September 6, 2019

August GBOMB

August seemed so busy, but looking back I can't really remember us doing too much. Even on the days when we sit at home doing nothing, it still feels busy when there's three little ones to care for. Here is what I can remember of the Good, the Bad, and what's been On My Brain for August.

G O O D
+We got a cat. That's not something I thought I would be saying. Not that I have anything against cats, but I'm much more of a dog person. I follow the local humane society on Facebook and thought that maybe one day we would rescue a dog (as in possibly a few years from now). Instead of that being the case, I saw a three legged cat pop up in my feed and within a couple hours we had adopted an eight-ish year old, tripod cat. We named her Big Tuna (as a nod to The Office) and she is quite the affectionate cat. The humane society told us that she would probably hide out for the first week or so, but she immediately wanted to be around the action. They also warned us that since she's an older cat and may have endured some trauma (they have no idea how she lost her leg), that she might not do well with rambunctious little kids. Luckily, she has been excellent with the kids and puts up with their constant need to be in her face. I'm pretty sure she was abused to some extent before because she does kind of cower if she's not expecting you to pet her or if you walk past her too fast, but she doesn't run and hide, and she doesn't let it stop her from being around all our rowdiness (she immediately starts crying/howling if she can't find what room we're in). I think she's a good fit for our family, and we hope she enjoys her time in our house.
+The fence around our backyard has started! It should be done soon and I'm excited to be able to send the kids to play in the backyard without worrying about what wildlife they might stumble upon. It's going to take a loooong time to get anything else in the backyard, but dirt will do for now. I mean dirt is peak play for a bunch of toddlers anyway. That also means that our dog Harley and tortoise Pancho Villa can come live with us again (they've been staying at my brother's house). Olive has been constantly pestering the cat and I'm always telling her to give the cat space. She's excited for Harley to join us because I told her that Harley loves attention and she can annoy Harley all she wants.

B A D
+Andrew sometimes has to travel for work. It's usually only for a few days each month, but in August he was gone a Sunday-Friday period, and then left the following Monday until Thursday. It was a rough two weeks for me.
+Eliza has been teething. It was at it's peak while Andrew was gone (lucky me). Her bottom two teeth are now poking out, but I'm sure more teeth will follow soon. That's the hard part about teething, once it starts you know you have a full year of teething ahead of you.
+I had a pretty bad cold. Luckily, it only came on strong one day before Andrew got home from his second trip of the month so once he was back I was able to take it easy. I always lose my voice when I'm sick which is pretty annoying. Then Eliza decided to make both teething and me being sick to new heights by getting Roseola. I have no idea how she got Roseola since we never leave the house. I don't think the Roseola was too bad for her, but it was hard to tell since she was already cranky from teething.

O N  M Y  B R A I N
+I've been trying to come up with some regular chores for the kids to do. One day Taylor took his clean clothes and folded them and put them away in his dresser all on his own. Now that I know he can put away his laundry (very nicely at that), he is now responsible for that. Olive wants to be like Taylor so she attempts to put away her clothes, but really she just throws any and all clothes in whatever drawer she sees first. They will often "help" with things that I'm doing and they pick up their toys every day, but we haven't really established daily chores for the kids. I think they're ready for that step so I'm trying to come up with a system. Please share if you have a good chore system or ideas of what chores are appropriate/doable for a 4 year old and a 2.5 year old.
+I've come to the realization that life will always be busy. I mean I've always known that, but I've been thinking about it a bit more lately. A lot of days I feel like I get nothing done. I do keep three children alive which is so much work and pretty much the opposite of not getting anything done, but I still want to be able to accomplish more with my time. I'm trying to figure out what's important and beneficial in my life and and what fat can get cut. It's the whole good, better, best dilemma while also being realistic that life will always be a bit chaotic.

August 2, 2019

July GBOMB

It only took me two days to post the monthly GBOMB versus last month when it took me two weeks. July went by so fast and was full of family visits. I'm glad we filled our July up because August is looking pretty blank so far. So here is the Good, the Bad, and what's been On My Brain for the month of July.


G O O D
+Our 4th of July was so fun. There were fireworks here in Vail on July 3rd and then we drove to my mom's community pool on the 4th to go swimming. The kids love to swim and have been begging to go back to Grandma's pool ever since.
+Matt and Mimi (plus Josh, Jude, and Adele) were in Arizona to see their new house because they're moving here from Seattle in a few months. We stayed a night in Tempe to hang out and they came to us for a day trip. While they were here, we went to Colossal Cave for the first time (it's about 10 minute from our house) and then all got Bahama Bucks after the hot, humid walk through the cave. We even saw a Coatimundi in the parking lot of Colossal Cave.
+We were in our new ward for about a month before our boundaries changed. With this new change and many callings empty, I got called as a Mia Maid advisor. I've never had a calling in the Young Women's program and I'm really excited to work with the girls in our ward. (For those not familiar, wards are what we call local congregations in the LDS church and Mia Maids is an organization in the youth program that encompasses girls from age 14-15.)
+We got a brand new niece! Her name is Scout and she was a complete surprise! My sister-in-law Stephanie managed to keep her entire pregnancy a secret. We didn't know she was pregnant until she FaceTimed us AFTER the baby was born. We already love her so much.
+Speaking of our brand new niece, Stephanie is absolutely insane and drove by herself from California to Arizona with all 5 of her kids (with Scout being only a week old)! I don't know how she managed it, but we're so glad we got to hang out with them and meet new baby Scout. Once we found out she was in Tempe, we decided that day to get an AirBnb for the night and do a quick overnight stay with them. We had so much fun in the tiny condo we found and managed to take seven kids swimming twice in the 24 hours we were there.
+Michelle and Great Grandma Snow also visited Tempe. They drove down to Tucson with Andrew's mom and all of Stephanie's crew to see us for a day. We love when people come all the way out to our house in the middle of the desert.

B A D
+We did a lot of quick trips and saw a lot of family, all of which is on the good list. The bad part of this is late nights with kids who end up grumpy for lack of sleep and thrown off schedules.
+Andrew was out of town for work. All three kids decided to be little terrors while he was gone. Those four days felt like years. I'm guessing Eliza is going through a growth spurt or maybe getting some teeth. As for Taylor and Olive, I think they're plotting ways to drive me to the brink. It's the only explanation.
+Andrew's car is dead. We're replacing the engine because it's more cost effective for us to buy a new engine for our reliable Toyota Corolla versus buying a new car. It's not the worst thing in the world, but definitely not a cost we were anticipating. We have been without a second car for two weeks now and it looks like we have another week left of being homebound while Andrew is at work.

O N  M Y  B R A I N
+Mesoamerica. I realize that seems pretty random, but I have always been fascinated with Mesoamerican culture, particular pre-columbian Mayan history. I've been reading a few books on it recently including the Popol Vuh and watching lectures by archeologists like George Stuart, David Stuart, and William Saturno so I've been thinking about it a lot. It's one of the things I get really nerdy about. I've decided that one day, when the kids are older, I'm going to go on a excavation trip in Mexico or Guatemala.
+I only have three more classes left until I have my Associates in General Studies. I don't know if I've really talked about my dilemma in picking a degree on here before, but here's the cliff notes version: I want a graphic design degree. It wasn't available online when I started, but the program I was in was new and there were talks of that potentially being available eventually. So I started a web design and development degree since that involved some graphic design work and could easily morph into the degree I wanted if it ever became available. I took a few graphic design classes that I enjoyed, but the bulk of it was a variety of different coding classes. I'm not good at coding. I can get by, but it's really difficult for me. With many more coding classes in my future that I was dreading, I decided to change course. I had enough credits to get a Web Design Certificate so I cashed in on that, but there wasn't any degrees of interest to me so I decided to get an Associates in General Studies and then hopefully be able to decide what I wanted for my Bachelors. Being only three classes away and having no desire for any of the Bachelor degrees available, I'm not sure what to do. I could transfer somewhere else, but my current tuition is highly discounted and will continue at the same low cost as long as I attend. I'm not sure I can justify transferring somewhere else and paying way more to get a degree that I probably won't use for much.

July 14, 2019

June GBOMB

Man, is this post late. It couldn't be skipped though since it's the only post that I seem to get around to. Without further ado, here's a quick rundown of the Good, the Bad, and what's been On My Brain for the month of June.

G O O D
+Eliza had her baby blessing on June 1st. We invited our immediate family to our new house so everyone got to be there for Eliza's blessing while also getting to see our new place.
+We broke ground on our backyard. We have all of the brush cleared out and are now waiting to hear back on a few estimates to fence it in.
+My dear friend Hannah got married! I drove up to Saint Johns for her bridal shower on Friday morning, her sealing in the Snowflake temple Saturday morning, and her reception Saturday night. It was fun to see Hannah as well as Jenna and Cassidy. We don't see each other often and we're all terrible at keeping in touch, but whenever we get together, it's like we've never been apart. I was also happy to be able to be back in Saint Johns since I don't have very many excuses to go back, even if it was just for a short while.
+We have loved watching the wildlife around our house. We see lots of quails, roadrunners, coyotes, and rabbits. I've been trying to film little clips of all of our animal visitors so I can put together a video.

B A D
+I had a cold in June which was no fun at all. Lots of body aches, sore throat, terrible congestion. Taylor and Olive had quick runny noises that only lasted 2 days which was good. But as hard as I tried not to breath on Eliza, she got it full force (I mean how could she not when I hold her 24/7). We all seemed to have recovered, but when I went on my solo weekend trip, my sickness reappeared. Sore throat, congestion, headaches. I think it's from my lack of sleep. It's been rough as of late and my body is not happy about it. The good thing about getting it when I was up at my friend's wedding is I was staying in a hotel and got two nights of uninterrupted sleep (my first full nights of sleep since Eliza was born). I got better a lot faster than my first time around. Hopefully we can avoid getting sick for the rest of the year (hahahahahaa).
+We have a wolf spider problem. We ordered some chemicals and sprayed our house so hopefully that takes care of them.

O N  M Y  B R A I N
+I waited too long to do this GBOMB so I can't remember what was on my mind in June. I'll do better on my recap in July... maybe.

June 2, 2019

May GBOMB

May was spent moving into our new house. Not much happened besides settling into our new place so this is going to be a short GBOMB and more of a photo dump from the month of May.

G O O D
+Before we left California, we wanted to do a fun Disney event that we hadn't done before - a character breakfast. We did Goofy's Breakfast and it was so much fun. It was also our last day spent in Disneyland as annual passholders. I'm thinking of writing up a post about our experience having an annual pass.
+Moving went as smoothly as moving can possibly go (so still stressful, but nothing went wrong). We actually unpacked and got things in order in our new house relatively quickly compared to some of our other moves.
+The kids are thrilled with the new house. Taylor and Olive love their new rooms and being outside in the desert and most of all, the chimney for Santa to come down. It's fun to see the silly things kids notice and get excited about. Everything is new and entertaining for them.
+We have plans to break ground on our backyard! It's going to be many, many, many years before we finish everything that we want (i.e. grass, pool, a chicken coop, sand volleyball, other grand schemes) because landscaping is pricey. But we will hopefully have our acre cleared, graded, and fenced by the end of this year.

B A D
+There actually isn't anything I can think of to put in the bad category. Maybe just the struggle of parenting three kids? It's hard when Olive is screaming in the other room while I'm trying to get Eliza down for a nap or when Taylor is begging me to cut up an apple for him, but I'm busy feeding Eliza. I don't have enough hands because my hands are always holding Eliza, but I still have two other children demanding help. It helps to know this is only a season and soon Eliza will be able to sit up on her own and won't need me 24/7. But then we'll run into our next challenge because parenting never ends. Haha.

O N  M Y  B R A I N
+Honestly, nothing is on my brain. My brain is barely hanging on. Newborns and lack of sleep really take a toll on my ability to think. See thoughts on mom brain in my March GBOMB post.

May 1, 2019

April GBOMB

G O O D
+Taylor turned 4! It was a lowkey event celebrated with pancakes and a giant cookie cake. Ready for the most cliche' saying? I can't believe Taylor is 4 years old! He is growing up so fast.
+Andrew and I celebrated 5 years of marriage! Well celebrated might be the wrong word since we didn't really do anything... because we have kids. Haha. I guess having a normal day is a celebration because our marriage has brought three beautiful children into the world. We wouldn't want anything else.
+I just remembered that we did do something for our anniversary. We all went to the LA Zoo. It was a little rough on me with a two month old, but the kids had fun. And it's always good to get out of the house because I hardly ever leave it except to pick up grocery orders at Walmart.
+We made a quick trip to Disneyland as a family which is something we haven't done in a while. We only did a few things, but made it on the new Jesse's Critter Carousel in California Adventures which is super adorable.
+The kids were really jazzed about Easter this year. We have the Easter Story Egg which is a nesting egg. Each day of the week leading up to Easter, you open an egg and read the story that coincides with that day of Holy Week. The kids looked forward to it each day and begged me to open eggs ahead of schedule. We dyed eggs a little last minute on Saturday night. I gave Taylor and Olive each four hard boiled eggs and they dyed them over and over again until the poor eggs were pretty smashed up. They were also super happy with their Easter baskets and searching for hidden eggs on Sunday.
+We closed on our house! We are home owners again! I'm so excited for our move and to be in a house we own.
+I went to Disneyland with six women I had never met before and it was the best time. I have a large group of what I call my internet friends. We interact with each other across social media and call ourselves the Twitter Moms. About 5 months back we started planning a trip to Disneyland and it finally came to fruition. I spent two days kid-free in Disneyland with these lovely ladies that have changed from just internet friends to real life friends. We're already discussing where our next mom trip will be to (and hopefully more Twitter Moms will be able to join us).

B A D
+We're going to be living on an acre of land which is fantastic. But it's unfenced and essentially the desert as there is nothing behind us. This makes for great views, but it also means our backyard is filled with rattlesnakes, scorpions, gila monsters, tarantulas, coyotes, javelinas, etc and so forth. That's something I could live with if it weren't for my itty bitty children running around. I want them to be able to run wild in the backyard without me having to worry about them receiving a life threatening snake bite. So we need to clear all the desert brush and put a fence around the yard to help keep the wildlife and the children separated. But man, is it expensive to fence an acre. And it's hard to arrange estimates to get the work started. And it's going to take a while once we get started. It's worth it for the land though.
+It seems like we're always struggling with something new when it comes to parenting (I'm sure this pattern will continue for the rest of our lives). Our usually smooth nighttime routine has been disrupted by a strong willed little boy who refuses to stay in bed. We're trying to figure out something that works for him before we go insane.

O N  M Y  B R A I N
+Moving logistics. We're lucky enough to be getting movers paid for by Andrew's work, but that doesn't mean I stress any less. I can't stop the list of things that need to get down for the move out of my head.
+How do you keep little babies from getting sick? Eliza hasn't caught anything terrible, but she always seems to get a runny nose which I then assume means her throat is sore from the snot drainage at night. We hardly leave the house (I've only taken her to church twice since I'm so paranoid after Olive's stint in the ICU as a baby) and her siblings haven't been sick, but she still manages to catch some sort of illness. I feel bad that she's had a runny nose for the majority of her life so far.

April 1, 2019

March GBOMB

G O O D
+We found out we're moving back to Arizona in May! We'll be in the Tucson area which is about two hours south of where our family lives.
+And with that news, we bought a house! It has tall ceilings, a beautiful kitchen, and it sits on almost an acre of land. We're hoping this is our forever home and I'm so excited to move in.
+Eliza smiles all the time now. It makes the fussing and whining a little more bearable when she's flashing smiles all the rest of the time.
+I think I forgot to mention this last month, but Taylor is potty trained! I was honestly afraid we'd never get to this point. Haha.

B A D
+We all got sick this month. Why is it that once you have kids, your home becomes a petri dish of illness?
+To find our house, we had to take a super fast trip to Arizona. We drove to Arizona on Friday night, house-hunted all of Saturday, then turned around on Sunday to drive home. The kids did great on the way there and the trip itself does not qualify for the "bad" category. The way back is what puts it here because it was so stressful. Our six hour drive turned into nine hours due to traffic, stopping frequently to get the newborn out of her carseat, and an unfortunate puking incident.
+Lately it has been a battle of the wills with Taylor. Overall Taylor is a great kid and has always been easy going. But he's been testing his limits recently to see what he can get away with and we haven't quite figured out what parenting techniques work for him.

O N  M Y  B R A I N
+How do I parent three kids? It's impossible to give them all the attention they need. Someone (mostly Eliza) always needs my focus. Hopefully as Eliza gets older and a little less needy I can balance everything better.
+Mom brain. I always thought it was a funny thing to say to explain away the effects of exhaustion on new moms, but there are actual studies that show a reduction in gray matter after pregnancy. I am feeling it so hard this time around. I will be in the middle of a conversation and stop mid-sentence because I can't remember a word. I will stand up to do something and immediately forget what I was headed to do. Sometimes I need to just stare off in the distance because my brain can't take anymore thinking. So if I ever look blanked face during a conversation, if I've ignored a text (or several), if I completely blown off something I told you I would do, take this as my blanket apology. I am slowly losing my mind and I blame it on my children. Haha.

March 2, 2019

February GBOMB

February went by in the blink of an eye. I guess that's what happens when you have a newborn. As quick as the month passed, I still managed to think of a few things for the GBOMB (the Good, the Bad, and what's been On My Brain).

G O O D
+Andrew was home on paternity leave. That meant lots of outings and activities and one-on-one playtime for the kids. He is the "fun parent".
+We took a quick Disneyland trip because my brother Carl and his wife Kara were there. It was a little colder than we expected and a bit rainy, but we were able to watch the new parade. It was also Eliza's first Disneyland trip at only two weeks old.
+We met up with our friends Michele and James at Laguna Beach. They have a son who is about the same age as Olive and we used to have play dates all the time with them when we lived in Chandler. It was fun to see them and cool to explore the tide pools at Laguna.
+Grandma Snow came to see baby Eliza and help with the kids. We always love when people come and visit us. I think the kids appreciated being spoiled by Grandma and getting out of the house with her most days she was here.

B A D
+Not as much sleep due to a newborn. She's been a pretty good sleeper so far on the nights she's not suffering from some extreme gas.
+We got sick at the beginning of the month - very briefly luckily. But that still meant a newborn with a stuffy/runny nose which is so sad.
+There's a lot of monotony with a newborn. Most of my day is spent sitting in the same chair and holding her. That is somehow extremely exhausting? She's starting to be awake more and give out smiles so hopefully she'll want to do more than be held all day in the next coming weeks/months.

O N  M Y  B R A I N
+I haven't had to parent three kids solo yet. I had Andrew home for the first three weeks and then my mother-in-law came for Andrew's first week back at work. I'm a little worried for how our days are going to go when I'm on my own. Check in on me on Monday to make sure I survive my first day alone.
+We're nearing the end of our time in California, but where we're headed next hasn't quite been decided. I'm anxious to find out what's in store for us.

February 4, 2019

January GBOMB

G O O D
+ELIZA'S ARRIVAL! The very best thing of January.
+Nesting finally kicked in once we got home from our Christmas break spent in Arizona and I got a lot of things done around the house. After not being very productive this entire pregnancy, it was nice to get some things off my long to-do list and done before Eliza showed up.
+All the Snows minus Michelle came to visit. We went to Disneyland and the beach and just had a great time. While at Disneyland, I started having contractions and thought that maybe Disney was going to put me into labor, but unfortunately they stopped later that night.
+My mom timed a visit to us perfectly. She said she was going to come the weekend before I was due just in case the baby came and she could be here to watch the kids while we headed to the hospital. I honestly thought the baby was going to stay put and her trip would be in vain. Luckily Eliza decided to be polite and make her appearance during my mom's trip.
+Watching Taylor and Olive meet their little sister was the best. They have talked and talked about how excited they were for Eliza to get here, but I was still a little worried (mainly about how Olive would react and adjust). Despite my worry, both have been great and are obsessed with "Baby Eliza".


B A D
+We were all a little sick the beginning of the month. Luckily, it wasn't too bad and we recovered fairly quickly. Now to stay healthy for the sake of little Eliza. We won't be leaving the house anytime soon to avoid another stint in the hospital like we had with Olive at 5 weeks old.


O N  M Y  B R A I N
+My labor experience didn't go exactly as planned. I feel a little cheated and wish I could go back and do a few things differently (namely getting the epidural sooner).
+Eliza, Eliza, Eliza. She's pretty much the only thing on my mind and has crowded all other January events and thoughts out of my brain so there is a high chance that I forgot stuff on this GBOMB.

January 8, 2019

Christmas in Arizona

We were in Arizona for so long it seemed like it deserved it's own post instead of just a casual mention in the monthly GBOMB (unfortunately I didn't take very many quality pictures during our relaxing break). One night, we went to Illumination, Symphony of Light (which is a mile-long drive-thru light display) that the kids thought was amazing. Another day, we met up with my Hanley side of the family to eat breakfast in Tucson in celebration of my dad's birthday. Later, we made gingerbread houses at my mom's house where Olive had the time of her life eating way too much candy.


Sunday we had an hour church program and the cousins went in matching outfits. We enjoyed a delicious Christmas Eve dinner along with the annual Snow Christmas Eve program. We got to experience some more cute matching cousin in their Christmas jammies. Christmas morning started at 8:30 and was actually pretty relaxed. The kids took their time going through their stockings and then we slowly opened presents and played with toys. It's so much fun watching kids open presents. After presents, Kevin made us pannekoeken for breakfast (which is a Dutch version of crepes). We went to my mom's for Christmas dinner and hot chocolate and to exchange more gifts (much to the children's delight).


The next day the Steed cousins temporarily left us so they could visit family in California. It was good timing for them to leave because the next day Taylor came down with a stomach bug. He recovered by Saturday so we spent a morning at the Phoenix Zoo and then Olive and I hung out with my mom that evening. Then it was my turn for a feverish 24 hours. I came out of my feverish state by New Year's Eve and we had a "party" for the kids. This party consisted of Chinese food, watching some YouTube clips of the kids choosing, and then tricking them into thinking they made it to New Years by putting on a 3 minute countdown off of Netflix at 7:30 pm. The next day we went by my Aunt Emily's house so Taylor and Olive could see her "farm" which currently consists of 4 dogs, a cat, a bearded dragon, and a plethora of chickens, quails, and tortoises. They always have fun at Auntie Em's. We made it home just in time to see our Steed cousins return from CA before it was bedtime. Our next two days weren't spent doing anything in particular besides letting the kids cause chaos together. We left the evening of the third to make it back for a doctor's appointment I had the next day. I then proceeded to totally forget about the said doctor's appointment so we pretty much decided to head home on the 3rd for no reason when we could have stayed a few more days.


Other notable events were Andrew and I going to the Alamo Drafthouse after the kids were in bed to watch Mary Poppins Returns and attempting to watch all of the extended versions of Lord of the Rings with Stephanie and Kevin (we did not quite accomplish this - next year it will happen). Besides forgetting my doctor's appointment, we had a great Christmas break full of memories and fun. Only 351 days until next Christmas. 😉
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