Monday, December 5, 2011

Ian's Walking!

He hasn't decided to walk exclusively yet, but he has some seriously good balance - and likes to walk when he is not in a hurry. Speaking of not being in a hurry - I am not in a hurry for this kid to grow up. Why is it going so fast???

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Arkansas Trip

I had the opportunity to go see my Grandma and Grandpa Bledsoe (my dad's parents) in Arkansas last week. My parents go out every year to visit, but I hadn't been out to visit since I was 10 years old!  Grandma and Grandpa paid for my plane ticket, and Ian was able to sit on my lap on the plane - the girls and Eric stayed behind.  I had such a lovely time.  Grandma was worried that we would be bored, but it was so relaxing.  I learned some new crochet techniques, visited Hobby Lobby for the first time, and discovered the fabulousness of FLEA MARKETS!!!  Here are some of my favorite pictures:

 The whole crew after church (this is the view from my Grandparents' front porch!)

 Four generations
 Ian with his Great Grandparents
 We went for a nature hike in the woods - looking for critters, enjoying the quiet (their property is 15 acres!).
 This was taken in Hot Springs, AR on our way to the airport. It was raining, but the colors in the trees were beautiful!

I found some great deals at the Flea Markets...what fun!  We had two thunderstorms unlike anything we get here in California.  On two different nights, I was awakened by a VERY loud clap of thunder that just about made me jump out of my PJs!  The lightning was nearly constant lighting up the sky.  So fun! 

This was Ian's first time on a plane, first time meeting his Great Grandparents, and he was such a good boy.  I think Grandma and Grandpa really enjoyed having him around...he provided some great entertainment. 

Next May, my grandparents will celebrate their 70th (!!) Wedding Anniversary.  They are hoping to come out to California to celebrate.  I am hoping that I will be able to return to Arkansas again next year.  (A HUGE thank-you to all my friends/family who helped by watching the girls while Eric was at work - you guys Rock!!)

For lots more pictures, go to

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monkey Boy

I know I've been posting a lot about Ian, but I just really can't help myself.  I've put together a bunch of pictures I've captured of him over the last several weeks.  He has become quite the talented climber.  I thought Anna was good, but Ian is taking it to a new level.  He'll be 11 months in a couple days and he is just so adventurous.

Using my purse as a pillow in the shopping cart at Winco.

 He pulled himself up onto the ottoman, then climbed up onto the rocking chair!

 This is Mr. Snuggly at Haylie's soccer game on Saturday.  It was COLD out there!

I brought in a storage container to get winter clothes out for Anna.  It got turned over on its side, and little man climbed on up and checked out the goods on the cabinet.

 This picture was catching him on his way down...but he had his chin all the way up over the top of the cabinet.  Oy.

Usually he's trying to climb OUT of the he is trying to get IN! 

 We call this "Jail Baby". 

 First Haircut!

He tries to climb out of the high chair now too.  Even when I strap him in, he can wiggle his pants off and turn around.  SCARY!

We had to put Anna in a big girl bed when she was 14 months old because she was trying to climb out of the crib.  Ian has not tried to climb out of the crib yet, but I have a feeling that day is not far off...Love love love my boy!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ian = Too Big

Ian is 10 1/2 months old already.  Time is going by too quickly.  I feel like I missed out on the whole newborn thing with him since he was so big at birth (9lbs. 6 oz.).  However, I am so enjoying every moment with him.   Well, maybe not every moment.  He has been teething and not handling it well (I don't blame him).  He has gotten 4 teeth within a matter of a couple weeks.  He has 2 on top and 2 on the bottom now.  Anyway, I thought I'd write down some fun things he does / has been doing because I'm so bad at documenting this stuff!  When he is not teething, he is a very happy, smily, content little dude.  He's been pulling himself up on everything since about 8 months.  Started crawling between 8 and 9 months and is now moving on to climbing.  Yesterday he managed to pull himself up, climb up onto our ottoman, then onto the rocking chair.  We had to take Anna out of the crib at 14 months and put her in a bed because she was climbing out of it...I have a feeling Ian is headed in that same direction.  Over the last couple of days he has been standing next to the couch or whatever he happens to be holding on to - and he lets go and just stands there - perfectly balanced.  He's very tall, but his weight gain has actually slowed and he's not in the 90th percentile anymore.  Probably because he's so active now.  It is certainly not a lack of food.  I have never witnessed a baby eat so much!  My girls, who have always been tiny, never ate like this!  I'm a little scared for my grocery budget as he grows even more.  I have been teaching him some baby signs - so far the only ones he knows are "More" and "All Done".  When his food is gone, I sign all done and usually he starts crying!  "More" is definitely his favorite sign...and I have a feeling that will also be his first word. He signs "More" and says "MMM" "MMM".  I have an appointment for his first haircut on Friday.  I'm not ready for that ~ every time I've seen a little boy get his first haircut, he instantly looks all grown up.  I have never been one to wish my kids would stay little - but for some reason I just want my little man to stay that way.  I kind of think he's the cutest thing on the planet and don't want him to grow up to be a smelly boy.  ;-)

PS. My friend Erin took these beautiful pictures of Ian. 

Friday, October 14, 2011


I learned something today.  A 2x4 is not 2 inches by 4 inches.  Nope.  It's 1.5 inches by 3.5 inches.  Apparently this is common knowledge for some.  Not me.  Not Rachel (my sis-in-law who partnered with me on this project).  So, I am rather lucky this project worked out the way it did.  I ordered the vinyl lettering ( - FYI, this company is here in Clovis) to fit a 2x4 thinking that it was ACTUALLY going to be 4" wide.  Anyway, here is the latest.  Total cost = $10

 (Click to make the picture larger)
The ribbon on the Letter "I" is just kinda' hanging there because I thought the "I" block was a little boring - still gotta' figure out what to do there...

Here is the inspiration (saw it on Pinterest, for sale on Etsy for $20 + $10 shipping)  This one is a little bigger, but I think our copycat version is pretty darn good.

Thanks for doing this with me, Rachel!

Friday, July 29, 2011


I figure I'm going to have it all figured out right about the time the kids leave to go start their own families...even then I'm sure I will still be very confused. However, I have made some serious progress this week! I have often referred to Anna as my "Anna-mal" - she's a little bit crazy, a lot sassy, and a lot stubborn. She has personality for miles, and can be a super-sweet girl when she wants to be. I tend to compare Haylie and Anna (as I think most parents tend to compare their children to each other) and they couldn't be more different. Haylie has always been quiet, shy reserved and most ways. We've had our struggles, for sure. Anna has always been loud, outgoing, etc. I am not saying she is bad, but it has taken me some time to get used to it after having a quiet one like Haylie.
Since Ian joined our family in December, the family dynamic (obviously) has changed drastically. Anna is now a "middle child" and we are all feeling the effects of that! I am learning a lot about both girls and *thankfully* learning how to manage the new dynamic. After much observation (especially during my C-section recovery and Christmas Break) I realized that Haylie, in her quiet way, was provoking a lot of Anna's outbursts. Duh. I was punishing Anna for hitting, but not realizing that Haylie was also in need of punishment for saying mean things, or otherwise provoking her sister. It felt good to make that realization and stop blaming Anna for everything!
So in spite of my best efforts, Anna has still been having some anger issues: growling, screaming, stomping her foot, etc. I am so grateful for my 6am walks with my friend. I feel so much more clear-headed in the morning and we like to say we solve the world's problems in that 50-minute timespan. We have discussed, at length, some things to I could try at home to help Anna to not feel so displaced. Side note: I can tell she is suffering from the whole middle child syndrome thing, but she only takes it out on Haylie - thankfully, not Ian. So, one of the things we talked about was getting some alone time with Anna. Sure, am I supposed to do that in the middle of summer when all the children are home and I'm nursing a baby, etc, etc.? So it didn't happen for a while. On Tuesday, Haylie was invited to go play with a friend and Anna really wanted to go to...then the light bulb came on! "Anna, Haylie is going to go play with her friend, do you want to do something special with Mommy and Ian?" Her response? YES! I asked her what she wanted to do and it took her no time at all to decide that she wanted to go to the zoo and feed the giraffes. So I decided that we would do just that. I asked her to keep it a secret from Haylie and would you believe it? She totally kept it secret! I did not know a 3 1/2 year old could do that! So we went to the zoo and I let her be the guide. I let her make all the decisions about where to go and what to do next. We had the. most. lovely. day. It has been sooo long since I have felt that much love and compassion towards Anna and I was so grateful to have that opportunity to feel that way again. She was sweet and kind and happy as could be. Wow, we both really needed that alone time! Not surprisingly, we have had a great week - she still has her typical 3-year-old fits, but I really think that I was able to reassure her and let her know that I haven't forgotten her in all the chaos of family life. I feel like we have really come to a greater understanding of one another. What a blessing! Here are some pictures of the day - she wanted me to take pictures of her all over the zoo, and I was happy to oblige.
Feeding ZuZu (sp?) the giraffe
Hangin' on Nosey the elephant
Sittin' on the boy on the turtle
Tackling a giant lizard (I have no doubt my Anna could win that fight!) ;-)
On our way sweet, wonderful, happy, spunkly little Anna and me. I love her so much and am so grateful that she is part of our family. I can already see that she is going to be a smart, strong, confident woman who will be incredibly successful in life. I love you Anna Banana!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Vacation July 2011

We decided to keep our vacation simple this year. We went to Fallbrook to visit with family and spent some time at the cabin in Big Bear with just our little family. I forgot my camera so all of these pictures were taken with my phone. Not super high quality but you get the point. We had a great time seeing cousins and grandmas and grandpas, etc...
At the beach - Anna was a little scared of the waves (which was fine with me!!) and stayed ashore most of the time. I taught the girls (and some cousins too) how to catch sand crabs. They thought that was pretty cool. Ian hung out in his playpen and with Grandma Jane in the shade.
You know us...we can't really go anywhere without catching critters along the way. This is a blue-tailed skink...Uncle David and (cousin) Steven found it in Grandma Jane's kitchen! I did not even know these existed in Fallbrook. It was very cool. We admired him for a while then let him go back outside.
At Grandma Jo's house, cousins Shea and Remi came over for a sleepover. All the girlies cute!

At Big Bear lake, the girls were very excited to go fishing. They did not catch anything, but they had a great time!
Ian just chilled in his stroller. See how his feet are sticking out? This is how he rides in the stroller. It's hilarious!
Mommy and Little Man. He loves the backpack!
When we got home, I felt a little bit like I needed a vacation from my vacation, but it was fun.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Eric and I met just after we graduated high school. He graduated from high school in Panama, where his dad was stationed in the Marine Corps. In '97, just after graduation, his dad was stationed at Camp Pendleton, near Fallbrook where I grew up. As it turned out, many of the military families were in my ward in Fallbrook. The point is, Eric and I didn't start dating until 2001, therefore, we never attended a dance together. Last weekend, we got a second chance! Eric was called as the Stake Young Mens Secretary and was therefore very involved in the planning of the LDS Prom. He was asked to chaperone, and he asked me to accompany him (via e-mail)! hehe. Anyway, we had a lovely time. It made me feel a little old, and it made me miss "the good
'ol days" - in the sense that I love to dance, and used to go to all the dances as a young adult, then you get married, and BOOM, no more dancing. But, it also made me feel very grateful for where I am in my life. I'm so much more comfortable in my own skin now than I was in high school. I feel happier and more beautiful now than I ever have. So without further are our Prom pictures!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Family Pictures

We had our family pictures taken by a sweet girl in our ward, Sarah (Check her out on Facebook, Sarah Leone Photography). She is currently attending college and planning to attend photography school. She gave me the gift of a photography session when Ian was born, so here are a few of the shots she took:

This one is my FAVORITE!

I think I look a little chubbalicious in this one but I suppose that's just the way it goes after having a baby, eh?
She also took the pictures on the right side of the blog, with the exception of Ian. I took that one myself! Anyway, Sarah did a great job and I'm sure she'll do great in photography school.
To see more of the pictures I took of Ian, click

4 Months Old!

Ian is 4 months old today! I can't believe it! Time is flying by so fast. He is such a big boy - and eats a lot, so I was very excited to start giving him cereal. He was an absolute champ from the first spoonful! He wanted to keep grabbing at the spoon, but soon got the hang of it and kept his hands down. Here are some shots of my sweet boy:

We've been "sleep-training" for the last couple weeks. He is doing a great job sleeping through the night. He sometimes still wakes around 3 a.m., but if I give him his pacifier he goes right back to sleep. Usually I can feed him around 10 or 11 pm and he'll sleep till about 6 am. Hopefully having cereal will contribute to good sleep! Love this little guy!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Welcome, Spring?!

So why is it that the worst part of the storm always seems to hit just as you have to go out and pick your child up from school? Seriously, my alarm rings to tell me it's time to pick up Haylie, then a flash of lightning and a downpour of hail suddenly falls from the sky (and as soon as I pulled the car into the garage, it stopped). The hail was so loud hitting the roof of my car that I had to yell for Anna to hear me - and she was sitting right behind me! And the wind was blowing so hard that when I got out of the car to get Haylie, my pants got totally soaked. Anyway, I snapped some pictures with my phone as I was driving away from the school.

Hail piling up...

Anna has been asking me to make it snow for the last couple of days (cuz, you know, I'm all-powerful like that) - so I told her this was snow - it sure looks like it!

Yesterday was the first day of Spring and we had record rainfall. It rained steadily all. day. long. Our backyard looks like a pond and there is still hail on our lawn about 45 minutes after the downpour. Brrr. Welcome Spring?!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

I've been growing my hair out for about 3 years now. It's never been this long before, and I love it. Well, I love the way it looks, but not the upkeep! I almost always have it up in a ponytail to keep it away from baby-grabby-hands, and when I have it in a ponytail, it gives me a headache cuz it is so heavy! So anyway, several months ago, I decided I was going to grow it long enough to donate to Locks of Love. It has to be 10 inches in a ponytail. Well, I reached my goal and finally booked my appointment. I've never been attached to my hair, but I gotta admit it was a little painful this time around after spending so long growing it out! But, it had to be done. So, here's the before shot:

And after:

It feels soo unbelievably good to have all that hair gone! I hope some sweet child enjoys my hair. ;-)

Sunday, February 27, 2011


I suppose that this day is more sweet than bitter, but I just feel like this little dude is growing up way too fast! Here is a picture of Ian in his bassinet at 10 weeks.
He's too big! Granted, he usually sleeps with his legs curled up so technically he still fits, but as soon as he stretches out, he hits his head. Sooo, I figured it was time to put up the crib. We decided to put him in the girls' room and it is a little scrunched in there, but the girls are very happy to have him as a roommate.

He's happy in his new bed

My handsome little man

Finally, the boy actually looks tiny. ;-)
Isn't that bedding adorable? It's from Ikea and I love it. And he did great for his first night in the crib - he only got up once at about 3 a.m. I love this little guy so much, and it is soo nice to have my bedroom back to normal, but I gotta admit I'm gonna miss having him close to me at night...
PS...don't worry, I did not leave the pillow in his bed. I know that is a no-no. I just put it there for the pictures.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ian's Blessing Day

We drove down to Fallbrook last Friday to bless Ian. Usually a baby blessing is done in the church meeting, but we have always done ours at Eric's parents' house. It is so much more intimate and special to us. My brother and his family were able to come and the kids got to play with their cousins. Ian is such a good baby, and we are so blessed to have him in our lives.
Here are some pictures from the event.

My brother Jeff, Eric's brother Neal, Eric's Dad, Eric, Ian, my Dad, and the Bishop

Little Man folding his arms reverently

Big smiles...That's Eric's head in the corner...gonna need to photoshop that out...but Eric can always get this boy to smile.

The whole group. Notice my girls are the only ones not smiling?