Valentimes Day Giveaway

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!

Inez still calls it “ValenTIMES Day” and I find it so cute each time she says it that I never seem to correct her on it. Someday I will, but not soon.

Having said that, who wants some cute Sugar Pea tags for all your valentimes?

Here’s the deal: There are four ways to enter the giveaway. (Do all of them and you’ll have four chances to win.)

  1. Leave a comment here.
  2. Post a link to the giveaway on your blog.
  3. Post a link to the giveaway on Facebook.
  4. Tweet a link to the giveaway on Twitter.

For options 2-4, be sure to let me know that you’ve entered so that I know how many times to count you in.

This giveaway is going to last until Monday night, Feb. 1st and will be announced Tuesday morning.

Note: The tags pictured above will be the ones given away, but there are many other adorably cute and lovely tags in the Sugar Pea shop, so be sure to check them out.

On your mark, get set, post! Valentimes a wastin’.

My Name is Olive

I’m ten weeks old and I like to blow bubbles.

 

Come on. Rise up.

“You can’t get to wonderful without passing through alright.”
~ Bill Withers …obviously referring to Holly (wonderful) and me (alright).

“Great music does not just make us feel good. It means something. It makes us understand. It makes us happy.”
~ Lukas Foss …obviously referring to this song.

“Hold on a little longer. You can do this! You are part of a special generation. You were prepared and preserved to live at this important time in the existence of our beautiful planet earth. You have a celestial pedigree and therefore have all the necessary talents to make your life an eternal success story.”
~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf …obviously referring to all of us. We CAN do this.

Come on. Rise up.

Now I’m a Believer

Olive loves to be swaddled. She sleeps so well for me when she’s tucked in tight. Which helps me sleep better. Which helps me to be a happier mommy. Which has brought us such luck and fortune that we now swim around in a vault of gold coins.

Just kidding. That last part is not true. Plus, can you imagine how dirty that would be?  Ew.

However, I was not always a swaddle-wise mother…

Back-story time!  (Anyone else’s kids watch Phineas and Ferb?)

A day or two after Olive’s birth, one of my midwives recommended the book, The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp. Unfortunately for me and my sanity, I didn’t immediately pick up a copy.

A few years before that, I read a blog post by Stephanie that was all about swaddling. It sounded interesting to me at the time and I decided that, with my next baby, I would give it a shot. 

So, once Olive arrived, I revisited Stephanie’s post and gave swaddling a try. In re-reading her post, I noticed that she mentioned the same book that my midwife had recommended to me. Still, I didn’t rush out for a copy. Why, Holly? Why?

Even with Stephanie’s step-by-step instructions, my swaddling efforts weren’t quite working.  Olive kept wriggling down into her blanket, which would cover up her face. This left me feeling uneasy every time she napped.  I’m not the only mother in the world that checks to see if her napping newborn is still breathing, am I? I knew the blanket-over-the-face napping was not going to cut it long-term.

At my six-week check-up, my midwife again brought up the book Happiest Baby on the Block and swaddling.  Finally, it sunk in.  That same day, I reserved a copy at the library.  I noticed they also had a DVD, so I put both on hold.  Don’t judge me because seriously, I do not have much free time these days.  And if I did have a rare free moment, and in that free moment, I started to read, I would fall asleep immediately.  Plus I’m not a great reader, despite all my efforts and desires that I have to be a great reader.  I’m actually jealous of my friends that read a lot (Brooke and Melissa, I’m talking about you.  Oh and Courtney, you too.).

So, (luckily) the DVD arrived first. Dave and I watched it. In AWE. 

The author/pediatrician has a few tricks up his sleeve to calm crying babies, and swaddling is just one of them.  Now, don’t get me wrong, Olive has been a really, really good baby for me.  But it would have been a much smoother transition after birth if I had followed these techniques.

So, for those of you who are pregnant, who plan on being pregnant, or who are about to get accidentally pregnant, read this book.  I’d recommend reading it (or watching the DVD–I won’t judge) before baby actually makes his or her debut.

Look at that face! Is there any doubt that she loves the swaddle?

Anyway. It’s taken me longer to come around to the swaddle than it should have.

A lot longer.

But now, finally, I’m a beliver.

Dedicate and Arise

Earlier this afternoon, after returning from church, Holly and I took a few minutes together and read Elder Scott’s October 2009 General Conference talk, “To Acquire Spiritual Guidance.”

Let me stop right there and answer your question. The answer is yes. We are super righteous.

Anyway, the message is amazing (of course) and it’s full of inspiring goodness, but one passage really stood out to me as I read it. It’s this quote that Elder Scott used from John Taylor:

We are SO righteous.

“Joseph Smith, upwards of forty years ago, said to me: ‘Brother Taylor, you have received the Holy Ghost. Now follow the influence of that Spirit, and it will lead you into all truth, until by and by, it will become in you a principle of revelation.’ Then he told me never to arise in the morning without bowing before the Lord, and dedicating myself to him during that day.

Every morning. First, bow and dedicate. Then, arise.

This makes so much sense to me right now. I seem to get so easily lost in the bustle of the day. Every day. I keep forgetting what I’m here for. Some days, it’s like I suffer from short-term memory loss.

“Ok, who am I and what am I doing with this life again?”

You know that adage about how airplanes are off course 99 percent of the time?  Apparently, flights aren’t straight shots. The pilot has to make course corrections repeatedly throughout the flight in order to keep the plane flying toward its destination.

That’s us too, right? We are those planes, those pilots. We’re off course 99% of the time.

I know I am. And that’s what the quote is about. Life is so full of distractions that if you want to get anywhere, you just have to rededicate yourself every day. And that’s what prayer is, right? That’s what personal revelation is. They’re our way of making those necessary course corrections. Every day. Every morning.

So. If you are having one of those days (years?), and feeling just hopelessly lost, I say:

Calm down.

Of course you’re off course. Nobody expected otherwise.

Just wake up, bow, dedicate yourself, and arise.

course 99 percent of the time. Every flight from one place
to another requires a continual series of course corrections to keep the plane flying toward its destination.

And then do it again tomorrow.

An Early Morning Photo Sesh

Olive is by far my easiest model.

I don’t have to tell her to look at the camera a million times like I do with Inez or Gwen.

She also doesn’t ask me why I don’t have/use a “wooden model,” like Inez has asked on a number of occasions. That girl is way too cool and/or annoyed to be posing for me these days.

She gives me a range of expressions all within a minute or two.

She can’t run away from me, even if she wanted to.

So it’s perfectly acceptable to have a gajillion pictures of her when she’s only two months old, right?

Olive at Two Months

So there is this project I’m doing that I got from good ol’ Martha. Basically I take Olive’s picture once a month, wearing the same 12 month onesie (her, not me).  I know this doesn’t look like a 12 month onesie, but I assure you it is.  Then when she turns one, I find some cool frame with 12 spots and put all her pictures in it that I have taken over the first year.  It’s a good thing.

One month

Three months

Four months

Five months

Six months

Seven months

Eight months

Coming Out of the Holiday Haze

Wow. It’s been awhile. We have been a lit-tle slow getting back into the swing of things after the holidays. We were a little rusty coming into 2010, but here are a few things that have been occupying our lives for the past month or so.

Lots of puzzles.

Lots of brownies.

Nasty sicknesses and ear infections which left this girl hard of hearing for a short time.

By the way, who knew that laying in bed for a few days would produce one of the worst snarls EVER.

We had a visit from some good friends who brought us “the goods.” They definitely know how to keep our friendship going strong.

We had a nice, quiet little Christmas.
Inez was too fast for me to capture her entrance Christmas morning, but I got Gwen comin’ around the corner.

Gwen was SO excited to get a baby that talks and moves. She loves all aspects of playing Mommy to her baby.

Inez got the gyroscope that she asked Santa to bring her, and it was a hit.

They were equally excited to get into Olive’s stocking for her.  Even though Santa brought Olive pink binkies, she still wasn’t interested.

Who knew that bubble gum would be such a hit? Apparently, one of Santa’s elves did.

And of course, there was plenty of lip gloss to go around.

We also hung out with Dave’s family on Christmas.

After Christmas, I shopped Target’s clearance sale and scored some plates that I LOVE. I can use these year-round, right?

We spent New Years with some of my family and followed the tradition of having a ridiculously large and extravagant spread. Curry chicken and chocolate covered potato chips? Yes, please.

Gwen disappeared with her cousins and when I found her again, her hair was a hot mess. This hairstyle is typical of Gwen.

I tried making this Chocolate Bavarian Torte (that I saw on this blog that I love) for a get together we had with some friends. It doesn’t look too pretty, but I think it was pretty good.

I’ve been making blankets for a service project for Disney’s Give a Day, Get a Day promotion. I don’t have very much free time these days, so the project has been a little slow going. But it’s been enjoyable to be sewing again.

Even though I only have two of the three blankets done, I managed to “find” some time to make a little blanket for Olive with some flannel I bought before she was born. I wish now that I had bought a few more yards because I love it.

Inez is happy to be back in school and Gwen keeps me entertained. Here she is modeling a wetsuit my sister gave her last summer. She is obsessed with it for some reason. And once again, we have the crazy hair.

And Olive has just been busy practicing her Kung Fu and getting chubbier.

Now that we are more than half-way through January, WE ARE READY FOR 2010!