Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dear Scarlet -- 3 Years

Dear Scarlet,

How did you manage to grow up so fast?  Three years old already?  I thought it would be fun to do a little interview with you this year, so here we go.

Nicknames:  Rabies (I know, it's an unfortunate name your dad gave you as a baby and it stuck), Pooperton, Scarlie, Sweetness
How old are you?  5! (Well, you're three.  We need to work on this one apparently.)
What is your favorite color?  Blue.  Suck, suck, suckers! (Obviously you're a fan of suckers)
What is your favorite animal?  A shark.
What is your favorite book?  My sharks. (I think it's really Cat in the Hat)
What is your favorite TV show?  Uh, uh, TVs.  Umizoomi!
What is your favorite movie?  Monsters, Inc.
What is your favorite song?  Umizoomi!  (Well, since you didn't give me an honest answer, your favorite song is Penumbra by Book on Tapeworm, also known by you as Shadow)
What is your favorite food?  Dinner and cupcakes.
What is your favorite drink?  Water (I wish!  Your favorite drink is anything sweet.  Lemonade, chocolate milk, Coke, Sprite, etc.)
What is your favorite breakfast food?  Uh, cakes. (As in pancakes.  You will eat more than me when I make them).
What is your favorite snack?  Cupcakes
What is your favorite game?  Monsters (we have no such game)
What is your favorite toy?  Hey mommy, tickle tickle.
Who is your best friend?  Uh, friends. (apparently all your friends are your best friends)
What do you like to sleep with at night?  I like a latapitter.  Translation:  Caterpillar.  (I hate no idea what you're talking about.  You always have to have blankie and then some sort of toy when you sleep.)
What do you want to be when you grow up?  Uh, dress up!
Where do you live?  At California.  (We just moved to Arizona.  You were so excited, but I guess that wore off).

It was like torture getting you to answer these questions.  The answers to most things were about sharks or cupcakes.  Or Monsters.  I think you're slightly side tracked.  It was still fun though.  I'm excited to see what you will say next year.

Like I mentioned above, we just moved from California to Arizona.  The move wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  You have adjusted very well so far.  You take a ballet and tap class once a week.  You love it and usually tell me it was "super fun."  It's adorable to watch you as you learn new things.  You have such a talent for learning.

You are now my big girl.  I love you more than you will ever know.  Thanks for being mine.

Love you forever,


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Dear Elliot -- 14 Months

Dear Elliot,

Okay, so I'll admit, I'm horrible at keeping up with my letters to you.  Sorry, son.  Here's a recap of what has happened over the last 3 months.  

Obviously on May 22, 2013, you turned one.  It was a joyous day.  We celebrated by having Grandma Carolyn come to California for a week.  We had your birthday party on May 24, 2013.  You had so many friends there!  It was a rock star party, because well, you're our little rock star!  You love daddy's drum sticks.  They are most definitely your favorite toy.  

We made a trip to Utah for two weeks.  Yes, another trip to Utah.  Get used to it.  You seemed to love it.  We played with cousins, grandmas, aunts, uncles, and papa.  

As of today, you are only walking when you decide you want to.  I know you know how, and you can totally do it, you just have no desire to.  You'd rather crawl.  I'm good with whatever makes you happy. 

You don't say much.  A few uh-oh's here and there and occasionally a mama or dada.  I think Scarlet does most of the talking for you, especially since she never seems to stop talking.  

We still adore you.  You are the snuggliest baby I've ever seen.  Your daddy loves it.  So do I.  You are so fun and I'm so grateful that I get to watch  you grow each and every day.  You'll never cease to amaze me.



P.S.  I have a confession to make.  I really miss our midnight rendezvous.  I miss holding you while you would sleep/eat.  I was the only one who could soothe you back to sleep.  Don't get me wrong, I'm glad you're sleeping through the night, it's just those little things that I miss.  Maybe every once in a while you could fall asleep while snuggling?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dear Elliot -- 11 Months

Dear Elliot,

I just cannot even believe that you are already 11 months old.  Time is flying!  This last month of your life has been extremely eventful.  On your 10-month birthday, we flew to Utah and stayed for three weeks.  Your dad and I expected you to change a lot while we were in Utah, but we had no idea just how much it would actually be.  

Within the first three or four days in Utah, you had two teeth break through!  They were your very first teeth.  I wish I had a picture of what they looked like.  One is a side tooth, and the other is a middle tooth with a space in between.  You like kind of funny, but oh so cute!  

You also started pulling yourself up to a standing position.  I knew it wouldn't be long until you were finally crawling and walking.  By the end of our trip, you were crawling all over the place.  

This last month has definitely brought a lot of change in your life and by the way you are acting, it seems there will be a lot more change in the near future.  I can't believe how fast you are growing up.  You are even sleeping like a big boy too.  You no longer want to be swaddled (finally).  You always loved having the blankets tight around you, but now you just want to be able to roll around and sleep on your tummy.  

One more month and we get to celebrate your first year of life!  We are going to have a grand party for you. Elliot, I sure do adore you.  You make me so happy!



Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Do you love to try samples of new products?  I love it.  Ryan thinks I'm kind of strange, but whatever.  It takes me back to being a kid and running to get the mail only to see a sample of some sort of body wash or shampoo.  It would inevitably make my week.

Well, if you have always liked it, you should try out Smiley 360.  It's a site that sends you on "missions."  They send you samples of different products with coupons and other sharing tools.  You then try it out and share your experience to earn points.

Click HERE to try it out for yourself!  I'll also be posting about the products I've been able to try.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Utah Adventures

I received a call late one Wednesday night from my father.  He informed me that my grandfather had taken his last breath and passed on to the next life.  I was alone seeing as how my husband had spent the night in Los Angeles (the only night that week he stayed there).  I was in slight disbelief that grandpa was gone and nobody was there to cry with.  We had known it was coming, but yet I kind of thought he would just keep holding on and never leave.  I wish that was how it could be. 

Thursday was riddled with phone calls and texts to and from family members.  My brother so graciously booked a flight for me and the kids for Friday, March 22.  It was fast and crazy.  The thought of having to fly with two kids two and under scared me.  However, my little troopers did amazing on the flight.  It was like they knew I needed them to behave and help me out. 

Grandpa had been a fireman for quite a few years of his life.  I remember going to the fire station when I was a kid and getting scratch and sniff stickers (orange scent) and thinking he was such a cool guy.  He was.  The fire department literally stood by his side until the very end. 
It was so touching to see the firefighters dressed in their blues, stoic, and holding their axes.  A final farewell.  They led the casket into the funeral services too.  It was amazing.  Breathtaking really.  A fire truck led the way to the cemetery.  It had black drapes on it and carried the great grand kids.  It was such a special thing for those little ones. 

While following the hearse, we came around a corner in Provo to such an amazing site. Two fire trucks with their ladders extended and all the firemen standing next to them saluting as we all passed by. 

Little Elliot decided to try out being a firefighter for a minute. 

Did I mention I was a pallbearer?  I was.  That's right.  I, in all my wimpy glory, carried a casket.  Granted I did have 8 other people helping me.  I felt so blessed to have had such an opportunity. 

The day after the funeral, Scarlet decided she needed to get sick.  I mean, knock down, drag out sick.  I couldn't get her to eat or drink.  And then the diarrhea.  It was AWFUL.  She has never, ever in her entire life been that sick.  I felt so bad for her!  However, I did love the snuggles.  I never get to snuggle her, so it was a nice change.  Too bad she was sick. 

 As Sunday morning rolled around and she was still not eating, drinking or going potty, I decided it was time to take her to the emergency room.  The nurses and doctors at UVRMC were nothing short of amazing.  They were so good with Scarlet.  They brought toys, socks, drinks, suckers, rice krispie treats, yogurt, cereal, fruit snacks, and I'm sure other stuff that I left out. 

She ended up with an IV in her tiny little hand and got some hydration.  The doctor just about admitted her.  I was praying he didn't because it was Easter and I just wanted her to be with her cousins and have fun, even if she could only do it in short spurts.  Thankfully the doctor let us leave.  We just had to keep her IV in just in case she needed more hydration.  Poor little thing. 

After a week of sickness, things got better.  For the last week in Utah, we tried to party it up.  We went to story time at the Provo library (best story time), ate at Waffle Love (a.k.a. the waffle truck, delicious), and went to dinner with friends and family.  I only wish we could have extended the healthy week a little longer.  It went by way too fast. 

The flight home was decent.  The kids did okay.  Elliot started crawling the day we came home from Utah, so he thought he needed to be up and about during the flight.  Scarlet thought the tray table was the coolest thing she'd ever experienced.  Oh, and the fact that they gave her apple juice made her super happy. 

Also while we were there, Elliot got two teeth!  It was crazy.  One tooth one day, another the next.  They were his very first teeth.  He hit huge milestones and grew so much in just three short weeks. 

I was so grateful to have been able to get back to Utah for the funeral and spend some much needed time with friends and family.  I'm counting down the days until Ryan is finished with school.  It's coming very soon!  I will always have great memories of this time in California, but I'm so ready for an income. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Vacation Overload

Ever since I moved to Southern California, probably even before I moved, I have been trying to convince my family and friends to come see me for vacation.  What?  You think nobody wants to spend their vacation with me?  You're probably right.  However, I somehow convinced my brother, Jesse, and his wife, Tina, to come visit and bring their kids for a trip to Disneyland.  I'd have to say it was a very successful vacation for them, even if they did have to spend the entire trip with me.

They arrived Friday evening and were exhausted.  I tried to be a good sister so I made my brother his favorite soup, my white bean chili.  It was delicious.  I don't ever make it anymore since a lot of the time it's just too hot here for soup.  

Being on a student budget, you learn all the free things close by that you can do.  If not free, affordable.  Home Depot has their free kid's craft day every month that I take Scarlet to.  It ended up being on the Saturday the Dunn family was here so we ventured to Home Depot and made race cars.  

After we made our cars, we went over to La Verne where they have a quaint little orange grove.  You get to pick a bag of oranges for $5.  The smell there was captivating.  It was magnificent.  I could have spent all day in there.  There was just something special about it.  Plus, the oranges were beyond delicious!  We also got a few lemons when we stumbled upon the lemon tree.  Totally worth my $5!

Sunday, I took the Dunns to Santa Monica pier.  I love the pier for some reason.  I just love walking out over the water and seeing all the street performers and vendors.  After walking the pier for a while we went down to the beach and let the kids go crazy.  I think it's safe to say they all loved it.  Scarlet hasn't stopped talking about the beach since then.  She has also asked to go to the ocean every morning.  That was the first beach trip she has actually really enjoyed.  I'm so glad she finally loved it there.
The best thing about having family in town was that I got a break from being a single mom for a while.  It was divine!  Plus, there's just nothing like seeing how happy my kids are with their cousins.  Jesse was a good sport and wore Elliot around the pier.

Monday was our first day at Disneyland.  We got to meet up with more cousins while we were there.  My Serre cousins just happened to be in town the same time as J and T.  What a perfect coincidence.  I was so excited to finally meet my cousin's little baby Olivia.  She was just gorgeous!  We spent the day in California Adventure and enjoyed it thoroughly.  Cars Land was adorable.  I've walked through it before but haven't really paid much attention to it until this trip.  It's so cute and the rides were so much fun there!

Tuesday we found ourselves in Disneyland.  I was a mean aunt and made my nephew, Josh, do the Jedi training.  It was awesome!  He was hesitant at first and didn't really want to do it.  I begged and begged him and told him it would be really fun.  Little did I know he would be fighting the really super scary Darth Maul. His make up and acting just gave me the creeps.  Plus, he was trying to scare my baby.  My little baby Elliot.  Poor kid.  Josh did amazing fighting him off with  his light saber though.  Go Josh!

For weeks I have been wanting to go to The Mint Julep Cafe and try their beignets.  They did not disappoint.  Plus, they were in the shape of Mickey, so it was win/win.  Scarlet obviously loved them.  They were covered in sugar.  How could she resist?  She was so good to share with Elliot too.  It was so cute watching her feeding him her treats.  She also danced around New Orleans Square to the awesome live Jazz music.  I love that place.
Little Josh loved Splash Mountain!  I love the way he looks in this photo.  It's priceless.  He kept begging to go on it again and again.
By 6:00, Scarlet was pooped.  This was her second day without a nap.  I put her in the stroller and next thing I knew, she was asleep.  I was bummed since she missed the parade, but oh well.  I'm sure we can go see it again some time.

Baby Jedi in training.  
Wednesday was filled with all the things we missed or wanted to redo from the previous two days.  It was a crazy busy 3 days in Disneyland, but so much fun!  I loved seeing my niece and nephew light up like I've never seen before.  I hope we made memories to last a lifetime.  I know I did.
Well, that's my week in a nutshell.  Crazy.  Busy.  Fun.  Now who's coming down next?  Anybody?  I'm so grateful Jesse and Tina got to come see us and keep me company.  I really do get quite lonely here, so it was awesome to have somebody fill my days for almost an entire week.  They will surely be missed around here!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Dear Elliot -- 9 Months

 Dear Elliot,

You are nine months old today.  Time is going by way too fast! I know I say that all the time, but for some reason, it seems to be going faster now that you're around.

You and Scarlet are now starting to be best friends.  I'm so glad you're starting to like each other.  You love to watch her and you think most everything she does is hilarious.

You have started saying, "dada", "mama", and "Bubba".  You also started clapping recently which is one of my most favorite things you have learned how to do.
This last month was riddled with sickness between you and your sister.  We had to make a few trips to the doctor, but thankfully you seem to be doing much better now.
For the last few nights you have been sleeping 8 or more hours.  It's about time!  Just today you decided it would be okay to drink from a sippy cup.  You are definitely growing up.  You have also started getting really close to crawling.  I'm sure you'll be zooming around the house in no time.  That scares me a little.  I think having two kids has been somewhat easy for me because you have been confined to one spot.  Now that I'll be chasing two around?  I think I might have my hands full.  

You are definitely still such a happy little guy. You are usually always smiling and laughing.  I said it before and I'll say it again, I am so glad you are a part of this family.  You bring us so much joy!  

I'll love you always and forever, Bubba.



Sunday, February 17, 2013


It is said that our trials are like the refiner's fire.  Maybe we are a little raw as our trials begin, but then as we find ourselves on the other side of that trial, we are often more pure and delicate, maybe even more rare than before we went in.  So now I'm wondering, how many times can one go through this refining process, especially if they are already so rare and precious?  Will an individual become even more beautiful for enduring yet another impossible trial?  I'm led to believe that even after enduring heartache and coming out of this fire, one can have a light so bright about them that the world will have a way of being drawn to them.  They will be even more rare, more precious, more pure.  The light they will reflect will shine far greater than that of natural light.  It will beam from every pore of their being and encompass those around them.

My heart aches for my sweet friend who helped me through my impossible fire once upon a time.  She is literally one of my favorite people to be around because she radiates such beauty.  If I am around her, I am happy because of the way she makes me feel.  I am now on the other end watching her endure the trial of losing yet another child in her life.  My heart aches as there is nothing I can do to change the situation and ease her pain.  She has walked this walk before.  Unfortunately the ending is not a happy one.  However, I know that once she comes out of this, she will be far more beautiful and precious than she was before she began this trial, which is saying a lot since she was already so amazing.

For now, I will pray for miracles.  And from an outsider's view, I will watch as the refiner's fire shapes and molds a beautiful being into something even more rare and precious.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dear Elliot -- 8 Months

Dear Elliot,

Well, you are now 8 months old.  I'm still in shock that you are that old already.  We are getting closer to your first birthday and you better believe I've already started thinking about the theme for your party.  

Over the last month we traveled to Utah for about 10 days and then back to California.  On our way back to California, we got stuck in traffic.  I think we were going about 5 miles an hour.  If that.  We decided to pull over in Primm, Nevada and let you and Scarlet have a break from being in your car seats.  You loved it.  I let you sit in the driver's seat and you were just smiling and laughing.  That's your typical countenance, but you were exceptionally happy at that moment.  

You are just growing up way too fast!  You are a pro at sitting up at your own now.  I think within a few more weeks you should be getting ready to crawl.  That scares me a little.

We just moved you to a bigger car seat since your infant seat was too  heavy for me with you in it.  You absolutely love your new seat.  You can watch your sister and you two giggle at each other as I drive down the street.  

You adore Scarlet.  However, I'm not sure she feels the same way.  She does love you, you just occupy my attention which in turn makes her upset.  Apparently I need to be cloned or something so I can provide enough attention and one-on-one time for both of you.  I try my best to make sure you know that you are loved though.  You are.  You're amazingly wonderful!

Little Bubba, I hope you always know just how special you are.  You have brought such a light into my life and I'm beyond grateful to have you.... even if you still won't sleep through the night.  Keep smiling and laughing!

Love always and forever,


p.s.  It would be okay if at this point in your life you wanted to start saying, "mama."  Just saying.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dear Scarlet -- 29 Months

Dear Scarlet,

Happy 29-month birthday! Today is a significant day in your life as well as mine.  This is the day, January 11, three years ago when you were transferred from a petri dish, or whatever medium you were in, and into my belly.  In other words, it was three years ago today I became pregnant with you.  That was truly a very special day and one I won't forget any time soon.  I watched on a screen as the scientists sucked you up into a little beaker in the lab.  They brought the little tiny pipette with you in it into my room and you were handed to the doctor.  Then, wah, lah!  I was pregnant.  Yep, something like that.

The last three years have FLOWN by.  I remember holding the picture of you in your embryonic form and dreaming of what you would look like and who you would be.  I also wondered about the other little mass of cells and would it would turn into.  That was Kingston.  You were both amazing little miracles and I'm grateful you came into our lives.

It's amazing to me what can happen in three years.  The last three were the most eventful of my life.  By far!  I got pregnant with you, gave birth, buried a baby, moved, got pregnant, gave birth.... and everything in between including multiple trips to Disneyland and Utah.  I'm sure the next three will bring lots more joy into our lives!

Love you always!  I'm so glad you're mine.



p.s.  I'm really going to miss when you start calling candy canes, candy canes instead of candy corn canes.  I'll also miss when you say cute instead of cuke.

p.p.s.  Please be nice to Elliot.  He's just a baby (how many times a day to I say this?)