October 6, 2015

vacation vacation.

When you're on vacation, sometimes you need a vacation.  So you hop in the car and spend a weekend at the beach!!

We drive down to Newport Beach with my mom & her bff Teri on Thursday night.  It was pretty late, so we basically just unloaded the car and went to bed...

On Friday morning we got up, curled the baby's hair and walked down to the water for some "mermaid" pictures!!  The tricky part was getting Ruthe to be still because she LOVES the water and just charged straight into the waves!!  I haven't had the chance to look at all the pictures we got, but this is by far my favorite blooper!

After the beach (and after I rinsed all the sand off of Ruthe!) we went shopping!!  We also stopped to look at some PUPPIES!!!!!!!!  Ruthe was in puppydog heaven and kept pushing people out of her way so she could get a closer look!!

The next day (Saturday) we went to the Irvine Park Railroad PUMPKIN PATCH!!  The pumpkins were all so big and had the coolest long stems!  I love when pumpkins have long stems leftover & the ones at the grocery store are never like that.  Ruthe also loved "finding" pumpkins and kept trying to pick them up.  For a kid who can hardly lift a full water bottle, it was pretty impressive!

The pumpkin patch had all kinds of fun activities including balloon animals, face painting, a bounce house, carnival games, a train, and a hay maze.  We tried and failed to have Ruthe's face painted, but she did get a balloon flower and play the carnival games!

Oh, and did I mention that she got to RIDE A PONY??!!!!!

So, yeah, that was pretty much the highlight of my day!!  And Ruthe had fun, too.  I couldn't take pictures while I was leading the pony, so my mom stood outside and took pictures and videos.  ((Eventually I might load a video on here or Facebook, but I wouldn't count on it if I were you!))

We went back to the house, took a little rest, and then walked down to the pier to grab some dinner.  And I got my must-have treat: a Balboa Bar with rainbow sprinkles!!  If you've never experienced the joy of a Bal Bar, you need to get your butt to SoCal right NOW!!  And I mean, I guess you could change up the toppings, but that would be dumb because rainbow sprinkles are always the best option, always.

While we were at the beach, we needed a place to stick Ruthe while we ate and luckily there just so happens to be a highchair from when my cousins were babies!  

It was super convenient, although the very 90s teddy bears kinda freaked Ruthe out.  I don't really blame her!  There's also a baby gate for the stairs that my uncle installed forever ago, but it still works!  It's a good thing there were babies in the house before Ruthe because I didn't even think of any of those things before we got there!

It was such a fun trip!  It was also so great to hang out with my cousin who's in college down there!!!  (She's actually the baby who the safety-gate and high chair were originally used for! Crazy!!)

But now, I think I might need a vacation from the vacation I took during my vacation... 

September 25, 2015


So, Ruthe and I are spending a few weeks in Las Vegas while John is sooooo busy we'd never see him anyway.  We flew down last week...
This was our worst flight yet!!  Ruthe is now old enough to have her own seat, which translates to her thinking she has free reign of the entire aircraft.  It was also a pretty bumpy ride, and I don't think she liked that.  Thankfully the person sitting next to me was pretty understanding of the "terrible twos" and no one else around us complained loud enough for me to hear!!

Pretty much as soon as we got to my parent's house Ruthe going every. single. dangerous. spot. 
We have since had to move several pieces of furniture, and still follow on her heels wherever she goes because she can open doors now.  My parent's house has several doors (including on the bathrooms!) with the door handles that she can just pull down & it only took about thirty minutes for Ruthe to figure them out!!

We also found some tiny sponge curlers for Ruthe's hair and now I'm OBSESSED!!
She doesn't really love having them in for very long, but it is so worth it when she does!!  For example:
Eeeeeeeepp!  I love the curls!!  It's almost worth the kicking and screaming!  Almost.

In other, non-Ruthe-related news, my glasses broke.

September 5, 2015

for Grandpa Tom...

(John told me how much you miss the blog, so this update is just for you!)

It's been a LOOOOONNNGG time since I posted anything here.  Since then we've been pretty busy and A LOT of things have happened.  School, work, doctors, insurance, play dates, church callings, adventures, you name it - it's happened.

But let's just skip to today.

It's Labor Day weekend, and since last year we spent Labor Day at the zoo I thought it would be nice to check out another of Salt Lake's many family-friendly attractions.

There are quite a few to choose from, but I've recently been watching a lot of Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman, so this morning I decided it would be fun to experience the life of the early settlers and Pioneers at This Is The Place Heritage Park!!  

(about seven years ago my mom made me take a picture kneeling and praying with this statue-family... I thought it was only fair that Ruthe be forced to do the same.)

There are a lot of old buildings at the heritage park that were relocated from their original locations, and some are simply replicas, but they each have interesting stories and give you a peek into life way back when.

Ruthe personally prefers teepees... she also watches a lot of Doctor Quinn and the episodes with Indian attacks are her favorite. Plus, she wears moccasins, too.

A lot of the buildings were closed, or looked to be closed, but the saddle shop was open and Ruthe got to try her hand at hammering decorations into a piece of leather...

(surprisingly she never hit me with the hammer!)

Part of the draw to the heritage park was that they give pony rides for little kids, and I thought Ruthe would just LOVE that.  But there was "a storm rolling in" so they had to put the ponies away before she has the chance to ride one.  (I'm still waiting for the storm to hit, by the way.)  She did get to pet the ponies and a goat, and she almost murdered a baby chick, so that kind of made up for it.

After the animals we stopped into another building that I think was an old halfway house, but I was a little mixed up on the map, so I can't say for sure.  There were bedrooms upstairs with signs on the beds that said "Please stay off the bed" but Ruthe just threw that paper on the ground and climbed right on up anyway.  She's a stinker.

We were starting to get tired of all the history and learning and walking by this point so we headed back home.  Ruthe fell asleep in the car and slept for the 10minute drive but woke up as soon as I unbuckled her car seat and was WIDE AWAKE until just about an hour ago.  She is some kind of machine, I tell you!  She has been on the worst sleeping schedule, which is partially my fault, but I'm also going to blame Tinkerbell for being so interesting to watch and also IKEA for never having the new bed we want for her in stock.

After lunch and some lounging at home we walked over to our neighborhood Target for a few extra groceries we ::coughJOHNcoughcough:: needed for Sunday.  Then it was finally time to give the little stinker a bath and feed her dinner so she's fall asleep...

The tubby is her FAVORITE PLACE IN THE WORLD.  I'm pretty sure I could stick her in there with nothing but a quarter-inch of water and she would just play for days.  It's adorable.  It's also akin to spending every other evening sitting in the splash zone at SeaWorld... 

(today her splashes were so powerful I had to take cover behind the shower curtain... she then, of course, considered it a challenge to splash me and wouldn't stop until my entire left sleeve was soaked through.)

She's a stinker.  The stinkiest stinker there ever was.  

I'll try harder to record some of our crazy adventures for you here on the blog.  But I can't make any promises until Ruthe starts falling asleep before 10pm, like a normal baby!!

March 26, 2015

adventures in Target.

It's no secret that I love Target.  And being up in Salt Lake has not changed that - it may have even increased my love for Target because the Walmart here is so (so!) crazy all the time.  It may also have to do with the parking... Target just always has great parking lots...

ANYWAY - Ruthe and I visit Target at least once per week.  It's where we get our household essentialy things & random groceries when we don't want to drive all the way to the "white people Smith's".  (I have some major prejudices about not being able to understand or be understood by anyone in the entire store.)

But this week we've been to Target THREE TIMES.  Normally I would be really excited about that.  I would call it a successful week.  But no.  The first time was for John's birthday present & to try and trick Ruthe into taking an earlier nap.  We wandered through the store for about an hour, looking at rugs and pricing fancy blenders. At some point Ruthe took off one of her shoes & hid it underneath the cart cover. Panic! Those are expensive shoes, baby girl!! Anyway, I found it and we went home.  

The next time I was trying to keep her awake & feed her while I picked up some random things we forgot a few days earlier. Again, wandering through the store for about an hour & she loses her shoe again. Ugh! Ok, she probably just hid it underneath her cover. NOPE!! Aaaah! But it was waiting there for us in home decor.

So we check the basket for all our purchases and belongings and head home. Wait - big problem - somewhere between finding the shoe and packing up the car we lost her binky!! WHAT?! I wouldn't be so worried if it hadn't been her FAVORITE giraffe-guy that I had just sewn a new pacifier on to, to prolong his life. So when we got home I called Target to see if the cashier had maybe found it (I was pretty confident Ruthe dropped it while I was paying.) but no. So we puttered around, did something else, and I called again a few hours later. Still no luck. Oh well, I thought, she's getting a little to old for these anyway - one down, nine to go.

Until this morning. We had to run some more errands around town & Target would be on our way home so I called again just.in.case. And good thing, too!  They found Geoff!! YAY! So at lunch I made a quick list of the three things we needed at Target. Three things. How long could that take? We rescued Geoff from the lost & found first thing and Ruthe was SO EXCITED that she couldn't even contain herself. I had no choice but to go grab a travel pack of wipies to give the bink a spit-bath so she could hold him. Four things. By the time we got to the granola bars she had dropped him twice and taken off one shoe. Then, while I searched for John's protein drinks I remembered we were out of milk & cereal. Six things. Now Ruthe was barefoot & I was trying to hide Geoff in my back pocket because I accidentally ran over him with the cart. When I remembered the crock-pot liners she just lost it. So Geoff got another bath, I put her shoes back on, stuck her headband on like a ninja's, and went to pay. Everything and everyone was present and accounted for. Shoes/headband/bink were promptly removed from the baby and placed in a bag. When we got to the car she didn't want to sit down.

 It was right about this time that the nice checkout boy came jogging over to my car asking if I'd left this behind. The bag with the wipes and Easter cards (one of our original three items.)!

I am officially taking a hiatus from shopping. That's a lie, I'm just not taking the baby with me anymore. Well, ok, I'll bring her, but she's going naked.

March 4, 2015

four eyes.

On Monday, the 23rd, we got Ruthe her very own pair of glasses!!  About two weeks before she had an appointment with an eye doctor to check out her crazy cross-eyed problems...

He told us she is suuuuuperrr far-sighted and needs to be in glasses ALL.THE.TIME.

I've always wanted a baby that wears glasses - it's just the cutest thing.  Every time I'd see a baby in glasses I would immediately think that baby is adorable!!

The trickiest thing is keeping the glasses on her face.  Don't get me wrong - she loves them!!  Whenever we put them on her she smiles and looks all around and is just so happy to be able to see more clearly!!  Buuuut she's a baby, and she doesn't love to keep them on all the time.  She especially doesn't like them when she's moving around or in the car.

She does, however, like the way they taste!!

February 19, 2015

for my valentine, Clementine!!

I wake up every morning to your crazy little face, and get to spend all day with your funny personality, and then I get to kiss your sweet head goodnight.

Ok, sometimes you wake up crying.

And we spend a lot of days butting heads. (mostly figuratively, but also literally!)

And while I always kiss you goodnight and whisper how much I love you in your tiny little ears, there are definitely days when I think bedtime can't come soon enough!

But then there's Valentine's Day... which has always been a fun day of telling people how much I care about them, but now it means a little more.

February 14th is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day.  It's a day I never would have noticed on the calendar before I met you, Ruthe.  In fact, the Valentine's Day that I spent pregnant with you, we still didn't know anything about your special heart.  

That was only two years ago.  And WOW!!  Have you changed my life, or what?!

I am head-over-heels, truly, madly, deeply, 100% in absolute LOVE with you, baby!!  You are such a beautiful miracle.  You are strong and brave and inspiring, to say the least.

Someday you will grow up and you'll hear the phrase "born with a broken heart" and I hope and pray that you don't take those words too seriously.  Sure, your heart wasn't perfect, and you have fought incredibly hard to repair what was wrong, but I really want you to focus on your healing heart.  Because that's what you have.  You have a heart that has healed so many times.  It has grown strong and powerful and beautiful, just like you.  

So, Clemmy-baby, someday when you read this - and you think I'm crazy - just make sure that you remember how incredible you are, and that your momma has all the faith in the world that you and your heart are powerful enough to take on the world!! 

I love you so big, sweet darling!!

January 29, 2015

blogs are for people with real-life organizational skills.

I have two "drafts" of blog posts sitting on my computer waiting to be finished.  One is from our Thanksgiving trip to San Diego, and the other is from Ruthe's cleft palate repair.

To summarize those two things:

We had such a great time in San Diego!!  We got to see a lot of John's family and Ruthe was finally able to meet her Meemaw and little cousin Novalee!  It was a wonderful visit, and too too short, like those holiday visits usually are.  Someday we'll be able to spend nice long days at the beach and play with family and friends for as long as we want to!!

Ruthe's cleft palate surgery was a success!!  I'm not going to say it was "great" because it was actually very miserable - for both of us!  Her surgery was quick and perfect with absolutely zero complications, but afterward there was no room for us on the pediatric floor, so we had to spend HOURS and HOURS sitting in the awful recovery area.  The nurses were so nice, and tried their best to make us comfortable, but it just wasn't going to happen on a plastic chair.  And poor Ruthe was so drugged up and miserable, you could tell all she needed was a quiet dark room to sleep.  Eventually they found a space for us upstairs and we settled in for the night.  Ruthe's at-home recovery went really well!!  After about three days we just gave up on the arm restraints though.  They were terrible, and Ruthe really wasn't in the mood to put things in her mouth anyway!

[[ok, now we can fast forward!]]

Now that everything is said and done she is just blowing us away with her skills!!  She has started SWALLOWING ACTUAL FOOD!  It's still only about the equivalent of a large grape every few days, but she would spend all day taking tiny sips of water if we had that kind of patience.

And she is growing!  I know it doesn't seem like it on paper - she's only gained about a pound since her surgery -- but she is quickly turning into a toddler, and I am not a fan.  Although her hair has started growing and getting darker, so that's fun!!  She can pull herself up to stand, scoot her little bum anywhere she wants to go, and almost - almost! - crawl!!  It's pretty dang adorable!  But, oh!  I want it to stop!  I want need her to stay tiny and dependent on me forever!!

 Last week we saw her cardiologist and pediatrician and they were both really pleased with how well she's doing!!  I LOVE appointments like that!  She weighs 23lbs and is about 31inches tall!  She made a nice little jump on her growth chart that looks really impressive compared to that plateau she was on for the past six months.

In other news, we are FINALLY MOVING TO UTAH!!!  Yes!  Can you believe it?!  It only took us eighteen months to make the leap!  It's going to be so hard leaving my parents and our leisurely lifestyle, but it is hands-down 100% the best thing.  It would have been the best thing to do in January, but I'm half-blind & can't drive, which kind of puts a damper on taking Ruthe to doctor's appointments and therapy sessions.  So we're planning to move in March and we are SO excited!!  Terrified, but excited!

I will TRY to keep the blog updated with Ruthe's many accomplishments from now on, but I've said that before and it always ends up being a lie.