Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Our Big Move

I guess it's about time to talk about our big move from Round Rock back to Utah!  Especially since it took place almost 5 months ago.  :) A couple days after we moved into our Round Rock house mid-September, we caught wind of a potential job opportunity back in Utah.  It was a finance position with a growing smaller company called, "Instructure." At first, we weren't interested at all: 1) We'd just moved into a house, 2) We were expecting baby Max in a month, and 3) We were very happy in Texas and weren't quite ready to move back to Utah yet (though we thought we'd like to in a few more years).  We forgot about it and kept unpacking and settling in to our new house.  We were approached again a week later and this time decided to at least think about it.  Over a period of a couple weeks, Cameron interviewed, we struggled, prayed, researched, talked to a ton of people, and ultimately decided to stay in Texas.  Even though the opportunity was tempting, timing just wasn't right.  The day that Cameron told them no, I just felt sick about it.  The following day, we both just didn't feel that great about it.  We talked and felt like, "Why aren't we feeling better? Maybe us feeling so bad about this is our answer?  Maybe we should take the job after all?" We decided to call back and tell them that if the offer was still there, we'd take it.  And just like that, the decision was made!  Cameron would start the new job just a few days before Thanksgiving.  The timing was absolutely insane, and we're certainly glad that those crazy months are behind us, but we feel so grateful that we were guided by the spirit in making such a big decision.

We made the decision in mid-October, Max was born October 30, and we moved a week before Thanksgiving.  I flew out with both boys (with the help of my wonderful, generous mother-in-Kathy who flew in and out in the same day to help me), and Cameron drove all of our stuff with his dad in a U-haul.  We moved in with my parents in Bountiful until we could find a house.  We stored our stuff in Cameron's parents' basement.  We ended up staying with my parents until February 1, when we moved into our new house in North Salt Lake.

If anyone is counting, that makes four places we lived in 2013.  FOUR.  Also, this is the tenth time Cameron and I have moved since we were married almost five years ago.  TENTH.  Basically, we're ecstatic about the prospect of owning our own home and staying in it for the foreseeable future.  The last six months has been so difficult.  The decision to move was made so quickly.  I don't feel like I had time to really process it, because I was trying to adjust to a new baby.  I had such a hard time the first few weeks Max was born, I didn't really have the energy/time/mental capacity to adequately say goodbye to the many people I came to know and love in Texas.  I'm still sad about that.  Oh, and did I mention that my car was totaled a week before our move?  That definitely added to the excitement of it all.

My parents were so generous for letting us stay with them for so long!  They helped so much with babysitting, provided so many meals, cleaned up after us, were patient with the many things Andy ruined, etc. We weren't exactly the ideal guests! :)  Feeding Max was consuming my life, I was getting very little sleep, Andy watched wayyyy too much TV (because he systematically destroyed their house if I couldn't watch his every move), Cameron was adjusting to a new job, we were cooped up because of the cold weather.  We were just struggling in general.

After searching all over, we finally found the perfect house for us!  Cameron works in Cottonwood Heights, so at first we thought we'd live in Sandy or Draper.  We also looked in Murray, Sugarhouse, Holladay, South Jordan, and Riverton.  We ended up choosing a house in North Salt Lake that we love.  We're so happy to be here and really feel like it's where we're supposed to be.  We're enjoying getting settled and are starting to enjoy the calm after the craziness we've seen the past while.  Oh--and we finally found a new car at the end of February, so that's settled too.  :)  We're really enjoying being around family and getting to know our new neighborhood and ward.  We're so excited for this new chapter!

Our new home!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Andy: 2 years, 8 months

I'm sad to realize the last time I did a post about sweet Andy was 6 months ago!  And I feel like he's changed so much since then!  This is Andy right now:

  • If I had to describe Andy in one word, it would be excitement.  He is so excited about everything!  It makes life so fun.  He's always clapping, jumping, saying "yay!", etc.  It's just the cutest thing.  He's always willing to try new things (except slides, which apparently terrify him), play with the big kids, and he says hi to every person we see at the grocery store.  He's such a big, wonderful personality.  
  • Still big.  He had a 30 month well child visit and he weighed 35 lbs (89%) and his height was in the 96%, but I don't remember what it was.  He's been in 3T for a few months now.  
  • He's become a decent eater.  He'll at least try most things.  For breakfast, he likes shredded wheat.  For lunch, PB&J or "tortilla" (quesadilla).  He is obsessed with oranges and applesauce.  I think he'd be happy eating bread and better for the rest of his life.  He asks me for it constantly. And he needs butter on every square inch of that bread.  In fact, he doesn't even ask me for bread.  He asks me for butter.  (The bread is implied.)   
  • He's playing so well with others lately.  Especially compared to how he used to be.  Most of the time he does well with sharing.  The concept of taking turns seems to make sense to him.
  • He loves control.  Example: if I tell him it's time to turn the TV off and I turn it off=major meltdown.  But if he can turn it off himself, he's just fine.  
  • His favorite activities include blocks, riding his bike outside, playing at the park, playing in his new toy room, his new Kindermusik class, and playing with cars.  
  • He loves to clean up.  He loves to sing the clean up song and is good about cleaning up his toys if I remind him.  The downside: he dumps out water on purpose just so he can wipe it up.  
  • My biggest challenge with Andy right now is trying to help him learn how to play by himself.  He's incapable of spending five minutes on his own.  "Mom! Cars! Your turn!" Probably partially because of his personality and mostly because he's used to me spending every second entertaining him.  And now that we have Max, I just can't spend every second with him.  
  • He made the transition to a "big boy bed" once we moved into the new house on February 1.  It's so cute: whenever he shows it to anyone, he says, "Ta da!!!"  He's actually done really well with the bed.  He does perfectly well at nighttime.  Naps were great for the first few weeks, and then...
  • Much to my dismay, he's quit napping most days.  I always thought we'd just do "quiet time" in his room once he quit napping, but that's not going smoothly either.  He consistently poops during his nap time, so I have to go in there once or twice.  (I'm convinced he does it on purpose.)  There's literally nothing in his room, but he still finds ways to get in trouble.  Pulling at his blinds.  (I'm counting the days until they break.) Running around his room naked, peeing.  Shoving things down his vent.  I get frustrated he's not content with "normal" things like reading books and playing with toys, but really, these crazy things are what make Andy Andy.  
  • We were a little concerned about his speech for a while, but he's seemed to improve a lot the past couple months.  For the most part, he can communicate everything he wants to say.  
  • He still gets into everything.  He does better now that we're in our own place.  It was so tough at my parents' house.  I felt like I was saying "no!" 1,000 times a day.  He ruined so many things there, but frankly, I'm surprised it wasn't more.  He just has a knack for ruining things.  There will be a room with 100 things he can play with, and he somehow finds the one thing he shouldn't play with.  My parents weren't even brave enough to put up christmas tree ornaments, and I don't blame them.  I've tried to Andy-proof our new house as much as I can.  There are child locks on everything you can think of: every door, cabinets, etc.  If I have to feed Max or help him, I have to go through the house and make sure every door is closed and most things are put away.  He still gets into trouble (ie throwing our new baby monitor in the toilet last month), but this limits it a little bit.  It's always a little exciting terrifying for me when I'm feeding Max to listen and try to figure out what mischief Andy is up to based on what noises I'm hearing.  
    Too bad I don't have pictures of when we turned on the oven (twice) without realizing tupperware was in there.  And when we were scraping my parents' oven for hours.
    My moisturizer.  Apparently conditioning Andy's hair.
  • He loves to cook.  Even more than tv--and that's saying something.  :)  If he sees that I'm in the kitchen, he comes running over, asks for his stool, and wants to help with whatever I'm doing.  He's the cutest sous chef I've ever seen.  

  • He loves baths.  Loves, loves, loves them.  When I tell him he's going to go have a bath, he acts like he's won the toddler lottery.  He usually bathes in our master tub and acts like a king in there.  And insists on continuously running the water and lots of bubbles.  
    Funniest/weirdest picture.

  • He has so much energy.  It's unbelievable.  He just runs and jumps all day.  One of his favorite activities is literally running in circles.  I have so many people comment on it: "Wow, is he like this all the time?!" Yes...yes, he is.  
  • He loves superman.  I don't even know where he learned about him.  He has a couple superman shirts and goes around saying, "Superman!" really loud while doing a fist pump.  
  • He loves to say prayers and almost always prays to go on an airplane.  
  • His favorite songs to sing are "Sunbeam" and the "Hello Song."  
  • A few things he's saying a lot lately: "What's that, mama" "Whatcha doin' mama?" "That's silly!" "Pleeeease?" 
  • Favorite tv shows: Bubble Guppies, Umizoomi, Paw Patrol, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  
  • He's really warming up to Max and is so sweet to him.  He'll bring him his binky, his toys, etc.  If Max cries, he says, "It's okay Max!  One second!"  (I must say that a lot? :)  
And a bunch of pictures (some are a few months old):

Notice the ornament-less tree.

Andy has loved having a membership to Discovery Gateway.

He yells "yeeee hawwwww" around the house. Too cute.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Max: {Almost} 4 Months Old

I haven't been posting enough about little Max!  I can't believe he's nearly four months old.  It's gone so quickly.  And yet, I can't really remember him not being a member of our family.  Here are some tidbits about sweet Max right now: 
  • He has become super smiley!  He absolutely loves attention.  If you pay attention to him he'll reward you with the most heart-melting smile.  
  • He's working on his giggle.  I can get him to giggle about once a day by tickling him.  It's the sweetest noise in the world.  It starts by sounding like he's going to cry, but it turns into a darling giggle.  
  • He has a really sweet and chill disposition.  But--he needs to be held most of the time to maintain his chill-ness.  :) 
  • He's learning how to use his hands and has gotten so much better at grabbing things.  It's fun to watch him learn and develop so rapidly.  
  • Loves, loves, loves to stand up and sit up.  Hates tummy time.  
  • He loves bath time and kicks like a crazy man in the tub.  
  • He loves to be sung to.  Especially, "You Are My Sunshine."  He also loves when I play piano.  
  • He has turned into a pretty good napper!  He takes two long naps (2-3 hours!) a day and will sometimes take a third cat nap.  This is a huge improvement!  A month ago, he took a bunch of short naps each day.  We started putting him back to sleep if he woke up too early.  That helped him.  Also, I think getting his own room helped, too.  I'm loving having a great napper!  Sadly, we're pretty much past the "napping on the go" phase.  We spends lots and lots of time at home while Max sleeps. 
  • Night time is okay.  Like clock work, he wakes up every three hours.  Sometimes I'll get lucky and his first stretch is more like four hours.  This means I get up about twice a night?  This is a huge improvement from a couple weeks ago, when he was waking up 5-6 times a night and was getting to be so hard to put to sleep.  We let him cry it out and he improved so much.  Now we can put him to sleep awake and he falls asleep on his own.  And he started waking up only when he needed to eat.  I can handle it like this.  It was so interesting to sleep train a normal baby! (No offense Andy.)  When we first tried crying it out with Andy about this age, he cried for two hours solid every night for a month, with no improvement.  Max was fifteen minutes the first time, and it got shorter each time over a couple days and now he rarely cries.  What a dream, by comparison! 
  • He is not a great nurser.  I'm hoping this improves.  His bad latch gives me painful clogged ducts.  He unlatches a million times every feeding.  Many of his feedings are super short.  Like: two minutes on one side, and one minute on the other.  (Of course, his night-time feedings are the exception. He's decided that's the ideal time to take his sweet time.)  He's still gaining weight normally, so I'm not as worried about the quick feedings anymore.  It just means that he eats more frequently than most babies his age. I think he's just a little lazy and prefers the easy foremilk to the hindmilk he has to work a little harder for?  Who knows.  That's enough nursing talk.  :) 
  • He's chunking up, and I love it.  At his two month visit he weighed 13 lbs 4 oz (66%) and I think his height was 24"?  Whatever it was, it was in the 68%.  And his head is in the 44%.  (Much smaller than Andy's cute pumpkin head that has always been in the 99%.)  I took him in last week for a couple shots and weighed him again and he weighed 14 lbs 10 oz.  He goes in for his 4 month visit mid-March, so we'll see what he weighs then.
Max has been such a bright spot in my life lately, and I'm so grateful for him.  It sounds cheesy, but his smile literally lights up my life.  Things have been so hard and stressful with our big move, and he's been such a blessing a source of peace.  We love him to pieces.  And even Andy is warming up to him! :) 

With Aunt Sara back in December.
That smile! 

He likes the Bumbo (sometimes)!
A visit with Great-Grandma Bonnie last week.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Max's Blessing

Back on January 4, Max was given a name and a blessing in church.  We kept it small to avoid some stress and keep the focus on little Max.  In attendance: my parents, my sisters (except for Christine, Ben, & Sam--we missed you!), Sara's boyfriend Jordon, Cam's parents, his brother Brendan, Great-Grandpa Baker, and Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa Lee.  We had the blessing in Cameron's parents' ward and they were kind enough to host an incredible luncheon afterward.  (Thank you Greg and Kathy!) It was such a special day to celebrate our darling Max!
Our handsome Max wearing the same blessing outfit Andy wore!

Our little family
My parents
Aunt Abby
Great-Grandma Liz ("G-G")
Uncle Brendan
Cam's parents

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Photo Shoots

We had some super cute pictures taken of the kids back in November.  My sweet friend Kasee came to take some newborn pictures of Max when he was a couple weeks old.  And then we went to Fotofly a few days after we moved back to Utah.  Neither child cooperated very well (Andy went through three bags of fruit snacks as bribes), so I was pleasantly surprised to have some pictures I liked!  Here are some highlights:

From Kasee:

How handsome is this kid?!
Andy with Uncle Jason.  Best buddies!

And Fotofly:

This is what Andy does when you tell him to smile.  :)

This is the only way we could get them to take a picture together.  :)  Andy wouldn't touch him!

This one is my favorite.
Love his crossed eyes! :)