This girl.


She's 2. (Side note: Have you EVER seen a better picture? I'm still thinking about it, but I don't think I have. Side note over.)

Her birthday was on the 14th. That morning, we went to Jump Street, an indoor trampoline arena. Maddy loves trampolines. She was basically in heaven.


Then we had lunch at Chick-Fil-A, where she got her very own kids meal (they have a meal with 1 chicken strip. Odd, but perfect. Especially since she likes the fries the most. Which is understandable, since Chick-Fil-A fries are DA best. Okay, I'm done.)

Then she spent the afternoon with Grandma while I got things ready for her party. We just had a low-key party at our house, with pizza and cupcakes. Oh, and presents, of course.



It was a good day. But my favorite part came later.

Charly had fallen asleep in my arms, so I asked Maddy if she wanted to help me put the baby in bed. Of course, she did. We went into the nursery, I put Charly down, and had turned to leave when Maddy said "Chair." She pointed at the rocking chair - the one I used to rock her in every day - and held her arms up to me.

I picked up my baby and sat down to rock her. She wrapped her arms around my neck and rested her cheek on my shoulder. "Twinkle, twinkle," she said. So I tried to hold back my tears while I sang "Twinkle, twinkle" to her, happily starting over every time the song would end and she would demand "Again." I wouldn't have wanted to end that day any other way.


I am so, so lucky to be this girl's mom. She loves popcorn, dancing, Dr. Pepper, and the iPad. She can count to 10 (working on 15), and knows most of her letters. She likes cereal, macaroni and cheese, celery, carrots, pizza, pears, apples, Oreos, cheese, cottage cheese, pepperoni, pickles, Fruit by the Foots, and any kind of candy. She gets mad that I don't let her drive the car. She wants to run everywhere, rather than be carried or ride in her stroller. She can tell you her favorite rides at Disneyland. She likes to watch Dora, The Little Mermaid, Lady and the Tramp, Tangled, and Signing Time. She loves her baby sister, and thinks it's hilarious to make her smile and laugh. She loves Nursery at church, and she'll make sure Dallin and I are folding our arms when it's time to pray. She likes it when her Daddy chases her. When she gives kisses, she kisses both cheeks.


It's entirely possible that I couldn't love her more.

First trip to the grocery store

I went grocery shopping with both of the girls on Saturday.

Before you think too hard about what we've been eating for the past 6 weeks, you should know that I have been to the grocery store since Charlotte was born, but it's either been with only one of the girls or with another adult along for the ride. This trip was the first time I took both of them, by myself.

This is a big deal.

Right after Maddy was born, I was terrified of leaving the house. Seriously, I felt incapable of leaving. I didn't know how to handle her car seat with the shopping cart. I was terrified of her crying in public. What if she had a major blowout, or decided she wanted to eat 2 hours ahead of schedule? I honestly felt like I had forgotten how to go grocery shopping. It was awful.

I don't really remember getting a specific kick in the pants (other than the realization that I would have to leave the house sometime), but I do remember that it was very much a just-grit-your-teeth-and-do-it kind of thing. It had to happen. I had to do it. So I did it. Maddy and I became quick shopping buddies, and I was proud of myself for doing something I had been totally afraid of. Go, me!

And then Charly came.

I can't tell you guys how good I felt during our first few days home. Seriously. I felt much more in control than I did right after bringing Maddy home. She was a good baby. I'd done this before, and I felt like I could handle it (especially since I was done with school). I was in good spirits, even while running on little sleep and constantly sore from nursing issues. In general, I was recovering beautifully. Life was good.

And so it was, that when my mom mentioned that she was taking my little sister out shopping for school clothes, I asked if I could tag along. After all, I needed to get out of the house, and even though I was a bit nervous about doing so (DOUBLE STROLLER?!), I had learned from last time that I just needed to grit my teeth and do it. Right?

Well, my friends, I can tell you that from the second I walked through the doors at the mall, I knew I'd made a mistake. There were so many people. So much noise. And I swear, Charly shrunk to about half of her (already very small) size. She was so new! What the heck was I thinking, taking this brand new baby out shopping?!

I forced myself to stay for maybe an hour. I weaved the stroller through the crowds and half-heartedly browsed through the racks, feeling absolutely suffocated by even the music in the stores. Something was going to happen. Someone was going to steal my baby. Or touch my baby. Or steal my toddler. The pumped milk I had brought for Charly was going to spill and soak everything in the diaper bag. And then Charly would get hungry. And she would start screaming. And Maddy would get lost. And did I still have my wallet? And the MUSIC WOULD JUST KEEP POUNDING IN MY EARS - FOR GOODNESS' SAKE TURN OFF THE DANG MUSIC!

Yeah, pretty sure that was an anxiety attack right there.

I burst into tears the moment the car door shut. I spent the drive home feeling sorry for myself, convinced that I would never be able to leave the house again because I just couldn't handle it. Apparently I wasn't good/strong/smart/capable enough to go anywhere with two children. I felt totally defeated.

Sure, I bounced back - told myself that I just needed a little more time. So, I gave myself a little more time, and I tried again. And I ended up feeling defeated again. I tried again. Defeat. I kept trying, and I kept getting shot down. It wasn't good for my mood, I can tell you that. Especially when mixed with all those postpartum hormones that are so amazing.

You're probably expecting me to now share with you the "breakthrough" moment - that one day when I took the girls with me to run errands and realized that I could do this, that I am a perfectly capable mother of two. Sorry to disappoint you, but I don't have that story yet. Believe me, I wish I did.

What I do have is the story of my first trip to the grocery store with my two girls, a full 6 weeks into being a mother of two. It's the story of an essential trip to Walmart with no way around going by myself and taking both of them. Our list was all of 10 items long, which was good because with the baby in her carrier in the basket, there wasn't room for much else. I brought along a sandwich baggie full of marshmallows to bribe Maddy to sit in the shopping cart seat. We visited the fish tanks and Maddy counted them while I tried to not look at the nasty things. I didn't think about what else I might need; I just stuck to my list (I'm usually pretty bad at doing that). When the line at the deli counter was long, I just bought the packaged sliced cheese they had in the cooler, even though it was a little more expensive. I let Maddy help me swipe my debit card and let her push the green button after I entered my PIN. I forgot to price match my milk.

And I sang along to the radio on the way home. I see that as progress.

Bye Bye Boppy

Have you seen "Bye Bye Birdie?"

I never had. I knew a lot of the songs since one of my high school choirs did a review of them, but I'd never actually seen the movie.

And then I found out about Biltmore Fashion Center's movies in the park (free movies outside - fun!) and the only weekend that worked for us was the weekend they were showing "Bye Bye Birdie." So now I've seen it. Er, most of it. We were a little late. But that's beside the point.

In fact, that whole thing is kind of beside the point, because what I really wanted to tell you was this: I'm done breastfeeding.


No one told me that BF-ing took over your life. For me, it was very time consuming, and at times, pretty darn painful.

Not saying I won't do it with the next one, because I totally will. It's just...I'm going to enjoy the break. And I'm going to take Excedrin for my headaches because I can and it's da bomb.

And when I moved the boppy pillow from it's home of 11 1/2 months (our bedroom) to its new home (our spare/junk/tornado-just-hit-it room) I couldn't help but sing "Bye bye Boppy" in my head. Or maybe out loud.



Oh, you clicked over to my blog hoping to find out what we've been up to for the past few weeks? Maybe get a picture or two of Madelyn in her adorable Halloween costume? Perhaps hear about how school has been going for me (hint: blegh)? Or my feelings about Fall? Or an amazing pumpkin recipe or two?

Well stop dreaming my friends, because I'm not updating you on any of those things right now.

Today we're talking about today.

Today is Madelyn's very first birthday.

Now, I don't want to get too sappy about this. I'm honestly not freaking about too much about having a one-year-old. It is crazy...but come on, I knew it was going to happen someday. In fact, I knew the exact day that it was going to happen, so I could prepare. So don't expect me to be all "AAH MY BABY IS ONE!!!" kind of thing.

But there are a few thoughts I have.

Mostly, I just want to let the cyber-world know that I love love love my baby girl.

I'm so proud of everything she's already accomplished and become in one short year.

I'm grateful to her for making me a mother. It's the most rewarding job I've ever had.

I'm so very excited to find out what the coming years bring for both of us. I hope she grows up to be happy, healthy, loving, brave, smart, confident, and well aware of how much so many people love her.

I'm starting to wonder if the day will ever come when my heart doesn't just expand every time I look at my girl. I don't think it will.

Happy birthday, Madelyn!
Thank you for being my sunshine.

I'll Like You For Always

It's mornings like this morning (when I was pooped on in the first 5 minutes of holding Maddy girl)

following nights like last night (during which I got up just about every 2 hours exactly)

that make me think I could very easily be mad at my little girl.

And then I go to change her, and I get:

and I'm like, "Mad? What's mad?"

"Wait, who's mad?"

"I'm not mad!"

"Um...what was the question?"

I guess anger and chubby cheeks just don't mix.

Oh, bring back my body to me

Not exactly how the song goes...but work with me here.

My body has not been my own for almost a year now. Yes, February was the month in which Madelyn was conceived, and my self has been shared ever since.

You might be thinking, "But Katie, did you not expel your child from your self in November, thus restoring your body to your sole ownership?"

If you are thinking this, two things are very likely true:

1) You speak very formally...good for you.
2) You have never breastfed.

What has my breastfeeding experience been like? In a word...annoying.

In four words...I'm a freakin cow.

I make more milk than Madelyn could ever drink. Which, by the way, is saying girl can eat.

I would never REALLY complain about breastfeeding. I mean, it's the best possible food for my baby. Not only that, but it's got to be at least part of the reason all my pregnancy weight ran away screaming and crying after the baby was born. I eat more and weigh less than I think I ever have in my adult life. And I know I should be grateful that I have enough milk, that Madelyn and I didn't have problems "getting used" to the whole thing, etc.

But seriously. I can pretty much count on having to change clothes at least once a day, and usually more than that. I'm debating just giving up clothes all together. Madelyn ends up having to change clothes pretty often too. And my sheets? Forgetaboutit.

Aside from my laundry issues, some funness has happened that requires me to use this cream stuff to keep me from wanting to part ways with my chest forever. Said cream is very annoying to apply.

Like I said, I should probably count myself lucky. I know other mothers have bigger issues than I do when it comes to breastfeeding. And I intend to keep it up...but not without some complaining. I'll try to spare you another post about it enthralled as I'm sure you all are.

In other news...

Dallin is amazing.

Madelyn is beautiful.

Life is good.

Oh! And we're blessing Madelyn on February 7. It's going to be epic. Our ward meets at 11:30. Consider this your invitation. If you want to come, e-mail me or comment or something and I'll get you directions to our building.

Ciao ciao.

How to Get Nothing Done

Step 1: Feed the baby

Step 2: Hold the baby until she falls asleep

Step 3: Set the baby down

Step 4: Spend the 5 minutes you have running around like crazy - rotate the laundry, clean at random, and if you're really

Step 5: Go pick up the fussing baby.

Step 6: Lather.

Step 7: Rinse.

Step 8: Ignore steps 6 & 7 since they actually have nothing to do with anything.

Step 9: Repeat.

My baby loves to be held.

She will smile and coo. She will just lay still and look at me. She will sleep for hours on end (like really). She will do all these long as I'm holding her.

If I'm not holding her, I usually have very few minutes to get x project/task done.

The exception is if she's swaddled and completely, totally, 100% asleep. I save this special combo for nighttime.

Moral of the story: If you want to get things done, don't have kids.

Um...ok, sadness. Scratch that.

New moral of the story since the last one sucked: Put off what you think you need to get done and hold your kids whenever they'll let you. Especially while they're little babies. And especially if you happen to have the cutest daughter in the world...which you don't, because I do.

Ok, so I'm probably exaggerating (not about the cutest daughter in the world thing...ha!). Madelyn doesn't need to be held 24/7. She'll chill on our bed while I get ready in the morning. She'll hang out on a blanket on the floor at Grandma's. She'll sit/sleep in her glider type thing so Daddy can watch her while he works. She'll stay nice and content in her car seat for long periods of time while we're out running errands.

So I guess maybe the point is that I freak out too much about getting laundry/cleaning/grocery shopping done. Psh, don't we all?

Also, on a narrative note, we had a fantastic holiday week, and hope you did too! We spent Christmas Eve at my parents' house; it consisted of Dallin doing the Christmas Can-Can and yours truly being Santa Claus in the annual Christmas play. We spent most of Christmas day there as well, opening presents (wait till I tell you what Dallin gave made me go "Aww" and possibly cry), eating a yummy breakfast, and relaxing, before going home to pack for our trip. We flew up to Seattle on Christmas night to spend a week with Dallin's family. New Year's Eve was spent mostly at their house...until 11:00 when I decided I didn't want to be old and boring yet and made Dallin take me somewhere. We ended up watching the Space Needle fireworks from a groovy spot across the Puget Sound. Smooching may have been involved.

And now, on with a new week, a new month, and a new year!

Here's something to get you through your Madelyn fix:

Her cheeks are totally chubifying. You can practically pinch them through your computer screen. But I wouldn't recommend trying. Unless you're totally alone. Double check, and then go ahead and try.


So, I'm a mommy.

Yeah, it's kind of weird.

It's like, I had this alien creature in my stomach for nine months. It was something I couldn't really identify with or really picture. And then I birthed it and it was like...a human. It's daughter.

It's really pretty mind boggling if you think about it. And if you don't think about it, it's really a very normal thing that happens hundreds of times every day. Maybe I should stop thinking about it.

Anyway, motherhood.

Motherhood is hard to explain for me at this point. Probably because I've only been experiencing it for three weeks, which is not a very long time to become an expert or even really a well-rehearsed novice at anything.

I would say that my feelings of mommy-ness could be placed into a nutshell at this point: a nutshell named "Worry."

I worry. A lot. It sucks. I try really, really hard not to. I don't freak out when the bink (aka pacifier. I dislike the word pacifier) falls on the floor. I don't wash every piece of clothing before she wears it for the first time. I'll pretty much let anyone hold her or touch her. I've even taken her out shopping and exposed her to germ infested society.

But a cough, or a comment that she still looks a little yellow, or a little bit of spit-up coming out of her nose, or a particularly violent startle, or her being "too still" while she's sleeping, or falling asleep while I was holding her and waking up to see that she slipped out of her original position, or her eye getting a little goopy, or her not wanting to eat for a little longer than usual, or her nails getting a little too long, or wondering if I'm dressing her too warmly, or thinking the cradle mattress might be too soft, or just thinking about the possibility that something might show up on her newborn screening, or even just thinking that she might get a cold or something...

and I just...don't like it.

I mean, this is my baby. It's my baby! Nothing is allowed to happen to her - ever! You hear that, universe?

I am seriously trying to not become a total basket case by worrying about my daughter too much. But wow, it's hard.

Thankfully, this worry has tapered off since the first week or so. I can pretty much go about my daily business without being constantly sure paranoid worried that Madelyn is surely going to suffer some kind of terrible suffering.

But I still can't exactly sleep in the same room as her. She stirs, I stir.

I just love her, you know? This is my daughter. Of course I don't want anything to happen to her. I want her to be happy and healthy and smart and beautiful and I don't want anything in the world to even think about getting in her way.

I know that things are going to happen. She might even (gasp!) get a cold someday. And I'm going to have to deal with it.

And maybe then, after a few years or so of colds, I'll be a little more qualified to write about Mommy-ness.

You know...maybe.

On a fairly to moderately more awesome note, here are some of our Madelyn's adorable personality traits that we've noticed in her first twenty-five days of life:

-She loves to be held, and will refuse to sleep anywhere but someone's arms unless she's out like bell bottoms.

-She loves to hold hands. Sometimes holding her hand(s) calms her down like nothing else.

-She likes to have her hands up by her face. Short nails are completely necessary. She won't wear baby mittens.

-She does not like baths.

-She likes being rocked and read to, and while you might think Dickens' A Christmas Carol is a bit advanced for someone at her level, I can assure you, she loves it.

-She has a very strong neck/head. When I'm sitting up and holding her with her head on my chest, she'll lift her head up and stare at me in the face for a good amount of time.

-When she's awake, she's very alert. Just taking in the world around her, I guess!

And on the most awesome note of all, here is a recent picture of our little princess (not that all pictures of her aren't recent...I mean, she's 3 1/2 weeks old...):

Ok so it's not the most flattering angle, I know. But the fact that she's still the cutest baby in the land, even at the unflattering angle, has got to say something.

Oh yeah, I'm a mom.