Monday, September 22, 2014

Dear Irelyn: Month Five

Dear Irelyn, 

You just turned five months old yesterday and I am already getting your five month post up! Shocking, I know! :] This is just such a fun age and I want to remember all of it! 

This month you have started to learn lots of new things. You had a couple of grumpy weeks and Mimo {Grandma Olmstead} said that she remembers her babies would get grumpy just before they learned something new. That turned out to be just the case of you! You were grumpy just before you learned how to grab your toes and then you were grumpy just before you learned how to sit up! You are not totally sitting up on your own yet but you can go for quite a while before you fall over. I just make sure you are always surrounded by pillows so you don't bonk your head. You decided to try this whole sitting up thing yesterday {on your five month birthday!} and then today you pretty much have it down for up to about twenty minutes at a time. We are all super impressed with your skills! You have rolled over a few times from your stomach to your back and just once from your back to your stomach {and I didn't even see it happening!!} but you are not all that interested in rolling over and you really aren't a fan of tummy time. We're not too concerned about it though since your big sister didn't roll over regularly until after she learned how to crawl! It has been so fun watching you learn these new things and you are definitely a happier baby once you add these tricks to your book! 

This month you went to the doctor for the first time. Haha. I didn't take Holland until she was three months old and then we barely got you in before your fifth month! Clearly, we're really good at going to the doctor. Hopefully from here on out we'll keep you on track though! You did great with the doctor and with getting shots. You fell asleep within about two minutes of nursing afterwards and even slept while I transferred you to your carseat for the drive home. It was shocking and such a relief! At the doctor we found out you weight 17 lbs. 3 oz. {85th percentile} and 24.5 inches {24th percentile}. I think you are going to be like Holland and just go down in the weight percentile from here on out though. We will see though! We sure are enjoying your chunkiness!!

Some other notables: 
-You have started doing this cooing/screaming sound and it is the funniest, cutest thing ever. It cracks your dad and I up every single time! 
-You still blow little spit bubbles all the time. 
-You are super good at holding onto your toys so you can chew on them. 
-You've decided you have no need for a binky anymore. Mostly I'm sure this is a nice thing {no weaning you from it later on} but I do miss it sometimes! 
-I figured out that I had been wearing our Ergo carrier wrong {I needed to move the back strap up} and ever since then you {and I} are so much more comfortable and happy in the Ergo. I have started using it a lot more and we are big fans! I used it at church yesterday and you even fell asleep in it {only for a few minutes though because then sacrament meeting got out and it was loud--sad!}!
-I have started putting you down for naps without nursing and the first couple of times you weren't a fan but you've been doing great the past few days! I am attempting to get you on a little bit of a better schedule and since we started doing naps without nursing you have started sleeping longer in the night. I'm not sure if they're related but they happened around the same time. It works for me! 

You are such a sweet, beautiful little girl and we love glimpsing more of your personality as you learn to do new things. We are so happy to have you in our family! 

Mom, Dad, & Holland

Falling over

Sitting skills! 

The cutest chunky profile. 

Gorgeous blue eyes. 

More sitting and some spitting of course!

Goodness I just love this little girl of mine! I am the luckiest!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

On Memory Keeping:

I keep starting these blog posts about memory keeping and how important I think it is but I haven't figured out quite what I want to say on that yet. So I just decided I am going to start writing about some of the different ways I record memories for myself and my family. No fancy introduction needed!

Today I am going to write about an awesome site called {which I have actually blogged about before--you can read that post here if you're interested}. I just got back into using this site over the past couple of months and it is a great way to keep a daily journal.

Here are some of the cool features of

-You get badges for little accomplishments {like writing so many days in a row, writing at certain times of the day, and stuff like that--see picture below} and you get points for writing each day. As silly as these little things may seem they really can be great motivators!
-You can join a monthly challenge where you set a goal to write every day for the month. I just joined one for October {wish me luck!}. You set a reward and a punishment for yourself {if you want} and if you complete the challenge your name goes on the Wall of Amazingness and if you miss a day your name goes on the Wall of Shame until you do complete the challenge. If you know you are going to be away for a day or something you are able to schedule that into your challenge as well. Just make sure to do it before the day actually happens!
-It really only takes 10-15 minutes to write 750 words which just isn't that much of your day. And even if you don't write all 750 words it is still great to write a little something every day.
-You can export all of your journal entries so that you can print them and put them into an actual, tangible journal.
-It analyzes your writing for you which is really fun. See examples below:

{It also shows you which words you used the most in your writing but if I showed you that you would basically be reading my journal entry! Haha. Anyway, that's another fun feature it has!}

This is a great journaling site that will help you unload your thoughts after a long day and it is great to be able to look back at your entries when you are trying to scrapbook older photos and want to remember what happened on a certain day. You just have to make sure to write regularly!!


I will be continuing this mini series "On Memory Keeping" by talking about some of the other ways I record things for myself and my family so look forward to posts on some of these other fun ways to record your memories:

-ProjectLife App
-Gratitude Journal
-Plain Old Notebook
-Home Videos
-Project 365 App
-Instagram/Facebook {social media}
-Printed Photo Books {Shutterfly, Blurb, Snapfish, etc.}

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dear Irelyn: Months Three and Four

Dearest Irelyn,

My blog has been a little bit Holland-centric lately so I wanted write you a little note about how grateful we are to have you as part of our family {And to catch up on your bi-monthly posts since I'm behind on those!}!

Irelyn-girl, a lot of the nicknames we have for you are recycled nicknames. They are just ones that we'll probably use on all of our babies just because you can't help it. Names like chunk-a-monk just fit with lots of babies. But a couple of names we never used with Holland are: sweet pea, sweetheart, sweet girl, etc. Holland is definitely sweet {now--haha} but I guess during the first few months of her life that is just not the first word that came to our minds to describe her {see Holland's one month and two month posts to see some of her nicknames!}. Anyway, I'm not here to bag on your big sister because we love her so stinkin' much {and she was super fun in lots of other ways} but just to say that we love your sweet nature and are so grateful for the peace and love you bring to our home with your calm, mellow demeanor.

Your third and fourth months have been so much fun. It is such a joy to watch you grow and learn new things!

Here are some highlights from the past couple of months:

-You have been spitting bubbles like crazy! I don't remember this stage with Holland {although I'm sure it happened--maybe??} but it is so cute and fun! Whenever you are bored you just entertain yourself by spitting. It's pretty hilarious to watch!
-You have also started "talking"/cooing a lot more. So much in fact that the other day Holland thought you said "yellow" and then proceeded to say "Don't say yellow baby sister!" Apparently the word yellow is a little offensive. Haha.
-You stick your tongue out all the time and let me just tell you, you have a dang cute tongue! I didn't even know tongues could be so cute!
-You LOVE it when people talk to you/around you. Whenever I am having a conversation with someone you are convinced they are talking to you and you just grin like it is the best thing ever! A few Sundays ago you were convinced the Sunday School teacher was talking JUST to you and you smiled at him for a good fifteen minutes. I guess I need to sit in the front row more often!
-You have started giggling at your big sister so much more! Witnessing the two of you interact is one of the best things ever! I am grateful you like your big sister even though she is constantly smothering you in hugs and kisses.
-You chew on EVERYTHING! I do remember this stage with Holland. So. Much. Slobber! Good thing you can pull off the drool face super well!
-You have started bathing with your big sister while in the Bumbo {instead of showering with me} and you seem to enjoy it a bit more. Like, I mentioned, Holland is your constant entertainment so being in close quarters with her is definitely fun for you!
-You are definitely getting your own look as you get older. The first couple of months you looked quite a bit like your sister but you are looking less and less like her. I think the family consensus is that maybe you have the Olmstead eyes/eyebrows? I have the hardest time seeing these things but you are definitely looking different than your big sister!

I should also probably write about some of the not-so-exciting stuff just so I can remember later on:
-You don't sleep through the night yet but that's probably because I spoil you and just let you half-nurse, half-sleep the second half of the night. It's easier for me to sleep and I just love to snuggle with you.
-You are, however, a GREAT napper. You usually take two to three naps a day unless I mess with your schedule by leaving the house. But even if I do that you make up for the lack of one nap with a ridiculously long afternoon/evening nap. It's pretty awesome.
-You have always been a great at nursing for which I am so grateful! You and Holland both never had any problems nursing {knock on wood for my future children!} and while I have never had an oversupply of milk I definitely never have to worry about supply since you have both been so stinkin' chunky!
-Oooh you do have more hair than Holland had! Which has me so excited even though you are still basically a little baldie! Haha. Anyway, I love your tiny wisps of hair that blow in the wind!

Some Stats:
3 months- 15.5 lbs.
4 months- 16.7 lbs.

We love you sweet girl! You are growing up much too fast--of course--and we are just trying to soak  everything in before you are walking and talking like your big sister!

Mom {&Dad}
Three Months

Four Months

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Chatting with Holland {Part 2: Featuring Cousin Madison}

We have Holland's cousin Madison visiting us for the week while her parents pack and move all week long. Every day is filled with a whole lot of fun and a whole lot of crazy. I have been enjoying listening to the girls chat during meals and stuff. Most of the stuff they say makes absolutely no sense! And half the time I'm not even sure if I'm hearing them right. Anyway, I've been trying to record some of their conversations throughout the day and I thought I would put some of them up on the blog for everyone to enjoy!

The following conversations were from this afternoon within a ten minute period: 

H: Got this for my paint nails. {Talking about a spatula}
M: It's for my paint nails.
H: This one got for my paint nails. L-M-O-P Okay I need color. {Holland likes to go off on random tangents spouting parts of the alphabet}
M: Hey! You color my finger nails!

M: This is my finger! This one is for my toes.
H: It's for my toes. Okay...
M: Don't hold this! Okay?
H: K... my knee! My knee! It's my knee right here!
M: Got it.

M: You use it first. I use that one!
H: I'm using that one!
And...the fighting commences. Haha.

H: You can't take these away!
M: You have to share!
H: There's lots of books!
M: I don't want them. I don't like 'em.
H: You don't like them? Also, you can get down.
M: No, you can't get down.
H: You like this one?
M: No I don't like books
H: You like birdie?
M: No, I don't want them.
H: I can read you book?
M: No I don't want them.
H: This one's about a birdie. Come by me.
M: No I don't want to come by you.

{Holland just happened to be the peacemaker this time around...kinda. She wouldn't share in the first place and then she decided she could share her books but only by "reading them" to Madison. Haha. Madison wasn't having any of that! The girls seem to take turns being the peacemakers. They are both really sweet just also really stubborn and a little bossy towards each other!}

From breakfast on Sunday morning {and the rest of the conversations are all from Sunday}: 

H: She don't have any pants! 
M: Yeah 
H: It's a very hard day 
M: It's a happy day! 
H: I don't have any ideas! 
M: Clothes? 
H: No...

H: Ow! 
M: Did you poke yourself? 
H: Ya 
*Giggles from both girls* 

M: I have to burp again...see? 
H: Woah! It's getting to fall! 
M: It's getting to fall! You catch it! 
H: I did it! 
M: Ew! That's disgusting! 

M: Look at that spill! 
H: What? 
M: Oh! Don't touch it! Did you make a mess on your cereal? 
H: No! 
M: What? 
H: I need to feed that birdie! {Talking about the birds outside} 
M: No! That's the blinds! *giggles*{Pointing out the blinds on the window...I guess thinking Holland thought they were a bird??} 
H: I eat cereal! 
*Giggles from both the girls that scare Irelyn so she starts crying** {She was sitting in the bumbo on the table while the girls ate breakfast and chatted} 
H&M: I'm so sorry! Shh! Shh! Shh! 
H: Baby sister is so crabby mommy! She's coughing! 

M: You're drinking your milk! Why would you bite your spoon? 
*Silly noises from both girls* 
M: I burped! 
H: I burp too! 
M: Ewww! That's disgusting! 
H: Ewww! That's isgusting! 
M: That's isgusting! Is that your hair? 
H: Yeah. 
M: You got it on your head? 
H: You can't go on my head! You can't go on my *BURP* 
M: You burped! 

All finished with breakfast and just playing around the house: 

H: I need this pillow! 
M: Ahh, nahh, I need another pillow! 
*Giggles from both girls while sitting on the couch** 
H: Jump! 
M: No jumping on the couch! {Apparently some of the things we say least some of the time!}
H: I need to jump on the bed-y!
M: This is a couch! 
H: This is not a couch! 

H: I'm not the queen! I'm Elsa! 
M: You Anna! {Of course they talk about Frozen all the time...what kind of two- and three-year-olds would they be if they didn't?!} 

H: You puppy Madison? You puppy? 
M: You have my puppy?! 

Post-nap snack conversation: 

M: I burped! Excuse me! Ah Ah Ahchoo! Excuse me! {This whole sequence was repeated about twenty more times! Haha} 

M: Is that yummy?! 
H: Mmmmhmmm!
M: I don't like it! 
H: Okay.
M: Did you say that?! 

M: Is that chocolate milk? It smells like milk! 
H: I have milk too! 
M: Just like chocolate milk! 
H: Chocolate milk like me! 
M: I don't have any chocolate milk. 
H: I don't have choc. milk. 
M: Are you eating chocolate milk? Or drinking it? Chocolate milk? Let me see! 
*Toots. Giggles* 
M: I tooted! 
{Neither one of the girls had chocolate milk. I guess it was just wishful thinking. Haha.} 

M: Hi little baby! 
H: Hi little baby! 
M: Peek-a-boo! 
H: Peek-boo! 
M: Listen to my baby ever! 
H: She wanna say hi to me! 
M: Peek-a-boo! 
H: She's saying hi to me! 
M: Peek-a-boo! 
H: Peek-boo! 
M: You're so cute!
{This was all a conversation with Irelyn}  

It might be a lot of work having all three girls around but they sure are great entertainment when I take the time to just listen to them talk. It's like getting a little glimpse into what they think about/how they think. 

And here are the cute faces of those silly conversations 
{along with Irelyn since I just can't leave her adorable face out}! 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Chatting with Holland {Prequel}

So I just wrote this post about Holland's talking nowadays but I wanted to do a little prequel to all of her talking posts to write a little bit about when she started talking and all of that fun stuff. Just for memories' sake! {The pictures are to show how much she has changed over the last year or so!}

June 2013 {just barely learning how to walk}

Holland's first words were "mama" and "dada". In no particular order...of course! And I actually can't find the dates of when she said both of these though so whoops on that one! But those were definitely her first two words. After those she learned "no" in the end of June 2013 followed by "dog" and "wow" {July 2013}. For a while those were her only few words other than signing a couple of things {"more" "all done" "eat"}. Then towards the end of October and into November she just started talking a bunch more. By the end of November {about 14 months old} she had 25-35 words that she said on a regular basis and she could also point to a bunch of her body parts {belly/belly button, toes, head, nose, tongue, ears, eyes, mouth, teeth, hair, fingers, knees, cheeks}, and she knew how to do some fun gestures {high fives, kisses, more, please, eat, bump it, blow kisses, wave}.

November 2013

Towards the end of January {2014} Race and I wrote down all of the words Holland could say one night and we ended up with over TWO HUNDRED words! It was crazy! A few of them we asked her to say but most of them were words she used on a regular basis.

February 2014

We have enjoyed Holland's talking so much over the past year. Every time she learns a new word or the correct way to phrase something it is so exciting but also a little bit sad! It is just a constant reminder that she is growing up so fast! I'm trying to write it all down so I never forget this fun phase!

September 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Chatting with Holland {Part One}

Holland has been talking for a LONG time and I have yet to document it on the blog! Recently she has gotten even more entertaining and I've been writing some of the adorable and funny things she says down and I just wanted to compile them somewhere so that they're all together instead of jotted on whiteboards, chalkboards, in my phone, in notebooks, and just all over the house. So here are some of the funny things my sweet two year old is saying these days!

{E: Emma, H: Holland, M: Madison--Holland's cousin}

Some examples of Holland being the absolute sweetest: 

H: I always love you so much! I can hug you!

H: Hey mommy? You wanna hold me super bad?

H: You being a princess mommy. Like soooo princess. {As she brushes my [super greasy] hair}

H: Hold me closer!

H: I wanna hold you closer.

H: I got you so closer! {As she is holding me or Irelyn or Race}

Some "phone conversations" Holland has had. {With herself on her fake cell phone}

H: Hi Granddad! It's good to see you! I touched the water today for like....three hours! Hi! It's good to see you! {We had gone to the aquarium that day}

H: Hello daddy! It's good to see you daddy! I text my daddy! It's my daddy calling me?

H: Hi daddy! It's good to see you! I talkin' to my granddad!

Loving on her baby sister: 

H: She's done eating! Poke poke! *Kiss* {She actually said poke and didn't poke Irelyn but she did kiss her}

H: She wanna hold me so closer?

H: {While holding Irelyn's feet and making them "run"} Run! Run! Run! Run! Run! Run! Squeeeeeeze the poops out! Squeeeeeeze the poops out! {Irelyn used to poop EVERY time I changed her diaper so I used to say this to Irelyn while I held her legs against her tummy to make sure everything was out. Haha. Apparently Holland remembers that and decided to copy it recently! It cracks me up!}

H: {I don't know if this one exactly qualifies as loving on Irelyn...Irelyn was crying and this is how Holland responded} Shh shhh... It's okay baby sister! You're gonna be okay! {A little pause and then...} HUSH THE GUB BABY SISTER! HUSH THE GUB! {This is a phrase Race uses on the girls. Haha. It was so funny to see Holland respond just like me and then just like Race!}

And some randoms: 

H: I have my two heavy girls! {While carrying dolls around. I have said this about Holland and Irelyn a few times while carrying them down the stairs at our apartment complex. Haha. She picked up on it pretty fast and says it about her dolls all the time now!}

E: Are those fruit loops?
H: FART loops??

H: I cried in blanket and then in bedroom. {Talking about nap time--it's hard stuff!}

H: I just spank my bum!

E: Do you know what color that is?
H: ....
E: It's purple.
H: Oooh that's so silly!
{A lot of things are "so silly" to Holland}

H: You gonna eat all the pananas {bananas} all gone? Awww that's so sad! {She randomly started calling them pananas after calling them bananas in the past. Random, but it's so dang cute!}

H: Look at your pants! They're mine! I match like you! I have pants! It matches just like mine...or yours! {Holland noticing for the first time all day that her and Madison are wearing matching pants...this was after nap it had been a while!}

I love this girl of mine so much! She brings so much joy to our home every single day and she is a dang smarty pants! There will probably be more of these posts to come as I'm sure the things she says will just get more and more amusing over the next few years!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

We Moved.

We moved for the seventh time in our four years of marriage last month {August 10th}. You would think that we would be pros at the whole moving thing by now but we're not. It's stressful and crazy every. single. time. This was our smoothest move to date though! We had family, friends, and soooo many people from both our old ward and our new ward come to help us load and unload all of our stuff. We felt so blessed to have so much help!

Over the last month I've gotten everything unpacked and have kind of started decorating things. It's a work in progress of course but this is the fastest I've ever unpacked before so I'm feeling pretty good! It usually takes me a good six months to get the final few boxes unpacked and then another six months to a year to get the house decorated. This time I was unpacked in under a month and we're about halfway done with decorating. Woot! Woot!  I guess it has helped that I'm not pregnant/have a brand new baby {We moved two times while I was pregnant with Holland and then again less than a month after her birth--ridiculous!}. I just wanted to post a few pictures of our new place. It's nothing fancy but we are really loving our new apartment and making it feel like home!

I have a couple more decorating projects I want to get done but I am trying to make a trip down to IKEA first so it might be a while before things are finished. I'll post more pictures whenever that actually happens though!

In the girls' room. {Pallet bookshelves made by Patrick and Tyne}

Living room. {Cubbies made by Race, banner from Nikki}

Kitchen {ASHBY est. 2010 sign made by Amy Gregson of My 3 Monsters, whiteboard from IKEA years ago, chalkboard from a friend's wedding, tin buckets from Target}.

Aprons made by my mom, aunt, and grandma. {We LOVE these aprons for art projects and eating and just wearing around the house!}

I spent a good hour+ decorating our fridge with contact paper one of the first nights after we moved in. Race got a good laugh out of the fact that I got so distracted by this pretty, but definitely not top priority, project. He was super nice about it and helped me finish it up and I love it! I'm thinking of switching it out for some chalkboard contact paper but we shall see. I'm enjoying the bright green! {Crate from Michael's, white basket from Target $1 section, contact paper from WalMart}

We only have two drawers in our whole kitchen {ridiculous!} so these 
little containers are our new "junk drawers"! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sunday Family Photos 08.17.2014

These are from the first Sunday in our new ward {We moved about a month ago--I don't think I've written about that yet}.

We are loving our new apartment and the ward we moved into. Holland hasn't cried once going to nursery {!!/Knock on wood} and we are already making some new friends! We haven't always been super great at being involved in some of our previous wards and are trying to make a better effort this time around. We haven't missed a Sunday yet so that's a good start!

I really like trying to match everyone on Sundays and today I felt like it worked out particularly well so of course we had to take pictures! Holland was not in the mood at first but as soon as she knew she could show off her new cupcake toys {thanks Aunt Tyne!} she was fine.

I sure do love this family of mine!