Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tackling the Terrible Twos


Yesterday Austin came home from work at the hospital and I informed him that I would be buying Ben and Jerrys that night as soon as the girls went to bed and there was nothing he could do to stop me. Luckily he's a really good guy and understood what that meant. Being the wonderful hubby that he is, Austin tried extra hard to help out with the girls and even volunteered to go get my ice cream for me later that evening. Seriously, though, how did I get so lucky? 

The past two days we have slammed hard into Lydia's terrible twos. It was just in time for my first solo adventure to church with the girls (since Austin has to work most weekends now). I was expecting it to be hard, but that was something else. We stayed in the hall for all of the first hour and by the end of church I had the diaper bag slung over my shoulder, Brynn in one arm, and Lydia kicking, thrashing, and wailing in the other. My legs are covered in bruises from this escapade. When I thought my arms were gonna fall off and I finally let her down, Lydia ran and hid in a bush and the only reason we finally made it to the car was thanks to our sweet sister missionaries who braved the prickly bush to retrieve her. Then on our half hour drive home, Lydia screamed almost the entire way and only stopped when she somehow managed to escape from her car seat. We had to pull over and fix that, which led to another thunderous tantrum. I had tried so hard to reason with her, ignore the bad behavior, and kept going through all the positive parenting tips I've read about in my head, but nothing was getting results. My nerves were shot.

That was our jump start into the terrible twos. I'm honestly quite terrified by this transition. It's like Lydia has transformed into a whole new person. Not even a person - a little monster on steroids. It's scary! Ever since then it's been a cycle of tantrums, timeouts, apologies, repeat. The only good news is that Brynlee still adores Lydia despite all the bullying she's put up with. Brynn gets very upset whenever I put Lydia in timeout - even if Lydia's doing her time for hurting her sister. She'll crawl up to Lydia's door and tap on it with her pudgy fist while making these sad little whimpering noises until Lydia is ready to come out. I'm so thankful that Brynlee is always there to remind me that babies are sweet, cute, and definitely worth it.

I keep telling myself that this is just a phase and it'll pass - but it's been a whomping three days and it feels like an eternity. I can deal with sporadic tantrums, but nonstop... that can't be the whole year, right? I think her top molars are still working their way in, which might be putting her more on edge than usual. Hopefully that's the cause and she'll snap back to normal once they break through.

In the meantime, I'm trying to survive and maintain as much sanity as is humanely possible given the circumstances. Thank goodness for beautiful autumn weather! Last night for family night, I decided to teach a lesson on how to talk about our feelings. Lydia loved holding up all of the different faces and identifying what each one was feeling. I told a little story about a girl named Sally, who talked about her feelings when she had a friend over to play - and needed to share her toys and say good-bye when it was time for her friend to leave. Lydia seemed to really empathize with Sally. She's been playing with the faces ever since, so hopefully it'll sink in and she'll start to communicate a bit better so we can prevent future tantrums.

Sometimes I feel guilty when I admit that I don't love every aspect of being a stay-at-home mom. There are definitely moments and parts of it that I cherish, but it's really not all that glamorous all of the time. That's just life, I guess. Some days/weeks are wonderful, and sometimes you just gotta survive and trust that things will get better.

Now this is the face of the Lydia I know!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Random Lydia/Brynlee moments

I can't believe how fast my girls are growing up! I figured I should post my videos and random pictures of them before I forget.

Brynlee has started appealing on Lydia's behalf to end quiet time early. Those two are becoming inseparable!

Can you tell those two are sisters?  Lydia is an energy bunny and Brynlee feeds off of that energy. Without Lydia around, Brynn is very calm and mellow.

Brynn lights up whenever Lydia notices her. Lydia loves pretending that Brynlee is her baby and enjoys having someone's undivided attention every second of the day. It works out great. They are so dang cute together!

We finally started combining their baths and they love splashing together  :)
Brynlee loves her exersaucer!
Caught mid-bounce! She takes after her sister :)
Embracing the spirit of Autumn during Family Night
Squash soup, homemade rolls, apple cider, Halloween sugar cookies, and painting pumpkins - can life get any better?!

On the move!
Brynn likes to twist her tongue

She's always such a beam of sunshine

Lydia loves giving her baby sister lots of hugs and kisses.
My sweet Brynlee bean
Sneak peak of Brynlee's Halloween costume

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Austin's 30th Birthday

I decided that Austin turning 30 was a pretty big deal (although he wasn't terribly excited about it). I figured he deserved a week-long celebration for making it so far. Luckily his birthday week landed on his sleep-medicine rotation, which was pretty chill. It was nice having one last fun and relaxing week before his schedule went crazy with inpatient peds...but that's another subject. 

The morning of his birthday, I made Trader Joes chocolate croissants for breakfast. And when I say "made" I mean that I actually remembered to take them out of the freezer and put them on a pan to defrost the night before, and stuck them in the oven before Austin had to go to work. These are so easy, quick, and simply amazing! Imagine flakey warm croissant fresh from the oven filled with dark chocolate... I highly recommend these.

Austin's breakfast before I served it to him in bed

After Austin left, Lydia and I went to Sentry to get some birthday balloons - Lydia helped pick them out!

Both girls seemed to know that it was a special day and were very good while we prepped for daddy's birthday celebration

Rouladen is a German dish that Austin fell in love with on his mission, so I had to learn how to make it when we got married. It's pretty much bacon, onions, and mustard wrapped up in a really thin steak - it makes the BEST gravy!

Chocolate Goodie is Austin's favorite dessert - which is a big deal since, sadly, he does not share my sweet tooth. He requested this instead of birthday cake. It's essentially a graham cracker crust/pudding/whipped cream dessert. It's light, creamy, chocolatey, and delicious!

I couldn't tell who was more excited to sing, eat dessert, and open presents!

Lydia colored on a card for Daddy's birthday

 The day after his birthday, I was able to get a free ballroom dance lesson through a lady in the ward. It was so nice to be able to go out on a date - which we actually ended up doing two days in a row!!! That is a pretty big deal when you have two little kiddos. We had a great time and hope to be able to pick it up as a hobby when time and finances allow. 

The next day was Friday, and we had reservations to go eat dinner at Devons Seafood Grill at the Bayshore Mall. We ended up ordering lobster, and Austin and I both got free desserts since it was his birthday. I didn't want to make Austin suspicious by suggesting that we skip dessert (which I would never normally do) but we had a surprise party and tons of food and friends ready for him when we got back.

 When we were ready to head back, I sent a text to our neighbor, Emily, who was getting everything set up for Austin's surprise party while we were out. I was really worried about the fact that our GPS seemed to be lying to us and we were getting home faster than I anticipated. As we drove up, I saw some people in front of our apartment, and I assumed people may still be arriving. Austin was distracted by wondering why all the lights were off in our neighboring apartment building, and speculated that the power was off... I convinced him that I needed to swing by Sentry really quick to pick up some gum (I never buy gum). He went along with me and suggested that we go pick up the girls from Emily's apartment before going to ours. I reminded him that Emily said that they'd be at our place with the girls, which Austin didn't think was right since the lights in our apartment were off. We were in the stairwell of our apartment at this point and Austin was hesitating and ready to walk out the door to go to the Pugh's place for the girls, when Brynlee saved the day and decided to let out a cry. Convinced that they were actually there, he walked in our dark apartment, someone turned on the lights and everyone yelled "Surprise!" 

Haha, so Austin has been teasing me lately about how I'm such a terrible liar and open book (we've been watching "Lie to Me" and testing it's basic premise). I redeemed myself and I'm pretty sure he was honestly surprised. I did have to make up several little white lies to pull it off, and he had NO idea! It was very fun and I'm happy that so many of our friends and neighbors could join us to celebrate. It was a good time and Austin had fun. Poor Brynlee doesn't like surprises or being startled. She cries every time BYU scores a touchdown cause our cheering makes her nervous...we've had to tone it down a bit for her sake. Anyway, she cried and was so frightened after the big surprise. Hopefully she grows out of that cause it really is so much fun!

Singing Happy Birthday!

I can't believe I didn't catch the 3 being backwards...

Through this picture I found out that Christie and I are sorta related- a cousin of a cousin - pretty awesome!

That Saturday we wrapped up Austin's birthday week with a family hike on the trail by Hoyt Park. It's gorgeous there, especially this time of year! 

A train went by, which is how we managed to get both girls looking at the camera at the same time...which can be extremely difficult!

Austin taught Lydia how to throw rocks in the river

Afterwards, we headed home to watch BYU win their football game - which is a pretty good end to the week. Happy birthday Austin!