty, but it's a fact of life, honey. Suck it up. Doing Pilates will not only help you lose weight and get rid of the tummy, but it will also help your back, which in turn will ease up the pain on your knees. Amy takes long enough naps that you can do a half hour of Pilates and shower before she wakes up. Three times a week, you are going to put down the computer and sweat a little. It's for your own good.

Second, you are going to write your novel. You're already working on this, having joined a group for this specific purpose. You will read every lesson and complete every assignment, not just in the hopes of winning the contest, but so that you can finally finish a novel. By following this plan, you will have your first draft finished on September 15, 2011. You cannot compromise on this. It will take a lot of work, but you are more than capable if you put your mind to it.

Third, you are going to increase your baking skills. You love to bake, and for Christmas you got everything you need to make beautiful cakes. You will not be lazy and settle for cakes that look "okay." It only takes a little extra effort on your part to make them truly gorgeous. You will bake at least one cake every month that you have never made before. And then you will clean up the kitchen. There is no excuse for leaving it a disaster, even if you are sick of being in the kitchen by that point.

Fourth, you will journal/blog more. It may not seem like you have much going on, as you are a stay-at-home mom now, but there is always something to write about. Blogging will help get you into the habit of writing, whether you have the illusive "inspiration" or not. Therefore, you will blog at least once a week. This is also a good opportunity to be more introspective. A blog post does not have to be about your daily or weekly activities. You have feelings and opinions like everyone else. Express them.

Fifth, you will be more engaged with the people around you. You tend to be reserved and withdrawn when you don't know many people or you feel like you don't fit in with a group. That is just ridiculous. You have plenty of things in common with other people. You can carry a conversation well. You are friendly, compassionate, and genuinely interested in others. There is no excuse for your lack of interaction with others. To this end, you will attend the women's group at church on a monthly basis. You will also look for a mother's group in your area so that you can get to know women with young children. Not only will this be beneficial for your daughter in the long run, this can also help you better acclimate to your new role. I know it has been difficult these past few months to go from working full time to being at home instead. By being around other people, you can counteract your feelings of loneliness and isolation. You can also do this by volunteering more. You have plenty of time. There are plenty of opportunities, especially with your local support group for burn survivors. You will contact the head of the support group and express your desire to volunteer, and you will assist her with at least four different activities this year.

These five goals are easily attainable. Stop wasting so much time watching movies and playing on the Internet. By being more active and involved in your life, you will feel better and be a more engaging person. Your daughter needs you. If not for you, then do it for her. You have the potential to really have a dynamite year. So go after it!