November 29, 2011

A Love Story: Apple Juice and The Computer

Sorry for the long break. But I have been without a computer for the last two weeks or so. Shayla decided to bring over a glass of apple juice while she was watching Peppa Pig on the computer and promptly knocked it all over the keyboard. This wouldn't have been a problem if it hadn't been a laptop... Poor girl felt so bad. She still insists the computer can be fixed. We took advantage of black friday and stood in line at Wal-mart, the big and spacious building, for a desktop computer. Luckily we were in a short line. I guess desktops aren't a hot item.

Either way I am connected to the world again. Jon gave me a touchpad for my birthday so I was able to look up email and do small things but you couldn't have paid me to blog on that thing. 5 hours later I would be done with one post. Love playing on it, but not particularly practical for bigger things.

Well we are good. We survived Thanksgiving in Utah and Dallin seeing his Mom, Amy. Very few things happened of note. The time he spent with his Mom was really good and went well. He loved seeing her and she was able to be what he needed her to be in the setting we gave them to be together. We were afraid we would have to load him into the car kicking and screaming, but no such thing happened.

Shayla did wake up asking to go back to Grandma and Grandpa's house. But I think it feels great to be home! I have so much to catch up on! It amazes me how much has piled up while we've been gone. Plus I need to decorate for Christmas.

More updates to come, now that I have a real keyboard to use. Oh the simple joys of life!

November 1, 2011

The Bee Incident

A lot has happened in the last month or so since I last posted. So I have a lot to catch up on. So much was going on in fact that I tend to collapse at the end of the day and feel too lazy to even blog.

But I thought I would start by sharing the bee incident. Some friends and I decided to walk the kids to a little farm here in California called deer hollow. It's about a mile and a half walk and has always been a big success. In fact we were going with a friend who was 9 months pregnant and hoping it would put her in labor. Well we were maybe half way there when Jamie and I (The pregnant friend) started getting attacked by bees. They didn't bother Lenessa who had her 6 week old baby in a stroller thank goodness. But they stung Jamie and kept chilling in my hair. And continued to follow us down the path. I thought there was nothing so creepy as having a bee in your hair that wouldn't leave. I think it may have tried to sting me but my hair is so darn thick I don't think the stinger could get through.

 Then... I felt sweat dripping down my chest. I was about to wipe it when I got a prompting to look first before wiping. Oh yes, the bee was down my shirt. I started freaking out, to put it mildly. I was trying to figure out how to get my jacket, shirt, garments and bra off without getting stung in the process. Luckily it flew away as I was screaming and shaking my shirt. Needless to say we decided to turn around. None of the kids got stung and somehow I walked away without a sting. I still stand by the thick hair theory though. My hair will bend a bobbypin faster than you can blink. Take that bees!

The rest of the day I felt like I still had bees all over me. I'm a little skittish when it comes to bees too. Poor Jamie, it didn't put her into labor and she was stung twice. What a big Mom FAIL!

September 15, 2011

It's official!

We've officially entered the world of Disney movies. Shayla has decided they are WAY cooler than cartoons. She asked me to put on a movie the other day, and I not thinking it would last very long obliged her. An hour and a half later 101 Dalmations was over and she promptly asked for the "woofs" again. We tend to watch one movie throughout the day and she is as happy as a clam.

Tomorrow she asked for the "meows". (Aristocats) It's the simple things in life sometimes that bring you joy. I'm glad my daughter is starting to enjoy some of the classic shows I loved as a little girl. Hopefully she starts liking the princess movies and then we can have tea parties and dress up days.

Having a little girl is such a blast! I love that she is as girlie as I was at her age and that she is so much fun.

On the Dallin front: He is adjusting pretty well. Tonight he prayed for our family prayer and thanked Heavenly Father for "all the nice people he could trust". So sweet and so tender. Jon and I have had to grow a slightly thick skin with him so that it doesn't hurt our feelings when he tells us he would like to live with anyone but us. I guess he talks really appreciatively and complimentary about us to everyone else, which is good to hear. Tonight he let his wall come down a little bit to me when I told him that he, Jon and I were going to go to a family counselor, so that Jon and I could be better parents for him. He looked at me so innocently and said, "You're already the best parents I've ever had." It melted my heart a lot.

The first time I ever knew I wanted to raise him he was 10 months old. My family and I had gone on a trip that his mother didn't attend, so I was put in charge of him. I woke up with him in the middle of the night, fed him bottles, made sure he was clean and well fed and felt loved. When I had to return him to his Mom I sobbed. So did he. She had to take him from my arms because I didn't have the will power to give him to her. He clung to me and continued to reach out to me as my Mom and I drove away. I cried myself to sleep that night. Worried sick about him. My Mom remembers that vividly as well, because I told her that, "He was going to be mine." I knew even then that one day I would be raising him. If only I could have saved him some of the heartache he has gone through the last 8 years since that happened. At least I have him now.

Even if I am mean and make him fall asleep all by himself. One day I won't feel like the mean Mom. Maybe it really just means that I am doing my job.

September 11, 2011

A Day in The Life...

I wasn't really sure what to call this post, but I think I better update everyone. We've been doing well. Things are getting easier. Shayla LOVES her new brother and has become a more confident, self sufficient little girl since he arrived. I commonly hear her tell me, "Self". Meaning let me do this myself Mom. Some things break my heart. Like tonight when he wanted to know why his Mom has been ignoring his phone calls for the last week. What do you say? I don't understand it either. There are a lot of things my sister does that I don't understand. Jon and I tried valiantly to come up with a logical reason that could save his fragile little feelings... We finally resorted to distraction. Talking about some fun stuff we wanted to do with him this week. I can only imagine the hurt he is feeling

He looks forward to family home evening. This week I told him he could be in charge of the lesson and we could play a game. He loved it. Last week Shay, Jon and I were leaving for Michigan on a trip that had been planned long before we knew Dallin would be joining our family. We were going to be gone over the Sunday so he made sure we were going to have fhe before we left. We held a special one on Friday evening for him.

Sometimes I see the progress we are making with him. He is doing so well with all the rules and restrictions we are throwing at him. I keep telling him it's because we love him so much. I don't know if he believes us. What eight year old would?

It's been interesting seeing the dynamics of our family change. I've slowly realized it isn't bad, just different.

I feel like I should be writing some poignant memories and thoughts on September 11th, I cried when I saw a special on kids who lost their Dad's in the towers and had never met them.

Things are looking up for our family. We're settling into a routine and just doing our best every day. Isn't that what we all do though?

August 29, 2011

Do You Know How It Feels To Be Truly Exhausted... I Do.

The last week has been filled with a lot of ups and downs, highs and lows. It seemed like my entire life was thrown into upheaval. I couldn't even begin to keep up on all the housework. My bathrooms hadn't been cleaned in two weeks. (Don't worry that's been remedied) My child who usually sleeps like a champ was giving me the worst time when it came to bedtime and sleeping. I was exhausted, worn out and stressed to say the least. The low point of my week was when Shayla decided that sleep was optional between the hours of 1 am and 5 am. I am not a nice Mommy when she thinks the middle of the night is play time.

I felt selfish. Wanting to quit already. Thinking to myself if all this strain and stress was really worth it? Was I doing more harm to this boy than I could do good? I was constantly on the brink of tears. Stressed beyond belief. (The nice thing is that I lose my appetite when I'm stressed and therefore lost 5 lbs last week.) I joked around with countless people that this is the way to do childbirth. Instead of gaining 25 lbs (in my case 50) in pregnancy you LOSE weight. And it's still considered healthy. All joking aside, I was done.

Thankfully we have Sundays. So many people put their arms around me at church and just told me it would be alright. I was given a blessing by Jon and some of our priesthood leaders. During it I was wishing that Heavenly Father would tell me it was ok to quit. He didn't. What a rough transition this has been. But I keep clinging to the hope that we will make a real difference in Dallin's life. That he will feel loved and be able to be his true potential because he came to live in our home.

 It's a good thing I'm writing this tonight instead of last week. It's been hard. I would be lying if I told everyone anything different. This is one of the hardest things I have done in my life. It's also one of the most important. I was reminded again this evening why I'm doing this when he snuck downstairs to give me one last hug and tell me he loves me. I need to cling to these great, tender moments and hope they can get me through all the hard ones.

August 24, 2011

First Day of School

If you had asked me two weeks ago what I would be doing this fall the last thing I would have said was taking a child to school! Besides the fact that our school district is wretched to deal with, Dallin's teacher seems very nice and I'm so happy that he is in such a tenderhearted woman's class.

Here is my proud little second grader!
Shayla was so excited about all of the festivities that she insisted on getting her picture taken as well.

And also wanted a picture of the two of them together. She is so excited about this new brother!

She was so sad when we dropped him off at his classroom that she pulled my hand and cried trying to get me to go back and get him. Poor girl. Didn't want to lose the brother she just barely got. Or maybe she just didn't want to have to spend the time alone with stinky old Mom. And I was worried that she would feel cheated by  not having as much Mommy time. Silly me.

August 19, 2011


A lot has happened in our life the last week. We've decided to add another child to our family... but not the usual way. My oldest sister suffers from Bi-polar and a few other mental illnesses. She has a son, Dallin, who is 8 and has been living with her. On Saturday she realized that she couldn't care for him anymore and asked Jon and I to adopt him. We, of course, agreed and have been in a whirlwind of preparations since. (As I type this Jon is putting together a dresser for him.)

So we are about to become the parents of a talented, sweet, smart little boy. I have had a mixture of feelings as we have been going through this. Relief that he will be somewhere safe, overwhelmed, mainly overwhelmed, upset, stressed, torn, selfish, excitement. I've asked myself a lot of questions. How will I be a cubscout mom? Can I really be the mother of an 8 year old? How do I best teach him the gospel? How can I make this transition as smooth as possible, both for him and the rest of us?

Many of these questions I don't have an answer to. All I know is that there is a little boy who needs love and guidance. We're excited for this new adventure. He leaves with my Dad tomorrow and will be arriving on Sunday afternoon.

It amazes me how fast life can change, and how little you know about what Heavenly Father has in store for you. I'm scared and excited. It's almost like we went from finding out we were pregnant to giving birth to an eight year old in the space of a week. We never know what is in store for us and it can change faster than a blink of an eye.

August 9, 2011

Double House

This conversation actually took place a few weeks ago but I had to document it because it was hilarious.

It took place between me and this little girl. The one with the iron, Kate.

I had taken Shayla inside during her party to change her out of her swimsuit. Kate decided she must come with us and what with my being such a big push over I picked her up in my other arm and brought her with me. I was changing Shay when Kate looked at me very solemnly and said, "Kate's Double house"

I was unbelievably confused. Did she just say double? Does she even know what double means? So I asked the only logical question. "What??"

K: Kate's double house
Me: Kate's double house? (still not convinced I understood what she was saying)
Kate nodding ever so seriously and me still as confused as ever.
At that point she looked at me and explained: "Kate's house too"

Oh yes little Kate, you know you are always welcome here. It can be your double house.

I related this story to her Mom when we got back to the party, much to both of our amusement. Kids say the darnedest things...


Today I took Shay to the movie theater for the first time ever. My friend Lenessa emailed a bunch of us to see if we wanted to go to the cheap theaters here. It was $2 Tuesday, I figured for $2 if it was a total disaster it wouldn't really matter all that much. Good thing she LOVED it!!!

I don't know how much the people around us loved hearing her belly laugh every time a penguin ran into a wall (We saw "Mr. Poppers Penguins") or came on screen, or slid on their belly. Or when she would narrate what was going on....

This Mommy loved it though! Can you believe this picture was taken after the movie??? I wanted to document this trip and thought there was  no way I would get any pictures because I forgot to take any before the movie.

Little Genny found a "penguin nest" and was so excited! How adorable is that??

Maisie was quite happy to finish off her popcorn while the other two ran around and the Moms chatted after the flick.

All together! Can you believe they all cooperated while taking a picture? I think it may have been a minor miracle.

Bottom line I think this needs to be a more regular activity. (Particularly when it's only $2) I guess this is what I do on days that we actually make it out of our pajamas. ;)

Someone turned 2...

So it may have happened 2 weeks ago but here are some highlights from her friend party...

This picture was actually taken after all the fun... Pretty adorable if you ask me.
We had some friends over for a little swim party for Shay. It was a little cooler than I had anticipated so we brought out all of the fun toys she scored for her birthday and everyone ate to their hearts content while the kids ran around in the back pool area.

We had a lot of fun. These three little cuties decided to pick some flowers. One of Shay's favorite past times, much to the chagrin of our gardener.

One of the favorite toys, and most coveted by all the kids was the iron and ironing board that Shay got from one of her BFF's, Kate. Sara is actually doing some toddler conflict resolution. It seems to be a common theme when you have this many little ones together.

Shayla ate two cupcakes. Just look at that face, how could you doubt that she thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact I think she may have been asking for more. I also think that cupcakes may have been her dinner that night. You didn't hear it from me though...

It was so fun celebrating her birthday this year. She really GOT what was going on and thoroughly enjoyed the whole being spoiled process. I realized that I won't be able to go Christmas shopping with her this year though. Which may be tricky since it's the "busy" season of Jon's work. (I just want to know when his busy season will end. Why yes I am writing this on a day when I'm not expecting him to come home. Why do you ask?)

August 8, 2011

Pajama Day!!

I declared today Pajama day in the Laudie home and neither Shay nor I got out of our pajamas. In fact after her bath tonight she just changed from one pajama to another.

I woke up this morning really tired with a little bit of a sore throat. We spent the morning cuddling and watching cartoons while mommy napped and tried to catch up on the sleep I didn't get last night. Don't you hate it when you have a sore throat but you can't decide if your just thirsty or if it's actually sore and it keeps you up at night because you never get around to doing anything about it? Well at 7am a few ibuprofens later I was feeling ready to sleep for a few hours. The only problem was my 2 year old who needed attention.

After cat napping for a few hours I was feeling great. But decided it's nice to have a pajama day every once in awhile and not go anywhere. It also made me realize I'm a much better Mom when I'm sick.

Let me explain: When I'm feeling well we spend our days going to the park, swimming, having play dates, going to Happy Hollow and running errands. When I am home I clean.

So today we read books. We colored. We did puzzles together. We played games that Shayla made up. We laughed and giggled together. She told me stories about what was happening in the books we were reading, especially if there was a "yum-yum" in it. (Any food) She then would pretend to eat the yum-yums. We sang songs. We danced. And she had my undivided attention.

Maybe I should declare pajama days more often...

July 31, 2011

A Few Favorites

Here are a few favorite pictures of the last few months...

SQUEEZE!! As these two girls yell out each time they hug each other. BTW Kate's face is priceless in this one.

MMMM... Watermelon. She insisted on watching a cartoon while eating this delicious treat. So I rigged up the towel underneath to catch all the watermelon juice. What can I say, I'm a pushover.

First Popsicle of the season. This is how we beat the heat in California.

How precious is this? The last week Lola was here she kept saying, "Hug Shay, Kiss Shay, Hold Shay's hand. OK"

Trying to prove that I'm as fun as all her friends the 10 days that it was just me and Shay. We had a good time but she was really excited to see them when they started getting home from their vacations.

Coming soon, Shayla's friend birthday party...

July 27, 2011

Do As I'm Doing, Follow Follow Me

Sometimes it takes me back a little to realize exactly how much Shayla watches everything we do and mimics it. The other day I walked downstairs and found her doing this....

In case you are wondering this is exactly how we cuddle her every morning and after her nap while we watch "Shayla Shows". Just put one of us in Shayla's spot and Shayla in her babies spot. Precious much? I think so.

July 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Little Bug!

Shayla turned 2 today! I can't believe how time has flown by. We celebrated in Utah last week and did a little family party here today. This picture was actually taken yesterday but I think it will do.

We surprised Shayla with a castle slide on the back porch and a little picnic table. (thank you craigslist!) When they were discovered there were lots of "WOW"'s and Yays! Her little friend Kate was here when it was discovered and they were both very excited for the new toys. Unfortunately they were discovered before they were supposed to be... Jon missed out on the initial reaction. He got to see the ensuing fun that they brought though! Shayla even insisted on eating dinner on her new picnic table.

We even had a few presents for her to unwrap. I love that she could be swallowed up by this bag!
We spent the day focusing on a fun day for little S and I completely neglected all of my house cleaning duties. We played at the park with some of her besties and went swimming. Then ate her favorite food for dinner and blew out candles. She was so proud when she was able to blow them out all by herself! She is getting so big!

I love this girl!!

July 14, 2011

To Be Two Again

My favorite melt down of the day was when Jon and I told Shayla she could not eat ravioli for breakfast.

Just more proof that my daughter will eat anything at any time of day.

July 13, 2011

A Week Of Service

Just thinking about this last week makes me a little tired.

 I realized we hadn't posted in awhile so I thought I would give a rundown on what has been keeping us so busy!

 Sunday July 3rd- Jon and I taught the Valiant 8 class in our ward for a Sister who was going to be out of town.
 Monday July 4th- Day of Freedom. Quite literally in just about every sense of the word. We were able to spend the day together and didn't have anything that took us away from each other.
Tuesday July 5th- Picked up friend from the airport
 Wednesday July 6th- Babysat for some friends while they went out to dinner with some of the husbands coworkers
 Thursday July 7th-Started watching a little boy for some people in our ward who were going to Chicago for a job interview. They were coming back on Sunday.
Friday July 8th- Visiting teaching and still taking care of Jackson
 Saturday July 9th- Still watching Jackson. Drove the Fosters to the airport and fed the missionaries dinner.
 Sunday July 10th- Jackson's parents came home that afternoon and I collapsed from exhaustion.

 Quite literally I collapsed after how busy my week was. Stress headaches and all the stops. My house was also starting to show the effects of my being exhausted and I finally reclaimed the downstairs today. Now I just need to reclaim the upstairs (Not as big of a feat) and I will be totally recovered! Now I just need to plan our trip for Utah on Saturday... Oh dear. Here we go again.

June 27, 2011

In Happier News

Yesterday we asked Shayla if she wanted to go to nursery after sacrament meeting. She grabbed my hand, yelled "YAY!!!" at the top of her lungs and ran full force to her nursery room.

 Then she gave us a kiss when we left. This child turned from being the most difficult child in her nursery class to the easiest. What a relief!

June 26, 2011

It's Ok, I Don't Have To.

That is what Lola said to me tonight when I said that she was leaving us. "It's ok, I don't have to."

That was also the point where her Mom and I lost it. I hope that none of my other friends get offended but tonight I am feeling sad. The first friend I met here is moving to Michigan. It hasn't helped that Shayla has woken up asking for "Wowa" the last few days. It may have something to do with the fact that we spent every waking moment with them the last week. Yes that's even more than usual. How do you explain to a 2 year old that one of her best friends and her second Mom are gone.(Shay calls her Mom-mom) They no longer live 2 doors down. If you go and knock someone else will open the door.

Carrie is the reason I didn't jump on a plane back to Utah the first day I arrived in California. We've laughed since that day about how she chased me down in the parking lot and "made" me be her friend. What a blessing it has been for both of us. You can even read that story here. Carrie is the reason Shayla still has a front tooth. She has been my pediatrician on call for the last year. She and I have been each others listening ears and been able to give each other advice and sympathy. We've walked to the park with each other multiple times a week for the last year. We've made countless memories and the loss of their presence will definitely be felt for a long time.

I think the saddest part of their leaving for me is that they aren't family. We have no reason to go to Michigan and they have no reason to come here. There isn't the expectation that we will see each other on a regular basis. No family reunions, Christmas or Thanksgiving where we will meet up. We have plans to go and see them, and they've talked about coming back out here. But there are no guarantees.

So tonight I'm crying as I say goodbye to them. If only they "didn't have to".

June 21, 2011

This Is How We Do It

It's been so hot here lately that sometime I will strip down Shayla to her diaper and let her run around the house like this. On Fathers Day this is what Daddy daughter time looks like...

They are sharing jelly beans. Best. Activity. Ever.

This little girl loves her Daddy and she loves sharing his treats with him. Jon does such a great job loving us. Happy Fathers Day to him! (I may or may not have forgotten it was Fathers Day until we got to church... oops!)

June 20, 2011


We were quite daring this weekend and took Shay on her first camping trip. She was a doll the whole time, and a real trooper. She loved sleeping outside in a tent and even cried when we took it down the next day. I think if she were to have her way we would always just camp.

 She was really good and didn't wander off or get into anything she shouldn't have. She loved watching the fire at night and I knew it was time for her to go to bed when I asked her if it was time for ni-night, and she said "Yeah". This was at 10:30 mind you!

Although she did try to convince me that she needed to sleep in a sleeping bag instead of her portacrib... That didn't go over very well and into the portacrib she went!

Shayla played with Grant (I'm pretty sure their getting married in 20 years!) and would ask for "More" Grant. He also would ask for "Shaysha" They found that it was a lot of fun to ride logs like horses and Grant would tromp through the fields with Shayla tagging along behind him.  Mimicking how he walked and what he did. The sad part of our story is that the couple who planned this trip for us, Jamie and Brandon, weren't able to stay and enjoy it. Jamie and I were super cool and set up the tents before any of the men made it to camp. But what we didn't notice was that there were leaves of three all over our camp. (What appeared to be poison oak) So they left late that night to try and avoid any side effects from that and we stayed with the Fosters. The Smiths were even nice enough to leave all their food for us to enjoy!

It wasn't until later that night that we were finally able to locate a ranger who let us know that those plants were actually California Blackberry Bushes. Too late for the Smiths to enjoy their camping trip though. So here's a little rhyme for all of you out there when you go camping.

Leaves of three let them be, But if it's hairy it's just a berry.

Hairy can also mean thorns.

The next day we went Berry picking! Isn't that a great hat! Thanks to Kate for letting me borrow it!

We picked ollallieberrys and boysenberries. The Best part was that you could eat berries as you picked. It was delicious and so fun! We picked enough to enjoy on our trip back. Shayla loved looking for the berries and even ventured to try a few. She and Grant would squeal each time they saw each other, through a fence or otherwise. We had such a blast I can't even tell you.

We live in such a beautiful area with so many fun things to do. I was a little worried about Shay around the berries because there were thorns on the bushes, but she was very careful and we left without any casualties!

 This is what a little girl who has had too much fun looks like when driving home.
I think we will make this a more regular occurrence. I'm so glad she loved Camping!!

June 12, 2011


This is my 100th post!! Wow. It only took 2 1/2 years...

 That isn't really what this post is about. My post is about this girl...

Sorry the picture is so small. It was taken on a phone. I feel like every time I turn around she grows up a little bit more. Each day she communicates a little bit better. It's no longer just grunts and shrieks used to let me know what she wants.

Her very favorite thing to do is pick flowers. She regularly picks flowers at our apartment complex and goes to give them to people. We had a BBQ last weekend with some friends and she probably brought about 20 flowers to baby Genevieve, who was just 2 days old!

She LOVES babies! Real ones or fake ones. This little girl is going to be a really great big sister. (Not an announcement) She is really gentle with little babies and when I hold one she always comes up and enthusiastically yells "Hi!!" While waving in their face. She spent a little bit of time over at Jason and Carries house this last week and would make sure to go and push Genevieve's swing whenever it stopped. She is such a caring little girl.

 She is always coming up with new games. and new ways to play. One of her favorite things to do is put her stuffed animals and babies to bed. She'll have me lift both of them into bed and then will give them a binkie and cover them with a blanket. This is always followed by a "SHHH!" with her little finger to her mouth. Letting me know that they are asleep and I need to be quiet.

Her favorite time of day is bath time! She loves to splash and play with all of her toys. But her most favorite thing to do is try and sneak downstairs naked when Mom turns her back for a second before she is put in the tub. She giggles and laughs uncontrollably as I scramble to get that naked baby back in the bathroom.

Her tooth didn't turn gray!! Not only did it reattach but you would have no idea it had been traumatized at all. Everything I've read from unreliable internet sources says that if it doesn't turn gray in a month than you are in the clear. It was a month this last Friday! It's crazy to me that happened a month ago.

She loves to dance. Sometimes in circles and sometimes with Mom and sometimes she does a little special dance where she moves her head back and forth to the Caillou theme song. I almost want to turn Caillou on sometimes because it makes me smile to watch her.

Last but not least here is a picture of her and Kate. These two girls are cooky together. Whether they are throwing all of Shayla's stuffed animals down the stairs, or like in this picture Kate might be trying to ride Shay like a horse. Either way I definitely laugh whenever they are together. I think they will be partners in crime while we both live here. They speak very little but somehow they are able to egg each other on and cause trouble!

My favorite part of this stage is that not a day goes by that Shayla does something that makes me laugh and smile and love this little girl a lot more! Like today she randomly ran up to me and kissed me on the knee. Just another time when she let me know how much she loved me.

June 8, 2011

If You're Happy and You Know It

If Shayla had a favorite song it would have to be, "If you're happy and you know it". In fact she requests to sing it multiple times a day. The way she does this is by coming up to me and clapping her hands.

 Tonight she was having a hard time falling asleep. She seems to be coming down with something. No matter what I did it didn't seem to make her comfortable. Finally her moans and groans broke my heart and I tried to rock her to sleep.

 We had been upstairs for about a half hour rocking and she would pop her little head up every few minutes and look at me and try to get more comfortable. I would ask if she wanted to go to Shayla's bed and she would tell me "No" and we would continue to rock.

 Finally I tried to comfort her by singing, "I am a child of God", She popped up immediately and our conversation went something like this.

 Shay: "No"
Me: You don't want me to sing I am a child of God
Shay: No
 Me:Do you want me to sing another song?
 Shay: Uh-uh
          -then a few seconds passed as she thought and she clapped her little hands
 Me: No Shay we aren't going to sing "If you're happy and you know it" at bedtime.

 It took all my self control to not laugh at that little cooky girl. She took it well though and we cuddled for a bit longer before she went back in her bed and FINALLY fell asleep. It only took 3 hours....

June 7, 2011

A Very Merry Birthday Post

We've had a lot going on...

Jon's brothers are staying with us.

We went to Utah for a week

My neighbor had her baby

Lots of site seeing

 But most important it's Jon's BIRTHDAY! He's 26 today! I went to work with cupcakes so that everyone would know it was his birthday and hopefully he wouldn't have to work as hard today.

The best part of today though was when Shayla woke up this morning. We brought her into our room and she was cuddling with Jon. Suddenly she sat up, shoved her binkie in his mouth, handed him Mono (Her purple monkey she sleeps with), her sippie cup (Another thing she insists on sleeping with. Then looked at me and said "shhh". I guess Daddy still needed some sleep.

Not a day goes by that my little mini doesn't make me laugh and smile. I love seeing how she thinks.

 Sorry for the lack of pictures. My camera died and I haven't bothered recharging the batteries.

May 20, 2011

Famous Last Words

Recently I have become really interested in the show "Criminal Minds". I've always been a sucker for a good crime drama, but have never liked watching any blood and gore. I usually get up and do something during that part and then come back for all of the psychological stuff I find so interesting. The nice thing about Criminal Minds is that you don't actually see the blood and gore. They just elude to it. And it REALLY focuses on all of the psychological mumbo jumbo I love, so basically I may be a little addicted. It doesn't help that it is almost ALWAYS on one channel or another. I tend to try and do something in the evenings and I usually have the TV on in the background for company. (Why, yes, Jon is still working ridiculous hours. Why do you ask?)

Anyway Jon got home around 11 last night as I was finishing up my umpteenth (Not really) episode for the day and I looked at him and said. "I think this show is going to make me paranoid."

Fast Forward to today. I was at the grocery store by myself (Thank you Carrie for watching S) and getting some meat from the deli. After the clerk was done weighing my order and whatnot he said, "Have a safe day".

Now this may  not have struck any of you as odd but it freaked me out that he said that instead of have a good day, or a fun weekend or what not. But I kid you not I spent the rest of the time looking over my shoulder, imagining the whole time that he was a serial killer.

I think I'm paranoid. Looks like I won't be watching Criminal Minds for awhile...

May 10, 2011

Breathing Deep

We went back to the playground today. I found myself feeling anxious as we approached. (We walked this time, adventurous, I know.)
Shayla cheered.

I thought maybe we would take it slow. Play on the swings and the sand.
Shayla headed straight for the toy that almost made her my toothless wonder.

I held my breath with each step she took, and tried not to let her see how scared I was.
She played and laughed, and insisted we slide down together.

She wanted to climb up and down by herself, and I let her.
That's what we do as parents. We let our children fall, and get back up. We cry with them when they are hurt, We laugh with them when they are happy. But most of all we love them.

It has been so inspirational to see how Shayla has handled this little trial of hers. She has been so cheerful, and lovie. She has been so brave. Did I tell you that while we were at the park after she fell she was picking flowers for me while I was on the phone with Bishop Keller? Melt my heart.

When I would be whining about pain, she is happy. When I would be worried about my tooth turning grey, she couldn't care less. When I would want to stay home and have a pity party for myself, she is back at the park and having a good time.

Children are amazing.

May 6, 2011

What Could Have Been...

Sometimes when I think about what could have been I feel so grateful for a Heavenly Father who watches over me. It makes me count my blessings.

Most of you know I spend most afternoons at the park with Shayla and at least one of her friends. Today I got a text from my friend Carrie wanting to know if we wanted to meet up at the park down the street from our house. It was perfect timing and she was almost there so I loaded Shay up in the car and we headed to the park. We had spent quite a bit of time there. Shayla was playing on the toddler toy, one she plays on 5 days a week. This next part happened in slow motion for me.

I saw Shayla walking dangerously close to the edge of a small stair. I was sitting on a stair not too far away from her watching her play. Close, but not close enough. I kept thinking, "She'll look where she is going." As she neared the edge I called out her name just as she fell off. Her head hit the plastic bridge and as she was picking herself up and I was running to her, I saw her tooth lying on the toy. 

I screamed. Scooped up Shayla and the tooth and called out to my friend that Shayla had just knocked out her front tooth. I was in shock. They don't cover this in Mommy 101.

Carrie ran over and put Shayla's tooth back in. Checked her for any signs of other injuries and then tried to figure out what we needed to do to take care of this little girl who has become like a daughter to her.

I called Jon so that he could look up a dentist or someone who could look at her mouth. After I hung up with him I realized our Bishop is a Dentist, so I called back and told him to call Bishop Keller.

Bishop Keller wanted to talk to me about the injury and assess what needed to be done. After he talked to me he said Carrie had done exactly what she should have done and told me some things I needed to do to care for the tooth for the next little bit.

Shayla was fine once she got home and had some pain medicine in her system. It left me so grateful for what didn't happen.

We could have walked to the park like we did 100 times before.
I was there with a pediatrician who knew exactly what to do. (Kind of convenient that one of my bestfriends out here is a pediatrician, wouldn't you say)
Shayla could have been injured so much more seriously.
We had Bishop Keller to call for advice on a Friday afternoon at 5pm. I am so grateful for that little bit of inspiration I was able to have in my moment of panic. Our Father in Heaven was watching over us. I was so frazzled and in shock. I was just standing there trying to figure out what to do. But I had that one moment of clarity.
The worst that could happen at this point is that the tooth doesn't take and she is my toothless wonder for a while.
We could have had a trip to the ER. Instead I was able to take care of her at home.
I'm so grateful for Jon. He dropped everything to come and rescue his hysterical wife and daughter.

One thing that really struck me was when Carrie suggested I have Jon give her a blessing. This may not strike any of you as odd but Carrie is Catholic. We had offered a blessing to her daughter one night when Carrie was really worried about an illness. I guess this stuck with her. I would have eventually calmed down and asked Jon to give Shayla a blessing, but it was one of those moments when you realize that anyone can receive inspiration.

I don't know what we will do when Carrie and Jason move away. Their presence will be greatly missed. Shayla thinks of her as another Mom. She and Lola are convinced they are sisters. Just separated in the womb I always say. Their move keeps coming closer and closer. It will be a sad day in the Laudie home when they leave.

Right now I'm just grateful Carrie was there. I don't know what I would have done without her. I can't even comprehend it. Tonight I'm just grateful.

April 28, 2011

Easter Part 1

We had a jam packed, fun filled Easter Weekend! I'm just barely recovering from it. (As is my house) I thought I would show some of our Easter Festivities in Sections, as I felt like it. What can I say, sometimes I'm lazy. Here is Shay's first Easter Egg hunt through pictures.

We started by riding the horse together. It may look like they are each unwilling participants, and Kate may be giving me the glare of death, but this was actually their idea. Those two sillies.

And the hunt Begins!! Shay was rather angry with me that I would have her go look for eggs when she wanted to swing. So she insisted that Jon help her on the hunt. This girl has attitude, with a capital A. (She may or may not get it from me...)

What goodies did Kate find? Apparently it was worth stopping and eating right then! Kate really caught on to the whole Egg hunt and pretty soon her basket was about to over flow. Even with these yummy little pit stops she made.

Cute Grant. I may or may not be campaigning for Shayla to date you when you're both 16. He is a cute kid and really enjoyed the hunt as well. His Mom won the prize with best egg filler, she brought Bubbles!!

Stopping to smell the dandelions. I'm just glad we're past the stage where she tries to eat them...

Oh Kate, If only you knew the yummy goodness hidden inside that shiny gold wrapper. You would have been a little more insistent that we open it immediately.

Shayla checking out Kate's basket. Maybe Kate has something better in hers!

The kids came up with a different idea for filling the eggs. Sand! Why didn't I think of that?

Trying to gather all the kids together for a picture....

Shayla absolutely refused to cooperate so we resorted to this. four cute kids. Shayla, Grant, Easton and Kate.

The bunny ears... Don't you DARE put that on me. With Easton watching to see what Kate does.

We had a fun time with all of these cute kids and their parents. Hopefully next year they're all a little more excited for the eggs! It ended with the parents picking up the majority of the eggs, and even sharing with other little kids who came to the park to play.

April 23, 2011

Happy Hollow

For those of you not from California you may be asking what Happy Hollow is. Well, it's a petting zoo. It's pretty darn cute. It has play areas, and picnic areas, and animals you can feed and pet, and Shayla's favorite part, a carousel. Some of my good friends out here and I bought year memberships to this cute little place, so our kids will be having this activity A LOT.

This is Shayla on the carousel. Every time we saw it she would say, "This, More!" She loved it. She would giggle as the animal went up and down and would pet it as we went around.

When Mommy stopped complying she even resorted to trying to break in...

Kate had a different approach. Up and Over.

We waited in line for a ridiculous amount of time to ride a dragon train around (a mistake we won't be repeating any time soon) The kids thought it was great and so magical. The Mom's had trouble not making fun of how ridiculous of a ride it was. There were painted animals all along the track that the kids could look for! Oh boy!

There were these great blue benches that the girls insisted on sitting on. Here are a few of the gems from that experience.

Don't ask me what they are doing to Shay's pants.

And Kate's "Cheese" face. Love it.

Not pictured is their other bestie Easton. He will be such the Ladies man. He had no interest in breaking into Carousels or doing something girlie like sitting on a blue bench. I'm sad I didn't capture a photo of him this trip. He LOVED the goats, Shayla was scared so the camera didn't come out during that experience. I'm sure I'll get many more opportunities though!