Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday, October 14, 2013


Heber: "Mommy, when we get to daddy's work do you want to smell my feet?"

Monday, September 30, 2013

Hats Off

Talmage wears many hats.
He is a father...
...a husband...

...a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints...

...a civil engineering in training... Air Force reservist... athlete...

...a sports enthusiast...

...a historian...
...a student...
But wait, hold the door, he is NOT a graduate student... ANYMORE!!! Talmage finished his graduate degree at Virginia Tech! Yay!!!
He does such an amazing job wearing and juggling each hat. It is such a relief to him (and me) to take off this hat. Well done, well done. I am so proud of you!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

How to Get a Baby to Sleep Through the Night

"Sleep while the baby sleeps" is common advice given to new moms. I always interpreted this as "nap as much as possible". Honestly this was and is frustrating for me to hear and even more frustrating to implement. So my strategy for sanity was and is to not rely on naps but to get the baby sleeping through the night as soon as possible.

It Can Be Done

The first obstacle was realizing that it was possible. Young babies can sleep through the night. It is perfectly normal... in other places in the world. Can they go all night without eating? Regardless of being bottle or
breastfed the answer is yes. Still need convincing? Then I recommend Bringing Up Bébéchapter entitled "Doing her nights".
Front Cover

Don't Feed at Night

To get a baby to sleep through the night you need to let the baby learn how to fall back asleep after waking up from a sleep cycle. First thing I recommend is not to feed the baby when he wakes up during the night. I like my Mother-In-Law experience when talking to her pediatrician with her first baby, she said, "He asked if I knew I was going to get a steak dinner every time I woke up, then wouldn't I?" If a baby is getting feed at night, then he'll wake up for that treat.


It is important to listen to the baby's cry when he wakes up. What are you listening for? Priscilla Dunstan will help you distinguish each of the baby's types of cries and what they mean.


If the baby cries for anything but sleep, address the need(s), sooth until breath is calmed and then put baby back to bed. If he is making "nah" sound, then give him his pacifier. 
If he is not making any of these cries, but making the tired cry then follow this strategy:

By doing this process the baby will be able to sleep through the night sooner. It has worked amazingly for me. Dewey sleeps through the night until 5:30ish (And that might be just because Talmage is wakes up then). I haven't cut out that feeding yet but will soon. Good luck!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Who Needs a Haunted House When You Got a Museum

We went with Talmage for training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. To keep us entertained during our vacation we watched t.v. (a lot more than usual), went to the park,  the hotel gym, the play pen, played board games and today we went to the military museum on base. 
Heber and Hannah loved it more than I expected. It scared the willies out of Olive though. The dim lighting, occasional trenches and many manikins made for a "tary" (scary) experience. Yeah, she really didn't like the manikins especially the ones with gas masks. I totally understand why. I love holding her little hand and comforting her.

This chair in the lobby ended up being her favorite part of the museum because there was nothing "pooky“ (spooky) near by.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Letter from Hannah to Aunt Lindsay becomes a Full Blown Post

Two weeks ago my sister Lindsay came to live/have-an-extended-visit with us in Dallas. A week after that we all left for Fort Leonard Wood, MO to have a sort of vacation while I attended some Air Force training. Needless to say, I felt bad for leaving Lindsay so soon after she arrived and for so long. But the kids have missed her even more. They continuously ask about her. This morning Hannah said that we need to Spyke her (Spyke her? You mean Skype? Yeah, that.).

So after a family nap today (Which I highly recommend) Hannah was imploring me to draw a picture for Aunt Lindsay in an email. I let her do her magic in MS Paint and the result was entirely her own creation.

Additionally, the letter that I had her dictate to accompany her picture was entirely her own words—word for word. It was too priceless to only share with Lindsay so I'm putting it here on our blog:

Aunt Lindsay,

I really want to go back home to play with you. And play with my pets and you. And I really want to be healthy with you and you be healthy. And I really want to go back home to say I love you! And I really want to go to the store with you in the market. And I want to do with you everything I want to do with you. I really, really love you. And thanks for the shoes you give me.

(Rachel interjecting: She didn't give you shoes.
Hannah: The gold sparkle shoes she brought me.
Rachel: Grandma gave you those shoes
Hannah: Oh.)

I like you and I like you better than my brothers and sisters and I like that you gave me angry bird treats. And I like everything you gave me and everything you do for me. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


So as she's doing this Heber wakes up and wants to do the same thing. He took so long to draw his picture and I eventually had to kick him off the computer but not before finishing certain parts of the drawing for him (i.e. the 3 pink flowers and some touch up—such a perfectionist!). Everything in the picture has a meaning. In case you're wondering, the man is thinking about a star.

Aunt Lindsay,

Lindsay I think you like my picture and I think the man let you laugh that's why I think he's funny. And I think you'll like the tree. And I asked daddy to make the flowers and he didn't make the flowers like I wanted . And my daddy made them like lines. 

I send this message to you, me, Heber, I send this message to you.

Heber insisted on the wording of the last line.

Of course just when I thought I was done, Olive caught wind of what we were doing and wanted in on the action. This was tough. She wanted to draw little hearts but demanded to do it on her own which she could not. So after two thrown fits this is what was made:

Aunt Lindsay,

Heart picture. A tree. A baby. I draw a heart.

I think she thought I was asking her what does she want to draw for Aunt Lindsay.

In short, we all love having Lindsay stay with us and exclusively to ourselves. She's a wonderful sister, friend and aunt.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Seasons of Life

I have been recently reminded how thin and close the veil is that separates our world from the spirit world. The birth of our son Dewey and the passing through the veil of my Father were both beautiful, difficult and profound experiences for me. At the birth of Dewey I felt the presence of angels and the strength and comfort of Christ. The morning of the day my father passed on, I had the impression that he would pass away soon. I had a strong reassurance that everything was ok and that this was all how it should be. That day and the following day I felt his presence strongly.
These two beautiful events happened so closely and reminded me how short life is. That this life was meant to be enjoyed and to learn and grow and then we move on. We move on but not as far on as some might think because there is really so little that separates us.
It was so wonderful that my father was able to see his last grandchild for the first and last time in this life. I am absolutely sure that he will see his grandchildren (those present and yet to be born) while he is in spirit form. I am grateful to have spent two weeks with him before his passing. I think that was a tender, kind gift Heavenly Father planned for me.
I am thankful for the gospel in my life. I feel like it has helped me to have the perspective I needed to experience the beauty of these spiritual experiences. I am thankful for My Savior and My Father in Heaven and their sweetness in helping me be able to witness their hand in these tender experiences.