Thursday, November 29, 2012


I am putting a family/temple slideshow together for our ward Christmas party and Kayla walks in as I'm getting pictures of the temples downloaded.
She points to the picture on the screen and asks, "what's that?"
I reply, "that's the Logan, Utah temple."
"Oh, where's the Kayla, Utah temple?"

Mom: "Kayla, I think you need to go potty before we leave for the store."
Kayla: "No thanks!"

During the Sacrament prayers at church Kayla whispers to me, "Mom, do you hear Jesus?"

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Real Pumpkin Patch

Not one of those commercial ones with the big slides or hay rides.  There were no mazes or kettle corn. Just pumpkins and other gourds.  It was great.  Not that I don't like all the rides and mazes, and I love kettle corn, but we wanted to get some pumpkins and had already done the commercial pumpkin patch thing this year.  So we tried out Christ Orchard.  It was great.  When we got there the girls working  there told us we could get a little wagon for the kids/pumpkins to ride in and the pumpkins in the field were 50 cents each.  Sweet!  We passed some turkeys and other farm animals on the way to a HUGE patch and had a great time picking out some perfect pumpkins.

Off to the patch!

Showing us the pumpkin she picked.
Kayla insisted on riding in the wagon even though there was clearly not enough room for all the pumpkins and two children.
After we got home there was a little time for decorating the pumpkins.  Sadly, the paint took too long to dry and Kayla never actually got to paint a face on the pumpkin she turned pink.  There were many tears over that...  Hopefully next year we can be more organized!  (We did this just a couple of days before Halloween.)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012

Kayla, Logan, and I went to two Halloween parties this year - one at the church and one at a friend's place.  We didn't get a lot of pictures because I was busy juggling two kids by myself.  Kayla really got into the trick-or-treating this year.  After she got candy at one house I asked her if she had said "thank you".  "No" was her response.  I reminded her that she needed to say thank you, but I don't think it stuck with her.  Oh dear.  Here are some pictures of the adventures:

Kayla taught Logan what Halloween was all about.
Happy little monster!
Strawberry princess doing a curtsey.
"All mine!" 
I went to the Halloween party as a dead explosives technician.  (I was told to dress up, but when I showed up there weren't many other adults in costume.  At least I was a bunny! ;) )
Trick-or-treating craziness!  Can you find Kayla?
Good thing her jacket from 2 years ago matches her dress!
Kayla was a little worn out from all the running around.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

He survived his first year!

On his original birthday.
Logan celebrated his first birthday on October 5th.  He keeps us very busy with all his walking, singing, teething (he already has 8 teeth and is getting all four 1st-year molars right now!), climbing, and general "getting into things"-ness.  Logan LOVES Kayla so much that when he wakes up before she does, he makes lots of noise until she wakes up in the morning so they can play together.  Sadly for him, he is stuck in his crib and she usually just leaves the room after he wakes her up.

Logan started his birthday with allergy-free pancakes and blueberries.  Most of the rest of his day was just his regular routine.  However, Braden took the day off work so he could spend the day with L-man and we could have a celebration together with some of our friends in the evening.  I made Logan a chocolate cake - allergy-free of course! - that wasn't a huge hit.  Luckily for everyone there I also made a turtle cheesecake, and we had ice cream.  Some of the party attendees included Braden's MIT classmates that came out to Peoria/CAT with us, the Williams family, and part of the Wood family.  Thanks to our friends for coming and celebrating our sweet little Logan with us!

LOVES his bottle!

His cake, new truck from Daddy and Mommy, and cheesecake.

Big sister helping blow out the candle.

"Hmmmm...what do I do with this thing?"
"I think I get it now..."

The look he gives as he is about to drop his food on the floor.  Naughty boy!

Thanks Mary for helping with clean-up!
Kayla got a present too! (Thanks Grandma and Grandpa Wolf!)
Happy birthday buddy!  We love you!
And his one-year stats:
Height: 29.5 in.
Weight: 23 lbs. 3.5 oz.
Head circumference: 19 in. (which is the same as Kayla's, by the way)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mean Girls

Kayla loves preschool and is always very excited to go.  When I pick her up she tells me about her friends, Maiwen, Johanna, and Genevieve (deciphering those names was nothing short of a miracle for me and I had to check out the names on the backpack hooks at the preschool to figure out Maiwen).
Today Braden and I picked her up from school and she promptly told us about how she got to play on the playground - her favorite activity in the world.  We asked her what she did on the playground and she said, "Mary Jane said 'I'm not your friend.'  Then I was sad and went..." and she mad a very sad face.  Um, what?!  How can a three-year-old say that?  It just about broke my heart.  What do I do?  I wanted to go back there and ask the teachers if they knew there was a mean girl in their class.  I want to look up that girl's phone number and talk to her mother about what kinds of things she is teaching her daughter and needs to teach her to be kind.  I want to protect my daughter from the sting of mean girls.  Realistically, I know this will not be the last time someone is mean to her.  It breaks my heart that she is being forced to learn that some people aren't very nice at such a young age.  We asked her what she did when this little girl wasn't very nice and she just answered that she was sad and made another sad face.  How I wish I could shield her from these hurts.  I know she isn't perfect and I'm sure that sometimes she hurts other kids' feelings too, but "I'm not your friend"?  Ouch.
We went and played on a playground with some friends this evening.  I think that helped end the day on a good note.  Hopefully she won't dwell too much on this mean girl (because all mothers know that I am dwelling on it enough for the both of us!).  But mostly, I hope that she can learn that it is important to be nice to everybody, even the mean girls (but maybe stay away from the mean girls if being nice isn't working).

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Today was a Very Big Day!

This morning Kayla woke up dry for the very first time!  Hooray!  We are on the way to being pull-up free!
Also of great importance, today was Kayla's first day of preschool!  She was so excited and picked out her outfit last night.  Braden was able to meet us at the preschool to drop her off.  Kayla walked right in and started playing with toys.  No tears, no whining.  She is growing up so much and is such an independent little girl.  It made us proud to watch her walk into a new situation without any trepidation. 

Of course after school it was time for a snack - blueberry muffin with a cup of milk!

Also today, Braden started working second shift in East Peoria.  He gets to be home with us during the day until about 1:30 then he heads to work until about 11:30pm.

Here comes a brand-new schedule for everyone.  We're excited to have Daddy home for two meals a day now.  Wish me luck on doing bedtime solo five days a week!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Logan Story (It's a long one)

Lots of hives.
Logan was about 6 months old when at Easter dinner I gave him a bite of my dinner roll.  We noticed that his face started turning red within 10 minutes.  So Braden ran home (since we were at a friend's house for dinner) and got the Benadryl.  Proper dosage was tricky since the label reads "children under 2 years: do not use".  So we just guessed and gave him about a quarter teaspoon.  As we were going home we set him on the floor to put Kayla's shoes on and Logan started vomiting.  After attempting to clean it up and profusely apologizing to our friends, we ran out the door.  We got home and started getting Logan ready for a bath to clean him up when I noticed he had red blotches/hives all over his body.  After his bath, they were still there.  And he was screaming.  A lot of screaming.  So Braden called MIT pediatrics and explained what was going on.  They told him that since Logan had hives and had vomited whatever was causing a reaction in him was affected two systems in his little body so we should go immediately to the ER.  I did NOT want to take him by myself, so Braden got Kayla into bed and we called a friend to come sit with her.  Luckily our friend had a paper to write (the same paper Braden worked on while at the ER) so he didn't mind helping us out.  We got to Boston Children's Hospital around 9:30 and stayed until 1am.  They gave him more Benadryl and just wanted to watch him to make sure he didn't need epinephrine.  The next day was his 6-month appointment with his pediatrician.  She recommended that he go to the allergist, but also warned that allergy tests for children under 1 have a lot of false positives and false negatives.  (We didn't go to the allergist.)
So happy to be at the ER with Mom and Dad in the middle of the night.
Poor swollen baby!
In May I went to get my hair cut.  Logan had had a fever that meds weren't lowering so I had made an appointment for him to go in that afternoon.  While I was getting my hair cut Braden was with the kids. Since Logan wasn't taking a bottle and it had been hours since he had eaten, Braden gave him some of the cereal puffs.  I got home, we all went to the doctor, and Logan's face started swelling, and swelling. I interrupted whatever the doctor was saying and said, "he's having an allergic reaction, he needs Benadryl right now!"  She finally understood that the situation was serious and got him some medicine.  Then she hemmed and hawed about whether we should take an ambulance or drive ourselves to the ER.  She even stopped one of the other doctors and asked her what we should do.  Braden finally said, "we'll drive ourselves" and we left.  (Needless to say, we were quite unimpressed with some of the doctors there at MIT pediatrics.)  So off we went.  This time, Braden dropped me off with Logan (second time around is much less scary) and he took Kayla to run errands or play on the playground.  Logan was swollen, red, and had hives.  After about an hour and a half, one of the doctors said she didn't think he needed epinephrine.  Ten minutes later a different doctor came in and said Logan should get epinephrine.  The nurse finally came back in and I asked her which doctor we were going to listen to.  Another 15 minutes goes by and it's decided that Logan should get the epinephrine.  According to the doctor though, we can leave as soon as it gets administered.  The nurses say they want us to stay for 20 after  to make sure it is taking effect and he is doing ok still.  So nice that everyone is on the same page!  (NOT!)  Since the nurses are the ones that actually give him the shot, we stayed.  Within 10 minutes the swelling and redness was going down.  His eczema cleared up for several days afterwards too!
Still swollen, red, and sad.
So we made an appointment to see the allergist.  She was so much more helpful than I was expecting.  After a very unhelpful dermatology appointment for his eczema, I didn't have much hope for the specialist there at MIT Medical.  The allergist proved me wrong though.  She did a simple skin test which showed he was reactive to the two types of egg proteins.  He tested negative for everything else that was tested: milk, wheat, strawberries (the puffs had strawberry puree in them), and a few other things.  So we bought some milk-based formula (hooray for less expensive formula!).  Braden was taking both sets of Grandparents and my younger sister to the airport after his graduation while I was at church with the kids when I ran out of our soy-based formula and gave Logan his first taste of milk-based formula.  BIG MISTAKE.  20 minutes into Relief Society Logan downed the 8oz. bottle and promptly upchucked it all plus everything else in his system.  Thank goodness for kind RS sisters!  I think four women came rushing over with baby wipes and paper towels to clean it all up.  My loving friend took Logan from me so I could attempt to clean up my shirt and skirt and get out the Benadryl (which we learned to keep in the diaper bag at all times).  She helped give him his medicine to attempt to calm the reaction then proceeded to remove his filthy clothes.  Everywhere the vomit touched was covered in hives.  I grabbed my stuff and Logan and rushed to the mother's lounge where I could finish cleaning us up.  And he threw up again.  So he was out of clothes and I was soaked.  I tried calling Braden to let him know the situation but he wasn't answering his phone (it was on silent because of church).  So I tried to clean us both up as best I could and decided to take the chance that I could find Braden in his class.  Clad in only his diaper and blanket, I cradled Logan as I walked down the hall and miraculously ran into Braden!  By the time I told him what happened it was time to pick up Kayla from nursery and we headed home.  I called up the allergist the next day and made another appointment.  She prescribed him an epi-pen that we now carry around with us.  She also decided he needed a blood test done.  I was so nervous!  I don't like needles but Logan was a champ and sat still for the first time in his life while getting his blood drawn.  We left for Utah four days later.  I got a message on my phone from the allergist saying that Logan is allergic to wheat, eggs, and dairy.  I am so grateful to know what it is he's allergic to so we can relax a little bit.  And I'm glad he can have soy and corn.

So what do you feed a baby that is allergic to wheat, eggs, and dairy?  Lots of fruits and vegetables, Kix, quinoa, and we tried deli ham for the first time today.  We always have the Benadryl nearby in case something causes a reaction.  I scour the internet for ideas, but most allergy-sensitive recipes only leave out one or two of his problem-foods.  Most importantly, what do I do for a birthday cake for him???
Happy kid when we know what NOT to feed him!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Weighing In

I weighed the kids last week.  Kayla is up to 32 lbs.  Logan (at 10 months) is 22 lbs.  

Playing at the music table.

We're having fun in Peoria, IL!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hitching a Ride...

We hung out with Crush and stole Marlin's seat...

Hawaii is AWESOME!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Our Little 3-Year-Old

Kayla celebrated her third birthday on May 25th.  She started the day with cinnamon rolls, scrambled eggs, bacon, and pink smoothie (her favorites!).  Then she got to open presents.  Kayla really enjoys opening presents and Logan liked helping!  

Figuring out that scissors work best on the ribbon.

Logan had his own present to open.

So tired after all the morning festivities.

Her castle cupcake-cake.  When asked what she wanted for her birthday, Kayla always answered "pink cake".
After Kayla woke up from her nap we finished getting everything set to celebrate outside with her friends.  Once outside, Kayla's friends sang to her and everyone enjoyed cupcakes, yummy drinks, and playing on the playground.  Unbeknownst to Kayla, that day was the last time she would see her favorite friend Kate.  We tried to get some good pictures of the girls together but they weren't exactly cooperative in that department.  

We quickly cleaned everything up then headed to the airport to fly to California, where we celebrated Kayla's birthday again.  

For the record, she had her 3-year appointment and here are her stats:
Weight - 31.5lbs. (60th %ile)
Height - 36.5in. (28th %ile)

Kayla is such a blessing to our family.  She says and does the funniest things and is always so concerned for others.  Kayla loves to sing and always amazes us with new songs belting out of her mouth.  Her favorites lately have been "Somewhere Out There", "Stop in the Name of Love", and "Three Little Birds" (Bob Marley).  When there is anything to do around the apartment, Kayla is always right there helping out.  Sometimes she gets "scary" (scared), especially when we all turn into "monsters", which we apparently have been doing a lot lately.  Kayla has the most active imagination.  Quite often I will hear her talking and wonder who she is talking to then realize she is just playing some sort of imaginative game.  We love our active little girl so much!

Monday, March 26, 2012

My Birthday...

This was a memorable one.  (This is going to be a lot of typing, mostly because I want to remember this birthday forever and don't want to leave anything out.)  After a very rough Saturday (lack of sleep the night before tends to do that to me), I decided that Sunday - my birthday - was going to be good no matter what!  The kids and I woke up around 6:45 and made some delicious pumpkin pancakes with homemade cinnamon syrup.  We got to talk to Braden via Facetime and I put some chicken in the slow cooker for dinner that night.  A friend of mine had invited me over for a birthday dinner but since we hadn't talked about it since the previous Monday, I wasn't counting on it.  I was going to call her and just cancel since my little sister changed her plans for the week so she could spend it with the kids and me (hooray Ashley!), but I didn't, mostly because I couldn't quite figure out how to start that phone call..."hi, I know you invited me for dinner a week ago and we haven't talked since so I don't know if you were still planning to have me over to celebrate my birthday...I feel awkward now..."  Sheesh.  So I got myself and the kids ready and we headed off to church.  Ashley's flight came in during the third hour so I picked Kayla up from nursery early and we set off for the airport.  After circling the airport a couple of times I realized that waiting in the cell phone lot would be the best option.  We got Ashley and as we were headed home I got a call from Kristen (the friend who had invited me over for dinner) telling me how excited she was to have me over for dinner to celebrate my birthday and that yes, of course my sister can come too, how great!  Guess that cooked chicken is going in the fridge...  She said she would call when she was home from playing the piano for ward choir practice to let us know when to come over.  So Kristen calls around 5:30 and says, "my apartment is too small for dinner tonight, let's just go to the lounge.  I'll meet you outside your apartment."  Huh?  Pretty sure we've eaten dinner at her place several times and it's been big enough before...weird, but whatever.  We get our stuff gathered up and head downstairs to meet Kristen who is waiting for us just outside.  We're just chit-chatting on the way over to the high-rise and down the elevator to the basement lounge.  I open the door and "SURPRISE!!"  Ahhhh!  "Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Tiffany, happy birthday to you!"  I definitely teared up (a lot).  I don't handle surprises very well.  Well, I have very good friends here.  It makes me very sad to think that we are moving from them in just a few months.  Who gets a surprise birthday party for their 24th (again and again) birthday?!  Seriously!  These girls are great.  They take such great care of me.  These are some random, and not so great of quality, pictures taken that night.  We hadn't brought a camera because we thought it was just going to be dinner so these pictures are from my phone.  (the pictures are doing funny things like not lining up right and I can't figure out how to fix it...sorry!)

Lots of delicious birthday cupcakes.  Aren't they pretty?  My friends are in a cake-decorating class.  The chocolate ones were filled with a peanut-butter cream!

The nicest person in the world who brought it all together.

My family (those of us in Boston at the time at least).

I feel so blessed and so loved.  This was a great birthday!  Thank you to everyone who sent me birthday texts, phone calls, cards, and love.