Sunday, December 13, 2009


So, Wednesday after his nap & diaper change, I felt impressed to put a pair of undies on Clayton. We'd tried this before, and after discussing with my cousin (mother of 4 boys) and being encouraged to wait until he was at least 3, I hadn't thought much about it. So when the thought struck this week, I tried to talk myself out of the idea. But I couldn't shake it. So I forged ahead. Clayton went potty, recieved a Lifesaver & Spiderman sticker and was hooked. For the next 2 hours or so, he told me he needed to go every 3 minutes or so and was in control enough to squeeze out of few drops so he could get a treat. He never had an accident. Thursday was the same. And Friday was also a success with the exception of a little accident due to my holding a crying baby and not making it to help him in time. He remains dry at night and I've discovered that if he cries out or moans in his sleep, it's because he needs to "go", so we get him up, no matter the hour, take care of business and then he goes right back to sleep. Today at church was AWESOME! He even told Grandma he needed to go while I was at choir practice.

I can't even describe how thrilled I am to not have to change big boy diapers anymore. And I am so thankful for the little prompting and have to say that I totally believe my mom now - she always told me the Spirit would guide me in raising kids - even in things as seemingly insignificant as knowing when they would be ready to potty train. I always sort of laughed when she'd add that part. But I'm a believer, now!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Not Quite... big as his brother. Good thing I looked in my planner. Connor's well-baby check was today. NOT tomorrow. He's 26 inches long (just and inch shorter than Clayton was at this age) and just shy of 16 lbs. So our bathroom scale is a little off. 16 pounds is still large for a 3 1/2 month old - 90% percentile for weight. and Clayton DID have a bit of a head start - 9 lbs 9 oz at birth! Anyhoo - just an update for those who are curious.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Just for the Cuteness of It!

I should be finishing up the preparation of my Relief Society lesson right now. And cleaning up the rest of the house. And completing the craft room makeover/last minute-find-homes-for-everything-so-it's-tidy-for-Sunday blitz. But nah, I'd rather be looking at this:

And this:

(Tonight was haircut night for the Butler Boys. Connor doesn't get a haircut, yet. But that doesn't stop me from playing with it! Clayton had no hair in front at this age. Both he & Caroline were born with darker hair that all fell out and came back in blonde. Connor's doesn't seem to be doing that. Yet. Hopefully it won't. I'm loving what he's got.)

And then, remember this???

That is now this:

(Have I mentioned lately how much I love those chubby thighs???)

Again, skinny little 22 inch newborn:

Even longer chubby 3 1/2 month old:

Incidentally, I was reading through our Christmas letter from two years ago today (amazing what you find when you go through the piles of junk in your craft room to make room for everything in a smaller space.) In it, it mentioned Clayton's length & weight at this time 2 years ago. Since their birthdays are only 2 days apart, it makes it easy & fun to see where each one is/was at the same time. Apparently, Clayton was 27 inches long (sheesh!) and 17 lbs.! I'm not sure on Connor's length right now, but Jake was holding him the other day and stepped on the bathroom scale. Then he handed me the baby and it went down 17 lbs. Craziness. I'll be interested to see what the measurements are on Tuesday when we head in for our well baby check.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do or Do Without - $7 Room Makeover (Or, what I've been doing the last month besides taking care of three munchkins!)

The nightly ritual: Put on jammies, brush teeth & wash face & hands, read scriptures, say prayers, sing two songs, have kisses & hugs, turn on the nightlight and lullabies. Say goodnight, close door. Settle onto couch for some down time with Jake. Hear door open and...

Caroline: "Mom, Clayton keeps bothering me."

Mom: "Ignore him. Listen to your music and go to sleep."

Caroline: "Okay."

10 minutes later:

Caroline: "Mom, Clayton won't let me sleep. I'm really tired and he keeps poking me."

No amount of threats or punishments could keep this kid from pestering his sleepy sister. So we did it. We moved all of my craft & sewing stuff from the back room and proceeded to turn it into a quiet haven for a sleepy little girl. And man, it is beautiful to not have her complaining every 10 minutes that her brother is bothering her. Clayton, on the other hand, is not adjusting well to the change in roommates. But, he knows he'll be in BIG trouble if he wakes up the new roomie, who amazingly sleeps through even the loudest cries of a lonely 2 year old.

So, on to the room makeover! This took FOREVER because it was a naptime project. I rarely worked on it at night because I did so much while the kids were napping that I was pooped by the time bedtime rolled around. The only money I spent on this project was $7 on two cans of paint (purple & green) from the mis-tint shelf at WalMart. Everything else we already had! I love giving tired old things new life, and this whole room was just the creative outlet I needed. The yellow paint is the same shade as in my kitchen because 1) I was too cheap to buy a different shade and 2) it matched Caroline's bedding perfectly. The pink was my attempt at mixing paint out of the red & white I already had. It didn't look the way I envisioned it in my mind, but I like it better now. I think the pink I pictured would have been a little too bright. This is just toned down enough that it's not overwhelming but still looks feminine and goes with the decor okay.
Sorry, there are no "before" pictures. My craft room was too scary to ever take pictures of, so you just get the glorious "after's".

General view of the room. We put the loft bed in there (which I someday want to stain a dark espresso color - along with the toybox.) but Caroline still sleeps in the toddler bed underneath. She's not feeling very confident about sleeping way up there yet. But that's okay. She can stay little. I'm not ready for her to get too big yet.
Caroline's bed & nightstand with a view of the gigantic flowers painted on one wall. She calls it her "magic garden" and says her favorite blooms are the big, wonky, red ones, because they look funny. It made me feel better about them.
Caroline's book/toy shelf. It used to be a putrid, peeling aqua color. I had originally planned to paint it the same green as the leaves on the wall. Caroline insisted upon red. I like it, though I think I'm going to paint the back green for some contrast.
This turned out awful because of the light pouring through the window - but the valance is made from the old bedskirt that goes with Caroline's comforter set. No need for a bedskirt on a loft bed! Reuse and repurpose! The curtain is actually an old eyelet shower curtain from our home in Tucumcari. I made a sash to hold the curtain back out of the bedskirt fabric, as well as piping for the cushion on the toy box. Caroline loves her little "window seat" to read in.
A view of the wall with handpainted border. I love the sunny yellow! The hooks are from the old room, just repainted to match the flowers all over the new room.
I'm still putting a few finishing touches in, and working on the boys' room as well (it's been painted since we moved in 3 years ago - just finishing touches there too.) Next big project: Clear the piles of piles of craft & sewing junk and make a new, organized, inspiring home for it and for me to work! I'll let ya know how that one goes!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thumbody is So Cute!!!

What is it about babies finding their thumbs and sucking away noisily that is so charming? I mean, they turn into big 2 year old thumb suckers that have callous-ey blisters on their digits and perpetual drool. Okay, so the 2 year old sucking his thumb is still cute. Especially when he is dragging his blankie AND sucking away. (I wish I had a picture!)

I love to squeeze these thighs! I do it frequently. They're just so squishy and inviting. It disrupts much of my day and important things I probably should be doing instead of loving those delectable rolls of chub.

Completely kissable.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Our Halloween at Home!

Snowed in.

This was actually the first night of snow (Wednesday). The drifts were up to 4 feet by the time the storm ended Friday.

No chance of getting out Friday night for the church Halloween party and the community's Moonlight Madness (which was postponed until next week! Yay!) So this is how we celebrated our Halloween at Home!

Before the storm hit, and before Daddy left us in the middle of the storm with no power so he could beat the weather to Missouri to take a farrier exam, we colored pumpkins! (It's just easier for us right now, AND then I can use them later to make yummy pumpkin treats!)

Friday's Frightful Fare:

Potion Punch (pink lemonade Koolaid with green food coloring. Looks gross. Tastes great!)

Batty toast. (Spread with nutella with white chocolate swirled holiday baking morsels for eyes.)

Monster fingers (coctail weinies wrapped in tortilla strips with ketchup nails.) and Eyeballs (mushroom caps with mozzerella cheese, black olive slices & a tiny piece of cherry pepper in the middle - my kids actually liked these better than the monster fingers. Weird kids.)

Pear ghost with chocolate chip facial features.

Pumpkin pizza.
What we did to cure the cabin fever on Saturday afternoon:
This is gonna be awesome....
here I go!!!
Climbing Everest.
Who needs sleds when you have slick snowpant hineys???
Yummy snow.
More yummy snow. The kid couldn't get enough and found it was easier to just stick his face in it for a mouthful. Crazy boy!
Our snowman.

Saturday's Spooky Supper:

The Pear Witch Project (Pear, pomegranate seeds, craisin, shredded carrot, tortilla & Nutella. The cat is a tuna sandwich with cream cheese we colored with black food coloring.)
Black food coloring is awesome. *EXTREME SARCASM*
All dressed up, and nowhere to go! Batman & Batgirl. Total for both costumes: $9.00 (would've been $4, except Clayton HAD to have the Batman snowmask, and I caved so I wouldn't have to engineer the construction of one myself. Plus, it perfectly matched the onesie I freezer paper stenciled myself.)
Pin-the-tail-on-the-black-cat. Clayton didn't want to play, so Caroline commandeered all the tails.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Chunky Monkey

Connor & I had our 6-week checkup on Wednesday. It was actually 7 weeks because that was when they could fit us in the schedule.
The doctor had us go in at 1 week instead of two and Connor weighed 8 lbs at that point (he'd gained 8 oz in the 4 days since we'd taken him home from the hospital. So here we are 6 weeks later with a 12.6 lb baby boy. He may not have started life out as heavy as his big brother, but he sure seems eager to catch up! I just want him to stay little a bit longer. But I have to admit, those chubby thighs and kissable cheeks are definitely an adorable bonus to the weight gain!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Autumn Harvest

Back in June, when the hail hit and I lamented to my mother that all my hard work in the garden was for naught, she encouraged me to keep taking care of the garden and pray that our efforts to follow the counsel of latter-day prophets would be blessed. I'm so grateful I listened to and followed her advice!
In addition to the hundred or so jalepenos and bushels of tomatoes (some of which we picked while still green and are ripening in a box) that are slowly being made into salsa a batch at a time; we have loads of beets, 5 huge heads of cabbage, 5 acorn squash, 3 big white pumpkins, 6 baby boo pumpkins and 3 lovely large broccoli crowns. We had fresh corn on the cob with a few meals and we've also enjoyed fresh cucumbers and had zucchini and crookneck squash coming out of our ears!

A few days after I returned from the hospital with Connor, I walked through the garden and couldn't help but offer a silent prayer of thanks for the hail. Not only had I learned to have more faith in the Lord and exercise it when following his commandments, but also to trust in him to know me and what I need at a certain time. Had the garden not been pulverized and survived to be in the condition I originally planned, I would have had tons of vegetables to can and not been able to do it as I recuperated from the C-section. Heavenly Father knew this back when I planned & planted the garden.

I'm still able to provide for our little family with the bountiful harvest we've had, but not over do it. "I know my Father Lives, and loves me too. The Spirit whispers this to me, and tells me it is true. And tells me it is true." How thankful I am for these little "tender mercies" that teach me to trust more fully in Him, and help my testimony to grow stronger each day!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Love Bug's Birthday!

When asked this morning what she wanted to wear to church on her birthday, she replied that she needed to wear a pink princess dress with a pink bow. Here she is all beautiful (after church, since I forgot to take a picture before) with her sparkly birthday crown compliments of her dance teacher!

Four years ago today, Jake & I became parents when Caroline Anne joined our family. We are so grateful for the sweet little girl Heavenly Father entrusted to us to love & care for here on earth. I still can't believe she's 4 - and she's already asking us when she'll be 20 and go to "college school". (NEVER!) She requested Macaroni & Cheese, Peas and Orange Fluff salad for her Birthday meal today and we enjoyed celebrating with some of the family.

Here is a glimpse back on the last 4 years!

One of my favorite pictures - Jake cradling our firstborn.

Just a few days old.

Two months old.

5 months old.

1st Birthday

2nd Birthday (We celebrated the day before we blessed Clayton. She was just getting used to a new baby brother and needed some TLC from her aunties!)

3rd Birthday.

Today! She COULD NOT WAIT to open presents! And she had lots of help from her brother.

Checking out the new DVD from Uncle Pete & Aunt Sarah together.

THE birthday present she wanted - Bendaroos, from Clayton!!! (DON'T buy these. They're a waste of money. Complete junk.)

Before Connor was born, the kids & I went to Safeway to look at the cake book in their bakery. I thought that since I'd have a new baby, I'd make it easier on myself by just ordering cakes. Clayton chose Batman and Caroline surprised me by selecting a "Hello Kitty" cake. But I just couldn't justify $20 for a cake when I could do it myself for under $5. So here's my version of a "Hello Kitty" cake. There are a few less than perfect spots, but Caroline & I had fun doing it together. We rolled out Starbursts and used a cookie cutter to make flowers.

The rainbow cake inside. I got the idea here.

Caroline and her new Meadowlark bird from Grandpa & Grandma Butler, that actually sings the Meadowlark's distinctive melody (ONE noise making toy that I will NEVER tire of - especially in the winter when the Meadowlarks fly south!); her new doll with the same color eyes & hair as Caroline and sporting PINK! COWGIRL! BOOTS! And the new Little Pony nightgown from Uncle Pete & Aunt Sarah. And a unicorn sticker. On her cheek. Also from Pete & Sarah. They know what she likes!