Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day

As far as I know, Memorial Day was originated to remember fallen soldiers. Well, I don't really know any fallen solders, so to me Memorial Day is just a day to go visit family members' graves. This year, unfortunately, we didn't go visit a great-grandparent....

We ate a big breakfast with my family and then went all together to visit Brigham. And we had a special treat! His headstone is finally finished and just got installed last week. This was the first time we'd seen it! It's so beautiful!!!

Our Earthly family

Missing Brigham

Cute big sister trying to get an annoying tiny rock out of her shoe. I love that she has no focus at the cemetery. She knows who Brigham is, she recognizes his picture, and if you ask her where he is, she says, "Brigham lives with Jesus." And that's all she needs to know.

My side of the family. (Brandon, Justin, Jake, Dad/Grandpa, Kevin, Marissa, Rebecca, Mom/Grandma, Carrie, Kandis, and Rose)

We had some peaceful time remembering Brigham and then we spent the rest of the day as a family playing games, swimming, and BBQing.

Since my mom is all done with the school year she asked if Carrie could stay with her a couple of days. So now I'm home all alone trying to mega-clean and paint the upstairs loft and hallway! Woohoo!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

What a Memory!

It constantly amazes me the amount of memory in our little two year old. We were joking around saying a couple quotes from the movie Cars and Carrie started to finish them. For example:

Me: "Van, I just don't see any on ramp anywhere!"
Carrie: "Mini, I know exactly where we are", "Yeah, we're in the middle of NOWHERE!"

Justin: "Turn right to go left...."
Carrie: "Guess what?! I tried it! And you know what?! This crazy thing happened! I went RIGHT!", "You keep talking to yourself people will think you're crazy!", "Thanks for the tip!", "What? I wasn't talking to you!"

And no, I'm not exaggerating. That's how long of a quote she actually does.... Multiple characters. It's hilarious. I'll make a far-too-often-movie-quote-referencer out of her yet!

*On a random aside, remember my post "Green Thumb"? I take it back. Yesterday I transplanted the little zucchini sprouts from the pot into the garden and they were dead a few hours later. Gone. Shriveled. Dried up. And I can be pretty certain they're not going to come back. I'm so sad......*

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Waltzing and Swimming

Currently, Carrie's second favorite movie is Sleeping Beauty. And she knows it well. One of her new occasion pass-times is playing the Sleeping Beauty Waltz and singing along on the piano. Now, obviously, she doesn't actually know how to play it (we'd sign her up for America's Got Talent or Start Search or something) but she loves to plunk out random nothings on the piano and belt out the song at the top of her lungs! Enjoy. *Notice she's "reading" the song from the hymn book?*

Last night we went into Mesa to go to the Temple with our friend/basically family member Christopher Beeson (soon to be a full-time Elder in Santiago Chile North *Almost Justin's mission. Justin was in Santiago West*). Since we stayed so late, we just spent the night. Carrie and I got to enjoy hanging out at grandma and grandpa's most of the day. Carrie's favorite part of the day was when we wandered into the backyard and saw the sprinklers on.

Of course, she immediately asked me if she could get her "swimming soup" on (yes, that's what she calls it). My mom bought a little suit to keep at her house so I said, "Sure, why not?"

Testing out the sprinklers with her hand

And jumping over the sprinkler head right into the spray (I know you can't see the water in the picture, but trust me, it's there)

Then we played with sidewalk chalk for a little while. I certainly had fun. Strangely, she didn't quite understand it. It didn't last very long.

She humored me though and posed for a picture with my chalk art

Next she wanted to put her feet in the cool. Not the pool, the cool.....

Feet are used to it, now it's time to start climbing in

Down to the second step

Woohoo! Waist high in the freezing water!!

And it truly was freezing. OK, probably not really, but it was NOT comfortable for swimming. It was cold! But since she wanted to get in, I kind of had to.... Once we both got used to it though, we had fun. She's getting much better at kicking her feet and floating on her back.

What a fun outdoor mommy-daughter day!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Play Hard, Work Hard

I know the saying usually goes something like work hard, THEN play hard, but today, we did the opposite. Kind of.

Some friends invited us to come along with them to our local McDonalds to eat lunch and hang out at the playplace. The only reason Carrie is up that high is because there was a 6 or 7 year old girl who helped her climb the crazy tall ledges. She had fun!
When we got home, the work started. At least for me.... We washed the van, and Carrie thought it looked like tons of fun! "Of course I want to play with a bucket of soapy, bubbly water!"

She was an AWESOME helper!!

And so cheerful about it too! Hmmmm.... Maybe I can think of a couple other chores that I find boring, but she might find fun....

Monday, May 23, 2011

I Have No Shame

I'm ready to admit it.... I love the Disney Channel.

We have our DVR set up to record Mickey Mouse Clubhouse every morning for Carrie. I don't know what we would do without Mickey Mouse. Especially on mornings when Carrie decides that 6am is a good time to wake up. *Insert Carrie laying on my bedroom floor watching an episode of Mickey Mouse HERE* Ahhhh, it's like a snooze button on my two-year-old.

Getting back to my point. If we don't watch any TV during the mid-morning, early-afternoon, when I finally click it on around 2:00, it's usually already on the Disney channel. Mid-afternoon Disney channel is filled with mindless tweenage comedy/dramas. And I love it. A couple of my favorites include:
(Which by the way, the two main character boys played Ross's young son "Ben" back in the days of "Friends")

Who doesn't like magic? I wish I was a wizard!

But finally there's this.......
When these movies started coming out 4 years ago, I laughed, I guffawed, I snickered at HSM lovers. But then I watched them.

I know they're extremely over done and ridiculous (and the music sounds strangely similar to the music from "Saturday's Warrior"), but I think it would have been fun to bust out in randomly coordinated song and dance in the cafeteria in high school. It's the cheesiness that makes them great! So laugh if you must, but don't knock it til you've tried it. I love it and I know I'm not the only one :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

New/Old Friends

We have some new neighbors around the corner. They're some friends from the ward who moved from a different neighborhood. So even though we already know them, it feels like we have brand new friends because they're so close now!

This morning we "hung out" at their joint garage sale (with another neighborhood friend). The kids ate cookies and played in the sprinklers while we tried our best to stay in the shade of the garage. We took a couple things over and actually made $15 bucks! Not bad!

Anyways, they invited us over for a BBQ that afternoon. Their new house is the same floor plan as ours, only mirrored. It's weird though; They look totally different! Just having different furniture and pictures, etc. makes everything look like a completely different house.

My favorite part of the evening was when we busted out Rock Band. Eli loves the spotlight of being "the singer", and Cori rocks the drums better than anyone I've seen. Justin was a good sport and strummed bass so I could suck the limelight and play guitar. We played far past the kids bedtimes, but we had a blast! Love you Carpenters!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Because She's Just So Gosh Darn Cute!

Chilling in the family room watching Cars (what else?)

Being sooooo cool with pink sunglasses and pink jelly shoes, jumping off the patio

"Look mom! I climbed the ladder all by myself!!"

Reading the Reader's Digest... Seriously. I love it...

Green Thumb

We got our garden wall a long time ago, but it's really expensive to fill it with good potting soil. Therefore, I decided to see if I might still be able to start growing some plants in little pots. I planted them about a week and a half ago and Monday morning, just when I was starting to think, "Well, I tried.... I don't think they'll grow...."

Tah-dah! Zucchini sprouts!! This is what they looked like Monday morning

Tuesday, they had doubled in size and there were two more sprouts!

And this morning, I was AMAZED!
(And I know you can't see from this picture, but there are a few teeny cilantro sprouts in there too!) They're growing like crazy!! They're going to outgrow that pot really really soon! I guess it's time to move them into the garden! I'm so excited and feel so accomplished!

New Calling!

I know I just wrote a couple of months ago about my new calling as the Relief Society Activities Leader, but that's old news now! Today I was called as the 2nd counselor in the Primary Presidency! I'll be over the cubscout program in our ward, which is great since Justin is the Cubmaster! I've been dipping my feet in that pool for the last 7 months! It's scary for me to think about being in a Presidency, but I hope it'll be exciting. I love the sisters I'm going to work with so I think everything will turn out great!

Side note, they made sure not to release me from my old calling yet since we have an activity coming up on Thursday night. They said I am unofficially released from RS Friday morning ;)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Night Terrors

If your child has never had a night terror, consider yourself lucky. They're awful. I'm going to sound a little like a medical guest on Oprah or something, but here's a mini infomercial about night terrors.

Carrie has had probably around 10 night terrors since she was about 6 months old. The first time it happened we had no idea what was wrong. It was scary. She woke up screaming, we tried her binky, bouncing her, swaying with her, feed her, turning on the lights to get her to wake up and "snap out of it", but nothing worked. She screamed like crazy with her eyes half open for about half an hour and then went back to sleep like nothing was ever wrong. Once we mentioned it to my mom, she told us that I often had night terrors as a toddler and it's thought to be slightly genetic. So we googled it....

About 5-10% of young children have this "disorder". It's different from nightmares (plain old bad dreams). It's more common in kids age 2-6, but can happen at any age. It usually happens about 2 hours after they go to sleep, during a specific part of the sleep cycle, but not during dreaming time. It can last for only a few minutes, or up to half an hour. Some symptoms are:

-Blood curdling screaming
-May seem awake, but is confused and unfocused
-Breathing fast
-Rapid heart rate

One big cause of night terrors is sleep deprivation. We've noticed that almost all the times Carrie's had them it's been a day where she didn't nap well, if at all. In our google search we also learned how to deal with them the best. First of all is do NOT try to wake the child up. Because they're unaware, if they finally do wake up and find themselves fearful and screaming, it's going to be ten times worse. They won't remember these episodes in the morning. Most doctors recommend holding the child loosely, making sure they're safe and humming or singing quietly until the child calms down and falls back asleep.

It feels awkward not to be able to fix it right away. During a nightmare (which usually happens after a longer period of sleep, in the early morning hours) a child can usually be easily awakened and consoled. Not so with a night terror.

Since Carrie has been napping so horribly the last week or two, I shouldn't have been surprised when she had TWO separate night terrors last night.... It's no fun, but at least it's better when I know what's going on. I can't wait until she grows out of them...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bye Bye Binkies!!

I can't believe it's really true! The last time Carrie had a binky was was Sunday, (Mother's Day) in the car on the way home from Mesa.

It was past bedtime when we got home. We did a very quick version of the bedtime routine and took her to her room to go to sleep. She said she wanted to sleep on her bed's little stepstool, and not get up into her bed. Thinking I could motivate her a little bit, I popped the binky out of her mouth and said if she wanted it back, she needed to climb into her bed and lay on the pillow. She said she didn't care, so I took all her spares from her shelf, left her on the stepstool, and said goodnight.

After only a few minutes she came out of her room, found me in the hall sorting laundry and said she wanted to sleep in Brigham's crib. I tried offering her binky if she'd sleep in her own bed, but she said no. She cried a little when I closed the door to Brigham's room, but after a long day of playing in Mesa, she was really tired and fell asleep pretty quickly. Without a binky.

She woke up at 5am when Justin left for work crying out for me. As soon as I heard her, I thought, "Oh no.... She already made it through one whole night.... I hope she'll go back to sleep for another couple hours without a binky...."

I went into the crib and she said she needed to go potty. Now I was thinking, "No way, she gave up the binky and self-potty trained in one night?!" It totally didn't happen though. She really just needed a diaper change. Then she said she wanted to lay down in my room so I got her a pillow and blanket for the floor. She asked for her binky, but I wanted to see if I could keep it up so I tried, "The binkies are all gone..." She said sadly, "Oooh, ok...." and fell asleep until 9:15. I love sleeping in. What a wonderful late Mother's Day present.

And she hasn't had a binky since.

She asked for it a couple times the first day or two, and I told her they were "all gone". When that started to get old, I told her we gave them to some of her new baby cousins. I asked her if she thought baby Jacey and baby Rose needed binkies. She replied, "Yeah, Baby Jacey need a binky?" When I nodded, she looked a little sad, but said, "Oook...." After a couple of days she didn't even ask for it anymore.

The one downside I've seen so far?.... She has not napped until today. Seriously?! She didn't nap Monday through Friday. At all.

She's been mostly pleasant, until about dinnertime. By then she's tired AND hungry. Not a good combo. Today though, she napped for three hours! Finally! Hallelujah!! I can tell when she's getting tired. I know some kids give up naps this early, but I think she still needs them. At least every other day.

She's been a binky lover her whole life. I don't know what we would have done without them!

I didn't write about it before because I didn't want to jinx it, but I think we can safely say we've officially kicked the binky habit. We'll miss you old friend :)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Brigham's Tree

This is Brigham's Tree

It got delivered and planted today and we're very excited about it. My sister, her husband, and her in-laws wanted to buy us a tree for our yard in Brigham's memory.

We have plans to put garden pavers around the bottom and plant some flowers at the base. We will also eventually figure out some way to "label" it as Brigham's tree (a decorative sign, or boulder or something).

I can see it out of my dining room and family room windows and it's a beautiful symbol to have for him. This tree will protect us from the sun someday by providing shade, and Brigham will always be watching over our family (when he has spare time from all his hard work as a missionary of course) ;)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" -Charles Caleb Colton

If that's really true, Carrie must like me a lot!

Yesterday morning just after I got Carrie dressed, we were still in her room. She went to the door, told me to "stay here" and said, "I'll be right back". After she left, I jumped up into her bed and snuggled up to her favorite doll.

When she came back in she saw me in the bed and immediately came over and asked, "You want a blankie?" She tried to drape it over me, gave me a kiss and said, "I love you. Sweet dreams, nigh-night. I'll leave the door open ok?"

I was trying not to laugh because it was so cute, and just said, "Ok". She left the door open just a crack just like I do and left. After a couple minutes I decided first of all, I needed to know where she was and what she was doing, but more so, I wanted her to keep "role playing". So I called out, "Carrie! Carrie! Carrrrrrie!" like she usually calls out for me.

She came to the door, walked in, and with concern in her voice and her head tipped a little to the side asked, "What happened?...."

I thought to myself, "Oh my gosh, this is so funny. I have to keep going and see what she does"

So I said, "I want you to lay by me. I want to hold you...."

She came over, patted my back and said, "Nope, I have to go downstairs. You go to sleep. Don't get out of bed." Once she got to the door she closed it all the way. She usually likes the door left a crack open so I shouted out, "Carrie, please leave the door open, leave the door open!"

She cracked it a teeny bit and said, "Ok, just like that." This was toooo funny..... I got out of bed, knelt down by the door, and knocked very quietly. She came to the door again and asked, "What happened?"

I answered, "I wanna get up. I wanna play with toys." Now usually, when we are in our correct roles, this would be the time when I would say, "We can play with toys after your nap". She couldn't handle it though. She dropped the mom charade and was so excited that I wanted to play toys with her!

It was adorable and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. I love seeing her do things like I do. Especially when it's so calm and nice. It makes me feel good in the way that I'm acting around her. I'm feeling very flattered right now.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

I'm feeling very celebrated today. Both on Earth and in Heaven. Last year on Mother's Day we announced that we were expecting Brigham. This year was a little bittersweet as I remembered that. But I thoroughly enjoyed the Mother's Day talks in Sacrament Meeting and feeling Brigham's sweet spirit as the Primary children got up and sang, "Mother, I Love You".

I felt a little selfish that I didn't celebrate my own mother or mother-in-law very much today. I was very focused on me and my own experiences as a mother. The only reason I've had any success as a mother is because of them.

I miss Brigham. He would have been 4 months old yesterday. 4 months! Has it really been that long?! Sometimes, it seems like just last week, and other times it seems like a year ago. We got to visit the cemetery today. The last several times we've gone, we've left Carrie at my parents' house. This time we brought her with us and I'm glad we did. She was pretty irreverent at the graveside, (completely appropriate for a two year old) and spent the whole time running around giggling happily while my dad "chased" her. She reminded me of the joyful things I still have in my life; One of the greatest of which is her.

There was another mom there sitting only a couple spaces over from us and she was visibly crying at her baby's graveside. I couldn't help but feel so blessed to have the knowledge of the gospel and that our family is sealed for all eternity. The grave is only temporary. As we walked away, I leaned down, gave her a little squeeze on the shoulders and said, "Happy Mother's Day". I hope it helped. I can't imagine not knowing I would see my sweet baby again someday.

One of my favorite quotes from the First Presidency (I couldn't find exactly who, sorry) is, “Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind. It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to the angels.” I LOVE BEING A MOTHER.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Concrete Jungle

We have new concrete in our backyard! We extended our patio and added a sidewalk to the side of the house. While watching them pour and spread the concrete, Carrie said, Oooh, Mommy, it's messy. We need to wipe it"

I was obviously fascinated by the process too, because I took a lot of pictures :)

We're so excited to have our new concrete! The backyard is beginning to take shape! As of right now it's still dirt, weeds, an empty garden wall, and concrete; not quite the toddler's playtime paradise, but it'll do for now!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Crazy About Cars

It's become a daily ritual (at least) to watch Disney Pixar's "Cars".... I might possibly be able to quote the entire movie...
Some of Carrie's favorite quotes,

-"Fly away Stanley! Be free!"

-"Crazy old grandpa car!"

-"See ya later Mater!"

Some of my favorites,

-"Van, I just don't see an on-ramp anywhere!"...."Minnie, I know exactly where we are!"...."Yeah, we're in the middle of nowhere!!"

-"Oooo Ramone! Momma ain't seen you that low in years!"

-"Honey, she has a ma-ap.".... "I don't need a map, I have the GPS; Never need a map again!"

And Justin's favorites,

-"Hey, yo DJ! We got ourselves a noodddder....."

-"I mean NO thank you! Because maybe in opposite world, that really means thank you!"

-"I don't know what's harder to find, Lightning McQueen, or a crew chief who'll work with him!"
Today I made a 'Cars' reference on facebook and Justin said, "Stop watching 'Cars' this is getting out of control ;)"

He's right. It is currently on for the 4th time today..... No. Joke. I was told there's a Cars 2 coming out this summer. I'm sure we'll have to see it.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Five Years Closer...

We are five years closer to Eternity. Five years ago today, our family was created. Justin and I were sealed for time and eternity in the Mesa, Arizona Temple.

Some things I remember from that day.

-Being so totally in love it seemed unreal that it could last forever.-I had to wait in the lobby for Justin to come to the Temple because he had my Temple recommend in his wallet. My mom went in without me to get my dress ready.

-While we were waiting to talk to the sealer beforehand, thinking, "Holy Cow. This is it. Forever......"

-I don't remember a thing the sealer said. All I was doing was trying to look at Justin, while at the same time trying to avoid his eyes because I was about to start crying.

-Walking out of the temple for the first time as Husband and Wife.

-I got sunburned while we were taking pictures. It was noon, in May, in Arizona....

-A temple worker offered us a ride to the other side of the Temple grounds on a golf cart
-I felt like a princess all day

-We got party subs from Subway for lunch. So delicious. I think it was the only thing I got to eat all day
-We tried to take a nap in the afternoon before the reception. It's a pretty difficult task with an up-do that had a million bobby pins (well, it seemed like a million)

-Wanting to hold Justin's hand the whole time during the reception, but having to let go far too often to hug our guests

-Ordering our cake from Food City (mistake, I know) and spending time a few hours before the reception trying to salvage the lopsided, totally undecorated disaster. Luckily, it turned out super beautiful (and super yummy)

-Justin smushed the cake into my eyelashes! And I loved it!

I love you sweetie! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Five years down, an Eternity to come!!