Monday, November 11, 2013

Family home evening

Two blog posts in one day?!

Tonight for family home evening we decided to have a lesson on being nice to Daisy since Calvin has been mean to Daisy on several occasions over the past few weeks.

We started out the lesson by talking about what a family is and why we should be nice to our family. Then we talked about how Calvin feels when kids are nice to him at the playground. He told us he is happy when kids play tag and when his friend James plays pirates with him.

Then we reminded him of a time when some kids at the playground were being mean and weren't sharing any of the trucks in the sand box. As Evan reminded him about that experience, Calvin started sniffing his nose and his face turned to a frown. Before we knew it, he was crying just from thinking about that experience! Evan and I had to hold back our laughter, but it really was quite funny. Luckily, we were able to distract him and remind him how he felt when others were nice and the tears dried right up.

Then we talked about how Daisy feels when Calvin is nice or mean to her. Next, Evan and I did a role play so we could demonstrate which things are nice and which things are mean to do to Daisy. I think that may have been a mistake because when Evan annoyingly shoved a blanket in my face while I was pretending to be Daisy, Calvin busted up laughing and begged us to show more mean things.

Maybe next time, we'll skip role-playing the mean things. We have a lot to learn as parents. Haha.

Daisy at 9 months

Daisy is a girl who knows what she wants and works hard to make sure she gets it.

For example:

She learned to roll over before she was four months old by trying it out one day and then practicing it at least a hundred more times that day.

When I put her in her bed on her back, she always immediately rolls to her stomach as fast as she can, tucks her arms under her, and sticks her bum in the air. Every single time.

In the bath tub she LOVES laying on her back. If we try to sit her up or stand her up to wash her, she arches her back until we let her lay down again.

The past few weeks she has been waking up twice a night and I've just been feeding her to get her to go back to sleep. Last night I decided I'd had enough so we checked her diaper, gave her some pain killer for the teething pain, offered her a sippy cup of water, and put her back in bed. I thought she'd cry for 5 minutes and go back to sleep, but that girl knows what she wants! And she didn't want to go back to sleep without nursing. After about half an hour of listening to her sob (and hoping that our neighbors wouldn't hate us), I finally gave in and fed her, after which she went right back to sleep.

But despite the fact that she drives us nuts by not sleeping through the night, we love our sweet little girl. She is crawling, walking along furniture, and saying mama and baba. She loves playing with Calvin too, which is fun to watch. And as always, she is great at smiling.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Major purchases

Before I begin, I just want to mention that I detest those things that divide windows into fake smaller panes. They block some of the light and they make it take 10 minutes to wash the windows instead of 30 seconds.

Now, for the real blog post...

I don't think I mentioned this here on the blog, but we decided to wait a few years to buy a house. I kept feeling lots of excitement about buying a house followed by overwhelming anxiety about owning a house. We couldn't find any that we really liked so we decided to wait a few years and maybe save up a bit more money. It was kinda a relief just to stop looking.

That decision opened up the possibility of buying a minivan a little sooner than we planned. Originally we were going to wait until we had a third child and could no longer fit in our car. That way we could save money on gas, insurance, property tax, and we wouldn't be losing money on a depreciating car. And we wouldn't have to worry about maintaining a second car.

For the past year and a half I have been taking Evan to work when I need the car and it works out okay. His commute is only ten minutes so it isn't too bad. However, since Daisy has started napping regularly, it has been hard to get Evan to work and home without interrupting her nap schedule. Plus, now that he is Elder's quorum president, he has to go to meetings before church every Sunday. He has to leave his meetings early to come back home to pick us up and we are late to church pretty much every week. It isn't working very well. Plus, we really can't give rides to anyone because our car is practically filled to capacity. And when our car breaks (like it did today) or we lock our keys in the car at the grocery store (like I did last week) we really could use a second car. For these reasons, we have been thinking about buying a minivan sooner than later.

However, I feel like I flip flop every day about buying a minivan just like I did about buying a house. Some days I feel like we can't buy one soon enough. Other days I feel like we should wait a year or two. Other days I just don't want to go through the hassle of finding a good car to buy. And then I get really sad about the prospect of seeing all that money we've worked so hard to save just disappear from our accounts.

Anyone else have this problem with major purchases?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The word of wisdom

Over the past few weeks I have been reminded on several occasions how grateful I am for the Word of Wisdom, particularly the council to avoid alcohol and drugs. It seems that so many of the really bad things I see happen in my neighborhood and community happen because people are drinking.

I am grateful that I will never lose control of myself because I never drink. It really is a word of WISDOM from God.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


Lately I've been really interested in trying new recipes. I can't stop myself from scouring the Internet and cookbooks for interesting new foods. It is kinda addicting and also delicious. But I'm wondering how long it will last.

It seems that I am always developing a new hobby and as soon as I buy all the supplies to make a project, I've found a new hobby to occupy my time. Perhaps my real hobby is developing new hobbies? 

A few months ago I started refinishing some chairs I bought at a thrift store. I've spent hours sanding those things down but I got so bored of it that I don't want to do it anymore. But I've spent too much money and too long working on them to not finish them. So they sit unfinished in the basement along with two unfinished skirts, four unfinished paintings, one unfinished quilt, one unfinished granny square blanket, and a dress that will be too small for Daisy by the time I ever get around to it.

Anyone else have this problem? Anyone want to come finish all my projects for me?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Catch up

Well, my last blog post was when Daisy was 4 months old and now she's seven and a half months old so I suppose it is time to write another one. Here's what has happened in the past three and a half months:

Summer was hot and muggy. We spent all winter looking forward to summer and then just ended up staying inside because it was too hot outside. Someone remind Connecticut to get some new weather please. But the past month or so has been beautiful. The weather is great and the leaves are starting to change colors.

Daisy got two teeth, learned to crawl and sit up and eat solid foods. And babble. And she is sooo good at smiling at us, which we love. We finally moved her crib into Calvin's room in an attempt to get her to sleep through the night. It didn't work, but Calvin loves sharing a room with her. Usually when Evan goes in their room to get them out in the morning, Calvin has climbed into Daisy's crib with her. When she wakes up from her nap, he is usually the first one into the room so he can "spend some time talking to Daisy." He is a pretty nice big brother and is always wanting to hug and kiss her and make her laugh. She loves him too and is always following him around. It is really sweet to see them together. We just hope it will last.

Sometimes he takes away toys though and one time I even caught him sitting on her. So don't go thinking everything is perfect around here.

In August we celebrated my birthday and then Evan abandoned us for his birthday to go with the Young men on the stake high adventure. We celebrated his birthday the next week though.

The next weekend we flew to Utah to see Evan's brother get married. It was a fun trip and Calvin LOVED playing with his cousins. We loved it too because he was pretty well behaved while we were there. I guess his cousins must have rubbed off on him!

While we were there Evan and I even went on a date to a giant sporting goods store with a Ferris wheel.

The store had a bunch of places to stop and pose for pictures. So we did.
The next weekend my sister was in town for a night and we got to meet her sweet little new baby Emma. We can't wait until Christmas time when all four babies born this year can be together!

Right after that we went up to Evan's grandparent's house in New York. We always like visiting them. They sent us home with a bunch of tomatoes and green beans which were delicious and made us miss having our own garden.

Then in September my parents and brother came to visit. We thought it was going to be the last time we'd see Brian before his mission, but due to complications from his wisdom teeth removal, we'll get to see him one more time before he leaves in January! While they were here we picked fruit at a local farm and made the mistake of taking the ferry to Block Island without any form of transportation, which made our walking legs quite tired.

At Block Island. Daisy had a pretty tough day that day.

Evan also got called to be Elder's Quorum President. So be sure to call him "President Selin" next time you talk to him because he loves that ;) He's helped someone move the past three weeks in a row so I think maybe they should provide Elder's Quorum presidents with back braces for lifting things. Good idea, right?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

4 months

Our perfect little baby is four months old today! Has it really been that long? We love her so much! She is so good at smiling, growing her hair,
rolling across the floor, putting her toys in her mouth, and being adorable. Even Calvin has started taking an interest in her and occasionally asks to hold her or lays on the floor and talks to her.

She went to the doctor today and weighs 13 pounds, 12 ounces and cried during her shots, but calmed down pretty quickly after. Maybe she will end up being tough like Calvin after all.

In an unrelated note, Calvin has made a new word: crumbsy. It means there are lots of crumbs. As in "It is pretty crumbsy in here. We need to vacuum." Haha.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Blessing Day

Evan blessed Daisy in church on May 5th. It was a beautiful day to bless a beautiful baby! She ended up crying through her entire blessing. Haha. I did too.

Evan's mom was in town from Arizona and Evan's grandparents and aunt and uncle were kind enough to drive from upstate New York to join us. We had a nice Cafe Rio style lunch for Cinco de Mayo after church too.

Now here is a picture dump:

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Whatever happened to buying a house?

To make a long story short, we postponed our house hunt for at least a few months.

To make a long story long, read on...

A few weeks ago we looked at a few houses. We went to make an offer on one, only to discover that someone else beat us to it and it had gone under contract that day. So then we waited around a week and decided to make a offer on another house. It was cute and had a swimming pool. Our real estate agent was going out of town the next day so we ended up doing the offer with an e-sign thingy since we couldn't meet her in person. Then we headed up to New York to visit Evan's grandparents. And I started feeling pretty anxious about it. Especially about the pool. Then we found out that the company Evan works for was planning on doing more layoffs this summer. So I started to feel super anxious about it. Especially since the sellers were going to accept our offer.

Fortunately, we found out that they couldn't accept our offer because it was a short sale and they needed real signatures, not e-sign. So I went and looked at another house that I ended up loving. It had an open floor plan, 4 bedrooms, 2 full baths, granite counters, gas heat, an attached garage, an awesome neighborhood, great schools: pretty much everything I want except a big yard. But I came home and still felt really uneasy about it so we decided to put off the house hunt until at least after layoffs are over.

But to be honest, I'm not even sure I want to buy a house here at all now because I really just want to live closer to family. But houses in New England do have a lot of charm since they are all super old. So maybe it wouldn't be too bad. It wouldn't be bad to buy a not so charming new house either.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Calvin is potty trained. He doesn't even wear diapers at night and he has never wet the bed (knock on wood). But during his nap (which usually isn't a nap, rather a play alone in his room time) I make him wear a diaper. And then I lock him in his room. Mean? Maybe. Detrimental, to his potty training development? Possibly. But it is totally worth it. Today I got a nap! I'll probably have to pay for it by changing a very stinky diaper, but totally worth it!

House hunting

After months of looking online, we have finally started looking for a house in person. I never knew buying a house was such a tedious process! First you have to go get pre-qualified at the bank. It took me a whole week to figure out how mortgages and the different types of loans and closing costs work. And I still don't completely understand.

Then you have to find a real estate agent who knows what they are doing and doesn't annoy you. That wasn't too hard, but we didn't end up going with the first agent we talked to.

Then you have to find a house you like that is in your price range. I thought that after looking online for a year we were being pretty realistic about what we could get for our money: probably not a newer house, only three bedrooms instead of four, probably only one bathroom, likely less than 1500 square feet. Probably only a one car garage, if we can even get one. But so far everything we have looked at that meets these lowered expectations has still either been too small or needed 10s of thousands of dollars in work.

Granted, we do have a very small area that we are looking in: I really only want to live in the town just north of us in order to get into a better school district, be closer to shopping, and to keep Evan's commute as short as possible. I am considering three other towns, but really, I really want to live in Cromwell.

We found a house that I absolutely love in the neighborhood right by the church that is in walking distance of our favorite park and just 15 minutes from work. It is a 1950s brick ranch and has a lot of charm: wood floors, a fireplace, an awesome coat closet with little windows in it, tons of huge windows, and a huge basement. Plus a great yard on a non-busy street. It isn't huge, but it is big enough for us to live there forever, especially if we finished the basement.

We even went back for a second showing and I started calculating how much we could afford to fix now, and what we could wait a few years to do. I've spent hours thinking about this house and how perfect it is. I've done calculations, made graphs, and planned how we will spend our extra money for the next ten years. But I finally convinced myself of what I really knew all along: no matter how perfect the location is and how cute the house is, it doesn't make financial sense to buy a house that needs as much work as this one does. Maybe if it were listed for $60,000 less. but not at the current price. The basement has water damage, the paint is peeling (huge lead paint concern for our kids), the damaged tile in the basement is likely made of asbestos, almost all of the appliances are either original or really old. There is fake and real wood paneling that looks ugly and would have to be removed, the bathroom and kitchen need updates, the broiler and oil tank are ancient, the finished part of the basement is in super bad repair... The list goes on and on.

Thank goodness my rational side finally won over my emotional side this time around. We would have had to put every penny we earned into that adorable house.

So on we go to look at more houses... or rent forever. At least if it takes us longer to find a house, we'll end up with a bigger down payment.

Another note: don't take your kids with you to look at houses. They will behave badly. Trust me, I know.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cute kids

I'm loving the age that Daisy is at. She's pretty generous with her smiles. Sometimes they are so big that it seems like her face just can't contain them! She's adorable and she still sleeps a lot and can't get into stuff or put things in her mouth yet. And she is a very efficient nurser these days, eating in about 5 minutes. It is great!

I just realized that this is my chance to do all the projects I want to do. It will only get harder once she is mobile and doesn't sleep as much. So today I began to take apart one of our kitchen chairs so I can reupholster it.

Calvin as been getting more interested in Daisy. The other day she was smiling a bunch and then I couldn't get her to smile anymore. Calvin told me that her face didn't have any smiles left. It was empty and he was going to fill it back up. So he got a "gun" that was really just something from the kitchen and sprayed the smiles back into her face. Haha.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

2 months

I spent an hour and a half at the pediatrician's office today. Daisy had her two month well child check and the doctor took FOREVER to come in. I don't know how many times I had to tell Calvin not to open the drawers. And we read a book three times. But Daisy is doing great. She is perfectly chubby and weighs 10 pounds, 11 oz now. Her immunization a were awful. I have never heard her cry so hard! Calvin has always been so tough so it was kinda weird that Daisy was such a wimp. Guess Calvin takes after Evan and she takes after me!

Also, she slept for 6 hours straight last night, which was a blessing an a curse. Even if I get a long stretch of sleep, I still don't like waking up feeling like I'm going to explode. Anyone else out there have that problem or is it just me?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Baby smiles

This little blog has been a bit neglected lately partially due to the fact that I have two kids now, but mostly because I post a lot of pictures on instagram now. (You can see them here.) And my good camera is broken so I take most pictures with my ipad now.

But the other day I did take a few with Evan's regular camera (and they still came out blurry! (Frustrated sigh goes here). But here they are:

And according to me, this video of her smiles and cooing is absolutely adorable.
PS. We are meeting our realtor today. Maybe we'll start house hunting this week!

Contest winner

I neglected to announce the winner of our contest! Daisy was born at February 11th at 6:53am and the closest guess was my mom's: February 11, 2:40pm. My sister Kristy came in a close second with her guess of February 10, 7:43pm. My mom has been mailed the grand prize of ONE DOLLAR! Congratulations!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Calvin's prayer and other funny stuff

Tonight I put Calvin to bed. This is how he said his prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for my toys. Thank you for my tool bench. I have my tool bench. Daddy took it away and now I have it back. I want Daddy to give my hammer and measuring tape back. I have a blue car. It is my favorite. I have a car that talks. I have two tractors from Santa. They are my favorite. I use that blue chair for nap. I put mole in it. Mole is my favorite. The walls are big. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Hahaha. He cracks me up. I wish I had a video of it because the voice inflections make it absolutely hilarious.

Another funny thing that I already posted on Facebook: Yesterday I was downstairs and I heard Calvin yelling "Daddy! Get off the toilet and don't poop and help me find this thing!" A minute later, "Daddy, are you pooping?" And a few seconds later "Daddy! Are you done pooping?" Hahaha.

Today we went on a walk and Calvin saw a green car and got a big smile on his face and exclaimed with much enthusiasm, "I like that green car because green is my favorite!" Then he proceeded to find everything green on our walk and tell me he liked it because green is his favorite. And then he liked something yellow because that is his favorite too. And red is his favorite. And white. Haha.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The bad and the good

I've been feeling pretty good all week but today I woke up exhausted. So of course I decided to go on the longest walk I've been on since December. Good idea? No. Especially since Evan has mutual tonight. Then both kids took a nap and I tried to but couldn't fall asleep even though I've been taking great naps every day this week.
The view through Calvin's cracked door during nap

Yesterday Calvin was dancing around like he needed to go to the bathroom but said he didn't need to go. I told him to go anyway and he didn't and about a minute later he stood on the carpet, looking straight at me, wetting his pants. Oh boy...

Daisy sleeps a lot. It is nice. Calvin never slept this much!

I thought that having a baby required patience. Now I have a three year old. THAT requires patience.

We tell Calvin to sing to Daisy when she is crying. The other day I was in the kitchen and she was crying. When I came into the living room where she was, I found Calvin singing "I am a Child of God" to her. Precious.

Today I came out of the kitchen and he was showing her one of his books. Also precious.

I'm torn between wanting to buy a house one day and wanting to move somewhere warmer and west-er the very next day. But I have decided that I want a single level home maybe with a basement. These stairs are killing me.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

2 is harder than 1 but #2 is easier than #1

Since I have now been on my own with the kids for a whole day and a half, I have decided that having 2 kids is harder than having one. But that is pretty obvious.

Fortunately, Daisy is a much easier baby so far than Calvin was. The fact that she takes about 10 minutes to nurse instead of 45 minutes to an hour is the biggest contributing factor. It is so much easier to get things done and sleep when you don't have to spend 8 hours a day nursing!

The one thing that Calvin did better than Daisy is take a pacifier. I'm still holding out hope that she'll eventually like hers.

Oh, and I'm sooo glad I made a million freezer meals. It is making my life so much easier right now.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The evolution of a bedtime

When Evan and I were dating, we stayed up until 1:30 on Friday nights and midnight on Saturdays because that was the curfew at BYU and we wanted to be together as long as we were allowed I guess.

After we got married, we would go out to eat or whatever we did for a date on the weekend and get home by 9 and then watch a movie. Usually we ended up going to be by midnight, even on Fridays.

Gradually our weekend bedtime became earlier- maybe 11 pm.

Then Calvin was born and our weekend bedtime became 10 or 10:30. We would put him to bed at 7:30 and have plenty of time for a movie.

Now we have Daisy and this whole week we have been trying to watch a movie we rented from the library, but the problem was, if we started the movie right after Calvin went to bed and we watched the whole thing in one sitting, it wouldn't be over until at least 9:30. So on the nights when we didn't go right to bed, we watched a half our tv show so we could have Daisy fed and be in bed by 9.

Last night we finally got around to watching the movie and by 9:45 I was getting pretty tired. But we made it through the whole thing and were in bed by 10:30. What an accomplishment! Of course, we both took a nap today. Haha.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A real date

Evan and I went on a date last night. We went out to eat at Typhoon on Main Street in Middletown. I accidentally ordered exactly what I wanted and it was delicious! I thought I wanted soup, but I ordered red curry, and it turned out that red curry is the soup I wanted to order in the first place.

Then Evan and I left the restaurant. Then we found twenty bucks!

Daisy's birth story

Our baby arrived on her due date, Monday, February 11th, at 6:53am and weighed a whopping 7 lbs, 7oz. (10oz more than Calvin, which explains all the stretch marks and too-small maternity clothes.

It turns out it was really good that we went to the hotel because they still hadn't cleared out our parking lot by the time we went to the hospital and our car would have been stuck.

Here's the story:

I woke up at 1:45 Monday morning with back cramps and contractions 3-5 minutes apart and figured I was in labor. Evan woke up too and packed Calvin's bag and an hour later we called my doctor to let her know. Only, it wasn't my doctor that answered because apparently my doctor was on vacation that week and no one bothered to mention it to me.

That wouldn't have been a big deal, except this other doctor told me not to come to the hospital yet and also said she didn't like doing VBACs. When I questioned whether it would be wise to labor at home, she basically said that if my uterus were to rupture, it wouldn't matter if I was at home or the hospital.

Since I was under the impression that I would be monitored closely during all of labor and they would do a quick c-section if something bad were to happen, her attitude made me feel pretty uneasy. In fact, I pretty much started sobbing when I got off the phone with her. I didn't want to have another c-section for a number of reasons, but after talking to Evan about it, we decided that it would be better to just go in and do another c-section since this doctor had such a bad attitude about VBACs. I decided that even though the chance of uterine rupture was only one in a hundred, it was still too high if they weren't even going to try to save the baby.

So we called the doctor back and she seemed a little annoyed to have to come in at all, but we arranged for a c-section. We dropped Calvin off at a friend's house around 3:30 or 4am and arrived at the hospital well before the doctor. In fact, I don't think she showed up until 5 or 6am.

Meanwhile, they hooked me up to the heart rate and contraction monitors and every time I moved, the heartrate would go to zero. It really stressed me out! Finally, around 6:30 they took me to the operating room, gave me a spinal tap, and started surgery. I think no one wanted to be there. The nurse, though nice, looked like she was still half asleep. The anesthesiologist must have been about to get off his shift because he was on the phone for part of the time and talking to another anesthesiologist another part of the time. In fact, I think they started the surgery when I could still fell my toes. I think another nurse left in the middle of the surgery to go home.

This c-section was way worse than my last one. I could feel TONS of tugging. I heard the doctor say that this baby must be way bigger than my last one and then ask for some scissors, which I assume she used to cut the hole bigger. Though I couldn't feel any sharp pain, the tugging was REALLY uncomfortable. I think someone must have sat on my ribs or something because I felt like I couldn't breathe. Then they showed a purple Daisy to me and I heard her cry, which was a relief. After that I got really nauseous and started dry heaving. The anesthesiologist gave Evan a bowl for me to barf in but didn't do much else for me. After that I started shivering and moaning for some reason. I think I was just really uncomfortable and nauseous.

Finally they finished and took me back to my room and a nice nurse put Daisy on top of me and I pretty much immediately felt better. Then she nursed like a champion! The nurses kept trying to put more blankets on me, but I was sooooo hot and sweaty. Finally, after a few hours someone checked the temperature in the room and it was 78 degrees. No wonder!
The rest of the time at the hospital was pretty uneventful. Evan picked up Calvin that afternoon and he met Daisy for the first time. I think Calvin was about as excited about his Happy Meal toy as he was about his new sister. My mom got in that night so Evan picked her up at the airport and she went home with Calvin.

To be honest, I wasn't super impressed with the hospital. The food was awful except for the chocolate chip cookies. The nurses always gave me a phone number to reach them, but whenever I dialed it, they wouldn't be there. One time I had to wait two hours before a nurse brought me my pain meds. The lactation consultant told me that nursing was painful because Daisy was sucking and I couldn't really do anything about it. And they seemed really inconsistent about checking my vitals (which I actually kinda liked because I got to sleep longer.)

In all fairness, it wasn't a terrible experience, but I definitely prefer Utah Valley Regional to Midddlesex.

Since I was there several days, I heard a lot of people in labor and it sounded awful. One lady in particular must have been doing it without pain meds because I could hear some kind of recording repeating the same thing over and over and I could hear her moaning every few minutes, which eventually turned into a grunt/yell/swear. While I was listening to her I was at least temporarily glad that I had a c-section.

Daisy and I went home a day early on Valentine's Day. Fortunately my mom is still here. I'm not sure what I would do without her here since our bedrooms are upstairs, the kitchen is on the main floor, and our laundry is in the basement and I'm not supposed to use stairs.

In some ways this time around the recovery has been easier and other ways it hasn't. I think it will be quite a while until I'm back to normal though.

After everything, we are so glad to have Daisy! She is such a good baby (so far) and we love her full head of hair.